I thought I'd post this opinion piece in its entirety, because it basically sums up the essential issues surrounding the "Global Warming" debate. Thank you, Walter Williams, for making explaining this topic to me so succinctly.
Global Warming Heresy
By Walter E. Williams
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Most climatologists agree that the earth's temperature has increased about a degree over the last century. The debate is how much of it is due to mankind's activity. Britain's Channel 4 television has just produced "The Great Global Warming Swindle," a documentary that devastates most of the claims made by the environmentalist movement. The scientists interviewed include top climatologists from MIT and other prestigious universities around the world. The documentary hasn't aired in the U.S., but it's available on the Internet.
Among the many findings that dispute environmentalists' claims are: Manmade carbon dioxide emissions are roughly 5 percent of the total; the rest are from natural sources such as volcanoes, dying vegetation and animals. Annually, volcanoes alone produce more carbon dioxide than all of mankind's activities. Oceans are responsible for most greenhouse gases. Contrary to environmentalists' claims, the higher the Earth's temperature, the higher the carbon dioxide levels. In other words, carbon dioxide levels are a product of climate change. Some of the documentary's scientists argue that the greatest influence on the Earth's temperature is our sun's sunspot activity. The bottom line is, the bulk of scientific evidence shows that what we've been told by environmentalists is pure bunk.
Throughout the Earth's billions of years there have been countless periods of global warming and cooling. In fact, in the year 1,000 A.D., a time when there were no SUVs, the Earth's climate was much warmer than it is now. Most of this century's warming occurred before 1940. For several decades after WWII, when there was massive worldwide industrialization, there was cooling.
There's a much more important issue that poses an even greater danger to mankind. That's the effort by environmentalists to suppress disagreement with their view. According to a March 11 article in London's Sunday Telegraph, Timothy Ball, a former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Canada, has received five death threats since he started questioning whether man was affecting climate change. Richard Lindzen, professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, said, "Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves labeled as industry stooges." Nigel Calder, a former editor of New Scientist, said, "Governments are trying to achieve unanimity by stifling any scientist who disagrees. Einstein could not have got funding under the present system."
Suppressing dissent is nothing new. Italian cosmologist Giordano Bruno taught that stars were at different distances from each other surrounded by limitless territory. He was imprisoned in 1592, and eight years later he was tried as a heretic and burned at the stake. Because he disagreed that the Earth was the center of the universe, Galileo was ordered to stand trial on suspicion of heresy in 1633. Under the threat of torture, he recanted and was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life.
Today's version of yesteryear's inquisitors include people like the Weather Channel's Dr. Heidi Cullen, who advocates that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) strip their seal of approval from any TV weatherman expressing skepticism about the predictions of manmade global warming. Columnist Dave Roberts, in his Sept. 19, 2006, online publication, said, "When we've finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we're in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards -- some sort of climate Nuremberg."
There are literally billions of taxpayer dollars being handed out to global warming alarmists, not to mention their dream of controlling our lives. Their agenda is threatened by dissent. They have the politician's ear; not we, who will suffer if they have their way.
Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of More Liberty Means Less Government: Our Founders Knew This Well.