By Rick Manning
The battle over whether our nation should take aggressive actions to deal with climate change continues unabated. One would think that it would be easy to determine the nation’s policy based upon what the science on the ground shows.
However, that is where it gets tricky, because the science and indeed, even the headlines are anything but settled.
This summer, sailors who believed those who predicted that the Arctic would be ice free this summer, became trapped with predictably disastrous consequences.
Yet, the Nordic Orion, a heavy ice graded bulk cargo freighter, became the first ship to traverse the Northwest Passage giving credence to those who claim that the Arctic ice is melting.
Independent scientists report that Arctic ice has increased by 29 percent this past summer with 533,000 square miles more ice recorded than the previous year.
Yet, NASA reports that this summer’s minimum was the sixth lowest Arctic ice extent of the satellite record and is 432,000 square miles (1.12 million square kilometers) lower than the 1981-2010 average.
The Washington Post reports that South Pole sea ice has reached a 35 year high, confounding scientists to explain why Antarctic sea ice is actually growing rapidly on a year to year basis.
Yet, Environmental Times expresses concerns about the stability of the western Antarctic ice shelf due to alleged warmer temperatures.
There is universal agreement that global temperatures have not risen over the past sixteen years, which has proven to be an inconvenient truth to those who are pushing the global warming mantel. In fact, the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent report was delayed as governments demanded an explanation for this pause to be included in the document.
Yet, this latest report from the IPCC projects that the next seventeen years will see a .5-1.0 degree average increase in temperature than the period from 1986 to 2005. This projection directly ignores the broken hockey stick that underlay their previous erroneous projections.
The contradictions go on and on, as the former claimed scientific consensus collapses around data that just doesn’t conform to computer models used as the basis of directing policies that have harsh economic impacts on the economies of developed countries.
In fact, while the argument rages over whether the earth is warming, there is an even more intense debate over what is causing the “warming” with some NASA scientists pointing to solar cycles, others looking at normal ocean warming and cooling cycles and still others pointing to increases of CO2 in the atmosphere.
At a time when the United States Environmental Protection Agency is engaged in an aggressive anti-carbon campaign that will significantly diminish the supply of electricity in our nation over the next three years, one would hope that they would look up from their computers and ask the question, “What if we’re wrong?”
Somehow, I suspect that is a question that never crosses the minds of the green zealots who are determined to save the world, even when Mother Earth herself seems to be telling them that she doesn’t need their help.
Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government.