by John Coleman
Our wonderful civilization will come to an end as the result of man-made climate change.
That is the ultimate prediction of the most extreme of climate change fanatics. They predict that uncontrolled warming will lead to killer heat waves and endless droughts, the melting of the polar ice caps and all glaciers resulting in flooding of the coastal cities. Millions will die along with all of the polar bears. We also experience massive tornadoes and hurricanes.
All of these predictions are based on a failed scientific theory that is being perpetuated by agenda driven politicians, environmental wackos and money hungry scientists. The purpose of this essay is to lay out the true facts and explain how the failed theory continues to dominate scientific research of climate related issues and also dominates the media and controls public opinion and political actions.
The issue behind all this is “the greenhouse effect” of our atmosphere. The key atmospheric element in question is carbon dioxide. And the big question about carbon dioxide is how strong of a greenhouse effect does it create as it interacts with water vapor in our atmosphere.
The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases as a result of our burning of fossil fuels to power our civilization. When coal, oil, gasoline and natural gas are burned the primary exhaust gas is carbon dioxide (CO2). Since man-kind began to make significant use of fossil fuels 250 years ago the percentage of the atmosphere that is carbon dioxide has increased from about 250 parts per million to about 500 parts per million. So it still only a trace gas in the atmosphere, about one-half of one percent of the total. Since it is odorless, tasteless and invisible it seems as though it should not be a big deal. More than all of that, it has always been in the atmosphere and is essential to life on Earth. Carbon dioxide is required by all plant life (from weeds and grass to trees and all vegetables, fruits and crops) for their very life because it is the element they “breath in” in to power photosynthesis. Therefore, it is difficult to think of carbon dioxide as a problem, much less a pollutant. However, that is exactly the situation today.
Several scientists throughout history have speculated that increases in CO2 in the atmosphere could lead to a warming problem. Even Alexander Graham Bell raised the issue. It wasn’t seriously considered, however, until the 1950’s when our cities and towns were entrapped in “smog” from the burning of dirty coal in our stokers to heat the homes and from dirty automobile exhaust from the old fashioned engines burning poorly refined fuel. The exhaust pipes spewed out ash and particles of carbon. So when scientists raised the issue then, there was more concern. This led to intense efforts to improve fuels and engines. Step by step the pollution level improved until today our exhaust pipes and chimneys produce almost no pollution at all. But the amount of the invisible CO2 exhaust has continued to increase as the civilization continues to expand.
But then it happened. In the late 1960s one of the scientists who had done research on the impact of CO2 on temperatures lectured about the possible global warming problem in a class at Harvard University. Sitting in the front row of that class was student Albert Gore. Gore became greatly concerned about the problem and adopted it as a primary focus of his life. He was elected to the United States Congress and then the U.S. Senate. He wrote a book “Earth in the Balance” and began to chair Congressional hearings on the global warming issue. This led to dramatic increases in Federal funding for research of the global warming problem. University research groups and research institutions rushed in to submit piles of research proposals with the Government. The global warming frenzy had begun. After all, money is a powerful force. And since the money was only available for those who would further the global warming concern only one side of the issue was being studied.
All of this fired up the scientists to further examine the interaction between CO2 and water vapor to create warming. Eventually they developed a scheme of interactions that leads to a greatly enhanced greenhouse effect that drives up temperatures to record levels. They produced computer models to prove their theories. Then other scientists were awarded funding to study to impact of this warming on a wide range of plants, insects and animals. We were told the ice caps were melting and the Polar Bears were dying, that bees were in great jeopardy, that corn and wheat and soy bean crops would have to move northward into less fertile soil and food shortages would develop. Every research project was accompanied by numerous press releases, interviews and videos. The media loved it all because “the sky is falling” is their favorite headline of all time.
As a result of all of the grants and papers and resulting news releases the people of the United States have been bombarded with global warming/climate change alarmism news reports for decades. No wonder that now a majority are concerned about the repeatedly detailed cataclysmic consequences that they media tells them lie ahead.
This situation certainly got my attention. I was a TV Meteorologist with many years of daily involvement in the weather. I was a Professional Member of The American Meteorological Society. I had forecast the weather for the entire nation every day for years as the first Weathercaster on “Good Morning, America” on ABC and as founder of “The Weather Channel”. So when I began to read about all of this in my professional journals and hear global warming talk in the newsrooms where I worked I was very interested in understanding what was going on. I began to study the issue and talk with other Meteorologists. As Science Reporter for the ABC Network I had covered the “coming ice age” story in the mid-70’s. That proved to be totally baseless and I had reported it as a highly questionable theory to the distress of my superiors who wanted me build up “the sky is falling” aspect of the story. After that experience I was motivated to study this issue thoroughly, I was careful to re-examine every claim with skepticism. And, the more I studied, the more skeptical I became; again somewhat to the objection of my bosses.
Here is what I had learned:
- There had been no direct measurement in the atmosphere that confirmed that carbon dioxide when interacting with water vapor becomes a significant greenhouse gas that produces unusual warming.
- The computer models that were designed to prove the theory were simply loaded with the assumed “super” greenhouse effect.
- The actual temperature measurement system had been adjusted three times by government agencies to make the past temperatures cooler and the recent temperatures warmer.
- The measured temperatures were not warming at the rate predicted by the computer models.
I felt rather lonely with my skeptical position at first. But when I moved to San Diego in 1994 and joined a local independent TV station I was suddenly in a different professional environment, different from any I had seen in the previous 40 years. My skeptical stance was welcomed. I could report on my position on the TV Newscasts and cover it on the station’s website. The station’s owner, News Director and news anchors supported me.
Then I discovered the Oregon Petition Project where other skeptical scientists were signing a petition confirming their skeptical position on global warming. Soon 31 thousand people, 9 thousand of them with Ph.D. after their names, had signed. I began to feel better. I established e-mail relationships with some of them.
Next my friends Joe D’Aleo (ICECAP)and Anthony Watts (WATTSUPWITHTHAT) launched skeptical websites. Others followed.
And, then The Heartland Institute, a Chicago based think tank, organized an International Conference on Climate Change to give a platform to skeptical scientists from around the world. When I attended the first of these conferences and met these super sharp scientists from M.I.T., Harvard, The University of Virginia, The University of Alabama, UCLA and dozens of other universities, I felt great.
My skeptical position was confirmed over and over again by the research reports they brought to the conference. There was no doubt left in my mind. The global warming/climate change theory had failed and been proven wrong.
Yet, as you know, the climate change frenzy continues. The reason why is clear as a bell: Money. The Federal government is now paying out about 4.5 billion dollars a year in research grants. The science departments and research organizations continue to clamor for the money. And it is only granted to those who support the climate change position. And, mostly because Al Gore was a powerful force in the Democrat Party for many years, the issue has also become part of that party’s platform. Politics and money; what a power combination. We skeptics have our hands full.
I have produced videos debunking climate change and posted them on You Tube. I write the essays, such as this one, and post them on my little website. I make speeches where ever and whenever I am invited. Hundreds of others do the same. Heartland continues to sponsor International Conference every year or two. But try as we do, our efforts are small compared to the 4.5 billion dollars, the Democrat Party and the media. It is David against Goliath.
“So Mr. Coleman, please explain to me how it is that you know for certain that this theory has failed. And even if there is some question about whether the theory is correct or not, isn’t it taking a big chance to not cut back on greenhouse gasses? Shouldn’t we do it, just in case? Why don’t we cut back on carbon dioxide emissions as sort of an insurance policy, just in case they are right and you are wrong.” Whenever I speak before college student groups about the climate change issue, the above is the essence of the first question I am usually asked and it is usually cheered.
I understand that after decades of media coverage of global warming and its successor climate change and constant lecturing about it and the showing of the Al Gore Documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” over and over again in schools, that there is plenty of discomfort about the debunking of climate change by skeptics such as me. Our detractors often toss us in with the advocates of a flat Earth, chem-trails, flying saucer ET story tellers and those who think the NASA Moon landing was all made up. All I can ask is that you try to think about this essay with an open mind, then do what additional checking you are motivated to do. I am certain that if you are open minded you will realize that based on everything we know right now there is no significant man-made climate change now and no reason to expect any in the future. Once you take that position, please join us in trying to change public opinion and government policies.
And please understand that cutting emissions “just in case as a sort of insurance policy” is not a good idea, either. For the next generation of youngsters, that could be a horribly expensive insurance policy. Our government’s global warming actions are already costing the average American family of four about $1,400 a year in increased costs for food and energy and taxes. For those kids that can mean less health care or healthy food, no internet connection or no computer. Or it might come out of their college funds. And the added cost of food and energy for those in the third world nations could actually lead to the death for untold millions. I don’t think we should “buy the insurance”.
Despite this issue, please never lose sight of this: The most important thing you will ever learn is to love and be loved in return.
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