Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Great Global Warming Swindle (review)

The film is the much-awaited, definitive response to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. The provocative documentary was aired on British television in 2007 and currently gaining support among Netizens. The major thesis of the film: World’s climate scientists are wrong to declare that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is the cause of higher temperature. It is the reverse: increasing atmospheric CO2 is itself the result of rising temperature.

An article by S. Fred Singer, an atmospheric physicist, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, and former founding Director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service summarizes the film in his article.

1. There is no proof that the current warming is caused by the rise of greenhouse gases from human activity. Ice core records from the past 650,000 years show that temperature increases have preceded—not resulted from—increases in CO2 by hundreds of years, suggesting that the warming of the oceans is an important source of the rise in atmospheric CO2. As the dominant greenhouse gas, water vapor is far; far more important than CO2…..the best evidence supporting natural causes of temperature fluctuations are the changes in cloudiness, which correspond strongly with regular variations in solar activity. The current warming is likely part of a natural cycle of climate warming and cooling that’s been traced back almost a million years. It accounts for the Medieval Warm Period around 1100 A.D., when the Vikings settled Greenland and grew crops, and the Little Ice Age, from about 1400 to 1850 A.D., which brought severe winters and cold summers to Europe, with failed harvests, starvation, disease, and general misery…”

2. If the cause of warming is mostly natural, then there is little we can do about it. We cannot control the inconstant sun, the likely origin of most climate variability. None of the schemes for greenhouse gas reduction currently bandied about will do any good; they are all irrelevant, useless, and wildly expensive.

3. Finally, no one can show that a warmer climate would produce negative impacts overall. The much–feared rise in sea levels does not seem to depend on short–term temperature changes, as the rate of sea–level increases has been steady since the last ice age, 10,000 years ago.

Interestingly, the film confidently claims that anti-capitalist movements have been furthering their utopian projects through the guise of green agenda. Green parties in Europe were products of the fall of communism in 1990s. The remnants of Marxist-Leninist movements creatively found their niche in the political arena through the introduction of a populist agenda. Hence, green politics can be considered as an organized attempt to undermine capitalism in its simplest form. The emotional tendencies of the global campaign on climate change can also be scrutinized by looking at the constituents who sustain the issue. The emergence of ENVIRONMENTAL JOURNALISM proves to be alarming since scientific claims and findings can be easily undermined by hysterical and apocalyptic reports.

Moreover, the current anti-global warming campaign would surely impede the development of Southern countries, in general and African countries, in particular. Western governments, the documentary contends, discourage African nations from using their natural resources and oil reserves to enhance the production of electricity in the continent. The introduction of solar technology serves as one of the greatest political swindling activities of developed nations since poor African nations simply cannot afford the technology.

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