Wednesday, December 24, 2008

So Much for Consensus

Cracks are forming -- actually, they're more like chasms -- in the claim that most of the world's scientists and experts have reached a "consensus" position on the ultimate origins of climate change. Al Gore and other alarmists have convinced millions of people, and many working in the media, that temperature trends are caused by industrialization and over-consumption by human beings, requiring a dramatic regulatory response that could (further) cripple our economy. Most news outlets, having jumped aboard the bandwagon, now report this as fact rather than theory, lending weight to the popular perception that all the scientific questions have been settled and that any regulatory response is justified.

But a new report compiled by the minority staff of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works has an updated list of 650 highly-credentialed, highly-credible experts who dissent from the alarmist "consensus." Here's a link to the press release announcing the report, which serves as a good summary. The complete, 233-page document can be downloaded here.

Its Dec. 15 release was met with a big fat yawn from the "mainstream" media, which is now heavily vested in the apocalyptic story angle -- the suicide of the planet, now that's a story. And left-wing blogs started nit-picking it apart, questioning the credentials of some of the experts on the dissenters list -- although all of them have more standing to talk intelligently on the subject than Gore does.

A lot is riding on how the debate plays out in the public arena. If climate change can convincingly be laid at man's feet, and Americans accept the idea that a complete overhaul of the economy is required to avert calamity, imagine the regulatory power that will land in government hands. It will be the fulfillment of Al Gore's dream, as described in his book Earth in the Balance -- that environmentalism will become the central organizing principle of this society (with economic and political liberty becoming secondary or tertiary concerns). And that, I believe, could usher in a Green tyranny that will compare favorably with the Red tyranny the world knew in the 20th Century.

An extreme prediction? Perhaps. But the mainstreaming of extremism is what the environmental movement is all about. Climate change is their ticket to power. And they won't give up that ticket without a street fight.

If you don't mind killing a few trees, print the report out. Give the gift of sanity this holiday season by sending it out to open-minded family members and friends, wrapped up nicely in ribbons and bows. And keep a personal copy nearby, at the ready, as a rebuttal, when next you hear someone say that the scientific debate has been settled. If this person refuses to read it, hit him over the head with it (though not too forcefully) . Either way, it will serve as a welcome wake-up call.

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