Global warming has a pause button? Who knew? It “seems to have paused since the turn of the millennium,” reports James Maynard at Tech Times, “but climatologists believe this slowdown is not a reason for celebration.”
The pause, they say, may be due to cooling of the Pacific Ocean since the last El Nino cycle, and warming will probably re-start with the next such cycle. Climatologist Michael Mann of Penn state calls it a “false pause” and notes that none of the explanations offered for it “involve climate models being fundamentally wrong.”
Perhaps that’s the problem. Maybe the global climate just does what it does instead of what Michael Mann’s models decree it must do.
Bailey Smith, then head of the Southern Baptist Convention, raised hackles in 1980 with his announcement that “God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.” While Smith found a few defenders, most Christians condemned the claim. The most trenchant criticism came down not to any denomination talking point, but to a simple notion, one even agnostics could buy into : God, not Bailey Smith, decides who God listens to.
A disclaimer: I tend to agree that what’s often falsely characterized as the “scientific consensus” is plausible. That is, it seems very possible that human activity exerts non-trivial effects on global climate.
That said, the alarmists — you know, the people who warned us in the 1970s that Earth was slipping into a new Ice Age, who by the ’90s had changed their wolf cry to global warming, and who lately stick to the safer, less specific term “climate change” — might do well to heed the Bailey Smith lesson. Certitude concerning powerful forces goeth before a fall.
When the testable elements of the “scientific consensus” — predicted temperature changes, predicted frequency of large-scale weather events like hurricanes, etc. — routinely fail to transpire, that failure calls for some degree of re-examination. And perhaps a bit more humility before the forces of nature.
But no. Climate alarmists characterize the “scientific consensus” as so unquestionable, and the stakes as so high, that the two taken together constitute a strong argument for putting the alarmists in charge of public policy.
I disagree. Power is a dangerous thing. Perhaps even more dangerous than global warming. At the very least, we should require more proof of the latter before granting the former. Let’s not surrender our freedoms lightly.
Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.
- “Does Gaia hear the prayer of a climate alarmist?” by Thomas L. Knapp, Macomb County, Michigan Advisor & Source, 03/12/15