The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gave a grim assessment of the impact of global climate change in a new report dated November 17, 2007. According to the Panel’s latest report, the build-up of carbon dioxide on Earth already imperils islands, coastlines, and a fifth to two-thirds of the world’s species.
The IPCC panel report says that global warming is “unequivocal”. It estimates that as early as the year 2020 between 75 and 250 million people in Africa will suffer water shortages. It goes on to state that residents of Asia’s largest cities will be at great risk of river and coastal flooding. Europeans can expect extensive species loss. North Americans will experience longer and hotter heat waves and greater competition for water.
In the best case scenario, temperatures will keep rising from carbon already in the atmosphere, the report said. Climate change is here as witnessed by melting snow and glaciers, higher average temperatures, and rising sea levels. If unchecked, global warming will spread hunger and disease, put further stress on water resources, cause fiercer storms and more frequent droughts, and could drive up to 70 percent of plant and animal species to extinction.
“We have already committed the world to sea level rise,” the panel’s chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, said. But if the Greenland ice sheet melts, the scientists said, they could not predict by how many feet the seas will rise, drowning coastal cities. Climate change imperils “the most precious treasures of our planet,” he said, and the effects are “so severe and so sweeping that only urgent global action will do. We are all in this together. We must work together.”
“The world’s scientists have spoken clearly and with one voice,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “I expect the world’s policy makers to do the same.”
The world scientists that U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon refers to are apparently members of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. However, the Nobel prize winning IPCC is a political body appointed by the U.N. Many of the 3,000 members of this panel are not scientists, but are political appointees. The few real scientists on the panel have in the past disputed the panel’s findings and had their comments deleted from the reports. Several of these scientists have even asked to have their names removed from the panel’s report. Their requests have been denied. Some scientists have actually had to sue the panel to have their names removed.
So do the world’s scientists all agree and speak with one voice on the issue of global warming? Is global warming “unequivocal”? It does not look like those statements can be attributed to scientists connected with the IPCC. The talking point that all scientists speak with “one voice” on global warming has been heard in Al Gore’s global warming presentations and is now being used in comments by the United Nations Secretary General.
Certainly the comments from early last week from John Coleman (founder of the Weather Channel) don’t indicate a consensus of opinion on global warming. His comments went generally unreported by the mainstream press. Coleman stated: “It (global warming) is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. … Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data to create an illusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental whacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the “research” to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus. I have read dozens of scientific papers. I have talked with numerous scientists. I have studied. I have thought about it. I know I am correct. There is no run away climate change.”
Also consider the comments of Colorado State University’s Hurricane expert Dr. William Gray: “The only inconvenient truth about global warming is that a genuine debate has never actually taken place. Hundreds of scientists, many of them prominent in the field, agree. They’ve been brainwashing us for 20 years,” Gray says. “This scare will also run its course. In 15-20 years, we’ll look back and see what a hoax this was.” Gray acknowledges that we’ve had some warming the past 30 years. “I don’t question that,” he explains. “And humans might have caused a very slight amount of this warming. Very slight. But this warming trend is not going to keep on going. My belief is that three, four years from now, the globe will start to cool again, as it did from the middle ’40s to the middle ’70s.”
Then there are the opinions of highly respected climatologist, Roger Pielke Sr. at the University of Colorado: Pielke contends there isn’t enough intellectual diversity in the debate. He claims a few vocal individuals are quoted “over and over” again, when in fact there are a variety of opinions. “I think the media is in the ideal position to do that. If the media honestly presented the views out there, which they rarely do, things would change.”
The skeptical opinions of scientists Coleman, Grey and Pielke are not isolated. In fact, 19,000 scientists have signed a petition that states: “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”
Global warming may well turn out to be the serious problem identified in the United Nations report. However, there is a ongoing debate in the scientific community about global warming and its effects. World scientists do not speak with “one voice” and do not all agree that long term global warming is “unequivocal”. The fact that there is a concerted effort to keep the scientific debate on global warming a public secret should make us feel as uncomfortable as the findings on global warming in the latest United Nations Report.
James William Smith has worked in Senior management positions for some of the largest Financial Services firms in the United States for the last twenty five years. He has also provided business consulting support for insurance organizations and start up businesses. He has always been interested in writing and listening to different viewpoints on interesting topics.
Visit his website at http://www.eworldvu.com .