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Global Warming is Fad Dieting for the Planet (Updated)

John on March 10, 2007 at 3:50 pm

Update 2: Professor Timothy Ball, who appeared in the film I discuss below, has received five death threats since going public with his skepticism of global warming. It’s not clear, but the story seems to suggest that some of them happened in the last week since the film aired in the UK.

[HT: Ace of Spades HQ]

Update: Right on cue! The fear mongering is about to reach new heights:

  • Hundreds of millions of Africans and tens of millions of Latin Americans who now have water will be short of it in less than 20 years. By 2050, more than 1 billion people in Asia could face water shortages. By 2080, water shortages could threaten 1.1 billion to 3.2 billion people, depending on the level of greenhouse gases that cars and industry spew into the air.
  • By 2080, between 200 million and 600 million people could be hungry because of global warming’s effects.
  • About 100 million people each year could be flooded by 2080 by rising seas.

Maybe they could paint this on a sandwich board and march around Times Square.

[End Update]

Scott has written about global warming several times. I’ve mostly stayed on the sidelines of the debate (one exception here) because, frankly, I didn’t want to invest the time to sort out the competing claims. Clearly a large number of “experts” support the theory. On the other hand, I’m suspicious of any science coming out of a bureacracy, especially the UN. As I’ve thought about it, the whole thing reminds me of dieting (I know, but go with me here…).

Back before I had kids I really made an effort to stay in shape. It’s one of the luxuries of being a non-parent, time to go to the gym. I enjoy weigh-lifting. I feel good when I do it. But if you’ve ever committed yourself to an excercise regimine, then you already know that it’s not enough to pump iron or run or whatever. You also need to eat right. You need to have a proper diet.

Of course just what constitutes a “proper diet” is anyone’s guess. Search the word diet on Google and you’ll get 151 million links. Good luck sorting all that out! The reality is, most of us just sift through the handful of diets that some expert or some media figure (Suzanne Sommers, Oprah, etc.) has told us works. And I will say, it’s not a totally foolish way to go. After all, a diet that has millions of fans is likely better than one that has none.

A few years ago (eight?) I read three or four books and studied the claims of a few of the major diets. I finally settled on Atkins, mostly because his claims about the glycemic index seemed to make sense and to have some scientific basis (unlike, say, the marshmallow diet). I tried Atkins and did indeed lose some weight. Some time later, there was an Atkins backlash and I actually argued with people who told me Atkins didn’t work therefore it couldnt’ have worked for me. What do you say?

I bring all this up because I just watched the new documentary produced for BBC4 called The Great Global Warming Swindle. The title is a bit hyperbolic, but the show itself is excellent. I strongly recommend setting aside 75 minutes to watch the whole thing. Here’s a link to the Google page, I’ll also post it below.

If this theory is correct, the Al Gore model of global warming is little more than a fad diet for the planet.Global warming, like dieting, is simply not something I have time to sift out from scratch (Google search: only 71 million pages). But as I say, I have a natural disposition to distrust authority on this matter, particularly when the authority is the UN. Despite my distrust, I really haven’t been a skeptic either. I guess you could say I’ve been a fence sitter. Until now…

The documentary, which I watched today, argues that the fundamental force behind climate change is not human agency but the sun and its effect on the formation of clouds (more solar wind, less cloud formation, less reflectivity, higher temps). Again, watch the show as they make the case clearly. This is the same case argued for in the story I wrote about a few weeks ago.

If this sun-driven theory of climate change is correct then human contributions of CO2 to the atmosphere probably have very little effect on the weather. In fact, if this theory is correct, the Al Gore model of global warming is little more than a fad diet for the planet. Like those diets, it’s part of a health craze designed to make Westerners feel better. But unlike regular diet fads which one can drop when they have negative results, global warming is a fad which the people of undeveloped third world countries are being forced fed against their own best interest. In the film, Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, calls global warming “anti-human.”

Now the fine print. I’m not promising that my mind is set. In fact, I’m always open to new evidence. But until further notice, I’m officially a global warming skeptic.

And, hey, my track record is pretty good.

[HT: Hot Air for the video]

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