The subject of global warming brings up passionate attitudes in anyone who’s aware of all the reports and hooplah on the subject in recent years. There are those who believe the scientific results of several major research studies, and then there are those who believe that it’s a silly subject that’s not been proven to be true except by those with a political agenda.
There are actually two contenders here for political agendas. The most vocal claim is that scientists all over the earth have made some sort of agreement to make sure their funding is not threatened, money that is apparently provided by political activists with designs to stifle the U.S. economy by undermining big industry.
The other side of the coin is the second political agenda to consider, springing from some of the largest companies in the free world, including but not limited to major oil and gas concerns. The claim is these organizations are in an active propaganda and media control campaign to undermine anything that might damage their economic goals.
Are these both preposterous or paranoid assumptions, or is one scenario more likely than the other?
Science results are, by definition of the scientific method, testable, repeatable, peer reviewed, and conclusive. It’s not often any single individual ever cheated on results, and there is little historical evidence that any significant group of scientists has ever conspired to cheat. The system is supposedly full of checks and balances to enforce honesty, trustworthy results, and factual conclusions. Sadly, much of the science today is funded by and conducted by multi-national corporations that have a financial interest in the science being on their side. Many independent scientific studies are suppressed in the journals and news media.
On the other hand, big companies do have a history of using their economic resources to proactively alter the beliefs and behaviors of the public. The tobacco companies come to mind, but there are others too. A close look at the credentials of the very few “scientists”, “experts”, “news reporters”, and right-wing “politicians” who’ve taken a public stand against global warming shows that in almost every case they are members of, or are economically supported by think tanks and institutes funded directly, or indirectly, by the biggest oil and gas companies or similar large industrial concerns.
Propaganda 101 teaches activists to drag factual information and data, no matter how reliable and trustworthy the source, into a state of debate. The more kicking and screaming that takes place during this transition, the better. Once a subject is a debate, people can be convinced to believe just about anything you want them to. Scientific studies have always rightfully carried strong credibility, whereas with heated debates the loudest voices often carry the most influence.
Perhaps the above arguments are really a false dilemma and there are other possibilities that exist.
So, is global warming a science, or has it become a debate?
It didn’t start out that way, and it absolutely is not a debate to those who know how to think critically and to think for themselves. The truth is, global warming is a natural phenomenon; the greenhouse gases acting as a blanket to keep the earth from becoming too cold. While man has contributed to climate change through the years, recent changes in our climate are largely due to natural phenomenon.
You’ve probably heard over and over again that 99% of scientist believe in global warming… well the opposite is true. When you hear “the science is settled,” you’ve got to understand the deceptive way that turn of the phrase distorts the truth.
So where did that famous “consensus” claim that “98% of all scientists believe in global warming” come from? It originated from an endlessly reported 2009 American Geophysical Union (AGU) survey consisting of an intentionally brief two-minute, two question online survey sent to 10,257 earth scientists by two researchers at the University of Illinois. Of the about 3,000 who responded, 82% answered “yes” to the second question, “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?”
Then of those, only a small subset, just 77 who had been successful in getting more than half of their papers recently accepted by peer-reviewed climate science journals, were considered in their survey statistic. That “98% all scientists” referred to a laughably puny number of 75 of those 77 who answered “yes”.
Since 1998, more than 31,000 American scientists from diverse climate-related disciplines, including more than 9,000 with Ph.D.s, have signed a public petition announcing their belief that “…there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.” Included are atmospheric physicists, botanists, geologists, oceanographers, and meteorologists.