COLUMBIA — On a scale of 1 to 10, my frustration with the "global-warming-climate-change-the-sky-is-falling" cult of near-religious warmists who allege that every weather phenomenon is caused by human activity — the end product of overconsumption — is at least a nine.
The "High Priest" of these devotees is former Vice President Al Gore, whose sole scientific expertise appears to lie in his fatuous claim "I took the initiative in creating the Internet." He has made a fortune from his hyperbolic "the planet has a fever" along with his carbon footprint assertion and his forecast of a 20-foot rise in sea levels by 2100.
The real danger created by Gore and his posse of believers in the science community lies in the fact that they have closed off debate on the subject. Their claim that there is consensus among scientists proving the cause and effect of global warming/climate change is hardly clear. Some scientists, climatologists and meteorologists have disputed the findings as well as the methodology employed.
That such a consensus exists, although wildly believed by the left-of-center crowd, is based on faulty or "junk science." The theory that human-created carbon dioxide is now causing the planet to overheat and, to save the Earth from doom, CO2 emissions must be reduced across the board is the crux of this fear-mongering misinformation.
To make matters even worse, our Environmental Protection Agency has declared carbon dioxide a dangerous pollutant, thereby enabling the agency to unilaterally mandate reducing carbon emissions.The EPA says that human activities that produce CO2 are altering the carbon cycle. But CO2, like oxygen, is vital to sustaining all life on earth as it sustains all vegetation — from the trees that provide lumber to the food that all creatures need to survive.
Carbon dioxide accounts for but 0.033 percent of the atmosphere— the major source of greenhouse gas being water vapor. The EPA reports that CO2 is the biggest source of human-caused greenhouse gas. The claims that human CO2 emissions are the cause of climatic disasters or putting the planet at risk do not account for geology.
That global warming/climate change exists is not an issue. Earth has experienced several Ice Ages and subsequent periods of warming as a natural phenomenon. The warmings occurred well before the appearance of humans — accordingly, the demonizing of SUVs, barbecue pits, power lawnmowers and fossil fuels is but looking for a problem so as to invent a solution.
Why have I returned to the contrived crisis of climate change? It is precisely because the reactions of New York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg who suggested that Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy and future climatic disasters are preventable by increasing climate-change funding and more regulation of CO2 emissions.
The notion that the destruction left in the wake of Sandy, terrible and debilitating as it continues to be, could have been prevented by more attention to CO2 regulation is absurd. Sandy, which fell somewhere between a Category 1 hurricane and a tropical storm when it came ashore is hardly the most powerful storm to hit New York. And, the region has survived at least 75 hurricanes since 1800.
Let us face an undeniable fact. There will always be hurricanes, typhoons and tropical storms, ranging in destructive power from 1 to 5 in category. The damage caused by these storms is a direct correlation to the population density of the region so affected. Consequently, as population density increases, one could expect the destructive effects to increase as well.
The incentive for exaggerating the cause and effect of climate change is best illustrated by this H.L. Mencken quote: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
Global warming has rivaled even former President George W. Bush in being blamed for utterly bogus events, trends and catastrophes. Consequently, as the squeaking hinge gets the attention, it has been a veritable panacea for those receiving or seeking public funding.
The potential energy costs to individuals and businesses alike are enormous and the staggering decrease in household income during the past four years renders the middle class increasing unable to afford the price. According to a report from Sentier Research, the August 2012 median income was down 8.1 percent since the beginning of the recession in December 2007.
Climate change is cyclical and a fact of life. The real need is in discovering the means to cope with it lieu of costly and futile efforts in regulating naturally occurring weather phenomenons.