The public is vastly misinformed on the global warming/climate change issue, because of the utter one-sidedness of the media’s coverage. I know doom and gloom sells, but whipping up hysteria with headlines about rising seas, melting glaciers and climbing temperatures is irresponsible and dangerous. 1970s headlines threatened a new ice age, 1980s headlines warned us of population growth that would lead to global starvation, and now we are told we’ll burn to death because of carbon-dioxide emissions.
To present the debate fairly, first the two protagonists must be identified. They are the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control and the Nongovernmental Panel on Climate Control. The IPCC is a branch of the United Nations. It is not a scientific panel. Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, its former chairman, explains: “We are an intergovernmental body, and we do what the governments of the world want us to do. If the governments decide we should do things differently and come up with a vastly different set of products, we would be at their beck and call.” Another U.N. climate official, Ottmar Edenhofer, stated that the goal of environmental policy is to “redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”
The NIPCC is a group of nongovernment scientists. According to its website, the NIPCC “seeks to objectively analyze and interpret data and facts without conforming to any specific agenda.” The NIPCC is funded by special interests specifically to counter the claims coming from the IPCC. I am not insinuating that either one of these groups is right or wrong, but rather that the media should inform the public of the players.
Second, presenting the debate in an antagonistic manner ignores the fact that there is common ground and scientific agreement between some of the players on the two sides. Both state that the climate has always changed and always will. They agree that there was a “pause” in global warming from 1998 to 2015. It is also agreed that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, the accumulation of which warms the lower atmosphere. And there’s consensus that the Industrial Revolution produced a new source of carbon-dioxide emissions. They also agree that a temperature increase of about 0.7 degrees centigrade may (my emphasis) have occurred in the 20th century.
The ongoing debate is fueled by science issues. The most contentious is exactly how much the industrial (read human) carbon-dioxide emissions contribute or will contribute to warming. There is also debate as to whether humans have caused any dangerous warming for the past 50 or so years. And finally there is considerable doubt as to whether the various computer models used by the IPCC can accurately predict the climate 100 years from today.