Global warming activists blame just about everything you can imagine on global warming.
Increased and more violent hurricanes? Blame Global Warming.
Early bird migration? Blame Global Warming.
Polar bear extinction? Blame Global Warming.
The Chicago Cubs losing in the first round of the divisional playoffs? Blame Global Warming! Well, not yet but I wouldn’t be surprised. (At least it would get Steve Bartman off the hook.)
Glacial melting is the bread and butter for environmental activists. It was one of the many scare tactics used by Al Gore in his movie An Inconvenient Truth. Everyone has seen videos like this one that films large chunks of ice breaking off and falling into the ocean; clearly, only global warming can do that.
Not according to a recent article in Science Magazine. The article (subscription required) highlights two studies that “point to random, wind-induced circulation changes in the ocean–not global warming–as the dominant cause of the recent ice losses through the glaciers draining both the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets.”
The article goes on to say:
An abrupt weakening of winds due to a natural atmospheric phenomenon called the North Atlantic Oscillation drove more waters from the Irminger Sea near Iceland around the tip of Greenland, up onto the shelf, and under the ice.”
Glaciologist Richard Alley of (We Are) Penn State University asserts,
You’re going to have trouble blaming this on global warming.”
It’s funny but I feel like I’m hearing that more and more. Take, for example, the aforementioned common environmental activist claim that global warming creates more hurricanes, But National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Tom Knutson, who once warned the public of global warming’s harmful effects, released a study in May that said global warming isn’t to blame for more hurricanes this season and warming may actually reduce the number of hurricanes.
As Heritage Senior Policy Analyst Ben Lieberman points out in his global warming FAQ, it’s not just hurricanes for which activists blame global warming, but heat waves, droughts, floods, wildfires, crop failures, disease outbreaks, and even snowstorms.
And don’t forget the polar bears. Despite the fact that the global polar bear population increased from 8,000–10,000 in 1965–1970 to 20,000–25,000, polar bears were listed as a threatened species because of global warming.
The science on global warming is anything but incontrovertible. Unfortunately, neither of our presidential candidates feels this way; they both have proposals to implement costly cap-and-trade bills that would not only restrict limits on carbon dioxide emissions but also severely restrict our economy.
Another Heritage energy expert, David Kreutzer, does a great job using simple analogies to explain the very real costs of implementing cap-and-trade in his testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee. Furthermore, he cites that the benefits are negligible:
Analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows that a 60 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 will reduce CO2 concentrations by only 25 ppm in 2095. This reduction would affect world temperatures by 0.1 to 0.2 degrees C. In other words it makes virtually no difference.”
So, if we want trillions of dollars extracted from our economy, increased taxes, lost income and lost jobs – all for something that most likely won’t have any impact on our climate – then we’re on the right path.