The Rowdy One

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The greenhouse effect is a big hoax?

OK, so I am a little slow on the uptake, but I just recently completed reading Michael Crichton's book from about a year-and-a-half ago titled State of Fear. Like previous Crichton books such as Jurassic Park or The Andromeda Strain, the book is a clever blend of a compelling fictional story (in this case, an eco-terrorist group wrecks stunning havoc all in the name of protecting the environment) with actual scientific data and analysis.

Now, perhaps you are starting to sound mental alarms that are blaring, "blending fact and faction ... sounds like the DaVinci Code." However, the element this book has that Dan Brown's novel was totally devoid of is an extensive bibliography at the end of scientific papers, books, websites, magazines and journals reinforcing the novel's assertions that the modern theory of global warming is terribly flawed. These include:

  • most of the warming in the past century occurred before 1940, before CO2 emissions could have been a major factor (p. 84);
  • temperatures fell between 1940 and 1970 even as CO2 levels increased (p. 86);
  • temperature readings from reporting stations outside the U.S. are poorly maintained and staffed and probably inaccurate; those in the U.S., which are probably more accurate, show little or no warming trend (pp. 88-89);
  • full professors from MIT, Harvard, Columbia, Duke, Virginia, and other prestigious schools ... the former president of the National Academy of Sciences ... argue that global warming is at best unproven, and at worst pure fantasy (p. 90);
  • temperature sensors on satellites report much less warming in the upper atmosphere (which the theory of global warming predicts should warm first) than is reported by temperature sensors on the ground (p. 99);
  • dire predictions of global warming during a 1988 Congressional committee hearing, which launched the global warming scare, were wrong by 300 percent (.35 degrees Celsius over the next decade vs. an actual .11 degree increase);
  • there has been no increase in extreme weather events (e.g., floods, tornadoes, drought) over the past century or in the past 15 years (p. 362);
  • temperature data are suspect because they have been adjusted and manipulated by scientists who expect to find a warming trend (p. 385-386);
  • sufficient data exist to measure changes in mass for only 79 of the 160,000 glaciers in the world (p. 423);
  • sea levels have been rising at the rate of 10 to 20 centimeters (four to eight inches) per hundred years for the past 6,000 years (p. 424);
  • the Kyoto Protocol, still unsigned by the U.S., would reduce temperatures by only 0.04 degrees Celsius in the year 2100 (p. 478);
  • computer simulations are not real-world data and cannot be relied on to produce reliable forecasts (p. 566).

Again, all of the above are backed up by independent research, or competing theories based on data, noted in Crichton's bibliography. Crichton asserts that the reasons that the above are given so little attention in the media is a combination of this scientific minority getting shouted down by those unwilling to consider other theoretical alternatives ... desire by the environmental establishment to preserve its status quo ... and the potential damage alternatives pose as scientists seek grants.

The book also asserts, both within the novel and in the epilogue, that the scientific community ignores all of the above because it conflicts with a "Theory" that most have bought into as a "Truth."

Hmmm ... sounds a little like evolutionary theory.

Predictably, NPR bashed the book and its author, while the nonprofit Heartland Institute reinforces the assertions made by Crichton.


  • I agree that the so-called Greenhouse Effect is a hoax, propagated by the liberal environmentalists to further some of their causes. One can always assemble spurious data to try and prove a point, but the predominant evidence is on the side of a slight global cooling trend of little significance.

    By Anonymous The Rowdy One's Dad, at 12:55 PM  

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