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CHICKEN LITTLE, HALF TRUTHS AND THE LOSS OF FREEDOM

 

By Dr. Michael S. Coffman Ph. D.
October 25, 2008
NewsWithViews.com

Remember the media coverage last March of the disintegrating Wilkins Ice Shelf in the Antarctic? To listen to the evening news the disintegration was merely another example of how man-caused global warming was having a devastating impact on the Antarctic, and by extension, the Arctic and Greenland ice packs and glaciers. The average viewer came away with the idea that all of Antarctica was melting. The implication, of course, was that species like the polar bear were threatened with extinction and melting ice would flood the world’s coastlines and islands.

The media and alarmist scientists give the public the impression that Antarctica is warming so fast that it is causing catastrophic melting, when in fact the warming is only occurring in the ocean along the western Antarctic Peninsula. Research shows this warming is probably caused by volcanic activity, not global warming. Almost all of Antarctica is cooling, not warming. Source NASA Earth Observatory.

A whooping “220 square miles of the ice shelf collapsed,” warned Ted Scambos, a glaciologist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Jim Elliot, who captured video of the disintegration said, "Big hefty chunks of ice, the size of small houses, look as though they've been thrown around like rubble – it's like an explosion," he said. Most media reports of the incident used powerful adjectives like “collapse,” “explosion,” “threatened,” “sheer scale,” “hanging by a thread,” “unprecedented warming,” and many more to dramatize the event to cataclysmic levels.

What was not reported was that the 220 square miles represented only 2.67 percent of the entire Wilkins Ice Shelf and only 0.01 percent of the entire Antarctic ice cover. In that context, the media reporting sounds like Chicken Little hyperbole. Dismayed by the exaggerated reporting, former Director of Meteorology at the Weather Channel and current Executive Director of Icecap.com Joseph D’Aleo said that the breakup was more comparable to “an icicle falling from a snow and ice covered roof.”

Unfortunately, the media and alarmist scientists are not content with putting this issue into perspective. To their credit, the media and alarmist scientists admitted the breakup will not raise the sea level because the floating ice had already displaced all the water it was going to. But they then somberly reported that research reveals that the area surrounding the Wilkins ice shelf had warmed an incredible 4.5oF since the 1950s; faster than any place on earth. The reader or viewer is left with the idea that such warming is also melting continental ice, which will cause oceans levels to rise 20 feet or more as Al Gore incorrectly, but graphically depicts in his video An Inconvenient Truth.

This cataclysmic scenario just isn’t going to happen, however. What the media and global warming alarmists fail to tell the public is that all of the ice shelf disintegration in the past decade is confined to Northwestern Antarctica, especially the Antarctic Peninsula. The disintegration of ice shelves in this region is due to a warming of the ocean, not of the atmosphere. The rest of Antarctica has been cooling and accumulating ice since the early 1970s. This is exactly the opposite of what the man-caused global warming theory predicts should occur!

There is another problem with this alarmist cataclysmic warming/melting hyperbole. Research published this past year reveals that the ocean warming is likely due to volcanic activity, not global warming. In January 2008 one volcano was even found to be actively warming the underside of the glaciers overlaying it, causing them to melt from the bottom up and advance much faster than would otherwise be expected. Also not reported is the fact that some 3,000 scientific temperature measuring robots plying the oceans have found that earth’s oceans are cooling, not warming, as the man-caused global warming theory demands. Of course, none of this is ever reported by the media or acknowledged by the alarmist scientists. So, there is no way the average reader/viewer can put the issue into context.

Most people are acutely aware that the winter of 2007 and 2008 was the coldest in nearly three decades. They are still reeling from their heating bills. There is a reason for that. The earth’s temperature plummeted by 0.6oC. Although this does not mean we are heading for the next ice age, Antarctica’s sea ice nonetheless reached record levels. The 2008 Antarctic winter has not yet reached its peak and the sea ice extent is on track to break the 2007 record. Likewise, formation of the North Pole’s sea ice this year was much faster and thicker than in recent years and the 2008 polar summer melting is significantly less than it has been in the immediate past.

That is good news for the polar bear, whose populations have been at record numbers the past few years – even with the melting polar sea ice. Yet in spite of all the good news, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) bowed to hysterical environmentalist pressure this May and listed the polar bear as a “threatened” species. There is little to no scientific evidence to list the polar bear, leading Senator Inhofe (R-OK) to say “the decision to list the polar bear as ‘threatened’ appears to be based more on politics than science.” Environmentalists have been salivating for years over the prospect of listing the polar bear as endangered so they can use the Endangered Species Act as a weapon to limit the U.S. economy. Watch for an avalanche of lawsuits.

Why did the USFWS list the polar bear with no science to back it up? In what can only be described as a leap of irrationality, the USFWS justified its decision to list the polar bear on computer models that predict rampant warming and continued melting of polar sea ice. These are the same computer models that admittedly have over a 100 percent error level, and which were shown last year to always predict warming that has not been demonstrated in real life.

It is disingenuous at best for the media to report only those facts which paint a dire picture of out-of-control global warming. Such one-sided reporting is nothing more than propaganda and indoctrination cloaked in the mantle of news. To base policy on biased information inevitably leads to poor policy decisions, and as we are beginning to see, human misery. The current high gasoline prices can be traced directly back to congressional decisions to protect the environment at any expense. First, by preventing development of the existing vast oil deposits in the U.S. to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Second, the creation of feel-good, but counter productive regulations that made the building of refineries uneconomical for the past 30 years. Third, the very expensive requirement to create biofuels from food, which in turn has also caused skyrocketing food prices.

These examples of environmental overkill are coming back to haunt us. Unfortunately, it will get worse before it gets better because Congress is blaming everyone but themselves.

Vaclav Klaus, newly reelected President of Czechoslovakia, sees an even greater danger. Having lived most of his life under communism, he provided some disturbing insights on the global warming agenda when he addressed the National Press Club on May 27, 2008,

“There will be the same attraction, to a great extent pathetic, and at first sight quasi-noble idea that transcends the individual in the name of something above him, (of something greater than his poor self), supplemented by enormous self-confidence on the side of those who stand behind it. Like their predecessors, they will be certain that they have the right to sacrifice man and his freedom to make their idea reality. In the past it was in the name of the masses (or of the Proletariat), this time in the name of the Planet. Structurally, it is very similar…. I ask: ‘What is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?’ My answer is: ‘it is our freedom.’ I may also add ‘and our prosperity’.” (Bold original)

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Vaclav Klaus speaks from experience, which he discusses in his book Blue Planet in Green Shackles. We are just now seeing the tip of the iceberg that is coming at us like a freight train. It is time to hold our politicians accountable to bring reality back to our policy decisions. We will never have a better time to do it than this November.

2008 Michael Coffman - All Rights Reserved

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Dr. Coffman is President of Environmental Perspectives Incorporated (epi-us.com) and CEO of Sovereignty International (sovereignty.net) in Bangor Maine. He has had over 30 years of university teaching, research and consulting experience in forestry and environmental sciences. He produced the acclaimed DVD Global Warming or Global Governance (warmingdvd.com). He can be reached at 207-945-9878.

E-Mail: mcoffman@epi-us.com

Website: DiscerningToday.org


 

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The media and alarmist scientists give the public the impression that Antarctica is warming so fast that it is causing catastrophic melting, when in fact the warming is only occurring in the ocean along the western Antarctic Peninsula.