Forced to Agree
By: Jim Virkler
Students of climate science encounter an interesting term—climate forcing. Our earth climate had been “forced” naturally into warmer conditions by increased solar radiation in distant geologic history. In effect, the sun became brighter and warmer. More recently earth’s climate has been temporarily “forced” by several significant volcanic eruptions into cooler temperatures. Many climate forcings have been observed and attributed by climate scientists, but many forcings occur that climatologists do not yet understand. Our blog has frequently discussed a popularly publicized climate forcing—the addition of CO2 to our atmosphere by anthropocentric (man-caused) consumption of fossil fuels, especially in the last 200 years. This forcing has raised atmospheric CO2 about 40%, from just over 0.03% to about 0.04%. This CO2 trace gas is vitally important for the life on Planet Earth. It comprises 1/2500 of the composition of the atmosphere.
Our readers would agree that our population is heavily divided on the effects of this important greenhouse gas. It has been politically elevated to cause célèbre status. Some say we must take immediate steps to reduce CO2 emissions because Earth is in dire short- and long-term danger. Others state that increased CO2 has been a benefit to increased agricultural production and its harmful effects are substantially overstated. These statements are mere tip-of-the-iceberg concerns and talking points. There are dozens of additional issues. Climate alarmists wish to force us to agree with them and implement their proposed climate solutions post-haste.
Our culture is becoming more fractured by climate concerns as well as controversies on how to address them. Recently the global warming alarmists have elevated their attack strategy. Some politicians have placed those who disagree, often termed “climate skeptics,” on notice. They will be subjected to legal prosecution under RICO—the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act. Congress designed RICO in 1970 to target organized crime. It is true that US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island used the term “civil” RICO to characterize his campaign on the floor of the senate, but claimed he is targeting only “fraud.” Legally, fraud is defined as, “Intentional misrepresentation of material existing fact made by one person to another with knowledge of its falsity and for the purpose of inducing the other person to act, and upon which the other person relies with resulting injury or damage.” We implore our readers to study this complex issue carefully.
E. Calvin Beisner, founder and national spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation has published many informative statements concerning the activities of opposing climate change camps. He correctly states that the science of global warming is far from settled. Our blog position agrees with Beisner that while minor warming has occurred coincident with increased release of CO2 in the past two centuries, the earth is nevertheless “a place to thrive.” Planetary temperatures have risen and fallen many times in previous thousands of years in conjunction with many usual and unusual climate events. But in the past 200 years, Earth’s population has increased seven fold with wondrous agricultural, technological, and scientific advances. The misinformation that droughts, floods, heat waves, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other spikes of unpleasant weather different from recognized ideal conditions are abnormally multiplying is not statistically defensible.
When damaging weather events occur our media are prone to mention global warming as causative in most of their reporting. Such mentions increase the drama of their story. Read deeper into their accounts and one finds references to many past weather occurrences equal to or worse than the current weather events. For example, one of our recent posts referenced the severity of the US heat and drought of the 1930s which far exceeded heat and drought events since then. Two hurricanes which traveled up the US east coast in 1954 were both more intense than Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The 1960s witnessed ten destructive east coast hurricanes.
Cornwall spokesman Beisner was skewered by Sen. Whitehouse as the founder of a “phoney baloney industry front called the Cornwall Alliance.” Recently Beisner mailed a packet to supporters claiming “Earth’s climate system is one of the most complex natural systems ever studied. It consists of thousands of subsystems—feedback mechanisms—most of which we still don’t understand. We don’t know how strong they are, in some cases even whether they increase or decrease warming or the balance of benefits and harms from it.” Beisner had decried “the direct attack of the rights to freedom of speech and the press.” He claimed such an attack was “horrifically bad for science.”
Now, progressive liberal politicians are intent on forcing Beisner and his numerous soulmates to back away. Which of the thousands of climate change scholars are right? Which are wrong? Do Beisner and many other scientists intentionally misrepresent established facts of science? Do we still respect the truth? Does the group of eighteen Attorneys General in our United States intent on launching RICO investigations primarily deserve the innocuous title of “AGs united for clean power?” Or do they support the goals of partisan politics on climate change issues?
We request wisdom from our Heavenly Father concerning this difficult issue.
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Jim Virkler, a retired New Jersey public school science educator, now devotes his time investigating the harmony of scientific discoveries and Christian faith. He and his wife, Eleanor, now reside in the mid-west near their children and grandchildren.