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Jewish World Review March 12, 2001 / 17 Adar, 5761

Betsy Hart

Betsy Hart
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Consumer Reports

Global warming crazies are full of cold air -- I WAS supposed to be writing this column while buried under a foot or more of snow. Today, Wednesday, was to be the first day of school this week for my first-grader. My husband, originally expected home on Monday from a trip out West, was to be stranded there until today.

This was all part of the scenario of the "biggest snow storm in 50 years" that was to hit this (/last) week stopping life as we know it - and that included mine - from the mid-Atlantic to New England. The warnings started on Thursday and by Sunday grocery store shelves were drained, thousands of flights had been cancelled and school systems and offices had announced closures in anticipation of the devastating winter onslaught.

Well my husband arrived home as scheduled after all because of course the "snowstorm," which was to cripple cities like New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, hit these targets with little more than light snow or slush. It did finally sock New England, but much later and with far less force than originally predicted. I am not amazed that the weather forecasters were so off-base. I am amazed that while the computer models they use couldn't reliably predict the "storm of the century" two to three days in advance, these models are still counted on by many folks to confidently predict the course of "global warming" centuries in advance.

True, weather and climate models are better at predicting longer-term trends - but in the tens of years, not hundreds. And they are hardly foolproof. When fed information from 1900 on and asked to "predict" today's climate, these models routinely say the earth should be significantly warmer than it now is. Still, what the global warming advocates would have us do to prepare for the "devastation" ahead make the consequences of closed schools and airports and drained grocery stores look like child's play.

For example it's estimated the "Kyoto Protocol," produced at the 1997 United Nations sponsored climate-change meeting in Kyoto, Japan, would cost every household in America close to $3,000 a year to implement as energy use was cut in half and prices doubled. (And we think California has serious energy problems?) The United States Senate prevented President Clinton from ratifying the treaty. Still, "Kyoto's" American advocates are adamant. They say the earth is dangerously warming thanks to man's fossil fuel use.

Well, the earth is warming - slightly - but that's part of a natural warming and cooling trend it's followed for thousands of years, say chemists Arthur and Noah Robinson of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. As they reported in the Wall Street Journal, a slight rise in the earth's surface temperature in the last two decades has not been matched by a one to two degree temperature rise in the all-important atmospheric reading - which the climate model used for the Kyoto Accord had confidently predicted. Further, even the "science" the global-warming advocates most eagerly embrace is at best ambiguous about whether, and to what extent, mankind contributes to earth's temperature changes.

And anyway Patrick Michaels, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and official climatologist for the state of Virginia, notes that even "assuming the United Nations' more extreme fantasies, the amount of warming prevented by raising the price of gasoline to, say, $5 a gallon. . .would be seven one-hundredths of one degree Celsius over the next 50 years." Further, Michaels points to new evidence just out that continues to debunk the global-warming devastation scenario. He notes that a popular theory used to explain why the earth isn't heating up as earlier forecasts predicted is that certain sulfate particles (products of emission) in the atmosphere are "hiding" global warming because they have a cooling effect. But Mark Jacobsen of Stanford University just blew apart that notion in Nature magazine by conclusively showing that (even assuming the "sulfate theory" is true) removing these particles wouldn't accelerate warming because they would automatically take with them another "warming" emission - soot.

In addition, according to the March issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, scientists at MIT and NASA have discovered through meticulous satellite observation that when the tropics warm - a key element of the doomsday scenario - upper level clouds, which were supposed to keep in the warmth, evaporate, literally opening up the sky and letting out the heat. The global warming theorists predicted the opposite.

Snow storms will come and go, and sometimes the forecasters will even call them correctly. But more and more it appears that those predicting devastating man-made global warming don't have a snowball's chance . . . of being right.

JWR contributor Betsy Hart, a frequent commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel, can be reached by clicking here.


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03/06/00: McCain not what he seemed at first
02/29/00: An effective answer to social problems
02/22/00: The feminists' newest target: Toys
02/06/00: Harassing the harassers
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01/25/00: Psuedo science and global warming
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© 2001, Scripps Howard News Service