Walter Williams: On climate, are scientists dishonest or afraid? | TribLIVE.com
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Walter Williams: On climate, are scientists dishonest or afraid?

Walter Williams
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The absolute worst case of professional incompetence and dishonesty is in the area of climate science. Tony Heller has exposed some of the egregious dishonesty of mainstream environmentalists in his video “My Gift To Climate Alarmists.”

Environmentalists and their political allies attribute the recent increase in deadly forest fires to global warming. However, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, forest fires reached their peak in the 1930s and have declined by 80% since then. Environmentalists make their case for the effects of global warming by showing the public and policymakers data from 1980 that shows an increase in forest fires.

Climate scientists claim that rising sea levels are caused by man-made global warming. Historical data from the tide gauge in Lower Manhattan shows that sea levels have been rising from about the time when Abraham Lincoln was president to now. Heller says that sea levels have been rising for about 20,000 years. He points out that anthropologists believe that when the sea level was very low people were able to walk from Siberia to North America.

Hot weather is often claimed to be a result of man-made climate change. Heller presents data showing the number of days in Waverly, Ohio, above 90 degrees. In 1895, there were 73 days above 90 degrees. In 1936, there were 82 days above 90 degrees. Since the 1930s, there has been a downward trend in the number of days above 90 degrees. If climatologists hide data from earlier years and started at 1955, they show an increase in the number of above 90-degree days from eight or nine to 30 or 40. Thus, to deceive us into thinking the climate is getting hotter, environmentalists have selected a starting date that fits their agenda.

You might ask: “Who is Tony Heller? Does he work for big oil?” It turns out that he is a scientist and claims to be a lifelong environmentalist. From what I can tell, he has no vested interests. In that respect, he is different from those who lead the environmental movement, who often either work for or are funded by governments.

Once in a while environmentalists reveal their true agenda. Ottmar Edenhofer, lead author of the IPCC’s fourth summary report released in 2007, speaking in 2010 advised: “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth.”

U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres said that the true aim of the U.N.’s 2014 Paris climate conference was “to change the (capitalist) economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.”

Christine Stewart, Canada’s former Minister of the Environment said: “No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits. … Climate change (provides) the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.”

Not all scientists are dishonest and not all news reporters are leftists with an agenda. But one wonders at the deafening silence where there’s clear, unambiguous evidence. For example, if ocean levels have been rising for some 20,000 years, why do scientists allow environmentalists to get away with the claim that it’s a result of man-made global warming? Why aren’t there any reporters to highlight leftist statements such as those by Edenhofer, Stewart and others who want to ride global warming as a means to defeat capitalism and usher in socialism and communism? I would prefer to think that the silence of so many scientists represent their fears as opposed to their going along with the environmental extremist agenda.

Walter Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

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