First, please note the plug for my latest play, at the end of this column.
I recently read that some science writers claim that NASA and other scientists fiddled with temperature data to show global warming. The writers show us one chart with actual U.S. temperatures — those recorded each year since 1900 or so. NASA used to publish this chart. Next to it, they show the chart NASA now publishes, with temperatures changed. Temperatures from the 1930s, recently changed.
If the original temperatures are used, we see cooling. If the new ones are used, we see warming. So, why did scientists change the old temperatures? To make their climate models work. So claim the science writers. Hmm.
Next, I read points made by one of the founders of Greenpeace.
Point 1: Our CO2 concentrations today are not dangerously high. They are low. Lower than through most of the history of life on earth.
Point 2: We fight CO2 emissions. Yet CO2 was 10 times higher during one of the ice ages.
Point 3: The optimum CO2 level for most plants is four times higher than we have today. (Many greenhouse operators feed CO2 to their plants to enhance growth.)
Point 4: If CO2 levels do go up, the earth will be able to grow more food than today. Think Alaskan merlot, Siberian mangos.
Point 5: For most of the time earth’s life has existed, the global climate was warmer than now.
Point 6: There has been no global warming for 18 years. Yet in this time we have added 25 percent of all the CO2 ever emitted by humans.
Do I claim we have no warming? Or no climate change? Nope. Because all I know is what I read. And both sides write compelling stuff. They both trot out mountains of data. They both attack each other’s data. Meantime, I enjoy the debate. It is endlessly entertaining. And free.
However, this thought came to me recently. Suppose scientists prove conclusively, we have no global warming. Suppose they prove CO2 is good for us, good for our planet. Half the population might rise up to slay them. I am serious.
After all, we have so much invested in the story that CO2 is poison. That it destroys our eco-system. That we will soon fry. This is what we teach many millions of children.
We crusade under this banner to destroy industries. And to hamstring others. We punish many millions of families with taxes to fight this good fight. We snuff out campfires. We plant monstrous windmills that slaughter harmless birds. We thwart natural-gas drilling and oil pipelines.
We frighten children with predictions of tsunamis slamming Kansas City. (Welcomed there after no rain for 10 years.) Seriously, we deny modern farming from third-world countries — because of its carbon footprint.
Millions make millions of dollars from all this. They coast into office on it. They build careers upon it. They sell videos and books based on it. They build huge eco-friendly businesses with fat green handouts from politicians.
If CO2 became our friend, all these apple carts would tumble. Various celebrities would rent blowtorches. To melt the layers of egg on their faces. Leaders would have to re-write laws and policies. They would have to end carbon taxes. We would all have to embrace oil drilling, take a coal miner home for dinner. We would declare fracking a national treasure.
Nah. I don’t think we could take it. If any scientist ever proves such a thing, he will find a target as big as Rushmore on his back. He will have to out-hide the writer Salman Rushdie. He will have to change his name, sex, color, nationality, and favorite drink. That’s just for starters.
Advice to scientists: If you challenge climate change, take out lots of life insurance. Advice to insurers: Avoid those guys like the plague.
From Tom...as in Morgan.
Check out my latest play, “Leaving Something Behind.” Funny, poignant, moving — especially for women. It’s at Players of Utica Theater on July 13 at 4 p.m. and on July 14 at 7 p.m.
Tom Morgan writes about political, financial, and other subjects from his home near Oneonta, in addition to his radio shows and TV show. For more information about him, visit his website at www.tomasinmorgan.com