Ah, scientific consensus.
The United States’ leading hurricane forecaster said Friday that global ocean currents, not human-produced carbon dioxide, are responsible for global warming, and the Earth may begin to cool on its own in five to 10 years.
William Gray, a Colorado State University researcher best known for his annual forecasts of hurricanes along the U.S. Atlantic coast, also said increasing levels of carbon dioxide will not produce more or stronger hurricanes.
He said that over the past 40 years the number of major hurricanes making landfall on the U.S. Atlantic coast has declined compared with the previous 40 years, even though carbon dioxide levels have risen.
Gray, speaking to a group of Republican state lawmakers, had harsh words for researchers and politicians who say man-made greenhouse gases are responsible for global warming.
“They’re blaming it all on humans, which is crazy,” he said. “We’re not the cause of it.”
Gray is no fan of the Goracle.
Gray, 77, has long criticized the theory that heat-trapping gases generated by human activity are causing the world to warm.
In an interview with The Associated Press earlier this month, he described former U.S. vice president and 2000 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore “a gross alarmist” for making the Oscar-winning documentary that helped focus media attention on global warming.
On Friday, Gray complained that politics and research into global warming have created “almost an industry” that has unfairly frightened the public and overwhelmed dissenting voices.
That’s where he’s wrong. It’s not “almost an industry.” It is an industry.
In this market, consultants or companies estimate a person’s or company’s output of greenhouse gases. Then, these businesses sell “offsets,” which pay for projects elsewhere that void or sop up an equal amount of emissions — say, by planting trees or, as one new company proposes, fertilizing the ocean so algae can pull the gas out of the air. Recent counts by Business Week magazine and several environmental watchdog groups tally the trade in offsets at more than $100 million a year and growing blazingly fast.
That’s big business. So what are they selling? One airline says, “snake oil.”
Toby Nicol, easyJet’s communications director, said the company had been shocked by how much money carbon offsetting firms wanted for their service. “We have been quite surprised at the percentage that the offsetting companies would like to take out of the scheme for administration costs. Between 25% and 30% of every pound put in by consumers would go into administrating the company and that was simply too expensive,” he said.
“There are a lot of people who have dived into the market who are desperate to make a margin from it. There are too many snake oil salesmen in the business.”
Snake oil or not, the facts won’t stop the likes of Thom Friedman from trying to replace the red, white and blue with green.
More: Before they turn the flag green, environmentalists ought to see red.
Mars is being hit by rapid climate change and it is happening so fast that the red planet could lose its southern ice cap, writes Jonathan Leake.
Scientists from Nasa say that Mars has warmed by about 0.5C since the 1970s. This is similar to the warming experienced on Earth over approximately the same period.
Since there is no known life on Mars it suggests rapid changes in planetary climates could be natural phenomena.
Spirit and Opportunity still need to purchase their carbon offsets, just in case.