Image via WikipediaAs I've noted in previous posts, skepticism about anthropomorphic (human-caused) global warming is on the rise. Here's yet another piece of evidence for that: a nice piece in the WSJ by Kimberly Strassel, a well-known political columnist. She writes:
Some of this skepticism, I'm sure, is the natural result of the political machinery absorbing the enormous cost of global warming “mitigation”, and wondering whether this cost made sense politically. A few politicians may even be wondering if the cost makes sense in ordinary terms (e.g., the benefit is greater than the cost). But mostly, I suspect, the new skepticism is derived from the politician's hyper-sensitivity to issues that might stand between them and re-election – and they're hearing from the electorate that global warming mitigation is most definitely one of those issues. I know my congress-critters have heard from me on that point, loud and clear – and two of them have responded by indicating that they're hearing such resistance a lot.
The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. -- 13 times the number who authored the U.N.'s 2007 climate summary for policymakers. Joanne Simpson, the world's first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak "frankly" of her nonbelief. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming "the worst scientific scandal in history." Norway's Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the "new religion." A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton's Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled. (Both Nature and Science magazines have refused to run the physicists' open letter.)
The collapse of the "consensus" has been driven by reality. The inconvenient truth is that the earth's temperatures have flat-lined since 2001, despite growing concentrations of C02. Peer-reviewed research has debunked doomsday scenarios about the polar ice caps, hurricanes, malaria, extinctions, rising oceans. A global financial crisis has politicians taking a harder look at the science that would require them to hamstring their economies to rein in carbon.