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The Unholy Struggle to Curtail Global Warming
Volume 14, Number 6: 9 February 2011

In any war, in any struggle or in any significant effort, it is always wise to periodically determine how one is doing. Are you winning? ... or are you losing? Are you advancing ... or retreating? ... moving forward or falling backwards? This knowledge is especially important in the case of long and drawn-out campaigns that are extremely costly. In fact, it's just plain common sense; for even if one wins a protracted and expensive contest, neither of the opposing parties may have anything of value remaining, in which case both sides end up on the losing side of the ledger.

So it should be in the "War Against Global Warming," which was the focal point of the recent study of Sherman et al. (2010). We need to know how we're doing. However, such apparently is not the case; nor will it be, for a very long time to come, as they illustrated in an analysis of key thermal data.

The four academics from Texas A & M University's Department of Geography began by using the HadCRUT3 reconstruction of the instrumental global temperature record for the period 1850 through 2008, in order to derive the rate of global atmospheric temperature change over the last 30 years -- which they refer to as the earth's thermal "baseline condition" -- after which they derived "empirical estimates of annual variability (noise) for every 30-year trend (signal) of that record." And then, after selecting seven model-based temperature trend simulations through the end of the 21st century, which had been produced for different anthropogenic CO2 emission scenarios by different research groups using different climate models, they finally estimated "how long it might be before those trends become statistically distinct from the current trend."

In performing these operations, Sherman et al. determined that "it will probably be decades before distinct changes from the current [30-year baseline] warming rate become apparent," and they stated, therefore, that "we should expect decades to pass before impacts of the war against global warming become apparent."

So what are the implications they derive from this result? First of all, as they say in one place, the war against global warming "will require a sustained commitment to stringent climate control policies for periods of decades or longer." And as they say in another place, that war "will require unprecedented social, political, and economic commitments."

Think about these statements. Without obtaining any empirical evidence -- over a period of decades or longer -- that the planet is even inching towards the catastrophic climatic future the world's climate alarmists are predicting, we will be asked to endorse -- or, more accurately, ordered to obey -- a host of rules and regulations that pertain to a number of unprecedented "social, political, and economic" commitments, which will be imposed on the planet's global population, but with an emphasis placed upon those people living in countries with the economic and technical capacity to produce and use greater amounts of fossil fuel-derived energy.

Yes, the world's climate alarmists desire all mankind to place blind faith in the predictions of their climate models, and to do so for generations to come, and without any empirical evidence for the validity of their predictions, forcing us to adhere to liberty-destroying edicts, without any means of ever calling them into question.

Does that sound wise to you?

Sherwood, Keith and Craig Idso

Sherman, D.J., Li, B., Quiring, S.M. and Farrell, E.J. 2010. Benchmarking the war against global warming. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 100: 1013-1024.