Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Dr. Mark Hendrickson

4/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A skeptic shares his view.

Last week, we promised readers a little balance on the issue of global warming here on Catholic Online. After running a series of stories highlighting what I feel is a critical issue to the Church and to all people, readers asked for some balance. To find that balance, I set out in search of a well-versed climate change skeptic who could share his views with our readers.

Admittedly, the global warming debate can get a little tiring at times.

Admittedly, the global warming debate can get a little tiring at times.

Article Highlights

By Dr. Mark Hendrickson

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Dr. Mark Hendrickson, global warming, climate change, skeptic


I came across Dr. Mark Hendrickson, who is an adjunct faculty member, economist, and fellow for economic and social policy with The Center for Vision and Values at Grove City College in Pennsylvania.

With his permission, I am republishing an article he originally published on Forbes.com. I think it will provide fertile ground for discussion for our readers and forms part of the basis for an interview I am conducting with him, to be published within the next week or so.

As always, Catholic Online invites robust discussion and dialogue between readers. --Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online
__

Well, we had a warm summer here in the United States, and that brought some of the climate change alarmists out again. Looks like it's time for another rebuttal!

John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel, and various other critics have called the theory that human use of carbon-based fossil fuels will lead to catastrophic global warming or climate change a "hoax." It is, but it's more than that, it's criminal.

Here are some of the scientific questions at the core of this issue:

Is the climate changing? Of course. The climate always has changed and always will.

Is the earth getting warmer? We should hope so for at least two reasons: First, the world emerged from the Little Ice Age in the 19th century, so it would be worrisome if it weren't getting warmer.  Second, all the history indicates that humans thrive more during warmer periods than colder ones. It is likely, though, that earth has warmed less than many official temperature records indicate for a variety of reasons, including: few long-term records from either the southern hemisphere or the 71 percent of the planet that is covered by water; distortions from the urban heat-island effect and other faulty siting (e.g., temperature sensors next to asphalt parking lots, etc.; the decline in weather station reports from Siberia after the fall of the Soviet government; the arbitrarily ceasing to include measurements from northern latitudes and high elevations, etc.) The most accurate measures of temperature come from satellites. Since the start of these measurements in 1979, they show minor fluctuations and an insignificant net change in global temperature.

Is the earth getting dangerously warm? Probably not, since the earth was warmer than it is now in 7000 of the last 10,000 years. By the way, does anybody know what the "right" amount of global heat is?

Are we humans causing the warming by our carbon emissions? Actually, most of the "greenhouse effect" is due to water vapor, which makes one wonder why the EPA hasn't designated H2O a harmful pollutant that they must regulate. Meteorologist Brian Sussman's calculations in his book "Climategate" show humanity's share of the greenhouse effect as .9 of 1 percent.

It's even possible that CO2 may not affect global warming at all. During many stretches of planetary history, there has been no correlation between the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and global temperature. In other long stretches, the variations of the two factors followed a significant sequence: increases in CO2 followed increases in warmth by several centuries. You don't need to have a degree in climate science to know that, in a temporal universe, cause does not follow its effect.

Even global warming alarmists have tacitly conceded that CO2 is not the primary driver of climate change when they responded to the relative cooling in recent years by changing their story and telling us that the earth is likely to cool for a few decades in spite of still-increasing atmospheric CO2. Translation: other factors outweigh CO2 in their impact on global temperatures. Those other factors include variations in solar activity (accounting for 3/4 of the variability in earth's temperature according to the Marshall Institute); changes in earth's orbit and axis; albedo (reflectivity, meaning changes in cloud cover which are influenced by fluctuations in gamma ray activity); and volcanic and tectonic activity in the earth's crust. For humans to presume that they are more than a gnat on an elephant's rump in terms of impact on climate change is vain and delusive.

Shifting gears, let's assume that the alarmists are right and that man-made CO2 emissions are making the world warmer. If so, what changes would they hope to accomplish and at what cost?

During the cap-and-trade debates in 2009 and 2010, proponents cited scientific studies predicting that curtailing American CO2 emission reductions would shave a few hundredths of a degree off future temperatures. And the costs? The United Nations published an estimate that the total planetary cost could reach $552 trillion (approximately a decade's worth of global GDP) over the course of the 21st century.

One is tempted to say that proposing so colossal a cost for so minuscule an alleged benefit is insane; remember, for plants, animals, and people, warmer is better. When one begins to grasp the magnitude of the burden that people would bear as a result of spending so much to tilt at the carbon dioxide windmill, it's worse than insane; it's criminal.

Who would benefit from this catastrophically expensive agenda? Only the political and politically connected elite-the Goldman Sachs outfits that would reap billions from trading carbon permits; the Al Gores and corporate and political insiders that would amass fortunes from their ties to a government-rigged energy market and investments in politically correct technologies. And think of the power that governments would have if they controlled energy consumption. By controlling energy, you control people. No wonder governments have spent tens of billions of dollars promoting this scenario and supporting political panels like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to disseminate the desired "findings."

Who would lose if governments gain the power to order a significant reduction in CO2 emissions? Around the world, millions of people at the margins of survival would die. It would be a dispersed holocaust. Millions of others would suffer unnecessary impoverishment and deprivation. Even in wealthier countries, people who are affluent enough to afford the monetary costs could find their lives heavily regimented by government bureaucrats monitoring and limiting how many miles they may travel and what activities they may undertake.

This is the ugly truth about what potentially could be the crime of the century. In my next two columns, I will look at two alternative national energy policies. The first will be Obama's and the second is what I hope would be Romney's.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson is an adjunct faculty member, economist, and fellow for economic and social policy with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Green

BIOLOGICAL WARFARE? Smog from India, China winds way to U.S., Canada Watch

Image of The smog in Asia, it must be noted is caused by more than just the burning of fossil fuels - it's comprised of nitrogen oxides, methane and other volatile organic compounds that combine to produce ozone.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ripples in the global pond, half a world away, can have effects all over the globe. Researchers at Texas A&M now say that air pollution originating in both India and China, almost certainly affects global weather patterns, particularly in the United States and ... continue reading


MONSTER El Nino forming in South Pacific, will being devastating weather around the globe in 2014-2015 Watch

Image of We may see a sharp increase in severe weather events for 2014-2015.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to scientists, a massive El Nino is forming in the Pacific and it may be the largest such El Nino ever recorded. If true then the entire planet may experience an uptick in extreme weather events with serious consequences for life and property around the ... continue reading


World must turn to wind and solar to combat global warming, report says Watch

Image of Scientists are optimistic that if renewable energy is quickly rolled out, homes are built in a more sustainable and energy efficient way, and human consumption and wastefulness is changed, climate change can be controlled.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The world must turn to the wind or sun for its energy needs -- or face catastrophic consequences wrought by climate change. That's the news from a recent report from the United Nations on global warming. These devastating effects could take place as early as 15 ... continue reading


Former Indonesian tropical paradise reduced to garbage dump Watch

Image of The water at times turns red, green, yellow and black because of the high concentration of dyes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As people in China's most air polluted cities cheerfully don face masks, a fisherman on Indonesia's Citarum River has blankly accepted his polluted fate. Once searching for fish, Herman, the name of the fisherman proffered to news reporters says he now looks ... continue reading


THIRD Oarfish sighting in Sea of Cortez stokes earthquake fears Watch

Image of A tour guide lies beside a beached oarfish specimen on the Isla San Francisco in Mexico.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An oarfish has been found washed on an island beach in Mexico, leading to speculation if it is one of the two previously sighted and filmed last month, or if it is in fact a third specimen. If it is a third, it could fuel rumors of an earthquake since anecdotal ... continue reading


Japanese island consumes another in unusual volcanic activity Watch

Image of Two volcanic craters are shown on Niijima on November 22. The island emerged about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) south of Tokyo in the Ogasawara Islands, also known as the Bonin Islands.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a spate of highly unusual volcanic activity, one Japanese island has merged with another nearby island. Niijima Island, a volcano which broke through the ocean's surface last November, has now merged with a nearby island that formed from a volcano which last ... continue reading


Are these oarfish in Mexico predicting an earthquake? Tourists film TWO live oarfish trying to beach themselves Watch

Image of Oarfish are legendary harbingers of earthquakes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An amazing new video shows two oarfish swimming just offshore in Mexico to the delight of ecotourists on a kayaking tour. The video, taken last March, shows the pair of fish possibly about to beach themselves. Oarfish are rarely sighted and legend associates their ... continue reading


MASS EXTINCTION: All life on Earth went extinct 252 million years ago Watch

Image of The Permian-Triassic extinction has been defined as a natural event that heated up the Earth's biological systems.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nearly all life on Earth became extinct 252 million years ago. According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT scientists, the culprit was not an asteroid striking the planet, but a methane-spewing microbe. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Daniel ... continue reading


Bison, elk appear to be fleeing Yellowstone. Is supervolcano eruption eminent? Watch

Image of A supervolcano under Yellowstone could cause mass extinctions if it erupted.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Talk of a supervolcano eruption in Yellowstone National Park has hit the blogosphere after several people have posted videos of animals fleeing the sanctuary. A supervolcano eruption would destroy everything for hundreds of miles around and would plunge the planet into ... continue reading


Global warming is inevitable: It's time for a new ecology. Watch

Image of

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The latest revelation from climate scientists is that they now believe global climate change as a result of human activities is now inevitable and irreversible. Furthermore, it will affect everybody in the years to come-if it hasn't already. It is nigh time for a new ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 1:1--2:2
1 In the beginning God created heaven and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11
5 My birthright, my cup is Yahweh; you, you alone, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 28:1-10
1 After the Sabbath, and towards dawn on the first ... Read More

Reading 2, Genesis 22:1-18
1 It happened some time later that God put Abraham to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 19th, 2014 Image

St. Alphege
April 19: Archbishop and "the First Martyr of Canterbury." He was born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter