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.

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: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Green

Handwriting on the wall: Arctic warming twice as much as anticipated, USA to suffer consequences

Image of Arctic sea ice in 2012 (top) and 1980 (bottom).

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

People lie, numbers don't. The numbers are revealing an alarming trend in the Arctic. While global temperature increases have moderated across the globe (they are still rising, just slower) the Arctic continues to trap more heat which is melting ice and impacting ... continue reading


Study: 41 percent of Earth's amphibians destined for extinction Watch

Image of The issue of widespread extinction is exacerbated because of the huge gaps in scientists' knowledge about the planet's biodiversity.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

A grim report as published in "Nature" magazine warns that the planet Earth's many animal species are irrevocably headed towards extinction. Forty-one percent of all the world's amphibians are set "to go the way of the dodo" bird unless the governments of the world ... continue reading


Ford takes hybrid plunge with electric-powered mountain bike Watch

Image of The Ford-branded beach cruiser is powered by an electric battery. The battery gives the user up to 20 miles of pedal-free operation or even longer, if the rider pedals part of the time.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

As part of its goal to put more lower-emission vehicles on the road, the Ford Motor Company has struck a deal with the California-based electric bicycle company Pedego: a battery-powered mountain bike. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Ford-branded beach ... continue reading


Move over honey! A new study suggests bees may have the cure for hair loss! Watch

Image of A substance used by bees to seal openings in their hives may be capable of preventing or reversing hair loss.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study out of Japan may bring hope to the millions of people around the world who struggle with hair loss, baldness and thinning hair. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Propolis, a resin-like material taken from honeybee hives, has helped speed up the growth ... continue reading


YUCK! 270,000 tons of garbage is sitting in the ocean Watch

Image of There is 269,000 tons of plastic pollution in the ocean, levels ten times greater than previously thought.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For decades, the international scientific communities have known-and warned-about the growing amount of plastic trash in the world's oceans. Since the 1990s it has been known that masses of plastic can clump up in the ocean and form islands of debris. LOS ... continue reading


California drought the opposite of what we should see if global warming were to blame Watch

Image of The drought in California has lasted for three years, but it's not because of global warming, NOAA says.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Government scientists have weighed in on the California drought, challenging the popular conclusion that the drought has been caused by global warming. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After three years of crippling drought, Californians have asked the question if ... continue reading


Natural climate change or global warming? Perhaps California's drought isn't your fault Watch

Image of A study shows California's drought to be natural rather than man-made.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Swimming in November, sweating in December; according to the National Climatic Data Center, California is experiencing its warmest year in 120 years of weather records. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The historic drought scorching up and down California is not as ... continue reading


African giraffe population drops by 40 percent over last 15 years Watch

Image of A rumor originating from Tanzania claims that the brain and bone marrow of the giraffe can help cure HIV has also led to a fall in its numbers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Unless immediate steps are taken to redress the issue, the African giraffe could well be on the way to extinction. The giraffe population has already fallen by 40 percent in the last 15 years, according to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Scientists predict 16 FEET of SEA LEVEL RISE as a literal Mt. Everest melts into Antarctic seas every two years Watch

Image of Antarctic glaciers are melting into the sea at the rate of 161 billion metric tons per year. That ice is not being replaced and is contributing to sea level rise.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Another study has been published, concluding that warmer ocean waters are melting Antarctic glaciers and contributing to sea level rise. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet has enough land ice to raise sea level by 16 feet alone. Meanwhile, 2014 is making the record books as ... continue reading


An Africa without desert? Study looks into ancient period of green Africa Watch

Image of Africa used to have massive grasslands and savannas, where now there is only desert.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study has revealed that Africa has been subject to mass climate change in the past, and may be incredibly vulnerable to it now. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - An increase in the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere was key to an increase in rainfall ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 18th, 2014 Image

St. Rufus
December 18: Rufus and Zosimus were citizens of Antioch (or perhaps Philippi) ... 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