Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Dr. Mark Hendrickson

4/9/2013 (2 years 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 (2 years 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Green

NASA steps up in discovering extraterrestrial life Watch

Image of NASA plans to bring astronauts to Mars by 2020 to search for any possible signs of life.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

NASA's chief scientist Ellen Stofan, stated at a Washington panel discussion, that in a decade or so, there will be strong indications of life outside Earth. Stofan added that "aliens" doesn't necessarily refer to "little green men" but, this could mean "little ... continue reading


Extremely rare 'adorable' Pocket Shark discovered in Gulf of Mexico Watch

Image of The Pocket Shark is a marine animal with

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thirty-six years ago, a pocket shark was discovered off the Peru coast, and just recently, another pocket shark, reported to be only the second one seen by humans, was discovered in a study conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), ... continue reading


Is Yellowstone's supervolcano ready to blow? Scientists find thousands of cubic miles of magma under volcano Watch

Image of Thousands of cubic miles of magma exists under Yellowstone national park that has only recently been discovered and mapped.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Scientists have completed mapping out a new reservoir of magma underneath Yellowstone's massive supervolcano. The magma was found about 12 to 28 miles beneath the surface of the volcano and with computer mapping technology scientists have determined that it is ... continue reading


New discovery on mysterious vampire squid shocks scientists Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The number of species we have successfully discovered throughout history are only about a fifth of the speculated total number of them coexisting with us. In a recent discovery, it was found that the vampire squid has distinct difference from the true squid we know of. ... continue reading


'Apocalyptic' dust storms leave experts speechless, causes remain unclear Watch

Image of The phenomenon has occurred over decades in the past, according to a European scientist.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Unexplained phenomena of strong dust storms are sweeping cities all over the globe, blocking the sun and darkening the day. The massive dust storms, known as haboob in Arabic, begun polluting some parts of the world at the beginning of the year. Theories surfaced as ... continue reading


What NASA found on Mars will shock you! Watch

Image of Liquid water has been found in Martian soil, but that doesn't mean life is likely to be found.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is liquid water on Mars, Nasa has announced following tests done by the Curiosity rover. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This news contradicts decades of thought that Earth's neighbor was too cold and arid for liquid water to exist, and may mean that ... continue reading


Experts fear massive asteroid will hit Earth in next 3 years Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A huge asteroid, with an estimated size of 10 to 40m, is expected to come in contact with Earth, closer than it did the last time. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Asteroid 2012 TC4 was approximated at about the size of the Statue of Liberty from the torch ... continue reading


Gray whale swims from Russia to Mexico in 172 days, breaking all known records Watch

Image of Before Vavara's accomplishment, the title of the longest-migrating mammal belonged to the humpback whale.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A female western gray whale from Russia now holds the record as the mammal with the longest known migration, researchers say. Named Vavara, which is the Russian equivalent fro "Barbara," the plucky whale swam a total of 13,988 miles in 172 days. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Are farmers stealing precious water away from California's Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta? Watch

Image of As California enters the fourth year of drought, huge amounts of water are mysteriously vanishing from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and farmers whose families for generations have tilled fertile soil there are the prime suspects.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Entering its fourth year of drought, large amounts of water is mysteriously vanishing from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Farmers who have used the delta for generations are the prime suspects. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Complaints from two large ... continue reading


Small songbirds complete extraordinary nonstop flights across the Atlantic Ocean Watch

Image of The blackpoll warbler songbirds (Setophaga striata) migrate every autumn from Vermont and Nova Scotia in New England to Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Greater Antilles islands in South America.

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Using backpack flight recorders, scientists have discovered that the blackpoll warbler songbirds are able fly nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean. These tiny songbirds, weighing about 4.2 ounces (119 grams), were able to complete the flight without a stop for over 1,410 ... 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, Acts 11:1-18
1 The apostles and the brothers in Judaea heard that ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 42:2-3; 43:3, 4
2 I thirst for God, the living God; when shall I go ... Read More

Gospel, John 10:1-10
1 'In all truth I tell you, anyone who does not enter ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 27th, 2015 Image

St. Zita
April 27: St. Zita was born into a poor but holy Christian family. Her ... 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