Al Gore’s global warming documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” is the latest in a line of films, TV shows and news features warning of a impending global catastrophe caused by human-induced climate change.
Yet according to a new study published by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), the most inconvenient truth is that the science behind these claims is fatally flawed.
“The complexity of the climate and the limitations of data and computer models mean all projections of future climate change are unreliable at best,” said David Legates, author of the study and the director of the University of Delaware’s Center for Climatic Research.
“Science does not support claims of drastic increases in global temperatures, nor claims of human influence on weather events or extinctions.”
The study notes that climate models used as the basis for global warming claims routinely miss key climate factors, which results in false predictions of catastrophe.
Furthermore, some official reports, including the U.S. National Assessment, published in 2000, describe only the 2 most extreme predictions, ignoring 30 other models that are far less radical.
Many activists have attributed increases in hurricanes, floods, droughts, tornados, hail storms and heat waves to global warming caused by human activities. However, scientific evidence does not support their claims.
For instance, the unprecedented destruction caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita was blamed on climate change – but experts say these recent storms were part of a natural cycle and the increased damage was due to increased coastal populations and development.
Some have also attempted to link global warming to species extinction. However, the study notes that the link is tenuous. For example:
Recent claims that polar bear populations are threatened by global warming ignore the fact that only two polar bear populations are declining (both in regions were temperatures are falling), while others are increasing and most are stable.
Recent claims that coral reefs are “bleaching” (losing color and dying off) due to warming oceans ignore evidence that bleaching appears to be a healthy response in which corals expel one symbiotic species of algae for a better-adapted species that allow corals to thrive in warmer waters.
“These over-hyped claims of extinction are the ‘Coca-Colalization’ of science,” concluded NCPA Senior Fellow H. Sterling Burnett.
“If you want to sell a product, or a cause, just tie it to a cute, cuddly animal. Snails, snakes and spiders withering in the sun just don’t pack the same emotional punch as a cuddly, furry polar bear slipping beneath the melting ice.”
The NCPA is an internationally known nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute with offices in Dallas and Washington, D. C. that advocates private solutions to public policy problems. We depend on the contributions of individuals, corporations and foundations that share our mission. The NCPA accepts no government grants.
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