NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Debunking Global Warming Claims: National Security Concerns and Shrinking Glaciers

February 18, 2015

Many of the claims made by environmentalists about the catastrophic effects of global warming have failed to transpire.  James Taylor, senior fellow at the Heartland Institute, dispels some of the most outrageous in a recent Forbes article.  Two claims seem particularly egregious and worthy of refutation: first, that global warming threatens national security and second, that global warming is causing glaciers to shrink.

President Obama himself said climate change posed "immediate risks to our national security" in his January State of the Union speech, a claim echoed by many environmentalists who believe global warming will cause instability in already unstable regions by creating weather such as droughts and natural disasters that could endanger food supplies, ultimately leading to resource shortages, mass migrations and conflict.

Taylor says the claim is faulty:

  • Is global warming really causing a reduction in food and water? No. In fact, warming has promoted rather than damaged crop production -- it has lengthened the growing season, and higher concentrations of carbon dioxide have increased crop yields. 
  • Water, too, is safe: soil moisture has improved, and the earth has seen more precipitation due to warming temperatures.

As for concerns about shrinking glaciers, the claim is equally misleading. In fact, Taylor says the Antarctic Ice Sheet has grown steadily since the government first began measuring it in 1979, despite that icebergs have broken off of it. While environmentalists point to an iceberg ("larger than the city of Chicago") that broke away from the Pine Island Glacier (part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet) in 2013, Taylor says the Antarctic Ice Sheet actually set a record that year for being more extensive than any time in recorded history, and it grew even larger in 2014.

Additionally, environmentalists will contend that Montana's Glacier National Park has seen a reduction in glaciers from 150 to 35 over the last 100 years. Again, Taylor says that's entirely misleading: those glaciers have been receding for over 300 years, well before the rise of SUVs or coal-fired power plants.

To read the rest of Taylor's debunking of global warming myths, see his article here.

Source: James Taylor, "Top 10 Global Warming Lies That May Shock You," Forbes.com, February 9, 2015.

 

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