NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Global Warming "Science" Inconsistent, Contradictory

February 25, 2004

Proponents of policies to control human-induced global warming cite science as the basis for their claims and proposals. There is only one problem -- as much as they claim otherwise, there is no scientific consensus for their theories, says H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

No matter what the climate phenomenon, says Burnett, if it can in some way be presented as unusual by global warming alarmists, it is argued to be "further evidence of global warming," even if it contradicts earlier "evidence" pointed to by the same people. For example:

  • In late January, newspapers in England reported a study indicating ongoing global warming may plunge the world into the next ice age.
  • This is not the first study that has predicted a great freeze; indeed, some scientists were warning of the coming ice age as early as the 1970s.
  • The main difference is that those early predictions were based on supposed evidence the Earth was undergoing a significant cooling trend since the 1940s and that a naturally occurring ice age was overdue.

This is the problem with trying to forge appropriate policy responses to possible threats posed by future climate change -- for what scenario do we plan?

In the realm of climate change research, different models looking at the same phenomenon using the same principles of atmospheric physics often produce dramatically varied results, says Burnett

The only thing clear concerning the many purported effects of the Earth's warmer climate is that, because they contradict each other, human-caused global warming cannot be causing all of them simultaneously and it may not be responsible for any.

Source: H. Sterling Burnett, "Climate science or science fiction?" Washington Times, February 23, 2004.


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