The debate over global warming heated up in 2008, with prominent meteorologists, scientists, and environmentalists dissenting from the so-called consensus for “manmade” global warming. First there was John Coleman—the founder of the Weather Channel. In a speech delivered in March, Coleman questioned the validity of so-called “manmade” global warming. He also called into question the notion of a carbon credit system and stated that those who sell them could be committing financial fraud. “There is no human-caused global warming as a result of CO2—and all these carbon credits, which they’re selling for millions of dollars, are based on CO2 forcing, they call it, causing global warming,” said Coleman. “Well, that’s not valid, and they’ve got to know it—and if they know it and they’re selling those carbon credits, aren’t they committing financial fraud?”
In May, OneNewsNow talked with AccuWeather.com senior meteorologist Joe Bastardi, who posted an open letter to the presidential candidates urging them to have an honest debate with top scientists from both sides of the global-warming argument. “People are trying to play God by saying, ‘Oh, this computer model told me 50 years from now that this is going to happen.’ That’s an arguable point; I think we should debate it,” said Bastardi. “But to say that someone has absolute knowledge of the future seems to me to be playing something more than a mortal—and I’m in the business of forecasting the weather.” Bastardi wrote in his open letter that the recent cold winter of 2007 may be a preview of what is coming. And he argued that making it illegal to obtain oil from an area that could wean America from foreign oil because of a “problem that may not exist” should show people that this position is not driven by science but what may be “an almost fanatical madness.”
In June, OneNewsNow heard from noted environmentalist and author Lawrence Solomon, who pointed out that extremely low sunspot activity and extended periods of no sunspot activity experienced in 2008 could point to a cooling trend. “There has been a coincidence over the centuries of an absence of sunspots correlating with very cold temperatures and a presence of sunspots corresponding to a warm period,” he explained. Solomon also noted that temperatures have dropped by more than a half a degree centigrade last year, which is equivalent to more than a century’s worth of warming.
Another natural fluctuation is arctic sea ice. In 2007, arctic sea ice hit a summertime low of 1.65 million square miles. However, at that same time in 2008 there were 2.03 million square miles of the ice. Scientist Joseph D’Aleo of IceCap.us weighed in on the situation. “I don’t believe it has anything at all to do with global warming, or at least carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases,” D’Aleo offered. “It’s a normal cyclical change that we’ve observed in the Arctic going back centuries."The arctic ice diminished in the 30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s. It diminished in the 1800s, so much so that the Northwest Passage was open and they were catching cod fish off of Siberia.” D’Aleo noted that the Pacific Ocean has cooled to pre-1977 temperatures, and he believes the Atlantic will follow within a decade. He added that sea ice will recover and possibly increase as a result.
In December, OneNewsNow contacted noted Irish filmmaker Ann McElhinney. She produced and directed a documentary that takes a harsh look at the human cost of climate-change legislation. Her film, Not Evil Just Wrong, features many scientists, including Patrick Moore, a founding member of Greenpeace. Moore has since left Greenpeace because of the organization’s anti-science agenda. “One of the very interesting things that he says is that if the world did get slightly warmer, ...the kind of amounts of heating that they are talking about, even if it did happen, is very, very small,” explained McElhinney. “And he said that it would be a good thing because ice and cold is the enemy of life—and where you have ice and where you have cold, you have no biodiversity. And when temperature rises even slightly, you have a great burgeoning of biodiversity.” Not Evil Just Wrong will be released in theaters across America in early 2009.