When Barbara Streisand is not busy trying to frighten willingly ill-informed, lefty nincompoops about the religous right, she's stirring up fear about the destruction of the earth's environment. In David Frum's book about President Bush: "The Right Man," Frum reports a casual encounter he had with whacko Babs who claimed she knew all about the environment because as she says: "I give alot of money to environmental groups." She also cited the snows melting on Mount Kilamanjaro in Africa as proof that man is destroying the planet... Even snow melting scares these fools...
Jay Lehr in the Chicago Sun Times exposes these people for what they are:
Scaremongers shun scientific findings of no global warming: "In early May, newspapers across the country reported that a team of 'adventurers' from Minnesota was setting off to 'document climate change' at the North Pole.
According to newspaper reports, they aim to 'draw [attention to] the gradual warming of Earth's climate' and 'hope to convince skeptics, especially in the Bush administration, that global warming is real....'
In other words, this summer will bring a barrage of misinformation about the Earth's ice structures provided by non-scientists who make casual observations and then claim they know what caused the situations they are observing.
Scientists, of course, do not operate this way. They don't start their work with a political ax to grind, with the aim of 'drawing attention' to something. They don't make a few observations and then jump to conclusions about causation. And they don't ignore the work of scientists who have gone before them.
Scientists, these Minnesota two are not. And yet we'll no doubt hear more about their 'research' than we have about the work that really matters -- the science.
A few years ago, R.J. Braithwaite's peer-reviewed article in Progress in Physical Geography described a "mass balance analysis" he conducted of 246 glaciers sampled all around the world between 1946 and 1995. That's 50 years of data. Braithwaite found some glaciers were melting, while a nearly equal number were growing in size, and still others remained stable. He concluded, "There is no obvious common or global trend of increasing glacier melt in recent years."
But if your goal is to frighten the public into thinking humans are causing global warming with potentially catastrophic consequences, there is no shortage of melting glaciers to report upon. By some estimates, 160,000 glaciers exist on Earth. Only 63,000 have been inventoried, and only a few hundred have been studied in the detail described by Braithwaite.
For example, a favorite melting glacier of the global warming activists sits atop Mt. Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania, near the equator. Satellites have been measuring temperatures near its summit for more than 25 years, finding no warming at all, yet the global warmers trot out Kilimanjaro as a poster child for their cause.
A scientific study published in Nature in November 2003 explained that deforestation of the mountain slopes -- not warming temperatures -- explains the melting. But the scaremongers don't particularly care why Kilimanjaro is melting, only that it is. Any other facts get in the way of their lobbying and fund-raising efforts.
It's pretty easy, as the Minnesota duo will no doubt show us, to grab a few short-term observations of changes in sea ice or glaciers and allege catastrophic global warming is taking place. The facts are a lot less convenient, as facts often are ... but it's high time the scaremongers and their allies in the media face up to them.
I highly recommend reading the entire article, perhaps print it out and carry it in your pocket and when some delusional enviro-whacko starts spouting "Bush is poisoning the planet" you can whip this out and cram it down his throat.