The impossibility of an honest debate on climate change

By Tom Quiner

I’m trying to understand “global warming,” also known as “climate change.”

Liberals insist it is manmade.

Liberals insist it will ruin the earth. Al Gore famously said that counteracting it is the “moral equivalent of war.”

Liberals insist that the solution is to transfer vast power to the federal government to reduce carbon emissions through punitive taxation. Even more, they insist that we need to take money from taxpayers and give it to green energy companies.

Are they right?

Al Gore, Thomas Friedman, and Ban Ki Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, have been some of the most outspoken proponents of the urgency of responding to climate change. Secretary-General Moon went before the United Nations in 2007 with this dire warning:

“Today, war continues to threaten countless men, women and children across the globe. It is the source of untold suffering and loss. And the majority of the UN’s work still focuses on preventing and ending conflict. But, the danger posed by war to all of humanity — and to our planet — is at least matched by the climate crisis and global warming.

By now, I believe that the world has reached a critical stage in its efforts to exercise responsible environmental stewardship. We have to change the way we live, and rethink the way we travel and transact business.”

This is fine except for two things. These guys don’t adopt a lifestyle which mimics their rhetoric. And too many scientists disagree with them.

The latest dissent on the subject come from scientists at the University of Waterloo in Canada. They say chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are to blame for global warming since the 1970s. not carbon dioxide, in direct contradiction to the Gore/Friedman/Moon view.

Here is what Qing-Bin Lu, a professor of physics and astronomy, biology and chemistry in Waterloo’s Faculty of Science, says about the latest research:

“Conventional thinking says that the emission of human-made non-CFC gases such as carbon dioxide has mainly contributed to global warming. But we have observed data going back to the Industrial Revolution that convincingly shows that conventional understanding is wrong. In fact, the data shows that CFCs conspiring with cosmic rays caused both the polar ozone hole and global warming.

Most conventional theories expect that global temperatures will continue to increase as CO2 levels continue to rise, as they have done since 1850. What’s striking is that since 2002, global temperatures have actually declined – matching a decline in CFCs in the atmosphere. My calculations of CFC greenhouse effect show that there was global warming by about 0.6 °C from 1950 to 2002, but the earth has actually cooled  since 2002. The cooling trend is set to continue for the next 50-70 years as the amount of CFCs in the atmosphere continues to decline.”

I’d be the first to admit that competing studies may take issue with Professor Lu. Clearly, though, the debate is NOT over, as Mr. Gore claims. Clearly, the issue is highly politicized as demonstrated with President Obama’s second inauguration address when he intoned that we must “respond to the threat of climate change.” He implied we are fools if we disagree with HIS science:

“Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.”

Do you realize how many people are influenced by his words? And yet the “overwhelming judgement of science” refutes the president’s words.

Take these raging fires. Back in the 90s, environmentalists forced the federal government to stop putting out wildfires as quickly as possible. They said it was bad for the environment. They said forests had become overgrown since man was improperly interceding.

In fact, fewer forest fires are occurring now than in the 90s, but we’re allowing more acres to burn when they do happen.

Shouldn’t the president have mentioned this?

Why didn’t he?

What about these “crippling droughts?”

According to the Global Soil Moisture Data Bank, global soil moisture has never been better. It has increased throughout the 20th century at most sites.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) goes even further. They said that droughts that took place in the 20th century were actually quite mild compared to droughts in previous centuries. This scientific judgement was peer-reviewed. As published in Nature, the scientific community found that “there has been little change in drought over the past 60 years.”

Shouldn’t the president have mentioned this?

Why didn’t he?

What about all of these powerful storms? They are worse today than ever before, right?

Wrong, at least according, once again, to the NOAA. They have reported on a long-term decline in powerful tornadoes hitting the U.S.

How about hurricanes? They are worse, right?

Wrong, at least according to the National Hurricane Center. The Center reports that the last four decades have seen fewer major hurricanes than any time since the mid 19th century.

When global temperatures were cooler in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, the U.S. Northeast experienced six major hurricane strikes, but only one since 1960.

Shouldn’t the president have mentioned this?

Why didn’t he?

So why did the president kind of stretch the truth on this global warming/climate change stuff?




Climate Change is a critical component of the catechism of Secular Humanism. The president knows it is an article of faith to that crowd. By playing up to it, he hopes to extract more power for his liberal world view that depends on an ever expanding central government.

In this environment, is it possible to have an honest debate on global warming/climate change?

Absolutely not.


  1. bobic7 on May 31, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Political preference has become intermingled with science in the global warming debate. The politics pollutes the science. Also, many scientists see enormous opportunities for federal funding if man made global warming can be shown to be a serious threat. The smell of money has influenced many researchers. Although my formal education was heavily scientific, I remain skeptical of man made global warming “facts”. The issue is full of unconscious bias. Nevertheless, we need a brutally honest and objective analysis of the threat that may confront us.


    • quinersdiner on May 31, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Brutal honesty does not seem possible in this day and age.

      • bobic7 on May 31, 2013 at 3:56 pm

        Tom, when, when it comes to science, scrupulous/brutal honesty is always expected and often (but not always) achieved. In politics, the reverse appears to be the case. As I said, I am not convinced by the evidence for man-made global warming. Politics and greed are present in the lab. I’ve seen it myself.

        In a more general sense, I think a risk to our nation more serious than global warming is a pervasive loss of integrity and decency by our leaders. As a grandfather, I fear for the coming generations.

        Keep up your good works.


        • quinersdiner on May 31, 2013 at 4:07 pm

          Great comments. Thanks so much for the kind words.

  2. oarubio on June 26, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    As long as we continue to disregard Natural law and worship Science, we’ll never figure everything out, climate or social issues!