Priests of the concept of manmade climate change and their followers are coming dangerously close to falsely crying “FIRE” in a crowded building. We consider this “speech” outside lawful limits because there is evidence that people have been killed by stampeding crowds trying to escape what they believe is a terrible threat—if there is no fire it is wrong to try the make people believe there is peril.
Similarly, I believe that politicians, government bureaucrats and media people who, without evidence, predict catastrophic weather events a hundred years in the future irresponsibly strike fear into people causing them to make bad decisions.
Consider, for example, a recent story in the Wilmington StarNews by Adam Wagner about the consequences of presumed sea-level rise as suggested by a demographic study in Georgia. (Link below)
No documentation was reported with the study—except the broad and highly questionable statement: “National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates place sea-level rise by 2100 at somewhere between nearly 1 foot and 8.2 feet.” The university demographer calculated the numbers of people in North Carolina counties who would “adapt” or “migrate” inland assuming a nearly 6-foot sea-level rise on the coast by the year 2100.
These bizarre numbers defy current scientific findings. Sea levels continue to have typical natural variability—rising in some places and falling in others. Best available data show that sea-level rise is not accelerating, and “has probably fallen.” Mean global sea-level variability over the past 200 years has been measured in 100 millimeters, not feet: 25 mm equal 1 inch. The global rate of rise and fall is less than 2 mm per year according to scientific studies reported by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change.
Wagner’s report cites a number of lifestyle changes and expensive coastal policies implied necessary to protect coastal life and property from flooding based on this “study”: movement of coastal residents to inland counties; relocating utilities; higher risk to property on barrier islands; greater hazards to coastal residents.
The data from “studies” such as the one reported in the StarNews are highly suspect. Most “climate change” information reflects politics rather than science; worse, the projections are badly flawed. Our policy-makers would be foolish to rely on those who cry FIRE when there is no smoke.