Global Warming Horror Movies

by Paul K. Driessen

What makes a horror movie so terrifying? It's not just the plotline, script and score. It’s being in a dark theater with hundreds of other people who are just waiting to be scared half to death. It's the audience’s willingness to suspend logic, and enter the producer’s make-believe world.

 But perhaps most of all, it’s the incredible special effects – the incendiary power of Carrie, the horrifying monsters of Aliens, the rampant destruction of Independence Day. Modern effects masters practically convince us it’s all REAL.

So it is with the supposed apocalypse of global warming. Aided by clever box office promotion and friendly media, alarmists have marshaled enough science, junk science and scary scenarios, to craft a persuasive horror story.

This year’s leading Oscar candidate is the National Assessment of Climate Change, which the White House plans to finalize just in time for Halloween and the November elections. It offers a litany of terrifying scenarios of what might happen, if we continue to burn fossil fuels.

 According to the draft NACC report, average U.S. temperatures might rise as much as 12° F. If that happens, tropical diseases might spread, polar ice caps could melt, and tornadoes might become more frequent and severe                                                                                  

It’s the stuff of nightmares. But is it real? Or is it Hollywood? Fortunately, actual evidence strongly suggests that this apocalyptic future is just celluloid.



            Satellite and weather balloon data show no appreciable atmospheric warming since 1979, except in Alaska and Siberia, at night, in mid-winter. Indeed, except for the unusual El Niño year of 1998, there has actually been a slight cooling trend. Even surface temperature data from reliable, well-controlled stations in the continental U.S. and Western Europe show no appreciable warming since about 1940


            Malaria and dengue fever are related to the absence of vaccines and other health care measures, not to temperature, Centers for Disease Control expert Dr Paul Reiter points out. Wisconsin had malaria outbreaks in the 1880s, during an unusually cold period. And 2,000 people were infected by dengue in a Mexican border town in 1995, while Texas reported only seven cases.

Water World!

            Sea levels have been rising at seven inches a century for 7,500 years. Unless there is another “little ice age” (as today’s global warming alarmists were warning us just 25 years ago), they will continue to rise at roughly this rate for centuries to come. As to recent reports about open water in the Arctic, it happens every year in late summer – the natural result of weeks in the 40s and 50s.  


            Evidence suggests the number and severity of storms, hurricanes and tornadoes is actually decreasing, and the worst tornado ever to hit the U.S. was the mile-wide tri-state twister. It lasted 3 hours, killed 700 people and leveled entire communities along its 220-mile path – in 1925


            No wonder 17,000 scientists (including hundreds of climate experts) have signed a petition, saying they see “no convincing scientific evidence” that humans are disrupting the earth’s climate. But if there is no crisis, how can environmentalists convince Americans to adopt the austere lifestyle they claim is the only way to solve the crisis?

            The answer – use computer models, even if they’re not nearly good enough to reflect our inadequate grasp of intricate climate patterns. But not just any models. The two models chosen by the White House climate team crank out much higher temperatures, more terrifying scenarios, more Halloween hobgoblins than their counterparts.

            As to reconstructing the weather we had just last year, they can’t. For our mid-western, central plains and western states, they were off by as much as 8-10°F. Their precipitation estimates were as much as 100% too low or 500% too high. 

            And yet, we’re supposed to trust their predictions for 50 or 100 years into the future.

            It’s a movie industry maxim that, if you can imagine something, the sfx (special effects) people can create it. Unfortunately, that seems to have become a guiding principle for climate alarmists, as well. If they can envision a terrifying future, their Industrial Light & Magic models can certainly turn their vision into “reality.”

            When we come out of a horror movie, we know it was just a movie. We might have a nightmare or two, but we don’t turn our lifestyles upside down – to protect ourselves from sfx raptors, alien invaders and Freddies.

            We need to take that same approach to climate change. Support continued ocean and atmospheric observations, even-handed scientific research and the development of better models. But resist hasty, ill-considered energy and economic policies – based only on Halloween hobgoblins, conjured up by the special effects masters of climate alarmism.


Global warming GI-GO

 by Paul K. Driessen

In techno-speak, it’s called GI-GO: Garbage In–Garbage Out. In the language of the Dakota Indians, it’s ta tonka chesli: aromatic fertilizer from large male buffaloes.

            Either term accurately describes what the White House National Assessment Synthesis Team (NAST) is trying to pass off as the “science” of global climate change.

Meteorologists stress that our atmosphere, weather and climate are extraordinarily complex. We have only the most rudimentary grasp of how they work and what causes the hurricanes, droughts, deluges, El Niños, heat waves and cold snaps that buffet our cities, states, countries and planet year after year. And only for the last 20 or 25 years have satellites, weather balloons (radiosondes) and other instruments provided consistently accurate data about temperature, carbon dioxide levels, precipitation, jet streams and storm severity.

So even the best climate models begin with an overwhelming Garbage In problem. That we end up with a massive Garbage Out problem should surprise no one.

Indeed, every climate model now in use projects that global temperatures will rise significantly at the earth’s surface, and the warming will increase the higher in the atmosphere we go, notes atmospheric scientist Dr John Christy. In the real world, though, observed temperature increases are a fraction of what was predicted, and the warming DEcreases with altitude.

When the models attempt to reproduce global temperatures for the past 20 years, they run into the same problems. So scientists “correct” the models, by factoring in volcanic eruptions, ozone depletion, sulfate emissions and other processes that cool the atmosphere. But the “new, improved” models fail to factor in solar flares, El Niños and other processes that tend to warm the atmosphere up. So they're still misleading. 

And when the models try to reproduce surface temperature distributions since the 19th Century, they fail even more miserably. Several concluded that northern Alabama should have warmed by 2°F since 1890 – when in fact it cooled by over 2°F, Christy notes. More Garbage Out.

            The NAST tries to dodge these bullets, by saying its models “do not attempt to predict” the future. They merely reflect “potential implications of climate scenarios” that are based on various assumptions about greenhouse gas emissions. They simply ask, What if temperatures rise this much? Then what might conceivably happen?

But this is pseudo science at its disingenuous worst. The Synthesis Team selected climate models and emissions data it knew would yield temperature projections that are far higher than other models predict.

 It then proclaimed, Oh my gosh! What if temperatures really do rise 5-12° F? They might cause storms, droughts, rising sea levels, tropical diseases and all kinds of other calamities. Then what will become of our planet? We have to do something. Something drastic. Right away.

 There’s just enough science here to make it seem at least remotely possible. Actually, that’s how all great science fiction works. Take just enough science to make the plot superficially plausible, and weave an action-packed thriller around it.

 What if mosquitoes really did get trapped in amber immediately after biting a T rex? And what if its DNA were somehow preserved for 200 million years, and some clever scientists used it to clone new Tyrannosaurs? What if they reproduced? What might happen to us and our Earth?

 I love science fiction. The problem is, the NAST wants us to accept its science fiction as reality. Because in some great leap of faith it could plausibly happen, it really might happen – and then where would we be? 

 THEN they want us to take an even bigger step – and give them the power to control our economy, energy infrastructure, jobs, and choices about the cars we’ll drive, the homes we’ll live in, the lifestyles we’ll lead. Because otherwise, they say, terrible things might befall our planet.

 But no matter how brilliantly the White House spins it what-if climate change scenarios, they are still just scenarios. And as atmospheric scientist Fred Singer pointed out in a recent Senate hearing, scenarios are not scientific models, models are not evidence, and propaganda is not education.

 America needs research by the full spectrum of climate scientists – alarmists, realists and fence-sitters. We need to continue monitoring climate trends, building better models and debating these questions openly and honestly.

             We do not need a hasty rush to judgment on the Kyoto climate treaty or the NAST’s public policy recommendations, based on GI-GO climate models and pseudo scientific what-if scenarios.                                                                     

Paul Driessen is a senior fellow with Frontiers of Freedom in Arlington, VA. U.S.A.

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