Occasionally, I check American mainstream newspapers for stories on climate change. I sometimes find reports from those who have more dire predictions about the devastating consequences of global warming.
Most politicians seem to be on board with this concept. They and their administrative agencies keep giving us more and more environmental regulations. Unfortunately, this is costing average folks plenty. It also is causing well-paying jobs to migrate for friendlier business "climates" elsewhere.
Global warming predictions have been going on for years. Perhaps now is the time to look at some of these views of the future just to see how accurate they've been so far:
Prediction: There will be a major increase in Atlantic hurricane activity in the beginning of the 21st century.
Result: Researchers at Florida State University concluded that 2007 and 2008 brought the least amount of Atlantic storms in 30 years. Pacific hurricanes hit record lows in 2010. Predictions of "above-average" 2011 mainland activity did not materialize.
Prediction: Sea levels will be rising.
Result: Nils-Axel Morner, Swedish geologist, physicist and expert on global sea levels, is quoted in The Telegraph as saying: "The sea is not rising. It hasn't risen in 50 years."
Prediction: The Earth is gradually warming. This will cause snowstorms to disappear.
Result: So far, it's not happening. The northeast just had one of the largest and earliest snowstorms on record for October. Dr. Roy Spencer from the University of Alabama states that the Earth's temperature has dropped 0.74 degrees F since 2006. National Observatory's lead researcher Frank Hill has co-authored a report with Dr. Richard Altrock from the Air Force Research Laboratory. Both concluded that sunspot activity by 2020 could lead to cooler temperatures, not warmer.
Prediction: The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has predicted that the Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035.
Result: Jeffery Kargel, glacier expert at the University of Arizona, revealed that it is physically impossible to kill the ice that quickly. Also, as reported in the U.K. Telegraph, Dr. Bodo Bookhagen has studied 286 glaciers in various parts of the world, and, "Our study shows there is no uniform response of Himalayan glaciers to climate change ..."
Prediction: The North Pole will be free of ice by 2013.
Result: According to the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado, as sourced in Britain's second-largest national newspaper, the Daily Mail, Arctic summer sea ice has increased by 409,000 square miles, or 26 percent, since 2007.
Prediction: Increased "greenhouse" gases will cause changes in the Earth's temperature.
Result: David Evans, consultant to the Australian Greenhouse Office, wrote a piece for his country's leading national newspaper, The Australian, stating: "There is no evidence to support the idea that carbon emissions cause significant global warming. None."
"Weather balloons released into the atmosphere ... show no hot spot, whatsoever."
"Computer models and theoretical calculations are not evidence. They are just theory."
So who's right and who's wrong in this never-ending debate? Why is much of the U.S. mainstream media ignoring these important stories? Is the whole global warming concept a massive fraud to direct billions of taxpayer dollars to "green" research and questionable business projects for friends of elected officials? Is it a scheme for worldwide redistribution of wealth? Or is there really indisputable evidence to show that man has the power to control the Earth's temperature and weather patterns?
I don't know, but I plan to continue checking for future stories. As I do this I'll keep an open mind, along with a healthy degree of scientific skepticism.
I just hope, for the sake of us all, that our politicians will do the same.
Steve Hansen is a Lodi writer.