Climate Collusion?

The U.S. climate agency NOAA admits that a formerly dismissed scientist was right after all: Air-temperature monitoring stations provide faulty data.

By S.T. Patrick

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has now admitted that poorly placed air-temperature monitoring stations have artificially boosted global warming data. A large portion of the surface air monitoring stations had been set up in areas that have become more urbanized, thus more impacted by concrete, asphalt, and other materials that absorb heat during the day and release it at night.

Anthony Watts of the “Watts Up With That” website has long argued that the temperature readings were being falsely, if not purposefully, influenced by bad positioning of testing equipment. Watts specifically pointed to monitors such as one located in a concrete parking lot at the University of Arizona. The monitor is constantly surrounded by idling automobiles and concrete interacting with the Arizona sun.

In 2012, NOAA took Watts’s critique seriously and began a study of its own devices and their placement. Its recently released findings did, indeed, explain that decisions regarding monitor placement impacted results in ways that showed a marked increase in global warming.

Until this point, Watts, who runs what is self-described as “The World’s Most Viewed Site on Global Warming and Climate Change,” has been labeled as a “Koch-funded science denier” by those who advocate “The Quickening,” a massive increase in the rapidity of global warming and climate change consequences. Now that NOAA has vindicated Watts and his theory of “visible heatsinks,” places that store heat near monitoring stations causing them to record faulty readings, the inevitable backlash from the establishment science community will come. It always does.

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The debate over global warming, or climate change, remains so heated that even the debate’s name is still a point of contention. Whatever the real state of the environment may be, both sides tend to stand in the kiddie pools of honest debate as they out-doom each other in an effort to “win” or protect their sponsoring organization, program, or ideology. If anything is to be done about the real environmental problems, however, common facts need to be agreed upon and debates should be civilized.

Hunters and fishermen are the country’s most responsible conservationists. They do recognize that changes are taking place, that, at the very least, our greatest natural environments are being impacted by an overabundance of trash and waste. Yet a majority of problems seen by those who spend the most time in the environment are ones that can be largely eradicated by awareness, education, and personal and corporate responsibility. Scientists who vastly overreach on climate control often have endowments, grants, and positions of influence to protect. Environmental doom is the lifeblood of their lofty academic careers.

Like kings of their realms, it’s easy to make demands from ivory towers: mandatory purchases of carbon credits to offset personal energy use, increased taxation on fossil fuels, fertilizing the oceans, species relocation, banning bottled water, and many more. The realities of each monumental program are higher taxation and higher fees for the use of energy.

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What the conservationists know is that there are environmental problems to be acknowledged and resolved. The new findings from NOAA prove that mistakes can be made well before the numbers are gathered or analyzed. No one “won” this debate. No one has the upper hand. The environment is still in the shape it was before the findings were released.

America’s worsening ecological condition can be improved, and it doesn’t need to necessarily happen through burdening taxation of “green new deals.” Both sides should respectfully accept the things that are tangible. Then the public debate over what remains theoretical can commence, without mocking and without demands. The 1960s guaranteed us that we would all be wearing oxygen masks by the new millennium. In the 1970s, predictions were for an imminent ice age. The ozone hole of the 1980s was going to make the Sun toxic. Earth warmed in the 1990s, and we have experienced climate change since the 2000s. The issues—understated, overexaggerated, or indifferent— continue to evolve. Will the attitudes and motivations that surround the debate on both sides evolve with them?

S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent ten years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” His email is [email protected]. He is also an occasional contributor to TBR history magazine and the current managing editor of Deep Truth Journal (DTJ), a new conspiracy-focused publication now carried by the AFP Online Store.