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The Church of Global Warming — or is it climate change or maybe climate disruption — is currently enduring a crisis of belief somewhat akin to the time when, in 1517, Martin Luther engaged in his theological carpentry at the All Saint’s Church in Wittenberg. Former believers have become skeptics. NASA astronauts and scientists now doubt the whole business and the remaining true believers accuse them of joining the Flat Earth Society or becoming the equivalent of Holocaust deniers.

Nearly 50 NASA scientists and astronauts took aim at NASA’s endorsement of global warming science. They claim the agency is on the wrong side of science and must change course or ruin the reputation of the world’s top space agency.

“We feel that NASA’s advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers is inappropriate,” they wrote. “At risk is damage to the exemplary reputation of NASA, NASA’s current or former scientists and employees, and even the reputation of science itself.

In their letter, the group said that thousands of years of data challenge modern-day claims that man-made carbon dioxide is causing climate change.

“With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from (NASA’s) Goddard Institute for Space Studies leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled.” (Emphasis is theirs.)

This is a direct slap at NASA’s James Hansen, a prominent acolyte of Al Gore and, one who is often quoted by Gore in his magic-lantern show, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Hansen is now well known as one who doctors what he then hopes passes as the underlying science in his global warming treatises to fit his desired result. Hansen was caught making up temperature records so that 2010 could be said to be another record breaking year in this ever more alarming, catastrophe-obsessed world.

The NASA revolt comes on the heels of recantations by other prominent adherents of the global warming gospel. According to Germany’s “Der Spiegel,” Fritz Vahrenholt, a prominent socialist and former global warming doctrine apostle, wrote, “The climate catastrophe is not occurring.”

In his new book, “I Feel Duped on Climate Change,” he writes, “I want new scientific findings to be included in the climate debate. It would then become clear that the simple equation that CO2 and other man-made greenhouse gases are almost exclusively responsible for climate change is unsustainable. It hasn’t gotten any warmer on this planet in almost 14 years, despite continued increases in CO2 emissions. Established climate science has to come up with an answer to that.”

Usually books by climate heretics don’t receive much attention, but Vahrenholt’s fame as a leading German socialist, an environmentalist and his prominent position in environmental efforts will likely ensure a debate at least in Europe on the issue. His position is enhanced by findings of Britain’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research that there has been no rise in temperatures, no global warming for the last 15 years. Findings of the Hadley Centre are used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and are considered the gold standard in temperature measurement.

In March of this year, MSNBC reported that, “James Lovelock, the maverick scientist who became a guru to the environmental movement and to Al Gore with his ‘Gaia’ theory of the Earth as a single organism, has admitted to being ‘alarmist’ about climate change and says other environmental commentators were also too alarmist.

“The problem is,” he says, “we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books — mine included — because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened. The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time… [The temperature] has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising — carbon dioxide is rising.” Then he adds, “We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now.”

Lovelock’s statement is all the more remarkable when compared with one he made in 2006. Then he told us, “Before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate is tolerable.” I guess we should cancel the one-way flights to Juno.”

I wrote several weeks ago of what I think is the progressive elite’s hatred of the middle class. They may also hate the poor. Progressive elites make up much of the global warming leadership and even though some allow that the science is not settled, they believe continuing to push for renewable energy is the right thing to do regardless of the cost. Well perhaps, but it may be very hard on the poor.

The German experience is instructive. Germany has experienced a 15 percent increase in energy prices and, according to German consumer watchdog groups, 600,000 households in Germany were without power in 2010 because of the increase in cost.

The poor aren’t the only ones suffering. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is in the process of loosening regulations on the kill of bald eagles, American eagles and other endangered raptors. The purpose, of course, is to accommodate the development of wind and solar energy, all in the name of fighting global warming, climate change, climate disruption or whatever name they give it now.

We can only hope the poor and the eagles understand their discomfort is a small price to pay if it helps environmental elites feed their already considerable self esteem.

Longboat Key News, 21 May 2012