Dennis Prager writes: Outside of the rarefied confines of climate science, the vast majority of people who believe the man-made global warming thesis know nothing about climate science and the vast majority of skeptics also know nothing about climate science.
So, on this issue, we all choose what to believe and what to do. I am skeptical because I am not prepared to wreck the Western world’s economy — which is already on the brink of debt-caused collapse — because of computer models about what may happen in half a century.
I am skeptical because climate change is utterly normal — and has never been caused by humans.
I am skeptical because so many pieces of evidence seem to be flawed — from the allegedly shrinking numbers of polar bears to global warming allegedly causing the receding of Mount Kilimanjaro’s glaciers.
But the biggest reason for my skepticism has been, from the beginning, that those most pushing the global warming thesis have cried “wolf” about threats to humanity so often that they have lost all credibility with me and numerous others.
I cite nine examples of these threats, each one of which has turned out to be untrue.
I began in Part 1 with three examples: the hysteria over nuclear power, the false claims about the dangers of silicone breast implants and the outright lies about the number of women who die from anorexia. Feminists such as Gloria Steinem had claimed that 150,000 girls and women die every year of anorexia nervosa. She got that number from another feminist, Naomi Wolf, who has compared anorexia in America to the Holocaust. Wolf, in turn, explained that she got the number from another feminist, Joan Brumberg, former director of women’s studies at Cornell University. And Brumberg says she got the number from the American Anorexia Bulimia Association. When asked, the association said that it was misquoted, that it said there are 150,000 women who suffered from anorexia, not who died from it each year. (Editor’s note: This organization no longer exists; it was absorbed by the National Eating Disorders Association in 2001.) For the record, according to the World Health Organization, the number of American women who die each year from anorexia is around 200. How big a lie the 150,000-number is can be rather easily demonstrated. In the year 2009, fewer than 50,000 females between the ages 15 and 44 died in America of all causes.
Here are another six examples of untruths with which the left has tried to frighten Americans.
4. Heterosexual AIDS in America: In the 1980s, American media featured cover articles about the looming epidemic of heterosexual AIDS in America. They made sure to feature white heterosexual women — members of the second-least likely demographic group in America to contract AIDS (the least likely were lesbians) — in order to illustrate that, in the politically correct phrase of the day, “AIDS doesn’t discriminate.” Or as a Life magazine cover put it, “Now, No One Is Safe.” It was an untruth fostered by the left, including, unfortunately, a fair share of scientists. Of course, in Africa heterosexual AIDS is a very real problem. Indeed, it is a terrible pandemic, the ravages of which I saw firsthand in Zambia and Zimbabwe when I went there to volunteer to help families of AIDS victims.
5. Secondhand smoke: The longest living, healthiest generation in history, American baby boomers, has bought the notion that secondhand smoke is a major killer even though most of them grew up with daily secondhand smoke. Fifty thousand Americans a year, we are told, are killed by secondhand smoke. This is another hysteria masquerading as science. One highly regarded UCLA epidemiologist, Dr. James Enstrom, has debunked the mainstream epidemiological studies on secondhand smoke. His findings, printed in the British Medical Journal, were that “The association between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and coronary heart disease and lung cancer may be considerably weaker than generally believed.”