The Late Great Planet Girth

April 22, 2009

The Late Great Planet Girth

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Earth Day: We are now told that obesity causes global warming. Maybe that’s why belief in human-caused climate change is at an all-time low. That and the fact that Antarctic ice is growing, not melting.

Read More: Global Warming

Over the past decade, as the earth cooled, the sun grew quiet and snow fell in Malibu, the disconnect between the computer models of Al Gore and the warm-mongers grew more apparent than ever. So much so that they started talking about “climate change” instead of “global warming.”

That way, everything from drought to floods was covered, even record cold winters and snowfalls.

Even that’s not working on an ever more skeptical public, according to a recent Rasmussen Reports national survey showing that just one of three voters — a new low — now believe that global warming is caused by human activity.

Nearly half (48%) believe the cause is naturally occurring planetary trends. Just a year ago, only 34% said warming was a natural phenomenon, while 47% said human activity was placing the planet at risk of disastrous climate change. That’s a huge shift.

Interestingly, a growing number of Americans (58%) say we need to build more nuclear power plants, with 63% saying that finding additional sources of energy is more important than reducing the amount of energy Americans currently consume. They recognize that a growing economy requires more energy, not less, and that nukes are a pollution-free way of getting it.

Not everyone is skeptical about human-caused climate change, however. On Monday, researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine blamed obesity for climate change.

They reckon that each overweight person is responsible for an extra ton per year of carbon dioxide through his or her own respiration and the production of extra food to feed that person. We’re not making this up.

“Moving about in a heavy body is like driving a gas guzzler,” says Dr. Phil Edwards of the London School. The study by him and a colleague claiming bacon double-cheeseburgers are as dangerous as tailpipe emissions is published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. “Food production accounts for about one-fifth of greenhouse gases,” he said.

Overweight people eat more steaks and burgers, we are told, and that means more cows and more barnyard emissions. They walk less and drive more, usually to fast-food emporiums, where every additional condiment brings us closer to planetary doom. The answer presumably would be fewer people, or at least more vegetarians.

One sign of the upcoming apocalypse was melting polar ice and rising sea levels. Al Gore’s apocalyptic full-length cartoon, “The Day After Tomorrow,” opened with an Antarctic ice shelf melting away. But a report by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research prepared for the recent meeting of the Antarctic Treaty nations in Washington notes the South Pole has in fact shown “significant cooling in recent decades.”

Australian Antarctic Division glaciology program head Ian Allison says sea ice losses in West Antarctica over the past 30 years have been more than offset by increases in the Ross Sea region, just one sector of East Antarctica. “Sea ice conditions have remained stable in Antarctica generally,” Allison says.

Despite the hysteria generated by the destabilization of the Wilkins Ice Shelf, melting sea ice does not raise sea levels. James O’Brien, an emeritus professor at Florida State University who studies climate variability and the oceans, tells why.

“When the Arctic Ocean ice melts, it never raises sea level because floating ice is floating ice, because it’s displacing water,” he noted. “When the ice melts, sea level actually goes down. I call it a fourth grade science experiment. Take a glass, put some ice in it. Put water in it. Mark the level where the water is. . . . After the ice melts, the sea level didn’t go up in your glass of water. It’s called the Archimedes principle.”

So enjoy your burger and fries, and chill out. It’s the warm-mongers who are endangering us with their whoppers. And Happy Earth Day.


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