Professor Thomas Sowell's most recent book, "Intellectuals and Society," has a quote from Eric Hoffer, "One of the surprising privileges of intellectuals is that they are free to be scandalously asinine without harming their reputation." Environmentalist Professor Paul Ehrlich, who's giving advice to the warmers, is an excellent example of Hoffer's observation. Ehrlich in his widely read 1968 book, "The Population Bomb," predicted, "The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. Population control is the only answer." Ehrlich also predicted the earth's then-5 billion population would starve back to 2 billion people by 2025. In 1969, Dr. Ehrlich warned Britain's Institute of Biology, "If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000." Despite these asinine predictions, Ehrlich has won no less than 16 awards, including the 1980 Crafoord Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' highest award.
Stanford University professor and environmentalist activist Stephen H. Schneider is another scientist involved in the warmer retaliation.
In a 1989 Discover Magazine interview, Professor Schneider said, "We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest."
Former Colorado Sen. Tim Wirth, now president of the United Nations Foundation, in 1990 said, "We've got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we'll be doing the right thing, in terms of economic policy and environmental policy."
Environmental activist predictions have been dead wrong. In National Wildlife (July 1975), Nigel Calder warned, "... the threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind." In the same issue, C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organization warned, "The cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed."
George Woodwell's, founder of the Woods Hole Research Center, comments suggest that the warmers are gearing up for a big propaganda push. In one of his e-mails, Woodwell said that researchers have been ceding too much ground. He criticized Pennsylvania State University for their academic investigation of Professor Michael Mann, who wrote many of the e-mails leaked from the Britain's now disgraced Climate Research Unit. Stephen Dinan's Washington Times article reports, "In his e-mail, Mr. Woodwell acknowledged that he is advocating taking 'an outlandishly aggressively partisan approach' but said scientists have had their 'classical reasonableness' turned against them," adding, "'We are dealing with an opposition that is not going to yield to facts or appeals from people who hold themselves in high regard and think their assertions and data are obvious truths.'"
Fortunately, for the American people, Sen. James M. Inhofe, R- Okla., is considering asking the Justice Department to investigate whether climate scientists who receive taxpayer-funded grants have falsified data. He has identified 17 taxpayer-supported scientists who have been major players in the global warming conspiracy.
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.
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