CNN's Lou Dobbs opened this segment by saying this was a CNN exclusive, something you wouldn't see anywhere else. And unfortunately, he was right for the most.
The Jan. 13 broadcast of CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight" explored the possibility that earth isn't warming, but is, in fact, cooling.
Dobbs cited National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data dating back to 1880 which showed a spike in mean temperature over land and ocean. However, Joseph D'Aleo, the executive director of International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project (ICECAP) questioned that data by comparing it to more modern reliable satellite data, when ask if he "quibbled" with the NOAA data's representation.
"Yes, I do," D'Aleo replied. "In fact, if you look at the satellite data, which is the most reliable data, the best coverage of the globe - 2008 was the 14th coldest in 30 years. That doesn't jive with the tenth warmest in 159 years in the Hadley data set or 113 or 114 years in the NOAA set."
D'Aleo's organization, ICECAP, is one of 33 groups co-sponsoring The Heartland Institute's 2009 International Conference on Climate Change in New York City March 8-10. D'Aleo also appeared on Dobbs' program on Jan. 5 and said that a lot of the research promoting the theory of anthropogenic or manmade climate change is too short-sighted.
According to D'Aleo, the spike in NOAA climate data is a result of location changes where the data is recorded. He contended that with the proportional increase of urban data used versus rural data, the overall effect was a warming trend.
"Those global data sets are contaminated by the fact that two-third of the globe's stations dropped out in 1990," D'Aleo added. "Most of them rural and they performed no urban adjustment. And, Lou, you know, your people in your studio know that if they live in the suburbs of New York City, it's a lot colder in rural areas than it is in the city. Now we have more urban effect in those numbers reflecting, that show up in that enhanced or exaggerated warming in the global data set."
Another factor contributing to the global cooling period is the decline in sunspot activity according to Jay Lehr, a senior fellow and science director of The Heartland Institute.
"[I] think more importantly it is to look at the sun's output, and in recent years, we've seen very, very low sunspot activity, and we are definitely - in my mind - not only in a cooling period, we're going to be staying in it for a couple decades," Lehr said.
Lehr said the cooling trend was a positive and hoped it would have and impact on legislators to resist the temptation to pass and sort of climate change regulation that could further hurt the U.S. economy.
"And I see it as a major advantage, although I think we will be able to adapt to it, I'm hopeful that this change in the sun's output will put some common sense into the legislature - not to pass any dramatic cap-and-trade or carbon tax legislation that will set us in a far deeper economic hole," Lehr added. "I believe Mr. Obama and his economic team are well placed to dig us out of this recession in the next 18 months to two years. But, I think if we pass any dramatic legislation to reduce greenhouse gases, the recession is going to last quite a few more years and we'll come out of it with a lower standard of living as a result on very tenuous scientific grounds."
Lehr pointed out the "silliness" of not including the sun's impact on the earth's climate - a factor often neglected by many of the global climate change alarmist. He also cited CNN meteorologist Chad Myers, who said the theory of manmade global warming was "arrogant" on Dec. 18, 2008.
"It just seems silly to not recognize that the earth's climate is driven by the sun," Lehr said. "Your Chad Myers about a month ago pointed out it's really arrogant for mankind to think he controls the climate or the universe. Only 4 percent of our greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. Ninety percent is water vapor which we have no impact over."
Lehr told Dobbs it would be a mistake to enact policy that was intended to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, as Obama's Secretary of State designate Hillary Clinton suggested to the Senate Foreign Relations committee on Jan. 13 in her confirmation hearing that the incoming Obama administration intended to do.
"And, if we were to try to reduce greenhouse gases with China and India controlling way more than we do and they have boldly said they are not going to cripple their economy by following suit, our impact would have no change in temperature at all," Lehr added. "In Europe they started carbon cap and trade in 2005. They've had no reduction in greenhouse gases, but a 5 percent to 10 percent increase in the [cost of] standard of living. We don't want to go that route."