Saturday, December 29, 2007
Global Warming Science, or Policy? http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=013106I
Questions for Al Gore http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=052506C
A Report from the Global Warming Battlefield http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=081307B
Questions for Al Gore
By Roy Spencer : BIO 25 May 2006
Dear Mr. Gore:I have just seen your new movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," about the threat that global warming presents to humanity. I think you did a very good job of explaining global warming theory, and your presentation was effective. Please convey my compliments to your good friend, Laurie David, for a job well done.
As a climate scientist myself -- you might remember me...I'm the one you mistook for your "good friend," UK scientist Phil Jones during my congressional testimony some years back -- I have a few questions that occurred to me while watching the movie.
1) Why did you make it look like hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, floods, droughts, and ice calving off of glaciers and falling into the ocean, are only recent phenomena associated with global warming? You surely know that hurricane experts have been warning congress for many years that the natural cycle in hurricanes would return some day, and that our built-up coastlines were ripe for a disaster (like Katrina, which you highlighted in the movie). And as long as snow continues to fall on glaciers, they will continue to flow downhill toward the sea. Yet you made it look like these things wouldn't happen if it weren't for global warming. Also, since there are virtually no measures of severe weather showing a recent increase, I assume those graphs you showed actually represented damage increases, which are well known to be simply due to greater population and wealth. Is that right?
2) Why did you make it sound like all scientists agree that climate change is manmade and not natural? You mentioned a recent literature review study that supposedly found no peer-reviewed articles that attributed climate change to natural causes (a non-repeatable study which has since been refuted....I have a number of such articles in my office!) You also mentioned how important it is to listen to scientists when they warn us, yet surely you know that almost all past scientific predictions of gloom and doom have been wrong. How can we trust scientists' predictions now?
3) I know you still must feel bad about the last presidential election being stolen from you, but why did you have to make fun of Republican presidents (Reagan; both Bushes) for their views on global warming? The points you made in the movie might have had wider appeal if you did not alienate so many moviegoers in this manner.
4) Your presentation showing the past 650,000 years of atmospheric temperature and carbon dioxide reconstructions from ice cores was very effective. But I assume you know that some scientists view the CO2 increases as the result of, rather than the cause of, past temperature increases. It seems unlikely that CO2 variations have been the dominant cause of climate change for hundreds of thousands of years. And now that there is a new source of carbon dioxide emissions (people), those old relationships are probably not valid anymore. Why did you give no hint of these alternative views?
5) When you recounted your 6-year-old son's tragic accident that nearly killed him, I thought that you were going to make the point that, if you had lived in a poor country like China or India, your son would have probably died. But then you later held up these countries as model examples for their low greenhouse gas emissions, without mentioning that the only reason their emissions were so low was because people in those countries are so poor. I'm confused...do you really want us to live like the poor people in India and China?
6) There seems to be a lot of recent concern that more polar bears are drowning these days because of disappearing sea ice. I assume you know that polar bears have always migrated to land in late summer when sea ice naturally melts back, and then return to the ice when it re-freezes. Also, if this was really happening, why did the movie have to use a computer generated animation of the poor polar bear swimming around looking for ice? Haven't there been any actual observations of this happening? Also, temperature measurements in the arctic suggest that it was just as warm there in the 1930's...before most greenhouse gas emissions. Don't you ever wonder whether sea ice concentrations back then were low, too?
7) Why did you make it sound like simply signing on to the Kyoto Protocol to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions would be such a big step forward, when we already know it will have no measurable effect on global temperatures anyway? And even though it represents such a small emission reduction, the economic pain Kyoto causes means that almost no developed country will be meeting its emission reductions commitments under that treaty, as we are now witnessing in Europe.
8) At the end of the movie, you made it sound like we can mostly fix the global warming problem by conserving energy... you even claimed we can reduce our carbon emissions to zero. But I'm sure you know that this will only be possible with major technological advancements, including a probable return to nuclear power as an energy source. Why did you not mention this need for technological advancement and nuclear power? It is because that would support the current (Republican) Administration's view?
Mr. Gore, I think we can both agree that if it was relatively easy for mankind to stop emitting so much carbon dioxide, that we should do so. You are a very smart person, so I can't understand why you left so many important points unmentioned, and you made it sound so easy.
I wish you well in these efforts, and I hope that humanity will make the right choices based upon all of the information we have on the subject of global warming. I agree with you that global warming is indeed a "moral issue," and if we are to avoid doing more harm than good with misguided governmental policies, we will need more politicians to be educated on the issue.
Your "Good Friend,"
Dr. Roy W. Spencer(aka 'Phil Jones')
Monday, December 24, 2007
It’s an Al Gore Christmas
Congress hands out energy-loan guarantees.
By Henry Sokolski
As is so often the case, close to Christmas, Congress this week skipped the formality of authorizing and appropriating separate spending bills and instead passed a monster omnibus spending bill. This year, however, there was one major difference: Congress approved a spending package that will effectively make the U.S. Treasury the bank of first resort for virtually any large commercial energy project that can claim to be “innovative” and “clean.”
How? By granting nearly $38.5 billion in guaranteed federal loans for a variety of energy projects that no private bank would touch with a ten-foot pole (under the “Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program, described here, page 121) . Mind you, none of these efforts have anything to do with research and development. Instead, they are commercial ventures using technology that has already been proven but that are too uneconomic to secure private backing.
What kind of projects are we talking about? Nuclear reactors, plants so expensive to build — Moody’s estimates between at least $5 and $6 billion dollars each — that no private bank is willing to use their own money to finance them for fear that the operator will go bankrupt simply trying to pay the interest on the loan.. These plants are slated to get $18.5 billion in federal loan guarantees.
Clean coal plant construction and conversion, meanwhile got $6 billion. Converting coal into fuels for trucks and cars, which could go bust if oil prices decline, is slated to get $2 billion in guaranteed loans and renewables, improved energy-efficiency projects, and distributed energy programs got another $10 billion collectively.
Finally, another $2 billion went to the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC) to finance a Department of Energy designed uranium-enrichment centrifuge plant that is so risky USEC was unable to get any private bank to back it.
What’s the problem with guaranteeing such large loans to these commercial projects? First, the last time our government did this, during the Carter years, it picked a series of turkeys. Ten of the 14 coal gasification and ethanol projects it backed went bust. And one — the synfuels project — produced nothing and left U.S. taxpayers with a $13 billion hole in their pockets. Count on history rhyming.
As the inspector general of the Department of Energy pointed out in his evaluation of the loan-guarantee program “This [program] will result in significant risk to the Government and, therefore the American Taxpayer.” The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the odds of default on the proposed federal loans to be 50 percent.
Second, this is precisely the kind of corporate give away that would make Ronald Reagan turn over in his grave. He had the good sense to kill the synfuels project as a matter of principle: Government, he insisted, should not be in the business of backing commercialization projects. Research and development might make sense for the federal government to pursue if only because state-run utility commissions will not allow most utilities to invest much in such activities. But getting the government into picking commercial winners or losers is almost always bad business. When government picks a loser (and with the Department of Energy, it’s a frequent occurrence), nobody pays or goes bankrupt but the U.S. taxpayer and then only after the government has kept the project alive years beyond when it should have been terminated.
What’s embarrassing (and a bit weird) is that the only prominent group to complain about these loan guarantees are liberal, environmental opponents of nuclear power. They certainly, have cause: Nobody either in the nuclear industry or financial world believes nuclear power has a ghost of chance of being revived unless the federal government subsidizes it to the hilt (they refer to these subsidies as being “incentives” — same difference).
A study recently done for my center found that the value of the loan guarantee program for just one new proposed reactor was worth roughly $13 billion to a nuclear operator over the plant’s lifetime. That’s real money. Some environmental economists, however, have a more basic complaint, one that fiscal conservatives have long propounded. Whether for nuclear or non-nuclear energy projects, these loan guarantees (which also include some of the environmentalists’ favorites) are certain to distort the market.
First, the most wasteful, questionable projects tend to crowd out smaller more worthy contenders in gobbling up the subsidies. This means that projects like USEC’s multi-billion dollar enrichment program, a project that cannot compete against other enrichers, who have already successfully raised private capital to operate in the US — will get far more guaranteed loans than any micro wind project might.
Second, the largest of these projects all involve central nuclear or coal fired electrical generating stations that will last between 50 and 75 years and that depend on an electrical grid distribution system. If it turns out that it is more economical to produce electricity locally in smaller generators or to rely less on the grid to distribute the electricity or its products, we will be stuck with their polar opposites (i.e., the loser centralized systems the government chose to subsidize heavily rather than the ones the market might pick). In this case, the loan guarantee program for “clean” and “innovative” systems will only get in the way of the real innovation that reliance on market mechanisms and private capital would otherwise propel.
Congress, of course, is not likely to see matters this way, at least, not initially. At a bare minimum, however, anyone concerned about our nation’s energy future should press Congress to oversee the loan guarantees to determine just how much they are going to end up costing the U.S. taxpayer and to be ready to turn them off just a soon — as is almost certain to be the case — applicants default or mismanage their projects. Until Congress gets a handle on what it has done here, it certainly should do nothing to expand the program. Indeed, failing this, Congress will only guarantee the growth of government into our economy in a manner that would make even Al Gore blush.
— Henry Sokolski is executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center in Washington, D.C. working on a two-year, international study of the economics of nuclear and non-nuclear power.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
The deceit behind global warming
By Christopher Booker and Richard North
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 04/11/2007
No one can deny that in recent years the need to "save the planet" from global warming has become one of the most pervasive issues of our time. As Tony Blair's chief scientific adviser, Sir David King, claimed in 2004, it poses "a far greater threat to the world than international terrorism", warning that by the end of this century the only habitable continent left will be Antarctica.
Inevitably, many people have been bemused by this somewhat one-sided debate, imagining that if so many experts are agreed, then there must be something in it. But if we set the story of how this fear was promoted in the context of other scares before it, the parallels which emerge might leave any honest believer in global warming feeling uncomfortable.
The story of how the panic over climate change was pushed to the top of the international agenda falls into five main stages. Stage one came in the 1970s when many scientists expressed alarm over what they saw as a disastrous change in the earth's climate. Their fear was not of warming but global cooling, of "a new Ice Age".
For three decades, after a sharp rise in the interwar years up to 1940, global temperatures had been falling. The one thing certain about climate is that it is always changing. Since we began to emerge from the last Ice Age 20,000 years ago, temperatures have been through significant swings several times. The hottest period occurred around 8,000 years ago and was followed by a long cooling. Then came what is known as the "Roman Warming", coinciding with the Roman empire. Three centuries of cooling in the Dark Ages were followed by the "Mediaeval Warming", when the evidence agrees the world was hotter than today.
Around 1300 began "the Little Ice Age", that did not end until 200 years ago, when we entered what is known as the "Modern Warming". But even this has been chequered by colder periods, such as the "Little Cooling" between 1940 and 1975. Then, in the late 1970s, the world began warming again.
A scare is often set off - as we show in our book with other examples - when two things are observed together and scientists suggest one must have been caused by the other. In this case, thanks to readings commissioned by Dr Roger Revelle, a distinguished American oceanographer, it was observed that since the late 1950s levels of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere had been rising. Perhaps it was this increase that was causing the new warming in the 1980s?
Stage two of the story began in 1988 when, with remarkable speed, the global warming story was elevated into a ruling orthodoxy, partly due to hearings in Washington chaired by a youngish senator, Al Gore, who had studied under Dr Revelle in the 1960s.
But more importantly global warming hit centre stage because in 1988 the UN set up its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC). Through a series of reports, the IPCC was to advance its cause in a rather unusual fashion. First it would commission as many as 1,500 experts to produce a huge scientific report, which might include all sorts of doubts and reservations. But this was to be prefaced by a Summary for Policymakers, drafted in consultation with governments and officials - essentially a political document - in which most of the caveats contained in the experts' report would not appear.
This contradiction was obvious in the first report in 1991, which led to the Rio conference on climate change in 1992. The second report in 1996 gave particular prominence to a study by an obscure US government scientist claiming that the evidence for a connection between global warming and rising CO2 levels was now firmly established. This study came under heavy fire from various leading climate experts for the way it manipulated the evidence. But this was not allowed to stand in the way of the claim that there was now complete scientific consensus behind the CO2 thesis, and the Summary for Policy-makers, heavily influenced from behind the scenes by Al Gore, by this time US Vice-President, paved the way in 1997 for the famous Kyoto Protocol.
Kyoto initiated stage three of the story, by formally committing governments to drastic reductions in their CO2 emissions. But the treaty still had to be ratified and this seemed a good way off, not least thanks to its rejection in 1997 by the US Senate, despite the best attempts of Mr Gore.
Not the least of his efforts was his bid to suppress an article co-authored by Dr Revelle just before his death. Gore didn't want it to be known that his guru had urged that the global warming thesis should be viewed with more caution.
One of the greatest problems Gore and his allies faced at this time was the mass of evidence showing that in the past, global temperatures had been higher than in the late 20th century.
In 1998 came the answer they were looking for: a new temperature chart, devised by a young American physicist, Michael Mann. This became known as the "hockey stick" because it showed historic temperatures running in an almost flat line over the past 1,000 years, then suddenly flicking up at the end to record levels.
Mann's hockey stick was just what the IPCC wanted. When its 2001 report came out it was given pride of place at the top of page 1. The Mediaeval Warming, the Little Ice Age, the 20th century Little Cooling, when CO2 had already been rising, all had been wiped away.
But then a growing number of academics began to raise doubts about Mann and his graph. This culminated in 2003 with a devastating study by two Canadians showing how Mann had not only ignored most of the evidence before him but had used an algorithm that would produce a hockey stick graph whatever evidence was fed into the computer. When this was removed, the graph re-emerged just as it had looked before, showing the Middle Ages as hotter than today.
It is hard to recall any scientific thesis ever being so comprehensively discredited as the "hockey stick". Yet the global warming juggernaut rolled on regardless, now led by the European Union. In 2004, thanks to a highly dubious deal between the EU and Putin's Russia, stage four of the story began when the Kyoto treaty was finally ratified.
In the past three years, we have seen the EU announcing every kind of measure geared to fighting climate change, from building ever more highly-subsidised wind turbines, to a commitment that by 2050 it will have reduced carbon emissions by 60 per cent. This is a pledge that could only be met by such a massive reduction in living standards that it is impossible to see the peoples of Europe accepting it.
All this frenzy has rested on the assumption that global temperatures will continue to rise in tandem with CO2 and that, unless mankind takes drastic action, our planet is faced with the apocalypse so vividly described by Al Gore in his Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth.
Yet recently, stage five of the story has seen all sorts of question marks being raised over Gore's alleged consensus. For instance, he claimed that by the end of this century world sea levels will have risen by 20 ft when even the IPCC in its latest report, only predicts a rise of between four and 17 inches.There is also of course the harsh reality that, wholly unaffected by Kyoto, the economies of China and India are now expanding at nearly 10 per cent a year, with China likely to be emitting more CO2 than the US within two years.
More serious, however, has been all the evidence accumulating to show that, despite the continuing rise in CO2 levels, global temperatures in the years since 1998 have no longer been rising and may soon even be falling.
It was a telling moment when, in August, Gore's closest scientific ally, James Hansen of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, was forced to revise his influential record of US surface temperatures showing that the past decade has seen the hottest years on record. His graph now concedes that the hottest year of the 20th century was not 1998 but 1934, and that four of the 10 warmest years in the past 100 were in the 1930s.
Furthermore, scientists and academics have recently been queuing up to point out that fluctuations in global temperatures correlate more consistently with patterns of radiation from the sun than with any rise in CO2 levels, and that after a century of high solar activity, the sun's effect is now weakening, presaging a likely drop in temperatures.
If global warming does turn out to have been a scare like all the others, it will certainly represent as great a collective flight from reality as history has ever recorded. The evidence of the next 10 years will be very interesting.
• Scared to Death: From BSE To Global Warming - How Scares Are Costing Us The Earth by Christopher Booker and Richard North (Continuum, £16.99) is available for £14.99 + £1.25 p&p. To order call Telegraph Books on 0870 428 4115 or go to books.telegraph.co.uk .
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Saying 'No' When Everyone Else Is Saying 'Yes'
By Alan Caruba CNSNews.com
Commentary from the National Anxiety Center December 18, 2007
I have been witness to the complete subversion of science in the service of an utterly corrupt new religion called environmentalism. In the Middle Ages the Church determined what "truth" was. Today the Green Church seeks the same power. F rom the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century to the beginning of the Renaissance in the 15th century, civilization experienced a period of ignorance and superstition. Globally, via the media and the classroom, a distorted and debased science is being used to advance the fraud of global warming.
The challenge is to say "no" when everyone else is saying "yes" to global warming. There is no dramatic warming of the earth. There is no indication of a near-future warming. Carbon dioxide (CO2) plays such a minimal role in the atmosphere that an increase would have no effect beyond the very beneficial boost in the growth of forests, crops, and everything else that is truly green. Indeed, climatologists will tell you that CO2 increases follow, not precede, warming cycles. They are not a trigger. They are a response.
During the United Nations' Bali climate conference, a hundred prominent international scientists released an open letter warning that any attempt to control the Earth's climate is "ultimately futile" and would constitute "a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity's real and pressing problems." "It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages." The notion that mankind has any impact on climate or weather is absurd.
In November, in Valencia, Spain, delegates from more than 140 nations agreed to what they and the media echo chamber that disseminates the global warming lie, called "an 'instant guide' for policy makers stating more forcefully than ever that climate change has begun and threatens to irreversibly alter the planet." A science that can barely predict the weather next week is being perverted for purely political purposes.
Having followed the IPCC since its inception and the environmental movement in general for decades, I can tell you that what we are hearing is a shrill message of desperation coming from those who fear that people around the world may yet reject the global warming lie. An Associated Press report said that the draft and coming IPCC report "is intended to launch a political process on international cooperation to control global warming." How do you control something that is not happening? Why is everything the IPCC proposes lead to "cap and trade" laws that would impose limits on carbon dioxide emissions, something that reflects human activity, from exhaling to the making of steel, the harvesting of crops, the heating of one's home, and virtually all forms transportation except bicycles.
Why do all of the proposed controls aim at crippling the industrial advances that underwrite the success of Western nations in particular and improvement of human civilization everywhere? In Bali, there are voices calling for a global "carbon tax." It would be collected by the United Nations and we know how well they handle such funding. The Oil-for-Food fiasco is but one example. The funding of the Bali conference is another.
Wouldn't limits put on the United States and European nations be instantly cancelled by emissions from nations such as China and India that are exempt from the Kyoto agreement? The answer, of course, is yes. Doesn't the failure of the current agreement and the billions in fines it portends for signature nations suggest still more failure?
Despite this, there is legislation making its way through the U.S. Congress that would impose cap-and-trade limits on every industry and business in America. At a time when the U.S. dollar is falling in value and our national deficit has skyrocketed, why would Congress even consider anything that would harm the economic engine of the nation?
This is, however, the same U.S. Congress that refuses to permit exploration and access to our national energy reserves, leaving us dependent on imported oil and natural gas while at the same time calling for "energy independence."If I were to devise a plan to destroy the greatest economy, creator of wealth, center of innovation, and exemplar of individual liberty that has ever existed in human history, I would patiently create fear of a global disaster involving the one thing over which humans never had and never will have control, the earth's climate. I would then propose a "solution" that would cost that economy billions in "carbon credits" to keep it from occurring.
What the former Soviet Union and its failed Communist system could not achieve in some 45 years of the Cold War, the environmental movement is seeking to achieve in its place. By undermining the economy of the United States and Western nations with draconian limits on CO2 emissions, those behind this effort will create a world ripe for a single ruling government composed of unelected bureaucrats whose only purpose will be to feed at its trough. The single greatest determinant of the Earth's climate, the Sun, will continue to shine, but the world will be plunged yet again into the darkness of ignorance and submission to the false religion of environmentalism if the global warming lie succeeds.
(Alan Caruba writes "Warning Signs," a weekly column posted at the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center. The views expressed are those of the writer.)Copyright 2007, Alan Caruba
Monday, December 17, 2007
Is this how the Al Gorean school of science operates? They ignore facts, studies, direct observations, or anything that conflicts with their model. That is not science, it is chicanery, hucksterism, political spin at it's worst.
Study Finds Striking Environmental Change In Arctic
ScienceDaily (Nov. 20, 1997) — Natural causes, not just human-induced forces, played a significant role in an unprecedented warming trend in the Arctic in the last 150 years, according to a study published in the November 14 issue of Science.
The study found that the Arctic experienced its highest temperatures in 400 years between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries. Contrary to previous assumptions, the evidence indicates that the Arctic is characterized by significant climatic change even without the influence of environmental effects caused by humans.
"Some of the warming that we observed after the time of the Industrial Revolution may be attributed to atmospheric greenhouse gases, but our observation of dramatic environmental change pre-dates this period," said investigator Dr. Marianne Douglas, an assistant professor in the University of Toronto's department of geology. The lead author of the study was Jonathan Overpeck of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Paleoclimatology Program in Colorado.
The multi-centred project capitalized on the expertise of 18 North American researchers who studied complementary climate indicators in all parts of the Arctic. The final compilation of paleoenvironmental data included information from glaciers, tree rings and marine, lake and pond sediments. Douglas's work focused on diatoms, a type of algae known to respond in a measurable way to environmental change, in Arctic ponds. "I reconstructed past environmental conditions using the diatom assemblages that are preserved in lake and pond sediments," she said.
Until recently the record of Arctic climate change was geographically and historically limited, but this study contributes to an improved understanding of the area's environmental variability. The findings suggest the Arctic is especially susceptible to global climate change caused by both natural and human sources, and in turn it can influence changes at lower latitudes through mechanisms such as river runoff into the Arctic Ocean and subsequent changes in thermohaline (ocean currents distributing heat) circulation. The period of warming that began in the 1840s ended the Little Ice Age, caused melting of permafrost and sea ice and alterations in land and lake ecosystems.
Douglas's funding came from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian government's Polar Continental Shelf Project. In the United States, the National Science Foundation provided financial support. The other institutions involved in producing this paper were the University of Colorado, the University of Massachusetts, the University of California, the University of Alaska, Bates College, the University of Ottawa, the University of Alberta, the University of New Hampshire and Columbia University.
Adapted from materials provided by University Of Toronto.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Tax And Wane
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY Posted Friday, December 14, 2007 4:20 PM PT
Environment: Big news from the United Nations global warming conference was the last-second agreement on a pact for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. But a more ominous development went largely unnoticed.
The media obsession has been on the efforts of delegates at the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change conference to craft an agreement for a climate treaty that would take effect after the Kyoto Treaty expires in 2011.
Though it appeared the meeting would end with no deal, the delegates looked to be near a compromise late Friday.
That treaty is likely to be as effective as the useless, symbolic Kyoto protocol with which no nation has yet complied.
A day earlier, however, a panel at the IPCC conference titled "A Global CO2 Tax" took a step that will have a more lasting impact than an empty agreement. It urged the U.N. to adopt taxes on carbon dioxide emissions that would be "legally binding to all nations."
And guess who would be hit the hardest? That's right, the tax, if levied, would put an especially high burden on the U.S.
"Finally, someone will pay for these costs" related to global warming, Othmar Schwank, a global warming busybody from Switzerland, told Sen. James Inhofe's office. We imagine Schwank, a panel participant, took great glee in saying the U.S. and other developed nations should "contribute significantly more to this global fund."
Schwank estimates the CO2 tax would generate "at least" $10 billion to $40 billion a year in revenues; but anyone who believes that has not paid attention. Even in nations that have a legitimate and more-or-less-limited government, such as ours, bureaucratic programs and taxes always grow bigger than first expected.
It's a good bet that Schwank's low estimate was done intentionally. If the public found out what he and others like him really want, the backlash would put the alarmists out of business.
The driving force of the environmental movement is not a cleaner planet — or a world that doesn't get too hot, in the case of the global warming issue — but a leftist, egalitarian urge to redistribute wealth. A CO2 tax does this and more, choking economic growth in the U.S. and punishing Americans for being the voracious consumers that we are.
Eco-activists have been so successful in distracting the public from their real intentions that they're becoming less guarded in discussing their ultimate goal.
"A climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources," Emma Brindal, a "climate justice campaign coordinator" for Friends of the Earth Australia, wrote Wednesday on the Climate Action Network's blog.
In this case, redistribution would be handled by the Multilateral Adaptation Fund, an agency that would use the carbon tax receipts to help countries that are having to deal with climate change.
Since the "complete list of things caused by global warming" now exceeds 600 (see our "Chilled By The Heat" editorial, Dec. 13), there would be few if any limits on the U.N.'s ability to move riches from countries that have created and earned them to those that have done neither.
Still think this is all about halting climate change? We would go as far as to say that anyone who does is either naive or a dupe. Both the rhetoric and the behavior of the eco-activists back us up.
Independent scientists, engineers and economists active in research of climate-related areas who signed the open letter to the Secretary-General of th
Independent scientists, engineers and economists active in research of climate-related areas who signed the open letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations
Don Aitkin, PhD, Professor, social scientist, retired Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Canberra, Australia
Syun-Ichi Akasofu, PhD, Professor of Physics, Emeritus and Founding Director, International Arctic Research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, U.S.
William J.R. Alexander, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Civil and Biosystems Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Member, UN Scientific and Technical Committee on Natural Disasters, 1994-2000
Bjarne Andresen, PhD, physicist, Professor, The Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Geoff L. Austin, PhD, FNZIP, FRSNZ, Professor, Dept. of Physics, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Timothy F. Ball, PhD, environmental consultant, former climatology professor, University of Winnipeg, Canada
Ernst-Georg Beck, Dipl. Biol., Biologist, Merian-Schule Freiburg, Germany
Sonja A. Boehmer-Christiansen, PhD, Reader, Dept. of Geography, Hull University, UK; Editor, Energy & Environment journal
Chris C. Borel, PhD, remote sensing scientist, U.S.
Reid A. Bryson, Ph.D. D.Sc. D.Engr., UNEP Global 500 Laureate; Senior Scientist, Center for Climatic Research; Emeritus Professor of Meteorology, of Geography, and of Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin, U.S.
Dan Carruthers, M.Sc., wildlife biology consultant specializing in animal ecology in Arctic and Subarctic regions, Alberta, Canada
Robert M. Carter, PhD, Professor, Marine Geophysical Laboratory, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia
Ian D. Clark, PhD, Professor, isotope hydrogeology and paleoclimatology, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa, Canada
Richard S. Courtney, PhD, climate and atmospheric science consultant, IPCC expert reviewer, U.K.
Willem de Lange, PhD, Dept. of Earth and Ocean Sciences, School of Science and Engineering, Waikato University, New Zealand
David Deming, PhD (Geophysics), Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Oklahoma, U.S.
Freeman J. Dyson, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, N.J., U.S.
Don J. Easterbrook, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Geology, Western Washington University, U.S.
Lance Endersbee, Emeritus Professor, former Dean of Engineering and Pro-Vice Chancellor of Monasy University, Australia
Hans Erren, Doctorandus, geophysicist and climate specialist, Sittard, The Netherlands
Robert H. Essenhigh, PhD, E.G. Bailey Professor of Energy Conversion, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University, U.S.
Christopher Essex, PhD, Professor of Applied Mathematics and Associate Director of the Program in Theoretical Physics, University of Western Ontario, Canada
David Evans, PhD, mathematician, carbon accountant, computer and electrical engineer and head of 'Science Speak', Australia
William Evans, PhD, Editor, American Midland Naturalist; Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, U.S.
Stewart Franks, PhD, Associate Professor, Hydroclimatologist, University of Newcastle, Australia
R. W. Gauldie, PhD, Research Professor, Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean Earth Sciences and Technology, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Lee C. Gerhard, PhD, Senior Scientist Emeritus, University of Kansas; former director and state geologist, Kansas Geological Survey, U.S.
Gerhard Gerlich, Professor for Mathematical and Theoretical Physics, Institut für Mathematische Physik der TU Braunschweig, Germany
Albrecht Glatzle, PhD, sc.agr., Agro-Biologist and Gerente ejecutivo, INTTAS, Paraguay
Fred Goldberg, PhD, Adj Professor, Royal Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Stockholm, Sweden
Vincent Gray, PhD, expert reviewer for the IPCC and author of The Greenhouse Delusion: A Critique of 'Climate Change 2001,' Wellington, New Zealand
William M. Gray, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University and Head of the Tropical Meteorology Project, U.S.
Howard Hayden, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Connecticut, U.S.
Louis Hissink M.Sc. M.A.I.G., Editor AIG News and Consulting Geologist, Perth, Western Australia
Craig D. Idso, PhD, Chairman, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Arizona, U.S.
Sherwood B. Idso, PhD, President, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, AZ, USA
Andrei Illarionov, PhD, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, U.S.; founder and director of the Institute of Economic Analysis, Russia
Zbigniew Jaworowski, PhD, physicist, Chairman - Scientific Council of Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection, Warsaw, Poland
Jon Jenkins, PhD, MD, computer modelling - virology, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Wibjorn Karlen, PhD, Emeritus Professor, Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden
Olavi Kärner, Ph.D., Research Associate, Dept. of Atmospheric Physics, Institute of Astrophysics and Atmospheric Physics, Toravere, Estonia
Joel M. Kauffman, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, U.S.
David Kear, PhD, FRSNZ, CMG, geologist, former Director-General of NZ Dept. of Scientific & Industrial Research, New Zealand
Madhav Khandekar, PhD, former Research Scientist Environment Canada; Editor "Climate Research” (03-05); Editorial Board Member "Natural Hazards, IPCC Expert Reviewer 2007
William Kininmonth M.Sc., M.Admin., former head of Australia’s National Climate Centre and a consultant to the World Meteorological organization’s Commission for Climatology
Jan J.H. Kop, M.Sc. Ceng FICE (Civil Engineer Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers), Emeritus Professor of Public Health Engineering, Technical University Delft, The Netherlands
Professor R.W.J. Kouffeld, Emeritus Professor, Energy Conversion, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Salomon Kroonenberg, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Geotechnology, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Hans H.J. Labohm, PhD, economist, former advisor to the executive board, Clingendael Institute (The Netherlands Institute of International Relations), The Netherlands
The Rt. Hon. Lord Lawson of Blaby, economist; Chairman of the Central Europe Trust; former Chancellor of the Exchequer, U.K.
Douglas Leahey, PhD, meteorologist and air-quality consultant, Calgary, Canada
David R. Legates, PhD, Director, Center for Climatic Research, University of Delaware, U.S.
Marcel Leroux, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Climatology, University of Lyon, France; former director of Laboratory of Climatology, Risks and Environment, CNRS
Bryan Leyland, International Climate Science Coalition, consultant - power engineer, Auckland, New Zealand
William Lindqvist, PhD, consulting geologist and company director, Tiburon, California, U.S.
Richard S. Lindzen, PhD, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S.
A.J. Tom van Loon, PhD, Professor of Geology (Quaternary Geology), Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland; former President of the European Association of Science Editors
Anthony R. Lupo, PhD, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Science, Dept. of Soil, Environmental, and Atmospheric Science, University of Missouri-Columbia, U.S.
Richard Mackey, PhD, Statistician, Australia
Horst Malberg, PhD, Professor for Meteorology and Climatology, Institut für Meteorologie, Berlin, Germany
John Maunder, PhD, Climatologist, former President of the Commission for Climatology of the World Meteorological Organization (89-97), New Zealand
Alister McFarquhar, PhD, international economist, Downing College, Cambridge, U.K.
Ross McKitrick, PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Economics, University of Guelph, Canada
John McLean, Climate Data Analyst, computer scientist, Melbourne, Australia
Owen McShane, B. Arch., Master of City and Regional Planning (UC Berkeley), economist and policy analyst, joint founder of the International Climate Science Coalition, Director - Centre for Resource Management Studies, New Zealand
Fred Michel, PhD, Director, Institute of Environmental Sciences and Associate Professor of Earth Sciences, Carleton University, Canada
Frank Milne, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Economics, Queen's University, Canada
Asmunn Moene, PhD, former head of the Forecasting Centre, Meteorological Institute, Norway
Alan Moran, PhD, Energy Economist, Director of the IPA's Deregulation Unit, Australia
Nils-Axel Morner, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics, Stockholm University, Sweden
Lubos Motl, PhD, physicist, former Harvard string theorist, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
John Nicol, PhD, physicist, James Cook University, Australia
Mr. David Nowell, M.Sc., Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, former chairman of the NATO Meteorological Group, Ottawa, Canada
James J. O'Brien, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Meteorology and Oceanography, Florida State University, U.S.
Cliff Ollier, PhD, Professor Emeritus (Geology), Research Fellow, University of Western Australia
Garth W. Paltridge, PhD, atmospheric physicist, Emeritus Professor and former Director of the Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia
R. Timothy Patterson, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Earth Sciences (paleoclimatology), Carleton University, Canada
Al Pekarek, PhD, Associate Professor of Geology, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Dept., St. Cloud State University, Minnesota, U.S.
Ian Plimer, PhD, Professor of Geology, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide and Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia
Brian Pratt, PhD, Professor of Geology, Sedimentology, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Harry N.A. Priem, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Planetary Geology and Isotope Geophysics, Utrecht University; former director of the Netherlands Institute for Isotope Geosciences
Alex Robson, PhD, Economics, Australian National University
Colonel F.P.M. Rombouts, Branch Chief - Safety, Quality and Environment, Royal Netherlands Air Force
R.G. Roper, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Sciences, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, U.S.
Arthur Rorsch, PhD, Emeritus Professor, Molecular Genetics, Leiden University, The Netherlands
Rob Scagel, M.Sc., forest microclimate specialist, principal consultant, Pacific Phytometric Consultants, B.C., Canada
Tom V. Segalstad, PhD, (Geology/Geochemistry), Head of the Geological Museum and Associate Professor of Resource and Environmental Geology, University of Oslo, Norway
Gary D. Sharp, PhD, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study, Salinas, CA, U.S.
S. Fred Singer, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia and former director, U.S. Weather Satellite Service
L. Graham Smith, PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Geography, University of Western Ontario, Canada
Roy W. Spencer, PhD, climatologist, Principal Research Scientist, Earth System Science Center, The University of Alabama, Huntsville, U.S.
Peter Stilbs, TeknD, Professor of Physical Chemistry, Research Leader, School of Chemical Science and Engineering, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology), Stockholm, Sweden
Hendrik Tennekes, PhD, former Director of Research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute
Dick Thoenes, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
Brian G Valentine, PhD, PE (Chem.), Technology Manager - Industrial Energy Efficiency, Adjunct Associate Professor of Engineering Science, University of Maryland at College Park; Dept of Energy, Washington, DC, U.S.
Gerrit J. van der Lingen, PhD, geologist and paleoclimatologist, climate change consultant, Geoscience Research and Investigations, New Zealand
Len Walker, PhD, power engineering, Pict Energy, Melbourne, Australia
Edward J. Wegman, Bernard J. Dunn Professor, Department of Statistics and Department Computational and Data Sciences, George Mason University, Virginia, U.S.
Stephan Wilksch, PhD, Professor for Innovation and Technology Management, Production Management and Logistics, University of Technology and Economics Berlin, Germany
Boris Winterhalter, PhD, senior marine researcher (retired), Geological Survey of Finland, former professor in marine geology, University of Helsinki, Finland
David E. Wojick, PhD, P.Eng., UN IPCC Expert Reviewer, energy consultant, Virginia, U.S.
Raphael Wust, PhD, Lecturer, Marine Geology/Sedimentology, James Cook University, Australia
A. Zichichi, PhD, President of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva, Switzerland; Emeritus Professor of Advanced Physics, University of Bologna, Italy.
This letter is an excellent, brief summary of why there is growing opposition to the idea than man is causing global warming and climate change because of carbon dioxide emissions. First and most importantly, it is not true. Secondly the proposed attempts to limit these carbon emissions are and will be a futile and enormous waste of resources that would be far better invested in solving real global problems. Look at the list of signatories to this letter. These are people who are being called "denialists", and other slanderous names. To claim there is a scientific "consensus" on this issue is ludicrous.
There are many, many other scientists, engineers, economists and intelligent people of great variety who agree, given the chance to be heard.
Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations
Dec. 13, 2007
His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon
Secretary-General, United Nations
New York, N.Y.
Dear Mr. Secretary-General,
Re: UN climate conference taking the World in entirely the wrong direction
It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables. We therefore need to equip nations to become resilient to the full range of these natural phenomena by promoting economic growth and wealth generation.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued increasingly alarming conclusions about the climatic influences of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2), a non-polluting gas that is essential to plant photosynthesis. While we understand the evidence that has led them to view CO2 emissions as harmful, the IPCC's conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity. In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions. On top of which, because attempts to cut emissions will slow development, the current UN approach of CO2 reduction is likely to increase human suffering from future climate change rather than to decrease it.
The IPCC Summaries for Policy Makers are the most widely read IPCC reports amongst politicians and non-scientists and are the basis for most climate change policy formulation. Yet these Summaries are prepared by a relatively small core writing team with the final drafts approved line-by-line by government representatives. The great majority of IPCC contributors and reviewers, and the tens of thousands of other scientists who are qualified to comment on these matters, are not involved in the preparation of these documents. The summaries therefore cannot properly be represented as a consensus view among experts.
Contrary to the impression left by the IPCC Summary reports:
1. Recent observations of phenomena such as glacial retreats, sea-level rise and the migration of temperature-sensitive species are not evidence for abnormal climate change, for none of these changes has been shown to lie outside the bounds of known natural variability.
2. The average rate of warming of 0.1 to 0. 2 degrees Celsius per decade recorded by satellites during the late 20th century falls within known natural rates of warming and cooling over the last 10,000 years.
3. Leading scientists, including some senior IPCC representatives, acknowledge that today's computer models cannot predict climate. Consistent with this, and despite computer projections of temperature rises, there has been no net global warming since 1998. That the current temperature plateau follows a late 20th-century period of warming is consistent with the continuation today of natural multi-decadal or millennial climate cycling.
In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is "settled," significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming. But because IPCC working groups were generally instructed (see http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/docs/wg1_timetable_2006-08-14.pdf) to consider work published only through May, 2005, these important findings are not included in their reports; i.e., the IPCC assessment reports are already materially outdated.
The UN climate conference in Bali has been planned to take the world along a path of severe CO2 restrictions, ignoring the lessons apparent from the failure of the Kyoto Protocol, the chaotic nature of the European CO2 trading market, and the ineffectiveness of other costly initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Balanced cost/benefit analyses provide no support for the introduction of global measures to cap and reduce energy consumption for the purpose of restricting CO2 emissions. Furthermore, it is irrational to apply the "precautionary principle" because many scientists recognize that both climatic coolings and warmings are realistic possibilities over the medium-term future.
The current UN focus on "fighting climate change," as illustrated in the Nov. 27 UN Development Programme's Human Development Report, is distracting governments from adapting to the threat of inevitable natural climate changes, whatever forms they may take. National and international planning for such changes is needed, with a focus on helping our most vulnerable citizens adapt to conditions that lie ahead. Attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile, and constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity's real and pressing problems.
[List of signatories]
Copy to: Heads of state of countries of the signatory persons.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Evidence for sun-climate reported by UMaine scientists
PRESS RELEASE Date Released: Wednesday, December 22, 2004Source: University of Maine
A team led by University of Maine scientists has reported finding a potential link between changes in solar activity and the Earth's climate. In a paper due to be published in an upcoming volume of the Annals of Glaciology, Paul Mayewski, director of UMaine's Climate Change Institute, and 11 colleagues from China, Australia and UMaine describe evidence from ice cores pointing to an association between the waxing and waning of zonal wind strength around Antarctica and a chemical signal of changes in the sun's output.
At the heart of the paper, Solar Forcing of the Polar Atmosphere, are calcium, nitrate and sodium data from ice cores collected in four Antarctic locations and comparisons of those data to South Pole ice core isotope data for beryllium-10, an indicator of solar activity. The authors also point to data from Greenland and the Canadian Yukon that suggest similar relationships between solar activity and the atmosphere in the northern hemisphere. They focus on years since 1400 when the Earth entered a roughly 500-year period known as the Little Ice Age.
The researchers' goal is to understand what drives the Earth's climate system without taking increases in greenhouse gases into account, says Mayewski. "There are good reasons to be concerned about greenhouse gases, but we should be looking at the climate system with our eyes open," he adds. Understanding how the system operates in the absence of human impacts is important for responding to climate changes that might occur in the future.
Mayewski founded the International Transantarctic Scientific Expedition (ITASE) and is the co-author of The Ice Chronicles: The Quest to Understand Global Climate Change, published in 2002 with Frank White. The United States' ITASE office is located at UMaine.
Antarctic locations used in the paper include: Law Dome, a 4,576-foot high ice mound located about 68 miles from the coast facing the Indian Ocean and the site of an Australian research station; Siple Dome, a 2,000-foot high ice covered mound located between two ice streams that flow out of the Transantarctic Mountains into the Ross ice shelf, and the site of a U.S. research station; and two ITASE field sites west of Siple Dome where ice cores were collected during field surveys in 2000 and 2001.
The authors are Mayewski, Kirk A. Maasch, Eric Meyerson, Sharon Sneed, Susan Kaspari, Daniel Dixon, and Erich Osterberg, all from UMaine; Yping Yan of the China Meterological Association; Shichang Kang of UMaine and the Chinese Academy of Sciences; and Vin Morgan, Tas van Ommen and Mark Curran of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC in Tasmania.
Since at least the 1840s when sunspot cycles were discovered, scientists have proposed that solar variability could affect the climate, but direct evidence of that relationship and understanding of a mechanism have been lacking.
The ice core data show, the authors write, that when solar radiation increases, more calcium is deposited at Siple Dome and at one of the ITASE field sites. The additional calcium may reflect an increase in wind strength in mid-latitude regions around Antarctica, they add, especially over the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Calcium in West Antarctic ice cores is thought to derive mainly from dust in Australia, Africa and South America and from sea salt in the southern ocean.
That finding, they note, is consistent with other research suggesting that the sun may affect the strength of those mid-latitude winds through changes in stratospheric ozone over Antarctica.
The authors also refer to sodium data from Siple Dome ice cores that have been reported by Karl Kreutz, director of UMaine's stable isotope laboratory. Changes in sodium appear to be associated with air pressure changes over the South Pacific.
Ice core data from Law Dome focus on changes in nitrate and may reflect changing wind patterns over Antarctica. The wind currents that bring nitrate to the continent, however, are less well known than those that carry sodium and calcium.
Researchers in the UMaine Climate Change Institute (http://www.climatechange.umaine.edu/) have focused on the relationship between solar variability and climate, particularly the use of isotopes in tree rings and ice cores to provide an indication of the sun's strength. The ice core data reported in the paper demonstrates a direct atmospheric consequence associated with changing solar radiation.
Friday, December 14, 2007
It’s the Sun, stupid
The The United Nations’s IPCC Report comes out today so I thought I’d make a report too.
James Carville used to remind Clinton during the ‘92 campaign that “its the economy, stupid”.
I (and many others far smarter than I am) say that on the subject of Global Warming: “its the SUN, stupid”
Our earth is warmed by a gigantic nuclear fireball, millions of times the mass of earth and a mere 8.5 light-minutes away. One hundred and nine Earths would be required to fit across the Sun’s disk, and its interior could hold over 1.3 million Earths.
By the way, the sun has a total luminosity output of 386 YottaWatts thats 386,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 watts, but we only get a tiny portion of that.
You can’t just ignore that kind of power. Though it seems some prefer to, since it muddles the results they seek.
The total luminous energy output received by earth from the sun is 174 PETAWATTS (174,000,000,000,000,000) watts. Now lets just say the sun increases its output by 0.1% as its been measured to do. (And its gotten way more active this century.) That dumps an extra 174,000,000,000,000 watts into our atmosphere (174 trillion watts) 24/7.
Data source for graph: http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/climate_forcing/solar_variability/lean2000_irradiance.txt
Note: In the graph above, the low flatline from 1645-1715 is the Maunder Minimum, a period of virtually no sunspots, where the historical reports from the northern hemisphere tell a story of dramatic climate change: harsh winters, cools summers, crop failures, famine and disease.
From the abstract referenced above: “Estimated increases since 1675 are 0.7%, 0.2% and 0.07% in broad ultraviolet, visible/near infrared and infrared spectral bands, with a total irradiance increase of 0.2%. “
So its not just 0.1 %, it is 0.2% which translates to a 348 TeraWatts global irradiance increase.
Now lets put 348 trillion watts into perspective:
Hurricanes: the heat energy released by a hurricanes category 1-5 equals about 50 to 200 trillion watts or about the same amount of energy released by exploding a 10-megaton nuclear bomb every 20 minutes.
Katrina, released about 200 trillion watts over its life cycle.
Now imagine double that amount of extra energy being added to earth’s atmosphere every second by small increases in the suns output that have been documented to exist. Thats what the increase in solar irradiance is doing. Since 1675, after the depths of the Maunder Minimum, we’ve seen an increase in solar irradiance of about 2.5 watts per square meter.
Climate modelers say that the extra CO2 equates to a forcing of about 2 watts per square meter, which totals about 1.12 Petawatt (1,120,000,000,000,000 watts). The problem is, they can’t always recreate that reliably between all of the different models out there, with the positive and negative feedback mechanisms, and other variables involved. There’s disagreement on the total contribution. A lot of it. Nonetheless they seem all to agree that CO2 makes some contribution, and thats likely true. But compared to the sun, I beleive it’s minimal.
Now lets look at us: 13.5 TeraWatts is the average total power consumption of the human world in 2001.
Do you think we could change the planets atmospheric energy balance with that if we squeezed all the power we made that year together and shot it into our atmosphere ?
Whats very clear though, when you look at history, and the graph above, is that our earths atmosphere and resulting climate is extremely sensitive to variations in solar output. The sweet center point seems to be about 1365 watts per square meter of irradiance…what we consider as “normal” climate. Take 1.5 watts/sq. meter away, and we get significant cooling, harsh winters, cool summers, and increases in ice and glaciers. Add 1.5 watts,/sq. meter and we get hotter summers, mild winters, and melting of ice and glaciers.
Now irradiance aside, as it’s only one component, there’s also the suns dynamic magnetic field and solar wind, which modulates earths magnetic field, which modulates the number of cosmic rays that enter our atmosphere, which modulates the number of clouds that form, hence changing the net surface irradiance. Plots of changes in the suns magnetic field line up very well with climate change.
There’s growing sentiment that CO2 theory may very well be a red herring.
Yeah, its the sun, stupid.
It doesn't take much of a search of the Internet, or here on this blog, if I may say so, to find a tremendous amount of highly credible scientific studies demonstrating much doubt about the causes of global warming and climate change. To say the "debate is over" because there is a "scientific consensus" on the subject is simply an outright lie.
They call this a consensus?
Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post Published: Saturday, June 02, 2007
"Only an insignificant fraction of scientists deny the global warming crisis. The time for debate is over. The science is settled."
S o said Al Gore ... in 1992. Amazingly, he made his claims despite much evidence of their falsity. A Gallup poll at the time reported that 53% of scientists actively involved in global climate research did not believe global warming had occurred; 30% weren't sure; and only 17% believed global warming had begun. Even a Greenpeace poll showed 47% of climatologists didn't think a runaway greenhouse effect was imminent; only 36% thought it possible and a mere 13% thought it probable.
Today, Al Gore is making the same claims of a scientific consensus, as do the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and hundreds of government agencies and environmental groups around the world. But the claims of a scientific consensus remain unsubstantiated. They have only become louder and more frequent.
More than six months ago, I began writing this series, The Deniers. When I began, I accepted the prevailing view that scientists overwhelmingly believe that climate change threatens the planet. I doubted only claims that the dissenters were either kooks on the margins of science or sell-outs in the pockets of the oil companies.
National Post's Deniers series: Scientists who challenge the climate change debate
My series set out to profile the dissenters -- those who deny that the science is settled on climate change -- and to have their views heard. To demonstrate that dissent is credible, I chose high-ranking scientists at the world's premier scientific establishments. I considered stopping after writing six profiles, thinking I had made my point, but continued the series due to feedback from readers. I next planned to stop writing after 10 profiles, then 12, but the feedback increased. Now, after profiling more than 20 deniers, I do not know when I will stop -- the list of distinguished scientists who question the IPCC grows daily, as does the number of emails I receive, many from scientists who express gratitude for my series.
Somewhere along the way, I stopped believing that a scientific consensus exists on climate change. Certainly there is no consensus at the very top echelons of scientists -- the ranks from which I have been drawing my subjects -- and certainly there is no consensus among astrophysicists and other solar scientists, several of whom I have profiled. If anything, the majority view among these subsets of the scientific community may run in the opposite direction. Not only do most of my interviewees either discount or disparage the conventional wisdom as represented by the IPCC, many say their peers generally consider it to have little or no credibility. In one case, a top scientist told me that, to his knowledge, no respected scientist in his field accepts the IPCC position.
What of the one claim that we hear over and over again, that 2,000 or 2,500 of the world's top scientists endorse the IPCC position? I asked the IPCC for their names, to gauge their views. "The 2,500 or so scientists you are referring to are reviewers from countries all over the world," the IPCC Secretariat responded. "The list with their names and contacts will be attached to future IPCC publications, which will hopefully be on-line in the second half of 2007."
An IPCC reviewer does not assess the IPCC's comprehensive findings. He might only review one small part of one study that later becomes one small input to the published IPCC report. Far from endorsing the IPCC reports, some reviewers, offended at what they considered a sham review process, have demanded that the IPCC remove their names from the list of reviewers. One even threatened legal action when the IPCC refused.
A great many scientists, without doubt, are four-square in their support of the IPCC. A great many others are not. A petition organized by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine between 1999 and 2001 claimed some 17,800 scientists in opposition to the Kyoto Protocol. A more recent indicator comes from the U.S.-based National Registry of Environmental Professionals, an accrediting organization whose 12,000 environmental practitioners have standing with U.S. government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. In a November, 2006, survey of its members, it found that only 59% think human activities are largely responsible for the warming that has occurred, and only 39% make their priority the curbing of carbon emissions. And 71% believe the increase in hurricanes is likely natural, not easily attributed to human activities.
Such diversity of views is also present in the wider scientific community, as seen in the World Federation of Scientists, an organization formed during the Cold War to encourage dialogue among scientists to prevent nuclear catastrophe. The federation, which encompasses many of the world's most eminent scientists and today represents more than 10,000 scientists, now focuses on 15 "planetary emergencies," among them water, soil, food, medicine and biotechnology, and climatic changes. Within climatic changes, there are eight priorities, one being "Possible human influences on climate and on atmospheric composition and chemistry (e.g. increased greenhouse gases and tropospheric ozone)."
Man-made global warming deserves study, the World Federation of Scientists believes, but so do other serious climatic concerns. So do 14 other planetary emergencies. That seems about right. -
Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Urban Renaissance Institute and Consumer Policy Institute, divisions of Energy Probe Research Foundation. Email: LawrenceSolomon@nextcity.com.