Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Stop The Presses......What We Have Now Is Global Cooling

Call it what you will, global cooling, or "The Al Gore Effect". No you can not have your money back on all those carbon credits you just bought. What about all these efforts to stop global warming, the UN's IPCC, the Kyoto Treaty, what are we going to do?

Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global CoolingMichael Asher (Blog) - February 26, 2008 12:55 PM

World Temperatures according to the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction. Note the steep drop over the last year.

Twelve-month long drop in world temperatures wipes out a century of warmingOver the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on.
No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

A compiled list of all the sources can be seen here. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C -- a value large enough to wipe out nearly all the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year's time. For all four sources, it's the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down.

Scientists quoted in a past DailyTech article link the cooling to reduced solar activity which they claim is a much larger driver of climate change than man-made greenhouse gases. The dramatic cooling seen in just 12 months time seems to bear that out. While the data doesn't itself disprove that carbon dioxide is acting to warm the planet, it does demonstrate clearly that more powerful factors are now cooling it.

Let's hope those factors stop fast. Cold is more damaging than heat. The mean temperature of the planet is about 54 degrees. Humans -- and most of the crops and animals we depend on -- prefer a temperature closer to 70.

Historically, the warm periods such as the Medieval Climate Optimum were beneficial for civilization. Corresponding cooling events such as the Little Ice Age, though, were uniformly bad news.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Global Warming Hoax Continues And We All Lose

I have posted articles on this blog about and by George Taylor, the former Oregon State Climatologist. He was recently forced to resign his position for being a global warming "skeptic", and this did not suit the Governor of Oregon. Here we have censorship at its worst. You can also find the article by John Tierney of the New York Times, and why he thinks the global warming alarmists are hurting us all. You can search Taylor ad Tierney's names to find the articles.

Climate orthodoxy perpetrates a hoax
(Gordon J. Fulks [] holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago, Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research)

Gov. Ted Kulongoski's successful purge of George Taylor -- Oregon's former state climatologist and soon-to-be former director of the Oregon Climate Service at Oregon State University -- has a clear message for scientists: agree with the governor or you too will disappear. Don't hint that man-made global warming is the greatest scientific hoax of our time. It offends the governor. Many, like Taylor, are unwilling to support political agendas at odds with good science but also too polite to play the role of the little boy in "The Emperor's New Clothes." They will quietly say, "Let's look at the evidence concerning man-made global warming (more properly known as Anthropogenic Global Warming or AGW), because science is based entirely on evidence."

As a meteorologist, Taylor would show that the warm-up we saw peak in the 1990s was very similar to the warm-up in the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s, before there was significant use of fossil fuels. He would also mention the sharp decline in global temperature this January, returning us close to where we were decades ago. Climate change is perfectly normal. As a physicist, let me point out that our understanding of climate was not "settled more than a decade ago," as global warming alarmists argue. Science is never settled, as Albert Einstein spectacularly demonstrated.

Our knowledge of the interplay between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature has gone through three stages over the past 20 years. Al Gore correctly points out that early ice-core data gathered from glaciers around the world showed a very strong correlation between carbon dioxide and temperature over 650,000 years. Because carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, most of us assumed that it regulated global temperature. By 1999, improving ice-core techniques produced a stunning reversal, showing that the global temperature changed many centuries before carbon dioxide changed. This proved that natural climate cycles were causing changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, probably by affecting how much remained dissolved in the oceans. Using new ice-core evidence, Caillon, et al. (Science, March 2003), concluded that "CO2 is not the forcing that initially drives the climatic system."

This should have convinced alarmists that their scare was unwarranted. But too many would have been thrown out of work, and too many politicians would have lost a hot-button issue. So they ramped up the alarm, relying on ever-more-contrived theories to explain the ice-core data. In 2007, their last theoretical bastion crumbled. Climatologists announced that a fundamental signature of greenhouse gases, predicted by all U.N. climate models, is missing. There is no "hot spot" from CO2 -induced warming at tropical latitudes. Satellites and weather balloons show normal temperature profiles. The climate models are fundamentally flawed. (Douglass, et al., International Journal of Climatology, Royal Meteorological Society, October 2007.)

Of course, with the abysmal state of science education and the near-total support of the media, global warming propagandists saw no reason to alter their strategy. We continue to hear that catastrophe is just around the corner, and we must sign up for ever more expensive and environmentally damaging "solutions."

A very important break in this discussion came from The New York Times on Jan.1: "In 2008, a 100 Percent Chance of Alarm" science writer, John Tierney, describes how we are being victimized by a vast array of opportunists. They point out anecdotal evidence of warming and ignore counter evidence -- such as the fact that the global temperature last year "was actually lower than any year since 2001. "Governor Kulongoski should understand that responsible science is nonpartisan. We follow scientific evidence, not those lacking scientific training. Forcing out a scientist because he won't go along with your favorite hoax hurts Oregon science and ultimately every citizen in this state.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Solar Driven Climate Change Leads To Global Cooling, Not Warming

Here is a very sobering essay about climate change. The author presents information that is exactly the opposite of what we usually hear. He predicts coming global cooling, not warming. He also says carbon dioxide emissions are good for the climate as we want to keep it as warm as we can for as long as we can. Let's see how this idea plays out. Click on the source at the bottom to see the entire 30 page document.

Solar Cycle 24: Implications for the United States
By Geologist David Archibald.
I will demonstrate that the Sun drives climate, and use that demonstrated relationship to predict the Earth's climate to 2030. It is a prediction that differs from most in the public domain. It is a prediction of imminent cooling....I will show that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is not even a little bit bad. It is wholly beneficial. The more carbon dioxide we can put into the atmosphere, the better the planet will be - for humans, and all other living things....

We have 29 years of satellite temperature data. It shows that the temperature of the Southern Hemisphere has been flat, with a slight increase in the Northern Hemisphere. Note the El Nino peak in 1998. Globally, we have had 10 years of temperature decline since that peak in 1998, with a rate of decline of 0.06 degrees per annum. I am expecting the rate of decline to accelerate to 0.2 degrees per annum from the end of this decade. That satellite record is corroborated by the record of Antarctic and Arctic sea ice extent over the same period. There is no long term trend evident. Most recently, there has been a 1 million square kilometre increase over the long term mean. This is a five per cent increase.....

The peak US temperature was in 1936, at much the same time that Total Solar Irradiance peaked. If you have wondered why US temperatures are still lower than what they were 70 years ago, the fact that Total Solar Irradiance is lower than what it was 70 years ago might provide an explanation.....The peak of the Medieval Warm Period was 2ø warmer than today and the Little Ice Age 2ø colder at its worst. The total range is 4ø centigrade. The warming over the 20th century was 0.6 degrees by comparison. This recent warming has melted ice on some high passes in the Swiss Alps, uncovering artifacts from the Medieval Warm Period and the prior Roman Warm Period...2008 is the tenth anniversary of the recent peak on global temperature in 1998. The world has been cooling at 0.06 degrees per annum since then. My prediction is that this rate of cooling will accelerate to 0.2 degrees per annum following the month of solar minimum sometime in 2009.

Dr Hansen's statement that the maximum safe level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 350 ppm begs the question of what the actual ideal level is. I have taken the 1,000 ppm figure from the level that commercial greenhouse operators prefer to run their greenhouses at. The ability to grow food is going to be the overriding concern next decade. Regarding that 1,000 ppm level, we will never get there.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have been much higher in the geological past. But most of that carbon is now bound up in the Earth's sediments where we can't get to it. Half of the carbon dioxide we are producing now is being gobbled up by the oceans, in soils and in the Russian tundra. At best, we might get to about 600 ppm. What I have shown in this presentation is that carbon dioxide is largely irrelevant to the Earth's climate. The carbon dioxide that Mankind will put into the atmosphere over the next few hundred years will offset a couple of millenia of post-Holocene Optimum cooling before we plunge into the next ice age. There are no deleterious consequences of higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are wholly beneficial.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Public Alarm And Confusion About Global Warming

The author of this essay is a highly accomplished Professor and founding director of the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. Here is someone very well qualified to comment on the current state of understanding, in this case, the mis-understanding of global warming and climate change.

Published by The New American (
The Recovery from the Little Ice Age and Global Warming
By Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu
Created 2008-01-29 17:06
A roughly linear global temperature increase of about 0.5°C per 100 years seems to have occurred from about 1800, or even much earlier, to the present. This value may be compared with what the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists consider to be the manmade greenhouse effect of 0.6°C per 100 years. This long-lasting linear warming trend is likely to be a natural change.

One possible cause of the linear increase may be Earth’s continuing recovery from the Little Ice Age. This trend (0.5°C/100 years) should be subtracted from the temperature data during the last 100 years when estimating the manmade contribution to the present global warming trend. Thus, there is a possibility that only a fraction of the present warming trend is attributable to the greenhouse effect resulting from human activities. This conclusion is contrary to the 2007 IPCC Report (p.10), which states that “most” of the present warming is due to the manmade greenhouse effect.

There is an urgent need to correctly identify natural changes and remove them from the present global warming trend in order to accurately identify the contribution of the manmade greenhouse effect. One certain way to learn about natural changes is to examine climate change before the greenhouse effect of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2) became significant.
Unfortunately, I have found that the recent great interest by the public in climatology is largely the result of a proliferating number of confusing stories in the media that are based on misinterpreted information about the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide. Many people bring up the misunderstood issues when I discuss the present warming trend. The confused people even include some policy-makers and government officials.

For example, the mass media use scenes of large blocks of ice falling off the terminus of a glacier and of the spring break-up in the Arctic as supposedly due to the manmade greenhouse effect. Glaciers are “rivers of ice,” so that calving is natural, and spring break-up is a normal, annual event; both have been going on from the geological time. A number of glaciers in Alaska, Greenland, Himalaya, and the European Alps, which have accurate historic records, began to recede well before 1900 or even 1800. The recession is something that has not begun abruptly in recent years.

Another example is that the mass media report that collapsing houses built on permafrost (frozen ground) are the result of the manmade greenhouse effect. Their collapse is due to improper construction that allows the house heat to melt the permafrost underneath the structure. Reporters who are not familiar with arctic phenomena tend to report such normal occurences as anomalous.

The so-called “hockey stick” figure in the 2001 “Summary Report for Policy Makers” is still a matter of scientific debate and it was not appropriate to use it. (It shows a sudden increase of temperature around 1900 after a slow decrease for 900 years, giving the impression of “abrupt climate change.”)

The public is greatly alarmed and thus concerned about climate change largely because of such misinformation and misunderstanding.
I am concerned about the inevitable backlash against science and scientists, when the public eventually learns the correct information about climate change. Even if the IPCC is not directly responsible for the present confusion, they should take the necessary responsible action to help rectify the confusion. I request that the IPCC make an appropriate statement in this regard before the next G8 meeting in May 2008.

Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu [1], was the founding director of the International Arctic Research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks from its establishment in 1998 until January of 2007. He has been professor of geophysics since 1964 and has published more than 550 professional journal articles. In 2002, he was named one of the "1000 Most Cited Scientists." His full paper on the Little Ice Age is available as a PDF download [2].

The Global Warming Test.....

Click on the following link to test your knowledge about the facts of global warming.......go here:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tornadoes Not Related To Global Warming

Tornadoes can be terribly destructive and deadly. Before we jump to hasty (and often erroneous) conclusions about their cause, let us consider some facts, gained from careful study and observation. Here is a relatively simple explanation. It is extremely foolish to assume that tornadoes are caused by carbon dioxide emissions which supposedly cause global warming. The weather systems that generate tornadoes are not affected by atmospheric CO2 in any way. There are many other factors at work. The following article explains it well.

“Environmentalists bound to use recent storm events to ‘prove’ their dogma."


Tornadoes not a sign of global warming
By Dr. Tim Ball Monday, February 18, 2008

In his book State of Fear, Michael Crichton wrote about exploitation of fear by environmental extremists. He should write another book about exploitation of lack of knowledge.

Climate and environment were previously outside of politics, but once they became potential election issues politicians exploited them better than environmentalists. It fulfills H.L Mencken’s observation that, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

So before anyone attempts to make political gain from the tragic events of the tornados that killed people across the southern US recently, let’s put the science on the record. And while we’re at it let’s explode another false claim that storms and severe weather will increase with global warming.

Most major storms and severe weather, including tornadoes, occur in the middle latitudes between approximately 30 and 65 degrees of latitude. Much weather terminology such as Advancing Fronts, Retreating Fronts, outbreaks of warm or cold air reflect its World War I genesis. Fronts are the battle zone between different air masses and as they move they are labeled warm or cold. If you are warm and the temperature drops, a Cold Front has passed; if you are cold and the temperature rises, a Warm Front has passed. It’s the cold air that dictates what happens because it is more dense and heavier than the warm air. It pushes the warm air out of the way or allows the warm air to move in behind. Overall, Earth’s atmosphere is in two air masses with a dome of cold polar air over each pole and over-running warm subtropical air separated by the Polar Front. Temperature difference across the Front is variable but quite dramatic most of the time. It is this difference that creates pressure differences and very strong winds. Above the surface this manifests as the powerful Jet Stream.

At the surface waves develop and spiral into low pressure systems known as mid-latitude cyclones. They migrate along the Front like a wave moving through the ocean. In winter they bring snow and are called blizzards; in summer they bring heavy rain, occasionally with severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. The Front moves seasonally as the cold dome expands and contracts with the changing sun angle (the Greeks understood this - the word climate comes from their word klimat meaning angle). As it moves through latitude the seasons change, marked by these low pressure storm systems.

In the US, the most extreme temperature contrast across the Front occurs when cold air pushes well south and meets with warm moist air coming off the Gulf of Mexico. This pattern creates a general zone running from the Texas panhandle northeast through the Ohio valley and in to southwest Ontario. This zone is known as Tornado Alley. It’s a wide zone that varies with the season and conditions. The loss of life is tragic, but is a sad part of living in the tornado zone. Natural risks exist in every part of the world. People weigh the risks against the potential for obtaining a living or a lifestyle. In Bangladesh, millions risk cyclones and flooding to farm the rich soils. In Indonesia they live on the side of active volcanoes because of the fertile soils. People ignore the risk of earthquakes for the lifestyle in California.

Despite what the environmentalists want you to think, it is not, and cannot be, a no-risk world and risks, in general, are not being enhanced by human activity. But environmental alarmists’ ideas about risk underpin their foolish ideas that we can stop the risk of climate change. We can certainly reduce other risks and that is apparent from an analysis of the statistics gathered in Tornado Alley - National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration information shows how the loss of life from tornadoes has decreased significantly. This is even more dramatic when you consider the increase in population density in this region. (Source:

When asked about a tornado in New York on August 8, 2007 NASA’s James Hansen, a climate change alarmist of the first order, said. “No, you cannot blame individual events like that on climate change, as it was possible for them to occur even without the human-made changes to the atmosphere. However, it is fair to ask whether the human changes have altered the likelihood of such events. There the answer seems to be yes. Storms driven largely by latent heat, and that includes thunderstorms, are expected to become stronger as the air becomes warmer and contains more moisture. Global warming does cause just such a tendency. (Source:

But, this is only half the story. It is, however typical of statements from climate catastrophizers. Hansen also claims that global warming will result in greater warming in polar air than in tropical air. This means the temperature difference across the Polar Front will decrease and, as a result, the strength of the major mechanism for storm creation will decrease. Fewer storms means fewer tornadoes. Storm and accompanying tornadoes that caused the recent deaths were partly created by increased warm moist air off the Gulf of Mexico as a result of La Nina. Specifically, NOAA reports, “For the contiguous United States, potential impacts include above-average precipitation in the Northern Rockies, the Pacific Northwest, and Ohio and TennesseeValleys.” (Source:

This influx of warm moist air is needed to meet with the cold air that pushes far south, as it has all this winter. It will continue to do as the Earth continues to cool, as it has generally since 1998. The dilemma then is that storms will most likely increase in frequency and severity, but it will be because of global cooling, not warming. Proponents of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis have positioned themselves to continue to claim they are right no matter what ultimately happens. They switched from calling it ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change’ as the concern as global temperatures began to decline while carbon dioxide levels increased. This position produces incredible statements that merely demonstrate ignorance such as Greenpeace climate spokesperson Steven Guilbeault’s comment, “Global warming can mean colder, it can mean drier, it can mean wetter, that’s what we’re dealing with.” Unfortunately most of the public are not yet knowledgeable about the issue to know how silly Guilbeault’s comment is, but they’re learning.

Dr. Timothy Ball is a Victoria, British Columbia-based environmental consultant, former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg, and Chairman of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project (

Volcanic Activity...Videos...

Volcanoes from around the world.....and we're going to control Mother Earth and global warming and climate change????

The eruption of Tungurahua, Ecuador....
notice the sound of the crickets, coyotes and other animals in the background..

The beginning....a bit tame....

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Science Lesson In Solar Energy (And How It Affects Global Warming)

Here is a wonderful science lesson about the Sun, the Earth, changes of seasons, and global warming....

and another version.......funny how man's activities, such as burning of fossil fuels are not mentioned...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Must Save Music Videos..(Personal)

I'm just collecting a number of songs, with accompanying pictures or videos that mean something to me, and that I think are particularly well done. I wish I knew how to combine pictures and music.

Add music for GCB Stokes and Grillednutria....."The Moody Blues"....

The Byrds, "Turn, Turn, Turn"....dedicated to GCB Stokes, bird lovers, and lovers of life everywhere

Gordon Lightfoot, "Seven Island Suite"

Gordon Lightfoot, "Too Late For Prayin'"

Gordon Lightfoot, "It's Worth Believing"

Gordon Lightfoot, "Shadows"

Gordon Lightfoot, "The Ballad Of The Yarmouth Castle"

Gordon Lightfoot, "Restless"

Gordon Lightfoot, "I'd Rather Press On"

Ian and Sylvia, Judy Collin's "Four Strong Winds"

Ian and Sylvia, singing Gordon Lightfoot's "Early Morning Rain"

Gordon Lightfoot, "Mother Of A Miner's Child"

Gordon Lightfoot, "Don Quixote"

Gordon Lightfoot, "Sixteen Miles"

Fantastic....Gordon Lightfoot, "Canadian Railroad Trilogy"

Gordon Lightfoot, "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald"

Gordon Lightfoot, "Song For A Winter's Night"

Roger Whitaker, "I Don't Believe In If Anymore"

Roger Whitaker, "Danny Boy"

Roger Whitaker, "Last Farewell"

Stan Rogers and The Northwest Passage


Here is a musical and video tribute to a great, now gone Canadian songwriter and singer. It is titled "One Warm Line." He had a unique feel and appreciation for Canada's wilderness, environment and history. This is very well worth watching and listening to. In particular the song "Northwest Passage" describes the search for the passage from the Atlantic Ocean, through the Arctic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Imagine how much shorter this would have been than going around either South America, or Africa. What a tragedy that Stan Rogers died so young. At least we have his music. Click on the following http link to watch and listen to the video tribute to Stan Rogers. It is truly wonderful.

or here:
Stanley Allison "Stan" Rogers (November 29, 1949June 2, 1983) was a Canadian folk musician and songwriter.
Rogers was noted for his rich, baritone voice and his finely-crafted, traditional-sounding songs which were frequently inspired by Canadian history and the daily lives of working people, especially those from the fishing villages of the Maritime provinces and, later, the farms of the Canadian prairies and Great Lakes. Rogers died in a fire aboard an airliner on the ground at the Greater Cincinnati Airport at the age of 33. His influence on Canadian folk music has been deep and lasting.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Al Gore's Theme Songs.......

"In The Year 2525".....
The frustrations and "The Tears of A Clown", by Smoky Robinson and The Miracles
Poor Al Gore....and the "Tracks of My Tears", by Smokey Robinson And The Miracles

Computer Expert "Disses" Climate Models

Here is an interesting essay from a computer programming expert who seems to know a bit about computer climate models.


Big Climate's strange 'science'
Would you trust a software engineer to build a bridge?

By John AtkinsonMore by this author
Published Thursday 14th February 2008 11:55 GMT
Comment I had to chuckle to myself reading a letter here at The Register, recently.
"David Whitehouse - although a respected scientist - is still only one voice and his speciality is astrophysics not climate," wrote a reader. This is one of my greatest concerns about so called climate science. Climate science is a very, very new field. So new, in fact, that it has had little chance for its assertions to be tested.
For example, climate models are being developed with very little ability to test out of sample. Furthermore, the climate science bandwagon has come about solely because of supposed anthropogenic climate change, which means that their funding is intrinsically tied to climate change happening and being man-made. A more self-interested group I could not find anywhere, even looking at the researchers who were paid by big tobacco companies to tell us cigarettes are safe.

The scientists who interest me in this field are those who can draw on the experience of a lot of people who have come before them. And uniformly in these areas I find scepticism. People who write mathematical models of complex systems for a living tend to find the climate models very unconvincing. Geologists find the arguments very unconvincing. Engineers find the arguments unconvincing. And astrophysicists find the arguments unconvincing.

Why? Well the answers are clear.

Climate groupthink

The climate models seem to be largely driven by over-fitting to a small sample set and positive feedback. The small sample set - at most 30 years of accurate data - might be enough to try and predict one or two years, but 50 year predictions? Ignoring the biggest effect on global warming - water vapour - is surely going to cause problems.

Positive feedback in engineering invariably results in unstable systems - so we have to ask why do most if not all of the climate models rely on it to get doomsday predictions? For the Earth to have survived as long as it has with a stable climate, through major events like ice-ages or volcanic eruptions, there is little doubt that a degree of negative climate feedback is essential.

Geologists will quite happily explain how major climate changes in the Earth are a result of geological changes. Remember that more carbon is trapped in limestone than in either plant life or fossil fuels (or both put together for that matter). Ice ages and volcanic eruptions are all things that will unarguably change the climate. Yet, with the notable exception of the extinction of the dinosaurs, it seems life has happily trundled along through it all. We're the living proof.

Of course, it's also interesting to see changes over shorter time periods. If you go to see the Roman ruins at Ephesus in Turkey, the guide will point out that the harbour is miles from where the nearest sea is today. Sea levels go up and down for many reasons - carbon dioxide not being one of them. Somehow, we survive.

Of course, astrophysicists and astronomers will happily tell us about global warming on other planets in the solar system, a period of extensive solar activity and the like. But they get poo-pooed just like all the other "real scientists" who have a view. Climate scientists have to disagree with real scientists or they would lose their funding.

Finally, why can't we trust human ingenuity? At the moment, I don't see that the evidence for anthropogenic climate change is strong enough to wreck our economies to try to change it. But if, over the next 10 or 20 years, the evidence really does come out in favour of these theories, then I have faith in our ability to solve the problem. Just like we have successfully dealt with smog in London, rivers flooding, or acid rain. We always have. ®
John Atkinson is an IT professional.

Geologist Dr. Lee C. Gerhard Speaks Against Man-Caused Global Warming

Here is a respected geologist's opinion, rather aggravated I must say, about the "myth" being put forth about man-caused global warming. Of course I agree with him and have other articles by Mr. Gerhard on this blog.

From Lee C. Gerhard [], Senior Scientist Emeritus, Kansas Geological Survey, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

"Can anyone out there provide me with any empirical data in support of the theory that humans control climate warming? No, don't tell me that climate is changing - we geologists absolutely know that climate changes all the time, in both directions, and at many scales of time and intensity.

Don't give me results of computer modeling - those are not empirical data, they are the results of very serious attempts to place numbers on natural phenomena, but they are still based on assumptions and estimates, and have not been able to replicate past climate changes, particularly over the last 1500 years. Computer models are currently nothing more than scientific theories set to mathematical music.

Bring us some data, some values that support the concept. Right now the data show correlative changes in temperature and solar activity, modified by ocean current movement and orbital variations, many of which are predictable and which have operated to change climate for billions of years.Yes, there is an increase in carbon dioxide, but its effects drop logarithmically with its increase. Thus, it doesn't pose a threat. All told the full greenhouse effect, mostly water vapor, does make Earth a habitable planet.

Please don't argue that climate is changing at rates and intensities not ever seen before. That is just not true. Read the data already out there from the geologists and those who study past climate change.Tell me why otherwise competent scientists argue for their theory but fail to provide any support for their theory other than constant repetition of untrue statements and alarmist exaggerations.

Upton Sinclair, author of The Jungle said, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." Is that what is happening?"

Profile on Dr. Lee C. Gerhard:
Dr. Lee C. Gerhard is Principal Geologist of the Kansas Geological Survey, having retired from the Directorship and as State Geologist in 1999. He received his B.S. in geology at Syracuse University and the M. S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Kansas. He has combined academic, government, and industry leadership and technical appointments, including petroleum exploration, management of exploration programs, oil and gas regulation, reservoir geology, and management of research. His research interests are in carbonate sedimentology, petroleum geology, and environmental public policy. He has been the State Geologist of North Dakota, and led a marine ecology and geology research and teaching laboratory in the U. S. Virgin Islands. Prior to returning to Kansas, he was the Getty Professor of Geological Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines and operated an independent petroleum exploration company. He is licensed as geologist in Kansas and Wyoming.

Dr. Gerhard is an Honorary Member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, past president and Honorary Member of that society`s Division of Environmental Geosciences, an Honorary Member of the Association of American State Geologists, and an Honorary Member of the Kansas Geological Society.

He has published more than 150 papers and books on geology, petroleum exploration, natural resources, and environmental policy. He co-chaired the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Climate Change Issues Committee. He is active in wildlife and fisheries conservation issues in the U. S. and Canada, and has organized three recent major conferences on resource and environmental issues. He lectures widely in the U. S. and in Europe about environment and resources and global climate issues.

Some Ways To End Our "Dependence" On Foreign Oil

The following article was on MSNBC from Esquire Magazine. It contains ideas for solving America's dependence on gasoline made from foreign oil. The ideas are not new; they involve using biofuels, made from a variety of sources. What is new is how to achieve this transition. Here, Gal Luft, presumably an Israeli, and "energy "expert" proposes government mandates, or what he calls an "energy policy" that is not political. Not "political"? I say "good luck"! Actually, we must take a good hard look at these alternative (to oil) fuels, sooner, or later.


Four Ways to Solve the Energy Crisis
By Tim Heffernan
You hear it all the time: We've got to reduce our dependence on foreign oil; it's a matter of homeland security. Fine. Nobody's arguing. But the solutions that get offered—drilling in ANWR, mandating better automobile fuel efficiency, pushing ethanol—don't really solve anything. They're politically impossible, or too expensive, or contrary to free-market forces. They're losers.

Energy-independence advocate Gal Luft looks for winners. The former lieutenant colonel in the Israel Defense Forces and counterterrorism expert fervently believes that the only way to make America safe is to make it energy independent. And so as executive director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security and cofounder of the Set America Free Coalition, he has set out to do just that.

Luft advises Congress and security companies. He briefs industrial and environmental groups. Yet what separates him from other energy specialists are his pragmatic solutions. He doesn't peddle pie-in-the-sky political strategies. He's a realist. He has a single goal: freeing America from the grip of foreign oil. And he wants to do it now. Here are four steps he says we can—and should—take today.

1. Make gasoline-only cars illegal
"Every gas-powered car has an average street life of seventeen years, which means that the minute you leave the lot, you're signing up for two decades of foreign-oil dependence. The easiest way to change this is to mandate that every vehicle sold in the U. S. is flex-fuel compatible so that it can run on just about any blend of hydrocarbon-based fuels—gasoline, ethanol, methanol, etc. The technology already exists, and the process is cheap, about a hundred dollars per vehicle. Detroit will cry about 'government interference,' but in fact the mandate would open a vast new free market in alternative-fuel development."

2. Kill the Iowa caucuses
"Here's the first thing every presidential candidate who visits Iowa is asked: 'Where do you stand on ethanol?' Why is this a problem? Because the ethanol lobby has managed to place huge tariffs on ethanol produced abroad while freezing out the development of other alternative fuels at home. It portrays itself as this sort of savior, the domestic solution to our reliance on foreign oil, but it really just protects a tiny number of Midwestern corn farmers. Anyone who thinks otherwise, bear in mind: Even if every single kernel of corn grown in America were converted to ethanol, it would still only replace about 12 percent of America's gasoline requirement."

3. Think of the world in terms of sugarcane
"America hasn't been very good about making friends in the Middle East lately, but there are still a few countries in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia that like us. And many of them, such as Panama, Kenya, and Thailand, grow sugarcane, from which you can make ethanol at half the cost of making it from corn. We should direct foreign aid throughout the agricultural sector in these countries to increase their efficiency and create jobs. That will make them happy, and it'll improve our national security. They'll be our friends forever. Unlike the OPEC nations."

4. Revolutionize waste
"Sixty-five percent of our garbage is biomass: food, paper, scrap wood. All of it could be converted to methanol. The process has been around for two hundred years. And it's twice as efficient as cellulosic ethanol, supposedly the next big thing in alternative fuels. Then there's coal—America has a quarter of the world's reserve, but we use it mainly to feed power plants, which is a dirty and inefficient use. Instead, coal can be converted to clean-burning methanol for the equivalent of one dollar per gallon. Last, look to recyclables, like black liquor, a toxic by-product of the paper industry. Right now, paper mills inefficiently recycle it themselves. But black liquor can be converted to methanol. Do so and we'd generate nine billion gallons of methanol a year—almost twice the ethanol we now make from corn."

Actually getting this done
"These are only four of many common-sense opportunities throughout the economy, but we're not taking advantage of them, because there isn't a sustainable market for alternative fuels. Yet. Which brings us back to step one: flex-fuel technology. Get that and the other three will take care of themselves. There will be stiff opposition from the oil, corn, and auto lobbies. There always is. But let's hope that Washington can step up for a change. Because once you take politics out of the energy policy, you get very different—and much better—results."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Land Use/Land Cover Effets On Climate Greater Than Energy Use

There are more and more articles coming out showing how the CO2 released from burning fossil fuels plays in insignificant role in global warming and climate change. This is, as Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr. says, something that should be communicated to policy-makers.

Feb 06, 2008Excellent Report On Land Use/Land Cover Effects On The Climate System
By Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science
As a follow up to the NASA press release on the diagnosis of landscape changes in the eastern 2/3 of the United States that was posted on Climate Science on February 4 2008, there is an excellent slide presentation by Professor Jon Foley of the University of Wisconson at the April 2007 NASA Land-Cover and Land-Use Change Program meeting. Professor Foley’s slides are titled ”Planet Against the Grain”.

It includes the very important conclusions that “agriculture and land use release more greenhouse gases than any other single human activity”, “effects on physical climate often get ‘washed out’ in outdated climate metrics of radiative forcing and global mean temperature”, “global change is much more than CO2 and global warming” and “current focus on CO2/Climate Connection is very short sighted”.

The entire set of slides is very much worth seeing. Professor Foley effectively summarizes the perspective on the human role in the climate system that should be communicated to policymakers. The current emphasis on energy reductions of CO2 emissions will not have the benefit of altering the climate that is being claimed by the AGU Position Statement on “Human Impacts on Climate” where they state “The cause of disruptive climate change is tied to energy use”. This is much too narrow a perspective of how humans are altering the climate system. Read Roger’s full post here.

Record Snowfall In Madison,Wisconsin

Feb 12, 2008Madison Passes Record Snowfall
By Cara Harshman, Badger Herald
Last night’s snowfall sent Madison’s winter total plowing into the record books, breaking the all-time snowfall record of 76.1 inches in 1978-79. “Anytime you set records, it is sort of a momentous occasion, but it doesn’t mean anything more than we’ll be out just like any other storm,” said Madison streets superintendent Al Schumacher. Jon Martin, University of Wisconsin chair of the atmospheric and ocean sciences department said there is a lot of variability from one winter to another, and it is difficult to put a finger on why this winter has been so snowy. “This is a very abnormal winter,” Martin said. “We break the all-time snowiest winter record, and we still have 5 or 6 weeks left for possible snow.”

Since Dec. 1, it has snowed 41 times in Madison, taking a toll on everyone in the city, especially streets employees working 16-hour days plowing streets and fixing potholes, Schumacher said. This is one of those winters we are not going to see again, Martin said, with continuously cold temperatures and very few rainy days. Cold temperatures carried by northwesterly winds have not ceased all winter. Madison has not seen westerly or southwesterly winds that would bring warmer temperatures. “We may crush this thing,” Martin said, referring to the snowfall record. “That’s what I’m hoping for, because all of us who live through this will have seen the greatest snowfall in our lifetimes, especially if we get to 100 inches.” See full story here. See also the official NWS report here.

Icecap Note: Record or near record snows will be reported in many spots in the midwest before it is over. See this story about Rockford, Illinois which has the most snowfall to date and after today’s storm will rank only behind 1978/79. Also see Tom Skilling’s blog on how snow days and zero degree days are running twice the long-term average. See also how this cold spell set a record in the “Nation’s Icebox”, International Falls, MN here. See snow depths across Iowa, also hard hit this winter here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Minnesotans For Global Warming Song

This is very cute, and sure to irritate some people.

A Lot Of Money Being Spent On Arctic Oil Exploration

Oil companies just spent a record $2.7 BILLION dollars for the "right" to drill exploratory wells in the Chuckchi Sea off the northwest coast of Alaska. This is a huge amount of money, in fact, the most ever spent in Alaska, onshore or offshore. This tells me, as a geologist who is familiar with the area and its history of oil exploration and development, that the oil companies are very confident there is a lot of recoverable oil in rocks beneath the Chuckchi Sea. It also means they think they can find it, produce it, and move it to market. This is by no means a simple task, in what certainly must be the world's harshest environment.

Another aspect of this lease sale by the United States Federal Government, and one that is often overlooked, or ignored, is that all of the money from the winning bids goes into the governments coffers. Look at the amount of money the government has collected from lease sales in Alaska in the past (see the list below). The amount is mind-boggling. So much for the idea that "big oil" is bad. The government must love the oil and gas industry for all of the revenue it provides.

There is yet another aspect to this sale that I'm sure a lot of people overlook. Where does the oil industry get all the money to spend on these lease sales? Well, they get it from you and I, and anyone and everyone who uses petroleum products. The cost gets passed on to the consumer, of course. When you think about it, this is another form of taxation; in this case the money goes from your pocket to the oil companies, who then pay a large portion to the government. This does not even include the royalties companies pay when they actually produce oil and gas.

To make things even more depressing, think of the taxes you pay when you buy the gasoline made from this oil. We're being taxed, and taxed, and taxed again. Think about this the next time you fill your car with gas and complain that you're being "ripped off" by "big oil".


Record bids for oil, gas leases in Chukchi Sea
$2.7 BILLION: Alaska won't get a penny from federal sale of remote Chukchi Sea tracts.
Published: February 7th, 2008 12:11 AMLast Modified: February 7th, 2008 03:23 PM

Oil companies flush with cash and hungry for new discoveries bid nearly $2.7 billion Wednesday in a blockbuster competition for drilling rights in the forbidding Chukchi Sea.
The sum of winning bids is the most ever generated in an Alaska oil and gas lease sale, whether on land or offshore. The tally tops the $2.1 billion raised in a 1982 sale in the neighboring Beaufort Sea, and the $900 million in a 1969 land sale at Prudhoe Bay that launched giddy Alaskans into a new era of fabulous oil wealth.
All proceeds from Wednesday's sale go to the U.S. government, and none to the state, as the offshore acreage is under federal jurisdiction.

Oil men, journalists and others packed a Loussac Library auditorium in Anchorage and listened with anxiety and awe as officials announced hundreds of often jaw-dropping bids on tracts totaling 2.8 million acres in the Chukchi, a shallow and icy polar sea between Alaska and Russia.
The competition was pitched as two global powers -- Shell and Conoco Phillips -- offered fortunes on some of the same tracts. Onlookers sometimes sounded like a football crowd, going "ohh!" or "aww!" when one company barely beat out the other.

The day's highest bid for a single tract came from the Dutch company Shell at $105,304,581.
"It's fabulous," Jason Brune, head of the Resource Development Council for Alaska, said during a break in the three-hour bid reading. "The big boys came -- flexed their muscles."
Not everyone was happy.

A handful of environmental activists and Native leaders from the coastal villages of Point Hope and Barrow stood in subzero cold outside the library to protest the sale. They fear industrial activity and spills could drive away or kill whales villagers hunt for food.
"Our ocean is our garden," said a shivering Earl Kingik, a Point Hope whaler.
He and other protesters said they don't believe oil companies can clean up offshore spills, and they said the companies demonstrated with their huge bids they have the power to steamroll village concerns.
Point Hope and a coalition of environmental groups have filed suit challenging Wednesday's lease sale.

Oil company executives and officials with the U.S. Minerals Management Service, which regulates offshore industry, said whales, polar bears and other wildlife will enjoy many protections from explorers. For example, all the leased acreage is at least 50 miles out to sea. And companies would be encouraged to use pipelines, not tankers, to carry oil to market.
Randall Luthi, director of the Minerals Management Service, said world energy demand is rising and the Chukchi Sea offers a chance to reduce U.S. dependence on oil and gas imports.
The government estimates the Chukchi could hold 15 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 77 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Those numbers compare to reserves in the Prudhoe Bay area.
"It's a great sale, a great commitment," Luthi said. He noted the $2.7 billion in winning bids far surpassed his agency's prediction a couple of years ago that the Chukchi sale would generate $67 million.

The last Chukchi sale, in 1991, generated $7.1 million.
Much has changed since then. The price of oil has rocketed to nearly $100 a barrel, and Shell and Conoco ran seismic surveys to test the geology beneath the Chukchi in the last couple of years, sometimes sharing the cost and the data, said Erec Isaacson, Conoco Alaska's exploration and land vice president.

Of the seven companies bidding, Shell was tops with $2.1 billion in winning bids, followed by Conoco with more than $506 million. Other bidders included the Spanish firm Repsol, the Italian firm Eni, Statoil Hydro of Norway, and two others.

The biggest bids centered on abandoned well sites in the Chukchi. Between 1989 and 1991, Shell drilled four exploratory wells with names like Popcorn and Burger, finding signs of oil and gas, and Chevron drilled one.

Because the Chukchi is so remote and devoid of roads, pipelines and ports, it'll take a major strike to justify the enormous cost of commercial development, oil company executives said.
But with other oil provinces around the globe either closed or played out, and with oil prices soaring, the Chukchi looks like a good gamble, they said.

"The time's right to come back to Alaska," said Annell Bay, a Shell exploration vice president.
Shell, which re-entered the Alaska picture in 2005, plans to drill in the Beaufort Sea this summer assuming it can overcome a court challenge.

Biggest Alaska oil lease sales
Year Sponsor Location High bids
2008 Federal Chukchi Sea$ 2.66 billion
1982 Federal Beaufort Sea $2.06 billion
1969 State North Slope $900 million
1984 Federal Beaufort Sea$ 867 million
1979 State Beaufort Sea $567 million
1976 Federal Gulf of Alaska $560 million
1984 Federal Navarin Basin $516 million
1979 Federal Beaufort Sea $489 million
1988 Federal Chukchi Sea $478 million
1983 Federal St. George $426 million
Sources: U.S. Minerals Management Service; Alaska Division of Oil & Gas

Monday, February 11, 2008

NASA, Jim Hansen, And The Politicization Of Science

This information reveals nothing new, but the subject of scientific credibility in the continuing debate over the causes of global warming and climate change, keep surfacing. This warrants a revisit to sad exposure of the underhanded behavior of NASA's top climate scientist, Jim Hansen. This is information worth keeping.


NASA, James Hansen, and the Politicization of Science
Michael Asher (Blog) - September 26, 2007 11:04 AM
New issues swirl around controversial NASA branch NASA's primary climate monitoring agency is the Goddard Institute of Space Studies. Operating out of a small office at Columbia University, GISS is run by Dr. James Hansen. Official NASA climate statements come through GISS ... which means they must get by Hansen.

Many other scientists and agencies make climate predictions, but Hansen's top the list for scare factor, predicting consequences considerably more dire than his colleagues. Hansen specializes in climate "modeling" -- attempting to predict future events based on computer simulations. In 1971, Hansen wrote his first climate model, which showed the world was about to experience severe global cooling. NASA colleagues used it to warn the world that immediate action was needed to prevent catastrophe.

Most research papers are rather dry reading, written to be as unemotional as possible. Not so with Hansen's reports, whose works scream alarmism even in their titles: "Climate Catastrophe," "Can We Defuse the Global Warming Time Bomb," and "The Threat to the Planet." Hansen was most recently in the news when an amateur blogger discovered an error in his climate data, a mistake Hansen later discounted as unimportant to the "big picture" of compelling public action on climate change.

But who is James Hansen? Is he an impartial researcher seeking scientific truth? Or a political activist with an axe to grind? In 2006, Hansen accused the Bush Administration of attempting to censor him. The issue stemmed from an email sent by a 23-year old NASA public affairs intern. It warned Hansen over repeated violations of NASA's official press policy, which requires the agency be notified prior to interviews. Hansen claimed he was being "silenced," despite delivering over 1,400 interviews in recent years, including 15 the very month he made the claim.

While he admits to violating the NASA press policy, Hansen states he had a "constitutional right" to grant interviews. Hansen then began a barrage of public appearances on TV, radio and in lecture halls decrying the politicization of climate science. Turns out he was right. Science was being politicized. By him.

A report revealed just this week, shows the 'Open Society Institute' funded Hansen to the tune of $720,000, carefully orchestrating his entire media campaign. OSI, a political group which spent $74 million in 2006 to "shape public policy," is funded by billionaire George Soros, the largest backer of Kerry's 2004 Presidential Campaign. Soros, who once declared that "removing Bush from office was the "central focus" of his life, has also given tens of millions of dollars to MoveOn.Org and other political action groups. Certainly Soros has a right to spend his own money. But NASA officials have a responsibility to accurate, unbiased, nonpartisan science.

For Hansen to secretly receive a large check from Soros, then begin making unsubstantiated claims about administrative influence on climate science is more than suspicious -- it's a clear conflict of interest. But the issues don't stop here. Hansen received an earlier $250,000 grant from the Heinz Foundation, an organization run by Kerry's wife, which he followed by publicly endorsing Kerry. Hansen also acted as a paid consultant to Gore during the making of his global-warming film, "An Inconvenient Truth," and even personally promoted the film during an NYC event.

After the the GISS data error was revealed, Hansen finally agreed to make public the method he uses to generate "official" temperature records from the actual readings. That process has been revealed to be thousands of lines of source code, containing hundreds of arbitrary "bias" adjustments to individual sites, tossing out many readings entirely, and raising (or lowering) the actual values for others, sometimes by several degrees. Many areas with weak or no rising temperature trends are therefore given, after adjustment, a much sharper trend. A full audit of the Hansen code is currently underway, but it seems clear that Hansen has more explaining to do.

George Deutsch, the NASA intern who resigned over the censorship fallout, said he was initially warned about Hansen when starting the job, "People said ... you gotta watch that guy. He is a loose cannon; he is kind of crazy. He is difficult to work with; he is an alarmist; he exaggerates.'" Hansen's office did not return a request from DailyTech for an interview for this article.

Say No To Climate Alarmism

The first portion of this article is commentary by the editor of "EcoWorld", and the second is an essay about the dangers of the current state of alarmism about global warming. Both are very well worth reading.


The Fluid Envelope
by Richard Lindzen
Editor's Note: Our charter to report on clean technology and the status of species and ecosystems seems to always bring us back to one overriding distraction - global warming alarm - and small wonder. We are in the midst of one of the most dramatic transformations of political economy in the history of the world - and nobody is watching. "The debate is over on global warming," goes the consensus, and even if that were a healthy or accurate notion, why has this consensus translated into hardly any vigorous debate over what would be a rational response?

Despite ongoing rhetoric to the contrary from virtually every environmental nonprofit in existance, the United States has been an extraordinarily responsible nation. We listened to our environmental movement; we institutionalized it. On every front there has been huge progress over the past 30-40 years. Our air and water are orders of magnitude cleaner even though our population has doubled. Our landfills our ultra-safe. We have set aside vast tracts of wilderness, rescued countless endangered species. Our food supply is scrupulously monitored. And every year our technology and our prosperity delivers new options to eliminate more pollution and live healthier lives. So what happened?

In the rest of the world there is also reason for great optimism, despite some discouraging challenges that continue to grip humanity. Human population is voluntarily leveling off, so that within 25-30 years the number of people on planet earth will peak at around 8.5 billion - and every time the projection is revisited, that estimate drops. At an even faster pace, humanity is urbanizing - and this voluntary movement is taking people out of the vast and potentially endangered forests and other biomes faster than population increase replaces them. Land is becoming abundant again. So what's wrong?

Technology promises abundant energy within a few decades, using clean fossil fuel as we systematically replace it with solar, nuclear, run-of-river hydroelectric, enhanced geothermal, wind, possibly biofuel. Technology promises abundant water within a few decades, as we learn how to recycle every drop of water used in the urban environment, convert many crops to drip irrigation, and develop massive desalination capacity. So why don't we get to work?

The reason is because of global warming alarm. The bells of warning are ringing so loud that CO2 is all that matters anymore. Want to stop using petroleum? Then burn the rainforests for biofuel. Want to stop using coal? Then forget about installing affordable scrubbers to remove the soot that billows from coal fired power plants across burgeoning Asia - why clean up something that needs to be shut down? Want to save allegedly scarce open space? Then cram everyone into ultra-high density "infill" and destroy every semi rural neighborhood in the western world. Make housing unaffordable, then mandate taxpayer-subsidized affordable housing. And do it all in the name of reducing CO2 emissions.

Today, after reading two documents from the website of the Attorney General of California, "Mitigation Measures," and "Global Warming Contrarians and the Falsehoods they Promote," I became so alarmed at what we are willingly, blindly bringing upon ourselves because of all this CO2 alarm that I contacted Dr. Richard Lindzen, who has already contributed two lengthy articles to EcoWorld, "Current Behavior of Global Mean Surface Temperature," and "Is There a Basis for Global Warming Alarm?"

I asked Dr. Lindzen if he still held the views he does. He replied emphatically in the affirmative, and sent me the article that follows. Dr. Lindzen, along with Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr., with whom EcoWorld recently published the exclusive "Interview with Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr.," are both internationally respected atmospheric scientists. And both of them, in somewhat different ways, are quite concerned about the overemphasis on CO2.

Anyone who is championing extreme measures to reduce anthropogenic CO2 should attempt for themselves to understand the science. As Dr. Lindzen wrote me earlier today, policymakers such as Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger "can be excused given the degree to which the environmental movement has taken over the professional societies."

"Science" has become the trump card that drowns out reason - what great irony. And the scientific establishment itself has become politicized. And if you read the mitigation measures being proposed, just imagine if there was nothing we could do to affect global warming - which even some of the lead authors of the IPCC studies themselves acknowlege - and see if you want to live in the brave new world we are leading ourselves into by our own gullible noses.

Dramatic and positive global economic and technological developments, along with voluntary and irreversible global demographic trends, are about to deliver us a future where we enjoy unprecedented environmental health, abundance and prosperity. But to do this we need to preserve our economic and personal freedoms. Will the measures being proposed - especially in trendsetting California - fruitlessly combat a problem that doesn't exist, crush economic growth and trample on individual freedom, and rob humanity of this hopeful destiny? - Ed "Redwood" Ring

The Fluid Envelope - A Case Against Climate Alarmism by Dr. Richard Lindzen, February 2008
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
What will be his legacy?

The notion of a static, unchanging climate is foreign to the history of the earth or any other planet with a fluid envelope. The fact that the developed world went into hysterics over changes in global mean temperature of a few tenths of a degree will astound future generations.
Such hysteria simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the Goebbelian substitution of repetition for truth, and the exploitation of these weaknesses by politicians, environmental promoters, and, after 20 years of media drum beating, many others as well.

Climate is always changing. We have had ice ages and warmer periods when alligators were found in Spitzbergen. Ice ages have occurred in a hundred thousand year cycle for the last 700 thousand years, and previous warm periods appear to have been warmer than the present despite CO2 levels being lower than they are now. More recently, we have had the medieval warm period and the little ice age. During the latter, alpine glaciers advanced to the chagrin of overrun villages.

Since the beginning of the 19th Century these glaciers have been retreating. Frankly, we dont fully understand either the advance or the retreat. For small changes in climate associated with tenths of a degree, there is no need for any external cause. The earth is never exactly in equilibrium. The motions of the massive oceans where heat is moved between deep layers and the surface provides variability on time scales from years to centuries. Recent work (Tsonis et al, 2007), suggests that this variability is enough to account for all climate change since the 19th Century. Supporting the notion that man has not been the cause of this unexceptional change in temperature is the fact that there is a distinct signature to greenhouse warming: surface warming should be accompanied by warming in the tropics around an altitude of about 9km that is about 2.5 times greater than at the surface.

Measurements show that warming at these levels is only about 3/4 of what is seen at the surface, implying that only about a third of the surface warming is associated with the greenhouse effect, and, quite possibly, not all of even this really small warming is due to man. This further implies that all models predicting significant warming are greatly overestimating warming. This should not be surprising. According to the UNs Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the greenhouse forcing from man made greenhouse gases is already about 86 % of what one expects from a doubling of CO2 (with about half coming from methane, nitrous oxide, freons and ozone), and alarming predictions depend on models for which the sensitivity to a doubling for CO2 is greater than 2C which implies that we should already have seen much more warming than we have seen thus far, even if all the warming we have seen so far were due to man.

This contradiction is rendered more acute by the fact that there has been no significant global warming for the last ten years. Modelers defend this situation by arguing that aerosols have cancelled much of the warming, and that models adequately account for natural unforced internal variability. However, a recent paper (Ramanathan, 2007) points out that aerosols can warm as well as cool, while scientists at the UKs Hadley Centre for Climate Research recently noted that their model did not appropriately deal with natural internal variability thus demolishing the basis for the IPCCs iconic attribution. Interestingly (though not unexpectedly), the British paper did not stress this. Rather, they speculated that natural internal variability might step aside in 2009, allowing warming to resume. Resume? Thus, the fact that warming has ceased for the past decade is acknowledged.

Whether or not someone is a climate alarmistᅠshould have nobearing on the strength or purity of their environmentalist convictions. (Read "Global Warming Questions")
Given that the evidence (and I have noted only a few of many pieces of evidence) strongly suggests that anthropogenic warming has been greatly exaggerated, the basis for alarm due to such warming is similarly diminished.

However, the really important point is that the case for alarm would still be weak even if anthropogenic global warming were significant. Polar bears, arctic summer sea ice, regional droughts and floods, coral bleaching, hurricanes, alpine glaciers, malaria, etc. etc. all depend not on some global average of surface temperature, but on a huge number of regional variables including temperature, humidity, cloud cover, precipitation, and direction and magnitude of wind.

The state of the ocean is also often crucial. Our ability to forecast any of these over periods beyond a few days is minimal. Yet, each catastrophic forecast depends on each of these being in a specific range. The odds of any specific catastrophe actually occurring is almost zero. This was equally true for earlier forecasts: famine for the 1980's, global cooling in the 1970's, Y2K and many others. Regionally, year to year fluctuations in temperature are over four times larger than fluctuations in the global mean. Much of this variation has to be independent of the global mean; otherwise the global mean would vary much more.

This is simply to note that factors other than global warming are more important to any specific situation. This is not to say that disasters will not occur; they always have occurred and this will not change in the future. Fighting global warming with symbolic gestures will certainly not change this. However, history tells us that greater wealth and development can profoundly increase our resilience.

Given the above, one may reasonably ask why there is the current alarm, and, in particular, why the astounding upsurge in alarmism of the past 2 years. When an issue like global warming is around for over twenty years, numerous agendas are developed to exploit the issue.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown
What is his dream?
The interests of the environmental movement in acquiring more power and influence are reasonably clear. So too are the interests of bureaucrats for whom control of CO2 is a dream-come-true.

After all, CO2 is a product of breathing itself. Politicians can see the possibility of taxation that will be cheerfully accepted because it is necessary for saving the world. Nations have seen how to exploit this issue in order to gain competitive advantages. But, by now, things have gone much further.

The case of ENRON is illustrative in this respect. Before disintegrating in a pyrotechnic display of unscrupulous manipulation, ENRON had been one of the most intense lobbyists for Kyoto. It had hoped to become a trading firm dealing in carbon emission rights. This was no small hope. These rights are likely to amount to over a trillion dollars, and the commissions will run into many billions. Hedge funds are actively examining the possibilities. It is probably no accident that Gore, himself, is associated with such activities . The sale of indulgences is already in full swing with organizations selling offsets to one's carbon footprint while sometimes acknowledging that the offsets are irrelevant.

The possibilities for corruption are immense. Archer Daniels Midland (America's largest agribusiness) has successfully lobbied for ethanol requirements for gasoline, and the resulting demand for ethanol is already leading to large increases in corn prices and associated hardship in the developing world (not to mention poorer car performance).

And finally, there are the numerous well meaning individuals who have allowed propagandists to convince them that in accepting the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate change, they are displaying intelligence and virtue For them, their psychic welfare is at stake.
With all this at stake, one can readily suspect that there might be a sense of urgency provoked by the possibility that warming may have ceased. For those committed to the more venal agendas, the need to act soon, before the public appreciates the situation, is real indeed.
About the Author: Richard S. Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology( This article is reprinted here with permission from the author.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Measuring Solar Activity As It Relates To Climate Change

With a debate over implications on climate change at stake, solar researchers in Canada have been finding new lows in magnetic field outputs from the sun, captured here in an image from NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory.

Sun Stays Sluggish as Weathermen Fight for Anti-Ice Age Funding

By Joe Pappalardo
Published on: February 6, 2008

Every day, scientists hoping to see an increase in solar activity train their instruments at the sun as it crosses the sky. This is no idle academic pursuit: A lull in solar action could potentially drive the planet’s temperature down, or even prompt a mini Ice Age.

For millennia, thermonuclear forces inside the star have followed a regular rhythm, causing its magnetic field to peak and ebb, on average, every 11 years. Space weathermen are watching for telltale increases in sunspots, which would signal the start of a new cycle, predicted to have started last March and expected to peak in 2012. “When the sun’s active, it’s a little bit brighter,” explains Ken Tapping, a solar researcher and project director for Canada’s National Research Council.

So far, Tapping reports no change in the magnetic field strength, as measured by radio telescopes. On the more positive side, last month NASA reported a small, earth-sized sunspot with a magnetic field pointing in the opposite direction from those in the previous cycle; qualities that designate the spot as a signal of a new upturn in activity. At the solar maximum, scientists expect to see between 75 and 150 such sunspots per day.

Tapping oversees the operation of a 60-year-old radio telescope that he calls a “stethoscope for the sun.” Recent magnetic field readings are as low as he’s ever seen, he says, and he’s worked with the instrument for more than 25 years. If the sun remains this quiet for another a year or two, it may indicate the star has entered a downturn that, if history is any precedent, could trigger a planetary cold spell that could bring massive snowfall and severe weather to the Northern Hemisphere.

The last such solar funk corresponded with a period of bitter cold that began around 1650 and lasted, with intermittent spikes of warming, until 1715. While there were competing causes for the climatic shift—including the Black Death’s depopulation of tree-cutting Europeans and, more substantially, increased volcanic activity spewing ash into the atmosphere—the sun’s lethargy likely had something to do with it.
Just how much influence the sun has on global temperatures has been the subject of sometimes acrimonious debate. While an upswing in solar activity may cause a warming trend, it was discounted in the mid-1990s as the sole driver of current climate change. And for anyone hoping that a solar downswing might bail us out of our current dilemma: Solar influence on climate is slight compared to the impact of man-made greenhouse gases, a National Academy of Sciences report concluded in 1995.

The planet’s climate is a messy picture, with all sorts of influences and feedback cycles that need to be taken into account. In order to build more accurate computer models, scientists need to understand both anthropogenic factors and the link between the sun and our planet, Tapping says. To help get at the sun’s influence, he and other researchers connect Earth’s temperature with historic sunspot records of sky watchers from Europe and China, as well as with carbon-14 isotopes­—residue from cosmic rays delivered by the sun’s magnetic field—found in tree rings. To understand our role in climate change,” he says, “we need to understand the natural process.”

An array of of solar radio telescopes measure the sun's strength, but opportunities for funding have been few and far between lately.

Funding Woes Slow New Solar Telescopes
A new generation of radio telescopes could lead to a better understanding of the sun’s behavior—of importance to space-faring countries, satellite operators, astronomers and earth scientists alike—but currently await government funding.

In Canada, where radio-telescopic monitoring of the sun has been conducted since the end of World War II, a new instrument, the next-generation solar flux monitor, could measure the sun’s emissions more rapidly. It would also provide details about the sun’s emissions by examining signals at more wavelengths than the current instrument. Canada’s space agency coordinates activity with England and the U.S., sharing data and constructing complementary telescopes. Researchers were hoping the new radio telescope would get the green light as early as last week, but are now saying that budget cuts from other countries may delay or even jeopardize the program.

“Things are all on hold due to the consequences of the huge science funding cuts in the U.S. and the U.K.,” Tapping says. “This is impacting other partner countries because of the possible need to cover financial holes. Nobody is clear yet as to how this will unfold so they are hanging onto their wallets, for the moment.”

The new Canadian telescope is an independent project but has been designed to work closely with a proposed array of 100 telescopes in the United States. Collectively called the Frequency Agile Solar Radiotelescope (FASR), the array will directly measure coronal magnetic field strengths. The system will also show the locations of electrons accelerated by solar flares and will provide images of coronal mass ejections. Assuming, of course, it is funded.

“Given fiscal realities, it has been slow in moving forward,” says Tim Bastian, principal investigator of the FASR team, which represents a consortium of American universities. “However, we recently submitted our preliminary proposal for construction to the National Science Foundation and expect to submit the full proposal in June. If all goes according to plan, the five-year construction project will be funded at the end of this fiscal year.” In which case, the first monitoring systems will be coming online in three years, giving us much-needed insight into the state of our local star.

Keep The Lights On

This is an editorial that appeared in "The Dallas Morning News" today. It echoes what we have been saying on this blog for nearly a year now. Some say global warming is purely a scientific issue, and the science is settled. They say the debate is over, there is a consensus opinion that man is causing global warming and we must take action now to prevent catastrophe.

Well there are other opinions, and some are coming from Congress. Read the following editorial from Joe Barton. Republican Rep. Joe Barton represents the 6th District of Texas and is the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Contrary to what many people believe, the debate over the causes and cures for global warming are alive and well. Where does it go from here?

Joe Barton: Keep the lights on

Global warming alarmists need to slow down, allow more time for science and make sure we retain our quality of life

06:21 AM CST on Friday, February 8, 2008
It is dogma in Democratic circles that the specter of global warming is so manifest and terrifying that facts matter less than action, and the party has begun to insist that Congress must attack carbon dioxide and save the planet in time for the November election.

Keep in mind that CO2 is not a pollutant. It performs the desirable work of making life possible by regulating planetary surface temperatures. And it is everywhere.
I hope that if Congress' global warmists are going to have their anti-carbon dioxide legislation, they will accommodate some discussion first.

Here's my modest opener:
Electricity must be available and affordable; keep the lights on, please.
Transportation to work, school and shopping is a daily necessity; don't yank people out of their cars.
A warm home is a necessity, too; don't make natural gas so expensive that families can't pay their bills.
When you're saving the earth, save the jobs of working people. Not everybody can be on welfare, and you'll need them to pay for the programs, won't you?
Don't do these things well and you'll strangle the American economy and a world full of people who depend on it.

Consider the situation in Detroit. I thought it was interesting that as the political euphoria generated by increasing mileage requirements began to fade, U.S. automakers at the 2008 Detroit auto show quietly conceded that the new corporate average fuel efficiency mandate will raise their prices about $6,000 per car.

It's hard to imagine how we might achieve a more heart-stopping impact on the economy than by raising the price of cars by a sum so much larger than any driver can save through the mileage mandate. If drivers do not buy such expensive cars, autoworkers will no longer make them. The perfect global warming law won't do Americans much good if it boosts unemployment 5 or 10 points.

Many are coalesced around the idea that American economic and environmental interests can be advanced by capping carbon dioxide emissions and creating an artificial marketplace in which companies will trade the rights to produce emissions. A misguided cap-and-trade policy could wipe out our economy.

If you think I am being too dramatic, consider what's happened to Europe. In Germany, electric rates have risen at least 40 percent, and some estimate the steel industry there will lose 50,000 jobs. The German petrochemical industry has almost been completely dismantled, and yet CO2 emission rates have gone up.

Apologists say that officials don't have it just right, but a little tinkering will fix everything. However, the price that Europeans are paying in lost jobs and constrained economic activity is growing, and so are greenhouse gases.

It doesn't look much different for America. Projections on the household impact of various cap-and-trade proposals now pending range as high as $6,000 per home per year, with job losses topping 8 million under some scenarios.

Activists say we need to lead and the big CO2 emitters of the Third World will follow, but I think it's absurd to anticipate that China, India, Brazil, Mexico or others in the developing world will adopt stringent controls when that's a recipe for poverty. Aside from blood-spattered perversions like the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the Kims in North Korea, no leader facing the choice of poverty or a better standard of living for his population has chosen poverty.
Our own choice to modernize was made more than 100 years ago. We electrified America, built the interstate highway system and constructed a modern economy that relies on the mobility of labor, products and services and, lately, on the instant availability of data. The result has been the highest standard of living ever experienced.

Americans wrote the recipe for prosperity, and foreigners have read the cookbook. Does anybody believe they're not going to bake the cake?
Both the science and the economics of global warming continue to evolve. Some say everything that needs to be known is known, and we better start legislating. I don't think so. But surely all sides can accept the idea that no matter what, we should keep the lights and the heat on, keep people mobile and keep them working in real jobs.

Republican Rep. Joe Barton represents the 6th District of Texas and is the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He can be reached through