For those interested in global warming/climate change, its causes, implications, assumptions, political, and economic impacts. We will discuss and debate the science behind the various theories and strive to do everything in a polite, open, and honest manner.
The following article is not just about taxes, it is about the many serious, deadly consequences of trying to control global warming by limiting carbon dioxide emissions. Our climate models are no where near accurate enough in predicting future climate change to warrant the kind and degree of public policy being proposed. We must arm ourselves with knowledge if we are to defeat this global warming alarmism and regain some sanity on this issue. Peter
Global Warming Tax Hikes Headed Your Way By Paul Driessen Saturday, April 19, 2008 America is in the throes of a major housing and financial downturn, soaring food and energy costs, rising unemployment and near recession. But many legislators and bureaucrats are falling all over themselves to restrict fossil fuel use, advance climate change legislation – and thereby increase oil imports, energy prices, and impacts on families and businesses.
Even President Bush has called for action on climate change. “Reasonable and responsible” legislation is needed, the White House asserts, to avert a “regulatory nightmare” that from overlapping state and federal rules. One shudders to think the “preferred solution” could be a costly federal regulatory nightmare of emission mandates and hidden taxes in the form of cap-and-trade schemes.
Earth did warm slightly over the last quarter century, as it emerged further from the Little Ice Age, and humans likely played a role. However, literally hundreds of climate scientists say catastrophic climate change and dominant human influence are over-hyped myths. Our planet has experienced numerous climate shifts, they point out, including prolonged ice ages, a 400-year Medieval Warm Period and a 500-year Little Ice Age. Climate scientists still don’t understand what caused these events – or the temperature roller coaster of the last century, as carbon dioxide levels rose steadily: temperatures climbed from 1910 to 1945, fell between 1945 and 1975, and increased again from 1975 to 1998, notes Syun-IchiAkasofu, founding director of the International Arctic Research Center.
Five of the ten hottest years in US history were in the 1920s and 1930s. Average global temperatures stabilized in 1998, and then fell 1.1 degrees F the past twelve months, satellite measurements show. Ice core data demonstrate that, over thousands of years, rising temperatures preceded higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, by hundreds of years – the exact opposite of climate chaos hypotheses. Interior Greenland and Antarctica appear to be gaining ice mass; they’re certainly not melting. These inconvenient facts have forced alarmists to rely on computer models that generate Frankenclime monsters realistic enough to scare people into believing climate Armageddon is nigh.
Climate models do help scientists evaluate possible consequences of changing economic growth, emission, cloud cover and other variables. But they can’t reproduce the actual climate of the past century. They cannot make accurate predictions, even one year in the future, much less fifty. They do not represent reality, and should not be relied on to guide public policy.
Models reflect the assumptions and hypotheses that go into them – and our still limited understanding of complex, turbulent climate processes that involve the sun, oceans, land masses and atmosphere. They do a poor job of dealing with the effects of water vapor, precipitation and high cirrus clouds on temperatures and climate, because the underlying physics aren’t well understood, notes MIT meteorology professor Richard Lindzen.
Like the UN’s politicized climate control panel, the IPCC, models also place too much emphasis on carbon dioxide. They pay insufficient attention to extraterrestrial factors like changes in the Earth’s irregular orbit around the sun, solar energy levels, and solar winds that appear to influence the level of cosmic rays reaching Earth, and thus the formation of cloud cover and penetration of infrared radiation from the sun. They likewise fail to incorporate the profound effects that periodic shifts in Pacific Ocean currents have on temperatures and sea ice in the Arctic.
When the US National Assessment compared the results of two top-tier computer models for various regions of the United States, the models frequently generated precisely opposite rainfall scenarios, University of Alabama at Huntsville climatologist John Christy points out. Depending on which model was used, the Dakotas and Rio Grande valley would supposedly become complete deserts or huge swamps; the Southeastern US would become a jungle or semi-arid grassland.
Activists, journalists, politicians, AlGoreans, and even scientists and corporate executives then select the scariest scenarios, call them evidence, trumpet them with hysterical headlines – and insist on drastic cutbacks in CO2 emissions and energy use. They’ll likely make millions, while other families and businesses suffer. Many are big on wind and ethanol, but not thrilled about nuclear power.
Fully 85 percent of all the energy Americans use comes from fossil fuels. Less than 0.5% is wind power, which generates electricity only eight hours a day, on average. Over half of our electricity is produced by coal, because it is plentiful and affordable, and modern power plants emit few pollutants, but do generate abundant plant food (the same carbon dioxide we exhale every time we breathe).
Any climate change regime would impose new restrictions on coal-fired power plants, oil and gas drilling, air and ground transportation, and heating, air conditioning and manufacturing. In fact, any facility or activity that generates more than 250 tons of carbon dioxide per year could be heavily regulated: bakeries, breweries, soft drink makers, factories, apartment and office buildings, dairy farms and countless others. Permit, regulatory, oversight, anti-fraud monitoring and polar bear endangerment rules would cost billions in still more highly regressive, hidden taxes.
The ultimate goal of energy-killer activists is to slash US carbon dioxide emissions some 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, to stabilize global CO2 levels, even as China, India and other developing countries continue their economic and emissions boom. The last time the United States emitted such low amounts of CO2 was 1905! Where and how will your family and business achieve 80% emission reductions?
Welcome to the good old days – to Eco-Camelot, where “the climate must be perfect all year.” Poor minority and blue-collar families will be in for some serious belt-tightening, millions of jobs will head overseas, and demand for unemployment benefits, mortgage bailouts and energy welfare will soar, as state and federal coffers run dry.
Worst, in the end, all the cutbacks and sacrifices won’t make any difference, because our climate is not driven by carbon dioxide – but by the same natural forces that have caused major and minor climate changes since the dawn of time, say scientists like Roy Spencer, Robert Balling and Fred Singer.
Climate change is no longer science. It’s politics – and Democrats would be thrilled if a Republican president took the lead – and Republicans take the blame when the bills start rolling in.
Climate change is also about power. Power to control – and curtail – the power we rely on: to build, heat and cool our homes … produce raw materials, food and consumer products … transport people and products … and support modern living standards. It’s about the selection, production, conservation, taxation – and prevention – of energy. It’s about access to real energy, versus mandates to use futuristic, mostly illusory, and certainly insufficient alternative energy. It’s about who gets to decide: how much energy we will have … where that energy will come from … what it will cost … and whether there will be enough energy to lift more families out of poverty.
It’s about simulations, scenarios and monsters conjured up by computer models that should never be used to chart government policy – especially on matters that will profoundly affect our livelihoods, living standards, life spans and dreams of a better future.
So hold onto your wallets, and hope you can hold onto your homes, cars and jobs. You’re about to be put on a wild political roller coaster. And don’t expect much honesty, transparency or accountability from climate Armageddonites.
The sad and dangerous truth about Greenpeace, and (I claim) the same applies to all of the Environmental Industry. They need to clean up their act! As jon_troll-del is fond of saying, they need to be "called out" about their myth of man-caused global warming. Please read the following letter. It offers a revealing look at the Environmental Industry from an "insider". Peter
Why I Left Greenpeace By PATRICK MOORE, Noting particularly the scientifically nonsensical attacks on chlorine and PhthalatesIn 1971 an environmental and antiwar ethic was taking root in Canada, and I chose to participate. As I completed a Ph.D. in ecology, I combined my science background with the strong media skills of my colleagues. In keeping with our pacifist views, we started Greenpeace. But I later learned that the environmental movement is not always guided by science. As we celebrate Earth Day today, this is a good lesson to keep in mind.
At first, many of the causes we championed, such as opposition to nuclear testing and protection of whales, stemmed from our scientific knowledge of nuclear physics and marine biology. But after six years as one of five directors of Greenpeace International, I observed that none of my fellow directors had any formal science education. They were either political activists or environmental entrepreneurs.
Ultimately, a trend toward abandoning scientific objectivity in favor of political agendas forced me to leave Greenpeace in 1986.The breaking point was a Greenpeace decision to support a world-wide ban on chlorine. Science shows that adding chlorine to drinking water was the biggest advance in the history of public health, virtually eradicating water-borne diseases such as cholera. And the majority of our pharmaceuticals are based on chlorine chemistry. Simply put, chlorine is essential for our health.
My former colleagues ignored science and supported the ban, forcing my departure. Despite science concluding no known health risks - and ample benefits - from chlorine in drinking water, Greenpeace and other environmental groups have opposed its use for more than 20 years.
Opposition to the use of chemicals such as chlorine is part of a broader hostility to the use of industrial chemicals. Rachel Carson's 1962 book, "Silent Spring," had a significant impact on many pioneers of the green movement. The book raised concerns, many rooted in science, about the risks and negative environmental impact associated with the overuse of chemicals. But the initial healthy skepticism hardened into a mindset that treats virtually all industrial use of chemicals with suspicion.
Sadly, Greenpeace has evolved into an organization of extremism and politically motivated agendas. Its antichlorination campaign failed, only to be followed by a campaign against polyvinyl chloride.
Greenpeace now has a new target called phthalates (pronounced thal-ates). These are chemical compounds that make plastics flexible. They are found in everything from hospital equipment such as IV bags and tubes, to children's toys and shower curtains. They are among the most practical chemical compounds in existence. Phthalates are the new bogeyman. These chemicals make easy targets since they are hard to understand and difficult to pronounce. Commonly used phthalates, such as diisononylphthalate (DINP), have been used in everyday products for decades with no evidence of human harm. DINP is the primary plasticizer used in toys. It has been tested by multiple government and independent evaluators, and found to be safe.
Despite this, a political campaign that rejects science is pressuring companies and the public to reject the use of DINP. Retailers such as Wal-Mart and Toys "R" Us are switching to phthalate-free products to avoid public pressure. It may be tempting to take this path of least resistance, but at what cost? None of the potential replacement chemicals have been tested and found safe to the degree that DINP has. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently cautioned, "If DINP is to be replaced in children's products . . . the potential risks of substitutes must be considered. Weaker or more brittle plastics might break and result in a choking hazard. Other plasticizers might not be as well studied as DINP."The hysteria over DINP began in Europe and Israel, both of which instituted bans. Yet earlier this year, Israel realized the error of putting politics before science, and reinstated DINP. The European Union banned the use of phthalates in toys prior to completion of a comprehensive risk assessment on DINP. That assessment ultimately concluded that the use of DINP in infant toys poses no measurable risk.
The antiphthalate activists are running a campaign of fear to implement their political agenda. They have seen success in California, with a state ban on the use of phthalates in infant products, and are pushing for a national ban. This fear campaign merely distracts the public from real environmental threats. We all have a responsibility to be environmental stewards. But that stewardship requires that science, not political agendas, drive our public policy.
Maybe it is because yesterday was "Earth Day", but suddenly it seems that prominent scientists are coming out everywhere denouncing the myth of man-caused global warming. Perhaps they are offended by Al Gore's ridiculous advertising campaign promoting his brand of pagan mythology. Here are excerpts from a brief interview with a prominent geologist, professor and author about global warming and climate change. Peter
Scientist Who voted for Gore in 2000 Now Debunks Warming Fears By Dr. Don J. Easterbrook, Professor Emeritus Geology, Western Washington University We’ve been warming up about a degree per century since the Little Ice Age in about 1600. We’ve been warming for 400 years, long before human�generated CO2 could have anything to do with the climate. If we project the previous century into the coming one, my projection is that we will have about a half-a-degree of cooling from 2007 (plus or minus three to five years) to about 2040. Then it will start getting warmer as we enter the next warm cycle, followed by cooling again.
For a number of interviews, especially in the national news media, they ask ‘Are you a Republican?’ and I say ‘No, I�m not, as a matter of fact, I voted for Al Gore. I don�t want to pick on him because he�s not a scientist.’ The nonsense he spews comes from the IPCC [United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change], so in a sense I don’t condemn him as much as I do the so-called climatologists like [James] Hansen, who says things that are idiotic. They’re the ones giving him all this stuff. Al Gore makes a hundred-million dollars? He has five-billion in his slush fund? Look at [U.S. Senator] Barbara Boxer, she sponsored a bill for carbon cap and trade [Sanders/Boxer Global Warming Bill S.309]. Who will benefit from hundreds of billions of dollars for administering a scheme like that?
The other thing is research funding. The U.S. spends about two-billion dollars a year on research. Right now, if you submit anything that says CO2 is not the bad guy, you won�t have a chance of getting funding. It all goes to the CO2 people who build little fiefdoms; they have grant money coming out of their ears. They mimic Al Gore and say the debate is over. The last I heard, the U.S. plans to increase its research spending to 3.5 billion dollars, virtually all of which goes into CO2 research.
The last part of this equation is the news media and money being made by people like National Geographic who recently put out a show called Six Degrees of Global Warming [Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet, by Mark Lynas] and how many people watched that and watched the ads that went with it? How much money did they make doing it? How much money would they have made if they’d said ‘Oh, it’s not CO2, it’s solar?’
Doom and gloom is easy to sell. Herman Goebbels said in World War II, and said it right, that if you tell a big enough lie often enough, people will eventually believe it. Today is like that, total hogwash. Gore made a statement that less than a half-dozen people in world don’t believe that CO2 causes AGW. That’s totally nuts.
Read more and an interview with Dr. Easterbrook here. -->
I can hardly believe that Newsweek has come out with a sensible article about nuclear energy and some of the alternative forms of energy. I say this in comparison to Newsweek's article about global warming, climate change and the "deniers". The man being interviewed here, Patrick Moore, I think has his facts and his perceptions correct. This represents a refreshing change from much of what we read in the mainstream media. It is in direct contrast to what we hear from the Environmental Industry alarmists. Peter
A Renegade Against Greenpeace Why he says they're wrong to view nuclear energy as 'evil' FareedZakaria NEWSWEEK Updated: 2:39 PM ET Apr 12, 2008 Patrick Moore is a critic of the environmental movement—an unlikely one at that. He was one of the cofounders of Greenpeace, and sailed into the Aleutian Islands on the organization's inaugural mission in 1971, to protest U.S. nuclear tests taking place there. After leading the group for 15 years he left abruptly, and, in a controversial reversal, has become an outspoken advocate of some of the environmental movement's most detested causes, chief among them nuclear energy. NEWSWEEK'sFareedZakaria spoke to Moore about his sparring with the green movement, and why he thinks nuclear power is the energy of the future.
Excerpts: ZAKARIA: At Greenpeace, you fought against nuclear energy. What changed?
MOORE: My belief, in retrospect, is that because we were so focused on the destructive aspect of nuclear technology and nuclear war, we made the mistake of lumping nuclear energy in with nuclear weapons, as if all things nuclear were evil. And indeed today, Greenpeace still uses the word "evil" to describe nuclear energy. I think that's as big a mistake as if you lumped nuclear medicine in with nuclear weapons. Nuclear medicine uses radioactive isotopes to successfully treat millions of people every year, and those isotopes are all produced in nuclear reactors. That's why I left Greenpeace: I could see that my fellow directors, none of whom had any science education, were starting to deal with issues around chemicals and biology and genetics, which they had no formal training in, and they were taking the organization into what I call "pop environmentalism," which uses sensationalism, misinformation, fear tactics, etc., to deal with people on an emotional level rather than an intellectual level.
Why do you favor nuclear energy over other non-carbon-based sources of energy?
Other than hydroelectric energy—which I also strongly support—nuclear is the only technology besides fossil fuels available as a large-scale continuous power source, and I mean one you can rely on to be running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Wind and solar energy are intermittent and thus unreliable. How can you run hospitals and factories and schools and even a house on an electricity supply that disappears for three or four days at a time? Wind can play a minor role in reducing the amount of fossil fuels we use, because you can turn the fossil fuels off when the wind is blowing. And solar is completely ridiculous. The cost is so high—California's $3.2 billion in solar subsidies is all just going into Silicon Valley companies and consultants. It's ridiculous. A number of analyses say that nuclear power isn't cost competitive, and that without government subsidies, there's no real market for it.
That's simply not true. Where the massive government subsidies are is in wind and solar. I know that France, which produces 80 percent of its electricity with nuclear, does not have high energy costs. Sweden, which produces 50 percent of its energy with nuclear and 50 percent with hydro, has very reasonable energy costs. I know that the cost of production of electricity among the 104 nuclear plants operating in the United States is 1.68 cents per kilowatt-hour. That's not including the capital costs, but the cost of production of electricity from nuclear is very low, and competitive with dirty coal. Gas costs three times as much as nuclear, at least. Wind costs five times as much, and solar costs 10 times as much.
What about the issue of nuclear waste?
As is now planned, I'd establish a recycling industry for nuclear fuel, which reduces the amount of waste to less than 10 percent of what it would be without recycling. How many Americans know that 50 percent of the nuclear energy being produced in the U.S. is now coming from dismantled Russian nuclear warheads? The environmental movement is going on about how terrible it will be if someone does something destructive with these materials. Well, actually the opposite is occurring: all over the world, people are using former nuclear-weapons material for peaceful purposes—swords into plowshares. This constant propaganda about the cost of nuclear energy—that's just activists looking for the right buttons to push, and one of the key buttons to push is to make consumers afraid that their electricity prices will go up if nuclear energy is built. In fact, it's natural gas that is causing [energy] prices to go up.
Don't you worry about proliferation?
You do not need a nuclear reactor to make a nuclear weapon. With centrifuge technology, it is far easier, quicker and cheaper to make a nuclear weapon by enriching uranium directly. No nuclear reactor was involved in making the Hiroshima bomb. You'll never change the fact that there are evil people in the world. The most deaths in combat in the last 20 years have not been caused by nuclear weapons or car bombs or rifles or land mines or any of the usual suspects, but the machete. And yet the machete is the most important tool for farmers in the developing world. Hundreds of millions of people use it to clear their land, to cut their firewood and harvest their crops. Banning the machete is not an option.
Are you optimistic that there will be an aggressive move toward nuclear power in the industrial world, and in particular in the United States?
There are 32 nuclear plants on the drawing boards right now. Last year four applied for their licenses and this year we expect 10 or 11 more. That's just in the United States. There are hundreds of nuclear plants on the drawing boards around the world. This is a completely new thing: the term "'nuclear renaissance" didn't exist three years ago, and now it's a widely known term. Unfortunately, the environmental movement now is the primary obstacle here. If it weren't for their opposition to nuclear energy, there would be a lot fewer coal-fired power plants in the United States and other parts of the world today.
More, and more scientists and business leaders are recognizing and stating that global warming and climate change are natural events. They demonstrate that mankind's activities are not causing a global crisis. Everyone agrees there are environmental challenges in our constantly evolving world, but trying to limit carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) is not the solution. Peter
Hundreds Sign Climate Realist Declaration - “Global Warming is not a Global Crisis” International Climate Science Coalition The International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) today released the names of over 500 endorsers of the Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change that calls on world leaders to “reject the views expressed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as well as popular, but misguided works such as “An Inconvenient Truth"." All taxes, regulations, and other interventions intended to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) should “be abandoned forthwith”, declaration signatories conclude.
Included in the endorser list are world leading climate scientists, economists, policymakers, engineers, business leaders, medical doctors, as well as other professionals and concerned citizens from two dozen countries. The complete declaration text, endorser lists and international media contacts for expert commentary, may be viewed at here.
Perhaps most significant among the declaration’s assertions: > “there is no convincing evidence that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity have in the past, are now, or will in the future cause catastrophic climate change.” > “attempts by governments to legislate costly regulations on industry and individual citizens to encourage CO2 reduction will slow development while having no appreciable impact on the future trajectory of global climate change. Such policies will markedly diminish future prosperity and so reduce the ability of societies to adapt to inevitable climate change, thereby increasing, not decreasing human suffering.”
Just as the Manhattan Project was key to finally ending the Second World War, the Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change may one day be regarded as a critical catalyst that helped end today’s climate hysteria,” said ICSC Science Advisory Board member, Professor Bob Carter of James Cook University in Australia. “Protecting the natural world is crucially important and so environmental policy must be based on our best understanding of science and technology coupled with a realistic appreciation of the relevant economics and policy options. This is not happening in the climate debate.”
ICSC Chair, Professor Tim Patterson of Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada concludes, “Instead of wasting billions restricting emissions of CO2, a vitally important gas on which all life depends, governments must concentrate on solving known environmental problems over which we have influence - air, land and water pollution being obvious examples.”
The ICSC is an association of scientists, economists and energy and policy experts (advisors listed here) working to promote better public understanding of climate change. ICSC provides an analysis of climate science and policy issues which, being independent of lobby groups and vested political interests, is an alternative to advice from the IPCC. ICSC thereby fosters rational, evidence-based, open discussion about all climate, and climate-related, issues. See full release and the multiple lists of endorsers here.
Earth Cooling Mechanism: Hurricane's Do hurricanes play a major role in cooling the Earth's atmosphere? Here is a fantastic satellite image and description of a major hurricane cooling the Pacific Ocean and the atmosphere. Is the Earth's atmosphere going to heat up due to global warming beyond control? No. Can man intervene and control the weather? Totally improbable.
From: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17392 Super Typhoon Ioke's Cool Wake On Saturday, August 26, 2006, the National Weather Service’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu issued its final advisory report for Hurricane Ioke—not because the storm had fallen apart, but because the long-lived and well-traveled storm had passed outside of its monitoring area. As Ioke headed farther west in the Pacific, the storm—called a typhoon after it crossed the International Dateline—was monitored by the Japanese Meteorological Agency. Ioke formed on August 19, and rapidly intensified into a hurricane. Eventually the storm would hit the top of the hurricane intensity scale, becoming a Category 5 “super typhoon.”
Ioke was at this strength when it plowed over tiny (completely evacuated) Wake Island. On September 6, a Coast Guard ship was en route to the island carrying a team who would assess the damage to the island’s airport and other structures.This image shows the cool-water wake that Ioke left behind as it traveled across the Pacific Ocean from its birthplace south of Hawaii on August 19 to within several hundred kilometers of Japan as of September 5, 2006.
Based on sea surface temperature data from Japan’s Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E), which flies onboard NASA’s Aqua satellite, the image shows waters that are warm enough to fuel tropical cyclones in shades of yellow, orange, and red, while areas that are generally to cool to fuel cyclones are blue. The black crosses mark the position of Ioke at the start of each day (0:00 Universal Coordinated Time). A ribbon of cool water cuts through the broad swath of yellow in the central Pacific along the path of the storm. Shallow coastal areas where data were not collected are light gray.
The primary cause of the cool-water wake along the path of the storm is that powerful winds circling inward toward the low air pressure at the eye of the storm force surface waters outward, away from the storm. Deeper, cooler water wells up to replace the surface waters. A secondary cause of the cool-water wake is evaporation of water vapor from the sea surface.The hurricane “heat engine” converts the heat energy that is latent in water vapor into air movement. This heat loss adds additional cooling in the hurricane’s wake.For more images of Hurricane/Typhoon Ioke during its trek across the Pacific, please see the Tropical Storm Ioke event in the Natural Hazards: Severe Storms section of our Website.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using Sea Surface Temperature data from the Advanced Microwave Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E), provided courtesy of Chelle Gentemann, Remote Sensing Systems.
The following article explains why the usage of the concept of consensus is wrong and dangerous as it applies to global warming and climate change. (I apologize for the strange formatting, I couldn't fix it.) Peter
Benny Peiser is a social anthropologist with particular research interest in human and cultural evolution. His research focuses on the effects of environmental change and catastrophic events on contemporary thought and societal evolution. Benny is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a member of Spaceguard UK. He has written extensively on neo-catastrophism and the potential risk posed by near-Earth objects. He is the editor of CCNet, an electronic science and science policy network with more than 5,000 subscribers from around the world. It is in this capacity that a 10km-wide asteroid, Minor Planet (7107) Peiser, was named in his honour by the International Astronomical Union. Wonderfully, in 2002, a second asteroid was named after Benny’s youngest daughter, Minor Planet (11956) Tamarakate. He is a member of the editorial board of Energy & Environment and a scientific advisor to the Lifeboat Foundation.
Six eminent researchers from the Russian Academy of Science and the Israel Space Agency have just published a startling paper in one of the world's leading space science journals. The team of solar physicists claims to have come up with compelling evidence that changes in cosmic ray intensity and variations in solar activity have been driving much of the Earth's climate. They even provide a testable hypothesis, predicting that amplified cosmic ray intensity will lead to an increase of the global cloud cover which, according to their calculations, will result in "some small global cooling over the next couple of years."
I remain decidedly skeptical of such long-term climate predictions. Nevertheless, it is quite remarkable that the global mean temperature, as recorded by NASA's global Land-Ocean Temperature Index, has actually dropped slightly during the last couple of years -- notwithstanding increased levels of CO2 emissions. Two more years of cooling and we may even see the reappearance of a new Ice Age scare.
Whatever one may think of these odd developments, the idea that the sun is the principal driver of terrestrial climate has been gaining ground in recent years. Last month, Jan Veizer, one of Canada's top Earth scientists, published a comprehensive review of recent findings and concluded that "empirical observations on all time scales point to celestial phenomena as the principal driver of climate, with greenhouse gases acting only as potential amplifiers."
What the Russian, Israeli and Canadian researchers have in common is that they allocate much of the climate change to solar variability rather than human causes. They also publish their papers in some of the world's leading scientific journals. So why is it that a recent study published in the leading U.S. journal Science categorically claims that skeptical papers don't exist in the peer-reviewed literature?
According to an essay by Naomi Oreskes, published by Science in December, 2004, there is unanimous "scientific consensus" on the anthropogenic causes of recent global warming. Oreskes, a professor of history, claims to have analyzed 928 abstracts on global climate change, of which 75% either explicitly or implicitly accept the view that most of the recent warming trend is man-made. When I checked the same set of abstracts [plus an additional two hundred found in the same ISI data bank], I discovered that just over a dozen explicitly endorse the "consensus," while the vast majority of abstracts does not mention anthropogenic global warming. Oreskes even claims that this universal agreement had not been questioned once in any of the papers since 1993 and concludes: "This analysis shows that scientists publishing in the peer-reviewed literature agree with IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences and the public statements of their professional societies. Politicians, economists, journalists and others may have the impression of confusion, disagreement or discord among climate scientists, but that impression is incorrect."
What happened to the countless research papers that show global temperatures were similar or even higher during the Holocene Climate Optimum and the Medieval Warm Period, when atmospheric CO2 levels were much lower than today; that solar variability is a key driver of recent climate change, and that climate modeling is highly uncertain? An unbiased analysis of the peer-reviewed literature on global warming will find hundreds of papers (many of them written by the world's leading experts in the field) that have raised serious reservations and outright rejection of the concept of a "scientific consensus on climate change." The truth is, there is no such thing.
In fact, the explicit and implicit rejection of the "consensus" is not restricted to individual scientists. It also includes distinguished scientific organizations such as the Russian Academy of Science and the U.S. Association of State Climatologists, both of which are highly skeptical of the whole idea. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists formally rejects the view that anthropogenic factors are the main trigger of global warming, emphasizing: "The Earth's climate is constantly changing owing to natural variability in Earth processes. Natural climate variability over recent geological time is greater than reasonable estimates of potential human-induced greenhouse gas changes. Because no tool is available to test the supposition of human-induced climate change and the range of natural variability is so great, there is no discernible human influence on global climate at this time."
In the meantime, activists, campaigners and a number of scientific organizations routinely cited Oreskes' essay as final confirmation that the science of climate change is settled once and for all. In a worrying sign of attempted press containment, Britain's Royal Society has even employed her study to call upon the British media to curtail reporting about the scientific controversy altogether.
Yet the scientific community is far from any global warming consensus, as was revealed by a recent survey among some 500 international climate researchers. The survey, conducted by Professors Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch of the German Institute for Coastal Research, found that "a quarter of respondents still question whether human activity is responsible for the most recent climatic changes." Remarkably, a research paper about their survey and some of its key results were submitted to Science in August, 2004. Yet shortly after the paper was rejected, the journal published Oreskes' study, which claimed a universal consensus among climate researchers.
The decision to publish Oreskes' claim of general agreement (just days before an important UN conference on global warming, COP-10) was apparently made while the editors of Science were sitting on a paper that showed quite clearly the opposite. It would appear that the editors of Science knowingly misled the public and the world's media. In my view, such unethical behaviour constitutes a grave contravention, if not a corruption of scientific procedure. This form of unacceptable misconduct is much worse than the editors' refusal to publish the numerous letters and rebuttals regarding Oreskes' flawed study.
The stifling of dissent and the curtailing of scientific skepticism is bringing climate research into disrepute. Science is supposed to work by critical evaluation, open-mindedness and self-correction. There is a fear among climate alarmists that the very existence of scientific skepticism and doubts about their gloomy predictions will be used by politicians to delay action. But if political considerations dictate what gets published, it's all over for science.
Benny Peiser is a social anthropologist at Liverpool John Moores University.
Copyright 2005, National Post
NOTE: In my analysis, I used the same ISI data base and the same key words as Oreskes but used all documents listed therein. While Oreskes did not specify here methodology in her SCIENCE essay, it would appear that she excluded the abstracts in the “Social Sciences Citation Index” and “Arts & Humanities Citation Index”. She also seems to have limited her search to “Articles", while I included “all document types”. These differences may explain the discrepancy between the 928 documents analysed by Oreskes and the 1117 documents I analysed, although her figures don’t add up. Some critics have claimed that these differences essentially undermine my main case while they validate Oreskes'. These commentator, however, ignore the more important flaw I discerned: Only 13 abstracts explicitly endorse what Oreskes has called the 'consensus view', while a majority of abstracts does not include any direct or indirect reference to anthropogenic forcing of recent climate change. BJP, 26/08/05
Dr. Pielke makes a good point here. Global climate computer models can not test or prove the exisitence of man-caused global warming. Computer models are hypothesis, or ideas based on an extremely complex set of assumptions. The only way any model can be "tested" is by verifying its conclusions with real world, measured observations. Currently, these models that are claimed to demonstrate man-caused global warming and climate change fall far short of reality. Peter
However, Tom Knudson makes the very serious mistake of stating that models can test his claim. The models are hypotheses and cannot test anything! They can be used to improve our understanding of how a system works, but their results must be tested against real-world observational data. See larger image here. The complexity of the atmospheric processes climate models try to deal with, many of them poorly understood or given wrong feedback signs His failure to properly communicate what models really should be used for, unfortunately, permeates popular and media preceptions of the climate change issue, and is resulting in very poor policy decisions (e.g., see the April 15th, 2008 post on Prometheus entitled ”Biofuels and Mitigation/Adaption"). -->
Here are many "Peer-Reviewed" articles that should end the belief that "the debate is over" about global warming. It should also destroy the illusion that there is a "consensus" amongst scientists about the causes of global warming. Those propagating the myth of man-caused global warming are simply distorting reality and the facts.....and that is putting it politely. Peter
QUOTE High-resolution records from Antarctic ice cores show that carbon dioxide concentrations increased by 80 to 100 parts per million by volume 600 ± 400 years after the warming of the last three deglaciations.
QUOTE The Little Ice Age and the subsequent warming were global in extent. Several Holocene fluctuations in snowline, comparable in magnitude to that of the post-Little Ice Age warming, occurred in the Swiss Alps. Borehole records both in polar ice and in wells from all continents suggest the existence of a Medieval Warm Period. Finally, two multidecade-duration droughts plagued the western United States during the latter part of the Medieval Warm Period. I consider this evidence sufficiently convincing to merit an intensification of studies aimed at elucidating Holocene climate fluctuations, upon which the warming due to greenhouse gases is superimposed.