Friday, May 30, 2008

Sacrifices To The Climate Gods......Beware

More from Roy Spencer, worth saving.

May 29, 2008, 6:30 a.m.
Sacrifices to the Climate Gods Beware Lieberman-Warner.
By Roy Spencer

It is well-established that the ancient Mayan, Aztec, Incan, and Toltec peoples offered human sacrifices, probably in the belief that such rituals would placate the gods who were in charge of nature; for instance, to help bring life-giving rains to their crops. Although we shudder at the thought of such barbaric practices, I believe that we have unwittingly reinstituted human sacrifice in modern times. But while the list of justifications has grown immensely, our new rituals are still performed in the name of avoiding the wrath of the gods of nature.

Our environmental protection practices have already caused the deaths of millions of people, mainly in poor African countries. By far the most humans — mostly women and children — have been sacrificed in the mistaken belief that the use of any amount of the pesticide DDT would harm the environment. As a result, the preventable disease malaria has continued to decimate Africa. Only recently has this genocide disguised as environmentalism been partly reversed through the reinstituted practice of twice-yearly DDT treatments of the entryways to homes. While most environmentalists continue to insist that there is no connection between international bans on DDT and human deaths, such protestations really are like denying that the Holocaust ever happened.

Now, the Senate is preparing to debate the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, which aims to limit carbon-dioxide emissions in the belief that more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is disrupting the Earth’s climate and ecosystems. Since we now have the scientific method, we rely on computer models to predict these future catastrophes rather than on our fears and prejudices. While this gives the illusion of modern objective precision, the truth is that all we have done is enlisted one of our modern idols — the computer — to justify what we want to believe anyway. And that fundamental belief is that anything mankind does to nature is inherently evil. To be sure, the scientific method can help us understand the physical world… something the ancients could not do. But global-warming theory, unfortunately, is out of the realm of being a legitimate, testable scientific hypothesis.

For instance, to be a valid scientific hypothesis, there should be some kind of climate behavior observable in nature that would be inconsistent with the theory that mankind is responsible for global warming. But instead, everything we observe has now become consistent with the theory. Floods and droughts. Too much snow and too little snow. More hurricanes and fewer hurricanes. It is sometimes pointed out that a theory that explains everything really explains nothing.

Similarly, there is no experiment we can carry out in the laboratory to test the theory. Yes, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and yes we are adding more of it to the atmosphere. But since weather processes create and control over 90 percent of the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect through their continuous adjustments to water vapor and cloud amounts, it is not at all obvious that more CO2 will cause substantial warming. Indeed, it could well be that one of the functions of weather is to maintain a relatively constant greenhouse effect, no matter how much carbon dioxide is present.

Alarmists like Al Gore will use pseudo-scientific justifications and comparisons in their attempt to make a connection between carbon dioxide and global warming. Even though CO2 is necessary for life on Earth, the alarmists insist on calling it a pollutant, referring to our atmosphere as an “open sewer.” For instance, Gore likes to point out that Venus has far more CO2 in its atmosphere than the Earth does, and its surface is hot enough to melt lead. Therefore, more CO2 causes warming.

But we also know that the Martian atmosphere has 15 times as much CO2 as our own atmosphere, and its surface temperature averages about 70 deg. F below zero. So you see, in science a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Why do we love to believe that mankind is a plague upon the Earth? We view anything and everything that happens in nature, no matter how barbaric, bloody, or destructive, as good. Indeed, the word “natural” has no negative connotation at all. If a volcano like Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines dumps millions of tons of sulfur into the stratosphere, cooling the Earth for two or three years, this is simply Mother Nature at work. If humans did it, we would call it an environmental catastrophe.

And now we are teaching our children to perform their own acts of worship, again hoping to placate the gods of the natural world. Substituting compact fluorescent light bulbs for incandescent ones, and turning the light off when they leave the room, makes them feel good about themselves and their relationship to nature. These rituals being taught in the public schools will help define their still-developing worldviews and religious beliefs.

Lieberman-Warner will, in effect, punish the use of energy by making it more expensive. Yet, energy is necessary for all human activities. We are already causing a food crisis around the world by converting food, such as corn, into liquid fuels for transportation. Now, with the Climate Security Act, we will also be causing additional turmoil at home as the poor struggle to survive in a world where only the middle class and wealthy can afford to live relatively comfortably.

We will, in effect, be sacrificing even more humans at the altar of radical environmentalism in the vain hope that the gods in charge of weather and climate will look favorably upon us, and not destroy us.

— Dr. Roy W. Spencer is a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He is author of the new book, Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians, and Misguided Policies that Hurt the Poor.

Editor’s note: This piece has been corrected since posting.— Roy W. Spencer is principal research scientist at the Global Hydrology and Climate Center of the National Space Science and Technology Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Carbon Chastity Required Of True Believers

More reality from Charles Krauthammer. Hopefully our Congressmen and Women read the Washington Post and pay attention to what is being said about the myth of man-caused global warming, and the folly of trying to control the climate.

The Washington Post, 30 May 2008
By Charles Krauthammer

I'm not a global warming believer. I'm not a global warming denier. I'm a global warming agnostic who believes instinctively that it can't be very good to pump lots of CO2 into the atmosphere but is equally convinced that those who presume to know exactly where that leads are talking through their hats.

Predictions of catastrophe depend on models. Models depend on assumptions about complex planetary systems -- from ocean currents to cloud formation -- that no one fully understands. Which is why the models are inherently flawed and forever changing. The doomsday scenarios posit a cascade of events, each with a certain probability. The multiple improbability of their simultaneous occurrence renders all such predictions entirely speculative. Yet on the basis of this speculation, environmental activists, attended by compliant scientists and opportunistic politicians, are advocating radical economic and social regulation. "The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity," warns Czech President Vaclav Klaus, "is no longer socialism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism."

If you doubt the arrogance, you haven't seen that Newsweek cover story that declared the global warming debate over. Consider: If Newton's laws of motion could, after 200 years of unfailing experimental and experiential confirmation, be overthrown, it requires religious fervor to believe that global warming -- infinitely more untested, complex and speculative -- is a closed issue. But declaring it closed has its rewards. It not only dismisses skeptics as the running dogs of reaction, i.e., of Exxon, Cheney and now Klaus. By fiat, it also hugely re-empowers the intellectual left.

For a century, an ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous knowledge class -- social planners, scientists, intellectuals, experts and their left-wing political allies -- arrogated to themselves the right to rule either in the name of the oppressed working class (communism) or, in its more benign form, by virtue of their superior expertise in achieving the highest social progress by means of state planning (socialism). Two decades ago, however, socialism and communism died rudely, then were buried forever by the empirical demonstration of the superiority of market capitalism everywhere from Thatcher's England to Deng's China, where just the partial abolition of socialism lifted more people out of poverty more rapidly than ever in human history. Just as the ash heap of history beckoned, the intellectual left was handed the ultimate salvation: environmentalism.

Now the experts will regulate your life not in the name of the proletariat or Fabian socialism but -- even better -- in the name of Earth itself. Environmentalists are Gaia's priests, instructing us in her proper service and casting out those who refuse to genuflect. (See Newsweek above.) And having proclaimed the ultimate commandment -- carbon chastity -- they are preparing the supporting canonical legislation that will tell you how much you can travel, what kind of light you will read by, and at what temperature you may set your bedroom thermostat.

Only Monday, a British parliamentary committee proposed that every citizen be required to carry a carbon card that must be presented, under penalty of law, when buying gasoline, taking an airplane or using electricity. The card contains your yearly carbon ration to be drawn down with every purchase, every trip, every swipe. There's no greater social power than the power to ration. And, other than rationing food, there is no greater instrument of social control than rationing energy, the currency of just about everything one does and uses in an advanced society.

So what does the global warming agnostic propose as an alternative?
First, more research -- untainted and reliable -- to determine (a) whether the carbon footprint of man is or is not lost among the massive natural forces (from sunspot activity to ocean currents) that affect climate, and (b) if the human effect is indeed significant, whether the planetary climate system has the homeostatic mechanisms (like the feedback loops in the human body, for example) with which to compensate.

Second, reduce our carbon footprint in the interim by doing the doable, rather than the economically ruinous and socially destructive. The most obvious step is a major move to nuclear power, which to the atmosphere is the cleanest of the clean. But your would-be masters have foreseen this contingency. The Church of the Environment promulgates secondary dogmas as well. One of these is a strict nuclear taboo. Rather convenient, is it not? Take this major coal-substituting fix off the table, and we will be rationing all the more. Guess who does the rationing.
Copyright 2008, WashPost

Environmentalism: The Great Savior Of Mankind?

This is a good essay, clear, concise, perceptive, and I think, correct.

"For a century, an ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous knowledge class -- social planners, scientists, intellectuals, experts and their left-wing political allies -- arrogated to themselves the right to rule either in the name of the oppressed working class (communism) or, in its more benign form, by virtue of their superior expertise in achieving the highest social progress by means of state planning (socialism).

Two decades ago, however, socialism and communism died rudely, then were buried forever by the empirical demonstration of the superiority of market capitalism everywhere from Thatcher's England to Deng's China, where just the partial abolition of socialism lifted more people out of poverty more rapidly than ever in human history.

Just as the ash heap of history beckoned, the intellectual left was handed the ultimate salvation: environmentalism. Now the experts will regulate your life not in the name of the proletariat or Fabian socialism but -- even better -- in the name of Earth itself." --Charles Krauthammer, The Washington Post, 30 May 2008

A Cold, Hard Look At The Economics Of Controlling Global Warming

The most dangerous aspect of the great debate over global warming and what is now called "climate change", is not the questioning of science or computer models; it is the world-wide economic cost of trying to control "carbon emissions". Putting science, and politics aside, for a moment, we should take a cold hard look at the economics behind the movement to control global warming. The Czech President is an economist, author, and experienced political leader. Here is his educated opinion.

Climate concern ripped as 'religion'
Czech leader condemns it
David R. Sands THE WASHINGTON TIMES Friday, May 30, 2008
Environmentalism, says Czech President Vaclav Klaus, is the new communism, a system of elite command-and-control that kills prosperity and should similarly be condemned to the ash heap of history.

The provocative Mr. Klaus, an economist by training and former prime minister, said in an interview that today's global warming activists are the direct descendants of the old Marxists who trampled on individual freedoms and undermined free markets in pursuit of a greater good.
"I understand that global warming is a religion conceived to suppress human freedom," he told editors and reporters at The Washington Times. "It is used to justify an enormous scope for government intervention vis-a-vis the markets and personal freedom."

The 66-year-old Mr. Klaus was in Washington this week for talks with senior U.S. officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, and to tout his new book, "Blue Planet in Green Shackles," about the dangers to life, liberty and prosperity posed by the modern environmental movement. His Washington meetings included discussions on a pact to situate key parts of a U.S. missile defense shield in the Czech Republic. A top Bush administration priority, the system is designed to defend against attacks from rogue states such as Iran.

Mr. Klaus said he expected the Czech parliament to ratify the pact by the end of the year, but acknowledged it "won't be an easy debate." Russia has fiercely opposed the system, something the Czech president said may actually build public support for the plan back home. "The stronger the Russian position opposing the system, the easier it is in the Czech Republic to get support," he said.

Having experienced decades of Soviet domination during the Cold War, Czechs are "extremely sensitive to any patronizing from that part of the world," he said. Mr. Klaus was a leading figure in the first Prague governments after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and was prime minister when the former Czechoslovakia broke into two countries in the "Velvet Divorce" of 1993.

He barely won a second five-year term as president in February amid divisions in the rival Social Democratic Party. An admirer of conservative former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, he has emerged as a leading voice in Europe for free markets and individual rights.
He opposed the first drive for a European Union constitution, which collapsed when French and Dutch voters rejected it. The Czech parliament is expected to ratify an amended EU constitution by the end of the year.

The outspoken Mr. Klaus does not appear to mind being out of step with his government at times. He criticized the Czech Republic's decision last week to recognize the independence of Kosovo from Serbia, over the fierce objections of Belgrade.

Czech President Vaclav Klaus thinks global-warming activists are elitists who threaten freedoms and free markets. Mr. Klaus said his experience with the breakup of Czechoslovakia convinced him that any separation had to come from within and accepted by all parties. "If we had had U.S. or EU commissioners coming into Czechoslovakia telling us how to divide the country, there would have been shooting," he said. "I'm sorry that in [the United States], the substance of this argument was not appreciated."

That formative experience growing up under communism, said Mr. Klaus, has led him to his own strong views on the modern environmental movement, which he charged has failed to do a basic cost-benefit analysis in its drive to force people to obey its dictates. While saying he was not a "total libertarian," Mr. Klaus observed, "For most of my life, I lived under a regime where the public debate was manipulated. That is why I feel so strongly about this."

Former Vice President Al Gore - whom Mr. Klaus has challenged to a public debate - won the Nobel Peace Prize and the Czech Republic ratified the Kyoto climate treaty seven years ago, but Mr. Klaus insisted he had the world's "silent majority" behind him in the green debate.
"I don't feel alone," he insisted.

He rejected the "fashionable" idea of a cap-and-trade pollution control system, endorsed by Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain and his two Democratic rivals, Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Under cap-and-trade, the government would set a ceiling under which companies could trade "credits" on how much carbon they produce. "It's a scheme to play the market and I refuse to accept that concept," he said. "Please don't try to play the market."

More practically, he said, government bureaucrats will be so afraid of setting the cap too low - stifling all economic activity - that they will set the ceiling too high, making it "meaningless."
Mr. Klaus pointed to the sharp rise in global energy prices as a sign the market is a far better engine for social change than politicians or bureaucrats.

The recent price increase "is so much more than any government would dare to do," he said. "Can you imagine if the U.S. Congress tried to introduce such a tax to cut consumption? The Congress would disappear tomorrow morning."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Some Basics About Energy

The following article summarizes some basic information about the energy the United States uses, where it comes from, and how it is used. These simple realities are often overlooked, misunderstood, or misinterpreted among people participating in the ongoing debate over energy prices, renewable and alternative energy and global warming. Perhaps most significant, is how little energy comes from so-called alternative energy sources, particularly solar, wind, and geothermal. We can not just suddenly do away with oil, gas, and coal . These numbers are well worth understanding and remembering.


The Basics on Energy
May 23, 2008
Energy & Entrepreneurs #57

The Basics on Energy
by Raymond J. Keating

When energy costs are skyrocketing, it's often hard to stay clear on the basics regarding the economics and workings of energy markets.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration launched a series early this month titled "Energy in Brief - what everyone should know about energy." The EIA explains: "Energy in Briefs explain important energy topics in plain language. Each Brief answers a question relevant to the public and recommends resources for further reading."
For the most part, these are handy guides that walk through some energy fundamentals. They can be read at the "Energy in Brief" website.

A few points from the current reports on the site are worth noting here.
On electricity:

• In 2007, 48.7 percent of electricity generation came from coal, followed by 21.5 percent from natural gas, nuclear at 19.4 percent, hydroelectric at 6.0 percent, other renewables at 2.5 percent, and petroleum at 1.6 percent.

• Regarding electricity prices: "In 2007, Hawaii residential consumers paid the highest rate (24.13 cents per kilowatt hour) because the primary fuel used to generate their electricity is oil, which is expensive. Idaho residential consumers paid the lowest rate (6.35 cents per kilowatt hour) because of the availability of economical hydroelectric power."

On foreign oil:
• In terms of meeting U.S. oil demand, 60 percent are net imports and 40 percent is domestic oil.

• "Some may be surprised to learn that almost 50% of U.S. crude oil and petroleum products imports came from the Western Hemisphere (North, South, and Central America and the Caribbean including U.S. territories) during 2006. We imported only 16% of our crude oil and petroleum products from the Persian Gulf countries of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. During 2006, our five biggest suppliers of crude oil and petroleum products were: Canada (17.2%), Mexico (12.4%), Saudi Arabia (10.7%), Venezuela (10.4%), Nigeria (8.1%)."

On liquefied natural gas:
• "The United States imports about 16% of the natural gas we consume. Most of these imports are delivered by pipeline (from Canada). But a growing volume of natural gas is coming to the United States in liquid form from overseas. With the demand for natural gas expected to increase, it's likely that U.S. imports of LNG also will need to increase."

• "Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas that has been cooled to about minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit for shipment and/or storage as a liquid. The volume of the liquid is about 600 times smaller than the gaseous form. In this compact form, natural gas can be shipped in special tankers to receiving terminals in the United States and other importing countries. At these terminals, the LNG is returned to a gaseous form and transported by pipeline to distribution companies, industrial consumers, and power plants. Liquefying natural gas provides a means of moving it long distances where pipeline transport is not feasible, allowing access to natural gas from regions with vast production potential that are too distant from end-use markets to be connected by pipeline."

On renewable energy:
• In 2006, renewable energy accounted for 7 percent of U.S. energy demand and 9.5 percent of electricity generation.

• Based on data from the EIA brief, of the total U.S. energy supply in 2006, wind accounted for 0.28 percent and solar 0.07 percent.
"The largest share of the renewable-generated electricity comes from hydroelectric energy (75%), followed by biomass (14%), wind (7%), geothermal (4%), and solar (0.1%)."
This is all information worth keeping in mind as the energy policy debate continues.
Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Global Warming Petition Project


31,072 American scientists have signed this petition,including 9,021 with PhDs

Send this to all of your scientist and engineering friends. Send it to anyone who is interested in the issue of global warming and the impact trying to control it is having on our economy.
Go to the home page here for more information:

For A Good Laugh....

If you want to have a good laugh, read what Al Gore has to say recently about global warming and the environment. Is he out of touch with reality or what?

Gore Tells Graduates They Can Become Heroes
By Daniel Lovering, Associated Press May 19, 2008Pittsburgh (AP) -
Former Vice President Al Gore on Sunday told graduates of Carnegie Mellon University they could become part of the next "hero generation" in American history by solving environmental problems. In a commencement address before a record crowd of about 10,000 people, the Nobel laureate said there had already been two "special generations" of Americans: the one that founded the country and the one that defeated fascism during World War II.

"You, I hope and expect, will be called upon to be part of the third hero generation in American history," by countering the threat of global warming, he said."We face a planetary emergency," Gore said. "The concentrations of global warming pollution have been rising at an unprecedented pace and have now given the planet a fever."Carnegie Mellon had provided "great leadership in confronting what I regard as the most serious crisis our civilization has ever confronted," partly by becoming a major buyer of retail wind power, he said. Alternative energy sources such as the sun and wind can replace fossil fuels, Gore said, but "we need one ingredient that you represent. We need political will; we need your dedication; we need your hearts."


Global Warming Science Consensus? Not At All

At some point it seems the only scientists who will remain believers in man-caused global warming will be those who make their living promoting the concept. What will it take for politicians salivating over the opportunity to raise tax revenue from "carbon emissions" to realize they are wrong? When will the public wake up to the hoax that is man-caused global warming, and let their political leaders know they are not buying into the scam? Let us hope it is soon, before even more harm is done.

Financial Post, 17 May 2008
By Lawrence Solomon
Question: How many scientists does it take to establish that a consensus does not exist on global warming? The quest to establish that the science is not settled on climate change began before most people had even heard of global warming. The year was 1992 and the United Nations was about to hold its Earth Summit in Rio. It was billed as - and was - the greatest environmental and political assemblage in human history. Delegations came from 178 nations - virtually every nation in the world - including 118 heads of state or government and 7,000 diplomatic bureaucrats. The world's environmental groups came too - they sent some 30,000 representatives from every corner of the world to Rio. To report all this, 7,000 journalists converged on Rio to cover the event, and relay to the publics of the world that global warming and other environmental insults were threatening the planet with catastrophe.

In February of that year, in an attempt to head off the whirlwind that the conference would unleash, 47 scientists signed a "Statement by Atmospheric Scientists on Greenhouse Warming," decrying "the unsupported assumption that catastrophic global warming follows from the burning of fossil fuels and requires immediate action." To a scientist in search of truth, 47 is an impressive number, especially if those 47 dissenters include many of the world's most eminent scientists. To the environmentalists, politicians, press at Rio, their own overwhelming numbers made the 47 seem irrelevant.

Knowing this, a larger petition effort was undertaken, known as the Heidelberg Appeal, and released to the public at the Earth Summit. By the summit's end, 425 scientists and other intellectual leaders had signed the appeal. These scientists - mere hundreds - also mattered for nought in the face of the tens of thousands assembled at Rio. The Heidelberg Appeal was blown away and never obtained prominence, even though the organizers persisted over the years to ultimately obtain some 4,000 signatories, including 72 Nobel Prize winners.

The earnest effort to demonstrate the absence of a consensus continued with the Leipzig Declaration on Global Climate Change - an attempt to counter the Kyoto Protocol of 1997. Its 150-odd signatories also counted for nought. As did the Cornwall Declaration on Environmental Stewardship in 2000, signed by more than 1,500 clergy, theologians, religious leaders, scientists, academics and policy experts concerned about the harm that Kyoto could inflict on the world's poor.

Then came the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine's Petition Project of 2001, which far surpassed all previous efforts and by all rights should have settled the issue of whether the science was settled on climate change. To establish that the effort was bona fide, and not spawned by kooks on the fringes of science, as global warming advocates often label the skeptics, the effort was spearheaded by Dr. Frederick Seitz, past president of the National Academy of Sciences and of Rockefeller University, and as reputable as they come.The Oregon petition garnered an astounding 17,800 signatures, a number all the more astounding because of the unequivocal stance that these scientists took: Not only did they dispute that there was convincing evidence of harm from carbon dioxide emissions, they asserted that Kyoto itself would harm the global environment because "increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

"The petition drew media attention, but little of it was for revealing to the world that an extraordinary number of scientists hold views on global warming diametrically opposite to those they are expected to hold. Instead, the press focussed on presumed flaws that critics found in the petition. Some claimed the petition was riddled with duplicate names. They were no duplicates, just different scientists with the same name. Some claimed the petition had phonies. There was only one phony: Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, planted by a Greenpeace organization to discredit the petition and soon removed. Other names that seemed to be phony - such as Michael Fox, the actor, and Perry Mason, the fictional lawyer in a TV series - were actually bona fide scientists, properly credentialled.

Like the Heidelberg Appeal, the Oregon petition was blown away. But now it is blowing back. Original signatories to the petition and others, outraged at Kyoto's corruption of science, wrote to the Oregon Institute and its director, Arthur Robinson, asking that the petition be brought back. "E-mails started coming in every day," he explained. "And they kept coming. " The writers were outraged at the way Al Gore and company were abusing the science to their own ends. "We decided to do the survey again."Using a subset of the mailing list of American Men and Women of Science, a who's who of Science, Robinson mailed out his solicitations through the postal service, requesting signed petitions of those who agreed that Kyoto was a danger to humanity.

The response rate was extraordinary, "much, much higher than anyone expected, much higher than you'd ordinarily expect," he explained. He's processed more than 31,000 at this point, more than 9,000 of them with PhDs, and has another 1,000 or so to go - most of them are already posted on a Web site at Why go to this immense effort all over again, when the press might well ignore the tens of thousands of scientists who are standing up against global warming alarmism? "I hope the general public will become aware that there is no consensus on global warming," he says, "and I hope that scientists who have been reluctant to speak up will now do so, knowing that they aren't alone."At one level, Robinson, a PhD scientist himself, recoils at his petition. Science shouldn't be done by poll, he explains. "The numbers shouldn't matter. But if they want warm bodies, we have them." Some 32,000 scientists is more than the number of environmentalists that descended on Rio in 1992.

Is this enough to establish that the science is not settled on global warming? The press conference releasing these names occurs on Monday at the National Press Club in Washington.
Copyright 2008, Financial Post

Friday, May 9, 2008

Cold, Hard Facts About The Cost Of Controlling Climate Change

There are some glaring gaps in understanding about the real costs involved in trying to stop global warming and climate change by limiting carbon dioxide emissions. That is assuming that carbon dioxide plays a role in causing global warming, (which I do not accept). However, in addition to that scientific fact about carbon dioxide, the realities of trying to reduce these emissions are overlooked. Here are some cold, hard realities.

The Real Cost of Tackling Climate Change
By Steven F. Hayward

Wall Street Journal
April 28, 2008
Web site:

The usual chorus of environmentalists and editorial writers has chimed in to attack President Bush's recent speech on climate change. In his address of April 23, he put forth a goal of stopping the growth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2025.

"Way too little and way too late," runs the refrain, followed by the claim that nothing less than an 80% reduction in emissions by the year 2050 will suffice – what I call the "80 by 50" target. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have endorsed it. John McCain is not far behind, calling for a 65% reduction.

We all ought to reflect on what an 80% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050 really means. When we do, it becomes clear that the president's target has one overwhelming virtue: Assuming emissions curbs are even necessary, his goal is at least realistic.

The same cannot be said for the carbon emissions targets espoused by the three presidential candidates and environmentalists. Indeed, these targets would send us back to emissions levels last witnessed when the cotton gin was in daily use.

Begin with the current inventory of carbon dioxide emissions – CO2 being the principal greenhouse gas generated almost entirely by energy use. According to the Department of Energy's most recent data on greenhouse gas emissions, in 2006 the U.S. emitted 5.8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, or just under 20 tons per capita. An 80% reduction in these emissions from 1990 levels means that the U.S. cannot emit more than about one billion metric tons of CO2 in 2050.

Were man-made carbon dioxide emissions in this country ever that low? The answer is probably yes – from historical energy data it is possible to estimate that the U.S. last emitted one billion metric tons around 1910. But in 1910, the U.S. had 92 million people, and per capita income, in current dollars, was about $6,000.

By the year 2050, the Census Bureau projects that our population will be around 420 million. This means per capita emissions will have to fall to about 2.5 tons in order to meet the goal of 80% reduction.

It is likely that U.S. per capita emissions were never that low – even back in colonial days when the only fuel we burned was wood. The only nations in the world today that emit at this low level are all poor developing nations, such as Belize, Mauritius, Jordan, Haiti and Somalia.

If that comparison seems unfair, consider that even the least-CO2 emitting industrialized nations do not come close to the 2050 target. France and Switzerland, compact nations that generate almost all of their electricity from nonfossil fuel sources (nuclear for France, hydro for Switzerland) emit about 6.5 metric tons of CO2 per capita.

The daunting task of reaching one billion metric tons of CO2 emissions by 2050 comes into even greater relief when we look at the American economy, sector-by-sector. The Energy Department breaks down emissions into residential, commercial (office buildings, etc.), industrial, and transportation (planes, trains and automobiles); electricity consumption is apportioned to each.

Consider the residential sector. At the present time, American households emit 1.2 billion tons of CO2 – 20% higher than the entire nation's emissions must be in 2050. If households are to emit no more than their present share of CO2, emissions will have to be reduced to 204 million tons by 2050. But in 2050, there will be another 40 million residential households in the U.S.

Today, the average residence in the U.S. uses about 10,500 kilowatt hours of electricity and emits 11.4 tons of CO2 per year (much more if you are Al Gore or John Edwards and live in a mansion). To stay within the magic number, average household emissions will have to fall to no more than 1.5 tons per year. In our current electricity infrastructure, this would mean using no more than about 2,500 KwH per year. This is not enough juice to run the average hot water heater.

You can forget refrigerators, microwaves, clothes dryers and flat screen TVs. Even a house tricked out with all the latest high-efficiency EnergyStar appliances and compact fluorescent lights won't come close. The same daunting energy math applies to the industrial, commercial and transportation sectors as well. The clear implication is that we shall have to replace virtually the entire fossil fuel electricity infrastructure over the next four decades with CO2-free sources – a multitrillion dollar proposition, if it can be done at all.

Natural gas – the preferred coal substitute of the moment – won't come close. If we replaced every single existing coal plant with a natural gas plant, CO2 emissions from electric power generation alone would still be more than twice the 2050 target. Most environmentalists remain opposed to nuclear power, of course. It is unlikely that renewables – wind, solar, and biomass – can ever make up more than about 20% of our electricity supply.

Suppose, however, that a breakthrough in carbon sequestration, a revival of nuclear power, and a significant improvement in the cost and effectiveness of renewables were to enable us to reduce the carbon footprint of electricity production. That would still leave transportation.

Right now our cars and trucks consume about 180 billion gallons of motor fuel. To meet the 2050 target, we shall have to limit consumption of gasoline to about 31 billion gallons, unless a genuine carbon-neutral liquid fuel can be produced. (Ethanol isn't it.) To show how unrealistic this is, if the entire nation drove nothing but Toyota Priuses in 2050, we'd still overshoot the transportation emissions target by 40%.

The enthusiasm for an 80% reduction target is often justified on grounds that national policy should set an ambitious goal. However, claims on behalf of alternative energy sources – biofuels, hydrogen, windpower and so forth – either do not match up to the scale of the energy required, or are not cost-competitive in current form.

How on God's green earth will we make up the difference? Someone should put this question to the candidates. And not let them slide past it with glittering generalities.

Mr. Hayward is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of the annual "Index of Leading Environmental Indicators," from which this article is adapted.

Some Simple Truths About Oil

Many people have misconceptions about how oil is found, produced, refined, and supplied to consumers, most noticeably in the form of gasoline. The oil industry has been so demonized over the years that few people fully understand where oil actually comes from, who really owns it, how costly it is to find and produce, and how much actual profit oil companies make. It is this ignorance, I believe, that leads to bad government laws, more taxes, higher costs, (like we're seeing now) and serious damage to our economy. Here are ten simple truths everyone should know.

Ten Simple Truths about Oil
Alan Caruba

Ten#"> source

Having written about the energy industry and issues now for a long time, I hope I can be forgiven for being enraged by the comments by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) in response to President Bush’s press conference Tuesday morning. There is simply no way to describe them other than false.

The Democrat Party has long made “Big Oil” their favorite punching bag, confident that the public has no idea what influences the price and supply of oil. Saying anything favorable to Big Oil is immediately deemed evidence that one is in their pay and whatever facts are offered are therefore invalid.

There are, however, some simple truths about Big Oil that cannot and should not be ignored. To do so leaves everyone at the mercy of energy policies that have created the situation in which the United States finds itself today.

Fact #1. The combined ownership of oil reserves by the independent, investor-owned oil companies such as ExxonMobil, Conoco-Phillips, BP, Chevron and others is barely 4% of the total known oil reserves in the world. By itself, ExxonMobil’s share is 1.08%.

Fact #2. Oil is a global commodity sold on mercantile exchanges for whatever price it can command. Speculation in oil prices is the primary reason they have been driven to utterly insane costs per barrel. It has nothing to do with actual supply and demand.

Fact #3. No nation on Earth is or can be “energy independent.” The geopolitics of oil is complex, but as nations such as China and India have seen their economies grow, their need for oil grows with it and thus they compete with long established industrialized nations for existing oil supplies. This competition has an impact on prices.

Fact #4. The OPEC nations, those in the Middle East and including Venezuela, control 77% of the world’s known oil reserves. Like Russia and Mexico, where the oil industry is controlled by the state, it is generally poorly managed. Several Big Oil companies that were induced to undertake exploration and development in Russia and Venezuela actually had their assets nationalized or stolen at prices well below their investment and value.

Fact #5. Energy is the master resource. All nations with any hope of growing their economies require it, mostly in the form of electricity, but also for oil’s role in transportation. The failure to have a national long-range energy policy that is based in reality can severely impact energy prices.

Fact #6. The United States has, for years, pursued an energy policy based on environmental myths such as “biofuels” in which corn is turned into ethanol to reduce the import of oil, but it costs as much to produce ethanol as to refine oil and it provides less mileage per gallon, thus negating any reason for this additive. Likewise, suggesting that wind or solar energy can generate anything more than its current 1% of the nation’s electricity needs ignores their unreliability and the fact they are heavily subsidized, a form of hidden consumer tax.

Fact #7. It costs billions to explore, discover, extract and transport oil. It takes lots of lead-time as well. The United States Congress has, for decades, refused to permit the extraction of vast oil reserves in ANWR despite the fact it would have little or no impact on the Alaskan wildlife reserve. In addition, Congress has declared 85% percent of the nation’s coastal, offshore areas off-limits to any exploration for oil or natural gas.

Fact #8. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under the mandate of Congress, requires Big Oil to refine oil into some 17 different formulations in the name of clean air. With three grades of gasoline, that means that refiners must produce some 45 different blends. The quality of air in America is excellent, but the cost of gasoline at the pump continues to rise as the result of these mandates.

Fact #9. America imports two-thirds of the oil it uses. All of its transportation runs on oil. The population continues to grow. Failure to encourage the construction of a single new refinery since the 1970s puts a further strain on the ability of Big Oil to provide the nation’s oil and diesel fuel needs.

Fact #10. Democrats continue to demand that Big Oil’s profits be confiscated in some fashion and some of the inducements offered to explore for more oil be ended. Because the costs of exploration, extraction, refining, and transporting of oil represents billions, the actual profit margin of a company like ExxonMobil is about 10%, well below what industries such as pharmaceuticals and banking enjoy.

For these and many other reasons, Americans are being impoverished at the gas pump because Congress has dithered and failed in one of its most important responsibilities.

The Myth Of Man-Caused Global Warming Continues To Crumble

Since I could not find Stephen Wilde listed as a "Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society" at their website ( ) I've removed this article. Thanks for the input.

Global Warming and Cooling - The Reality
Stephen Wilde, Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society

(I found the following information about Mr. Wilde.)

Stephen Wilde LLB (Hons.)U.K. Private Client Solicitor and lifelong Weather and Climate enthusiast.Born and brought up in Cheshire England.From age 5 to 17 always anticipated becoming a TV weather presenter but eventually chose Law due to a marginally better facility with words rather than the number crunching of physics in those days.Nevertheless maintained an intense interest in the subject and kept up to date with developments throughout the past 50 years. Well able to understand complex science and express it in simple language.

Joined Royal Meteorological Society 1968. Now runs own Law Firm specialising in a good quality clientele with significant property work.In spare time, purely for pleasure, continues to keep up with all aspects of weather and climate and writes articles attempting to bridge the gap in understanding between scientists and the general public.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Many Consensus Environmental Predictions Have Come And Gone

Are there any examples of past environmental predictions being wrong? Yes, many, and they have been outrageously, grossly, dangerously wrong. Just so no one thinks that man-caused global warming "must be true" because there is a "consensus", and the United Nation's IPCC says so, and a failed Presidential candidate is spending $300 Million in an advertising (propaganda) effort to convince us it is true. Beware, look at the historical record of environmental and "scientific" predictions.


Environmentalists' Wild Predictions
By Walter E. Williams
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Now that another Earth Day has come and gone, let's look at some environmentalist predictions that they would prefer we forget.

At the first Earth Day celebration, in 1969, environmentalist Nigel Calder warned, "The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind."

C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organization said, "The cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed."

In 1968, Professor Paul Ehrlich, Vice President Gore's hero and mentor, predicted there would be a major food shortage in the U.S. and "in the 1970s ... hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death." Ehrlich forecasted that 65 million Americans would die of starvation between 1980 and 1989, and by 1999 the U.S. population would have declined to 22.6 million. Ehrlich's predictions about England were gloomier: "If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000."

In 1972, a report was written for the Club of Rome warning the world would run out of gold by 1981, mercury and silver by 1985, tin by 1987 and petroleum, copper, lead and natural gas by 1992. Gordon Taylor, in his 1970 book "The Doomsday Book," said Americans were using 50 percent of the world's resources and "by 2000 they [Americans] will, if permitted, be using all of them." In 1975, the Environmental Fund took out full-page ads warning, "The World as we know it will likely be ruined by the year 2000."

Harvard University biologist George Wald in 1970 warned, "... civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind." That was the same year that Sen. Gaylord Nelson warned, in Look Magazine, that by 1995 "... somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct."

It's not just latter-day doomsayers who have been wrong; doomsayers have always been wrong. In 1885, the U.S. Geological Survey announced there was "little or no chance" of oil being discovered in California, and a few years later they said the same about Kansas and Texas. In 1939, the U.S. Department of the Interior said American oil supplies would last only another 13 years. In 1949, the Secretary of the Interior said the end of U.S. oil supplies was in sight. Having learned nothing from its earlier erroneous claims, in 1974 the U.S. Geological Survey advised us that the U.S. had only a 10-year supply of natural gas. The fact of the matter, according to the American Gas Association, there's a 1,000 to 2,500 year supply.

Here are my questions: In 1970, when environmentalists were making predictions of manmade global cooling and the threat of an ice age and millions of Americans starving to death, what kind of government policy should we have undertaken to prevent such a calamity? When Ehrlich predicted that England would not exist in the year 2000, what steps should the British Parliament have taken in 1970 to prevent such a dire outcome? In 1939, when the U.S. Department of the Interior warned that we only had oil supplies for another 13 years, what actions should President Roosevelt have taken? Finally, what makes us think that environmental alarmism is any more correct now that they have switched their tune to manmade global warming?

Here are a few facts: Over 95 percent of the greenhouse effect is the result of water vapor in Earth's atmosphere. Without the greenhouse effect, Earth's average temperature would be zero degrees Fahrenheit. Most climate change is a result of the orbital eccentricities of Earth and variations in the sun's output. On top of that, natural wetlands produce more greenhouse gas contributions annually than all human sources combined.

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of More Liberty Means Less Government: Our Founders Knew This Well.

The End Of The Myth Of Man Caused Global Warming?

Read this very carefully and consider its implications. The myth of man-caused global warming is being disproved by actual observations. I wonder if someone sent a "carbon copy" of this to Al Gore? Better yet, let him spend his $300 Million on advertising trying to convince people that his myth is still true.

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri
Chairman Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
c/o World Meteorological Organization
7bis Avenue de la PaixC.P. 2300 CH- 1211 Geneva 2,Switzerland

14 April 2008

Dear Dr. Pachauri and others associated with IPCC
We are writing to you and others associated with the IPCC position – that man’s CO2 is a driver of global warming and climate change – to ask that you now in view of the evidence retract support from the current IPCC position [as in footnote 1] and admit that there is no observational evidence in measured data going back 22,000 years or even millions of years that CO2 levels (whether from man or nature) have driven or are driving world temperatures or climate change.
If you believe there is evidence of the CO2 driver theory in the available data please present a graph of it.

We draw your attention to three observational refutations of the IPCC position (and note there are more). Icecore data from the ACIA (Arctic Climate Impact Assessment) shows that temperatures have fallen since around 4,000 years ago (the Bronze Age Climate Optimum) while CO2 levels have risen, yet this graphical data was not included in the IPCC Summary for Policymakers (Fig. SPM1 Feb07) which graphed the CO2 rise.

More recent data shows that in the opposite sense to IPCC predictions world temperatures have not risen and indeed have fallen over the past 10 years while CO 2 levels have risen dramatically.

The up-dated temperature measurements have been released by the NASA’s Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU)[1] as well as by the UK’s Hadley Climate Research Unit (Temperature v. 3, variance adjusted - Hadley CRUT3v) [2]. In parallel, readings of atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have been released by the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii [3]. They have been combined in graphical form by Joe D’Aleo [4], and are shown below.

2 These latest temperature readings represent averages of records obtained from standardized meteorological stations from around the planet, located in both urban as well as rural settings. They are augmented by satellite data, now generally accepted as ultimately authoritative, since they have a global footprint and are not easily vulnerable to manipulation nor observer error. What is also clear from the graphs is that average global temperatures have been in stasis for almost a decade and may now even be falling.

A third important observation is that contrary to the CO2 driver theory, temperatures in the upper troposphere (where most jets fly) have fallen over the past two decades. [Footnote 2]
IPCC policy is already leading to economic and unintended environmental damage. Specifically the policy of burning food – maize as biofuel – has contributed to sharp rises in food prices which are causing great hardship in many countries and is also now leading to increased deforestation in Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia, Togo, Cambodia, Nigeria, Burundi, Sri Lanka, Benin and Uganda for cultivation of crops [5].

Given the economic devastation that is already happening and which is now widely recognised will continue to flow from this policy, what possible justification can there be for its retention?
We ask you and all those whose names are associated with IPCC policy to accept the scientific observations and renounce current IPCC policy.

Yours sincerely,
Hans Schreuder Piers Corbyn Dr Don Parkes Svend HendriksenAnalytical Chemist UK Astrophysicist UK Prof. Human Ecology (Ret) Nobel Peace Prize 1988 (shared) mMensa Dir. Australia and Japan hendriksen@greennet.glCc: IPCC’s Tim Yeo MP (Chairman Environmental Audit Committee)Lord Martin Rees (President Royal Society)Gordon Brown MPDavid Cameron MPNick Glegg MPKevin Rudd, PM of Australia

Footnote 1: Two heavily publicised quotations which emerged from your organisation, respectively in February and December last year, are:
Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations. It is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over each continent (except Antarctica) (Figure SPM.4).{2.4} [6] and The 2007 IPCC report, compiled by several hundred climate scientists, has unequivocally concluded that our climate is warming
rapidly, and that we are now at least 90% certain that this is mostly due to human activities. The amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere now far exceeds the natural range of the past 650,000 years, and it is rising very quickly due to human activity. If this trend is not halted soon, many millions of people will be at risk from extreme events such as heat waves, drought, floods and storms, our coasts and cities will be threatened by rising sea levels, and many ecosystems, plants and animal species will be in serious danger of extinction. (Summary statement, Bali Conference.) [7].

Footnote 2: "Data over the past two decades indicates that temperatures have actually declined in the upper troposphere, even though there has been some minor upward trends in temperature at sea level and lower altitudes. This completely contradicts conventional global warming models. Before we radically rearrange the political economy of the world because some scientists claim anthropogenic CO2 is the cause of climate change, it might be worthwhile for anyone taking a position on the topic to consider whether or not this is indeed "well settled science." Dr. Richard Lindzen, MIT, March 2008.
1. 2. 3. 4. Joseph D’Aleo, Certified Consultant Meteorologist, Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), Executive Director Icecap.us5. 6. 7.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Natural Cooling To "Hide" Warming......WHAT?????

Have you ever heard such nonsense as reported in the following article? Talk about backpedalling and covering your A$$. Computer modelers who have been predicting "catastrophic" global warming for years, are now saying that there are "natural processes" which may be cooling the Earth's global climate for the next ten years and "masking" or hiding the "true" continued warming being caused by man's burning of fossil fuels and carbon dioxide emissions.

Then with their next breath, the same "scientists" will be asking for more funding. Count on it. If the climate does cool for the next ten years or so, this does not bode well for Al Gore and his global warming disciples.

May 01, 2008
Ocean Cooling to Briefly Halt Global Warming, Researchers Say
Parts of North America and Europe may cool naturally over the next decade, as shifting ocean currents temporarily blunt the global-warming effect caused by mankind, Germany’s Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences said.

Average temperatures in areas such as California and France may drop over the next 10 years, influenced by colder flows in the North Atlantic, said a report today by the institution based in Kiel, Germany. Temperatures worldwide may stabilize in the period.

The study was based on sea-surface temperatures of currents that move heat around the world, and vary from decade to decade. This regional cooling effect may temporarily neutralize the long- term warming phenomenon caused by heat-trapping greenhouse gases building up around the earth, said Richard Wood, a research scientist at the Met Office Hadley Centre, a U.K. provider of environmental and weather-related services.

“Those natural climate variations could be stronger than the global-warming trend over the next 10-year period,” Wood said in an interview. “Without knowing that, you might erroneously think there’s no global warming going on.” If we don’t experience warming over the next 10 years, it doesn’t mean that greenhouse-gas warming is not with us,’’ Keenlyside said in an interview. “There can be natural fluctuations that may mask climate change in the short term.” Natural variations over the next 10 years might be heading in the cold direction,’’ Wood said. “If you run the model long enough, eventually global warming will win.”

The world will become at least 2.5 degrees Celsius warmer by 2100, compared with the pre-industrial period, Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said in March. “We thought a lot about the way to present this because we don’t want it to be turned around in the wrong way,” Keenlyside said. “I hope it doesn’t become a message of Exxon Mobil and other skeptics.”

Icecap Note: Read here why the real causes of climate change are the oceans and the sun. The coincidental parallel change of CO2 and temperatures from the 1890s to the 1930s and again from the 1970s to 1990s does not a correlation make. The correlation was negative from the 1940s to 1970s and the lack of correlation since 1998 suggest CO2 is not the primary driver. See also this document and links from Dr. Tom Segalstad that shows why CO2 greenhouse warming is greatly exaggerated and thus the future warming from the IPCC long term models.

Predictive Power Of Computer Climate Models Proving To Be Nil......

Computer models of anything are fine, for what they are.....good entertainment. But when it comes to predicting actual climate change, they are falling far short of providing the confidence needed for making policy decisions. See the following article by an expert on the subject. GP

May 01, 2008
Global Cooling Consistent With Global Warming
By Roger Pielke Jr., Prometheus
If global cooling over the next few decades is consistent with model predictions, then so too is pretty much anything and everything under the sun.

This means that from a practical standpoint climate models are of no practical use beyond providing some intellectual authority in the promotional battle over global climate policy. I am sure that some model somewhere has foretold how the next 20 years will evolve (and please ask me in 20 years which one!). And if none get it right, it won’t mean that any were actually wrong. If there is no future over the next few decades that models rule out, then anything is possible. And of course, no one needed a model to know that.

Don’t get me wrong, models are great tools for probing our understanding and exploring various assumptions about how nature works. But scientists think they know with certainty that carbon dioxide leads to bad outcomes for the planet, so future modeling will only refine that fact. I am focused on the predictive value of the models, which appears to be nil. So models have plenty of scientific value left in them, but tools to use in planning or policy? Forget about it.
Read more here.

Icecap Note: This relates of course to the paper in Nature that suggest cooling may occur til around 2020 due to ocean changes, something we have talked about here on Icecap for many months. Recall recently Smith et al from UK Met Office & Hadley Center in Nature 2007 made a bold prediction that in the next decade half the years after 2009 will be warmer than the ‘hottest year’ which is 1998 based on models. Models recently were rerun at NASA Goddard to try and explain why the ozone hole wasn’t vanishing and to no surprise they found with better modeling they now see the light and that the hole won’t start shrinking til 2018 and disappear til 2068.

The modelers can find a way to show anything. As the famous mathematical physicst von Neumann said “If you allow me four free parameters I can build a mathematical model that describes exactly everything that an elephant can do. If you allow me a fifth free parameter, the model I build will forecast that the elephant will fly.” That is by the way why many of us more senior climatologists and meteorologists prefer to work with real data and correlate factors with real data than depend on models.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Carbon Dioxide Emissions Good For The Environment? YES

Here is another article by Dr. Roy Spencer. He reiterates his doubt about the myth of man-caused global warming. In addition he speculates on the reason why man's addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere may really be beneficial, instead of harmful, as so many people mistakenly believe. If he is is correct, then all of our efforts to limit CO2 emissions are a terrible, tragic waste of effort and resources.

Of course Dr. Spencer is not the first person to come to this conclusion, but he is one of a growing number of scientists who have come to the same conclusion. Search the blog here for Roy Spencer and you will find much more of what he has to say on the weather, climate, and global warming. Also, please note he has a new book out titled "Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads To Bad Science, Pandering Politicians, And Misguided Policies That Hurt The Poor".

More Carbon Dioxide, Please: If not, why not?
By Roy Spencer
(Dr. Roy W. Spencer is a former senior scientist for climate studies at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center where he received NASA's Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, and is currently principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville)

There seems to be an unwritten assumption among environmentalists - and among the media - that any influence humans have on nature is, by definition, bad. I even see it in scientific papers written by climate researchers. For instance, if we can measure some minute amount of a trace gas in the atmosphere at the South Pole, well removed from its human source, we are astonished at the far-reaching effects of mankind's "pollution."

But if nature was left undisturbed, would it be any happier and more peaceful? Would the carnivores stop eating those poor, defenseless herbivores, as well as each other? Would fish and other kinds of sea life stop infringing on the rights of others by feasting on them? Would there be no more droughts, hurricanes, floods, heat waves, tornadoes, or glaciers flowing toward the sea?

In the case of global warming, the alleged culprit - carbon dioxide - just happens to be necessary for life on Earth. How can Al Gore say with a straight face that we are treating the atmosphere like an "open sewer" by dumping carbon dioxide into it? Would he say the same thing if we were dumping more oxygen into the atmosphere? Or more nitrogen?

As a climate researcher, I am increasingly convinced that most of our recent global warming has been natural, not manmade. If true, this would mean that global temperatures can be expected to peak in the coming years (if they haven't already), and global cooling will eventually ensue.

Just for the sake of argument, let us assume that manmade global warming really is a false alarm. In that case, we would still need to ask: What are the other negative effects of pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere? Well, plant physiologists have known for a long time that most vegetation loves more carbon dioxide. It grows faster, is more drought-tolerant, and is more efficient in its water use. While the pre-industrial CO2 concentration of the atmosphere was only about 280 parts per million (ppm) by volume, and now it is around 380 ppm, some greenhouses pump it all the way up to around 1,000 ppm. How can environmentalists claim that helping vegetation to grow is a bad thing?

The bigger concern has been the possible effect of the extra CO2 on the world's oceans, because more CO2 lowers the pH of seawater. While it is claimed that this makes the water more acidic, this is misleading. Since seawater has a pH around 8.1, it will take an awful lot of CO2 it to even make the water neutral (pH=7), let alone acidic (pH less than 7).

Still, the main worry has been that the extra CO2 could hurt the growth of plankton, which represents the start of the oceanic food chain. But recent research (published on April 18 in Science Express) has now shown, contrary to expectations, that one of the most common forms of plankton actually grows faster and bigger when more CO2 is pumped into the water. Like vegetation on land, it loves the extra CO2, too!It is quite possible that the biosphere (vegetation, sea life, etc.) has been starved for atmospheric CO2. Before humans started burning fossil fuels, vegetation and ocean plankton had been gobbling up as much CO2 out of the atmosphere as they could, but it was like a vacuum cleaner trying to suck through a stopped-up hose.

Now, no matter how much CO2 we pump into the atmosphere each year, the biosphere takes out an average of 50 percent of that extra amount. Even after we triple the amount of CO2 we produce, nature still takes out 50 percent of the extra amount. I think it is time for scientists to consider the possibility that more CO2 in the atmosphere might, on the whole, be good for life on Earth. Oh, I'm sure there will be some species which are hurt more than helped, but this is true of any change in nature. There are always winners and losers.

For instance, during a strong El Nino event, trillions of animals in the ocean die as the usual patterns of ocean temperature are disrupted. When Mother Nature does something like this it is considered natural. Yet, if humans were to do such a thing, it would be considered an environmental catastrophe. Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture?

The view that nature was in some sort of preferred, yet fragile, state of balance before humans came along is arbitrary and philosophical - even religious. It is entirely possible that there are other, more preferable states of balance in nature which are more robust and less fragile than whatever the state of nature was before we came along.You would think that science is the last place you would find such religious opinions, yet they dominate the worldview of scientists.

Natural scientists tend to worship nature, and they then teach others to worship nature, too. all under the guise of "science." And to the extent that this view is religious, then making environmental laws based upon that view could be considered a violation of the establishment of religion clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The automatic assumption that mankind's production of CO2 by burning of fossil fuels is bad for the environment needs to be critically examined. Unfortunately, scientists who question that point of view are immediately branded as shills for Big Oil. But since I am already accused of this (falsely, I might add), I really don't mind being one of the first scientists to raise the issue.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Links To IPCC Report On Climate

These links will take you to the entire United Nation's IPCC latest report on global warming and climate change.

OK. Let's take the IPCC and their latest report. Here are all of the Chapter and Titles, in PDF:
IPCC WG1 AR4 Report

Front Matter pdf (0.3 MB)

Summary for Policymakers pdf (3.7 MB)

Technical Summary pdf (18.6 MB)
Frequently Asked Questions (extracted from chapters below) pdf (7.2 MB)

Historical Overview of Climate Change Science pdf (5.1 MB)

Changes in Atmospheric Constituents and in Radiative Forcing pdf (7.7 MB)

Observations: Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change pdf (24.2 MB) webpage

Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice and Frozen Ground pdf (8.4 MB)

Observations: Oceanic Climate Change and Sea Level pdf (15.0 MB)

Palaeoclimate pdf (7.7 MB) webpage

Couplings Between Changes in the Climate System and Biogeochemistry pdf (7.8 MB)

Climate Models and their Evaluation pdf (5.9 MB) webpage

Understanding and Attributing Climate Change pdf (5.4 MB) webpage

Global Climate Projections pdf (18.8 MB) webpage

Regional Climate Projections pdf (10.6 MB) webpage
Annexes: (1)Glossary, (2)Authors, (3)Reviewers, (4)Acronyms pdf (0.4 MB)

Index pdf (0.4 MB)

Uncertainty Guidance Note for the Fourth Assessment Report pdf (0.1 MB)

Errata for the Working Group I Fourth Assessment Report pdf (0.2 MB)