Wednesday, December 06, 2006


David Williams, an environmentalist and global warming acolyte, challenged Dr. David Wojick, a Virginia scientist and journalist who is a skeptic about manmade global warming, to make his case in 500 words. The Wojick response is below. Wojick, a civil engineer who has a doctorate in epistemology, once taught in the Carnegie Mellon University economics and society department, led by 1978 Nobel laureate in economics Herb Simon, who died in 2001, and who was cited for his work in the politics of science. Wojick is an expert and consultant on the subject of how science and the understanding of science interact. He runs the web site

Whether or not humans are causing global warming is still an open question. In fact it is one of the greatest earth science research questions in history. Begun in 1990, the U.S. Global Change Research Program has spent about $40 billion looking for the human footprint in global warming. The jury is still out. The problem is that we now know that the earth warms and cools naturally, so how do we identify the human influence?

To begin with, the earth appears to have warmed over the last century or so, by one degree Fahrenheit. During this period atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rose steadily. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, so it seems natural to conclude that the CO2 rise caused the temperature rise. This seems simple enough but as soon as one looks closely this picture falls apart and the hard science begins.

For example, while the CO2 levels rose steadily, the global temperature actually went down for the middle third of the last century. Scientists predicted a coming ice age. This shows that rising CO2 levels do not necessarily cause rising temperatures. The CO2 went up but the temperature went down.

Then too, it is now generally accepted that the temperature increase in the first third of the century was due to increased solar input, not increasing CO2. We now know that the sun varies over time. This shows that rising temperatures are not necessarily caused by rising CO2 levels. The temperature went up but not because of CO2.

It is possible that the temperature rise of the last 25 years is due to rising CO2. However it has to be explained why the steady rise of CO2 over more than a century waited until the last 25 years to show up? Moreover, some parts of he earth are cooling, not warming. Others, especially parts of the Arctic, are warming very rapidly. This is inconsistent with being caused by the gradual CO2 rise.

We also know now that it may have been just as warm a thousand years ago, and maybe a lot warmer 5,000 years ago, when there was no CO2 increase. Twenty-five years of research has taught us a lot about natural global warming, but this has only made the picture more complicated. In most cases we do not know why this natural warming occurs.

There are many theories and counter theories regarding all of these issues, and many more issues as well. The result is an incredibly complex and expensive program of scientific research. Today there are three schools of scientific thought on global warming. The first holds that humans are causing the recent warming. The second is that most, if not all, of the warming is natural. The third school is the skeptics who say we really do not know what is happening, and will not know until we understand natural climate change. Among these schools there is a loud scientific debate. Whether humans are causing global warming is anybody's guess at this point.


Climate Warming INCREASES Species Richness

Discussing: Walther, G.-R., Beissner, S. and Burga, C.A. 2005. Trends in the upward shift of alpine plants. Journal of Vegetation Science 16: 541-548.


The CO2-induced global warming extinction hypothesis claims that as the world warms in response to the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content, many species of plants and animals will not be able to migrate either poleward in latitude or upward in elevation fast enough to avoid extinction, as they strive to escape various debilitating stresses imposed by rising temperatures.

What was done

The authors investigated this climate-alarmist contention by resurveying (in July/August 2003) the floristic composition of the uppermost ten meters of ten mountain summits in the Swiss Alps, applying the same methodology used in earlier surveys of the same mountain tops by Rubel (1912), which was conducted in 1905, and Hofer (1992), which was conducted in 1985. Hence, their analysis covered the bulk of the Little Ice Age-to-Current Warm Period transition (1905-2003), the last portion of which (1985-2003) is claimed by climate alarmists to have experienced a warming that was unprecedented over the past two millennia in terms of both the rate of temperature rise and the level to which the temperature rose.

What was learned

Whereas the mean increase in species numbers recorded by Hofer (1992) for the time interval 1905 to 1985 was 86%, Walther et al. report that "species numbers recorded in 2003 were generally more than double (138%) compared to the results by Rubel (1912) and 26% higher than those reported by Hofer (1992)." Put another way, they say "the rate of change in species richness (3.7 species/decade) was significantly greater in the later period compared to the Hofer resurvey (1.3 species/decade)." Most important of all, they say "the observed increase in species numbers does not entail the replacement of high alpine specialists by species from lower altitudes [our italics], but rather has led to an enrichment [our italics] of the overall summit plant diversity."

What it means

In spite of the apparent reasonableness of the global warming extinction hypothesis, whereby high-altitude species are expected to be "squeezed out of existence" by other species migrating upwards from lower mountain levels to escape the stress of increasing temperatures, Walther et al. find no sign of this dire consequence over an entire century of warming in the Swiss Alps, in harmony with the similar findings of other researchers that we describe in more detail in our major report: The Specter of Species Extinction: Will Global Warming Decimate Earth's Biosphere?


CERA slams 'Peak Oil' hypothesis

Cambridge Energy Research Associates has declared war on the "peak oil" crowd, faulting the assumptions, analysis, and calculations of those who argue that the world is running out of oil. "The `peak oil' theory causes confusion," says CERA's Peter M. Jackson, who follows oil for the consulting group, "and can lead to inappropriate actions and turn attention away from the real issues. Oil is too critical to the global economy to allow fear to replace careful analysis about the very real challenges with delivering liquid fuels to meet the needs of growing economies. This is a very important dabte, and as such it deserves a rational and measured discourse."

In a report release Nov. 14, Why the Peak Oil Theory Falls Down: Myths, Legends, and the Future of Oil Resources, CERA concludes that the remaining world oil research base is 3.74 trillion barrels - three times larger than the 1.2 trillion barrels used by the peak oil advocates. Says Jackson, "The global resource base of conventional and unconventional oils, including historical production of 1.08 trillion barrels and yet-top-be produced resources, is 4.82 trillion barrels and likely to grow."

Rather than peaking and then declining, the CERA report says global oil product will follow an "undulating plateau" for a decade or more before declining slow. CERA says that production profile "will not be a simple logistic or bell curve postulated by geologist M. King Hubbert, but it be asymmetrical - with the slope of decline more gradual and not mirroring the rapid rate of increase - and strongly skewed past the geometric peak. It will be an undulating plateau that may well last for decades."

Said CERA Chairman Daniel Yergin, long an expert on the world oil industry, "This is the fifth time that the world is said to be running out of oil. Each time - whether it was the `gasoline famine' at the end of WWI or the `permanent shortage' of the 1970s - technology and the opening of new frontier areas has banished the specter of decline. There's no reason to think that technology is finished this time."



Electricity prices could double in Europe if power firms are to meet emissions reduction targets under the Kyoto protocol, says a report. Carbon prices are set to surge, and firms might pass this rise on to the wholesale market, says a report by consultancy Global Energy Decision. The report said European nations, such as France and Germany, will find it ever harder to meet emissions targets. The carbon market is deemed a key tool under Kyoto to reduce emissions.

The report, entitled Countdown to Kyoto 2008-2012: The Carbon Challenge for Europe's Electric Power Sector, examined Northwest Europe including France, Germany, Benelux, Austria and Switzerland. The report argues that forward carbon prices will be between 40 and 80 euros per metric ton - more than double current levels.

However the report also says it is unlikely "that costs will be permitted to be passed on to electricity consumers for long durations".

As the deadline looms to meet Kyoto's phase one targets, firms will be trying to buy additional carbon allowances. But allowances expected to be provided on a national basis "will fall far short of meeting industry requirements alone", which will further push up carbon prices. "Utilities will need to make substantial purchases from the Kyoto mechanisms," to meet its targets, says the report. These mechanisms refer to carbon reduction schemes in developing countries, which allow firms to reduce their carbon emissions at the lowest possible price.

One obvious way for firms in the power sector to reduce their emissions is to switch the type of energy they use, for example from inefficient coal-fired power stations to efficient gas stations. But some European nations lack the flexibility in their power sectors to change from high to low carbon fuels. And it would be impossible to completely cease using coal-fired power stations - especially in Germany - because of a lack of alternative capacity.

Moreover, industry "does not have the power sector's flexibility to respond to changes in carbon price by reducing their emissions". "The fundamentals of this new reality must be more carefully assessed and understood by government, industry and especially the electric power sector," said Ron Mahan, chairman of Global Energy.



Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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