Thursday, July 05, 2007


(From: Proceedings of Civil Engineers 2007 160, No. CE2, 66-72 Paper 14806)

By David Bellamy and Jack Barrett


This paper demonstrates that the widely prophesied doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from natural, pre-industrial values will enhance the so-called 'greenhouse effect' but will amount to less than 1øC of global warming. It also points out that such a scenario is unlikely to arise given our limited reserves of fossil fuels-certainly not before the end of this century. Furthermore, the paper argues that general circulation models are as yet insufficiently accurate for civil engineers to rely on their predictions in any forward-planning decisions-the omission of solar wind effects being a potentially significant shortcoming. It concludes that the only certainty is that the world's fossil fuel resources are finite and should be used prudently and with proper respect to the environment.


Russia on Monday played down the dangers of global warming and warned against "hasty selective actions" on climate change "that may ultimately inflict greater damage on the economy and environment than the national cataclysms that are forecast." "Russia is one of the active participants in the international climate process. We have always consistently stood for the consolidation of efforts to that end by all countries. It will be an appropriate reminder that it was Russia's decision to ratify the Kyoto Protocol that enabled this important document to come into force," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Yakovenko told a session in Geneva of ECOSOS.



Most of the concern about the future comes not from any measurement, or any simple theory of what will happen. Instead, it comes from predictions produced by extremely complicated computer models. Models which are known to be incomplete and which can't be realistically tested against real data (not for decades yet.)

You and I can't directly evaluate these models, but it's not as if these are the only computer models in existence. Models are used for all kinds of things we are familiar with. Computer models give us our daily weather forecasts. Computer models predict hurricane and tornado tracks during a storm. Computer models are used by traders on stock exchanges. We have experience with these models and how accurate they are. Climate models are the biggest models around, with less of a track record than any other economic or weather model.

If someone told you they had a computer model that would predict the size of the economy in 2100, you'd laugh. If they demanded (and got) a massive government spending program based on this model, you'd be angry. Yet the warming model must include an economic model. The economic model tells you how much CO2 is being put into the atmosphere, which then drives the climate model. If the economic model is wrong, so is the climate model.

It's certainly possible that we are scaring ourselves over nothing. It has happened before! In the 1970's, science was just as certain that the world was going into a new ice age. They were sure that this was imminent because temperature was falling from the 1940's to the 1970's. If they had had access to the ice core data, they would have been even more certain. The graphs above show that the Earth has been in an ice age for millions of years, and our brief warm period is already as long as the typical warming every 100,000 years.

But the predictions of a new ice age were wrong. After 1975, the climate started to warm again. We think of the climate as stable, but it's not. We think the current climate is normal, but we're wrong. We have to remember that these events happen on a much longer timescale than human lives or even human history. The period we live in is a brief gap in an ice age lasting millions of years.

Think of it another way. If the dust bowl drought of the 1930's were to happen today, everyone would blame it on global warming. Yet there's no way that global temperature had increased enough in the 1930's to cause droughts. In fact, the geological record in the Southwest says that droughts have come and gone for millennia, and that some droughts naturally lasted over 100 years.

So when you look at the global warming idea, you could just put it down to us not having a long enough experience to know what's "normal." We're like mayflies who have never seen summer and think it's the end of the world.

Much more here


His colleagues are frantically defending their patch, mainly by pretending that short-term trends can be extrapolated indefinitely. Note that Bryson is a climate modeller and it is on models that the whole global warming case depends

Since it was reported this month by The Capital Times, Professor Emeritus Reid Bryson's anti-establishment position against man-made global warming has provoked floods of interest, great indignation and -- particularly among his fellow University of Wisconsin scientists -- no shortage of exasperation.

The story of Bryson's denial that industrially produced carbon dioxide is linked to climate change caught the attention of national outlets like the Drudge Report and drew more than 30,000 readers in the first 90 minutes after it was posted on this paper's Web site. More than 100 have posted their reactions to it on The Capital Times online forum, dozens of others have written letters to the editor and almost two weeks later the story remains among the most viewed. Statements by the global warming skeptic also stirred up controversy in scientific departments across the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Many who work with the 87-year-old Bryson say they have the utmost respect for him, but fault his opinions for not being substantiated by fact. "There is a huge mountain of evidence and scientific theory and publications, all out there in the public arena, and Reid comes along and has some other idea, but he provides no evidence. You just have to take his word for it," said Jonathan Foley, a climatologist at UW-Madison who directs the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment. "If he could come up with any evidence for his hypothesis, anything that would back up what he is saying, and he could publish it, he would win the Nobel Prize," Foley said. "Everyone would be thrilled if he were right. Global warming is a major, major global crisis and it would be fantastic if Reid were correct. But sadly he is not."

Foley has a strong personal link to Bryson and says he has always looked up to him. He was the student of one of Bryson's students, making Bryson his "academic grandfather." He stepped into Bryson's old position and was the first person on campus to hold the Reid Bryson chair. Thousands of scientists all over the world support the idea of global warming and hold up their data to public scrutiny, he said, adding that they have been putting out evidence -- not just computer models, but real-world observations. "There is nothing hidden, nothing obscured. This has been going on for decades," he said. Bryson has every right to hold his views on climate change, Foley said. "Unfortunately, in the scientific world we demand evidence, just like you would in a courtroom. And I think he came to court empty-handed in this case." ...

After the Capital Times story was published, Bryson, known as the father of scientific climatology, said he got dozens of e-mails, some of them calling him a tool of the extreme right wing. "They don't even know what that means," he said in a follow-up interview this week. "What far right? I don't even know anybody on the far right. And if I did, I would avoid them."

Bryson said politics gets in the way of looking at climate change. He is not political, he said. He doesn't consider himself a Republican or a conservative. When asked who he voted for in the last presidential election, he said, "the wrong one." Does that mean he voted for George Bush? "Of course not," he said. "I'm not that dumb."

Bryson acknowledges that he is up against an outspoken scientific community on the issue of anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming. Some may call him "a global warming skeptic." But he is not skeptical that global warming exists, he is just doubtful that humans are the cause of it. There is no question the Earth has been warming. It is coming out of a "Little Ice Age," he said. "However, there is no credible evidence that it is due to mankind and carbon dioxide. We've been coming out of a Little Ice Age for 300 years.

We have not been making very much carbon dioxide for 300 years. It's been warming up for a long time," Bryson said in the story published June 18.

Bryson was the founding chairman of the department of meteorology at UW-Madison and of the Institute for Environmental Studies, now known as the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. He retired in 1985, but has gone into the office almost every day since to create climate models. He does it without pay from the university. For the last 20 years of his career Bryson's research was funded by a benefactor, who wished to remain anonymous, and who is now dead, he said. "I don't get very much money from the endowment she left the university in my name," Bryson said. He receives $8,000 to $10,000 now from the endowment, enough to support a graduate student to help him and computer costs. "It isn't a lot," said Bryson, who can be found in his university office every morning and often works from home in the afternoons and evenings. He is not paid by any oil company or any energy company, he said emphatically.

After 25 years of work, Bryson has a how-to book coming out this week called "Paleoclimate." It details how to model climate on a computer. The book comes with a CD that people can put into their computers and learn how to model past climate without having a doctorate in meteorology or climatology, Bryson said. He is giving a workshop in Hot Springs, South Dakota, in September on how to do climate modeling and the session is full. He has led about 10 of these sessions already, in Sweden, Germany, Canada, Colorado and California.

Since The Capital Times article ran, he has been asked to give lectures, including a speech to a group from NASA, whose director recently drew criticism himself for saying he doubted global warming is "a problem we must wrestle with." At the same time, nine UW-Madison professors -- including Martin -- wrote a June 21 letter in The Capital Times, wishing to make it "absolutely clear" that Bryson's opinions on global warming were not shared by other scientists at the University of Wisconsin's Center for Climatic Research and Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. "The scientific evidence for human causation of global warming is now very strong, and gets stronger every year. Evidence includes well-documented rises in carbon dioxide concentrations and global mean temperatures, and repeated validations of the global climate models used to predict future climate changes," they wrote.

Two of the professors later expressed concern for their students in the wake of a comment Bryson made about beginning graduate students passing themselves off as experts on global warming when reporters call the meteorology building seeking the opinion of a scientist. "And that goes in the paper as scientists say ...'" Bryson said.

If the grad students are upset by his comment, Bryson asserted, they should come and talk to him and show him that they know the equivalent of a researcher with 20 or 30 years of experience. "I'm right there. My door's open. If they are upset, well, tough," he said. "I didn't say they didn't know anything. But lumping a first-year grad student in with a 30-year experienced professor is sort of apples and pears. Someday they'll be there, but they aren't yet."

In the matter of going against so many of his scientific peers on global warming, Bryson said that throughout history there are clear cases where the consensus was wrong. "The consensus was against Copernicus, Darwin and Galileo at the time. But were they wrong or was the consensus wrong? Now I am not necessarily a Galileo or a Copernicus, but the point is, the consensus does not mean that the science is right," he said.

Bryson said he moved the critical e-mails that The Capital Times story generated directly into his trash basket. He estimated that 95 percent of the people who wrote him agreed with him. A woman sent him an e-mail Sunday saying, "Thank you, thank you, thank you for being so brave. I wish I had said it but I didn't have the guts."


Another Greenie myth bites the dust

A TRUCE has been called in the nappy [diaper] war, and neither side won. For years, the environmental credentials of cloth nappies have been trumpeted, much to the despair of guilty parents using disposables. However, new research from Britain shows cloth and disposables have exactly the same impact on the environment. A four-year Environment Agency research project found the impact of burying disposable nappies in landfill sites was matched by the energy consumed and greenhouse gases generated by washing cloth nappies or transporting them to laundries.

The Australian Consumers Association agrees, saying it's a drain on water to wash cloth nappies, but disposables use more energy and create landfill. About 95 per cent of Australian parents use disposable nappies, which make up about 1 per cent of the 22 million tonnes of landfill waste each year. Non-biodegradable nappies can take up to 400 years to breakdown.

The findings of the UK study were welcomed yesterday by leading mainstream disposable manufacturer Huggies. "Parents can now make a guilt-free choice based on other important factors, such as performance, cost and convenience," a spokesman said.

But Victorian parents choosing cloth insist they're better for babies and the environment. Tania Avtarovski, owner of an online cloth nappy store, has seen business triple since last October. She now sells hundreds of nappies a week from her Taylors Lakes home. "I say I use cloth nappies and people cringe. They think it's all about terry towelling and stains, but it's really very easy. There's no soaking," she said. "Everything is breathable and so comfortable."



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 generally 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

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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