Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We Need a Modern Scopes Monkey Trial of Global Warming

Jim Hanson, NASA's leading Global Warming Alarmist, is calling for leading skeptics to be tried for "high crimes against humanity."

I welcome this call for a trial. I view it as a golden opportunity for the equivalent of a modern-day Scopes Monkey Trial to try the case for man-made global warming before a jury of average American citizens. The trial should be aired by all the news channels (it's certainly a more newsworthy topic than O.J. Simpson!) non-stop until its conclusion.

If the case for the "consensus" is so strong, it should certainly stand the scrutiny of a trial. Let it stand or fail on all the scientific merit, both pro and con.

Let the alarmists expound on how global climate is driven by positive feedbacks, contrary to most stable natural systems. Let them explain why a .6 degree C increase in average global temps over 150 years is a major concern when we've just witnessed a .7 degree C drop over the last sixteen months. Let them explain how CO2 can be the culprit when historically CO2 levels have FOLLOWED temperature increases rather than leading them.

Let Jim Hanson explain how his is the only organization currently finding temperature increases when all three of the other major meterological organizations around the globe are finding cooling.

The list of key issues is long, so I expect this to be an extended trial, possibly several weeks or more. So, bring it on Jim. Let the trial begin!


Britons fear the carbon cops are coming

First there were the thought police, then the surveillance society, now Britons fear the carbon cops are coming to ensure compliance with climate change legislation, a survey showed on Wednesday. And with warnings of global catastrophe ringing in their ears some people fear that failure to cut personal carbon emissions will eventually result in enforced carbon behaviour re-education, the Energy Saving Trust said.

It said 41 percent of Britons think the country will need its own Carbon Police Force by mid-century and one quarter believe repeat offenders will have to go into carbon rehab and take carbon addiction classes."The UK's perception is that by 2050 we could have the sort of draconian infringements on our civil liberties that have been highlighted in our research. This need not be the case," said EST chief Philip Sellwood said."The carbon emissions we all produce from our homes and travel amount to over 40 per cent of the UK's total emissions so we all have a part to play."

The survey coincides with the EST's "Emission Impossible, a vision for a low carbon lifestyle by 2050."EST, set up to help people to kick their carbon habit, wants more home power generation, smart meters in homes to help cut power consumption, less water wastage, more reuse and recycling and more emphasis on efficient appliances.

"Our report outlines the Energy Saving Trust's vision for achieving a low-carbon lifestyle by 2050 where we meet our 80 per cent reduction targets without adopting austere lifestyles or making unpleasant personal sacrifices," Sellwood said.


Why Almost Everything We've Been Told About Global Warming is Misleading, Exaggerated, or Plain Wrong

Learning to think like a geologist:

Geologists are one group of scientists who aren't part of Al Gore's "100 per cent consensus" that humans are the principal cause of global warming and that we have to take drastic steps to deal with it. For example, in March 2008, a poll of Alberta's 51,000 geologists found that only 26 per cent believe humans are the main cause of global warming. Forty-five per cent believe both humans and nature are causing climate change, and 68 per cent don't think the debate is "over," as Gore would like the public to believe.

The position of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists is quite clear: The earth's climate is constantly changing owing to natural variability in earth processes. Natural climate variability over recent geological time is greater than reasonable estimates of potential human-induced greenhouse gas changes. Because no tool is available to test the supposition of human-induced climate change and the range of natural variability is so great, there is no discernible human influence on global climate at this time.

Why do geologists tend to be skeptics? Is it because they are, as Gore and the "consensus" charge, in the pay of the oil industry? Perhaps, but there may be other, more scientific reasons. As Peter Sciaky, a retired geologist, writes: A geologist has a much longer perspective. There are several salient points about our earth that the greenhouse theorists overlook (or are not aware of).

The first of these is that the planet has never been this cool. There is abundant fossil evidence to support this - from plants of the monocot order (such as palm trees) in the rocks of Cretaceous Age in Greenland and warm water fossils in sedimentary rocks of the far north. This is hardly the first warming period in the earth's history. The present global warming is hardly unique. It is arriving pretty much "on schedule."

One thing, for sure, is that the environmental community has always spurned any input from geologists (many of whom are employed by the petroleum industry). No environmental conference, such as Kyoto, has ever invited a geologist, a paleontologist, a paleo-climatologist. It would seem beneficial for any scientific investigatory to include such scientific disciplines.

Among all my liberal and leftist friends (and I am certainly one of those), I know not a one who does not accept that global warming is an event caused by mankind. I do not know one geologist who believes that global warming is not taking place. I do not know a single geologist who believes that it is a man-made phenomenon.

Finally, a retired scientist who emailed me after reading one of my climate columns in the Times Colonist observed: "Most of my geology friends are skeptics - but it has become politically incorrect to voice such views."

Current climate conditions are not unusual

Geologists tend to question the anthropogenic theory because their education tells them that current climate conditions are not unusually warm, based on either the past few thousand years, or the past few hundred thousand years, or the past tens of millions of years, or even the past hundreds of millions of years. It's possible to look at a graph of the past century and conclude: "Oh, my God, the planet is burning up!" After all, the temperature has been rising, more or less, since the 1850's, with a dip from the 1940's to the mid-1970's. But what if we take a longer view? That presents quite a different picture. Only 400 years ago, the planet was quite cold, a period known as the Little Ice Age (roughly 1300-1850). Before that, though, during the Medieval Warm Period (roughly 1000-1300), the planet was a degree or two Celsius warmer than today, to the point where Greenland was warm enough for settlement by the Vikings.

The Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age were clearly a natural occurrences since industrial carbon emissions weren't yet a factor.

Curiously, the temperature graph preferred by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the famous "hockey stick," smooths out the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age to create an impression that twentieth-century warming is "the warmest in 1,000 years". Faced with the flaws in this graph, the IPCC has since dropped it and now claims the climate is the coldest in 400 years, which isn't that impressive given that we're coming out of the Little Ice Age.

Over the past 4,000 years, the planet has also experienced warm and cool periods, again quite naturally. In fact, warm times seem to recur on a cycle of about 1,000-1,500 years. The 20th century's warming appeared pretty much in line with this millennial cycle.

Let's expand our view again, to the past 450,000 years. What do we see? A roller-coaster ride of glacials (cold times) and interglacials (warm times), on a cycle of about 100,000 years. In other words, even though our planet is warm right now, overall we are in an ice age. In fact, the planet is the coldest it's been in 250 million years.

Gore doesn't try to explain why this roller coaster has occurred, since if changes in carbon dioxide levels were causing the cycle of glaciations and interglaciations, then the logical question is what caused the changes in carbon dioxide levels? Gore doesn't say, because to do so would destroy his case, but here's what science says: temperature changes precede carbon dioxide level changes by several hundred years, and temperature changes are caused by changes in solar intensity called the Milankovitch Cycles, not carbon dioxide.

The Milankovitch Cycles, based on the earth's changing position in relation to the sun, appear to be the ultimate drivers of climate over the past few million years. The four previous interglacials were warmer than today's. Another interesting observation that Gore doesn't make because it would destroy his case: the four previous interglacials shown on his chart are all warmer than today's interglacial (the green line in Figure 4 shows how today's average temperature compares with that of the three previous interglacials).

Also, note that the interglacial peaks are very steep. Before an interglacial becomes a glacial, warming occurs relatively rapidly (if the warming was slow, the curve would be more rounded), and cooling also occurs rapidly. If our planet is near the top of its interglacial cycle, then we'd be getting - as part of a natural process - the rapid warming climatologists are so alarmed about. And, we can expect rapid cooling when the balance tips (the steep downward slope). To worry about global warming at this stage in our planet's geological history seems silly from this perspective.

As further evidence that we may be near the high point of the climate cycle, the planet has not warmed since 1998, even though carbon dioxide levels have increased steadily. We may well be heading into a new glaciation while worrying and spending billions of dollars on reducing carbon emissions on the false premise that the planet is getting too warm.

During the glacials, much of the northern hemisphere (and Antarctica, of course) is covered with ice two and three kilometres thick. Within our roughly two-million-year-old ice age, the glacials last about 80,000 years. The warmer interglacials, which make global civilization possible, last only 10,000-20,000 years. Our interglacial, the Holocene, began about 13,000 years ago, so we're well past the half-way point in this cycle of warming and looking at a new glacial in the next few centuries or millennia. Warming is, therefore, from the geologist's point of view, the least of our problems.

Temperatures have been falling for 65 million years

Suppose we take an even longer geological view: the last 65 million years. Here we see a temperature graph that looks like a double-diamond ski slope: the planet has been gradually but steadily cooling during this time. Note how the climate has seesawed in the past two million years, and how close the tips of the warming periods are to the point where glaciations return. The temperature 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs were obliterated by a comet, was about 22 degrees Celsius; today, the planet's average temperature is about 12 degrees Celsius.

Carbon dioxide levels have also been falling over this time, but much more rapidly than the temperature (which should, in all but the most die-hard "consensus" climatologists' minds, destroy the idea that carbon dioxide drives temperature). For most of this time on our planet there were no polar ice caps and, yes, the sea levels were many metres higher than today. Humanity can deal with higher sea levels; we'll have a lot more trouble coping with three-kilometre-high walls of glacial ice.

Finally, let's look at the very long-range picture: earth over the past 600 million years. Again, we see fluctuations of temperature but, overall, the planet has been much warmer (and with much higher levels of carbon dioxide) than today, and yet life managed to evolve and flourish. The planet didn't experience "oblivion," as the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon, suggested at the Bali conference on climate change in 2007.

It's curious that not one of the thousands of so-called climate experts at that conference saw fit to educate Ki-Moon on the geological facts before (or, apparently, after) his speech. Geologists are fully aware that our planet is not unusually warm at the moment, it is unusually cold. They also know that carbon dioxide is not the villain when it comes to warming - for most of earth's history, temperature and carbon dioxide have shown only the most tenuous relationship. The correlation today of rising carbon dioxide levels and rising temperatures that worries climate scientists so much is likely just coincidence. Overall, as Lamb observed, "Seemingly objective statistics may produce a variety of verdicts which are actually arbitrary in that they depend on the choice of observation period."

Alarmists like Al Gore have chosen to focus on the past century, and therefore they worry about warming. Geologists take a longer time-frame and know that the planet has been much warmer in the past without problems, that we are in an ice age, and that the biggest future problem we face is not warming but cooling.

Who's right, the geologists or the computer-based climate scientists? There is no certainty in science (a fact that "consensus" climate science seems to have forgotten). However, if we think like a geologist rather than a computer climate specialist, the planet's history makes it likely that today's climate change is based on natural, cyclical factors, not human factors, and that what we need to worry about is a planet that is colder, not warmer.


When it Came to the Environment George Carlin Was skeptical

George Carlin's "The Planet Is Fine":

We're so self-important. So self-important. Everybody's going to save something now. "Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails." And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these bleeping people kidding me? Save the planet, we don't even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven't learned how to care for one another, we're gonna save the bleeping planet?

I'm getting tired of that bleep. Tired of that bleep. I'm tired of bleeping Earth Day, I'm tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren't enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world save for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don't give a bleep about the planet. They don't care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don't. Not in the abstract they don't. You know what they're interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They're worried that some day in the future, they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn't impress me.

Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are bleeped. Difference. Difference. The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We've been here, what, a hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we've only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we're a threat? That somehow we're gonna put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that's just a-floatin' around the sun?

The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles...hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages...And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet...the planet...the planet isn't going anywhere. WE ARE!

We're going away. Pack your bleep, folks. We're going away. And we won't leave much of a trace, either. Thank God for that. Maybe a little styrofoam. Maybe. A little styrofoam. The planet'll be here and we'll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet'll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. A surface nuisance.

You wanna know how the planet's doing? Ask those people at Pompeii, who are frozen into position from volcanic ash, how the planet's doing. You wanna know if the planet's all right, ask those people in Mexico City or Armenia or a hundred other places buried under thousands of tons of earthquake rubble, if they feel like a threat to the planet this week. Or how about those people in Kilauea, Hawaii, who built their homes right next to an active volcano, and then wonder why they have lava in the living room.

The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we're gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, 'cause that's what it does. It's a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed, and if it's true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new pardigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn't share our prejudice towards plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn't know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, "Why are we here?" Plastic...bleephole.

So, the plastic is here, our job is done, we can be phased out now. And I think that's begun. Don't you think that's already started? I think, to be fair, the planet sees us as a mild threat. Something to be dealt with. And the planet can defend itself in an organized, collective way, the way a beehive or an ant colony can. A collective defense mechanism. The planet will think of something. What would you do if you were the planet? How would you defend yourself against this troublesome, pesky species? Let's see... Viruses. Viruses might be good. They seem vulnerable to viruses. And, uh...viruses are tricky, always mutating and forming new strains whenever a vaccine is developed. Perhaps, this first virus could be one that compromises the immune system of these creatures. Perhaps a human immunodeficiency virus, making them vulnerable to all sorts of other diseases and infections that might come along. And maybe it could be spread sexually, making them a little reluctant to engage in the act of reproduction.

Well, that's a poetic note. And it's a start. And I can dream, can't I? See I don't worry about the little things: bees, trees, whales, snails. I think we're part of a greater wisdom than we will ever understand. A higher order. Call it what you want. Know what I call it? The Big Electron. The Big Electron...whoooa. Whoooa. Whoooa. It doesn't punish, it doesn't reward, it doesn't judge at all. It just is. And so are we. For a little while."


Global Warming Movement Turns Cool

Comments below by Award winning Chief Meteorologist James Spann of Alabama ABC TV

Let me warn you, this is a little longer than my usual posts here, but it was prompted by a big op-ed article in the Birmingham News this morning. Take the time to read it, if you dare. Seems like our local paper has settled on one side of the climate change debate, which is certainly their right. But, I have the right to publish this article as well..

Two years ago, it seemed like nothing could stop the global warming train. Most of the media, those in Hollywood, politicians (many on both sides of the cultural divide), and "enlightened environmentalists" were all telling us that man was causing runaway warming of the earth's atmosphere, meaning global catastrophe only decades ahead for all of us.

Scary stuff.

The problem is that a majority of those in this almost religious movement have little training in atmospheric science, and little understanding of the issue. They jumped on the bandwagon because it matches their worldview, or pads their pocket. This issue has generated great wealth on both sides of the argument, and I need to say up front I have absolutely no financial interest in climate. I am paid the same regardless of whether man is involved in climate change or not, and I have never taken a dime for a speech on the subject.

The simple truth is that the anthropogenic global warming train has slowed to a crawl, and the riders are jumping off as the facts are discovered.

What is the truth? Lets begin with something we all can agree on. The climate IS changing. It has always changed, it is changing now, and it will always change. Beyond that, here are some simple facts that make those left on the global warming train very uncomfortable:

*The earth is no warmer now than it was in 1998.
*Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, but a gas indispensable to plant life. Plants, in turn, release oxygen, which sustains animal and human life.
*The primary greenhouse gas is water vapor, not carbon dioxide.
*The lack of solar activity in recent months suggests global cooling might be our biggest potential climate change problem in coming years.
*The planet has had weather disasters, extremes, and anomalies since it has been here. We just didn't have 24 hour news channels and the Internet in prior decades to spread the news.

I have been doing the weather on local television for 30 years, and EVERY YEAR I have had people come up to me and tell me that they can "never remember the weather being this strange".

Most of those that you see and hear speaking on the subject have little scientific knowledge. Here is a quote from Dr. Roy Spencer, a climatologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, from an article he penned recently:
"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."

Dr. James McClintock (marine biologist at UAB) today, in an op-ed piece published by the Birmingham News, claims that Antarctica is "warming quickly". Dr. McClintock, I am sure, is an excellent marine biologist, and I would not even make an effort to challenge his knowledge of that science. But, what is his background in atmospheric science? And, where does that claim come from?

Here is what Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM) Joe D'Aleo says about this:
"The shattered part of the Wilkins ice sheet was 160 square miles in area, which is just 0.01% of the total current Antarctic ice cover, like an icicle falling from a snow and ice covered roof," D'Aleo wrote on March 25. "We are very likely going to exceed last year's record [for Southern Hemisphere ice extent]. Yet the world is left with the false impression Antarctica's ice sheet is also starting to disappear,"
D'Aleo added.

And, from climate scientist Ben Herman, past director of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics and former Head of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Arizona:
"It is interesting that all of the AGW (anthropogenic global warming) stories concerning Antarctica are always about what's happening around the [western] peninsula, which seems to be the only place on Antarctica that has shown warming. How about the net `no change' or `cooling' over the rest of the continent, which is probably about 95% of the land mass, not to mention the record sea ice coverage recently."

I also should note that the mythical UN IPCC "consensus" continues to crumble. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist who specializes in optical waveguide spectroscopy from the University of Tokyo, and a top UN IPCC Scientist, calls global warming fears: the "worst scientific scandal in history" in the weblog of former Colorado State Climatologist Dr. Roger Pielke.

Here is what Canadian climatologist Tim Ball says about the IPCC:
"The IPCC is a political organization and yet it is the sole basis of the claim of a scientific consensus on climate change. Consensus is neither a scientific fact nor important in science, but it is very important in politics. There are 2500 members in the IPCC divided between 600 in Working Group I (WGI), who examine the actual climate science, and 1900 in working Groups II and III (WG II and III), who study "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability" and "Mitigation of Climate Change" respectively. Of the 600 in WGI, 308 were independent reviewers, but only 32 reviewers commented on more than three chapters and only five reviewers commented on all 11 chapters of the report. They accept without question the findings of WGI and assume warming due to humans is a certainty. In a circular argument typical of so much climate politics the work of the 1900 (less than one percent of the scientific population) is listed as `proof' of human caused global warming. Through this they established the IPCC as the only credible authority thus further isolating those who raised questions."

I find it interesting that most of the predictions coming from the IPCC are based on computer model output. Those of us in the trench, who deal with the Earth's atmosphere every day, know that computer model data is often horrible 24 hours in advance. how bad can it be out to 50 or 100 years?

The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine this month announced that 31,072 U.S. scientists (9,021 with PhDs) signed a petition stating that
". There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gases is causing, or will cause in the future, catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate."

John Coleman, meteorologist and founder of The Weather Channel, calls the GW movement the greatest scam in history. I encourage all of you to read material on BOTH sides of the issue and make up your own mind. Mr Gore, the science is "not settled", and the invitation for a debate remains wide open.

Heaven help us this fall when ABC television tells us that the world, as we know it, is about to end because of "global warming". Never let facts get in the way of a good story, especially one that scares you to death.

I consider myself an environmentalist. There are some serious environmental issues out there. "Global warming" is not one of them. One of the best ways to become a truly environmentally concerned person is to walk the banks of an Alabama river or stream for a half day and pick up trash and garbage. Anyone want to join me?


A State of steam?

The devious reasoning in the report from Australia below is amazing. If the temperature were to increase by 5 degrees, we would be living in a steambath with constant rain -- not drought. Do these lamebrains not know that higher temperures cause more evaporation? And that evaporation off the oceans is where rain comes from? Have they ever seen steam come off a hot kettle? And with increased CO2 as well the crops would REALLY be lush. CO2 is prime plant food

QUEENSLAND's average temperature could increase by five degrees celsius by 2070 - bringing less rainfall and more intense tropical cyclones, a report warns. Entitled Climate Change in Queensland - What the science is telling us, the government report says Queensland's annual temperate had increased at a faster rate than the national average since 1950. Under the current high emissions scenario, Queensland's temperate would rise by 2.8 degrees by 2050 and five degrees by 2070.

The report warned the state would experience less rainfall, more severe droughts, an increase in flooding rains, sea level rises, more intense tropical cycles and an increased risk of storm surge. The Great Barrier Reef and wet tropics rainforest were vulnerable, as were most of the population, which lived on the coast. Even if greenhouse gas emissions were drastically reduced now, the build-up and long life of those gases guaranteed climate change would continue for the next few decades at least, it said. And there was a "growing body of evidence" that emissions were currently tracking above the highest emissions scenarios used in research.

Climate Change Minister Andrew McNamara said the report showed the state had much to lose if action did not"No part of the Queensland community will be untouched by the impact of global warming and climate change," he said. Mr McNamara said Queensland's key industries of agriculture and tourism were particularly vulnerable.



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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