Thursday, August 07, 2008

Hertzberg refutes the jug man on Global Warming

"Krug" is German/Yiddish for "jug". Krugman Excerpt: "The only way we're going to get action, I'd suggest, is if those who stand in the way of action come to be perceived as not just wrong but immoral. [.] Martin Weitzman, a Harvard economist who has been driving much of the recent high-level debate, offers some sobering numbers. Surveying a wide range of climate models, he argues that, over all, they suggest about a 5 percent chance that world temperatures will eventually rise by more than 10 degrees Celsius (that is, world temperatures will rise by 18 degrees Fahrenheit). As Mr. Weitzman points out, that's enough to "effectively destroy planet Earth as we know it." It's sheer irresponsibility not to do whatever we can to eliminate that threat".

Dr. Martin Hertzberg is a retired Navy meteorologist with a PhD in physical chemistry. His letter to the jug man follows:

Dear Prof Krugman:

I have generally found myself in strong agreement with most of the opinions expressed in your columns dealing with politics and the economy. I am a lifelong liberal Democrat, but I am also a scientist. In your interview with Keith Obermann last night, there was an implication that somehow those of us who are human-caused global warming skeptics were all supported by big-oil money. In the 20 years that I have been studying this issue and expressing my skepticism, I have never received a cent from either big-oil or the government to study the problem. You failed to mention the 50 billion being spent by governments to finance research that supports the human-caused global warming theory. In this morning's article "Can This Planet Be Saved", you simply regurgitated the typical fear-mongering hysteria that the Gore-IPCC-Hansen clique promulgate without any serious consideration of the fact that that hysteria is based on half-baked computer models that have never been verified and that are totally our of touch with reality. I am sure that as an Economist you have seen similar econometric models that are similarly out of touch with reality coming from the likes of "the Chicago boys" or the Heritage Foundation.

I have taken the liberty of attaching copies of Alexander Cockburn's articles that appeared in the Nation Magazine last year. They are based, in part, on my studies of the issue. Also attached is a recent talk I gave on the subject. It has been published in the Australian web-site: Also attached is a list of web-sites of global warming skeptics.

I can only hope that you will read the attachments with an open mind and consider the possibility that you might need an informed and objective science adviser before making any further pronouncements on the subject. I will also forward under separate cover, a letter I sent to the President of the American Physical Society about their treatment of a well known global warming sceptic, Lord Monckton. If you might recall, he had routinely advertized in the N. Y. Times, challenging Gore to a debate on the issue, which Gore ignored. You can always tell the difference between a propagandist and a scientist. If a scientist has a theory, he looks diligently for facts that might contradict his theory so that he can test its validity or refine it. The propagandist on the other hand selects only those facts that agree with his theory and dutifully ignores those facts that contradict it.


Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs, who specializes in the statistics of forecast evaluation and serves on the American Meteorological Society's Probability and Statistics Committee, also criticizes the jug man. Excerpt:

Krugman advocates: painting those who do not agree with him as not just wrong but immoral. That is to say, not just wrong, but evil. Krugman, limited in imagination as he is, cannot conceive that anybody could possibly disagree with him, nor look at the same data and come to a different conclusion. People that fail to accord with him are not just making a mistake, they are being mischievous. Krugman is not the first to suffer from this kind of delusion. La Shawn Barber has written an article called Is Climate Change. Racist? He looks at liberal Congressman James Clyburn, who has written a report echoing the old joke: "World Ends Due to Global Warming: Poor Blacks Hardest Hit." The gist is that those who disagree with the end-time visions risk being called a racist, a frightening term in today's USA. University of Amsterdam "philosopher" Marc Davidson has even written a peer-reviewed paper in a prominent journal alluding that those who disagree with Weitzman-like claims are no better than slave holders (no, I'm not kidding).

Another scientist reverses view, now climate SKEPTIC - 'I was appalled at how flimsy the case really is'

The article below was written by Dr. Roger W. Cohen, an American Physical Society (APS) fellow who earned a doctorate in physics, worked in the electronics industry and retired in 2003 from ExxonMobil as manager of strategic planning. That Exxon connection will give the Warmists a horn or two

I have been involved in climate change for nearly 30 years. In 1980, a few of us in the research organization of a large multinational energy corporation realized that the climate issue was likely to affect our future business environment. We subsequently started the only industrial research activity in the basic science of climate change. The move was justified by the fact that the best way to really understand a complex technical issue is to actually work in the area, interacting with other scientists. I have supervised climate scientists working in the area of climate change and have followed the area closely. Over the years our researchers have served as authors of key IPCC report chapters. I would like to share some perspectives with you.

I retired four years ago, and at the time of my retirement I was well convinced, as were most technically trained people, that the IPCC's case for Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is very tight. However, upon taking the time to get into the details of the science, I was appalled at how flimsy the case really is. I was also appalled at the behavior of many of those who helped produce the IPCC reports and by many of those who promote it. In particular I am referring to the arrogance; the activities aimed at shutting down debate; the outright fabrications; the mindless defense of bogus science, and the politicization of the IPCC process and the science process itself.

At this point there is little doubt that the IPCC position is seriously flawed in its central position that humanity is responsible for most of the observed warming of the last third of the 20th century, and in its projections for effects in the 21st century. Here are five key reasons for this:

1. The recorded temperature rise is neither exceptional nor persistent. For example, the earth has not warmed since around 1997 and may in fact be in a cooling trend. Also, in particular, the Arctic and contiguous 48 states are at about the same temperature as they were in the 1930s. Also in particular the rate of global warming in the early 20th century was as great as the last third of the century, and no one seriously ascribes the early century increase to greenhouse gas emissions.

2. Predictions of climate models are demonstrably too high, indicating a significant overestimate of the climate sensitivity (the response of the earth to increases in the incident radiation caused by atmospheric greenhouse gases). This is because the models, upon which the IPCC relies for their future projections, err in their calculations of key feedback and driving forces in the climate system.

3. Natural effects have been and continue to be important contributors to variations in the earth's climate, especially solar variability and decadal and multidecadal ocean cycles.

4. The recorded land-based temperature increase data are significantly exaggerated due to widespread errors in data gathering and inadequately corrected contamination by human activity.

5. The multitude of environmental and ecological effects blamed on climate change to date is either exaggerated or nonexistent. Examples are claims of more frequent and ferocious storms, accelerated melting of terrestrial icecaps, Mount Kilimanjaro's glacier, polar bear populations, and expansive mosquito-borne diseases. All of these and many others have been claimed and ascribed to global warming and by extension to human activity, and all are bogus or highly exaggerated. I would be pleased to provide details on any of these five key reasons. Many others can do so as well.

As contrary evidence has accumulated, proponents of strong AGW have begun to display signs of cognitive dissonance. The famed social psychologist Leon Festinger, developer of the concept of cognitive dissonance, conducted early studies of the phenomenon. One study looked at people who bought bomb shelters during the cold war. It was found that such people tended to exaggerate the threat of nuclear war, and nothing could dissuade them. Good news about relaxed tensions and peace initiatives was rejected. Such developments brought about cognitive dissonance, bizarrely almost as if they were invested in nuclear war. The psychological model is that their belief system became part of their identity, their self, and information at odds with that belief system became an attack on the self. This helps explain why such people can be resistant to information that would be judged positive on a rational basis. Festinger's book, When Prophecy Fails, tells of a group of doomsday believers who predicted the end of the world on a particular date. When that didn't happen, the believers became even more determined they were right. And they become even louder and proselytized even more aggressively after the disconfirmation. So we can expect ever more extreme, opaque, and strange defenses from proponents as evidence continues to mount. For example we are now told that even cooling fits in with global warming.

Having said all this, it does not mean that there is no threat or that we should not debate some kind of action to control atmospheric CO2. It does mean that the case for immediate draconian measures that will have the effect or restricting world economic growth is poor. It does mean that the climate is unpredictable, even with modern tools, and this implies that continuing to load the atmosphere poses imponderable risks to terrestrial life. I believe that the way to a solution lies with new technology for both energy supply and for directly controlling net emissions. In this regard the role of governments is not to enact restrictive economic measures via market interventions, or to choose the winners in a technology race. Its proper role is to encourage the development and deployment of new technology through direct funding of R&D and through tax incentives for industries that research, develop, and deploy such technology.


The Green Hornet

Al Gore said the other day that "the future of human civilization" depends on giving up fossil fuels within a decade -- and was acclaimed as a prophet by the political class. Obviously boring reality doesn't count for much these days. Even so, when Barack Obama wheels out an energy agenda nearly as grandiose as Mr. Gore's, shouldn't it receive at least some media scrutiny?

On Monday, Mr. Obama said that the U.S. must "end the age of oil in our time," with "real results by the end of my first term in office." This, he said, will "take nothing less than a complete transformation of our economy." Mark that one down as the understatement of the year. Maybe Mr. Obama really is the Green Hornet, or some other superhero of his current political myth.

The Senator calls for $150 billion over 10 years to achieve "energy independence," with elevated subsidies for renewable alternatives and efficiency programs. He also says he'll "leverage billions more in private capital to build a new energy economy," euphemistically referring to his climate plan to tax and regulate greenhouse gases. Every President since Nixon has declared "energy independence," as Mr. Obama noted. But this time, he says, things will change.

They won't. And not because of "the old politics," or whatever. Currently, alternative sources -- wind, solar, biomass, hydroelectric and geothermal -- provide less than 7% of yearly domestic consumption. Throw out hydro and geothermal, and it's only 4%. For the foreseeable future, renewables simply cannot provide the scale and volume of energy needed to meet growing U.S. demand, which is expected to increase by 20% over the next two decades. Even with colossal taxpayer subsidies, renewables probably can't even slow the rate of growth of carbon-based fuel consumption, much less replace it.

Take wind power, which has grown rapidly though still only provides about two-thirds of 1% of all U.S. electricity. The Energy Department optimistically calculates that ramping up merely to 20% by 2030 would require more than $2 trillion and turbines across the Midwest "wind corridor," plus multiple offshore installations. And we'll need a new "transmission superhighway system" of more than 12,000 miles of electric lines to connect the wind system to population centers. A mere $150 billion won't cut it. Mr. Obama also didn't mention that this wind power will be more expensive than traditional sources like coal.

Wind, too, is intermittent: It isn't always blowing and can't be accessed on demand when people need electricity. Since there's no cost-effective way to store large amounts of electricity, wind requires "spinning reserve," or nonalternative baseload power to avoid blackouts. That baseload power is now provided largely by coal, nuclear and natural gas, and wind can't displace much. The same problem afflicts solar energy -- now one-hundredth of 1% of net U.S. electric generation. One of the top uses of solar panels is to heat residential swimming pools.

Mr. Obama also says he wants to mandate that all new cars and trucks are "flexible fuel" vehicles, meaning that they can run on higher concentrations of corn ethanol mixed with gasoline, or second-generation biofuels if those ever come onto the market. Like wind and solar, this would present major land use problems: According to credible estimates, land areas larger than the size of Texas would need to be planted with fuel feedstocks to displace just half the oil America imports every day. Meanwhile, the economic distortions caused by corn ethanol -- such as higher food prices -- have been bad enough.

And yet there's more miracle work to do. Mr. Obama promises to put at least one million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2015. That's fine if consumers want to buy them. But even if technical battery problems are overcome, this would only lead to "fuel switching" -- if cars don't use gasoline, the energy still has to come from somewhere. And the cap-and-trade program also favored by Mr. Obama would effectively bar new coal plants, while new nuclear plants are only now being planned after a 30-year hiatus thanks to punishing regulations and lawsuits.

Problems like these are the reality of "alternative" energy, and they explain why every "energy independence" plan has faltered since the 1970s. But just because Mr. Obama's plan is wildly unrealistic doesn't mean that a program of vast new taxes, subsidies and mandates wouldn't be destructive. The U.S. has a great deal invested in fossil fuels not because of a political conspiracy or because anyone worships carbon but because other sources of energy are, right now, inferior.

Consumption isn't rising because of wastefulness. The U.S. produces more than twice as much GDP today per unit of energy as it did in the 1950s, yet energy use has risen threefold. That's because energy use is tethered to growth, and the economy continues to innovate and expand. Mr. Obama seems to have other ideas.


Hawaiian chill: Maui breaks record for coldest temps

The return of the trade winds should temper the temperature extremes that occurred around the state over the weekend, but it will be increasing the wildfire threat, Maui weather analyst Glenn James said Tuesday. Even as a brush fire broke out at Pulehu on Tuesday (see related story below), a fire- weather watch was issued giving notice of an increased fire hazard. "The National Weather Service issued a watch, which means we all have to be very, very careful about not lighting any fires right now," he said.

It may appear to be an abrupt change in conditions, after Maui County experienced a record low 64 degrees on Sunday that combined with steady afternoon showers to provide another near record 65 degrees on Monday, before the daytime temperature zipped up to a high of 91 degrees that afternoon. It was all brought on by a low-pressure trough that was sliding north of Kauai, cutting off the normal trade wind flows, said James, senior weather analyst with the Pacific Disaster Center. "That trough has moved off to the west and opened the floodgates for a stronger brand of trade winds. At Maalaea (Tuesday) afternoon, we had 40 mile-per-hour gusts. We should be having another few days of stronger-than-normal trade winds," he said....

James, who produces the Web site and "Maui Weather Today" at 7:45 a.m. Monday to Friday on cable Channel 55, said the temperature fluctuations over the weekend were the result of the slack winds, which allowed cold air to drain from higher elevations of Haleakala and the West Maui Mountains, while clear skies Monday allowed more ground heating. The cloud cover and showers that eased the drought conditions in Maui County on Sunday were the remnants of Hurricane Genevieve, a tropical cyclone that dissipated before it reached Hawaii but remained a soggy air mass as it moved over the islands.



The looming costs of Prime Minister Rudd's climate mania are focusing a lot of minds in Australia at the moment. Three recent climate articles from Australia below

Emission Trading Scheme paints Rudd Government into a Corner

Lord Christopher Monckton has written to Australia's Climate Change minister Penny Wong warning that pressing ahead with an Emissions Trading scheme will see Labor thrown out of office.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's new Labor Government in only 9 months has painted itself into a corner with its proposed Carbon Reduction Scheme that it may never get out of. In it's first 9 months in office Australia's economic condition has deteriorate form arguably the strongest it's ever been to talk in todays press of it quickly sliding into recession. Fuel prices, Interest rates and food prices have all soared whilst consumer spending, house prices, private and business borrowings and confidence has plummeted.

While Australians were flush with wealth and money they might have been keen for the good of the environment too endure the extra costs (read tax) that an emissions trading scheme would impose on them. However no populace that is struggling financially to pay a mortgage will accept an environment tax with very dubious environmental benefits. Mr Rudd may well learn first hand that committing to a scheme that hobbles ones own economic growth is indeed only the prerogative of a wealthy society.

He may learn why it is folly for him to believe that he can ever convince developing nations like China & India with their millions of people just emerging from a lifetime of poverty to stymie their economic growth with a carbon emissions scheme.

Increasing world wide media coverage that there is no evidence that CO2 emissions are linked to climate change coupled with the fact that whatever actions we take as a nation are meaningless unless the big emitters like China, India and the US take similar action is starting to permeate into the Australians conscious. In fact if we were to cut our emissions to zero tomorrow China's growth in extra emissions alone would make up our CO2 reduction from the global balance in just 270 days.

Lord Christopher Monckton is chief policy advisor to the Science and Public Policy Institute. Below is a copy of an email he sent to Australian Climate Change Minister Penny Wong.
Dear Senator Wong,

Greetings from Scotland! One of your constituents, Mr. John Cribbes, has asked me to drop you a short email about emissions trading and "global warming".

I have recently conducted some detailed research into the mathematics behind the conclusions of the UN climate panel on the single question that matters in the climate debate - by how much will the world warm in response to adding CO2 to the atmosphere? My research, published in Physics and Society, a technical newsletter of the American Physical Society this month, demonstratres that the IPCC's values for the three key parameters whose product is climate sensitivity are based on only four papers - not the 2,500 that are often mentioned.

Those four papers are unrepresentative of the literature, in which a low and harmless climate sensitivity is now the consensus.

Therefore I should recommend extreme caution before any emissions-trading scheme is put in place. Such schemes will damage Australia's competitiveness, perhaps fatally; they are prone to corruption in that they incentivize over-claiming by both parties to each trade and by the regulator; they are addressing a non-problem; and, even if the problem were real (as a few largely-politicized scientists persist in maintaining), adaptation as and if necessary would be orders of magnitude cheaper than emissions trading or any other attempt at mitigating the quantities of carbon dioxide that we are (harmlessly) adding to the atmosphere.

Therefore I strongly urge you to reconsider your support for this or any emissions-trading scheme. I have read the Australian Government's paper on the proposed scheme, and the science in it is, alas, largely nonsense.

Politically, of course, the fatal damage that emissions trading will do to the Australian economy will greatly favour the enemies of the free West, which is why I, as an ally, have locus standi to approach you.

Climatically, your emissions-trading scheme will not make any significant difference. There are many other environmental problems that are real: I recommend that the Australian Government should tackle those.

As for the climate, it is a non-problem, and the correct policy approach to a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing. Similar warnings are being sent to other legislators worldwide by those of us - now probably in the majority among the scientific community, not that one should do science by head-count - who have studied climate sensitivity and have found the UN's analysis lamentably wanting.

The UN's predictions are already being falsified by events: global temperatures have been falling for seven years, and not one of the climate models relied upon so heavily and so unwisely by the IPCC predicted that turn of events. If you introduce an emissions-trading scheme, when it transpires that the scheme and its associated economic damage had never been necessary - and it will, and sooner than you think - you and your party will be flung from office, perhaps forever. It is, therefore, in the long-term vested interest of your party to think again.

Monckton of Brenchley


Global Warming Religion Eroding Human Rights

Have you ever noticed that the champions of global warming are not scientists. Al Gore (ex politician), Nicholas Stern (economist), Ross Garnaut (economist) Kevin Rudd (diplomat / politician). Oh it's it a fact that 2,500 ICCP scientist have formed a consensus that humans are causing global warming. However Arthur B. Robinson, president and professor of chemistry at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, is one of 31,000 scientists who have signed a petition to disagree.
"Robinson said that in recent years the U.N. and a group of 600 scientists, representing less than one percent of the scientific population, reached a "consensus" that global warming is happening. This has never been done before, Robinson insists.

Dennis Avery, Director for the Center of Global Food Issues at the Hudson Institute, agrees with Robinson. "Nobody can do science by a committee. You do science by testing," said Avery. "To me it is appalling that an international organization of the stature of the U.N. would ignore the evidence of past climate changing."

The signers of Robinson's petition, including 9,000 Ph.Ds, all have one thing in common. They believe that human rights are being taken away.

Thats an interesting proposition and one that Australian Farmers have already experienced first hand. Arthur Herman a historian and author in a great article in today's Australian agrees:
"IT has been a tough year for the high priests of global warming in the US. First, NASA had to correct its earlier claim that the hottest year on record in the contiguous US had been 1998, which seemed to prove that global warming was on the march. It was actually 1934. Then it turned out the world's oceans have been growing steadily cooler, not hotter, since 2003. Meanwhile, the winter of 2007 was the coldest in the US in decades, after Al Gore warned us that we were about to see the end of winter as we know it.

Yet believers in man-made global warming demand more and more money to combat climate change and still more drastic changes in our economic output and lifestyle. The reason is that precisely that they are believers, not scientists. No amount of empirical evidence will overturn what has become not a scientific theory but a form of religion.

Of Superstition and Enthusiasm, describes how even in civilised societies the mind of man is subject to certain unaccountable terrors and apprehensions when real worries are missing. As these enemies are entirely invisible and unknown, like today's greenhouse gases, people try to propitiate them by ceremonies, observations, mortifications, sacrifices such as Earth Day and banning plastic bags and petrol-driven lawnmowers.

Fear and ignorance, Hume concludes, are the true source of superstition. They lead a blind and terrified public to embrace any practice, however absurd or frivolous, which either folly or knavery recommends."

Now think about the Australian farmers who have had their property rights taken from them with the tree clearing bans so Australia could meet its Kyoto obligations, without a cent of compensation!

Both articles go into detail how human rights will be sacrificed to the alter of the climate change religion. Well worth a read.


Bullsh*t Watch: The winner is Graham Readfearn

In the tradition set by the Rudd Government with Fuel Watch, Grocery Watch, Water Watch we are launching Bullsh*t Watch. Todays Bullsh*t award goes to Brisbane's Courier Mail Journalist Graham Readfearn for his article: "Call to Act by Pioneer on Climate".

American Scientist Professor Gene Likens is speaking at the invitation-only presentation at Griffith University's Nathan campus. The presentation is on problems being faced around the globe with drought and climate change. He and other like minded people, that is climate change believers will be delivering their message to policymakers and politician including Queensland Minister for Climate Change Andrew McNamara, National Water Commissioner Chloe Munro and water commissioners from Queensland and NSW.
"Does the climate change problem exist? Yes," Professor Likens said. "The scientific consensus is so strong and so universal - there are just a handful of doubters on this. "Yet (those doubters) get such high media attention and a lot of support."

That statement lit up my "Bullshit" metre straight away. Would the "handful of Doubters" the good professor is referring too be the 31,072 AMERICAN Scientist including 9,021 PhD's who signed this petition:

The Courier Mail's Graham Readfearn would have to live under a rock to have not know that this petition exists. But wait - it gets better, turns out Graham Readfearn is none other than the author of The Courier Mails own Green Blog. It is a classic. His profile reads -
"Graham Readfearn

Environment blogger Graham Readfearn sorts the green from the green-wash and the eco from the no-go - one climate-friendly posting at a time. Green news, views and the odd shot-down eco-skeptic."

This guy is a rabid greenie, supporter of WWF (World Wildlife Foundation), Greenpeace etc, just have a look at his first article - 100 months left or try this classic - How much is enough - Eco-sinner? No mention in the paper's byline that Graham Readfearn is a rabid one eyed greenie - no the bi-line would have the average reader believe that is is just an unbiased major newspaper reporter, searching for the truth and writing a balanced article. Apparantly Not. Shame on the Courier.

What the good Readfearn also forgets to tell us is that the good professor Likens is an ecologist - not a climatologist.



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1 comment:

Paul Buddery said...

That should be Maurice Strong and not Sir Roy Strong in the paper by Professor Blick.