Predictions of an ice-free Arctic prove to be just a lot of hot air
With the "meltdown" on Wall Street, it looks like global warming is striking the financial markets. Don't laugh. It must have gone somewhere because it's not doing as the left and the media had warned. Just a few months ago, supposedly responsible journalists were telling us that the Arctic could be ice free this summer because of the dreaded realties of warming.
There are 1.74 million reasons why that didn't happen. That's how many square miles of ice are still standing after Arctic ice hit its low point for the season.
On July 28, NBC's Anne Thompson was the one on ice patrol. "But this summer, some scientists say that ice could retreat so dramatically that open water covers the North Pole, so much so that you could sail across it." She's probably right. You could sail across it - in a sleigh.
A Sept. 16 National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) report said ice loss was less than in 2007. "On Sept. 12, 2008, sea ice extent dropped to 4.52 million square kilometers (1.74 million square miles). This appears to have been the lowest point of the year, as sea has now begun its annual cycle of growth in response to autumn cooling," according to the organization.
It's a far cry from how "Today" host Lester Holt described the story. He called it "surprising and, frankly, alarming news from the scientific community, a new report that says the North Pole could soon be ice-free."
To put what actually happened in perspective, there are only a handful of nations larger than the ice at its low point. It's more than twice as large as Mexico and about 10 times larger than Iraq. That's a pretty big error. One journalists are almost guaranteed to repeat until they get the facts they want.
Shortly after Thompson's report, on July 30, ABC weatherman Sam Champion repeated the warning about Arctic ice. He scared the "Good Morning America" audience that Arctic ice loss was at an all-time rate. "Every summer we're on a record pace for losing it last summer and this summer we're at the exact same pace."
Except that isn't accurate either. The final total for 2008 was 9.4% more than the record-setting 2007 minimum. The left will claim it's still part of a trend, but they don't know either. We've only been tracking satellite imagery of the Arctic since 1979 - not a huge amount of time given the age of the planet.
Is it any wonder that Americans are tuning out the entire global warming agenda? According to Gallup, the environment/global warming ranked dead last on a 22-category list of "most important reasons why you would vote for a preferred candidate."
Last. Behind international affairs, behind healthcare reform or even education. None of those issues matter to voters this election. And every one of them scored higher with voters than global warming.
Remember Al Gore's much ballyhooed We Campaign to bully Americans into backing climate change legislation? Politico dubbed it a "$300 million, bipartisan campaign to try to push climate change higher on the nation's political agenda." It debuted with fancy ads featuring Pat Robertson and Al Sharpton or Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi together declaring their abiding love for the global warming agenda. And it's been a miserable flop. The We Campaign ran smack dab into harsh fiscal realities of a declining stock market. It's had a wee impact.
Maybe that's because people have begun to tune out the green propaganda as journalists link everything from allergies to bigger storms to climate change. Even global warming hype machine Time magazine doesn't embrace all of the silly claims any more.
A recent Time issue explained that increased storm impact is manmade, just not the way Al Gore and his disciples would claim. "But there is another inconvenient truth out there: We are getting more vulnerable to weather mostly because of where we live, not just how we live," wrote Time.
Last year's cold winter has raised even more concerns that global warming advocates might be way off in their predictions. Investor's Business Daily reported that August was "extraordinary." "For the first time in nearly 100 years, the sun created no visible spots. The last time that happened: June 1913." Based on sunspot history, the sun may be "entering a down cycle."
Even the Old Farmer's Almanac is raising questions about a new "big chill" or little ice. "The next 20 years, it's going to be colder," Sarah Perreault, of the Old Farmer's Almanac, told Reuters. Maybe we'd be better off paying attention to old farmers instead of old media.
Claim: Polar bears resort to cannibalism as Arctic ice shrinks
Notice that despite the alarmist headline, actual supporting material for cannibalism does not appear until the very end of the article and it is 2004 anecdotal info based on one polar bear! They are desperate!
Summer is over in the northern hemisphere, but it's been another chilling season for researchers who study Arctic sea ice. "It's definitely a bad report. We did pick up little bit from last year, but this is over 30 percent below what used to be normal," said Walt Meier, a research scientist with the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado. This past summer, the Arctic sea ice dwindled to its second lowest level. Arctic sea ice is usually one to three meters, or as much as 9 feet thick. It grows during autumn and winter and shrinks in the spring and summer.
Scientists have monitored sea ice conditions for about 50 years with the help of satellites. Changes in the past decade have been alarming to climate researchers and oceanographers. "It is the second lowest on record ... If anything it is reinforcing the long-term trend. We are still losing the ice cover at a rate of 10 percent per decade now, and that is quite an increase from five years ago," said Meier. "We are still heading toward an ice cover that is going to melt completely in the summertime in the Arctic."
Arctic ice helps regulate and temper the climate in many other parts of the world. The less ice there is, the more dramatic the impact. Huge sheets of ice reflect solar radiation, keeping our planet cool. When that ice melts, huge expanses of darker, open ocean water absorb the heat instead, warming things up.
While few humans live in the Arctic, the disappearance of this ice cover can have impacts far beyond the few residents and the wildlife of this harsh region. Ice cover loss can influence winds and precipitation on other continents, possibly leading to less rain in the western United States and creating more in Europe. "That warming is going to spread to the lower latitudes, to the United States, and it's going to affect storm systems and storm tracks, the jet stream; that's going to affect crops and all sorts of things," Meier predicts.
The best known consequence of disappearing sea ice in the Arctic is the loss of the polar bear habitat. "The Arctic sea ice melt is a disaster for the polar bears," according to Kassie Siegel, staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity. "They are dependent on the Arctic sea ice for all of their essential behaviors, and as the ice melts and global warming transforms the Arctic, polar bears are starving, drowning, even resorting to cannibalism because they don't have access to their usual food sources."
Scientists have noticed increasing reports of starving Arctic polar bears attacking and feeding on one another in recent years. In one documented 2004 incident in northern Alaska, a male bear broke into a female's den and killed her.
In May, the U.S. Department of Interior listed the polar bear as a "threatened" species under the Endangered Species Act. In a news release, U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne stated, "loss of sea ice threatens and will likely continue to threaten polar bear habitat. This loss of habitat puts polar bears at risk of becoming endangered in the foreseeable future, the standard established by the ESA for designating a threatened species."
Green idealists fail to make grade, says study
People who believe they have the greenest lifestyles can be seen as some of the main culprits behind global warming, says a team of researchers, who claim that many ideas about sustainable living are a myth. According to the researchers, people who regularly recycle rubbish and save energy at home are also the most likely to take frequent long-haul flights abroad. The carbon emissions from such flights can swamp the green savings made at home, the researchers claim.
Stewart Barr, of Exeter University, who led the research, said: "Green living is largely something of a myth. There is this middle class environmentalism where being green is part of the desired image. But another part of the desired image is to fly off skiing twice a year. And the carbon savings they make by not driving their kids to school will be obliterated by the pollution from their flights." Some people even said they deserved such flights as a reward for their green efforts, he added.
Only a very small number of citizens matched their eco-friendly behaviour at home by refusing to fly abroad, Barr told a climate change conference at Exeter University yesterday. The research team questioned 200 people on their environmental attitudes and split them into three groups, based on a commitment to green living. They found the longest and the most frequent flights were taken by those who were most aware of environmental issues, including the threat posed by climate change.
Questioned on their heavy use of flying, one respondent said: "I recycle 100% of what I can, there's not one piece of paper goes in my bin, so that makes me feel less guilty about flying as much as I do."
Barr said "green" lifestyles at home and frequent flying were linked to income, with wealthier people more likely to be engaged in both activities. He said: "The findings indicate that even those people who appear to be very committed to environmental action find it difficult to transfer these behaviours into more problematic contexts."
The team says the research is one of the first attempts to analyse how green intentions alter depending on context. It says the results reveal the scale of the challenge faced by policymakers who are trying to alter public behaviour to help tackle global warming.
The study concludes: "The notion that we can treat what we do in the home differently from what we do on holiday denies the existence of clearly related and complex lifestyle choices and practices. Yet even a focus on lifestyle groups who may be most likely to change their views will require both time and political will. The addiction to cheap flights and holidays will be very difficult to break."
The frequent flyers said they expected new technology to make aviation greener, echoing comments made by Tony Blair last year, who said it was "impractical" to expect people to take holidays closer to home. He said the solution was "to look at how you make air travel more energy-efficient, how you develop the new fuels that will allow us to burn less energy and emit less."
The Menace of Al Gore
Al Gore is back on the scene demanding that people use "civil disobedience" to stop the building of coal-fired power plants unless they have the technology to store carbon. He also wants people who disagree with him to go to prison.
"If you're a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration," Gore told the Clinton Global Initiative gathering to loud applause.
"I believe for a carbon company to spend money convincing the stock-buying public that the risk from the global climate crisis is not that great represents a form of stock fraud because they are misrepresenting a material fact," he said. "I hope these state attorney generals around the country will take some action on that."
Do not kid yourselves. There will be a time in this country when to deny the Al Gore version of global warming will be a crime akin to denying the Holocaust in Austria or Germany. People will be going to prison over this sooner than later. I would not be surprised to see the next Congress introduce a bill that will criminalize any disagreement with Gore.
They come and go
A letter from Ron Lee, a retired geologist
This is in regards to your articles of Sept. 14: "Gone within 50 years" and "The great melt." That global warming and cooling does occur is indisputable. However, Mauri Pelto and reporter K.C. Mehaffey insinuate the so-called global warming crisis is man-caused. I do not accept the premise and offer some facts to support my opinion.
As the ice recedes at Greenland - yes it is receding there also - archaeologists are finding evidence of less-icy times. Norse settlements abandoned in 1350 are being excavated from glacial sand. Google "James Brooke" about the site dubbed "Pompeii of the North." Could a few SUVs have saved the Norse settlements?
In the last major glaciation the continental glaciers came south to Indiana. What must early man have done to melt those glaciers back to the Rockies and Cascades?
Undoubtedly Pelto did wonderful work measuring and documenting the retreat of the glaciers, but geologic history has shown those glaciers could advance again or melt completely away. Either result would be completely normal. Glaciers do not get "in trouble" as Pelto says. They do advance, recede, and stagnate. They do not "live" or "die." They are not alive.
Pelto wonders "how people ... will react once they realize what it means to lose these frozen reservoirs." They'll adapt, just like they've always done. What if the continental glaciers come back? How do we explain global warming/cooling? The sun, and especially sunspot activity. Relatively low sunspot activity was used to explain the mini ice age of the 1800s.
That Would Be Courageous, Very Courageous, Mr Prime Minister
Comment from Australia
According to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd the most important challenge that Australia and indeed the world faces is global warming caused by man made carbon emissions. But what if its not? The issue is of such critical importance to the PM that during the last week's `one in a centuary" global financial meltdown, the Australian PM seemed hopelessly out of touch with reality.
As the global financial system and indeed Capitalism teetered on the verge of destruction, the PM's contribution was to announce the government was investing $100 million a year to make Australia the Hub of global climate change fighting technology. His other contribution was to announce a symposium of local government councilors. As Senator Barnaby Joyce put it so well on yesterday -
"This guy [the PM] is getting completely disconnected from what's going on and sooner or later he's going to realise that the main game is actually in this nation, not some other nation."
Indeed it is fair to say that the Kevin Rudd on the advice of his scientific adviser has staked his whole governments future on leading the world in the fight against global warming. But what if its not? What if James Hansen and his global spokesperson Al Gore are really the two swindlers from the fairy tale The Emperors New Clothes?
Certainly research from the Space and Science Research Center (SSRC) which quotes itself on its web site as "the leading science and engineering research company internationally, that specializes in the analysis of and planning for climate changes based upon the "Theory of Relational Cycles of Solar Activity," believes its not. In July of this year John L. Casey, Director of the Space and Science Research Center, Orlando Florida, issued what he described as a landmark declaration on climate change.
"After an exhaustive review of a substantial body of climate research, and in conjunction with the obvious and compelling new evidence that exists, it is time that the world community acknowledges that the Earth has begun its next climate change.
In an opinion echoed by many scientists around the world, the Space and Science Research Center (SSRC), today declares that the world's climate warming of the past decades has now come to an end. A new climate era has already started that is bringing predominantly colder global temperatures for many years into the future.
In some years this new climate will create dangerously cold weather with significant ill-effects world wide. Global warming is over - a new cold climate has begun."
In the statement Professor Casey specifically mentions the difficulty in over coming the dogma of political and media consensus on global warming.
"I have consulted with colleagues world wide who have reached a similar conclusion. They have likewise been attempting to advise their own governments and media of the impending cold era and the difficult times that the extreme cold weather may bring. They are to be commended for their bold public stances and publication of their research which of course has been in direct opposition to past conventional thought on the nature and causes of the last twenty years of global warming. "
Professor Phillip Stott in his article "Cogitative dissonance" details why the media and politician are having such difficulty with the world is not warming paradigm.
"How can you talk of the climate `warming' when, on the key measures, it isn't? .. Such media behaviour exhibits a classic condition known as `cognitive dissonance'
This is experienced when belief in a grand narrative persists blindly even when the facts in the real world begin to contradict what the narrative is saying.
Sadly, our media have come to have a vested interest in `global warming', as have so many politicians and activists.
Casey Goes on:
"Casey detailed the solar activity cycles that have been driving the Earth's climate for the past 1,200 years. He condemned the climate change confusion and alarmism which has accompanied seven separate periods over the past 100 years, where scientists and the media flip-flopped on reporting that the Earth was either entering a new `ice age' or headed for a global meltdown where melting glacial ice would swamp the planet's coastal cities.
Casey also touches on the impacts of the onset of global cooling on Agriculture.
"On the subject of cold climate effects on agriculture, Casey was not optimistic. "I can see," he added, "just like the last time this 206 year cycle brought cold, that there will be substantial damage to the world's agricultural systems. This time however we will have eight billion mouths to feed during the worst years around 2031 compared to previously when we had only one billion. Yet even then, many died from the combined effects of bitter cold and lack of food."
Casey called on all leaders to immediately move from the past global warming planning to prepare for the already started change to a cold climate.
"Now that the new cold climate has begun to arrive, we must immediately start the preparation, the adaptation process. At least because of the RC Theory we now have some advance warning. No longer do we need to wonder what the Earth's next climate changes will be two or three generations out. But we must nonetheless be ready to adjust with our now more predictable solar cycles that are the primary determinants of climate on Earth."
Now I'm not saying that John L Casey has got it right either. Readers should click on the links to his site and read the research. He certainly makes a compelling case and we will actually know if his research is ground breaking within the next 2 decades (as he predicts the planet will be 1-1.5 degrees C cooler between 2030 - 2040).
Certainly it is difficult to give the PM's science adviser James Hansen any where near the credibility that Kevin Rudd does after his warming predictions to date have been wildly inaccurate / over stated and his promotion of the universally discredited Mann Hockey Stick theory.
Is Prime Minister Rudd racing to far ahead of the science on global warming? If he is, he is doing the Nation of Australia and its people an enormous disservice and will be remembered by history as a "fool".
On the other hand if he has backed the right horse in James Hansen / Al Gores take on the science he will be viewed by history as a "great visionary" and will probably end up as head of the UN. One thing is for certain - ` he is willing to put it all on the line, no each way bets for our PM and he won't die wondering'. As a great fan of the BBC series Yes Minister, Sir Humphrey Appleby words of wisdom ring true: "That would be courageous, Minister, very courageous."
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