Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Prominent Scientist Fired By Gore Says Warming Alarm `Mistaken'

Award winning Princeton University Physicist Dr. Will Happer, who was reportedly fired by former Vice President Al Gore in 1993 for failing to adhere to Gore's scientific views, has now declared man-made global warming fears "mistaken." "I am convinced that the current alarm over carbon dioxide is mistaken," Happer, who has published over 200 scientific papers, told EPW on December 22, 2008. Happer made his remarks while requesting to join the 2008 U.S. Senate Minority Report from Environment and Public Works Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-OK) of over 650 (and growing) dissenting international scientists disputing anthropogenic climate fears. [Note: Joining Happer as new additions to the Senate report, are at least 10 more scientists, including meteorologists from Germany, Netherlands and CNN, as well as a professors from MIT and University of Arizona.]

"I had the privilege of being fired by Al Gore, since I refused to go along with his alarmism. I did not need the job that badly," Happer said this week. Happer is a Professor at the Department of Physics at Princeton University and former Director of Energy Research at the Department of Energy from 1990 to 1993, has published over 200 scientific papers, and is a fellow of the American Physical Society, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Academy of Sciences.

Senator Inhofe said that the continued outpouring of prominent scientists like Happer -- who are willing to publicly dissent from climate fears -- are yet another strike to the UN, Gore and the media's claims about global warming. "The endless claims of a 'consensus' about man-made global warming grow less-and-less credible every day," Inhofe said.

Happer, who served as the Director of Energy Research at the Department of Energy in 1993, says he was fired by Gore in 1993 for not going along with Gore's scientific views on ozone and climate issues. "I was told that science was not going to intrude on policy," Happer explained in 1993. "I have spent a long research career studying physics that is closely related to the greenhouse effect, for example, absorption and emission of visible and infrared radiation, and fluid flow," Happer said this week. "Fears about man-made global warming are unwarranted and are not based on good science. The earth's climate is changing now, as it always has. There is no evidence that the changes differ in any qualitative way from those of the past," he added.

"Over the past 500 million years since the Cambrian, when fossils of multicellular life first became abundant, the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been much higher than current levels, about 3 times higher on average. Life on earth flourished with these higher levels of carbon dioxide," he explained. "Computer models used to generate frightening scenarios from increasing levels of carbon dioxide have scant credibility," Happer added.


Will Canada see its first white Christmas since '71?

The first day of winter brought wind-chill warnings, snow and a bevy of storms to cities across Canada on Sunday, potentially laying the groundwork for the first cross-country white Christmas in nearly four decades. Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips told CTV Newsnet that "it looks like a very good chance" it will be a white Christmas for all parts of Canada for the first time since 1971. "It's just sort of the beginning of winter, and it's a little much to expect when we have so many different climatic types in this country for it to be frozen and snow-covered from right across the huge country," he told CTV Newsnet on Sunday.

But with so much snow already on the ground, the veteran weather prognosticator said he thinks that any upcoming balmy Christmas Day temperatures will not be able to melt away the growing snowfall base. "It may be in 40 years, the first one," he said.

As for Sunday's weather conditions, Phillips didn't mince words. "In 10 provinces, every one of them has got some weather misery out there, and an advisory," he said. "About the only areas not showing any advisory or warning situations are the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut."

Environment Canada snowfall warnings for Vancouver predict that up to 20 centimetres of snow will fall by Sunday evening, accompanied by bone-chilling wind-chill effects throughout the evening and into Monday. Environment Canada meteorologist Geoff Coulson told The Canadian Press that the Prairies would see very low temperatures, falling into the -30s by Sunday evening. The storm system that began in southwestern Ontario Sunday morning has left as much as 20 cm of additional snow in some areas, and is now making its way eastward. However, much of the region is still under blowing snow warnings thanks to high winds that could gust up to 90 kilometres per hour....

Phillips said some parts of the country are seeing snowfall amounts that have outpaced last year's record and near-record totals at this point in the season. But he also said it's unlikely that trend will continue.


New paper: Sunspot data vital clue to climate change

New discoveries linking periodic changes in the Sun's magnetic field with global weather patterns could enable scientists to gain a clearer understanding of how additional factors - such as greenhouse gases - contribute to those weather patterns. A newly-published paper by the University of New England's Dr Robert Baker establishes the connection between solar cycles and the weather by correlating sunspot activity and rainfall figures for south-eastern Australia over the past 130 years.

Cycles of sunspot activity are a visible indication of the periodic changes in magnetic forces within the Sun. The most well-known sunspot cycle is the 11-year "Schwab" cycle, which comprises alternating five-and-a-half-year periods of relatively high and low sunspot activity.

Dr Baker's paper, "Exploratory analysis of similarities in solar cycle magnetic phases with Southern Oscillation Index fluctuations in Eastern Australia9 D (Geographical Research, December 2008), shows that periods of increased sunspot activity are consistently associated with those periods of high rainfall in south-eastern Australia predicted by the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI). Periods of drought, such as that which has afflicted Australia for the past six years, are associated with minimal sunspot activity.

Dr Baker is an Associate Professor in UNE's School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences. His paper compares sunspot / weather patterns in all 23 of the documented "Schwab" cycles, noting particularly the similarity between Cycle 15 (1914-1924) and the current Cycle 23. "Such comparisons between the current cycle and past cycles have important implications for both weather prediction and the monitoring of climate change," Dr Baker said. "They could not only allow us to forecast farther into the future, but - through analysing differences in weather patterns between the current cycle and a past cycle with similar sunspot activity - they could help us to isolate the effect of recent additions to the system such as greenhouse gases."

"We have to benchmark the natural system (i.e., the Sun) before looking at additions to it (e.g. carbon dioxide)," he explained. "Comparing current data with those of a century ago can give us an idea of the added effect of greenhouse gases. But sticking your head in the sand and saying the Sun has no effect on20climate change is a virtual denial of historical reality." "I'm not a `climate-change sceptic'," he added. "But although carbon dioxide could be a major contributor to global warming, it's just one part of a complex system." That system is so complex, he said, that the short-term temperature trend in the Southern Hemisphere (since 2002) is actually down rather than up.

Dr Baker is keeping a keen eye on daily reports of solar activity. "The Sun isn't powering up," he said. "The period of minimum sunspots signalling the completion of Cycle 23, although due to end in October 2007, is continuing. We could, in fact, be entering a prolonged period of minimal sunspot activity such as the one that brought the `Federation droughts' around the turn of the twentieth century and a dip in global temperatures for a decade."


Ho, Ho, Ho: Green Santa Has Some Seeing Red

If you've got rugrats of a certain age, you don't have to wait till January to gauge the country's new environmental tenor. Just watch your kid's school Christmas play. "Santa Goes Green" is the theme of elementary-school productions across the country, apparently involving plans to retool Santa's sleigh into a more efficient electric model and getting Rudolph's nose up to code, efficiency-wise. That's got some people grinchlike already, by the looks of it:
I was not prepared when I was tricked into sitting through a half hour long political statement on "Global Warming." I was not appreciative that my grand-daughter is being taught this unproven theory of mankind destroying the Earth, and that even Santa must do something to prevent its self-destruction.

Actually, Santa's role is key. In a new children's book with the same title, a little boy eschews toys and urges Santa Claus to throw his considerable weight behind the global warming fight in order to save his (presumably herbivorous) polar bear friend.
The book's author, Anne Margaret Lewis, told USA Today that inspiration struck after reading a magazine story on melting glaciers with her 6-year old son:
"He asked how we could help the polar bears, so we started going around the house every time we left a room and shut the lights off. Then we would say, `We just saved another polar bear,' " she says. "I was trying to convince him that you can make a difference, and it worked."

That got Lewis to wondering whether s he could write a book that would pass along the feeling. "I wanted it to be about polar bears because of how it came to be," she says. "And then I thought, who would a child think is the most powerful person who could help him do that? Santa. The story just started evolving."

The book ends with a note from Santa to the "children of the world," directing them to a website where the newly-green elf promises some climate-saving tips. But for folks horrified at the thought of indoctrinated children dashing off checks to Al Gore, the tips aren't terribly ambitious or controversial: "Turn off the tap water while you brush your teeth; turn off the lights and the TV when you are through with them." No word yet on what kind of electricity is powering the web site's servers.


Completely inadequate IPCC models produce the ultimate deception about man made global warming

The only place where CO2 is causing temperature increase is in the IPCC computer models

E. R. Beadle said, "Half the work done in the world is to make things appear what they are not." The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) does this with purpose and great effect. They built the difference between appearance and reality into their process. Unlike procedure used elsewhere, they produce and release a summary report independently and before the actual technical report is completed. This way the summary gets maximum media attention and becomes the public understanding of what the scientists said. Climate science is made to appear what it is not. Indeed, it is not even what is in their Scientific Report.

The pattern of falsifying appearances began early. Although he works at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Stephen Schneider was heavily employed in the work of the IPCC as this biography notes. Much of Schneider's time is taken up by what he calls his "pro bono day job" for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He was a Coordinating Lead Author in Working Group II of the IPCC from 1997 to 2001 and a lead author in Working Group I from 1994 to 1996. Currently, he is a Coordinating Lead Author for the controversial chapter on "Assessing Key Vulnerabilities and the Risks from Climate Change," in short, defining "dangerous" climate change." - Pubmedcentral.nih.gov He continued this work by helping prepare the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) released in April 2007.

Schneider, among others, created the appearance that the Summary was representative of the Science Report. However, he provides an early insight into the thinking when speaking about global warming to Discovery magazine (October 1989) he said scientists need, "to get some broader based support, to capture the public's imagination.that, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts we may have.each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective, and being honest." The last sentence is deeply disturbing--there is no decision required.

The Summary for Policymakers is designed to convince everyone that global warming is due to human production of CO2. In SPM AR4 issued in April 2007 they say, "Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations." The term "very likely" is from a table reportedly produced by Schneider and means greater than 90%. Professor Roy Spencer says about probabilities in this context. "Any statements of probability are meaningless and misleading. I think the IPCC made a big mistake. They're pandering to the public not understanding probabilities. When they say 90 percent, they make it sound like they've come up with some kind of objective, independent, quantitative way of estimating probabilities related to this stuff. It isn't. All it is is a statement of faith."

So they create an appearance of certainty about a human cause of warming. But what is the reality? The only place where CO2 is causing temperature increase is in the IPCC computer models. In every record of any duration for any time period in the history of the Earth, temperature increase precedes CO2 increase. So an incorrect assumption that a CO2 increase will cause temperature increase is built into the computer models. That is damaging enough, but the computer models themselves are completely inadequate to represent global climate or make any predictions about future climate. But don't believe me. The IPCC Technical Report ("The Physical Science Basis") produced by Working Group I and released in November 2007, says so.

Problems begin with the definition of climate change used because it requires they only consider human causes. From the United Nations Environment Program (article 1) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), "a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over considerable time periods." But you cannot determine the human portion unless you understand natural climate change. As Professor Roy Spencer said in his testimony before the US Senate EPW Committee, "And given that virtually no research into possible natural explanations for global warming has been performed, it is time for scientific objectivity and integrity to be restored to the field of global warming research."

Media and public are allowed to believe the IPCC make climate predictions, but they don't. The First Assessment Report (Climate Change 1992) said, "Scenarios are not predictions of the future and should not be used as such." While the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios says; "Scenarios are images of the future or alternative futures. They are neither predictions nor forecasts. Climate Change 2001 continues the warnings; "The possibility that any single in emissions path will occur as described in this scenario is highly uncertain." In the same Report they say, "No judgment is offered in this report as to the preference for any of the scenarios and they are not assigned probabilities of recurrence, neither must they be interpreted as policy recommendations." This is a reference to the range of scenarios they produce using different future possible economic conditions. Of course, they didn't build in the recent financial collapse.

Climate Change 2001 substitutes the word projection for prediction. Projection is defined as follows, "A projection is a potential future evolution of a quantity or set of quantities, often computed with the help of a model. Projections are distinguished from predictions in order to emphasise that projections involve assumptions concerning e.g. future socio-economic and technological developments that may or may not be realised and are therefore subject to substantial uncertainty".

This and similar statements are based on the unproven hypothesis that human produced CO2 is causing warming and or climate change. The evidence is based solely on the output of 18 computer climate models selected by the IPCC. There are a multitude of problems including the fact that every time they run them they produce different results. They use an average of all the runs. The IPCC then take the average results of the 18 models and average them for the results in their Reports.

Tim Palmer, a leading climate modeler at the European Centre for Medium - Range Weather Forecasts said, "I don't want to undermine the IPCC, but the forecasts, especially for regional climate change, are immensely uncertain." This comment is partly explained by the scale of the General Circulation Models (GCM). The models are mathematical constructs that divide the world into rectangles. Size of the rectangles is critical to the abilities of the models as the IPCC AR4 acknowledges. "Computational constraints restrict the resolution that is possible in the discretized equations, and some representation of the large-scale impacts of unresolved processes is required (the parametrization problem). " (AR4 Chapter 8. p.596.)

The IPCC uses surface weather data, which means there is inadequate data in space and time for most of the world to create an accurate model. Limitations of the surface data are surpassed by an almost complete lack of information above the surface. An illustration of the surface problem is identified by the IPCC comment of the problems of modeling Arctic climates: "Despite advances since the TAR, substantial uncertainty remains in the magnitude of cryospheric feedbacks within AOGCMs. This contributes to a spread of modelled climate response, particularly at high latitudes. At the global scale, the surface albedo feedback is positive in all the models, and varies between models much less than cloud feedbacks. Understanding and evaluating sea ice feedbacks is complicated by the strong coupling to polar cloud processes and ocean heat and freshwater transport. Scarcity of observations in polar regions also hampers evaluation." (AR4.,Chapter 8, p593.)

Most of the information for the Arctic came from the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) and a diagram from that report illustrates the problem. The very large area labeled "No Data" covers most of the Arctic Basin, an area of approximately 14,250,000 km2 (5,500,000) square miles). Remember, certainties of arctic ice conditions are core to Gore's alarmism.

More here (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Muddle-headed Greens see themselves starring in a Thoreauvian romance

Comment from Australia

Our age presents itself as a historical hall of mirrors. Every new turning reminds us disconcertingly of somewhere we've been before. New songs on the radio have the obscure savour of melodies from times past; new movies seem to reproduce older ones, like ghostly tableaux vivants. No wonder young people often seem nostalgic for the blurred images of movements that expired long before they were born. After all, they're staggering into this mirror maze unaided. So perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that the grand spectacle of outrage last week against the Rudd Government's emissions trading scheme white paper had such a familiar appearance.

Uni students in dreadlocks and cheesecloth sandbagged ministers' electorate offices, as if miming the apocalyptic imagery of the unilateral disarmament movement in the death throes of the Cold War. Green leaders called for a human chain to surround Parliament House for the first sitting day of 2009 as if, like those yippies and hippies who encircled the Pentagon 40 years ago, they might cause it to levitate by collectively incanting the word om.

Most strikingly of all, green groups called for a national campaign of civil disobedience, roughly after the manner prescribed by the earliest hippie of them all, 19th-century American solitary sojourner Henry David Thoreau. Like their orange boiler-suited colleagues in Europe, activists plan to shackle themselves to existing power plants or disrupt the building of newones. Then, like the sage of Walden Pond, they can act out the belief that, under an unjust government, "the true place for a just man is also a prison".

Green groups have been channelling the spirit of Thoreau for some time. In September the inimitable Al Gore made headlines by calling for Thoreauian civil disobedience on a global scale. Why, if only he were young again, he told us, he'd be chaining himself to coal-fired power plants, too. Greenpeace's Indian division, inevitably, has invoked the spirit of Mohandas Gandhi, the most famous of Thoreau's acolytes and a well-known enemy to all types of industry.

Now Greenpeace Australia's climate change campaign co-ordinator tells us that, by lamentably failing the planet on climate change, Kevin Rudd has sent conscientious activists everywhere "a clear signal that our political system is not up to the task". This means "people who are demanding action on climate change have little choice but to take matters into their own hands". Thoreau and Gandhi all rolled into one.

No doubt, if you're caught up in our hall of historical mirrors, it's gratifying to gaze into the glass and see in your reflection the image of those noble souls who ended the slave trade in the 1830s, opposed chattel slavery in the decades leading up to the American Civil War or brought down the Goliath of British colonialism. The problem with channelling the past in this purely intuitive way, though, is we necessarily do so through the distorting glass of our imaginations.

For Thoreau, my ineffable human conscience is always the most important thing, and I'm not fully human until I choose freely to express it in all of my deeds and words. However, the mass of men, being mere dutiful citizens, are not like this. Because they refrain from freely exercising their moral sense and subsume their will to the wishes of the magistrate, "they have the same sort of worth only as horses or dogs". At the same time, Thoreau insisted, any and every man could experience this special insight themselves, would they but take the time. Just exile yourself to a lonely pond and the essential truths of life will unfold. This spiritual vocabulary is still alive in the grand oratory of climate change. Simplicity v excess. Purity v impurity and cleanliness v dirt. The moral integrity of the individual v the snares and wiles of the wicked world.

Yet the Thoreauian analogy works only up to a point. You can look into your heart and see that the slave trade and chattel slavery are offences against human nature simply because we're all humans and our god (whichever they may be) has decreed us all to be free and equal. Yet like most Australians, I expect, I have no capacity to judge the scientific debates on climate change and its causes in any fashion that would satisfy my inner voice. In practice, I'm forced to rely on my commonsense intuition that so many scientists and public authorities wouldn't be expending so much time and money on the issue unless they were sincerely worried about something. In Thoreau's terms, I'm forced to subordinate the call of my conscience to the expertise of others, like it or not.

None of the alternatives to this posture are particularly credible. You can lapse into a kind of political mysticism, according to which the voice of Gaia somehow speaks through you, regardless of your personal competence. Or else you can simply echo the instincts of others around you who happen to think and dress much as you do, who have the same tastes in interior furnishings and who choose to live in the same neighbourhoods. But that's hardly an expression of individuality.

In the end, the most troubling aspect of the bluster on climate change policy is that, in its implausible claim to have some private access to the truth, it devalues the currency of truth altogether. Perhaps the most striking table in the white paper is the one that compares emission projections with projections for population growth. If that table is correct, the Government's 5 per cent to 15 per cent targeted reductions are broadly in line with those of the European Union and significantly in advance of the promises of president-elect Barack Obama. I have no idea whether the data in that table is reliable. But I haven't yet seen any of those uttering howls of outrage contesting it.

As it happens, Greenpeace recently commissioned its own proposal for a global energy revolution. Figure seven of the document's executive summary compares energy output from different sources, if Greenpeace's own recommendations are accepted. On these figures, renewable energy sources would almost double as a percentage of output between 2005 and 2020. But coal-fired power output (now with capture and storage, presumably) would stay more or less constant. This sounds plausible but also rather spiritually unsatisfying.

And it's hard to see how exactly it can be reconciled with Greenpeace's other call, the one that asks for a new generation of Thoreaus to chain themselves to the gates of the world's coal-fired power stations. Before they stride out on their private journeys to Walden Pond, I'd suggest those earnest, idealistic young folks prepare themselves a few packed lunches.



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


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