All he has is the usual logical fallacy of an appeal to authority. Concerning those authorities James M. Taylor [firstname.lastname@example.org] emails: "The NAS findings are not nearly as alarmist as what Steig and Real Climate claim, so it is odd that he would cite NAS in his support. Moreover, having a few board members of some science groups buy into the alarm does not mean that all, or even a majority, of the group's membership agrees with the board's endorsement. Joe D'Aleo can provide some really good information about how these boards do not necessarily reflect the sentiments of their members.
Finally, regarding the American Geophysical Union, two years ago I debated AGU president Alan Robock and was astonished at how uninformed he was about the issue. While he clearly is an expert on volcanoes, he seems to simply take at face value the claims of Michael Mann et al and have very little knowledge of the many scientific studies that contradict alarmist global warming theory. I have DVD copies of our debate, which I am sure he is praying never make it into the hands of his students at Rutgers".
Eric Steig, the author of the recent "Antarctic is now warming" paper, put this in his comment thread over at real climate. I love how he pretends to not have an opinion on the politics.
[Response: Mike. Thanks for your thoughts. We don't have much to say here about taxes vs. cap and trade, etc., because we're scientists, not economists. I will say that I think this is a really difficult problem, and solving it is going to involve ideological clashes about *how* to solve it. That's inevitable. We're seeing it right now in a small way with the debate in congress and the senate over Obama's stimulus package. I have no reason to doubt that opinions on both sides of the aisle are sincere, and that the vast majority want to do what is right. My own inclination is to agree with you on taxes vs. cap-and-trade, but I don't know. There are a lot of problems that will arise with either one. But that's not a reason to sit idly buy. My advice is stop reading about the "debate" because there isn't one. Instead, get involved in the policy debate. Help the world figure out what to do.
As for your not being able to tell "which side is right and which side is wrong" in the global warming debate, consider this: When you go to the dentist, and he tells you to put fluoride on your kids teeth, do you do it? If not, why not? The reason some people don't is that they live in a world where dentists are part of a vast conspiracy to poison our kids minds, or at the very least are complete idiots. Me, I live on a planet where dentists actually want to help me and my kids have healthy teeth. Maybe I'm wrong, and the members of the National Academy of Sciences, the leadership of the American Geophysical Union, etc. are all deluded, and the people that publish papers in professional scientific journals are frauds, and I make up data and enter it into my computer in my sleep while preparing my work for publication. On the other hand, maybe the money groups like Heartland Institute and the folks they list as part of their personnel are influenced by the money they get from Exxon Mobil. If you care about your kids, you probably need to think this out, and then go and make your voice heard on the right solution (either buy a Hummer, or get involved in efforts to get the right solution (carbon taxes, carbon trading, whatever) to happen.-eric]
His coauthor Mann was the lead author on a 2008 hockey stick paper which in my opinion was deliberately in error, something anyone who can do a bit of math realizes right away. He really exposed his leftist tendencies at the end though (either buy a Hummer, or get involved in efforts to get the right solution (carbon taxes, carbon trading, whatever) to happen.-eric]
His concept that there's nothing to discuss is asinine on a good day and a lie if you are honest. There are over 31,000 scientists who disagree directly and 650 who just presented their case to congress. I was willing to look openly at his paper but when he promotes false information in a public setting the way he does here and blocks my request for data, I think less of him than I care to express.
He then pulls the biggest piece of bull and claims Exon Mobil; any scientist who disagrees is employed by oil. Horse shit sir. Naming a few government agencies who need this issue to keep their funding as though they would somehow be unbiased then followed by the claim of consensus, it is bogus in an extreme. How can there be consensus if disagreement is cut from the discussion? I don't even care a whit if the antarctic is warming. It is nothing but far left extremism no longer hidden beneath the surface, I'm guessing that when this data is released it will be another case of the scientists believing the ends justify the means; we'll find a pile of it underneath.
The Amazing Story Behind the Global Warming Scam
The key players are now all in place in Washington and in state governments across America to officially label carbon dioxide as a pollutant and enact laws that tax we citizens for our carbon footprints. Only two details stand in the way, the faltering economic times and a dramatic turn toward a colder climate. The last two bitter winters have led to a rise in public awareness that there is no runaway global warming. The public is now becoming skeptical of the claim that our carbon footprints from the use of fossil fuels is going to lead to climatic calamities. How did we ever get to this point where bad science is driving big government to punish the citizens for living the good life that fossil fuels provide for us?
The story begins with an Oceanographer named Roger Revelle. He served with the Navy in World War II. After the war he became the Director of the Scripps Oceanographic Institute in La Jolla in San Diego, California. Revelle saw the opportunity to obtain major funding from the Navy for doing measurements and research on the ocean around the Pacific Atolls where the US military was conducting atomic bomb tests. He greatly expanded the Institute's areas of interest and among others hired Hans Suess, a noted Chemist from the University of Chicago, who was very interested in the traces of carbon in the environment from the burning of fossil fuels. Revelle tagged on to Suess studies and co-authored a paper with him in 1957. The paper raises the possibility that the carbon dioxide might be creating a greenhouse effect and causing atmospheric warming. It seems to be a plea for funding for more studies. Funding, frankly, is where Revelle's mind was most of the time.
Next Revelle hired a Geochemist named David Keeling to devise a way to measure the atmospheric content of Carbon dioxide. In 1960 Keeling published his first paper showing the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and linking the increase to the burning of fossil fuels. These two research papers became the bedrock of the science of global warming, even though they offered no proof that carbon dioxide was in fact a greenhouse gas. In addition they failed to explain how this trace gas, only a tiny fraction of the atmosphere, could have any significant impact on temperatures.
Now let me take you back to the1950s when this was going on. Our cities were entrapped in a pall of pollution from the crude internal combustion engines that powered cars and trucks back then and from the uncontrolled emissions from power plants and factories. Cars and factories and power plants were filling the air with all sorts of pollutants. There was a valid and serious concern about the health consequences of this pollution and a strong environmental movement was developing to demand action. Government accepted this challenge and new environmental standards were set. Scientists and engineers came to the rescue. New reformulated fuels were developed for cars, as were new high tech, computer controlled engines and catalytic converters. By the mid seventies cars were no longer big time polluters, emitting only some carbon dioxide and water vapor from their tail pipes. Likewise, new fuel processing and smoke stack scrubbers were added to industrial and power plants and their emissions were greatly reduced, as well.
But an environmental movement had been established and its funding and very existence depended on having a continuing crisis issue. So the research papers from Scripps came at just the right moment. And, with them came the birth of an issue; man-made global warming from the carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. Revelle and Keeling used this new alarmism to keep their funding growing. Other researchers with environmental motivations and a hunger for funding saw this developing and climbed aboard as well. The research grants began to flow and alarming hypothesis began to show up everywhere.
The Keeling curve showed a steady rise in CO2 in atmosphere during the period since oil and coal were discovered and used by man. As of today, carbon dioxide has increased from 215 to 385 parts per million. But, despite the increases, it is still only a trace gas in the atmosphere. While the increase is real, the percentage of the atmosphere that is CO2 remains tiny, about 41 hundredths of one percent.
Several hypothesis emerged in the 70s and 80s about how this tiny atmospheric component of CO2 might cause a significant warming. But they remained unproven. Years have passed and the scientists kept reaching out for evidence of the warming and proof of their theories. And, the money and environmental claims kept on building up.
Back in the 1960s, this global warming research came to the attention of a Canadian born United Nation's bureaucrat named Maurice Strong. He was looking for issues he could use to fulfill his dream of one-world government. Strong organized a World Earth Day event in Stockholm, Sweden in 1970. From this he developed a committee of scientists, environmentalists and political operatives from the UN to continue a series of meetings.
Strong developed the concept that the UN could demand payments from the advanced nations for the climatic damage from their burning of fossil fuels to benefit the underdeveloped nations, a sort of CO2 tax that would be the funding for his one-world government. But, he needed more scientific evidence to support his primary thesis. So Strong championed the establishment of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This was not a pure climate study scientific organization, as we have been led to believe. It was an organization of one-world government UN bureaucrats, environmental activists and environmentalist scientists who craved the UN funding so they could produce the science they needed to stop the burning of fossil fuels. Over the last 25 years they have been very effective. Hundreds of scientific papers, four major international meetings and reams of news stories about climatic Armageddon later, the UN IPCC has made its points to the satisfaction of most and even shared a Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.
At the same time, that Maurice Strong was busy at the UN, things were getting a bit out of hand for the man who is now called the grandfather of global warming, Roger Revelle. He had been very politically active in the late 1950's as he worked to have the University of California locate a San Diego campus adjacent to Scripps Institute in La Jolla. He won that major war, but lost an all important battle afterward when he was passed over in the selection of the first Chancellor of the new campus.
He left Scripps finally in 1963 and moved to Harvard University to establish a Center for Population Studies. It was there that Revelle inspired one of his students to become a major global warming activist. This student would say later, "It felt like such a privilege to be able to hear about the readouts from some of those measurements in a group of no more than a dozen undergraduates. Here was this teacher presenting something not years old but fresh out of the lab, with profound implications for our future!" The student described him as "a wonderful, visionary professor" who was "one of the first people in the academic community to sound the alarm on global warming," That student was Al Gore. He thought of Dr. Revelle as his mentor and referred to him frequently, relaying his experiences as a student in his book Earth in the Balance, published in 1992.
So there it is, Roger Revelle was indeed the grandfather of global warming. His work had laid the foundation for the UN IPCC, provided the anti-fossil fuel ammunition to the environmental movement and sent Al Gore on his road to his books, his move, his Nobel Peace Prize and a hundred million dollars from the carbon credits business.
What happened next is amazing. The global warming frenzy was becoming the cause celeb of the media. After all the media is mostly liberal, loves Al Gore, loves to warn us of impending disasters and tell us "the sky is falling, the sky is falling". The politicians and the environmentalist loved it, too.
But the tide was turning with Roger Revelle. He was forced out at Harvard at 65 and returned to California and a semi retirement position at UCSD. There he had time to rethink Carbon Dioxide and the greenhouse effect. The man who had inspired Al Gore and given the UN the basic research it needed to launch its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was having second thoughts. In 1988 he wrote two cautionary letters to members of Congress. He wrote, "My own personal belief is that we should wait another 10 or 20 years to really be convinced that the greenhouse effect is going to be important for human beings, in both positive and negative ways." He added, ".we should be careful not to arouse too much alarm until the rate and amount of warming becomes clearer."
And in 1991 Revelle teamed up with Chauncey Starr, founding director of the Electric Power Research Institute and Fred Singer, the first director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service, to write an article for Cosmos magazine. They urged more research and begged scientists and governments not to move too fast to curb greenhouse CO2 emissions because the true impact of carbon dioxide was not at all certain and curbing the use of fossil fuels could have a huge negative impact on the economy and jobs and our standard of living. I have discussed this collaboration with Dr. Singer. He assures me that Revelle was considerably more certain than he was at the time that carbon dioxide was not a problem.
Did Roger Revelle attend the Summer enclave at the Bohemian Grove in Northern California in the Summer of 1990 while working on that article? Did he deliver a lakeside speech there to the assembled movers and shakers from Washington and Wall Street in which he apologized for sending the UN IPCC and Al Gore onto this wild goose chase about global warming? Did he say that the key scientific conjecture of his lifetime had turned out wrong? The answer to those questions is, "I think so, but I do not know it for certain". I have not managed to get it confirmed as of this moment. It's a little like Las Vegas; what is said at the Bohemian Grove stays at the Bohemian Grove. There are no transcripts or recordings and people who attend are encouraged not to talk. Yet, the topic is so important, that some people have shared with me on an informal basis.
Roger Revelle died of a heart attack three months after the Cosmos story was printed. Oh, how I wish he were still alive today. He might be able to stop this scientific silliness and end the global warming scam.
Al Gore has dismissed Roger Revelle's Mea culpa as the actions of senile old man. And, the next year, while running for Vice President, he said the science behind global warming is settled and there will be no more debate, From 1992 until today, he and his cohorts have refused to debate global warming and when ask about we skeptics they simply insult us and call us names.
So today we have the acceptance of carbon dioxide as the culprit of global warming. It is concluded that when we burn fossil fuels we are leaving a dastardly carbon footprint which we must pay Al Gore or the environmentalists to offset. Our governments on all levels are considering taxing the use of fossil fuels. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of naming CO2 as a pollutant and strictly regulating its use to protect our climate. The new President and the US congress are on board. Many state governments are moving on the same course.
We are already suffering from this CO2 silliness in many ways. Our energy policy has been strictly hobbled by no drilling and no new refineries for decades. We pay for the shortage this has created every time we buy gas. On top of that the whole thing about corn based ethanol costs us millions of tax dollars in subsidies. That also has driven up food prices. And, all of this is a long way from over.
And, I am totally convinced there is no scientific basis for any of it. Global Warming. It is the hoax. It is bad science. It is a highjacking of public policy. It is no joke. It is the greatest scam in history.
California's 'Green Jobs' Experiment Isn't Going Well
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was all smiles in 2006 when he signed into law the toughest anti-global-warming regulations of any state. Mr. Schwarzenegger and his green supporters boasted that the regulations would steer California into a prosperous era of green jobs, renewable energy, and technological leadership. Instead, since 2007 -- in anticipation of the new mandates -- California has led the nation in job losses.
The regulations created a cap-and-trade system, similar to proposed federal global-warming measures, by limiting the CO2 that utilities, trucking companies and other businesses can emit, and imposed steep new taxes on companies that exceed the caps. Since energy is an input in everything that's produced, this will raise the cost of production inside California's borders.
Now, as the Golden State prepares to implement this regulatory scheme, employers are howling. It's become clear to nearly everyone that the plan's backers have underestimated its negative impact and exaggerated the benefits. "We've been sold a false bill of goods," is how Republican Assemblyman Roger Niello, who has been the GOP's point man on environmental issues in the legislature, put it to me.
The environmental plan was built on the notion that imposing some $23 billion of new taxes and fees on households (through higher electricity bills) and employers will cost the economy nothing, while also reducing greenhouse gases. Almost no one believes that anymore except for the five members of the California Air Resources Board (CARB). This is the state's air-quality regulator, which voted unanimously in December to stick with the cap-and-trade system despite the recession. CARB justified its go-ahead by issuing what almost all experts agree is a rigged study on the economic impact of the cap-and-trade system. The study concludes that the plan "will not only significantly reduce California's greenhouse gas emissions, but will also have a net positive effect on California's economic growth through 2020."
This finding elicited a chorus of hallelujahs from environmental groups. The state finally discovered a do-good policy that pays for itself. Californians can still scurry around in their cars, heat up their Jacuzzis, and help save the planet. But there was a problem. The CARB had commissioned five economists from around the country to critique this study. They panned it.
Harvard's Robert Stavins, chairman of the federal Environmental Protection Agency's economic advisory committee under Bill Clinton, told me that "None of us knew who the other reviewers were, but we all came up with almost the same conclusion. The report was severely flawed and systematically underestimated costs." Another reviewer, UCLA Prof. Matthew E. Kahn, a supporter of the new regulations, criticized the "free lunch" aspect of the report. "The net dollar costs of each of these regulations is likely to be much larger than is reported," he concluded. Mr. Stavins points out that if these regulations are a net boon for businesses and the economy, "why would you need to impose regulations like cap and trade?"
The Sacramento Bee, which has editorialized in support of the new regulations, was aghast at CARB's twisted science. We have to "be candid about the real costs of the transition," a cautionary editorial advised. "Energy prices will rise, and major capital investment will be needed in public transit and new transmission lines. Industries that are energy intensive will move elsewhere."
The green lobby has lectured us for years that global warming is all about the sanctity of science. Those who question the "scientific consensus" on catastrophic atmospheric changes are belittled as "deniers." Now, in assessing the costs, the greens readily cook the books and throw good science out the window. "To most of the most strident supporters of this legislation," says Mr. Niello, "the economic costs don't really matter anyway, because we are supposedly facing an environmental apocalypse."
Mr. Schwarzenegger fits into that camp. He recently declared: "I recommend very strongly that we move forward . . . . You will always have people saying this will lose jobs."
Meanwhile, the state is losing jobs, a lot of them. California's unemployment rate hit 9.3% in December, up from 4.9% in December 2006. There are now 1.5 million Californians out of work. The state has the fourth-highest housing foreclosure rate in the nation, has lost more businesses than any state in recent years, and is facing a $40 billion deficit. With cap and trade firmly in place, the economic situation is only likely to get worse.
Other states are plundering the Golden State's industries by convincing businesses to pick up stakes and move out before the cap-and-trade earthquake hits. Governors and Washington politicians who want to reduce their "carbon footprint," but are worried about the more immediate crises of cascading unemployment, unbalanced budgets, and the housing-market collapse, would be wise not to follow California's lead. Green policies have a tendency to push states into the red.
Thoughts on green jobs
On a family trip to Nicaragua we saw workers digging a multi-mile ditch in preparation for laying communication lines. The workers were using picks and shovels; we saw but a single John Deere backhoe. "Imagine how much more productive these workers would be if they had access to more of Deere's machinery," I commented. "But then many of them would be out of work," one of my boys responded. I replied, "If the point is to provide maximum employment, why not replace the picks and shovels with spoons?"
I am reminded of this as I read about President Obama's plans to create five million "green jobs." They include making houses more energy-efficient, constructing wind-turbines, building greener buildings, and upgrading the electrical grid. But this promise is made without mentioning the cost (i.e., the loss of jobs in other sectors) or considering what else these folks might productively do had they not been lured into the green jobs.
The American Wind Energy Association claims wind power creates the most jobs per kilowatt-hour of energy generated-27 percent more than coal generation and 66 percent more than natural gas. Buried in this is the presumption that labor has a very low value. Only if you're using prisoners, whose opportunity cost is zero, could this make sense. Following my Nicaragua example, if maximum employment is the goal, why not have people digging the footings for wind turbines by hand? This would create far more jobs per kilowatt-hour.
Productivity is the amount of output per unit of input. It is a basic indicator of economic health. Why? Because producing the same good with less input not only makes it more affordable, but also frees human and physical resources for use in other areas. "It can be said without exaggeration that in the long run probably nothing is as important for economic welfare as...productivity growth," wrote Princeton economist William J. Baumol.
The jobs lost in our dynamic economy are normally replaced by new and different jobs. For example, a quarter of all Americans now work in jobs that didn't even exist in the Census Bureau's occupation codes in 1967. In 1900, one-half of adult Americans worked on farms. Today, it's fewer than 2 percent. Despite lower farm employment, American farm productivity is the highest in the world.
The idea of government "job creation," green or otherwise, is an example of the broken window fallacy. The French economist Frederic Bastiat explained this in 1850. Here's Bastiat's basic economic insight as described by Ken Green of AEI.:
"Imagine some shopkeepers get their windows broken by a rock-throwing child. At first, people sympathize with the shopkeepers, until someone claims that the broken windows really aren't that bad. After all, they 'create work' for the glassmaker, who might then be able to buy more food, benefiting the grocer, or buy more clothes, benefiting the tailor. If enough windows are broken, the glassmaker might even hire an assistant, creating a job.
"Did the child therefore do a public service by breaking the windows? No. As Bastiat explained we must also consider what the shopkeepers would have done with the money they used to fix their windows had those windows not been broken. Most likely, the shopkeepers would have ploughed that money into their store: perhaps they would have bought more stock from their suppliers, or maybe they would have hired new employees. Before the windows broke, the shopkeepers had intact windows and the money to purchase more goods or hire new workers. After the windows broke, they had to use that money to repair the windows, and thus were unable to expand their business."
In the Great Depression the opportunity cost for labor approached zero. When this occurs it is reasonable and prudent for the government to create employment and educational programs like the CCC and WPA. But job creation fundamentally comes from the private sector. Every public dollar spent on green jobs comes at the expense of taxpayers and business owners who would have spent the money in ways we can't imagine.
Global cooling hits Britain again
Treacherous travel conditions were predicted for much of Britain today. Forecasters said that eastern and southern England would see the heaviest snowfalls. Meteorologists described the conditions as an extreme weather event and advised motorists to check the roads before leaving home.
Travellers were left stranded at bus stops in London last night as Transport for London decided to halt all bus services in the capital. A spokesman said that drivers were instructed to return to their garages after several accidents in which cars collided with buses or buses lost their grip on the road. "We aim to restore services as soon as possible once roads have been treated," he said.
There were delays for air and train passengers as snow was cleared. Gatwick cancelled more than 20 flights and diverted others as ground staff scrambled to de-ice runways. London City was closed for a time. Several train services linking London and the South East were cancelled or delayed. A section of the London-bound M20 in Kent was closed. Kent Police said that several minor collisions had been reported after snow froze on the road.
The Met Office said that easterly winds from Russia and Eastern Europe would result in the widest covering of snow since 1991. The greatest depths will be seen in the East and snowfalls up to 15cm (6in) are predicted across southeast England. This winter has already been the coldest for 13 years, with temperatures plunging to lows of -13C (8.6F) during a three-week freeze in January. Temperatures fell below freezing last night, causing treacherous conditions for drivers, particularly in the Pennines and the North York Moors. Biting winds are expected to hit steady speeds of 15 to 20mph today, gusting up to 35mph over the hills and along the east coast.
The Highways Agency's fleet of more than 500 salt spreaders, snow ploughs and snow blowers is on standby and salt spreading began over the weekend. Officials told motorists to check forecasts before setting out. They also recommended packing food, water, a torch and a spade as well as warm clothes. Motorists who fail to ensure that they have warm clothing and extra layers are "flirting with hypothermia", motoring groups said. "People often treat their car like an overcoat," Andy Taylor, of the AA, said. "But when you break down you are suddenly vulnerable to the weather. If you break down on a motorway, the safety advice is to get out of the car and wait behind the barrier. You need extra clothes for this."
The blast of icy weather will bring another bank of snow across Kent, Essex and Surrey this afternoon, moving quickly across the whole of eastern England. Most of Britain can expect sharp frosts and bitterly cold conditions for much of this week. A brief respite is predicted tomorrow before another barrage of snow.
Gardeners are worried that the temperatures will ruin the spring blooms. Experts say that this year's daffodil crop is the worst in a decade. Laura Davies, of the National Botanical Garden of Wales, said: "Now is the time you would expect to see daffodils coming out but we are not expecting them for two or three weeks at best if it warms up. Winter snowdrops were late and other plants you would expect to see have not shown signs of appearing. There will be fewer plants in gardens this year and Mediterranean shrubs will be the worst to suffer."
Helen Chivers, a Met Office forecaster, said: "Northerly winds will be maintaining the cold weather so we can expect some more icy nights and snow showers. It is looking likely that the snow will be coming back on Thursday and Friday, probably hitting southeast England again." The bookmaker William Hill has dropped the odds of 2009 being the coldest year on record from 12-1 to 8-1. It is also offering odds of 100-1 that the Thames will freeze over.
Mervyn Kohler, of Help The Aged, urged the elderly to take care. "Over-seventies can have insulation installed free by energy providers. Obviously it is a bit late to do those things before tonight and tomorrow but now is the time to start the process going because it is going to be cold again and energy prices are probably never going to go down to the level they were at five years ago," he said.
Dumbest green blogger in Australia?
Andrew Bolt below makes short work of a typically dogmatic Greenie. When a radio host came out as a warming skeptic, all the Greenie could do was sneer. But does one EVER expect to get a courteous discussion of the facts from a Warmist?
Green blogger Graham Readfearn - showing all the abusiveness of his breed - attacks 4BC host Chris Smith as perhaps "the dumbest radio host in Australia'' for being a sceptic of apocalyptic man-made warming. The case for the prosecution:
Smith swallowed the bogus "31,000 scientist" petition, he swallowed the ageing arguments from bearded botanist David Bellamy and then he swallowed that erroneous claim that temperatures peaked in 1998.
That is a charge sheet that raises the question - is Readfearn the dumbest eco blogger in Australia? Here is the petition, which seems genuine enough to me. Readfearn offers no evidence - just more abuse - to suggest what precisely he objects to from Bellamy, a trained botanist, other than that he has a beard. And as for doubting that temperatures peaked in 1998, here's the proof:
Less abuse, Graham, and more research and reason might suit you better.
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