Giant Of Geology/Glaciology Rejects Warmism
Christian Schlüchter is Professor emeritus for Quaternary Geology and Paleoclimatology at the University of Bern in Switzerland. He has authored/co-authored over 250 papers
This post is about an interview by the online Swiss Der Bund with Swiss geology giant Christian Schlüchter titled: “Our society is fundamentally dishonest“. In it he criticizes climate science for its extreme tunnel vision and political contamination.
Geologist Sebastain Lüning sent me an e-mail where he writes: “This is probably the best interview from a geologist on climate change that I have read for a long while. My highest respect for Prof. Schlüchter.” Fritz Vahrenholt calls it “impressive”.
His discovery of 4000-year old chunks of wood at the edge of glaciers in Switzerland in the 1990s unintentionally thrust the distinguished geologist into the lion’s den of climate science. Today the retired professor and author of more than 250 papers speaks up in an interview.
Almost glacier-free Alps 2000 years ago
Early in the interview Schlüchter reminds us that during Roman times in the Alps “the forest line was much higher than it is today; there were hardly any glaciers. Nowhere in the detailed travel accounts from Roman times are glaciers mentioned.” He criticizes today’s climate scientists for focusing on a time period that is “indeed much too short“.
In the interview, Schlüchter recounts how he in the 1990s found a large chunk of wood near the leading edge of a glacier. The chunk of wood, he describes, looked as if it had been dragged across a cheese shredder. It was clear to Schlüchter that the specimen had to be very old. Indeed laboratory analysis revealed that it was 4000 years old. Next they found multiple wood fragments with the same age, all serving to fill in a major piece of the paleo-puzzle. His conclusion: Today where one finds the Lower Aare-Glacier in the Bernese Alps, it used to be “a wide landscape with a wildly flowing river“. It was warmer back then.
Until the 1990s, scientists thought that the Alps glaciers had been more or less consistently intact and only began retreating after the end of the Little Ice Age. Schlüchter’s findings showed that glacial retreats of the past also had been profound.
This threw climate science into chaos and it remains unreconciled today.
Ice-free 5800 of the last 10,000 years
But not all scientists were thrilled or fascinated by Schlüchter’s impressive discoveries. He quickly found himself the target of scorn. Swiss climate scientist Heinz Wanner was reluctant to concede Schlüchter’s findings. Schlüchter tells Der Bund:
I wasn’t supposed to find that chunk of wood because I didn’t belong to the close-knit circle of Holocene and climate researchers. My findings thus caught many experts off guard: Now an ‘amateur’ had found something that the Holocene and climate experts should have found.”
Schlüchter tells of other works, which also have proven to be a thorn to mainstream climate science, involving the Rhone glacier. His studies and analyses of oxygen isotopes unequivocally reveal that indeed “the rock surface had been ice-free 5800 of the last 10,000 years“.
Distinct solar imprint on climate
What’s more worrisome, Schlüchter’s findings show that cold periods can strike very rapidly. Near the edge of Mont Miné Glacier his team found huge tree trunks and discovered that they all had died in just a single year. The scientists were stunned.
The year of death could be determined to be exactly 8195 years before present. The oxygen isotopes in the Greenland ice show there was a marked cooling around 8200.”
That finding, Schlüchter states, confirmed that the sun is the main driver in climate change.
Today’s “rapid” changes are nothing new
In the interview he casts doubt on the UN projection that the Alps will be almost glacier-free by 2100, reminding us that “the system is extremely dynamic and doesn’t function linearly” and that “extreme, sudden changes have clearly been seen in the past“. History’s record is unequivocal on this.
Schlüchter also doesn’t view today’s climate warming as anything unusual, and poses a number of unanswered questions:
Why did the glaciers retreat in the middle of the 19th century, although the large CO2 increase in the atmosphere came later? Why did the earth ‘tip’ in such a short time into a warming phase? Why did glaciers again advance in 1880s, 1920s and 1980s? [...] Sooner or later climate science will have to answer the question why the retreat of the glacier at the end of the Little Ice Age around 1850 was so rapid.”
On science: “Our society is fundamentally dishonest”
CO2 fails to answer many open questions. Already we get the sense that hockey stick climate claims are turning out to be rather sorrowful and unimaginative wives’ tales. He summarizes on the refusal to acknowledge the reality of our past: “Our society in fundamentally dishonest“.
“Helping hands for politicians”
In the Der Bund interview Schlüchter describes a meeting in England that turned him off completely. The meeting, to which he was “accidentally” invited, was led by “someone of the East Anglia Climate Center who had come under fire in the wake of the ‘Climategate’ e-mails“:
The leader of the meeting spoke like some kind of Father. He was seated at a table in front of those gathered and he took messages. He commented on them either benevolently or dismissively. Lastly it was about tips on research funding proposals and where to submit them best. For me it was impressive to see how the leader of the meeting collected and selected information. For me it also gets down to the credibility of science. [...] Today many natural scientists are helping hands of politicians, and no longer scientists who occupy themselves with new knowledge and data. And that worries me.”
Schlüchter adds that the reputation of science among young researchers is becoming more damaged the more it surrenders to politics. He indirectly blasts IPCC chief scientist Thomas Stocker:
Inventing the devil was one of man’s greatest inventions ever achieved. You can make a lot of money when you paint him on the wall.”
Northern hemisphere still gripped in ice age mode
Schlüchter also says that the northern hemisphere is still in the ice age mode and that the glaciers during the Roman times were at least 300 to 500 meters higher than today. “The mean temperature was one and half degree Celsius above that of 2005. The current development is nothing new in terms of the earth’s history.”
At the end of the interview Schlüchter says that solar activity is what is sitting at the end of the lever of change, with tectonics and volcanoes chiming in.
AGU: Enforcing the consensus
"I have decided to reject the submission based on the significant scientific consensus regarding the question of human-induced climate change." – Eos editor
After reading in the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) newspaper Eos, (4 Feb 2014, here ) an oddly emotional account of a recent unexceptional and unquestioning film on climate change consensus science, I penned a Forum article for Eos.
According to the Eos guidelines:
"Forum contains thought-provoking contributions expected to stimulate further discussion, within the newspaper or as part of Eos Online Discussions. Appropriate Forum topics include current or proposed science policy, discussion related to current research in the disciplines covered by AGU (especially scientific controversies), the relationship of our science to society, or practices that affect our fields, science in general, or AGU as an organization."
The text of the Forum essay that I submitted can be found [here EOSforumSubmission]. I proposed via the article to have a forum where scientists, especially graduate students, could offer a personal summary view of a data set of particular interest, relating to an aspect of climate sensitivity, global temperature change, sea-level change and associated indications of anthropogenically driven or natural variation. A brainstorming of ideas if you will, with the essential criterion that each must be founded on a credible data set. Or in the language of the AGUs mission statement, it would be a forum for a diversity of scientific ideas and approaches.
I fear I caused some consternation in the inner sanctums of our peak geophysical body; it took six weeks for the Editor in Chief to assign an editor and another 6 weeks to produce a decision (and this, for a weekly newspaper).
The text from the Editor’s letter to me is appended below. The Editor stated that the decision is “reject” because “climate change ….is no longer a topic of scientific controversy. “
It is slightly ironic that such a blinkered response, contrary to AGUs mission statement of “open exchange of ideas… diversity of background, scientific approaches” , should come at the same time as we have news of the outpouring of bile at Lennart Bengtsson [here and here] , and of the University of Queensland threats of legal action to suppress further analysis of Peter Cook’s (“97% consensus”) paper.
The decision was also disappointing in that it was based on the Editor’s “discussion with colleagues and staff” (no reviewer was ever assigned). The decision was however in keeping with past AGU actions such as that of refusing to publish the dissenting view from within its own expert committee which prepared its recently updated position statement on climate change (the dissenting view was by AGU Fellow Roger Pielke Sr, and was published at Climate Etc. here)
Unlike the U.S. Congress and the Supreme Court, AGU does not see value in publishing diverse or dissenting views.
The central point of my article argued for a forum of ideas designed to stimulate use of data and independent thought among students, and to encourage recognition of the complexity of the topic. However apparently our student population is composed of fragile folk who should not be exposed to controversy – a pity, because presenting science as an unarguable “consensus” is quite counter-productive to inspiring young scientists’ curiosity.
It is also sad that the AGU has adopted the closed-mind approach, while in comparison the American Physical Society has sponsored a day of frank presentation [link to previous Climate Etc. post on this], argument and discussion on the same topic, calling on three scientists from the anthropogenic global warming consensus, and another three who in various ways question some of the assumptions or conclusions of that consensus (one being AGU Fellow Judith Curry). The proceedings of this meeting are [here]. They contain verbatim the six presentations, plus 106 pages of following discussion. It seems strange that the APS Committee of Experts could find room to debate data and interpretation, calmly and objectively, while AGUs editorial circle of colleagues and staff cannot countenance our graduate students doing the same.
'Clean Energy' Ruined Spain; now Obama is Dragging the US Over the Same Green Precipice
"Feeding the masses on unicorn ribs". That was how Walter Russell Mead once poured scorn on Obama's misbegotten attempts to revive the US economy by creating five million "green jobs."
Mead was quite right, of course. And there was plenty of evidence to back him up, such as the 2009 report by a Madrid university professor Gabriel Calzada Alvarez that for every expensive "green job" created by government subsidy, 2.2 jobs were destroyed in the real economy.
The Obama administration responded as only the Obama administration knows how: by calling in its left-wing attack dogs. Friendly organisations including George Soros's Center for American Progress and various well-funded wind industry lobbyists were recruited to monster this unhelpful evidence, which was dismissed for its "lack of rigor."
It's in this context we need to view the Environmental Protection Agency's dispiriting announcement of its latest swingeing assault on US industry - disingenuously billed as a "commonsense plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants."
The pain will be felt most acutely, of course, in the coal-producing states. But the damage will extend right across America for at least one very simple reason which was perfectly evident five years ago when Obama launched his "green jobs" scheme and is even clearer now: the expensive, unreliable, intermittent renewable energy which Obama and the EPA are trying to promote is no substitute for the cheap, abundant, reliable fossil fuel energy which Obama and the EPA are trying to kill.
Not only are renewables environmentally damaging (as witness the damage done to the world's avian fauna by bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes) but they are also the most unconscionable drain on the taxpayer and the broader economy.
Again, all we need for proof of this is to go to Spain, whose green energy travails represent a hideous warning of the fate that now awaits America. (H/T Global Warming Policy Foundation)
Spain was one of the first countries to buy heavily into the "clean energy" chimera and - from the mid-90s attracted billions of dollars' worth of local and foreign "investment" from rent-seekers attracted by the guaranteed 14 per cent per annum rate of return offered on solar park projects and the similarly huge subsidies for wind farms.
But there was a problem. As should have been obvious from the start "clean energy" is - and almost certainly always will be - unviable in a free market. The limited energy it produces is next to worthless because it is only available when the wind blows or the sun shines - which is not necessarily when it is actually needed. Hence the need for all those government subsidies, without which not a single one of those renewable energy projects exist.
By the time the Spanish government woke up to the problem, the damage was done. Green energy projects have cost it a staggering 200 billion Euros in subsidies, 56 billion Euros of which it has paid out, another 143 billion Euros it still owes but which its hard-pressed coffers cannot possibly spare. Successive administrations have tried to reduce the cost by drastically reducing subsidies - causing a wave of bankruptcies among local businesses foolish enough to have leapt aboard the green bandwagon. But this has only exposed the Spanish government to costly lawsuits by the various foreign investors which piled in to take advantage of the green energy scam.
As Die Welt reports:
This week, U.S. energy company Nextera Energy has summoned Spain before the International Centre for Settlement for Investment Disputes (ICSID) to demand redress. The U.S. company regards the new rules as a retroactive change to the original guarantees. Nextera Energy has invested heavily in the Spanish solar power plant Termosol .
Other large investors, such as a Deutsche Bank investment fund, involved in the Andalusian power plant Andasol, and French bank BNP have asked ICSID, a World Bank organization, for arbitration. Another group of foreign investors issued first lawsuits in 2011, based on the European Energy Charter which promises investment protection and prohibits expropriation.
Spain may be a very different place from America but where renewable energy is concerned, the rules are exactly the same: the more "clean energy" you develop, the more scum-sucking corporatist parasites you attract, the more eagles you slice and dice, and the greater the burden you place on both the taxpayer and the economy - all to no discernible practical purpose whatsoever.
Welcome to Obama's bright green future. The Spanish (and the Danish, and the Portugese, and the Germans...) have already seen it and it doesn't work.
Winter is over! Forecasters reveal Great Lakes are FINALLY ice free after record breaking seven months frozen
It has been a long, cold winter for much of America - but the Great Lakes have really suffered.
Forecasters finally revealed today that all of the Great Lakes including Lake Superior are now ice free.
It marks the end of a record breaking 7 month stretch where the lakes were covered in at least one ice cube, which is the longest period since satellite records began back in the 70’s.
June 7th became the official ice out date of the lake which also makes in the latest in the year ice has coated the water.
There was still a third of the Lakes coated in ice the last week of April which was the largest amount of ice that late in the year, a trend that continued into June.
Earlier this year Nasa revealed that even though North America was a full month into astronomical spring, the Great Lakes have been slow to give up on the harsh winter.
The space agency published this stunning picture of the Great Lakes, showing a third of their expanse is still covered in ice.
Lake Superior was found to be the most affected, and was found to be 63.5 percent ice covered on April 20th.
Averaged across Lake Superior, ice was 22.6 centimeters (8.9 inches) thick; it was as much as twice that thickness in some locations.
Researcher George Leshkevich said that ice cover this spring is significantly above normal.
For comparison, Lake Superior had 3.6 percent ice cover on April 20, 2013; in 2012, ice was completely gone by April 12. In the last winter that ice cover grew so thick on Lake Superior (2009), it reached 93.7 percent on March 2 but was down to 6.7 percent by April 21.
Average water temperatures on all of the Great Lakes have been rising over the past 30 to 40 years and ice cover has generally been shrinking. (Lake Superior ice was down about 79 percent since the 1970s.)
But chilled by persistent polar air masses throughout the 2013-14 winter, ice cover reached 88.4 percent on February 13 and 92.2 percent on March 6, 2014, the second highest level in four decades of record-keeping.
Air temperatures in the Great Lakes region were well below normal for March, and the cool pattern is being reinforced along the coasts because the water is absorbing less sunlight and warming less than in typical spring conditions.
Lake Superior ice cover got as high as 95.3 percent on March 19. By April 22, it was reported at 59.9 percent; Lake Huron was nearly 30.4 percent. News outlets noted that as many as 70 ships have been backed up in Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Erie, waiting for passage into ports on Lake Superior.
The U.S. Coast Guard has been grouping ships together into small convoys after they pass through locks at Sault Ste. Marie, in order to maximize ice-breaking efficiency and to protect ships from damage.
Superior is the world’s largest freshwater lake by area (82,100 square kilometers or 31,700 square miles) and the third largest by volume.
The waters average 147 meters (483 feet) in depth, and the basin is believed to hold about 10 percent of the world’s liquid fresh water.
Obama’s Enviro Radicalism Dooms Reid’s Senate Majority
Majority Leader Harry Reid lost his majority last week. It will just take five months to make it official.
Obama’s disastrous bungling of the Bergdahl trade, piled on top of a Veteran’s Administration scandal have helped put a fork into his last remaining claims of competence and credibility. In a predictably low turnout 2014 election, all the President can offer his allies is access to his prodigious voter turnout operation and the money he raises from his far left contributor network.
But it is the global warming regulations that the EPA announced a week ago that have flat-lined Harry Reid’s chances of being Majority Leader again in 2015.
The election map was difficult enough for the Senate Democrats with three vulnerable southern Senators to defend: Pryor (AR), Landrieu (LA) and Hagen (NC), along with almost guaranteed Republican takeovers due to retirements in West Virginia and South Dakota. When coupled with a Democrat seat in toss-up Montana that is occupied by a recent appointee, and an Alaska seat that never should have become Democrat, Harry Reid’s hold on power in D.C. has been considered tenuous from the beginning of this Congress.
While this challenge to hold control is formidable, many Democratic Party Senate candidates are now forced to run against Obama to survive.
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky is the only legitimate potential Democrat pick-up opportunity, and Obama’s regs have wrecked these hopes. Reid and crew recruited the candidate they wanted -Alison Lundergan Grimes. They have been aggressively raising money for her and the polling showed Grimes in a near dead heat as the state appears ready for change.
Yet, after Obama’s EPA announcement of a new set of regulations that will effectively end the burning of coal as an electricity generation fuel source, Grimes has been forced to spend more than $100,000 running ads declaring,
“Mr. President, Kentucky has lost one-third of our coal jobs in just the last three years… Now your EPA is targeting Kentucky coal with pie in the sky regulations that are impossible to achieve. It’s clear you have no idea how this affects Kentucky.”
Grimes’ attempt to separate herself from Obama with Kentucky voters might work against an underfunded, unprepared neophyte opponent, but McConnell is anything but that. While she is well-liked and respected, it will be impossible for her to separate herself from Obama’s anti-coal regulatory jihad.
Obama’s environmental war on energy is likely to haunt other Democratic Senators in increasingly difficult races. In New Hampshire, Senator Jeanne Shaheen is fighting for her political life.
This past frigid winter, the state suffered from a natural gas shortage that spiked electricity prices and threatened the ability of the poor to heat their homes. With this fresh in voter’s minds, Obama’s regulatory destruction of coal burning facilities could not come at worse time for Shaheen, a past outspoken supporter for EPA regulations designed to shut down coal burning utilities. As temperatures turn colder in late October, Shaheen will likely be running as hard from Obama’s radical environmental agenda as her wannabe colleague Grimes is today.
Minnesota is another state where the Obama anti-resource development regime is likely to come into play. While people outside the state think of Minnesota as being a combination of Mall of America, farmers and cereal producers, it is iron ore mining and the miners who do the hard work which form one of the core Democrat constituencies. The hold of the national Democratic Party on the Iron Range in the northern part of the state slipped in the Republican sweep of 2010, when long-time incumbent Rep. James Oberstar was stunned by a Republican upstart. While order was restored in 2012, the same off-year impulses are at work in 2014 as those which brought down Oberstar, and Democrat Senator Al Franken could be the victim.
Franken’s far left national agenda give him little wiggle room in terms of disavowing Obama’s environmental agenda – an agenda that cuts to the heart of the job security of those very Iron Range workers who he depends upon for votes.
With the Sierra Club actively attacking Minnesota utility companies, Franken is caught in a political vice over energy with the likely result being a cracking of his rural, worker voting base, and the end to this liberal fundraising powerhouse’s career.
In normal political circumstances, a President would hold off on announcing politically devastating new regulations until after his allies had survived their elections, but Obama is not playing by these rules.
Instead he has chosen to force the issue in an attempt to ensure his own legacy, while almost certainly ending Harry Reid’s Senate rein as a consequence.
While November is still five pages on the calendar away, Obama’s bad first week of June, is likely to be replayed continuously for voters like a bad recurring Democrat nightmare. The only question remaining is how many seats will it cost them in a year already set up to sweep Harry Reid from power.
The regulatory death of energy in the U.S.
By Alan Caruba
Before President Obama took office in 2009, the amount of electricity being produced by coal-fired utilities was approximately 50 percent of the total. Today it is approximately 40 percent and, as the Environmental Protection Agency regulations that took effect on June 2 are fully implemented, more such utilities are likely to close their doors. The basis for the regulations is utterly devoid of any scientific facts.
Environmentalism, as expressed by many of the organizations that advocate it, is, in fact, an attack on America, its economic system of capitalism, and its need for energy to maintain and grow its business and industrial base. Electricity, of course, is also the energy we all use daily for a multitude of tasks ranging from heating or cooling our homes to the use of our computers and every other appliance.
The EPA regulations are said to be necessary to reduce “greenhouse gas” emissions, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) which the Greens deem to be a “pollutant” in our atmosphere. It is not a pollutant, despite a Supreme Court decision that identifies it as such, but rather a gas vital to all life on Earth, used by all vegetation for its growth. CO2 is to vegetation what oxygen is to all animal life. Humans, all seven billion of us, exhale CO2!
Viv Forbes, Chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition and a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, notes that the Earth’s atmosphere “is not a greenhouse” and “does not have a glass roof. It uses convection to redistribute heat very quickly.” The claim for several decades has been that CO2 has an effect on the Earth’s surface temperature, but Forbes points out that “water vapor is a far more effective agent for insulating the Earth and preserving its warmth than carbon dioxide,” adding that “there is no evidence that man-made carbon dioxide is a significant cause of global warming.”
Indeed, even though the amount of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere has increased, Forbes points out that “Close examination of past records shows that temperature tends to rise before CO2 content rises, sometimes centuries earlier.” Significantly, at the same time Greens have been crying out against emissions of CO2 from coal-fired utilities and other sources, the Earth has been in a cooling cycle now verging on 18 years!
The EPA is lying to Americans regarding carbon dioxide and, worse, its proposed regulations will reduce the number of coal-fired utilities and drive up the cost of electricity for Americans.
One of the many Green organizations, Earthjustice, claims that “Climate change threatens the world as we know it—and the chief culprit is fossil fuel burning. To avert ecological disaster, Earthjustice is pushing for a shift from dirty to clean energy to stabilize our climate and build a thriving sustainable world.”
There is literally nothing that mankind can do to “stabilize” the Earth’s climate. While the Earth has been going through climate change for 4.5 billion years, there is no evidence that anything mankind does has any effect on it. The change the Earth has encountered, as mentioned, is a cooling, a far different scenario than the “global warming” claims of the past three decades or more.
Tom Richard, the editor of ClimageChangeDispatch.com, notes that “Arctic sea ice has rebounded to higher and higher levels each year. Antarctica is actually gaining in size and there has been no increase in droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, ‘extreme weather’, flooding, et cetera.”
Reducing CO2 would have zero benefits, while at the same time the EPA regulations would have a dangerous and totally unnecessary effect on CO2 emissions from plants producing electricity. Other nations around the world are actually abandoning “clean energy” — i.e., wind and solar power — in favor of building many more coal-fired plants to meet their need to provide energy for their populations and their economic growth. China and India are just two examples.
To support its claims of the forthcoming EPA regulations, EarthJustice is claiming that climate change “hits people of color the hardest” and that power plants “disproportionately impact Latino communities.” It noted “the moral obligation of faith community to act on climate change and support carbon pollution limits.” This has nothing to do with the actual facts of climate change and CO2 as noted here and is a blatant political campaign to secure support from these groups.
The reality, as noted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, a policy research organization founded by former Senate leaders from both parties, was quoted in the May 26 edition of The Wall Street Journal: “A 25 percent reduction (of CO2) with a 2015 baseline might make it impossible for some companies to operate.” The article notes that the cap-and-trade policies of emissions allowances that the EPA is putting in place “amounts to a hidden tax” on a whole range of electrical generation and industrial plants that produce CO2 emissions. The EPA will likely use the term “budget program” to avoid “cap-and-trade”, a proposal that was rejected by Congress.
Writing in Commentary, Jonathan S. Tobin, said that the new regulations on carbon emissions “will have a potentially devastating impact on America’s more than 600 coal-fired power plants,” noting that “the move was made possible by Supreme Court decisions that ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency had the right to regulate (CO2) emissions, giving the President virtual carte blanche to remake this sector of our economy without requiring congressional consent.”
In July, the Heartland Institute, a free market think tank, will hold its ninth international confereTher nce on climate change. Previous conferences have brought together some of the world’s leading authorities on meteorology and climatology to debunk the decades of lies Greens have told about climate change and global warming.
The President has put “climate change” high on his list of priorities and it is an attack on the nation’s ability to affordably and extensively provide the energy needed to meet current needs for electricity and reducing our capacity to meet future needs.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is on record saying that the President’s bogus “climate change” policy could cost the U.S. economy $50 billion a year and force more than a third of coal-fired plants to close by 2030. The Heritage Foundation says “The plan will drive up energy prices for American families and businesses without making a dent in global temperatures.”
This is a form of regulatory death for the nation and comes straight out of the Oval Office of the White House.
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