Tuesday, September 09, 2014
Global Temperature Update – No global warming for 17 years 11 months
By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
The Great Pause has now persisted for 17 years 11 months. Indeed, to three decimal places on a per-decade basis, there has been no global warming for 18 full years. Professor Ross McKitrick, however, has upped the ante with a new statistical paper to say there has been no global warming for 19 years.
Whichever value one adopts, it is becoming harder and harder to maintain that we face a “climate crisis” caused by our past and present sins of emission.
Taking the least-squares linear-regression trend on Remote Sensing Systems’ satellite-based monthly global mean lower-troposphere temperature dataset, there has been no global warming – none at all – for at least 215 months.
This is the longest continuous period without any warming in the global instrumental temperature record since the satellites first watched in 1979. It has endured for half the satellite temperature record. Yet the Great Pause coincides with a continuing, rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration.
Figure 1. RSS monthly global mean lower-troposphere temperature anomalies (dark blue) and trend (thick bright blue line), October 1996 to August 2014, showing no trend for 17 years 11 months.
The hiatus period of 17 years 11 months, or 215 months, is the farthest back one can go in the RSS satellite temperature record and still show a sub-zero trend.
Yet the length of the Great Pause in global warming, significant though it now is, is of less importance than the ever-growing discrepancy between the temperature trends predicted by models and the far less exciting real-world temperature change that has been observed.
The First Assessment Report predicted that global temperature would rise by 1.0 [0.7, 1.5] Cº to 2025, equivalent to 2.8 [1.9, 4.2] Cº per century. The executive summary asked, “How much confidence do we have in our predictions?” IPCC pointed out some uncertainties (clouds, oceans, etc.), but concluded:
“Nevertheless, … we have substantial confidence that models can predict at least the broad-scale features of climate change. … There are similarities between results from the coupled models using simple representations of the ocean and those using more sophisticated descriptions, and our understanding of such differences as do occur gives us some confidence in the results.”
That “substantial confidence” was substantial over-confidence. A quarter-century after 1990, the outturn to date – expressed as the least-squares linear-regression trend on the mean of the RSS and UAH monthly global mean surface temperature anomalies – is 0.34 Cº, equivalent to just 1.4 Cº/century, or exactly half of the central estimate in IPCC (1990) and well below even the least estimate (Fig. 2).
Figure 2. Near-term projections of warming at a rate equivalent to 2.8 [1.9, 4.2] K/century , made with “substantial confidence” in IPCC (1990), January 1990 to August 2014 (orange region and red trend line), vs. observed anomalies (dark blue) and trend (bright blue) at less than 1.4 K/century equivalent, taken as the mean of the RSS and UAH satellite monthly mean lower-troposphere temperature anomalies.
The Great Pause is a growing embarrassment to those who had told us with “substantial confidence” that the science was settled and the debate over. Nature had other ideas. Though more than two dozen more or less implausible excuses for the Pause are appearing in nervous reviewed journals, the possibility that the Pause is occurring because the computer models are simply wrong about the sensitivity of temperature to manmade greenhouse gases can no longer be dismissed.
Remarkably, even the IPCC’s latest and much reduced near-term global-warming projections are also excessive (Fig. 3).
Figure 3. Predicted temperature change, January 2005 to August 2014, at a rate equivalent to 1.7 [1.0, 2.3] Cº/century (orange zone with thick red best-estimate trend line), compared with the observed anomalies (dark blue) and zero real-world trend (bright blue), taken as the average of the RSS and UAH satellite lower-troposphere temperature anomalies.
In 1990, the IPCC’s central estimate of near-term warming was higher by two-thirds than it is today. Then it was 2.8 C/century equivalent. Now it is just 1.7 Cº equivalent – and, as Fig. 3 shows, even that is proving to be a substantial exaggeration.
On the RSS satellite data, there has been no global warming statistically distinguishable from zero for more than 26 years. None of the models predicted that, in effect, there would be no global warming for a quarter of a century.
The Great Pause may well come to an end by this winter. An el Niño event is underway and would normally peak during the northern-hemisphere winter. There is too little information to say how much temporary warming it will cause, but a new wave of warm water has emerged in recent days, so one should not yet write off this el Niño as a non-event. The temperature spikes caused by the el Niños of 1998, 2007, and 2010 are clearly visible in Figs. 1-3.
El Niños occur about every three or four years, though no one is entirely sure what triggers them. They cause a temporary spike in temperature, often followed by a sharp drop during the la Niña phase, as can be seen in 1999, 2008, and 2011-2012, where there was a “double-dip” la Niña that is one of the excuses for the Pause.
The ratio of el Niños to la Niñas tends to fall during the 30-year negative or cooling phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the latest of which began in late 2001. So, though the Pause may pause or even shorten for a few months at the turn of the year, it may well resume late in 2015 . Either way, it is ever clearer that global warming has not been happening at anything like the rate predicted by the climate models, and is not at all likely to occur even at the much-reduced rate now predicted. There could be as little as 1 Cº global warming this century, not the 3-4 Cº predicted by the IPCC.
Key facts about global temperature
The RSS satellite dataset shows no global warming at all for 215 months from October 1996 to August 2014. That is more than half the 428-month satellite record.
The fastest measured centennial warming rate was in Central England from 1663-1762, at 0.9 Cº/century – before the industrial revolution. It was not our fault.
The global warming trend since 1900 is equivalent to 0.8 Cº per century. This is well within natural variability and may not have much to do with us.
The fastest measured warming trend lasting ten years or more occurred over the 40 years from 1694-1733 in Central England. It was equivalent to 4.3 Cº per century.
Since 1950, when a human influence on global temperature first became theoretically possible, the global warming trend has been equivalent to below 1.2 Cº per century.
The fastest warming rate lasting ten years or more since 1950 occurred over the 33 years from 1974 to 2006. It was equivalent to 2.0 Cº per century.
In 1990, the IPCC’s mid-range prediction of near-term warming was equivalent to 2.8 Cº per century, higher by two-thirds than its current prediction of 1.7 Cº/century.
The global warming trend since 1990, when the IPCC wrote its first report, is equivalent to below 1.4 Cº per century – half of what the IPCC had then predicted.
Though the IPCC has cut its near-term warming prediction, it has not cut its high-end business as usual centennial warming prediction of 4.8 Cº warming to 2100.
The IPCC’s predicted 4.8 Cº warming by 2100 is well over twice the greatest rate of warming lasting more than ten years that has been measured since 1950.
The IPCC’s 4.8 Cº-by-2100 prediction is almost four times the observed real-world warming trend since we might in theory have begun influencing it in 1950.
From 1 April 2001 to 1 July 2014, the warming trend on the mean of the 5 global-temperature datasets is nil. No warming for 13 years 4 months.
Recent extreme weather cannot be blamed on global warming, because there has not been any global warming. It is as simple as that.
Our latest topical graph shows the RSS dataset for the 214 months October 1996 to August 2014 – just over half the 428-month satellite record.
Terrestrial temperatures are measured by thermometers. Thermometers correctly sited in rural areas away from manmade heat sources show warming rates appreciably below those that are published. The satellite datasets are based on measurements made by the most accurate thermometers available – platinum resistance thermometers, which not only measure temperature at various altitudes above the Earth’s surface via microwave sounding units but also constantly calibrate themselves by measuring via spaceward mirrors the known temperature of the cosmic background radiation, which is 1% of the freezing point of water, or just 2.73 degrees above absolute zero. It was by measuring minuscule variations in the cosmic background radiation that the NASA anisotropy probe determined the age of the Universe: 13.82 billion years.
The graph is accurate. The data are lifted monthly straight from the RSS website. A computer algorithm reads them down from the text file, takes their mean and plots them automatically using an advanced routine that automatically adjusts the aspect ratio of the data window at both axes so as to show the data at maximum scale, for clarity.
The latest monthly data point is visually inspected to ensure that it has been correctly positioned. The light blue trend line plotted across the dark blue spline-curve that shows the actual data is determined by the method of least-squares linear regression, which calculates the y-intercept and slope of the line via two well-established and functionally identical equations that are compared with one another to ensure no discrepancy between them. The IPCC and most other agencies use linear regression to determine global temperature trends. Professor Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia recommends it in one of the Climategate emails. The method is appropriate because global temperature records exhibit little auto-regression.
Dr Stephen Farish, Professor of Epidemiological Statistics at the University of Melbourne, kindly verified the reliability of the algorithm that determines the trend on the graph and the correlation coefficient, which is very low because, though the data are highly variable, the trend is flat.
Gina McCarthy’s ‘Cyber Bonfire’ Worse Than Lois Lerner’s
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy’s destruction of thousands of text messages sent and received on her government-issued smart phone is “worse than Lois Lerner’s” destruction of her Internal Revenue Service (IRS) emails, says attorney Christopher Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).
On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled that CEI can proceed with its 2013 lawsuit seeking to halt the further destruction of top agency officials' text messages. (See CEI v EPA 13-1532.pdf)
“It is implausible that EPA Administrators would not have suspected the destruction of any federal records with the removal of over 5,000 Agency text messages,” Judge Collyer wrote.
As a result of the ruling, which Horner called “a nice step in the right direction,” CEI will seek court injunctions to stop EPA’s “cyber bonfire” and compel the agency “to do what the law says, and do what IRS is doing regarding Lerner, because there is no difference here.”
“The process that the IRS is now undertaking in response to what they know are the destroyed Lois Lerner correspondence is the process we’re talking about,” Horner told CNSNews.com.
“EPA’s response was that was an ‘intrusive’ attempt by us to make them comply with federal record-keeping and disclosure laws that no one can make them comply with…
“This is worse than Lois Lerner, for a simple reason. Lois Lerner wrote to someone else and said, ‘Hey, are our instant messages being backed up?’ And they said ‘no,’ and she wrote back: ‘Perfect.’
“Gina McCarthy didn’t have to write anybody to ask. She was the party who [EPA] regulations said knew, or had to know, and she was the one destroying everything, texting at a rate of nearly 300 times a month, including to her senior policy aides, [the ones] most instrumental in the war on coal. Destroying all of them.
“And she’s the one that under the system was tasked with making sure the law was enforced.”
The CEI lawsuit accuses McCarthy and former Administrator Lisa Jackson of using the text messages as an alternative to email to conduct official EPA business in order to circumvent federal disclosure laws.
Horner says he requested McCarthy’s text messages in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request after being informed that she had been warned about texting on the 18 days she testified before Congress. “That’s a different lawsuit, but it did bring us here,” he said.
“In that case, I said we’d like her text messages on those 18 days. That should be simple. They said, ‘no records.’ We got her phone bills. They showed us how often she was texting. A lot. I suppose that after the FOIA request came in, she increasingly turned to text messaging. And we now know she knew they weren’t being backed up, and she was destroying them.
“And so we ran the odds, and it was 1 in 7.9 sextillion that she didn’t text at all on those 18 days.”
The Federal Records Act (FRA) requires the retention of all “documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received by an agency of the United States Government under Federal law or in connection with the transaction of public business…”
Although Collyer ruled that CEI could not use FRA to stop future destruction of EPA text messages, citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that “private litigants cannot state a claim for legal relief under FRA,” she did say that CEI could proceed with the case under two other federal statutes
Horner says he is pleased with the ruling. “The key point is that the court said 'CEI can proceed and I will be the judge of whether anybody can make you comply with the law.' That was the victory,” he told CNSNews.com.
“We know Gina McCarthy was texting like a teenager almost 300 times a month instead of emailing,” he continued. “But when we asked for the texts, EPA said ‘no records.’ And ultimately, after we sued in one case, McCarthy acknowledged through counsel that she had destroyed probably 10,000 text messages because they were all personal.
“So we obtained the metadata for at least seven months, which was all EPA still had, and it turns out some of these ‘personal’ messages were to her two senior Clean Air Act, war on coal activist aides and nine other aides.”
The agency responded that it did not have to save the text messages because they were not “records” under FRA. But Collyer ruled that “CEI has adequately alleged an underlying violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA)” based on “EPA’s unpublished and unverified record-keeping policies.”
“What we have here is the agency official responsible, by regulation, for making sure these laws are enforced destroying every single one of her text messages with a wholesale cyber bonfire on agency equipment.”
“If this is permissible,” Horner added, “your system has a problem.”
EPA’s phony “environmental justice” caper
The agency’s real agenda: empire, control, and inverted justice for poor and minority families
When it comes to energy, climate change, justice and transparency, the Obama Administration and its Environmental Protection Agency want it every possible way. Their only consistency is their double standards and their determination to slash hydrocarbon use, ensure that electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket,” expand federal government command and control, and “fundamentally transform” America.
The president was thus eager to give away Seal Team secrets in bragging about “he” got Osama bin Laden. But in sharp contrast, there has been no transparency on Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal – or the data and analyses that supposedly support Environmental Protection Agency claims that “dangerous manmade climate change” is “not just a future threat; it is happening right now.”
That rhetoric made it sound like EPA’s Clean Power Plan was designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, in July EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy made it clear that her initiative “is not about pollution control.” Rather, it is an “investment strategy” designed to spur renewable energy.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) opined that the agency does not have “explicit statutory authority” to steer investments toward “green” energy. Perhaps so, McCarthy replied, but her actions are legal under the Clean Air Act and within the agency’s ever broadening purview – as are EPA’s attempts to expand its mission and oversight authority by emphasizing “sustainable development” and “environmental justice.”
The ironies abound. Wind, solar and ethanol power were intended to address “imminent oil and gas depletion” that ended with the hydraulic fracturing revolution, and prevent “global warming” that ended some 18 years ago. Now “investment” in these “alternative” energy technologies primarily involves greenback dollars taken from hard-working taxpayers and delivered to crony corporatists and campaign contributors who want to earn fat profits from climate scares, renewable energy mandates and subsidies.
A 2010 report suggested that EPA should begin to examine how it might “encourage the development of sustainable communities, biodiversity protection, clean energy, environmentally sustainable economic development and climate change.” Talk about an open-ended invitation to control our lives. A few weeks ago, EPA proclaimed “environmental justice” as yet another new cause celebre. The agency claims low-income groups are “disproportionately affected” by airborne pollution, and therefore it must tighten air quality standards yet again. The results will likely be a perverse opposite of true justice.
The agency’s own Urban Air Toxics report chronicles a 66% reduction in benzene levels, 84% in outdoor airborne lead, 84% in mercury from coal-fueled power plants, and huge reductions in particulates (soot). “But we know our work is not done yet,” McCarthy said. “At the core of EPA’s mission is the pursuit of environmental justice – striving for clean air, water and healthy land for every American; and we are committed to reducing remaining pollution, especially in low-income neighborhoods.”
Most air quality and health experts say America’s air is completely safe. That’s why EPA pays its Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee and the American Lung Association millions of dollars a year to say otherwise. It’s why the EPA, CASAC and ALA refuse to discuss the $353 billion in annual regulatory compliance costs that EPA alone imposes on U.S. businesses and families (out of a total federal regulatory bill of $1.9 trillion), according to Competitive Enterprise Institute studies.
Those costs mean too many people lose their jobs. Their hopes, dreams, pride and work ethic are replaced by despair and dependency. If they can find new work, they are forced to work multiple jobs, commute longer distances, and spend greater portions of their incomes on gasoline and electricity. They suffer greater sleep deprivation, stress, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, spousal and child abuse, and poorer nutrition and medical care. More people have strokes and heart attacks; more die prematurely.
EPA’s new 54.5-mile-per-gallon standards mean cars are lighter and less safe in accidents. That means more people suffer severe injuries or get killed. Minority and other poor families are especially at risk.
Every one of these impacts is also a matter of environmental justice. But EPA chooses to ignore them.
Moreover, nothing in the law says EPA has a right to declare that it intends to seek “justice” by drawing a line between poor people and other Americans, all of whom have a stake in clean air. McCarthy’s language is more befitting a rabble-rouser than an agency administrator who is supposed make decisions based on science – not on emotions, politics, or racial and class divisiveness.
EPA’s climate and environmental policies appear destined to become even more insane. Just two months after calling climate change “the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction” – and amid radical Islamist chaos and conflagrations across the Arab world – on September 3, Secretary of State John Kerry actually said “Muslim-majority countries are among the most vulnerable” to climate change. “Scriptures,” he claimed, make it clear that Americans have a “responsibility” to prevent this calamity.
McCarthy’s environmental justice claims also appear to be based on an ugly premise that undergirds many Obama Administration policies: that low-income people are victims and businesspeople are guilty of doing irreparable harm to their health and communities. (At least business people who are not aligned with Obama and don’t support liberal/Democrat agendas and candidates are guilty.)
Such sentiments pit low-income and working-class Americans against businesses. They are a divisive throwback to the 99% versus 1% protests. They ignore the fact that Mr. Kerry, climate politics bankroller Tom Steyer, and President Obama and his fundraiser dinner companions are all part of the 0.1 percent.
These sentiments also ignore the fact that businesspeople create jobs, give workers opportunities to earn a living for themselves and their families, and develop the employment and life skills to successfully climb the socio-economic ladder. Any company that violates environmental, health, safety, tax and other laws is penalized civilly or criminally – whereas all too often the regulators themselves escape any accountability or liability for accidental, incompetent and even deliberate actions that hurt their fellow citizens.
Ms. McCarthy’s statements also reflect the lengths to which EPA will go to continue expanding its reach and grow its bureaucracy. The agency cannot admit that it has nearly won the battle against dirty air, because thousands of government regulators could lose their jobs. (Never mind the millions of Americans who lose their jobs because of EPA regulators and regulations.) To protect its legions of workers, justify its massive taxpayer-provided budget, and expand it many times over, EPA continues to move the goal posts, by invoking environmental justice, climate change and sustainability – for which there can never be objective goals and achievements, but only political considerations and subjective “feelings.”
Apparently Ms. McCarthy embraces the ideology that ignores the benefits of affordable energy and of a robust economy that creates jobs and opportunities. In her view, government controls are paramount, even when they stifle self-reliance, creativity and entrepreneurship, destroy jobs, harm human health and welfare, and cast low-income Americans as perpetual victims.
As Congress of Racial Equality national chairman Roy Innis emphasizes in his book, Energy Keepers / Energy Killers: The new civil rights battle: access to abundant, reliable, affordable energy is essential for individuals, families and communities that want to improve their lives and living standards.
Jason Riley puts it just as forcefully in his new book, Please Stop Helping Us: How liberals make it harder for blacks to succeed. Blacks must “develop the habits and attitudes that other groups had to develop” to improve their lives, he writes. The real secret to rolling back black unemployment and poverty is to change a culture that has allowed too many black children to grow up without the benefit of a father in the home, and that scorns black intellectual achievement as “acting white.”
Environmental protection should never be an “us vs. them” mentality. Such attitudes divide us, rather than bringing us together to improve our nation and world for everyone’s benefit. Ms. McCarthy should base environmental policy on sound science – and check her phony justice rhetoric at the door.
New Paper: Fraud, Bias & Public Relations
Claims of 97% consensus on global warming depend on research described as fraudulent and biased
A new briefing note published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation examines claims made by a great many commentators across the world, including President Obama and Ed Davey, of an overwhelming consensus on climate change. These depend on research that has been subject to public and entirely unrebutted allegations that it is fraudulent.
Although the authors of the research claim to have shown that most climate change papers accept that mankind is responsible for the majority of recent warming, in fact the underlying study shows no such thing.
One senior climatologist described the paper as ‘poorly conceived, poorly designed and poorly executed’. Another researcher called it ‘completely invalid and untrustworthy’, adding that there was evidence of scientific fraud.
Andrew Montford, the author of the paper, said: “It has now been shown beyond doubt that the claims of a 97% consensus on climate change are at best misleading, perhaps grossly so, and possibly deliberately so. It’s high time policymakers stopped citing this appalling study.”
Fraud, Bias And Public Relations: The 97% ‘Consensus’ And Its Critics (PDF)
Recent reports that 97% of published scientific papers support the so-called consensus on man-made global warming are based on a paper by John Cook et al. Precisely what consensus is allegedly being supported in these papers cannot be discerned from the text of the paper. An analysis of the methodology used by Cook et al. shows that the consensus referred to is trivial:
* that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas
* that human activities have warmed the planet to some unspecified extent.
Almost everybody involved in the climate debate, including the majority of sceptics, accepts these propositions, so little can be learned from the Cook et al. paper. Numerous critiques of the paper have been published, some by supporters of main stream views on climate science. These have demonstrated substantial biases in the methodology. Cook has certainly misrepresented what his research shows. More importantly, one researcher has made an allegation of scientific fraud, at this point unrebutted by Cook and his colleagues
What I did on my summer vacation – another climatologist’s perspective
We should celebrate fossil fuels, not condemn them
David R. Legates (David R. Legates, PhD, CCM, is a Professor of Climatology at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware, USA)
I recently read an article in which “hockey stick” creator and climatologist Michael Mann discussed his summer vacation. Reporting on his travels to Montana, Dr. Mann lamented the fact that glaciers in Glacier National Park are receding. He blamed this on human-caused climate change. He said he tried to get away from work but just couldn’t, because the “spectre of climate change stares you in the face as you tour the park.”
I likewise did my level best to get away from life, but was no more successful. You see, I’m a not just a climatologist. I am also a human being, and am acutely aware of the life-long struggle for survival experienced by billions of destitute, desperate people on our planet – and of the innovative, determined human spirit that stares you in the face as you peruse the daily news and tour our nation’s museums.
Dr. Mann was viewing glaciers that have actually been receding since the end of the Little Ice Age, back around 1860. He got upset because he thinks (and wants us to believe) that they have been losing ice only since 1975 or so – and it’s our fault, because carbon dioxide emissions from our cars, factories, electricity generating plants, home heating units and other sources are causing “unprecedented” global warming.
I instead visited three museums that are within a one-hour drive from my home: the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasbourg, PA, the Air Mobility Command Museum at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware, and the Chesapeake-Delaware Canal Museum in Chesapeake City, Maryland.
What I saw underscored how far we Americans have come since the Civil War and Industrial Revolution, in large part because of fossil fuel-driven technology – and how far billions of less fortunate people worldwide still have to go, to achieve a standard of living, health and welfare close to what we enjoy. Unfortunately, and unforgivably, they are being held back by policies that elevate misplaced concern about hydrocarbon energy and “dangerous manmade climate change” above the needs of people.
At the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania you see the impacts the railway had on building this great nation. From simple steam engines that could carry just two people, to huge steam locomotives that connected our country's two far-flung shores, to the diesel and electric locomotives that built the industrial backbone of this country, the ingenuity of the last 150-plus years sits quietly on display as an historical reminder of our legacy.
The Air Mobility Command Museum is a testimony not just to aviation, but to air cargo transportation. The amazing machines, and the intrepid men and women who flew them, helped us move equipment and supplies to support troops, provide assistance in areas ravaged by natural disasters or human catastrophes, and keep freedom alive in places like West Berlin during the 1948-49 airlift.
They also stand as marvelous monuments to human innovation – and a testament to our ability and determination to support freedom and democracy, and lend assistance when needed to the plight of those less fortunate, even when located in the far reaches of our planet.
Connecting two important waterways, the Chesapeake-Delaware Canal is truly a miracle of human entrepreneurship. Originally dug by hand, the fourteen-mile-long canal connects the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, reducing the shipping distance from Baltimore to Philadelphia by nearly 300 miles.
Eventually, the canal was deepened and its locks removed, to allow goods to be shipped directly by ocean-going vessels without having to offload them to a turnpike, or later the railway. This greatly increased the region’s economic viability and encouraged development of the mid-Atlantic area.
But as I looked these monuments, I did so with sadness. This ingenuity was brought about by forward-looking men and women who used their energies to develop machines and enhance their efficiency, with the ultimate goal of helping humankind.
Today, however, there are those who see this effort as wrong and (dare I say it?) even evil. They want to restrict energy and its availability, and thereby limit our ingenuity, innovation and progress by draining the very lifeblood that made these earlier developments possible. Without coal and oil, there would have been no railroads and no cargo transportation, either by air or by sea.
Democracy would likely have been but a distant memory in most of Europe and Southeast Asia – or maybe not even a memory at all. The United States would not have developed as it did, and it certainly would not be the world's leader in innovative thinking that it is today. It is quite likely that we would not be far removed from the conditions in which Africa currently finds itself.
These three museums only offer a small glimpse at the myriad of marvels produced by human ingenuity, and the role that hydrocarbon energy has played in them since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. The development of inexpensive energy led to phenomenal, previously unheard of increases in industrial output and worker efficiency, in wages and free time, in living standards and human health and welfare.
They also provided us with the weekend and vacation time, and the physical wherewithal, to experience the wonders of God’s creation -- as well as the ability to attend to environmental stewardship.
It is all these opportunities that people in undeveloped and under-developed countries wish to emulate. But for that to happen, we must help keep the cost of energy low and shun policies and practices that make it expensive and unreliable. If we make energy so expensive that only the rich can afford it, the poor and the vulnerable will be denied access, and will be condemned to nasty, brutal and short lives marked by squalor, deprivation, starvation and disease.
I find it immoral to suggest that the abject poverty, disease and malnutrition that still afflict much of the world must be ignored, while we concern ourselves with “saving the planet from global warming.”
Are national park glaciers – whose existence and demise are affected primarily by the same natural forces that repeatedly spawned and melted mile-high, continent-wide Pleistocene ice fields – more important than the more unfortunate inhabitants of our planet? Assuming, of course, that by addressing greenhouse gas emissions we can positively alter the planet’s climate, or that we can know what climate is optimal.
It is ironic that it is our affluence – created by our technological innovations and use of hydrocarbons – which has allowed us to become environmentally conscious. When people are in dire need of food, clothing, shelter and other basic necessities of life, they cannot be concerned with environmental issues. To cite just one example of thousands, because the people of India and Bangladesh are so poor, the Ganges River serves as both their source of drinking water and their cesspool for untreated sewage. Their poverty prevents them from focusing on even the most basic environmental concerns.
Moreover, freedom and energy availability go hand-in-hand. Oppression thrives when subjects are kept poor and deprived of technological advancements. When people have the time and ability to travel and communicate, to be innovative, and to organize to produce a better way of life or fight a common enemy – freedom grows. Inexpensive energy is the key to ending both poverty and oppression.
More than two million people will visit Glacier National Park this year, to marvel at nature. I wonder how they would have gotten there ... or whether they would have had the time to do so … if it were not for the transportation innovations that resulted from hydrocarbon fuels.
I would encourage them to visit these museums – or museums like them – to see what humans have built, and ponder what our future will likely be if backward-thinking policies cause their legacy to vanish. May they marvel at the wonders of nature, and perhaps lament the loss of glaciers. But may they also lament the loss of life caused by too little use of fossil fuels, not by too much of such life-enhancing fuels.
Antarctic Sea Ice Sets New Record For August
Antarctic sea ice extent continued to set new records in August, finishing the month at 19.154 million sq km, beating the record set last year by 87,000 sq km.
It is worth noting that the climatological maximum, using a 1981-2010 baseline, is 18.581 million sq km, set on average on 22nd September. No year prior to 1998 set a maximum extent greater than the current level, and only seven years have had maximums higher than 19.154 million sq km.
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.
Preserving the graphics: Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere. But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases. After that they no longer come up. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here or here
Posted by JR at 7:01 PM