Wednesday, January 04, 2017
Crumbling ‘Consensus’: 500 Scientific Papers Published In 2016 Support A Skeptical Position On Climate Alarm
We are told that there is an overwhelming agreement, or consensus, among scientists that most weather and climate changes that have occurred since the mid-20th century have been caused by human activity — our fossil fuel burning and CO2 emissions in particular. We are told that natural mechanisms that used to dominate are no longer exerting much of any influence on weather or climate anymore. Humans predominantly cause weather and climate changes now.
For example, we are told that extreme weather (hurricanes, droughts, floods, storms) frequencies and intensities have increased since about 1950 primarily due to the dramatic rise in anthropogenic CO2 emissions since then. Humans are now melting glaciers and ice sheets and (Arctic) sea ice at an alarmingly accelerated rate — reminiscent of an impending “death spiral“. Humans now heat up and acidify the oceans down to depths of thousands of meters by burning fossil fuels. Humans are now in the process of raising sea levels so that they will catastrophically rise by 10 feet in the next 50 years. Because of our CO2 emissions, humans are now endangering the long-term survival of 100s of thousands of animal species (especially polar bears), and climate models say we will cause a million species extinctions over the next 33 years with our CO2 emissions. The Earth is even spinning slower, or faster, no, slower, well, faster — due to human activities. Again, this is all settled science. Only those who possess the temerity to deny this science (“climate deniers”) would disagree, or refuse to believe.
But what if much of what we have been told to believe is not actually true? What if scientists do not overwhelmingly agree that humans have dominated (with ~110% attribution) weather and climate changes since about 1950, which is what we have been told by the UN IPCC? What if scientists do not overwhelmingly agree that natural factors exert effectively no influence on weather and climate changes anymore — now that humans have taken over?
These are compelling questions. Because in 2016 alone, 500 peer-reviewed scientific papers published in scholarly journals seriously question just how settled the “consensus” science really is that says anthropogenic or CO2 forcing now dominates weather and climate changes, and non-anthropogenic (natural) factors no longer exert much, if any, role.
Instead of supporting the “consensus” science one must believe in (to avoid the “climate denier” label), these 500 papers support the position that there are significant limitations and uncertainties inherent in climate modeling and the predictions of future climate catastrophes associated with anthropogenic forcing. Furthermore, these scientific papers strongly suggest that natural factors (the Sun, multi-decadal oceanic oscillations [NAO, AMO/PDO, ENSO], cloud and aerosol albedo variations, etc.) have both in the past and present exerted a significant or dominant influence on weather and climate changes, which means an anthropogenic signal may be much more difficult to detect in the context of such large natural variability. Papers questioning (and undermining) the “consensus” view on paleoclimate (Medieval) warmth, ocean acidification, glacier melt and advance, sea level rise, extreme weather events, past climate forcing mechanisms, climate sensitivity to CO2, etc., are included in this collection.
Because of the enormous volume of new papers available that support a skeptical position on anthropogenic climate change alarm, the list of 500 scientific papers with links has been divided into 3 sections, each with its own page (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). There are 68 graphs included in the volume, most of which are used to demonstrate that “hockey-stick” reconstructions of past temperatures and sea levels relative to today are not supported by available evidence.
Despite its size, this list will hopefully be user-friendly and easy to navigate as a bookmarkable reference volume due to its outline (below) and organized categorization. Each paper has an embedded link under the authors’ name(s).
Finally, there are 132 papers linking solar activity to weather and climate change (in addition to another ~90 that link natural oceanic/atmospheric oscillations [ENSO, NAO, etc.], clouds, volcanic activity . . . to climate change). This is of special note because the IPCC has, since its inception, insisted that solar factors play almost no role in modern climate change. Apparently scientists agree less and less with that “consensus” position.
More HERE (See the original for links)
Biggest Fake News Story: Global Warming and Phony 97% Consensus
We have all heard the smug Al Gore line, repeated innumerable times by condescending media scribblers and talking heads, that "the science is settled," that 97 percent to 99 percent of climate scientists agree there is a global warming crisis and man’s carbon footprint is responsible for it. (Never mind that a few years ago, when it became evident the global temperature data weren’t showing significant warming, the mantra had to be changed from "global warming" to "climate change.")
Professor Oreskes, together with Australian global warming activist John Cook, will play an important role in the upcoming battle with Trump over the UN’s climate pact, which is a radical, job-destroying, economy-destroying, multi-trillion dollar tax-regulate-transfer scheme that would do nothing to improve the environment or stop climate change.
President Barack Obama was citing John Cook when he tweeted on May 16, 2013: "Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous."
The New American has repeatedly reported on the fraudulent methodology used by Oreskes and Cook to arrive at their ludicrous near-unanimous consensus claims. Prof. Richard S. J. Tol and Dr. Benny Peiser are but two of the experts who have called out Oreskes and Cook, showing that only one percent of climate research papers — not 97 percent — support the "consensus" view claimed by the AGW alarmists. (See here, here, and here.)
Cook’s most damning exposé, though, was self-inflicted. In a series of e-mails, he let the cat out of the bag that, far from being a dispassionate scientific undertaking, his tabulation effort, called The Consensus Project (TCP), was actually a marketing and propaganda scheme calculated to convince the public that a non-existent consensus among scientists did in fact exist.
However, no amount of debunking, and no amount of evidence, will change the "crisis" mindset that grips many of the media commentators. CNN’s Chris Cuomo is a prime example of the arrogance of ignorance among the committed AGW mediameisters.
In a combative "interview" on December 12, CNN’s Chris Cuomo went after Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci, repeatedly citing the false claim that the science is settled and that "science" has declared we must accept vast new global governance and controls to avert planetary catastrophe.
Unfortunately, the Trump spokesman did not challenge Cuomo’s bogus consensus assertions, but merely argued that scientific consensus has often been wrong in the past. This is true, but as an argument it fails terribly by allowing the AGW alarmists to coopt "science" and make it appear that only a few crackpot "deniers" and scientists in the pay of Big Oil disagree with the alarmist CO2 thesis.
Since so many of the frightful scenarios in the global-warming scare campaign involve complex geophysical and chemical processes, as well as data gathering and measuring beyond the grasp of most of us mere mortals, there is a tendency of many laymen to lean in favor of "science" — if the claims of "overwhelming consensus" are true.
In the case of anthropogenic global warming, the consensus claims — very definitely — are not true. But that won’t stop AGW alarmism banshees from shrieking their fake news consensus even louder, in the days and weeks ahead.
Wind Turbines Crashing Down In Germany Amid Brisk Opposition And Even Sabotage!
Wind turbines are ugly, litter the landscape, endanger wildlife, generate erratically, destabilize power grids and even cause health problems. They also have a habit of coming apart and self destructing — thus creating a hazard to persons and property.
The Saxony online daily Sächsische Zeitung (SZ) here reports how a wind turbine collapsed near Leisnig just days ago. An investigation revealed how one of three blades failed catastrophically, thus creating a huge imbalance that caused the tower to buckle 15 meters above the ground and led to the structure to come crashing down. The site reports:
Through the force of the impact, the gearbox unit was driven almost 2 meters into the earth.”
Earlier in December, Germany’s BILD daily reported how in the Mecklenburg Pommeria town of Süderholz a wind turbine tower snapped in half and crashed to the ground. An investigation is now underway. Süderholz mayor Alexander Benkert ordered the other remaining turbines to be thoroughly inspected. Bild reports the tower simply snapped 25 meters up but that no one was injured.
Collapsing even when not in operation
In neighboring Denmark one wind turbine shows us that turbines can come apart even when they are not operating. Danish vejr.tv2.dk television site here reports how the blade of one turbine simply “tore off” during a recent storm.
Also here the English Manchester Evening News here reports how a recent storm ripped off all three blades from a turbine one afternoon in England, almost killing a man who happened to be taking his dog for a walk.
Mounting opposition to ugly, unreliable wind power projects
The seemingly collapse-prone turbines are likely yet just another reason on a long list why people now resist them. Once welcome and viewed as a source of clean energy, huge protests are now organizing and mobilizing against wind park projects. Germany’s online nordkurier.de here reports how an online survey found only 15% were in favor of installing more turbines in the Uckermark region.
In the Rhine-Main region, the Frankfurter Neue Presse (FNP) reports on how authorities in Darmstadt recently rejected the building of wind turbines on the Taunuskamm mountain, citing “groundwater protection” needs. The local Green Party, of all people, fumed at the rejection.
The resistance to wind energy in Germany has grown to such an extent that some people are now sabotaging them. In Fulda a person, or persons, broke into a tower and destroyed the electrical gear, causing the unit to halt. The wind park operator suspects wind energy opponents.
First the suspect(s) had on two earlier occasions stopped the turbine by simply pressing the emergency STOP button. In the third attempt on December 26 the switchbox was opened and its contents destroyed. The online Fuldaer Zeitung writes at the end of the article:
Indeed the opposition against further wind turbines in the Eiterfeld area was large in the past.”
Wind energy in Germany is no longer welcome.
Skeptical Climate Scientists Coming In From the Cold
In the world of climate science, the skeptics are coming in from the cold.
Researchers who see global warming as something less than a planet-ending calamity believe the incoming Trump administration may allow their views to be developed and heard. This didn’t happen under the Obama administration, which denied that a debate even existed. Now, some scientists say, a more inclusive approach – and the billions of federal dollars that might support it – could be in the offing.
"Here’s to hoping the Age of Trump will herald the demise of climate change dogma, and acceptance of a broader range of perspectives in climate science and our policy options," Georgia Tech scientist Judith Curry wrote this month at her popular Climate Etc. blog.
William Happer, professor emeritus of physics at Princeton University and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, is similarly optimistic. "I think we’re making progress," Happer said. "I see reassuring signs."
Despite harsh criticism of their contrarian views, a few scientists like Happer and Curry have pointed to evidence that global warming is less pronounced than predicted. They have also argued that this slighter warming would bring positive developments along with problems. For the first time in years, skeptics believe they can find a path out of the wilderness into which they’ve been cast by the "scientific consensus." As much as they desire a more open-minded reception by their colleagues, they are hoping even more that the spigot of government research funding – which dwarfs all other sources – will trickle their way.
President-elect Donald Trump, who has called global warming a "hoax," has chosen for key cabinet posts men whom the global warming establishment considers lapdogs of the oil and gas industry: former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to run the Energy Department; Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma to run the Environmental Protection Agency; and Exxon chief executive Rex Tillerson as secretary of state.
But while general policy may be set at the cabinet level, significant and concrete changes would likely be spelled out below those three – among the very bureaucrats the Trump transition team might have had in mind when, in a move some saw as intimidation, it sent a questionnaire to the Energy Department this month (later disavowed) trying to determine who worked on global warming.
It isn’t certain that federal employees working in various environmental or energy sector-related agencies would willingly implement rollbacks of regulations, let alone a redirection of scientific climate research, but the latter prospect heartens the skeptical scientists. They cite an adage: You only get answers to the questions you ask.
"In reality, it’s the government, not the scientists, that asks the questions," said David Wojick, a longtime government consultant who has closely tracked climate research spending since 1992. If a federal agency wants models that focus on potential sea-level rise, for example, it can order them up. But it can also shift the focus to how warming might boost crop yields or improve drought resistance.
While it could take months for such expanded fields of research to emerge, a wider look at the possibilities excites some scientists. Happer, for one, feels emboldened in ways he rarely has throughout his career because, for many years, he knew his iconoclastic climate conclusions would hurt his professional prospects.
When asked if he would voice dissent on climate change if he were a younger, less established physicist, he said: "Oh, no, definitely not. I held my tongue for a long time because friends told me I would not be elected to the National Academy of Sciences if I didn’t toe the alarmists’ company line."
That sharp disagreements are real in the field may come as a shock to many people, who are regularly informed that climate science is settled and those who question this orthodoxy are akin to Holocaust deniers. Nevertheless, new organizations like the CO2 Coalition, founded in 2015, suggest the debate is more evenly matched intellectually than is commonly portrayed. In addition to Happer, the CO2 Coalition’s initial members include scholars with ties to world-class institutions like MIT, Harvard and Rockefeller University. The coalition also features members of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorology Society, along with policy experts from the Manhattan Institute, the George C. Marshall Institute and Tufts University’s Fletcher School.
With such voices joining in, the debate over global warming might shift. Until now, it’s normally portrayed as enlightened scholars vs. anti-science simpletons. A more open debate could shift the discussion to one about global warming’s extent and root causes.
Should a scientific and research funding realignment occur, it could do more than shatter what some see as an orthodoxy stifling free inquiry. Bjorn Lomborg, who has spent years analyzing potential solutions to global warming, believes that a more expansive outlook toward research is necessary because too much government funding has become expensive and ineffective corporate welfare. Although not a natural scientist, the social scientist Lomborg considers climate change real but not cataclysmic.
"Maybe now we’ll have a smarter conversation about what actually works," Lomborg told RealClearInvestigations. "What has been proposed costs a fortune and does very little. With more space opening up, we can invest more into research and development into green energy. We don’t need subsidies to build something. They’ve been throwing a lot of money at projects that supposedly will cut carbon emissions but actually accomplish very little. That’s not a good idea. The funding should go to universities and research institutions; you don’t need to give it to companies to do it."
Such new opportunities might, in theory, calm a field tossed by acrimony and signal a détente in climate science. Yet most experts are skeptical that a kumbaya moment is at hand. The mutual bitterness instilled over the years, the research money at stake, and the bristling hostility toward Trump’s appointees could actually exacerbate tensions.
"I think that the vast ‘middle’ will want and seek a more collegial atmosphere," Georgia Tech’s Curry told RealClearInvestigations. "But there will be some hardcore people (particularly on the alarmed side) whose professional reputation, funding, media exposure, influence etc. depends on cranking up the alarm."
Michael E. Mann, another climate change veteran, is also doubtful about a rapprochement. Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State and author of the "hockey stick" graph, which claims a sharp uptick in global temperatures over the past century, believes ardently that global warming is a dire threat. He concluded a Washington Post op-ed this month with this foreboding thought: "The fate of the planet hangs in the balance." Mann acknowledges a brutal war of words has engulfed climate science. But in an e-mail exchange with RealClearInvestigations, he blamed opponents led by "the Koch brothers" for the polarization.
Mann did hint, however, there may be some room for discussion.
"In that poisonous environment it is difficult to have the important, more nuanced and worthy debate about what to do about the problem," he wrote. "There are Republicans like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bob Inglis and George Shultz trying to create space for that discussion, and that gives me hope. But given that Donald Trump is appointing so many outright climate deniers to key posts in this administration, I must confess that I – and many of my fellow scientists – are rather concerned."
Neither side of the debate has been immune from harsh and sinister attacks. Happer said he stepped down from the active faculty at Princeton in part "to deal with all this craziness." Happer and Mann, like several other climate scientists, have gotten death threats. They provided RealClearInvestigations with some of the e-mails and voice messages they have received.
"You are an educated Nazi and should hang from the neck," a critic wrote Happer in October 2014.
"You and your colleagues who have promoted this scandal ought to be shot, quartered and fed to the pigs along with your whole damn families," one e-mailed Mann in Dec. 2009.
Similar threats have bedeviled scientists and writers across the climate research spectrum, from Patrick Michaels, a self-described "lukewarmer" who dealt with death threats at the University of Virginia before moving to the Cato Institute, to Rajendra Pachauri, who protested anonymous death threats while heading the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Putting such ugliness aside, some experts doubt that the science will improve even if the Trump administration asks new research questions and funding spreads to myriad proposals. Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT and a member of the National Academy of Sciences who has long questioned climate change orthodoxy, is skeptical that a sunnier outlook is upon us.
"I actually doubt that," he said. Even if some of the roughly $2.5 billion in taxpayer dollars currently spent on climate research across 13 different federal agencies now shifts to scientists less invested in the calamitous narrative, Lindzen believes groupthink has so corrupted the field that funding should be sharply curtailed rather than redirected.
"They should probably cut the funding by 80 to 90 percent until the field cleans up," he said. "Climate science has been set back two generations, and they have destroyed its intellectual foundations."
The field is cluttered with entrenched figures who must toe the established line, he said, pointing to a recent congressional report that found the Obama administration got a top Department of Energy scientist fired and generally intimidated the staff to conform with its politicized position on climate change.
"Remember this was a tiny field, a backwater, and then suddenly you increased the funding to billions and everyone got into it," Lindzen said. "Even in 1990 no one at MIT called themselves a ‘climate scientist,’ and then all of a sudden everyone was. They only entered it because of the bucks; they realized it was a gravy train. You have to get it back to the people who only care about the science."
Pruitt’s confirmation as EPA chief essential to restoring balance of power
The early days of the 115th Congress will see a focus on a regulatory reform, as the House of Representatives seeks to reestablish Article I of the Constitution, which delegates lawmaking authority solely to the legislative branch. Passage of legislation to rein in the regulatory state, however, is only one part of this important effort.
Bills like the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, the Separation of Powers Restoration Act, and the Midnight Rules Relief Act are likely to see quick passage out of the House. Each of these worthy measures passed the House in the 114th Congress only to languish in the Senate.
While procedural hurdles could continue to stall these bills in the upper chamber, a proxy battle in the war against the regulatory state will come by way of the confirmation process for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.
Regulatory overreach is not a new threat to the constitutional separation of powers and the prosperity of the American people. President George W. Bush, as explained by Veronique de Rugy in January 2009, “was the biggest regulator since Nixon.” According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Wayne Crews, the Bush administration issued 390 “economically significant” regulations -- those with an annual cost of $100 million or more -- over eight years.
But the Bush administration’s regulatory agenda pales in comparison to that of President Obama. In less than two terms, Sam Batkins of the American Action Forum explained in August, the Obama administration had issued 600 economically significant regulations, with a cost of $743 billion.
“President Obama could easily top 650 major rules by the time the next president takes the oath of office (31 percent more than his predecessor),” Batkins wrote. “What will the final tally be for major regulations? To date, the administration’s major rules have cost, on average, $1.4 billion. With the possibility of 50 more rules, the lame duck tally could push this regulatory cost figure to $813 billion ($743 billion base plus $70 billion in future rules).”
Promulgating nearly 4,000 rules since 2009, the EPA is one of the worst offenders of this regulatory avalanche. Among the most controversial rules the EPA has issued is the Clean Power Plan, which, through purported authority claimed under the Clean Air Act, requires states to develop plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent of 2005 levels. The rule, which is aimed at the coal industry, is estimated to avert a fraction of a degree of temperature increases by 2100.
The annual cost to the energy sector to comply with the Clean Power Plan is estimated to be between $41 billion to $73 billion. These costs, of course, will be passed off to consumers in the form of higher energy prices. For states like West Virginia and North Dakota, this could mean average price increases of 43 percent and 33 percent. Missouri and Montana could see an increase of 24 percent, while Pennsylvania and Ohio may see increases of 17 percent and 15 percent. Interestingly, these states are represented by vulnerable Senate Democrats who are up for re-election in 2018.
States dependent on the coal industry have already been ravaged by the Obama administration’s policies. But the Clean Power Plan, could cost the industry nearly 126,000 jobs. This is an alarming reality for labor unions dependent on coal, which is why the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and United Mine Workers of America have joined the 27-state lawsuit against the EPA to halt the rule.
Pruitt, who also sued the EPA over the Clean Power Plan, will have the opportunity to reverse the trend of over-regulation. Unlike most bureaucrats, the Oklahoma attorney general believes that states should have the power to regulate industries based on their own needs, not have bureaucrats in Washington dictate rules to them. He also believes in a balance between regulation and prosperity, one that has been absent during the Obama administration.
Those in the Senate -- Democrat or Republican -- who vote against Pruitt’s confirmation will be siding with radical environmentalists who are actively seeking to undermine prosperity and opportunity for all Americans.
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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 1:32 AM