Monday, February 04, 2008


AIM have done a very thorough job of demolishing the Warmists. The introduction to their big article is below:

Will Media Expose Global Warming Con Job?

In the past several months, a new "crisis" has heated up the controversy over man-made global warming. A few major-media writers and TV personalities are actually reporting statements by credible scientists who are challenging the assumption that carbon dioxide is the primary force causing global warming.

There's a real possibility that big-name journalists will break ranks and pursue their next Pulitzer Prize by exposing the lack of scientific consensus on CO2 as a planet-heating pollutant. That would create a crisis of confidence among the activists, researchers and global-governance apparatchiks who want a global carbon tax to build their political and financial power base.

As an agricultural journalist, I find this a fascinating new development in the climate controversy. I've studied weather and climate for more than 50 years. In the early 1970s, I wrote a short book, Tomorrow's Wild Weather, which warned what could happen if there was a long-term continuation of the cooling trends in the mid-latitudes since the 1930s.

As climatologist Reid Bryson advised me at the time, a cooler climate in temperate zones would have been serious for world agriculture: Westerly winds would intensify, making U.S. weather more extreme. Africa's Sahel desert would expand much farther southward, spreading famine across northern Africa. The data looked ominous: Average temperature in the 48 U.S. states had fallen by more than six-tenths of a degree Celsius since 1930.

This cooling attracted widespread press coverage and even some political pressure-to reduce "aerosols" or fine particles of pollutants which must be making our atmosphere more opaque. But the "New Ice Age" scare faded as more refined data emerged and the longer-term, slow recovery from the Little Ice Age resumed.

I've continued to follow the climate controversy, especially since the 1997 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Since that conference, billions of dollars in government funding have generated floods of research data, a myriad of computer models, political posturing and the Kyoto Protocol.

The New Data

Most of that data is freely available to scientists and others on the Internet. Using it, hundreds of highly qualified climatologists and other scientists outside the fraternal network of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have challenged climate prediction models and other assumptions of the IPCC's reports. While there's consensus that climates change over time, climatologists are sharply divided over the interactions of the many potential causes. As research emerges, CO2 as a primary warming force becomes harder to defend with hard data.

These challenges are starting to fracture the UN's pretext for global governance over carbon emissions-including imposition of carbon taxes and "carbon credit" trading supervised by UN agencies. Giving the UN a legal right to impose a carbon tax- "cap and trade" in UNspeak-would provide an income stream to UN agencies which would greatly increase political power of UN bureaucracies. And their track record with large amounts of money, such as the Iraqi Oil for Food program, is not encouraging. However, if the scientific case for CO2 as a primary climate pollutant crumbles, so could a global carbon tax.

Individual climatologists have disputed conclusions of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change even before the first IPCC Assessment Report in 1990. The IPCC has issued a series of reports, each focusing on CO2 as the primary "greenhouse gas" causing the continuing warming recovery since the Little Ice Age.

One of the first organized scientific counterattacks sounded on April 6, 2006. Sixty accredited experts in climate and related scientific disciplines signed a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, urging that billions of Canadian tax dollars appropriated to implement the Kyoto Protocol on climate change "will be squandered without a proper assessment of recent developments in climate science." They wrote that if today's extensive climate knowledge and measuring capabilities had existed in the mid-1990s, the Kyoto treaty "would almost certainly not exist, because we would have concluded it was not necessary."

That scientific challenge received little prime-time media attention. The Canadian government's administration and legislature mostly ignored it.

Film Exposes Gore's Deceptions

Then, in March 2007, the UK's Channel 4 broadcast a biting documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle. It debunked most of the major arguments of Al Gore's Oscar-winning video, An Inconvenient Truth. For example, the Antarctic ice core data dramatized in Gore's show actually reveal that increases in CO2 have generally followed increases in temperature. The lag is typically on the order of 800 years.

The Swindle documentary roused furor and scorn among carbon-as-cause believers, who attacked Channel 4 as offering a "great propaganda gift" to "climate-change deniers." But the credibility and rationale of scientific sources on the documentary endured the attacks. No factual challenges were forthcoming against the scientists' arguments.

The controversy over this TV show, the first journalistic challenge against CO2 as primary world thermostat, may have encouraged others in the scientific community to point out that despite roughly $50 billion for climate-change research over several decades, the case against carbon dioxide faces more uncertainty as the evidence grows, not less.

One such challenge comes from Dr. Bob Carter, Research Professor at James Cook University and paleoclimate analyst with more than 30 years' experience, including 95 research papers.

In an Accuracy in Media guest column in April 2007, Carter emphasized: "The evidence for dangerous global warming forced by human carbon dioxide emissions is extremely weak. That the satellite temperature record shows no substantial warming since 1978, and that even the ground-based thermometer statistic records no warming since 1998, indicates that a key line of circumstantial evidence for human-caused change-the parallel rise in the late 20th century of both atmospheric carbon dioxide and surface temperatures-is now negated."

This challenge and others from eminent scientists roused the carbon theorists to their ramparts. On the website, Gavin Scmidt and Stefan Rahmstorf presented a 1980-2006 chart of global temperature showing that the trend of deviation from "normal" in that 26-year period remains up. But they made no attempt to explain why shorter-term deviations vary more widely than the longer-term anomaly, which puts the globe at about 0.4 degrees Celsius above its long-term "normal" using the GISTEMP Land-Ocean Index computed by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Throughout 2007, hundreds of highly qualified climate scientists individually challenged the presumption that global regulators can, and must, manage the world's thermostat by curbing 50% - and possible eventually 100%-of man-made carbon dioxide emissions.

Continuing Debate

The most lively media arena for the CO2 emissions controversy the past two years has been, by far, among Internet websites and blogs. The Science and Public Policy Institute ( offers a wide-ranging forum on the science of climate change. Websites like the SPPI bypass major-media gatekeepers and the UN organizers, who carefully monitor any non-governmental organization wishing to attend an IPCC climate conference. Example: At the November 2000 Conference of the Parties (COP6) climate parley in the Hague, Netherlands, the only non-governmental organization to oppose the Kyoto Protocol was Sovereignty International (

The websites provide newspaper, radio and TV reporters a rich diversity of data and analysis on the issue. Usually, any posted article contains an opportunity for immediate rebuttal. These websites may embolden scientists to speak out more frequently in a forum unconstrained by peer review.

The volume of new climate data is accelerating, which means that media-amplified claims like the linkage between climate warming and hurricanes can be challenged more quickly. For instance, the SPPI site points out 35 factual errors in Al Gore's documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth."

On Dec. 20 2007, the biggest-yet assembly of scientists challenging the Kyoto pretext of CO2-as-villain was posted by Marc Morano on the minority page of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. This extensive digging by Sen. James Inhofe's staff summarized comments from over 400 prominent scientists who disputed some aspect of man-made global warming in 2007. These scientists' observations fill some 120 pages when printed out from the website. But they hardly made a ripple on prime-time TV news.

This Senate site says, in part: "Over 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called "consensus" on man-made global warming. These scientists, many of whom are current and former participants in the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore."

Sen. Inhofe's staff observes, "Even some in the establishment media now appear to be taking notice of the growing number of skeptical scientists. In October, Washington Post Staff Writer Juliet Eilperin conceded the obvious, writing that climate skeptics "appear to be expanding rather than shrinking."

Much more here


From Prof. Stott

In all the political brouhaha over `global warming', and despite the 35 per cent rise in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide over pre-industrial conditions [from 1832 ice-core records of c. 284 ppmv to c. 384 ppmv in November, 2007), we too often forget that atmospheric CO2 levels remain at their lowest for 500 million years.

The above graph has been taken from `Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels for the last 500 million years' by Daniel H. Rothman (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99 (7), April 2, 2002, pp. 4167-4171. The graph shows the fluctuations in the partial pressure of atmospheric CO2 (pCO2) over the last 500 My (million years), employing certain methodological improvements introduced by Rothman in his paper.

The grey bars at the top of the graph represent cooler periods in the Earth's history; the white spaces between are warmer periods. The time scale embraces minus 500 million years from the present, and includes the following geological periods: Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Tertiary.

The grey area over the main curve illustrates the probable lower and upper limits employing wider parameters. The `Abstract' summarizes this fascinating study as follows:
"The last 500 million years of the strontium-isotope record are shown to correlate significantly with the concurrent record of isotopic fractionation between inorganic and organic carbon after the effects of recycled sediment are removed from the strontium signal. The correlation is shown to result from the common dependence of both signals on weathering and magmatic processes. Because the long-term evolution of carbon dioxide levels depends similarly on weathering and magmatism, the relative fluctuations of CO2 levels are inferred from the shared fluctuations of the isotopic records. The resulting CO2 signal exhibits no systematic correspondence with the geologic record of climatic variations at tectonic time scales."

The author then draws some wisely cautious conclusions:
"Using a variety of sedimentological criteria, Frakes et al. have concluded that Earth's climate has cycled several times between warm and cool modes for roughly the last 600 My. Recent work by Veizer et al., based on measurements of oxygen isotopes in calcite and aragonite shells, appears to confirm the existence of these long-period (~135 My) climatic fluctuations. Changes in CO2 levels are usually assumed to be among the dominant mechanisms driving such long-term climate change. It is therefore interesting to ask what, if any, correspondence exists between ancient climate and the estimate of pCO2 in Fig. 4 [the Figure shown above]. The gray [sic] bars at the top of Fig. 4 correspond to the periods when the global climate was cool; the intervening white space corresponds to the warm modes. The most recent cool period corresponds to relatively low CO2 levels, as is widely expected.

However, no correspondence between pCO2 and climate is evident in the remainder of the record, in part because the apparent 100 My cycle of the pCO2 record does not match the longer climatic cycle. The lack of correlation remains if one calculates the change in average global surface temperature resulting from changes in pCO2 and the solar constant using energy-balance arguments. Superficially, this observation would seem to imply that pCO2 does not exert dominant control on Earth's climate at time scales greater than about 10 My. A wealth of evidence, however, suggests that pCO2 exerts at least some control [see Crowley and Berner for a recent review]. Fig. 4 cannot by itself refute this assumption. Instead, it simply shows that the `null hypothesis' that pCO2 and climate are unrelated cannot be rejected on the basis of this evidence alone."

Of course, this study also rightly stresses its focus on long-term geological cycles. Nevertheless, it demonstrates well our current position with respect to geological time. Where carbon dioxide is concerned, we remain at a low ebb. Moreover, if for long geological periods the `null hypothesis' that pCO2 and climate are unrelated cannot be rejected on the basis of such evidence, how certain are we that comparable constraints might not apply at much shorter time scales too? I only ask?

You see, I just have a hunch that water vapour and the hydrological cycle are more significant drivers at all time scales, with temperature and carbon dioxide `piggy-backing' on these rather than presenting a merely simplistic, if beguiling, correlation.


How Not to Address Climate Change

Common sense should tell us that good policies produce more in benefits than they cost us. Unfortunately, common sense has left the building when it comes to climate policy. Asserting (somewhat absurdly) that America's economic and geopolitical competitors, such as China and India, are just waiting for "U.S. moral leadership," several voices are renewing their call for domestic cap-and-trade legislation to control greenhouse gases.

But cap-and-trade schemes are fundamentally flawed, and particularly ill-suited to greenhouse gas control. The current poster child for cap and trade is the Warner-Lieberman Climate Security Act of 2007 (S. 2191). If enacted, Warner-Lieberman will cause economic harm without producing any environmental or climate-protective benefits. This is the hallmark of irrational policy.

First, let's look at the likelihood that the legislation's goals can be met. Economist Margo Thorning observed in Congressional testimony, "In order to meet the emission reduction targets in S. 2191, U.S. per capita emissions would have to fall by a total of 13.8 percent over the 2000-2012 period, an additional 20.2 percent from 2012 to 2020 and a further 27.6 from 2020 to 2030. In other words, the required reductions in per capita emissions are about 25 to 35 times greater than what occurred from 1990 to 2000. The technologies simply do not exist to reduce total (and per capita emissions) over the next 17 years by the amounts mandated in S. 2191..." Thorning is not alone in this belief: in a 2004 Science article, a team of 18 prestigious scientists observed that meeting projected growth in energy demand while sharply curbing greenhouse gas emissions requires carbon-free technologies that "do not exist operationally or as pilot plants."

Now, let's look at the costs. Economist Anne Smith testified to Congress that her state-of-the-art economic modeling estimates that Warner-Lieberman would cause net reduction in 2015 GDP of 1.0% to 1.6% relative to the GDP that would otherwise occur. That loss rises to the range of 2% to 2.5% after 2015. Smith found that the annual loss in GDP would increase to the range of $800 billion to $1 trillion, which is serious money. By 2020, Smith estimates losses of 1.5 to 3.4 million jobs -- and that is net jobs, after adjusting for the new "green" jobs that might be created by the bill.

None of this is surprising as experience has shown cap-and-trade schemes are fundamentally flawed. Here are four reasons. First, capping carbon essentially puts a regulatory drag on economic growth. When the economy grows, energy demand rises, which means the demand for the limited number of carbon permits would rise, strangling growth in its cradle.

Second, everyone involved in a cap-and-trade system has incentives to cheat. Companies have incentives both to overstate historical emissions, and to exaggerate the benefits of new technologies to generate bogus emissions that become ready cash. Experience in both the US and Europe shows that firms usually get away with it: validating historic emissions is nearly impossible. And governments won't look very hard - wanting to appear green, they have strong incentives to turn their eyes away from carbon credit malfeasance.

Third, cap-and-trade creates a perpetual group of rent-seekers - those raking in profits in new carbon trading - who will call for ever-tighter caps, and who will staunchly oppose any other approach to dealing with greenhouse gas emissions. Once a company holds millions of dollars in carbon credits, they can be expected to spend large sums of money lobbying against anything that would devalue their new currency.

Finally, carbon cap-and-trade will raise the costs of energy, goods, and services. If that does not happen, there is no incentive for anyone to cut back on energy use, and the attendant emissions it produces. This could be offset, in theory, if the carbon permits were all auctioned off, and the revenues used to lower other taxes. But no emission trading system has ever auctioned off a majority of permits, and Warner-Lieberman is no exception: at first, it auctions only a trivial share of emission permits, and even when that ramps up decades hence, the revenues are used as a wealth-redistribution tool focused mainly on funding dubious energy research schemes rather than protecting the overall economy from the impact of higher energy prices.

The post-Bali refrain is that the US should "lead" by enacting carbon cap-and-trade. Apart from the silliness of assuming that our economic and political competitors are waiting on the US for "moral leadership," carbon cap-and-trade is simply bad policy: its costs are high, and benefits non-existent. Rational climate policy would consist of a short-term focus on adaptation, and a longer-term effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions via a modest revenue-neutral carbon tax.


Global warming solution hurts people more than warming

Yeatman Op-Ed in the Detroit News

Participants in President Bush's international climate conference this week in Hawaii should know that the "solution" to global warming -- expensive energy -- slows economic growth, at enormous human cost. In fact, evidence suggests that policies to fight global warming are worse for human welfare than rising temperatures.

By now it is common knowledge that climate change is caused by the combustion of fossil fuels, which releases heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. But fossil fuels generate 85 percent of the world's energy because they are the cheapest sources of energy on earth. So a move towards green energy is a move away from cheap energy.

Not everyone admits the stark economic realities of fighting climate change. Representative from the European Union, for example, seem oblivious to the costs of the policies they propose. During negotiations last December in Bali, Indonesia, EU officials demanded that the world commit to steep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, with the goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

According to the International Energy Agency, the costs of meeting the EU's proposal are staggering. The IEA says that it would require the construction of 30 new nuclear power plants, 17,000 wind turbines, 400 biomass plants, two hydroelectric dams the size of China's Three Gorges Dam, and 42 coal fired power plants equipped with still-experimental systems to sequester their carbon-dioxide emissions undergroundeach year from 2013 to 2030.

Of course, alternative energy sources cost more than conventional generation from fossil fuels -- that's why a green energy future is an expensive energy future. Expensive energy, however, is inimical to economic well-being. Consider America's economic malaise during the Carter administration, which was caused in large part by the precipitous increase in the price of oil resulting from the 1973 OPEC oil embargo

Don't be fooled by politicians like California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who claim that curbing global emissions will boost economic growth by creating a thriving "green sector." For each solar panel technician gained, a coal miner -- and much more--are lost, because higher energy prices means less of everything made from energy, which is...everything.

Economists agree that an abrupt transition to a clean energy future would cost the global economy scores, even hundreds, of trillions of dollars. Numbers, no matter how eye-popping, are only an abstraction of the human consequences of a low growth/expensive energy future. Greater wealth yields more medical care, less exposure to the elements and better nutrition-all of which save or prolong human life. By extension, slow growth kills, because it deprives the poorest of the means to ward off cold, sickness and disease.

So what's worse: the warming, or the policy? Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg applied a cost/benefit analysis to climate change mitigation measures like the Kyoto Protocol, and found they were a tragic waste of money. According to his research, we could spend a fraction of the cost of climate policies on immediate problems, like HIV or malaria, and save millions more lives than global warming would take.

In a 2007 study, Yale economist William Nordhaus demonstrated that the package of policies advocated by Al Gore would leave the world $44 trillion worse off at the end of the 21st century, or about double the cost of doing nothing about climate change. That's a killer deal, literally.

To be sure, global warming is real, and the climate will slowly change. But that doesn't mean that international officials in Hawaii should ignore the costs of controlling the planet's thermostat; otherwise, they risk prioritizing atmospheric chemistry over global poverty.


Come over here, you global-warming chicken-little

By libertarian writer Bob Smith

As I arose this morning to go work out, the temp was again -14. That's inside a major city, and it was much colder out in the boonies. I've seen worse and survived, but I really could get along quite nicely with less frigid temps. So, certainly, could my 18-year-old car. Where in hell is that dreaded, inevitable global warming the politically-correct sheep keep harping about?

Allow me to tell you where that global warming is. It's in the planet's nature, and we don't know squat about that. We do know that planet temps vary in cycles, but how and why is complex. It will be warmer sometime, and it will be generally colder sometime, but we puny humans can't predict it with any certainty. One thing I am sure of, though, is that we humans, short of balls-out nuclear war, cannot affect global temperatures to any significant degree. Everything we do together, worst-case, good or bad, is nothing compared to one volcanic eruption or a big forest fire, and those happen with or without our permission or intent.

Meanwhile, we're screwing up a lot by forcing nonsensical false-solutions on the world's population. By forcing, and subsidizing, ethanol on ourselves, we're driving up the cost of grains around the world, costing all of us even more money for food, and actually causing starvation. Ethanol is a solution to nothing, but we could kill ourselves trying to make it so. Cropland is being switched to corn, to feed the subsidized ethanol factories. That drives up the cost of corn, which drives up the cost of everything else produced from corn. Land that once was used for other crops is now planted in lucrative corn, creating shortages of other crops and driving their price up as well.

Can we not see when we are being bamboozled? Can we not even get suspicious when we see a TV ad of little kids mouthing global-warming fears for an organization lusting for your contributions? How gullible can we be? Global warming is being pushed by groups who get rich off your contributions, by scaring the crap out of you. They make you feel responsible for the weather, and some of them were doing it with global COOLING scares in the past.

I don't know what will replace gasoline as fuel in the future, but from what I do know, there is plenty of oil around the globe. I suspect someone will come up with a better, cheaper fuel in time, but ethanol sure as hell isn't it, and by forcing ethanol down our carburettor throats, we're reducing the incentive and ability to find good solutions. In short, we're in the process of killing ourselves.



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


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