|Where are the clean aerosols?|
Editor’s Note: In spite of serious debate being over, and only fringe groups, hacks, and the obsolete and defiant holdouts remaining steadfast in their denial, we’ve decided to publish Dr. Edward Wheeler’s latest essay regarding global warming. To be possibly overstating the matter, Dr. Wheeler thinks the entire notion that global warming is a dire threat – which can be stopped if we cut back on our industrial CO2 emissions – to be pure hogwash.
With so much at stake and so much still unknown it is not just contrarian, it is vital to maintain a vigorous, intellectually honest debate over global warming – whether or not these theories are worth mandating unprecedented leaps in government power?
Over the past few years we’ve begun to cover global warming more, often doing quantitative comparisons using the data put forth from the media reports and the underlying studies, and far too often, we have found that the hype and the spin coming from the environmental activists, the media, and lately, politicians and corporate America, is over-stated. If we have a hot day, there is an ominous inflection in a newscaster’s voice. It isn’t just hot, we’re on the road to oblivion. If it hasn’t rained yet, it’s because of human caused climate change. If you don’t completely believe all this terrifying hyperbole, it sounds incredibly opportunistic or just thoughtless.
What if none of them have the slightest idea what they’re talking about?
Here are questions regarding the notion of anthropogenic CO2 causing runaway global warming that all who opine might find worth answering with more than fatuous declarations or blind acquiescense:
- Atmospheric CO2 molecules boil off the upper atmosphere and are self limiting
- Tthe impact of increasing atmospheric CO2 is non-linear, we’ve already seen most of the warming effect
- Global warming is caused more by sunspot and cosmic ray activity, as well as earth’s many orbital cycles (ex: when earth’s orbit is more circular, the planet is hotter)
- Recent measured temperature change just below the “CO2 belt” in the upper stratosphere is down, not up, contradicting fundamental runaway CO2 threat theories
- Anthropogenic CO2 is only 3-5% of CO2 emitted, the rest is natural
- Yearly fluctuations in natural CO2 emissions are an order of magnitude greater than all yearly anthropogenic CO2 emissions
- There is evidence that historically (over the past several million years) rising CO2 levels were the effect of global warming, not the cause
- The southern icecap is actually increasing in mass (Ref. Antarctic Ice)
- Greenland’s icecap is not melting at a significant rate (Ref. Greenland’s Ice Melting Slowly)
- Sea level rise is insignificant – much flooding is due to land subsidance
- Storm fury is more visible today because of overbuilding into marginal areas
- The western arctic is warming but the eastern arctic is actually cooling
- Warming in the northern hemisphere over the past 20-30 years could be due to the interdecadal oscilation between the northern and southern Atlantic ocean temperatures
- The most recent IPCC summary acknowledges there is no evidence to suggest the gulf stream that warms Europe may be disrupted
- Global temperature measurements are weighted towards areas that are increasingly urbanized, and urban areas absorb more heat
- There are now over a million square miles of urbanized land, and this urban heat island effect could cause some warming on a global scale
- Transpiration from watered, forested land, especially in the tropics, is the forcing mechanism to maintain global monsoon circulation and prevent drought – in turn – deforestation causes drought, creating hotter land and additional heat island effect
- The tropical forests have declined from over 7 million square miles to less than 3 million, and tropical forests release more moisture and are cooler than open land
- Using mechanized pumps, in the last 100 years we have depleted aquafirs in all the agricultural lands of the world, lowering water tables from, say, 10 meters deep to over 500 meters deep. The resulting agricultural land heat island comprises perhaps 10% of all land surface on earth
- Even taking into account the possible errors in measurement, the recorded warming over the past 150 years is about .5 degrees centigrade, not a significant amount
- The claims that the last 10 years include several of the “warmest on record” is disputed, just as the claims the landbased icecaps are rapidly melting (net loss) is completely false
- CO2 forcing theories and the computer models associated with them do not sufficiently take into account natural balancing processes in the earth’s climate regulatory system
These are a few questions that anyone who is listening to the debate about global warming should wish to hear answered. There is much, much more. Global warming alarmists and the things they’re trying to do are extreme. If you pause to consider the laws being proposed based on blind acceptance of global warming alarm, you may find many of them do more harm than good. In the name of reducing CO2 emissions, there is reduced attention to other pollutants, and massive new rounds of deforestation to grow biofuel.
Meanwhile, there is a stifling of dissent when skeptics like Dr. Wheeler can be compared to holocaust deniers. There is too much fanaticism and blind acceptance of whatever is proposed in the name of reducing CO2 emissions. Regulating CO2 is going to crush small businesses while awarding lucrative “mitigation” government contracts to large businesses, raise taxes and create new bureaucracies, and undermine our freedom to use energy as we choose, especially energy with CO2 emissions which is 80% of all world energy. It may create dangerous tensions with the Chinese, many of whom don’t buy any of this, and perhaps they shouldn’t.
The call for drastic measures because of global warming and the role of CO2 is a huge shift, for better or for worse. Be careful what you wish for. Yes we must produce clean energy. But overall, overproducing energy will spawn prosperity and innovation, and underproducing energy will spawn rationing and tyranny. Do we want to scare ourselves, unthinking, into swindling ourselves out of a glowing future of private enterprise and prosperity? What is clean? – Ed “Redwood” Ring
In March of 2006, I wrote an article for EcoWorld “Global Warming – Is it Real, Are Humans the Cause, and Can Anything be Done?” which emphasized that there really IS a scientific debate going on over whether anthropogenic (human induced) CO2 generation from burning of fossil fuels is responsible for global warming (GW). If you haven’t read it yet, go to the link now. There will be a quiz. However, the mass media have concluded that there is no doubt whatsoever (such as in Time magazine’s cover story, “be worried, be VERY worried”) that GW is caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions, and that civilization as we know it is doomed unless we stop using fossil fuels. I, on the other hand, concluded that CO2 doesn’t have much at all to do with GM in general, and even if it were a major factor, strict following of the Kyoto protocols wouldn’t fix anything.
|Dr. Richard Lindzen
Professor of Meteorology, MIT
A skeptic who is respected by his foes.
“Is There a Basis for Global Warming Alarm?”
also by Lindzen
“Some Relevant Figures for Current
Behavior of Global Surface Temperatures”
Since then, additional feature articles have been published on this web site which also express a skeptical view of the CO2 induced GW dogma in different ways. Since my first article, some very important new scientific findings have been published that raise strong doubt that the anthropogenic generated CO2 GW theory is true. However, the mass media and the climate scientist establishment have ignored any evidence that calls into question the CO2 dogma. So please, read what follows with an open mind, something hard to find in people when considering “hot” issues (pun intended) like GW these days. Consider also that just because your mind is open, your brains won’t necessarily fall out.
Before getting into the heart of this matter, let me state very clearly that, probably like most of you reading this, I am TOTALLY in favor of developing and using alternative sources of energy; including solar, wind, tidal, hydrogen fuel cells, nuclear (whoops, some of you won’t like that one) and sex. With the exception of sexual energy, which generates LOTS of CO2, none of the others mentioned above generate anything other than water and heat. We absolutely need to stop financing terrorists and polluting the air by our profligate use of mostly foreign oil. This is one of the rare times that I think we need the Federal Government to take over and do something. This is very difficult for me to say because I am a libertarian type, but the government should tax gasoline so that it always costs at least $4.00 a gallon. Americans will never stop guzzling gas unless it really costs them. Europeans have managed to survive even higher gas prices for decades. Also, give big tax breaks to companies doing research on alternative energy sources.
Having said that, I still find it puzzling that it has become common to call CO2 a “pollutant”, one needing EPA regulation just like Nitrogen oxide emissions from automobiles and soot and sulfur oxides from coal fired power plants. Many of you readers, not to mention virtually every reporter for the mass media in the country, may not be too familiar with biochemistry (and in the case of most of those reporters, no familiarity whatsoever). So I will state the simple facts of what keeps life on Earth going: Every living animal on this planet breathes. We animals (assuming none of you readers are plants) take in oxygen and use it for energy production to keep us alive. The next step of breathing is that we exhale CO2. This happens every moment of our lives. Meanwhile, every green plant on the planet is waiting with baited breath, ha ha, to inhale that CO2 that we animals exhale to use for their energy needs. They exhale oxygen, which us animals need. What a great system! God is great! It is also true that whenever we humans burn wood, coal, oil, natural gas (a clean fuel), CO2 and water are released. Is this then a big new cause of elevated CO2 levels in the atmosphere? Probably yes, but is this fossil fuel burning causing GW? Probably not!
Thus, even though I agree with environmentalists about the ABSOLUTE need for developing and using all those alternative energy sources, I am still called an enemy of humanity (Gelbspan book), akin to holocaust deniers, and could just as well believe in a flat earth (Al Gore). There is no doubt among sentient people that the Earth is not flat and that there was indeed a holocaust, but there is no proof that GW is caused by the well documented increase in atmospheric CO2 over the last 100 years! It’s a theory. I believe Mr. Gore and other true believers have it backward. They may just as well believe that the earth is the center of the universe, as did the Catholic Church in the middle ages. In 1633, Galileo was forced to recant his assertion that the Earth moved around the sun, not the other way around. The Inquisitors would have put him to death for heresy had he not recanted. Are we getting there yet? Should I be worried for my safety? It seems to me that Mr. Gore’s best selling book “Inconvenient Truth” should have been titled, “Convenient Truthiness” (look it up in Wikipedia). The word’s about people believing what they want to believe, and don’t confuse them with facts. GW is just the latest in mankind’s long tradition of infatuation with disaster scenarios; right up there with pesticides causing 100% incidence of cancer by 1970 (Silent Spring), mass starvation by the mid 1980″ (Paul Ehrlich), everybody (especially people who like to sunbathe in Antarctica) getting skin cancer because of ozone layer shrinkage, Y2K destroying the world’s financial system at a minute after midnight 2000, African bees destroying U.S. agriculture in the 70′s, and the world pandemic of killer flu due to mutated bird flu virus that we are all still waiting for. I personally worry a lot more about the earth colliding with an asteroid.
|Dr. Michael Oppenheimer
Professor of Geosciences, Princeton
Principal contributor to IPCC studies.
Ref. “IPCC 4th Assessment Summary”
Now for the real science that has turned me into a heretic, an infidel in the climate change arena. In my previous GW article, I stated that,
“the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a U.N. sponsored group of more than 2,000 scientists from over 100 countries, has concluded that human activity is a major factor in elevated atmospheric CO2 levels, and this will result in rising temperatures and sea levels that could prove catastrophic for multi-millions of coastal dwelling folk all over the world.”
It is the IPCC’s conclusions upon which Mr. Gore and most Climate scientists base their beliefs in Global Warming due to greenhouse gas CO2 dogma. The problem is that the IPCC essentially based their conclusions on only ONE scientific study, one authored by Michael Mann, an American scientist, published in the prestigious journal “Nature” in 1998. The alarmist IPCC report cited above (U.N. sponsored and therefore driven by politics) based its assessment of climate change almost solely on Mann’s study. In essence, he said all the historical temperature data was wrong. He claimed his data showed that there has been only a gradual global temperature change over the last millennium, but that there has been a very sharp rise in the last 100 years, i.e., his temperature graph looked like a hockey stick. Because atmospheric CO2 has doubled in that time, the sharp increase in temperature must be caused by that increase in greenhouse CO2. Gosh, only enemies of humanity could dispute that conclusion, right?
The big problem is that Mann’s research is either fraudulent or simply the work of an incompetent or very bias scientist who wishes to get the results he desires, as in truthiness. In June 2005, the U.S. House of Representatives committee on energy and commerce asked Dr. Edward Wegman, chairman of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics, to form an independent committee to assess Mann’s data. To you blogers who insist that all the infidel scientists like me are funded stooges of the big oil industry, Wegman’s group did it all pro bono, and that means FREE! In short, the committee concluded that Mann misused statistical methods, and that the hockey stick model is false. After their report, a separate committee was formed by the NAS to review Wigman’s report Mann’s work. I assume most of the scientists on the committee were true believers because they started their report saying something like, WE BELIEVE THAT THE LAST DECADE HAD THE HIGHEST TEMPERATURES EVER RECORDED, but the rest of his work is wrong and the hockey stick model is bogus (my words). They didn’t even mention CO2. Why, you might ask, have you probably not read about this in the mass media? Because the mass media is composed mostly of true believers who don’t want to be confused with facts that go against their faith, so they don’t report what they don’t like. Truthiness is rampant in elitist environmentalist circles. Pointing out the facts only hurts the “cause” many of them say. I must point out that I am an environmentalist, but not an elitist one, and I am ashamed of the extremism and deliberate disregard of real science that has taken over some environmental organizations (you know who you are).
So what are the believers left with as far as scientific evidence for anthropomorphic CO2 induced global warming? There is nothing but a statistical correlation between increasing atmospheric CO2 levels and rising global temperatures over the last century. Statistical correlations never prove anything. Over the last fifty years, the incidence of lung cancer in women has about doubled, as has the level of atmospheric CO2. Lung cancer rates in men, however, over the same time period have not increased at all. So should we conclude that CO2 causes cancer in women, but not in men? Perhaps we should look further and note that women, very few of whom smoked before 1960, started smoking profusely in the 60′s, while men leveled out in their smoking habits. When grass is tall and green, 1000 times more people drown than when grass is short and brown. Therefore, green grass causes drowning, right? Well, consider that when grass is green and tall, it’s summertime, just when people are likely to go swimming. My favorite, however, is the well known fact that the more time a person spends driving his car on the highway, the more likely he/she is to get in an auto accident, possibly fatal. Knowing this, one can limit the risk of an accident by driving as fast as possible, damn the speed limit. Obviously you will spend less time driving the faster you go, thus you reduce your risk of having a fatal auto accident, right? Reduce CO2 emissions and the earth will stop warming, right?
“A team at the Danish National Space Center has discovered how cosmic rays from exploding stars can help to make clouds in the atmosphere. The results support the theory that cosmic rays influence Earth’s climate.”
That news, like anything that might go counter to the GW dogma, was not widely reported in the mass media.
Here’s another excerpt:
“It is known that low-altitude clouds (my insert: high altitude clouds are greenhousers) have an overall cooling effect on the Earth’s surface. Hence, variations in cloud cover caused by cosmic rays can change the surface temperature. The existence of such a cosmic connection to Earth’s climate might thus help to explain past and present variations in Earth’s climate.”
It goes on:
“during the 20th Century, the Sun’s magnetic field, which shields Earth from cosmic rays more than doubled, thereby reducing the average influx of cosmic rays. The resulting reduction in cloudiness, especially of low-altitude clouds, may be a significant factor in the global warming Earth has undergone during the last century. However, until now, there has been no experimental evidence of how the causal mechanism linking cosmic rays and cloud formation may work.”
Perhaps while we are spending lots of money trying to limit CO2 emissions, we should also have politicians pass laws limiting how many stars in the galaxy should be allowed to explode!
Finally, economist Bjorn Lomborg, author of the book “Skeptical Environmentalist” is a GW believer. He buys the CO2 theory. However, he strongly disputes the wild disaster scenarios put forth by folks such as Al Gore and the recent report on climate change by Nicholas Stern and the U.K. government.
Referring to them, he states in the November 2006 issue of the Wall St. Journal:
“Faced with such alarmist suggestions, spending just 1% of gross domestic product (GDP) or $450 billion each year to cut carbon emissions seems on the surface like a sound investment. In fact, it is one of the least attractive options. Spending just a fraction of this figure 75 billion the U.N. estimates that we could solve all the world’s major basic problems. We could give everyone clean drinking water, sanitation, basic health care and education right now. Is that not better?”
Do you still believe, after reading this far, that global warming is totally due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions?