Global Warming Swindle By Thomas Sowell Thursday, March 15, 2007
Britain's Channel 4 has produced a devastating documentary titled "The Great Global Warming Swindle." It has apparently not been broadcast by any of the networks in the United States. But, fortunately, it is available on the Internet.
Distinguished scientists specializing in climate and climate-related fields talk in plain English and present readily understood graphs showing what a crock the current global warming hysteria is.
These include scientists from MIT and top-tier universities in a number of countries. Some of these are scientists whose names were paraded on some of the global warming publications that are being promoted in the media -- but who state plainly that they neither wrote those publications nor approved them.
One scientist threatened to sue unless his name was removed.
While the public has been led to believe that "all" the leading scientists buy the global warming hysteria and the political agenda that goes with it, in fact the official reports from the United Nations or the National Academy of Sciences are written by bureaucrats -- and then garnished with the names of leading scientists who were "consulted," but whose contrary conclusions have been ignored.
There is no question that the globe is warming but it has warmed and cooled before, and is not as warm today as it was some centuries ago, before there were any automobiles and before there was as much burning of fossil fuels as today.
None of the dire things predicted today happened then.
The British documentary goes into some of the many factors that have caused the earth to warm and cool for centuries, including changes in activities on the sun, 93 million miles away and wholly beyond the jurisdiction of the Kyoto treaty.
According to these climate scientists, human activities have very little effect on the climate, compared to many other factors, from volcanoes to clouds.
These climate scientists likewise debunk the mathematical models that have been used to hype global warming hysteria, even though hard evidence stretching back over centuries contradicts these models.
What is even scarier than seeing how easily the public, the media, and the politicians have been manipulated and stampeded, is discovering how much effort has been put into silencing scientists who dare to say that the emperor has no clothes.
Academics who jump on the global warming bandwagon are far more likely to get big research grants than those who express doubts -- and research is the lifeblood of an academic career at leading universities.
Environmental movements around the world are committed to global warming hysteria and nowhere more so than on college and university campuses, where they can harass those who say otherwise. One of the scientists interviewed on the British documentary reported getting death threats.
In politics, even conservative Republicans seem to have taken the view that, if you can't lick 'em, join 'em. So have big corporations, which have joined the stampede.
This only enables the green crusaders to declare at every opportunity that "everybody" believes the global warming scenario, except for a scattered few "deniers" who are likened to Holocaust deniers.
The difference is that we have the hardest and most painful evidence that there was a Holocaust. But, for the global warming scenario that is causing such hysteria, we have only a movie made by a politician and mathematical models whose results change drastically when you change a few of the arbitrarily selected variables.
No one denies that temperatures are about a degree warmer than they were a century ago.
What the climate scientists in the British documentary deny is that you can mindlessly extrapolate that, or that we are headed for a climate catastrophe if we don't take drastic steps that could cause an economic catastrophe.
"Global warming" is just the latest in a long line of hysterical crusades to which we seem to be increasingly susceptible. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Don't Look to Government to Cool Down the Planet By John Stossel Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Recently on "20/20," I said "give me a break" to Al Gore for claiming that the global-warming debate is over and suggesting that all dissenters were in it for the money. I interviewed independent scientists who say Gore is wrong.
Some people were relieved to finally hear the other side: "Thank you, thank you, thank you for your report on climate change. … I'm sick of hearing 'the debate's over' and writing anyone who differs off as a nut. This report showed the true nature of the debate and true lack of consensus, something you can't get anywhere else."
Others were just mad: "Your 20/20 report on Global Warning made me sick. ... Your sarcastic ridiculing of Al Gore … I have lost all respect for you and your reporting."
Yes, the globe has warmed, but whether severe warming is imminent and whether human beings are causing it in large degree are empirical questions that can't be answered ideologically. The media may scream that "the science is in" and the "debate is over," but in fact it continues vigorously, with credentialed climate scientists on both side of the divide. (For example.) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may present a "consensus view of scientists," but the "consensus" is not without dissent.
"Consensus is the stuff of politics, not science," says Paul Reiter of the Pasteur Institute.
The scientific process ought to be left to play itself out with as little political bias as possible. Politically influenced research is poison to science.
Part of the problem is the IPCC itself. Reiter points out, "It's the inter-governmental panel on climate change. It's governments who nominate people. It's inherently political. Many of the scientists are on the IPCC because they view global warming as a problem that needs to be fixed. They have a vested interest."
Phillip Stott, professor of biogeography at the University of London, says that the global warming debate has become the new "grand narrative" of the environmental movement. "It's something for people to get excited about and protest. It's more about emotion than science." While the scientists thrash things out, what are the rest of us to do?
There are good reasons to begin with a presumption against government action. As coercive monopolies that spend other people's money taken by force, governments are uniquely unqualified to solve problems. They are riddled by ignorance, perverse incentives, incompetence and self-serving. The synthetic-fuels program during the Carter years consumed billions of dollars and was finally disbanded as a failure. The push for ethanol today is more driven by special interests than good sense -- it's boosting food prices while producing a fuel of dubious environmental quality.
Even if the climate really needs cooling down, government can't be counted on to accomplish that. Advocates of carbon taxes and emissions trading talk about reducing CO2, but they promise no more than a minuscule reduction in temperature. Temperature reduction is supposed to be the objective.
In fact, even drastic plans to cut the use of carbon-based energy would make only a negligible difference. As John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a member of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, wrote last week in The Wall Street Journal:
"Suppose you are very serious about making a dent in carbon emissions and could replace about 10 percent of the world's energy sources with non-CO2-emitting nuclear power by 2020 -- roughly equivalent to halving U.S. emissions. Based on IPCC-like projections, the required 1,000 new nuclear power plants would slow the warming by about 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit per century. It's a dent."
I agree with Stott, who says, "The right approach to climate change is adaptation -- and the way to do that is to have strong economies."
We will have a strong economy if we don't give up our freedom and our money to fulfill the grand schemes of big-government alarmists. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Global-Warming Debate Isn't Over Until It's Over By John Stossel Wednesday, October 24, 2007
First he won the Oscar -- then the Nobel Peace Prize. He's being called a "prophet."
Impressive, considering that one of former Vice President Al Gore's chief contributions has been to call the debate over global warming "over" and to marginalize anyone who disagrees. Although he favors major government intervention to stop global warming, he says, "the climate crisis is not a political issue. It is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity".
Give me a break.
If you must declare a debate over, then maybe it's not. And if you have to gussy up your agenda as "our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level," then it deserves some skeptical examination.
Everyone has heard that Earth's atmosphere is heating up, it's our fault, and it's a crisis. No wonder 86 percent of Americans think global warming is a serious problem and 70 percent want the government to do something now.
But is it a crisis? The globe is warming, but will it be catastrophic? Probably not.
In "An Inconvenient Truth," Gore says that "sea levels worldwide would go up 20 feet."
But the group that shared last week's Nobel Prize, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says in a hundred years, the oceans might rise 7 to 24 inches .
Gore also talks about drowning polar bears. He doesn't mention that the World Conservation Union and the U.S. Geological Survey say that today most populations of polar bears are stable or increasing.
And while man's greenhouse gasses may increase warming, it's not certain that man caused it. The most impressive demonstration in Gore's movie is the big graph of carbon-dioxide levels, which suggests that carbon levels control temperature. But the movie doesn't tell you that the carbon increases came after temperatures rose, hundreds of years later.
There's much more. A British court ruled that U.K. teachers could show Gore's documentary to students only if they also explain nine errors in the movie.
I wanted to ask Gore about that and other things, but he wouldn't talk to me. Why should he? He says "the debate is over."
"It's absurd for people to say that sort of thing," says Paul Reiter of the Pasteur Institute.
John Christy and Roy Spencer, who won NASA's Medal for Exceptional Achievement for figuring out how to get temperature data from satellites, agree that Earth has warmed. "The thing that we dispute is, is it because of mankind?" Spencer says.
Some scientists say the warming may be caused by changes in the sun, or ocean currents, or changes in cloud cover, or other things we don't understand. If it's all man's fault, why did the Arctic go through a warm period early last century? Why did Greenland's temperatures rise 50 percent faster in the 1920s than they are rising now?
The media rarely ask such questions.
The media also treat the IPCC as impartial scientists, but Reiter and Christy, who were members of the IPCC, say it is not what the public thinks it is. Many of the people involved in writing its report "are not scientists at all," Reiter says. "They were essentially activists." Members of groups like Greenpeace were involved. Skeptics were often ignored.
Christy says, "We were not asked to look at a particular statement and sign our names to it."
Adds Reiter, "I resigned."
But the IPCC still listed him as part of the so-called consensus of scientists. He says he had to threaten to sue to get his name removed from the report, although the IPCC denies that.
Skeptics like Reiter, Christy, Spencer and Tim Ball, who studies the history of climate change and heads the Natural Resources Stewardship Project, are often smeared as "deniers," lumped in with Holocaust deniers and accused of being "on the take" from energy businesses." Gore impugns skeptical scientists by saying "the illusion of a debate has been purchased."
But the scientists I interviewed don't get money from business.
Some get threatened. Ball received an e-mail that said: "You will not live long enough to see global warming!" --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Global Warming? Blame Jane Fonda Saturday, September 15, 2007 9:54 PM
If you're wondering who's largely to blame for the alleged heating up of the climate you need look no further than Jane Fonda.
That's what "Freakanomics" columnists Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt suggest in Sunday's New York Times Magazine.
"If you were asked to name the biggest global warming villains of the past 30 years, here's one name that probably wouldn't spring to mind: Jane Fonda. But should it?" the authors ask.
According to Editor & Publisher, the two cite Fonda's anti-nuclear thriller "The China Syndrome," which opened just 12 days before the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, as helping stoke "a widespread panic." Fonda, E&P notes became a high-profile anti-nuke activist in an already-strong movement that resulted in the nuclear industry halting plans for expansion.
"And so," the authors continue, "instead of becoming a nation with clean and cheap nuclear energy, as once seemed inevitable, the United States kept building power plants that burned coal and other fossil fuels. Today such plants account for 40 percent of the country's energy-related carbon-dioxide emissions. Anyone hunting for a global-warming villain can't help blaming those power plants -- and can't help wondering too about the unintended consequences of Jane Fonda."
Despite Fonda's anti-nuke campaign, the columnists say that the "big news" is that with global warming fears mounting, "nuclear power may be making a comeback in the United States," with plans for two dozen reactors on the drawing boards.
"Will they get built?" E&P asks, explaining that "It may all depend on what kind of thrillers Hollywood has in the pipeline."
Neither E&P nor the Times columnists bothered to note that all those CO2 emissions contribute a barely measurable part of the greenhouse gasses present in the atmosphere. According to Reid Bryson, founding chairman of the University of Wisconsin Department of Meteorology, called by the British Institute of Geographers as the most frequently cited climatologist in the world: "There’s been warming over the past 150 years, and even though it’s less than one degree Celsius, something had to cause it. The usual suspect is the 'greenhouse effect,' various atmospheric gases trapping solar energy, preventing it being reflected back into space.
"Eighty percent of the heat radiated back from the surface is absorbed in the first 30 feet by water vapor ...
"And how much is absorbed by carbon dioxide? Eight hundredths of one percent. One one-thousandth as important as water vapor. You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide." --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties . . . it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed. — Norton vs. Shelby County 118 US 425 p. 442 D&S Comment: Of course, unconstitutional acts by Congress and administrative agencies are enforced without regard to the above. The bottom line is that current government is mostly illegitimate.
When the magician says, ‘Watch very closely,’ the trick’s already been done. — Timothy Zahn, Blackcollar 2: The Judas Solution
To my dismay, IPCC authors ignored all my comments and suggestions for major changes in the FOD (First Order Draft) and sent me the SOD (Second Order Draft) with essentially the same text as the FOD. None of the authors of the chapter bothered to directly communicate with me (or with other expert reviewers with whom I communicate on a regular basis) on many issues that were raised in my review. This is not an acceptable scientific review process. — Dr. Madhav Khandekar, IPCC 2007 expert reviewer and meteorologist, Natural Resources Stewardship Project, as quoted in The New American, February 18, 2008
A Year of Global Cooling
As of January 2008, four major temperature-trend sources have reported that January 2008 was the latest in a 12-month period of sharp global temperature drops [Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature (HadCRUT), NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH), Remote Sensing Systems of Santa Rosa, CA (RSS)].
“This drop in temperature is certainly very unusual. The fall of 0.595 degree since Jan. 2007 is the largest January-to-January drop in HadCRUT since 1875 and the biggest drop for any 12-month interval since –0.681 degree in Feb. 1974.”
“The January temperature is the lowest for any month since 1994, and the lowest for a month unaffected by volcanic eruptions in 20 years.”
There is a tremendous amount of perceived threat being expressed on the Web and in Science1 and Nature in the “global warming as human-caused disaster” community in response to a new hypothesis of global climate change based upon the effects of the sun’s magnetic field on cosmic rays, which strongly affect cloud formation. What we expect to see, in response to the temperature-drop data, is that the global warmists will frantically look for some way they can manipulate their hypothesis to “explain” global cooling in the context of global warming. In other words, temperatures can go up or they can go down and it is still global warming. This is a giveaway that “global warming” dogma is a religion, not science: when there is no fact that can falsify the hypothesis.
This period of sharp global temperature drops coincides with a sharp decrease in the sun’s magnetic activity, associated with few or no visible sunspots. A drop in the sun’s magnetic activity results in a decrease in the solar interplanetary magnetic field that would otherwise push cosmic rays away from Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in fewer clouds. The energetic particles of cosmic rays serve as nucleation sites for cloud formation. With fewer clouds, the Earth’s albedo is decreased, and hence less of the sun’s energy is reflected back into space. Conversely, with more cosmic rays reaching the atmosphere under conditions of less energetic solar winds, more clouds are formed, resulting in higher albedo and thus cooling.2,3
A final note: As has been pointed out by many, there are more human deaths during cold than during hot weather. Now that the politicians and bureaucrats have seriously damaged fuel-producing markets in the U.S. and elsewhere, a cold trend (should it continue) could be very costly. Wind and solar power are not going to keep most Americans warm!
Pasotti J. Geophysics: daggers are drawn over revived cosmic ray-climate link. Science, January 11, 2008. “Last year, climate change scientists thought they had driven a silver stake through the idea that fluctuations in solar activity were behind global warming in the last century. Now, a high-profile team led by geophysicist Vincent Courtillot, director of the Institut de Physique du Globe in Paris, has sought to raise the dead in a paper linking changes in Earth’s magnetic field to temperature variations in recent millennia. . . . Climate change researchers have set out to strangle the hypothesized climate-geomagnetism connection in its crib.” [Emphasis added] This is remarkably unobjective language for a news report in a supposed scientific journal. Moreover, they did not give the citation for the paper by Courtillot, only that it “appeared last year” in Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Carslaw et al. Cosmic rays, clouds, and climate. Science 298:1732-7 (2002). Medvedev and Melott. Do extragalactic cosmic rays induce cycles in fossil diversity? Astrophys J 664:879-89 (2007).
Expert Claims McCain Is Wrong on Global Warming
A British editor and politician prominent in the discussion of climate change has written an open letter to John McCain criticizing statements the Republican candidate has made about global warming.
The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, who was an adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, sought to keep Al Gore's global warming documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" out of public schools in Britain, and in March 2007 challenged Gore to a debate on climate change.
Now in his letter to McCain, published on the Web site American Thinker, Monckton calls manmade global warming fears "scientifically discredited" and advises, "Not for a single moment longer must you allow yourself to be distracted by the murderous foolishness of the climate alarmists."
Monckton quotes a McCain statement that "we need to deal with the central facts of rising temperatures."
Monckton, saying he bases his assertions on "peer-reviewed scientific literature," counters, "For most of the past 600 million years, the temperature that most often prevailed globally is thought to have been 12.5 degrees higher than today's temperature . . .
"From 1700 to 1998, temperature rose at a near-uniform rate of about 1 degree per century. In 1998, 'global warming' stopped, and it has not resumed since. Indeed, in the past seven years, temperature has been falling at a rate equivalent to as much as 0.7 degrees per decade."
Responding to McCain's statement that greenhouse gases, chiefly carbon dioxide, "are heavily implicated as a cause of climate change," Monckton writes, "Two-thirds of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is naturally present, and carbon dioxide occupies just one ten-thousandth more of the atmosphere today than it did 250 years ago."
Monckton, who was an editor and writer with Britain's Evening Standard newspaper, quotes McCain, "We need to deal with the central facts of . . . rising waters."
He counters, "Sea level has been rising since the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago . . . The rate of increase has averaged four feet per century. Yet in the 20th century, when we are told that 'global warming' began to have a major impact on global temperature and hence on sea level, sea level rose by just eight inches."
Then in a swipe at Al Gore, whom he does not mention by name, Monckton observes, "There is not and has never been any scientific basis for the exaggerated projections by a certain politician that sea level might imminently rise by as much as 20 feet.
"That politician, in the year in which he circulated a movie containing that projection, bought a $4 million condominium just feet from the ocean at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco."
Monckton also seeks to refute statements McCain has made on receding glaciers, melting polar ice sheets, extreme weather events, threats to polar bears, and more.
And in reference to the candidate's stated support for efforts to control climate change by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, Monckton tells McCain: "With every respect, there is no rational basis for your declared intention that your great nation should inflict upon her own working people and upon the starving masses of the Third World the extravagantly pointless, climatically irrelevant, strategically fatal economic wounds that the arrogant advocates of atmospheric alarmism admit they aim to achieve."