Saturday, April 25, 2009

Global Warming: How the Hoax Began

"Richard S. Courtney is an independent consultant on matters concerning energy and the environment. He is a technical advisor to several UK MPs and mostly-UK MEPs. He has been called as an expert witness by the UK Parliament’s House of Commons Select Committee on Energy and also House of Lords Select Committee on the Environment. He is an expert peer reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and in November 1997 chaired the Plenary Session of the Climate Conference in Bonn. In June 2000 he was one of 15 scientists invited from around the world to give a briefing on climate change at the US Congress in Washington DC, and he then chaired one of the three briefing sessions. His achievements have been recognized by The UK’s Royal Society for Arts and Commerce, PZZK (the management association of Poland’s mining industry), and The British Association for the Advancement of Science. Having been the contributing technical editor of CoalTrans International, he is now on the editorial board of Energy & Environment. He is a founding member of the European Science and Environment Forum (ESEF)." Source

Richard Courtney states:
"All available evidence indicates that man-made global warming is a physical impossibility, but if the predicted warming could be induced it would probably provide net benefits. However, there is a widespread imagined risk of the warming and politicians are responding to it."

"The simple fact that it is physically impossible for CO2 emissions to cause man-made global warming has no effect on imagined fear of global warming. (It is a simple fact that a mouse cannot eat a person, but some people try to jump on chairs at the sight of mice.)"

"Also, some global warming proponents are accepting a good financial income from the global warming scare and have become global warming propagandists to promote their interests. These include some researchers who obtain research grants and some environmental organisations who need donations. They are making a living by promoting fear of man-made global warming."

"The hypothesis of man-made global warming has existed since the 1880s. It was an obscure scientific hypothesis that burning fossil fuels would increase CO2 in the air to enhance the greenhouse effect and thus cause global warming. Before the 1980s this hypothesis was usually regarded as a curiosity because the nineteenth century calculations indicated that mean global temperature should have risen more than 1°C by 1940, and it had not. Then, in 1979, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher (now Lady Thatcher) became Prime Minister of the UK, and she elevated the hypothesis to the status of a major international policy issue."

"Mrs. Thatcher...desired to be taken seriously by political leaders of other major countries."

"Sir Crispin Tickell, UK Ambassador to the UN, suggested a solution to the problem. He pointed out that almost all international statesmen are scientifically illiterate, so a scientifically literate politician could win any summit debate on a matter which seemed to depend on scientific understandings. And Mrs. Thatcher had a BSc degree in chemistry. (This is probably the most important fact in the entire global warming issue; i.e., Mrs. Thatcher had a BSc degree in chemistry). Sir Crispin pointed out that if a "scientific" issue were to gain international significance, then the UK's Prime Minister could easily take a prominent role, and this could provide credibility for her views on other world affairs. He suggested that Mrs. Thatcher should campaign about global warming at each summit meeting. She did, and the tactic worked. Mrs. Thatcher rapidly gained the desired international respect and the UK became the prime promoter of the global warming issue."

"Overseas politicians began to take notice of Mrs. Thatcher's campaign if only to try to stop her disrupting summit meetings. They brought the matter to the attention of their civil servants for assessment, and they reported that - although scientifically dubious - 'global warming' could be economically important. The USA is the world's most powerful economy and is the most intensive energy user. If all countries adopted 'carbon taxes', or other universal proportionate reductions in industrial activity, each non-US industrialised country would gain economic benefit over the United States. So, many politicians from many countries joined with Mrs. Thatcher in expressing concern at global warming and a political bandwagon began to roll. Mrs. Thatcher had raised an international policy issue and thus become an influential international politician.

Mrs. Thatcher could not have promoted the global warming issue without the support of her UK political party. And they were willing to give it. Following the General Election of 1979, most of the incoming Cabinet had been members of the government which lost office in 1974. They blamed the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) for their 1974 defeat. They, therefore, desired an excuse for reducing the UK coal industry and, thus, the NUM's power. Coal-fired power stations emit CO2 but nuclear power stations don't. Global warming provided an excuse for reducing the UK's dependence on coal by replacing it with nuclear power."

“Also, all scientists compete to obtain their share of this limited resource. Available research funds were shrinking, and global warming had become the ‘scientific’ issue of most interest to governments. Hence, any case for funding support tended to include reference to global warming whenever possible. Much science in many fields may be conducted under the guise of a relationship to global warming. Activities that have obtained funds by this method include biology, meteorology, computer science, physics, chemistry, climatology, oceanography, civil engineering, process engineering, forestry, astronomy, and several other disciplines. Now, funds for this work are provided to most UK Universities and several commercial research establishments.

Much peer pressure deters scientists from damaging potential sources of research funds. There is especial pressure - loss of future career - to avoid being the first to proclaim the scientific truth of global warming and thus damage the research funding of colleagues. But failure to proclaim the scientific truth does not mean that many scientists believe in the global warming hypothesis. In 1992 - at the height of the global warming scare - Greenpeace International conducted a survey of the world’s 400 leading climatologists. Greenpeace had hoped to publicise the results of that survey in the run-up to the Rio summit, but when they completed the survey, they gave very little publicity to its results. In response to the survey, only 15 climatologists were willing to say they believed in global warming, although all climatologists rely on it for their employment. Also, the Leipzig Declaration disputes the IPCC assertions about man-made global warming. It was drafted following the Leipzig Climate Conference in November 1995 and has been signed by over 1,500 scientists from around the world.

The global warming issue is political. It induced the ‘Earth Summit’ that was attended by several Heads of State in Rio de Janeiro during June 1992 and is the reason for the Kyoto Summit in Japan in December 1997. Governments have a variety of motives for interest in global warming. Each government has its own special interests in global warming but, in all cases, the motives relate to economic policies. In general, the USA fears loss of economic power to other nations while this is desired by those other nations. Universal adoption of ‘carbon taxes’, or other universal proportionate reductions in industrial activity, would provide relative benefit to the other nations. Unfortunately, if a few nations adopted the changes they would increase their manufacturing, transportation and energy costs and thus lose economic competitiveness and industrial activity to all other nations. Developing nations cannot afford technological and economic advances that would benefit them and also reduce their increases to CO2 emissions as they develop, so they are seeking gifted technology transfers and economic aid from developed countries.

The press are interested in selling papers and the TV companies want to gain viewers. Threat of world-wide disaster makes a good story, and the statements and actions of politicians together with great increase in scientific publications gave global warming an apparent authority. The media began to proclaim the worst imagined horrors. For example, massive floods were predicted due to melting of polar ice, and one UK TV programme went so far as to assert that the polar bears would die out because their habitat would melt. The public relies on the media to provide them with their information, so they came to believe the global warming scare because they were only given one side of the story. Politicians respond to public concern, so the politicians’ actions began to gain popular support.

On face value global warming is an environmental issue. Many environmentalists joined the bandwagon. Governments were offering money and the public were concerned at global warming. Any environmental issue that could be linked to global warming was said to be involved in the matter. But the environmentalist interest was aroused by the impact of the issue. Contrary to common belief, environmentalists did not raise awareness of global warming, they responded to it. Simply, environmentalist organisations were part of the general public and decided to use the issue when it became useful to them.

Aspects of the global warming issue began to feed on each other. The system amplifier is the politicians’ support of global warming.

The UK Government lost interest in global warming when Mr John Major replaced Mrs Thatcher as Prime Minister. The flow of Government money began to stop for conduct of global warming research. UK scientists then began to speak out in denial of the global warming hypothesis. It seemed that the issue was dying a natural death. Then the ‘coal crisis’ arose in October 1992 when the public protested at the scale of pit closures. This gave the UK Government a new need to find an excuse for its policy of closing coalmines. Global warming fitted this need and so the Government committed £16,000,000 to an advertising campaign that scare-mongered about global warming and re-established the funding priorities for climate research.

Later, at the start of May 1997, the Conservative Party lost office to the Labour Party and Mr. Tony Blair became UK Prime Minister. The UK had initiated the global warming issue and a change of UK policy may have had a significant effect on the widespread imagined risk, but by then the global warming issue had become important in its own right. Many countries had a stated global warming policy, 122 of them had signed a declaration of intent to reduce CO2 emissions at the Rio Summit, and the Kyoto Summit was scheduled. The UK was one of the very few countries that had reduced its CO2 emissions since the Rio Summit because the UK had replaced coal-fired generating capacity by gas-fired generating capacity. This provided the UK with a position of authority in this international affair, and Mr. Blair committed the new UK government to strict action to cut CO2 emissions.

Governments' global warming policies

Man-made global warming has become a major international political issue. The imagined risk has become a real risk in the form of proposed government policies to inhibit CO2 emissions. The Rio Summit in 1992 proposed actions to constrain the emissions and the Kyoto Summit in December 1997 is intended to establish binding agreements that will commit nation states to the constraints. Although there are no real and potential risks of the global warming, the effects of the constraints will cause real and severe economic damage.
All industrial and economic growth requires an abundance of available energy supply. Anything that inhibits energy supplies reduces economic activity. At Kyoto, governments will be pressured to reduce CO2 emissions to far below their 1990 levels. This requires cutting fuel supplies and, therefore, economic activity. The effects would be much more severe than the ‘oil crisis’ in the 1970s because the constraint on fossil fuel usage would be greater, the increases to energy costs would be larger, and energy demand has increased since then.
Already, OECD countries (Europe, Japan and the US) have agreed in principle to adopt the ‘Berlin Mandate’ that requires them to cut their CO2 emissions to 15% below their 1990 levels by year 2010. The US Department of Energy (DoE) estimates that this would increase US domestic energy prices by between 80 and 90% and would increase the coal price to US consumers by 300%. Also, the DoE study determines that the Berlin Mandate would not reduce worldwide emissions of CO2. Energy intensive industries would be forced to move from the US to places where the emission constraints did not exist or were not enforced. This could even result in an increase to the emissions because the less-controlled places are likely to have less energy efficient industries. The DoE study goes further by saying that its findings are not specific to the US but apply to every industrialised country.
The US DoE study is supported by a similar study commissioned by the German government. That determined the cost to Germany of fulfilling the Berlin Mandate would be about US$500 billion and the loss of 250,000 jobs.
Industrialised countries would not suffer alone. The economy of every country is affected by the performance of the world economy. The economic disruption in the developed world would harm economic activity everywhere. The largest affects would be in the developed countries because their economies are largest. But the world’s poorest peoples would suffer the worst effects (i.e., people who are near to starvation are starved by economic disruption.).
A rational assessment of appropriate policies would include cost/benefit analysis, but imagined risk is not rational. All the proposed responses to the imagined risk of man-made global warming would increase starvation and poverty while inhibiting economic development throughout the entire world. And CO2 emissions would not be reduced and may be increased. In practice, politicians are accepting the predictions of climate models as being predictions of the future, and they are acting to change that future. This is similar to the behaviour of people who believe horoscope predictions of future harm so they avoid situations where that harm could happen.“ Source

Also see this


thekingpin68 said...

Well done, Jeff.

There seems to be scientists on both sides of the human made global warming issue.

I remain open-minded. I was listening to Richard Branson the other day state that some scientists think it may be too late to save the planet as a result of human made global warming.

Personally regardless of whether human produced industrial carbon dioxide warms the planet to dangerous levels or not I would like to have cleaner air and clearer sky. I remember when I was little how blue the sky used to be.

But, I do not agree with governments specifically taxing people to do it. Rather industry should clean up its act where needed and I do not mind driving a vehicle that has 'cleaner' fuel.

The truth about global warming needs to be clarified to the public in the future.

In the meantime poor Chucky's wrist took a beating as we practiced Friday night knife attack, up against a wall.

I did a slow right side kick to Chuck's mid section and he fell backward onto a weight on the floor and into my bookshelf.

Good thing my books did not fall over although it saved Saint Chucklins, as did I. That is thousands of dollars invested there...a man has to have his priorities!

Jeff said...


Well done, Jeff.
Thanks, Russ.

There seems to be scientists on both sides of the human made global warming issue.
Yes, and you reminded me about the fact that apparently there is pressure from politicians, and regarding funding monies, for scientists to support the theory of Global Warming, whether they truly believe it is happening or not. I have added a cartoon graphic to the article.

I remain open-minded. I was listening to Richard Branson the other day state that some scientists think it may be too late to save the planet as a result of human made global warming.
Check this out:
"Of 528 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus [that humans have an effect on global warming]. If one considers “implicit” endorsement (accepting the consensus without explicit statement), the figure rises to 45%. However, while only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the hypothesis. This is no “consensus.”

The figures are even more shocking when one remembers the watered-down definition of consensus here. Not only does it not require supporting that man is the “primary” cause of warming, but it doesn’t require any belief or support for “catastrophic” global warming. In fact of all papers published in this period (2004 to February 2007), only a single one makes any reference to climate change leading to catastrophic results."

(from libertas)

I would like to have cleaner air and clearer sky. I remember when I was little how blue the sky used to be.
Well, if everyone will be forced to use CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) by 2014, we will likely seen tons of mercury in our air, water and in the ground. Even if the mercury doesn't leak out, it still causes headaches, skin conditions, damage to photographs, and interference to radio, TV, phones and remote controls. So, apparently, the "Green" in the "Go Green" movement means that you will be green from sickness.

But, I do not agree with governments specifically taxing people to do it.
From the research I've done, the real purpose of it is money. More money going toward the companies which make the products which will be forced upon us (and possibly those companies then becoming monopolies), and more money going to the politicians. And everything contributing toward the goal of a one-world government.

The truth about global warming needs to be clarified to the public in the future.
I think politicians and the media will see to it that does not happen. Already, just as one example, the dangers of CFLs are being greatly played down, and the alternative of the much-superior LED bulbs is being almost completely ignored. You can find the info on the Internet, but it is not being published for the public (i.e., via the media).

I did a slow right side kick to Chuck's mid section and he fell backward onto a weight on the floor and into my bookshelf.
Wow, good thing it wasn't a fast right side kick!

Good thing my books did not fall over although it saved Saint Chucklins, as did I. That is thousands of dollars invested there...a man has to have his priorities!
LOL! Yeah, too bad about Chucky's wrist, but the important thing is, your books didn't get hurt! (j/k)

Jeff said...

"Myth of human CO2 causing warming or climate change

The Unholy Alliance that manufactured Global Warming

By Dr. Tim Ball Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In previous parts of this series (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) I’ve shown how a political agenda took over climate science primarily through the UN and specifically the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The agenda was spread to the world at the 1992 Rio Conference. Periodic Reports from the IPCC maintained the focus on CO2 and increased the political pressure. Please understand I am not claiming a conspiracy, but rather a cabal, which is defined as a secret political clique pushing a political agenda; in this case, designed by Maurice Strong.

Although the IPCC was the major vehicle other agencies got caught up quickly as governments became more involved. Results of the IPCC reports were skillfully propagandized so the issue took hold with the media and the public. It was also due to bureaucrats in each country carefully selected from weather related offices to serve on the IPCC. As MIT professor Richard Lindzen, former member of the IPCC said, “It is no small matter that routine weather service functionaries from New Zealand to Tanzania are referred to as ‘the world’s leading climate scientists.’ It should come as no surprise that they will be determinedly supportive of the process.” A political bias made a few of them especially supportive. The pattern of their machinations emerged early and continues. A measure of this was how long many of them kept the Hockey Stick graph on official government web sites.

Contrary to popular belief politicians do listen. The problem is they usually hear if they think there is a consensus, whether right or wrong, or if the issue can garner votes. Both these situations existed in the claims of global warming. In addition, most politicians don’t understand climate science and were forced to rely on the bureaucrats.

The most notorious was the Hockey Stick (HS) in the IPCC 2001 Third Assessment Report (TAR). Despite its destruction by McIntyre and McKitrick confirmed by the Wegman committee reporting to the National Academy of Sciences, Michael Mann and his associates continue to claim their work was legitimate. Its omission from the 2007 IPCC Report told the real story.

While the Hockey Stick was exposed and rejected it drew attention away from a more insidious piece of ‘human signal’ evidence in the 2001 IPCC (TAR). This was the claim by P.D. Jones, Director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that the global average annual temperature increased 0.6°C ± 0.2°C in some 130 years. It was claimed the increase was beyond any natural increase with the strong implication it was caused by humans. The data is simply not adequate to make this conclusion. The first problem is the huge error factor of ± 0.2°C or 66%, which essentially makes the number meaningless. Imagine a political poll saying it was accurate plus or minus 33%. Besides, there are so many problems with the global data many consider it impossible to calculate the global temperature. Some of the problems explain why.

There are very few records of 130 years, indeed, few over 100 years.

The number of these stations is not representative of the world; they were even less so as you go back in history. Most stations are still concentrated in eastern North America and Western Europe as the Global Historical Climate Network shows (see map). This was even truer as you go back in time. Then, whole continents were excluded or at best represented by a single station. There are virtually no measurements for the oceans, the forests, deserts, mountains or Polar Regions.

Most of the older stations are the ones most affected by the Urban Heat Island Effect. This is an artificial increase in temperatures as a city expands around a weather station. There is considerable disagreement over how much adjustment is necessary.

There are serious questions and proven limitations of many of the stations..

Two US authorities, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA GISS) produced different global annual averages for the year 2007. GISS claimed it was the second warmest year on record while NOAA said it was the seventh warmest year, both ostensibly using the same data.

In 1999 the US National Research Council Report, expressed serious concern about the data “Deficiencies in the accuracy, quality and continuity of the records place serious limitations on the confidence that can be placed in the research results.” In response to the report Kevin Trenberth said, “It’s very clear we do not have a climate observing system…This may be a shock to many people who assume that we do know adequately what’s going on with the climate, but we don’t.” It has not improved. In fact, there are fewer global weather stations now than in 1960.

Roger Pielke Sr and Dallas Staley tested the 2007 Report, “To evaluate the IPCC’s claim to be comprehensive, we cross-compared IPCC WG1 references on near-surface air temperature trends with the peer-reviewed citations that have been given in Climate Science. We selected only papers that appeared before about May 2006 so they were readily available to the IPCC Lead authors.”(Author’s note; The IPCC used this cutoff date argument to ignore research such as the relationship between sunspots and global temperature. In that case they did it even though the research was in the literature as early as 1991).

They found, The IPCC WG1 Chapter 3 Report clearly cherrypicked (sic) information on the robustness of the land near-surface air temperature to bolster their advocacy of a particular perspective on the role of humans within the climate system. As a result, policymakers and the public have been given a false (or at best an incomplete) assessment of the multi-decadal global average near-surface air temperature trends.”

Gore’s movie trumpeted that 1998 was the warmest year on record. This is wrong. An error was found in the NASA GISS data and when corrected made 1934 hottest year on record, not 1998; 1921, became the third hottest year on record not 2006; three of the five hottest years on record occurred before 1940; Six of the top 10 hottest years occurred prior to 90 percent of the growth in human produced greenhouse gas emissions during the last century. If it was a genuine error then somebody should be fired, if it wasn’t there are more serious implications. Suspicions are raised by a pattern of ‘adjustments’ that make earlier years cooler thus making more recent years warmer. The procedures that cause this are explained in an article titled, “Rewriting History, Time and time again.”

The pattern of adjustments and failure to disclose methods is deeply disturbing and requires much more investigation. It parallels too closely what has happened at the IPCC and makes a mockery of their claim that, “Eleven of the last twelve years (1995-2006) rank among the twelve warmest years in the instrumental record of global surface temperature (since 1850).”

The 66% error factor is sufficient in itself to reject the argument that Jones’ figure represents an unusual increase. It is definitely inadequate to serve as the basis for a global climate and energy policy. But there is a more serious problem.

We can’t reproduce Jones’ results because he refuses to disclose which stations he used and how the data was adjusted. To a request for information from Warwick Hughes, an Australian climate researcher who has long studied the global temperature record, Jones wrote, “We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.” (Jones’ reply to Warwick Hughes, 21. February 2005; P. Jones later confirmed this to Alex von Storch.)

Jones was not alone in the practice of non-disclosure or denial of access to climate data. A series of attempts to obtain information from the University of East Anglia and from the joint enterprise of the Hadley Centre and the Climate Research Unit are well documented on the Blog site Other people involved in the reconstructions have also ignored requests to post their data and methods, even though much of it is paid for by taxpayers and is the required practice in all other areas of scientific research. For example, it appears NASA GISS doesn’t provide all the computer source code, formulae, or the correction used for the final temperature data. Scientists must be able to validate the work and claims of others for science to advance. It is even more important if your work is the basis for global climate and energy policies. But you may consider it unnecessary if you claim the science is settled and have a political rather than a scientific agenda.

Professor Wegman’s Committee for the National Academy of Science arbitrated the hockey stick debate and identified problems in one segment of climate science, namely paleoclimate. However his remarks identified problems that plague all of climate science and especially the IPCC.

It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimate community; even though they rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community. Additionally, we judge that the sharing of research materials, data and results was haphazardly and grudgingly done. In this case we judge that there was too much reliance on peer review, which was not necessarily independent. Moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility. Overall, our committee believes that Mann’s assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by his analysis.

These are devastating remarks for any committee to make, but especially a science committee. They illustrate the fine line so far drawn between culpability and incompetence. They appear to illustrate behavior patterns more in line with proving a theory than disproving it, which underlines political rather than scientific objectives. It is no coincidence that it was a child who observed that the Emperor had no clothes.

By the time of the Wegman report more people were starting to ask questions, but the momentum created by the unholy alliance of the IPCC, governments, media, and environmental groups was in full swing. But there is one more component beyond the control of process that the IPCC used to perpetuate the myth of human CO2 causing warming or climate change - the computer models."

(from: UD/RK Samhalls Debatt)

Jeff said...

“All the books that I have seen about the science and economics of global warming, including the two books under review, miss the main point. The main point is religious rather than scientific. There is a worldwide secular religion which we may call environmentalism, holding that we are stewards of the earth, that despoiling the planet with waste products of our luxurious living is a sin, and that the path of righteousness is to live as frugally as possible. The ethics of environmentalism are being taught to children in kindergartens, schools, and colleges all over the world.

Environmentalism has replaced socialism as the leading secular religion. And the ethics of environmentalism are fundamentally sound. Scientists and economists can agree with Buddhist monks and Christian activists that ruthless destruction of natural habitats is evil and careful preservation of birds and butterflies is good. The worldwide community of environmentalists-most of whom are not scientists-holds the moral high ground, and is guiding human societies toward a hopeful future. Environmentalism, as a religion of hope and respect for nature, is here to stay. This is a religion that we can all share, whether or not we believe that global warming is harmful.

Unfortunately, some members of the environmental movement have also adopted as an article of faith the belief that global warming is the greatest threat to the ecology of our planet. That is one reason why the arguments about global warming have become bitter and passionate. Much of the public has come to believe that anyone who is skeptical about the dangers of global warming is an enemy of the environment. The skeptics now have the difficult task of convincing the public that the opposite is true. Many of the skeptics are passionate environmentalists. They are horrified to see the obsession with global warming distracting public attention from what they see as more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet, including problems of nuclear weaponry, environmental degradation, and social injustice. Whether they turn out to be right or wrong, their arguments on these issues deserve to be heard.”

(from: UD/RK Samhalls Debatt)

Jeff said...

"Over the past half-century, we have become used to planetary scares. In the late Sixties, we were told of a population explosion that would lead to global starvation.

Then, a little later, we were warned the world was running out of natural resources. By the Seventies, when global temperatures began to dip, many eminent scientists warned us that we faced a new Ice Age.

But the latest scare, global warming, has engaged the political and opinion-forming classes to a greater extent than any of these.

The readiness to embrace this fashionable belief has led the present Labour Government, enthusiastically supported by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, to commit itself to a policy of drastically cutting back carbon dioxide emissions - at huge cost to the British economy and to the living standards not merely of this generation, but of our children’s generation, too.

Now, I readily admit that I am not a scientist; but then neither are the vast majority of those who espouse the currently fashionable madness. Moreover, most of those scientists who speak with such certainty about global warming and climate change are not climate scientists, or Earth scientists of any kind, and thus have no special knowledge to contribute.

But science is only part of the story. Even if the climate scientists can tell us what is happening, and why they think it is happening, they cannot tell us what governments should be doing about it. For this, we also need an understanding of the economics: of what the economic consequences of any warming might be, and, if there is a problem, the best way of dealing with it.

First, then, what is happening? Given that nowadays pretty well every adverse development in the natural world is automatically attributed to global warming, perhaps the most surprising fact about it is that it is not, in fact, happening at all. The truth is that there has so far been no recorded global warming at all this century.

But the fact that the present lull was not predicted by any of the complex computer models upon which the global warming orthodoxy relies is clear evidence that the science of what determines the world’s temperature is distinctly uncertain and far from “settled”.

Genuine climate scientists admit that Earth’s climate is determined by hugely complex systems, and reliable prediction is impossible.

The most important greenhouse gas is water vapour, including water suspended in clouds. Rather a long way behind, the second most important is carbon dioxide.

The vast bulk of the carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere is natural - that is, nothing to do with man.

It is striking that during the 21st century, carbon dioxide emissions have been growing faster than ever - thanks in particular to the rapid growth of the Chinese economy - yet there has been no further global warming at all.

Carbon dioxide, like water vapour and oxygen, is not only completely harmless but is an essential element in our life support system.

Without carbon dioxide, there would be no plant life on the planet. And without plant life, there would be no human life either.

Let’s look at just two of the alleged “catastrophic” consequences of global warming: the threat to food production, leading to mass starvation; and the threat to human health, leading to disease and death.

So far as food production is concerned, it is not clear why a warmer climate would be a problem at all. Even the IPCC concedes that for a warming of anything up to 3 per cent, “globally, the potential for food production is projected to increase”. Yes: increase.

As to health, in its most recent report, the IPCC found only one outcome which they ranked as “virtually certain” to happen - and that was “reduced human mortality from decreased cold exposure”.

The IPCC systematically exaggerates the likely adverse effects of any warming that might occur because estimates of the likely impact of the global warming it projects for the next 100 years are explicitly based on two assumptions, both of them absurd.

The first is that while the developed world can adapt to warming, the developing world cannot.

The second is that even in the developed world, the capacity to adapt is constrained by the limits of existing technology. In other words, there will be no technological development over the next 100 years.

All in all, given that global warming produces benefits as well as costs, it is far from clear that the currently projected warming, far from being “catastrophic”, will do any net harm at all.

But the greatest curse of the developing world is mass poverty, and the malnutrition, disease and unnecessary death that poverty brings. To impede their escape from poverty by denying them the benefits of cheap carbon-based energy would damage them far more than global warming ever could.

That means that by the year 2100, people in the developing world, instead of being some 9.5 times better off than they are today, will be ‘only’ 8.5 times better off (which, incidentally, will still leave them better off than people in the developed world today). And, remember, all this is on the basis of the IPCC’s own grotesquely inflated estimate of the likely damage from further warming.

One thing is clear: the “feelgood” measures so popular among some sections of the middle classes, from driving a hybrid car and having a wind turbine on one’s roof to not leaving the television set on standby, are trivial to the point of total irrelevance. What would be required is for all transport to be 100 per cent electric, and all electricity to be generated by nuclear power.

To cut back carbon dioxide emissions on the scale the present Labour Government (supported by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats) is demanding would require a fundamental restructuring of the economy, involving a rise in the cost of energy dwarfing anything we have seen so far.

No doubt we could afford this hardship if it made sense. But does it? The UK accounts for only 2 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions. Even if the entire European Union adopted this policy, that accounts for only 15 per cent of global emissions.

By contrast, China - which has already overtaken the U.S. as the biggest single emitter - has said that there is no way it will agree to a cap on its carbon dioxide emissions for the foreseeable future. And India has said precisely the same.

So the chief consequence of decarbonising here, and making energy much more expensive, would simply be to accelerate the exodus of industry from the UK and Europe to China and elsewhere in the developing world - with, as a result, little or no reduction in overall global emissions.

And even if there were a global agreement to cut drastically carbon dioxide emissions, the economic cost of doing so would far exceed any benefit.

There may be a political explanation for this. With the collapse of Marxism and, to all intents and purposes, of other forms of socialism too, those who dislike capitalism and its foremost exemplar, the United States, with equal passion, have been obliged to find a new creed.

For many of them, green is the new red. And those who wish to order us how to run our lives, faced with the uncomfortable evidence that economic prosperity is more likely to be achieved by less government intervention rather than more, naturally welcome the emergence of a new licence to intrude, to interfere, to tax and to regulate: all in the great cause of saving the planet from the alleged horrors of global warming.

But there is something much more fundamental at work. I suspect that it is no accident that it is in Europe that eco-fundamentalism in general and global warming absolutism in particular has found its most fertile soil. For it is Europe that has become the most secular society in the world, where the traditional religions have the weakest hold.

Yet people still feel the need for the comfort and higher values that religion can provide; and it is the quasi-religion of green alarmism, of which the global warming issue is the most striking example, which has filled the vacuum, with reasoned questioning of its mantras regarded as little short of sacrilege.

Nonetheless, the new and unattractively intolerant religion of eco-fundamentalism and global warming presents real dangers. The most obvious is that the governments of Europe may get so carried away by their own rhetoric as to impose measures that do serious harm to their economies. That is a particular danger at the present time in the UK.

Another danger is that even if the governments do not go too far and damage their own economies, they may still cause great damage to the developing world by engaging in what might be termed green protectionism. The movement to make us feel guilty about buying overseas produce because of the “food miles” involved is just one example of this.

it is clear that the would-be saviours of the planet are, in practice, the enemies of poverty reduction in the developing world.

So the new religion of global warming, however convenient it may be to the politicians, is not as harmless as it may appear. Indeed, the more one examines it, the more it resembles a Da Vinci Code of environmentalism. It is a great story, and a phenomenal bestseller. It contains a grain of truth - and a mountain of nonsense.

And that nonsense could be very damaging indeed.

We appear to have entered a new age of unreason, which threatens to be as economically harmful as it is profoundly disquieting. It is from this, above all, that we really do need to save the planet."

UD/RK Samhalls Debatt

Jeff said...

"Despite the psychoses, our earth is a cleaner, more livable place than it was even 40 years ago.

Don’t think so? Then take a look at a government report (start with that actually measures air and water quality, and wetlands gains."

(from INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Friday, April 18, 2008 4:20 PM PT)

Jeff said...

Peter Mullen on The New Religion of Global Warming (PDF file)

Jeff said...

"Questions about the facts included those going to the heart of the science, including why the warming effects from increased concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere apparently diminish progressively as concentrations grow; why the cooling effects from evaporation seem vastly understated in the models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to project temperature increases; why the modelling of the various influences on temperatures by the IPCC produces such a wide range of possible outcomes thereby creating enormous uncertainty about the validity of projections; why there is no satisfactory explanation of the three periods of falling temperatures since 1880 despite continued growth of emissions; and why scientists (and others) who support the IPCC analysis so arrogantly dismiss the views of the many highly qualified dissenters.

[There is a long history of wrong analyses by scientists of alleged problems facing the world. It is astonishing that no independent inquiry has been made into the science used by the IPCC. The time has come for such an inquiry before the Government proceeds with any emission reduction scheme]."

Des Moore
Director, Institute for Private Enterprise
Melbourne, Vic

Global Warming - What Are the Facts?letter published in The Australian, 2 Dec 2008

Jeff said...

These are the main summary points of the presentation.

· Starting an emission reduction policy (ERP) regardless of whether other major emitting countries do seems unbelievably naive as Australian leadership will not itself cause them to start their own ERP: nor will it save the Gt Barrier Reef;
· Treasury’s economic modelling assumes some form of effective global agreement will be reached and carbon capture/storage will become “commercial”. The first seems unrealistic and the second ill-defines commercial. If no global agreement occurs the cost of an ERP could be large;
· Worryingly, no independent public examination has been made of the IPCC science: that is simply accepted as gospel despite widespread critiques;
· Claims of scientific consensus are contradicted by extensive, qualified dissenters (attached). Some “science”, accepted initially by IPCC, has been dropped;
· Claims that 2,500 scientists support the IPCC view compare unfavourably with the 31,000 plus who don't. Anyhow, the IPCC Secretariat has denied that the 2,500 do endorse its reports and has refused journalistic access to their names;
· Assessments of the precautionary principle by the Productivity Commission and the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee make it unsuitable to apply to analyses predicting “damaging” temperature increases;
· The case for an urgent ERP is undermined by uncertainty about the science, Garnaut’s acknowledgement of only a miniscule “loss” of GDP in 2100 if no action is taken, and the cessation of temperature increases since 1998;
· There is a long history of wrong doom and gloom predictions by scientists and the global warming scare may simply reflect a new age of Apocalypticism;
· The science of climatology is a new one dealing with very complicated relationships about which definitive conclusions are premature;
· The temp increase of 0.74 degrees over the last 100 years ago incl a lengthy period of falling temperatures when CO2 emissions increased rapidly and data for recent years that an authoritative independent analyst claims has a large warming bias;
· Despite increasing CO2 emissions, temperatures have not risen since 1998 and have fallen since 2001. The IPCC chair acknowledges a need for re-assessment;
· The IPCC claim that global temperatures in the last 50 years are "likely" the highest in 1300 years, and the Government’s Green paper claim that Australia has experienced 12 of the hottest years "in history" in the last 13 years, are almost certainly wrong. Historical evidence shows at least two lengthy past periods had higher temperatures with virtually no CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use and with advances in civilisation. IPCC scientists seem unaware of history;
· Measurements of upper air temperatures show they produce results inconsistent with models based on greenhouse theory and contradict IPCC claims of consistency between such temperatures and surface temperatures;
· Historical analysis of ice cores suggest that increases in CO2 emissions have occurred after temperature increases: they also suggest no fossil fuel effect;
· The IPCC’s fourth assessment report estimated an increase in average sea levels of 7 centimetres (about 3 inches) during a mostly warm period between 1961 and 2003. This caused few problems. Possible future changes in sea levels are widely disputed: the projected increase of 18-59 cm to 2100 in the IPCC report was dropped in the associated “synthesis” report but recent data, which shows a fall, provides no basis for reaching more than the low estimate;
· Recent melting in the Arctic, now reversed, occurred during a period of fallingglobal temperatures. Such meltings have virtually no effect on sea levels;
· The Government’s Green paper claims "concerns" exist about the "stability" of Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets. But the sea ice area in the Southern Hemisphere is now one million square kms higher than the average for 1979-2000; India's climate change policy says there is no accepted rationale for meltings of some glaciers in the Himalayan chain;
· There is no correlation between global temperatures and rainfall in Australia: the Green paper’s acknowledgement that the N East of Australia became wetter since the 1950s suggests no global temperature increase effect: similar droughts to the current one occurred in the past when emissions were much lower;
· Polar bear numbers have increased in recent years;
· Malaria occurs in cold as well as warm areas and warmer temperatures would not themselves cause a higher incidence;
· If temperatures warm, the incidence of storms and hurricanes may decrease;
· All IPCC reports acknowledge that the warming effects from increased concentrations of CO2 diminish progressively as concentration levels grow. But this established fact is not taken into account in IPCC conclusions that urgent action is needed to reduce CO2 emissions. This suggests its conclusions are politically not scientifically motivated;
· IPCC models used to project temperature increases have a major fault in failing to take adequate account of cooling from evaporation. This causes models to produce much larger increases in surface temperatures than could actually occur;
· Considerable scientific analysis suggests variations in the sun's activity are correlated to variations in temperatures: recent declines in activity suggest a cooling period ahead;
· Humans are able to adapt to differences in temperatures and already live good lives in places with widely different average temperatures;
· Australia's highly respected Productivity Commission has concluded that uncertainty pervades the science, geopolitics and economics of global warming and that action to substantially reduce CO2 emissions could be "very costly".

(from Global Warming – Is it Really a Threat?
Address by Des Moore to the Australian Institute of International Affairs, 13 November 2008