Thursday, February 5, 2015

Lukewarm About Climate Change

By Alan Caruba

“In short, climate change is not worse than we thought,” wrote Bjorn Lomborg in a recent issue of The Wall Street Journal. He is best known as the author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist” and his skepticism is welcome, but insufficient.

First of all, climate change is a very long-term process and always has been. The climate takes decades and centuries to change, largely based on well-known warming and cooling cycles. During the course of these cycles, both related to comparable cycles on the Sun, all manner of climate-related events occur, from hurricanes to blizzards. Nothing new here.

The problem with Lomborg’s commentary is that he confuses climate change with global warming, the hoax concocted in the late 1980s by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in order to have an international tax imposed on “greenhouse gas emissions”, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), that the IPCC guaranteed was going to heat up the Earth in a few decades unless greatly reduced. Lomborg even cites the IPCC which has grown notorious for its lies.

The predictions about when the heat would become lethal ranged from ten to fifty years as the amount of CO2 increased. The problem for Lomborg and others is that CO2 has been increasing in the Earth’s atmosphere without any evidence of the predicted heating. That explains why Lomborg and other “Warmists” don’t refer to global warming anymore.  As for the increase, the latest, best science points to the fact that CO2 has no affect whatever on the climate.

Lomborg wrote, “A well-meaning environmentalist might argue that, because climate change is a reality, why not ramp up the rhetoric and focus on the bad news to make sure the public understands its importance.” Even Lomborg acknowledged that is exactly what the environmentalists have been doing for the past twenty years.

“The public has been bombarded with dramatic headlines and apocalyptic photos of climate change and its consequences. Yet despite endless successions of climate summits, carbon emissions continue to rise, especially in rapidly developing countries like India, China, and many African nations.”  That’s called development and that requires electricity and other means of powering manufacturing and transportation.

One thing Lomborg got right is that “Alarmism has encouraged the pursuit of a one-sided climate policy of trying to cut carbon emissions by subsidizing wind farms and solar panels.” These are two of the most costly and worthless forms of energy generation and Lomborg notes that even the International Energy Agency doesn’t expect them to provide any more than “a minuscule 2.2% of the world’s energy by 2040.”

Lomborg continues to do his best to be on both sides of the issue of “climate change” when, in fact, it is not an issue because there is nothing humans anywhere on planet Earth can do to have any impact on it. What we can do, however, is encourage the development which he points to. “This is important because if we want to help the poor people who are most threatened by natural disasters, we have to recognize that it is less about cutting carbon emissions than it is about pulling them out of poverty.”

It has nothing about cutting carbon emissions because that is not a threat. Indeed, without CO2 all life on Earth would cease to be. It is the gas on which all vegetation depends, just as mammals and other creatures depend on oxygen.

“In short, climate change is not worse than we thought. Some indicators are worse, but some are better. That doesn’t mean global warming is not a reality or a problem. It definitely is,” says Lomborg.

No, despite his science credentials and the two books he has written, Lomborg is just dead wrong. Global warming is neither a reality nor a problem because the Earth has been in A COOLING CYCLE for nineteen years at this point and one might think Lomborg would know this; particularly since his views are being published in an eminent U.S. newspaper that should also know this.

H. Sterling Burnett, the Managing Editor of Environment & Climate News, took note of the current weather, saying “Despite the cold, temperatures in the U.S. at present are closer to the normal winter range than they were in 2014 during the depth of the polar vortex," adding a tweak to the Warmists, saying "Seems like a good time to protest global warming.”

The real issue for Americans is an Obama administration that is imposing regulations based on the utterly false assertion that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced because of global warming.

In June 2014, James Delinpole, wrote: “Here is the Obama administration’s green strategy reduced to one damning equation: 19 million jobs lost plus $4.335 trillion spent = a reduction in global mean temperature of 0.018 degrees C (0.032 degrees F). These are the costs to the U.S. economy by 2100 of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory war on carbon dioxide, whereby all states must reduce emissions from coal-fired generating plants by 30% below 2005 levels.”

If you still wonder why the U.S. economy has just barely begun to pull itself out of the Great Recession triggered by the 2008 financial crisis, the answer is the Obama administration’s spectacular failures typified by massive wasteful spending, ObamaCare’s impact on the healthcare sector, and its continuing attack on the energy sector. 

Only Congress and the courts stand between us and Obama as he pursues the destruction of the nation while claiming he is acting to “combat climate change.”

© Alan Caruba, 2015


Geoff Price said...

I understand the ideological opposition to environmentalism, but unfortunately you really are letting this driving a priori imperative take you directly off the rails of any rational assessment of our factual and scientific knowledge here. I'm personally perfectly happy when the hippies are wrong, and they are wrong about many of the things that are said or exaggerated about climate change, but describing the core question of glboal warming as a hoax is simply scientifically indefensible Alan.

"The climate takes decades and centuries to change, largely based on well-known warming and cooling cycles. During the course of these cycles, both related to comparable cycles on the Sun, all manner of climate-related events occur, from hurricanes to blizzards"

This does not remotely reflect scientific understanding. The multi-millenial cycles associated with ice ages are due to slow changes in orbital precession etc., not cycles on the sun. It is fairly straightforward physics to calculate the insolation effects of these changes in watts per square meter, compare them to the decade-scale changes that are directly observed due to the increased insulation of the enhanced greenhouse effect (understood in geophysics for two centuries, dating back to Joseph Fourier) and see that the greenhouse effect drives an order of magnitude stronger forcing. Etc.

"global warming, the hoax concocted in the late 1980s by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) "

This is fairly ridiculous Alan. Global warming was first hypothesized by Arrhenius well over a century ago.

"The predictions about when the heat would become lethal ranged from ten to fifty years as the amount of CO2 increased"

This is completely delusional, there is no other word. Would you like to cite a source that shows the IPCC claiming "lethal" levels of heat in 10 to 50 years? Of course you won't, because you are completely off the rails with internet urban legends here.

"The problem for Lomborg and others is that CO2 has been increasing in the Earth’s atmosphere without any evidence of the predicted heating"

All surface temperature indices show warming. The ARGO floats we deployed across the ocean all show the ocean accumulating huge amounts of stored energy:

You don't want to look at the obvious evidence only because of your a priori ideological mandate here.

"Global warming is neither a reality nor a problem because the Earth has been in A COOLING CYCLE for nineteen years"

Just completely delusional. Like many, you appear to believe a cold winter snap in the eastern U.S. means that the globe has been cooling. This again is simple illiteracy and unfamiliarity with what is being discussed physically on the question of global warming. The total heat content in the climte is increasing, but the chaotic fluid swirling of weather means that any particular location can be colder or hotter. To discuss global warming it is only interesting to look at *global mean* temperatures. This is such an elemental observation of physical logic that it is truly an amazing testament to ideological zeal that so many have difficulty grasping it.

I am a libertarian. Your complete rejection of scientific reasoning and evidence is a great concern to me, and I see it as a rejection of the Enlightenment principles the U.S. was founded on. Shame.

Alan Caruba said...

We are going to have to disagree. I based my views at numerous books by climatologists, meteorologists, and geologists, and then all tend to disagree with your assertions in one fashion or another.

John L. Casey, writing in his book, "Dark Winter", says "The theory of man-made global warming and climate change based on human greenhouse gas emissions is the greatest international scientific fraud ever perpetrated on the world's citizens!"

Case is the President of the Space and Science Research Corporation, Orlando, Florida, and has served the US for over 35 years, including as a space advisor to the White House and consultant to NASA.

In her book, "The Whole Story of Climate", E. Kirsten Peters wrote "If we think of climate change as our enemy, we will always be defeated." Of the IPCC, she said, "The IPCC is not a strictly scientific organization. It's a hybrid of scientists and representatives from governments around the world, working under the auspices of the United Nations." Of their first report in 1990, she said "the naturally fragile nature of climate was lost in the shuffle and the chaotic nature of some natural climate change was not mentioned."

There are many comparable books that support the views I expressed.

Alan Caruba said...

For more insight, read:

curiousone said...

I first learned of Al Gore's scam back when Climategate broke by reading a series in the WSJ. Then they changed editors, and ever since then, no more reporting by skeptics. They are misunderstanding their readership as my comment under the above article pointed out its failures on satellite data and the stupidity of counting land temps located in urban heat islands. Only if you had equally spaced sensors covering the entire world would such claims make scientific sense. My comment was the most recommended of all....

Geoff Price said...

That books exist that claim scientists have it wrong is not in dispute. Of course those books exist. There is a market for them, they make money. There are books that say any number of things available for purchas. That they exist says something about the markets for their views, not their accuracy.

In reality, every national academy of science in the world agrees with the mainstream view here. Here is a joint report from the U.S. National Academy of Science and the U.K. Royal Society, just as one reference:

“Climate Change: Evidence and Causes”
“Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time. It is now more certain than ever, based on many lines of evidence, that humans are changing Earth’s climate. The evidence is clear.”

Debunking all of the pseudo-scientific web sites on the internet is a bottomless pit. The web page your reference is embarrassing, it raises almost no factual points whatsoever. Citing Patrick Moore as "the cofounder of Greenpeace"? What sort of authority do you imagine Patrick Moore has, other than the distinction that Greenpeace maintains a statement on their web page clarifying that he was not actually a founder as he claims?

This is a matter of science. It's not enough to wave your hands about "climate change has always happened". Scientists know that. It's a talking point to confuse TV viewers, not a logical argument relative to the scientific evidence for global warming.

Again, this country was founded on Enlightenment principles. You are rejecting them in your completely unsupported attacks on science and scientists.

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
― Isaac Asimov

Good day, thank you for listening and for the reply.

Harry Dale Huffman said...

Alan, there is no valid global climate science, outside of my own elementary but definitive Venus/Earth temperatures comparison, here, which simply reveals the definitive fact that there is no global warming greenhouse effect, for CO2 concentrations all the way from 0.04% (in Earth's atmosphere) to 96.5% (in Venus's); the Venus/Earth temperature ratio, at points of equal pressure in the two atmospheres, is a constant that is precisely and solely due to the difference in the two planets' distances from the Sun, and nothing else (even though the two planetary systems differ dramatically in every way that climate science now says should affect the global mean surface temperature, GMST--only the difference in solar distance affects the comparison of these two real planetary atmospheres, on the global scale). Geoff Price's comment above is indicative of the insanity now rampant in every public debate today; he thinks he is qualified as an expert to talk down to you for disagreeing with him, but he knows only the incompetent and fraudulent "consensus" of the IPCC scientists. An example is his mention of supposed measured ocean warming as a proof of continued global warming; he gets this argument from strung-out "experts", who, stung by the fact that there has been no measured increase in the GMST so far this century--despite the continuing increase in atmospheric CO2--desperately try to "explain" the "missing heat" any way they can get away with at the moment. But the observed lack of increase in GMST makes any supposed ocean warming irrelevant (and also suspect as to its validity).

And the "lukewarmers" are just as miseducated as the "warmists"; none of them will confront the definitive evidence of the Venus/Earth temperature comparison, which gives the lie to all of the current supposed climate "science". Until they all do confront and accept that evidence, there is no valid climate science, and no competent climate scientists.

Harry Dale Huffman said...

...that is, an increase in the GMST is the very definition of global warming. The lack of such an increase in the last 15-20 years means there has been no global warming in that time. Desperate consensus scientists cannot and will not admit this, and are merely being irrational now.

Dan Pangburn said...

Anyone with access to recorded CO2 and temperature measurement data, who was paying attention in first year calculus, and can extrapolate the math to the physical world, can falsify the statement that CO2 causes significant warming.

See how and discover the two factors that do cause climate change (95% correlation since before 1900) at . The two factors which explain the last 300+ years of climate change are also identified in a peer reviewed paper published in Energy and Environment, vol. 25, No. 8, 1455-1471.

Geoff Price said...

Well, Harry, I'm afraid I'm not surprised by the punchline of your blog post: "I have submitted the analysis in a letter to "Physics Today" (on February 7, 2011), but have gotten no response."

It looks like it took you a bit to recognize how major the factor of albedo (how much radiation is reflected to space is). Venus is 1/3rd closer to the sun, yes, but it has 3 times the albedo, so absorbs less solar energy.

I expect there are some posts on sites like scienceofdoom that break the issues you try to explore down in more detail. But seriously, if you really could debunk the greenhouse effect it would be a massive scientific breakthrough. Even you recognize that the fiercest scientific critics of global warming like Roy Spencer (who was "the official climate scientist of the Rush Limbaugh show", I'm not making this up, and also argues that "we believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting") – even scientists like Spencer in your view are "deceiving the public" about the existence of the greenhouse effect. Based on some homespun math you've done at home, where even a casual reading shows you don't understand the central role of factors like albedo in a planet's energy budget.

Science welcomes contributions from anyone. You have to find a way to *test* your theories, so that anyone can validate them, rather than put some calculations together, misunderstand things and think you've "proven" something. Try to work your paper into publishable form. Why not embrace the challenge? You literally will win a Nobel Prize if you are right, I am not exaggerating. A rational person would look at the fact that *EVERYONE* familiar with this area of physics thinks you are mistaken as a caution, but there is nothing stopping you from being fearless and trying to make your case. But you do have to make it Harry. And you certainly have to understand why people on the internet won't take it very seriously (I'm being kind) until you do. That's just how it is.

Kirk Myers said...

I've yet to see any scientific proof that human-induced CO2 emissions are warming the planet. There are plenty of general circulation models (GCMs) that have been tuned to produce a warming signal, but, unfortunately, nature is not cooperating with the model projections of runaway global warming. The jerry-rigged models have proved to be utterly worthless, a reflection of the discredited practices of a greedy self-serving cabal of scientists who sold their souls for research grants, publicity, and awarda and accolades. They should all be fired (or jailed).

The planet isn't warming (See RSS, UAH, HadCRUT3 data sets), despite increases in CO2 and despite attempts by NASA and NOAA to "adjust" thermometer readings to fit their AGW theory. (This in itself merits an investigation of potential fraud.)

The theory of CO2-induced catastrophic global warming (yes, it's still a theory) has been discredited seven ways from Sunday, but has been kept alive by a few scientists and their political allies who see it as a way to siphon more billions of dollars from the taxpayers in the form of research grants, energy taxes, "renewable" energy schemes, while opening up a lucrative market for carbon trading (Al Gore is neck deep in this effort).

The AGW scare is quite a grand scheme, and would never have gained any legitimacy without the cooperation of the corporate-controlled media, which loves a scare story. It drives up viewership and circulation figures.

The impact of mankind's CO2 emissions (an extremely small portion of total atmospheric CO2) on the earth's climate is the equivalent of a fart in a hurricane. It's so small it's not even measurable.

Some day in the future, people will look back at today's global warming scare, shake their heads, and wonder how the world came so close to losing its collective senses.

By the way, during the Ordovician period, our planet experienced an ice age. Then, CO2 levels were at least 10 times the current levels. A quick glance at earth's geological history shows that today's planet is CO2-starved. More CO2, a plant nutrient, would increase agricultural production, helping to feed the masses.

What we should be worried about is not a warmer planet, but the onset of another period of glaciation as the earth transitions from the current warm Holocene epoch to another long 100,000-year freeze.