By Larry Dignan
Posting in Environment
Climate Gate has left the average objective person, or the majority of people, in the cold as two opposing sides scream at each other over politics, leaked emails and whether science has been compromised. The whole global warming effort needs a restart.
For the last few weeks, I've been trying to cut through the flap over leaked e-mail messages and program files from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit. After perusing various Climategate accounts and global warming reports it's clear that most of what you get is rambling about how denialists stink and climate change supporters are delusional. In between, there's a lifetime supply of politics.
It's all so disappointing. How does the average bear sort through this?
Going through this mess there are a few conclusions that seem apparent:
- The leaked emails from East Anglia are enough to raise questions about the data analysis and the scientific process.
- Climategate isn't enough by itself to blow apart the entire global warming argument.
- But you can't be intellectually honest and pretend that the science isn't at least somewhat tainted.
- There are so many institutions wrapped around the global warming argument that they have covered their ears to dissent. CBS News' Declan McCullagh has the account of the American Physical Society, a professional association of physicists that has prominent members calling for a time out. APS officials won't budge.
- The sides are so polarized that the average observer is likely to tune out the entire debate (a stretch considering the lack of peer review and abundance of shouting).
So now what? Climate change needs a do-over on many fronts. First, the science has to be scrubbed. There's enough doubt here to give folks serious reservations about plunging headfirst into big legislation or economic overhauls in a recession in the name of global warming. Do the investigations. Put the data out there for the world to see. And listen to folks such as William Happer, a physicist who runs the Happer Lab at Princeton University; Hal Lewis, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara; and Robert Austin, another Princeton physics professor and head of a biophysics research group, who urge an examination of the data to filter out what's tainted.
Lewis sums it up for what I believe is the silent majority of folks who land in the middle of this climate change scrum.
The tragedy is that the serious questions are quantitative, and it's easy to fool people with slogans. If you say that the Earth is warming you are telling the truth, but not the whole truth, and if you say it is due to the burning of fossil fuels you are on thin ice. If you say that the Earth is warming and therefore catastrophe lies ahead, you are pulling an ordinary bait and switch scam. If you are a demagogue, of course, these distinctions don't bother you -- you have little interest in that quaint concept called truth.
The problem is getting the answers on these serious questions qualifies as largely impossible. Why? Politics. It's not hard to find loud guys yelling "denialist" on one side and the other side features people revving up their Hummers and circa 1950 coal plants. Most of us believe in climate change and protecting the environment, but also take the economic risk and rewards into account.
Meanwhile, this back-and-forth occurs with the U.N. Copenhagen powwow going on in the background. The carbon dioxide produced by all the talking, private jets and limos may warm up the earth a few degrees.
For me, the climate change argument needs the following:
- A data analysis do-over or at least an effort to ferret out compromised information.
- Better analytics. With this scrubbed data let's provide the masses with an analytics app hosted in the cloud that shows the data, assumptions made, how you can change outcomes and the probabilities of climate disasters (preferably riding shotgun with economic outcomes). Don't tell us disaster looms with a Photoshopped slide. Show us and give us the tools to see it ourselves.
- A different story: Is the goal to leave the environment as you found it or to install a bunch of regulations and controls ahead of some cataclysmic event that may or may not happen in 20 years? Guess which one is easier to sell.
- An analysis of economic risk.
- A political free zone. If climate change is really a political movement then the receptive audience is greatly diminished.
My advice for you is to go through this stuff on your own and come up with conclusions. A few links for your journey (if you have more please add them in the comments):
- Searchable emails from the East Anglia leak
- In e-mails, science of warming is hot debate
- Climate Research Unit statements
- Physicists Stick to Warming Claim Post-ClimateGate
- The IPCC climate change report of 2007 (PDF)
- IPCC statement on climate gate and science on Dec. 4
- Popular Mechanics: What East Anglia's E-mails Really Tell Us About Climate Change
- Scientific American: Scientists Respond to "Climategate" E-Mail Controversy
- Has ‘Climategate’ forced businesses to reconsider human-caused global warming?
Dec 7, 2009
@Gaius Maximus "a) Man is puny. b) Weather is naturally cyclic. c) The sun and/or the core of the earth are the only sources of heat with the power to make even the slightest change in our environment. d) The whole (and I mean whole) argument of CO2, Methane, or anything else working as a 'greenhouse' gas rests solely on a theory (yes theory, not the 'proven science' of observation) used to explain Venus' temperature, which, it is assumed, is abnormally high, given its size, composition, age, proximity to the sun, etc." Man might be puny, but the ecology of the planet is a complex system. Small changes to complex systems can result in significant changes. Weather is cyclic and climate continually changes for natural reasons. However, natural climate changes are slow as opposed to what we are facing at the moment, which is rapid change. Of course the sun and the geothermal energy are the heat sources taht power the planet. No one says that CO2 (or other pollutants) is the source of heat. CO2 acts to trap heat in the atmosphere. Re the science of the greenhouse, perhaps you should refer to Svante Arrhenius' research from about 1900) then work your way to Fourier - no Venus neccesary!
A drive to sustainable energy endangering the global economy? I think that the banks are more than capable of doing that on their own - or have you forgotten what eventuated over the last 2 years? Remodelling our economies around sustainable principles will create jobs, and capital, not lose them. Sure, the carbon club might lose out here - which is why they so effectively lobby against the existence of human driven climate change. Look at the likes of Ian Plimer and his totally discredited book "Heaven and Earth" for a collection of fraudulent climate change scepticism. The thing is we CAN chanage things for the better. And we can do it in a way that our economies will benefit. But the longer we put off action, the greater the shock of that change. But you have to remember it's not just about warming. No one disputes that human beings are releasing massive amounts of CO2 (and other chemicals as well) into the carbon cycle. At the same time they are reducing the size and effectiveness of the carbon sinks. This means that a lot more CO2 ends up in the ocean. Cue ocean acidification and breaks in the food chain. Would you put your children on a plane if you thought that there was a 1% chance if it crashing?
Is it just me or has global warming and all its alarmist trends skyrocketed since the signing of NAFTA, and had manufacturing not left the highly EPA regulated manufacturers of North America for the pollution spewing unregualated manufacturers of China and other third world nations that this problem as well as our current healthcare issues just might not be as bad. Thank Clinton and yes a whole bunch of even the Republicans for this bumble.
Are there any nutball liberals out there who wanna blame Palin, Bush or maybe our current state of healthcare? If Obama can't fix our global temperature issues maybe we should all listen to Dana Blankenhorn or bjflanagan as they seem to know how to solve everything. I truly believe life was better when everyone thought the world was cooling (except Jimmy Carter) but all these experts have since jumped on the heating bandwagon. I'm sure our problems won't be solved until the utility bills force me out of my home and only the true elite left leaning bull....ing liberal can be thanked for that. VOTE THIRD PARTY !!!
That's a good start, but it may be somewhat, shall we say, disingenuous. Worse, you've overlooked a few aspects, which, as journalists, you must not: 1) Tip of the iceberg. And, trust me, there's an iceberg under that tip of a few, possibly ambiguous e-mails. Can the same be said of the the other side? It seems to me that their entire program is entirely aboveboard. 2) Absolution/head-in-the-sand/appeals to authority. And I don't mean the 'deniers', but the 'warmists', who, along with their 'experts', would have us all ignore the man behind the curtain, and trust unquestioningly in their superiority. How ironic that this camp are ever the first with the admonition to 'think for yourselves' in their mouths. The experts the 'deniers' appeal to, on the other hand, speak for themselves, without benefit of our tax dollars, and with devastatingly unimpeachable credentials. 3) Smoke and mirrors. Al Gore et al would have you ignore the evidence of the obvious, such as the conundrum of the Ice Ages (perhaps they were the aberrations, and a warmer earth the norm), trying to beguile us that we can not trust our own eyes or wits, while the 'deniers' stand on that which any child can see. And that is ... a) Man is puny. b) Weather is naturally cyclic. c) The sun and/or the core of the earth are the only sources of heat with the power to make even the slightest change in our environment. d) The whole (and I mean whole) argument of CO2, Methane, or anything else working as a 'greenhouse' gas rests solely on a theory (yes theory, not the 'proven science' of observation) used to explain Venus' temperature, which, it is assumed, is abnormally high, given its size, composition, age, proximity to the sun, etc. But, this assumption may have long ago been 'proven' (as much as any mere mortal can prove anything of astronomical scale) entirely false by a large and growing group of historians, linguists, archaeologists, ethnographers, physicists, even NASA researchers (see kronia.com and mikamar.biz) all coming, largely indepentently, to the same conclusion that Venus' heat is due less to these other factors than to its lesser-known recent history as a proto-planet. But, you've never been told any of that before, eh? Think for yourselves.
Comment / Observation 1. Over 30 - Nothing to worry about. 2. Under 30 - To late to worry. 3. Cause / effect - Delta 200+ years. 4. Rate of change - exponential. 5. Major threat - Melting of Permafrost -When you hear its melting, take ankles in hands and kiss !@@ goodbye. - Until then; eat, drink, and be happy... Ignorance is Bliss
This is a good post because it is objective and opens a topic for discussion. I also appreciate the inclusion of critical thinking and the consideration given that allows people to become aware of the people, politicians, corporations, and organizations that may take advantage of an esoteric issue. Besides a few concerns about the science, my response also includes a need for social and economic restarts. As I indicate in my title there are worthy studies and there are dubious conjectures purporting to be science. For example, I regard Lonnie Thompson's studies on glaciers yet any temperature or gas emissions data deserves scrutiny. Imo, the Keeling Curve is a correlation and not the sole causal factor. A few of the problems I see are standardization and location of the data and sensors for regional influences. As well, there are many contributing factors to regional climate pattern and the dynamic global climate as well that are being disregarded or out of human control. To determine that one gas, that can be taxed or capitalized upon, as the factor is not only ludicrous but seems too convenient. Many interests, including petrol and financial corporations, are exploiting the green factor for profit and greenwashing is rampant (I don't think the carbon trading or pollute for a fee market is meant to resolve an environmental matter but happens to allow lucrative underwriting and provides a transition for those with the access to capitalize on thin air). If anything comes out of Copenhagen it would be to promote the continuing study of atmospheric, extra-terrestrial phenomena, and surface-based phenomena along with studies of land-use and regional climate characteristics especially vegetation patterns. As well the conference could address substantial environmental justice issues and resource conservation while promoting sustainability measures. These need to be common and affordable to all communities. Also, our world is affected by a multitude of synthetic contaminants that need to be exposed and remedied yet they have been obscured by the biologically ubiquitous one that can be capitalized upon. Right now it seems to be too much political grandstanding and a horrible risk of throwing money into inefficient bureaucratic organizations that will administer questionable solutions to dubious problems that will somehow save people that have been assuming the risk of living in hazardous areas for centuries. However, the promotion of dramatic and catastrophic events had been drummed up by conjecture and prediction to promote a matter of self-interest that has unfortunately become a catch-all cause to everything wrong as well as making it difficult for people to separate reality from illusion. I hope that a restart can resolve those issues.
Man-made CO2's impact on global warming is still very inconclusive. Mans impact on CO2 levels is hard to believe when a volcano in the Pacific is right now putting out enough CO2 every day to equal the annual CO2 emissions of Brazil. The June 15 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippine islands discharged millions of tons of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere in one day. This discharge resulted in a decrease in the temperature worldwide over the next few years. The sulfur dioxide from this eruption was also a contributing factor to the ozone holes that developed over the poles in the early 90?s. Quoted from: http://geography.about.com/od/globalproblemsandissues/a/pinatubo.htm Many scientists think that any trend in global warming seen during the last 20 years may in fact be the plant recovering from the cooling effect of the 1991 Pinatubo eruption. It?s Mother Nature at work.
Forget about the fancy science debate for a moment, and consider some basics: when I was born in 1950, the planet had under 3 billion people. Today it is roughly 6.8 billion. The US consumers 25% of the world's oil and similar amounts of other raw materials, with 5% of the world's population. The rest of the world wants to catch up and improve their lives as well. Simple math: this cannot work. Add to this general pollution caused by increased consumption and increasing population levels, and the result is: we have to change the way we live on this planet. Science should give way to common sense!
Some one posted that Government regulations prevent innovation.This can be true given that most politicians are corrupt and/or incompetent. Do you believe that businesses would have reduced air pollution, if they hadn't been forced to, by Government regulations? I would argue that the current "business models" are all based on maintaining the current "business models" and therefore prevent innovation (see RIAA & MPAA for examples). The current models are based on increasing profits by eliminating expenses. Research & innovation is expensive and there is no guarantee of a return on the investment, so it is discouraged. It is cheaper to buy off some politicians and get them to pass draconian laws, to maintain the "status quo", than it is to innovate. Regarding dubious behaviour, researchers who commit scientific fraud should be imprisoned not "run out of town". We have enough problems being caused, by the resurgence of religious fanatics, without these clowns making things worse. The same rule should also apply to business CEOs and politicians. lehnerus2000
There are some things that are undeniable. 1. Global Warming is happening. 2. We are on a reliance on fossil fuels from the Middle East that is politically and militarily unacceptable, environmentally detrimental and is limited in resources. 3. Burning carbon fuels can generate a lot of air pollution. Pollution nonetheless, irregardless of how much of an impact it has on Global Warming. Have you seen the rivers that have solidified bright yellow guck because of industrial pollution?
After listening of many debates around the Climategate I am appalled at the comments made by all the supposed ?famous? scientists defending the discredited ?colleagues?. None of them ever mentioned such a thing as a proper scientific methodology which at best was not followed at worst was totally absent. In any other field of science, the authors would be disgraced and run out of the scientific community, their results would be thrown out and that would be it. Our ?scientists? are not bothered by that little fact at all. Their reasoning is, ?we all agree on global warming, therefore how we got to that conclusion is immaterial?. This is really scary; our universities are turning into green Madrasahs, with less and less emphasis on pursuit of truth and that is much more terrifying than any climate change could possibly be.
Here in Australia our leaders recently voted against a carbon credits trading scheme; I, too, agree we shouldn't be rushing into a financial scheme. One has been in place in Europe for several years now and not brought any benefits. Perhaps man-made climate change is not happening, but I doubt - not if one graphed 1000 years of ice-core data - as available here http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/trends/co2/lawdome.smoothed.yr75 and elsewhere. From a nearly flat line of 280ppm, CO2 levels have shot up to mearly 400ppm today, with the rise from when we started burning carbon-based fossil fuels. So even if humans are not directly causing climate change, shouldn't we at least stop changing the CO2 levels in our atmosphere?! Bring on the hydrogen economy! How? Use carbon based fuel to only create energy to kick start the hydrogen economy - hydrogen plants, distribution networks, refueling stations. Here is the data from the above URL: Mean Air Age, CO2, 75 Year Smoothed, year A.D. ppm 1010 279.5 1015 279.6 1020 279.7 1025 279.8 1030 279.9 1035 280.0 1040 280.2 1045 280.3 1050 280.5 1055 280.7 1060 280.9 1065 281.1 1070 281.3 1075 281.5 1080 281.7 1085 281.9 1090 282.1 1095 282.3 1100 282.5 1105 282.7 1110 282.9 1115 283.0 1120 283.2 1125 283.3 1130 283.5 1135 283.6 1140 283.7 1145 283.8 1150 283.9 1155 284.0 1160 284.0 1165 284.1 1170 284.1 1175 284.1 1180 284.0 1185 284.0 1190 283.9 1195 283.8 1200 283.6 1205 283.4 1210 283.2 1215 283.0 1220 282.8 1225 282.5 1230 282.3 1235 282.2 1240 282.0 1245 281.9 1250 281.9 1255 281.9 1260 282.0 1265 282.1 1270 282.2 1275 282.3 1280 282.5 1285 282.6 1290 282.8 1295 282.9 1300 283.0 1305 283.1 1310 283.2 1315 283.3 1320 283.3 1325 283.2 1330 283.1 1335 282.9 1340 282.7 1345 282.4 1350 282.1 1355 281.8 1360 281.5 1365 281.2 1370 281.0 1375 280.7 1380 280.5 1385 280.4 1390 280.3 1395 280.3 1400 280.3 1405 280.4 1410 280.5 1415 280.6 1420 280.7 1425 280.8 1430 280.9 1435 280.9 1440 280.9 1445 280.9 1450 280.8 1455 280.7 1460 280.6 1465 280.6 1470 280.6 1475 280.8 1480 281.0 1485 281.3 1490 281.6 1495 281.9 1500 282.2 1505 282.5 1510 282.7 1515 282.9 1520 283.1 1525 283.2 1530 283.2 1535 283.2 1540 283.1 1545 283.0 1550 282.8 1555 282.6 1560 282.2 1565 281.8 1570 281.2 1575 280.5 1580 279.7 1585 278.8 1590 278.0 1595 277.1 1600 276.4 1605 275.8 1610 275.5 1615 275.3 1620 275.3 1625 275.4 1630 275.6 1635 275.9 1640 276.1 1645 276.3 1650 276.4 1655 276.5 1660 276.5 1665 276.5 1670 276.4 1675 276.4 1680 276.4 1685 276.4 1690 276.5 1695 276.6 1700 276.7 1705 276.8 1710 276.9 1715 277.0 1720 277.0 1725 277.0 1730 277.0 1735 276.9 1740 276.9 1745 276.9 1750 277.0 1755 277.2 1760 277.6 1765 278.0 1770 278.6 1775 279.3 1780 280.1 1785 280.8 1790 281.6 1795 282.3 1800 282.9 1805 283.4 1810 283.8 1815 284.0 1820 284.2 1825 284.3 1830 284.4 1835 284.5 1840 284.6 1845 284.8 1850 285.2 1855 285.7 1860 286.3 1865 287.2 1870 288.2 1875 289.4 1880 290.8 1885 292.3 1890 293.7 1895 295.2 1900 296.7 1905 298.2 1910 299.9 1915 301.5 1920 303.2 1925 304.9 1930 306.5 1935 308.0 1940 309.3 1945 310.5 1950 312.0 1955 314.1 1960 316.9 1965 320.5 1970 324.7 1975 329.4 Cheers skris88 Sydney, Australia
I'm not a glogal warming denier but I don't believe all the data is in to conclusively prove that it's man-made. But I'm totally in favor of reducing the spewing of industrial waste into the air if only to reduce the cancer risk. I'd much rather err on the side of overreacting to the global warming threat than to ignore the threat and find out it was real after all. And if global warming is found not to be man made, many forms of cancer have been undenyably proven to be cause by polution.
Remember - not long ago a majority of the world's scientists thought the Earth was flat and that the Sun revolved round it. (Both are true with a 'minor' change in co-ordinate system - you can do anything you like with data!)
Perhaps we could get a new perspective by looking at the research done in the mid-20th-century by James Lovelock. He wondered why the atmospheric and other conditions on earth had remained sufficiently constant to allow the development of mammalian life and found the entire biosphere to behave like a single organism (he called it Gaia after the old Greek? goddess of the earth) and consisted of a huge number of positive- and negative-feedback processes remaining broadly in balance. He did look at the possibility of a runaway process which would reach a tipping-point where human life would be impossible. No one knows whether we are close to or far away from such a tipping point. Everyone has been quoting selectively from observed phenomena to support their causes, but the fact remains there are a lot of things happening simultaneously, which is a worry. Perhaps we should treat climate change as a symptom of something more basic and take a more fundamental view. Oh, yes, he did mention that human expansion was a positive-feedback component. Would it help to have a world war to take the pressure off ? (Just being facetious, but it does point to the scale of the problem ! ).
supports their idea, the idea itself is suspect. We have psudo scientists, like Al Gore, getting rich off the data. He claims that everyone needs to limit their use of power, they should have to pay way more to keep it down. He then uses 40 times more in one year than the average person uses in a lifetime. If these scientists want to have any credibility now, they must start the whole project over, and this time be free and upfront with the data. I would prefer that none of the people working on the project, including office personal have anything to do with it. The summit in Denmark is a joke, they fly in in private jets, use limosos and eat caviar wedges. Do they really think they have any chance of getting the average Joe to take them seriously? Start from scratch, get people from both sides to do the research, publish the data for anyone to use, then let people make up their minds. Till then both sides should just shut up, neither side has any credibility.
'Climategate'? Get your news right. Have you actually read the emails? These emails have been thoroughly investigated and there is nothing in them that suggests lies or deceit. Anyone convinced of a point of view will seek to find the best way to argue their case - that is all that has been discussed in those emails. You only have to listen to your parish priest 'interpreting' the bible to see how easily quoting something out of context can be misinterpreted. Question - If I store millions of tons of carbon in the earth for millions of years, then within a 100 year span throw that carbon into the atmosphere,do you think this might have a detrimental and unnatural effect on the earth's climate? This is a no-brainer. We are in the middle of a mass of extinction of animal species. Hard science. Rising sea levels will cause trillions of dollars in damages. Hard science - Munich Re the largest insurance company in the world estimates that within our children's lifetimes natural disasters, now their biggest cost, will bankrupt national economies world-wide. So the world' biggest insurance company is part of the global warming hoax as well? Your 'Climategate' article is not about seeking the truth, the truth as glaringly obvious as the polar meltdown, temperature records, and record droughts and floods. Why give this sort of nonsense any discussion at all? It is as unethical to provide ammunition to scared or ignorant or monetarily motivated denialists as it is to condone the thief who invaded the emails of scientists corresponding privately. Read your own emails from years ago and I'm sure you would be seriously embarrassed to let others read them out of context because they can obviously be misinterpreted, especially if that is the reader's intention.
Part of the problem here is that the term "disaster" is in the eye of the beholder. A truly global disaster is not predicted even by the possibly exaggerated IPCC projections. Such things as a 20' sea level rise by end of this century with Florida sinking beneath the waves is purely AlGorian science fiction: The worst IPCC scenario projects less than 2' rise. On the other hand, if you live in a low-lying seaside community, even the likely 1' or so of sea level rise will be an inconvenient truth. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol was supposed to save 483 million tons of atmospheric carbon by 2012. China?s coal plants alone are projected to have emitted 1,926 million tons by then ? over 4 times the proposed reduction. Since 1997, US CO2 output has increased 3.7%, but world-wide output has increased 31%. Eco-radicals exhort us to ?stop global warming?, but this is out of America?s hands. In the last decade, CO2 increased 7%, reaching 385 ppm. At that geometric rate, in the year 2100 it would get to about 750 ppm, and if you trust the IPCC simulation ensemble, temperatures would rise about 2.6 deg. C (1.6-4.2), and sea level rise .21-.46 m. (8"-18"). However, if rationality is allowed to prevail, the actual result will be much less - not because of draconian governmental action, but because it will make good economic sense to replace expensive fossil fuels with biomass-derived fuels, among other cost-effective green technologies. Still, we are fully capable of creating a disaster by exercise of political coercion to strangle our own economy to "fight global warming", thereby suppressing the creative private enterprise that can provide the only path to solving our most critical problem: resource exhaustion.
First off, I disagree with your summary that it leaves the data in question. There are over 2,500 scientists around the world that agree on one thing: We need to do something. Despite the science not being perfect, isn't it incumbent upon us to do what we can now, before it is too late? Shall we just debate the scale of our efforts or take care of the only planet we have? It hurts me to see so many people say, "Well it's not my fault. They aren't sure. Let's continue indulging ourselves into near extinction." Or perhaps that is "God's plan"?
The scientific community is no more (or less) free of extreme views (or from dishonesty, greed, jealousy, competition, hatred, etc.) than any other community of human beings. Unlike the casual observer though, the scientific community is, by and large, faithful to rigorous principles of hypothesis, testing, and analysis of results, leading to theory. Peer Review is the cornerstone of the Scientific Process. We are all guilty of saying (and writing) things which, taken out of context, make us sound [insert your most negative characteristic here]. Fine. So these e-mails "look bad" to some. In the end, the overwhelming sense of the scientific community is that the planet is getting warmer - and doing so at a rate not seen since before humans (or most other mammals) first walked the earth. Some in the scientific community still question whether the human race is responsible (in any way) for this global warming. But once again, the consensus is that human activity is responsible for what are considered by most to be alarming trends. Different segments of the scientific community are concerned about different aspects of the potential impact of continued global warming. This just complicates the issue for many ordinary people who do not understand the subtleties of climate change. For instance, warmer AVERAGE temperatures mean more rain (and thus more severe storms) where it is seasonally warm and more snow where it is seasonally cold. Less ice at the poles means more warming from sunlight - leading to even less ice. Polar mammals/birds have less access to food and places far from land from which to hunt. Higher sea levels and warmer seas cause more severe hurricanes, more flooding, less clean water for humans, etc. Oh, and the increase in moisture in the air means more heat trapped in the atmosphere. In arid places, we might see more rain at first but eventually, dry places get dryer and food production drops to zero. (Africa was once all jungle. The emergence of grasslands led to humans - and grazing animals to hunt. Now there is drought and grasslands have turned to desert in much of Africa. Where does it end?) To suggest that it is all a scam cooked up my some windmill company or nuclear power advocates is just irresponsible.
Dear friends of belief or doubt, this discussion makes me ask three basal questions: Firstly, never before in history mankind or any species has let out so many gases, particles, and dissolved substances, into the different spheres of the earth. Why would it be so astonishing if we, in this industrial era of exponentially expanding production of everything, have started to influence the global system as a whole? Secondly, the critic always stresses that there may be other factors behind climate change than mankind's doings. This may of course be true, and has to be illuminated. But where are the detailed facts collected by thousands of scientists which give proof of some other major mechanism(s) behind the melting ice masses and all other things we see today, or shall we skip the strategy to make decisions on what, given limitations in our knowledge, seems to be most likely by now? Thirdly, this discussion here is irrelevant if the participants believe that we can discuss the use of fossil fuels as some kind of eternal choice, and that we may skip renewable energy if we want to. Has anybody here taken into consideration that the worst climate effects may not even happen, since the oil and coal stores are not large enough? Instead we should welcome renewable energy technology, and thorium reactors, and fusion, and whatever is possible for us to produce in a feasible way, since there is a crisis in the fossil fuel supply emerging. This is especially obvious if we take into account that all the world today wants the standard level of the old western countries, that the number of people increases, and that (so far) some of the largest countries evidently are successful in their aim to develop resource exploitation.
Thanks for embodying the zeitgeist. Four thoughts: 1) A restart might take years - do we want to run the risk that we do not act for another few critical years and the current science is still valid (which is still the case until proof of the contrary)? 2) This could be rational choice if the potential outcome weren't so dangerous - but we take insurances for much smaller things. 3) What is needed is a quick and official validation of the key tenets of the analysis ("good enough"), a continuation of the current regulatory and market trajectory, and a validation ASAP of the entire body of science so that before USING the big artillery we double check. 4) Sequencing these activities would be irrational.
The graph show is of course one of those at the heart of the argument FOR global warming. However, the "hockey stick" graph is pure fiction as explained in the following: The Decline They Hid: the Deleted Portion of the Briffa Reconstruction - http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/12/the_decline_they_hid_the_delet.html Quoting: Briffa compiled tree-ring data to obtain global temperature estimates back to 1400. But there was a problem with the tree-ring data, from the warmist perspective. The tree ring data showed pronounced cooling beginning in the mid-20th century. This was at variance with some ground temperature measurements (so we are told- the actual raw data from the ground stations was 'accidently' thrown in the garbage in the 1980's, and all we have are 'modified' data from the CRU scientists themselves.) So the method that the warmist climate scientists used to estimate temperatures over the past millenium or so (tree ring data) did not show warming that correlated with rising CO2. This leaves a couple of possibilities, neither favorable to the warmist hypothesis. Either the tree ring data in the 20th century that was inconsistent with temperature recordings meant that the older tree ring data was unreliable (eliminating the argument that the warming was unprecedented) or the temperature recordings were inaccurate (perhaps from the heat island effect, in which sensors situated near growing urban areas give spurriously high readings) and rising CO2 didn't cause warming. What to do? Simple. Delete the tree ring data beginning in the mid-20th century, when the cooling became pronounced, and use (already CRU 'modified') ground station data more supportive of the warmist hypothesis in it's place. Climate scientist and skeptic Steve McIntyre: "Hide the decline" refers to the decline in the Briffa MXD temperature reconstruction in the last half of the 20th century, a decline that called into question the validity of the tree ring reconstructions. (I'm going to analyze the letters on another occasion.) In the IPCC Third and Fourth Assessment Reports, IPCC "hid the decline" by simply deleting the post-1960 values of the troublesome Briffa reconstruction - an artifice that Gavin Schmidt characterizes as an ?a good way to deal with a problem" and tells us that there is "nothing problematic" about such an artifice Not only were the post-1960 values of the Briffa reconstruction not shown in the IPCC 2001 report - an artifice that Gavin describes as being "hidden in plain sight", they were deleted from the archived version of the reconstruction at NOAA here (note: the earlier Briffa 2000 data here does contain a related series through to 1994.)
POLITICS BEHIND CAP & TRADE THE RICH WILL GET RICHER Cap & Trade is being imposed on the world because it creates a 3 trillion dollar commodity market for you guessed it: hot air. The beneficiaries are the rich special interest who will get wealthier setting up and trading the new commodities market. But citizens will pay more taxes to operate new regulatory bureaucracies and more for goods as business passes the cost along. IT ENSURES THE STATUS QUO FOR OPEC AND TERRORISM During the decades America enjoyed great prosperity no concern was expressed for the plight of the uninsured. I challenge Washington to keep money, technology and jobs in the US by reducing trade imbalance. America has natural gas and coal in abundance and can eliminate dependence on foreign oil and does not need to send billions to countries that sponsor terrorism. It is estimated that every billion in trade deficit equals 13,000 jobs lost. Washington could keep money, technology and jobs in the US by reducing the trade imbalance. And during the decades America enjoyed great prosperity, no concern was expressed for the plight of the uninsured. Isn?t the timing interesting? With the world is in recession and US unemployment figures hovering around 10% the EPA exceeds it authority and determines CO2 is a pollutant that must be regulated. The United States agreed to transfer jobs and technology to developing countries under INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENT Algiers Declaration Algiers, Algeria, 4-6 March 1975 In this context, they emphasize the necessity for the full implementation of the Programme of Action adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its VI Special Session, and accordingly they emphasize the following requirements [excerpt from full declaration] "With regard to the depletable natural resources, as OPEC?s petroleum resources are, it is essential that the transfer of technology must be commensurate in speed and volume with the rate of their depletion, which is being accelerated for the benefit and growth of the economies of the developed countries" A major portion of the planned or new petrochemical complexes, oil refineries and fertilizer plants be built in the territories of OPEC Member Countries with the co-operation of industrialized nations for export purposes to the developed countries with guaranteed access for such products to the markets of these countries. [Excerpt from declaration] Read sections 10 and 11] TROUBLING IMPLEMENTATION QUESTIONS Who gets to decide how many credits each business or person should receive? Should larger businesses automatically receive more credits? Should credits be taxable? After all credits have value and are the equivalent of issuing a global currency. Who should tax them, sovereign nations or the UN? Who and how will credits be issued and audited to prevent outright fraud? Are credits assets a business can liquidate when it goes out of business? If a business in California goes out of business and sells its CO2 credits to a company in England, will a new company in California have to find another seller before opening his business and replacing lost jobs? Will multi-national companies export new construction and jobs to 3rd world non-subscribing countries? And the flipside, will the people of the Amazon miss out on new opportunities because an American company bought thousands of acres to be left unused to acquire carbon sequestration credits. If planet Earth has an optimal CO2 carrying capacity then does a growing population and more businesses mean a lower standard of living and reduced CO2 allotment for each new person or business. Should children be allowed to inherit their parents CO2 permits? Should couples be limited to having two children? Should there be an inheritance tax? What entity gets to decide what Earth?s optimal CO2 carrying capacity is? Job 38:4 New American Standard Bible (?1995) ................................................................................ "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Job 15:7 "Were you the first man to be born, Or were you brought forth before the hills? Psalm 104:5 He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever. Proverbs 8:29 When He set for the sea its boundary So that the water would not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth; Proverbs 30:4 Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son's name? Surely you know! (NASB ?1995) Genesis 9:7 "As for you, be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it." IS MANKIND REALLY CAUSING GLOBAL WARMING According to science, the Earth has had multiple tropical and glacial ages over the millennia. If operating automobiles is causing global warming Fred Flintstone must have had a huge truck fleet. Or is global warming a cyclical event more affected by sun spot cycles. The most recent news is that the oceans of the world will be cooling for the next 25-30 years. Furthermore, it is my understanding that the most prevalent hot house gas is water vapor. Should citizens of earth try to stop the rain cycle? COMMON SENSE Poverty is the worst form of pollution. Only wealthy nations and people can afford to do something about it. I am against Cap and Trade in the best of times but it is national suicide to consider implementing this costly new program when America's economy is teetering on the brink! The only Cap and Trade I will vote for is handing their Caps to politicians who vote yes on the issue and trading them in for new representatives!
The hard science shows that the Earth's climate had been warming and cooling for millions of years and nothing man does changes that. What we are doing is polluting our planet! So let's fix that and start planning on how we are going to survive the next global major climate fluctuation be it warming or cooling. The hard science also shows that the Earth's next magnetic field swap is in the making, infact is a few thousand years overdue. Are we as a planet ready for that. I don't think so.
Let's rephrase that statement to take into consideration the real truth from the real science. mountains of FRAUDULENT climate data demolished by one simple statement. What is your problem anyway? If YOUR side of the science did in fact have the science correct, then it will be able to stand up to the scrutiny of the real science which can be undertaken in full view of all sides of the arguments. But, let's let the science work. Stupidly using "denier" or "denialist" in your arguments only goes to prove how radical and arrogant and closed-minded your side of the argument has been. Again, if the science is "sound" like you claim, then let's have at it. No more hiding of the evidence and no more hiding of the models.
What is amazing that when you try to access information that was readily available not long ago it is not accessible now like the average temperatures from 1800 to a present date date. NASA used to have data that gave the information about Solar flares and its effect on our planet. The e-mails that the hard liners are dismissing give information that effectively gives data that is desired not what is truthful. We talk about science but in fact its about the One World Order and nothing about science.
This article is a very welcome change from the politically charged support that has been blatantly present on so many other ZDNet and SmartPlanet articles regarding global warming and "green technology" and green living.
If you look at the whole history of the Global Warming movement, it's half a century old. It was nothing but a political gander and relied on bought science. It's taken decades for it to catch on, its funny, the concept of man made global warming was thought up decades ago as nothing but a political move and now after many many years of repeated propaganda it just TURNS OUT TO BE TRUE! Wow! thats really amazing. Then you look at the money allocated to the research, and it seems the more money being allocated for global warming research the more evidence is produced! Now most people are not so dishonest, even for money, but when you weed out the honest scientists by not hiring them again and then discrediting all other dissenters the minute they voice dissent. What do you end up with? Exactly what we have today. I've talked to a pro man made global warming climatologist and they got aggressively angry with me just for asking if they thought there was any truth to the dissenters argument. She even went to far as to degrade the intellect and insult the morals of a group of people I simply referenced as dissenters of global warming. Making an example of one case of an obviously unstable individual regardless of her professional achievements is really a faux argument and a fallacy but its simply what I see from this "science" all around. I see a documentary and the attitude of the "scientists" they get to interview are so dismissive of the opposing view one can hardly grasp the possibility that they're objective. Then you start looking at the science. (I personally blame institutionalized "learning"/propaganda for forming young minds to simply accept what they're told, but it's not so hard to go through the science yourself and see if the interpretations of the data make sense) EVERYTHING, from the historical "evidence" in core samples, the amount of man made green house gases are being produced to the effects CO2 has in the atmosphere. It doesn't add up. It's legitimate research, but the interpretation of the data doesn't add up. Like the glitch in the satellite data that showed the ice caps shrinking, people are still using that data even though it was proven false a long time ago. Or the whole chunk of ice that broke of because of "global warming" even though there was a FREAKING VOLCANO UNDERNEATH OF IT! And NO mention of the volcano. After piecing these together you find the whole thing is corrupt, and if man made global warming IS a true theory, why do they need to create a false movement to make people believe it. Truth is, I've tried so hard to believe it, it would sure be easier to hand around other friends and not have to get into huge debates about it. But I can't, the evidence doesn't point me there.
The more philosophical hatred you have for the automobile and our western way of life, the more of an emotional and ego vested interest you're going to have in the idea of the world coming to an end from global warming. It may very well be that the greatest crisis of our time isn't that the world is coming to an end from global warming, but that intellectuals have run out of patience with humanity.
Unfortunately with such a title and form what I have read you have already made up your mind that most humans have a negative affect on our climate and looking for a more credible way to justify it even though you are now aware of the falsification and politicization which has perpetuated this lie. That is incredibly ignorant. Just step back for a second and think. Is there anyone left in the media which can still do this? Remember a journalist is there is verify a story, a lead and if he cannot, inform us on what he has discovered not suggest we must repackage the false notions of the past with better hyperbole so to somehow be more credible. Is your function to be a propagandist or a journalist? Chose one, admit it to yourself and your audience and move on. Climate does change, thus what is the issue here? It has done so since day one, which means before humans. For example the dinosaurs did not case their extinction through affecting the climate change they experienced. There was a force external to them. There was the sun, moon, stars, this galaxy, other galaxies, meteors and armies. All of these and other known and unknown variables play a role in affecting climate on this planet all of which non US military humans have no power to affect (at least not at this time). Thus the question is twofold. First which of these variable(s) has the most significant affect and second so what? Clearly to our knowledge thus far the sun has a greater more direct affect on this planets climate than human actions, however this will change in the future as the militaries of the word such as the US through such programs as HARRP start to affect climate on this planet even though they have already signed tries in the mid 1970?s to prevent such actions. It will not be you and me in our cars. Canadian and American citizens should not be so arrogant to think that we are so omni important and significant that or trip to the Home Depot affected the earth in a negative way. Not even the three trips to source the correct bolt for our little home project. Therefore if besides the sun some humans through military programs can affect weather or climate on this planet why is this not discussed or understood more clearly. There is something at stake here and it is freedom and truth. Do journalist have any notions of these words? Do they care for them? Do they honor them? Or are they so ignorant and fearful of losing their jobs such as Lou Dobbs that they continue to perpetuate the corporate agenda which in this case is about promoting a ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT predicated on the military industrial complex. Don?t accept this FACT then do your own research and read for yourself. First fact, many sovereign governments are being replaced by supper governments such as in the EU, North American Union through the Peace and Prosperity Agreements, Asian Union, African Union. UN, WHO, UNCLOS (Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty). Those that oppose it get a visit from the US army made morally sell-able via the UN army of ?peace? keepers. Second count the number of wars over the last 60 years while the permanent member of the ?security? council at the UN are major manufactures of armaments, and represent the top army nations of the world. Quite a coincidence.
Good article, thank you. I am wondering what is the source for your graph? And why did you choose that one? I don't believe the issue is climate change, of course the climate changes. The debate is whether 1) humans are causing a problem that will appear in the future and 2) regardless of the root cause, can and should humans do anything about the factors that contribute to climate change. Besides what looks like flawed data, there are a host of flawed arguments floating around. For example, just because something could happen doesn't mean it will.
On the "To Do" list I would suggest that the climate change argument needs just that, an argument. Honest, knowlegeable scientists applying scientific principle to discover the truth not the armchair Einsteins we have today lobbing dung at one another. This would include not calling anyone who dares to disagree with you names like skeptic or denialist. When someone shuts down an honest debate with a label you can be sure you have moved from science to politics.
Even if every person cited in the stolen emails was discredited, that would mean only 99% of climate scientists are trustworthy believe that global climate change (an unfortunate term "global warming" as it ameliorates the impact) is upon us. I'll put "reset the scientific data" in the same category as "Obama must prove his citizenship". Only complete morons subscribe.
Of course the science needs to be looked at. You have to remember how fragile we are on this issue. What do 100% of the UN members in Copenhagen have in common? They as well as academia in their countries are literally blind to temperature. It is absolutely terrifying to watch the world push this garbage science through while betting the world economy on it. Politicians have a short mandate and therefore use science with a hug swag factor(scientific wild assed guess) Something is warming the atmosphere and changing weather, have we seen the source of the heat? I have an engineering background and engineering is very specific science, that is why we ride elevators, planes and drive cars because they are engineered science. We need to see the source of heat and they don't have it. Here is an example of the flawed science with emissions. On December 6, 2009 we completed infrared imaging of building development in Canada to see how buildings became urban heat islands. It was -3 C outdoors and the buildings were being radiated by the sun, producing heat over 50 C with zero emissions being produced. http://www.thermoguy.com/pdfs/Urban-Heat-on-December-6-2009.pdf Amazing to think a coat of paint, a coating or shade would eliminate the heat and codes specify that, we just couldn't see it. If you want to see how we are creating urban heat islands all year round and using massive emissions to treat the symptoms, here is that link. http://www.thermoguy.com/pdfs/Urban-Heat-Islands-Winter-and- Summer.pdf Professionals can fix this easily, we just couldn't see it.
The problems are much deeper than glbal climate change. They go to the way politici understand science and technology. Scientists have some of the blame. They do not clearly state the scence and tend to talk down to the public and not thave the patience to explain in correct but understandable detail Poiticians confuse technology with science. The issue of global warming has been discussed for many years. I have found no scientist who does not agree with the following: In about 1829 the French scientist Jaques Fourier suggested that the earth is a greenhouse. Only thus could he explain why the earth is warmert ahn it would be if it radiated the energy it absobed from the sun. About 1979 professor Tyndall of Theteh aUniverasity of Bristol measured the absorption of infra red raduiaion in carbon dioxide and water vapoer and these became the most important "greenhouse gases". In 1897the Swedish chemist arrhenius calculated the effect of these gaes as greenhouse gases and suggested that the changes in the concentrations thereof were consistent with the changes of temperature at the time of the great ice ages. All this was aught in the meteorology course at Oxford University by professor Dobson in 1945. Starting in the 1960s accurate measurements of carbon dioxide measurements have been made in Hawaii. These are not disputed. They have risen over 50% since 1900 The rise is faster than anything seen before in history although that is not quite socertain as it is derived from looking at ice cores It is convenient to discuss the effect of a "static" doubling of CO2 concentrations on temperature. This can be calculated from the properties of CO2 and there is little disagreement thereof. The CO2 is roughly uniform around the world. But as I look out of my window I see clearly that water vapor is not. But as the temperature goes up more water will obviously be evaporated. What dioes this do? Here disagreements begin which are hotly debated. maybe the effect is doubled due to water vapor. Matybe more or less. Some believe it could be very much more tahn doubled. One cannot be sure. If this were an ordinary scientific issue the discussion could take place in an ivory tower. But we all know there there are possible implications which though more uncertain must be brought to the body politic. It is here that science can, and doses, It is vital that the body politic realize that from this point on, science can give us guidance but with much less assurance. Scientists will and should argue about details but the general feature is clear. I have talked to s0-called skeptics and main line scientists. They only differ by a factor of 2 in these numbers. No number of intercepted e mails can change this. It is here that we need careful attention of how to communicate these facts and these theories and surmises to the public and the politicians they elect. Scientists are all too often sloppy It is convenient to discuss the effect on temperature of a doubling of the carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. But the newspapers and other media are even more to blame - especially since this is their particular chosebn position in the channels of communication I found this particularly on radiation issues over the years. Infter Three Mile Island not one newspaper got the units right. This persisted through Chernobyl and in the Japanese criticality accident of 10 years ago, even the New York Times was off by a factor of 1000. (Fortunately I stopped NPR from quoting them) Richard Wilson Mallinckrodt Professor of physics emeritus Harvard University
I remember a TV documentary stating that when Krakatoa erupted in 1883, it pumped out more polution than man had managed in his entire history (including the Industrial Revolution) up to the time of that statement being made, which was I think 1983 (centenary of the eruption). My point is - How arrogant are we to think that our activities can have such a drastic effect on the Earth's climate and even more so, that we can reverse climate change? It does exist, but I think it is adjustments being made as the last Ice Age peters out. There will be disasters of biblical proportions and it is up to us to find ways of moving people and improving defences. You know, useful things, rather than a mix of wild hysteria and juming on the gravy-train. I heard the PM Gordon Brown call 'denialists' (as a previous blogger put it) 'flat-earthers'. I have semi-seriously joked with others about there being a new era of witches and heretics and to save his backside in the elections, he has wholeheartedly gone the populist route. God (whoever he may be) help us.
38 years ago I worked with 3,000 years of raw computerized weather data. We saw NO trend. 90% of the world's ice is in Antarctica. It has been increasing for 30 years. 100% of the climate science exposed shows tricks to hide contrary data and discredit opponents. Hydroponic show places, like Disey Epcot Land, ENRICH CO2 to many times current levels and the far higher levels we had earlier. Super Freakonomics (read free on Amazon) says Bill Gates, his ex-Microsoft CTO and some of the best climate scientists say 1970s global COOLING ended as we cleaned up heavy carbon particles and aerosols. They know rather cheap, quick, easy ways to regulate global warming, minimize ULV damage and increase crop yields, without adding pollution. For example, 18 mile hot air balloon smoke stacks for 1 - 5 coal plants. The essence of science is you propose a theory. If data does not support it, then the theory is not accepted, so there is no need to PROVE there is no man-made global warming. 30,000 scientists signed petitions saying man-made global warming is not proven.
The original data was not thrown away, it just wasn't saved at East Anglia. It still resides where it was originally collected. Don't blame all of science because of what one small group did. Unfortunately, many other groups did data analysis based on what they got from East Anglia, not raw temperature data. East Anglia's job was to "normalize" the data for some reason, and they went overboard and fed all others a bunch of crap.
"The earth is millions of years old, and if I remember correctly our data only goes back about 150 years." The earth is billions of years old, Sparky, and our ice core data goes back millions of those years.
This isn't a political issue, unless your a conservative. We can't keep dumping all mater of waste including greenhouse gasses into the environment and escape the consequences by denying them. The conservatives should have their own planet where they can pollute without restraint, but the majority of people don't want to live on there. Our lives are more important than money.
"Politics has so poisoned the atmosphere that unless the restart button is pushed, the truth will never come out." The fossil industries have so poisoned the earth, it's going to take them a long time to poison the politics to a commensurate degree. They will need all the babbling imbeciles they can muster.
As a retired research scientist in atmospheric physics with degrees in Meteorology and Computer Science, I must say that the assertion of anthropogenic global warming contradict nearly everything I learned about the earth's heat budget and the resulting climatological regimes. The models being used appear to me to be inadequate to the task and fraught with simplifying assumptions that reflect the ideological biases of the modeler rather than science aimed at understanding physical reality. A lot of people stand to lose or gain a lot of money based upon the outcome of the debate over global warming, so there is very little objectivity to be seen. The sun is the primary driver of climate on earth but as NASA reported in "Living with a Star" -- "...there are very few scientists in the world who devote all or most of their efforts to the investigation of the effects of solar variability on climate" and that is a shame!
"If the advocates of Anthropogenic Global Warming wish to make their case, now they are going to have to do it with "honest" science, which will mean building new databases and codecs that are open to everybody." Oh, and if they could simplify all those maps of polar ice disintegrating, that would be nice, too.
"Kudos for having the courage to speak out honestly and moderately about this topic." Props, too, for preserving the unwavering integrity of the fossil corporations.
Thanks for validating a bogus story based on stolen email without context. East Anglia is not the center of climate research - there is no single institution that is. Flip or cynical statements gleaned from the stolen emails of a few scientists at one institution has zero practical effect on the great mass of science done on this subject. By buying in to a manufactured scandal, you're helping to further drag the minor progress being made on environmental degradation back to a crawl. If you had really dug into the science behind this, instead of doing a google search, you might have been able to add something to general understanding of all the problems created by pollution, of which climate change is only a part. Instead, you've added to the dumbing down of science already endemic in the US.
"How many cars, jet aircrft, etc., caused the floods 800 years ago?" O, gosh, you're right -- mountains of climate data demolished by one simple question!