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Momentium on Global Warming Debate beginning to shift
#61
John L Wrote:And then there is this. Also note the remarks of Hansen. Do his remarks constitute insubordination, and will he be punished for this in some way? Or is there a tenure program at NASA? And will name calling manage to slow down the growing intellectual rebellion of skeptics as they allow their voices to be heard?
Hansen, as is the case with all government employees, is protected in his job by the First Amendment -- contary to the current situation in the private sector.

In such cases, insubordination seems like a misnomer. More likely, these are the words of a seasoned scientist speaking out against a politically correct administrator.

Also, I would be interested in how you justify your statement that there "a growing intellectual rebellion of skeptics" with regard to global warming. How many skeptics are there who are not paid by private interests?
Quote:"The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it." -- Voltaire
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#62
Vox populi, vox Dei:

Is Earth's Temperature Up or Down or Both?

Scientists Investigate Reasons for Temperature Trend "Disagreements" Between Layers of the Atmosphere
February 6, 1997

Thermometers on the ground, measuring the near-surface air temperature, demonstrate a marked increase in globally-averaged temperature over the past two decades. Computer models of global warming predict that the temperature trend in the Earth's thick lower atmosphere, called the lower troposphere, should be experiencing an even more pronounced warming that increases smoothly with altitude. And yet, satellite observations of the temperature of the Earth's lower troposphere do not reveal any overall warming trend. Although interpreted by some as a controversy, research from NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center and the Global Hydrology and Climate Center now suggests that the temperature structure of the atmosphere is more complex than we (and our computer models) originally thought.

These results will be presented today (February 6) at the 77th meeting of the American Metorological Society in Long Beach, California in a special session dedicated to the scientific study of global warming.

Dr. Roy Spencer, a scientist at NASA/Marshall and principal author on the paper, has been monitoring the temperature of layers in the Earth's atmosphere from space. Along with Dr. John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Spencer has produced a temperature record spanning 18 years. Acquired from Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU) instruments flying aboard the TIROS series of weather satellites. Their data show temperature variations in the lower troposphere, a region from the surface to about 5 miles into the atmosphere.

"The temperatures we measure from space are actually on a very slight downward trend since 1979 in the lower troposphere. We see major excursions due to volcanic eruptions like Pinatubo, and ocean current phenomena like El Nino, but overall the trend is about 0.05 degrees Celsius per decade cooling," Spencer remarked.

However, temperature measurements on land and ocean are up. "Thermometers taking the temperature at the surface show a warming trend of about +0.10 to +0.15 degrees Celsius per decade," Spencer continued. "Current computer models of global warming always predict that the temperature variations at the surface should increase smoothly with height as you go up through the lowest 8 miles of the atmosphere." This should make the temperature trend in the troposphere not only upward, but more pronounced than on the surface.

But the space-based measurements show a more complex vertical structure, with cooling in the lower portion of this deep layer and warming in the upper portion. Spencer and co-author Dr. William Braswell of Nichols Research Corporation have great confidence in the quality of their satellite data. "We've concluded there isn't a problem with the measurements," Spencer explained. "In fact, balloon measurements of the temperature in the same regions of the atmosphere we measure from space are in excellent agreement with the satellite results."

"Instead, we believe the problem resides in the computer models and in our past assumptions that the atmosphere is so well behaved. These models just don't handle processes like clouds, water vapor, and precipitation systems well enough to accurately predict how strong global warming will be, or how it will manifest itself at different heights in the atmosphere," remarked Spencer.

These poorly modeled processes are all related to convection. This is the continual overturning of the atmosphere that occurs as water, evaporated from the Earth's surface, carries excess heat energy into the upper atmosphere where it can be more efficiently radiated to outer space. This convective redistribution, the scientists theorize, may be part of what causes the interesting height-dependent structure in the temperature variations seen in the MSU data. Spencer says that the models also suffer from "numerical diffusion," wherein water vapor in the lower atmosphere is allowed to unrealistically diffuse into the upper atmosphere, where it acts as a greenhouse blanket. "All of these effects together make the computer-modeled atmosphere look much more vertically uniform than it probably is," Spencer concluded.

From the URL:

NASA/Marshall Earth Science Headline: Earth's Temperature

The basic data gathered in the 1990s have not changed in the subsequent decade...but some do not want to talk about it.
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein
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#63
drgonzaga Wrote:The basic data gathered in the 1990s have not changed in the subsequent decade...but some do not want to talk about it.
This issue was clarified in 2005, there's nothing to talk about.
It is covered on my non-sticky global warming resource thread under 26 most common climate myths and misconceptions - "The lower atmosphere is cooling, not warming".

Quote:New Scientist 20 August 2005
Sceptics forced into climate climb-down

The debate on climate change has often centred on the temperature of the lower troposphere. Common sense and computer models suggest that as the Earth's surface warms, so should this layer of the atmosphere. But measurements from satellites and balloons did not always support this.

In 1992, John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville analysed the satellite measurements and concluded that the lower troposphere had cooled over the decades, relative to Earth's surface over the tropics. For those arguing against global warming, this analysis was pure gold. "The data from the satellites have taken on almost iconic status," says Ben Santer of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

Now Carl Mears and Frank Wentz of Remote Sensing Systems in Santa Rosa, California, have an answer. They reanalysed Christy's data and corrected for errors caused by satellite drift. "The satellite is supposed to go over the equator and take measurements at the same time every day," says Mears. Initially this was at around 2 pm local time, but after a few years it was crossing the equator at 5 pm, he says. "Common sense tells you that it's cooler at 5 pm than at 2 pm, and that was biasing the results." Once they factored this in, the data showed that the troposphere is warming (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1114772).

Christy welcomes Mears and Wentz's analysis of the flaws in the satellite data he used. "Their suggestions helped me fix my error pretty quickly," he says. His reanalysis now shows the Earth is warming by about 1.23 °C per century. Mears and Wentz calculate the trend to be about 1.9 °C per century.

The world is not warming as fast as the 1.5 °C to 6 °C per century that models suggest, Christy says. "We all agree that warming is related to human effects, but it's not as dramatic as models say."
"Common sense is not so common" - Voltaire
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#64
Oh, and let's not forget this as well Pepe. Latest news from that ecological powerhouse, The Independent, says that The GLobal Warming is happening Three Times Faster Than the WORST Predictions. This means that we are in more than Deep DooDoo. It has already happened, because the Worst Predictions occurred several years ago, and then they claimed the end within five years. We're already screwed, blued, and tatooed! Shock

So, carefully bend forward, and stretch your neck and head round, between your legs, and kiss your "Backside" goodbye. It's Over Already! Have you taken up a religious affiliation yet?
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#65
But here is the REAL villian If you are an AGW True Believer. Just listen to all the science fiction, and fantasy coming from this writer. He should be strung up and burned, all at the same time, for ecological and scientific herasy. Are the numbers of skeptics(ie heretics) really growing? I'm betting that algore will tell you otherwise. He has a Nobel Peace Prize riding on his cult status, and he will most likely ride the white horse to the Democratic nomination for next year on just this issue.

Watch Algore ride the Big One.


Quote:
They call this a consensus?
Lawrence Solomon
Financial Post


Saturday, June 02, 2007


"Only an insignificant fraction of scientists deny the global warming crisis. The time for debate is over. The science is settled."

S o said Al Gore ... in 1992. Amazingly, he made his claims despite much evidence of their falsity. A Gallup poll at the time reported that 53% of scientists actively involved in global climate research did not believe global warming had occurred; 30% weren't sure; and only 17% believed global warming had begun. Even a Greenpeace poll showed 47% of climatologists didn't think a runaway greenhouse effect was imminent; only 36% thought it possible and a mere 13% thought it probable.

Today, Al Gore is making the same claims of a scientific consensus, as do the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and hundreds of government agencies and environmental groups around the world. But the claims of a scientific consensus remain unsubstantiated. They have only become louder and more frequent.

More than six months ago, I began writing this series, The Deniers. When I began, I accepted the prevailing view that scientists overwhelmingly believe that climate change threatens the planet. I doubted only claims that the dissenters were either kooks on the margins of science or sell-outs in the pockets of the oil companies.

My series set out to profile the dissenters -- those who deny that the science is settled on climate change -- and to have their views heard. To demonstrate that dissent is credible, I chose high-ranking scientists at the world's premier scientific establishments. I considered stopping after writing six profiles, thinking I had made my point, but continued the series due to feedback from readers. I next planned to stop writing after 10 profiles, then 12, but the feedback increased. Now, after profiling more than 20 deniers, I do not know when I will stop -- the list of distinguished scientists who question the IPCC grows daily, as does the number of emails I receive, many from scientists who express gratitude for my series.

Somewhere along the way, I stopped believing that a scientific consensus exists on climate change. Certainly there is no consensus at the very top echelons of scientists -- the ranks from which I have been drawing my subjects -- and certainly there is no consensus among astrophysicists and other solar scientists, several of whom I have profiled. If anything, the majority view among these subsets of the scientific community may run in the opposite direction. Not only do most of my interviewees either discount or disparage the conventional wisdom as represented by the IPCC, many say their peers generally consider it to have little or no credibility. In one case, a top scientist told me that, to his knowledge, no respected scientist in his field accepts the IPCC position.

What of the one claim that we hear over and over again, that 2,000 or 2,500 of the world's top scientists endorse the IPCC position? I asked the IPCC for their names, to gauge their views. "The 2,500 or so scientists you are referring to are reviewers from countries all over the world," the IPCC Secretariat responded. "The list with their names and contacts will be attached to future IPCC publications, which will hopefully be on-line in the second half of 2007."

An IPCC reviewer does not assess the IPCC's comprehensive findings. He might only review one small part of one study that later becomes one small input to the published IPCC report. Far from endorsing the IPCC reports, some reviewers, offended at what they considered a sham review process, have demanded that the IPCC remove their names from the list of reviewers. One even threatened legal action when the IPCC refused.

A great many scientists, without doubt, are four-square in their support of the IPCC. A great many others are not. A petition organized by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine between 1999 and 2001 claimed some 17,800 scientists in opposition to the Kyoto Protocol. A more recent indicator comes from the U.S.-based National Registry of Environmental Professionals, an accrediting organization whose 12,000 environmental practitioners have standing with U.S. government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. In a November, 2006, survey of its members, it found that only 59% think human activities are largely responsible for the warming that has occurred, and only 39% make their priority the curbing of carbon emissions. And 71% believe the increase in hurricanes is likely natural, not easily attributed to human activities.

Such diversity of views is also present in the wider scientific community, as seen in the World Federation of Scientists, an organization formed during the Cold War to encourage dialogue among scientists to prevent nuclear catastrophe. The federation, which encompasses many of the world's most eminent scientists and today represents more than 10,000 scientists, now focuses on 15 "planetary emergencies," among them water, soil, food, medicine and biotechnology, and climatic changes. Within climatic changes, there are eight priorities, one being "Possible human influences on climate and on atmospheric composition and chemistry (e.g. increased greenhouse gases and tropospheric ozone)."

Man-made global warming deserves study, the World Federation of Scientists believes, but so do other serious climatic concerns. So do 14 other planetary emergencies. That seems about right. - Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Urban Renaissance Institute and Consumer Policy Institute, divisions of Energy Probe Research Foundation. Email: LawrenceSolomon@nextcity.com.
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“Socialism always begins with a universal vision for the brotherhood of man and ends with people having to eat their own pets.”
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#66
Quote:and he will most likely ride the white horse to the Democratic nomination for next year on just this issue.

If we could be so lucky. I think the nomination will go to Obama(who, by the way, is described by most journalists who have met him as just as withdrawn and intellectual as Al Gore, believe it or not).
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#67
John Wrote:Latest news from that ecological powerhouse, The Independent.....etc, etc
Calm down John, it is one study, even if their observations and interpretations are correct the World still isn't about to end, it has come 4.5bn years and will continue until our Sun runs out of fuel in about another 6bn. Even during mankind's very brief spell on Earth he has lived through episodes of climate change, the difference now is there are an awful lot more of us, and the World is divvied up with national and political boundaries.

John Wrote:But here is the REAL villian If you are an AGW True Believer. etc, etc
Indeed, just shows how far the science has progressed. If you'd asked me about global warming 15 years ago I would have been sceptical too. These days I accept the planet is warming and that man has a hand in it. Where I still reserve caution is on the issues of rate of change and impact. I support a reduction in the use of, and reliance on, fossil fuels, particularly petroleum, on economic and political grounds as much as environmental ones.

John Wrote:Have you taken up a religious affiliation yet?
No, I continue to eschew all 'snake oil' salesmen S2
"Common sense is not so common" - Voltaire
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#68
Anonymous24 Wrote:
Quote:and he will most likely ride the white horse to the Democratic nomination for next year on just this issue.

If we could be so lucky. I think the nomination will go to Obama(who, by the way, is described by most journalists who have met him as just as withdrawn and intellectual as Al Gore, believe it or not).

I suspect that you will be 'so lucky' after all is said and done. I will still state that Algore is going to be the nominee. He is sitting back and letting the others peter out PR wise. He has already garnered a great deal of money. If you add the fact that He is the darling of the Euro crowd, his chances of winning the Nobel Peace Prize(says a lot about the integrity of the Nobel committee), he will be the hottest thing since US Grant ran for office. What fun we will have,.............unless he gets elected, of course. Then all bets are off..................on the fun part.

Pepe Wrote:Calm down John, it is one study, even if their observations and interpretations are correct the World still isn't about to end, it has come 4.5bn years and will continue until our Sun runs out of fuel in about another 6bn. Even during mankind's very brief spell on Earth he has lived through episodes of climate change, the difference now is there are an awful lot more of us, and the World is divvied up with national and political boundaries.

I just love to 'tweat' you Pepe. I'm just as calm as can be. I'm having fun here, showing the outrageous extremes the AGW Kooks have to go to activate the 'juices' of the masses. Algore once stated that even if the claims about AGW may be untrue, it is good to make the claims because the good of the outcome is far more important than the use of untruths or exaggerations. In other words, "The End Justifies the Means", which is an old Marx quotation by the way.

Pepe Wrote:Indeed, just shows how far the science has progressed. If you'd asked me about global warming 15 years ago I would have been sceptical too. These days I accept the planet is warming and that man has a hand in it.

Funny thing, I used to be a 'True Believer in the early 90s. I went out and purchased Algore's "Earth in the Balance", I still have the "Population Bomb", and I was a real concerned citizen about the earth and overpopulation. But something happened on the way to the "forum": the internet. In other words, once I stopped and used reason, the facts did not add up. I soon realized that we were not running out of resources(bless you Julian Simon): we were not going to pull a Malthus moment and kill ourselves off due to overpopulation, and I learned that the percentage of dire predictions almost never occur, which is good. In other words, I became a Realist.

But I have noted a fundamental shift in your stance recently Pepe. You are actually starting to moderate your position, and I'll bet that even you have not noticed it. You are actually letting your stance loosen up to such an extent that you are becoming less adament. The idea that man is the culprit is no longer your theme. You are just saying that we are playing some part in the process, but we don't know how much. congratulations!

Now if we can just finally get you to acknowledge that it is the "Sun" that is the overwhelming culprit, not man, you will have taken a Giant Step forward. And once you will admit that man only contributes about 5% of total 'so called' greenhouse gases, that would mean that, by nature of how things work, we are not causing even half the percentage, since there is a saturation effect: the more you increase additives, the less influence.

In other words, you are finally starting to "Back Peddle" which is GREAT! I want to commend you and encourage you to read the articles, rather than just let them slide by. Finally I am feeling better, because you are doing what I did before, slowly realizing that man is not yet capable of making such changes on this earth. We are still in the opening phase of the 'Type I' category of galactic civilizations. We are not capable of manipulating our planet to our desires.

I cannot find the really good article on this phase process, because the recent "Galactic Civilization" game series has screwed up the Google process, but here is the first one I managed to access.

Quote:Type I: Controls the energy of an entire planet. This civilization can control the weather, can prevent earthquakes, and boasts mastery of an energy factor of about 10^16 watts. Though advanced, a Type I civilization still faces danger of extinction by natural disasters such as comet impacts.

You are probably not a futurist, as I am, but I tend to look out quite a bit, and I can tell you are we are Not able to directly influence our planet as the Kooks claim. Granted, we most likely play a part, but it is not enough to cause all this anxiety. AND, once we learn how to manipulate the planet, we will be the better for it. AND, global warming is a Huge Net Plus, not a negative, because I am telling you that the very worst thing that can happen to us is the coming ice age, which is just around the corner. Obviously you are still not as aware of what an ice age can do, even though you are a geologist. As an anthropologist, I have spend more time thatn I can remember, looking at the effects on flora and fauna during this period of cycles. Who cares about a rise in sea level(unless you are an anthropological archaeologist. under water archaelology is a royal pain)? Who cares if the distribution of balmy weather moves north? Who cares about all these things that the Eco-Wakos are hyperventilating over? Once we learn how to change our planet, we will be far better off than we ever have been.

But I do ramble on, don't I. S1 Anyway, I'm glad to see you steping back and moderating your position somewhat. Perhaps you too will see the falacy of all this disaster mentality.

If you want to REALLY worry about something, then start worrying about the threat of Impactors. Now, that is a REAL THREAT to us.
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“Socialism always begins with a universal vision for the brotherhood of man and ends with people having to eat their own pets.”
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#69
Here is what Tom Harris had to say in his article about Algore and his Inconvenient Truth last year, and the fact that his claims about a concensus and a majority of scientists on his side.

Quote:Carter does not pull his punches about Gore's activism, "The man is an embarrassment to US science and its many fine practitioners, a lot of whom know (but feel unable to state publicly) that his propaganda crusade is mostly based on junk science."
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“Socialism always begins with a universal vision for the brotherhood of man and ends with people having to eat their own pets.”
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#70
John Wrote:But I have noted a fundamental shift in your stance recently Pepe. You are actually starting to moderate your position, and I'll bet that even you have not noticed it. You are actually letting your stance loosen up to such an extent that you are becoming less adament. The idea that man is the culprit is no longer your theme. You are just saying that we are playing some part in the process, but we don't know how much. congratulations!
Errm John, I really do suspect that it's more a case that you're actually reading what I say rather than saying what you think I said. I'd be interested if you could show me where I've stridently asserted that man is to blame 100%, or that the World is about to end, because I haven't. That's not the reality, and I've never suggested that it was. My opinion, based on the evidence, is that the planet is warming and anthropogenic emissions are a significant contributing factor.

John Wrote:Funny thing, I used to be a 'True Believer in the early 90s.
Science is not a matter of belief, it's a matter of persuasive evidence. In the 90's I didn't consider the evidence persuasive, yet you believed; kind of sums it up.

John Wrote:Now if we can just finally get you to acknowledge that it is the "Sun" that is the overwhelming culprit, not man, you will have taken a Giant Step forward. And once you will admit that man only contributes about 5% of total 'so called' greenhouse gases, that would mean that, by nature of how things work, we are not causing even half the percentage, since there is a saturation effect: the more you increase additives, the less influence.
As for the Sun and CO2 you're obviously another person who hasn't bothered to read my non-sticky thread and the 26 myths and misconceptions. Please try:

Climate myths: Human CO2 emissions are too tiny to matter

Climate myths: Global warming is down to the Sun, not humans


Your problem John is your inability to discern the colour grey S2
"Common sense is not so common" - Voltaire
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#71
As a matter of fact I did read them. I have known for some time that New Scientist was on the AGW bandwagon. But I am also aware that while there are truths to much of what is stated, the process in which those truths are interpreted are more than suspect.

And, the best way to dismiss any scientific theory is to state that "Oh well, it is still just a theory, and not proved yet".

Quote:The total amount of solar energy reaching Earth can vary due to changes in the Sun's output, such as those associated with sunspots, or in Earth's orbit. Orbital oscillations can also result in different parts of Earth getting more or less sunlight even when the total amount reaching the planet remains constant – similar to the way the tilt in Earth's axis produces the hemispheric seasons. There may also be more subtle effects (see Climate myths: Cosmic rays are causing climate change), but these remain unproven.

The point here is that if it is not totally proven, it is to be discounted. But note the "may" which is also inserted. It offers 'plausable deniability' in case it is correct. But in truth, there are some aspects of evolution/natural selection which are also suspect, yet the general theory is true.

And too, whether or not you wish to admit, you have moderated your position, but I'm sure you will do your best to put on the aires of having not done so. Wink1
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#72
Since this thread is really about the growing number of heretics coming out of the closet or actually changing their minds, here is another. His essay is somewhat long, but it is a 'common sense' one as well.

Quote:Global Warming: Truth or Dare?

Denis G. Rancourt
February 2007.

Denis G. Rancourt is a professor of physics and an environmental science researcher at the University of Ottawa. His scientific research has been concentrated in the areas of spectroscopic and diffraction measurement methods, magnetism, reactive environmental nanoparticles, aquatic sediments and nutrients, and boreal forest lakes.


NOT THE GREATEST POTENTIAL THREAT TO HUMANITY

Global warming is often presented as the greatest potential threat to humankind and as the greatest environmental and ecological threat on the planet. It is also presented as a problem that could be solved or contained by determined international collaboration - by political will if it were present.

I argue: (1) that global warming (climate change, climate chaos, etc.) will not become humankind’s greatest threat until the sun has its next hiccup in a billion years or more (in the very unlikely scenario that we are still around), (2) that global warming is presently nowhere near being the planet’s most deadly environmental scourge, and (3) that government action and political will cannot measurably or significantly ameliorate global climate in the present world.

I also advance that there are strong societal, institutional, and psychological motivations for having constructed and for continuing to maintain the myth of a global warming dominant threat (global warming myth, for short). I describe these motivations in terms of the workings of the scientific profession and of the global corporate and finance network and its government shadows.

I argue that by far the most destructive force on the planet is power-driven financiers and profit-driven corporations and their cartels backed by military might; and that the global warming myth is a red herring that contributes to hiding this truth. In my opinion, activists who, using any justification, feed the global warming myth have effectively been co-opted, or at best neutralized.


ERODING THE VENEER

Since the global warming myth is presently the dominant environmental paradigm in the First World middleclass mainstream, let us put it into the relevant perspective of planetary warming mechanisms.

One should first recognise that the atmospheric greenhouse effect is a well known natural phenomenon, mostly caused by atmospheric water vapour, that keeps our planet warm and habitable whereas (anthropogenic = human-made) global warming refers to a small extra greenhouse warming (0.5-1 C/33 C; 1-5 %) allegedly arising from an increase in atmospheric concentration of the minority greenhouse effect gas CO2 (carbon dioxide) – the later increase in turn possibly arising from fossil fuel burning (see below).

This means that the global greenhouse effect gives earthlings a needed and much appreciated base warming of 33 C (degrees Celsius), whereas the alleged “global warming” would contribute an extra 0.5 to 1 C of warming (a 1 to 5 % increase), on a planet that has seen a dozen or so ice ages since human kind has appeared.

The most often cited reconstructed global average temperature curves (themselves somewhat tenuous, see below) show increases in global mean temperature of approximately 0.5-1 C in the last 100 years. Let us compare this to the extremes of temperature to which humans routinely adapt. Humans have thrived in every possible ecological niche on the planet, from deserts to tropical forests to the North Polar Regions, since well before present technological advances. These environments show mean temperature differences of as much as 50 C or more. Many of these environments also show day to night and seasonal differences of as much as 20-50 C. A sudden 0.5-1 C increase in mean annual temperature (not spread over 100 years) would be imperceptible to any human and indeed could barely be detected using all of the methods of the modern scientific enterprise.

In addition, whereas there is evidence of negative consequences to populations from sustained regional cooling (e.g., Europe’s Little Ice Age, 1300-1850 AD) and whereas global ice ages (occurring every 40-100 thousand years or so) clearly have significantly affected human populations, there is no known case of a sustained warming alone having negatively impacted an entire population. If it where not for the global greenhouse effect, the planet would on average be 33 C colder and inhabitable. As a general rule, all life on Earth does better when it’s hotter: Compare ecological diversity and biotic density (or biomass) at the poles and at the equator.

Humans have already adapted to dramatically different regional climates occurring in every corner of the planet and the alleged future global changes are very small compared to these existing variations. There are more displaced refugees from wars and from economic aggression than there will ever be displaced inhabitants from rapid climate-induced habitat transformations. In both cases, the solution is to accommodate those loosing their homes and communities, not to attempt to control planetary processes and unpredictable events.


IS THERE GLOBAL WARMING?

Before ‘climate chaos’ became cliché, many scientists advanced evidence for detected amounts of global average Earth surface temperature increases occurring in the post-industrial age. These reports, taken as a whole, were the main original catalysts towards constructing the global warming myth, so it is useful to critically examine their validity.

It was no easy task to arrive at the most cited original estimated rate of increase of the mean global surface temperature of 0.5 C in 100 years. As with any evaluation of a global spatio-temporal average, it involved elaborate and unreliable grid size dependent averages. In addition, it involved removal of outlying data, complex corrections for historical differences in measurement methods, measurement distributions, and measurement frequencies, and complex normalisations of different data sets – for example, land based and sea based measurements and the use of different temperature proxies that are in turn dependent on approximate calibration models. Even for modern thermometer readings in a given year, the very real problem of defining a robust and useful global spatio-temporal average Earth-surface temperature is not solved, and is itself an active area of research.

This means that determining an average of a quantity (Earth surface temperature) that is everywhere different and continuously changing with time at every point, using measurements at discrete times and places (weather stations), is virtually impossible; in that the resulting number is highly sensitive to the chosen extrapolation method(s) needed to calculate (or rather approximate) the average.

Averaging problems aside, many tenuous approximations must be made in order to arrive at any of the reported final global average temperature curves. For example, air temperature thermometers on ocean-going ships have been positioned at increasing heights as the sizes of ships have increased in recent history. Since temperature decreases with increasing altitude, this altitude effect must be corrected. The estimates are uncertain and can change the calculated global warming by as much as 0.5 C, thereby removing the originally reported effect entirely.

Similarly, surface ocean temperatures were first measured by drawing water up to the ship decks in cloth buckets and later in wooden buckets. Such buckets allow heat exchange in different amounts, thereby changing the measured temperature. This must be corrected by various estimates of sizes and types of buckets. These estimates are uncertain and can again change the resulting final calculated global warming value by an amount comparable to the 0.5 C value. There are a dozen or so similar corrections that must be applied, each one able to significantly alter the outcome.

In wanting to go further back in time, the technical problems are magnified. For example, when one uses a temperature proxy, such as the most popular tree ring proxy, instead of a physical thermometer, one has the significant problem of calibrating the proxy. With tree rings from a given preferred species of tree, there are all kinds of unavoidable artefacts related to wood density, wood water content, wood petrifaction processes, season duration effects, forest fire effects, extra-temperature biotic stress effects (such as recurring insect infestations), etc. Each proxy has its own calibration and preservation problems that are not fully understood.

The reported temperature curves should therefore be seen as tentative suggestions that the authors hope will catalyze more study and debate, not reliable results that one should use in guiding management practice or in deducing actual planetary trends. In addition, the original temperature or proxy data is usually not available to other research scientists who could critically examine the data treatment methods; nor are the data treatment methods spelled out in enough detail. Instead, the same massaged data is reproduced from report to report rather than re-examined.

The most recent thermometer measurements have their own special problems, not the least of which is urban warming, due to urban sprawl, which locally affects weather station mean temperatures and wind patterns: Temperatures locally change because local surroundings change. Most weather monitoring stations are located, for example, near airports which, in turn, are near expanding cities.

As a general rule in science, if an effect is barely detectable, requires dubious data treatment methods, and is sensitive to those data treatment methods and to other approximations, then it is not worth arguing over or interpreting and should not be used in further deductions or extrapolations. The same is true in attempting to establish causal relationships. This is in contrast to the precautionary principle which, in this context, would dictate that humans should reduce their fossil fuel burning because a resulting increase in atmospheric CO2 **might** cause serious environmental harm. I argue that we should stick to known consequences rather than potential ones – displacing people displaces people, clearing forests clears forests, etc. – and that we can apply universally accepted norms of human justice and respect for nature in limiting exploiters’ impulses.


WARMING, CLIMATE CHANGE, AND CLIMATE CHAOS

Global warming myth advocates emphasize that the alleged extra-CO2-driven warming does not occur uniformly, in that some regions are warmed more than others while other regions are cooled below their pre-warming averages. They claim that many regions therefore already suffer significant departures from their pre-warming average temperatures, by as much as 5 C, even though the overall global average increase is difficult to detect.

Whereas regional changes in average temperature (e.g., warmer poles and cooler tropics) are not in themselves bad, global warming myth advocates argue that such changes have significant negative ecological consequences. They argue that when regional climate changes occur, rather than simply causing geographical redistributions of ecosystems and niche creation, they instead cause permanent damages in the form of habitat loss and species loss.

Global warming myth advocates also argue that global warming drives increased climate chaos. That is, overall increases in extreme weather events, such as more frequent and more intense tropical hurricanes, more frequent and more intense heat waves, more frequent and more intense droughts and floods, etc.

The available data does not support these claims and does not allow one to conclude that we have entered into a period of greater climate chaos, let alone that any perceived increase in climate chaos would be caused by extra-CO2-driven planetary warming. Similarly, it is impossible to reliably establish (see below) that inferred regional warmings in the Polar Regions are caused by an extra-CO2-driven global greenhouse effect increase.

Weather is by its nature chaotic and unpredictable. Every year weather events occur and will always occur that have never occurred before in recorded history. A given July heat spell in North Bay, Ontario, will last longer than any other such heat spell that has also had more than three consecutive day-time highs of more than 35 C, for example. For the first time in recorded history, three selectively chosen Canadian northern towns of more than 50,000 inhabitants will not have snow at Christmas. One hundred year old trees will be uprooted by a hurricane in some locality in Northern Quebec in September, etc.

Regional weather (including regional air current patterns) is well known by climatologists to have measurable variations over a broad range of magnitudes and on every time scale, from decadal, to centennial, to millennial and beyond, as documented in climate and weather event records such as historical documents, tree rings, lake sediments, soil profiles, geological weathering patterns, etc. Climatologists have, for over one hundred years, studied these variations occurring on all continents and have always attempted to relate them to potential causal factors, with little success. Modern satellite observations and recent global circulation models have provided few significant advances, despite the hype.

Media sensationalism notwithstanding, none of the recent reports of weather events step outside of the statistical samples gathered by climatologists, as they have often informed us. Among other things, climatologists, environmental scientists, and statisticians have pointed out that: (1) North America has less frequent but more intense forest fires because foresters manage forests, (2) insurance companies pay out more natural catastrophe claims because there are more people living in more precarious areas with more expensive installations, (3) more people suffer the consequences of flooding because more people live in flood plains, (4) more urban elderly die in heat waves because they are older and live in isolation and in high rises, (5) water tables fall because of deforestation and watershed management practices, and so on.


GLACIERS AND PERMAFROST: PHENOMENON VERSUS CAUSE

Although weather is business as usual, there are significant changes occurring on the planet and some of these appear at first sight to be regional climate related.

For example, many high altitude glaciers are receding. Some glaciers are growing but it appears that more studied glaciers are receding than growing. The next question is why? There are no reports of average air temperature increases in the vicinities of these glaciers. To melt or sublimate ice one must supply a large amount of energy, far beyond what could be supplied by thermal conduction driven by an undetected temperature increase.

The required energy clearly comes from the sun, just as spring sunlight melts snow in temperate climates much more than the increase in air temperature ever could. More radiant energy must be deposited on the receding glaciers. Either there is more incident radiant energy or the glaciers are more able to absorb rather than reflect the incident radiation or both.

The causes of increased incident radiation can be one or a combination of the following: (1) there is more solar radiation because the sun itself is putting out more energy, the solar “constant” has increased, (2) more solar radiation directly comes through the atmosphere because the atmosphere is more transparent rather than reflective (e.g., less cloudy, less ozone), (3) more infra-red is sent back to the glaciers rather than escaping to outer space because the atmosphere is more greenhouse active (e.g., higher water vapour content), and (4) more ambient infra-red radiation is sent towards the glaciers via atmospheric greenhouse scattering because there is more ambient infra-red radiation originating from neighbouring ice-free cover that has become more incident-solar-radiation absorbent. The latter ice-free surfaces could have become more absorbent by changes in their surface properties (i.e., surface coverings). For example, deforested soil is more incident radiation absorbent than a forest cover, bare rock is much more absorbent than snow-covered rock, etc.

The glaciers themselves could have become more absorbent for incident radiation by various mechanisms. For example, mineral or organic or pollution atmospheric dust loads (e.g., fossil fuel burning soot) could have increased leading to dust delivery to the glaciers. Such microscopic deposited dust in turn makes a glacier surface more radiation absorbent. The type of snow that can cover a glacier will also affect its radiation (light) absorption and reflection properties and snow type (granularity, dendrite structure, etc.) is in turn dependent on several atmospheric properties. Volcanic activity, large scale forest or grassland fires, dominant wind patterns, large scale changes in soil humidity and other conditions arising from changes in agricultural practices, can all significantly alter atmospheric dust loads and the latter are known to affect regional scale solar radiation budgets.

We see therefore that receding glaciers are not even most directly a sign of global warming and that the actual mechanism(s) can include a host of other causes. Indeed, paleoclimatologists studying global climate and ice age cycles believe the opposite causal direction: Radiative loading and water cycle factors change snow and ice cover which in turn change global radiation balance (planetary surface albedo) which then provides a positive feedback for further warming (resulting from increased radiative loading) or cooling (resulting from decreased radiative loading). Indeed, the accepted theory of ice age cycles is based on solar radiation forcing arising from cyclical Sun-Earth orbital variations.

As another example, let us accept, for the sake of argument; that Polar Region warming is occurring beyond statistical variations of the last 100 years, say; that permafrost (permanently frozen subsoil) is less extensive; and that polar ocean ice coverages are less prominent. The next question is why? Ocean currents have not dramatically changed, nor have measured sea level air temperatures.

These changes can again be due to solar radiative effects, along the same lines as explained above for receding glaciers. For ocean glaciers the above discussion of mechanisms for receding high altitude glaciers applies exactly whereas minor modifications are needed for receding permafrost.

In the case of permafrost, the seasonal duration of direct solar radiation loading to the soil is probably the dominant factor. This duration is inversely related to the duration of soil snow and ice cover which in turn can be controlled by the same factors discussed above that control high altitude glacier recession.

In conclusion, all the main easily observable and most cited regional warming effects are probably driven by radiative mechanisms having nothing to do with (i.e., not being caused by) global warming or increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration. More likely causal factors include: soot from coal-powered plants, mineral, soil, and organic matter dust from changes in agricultural practices, fires from changes in water and land management practices, increased high-altitude and polar atmospheric transparency, changes in the solar constant, etc.

This is not to say that these local and regional warming phenomena are not important and do not affect ecosystems and people’s lives. But then if we want to help these people (mostly Polar Region and high altitude aboriginal people) then we need only help them! For example, we could ask what help they most need rather than continuing to pollute their environment and destroy their lands by resource exploitation. If we want to stop destroying habitat, we could stop destroying habitat.


SCIENCE IS NOT THE ANSWER

Environmental scientists and government agencies get funding to study and monitor problems that do not threaten corporate and financial interests. It is therefore no surprise that they would attack continental-scale devastation from resource extraction via the CO2 back door. The main drawback with this strategy is that you cannot control a hungry monster by asking it not to shit as much.

Somewhere First World middleclassers will need to abandon the lies that we live in democracies, that the corporate profit motive guarantees environmental protection, that servicing manufactured debt advances society, that corporate agri-business is the best way to feed people, that making a mess everywhere to serve share holders is the best way to generate well being, and that exploiting others is a good way to help them, not to mention that war is an acceptable method to bring justice and freedom to enslaved populations.

The planet will continue to change, adapt and evolve, with or without us. Recurring episodes of increased volcanic activity will continue to alter our climate. Ice ages will continue to come and go. Meteorites will continue to impact our planetary home. Disease and insect outbursts, wild fires, floods, and earthquakes will continue to wash over us as we adapt and respond. The sun will continue to vary its output and will eventually burn out. The atmosphere will continue to change as it always has under the influence of life and of geology. We can’t control these things. We can barely perceive them correctly. But we can take control of how we treat each other.

The best we can do for the environment and for the planet is to learn not to let undemocratic power structures run our lives. The best we can do is to reject exploitation and domination and to embrace cooperation and solidarity. The best we can do is to not trust subservient scientists and to become active agents for change beyond head-in-the-sand personal lifestyle choices.

We need to get political, beyond corporate-controlled shadow governments and co-opted political parties. We need to take charge more than we need to recycle. Concentrated power and capital are not about to give up their practices or their imperative for profit. Resistance to the insane return-on-investments hydra that inhabits our planet is our main responsibility if we are concerned about future generations.

There are real environmental problems on the planet. Agriculture, especially large-scale corporate chemical fertilizer and pesticide-based agriculture, is the main human force that has transformed the planet. Resource extraction and use is a close second, including energy, minerals, building materials, etc. Toxic substance pollution vies for an important place, with everything from persistent organic pollutants, to heavy metals, to radioactive substances, to pharmaceutical metabolites, all the way to industrially prepared food products. The industrial food-animal cycle is another wonderful experiment in attempted mass suicide, not to mention its grotesque inanimality.


THE BEST WAY TO STOP IS TO STOP

All in all, the best way to not pollute and destroy the environment is to not pollute and destroy the environment. The best way to not exploit others is to not exploit others. I am not talking only about personal lifestyle choices, alternative information sources, and volunteer work. I am talking about taking back control from undemocratically run corporations and illegitimate concentrations of power, by all the effective means we can muster and as though our survival depended on it. I am talking about activism.

Global warming is strictly an imaginary problem of the First World middleclass. Nobody else cares about global warming. Exploited factory workers in the Third World don’t care about global warming. Depleted uranium genetically mutilated children in Iraq don’t care about global warming. Devastated aboriginal populations the world over also can’t relate to global warming, except maybe as representing the only solidarity that we might volunteer.

If we want to help island dwellers threatened by a predicted sea level rise then let’s help those island dwellers. If we are worried about victims of weather events then let us help those victims. The poorest Hurricane Katrina victims are still waiting.

It’s not about limited resources. [“The amount of money spent on pet food in the US and Europe each year equals the additional amount needed to provide basic food and health care for all the people in poor countries, with a sizeable amount left over.” (UN Human Development Report, 1999)] It’s about exploitation, oppression, racism, power, and greed. Economic, human, and animal justice brings economic sustainability which in turn is always based on renewable practices. Recognizing the basic rights of native people automatically moderates resource extraction and preserves natural habitats. Not permitting imperialist wars and interventions automatically quenches nation-scale exploitation. True democratic control over monetary policy goes a long way in removing debt-based extortion. Etc.


BACK TO SCIENCE: THE PROBLEM WITH CO2

Regarding planetary greenhouse warming, by far the most important greenhouse active atmospheric gas is water vapour – it is a major constituent of the atmosphere whereas CO2 is a trace atmospheric gas. This is well known and it is established, for example, that even doubling the present atmospheric CO2 concentration, to the unattainable value of 800 ppm (parts per million) say, without changing anything else in the atmosphere, would have little discernable effect on global temperature or climate.

All of the climate models that relate CO2 concentrations to climate effects do so by arbitrarily linking a model increase in CO2 to an induced and larger increase in atmospheric water vapour. In other words, all the climate models postulate a large and positive feedback between CO2 and water vapour.

Several scientists have argued that these models are computer realizations of the tail wagging the dog. Water vapour is the dominant greenhouse factor and the behaviour of water in the atmosphere is far more complex than that of CO2 (clouds, rain, snow, evaporation, etc.) yet CO2 is taken to drive the water cycle rather than water taken to drive CO2 dynamics; using a fictitious multiplicative feedback factor.

On the contrary, for example: Water is often the determining factor in vegetation growth. Vegetation growth in turn consumes CO2 and is the greatest active bound-carbon © pool on the planet. Therefore, it is more correct to say that water drives the carbon cycle. Atmospheric CO2 concentration is only a remote witness to all the natural and anthropogenic processes that consume and produce CO2.

There is no known mechanism whereby an increase in CO2 concentration could directly cause an increase in water vapour concentration in the amount required by climate computer models. On the other hand, there are many known mechanisms whereby water vapour concentration can be dramatically affected by various external agents. Some examples are as follows: (1) solar input drives convection and winds which in turn largely determine atmospheric evaporation loading, (2) deforestation and agriculture expose soils which are sources of mineral and organic dust which in turn can induce precipitation or can affect solar radiation balances, (3) solar winds of cosmic rays can induce high altitude cloud formation thereby reducing solar radiation penetration, etc.

Ice core data shows strong temporal correlations between average global temperature (as recorded by the water oxygen isotope proxy) and atmospheric CO2 (as recorded in trapped gas bubbles) yet these correlations do not show causal relations. CO2 increases may accompany temperature increases rather than causing them. Indeed, some high resolution studies have suggested that the temperature increases precede the CO2 increases. Interestingly, also, ice core data shows strong temporal correlations between inferred temperature and amount of dust preserved in the ice core. Finally, the older geological record shows several dramatic examples of where CO2 concentration and global average temperature were either unrelated or even anti-correlated.

Just as solar radiation intensity and inclination determines our seasons and the differences between day and night, so too solar radiation variations related to solar winds, magnetic shielding, and solar intensity cycles (e.g., sunspots) probably have a greater impact on the water cycle than changes in any greenhouse active trace gas.
There is of course much more wrong with state-of-the-art global circulation models (climate models) than the assumption and implementation of CO2-H2O feedback. Although these models are among the most elaborate predictive models of complex non-linear phenomena, they are nonetheless sweeping oversimplifications of the global climate system and its mechanistic intricacies.


IF IT WERE CO2 THEN COULD WE CONTROL IT?

Disregarding the above objections, if we take CO2 to be the pivotal quantity, then even this CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is not easy for scientists to understand. While the value of the CO2 concentration can be measured reliably and accurately and while it is increasing, possibly in response to fossil fuel burning, the measured increase is not proportional to the known increase in fossil fuel consumption. There is not a simple relation between fossil fuel burning and atmospheric CO2 in two key respects: (1) the temporal variations of burning and of atmospheric CO2 concentration do not follow each other – the curves do not match, they do not have the same shape, and (2) the net extra (post-industrial) amount of CO2 in the atmosphere cannot be reconciled with the amount of CO2 produced by fossil fuel burning.

Regarding the latter point, the resulting amount of CO2 in the atmosphere depends on many processes that either produce CO2 (that are sources) or consume CO2 (that are sinks). Growth of plants is a sink. Degradation of soil or sediment organic matter is a source. Burying and preserving sedimentary or soil organic matter from oxidation is a sink. Breathing is a form of combustion and is a source. Photosynthesis is a sink. Fossil fuels are preserved organic matter not yet degraded by oxidation (or combustion). Deforestation is a net source since forests are larger repositories of bound carbon than are agricultural or grazing lands. The weathering of rocks and the erosion of mountains is a source, as is mining. Etc. As it turns out, when all the known sources and sinks are added up, scientists are not able to account for half of the CO2 produced by fossil fuel burning.

In other words, there is a “missing sink” that is taking up approximately half of the CO2 produced by fossil fuel burning; that would otherwise end up in the atmosphere. This is a massive amount that scientists simply cannot account for. Clearly, the complex source and sink mechanisms of the bio and geospheres are far from completely understood, as are the myriad of feedback mechanisms that can dramatically either slow or intensify the rates of sinking and sourcing.

The point here is that CO2 concentration itself, even if we stubbornly cling to it as a holly grail of climate mediation, most probably cannot be controlled by controlling anthropogenic CO2 emissions. There are more unknown and unforeseeable CO2 evolution feedback mechanisms then there are climate research institutes on the planet.

Even among human activities, there are many practices that can potentially affect atmospheric CO2 fluxes more than direct mitigation of fossil fuel burning. These include: distribution-of-wealth practices; world investment, trading and lending practices; democratic versus corporate control over the media, over marketing and over the mental environment in general; military intervention and intimidation practices; and so on. Each of the above areas of societal behaviour and organization can be shown to significantly alter or moderate global CO2 fluxes between the atmosphere and other compartments.

Excluding direct human activities (land and water use, etc.), there are major natural factors that affect CO2 atmospheric loading. These are only partially understood and include: geological weathering, ocean sedimentation, land plant growth, soil evolution, sediment diagenesis, ecological niche invasion, volcanic activity, continental subduction, and many others. Indeed, there is no accepted model that quantitatively explains atmospheric CO2 concentration, given our limited knowledge of these factors.

The atmosphere is one of the smallest pools or compartments for carbon (as CO2) and it responds quickly to any flux changes with the other compartments. These flux routes are varied and largely unknown, as are the mechanisms that control flux magnitudes. To believe that we could control atmospheric CO2 concentration by controlling only the flux from anthropogenic fossil fuel burning is naive. Burning mitigation or carbon sequestration practices could easily have no effect or opposite effects, even if significant societal efforts were dedicated to such efforts.


THERE ARE TRILLIONS TO BE MADE

What is more naïve than believing that humankind could control atmospheric CO2 levels by direct interventions, however, is the belief that the financial and corporate interests that benefit from fossil fuel burning and still have gargantuan profits to be made from the remaining fossil fuels of increasing value could in this world be convinced by law or agreement to voluntarily reduce production and to not exercise their clout in creating demand for the resource that they control.

Fossil fuel is the main economic commodity on the planet. Cheap fossil fuel equals cheap transportation equals globalized trade and globalized exploitation of labour and of natural resources. Cheap fossil fuel drives the automobile industry, the largest manufactured goods growth area in the developing world. Cheap fossil fuel is the raw material of the petro-chemical industry, including fertilizers, and drives agri-business. Cheap fossil fuel allows rapid military deployments. The entire planetary web of corporate and finance exploitation is presently reliant on fossil fuels. To think that governments of media-created stand-ins could negotiate restraints on a remote side effect (CO2) of the present day exercise of power, without ever addressing the real issues, is to be delusional. Optimism of the will in needed but let us start with pessimism of the intellect. Let us be realistic.

In this world, before renewable sources become the new basis of global economic extortion, oil exploration will be extended to every sensitive ecosystem on the globe and the world’s massive coal reserves will be liquefied and gasified. There are enough coal reserves to keep the wheels of corporate exploitation turning for another 1000 years or so at the present rate. This will happen unless citizens force democratic control over the major planetary economic instruments – private banking cartels, multinational corporations, and their government extensions that are the World Bank and the IMF. In this sense, anti-globalization activists are at the forefront of environmental activism.

Even if CO2 emissions could be controlled in actual practice, this would not impact CO2 concentration in a predictable way, and CO2 in turn does not control global climate. People, corporations, financial webs, and ecosystems all adapt to climate change. A global corporate and finance machine of profit and interest extraction based on renewable energy resources (that it would control) would not be less devastating than the present system and would continue to cause irreparable damage.

Climate is not an effectual lever for controlling the corporate and finance madness that is destroying human communities and natural habitats. Indeed, it is the kind of lever that is guaranteed to be ineffectual: It avoids the root causes, it does not challenge the relevant power structures, it entices us into collaboration, it seduces us into personal consumption responsibility as a substitute for effective political action, it turns our attention towards learning about atmospheric chemistry rather than about the relevant major human-controlled planetary forces, and it gives us something we relate to (the weather) rather than sensitizing us to real world problems. The global warming myth isolates us from the people of the Third World and from all exploited people outside of our class, rather than creating meaningful occasions for empathy and solidarity.


WHY GLOBAL WARMING? SCIENCE IS A BANDWAGON

Precisely because it is ineffectual… and deflects our attention away from the necessary confrontations with established power.

If you accept my critique that the global warming threat is a myth then the next question is why are so many resources being spent to keep the myth alive? Why is it so important to keep global warming at the forefront of our mental environment? Why have scientists and First World environmentalists bought into it with such conviction and dedication? Why are mainstream politicians allowed by their bosses to use it in their platforms?

Scientists are simple beings. In general, they have not studied politics or sociology or human history. They have had to specialize and to confine their methods and questions to those that are specific to their chosen fields. Outside of their disciplines, they construct a world view largely from the same sources as most middleclass citizens; the mainstream media and popular culture. Their main comparison points are colleagues just like themselves that they meet at specialized conferences and in staff lounges.

At the same time, scientists, like the rest of working people, often search for a sense of doing something meaningful at work. They look for ways that their work might have broader societal implications, even though it is most often very specialized and has narrow applications. Ecologists and environmental scientists like to consider that they might help society to better treat the environment.

Science is a social construction and scientists must be seen by their peers as contributing “positively” to their fields and must mainly cooperate in order to get along and get ahead. This has the effect of creating an impetus for scientific consensus. Contrary positions are rarely deep or long lived and a lot of mileage is extracted from going along and echoing the dominant paradigms or opinions. Once something becomes popular, a scientist can repeat it without new supporting evidence comfortably and without awakening the ire of reviewers. Such statements are made in the introductions of scientific articles in order to motivate the specialized work or are made in giving broader (and more tenuous) interpretations or are made in the conclusions of papers to suggest possible implications of the specialized work.

Global warming has now become just such a popular theme among ecologists and environmental scientists. As a result, whereas specialized researchers in climate change itself continue to debate global warming and its many facets and continue to critique each others’ methods, data, and conclusions, most articles in scientific journals that mention global warming do so gratuitously – in a non-critical, superficial and self-serving way. Observers of science must therefore be careful in simply counting opinions expressed in the introductions and conclusions of scientific articles.

In addition, there are the international commissions mandated to sort out the scientific literature on topics that could have public relevance. A main relevant example is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These bodies are mostly composed of scientists but have political missions.

The board members typically study thousands of scientific papers written by climate change experts and others. These papers use different methods and report different types of data and sometimes come to contradictory conclusions. Most published papers, however, report inconclusive results and tenuous extrapolations, given the difficulty of the area of study. The authors of the original publications are usually careful and often do not overstate their conclusions. They also often qualify their interpretations and spell out the limits of their work and the most tenuous parts of their arguments.

Faced with this massive array of inconclusive or tentative or contradictory and incomplete results, the international (or national) commission must prepare a report that will be useful to governments and policy makers. They must attempt to identify the dominant or most likely trends, while keeping in mind that scientific truth cannot be established by a democratic vote or a popularity contest.

Having then identified the main trends and having extensively documented the pitfalls and limits of the reviewed papers, the international commission must also write an executive summary, for executives that want definitive statements. The executive summary is the only part of the report that has a chance of being read by the top decision makers and it is probably the only part of the report from which the media will cite. Few of the players who will read only the executive summary have the knowledge to appreciate its careful language and all the sacrifices of content and accuracy that have been made to produce it.

The international commission’s report then becomes a milestone that the commission itself, for political reasons of perceived legitimacy, cannot easily contradict in future reports. There is also a tendency for most scientists to accept the commission report’s main conclusions or proposed trends.


THE ENVIRONMENTALISTS

The environmental activists, on their side, are trying to reduce negative human impact on the natural world by whatever means they can. Many of them are astute political activists but more of them are simply environmentally responsible citizens who are mainly concerned with personal lifestyle choices to minimize personal ecological footprints. Environmentalists generally see global warming as a bonanza in public opinion outreach that has the potential to transform a majority of citizens into bicycle-riding anti-air-conditioning energy saving zealots that will also be sensitized to other and deeper issues.

Environmentalists also have an urgent sense that humankind is destroying the planet (which is true) and therefore do not have too hard a time believing that fossil fuel burning could directly cause the globe to burn up in a violent last tempest of floods and hurricanes that would destroy the last natural habitats and make civilization as we would like it virtually impossible. Besides, it makes sense, CO2 is a greenhouse effect gas and it is a product of organic matter combustion.

The main arguments I hear from environmentalists are: (1) that even if we are not attacking a root cause, forcing all to burn less fossil fuels will slow down humankind’s otherwise unimpeded destruction of the planet and (2) concentrating on this issue has much educational value and will help sensitize members of the public who may then later go a further step.

I don’t agree with either of the latter positions.

Finance-driven exploitation is creative and nimble and will always maximize short-term gain by whatever method it can get away with, whether limited (on paper) in its CO2 emissions or not, and all such exploitations of humans and of nature are always destructive beyond what should be tolerated in a democratic society.

On the “global warming issue as education” front, I again argue the opposite: That promoting the global warming myth trains people to accept unverified, remote, and abstract dangers in the place of true problems that they can discover for themselves by becoming directly engaged in their workplace and by doing their own research and observations. It trains people to think lifestyle choices (in relation to CO2 emission) rather than to think activism in the sense of exerting an influence to change societal structures. The first involves finding a comfort zone consistent with one’s values whereas the latter involves accepting confrontation and risk in order to challenge power structures. The first is needed for welfare, as are community, friendship, etc., while the second is needed to create sanity and justice in an insane world.

In that sense, the global warming myth is a powerful tool of co-optation that has even eroded one of the most fertile grounds of political activism: the environmental movement.

I find that those who defend the global warming myth most strenuously are also those who cling most to the notion that the best way to solve these problems is to somehow (“through awareness and education”) get everyone (or the majority) to minimize their footprints and consume responsibly. They usually also argue that corporate bosses and bank managers are people too and that we just need to reach out to them. They are allergic even to the notion of organized confrontation.


MAINSTREAM MIND F#?K

The beliefs of mainstream environmentalists are beliefs of the First World liberal middleclass. As such, the global warming myth fits right in.

The global warming myth, as propagated by the mainstream media, also works wonders on the general population: A global problem that we can solve by just changing our light bulbs to the energy saving kind or by voting for the Democrats or by trusting our scientists to come up with a carbon sequestration plan or by going nuclear for our electricity…

The media are allowed to talk global warming because it does not threaten power in any significant way. Indeed, it deflects attention away from real world issues. It’s perfect. The scientists can debate it. The environmental activists are largely neutralized. Everyone thinks it’s about CO2. The economists can work out the carbon credits. The politicians can talk environment without actually saying anything. Those who want to do something can change their consumer habits. The others can just ignore it and continue chatting about the weather.

The fact that the global warming myth has now attained this degree of media promotion and entertainment industry integration means not only that the issue is not threatening to power but that it has also come to be understood by power to be quite useful. In this regard, the global warming myth has joined the other useful media-supported myths that include: increasing crime rates, the terrorist threat, the American dream, that we live in a democracy, that greed and selfishness are unavoidable overriding consequences of human nature, that we all attain the economic status that fits our talents and efforts, that we help developing and Third World countries (that would be worse off without us), etc.

I hope that this essay will convert a few myth consumers into temporarily disoriented environmentalists who will eventually become dedicated and effective social justice activists. The global warming myth will then have been useful for something of value.
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“Socialism always begins with a universal vision for the brotherhood of man and ends with people having to eat their own pets.”
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#73
Monsieur Le Tonk Wrote:anthropogenic emissions are a significant contributing factor.
Quite right. The prob. is in quantification of word "significant". And I suspect this one is in the eye of beholder. S1 And the beholders with the biggest eye problem want to force their "solution" onto rest of the population. The population resists (so far) mainly because the "solution" looks like car lemon: it seems nice upon a casual glance, but when you try tro drive it..... Shock
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#74
I wish to comment on the following from the last John's link:
Denis G. Rancourt Wrote:I argue that by far the most destructive force on the planet is power-driven financiers and profit-driven corporations and their cartels backed by military might
1. It is very strong emerging property of any self-organising society and as such one can observe the structure on any societal scale level: family, tribe, city, state, etc. The structure manifest itself under different names (aka father or mother, or tribal shaik, or party chief, or gang leader) of course, but it is the same structure.
2. Any societal changes (revolutionary or not) might somewhat alter this only for a very short transitional time and as history shows humans (for some reasons) do not like such "interesting" times.
3. It is possible to permanently remove societal tendency to generate this emerging property only by destroying society into the smallest possible independent units (single human) that cannot interact with each other. And this might be too steep a price. Even for algore.
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#75
Even German Social Democrats, such as former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, have come out as well.

Quote:Global warming -- just "hysteria"?


Meanwhile, former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt called for an end to the "hysteria" over global warming in the lead-up to the summit. The topic is "hysterical, overheated, and that is especially because of the media," Schmidt told Germany's Bild daily.


There has always been climate change on earth, Schmidt said.


"We've had warm- and ice-ages for hundreds of thousands of years," he said, and added that the reasons behind the multiple climate changes have been "inadequately researched for the time being."


To assume that global climate change can be altered by any plans made at the Heiligendamm summit is "idiotic," he said.
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“Socialism always begins with a universal vision for the brotherhood of man and ends with people having to eat their own pets.”
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#76
Nice post John. Science facts mixed with Eisenhower's warnings about the "industrial-military complex". He seems to avoid the right wing's inference that the leftists are using GW as a ruse for "more government control of everybody". Rather, they are suckers for falling for this instead of working to combat "inequity" etc.
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#77
jt Wrote:Nice post John. Science facts mixed with Eisenhower's warnings about the "industrial-military complex". He seems to avoid the right wing's inference that the leftists are using GW as a ruse for "more government control of everybody". Rather, they are suckers for falling for this instead of working to combat "inequity" etc.

Which post?
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“Socialism always begins with a universal vision for the brotherhood of man and ends with people having to eat their own pets.”
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#78
interesting, as usual (and watch the video)
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#79
Michael Crichton's book, State of Fear, has been out for a while now, and more and more people must be reading it. First time I've seen a novel with footnotes, but Crichton sure debunks the true-believer Global Warming crowd.
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#80
Ron, that is why the kooks go so far out of their way to trash him. Can't allow such constructive criticism to go unpunished, don't you know?
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