Free Markets, Free People
Todd Stern, the Obama administration’s “Special Envoy for Climate Change”, held a quick press conference in Durban, South Africa where a UN conference on climate change is being held. He first made it a point to deny that the US was taking a “time out” until 2020. He then said a couple of things which should make clear the administration’s agenda.
First, without a viable alternative for fossil fuel to this point, the intent of the administration is to increase prices on those fuels that will ensure they’re “priced the way they ought to be”. Stern:
You need to use less energy through efficiency and to develop renewable energy sources more and more to the point that they get to what’s called grid parity, so that standing on their own they actually become sources of energy that can compete with sources like coal and so forth, fossil fuels.
And it is a very good thing to have those fossil fuel sources priced the way they ought to be, to have a price on carbon. That’s what we were trying to do with our legislation, it didn’t pass, but that kind of legislation obviously is in place in Europe, and hopefully it will come into place more and more.’
Now remember, this is from the administration that has claimed the mantle of champion of the middle class. Yet its plan is to price much of the middle class into energy poverty if it can ever get its legislation passed. And for those that will try to argue that it’s a plan for the future when there are, arguendo, viable alternatives, that’s nonsense. “It didn’t pass” tells you all you need to know about that claim.
Secondly, this administration has bought into the 100 billion (a year) dollar fund that the “rich countries” are supposed to fund to help the “poor countries” (like China and India). Stern:
We will also be working hard to ramp up the funding that is supposed to reach a 100 billion dollars a year by 2020. There’s a ton of work to be done in the years. We have been doing a lot of work on this, this year, and we will be continuing to do that as are many other countries. And all at the same time, if we get the kind of roadmap that countries have called for — the EU has called for, that the U.S. supports — for preparing for and negotiating a future regime, whether it ends up being legally binding or not, we don’t know yet, but we are strongly committed to a promptly starting process to move forward on that.
Tell your grandkids to start saving up, because the Obama administration is getting ready to shackle them and their future earnings to a global redistribution scheme based in fraudulent science (regardless of what Sen. Barbara “Ma’am” Boxer claims).
As with health care reform, there is no popular support in the US for this sort of nonsense, yet your enlightened rulers certainly believe they know better – just ask them. And they intend to push their ideological agenda instead of doing the will of the people. As for you little people, just suck it up and learn to appreciate (and pay for) their enlightened rule, OK?
Why? Because there’s a UN meeting beginning in Durbin, South Africa on “climate change” and the propaganda will be freely flowing.
A new round of United Nations climate talks is getting under way in Durban, South Africa, Monday. And domestic struggles here in the United States are hampering the global talks.
The United States is second only to China in emitting gases that cause global warming. Despite a presidential pledge to reduce emissions two years ago, we’re spewing more carbon dioxide than ever into the atmosphere.
That’s putting a crimp on the 20-year-long struggle to develop a meaningful climate treaty.
Really? That’s what’s putting a crimp on it? Or is the unquestioned acceptance of the premise “emitting gases” causes “global warming” perhaps the problem when it appears the “science” is falling apart?
What is interesting to me is to watch those who unquestionably accept this premise ignore the profound problems the “science” that supports this nonsense has shown.
Christopher Booker does a good job of distilling the problem, here speaking of the UK government:
To grasp the almost suicidal state of unreality our Government has been driven into by the obsession with global warming, it is necessary to put together the two sides to an overall picture – each vividly highlighted by events of recent days.
On one hand there is the utterly lamentable state of the science which underpins it all, illuminated yet again by “Climategate 2.0”, the latest release of emails between the leading scientists who for years have been at the heart of the warming scare (which I return to below). On the other hand, we see the damage done by the political consequences of this scare, which will directly impinge, in various ways, on all our lives.
Like driving up energy costs to a point that energy poverty will be a common problem. Booker has another nice body slam to the “premise” later on in his article:
While our Government remains trapped in its green dreamworld, similar horror stories pile up on every side, from that UBS report on the astronomically costly fiasco of the EU’s carbon-trading scheme, to our own Government’s “carbon floor price”, in effect a tax on CO2 emissions rising yearly from 2013. This alone will eventually be enough to double the cost of our electricity, and drive a further swathe of what remains of UK industry abroad, because we are the only country in the world to have devised something so idiotic.
All this madness ultimately rests on a blind faith in the threat of man-made global warming, which no one has done more to promote than the scientists whose private emails were again last week leaked onto the internet.
It is still not generally appreciated that the significance of these Climategate emails is that their authors, such as Michael Mann, are no ordinary scientists: they are a little group of fanatical insiders who have, for years, done more than anyone else to drive the warming scare, through their influence at the heart of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And what is most striking about the picture that emerges from these emails is just how questionable the work of these men appears.
That’s entirely true if you actually read through the released emails. What you read isn’t science, it is “scientists” tailoring their “science” to fit a political agenda in order to keep the grant gravy train rolling. The deniers, in this particular horror show, are the true believers who have, on faith, accepted the “premise” and refuse to question it or examine the evidence which argues strongly against it.
To be clear, the whole debate revolves around “climate sensitivity” to CO2. Those on the side of man-made global warming claim the environment is highly sensitive to CO2. The so-called “deniers” claim it isn’t at all. And for those who’ve followed the debate, the real science seems to support the so-called “deniers”.
The climate may be less sensitive to carbon dioxide than we thought – and temperature rises this century could be smaller than expected. That’s the surprise result of a new analysis of the last ice age. However, the finding comes from considering just one climate model, and unless it can be replicated using other models, researchers are dubious that it is genuine.
As more greenhouse gases enter the atmosphere, more heat is trapped and temperatures go up – but by how much? The best estimates say that if the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doubles, temperatures will rise by 3 °C. This is the "climate sensitivity".
But the 3 °C figure is only an estimate. In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the climate sensitivity could be anywhere between 2 and 4.5 °C. That means the temperature rise from a given release of carbon dioxide is still uncertain.
But you wouldn’t know that by listening to the alarmists (and much of the press) who continue to claim the science is settled. And that’s in the face of this:
The global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide jumped by the biggest amount on record, the U.S.Department of Energy calculated, a sign of how feeble the world’s efforts are at slowing man-made global warming.
The new figures for 2010 mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago.
… Prof Curry said, the project’s research data show there has been no increase in world temperatures since the end of the Nineties – a fact confirmed by a new analysis that The Mail on Sunday has obtained.
‘There is no scientific basis for saying that warming hasn’t stopped,’ she said. ‘To say that there is detracts from the credibility of the data, which is very unfortunate.’
… [S]he added, in the wake of the unexpected global warming standstill, many climate scientists who had previously rejected sceptics’ arguments were now taking them much more seriously.
They were finally addressing questions such as the influence of clouds, natural temperature cycles and solar radiation – as they should have done, she said, a long time ago.
But the true believers gathering in Durbin SA? Still reject the fact that the so-called “science” of global warming is under fierce and sustained attack and is being found to be increasingly wanting in both substance and fact.
And I don’t know about you but it seems incredible to me that, as Prof. Curry notes, scientists are “finally addressing” the influence of “clouds, natural temperature cycles and solar radiation”.
Finally!? How in the world could “science” not have included those originally? How could they have somehow been factored out?
That’s actually an easy question to answer.
Because including them wouldn’t have given the “scientists” in question the results necessary to support the “premise” cooked up by those pushing the man-made global warming agenda. And that, of course, meant an end to the grant money of multi billions of dollars.
Meanwhile in Durbin this week, the real deniers are going to be busily trying to trade away your ability to purchase cheap and plentiful energy through various schemes which will advance their agenda and put the rest of humanity in an unrecoverable energy deficit.
Delegates at the conference will also be hammering out the details of a plan to administer the Green Climate Fund, money that is to help poor countries deal with climate change.
The fund is expected to grow over the next eight years to eventually distribute about $100 billion a year. However, it is still unclear where all of that money will come from and how it will be distributed.
In addition to the usual international development funds from the West, proposals include a carbon surcharge on international shipping and on air tickets, as well as a levy on international financial transactions.
This is what junk science tied to a political agenda brings. And, as usual, you’ll be levied to pay the bill they agree on with your money and your way of life.
As of today, FOIA.org released another 7zip file—which can be obtained here—containing 5000 unencypted, and an additional 250,000 encrypted, climate change emails from all the usual suspects we remember from Climategate. FOIA.org says they don’t plan on releasing the encryption keys for the remaining emails yet, but the 5,000 unencrypted emails are…interesting.
One quick take-away: Michael Mann’s temperature results may be…questionable.
I thought I’d play around with some randomly generated time-series and see if I could ‘reconstruct’ northern hemisphere temperatures.
[...] The reconstructions clearly show a ‘hockey-stick’ trend. I guess this is precisely the phenomenon that Macintyre has been going on about.
That would seem to be a pretty big vulnerability in the "hockey stick".
And the IPCC process seems…really questionable.
Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest. Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these further if necessary [...]
I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.
The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guid[e] what’s included and what is left out.
In my [IPCC-TAR] review [...] I crit[i]cized [...] the Mann hockey[s]tick [...] My review was classified “unsignificant” even I inquired several times. Now the internationally well known newspaper SPIEGEL got the information about these early statements because I expressed my opinion in several talks, mainly in Germany, in 2002 and 2003. I just refused to give an exclusive interview to SPIEGEL because I will not cause damage for climate science.
Hence the AR4 Section 184.108.40.206.2 dismissal of the ACRIM composite to be instrumental rather than solar in origin is a bit controversial. Similarly IPCC in their discussion on solar RF since the Maunder Minimum are very dependent on the paper by Wang et al (which I have been unable to access) in the decision to reduce the solar RF significantly despite the many papers to the contrary in the ISSI workshop. All this leaves the IPCC almost entirely dependent on CO2 for the explanation of current global temperatures as in Fig 2.23. since methane CFCs and aerosols are not increasing.
I find myself in the strange position of being very skeptical of the quality of all present reconstructions, yet sounding like a pro greenhouse zealot here!
But, remember, the science is settled!
The results for 400 ppm stabilization look odd in many cases [...] As it stands we’ll have to delete the results from the paper if it is to be published.
 What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably [...]
Although I agree that GHGs are important in the 19th/20th century (especially since the 1970s), if the weighting of solar forcing was stronger in the models, surely this would diminish the significance of GHGs.
[...] it seems to me that by weighting the solar irradiance more strongly in the models, then much of the 19th to mid 20th century warming can be explained from the sun alone.
would you agree that there is no convincing evidence for kilimanjaro glacier melt being due to recent warming (let alone man-made warming)?
[tropical glaciers] There is a small problem though with their retreat. They have retreated a lot in the last 20 years yet the MSU2LT data would suggest that temperatures haven’t increased at these levels.
There shouldn’t be someone else at UEA with different views [from "recent extreme weather is due to global warming"] – at least not a climatologist.
I am not convinced that the “truth” is always worth reaching if it is at the cost of damaged personal relationships
Phil, thanks for your thoughts – guarantee there will be no dirty laundry in the open.
He’s skeptical that the warming is as great as we show in East Antarctica — he thinks the “right” answer is more like our detrended results in the supplementary text. I cannot argue he is wrong.
<4470> Norwegian Meteorological Institute:
In Norway and Spitsbergen, it is possible to explain most of the warming after the 1960s by changes in the atmospheric circulation. The warming prior to 1940 cannot be explained in this way.
It is interesting to see the lower tropospheric warming minimum in the tropics in all three plots, which I cannot explain. I believe it is spurious but it is remarkably robust against my adjustment efforts.
You know what else is remarkably robust against adjustment efforts? Reality.
Apparently income inequality is the new cult of the left. And they intend upon exploiting it to their advantage. Never mind the fact that It makes the same sort of erroneous assumptions as does global warming: A) that there’s a perfect temperature for the earth and B) man is screwing it up.
Income inequality makes two such assumptions: A) economics is a zero sum game so when the rich get more the poor get less, B) income classes are static.
Finally, in the case of both, the solution is government intervention. In the case of global warming the solution is to tax us back into the stone age to prevent the production of CO2 and maintain whatever temperature target they’re gunning for. In the case of income inequality, the solution is government taxing the “rich” and redistributing their income to ensure the rich don’t get more than their “fair share”. That’s sort of like that perfect temperature I was talking about .. who gets to decide what is a “fair share?”
Of course it plays into the left’s love of class warfare. Such warfare allows the left, which seems to have an ingrained guilt about succeeding and being richer or better off than others, to use these issues to a) assuage that guilt and b) use government as an instrument of utopian change (social engineering).
One of the most attractive aspects of this nation’s founding was the fact that government was formed to fulfill and entirely different role than it had traditionally to that point. It was chartered to be an institution that protected the rights of the people who were the sovereigns and in charge. Government was to be a sort of “night watchman” who protected us from force and fraud both internally and externally. And to discharge those duties the government was given certainly powers to do so.
But never envisioned or entertained was the idea that government would intrude to such an extent as it has today. That’s because those who wrote the founding document understood what freedom and liberty meant. And they also realized that any intrusion by government in areas other than that of protecting rights actually meant violating rights. Certainly not the rights of all, but it must violate rights, such as that to property, to take from one and give to another under such flimsy pretexts such as those presented by income inequality and global warming.
Government intrusion and cronyism (both economic and political) are rampant now (and not just on the left). The system is horribly corrupted, the government far too intrusive and the left continues to try to change government’s focus from night watchman to Candyman.
Unfortunately, they seem to have had far more success than they should have or we wouldn’t be discussing this right now or noting the seriousness which one has to take these issues.
The level of intrusion and cronyism (both economic and political) will end up destroying this country. It is well on its way now. And all of it being done in the name of fairness, equality and compassion.
There is no fairness involved in taking something someone earned and giving it to someone who hasn’t earned it. There’s no equality involved in shackling one person to the needs of another. And it certainly isn’t compassionate to make someone dependent on another.
But that’s where the left wants to take us.
Kevin Drum is all excited. Writing at Mother Jones he tells us:
But Muller’s congressional testimony last March didn’t go according to plan. He told them a preliminary analysis suggested that the three main climate models in use today—each of which uses a different estimating technique, and each of which has potential flaws—are all pretty accurate: Global temperatures have gone up considerably over the past century, and the increase has accelerated over the past few decades. Yesterday, BEST confirmed these results and others in its first set of published papers about land temperatures.
Oh boy … confirmation. “I told you so” time. Finally got those deniers pinned to the wall.
Yeah, not really. Anthony Watts cites a paragraph from the Economist and then explains why this isn’t anything new:
Economist: “There are three compilations of mean global temperatures, each one based on readings from thousands of thermometers, kept in weather stations and aboard ships, going back over 150 years. Two are American, provided by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), one is a collaboration between Britain’s Met Office and the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (known as Hadley CRU). And all suggest a similar pattern of warming: amounting to about 0.9°C over land in the past half century.”
The nearly identical trends is no surprise as they draw from mostly the same raw data!
Same old data (that’s been questioned quite often given the location of many of the temperature stations in parking lots, fudging of numbers, cherry picking, etc), “new” trend analysis, same results.
The new Muller et al study, therefore, has a very major unanswered question. I have asked it on Judy’s [Curry] weblog since she is a co-author of these studies [and Muller never replied to my request to answer this question].
“Hi Judy – I encourage you to document how much overlap there is in Muller’s analysis with the locations used by GISS, NCDC and CRU. In our paper
Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229.http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/r-321.pdf
we reported that
“The raw surface temperature data from which all of the different global surface temperature trend analyses are derived are essentially the same. The best estimate that has been reported is that 90–95% of the raw data in each of the analyses is the same (P. Jones, personal communication, 2003).”
Unless, Muller pulls from a significantly different set of raw data, it is no surprise that his trends are the same.
More deception cloaked as “new” science from the alarmist crowd.
What a surprise indeed.
James Hansen is paid $180,000 per year by the taxpayers as the Director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Happily, we apparently weren’t paying him today, when he was arrested—again—for taking part in a protest at the White House over the proposed K7 pipeline.
Prior to the protest, Hansen told environmental blog SolveClimate News of his plans to join the protest and risk arrest, because the threat the pipeline poses to the climate is too great to ignore.
"If [Obama] chooses the dirty needle, it’s game over because it will confirm that Obama was just greenwashing, like the other well-oiled, coal-fired politicians with no real intention of solving the addiction."
Canada is going to sell its dope, if it can find a buyer," Hansen said.
This is the "dope" that prevents us from freezing to death in the dark, by the way.
By the way, guess what Dr. Hansen does. He’s NASA’s top climate scientist, and he’s firmly in the AGW camp. He’s called for the equivalent of war crimes trials for oil executives for "high crimes against humanity and nature". He is one of the leading figures in the world in pushing AGW.
But I’m sure that he’s completely objective in reviewing any science that conflicts with his activism. After all, that’s what we’re paying him 180 grand per year to do.
In this podcast, Bruce Michael, and Dale discuss Hurricane Irene and the results of CERN’s CLOUD experiment.
The direct link to the podcast can be found here.
As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2010, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.
It appears the warmist agenda is about to take another hit if this is being interpreted properly:
The chief of the world’s leading physics lab at CERN in Geneva has prohibited scientists from drawing conclusions from a major experiment. The CLOUD ("Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets") experiment examines the role that energetic particles from deep space play in cloud formation. CLOUD uses CERN’s proton synchrotron to examine nucleation.
CERN Director General Rolf-Dieter Heuer told Welt Online that the scientists should refrain from drawing conclusions from the latest experiment.
"I have asked the colleagues to present the results clearly, but not to interpret them," reports veteran science editor Nigel Calder on his blog. Why?
Because, Heuer says, "That would go immediately into the highly political arena of the climate change debate. One has to make clear that cosmic radiation is only one of many parameters."
Oh … “only one of many parameters”, eh? You mean like that big yellow thing that hangs in the sky each day?
Imagine that – cosmic rays have a role in cloud formation and the sun is extraordinarily active in how many cosmic rays are able reach the atmosphere and carry out that function. And the effect?
The CLOUD experiment builds on earlier experiments by Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark, who demonstrated that cosmic rays provide a seed for clouds. Tiny changes in the earth’s cloud cover could account for variations in temperature of several degrees. The amount of Ultra Fine Condensation Nuclei (UFCN) material depends on the quantity of the background drizzle of rays, which varies depending on the strength of the sun’s magnetic field and the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field.
Emphasis mine. Back to that big yellow thing – what role does it have?:
Since clouds often cover 30 percent of the earth’s surface, a moderate change in cloud cover clearly could explain the warming/cooling cycle.
Svensmark noted the gigantic “solar wind” that expands when the sun is active—and thus blocks many of the cosmic rays that would otherwise hit the earth’s atmosphere. When the sun weakens, the solar wind shrinks. Recently, the U.S. Solar Observatory reported a very long period of “quiet sun” and predicted 30 years of cooling.
Got it? We’re in a solar minimum and the temp hasn’t risen in the 10 years since it has begun. Go figure.
So where does this leave us given the CERN gag order? What can you infer from that? Nigel Calder does a good job of rounding them up:
Four quick inferences:
1) The results must be favourable for Svensmark or there would be no such anxiety about them.
2) CERN has joined a long line of lesser institutions obliged to remain politically correct about the man-made global warming hypothesis. It’s OK to enter “the highly political arena of the climate change debate” provided your results endorse man-made warming, but not if they support Svensmark’s heresy that the Sun alters the climate by influencing the cosmic ray influx and cloud formation.
3) The once illustrious CERN laboratory ceases to be a truly scientific institute when its Director General forbids its physicists and visiting experimenters to draw the obvious scientific conclusions from their results.
4) The resulting publication may be rather boring.
Indeed … boring only in the sense of reading dense scientific material. Not boring in its impact.
The CERN experiment is supposed to be the big test of the Svensmark theory. It’s a tipoff, then, that CERN’s boss, Rolf-Dieter Heuer, has just told the German magazine Die Welt that he has forbidden his researchers to “interpret” the forthcoming test results. In other words, the CERN report will be a stark “just the facts” listing of the findings. Those findings must support Svensmark, or Heuer would never have issued such a stifling order on a major experiment.
Can’t wait to watch this one unfold. But the gag order is very suspicious and certainly infers that the results don’t support the warmist theory … or should I say “assertion” now?
I’m not sure if you’re aware of it, but Al Gore is again trying to heat up the
global warming climate change debate. In a 7,000 word Rolling Stone article, Gore rails against the news media for being on the wrong side of the debate and giving the “deniers” much more coverage than Gore thinks they deserve. He’s also not particularly happy with Barack Obama’s progress on that front either. And finally, he pitches 4 ways activists can reignite the panic he was once successful in creating.
What is conspicuously missing from the rant are any facts. Other than a few of the same old assertions, and an attempt to tie weather events into his alarmism, he offers absolutely nothing new in the way of science nor does he even attempt to rebut the damning reports that have surfaced since “An Inconvenient Truth” and badly discredited his and other alarmist’s credibility.
Ironically he uses the analogy of professional wrestling as a means of attempting to shame the news media by likening them to the distracted referee in a “professional” bout who always was arguing with one corner or another while the “bad guy” took a metal chair to the “good guy”.
The irony, of course, was that is precisely what Gore, et. al. did early in their fraudulent campaign. And it was only when the skeptics were able to use actual science to raise so many points refuting key elements of Gore’s thesis that the media could no longer ignore them.
Gore’s attempt to rally the troops ends on the usual alarmist note:
What is now at risk in the climate debate is nothing less than our ability to communicate with one another according to a protocol that binds all participants to seek reason and evaluate facts honestly. The ability to perceive reality is a prerequisite for self-governance. Wishful thinking and denial lead to dead ends. When it works, the democratic process helps clear the way toward reality, by exposing false argumentation to the best available evidence. That is why the Constitution affords such unique protection to freedom of the press and of speech.
The climate crisis, in reality, is a struggle for the soul of America. It is about whether or not we are still capable — given the ill health of our democracy and the current dominance of wealth over reason — of perceiving important and complex realities clearly enough to promote and protect the sustainable well-being of the many. What hangs in the balance is the future of civilization as we know it.
His first paragraph describes precisely what happened to his climate assertions. They were destroyed by being exposed as false arguments. And I think it is telling that he doesn’t try to justify or factually support all the nonsense he presented as “fact” in his propaganda piece “An Inconvenient Truth”. Instead he just doubles down, whines about the media (that’s original) and distractions and claims nothing in the realm of science has changed primarily by simply ignoring that which has.
There is no “scientific consensus”, much of what he has presented as fact has been successfully disputed or refuted and “the democratic process [which] helps clear the way toward reality, by exposing false argumentation to the best available evidence” has worked. It is he who is in denial – and in this case, the wrestling is real, and he’s losing.
David Evans is a scientist. He also has worked in the heart of the AGW machine and consulted full-time for the Australian Greenhouse Office (now the Department of Climate Change) from 1999 to 2005, and part-time 2008 to 2010, modeling Australia’s carbon in plants, debris, mulch, soils, and forestry and agricultural products. He has six university degrees, including a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. The other day he said:
The debate about global warming has reached ridiculous proportions and is full of micro-thin half-truths and misunderstandings. I am a scientist who was on the carbon gravy train, understands the evidence, was once an alarmist, but am now a skeptic.
And with that he begins a demolition of the theories and methods by which the AGW scare has been foisted on the public. The politics:
The whole idea that carbon dioxide is the main cause of the recent global warming is based on a guess that was proved false by empirical evidence during the 1990s. But the gravy train was too big, with too many jobs, industries, trading profits, political careers, and the possibility of world government and total control riding on the outcome. So rather than admit they were wrong, the governments, and their tame climate scientists, now outrageously maintain the fiction that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant.
He makes clear he understands that CO2 is indeed a "greenhouse gas", and makes the point that if all else was equal then yes, more CO2 in the air should and would mean a warmer planet. But that’s where the current "science" goes off the tracks.
But the issue is not whether carbon dioxide warms the planet, but how much.
Most scientists, on both sides, also agree on how much a given increase in the level of carbon dioxide raises the planet’s temperature, if just the extra carbon dioxide is considered. These calculations come from laboratory experiments; the basic physics have been well known for a century.
The disagreement comes about what happens next.
The planet reacts to that extra carbon dioxide, which changes everything. Most critically, the extra warmth causes more water to evaporate from the oceans. But does the water hang around and increase the height of moist air in the atmosphere, or does it simply create more clouds and rain? Back in 1980, when the carbon dioxide theory started, no one knew. The alarmists guessed that it would increase the height of moist air around the planet, which would warm the planet even further, because the moist air is also a greenhouse gas. [emphasis mine]
But it didn’t increase the height of the moist air around the planet as subsequent studies have shown since that time. However, that theory or premise became the heart of the modeling that was done by the alarmist crowd:
This is the core idea of every official climate model: For each bit of warming due to carbon dioxide, they claim it ends up causing three bits of warming due to the extra moist air. The climate models amplify the carbon dioxide warming by a factor of three — so two-thirds of their projected warming is due to extra moist air (and other factors); only one-third is due to extra carbon dioxide.
That’s the core of the issue. All the disagreements and misunderstandings spring from this. The alarmist case is based on this guess about moisture in the atmosphere, and there is simply no evidence for the amplification that is at the core of their alarmism.
What did they find when they tried to prove this theory?
Weather balloons had been measuring the atmosphere since the 1960s, many thousands of them every year. The climate models all predict that as the planet warms, a hot spot of moist air will develop over the tropics about 10 kilometres up, as the layer of moist air expands upwards into the cool dry air above. During the warming of the late 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, the weather balloons found no hot spot. None at all. Not even a small one. This evidence proves that the climate models are fundamentally flawed, that they greatly overestimate the temperature increases due to carbon dioxide.
This evidence first became clear around the mid-1990s.
Evans is not the first to come to these conclusions. Earlier this year, in a post I highlighted, Richard Lindzen said the very same thing.
For warming since 1979, there is a further problem. The dominant role of cumulus convection in the tropics requires that temperature approximately follow what is called a moist adiabatic profile. This requires that warming in the tropical upper troposphere be 2-3 times greater than at the surface. Indeed, all models do show this, but the data doesn’t and this means that something is wrong with the data. It is well known that above about 2 km altitude, the tropical temperatures are pretty homogeneous in the horizontal so that sampling is not a problem. Below two km (roughly the height of what is referred to as the trade wind inversion), there is much more horizontal variability, and, therefore, there is a profound sampling problem. Under the circumstances, it is reasonable to conclude that the problem resides in the surface data, and that the actual trend at the surface is about 60% too large. Even the claimed trend is larger than what models would have projected but for the inclusion of an arbitrary fudge factor due to aerosol cooling. The discrepancy was reported by Lindzen (2007) and by Douglass et al (2007). Inevitably in climate science, when data conflicts with models, a small coterie of scientists can be counted upon to modify the data.
Evans reaches the natural conclusion – the same conclusion Lindzen reached:
At this point, official “climate science” stopped being a science. In science, empirical evidence always trumps theory, no matter how much you are in love with the theory. If theory and evidence disagree, real scientists scrap the theory. But official climate science ignored the crucial weather balloon evidence, and other subsequent evidence that backs it up, and instead clung to their carbon dioxide theory — that just happens to keep them in well-paying jobs with lavish research grants, and gives great political power to their government masters.
And why will it continue? Again, follow the money:
We are now at an extraordinary juncture. Official climate science, which is funded and directed entirely by government, promotes a theory that is based on a guess about moist air that is now a known falsehood. Governments gleefully accept their advice, because the only ways to curb emissions are to impose taxes and extend government control over all energy use. And to curb emissions on a world scale might even lead to world government — how exciting for the political class!
Indeed. How extraordinarily unexciting for the proletariat who will be the ones stuck with the bill if these governments ever succeed in finding a way to pass the taxes they hope to impose and extend even more government’s control over energy.
While you’re listening to the CEOs of American oil companies being grilled by Congress today, remember all of this. They’re going to try to punish an industry that is vital to our economy and national security, and much of the desire to do that is based on this false “science” that has been ginned up by government itself as an excuse to control more of our energy sector and to pick winners and losers. All based on something which is now demonstrably false.