• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Global Warming/Climate Change Super Thread

The inconvenient truth for Gore is the fact that his powerpoint/book/movie is so full of scientific inaccuracies and errors he would have failed basic highschool science if it were submitted as an essay.  As for that envirofacist Suzuki, the fact that he is trying to shove Kyoto down everyones throat, while negating any other type of pollution controls, shows that what is doing has little to do with real science and more to do with grabbing headlines.  I recently heard one of his former students, and co-founder of Greenpiece, saying how Suzuki had completely given up on true science and was pushing his own political agenda of anti-globalization.

One more little item in this debate is this, CO2 in not and has never been a pollutant.  Without CO2 everything on the planet dies and the current average of 385ppm atmospheric CO2 is barely above what is needed.  Anything below 300ppm starts to affect plant growth and, by extension, planetary oxygen levels.

I applaud the Tories for not buying into the eco-politics and actually going after true pollutants, the ones that are actually killing people.  Even if we accept that climate change is driven by humans, a theory that even the UN commission on climate change couldn't prove, it would affect our way of life, not kill us.  Ground level ozone, carbon monoxide, lead, etc, etc is killing people now, today, and the fact the Tories have taken that on is the true green plan.

Just to put this in perspective, cancer in on the verge of replacing cardiovascular disease as the number one killer in Canada.  I, for one, would rather live with climate change than die because of chemical induced cancer.
We don't need Al Gore coming up hear preaching American-style Enviro-facsism.  The fact that he can't draw a crowd on his own in the USA speaks volumes.  We don't need foriegn rabble-rousers interfearing in our internal affairs.


- A short word of explanation:  I am merely using the "Language of the LEFT" that they use to criticize visitors like the president of the NRA, when she is invited to dinner in Ottawa by the CSSA.

Fun, isn't it?

I seem to remember someone pointing out that Democrats like to meddle
in Canadian affairs ;)

When Paul Cellucci ( the former US ambassador ) made a few comments
concerning national defence the liberals howled about Americans
meddling in Canadian affairs.

As far as I'm concerned, If you can't take criticism from your friends
you might not have any.

My deepest regret (as far as politics goes) is that social activism is now
an end in itself, to the extent that Science can be high jacked by political
agenda and endanger legitimate environmentalism and indeed democracy itself.

How's that for a loaded run on sentence?

How can Suzuki and Gore be held to account?
When they are proved wrong - they will have an excuse.
Whatever goes wrong will be someone else's fault.

Like the poor fool scientist who wants to launch mirrors into space. ;D

For gore (couldn't win a presidency so become a envirofacist) and suzuki (who I used to respect), I present my old question? Who was responsible for global climate change 15,000-10,000 years ago. As I said before, must of been the wooly mammoths driving monstrous SUVs and the saber tooth cats heating their homes year round.

Their are other concerns i think present a bigger danger than the natural phenomnon of climate change. Over population, smog, trash pile ups, etc, etc.
"Gore never read Ottawa's green plan, Baird says"


"Mr. Baird also said the government's plan will make Canada the international leader in emissions reductions over the next 13 years, and that its proposal would be hailed as "revolutionary" if it came from a U.S. government because "it's so tough.""
Mr. Gore wasn't available for comment yesterday, but a spokeswoman said that before criticizing it, the former U.S. vice-president had definitely read the Tory emissions plan that was unveiled last week. "Obviously he had a chance to read and review it ," Kalee Kreider said.

Well, he had a chance, but did he act upon that chance?  "Smoke and mirrors" indeed.....

Captain Sensible said:
"Gore never read Ottawa's green plan, Baird says"


"Mr. Baird also said the government's plan will make Canada the international leader in emissions reductions over the next 13 years, and that its proposal would be hailed as "revolutionary" if it came from a U.S. government because "it's so tough.""
Mr. Gore wasn't available for comment yesterday, but a spokeswoman said that before criticizing it, the former U.S. vice-president had definitely read the Tory emissions plan that was unveiled last week. "Obviously he had a chance to read and review it ," Kalee Kreider said.

Well, he had a chance, but did he act upon that chance?  "Smoke and mirrors" indeed.....

When Baird told Suzuki the Conservatives were going further than any other government in Canadian history, Suzuki said it wasn’t enough.

The Conservative government strategy focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality. But the plan failed to spell out precisely what many of its regulations will look like.

Gore said he was surprised to see that the Tory plan employs the concept of “intensity reduction,” which he said is poll-tested phrase developed in Houston by the so-called think tanks financed by Exxon Mobil and some other large polluters.

Gore acknowledged he is not a Canadian citizen and said he has “no right to interfere in your decisions.”

However, he said, the rest of the world looks to Canada for moral leadership and that’s why this week’s announcement was so “shocking.”

Baird’s statement also offered an invitation for Gore to discuss climate change and the Conservatives’ environmental policies with him.

As Gore, Suzuki, et. al. keep babbling on about "consensus" ...


Ocean currents to blame for warming: expert

By Dab Elliott in Denver

April 30, 2007 12:00

THE United States' leading hurricane forecaster says global ocean currents, not human-produced carbon dioxide, are responsible for global warming.

William Gray, a Colorado State University researcher, also said the Earth may begin to cool on its own in five to 10 years.

Speaking to a group of Republican MPs, Dr Gray had harsh words for researchers and politicians who said man-made greenhouse gases were responsible for global warming.

"They are blaming it all on humans, which is crazy," he said.

"We're not the cause of it."

Dr Gray said in the past 40 years the number of serious hurricanes making landfall on the US Atlantic coast had declined even though carbon dioxide levels had risen.

He said increasing levels of carbon dioxide would not produce more, or stronger, hurricanes.

Dr Gray, 77, has long criticised the theory that heat-trapping gases generated by human activity are causing the world to warm.

Earlier this month, he dubbed former US vice-president and 2000 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore "a gross alarmist" for making the Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, which helped focus media attention on global warming.

Yesterday, Dr Gray said that politics and research into global warming had created "almost an industry" that had frightened the public and overwhelmed dissenting voices.

He said research arguing that humans were causing global warming was "mush" based on unreliable computer models that could not possibly take into account the hundreds of factors that influenced the weather.

He said little-understood ocean currents were behind a decades-long warming cycle, and disputed assertions that greenhouse gases could raise global temperatures as much as some scientists predicted.

"There's no way that doubling CO2 is going to cause that amount of warming," he said.

Dr Gray also said warming and cooling trends could not go on indefinitely and believed temperatures were beginning to level out after a very warm year in 1998.
And of course:


Global Warming is Real and Melting the Glaciers...

on Mars.

    Mars is being hit by rapid climate change and it is happening so fast that the red planet could lose its southern ice cap, writes Jonathan Leake.

Who knew the Viking Landers were capable of so much pollution?

I'll tell you who: George W. Bush. You laugh, but when he was an oilman in the Texas deserts in the 1970's, he learned a thing or two about terraforming. After all, his plan always was to become the first President to drill on Mars, and he needs a favorable climate to do so.

(OK..I admit...I'm just trying to pre-empt the inevitable DU comments when this article gets out. If the lefties are gonna be loony, is it too much to ask that they put a little effort into it?)

    Scientists from Nasa say that Mars has warmed by about 0.5C since the 1970s. This is similar to the warming experienced on Earth over approximately the same period.

    Since there is no known life on Mars it suggests rapid changes in planetary climates could be natural phenomena.

You don't say. In related news, I am announcing the formation of my new company, Ace of Spades Martian Carbon Offsets Trading, LLC. For the right price, I commit to you that neither Ace, LauraW, AndrewR, or I will ever set foot on Mars, thereby guaranteeing you the freedom to release all the carbon you like into the Martian Atmosphere.

What can I say? We care about Martian polar bears. And you should too.

    The mechanism at work on Mars appears, however, to be different from that on Earth. One of the researchers, Lori Fenton, believes variations in radiation and temperature across the surface of the Red Planet are generating strong winds.

Hmmm...what could cause variations in radiation and temperature across an entire planet?

Could it be.....Satan?

Well, maybe. But I bet this is a more likely answer.

So step up and start your bidding today! Get your carbon offsets while they're...hot!
I recall a couple of months ago, Suzuki was on a talk radio program in Toronto.  When the host dared to suggest that there was still a debate, Suzuki lost it, declared the debate over, and stormed out of the studio!  Or hung up, I can't remember which.  To me, a scientist who is unwilling to defend his theories is not a real scientist.  I too have had science profs declare in class that Suzuki is 10% scientist, 90% publicity hound.
My acquaintance, the political insider, said: “No election any time soon.  No one wants to govern the damned country; both the Conservatives and the Liberals are terrified.”

“Let me tell you a story,” she said.  “It's like one of those old western movies we used to watch when we were kids.  There's a nice lady, let's call her Bess, who owns a big ranch – she lives far away but the cattle are kind of fond of her.  For the last few years she's had the same set of wranglers – the foreman changed but the system for herding the cattle was pretty much the same.  A few years ago there was a wolf scare.  The cattle get sacred, spooked and started it mill around.  The foreman and his wranglers met a pedlar who sold them a wolf repellent system called Kyoto.  The cattle were content – for a while.  But the wolves kept howling and Kyoto didn't appear to frighten them off.  In fact the wranglers were using Kyoto back-asswards, targeting it against some upstarts who wanted their jobs rather than protecting the cattle.”

A little over a year ago Bess hired new wranglers and a new foreman.  The old gang was furious and decided to play a practical joke: they went out and they howled like wolves: 'Kyoooootoooo ... Kyoooootoooo .... Kyoooootoooooooo!' they howled.  The cattle stampeded.

Everyone knows that this Kyoto thing the peddler sold doesn't work – everyone, that is, except the cattle.  All they can hear is the fearsome wolf howl and they are stampeding, hell bent for the big cliff.  The new foreman and his wranglers think they know how to divert the cattle, to turn them a bit so that they can 'run themselves out' but not go charging over the cliff.  The old foreman and his wranglers think they know how, too.  They would like to turn the herd the other way.  The end result is that the two teams of wranglers are prowling around the edges of the stampede, working a cross purposes.  Both are afraid to get out in front of the stampede and turn the wild eyed, frothing lead cattle – the ones called David and Maude and Elizabeth.

Bess is not sure she has the best team of wranglers – but now both teams are afraid of the stampeding herd and neither wants the job.”

My acquantance is serious.  The environment is, she thinks, the new super-issue.  I called it a children's crusade and she agreed that's an apt description.  The people know what they want; the experts – especially the senior bureaucrats and finance, industry and the PCO are horrified; they are convinced that pandering to the electorate's fears and desires will bring on a major recession – far worse than the '80s.  Both Stephen Harper and Stephane Dion understand that what's on offer by the Conservatives is environmentally useless (in so far a GHG reduction is concerned) but economically acceptable while C-30 is environmentally acceptable but an economic disaster in waiting.  The problem is that the people have decided they want C-30.

Harper will ignore C-30 for as long as he can but, eventually, unless he can find a way to distract the public, he will be under so much pressure that he will have to bring it in and then hope against hope that he will lose the next election and Dion will have the pleasure of leading the country into financial ruin.  Dion fears exactly the same thing.

I think she's right.  The people have not just spoken, they have screamed and shouted: Kyoto! Kyoto! Kyoto!  They will not be denied but, when the cows come home, they will severely punish the unfortunate politicians, of either major party, who listen to them.   
ER....I disagree. I don't think there is all that rabid a desire for Kyoto. The MSM is pushing it, as are a bunch with their own agenda's, but all in all, I think most people just want the issue to go away without any guilt.

That's really what has been happening. The Kyoto crowd and environmentalists are guilting people into doing something stupid. A lot of people applauded Harper's crowd when they didn't fall in line. I also don't think the Kyoto crowd can sustain their reasoning for any length of time. More and more is coming out correctly pointing out that the facts don't fit the fantasy.

edited to add: or maybe that last is just my fantasy.....meh.  :)
ER....I disagree. I don't think there is all that rabid a desire for Kyoto. The MSM is pushing it, as are a bunch with their own agenda's, but all in all, I think most people just want the issue to go away without any guilt.

Bingo! give my learned friend a cookie!

It's All about the guilt ( the SUV in the driveway ).
Freud said guilt was the fear of punishment, or something like that.

The media do push this thing, In Edmonton with local programming included,
I hear at least some noise about global warming EVERY DAY!
If you repeat something enough it becomes true.

I loved your story E.R.
I think I'm in love with Bess.
You forgot to mention the dogs that work for the wranglers - about a quarter as many
as there are sheep. and they never go away! Even when you change the wranglers.

I'm pretty sure of three things.
1. Rona Ambrose had the right policy - just not politically right.
2. At some point there will be a backlash. People will only accept what we
can't have for so long - we aren't a people who will accept major social
re-engineering without real evidence for ever.
3. The environment will be damaged by all this GW nonsense.
We will pollute, cut down forest and do preposterous things because of global warming.

In general terms I agree with ER's associate and with ER's analogy of the Children's Crusade.

But I am not sure that the game has played itself out just yet.  Phase II of Kyoto has to be negotiated yet and although the new lot have "failed to live up to Kyoto I" they can legitimately argue that they have demonstrated more commitment than the previous mob.  Having thus demonstrated a good faith attempt then they go into the next round of negotiations with an improved hand.  Not a great hand but a better hand than the Liberals left them.

I found the following article from yesterday's G&M to be interesting.

The long and the short of it seems to be that Al Gore (the "green evangelist" ;D) Suzuki et al, and the Club of Rome* are going to use Canada, specifically Stephen Harper, as a whipping boy to "encourage" the US and other laggards to get in line.  I find it noteworthy that the anti-US rhetoric is decreasing, noting that the US is actually working towards Kyoto aims if not Kyoto targets, likewise for Australia.  Carrots are being extended along with the stick.  The real question now is whether the LeftTM is prepared to allow some wiggle room in return for a broader consensus that might include the US and Australia (if not China, India and Brazil).

It seems to me that de Boer of the UN is leaving some doors open to Canada for reevaluation of its Kyoto targets - especially if Canada can point to Australia as having met Kyoto while staying outside of the Kyoto regime.

It is more important to the UN that they are seen to be relevant than that they are relevant.

Likewise Europe is going to find the second round a lot harder pegging than the first round.  The don't have the advantage of the collapsed Russian economy any more.  That has been discounted.  The Eastern European economies, where much Western industry was transferred has already benefited from massive investment into new plants built to Western standards which produce less pollution than their Russian era counterparts.  What Western industry is left is in the process of being transferred to China, India and Brazil where they pollute to their heart's content supplying jobs to the Chinese and making Europeans rich while congratulating themselves on both improving the environment (arguable) and increasing the wealth in the developing world.  All this leaves Europe in the same place as Victoria, and soon Vancouver: a green and pleasant land for aging entrepreneurs, welfare claimants and hypocrites.  Luxembourg writ large.  But I digress (as usual).

If I were betting I would bet against an election any time soon (at least before 2009). I would expect the noise from the LEFT to increase.  Despite that The Kyoto II round will produce some sort of compromise that allows Canada, Australia and the US (and perhaps China, India and Brazil) to be declared friends of Kyoto.  For the Liberals the real threat will be who gets the credit for achieving that international respectability.  If a deal is close will they want to pull the plug on the government so that they can put their signature on the document and claim the credit?  Or are they still going to be hamstrung by Stephane Dion as a leader?

There ARE a lot of people working at stampeding the herd and the wranglers ARE working at cross purposes.  At the same time I don't think that the herd is moving yet. Some strays are headed for the cliffs and the herd is restless but I don't think it is running.

The basis for determining if the herd is running is response to polls, and has been regularly demonstrated polls are subject to a variety of vagaries making the whole exercise as much art as science.  One of the errors is people not wanting to appear to be abnormal to their questioners.  This is particularly true if they think that taking a position will result in a time consuming argument or a negative opinion of themselves.  Consequently people will give the expected answer.  Currently the expected answer is pro-Kyoto.

However, to change metaphors for a bit, the situation may be broadly analogous to Catholics being able to recite the catechism at school (or Protestants being able to recite the 10 commandments and the Books of the Bible) but not showing up for Church on Sunday.  The deeds of the "herd" are not matching its words.  (Great example of how to mix metaphors  ;D).  

Buzz and his buddies are now finding themselves out of step with the Greens and there goes the NDP, and possibly the Liberals.

The Conservatives are in tough with a poor hand, but at least they are the ones at the table and it is their hand to play.  (Cattle, Catechisms, and Cards in one missive - whodathunkit?)

Head of Kyoto body questions emissions strategy

Canadian Press

April 30, 2007 at 7:20 PM EDT

Ottawa — Canada's “less ambitious” climate-change plan cannot guarantee that greenhouse gas emissions will actually go down, says the head of the international body that oversees the Kyoto treaty.

The Conservative government's plan to reduce emissions uses “intensity targets,” based on a company's industrial output, rather than putting a hard ceiling on the gases, as other Kyoto signatories have done.

Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, questioned the assertion that with tough enough intensity targets, an absolute reduction would occur.

“You can still see a reduction in absolute terms, but you can't guarantee how much the reduction is going to be in absolute terms,” Mr. de Boer said in an interview Monday from his office in Bonn, Germany.

“If you have a very stringent relative reduction target, but your economy grows by 30 per cent, then your emissions could still end up going up.”

Mr. de Boer suggested there is some confusion over how Canada intends to live up to the Kyoto Protocol, which it signed in 1997. To date, no official has said the government is withdrawing from the treaty but the Kyoto targets have been abandoned.

The Conservatives have said meeting Kyoto targets would have meant disaster for the Canadian economy.

“It's interesting that while it would appear that the government has set itself a new target with a new base year, which of course it's free to do, that target is less ambitious than the commitment it has under the Kyoto Protocol,” Mr. de Boer said.

The question is how this new commitment or the new policy objective relates to the international commitment or international undertaking Canada has made with the Kyoto Protocol, and also how it fits into the debate about longer term action that's currently under way.

Another United Nations official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there's a sense of alarm in the agency that Canada's reluctance to try to meet the Kyoto targets will encourage other countries to shirk the treaty.

“Canada is perceived to be a role model for the United States. If Canada throws up its hands and says there's no point, it has a negative rub off for the U.S.,” the official said.

The comments were the latest in some high-profile criticism of the Tory plan. Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki and green evangelist Al Gore have both slammed the scheme.

In Ottawa, opposition politicians continued to discuss options for persuading the government to let its original climate bill — C-30 — stand for a vote in the Commons. The Tories had shelved the legislation after the opposition amended it beyond all recognition, including hard caps on emissions and adherence to the Kyoto targets.

Still, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said he was not pushing for a vote of non-confidence.

“I want first to convince the government to go ahead with ... C-30. I'm here as the official Opposition to try and make this House work,” Mr. Dion said.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, Canada has a number of options for meeting its targets. It can meet them by simply reducing greenhouse gas emissions; it can invest in green projects in the developing world (called Clean Development Mechanisms); it can trade carbon credits on the international market; or it can simply absorb a penalty.

Canadian officials have said the government intends to take on that penalty when the second phase of Kyoto is negotiated. De Boer said the penalty amounts to an additional one-third of whatever future reductions Canada signs on to.

Mr. de Boer noted that the measures introduced last week by the Conservative government also fall short of what other countries have proposed. The government wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent over 2006 levels by 2020 — a goal Environment Minister John Baird has said is among the “most aggressive” in the world.

According to Mr. de Boer's group, it will be about 30-35 per cent short of the target Canada signed on to with Kyoto.

“The Europeans have put a proposal on the table to reduce their emissions by 20 to 30 per cent vis-à-vis 1990 levels. This new proposal is certainly less ambitious than that,” Mr. de Boer said.

“California has made a proposal to reduce its emissions by 25 per cent from where it is at the moment. This is also less ambitious than that.”

Other U.S. states, such as Maine, Vermont, Illinois, Connecticut and Washington, are also proposing steeper reductions.

Mr. de Boer confirmed that Australia, which is not a signatory to Kyoto, is on track to meet the targets it would have been assigned by the agreement, that is, eight per cent above 1990 levels.

Officials at Environment Canada say comparing Canada with the European Union specifically is unfair, because many European countries have already achieved their Kyoto targets.

As a result, reaching 20 per cent below 1990 levels is a matter of a few percentage points for some, and nations such as the United Kingdom had already made great strides at reducing their emissions by closing uneconomic coal mines and economic restructuring in the early 1990s.

Canada's promise to cut 2006 levels by 20 per cent requires much more effort, the department argues, when one takes into consideration efforts undertaken this year

Those are legitimate points, Britain's high commissioner to Canada has noted, but not a “get-out clause” for Canada.

Anthony Cary spoke to a private meeting of an international think-tank last week, and referred to the arguments about Britain's head start as “source of resentment and misunderstanding” between the two countries.

“The fact is that British policy is not driven by Kyoto targets, which we have easily exceeded,” Mr. Cary told the Club of Rome in remarks released Monday. “It is driven by realization, at the top levels of government, starting with the prime minister, that we have entered a new era.

“To be a successful economy in the 21st century, we need to be a low-carbon one, and there will commercial opportunities for first-movers.”

Britain has already met its Kyoto targets and is proposing further reductions of between 26 and 32 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020.

The second phase of Kyoto, which is scheduled to be sealed by 2009 and to kick in after 2012, will be one of the hot topics at the next G8 meeting in Germany this June. Mr. Baird has said that Canada is committed to the next phase, and is working to bring other countries on board, particularly in the developing world (Here's where it all comes down to timing).

*(Who knew the Club of Rome were still in existence? They have been spectacularly wrong since 1972.  According to them we were supposed to be out of oil, copper and food by the 1990s and in the midst of a grimy ice age).

PS - I just saw Flip's post.  I agree with the backlash issue.  Some early signs:

Al Gore described as "green evangelist" - not good counter-pointing for the Leftists
Elizabeth May's speech to the congregation of a church as a Minister in Training (today's National Post) - likewise
Globe and Mail editorials offering support for the Government's plan  - Don Drummond's Bay Street imprimatur
The Vancouver Sun Editorial of yesterday - calling for The Great Climate Change Swindle to be shown alongside An Inconvenient Truth if Gore's propaganda is to be distributed in schools (personally I think they should also show Ice Age 2 - The Great Meltdown.  It was much more accurate the Gore's piece)
And finally - one of CNN's stations will be broadcasting a Made in America type version of The Swindle on Wednesday (Glen Beck on HNN).
Kirkhill said:
The Vancouver Sun Editorial of yesterday - calling for The Great Climate Change Swindle to be shown alongside An Inconvenient Truth if Gore's propaganda is to be distributed in schools

If I had a kid in public school, I would be annoying the hell out of his/her teachers demanding that they did this.  How can you have an honest debate by showing a slick film portraying one side, but not show a slick film portraying the other?  That our institutions of learning focus so much on one side on so many issues is very disheartening.
OK Kirkhill, I'll see your cow and raise you two heifers.... ;D

One thing which the "Greens" do not understand (or keep quiet if they do) is opportunity costs; i.e. if you expend your resources to do one thing they are unavailable to do something else. Peple implicitly understand this, there was a p[oll which asked if Canadians were for protecting the environment; a majority said "yes", but when asked would they pay a X% environmental tax on gasoline (I believe), the overwhelming answer was "NO".

This concept needs to be hammered home by the Government when they sell their plan: "do Canadians really want to pay for cleaning murcury out of landfills (from compact flourecent bulbs) in order to meet a mythical Kyoto target? If not, then here is the plan we propose...."

There are any number of examples of foolish spending and irresponsible diversion of resources that can be marched out against Kyoto (as a matter of fact, there are a vast number of factual and scientific arguments that can also be raised against the "man made global warming hypothesis, but this is harder for the crowd to understand.)
a_majoor said:
OK Kirkhill, I'll see your cow and raise you two heifers.... ;D 

Considering your current circumstances I will cheerfully accept 4 goats in lieu of the 2 heifers - but make sure they're young - none of your randy auld billy goats.   ;)

Edited for spelling
The assertion of some, that Oil companies are responsible for the
opposing science..............  I don't get it.

Why would oil companies have any problem with a socially
"progressive" way to raise the price of their products.

Peak oil arguments would not provide a pretext of this quality.
Expanding demand would not even make the proletariat happy.

Environmentalism is the perfect cover!

I don't think there is some big conspiracy.( like the big tobacco companies)
I just don't think they have a reason to pay off scientists or anything.

Just a notion................ feel free to laugh.

The "Great Climate Change Swindle" (I think that's what it was called) was very interesting.  Showed a bit of Al Gore doing his charting of CO2 and temperatures.  Then they highlighted Al's term "complicated relationship between temp and CO2".  What was so complicated, they asked?  Well, they answered.  It seems that the evidence suggests that higher CO2 doesn't cause higher temps, but rather the opposite is true: higher temps cause higher CO2 output.  Where from?  The oceans.  And, the oceans lag a few hundred years behind the temps ups and downs.  Curious: given the recent "increase" in CO2, what was the earth's temperature over the past 500 years?  Interesting to see.....

(BTW: of all sources of CO2, which include the oceans, plants, animals, decaying things, people, etc), human contributions of industry, cars, etc, is less than 10%.  Awesome!)

click  . .  "watch the movie"  . .  .  two parts about 25 minutes each.  Worth you while.

trying to calm the hysteria.

The Goreacle now gets $200k per presentation + all expenses ( can you say private jet).

he's got the herd stampeded, now he's making his killing.  Laughing all the way to the bank.

and another . . . .  he's in Oz so the date is "correct"


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Another skeptic comes out

He tells the tale of his conversion by the data below. He puts it in the context of a bet he has made with a Warmist believer:

I devoted six years to carbon accounting, building models for the Australian government to estimate carbon emissions from land use change and forestry (Google on "FullCAM"). When I started that job in 1999 the evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming seemed pretty conclusive, but since then new evidence has weakened the case that carbon emissions are the main cause. I am now skeptical. As Lord Keynes famously said, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?" In the late 1990's the evidence suggesting that carbon emissions caused global warming was basically:

1. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Proved in a laboratory a century ago.

2. Global warming has been occurring for a century, especially since 1975, and concentrations of atmospheric carbon have been rising for a century, especially since 1975. Correlation is not causation, but in a rough sense it looked like a fit.

3. Ice core data, starting with the first cores from Vostok in 1985, allowed us to measure temperature and atmospheric carbon going back hundreds of thousands of years, through several dramatic global warming and cooling events. To the temporal resolution then available (data points were generally more than a thousand years apart), atmospheric carbon and temperature moved in lock-step: there was an extremely high correlation, they rose and fell together. Talk about a smoking gun!

4. There weren't any other credible suspects for causing global warming. So presumably it had to be carbon emissions.

This evidence was good enough: not conclusive, but why wait until we are absolutely certain when we apparently need to act now? So the idea that carbon emissions were causing global warming passed from the scientific community into the political realm, and actions started to happen. Research increased, bureaucracies were formed, international committees met, and eventually the Kyoto protocol was signed in 1997 -- with the aim of curbing carbon emissions.

And the political realm in turn fed money back into the scientific community. By the late 1990's, lots of jobs depended on the idea that carbon emissions caused global warming. Many of them were bureaucratic, but there were a lot of science jobs created too. I was on that gravy train, making a high wage in a science job that would not have existed if we didn't believe carbon emissions caused global warming. And so were lots of people around me; and there were international conferences full of such people. And we had political support, the ear of government, big budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful (well, I did anyway). It was great. We were working to save the planet! But starting in about 2000, the last three of the four pieces of evidence outlined above fell away or reversed. Using the same point numbers as above:

2. Closer examination of the last century using better data shows that from 1940 to 1975 the earth cooled at about 0.1C/decade while atmospheric carbon increased. But any warming effect of atmospheric carbon is immediate. By 2003 or so we had discovered global dimming, which might be adequate to explain this 35-year non-correlation. But what had seemed like a good fit between recent atmospheric carbon and global warming now looks shaky, in need of the recently-discovered unquantified global dimming factor to explain 35 years of substantial cooling. I reckon the last century of correlation evidence now neither supports carbon emissions as the cause nor eliminates it. Further quantitative research on global dimming might rescue this bit of evidence, or it might weaken it further.

3. As more ice core data was collected, the temporal resolution was improved. By 2004 or so we knew from the ice core data that in the warming events of the last million years the temperature increases generally started about 800 years *before* the rises in atmospheric carbon started. Causality does not run in the direction I had assumed in 1999 -- it runs the opposite way. Presumably temperature rises cause a delayed rise in atmospheric carbon because it takes several hundred years to warm the oceans enough for the oceans to give off more of their carbon.

It is possible that rising atmospheric carbon in these past warmings then went on to cause more warming ("amplification" of the initial warming), but the ice core data does not prove that. It could just be that the temperature rose for some other reason, that this caused the oceans to raise the atmospheric carbon levels, and that the increased atmospheric carbon had an insignificant effect on the temperature.

The pre-2000 ice core data was the central evidence for believing that atmospheric carbon caused temperature increases. The new ice core data shows that past warmings were *not* initially caused by rises in atmospheric carbon, and says nothing about the strength of any amplification. This piece of evidence casts reasonable doubt that atmospheric carbon had any role in past warmings, while still allowing the possibility that it had a supporting role.

4. A credible alternative suspect now exists. Clouds both reflect incoming radiation (albedo) and prevent heat from escaping (greenhouse), but with low clouds the albedo effect is stronger than the greenhouse effect. Thus low clouds cause net cooling (high clouds are less common and do the opposite). In October 2006 a team led by Henrik Svensmark showed experimentally that cosmic rays affect cloud formation, and thus that :

Stronger sun's magnetic field
=> Less cosmic rays hit Earth
=> Fewer low clouds are formed
=> Earth heats up.

And indeed, the sun's magnetic field has been stronger than usual for the last three decades. So maybe cosmic rays cause global warming. But investigation of this cause is still in its infancy, and it's far too early to judge how much of the global warming is caused by cosmic rays. So three of the four arguments that convinced me in 1999 that carbon emissions caused global warming are now questionable.

The case for carbon emissions as the cause of global warming now just boils down to the fact that we know that it works in the laboratory, and that there is no strong evidence that global warming is definitely *not* caused by carbon emissions. Much the same can be said of cosmic rays -- we have laboratory evidence that it works, and no definitely contradictory evidence. So why did I bet against global warming continuing at the current rate? Let's return to the interaction between science and politics.

By 2000 the political system had responded to the strong scientific case that carbon emissions caused global warming by creating thousands of bureaucratic and science jobs aimed at more research and at curbing carbon emissions. This was a good and sensible response by big government to what science was telling them.

But after 2000 the evidence for carbon emissions gradually got weaker -- better temperature data for the last century, more detailed ice core data, then laboratory evidence that cosmic rays precipitate low clouds. Future evidence might strengthen or further weaken the carbon emissions hypothesis. At what stage of the weakening should the science community alert the political system that carbon emissions might not be the main cause of global warming? None of the new evidence actually says that carbon emissions are definitely not the cause of global warming, there are lots of good science jobs potentially at stake, and if the scientific message wavers then it might be difficult to recapture the attention of the political system later on. What has happened is that most research effort since 2000 has assumed that carbon emissions were the cause, and the alternatives get much less research or political attention.

(BTW, I quit my job in carbon accounting in 2005 for personal reasons. It had nothing to do with my weakening belief that carbon emissions caused global warming. I felt that the main value of our plant models was in land management and plant simulation, and that carbon accounting was just a by-product.)

Unfortunately politics and science have become even more entangled. The science of global warming has become a partisan political issue, so positions become more entrenched. Politicians and the public prefer simple and less-nuanced messages. At the moment the political climate strongly supports carbon emissions as the cause of global warming, to the point of sometimes rubbishing or silencing critics. The integrity of the scientific community will win out in the end, following the evidence wherever it leads. But in the meantime, the effects of the political climate is that most people are overestimating the evidence in favor of carbon emissions as the cause of global warming. Which makes it a good time to bet the other way :)

I would like to bet against carbon emissions being the main cause of the current global warming. But I can't bet on that directly, because all betting requires an unambiguous and measurable criterion. About the only related measure we can bet on is global temperature. So I accepted Brian's bets about trends in global temperatures over the next 10 to 20 years. Basically, if the current warming trend continues or accelerates then Brian will win; if the rate of warming slows then I will win. Even if carbon emissions are not the main cause of this global warming, I can still lose:

* Global warming might be due to a side-effect of industrialization other than carbon emissions. Possible causes include atmospheric reactions of industrial chemicals that hinder the rate of low cloud formation.

* Global warming might be primarily due to a non-human cause, such as something related to the sun or to underground nuclear reactions. If this cause persists over the next 20 years as it has for the last 30 years then I will lose, but if it fades in the next decade then I win.

I emphasize that we are making a bet involving odds and judgment. The evidence is not currently conclusive either for or against any particular cause of global warming. I think that it *is* possible that carbon emissions are the dominant cause of global warming, but in light of the weakening evidence I judge that probability to be about 20% rather than almost 90% as estimated by the IPCC.

I worry that politics could seriously distort the science. Suppose that carbon taxes are widely enacted, but that the rate of global warming increase starts to decline by 2015. The political system might be under pressure to repay the taxes, so it might in turn put a lot of pressure on scientists to provide justifications for the taxes. Or the political system might reject the taxes and blame science for misinforming it, which could be a terrible outcome for science because the political system is powerful and not constrained by truth.

Some people take strong rhetorical positions on global warming. But the cause of global warming is not just another political issue that is subject to endless debate and distortions. The cause of global warming is an issue that falls into the realm of science, because it is falsifiable. No amount of human posturing will affect what the cause is. The cause just physically is there, and after sufficient research and time we will know what it is. Looking back in another 40 years, we will almost certainly know the answer and Brian and I will be in agreement on the issue.

Given that betting is thus possible on this issue, it seems strange that some people who take strong positions and profit by those positions are not prepared to bet even a small amount of their own money. Betting something of one's own money adds, shall we say, credibility. And people whose own money is at stake try a little harder -- a well known advantage of private business over public. A good side effect of widespread betting would be a market in betting that would represent a community-wide best guess. Such markets exists in sports betting, and are the best predictors of game outcomes. Let's hope for the planet's sake that I win the bets :) Meanwhile let's do more research, and take cheap measures to curb carbon emissions!