Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Global Warming Hype: CBS

CBS featured an alarmist message about global warming on its popular “60 Minutes” television program. Reporter Scott Pelley claimed Antarctica shows large climate change, that it's caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases, and is a portent of worldwide environmental and human disasters. He said “glaciers are setting speed records for melting” in Antarctica. Incidentally, all of the computer models predict future warming from greenhouse gases will be greatest at the poles.

To make his point, Pelley showed what is happening on King George Island off the Antarctic peninsula. That long peninsula is the part of the continent closest to South America and furthest from the South Pole. Actually, King George Island is north of the peninsula, making it even further from the South Pole. The program implies that what is happening there is representative of the rest of Antarctica. The viewers are never told the peninsula comprises only 2 percent of Antarctica and that the other 98 percent is cooling, not warming. It has been cooling steadily since at least 1957, and the Antarctic ice cap is growing overall at the rate of 26 billion tons annually. There is no evidence that climate on the peninsula, which has been warming for decades, will determine what happens on the rest of the continent. That would be like the tail wagging the dog. Incidentally, it would take a temperature rise of 55 degrees for a thousand years to melt the Antarctic ice sheet.

The top of the globe is cooling, too. The Arctic in the 1930s was as warm or warmer than in the late 20th Century. Data from weather stations on the southern coast of Greenland show almost all decades between 1915 and 1965 were as warm or warmer than the 1995 to 2005 decade. In the 1920s, when mankind's emissions of carbon dioxide were nine times lower than now, Greenland's temperature increased 2 to 4 degrees Celsius in less than ten years, which is against all the predictions of the climate models. Greenland's ice sheet has thickened by 7 feet since it was first measured by laser altimetry in 1980. While ice has been breaking off at the edges, it has been building up even faster inland. Summer temperatures are the most relevant to Greenland's ice sheet melting rates, and summer temperatures at the summit of the ice sheet have declined 2.2 degrees C per decade since 1987.

The chart below shows 4,000 years of temperatures from ice cores drilled into the Greenland ice sheet. Note that for most of this time temperatures were well above more recent times, and some periods were markedly warmer and show far larger swings than the latest uptrend. Instead of “60 Minutes” claiming that predictions about global warming are coming true, it should have said the lack of warming at the poles shows the computer models are not valid. The computer models have been proven wrong in several other important respects, too.

The August 19th CBS program claimed more than 90 % of the world's glaciers are retreating. But a recent issue of 21st Century Science and Technology states: “Since 1980, there has been an advance of more than 55% of the 625 mountain glaciers under observation by the World Glacier Monitoring group in Zurich. (From 1926 to 1960, some 70-95% of these glaciers were in retreat.)”

The CBS program also focused on the extensive retreat of the O'Higgins glacier in Patagonia, the fastest-melting glacier in South America. The program did not tell you that the Perito Moreno Glacier—the largest glacier in Patagonia—is advancing at the rate of 7 feet per day. Nor did it mention that Chile's Pio XI Glacier, the largest glacier in the southern hemisphere, is also growing.

In Europe many glaciers have not retreated back to their positions in the Medieval Warm Period, when there was no industrial civilization producing greenhouse gases. The Aletsch and Grindelwald glaciers (Switzerland) were much smaller between 800 and 1000 AD than now. The latter glacier is still larger than it was in 1588. In Iceland today, the Vatnajokull glacier—the largest in Europe—and also the Drangajokull glacier are far more extensive than in the Middle Ages, and farms remain buried beneath their ice.

Professor Paul Mayewski of the University of Maine is interviewed extensively on the CBS program. Pelley said, “Mayewski and his colleagues have timed the sudden rise in greenhouse gases to the start of the Industrial Revolution about 150 years ago.” This is absolutely absurd. 150 years ago the world's first commercial electric power plant had not yet been built, and the electric light bulb and the telephone hadn't even been invented. Carbon dioxide or other emissions from the puny “industrialization” that existed at that time were insignificant, and the world's glaciers had already been retreating for many decades. You can't have a cause-and-effect relationship when the effect precedes the cause. As you can see in the chart below, which is based on 169 glaciers that have been measured for centuries, glaciers have been receding since 1750, with the trend accelerating after about 1820. Henry Ford's factory produced its first automobiles in 1913, but by then half of the glacier loss from 1800 to 2000 had already occurred. And 70 percent of the glacier shortening occurred before 1940, that is, before worldwide industrialization began in the late 1940s. Significantly, the chart shows no increased rate of glacier shortening over the last half century, when the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere was steadily rising. In fact, the rate lessened.

Furthermore, evidence detailed in the professional literature clearly shows that increases in global temperature precede increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide—not the other way around, as the greenhouse hypothesis and its proponents require. Carbon dioxide is more soluble in cold water than warm water. As the oceans warm, they retain less CO2 in their upper 3,000-meter layer and exhale it into the atmosphere, whose CO2 content is 50 times lower than that of the oceans.

Speaking of greenhouse gases, Professor Mayewski stated: “The level and speed of rise is significantly [he repeated 'SIGNIFICANTLY' with great emphasis] greater than anything in the last 850,000 years.” But Professor Tim Patterson, a paleoclimatologist who is director of the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre of Canada's Carleton University, says that 10,000 years ago the CO2 level was about the same as now and temps rose as much as 6 degrees Celsius in a decade—100 times faster than the past century! And he says that 6,000 years ago the earth was 6 degrees C (10 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than today. Today the CO2 content of the atmosphere is about 380 parts per million (ppm). But the monumental study by Beck of 93,000 DIRECT chemical measurements of the atmosphere (NOT from ice cores), shows a five-year average of 440 ppm CO2 for the years 1820 and 1940, and 390 ppm for 1855. From CO2 in ice cores, readings over 400 ppm were reported for 10,000 years ago, and samples ranged from 250 to nearly 500 ppm over the next 9,000 years. Ice cores show 420 ppm CO2 in 200 A.D. and over 400 ppm as recently as 1720. These facts invalidate everything the CBS program said about global warming occurring and the greenhouse hypothesis itself.

Temperature measurements of the earth's surface are warmer than those of the lower atmosphere, which is contrary to the greenhouse hypothesis and all the computer models. Dr. Chris de Frietas writes, “Greenhouse gases cannot warm the surface directly; they warm the atmosphere first. If there is no prior warming of the lower atmosphere, there can be no consequent enhanced greenhouse effect attributable to greenhouse gas emissions....Thus the satellite data is direct evidence against the IPCC global warming hypothesis.” [emphasis added]. The satellite data is confirmed by weather balloons, which measure temps with an entirely different technology. The modest warming of the earth of one degree F over the past century must be due to something other than the greenhouse effect.

The computer models predict that greenhouse warming should occur equally during the day and night. Observations show most of the warming is at night, thus falsifying the models.

The models predict that warming of 1.0 to 3.0 C. should already have occurred in the polar regions since 1940. It hasn't, thus falsifying the models. In fact, temperature measurements show substantial cooling there from 1940 to the 1970s, again contrary to the models.

It's true that CO2 is the most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas, but water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse gas. It accounts for 98 percent of any greenhouse effect; CO2 accounts for about one percent, and other gases the remainder. Furthermore, of that one percent due to CO2, 97 percent of that is due to nature, with mankind producing only 3 percent. Volcanoes, swamps, rice paddies and even insects produce CO2, as well as methane, which is another greenhouse gas. Termites alone produce far more CO2 than all the worlds factories and automobiles combined. But by far the largest source of CO2 emissions is the equatorial Pacific Ocean. It produces 72 percent of the earth's emissions of carbon dioxide, and the rest of the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic and Indian Oceans also contribute. Combining the factors of water vapor and nature's production of CO2, we see that nature is responsible for 99.96 percent of any greenhouse effect, while mankind contributes only 0.04 percent. How much effect could regulating that tiny amount possibly have on world climate?

Since the greenhouse theory cannot explain global temperature changes, what does? The sun and cosmic rays. Everyone knows the sun heats the earth, but that heat is not uniform. “Sunspot” cycles vary solar intensity, and the solar wind varies the amount of cosmic rays that reach the earth. (see http://www.amlibpub.com/liberty_blog/2007/06/global-warming-and-solar-cycles.html and http://www.forces.org/Forces_Articles/article_viewer.php?id=500.) Solar cycles and variations in the earth's orbit around the sun correlate far better with global temperature changes than variations in atmospheric CO2 levels.

Why is there such reluctance to admit that the sun, not the greenhouse effect, drives the changes in the earth's climate, or that water vapor is a far more important greenhouse gas than CO2? Governments can only control people, not nature. If the sun is responsible for climate change, then there is nothing governments can do about it. If water vapor is the key to the greenhouse effect, then there is nothing governments can do about it. For government to be relevant on this issue, it must have a cause that can be blamed on people, because people are the only thing government can control. And if government is not relevant on this issue, then there is no need for those political appointees from 150 nations to the United Nation's IPCC. Nor is there a need for billions of dollars in government grants to scientists and institutions for studies that keep trying to prove CO2 is causing global warming, in order to validate government intervention. Nor is there a justification for spending other people's money (taxpayer funds) for such purposes. Nor is there a need for the bureaucrats and governmental framework to formulate and implement regulations for controlling CO2 emissions, for extending the role of government over every aspect of people's lives.

Basically, the politics of global warming is determined by ideology, not science. Tim Wirth, former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Global Issues and the man most responsible for setting up the Kyoto Treaty, said, “We've got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.” Richard Benedick, a deputy assistant secretary of state, said, “A global warming treaty must be implemented even if there is no scientific evidence to back the [enhanced] greenhouse effect.” Christine Stewart, Canada's Minister of the Environment, in 1998 stated: “No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits...Climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.”

The issue of global warming was simply a tool for garnering support for economic and environmental policies that otherwise would be unacceptable. It was embraced not because the science was correct but because it offered a rationale for government control of people's lives. That was the way to “bring about justice and equality in the world.” It didn't matter if the earth was warming or cooling. Indeed, many of the same people now calling for government action against global warming were the same people calling for government action in the 1970s because of fears another ice age was beginning. It didn't matter that the greenhouse hypothesis couldn't explain the earth's cooling from 1940 to 1975, which solar cycles can (as well as periods of warming.) What mattered was that government policies would replace free-market economics. That's what was meant by “doing the right thing in terms of economic policy.” The issue was collectivism. Individual rights and honesty in science would have to be sacrificed to “save the planet,” which only collectivism could do.

Socialism has been a failure all over the world. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, former communist and other socialist countries have been deserting collectivism. They have embraced free markets and been reducing taxes and economic controls. And prospering. Almost nobody likes to use the word “socialism” any more. Or “fascism” either, which is another form of government control of the economic system. Socialism is government ownership of the means of production. A characteristic of fascism, according to Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, is “the retention of private ownership of the means of production under centralized government control.” [emphasis added.] “Environmentalism” is the last refuge of the collectivists, and the word avoids the negative connotations of socialism and fascism while pursuing the common policy of centralized political control—which is accomplished through regulation.

Environmentalism has become a religion, whose god is Nature, and against whom man has been sinning by tampering with the earth in creating industrial civilization. The religion exhorts men to cleanse the world of the evil of technology and return to a more primitive state. As Maurice Strong, perhaps the single most important individual in the development of the Green movement, has stated, “Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrial civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring about?” In the 1970s Strong was appointed by U.N. Secretary General U Thant to organize and direct the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, which came to be known as the first Earth Summit. After the Earth Summit, he led the Earth Council and drafted the Earth Charter. Later, Strong chaired the gigantic (40,000 participants) U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in Rio in 1992. He became a senior advisor to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. Through his involvement in UNESCO (U.N. Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization), he promotes Gaia, the Earth God, among the world's youth. He also is director of the Temple of Understanding in New York, which he uses to encourage Americans concerned about the environment to replace Christianity with worship of “Mother Earth.” Strong, a wealthy businessman who made a fortune in oil and utilities, defines himself as “a socialist in ideology, a capitalist in methodology.” He has been using the money he made to bankroll the downfall of the political system in which he made it.

The greenhouse hypothesis is a matter of ideology, a political ideology with characteristics of a religious one even for those who do not subscribe to religion. Religion does not depend on science; it cannot be proved and is accepted instead on faith. Collectivism cannot be proved either, at least not in the sense of being a successful, workable political system. But still it is promoted by some who selectively ignore the evidence against it (the consistent failures of socialist and fascist governments), and who attempt to “adjust” the facts of history to present their ideology in a favorable light and preferable to capitalism and freedom. When the facts conflict with their ideology, it is the facts which must be adjusted. That is what has happened with the greenhouse hypothesis: cause-and-effect relationships are claimed to be the opposite of what they really are; data have been selectively ignored, misrepresented and fraudulently manipulated; the history of Industrial Revolution has been “adjusted” to fit the ideology of greenhouse warming. Perhaps on another occasion I shall give further examples of such scientific corruption, but for now readers may find some information on it regarding the United Nation's IPCC reports on global warming at http://www.amlibpub.com/essays/ipcc-global-warming-report.html.

By 2020 the earth will be starting into its weakest sunspot cycle in 200 years, leading to a cooler earth. Professor Abdussamatov, head of the Pulkovo Observatory in Russia, believes a slow decline in temperatures will begin as early as 2012-2015 and will lead to a deep freeze in 2050-2060 that will last about fifty years. The late Prof. Theodore Landscheit predicted two Little Ice Ages around 2100 and 2200. But Singer and Avery, in their book Unstoppable Global Warming, believe that the longer trend, over at least the next several hundred years, will be a warming one. In any case, what happens to the earth's climate will be determined by forces beyond the control of man. The Kyoto Treaty and all other government measures to stop global warming (or cooling) will be as futile as the decree of the ancient king who ordered the tides of the ocean to stop. Their only effects will be the gigantic waste of financial resources and depriving the world's people of freedom and a better standard of living.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Politicians Seize Chance to Repeat Mistakes!

You might think politicians would have learned something from the catastrophic collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis. You'd be wrong. The bridge disaster focused a lot of public attention on how government transportation funds have been earmarked for pet projects of the politicians, such as nature trails, museums, lighthouses, and flowers for California freeways instead of bridges in need of repair.

Those earmarks were in the 2005 Transportation Bill, which covered a five-year appropriation. But there are various other transportation funding bills, including one that was passed only days before the bridge collapsed, which also had earmarks. In 1981 there were only 10 earmarks. In 2005 there were 6,371. A new government study now shows the number is 8,056. And the trend continues.

To demonstrate its concern over the state of the nation's bridges after the recent collapse, the U.S. Senate voted last week to set aside $1 billion for bridge repairs. But wait! Don't applaud just yet. The same bill approved 843 new earmarks totaling $1.5 billion. North Dakota will get $450,000 of the transportation funds for its Peace Garden on the Canadian border. Montana will get funds for a minor league baseball stadium in Billings.

In the House version of the bill there are 1,400 earmarks worth $2.2 billion. These include a Mule and Packers Museum in a California town of 3,575 people. Minnesota will get $100 million for two mass transit projects.

Rep. Tom Coburn, (R-Okla) stated: “The bridge in Minnesota didn't fail as much as Congress failed. We failed to direct dollars where they were most needed because this body is obsessed with parochial pork barrel politics.” His assessment is supported by a recent report by the U.S. Transportation Department inspector general, which states: “Many earmarked projects considered by [transportation] agencies as low priority are being funded over higher priority non-earmarked projects.” Anyone could tell that just from the type of projects that got the money, but Congress pays no attention. It seizes the opportunity to continue doing more of the same.

A bill last week to pass a moratorium on earmarks until all the nation's defective bridges are repaired failed miserably in the Senate, by a vote of 82 to 14. A Gallup poll in July found that Congress has the lowest rating of any institution in our society. The military had the highest rating, 69 percent, while Congress had only a 14 percent approval rating even before the bridge collapse. The vote on the earmark moratorium is an example of why that low number is well deserved.