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Global Warming Debate
the past few years there has been increasing concern about
global climate change on the part of the media, politicians,
and the public. It
has been stimulated by the idea that human activities may
influence global climate adversely and that action is required
on the part of governments to do something about this problem.
purpose here is to show that this concern is misplaced, that
human activities are not influencing the global climate in a
perceptible way, and that, in any case, very little can be
done about global climate change.
It is unstoppable; we should not even try to influence
it. Climate will
continue to change, as it always has in the past, both warming
and cooling on different time scales and for different
reasons, completely unrelated to any human action.
I will also argue that –should it occur -- a modest
warming is on the whole beneficial.
is however a serious problem.
In the mistaken idea that something needs to be done,
policies are arising that have the potential of distorting
energy policies, severely damaging national economies, make us
poorer, and hurting standards of living.
Such a misdirection of resources will adversely affect
human health and welfare in industrialized nations -- and even
more so in developing nations.
It can lead to social tensions within nations and to
conflict between nations.
If it were not for this potential of inflicting serious
economic damage, one might consider the present concern about
climate change nothing more than just another fad or human
once it affects energy policy, it becomes essential to
understand the issue to avoid inflicting any severe harm.
warming is natural
most fundamental question of all is certainly scientific: Is
the observed warming of the past 30 years due to natural
causes or are human activities a contributing or even a main
factor? At first
glance, it is quite plausible that humans are warming the
climate; after all, the burning of fossil fuels to generate
energy releases large quantities of carbon dioxide into the
level has been increasing steadily since the beginning of the
industrial revolution and is now 35 percent higher than it was
200 years ago. Also,
we know from direct measurements, that carbon dioxide is a
“greenhouse (GH) gas” which strongly absorbs infrared
(heat) radiation. So
the idea of fossil-fuel burning causing an enhanced greenhouse
effect needs to be taken seriously.
The issue then becomes one of numbers.
How important is this human greenhouse effect compared
to natural factors that can warm the climate, much as they
have been doing in the past without any human presence.
For example, the geological record shows a persistent
cycle of warming and cooling of about 1,500 years length,
extending back at least a million years.
to tell the cause of warming?
One could ask the thermometers but they don’t talk.
Many politicians simply appeal to an imagined
There are two things wrong with that.
First, there is no scientific consensus: second, that
is not how science works.
Every scientific advance comes from a minority of
scientists who do not go along with the majority view --
sometimes just from a single person: think of Galileo or
aren’t glaciers melting, and isn’t sea ice shrinking?
Yes, but that’s not proof for human-caused warming.
Any kind of warming, whether natural or anthropogenic,
will melt ice. To
claim that melting glaciers prove a human effect is just bad
about the fact that carbon dioxide levels are increasing and
so are temperatures? That’s
an interesting correlation but doesn’t establish a
cause-effect relation. During
much of the last century the climate was cooling while CO2
levels were rising. And
we should note that climate has not warmed in the past ten
years -- even though greenhouse gas levels have increased
climate scientists, including those working on the report of
the UN-sponsored IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change] have pointed out that the greenhouse computer models
all show a global temperature increase.
But the two dozen or so major GH models in the world
all give different warming rates, depending on the assumptions
that are fed into the model.
So any agreement with observed rates of increase could
be fortuitous and is unconvincing.
there is a method that can be used to check on whether the
observed warming is anthropogenic.
It relies on comparing the observed pattern of warming
with the one calculated from GH models.
Essentially we try to see if the “fingerprints”
fingerprint is the pattern of warming, that is, the rate of
warming at different latitudes and altitudes.
Greenhouse warming should give increasing rates as one
goes from the surface up into the atmosphere -- peaking at
about 10 kilometers, where the rate of increase is about a
factor of two greater than the surface rate, and quite
pronounced in all the models.
observed pattern, however, does not show any increase at all;
in fact, the data from balloon-borne radiosondes show a slight
decrease over the equator.
Evidently, the observed and calculated fingerprints
don’t match, indicating that the human contribution to
current warming is insignificant, too small to be discerned.
The cause of warming must therefore be natural, either
an internal oscillation of the atmosphere-ocean system, or an
external effect, perhaps stemming from the Sun.
significant result emerges from data accumulated by the
UN-IPCC itself, but analyzed and published by NIPCC, a
non-governmental international panel on climate change – see
full report is available at http://www.sepp.org/publications/NIPCC_final.pdf
is surprising perhaps that few have noticed the evident
disparity between the observed and calculated patterns and
drawn the obvious conclusion that current climate models
cannot simulate properly the processes of the real atmosphere
and that the anthropogenic effect on climate predicted by
models are still too small to be noticeable.
is scientifically interesting to ask what are the natural
factors that are influencing climate?
This is a big subject about which much has been
factors include volcanic eruptions, continental drift and
changes in the
Earth’s orbit --- and, of course, solar variability.
Different kinds of influences operate on different time
scales. But on a
time scale important for human experience.-- typically decades
-- solar variability may be the most important.
this line of reasoning is correct – and we think it is –
then the influence of greenhouse gases on climate is not
factors cannot be controlled; natural climate changes are
sorts of consequences follow from this simple conclusion.
The control of CO2 emissions from fuel burning is pointless,
expensive, and even counterproductive.
No matter what kind of mitigation scheme is used, the control
emissions is also hugely expensive.
Ditto for sequestration of CO2,
ditto for the UN-Kyoto
Protocol to limit GH gas emissions.
The development of non-fossil fuel energy sources, like
ethanol and hydrogen, is often counterproductive.
Both of these fuels have to be manufactured, often with
the investment of great amounts of ordinary energy.
They provide little if any reduction in CO2 emission
and, depending on their manufacture, little reduction in oil
Wind power and solar power are uneconomic and require
huge subsidies. If
one wants to have energy sources that do not emit CO2, then
nuclear energy is readily available.
Substituting natural gas for coal in electricity
generation is uneconomic.
Natural gas is better used as a home heating fuel and,
in compressed form, as a substitute for oil in transportation.
Extraterrestrial electric power generation, for example
by a Solar Power Satellite system, becomes less attractive.
None of this argues against energy conservation.
On the contrary, conserving energy reduces waste, saves
money, and lowers energy prices – irrespective of what one
may think about climate change and global warming.
is there panic?
then this widespread belief in catastrophic climate change and
the increasing public demand for government to do something
about it? By now
there are tens of thousands who are benefiting directly from
the climate scare – at the expense of the ordinary consumer.
Environmental organizations worldwide, like Greenpeace,
Sierra Club, Environmental Defense, etc., are consuming
billions a year. Government
subsidies in the United States are running at about that
level. The various
trading programs will soon be at the $100 billion a year
level, with large fees paid to brokers -- and even larger sums
to those who operate the scams.
In other words, many people have discovered they can
benefit from climate scares; the longer we wait to expose
them, the harder it will be to do something about these
world faces many difficult problems.
We have societal problems like poverty, disease, lack
of sanitation and clean water -- and we have security problems
arising from global terrorism and the proliferation of nuclear
weapons. Any of
these problems are vastly more important than the imaginary
one of anthropogenic global warming.
It is a great shame that so many of our resources are
being diverted from real problems to non-problems.
Perhaps in ten or 20 years this will become apparent to
everyone, particularly if the climate should stop increasing
or even cool.
the greatest danger may come from the expansion of government
regulation and from the inevitable growth of bureaucracy,
imbued with the zeal to control the behavior of the population
in order to reduce emissions.
There will have to be reporting, monitoring,
inspection, sanctions, and endless lawsuits.
It is the loss of freedom that concerns so many of
us. And all
because of an imaginary threat.
can only hope that sanity will prevail against the onslaught
of propaganda like Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and the
incessant misinformation generated by the media.
Today, the imposed costs are still modest but not
transparent, hidden in taxes and in charges for electricity
and motor fuels. But
I’m optimistic and believe that sound science and good sense
will prevail before climate fears generate an economic
catastrophe and threaten our constitutional rights.
Prof Singer on YouTube explaining how climate change is
natural NOT man-made>>>
To read more articles on Climate
Change including by Prof David Bellamy, IPCC Reviewer Dr
Vincent Gray, Climatologist Prof Bob Carter, the President of
the Czech Republic Hon Vaclav Kluaus...
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