WEBCommentary Editor

Author: Bob Webster
Date:  March 7, 2007

Topic category:  Other/General

Inconvenient Truths about Global Warming
Some "Global Warming" Myths Exposed

We live at a time when just about everyone recognizes the acheivements of science (unmanned missions to distant planets, the international space station, better surgical and diagnostic tools for the medical profession, home computers, vastly improved television picture quality, the incredible shrinking cost of electronic storage media, etc., etc.), yet few have a clear understsnding of science or the scientific process. How many people know any more about meteorology (the study of weather) or climatology (the study of climate) than what they hear on television or read in a newspaper or magazine? Probably very few. And what are the qualifications for those who report the news? Little to none. Yet buoyed by blustering politicians and shrill voices from Hollywood, many are all too willing to "go along with the crowd" when it comes to blaming carbon dioxide for climate change. But there is no credible, scientifically rigorous evidence to support the position that carbon dioxide resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels is causing the planet to warm to any significant (or dangerous) degree!

For many years, political opportunists in pursuit of votes have used a lack of depth in the public knowledge of a subject to exploit this subject by proposing solutions to a problem that, at face value, seem to be noble and laudable. The politicians' solution is given a catchy name (e.g., "national health care") and woe to those who dare stand against their solution. How cruel and selfish, we're told, of one who dares stand in the way of the politicians' solution to what is really a personal problem. We lose the distinction between appearances and reality. While "national health care" may appear to be a wonderful program, in reality what is usually proposed by the politicians would be a disaster to the best health care system on the planet.

Likewise, the general public's lack of basic scientific knowledge exposes them to being exploited by those who would subvert and distort science to their own political advantage. The vast majority of news reporters, television programs, films, environmentalists, college professors, and politicians sing in unison of the "consensus" about "global warming" and how terrible it is that humans are destroying the planet with their reckless pursuits. Those who dare to speak out against the chorus shouting "humans burning fossil fuels causes destructive global warming" are accused by some of being in the same class as those who deny the Holocaust. Yet a careful look at the scientific record will convincingly demonstrate that the claim that there is or will be significant anthropogenic global warming cannot be substantiated with scientifically valid data and methods.

Here, then, are a few more inconvenint scientific truths that shatter a few of the myths supporting claims of significant anthropogenic global warming.

Myth: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is composed of the world's best climate experts and its reports represent sound, peer-reviewed unbiased scientific consensus.

The very name, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, establishes a bias from the outset. An "intergovernmental" panel to investigate climate "change" carries with it presumptions that (1) humans are causing climate change, and, (2) humans can significantly affect climage change. The clear bias in these presumptions set the tone for what we've witnessed since the inception of the IPCC.

The IPCC is a creation of the United Nations. That fact alone speaks volumes. The United Nations includes representatives from every dictatorship across the globe (and there are many). Imagine representatives from Iran, North Korea, Libya, Venezuela, Cuba, etc., etc., determining by vote that humans are changing our climate and the United States is the chief culprit. Gee, what a surprise that would be!

According to Wikipedia:

Note in the last sentence above, "... mainly on peer reviewed and published scientific/technical literature." But not exclusively, as the discredited Hockey Stick chart of Mann, Bradley, and Hughes illustrates.

The IPCC, then, is at best a quasi-scientific group, consisting of appointees from various governments to sit on a panel whose stated purpose is to investigate anthropogenic global warming. The IPCC has a strong self-interest to find that which it is charged with investigating (significant anthropogenic global warming). The IPCC is both political and scientific (a potentially very bad combination from the outset since few politicians understand science very well and few scientists comprehend the mindset of the politician).

Evidence of the politicized atmosphere of the IPCC comes from the resignation of Christopher Landsea. From Wikipedia:

In Global Warming and the Hydrological Cycle Dr. David R. Legates[2] states:

Further testament to the concern of IPCC bias comes from the UK Parliament (2005):

The reality about the IPCC? It is little more than a biased politicized group whose agenda is designed to fulfill its charge: to find that humans are causing the planet to warm so that governments can exert more power over their citizens.

Why should any U.S. citizen take seriously the climate change conclusions of a politically-motivated, biased group whose very foundation arose out of an organization hostile to capitalism and the United States?

Myth:  General Circulation Models (GCMs) used to predict future climate are sophisticated representations of how climate changes and can be relied upon for realistic predictions of future climate.

In Global Warming and the Hydrological Cycle, Dr. Legates discusses future precipitation predictions from two GCMs:

Legates continues:

So, an error of just one-tenth inch of rainfall will produce a prediction error of nearly two degrees Fahrenheit. Imagine what a 1" error in rainfall prediction will produce!

To summarize, GCMs are notoriously short on their ability to evaluate climate change because:

  1. The climate change science that needs to be modeled is not well enough understood to be modeled.
  2. The methodology that does exist represents a simplified approximation and is driven by insufficient data.
  3. A mere one-tenth inch of rainfall prediction error blossoms into a temperature prediction error of +1¾°F.
The reality about GCMs? While they're useful investigative tools, they are simply incapable of making accurate predictions for global climate change.

Myth:  Humans burning fossil fuels are creating carbon dioxide in quantities sufficient to significantly cause global warming.

This myth is perhaps the most widely held, yet it rests on the weakest of foundations and relies upon public acceptance of the notion that the greenhouse effect is the most significant contributor to climate change.

The truth is quite different (sorry Al Gore, but it's just one of those "inconvenient" truths).

French Clilmatologist Dr. Marcel Leroux[3] writes in his chapter "Causes of climage change" from Global Warming, Myth or Reality/The Erring Ways of Climatology:

Leroux describes how the IPCC "seems to recognise two different types of climatic variability. Variation can be the result of [IPCC] 'natural fluctuations of the climatic system', for example variations in the intensity of incident solar radiation, or modifications in the concentration of aerosols after a volcanic eruption. Also, [IPCC] 'natural climate variations can likewise occur in the absence of modification of external forcing, through the effect of complex interactions between the diverse components of the climatic system, particularly ocean-atmosphere interaction. The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon is an example of this natural internal variability on interannual weather scales'. So it seems therefore (if the 'interaction' mentioned is only an 'internal' process) that there are variations in the climate ... because of the climate (i.e., with no apparent cause!). What might natural internal variability' be, if it is not responding to some (external?) forcing? Could there be 'natural' modifications, and also 'supernatural' ones not derived from fundamental, long recognised causes (or even causes as yet undervalued)?"

Leroux continues: "This would seem to be the case, because alongside causes that were identified long ago, such as the Sun and volcanoes, we also find 'oscillations' promoted to real players at the forefront of the meteorological stage. Consider this: as a result of a [IPCC] 'quasi-periodically varying ENSO phenomenon, caused by atmosphere-ocean interaction in the tropical Pacific ... the resulting events have a worldwide impact on weather and climate' (IPCC 2001). So the ENSO phenomenon, not linked with any external forcing, and which the IPCC deems completely 'independent' of the climatic system, becomes a cause in its own right of world climate change (although it is obviously only a consequence)! Another example is that of the 'North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)' which [IPCC] 'fluctuates on multi-annual and multi-decadal timescales, perhaps influenced by varying temperature patterns in the Atlantic Ocean' and which 'has a strong influence on the climate of Europe and part of Asia' (IPCC, 2001). Similarly there is the 'Antarctic Oscillation' or the 'Arctic Oscillation' ... Here we have phenomena whose origin is not well defined, and which are considered to be causes of climate change! Is this justifiable, or are these things promoted to the rank of 'cause' because of a too-frequent tendency to make a deus ex machina out of a phenomenon whose initial cause is unclear, or merely inexplicable, or whose exact place in the chain of processes (i.e., in general circulation) cannot be determined?"

Leroux summarizes with: "Confusion is therefore rife: there is polarisation on the subject of the greenhouse effect, inconsistent application of other climate change factors, and the classification as causal of phenomena whose mechanisms are not clear. So the IPCC report cannot be said to allot the greenhouse effect its proper place compared with other factors. It is therefore necessary to look again at possible causes of climatic variations, and thereafter in any case to indicate mechanisms through which possible modifications brought about by these causes are distributed around the world by general circulation. Leaving aside the hypothetical greenhouse effect, the principal causes of climate change covered here are orbital variations in radiation, variations in solar activity, and volcanism."

Leroux then proceeds to describe other factors that the IPCC minimizes or ignores in its desire to blame human consumption of fossil fuel on climate change.

Those factors include:

After extensive examination of these factors, Leroux concludes "The greenhouse effect is not the cause of climate change."

Leroux identifies the most likely causes of climate change as:

Not only is the greenhouse effect the least of the contributors to climatic change, the most significant (by far) greenhouse gas, water vapor, receives little attention from the IPCC. Instead, the IPCC focuses on the small annual contribution to global carbon dioxide production attributed to humans burning fossil fuel!

The burning of fossil fuels by humans is a very small contributor to the annual global budget of carbon dioxide production. The primary greenhouse gas, water vapor, is responsible for the vast majority of greenhouse warming. As for climate change, when the greenhouse effect is put into its proper place and one considers the relatively insignificant contribution of anthropogenic emissions to total annual natural CO2 production, it is clear that the IPCC, politicians, government scientists, and reporters are responsible for a grossly exaggerated myth that has demonized carbon dioxide emissions from humans burning fossil fuels!

It is the nature of climate to be in a state of change. Until we better understand the mechanisms for climate change (and get an historical climate perspective), the shrill voices calling for governmental actions should be ignored. We cannot afford to allow psuedo-scientific processes produced by a quasi-political body to influence actions which are going to be prohibitively expensive and, in the end, ineffective.

Most important, there is little likelihood that natural climate warming will be detrimental to humanity. Far more damaging will be the eventual return to a glacial phase of an ice age.

Bob Webster
WEBCommentary (Editor, Publisher)

[1] Christopher Landsea is Science and Operations Officer at the National Hurricane Center. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society. Landsea earned his doctoral degree in Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University.

[2] David R. Legates is an associate professor at the University of Delaware and is known for his systematic examination of the scientific method used in climatological studies. He is credited with exposing the weaknesses of general circulation models (GCMs). He has also been involved with attempts to validate data and conclusions of climate change studies. Legates is the Delaware State Climatologist. Legates received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Geography, a Master of Science degree in Geography-Climatology and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Climatology, all from the University of Delaware.

[3] Marcel Leroux describes his qualifications on the subject of climatology thus: "Doubly a doctor, from University and from the state, in Climatology, I am a member of the Société Météorologique de France and of the American Meteorological Society. As a Professor of Climatology, my employer is the French Republic, which has adopted the official religion of 'climate change', to which I do not adhere. I am not beholden to any 'slush fund' and my Laboratoire de Climatologie, Risques, Environnement (LCRE), in spite of its links with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), has never received any funding from this state institution, certainly by reason of heresy. I am neither a militant nor an amrchair 'eco-warrier', but I live in the countryside, near the little village of Vauvenargues, near Aix-en-Provence, on the 'Grand Site Sainte Victoire' (immortalised by the painter Paul Cézanne), a listed and protected area of mountains and wild forests. I grow vegetables in my (small) 'organic' kitchen garden. I am naturally inclined to question things, and I am basically a Cartesian, living by René Descartes' primary precept of 'never assuming anything to be true which I did not know evidently to be such' (Discours de la Méthode, 1637)."
Suggested reading:

Biography - Bob Webster

Bob Webster, a 12th-generation descendent of both the Darte family (Connecticut, 1630s) and the Webster family (Massachusetts, 1630s) is a descendant of Daniel Webster's father, Revolutionary War patriot Ebenezer Webster, who served with General Washington. Bob has always had a strong interest in early American history, our Constitution, U.S. politics, and law. Politically he is a constitutional republican with objectivist and libertarian roots. He has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint by the regressive Progressive movement as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for all high school students so they can appreciate the cost of tolerating the growth of unconstitutional crushingly powerful central government. He strongly believes, as our Constitution enshrines, that the interests of the individual should be held superior to the interests of the state.

A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.

Copyright © 2007 by Bob Webster
All Rights Reserved.

© 2004-2007 by WEBCommentary(tm), All Rights Reserved