The Week That Was
June 23 , 2007
No TWTW on June 30 and July 7.
Fred Singer talks:
June 30: at Hillsdale College, Michigan
July 3, at Nieuwspoort, The Hague;
July 4 at European Parliament (room A1H-1), Brussels
Quote of the Week:
Suppose you were an idiot.
And suppose you were a member of Congress....
But then I repeat myself.
It is sad to watch Congress in action, trying to construct an energy bill. Biofuels garner huge subsidies but may not reduce oil imports or CO2 emissions significantly [ITEM #1]. Former Senators Bennett Johnston and Don Nickels criticize efforts to ‘punish’ the oil industry for high gasoline prices [ITEM #2]. A huge oil tax to further subsidize ‘renewables’ is proposed [ITEM #3] but defeated in the Senate. But they pass higher CAFE standards –instead of raising taxes on motor fuels.
China just surpassed the US as the leading emitter of CO2 [ITEM #4] while Russia gets ready to receive multi-billions from carbon trading [ITEM #5].
A warning to investors: the renewable energy bubble, fed by subsidies, may collapse [ITEM #6].
Steve Milloy criticizes ‘conservatives’ who try to exploit GW fears
The public is being misled about the state of air pollution by rent seekers and the media [ITEM #8]
More evidence that the Sun, not CO2, is responsible for current warming [ITEM # 9] and ‘father of climatology’ Prof. Reid Bryson terms GW scares ‘hooey.’
This should be sent to every "journalist" in the USA by every COMMANDER in Iraq and Afghanistan...
"It appears we have appointed our worst generals to command forces, and our most gifted and brilliant to edit newspapers! In fact, I discovered by reading newspapers that these editor/geniuses plainly saw all my strategic defects from the start, yet failed to inform me until it was too late. Accordingly, I'm readily willing to yield my command to these obviously superior intellects, and I'll, in turn, do my best for the cause by writing editorials - after the fact." Robert E. Lee, 1863
Every morning millions of Americans confront the latest trend in commodities markets at their kitchen table, as rising prices for crops --dubbed "agflation"-- has begun to drive up the cost of grains such as corn and wheat, says the Economist. The culprit is the growing demand for biofuel feedstocks:
o The amount of corn used to make ethanol in America has tripled since 2000; ethanol distilleries now consume a fifth of the country's corn crop.
o Further, America is only one of 41 countries where governments are encouraging the use of biofuels to reduce oil consumption.
As a result, demand for grains has accelerated:
o During the 1990s, when oil was cheap and biofuels unheard of, demand grew by 1.2 percent a year, according to Goldman Sachs.
o But in recent years, it has increased by 1.4 percent, and over the next decade, Goldman projects, it will rise by 1.9 percent annually.
And with generous government subsidies in place to ensure that biofuels are profitable, any extra grain produced in the foreseeable future will be used to make more of the stuff. For grain prices to fall, Jeffrey Currie of Goldman Sachs says one of the only solutions is for governments to pull the plug on biofuels programs. But with Congress debating whether or not to double its targets for biofuel production, that outcome seems unlikely.
Source: Editorial, "Biofuelled," Economist, June 21, 2007.
2. CONGRESS'S ENERGY FOLLIES
If the American people are suspicious of bold pledges from Washington about energy independence and reform, they have good reason to be. Since the first energy crisis almost 35 years ago, our nation has had a very expensive education in such matters, say J. Bennett Johnston and Don Nickles, former senators from Louisiana and Oklahoma, respectively.
Yet, the agenda presented thus far from some corners is disappointing, and will only lead to further problems. For instance:
o "Price-gouging" laws only create long waiting lines and economic chaos across all industries; the current debate completely avoids these paramount issues, instead focusing on punitive measures that will not add one new drop of gasoline or decrease fuel prices.
o Mandates for alternative energy present a least-optimal path to progress; Congress knows Americans would choose current rates of alternative energy use over "forced" alternative sources -- hence, Congress would rather force the nation's energy providers to deliver the bad news for them in the form of higher monthly utility bills.
o Rapidly accelerating renewable fuel standards like corn-based ethanol can lead to a host of problems, including transport costs, actual loss in energy efficiency, the impact on food, livestock feed and natural gas prices, and lingering environmental implications.
o Windfall profits taxes will only lead investors and shareholders to lose confidence and simply shift their money elsewhere; according to the Congressional Research Service, similar policies put in place between 1980 and 1986 reduced domestic oil production by 1.26 billion barrels and increased oil imports as much as 13 percent.
Opportunity still exists to forge a sound and stable domestic energy program that benefits consumers, industries and our economy, say Johnston and Nickles. Hopefully Congress can embrace past lessons and forge pragmatic and workable solutions while keeping this in mind.
Source: J. Bennett Johnston and Don Nickles, "Congress's Energy Follies," Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2007.
3. TAXMEN GOUGETH
Weak-kneed Republican senators have joined Democrats to impose $29 billion in new taxes on oil companies because prices at the pump are so high. Unfortunately, these new taxes will only make them higher, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD). According to a Heritage Foundation analysis, the resulting price increases will be substantial:
o Gas consumers can expect to pay between $3.16 and $3.79 a gallon for gas in 2008 due to the Senate energy bill.
o By 2016, all states can expect gas prices in excess of $6; consumers would spend an average of $1,445 more per year on gasoline in 2016 than in 2008.
The idea is for Big Oil to foot the bill for huge tax credits and incentives for wind and solar power, hybrid vehicles and biofuel. But while alternatives to fossil fuels are worth developing for the long term, says IBD, it is childish on the part of Senators to believe fuels like ethanol will help in any meaningful way. Consider:
· It takes more energy to make ethanol than it provides as fuel, and ethanol's CO2 output is similar to gasoline's -- yet Washington subsidizes domestic ethanol with a 51-cents-a-gallon tax credit.
· Alternatives to fossil fuels are worth developing for the long term, but what's truly "childish" is the wide-eyed belief on the part of Senators and others in ethanol as a feasible alternative fuel.
· To protect his state's beloved but uneconomical corn-fuel industry, Senator Grassley just helped keep a 54-cents-a-gallon tariff on imported ethanol from being removed. That tariff actually contributes to high gas prices and to our energy dependence on the oil of foreign enemies in the Middle East and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.
· That tariff actually contributes to high gas prices and to our energy dependence on imported. As British Petroleum Chief Executive Tony Hayward recently told the Houston Chronicle, "What the world needs is a plant that grows fast, doesn't need water" and contains "lots of sugar." Ethanol from corn is not it, and scientists as of yet haven't created one.
Source: Editorial, "Taxmen Gougeth," Investor's Business Daily, June 21, 2007. http://www.investors.com/editorial/editorialcontent.asp?secid=1501&status=article&id=267232247184662
4. CHINA HAS OVERTAKEN THE UNITED STATES AS THE WORLD'S BIGGEST PRODUCER OF CARBON DIOXIDE, the chief greenhouse gas, figures released today show.
Guardian Unlimited, June 19, 2007
The surprising announcement will increase anxiety about China's growing role in driving man-made global warming and will pile pressure onto world politicians to agree a new global agreement on climate change that includes the booming Chinese economy. China's emissions had not been expected to overtake those from the US, formerly the world's biggest polluter, for several years, although some reports predicted it could happen as early as next year.
But according to the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, soaring demand for coal to generate electricity and a surge in cement production have helped to push China's recorded emissions for 2006 beyond those from the US already. It says China produced 6,200m tonnes of CO2 last year, compared with 5,800m tonnes from the US. Britain produced about 600m tonnes.
5. THE EVILS OF CARBON TRADING
Will Europe transfer $US60 billion into Russian coffers? Time will tell: Gazprom and other Russian firms are anxious to develop their expertise in international carbon trading markets. Because of the collapse of Soviet-era industry in the 1990s, Russia has an enormous notional surplus of emission reduction credits under Kyoto. Known has "hot air", the resulting credits, accumulating because industrial emissions are far less than they were in the base year 1990, are estimated be worth up to $US60 billion if sold to other industrialised countries liable under Kyoto.
6. IS RENEWABLE ENERGY A SAFE, LONG-TERM INVESTMENT - OR WILL IT SOON CRASH?
Investors are pouring billions of dollars into renewable energy projects such as wind farms, solar and wave power and biofuels. They seem to be confident that the present popularity of renewables makes them safe investments with a long-term future. But are they, like the dotcom bubble, just a flash in the pan?
A belief that we must reduce emissions of manmade CO2 is the driver of the boom in renewable energy. This has led to huge direct and indirect subsidies for otherwise uneconomic renewables. These subsidies and tax breaks caused the boom. Without them, it wouldn't have happened.
In Europe, wind farms are paid about three times the cost of generation from conventional power stations and, in most cases, they don't have to pay for the transmission lines and the costs of the backup thermal power stations needed when the wind doesn't blow.
In the United States, tax breaks constitute two-thirds of the benefit reaped by the owners of the wind farms. Subsidies for solar cells, and many other renewables are even higher. Subsidies and tax breaks for biofuels are persuading farmers to switch from food to biofuels, contributing to deforestation and pushing up the price of staple foods.
According to the UK National Audit office, the current policies to reduce carbon emissions cost $140 - $280/ton. The same report estimates that the value to society is between $20 and $40/ton. Yet over the last year or so, the price of emissions on the European carbon market has dropped from about $30/ton to about $1/ton.
The enthusiasm for renewable generation is driven entirely by fears of dangerous man-made global warming and a belief that spending large amounts of money on renewables will solve the problem and thus save the planet from a wide range of disasters. More than $25 billion a year goes to building wind farms and other renewables. A similar sum is spent on direct and indirect subsidies. But spending $200/ton to generate carbon credits that can be bought for a few dollars just doesn't make sense.
If reducing manmade CO2 is the objective, getting the best "bang for the buck" should be very important. Governments should concentrate on maximizing carbon reduction for every dollar of expenditure. If they did they would abandon these ineffective technologies and expensive subsidies and, instead, concentrate on replacing old inefficient coal fired stations with new efficient ones, building nuclear power stations and promoting electric cars. The technology is proven, the result is assured and any subsidies that might be needed would be minimal and short-lived.
When the evidence used to justify claims that manmade CO2 causes dangerous man-made global warming is examined, it does not stand up to close examination. To a large degree, it hangs on the now discredited "hockey stick" that purported to show that recent warming is unprecedented and on unproven claims that computers can predict the climate 50 years ahead. Anyone with experience of economic models will know that it is difficult to get accurate predictions even a few years ahead. So why should anyone risk investing billions of dollars on a belief that the hugely more complicated and uncertain climate models can accurately predict the climate in 50 years time?
Believe it or not, that's exactly what is happening - and in spite of the fact that there is an increasing body of evidence that shows that the sun, not CO2, drives the climate. The fact that world temperatures peaked in 1998 is ignored. If it becomes accepted that renewables are expensive and ineffective or like the legendary emperor, the theory that manmade CO2 causes dangerous global warming "has no clothes", everything associated with heavily subsidized renewable energy projects, carbon trading, biofuels etc is likely to suffer a dotcom style crash as investors cut and run.
The anger of the investors that lost the money they were advised to invest in subsidized renewables will be focused on those who promoted these investments and failed to take steps to assure themselves that the science and economics were soundly based. These people will find that their careers, income and professional reputations are at risk. On top of that, the collapse will do huge damage to all of science.
Anyone who writes a prospectus inviting people to invest is obliged to describe the risks. How many prospectuses for subsidized renewable energy warn the investor that climate science is uncertain, there are better and cheaper ways of reducing carbon emissions, and that the project will make huge losses if the subsidies are withdrawn? All of them should do so. No matter how strongly an adviser or investor is wedded to the belief that renewables are "good" or that we must reduce CO2 to save the planet, it is no more than prudent risk management to warn investors of what will happen if it all turns out to have more to do with politics and spin-doctoring than objective science.
7. HOLD THE LINE ON GLOBAL WARMING
What should conservatives do about global warming? Jim Manzi suggests in his June 25 National Review cover story (“Game Plan”) that conservatives embrace junk science and “manage” global climate change so that they can “peel off” 1 percent of the votes from the “opposing coalition” in some future presidential election. Manzi’s is a recipe for social, political and economic disaster – not just for conservatives, but for everyone, with the possible exception of the back-to-nature socialists among us.
"It is no longer possible, scientifically or politically, to deny that human activities have very likely increased global temperatures…,” intones Manzi, who has apparently spent too much time watching “An Inconvenient Truth.” It’s clear from his article that he neither understands the science nor the politics of global warming.
Manzi says we should believe in global warming because of the “underlying physics.” He writes, “All else equal, the more CO2 molecules we have in the atmosphere, the hotter it gets.” But both the underlying physics and historical climate data debunk this statement. Different greenhouse gases absorb different wavelengths of energy emitted by the Earth. The fact that only a limited amount of the Earth’s emitted energy is available for absorption by CO2 and that CO2 has to compete with water vapor and clouds for that energy, results in a crucial (but little publicized) logarithmic relationship between CO2 and temperature – that is, as atmospheric CO2 increases, it absorbs less and less additional energy to produce correspondingly less and less additional warming. At some point, adding more atmospheric CO2 doesn’t significantly change atmospheric temperature.
To analogize, consider a window with many shades, each blocking half the incoming light. As successive shades are pulled, the transmitted light is halved and the effect of each shade is diminished. Eventually, there’s no additional effect because previous shades have already absorbed the light to all but a vanishing degree. As more shades won’t block more light, more CO2 won’t cause significantly more warming. In fact, there’s been more than enough greenhouse gas in the atmosphere to cause much greater warming than actually occurs since long before humans discovered fire.
From a historical perspective, consider the relationship between carbon dioxide emissions and global temperature for the period 1940-1970. As atmospheric CO2 levels steadily increased during this period, global temperatures decreased, giving rise to the 1970s-era scare of an impending ice age. It’s also clear that, if there has been a relationship between atmospheric CO2 and global temperature since the 1970s, it’s not readily apparent.
And let’s not forget the third-rail of global warming debate – one that Al Gore carefully slid over in his movie – the actual relationship between carbon dioxide and global temperature. While alarmists would have us assume that increases in atmospheric CO2 precede and cause increases in global temperature, the scientific data say the exact opposite. Historical data taken from polar ice core samples indicate that increases in temperature have preceded increases in atmospheric CO2 by several hundred years. Not letting this “inconvenient truth” spoil his movie, Al Gore only describes the relationship between atmospheric CO2 and temperature as “complex.”
Global warming worriers can take no comfort from Antarctic data either. Over the last 30 years, atmospheric CO2 increased by about 15 percent, from about 328 parts per million to about 372 parts per million. But the Antarctic temperature trend for that period indicates a slight cooling. This observation contrasts sharply with the relatively steep Antarctic warming observed from 1949 to 1974, which was accompanied by a much more modest increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.
As to trees removing CO2 from the atmosphere, well, some do and some don’t. Researchers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory recently reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (April 17) that while tropical forests exert a cooling influence on global climate, forests in northern regions, because of their absorption of sunlight, exert a warming influence — and it’s not just a trivial climatic effect. Based on the researchers’ computer modeling, forests above 20 degrees latitude in the Northern Hemisphere — that is, north of the line of latitude running through Southern Mexico, Saharan Africa, central India and the southernmost Chinese island of Hainan – will warm surface temperatures in those regions by an estimated 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2100. It would seem that climate jihadists might well start their anti-warming campaigns in the chainsaw isle of their local hardware stores, rather than coming for our SUVs, incandescent light bulbs and thermostats.
Manzi’s reading of the political situation is as wrong-headed as his facts and reasoning on the science. He suggests that conservatives turn global warming alarmism into a political advantage by essentially out-marketing the enviros on the solutions. “Conservatives should propose policies that are appropriately optimistic, science-based and low-cost… A key political question is therefore which side could more effectively use its position on carbon taxes to peel off 1 percent of the relevant votes from the opposing coalition,” he writes.
Why won’t putting a happy-face on being the low-cost-provider of planetary apocalypticism work? Because averting planetary disaster is not what global warming alarmism is all about. There are many nefarious agendas driving the global warming controversy, none of them have anything to do with “saving” the planet, and to pretend they don’t exist is to truly live in denial.
First, there are the radical left-wing environmentalists whose goal – through control of energy production and use, and ultimately the economy – is global socialism. As Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore related in the recent Channel 4 (UK) documentary, entitled “The Great Global Warming Swindle,” by the mid-1980s, environmental goals – e.g., clean air and clean water – had become so mainstream that activists had to adopt more extreme positions to remain anti-establishment. Then when the Berlin Wall fell and the Cold War ended, many “peace-niks” and left-wing political activists moved over to environmental activism, bringing their “neo-Marxist” political philosophy with them. As Moore puts it, environmentalism became the “new guise for anti-capitalism.”
Then there are the Europeans who are responsible for launching global warming alarmism in the first place. When Margaret Thatcher became UK Prime Minister in 1979, her mandate was to reduce Britain’s economic decline. Thatcher wanted to make the UK energy-independent through nuclear power – she didn’t like her country’s reliance on coal, which politically empowered the coal miner unions, or oil, which empowered Middle Eastern states.
So Thatcher latched onto her science adviser’s notion that man-made emissions of carbon dioxide warmed the planet in a harmful way, thereby providing the perfect political cover for advancing her nuclear power agenda without having to fight the miners or Arab oil states. She empowered the U.K. Meteorological Office to begin global climate change research, a move that eventually led to the 1988 creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations’ group that has come to be the “official” international agency for global warming alarmism.
The Europeans now see global warming as a means of hampering U.S. economic competitiveness through increased energy prices. In a global warming-worried world, it becomes more expensive to use coal, for example. About 52 percent of U.S. electricity is produced by burning coal. France, in contrast, gets 80 percent of its electricity from nuclear power. Guess whose economy takes the hit. The Europeans also know that environmentalists and trial lawyers will ensure that greenhouse gas emissions regulations are strictly enforced in the U.S. The same cannot be said for Europe.
There is also the gigantic global warming bureaucracy that’s been created over the last 20 years. Whereas there used to be only a handful of scientists who called themselves atmospheric scientists, now there are legions of self-proclaimed “climatologists” along with the attendant bureaucracies to support them. U.S. taxpayers alone support this gang to a tune of about $5 billion per year. Where a zoologist might previously have had difficulty getting a grant to study the mating habits of squirrels, a whole new world of possibilities opens up if the newly minted climato-zoologist asks for funding to study whether changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide are making female squirrels friskier.
Perhaps the most effective of these pro-global warming groups is big business. The alternative energy industry uses global warming fear-mongering to sell subsidized, but still high-priced energy. Wal-Mart wants us to pay $5.99 for inferior but climate-friendly light bulbs, rather than $0.75 for traditional incandescent bulbs. Dupont and other manufacturing giants want Congress to dole out global warming pork for their past, voluntary reductions in greenhouse gases. Goldman Sachs owns part of the climate exchanges on which permits to emit greenhouse gases are to be traded.
Global warming hysteria was just that, until big business climbed aboard the climate railroad. Now with its army of lobbyists in Washington, many businesses see global warming as a lucrative endeavor and they are trying to engineer congressional action for their own limited interests.
And let’s not forget Congress and other state and local politicians who, not surprisingly, have adopted the Green veneer of virtue. “Green-ness” has become the new moral high ground that few dare to challenge. Those that do are pilloried as “skeptics” and likened to Holocaust deniers. It’s no surprise that so many politicians – not a courageous lot to start with – have opted to join the Big Green machine.
All this apparently is lost on Manzi whose penultimate thought is, “But by getting past denial and taking a science-based approach to the issue, a clever candidate could take a principled stand that past major tactical dividends.” But cleverness will not likely protect our freedoms and wallets from the Greens, Europeans, global bureaucracy, rent-seeking businesses and Congress. These groups need to be sternly faced-down with the scientific and economic realities of global warming. Right now, conservatives are leading the charge in favor of sound science, and against climate clamoring and profiteering. That should continue to be our “game plan.” That is the principled stand.
Steven Milloy is the publisher of JunkScience.com.
8. AIR SCARES ARE TALL TALES
Sirkin Newsletter (6-21 07)
Polls show that Americans consider environmental groups the most credible sources of information on the environment, and that they also trust information from regulatory agencies. Yet, these trusted sources routinely misrepresent . . . Joel Schwartz
Much excellent research has been published on clean air. Joel Schwartz, who has done 30 studies, has added to it that the public has not been told it and misbelieves the truth. Much of this column is based upon his lecture, “Breathing Easier About Air Quality,” given in April, 2006, at the Institute for Study of Economics and the Environment at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.
Americans get their information, much exaggerated, from journalists, government regulators, environmental activists, and scientists. Exaggerations increase costs and minimize opportunities to address real risks. Most of the U.S. meets federal air pollution standards for four pollutants, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and lead. For ozone (smog), only 10% of the ozone monitors violated EPA's 1-hour standard in 2004, reduced from 60% in the late 70s. For particulate matter (soot), about 90% of the nation's monitors would have violated the standard 25 years ago, but only 14% violated it by the end of 2004. What makes these improvements remarkable is the big increase in driving, use of energy, and more economic activity. Air pollution will continue to decline. If over the next 20 years, driving increases 3% a year, total miles driven would increase about 80%, but would be offset by a 90% decrease in per-mile emissions.
Public perception of air pollution is that the air is dirty and getting dirtier--the opposite of reality. Public perception is no surprise as the public gets its information from the media, and the media from environmental organizations. Regularly, the American Lung Association's annual State of the Ai, misinforms, giving "more fiction than fact," says Schwartz. ALA's press releases are repeated by dozens of media. Example of fiction: From 1999 to 2001, said ALA, Los Angeles County had 35 days exceeding EPA's 8-hour standard for ozone. In truth, it had zero. The monitor in the worst location registered 18 days; the average, six days.
If a single monitor in the whole county on one day exceeded the standard, and if another monitor elsewhere in the county exceeded on the next day, ALA listed two days of exceedances and gave the whole county a failing grade. And that is so even as 60% of the county met both EPA's 1-hour and 8-hour standards. This is the way Connecticut's exceedances and all states' are counted.
ALA similarly misstates soot (particulate matter, PM 2.5). The federal standard is 65 micrograms per cubic meter, but ALA uses 40. ALA reported Cook County (Chicago) had 43 exceedance days from 2000-2001. In truth, it had none.
Ralph Nader's PIRG in its ‘Danger in the Air,’ which had fictionally high exceedances for all states, announced that California exceeded the 8-hour ozone standard on 130 days in 2001. In truth, half the monitoring stations had no exceedance days at all; the average location, seven.
Federal and state regulators use similar pollution-counting methods.. Journalists inflate the data. The New York Times reported that metropolitan Los Angeles exceeded the 1-hour ozone standard on 68 days in 2003. In truth, the worst site registered 39 days; the average location, 10.
Next time The New York Times or The News-Times asserts that "the ozone smog in Connecticut is among the worst in the nation," bear in mind that after the first six "dirtiest" metropolitan areas, the next ten (including Connecticut) have very small and identical exceedances. Schwartz quotes dozens of newspapers that similarly mislead.
Americans are alarmed because the news is alarming. They believe by 85% that dirty air causes serious health problems. In the Journal of the American Medical Association, two prominent health officials referred to the Children's Health Study in California to announce that air pollution "may have" contributed to the increasing prevalence of asthma. Schwartz notes four other health professionals from around the country did the same, but none was familiar with the CHS study and none was aware of the ozone levels in his community relative to that in the Study's high-ozone areas. The truth is that the air pollution levels were associated with a lower, not higher, risk of asthma,
EPA has ascertained that were the ozone standard further tightened, asthma patients' visits to emergency rooms would be reduced by nearly nothing (0.04%). As with asthma, EPA has ascertained that ozone pollution has no short-term effects, yet EPA's literature untruthfully warns that current ozone levels can lead to "serious harm."
As with ozone, PM 2.5 has nearly no impact on health. "It remains the case that no form of ambient PM -- other than viruses, bacteria, and biochemical antigens -- has been shown, experimentally or clinically, to cause disease or death at concentrations remotely close to U.S. ambient levels. This lack of demonstration is not for lack of trying . . ."
A new study of 58,600 women has appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine claiming that because of PM 2.5, "breathing urban air pollution is much more deadly than previously thought," according to The Wall Street Journal page-one story's of 2/1/07.. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson announced he would not stiffen the 15 micrograms standard because the science is not definitive enough.
On one point we might disagree with Schwartz. The 4,000 Londoners who died in the London Fog of December, 1952, did not demonstrate that soot and sulfur dioxide can kill, because, though extremely high, they probably were not the cause of death. Hugh W. Ellsaesser, physicist and meteorologist, scrutinized the official data and concluded that the deaths were caused by the sudden onset of extremely cold weather following a long stretch of very mild weather.
9. READ THE SUNSPOTS
Climate stability has never been a feature of planet Earth. Ten thousand years ago, temperatures rose as much as 6 degrees Celsius in a decade -- 100 times faster than the past century's 0.6C warming, says Timothy Patterson, professor and director of the Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre at Carleton University. Given this variability throughout time, factors other than man-made CO2 emissions need to be considered as the driving force behind climate change. According to Patterson, one likely culprit is the sun:
o Many scientific papers have demonstrated that as the output of the sun varies, and with it, our star's protective solar wind, varying amounts of galactic cosmic rays from deep space are able to enter our solar system and penetrate the Earth's atmosphere.
o These cosmic rays enhance cloud formation, which, overall, has a cooling effect on the planet.
o When the sun's energy output is greater, not only does the Earth warm slightly due to direct solar heating, but the stronger solar wind blocks many of the cosmic rays from entering our atmosphere; cloud cover decreases and the Earth warms still more.
Likewise, the opposite occurs when the sun is less bright:
o More cosmic rays are able to get through to Earth's atmosphere, more clouds form, and the planet cools more than would otherwise be the case due to direct solar effects alone.
o This is precisely what happened from the middle of the 17th century into the early 18th century, when the solar energy input to our atmosphere, as indicated by the number of sunspots, was at a minimum and the planet was stuck in the Little Ice Age.
These new findings suggest that changes in the output of the sun caused the most recent climate change, says Patterson. By comparison, CO2 variations show little correlation with our planet's climate on long, medium and even short time scales.
Source: Timothy Patterson, "Read the Sunspots," Financial Post, June 20, 2007.
10. LOCAL SCIENTIST CALLS GLOBAL WARMING THEORY 'HOOEY'
Samara Kalk Derby
Capital Times, Madison WI, June 18, 2007
Reid Bryson, known as the father of scientific climatology, considers global warming a bunch of hooey. The UW-Madison professor emeritus, who stands against the scientific consensus on this issue, is referred to as a global warming skeptic. But he is not skeptical that global warming exists, he is just doubtful that humans are the cause of it.
“There is no question the earth has been warming. It is coming out of the Little Ice Age," he said in an interview this week. "However, there is no credible evidence that it is due to mankind and carbon dioxide. We've been coming out of a Little Ice Age for 300 years. We have not been making very much carbon dioxide for 300 years. It's been warming up for a long time," Bryson said.
The Little Ice Age was driven by volcanic activity. That settled down so it is getting warmer, he said. Humans are polluting the air and adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, but the effect is tiny, Bryson said. "It's like there is an elephant charging in and you worry about the fact that there is a fly sitting on its head. It's just a total misplacement of emphasis," he said. "It really isn't science because there's no really good scientific evidence."
Just because almost all of the scientific community believes in man-made global warming proves absolutely nothing, Bryson said. "Consensus doesn't prove anything, in science or anywhere else, except in democracy, maybe."