The Week That Was
July 14 , 2007
Quote of the Week:
"The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it":
H. L. Mencken
Marlo Lewis and Paul Driessen discuss the economic penalties of proposed climate legislation [ITEM #1 and 2].
CAFE legislation in the Senate: The Drive-A-TOYOTA Act [ITEM #3]
Polls show that the public doesn’t trust Global Warming PR [ITEM #4]
Briefings on NIPCC results at Dutch Parliament (The Hague) and Euro Parliament (Brussels) [ITEM #5]
THE GREAT GLOBAL WARMING SWINDLE on Channel 4 (UK): Excerpts from the transcript [ITEM #6]. DVD available July 23, 2007 through Amazon.uk -- in PAL format
For an overview see: http://www.greatglobalwarmingswindle.co.uk/
Best introduction: http://motls.blogspot.com/2007/03/great-global-warming-swindle.html
For a related discussion, with scientific underpinnings, see
For a (rather weak) rebuttal to TGGWS, see: http://portal.campaigncc.org/node/1860
DNA reveals Greenland's lush past Armies of insects once crawled through lush forests in a region of Greenland now covered by more than 2,000m of ice. DNA extracted from ice cores shows that moths and butterflies were living in forests of spruce and pine in the area between 450,000 and 800,000 years ago. Researchers writing in Science magazine say the specimens could represent the oldest pure DNA samples ever obtained.
Note: The ice cores suggest that the ice sheet is more resistant to warming than previously thought, the scientists say. Note also that CO2 levels then were around 50% less than today’s.
Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/science/nature/6276576.stm
Check out new website http://www.globalwarmingheartland.org and download the real story on Scientific Consensus on GW at http://www.heartland.org/article.cfm?artId=20861
1. ECONOMIC CLIMATE CHANGES
By Marlo Lewis
American Spectator, July 10, 2007
Congress is considering global warming legislation to require substantial cuts in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the inescapable byproduct of the fossil fuels -- coal, oil, and natural gas -- that supply 85 percent of the world's energy. China, India, and every other developing country refuse to limit their emissions because they fear CO2 controls more than global warming. What do they know that our lawmakers don't?
National Review's Jonah Goldberg notes that that Earth warmed about 0.7 degrees Celsius in the 20th century while global GDP increased by some 1,800 percent. For the sake of argument, he says, let's agree that all of the warming was anthropogenic -- the result of economic activity. And let's further stipulate that the warming produced no benefits, only harms. "That's still an amazing bargain," Goldberg remarks. Average life expectancies doubled during the 20th century. The world's population nearly quadrupled, yet per capita food supply substantially increased. Literacy, medicine, leisure, and "even in many respects the environment hugely improved, at least in the prosperous West."
This suggests a thought experiment that I recently posed to Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and her colleagues on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee: Suppose you had the power to travel back in time and impose carbon caps on previous generations. How much growth would we be willing to sacrifice to avoid how many tenths of a degree of warming? Would humanity be better off today if the 20th century had half as much warming -- but also a half or a third or even a quarter less growth? I doubt anyone on this committee would say "yes." A poorer planet would also be a hungrier, sicker planet. Many of us might not even be alive.
So, how much future growth are Boxer and company willing to sacrifice to mitigate future warming? That is not an idle question. Some people believe we're now smart enough to measurably cool the planet without chilling the economy. But Europe is having a tough time meeting its Kyoto commitments, and Kyoto would have no detectable impact on global temperature.
Three of the main climate bills introduced in the Senate this year would require CO2 emission cuts of about 60 percent by 2050. Yet the Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that in 2030 U.S. emissions will be about 33 percent above year 2000 levels. Nobody knows how to meet the targets in those bills without severe cuts in either economic growth or population growth.
But won't the bills' carbon penalties make deep emission reductions achievable by spurring technological change? Don't bet on it.
European countries have been taxing gasoline for decades at rates that translate into carbon penalties of $200 to $300 per ton of CO2. (A $1.00 a gallon gasoline tax roughly translates into a $100 per ton CO2 penalty, and Europe taxes gasoline at rates of $2.00 to $3.00 a gallon or more.) Where in Europe is the miracle fuel to replace petroleum? Where are all the zero emission vehicles? Europe is not one mile closer than we are to achieving a "beyond petroleum" transport system. On the contrary, European Union transport sector CO2 emissions in 2004 were 26 percent higher than in 1990.
The EIA analyzed the market impacts of the relatively modest -- $7 per ton -- CO2 emission cap in "discussion draft" legislation sponsored by Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Arlen Specter (R-PA). The bill's proposed cap would cut projected investment in coal generation by more than half. However, it does not make carbon capture and storage (CCS) economical. Would a bigger regulatory hammer do the trick? No, it would just drive more investment out of coal generation.
An MIT study finds that it will take billions of dollars over a decade to find out whether CCS is economical under a $30-per-ton CO2 penalty. Note that even if CCS is determined to be "economical," the MIT study estimates that coal generation over the next five decades grows by less than 20 percent of what it would in the absence of a carbon penalty.
Marlo Lewis is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
2. ENERGY AND CLIMATE ETHICS IN GOVERNMENT: THE TRUTH ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE CONSENSUS, PREVENTION AND PRICE TAGS
by Paul Driessen
The Sarbanes-Oxley corporate ethics law and 2006 elections supposedly inaugurated a new congressional commitment to ethics, transparency, accountability and consumer protection. Something has been lost in translation.
The energy bill now wending its way through the legislative labyrinth dedicates $6 billion to goodies like more energy-efficient snowmobiles for ski resorts, outlaws price gouging at the gas pump, and sets new mileage standards that will likely make cars and light trucks less safe and cost more lives. It also provides subsidies and mandates for politically correct alternative energy projects that probably wouldn’t survive without such aid.
But the bill doesn’t increase the nation’s energy supply by one drop of gasoline or one watt of electricity, says Congressman Jim McCrery (R-LA). It lifts no bans on oil and gas drilling, and does nothing to ease regulatory impediments to pipelines, transmission lines, refineries, or coal and nuclear generating plants. The only power it generates is expanded bureaucratic power over energy and economic decisions.
Its ethanol mandates will result in more land converted from wildlife habitat to cornfields, and in greater use of water, fertilizer, pesticides, and tractor and truck fuel. Corn prices will continue to rise, along with the cost of meat, candy, soft drinks and other products that use corn for feed or corn syrup as a sweetener. The biofuel itself will cost more, but provide noticeably less mileage per tank.
Expanded wind power will mean more 300-foot-tall cuisinarts killing birds and bats, marring once-scenic vistas, and feeding into hundred-mile transmission lines to provide expensive, intermittent electricity that has to be backed up by natural-gas-fired generators.
Even more problematical is the rush to do something about global warming. Assorted climate change bills propose to slash US carbon dioxide emissions by varying amounts, under different timetables, to prevent speculative disasters conjured up by computer models that do not reflect complex atmospheric processes and cannot predict temperature or rainfall one year in the future, much less 40 or 90.
The worst bill of the lot (the Sanders-Boxer bill) would compel the United States to cut CO2 emissions to 15% below 2006 levels by 2020, and 83% below 2006 levels by 2050. That’s far more than even the Kyoto Protocol contemplates.
Such mandates might help special interests, which are lining up to proclaim consensus on climate change and claim a share of any taxpayer-funded entitlements. But they would severely impact US energy production, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, employment and families.
· An MIT analysis concludes that Sanders-Boxer would cost the US up to $403 billion in foregone Gross Domestic Product, corresponding to a loss of some 4.5 million jobs and an impact of $5370 per family of four. The Sanders-Boxer, Feinstein and Waxman bills would result in carbon offset allowances priced at $210 per ton of CO2, adding a truly price-gouging $95 to the cost of a barrel of oil, $2 to a gallon of gasoline, $143 to a ton of coal, and 50% to the price of electricity, by 2020.
Domestic production of goods and services would plummet, and families with low incomes or living in regions with high heating or air-conditioning needs would be disproportionately affected, as they would have to spend a growing portion of their incomes on energy, food and consumer products.
MIT’s evaluation presumes developing countries would match our emission cutbacks. Its more likely that they would prefer to reap the benefits of more energy at lower prices, to fuel economies, create jobs and improve living standards that lag far behind those of wealthy Western countries. That means the impacts on US workers and consumers could be much worse than MIT anticipates.
· The US Energy Information Administration calculated that Kyoto mandates (CO2 emission reductions to 5% below 1990 levels) could cost up to 2.5 million jobs and reduce our GDP by up to $525 billion annually equivalent to a tax of $7,000 on every family of four.
· Wharton’s Business School of Economics determined that Kyoto would cost 2.3% of Americas GDP. With a $12 trillion GDP in 2006, that translates into $275 billion a year or $3700 per family.
· Management Information Services concluded that Kyoto could eliminate 1.3 million black and Hispanic jobs, force nearly 100,000 minority businesses to close, and cause average minority family incomes to plunge by more than $2,000 a year. States with large minority populations would lose $10-40 billion a year in economic output, and over $2 billion annually in tax revenues.
At these prices, Congress should be 100% certain about alleged climate change cataclysms, before enacting any such laws. But the case for immediate drastic action is getting progressively weaker, and none of these measures would bring any detectable environmental benefits.
In fact, Congress is telling American families it is prepared to impose enormous costs to achieve minuscule reductions in global CO2 emissions and avert speculative impacts 90 years from now -- on the assumption that carbon dioxide causes climate change, and any change will be disastrous.
The Kyoto Protocol, if adhered to by every signatory nation, would prevent a mere 0.2 degrees C of warming by 2050. To stabilize atmospheric CO2 and prevent theoretical climate catastrophe, we would need 30 such treaties, each one more restrictive and expensive than the last. The various congressional bills would accomplish far less than that.
Moreover, increasing numbers of scientists doubt that carbon dioxide is the culprit. New studies suggest that there has been no rise in average global atmospheric temperatures since 1998, despite a 4% increase in CO2. Ice core and other data indicate that, over the past 650,000 years, temperatures usually rose first and CO2 levels increased several centuries later.
Timothy Patterson, Henrik Svensmark and other climate scientists have found growing evidence that our sun is the dominant cause of climate change. As its energy output varies, so does the solar wind that determines how many galactic cosmic rays reach the Earth.
More solar energy warms Earth directly and generates stronger solar winds, deflecting cosmic rays, reducing cloud cover and warming us still more. Less solar energy results in reduced solar wind, more cosmic rays and thus more clouds further cooling the planet.
Solar scientists now predict that, by 2020, the sun will begin its weakest cycle in two centuries. That could bring on global cooling that would harm agriculture in northern latitudes, raise heating bills, and make the clamor about manmade global warming look like so much wasted hot air.
Will Rogers once said, every time Congress makes a joke it’s a law, and every time it makes a law it’s a joke. The energy and climate bills are perfect examples.
Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Congress of Racial Equality and Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power Black death (www.Eco-Imperialism.com).
3. GLOBAL WARMING IS KILLING AMERICA'S CARMAKERS:
THE DRIVE-A-TOYOTA ACT
The Wall Street Journal, 2 July 2007 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118333897536154838.html?mod=opinion_main-_review_and_outlooks
The next time Democratic leaders lament the decline of American industry, please refer them to the current Congressional brawl over auto fuel-efficiency standards. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and most of their colleagues are siding with upscale environmental lobbies over American carmakers and workers. Call it their Drive-a-Toyota Act.
Foreign automakers were cheering in June when Senate Democrats muscled through energy legislation to raise Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, requiring that automaker fleets hit an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020 (up from today's 27.5 mpg). GM, Ford and Chrysler all warned Congress that this would add to their financial burdens, making their vehicles even less competitive with those made by Toyota, Honda and other automakers. The United Auto Workers warned that even a small mileage increase could cost more than 65,000 jobs.
Yet Senate Majority Leader Reid's response was to scold Detroit for opposing him, and to assert that if the U.S. carmakers had only signed onto CAFE sooner they wouldn't be in their current predicament. Had they "joined us instead of fighting us these last 20 years [over CAFE standards], they might not be in the financial mess they're in today," he said. His apparent point is that if only GM and Ford had invested in new technology and smaller cars the way Toyota and Honda have, they wouldn't be losing market share. This is a bizarre reading of recent automobile history.
Detroit has made its share of mistakes, but refusing to compete with smaller, more fuel-efficient cars isn't one of them. GM tried and failed with its Saturn project. And one reason for that failure is that the main competitive reality facing Detroit for a generation has been the burden of its worker pension and health care costs. The consensus is that those costs add about $1,500 per vehicle compared to Japanese or Korean competitors. The best way to recoup those costs is by making larger vehicles that earn more profit per sale than smaller cars do. Making trucks (protected by a 25% U.S. tariff) and SUVs was entirely rational, and failing to do so would have meant more financial trouble earlier.
Mr. Reid also forgets that, until this decade's surging gasoline prices, those larger, U.S.-made cars were what Americans wanted to buy. The Ford Explorer SUV was a huge consumer hit. With gas prices as low as 90 cents a gallon during the 1990s, U.S. drivers preferred the safety and power of SUVs, pickups and large sedans. We don't recall Bill Clinton proposing a 50-cent-a-gallon gas tax to spur gas conservation, or for that matter lecturing Detroit to stop making those vehicles.
Amid today's much higher gas prices, more Americans are choosing more fuel-efficient cars -- a market phenomenon that will do far more to reduce fuel consumption than any Washington mandate. As most economists understand, mileage mandates are an inefficient way to limit fuel use. They don't reduce the number of cars on the road, and owning a car that gets more miles to the gallon often encourages people to drive more miles.
If Mr. Reid truly cared about cutting gas consumption, he and his party would increase the gas tax. But voters are already steamed about $3-a-gallon gas, and Mr. Reid's commitment to lower carbon consumption doesn't go as far as the personal sacrifice of losing Democratic Senate seats.
CAFE is a way to appease the green lobby immediately, while taxing Detroit, its workers and American consumers indirectly but significantly over time. Technology exists to further increase fuel efficiency, but that technology costs money. The Big Three will have to pass those costs along to consumers, which will make their products less competitive, while yielding a smaller profit margin on those they do sell. Ford lost $12.7 billion last year as it is.
One Democrat who understands all this is Michigan's John Dingell, the House Energy and Commerce Chairman who has so far refused to include sweeping new fuel-efficiency standards in his energy bill. He prefers the more modest, flexible standards favored by the Bush Administration and U.S. carmakers. Ms. Pelosi has refused to budge from her plan to pass standards like the Senate's, however. And so the House CAFE showdown has been postponed until the fall -- or until enough Democrats and wealthy Sierra Club donors can beat Mr. Dingell into submission.
Journalists and greens are starting to highlight this debate as a test of Ms. Pelosi's political manhood, saying she needs to show the venerable Mr. Dingell who's boss. But it's more accurate to say this debate is a test of who has more clout in today's Democratic Congress -- the men and women who work in American factories, or the affluent greens on both coasts who can afford to pay a premium to own a Prius to indulge their concern about global warming.
4. THE PUBLIC DOESN’T TRUST GLOBAL WARMING PR
From a speech given to a Canadian Public Relations Conference by Jim Hoggan, a Vancouver PR practitioner. Reportedly global warming is the top public issue in Canada, even more than the economy and healthcare.
Mr. Hoggan, however, was worried. In a speech called, “You can spin Mother Nature”, he told attendees that a survey he undertook revealed that, “More than eighty percent of people believe environmental PR pros mislead the public for a living.” Most of the 1,097 respondents said, “they thought PR people were helping clients misrepresent their performance.”
What Big Oil is really trying to do is to insure you will have gasoline when you drive up to the pump or a choice of oil or natural gas to heat your home this winter. If Mr. Hoggan’s survey is correct—and I think it is—the public is skeptical of PR professionals who tell them the Earth is dramatically warming or just about to.
Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, “Warning Signs”, posted on the Internet site of The NationalAnxietyCenter, www.anxietycenter.com. His book, “Right Answers: Separating Fact from Fantasy”, is published by Merril Press.
5. NIPCC SEMINARS IN THE HAGUE AND BRUSSELS:
WARMING IS SOLAR, NOT HUMAN-CAUSED
by André Bijkerk
The climate seminar, hosted by the “Groene Rekenkamer” (Green audit centre) in the Dutch parliament building in The Hague, 3 July, had the objective to highlight and elaborate on the “Summary for Policy makers” issued by a group of scientists gathered under the name: “NON-governmental International Panel on Climate Change” (NIPCC).
The event was chaired by Prof Arthur Rorsch. Speakers were Fred Singer, Bas van Geel, Gerd-Rainer Weber, and Hans Labohm. The audience of around 80 persons included many Dutch academics and three ambassadors (New Zealand, China, and Amb. Eric Javits from US).
S. Fred Singer, is professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, and currently serves as Distinguished Research Professor at George Mason University. He is also President of The Science & Environmental Policy Project, a non-profit policy-research group he founded in 1990. He addressed the evidence for testing the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming. He delivered the summary sentences in excellent Dutch but chose to continue in English. The core of the lecture centered on comparing the predicted two-dimensional atmospheric warming profiles (latitude and altitude) of the models with the actual temperature rates. The greenhouse models unanimously predict the warming trends to maximize in the mid altitudes at low latitudes; however, the radiosonde data show the opposite. Consequently, the predicted behaviour derived from the AGW hypothesis did not materialize; hence the hypothesis was scientifically falsified.
Bas van Geel is senior lecturer in paleo-ecology at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, Universiteit van Amsterdam. Over the last ten years his paleo-climate research focused on late Glacial and Holocene lake deposits, fens, bogs and archaeological sites. Using a plethora of high-resolution middle- to late-Holocene proxies, he demonstrated that there is a near-consistent correlation between climate variables of temperature and moisture and the atmospheric radiocarbon variations. Those variations are caused by changing solar magnetic activity, suggesting that the solar output has a primary impact on climate. Considering the predictions of those solar parameters for the few next decades, we could be facing a significantly colder period.
Gerd-Rainer Weber, Ph.D, a consultant meteorologist in Essen, Germany, addressed the consequences of a hypothetically warmer future. He mentioned the many fallacies around melting glaciers, changing storm patterns and sea level changes. Highlight was the anecdote that past warmer eras were labelled as “thermal optimums”, suggesting that warmer climate was beneficial. He also presented a plot of temperatures versus human death rate, showing that the more abundant colder-weather periods had a greater death-rate toll than the few warm extremes. Even if global warming was to occur, it would be beneficial rather than catastrophic.
Hans Labohm is independent economist and author on climate topics, former deputy Foreign Policy Planning Adviser of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and expert reviewer of the IPCC. Together with Dick Thoenes and Simon Rozendaal he co-authored: ‘Man-Made Global Warming: Unravelling a Dogma’. He focussed on several economical scenarios and demonstrated that all of them would impose severe economical penalties for a negligible temperature reduction.
The consequent discussion, under the expert supervision of Arthur Rorsch, dealt with the issues around the IPCC report and of fossil-fuel reduction. It was stressed that the promotion of the likely human contribution to the warming from 50% in the IPCC-TAR (2001) to 90% in the 4th AR of IPCC (2007) was based on ‘expert judgment’ only. But science is not democracy. It takes only one contrary fact to introduce the truth -- and the observations do not justify the conclusion. Severe concern was expressed about the current acceleration of alarmism. An imposed fuel-reduction policy would essentially lead to the catastrophe it seeks to prevent. Nobody in the audience attempted to fundamentally challenge these ideas.
A similar seminar with the same four speakers was held on July 4 at the European Parliament in Brussels. It was sponsored and ably chaired by MEP Roger Helmer and attracted a full house.
These two events successfully launched the release of the NIPCC report, which will be printed and distributed later this summer.
6. THE GREAT GLOBAL WARMING SWINDLE
Excerpts from a transcript prepared by TGGWS opponents (thank you, guys)
[ Professor Timothy Ball, Department of Climatology, University of Winnipeg ] When people say we don't believe in Global Warming. I say no, I believe in Global Warming. I don't believe that human CO2 is causing that warming. http://www.canadafreepress.com/2007/global-warming020507.htm
"Since I obtained my doctorate in climatology from the University of London, Queen Mary College, England my career has spanned two climate cycles. Temperatures declined from 1940 to 1980 and in the early 1970's global cooling became the consensus. This proves that consensus is not a scientific fact. By the 1990's temperatures appeared to have reversed and Global Warming became the consensus. It appears I'll witness another cycle before retiring, as the major mechanisms and the global temperature trends now indicate a cooling."
[ Lord Lawson of Blaby ] There is such intolerance of any dissenting voice. This is the most politically incorrect thing possible - is to doubt this Climate Change orthodoxy.
[ Professor Nir Shaviv ] There were periods for example in Earth's history when we had three times as much CO2 as we have today, or periods when we had ten times as much CO2 as we have today. And if CO2 has a large effect on climate then you should see it in the temperature reconstruction.
[ Professor Ian Clark, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa ] If we look at climate through the geological timeframe, we would never suspect CO2 as a major climate driver.
[ Professor John Christy, Lead Author IPCC ] I've often heard it said that there is a consensus of thousands of scientists on the Global Warming issue, and that humans are causing a catastrophic change to the climate system. Well, I am one scientist and there are many that simply think that is not true.
[ Professor Philip Stott, Department of Biogeography, University of London ] The IPCC, like any UN body, is political. The final conclusions are politically driven.
[ Professor Paul Reiter, IPCC & Pasteur Institute, Paris ] This claim that the IPCC is the world's top 1,500 or 2,500 scientists. You look at the bibliographies of the people and it's simply not true. There are quite a number of non-scientists.
[ Professor Richard Lindzen, IPCC and M.I.T. Massachusetts Institute of Technology ] And to build the number up to 2,500 they have to start taking reviewers and government people and so on, anyone who ever came close to them. And none of them are asked to agree. Many of them disagree.
[ Professor Paul Reiter ] Those people who are specialists, but don't agree with the polemic and resign, and there have been a number that I know of, they are simply put on the author list and become part of this 2,500 of the world's top scientists.
[ Professor Richard Lindzen ] People have decided you have to convince other people that since no scientist disagrees, you shouldn't disagree either. But whenever you hear that in science, that's pure propaganda.
[ Dr Roy Spencer, Weather Satellite Team Leader, NASA ] Climate scientists need there to be a problem, in order to get funding.
[ Professor John Christy ] We have a vested interest in creating panic because then money will flow to climate science.
[ Professor Richard Lindzen ] There's one thing you shouldn't say and that is - this might not be a problem.
[ Professor Patrick Michaels, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia ] The fact of the matter is that tens of thousands of jobs depend upon Global Warming right now. It's a big business.
[ Professor Philip Stott ] It's become a great industry in itself. And if the whole Global Warming farrago collapsed there'd be an awful lot of people out of jobs and looking for work.
[ James Shikwati, Economist and Author ] One clear thing that emerges from the whole environmental debate is the point that there's somebody keen to kill the African dream. And the African dream is to develop.
[ Patrick Moore, Co-founder Greenpeace ] The environmental movement has evolved into the strongest force there is for preventing development in the developing countries.
[ Nigel Calder ] The whole Global Warming business has become like a religion. And people who disagree are called heretics. I'm a heretic. The makers of this programme are all heretics.
[ Narrator ] In 2005, a House of Lords enquiry was set up to examine the scientific evidence of Man-Made Global Warming. A leading figure in that enquiry was Lord Lawson of Blaby, who as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the 1980s was the first politician to commit government money to Global Warming research.
[ Lord Lawson of Blaby ] We had a very, very thorough enquiry and took evidence from a whole lot of people, expert in this area, and produced a report. What surprised me was to discover how weak and uncertain the science was. In fact, there are more and more thoughtful people, some of them a little bit frightened to come out in the open, but who quietly, privately, and some of them publicly, are saying, "Hang on, wait a minute. This simply doesn't add up."
[ Professor Philip Stott ] In the 14th Century Europe plunged into the Little Ice Age. And where we would look for evidence of this are the old illustrations and prints and pictures of Old Father Thames, because during the hardest and toughest winters of that Little Ice Age, the Thames would freeze over. And there were wonderful ice fairs held on the Thames, skating and people actually selling things on the ice.
[ Narrator ] If we look back further in time before the Little Ice Age, we find a balmy golden era, when temperatures were higher than they are today, a time known to climatologists as the Medieval Warm Period.
[ Professor Philip Stott ] It's important people know that climate enabled a quite different lifestyle in the Medieval period. We have this view today that Warming is going to have Apocalyptic outcomes. In fact wherever you describe this Warm Period it appears to be associated with riches.
All over the City of London there are little memories of the vineyards that grew in the Medieval Warm Period.
[ Professor Ian Clark, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa ] If we go back 8,000 years in the Holocene period, our current interglacial, it was much warmer than it is today. Now the polar bears obviously survived that period, they're with us today, they're very adaptable, and these warm periods in the past posed no problem for them.
[ Narrator ] Climate variation in the past is clearly natural. So why do we think it's any different today ? In the current alarm about Global Warming the culprit is industrial society. Thanks to modern industry, luxuries once enjoyed exclusively by the rich are now available in abundance to ordinary people. Novel technologies have made life easier and richer. Modern transport and communications have made the world seem less foreign and distant. Industrial progress has changed our lives. But has it also changed the climate? According to the theory of man-made Global Warming, industrial growth should cause the temperature to rise. But does it ?
[ Professor Patrick Michaels, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia ] Anyone who goes around and says that Carbon Dioxide is responsible for most of the warming of the 20th Century hasn't looked at the basic numbers.
How does the industrial story compare with the temperature record ? Since the mid-19th Century the Earth's temperature has risen by just over half a degree Celsius. But this warming began long before cars and planes were even invented.
What's more, most of the rise in temperature occurred before 1940, during a period when industrial production was relatively insignificant. After the Second World War, during the Post-War Economic Boom, temperatures in theory should have shot up. But they didn't. They fell. Not for one or two years, but for four decades. In fact, paradoxically, it wasn't until the world economic recession in the 1970s that they stopped falling.
[ Professor Syun-Ichi Akasofu, Director, International Arctic Research Centre ] CO2 began [to] increase exponentially in about 1940, but the temperature actually began to decrease 1940, continued till about 1975. So this is the opposite to the ration [reason]. When the CO2 increasing rapidly but yet the temperature decreasing we cannot say that CO2 and the temperature go together.
[ Narrator ] So is there any way of checking whether the recent warming was due to an increase in Greenhouse Gas ? There is only one way to tell and that is to look up in the sky. Or a part of the sky known to scientists as the Troposphere.
[ Professor Richard Lindzen ] If it's Greenhouse Warming, you get more warming in the middle of the Troposphere, the first 10 [or] 12 kilometres of the atmosphere than you do at the surface. There are good theoretical reasons for that, having to do with how the Greenhouse works.
[ Professor Frederick Singer, Former Director, US National Weather Service ] All the models, every one of them, calculates that the warming should be faster as you go up from the surface into the atmosphere. And in fact the maximum warming over the Equator should take place at an altitude of about 10 kilometres.
There are two ways to take the temperature in the Earth's atmosphere, satellites and weather balloons.
[ Professor John Christy ] What we've found consistently, is that in a great part of the Planet, that the bulk of the atmosphere is not warming as much as we see at the surface, in this region. And that's a real head-scratcher for us, because the theory is pretty straightforward. And the theory says that if the surface warms, the upper atmosphere should warm rapidly. The rise in temperature of that part of the atmosphere is not very dramatic at all, and really does not match the theory that climate models are expressing at this point.
[ Professor Patrick Michaels ] One of the problems that is plaguing the models is that they predict that as you go up through the atmosphere, except in the polar regions, that the rate of warming increases. And it's quite clear from two data sets, not just satellite data, which everybody talks about, but from weather balloon data, that you don't see that effect. In fact it looks like the surface temperatures are warming slightly more than the upper air temperatures. That's a big difference.
[ Professor Richard Lindzen ] That data gives you a handle on the fact that what you're seeing is warming that probably is not due to Greenhouse Gas.
[ Professor Frederick Singer ] That is, that the observations do not show an increase with altitude. In fact, most observations show a slight decrease in the rate of warming with altitude. So in a sense you can say that the hypothesis of Man-Made Global Warming is falsified by the evidence.
[ Narrator ] So the recent warming of the Earth happened in the wrong place and at the wrong time. Most of the warming took place in the early part of the 20th Century and occurred mostly at the Earth's surface, the very opposite of what should have happened according to the theory of Man-Made Global Warming.
Former Vice President Al Gore's emotional film "An Inconvenient Truth" is regarded by many as the definitive popular presentation of the theory of man-made Global Warming.
His argument rests of one all-important piece of evidence taken from Ice Core Surveys in which scientists drilled deep into the ice to look back into Earth's climate history hundreds of thousands of years.
The first Ice Core Survey took place in Vostok in the Antarctic. What it found, as Al Gore correctly points out, was a clear correlation between Carbon Dioxide and temperature.
Al Gore says the relationship between temperature and CO2 is complicated, but he doesn't say what those complications are. But what Al Gore doesn't say is that the link is the wrong way round.
[ Professor Ian Clark ] So here we are looking at the Ice Core record from Vostok. And in the red we see temperature going up from early time to later time at a very key interval when we came out of a glaciation, and we see the temperature going up, and then we see the CO2 coming up. CO2 lags behind that increase. It's got an 800-year lag. So temperature is leading CO2 by 800 years.
[ Professor Frederick Singer ] So obviously Carbon Dioxide is not the cause of that warming. In fact we can say that the warming produced the increase in Carbon Dioxide.
[ Professor Timothy Ball ] The Ice Core record goes to the very heart of the problem we have here. They said if the CO2 increases in the atmosphere as a Greenhouse Gas then the temperature will go up. But the Ice Core record shows exactly the opposite. So the fundamental assumption, the most fundamental assumption of the whole theory of Climate Change due to humans, is shown to be wrong.
[ Professor Carl Wunsch, Department of Oceanography, Massachusetts Institute of Technology ] The ocean is the major reservoir into which Carbon Dioxide goes when it comes out of the atmosphere or where it is readmitted to the atmosphere. If you heat the surface of the ocean it tends to emit Carbon Dioxide. Similarly if you cool the ocean surface, the ocean can dissolve more Carbon Dioxide. The ocean has a memory of past events, running out as far as 10,000 years. So for example if somebody says, "Oh, I'm seeing changes in the North Atlantic - this must mean that the climate system is changing", it may only mean that something happened in a remote part of the ocean decades or hundreds of years ago, whose effects are now beginning to show up in the North Atlantic.
In 1893 the British astronomer Edward Maunder observed that during the Little Ice Age there were barely any spots visible on the Sun. A period of solar inactivity which became known as the Maunder Minimum.
But how reliable are sunspots as an indicator of the weather ?
[ Dr Piers Corbyn ] I decided to test it by gambling on the weather through William Hill against what the Met Office said was, you know, a normal expectation. And I won money month after month after month after month. Last Winter the Met Office said it could be or would be an exceptionally cold winter. We said no, that is nonsense. It's going to be very close to normal. And we specifically said when it would be cold, i.e. after Christmas and February. We were right. They were wrong.
[ Narrator ] In 1991, senior scientists at the Danish Meteorological Institute decide to compile a record of sunspots in the 20th Century and compare it with the temperature record. What they found was an incredibly close correlation between what the Sun was doing and changes in temperature on Earth. Solar activity, they found, rose sharply to 1940, fell back for four decades until the 1970s, and then rose again after that.
[ Professor Eigil Friis-Christensen, Director, Danish National Space Centre ] When we saw this correlation between the temperature and solar activity, or sunspot cycle lengths, then people said to us, "OK, it could be just a coincidence", so [we thought] how can we prove that it's not just a coincidence ? Well one obvious thing is to have a longer time series, or a different time series. Then we went back in time.
So Professor Friis-Christensen and his colleagues examined 400 years of astronomical records, to compare sunspot activity against temperature variation. Once again they found that variations in solar activity were intimately linked to temperature variation on Earth. It was the Sun it seemed, not Carbon Dioxide or anything else that was driving changes in the climate.
In a way it's not surprising. The Sun affects us directly of course, when it sends down its heat. But we now know that Sun also affects us indirectly through clouds. Clouds have a powerful cooling effect. But how are they formed ? In the early 20th Century scientists discovered that the Earth was constantly being bombarded by sub-atomic particles. These particles, which they called Cosmic Rays, originated, it was believed from exploding super-novae far beyond our Solar System. When the particles coming down meet water vapour rising up from the sea, they form water droplets and make clouds. But when the sun is more active and the Solar Wind is strong, fewer particles get through and fewer clouds are formed. Just how powerful this effect was became clear only recently when an astrophysicist Professor Nir Shaviv decided to compare his own record of cloud-forming Cosmic Rays with the temperature record created by a geologist, Professor Jan Veizer, going back 600 million years. What they found was that when Cosmic Rays went up the temperature went down. When Cosmic Rays went down the temperature went up.
[ Professor Nir Shaviv ] We just compared the graphs, just put them one upon the other. And it was just amazing. Jan Veizer looked at me and said "You know, we have very explosive data here."
[ Narrator ] But why, if this is so, are we bombarded day after day with news items about Man-Made Global Warming ? Why do so many people in the media and elsewhere regard it as an undisputed fact ?
[ Nigel Calder ] In the Weather Machine we reported the mainstream opinion of the time which was Global Cooling and the threat of a new Ice Age.
Two things happened to change that. First, temperatures started to rise. And second, the miners went on strike. To Margaret Thatcher energy was a political problem. In the early 70s the oil crisis had plunged the world into recession, and the miners had brought down Ted Heath's Conservative government. Mrs Thatcher was determined the same would not happen to her. She set out to break their power.
[ Margaret Thatcher says, "What we have seen in this country is the emergence of an organised revolutionary minority - who are prepared to exploit industrial disputes - but whose real aim is the breakdown of law and order and the destruction of democratic parliamentary government." ]
[ Lord Lawson of Blaby ] She was very concerned always, I remember, (when I was Secretary of State for Energy), to promote Nuclear Power. Long before the issue of Climate Change came up, because she was concerned about Energy Security, and she didn't trust the Middle East, and she didn't trust the National Union of Mineworkers. So she didn't trust oil. And she didn't trust coal. So therefore she felt we really had to push ahead with Nuclear Power. And then, when the Climate Change, Global Warming, thing came up, she felt - well this is great - this is another argument - because it doesn't have any Carbon Dioxide Emissions - this is another argument why you should go for Nuclear.
And that is what she was really largely saying. It's been misrepresented since then.
[ Nigel Calder ] And so she said to the scientists - she went to the Royal Society and she said - there's money on the table for you to prove this stuff. So of course they went away and did that.
[ Professor Philip Stott ] Inevitably, the moment politicians put their weight behind something, and attach their name to it in some ways of course, money will flow. That's the way it goes. And inevitably research, development, institutions started to bubble up, if you can put it that way, which were going to be researching climate but with a particular emphasis on the relationship between Carbon Dioxide and temperature.
[ Narrator ] At the request of Mrs Thatcher, the UK Met Office set up a climate-modelling unit which provided the basis for a new international committee, called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC.
[ Nigel Calder ] They came out with the first big report which predicted climatic disaster as a result of Global Warming. I remember going to the scientific press conference and being amazed by two things. First, the simplicity and eloquence of the message (and the vigour with which it was delivered). And secondly the total disregard of all climate science up till that time. Including, incidentally the role of the Sun, which have been the subject of a major meeting at the Royal Society just a few months earlier.
[ Narrator ] But the new emphasis on Man-Made Carbon Dioxide as a possible environmental problem, didn't just appeal to Mrs Thatcher.
[ Nigel Calder ] It was certainly something very favourable to the environmental idea, what I call the Medieval Environmentalism, of let's get back to the way things were in Medieval times, and get rid of all these dreadful cars and machines. They loved it, because Carbon Dioxide was for them an emblem of industrialisation.
[ Professor Frederick Singer, Former Director, US National Weather Service ] Well, Carbon Dioxide clearly is an industrial gas. So it's tied in with economic growth, with transportation in cars, with what we call civilisation. And there are forces in the environmental movement that are simply against economic growth. They think that's bad.
[ Patrick Moore ] The shift to climate being a major focal point came about for two very distinct reasons. The first reason was because by the mid 80s the majority of people now agreed with all of the reasonable things we in the environmental movement were saying they should do. Now when a majority of people agree with you, it's pretty hard to remain confrontational with them. And so the only way to remain anti-establishment was to adopt ever more extreme positions. When I left Greenpeace it was in the midst of them adopting a campaign to ban Chlorine worldwide. Like, I said, "You guys, this is one of the elements in the Periodic Table, you know. I mean, I'm not sure if that's in our jurisdiction to be banning a whole element."
The other reason that environmental extremism emerged, was because world Communism failed, the Wall came down, and a lot of peaceniks and political activists moved into the environmental movement bringing their neo-Marxism with them, and learned to use green language in a very clever way to cloak agendas that actually have more to do with anti-Capitalism, and anti-globalisation, than they do anything with ecology or science.
[ Lord Lawson ] The Left have been slightly disoriented by the manifest failure of socialism and indeed even more so of Communism, as it was tried out - and therefore they still remain as anti-Capitalist as they were, but they had to find a new guise for their anti-Capitalism.
[ Nigel Calder ] And it was a kind of amazing alliance from Margaret Thatcher on the Right, through to very Left-Wing anti-Capitalist environmentalists that created this kind of momentum behind a loony idea.
[ Narrator ] By the early 1990s Man-Made Global Warming was no longer a slightly eccentric theory about Climate. It was a full-blown political campaign. It was attracting media attention and as a result, more government funding.
[ Professor Richard Lindzen, Department of Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology ] Prior to Bush the Elder, I think the level of funding for climate and climate-related sciences was somewhere around the order of 170 million dollars a year, which was reasonable for the size of the field. It jumped to 2 billion a year, more than a factor of 10. And, yeah, that changed a lot. I mean [ Suggestion by interviewer - "That's a lot of jobs" ] Lot of jobs, it brought a lot of new people into it who otherwise were not interested. So you developed whole cadres of people whose only interest in the field was that there was Global Warming.
[ Nigel Calder ] If I wanted to do research on, shall we say, the squirrels of Sussex, what I would do, and this is any time from 1990 onwards, I would write my grant application saying I want to investigate the "nut-gathering behaviour of squirrels with special reference to the effects of Global Warming", and that way I get my money. If I forget to mention Global Warming, I might not get my money.
[ Professor Frederick Singer ] There's really no question in my mind that the large amounts of money that have been fed into this particular rather small area of science have distorted the overall scientific effort.
[ Richard Lindzen ] We're all competing for funds. And if your field is the focus of concern, you have that much less work rationalising why your field should be funded.
A large portion of those funds went into building computer models to forecast what the climate will be in the future. But how accurate are those models ?
Dr Roy Spencer, the senior scientist for climate studies at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Centre. He has been awarded medals for exceptional scientific achievement from both NASA and the American Meteorological Society.
[ Dr Roy Spencer ] Climate models are only as good as the assumptions that go into them and they have hundreds of assumptions. All it takes is one assumption to be wrong for the forecasts to be way off.
[ Professor Tim Ball, Department of Climatology, University of Winnipeg ] The analogy I use is like my car's not running very well, so I'm going to ignore the engine, which is the Sun, and I'm going to ignore the transmission which is the water vapour, and I'm going to look at one nut on the right rear wheel which is the human-produced CO2. The science is that bad.
[ Professor Carl Wunsch ] The models are so complicated you can often adjust them in such a way that they do something very exciting.
[ Professor Carl Wunsch ] Even within the scientific community, you see, it's a problem. If I run a complicated model, and I do something to it, like, melt a lot of ice into the ocean, and nothing happens, it's not likely to get printed. But if I run the same model and I adjust it in such a way that something dramatic happens to the ocean circulation, like the heat transport turns off [ Audio of music stops ], it will be published. People will say this is very exciting. It will even get picked up by the media. So there is a bias, there's a very powerful bias within the media, and within the science community itself, toward results which are dramatisable. The Earth freezes over. That's a much more interesting story than saying, well, you know, it fluctuates around. Sometimes the mass flux goes up by 10%, sometimes it goes down by 20%, but eventually it comes back. Well you know, which would you do a [ stiffer rate ? ] on ? I mean that's what its about.
[ Nigel ] The thing that has amazed me as a life-long journalist, is how the most elementary principles of journalism seem to have been abandoned on this subject. In fact the theory of Global Warming has spawned an entirely new branch of journalism. You've got a whole new generation of reporters - environmental journalists. Now, if you're an environmental journalist - and if the Global Warming story goes in the trash can, so does your job. It really is that crude. And the reporting has to get more and more hysterical because there are still, fortunately, a few hardened news editors around who will say - "You know, this is what you were saying five years ago". "Ah, but now it's much, much worse, you know. There's going to be ten feet of sea level rise by next Tuesday" or something. They have to keep on getting shriller and shriller and shriller.
[ Richard Lindzen ] Every textbook on Meteorology is telling you the main source of weather disturbances is the temperature difference between the Tropics and the Pole[s]. And we're told in a warmer world this difference will get less. Now that would tell you you'll have less storminess, you'll have less variability. But for some reason that isn't considered catastrophic. So you're told the opposite.
[ Professor John Christy ] We happen to have temperature records of Greenland that go back thousands of years. Greenland has been much warmer. Just a thousand years ago, Greenland was warmer than it is today. Yet it didn't have a dramatic melting event.
[ Professor Philip Stott ] Even if we talk about something like permafrost. A great deal of the permafrost, that icy layer under the forests of Russia for example, 7,000 or 8,000 years ago melted far more than we're having any evidence about it melting now. So in other words, this is a historical pattern again. But the world didn't come to a crunching halt because of it.
[ Narrator ] Professor Syun-Ichi Akasofu is head of the International Arctic Research Centre in Alaska. The IARC is the world's leading Arctic research institute. Professor Akasofu insists that over time, the Ice Caps are always naturally expanding and contracting.
[ Professor Akasofu ] There're reports from time to time, [of] a big chunk of ice break[ing] away from the Antarctic continent. Those must have been happening all the time, but because now we have a satellite that can detect those, that's why they become news.
[ Philip Stott ] Sea level changes over the world in general are governed fundamentally by two factors. What we would call local factors, the relationship of the sea to the land, which often, by the way, is to do with the land rising or falling, than anything to do with the sea. But if you're talking about what we call eustatic changes of sea level - worldwide changes of sea level - that's through the thermal expansion of the oceans - nothing to do with melting ice - and that 's an enormously slow and long process.
[ Carl Wunsch ] People say "Oh I see the ocean doing this, last year. That means that something changed in the atmosphere last year." And this is not necessarily true at all - in fact it's actually quite unlikely - because it can take hundreds to thousands of years for the deep ocean to respond to forces and changes that are taking place at the surface.
Professor Paul Reiter of the Pasteur Institute in Paris is recognised as one of the world's leading experts on malaria and other insect-borne diseases. He is a member of the World Health Organisation Expert Advisory Committee, was Chairman of the American Committee of Medical Entomology of the American Society for Tropical Medicine. And lead author on the health section of the US national assessment of the potential consequences of Climate Variability.
[ Professor Paul Reiter ] Mosquitoes are not specifically tropical. Most people will realise that in temperate regions there are mosquitoes. In fact, mosquitoes are extremely abundant in the Arctic. The most devastating epidemic of malaria was in the Soviet Union in the 1920s. There were something like 13 million cases a year, and something like 600,000 deaths. A tremendous catastrophe that reached up to the Arctic circle. Archangel had 30,000 cases and about 10,000 deaths. So it's not a tropical disease. Yet these people in the Global Warming fraternity invent the idea that malaria will move northwards.
[ Narrator ] Climate scare stories cannot be blamed solely on sloppy or biased journalism. According to Professor Reiter, hysterical alarms have been encouraged by the reports of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC. On the spread of malaria, the IPCC warns us that "mosquito species that transmit malaria do not usually survive where the mean winter temperature drops below 16 - 18 degrees Celsius." According to Professor Reiter this is clearly untrue.
[ Narrator ] In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, Professor Frederick Seitz, former president of America's National Academy of Sciences revealed that IPCC officials had censored the comments of scientists. He said that "This report is not the version that was approved by the contributing scientists." At least 15 key sections of the science chapter had been deleted. These included statements like,
"None of the studies cited has shown clear evidence that we can attribute climate changes to increases in Greenhouse Gases."
"No study to date has positively attributed all or part of the observed climate changes to man-made causes".
Professor Seitz concluded "I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report."
[ Professor Paul Reiter ] When I resigned from the IPCC, I thought that was the end of it. But when I saw the final draft, my name was still there. So I asked for it to be removed. Well, they told me that I had contributed, so it would remain there. So I said, no, I haven't contributed, because they haven't listened to anything I've said. So, in the end it was quite a battle. But finally I threatened legal action against them and they removed my name. And I think this happens a great deal. Those people who are specialists, but don't agree with the polemic, and resign, and there have been a number that I know of, they are simply put on the author list and become part of this 2,500 of the world's top scientists.
According to NASA climatologist Roy Spencer, scientists who speak out against Man-Made Global Warming have a lot to lose.
[ Dr Roy Spencer, Weather Satellite Team Leader, NASA ] It's generally harder to get research proposals funded because of the stands that we've taken publicly. And you'll find very few of us that are willing to take a public stand because it does cut into their research funding.
[ Philip Stott ] I get it all the time. You must be in the pay of the multinationals. Sadly, like most of the scientists you'll talk to, I haven't seen a penny from the multinationals.
[ Timothy Ball ] I'm always accused of being paid by the oil and gas companies. I've never received a nickel from the oil and gas companies. I joke about it. I wish they would pay me then I could afford their product.
Patrick Michaels is Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia. He was Chair of the Committee on Applied Climatology at the American Meteorology Society, President of the American Association of State Climatologists, the author of three books on meteorology, and an author and reviewer on the UN's Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change. But when he conducted research part-funded by the coal industry, he found himself among those under attack from climate campaigners.
[ Narrator ] Delegates from around the world are flying into Nairobi for a conference sponsored by the UN to talk about Global Warming. Civil servants, professional NGO campaigners, Carbon Offset fund managers, environmental journalists, and others, will discuss every aspect of Man-Made Climate Change.
From how to promote solar panels in Africa, to the relationship between Global Warming and sexism. The conference lasts 10 days. The number of delegates exceeds 6,000.
[ Professor John Christy, Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama in Huntsville ] The billions of dollars invested in climate science means there is a huge constituency of people dependent upon those dollars. And they will want to see that carry forward. Happens in any bureaucracy.
[ Paul Driessen, Author "Green Power, Black Death" ] My big concern with Global Warming, is that the policies being pushed to supposedly prevent Global Warming, are having a disastrous effect on the world's poorest people. The Precautionary Principle is a very interesting beast. It's basically used to promote a particular agenda and ideology. It's always used in one direction only. It talks about the risks of using a particular technology, Fossil Fuels for example, but never about the risks of not using it. It never talks about the benefits of having that technology.
[ James Shikwati, Economist & Author ] If you were to ask a rural person to define Development, they'll tell you, yes, I'll know I've moved to the next level, when I have electricity. Actually not having electricity creates such a long chain of problems, because the first thing you miss is the light. So you get that they have to go to sleep earlier, because there's no light. There's no reason to stay awake. I mean, you can't talk to each other in darkness.
[ Narrator ] No refrigeration or modern packaging means that food cannot be kept. The fire in the hut is too smoky and consumes too much wood to be used as heating. There is no hot water. We in the West cannot begin to imagine how hard life is without electricity. The life expectancy of people who live like this is terrifyingly short, their existence impoverished in every way.
A few miles away, the UN is hosting its conference on Global Warming in its plush gated headquarters. Gift shop is selling souvenirs of peasant tribal life, while delegates discuss how to promote what are described as sustainable forms of electrical generation. Africa has coal, and Africa has oil. But environmental groups are campaigning against the use of these cheap sources of energy. Instead they say Africa and the rest of the Developing World should use Solar and Wind Power.
[ James Shikwati ] The question would be how many people in Europe, how many people in United States are already using that kind of energy ? And how cheap is it ? You see, if it's expensive for the Europeans, if it's expensive for the Americans, and we are talking about poor Africans, you know, it doesn't make sense. The rich countries can afford to engage in some luxurious experimentation with other forms of energy, but for us we are still at the stage of survival.
[ James Shikwati ] The challenge we have when we meet Western environmentalists who say we must engage in the use of solar panels and Wind Energy, is how we can have Africa industrialised. Because I don't see how a solar panel is going to power a steel industry. How a solar panel, you know, is going to power some railway train network. It might work maybe to power a small transistor radio.
[ Narrator ] The theory of Man-Made Global Warming is now so firmly entrenched, the voices of opposition so effectively silenced, it seems invincible, untroubled by any contrary evidence, no matter how strong. The Global Warming alarm is now beyond reason.
[ Dr Frederick Singer ] There will still be people who believe that this is the end of the world, particularly when you have for example the Chief Scientist of the UK telling people that by the end of the Century the only habitable place on the Earth will be the Antarctic. And Humanity may survive thanks to some breeding couples who move to the Antarctic. I mean, this is hilarious. It would be hilarious, actually, if it weren't so sad.
[ Credits roll : "With thanks PROF TIM PATTERSON PROF EDWARD J WEGMAN PROF BOB CARTER DR WILLIE SOON DR MADHAV KHANDEKAR PROF WIBJORN KARLEN DR HENRIK SVENSMARK DR DICK MORGAN DR FRED GOLDBERG HANS HJ LABOHM STEVE McINTYRE DR ROSS McKITRICK DR CHRIS LANDSEA". ]
"A WAG TV Production for Channel 4 - WAG TV MMVII". ]
Fred Singer On TGGWS
March 29th, 2007
Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth, has met its match: a devastating documentary recently shown on British television, which has now been viewed by millions of people on the Internet. In spite of its flamboyant title, The Great Global Warming Swindle is based on sound science by recording the statements of real climate scientists, including me. An Inconvenient Truth mainly records a politician.
The scientific arguments presented in The Great Global Warming Swindle can be stated quite briefly:
1. There is no proof at all that the current warming is caused by the rise of greenhouse gases from human activities, such as the generation of energy from the burning of fuels. Observations in ice cores show that temperature increases have preceded—not resulted from—increases in CO2, by hundreds of years, suggesting that the warming of the oceans is an important source of the rise in atmospheric CO2. As the dominant greenhouse gas, water vapour is far, far more important than CO2, yet not well handled by climate models—and, in any case, not within our control. Greenhouse models also cannot account for the observed cooling of much of the past century (1940–75), nor for the observed patterns of warming—what we call the “fingerprints.” For example, the Antarctic is cooling while models predict warming. And where the models call for the middle atmosphere to warm faster than the surface, the observations show the exact opposite.
But the best evidence we have supports natural causes—changes in cloudiness linked to regular variations in solar activity. Thus the current warming is likely part of a natural cycle of climate warming and cooling that’s been traced back almost a million years. It accounts for the Medieval Warm Period around 1100 A.D., when the Vikings were able to settle Greenland and grow crops, and the Little Ice Age, from about 1400 to 1850 A.D., which brought severe winters and cold summers to Europe, with failed harvests, starvation, disease, and general misery. Attempts have been made to claim that the current warming is “unusual”; a spurious analysis of tree rings and other proxy data tried to deny the existence of these historic climate swings; but this so–called “hockey–stick” result, that earth temperatures have been constant until recent decades, has now been thoroughly discredited.
2. If the cause of warming is mostly natural, then there is little we can do about it. We cannot influence the inconstant Sun, the likely origin of most climate variability. None of the schemes of mitigation currently bandied about will do any good; they are all irrelevant, useless, and wildly expensive: • Control of CO2 emissions, whether by rationing or by elaborate cap–and–trade schemes • Uneconomic “alternative” energy, such as ethanol and the impractical “hydrogen economy” • Massive installations of wind turbines and solar collectors • Proposed projects for the sequestration of CO2 from smokestacks or even from the atmosphere
Ironically, all of these schemes would be ineffective even if CO2 were responsible for the observed warming trend—unless we could persuade every nation, including China, to cut fuel use by 80 percent!
3. Finally, no one can show that a warmer climate would produce negative impacts overall. The much–feared rise in sea levels does not seem to depend on short–term temperature changes, as the rate of sea–level increases has been steady since the last ice age, 10,000 years ago. In fact, many economists argue that the opposite is more likely—that warming produces a net benefit, that it increases incomes and standards of living. All agree that a colder climate would be bad. So why would the present climate be the optimum? Surely, the chances for this must be vanishingly small, and the history of past climate warmings bear this out.
But the main message of The Great Global Warming Swindle is much broader. Why should we devote our scarce resources to what is essentially a non–problem, and ignore the real problems the world faces: hunger, disease, denial of human rights—not to mention the threats of terrorism and nuclear wars? And are we really prepared to deal with natural disasters; pandemics that can wipe out most of the human race, or even the impact of an asteroid, such as the one that wiped out the dinosaurs? Yet politicians and the elites throughout much of the world prefer to toy with and devote our limited resources to fashionable issues, rather than concentrate on real ones. Just consider the scary predictions emanating from supposedly responsible world figures: the chief scientist of Britain’s Labour Party tells us that unless we insulate our houses and use more efficient light bulbs, the Antarctic will be the only habitable continent by 2100***, with a few surviving breeding couples propagating the human race. Seriously!
I imagine that in the not-too-distant future, all of the hype will have died down, particularly if the climate should decide to cool—as it did during much of the past century; we should take note here that it has not warmed since 1998. Future generations will look back on the current madness and wonder what it was all about. They will have movies like An Inconvenient Truth and documentaries like The Great Global Warming Swindle to remind them.
***WHY ANTARCTICA WILL SOON BE THE ONLY PLACE TO LIVE
The Independent on Sunday (UK), May 2, 2004
Antarctica is likely to be the world's only habitable continent by the end of this century if global warming remains unchecked, the Government's chief scientist, Professor Sir David King, said last week. And Sir David warned that if the world did not curb its burning of fossil fuels "we will reach that level by the end of the century".