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Thursday, November 29, 2007

It's the Sun, Stupid

Thursday, November 29, 2007
By Steven Milloy

When the international global warming alarm-ocracy gathers for its annual convention on the balmy island of Bali next week, is there any chance that the delegates will look up at the big yellow ball in the sky and ask, “Could it be the Sun, stupid?”New research suggests that would be a great question for them to consider.

A recent study from the Journal of Geophysical Research (November 2007) reports that the sun may have contributed 50 percent or more of the global warming thought to have occurred since 1900. Researchers from Duke University and the U.S. Army Research Office report that climate appears to be insensitive to solar variation if you accept the global temperature trend for the past 1,000 years as represented by the so-called “hockey stick” graph — which claims to show essentially unchanging temperatures between from 1000 to 1900 and then a sharp uptick from 1900 to the present. But the hockey stick-graph has been relegated to the ash heap of global warming history.

Even the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) no longer mentions the graph in its reports. The researchers instead used a temperature reconstruction developed by Stockholm University researcher Ander Moberg and others that shows more variation in pre-industrial temperatures. Using Moberg’s reconstruction, the researchers found that “the climate is very sensitive to solar changes and a significant fraction of the global warming that occurred during the last century should be solar induced.”

The researchers conclude that the current large-scale computer models — which, by the way, don’t work as they don’t even accurately reproduce historical temperature trends — could be significantly improved by adding sun-climate coupling mechanisms. Unfortunately, the reconsideration of the climate models isn’t on the agenda at Bali. Another interesting bit of data comes by way of the Solar Science blog, which on Nov. 15 spotlighted a letter in the Green County Daily World (Indiana) that starts out, “Each morning I turn on my computer and check to see how the sun is doing. Lately I am greeted with the message ‘The sun is blank — no sunspots.’” The letter goes on to state that, “We are at the verge of the next sunspot cycle, solar cycle 24. How intense will this cycle be? Why is this question important? Because the sun is a major force controlling natural climate change on Earth…” “For the past few months, the actual sunspot numbers have been below [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s] lower predicted threshold, approaching zero,” according to the letter, leading some to conclude that we may be headed into another “solar minimum” period. The solar minimum, known as the Maunder Minimum, corresponds to the temperature depths of the Little Ice Age, a period of global cooling lasting from the 14th century to the 19th century.

As you can see from this graph of solar activity since the mid-18th century, low sunspot activity matches up nicely with well-known Little Ice Age climatic events like George Washington’s Christmas-night 1776 crossing of the ice-strewn Delaware River and Napoleon Bonaparte’s retreat from Moscow in the horrifically-cold winter of 1812-1813. The letter writer goes on to mention that not too long ago the Mississippi River froze solid above St. Louis, permitting westward wagon trains to cross in the winter and that you can still see old two-story houses in Wisconsin with second floor doors that allowed inhabitants to exit their homes in the middle of winter when snow depths reached 8-feet and more. If sunspot activity continues to be so markedly low, then we should prepare for the possibility of a significant global cooling trend that could reduce agricultural yields and bring on the sort of food shortages that occurred during the Little Ice Age.

There’s also a new study out this week claiming that the expansion of above-ground tree vegetation in Europe has absorbed 126 million tons of carbon, equivalent to 11 percent of the region’s carbon emissions. While this seems like a positive development — at least for those bent on removing carbon from the atmosphere in order to reduce global temperature — it may actually backfire in terms of preventing global warming.

As reported in this column last April, forests in northern regions actually contribute to global warming through the albedo effect. Researchers estimated that this effect may contribute as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit to regional temperatures. So while expanding European forests may take more carbon out of the atmosphere — a dubious proposition for reducing global warming — the forests will also be absorbing more sunlight producing a net effect of warmer temperatures.

Finally, let’s not forget about last year’s experimental validation of the sun’s impact on cloud cover. That research indicated that climatic impact of sun-influenced cloud cover during the 20th century could be as much as seven times greater than the alleged effect of 200 years worth of manmade carbon dioxide. So while the global warming crowd parties in Bali amid its plotting and planning to subjugate western economies to global government based on a dubious hypothesis about trace levels of invisible manmade gases acting as some sort of atmospheric thermostat, the sun will be there shining down on their folly. Would it be too much to ask for someone to look upwards and see the light?

Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and DemandDebate.com. He is a junk science expert and advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

U.N. Climate Distractions

Wednesday, November 21, 2007
By Steven Milloy

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) just issued the final installment of its year-long scare-the-pants-off-the public assessment of global warming.
It should come as no surprise that, according to the U.N., 257 years of western development and progress has placed the Earth in imminent danger of utter disaster and that the only way to save the planet is to drink the U.N. Kool-Aid and knuckle under to global government-directed energy rationing and economic planning.

Oh, and did I mention that the U.N. says we only have seven years to end the growth of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and 40 years to stop them entirely if we are to avoid killing as many as one-fourth of the planet’s species?

I’d be scared too, if I didn’t know that this is the very same U.N. that just admitted to inflating the African AIDS epidemic -- thereby maximizing the public panic feeding its fundraising efforts -- and the very same U.N. that presided over the corrupt oil-for-food program which gave Saddam Hussein as much as $20 billion in kickbacks while delivering food unfit for human consumption to hungry Iraqis.

What we need to do is peer through the U.N.’s frantic efforts to distract us with a multitude of dire predictions of climatic Armageddon and focus on the core issue of the global warming debate -- only then does it become obvious why the U.N.’s claims call for extreme skepticism.

That key issue, of course, is whether or not manmade CO2 emissions drive global temperature. In its shockingly brief and superficial treatment of this crucial issue, the U.N. states, in relevant part, that, “Most of the observed increase in globally-averaged temperatures, since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. It is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over every continent (except Antarctica)."

This glib statement overlooks that fact that from 1940 to 1975 globally-averaged temperature declined (giving rise to a much-hyped scare about a looming ice age) while manmade CO2 emissions increased. Global temperature has fallen since 1998 despite ever-increasing CO2 emissions. So for 27 of the last 50 years, globally-averaged temperatures have declined while CO2 emissions have increased.

If there’s a cause-and-effect relationship between CO2 and temperature in the last 50 years at all, it seems to be slightly in the opposite direction from what the U.N. claims. And if we are experiencing manmade global warming, someone should tell Antarctica to get with the program.
The U.N. also says that, "Atmospheric concentrations of CO2… exceed by far the natural range over the 650,000 years." Readers, apparently, are supposed to let their imaginations run away with them as to the implications of this statement. What the U.N. left out is that the relationship between CO2 and temperature over the last 650,000 years is precisely opposite of what it has led the public to believe with statements like the preceding one.

Increased atmospheric concentrations of CO2 actually lag global temperature increases anywhere from 800-2,000 years according to the Antarctic ice core record that covers the 650,000-year span of time. Note to readers: A video debate on this point produced by me can be viewed by clicking here.

A new temperature reconstruction for the past 2,000 years created by Craig Loehle of the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement indicates that, 1,000 years ago, globally averaged temperature was about 0.3 degrees Celsius warmer than the current temperature. Since that climatic "heat wave" obviously wasn’t caused by coal-fired power plants and SUVs, the current temperature is quite within natural variability, further deflating the UN’s rash conclusion about the warming of the past 50 years.

There's also the matter of the quality of the temperature records relied on by the U.N.
In his project entitled, "How Not to Measure Temperature," meteorologist Anthony Watts travels the U.S. inspecting stations at which temperature data are recorded by NASA. In the recently released Part 34 of his series, Watts found that the Klamath Falls, Ore., station was located amid acres of heat-trapping asphalt and exposed to huge amounts of waste heat from electric power conversion. Watts says the location of the temperature station seems to have been chosen for the convenience of the observer rather than the integrity of the temperature reading.

It's not hard to imagine how the upward bias in temperature readings from this and similarly situated stations around the world has raised serious questions about the validity of official temperature records and, consequently, their use in the global warming debate. So when the U.N. claims to have divined a global warming trend averaging 0.75 degrees Celsius per century regardless of its cause, it’s useful to keep in mind that NASA alarmist James Hansen says that the margin of error around the average global temperature is plus/minus 0.7 degrees Celsius.
So we can’t possibly have all that much confidence in what the U.N. claims to be happening global temperature-wise.

Don’t be distracted by the alarmist arm-waving and sideshows about the North Pole melting, polar bears drowning and the myriad other supposed catastrophes mentioned in the same breath as man-made CO2 emissions and global warming. There's no evidence that man-made CO2 emissions have created any environmental problem and certainly no scientific justification for handing the keys of the American economy over to the U.N.

Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and DemandDebate.com. He is a junk science expert and advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The High Cost of the Global Warming Scam

Another great article by Phillip Brennan
13 Nov 07

"It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global warming; it is a scam."

John Coleman, meteorologist and founder of The Weather Channel.

Coleman is the latest expert to declare that global warming is a hoax, yet its advocates in Congress and among Democratic candidates for their party's presidential nomination are promising to saddle the American people with laws designed to stop something that is not happening: laws that will have many of us in the poor house.

According to The Washington Post, the Democrats' current global warming proposals "will require a wholesale transformation of the nation's economy and society."
The Post reported that Democrat presidential candidates' climate proposals would "cost billions of dollars," and detailed exactly what the American people will face when it comes to cap-and-trade proposals. Others hiked the price tag into the trillions of dollars.

The Post went on to point out that energy expert Tracy Terry's analysis of a recent Massachusetts Institute of Technology study showed that "under the scenario of an 80-percent reduction in emissions from 1990 levels, by 2015 Americans could be paying 30 percent more for natural gas in their homes and even more for electricity.

"At the same time, the cost of coal could quadruple and crude oil prices could rise by an additional $24 a barrel."

The Wall Street Journal recently warned that: "These new climate proposals come at a time when a "winter-heating crisis looms. As fuel prices surge to new records, lawmakers are trying to limit a potential crisis that could leave many of the Northeast's poor without adequate heating this winter."

"The Free Enterprise Education Institute think tank forecasts an economic contraction that will cost each U.S. Family $10,800 by 2020. ‘‘Cap-and-trade systems or carbon taxes are likely to be popular only until real people lose real jobs as their consequence,' Greenspan writes."
If the global warming fanatics have their way, you'll be paying a lot to finance a hoax, a scam, and a covert scheme to impose socialism on the U.S. and the rest of the world.

See entire article by Phillip Brennan: http://www.newsmax.com/brennan/Brennan_global_warming/2007/11/13/49093.html

My Rant

The claim that climate change is direct result of man's energy consumption is simply unproven and politically motivated. While they propound lies that certain lightbulbs or cars will destroy the earth and raise ocean levels as much as 20 feet within the next century, fascists, like Al Gore, fly around in their Gulfstream jets and live in homes that use 22 times the energy of an average American's home! Their propaganda is outrageous and potentially catastrophic for the economies of United States, the developed world and developing world.

The proof of global warming or man's influence on climate change is not settled science. Just consider the source of the big lie: the proselytizing hypocritical high priest of the pagan environmental religion Al Gore or the other Kool-Aid drinking climateers from the left such as Learjet liberals, Hollywood high school drop-outs, billonaire elitists, the left-leaning mainstream media, the United Nations, academia, environmental radicals, socialists, other anti-capitalists and so called "researchers", "experts" and/or "scientists" whose paychecks depend upon the apparent existence of the "issue".

United States energy conservation and independence is a worthy goal that should be supported by Republicans, the Democrat Party, true Democrats, Independents and environmentalists. Energy independence is a major national security concern. However, lying to our people, implementing the cap & trade boondoggle which will crush our economy or doing anything that will cause the United States to transfer an portion of its sovereignty to the United Nations is idiotic. Not in my name!