Cheat-Seeking Missles

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A Green Rag's Comeuppance

The Independent is one of England's premier green apologist rags, a major global warming fear-monger of a paper. One scientist, Professor Bob Carter of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia, had had enough and wrote them the riot act.

The Indpendent only excerpted the letter; Greenie Watch got the whole thing, which I'm copying below. It's long, but an important summary of the overblown hype that is global warming:
"Over the last few years your columns, and those of other leading British newspapers, have carried a steady stream of alarmist letters and articles on hypothetical, human-caused climate change. Similar articles in international magazines, such as the current issue of Time, have acted to exacerbate the propaganda barrage which faces the public. Each such alarmist article is liberally larded with words such as if, may, might, could, probably, perhaps, likely, expected, projected or modelled - and many involve such deep dreaming, or ignorance of scientific facts and principles, that they are akin to scientific nonsense.

The numerous letters that you have published so far in "Have your say on climate" exemplify the problem created by this alarmism, and by inadequate education systems, and it is not the problem of climate change. Almost without exception, your letter writers implicitly accept - as if they were articles of religious faith - that emissions of carbon dioxide are environmentally harmful, and that dangerous human-caused climate change is occurring.

The facts speak differently.

Carbon dioxide is a natural trace component of the atmosphere the presence of which carries many benefits. The two most important being that carbon dioxide encourages prolific plant growth, and probably also causes mild warming. ("Probably" because although the molecular properties of carbon dioxide make it one of a number of greenhouse gases, increasing its abundance causes both temperature positive and negative feedback loops, the balance of which remains unknown.) The latter fact notwithstanding, and despite a strong public impression otherwise, no simple or significant relationship has been established between the post-industrial increase in human emissions of carbon dioxide and increasing temperature.

Measurements from ground-based thermometers and independently from satellite and weather balloon sensors all agree (i) that a minor warming trend of a few tenths of a degree occurred during the last two decades of the 20th century, and (ii) that that trend has now flattened out. The warming occurred at a rate which is not known accurately but lies between 1 and 2 degrees C /century. Such rates fall comfortably within the multi-decadal warming and cooling rates of up to 3 degrees/century that occur commonly in the recent geological past. Ice core data from Greenland, and other geological data, show also that the magnitude of the late 20th century warming peak has been nearly matched or exceeded many times during climatic cycling in both the recent and deep geological past. Thus neither the rate nor the magnitude of late 20th century warming can yet be shown to be in any way unusual.

You are correct in identifying a huge problem with "climate change", but the problem is political, not environmental or scientific. The ineffectuality of the Kyoto Protocol now being apparent to all, climate policies in countries such as New Zealand (a Kyoto co-signatory with Britain) have descended to farce. One day a carbon tax is on, the next off. Politicians of all stripes reveal abysmal ignorance of the science of climate change on a daily basis. And that measures such as taxing farmers for farting cattle have been seriously entertained as public policy says it all.

A good place to start sorting out the mess would be to read again last year's House of Lords report on climate change, which contains much wise analysis, and at the same time to replace the government's evangelistic advisors on the matter with better versed persons."
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