The Pontifical Academy for Science’s summary of their recent conference on sustainability, itself anticipating our Holy Father’s (supposed) environmental encyclical, is suffused with scientific inaccuracies, some small, others large. But these are forgivable, considering the hearts of its authors are in the right place; and perhaps the theology of the document is sound.
The PAS said, “Unsustainable consumption coupled with a record human population and the uses of inappropriate technologies are causally linked with the destruction of the world’s sustainability and resilience.” What is “sustainability”?
If a resource is limited, in the sense of it being finite and non-renewable, then any use of it whatsoever diminishes its stock and makes that part of it unavailable to others. Thus any use of a truly non-renewable resource is by definition unsustainable. With one proviso, if used at any rate greater than zero, it must eventually be depleted.
Now non-renewable means that which cannot be renewed. All resources on this planet are finite, because the earth is finite, and so everything is unsustainable given sufficient time. “For the sword outwears its sheath...” But some resources are finitely renewable in the sense that the resource can be used repeatedly, like aluminum in cans. And other resources are plainly non-renewable, such as coal and crude oil. Once they are used up, they are gone forevermore.
The Effect Of People
Enter the proviso. Any use of a non-renewable is unsustainable if the number of expected future people exceeds the per-person consumption rate. Suppose on average each person uses one gallon of oil per day. There are around seven billion people alive today. Assuming a steady population, over the next year these people will use around three trillion gallons of oil. If we estimate the stock of oil at one thousand trillion gallons, and if these (mostly fictional) numbers were to hold steady, then we’d have about three centuries of oil left.
The calculation is complicated. To decide if a non-renewable resource is unsustainable depends on how much of it there is, the changing rate of its use, and the number of people expected in the future. It also hinges on whether the non-renewable will remain non-renewable, that a substitute for the non-renewable will not be discovered, and that the effect caused by use of the non-renewable will always be desired. We must know all these things, else the point at which we run out of the non-renewable will be unknown. If we do not know all these things, it is wrong to claim use of a resource is “unsustainable.” Let’s take each item in turn.
There are tremendous uncertainties in estimates of non-renewable stockpiles. How much crude oil is left? There are many widely varying answers, but no consensus. How much uranium? How much coal? How many rare earth minerals? How much of some other substance which is not now seen as important but which, after some technological change or cultural innovation, will become crucial? All great questions, and all with wide plus-or-minus bounds.
The rate at which a thing is used depends on the number of people using it, which itself depends on culture and politics and the state of technology. We can form reasonable but imperfect guesses of consumption for the here-and-now, but forecasting use is fraught with danger. Even supposing a fixed population, no serious student of history can be comfortable projecting shifts in culture, and only the foolish are sure of what lies ahead technologically. Technology can change so that the resource used is needed more or needed less to produce the same effects, or technology can lead to the discovery of substitutes for the resource’s effects. Or the effects themselves - and this falls under culture - can be seen as less or more desirable.
We enjoy lighting in our abodes but no longer employ whale oil for this effect. This non-renewable resource would have been depleted given the population rise since 1900 and the increased demand for the effect. But - much of the increase in the demand was caused by the improving technology and the substitution of electricity. Nobody in 1900 came remotely close to predicting these changes. Who can say with any certainty what effects people a century hence will demand or how the effects demanded will be produced?
Are People Good Or Bad?
And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein. Evidently, God likes people; he likes having them about, and desires more of them. Contrariwise, environmentalists are suspicious of people; they don’t like having them about; some have even called people a “cancer.” God called creation Good. Environmentalists agree, but they idealize a state of Pure Nature, a place apart from Man, a state to which Nature can return if Man is removed. But Man in God’s scheme is inseparable from Nature.
God’s scheme has the merit of being scientifically correct. The PAS speaks of “human interference with the Earth System.” But Man’s presence is integral with every other species, and with the planet itself. And the same is true of other life, both with respect to Man and to Nature. Man developed in concert with other species and with the earth as a whole. Each part of Nature therefore necessarily touches each other. After Man’s arrival, he was forever unified with the whole of Nature. It is thus false to say, “That over there is Nature, and this Man.”
It is also false to say, “That over there is Nature, and these are aardvarks.” Or radishes. Nature must affect all life, and all life must affect all of Nature. The effects each species have will be different, of course, and vary in size and range. Life creates what Nature is. The PAS is wrong. While Man exists, it is impossible to “minimize” Man’s (or aardvarks’ “interference” with Nature. If any man (or aardvark) exists, there is no non-interference, there are only differing effects.
How Many Of Us?
Population began its rapid rise with the increase in technological sophistication, primarily agricultural innovation. As the late philosopher David Stove labored in vain to show us, people always get Malthus wrong: It is not that more people are encroaching upon more food sources, it is that more food leads to more people. Plentiful, cheap, and nutritious food caused, or rather allowed, the increase. Think: if there is not enough food, there cannot be an increase in population! It follows there cannot be “too many” people. The PAS speaks of a “sustainable population,” yet the number of people must always be equal or less than the number that can be supported. And, as we’ll see below, it is increasingly less.
To within a power of ten, and including those currently alive, there have lived about 100 billion people. How many does God want? Nobody knows, but He said there’d be many as like the stars of heaven. When does God want these people to be born? Nobody knows, not even environmentalists. How many more people will be born? We might be able to guess - and we need to, if we’re going to claim non-sustainability of any resource.
The number of future people cannot be infinite for two reasons, one scientific, one eschatological. The earth is finite, and the solar system is winding down, as it were. But these astronomical observations pale next to the promise God made us. Time will end. In the very last chapter of Summa Contra Gentiles, St Thomas said, “the movement of the heavens will cease when the number of men is complete.” Jesus will come again to judge the living and the dead. Maranatha. When? But of that day and hour no one knoweth, not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone. I stress this “no one” includes environmentalists, scientists, and even theologians.
Our bounds for future population numbers are thus necessarily loose. If Jesus comes in the next moment, there will be no more children; but if he tarries, we know he won’t tarry indefinitely. The best we can say are things like this: if Our Lord tarries until 2100, and given various other fallible assumptions about human behavior, there will be about X many more people.
Let’s try - we will not be entirely successful - to characterize these fallible assumptions. Who are not having babies? Strangely, it’s those who are most comfortable with and in the world. People delay marriage and baby-making so that they can establish themselves, make money, and acquire things. It’s the successful who say they can’t make babies because they cannot “afford” them. Large families are also somewhat shameful. Nobody wants to be told they’re breeding like rabbits.
Another paradox. Particularly in the so-called First World, small families use relatively more resources than large. Speaking on average, eight-person families do not have four times as many houses, cars, televisions and so forth as a childless couple. The eight eat more than the two, but perhaps not four times as well. The eight cannot afford to live as sumptuously, because they have to stretch their income.
Unless one is dedicated to God or to some other noble cause, having fewer or no children allows more time to be spent in the pursuit of wealth. Environmentalists like to point out that if the entire world lived as Americans do, resources would be depleted at a higher rate. This is true, ceteris paribus. But the environmentalist solution is to encourage people to have fewer children, and the lack of children allows people to focus more on themselves and thus use more resources! This is not the first time liberal policies would create the very problem they seek to solve.
There are also theological difficulties created by the methods environmentalists advocate to reduce population: contraception, abortion, and the encouragement of sexual acts not directed toward procreation. Environmentalist ideology is not pro-, but is anti-creation. Profligacy and gluttony are sins, as both Catholics and Environmentalists agree. Yet though we sometimes fail to husband our resources wisely - there is much waste and improper pursuit of material wealth - having a second car is surely less morally perilous than killing a child ("aborting" both the unborn and born) or preventing its birth. Environmentalists would have us save our planet but lose our souls.
To state any non-renewable resource is unsustainable requires knowing many things which are difficult or nearly impossible to estimate. We need to know the amount of the resource now present, details of the technologies which use the resource, the effects desired, the nature of a changing culture, politics, and science, and more. Except in the simplest circumstances, certainty cannot be claimed. Yet the PAS would have us believe the end is nigh. Why?
The difference between environmentalist sustainability ideology and Catholic theology is people. People are a nuisance or a necessity, apart from or a part of Nature, created for the sake of themselves or for the sake of God. These worldviews are incompatible. This much is certain: if people stopped having babies, Mankind itself would be unsustainable. Father James Schall is right:
The root of the “sustainability mission,” I suspect, is the practical denial of eternal life. “Sustainability” is an alternative to lost transcendence. It is what happens when suddenly no future but the present one exists. The only “future” of mankind is an on-going planet orbiting down the ages. It always does the exact same, boring thing. This view is actually a form of despair. Our end is the preservation of the race down the ages, not personal eternal life.
Environmentalist eschatology is not Catholic. When the earth is all there is, you rage at the dying of the light and seek perfection everywhere but where it exists.
The Energy Institute is concerned about EPA’s proposed ozone regulations, which studies have found could be the most expensive regulation every implemented. EPA’s new regulations will dramatically increase “nonattainment areas” throughout the country. The rules will immediately add red tape to economic development that is vital to growing new jobs. Nonattainment areas face even more severe requirements that significantly curtail business development. Companies building or expanding facilities in nonattainment areas are required to reduce ozone-forming emissions regardless of cost, and economic development cannot move forward unless such emissions are reduced from other sources. These impacts are illustrated in the Energy Institute’s ozone infographic, available as a PDF here and shown above.
We have steadily reduced ozone levels - which are now at their lowest levels in three decades - and grown our economy significantly while doing so. But EPA’s latest regulatory push goes too far, too fast, and will strangle jobs and economic growth across much of the country. America’s communities need to know the dramatic negative impact of these proposed regulations - share this infographic with your friends today.
See more here. More. http://www.energyxxi.org/what-does-epas-ozone-regulation-mean-your-community
Remember just two months ago when the media savaged climate skeptic Willie Soon for supposedly failing to disclose industry funding? It’s a pity the media doesn’t.
Yesterday, the media trumpeted a new article in the journal Nature Climate Change supporting EPA’s claim that its carbon dioxide rule would save thousands of lives per year. Here’s the New York Times headline:
were simply and innocuously described by the media as:
“researchers at Syracuse and Harvard Universities” (New York Times);
“scientists from Harvard and Syracuse universities and four other institutions” (Washington Post)
“from Harvard and Syracuse University” (Associated Press).
And, of course, why would the articles authors be described in any other way since they made the following disclosure at the end of the article:
But is this really true? Do Charles Driscoll, Joel Schwarz and Jonathan Levy really have NO competing financial interests?
Anyone who follows EPA air quality “research” is no doubt convulsing at this claim.
Below are listed the article’s authors and the dollar amounts of EPA grants with which they are associated as principal investigators”:
Charles T. Driscoll: $3,654,608
Jonathan J. Buonocore: $9,588
Jonathan I. Levy: $9,514,391
Kathleen F. Lambert: 0
Dallas Burtraw: $1,991,346
Stephen B. Reid: 0
Habibollah Fakhaei: 0
Joel Schwartz: $31,176,575
Now how could Schwartz’s $31,176,575 or Levy’s $9,514,361 or Driscoll’s $3,654,608 from EPA possibly be considered as a “competing financial interest” in an article they wrote in support of EPA’s flagship regulatory effort?
Willie Soon was repeatedly raked over the coals by the media for his alleged failure to disclose industry funding of his work. Democrats in Congress (Rep. Raul Grijalva, and Sens. Boxer/Markey/Whitehouse) launched attacks on universities and businesses for funding climate skeptics.
Soon defended himself by saying:
...In submitting my academic writings I have always complied with what I understood to be disclosure practices in my field generally, consistent with the level of disclosure made by many of my Smithsonian colleagues.
“If the standards for disclosure are to change, then let them change evenly. If a journal that has peer-reviewed and published my work concludes that additional disclosures are appropriate, I am happy to comply. I would ask only that other authors-on all sides of the debate-are also required to make similar disclosures. And I call on the media outlets that have so quickly repeated my attackers’ accusations to similarly look into the motivations of and disclosures that may or may not have been made by their preferred, IPCC-linked scientists…
The hypocrisy (is there a stronger word?) is breathtaking.
Oh and by the way, the claim that EPA’s carbon dioxide rules is going to save lives is total nonsense.
I am appalled that objectivity has been so blatantly disregarded by our government and the world’s environmentalists who would use erroneous climate model results to justify their faulty AGW pronouncement which are injurious to humanity.
Gray’s View on AGW.
We AGW skeptics need to be able to offer two basic plausible physical explanations in order to negate the AGW hypothesis.
1. Why projected CO2 increases over the next 50-100 years will only be able to bring about very small amounts (0.2-0.4C) of global mean temperature rise.
2. Why there is natural climate change unrelated to CO2 variations? We need a believable physical explanation for the global climate changes over the last few thousand years (Little Ice Age, Medieval Warm Period, etc.) and in particular the apparent quite modest global warming of the last century. We also need an explanation of the shorter time-scale multi-decadal global warming periods (1910-1940, 1975-1999) and of the global cooling or neutral periods (1880-1910, 1940-1974, and 1999-2015).
Explanation #1 can be understood as a result of CO2 increases causing more global precipitation and associated increase in the globe’s deep cumulonimbus (Cb) convective clouds. These CO2 induced precipitation increases bring about upper tropospheric drying which allows more infrared (IR) flux to space - a negative water-vapor feedback. This extra rainfall enhances surface evaporation cooling which acts to balance out most of the expected global warming resulting from CO2’s increasing blockage of IR to space (3.7 Wm-2 for a CO2 doubling). This prevents CO2 increases from bringing about any significant global warming. Only minimal warming (0.2-0.4C) is going to occur with a doubling of CO2. The main effect of CO2 increases will be an enhancement of global average precipitation of about 3 percent. This enhanced global rainfall will occur in regions where it is already raining and should be hardly noticed.
Explanation #2 can be explained by the multi-decadal and multi-century variations in the globe’s deep ocean circulations (or Meridional Overturning Circulation or MOC) which are primarily driven by space and time variations of oceanic salinity. Salinity changes occur in ocean areas where there are long period differences in surface evaporation minus precipitation. This is especially the situation of the Atlantic where ocean evaporation is 10-20 percent greater than precipitation. Salinity driven ocean changes bring about alterations in the strength of the Atlantic Ocean Thermohaline Circulation (THC), and through Pacific basin upwelling response variations to variation in the Pacific multi-decadal oscillation (PDO) as well. There is also salinity driven ocean subsidence around the Antarctic continent. All these factors influence the strength of the MOC.
Most of the globe’s last century weak global warming has, in my view, been a consequence of a modest slowdown of the global oceans MOC. This last century long MOC slowdown is also detected in an associated weak increase (in milliseconds) in the earth’s rate of rotation.
Lack of Ability of Other Suggested Non-ocean Climate Change Mechanisms to Rival or be Superior to Coming CO2 Influences. The many other non-ocean proposed physical ideas for climate change (where orbital parameters do not play a role) such as
1. Solar variability
2. Sun-spot changes
3. Cosmic ray variability
4. Aerosol changes
5. Human land use changes
6. Volcanic activity
may each play a minor role in some aspects of the globe’s climate alteration. But the individual physical influence of each of these suggested mechanisms is too small to be used as a dominant physical argument against the CO2 change hypothesis.
None of the above proposed climate change mechanisms well match the observed past changes in global temperature. In addition, the magnitude of potential energy change from these above non-ocean physical mechanisms does not have the power to come close to producing the climate changes which the variations of the deep ocean circulations are capable of bringing about.
We AGW skeptics who have proposed non-ocean climate change mechanisms as an alternate to CO2 induced climate changes will continue to have difficulty in rebutting the CO2 advocates. These alternate physical hypothesizes do not have enough supporting observational evidence to allow any one of them or a combination of them to be judged to be more dominant than the changes which future CO2 increases will be able to bring about.
We critics of the AGW CO2 warming hypothesis need a more dominant alternate physical hypothesis which is stronger and which better conforms in time with the global observations. Changes in the ocean’s deep circulation currents appears to be, by far, the best physical explanation for the observed global surface temperature changes (see Gray 2009, 2011, 2012, 2012). It seems ridiculous to me for both the AGW advocates and us skeptics to so closely monitor current weather and short-time climate change as indication of CO2’s influence on our climate. This assumes that the much more dominant natural climate changes that have always occurred are no longer in operation or have relevance.
Cumulus Convection Influences.
Most cumulus convection is organized in meso-scale cloud clusters containing 10 to 20 individual Cb convective elements which are typically concentrated in areas of 200-500 km wide. The individual deep Cb convective cells within these cloud-cluster systems are often arranged in lines and new convective elements are continuously being formed and dissipated. Each new Cb convective element goes through a typical lifecycles of an hour or so. The strong downdrafts from the late stages of these dying Cb elements typically contribute to the low-level mass forcing needed for the initiating of other new adjacent Cb clouds. This is why multiple Cb clouds tend to cluster together.
Cb clouds penetrate well into the middle and upper troposphere. The excess mass within the weakening upper-level Cb elements diverge and spread out as cirrus clouds. This higher level extra mass and cirrus cloudiness then begins to undergo sinking so as to make space and satisfy mass balance for the new emerging upper tropospheric Cb penetrating elements.
Cumulonimbus updraft elements have very high rainfall efficiency as they weaken and die in the very cold upper troposphere. The very cold air at these upper tropospheric levels can hold (even at saturation) very little water-vapor (only about 1% of the low-level moisture content by mass and 0.1 of 1% by volume) compared to the middle and lower tropospheric moisture contents. This very low water-vapor content air from the upper Cb outflow then sinks, evaporates its cloud particles, and arrives at lower levels where the saturated water-vapor contents are much higher. The original upper-level dry air then mixes with the lower level air. This mixture of air at the lower level becomes drier than the air at this level was before any of the upper-level air mixed into it.
A saturated air parcel from a dying Cb cloud which sinks from the 200 mb (12 km height) level to the lower pressure height of 300 mb (10 km ht.) will arrive at this lower-level with a RH of only 10-12 percent of the lower level air. These unusually large upper-level subsidence drying amounts are a consequence of the very large gradient of saturated vapor pressure in the upper troposphere. Vertical gradients of saturated vapor pressure at middle and lower tropospheric levels are, percentage wise, much smaller.
An increase in global deep convective (Cb) activity as a result of CO2 increases will thus bring drying (not moistening) to the upper troposphere, just the opposite of the climate models projections. This upper tropospheric drying acts to lower the infrared (IR) radiation emission level (EL) to a lower height and a warmer temperature where larger amounts of IR energy (σT4) are able to be fluxed to space. Increases in net global Cb convective activity results in higher amounts of IR energy being fluxed to space, not lower amounts as all the climate modelers and their fellow AGW advocates believe.
Our extensive analysis of the ISCCP data well shows the degree to which the broad upper-level sinking air from the global rain areas have had their RH reduced when an enhancement of the global rainfall rate (and accompanied increase in Cb convection) occurs. Please see the attached short write-up “Crux of AGWs Flawed Science” for more detailed discussion and clarifying figures and tables.
How Global Temperature Will Change as CO2 Increases.
The rise of CO2 gas occurs very slowly. By contrast, the troposphere’s hydrologic cycle and its energy dissipation cycle operate on a time-scale of only around 10 days. Any CO2 radiational induced warming will be quickly felt by the earth’s surface and will immediately act to enhance surface evaporation. The more surface evaporation, the less the surface will warm.
A doubling of CO2 gas in the atmosphere will cause an alteration of our global climate but not in the same way as envisioned by the climate modelers or by the majority of scientists studying this topic. Most researchers concentrate only on the direct radiation influences which CO2 increases bring about. They tend not to consider the other related feedback mechanisms which will be simultaneously activated as CO2 amounts increase. The increased global evaporation from CO2 increase will extract energy from the earth’s surface and enhance surface cooling. This will act to reduce the pure radiation assumed 1C warming through both enhanced IR energy flux to space and enhanced surface evaporation. The more evaporation from a doubling of CO2 will act to further reduce the 1C direct radiation only temperature response. As the CO2’s induced speed-up of the globe’s hydrologic cycle continues the cooling influences of the enhanced surface evaporation-precipitation will greatly suppress any pure radiation assumed rise of 1C. Doubling CO2 will thus be able to bring about only a quite modest global warming. The main influence of a doubling of CO2 will be to increase average global precipitation.
Basic Flaw of the AGW Hypothesis.
It is the climate models parameterization schemes for cumulus convection (particularly the deep cumulonimbus (Cb) convection) which are grossly unrealistic and which completely negates the global modeler’s projections of 2-5C warming for a doubling of CO2. This does not mean that the globe won’t be measurably influenced from CO2 doubling. But this CO2 influence will occur primarily as an enhancement of the global hydrologic cycle (precipitation) and only minimally from a rise in global surface temperature.
The AGW hypothesis that warming from increased CO2 will enhance global rainfall is correct. But the assumption that this added rainfall and added tropospheric condensation warming will greatly increase upper tropospheric temperature and water-vapor (through the assumption of constancy of relative humidity) is not at all valid. The opposite occurs. Increased deep Cb convection causes dryness to the upper troposphere. The climate modeler’s large increase in upper tropospheric water-vapor and temperature from added CO2 does not agree with the physics of how real-world deep Cb convection functions. And the additional positive feedback doubling of the upper troposphere warming and moistening which they add to the direct CO2 radiation blockage is completely bogus. This additional feedback assumption greatly increases the divergence of their model simulations from reality.
The global climate modelers assumed that CO2 enhanced global rainfall will bring about large upper-tropospheric water-vapor and temperature increases. These upper-level water-vapor increases are then projected to bring about even larger temperature increases and additional water-vapor (positive water-vapor feedback) amounts which add twice as much additional blockage of infrared (IR) energy to space than the initial influence of the CO2 blockage alone. Such large water-vapor and temperature increases are not at all realistic. This is the Achilles-heel of the whole AGW theory.
None of the global climate modelers or other AGW advocates seem to know that the globe’s deep cumulonimbus (Cb) convection processes act, not to increase upper level water-vapor, but in an opposite sense to reduce the globe’s upper tropospheric water-vapor content. The global climate modelers live in a very isolated Ivory Tower world. Their positive water-vapor feedback schemes in their doubling of CO2 simulations shows that they know next to nothing about how the atmosphere’s cumulus convective and moisture processes really function.
Gray Research Project. I and my Colorado State University (CSU) research project have a long background in studying cumulus convection, and particularly deep and intense cumulonimbus (Cb) convection of the tropics associated with meso-scale rain systems and tropical cyclones. We have published a lot of material on this subject over many years. These convective studies appear to provide crucial background information fundamental to establishing the invalidity of the AGW hypothesis. My CSU project’s over 50 years of tropical meteorology research has, by necessity, had to make the study of cumulus cloud convection a priority item for the understanding of tropical circulations and tropical cyclones. Our information has been gained from my project’s extensive involvement in many field experiments and from rawinsonde compositing activities over many years and recently through extensive analysis of ISCCP and NOAA Reanalysis data. To my knowledge, none of the AGW proponents have ever referred to any of my project’s many published papers and project reports.
Any scientist having advanced and detailed knowledge and working level experience of the globe’s deep cumulus convection process can completely negate the scientific validity of the AGW hypothesis. This could have been done decades ago if there had been an open and honest debate and further research on how changes in cumulus convective dynamics are related to CO2 increase. This greatly needed open and objective debate on cumulus convection process began and was taking place during the late 1960s and 1970s. But these studies were discontinued during the 1980s-1990s when the global models began to show useful results which the politicians, environmentalists, and the world government advocates could use to back up their desired AGW hypothesis. They did not want any further tampering with the models and the earlier momentum build-up for cumulus-moist process research did not go forward. The AGW advocates needed to utilize the unrealistic CO2 doubling climate model warming results as a scare mechanism to advance their agendas. And the CO2 global climate modeling community was quite happy to provide this justification and be well rewarded for their efforts.
London, 26 April 2015; The London-based think-tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation is today launching a major inquiry into the integrity of the official global surface temperature records.
An international team of eminent climatologists, physicists and statisticians has been assembled under the chairmanship of Professor Terence Kealey, the former vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham. Questions have been raised about the reliability of the surface temperature data and the extent to which apparent warming trends may be artefacts of adjustments made after the data are collected. The inquiry will review the technical challenges in accurately measuring surface temperature, and will assess the extent of adjustments to the data, their integrity and whether they tend to increase or decrease the warming trend.
Launching the inquiry, Professor Kealey said:
“Many people have found the extent of adjustments to the data surprising. While we believe that the 20th century warming is real, we are concerned by claims that the actual trend is different from or less certain than has been suggested. We hope to perform a valuable public service by getting everything out into the open.”
To coincide with the inquiry launch Professor Kealey has issued a call for evidence:
“We hope that people who are concerned with the integrity of climate science, from all sides of the debate, will help us to get to the bottom of these questions by telling us what they know about the temperature records and the adjustments made to them. The team approaches the subject as open-minded scientists - we intend to let the science do the talking. Our goal is to help the public understand the challenges in assembling climate data sets, the influence of adjustments and modifications to the data, and whether they are justifiable or not.”
All submissions will be published.
Further details of the inquiry, its remit and the team involved can be seen on its website www.tempdatareview.org
Climatologists have long been aware of the poor state of global surface temperature records and considerable effort has been put into adjusting the raw data to correct known errors and biases. These adjustments are not insignificant. For example it has been noted that in the temperature series prepared by NOAA for the USA, the adjusted data exhibits a much larger warming trend than the raw data.
It has also been noted that over the years changes to the data have often tended to cool the early part of the record and to warm more recent years, increasing the apparent warming trend.
Although the reasons for the adjustments that are made to the raw data are understood in broad terms, for many of the global temperature series the details are obscure and it has proved difficult for outsiders to determine whether they are valid and applied consistently. For all these reasons, the global surface temperature records have been the subject of considerable and ongoing controversy.
In order to try to provide some clarity on the scientific issues, the Global Warming Policy Foundation has invited a panel of experts to investigate and report on these controversies.
The panel features experts in physics, climatology and statistics and will be chaired by Professor Terence Kealey, the former vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham.
Terms of reference
Detailed terms of reference for the panel have been published.
Submissions of evidence
With four major surface temperature series to consider, each incorporating several layers of adjustment, the scope of the inquiry is very wide. The panel is therefore seeking to benefit from the considerable expertise that already exists on the surface records and is inviting interested parties to submit evidence.
After review by the panel, all submissions will be published and can be examined and commented upon by anyone who is interested.
The deadline for submitting evidence is 30 June 2015.
No timetable has been set for the panel to report.
The International Temperature Data Review Project
Chairman Professor Terence Kealey
The International Temperature Data Review Project
See Alan Caruba’s essay on the Environmental Insane Asylum here.
Happy Earth Day...or Lenin’s birthday if you prefer. The demonstrators who claim to support that ‘respect nature’ message at a rally in DC for a clean earth and end of the use of fossil fuels proved hypocritical again, leaving the area trashed. This was near the Washington Monument.
Hollywood and politicans who push this agenda on the people live in estates that use as much energy as some small towns and fly their private jets around the world to give talks while their limos idle outside. Their agenda which causes energy, food, goods and service costs to rise which hurt the people most they claim to care about - the poor and middle class, all while the live the high life. Hypocrits everyone.
Go here for an excellent essay: Earth Month: 22 Ways to Think about the Climate-Change Debate
What happens when two heavyweights in the climate debate square off against one another?
It’s likely to provide quite a rollicking and informative time - and you can watch it live!
Friday evening, April 10th, long-time CFACT advisory board member Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, Founder and National Spokesman of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, will face noted climate activist and author Bill McKibben, founder of the alarmist 350.org group.
They debated on “Christians, the Environment & Climate Change” as part of the Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
Also see the Sensible Environmentalist, Dr. Patrick Moore, co founder of Greeenpeace show the hypocrisy of the radical environmental organizations like Greenpeace and the Sierra Club in this hour interview with Canada’s Ezra Levant.
Is it morally permissible to allow “climate deniers” to appear in print and televised media?
Columbia University journalism students wrestled with this question recently at a screening of the new documentary, “Merchants of Doubt.” “Merchants,” based on the 2010 book by science historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, endeavors to smear skeptics of anthropogenic global warming as the henchmen of the fossil-fuel industry. The film is light on evidence, as I show here, but heavy on verve. Director Robert Kenner ("Food, Inc.") traces the stories of sly 1950s tobacco reps who hired scientists to cast doubt on a growing consensus that smoking was unhealthy. The film’s implication, insinuated rather than demonstrated, is that global warming doubters are likewise mercenary.
If you buy that argument, then it makes some sense to keep “deniers” from deluding the public. In a room full of journalism students in training to ask tough questions and root out the truth, everyone bought it.
Global Warming Opposition Equals Propaganda
“It is a lie to say that global warming poses no danger,” New York Times reporter Justin Gillis told the crowd as part of a panel after the screening. He was responding to a question from the editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, who had asked him whether news outlets present a “false balance” when they cite both proponents and skeptics of anthropogenic global warming. Since the science is “settled,” and “consensus” has been achieved, why not quote only the proponents? “Journalists care about the truth - that’s my only care in life, to find the truth,” Gillis added. “To act as if the evidence is half and half is to tell a lie. I refuse to perpetuate that lie.”
Wendell Potter from the Huffington Post recommended that newspapers create a new “propaganda beat” with reporters devoted solely to unmasking the “deniers” as frauds.
“Accurate information about climate change is a human right,” insisted Emily Southerd, campaign manager for the advocacy group Forecast the Facts. “Accurate information” in this case apparently means “consensus” information. Southerd shared that her organization is petitioning news stations to quit booking “deniers” like Marc Morano of ClimateDepot.com, one of the “merchants” shown in the film.
It’s hard to take such caviling seriously when the New York Times is running beguiling hit pieces on respected (but climate-skeptic) astrophysicist Willie Soon and cheering a McCarthyite investigation into seven other professors who expressed skepticism towards the idea that global warming is dangerous and man-made. In the United Kingdom last summer, after global warming-skeptic Lord Nigel Lawson appeared on the BBC, the head of the BBC Complaints Unit announced that “minority opinions and sceptical views should not be treated on an equal footing with the scientific consensus.” Lawson has not been on the BBC since.
Skeptics are not exactly popular in the media. Gillis acknowledged a tacit pact among print journalists to stop giving credence to climate skeptics. He called this an “enlightenment” that began ten or 15 years ago. American television, he noted, still lets a few skeptics onto the air; broadcasters have yet to come out of the Dark Ages.
Denying the Deniers
The merits of the term “denier” also got some play among the panelists. Southerd cast a strong vote in favor of the term: “these people need to be labeled what they are: climate change deniers.” Gillis explained the need to maintain the appearance of impartiality. “This is much like the abortion wars: what term you use signals what side you are on.” His own preference was to describe the “deniers” as “people who oppose climate science.” He was adamant, though, that these opponents-of-climate-science should never be called “skeptics”; all scientists are professional skeptics, and it would be inappropriate to honor the climate-doubters with such a term.
Paper trails indicate that federal agencies solicited climate science research that supported their conclusions, cherry-picked peer reviewers known to be sympathetic to the pro-global warming cause, and overlooked conflicts of interest.
One member of the audience thought to ask about the funding for pro-anthropogenic global warming scientists. What if someone investigated the money that supports global warming research, and made a “Merchants of Doubt” sequel about the consensus scientists? An excellent question, especially since in the last 15 years pro-sustainability and global warming research has enjoyed nearly $400 million in funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); $3 billion from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; $600 million from the National Institutes of Health; $1.7 billion from National Science Foundation; and even $2 million from the National Endowment for the Arts.
No worries about that, Gillis responded: “99.9 percent of climate science is funded by the government.” That means, he explained, that each grant is disclosed by number to the public, making every transaction transparent and trustworthy.
But Gillis neglected to explain that studies from two different organizations have uncovered in this federally-funded research cozenage and artifice of exactly the sort “Merchants” espies in climate change doubters. Paper trails indicate that the EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other federal agencies solicited climate science research that supported their conclusions, cherry-picked peer reviewers known to be sympathetic to the pro-global warming cause, and overlooked conflicts of interest by assigning research papers to be reviewed by members of the same organizations that produced the research in the first place. In response to concerns such as these, the House of Representatives is considering the Secret Science Reform Act and the Science Advisory Board Reform Act to try to bring transparency to the research these federal agencies use as the basis for their environmental regulations.
But none of this was relevant, apparently, in an evening’s conversation about threats to the integrity of climate science. Perhaps such obstinate belief in the credibility of global warming research should itself be labeled a kind of doubt-denialism.
Rachelle Peterson is a research associate for the National Association of Scholars.