By Dr. Bill Gray
We should all be grateful for the Heartland Institute and for its Nobel Mission to bring enlightenment and truth to the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) question. The recent illegal acquiring of internal documents from this Chicago based institute helps remind us what a unique and important organization it is. The Heartland Institute has given a great boost and encouragement to so many of us who have attended any one or up to six of their international climate science meetings that were held in New York, Wash. D.C., and Chicago between 2008-2011.
Before the Heartland meetings and the skeptical AGW internet blog activity I felt rather alone and shunned as a result of my long-time and strongly held views regarding the lack of scientific validity of the AGW hypothesis. It is surprising that this hypothesis has captured so much government and public support in the US, Canada, Australia and all across Europe. If ever there was a bubble getting close to bursting, the AGW hypothesis will provide in coming years another good example. We should expect to see future articles and/or books describing ‘The rise and fall’ of the AGW theory - similar to recent or coming books about Enron and Bernie Madoff, etc.
Heartland’s many reports and articles have given the public a more balanced and realistic assessment of the AGW theory (in my view) than have the overly biased warming pronouncements of the four IPCC reports. The Heartland meetings have given AGW skeptics such as myself new information and showed us that we have ever so many talented colleagues from all over the globe who share our skeptical views. The Heartland meetings have given me a stronger belief in my own AGW skepticism and a renewed desire to devote the greater part of my remaining years towards bringing honesty and scientific objectivity to this important global issue. Too much damage has already been done by those seeking to profit from this overblown and fabricated warming threat.
Until the basic scientific flaws in the AGW theory are recognized and broadly accepted (as they eventually will have to be) it will not be possible for the scientific community and society to put this pernicious and harmful hoax to rest. The wide acceptance of this theory has had a profound negative influence on the US and the world. AGW’s basic scientific flaws must be made known as soon as possible so that re-indoctrination of the public as to the fallacy of this hypothesis can go forward. This will help reduce the current economic, political, and psychological harm which is occurring around the globe due to AGW’s unrealistic warming propaganda and prevent greater harm in future years.
The Heartland Institute has worked hard to try to open up this much needed scientific dialog on the AGW topic. James Taylor of Heartland has invited both warming advocates and warming skeptics to the Heartland conferences. He has offered substantial honorariums to a number of prominent AGW proponents if they would attend and engage in open dialog. But the global warmers have refused to come. We think this is because the AGW advocates fear that they cannot adequately defend the physics behind their warming pronouncements against knowledgeable AGW skeptics. In addition, the mainstream media has mostly refused to attend and report on these very enlightening AGW discussions.
No matter what ones prior AGW views were, you could not attend any of the Heartland conferences and not come away without believing that the basic science behind the AGW hypothesis is questionable, and also thinking that the public has been presented with a very biased and exaggerated viewpoint of global warming by a compliant media. Our country’s media has not done its usual and expected journalistic job of probing and working behind the scenes to verify the validity of the AGW hypothesis or to print hardly any contrary articles to the warming hypothesis. The belief in the AGW hypothesis has grown rapidly. It has become established in the public’s mind as a realistic projection of the future rise in global temperature. This has allowed the EPA to be able to pass many needlessly restrictive regulations that are hurting our economy. It is also leading our school children to become indoctrinated into believing this faulty warming theory and for many of them to become needlessly concerned about the future world they will live in as adults. The media’s long and continuous unrealistic global warming reporting has caused many of our state and local government officials to pass costly legislation mandating expensive and unnecessary “save the environment” actions such as mandated shifts to various percentages of renewable energy and to undertake other costly green initiatives of marginal utility.
Funding Imbalance. Looking over the stolen internal Heartland budget information we see how small have been Heartland’s climate related financial resources in comparison with our federal government’s vast expenditures (Figure 1). Most of our government’s expenditures have gone to support any and all potential research that might, in any way, help verify the coming global warming arguments. Implicit in this global warming support has been the rejection of any grant proposals intended to show faults in the global warming arguments.
Figure 1. 2011 US government spending on climate change research by various government agencies (green) compared to the climate funding of the Heartland Institute (red). Data is from the American Association for the Advancement of Science Report.
Despite the gross financial imbalance between the Heartland Institute and our federal government’s warming directed climate budgets, the Heartland Institute has taken on for itself the monumental task of trying to open up a scientific dialog between the pro-AGW and the AGW skeptics. This dialog was intended to determine how realistic is the science behind the AGW hypothesis? This has lead the Heartland Institute to confronting the large groups of scientists, government officials, environmentalists, media, etc. who have been united in their warming beliefs and proud of their success in public indoctrination of the global warming concept. The science is settled they say and all that remains is for the world to follow their advice on the need to reduce CO2 emissions.
The warmers say we must all start to make major alterations in our lifestyles by switching away from our dependence on fossil fuels and going to renewable energy. However, it is estimated that (non-subsidized) renewable electrical energy generation (wind and solar) costs about 3-5 times more than does electricity generated from fossil fuels. This is especially the case with the new shale-oil natural gas fracking techniques. The standard of living of the industrial world will be substantially reduced if changes from fossil fuel to renewable energy were to be made in any substantial way.
Most of us would likely agree to switch to renewable energy for a high percentage of our electricity and to making the necessary draconian changes in our life styles if we were convinced that the science behind the AGW hypothesis was rock solid. But the science behind AGW is certainly not believable to most of us older meteorology-climate specialists who have studied the atmosphere and the oceans over our long careers. We should not make the recommended changes from fossil fuel to renewable energy. The global warmers have been playing the American public for suckers! But the public is wiser than they think. Within the next decade it will be the warmers who will be seen as the real suckers for naïvely thinking that such a flawed warming hypothesis could be forever sold to the American public.
It is impossible for us skeptics to believe that the doubling of CO2 which causes a global average infrared (IR) radiation blockage to space ~3.7 Wm-2 for doubling of CO2 can be very much of a climate altering feature. Especially when we contrast this 3.7 Wm-2 IR blockage (from a doubling of CO2) with the much larger and continuous 342 Wm-2 average short-wave radiation impinging on the earth and the near balancing concomitant 342 Wm-2 net long-wave and solar (albedo) energy going back to space.
The global climate will be little affected by this small amount of 3.7 Wm-2 IR energy blockage to space due to a doubling of CO2. It is this lack of scientific believability and the large economic and social disruptions which would result if the industrial world were to switch to renewable energy that motivates us skeptics to rebel against such obvious exaggerated claims for CO2 increase.
It is only at the Heartland conferences and on the many new skeptical AGW blog sites that the many AGW scientific inconsistencies are being brought forth and discussed. The scientific journals, for the most part, will not accept papers that do not adhere to the AGW hypothesis. It is primarily the internet blogs on which the real AGW science is now taking place.
Intolerance of Other Points-Of-View. More than 20 years ago, Al Gore was already condemning scientists who dared challenge the warming consensus. In Time magazine in 1989, he wrote,
“The fact that we face an ecological crisis without any precedent in historic times is no longer a matter of any dispute worthy of recognition. And those who, for the purpose of maintaining balance in debate, take the contrarian view that there is significant uncertainty about whether it’s real are hurting our ability to respond.”
On Gore’s repressive, suffocating approach towards science, William Happer (former Director of Energy Research for DOE) stated,
“Many atmospheric scientists are afraid for their funding, which is why they don’t challenge Al Gore and his colleagues. They have a pretty clear idea of what the answer they’re supposed to get is. The attitude in the administration is, ‘If you get a wrong result, we don’t want to hear about it’ ... I was told that science was not going to intrude on policy.” (Ronald Barley, “Political Science”, Reason Magazine, December 1993)
This is the type of attitude I have found so prevalent in the government agencies I have dealt with or tried to seek funding from over the last quarter century. Funding was going to go to only those who agreed with or did not openly doubt the wisdom of the AGW hypothesis.
Learning that global warming politics was going to trump scientific objectivity a new type of modus operandi was thrust upon the research grant seekers in this broad discipline area. A new group of recent Ph.D. and older scientists decided that to receive research grant support they had to play along with the governmental warming policies. They quickly began cranking out paper after paper showing CO2‘s surprising strong influence on climate. A competitive race was soon underway to see who could ‘out-warm’ the other. And the best and most convincing of the warmers received the biggest grants and the most media coverage. The goal was to verify that rising levels of CO2 were indeed causing climate changes that posed a serious threat to society. Many proved to be very ingenious at arranging data sets or adjusting their numerical models to give the desired warming or climate change results. And all the best warming scenarios made it into well trumped press releases. Any negative results were not covered.
Origin of the AGW hypothesis. The AGW climate scare of the last 30 years did not come to the forefront from individual scientists beginning to coalesce around the idea that rising levels of CO2 might pose a serious future climate threat to society. This threat was, by contrast, imposed upon the world from ‘above’ by the coming together of globally influential politicians, environmentalists, internationalists, etc. who knew little about climate but saw great political opportunities to be had by using the rising CO2 levels as a scare tactic. People respond best out of fear. But lasting response to fear must have a firm basis in truth. The AGW does not.
Had I not spent my whole career (of nearly 60 years) in the meteorology-climate area and knew about AGW only from what I read or heard from the mainstream media, I may have been susceptible to accepting much of the AGW propaganda. This is why so many talented scientists from other fields have been unconsciously sucked into the wide orbit of AGW believers. Very few individuals have the long and broad ranging technical background in meteorology-climate to be able to well understand and attack the basic flaws of the AGW hypothesis. I am surprised at how many of my younger and less experienced meteorology-climate colleagues are willing to accept the science behind the AGW arguments - many just out of mindlessly going along with the consensus, and many out of worry about being typed as an AGW skeptic and losing future research funding opportunities. And not-a-small number of our more experienced meteorology-climate specialists, who should have known better or privately had serious doubts about AGW theory, nevertheless went along with the AGW theory in order to obtain or to continue their research support. This posed a terrible dilemma for many who had to choose between their belief and/or their career.
The warnings of President Eisenhower of the capture of overwhelming government support by an elite industrial-military complex are now being realized. But in this more recent version it is our country’s global warming - environmental - world government elites who have captured our country’s overwhelming government support for AGW funding and society intervention. The just published book by Senator James Inhofe titled “The Greatest Hoax” gives much information on the recent political history of the AGW controversy and states how the warmers may now have overplayed their hand. Senator Inhofe points out just how wild and unreasonable has been the statements of so many prominent celebrities, and high ranking government, and congressional officials, and the media people on the alleged human warming topic. And how there is so little scientific subsidence behind their warming statements. Another book titled “Climatism” by Steve Goreham (2010) gives a wealth of scientific background information on the many flaws and inconsistencies of the AGW hypothesis. Goreham has suggested that the world is now experiencing the effects of a new type of ‘ism’ similar to communism, socialism, fascism, totalitarianism, of the past. In our current political era of such wide belief in human-induced global warming, Goreham suggested that the term Climatism is appropriate. I expect this new ‘ism’ will, in time, follow the fate of these earlier ‘isms’ and for much of the same reasons.
Industry - Business Losses. The US industrial and business sectors and their clients and customers are being strongly swayed by the continual media and governmental harping of the dangers of rising levels of CO2. Many American industries and businesses are expending significant resources to demonstrate to their clients and customers that they are accommodating to the threat of rising CO2 levels and global temperature rises by going green. This is adding economic burdens to their operations. American industry and business has, in general, accepted the governments and the media’s warming pronouncements. They have not been skeptical enough at inquiring as to the real scientific validity of the AGW threat. They need to realize that the government and media hyping of the warming threat could, in time, prove to have been greatly exaggerated or possibly be completely bogus. Their expensive PR actions to gain the good will of the public and their clients will have been seen, in time, to have been largely unnecessary when the AGW threat is finally exposed as the hoax it is.
American industry and business groups should begin hedging their bets as to the AGW theory being valid. This can be done by making financial contributions to the Heartland Institute or other private groups dedicated to an unbiased analysis of the AGW threat. Future financial resources can be saved if it is realized that the science behind the AGW hypothesis is going to be largely discredited within the next 5-10 years.
Private Funding Hypocrisy. Why is the massive federal funding support that is going to climate researchers who believe in the AGW hypothesis considered a beneficial national expenditure while any comparatively pittance of private financial support that goes to those who question the validity of the AGW hypothesis believed to be tainted with charges of special interest and anti-science? In the present climate funding milieu, AGW funding for research by our federal government is not and should not be thought of as being any less contaminated with bias than research support coming from the private sector. With regards to the AGW question, I believe the Heartland Institute to be more objective and more honest than my federal government is and has been.
Illustration. Peter Gleick’s purpose in hacking into the Heartland Institute’s private files was to get information on their donors - hoping that the Heartland Institute might be shown to have received contributions from energy companies or the Koch Brothers, etc. The hypocrisy of such reasoning by Gleick and the warming crowd to assume that the federal funds they receive to justify the faulty AGW theory are not as or more contaminated with bias than would be any funds from private energy groups. Nearly all AGW federal support at this time is reeking with warming bias. You must have a warming bias (and/or hide any AGW skepticism you might have) to get any federal funding support in the first place.
Heartland’s courageous battle against the entangling power and ubiquitous presence of those who are attempting to push us towards a world climate crisis - world government –- and religious environmentalism should be applauded. Heartland Director Joseph Bast and his small capable staff are confronting a juggernaut of massive federal funding and massive media propaganda. We should admire their heroic efforts and also give our appreciation to the small group of backers who have had the courage to help and support the Heartland Institute.
I have absolutely no doubt that the AGW hypothesis will become fully discredited within the next decade or so. A doubling of CO2 near the end of the 21st century should, by itself, only bring about a global warming of about 0.3C or only about one-tenth of the ~3C global warming projected by nearly all of the GCM models (see Appendix).
America’s economic growth and its confidence in the future will be greatly enhanced when the false dangers of the AGW hypothesis threat have been fully exposed and put behind us. America independence requires that we avoid the controlling tentacles of world government based on an unrealistic fear of human-induced climate degradation.
Charlie Wilson (former CEO of GM and Secretary of DOD in the mid-1950s) made the then famous but controversial statement that “What’s good for General Motors is good for the country”. A more relevant statement for today would be (in my opinion) ‘What is good for the Heartland Institute is good for our country and for the world’. Ten years from now, when the scientific relevancy of the AGW theory has been thoroughly discredited we will be better able to appreciate the accuracy of this statement.
About the Author. William M. Gray is a Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University where he has been in residence for the last 51 years. He has forecast, taught and performed research in tropical meteorology, the global general circulation and hurricanes for his whole career.