Frozen in Time
Jul 05, 2018
“Contributing to” - Foolish Words in the Climate Change Debate

By Steve Goreham

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Originally published in World Net Daily.

Earlier this month, The New York Times featured an article titled “Hockey in the Desert.” The article concluded that by building a hockey stadium in Las Vegas, the National Hockey League was contributing to climate change. The phrase “contributing to” is used over and over by political leaders and the media to voice concern about human-caused global warming, but “contributing to climate change” is a meaningless phrase.

In his address at Georgetown University in June of 2013, President Barack Obama stated, “...the planet is warming, and human activity is contributing to it.” In 2011, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said, “...climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role...” In Congressional confirmation hearings, Energy Secretary Rick Perry affirmed that man-made activity was contributing to climate change.

Every human activity contributes to climate change. If you have a housecat, it “contributes to” climate change. As we burn sugars in our body, we produce carbon dioxide (CO2). Every time you exhale, you breathe out 100 times the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. The real question is “What is the size of human contribution compared to natural factors?”

Earth’s climate is amazingly complex. It’s driven by gravitational forces of our solar system, radiation from the sun, and cosmic rays from stars in deep space. Climate is a chaotic, interdependent system of atmosphere, biosphere, ocean, and deep oceans. Climate has been changing through cycles of warming and cooling, tropical ages, temperate ages, and ice ages throughout all of Earth’s history. Climate change is not only real, it’s continuous.

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Energy from the sun drives all weather on Earth. Sunlight falls directly on the Equator and Tropical Regions, where much energy is absorbed. Sunlight falls indirectly on Polar Regions. All elements of Earth’s weather, storm fronts, hurricanes, the jet stream, and even ocean currents, are driven to redistribute energy from the tropics to the poles.

The oceans have a powerful effect on Earth’s climate. The Gulf Stream current in the Atlantic Ocean dominates weather and temperatures in Europe. The El Nino cycle in the Pacific Ocean affects weather all over the world. The oceans have 250 times the mass of the atmosphere and can hold more than 1,000 times the heat.

Aerosols are an important factor in Earth’s climate. Dust from volcanos, desert dust, and pollen from plants rise into the atmosphere and influence the climate. Yet today’s climate scientists are obsessed with the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a small part of the overall picture.

Carbon dioxide is a trace gas. Only four of every 10,000 molecules in our atmosphere are CO2 and the amount that human industry could have added over all of our history is only a fraction of one of those four molecules.

Earth’s greenhouse effect, the capture of outgoing infrared radiation by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, is said to be strengthened by emissions from industry and is blamed for human-caused global warming. But even the greenhouse effect is dominated by natural factors. Earth’s dominant greenhouse gas is neither carbon dioxide nor methane. Water vapor is Earth’s dominant greenhouse gas. Somewhere between 70 and 90 percent of the greenhouse effect is caused by water vapor and clouds.

Even the majority of the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere was placed there by nature. The oceans hold 50 times as much carbon dioxide as the atmosphere and the oceans are continuously releasing CO2 and absorbing CO2. When plants die, they release carbon dioxide, and they absorb CO2 when they grow. Volcanos above the surface of the ocean, and about ten times as many under the surface of the ocean, continuously emit CO2 and other gases into the environment.

Every day, nature puts about 20 times as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as all of human industry, and removes about the same amount. If we halted all industrial CO2 emissions, we probably could not measure a change in global temperatures.

Political leaders and newscasters, understand that the phrase “contributing to climate change: is meaningless, so please try to use something a little more intelligent.

Steve Goreham is a speaker on the environment, business, and public policy and author of the book Outside the Green Box: Rethinking Sustainable Development.

Jun 03, 2018
A brief history of climate panic and crisis… both warming and cooling

Anthony Watts

From But Now You Know. There is most certainly a pattern to climate change...but it’s not what you may think:

For at least 114 120 years, climate “scientists” have been claiming that the climate was going to kill us...but they have kept switching whether it was a coming ice age, or global warming.

(A timeline of claims follows, updated to 2014)

1895 - Geologists Think the World May Be Frozen Up Again - New York Times, February 1895

1902 - “Disappearing Glaciers...deteriorating slowly, with a persistency that means their final annihilation...scientific fact...surely disappearing.” - Los Angeles Times

1912 - Prof. Schmidt Warns Us of an Encroaching Ice Age - New York Times, October 1912

1923 - “Scientist says Arctic ice will wipe out Canada: - Professor Gregory of Yale University, American representative to the Pan-Pacific Science Congress, - Chicago Tribune

1923 - “The discoveries of changes in the sun’s heat and the southward advance of glaciers in recent years have given rise to conjectures of the possible advent of a new ice age"- Washington Post

1924 - MacMillan Reports Signs of New Ice Age - New York Times, Sept 18, 1924

1929 - “Most geologists think the world is growing warmer, and that it will continue to get warmer” - Los Angeles Times, in Is another ice age coming?

1932 - “If these things be true, it is evident, therefore that we must be just teetering on an ice age” - The Atlantic magazine, This Cold, Cold World

1933 - America in Longest Warm Spell Since 1776; Temperature Line Records a 25-Year Rise - New York Times, March 27th, 1933

1933 - “...wide-spread and persistent tendency toward warmer weather...Is our climate changing?” - Federal Weather Bureau “Monthly Weather Review.”

1938 - Global warming, caused by man heating the planet with carbon dioxide, “is likely to prove beneficial to mankind in several ways, besides the provision of heat and power.” - Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society

1938 - “Experts puzzle over 20 year mercury rise...Chicago is in the front rank of thousands of cities throughout the world which have been affected by a mysterious trend toward warmer climate in the last two decades” - Chicago Tribune

1939 - “Gaffers who claim that winters were harder when they were boys are quite right...weather men have no doubt that the world at least for the time being is growing warmer” - Washington Post

1952 - “...we have learned that the world has been getting warmer in the last half century” - New York Times, August 10th, 1962

1954 - “winters are getting milder, summers drier. Glaciers are receding, deserts growing” - U.S. News and World Report

1954 - Climate - the Heat May Be Off - Fortune Magazine

1959 - “Arctic Findings in Particular Support Theory of Rising Global Temperatures” - New York Times

1969 - “...the Arctic pack ice is thinning and that the ocean at the North Pole may become an open sea within a decade or two” - New York Times, February 20th, 1969

1969 - “If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000” - Paul Ehrlich (while he now predicts doom from global warming, this quote only gets honorable mention, as he was talking about his crazy fear of overpopulation)

1970 - “...get a good grip on your long johns, cold weather haters - the worst may be yet to come...there’s no relief in sigh” - Washington Post

1974 - Global cooling for the past forty years - Time Magazine

1974 - “Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age” - Washington Post

1974 - “As for the present cooling trend a number of leading climatologists have concluded that it is very bad news indeed” - Fortune magazine, who won a Science Writing Award from the American Institute of Physics for its analysis of the danger

1974 - “...the facts of the present climate change are such that the most optimistic experts would assign near certainty to major crop failure...mass deaths by starvation, and probably anarchy and violence” - New York Times

Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age

1975 - Scientists Ponder Why World’s Climate is Changing; A Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be Inevitable - New York Times, May 21st, 1975

1975 - “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind” Nigel Calder, editor, New Scientist magazine, in an article in International Wildlife Magazine

1976 - “Even U.S. farms may be hit by cooling trend” - U.S. News and World Report

1981 - Global Warming - “of an almost unprecedented magnitude” - New York Times

1988 - I would like to draw three main conclusions. Number one, the earth is warmer in 1988 than at any time in the history of instrumental measurements. Number two, the global warming is now large enough that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship to the greenhouse effect. And number three, our computer climate simulations indicate that the greenhouse effect is already large enough to begin to effect the probability of extreme events such as summer heat waves. - Jim Hansen, June 1988 testimony before Congress, see His later quote and His superior’s objection for context

1989 - “On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but which means that we must include all doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.” - Stephen Schneider, lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Discover magazine, October 1989

1990 - “We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing - in terms of economic policy and environmental policy” - Senator Timothy Wirth

1993 - “Global climate change may alter temperature and rainfall patterns, many scientists fear, with uncertain consequences for agriculture.” - U.S. News and World Report

1998 - No matter if the science [of global warming] is all phony ...climate change [provides] the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.” - Christine Stewart, Canadian Minister of the Environment, Calgary Herald, 1998

2001 - “Scientists no longer doubt that global warming is happening, and almost nobody questions the fact that humans are at least partly responsible.” - Time Magazine, Monday, Apr. 09, 2001

2003 - Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue, and energy sources such as “synfuels,” shale oil and tar sands were receiving strong consideration” - Jim Hansen, NASA Global Warming activist, Can we defuse The Global Warming Time Bomb?, 2003

2006 - “I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.” - Al Gore, Grist magazine, May 2006

2006 - “It is not a debate over whether the earth has been warming over the past century. The earth is always warming or cooling, at least a few tenths of a degree...” - Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at MIT

2006 - “What we have fundamentally forgotten is simple primary school science. Climate always changes. It is always...warming or cooling, it’s never stable. And if it were stable, it would actually be interesting scientifically because it would be the first time for four and a half billion years.” -Philip Stott, emeritus professor of bio-geography at the University of London

2006 - “Since 1895, the media has alternated between global cooling and warming scares during four separate and sometimes overlapping time periods. From 1895 until the 1930’s the media peddled a coming ice age. From the late 1920’s until the 1960’s they warned of global warming. From the 1950’s until the 1970’s they warned us again of a coming ice age. This makes modern global warming the fourth estate’s fourth attempt to promote opposing climate change fears during the last 100 years.” - Senator James Inhofe, Monday, September 25, 2006

2007 - “I gave a talk recently (on fallacies of global warming) and three members of the Canadian government, the environmental cabinet, came up afterwards and said, ‘We agree with you, but it’s not worth our jobs to say anything.’ So what’s being created is a huge industry with billions of dollars of government money and people’s jobs dependent on it.” - Dr. Tim Ball, Coast-to-Coast, Feb 6, 2007

2008 - “Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it). Hansen thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress” - Dr. John S. Theon, retired Chief of the Climate Processes Research Program at NASA, see above for Hansen quotes

Section updated by Anthony Watts:

2009 - Climate change: melting ice will trigger wave of natural disasters. Scientists at a London conference next week will warn of earthquakes, avalanches and volcanic eruptions as the atmosphere heats up and geology is altered. Even Britain could face being struck by tsunamis - “Not only are the oceans and atmosphere conspiring against us, bringing baking temperatures, more powerful storms and floods, but the crust beneath our feet seems likely to join in too,” - Professor Bill McGuire, director of the Benfield Hazard Research Centre, at University College London, - The Guardian, Sep 2009.

2010 - What Global Warming Looks Like. It was more than 5C (about 10F) warmer than climatology in the eastern European region including Moscow. There was an area in eastern Asia that was similarly unusually hot. The eastern part of the United States was unusually warm, although not to the degree of the hot spots in Eurasia. James Hansen - NASA GISS, August 11, 2010.

2011 - Where Did Global Warming Go?  “In Washington, ‘climate change’ has become a lightning rod, it’s a four-letter word,” said Andrew J. Hoffman, director of the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Sustainable Development.  - New York Times, Oct 15, 2011.

2012 - Global warming close to becoming irreversible-scientists. “This is the critical decade. If we don’t get the curves turned around this decade we will cross those lines,” said Will Steffen, executive director of the Australian National University’s climate change institute, speaking at a conference in London. Reuters, Mar 26, 2012

2013 - Global-warming ‘proof’ is evaporating.  The 2013 hurricane season just ended as one of the five quietest years since 1960. But don’t expect anyone who pointed to last year’s hurricanes as “proof” of the need to act against global warming to apologize; the warmists don’t work that way. New York Post, Dec 5, 2013

2014 - Climate change: It’s even worse than we thought.  Five years ago, the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change painted a gloomy picture of our planet’s future. As climate scientists gather evidence for the next report, due in 2014, Michael Le Page gives seven reasons why things are looking even grimmer. - New Scientist (undated in 2014)

The actual Global Warming Advocates’ chart, overlaid on the “climate change” hysterics of the past 120 years. Not only is it clear that they take any change and claim it’s going to go on forever and kill everyone, but notice that they even sometimes get the short-term trend wrong…

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climate-claims.’.;.

Worse still, notice that in 1933 they claim global warming has been going on for 25 years...the entire 25 years they were saying we were entering an ice age. And in 1974, they say there has been global cooling for 40 years...the entire time of which they’d been claiming the earth was getting hotter! Of course NOW they are talking about the earth “warming for the past century”, again ignoring that they spent much of that century claiming we were entering an ice age.

The fact is that the mean temperature of the planet is, and should be, always wavering up or down, a bit, because this is a natural world, not a climate-controlled office.

See also:

150 Years of Global Warming and Cooling at the New York Times

Read more here.

May 26, 2018
Climate scientist: air pollution cleanup may be major driver of global warming

Anthony Watts and Richard Keen

Observations during lunar eclipses show how Earth’s atmosphere has cleared, letting in more sunlight

Strange but true: You can learn a lot about Earth’s climate by watching a lunar eclipse. This week at the 46th Global Monitoring Annual Conference (GMAC) in Boulder, CO, climate scientist Richard Keen of the University of Colorado announced new results from decades of lunar eclipse monitoring.

“Based on the color and brightness of recent eclipses, we can say that Earth[s stratosphere is as clear as it has been in decades. There are very few volcanic aerosols up there,” he explains.

This is important, climatologically, because a clear stratosphere “lets the sunshine in” to warm the Earth below.

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To illustrate the effect that volcanic aerosols have on eclipses, Keen prepared a side-by-side comparison (above) of a lunar eclipse observed in 1992 after the Philippine volcano Pinatubo spewed millions of tons of gas and ash into the atmosphere vs. the latest “all-clear” eclipse in January 2018.

“Compared to the murky decades of the El Chichon and Pinatubo, the clear stratosphere since 1995 has allowed the intensity of sunlight reaching the ground to increase by about 0.6 Watts per square meter,” says Keen. “That’s equivalent to a warming of 1 or 2 tenths of a degree C (0.1 C to 0.2 C).”

“In other words,” he adds, “over the past 40 years, the decrease of volcanic aerosols and the increase of greenhouse gases have contributed equally to the total warming (~0.3 C) observed in global satellite temperature records.”

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Total lunar eclipses happen somewhere on Earth typically once or twice a year. Keen is looking forward to the next one on July 27, 2018, which will be the longest lunar eclipse of the century. The Moon will pass almost directly through the middle of Earth’s shadow, remaining inside for 1 hour and 43 minutes. That’s just a few minutes shy of the theoretical maximum.

“This will give us plenty of time to measure the color and brightness of Earth’s shadow and, thus, the aerosol content of the stratosphere,” says Keen.

For more information about lunar eclipses and climate change, check out Keen’s poster from the GMAC.

Note as we showed here, the satellite temperatures show clearly the effects of high and low aerosols using NASA’s Aerosol Optical Thickness (Sato).

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And this annual temperature plots for high and low aerosols show the patterns globally.

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May 18, 2018
Eastern States Promote Offshore Wind Systems, but They Are Expensive and High Risk

Steve Goreham

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Several eastern US states are planning major investments in offshore wind. Wind turbines are touted as clean, green, and economically sound. But experience from around the world shows that offshore wind systems are both expensive and at high risk for early system degradation.

The governors of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia have signed executive orders or passed laws to procure offshore wind systems valued at billions of dollars. Officials are eager to win leadership in what is perceived to be a new growth industry. The US Department of Energy has funded over $200 million in offshore wind research since 2011.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a law in 2016 requiring utilities to purchase 1,600 megawatts of electricity from offshore wind systems over the next 10 years. The law requires that wind systems be “cost effective to electric ratepayers.” But history shows that costs are likely to be far above the New England wholesale market price of 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Massachusetts paid solar generators a subsidy of 25 cents per kilowatt-hour during the state’s solar build-out in 2013. Rhode Island’s Block Island wind system, the first offshore system in the United States, now receives over 27 cents per kW-hr, with an annual guaranteed rate increase of an additional 3.5 cents per kW-hr. New England residents must enjoy paying renewable generators more than six times the market price for electricity.

In May of last year, Maryland’s Public Service Commission (PSC) approved electricity-rate increases to fund two wind projects east of the Ocean City shoreline. Maryland’s residents will pay an additional $2 billion over 20 years in increased electricity rates to support the projects. The Maryland PSC claims the systems will create jobs and spur economic growth, but analysis shows that rate payers will pay $200,000 for each of the estimated 9,700 jobs created.

Also in 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced approval of the South Fork Wind Farm off the coast of Long Island, stating “This project will not only provide a new reliable source of clean energy, but will also create high-paying jobs, continue our efforts to combat climate change and help preserve our environment for current and future generations of New Yorkers.”

But are offshore wind systems reliable? Ocean-located turbines face one of the harshest environments on Earth. Turbines are battered by wind and waves, struck by lightning, and need to endure salt spray that is very corrosive to man-made structures.

In February, it was reported that Danish wind operator Orsted must repair more than 600 wind turbines due to early blade failure. The blades are to be disassembled and brought to shore for repair after only five years of operation, at a cost on the order of $100 million.

Then in March, it was announced that wind turbines at the 175-turbine London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind system, would also need major repairs after only five years of use. Few offshore systems have made it to the end their specified 25-year lifetimes without a major overhaul.

Wind turbines sited off the eastern US coast must survive brutal weather compared to offshore turbines in Europe. From March 1 to March 22 of this year, four powerful extratropical cyclones, called nor’easters, battered our east coast from Virginia to Maine. These storms produced ocean storm surges, large snowfalls, wind gusts of up to 100 miles per hour, and even 20 tornados.

Specifications call for wind systems to withstand gusts up to 156 miles per hour, but this isn’t good enough for some of our Atlantic hurricanes. Last September, hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico with Category 4-strength winds and destroyed many of the wind turbines on the island.

Strong hurricanes occasionally collide with our eastern coastal states. The Great New England Hurricane of 1938 brought Category 3 winds to New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944 delivered Category 2 winds along the coast from North Carolina to Maine. Hurricane Carol in 1954 and Hurricane Gloria in 1985 brought Category 3 winds to the shores of the wind system-promoting states.

Finally, the Norfolk and Long Island Hurricane of 1821 passed through most of the proposed wind turbine sites with up to Category 4 wind strength. The expensive wind systems planned by Atlantic States could all be destroyed by a single well-placed hurricane.

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Offshore wind turbines are expensive, prone to early degradation, and in the case of the US East Coast, at risk in the path of strong hurricanes. State officials should reconsider their plans for offshore wind systems.

Steve Goreham is a speaker on the environment, business, and public policy and author of the book Outside the Green Box: Rethinking Sustainable Development.

May 08, 2018
Study: Climate skeptics engage in more eco-friendly behavior than climate alarmists

Dave Huber - Assistant Editor

A new study suggests those skeptical about climate change and climate alarmism behave in more climate-friendly ways than do those who are very concerned about the issue.

University of Michigan psychology graduate student Michael Hall’s study looked at 600 Americans who “regularly reported their climate change beliefs, pro-environmental behavior, and other climate-change related measures.”

The results, published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, divided subjects into three categories: the “Skeptical,” the “Cautiously Worried,” and the “Highly Concerned.” As you might expect, the “Skeptical” were most opposed to government climate policies; however, they were also “most likely to report engaging in individual-level pro-environmental behaviors” (emphasis added).

On the other hand, the “Highly Concerned,” while very supportive of government action on climate, were the least likely to behave in eco-friendly ways.

Does this surprise anyone?

Pacific Standard has more:

On seven occasions- roughly once every eight weeks -participants revealed their climate change beliefs, and their level of support for policies such as gasoline taxes and fuel economy standards.

They also noted how frequently they engaged in four environmentally friendly behaviors: recycling, using public transportation, buying “green” products, and using reusable shopping bags.

While policy preferences of group members tracked with their beliefs, their behaviors largely did not: Skeptics reported using public transportation, buying eco-friendly products, and using reusable bags more often than those in the other two categories.

This pattern was found consistently through the year, leading the researchers to conclude that “belief in climate change does not appear to be a necessary or sufficient condition for pro-environmental behavior.”

Hall and his colleagues can only speculate about the reasons for their results. But regarding the concerned but inactive, the psychological phenomenon known as moral licensing is a likely culprit.

That “moral licensing” certainly sounds like an inconvenient truth regarding the best known climate alarmist, former veep Al Gore. His mansion reportedly uses 21.3 times more kilowatt hours than the average US household - “including 66,159 kWh just to heat his swimming pool [for a year] - but his camp counters with the following:

“[Gore] leads a carbon neutral life by purchasing green energy, reducing carbon impacts and offsetting any emissions that cannot be avoided, all within the constraints of an economy that still relies too heavily on dirty fossil fuels,” said Betsy McManus, Gore’s director of communications.

She just didn’t respond, however, when asked what those offsets are.

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