By Dr. Roy Spencer in the Energy Tribune
While a politician might be faulted for pushing a particular agenda that serves his own purposes, who can fault the impartial scientist who warns us of an imminent global-warming Armageddon? After all, the practice of science is an unbiased search for the truth, right? The scientists have spoken on global warming. There is no more debate. But let me play devil’s advocate. Just how good is the science underpinning the theory of manmade global warming? My answer might surprise you: it is 10 miles wide, but only 2 inches deep.
Contrary to what you have been led to believe, there is no solid published evidence that has ruled out a natural cause for most of our recent warmth - not one peer-reviewed paper. The reason: our measurements of global weather on decadal time scales are insufficient to reject such a possibility. For instance, the last 30 years of the strongest warming could have been caused by a very slight change in cloudiness. What might have caused such a change? Well, one possibility is the sudden shift to more frequent El Nino events (and fewer La Nina events) since the 1970s. That shift also coincided with a change in another climate index, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.
The associated warming in Alaska was sudden, and at the same time we just happened to start satellite monitoring of Arctic sea ice. Coincidences do happen, you know that is why we have a word for them. We make a big deal out of the “unprecedented” 2007 opening of the Northwest Passage as summertime sea ice in the Arctic Ocean gradually receded, yet the very warm 1930s in the Arctic also led to the Passage opening in the 1940s. Of course, we had no satellites to measure the sea ice back then.
I am not claiming that all of our recent warming is natural. But the extreme reluctance for most scientists to even entertain the possibility that some of it might be natural suggests to me that climate research has become corrupted. I fear that the sloppy practice of climate change science will damage our discipline for a long time to come. Read more here.
Roy W. Spencer is a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. His book, “Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies that Hurt the Poor”, will be published this month.
National Center for Public Policy Research
Forty-eight percent of Americans are unwilling to spend even a penny more in gasoline taxes to help reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new nationwide survey released today by the National Center for Public Policy Research. The poll found just 18% of Americans are willing to pay 50 cents or more in additional taxes per gallon of gas to reduce greenhouse emissions. U.S. Representative John Dingell (D-MI), chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, has called for a 50 cent per gallon increase in the gas tax.
Opposition to increased gasoline taxes was especially strong among minorities, with 53% of African-Americans indicating they are unwilling to pay higher gas taxes in any amount. Eighty-four percent of blacks and 78% of Hispanics opposed paying an additional 50 cents or more for their gasoline. “It’s not surprising that minorities oppose higher gas taxes in large numbers, as such taxes are sharply regressive, harming the economically-disadvantaged disproportionately,” said Ridenour. “An extra $300 per year in taxes means little to someone making $100,000 annually. When you’re just getting by, it can mean not having enough for food, rent or utility bills.”
Opposition grew once respondents were informed that eliminating passenger cars in the United States altogether would only reduce world emissions by a fraction. Among those who indicated they are willing to pay more for gasoline to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 58% indicated that they are less willing to do so, and 42% much less willing, when informed their sacrifice would produce little positive results. Many global warming polls ask the wrong questions,” said Amy Ridenour of NCPPR. “We shouldn’t ask Americans if action is needed on global warming, but how much more they’re willing to pay for that action. We need to also ask whether people would still be willing to pay more, given the almost certain futility of it.” Full poll results may be found here.
See here how other recent polls show support for global warming waning despite Gore and the media’s best efforts.
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent, Reuters
After the coldest start to a year in more than a decade, spring will bring relief to the northern hemisphere from Thursday. Bucking the trend of global warming, the start of 2008 saw icy weather around the world from China to Greece. But despite its chilly start, 2008 is expected to end up among the top 10 warmest years since records began in the 1860s. This winter, ski resorts from the United States to Scandinavia have deep snow. Last year, after a string of mild winters, some feared climate change might put them out of business.
In many countries crops and plants are back on a more “normal” schedule. Cherry trees in Washington are on target to blossom during a March 29-April 13 festival that has sometimes mistimed the peak blooms. “So far 2008, for the globe, has been quite cold, only just above the 1961-90 average,” said Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia which supplies global temperature data to the United Nations. “This is just January and February, so two coolish months comparable to what happened in 1994 and 1996,” he told Reuters. The northern spring formally begins on March 20 this year.
And an underlying warming trend, blamed by the U.N. Climate Panel on human use of fossil fuels, is likely to reassert itself after the end of a La Nina cooling of the Pacific in the coming months. Read more here.
Icecap Note: Because as Ross Mckitrick and Pat Micheals, Roger Pielke Sr. and others have shown the station data shows 50% more warming than it should because of improper accounting for land use changes and urbanization, it virtually ensures a high ranking. If this La Nina continues through the year and the sun remains quiet however, it may rank the coldest in a decade or more, especially with the southern hemisphere winter getting off to a strong start and forecast by the seasonal climate and statistical models to again be very cold. Also recall last year early in January, Phil Jones predicted 2007 would be the warmest year on record but still claimed victory when it finished 7th. I don’t bet the horses, but if I did and my horse came in 7th, I would tear up my ticket not boast about it. Finally that underlying warming trend has little to do with CO2 but was related to warm oceans and for the late 20th century an active sun. With the oceans cooling and the sun still in a deep sleep, the next inevitable bounce is likely to disappoint the good doctor and his friends.