Editor’s Note: Patrick Moore, Ph.D., has been a leader in international environmentalism for more than 40 years. He cofounded Greenpeace and currently serves as chair of Allow Golden Rice. Moore received the 2014 Speaks Truth to Power Award at the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change, July 8, in Las Vegas.
I am skeptical humans are the main cause of climate change and that it will be catastrophic in the near future. There is no scientific proof of this hypothesis, yet we are told “the debate is over” and “the science is settled.”
My skepticism begins with the believers’ certainty they can predict the global climate with a computer model. The entire basis for the doomsday climate change scenario is the hypothesis increased atmospheric carbon dioxide due to fossil fuel emissions will heat the Earth to unlivable temperatures.
In fact, the Earth has been warming very gradually for 300 years, since the Little Ice Age ended, long before heavy use of fossil fuels. Prior to the Little Ice Age, during the Medieval Warm Period, Vikings colonized Greenland and Newfoundland, when it was warmer there than today. And during Roman times, it was warmer, long before fossil fuels revolutionized civilization.
The idea it would be catastrophic if carbon dioxide were to increase and average global temperature were to rise a few degrees is preposterous.
Recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced for the umpteenth time we are doomed unless we reduce carbon-dioxide emissions to zero. Effectively this means either reducing the population to zero, or going back 10,000 years before humans began clearing forests for agriculture. This proposed cure is far worse than adapting to a warmer world, if it actually comes about.
IPCC Conflict of Interest
By its constitution, the IPCC has a hopeless conflict of interest. Its mandate is to consider only the human causes of global warming, not the many natural causes changing the climate for billions of years. We don’t understand the natural causes of climate change any more than we know if humans are part of the cause at present. If the IPCC did not find humans were the cause of warming, or if it found warming would be more positive than negative, there would be no need for the IPCC under its present mandate. To survive, it must find on the side of the apocalypse.
The IPCC should either have its mandate expanded to include all causes of climate change, or it should be dismantled.
Climate change has become a powerful political force for many reasons. First, it is universal; we are told everything on Earth is threatened. Second, it invokes the two most powerful human motivators: fear and guilt. We fear driving our car will kill our grandchildren, and we feel guilty for doing it.
Third, there is a powerful convergence of interests among key elites that support the climate “narrative.” Environmentalists spread fear and raise donations; politicians appear to be saving the Earth from doom; the media has a field day with sensation and conflict; science institutions raise billions in grants, create whole new departments, and stoke a feeding frenzy of scary scenarios; business wants to look green, and get huge public subsidies for projects that would otherwise be economic losers, such as wind farms and solar arrays. Fourth, the Left sees climate change as a perfect means to redistribute wealth from industrial countries to the developing world and the UN bureaucracy.
So we are told carbon dioxide is a “toxic” “pollutant” that must be curtailed, when in fact it is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, gas and the most important food for life on earth. Without carbon dioxide above 150 parts per million, all plants would die.
Human Emissions Saved Planet
Over the past 150 million years, carbon dioxide had been drawn down steadily (by plants) from about 3,000 parts per million to about 280 parts per million before the Industrial Revolution. If this trend continued, the carbon dioxide level would have become too low to support life on Earth. Human fossil fuel use and clearing land for crops have boosted carbon dioxide from its lowest level in the history of the Earth back to 400 parts per million today.
At 400 parts per million, all our food crops, forests, and natural ecosystems are still on a starvation diet for carbon dioxide. The optimum level of carbon dioxide for plant growth, given enough water and nutrients, is about 1,500 parts per million, nearly four times higher than today. Greenhouse growers inject carbon-dioxide to increase yields. Farms and forests will produce more if carbon-dioxide keeps rising.
We have no proof increased carbon dioxide is responsible for the earth’s slight warming over the past 300 years. There has been no significant warming for 18 years while we have emitted 25 per cent of all the carbon dioxide ever emitted. Carbon dioxide is vital for life on Earth and plants would like more of it. Which should we emphasize to our children?
Celebrate Carbon Dioxide
The IPCC’s followers have given us a vision of a world dying because of carbon-dioxide emissions. I say the Earth would be a lot deader with no carbon dioxide, and more of it will be a very positive factor in feeding the world. Let’s celebrate carbon dioxide.
Patrick Moore (email@example.com) was a cofounder and leader of Greenpeace for 15 years. He is now chair and spokesman for Allow Golden Rice.
See his powerful talk in 2014 in the 9th IPCC - Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout.
Letter from Willie Soon
In recent weeks I have been the target of attacks in the press by various radical environmental and politically motivated groups. This effort should be seen for what it is: a shameless attempt to silence my scientific research and writings, and to make an example out of me as a warning to any other researcher who may dare question in the slightest their fervently held orthodoxy of anthropogenic global warming.
I am saddened and appalled by this effort, not only because of the personal hurt it causes me and my family and friends, but also because of the damage it does to the integrity of the scientific process. I am willing to debate the substance of my research and competing views of climate change with anyone, anytime, anywhere. It is a shame that those who disagree with me resolutely decline all public debate and stoop instead to underhanded and unscientific ad hominem tactics.
Let me be clear. I have never been motivated by financial gain to write any scientific paper, nor have I ever hidden grants or any other alleged conflict of interest. I have been a solar and stellar physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics for a quarter of a century, during which time I have published numerous peer-reviewed, scholarly articles. The fact that my research has been supported in part by donations to the Smithsonian Institution from many sources, including some energy producers, has long been a matter of public record. 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.
I regret deeply that the attacks on me now appear to have spilled over onto other scientists who have dared to question the degree to which human activities might be causing dangerous global warming, a topic that ought rightly be the subject of rigorous open debate, not personal attack. I similarly regret the terrible message this pillorying sends young researchers about the costs of questioning widely accepted “truths.”
Finally, I thank all my many colleagues and friends who have bravely objected to this smear campaign on my behalf and I challenge all parties involved to focus on real scientific issues for the betterment of humanity.
See more here.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
from Invictus by William Ernest Henley
Note: Henley’s poems often engage themes of inner strength and perseverance. A trait sadly needed these days when the powerful are working to silence those who disagree with them.
Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball
The Washington Examiner headline says, “John Kerry calls climate change deniers members of ‘Flat Earth Society’.” It typifies all reports about US Secretary of State John Kerry’s head-on attack on scientists trying to practice properly skeptical science. I challenge John Kerry to produce a single person who studies climate who denies climate change. Apparently everybody, except John Kerry, knows that climate changes all the time, it always has and it always will.
In statements made to support his political agenda, Kerry manages to perpetuate a series of errors, myths and slurs. One is the claim Al Gore made before the US Senate in 2007 that the “science is settled” and the “debate is over.” Kerry said,
“The science is unequivocal, and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand,”
Kerry displays further ignorance by marginalizing those who question the science.
“We don’t have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society.”
These are frightening words and a disturbingly narrow position from one of the most powerful statesmen and diplomats, in the world. In the land of “free speech,” he believes no venue should be allowed, and thus people denied their free speech rights. Whatever happened to Voltaire’s view that I completely disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it? Apparently this is too liberal for this liberal. It confirms George Will’s trenchant observation that,
“When a politician says, “the debate is over,” you can be sure of two things: the debate is raging, and he’s losing it.”
He clearly doesn’t know the history of science that determined centuries ago that science is never settled. As Sir Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626) wrote,
Another error is a conceit that the best has still prevailed and suppressed the rest: so as, if a man should begin the labor of a new search, he were but like to light upon somewhat formerly rejected, and by rejection brought into oblivion; as if the multitude, or the wisest for the multitude’s sake, were not ready to give passage rather to that which is popular and superficial, than to that which is substantial and profound: for the truth is, that time seemeth to be of the nature of a river or stream, which carrieth down to us that which is light and blown up, and sinketh and drowneth that which is weighty and solid.
By participating in the denigration of scientists who dare to practice the scientific method Kerry displays more ignorance and a purely political motive. He calls them climate change deniers, with all the holocaust denial connotations of that phrase.
The scientific method requires that all scientists are skeptics, so it was a correct designation. Kerry clearly doesn’t understand that, but knew the term achieved the marginalizing of those who opposed him.
Scientists at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and the University of East Anglia hired to create and prove the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis knew they had a problem. Thomas Huxley identified it over a century earlier.
“The great tragedy of science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.”
The ugly fact developed after 1998 when CO2 levels continued to increase as temperature stopped increasing, in contradiction to their major assumption. We learned, from an email leaked from the CRU (IPCC), that it prompted reaction from the Minns/Tyndall Centre on the UEA campus that said,
“In my experience, global warming freezing is already a bit of a public relations problem with the media.”
To which Swedish Chief Climate Negotiator Bo Kjellen replied,
“I agree with Nick that climate change might be a better labelling than global warming.”
Proper science requires they consider the null hypothesis that something, other than human CO2, is causing warming. Instead, they opted to defend the political objective, and the mantra shifted from global warming to climate change. At the same time, they raised the emotional stakes by saying some scientists moved from questioning to denying.
Thanks to the work of the “flat-earthers” who Kerry scorns, people began to learn that climate change is normal. Increasingly cold winters reinforced their doubts and prompted another shift begun by President Obama’s Science Czar, John Holdren. He recommended the switch from climate change to climate disruptions. In 2014, the White House formalized the idea with the 840 pages, “National Climate Assessment”.
CBS News explained the transition in an article titled,
“Report Uses Phrase ‘Climate Disruption’ As Another Way To Say Global Warming.”
Climate change’s assorted harms “are expected to become increasingly disruptive across the nation throughout this century and beyond,” the National Climate Assessment concluded Tuesday. The report emphasizes how warming and its all-too-wild weather are changing daily lives, even using the phrase “climate disruption” as another way of saying global warming.
Kerry is behind the times using climate change and “flat earthers” as epithets. Get with the program John. I suggest you call me a ‘climate disruption disrupter’ because I still know the science does not support the political agenda?
John Kerry is the third most powerful cabinet member and the most powerful statesman and diplomat in the most powerful country in the world. His words and actions on climate and attacks on some scientists are ignorant and shameful. He uses personal insults because he doesn’t understand the science. Worse, he denies scientists free speech, the primary tenet of the US Constitution to which he swore an oath of allegiance.
It is our duty as skeptics/deniers/disrupters to practice T.H Huxley’s creed;
“The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, skepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.”
Science Lessons for Secretary of State John F. Kerry
Guest post by David Middleton
Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s recent remarks on climate change at the Atlantic Council were so scientifically illiterate that I find it difficult to believe that he managed to barely get a D in geology at Yale University. As a US citizen and geoscientist, I feel it is my patriotic and professional duty to provide Secretary Kerry with a few complimentary science lessons.
Read much more here.
Read more in Judith Curry’s post the difference between the two parties on this issue.
Climate Change: Gina McCarthy, head of the EPA, can’t answer basic questions about global temperatures, climate models or numbers of hurricanes. She didn’t know being a global warming zealot requires knowledge of math.
If the science of climate change was “settled,” you’d think one of the generals in the war on global warming would have memorized the numbers that point to our planetary doom from a menace the administration says is a greater threat than terrorism.
But McCarthy was asked some pretty simple questions Wednesday at a Senate hearing Wednesday on her request for $8.6 billion to help fight the claimed imminent doom of climate change, and her performance didn’t help her case.
One of the questions involved droughts and the claim that their frequency has increased due to warming that is said to be caused by mankind’s increased production of greenhouse gas, such as carbon dioxide, the basis for all life on Earth but judged by the EPA to be a pollutant.
“Let me ask you this,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., inquired of McCarthy. “There was an article from Mr. (Bjorn) Lomborg… from the Copenhagen Institute. He says, along with Dr. (Roger) Pielke from Colorado, that we’ve had fewer droughts in recent years. Do you dispute that?”
The seemingly clueless McCarthy pathetically responded that she didn’t “know in what context he’s making statements like that.” Context? Truth has its own context, and the inconvenient truth that McCarthy wasn’t aware of, or didn’t want to face, is that Pielke and Lomborg are right.
Pielke, a professor at the University of Colorado, told the Senate environment and public works subcommittee in July 2013 that droughts have “for the most part become shorter, less frequent and cover a smaller portion of the U.S. over the last century.” Globally, he said, “there has been little change in drought over the last 60 years.”
Sessions also asked McCarthy if we’ve had more or fewer hurricanes in the last decade. It was another question she said she couldn’t answer because “it’s a very complicated issue.” Well, no, not unless basic math is a complicated issue. Sessions noted that we have in fact gone nearly a decade without a Category 3 storm or higher making landfall in the U.S.
The last hurricane to hit America as a Category 3 or higher was Wilma, which struck Florida on Oct. 24, 2005. Superstorm Sandy had wind speeds barely reaching Category 1 status when it slammed into New Jersey in 2012 and wreaked havoc.
More from CEI here.
More misdirection from Joe Romm and NOAA.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced that the long-awaited El Nino has arrived. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says we now have “borderline, weak El Nino conditions,” and there is a “50-60% chance that El Nino conditions will continue” through the summer.
An El Nino is “characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific,” as NOAA has explained. That contrasts with the unusually cold temps in the Equatorial Pacific during a La Nina. Both are associated with extreme weather around the globe (though a weak El Nino like this will tend to have a muted effect). El Ninos tend to set the record for the hottest years, since the regional warming adds to the underlying global warming trend. La Nina years tend to be below the global warming trend line.
If even a weak El Nino does persist through summer, 2015 will almost certainly top 2014 as the hottest year on record. But there is a good chance it will do so in any case (unless a La Nina forms). After all, 2014 was the hottest year on record even though there was no official El Nino during the year. It’s just hard to stop the march of human-caused global warming - without actually sharply cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
The reality is that we have had El Nino conditions since last April, which was why 2014 was warmer than average.
There were many warnings that El Nino would strengthen over the NH winter, which is the norm. Whether it continues in its current weak state for the next few months remains to be seen. However, what is noticeable is that this episode follows on from a similar one in 2012.
The odds are that La Nina will soon follow.
Romm then goes on to show this graph, supposedly from NASA, purporting to show that there has been no significant change in temperature trends since 1998.
The idea is frankly laughable, and it is difficult to believe that even GISS would attempt such nonsensical deception. Even finishing at the El Nino year of 2014, GISS’s own data show that temperature trends have been flat since 2001.