By Dr. Larry Bell, Newsmax
While the Obama administration and Senate Democrats feverishly stoke up hellfire and brimstone global warming alarm to promote a Climate Action Plan, leading voices in green choir robes have abandoned the climate crisis hymnal.
Dr. Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, quit the activist environmental organization in 1986 after it strayed away from objective science and took a sharp turn to the political left.
Testifying on Feb. 25 before the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight, he took issue with the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claim that “Since the mid-20th century it is ‘extremely likely’ that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming.”
Moore pointed out “There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years,” arguing that “perhaps the simplest way to expose the fallacy of extreme certainty is to look at the historical record.”
He told the committee: “When modern life evolved over 500 million years ago, CO2 was more than 10 times higher than today, yet life flourished at this time. Then an ice age occurred 450 million years ago when carbon dioxide was 10 times higher than today.”
Moore also noted that “The increase in temperature between 1910 and 1940 was virtually identical to the increase between 1970 and 2000. Yet the IPCC does not attribute the increase from 1910–1942 human influence.” Why then, he asks, “does the IPCC believe that a virtually identical increase in temperature after 1950 is caused mainly by human influence, when it has no explanation for nearly identical increase from 1910 to 1940?”
Moore emphasized that there is no reason to believe that a warmer climate would be anything but beneficial for humans and the majority of other species. On the other hand, there is ample reason to believe that a sharp cooling of the climate would bring disastrous results for human civilization.
Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, a prominent Socialist and a father of Germany’s environmental movement, has become another strong critic of the IPCC’s alarmist global warming doctrine. His lack of trust began while serving as an expert reviewer for an IPCC renewable energy report as the renewable energy division head of Germany’s second largest utility company.
Upon discovering and pointing out numerous factual inaccuracies to IPCC officials, they simply brushed them aside. Stunned by this, he began to wonder if IPCC reports on climate change were similarly sloppy. After digging into the IPCC’s climate report he was horrified to find similar incompetency and misrepresentations, including climate models that were fudged to produce exaggerated temperature increases.
Dr. Vahrenholt concluded: “The facts need to be discussed sensibly and scientifically, without first deciding on the results.” And although CO2 may have some warming influence, he believes that the sun plays a far greater role in the whole scheme of things.
James Lovelock, a highly respected scientist, predicted in 2006 that: “Before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Antarctic where climate remains tolerable.”
More recently, however, he admitted to MSNBC: “We don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books ...mine included...because it looked clear cut...but it hasn’t happened.”
The 92-year-old Lovelock went on to note, “The climate is doing its usual tricks...there’s nothing much happening yet even though we were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now.” He added, “Yet the temperature has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising...carbon dioxide has been rising, no question about that.”
Moore, Vahrenholt, and Lovelock are but three within an expanding multitude of scientists who are cooling on climate alarm.
When previously asked on Fox Business News who is responsible for promoting unwarranted fear and what their motives are, Moore said: “A powerful convergence of interests. Scientists seeking grant money, media seeking headlines, universities seeking huge grants from major institutions, foundations, environmental groups, politicians wanting to make it look like they are saving future generations. And all of these people have converged on this issue.”
Moore warns that, “The alarmism is driving us through scare tactics to adopt energy policies that are going to create a huge amount of energy poverty among the poor people. It’s not good for people and it’s not good for the environment. In a warmer world we can produce more food.”
Nobel Laureate physicist Dr. Ivar Giaever has referred to global warming ideology as a “pseudoscience” that begins with an emotionally-appealing hypothesis, and “then only looks for items which appear to support it,” while ignoring ample contrary evidence.
Tragically, that pseudoscience does greatest injustice to those who can least afford it.
Read Dr Bell’s recent climate stories here.
Robert S. Pindyck is a professor of economics and finance at MIT, with several decades’ experience publishing articles and books dealing with energy. Moreover, as he explains in this interview, Pindyck believes that man-made emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases will impose climate change damages on future generations, and is an advocate of a carbon tax agreement among the major world governments (though he is doubtful such a tax is politically feasible). With a pedigree like that, you might expect Pindyck to be very complimentary about the computer models that the Obama Administration and other policymakers are using to justify the economics of anti-carbon measures. But as it turns out, Pindyck has written a new, peer-reviewed paper(forthcoming in the Journal of Economic Literature) that is absolutely scathing in its critique of such models. In this post I’ll highlight some of his points.
Two Types of Computer Models
In the climate change policy debate, there are two types of computer models. One type refers to models of the Earth’s climate that are created as simplified simulations of the atmosphere, ocean, sun’s radiation, etc. that rely just on the natural sciences such as physics, chemistry, and biology. These are the computer models that people have in mind when they say things like, “Global temperatures have been basically flat for years, and yet the official models predicted more warming than has actually occurred.”
But there are another set of models-called Integrated Assessment Models or IAMs-that have been created byeconomists, not climate scientists. The IAMs rely on condensed versions of the full-blown climate models as part of their structure, but they also rely on (crude) simulations of the global economy to try and assess the interaction between the economic and climate systems. In addition to all of the uncertainty stemming just from the physical science itself - such as asking how much global temperatures will increase in the long run, in response to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations - the IAMs have another layer of guesswork. For example, they have to make projections of “business as usual” growth in carbon dioxide emissions, in order to understand the full economic impact of emitting one more ton of CO2 today. These computer simulations are then used to gauge the likely results of various types of government policies to restrict emissions, which will affect both the economy and the climate.
Current Crop of Computer Models “Close to Useless”
It is this second class of models, the economic/climate hybrids called Integrated Assessment Models, that Pindyck discusses. Pindyck’s paper is titled, “Climate Change Policy: What Do the Models Tell Us?” Here is his shocking answer, contained in the abstract:
Very little. A plethora of integrated assessment models (IAMs) have been constructed and used to estimate the social cost of carbon (SCC) and evaluate alternative abatement policies. These models have crucial flaws that make them close to useless as tools for policy analysis: certain inputs (e.g. the discount rate) are arbitrary, but have huge effects on the SCC estimates the models produce; the models’ descriptions of the impact of climate change are completely ad hoc, with no theoretical or empirical foundation; and the models can tell us nothing about the most important driver of the SCC, the possibility of a catastrophic climate outcome. IAM-based analyses of climate policy create a perception of knowledge and precision, but that perception is illusory and misleading. [Bold added.]
For those unfamiliar with academic prose, such inflammatory language is almost unheard-of, particularly for a politically sensitive topic such as climate change economics. Pindyck is here reaching the exact same conclusion that I gave in my recent testimony before Senator Barbara Boxer and other members of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee: The computer models used by the Obama Administration’s Working Group to estimate the so-called “social cost of carbon” should not be the basis of federal policy.
After my prepared remarks during the hearing, Boxer and others dismissed my testimony as the product of willful ignorance of “the science,” yet I pointed out that it was she and her colleagues who were misinformed. The professional economists who specialize in climate change would know that every point of my testimony was accurate; indeed I was merely explaining to Senator Boxer et al. what the Obama’s Administration’s own Working Group was saying in their official report.
In his paper, Pindyck goes over a few crucial problems with the economic/climate computer models, the so-called Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs). One major point is the arbitrariness of the discount rate used to compare economic current costs of curbing emissions with the projected benefits (sometimes centuries in the future) of mitigating climate change. However, I have already covered that point extensively for IER’s readers, so in this post I’ll focus on another of Pindyck’s arguments, which is the arbitrariness of the “damage function” in these models
“Any Result One Desires”
In my testimony, I said the “economist can produce just about any estimate of the social cost of carbon desired.” Pindyck reaches the same conclusion in his paper when he writes:
And here we see a major problem with IAM-based climate policy analysis: The modeler has a great deal of freedom in choosing functional forms, parameter values, and other inputs, and diﬀerent choices can give wildly diﬀerent estimates of the SCC and the optimal amount of abatement. You might think that some input choices are more reasonable or defensible than others, but no, “reasonable” is very much in the eye of the modeler. Thus these models can be used to obtain almost any result one desires. [Pindyck p. 5, bold added.]
As Pindyck is here underscoring, our claim isn’t that the economists generating large values for the social cost of carbon are “lying.” The point is, these models are so open-ended - they’re trying to model the entire climate system and global economy through the year 2300, for crying out loud - that the analyst has to pick and choose what items to include, and which to omit. If the economist wants the computer to spit out a big scary number, that’s not hard to accomplish.
Robert Pindyck is exactly the sort of expert we are being told should have the floor in the climate change debate: He is not from industry, but instead is an academic at a prestigious post at MIT. He has been publishing on energy issues (including entire books) since the 1970s. And yet, in his recent paper assessing the computer models currently driving federal policy, he concludes: “I have argued that IAMs are of little or no value for evaluating alternative climate change policies and estimating the SCC. On the contrary, an IAM-based analysis suggests a level of knowledge and precision that is nonexistent.”
Now it’s true, Pindyck still thinks there is a strong case for federal intervention to curb emissions of greenhouse gases, and on that score he and I part ways. Yet when it comes to the Obama Administration’s official rationale for its anti-carbon policies, even Pindyck the MIT expert agrees with me: these computer models are close to useless. I wonder if Senator Boxer and others will have a change of heart, since they claim to follow the peer-reviewed literature?
Guest opinion by Paul Driessen
The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency. The case will determine how far EPA can extend its regulatory overreach, to control “climate changing” carbon dioxide from power plants and other facilities - by ignoring the Constitution’s “separation of powers” provisions, rewriting clear language in the Clean Air Act, and disregarding laws that require the agency to consider both the costs and benefits of its regulations and what it is regulating.
Put more bluntly, the Court will decide whether EPA may deceive the American people, by implementing regulations that have no basis in honest science and will be ruinous to our economy. It is the most important energy, economic and environmental case to come before the Court it in decades.
Suppose a used car dealership routinely rolled back speedometer mileage, deleted customer complaints from its website, posted fabricated compliments, and lied about defects and accidents, to sell more cars. Or a manufacturer misstated its sales and bottom line, failed to mention major safety violations and fines, and made false claims about new product lines, to attract investors and inflate stock prices?
Both would be indicted for fraud. Now apply the same standards to EPA, whose actions and regulations will affect far more people: virtually every family, facility, company and community in the United States. Jurors would likely rule that the agency is engaged in systematic deceit, dishonesty and fraud.
See the Minority Report: EPA’s Playbook: Fraud, Deceit and Secret Science
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy insists there is “no more urgent threat to public health than climate change.” She is determined to impose President Obama’s anti-hydrocarbon agenda. “I just look at what the climate scientists tell me,” McCarthy told Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL). Translated, she means she talks only to those who advocate climate alarmism, and ignores all contrary scientists and evidence.
In fact, thousands of scientists and studies argue that there is no empirical, observational evidence to support any of her claims. Recent NOAA and NASA temperature data confirm that global warming ended in 1997 and continues today, even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increase steadily, improving plant growth worldwide. Seas are rising at barely seven inches per century, and there is no evidence that recent weather events are any more frequent, intense or “dangerous” than what mankind has dealt with forever.
There is no convincing evidence that carbon dioxide emissions have replaced the powerful, complex, interrelated natural forces that have always driven climate and weather changes. No evidence supports the notion that slashing CO2 emissions and trashing our economy will “stabilize” global temperatures and climate variations, or that developing countries will stop pouring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
EPA brushes all this aside. The agency just assumes and asserts human causes and disastrous results, disregards any and all experts and evidence to the contrary, and ignores any and all costs imposed by its regulations.
It has also violated the Constitution, by rewriting specific Clean Air Act provisions that specify 250-ton-per-year emission limits, in sections that EPA is relying on for its climate rulemakings. To shut down coal-fired power plants, the agency illegally and arbitrarily raised the threshold to 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, and ignored the fact that in 692 bills Congress never contemplated applying these sections to greenhouse gases. Unless the Supreme Court intervenes, EPA will continue rewriting the law, gradually tightening its standards to control millions of natural gas generators, refineries, factories, paper mills, shopping malls, apartment and office buildings, hospitals, schools and even large homes.
EPA and other agencies have paid out billions in taxpayer dollars to finance and hype “research” making ludicrous claims that manmade global warming is hidden in really deep ocean waters or obscured by pine tree vapors; tens of thousands of offshore wind turbines could weaken hurricanes; and climate change will cause more rapes and murders. They have used “climate disruption” claims to justify giving eco-activist groups billions of taxpayer dollars to promote alarmist climate propaganda...spending tens of billions on crony-corporatist “green energy” and “climate resilience” programs… and forcing the United States and other nations to spend hundreds of billions on worthless climate change prevention capers.
EPA’s so-called “science” is intolerable “secret science.” The agency refuses to share it with outside experts or even members of Congress and businesses impacted by its regulations. The agency claims this taxpayer-funded information is somehow “proprietary,” even though it is being used to justify onerous regulations that dictate and impair our lives, livelihoods, liberties, living standards and life spans. EPA refuses to be transparent because it wants to prevent any examination of its internal machinations.
Just as bad, EPA routinely ignores its own scientific standards, and many climate reports it relies on come straight from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. However, as the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow observed in its amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court in this case, the IPCC has been caught red-handed presenting student papers, activist press releases and emailed conjecture as “peer-reviewed expert reports.” It has been caught deleting graphs that clearly show its computer models were worthless, and employing junk models like the one that generated Michael Mann’s infamous “hockey stick” to support assertions that it is 95% certain that humans are causing climate change chaos.
These computer models are built on unproven alarmist assumptions, have never been “validated” and are not merely “unverifiable.” They are flat-out contradicted by real-world evidence right outside the EPA windows, making their results worthless for sound, legitimate public policy. Any yet they drive policy.
In violation of federal laws and executive orders, EPA hypothesizes, concocts or exaggerates almost every conceivable carbon “cost” - to agriculture, forestry, water resources, coastal cities, human health and disease, ecosystems and wildlife. But it completely ignores even the most obvious and enormous benefits of using fossil fuels and emitting plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide: affordable heat and electricity, jobs, transportation, better crop growth and nutrition, and improved living standards, health and welfare.
In reality, hydrocarbon and carbon dioxide benefits outweigh their alleged costs by as much as 500 to 1! That means EPA’s “climate change mitigation” rules impose costs on society that exceed even EPA’s exaggerated regulatory benefits by as much as 500 to 1. The EPA “cure” is far worse than the “disease.”
And let’s not forget that one of Ms. McCarthy’s senior advisors devising the agency’s climate change policies and regulations was none other than John Beale - the guy who bilked us taxpayers out of $1 million in salary and travel expenses for his mythical second job as a CIA agent. To suppose his fraudulent actions did not extend to his official EPA duties defies belief. And yet EPA has apparently taken no steps to reexamine Beale’s analyses or conclusions.
EPA has done all of this knowingly, deliberately, with full knowledge of the grossly deficient foundations of its pseudo science and policies to drive an anti-hydrocarbon agenda, without regard for the consequences that agenda will inflict on millions of Americans and billions of people worldwide.
This goes beyond mere sloppiness or incompetence. It is dishonest. It violates the law. According to standards applicable to every citizen and business in the land, it is fraudulent. By controlling the energy that powers our homes, cars, businesses and nation, EPA’s carbon and carbon dioxide policies will control and impair our economy, wipe out tens of millions of jobs, and kill thousands of people for little or no health or environmental benefits.
The real threat to public health and welfare is not climate change. It is EPA and what this rogue agency is doing in the name of preventing climate change. If the Supreme Court allows this, by giving carte blanche authority to EPA, the battle will rage on countless other fronts, because voters are sick and tired of being lied to, manipulated, defrauded, and forced to pay outrageous prices for oppressive regulations.
Democrats say they plan to use climate change to attack Republicans in 2014. I say, Bring it on!
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death
The “Reposition” Fairytale
Opinions by Dr. Gordon Fulks
The “reposition” fairytale is indeed crucial to understanding how political activists with no scientific training have promoted the ‘Big Global Warming Lie’ by marginalizing scientific opponents as working for energy companies.
Here is a link to an article about one of the worst perpetrators, Boston Globe journalist Ross Gelbspan:
Within this article is the link to the original memos that Greenpeace obtained. They involve a proposed 1991 PR campaign involving Dr. Pat Michaels and others that was apparently never executed.
Here are relevant paragraphs from Russell Cook’s analysis in the article above:
“But Gelbspan didn’t discover the memos. They actually were reported in a 1991 New York Times article which claimed they came from an unnamed source at the Sierra Club. Gore’s 1992 book, Earth in the Balance - published five years prior to Gelbspan’s book - says on page 360 that his Senate office received documents”...leaked from the National Coal Association...” and quotes identical lines that appear in Gelbspan’s 1997 book.
So Gore apparently attributed discovery of the “reposition global warming” plan to Gelbspan, a “Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter,” to apparently cover up his role in acquiring and then spinning the plan some four years later. If you read the actual memos you will see the spin is false, too: The memos Gelbspan quotes were a rejected proposal for the PR campaign, and were never actually implemented, thus they would not have been seen by other fossil fuel company executives. There was no industry directive to “reposition global warming,” period.”
The “reposition” story from climate alarmists has been so successfully drilled into the public consciousness that journalists worldwide still use it as their excuse for not covering Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming the way they routinely cover all other topics, namely with balance.
This is an amazing story of how Gore and Gelbspan successfully misused (and still misuse) old memos to smear all scientists who disagree with them as alleged oil company shills.
This tactic has largely obscured the fact that neither Gore nor Gelbspan has any scientific training to allow them any legitimate opinions on climate science. They have been able to leverage their ignorance into an alleged majority opinion by marginalizing ALL who disagree with them, including especially those of us with strong academic credentials.