No one can deny that in recent years the need to “save the planet” from global warming has become one of the most pervasive issues of our time. As Tony Blair’s chief scientific adviser, Sir David King, claimed in 2004, it poses “a far greater threat to the world than international terrorism”, warning that by the end of this century the only habitable continent left will be Antarctica.
Inevitably, many people have been bemused by this somewhat one-sided debate, imagining that if so many experts are agreed, then there must be something in it. But if we set the story of how this fear was promoted in the context of other scares before it, the parallels which emerge might leave any honest believer in global warming feeling uncomfortable.
The Sunday Telegraph: ‘The deceit behind global warming’
Scared to Death: From BSE To Global Warming — How Scares Are Costing Us The Earth by Christopher Booker and Richard North (Continuum, £16.99)
It won’t cause trouble for us today, nor even tomorrow, who knows? For my kids, I do worry.
There’s the rub. I was listening to an earnest scientist explaining the problem to an elderly gentleman at the CSIRO at Aspendale a few years ago, and his response was “why should I care, at my age”.
Fair enough, and that’s the problem. At which point does his problem become my problem. The story of the human race.
“The story of how the panic over climate change was pushed to the top of the international agenda falls into five main stages. Stage one came in the 1970s when many scientists expressed alarm over what they saw as a disastrous change in the earth’s climate. Their fear was not of warming but global cooling, of “a new Ice Age”.”
He lost me there. Where is the equivalent to the IPCC in response global cooling?
It doesn’t, and never did, exist. It’s such a lame argument I still wonder why anyone still makes it. Why doesn’t he ask about phlogiston? Many ideas and theories come and go, there is still plenty of evidence to support AGW?
“Stage two of the story began in 1988 when, with remarkable speed, the global warming story was elevated into a ruling orthodoxy, partly due to hearings in Washington chaired by a youngish senator, Al Gore, who had studied under Dr Revelle in the 1960s.”
Now that is a real what the fudge moment. Al Gore had nothing to do with the ‘orthodoxy’. I remember hearing about this in the ’80s too, and I had never heard of either Gore or Revelle. I was just keeping up with current scientific news. It wasn’t in the popular press, it wasn’t from politicians. It was just the current scientific research.
When will they ever stop making up strawman arguments?
“But more importantly global warming hit centre stage because in 1988 the UN set up its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC). Through a series of reports, the IPCC was to advance its cause in a rather unusual fashion. First it would commission as many as 1,500 experts to produce a huge scientific report, which might include all sorts of doubts and reservations. But this was to be prefaced by a Summary for Policymakers, drafted in con-sult-ation with governments and officials — essentially a political document — in which most of the caveats contained in the experts’ report would not appear.”
it just gets better and better
They manage to get 1500 scientists under their evil control. If I wasn’t crying, I’d be laughing.
“Mann’s hockey stick was just what the IPCC wanted. When its 2001 report came out it was given pride of place at the top of page 1. The Mediaeval Warming, the Little Ice Age, the 20th century Little Cooling, when CO2 had already been rising, all had been wiped away.”
No, it wasn’t just what the IPCC wanted. It is perhaps 10% of the IPCC case. That is the “the” case is just a fiction invented by AGW denialists.
“But then a growing number of academics began to raise doubts about Mann and his graph. This culminated in 2003 with a devastating study by two Canadians showing how Mann had not only ignored most of the evidence before him but had used an algorithm that would produce a hockey stick graph whatever evidence was fed into the computer. When this was removed, the graph re-emerged just as it had looked before, showing the Middle Ages as hotter than today.”
A growing number? Is it anything approaching 1500? And just what is the source of this authoritave record of the temperature of the middle ages?
Paul Biggs says
Well done SJT you win today’s award for the most prolific poster!
Well, the IPCC are trying to hang on to the ‘hockey stick’ with their fingertips – if it wasn’t important to them, they would have let go in 2003.
There is no authoritive data about the MWP because although there is anecdotal evidence, we rely on proxy reconstructed data. We don’t know if it was as warm, warmer, or less warm for sure.
I couple of recent studies are interesting to me -the thesis from a student of ‘MBH Hughes’ and Richey at al’s Pigmy Bay study from the Gulf of Mexico, which had difficulty getting published because of the warm MWP, but published it was – maybe I should post them up.
Choose your proxies, choose your methodology and statistical analysis – and make a ‘hockey stick.’
Oh lordy me – the ice age scare revisited ROTFL.
And a rehash of Al Gore, Hockey Stick and Hansen.
And LMAO “Furthermore, scientists and academics have recently been queuing up to point out that fluctuations in global temperatures correlate more consistently with patterns of radiation from the sun than with any rise in CO2 levels, and that after a century of high solar activity, the sun’s effect is now weakening, presaging a likely drop in temperatures.”
Which solar theory is it again – there are so many? And where was that time series of dropping solar flux again?
But a dazzling contribution to the literature – the sheer breadth and novelty of these arguments will make this book a valuable contribution to any library.
I guess I’d be looking for the solar theory in the same place one finds the PROOF that any global warming is being driven by increasing atmospheric co2 concentrations
And while on time series – nah what’s the use?
Well Lawrie given you’re a mental giant you can explain then how someone like Philipona could mesure the longwave flux on the ground and how Harries could measure changes in spectra from space as energy if aborbed. Now isn’t it strange that that energy is being sunk and just “disappearing”. Perhaps you might tell us where MODTRAN is wrong then Lawrie. Of course you won’t bother to read any of this but references are in the archives here in the 0.00001 % chance you might be interested enough to challenge your world view. Bye bye.
If it’s not RealClimate it’s MODTRAN for Luke.
MODTRAN is theoretical in that it doesn’t incorporate other climate influences in the real world, in particular feedbacks. The popular belief among alrmists is that almost every feedback is positive but wouldn’t the Earth have fried to a crisp long ago if that was the case?
The other problem with MODTRAN is the question of converting Watts/sq m into temperature. Steve Milloy has a detailed discussion of the many different claims at http://junkscience.com/Greenhouse/What_Watt.html.
In other words saying “MODTRAN says…” doesn’t prove much at all.
there are physical limits to the temperature rise, eg, a relatively fixed output from the sun.
The issue is that eco systems are optimised to their environment. Change that environment too quickly, which is what is happening, and there are going to be serious problems coping with that change. Rapid change = chaos.
John – there was more written than Modtran and Milloy doesn’t address it.
Lawrie’s specific comments were: “any global warming” – we are not arguing sensitivity.
A tobacco industry defender’s opinion is worth ZERO.
Golly not even Biggsy or the cosmic ray guys are not at zero ! I wonder why that darn stratosphere is cooling.
“A tobacco industry defender’s opinion is worth ZERO.”
An ad hominum attack is worth ZERO.
Paul Biggs says
Some people get very excited about a 20 year or so window in climate that they can’t explain on the basis of the IPCC’s ‘Low’ ‘level of scientific understanding’ for ‘solar irradiance,’ and a ‘very low’ understanding for everything else related to solar.
Isn’t the stratosphere cooling due to ozone depletion rather than CO2, not that we fully understand that either.
Well Tinkerbelle if you want to get advice from ex-tobacco industry shills go ahead.
Strangely Paul, the stratospheric cooling seems to be global not just polar not what you’d expect from a solar mechanism at all.
Paul Biggs says
That would be the ‘Low’ LOSU solar mechanism would it?
I remember RC’s failed explanation:
7 December 2004
Why does the stratosphere cool when the troposphere warms?
Filed under: Attic— gavin @ 11:21 AM – ()
This post is obsolete and wrong in many respects. Please see this more recent post for links to the answer.
14/Jan/05: This post was updated in the light of my further education in radiation physics.
25/Feb/05: Groan…and again.
Latest improved attempt here:
what is your problem? According to the conspiracy theories, AGW research means scientists refusing to admit when they are wrong. The basic science is still the same, the stratosphere is cooling, as predicted, because the troposphere is warming.