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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

 

Scawy stories; inconvenient truths and unfortunate facts

Apparently, British MP’s are calling for ‘A Climate Change Minister’. This should be fun as all the legislation in the land has failed to make much of a difference so far.

When are these guys going to wise up to this simple fact;

All the ‘Global warming’ hype is just that – hype. The anthropocentric (Human caused) model of climate change has little to do with what is really happening to the Earths climate. The argument over Mann’s notorious and now discredited ‘Hockey Stick’ data model proved that.

The most notorious piece of hysteria; Al Gore's (Not Quayle - Sorry, I get them mixed up - wonder why) movie ‘An inconvenient truth’ has a number of critical errors. Here they are in no particular order;

1) A survey of 928 scientific articles on global warming shown stated not one of said studies disputed that man's gasses were mostly to blame for rising global temperatures.
Ahem: Actually, just 13 of those 928 articles ‘endorsed’ man-made global warming, and 34 of the articles cited actually rejected or doubted it.

2) Gore cited the work of the late Roger Revelle, Oceanographer who had noted the rise in global Co2 (Rather convenient that Professor Revelle is dead and can’t argue, isn’t it?)
Yerss: Might interest you to know that Professor Revelle himself co-authored a paper just before his death which stated "the scientific basis for a greenhouse warming is too uncertain to justify drastic action at this time".

3) In the movie it is claimed that Ice cores from Antarctica, that go back 650,000 years, show the world got warmer each time there was more carbon dioxide in the air.
Try this on for size: At least three University of California studies of ice cores show the earth first warmed and only then came more carbon dioxide, many hundreds of years later. Therefore the direct correlation highlighted by Mr Gore between global temperatures and Co2 is downright misleading.

4) In the movie Al Gore claimed global warming is causing lakes like Lake Chad and snow fields like Mt Kilimanjaro's to disappear. Glaciers are melting in the Himalayas – we’re all going to die!
Oh dear; Studies show that the drying of Lake Chad is down to its relative shallowness (It almost dried out before in 1908) and increased water abstraction for irrigation over the last 25 years. The loss of Mt Kilamanjaro’s snowfields has been linked to (So says a 2004 study in Nature) - deforestation cutting the local (Relatively) air’s moisture content. While these two items are human related, ‘Global Warming’ isn’t the culprit. Recent studies have shown that some of the melting glaciers specified in the movie are actually now growing.

5) Projected maps in the movie showed how the coastlines of New York and Shanghai would look when all the ice in Greenland has melted, causing anything up to a 20ft rise in sea levels.
Ah; Even the blinkered IPCC are only predicting a 120mm to 420mm rise in sea levels should all the ice in Greenland melt; but even so; various studies have shown stability or even increase in Greenlands ice cover. Antarctica’s Ice sheet has also had some thickening reported.

6) There is a claim in the movie that New Zealand has taken in refugees from drowning Pacific Islands (You will note he doesn’t specify which ones)
No, definitely not; According to a NZ climate scientist: "No one from the South Pacific islands has fled to New Zealand because of rising seas." In addition the Australian National Tidal Facility at Tuvalu in 2002 reported: "The historical record from 1978 through 1999 indicated a sea level rise of 0.07 mm per year." That’s 1.47mm. Less than a seventeenth of an inch. Big scary rise huh?

7) Gore claimed that Coral Reefs are ‘Bleaching’ because of Global Warming, Indicating that warmer seas are killing off the reefs.
How about this one; The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show the seas rapidly cooled from 2003 to 2005. Most ‘bleaching’ is caused by El Nĩno events, local pollution, and even plagues of ‘Crown of Thorns’ Starfish which have been going on for centuries and have very little (Apart from the pollution events) to do with human activity.

8) Gore claims that there are more and worse Hurricanes (Such as Katrina) and Tornadoes because of Human caused Global Warming.
Most certainly not; In the year Katrina hit New Orleans there were fewer Hurricanes. Even the Hurricane experts disagree with his assertions. In the words of a spokesman from the US National Hurricane Centre, "there has been no change in the number and intensity of (the strongest) hurricanes around the world in the last 15 years".

9) The claim that Global Warming is causing new diseases and allowing malarial mosquitoes to move to higher altitudes and latitudes is the last of the series of assertions the movie makes.
The truth of the matter as stated by the head of the Pasteur Institute's unit of insects and infectious diseases is: "Gore is completely wrong here………the new altitudes of malaria are lower than those recorded 100 years ago……….none of the 30 so-called new diseases Gore references are attributable to global warming".

10) Lets not forget the ‘The Gulf Stream will shut down’ chestnut around which assertion the Science fiction film ‘The day after tomorrow’ was based.
Well that one had climatologists rolling in the aisles and throwing peanuts at the screen didn’t it?

11) Drowning Polar bears? Oh yes, the four that died in a storm, not ‘drowned because they could no longer swim’. The culprit of course being anthropocentric Global Warming.
Baloney, as they say over here.

It occurs to this humble ex-public servant that all this nonsense about climate change is just that; nonsense. Seasons and weather patterns shift and change as they have always done. For example, was ‘Global Warming’ responsible for the glaciers over Europe melting and the formation of the English Channel? – Er, no. In Jurassic times the part of England where I lived was known to be desert. The earth is not a static organism (Unless of course you’re a rabid creationist). It changes, it even wobbles as it orbits around the sun. Solar activity varies.

What is the cause of the climatic variation then? Periodic weakenings of the Earth’s Magnetosphere and Solar variation have been cited. Even minor changes in the earth’s orbit and axial tilt are possible contributors, and let’s not forget the contributions by Volcanic activity. The human element in this particular case has been overstated, although there are places where we could be a little more careful with our planets biosphere. Over fishing being a case in point.

At the end of the 19th Century, pollution from industry was much worse than it is today. In the 1970’s things were still pretty bad (Remember the scandal of the Love canal in the USA?) That much is historically proven. Don’t believe me? Ever wondered how ‘The Black Country’ in the English midlands got it’s name, or how coal and wood powered heating turned Edinburgh into ‘Auld reekie’? Not to mention London’s notorious ‘Pea Souper’ fogs of the 19th, and much of the 20th century (Reference ‘Great Smog’ 1952). Heavy industry put out so much smoke and dust that washing put out to dry in many areas could end up grubbier than when it first went into the wash. This was true in England right up to the 1980’s, and still is in burgeoning industrial economies such as India and China. Now these examples really have been and are down to human activity. The thing is, they are mainly still (On a global scale at least), local phenomena.

As for the scientific veracity of the issue, a lot of the Climate change fog of war is derived, from what I can see at least, from opportunism, political bandwagon jumping, tenure soliciting, control freakery and downright lazy thinking. You could also throw in religious dogma and a whole heap of other confused agendas that plague the human population of Earth. The academics would tell you the whole truth if that were possible, but it isn’t because most people in academia want to keep their jobs, and like the eponymous Vicar of Bray they will often run with the pack of fashionable thinking. If those who have hold of the purse strings say the Earths naturally ever shifting climate is all the fault of those dreadful Americans, hey, who are they to argue? Money is money. We all have to eat.

There is of course a view (mine) that the concept of ‘Global Warming’ or ‘Climate Change’ is no more than a political tool to control opinion amongst the masses. Rather like the Nazi’s in the 1930’s and 40’s used anti semitism to divert their own populations attention from their (The Nazi party’s) manifest failings. Many Politicians don’t want you to realise that they know less about how the world works than the lowliest municipal toilet cleaner. All they really know is the smoke and mirrors of political deception.

Why they (the politicians) should need to divert public attention, apart from to justify their own moneyed existance and complete lack of competance, is not altogether clear. It could be the case that they are so frightened of losing a single vote that they have forgotten what the populace has hired them to do. On the other hand it could be general cluelessness, and when that happens I tend to think that the situation is due more to cock-up than conspiracy.

As for politicians telling us that legislation can change anything like the weather, let’s not forget the hot summer of 1976 when the then Labour Government created Denis Howell as ‘Minister for drought’. I still remember the cover of Private Eye under the headline “Enter the Drought Supremo” with a picture of Howell doing a photo op with children playing on a slide; His speech bubble said “Do you know why I’m Minister of Water?” To which one little boy is shown replying “Because you’re so wet.” What happened then? Oh yes, on August Bank Holiday 30th August a nationwide downpour began which in some places lasted for ten whole days.

No doubt when the global temperature drops and we go into a cycle of colder weather as some scientific authorities have surmised will happen around 2030, no doubt that will all be the fault of the USA and the west. This will be the case no matter what happens. Even in the unlikely event of a ‘Golden Age’ of peace, karma, and nice warm afternoons for leisurely outdoor lunches unparallelled in the annals of civilisation breaking out (Oops! Sorry! Flying pig alert!), some miserable whiny sod will find an excuse to make a fuss of what is a good thing.

Okay, if calling a spade a digging implement makes me a ‘climate change’ denier, then I’m guilty as charged (What you going to do about that, eh? Cut off my academic tenure, pal?). All I’ve got to say about that is at least I work from available evidence, chase up things for myself and don’t blindly accept what I’m told by self aggrandising pundits. I’d also like to state that no money was offered or changed hands in the writing of this blog entry and I am not an agent in the pay of anyone but me (More is the pity).

Update: What I am trying to say here is all the hysteria is a bit too late because the forces at work are too big and way beyond our feeble control. A Global change (And change is the only true constant of this planet) is occurring. No matter what we mere mortals do it will continue. It's not all our fault either, which is my main bitch with the guilt and panic mongers like Gore (Incidentally, nice house there Al - fully energy efficient is it?). Recycle, ride a bicycle, offset your 'carbon footprint' whatever; doesn't matter. We will just have to adapt to whatever happens, but isn't that what our species is good at?

As for using desktop appliances as a model for atmospheric change - bit of an over simplification of a complex global process there I think.

Sources:
Herald Sun, Australia
Evening Standard, London
Guardian Unlimited, EnglandDaily Telegraph, England
Times Online UK
And of course that great online resource; Wikipaedia.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Dogbait said...

For a moment, I thought I was reading Andrew Bolt's blog and that rag, the Melbourne Herald Sun.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007 7:07:00 am  
Blogger Paradise Driver said...

You properly referenced Al Gore through your post but at the beginning you said:

Dan Quayle’s movie ‘An inconvenient truth’

That should be Al Gore not Dan Quayle.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007 8:25:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hear, hear!! I am sick and tired of Gore and his cronies spouting their fiction as fact. And he ends up getting a fricking Nobel prize for his fictional film...wool, eyes, over, pulled.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007 11:54:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh come on - carbon dioxide absorbs infrared light; you can get a desktop spectrometer, breath into it and /watch it happen/.

How exactly is it that this fundamental property of the thing changes when it's in the atmosphere, and came from pollution?

One lot of CO2 and IR is just like another.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007 1:53:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tuvalu:

While the entire population of Tuvalu has not yet emigrated, a number of residents of the low-lying island have already moved to New Zealand and other places.

As early as 2000, the government of New Zealand offered to accept 3,000 residents of the island nation. As the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported in 2001: A diaspora has begun. The displacement, migration and loss of the islanders homeland is happening now.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 5:25:00 am  
Blogger Bill Sticker said...

Tuvalu: CIA factbook. Reasons for migration tends to be economic rather than flooding due to sea level rises. Current population growth 1.57%
Read it here:
Facts people, facts. Not suppositions.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 12:20:00 pm  

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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