Wednesday, April 22, 2009
It is Earth Day today, a day where people around the world are reminded once more that the Earth is “in danger” – from climate change, from global warming, from too much carbon dioxide (CO2) and greenhouse gases (GHGs), from rising seawater, and so on. Today, the climate change hysteria is further fanned.
On the other hand, this week, if not this whole month, a climate anomaly is showing – cloudy almost everyday, rain showers at least twice a week, tail-end of a cold front until middle of the month, then occurrence of low pressure area along intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) in many parts of the country with threats of flash floods in some provinces. This week, April 20 to 26, 2009, Manila (Airport) temperature range on average including forecast is 30° C maximum, 25° C minimum. (Source: http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/98429.html).
But this month is one of two hottest months of the year. We are supposed to have lots of sunlight and cloudless sky. Having a cold front and cloudy skies in hot April is a climate anomaly that has not been seen for many years now. A review of the weather in other capital cities of south-east Asian countries that are near the equator also show similar pattern: maximum noontime temperatures of only 34 to 35 Celsius (except Bangkok that has been registering 37 to 38 Celsius lately).
Early this year, Europe experienced one of its coldest and nastiest winter in history. It was “record low” in some parts of Germany and there were a number of deaths reported in other European countries as the severe winter coincided with the Russia-Ukraine conflict and natural gas from Russia were not delivered to mainland Europe. In north America, many states in the US experienced some of their worst winter too.
What happened? Where is global warming? The UN’s Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 4th Assessment Report (AR4) projects global temperature to rise as a result of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (AGW) between 1.4 to 5.8 °C (almost 10 °F) from 1990 to 2100. Their chart shows a steady upward projection of temperature for one century, a perfect way to really scare people.
Unfortunately for the IPCC and many people who peddle the global warming scare, recent data show cooling, not warming, in world temperature. Warming peaked in 1998 with the big El Nino, and all temperatures after that year were lower, not higher. The temperature drop was more pronounced in 2007 and 2008, and more so this year and the succeeding years. In addition, carbon dioxide (CO2) pathway did not correspond to global temperature trend.
Many physicists, geologists and other climate scientists point to the Sun – the number of solar spots, irradiation, solar cycles and length of such cycles (11 years, 24 years, etc.) – as the main driver of the Earth’s temperature. Solar wind controls the amount of galactic cosmic radiation coming into Earth’s atmosphere. An inactive sun results in more galactic cosmic radiation which creates more clouds which causes cooling. And we are in a period of inactive Sun these years.
A number of astrophysicists, scientists who study the Sun carefully, project global cooling in the next 30 years and possibly beyond.
People who say that “Debate is over, there is world consensus, this is an anthropogenic (man-made) global warming” are liars. There is a big debate that has been going on for many years now. But there is too much power and money involved in sustaining the warming hysteria. Billions of dollars of UN grants, rich governments’ climate research budget and/or subsidies to renewable energy sources, carbon tax being planned and/or currently collected by governments, carbon emission permits being traded and changing hands globally.
Global warming politics is the next communism of the current era. We no longer worry about economic central planning, but ecological central planning. National and international bureaucrats tell us what energy sources we can use or not, how much carbon taxes to pay and how much grants and subsidies to be given to renewable energies and environmental groups, to whom businessmen can buy or sell carbon permits, what new bureaucracies to be created and sustained, and so on.
At home, there is the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change (PTFCC), Presidential Adviser on Climate Change (PACC), Carbon Cutting Coalition (CCC), and a bill creating the Climate Change Commission (CCC) has been passed on 3rd and final reading in the House. Some provincial and city governments have created their local task forces on climate change. Lots of our tax money are being used to create new bureaucracies who are fighting a non-existent enemy.
Meanwhile, a number of scientists who are labeled “climate skeptics/realists” are warning of crop failures in some parts of the world this year due to severe winter, severe rains coming along. But the climate alarmists and bureaucrats will still be singing the same tune of scaring the public to extract more power to regulate our lives and more money from our pockets.
On December 13, 2008, I wrote this:
Climate Alarmism vs. Economic Recession
Yesterday, the United Nations’ 14th Session of the Conference of Parties on Climate Change (UN COP-14) ended its nearly two weeks meeting in Poznan, Poland. Top UN leaders, top environment and climate change officials and bureaucrats of many countries attended that meeting. Their main goal was supposed to hammer a common agreement for “new emissions cut”, among others, when the Kyoto Protocol expires by 2012 or just 4 years from now.
They did not succeed in such a goal as the few “climate rebels”, energy and environment ministers from some countries who oppose drastic emission cuts, like killing coal and other cheaper energy sources and rush renewable but more expensive energy sources, become more assertive.
It is true that there is climate change. The same way that people change, cars and mobile phones change, sports and culture change, cities and communities change, the world and its geography change. Sunspots and solar rays change, expansion or contraction of the universe change, and earthquake belts change. So do climate change. And there are dozens of different factors that contribute to climate change, not just humanity’s economic activities.
Instead of planning how to “stop” climate change, humanity’s energy and effort would be better diverted to discussing how to adapt to climate change. People from the tropics adapt to weather and freezing temperatures in the norh and southern parts of the globe. And vice versa.
But some environment regulators and bureaucrats are salivating at new taxes, fees and fines, regulations and prohibitions to invent, to “stop” climate change. They will also plan what to do with existing high petroleum taxes, whether to retain or further hike them or not. Or plan what power sources to be allowed and subsidized, and what to be heavily-regulated, if not killed. Or plan and propose what new environmental bodies and commissions to be created, complete with big funding and big staff, or what new powers to be vested in existing environmental bureaucracies. People should be afraid of these bureaucrats instead.
The Philippine government recently added a new bureaucracy under the Office of the President called the “Presidential Adviser on Global Warming and Climate” with Cabinet position. The head of this new bureaucracy is a former Senator and former Environment Secretary. He also went to Poznan with a very ambitious Philippine goal of “A 50% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050” or just 4 decades from now. See the news report here.
Here in the Philippines, there are just a very few people and groups who are not enamored by “principally human-induced climate change” theory. One of them is the Director of Institute of Biology, University of the Philippines (UP), Dr. Perry Ong. In May this year, he presented in one of UP’s big “centennial lectures” a paper entitled “Anthropogenic Global Warming: Beyond the Hype, Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reason”.
In that paper, Dr. Ong said “GHGs spawned by humans contribute merely 33 percent to global warming compared to the 67 percent traced to natural causes, which include changes in solar radiation, volcanic eruptions and the shifting of the Earth’s tilt and orbit… Climate change has become a convenient excuse when there are other [environmental] issues that need to be addressed… If we disproportionately blame ourselves for [climate change], our response will be different … we should look at the [bigger picture] and address other issues.” The news report can be viewed here.
Perhaps the world’s biggest coalition of independent think tanks and civil society groups that recognize there is climate change but does not believe in more government intervention and regulation to “stop global warming”, is the Civil Society Coalition on Climate Change (CSCCC). Our think tank, Minimal Government Thinkers, Inc. is the only Philippine-based institute that is one of the 50 member-organizations of this coalition from 38 countries, all of which are non-profit institutes and independent of political parties and government.
The CSCCC recently released its newest report, “Which Policy to Address Climate Change?”, authored by Prof. Julian Morris, Executive Director of International Policy Network (IPN). Prof. Morris argued that “A cap on emissions of carbon would do little to protect humanity against the threat of climate change but would drastically increase the threat of global economic catastrophe…. For Ministers in Poznan to agree to cap carbon emissions in the near term would be economic lunacy. It would divert resources into ‘low carbon’ technologies and away from more productive uses – thereby slowing economic growth and harming the ability of the poor to address the real problems they face every day, such as diseases, water scarcity and inadequate nutrition.”
Incidentally, the Heartland Institute in the US will hold its second “International Conference on Climate Change 2009” on March 8 – 10, 2009 in New York. It has the sub-title, “Global warming crisis Cancelled: Was it ever really a crisis?” Visit here for details.
The current global financial turmoil would seem to be the biggest hindrance to new regulatory and bureaucratic plans by the climate change alarmists. To pressure developing and emerging countries to cut their carbon emissions by over-regulating, if not killing, coal and other non-renewable but cheaper energy sources within a short period of time, would be asking the humanity to further hasten economic recession to spread to more countries in the world.
At the back of the minds of the hard core climate change alarmists, economic growth from developing countries that use more energy, more mobility of trucks, cars and buses that spew out more pollution as they consume more petroleum products, is bad. They would rather see lack of growth and more unemployment, more poverty, in those countries than see more carbon emissions added to the planet’s atmosphere.
This kind of climate change alarmism, people should expose and reject.
Water vapour is the most important green house gas followed by methane. The third most important greenhouse gas is CO2, and it does not correlate well with global warming or cooling either; in fact, CO2 in the atmosphere trails warming which is clear natural evidence for its well-studied inverse solubility in water: CO2 dissolves in cold water and bubbles out of warm water. The equilibrium in seawater is very high, making seawater a great 'sink'; CO2 is 34 times more soluble in water than air is soluble in water.
Correlation is not causation to be sure. The causation has been studied, however, and while the radiation from the sun varies only in the fourth decimal place, the magnetism is awesome. As I understand it, the hypothesis of the Danish National Space Center goes as follows:
Quiet sun → reduced magnetic and thermal flux = reduced solar wind → geomagnetic shield drops → galactic cosmic ray flux → more low-level clouds and more snow → more albedo effect (more heat reflected) → colder climate
Active sun → enhanced magnetic and thermal flux = solar wind → geomagnetic shield response → less low-level clouds → less albedo (less heat reflected) → warmer climate
That is how the bulk of climate change might work, coupled with (modulated by) sunspot peak frequency there are cycles of global warming and cooling like waves in the ocean. When the waves are closely spaced, the planets warm; when the waves are spaced farther apart, the planets cool.
Using a box of air in a Copenhagen lab, physicists traced the growth of clusters of molecules of the kind that build cloud condensation nuclei. These are specks of sulphuric acid on which cloud droplets form. High-energy particles driven through the laboratory ceiling by exploded stars far away in the Galaxy - the cosmic rays - liberate electrons in the air, which help the molecular clusters to form much faster than climate scientists have modeled in the atmosphere. That may explain the link between cosmic rays, cloudiness and climate change.
The ultimate cause of the solar magnetic cycle may be cyclicity in the Sun-Jupiter centre of gravity. We await more on that. In addition, although the post 60s warming period is over, it has allowed the principal green house gas, water vapour, to kick in with humidity, clouds, rain and snow depending on where you live to provide the negative feedback that scientists use to explain the existence of complex life on Earth for 550 million years. The planet heats and cools naturally and our gasses are the thermostat. Check the web site of the Danish National Space Center. http://www.space.dtu.dk/English/Research...
Keeping in mind that windmills are hazardous to birds, be wary of the unintended consequences of the all-knowing environmental lobby groups.