I love debates, especially on topics that I have done a lot of readings already. Like climate change, drug price control, intellectual property rights (IPR) and health, taxes, free market, free trade, limited government, and so on.
I encountered a long debate with some believers of the man-made warming religion (MMWR) this week in facebook. A Korean friend posted in his facebook status this note:
“UNEP Sustainer just launched a new article about relations climate cahnge and politic. This is presenting our mission and identity. We are oppositing to Climate scepticism unlike opinion of Mr. Nonoy from Phillipines.”
I said “No problem, friend. Did you see my latest compilation of articles on the subject, "Essays on climate alarmism part 2", 20 pages long, http://www.minimalgovernment.net/media/mg_20100825.pdf.
Also my review of the book "Climatism!" by Steve Goreham. It has lots of graphs and satellite pictures, showing that "man-made warming" is based on faith, not science. That's why it can be considered as a religion. See here, http://funwithgovernment.blogspot.com/2010/08/climatism.html
Most warmers would quickly jump on “appeal to political authority” attitude and launch some ad-hominem attacks like this one:
"That's only his (Mr. Goreham) rhetoric for some propagation. I bet Steve is not a climatologist. I believe the coordinated and agreed opinions from hundreds of climate scientists from IPCC members, rather than one writer with different scientific background who never published a paper on the scientific journal. That's very typical tactics used by climate skeptics."
Since it is a clear example of ad-hominem attack – attacking the messenger, not the message – I quickly countered that all the top leaders of the MMWR are non-scientists. Al Gore is a politician. Rajendra Pachari, IPCC chairman, is an economist. Lord Stern of UK is also an economist. Leonardo di Caprio is an actor. The "big" scientists in the warming camp like Michael Mann and Phil Jones were involved in the "climategate" scandals.
We should focus on the science because that's what Al Gore and the IPCC do not want the public to do. They want the public to become idiot and not ask questions on the physical science basis of the MMWR. They say, "Science is settled, debate is over, everyone shut up and listen to what we say."
The other guy on the MMWR replied that
"Climate science is very complex. Nobody understands the whole system. Only peer reviewed opinions should be trusted. We don’t have much time to argue about it. We already emitted substantial amount of greenhouse gases and it is very likely that global temperature will exceed 2 degree celsius compared to pre-industrial era unless we succeed to mitigate drastically within 15 years.”
For me, this is a clear example of the aggressive attitude by the advocates of the MMWR. This attitude goes like this: “We have no more time for debate, enough of debates, time for action, to accept lots of new environmental regulations, lots of carbon taxation.”
I am not a scientist. My academic training and professional work is economics and economic research. But I read a number of literatures about climate science. I have attended Heartland Institute's 2nd and 4th international conference on climate change (ICCC) in NY last year and Chicago this year. It is a high level scientific conference and I have heard a lot of scientists there -- solar physicists, meteorologists, climatologists, geologists, biologists, ex-astronauts, ex-NASA scientists, etc. So many skeptical voices from scientific point of view. And all key leaders and scientists of IPCC, Al Gore, are always invited there, and they all chicken out, they are all cowards to face real debates.
About “peer reviewed papers only”, the IPCC 4th Assessment Report (AR4) has dozens of non-peer reviewed papers incorporated in it. The "Himalayangate" scandal in that report did not come from any scientific journal, but from a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) campaign material. Glaciergate, Judithgate, lots of it.
Another believer of MMWR suggested that "Perhaps Nonoy can briefly state the main arguments of climate skeptics and we can see if those can be responded to equally briefly in this thread."
It’s a good suggestion and my answer is very simple: There is climate cycle of warming-cooling-warming-cooling. They are driven by natural factors -- the Sun, pacific decadal oscillation (PDO), volcanoes, water vapor and other natural greenhouse gases (GHGs). Human influence like carbon emission plays a very minor influence on the Earth’s climate.
Global warming was true. It happened in the last century, it happened during the medieval warm period (MWP), and in earlier periods. Global cooling was also true. It happened in the last little ice age (LIA, during the Maundeer minimum and Dalton minimum), it is happening this decade and the coming years.
To say therefore that the recent warming is "unprecedented" is 100% lie. There were plenty of precedents, of periods in the past where there was global warming while human carbon emission was almost zero.
That guy recognized and thanked my reply. Then added another question:
“If the climate cycle is driven ‘mainly’ by natural factors, does it mean that humans cannot "add" to the level of carbon emissions to such an extent that it can push the climate beyond its natural cyle? Similarly, if global warning can happen in the past when human carbon emission was zero, does it mean that we can now emit all the carbon that we want and it will not push the global temperatures to dangerous/catastrophic levels?”
This is a good and valid question. Let’s take some facts. Current CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is 390 parts per million (ppm). At the start of the industrial revolution, it was about 285 ppm. Early or middle of this decade, it was 385. Those are chicken numbers. Make it 400, make it 500 ppm. Then do the math: 500 / 1,000,000 = 0.05 percent. Is that so alarming? Make it 1,000 ppm, that's 0.10 percent. So alarming?
The gas that we exhale, the gas that our dogs, chicken, cows, pigs, etc. exhale, is CO2. The gas that our rice, vegetables, flowers, trees, need to produce food via photosynthesis, is CO2. Now the MMWR says that CO2 is an evil gas that must be regulated and taxed as much as possible to discourage its continued large human emission.
Another thing to consider is the role of cloud feedback. Does initial, small warming from humanity's carbon emission result in positive or negative feedback in cloud formation? Both are possibilities, but data gathered by some climatologists suggest that the answer is negative feedback, not positive. See Dr. Roy Spencer's discussions, http://www.drroyspencer.com/
The guy is a climatologist whose work at the Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) includes interpreting satellite data from NASA’s Aqua satellite – tropospheric temperature, sea surface temperature (SST), shortwave radiation, among others. He is also a former NASA scientist.
The other guy checked one of the graphs I presented in my book review of “Climatism!” and made this comment:
"Total CO2 in the column of troposphere which is about 15 km high deflects the long wave radiation, radiated from the land surface. Human breath, animals and vegetation don’t need to be blamed for that. Only fossil fuel based economy is emitting annually ~30 GtCO2 and total CO2 in the atmosphere amount to 760 GtCO2. Total amount is rapidly increasing and CO2 concentration keep increasing close to 390 ppm. This ‘rate’ of CO2 increment and temperature rise is unprecedented. I say again “the rate”. If you look at the time scale of paleoclimate data figure over the 400 000 years (http://funwithgovernment.blogspot.com/2010/08/climatism.html), one scale is about 10,000 years.
For the past 200 years, CO2 concentration nearly doubled and mean temperature rose ~ 0.7 ºC. If you plot it on the same paleo-climate data, this graph would looks like almost vertical line. This is why scientists say this is "unprecedented” and very likely caused by anthropogenic forcing. Due to this CO2 increment, stratosphere is cooling, thermosphere is shrinking, increasing reflected long radiation is detected, less heat is escaping to space (monitored by satellites), more fossil fuel carbons detected in coral reef. All of those facts are monitored, detected, proved and peer-reviewed, published. Regarding your 2nd arguments, that’s his hypothesis not the agreed results. I’m not a climatologist but I’m writing as much as I know based on published results and basic sciences."
Ok, so what accounted for CO2 concentration of nearly 300 ppm about 130,000 yrs ago from the Vostoc ice cores data? Due also to anthropogenic forcing? But there was zero car or even bicycle during that time, zero fossil fuel emission from any motorized engine. The lesson from that data is that global warming or cooling determined the level of CO2, not the other way around. The lag that was estimated from those data is about 800 yrs.
The important point is that there was, there is, large debates on-going on the causes of those warming-cooling periods. It is totally wrong to say, "debate is over, science is settled" so that everyone should just listen to what Al Gore and the IPCC say we should do. If debates are on-going, if climate science is so uncertain, then why are we taxpayers paying for all those expensive and frequent global climate meetings, paying for carbon taxes, paying for new climate bureaucracies?
That's why MMWR can also be considered as the great climate robbery. See for instance how one Philippine climate official want to borrow $100 billion for the next 10 yrs in climate loans. The level of this climate robbery when this materializes, will be bigger than all the robbery by past dictators and government thieves of the Philippines, http://funwithgovernment.blogspot.com/2010/09/climate-loans-racket-part-2.html.
And here’s additional comment from one of those guys:
"Why should the world be taking action on climate change despite the skepticism against the consensus of the scientific community? Maybe because the cost of not taking action and being proven wrong is something that humanity cannot afford?"
But there is zero scientific consensus. As I said, there are large debates on-going. See for instance, http://petitionproject.org/. Some 31,400+ American scientists openly declared that "there is no convincing scientific evidence" of man-made warming. If there is zero consensus, why do politicians and carbon thieves take over?
And these are their counter-comments,
"Wow! I want to meet those students. I wonder why they do not appear in AGU(American Geophysical Union) conference and why they do not present their groundbreaking results in front of their peers. They would win another Nobel prize, if they could prove the science wrong. I want to see them seriously and want to be convinced."
"Just a quick glance at it and I can see that it turns climate science on its head! Rather than cutting CO2 emissions, these scientists are actually arguing that we should welcome them! I'm baffled, to say the least!”
The Sun as main driver of the Earth's climate (warming and cooling) is also a theory but carbon regulators and eco socialists do not like that theory, they cannot regulate the Sun and solar energy. PDO as an important driver of the Earth's climate is also a theory, but eco-socialists don't like that either, they cannot regulate Pacific Ocean's decadal oscillation. Volcanoes and natural degassing is also a theory but eco-socialists do not like that too, they cannot regulate volcanoes and degassing from tectonic movements. It is much easy to demonize, regulate and tax carbon emission, so all political forces, UN climate money, are on regulating carbon.
Indeed it is a large-scale carbon robbery project. Check for instance how much carbon and energy taxes many governments will slap their own taxpayers.
The guys from the MMWR are persistent. One suggested,
"Presuming the climate change is indubitable, developing countries like the Philippines should not be getting loans for climate change mitigation, but grants for climate change adaptation, following the principle of climate justice."
I say whether loans or grants, it is the same climate rent-seeking and robbery. You want even higher taxes for the taxpayers of Europe, Japan, US-Canada, etc. so that climate officials and politicians in the Phiilippines and other poorer countries will enjoy if not steal?
The eco-socialists, eco-capitalists, eco-thieves and eco-saviours, everyone should pause, listen and let the on-going debate among scientists continue. So all global meetings by the UN FCCC, all moves to create new climate bureaucracies, all climate loans, all legislations for carbon taxes, all new climate regulations, should stop. Let us allow the scientific debate to have a general judgment.
And another counter-argument:
"Not if we agree that those responsible for CO2 emissions should take prime responsibility for climate change action. Not if organized citizens can make sure that the grants really go to adaptation measures in agriculture, for example, which is supposed to be the most vulnerable to climate change impact."
Come on, there is NO scientific consensus until now that CO2 emission is evil, that it is the main cause of the past century's warming, nothing. But people keep arguing that the MMWR is so true and all those bureaucratic meetings, climate loans racket, high carbon taxation etc, should continue.
Hello, Cancun, Mexico! November this year, thousands of climate bureaucrats, politicians, politician-posturing environmentalists and NGOs, media, showbiz superstars, and many more will descend on you. Their goal is simple: to have a global ecological central planning action plan.