Saturday, October 25, 2008

Information About Global Warming and Climate Change


Blogs I read
Andrew Bolt
Anthony Watts
Graham Young
Joseph D’Aleo
Kerry Miller
Lubos Motl
Marc Morano
Matt Briggs
Neil Hewett
Paul Biggs
Tim Blair
Warwick Hughes

Carbon Dioxide, Ocean Acidification And Global Warming

Here is another geological, or geochemical explanation of why slightly increasing levels of carbon dioxide are not going to destroy planet Earth. Are mankinds carbon dioxide emissions causing global warming and climate change? Impossible.

Not Enough CO2 in Fossil Fuels to Make Oceans Acidic: A Note from Professor Plimer
Posted by admin, October 24th, 2008 - under Opinion.Tags: ,
In response to a question concerning the likelihood of our oceans becoming acidic from global warming Ian Plimer, University of Adelaide, has replied:

THE oceans have remained alkaline during the Phanerozoic (last 540 million years) except for a very brief and poorly understood time 55 million years ago.

Rainwater (pH 5.6) reacts with the most common minerals on Earth (feldspars) to produce clays, this is an acid consuming reaction, alkali and alkaline earths are leached into the oceans (which is why we have saline oceans), silica is redeposited as cements in sediments, the reaction consumes acid and is accelerated by temperature (see below).

In the oceans, there is a buffering reaction between the sea floor basalts and sea water (see below). Sea water has a local and regional variation in pH (pH 7.8 to 8.3). It should be noted that pH is a log scale and that if we are to create acid oceans, then there is not enough CO2 in fossil fuels to create oceanic acidity because most of the planet’s CO2 is locked up in rocks.
When we run out of rocks on Earth or plate tectonics ceases, then we will have acid oceans.
In the Precambrian, it is these reactions that rapidly responded to huge changes in climate (-40 deg C to +50 deg C), large sea level changes (+ 600m to -640m) and rapid climate shifts over a few thousand years from ’snowball’ or ’slushball’ Earth to very hot conditions (e.g. Neoproterozoic cap carbonates that formed in water at ~50 deg C lie directly on glacial rocks). During these times, there were rapid changes in oceanic pH and CO2 was removed from the oceans as carbonate. It is from this time onwards (750 Ma) that life started to extract huge amounts of CO2 from the oceans, life has expanded and diversified and this process continues (which is why we have low CO2 today.

The history of CO2 and temperature shows that there is no correlation.
Ask your local warmer:
1. Why was CO2 15 times higher than now in the Ordovician-Silurian glaciation?

2. Why were both methane and CO2 higher than now in the Permian glaciation?

3. Why was CO2 5 times higher than now in the Cretaceous-Jurassic glaciation?

The process of removing CO2 from the atmosphere via the oceans has led to carbonate deposition (i.e. CO2 sequestration).

The atmosphere once had at least 25 times the current CO2 content, we are living at a time when CO2 is the lowest it has been for billions of years, we continue to remove CO2 via carbonate sedimentation from the oceans and the oceans continue to be buffered by water-rock reactions (as shown by Walker et al. 1981).

The literature on this subject is large yet the warmers chose to ignore this literature.
These feldspar and silicate buffering reactions are well understood, there is a huge amount of thermodynamic data on these reactions and they just happened to be omitted from argument by the warmers.

When ocean pH changes, the carbon species responds and in more acid oceans CO2 as a dissolved gas becomes more abundant.

Royer, D. L., Berner, R. A. and Park, J. 2007: Climate sensitivity constrained by CO2 concentrations over the past 420 million years. Nature 446: 530-532.
Bice, K. L., Huber, B. T. and Norris, R. D. 2003: Extreme polar warmth during the Cretaceous greenhouse? Paradox of Turonian ∂18O record at Deep Sea Drilling Project Site 511. Palaeoceanography 18:1-11.
Veizer, J., Godderis, Y. and Francois, L. M. 2000: Evidence for decoupling of atmospheric CO2 and global climate during the Phanerozoic eon. Nature 408: 698-701.
Donnadieu, Y., Pierehumbert, R., Jacob, R. and Fluteau, F. 2006: Cretaceous climate decoupled from CO2 evolution. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 248: 426-437.
Hay, W. W., Wold, C. N., Soeding, E. and Floegel, S. 2001: Evolution of sediment fluxes and ocean salinity. In: Geologic modeling and simulation: sedimentary systems (Eds Merriam, D. F. and Davis, J. C.),
Kluwer, 163-167.Knauth, L. P. 2005: Temperature and salinity history of the Precambrian ocean: implications for the course of microbial evolution. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 219: 53-69.
Rogers, J. J. W. 1996: A history of the continents in the past three billion years. Journal of Geology 104: 91-107.
Velbel, M. A. 1993: Temperature dependence of silicate weathering in nature: How strong a negative feedback on long-term accumulation of atmospheric CO2 and global greenhouse warming? Geology 21:1059-1061
Kump, L. R., Brantley, S. L. and Arthur, M. A. 2000: Chemical weathering, atmospheric CO2 and climate. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 28: 611-667.
Gaillardet, J., Dupré, B., Louvat, P. and Allègre, C. J. 1999: Global silicate weathering and CO2 consumption rates deduced from the chemistry of large rivers. Chemical Geology 159: 3-30.
Berner, R. A., Lasagna, A. C. and Garrels, R. M. 1983: The carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle and its effect on atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past 100 million years. American Journal of Science 283: 641-683.
Raymo, M. E. and Ruddiman, W. F. 1992: Tectonic forcing of late Cenozoic climate. Nature 359: 117-122.Walker, J. C. B., Hays, P. B. and Kasting, J. F. 1981: A negative feedback mechanism for the long term stabilization of the Earth’s surface temperature. Journal of Geophysical Research 86: 9776-9782.
Berner, R. A. 1980: Global CO2 degassing and the carbon cycle: comment on ‘Cretaceous ocean crust at DSDP sites 417 and 418: carbon uptake from weathering vs loss by magmatic activity.” Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 54: 2889.
Schwartzman, D. W. and Volk, T. 1989: Biotic enhancement of weathering and the habitability of Earth. Nature 311: 45-47.
Berner, R. A. 1980: Global CO2 degassing and the carbon cycle: comment on ‘Cretaceous ocean crust at DSDP sites 417 and 418: carbon uptake from weathering vs loss by magmatic activity.” Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 54: 2889. CO2 + H2O = H2CO3 H2CO3 = H+ + HCO3- 2Ca2+ + 2HCO3- + KAl2AlSi3O10(OH)2 + 4H2O = 3Al3+ + K+ + 6SiO2 + 12H2O 2KAlSi3O8 + 2H+ + H2O = Al2Si2O5(OH)4 + 2K+ + 4SiO2 2NaAlSi3O8 + 2H+ + H2O = Al2Si2O5(OH)4 + 2K+ + 4SiO2 CaAl2Si2O8 + 2H+ + H2O = Al2Si2O5(OH)4 + Ca2+ KAl2AlSi3O10(OH)2 + 3Si(OH)4 + 10H+ = 3Al3+ + K+ + 6SiO2 + 12H2O CO2 + CaSiO3 = CaCO3 + SiO2 CO2 + FeSiO3 = FeCO3 + SiO2 CO2 + MgSiO3 = MgCO3 + SiO2
In the oceans, CO2 exists as dissolved gas (1%), HCO3- (93%) and CO32- (8%)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Seeking the Truth About Global Warming and Climate Change

This article comes from Britain. It is comforting to read how people from many different walks of life are speaking out against the myth of man-caused global warming. These are experienced and educated people. They are far from being radicals or extremists, and it is absurd for anyone to refer to them as deniers, equating that to those rare eccentrics who deny the holocaust. Read what these global warming skeptics have to say.

The climate change unbelievers
Global warming is happening and we're to blame, right? That's certainly the view of almost every expert in the field. But a die-hard band of naysayers continues to rail against the consensus. Are they completely mad? Judge for yourself...
By Tim Walker Sunday, 12 October 2008 (source)

The caption calls him the "high priest of deceit and global destruction". The picture has him belching fire like a dragon. And who is the subject of this highly personal attack? None other than Al Gore, who last year won the Nobel Peace Prize, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), for their success in bringing the climate-change crisis to global public attention.

Not everybody likes Gore and his beliefs about the future of our planet – and especially not Hans Schreuder, the 62-year-old former chemist who runs the Gore-baiting website (see page 29). Schreuder is one of the climate-change sceptics who continue to make their case despite the mounting evidence of climate change that we, the public, are presented with every day; despite the unanimous endorsement of climate-change theory by every national academy of science in the industrialised world.

Even President Bush, who stalled developments for so long, has conceded that climate change is real, and caused by man-made carbon emissions. And even Bush has tried, however half-heartedly, to do something about it in the last days of his administration. (Though the big challenge remains to persuade the new major emitters – China and India – to sign any agreement on reductions.)

The sceptics declare that the central evidence for carbon-driven climate change in the reports of the IPCC are nonsense. Specifically, the "hockey stick" graph, which correlates the steep rise in world temperatures to the steep rise in carbon emissions, and which Gore demonstrates, with the help of a hydraulic crane, in his film An Inconvenient Truth. Gore's opponents say there's evidence that world temperatures have, in fact, begun to fall since 2000.

In 2005, the House of Lords Economics Committee voiced "concerns" about the objectivity of the IPCC, suggesting some of the agency's emissions projections were "influenced by political considerations". The committee's claims were subsequently rejected by the Government and the Stern Review on the economics of climate change, but the vested-interests argument unites sceptics, and mirrors the accusations often levelled at them in turn, that they are in the pockets of big oil, big gas, or the US Republican Party.

The sceptics come from the worlds of politics, economics, television and, crucially, science. David Bellamy (opposite), a professor of botany who was formerly the televisual face of eco-evangelism, has been compared with a Holocaust denier because he doesn't believe carbon emissions cause climate change. Climatologist Piers Corbyn (page 25) is convinced climate change is caused by solar activity, not CO2. Economist Ruth Lea (page 25) warns of the IPCC's political and business interests. Martin Durkin (page 28), maker of the documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle, says the green industry is in too deep to afford to acknowledge scientific law. And the former Chancellor, Nigel Lawson (page 27), maintains that though the science of climate change could be broadly correct, its consequences have been exaggerated.

Should we give their opinions the time of day? Whether you agree or not (and chances are you won't), the climate-change sceptics have no intention of shutting up.

The conservationist: David Bellamy
David Bellamy is an environmental campaigner and former television presenter. He was senior lecturer in Botany at Durham University until 1982, where he is now an honorary professor
"Global warming is the biggest scam since the church sold indulgences back in the Middle Ages. If our Government actually believes that all those people are going to die, why did it build Terminal Five?

"I've been doing research on the stability of ecosystems, which is all tied up with human activity, for 22 years. That's why I became a leading greenie in the early days. I have probably stood on more picket lines than anyone to stop forest-clearing, wind farms and the overfishing of the sea. But when the scientific arguments don't add up, one starts to question them: CO2 levels have risen in the atmosphere, but why don't all the other bits of science fall in around that?

"The speed of retreat of glaciers worldwide has not changed. The latest data shows that both the northern and southern ice caps are actually growing. The recent studies of the ice core show that rises in temperature are followed by a release of carbon dioxide, not the other way around. I'll be in New Zealand soon, and two of the major glaciers there are growing like the clappers. And from 1998 there has been no rise at all in the temperature of the earth. Indeed, all the sunspot data tells us we're headed for 15 very cold years.

"Many peer-reviewed papers show that as CO2 goes up, many plants and forests grow up to 40 per cent faster. The New Scientist has reported that 300,000 square kilometres of former desert are now covered with trees. Why don't we have all those good points publicised?
"Global temperature has risen at a natural rate that began 300 years ago. That slope of change has not changed since then, so how can we say that carbon is the driver? The sun has more correlations with temperature change than carbon.

"The whole world is hooked on a fear of carbon, and there really is nothing to fear.
"The scientific consensus is not strong, but every time I turn on the television or read a newspaper, I hear that it is. The BBC constantly tells us the lakes in Africa are drying up because of global warming. The lakes are drying up because of the dams around them, and the fact that we are using that local water to produce cut flowers for the European market. Why aren't we told these things?

"If you go through the peer-reviewed literature on our side of the argument, it's near-unanimous in not predicting climate catastrophe. But it has got to a state of McCarthyism within science. As a university don, I used to try to get every tenth paper of mine into [the weekly science journal] Nature. But Nature will not touch any papers which are anti the global-warming ethic. I have been called a Holocaust denier. If they weren't really frightened they were losing the argument, they wouldn't write those things."

The economist: Ruth Lea
Ruth Lea is economic adviser to the Arbuthnot Banking Group, and formerly held positions including director of the Centre for Policy Studies, head of the Policy Unit at the Institute of Directors, and economics editor of ITN

"The foundation of our climate-change policy is the projections made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We've signed up to the IPCC, as an agency of the UN, and it's portrayed as an impartial, independent scientific organisation. In fact, it's highly political, most of its members are governmental appointees, and it contains a strong element of evangelical environmentalism. But whatever you think about it politically, you have to look at its projections, as they are core to the whole debate.

"The IPCC makes assumptions on economic growth, assumptions on fuel prices and demographics, then it puts all these assumptions into a model, which produces a forecast for carbon-dioxide emissions. Then it puts those results into a climate model, which predicts temperature change for the next century.

"I wouldn't claim to be qualified to speak about the climate models, but as an economist and statistician, I look at its predictions for economic growth, fuel consumption, demographics and so on, and I ask myself how it can possibly know what these will be by the end of the century.
"I made some economic forecasts about six weeks ago, and then we were hit by a financial crisis, so who knows where fuel costs are going? Yet the IPCC says it knows what'll be happening in 100 years' time.

"Climate-change policy is predicated on the IPCC stuff being taken as gospel. When I started to study the economics, I was shocked. Like many people, I assumed the IPCC findings were rock- solid and unquestionable. But when I looked at how it made its projections, I was horrified. I don't think people realise the vast uncertainties. When you hear people saying the temperature is going to rise by four degrees this century, do you hear anyone explaining that there's only a 0.001 probability that will happen? No.

"I wrote a sceptical letter to the FT in 2006, and there was a very dismissive, patronising, curt response from the Royal Society as if to say, 'How dare you question any of this?' I was amazed at its tone. And the writer and environmentalist George Monbiot has accused me of being financed by the oil companies. If only!

"Anybody who disputes the IPCC's projections is branded a Holocaust denier. I find that offensive. If I had relatives who'd been murdered in the Holocaust, I'd be beside myself with anger.

"When I started to utter my views, I discovered there were quite a few vested interests in green industry, not least in carbon-trading. And boy, they didn't like it. Questioning this stuff rips away the foundations of their business.

"There are probably more economists in a position to speak freely than there are scientists – we can afford to. The problem for scientists is that they have to go along with government policy, which currently states that we're all going to be fried alive in the next 50 years."

The climatologist: Piers Corbyn
Piers Corbyn is the maverick weather forecaster and owner of Weather Action, which makes forecasts up to a year in advance based on Corbyn's theory of the 'Solar Weather Technique'
"There's no evidence that carbon dioxide drives world temperatures or climate change. The 'hockey stick' is fraud, Al Gore's film is fraud, and schemes to remove CO2 from the atmosphere by machines are a scam.

"Temperatures rose since about 1915, but if you look in more detail, estimates show that they've declined since 2002. As it grew, the global-warming empire set about trying to find data to prove its case, but the data it found actually disproves its case. That's why the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Project doesn't highlight the results that negate the theory.

"The idea that climate change causes extreme weather is preposterous. The average number of landfall storms per decade in the US was higher between 1900 and 1960 than in the past 30 or so years. I've met scientists who've said I'm probably right, but if you're in a university funded to research global warming, you're not going to speak up.

"People say that I oppose climate-change theory because I want my way of forecasting to be proved right. But the reason I think the CO2 theory is wrong is that the CO2 theory is wrong."

The politician: Nigel Lawson
Now Lord Lawson of Blaby, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer this year published 'An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming', in which he was critical of climate-change policy, including the Kyoto Protocol and the Stern Review

"There has been no global warming this century, and that is apparent from figures produced by the Hadley Centre, the branch of the UK Met Office that monitors world temperatures.
"There's also uncertainty over the impact of climate change, even if it does happen. If you take the trouble to read the IPCC reports, there's a mixed bag of potential consequences, some of them beneficial.

"After the hot summer of 2003, the Department of Health looked into what might happen in the UK if the temperature by 2050 matched predictions. It found there would be an increase in deaths from dehydration of 2,000 per year, but a reduction in deaths from hypothermia of 20,000 per year.

"We're told that there has to be a global agreement to deal with global warming, to cut back drastically on carbon-dioxide emissions, but it's simply not going to happen. The Chinese and Indians have made it clear that they're not going to cut back, and with good reason. Their number-one priority is to get their people out of poverty. That means the most rapid possible rate of growth, which means using the cheapest available form of energy, which, now and for the foreseeable future, is carbon-based energy.

"If warming occurs, we should adapt, as mankind has always done. People live in a whole range of climates already. Technology will develop in ways that we can't predict. We can help poor countries to adapt with aid programmes, which will be infinitely cheaper than wrecking our own economies.

"There is a great clash going on between the developing world and the developed world over this, which is politically dangerous. People as diverse as the EU industry commissioner, President Sarkozy of France, and the Democrats in the US Congress, are saying that if China and India won't cut back emissions, then we must impose tariffs on their goods. That kind of retreat into protectionism would be very damaging economically.

"Still, I think you'll find now that both major parties are giving this issue a lot less prominence than they were a year ago, and that is all to the good. The last thing we want is foolish and damaging commitments being made."'

The polemicist: Martin Durkin
Martin Durkin is the documentary-maker behind The Great Global Warming Swindle, which was shown on Channel 4 in 2007 and became the subject of an Ofcom enquiry. He was already known as the 'scourge of the greens' for some of his previous work, including the 1997 series Against Nature, which was critical of the environmental movement

"The premise of The Great Global Warming Swindle was that climate-change science doesn't stack up. We had to ask, if it's true that the science is weak, then why the scare? It had to be about the phenomenon of a scare as much as the science.

"Take BSE; we were told that half the population would die because we'd all eaten dodgy hamburgers. It was backed by the Government's chief scientist, yet it is now acknowledged as nonsense. Anyone with a long memory will remember the 'next ice age' scare in the early-1970s. There is a culture that produces scares.

"My first brush with the environmental movement came about 12 years ago, when Channel 4 asked me to make a series about it. There was a long line of environmental scares – about population, resource depletion, GM food – and I wanted to find out whether they were rational.
"I discovered quickly that a section of society – broadly speaking, the bureaucratic middle-classes – are instinctively anti-industry, anti-supermarkets, anti-cars. Scientists, teachers and university lecturers are part of this section. They fall into a tradition of romantic anti-capitalism, which finds modernity aesthetically distasteful. They used to have a disparate set of prejudices, but global warming linked them all up and gave them the uber-apocalypse they were after.

"If they cause a rumpus, then politicians will say, 'We're putting £20m into research' because they want to be seen to be doing something. Then anyone who's doing a PhD in stoats is advised by their supervisor to do it on stoats in relation to global warming, which releases those funds.
"Objectively, it is staggeringly obvious that climate-change science is complete twaddle. There is no correlation, on any meaningful timescale whatsoever, between CO2 and temperature. Take the politics and the grants out of it, and no one would take it seriously.

"Nearly all the letters we get are positive: if this was a working-class movement, or some rough types believed in it, then I might have been threatened. But they're just a bunch of quiche-eating hippies. What are they going to do – wave their panini at me?

"I think they're trying to inhibit progress, to stifle people's creativity and freedom, and hold back development, particularly in poor countries. It's like Laurens van der Post, the anthropologist who studied African tribes and jolly well didn't want them to change because their culture was so interesting. Well, Van der Post lived in a nice flat in Chelsea while the poor bastards out in Africa were eating mud. I'm in favour of us all leading better lives.

"How conscious were the Nazis of what they were doing? Look at DDT, the insecticide that the greens had banned internationally, thereby causing the deaths of about 50 million people [due to malaria]. We should be made conscious of the consequences of our actions."

The activist: Hans Schreuder
Hans Schreuder is a former analytical chemist from the Netherlands, now living in Suffolk. After retiring, he set up the website to back his hypothesis that carbon dioxide bears no relation to global warming.
"I qualified as an analytical chemist in Holland in 1968 and spent about 15 years in analytical chemistry.

"I set up my site last year to prove that carbon dioxide is irrelevant to climate and climate change. I get about 5,000 or 6,000 hits every month. I wrote my final page in June, but I still publish papers by other people.

"What I want to get across is the fallacy that man can influence the climate by means of a fictitious greenhouse effect. It is just such a laughable idea, yet the western world has bought into it. The problem is, there's way too much money in it to dump it. But in the cold reality of Nature, there is no problem whatsoever with carbon dioxide.

"I'm off to Holland for a publicity stunt. I have a big 'I love my carbon dioxide' banner and a friend of mine wants to jump in the water around the parliament building in The Hague with it.
"I haven't been targeted by activists, which is a shame, as that would have created publicity. I called Al Gore a liar and lots of other things on the site, because I was hoping someone would sue me for defamation. But nobody has bothered."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Global Warming Alarmism A Threat To Freedom and Democracy

To read more by Mr. Vaclav Klaus and to learn more about global warming, climate change, energy issues, and geology, visit my other blog site here:

Global Warming Alarmism Must Be Challenged
The following article sums up why I and too few other scientists oppose the spread of the myth of man-caused global warming. We see the bigger picture, the cost to America's and the world's economies, the great harm this is doing and will do to people all over the world, AND as Mr. Vaclav Klaus says, it is a grave danger to our very freedom.

Vaclav Klaus is the current President of the Czech Republic. He gave this speech at the Hilton Hotel in Portland, Oregon on September 30, 2008

Global Warming Alarmism is Unacceptable and Should be Confronted

Written by Vaclav Klaus, Hawaii Reporter Wednesday, 01 October 2008

Many thanks for the invitation and for the opportunity to be here with all of you. I have visited the U.S. many times since the fall of communism in November 1989 when – after almost half a century – traveling to the free world became for people like me possible again, but I’ve never been to this beautiful city and to the state of Oregon before. Once again, thank you very much.I am expected to talk here about global warming today (even though I don’t really feel it, especially not in this room) and my address will be devoted mostly to this issue. As you may expect Oregon is – for me – in this respect connected with the well-known Oregon petition which warned and keeps warning against the irrationality and one-sidedness of the global warming campaign. Rational people know that the warming we experience is well within the range of what seems to have been a natural fluctuation over the last ten thousand years. We should keep saying this very loudly.

Before I start talking about this issue, I would like to put the topic of my today’s speech into the broader perspective. During my visits in the U.S. in the last 19 years, I made speeches on a wide range of topics. There has, however, always been a connection between them. They were all about freedom and about threats endangering it. My today’s speech will not be different. I will try to argue and to convince you that even the global warming issue is about freedom. It is not about temperature or CO2. It is, therefore, not necessary to discuss either climatology, or any other related natural science but the implications of the global warming panic upon us, upon our freedom, our prosperity, our institutions and our legislation. It is part of a bigger story.

At the time that followed immediately after the fall of communism, I spoke here about my (and our) experience with the dismantling of this tragic, irrational, repressive and inefficient system, about the experience with the rather complicated transition from one social system to a radically different one and with the intricacies of building a free society and market economy. We had learnt some useful lessons and they should not be forgotten. This is not an issue in my country anymore now, it is all over there, even though it continues to be relevant in other places of the world.

There are other phenomena that should be discussed and warned against now. I very carefully watch and study the situation on the European continent. Applauding the end of communism is not sufficient. I am more and more nervous about the developments that followed. I have always tried to explain to the Americans the meaning and substance of the European integration process and especially the undergoing shift from evolutionary and more or less natural (or genuine) integration, based on opening up, on liberalization, on elimination of various protectionist barriers, towards politically and bureaucratically organized unification. We are close to the formation of a supranational entity called the European Union, resulting in the weakening of democracy and free markets in Europe.

To be correctly understood, I am not against my country’s EU membership (by the way, it was me who handed in the formal application to enter the EU in 1996 when I was prime minister of the Czech Republic), because regretfully there is no other way to go in Europe these days. The recent developments in the EU are, however, very problematic: we see and feel less freedom, less democracy, less sovereignty, more of regulation, and more of extensive government intervention than we had expected when communism collapsed.

As if this wasn’t enough, in the recent years we came to witness yet another major attack on freedom and free markets, an attack based on environmentalism and – in particular – its global warming variant. The explicitly stated intentions of global warming activists are frightening. They want to change us, to change the whole mankind, to change human behavior, to change the structure and functioning of society, to change the whole system of values which has been gradually established during centuries. These intentions are dangerous and their consequences far-reaching. These people want to restrict our freedom. It is our duty to say NO.

As I said at the beginning, the current world-wide panic as regards dramatic, in the past allegedly unknown global climate changes and their supposedly catastrophic consequences for the future of human civilization must not remain without a resolute answer of the more or less silent majority of rationally thinking people.

After having studied this issue for a couple of years, I am convinced that this panic doesn’t have a solid ground and that it demonstrates an apparent disregard for the past experience of mankind. I know that its propagandists have been using all possible obstructions to avoid exposure to rational arguments and I know that the substance of their arguments is not science. It represents, on the contrary, an abuse of science by a non-liberal, extremely authoritarian, freedom and prosperity endangering ideology of environmentalism.

It is important to demonstrate that the global warming story is not an issue belonging to the field of natural sciences only or mostly, even though Al Gore and his fellow-travelers pretend it is the case. It is again, as always in the past, the old, for many of us well-known debate: freedom and free markets vs. dirigism, (Dirigisme (from the French) (in English also "dirigism" although per the OED both spellings are used) is an economic term designating an economy where the government exerts strong directive influence.)political control and expansive and unstoppable government regulation of human behavior. In the past, the market was undermined mostly by means of socialist arguments with slogans like: “stop the immiseration of the masses”.

Now, the attack is led under the slogan: stop the immiseration (or perhaps destruction) of the Planet.This shift seems to me dangerous. The new ambitions look more noble, more attractive and more appealing. They are also very shrewdly shifted towards the future and thus practically “immunized” from reality, from existing evidence, from available observations, and from standard testing of scientific hypotheses. That is the reason why they are loved by the politicians, the media and all their friends among public intellectuals. For the same reason I consider environmentalism to be the most effective and, therefore, the most dangerous vehicle for advocating large scale government intervention and unprecedented suppression of human freedom at this very moment.

Feeling very strongly about this danger and trying to oppose it was the main reason for my writing the book “Blue Planet in Green Shackles” (2) with its hopefully sufficiently understandable subtitle “What is endangered: Climate or Freedom?”. It has also been the driving force behind my active involvement in the current Climate Change Debate and behind my being the only head of state who openly and explicitly challenged the undergoing global warming hysteria at the UN Climate Change Conference in New York City in September 2007. (3)I am frustrated by the fact that many people, including some leading politicians, who privately express similar views, are more or less publicly silent. We keep hearing one-sided propaganda regarding the greenhouse hypothesis, but we are not introduced to serious counter-arguments, both inside climatology, and in the field of social sciences.

We, economists, owe the society a lot. We did not succeed in explaining the practical inexhaustibility of resources, including energy resources (on condition they are rationally used, which means with the help of undistorted prices and well-defined property rights). We did not come up with simple, well-argued and convincing studies about the costs and benefits of the currently proposed “green” measures and policies and about many other things.I feel very strongly about it. I used to live in a world where prices and property rights were made meaningless. It gave me the opportunity to see how irrationally the economy was organized and how damaged the environment was as a result. This experience tells me that we should not let anyone play the market again and dictate what to produce, how to produce it, what inputs to use, what technologies to implement. This would result in another disaster and in the true “immiseration of the masses”, especially in developing countries. We already see some evidence for this now.

We should also speak about the convincing human experience with technological progress and give reasons for our justified belief not only in its continuation but very probable acceleration in the future. It is rational to expect that technological changes will be more important than any potential climate changes. There is no need for technologic skepticism and no reason to expect that we will enter a stationary world – unless the environmentalists win the debate and stop human progress. (4)The economists should also discuss very relevant future shift in the structure of demand which will be based on the so called income or wealth effect. With higher income and wealth, people demand more of environmental protection which is a classic luxury good. It is, therefore, not necessary to radically decrease today’s consumption by coercion, because the much more affluent people in the future will have enough time to make rational consumption and investment decisions without our today’s “quasi-help”. Economic growth and the accumulation of wealth do not lead to deterioration of the environment. The empirical work in the field of the environmental Kuznets curves gives us reassuring arguments about it.

We should also explain to the non-experts the idea of discounting as the only rational basis for intergenerational comparisons, and for our today’s decisions about the future. Everyone who wants to protect future generations should express his or her presumptions about this intergenerational relationship and to clarify how he or she sees the future and what weight and importance he or she attaches to it. The environmentalists assume that no matter how distant the future is, it is of equal importance as the present, which is against human nature and experience. The objectively existing preference of rational human beings of the present over the future is traditionally discussed by means of the term discount rate. To defend this position is neither shortsightedness nor ignorance on our side. The models of the environmentalists produce strange results mainly because they consider the “social discount rate” to be zero or close to zero.Another issue is the rational or irrational risk aversion.

Every rational human being minimizes risks – but not at all costs. The precautionary principle, this dogma of environmentalists, leads to an unjustifiable maximization of risk aversion, which can in the end succeed in blocking and prohibiting almost everything. The environmentalists systematically overestimate the negative impacts of human activities and forget the positive ones. Such approach cannot bring good outcomes. We should offer standard cost-benefit analysis instead.Even more frustrating is the fact that the economists do not pay sufficient attention to the abuse of the words “market” and “price” by the global warming alarmists. They want nothing else than to tax us, but instead speak about market-friendly “emissions trading schemes”. We have to tell them that the emissions licenses are implicit taxes and that playing the market is impossible. The economists convincingly argue that tax changes have very large effects. Recent U.S. study (5) shows that “an exogenous tax increase of GDP lowers real GDP by roughly 2 to 3 per cent.” It works mostly through the strong response of investment to tax changes.

And the environmentalists keep advocating large tax increases under the disguise of the “price of carbon”.The global warming alarmists succeeded also in creating incentives which led to the rise of a very powerful rent-seeking group. These rent-seekers profit- from trading the licenses to emit carbon dioxide;- from constructing unproductive wind, sun and other equipments able to produce only highly subsidized electric energy;- from growing non-food crops which produce non-carbon fuels at the expense of producing food (with well-known side effects);- from doing research, writing and speaking about global warming.

These people represent a strong voice in the global warming debate. They are not interested in CO2, freedom or markets, they are interested in their businesses and their profits – “produced” with the help of politicians.With all my criticism, I hope it is evident that I am not speaking against paying due attention to the environment and to environmental protection, because that’s another story. I would also like to stress that I don’t oppose the claim that the climate-anthropogenic carbon dioxide nexus justifies watching and research, but I am convinced that the existing evidence does not justify the currently proposed expensive, economy and society disrupting and probably useless and ineffective measures.

As I said many times before: the current world-wide dispute is not about environment, it is about freedom. And I would add “about prosperity and living conditions of billions of people.” To avoid a disaster, “we should trust in the rationality of man and in the outcome of spontaneous evolution of human society, not in the virtues of political activism.”

Vaclav Klaus is the current President of the Czech Republic. He gave this speech at the Hilton Hotel in Portland, Oregon on September 20081 - Portland Speech, Cascade Policy Institute luncheon address, Hilton Hotel, September 30, 2008. 2 - Published by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C., May 2008 (originally in Czech language under the title Modrá, nikoli zelená planeta by Dokorán, s.r.o., Prague, Czech Republic, 2007). The German, Dutch, English, Russian and Spanish versions were published between December 2007 and July 2008. Polish and Bulgarian translations will be published in coming weeks and others are under preparation.3 - Speech at the Climate Change Conference, United Nations, New York, September 24th, 2007. See 4 - Is Schumpeter’s Vision of the End of Capitalism Relevant?, Speech at the Competitive Enterprise Institute Annual Dinner, 28 May 2008, Washington D.C.; see or - Christina Romer, David Romer, “The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks”, NBER Working Paper No 13264, Cambridge, MA, March 2007. Source

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Corruption Of Climate Science

We have said this before, the science behind the concept of man-caused (anthropogenic) global warming has been corrupted. Here is a partial explanation of how this has happened.

September 24, 2008

Corrupted science revealed

Jerome J. Schmitt (source)
Outsiders familiar with the proper workings of science have long known that modern Climate Science is dysfunctional. Now a prominent insider, MIT Meteorology Professor Richard S. Lindzen, confirms how Al Gore and his minions used Stalinist tactics to subvert, suborn and corrupt a whole branch of science, citing chapter and verse in his report entitled "Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?" His answer: A resounding "NO!"
Detailing the corruption, he names a series of names. Until reading this I did not know that
"For example, the primary spokesman for the American Meteorological Society in Washington is Anthony Socci who is neither an elected official of the AMS nor a contributor to climate science. Rather, he is a former staffer for Al Gore." Page 5

Although a bit lengthy, this very important report is highly readable and revealing. While some of the paragraphs are a bit technical, I encourage AT readers to wade through them because their purpose is to provide specific examples of how a radical cabal is forcing scientists to ignore or amend measurements that undermine the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming. Scientists are literally forced to include sentences in their papers that indicate their support of AGW, even if these sentences are non-sequiturs, or even if they conflict with the overall thrust of the paper. In this way, Al Gore's uneducated political commissars are able to deliver the "consensus" he so craves.

How is this possible you might ask? Prof. Lindzen gives considerable background history.
However, having been an undergraduate and graduate student in the hard sciences, and later a research collaborator with dozens of industrial scientists and university professors, perhaps I can shed some further light. Today's scientists get to the top of their field by extreme dedication to their specialty involving inordinate focus and concentration that cannot tolerate distractions. The best scientists are constantly "at home" at their lab bench, with their instruments, analyzing data, teaching a few promising students and preparing publications. Most scientists interact intensively only with other specialists in allied fields ("geeks").

Many scientists are naturalized citizens from Asia and Eastern Europe, unfamiliar and intimidated by American politics and government, to which they are dependent upon for visas and grant support. Although all stereotypes are unfair to individuals, there is some truth to the one of the shy, retiring, absent-minded professor. His or her absent-mindedness is most likely due to intense cogitation on a difficult scientific problem. Their dealings with one another are only possible by maintaining extreme standards of honesty, integrity and open-mindedness to scholarly debate in search of the truth. The very qualities that make them good scientists and scholars thus leave them ill-equipped to deal with the raucous, underhanded, disrespectful, politically-motivated radicals unleashed upon them by Al Gore and his fifth column for a "hostile takeover" of their scientific institutions.

I naively thought that the National Academy of Sciences could impose some quality-control on an errant discipline. Prof. Lindzen notes that event this august body has been penetrated by eco-activists by exploiting loopholes in its nominating procedures.
Fortunately, in science "truth will out". The long term faith of the American public in science, a trust built up since WWI is at stake. Next it will be important to see whether a prominent scientific journal publishes this revelation.

As an aside, for those who have wondered how leftist cabals were able in the 60's and 70's to take over our universities' humanity departments, the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment of the Humanities, Prof Lindzen's report lays bare the template for radicalization.

Posted at 11:58 AM Email Page Printed from: at October 01, 2008 - 05:17:42 PM EDT
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