Friday, July 18, 2008

Global Warming Opponents Have Gone Bonkers!

It is amazing how, just by having a discussion about it, some people have gone way over the edge and proclaim something a nanometer short of victory. Holy cow!

Now, I mentioned earlier the APS Forum on Physics and Society's July newsletter, that included a discussion on Global Warming issues. I highlighted the WHOLE newsletter, so that you can see the content, especially the two papers that have rather opposite views on Global Warming. I didn't want you to just read one without the other.

However, various rabid anti-global warming sites and blogs have somehow taken such open discussion and ran away with it. This website even proclaimed that "The Myth of Consensus Explodes". The same goes with this blog entry. They are just going ga-ga with the flimsiest piece of thread that somehow, a branch of the APS (of which I am a member of - both the APS and the division of Forum on Physics and Society) would open a discussion on such an issue.

But here's the thing - did they actually READ the papers? There are two problems with the kind of "reporting" that was done here:

(i) They never mentioned about the OTHER article by David Hafemeister & Peter Schwartz in the SAME issue of the newsletter that draws up very clear conclusion:

Earth is getting warmer. Basic atmospheric models clearly predict that additional greenhouse gasses will raise the temperature of Earth. To argue otherwise, one must prove a physical mechanism that gives a reasonable alternative cause of warming. This has not been done. Sunspot and temperature correlations do not prove causality.

This omission is misleading at best, and dishonest at worst. They highlighted ONLY the article by Christopher Monckton.

(ii) and speaking of the Monckton article, here's the conclusion that he came up with:

Even if temperature had risen above natural variability, the recent solar Grand Maximum may have been chiefly responsible. Even if the sun were not chiefly to blame for the past half-century’s warming, the IPCC has not demonstrated that, since CO2 occupies only one-ten-thousandth part more of the atmosphere that it did in 1750, it has contributed more than a small fraction of the warming. Even if carbon dioxide were chiefly responsible for the warming that ceased in 1998 and may not resume until 2015, the distinctive, projected fingerprint of anthropogenic “greenhouse-gas” warming is entirely absent from the observed record. Even if the fingerprint were present, computer models are long proven to be inherently incapable of providing projections of the future state of the climate that are sound enough for policymaking. Even if per impossibilethe models could ever become reliable, the present paper demonstrates that it is not at all likely that the world will warm as much as the IPCC imagines. Even if the world were to warm that much, the overwhelming majority of the scientific, peer-reviewed literature does not predict that catastrophe would ensue. Even if catastrophe might ensue, even the most drastic proposals to mitigate future climate change by reducing emissions of carbon dioxide would make very little difference to the climate. Even if mitigation were likely to be effective, it would do more harm than good: already millions face starvation as the dash for biofuels takes agricultural land out of essential food production: a warning that taking precautions, “just in case”, can do untold harm unless there is a sound, scientific basis for them. Finally, even if mitigation might do more good than harm, adaptation as (and if) necessary would be far more cost-effective and less likely to be harmful.

In short, we must get the science right, or we shall get the policy wrong. If the concluding equation in this analysis (Eqn. 30) is correct, the IPCC’s estimates of climate sensitivity must have been very much exaggerated. There may, therefore, be a good reason why, contrary to the projections of the models on which the IPCC relies, temperatures have not risen for a decade and have been falling since the phase-transition in global temperature trends that occurred in late 2001. Perhaps real-world climate sensitivity is very much below the IPCC’s estimates. Perhaps, therefore, there is no “climate crisis” at all. At present, then, in policy terms there is no case for doing anything. The correct policy approach to a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing.

After reading the article, and with this conclusion, the best that I can come up with is that he is claiming that non of the global warming evidence and scenario are air tight. Well, duh! That's like people arguing that the Big Bang theory shouldn't be taught because we have no air tight evidence that it did happen, or that evolution should be adopted in schools because there's no solid "evidence" for it. (BTW, did any of these blog sites also conveniently missed the two solid articles reviewing Evolution versus Creationsm?)

With that kind of parameters and phase space, such lack of definite certainty is a given! However, the question here isn't whether they are a certainty, but rather whether they are credible enough to be considered valid. There are a lot more evidence pointing to the validity of the conclusion by Hafemeister & Schwartz than to Monckton. That is a FACT.

But the scariest part in all of this is the suggestion that we should just continue doing nothing. In other words, why don't you continue smoking that cigarette until we have definite, conclusive proof that it really isn't good for your health. Or, why don't you continue to take this drug while we sort out all of this contradicting claims that it can either kill you, or make you the healthiest person on earth. So why don't you continue to pollute the world that we live in until, you know, we completely agree on the fact that we are really killing our planet.



RonSpross said...

In a world of no adverse consequences, one might be merely amused by the way Monckton characterizes the CO2 increase: "CO2 occupies only one-ten-thousandth part more of the atmosphere that it did in 1750 ..."

Of course that "one-ten-thousandth increase" is also more than a thirty percent increase over 1750 levels.

George said...

Why do the Carbon Credit Pushers have such a cow when someone points out that theirs is a false religion?

Challenging their crackpot theory is a heresy that they must immediately suppress. Torquemada would be proud of the APS National Council.

ZapperZ said...

APS National Council? What is that and what do they have anything to do with this?


parkenf said...

Christopher Monckton is many things, including one of the more vociferous proponents of climate scepticism, but one thing he isn't is a trained scientist, of any stripe. I don't say this to criticise him - he's a polemicist and newspaper writer and that's what he does - but if there is respectable, sober, scientifically based opposition to AGW then shouldn't that be represented in these debates? Or is it the case that the criticism is either dramatic or scientific, but never both?

Anonymous said...

I love how hobby scientists, who have probably never worked with a spreadsheet with more than 10 columns of data, enjoy posting their neo-science, which they read on a blog by some physics graduate from a bible college in Mississippi, as if it is well-researched and proven. What a crock. Don't worry this is all in Jaweh's plan and therefore we shouldn't pay a cent more for anything because we are all just predestined anyway....wake up and smell the BS people.