Sunday, March 8, 2009

International Conference on Climate Change Preview

With the Second Annual International Conference on Climate Change coming up in New York City this week a couple of our regular contributors have written commentary on global warming. We offer their insights to you here.

The first, from Paul Driessen, is more opinion, focused on the energy consumers. Paul says, “Having followed and participated in the global warming debate for nearly 15 years now, I’ve become convinced that the conduct of climate alarmists closely resemble consumer fraud, in the form of classic bait-and-switch tactics. My article makes a compelling case that this is indeed happening--and presents important facts that voters should keep in the forefront, as Congress and EPA attempt to implement punitive and expensive carbon dioxide reduction schemes. It also highlights the 2009 International Conference on Climate Change that will be held in New York, beginning tomorrow.”

The next posting is more scientific in style and is from Dennis Avery—one of our regular contributors and, like Paul, Dennis will be one of the presenters at the International Conference on Climate Change.

Global Warming “Bait-And-Switch:” Scientific “Consensus” And Other Shady Sales Tactics Promote Alarmist Theories
Fred Schwindel’s TV City ad promises 40” flat screen televisions for $200. You rush to his store, to learn he’s “fresh out” --but has some 42” models for $1000.

That’s “bait-and-switch,” and Fred could be prosecuted for consumer fraud.

In the political arena, however, bait-and-switch is often rewarded, not punished--especially in the case of global warming alarmism. Instead of fines or jail time, politicos get committee chairs, presidencies, speaking fees and Nobel Prizes. Scientists and bureaucrats receive paychecks, research grants and travel stipends for Bali. Activists get secretive government payments for “public education” campaigns. Companies get government contracts, subsidies and seats at the bargaining table. And all are lionized or canonized for supporting Climageddon theories and policies.

Global warming bait-and-switch starts with simple statements that few would contest--then shifts seamlessly to claims that are hotly disputed and supported by little or no evidence.

The bait: Global warming is real. The switch: Global warming is intensifying and threatens agriculture, human civilization and the fabric of life everywhere on earth.

Bait: 99% of scientists agree on the presence of human-caused global warming. Switch: The debate is over. Humans are the primary cause of temperature increases.

Bait: Atmospheric carbon dioxide from human activities is increasing. Switch: CO2 is the dominant greenhouse gas and is reaching unprecedented and dangerous levels.

Bait: Earth warmed during the twentieth century, as CO2 levels increased. Switch: Runaway warming is increasing hurricanes, melting polar ice caps, raising sea levels and causing species extinction.

Bait: Even little things like reducing personal energy consumption help the environment. Switch: We can stop climate change by switching to wind and solar energy.

The perpetrators of these B/S schemes may never be chastened or prosecuted. However, as in the case of consumer fraud, an informed public is less likely to get fleeced.

President Obama and congressional Democrats support a $650 billion carbon cap-and-trade tax on every household, business and factory in America. If they introduce legislation amid this recession, voters, energy consumers and more responsible legislators should keep important facts in mind.

Global warming (aka climate change) has been “real” since time began. Witness the Ice Ages, interglacial periods, Medieval Warm Period (950-1350), Little Ice Age (1400-1850), Anesazi drought, Dust Bowl, and conversion of verdant river valleys into the Sahara Desert some 4,000 years ago.

No one yet knows what solar energy fluctuations, planetary orbit shifts, recurrent oscillations in ocean currents, cloud cover variation and other natural forces combined to cause these potent climatic changes. But there is no evidence that they have suddenly been displaced by human CO2 emissions.

Growing numbers of scientists say the climate change debate is far from over, and global warming was never a crisis. Over 650 certified meteorologists and climate scientists are on a US Senate compilation of climate cataclysm skeptics--and 32,000 scientists have signed the Oregon Petition, saying they dispute claims that humans are causing climate change, and the changes will be disastrous.

Many of them are meeting in New York March 8-10, at the 2009 International Conference on Climate Change. They may not drive the final nails into the coffin of climate hysteria, but their findings and analyses underscore the lack of evidence for scary “forecasts” that are routinely generated by woefully inadequate computer models and self-interested researchers, activists and politicians. They will point out that planetary temperatures are no longer rising, hurricanes are not increasing in number or intensity, ice caps are not disappearing, and moderate temperature and CO2 increases benefit plant growth.

The UN’s Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change claims to be the world’s “most authoritative body” on the subject. However, only “something on the order of 20%” of the panel’s scientists “have some dealing with climate,” admits a senior member. Even the IPCC chairman is an economist, not a scientist.

Worse, says atmospheric scientist Dr. Roy Spencer, the IPCC insists that human carbon dioxide emissions drive global warming. It has “never seriously investigated” the possibility that climate change might be natural. The IPCC sees only what it is looking for; it sees nothing it is not looking for.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels may have “soared” from 280 ppm to 385 ppm over the last century. But this represents an almost trivial rise from 0.03% of the atmosphere to 0.04% – the equivalent of an increase from 3 cents to 4 out of $100, or from 1.08 inches to 1.44 inches on a football field. The dominant greenhouse gas is water vapor, which nature controls via evaporation and precipitation.

Planetary temperatures may have increased during the last century, as CO2 levels increased. But not in a straight line. They rose 1900-1940 (1934 was the century’s warmest year), fell 1940-1975, rose again 1975-1998, then stabilized and even declined slightly from 1998 to 2008.

New York, Holland and Bangladesh might be inundated by a 49-foot rise in sea level, if the entire West Antarctic ice sheet melted. But that would require a global temperature spike far greater than even Al Gore has prophesied. The average temperature for the peninsula’s two-month summer is barely 36 F; in the winter, temperatures are below minus 50.

Unplugging unused appliances and switching to CFL bulbs may help jet-setting Hollywood celebrities feel better. But they will not stabilize Earth’s climate. Even grounding Al Gore and John Travolta’s private jets, scrapping every US automobile, mothballing America’s coal-fired power plants, and slashing US CO2 emissions by 80% (back to 1905 levels), as President Obama wants to do, will have little effect.

Even the IPCC recognizes that perfect compliance with the Kyoto Protocol by every country would reduce global temperature increases by only 0.2 degrees by 2050 (assuming CO2 does drive global warming). But Europe has put its greenhouse gas reduction programs on hold. Australia is poised to reject cap-and-trade plans. China and India are building new coal-fired power plants every week.

Nearly 85% of US energy is hydrocarbon based, whereas wind turbines currently provide 0.5% and generate electricity only 25% of the time. Even absent the deepening recession, taxing and penalizing hydrocarbon use and CO2 emissions will drive up energy costs and extinguish far more jobs than can possibly be created via government-subsidized renewable energy and green-collar job initiatives. The impacts on poor families, economic civil rights, living standards and civil liberties would be severe.

Not surprisingly, the more people understand these facts, the worse the hysteria gets. Al Gore: Soaring global temperatures will “bring human civilization to a screeching halt.” Energy Secretary Stephen Chu: “We’re looking at a scenario where there’s no more agriculture in California.” NOAA scientist Susan Solomon: “In ten years the oceans will be toxic, and all life in them will die.” NASA astronomer James Hansen: “Death trains” are carrying poisonous fuel to “coal-fired factories of death.”

Hollywood horror movie writers couldn’t possibly top this stuff.

So when Congress and the President call for more economic pain through energy restrictions and cap-and-trade bills, demand solid evidence for catastrophic warming and human causation. Don’t accept worthless computer models and worst-case scenarios. And don’t be conned by bait-and-switch tactics.

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow ( and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – black death.

Natural Global Warmings Have Become More Moderate
This week, at the 2nd international conference of man-made warming skeptics sponsored by the Heartland Institute in New York, I’ll predict the earth’s warming/cooling trends for the 21st century.

I will be among splendid company such as John Coleman, founder of the weather channel, Ross McKitrick, who debunked the “hockey stick” study, physicist Willie Soon, and many other presenters with brilliant credentials. A thousand scientists, economists, and skeptics from every walk of life will meet to discuss the current climate indicators.

I’ll use physical evidence of the more than 500 warmings in the past million years, which are found worldwide in ice cores, seabed sediments, fossil pollen and cave stalagmites. At least 700 scientists have published evidence on these solar-driven Dansgaared-Oeschger cycles. The good news is that the D-O cycle’s warmings have been getting somewhat cooler for the past 10,000 years—and there is no evidence that human-emitted CO2 will make them much warmer.

This means that the Modern Warming will probably remain cooler than the Medieval Warming (950-1300). It was 0.3 degrees warmer than the 20th century based on Craig Loehle’s study of 2000 years of temperature proxies. Willi Dansgaard’s 10,000-year reconstruction from ice cores shows the Roman Warming as warmer than the Medieval—but the two Holocene Warmings centered on 4,000 and 7,000 years ago were lots warmer than either.

The IPCC rejects the cycle evidence. They have concluded that the variability of the sun is “too small” to account for the earth’s recent warming 1976-98. They want us to sacrifice trillions of dollars to displace fossil fuels based on computers that couldn’t even predict the current cooling.

In contrast, I’ll predict a cooling planet for the next 25-30 years, because of the D-O cycle’s solar linkage. The sunspots began predicting cooling back in 2000, and it arrived a bit early, in 2007. CO2’s correlation with our temperatures over the past 150 years is only 22 percent. The correlation with sunspots is 79 percent—What does the UN think caused the 500 previous D-O cycles in the ice cores and seabed records?

There’s more. NASA, bless their hearts, reported last April that their Jason satellite confirms a cooling shift in the Pacific, our biggest heat sink. Roseanne D’Arrigo’s tree ring and rainfall proxies from around the Pacific Rim tell us that the earth’s temperatures have mirrored the Pacific’s cyclical shifts—in 25-40 year spurts—for at least the past 400 years.

I predict that after the current Pacific cooling is over, the earth will resume getting slowly and erratically warmer. But not much warmer. That’s because the D-O cycles are typically abrupt, delivering about half their temperature increase in the first few decades. Remember, we’ve had no significant net warming since 1940.

If the moderating trend in the global warming cycles persists, then we will get less than 0.5 degree C more warming over the next two centuries. If the Greenhouse Theory has any validity, we might get a bit more than 0.5 degree more warming—but not much. We tend to forget that the climate forcing power of CO2 unquestionably declines logarithmically, so the earth has probably already gotten three-fourths of the total.

As the earth cools, the U.S. will use our new natural gas surplus instead of biofuels, carbon taxes will die and the deliberate disruption of the economy will be stifled. Further warming 40 years from now will be too mild and erratic to renew public panic. Environmental assessments will become more realistic—and useful.

Dennis T. Avery is an environmental economist, and a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Hundred Years, Readers may write him at PO Box 202, Churchville, VA 24421 or email to

No comments: