by Dr Jo-Anne Bell
It has been a few weeks since I wrote “Re: Ceasing to Think and the Ensuing Backlash”, and I have been reading some of the responses that it generated. There have been ad hominem comments, appeals to authority, appeals to emotion, straw man arguments, repetitions of political propaganda and a lack of reading comprehension displayed. This skeptic remains a skeptic.
A great deal of angst is being generated arguing over the weather, while the climate keeps doing what it has always done, change. The normal state of the world is flux, but we have been led to believe that all change is bad and we should be afraid, very, very afraid. To be clear, climate is defined as the weather of some locality averaged over some time period, the seasonal distribution of weather, plus extremes in weather behaviour. Climate must be specified for a place and time period, because the climate varies both spatially and temporally, as does weather. There is no such thing as global climate, or global temperature, by definition.
The global warming hypothesis, which has never been verified despite wide popular acceptance, suggests carbon dioxide from man-made sources is primarily responsible for global warming because it is a greenhouse gas. The Earth’s atmosphere (by volume) is approximately 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.93% argon and 0.04% carbon dioxide, plus other trace gases and water vapour. The speculation is that 0.04% of our atmosphere is the chief driver of increasing temperatures. Even this figure is subject to debate. Doubling CO2 concentration is believed to raise temperatures ± 1.0 °C per century. This is ignoring a large array of variables that have an affect on the weather, the sum of which is the climate. Contrary hypotheses supported by empirical evidence exist, but the science has been overtaken by politics, and “the difficulty of refuting anthropogenic climate change is exacerbated by the IPCC’s United Nations mandate to advise governments on the severity of man-made global warming, a mandate that they have followed faithfully, encouraging the emergence of a large body of funded research that supports their view.”
To claim that the “science is settled” on climate requires, including, but not limited to: knowing and understanding all the variables that can affect climate, how these variables change over time, and how the changing variables affect the climate. Climate science is in its infancy, and there is just too much that is not known. The majority of the predictions about the coming climate apocalypse are the result of political and media hyping of climate models, taken as gospel. Climate models are deliberately programmed to show that increasing levels of carbon dioxide increase temperature; water vapour is 95% of the greenhouse effect and is completely ignored in the models, along with other natural causes. Climate models have difficulty hindcasting the past, but we are led to believe that they are capable of predicting the future. In some reporting, they disregard the future predictions and claim that it is all happening NOW! Even the UN’s IPCC in the Third UN Climate Report admits: “in climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled, non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible”.
Catastrophic human-made global warming is a falsifiable hypothesis, and it was falsified decades ago. When fossil fuel consumption and atmospheric carbon dioxide increased sharply after 1940, ‘global temperatures’ cooled from 1945 to 1977. Carbon dioxide levels have increased for the past twenty years, but global temperatures have remained relatively constant, or decreased.
If one is looking for more evidence, then I suggest you start with a basic geology or paleontology textbook and continue your reading from there. The constant drumbeat of stories about weather or climate events serves to create the impression that they are new, or outside of normal patterns. None of them are. The notion that carbon dioxide is pollution is a complete fabrication. Life needs CO2 to survive. The planet is still warming from the last glaciation and CO2 levels today are just barely at a safe level; anything less than 180 ppm is harmful. Plants need higher carbon dioxide to thrive. Activists clamouring for lower and lower levels of CO2 threaten to cause more harm than continuing fossil fuels use. The planet is greening because of carbon dioxide, plant food.
Eco-activists want to pave the countryside with wind turbines and solar panel farms, which provide expensive, intermittent energy requiring stable back-up power, all with the aim of reducing carbon emissions. It is past time someone did the math. An area the size of Pennsylvania would be required for the wind turbines needed to power just the city of New York. It also ignores the human and environmental costs of creating the solar panels, wind turbines and battery banks.
The phenomenon of global warming proves that you can fool most of the people most of the time, as people would rather believe what they are told, instead of investigating for themselves – truly ceasing to think. Stifling dissenting views and criticism may ‘feel good’, but science and knowledge can only progress by questioning the consensus and engaging in informed debate.
[Editor’s note: references to supporting documentation is available, but was removed for space reasons].