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FIVE Glaring Reasons To Disbelieve Human-Caused Global Warming
There is no question that human beings should respect the planet Earth. But we should also respect the truth. The following five reasons convince me that humans do NOT cause most of modern-day global warming.
1. Consensus Claim Distorted
The popular belief that a scientific consensus exists on the causal connection between carbon dioxide (CO2) and global warming is incorrect. The claim of consensus is a distortion of the actual state of knowledge in this area—it oversimplifies complexities in analyzing the data that lend themselves to different interpretations.
At least four elite scientific organizations have issued public statements favoring the idea that human emissions of CO2 do drive recent global temperature rises:
- National Academy of Science (NAS)
- American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
- National Research Council
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Do these elite organizations include all scientists working in the area of global climate change? No. There are many other people working in climate science or related fields who do NOT endorse the so called “consensus view”. (See, for example, list of scientists opposing the consensus view on global warming at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming).
Even the elite endorsers of human-caused warming admit difficulty in attributing global warming to human activities. The public demand for simple answers, however, forces public policy statements issued by these scientists into the realm of gospel truth.
Proponents of human-caused warming argue that uncertainty here represents acceptable uncertainty accompanying all scientific research. This argument, however, seems inaccurate, since the firm causal link between CO2 and temperature rise remains non-existent (Richard Lindzen, Don’t Believe the Hype, http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110008597).
Red Flag – What’s Wrong With This Picture?
There is reason to suspect that something besides science has compromised integrity in the area of global warming research. The biggest red flag for me comes by way of Richard Lindzen – Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT and member of the National Academy of Sciences. Lindzen suggests openly that widespread agreement on human-caused global warming is a result of a bandwagon mentality or a search for notoriety and money. He further charges that the National Academy of Sciences and other professional organizations have been corrupted by environmental activists who influence the public statements these organizations make (Greg Craven, 2009, What’s The Worse That Could Happen, New York, Penguin Group, p 137-138).
Why Is Lindzen Believable?
- He is a credentialed, accomplished climate scientist at an elite technical institute (MIT).
- He is (was?) a member of the National Academy of Sciences (one of the organizations he charged with being infiltrated by misled activists).
- He risks open attack by a formidable group of peers.
Why would such a person—accomplished in the specific scientific field under question, and highly placed at an academic institution known for its excellence—level these charges, unless they were true?
Environmental lawyers or climate lawyers might try to discredit Lindzen because none of his accusations appears in peer-reviewed journal articles. And how could they, when these journals are controlled by editors who favor the very organizations Lindzen accuses? When a credentialed, respected scientist in the specified field comes forth in the only forum available to him for relaying such information, then I have to allow a grain of truth in his claims.
In support of Lindzen’s opposing view on the popular consensus claim, a survey by Klaus-Martin Shulte (of Kings College Hospital) found that only 7% (seven per cent) of all the papers on climate change published between 2004 and February 2007 explicitly endorsed the position that CO2 from human activities is causing catastrophic global warming (David Bellamy, Today’s Forecast: Yet Another Blast of Hot Air, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article2709551.ece).
Still another credible source against the consensus claim is Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, who has this to say:
“First, there is no such consensus: An increasing number of climate scientists are raising serious questions about the political rush to judgment on this issue. For example, the widely touted “consensus” of 2,500 scientists on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an illusion: Most of the panelists have no scientific qualifications, and many of the others object to some part of the IPCC’s report. The Associated Press reported recently that only 52 climate scientists contributed to the report’s “Summary for Policymakers.” Likewise, only about a dozen members of the governing board voted on the “consensus statement” on climate change by the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Rank and file AMS scientists never had a say, which is why so many of them are now openly rebelling. Estimates of skepticism within the AMS regarding man-made global warming are well over 50 percent.” (Fred Singer, Global Warming: Man-Made or Natural, http://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/docs/globalwarming.pdf).
Champions of human-caused global warming, then, have redefined “consensus” to mean “those people who agree”. This is not what “consensus” means. “Consensus” means MOST of the people involved—in this case, most of the people involved with climate science—clearly not the case. Many people DO agree, but a number of other people do NOT. Consequently, the word, “consensus”, suffers widespread misuse.
2. CO2 Data Falsified
Believers of human-caused global warming insist that Earth’s CO2 (carbon dioxide) has increased abnormally during the latter half of the twentieth century and that the source of abnormal CO2 increase has been the burning of fossil fuels. How do we measure this?
To determine an increase in CO2, we must establish a baseline from which to begin measuring. In 1940, G. S. Callendar determined this baseline as 292 ppmv (parts per million by volume). To see how he arrived at 292, look at the picture below, where average values of atmospheric CO2 are plotted for the years, 1800 through 1955.
The circled points are the only data Callendar used from this whole data set. Even though the values ranged randomly between about 250 to 550 ppmv, Callendar selected his data carefully to present the appearance of a steadily rising trend—from 292 ppmv between years 1866-1900 to 325 ppmv in the year 1956.
Callendar received strong criticism from other knowledgeable scientists of the day on two issues:
- It was statistically impossible to find a trend in the raw data whose TRUE AVERAGE (over the whole data set) was 335 ppmv (NOT the biased 290),
- Callendar rejected a large chunk of the data whose values were 10% more than what he called a “general average”, which he neither defined nor stated outright.
What all this boils down to is that the WRONG (or impossible to determine) baseline has been used as a historical reference for modern atmospheric CO2 measurements. Consequently, Callendar’s error or bias has been a basis for accumulating other errors and biases in modern-day climate models.
The early work of Callendar illustrates just one of the problems with CO2 data. For a complete technical description of other CO2 data problems (including ice core data), see my reference source—an article by a geochemist and geophysicist (Tom V. Segalstad, Carbon Cycle Modeling …, http://www.co2web.info/ESEF3VO2.pdf).
See also another good source that elaborates Callendar’s bias and ties it into modern-day biases (Tim Ball, Time to Revisit Falsified Science of CO2, http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/18343).
The Biggest Bias Of All
Perhaps the biggest bias is presuming that 600,000 years or so is the given interval during which we humans should judge CO2 fluctuations. We might do well to ask the question, Does nature have a preferred level of CO2 ?—and a preferred time span over which its CO2 varies by an “acceptable” amount? Furthermore, are we humans big enough to have any real effect with our CO2 emissions? Given that CO2 is a relatively minute proportion of Earth’s greenhouse gases, and given that all of Earth’s greenhouse gases together are a relatively minuscule proportion of Earth’s total atmosphere, we might question whether such a tiny gaseous fragment can actually drive everything else. Is Earth really so fragile that a few hundredths of a percent of its atmosphere can doom any one era of its life forms? Arguments that say “no” seem to be mounting.
3. Earth’s Atmosphere Misrepresented
Claiming that CO2 causes global warming means that 0.037% of Earth’s atmosphere controls the other 99.963%. This 0.037% of Earth’s atmosphere includes both NATURAL and HUMAN-MADE C02 sources together.
The Human-Made CO2 Contribution
If we look only at the human-made contribution to Earth’s 0.037% CO2, then the amount of CO2 causing global warming is 0.00177% of Earth’s whole atmosphere. The specific claim that HUMAN-MADE CO2 causes global warming, then, means that 0.0017% of Earth’s atmosphere controls the other 99.9983% of Earth’s atmosphere. This would make CO2 an incredibly powerful gas and something we should fear, indeed.
To better understand the human-caused CO2 claim, look at the two pie charts below, which illustrate, first, Earth’s entire atmospheric composition and, second, Earth’s greenhouse gas composition respectively.
Think of the second chart as a blow up of the tiny 1% slice of the first chart.
Many scientists who deal with mathematically advanced climate models might laugh at such a basic analysis. A website by Monte Heib, for example, has frequently been a target of such laughter (see his website at http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html). A sober response to this laughter consists of two words: “first principles” or maybe better, “common sense”.
If an argument appears to be grossly askew according to basic, first principles of proportion, then a broader point of view seems justified to balance it. The big question that arises in this case is, “Do current climate models misrepresent Earth’s atmosphere?”
Water Vapor Dominates All Other Greenhouse Gases
Refer to the second pie chart above—notice that the tiny 1% of Earth’s atmosphere composed of greenhouse gases consists mostly of water vapor. Water vapor is the primary greenhouse gas that dominates all atmospheric CO2 by a factor of 26 to 1. In other words, there is twenty-six times more water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere than CO2. Remember, water vapor is the primary greenhouse gas.
Claiming that human CO2 causes global warming now means that only 0.117% of Earth’s greenhouse gases drive the other 99.883% of Earth’s greenhouse gases, which drive the other 99% of Earth’s entire atmosphere. This is how the climate models seem to represent it—they multiply the effect of CO2, and they do this with a degree of certainty regarding CO2 NOT matched by a similar degree of certainty regarding water vapor (the most abundant greenhouse gas of all). This simply strikes a dissonant chord in any intelligent person.
John Coleman explores this dissonance in detail (John Coleman, The Man-Made Global Warming Crisis Cancelled, (http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/kusi/Comments+on+Global+Warming02.pdf). Coleman acknowledges that current climate models are impressive and complex, but he points out disparities between model predictions and real-world observations. Following his lead and the leads of others, I ask whether these climate models are complex enough to represent reality in detail. There appears to be an alternate “consensus” that answers, “No” (see NIPPCC—Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, http://www.nipccreport.org/, and see Global Warming Petition Project – 31,000 Scientists, http://www.petitionproject.org/index.php).
4. Sun’s Influence Underestimated
Believers in human-caused global warming claim that the sun has shown no significant increases or decreases in power output during the past hundred or so years—they are mistaken. True, the sun’s power output ALONE has not increased significantly to account for the observed global warming over the years 1900 to the present. What many people fail to understand, however, is that the sun exerts an additional effect on incoming galactic cosmic rays—very energetic particles constantly streaming towards earth from deep space, determining overall cloud formation. Many believers in human-caused global warming also do not know about questionable statistical procedures that the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) used to assess solar effects in relation to temperatures.
IPCC’s Sun Calculation
According to Christopher Monckton (Climate Chaos? Don’t Believe It, Telegraph.co.uk, May 11, 2006) – the IPCC used the year 1750 as its starting point for measuring solar effects, but used the year 1900 as its starting point for measuring recent global warming.
Why did 150 years separate IPCC’s two starting points?
The sun’s activity was at a high in the year 1750 and at a low in the year 1900, which made the average sun activity starting in year 1900 seem less significant. In other words, the IPCC averaged sun activity over a period 150 years longer than it averaged temperatures. This made the sun appear to be less influential (by more than double).
Since climate models did not treat either CO2 or solar effects in a simple linear way, the models underestimated the total solar effects by a factor of six (using a climate forcing multiplier). The IPCC’s solar calculation, then, was six times too low.
Next, Monckton claims, the IPCC reduced the natural greenhouse effect by 40% from what climate-physics textbooks say it should be (from 33 C to 20 C), causing human-made CO2 contributions to appear larger.
Finally, Monckton claims, the IPCC selected the biggest 20th century temperature fluctuation (remember, ignoring the relationship between sun and temperature for a 150-year span from year 1750 to year 1900).
Let’s go through what the IPCC did again (according to Monckton):
- started measuring sun effects in year 1750
- started measuring temperatures in year 1900
(start dates 150 years out of sync)
- calculated sun averages from year 1750 to present
- calculated temperature averages from 1900 to present
(averages 150 years out of sync)
- underestimated sun activity by more than double
- reduced natural greenhouse effect by 40% from textbook figures
(human CO2 out of proportion)
- selected biggest temperature fluctuation of 20th century
- inserted all the above into climate models, underestimating sun by a factor of six
(errors accumulated and amplified into worse errors)
Sun’s Real Power
Not only has the IPCC concealed the sun’s real power fluctuations over the selected temperature range, it also has dismissed a strong correlation between sun fluctuations and temperatures over hundreds of years. Even during the years 1900 to present, the sun’s activity correlates with temperatures better than CO2 correlates with temperatures (see chart below).
Again, this dismissal of the sun’s influence occurred either because people misunderstood or intentionally misrepresented the sun’s interaction with galactic cosmic rays.
Galactic Cosmic Rays
Galactic cosmic rays cause an electronic charge to build up on atmospheric dust and other small particles. The charged particles then attract water molecules (from water vapor in the atmosphere) to form clouds. The true solar effect, therefore, proceeds like this:
- hotter sun MEANS stronger solar wind
- stronger solar wind MEANS more cosmic rays deflected away from earth
- more deflected cosmic rays MEANS fewer cosmic rays entering atmosphere
- fewer cosmic rays entering atmosphere MEANS fewer charged atmospheric particles
- fewer charged atmospheric particles MEANS fewer particles attracting water molecules
- fewer particles attracting water molecules MEANS fewer cloud nuclei
- fewer cloud nuclei MEANS fewer white clouds
- fewer white clouds MEANS less white cloud cover
- less white cloud cover MEANS more direct heating from the hotter sun
In brief, a hotter sun spews out a stronger solar wind, which deflects more cosmic rays, which causes fewer clouds to form, which allows the hotter sun to shine on an earth with less cloud cover.
Actual data shows a strong correlation between solar activity, temperature and cloudiness. This correlation, according to Ian Clark, is “the most direct and telling line of evidence for a heliocentric [sun-determined] climate.” Clark is professor of hydrogeology and paleoclimatology at the University of Ottawa (see Ian Clark, Solar Activity Causes Global Warming, in the book, Global Warming Opposing Viewpoints, ed. by Cynthia A. Bily, 2006, p. 76-82).
According to Nir J. Shaviv, an astrophysicist at the Racah Institute of Physics, fewer cloud condensation nuclei causes clouds of lower altitude with larger water drops and shorter lifetimes, which also warms the Earth (read his analysis, Nir J. Shaviv, Carbon Dioxide or Solar Forcing?, scroll down his page to the section titled An Alternative Explanation … , http://www.sciencebits.com/CO2orSolar).
For an even more detailed understanding of solar activity and Earth’s climate, read a paper from the Danish Meteorological Institute, in Copenhagen (K. Lassen, Long-term Variations in Solar Activity … , http://www.tmgnow.com/repository/solar/lassen1.html).
What becomes clear from all this is:
- The sun has been more active in recent decades than in the past few centuries.
- Variations in solar activity fit with patterns of warming in the first half of the 20th Century .
- Variations in solar activity also trace the cooling trend of the 1960’s and 1970’s and the warming trend of the past decades (which CO2 does NOT).
Whenever you look at graphs that plot CO2 against temperatures, notice erratic leaps in temperature compared to steady rises in CO2. Whenever you look at graphs that plot sun activity against temperatures, notice a better correspondence—the cosmic ray explanation seems to explain why.
Current research, thus, indicates that the sun’s TOTAL effect on climate appears to be more significant than previously thought, and that human CO2 effects are not detectable.
5. Recent Global Cooling Denied
People who insist that human beings cause global warming seem to be denying basic facts (see Christopher Monckton, Global Warming is Really Global Cooling, 2009,
- Global mean surface temperatures have shown a downward trend for eight straight years, defying all the climate models that the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) has relied upon.
- Earth’s oceans have shown a cooling trend.
- The fastest portion of Earth’s recent warming occurred between 1910 and 1930, BEFORE widespread industrialization at modern levels.
- Between the years 1940 to 1975 and again between the years 2001 and the present, global temperatures have shown a downward trend.
- There has been no trend in global sea-ice throughout the 30-year satellite record.
- For eleven years, from 1993 to 2003, the Greenland ice sheet grew two inches per year, growing almost two feet in thickness. Its ice loss in 2003 was only 0.03% of its total mass—well within long-term variability throughout its history.
- The end of the present decade (2000 – 2010) will be cooler than the beginning, even as CO2 concentration continues to increase steadily.
These facts speak for themselves.
After reviewing a number of information sources, I conclude that the claim of human-caused global warming arises from at least five flaws:
- Distorted consensus claim
- Falsified CO2 data
- Misrepresented earth atmosphere
- Underestimated sun
- Denied recent global cooling
These five flaws render the human-caused global warming claim unbelievable to me.
Certainly, there are valid reasons why human beings should break their dependency on fossil fuels, but global warming is NOT one of those reasons (based on what I now understand). Some of the RIGHT reasons for advancing beyond fossil fuels are:
- improved air quality
- improved energy efficiency
- independence from foreign oil
Quite contrary to scientific reasoning, the biggest reason I see for advancing beyond fossil fuels is aesthetic. A cleaner, more efficient, independent civilization of energy users is simply more elegant. Life could be prettier, healthier, and more harmonious because of an improved energy infrastructure, but this infrastructure needs to evolve via inspiration, NOT fear. Inspiration, in fact, is the real root of human beings’ success on this planet. Our success depends just as much on what we do not subtract from Earth as what we add to it.
I frequently see the words, “deforestation” and “land use patterns” side-by-side the words, “emissions” and “carbon dioxide”. These word associations help confirm my belief that humans are forgetting their most powerful CO2 mitigator of all—plant life, trees, forests, sea plankton and the whole web of natural growth that includes us and asks us to work with it for the good of everything.