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What If AGW Is Wrong?

Updated on September 30, 2017
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Jack has worked at IBM for over 28 years on museums and libraries.

Introduction

I am an AGW skeptic - the theory of man made global warming. I am not an ideolog and I am open to new scientific evidence that is indisputable. That has not happened as yet for me. One of my main concerns is the poor performance of all the climate models. They have failed to predict the climate over the last 25 years. As an engineer, it is just common sense that if my models are wrong, perhaps I should go back to the drawing board.

I am willing to give the scientists the benefit of doubt. Let's assume they are correct in their assertion that increased carbon dioxide causes a greenhouse effect and lead to global warming. However, as we all know, that is not the only driver of global warming. In order to proof this, you must keep all other variables constant which is totally unrealistic. In fact, the sun is the source of all energy in our solar system. The sun has built in variability that is totally out of our control. We know the sun under goes a cycle of approximately 11 years of sunspots activity. That cycle is not perfect. Over the last few hundred years, we have experienced some cycles that are extremely low called the Maunder minimum. This happened around 1645 to 1715 and caused a mini ice age.

- May, 2015

Failed Climate Models

The God Factor

The big question for climate scientist is this. What if one of the other factors like the sun is driving current climate change? Perhaps their models are incomplete. They have assumed erroneously that the sun is stable and the variability is small and negligible. What if, in recent years, the sun's contribution is much larger than they realize. For lack of a better term, I called this the God factor. Somethings in nature are out of our control. If the sun suddenly turns quiet and reduce its energy output even by 1 percent, our climate will change dramatically.

As I mentioned in the introduction, this is not an outlandish scenerio. It has happened before and there is no reason to believe that it can't happen again. In fact, recent events are pointing to the possibility of another solar minimum.

Another natural phenomenon is volcanic activity. If a major volcano erupts, it would put so much carbon dioxide and dust into the upper atmosphere that the earth temperature will be reduced by a few degrees. How do I know this? It has happened before. Check out the events of Krakatoa volcano back in 1883. It is well documented and it became a worldwide phenomenon.

So What You Ask?

What is the big deal? The big deal is that our government and individuals have bought into the global warming alarmist's worst scenerio. The environmentalist have also jump on the band wagon. I have heard intelligent people make the mistake of claiming that reducing fossil fuel is a good thing even if global warming is not real. The air will be cleaner and so on... What's the harm.

The truth is a lot of unintended consequence can occur and are occurring because of our futile attempt to stop global warming. The cure is worst than the disease comes to mind. There is also the lost opportunity when tax dollars are spent on something that is missguided.

Here is just a few list of things that have come about due to attempt to affect climate change.

  • government incentives on failed renewable energy development
  • carbon credits to offset carbon emissions
  • CF bulbs replacing incadecent bulbs
  • ethenol fuel production from corn
  • wind farms affecting wildlife
  • electric and hybrid vehicles

Streets in the State of New Jersey

Responsibility of Climate Scientists

The primary responsibility of scientists is to perform good science. After that, they need to be honest about what they know and don't know. They claim to be experts in their fields. They make long term predictions as if they are facts. They are not held accountable when they are wrong. They usually come up with excuses that are lame.

Here is my proposal on experts who make projections. In order to be credible, I believe there are five components.

  1. The prediction or expert opinion must be specific and not general in nature.
  2. The prediction should apply to a specific time frame.
  3. The prediction should come with a confidence factor (0-100%).
  4. The prediction should be qualified with certain assumptions.
  5. There should be some consequence or "price to pay" if the prediction fail to materialize.

Summary

In summary, we need to hit the reset button on climate change and our global response. Before we undertake drastic measures, we need to know all the drivers and long term effects. Any proposed solutions should be evaluated with a cost benefit analysis. If AGW is in fact true, we need to come up with much better solutions. One that will not reduce our quality of life. If AGW is false, the scientists have a lot of explaining to do. "Oops sorry" just won't cut it.

A new book by Mark Steyn "A Disgrace to the Profession" examines the inside comments on the famous hockey stick chart created by Michael Mann. It exposes some of the climate scientists as activists instead of scientists.

© 2015 Jack Lee

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    • jackclee lm profile image
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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

    • jackclee lm profile image
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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      my esoteric - Here is climate scientists admitting they got it wrong.

      From the horse's mouth -

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/...

    • jackclee lm profile image
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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Rock nj- I agree with you. I think most tax credits including to oil and gas companies are wrong. They are part of the crony capitalism that corrupts the free market. Protecting our infrastructure including our energy grid comes under national defense. I support all government effort in that.

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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      My esoteric - your comment regarding my sources are ironic since you reference huffington post and mediamatters, two of the most biased organizations. I stand by my assertions that there are many scientists that disagree with AGW theory. They also disagree with the extreme predictions that were used to scare the public. I give you credit that at least you did not bring up the hockey stick plot.

    • Rock_nj profile image

      John Coviello 2 years ago from New Jersey

      "Government have no business in deciding what is best for energy consumption."

      I respond to that statement by saying government exists in large part to provide security. In this day and age stability of energy sources is a huge part of national security. Therefore, government certainly has a role in determining energy sources and ensuring they are available for the economy and to defend the country from attack. Besides, taking the argument that government should get out of the energy business, then conservatives should support doing away with tax breaks to the very profitable oil and natural gas industries. Those tax breaks are also picking winners and losers, as they subsidize the cost of oil and natural gas and lower their costs versus its competition in the energy markets. And while they're at it, stop backstopping insurance for the nuclear power industry with the U.S. Treasury. Can't have it both ways.

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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      My esoteric - the answer is easy. Government has no clue what is best. That's the basic tenent of free enterprise - the hidden hand. It is the trial and error, risk and reward, that picks the winner. Central government is like what Communism Russia and China in their failed endless 5 year plans tried to do. Even they have abandoned these policies. We have forgotten that and history will repeat. I am working on a new hub on solar power. I believe it to be another major government sponsored debacle ready to show. This is a good test case. It will happen with the next 2 or 3 years. Unlike climate change debates, that will take ageneration to settle.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      To your belief that "Government have no business in deciding what is best for energy consumption." Why, shouldn't they (or actually US, since our gov't reflects the will of the People who created it)?

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      To your statement "In general, conservatives believe it is better to have private enterprise conduct business and provide the risk and reward that comes with it. Government's role is regulatory only to provide for safety and fairness."

      Conservatives are not alone in such a belief, short of true socialism, that is the way all American politicians feel. The problem is, Conservatives take that philosophy to an unhealthy extreme. Keep in mind, the reason the profit motive is successful is that it represents, at a basic level, "selfishness". I am not saying that is bad, in fact greed and selfishness is what makes capitalism so successful. But, in many situations, like the environment, where greed and what is good for America are opposed to one another. Greed got you dead lakes and rivers or watching the San Gabriel mountains disappear behind the smog as a kid. It took science and government intervention to reverse this process; all to the great howls of protest and sky-is-falling rhetoric of minimal-state liberals and conservatives that the American economy will be destroyed as a result of protecting the environment; of course it wasn't.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Here is what I found about this "petition":

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-grandia/the-30...

      or

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-grandia/the-30...

      or

      http://mediamatters.org/research/2007/06/06/on-fox...

      I. E, the project to which you refer has been thoroughly debunked. In addition to the above, how many of those signatures have been VERIFIED as authentic, especially all, hehe, 39 climatologists (out of an asserted 30,000+) who allegedly signed this piece of propaganda?

      Why should you be surprised? I do know how these articles get into professional publications; it is very rigorous and designed to weed out weak analysis. Does an occasional "bad" paper get through? Obviously, but one of scientists favorite games is to debunk their colleague's work and that has exposed research which relied on poor, false, or fabricated data; for example, the research of Dr. Roy Spencer has been shown to be extremely flawed many times.

      On another tact, since you reject peer-reviewed scientific papers as being a good source of honest information, what are you left with ... the Internet?

    • jackclee lm profile image
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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      my_esoteric - Here is a site you may not seen - 31K scientist have signed up.

      http://www.petitionproject.org

      I'm surprised at your reaction and the acceptance of the 97%. You are more into the data analysis than most. You realize that the 97% is based on papers that were published. The key is "published". The global warming community and IPCC have been controlling the peer reviews of papers submitted. They reject studies that contradict their bias. That affects the distorted outcome. Please go and read up on the climategate emails. You will see what I mean...

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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      rock_nj - What's nuclear accidents have to do with what we are discussing? Government can help with basic sciences as developing nuclear energy for weapons and self defense. That's their primary responsibility. Nuclear power is just one of many sources of energy production and as such require regulation. That is what the NRC is about. I live 10 miles away from Indian Point. I support nuclear power because it is better for the environment (overall across the world). Accidents do happen but they are less than other sources (BP gulf spill as one example).

      In general, conservatives believe it is better to have private enterprise conduct business and provide the risk and reward that comes with it. Government's role is regulatory only to provide for safety and fairness.

      The corruption in NJ is what I'm trying to minimize.

      If you read some of my other hubs, I am against some of the crony capitalism that is corrupting our system. Don't get caught up in the political sniping. That is what the people in power wants. They want to pit the people against each other while they go and do what they do without scrutiny. Wise up.

    • Rock_nj profile image

      John Coviello 2 years ago from New Jersey

      There is also a massive energy failure in Japan known as the Fukushima Nuclear Accident. People and wildlife will not live near there for many years. Nuclear energy wouldn't even exist without government support because of the cost of insuring accidents is off the charts. Are you also opposed to government support for nuclear energy. I find it amusing how right wing folks strangely are gung ho about the one form of energy out there that could never stand on its own without government backing, that being nuclear energy.

      It seems like you want to beat up on Obama and the Dems over the Solyndra debacle. I am just pointing out that both parties engage in this nonsense. I live in one of the 3 counties in NJ that is paying for the bonds to pay off the project that imploded, which means I am paying for it partly myself. So much for the Republicans watching what they are spending money on and looking out for us tax payers. In New Jersey Republicans love to spend money on the local level just like Democrats.

    • jackclee lm profile image
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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      rocky_nj - Here is story on who is most trusted -

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/201...

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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      rocky_nj - You are missing my point. I couldn't care less if it was a Republican or Democrat that are involved with these schemes. I just want what is the best for the people. Government have no business in deciding what is best for energy consumption.

      I can point to other projects that are failures...such as wind power...where are the environmentalist who cares about wildlife?

    • Rock_nj profile image

      John Coviello 2 years ago from New Jersey

      Fox News is anything but Fair and Balanced. I agree that the major networks tend to have a liberal slant, although these days they try to inject conservatism in to counter criticism. But, Fox News is so slanted in its coverage of so many things that it is laughable to call it Fair and Balanced. I have never seen so much editorializing by reporters and anchors as I have seen on Fox News. I mean it is cringworthy when watching them inject their opinions into stories they are covering. The other networks may have a liberal bias, but they do not allow their reporters and anchors to editorialize and provide their personal opinions when covering stories.

      #3 above is a good example of how Fox News is not Fair and Balanced. Did they also provide coverage to the vast majority of scientists that think President Obama is right on global warming? Do you seek out other sources that counter your views on global warming to get the full picture? If not, why not?

    • jackclee lm profile image
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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      my esoteric - I get my news from Fox and Drudge and a few others. I have been following Drudge ever since the Monica Lewinsky story that broke on Drudge when other main street media ignored it in the beginning.

      You can fall for the left's demonization of Fox but they are more balanced than other new channels.

      Here are 3 latest examples -

      1. the Kate Steinle story.

      2. the 1 out of 5 Americans receiving public assistance.

      3. the Nobel prize winning scientist that says Obama is dead wrong on global warming.

      Have you seen these stories?

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Why didn't your references mention more than Solyndra, given that was the point of their articles and there are so many other examples, according to the propaganda you choose to believe?

      Why did the DOE energy program, of which Solyndra is one, make money?

    • Rock_nj profile image

      John Coviello 2 years ago from New Jersey

      Yes, I am well aware of all the government scams in NJ. That is just one of them. There is also one in Republican controlled counties of Somerset, Morris and Sussex, where Republican Freeholders boards approved backing loans for solar installation on public properties. The whole thing fell apart due to problems with getting suitable sites and fighting between subcontractors. Now the counties are on the hook for millions per year to pay off the loans. It was a bad deal to begin with, as the Freeholders were paying way more for solar than the current market price.

      The problem in New Jersey, and it happens in Democratic controlled areas too, is that the best price or even if a contract makes sense does not always win the votes. It is who greases the pols hands with donations.

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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      rock_nj - BTW, here is link to NJ solar panel scam - http://conservativenewjersey.com/the-great-solar-p...

      There are 5 parts to this saga.

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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      rock_nj - If it was only Solyndra, I would have let it go. The problem is, there are numerous other companies that failed using our tax dollars. As I said before, investing in basic sciences is great. That is what the NSF is there for. Investing in companies that are leading edge is wrong. That belongs in the private sector. The risk and reward should be by entrepreneurs NOT the American people.

    • Rock_nj profile image

      John Coviello 2 years ago from New Jersey

      If only 2 of the 33 DOE programs failed then that is a startling good percentage of success. In the private sector 50% of businesses fail in the first 5 years. Solyndra was obviously a big failure, but not a reason to cancel a program that works to improve energy alternatives, keep the US at the cutting edge of energy technology, and helps create jobs in the US. If one is looking to cut government waste, the big elephant in the room is the Pentagon, which literally wastes tens of billions per year in various ways, spends money on things they admit they don't want or need, and can't account for half of it's spending. This whole Solyndra thing is getting to be an old right wing talking point and doesn't focus on the real problem of government wasteful spending. The real waste in government is elsewhere.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I don't listen to Fox or MSNBC. I did read the Huffington Post article and glanced at the "Beat? the Press" but came away with only one example, Solyndra. (BTW, only 2 of the 33 DOE programs failed)

      However, you might try these for a counter view.

      http://money.cnn.com/2012/06/06/technology/solyndr...

      http://www.newsweek.com/goverment-loan-program-fun...

    • jackclee lm profile image
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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      What "compelling" evidence do you have to support the assertion "Government has a bad track record picking winners and losers for sure. " Anecdotes don't count, real studies that looked at lots of data; such as out of ALL of the clean energy projects started under Bush and Obama how many failed or what is the comparison of the actual funds spent on these project vs real and projected ROI of all of the successful ones.

    • jackclee lm profile image
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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      My esoteric - Where is the evidence that for every Solyndra there are 5 others? Can you name them?

      I live here in the Northeast. I drive thru NJ streets on a regular basis. I can tell you first hand that the streets are ugly and the net benefits of solar panels are negative. The scandal was a boondoggle for local contractors and politicians.

      You haven't address the long list of failed predictions that did not materialize. What turned me around is the lack of science of these groups.

      I tend to believe Michael Crichton in his book "State of Fear". He is a scientist author who exposed the conflict of interest between the funding and the climate scientists.

      As I said in another posting, I used to buy in to this fear but no longer.

      If you are interested, I have a proposal. What if you and I collaborate on a hub to examine the viability of Solar Power Homes? I've been interested in this for some time. I would welcome a different perspective. As you can guess, I am very suspicious of this technology. I just don't think it will survive after the tax credits expire in 2016.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      For every Solyndra, there were five others that worked fine, more than offsetting a few failures. It's a good thing we learned how to shoot rockets in the air back in the 1950s; it seems that if one failed (and hundreds did before they got it right) there would have been no space program whose technology helped fuel one of the longest economic winning streaks in American history.

      In any case, I couldn't find a repeat of your first chart. What I mostly found as like this one: http://www.skepticalscience.com/comparing-global-t...

      Even the one anti-global warming I read appeared, on the face of it, to be flawed analysis. It is at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/01/ipcc-silentl...

      I have to shake my head that their analysis because, as I said, on the face of it, you can't draw the conclusions they do based on the graphs they present. Without delving any further, it seems they are saying over the last several years, global temperatures have remained constant or have gone down. But what their graphs show is the degree of change has remained constant, which, given their very short time frame, one would expect.

      What their graphs actually show is a constantly increase global temperature. Why do I say that? Because their graphs portray a picture where virtually very measurement is a POSITIVE change, meaning the temperature increased by that little amount. To make their case, all those up and down temperature changes need to average "less" than zero, not more than zero.

      Since this kind of analysis is right up my alley, it was fun thinking about it.

    • jackclee lm profile image
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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Rock_nj - By the way, I gathered you are a NJ resident. Just do a google search on "great solar panel rip-off". You will find series of articles on the scandal behind the solar panels installed in various NJ streets as shown in my photo. Is this the cure to global warming?

    • jackclee lm profile image
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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Rock_nj - I am all for government funding of basic research. You have made my point. It is the likes of Solyndra that I am against. I am also against government tax credits for electric cars and solar homes. When the technology becomes economically feasible, the private sector will embrace it and make money and create jobs. I am also not against innovation. Checkout my latest hub on the Luci solar lantern. I have done some research on wind energy. It has not produce the results as claimed and in the process killed many wildlife birds. If you care to learn more on the global warming solution, check out the book "Cool It". There are better ways to deal with a warming climate that have greater impact.

    • Rock_nj profile image

      John Coviello 2 years ago from New Jersey

      Do some research regarding falling wind and solar costs. They are becoming competitive with grid electricity in more and more states each year. Within a decade, solar is projected to be cheaper than grid electricity in a majority of U.S. metropolitan areas. The Tesla announcement regarding affordable battery storage for homes and businesses is going to accelerate this trend, as renewable energy can be easily and inexpensively stored on-site and used when needed.

      Government has a bad track record picking winners and losers for sure. But, government plays an important role in funding basic research when private industry is not interested in funding it. Whole new industries emerge from these long-term public basic research efforts. That is not Solyndra, which was a finished product that the government gambled public money on and lost. Much of the modern solar industry can trace its roots to government basic research dating back to the space program of the 1960s and renewable energy efforts during the 1970s and beyond. Now it's ready to stand on it's own. Solar is ready for prime time. Watch what happens over the next decade.

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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Rock nj - that is the very reason I wrote this hub. People have been mislead by smart people who should know better. By trying to affect global warming, they have wasted precious resources that can be better used. The government have no business using tax dollars to pick winners and losers in the energy sector. Have you heard of Solyndra? The answer is we need to better understand climate change causes before commiting vast resources that may not even work. When the renewable energy is ready for prime time, it will naturally come about because the economics will be right. Giving tax credits will not bring this about any quicker. Thanks for checking in.

    • Rock_nj profile image

      John Coviello 2 years ago from New Jersey

      If global warming is wrong, we get clean energy? I don't see a problem with being wrong if it doesn't happen. Conversely, if ignore global warming and it does happen, then we are going to be facing some pretty harsh living conditions in coming centuries. A much worse outcome than being wrong and getting clean energy.

      The idea that addressing global warming is bad for the economy is a red herring. Eventually, we are going to have to kick fossil fuels and use other sources of energy, which are likely to be a lot cleaner and eventually cheaper in the future. The cheapness of new energy sources once they are widespread and well developed will be boon to the economy.