|Greenhouse, global warming, climate change,
IPCC events, news, articles, mostly from the Internet & email
groups, much of which will never find its way to mainstream media.
The idea is to post new material as soon as it comes to hand and maybe close
off issues each month. Feedback and articles
to email@example.com please.
I trust all the original authors are acknowledged, I have tried to include url's to their sites where available.
|Contents in order:
NASA reports increase in Antarctic sea ice;
IPCC emission calculations attacked;
Bjorn Lomborg, "The Environmentalists are Wrong";
Vincent Gray's new book, "The Greenhouse Delusion" buy the book;
AIM Report; SCIENCE FOR SALE: THE GLOBAL WARMING SCAM
NASA Shock at Increase in Antarctic Sea Ice
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center August 22, 2002
SATELLITES SHOW OVERALL INCREASES IN ANTARCTIC SEA ICE COVER
While recent studies have shown that on the whole Arctic sea ice has decreased
since the late 1970s, satellite records of sea ice around Antarctica reveal
an overall increase in the southern hemisphere ice over the same period.
Continued decreases or increases could have substantial impacts on polar
climates, because sea ice spreads over a vast area, reflects solar radiation
away from the Earth’s surface, and insulates the oceans from the atmosphere.
In a study just published in the Annals of Glaciology, Claire Parkinson of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center analyzed the length of the sea ice season throughout the Southern Ocean to obtain trends in sea ice coverage. Parkinson examined 21 years (1979-1999) of Antarctic sea ice satellite records and discovered that, on average, the area where southern sea ice seasons have lengthened by at least one day per year is roughly twice as large as the area where sea ice seasons have shortened by at least one day per year. One day per year equals three weeks over the 21-year period.
“You can see with this dataset that what is happening in the Antarctic is not what would be expected from a straightforward global warming scenario, but a much more complicated set of events,” Parkinson said.
The length of the sea ice season in any particular region or area refers to the number of days per year when at least 15 percent of that area is covered by sea ice. Some areas close to the Antarctic continent have sea ice all year long, but a much larger region of the Southern Ocean has sea ice for a smaller portion of the year, and in those regions the length of the sea ice season can vary significantly from one year to another.
To calculate the lengths of the sea ice seasons, Parkinson used satellite data gridded to 25 by 25 kilometer grid cells for the Southern Ocean region. For each grid cell, the satellite data were used to determine the concentration, or percent area, of the sea ice cover. Whenever the percentage was at least 15 percent, the grid cell was considered to have ice. Using this method, Parkinson went through the entire data set and for each grid cell had a computer count how many days of each year had ice, then calculated trends over the 21 year record.
Overall, the area of the Antarctic with trends indicating a lengthening of the sea ice season by at least one day per year was 5.6 million square kilometers (2.16 million square miles), about 60 percent the size of the United States. At the same time, the area with sea ice seasons shortening by at least one day per year was 3 million square kilometers (1.16 million square miles).
Regionally, the Ross Sea, on average, had its sea ice seasons getting longer, while most of the Amundsen Sea and almost the entire Bellingshausen Sea had their sea ice seasons getting shorter.
“The Antarctic sea ice changes match up well with regional temperature changes,” Parkinson said. “The one region in the Antarctic where the temperature records have shown prominent warming over this period is the Antarctic Peninsula, and indeed it’s immediately to the west and east of the Antarctic Peninsula, in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen and western Weddell seas, respectively, that the sea ice seasons have been shortening rather than lengthening.”
The Arctic also shows a mixed pattern of sea ice trends over the 1979-1999 period, but in contrast to the Antarctic, the area with shortening seasons in the Arctic is far greater than the area with lengthening seasons. The Arctic patterns suggest some connections with major oscillations in large scale atmospheric pressures, called the Arctic Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation, and it is possible the ice covers of both hemispheres could be influenced by oscillations that are still not fully identified, Parkinson said.
The study used data from NASA’s Nimbus 7 Scanning Multichannel Microwave
Radiometer (SMMR) and the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP)
Special Sensor Microwave Imagers (SSMIs) and in the future will be extended
with data from the National Space Development Agency of Japan's Advanced Microwave
Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) recently launched
on board NASA's Aqua satellite.
Thanks to Timo Hameranta for forwarding the above story, as he says;
when they are "not fully identified", they are not in the GCMs.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org Home page: http://personal.inet.fi/koti/hameranta/climate.htm Moderator of the discussion group "Sceptical Climate Science" http://groups.yahoo.com/group/climatesceptics
----- Original Message -----
From: Ian Castles
Cc: AUSTRALIA ; OVERSEAS ; CLIMATE CHANGE
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2002 11:04 AM
Subject: Emissions Projections
Dr. Rajendra Pachauri,
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Dear Dr. Pachauri,
In my letter to you of 6 August, I said that I believed that it was "important that governments be advised as soon as possible that the economic projections used in the IPCC emissions scenarios are technically unsound, having been derived by converting national GDPs in nominal values into a common currency using exchange rates".
The pernicious consequences of using this false method of measuring output are apparent in the analysis of greenhouse issues in the World Development Report 2003, released by the World Bank last week.
For example, the Bank argues that "non-OECD countries use ... 3.8 times as much energy per dollar of GDP [as OECD countries], and claims that "This disparity suggests looking for ways that developing and transition countries can increase efficiency and reduce fuel costs - with reduced GHG emissions as a welcome side-benefit ..." The Bank goes on to wonder "why these apparent 'win-win' situations are so elusive", and decides that the answer lies in two types of institutional failure: "distortions in energy policy [which] benefit special interests", and the neglect by firms and households of profitable ways of saving energy "because it is simply too much trouble to pursue them" (p. 177).
There is a simpler answer to the question that the Bank poses. The assumption of a huge margin of difference in energy intensity between OECD and non-OECD countries which the Bank is seeking to explain is false. The ratio of use of energy per unit of GDP in non-OECD countries to that in OECD countries, calculated using PPPs rather than the spurious exchange rate conversion basis favoured by the Bank (and the IPCC), is not 3.8:1 but 1.2:1.
On the same page of WDR 2003, the Bank wonders what will happen when people "aspire to the current lifestyle of a prosperous country", and puts forward some "simple arithmetic" to show why the Bank supposes this to be impossible:
"Among the prosperous countries, Norway has one of the lowest rates of CO2 emissions per capita from energy, owing in part to ample use of hydro-power. Yet if the global population of 2050 emitted CO2 on average at this rate, the total would be about 2.5 times current global emissions, which would greatly exceed the planet's absorptive capacity."
The argument is grossly misleading for a number of reasons. But the key point that it illustrates is the Bank's failure to understand the basis of the IPCC emissions projections, the lowest of which assumes that developing countries will not only aspire to but will in fact achieve far higher living standards than that of the most prosperous countries today.
Pasted below is the text of an article which appears under my name in this morning's Canberra Times, under the heading "Greenhouse emissions calculations quite wrong". It puts the view that the IPCC should base its climate projections on realistic assessments of future greenhouse emissions, based in turn on realistic projections of the future of the world economy, rather than on the quantification of fantastic "storylines".
With best wishes,
"Greenhouse emissions calculations quite wrong".
By Ian Castles From Canberra Times August 29 2002
In January last year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest projections of prospective global warming. The key finding was that "globally averaged mean surface temperature is projected to increase by 1.4 to 5.8°C over the period 1990 to 2100".
The statement led to widespread alarm. Most commentators, including many scientists, interpreted the IPCC's new projected range as a forecast of massive rises in global temperatures, but the IPCC made projections, not predictions, by feeding hypothetical levels of future greenhouse emissions into climate models. The output of such models cannot be better than the input assumptions upon which they are based.
The simulated temperature increases in the IPCC's lowest emissions scenario ranged from 1.4 to 2.5°C. Some assumptions incorporated in this scenario were conservative, but it also assumed an extraordinarily high rate of economic growth in the developing world.
Specifically, the IPCC assumed that the volume of goods and services produced per head in 2100 would be more than 70 times 1990 levels in developing countries in Asia, and nearly 30 times 1990 levels in other developing countries. Far from marking the lower bound of likely outcomes, such astronomic increases are extremely improbable.
The reasoning that produced these assumptions was as follows. Productivity in the rich countries is likely to continue to increase.
In 1990 average incomes in these countries, on the exchange rate-converted basis used in the IPCC projections, were 40 times higher than in Asian developing countries and 12 times higher than the average of developing countries elsewhere. If this gap is to be substantially closed by 2100 on these assumptions, this century must be an era of unprecedented growth.
In fact, average incomes in developing countries are three or four times higher than the IPCC assumed. By adopting the long-discredited method of converting incomes into a common currency using current exchange rates, the IPCC modellers greatly overstated the size of the development gap, but there are two more fundamental objections to the modellers' argument.
First, living standards in the developing countries in 2100 will depend on their actual economic growth during the coming century. No significant country has ever achieved a 20-fold increase in output per head in a century, let alone the 30-fold or 70-fold increases projected by the IPCC for most of the world's population.
Secondly, and paradoxically, the IPCC's model-builders are hostile to wealth per se. They are obsessed by the belief that growth in productivity and affluence inevitably leads to unacceptable growth in greenhouse emissions. For example, they argue that "if governments support the development of rapid-growth sectors, the tendency may be to promote long-term economic growth, increase household income and consumption, and hence increase GHG emissions".
They even claim that "protectionist policies may ... reduce national economic efficiency, which dampens economic growth and tends to restrict growth in GHG emissions".
These concerns are misplaced. Economic growth maximises the output of goods and services for a minimum expenditure of scarce resources. Conversely, reductions in economic efficiency tend to increase the volume of resources required to produce a given volume of final output, and therefore raise the level of GHG emissions.
In Britain, the first developed economy, average carbon dioxide emissions exceeded 2.5 tonnes of carbon per head of the population in 1880, before the motor age began.
Now Britain produces at least five times the volume of goods and services per head as in 1880, but per capita emissions of carbon dioxide have not increased at all.
According to economic historian Angus Maddison, average incomes in China are now higher than in Britain in 1880, but China's carbon emissions are only 0.6 tonnes of carbon per head - less than a quarter of the levels in late-Victorian Britain.
And China's emissions per unit of output are less than half their levels of twenty years ago.
Global carbon dioxide emissions per head from the burning of fossil fuels reached a peak of over 1.2 tonnes per head of population in 1979. They have since declined by nearly 10 per cent.
It is not true that the per capita emissions of rich countries will necessarily increase as they become still richer. No country in western Europe today emits the 3.2 tonnes of carbon per head that Britons emitted in 1913, and per capita emissions in the United States, Canada, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden are now lower than the peak levels reached in the 1970s or earlier.
None of the high-income countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development now emits the volume of carbon per head that the failing Communist regime in East Germany was emitting in the late 1980s, and poverty-stricken Communist North Korea emits more carbon dioxide per head than South Korea (and most other OECD countries).
It is true that per capita emissions in most developing countries will increase as the world's poor get richer, but this will be happening in a world in which emissions in many rich countries will continue to decline.
Sadly, there is a serious risk that poverty will escalate in many of the poorest countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The real problem is that the people of these countries may remain very poor, not the impact on the world's climate if they and the rest of the developing world become very rich.
The IPCC should base its climate projections on realistic assessments of future greenhouse emissions, not on the quantification of improbable 'storylines' that assume that all of the world's problems except climate change will be magically overcome.
National Centre for Development Studies
Australian National University
Ph: 61 2 6295-7814
The challenge in Johannesburg will be whether we are ready to put development ahead of sustainability. If the United States leads the way, the world may finally find the courage to do so.
Why does the developed world worry so much about sustainability? Because we constantly hear a litany of how the environment is in poor shape. Natural resources are running out. Population is growing, leaving less and less to eat. Species are becoming extinct in vast numbers. Forests are disappearing. The planet's air and water are getting ever more polluted. Human activity is, in short, defiling the earth - and as it does so, humanity may end up killing itself.
There is, however, one problem: this litany is not supported by the evidence.
Energy and other natural resources have become more abundant, not less so.
More food is now produced per capita than at any time in the world's history.
Fewer people are starving. Species are, it is true, becoming extinct. But
only about 0.7 percent of them are expected to disappear in the next 50 years,
not the 20 percent to 50 percent that some have predicted. Most forms of
environmental pollution look as though they have either been exaggerated
or are transient - associated with the early phases of industrialization.
They are best cured not
by restricting economic growth but by accelerating it.
That we in the West are so prone to believe the litany despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary results in an excessive focus on sustainability. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in the discussion on global warming.
There is no doubt that pumping out carbon dioxide from fossil fuels has increased the global temperature. Yet too much of the debate is fixated on reducing emissions without regard to cost. With its agreement to the 1997 Kyoto climate treaty, Europe has set itself the goal of cutting its carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2012. This is more than 30 percent below what they would have been in 2012.
Even with renewable sources of energy taking over, the United Nations Climate
Panel still estimates a temperature increase of four degrees to five degrees
fahrenheit by the year 2100. Such a rise is projected to have less impact
in the industrialized world than in the developing world, which tends to
be in warmer regions and has an infrastructure less able to withstand the
Despite our intuition that we need to do something drastic about global warming, economic analyses show that it will be far more expensive to cut carbon dioxide emissions radically than to pay the costs of adapting to the ncreased temperatures. Moreover, all current models show that the Kyoto Protocol will have surprisingly little impact on the climate: temperature levels projected for 2100 will be postponed for all of six years.
Yet the cost of the Kyoto Protocol will be $150 billion to $350 billion
annually (compared to $50 billion in global annual development aid). With
global warming disproportionately affecting third world countries, we have
to ask if Kyoto is the best way to help them. The answer is no. For the cost
of Kyoto for just one year we could solve the world's biggest problem: we
could provide every person in the world with clean water. This alone
would save two million lives each year and prevent 500 million from severe
disease. In fact, for the same amount Kyoto would have cost just the United
States every year, the United Nations estimates that we could provide
every person in the world with access to basic health, education, family
water and sanitation services. Isn't this a better way of serving the world?
The focus should be on development, not sustainability. Development is
not simply valuable in itself, but in the long run it will lead the third
world to become more concerned about the environment. Only when people are
rich enough to feed themselves do they begin to think about the effect of
their actions on the world around them and on future generations. With its
focus on sustainability, the developed world ends up prioritizing the future
at the expense of the present. This is backward. In contrast, a
focus on development helps people today while creating the foundation for an even better tomorrow.
The United States has a unique opportunity in Johannesburg to call attention
to development. Many Europeans chastised
the the Bush administration for not caring enough about sustainability, especially in its rejection of the Kyoto Protocol. They are probably correct that the United States decision was made on the basis of economic self-interest rather than out of some principled belief in world development.. But in Johannesburg the administration can recast its decision as an attempt to focus on the most important and fundamental issues on the global agenda: clean drinking water, better sanitation and health care and
the fight against poverty.
Such move would regain for the United States the moral high ground. When
United States rejected the Kyoto treaty last
year, Europeans talked endlessly about how it was left to them to "save the world." But if the United States is willing to commit the resources to ensure development, it could emerge as the savior.
Bjorn Lomborg is director of the Environmental Assessment
Institute in Denmark and author of ‘‘The Skeptical
Note from Coolwire, "buy the book", excellent value.
This is to announce that my book "The Greenhouse Delusion: A Critique of 'Climate Change 2001" has been published by
Multiscience Publishing Co Ltd
5 Wates Way
Essex CM15 978
PO Box 176
New Jersey 07001
The book has 95 pages and costs £11.50
Multiscience has a website www.multi-science.co.uk, and an Email email@example.com for orders.
The book consists of Chapters as follows
A Summary for Policymakers
1. The History of the Greenhouse Effect
2. "Climate Change", "Change of Climate" or "Climate Variability"?
3. Global Warming. What Evidence?
4. Greenhouse Gases and Aerosols
5. Sea Level
6. Computer Climate Models
7.Forecasting the Future
A Note on Sources
The book has 22 illustrations and comprehensive references.
I would welcome any suggestions for the promotion and wide distribution of this book.
75 Silverstream Road
Phone/Fax (064) 4 9735939
"It's not the things you don't know that fool you.
It's the things you do know that ain't so"
AIM REPORT August 26, 2002
SCIENCE FOR SALE: THE GLOBAL WARMING SCAM
By Notra Trulock
Alaska is melting, at least according to the New York Times. Forests are
dying, thawing permafrost is causing pavements to buckle, and Native American
villages are crumbling. Times reporter Timothy Egan broke this sensational
story in the June 16 Sunday edition, complete with color pictures of the
buckling highways and eroding shorelines. The cause of all these problems,
according to Egan, is a seven-degree-Fahrenheit rise in the average temperature
in Alaska over the past 30 years. He attributed the higher temperatures to
global warming or Mother Nature's "prolonged mood swing," implying that it
might be reversible. But he quoted scientists at the University of Alaska
at Fairbanks saying the changes were due to "indisputable climate warming."
Editorially, the Times didn't equivocate. It declared that Alaska is now experiencing the long-anticipated effects of global warming. Columnist Bob Herbert, its chief doomsayer, used the Alaska report to excoriate the Bush administration for its lack of "urgency" on global warming. The Times is miffed that the President "unsigned" the Kyoto Treaty and prefers voluntary measures to reduce the putative cause of the warming-greenhouse gas emissions.
On July 8, a Times editorial praised California's legislature for passing a law that will require automakers to cut emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). The editorial declared this was "unquestionably the most important step" in curbing greenhouse gas emissions since Bill Clinton signed the Kyoto Treaty in 1997. It cited warnings by "mainstream scientists" that climatic, environmental, and economic catastrophes will result if global warming goes unchecked. Citing Egan's June 16 article, it said, the "astonishing seven degree increase" in temperatures in Alaska shows "what we all have to look forward to…unless the Bush administration follows California's example."
The Times Got It Wrong
But what used to be regarded as the paper of record got the Alaska warming story wrong. Alaska's average temperature did not rise by seven degrees over the past 30 years. The Times ran a correction saying that it was 5. 4 degrees Fahrenheit, citing a study by the Center for Global Change and Arctic System Research at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks (UA/Fairbanks). But the Center's, and the Times', number was still too high, according to Prof. Gerd Wendler at the Alaska Climate Research Center.
Prof. Wendler says it is still "too great by a factor of two for the 1971 to 2000 period." He bases this on National Climate Data Center information, gathered from four "first class weather stations" professionally serviced by the National Weather Service. His calculations have been replicated and verified independently. Professor Wendler asked the Times for a correction on June 18, but it has failed to run one or explain why it was sticking to the contested number.
On the Internet, Tech Central Station attributed the warming trend to a spike in temperatures during the Great Pacific Climate Shift in 1976-1977, a pattern that has been repeated over the past 100 years. Subtract those years, and there is no warming trend after 1977. Professor (emeritus) Sue Ann Bowling, a climatologist with the Atmospheric Sciences Faculty at UA/Fairbanks, confirmed to AIM that the Pacific climate shift caused a "step change" in temperature trends around 1976-1977.
Both Wendler and Bowling were mystified by the Times' numbers. Wendler speculated that his colleagues at the Center for Global Change may have used an earlier time period or numbers from other stations. Other scientists, speaking anonymously, think that the Center for Global Change may have fudged the numbers to support its projections of future change, which have temperature increases in Alaska doubling or even tripling by 2100.
Wrong Numbers, Wrong Consequences
If the corrected numbers in the Times article are off by a factor of two, does that mean that the Times' predictions of catastrophic consequences are equally wrong? For the Times, along with environmental activists, left-liberal politicians (and Senator John McCain) and those "mainstream scientists" the Times likes to quote, it doesn't really matter. When it comes to global warming, for this group "the debate is over."
Likely presidential candidate Senator John Kerry, D-Mass., in his opening statement at a recent congressional hearing, captured the mood of this group by saying that it is now "time to shift the focus from the science to the solution of climate change." By solution, Kerry means mandatory reductions of CO2 emissions and other curbs on industry, particularly automakers. Politicians like Senators Kerry, McCain and Lieberman have all climbed on the global warming bandwagon, and one source claims that twice as many climate change bills were introduced in the 107th Congress as in the previous two sessions combined. State officials, like California Governor Gray Davis and the Democratic attorneys general of 10 other states are all impatient with Washington's emphasis on voluntary controls. They want President Bush to support new legislation to curb emissions.
Activists applaud these measures, but would prefer to launch a "new industrial revolution" to fundamentally transform the way we "power the global economy." This means "new fuels, new engines, new industrial processes, and new ways to generate electricity" (but not nuclear power). They urge Americans to "adjust to new realities" or go the way of the dinosaurs. You can tell how serious the issue is getting when trial lawyers start speculating about filing class-action lawsuits seeking damages on behalf of individuals or even countries that claim they have suffered from the effects of global warming.
A Failed Hypothesis
But the science on global warming, and its putative causes, is by no means settled. The earth's atmosphere has both warmed and cooled over the centuries without any human activity being responsible. Dr. S. Fred Singer, president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), points out that a study of CO2 and temperatures over the past 11,000 years that was analyzed in both Science and Nature in 1999 found that the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere tends to follow, not precede, a rise in temperature. Dr. Singer reminds us that "the bulk of the temperature rise in the 20th century took place before 1940, while most of the CO2 emissions took place after 1940 and coincided with a slight climate cooling between 1940 and 1975." The satellite temperature readings from 1979 through June 2002 have risen at the rate of only 0.1 degree Fahrenheit per decade or 1.0 degree per century.
The global warming advocates rely on projections of the earth's surface temperatures derived from computer models to support their claims that we are facing disaster if we don't take decisive action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The increase projected for the 21st century is 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit compared to an increase of 0.7E to 1.4EF in the 20th century. Advocates, like the authors of a recent National Research Council report, claim that, "warming trends are most clearly marked by surface temperature measurements-which have been recorded daily at hundreds of locations for more than a century." Critics don't dispute that some warming has occurred. They say the surface temperature data are not a reliable measure of the increase, citing the poor coverage of oceans and higher latitudes and the location of many stations near urban areas, making the data susceptible to an "urban heat island effect."
Satellite Data More Convincing
AIM has repeatedly pointed to the value of data collected by microwave sounding units that fly on a constellation of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) polar-orbiting satellites. These TIROS-N satellites record temperature fluctuations in the lower troposphere (up to about 5 miles) and the lower stratosphere (about 9-12 miles up), where the effects of greenhouse gases should be most apparent. As the NRC report concluded, "if global warming is caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, it should be evident not only at the earth's surface, but also in the low-mid troposphere."
But it isn't. As noted above, satellite data show a 0.1EF increase per decade since 1979, when the program was started-a dramatic difference from the surface temperature trend. The satellite data correlate with those collected by weather balloons using completely different sensors. The coverage is global and extends over oceans and surface areas where land-based systems are infrequent. Measurements are taken in atmospheric layers above the effects of urban heat islands. The satellite sensors are calibrated by NOAA's practice of putting new birds in orbit before older satellites are retired. But global warming advocates generally ignore satellite data. During the Clinton years, as reported in the January-A 2000 AIM Report, Dr. D. James Baker, the Undersecretary of Commerce who headed NOAA and "owned" the satellites, ignored these data because they refuted the global warming hypothesis.
For global warming advocates, the chief culprit is greenhouse gas emissions, and especially CO2, produced by burning fossil fuel. Deb Callahan, President of the League of Conservation Voters, a Washington-based political action group that funds "pro-environment" candidates, says "carbon dioxide pollution" is to blame for all the problems. Another advocacy group, Environmental Defense, labels carbon dioxide "global warming pollution." This simply reflects the consensus of global warming advocates who point to human activity, especially fossil fuel burning, as (mostly) responsible for the warming trends.
To its credit, the Bush administration has tried to slow down the global warming propaganda machine. James Mahoney, the new Assistant Secretary of Commerce who is the deputy chief of NOAA, used his recent congressional testimony to remind the Senate that "substantial uncertainties remain to be addressed" in global warming science. He said scientific knowledge about "specific cause-effect relationships" is only beginning to emerge. Nevertheless, the Bush administration has embraced the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 18% over the next decade. The administration prefers voluntary methods, but it still pours billions of dollars into climate change research.
Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT, disputes the link between climatic change and CO2. In 2001, he testified before a Senate committee that past major climatic changes were either "uncorrelated with changes in CO2 or were characterized by temperature changes which preceded changes in CO2 by hundreds or thousands of years." Lindzen argued that there is no demonstrable linkage between growth in CO2 generation and major climatic change of the type forecast by global warming advocates. Others stress that if CO2 emissions really are the culprit, then temperatures in the troposphere should be warming faster than surface temperatures. The satellite data show the reverse is true.
A central problem with global warming theories is the reliance on two large computer models to project impacts of warming and greenhouse gas emissions on the environment. These two models, according to the critique, vastly exaggerate the atmosphere's sensitivity to increasing CO2 and cannot replicate other variables like clouds or water vapor that also impact climates. Most damaging, the models fail to accurately simulate recorded experience when put to the test, so many wonder why these models should be used to support policy making on climate change.
It's Not About the Science
The dirty secret is that global warming is driven more by the search for funding than the search for scientific truth. "Big science" was adrift in the early 1990s, like many other beneficiaries of the Cold War, and was desperate to sustain its federal funding. Global warming had all the key attributes of the next big cause. It could be used to frighten the politicians and the public, using threats of catastrophic consequences to extract billions of dollars for research to prevent it. The science was immature, and the door was wide open to all sorts of proposals and projects by scientists promising solutions. High-performance computers were the tools, and the projects promised to be long-term and career-sustaining. Getting funds was easy. As MIT Professor Lindzen has noted, "saving the planet" had a nice ring to it and seemed to portend big bucks at the end of the global warming rainbow.
By the early 1990s, there was a convergence between the proponents of big science and the left-oriented activist community. Many of the Left's old myths and socialist dreams had collapsed with the demise of the Soviet Union, and many seized on global warming as another path to reining in Big Business and reducing the standard of living and comfort level of the average American. Global warming also offered another avenue for leftists to continue their "blame America first" campaign. Advocacy groups constantly reminded citizens that it is the U.S. that is largely to blame for greenhouse emissions. For example, a newly released study by Environmental Defense blames the U.S. for generating 25% of the world's carbon dioxide and says that American cars and light trucks alone emit more carbon dioxide than almost all the other nations of the world combined. Environmental Defense says driving a car, especially an SUV, is the most egregious sin one can commit from a pollution standpoint. Since Americans have demonstrated they won't cut emissions on their own, big government will have to step in and impose curbs and controls on autos and industry in general. Clearly, advocacy groups and lobbyists had found a new hot-button issue to support their fund raising.
Global warming fanatics found powerful allies in the Democratic Party, and especially then Senator Al Gore. Government control and public opinion were the levers needed to implement the global warming agenda. Activists would need to capture key policy jobs in those federal agencies with science portfolios, like the Energy Department, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and NOAA. Once secured, these jobs would give activists control of the key levers of influence over the scientific community-research grants and federal funding of national labs and universities. They knew that they could always buy scientists who would turn out scientific studies and research reports that would help them shape and mold public opinion.
The Clinton/Gore Legacy
The Clinton/Gore victory in 1992 opened that door. President George H.W. Bush's refusal to personally attend the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and his reluctance to accept binding agreements on carbon dioxide curbs gave the Clinton/Gore team another issue in their campaign to show that "President Bush was out of touch with the people and their daily concerns."
Once in power, Al Gore, a strident environmentalist, began to remake the government bureaucracy in his image. His life experience in Washington had taught him the value of the old Washington truism, "personnel is policy." He established a White House Climate Change Task Force and placed his former legislative aide, 29-year old Kathleen McGinty, in charge of a new White House Office on Environmental Policy. He put her on the National Security Council, the new National Economic Council, and the Domestic Policy Council as a symbol of the importance of environmental policy in the Clinton White House. McGinty would be in charge of seeding the government bureaucracies with "greens" and was reputed to have an enemies list of Bush holdovers. Former NASA chief scientist Robert Watson, a Gore favorite, became associate director in the White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP). Gore brought in other "green" lawyers and lobbyists to populate the new White House positions.
He installed his former legislative director, Carol Browner, as the new EPA administrator in 1993. Under Browner, EPA became the central coordinator of the federal global warming campaign, dispensing funds through a variety of inter-agency committees and programs. At the Defense Department, the position of Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Environmental Security was established, and the CIA established a task force to apply national technical means (satellite collection platforms) to monitor world environmental issues. Tim Wirth, a former Democratic senator from Colorado, became Undersecretary for Global Affairs at the State Department. He led all U.S. negotiations on climate change. As a senator, Wirth had proclaimed that it didn't matter if the science of global warming was right or wrong, the economic and environmental policies would be right for America.
Naysayers Not Wanted
The fate of Bush appointee William Happer, a highly respected Princeton physicist, is symptomatic of Gore's remaking of the bureaucracy. Happer had been asked to stay over until a new Assistant Secretary of Energy could be appointed, but he quickly ran afoul of Gore and his climate control group in the White House. Happer had initiated a research program to test the various ozone depletion theories then in vogue and had found that the empirical results were not matching the theory's predictions. When he told a House committee that "there probably has been some exaggeration of the dangers of ozone and global climate change," White House officials promptly fired him. Gore had already decided that ozone depletion would damage crops and increase the rate of skin cancer.
Robert Watson had predicted that an ozone hole would open up over Kennebunkport, ME, President Bush's vacation home. Happer had publicly ridiculed Watson's suggestion and so Happer was almost certainly on McGinty's enemies list. Happer, in a later interview, correctly identified the Clinton/Gore approach as "politically correct science." The huge amounts of funding made available by Clinton/Gore ensured that the new administration would get the "answers" on global warming it was seeking. Happer said that science was being turned on its head. Instead of science driving policy, policy now determined the results it wanted and then paid scientists to come up with them.
Also, at the Energy Department, a staff lawyer from the Natural Resources Defense Council, another Washington-based environmental advocacy group, became Secretary Hazel O'Leary's chief of staff and then went on to become an assistant secretary, with control of over $1.3 billion annually in climate-change funding. The Energy Department doled out billions of dollars in global warming funding to its National Laboratories, which had convinced the department that many of its computer models used to develop nuclear weapons were applicable to climate modeling. In addition, the Department funded university research grants and scholarships in the various climate-change academic disciplines.
The largest Energy project is the Atmosphere Radiation Measurement (ARM) project, run by Sandia National Laboratory along with the other nuclear weapons design laboratories. The ARM program even has its own air force; it uses a fleet of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and propeller-driven aircraft to collect cloud data at three sites: Oklahoma, the western Pacific Ocean, and Alaska's North Shore. The Department recently signed an agreement with Australia to begin data collection at Darwin. Congressional skeptics have wondered what, if anything, these programs have to do with nuclear weapons, but they continue to fund them nonetheless.
Over its two terms, the Clinton administration pumped nearly $20 billion into global warming science and technology initiatives. By 2002, the EPA website advertised that more than a billion dollars was still available for grants for the purpose of reducing greenhouse emissions.
Scaring The Public
As part of its campaign to mold public opinion, the EPA sponsored regional conferences throughout the United States to dramatize the potential impacts of climate change. In May 1999, for example, the EPA visited South Florida and the Florida Keys to warn local residents of the potential impacts for their region of global warming. Local EPA officials, area activists and outside speakers told attendees that global warming is real and that their area would be particularly hard hit. One local activist told the conference that global warming represents "the largest single threat to our planet that we know of, including a nuclear holocaust." A professor of environmental health from Columbia University predicted an outbreak of water-borne diseases like malaria as the sea level rises in the wake of global warming. A "hurricane expert" predicted a 50% increase in hurricanes in that year alone. (In fact, the number of hurricanes decreased in 1999 in comparison with past years.) Others predicted that the Everglades would disappear, as would safe drinking water and clean air.
Global warming advocates also had a reliable ally in the mainstream media. In most cases, the media simply report research findings and results handed to reporters in government news releases and interviews. The more provocative and alarming the reports, the more likely they are to find their way onto the front page. The Alaska report on the dramatic impact of warming was funded by NOAA, Department of Interior and National Science Foundation grants. Rarely do reporters challenge the "science," and rarer still do they present global warming as anything other than an accepted fact among scientists.
The media have helped create the false impression that the vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is a serious threat that calls for drastic action. Agreement with this seems to be a litmus tests for Times reporters covering science. One such reporter, Kenneth Chang, answered a question on the Times Internet site about global warming by saying that it's a complicated subject, but 97% of all scientists think it is real and is caused by CO2 emissions. He said there are uncer-tainties in the science, but he admitted that he tries to write his articles on global warming from the majority viewpoint. Nevertheless, he had a good article in the Times last April that corrected the impression given by an earlier story by another reporter that global warming was affecting Antarctica. Chang reported that the interior of Antarctica is actually cooling, and he gave credit to the satellites that provided this information. They are rarely mentioned by the Times and other media.
What You Can Do
Send the enclosed cards or your own cards or letters to Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., Chairman and Publisher of the New York Times, to Bo Jones, Publisher and CEO of the Washington Post and to an editor of your choice.
NOTES FROM THE EDITOR'S CUFF BY By Reed Irvine
THE EXPOSURE OF DEEP-SEATED CORRUPTION IN A NUMBER OF AMERICA'S LARGEST
corporations and some of the big accounting firms that are supposed to guarantee
the accuracy of business balance sheets has produced a pall of disillusionment
and suspicion that has spread over other institutions. These include government
and the news media. A survey of 1,365 adults conducted by the Pew Research
Center in July that was released on August 4 found that the public's trust
of business, the news media and the government has declined since last November.
The Pew news release sums up its findings saying, "President Bush's approval
ratings have slipped, support for increased regulation of business is up
and Americans are less confident that the government is giving them the straight
story about terrorism. At the same time public criticism of the news media,
which abated in response to coverage of the 9/11 attacks, is once again as
strong as ever. The favorable glow from the media's post-9/11 performance
has completely disappeared. As the media's focus has shifted away from terrorism,
Americans regard news organizations with the same degree of skepticism as
they did in the 1990s."
FIVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NEWS MEDIA DEALING WITH ACCURACY, WILLINGNESS TO correct mistakes, professionalism, patriotism and bias produced these percentages for Nov. '01 and July '02. In every category except professionalism and patriotism, the figures in July are virtually identical with those in a survey taken just before 9/11. The ratings for professionalism and patriotism are a little higher now than before 9/11.
For this table, look on the AIMS web site, address at top of this article.
GLOBAL WARMING PROVIDES MANY EXCELLENT EXAMPLES OF THE MEDIA'S FAILURE
TO get the facts straight, correct their errors and avoid political bias.
Notra Trulock calls attention to many of these in this AIM Report. The most
persistent error is the refusal of most journalists to recognize and report
what the satellite temperature data have demonstrated since 1979-that there
is no significant change in the warming trend since then. Most of the journalists
who cover this subject persist in giving the public the impression that virtually
all the scientists in the world agree that greenhouse gases are causing the
planet to warm at an accelerated rate. They do this by reiterating it as
a fact and by citing in their stories mainly those scientists who profess
to believe this. Unfortunately, the same temptation that has caused the corruption
in the business world has corrupted science in recent decades. That is the
lure of big money. Billions of dollars in grants are available to those who
hold out promises of proving that we face dire catastrophes if we don't take
drastic action to stop the globe from overheating. It is naive to think that
this has no corrupting effect.
THIS TEMPTATION WAS DISCUSSED IN "THE GREENHOUSE CONSPIRACY," A 1990 DOCU- mentary produced in Britain. Several scientists were interviewed who told of financial pressure exerted against those who did not accept the warming theory. Dr. Sherwood Idso of the U.S. Conservation Service said, "A lot of people are getting very famous, very well-known and very well-funded as a result of promoting the disastrous scenario of greenhouse warming." Dr. Reginald Newell of MIT commented, "My suspicion is that if one has a crisis like this, it's easier to gain funds for the profession as a whole." When he wrote a paper pointing out flaws in climate models, he was warned that his funding would probably be cut, and it was. Dr. Patrick Michaels of the University of Virginia, whose articles critical of the global warming scenario had been regularly rejected by scientific journals, commented, "I would have been more successful had I said the world is coming to an end." Dr. Michaels is still fighting the good fight for scientific integrity along with many other climatologists who have resisted selling their souls for big grants from the government. If these scientists accept anything from industries, such as coal mining, to sustain their research and publications, their work is denigrated by those who are lavishly supported by government agencies that have bought the global warming theory.
THE MEDIA ALSO PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN CORRUPTING SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH. THIS was implied by Dr. Stephen Schneider of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who made the switch from warning of a coming ice age to warning of global overheating early on. The February 1990 Reader's Digest said of him, "He admits many uncertainties about global warming. Nevertheless, to gain public support through media coverage, he explains that sometimes 'scientists have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and make little mention of the doubts we may have.'" Schneider demonstrated that he is good at this when he was interviewed for an NBC Dateline segment that aired on Feb. 21, 1997. He said, "Almost everybody agrees that we've changed the gaseous envelope of the atmosphere. The balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on climate." Asked about the odds of sea levels rising one to three feet over the next century, he said, "I think that rising sea levels are very probable. In fact, they're already a fact."
THE 1995 REPORT OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE COULD BE cited to support Schneider's claim that the evidence suggests there is a discernible human influence on climate. That, too, illustrates the corruption of science. The language that had been approved by the working group and the plenary session of the IPCC had clearly said, "Few, if any, would be willing to argue that unambiguous attribution of change to anthropogenic effects has already occurred or was likely to happen in the next several years....no study to date has positively attributed all or part of change to anthropogenic causes." This was altered by a few individuals assigned to publish the report. They succumbed to pressure from influential governments, including the U.S., that were eager to get mandatory limits on carbon dioxide emissions. It was done surreptitiously without proper consultation. However, they did not change the statement that refutes Schneider's claim that rising sea levels are already a fact. The report said, "There is as yet no evidence of any acceleration of sea level rise in this century, nor would any necessarily be expected from the observed climate change to date."
THE MEDIA'S FOCUS ON CORRUPTION IN THE BUSINESS WORLD IS UNDERSTANDABLE IN view of the scandalous conduct that finally burst the speculative bubble on Wall Street, but more attention should be paid to the root cause of the problem-the failure to teach children moral values. Gross dishonesty that can cause serious injury, injustice, inequities, waste, loss of confidence, disillusionment and the metastasizing of corruption is rampant in America. In 1985, I started Accuracy in Academia because I had become convinced that what budding journalists were learning in college was responsible for much of the bias and the lack of concern for honesty and accuracy in journalism. That is still true, but as far as honesty is concerned, one has to dig deeper. Eleven Marine Corps second lieutenants have just been discharged for cheating on a test. They didn't learn that in the Marines. Cheating is rampant in our schools and is even encouraged by some teachers. That must change.
AMITAI ETZIONI, A PROFESSOR AT GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY AND AUTHOR OF "The Moral Dimension," recently had an article in The Washington Post titled, "When It Comes to Ethics, B-Schools Get an F." Etzioni taught ethics at the Harvard Business School in 1987-89. The school had received a gift of $20 million to fund the teaching of ethics. The faculty debated this at length. Etzioni says, "Reactions ranged from distrust to outright hostility." A finance professor who was teaching students how to increase profits by breaking implicit contracts was worried. A marketing professor pointed out that much of what they were teaching was a form of dissembling, such as increasing sales by putting small items in large boxes. An economist was opposed, saying they were there to teach science, not ethics. A course was begun, but it was one to be gotten out of the way as quickly as possible, Etzioni says. His students told him repeatedly that companies could not afford to be guided by ethics; they would lose out to ruthless competitors. This was what they were being taught. He tells of a study of 2,000 graduates of the 13 top business schools. It found that studying for an MBA weakened their moral character. The percentage who said maximizing shareholder value was a corporation's prime responsibility went from 68 percent when they entered the MBA program to 82 percent by the end of the first year. The lesson I see in this is that moral values must be taught beginning in grade school. Graduate school is too late.
Thanks to Timo Hameranta for sending this piece.