Civil Defense Perspectives November 2014 Volume 31 No. 1
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may claim 95% confidence in its predictions, but 111 (97%) of 114 runs of climate models predicted temperature changes greater than observed (TWTW 8/23/14). After a 35-year simulation, models over-predicted actual temperatures by 200% to 750%. Would a 300-year simulation fare better (TWTW 11/8/14)?
Previously, the climate-research establishment denied the existence of a pause in the inexorable warming, but admitted that it would invalidate their theories. A 2008 report from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said: “The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 years or more” (Matt Ridley, WSJ 9/4/14).
The global warming pause has now come of age, having reached its 18th year in October, writes John Christy of the Univ. of Alabama/Huntsville. “When you understand a system, you are able to predict its behavior,” he writes (CCNet 10/1/14). However, instead of recanting their error, alarmists have devised more than 40 explanations for the 21st century “hiatus.” Updated list from “The Hockey Schtick”: http://tinyurl.com/k654h24.
Previously, the hunt for the missing heat focused on the Pacific Ocean, but attention is now shifting to the Atlantic. The search “helps scientists respond to global warming misinformation,” according to Michael McFadden of NOAA. “Climate change denialists have made hay with [the hiatus] in an attempt to discredit the science and confuse the public” (Science 8/22/14).
If a natural cycle in ocean currents is offsetting the alleged human-caused warming, the hiatus should last 30 years and be followed by accelerated warming (Daily Telegraph 8/21/14).
The “delay” means we have only a decade of extra time before “crossing the internationally agreed threshold of 2 °C of warming,” write Michael Mann, et al. “It may just be the difference between bad and terrible consequences of our inability to get emissions under control” (Huffington Post 10/17/14).
Natural gas is not the answer: “Abundant gas makes energy cheaper, thereby encouraging higher energy consumption and discouraging investment in energy efficiency,” write Steven Davis and Christine Shearer. Also “natural gas competes for market share not only with coal but also with very-low-carbon energy sources such as renewables and nuclear” (Nature 10/23/14).
Pep Rallies in New York and Beijing
Conflicting science was not allowed to dampen the sports pep rally atmosphere at the Sep 23 UN global warming summit in New York City, writes Ken Haapala (TWTW 9/20/14). The main attraction was the People’s Climate March, with students bussed in by the Sierra Club. The Army of Believers is eloquently described by William Briggs (http://tinyurl.com/mecjy4z).
Absent from the Summit were President Xi Jinping of China, the world’s #1 emitter of CO2 since 2008; Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi (#3 emitter); Russian President Vladimir Putin (#4); German Chancellor Angela Merkel (#6); Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (#8); and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (#14). Present was Leonardo DiCaprio, star of the movie Titanic, appointed as UN representative by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
Climate-change cheerleaders Barack Obama and Xi Jinping announced an “historic pact,” a “major milestone in the U.S.-China relationship,” meant to trigger “a global push to save the planet,” at a Beijing press conference on Nov 12 (Bloomberg 11/12/14, http://tinyurl.com/k6frlr6). Reuters market analyst John Kemp writes that the pact is more important for political and symbolic reasons than for any effect on emissions. Obama needs to show that he is still relevant after the midterm election, and China wants to influence negotiations leading to the 2015 climate summit (http://tinyurl.com/mh9wjl2).
China announced its intention to achieve peak CO2 emissions by 2030 and to increase the share of non-fossil fuels [including nuclear] to around 20 percent of primary energy consumption. The U.S. agreed to double the pace of cutting emissions to 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. The U.S. also made concessions on maritime disputes and technology transfers.
The only way to reduce U.S. emissions in a way that does not directly and visibly impact millions of people [and thus may be politically feasible] is to target 557 big power plants and 227 steel and cement factories, writes Charles C. Mann (see p 2). Reducing “coal pollution” also has the asserted public health benefit of preventing 6,600 premature deaths, he adds (see July CDP).
Obama plans to unleash a series of sweeping executive actions to “fight climate change,” despite the voters’ mandate in the midterm election to end the war on coal (Politico 11/11/14).
World coal consumption will, however, continue to increase. India’s priority is to alleviate poverty; emissions will have to increase for at least 30 years. (NYT 9/24/14). Angela Merkel announced that coal-based power plants are “indispensable” for the foreseeable future (CCNet 9/24/24). If 1.5 billion people gain access to electricity from coal, CO2 emissions would have to rise by 25%. Affordable coal-fired electricity could prevent 4 million premature deaths per year now attributable to smoke from indoor cooking and kerosene lighting (Science 9/19/14).
As the lowest-cost option, coal brought electricity to most of the 830 million people who gained it between 1990 and 2010. Widely available, it can’t be cut off by chaos in the Middle East or by Russia’s turning off a pipeline. About 550 gigawatts of new coal-fired capacity is planned over the next 25 years, 400 GW of it in China (CCNet 11/3/14, http://tinyurl.com/m9xhkd9).
The war on coal is the war of billionaires, such as the “Green Blob” of lobbyists funded by hugely wealthy donors (CCNet 10/27/14), on the world’s poor. As Obama said in 2013, “Here in Africa, if everybody is raising living standards to the point where everybody has got a car, and everybody has got air conditioning,… the planet will boil over” (http://tinyurl.com/p5w7awb).
Only 11 of 144 nations—the “8% consensus”—have backed the extension of the Kyoto Protocol.
The multi-billion-dollar climate-research establishment is also making war on scientists who challenge the orthodoxy (see p 2). Sir Paul Nurse, new president of the British Science Association, said that politicians who do not believe in climate change should be “crushed and buried” (Daily Mail 9/4/14).
A History of Failed Forecasts
- The world will be 11 degrees cooler by 2000, “twice what it would take to put us in an ice age,” said ecology professor Kenneth E.F. Watt of the Univ. of Calif. in 1970.
- “Entire nations could be wiped off the map by rising sea levels if global warming is not reversed by the year 2000,” stated the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1989. UNEP predicted 50 million “climate refugees” by 2010.
- A 2003 Pentagon report warned that by 2013 California could be flooded by inland seas and polar ice would be all but gone in the summer time.
- Snowfall would be a “rare and very exciting event” in Britain within a few years, predicted David Viner of the Climate Research Institute (CRU) at the Univ. of East Anglia in 2000 (New American 8/12/14, http://tinyurl.com/kabqj4g).
- In 1974, Paul Ehrlich told Congress that a billion or more people could starve in the 1980s “at the latest” (Charles C. Mann, “How to Talk about Climate Change So People Will Listen,” Atlantic, September 2014, http://tinyurl.com/qf4jmpr; reply by Joseph Bast, http://tinyurl.com/p6otgd9).
Skeptics “Pollute” Science
The right to discuss or practice climate science is subject to a faith test. Lennart Bengtsson, a leading Swedish meteorologist, withdrew from membership in the Global Warming Policy Foundation, citing unbearable group pressure that threatened his ability to work or even his health and safety. Climate modeler Gavin Schmidt tweeted: “Groups perceived to be acting in bad faith should not be surprised that they are toxic within the science community” (NRO 5/15/14 , http://tinyurl.com/n9zelmn).
Immediately after calling climate change “unproved science” in a WSJ op-ed, climate statistics professor Cliff Rossiter was terminated from his 23-year fellowship at the liberal Institute for Policy Studies (Climate Depot, http://tinyurl.com/mt9hppr).
Robert Kennedy, Jr., in an interview at the People’s Climate March, said that he wishes there was a law to punish global warming skeptics. He’s previously called coal companies “criminal enterprises” and declared CEOs “should be in jail…for all of eternity” (Marita Noon, http://tinyurl.com/mambtfd).
Richard Parncutt, professor of music at Graz University, although opposed to the death penalty for ordinary mass murderers, once called for the execution of “influential GW deniers,” because “they are already causing the deaths of hundreds of millions of future people” (http://tinyurl.com/kyeg4hq).
Barack Obama mocks skeptics, saying “We don’t have time for a meeting of the flat-Earth society” (http://tinyurl.com/pwl8duv). As Jim Vanne points out, there really is a Flat Earth Society—and its president Daniel Shenton thinks “the evidence suggests fossil fuel usage is contributing to global warming” (http://tinyurl.com/ozn2wfe).
Sunlight Drives CO2 Emissions
Each year, inland waters discharge about 1 gigaton of CO2 into the atmosphere, while oceans absorb a net 2 gigatons. This is largely a result of photochemical oxidation of dissolved organic carbon from soils and wetlands (Science 8/22/14). Combustion of hydrocarbons emits 7 gigatons (http://tinyurl.com/lbg7xv4).
Lack of Polar Ice Caps and Glaciers Is Normal
The disappearance of glaciers “appears to be unstoppable,” writes Charles Mann, calling it an “unfathomable disaster” that many ignore, in this time of “legislative paralysis,” while we sit “cozy as kings atop 300 years of flaming carbon” (op. cit.).
Geologist Richard Barca writes: “Generally, valley glaciers have been retreating over the past 10,000 years since the last major ice age. There have been intermittent periods of some growth,” as during the Little Ice Age. It is normal for glaciers to calve when they move downhill, as they always do, and encounter a body of water. If we remain in an inter-glacial period long enough, the continental glaciers on Greenland and Antarctica will also melt. “Looking back in geologic history, that is the norm—a planet without polar ice caps” and without valley glaciers as well.
Christian Schlüchter’s discovery of 4,000-year-old chunks of wood at the leading edge of a Swiss glacier shows that the Alps were nearly glacier-free at the time, reports Larry Bell. Schlüchter noted that “nowhere in the detailed travel accounts from Roman times are glaciers mentioned” (http://tinyurl.com/kk7vqf3).
Are Oil and Coal Users “Grave Robbers”?
The constant use of the term “fossil fuels” is based on the belief that oil, gas, and coal are formed from the remains of ancient forests and animals. This also implies that we will soon exhaust the supply, which can never be replenished. “Peak oil” was the main reason for proposed energy rationing before the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis.
Rev. Stephen H. Phelps deplores our “sins of emission”: “Like thoughtless children, we stormed downstairs and, in a single century, burst open all the packages of the sun’s energy so compactly wrapped and stored beneath the forests for three billion years” (http://tinyurl.com/q2c6t3c).
Journalist Naomi Klein calls us “a society of grave-robbers, feeding off buried fossils” (http://tinyurl.com/o24ufjs).
In past lectures at DDP, S.S. Penner discussed future energy reserves (www.ddponline.org/energy.php). In 2006, world coal reserves were considered adequate for 300 years.
The conventional theory holds that decaying plants and animals were somehow buried in the crust of the earth and converted to hydrocarbons by the earth’s heat and pressure. There is no real proof of this theory, and we don’t see peat bogs today gradually turning into black coal (the biogenic theory makes more sense for lignite). The mere abundance of these fuels argues against it. One scientist estimated that the production of the amount of oil already recovered from one field in Saudi Arabia, assuming 100% conversion efficiency, would have required a mass of fossilized dinosaur detritus 19 miles deep, wide, and high (O.R. Adams, Jr., 2011, http://tinyurl.com/lsgba5v).
Recently, the Russians discovered major oil pockets as deep as 40 miles, far deeper than prehistoric remains could be found.
One can argue that fossils found in coal prove that coal was not made from those fossils (ibid.). “Hydrocarbons are not biology reworked by geology (as the traditional view would hold), but rather geology reworked by biology,” wrote Thomas Gold. “The suggestion that petroleum might have arisen from some transformation of squashed fish or biological detritus is surely the silliest notion to have been entertained by substantial numbers of persons over an extended period of time,” said Sir Fred Hoyle in 1982 (http://tinyurl.com/mq8xwu4).