Vail Valley Voices: More hot air than science in global-warming theory
Vail, CO, Colorado
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“Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the handmaiden of truth” — Robert Weston.
Since I am a long-time denier of human-caused global warming and have been described as an “inaccurate” and “irresponsible” “fool” by Scott Glasser's commentary in Monday's Vail Daily, I feel compelled to respond.
I am a research scientist who also served as a meteorologist for the U.S. Navy. I am also a lifelong progressive Democrat.
For the 25 years that I have been studying the theory that human emission of carbon dioxide is causing global warming and climate change, it has never ceased to amaze me how many otherwise intelligent people, including our president, have been taken in by that scam.
There is a simple way to tell the difference between scientists and propagandists. If scientists have a theory, they search diligently for data that might actually contradict their theory so that they test it rigorously or refine it. If propagandists have a theory, they carefully select only the data that might agree with their theory and dutifully ignore any data that might contradict it.
The anecdotal drivel cited in the Glasser article regarding atmospheric carbon dioxide, average global temperatures, ice area coverage and rate of sea-level rise was carefully cherry picked or is totally false.
For the totality of the available data for the past several decades, go to www.climate4you.com. The data show nothing remarkable — just the normal variability in all those weather-related parameters.
Knowledgeable scientists, including the more than 30,000 such as myself who have signed the Oregon Petition, know that changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide do not correlate with human emission of carbon dioxide, that human emission is a trivial fraction of sources and sinks of carbon dioxide, that the oceans contain about 50 times more dissolved carbon dioxide than is present in the atmosphere, that recycling of carbon dioxide from the tropical oceans where it is emitted to the arctic oceans where it is absorbed is orders of magnitude more significant than human emissions, and that the carbonate-bicarbonate buffer in the oceans makes their acidity (actually their alkaline pH) virtually insensitive to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
The data for the glacial coolings and interglacial warmings for the past 500,000 years always show that temperature changes precede atmospheric carbon-dioxide changes by about 1,000 years. That indicates that temperature changes are driving carbon-dioxide changes and not the reverse as the Gore-Hansen-IPCC clique claims. As oceans warm for whatever reason, they emit carbon dioxide, and as they cool they absorb carbon dioxide.
The carbon-dioxide “greenhouse effect” argument on which the fearmongering hysteria is based is actually devoid of physical reality. The notion that the colder atmosphere above can reradiate its absorbed infrared energy to heat the warmer earth below violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics. For details, see “Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory,” co-authored by myself and several other scientists, which was published earlier this year by Stairway Press.
In any case, if one compares the effect of water in all of its forms (polar ice, snow cover, oceans, clouds, water vapor in the atmosphere) with that of human emission of carbon dioxide, the carbon-dioxide emission is about as significant as a few farts in a hurricane.
Glasser, who calls me a fool, really tips his hand by defending the notoriously fraudulent “hockey stick” curve of Professor Mann. That curve has the shape of a hockey stick, flat for the past 1,000 years with a sharp rise during the past few decades. It was fabricated from carefully selected tree-ring measurements with a phony computer program.
Every knowledgeable climatologist knows that tree rings are unreliable proxies for temperature because they are also sensitive to moisture, sunlight, pests, competition from adjacent trees, etc. Furthermore, when those same tree-ring data actually showed a decline in temperature for the past several decades, Mann and his co-authors simply “hid the decline” by grafting direct measurements (inadequately corrected for the urban heat island and other effects) to his flat tree-ring line.
Knowledgeable climatologists knew that the Medieval Warm Period, when the Vikings settled Greenland and grapes grew in northern England, was much warmer than today and that its presence in all regions of the world was overwhelming. Similarly for the Roman Warm Period that preceded it and for a whole series of natural warmings and coolings until one gets back to the big one: the interglacial cooling of about 20,000 years ago.
And that all happened without any significant human emission of carbon dioxide.
The conclusions being promulgated by the scientifically illiterate diplomats who control the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are fraudulent concoctions that have already been denounced by many of its scientific members.
Those diplomats, like the bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency, have huge egos and a lust for power. That is far more important to them than the triviality of scientific truth. Once committed to one side of such an issue,
they will rarely admit that they have made a mistake. Once having invested their political capital and our economic resources to start the huge, massive inertia wheel turning, it takes too much courage, energy and loss of face to stop it.
That was the case with the war in Vietnam and currently with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The conclusions of the IPCC need to be repudiated lest they continue to discredit the United Nations' legitimate functions: its programs to improve the standard of living of the underdeveloped nations, its programs to combat hunger and poverty, its support of the conventions against genocide and torture, and its support of the International Criminal Court's prosecution of war criminals.
Dr. Martin Hertzberg writes from Copper Mountain.