Time to take a stand.

I have been watching the Global Warming debate play out now since before Kyoto. I am a professional geologist with access to the training and information necessary to make an informed opinion on this topic. Being employed in the Oil Industry, I have held my piece for I know my opinions will not be listened to, only attacked as biased. I have watched with great frustration as global warming lobby has cynically pushed its program to the forefront of politics. I have read of careers damaged or ended, legitimate research stifled, important papers censored. The good news is, the truth is never easy to supress and the real question is only how much financial damage will the IPCC inflict before this plays out and the lobby moves on to greener pastures.

A paper by Friis-Christensen and Lassen of the Danish Meteorological Institute published in 1991 first called my attention to strong corelation between solar activity and global average temperature. Critics of the paper seldomly address the correlation itself but rather seek to discredit the analysis. "There is no theoretical basis" (true, but it suggests where to look!), "variations in measured solar irradience are insufficient to cause the effect" (true again, something else must be at play here), "correlation does not prove causation" (no, but the relation is nonetheless real, and begs analysis). The refusal to inquire into this relation, the refusal to acknowledge it, and the continuing attempts to discredit it by the global warming lobby is worse than simple bad science, it is not science at all, it is politics.

A silver lining to all this "debate" has been to spur much needed research into the whole field of climate science including much-needed contributions from the fields of geology, astronomy, and solar physics. The theoretical basis for the sun-climate relation is being cemented by new observational data, cosmic rays, solar "proxy" indicators (Carbon 14, Beryllium, ice-core studies, etc) are pushing the record of the solar-climate interaction further back in time, the entire geologic record of climate and CO2 are being reviewed, with devastating effect for the CO2 theory.

A curious drama is currently being played out as solar cycle 23 declines and cycle 24 makes its appearance. NASA and NOAA refuse (understandably) to take a stand on whether the next cycle 24 will be an unusually active or if, as seems increasingly likely, it will turn out to be weak. A weakening sun could signal a return to cooler temperatures. This in turn could be devestating for the global warming lobby's ability to influence governments and spend other-people's money on their pet projects. For me the greatest danger is for a frustrated community of opponents of the Anthropomorphic Global Warming (AGW) idea, (feeling suddenly emboldened and empowered) to begin their own cycle doom and gloom predictions. Predicting a return to a "little ice age" or worse.

The point here is that science and politics don't mix. While "good science" can certainly help shape good policy, politicians seek only to win. The good news is that the truth will always find its way eventually (Orwell notwithstanding). Personally, I feel the warming was never the disaster it was made out to be, nor will some welcome cooling lead to a new little ice age. A little vindication though, would be nice.

Kevin Smith 9/2008

"The violent impacts human civilization has on the earth’s ecosystem add up to a worldwide ecological crisis that affects and threatens the habitability of the earth. But the deterioration of our atmosphere is by far the most serious manifestation of this crisis. It is inherently global and affects every part of the earth; it is a contributing and causative factor in most of the other crises; and if it is not quickly addressed, it has the potential to end human civilization as we know it."
Al Gore, 2009

With the collapse of the recently held Copenhagen Conference on AGW, I am stirred to add a few thoughts yet again. Please bear with me..

The excitement leading up to the conference among the true believers was palpable. I was bemused to see scientist Al Gore explaining his new book to Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. The science and the consequences of Anthropomorphic Global Warming is now so firmly established that there can be no doubt! This level of certainty boded well for a very successful, committed and dynamic conference outcome. With the President of the United States on-board there will be no more dithering. Well, that was the expectation..

What I saw I can divide into two categories:
1) With the actual AGW hypothesis so full of bad science and outright fraud in many cases, there has been an increasing notion that "Now is the moment" to implement policy. Any waiting gives the case for natural climate variation (which we cannot control) time to strengthen and dominate the debate. The "urgency" then, while stated as immanent environmental crisis and catastrophy was/is in fact immanent loss of the scientific foundation for the political objective. And..
2) If anyone remains in doubt of the political nature of the AGW movement, the Copenhagen Conference should clear the question. Everyone on the left, sensing victory at hand, was present at the conference to demand their share of the spoils. It was to be free money for all, a massive transfer of wealth from the have's to the have-not's. This, the REAL political agenda of global warming was clearly (and honestly) articulated by Hugo Chavez, was anybody listening? It's a high-stakes game, most politics is. But finally, even in politics, rational thought can emerge when most needed.

The Copenhagen Conference could not have been more timely nor turned out better. The case for natural climate variability continues to strengthen. The solar magnetic field continues to weaken. Perhaps the peoples of the world will get a chance to address real problems soon, there are so many. We shall see...

Kevin Smith 12/2009

2015 Addendum...

OK, I rans across an interesting "Scientific" paper (abstract only) that really demonstrated ALL THAT IS WRONG with models and the predections they generate. See abstract below, this is f'real!

Mathematical Modelling of Plankton–Oxygen Dynamics Under the Climate Change

Bulletin of Mathematical Biology: pp 1-29, 25 November 2015

Yadigar Sekerci, Sergei Petrovskii


Ocean dynamics is known to have a strong effect on the global climate change and on the composition of the atmosphere. In particular, it is estimated that about 70 % of the atmospheric oxygen is produced in the oceans due to the photosynthetic activity of phytoplankton. However, the rate of oxygen production depends on water temperature and hence can be affected by the global warming. In this paper, we address this issue theoretically by considering a model of a coupled plankton–oxygen dynamics where the rate of oxygen production slowly changes with time to account for the ocean warming. We show that a sustainable oxygen production is only possible in an intermediate range of the production rate. If, in the course of time, the oxygen production rate becomes too low or too high, the system’s dynamics changes abruptly, resulting in the oxygen depletion and plankton extinction. Our results indicate that the depletion of atmospheric oxygen on global scale (which, if happens, obviously can kill most of life on Earth) is another possible catastrophic consequence of the global warming, a global ecological disaster that has been overlooked.

Did you see that last line? "the depletion of atmospheric oxygen on global scale is another possible catastrophic consequence of the global warming". This is what makes me crazy, any geologist worth his/her salt KNOWS that the earth's temperature history was mostly far FAR warmer than at present. Yet here is someone with a computer and too much free time announcing that global warming "can kill most of life on Earth". Oh Come ON! Can't they at least check a bit to see if their "model" is consistant with the known record?

OK, I need explain with a chart or two, reconstructions of Temperature and Carbon Dioxide from the geological record, peer reviewed and vetted as correct. That is, don't take my word for it, look at the data.

The current average global temperature is about 14dC as indicated on the upper chart. We are currently in an ice age (holocene interglacial.. whew), and 14C is cool. For MOST of earth's history the average temperature was well above this, yet oxygen-based life evolved and flourished, and continues to do so. It is easy to cobble together a computer model but garbage in is garbage out, and the notion that global warming will kill most life on earth is simply absurd.
Note also that there is essentially NO CORRELATION between average temperature and average CO2 throughout geologic history. Additionally, note that through most of geologic history levels of CO2 were significantly higher than present. In order to be helpful, I have also added a line across the CO2 chart at two times (2x) the Holocene Average Atmospheric CO2, the tipping point where we are supposed to believe runaway greenhouse warming will take over. Over 3/4 of Phanerozoic history seems to be characterized by catastrophic conditions.

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Robert Frost

Go back....