Global Warming: How is it that we are making public policy decisions when we still have much to learn?
Over the span of hundreds of years, man has dealt with the variability of weather by using several well-defined coping mechanisms.
One, re-location to a more hospitable climate which features abundant natural resources such as food, water and natural shelter.
Two, developing clothing and shelters which help cope with the extremes of climate's natural variability.
Three, adapting to a lifestyle which minimizes the impact of climate on our daily lives.
Four, developing artificial mechanisms, such as air conditioning, which further mitigate climate’s impact.
That’s it. Nothing new under the sun, so to speak. Man responds to the challenges of nature.
Now, in the past number of years, man has greatly extended his knowledge about some of the physical processes involved with climate change. Unfortunately, the great majority of what we learned cannot be influenced, at this point in time, by man. Man cannot affect the output of the sun. Man cannot control the motion of our planet as it traverses the sun's orbital path. Man cannot affect the Earth’s rotational spin and precessionary path. Man cannot affect Earth’s core processes, plate tectonics, or volcanoes. Man cannot affect the oceanic currents. Man cannot affect the the formation of cloud cover over the Earth and the gross eddies of the winds.
So why, I ask you, does man believe that he can affect the global mean temperature by twiddling the keys of a computer?
Enter politics: the triumph of perception over reality …
Like snake oil salesman who first create dire fear before offering their proprietary remedy – at a price – there are those who want to sell you their political agenda. An agenda which benefits the politicians and the special interests. Where the public’s combined labor and wealth can be transferred to others all in the name of self-interest. Their self-interest, not yours.
There are those who have decided that they can increase their personal power and wealth by convincing you that your world, as you currently know it, is about to suffer irreversible adverse consequences. The seas will rise and drown millions. The weather will change and cause great droughts which will, in turn, cause great famine – leading to civil unrest and war. The Earth will be beset with pestilence and plague. The future will be bleak and your survival will be at risk. All because man has mistreated the planet with his industrialization and land-use policies.
But wait – we have an answer! We can slow, halt or reverse these dire consequences if you, the people, give us the power to increase our control over your life; raise your taxes to permit us to do what we believe is necessary to stem this horrible condition; limit your personal freedoms and choices; and most of all, cede to us the power of a permanent ruling class.
Enter the truth …
Even though our historical temperature records, both by direct measurement of in-situ temperatures and using climate proxies such as tree-rings, are lacking, we can see that the Earth has been hotter, colder, with more carbon dioxide, with less carbon dioxide – in periods which pre-date the industrialization which is being blamed for global climate change. In fact some geo-paleontologists believe that the great disruptions of populations were not caused by global climate change, but may have been caused by the mismanagement of natural resources by inept political leaders. We are not even sure that we can measure a global temperature difference because the relatively small changes in global climate change are masked by nature’s inherent variability. One might even ask, since when has any political class or government organization been successful in mitigating a natural phenomenon on a global scale? The answer, of course, is never.
So let’s take a look at some current research …
Newswise is reporting …
“Establishing a key link between the solar cycle and global climate, new research led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) shows that maximum solar activity and its aftermath have impacts on Earth that resemble La Nina and El Nino events in the tropical Pacific Ocean.”
“The research may pave the way toward better predictions of temperature and precipitation patterns at certain times during the Sun's cycle, which lasts approximately 11 years.”
“The total energy reaching Earth from the Sun varies by only 0.1 percent across the solar cycle. Scientists have sought for decades to link these ups and downs to natural weather and climate variations and distinguish their subtle effects from the larger pattern of human-caused global warming.”
Do you get the feeling that the researchers have already decided that human-caused global warming is a fact and that it greatly dwarfs the effects of solar output and variability?
Considering the Sun is the major driver of solar heating and that Earth’s position in relation to the sun is more significant than any other factor, large or small, one wonders why the researchers would attempt to spin the story in this manner. Likewise, our equatorial regions will always be hotter than our polar regions due to the angle of the sun’s direct rays (directly overhead at the equator). There is little likelihood that, absent a major shift in planetary position, that the equator will suddenly ice over and the polar ice caps totally melt. Perhaps we will experience some heating in polar regions, after all Greenland was once a fertile growing area, but this is due to nature’s variability – and man’s influence is so negligible as to be almost inconsequential.
It can be explained by the difference between correlation and causality. Just because some computer model points to a strong mathematical correlation between two events, it does not mean that there is equal causality where one event causes the other.
Let us for a moment consider the hypothesis that carbon dioxide does cause temperatures to increase. If this were a true statement, how does one explain that the rise in carbon dioxide lags the rise in temperature by 600 – 1000 years (depending on which dataset is being used)? Furthermore, if this were true, we could halt all man-made production of carbon dioxide this instant and we would see no measurable result for at least 600 years. Not only does this mean politicians are not responsible for any potential improvements for their actions – it means they can say or do anything without having to prove their case. Like religion, you must take their word as faith – something that has been proven over the past centuries to be foolhardy.
Should you want a better explanation of the rise in carbon dioxide levels, consider Occam’s Razor. Roughly stated, that one should not needlessly complicate matters and the simplest solution to the problem is more likely than not to be correct. So, consider the model of a cold beer – giving up carbon dioxide to the atmosphere as it warms. Now consider that the increasing oceanic temperatures are causing dissolved carbon dioxide to enter the atmosphere where higher levels are being measured. It certainly makes more sense and is relatively demonstrable – and does not require a public policy to alter human behavior of prohibiting beer drinking to mitigate the results of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
“Building on previous work, NCAR researchers used computer models of global climate and more than a century of ocean temperature data to answer longstanding questions about the connection between solar activity and global climate. Changes in greenhouse gases were also included in the model, but the main focus of the study is to examine the role of solar variability in climate change.”
Truth be told, most global climate models have quite a few parameters that can be tweaked to produce almost any result you want – and especially those results which appear to coincide with some historical records or climate proxies. And I do love it when they gratuitously mention greenhouse gases
“The research, published this month in the Journal of Climate, was funded by the National Science Foundation, NCAR's sponsor, and by the Department of Energy.”
Much as those who disagree with the dissidents and claim that their research was funded by the big bad oil companies, why are we not pointing out that other contrary research is being funded (on a major scale) by a government with a political agenda.
" ‘We have fleshed out the effects of a new mechanism to understand what happens in the tropical Pacific when there is a maximum of solar activity,’ says NCAR scientist Gerald Meehl, the lead author. ‘When the Sun's output peaks, it has far-ranging and often subtle impacts on tropical precipitation and on weather systems around much of the world.’"
Far-ranging and not so subtle effects in my estimation? Considering the very small impact of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas when measured against the macro-effects of the most prevalent greenhouse gas, water vapor, any impact on global precipitation and cloud formation is far from subtle.
“The new paper, along with an earlier one by Meehl and colleagues, shows that as the Sun reaches maximum activity, it heats cloud-free parts of the Pacific Ocean enough to increase evaporation, intensify tropical rainfall and the trade winds, and cool the eastern tropical Pacific. The result of this chain of events is similar to a La Nina event, although the cooling of about 1-2 degrees Fahrenheit is focused further east and is only about half as strong as for a typical La Nina.”
OK, I must be missing something. The Sun’s effects on water vapor are a big deal. The warming oceans are likely to emit more dissolved carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And then what – a cooling effect?
El Nino and La Nina are major and serious weather events whose cause and effect can be directly observed and measured and apparently has nothing significant to do with carbon dioxide levels …
“Over the following year or two, the La Nina-like pattern triggered by the solar maximum tends to evolve into an El Nino-like pattern, as slow-moving currents replace the cool water over the eastern tropical Pacific with warmer-than-usual water. Again, the ocean response is only about half as strong as with El Nino.”
“True La Nina and El Nino events are associated with changes in the temperatures of surface waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean. They can affect weather patterns worldwide.”
Great – we now know how to alter the weather patterns worldwide – just control the ocean's currents. Just about as possible as controlling the weather by controlling carbon dioxide. NOT!
“The new paper does not analyze the weather impacts of the solar-driven events. But Meehl and his co-author, Julie Arblaster of both NCAR and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, found that the solar-driven La Nina tends to cause relatively warm and dry conditions across parts of western North America. More research will be needed to determine the additional impacts of these events on weather across the world.”
I must be dense … the paper does not analyze the weather impact of solar-driven events; then what was the purpose of writing and presenting the paper. Of course, “more research will be needed.” More money, please!
" ‘Building on our understanding of the solar cycle, we may be able to connect its influences with weather probabilities in a way that can feed into longer-term predictions, a decade at a time,’ Meehl says.”
I am going bonkers – “we may be able to connect its influences with weather probabilities in a way that can feed into longer-term predictions, a decade at a time” – we can’t much predict the weather ten months, let alone ten years or in a few hundred years. Truth is, other than these computer models which appear to mirror historical results when sufficiently tweaked (I’m sorry, the technical term is parameterized), we cannot do much of anything about the global climate – even if other countries such as India, China, and Russia were willing to follow our suicidal lead.
In the final analysis, it is my opinion that the entire phenomena of global warming is man-made: made by politicians who have manipulated the funding of scientific research to provide the computer models to substantiate their case. They have also convinced the special interests to support their specious findings by a pledge to fund their projects and reward their programs. Likewise, the mainstream media has been corrupted to the point where the output of computer models is reported as unquestioned scientific fact and those who do not adhere to the party line are pejoratively labeled as “deniers.”
My fellow citizens: this is your world and your country. Our representatives have failed to represent our interests, having been bought and paid for by the special interests who want further access to the public treasury and the our increased labors. Yes, there is a phenomena that can be called global climate change – but unfortunately, it is not man-made, cannot be controlled by man at the present time – and most of all – should not be manipulated for political gain.
If our elected officials and their sycophantic bureaucrats cannot do our bidding and help improve our daily lives, perhaps it is time to toss them out on their butts. Without pensions, perks and prestige. By labeling them for what they are: political freebooters who have disgraced their political office and severely abused our trust.
Reference Links …
The funding … “
“The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.”
"A lagged warm event-like response to peaks in solar forcing in the Pacific region"
Gerald Meehl and Julie Arblaster
Journal of Climate
For those that believe that we understand the natural variability of global climate change enough to make life-changing economic policies … consider the number and character of the following few months of journal entries. One journal, millions of dollars worth of experiments, salaries and the promises of continuing funding.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS