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There is a Global Warming debate going on. There is no uniform agreement on whether the weather is warming or cooling. There are movies and articles and debates and scientific arguments and both sides claim that the other side’s science is faulty, or missed some pertinent facts or is just made up. There is some official report by the IPCC that all scientists are supposed to agree on [proving global warming], except for the ones who have asked to have their names removed, and the one who had to threaten to sue before his name was removed. Oh, and Mars has Global Warming too, you know, from all the fossil fuels the Martians are burning.

Regardless of what side you are on, there are problems all over. If you are for curbing greenhouse gases, specifically CO2 emissions, then the Kyoto Protocol is not really working because it already excludes China and India from having to participate in the emissions reductions. They will by far be the largest polluting nations in the world, but they also could really use the electricity for their continued industrialization.

So, when the people of the United States won’t voluntarily curb their CO2 emissions, what do you do? Try to enact new laws and regulations through the EPA, that’s what. Even if you have to sue and get the Supreme Court to tell the EPA to either regulate CO2 or come up with a better explanation for why they won’t.

You can also sue the Federal Government for not following the National Environmental Policy Act when funding foreign projects and evaluating their possible impact on global warming.

Or maybe you could be like Iowa and join seven other states in suing the top five power companies in the United States because of their CO2 emissions.

If that won’t solve the problem, it appears that the next solution is to simply advocate for some kind of Global Carbon Tax to force people to reduce their consumption of products that produce CO2 emissions.

This column has written about the personal habits of the Goracle in spite of his professed belief in global warming. Also about the other side of the global warming story.

If the current trends are taken to their logical conclusions, we are all in trouble. If the EPA must further force reductions in CO2 emissions, power plants must reduce their emissions, a Global Carbon Tax is imposed, and all of the corresponding increases in costs that go along with them, it will only further entrench the haves and have-nots. Only the rich will be able to afford air conditioning, or to drive a large vehicle with bad gas mileage, or so many other things. Most of the actions being taken will only hamper the United States economy and the people who have to live with it. One alternative that is not on the table is replacing coal fired power plants with atomic power plants.

It is fair to say that the jury is still out on global warming and whether it is caused by human actions. There are so many other natural causes that it is almost silly to take these draconian measures to stop what may be a natural phenomenon. The earth came out of the last ice age without power plants or human intervention. The earth was warmer in Roman times than it is now (according to historical records).

Global Warming is now a hammer for people to use against further industrial development. It is not just a pet theory of environmentalists and other self-proclaimed friends of the earth, it is an idea that is having real-world consequences. It is worth paying attention to.

Comments Welcome

Special Thanks to Canada Free Press which has not been assimilated, yet.

This will highlight a scientific review of Al Gore’s Oscar winning movie “An Inconvenient Truth”.

“Gore’s circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention.” . . . “The man is an embarrassment to US science and its many fine practitioners, a lot of whom know (but feel unable to state publicly) that his propaganda crusade is mostly based on junk science.”

Professor Bob Carter of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University, in Australia.

Just one man’s opinion, right?

No; Carter is one of hundreds of highly qualified non-governmental, non-industry, non-lobby group climate experts who contest the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing significant global climate change. “Climate experts” is the operative term here. Why? Because what Gore’s “majority of scientists” think is immaterial when only a very small fraction of them actually work in the climate field.

Some of these people working in the climate field only look at a very narrow slice of climate change, like the impact of the climate on certain insects. Of the ones who take a global view, many of them spend their time working on computer models of potential climate change. According to former University of Winnipeg climatology professor Dr. Tim Ball:

“These models have been consistently wrong in all their scenarios,” asserts Ball. “Since modelers concede computer outputs are not “predictions” but are in fact merely scenarios, they are negligent in letting policy-makers and the public think they are actually making forecasts.”

Hmmmmm. But CO2 emissions are still a problem, right? Wrong.

Appearing before the Commons Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development last year, Carleton University paleoclimatologist Professor Tim Patterson testified, “There is no meaningful correlation between CO2 levels and Earth’s temperature over this [geologic] time frame. In fact, when CO2 levels were over ten times higher than they are now, about 450 million years ago, the planet was in the depths of the absolute coldest period in the last half billion years.” Patterson asked the committee, “On the basis of this evidence, how could anyone still believe that the recent relatively small increase in CO2 levels would be the major cause of the past century’s modest warming?”

Patterson concluded his testimony by explaining what his research and “hundreds of other studies” reveal: on all time scales, there is very good correlation between Earth’s temperature and natural celestial phenomena such [as] changes in the brightness of the Sun.

The “brightness” of the sun is commonly measured by the number of Sunspots and yes, the brightness of the sun does change with time. But what about the ice shelves in Antarctica?

Dr. Boris Winterhalter, former marine researcher at the Geological Survey of Finland and professor in marine geology, University of Helsinki, takes apart Gore’s dramatic display of Antarctic glaciers collapsing into the sea. “The breaking glacier wall is a normally occurring phenomenon which is due to the normal advance of a glacier,” says Winterhalter. “In Antarctica the temperature is low enough to prohibit melting of the ice front, so if the ice is grounded, it has to break off in beautiful ice cascades. If the water is deep enough icebergs will form.”

It would seem that people from Finland would know about ice.

There is not even sure evidence that the world is warming.

Concerning Gore’s beliefs about worldwide warming, Morgan points out that, in addition to the cooling in the NW Atlantic, massive areas of cooling are found in the North and South Pacific Ocean; the whole of the Amazon Valley; the north coast of South America and the Caribbean; the eastern Mediterranean, Black Sea, Caucasus and Red Sea; New Zealand and even the Ganges Valley in India. Morgan explains, “Had the IPCC used the standard parameter for climate change (the 30 year average) and used an equal area projection, instead of the Mercator (which doubled the area of warming in Alaska, Siberia and the Antarctic Ocean) warming and cooling would have been almost in balance.”

Gore’s point that 200 cities and towns in the American West set all time high temperature records is also misleading according to Dr. Roy Spencer, Principal Research Scientist at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. “It is not unusual for some locations, out of the thousands of cities and towns in the U.S., to set all-time records,” he says. “The actual data shows that overall, recent temperatures in the U.S. were not unusual.”

Well, that probably explains why the terms of debate have changed from “Global Warming” to “Global Climate Change”.

This Article has several quotes from knowledgeable scientists that refute claims of new diseases, ice melting in Greenland, rising ocean levels, the Clean Air Act being visible in the ice of Antarctica, and other such nonsense spewed by “An Inconvenient Truth”. For additional scientific de-bunkery of Global Warming, read this article. Just a quote or two from it:

. . . Gore persists, labeling future CO2 rise as “deeply unethical” and lectures the audience that “Each one of us is a cause of global warming.” Not satisfied with simply warning of human-induced killer heat waves – events in Europe this past year were “like a nature hike through the Book of Revelations”, he says – he then uses high tech special effects to show how human-caused climate changes are causing more hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods, infectious diseases, insect plagues, glacial retreats, coral die-outs, and the flooding of small island nations due to sea level rise caused by the melting of the polar caps. One is left wondering if Gore thinks nature is responsible for anything.

And this gem:

In their open letter to the Canadian Prime Minister in April, 61 of the world’s leading experts modestly expressed their understanding of the science: “The study of global climate change is an “emerging science,” one that is perhaps the most complex ever tackled. It may be many years yet before we properly understand the Earth’s climate system.” It seems that liberal arts graduate Al Gore, political champion of the Kyoto Protocol, thinks he knows better.

Institut Pasteur (Paris) Professor Paul Reiter seemed to sum up the sentiments of many experts when he labeled the film “pure, mind-bending propaganda.” Such reactions should certainly cause viewers to wonder if Nobel Prize winning French novelist Andre Gide had a point when he advised, “Believe those who ar
e seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.”

While it is good to know that we should probably not believe a single assertion presented by the film, Al Gore is pressing on spread the bad word. As of Fall, 2006 Al Gore scheduled seven two-day training seminars to recruit 1000 people to work nationwide to speak to groups and spread the message.

Global Warming as a message is wrong. According to at least 60 leading experts in the study of global climate change, we don’t know enough to say one way or the other but at least the earth and the sun have more to do with it than man’s puny impact.

Comments Welcome

UPDATE: There is a new documentary coming out soon to counteract the Goracle’s movie.

Al Gore is a hero to many environmentalists. He chose to use his power and influence to make an Oscar-winning Documentary called “An Inconvenient Truth“. It is a movie that chronicles Al Gore’s life and pursuit of informing the world about the dangers of global climate change. It is a movie showing how heroic Al Gore is in seeking to save the environment. Al Gore will be referred to for the rest of this blog as, “The Goracle”.

The day after The Goracle’s movie won the Oscar for Best Documentary, he was criticized for his excessive energy use at his Tennessee mansion. A spokesperson for The Goracle defended his use of energy by noting that he purchases “green power” and carbon credits. Here is an excellent article that shows how silly the concept of carbon credits really is.

The Goracle’s use of carbon credits is supposed to obviate his excessive use of electricity. A carbon credit is a way to soothe your guilty conscience for using too much energy and emitting too much CO2. Here is a quote from a site listing carbon offset companies (emphasis added):

Example: a mid-sized 30 mpg car driving 12,000 miles/year will create about 3.55 tons of CO2/year. Using Carbonfund.org’s calculator we figured this would cost only about $19.50 or $1.63/month to be offset! This means that for a very small amount of money you can drive the equivalent of a zero-CO2-emission car!

It is up to each of us to clean our own mess, obviously the government can’t and won’t do it (alone). Signing up with any of these programs might effectively reduce your CO2 contributions to ZERO! (All prices in US$)

So, by paying money to a company that promises to use the money to help the environment you can drive guilt free?!? What if the company doesn’t use the money the way they say they will? There is no recourse. You are not actually buying a service or a product, you are buying a promise that your money will go to developing renewable energy, planting trees, or any other method the company says they will use the money for. There is no reliable way for a consumer to check up on what the company is doing, especially if they are promising to do something in a third-world country such as donating emissions reducing technology. This kind of arrangement is really a set up for the misuse of such funds while people feel nice about it.

Maybe P.T. Barnum was right that “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Or was Mr. George Hull right?

Regardless of the use or misuse of carbon offsets, The Goracle can’t even get this one right, ethically. Dumb is one thing, possibly fleecing millions of people is another. From the Tennessean.com article (emphasis mine):

[The Goracle] helped found Generation Investment Management, through which he and others pay for offsets. The firm invests the money in solar, wind and other projects that reduce energy consumption around the globe, she said.

It turns out that The Goracle is also the current Chairman of that company. The company invests (read: purchases stock) in companies that develop renewable resources and also sell carbon offsets. The Goracle invests his money through his own company to make up for using so much electricity. That is just the beginning.

The Goracle goes around the world beating the drum of climate change and man’s role in causing it, therefore we must do something about fixing the problem. Instead of The Goracle reducing his own use of these resources he tries to make people feel guilty for their use of fossil fuels and then provides a way for them to pay to absolve themselves of this guilt. Sound familiar?

When so many scientists can credibly argue that The Goracle’s movie was based on junk science, it is possible that he is also aware that his “sky is falling” approach is based on junk science. If that is the case, then The Goracle is just lying to drum up business for his company and the companies that he invests in. It is already evident that The Goracle has a monetary interest in people believing that global climate change is something to be worried about and that carbon offsets are one way of attempting to fix it. Here is another article about the issue of The Goracle’s fiscal benefit to purchases of carbon offsets.

It is possible that the increased use of “green power” initiatives and “carbon offsets” may set up a new round of Sumptuary Laws. These laws (regulations) were designed to make sure it was easy to identify what station of society you belong to. If the EPA mandates the use of “green power” which is already demonstrably more expensive and then also mandates the purchase of “carbon offsets” for gas guzzlers, then only the well off will be able to use all the electricity they want to and also be able to drive a gas guzzler.

The Goracle’s motivations may not be as pure as he would like us to think they are.

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