(Part III of a series.)
Global Warming is a â€œnew kind of morality,â€ says the British documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle.1 The program replies analytically to the fantastically apocalyptic predictions, politicized â€œscience,â€ strident intolerance for dissenting views, and bizarre condemnations of carbon dioxide as a â€œpollutantâ€ that define the global warming/climate-change movement and contribute to the witchesâ€™ brew of radical politics and tyrannical economics that could define a whole generation and change our way of life.
The GGWS documentary is not a polemic containing â€œanonymous science.â€ It presents critiques of global warming theoryâ€™s premises by credentialed climate scientists. Contributors include:
- Dr. Timothy Ball (Canadian Climatology Ph.D);
- Dr. Nir Shaviv (Associate Professor, Racah Institute of Physics, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem);
- Dr, Ian Clark (Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa);
- Dr. John Cristy (Professor and Director, Earth System Science Center, National Space Science and Technology Center);
- Dr. Paul Reiter (Professor of medical entomology, Institut Pasteur of Paris);
- Dr. Richard Lindzen (Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences);
- Dr. Fred Singer (George Mason University atmospheric physicist and founder of the Science and Environmental Policy Project).
The GGWS first addresses â€œclimate changeâ€ â€“ arch-enemy of the climate-movement. Scientists show that climate is always changing. Vast ice sheets once covered much of North America and Europe. During warmer periods, now-temperate parts of the globe were tropical forests. The GGWS examines the Medieval Warm Period (AD 900-1300) and the Little Ice Age (AD 1300-1900) â€“ both within the recorded history of Europe and/or North America. The Medieval Warm Period â€“ unknown to most people today â€“ was a â€œgolden ageâ€ of wealth and prosperity, when the climate was warmer than it is now. Vineyards grew in the north of England. Europeâ€™s great cathedrals were built. Vikings rowed around the North Atlantic in open boats. Greenland was colonized and farmed. Food was plentiful. People were healthier and more active.
The Little Ice Age saw much colder temperatures. Ice fairs were held on the frozen River Thames, and ice-skating was common on Hollandâ€™s canals. But the period was unhealthy. Several epidemics of the Black Death occurred. Earlier in history, the Holcene Maximum (6000-3000 BC) was warmer than either the Medieval Warm Period or the present.
Modern warming began around 1870. Temperatures increased until about 1940, but then began to fall â€“ reaching a minimum around 1980. In the bitterly cold winter of that year â€“ well within my adult memory â€“ people drove cars across the frozen Potomac, near Washington. An iceberg was spotted in the Chesapeake Bay. And we heard about a possible â€œnew ice age.â€ Thereafter, temperatures started increasing until they reached (and slightly exceeded) the 1940 levels. Since 1998, notes Professor Tim Ball, temperatures have again been declining.
CO2 and the Greenhouse
One would not learn any of this from alarmist reports by the Stop Climate-Change lobby. We hear that temperatures have risen since 1870. Yet the data clearly show that most of the warming occurred before 1940. Post-1980 warming reversed the 1940-â€™80 cooling. Al Gore blames modern warming on increased CO2 emissions from industrial activity and cars, but the 1870-1940 warming preceded modern industrialization. After World War II, when global industry really expanded, the climate actually cooled â€“ a really inconvenient truth that Al Gore ignores.
Climate activists are fixated on CO2 emissions as the cause of modern warming, but Dr. Fred Singer and other scientists note that CO2 â€“ only 0.04% of the atmosphere â€“ is not even the main â€œgreenhouse gas.â€ Water vapor produces 95% of the â€œgreenhouseâ€ effect by which earthâ€™s atmosphere captures the sunâ€™s heat. Without this benign effect, earthâ€™s temperatures would plunge to sub-zero levels at night, making crop growth and most animal and human life impossible.
If warming were actually due to greenhouse gasses, say Drs. Singer and Cristy, the troposphere would be warming more than the surface of the earth. But satellite and weather balloon data show earthâ€™s surface warming more than the troposphere. The warming is at the wrong place. It is clearly not due to greenhouse gasses.
Al Gore says CO2 caused warming over the last 600,000 years, but scientists now understand that the link is the other way round. Ice core samples show that CO2 levels lag temperature. About 800 years after a warm period CO2 levels rise, and vice-versa. CO2 is the result, not the cause of warmer temperatures. The basic assumption of global-warming theory is thus shown to be wrong.
That Lucky Old Sun
Scientists are realizing that the sun is the major driver of both climate (in the long term) and weather (in the short term). The idea is not new. Contemporary British meteorologist Piers Corbyn pioneered highly accurate weather-predictions on the basis of solar activity â€“ primarily sunspots, which are visible manifestations of higher solar activity. In 1893 Edward Maunder showed that the deepest temperature-trough of the Little Ice Age (1645-1715) featured few sunspots. (That epoch became known as the Maunder Minimum.) In 1991 an exact correlation between sunspot activity and temperature was demonstrated.
The GGWS video also shows how sun-activity produces more than a hotter sun. Clouds are known to be a major component of global cooling because they shield the earth from the sunâ€™s rays. When cosmic rays meet water vapor in the air, clouds result. But when the sun is more active, its â€œsolar windâ€ sweeps cosmic rays away from the earth, preventing clouds from forming. This makes the earth hotter. The linkage works thus:
More sunspots => more solar wind => fewer cosmic rays => fewer clouds => hotter earth
Fewer sunspots => less solar wind => more cosmic rays => more clouds => cooler earth
It all comes down to the sun. In a sense, observed one scientist, we are inside the atmosphere of the sun. The oceans are the major source of CO2 in our atmosphere. A hotter climate heats the oceans, causing the release of more dissolved CO2. Thus, CO2 is a record of past climate â€“ not a driver of present climate. The sun is the primary engine of climate.
Global Warming Politics
The GGWS documentary also explores the global-warming movementâ€™s political origins â€“ tracing the movement to the 1970s when the science on a coming new ice age was also â€œsettled.â€ (Sound familiar?) Newsman Nigel Calder mentions the â€œcooling scareâ€ during the late stages of the 1940-â€™80 cooling era, and recalls that a lone Swedish scientist named Burt Bolin thought higher levels of CO2 might soon warm the climate.
This postulate was ignored until 1978, when British miners went out on strike. Worried that a new fossil fuels crisis might damage her politically, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher launched a push for nuclear power and authorized funding for scientists to â€œproveâ€ that CO2 could cause undesirable warming. That research ultimately produced the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The new movementâ€™s emphasis on stopping CO2 emissions attracted support from â€œmedieval environmentalistsâ€ who oppose development, motorcars, and industrialization. They particularly hate and want to destroy their industrial Great Satan, the USA. At the same time, Greenpeace was moving from anti-pollution activism to more extreme positions: e.g., opposition to all chlorine use on the earth. Lacking a cause after the Soviet Unionâ€™s collapse, Marxists also found an alliance with anti-warming environmentalists advantageous because both opposed capitalism. These strange bedfellows launched the defining political movement of our time.
By the 1990s, global warming activism had become a full-blown political phenomenon. In the USA, total climate-research funding, from 1993 to the present, has totaled $154 billion â€“ or $6 billion a year, on average. Thousands of jobs depend on that funding, so an ever-growing crisis-scare is needed to keep the money flowing and growing. Nigel Calder notes how many environmental journalistsâ€™ jobs are also wedded to the warming scare. If it all goes away, many reporters will be looking for work.
Much funding has gone into building climate models that assume CO2 to be the main climate-change culprit â€“ ignoring the sun, clouds, water vapor and cosmic rays. Scientists quoted in the GGWS note that judicious â€œtweakingâ€ of model parameters can produce nearly any result, but none of the models can correctly account for our current climate.
The quality of 100-year predictions from these models, as well as the â€œscientistsâ€ who made them, will be long forgotten when their targeted era actually comes round. Meanwhile, their â€œinterestingâ€ content generates news coverage, notoriety and more funding today.
Global Warming Myths
Shibboleths of the global warming movement are demolished by the documentary. The notion that more hurricanes â€“ and of greater intensity than ever before â€“ are caused by global warming is debunked by scientists who know that such storms arise from temperature gradients, not from higher global temperatures. The idea that warming in Greenland and Siberia will endanger polar bears is also debunked. Core samples and tree rings show that those regions have been far warmer in the past. Yet the highly adaptable polar bear has survived.
Calving of icebergs from the Antarctic and Arctic ice caps is also shown to be an annual springtime occurrence â€“ not a â€œdisasterâ€ due to greenhouse warming. Knowledgeable scientists say the ice is always moving. Iceberg-break-offs are highly publicized by 24/7 global satellite-coverage, but this is not a new crisis. Sea-level changes â€“ a major article of Al Goreâ€™s scare-u-drama, An Inconvenient Truth, are also debunked. Shifts in sea-levels have nothing to do with melting ice. They are due to the warming of the ocean, which takes hundreds of years.
Another global-warming myth relates to insect-borne diseases, which (activists say) will spread northward as the climate warms. Dr. Paul Reiter says he was â€œhorrifiedâ€ to read activistsâ€™ claims that mosquitoes cannot survive in temperatures below 18Â°C. This, he notes, is â€œclearly untrue.â€ Dr. Reiter points out that mosquitoes thrive in arctic regions, and malaria is not a tropical disease. A 1920s malaria epidemic in northern Russia killed tens of thousands.
The Dark Side
The climate-scare darkens as the video moves to its conclusion. Science is being prostituted by funding which has a political agenda. Scientists who disagree with the â€œreceived wisdomâ€ on climate can find their funding withdrawn, their professional integrity questioned and even their lives threatened. Dr. Tim Ball has received several death-threats. Dr. Patrick Michaels was accused of being in the pay of the multi-national fuel interests. Nigel Calder notes that people who raise a contrary voice are branded as â€œheretics.â€
But the darkest aspect, by far, of the climate-crusade is its pressure on the under-developed world not to develop. Western governments, including the USA, have agreed to restrain development in primitive regions (e.g., Africa) in order to retard CO2 emissions and â€œstopâ€ global warming â€“ a despicably cruel objective that redefines idiocy beyond anything the Marx brothers ever did.
Some 2 billion people in the world lack access to electricity. Most cook and heat with smoky, open fires burning wood or animal dung in unhealthy atmospheres that cause deaths every year of some 4 million children from respiratory ailments. There is no electricity for lights, hot water, refrigeration, heat, or cooling. One African official notes that the West cannot imagine how hard life is without electricity. He bitterly denounces â€œromanticizingâ€ a primitive African existence that no westerner would tolerate for five minutes.
Africa possesses vast resources of coal, oil and natural gas that could enrich the continent and improve the lives of its people. But environmentalists oppose use of these resources. They want Africa to produce power with solar panels and windmills, although electricity so generated is unreliable and many times as expensive as electricity from coal-fired plants. Rich countries can afford the luxury of experimentation, observed the same official, while poor countries are expected to use the most expensive and inefficient forms of power-generation. â€œThe African dream is to develop,â€ he says. â€œYou might power a light bulb with a solar panel, but how can you have steel mills and factories?â€
The GGWS concludes that the Save-the-Climate movement is basically anti-human. Ordinary people donâ€™t realize this, having been led to believe that the movement is benign â€“ like the 1970s anti-pollution crusade. â€œBeing greenâ€ is todayâ€™s happening thing. Businesses cheerfully offer to help customers â€œsave the planet.â€ Meanwhile, climate-activists sweep from triumph to triumph. Climate politics, notes the GGWS narrator, are so firmly entrenched that they now seem invincible. Opposition has been effectively silenced. The danger is very great because few people realize the movementâ€™s true objectives.
There are some huge problems in the world â€“ certainly including disease, hunger and ignorance in a desperately poor third world. If we have any spare change, we should spend it on solving these problems â€“ not waste it on silly attempts to change the climate. If backward places like Africa are ever going to shake off their primitive past, they must be able to use all of their resources. Theyâ€™ll never do that with windmills, solar panels, dirt-floored grass huts, and cook-fires burning dried buffalo shit. This restraint of third-world development is so obscene that Iâ€™m ashamed that my country is part of it. And if we let todayâ€™s new crop of â€œmedieval environmentalistsâ€ implement their Green New Deal, we could all end up the same way.
Check out the video. Itâ€™s an eye-opener. You wonâ€™t see it on USA TV.
- Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYhCQv5tNsQ