Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
It blows my mind that roughly half the people who write letters to the editor in the local
newspaper continue to scoff at global warming as being something Al Gore dreamed up. On March 17, 2007, I
read the following editorial. I'll let you read the editorial and then read the following articles and make up your
own mind. Obviously this subject stirs up a lot of emotion. We seem bent on destroying the goose that laid the
golden egg in our quest to avoid any small sacrifice on our part that could avoid such a disaster.
Global warming swindle
By Thomas Sowell
The British Broadcasting Corporation has produced a devastating
documentary titled "The Great Global Warming Swindle." It has apparently not been broadcast by any of the networks in the
United States. But, fortunately, it is available on the Internet.
Distinguished scientists specializing in climate and climate-related fields talk
in plain English and present readily understood graphs showing what a crock the current global warming hysteria is.
These include scientists from MIT and top-tier universities in a number of countries.
Some of these are scientists whose names were paraded on some of the global warming publications that are being promoted in
the media — but who state plainly that they neither wrote those publications nor approved them.
One scientist threatened to sue unless his name was removed.
While the public has been led to believe that "all" the leading scientists buy the
global warming hysteria and the political agenda that goes with it, in fact the official reports from the United Nations or
the National Academy of Sciences are written by bureaucrats — and then garnished with the names of leading scientists
who were "consulted," but whose contrary conclusions have been ignored.
There is no question that the globe is warming but it has warmed and cooled before,
and is not as warm today as it was some centuries ago, before there were any automobiles and before there was as much burning
of fossil fuels as today.
None of the dire things predicted today happened then.
The BBC documentary goes into some of the many factors that have caused the earth
to warm and cool for centuries, including changes in activities on the sun, 93 million miles away and wholly beyond the jurisdiction
of the Kyoto treaty.
According to these climate scientists, human activities have very little effect on
the climate, compared to many other factors, from volcanoes to clouds.
These climate scientists likewise debunk the mathematical models that have been used
to hype global warming hysteria, even though hard evidence stretching back over centuries contradicts these models.
What is even scarier than seeing how easily the public, the media, and the politicians
have been manipulated and stampeded, is discovering how much effort has been put into silencing scientists who dare to say
that the emperor has no clothes.
Academics who jump on the global warming bandwagon are far more likely to get big
research grants than those who express doubts — and research is the lifeblood of an academic career at leading universities.
Environmental movements around the world are committed to global warming hysteria
and nowhere more so than on college and university campuses, where they can harass those who say otherwise. One of the scientists
interviewed on the BBC documentary reported getting death threats.
In politics, even conservative Republicans seem to have taken the view that, if you
can't lick 'em, join 'em. So have big corporations, which have joined the stampede.
This only enables the green crusaders to declare at every opportunity that "everybody"
believes the global warming scenario, except for a scattered few "deniers" who are likened to Holocaust deniers.
The difference is that we have the hardest and most painful evidence that there was
a Holocaust. But, for the global warming scenario that is causing such hysteria, we have only a movie made by a politician
and mathematical models whose results change drastically when you change a few of the arbitrarily selected variables.
No one denies that temperatures are about a degree warmer than they were a century
What the climate scientists in the BBC documentary deny is that you can mindlessly
extrapolate that, or that we are headed for a climate catastrophe if we don't take drastic steps that could cause an economic
"Global warming" is just the latest in a long line of hysterical crusades to which
we seem to be increasingly susceptible.
The following article was published February 2, 2007.
PARIS, Feb. 2 — In a bleak and powerful assessment of the
future of the planet, the leading international network of climate change scientists has concluded for the first time that
global warming is "unequivocal" and that human activity is the main driver, "very likely" causing most of the rise in temperatures
They said the world is already committed to centuries of warming, shifting weather patterns and rising
seas, resulting from the buildup of gases in the atmosphere that trap heat. But the warming can be substantially blunted by
prompt action, the panel of scientists said in a report released here today.
The report summarized the fourth assessment
since 1990 by the group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the United Nations, sizing up the causes and consequences
of climate change. But it is the first in which the group asserts with near certainty — more than 90 percent confidence
— that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases from human activities have been the main causes of warming
In its last report, in 2001, the panel, consisting of hundreds of scientists and reviewers, put the confidence
level at between 66 and 90 percent. Both reports are online at http://www.ipcc.ch.
If carbon dioxide concentrations
in the atmosphere reach twice their pre-industrial levels, the report said, the global climate will probably warm by 3.5 to
8 degrees. But there would be more than a 1-in-10 chance of much greater warming, a situation many earth scientists say poses
an unacceptable risk.
Many energy and environment experts see such a doubling as a foregone conclusion sometime after
midcentury unless there is a prompt and sustained shift away from the 20th-century pattern of unfettered burning of coal and
oil, the main sources of carbon dioxide, and an aggressive quest for expanded and improved nonpolluting energy options.
an increased level of warming that falls in the middle of the group’s range of projections would likely cause significant
stress to ecosystems and alter longstanding climate patterns that shape water supplies and agricultural production, according
to many climate experts and biologists.
While the new report projected a modest rise in seas by 2100 — between
7 and 23 inches — it also concluded that seas would continue to rise, and crowded coasts retreat, for at least 1,000
years to come. By comparison, seas rose about 6 to 9 inches in the 20th century.
John P. Holdren, an energy and climate
expert at Harvard University, said that the “report powerfully underscores the need for a massive effort to slow the
pace of global climatic disruption before intolerable consequences become inevitable.” [Read a report by Mr. Holdren.
“Since 2001 there has been a torrent of new scientific evidence on the magnitude, human origins
and growing impacts of the climatic changes that are underway,” said Mr. Holdren, who is the president of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science. “In overwhelming proportions, this evidence has been in the direction of
showing faster change, more danger and greater confidence about the dominant role of fossil fuel burning and tropical deforestation
in causing the changes that are being observed.”
The conclusions came after a three-year review of hundreds
of studies of clues illuminating past climate shifts, observations of retreating ice, warming and rising seas, and other shifts
around the planet, and a greatly expanded suite of supercomputer simulations used to test how earth will respond to a building
blanket of gases that hold heat in the atmosphere.
The section released today was a 20-page summary for policymakers,
which was approved early this morning by teams of officials from more than 100 countries after three days and nights of wrangling
over wording with the lead authors, all of whom are scientists.
It described far-flung ramifications for both humans
“It is very likely that hot extremes, heat waves and heavy precipitation events will continue to
become more frequent,” said the summary.
Generally, the scientists said, more precipitation will fall at higher
latitudes, which are likely also to see lengthened growing seasons, while semi-arid, subtropical regions already chronically
beset by drought could see a further 20-percent drop in rainfall under the midrange scenario for increases in the greenhouse
The summary added a new chemical consequence of the buildup of carbon dioxide to the list of mainly climatic
and biological impacts foreseen in its previous reports: a drop in the pH of seawater as oceans absorb billions of tons of
carbon dioxide, which forms carbonic acid when partly dissolved. Marine biologists have said that could imperil some kinds
of corals and plankton.
A vast improvement in the science of climatology — including “larges amounts of
new and more comprehensive data” — has allowed the group to become far more confident and specific in its predictions,
compared with its previous assessment in 2001, the authors said.
The report essentially caps a half-century-long effort
to discern whether humans, through the buildup of carbon dioxide and other gases released mainly by burning fuels and forests,
could influence the earth’s climate system in potentially momentous ways.
The group operates under the aegis
of the United Nations and was chartered in 1988 — a year of record heat, burning forests, and the first big headlines
about global warming — to provide regular reviews of climate science to governments to inform policy choices.
officials are involved in shaping the summary of each report, but the scientist-authors, who are unpaid, have the final say
over the thousands of pages in four underlying technical reports that will be completed and published later this year.
questions remain about the speed and extent of some impending changes, both because of uncertainty about future population
and pollution trends and the complex interrelationships of the greenhouse emissions, clouds, dusty kinds of pollution, the
oceans and earth’s veneer of life, which both emits and soaks up carbon dioxide and other such gases.
broad array of scientists, including authors of the report and independent experts, said the latest analysis was the most
sobering view yet of a century of transition — after thousands of years of relatively stable climate conditions —
to a new norm of continual change.
Should greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere at even a moderate
pace, average temperatures by the end of the century could match those last seen 125,000 years ago, in the previous warm spell
between ice ages, the report said.
At that time, the panel said, sea levels were 12 to 20 feet higher than they are
now. Muych of that extra water is now trapped in the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, which are eroding in some places.
The panel said there was no solid scientific understanding of how rapidly the vast stores of ice in polar regions
will melt, so their estimates on new sea levels were based mainly on how much the warmed oceans will expand, and not on contributions
from the melting of ice now on land.
Other scientists have recently reported evidence that the glaciers and ice sheets
in the Arctic and Antarctic could flow seaward far more quickly than estimated in the past, and they have proposed that the
risks to coastal areas could be much more imminent. But the I.P.C.C. is proscribed by its charter from entering into speculation,
and so could not include such possible instabilities in its assessment.
Michel Jarraud, the secretary general of the
United Nations World Meteorological Organization, said the lack of clarity should offer no one comfort. “The speed with
which melting ice sheets are raising sea levels is uncertain, but the report makes clear that sea levels will rise inexorably
over the coming centuries,” he said. “It is a question of when and how much, and not if,” he said, adding:
“While the conclusions are disturbing, decision makers are now armed with the latest facts and will be better able to
respond to these realities.”
Achim Steiner, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Program,
which oversees the I.P.C.C. along with the meteorological group, said society now had plenty of information on which to act.
“The implications of global warming over the coming decades for our industrial economy, water supplies, agriculture,
biological diversity and even geopolitics are massive,” he said. “This new report should spur policymakers to
get off the fence and put strong and effective policies in place to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.”
and other climate shifts will be highly variable around the world, with the Arctic particularly seeing much higher temperatures,
said Susan Solomon, the co-leader of the team writing the summary and the section of the I.P.C.C. report on basic science.
She is an atmospheric scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The kinds of vulnerabilities
are very much dependent on where you are, Dr. Solomon said in a telephone interview. “If you’re living in parts
of tropics and they’re getting drier and you’re a farmer there are some very acute issues associated with even
small changes in rainfall — changes we’re already seeing are significant,” she said. “If you are an
Inuit and you’re seeing your sea ice retreating already that’s affecting your lifestyle and culture.”
20-page summary is a sketch of the findings that are most germane to the public and world leaders.
The full I.P.C.C.
report, thousands of pages of technical background, will be released in four sections through the year — the first on
basic science, then sections on impacts and options for limiting emissions and limiting inevitable harms, and finally a synthesis
of all of the findings near year’s end.
In a news conference in Paris, Dr. Solomon declined to provide her own
views on how society should respond to the momentous changes projected in the study.
“I honestly believe that
it would be a much better service for me to keep my personal opinions separate than what I can actually offer the world as
a scientist,” she said. “My stepson, who is 29, has an utterly different view of risks than I do. People are going
to have to make their own judgments.”
Some authors of the report said that no one could honestly point to any
remaining uncertainties as justification for further delay.
“Policy makers paid us to do good science, and now
we have high very scientific confidence in this work — this is real, this is real, this is real,” said Richard
B. Alley, one of the lead authors and a professor at Penn State University. “So now act, the ball’s back in your
By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL and ANDREW C. REVKIN Published: February 2, 2007”
At a glance: IPCC climate change report
The IPCC report says global warming could lead to some abrupt or irreversible impacts
(File photo). (Reuters: NASA)
Following are findings of the fourth report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),
which was issued in Valencia, Spain, on Saturday.
"Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and
ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level."
Causes of change
"Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed
increase in ... greenhouse gas concentrations" from human activities.
Global total annual greenhouse gas emissions from human activities have risen by 70 per cent since 1970. Concentrations
of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, far exceed the natural range over the last 650,000 years.
Projected climate changes
Temperatures are likely to rise by between 1.1 and 6.4 degrees Celsius and sea levels by between 18 centimetres and 59
centimetres this century.
Africa, the Arctic, small islands and Asian mega-deltas are likely to be especially affected by climate change. Sea level
rise "would continue for centuries" because of the momentum of warming even if greenhouse gas levels are stabilised.
"Warming could lead to some impacts that are abrupt or irreversible". About 20-30 per cent of species will be at increasing
risk of extinction if future temperature rises exceed 1.5 to 2.5 Celsius.
Five reasons for concern
Risks to unique and threatened systems, such as polar or high mountain ecosystems, coral reefs and small islands.
Risks of extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts and heatwaves.
Distribution of impacts - the poor and the elderly are likely to be hit hardest, and countries near the equator, mostly
the poor in Africa and Asia, generally face greater risks such as of desertification or floods.
Overall impacts - there is evidence since 2001 that any benefits of warming would be at lower temperatures than previously
forecast and that damages from larger temperature rises would be bigger.
Risks of "large-scale singularities", such as rising sea levels over centuries; contributions to sea level rise from Antarctica
and Greenland could be larger than projected by ice sheet models.
Governments have a wide range of tools - higher taxes on emissions, regulations, tradeable permits and research. An effective
carbon price could help cuts.
Emissions of greenhouse gases would have to peak by 2015 to limit global temperature rises to 2.0 to 2.4 Celsius over pre-industrial
times, the strictest goal assessed. The costs of fighting warming will range from less than 0.12 per cent of global gross
domestic product (GDP) per year for the most stringent scenarios until 2030 to less than 0.06 per cent for a less tough goal.
In the most costly case, that means a loss of GDP by 2030 of less than 3 per cent.