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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Fal Back To the Flat Earthers

Two days ago, President Trump announced that the USA was exiting the Paris climate agreements.  Trump spoke at length about the detrimental effect that those agreements would have on American jobs and taxpayers, and he offered to renegotiate the agreements or to enter into new ones to deal with climate issues.  This boxed in the mainstream media, because what Trump said was correct.  As a result, the media could not really mount much of an attack on the President by questioning what he said. As a result, they chose a different strategy for attack.  All day yesterday, the White House was asked repeatedly whether the President believes in man made global warming.  The concentrated and coordinated media attack is so strong that this morning, the headline in the NY Times asks if the President believes in climate science.  In other words, the media went back to the core defensive position of the entire community of global warming believers, namely, they're now calling the President a "denier".  To them, this is like saying that the President believes the Earth is flat.

There's a problem with this method of attack, however.  It is far from clear whether or not there is man made global warming.  It's worth looking at some key questions in this regard.

1.  The best scientific methods for determining global temperatures over the distant past show that during the last 12,000 years since the end of the last ice age, the temperature of the Earth has been higher than now (on average) over 90% of the time.  The claimed ability of mankind to affect the climate is only about 50 years old; before that it is accepted that any human effect was negligibly.  If it was warmer for most of this time, why is it that any recent warming is blamed on human activity rather than cyclic climate behavior.

2.  If we cut the relevant time period to just the time of recorded history, we know that during the Roman period and again during the Medieval Warm Period, the climate was much warmer than now.  We also know that such warmer temperatures had nothing to do with human activity.  Again, why is current warming the result of human activity while earlier warmer periods were not?  Remember, it was warm enough in the tenth century that the Vikings established permanent farming colonies in Greenland.  Those colonies lasted for centuries until falling temperatures made them untenable.  There were also grapes for wine grown in Scandanavia, something that could not happen today as it is not warm enough.

3.  In the period from the 15th to the beginning of the 19th century, there was a period called a mini-ice age.  Temperatures were much colder around the world.  In London, the Thames river regularly froze in winter.  People were forced to spend much more times indoors during the winter.  In fact, the spread of the plague across Europe (which killed one in three people) is thought to be the result of more people spending time indoors where fleas spread the disease more easily.  That cold period was not caused by human activity.  It culminated in 1816 which is known as "the year without summer".  But here's the point:  since that year, the average global temperature has been rising.  That's 200 years of rising global temperatures.  Everyone agrees, however, that humans are not responsible for the rise during the first 150 of those years.  Why is it that the rise in temperature now is human-caused, but the previous larger rise in temperature is not?

4.  If we just look at the period during which we have detailed weather records (about 120 years), we find that during the first 40 years of the 20th century, there was a rise in temperatures.  From 1940 to 1970, the temperatures stopped rising.  Then, in 1970, the rise in temperatures began again.  The increased temperature during the early part of the 20th century was at least as large as the one since 1970.  Since only the second is attributed to human activity, what caused the first?  Why are two such similar events so close in time treated as having different causes.  Indeed, why isn't all of the temperature rise since 1817 nothing more than the Earth returning to a more normal temperature.  Why isn't this the Earth moving back towards the average temperature of the last 12,000 years?  Why is this last 50 years blamed on humans when the prior 12,000 years is obviously not?

5.  We also have the problems with the computer models on which the global warming theory is based.  These models predicted certain temperature rise as the effects of global warming manifested themselves.  The scientists and, more so, the alarmists like Al Gore, predicted catastrophes in ever increasing numbers from the temperature rise.  First, the models turned out to be incorrect.  In the 1990s, the USA launched weather satellites that had the ability to take the temperature of the atmosphere over which they passed.  This was done to compile data to monitor global warming, among other things.  These space-based readings are much more accurate than measurements on the surface because they are not affected by nearby cities or industries.  These readings show that for the last 18 years, the temperatures have been steady; they are no longer rising.  Forget for the moment whether or not this shows that the entire warming claim is wrong.  Let's focus instead on the point that these temperature readings demonstrate that the models on which warming claims are based are wrong.  It's statistics and science, not politics.  The models could not predict the temperatures of the last 20 years.  In fact, they were so far off that the models are clearly wrong.

But what of Al Gore and his inconvenient message?  We were supposed to see the polar ice caps melt and the seas rise.  Last year, satellite measurements of the ice in Antarctica showed that the ice at the South Pole has been increasing in dramatic fashion.  There's an ice buildup at the southern tip of the world much greater in quantity than the loss of ice in Greenland.  We were also supposed to have no ice cap in the Arctic anymore, but it's still there and is larger now than five years ago.  We were told there would be many more hurricanes, yet, the USA went through the longest stretch in its history without being hit by a major hurricane.  There were to be rampant tornadoes, but the last decade has seen many fewer than normal.  In fact, the failure of the global warming predictions to prove true has caused the supporters of this theory to branch out.  Now, global warming is blamed for things like the Syrian civil war.  One does wonder, however, whether the Spanish civil war or even the American civil war had climate components.  Okay, it's ridiculous.

There are many more questions, but these are representative of the group.  Anyone who "believes" in global warming theory has to be able to answer these questions.  The supposed scientific consensus, however, does not have the answers.  This doesn't mean that these scientists are wrong in their theory, but it certainly means that they cannot claim yet to be right.  Until there is a satisfactory answer to these questions, the whole issue remains open to debate and questioning.  Anyone who "believes" is just taking the whole thing on faith.  This is not science; it is religion.

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