Part Two: Don’t Panic Over Predictions of Climate Doom- Get the Facts on James Hansen
June 23, 2008
Posted By Marc Morano – 2:07 PM ET – Marc_Morano@EPW.Senate.Gov
Part Two: Don’t Panic Over Predictions of Climate Doom- Get the Facts on James Hansen
‘High Crimes Against Humanity’ Trial for Climate Skeptics?
NASA scientist James Hansen has created worldwide media frenzy with his call for trials against those who dissent against man-made global warming fears.
[ See: UK Register: Veteran climate scientist says 'lock up the oil men' – June 23, 2008 & UK Guardian: NASA scientist calls for putting oil firm chiefs on trial for 'high crimes against humanity' for spreading doubt about man-made global warming – June 23, 2008 ]
Excerpt: Hansen has allegedly received hundreds of thousands of additional dollars to further politicize the issue of global warming. According to Investors Business Daily, "How many people, for instance, know that James Hansen, a man billed as a lonely ‘NASA whistleblower' standing up to the mighty U.S. government, was really funded by [George] Soros' Open Society Institute (OSI), which gave him ‘legal and media advice'? That's right, Hansen was packaged for the media by Soros' flagship ‘philanthropy' by as much as $720,000, most likely under the OSI's ‘politicization of science' program." Hansen denied any relationship with OSI, but Investor's Business Daily refused to back off on their story, "claiming the funding first passed through the Government Accountability Project, which then used it to package Hansen for the media." With that kind of cash allegedly lining his pockets, do you think that Hansen will ever allow the data that he is charged with maintaining to point to anything but disaster? […] As a NASA Director, his role should be collecting data and truthfully sharing results, not trying to influence policy and legislation. Congressman Darryl Issa (R-San Diego) called Hansen on his continual talking out of turn. During a hearing on Capitol Hill regarding his abuse of his government status, Issa said, "You're speaking on federal paid time. Your employer happens to be the American taxpayer." Issa went on to say that an internet search showed Hansen had had stated on more than 1,400 occasions in over a year's worth of interviews and appearances (15 interviews alone in the month that the congressional hearings were taking place) that the Bush Administration had censored him.
Excerpt: Hansen: Crushing dissent. Out of this has emerged a madness that has divided Westerners into "us," the believers, and "them," the skeptics who are looked down upon as socially irresponsible reprobates. That's not enough for Hansen, though. He now wants to ratchet his machine up a few notches. Put the oil men on trial, he says, because it's "a crime" for them to "have been putting out misinformation" that places doubt on his unproved — and unprovable — premise that man's use of fossil fuels is warming Earth. We wonder: Will it be up to NASA's secret police to make the arrests that will be necessary to drag these men before the tribunal? Al Gore, the most famous face of the global warming-industrial complex, has been saying for years that the debate is over, that science has declared humans are responsible for climate change. He, of course, is wrong. There are skeptics in the scientific community, literally thousands of them. Many are on the leash, however, afraid to speak out for fear of being bullied, denied research grants and ostracized for expressing politically incorrect doubt. For them, the debate is indeed over. Those who refuse to be browbeaten, though, are in danger of seeing their careers ruined or, perhaps someday, sharing a prison cell with the oil executives Hansen wants to try. Criminalize dissent: That's one way to ensure the debate is over. Hansen's comment is revealing. It's the sort of declaration made by a desperate man trying to hang on to his declining relevance. Hansen knows the climate of fear he has stoked is receding as more people start to see through his nonsense. He's just trying to stir up some storm clouds.
Excerpt: Mr. Hansen sounds like a member of Congress, or perhaps Al Gore - which, indeed, points to two of the legitimate options a vocal, caustic public advocate such as Mr. Hansen has in a representative democracy. High technocrat for global warming is not one of them. The question is: Would Mr. Hansen's blatant political advocacy be tolerated anywhere else in the federal government? Could a decorated general advocate an invasion of Iran or North Korea, calling his congressional opponents weak or traitorous, without violating his office? Of course not. The NASA climate-science chief should stop trading on the public trust of an unappointed federal scientific position and try running for one of the offices that possess the legitimate powers he seeks to usurp. Short of that, he could convince George Soros to fund a think tank. In some respects, we tilt at windmills to even make the suggestion, since certainly there is no political will to sack Mr. Hansen for violating the public trust. Mr. Hansen makes more media appearances than the average cabinet secretary. He knows how to get attention. Certainly no one should expect Mr. Hansen to act upon the merits of this argument on his own. A scientific institution such as the Goddard Institute for Space Studies is perhaps the ideal place for an ambitious empire-builder to push the limits of political advocacy while retaining the credibility of science. Housed in New York City's Columbia University and affiliated with its well-funded, well-connected Earth Institute, Mr. Hansen's operation is far removed from Washington's political tentacles at Goddard's main campus in Beltsville, Md. The United States is still a representative democracy. The sort of high-priest technocrat that Mr. Hansen presumes to be stands outside that tradition. An advocate is an advocate.
Hansen concedes defining surface air temperature is not easy – May 6, 2008:
Excerpt: "I doubt that there is a general agreement how to answer this question [of what is surface air temperature]. Even at the same location, the temperature near the ground may be very different from the temperature 5 ft above the ground and different again from 10 ft or 50 ft above the ground. Particularly in the presence of vegetation (say in a rain forest), the temperature above the vegetation may be very different from the temperature below the top of the vegetation. A reasonable suggestion might be to use the average temperature of the first 50 ft of air either above ground or above the top of the vegetation. To measure SAT we have to agree on what it is and, as far as I know, no such standard has been suggested or generally adopted. Even if the 50 ft standard were adopted, I cannot imagine that a weather station would build a 50 ft stack of thermometers to be able to find the true SAT at its location." He is also ambiguous when it comes to daily mean surface air temperatures: "Again, there is no universally accepted correct answer. Should we note the temperature every 6 hours and report the mean, should we do it every 2 hours, hourly, have a machine record it every second, or simply take the average of the highest and lowest temperature of the day ? On some days the various methods may lead to drastically different results." (LINK)
Excerpt: Measurements by four major temperature tracking outlets reported that world temperatures dropped by about 0.65° C to 0.75° C during 2007, the fastest temperature changes ever recorded (either up or down). The cooling approached the total of all warming that occurred over the past 100 years, which is commonly estimated at about 1° C. Antarctic sea ice expanded by about 1 million square kilometers – more than the 28-year average since altimeter satellite monitoring began. But have these collective announcements ended the global warming debates? No, stay tuned for further developments. […] Based upon current solar data, the Russian Pulkovo Observatory concludes that Earth has passed its latest warming cycle, and predicts that a fairly cold period will set in by 2012. Temperatures may drop much lower by 2041, and remain very cold for 50 to 60 years. Kenneth Tapping at Canada’s National Research Council thinks we may be in for an even longer cold spell. He predicts that the sun’s unusually quiet current 11-year cycle might signal the beginning of a new “Maunder Minimum” cold period, which occurs every couple of centuries and can last a century or more.
Excerpt: The UK Telegraph reports on April 30: Global warming will stop until at least 2015 because of natural variations in the climate, scientists have said.
June 22, 2008: Global Cooling Predicted to Continue – By Lord Christopher Monckton, the Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, a climate researcher
Excerpt: This projection of a prolonged solar cooling, to commence at the end of Solar Cycle 24 in about a decade and lasting for perhaps the remainder of this century, is consistent with Usoskin et al. (2003); Hathaway et al. (2004); Solanki et al. (2005); the proceedings of the 2004 Symposium of the International Astronomical Union; and the consensus of opinion among solar physicists (though we should be cautious about relying upon any "consensus" now that science has become so intensely politicized). The Sun's activity is now declining from the Grand Maximum of the past 70 years, that peaked in the early 1960s. During the Grand Maximum (which you won't hear much about in the media, but which has had a great deal of attention from solar physicists in the peer-reviewed literature), the Sun was more active, and for longer, than at almost any previous similar period in at least the past 11,400 years. It is only by some dubious prestidigitation that the UN manages to relegate the role of the Sun to a minuscule bit-part in recent warming.
Update: June 15, 2008: More Signs of the Sun Slowing Down - 'We continue to slide into a deeper than normal solar minima, one not seen in decades' By Meteorologist Anthony Watts:
Excerpt: It appears we continue to slide into a deeper than normal solar minima, one not seen in decades. Given the signs, I think we are about to embark upon a grand experiment, over which we have no control [...] I had noted that there was a curios step function in 2005, almost as if something had “switched off” [...] As you can see, the Ap Index has continued along at the low level (slightly above zero) that was established during the drop in October 2005. As of June 2008, we now have 32 months of the Ap hovering around a value just slightly above zero, with occasional blips of noise. [...] What is most striking is that since 1932, there have not been ANY years prior to 2007 that have zero data.
Excerpt: A year and a half ago, James Spann questioned the money and the so-called scientific consensus pushing the idea that mankind is causing global warming. Today, he says it’s losing steam. Two imminent surveys of meteorologists may further complicate the climate debate. […] “[Y]ou know, there was some great power in that movement back in January of 2007,” Spann said. “It’s pretty rapidly running out of gas and it just seems like every day more and more people are coming out with the fact that that’s pretty much a hoax. And these are Ph.D climatologists that are pretty much saying what I said all along.”
Icecap note: Note that sea levels are not accelerating up but appear to be falling in part due to ocean cooling and compression and perhaps part due to record extent of Antarctic ice. Certainly there is no signs of an alarming increase threatening coastal areas as Gore and Hansen have prophesized.
See Latest Sea Level Chart here: http://icecap.us/images/uploads/SeaLevel_TOPEX.jpg
More and more scientists declare dissent – March 2008
Excerpt: Since the release of the December 20 Senate minority report detailing the hundreds of skeptics, a steady stream of scientists from around the world have continued to declare themselves dissenters of the alleged “climate crisis.” Just days before the international climate conference began, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology, Dr. Joanne Simpson, declared she was “skeptical” of catastrophic man-made warming. “Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly,” Simpson, formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies, wrote in a public letter on February 27. Simpson was described by former Colorado State Climatologist Roger Pielke, Sr. as “among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.” (LINK) “The main basis of the claim that man’s release of greenhouse gases is the cause of the warming is based almost entirely upon climate models. We all know the frailty of models concerning the air-surface system. We only need to watch the weather forecasts,” Simpson explained. “But as a scientist I remain skeptical,” she added.
Another Scientist Dissents: Dr. Fred W. Decker, Professor of Meteorology at Oregon State University, signed the 2008 Oregon Petition dissenting from man-made climate fears. "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth,” the petition that Decker signed states. Decker also challenged temperature data. “One day the Gazette-Times told of a minimum temperature about 15 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas the radio station at the Marys River bridge into Avery Park reported much colder, a ‘minus’ reading, which agreed with home thermometers of some readers. Inquiring about locations, I learned the ‘official’ minimum came from the shelter atop the steam-heated agricultural building on campus. Moreover, the professor moved the instruments to the greenhouses to the west in the summers when he worked there. What poor practice!” Decker wrote on June 22, 2008. “I appealed to the agricultural dean upon learning of the imminent retirement of the professor responsible. I suggested a site near the KOAC towers if possible. The compromise site at Hyslop got selected, and Wheeler Calhoun’s data got quoted daily in the Gazette-Times,” Decker wrote. (LINK) & (LINK) & (LINK)
Sampling of key inconvenient developments for promoters of a man-made climate “crisis” so far in 2008:
1) Oceans Cooling! Scientists puzzled by “mystery of global warming's missing heat” (LINK)
2) New Data from NASA’s Aqua satellite is showing “greatly reduced future warming projected as a consequence of carbon dioxide.” (LINK )
3) Climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer, formerly of NASA, found not one peer-reviewed paper has 'ruled out a natural cause for most of our recent warmth' (LINK)
4) UN IPCC in 'Panic Mode' as Earth Fails to Warm, Scientist says (LINK )
5) UN IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri “to look into the apparent temperature plateau so far this century.” (LINK)
7) Scientists find dust free atmosphere may be responsible for up to .36 F rise in global temps (LINK)
8) Analysis in peer-reviewed journal finds cold periods – not warm periods – see increase in floods, droughts, storms, famine (LINK)
9) New York Times Laments Media's incorrect hyping of frogs and global warming (LINK)
10) Prominent hurricane expert reconsiders global warming's impact (LINK)
11) MIT Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen’s March 2008 presentation of data from the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office found the Earth has had “no statistically significant warming since 1995.”- (LINK)
12) An International team of scientists released a March 2008 report to counter UN IPCC, declaring: “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate” (LINK)
13) Emitting MORE CO2 may 'be good for life on Earth', says climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer, formerly of NASA in May 2008. (LINK)
14) New Report finds global sea ice GROWING: ‘World sea ice in April 2008 reached levels that were ‘unprecedented’ for the month of April in over 25 years.’ (LINK)
Excerpt: There is no scientific justification for any of the energy or economic policies designed to reduce greenhouse gases or stop warming or climate change. CO2 from human or natural sources is not causing global warming or climate change. The IPCC and their computer models, an agency and approach set up to mislead the world, are the sole source of this belief. […] Global warming provided the perfect vehicle for environmentalists to spread their claim of human destruction of the planet. Previously they could only point at local or regional problems, but now they had a genuine “the sky is falling” cause that encompassed the entire globe. Now the demand was for global policies and Strong provided this at the Rio Conference in 1992 in the formation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC or FCCC). This agency was to create the Kyoto Protocol that became the battleground. Interestingly, it encompassed what is wrong with the entire argument that CO2 is the problem. Only the industrialized countries Strong sought to “get rid of” were required to reduce CO2 emissions. Developing nations were excluded and were to receive the payments as penance from the sinful industrialized nations. It was the transfer of capitalist wealth the socialist Strong foresaw. Futility of the exercise was that if all nations participated and met their original targets no measurable difference in atmospheric CO2 would occur; yet that was the purported objective.