Jul 9, 2008

English Paper on Anthropogenic Global Warming

OK. I've been accused of neglecting the blog. Because I've been so busy with school, the only thing I have to offer in the way of new content is my Research Paper. Enjoy!

On Climate Porn

There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food

production—with serious political implications for just about every nation on

Earth… The evidence in support of these predictions had now begun to

accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard pressed to keep up with it.

The above quote from a Newsweek article isn’t from this year, or even this decade. It’s from 1975. And the article isn’t talking about global warming, quite the opposite actually--the article is entitled “The Cooling World”. Throughout the last century we have been taught to worry by newsmen from every media source about the impending climate doom we are sure to experience “just around the corner”.

In the last 100 years there have been four distinct and separate climate scares, sometimes overlapping each other and vacillating between imminent global meltdowns and impending ice ages. In 1895, an article from the New York Times claims, “Geologists Think the World May be Frozen Up Again” (qtd. in Inhofe). In 1939, Time Magazine shouts this enlightened rhetoric: “Those who claim that winters were harder when they were boys are quite right…weathermen have no doubt that the world at least for the time being is growing warmer”. That’s right, nine years before the birth of Al Gore, Time Magazine was running articles on a looming global warming panic. Then Time Magazine switched bandwagons again and started proclaiming global cooling in 1951, pointing to melting permafrost in Russia as corroboration (Inhofe).

I don’t know if we can blame these news outlets for following their own edict of “If it bleeds, it leads”. That is, after all, how newspapers are sold. One does begin to wonder about current “impartial” television meteorologists and anchormen, though. In the last two decades any time a town was hit with a heat wave, they would point to anthropogenic, or human-caused, global warming as the likely culprit. You would think by now they would be used to the phenomenon of changing seasons (Robbins 33). Whatever their reasons, it’s clear that the media is skewing current scientific data for their own purposes. To be generous we could point to their desire to sell papers. A slightly more sinister view would be to advance the cause of global government. As then French President Jacque Chirac said in 2000, “[the Kyoto Protocol Treaty represents] the first component of an authentic global governance” (Cihak 70).

Another of the readily available examples of the media skewing scientific reports can be found with the dying camels in Africa. An article appearing in Science Daily on Oct. 10, 2007 talks about the dying dromedaries. They list possible causes as food poisoning or mineral deficiencies. No mention of global warming. On December 24, 2007 the San Francisco Sentinel runs the story, but points the finger toward global warming causing the increase in numbers of the virus that “may possibly” be killing the camels. On December 25, 2007 the How to Offset Carbon blog flatly accuses global warming of causing the dromedary deaths when it states, "Global warming responsible for camel deaths in North Africa" (Nelson). The evolution of the story is incredible. The original scientists say nothing of the impact of global warming, and yet, two months later according the media, it is a major factor in the deaths of the camels.

But the media aren’t the only culprits slanting stories for effect. Some scientists purposely twist their data, with the end result being contrived for a certain purpose. According to Ross McKitrick, in the famous example of the “Hockey Stick” Climate Index, Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes created a graph published in 1998 using funding provided by the US National Science Foundation. The graph showed significant warming in the 1990’s with 1998 being the warmest year in the last 1,000 years, according to data they’d collected and collated. Unfortunately they purposely skewed the data to show the results they were after, and no one, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, carried out due diligence to vet the data even while insinuating that they had. It was then used in numerous countries around the world and by the media to push the Kyoto Protocol and set government policies.

In Canada, a mineral speculator by the name of Stephen McIntyre saw the graph and recognized the hockey stick shape of the graph as a marketing tool used to show expected profit margins. Intrigued, he decided that since he had some time between jobs he would try to recreate the graph using Mann, Bradley and Hughes’ proxy series. After contacting Mann for the HTP site on which the series could be found, Mann said there wasn’t a HTP for the series, but McIntyre did eventually obtain a .txt file from another scientist working on the project. The end result of three years of research was that Mann, et al. had done some unethical things with their data to get the results they wanted, including leaving out data points they didn’t like, and using unorthodox math.

McIntyre completely disproved the Hockey Stick Graph the media was hyping as proof positive man was causing global warming. McIntyre was proved right a year later by an independent statistician (paraphrased from McKitrick). In 2006 Al Gore decided it didn’t matter if the graph was real or not, and used it in his movie anyway.

It’s not just the rogue scientists that put forth erroneous and biased data. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is an arm of the United Nations, created in 1986 with the specific purpose of looking for and publishing science that proves human destruction of the environment. Its leaders and scientists are appointed by governments, and its reports are used by governments to set policy. Governments pay not only for the research, but also for cushy yearly trips to exotic locations where they stay in fancy hotels, again paid for by tax dollars. By their own admission, the role of the IPCC “is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the latest scientific, technical and socio-economic literature produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change, its observed and projected impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation (emphasis added)” (qtd. in Singer et al).

The IPCC by its very nature is political, not scientific. The thousands of scientists who contribute to these reports have no direct say in how the information they produce will be used. A few very powerful activists reflecting the thinking of their governments write the Summary for Policymakers at the end of each conference. The IPCC ignores peer-reviewed articles showing evidence opposing anthropogenic global warming. A good percentage of what the media bleats about anthropogenic global warming comes from the IPCC. The now debunked Hockey Stick figure played a prominent role in their 1997 Summary for Policymakers, which caused several countries to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Then there are the scientists told to keep quiet. Senator Inhofe revealed the following in 2006: “David Deming, assistant professor at University of Oklahoma’s Colleges of Geosciences, …was welcomed into the close-knit group of global warming believers after he published a paper in 1995 that noted some warming in the 20th century. Deming said he was subsequently contacted by a prominent global warming alarmist and told point blank ‘We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.’” (The Medieval Warm Period occurred from about 950-1100A.D. and was as warm or warmer than temperatures today.)

In September 2006 the vice president of London’s Royal Society sent a memo to all the media outlets, telling them to suppress data coming from dissenters of anthropogenic global warming (Inhofe).

The scientists researching anthropogenic global warming are almost unilaterally funded by governments and environmental agencies looking for more ways to control policy, commerce and consumers. Scientists researching natural causes for climate change receive a large portion of their funding from private entities looking to discredit the madness that threatens the world economy. One of the most prominent of these scientists, S. Fred Singer, distinguished research professor at George Mason University and professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, says that a tiny fraction of one percent of his operating budget comes from big oil (about $10,000) dispensing with yet another fallacy put out by extremists: that only big oil is interested in disproving anthropogenic global warming.

Luckily, there are scientists not funded by special interest groups or funded by governments who are also researching the phenomenon of global warming. The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change is just such a group. Their stated purpose is as follows:

Seeing science clearly misused to shape public policies that have the potential to inflict severe economic harm, particularly on low-income groups, we choose to speak up for science at a time when too few people outside the scientific community know what is happening, and too few scientists who know the truth have the will or platforms to speak out against the IPCC. (vi)

The group, headed by Singer, has uncovered some illuminating and largely ignored conclusions. They show that Climate Models aren’t reliable, citing evidence of models missing several very real significant recent climate changes in the ocean and predicting things that never happened (12). They also point out that “melting glaciers and disappearing sea ice, while interesting, are entirely irrelevant to illuminating the causes of global warming. Any significant warming, whether anthropogenic or natural, will melt ice” (2). They also do what many scientists can or will not: differentiate between correlation and causation. Falling trees do not cause wind, but the two are unarguably correlated. The NIPCC also takes into consideration the effects of the sun on the warming planet, a thing the IPCC categorically refuses to do.

No matter one’s political bent, it is clear that just as we get a second opinion before major surgery, the citizens of the world need a second opinion on anthropogenic global warming. We must quit relying on the proven bias of the mainstream media for all of our information on this topic and search out the true science of the subject from vetted and respected individuals and groups in the geoclimate community.

We must understand the threat to our freedom as Americans and our economic wellbeing as individuals and as a nation if we let the politicians and their lackey scientists choose for us the truth we will believe. We can demand transparency in funding of scientific calculations that set governmental policy. We can demand that our leaders listen to both sides of the anthropogenic story before making up their mind. Any criminal is allowed the same right, why not any science? We can protest those media outlets determined to change public opinion with one-sided arguments and we can elect officials who promise to make decisions based on research rather than feelings, funding and computer printouts.