Climate change debate distorted by dogma

University of Otago geographer, Professor Geoffrey Kearsley, says that while human activity is changing the climate there is an increasing body of science that says the sun may have a greater role than previously thought.

It is now pretty much taken for granted that global warming is ongoing, that climate change is being driven by human activity and that it is critically important that extraordinary changes be made in fundamental aspects of our economy and way of life.

On the small scale, people plant trees, examine food miles, purchase carbon offsets and modify their travel behaviour.

Cities and even countries vie with one another to become carbon neutral; as a nation, we are contemplating emission controls, taxes and carbon-trading schemes that will have a profound effect on individual households and the national economy alike.

When linked with the other great crisis of our times – peak oil – it has become not only socially desirable to embrace all of this, but sustainability has achieved the status of a higher morality.

It has become politically unacceptable to doubt any of the current dogma.

So politics not science is driving the debate.

Not to subscribe wholeheartedly to the sustainability ethos is to be labelled not just a sceptic but a denier, with overtones of Holocaust denial and a wilful, unreasonable immorality.

It is said that we are now beyond the science and that the science of global warming has been finalised or determined and that all scientists agree.

Sceptics and deniers are simply cynical pawns in the pockets of the big oil companies.

And no one points out the vested interests in what has become the climate change industry.

This is unfortunate, to say the least.

Science is rarely determined or finalised; science evolves and the huge complexity of climate science will certainly continue to evolve in the light of new facts, new experiences and new understandings.

Here is an example of how science changes.

Early in the 1900s, Alfred Wegener proposed that the continents were once joined up; their coastlines seemed to match, there appeared to be great rifts and tears in the continental fabric.

This view was ridiculed; how could the continents move? What possible force could transport the unimaginable mass of Africa or Australia hundreds and thousands of kilometres across the earth?

Today, of course, plate tectonics is well understood. We know that continents move and we know how and what the consequences are.

Global warming seemed sewn up as well in the year 2000.

Mann’s hockey-stick graph showed centuries of modest change culminating in an explosive temperature growth in recent decades, leading to terrifying projections of a climate out of control with the sea rising to drown us all.

Al Gore’s apocalyptic images of tsunami-like flooding and dying polar bears brought global warming into every home.

To sign up to Kyoto was an act of sanctity and belief; only political dinosaurs in the pay of big business would not flock to this new crusade.

Today, the hockey stick has gone.

Its basic data were flawed and the statistical processes inadequate; it failed to describe known climate changes from the historically recorded past, so how could it be a reliable predictor?

Although Mr Gore received the Nobel Peace Prize, his famous movie has been shown to be riddled with inaccuracies, distortions and misrepresentations; it cannot be shown in British schools without a comprehensive explanation of its mistakes and an acknowledgement that it is advocacy, not science.

There is no doubt that the climate is changing; it always has done. We have become familiar with the regularly repeating glaciations of the past.

Human history has mainly occupied an exceptionally warm interglacial peak in a world that, for the last half million years at least, has generally been much cooler, although, in deep time, the world has been much warmer than now.

In the 1970s, climate science was concerned about when the next ice age might commence; we may have to return to that position.

There have been considerably warmer eras in the past couple of thousand years. In both the Roman and medieval warm periods, vineyards flourished as far north as York in England; Greenland was indeed green, at least in parts.

By contrast, just 400 years ago, there was a Little Ice Age in America and Europe, at least, that lasted until well into the 1800s. The historic record confirms all of this, beyond doubt.

What we also know, by historical record and by proxy calculation, is that these large swings in temperature closely correlate with the frequency of sunspots, which are a visible indicator of activity in the sun.

Sunspots vary in number according to a series of short-term and long-term cycles.

In periods of high temperature, sunspots proliferated, but during the Little Ice Age, there were few or none for many decades, a phenomenon known as the Maunder Minimum; the last quarter of the 20th century saw a flurry of activity.

The last cycle was at its energetic peak in 1998, our warmest year for some time.

The mechanism is unclear, but it seems related to solar magnetic influences and the amount of gamma radiation that reaches the earth.

The last 10 years have seen a static or even cooling trend as the sunspot cycle ran down; 2007 saw bitter weather around the world and the mean global temperature dropped by an unprecedented amount.

It is not picking up.

The Antarctic winter sea ice was at its largest extent since satellite observation began, and it snowed in Baghdad and Buenos Aires for the first time in living memory. China’s winter was awful.

And now the scary news.

The latest sunspot cycle should have started up around the middle or end of 2006; it didn’t.

According to Nasa’s forecasts, there should be a sunspot index of 70 or more, as the new cycle ran up.

I looked at a real-time photo of the sun on a recent morning; there are no sunspots at all.

There have only been a couple of brief, tiny ones since the last cycle ended.

Not only that, but the longer trends tell us that by 2020, we will be experiencing an unusually low-energy sun.

Apparently, these are exactly the conditions that preceded the Maunder Minimum and ushered in the Little Ice Age.

The science goes on.

Water vapour is the biggest greenhouse gas by a huge factor. The link between CO2 and temperature change is erratic; often, carbon follows heat rather than the uncritical popular perception that heat is induced by carbon.

The oceans are a vast reservoir of dissolved CO2; as they warm, they release it and reabsorb it as they cool.

Which causes what? There is much more yet to learn.

My point is this: It may well be that human activity is indeed changing the climate, at least in part, but there is an increasing body of science that says that the sun may have a greater role.

If it does have, then global warming is likely to stop, as it appears to have done since 1998, and if the current sunspot cycle fails to ignite, then cooling, possibly rapid and severe cooling, may eventuate.

The next five years will tell us a great deal. In these circumstances, we should wait and see.

With China and India churning out new thermal power stations at assembly-line speed, our influence on the global climate is negligible.

Surrounded as we are by great oceans, even the alarmist predictions will have relatively minor consequences for us for some time.

We can afford to wait.

There is no point in decimating our economy in the pursuit of carbon neutrality if carbon is not the main culprit or if the climate is now on a new trend.

Instead, now is the time to moderate the pseudo-religious and uncritical belief that global warming is still as we once thought it might have been.

This is difficult when anyone who questions the pseudo-religious people is labelled a heretic. But Kearsley is not alone in urging caution.

Poneke refers to an article in The Australian by Dr David Evans who wrote the carbon accounting model (FullCAM) that measures Australia’s compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, in the land use change and forestry sector.

The article is worth reading in full, so I”ll just copy the intro and conclusion:

When I started that job in 1999 the evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming seemed pretty good: CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the old ice core data, no other suspects.

The evidence was not conclusive, but why wait until we were certain when it appeared we needed to act quickly? Soon government and the scientific community were working together and lots of science research jobs were created. We scientists had political support, the ear of government, big budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful (well, I did anyway). It was great. We were working to save the planet.

But since 1999 new evidence has seriously weakened the case that carbon emissions are the main cause of global warming, and by 2007 the evidence was pretty conclusive that carbon played only a minor role and was not the main cause of the recent global warming. As Lord Keynes famously said, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

There has not been a public debate about the causes of global warming and most of the public and our decision makers are not aware of the most basic salient facts…

…Until now the global warming debate has merely been an academic matter of little interest. Now that it matters, we should debate the causes of global warming.

So far that debate has just consisted of a simple sleight of hand: show evidence of global warming, and while the audience is stunned at the implications, simply assert that it is due to carbon emissions.

In the minds of the audience, the evidence that global warming has occurred becomes conflated with the alleged cause, and the audience hasn’t noticed that the cause was merely asserted, not proved.

If there really was any evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming, don’t you think we would have heard all about it ad nauseam by now?

The world has spent $50 billion on global warming since 1990, and we have not found any actual evidence that carbon emissions cause global warming. Evidence consists of observations made by someone at some time that supports the idea that carbon emissions cause global warming. Computer models and theoretical calculations are not evidence, they are just theory.

What is going to happen over the next decade as global temperatures continue not to rise? The Labor Government is about to deliberately wreck the economy in order to reduce carbon emissions. If the reasons later turn out to be bogus, the electorate is not going to re-elect a Labor government for a long time. When it comes to light that the carbon scare was known to be bogus in 2008, the ALP is going to be regarded as criminally negligent or ideologically stupid for not having seen through it. And if the Liberals support the general thrust of their actions, they will be seen likewise.

The onus should be on those who want to change things to provide evidence for why the changes are necessary. The Australian public is eventually going to have to be told the evidence anyway, so it might as well be told before wrecking the economy.

We have only one world and we have a responsibility to look after it. But that doesn’t mean rushing headlong into policy such as Emissions Trading, which may do little or nothing to improve the environment at great economic cost.

10 Responses to Climate change debate distorted by dogma

  1. The Daughter with a science degree says:

    In response to “If there really was any evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming, don’t you think we would have heard all about it ad nauseam by now?” I suggest you look at “Carbon dioxide plays pivotal role in global warming “By Associate Professor Allan Blackman of the Otago University Chemistry Department (http://neon.otago.ac.nz/chemistry/magazine/3/).
    Science is a continually changing field and global warming is a complex and multifactorial subject and I don’t presume to be qualified enough to argue strongly either way in the face of experts. What I do know is that I trust the opinion of lecturers in Chemisty more than that of those whose expertise is in Media, Film and Communication Studies (Professor Geoffrey Kearsley) or Electrical Engineering and Mathematics (Dr David Evans). A Dr. in front of someone’s name does not make them an expert in anything other than their own field of research – of which in each field there are extreme specialities (e.g. a health researcher specialising in immunology relating to rheumatoid arthritis may have limited knowledge about the immunology of asthma) .
    Unfortunately in the public domain it is those who can best manipulate words whose arguments are believed. The experts in the field tend to remain unheard of as they are often are not adept at conveying to lay people the information they have found – instead they publish in academic journals (of which there is a wide array from the prestigious to the dubious).
    There is a saying that in science – theories can only be disproved never proved. The results of science experiments are numbers, graphs, even pretty colours on objects which can be photographed – the accumulation of these results are used to formulate theories. If experimentation is sound the results are indisputable but the interpretation may vary and as technology and our understanding progresses and more experiments performed, the theories become altered. The global warming theory is complex, it has not been proved (because that would be an impossibility) but although it continues to be altered it is yet to be disproved by those who matter, that is the scientists working in their laboratories whose results are published in respected journals.

  2. Erl Happ says:

    Daughter with a ‘science’ degree! Could this be an intergenerational problem associated with the rise of ‘issues education’ at the expense of the study of geography which had a significant element called ‘climatology’?

    Seems to me that one of the basic problems with greenhouse theory relates to a failure to understand the meaning of the word ‘troposphere’. ‘Tropos’ is Greek for ‘turning’. A turbulent gaseous medium is incapable of trapping heat. If you want to insulate anything to stop heat loss or gain you must immobilize the air that surrounds it or remove it entirely. Air transports heat. The troposphere has an average thickness of just 10km. To put that into perspective calculate how long it would take you to walk 10km.

    Then there is the not insignificant problem of how one can gain warmth from a cooler object. At just 1km in elevation it is already 6°C cooler and already air density has fallen by 15%.

    Chemists can retire to their field of expertise. Physicists should stand up and be counted. Undergraduates back to the coffee shop.

  3. Colin E McIntyre says:

    The following link raises futher doubts on climate warming and carbon emissions

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24036736-7583,00.htm

  4. homepaddock says:

    Colin – that’s the story which I referred to Poneke referring to.

  5. Geoff Heaps says:

    Here is a commentary on global warming that cannot be
    ignored, no matter on what side of the argument one stands.

    John Coleman’s (the Weather Channel Founder) Comments Before
    the San Diego Chamber of Commerce

    Global Warming and the Price of a Gallon of Gas
    by John Coleman
    You may want to give credit where credit is due to Al Gore
    and his global warming campaign the next time you fill your
    car with gasoline, because there is a direct connection
    between Global Warming and four dollar a gallon gas. It is
    shocking, but true, to learn that the entire Global Warming
    frenzy is based on the environmentalist’s attack on fossil
    fuels, particularly gasoline. All this big time science,
    international meetings, thick research papers, dire threats
    for the future; all of it, comes down to their claim that
    the carbon dioxide in the exhaust from your car and in the
    smoke stacks from our power plants is destroying the climate
    of planet Earth
    What an amazing fraud; what a scam.
    The future of our civilization lies in the balance.
    That’s the battle cry of the High Priest of Global Warming
    Al Gore and his fellow, agenda driven disciples as they
    predicta calamitous outcome from anthropogenic global
    warming. According to Mr. Gore the polar ice caps will
    collapse and melt and sea levels will rise 20 feet
    inundating the coastal cities making 100 million of us
    refugees. Vice President Gore tells us numerous Pacific
    islands will be totally submerged and uninhabitable. He
    tells us global warming will disrupt the circulation of the
    ocean waters, dramatically changing climates, throwing the
    world food supply into chaos. He tells us global warming
    will turn hurricanes into super storms, produce droughts,
    wipe out the polar bears and result in bleaching of coral
    reefs. He tells us tropical diseases will spread to mid
    latitudes and heat waves will kill tens of thousands. He
    preaches to us that we must change our lives and eliminate
    fossil fuels or face the dire consequences. The future of
    our civilization is in the balance. With a preacher’s zeal,
    Mr. Gore sets out to strike terror into us and our children
    and make us feel we are all complicit in the potential
    demise of the planet.
    Here is my rebuttal.
    There is no significant man made global warming. There has
    not been any in the past, there is none now and there is no
    reason to fear any in the future
    The climate of Earth is changing. It has always changed.
    But mankind’s activities have not overwhelmed or
    significantly modified the natural forces

    Through all history, Earth has shifted between two basic
    climate regimes: ice ages and what paleoclimatologists call
    “Interglacial periods”. For the past 10 thousand years the
    Earth has been in an interglacial period. That might well
    be called nature’s global warming because what happens
    during an interglacial period is the Earth warms up, the
    glaciers melt and life flourishes. Clearly from our point of
    view, an interglacial period is greatly preferred to the
    deadly rigors of an ice age. Mr. Gore and his crowd would
    have us believe that the activities of man have overwhelmed
    nature during this interglacial period and are producing an
    unprecedented, out of control warming.
    Well, it is simply not happening. Worldwide there was a
    significant natural warming trend in the 1980’s and 1990’s
    as a Solar cycle peaked with lots of sunspots and solar
    flares. That ended in 1998 and now the Sun has gone quiet
    with fewer and fewer Sun spots, and the global temperatures
    have gone into decline. Earth has cooled for almost ten
    straight years. So, I ask Al Gore, where’s the global
    warming? The cooling trend is so strong that recently the
    head of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on
    Climate Change had to acknowledge it. He speculated that
    nature has temporarily overwhelmed mankind’s warming and it
    may be ten years or so before the warming returns. Oh,
    really. We are supposed to be in a panic about man-made
    global warming and the whole thing takes a ten year break
    because of the lack of Sun spots. If this weren’t so
    serious, it would be laughable. Now allow me to talk a
    little about the science behind the global warming frenzy. I
    have dug through thousands of pages of research papers,
    including the voluminous documents published by the United
    Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I have
    worked my way through complicated math and complex theories.
    Here’s the bottom line: the entire global warming scientific
    case is based on the increase in carbon dioxide in the
    atmosphere from the use of fossil fuels. They don’t have
    any other issue. Carbon Dioxide, that’s it.
    Hello Al Gore; Hello UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
    Change. Your science is flawed; your hypothesis is wrong;
    your data is manipulated. And, may I add, your scare
    tactics are deplorable. The Earth does not have a fever.
    Carbon dioxide does not cause significant global warming.
    The focus on atmospheric carbon dioxide grew out a study by
    Roger Revelle who was an esteemed scientist at the Scripps
    Oceanographic Institute. He took his research with him when
    he moved to Harvard and allowed his students to help him
    process the data for his paper. One of those students was
    Al Gore. That is where Gore got caught up in this global
    warming frenzy. Revelle’s paper linked the increases in
    carbon dioxide, CO2, in the atmosphere with warming. It
    labeled CO2 as a greenhouse gas. Charles Keeling, another
    researcher at the Scripps Oceanographic Institute, set up a
    system to make continuous CO2 measurements. His graph of
    these increases has now become known as the Keeling Curve.
    When Charles Keeling died in 2005, his son David, also at
    Scripps, took over the measurements. Here is what the
    Keeling curve shows: an increase in CO2 from 315 parts per
    million in 1958 to 385 parts per million today, an increase
    of 70 parts per million or about 20 percent.
    All the computer models, all of the other findings, all of
    the other angles of study, all come back to and are based on
    CO2 as a significant greenhouse gas. It is not.
    Here is the deal about CO2, carbon dioxide. It is a natural
    component of our atmosphere. It has been there since time
    began. It is absorbed and emitted by the oceans. It is
    used by every living plant to trigger photosynthesis.
    Nothing would be green without it. And we humans; we create
    it. Every time we breathe out, we emit carbon dioxide into
    the atmosphere. It is not a pollutant. It is not smog. It
    is a naturally occurring invisible gas.
    Let me illustrate. I estimate that this square in front of
    my face contains 100,000 molecules of atmosphere. Of those
    100,000 only 38 are CO2; 38 out of a hundred thousand. That
    makes it a trace component. Let me ask a key question: how
    can this tiny trace upset the entire balance of the climate
    of Earth? It can’t. That’s all there is to it; it can’t.
    The UN IPCC has attracted billions of dollars for the
    research to try to make the case that CO2 is the culprit of
    run-away, man-made global warming. The scientists have come
    up with very complex creative theories and done elaborate
    calculations and run computer models they say prove those
    theories
    They present us with a concept they call radiative forcing.
    The research organizations and scientists who are making a
    career out of this theory, keep cranking out the research
    papers. Then the IPCC puts on big conferences at exotic
    places, such as the recent conference in Bali . The
    scientists endorse each other’s papers, they are summarized
    and voted on, and viola, we are told global warming is going
    to kill us all unless we stop burning fossil fuels.
    May I stop here for a few historical notes? First, the
    internal combustion engine and gasoline were awful polluters
    when they were first invented. And
    both gasoline and automobile engines continued to leave a
    layer of smog behind right up through the 1960’s. Then
    science and engineering came to the environmental rescue.
    Better exhaust and ignition systems, catalytic converters,
    fuel injectors, better engineering throughout the engine and
    reformulated gasoline have all contributed to a huge
    reduction in the exhaust emissions from today’s cars. Their
    goal then was to only exhaust carbon dioxide and water vapor
    , two gases widely accepted as natural and totally harmless.
    Anyone old enough to remember the pall of smog that used to
    hang over all our cities knows how much improvement there
    has been. So the environmentalists, in their battle against
    fossil fuels and automobiles had a very good point forty
    years ago, but now they have to focus almost entirely on the
    once harmless carbon dioxide. And, that is the rub. Carbon
    dioxide is not an environmental problem; they just want you
    now to think it is.
    Numerous independent research projects have been done about
    the greenhouse impact from increases in atmospheric carbon
    dioxide. These studies have proven to my total satisfaction
    that CO2 is not creating a major greenhouse effect and is
    not causing an increase in temperatures. By the way, before
    his death, Roger Revelle coauthored a paper cautioning that
    CO2 and its greenhouse effect did not warrant extreme
    countermeasures. So now it has come down to an intense
    campaign, orchestrated by environmentalists claiming that
    the burning of fossil fuels dooms the planet to run-away
    global warming. Ladies and Gentlemen, that is a myth. So
    how has the entire global warming frenzy with all its
    predictions of dire consequences, become so widely believed,
    accepted and regarded as a real threat to planet Earth?
    That is the most amazing part of the story. To start with
    global warming has the backing of the United Nations, a
    major world force. Second, it has the backing of a former
    Vice President and very popular political figure. Third it
    has the endorsement of Hollywood , and that’s enough for
    millions. And, fourth, the environmentalists love global
    warming. It is their tool to combat fossil fuels. So with
    the environmentalists, the UN, Gore and Hollywood touting
    Global Warming and predictions of doom and gloom, the media
    has scrambled with excitement to climb aboard. After all
    the media loves a crisis. From YK2 to killer bees the media
    just loves to tell us our lives are threatened. And the
    media is biased toward liberal, so it’s pre-programmed to
    support Al Gore and UN. CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, The New
    York Times, The LA Times, The Washington Post, the
    Associated Press and here in San Diego The Union Tribune are
    all constantly promoting the global warming crisis.
    So who is going to go against all of that power? Not the
    politicians. So now the President of the United States ,
    just about every Governor, most Senators and most Congress
    people, both of the major current candidates for President,
    most other elected officials on all levels of government are
    all riding the Al Gore Global Warming express. That is one
    crowded bus. I suspect you haven’t heard it because the
    mass media did not report it, but I am not alone on the no
    man-made warming side of this issue. On May 20th, a list of
    the names of over thirty-one thousand scientists who refute
    global warming was released. Thirty-one thousand of which
    9,000 are Ph.ds. Think about that. Thirty-one thousand.
    That dwarfs the supposed 2,500 scientists on the UN panel.
    In the past year, five hundred of scientists have issued
    public statements challenging global warming. A few more
    join the chorus every week. There are about 100 defectors
    from the UN IPCC. There was an International Conference of
    Climate Change Skeptics in New York in March of this year.
    One hundred of us gave presentations. Attendance was
    limited to six hundred people. Every seat was taken. There
    are a half dozen excellent internet sites that debunk global
    warming. And, thank goodness for KUSI and Michael McKinnon,
    its owner. He allows me to post my comments on global
    warming on the website KUSI.com. Following the publicity of
    my position form Fox News, Glen Beck on CNN, Rush Limbaugh
    and a host of other interviews, thousands of people come to
    the website and read my comments. I get hundreds of
    supportive emails from them. No I am not alone and the
    debate is not over. In my remarks in New York I speculated
    that perhaps we should sue Al Gore for fraud because of his
    carbon credits trading scheme. That remark has caused a
    stir in the fringe media and on the internet. The concept
    is that if the media won’t give us a hearing and the other
    side will not debate us, perhaps we could use a Court of law
    to present our papers and our research and if the Judge is
    unbiased and understands science, we win. The media
    couldn’t ignore that. That idea has become the basis for
    legal research by notable attorneys and discussion among
    global warming debunkers, but it’s a long way from the Court
    room. I am very serious about this issue. I think stamping
    out the global warming scam is vital to saving our wonderful
    way of life. The battle against fossil fuels has controlled
    policy in this country for decades. It was the
    environmentalist’s prime force in blocking any drilling for
    oil in this country and the blocking the building of any new
    refineries, as well. So now the shortage they created has
    sent gasoline prices soaring. And, it has lead to the folly
    of ethanol, which is also partly behind the fuel price
    increases; that and our restricted oil policy. The ethanol
    folly is also creating a food crisis throughput the world

    it is behind the food price rises for all the grains, for
    cereals, bread, everything that relies on corn or soy or
    wheat, including animals that are fed corn, most processed
    foods that use corn oil or soybean oil or corn syrup. Food
    shortages or high costs have led to food riots in some third
    world countries and made the cost of eating out or at home
    budget busting for many. So now the global warming myth
    actually has lead to the chaos we are now enduring with
    energy and food prices. We pay for it every time we fill our
    gas tanks. Not only is it running up gasoline prices, it
    has changed government policy impacting our taxes, our
    utility bills and the entire focus of government funding.
    And, now the Congress is considering a cap and trade carbon
    credits policy. We the citizens will pay for that, too. It
    all ends up in our taxes and the price of goods and
    services. So the Global warming frenzy is, indeed,
    threatening our civilization. Not because global warming is
    real; it is not. But because of the all the horrible side
    effects of the global warming scam. I love this
    civilization. I want to do my part to protect it. If Al
    Gore and his global warming scare dictates the future policy
    of our governments, the current economic downturn could
    indeed become a recession, drift into a depression and our
    modern civilization could fall into an abyss
    And it would largely be a direct result of the global
    warming frenzy.

    My mission, in what is left of a long and exciting lifetime,
    is to stamp out this Global Warming silliness and let all of
    us get on with enjoying our lives and loving our planet,
    Earth. by John Coleman
    Story Created: Jun 12, 2008 at 12:53 PM PDT

  6. Colin E McIntyre says:

    Thanks Geoff, for posting this excellent article which needs more publicity.

  7. Colin E McIntyre says:

    Geoff posting the link to this article on ruralnetwork.co.nz

  8. Andrew W says:

    “Here is a commentary on global warming that cannot be
    ignored, no matter on what side of the argument one stands.”

    “Thanks Geoff, for posting this excellent article which needs more publicity.”

    Coleman’s speech is nonsense, I’m not going to address all of his BS, but I would be interested to know what he meant by: “I estimate that this square in front of my face contains 100,000 molecules of atmosphere.”

    you see, 1 cubic mm of air contains about 26,880,000,000,000,000 molecules, Coleman must have a very small face.

  9. Paul Young says:

    Coleman says:
    “I have dug through thousands of pages of research papers,
    including the voluminous documents published by the United
    Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I have
    worked my way through complicated math and complex theories…”

    Well if he has indeed “worked his way through” all these papers and seems to understand something that all the poor unenlightened scientists seem to have missed, then why doesn’t he publish his results? Maybe it’s because arguments such as this…

    “Let me illustrate. I estimate that this square in front of
    my face contains 100,000 molecules of atmosphere. Of those
    100,000 only 38 are CO2; 38 out of a hundred thousand. That
    makes it a trace component. Let me ask a key question: how
    can this tiny trace upset the entire balance of the climate
    of Earth? It can’t. That’s all there is to it; it can’t.”

    …generally don’t go down too well in a scientific journal. “I don’t believe this, therefore it is wrong – no test required!”. Maybe he could conduct an experiment on himself by ingesting a “tiny trace” of mercury and seeing if it “upsets the entire balance” of his body?

    Like Andrew W says, there is far too much BS in Coleman’s rant (yes, I would classify it as a rant, and a poorly informed one at that) to address completely, otherwise I would be here all day. But one thing in particular I’d like to comment on is his claims, along with Erl Harp’s comment above, questioning the greenhouse effect. This really is ludicrous, trying to frame it as a hocus-pocus theory with no physical evidence. Perhaps they can offer a better explanation of why the Earth’s temperature is not a frigid -18 degrees Celsius? A good starting point is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect

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