Dear Uncle Siemens

Written by Dr Klaus L.E. Kaiser

<satire> Dear Uncle Siemens,

I am hearing a lot about you in the news lately. Somehow your offshore wind turbines in the German Bight can’t deliver any power.  ABB’s HVDC converter station seems to have a fever and the prognosis is not good. Some unkind folks claim that you could catch a cold because of that. Really?  I mean what’s €500 million between friends? Especially if you can charge it to the electricity consumer! siemens

Your plans for the Libya-sized solar panels in the Sahara desert also seem to be on hold. Well, after the fiasco in Mexico where they got sand-blasted into oblivion in short order, that’s not entirely surprising. I think you need to spend a few Euros to re-educate the public on the benefits of your technologies. As the old adage (attributed to Winston Churchill) goes: never let a good crisis go to waste!

Believe me, green (like in the dollar bill green) power is the way to go!

Green Power

In any event, the deniers of green and free solar and wind power are just envious of your successes. Who cares that electricity prices in Europe are sky-rocketing and big energy-sucking industry is leaving for greener, pardon me, I mean cheaper places. They should have known that we need to “de-energize” to the level of our ancestors, the Neanderthals. Isn’t that why the government is shutting down the nuclear power plants in Germany? Isn’t that why coal has become “dirty” there as well?

It’s all so obvious; have you ever seen a coal miner coming back from his shift without being black from head to toe? How disgusting; can’t they go about their business in well-ironed suits, ties and with CLEAN HANDS and FACES?
Back to the wind power turbines though (I really hate the people who call them bird shredders): Isn’t it about time the Europeans are “getting up to speed” as well? After all, why should there be 10,000-plus defunct turbines in the U.S. and none anywhere else? This is progress and it’s simply unstoppable.

My dear wife Harrietta and I are also still saddened by Aunt Solyndra’s passing. She was such a great sport, managed to bilk the tax-payers out of half billion-plus. We got some nice holidays out of that and still do. In this context, I also want to raise another point, namely the great new German invention of the Energie-Wende (energy revolution) and the more recent Energie-Ausweis (“Energy-Passport,” EP) requirements for houses.

Energy-Passports (EPs)

With the right propaganda, I mean communication behind it, this new EP requirement can turn most home owners into your serfs! Harrietta calculated that over half of the houses in Germany are energy-deficient and in need of major energy-sanitation improvements. Actually, I think she is under-estimating the number of houses so affected. The possibilities for making hay there are enormous. What a great idea to re-invigorate the construction industry!

Therefore, I think you should re-direct your engineering prowess to help the poor home owners with the upgrades. They need more guidance on how to spend their life savings (or more!) on becoming more Neanderthal-like energy-deprived. By my own reckoning, even less than half of the houses in Germany can actually be brought up to modern EP-standards. They will all need to be razed and reconstructed from the ground up. The current occupants can be housed in yurts for the time being. If the nomads in the Asian plains can do that, why couldn’t the Bürgers of Germany?

Of course, it’s all in the name of efficiency and what other country in the world but Germany could possibly take the lead on that?

Anyway, I hope you and all your friends at the Munich Re, RWE and so on, are fine as well. Don’t let the problem at the Bard-1 offshore wind park wear you down! How could anyone think that a Swiss company, in a land-locked country, could build a converter for the high seas anyway? Your Helwin-1 HVDC converter station for the Bight will be a cinch!

I say Full Steam (or Wind) Ahead!

Your nephew
Joe

———————————

Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser is author of CONVENIENT MYTHS, the green revolution – perceptions, politics, and facts
convenientmyths.com

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BIOLOGY PROFESSOR BLOWS THE WHISTLE ON WIND FARMS

Written by wcfn.org

Infrasound and other wind farm problems recognized by scientists.In an interview published in Truthout, Dr Patricia Mora casts doubts about the way in which environmental studies are conducted. ethics

What happens is absolute corruption. I have to admit that generally there are “agreements” behind closed doors between the consultants or research centers and the government offices before the studies are conducted. They fill out forms with copied information (and sometimes badly copied), lies or half truths in order to divert attention from the real project while at the same time complying with requirements on paper. Unfortunately, consultants sometimes take advantage of high unemployment and hire inexperienced people or unemployed career professionals without proper titles. Sometimes the consultants even coerce them into modifying the data.

“Research centers, pressured by a lack of funding, accept these studies. It is well known that scientists recognized by CONACYT (National Counsel on Science and Technology) accept gifts from these companies, given that they need money to buy equipment for their laboratories and to fill their pocketbooks to maintain their lifestyles. This is the extent of the corruption. Upon reviewing these studies, it is clear that the findings are trash, sometimes even directly copied from other sources online. These studies tend to focus on the “benefits of the project” and do not include rigorous analysis.

“The Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) does follow-up to the studies, but everything can be negotiated. The bureaucrats have the last word.”

Patricia Mora is a research professor in coastal ecology and fisheries science at the Interdisciplinary Research Center for Comprehensive Regional Development, Oaxaca Unit (CIIDIR Oaxaca), at the National Institute of Technology. She also raises other issues: the thorough destruction of biotopes by wind farms…

“… we find ourselves at the meeting point of various intimately related aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, known as “ecotones.” What occurs in each distinct ecosystem affects the dynamic on a larger scale, placing the existence of the adjoining ecosystems in danger.”

… the issues of low frequency sound, infrasound, and electromagnetic fields…

“There is abundant information about the harm caused by the sound waves produced by wind turbines. These sound waves are not perceptible to the human ear, which makes them all the more dangerous. They are also low frequency sound waves and act upon the pineal and nervous systems, causing anxiety, depression (there is a study from the United States that found an elevated suicide rate in regions with wind farms), migraines, dizziness and vomiting, among other symptoms. Western science has given very little weight to electromagnetic and sound waves. In contrast, Eastern science, which gives greater importance to the flow of energy through the body, links the origin of many illnesses to the pollution we generate through the emission of human-made energy flows. The harm caused by this pollution has only recently begun to be accepted.”

… the adverse effects on the population…

“The inhabitants would have to leave behind their traditional activities. Migration and misery would be their future. You can see how this has happened in other areas of the country. They would lose their culture and a lifestyle that has a deep respect for nature. For example, in the northwest coastal region of the country, the arrival of these projects has displaced the fishing communities and farmers. Today, many of these people and their children have migrated. In the worst cases, they have joined the drug trafficking business.”

“The only benefit has been for the companies. The carbon credits they have received have allowed them to avoid taxes and have permitted them to continue polluting.”

CFACT report — Climate Hype Exposed

CFACT releases a new report on the eve of the New York UN climate summit.

The report is authored by Paul Driessen with contributions from Marc Morano.

Executive Summary

Launched in 1988 at the urging of activists opposed to hydrocarbon energy, economic growth, and modern living standards, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was originally charged with assessing possible human influences on global warming and potential risks of human-induced warming. Over the subsequent decades, however, the IPCC increasingly minimized non-human factors, to the extent that it now claims only human influences matter – and any climate changes would “threaten our planet.”

The climate change scientist-government-industrialist complex has grown increasingly wealthy and powerful. It now spends billions of dollars annually on climate and weather research, focusing almost exclusively on carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse” gases, and many billions more on renewable energy research and subsidies that raise energy prices, cost jobs, and reduce living standards.

Indeed, laws and regulations implemented in the name of preventing climate change have increased the cost of virtually everything people make, grow, ship, drive, eat, and do. They affect our lives, liberties, livelihoods, living standards, health, and welfare. Expert analysts calculate that climate-related rules will cost U.S. families and businesses almost $51 billion and 224,000 U.S. jobs every year through 2030 – on top of the $1.9 trillion in regulatory costs that Americans already pay every year.

With so much at stake, it is essential that climate research is honest, accurate and credible, and that the resultant energy and climate policies are based on sound, replicable science. Instead, the studies and reports are consistently defective and even deceitful. They incorporate every study financed by this multi-billion-dollar system that supports the “dangerous manmade climate change” thesis – no matter how far-fetched and indefensible their claims might be – and ignore all contrary studies and experts. They rely on faulty, manipulated data, secretive working sessions that revise the “science” to reflect political “summaries,” and computer models that completely fail to predict actual real-world climate trends.

Because average global temperatures have not risen for 18 years (and have even cooled slightly), even the terminology has shifted: from global warming to climate change, climate disruption, and extreme weather.

Relying on the IPCC work, the $2.5-billlion-a-year U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) issued a 2014 National Climate Assessment (NCA) that claimed climate change “is already affecting” the lives of Americans in a “multitude of ways.” President Obama said its effects “are already being felt in every corner of the United States.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies use IPCC studies to justify costly vehicle mileage standards, delays and bans on oil and gas drilling and pipelines, and rules that are closing hundreds of coal-fired power plants and preventing new ones from being built.

As ClimateDepot.com director Marc Morano explains, the IPCC is “a political body masquerading as a science body.” It makes its pseudo-science fit its political agenda. The GCRP and the EPA do likewise. Their actions violate information quality laws and basic standards of sound science and peer review – to drive an anti-growth, anti-fossil fuel agenda. They exaggerate every conceivable cost associated with hydrocarbons, but completely ignore even the most obvious and enormous benefits of using fossil fuels.

Now the White House wants to commit the United States to a new international “agreement” on climate change, energy use, economic growth, and wealth redistribution – without presenting it to Congress, in violation of constitutional requirements that any treaty receive the “advice and consent” of the Senate.

Every American concerned about our nation’s future should read this report, to understand what is happening and what is at stake. They should resist these actions by unelected, unaccountable regulators, challenge them in courts and legislatures, and demand that every study, report, and proposed rule be presented for review by citizens, legislators, and independent experts outside the closed circles of the climate change scientist-government-industrialist complex. If the climate alarmists are truly confident in their claims and have nothing to hide, they should be happy to participate in this honest, common sense approach.

Climate hype exposed cover

Full report

– See more at: http://www.cfact.org/2014/09/18/cfact-report-climate-hype-exposed/?utm_source=CFACT+Updates&utm_campaign=3ba0afdcc1-Report_Climate_change_exposed9_18_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a28eaedb56-3ba0afdcc1-270220145#sthash.kvNuGPea.dpuf

An Unsettling Climate

RUPERT DARWALL

Global-warming proponents betray science by shutting down debate.
Summer 2014

Scientist Murry Salby argues that a key factor behind rising temperatures is heat exchange between the atmosphere and the ocean.

Climate-change science is “settled,” say proponents of anthropogenic (human-induced) global warming, or AGW: the earth is getting warmer, and human activities are the reason. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), set up by the United Nations in 1988, has issued five assessment reports since its founding. In its most recent, in 2013, the IPCC stated that it was now “95 to 100 percent certain” that human activities—especially fossil-fuel emissions—are the primary drivers of planetary warming. Frequent news reports—such as the story of the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, a process that some scientists say is irreversible—seemingly confirm these conclusions.

And yet, highly credentialed scientists, including Nobel Prize–winning physicist Ivar Giaever, reject what is often called the “climate consensus.” Giaever resigned from the American Physical Society in protest of the group’s statement that evidence of global warming was “incontrovertible” and that governments needed to move immediately to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. Sixteen distinguished scientists signed a 2012 Wall Street Journal article, in which they argued that taking drastic action to “decarbonize” the world’s economy—an effort that would have major effects on economic growth and quality of life, especially in the developing world—was not justified by observable scientific evidence. And, like Giaever, they objected to the notion of a climate consensus—and to the unscientific shutting down of inquiry and the marginalization of dissenters as “heretics.” Most recently, renowned climate scientist Lennart Bengtsson stepped down from his post at a climate-skeptic think tank after he received hundreds of angry e-mails from scientists. He called the pressure “virtually unbearable.”

Another dissenter, the American atmospheric physicist Murry Salby, has produced a serious analysis that undermines key assumptions underpinning the AGW worldview. His work and its reception illustrate just how unsettled climate science remains—and how determined AGW proponents are to enforce consensus on one of the great questions of our age.

In April 2013, concluding a European tour to present his research, Salby arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris for a flight back to Australia, where he was a professor of climate science at Macquarie University. He discovered, to his dismay, that the university had canceled the return leg of his nonrefundable ticket. With Salby stranded, Macquarie then undertook misconduct proceedings against him that swiftly culminated in his dismissal. The university claimed that it did not sack Salby for his climate views but rather because he failed to “fulfill his academic obligations, including the obligation to teach” and because he violated “University policies in relation to travel and use of University resources.”

Salby and his supporters find it hard to believe the school’s claims. Salby’s detractors point to reports of his investigation by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for alleged ethical improprieties, claims surrounding which surfaced on an anti-climate-skeptic blog, along with court papers relating to his divorce. Salby has indeed been embroiled in conflicts with the NSF—the organization debarred him from receiving research grants for three years, even though, teaching in Australia, he wasn’t eligible, anyway—and with the University of Colorado, where he taught previously and was involved in a decade-long dispute with another academic. At one point, the NSF investigated the disappearance of $100,000 in Salby’s research funds, which, in the wake of the investigation, was returned to Salby’s group. However, all these matters have involved bureaucratic rights and wrongs. They have no bearing on his science, just as Antoine Lavoisier’s being a tax farmer had no bearing on his demolition of the phlogiston theory of combustion. And Salby had earned high marks as a scientist. He originally trained as an aerospace engineer before switching to atmospheric physics and building a distinguished career. He taught at Georgia Tech, Princeton, Hebrew, and Stockholm Universities before coming to the University of Colorado, and he was involved as a reviewer in the IPCC’s first two assessment reports.

Starting in the late 1990s, Salby began a project to analyze changes in atmospheric ozone. His research found evidence of systematic recovery in ozone, validating the science behind the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which introduced specific steps for curtailing ozone-depleting gases. Preparing to write a graduate-level textbook, Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate, later published by Cambridge University Press and praised by one reviewer as “unequalled in breadth, depth and lucidity,” Salby then undertook a methodical examination of AGW. What he found left him “absolutely surprised.”

Most discussion on the science of AGW revolves around the climatic effects of increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. How it got there in the first place—the assumption being that increased carbon dioxide arises overwhelmingly from human activities—is often taken for granted. Yet Salby believed that he had uncovered clear evidence that this was not the case, as his trip to Europe was designed to expose.

The IPCC estimates that, since the Industrial Revolution, humans have released 365 billion tons of carbon from burning fossil fuels. Annual emissions, including those from deforestation and cement production, are less than 9 billion tons. Yet natural carbon cycles involve annual exchanges of carbon between the atmosphere, the land, and the oceans many times greater than emissions from human activities. The IPCC estimates that 118.7 billion tons of carbon per year is emitted from land and 78.4 billion tons from oceans. Thus, the human contribution of 9 billion tons annually accounts for less than 5 percent of the total gross emissions. The AGW hypothesis, as well as all the climate-change policies that depend on it, assumes that the human 5 percent drives the overall change in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere—and that the other 95 percent, comprising natural emissions, is counterbalanced by absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere by natural processes. Summing it up, the IPCC declared in its fourth assessment report, in 2007: “The increase in atmospheric CO2 is known to be caused by human activities.”

Salby contends that the IPCC’s claim isn’t supported by observations. Scientists’ understanding of the complex climate dynamics is undeveloped, not least because the ocean’s heat capacity is a thousand times greater than that of the atmosphere and relevant physical observations of the oceans are so sparse. Until this is remedied, the science cannot be settled. In Salby’s view, the evidence actually suggests that the causality underlying AGW should be reversed. Rather than increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere triggering global temperatures to rise, rising global temperatures come first—and account for the great majority of changes in net emissions of CO2, with changes in soil-moisture conditions explaining most of the rest. Furthermore, these two factors also explain changes in net methane emission, the second-most important “human” greenhouse gas. As for what causes global temperatures to rise, Salby says that one of the most important factors influencing temperature is heat exchange between the atmosphere and the ocean.

Why is the IPCC so certain that the 5 percent human contribution is responsible for annual increases in carbon dioxide levels? Without examining other possible hypotheses, the IPCC argues that the proportion of heavy to light carbon atoms in the atmosphere has “changed in a way that can be attributed to addition of fossil fuel carbon”—with light carbon on the rise. Fossil fuels, of course, were formed from plants and animals that lived hundreds of millions of years ago; the IPCC reasons that, since plants tend to absorb more light carbon than heavy carbon, CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels reduce the share of heavy carbon in the atmosphere. But Salby points to much larger natural processes, such as emissions from decaying vegetation, that also reduce the proportion of heavy carbon. Temperature heavily influences the rate of microbial activity inherent in these natural processes, and Salby notes that the share of heavy carbon emissions falls whenever temperatures are warm. Once again, temperature appears more likely to be the cause, rather than the effect, of observed atmospheric changes.

24_3-rd2

Further, Salby presents satellite observations showing that the highest levels of CO2 are present not over industrialized regions but over relatively uninhabited and nonindustrialized areas, such as the Amazon. And if human emissions were behind rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, he argues, then the change in CO2 each year should track the carbon dioxide released that year from burning fossil fuels—with natural emissions of CO2 being canceled out by reabsorption from land sinks and oceans. But the change of CO2 each year doesn’t track the annual emission of CO2 from burning fossil fuels, as shown in Figure 1, which charts annual emissions of CO2, where an annual increase of one part per million is approximately equivalent to an annual growth rate of 0.25 percent.

While there was a 30 percent increase in CO2 fossil-fuel emissions from 1972 to 1993, there was no systematic increase in net annual CO2 emission—that is, natural plus human emissions, less reabsorption in carbon sinks. These data, Salby observes, are inconsistent with the IPCC’s claim to certainty about human causation of rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere. For the better part of two decades, the IPCC has been struggling to explain the wide interannual variability of changes in net CO2 emission (the jagged lower line in Fig. 1). Various causes have been suggested to explain the 1990s slowdown of CO2 growth, “but none fully explains this unusual behavior of the carbon cycle,” as the IPCC conceded in its third assessment report.

Unable to explain natural changes in CO2 emission, the IPCC falls back on its assumption of a strong natural tendency toward equilibrium: over time, natural emissions and absorption balance each other out, leaving mankind responsible for disruptions in the balance of nature. But, as Salby observes, the IPCC merely postulates this tendency without demonstrating it. The IPCC’s confidence in attributing warming to human activities is thus highly questionable—especially since, for the last decade and a half, atmospheric temperatures have not risen, even as CO2 has risen steadily. Further, while observed average global temperature rose just under one degree centigrade in the last century, this didn’t occur as a steady warming. Almost the entire twentieth-century rise came from four decades—a portion of the interwar years and the 1980s and 1990s—less than a third of the overall temperature record.

Were it not for its implications for AGW, Salby’s research on the carbon cycle might be a boon to the IPCC’s troubled effort to explain interannual variability of CO2 emissions. His work offers a coherent picture of changes in net emissions, where the changes closely track a combination of temperature and soil moisture—explaining both the low net emissions of the early 1990s and their peak in 1998. Salby also contends that temperature alone can largely account for the rise in atmospheric CO2 through the earlier part of the twentieth century, when soil-moisture data are inadequate. Net methane emissions track natural surface conditions even more closely.

Another pillar of the IPCC’s case has been the claim, based on ice-core records of CO2 concentrations, that present levels of carbon dioxide are unprecedented. But here, Salby maintains, accounting for the dissipation of CO2 trapped in ice cores—previously ignored—radically alters the picture of prehistoric changes in atmospheric CO2 levels. Even weak dissipation would mean that such changes have been significantly underestimated until now—and would also imply that modern changes in CO2 are not unprecedented. If Salby is right, the IPCC’s unequivocal claim that modern levels of CO2 are at their highest levels in at least 800,000 years would not hold.

In fact, the IPCC’s 2013 assessment tiptoes in Salby’s direction. The ice-core record of atmospheric CO2 exhibits “interesting variations,” the report says, which can be linked to climate-induced changes in the carbon cycle. The assessment also gingerly concedes that the 15-year pause from 1940, when CO2 levels did not rise, was “possibly” caused by slightly decreasing land temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere.

Salby hasn’t been working in a vacuum. Swedish climate scientist Pehr Björnbom has replicated his finding that temperature drives CO2 emission. University of Oslo geosciences professor Ole Humlum published a landmark 2012 paper demonstrating that changes of CO2 follow changes of temperature, implying the same cause and effect. Richard Lindzen, an atmospheric physicist at MIT, believes that Salby is correct about the IPCC’s failure to evaluate the effects of diffusion in ice cores on the proxy CO2 record and to consider sources of lighter carbon other than fossil-fuel burning. Salby is a “serious scientist” whose arguments deserve a hearing, Lindzen says. Fritz Vahrenholt, a former environmental official and CEO of a large renewable-energy company, as well as one of Germany’s leading climate-change skeptics, found Salby’s analysis of CO2 emission levels lagging temperature changes compelling. “Murry Salby opened a door for more investigations and further scientific work,” Vahrenholt says. Will the scientific community pursue the questions that Salby has raised? Vahrenholt is doubtful. “Upholders of AGW don’t take part in discussions where their orthodox view is challenged,” he complains. One way they block off inquiry is to ensure that papers by dissenting climate scientists are not included in the peer-review literature—a problem that Lindzen and Bengtsson have encountered. Indeed, that is what happened to Salby. He submitted a paper on his initial findings to the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. Finding no errors—one reviewer called it “absolutely amazing”—the journal required minor revision. Before Salby could return the revised paper for publication, the editor of a different journal, Remote Sensing, resigned for publishing a paper that departed from the IPCC view, penning an abject confession: “From a purely formal point of view, there were no errors with the review process. But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate skeptic notions of the authors.” Shortly afterward, Salby received a letter rejecting his revised paper on the basis of a second reviewer’s claim—contradicted by the first reviewer—that his paper offered nothing new and that all of it had already been covered in the IPCC’s reports.

Salby’s preliminary findings led him to a wider study, in which he determined, among other things, that the observed relationship between global temperature and CO2 differed fundamentally from that described in climate models. His efforts to publish the study ended, at least for the time being, with the termination of his academic post at Macquarie. As of yet, Salby’s climate analyses have appeared only in preliminary form in his peer-reviewed book published by Cambridge University Press.

Unsurprisingly, the consensus view on the carbon cycle remains that human CO2 emissions are “virtually certain” to be the dominant factor determining current CO2 concentrations. Updating the global-warming catechism in a joint 2014 paper, the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society declared: “Continued emissions of these gases will cause further climate change, including substantial increases in global average surface temperature.”

If they adhered to the standards established three centuries ago during the Scientific Revolution, the academies would not be able to make such definitive claims. Nineteenth-century astronomer and philosopher of science John Herschel demanded that the scientist assume the role of antagonist against his own theories; the merits of a theory were proved only by its ability to withstand such attacks. Einstein welcomed attempts to disprove the theory of general relativity. “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong,” he is said to have declared. Because in science, the philosopher Karl Popper reasoned, we cannot be sure what is true but we can know what is false, truth is approached by discarding what is shown to be false. Popper articulated the principle of falsifiability, distinguishing scientific theory from the pseudosciences of Marx and Freud, whose followers, he noted, found corroboration wherever they looked.

The IPCC and other leading scientific bodies also appear to follow a prescientific injunction: “Seek and ye shall find.” The formulations “consistent with” and “multiple lines of evidence” recur throughout IPCC reports. The IPCC’s fifth assessment report, published in 2013, retreated slightly from previous certainty on humans’ contributing the totality of increased CO2. Now, the IPCC expressed a “very high level of confidence,” based, it said, on several lines of evidence “consistent with” this claim. Consistency with a proposition is weak-form science—the moon orbiting the Earth is consistent with pre-Copernican astronomy, after all—and a feature of the pseudosciences that Popper had seen in early-twentieth-century Vienna. In addition to seeking confirmatory evidence, AGW’s upholders often adopt the scientific equivalent of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell when it comes to gaps in scientific knowledge—in particular, those gaps that, if filled in, might conceivably falsify their position. The 2014 National Academy / Royal Society paper ignored entirely the question of interannual variability of net CO2 emission. Rather than acting, as in Herschel’s formulation, as AGW antagonists, the IPCC and the national science academies have become its cheerleaders.

“Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time,” the National Academy / Royal Society paper insists. “It is now more certain than ever, based on many lines of evidence, that humans are changing Earth’s climate. . . . However, due to the nature of science, not every single detail is ever totally settled or completely certain.” With respect to the carbon cycle, this is a serious misrepresentation: it is not a detail but is fundamental to the scientific case for AGW. The implications for AGW of Salby’s analysis, if it holds up, are stark: if AGW means that human CO2 emission significantly modifies global temperatures; or, stronger, that it controls the evolution of global temperatures; or, stronger still, that it forces temperatures to increase catastrophically, then AGW is falsified by the observed behavior.

Its fifth assessment report, in 2013, was the IPCC’s last major chance to make proclamations before the Paris climate conference in December 2015. Despite its slight retreat on the human role in increased CO2, the IPCC raised its level of certainty about human responsibility for temperature increase—from 90 percent in its previous report to at least 95 percent, though this boost was largely the result of a change in definition. The report’s authors did not opine on why there had been little warming in recent years, saying that not enough had been published on the topic. That dearth shouldn’t be surprising to anyone familiar with the state of climate science.

Genuine scientific inquiry is degraded when science becomes politicized. The standards that have prevailed since the Scientific Revolution conflict with the advocacy needs of politics, and AGW would be finished as the basis of a political program if confidence in its scientific consensus were undermined. Its advocates’ evasion of rigorous falsifiability tests points to AGW’s current weakness as a science. As an academic critic of the science on which AGW rests, Murry Salby may have been silenced for now. The observed behavior of nature, from which he draws his analysis, cannot be dismissed so readily.

Rupert Darwall is the author of The Age of Global Warming: A History, published by Quartet (2013).

Green Energy More Hype Than Benefit

Beware of marketing terms such as “clean,” “renewable,” and “sustainable.” While those words may seem very nice, they have routinely been co-opted and redefined through misleading “green” messaging campaigns.
Regarding “clean” energy, let’s agree that no sane person wants dirty, polluted air, land, or water. Nope, not even conservatives.
At the same time, let’s also not confuse carbon dioxide, the plant food that all carbon-based life depends upon, with “air pollution.” The simple fact that the Supreme Court gave EPA permission to regulate it as a polluting “endangerment” under its Clean Air Act does not make this true.
That 2009 ruling decreed that atmospheric concentrations of six greenhouse gases (including CO2 ) “threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.” How? Because they pollute global temperatures — warm apparently being considered to be bad, and conversely, frigid obviously being good.
The junk science premise for this was even refuted at the time by EPA’s own in-house Internal Study on Climate conclusions. Authored by my friend Alan Carlin, then a senior research analyst at EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics, the report stated: “Given the downward trend in temperatures since 1998 (which some think will continue until at least 2030), there is no particular reason to rush into decisions based upon a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data.”
So far that internal assessment is very much on track. We have witnessed flat mean global temperatures for going on 18 years now. Even the U.N.’s alarmist Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has finally been forced to admit that their climate models have grossly exaggerated climate warming influences of CO2.
It was political science, not climate science that prompted EPA’s decision.
As then-presidential candidate Barack Obama promised in 2008 while pushing a green energy agenda: “Under my plan of a [carbon] cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Coal-powered plants, you know, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”
Let there be no doubt that he has kept his promise to make energy expensive for American citizens and job-producing industries through regulatory strategies where government picks winners and losers.
Most often the losers win. Remember Solyndra?
As for any alternatives with sufficient capacities to seriously supplant world fossil and nuclear dependence, don’t count on this any time soon. They don’t exist, and they certainly aren’t cheap. The general public is largely unaware how expensive that “free” and “sustainable” energy really is. Much of the real cost necessary to sustain it is passed on to taxpayers and consumers through invisible subsidies and preferential purchase mandates.
According to 2013 U.S. Energy Information Agency figures, those alleged dastardly climate-killing CO2-belching coal plants produced 39 percent of all U.S. electricity, while wind accounted for 4.13 percent and solar a whopping 0.23 percent. Nuclear provided 19 percent, and hydropower (the renewable many environmentalists also love to hate) generated 7 percent.
But then again, there is no alternative source that environmental lobbies universally love. Utility-scale solar power systems that produce electricity using thermal collectors or photovoltaic cells draw eco-attacks for taking up too much desert land, thus displacing certain animal and reptile species.
Those that use photovoltaic collectors are also challenged because they are manufactured using highly toxic heavy metals, explosive gases, and carcinogenic solvents that present end-of-life disposal hazards.
The best wind power sites are typically along mountain ridges and coastal areas, locations also prized for scenic views and overflown by bird and bat species which become turbine blade casualties. Few people want to live anywhere near them due to noise and other psychological — even physical — health impacts.
But what about biofuels produced from organic plants? Aren’t they supposed to offer a green way to reduce dependency upon those brown fossil fuels for heating and transportation? Well, not really.
Corn ethanol yields less energy than is required to grow and produce it, competes for land with food production, and releases copious CO2 emissions. And that much-touted cellulosic ethanol from plant waste remains a long way off from commercial reality.
It is essential to our national energy future that the voting public be much better informed about advantages and disadvantages of all alternatives, and that crony capitalist lobbies not be allowed to hijack beneficial free market competition.
Green energy has become a meaningless term, where capacities and benefits have been grossly exaggerated, and where industry sustainability depends upon endless preferential government-rigged charity.
Unfortunately, as with other free lunches we have been warned about, that much-hyped green energy isn’t really any bargain after all.
Larry Bell is a professor and endowed professor at the University of Houston, where he directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and heads the graduate program in space architecture. He is author of “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax,” and his professional aerospace work has been featured on the History Channel and the Discovery Channel-Canada.