Film on Global Warming "Swindle"

BBC film on "The Great Global Warming Swindle." This is an excellent film, though I will say that I found the discussion about who paid what to whom to buy their support not very useful. I would have definitely cut it out.

Something amusing can be seen here:
MINNEAPOLIS - A North Pole expedition meant to bring attention to global warming was called off after one of the explorers got frostbite.

The explorers, Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen, on Saturday called off what was intended to be a 530-mile trek across the Arctic Ocean after Arnesen suffered frostbite in three of her toes, and extreme cold temperatures drained the batteries in some of their electronic equipment. . . . .

More evidence that the sun is the cause of temperature changes:
Sun Blamed for Warming of Earth and Other Worlds . . . .

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a damning article against the global warming ruse by Philip Stott via Drudge which concludes: "The 'crisis' is the global warming political agenda, not climate change."


3/12/2007 6:11 PM  
Blogger RobC said...

I watched this piece of anti-science propaganda camouflaged as a plea for scientific rigor, all 76 minutes of it. My estimate is that 70 minutes of it is nothing but political whining: some bizarre account of Mrs. Thatcher's suborning of scientists in order to break the coalminer's union and environmentalists' turning it into a political cause to enforce communist doctrines, all owing to a contemptuous hatred of all of mankind in general and of poor people in particular. Still, credit where credit is due: the film is slickly produced, with splendid graphics and music, and warmly confident experts assuring us it's all crap.

I can't say for sure how anyone could take all this seriously, but I'll offer the opinion that people find it much more interesting than global warming, which actually is pretty boring stuff.

The remaining 6 minutes or so that addressed the facts surrounding global warming were filled entirely with misinformation and irrelevancies, which may be summarized as follows:

1) Solar activity explains past changes in Earth's temperature.

No one challenges this notion. It's clear that when the CO2 level was lower and essentially constant, solar activity was the main driving force. That's changed since 1900. CO2 concentration is higher now, and it is changing rapidly. Now CO2 concentration is a bigger driver than solar activity.

2) Solar activity matches temperatures in the last 100 years better than CO2 concentrations, especially 1940-1970

This is plainly false. Solar activity clearly increased between 1940 and 1960. To justify this claim, the producer presents a sunspot plot that doesn't even resemble the data. He doesn't give a reference, so one can only speculate, but it appears that someone used a smoothing procedure on the data, and somehow made it appear that sunspots decreased between 1940 and 1960, even though the real data clearly show that they increased.

What happened between 1940 and 1980 is actually well-understood. Pollution during and after the war, when industrial activity was raised to unprecedented levels, caused temperatures to decline. Particulates and aerosols have a cooling effect by reflecting sunlight and by causing clouds to form. About 1970, serious efforts were started to control particulate emissions from fossil-burning power plants, and the temperature data clearly show that global warming accelerated.

Furthermore, and more importantly, solar activity peaked in 1980, but temperatures have continued to rise. The only factor that can explain this is greenhouse-gas concentration.

3) CO2 levels lag behind temperatures by 800 years or so.

First, this reading depends on proxy data, since records don't go back that far. But it could well be true because it's so consistent. If it is true, it's not good news. The proxy records show what you'd expect anyway: global warming causes greenhouse gases. Since greenhouse gases cause global warming (an inescapable fact of physics), we could face a compounding effect, where greenhouse-gas concentration and temperature reinforce each other all the way to the worst case. This is the possibility that causes the most concern.

With respect to global warming, however, all this is irrelevant to the question of whether or not artifical CO2 emissions are causing an increase in global average temperature.

4) Troposphere data don't reflect the same degree of heating as would be expected.

This is outdated, incorrect information. Here's a quotation from the Executive Summary of the Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and Analysis Product 1.1:

"Previously reported discrepancies between the amount of warming near the surface and higher in the atmosphere have been used to challenge the reliability of climate models and the reality of humaninduced global warming. Specifically, surface data showed substantial global-average warming, while early versions of satellite and radiosonde data showed little or no warming above the surface. This significant discrepancy no longer exists because errors in the satellite and radiosonde data have been identified and corrected. New data sets have also been developed that do not show such discrepancies."

5) Artificial emissions aren't sufficient to explain the increase in CO2 concentrations. Natural emissions are greater.

This is plainly false. According to the International Energy Agency's "Key World Energy Statistics", 26,883 million tons of CO2 are emitted from artificial sources per year. That is 0.87% of the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, the concentration of which is rising roughly 0.5%/year. So, if 60% of the emitted CO2 stays in the atmosphere, it explains all of the increase. But it's true that other greenhouse gases are contributing as well.

I've noticed a willingness of people to accept this argument without any reservation, even people who brag about how naturally skeptical they are. Perhaps the reason is that the subject usually is discussed in bits and pieces, so people don't have a reference point from which to consider misinformation. I've put together a coherent exposition of the facts on a web page called Global Warming: A Guide for the Perplexed.

3/12/2007 7:28 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Robc:

Thanks for your notes here, though I don't think that you are exactly right here.

I will let people listen to the show for the other side, but let me make a point or two:

-- there are a number of academic papers that I have read that indicate that energy emissions from the sun do in fact explain 50 percent or more of the changes in temperature. A lot of the differences in the amount explained depends on the time period studied, but the shorter the time period, the larger amount of the variation that is explained. Please point to one academic study that accounts for both CO2 (man made and non-man made) and energy emissions that shows that man-made CO2 has a significant effect on temperature.

-- man made greenhouse gas emissions is a trivial share of total emissions. The issue is not just CO2 emissions, there are also for example chlorine and methane.

3/12/2007 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gore: The Song! Revised Swindle Edition


3/13/2007 10:22 AM  
Blogger John said...

Pay a tax, change the weather. I don’t think so. Humans account for only 3 percent of the carbon dioxide released into the biosphere annually (Google: carbon cycle). Congresswoman Pelosi's and Senator Reid's plans for regressive new carbon offset and green tax legislation are designed in concert with UN and Kyoto Accord mandates. The goal is to reduce human CO2 production by 1/3. How high would new carbon offset taxes on transportation and heating fuels need to be to motivate you and everyone else to cut back by 1/3? At best that level of taxation will reduce annual CO2 production by a mere 1 percent globally. Not much mitigation or hope there. Certainly 1% is not enough to make a difference in the perceived problem of anthropogenic (human) global warming gases. The impact of such draconian tax measures can only be imagined. However, it does beg the question, "If humans can't really be expected to make much of an impact on global warming gases, how can they possibly be blamed for warming in the first place?" Why are people compelled by politicians and the media to feel responsible and guilty for causing global warming? For the answers, Google "blame, shame and guilt used as political controls", read "Unstoppable Global Warming" and “The Chilling Stars" for the scientific facts and "State of Fear" for the political dynamics behind this renewed eco-tax controversy. Those party faithful that think this debate is over are sorely mistaken. It’s a little late, but welcome to George Orwell’s “1984”. Watch - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XttV2C6B8pU

3/17/2007 11:50 PM  

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