[disinformation ed.'s note: The following is a chapter from the new book by Stanton T. Friedman & Kathleen Marden, Science Was Wrong: Startling Truths About Cures, Theories, and Inventions, courtesy of New Page Books.]
Rarely has a subject received so much attention as has the notion of “global warming,” especially since the publication of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, the Nobel Peace Prize award received by him and the IPCC (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) in 2007, and the media hype. If one were to believe the propaganda, CO2 (carbon dioxide) is public enemy number-one. Its increasing production by the world is leading to disastrous consequences, and hundreds of billions of dollars must be spent as soon as possible to reduce the warming and all the damage that will be accompanying it. Use of fossil fuels must be reduced or eliminated. Countries must sign agreements to reduce their emission of carbon dioxide no matter what it costs. Higher performance cars must be devised. Full subsidies must be given for solar and wind power. If these measures aren’t taken, then, the words of Chicken Little, “The sky is falling.”
While there is nothing simple about predicting the weather or evaluation of the myriad of statistics available about it, here are some of the assumptions on which the calls to action are based:
- All scientists have reached a consensus that Gore and the IPCC are correct.
- The world is rapidly heating up.
- The major cause of the supposedly increasing temperature is mankind’s increasing production of evil CO2. Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), which is caused by people, is to blame and Mother Nature is innocent.
- Action must be taken immediately or we are doomed.
- Primary threats include rising of the world’s ocean levels by as much as 20 feet as a result of the melting of various glaciers, especially on Greenland and in the Antarctic, leading to a huge loss of lives and habitats for residents of low-lying coastal areas, such as Bangladesh and Manhattan.
- An increased number of very destructive hurricanes, cyclones, tornados—all as a result of global warming—will occur
- Polar bears are decreasing in number because of the melting ice, and they need to swim greater distances to find food.
- Islands, such as the Maldives Southwest of India, are slowly sinking as the ocean rises.
As it happens, in the real world, all of these assumptions are seriously being called into question by a growing number of so-called “deniers.” Though still difficult, it has become easier to publish papers that seek to replace widely held myths with facts in refereed scientific journals. A turning point may have occurred when BBC News published an article by Paul Hudson in October 2009, entitled “What Happened to Global Warming?” The BBC had previously been fully behind the “Kill CO2” movement. Hudson noted that for the last eleven years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures and that the global climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise. Note that, simply put, the temperature of the world has not risen for eleven years.
Hudson noted that according to research conducted in November 2008, by Professor Don Easterbrook from Western Washington University, the oceans and global temperatures are correlated. He says that they warm and cool cyclically. The most important cycle, is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). This was in a positive cycle (warmer than usual) for much of the 1980s and 1990s, and global temperatures were warmer too. In the past, the cycles have lasted for about thirty years, with the period from 1945 to 1977 coinciding with one of the cool Pacific cycles. Now it is again in a cooling mode. In September 2009, Mojib Latif, a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, wrote that we may indeed be in a period of cooling that could last another ten to twenty years. The current level of CO2 is about 380ppm. Some believe that we must do all we can to bring it back to 350. We know despite the fact that it has been higher in the past, we have survived.
Everybody knows that the weather changes from day to day and season to season, and that even local forecasts a day in advance can be wrong. The notion that the “sophisticated” computer models used to predict climate change over the next twenty to fifty years for our entire planet are accurate is mind boggling. They all have fudge factors. There are a number of reasons. Weather depends on many factors, including what happens in uninhabited land areas and over the oceans, which cover about three quarters of the planet. There are external factors, such as sunspots, cosmic rays, variations in the energy output of the sun, El Nino, Ocean Decadal motions, volcanic eruptions, pollution of the atmosphere, about which we are slowly beginning to learn. It seems strange, but we sometimes forget that CO2 is not the most abundant greenhouse gas. Water vapor has a much higher concentration. Evaporation of water vapor is also dependent on many factors, which include cloud cover, changes in the surface characteristics of water and ice, winds, and temperature. There are the chlorofluorocarbons which were used in spray cans, methane from farm animals, exhausts from jet aircraft, radio waves bouncing off the ionosphere, ozone, and so on. In addition, we haven’t had many, many years’ worth of good data as to what the actual surface temperatures have been across the planet. Satellite measurements can be very useful, but obviously haven’t been available for many decades.
There is considerable concern with the effects of local factors on the surface measuring devices, especially near cities which tend to hold in heat, and even near structures out in the country. Some devices have even been moved to different locations, though not noted in their compilations. Many devices previously located in the country have been moved to airports.
There are, of course, some indirect means of trying to get a handle on past temperatures, such as the use of tree rings. Cores are taken and the thicknesses of the tree rings each year have a close, but certainly not perfect relation to the overall temperatures that year at the location of the tree. However, not surprisingly, tree rings and tree growth are influenced by other factors besides temperature. Rainfall, shade, root nutrition are among these. One almost bizarre example of the difficulty of using dendrochronology is when a dozen trees at one location were used (even though many more had been examined). Though all were growing in the same area, the results were nowhere near identical. There was also some indication that the data was cherry picked, so that only those trees giving certain results were used. This is not surprising for propaganda and politics, but is surely not the way of science.
There should be no surprise that politics has been such an important part of the global-warming warnings. Al Gore, after all, is not a scientist, but a politician. Likewise, the IPCCC is a much politicized body. The members are supported by their home governments. The actions that are being discussed all involve politics: How much should we reduce our CO2 production, as though passing a law would accomplish the reduction? How many hundreds of billions of dollars should be spent on ameliorating CO2 production? How much should the developed countries give to the undeveloped ones to assist in their attack on C02?
Most CO2 is produced by the burning of fossil fuels in power plants. No government will tell its people to keep their houses much colder in the winter and turn off air conditioning in the summer, that industry should reduce its output, or that cities should be darkened. Closing all coal-fired power plants would be disastrous in many places, though some extremists have demanded such an action. One gets votes, after all, by making promises that one hopes will be forgotten once it’s seen that they cannot be kept. Politics has also been very important in determining the awarding of research contracts. The worse the situation is made to seem, the more research must be done. Thus, most publications discussed in the media provide a range of values for how much the temperature or sea level will increase. The focus is always on the high and usually unrealistic end. For example, some have claimed the sea will rise twenty feet; current rates are about a millimeter a year.
Not surprisingly, one doesn’t hear much about the benefits of higher CO2 levels, such as increased plant growth and crop yields. Controlled experiments have demonstrated that increased CO2 levels lead to increased crop yields. Many countries, such as Russia, would prefer to have a warmer climate. There has been great politicizing in what papers get submitted for publication, because contrarians risk losing their jobs or being denied future research grants if they speak out. A polar bear expert, Mitchell Taylor, who had attended a special conference of polar bear experts every years since 1981, had his paper rejected in 2009, because it didn’t follow the party line as to how much danger the bears were in from global warming. He wasn’t even permitted to attend and was replaced by people knowing nothing about polar bears.
Politically, it isn’t accepted to talk about the fact that water vapor is the most prominent green house gas, much more so than CO2. However, it is very much more difficult to predict accurately the effect of water vapor on planetary temperatures. Far more of the planet is covered with water and ice than with power plants. When water evaporates into the atmosphere, clouds form, and they are blown by unpredictable winds. Clouds keep some solar radiation from reaching the planet by reflecting it back out to space, thus cooling the planet. However, the clouds also absorb some of the heat emitted by the ground and help heat the atmosphere.
It is certainly clear that there have been warmer periods of time than the present, which could not have been caused by CO2, because so little industrialization existed then. There have also been lengthy cooler periods, which also obviously had nothing to do with CO2. The famous “hockey stick” graph shows what seems to be level temperatures for a long time and then a steady increase because of CO2. More careful and honest work shows that the curve just happens to omit periods of higher and lower temperature that could not have been influenced by the production of CO2 and has discretely been left out of recent IPCC publications.
The history of environmental movements certainly includes examples of bandwagon jumping to take care of a perceived problem, often with severe and unplanned consequences. One of the better examples is the banning of the pesticide DDT in 1972. This was directly the result of the hue and cry stemming from Rachel Carson’s 1962 book, Silent Spring. Apparently, egg shells of predatory birds, such as hawks, were thinner because of DDT. The problem is that DDT was by far the most effective, inexpensive, and safe weapon against the anopheles mosquito that spreads malaria. Because of the banning, there have been literally millions of deaths, especially amongst young children in Africa. One might wonder if this is a fair trade off.
A much more recent example involves the production of biofuel to reduce the use of imported oil. Producing corn to be converted to biofuel greatly increased the income of farmers, but, unfortunately though predictably, substantially raised the cost and reduced the supply of food for people. In addition, more detailed calculations have indicated that sometimes more production of CO2 was produced by all the activities associated with the farming and the extraction of the biofuel than would have been produced using the equivalent amount of oil.
In addition, the pressure for non–CO2 producing (renewable) power plants, such as solar and wind power, has been dependent on major government financing, incentives, and subsidies. Because of these it has been profitable to build large solar and wind facilities, but operating them requires much higher expenditures than using non renewable resources. It was found in California, which does have abundant sunlight, that people bought solar swimming pool heaters when substantial tax and subsidy benefits were provided. They stopped when the benefits were eliminated, causing many companies to go out of business. Much repair and servicing of the solar heating systems could not be provided.
There are other strange aspects of the anti-CO2 war. A number of anti-nuclear groups have loudly proclaimed the need to avoid building new nuclear plants and hopefully to shut down old ones. They are also against CO2. But the nuclear power plants produce far, far less, CO2 than do any other major sources of power production. Some countries in Europe, such as Germany and Belgium, have recently delayed earlier mandates to close their existing nuclear power plants by ten or more years because there aren’t reasonably affordable alternatives. Somebody has to pay the bill, though not the activists.
It should not be surprising, considering the examples given in other chapters, that there have been unexpected but significant new scientific developments concerning the factors that control global warming. It was announced on October 18, 2009, that the New Phytologist Journal (184:545-551, November, 2009) had published an article, “A Relationship between Galactic Cosmic Radiation and Tree Rings” by Sigrid Dengel, Dominik Aeby, and John Grace, concerning an evaluation of tree-ring growth rates as a function of various parameters, such as temperature and precipitation. It turns out that there was no significant correlation with temperature or precipitation. However, there was a significant correlation with galactic cosmic radiation. All the trees that were used, Sitka spruce, had been planted in 1953 and cut in 2006. Felling protocols had been laid out by Forest Research; North and West directions were marked on the bark and the discs were frozen as soon as returned to the research station. The rings were counted in their frozen state; otherwise discs can shrink and crack. To quote the authors so as not to bias the reporting: “There was a consistent and statistically significant relationship between growth of the trees and the flux density of galactic cosmic radiation. Moreover there was an underlying periodicity in growth with four minima since 1961, resembling the period cycle of galactic cosmic radiation.” They postulate that what might explain this correlation could be the tendency of galactic cosmic radiation to produce cloud condensation nuclei, which in turn increases the diffuse component of solar radiation, and thus increases the photosynthesis of the forest canopy. Diffuse radiation penetrates the canopy more than direct sunlight.
They found no correlation between temperature or precipitation and growth rates. It would seem that CO2 had nothing to do with the growth rates since it had slowly and steadily increased during the period of growth. One can safely predict that the “warmists” will attack or ignore these results. It is also likely that the “deniers,” who have been getting more and more publicity, will cite these results.
It is interesting that the apparent hoax involving the flight in Colorado of a helium filled balloon, supposedly with a 6-year-old boy on board, receive world-wide attention in October 2009. In contrast, the hoax aspects of global warming have received very little attention. Senator Orinn G. Hatch of Utah did, however, compile a large number of anti-AGW statements by scientists, most of them actually involved with the IPCC. It was reprinted by The Science and Public Policy Institute in their SPPI Reprint Series dated September 18, 2009. The title is “UN Climate Scientists Speak out on Global Warming,” selected and edited by Hatch from the Senate Minority Report. It includes comments from 101 individual scientists sorted by backgrounds as follows:
- UN IPCC Authors: 9
- UN IPCC Scientists: 7
- UN IPCC Expert Reviewers: 12
- NASA: 10
- Other Government Scientists: 6
- State Climatologists: 9
- Academies of Science: l0
- Avowed Environmentalists: 4
- Noted Scientists: 27
- Other Nobel Prize Winners: 3
Hatch, in his introduction, states that the statements prove there is not a consensus, even at the UN, on the widely touted IPCC conclusion: “Greenhouse gas forcing has likely caused most of the observed global warming over the last fifty years.” Hatch notes that the chapter of the IPCC report making that conclusion was reviewed by only 62 scientists, not the 2500 scientist reviewers of the IPCC reports.
A very detailed report, “Climate Change Reconsidered: 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC),” refutes the IPCC conclusions. A PDF file of this 880-page volume can be downloaded at http://climatechangereconsidered.org. Printed copies are also available. It probably won’t be a best seller, but it includes the names of 31,478 scientists who signed a petition circulated to thousands of scientists, with a cover note by Dr. Frederick Seitz, past president of the National Academy of Sciences. In his note, Seitz said, “The United States is very close to adopting an international agreement that would ration the use of energy and of technologies that depend upon coal, oil, and natural gas and some other organic compounds. The treaty is, in our opinion, based upon flawed ideas. Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful. The proposed agreement would have very negative effects upon the technology of nations throughout the world, especially those that are currently attempting to lift from poverty and provide opportunities to the over four billion people in technologically underdeveloped countries.” These are strong words indeed.
Here are some comments from the petition that was signed:
“We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan, in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.
There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth”.
Obviously, the number of signers far outweighs the 2500 IPCC people. None of the circulation funding came from oil or gas companies or other interested parties. Among the signers were many physicists, chemists, climatologists and other scientists. It is certain that the widely repeated notion that the science of climate change is settled, and that the unquestioned consensus of the scientific community is that CO2 is responsible for a rapidly growing worldwide temperature and must be stopped at all costs, is clearly not true.
A very important and detailed study was published by Dr. Habibulto Abdussamatov, head of Space Research Laboratory of the Pulkovo Observatory near St. Petersburg, Russia. The observatory was built in 1839, was destroyed in World War II, and then rebuilt. For some time, it had the largest telescope in the world. He and his colleagues have done a detailed review of the data we have on sunspots and other activities on the sun. Dr. Abdussamatov’s focus was on the sun and solar radiation emission as a function of time. There is data on sunspot numbers going back to 1611. Its provocative title is “The Sun Defines the Climate”; the entire paper can be found at http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id+4254. An except reads, “Experts of the United Nations in regular reports publish data said to show that the Earth is approaching a catastrophic global warming, caused by increasing emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. However, observations of the Sun show that as for the increase in temperature, carbon dioxide is ‘not guilty’ and as for what lies ahead in the upcoming decades, it is not catastrophic warming, but a global and very prolonged temperature drop.”
These are strong words backed up by a great deal of information. A key point is that it had been thought that the amount of energy emitted by the sun was constant in time. Better measurements have shown this isn’t the case and there is a periodicity in the energy output of the sun. It had been known since the middle of the 19th century that the number of sunspots on the surface of the sun varies in an 11-year cycle. An English astronomer, Walter Maunder, in 1893, discovered that from 1645 to 1715, sunspots had been essentially absent. Only 50 spots were noted in that period, whereas it would have been normal for 50,000 sunspots to have appeared in that time period. We know now that there have been such minima many times in the past. He also noted that the Maunder Minimum included the coldest dip in temperatures that had been noted for thousands of years.
In 1976, an American astrophysicist, John Eddy, noted that there was a correlation between periods of significant change in the number of sunspots in the past millennium and large changes in the climate. In 1988, a soviet geophysicist, Eugene Borisenko, showed that in each of 18 deep minima of solar activity, there have been periods of global cooling. There were periods of global warming during periods of high sunspot activity. About every 200 years, there are such minima and maxima. It is this bicentennial variation in climate that is so important, even more so than the 11-year solar sunspot level. The primary factor here is that it has been discovered that the TSI (Total Solar Irradiance) is not, as has been thought, a constant, but rather varies in time in a periodical fashion. According to Dr. Habibulto Abdussamatov, the sun is a variable star, which changes its parameters under short and long cycles. The sun is never found in a steady state of energetic and mechanical equilibrium. He points out that an entirely new instrument, a solar Limbograph, is to be installed in the Russian Section of the International Space Station in 2011. It should be able to make the most accurate measurements ever of the radius and energy output of the sun, which will allow for much more precise predictions of climate than are now possible. He also points out that the gradual growth of ice caps at the poles has already begun, not the melting that some expected.
According to an announcement on October 27, 2009, NASA is also planning on much improved observations of the sun when it launches, probably by the end of 2010, a new instrument named EVE “The Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment” on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Though the sun appears from Earth to be a consistent quite placid surface, in extreme ultraviolet frequencies, it is a seething caldron of storms and prominences and sunspots and faculae.
Two important events took place near the end of 2009. One involved the determination by careful observation by meteorologists that 90 percent of the 1100 official surface measuring thermometers in the United States did not meet official regulations as to their locations not being near sources of heat. The bias was almost always found to raise the apparent temperatures. The second problem was the hacking into the files of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia University and the subsequent release of over a thousand e-mails. This has been described as an enormous scandal because they provide clear evidence of bias, deception, misrepresentation, and suppression of dissent by the CRU. Chairman Jones resigned at the beginning of December, as an outside committee will review the situation. Major media outlets, such as the New York Times, the Toronto Globe and Mail, McLeans magazine and even CBC Radio’s “As it Happens” program, who had previously gone along with the warmists, have paid attention to the new information. How much impact these revelations will have on the looming Copenhagen International Climate Conference is not known.
Reprinted, with permission of the publisher, from Science Was Wrong: Startling Truths About Cures, Theories, and Inventions © 2010 Stanton T. Friedman and Kathleen Marden. Published by New Page Books a division of Career Press, Pompton Plains, NJ. 800-227-3371. All rights reserved.
About The Authors
Stanton T. Friedman has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Physics from the University of Chicago. He has lectured on “Flying Saucers ARE Real!” to more than 700 college and professional audiences in 50 states, 9 provinces, and 16 other countries, and has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV programs including CBS Sunday Morning, Larry King Live, Nightline, and Unsolved Mysteries. Friedman has worked on classified, advanced technology programs for such companies as GE, GM, and Westinghouse. He has done research at 20 government document archives, authored TOP SECRET/MAJIC about Operation Majestic 12, and coauthored Crash at Corona: The Definitive Study of the Roswell Incident. He was the original civilian investigator of that very important event, and also coauthored Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience with Kathleen Marden, Betty Hill’s niece.
Educator and sociologist Kathleen Marden is Betty Hill’s niece and trustee of her estate. She has all of Hill’s papers and correspondence, and has transcribed the tapes of the Hills’ hypnosis sessions with psychiatrist Dr. Benjamin Simon. Marden has also met with the numerous scientists who investigated the case. For the past 10 years, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Mutual UFO Network, the largest International UFO organization and as director of Field Investigator Training for MUFON. Marden lives in Stratham, New Hampshire.