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Inconvenient Truths - Novel science fiction on global warming.
National Review Online ^ | February 23, 2007 | Patrick J. Michaels

Posted on 02/23/2007 12:00:55 PM PST by neverdem







Inconvenient Truths
Novel science fiction on global warming.

By Patrick J. Michaels

This Sunday, Al Gore will probably win an Academy Award for his global-warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth, a riveting work of science fiction.

The main point of the movie is that, unless we do something very serious, very soon about carbon dioxide emissions, much of Greenland’s 630,000 cubic miles of ice is going to fall into the ocean, raising sea levels over twenty feet by the year 2100.

Where’s the scientific support for this claim? Certainly not in the recent Policymaker’s Summary from the United Nations’ much anticipated compendium on climate change. Under the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s medium-range emission scenario for greenhouse gases, a rise in sea level of between 8 and 17 inches is predicted by 2100. Gore’s film exaggerates the rise by about 2,000 percent.

Even 17 inches is likely to be high, because it assumes that the concentration of methane, an important greenhouse gas, is growing rapidly. Atmospheric methane concentration hasn’t changed appreciably for seven years, and Nobel Laureate Sherwood Rowland recently pronounced the IPCC’s methane emissions scenarios as “quite unlikely.”

Nonetheless, the top end of the U.N.’s new projection is about 30-percent lower than it was in its last report in 2001. “The projections include a contribution due to increased ice flow from Greenland and Antarctica for the rates observed since 1993,” according to the IPCC, “but these flow rates could increase or decrease in the future.”

According to satellite data published in Science in November 2005, Greenland was losing about 25 cubic miles of ice per year. Dividing that by 630,000 yields the annual percentage of ice loss, which, when multiplied by 100, shows that Greenland was shedding ice at 0.4 percent per century.

“Was” is the operative word. In early February, Science published another paper showing that the recent acceleration of Greenland’s ice loss from its huge glaciers has suddenly reversed.

Nowhere in the traditionally refereed scientific literature do we find any support for Gore’s hypothesis. Instead, there’s an unrefereed editorial by NASA climate firebrand James E. Hansen, in the journal Climate Change — edited by Steven Schneider, of Stanford University, who said in 1989 that scientists had to choose “the right balance between being effective and honest” about global warming — and a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that was only reviewed by one person, chosen by the author, again Dr. Hansen.

These are the sources for the notion that we have only ten years to “do” something immediately to prevent an institutionalized tsunami. And given that Gore only conceived of his movie about two years ago, the real clock must be down to eight years!

It would be nice if my colleagues would actually level with politicians about various “solutions” for climate change. The Kyoto Protocol, if fulfilled by every signatory, would reduce global warming by 0.07 degrees Celsius per half-century. That’s too small to measure, because the earth’s temperature varies by more than that from year to year.

The Bingaman-Domenici bill in the Senate does less than Kyoto — i.e., less than nothing — for decades, before mandating larger cuts, which themselves will have only a minor effect out past somewhere around 2075. (Imagine, as a thought experiment, if the Senate of 1925 were to dictate our energy policy for today).

Mendacity on global warming is bipartisan. President Bush proposes that we replace 20 percent of our current gasoline consumption with ethanol over the next decade. But it’s well-known that even if we turned every kernel of American corn into ethanol, it would displace only 12 percent of our annual gasoline consumption. The effect on global warming, like Kyoto, would be too small to measure, though the U.S. would become the first nation in history to burn up its food supply to please a political mob.

And even if we figured out how to process cellulose into ethanol efficiently, only one-third of our greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. Even the Pollyannish 20-percent displacement of gasoline would only reduce our total emissions by 7-percent below present levels — resulting in emissions about 20-percent higher than Kyoto allows.

And there’s other legislation out there, mandating, variously, emissions reductions of 50, 66, and 80 percent by 2050. How do we get there if we can’t even do Kyoto?

When it comes to global warming, apparently the truth is inconvenient. And it’s not just Gore’s movie that’s fiction. It’s the rhetoric of the Congress and the chief executive, too.

— Patrick J. Michaels is senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute and author of Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media.  



TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: globalwarming

1 posted on 02/23/2007 12:00:59 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

pretty good.


2 posted on 02/23/2007 12:06:46 PM PST by patton (Sanctimony frequently reaps its own reward.)
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To: neverdem

The idea that we're not all going to die soon due to global warming is not going to sit well with the world. I'm not sure why that is, but it's true.


3 posted on 02/23/2007 12:13:33 PM PST by GBA (God Bless America!)
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To: calcowgirl; xcamel

This guy doesn't "get" it.

Kyoto is setup so carbon emissions limits won't be met, thereby making the carbon trading markets viable.

It's about trading carbon credits, moving money overseas, moving money from corps to overseas assets wherein board members have undisclosed ownership interests, "elegant" financial derivatives, lobbying govts. for higher carbon allotments than smaller businesses can lobby for, et.c etc.

The core is carbon credit trading. The rest is just distractionary tactics.

"Offsets are crucial, we can't do this without offsets."

--Al Gore


4 posted on 02/23/2007 12:15:00 PM PST by Shermy
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To: neverdem

I wonder why it's called Greenland.


5 posted on 02/23/2007 12:17:30 PM PST by Lucas McCain (The gene pool could use a little chlorine)
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To: neverdem; Killing Time; Beowulf; Mr. Peabody; RW_Whacko; honolulugal; SideoutFred; Ole Okie; ...

FReepmail me to get on or off
Click on graphic for full GW rundown




6 posted on 02/23/2007 12:17:43 PM PST by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: neverdem

The last Michael Crichton book "State of Fear" is a must for those to think maybe, just maybe, the media and government types have overdone it on global warming and there might be a more rational approach.


7 posted on 02/23/2007 12:18:20 PM PST by bpjam (Never Give Up, Never Surrender (Unless James Baker gives you permission))
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To: neverdem

Why Kyoto was a bust to begin with:

"World coal demand is expected to increase by nearly 70% from 1995 to 2020.10 If current trends continue, China and India are expected to account for 85% of that increase. During that same period, coal's share of total energy consumption falls only 1 percentage point, from 25% to 24% (see Figure 2), and holds steady at 36% of fuels used for electricity generation.11 The world annual energy consumption growth rate is predicted to be 4% for coal, 8.6% for natural gas, and 6% for oil over the same 25-year period.

China's percentage of world coal consumption has risen from 17% in 1980 to 29% in 1995, and is forecasted to climb to 37% by 2020, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).12 China is banking on its huge coal reserves to help power its future economic growth, even though the projected rapid rise in coal demand will require enormous amounts of infrastructure to deliver energy to end-users. China is relying heavily on foreign investors for much of this needed capital.13"


8 posted on 02/23/2007 12:20:38 PM PST by WOSG (The 4-fold path to save America - Think right, act right, speak right, vote right!)
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To: neverdem

Simple solution to global warming, that Gore will never admit to:
http://www.npcil.nic.in/nupower_vol12_4/indis_role1n.htm

Nuclear power


9 posted on 02/23/2007 12:24:47 PM PST by WOSG (The 4-fold path to save America - Think right, act right, speak right, vote right!)
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To: Lucas McCain
During the time the Vikings were living there it in fact was a green land. But the planet cooled and the ice came back basically killing off the Viking colonies.
10 posted on 02/23/2007 12:27:32 PM PST by BubbaBobTX (I wasn't born in Texas but I got here as fast as I could.)
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To: Lucas McCain

Vikings did that to try to convince people to move there when it was really just an ice covered land.


11 posted on 02/23/2007 12:30:21 PM PST by chargers fan
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To: Lucas McCain
I wonder why it's called Greenland.

IIRC, that would be the doing of the Vikings. They called the snowy wasteland Greenland and they named the place with good arable land Iceland in order to throw off others that found out about both places, thus keeping unwanted visitors away from Iceland.
12 posted on 02/23/2007 12:37:22 PM PST by JamesP81 (Eph 6:12)
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To: neverdem

Just because we may not die from Global Warming, does nothing to diminish the possibility that we will die from something.


13 posted on 02/23/2007 12:46:29 PM PST by Islander7 ("Show me an honest politician and I will show you a case of mistaken identity.")
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To: neverdem

Is it just me or is the left as well as the MSM completely abandoning the truth in favor of the "fake but accurate" mantra.

Whether it's AP or Rather or the Global warming cult they all seem perfectly comfortable playing fast and loose with the facts in order to support a "higher calling".


14 posted on 02/23/2007 12:52:55 PM PST by traderrob6
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To: WOSG
Change the lightbulbs!

The energy efficient flourescent bulbs could reduce electrical consumption for lighting. Same lumens less electricity. With that accomplished we could turn off

All Coal Fired Plants!

We exceed Kyoto and chase Alblowhard to ground!

15 posted on 02/23/2007 12:54:45 PM PST by Young Werther
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To: neverdem

In a word, fiction.


16 posted on 02/23/2007 12:58:22 PM PST by showme_the_Glory (No more rhyming, and I mean it! ..Anybody want a peanut.....)
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To: neverdem

Al (ok to lie and scare people) Gore..........


Q: There's a lot of debate right now over the best way to communicate about global warming and get people motivated. Do you scare people or give them hope? What's the right mix?

A: I think the answer to that depends on where your audience's head is. In the United States of America, unfortunately we still live in a bubble of unreality. And the Category 5 denial is an enormous obstacle to any discussion of solutions. Nobody is interested in solutions if they don't think there's a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis. -Al Gore


17 posted on 02/23/2007 1:07:17 PM PST by Names Ash Housewares
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To: Shermy

I agree. It is a financial scam, brought to us by the same scoundrel who hyped the internet and created the dot.com bubble. Offsets are like indulgences. Where is our Luther to denounce them?


18 posted on 02/23/2007 1:15:55 PM PST by ClaireSolt (Have you have gotten mixed up in a mish-masher?)
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To: Young Werther

But we go broke paying $7 for light bulbs instead of fifty cents.


19 posted on 02/23/2007 1:18:45 PM PST by ClaireSolt (Have you have gotten mixed up in a mish-masher?)
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To: WOSG
Nuclear power reduces CO2 and can end global warming:


20 posted on 02/23/2007 1:23:41 PM PST by WOSG (The 4-fold path to save America - Think right, act right, speak right, vote right!)
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To: ClaireSolt

"Offsets are like indulgences."

Good one!


21 posted on 02/23/2007 1:30:22 PM PST by Shermy
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To: ClaireSolt

Nah, the Chinese manufactured ones go for about $2 each.


22 posted on 02/23/2007 1:39:33 PM PST by east1234 (It's the borders stupid. It's also WWIV.)
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To: Shermy

I'm waiting for someone to publish the exposé on this scam. I haven't seen it yet.

Surely there is one honest, diligent, intelligent journalist out the... or, maybe not. ;-)


23 posted on 02/23/2007 2:16:23 PM PST by calcowgirl ("Liberalism is just Communism sold by the drink." P. J. O'Rourke)
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To: calcowgirl
Oops... one honest, diligent, intelligent journalist out there
24 posted on 02/23/2007 2:17:02 PM PST by calcowgirl ("Liberalism is just Communism sold by the drink." P. J. O'Rourke)
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To: neverdem

"And even if we figured out how to process cellulose into ethanol efficiently, only one-third of our greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation."

2/3rds of CO2 comes from power plants of various types, 50% in electrical utilities, most of that from coal.

5899 million metric tons in 2005 total from all uses.
1900 million metric tons from transportation.
Electrical generation was 2245 million metric tons in 1999. 1787 million metric tons from coal.

By shifting electricity generation from coal / fossil fuel plants to nuclear power plants, we can reduce the US emissions by 50% and end the 'threat' of our CO2 emissions creating a serious concern.

By further leveraging nuclear-base electricity as an energy source for transportation (think plug-in hybrid), we can further reduce CO2 emissions by another 50%.

For CO2 generation numbers, see :
http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/gg98rpt/carbon.html

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/pdf/pages/sec12_5.pdf



25 posted on 02/23/2007 2:19:01 PM PST by WOSG (The 4-fold path to save America - Think right, act right, speak right, vote right!)
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To: ClaireSolt; Young Werther

"But we go broke paying $7 for light bulbs instead of fifty cents."

Not so. They last longer and save energy, so they also save money. Plus we can get the box of 8 from Sams or Home Depot for about $8.


26 posted on 02/23/2007 2:20:40 PM PST by WOSG (The 4-fold path to save America - Think right, act right, speak right, vote right!)
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To: WOSG
The breakeven on the purchase price and energy savings is about 32 months. The bulbs will last 5+ years!!!!

A fellow church goer is the Traffic Engineer for Mesquite TX. He convinced the town council to approve the conversion of 26 traffic lights at major intersections to the new LED bulbs. This was done in 2002. Electrical consumption cost was cut in half and maintenance even more since he doesn't have to plan for his maintenance crews to be changing light bulbs every three to four months. The extra money is going to the school and playground budgets!!!

27 posted on 02/23/2007 2:38:27 PM PST by Young Werther
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To: bpjam
The last Michael Crichton book "State of Fear" is a must...

Care to post a sort of executive summary??

My "To Read" list is already full out past the theoretical expiration of my birth certificate, and the likelihood that Crichton will get bumped into a Top Ten slot on a single sentence recommendation is practically zero. Give me some red meat upon which to base a decision.

28 posted on 02/23/2007 3:13:42 PM PST by HKMk23 (Total domination over all kingdoms under heaven will be given to the saints of YHVH. -- Daniel 7:27)
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To: WOSG

Thanks for the links.


29 posted on 02/23/2007 3:47:49 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: HKMk23
Care to post a sort of executive summary??

Excerpt of the book on his web site:

Why Politicized Science is Dangerous

On a related subject - his speech on "Aliens Cause Global Warming"

30 posted on 02/23/2007 7:02:00 PM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: neverdem

Decades ago, socialists all across the globe realized that in order to keep their lame governments propped up, they needed to extract dollars from the "evil american capitalists"..............non-profits, foreign aid, International Monentary Fund, World Bank, United Nations, etc., etc., etc., etc.................add carbon credits to the very long list......


31 posted on 02/23/2007 7:56:47 PM PST by AwesomePossum
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To: DuncanWaring

Thanks for the Crighton links. He has said that global warming proposes to spend $600 trillion and that we have higher priorities.


32 posted on 02/23/2007 8:36:01 PM PST by ClaireSolt (Have you have gotten mixed up in a mish-masher?)
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To: neverdem

I believe it was on Hannitty today, that the scare in the seventies was of global cooling.

The big concern at that time was that food would be more difficult to grow, and there would be famine across the land.

Now that the climate crisis du jour is global warming, does that mean that food will be easier to grow?

I haven't heard anyone address this, but the answer is yes. Increased carbon dioxide and increased temperature leads to increased water vapor which results in increased precipitation, and better crop yields in a longer growing season.

The answer to the panickers is simple: "I'm not worried about global warming; it means more food!"


33 posted on 02/23/2007 8:54:34 PM PST by NicknamedBob (You may not grok eating the sandwich, but the sandwich groks being eaten.)
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To: Shermy
The truth about these carbon credits that the Kyoto dudes want to trade or swap...is that its just like my son and his purchasing of "invisible weapons" for his stupid computer games. Its the expenditure of money for imaginary things which you can only "think" they exist...so then they have value.

Adding to this silly economics game...is the fact that you must tax the wealthy...and parcel that money to the poor (yep, its the Robin Hood-game completely). The money you hand the poor countries...will end up either in corrupt practices or help them buy their own coal-fired plants or increase the number of cars within that country. Any real Harvard economics professor will tell you that poor civilizations being given cash...seek to bring their living standards up to the level of the rest of the world...a car in every garage, etc.

Finally...here is the best part...when you finally have President Hillary or President Al...and they start this taxation...there will be thousands of lawsuits going through the court system where people don't want to pay the taxation. Put yourself into this scenario...you moved to Montana...you put up a solar cell operation and a windmill generator. You get 90 percent of your power via your own devices...all green. Yet you still get taxed on the Kyoto effort. For you...this is not fair. This is the game of fools...where no one can win and everyone must lose.
34 posted on 02/23/2007 9:16:55 PM PST by pepsionice
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To: east1234
And last about 4 months in regular use. I've had many.

The dirty little secret about compact fluorescents is that they're only economical if left on for long periods, and not used like normal.

I once replaced every light in my house with CF's, at no small cost. After replacing about 25% of them within 6 months, anything I hoped to gain from energy savings was gone.

I currently use them only in areas where the light is only turned on and off once a day. They last about two years.

35 posted on 02/24/2007 10:02:12 AM PST by Jotmo (I Had a Bad Experience With the CIA and Now I'm Gonna Show You My Feminine Side - Swirling Eddies)
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To: DuncanWaring

Thanks for the links; the summary of the book, and the speech, were both quite outstanding.


36 posted on 02/24/2007 11:03:03 PM PST by HKMk23 (Total domination over all kingdoms under heaven will be given to the saints of YHVH. -- Daniel 7:27)
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To: neverdem

bump


37 posted on 02/25/2007 10:19:40 AM PST by Roberts
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To: neverdem

Thanks for the ping.


38 posted on 02/27/2007 7:37:57 AM PST by GOPJ (Perverse incentives incentivize people to do perverse things.--- Freeper gridlock)
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To: neverdem
The Democrat World RUNS ON VICTIMS...
They need victims.. global warming creates alleged victims..
39 posted on 02/27/2007 8:01:26 AM PST by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole....)
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