A point by point rebuttal of a climate change letter

“Sooner, but probably later, reality will hit home and the fear campaign will fade”

To the Expositor:

Sounds fog hornish to me!

Here are a few extracts from the Jan McQuay letter of November 4:

1. Some skeptics admit that the climate is changing.

2. Already feedback loops are starting to accelerate the rate of global warming.

3. Left unchecked, climate change will doom many species to extinction.

4. Extremely likely that human activity has been the dominant cause of global warming.

Point 1. Of course the climate is changing. This is what it has always done. We are emerging from the most recent ice age. On the way there have been warm periods like the Roman age and the Medieval warm period. There has also been cooler periods like the little ice age of the 1700s. In spite of Michael Mann’s best efforts, these changes are a matter of record.

Point 2. Temperature records are available to the public, both conventional and satellite data. One popular source is HadCRUT3. A plot of the data will reveal that there has been no warming since 1997. How can a claim be made that global warming is accelerating? Then there is the issue of feedback loops. The ice caps are mentioned as an example. Melting caps absorb heat since the ice is not there to reflect energy back into space. NASA has recently issued an update on the Antarctic ice cap. A new record has been set. There is more ice present now that at any time since the survey began in the 1970s.

Point 3. Where are the studies and the evidence to support such a statement? Through the many changes of climate that the planet has experienced, species have adapted. They do it well. The bears and the bunnies will be just fine.

Point 4. This indeed was a statement made in an IPCC report. However, it was not made by any of the contributing scientists. “Extremely likely,” is not a term that a scientist would use. The statement was made in the summary and written to support a political agenda. Did the report provide compelling evidence to support the statement? No, it did not!

I would now like to add a bit of information regarding the issue of CO2. It is certainly a greenhouse gas. A reasonable hypothesis would be that higher concentrations should result in some warming. This is elementary physics but not climate science yet. Before rushing off to Paris to save the planet, wouldn’t we want to know how much? Wouldn’t we want to test the hypothesis? CO2 should be a minor contributor since it measures at about 400 ppm while water vapor, another greenhouse gas, comes in at 40,000 ppm. If one were to look at the temperature record since WWII, here is what will be observed. From 1940 to about 1975, there was cooling. From 1975 to 1997, there was warming, since then the temperature has essentially flat lined. All the while, CO2 concentration has increased. Is CO2 forcing temperature? Not according to the evidence. In addition, temperature models used by the IPCC to forecast temperature assume that CO2 is driving temperature. Observation of the temperature record show that they have all been wrong! Not just wrong but spectacularly wrong—as in 400 percent wrong.

So what is going on? CO2 is certainly not driving the climate. What is? Something is going on that the models are not programmed for. Could it be solar irradiance? Ocean currents? Right wing plot? It has been suggested by Richard Lindzen that if actual data is used to analyze the feedback loops, a key assumption in the climate models, the feedback appears to be negative, opposite to the way the IPCC models work.

The Western World is spending billions funding institutions that are mining for data to support the global warming hysteria. Wouldn’t it be great if a bit of this money could be diverted to climate research aimed at expanding our climate science knowledge.

One thing is certainly clear, there is little chance of influencing the individuals caught up in the rush to “save the planet,” but for the rest of us, we have to do what we can to dampen the hysteria. Sooner, but probably later, reality will hit home and the fear campaign will fade.

Oh, the fossil fuel matter! Subject for another day.

Shane Desjardins