The impending collapse of the global warming scare 1

… is the title of an article by Francis Menton – economist – at his blog, Manhattan Contrarian.

He sums up the signs of what is likely to happen to the “climate change” environmentalist movement under President Trump.

Here’s (almost all of) what he writes:

Over the past three decades, the environmental movement has increasingly hitched its wagon to exactly one star as the overwhelming focus of the cause, namely “climate change.”  Sure, issues of bona fide pollution like smog and untreated sewage are still out there a little, but they are largely under control and don’t really stir the emotions much any more. If you want fundraising in the billions rather than the thousands, you need a good end-of-days, sin-and-redemption scare. Human-caused global warming is your answer!

Even as this scare has advanced, a few lonely voices have warned that the radical environmentalists were taking the movement out onto a precarious limb.  Isn’t there a problem that there’s no real evidence of impending climate disaster? But to no avail. Government funding to promote the warming scare has been lavish, and in the age of Obama has exploded.  Backers of the alarm have controlled all of the relevant government bureaucracies, almost all of the scientific societies, and the access to funding and to publication for anyone who wants to have a career in the field.  What could go wrong?

Now, enter President-elect Trump.  During the campaign, as with many issues, it was hard to know definitively where Trump stood. Although combatting climate change with forced suppression of fossil fuels could be a multi-trillion dollar issue for the world economy, this issue was rarely mentioned by either candidate, and was only lightly touched on in the debates. Sure, Hillary had accused Trump of calling climate change a “hoax” in a November 2012 tweet. (Actual text: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make American manufacturing non-competitive.”) But in an early 2016 interview, Trump walked that back to say that the statement was a joke, albeit with a kernel of truth, because “climate change is a very, very expensive form of tax” and “China does not do anything to help.”Trump had also stated that he intended to exit the recent Paris climate accord, and to end the War on Coal. So, was he proposing business-as-usual with a few tweaks, or would we see a thorough-going reversal of Obama’s extreme efforts to control the climate by fossil fuel restrictions?

With the recently announced appointments, this is starting to come very much into focus.  In reverse order of the announcements:

  • Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, as Secretary of State.  As of today, we still have as our chief diplomat the world leader of smugness who somehow thinks that “climate change” caused by use of fossil fuels is the greatest threat to global security.  He is shortly to be replaced with the CEO of Exxon.  Could there be a bigger poke in the eye to the world climate establishment?  I’m trying to envision Tillerson at the next meeting of the UN climate “conference of parties” with thousands of world bureaucrats discussing how to put the fossil fuel companies out of business.  Won’t he be laughing his gut out?
  • Rick Perry as Secretary of Energy.  Not only was he the longest-serving governor of the biggest fossil fuel energy-producing state, but in his own 2012 presidential campaign he advocated for the elimination of the Department of Energy.  This is the department that passes out tens of billions of dollars in crony-capitalist handouts for wind and solar energy (Solyndra!), let alone more tens of billions for funding some seventeen (seventeen!) research laboratories mostly dedicated to the hopeless task of figuring out how to make intermittent sources of energy competitive for any real purpose.
  • And then there’s Scott Pruitt for EPA.  As Attorney General of Oklahoma, another of the big fossil fuel energy-producing states, he has been a leader in litigating against the Obama EPA to stop its overreaches, including the so-called Clean Power Plan that seeks to end the use of coal for electricity and to raise everyone’s cost of energy.

You might say that all of these are very controversial appointments, and will face opposition in the Senate. But then, Harry Reid did away with the filibuster for cabinet appointments.  Oops! Barring a minimum of three Republican defections, these could all sail through. And even if one of these appointments founders, doesn’t the combination of them strongly signal where Trump would go with his next try?

So what can we predict about where the climate scare is going? Among members of the environmental movement, when their heads stop exploding, there are plenty of predictions that this will be terrible for the United States:  international ostracism, loss (to China!) of “leadership” in international climate matters, and, domestically, endless litigation battles stalling attempts to rescind or roll back regulations. I see it differently. I predict a high likelihood of substantial collapse of the global warming movement, both domestically and internationally, over the course of the next couple of years.

Start with the EPA. To the extent that the global warming movement has anything to do with “science,” EPA is supposedly where that science is vetted and approved on behalf of the public before being turned into policy. In fact, under Obama, EPA’s principal role on the “science” has been to prevent and stifle any debate or challenge to global warming orthodoxy.  For example, when a major new Research Report came out back in September claiming to completely invalidate all of the bases on which EPA claims that CO2 is a danger to human health and welfare, and thus to undermine EPA’s authority to regulate the gas under the Clean Air Act, EPA simply failed to respond.  In the same vein, essentially all prominent global warming alarmists refuse to debate anyone who challenges any aspect of their orthodoxy. Well, that has worked as long as they and their allies have controlled all of the agencies and all of the money.  Now, it will suddenly be put up or shut up. And in case you might think that the science on this issue is “settled,” so no problem, you might enjoy this recent round-up at Climate Depot from some of the actual top scientists. A couple of excerpts:

Renowned Princeton Physicist Freeman Dyson:  “I’m 100% Democrat and I like Obama. But he took the wrong side on climate issue, and the Republicans took the right side.” 

Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Dr. Ivar Giaever: “Global warming is a non-problem. I say this to Obama: ‘Excuse me, Mr. President, but you’re wrong. Dead wrong.’ ” 

Now the backers of the global warming alarm will not only be called upon to debate, but will face the likelihood of being called before a highly skeptical if not hostile EPA to answer all of the hard questions that they have avoided answering for the last eight years. Questions like:  Why are recorded temperatures, particularly from satellites and weather balloons, so much lower than the alarmist models had predicted?  How do you explain an almost-20-year “pause” in increasing temperatures even as CO2 emissions have accelerated? What are the details of the adjustments to the surface temperature record that have somehow reduced recorded temperatures from the 1930s and 40s, and thereby enabled continued claims of “warmest year ever” when raw temperature data show warmer years 70 and 80 years ago?  Suddenly, the usual hand-waving (“the science is settled”) is not going to be good enough any more.  What now?

And how will the United States fare on the international stage when it stops promising to cripple its economy with meaningless fossil fuel restrictions? … Here’s my prediction: As soon as the United States stops parroting the global warming line, the other countries will quickly start backing away from it as well. …

Countries like Britain and Australia have already more or less quietly started the retreat from insanity. In Germany the obsession with wind and solar … has already gotten average consumer electric rates up to close to triple the cost in U.S. states that embrace fossil fuels. How long will they be willing to continue that self-destruction after the U.S. says it is not going along? And I love the business about ceding “leadership” to China. China’s so-called “commitment” in the recent Paris accord is not to reduce carbon emissions at all, but rather only to build as many coal plants as they want for the next fourteen years and then cease increasing emissions after 2030! At which point, of course, they reserve their right to change their mind.  Who exactly is going to embrace that “leadership” and increase their consumers’ cost of electricity by triple or so starting right now?  I mean, the Europeans are stupid, but are they that stupid?

And finally, there is the question of funding. Under Obama, attaching the words “global warming” or “climate change” to any proposal has been the sure-fire way to get the proposal whatever federal funding it might want. The Department of Energy has been the big factor here. Of its annual budget of about $28 billion, roughly half goes to running the facilities that provide nuclear material for the Defense Department, and the other half, broadly speaking, goes to the global warming cause: crony capitalist handouts for wind and solar energy providers, and billions per year for research at some seventeen (seventeen!) different energy research laboratories.

During the eight Obama years, the energy sector of the U.S. economy has been substantially transformed by a technological revolution that has dramatically lowered the cost of energy and hugely benefited the American consumer.

No thanks to Obama himself, who opposed fracking in concert with the “global warming” chorus.

 I’m referring, of course, to the fracking revolution.

How much of the tens of billions of U.S. energy subsidies and research funding in that time went toward this revolution that actually produced cheaper energy that works?  Answer:  Not one single dollar! All of the money was completely wasted on things that are uneconomic and will disappear as soon as the government cuts off the funding spigot. All of this funding can and should be zeroed out in the next budget.  Believe me, nobody will notice other than the parasites who have been wasting the money.

If the multi-tens-of-billions per year funding gusher for global warming alarmism quickly dries up, the large majority of the people living on these handouts will have no choice but to go and find something productive to do.  Sure, some extreme zealots will find some way to soldier on.  But it is not crazy at all to predict a very substantial collapse of the global warming scare over the course of the next couple of years.

The environmental movement has climbed itself way out onto the global warming limb.  Now the Trump administration is about to start sawing off the limb behind them.

And that’s good news for us anti-religion extremists. Man-made climate change is a religion. The notion that giving money to Al Gore and his fellow alarmists will save planet Earth from destruction by fire and flood is a particularly silly doctrine of  it.

Came the hour, came the man – soon-to-be president Donald Trump – to swipe this superstition off the agenda of international politics.

 

(Hat-tip Cogito)

The pride and the shame of the scientists 2

The letter of resignation from the American Physical Society by Ivar Giaever, which we posted two days ago, aroused quite a bit of controversy. So today we throw fuel on the flames by reproducing parts of another letter of resignation from that once august body. This one, by Professor of Physics Harold (“Hal”) Lewis, was sent in October 2010 to Curtis G. Callan, Jr., Princeton University, President of the APS. It can be found in full here, at Watts Up With That –  a website we recommend to all who are interested in climate change questions.

The importance of this letter is that it attacks not only the APS for betraying science, but also the proposition of man-made global warming itself, which the author calls a scam, and “the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist“.

Dear Curt:

When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood …

Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence … The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. …

How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. …  I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:

1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate.

2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it. One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer “explanatory” screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. …

3. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.

4. So a few of us tried to bring science into the act  … and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. …

5. To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to run a poll on the members’ interest in a TG on Climate and the Environment. …  There was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. …   The entire purpose of this exercise was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition to the Council. …

APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?

I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people’s motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. …  I think it is the money …  There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. … Since I am no philosopher, I’m not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.

I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.

Hal

Reference is made to this letter, and Giaever’s, in an article that appeared yesterday in PajamasMedia by a pseudonymous blogger. His purpose is to defend Rick Perry  from accusations that he is “anti-science”, because he said there is a “substantial number of scientists who have manipulated [global warming] data”, and that “weekly or daily” scientists are “coming forward and questioning AGW” – statements that are verifiably true.

The article proceeds:

As for that vaunted “consensus” of climate scientists that supposedly proves the truth of AGW, Giaever summed it up this way:

“Global warming has become a new religion. We frequently hear about the number of scientists who support it. But the number is not important: only whether they are correct is important.”

Our approval of Perry is strengthened by his statements on climate change. We object to his religious beliefs, but observe that for a religious man he is remarkably defensive of true science.

Perry also made a remark about global warming and Galileo that evoked similar ridicule from the press and the left side of the blogosphere. A particularly prominent example was the Atlantic’s James Fallows, who called Perry’s statement, made during the most recent Republican debate, “flat-out moronic.”

Here’s what Perry actually said:

“[T]he science is…not settled on this. The idea that we would put Americans’ economy at … jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet, to me, is just — is nonsense ….[J]ust because you have a group of scientists that have stood up and said here is the fact, Galileo got outvoted for a spell. … Find out what the science truly is before you start putting the American economy in jeopardy.”

Surely excellent advice.

We find what comes next – although somewhat off-topic – too interesting to omit:

Fallows further mocks Perry by comparing him to a person who says, “Hey, I’ll mention Galileo! Unfortunately in mentioning him, I’ll show that I don’t know the first thing about that case….” But although Fallows may think that he’s the one who really knows the first thing about Galileo, he may not know the second and the third thing — including what the Church’s main beef with Galileo was, and the position of Galileo’s scientific contemporaries on the subject of heliocentrism. The latter is especially important to Perry’s analogy, since he was talking about disagreements among scientists, both in Galileo’s time and now.

The Church had initially become upset with Galileo for two main reasons, neither of them the conventional “church vs. science” objection of legend. His first offense was committing theological overreach in their eyes when he stated that heliocentrism did not contradict the Bible because scripture should not be interpreted literally. The second was a kind of scientific hubris: Galileo’s assertion that heliocentrism had been proven (incontrovertibly, as it were) rather than being a tentative working theory. In addition, many of Galileo’s fellow scientists, although split on the matter, were more against Galileo than with him, just as Rick Perry said. The reason for their skepticism was not theology, it was that Galileo’s model was inconsistent with the best empirical observations of the time — although of course, in retrospect, his theory turned out to be correct.

The most important problem with Galileo’s heliocentric theory, and one that was widely recognized by his scientific contemporaries, was the lack of “observable parallax shifts in the stars’ positions as the earth moved in its orbit around the sun.” It was only much later that instruments were designed that were sensitive enough to detect the shifts. Therefore, Galileo lacked scientific evidence to prove his theory, and many leading astronomers of the day rejected it. The renowned Tycho Brahe was one of them; he had his own competing theory, which was a Geo-Heliocentric hybrid in which the sun revolved around the earth but the other planets revolved around the sun, a system that conformed better than Galileo’s with the lack of observed stellar parallax and which remained in scientific favor for a long time.

I have written that Galileo’s theory turned out to be correct, but that is actually an over-simplication. Galileo was indeed correct in stating that the planets revolve around the sun. But he also believed that the sun is the fixed and unmoving center of the universe, which we now know to be incorrect.

This error does not contradict the fact that Galileo was a scientific giant. But the story is a reminder that even the brilliant make mistakes, and that science does not advance by simple progression from ignorance to perfect knowledge, nor is it proven by consensus. It moves in fits and starts, sometimes with small wavering steps and meanderings, sometimes with great leaps. Sometimes it lingers for a while in blind alleyways. But it is always incomplete, and must continually be tested and questioned.

Earth’s temperature over last 150 years amazingly stable 21

The physicist Ivar Giaever, Nobel laureate, has resigned from the American Physical Society because of its position on “man-made global warming”.

For doing that he deserves more laurels.

Here is his letter of resignation in full. In it he quotes an APS statement [italicized by us] that makes its position plain. No true scientist could live with it.

Dear Ms. Kirby

Thank you for your letter inquiring about my membership. I did not renew it because I can not live with the statement below:

Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.
The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.
If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible? The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this ‘warming’ period.

Best regards,

Ivar Giaever

Nobel Laureate 1973