by Edmund Contoski

September 2008

from LibertyUnbound Website


Edmund Contoski is a columnist for FORCES International Liberty News Network, a blogger, and author of three books.

He is a retired environmental consultant.

"Unless we announce disasters, no one will listen."
- Sir John Houghton

first chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and lead editor of its first three reports

During the 20th century, the earth warmed 0.6 degree Celsius (1 degree Fahrenheit), but that warming has been wiped out in a single year with a drop of 0.63 degree C. (1.13 F.) in 2007.


A single year does not constitute a trend reversal, but the magnitude of that temperature drop - equal to 100 years of warming - is noteworthy. Of course, it can also be argued that a mere 0.6 degree warming in a century is so tiny it should never have been considered a cause for alarm in the first place. But then how could the idea of global warming be sold to the public?


In any case, global cooling has been evident for more than a single year.


Global temperature has declined since 1998. Meanwhile, atmospheric carbon dioxide has gone in the other direction, increasing 15-20%. This divergence casts doubt on the validity of the greenhouse hypothesis, but that hasn't discouraged the global warming advocates. They have long been ignoring far greater evidence that the basic assumption of greenhouse warming from increases in carbon dioxide is false.

Manmade emissions of carbon dioxide were not significant before worldwide industrialization began in the 1940s. They have increased steadily since.


Over 80% of the 20th century's carbon dioxide increase occurred after 1940 - but most of the century's temperature increase occurred before 1940! From 1940 until the mid-1970s, the climate also failed to behave according to the greenhouse hypothesis, as carbon dioxide was strongly increasing while global temperatures cooled. This cooling led to countless scare stories in the media about a new ice age commencing.

In the last 1.6 million years there have been 63 alternations between warm and cold climates, and no indication that any of them were caused by changes in carbon dioxide levels. A recent study of a much longer period (600 million years) shows - without exception - that temperature changes precede changes in carbon dioxide levels, not the other way around. As the earth warms, the oceans yield more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, because warmer water cannot hold as much carbon dioxide as colder water.

The public has been led to believe that increased carbon dioxide from human activities is causing a greenhouse effect that is heating the planet.


But carbon dioxide comprises only 0.035% of our atmosphere and is a very weak greenhouse gas. Although it is widely blamed for greenhouse warming, it is not the only greenhouse gas, or even the most important. Water vapor is a strong greenhouse gas and accounts for at least 95% of any greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide accounts for only about 3%, with the remainder due to methane and several other gases.

Not only is carbon dioxide's total greenhouse effect puny, mankind's contribution to it is minuscule.


The overwhelming majority (97%) of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere comes from nature, not from man. Volcanoes, swamps, rice paddies, fallen leaves, and even insects and bacteria produce carbon dioxide, as well as methane. According to the journal Science (Nov. 5, 1982), termites alone emit ten times more carbon dioxide than all the factories and automobiles in the world.


Natural wetlands emit more greenhouse gases than all human activities combined. (If greenhouse warming is such a problem, why are we trying to save all the wetlands?)


Geothermal activity in Yellowstone National Park emits ten times the carbon dioxide of a midsized coal-burning power plant, and volcanoes emit hundreds of times more. In fact, our atmosphere's composition is primarily the result of volcanic activity. There are about 100 active volcanoes today, mostly in remote locations, and we're living in a period of relatively low volcanic activity.


There have been times when volcanic activity was ten times greater than in modern times. But by far the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions is the equatorial Pacific Ocean. It produces 72% of the earth's emissions of carbon dioxide, and the rest of the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and the other oceans also contribute.


The human contribution is overshadowed by these far larger sources of carbon dioxide. Combining the factors of water vapor and nature's production of carbon dioxide, we see that 99.8% of any greenhouse effect has nothing to do with carbon dioxide emissions from human activity.


So how much effect could regulating the tiny remainder have upon world climate, even if carbon dioxide determined climate?


During the Ordovician Period, the carbon dioxide level

was 12 times what it is today, and the earth was in an Ice Age.

Since carbon dioxide is a very weak greenhouse gas, computer models predicting environmental catastrophe depend on the small amount of warming from carbon dioxide being amplified by increased evaporation of water.


But in the many documented periods of higher carbon dioxide, even during much warmer climate periods, that never happened. During the time of the dinosaurs, the carbon dioxide levels were 300-500% greater than today. Five hundred million years ago, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 15-20 times what it is today.


Yet the catastrophic water-vapor amplification of carbon dioxide warming never occurred.


Today we're told catastrophic warming will result if carbon dioxide doubles. But during the Ordovician Period, the carbon dioxide level was 12 times what it is today, and the earth was in an Ice Age. That's exactly opposite to the "runaway" warming that computer models predict should occur.


Clearly the models are wrong; they depend upon an assumption of amplification that is contrary to the climate record of millions of years. There is no reason to trust the computer predictions - or base public policies on them.


Reid Bryson, founding chairman of the Department of Meteorology at the University of Wisconsin, has stated,

"You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide."

There are other examples where the computer models fail to agree with reality.


According to the greenhouse hypothesis, the warming should occur equally during day and night. But most of the warming that has been observed has occurred at night, thus falsifying the models.

All of the models agree - for sound theoretical reasons - that warming from a greenhouse effect must be 2-3 times greater in the lower atmosphere than at the earth's surface. This is not happening. Both satellites and weather balloons show slightly greater warming at the surface. These atmospheric temperature measurements furnish direct, unequivocal evidence that whatever warming has occurred is not from the greenhouse effect.

Everyone knows the sun heats the earth, but the public is generally unaware that the sun's heat is not uniform. Solar radiation is affected by disturbances on the surface of the sun, called "sunspots," which correspond to the sun's 11-year magnetic cycle. There are also several solar cycles of longer duration.


Superimposed, these cycles might augment or cancel each other. There are also periods when sunspots "crash," or almost disappear, which can lead to dramatic cooling of the earth for several decades. This is what happened 400 years ago during the Maunder Minimum, which was the coldest part of the Little Ice Age.


During one 30-year period during the Maunder Minimum only about 50 sunspots were observed, compared to a typical 40-50 thousand.

Atmospheric temperature measurements furnish direct, unequivocal evidence

that whatever warming has occurred is not from the greenhouse effect.

Sunspots have now virtually vanished. You can check out pictures of the sun day after day after day for the last few years here.


Very few show more than one sunspot and many show none. We are currently at a solar minimum, awaiting the start of the next solar cycle. If sunspot activity does not pick up soon, we could be in for some seriously cold climate. The jury is still out on sunspot numbers.

In any case, some climate scientists believe the length of past solar cycles points to a cool phase in this century.


Professor Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of the Pulkovo Observatory in Russia, believes a slow decline in temperatures will begin as early as 2012-15 and will lead to a deep freeze in 2050-60 that will last about 50 years.


Climatologist Tim Patterson thinks that by 2020 the sun will be starting its weakest 11-year sunspot cycle of the past two centuries, likely leading to unusually cool conditions on earth.


He says,

"If we're to have even a medium-sized solar minimum, we could be looking at a lot more bad effects than 'global warming' would have had."

The global warming advocates make all sorts of false claims about dire consequences of global warming.


They claim it will result in the spread of malaria, food shortages, more human deaths, more violent weather, and a loss of biological diversity through the extinction of species. All untrue.


The largest number of species - the greatest biological diversity - is in the tropics. As you move away from the equator, you find fewer and fewer species, until you reach the earth's poles, where there is zero diversity because nothing can live there.

Agricultural productivity is also reduced by cold climate, not a warmer one. That's why Siberia and Alaska are not noted for agricultural abundance. A warmer climate would mean longer growing seasons and would make agriculture possible in areas where it isn't today.


And there are at least 300 studies showing plants and forests grow faster and more luxuriantly under conditions of increased carbon dioxide.

The argument that a warmer climate will bring more violent weather

can only be made by people who have no knowledge.

Our bodies require heat. We are warm-blooded and have no fur.


We wear clothes, build homes, and heat them with fires, all as protection against the cold. Far more people move to Florida, California, or Arizona because of warm climate than move to Alaska, North Dakota, or Montana. Canada is the world's second largest country, but 90% of the population lives within 100 miles of its southern border. Worldwide, far more people die every year from cold than from heat.


So why should global warming be bad for us?

Global warming will not result in the spread of malaria. Paul Reiter, of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, is one of the world's foremost experts on insect-borne diseases.


He says,

"The global warming alarm is dressed up as science, but it is not science. It is propaganda. I was horrified to read the [IPCC] 2nd and 3rd Assessment Reports because there was so much misinformation."

For example, the IPCC states,

"mosquito species that transmit malaria do not usually survive where the mean winter temperature drops below 16-18 degrees C."

This is "clearly untrue," says Reiter.

"In fact, mosquitoes are extremely abundant in the Arctic. The most devastating epidemic of malaria was in the Soviet Union in the 1920s. There were something like 13 million cases a year and something like 600,000 deaths, a tremendous catastrophe that reached up to the Arctic Circle.


Arkhangel [a city 300 miles further north than Helsinki, Finland] had 30,000 cases and about 10,000 deaths. So it's not a tropical disease. Yet these people in the global warming fraternity invent the idea that malaria will move northward."

New York City and Boston had long histories of malaria.


In 1933, when President Roosevelt authorized the Tennessee Valley Authority, a third of the population in the area had malaria. Malaria was not eliminated in the United States until 1951. It was done through the use of DDT - which the environmentalists prevailed upon the United States to ban, resulting in 40-50 million unnecessary deaths from malaria since 1972.

The environmentalists have also invented the idea that the polar bear is threatened by global warming. Today there are 22-25 thousand polar bears, compared to 8-10 thousand 40 years ago and only 5,000 in 1940, before the big rise in carbon dioxide. Eleven of the 13 polar bear groups in Canada today are stable or increasing.


The two that are decreasing are in an area where the climate has gotten colder!


Furthermore, the polar bears survived many periods of much warmer temperatures, some lasting thousands of years. They survived the Medieval Warm Period a thousand years ago, when the Vikings settled both Iceland and Greenland. Greenland actually was green then and could support agriculture; but when the cold returned a few centuries later, the people there all starved to death.


Today Greenland is covered by a sheet of ice.


Six thousand years ago the earth's climate was much warmer than now, and the polar bears survived. Ten thousand years ago the earth's climate was a whopping six degrees C (11 degrees F) warmer than now, and the bears survived. Polar bears have been a distinct species for 125,000 years (they descended from grizzly bears) and they've survived far warmer climates than anything they face today or in the foreseeable future.


A Canadian polar bear expert, Mitch Taylor, says,

"They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected."


NASA has "adjusted" recent temperatures upward and older temperatures downward,

which creates the appearance of warming.

The argument that a warmer climate will bring more violent weather can only be made by people who have no knowledge of climate history or simply dismiss it because it contradicts their propaganda. And they rely on the public - and the media - being uninformed enough and gullible enough to believe them.


There is abundant historical evidence that the earth had far more violent weather in times of colder climate, such as the Little Ice Age, than in warmer times. It is well known, too, that what determines violent weather is the temperature differential between the equator and the poles. All the computer models predict the greatest warming from the greenhouse effect will be at the poles, which will reduce that differential and violent weather.

There are four sources of global temperature measurements:

  • NASA

  • the UK Meteorological Office's Hadley Center for Climate Studies

  • the University of Alabama at Huntsville

  • RSS (Remote Sensing Systems)

NASA is out of step with the other three. The others show global temperatures declining since 1998 while NASA shows them increasing at a record pace.


How can that be?


Statistician Steve McIntyre tracks climate data closely at Recently he ran an article titled "NASA is Rewriting History, Time and Time Again."


It explains that NASA has "adjusted" recent temperatures upward and older temperatures downward, which creates the appearance of warming. The man behind these changes is James Hansen, the scientist who started the whole global warming hysteria by testifying before a Senate committee in June 1988 that he was "99% sure" greenhouse warming was already under way.


The same media which scarcely a decade earlier were touting a coming ice age now seized upon Hansen's unsupported testimony and began touting global warming. Hansen has been trying ever since to come up with evidence to support his claims, now even tampering with the actual temperature record.


Steven Goddard asks,

"How could it be determined that so many thermometers were wrong by an average of 0.5 degrees in one particular year several decades ago, and an accurate retrofit be made? Why is the adjustment 0.5 degrees one year, and 0.1 degrees the next?"

Statistically, the odds are 50/50 of an error being either up or down.


But Hansen adds an upward correction to the average of thousands of temperature measurements annually across the globe in more than 55 years out of 70. That's like flipping a coin 70 times and having it turn up heads 55 times. The odds of that happening are about one in a million.

Nor is that the only example of manipulation of data for the good of the cause.


The centerpiece of the IPCC Third Assessment Report was the "hockey stick" graph by Michael Mann, et al.


It showed a thousand years of "reconstructed" global temperatures as a long horizontal trend looking like the long handle of a hockey stick - with a sharp rise since 1900 looking like the blade of the hockey stick, due to global warming.


This work has now been thoroughly discredited. It was the product of multiple inaccuracies from errors, omissions, obsolete data, and manipulations in "reconstructing" data, all of which was then processed through an invalid statistical procedure. That procedure was found to produce a "hockey stick" even from random inputs, and Mann himself later admitted it would find a "hockey stick" where there wasn't one.


The National Academy of Sciences found a "validation skill not significantly different from zero." The issue was presented to the National Academy of Sciences by the Wegman Panel, consisting of three independent statisticians chaired by an eminent statistics professor, Edward Wegman, who also testified about it at a congressional investigation.


After explaining the incorrect mathematics in Mann's procedure, Wegman stated:

"I am baffled by the [Mann] claim that incorrect mathematics doesn't matter because the answer is correct anyway[!]"

Ideology trumps mathematics!


(Incidentally, this graph is still being used on TV programs on global warming. I was on one such program less than a year ago that displayed this graph four or five times in an hour and allowed Mann plenty of airtime to tout it, and the program provided no rebuttal. And I have been told by students and parents that the "hockey stick" graph is still being used in schools.)

Here's an example of the global warming alarmists completely ignoring contrary data, or even denying it exists.


Some scientists assert that the current level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (about 380 parts per million) is the highest in 800,000 years. The media sucks this up and broadcasts it all over the airwaves and the newspapers, and the public, not knowing any better, believes it must be true.


But how could such learned men be so ignorant in their own field of expertise as to not know of the abundant temperature records that give lie to their claim? How could they not know of the monumental compilation by Ernst-Georg Beck of more than 90,000 direct carbon dioxide measurements, between 1812 and 1961, from 175 published technical papers?


Zbigniew Jaworowski, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., says these measurements were ignored for three decades,

"not because they were wrong. Indeed, these measurements were made by top scientists, including two Nobel Prize winners, using techniques that are standard textbook procedures...


The only reason for rejection was that these measurements did not fit the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming. I regard this as perhaps the greatest scientific scandal of our time."

The 2007 IPCC Summary report states:

"The global atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has increased from a pre-industrial value of about 280 ppm to 379 ppm in 2005. The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide in 2005 exceeds by far the natural range over the last 650,000 years (180 to 300 ppm) as determined from ice cores."

In fact, the ice cores show measurements of over 400 ppm as recently as about 1700 A.D. and 420 ppm about 200 A.D. Ice cores show similar carbon dioxide levels intermittently over the last 10,000 years. So who is wrong, the ice cores or the IPCC? Just who are the "deniers" of reality?

Jaworowski has studied climate for over 40 years, organized 11 glacier expeditions researching 17 glaciers in the Arctic, Antarctic, Alps, Norway, Himalayas, Peruvian Andes, and other mountainous regions. He has also published about 20 papers on climate issues, most of them about ice cores.


He writes that the ice core information in the 2007 IPCC Summary Report was,

"plagued with improper manipulation of data, an arbitrary rejection of high readings from old ice, and an arbitrary rejection of low readings from young ice, simply because they did not fit the preconceived idea of man-made global warming."

Furthermore, from over 90,000 direct measurements of carbon dioxide, Beck graphed five-year averages, which further discredit the IPCC claim. These show 440 ppm carbon dioxide for the years 1820 and 1940, and 390 ppm for 1855. Can there be any doubt that the IPCC is distorting science for political purposes?

Why is it that the global warming advocates are unfazed by any contrary evidence, no matter how strong? All their claims of disasters from global warming have been debunked. All their computer models have been shown to be false, to be based on flawed assumptions, incapable of being reconciled with the observable facts.


Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic and a university professor before he became president, is the author of a book on global warming and has spoken often on the subject.


He says,

"What frustrates me is the feeling that everything has already been said and published, that all rational argument has been used, yet it does not help."

It does not help because global warming alarmism is not based on rational argument.


It is not based on science. It is not based on reality. It is based on political ideology. If rational argument doesn't fit, then phony arguments must be invented: the spread of malaria, the loss of biological diversity, polar bears disappearing, etc.


If computer models can predict disaster scenarios only by programming unrealistic assumptions, then that will be done.


If global warming does not fit the observable temperature measurements, then a new "reality" must be invented to fit the ideology: the actual temperature records must be altered or dismissed.


The global warming advocates are not disturbed by all this because, in their view, ideology trumps reality.


James Hansen revealed his hatred of capitalism in an impassioned email

denouncing the attention paid to errors in NASA data.


Patrick Moore, a cofounder and director of Greenpeace, resigned because of its,

"trend toward abandoning scientific objectivity in favor of political agendas."

After the failure of communism, he says, there was little public support for collectivist ideology.


In his view, a,

"reason environmental extremism emerged was because world communism failed, the [Berlin] wall came down, and a lot of peaceniks and political activists moved into the environmental movement bringing their neo-Marxism with them and learned to use green language in a very clever way to cloak agendas that actually have more to do with anticapitalism and antiglobalism than they do anything with ecology or science."


"I think if we don't overthrow capitalism, we don't have a chance of saving the world ecologically," said Judi Bari, principal organizer of Earth First!

James Hansen revealed his hatred of capitalism in an impassioned email denouncing the attention paid to errors in NASA temperature data:

"The deceit behind the attempts to discredit evidence of climate change reveals matters of importance. This deceit has a clear purpose: to confuse the public about the status of knowledge of global climate change, thus delaying effective action to mitigate climate change.


The danger is that delay will cause tipping points to be passed, such that large climate impacts become inevitable... the ones who will live in infamy if we pass the tipping points, are the captains of industry, CEOs in fossil fuel companies such as EXXON/Mobil, automobile manufacturers, utilities, all of the leaders who have placed short-term profit above the fate of the planet and the well-being of our children."

Klaus states:

We succeeded in getting rid of communism, but along with many others, we erroneously assumed that attempts to suppress freedom, and to centrally organize, mastermind, and control society and the economy, were matters of the past, an almost-forgotten relic. Unfortunately, those centralizing urges are still with us...


Environmentalism only pretends to deal with environmental protection. Behind their people and nature friendly terminology, the adherents of environmentalism make ambitious attempts to radically reorganize and change the world, human society, our behavior and our values..

The followers of the environmentalist ideology, however, keep presenting us with various catastrophic scenarios with the intention of persuading us to implement their ideas. That is not only unfair but also extremely dangerous. Even more dangerous, in my view, is the quasi-scientific guise that their oft-refuted forecasts have taken on...


Their recommendations would take us back to an era of statism and restricted freedom... The ideology will be different. Its essence will, nevertheless, be identical - the attractive, pathetic, at first sight noble idea that transcends the individual in the name of the common good, and the enormous self-confidence on the side of the proponents about their right to sacrifice the man and his freedom in order to make this idea reality...


We have to restart the discussion about the very nature of government and about the relationship between the individual and society... It is not about climatology. It is about freedom.

Do you ever wonder how communism could last for 70 years in Russia?


Surely there was plenty of evidence, for decades, that the system was failing: food shortages, declining life expectancy, increased infant mortality, low standards of living, primitive hospitals, and sanitation facilities lagging far behind those in Western Europe and America - not to mention pollution far worse than in the West. But to diehard communists, the facts did not matter. All the observable negatives of collectivism were trumped by ideology.


The same is true of the ideology behind global warming.