The debate over climate change is charged with partisan fever because if affects important public public policies, as in the recent EPA regulations on coal-fired plants.
On the final day of Heartland’s conference, Wednesday, May 23, Panel 10 was all about Communicating Climate Change.
As one not trained in the sciences, presentations that required a knowledge of physics were a bit over my head. Not so with the three Panel 10 presenters whose down-to-earth messages spoke to the issue of climate change that could be understand by the average layman.
One of the presenters on Panel 10 was Jay Lehr, Ph.D., a senior fellow and science director of the Heartland Institute and an internationally known speaker who is on the road on behalf of Heartland as a skeptic of Global Warming/Climate Change. Jay Lehr is also an author and has testified before Congress on more than there dozen occasions on environmental issues and has further consulted with nearly every agency of the federal government and with many foreign countries.
Jay Lehr encouraged all attending the Panel 10 session to go out and spread the word that mankind has an insignificant impact on the climate on Planet Earth.
As one who never ascribed to the position held by global warming alarmists that CO2 is the cause of Global Warming, I thought it important to arm you with the same facts that I now have in hand by sharing the excellent scientific evidence compiled by Jay Lehr in his presentation handout.
May you likewise go out armed with these eighteen facts to educate others as scientific truth is based on hard evidence, not “consensus.”
SIGNIFICANT EVIDENCE THAT MANKIND HAS AN INSIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON THE CLIMATE OF PLANET EARTH by Jay Lehr, Ph.D., Science Director of The Heartland Institute
1- Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant. On the contrary it makes crops and forests grow faster. Mapping by satellite shows that the earth has become about 6% greener overall in the past two decades, with forests expanding into arid regions. The Amazon rain forest was the biggest gainer, with two tons of additional biomass per acre per year. Certainly climate change does not help every region equally, but careful studies predict overall benefit, fewer storms, more rain, better crop yields, longer growing seasons, milder winters and decreasing heating costs in colder climates. The news is certainly not bad and on balance may be rather good.
2- Someday the world will wake up and laugh when they finally understand that the entire pursuit of economic ruin in the name of saving the planet from increasing carbon dioxide is in fact a terrible joke. You see it is an unarguable fact that the portion of the Earth’s greenhouse gas envelope contributed by man is barely one tenth of one per cent of the total. Do the numbers your self. CO2 is no more than 4% of the total (with water vapor being over 90% followed by methane and sulpher and nitrous oxides). Of that 4% man contributes only a little over 3%. Elementary school arithmetic says that 3% of 4% is .12% and for that we are sentencing the planet to a wealth of damaging economic impacts.
3- The effect of additional CO2 in the atmosphere is limited because it only absorbs certain wave lengths of radiant energy. As the radiation in the particular wave length band is used up, the amount left for absorption by more of the gas is reduced. A simple analogy is to consider drawing a curtain across a window – a large part of the light will be shut out but some will still get through. Add a second curtain to the first and most of the remaining light will be excluded. A point will quickly be reached where adding more curtains has a negligible effect, because there is no light left to stop. This is the case with the absorption of energy as more carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere.
4- If greenhouse gases were responsible for increases in global temperature of recent decades then atmospheric physics shows that higher levels of our atmosphere would show greater warming than lower levels. This was not found to be true during the 1978 to 1998 period of .3 degrees centigrade warming.
5- 900,000 years of ice core temperature records and carbon dioxide content records show that CO2 increases follow rather than lead increases in Earth temperature which is logical because the oceans are the primary source of CO2 and they hold more CO2 when cool than when warm, so warming causes the oceans to release more CO2.
6- While temperatures have fluctuated over the past 5000 years, today’s earth temperature is below average for the past 5000 years.
7- A modest amount of global warming, should it occur would be beneficial to the natural world. The warmest period in recorded history was the Medieval Warm Period roughly 800 to 1200 AD when temperatures were 7 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than today allowing great prosperity for mankind, and Greenland was actually green.
8- Temperature fluctuations during the current 300 year recovery from the Little Ice Age which ended around 1700AD, following the Medieval Warming Period , correlate almost perfectly with fluctuations in solar activity. This correlation long predates human use of significant amounts of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas.
9- The National Aeronautic and Space Agency (NASA) has determined that during the time the Earth was warming so was Mars, Pluto, Jupiter and the largest moon of Neptune.
10- We know that 200 million years ago when the dinosaurs walked the Earth, average Carbon Dioxide concentration in the atmosphere was 1800 ppm, five times higher than today.
11- All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley UK, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, University of Alabama Huntsville, and Remote Sensing Systems Santa Rosa) have released updated information showing that in 2007, global cooling ranged from 0.65C to .75C. a value large enough to erase nearly all the global warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one years time.
12- NASA satellites measuring Earth atmosphere temperature found 2008 to be the coldest year since 2000 and the 14th coldest of the past 30 years. US climate Monitoring Stations on the surface show greater warmth, but pictures of most of the 1,221 US temperature stations show 90% to be located near human sources of heat (exhaust fans, air conditioning units, hot roof tops, asphalt parking lots and so forth). the conclusion is inescapable: The US land based temperature record is unreliable.
13- While we hear much about one or another melting glaciers, a recent study of 246 glaciers around the world between 1946 and 1995 indicated a balance between those that are losing ice, gaining ice and remaining in equilibrium. There is no global trend in any direction.
14- On May 1, 2007 National Geographic magazine reported that the snows on Mt. Kilimanjaro were shrinking as a result of lower precipitation rather than a warming trend.
15- Never mind that the overall polar bear population has increased from about 5000 in the 1960s to 25,000 today, and that the only two populations in decline come from areas where it has actually been getting colder over the past 50 years. Also ignore the fact that polar bears were around 100,000 years ago, long before at least one important interglacial period when it was much warmer than the present. Clearly they survived long periods of time when the climate of the Arctic was much warmer than today. Yet they are not expected to survive this present warming without help from government regulators. They must be kidding.
16- No computer model ever used to compute climate change has been able to calculate our recent past earth temperature though all measured data inputs were known and available.
17- The inability of current computer hardware to cope with a realistic climate model projection was put in perspective by Dr. Willie Soon of the Harvard Smithsonian Institute who calculated that to run a 40 year projection using all variables across all spatial scales would require 10 to the power 34 years of supercomputer time. This is 10 to the power 24 times longer than the age of the Universe.
18- Nobody believes a weather prediction 7 days ahead but now we are asked to reorder our economy based on climate predictions 100 years hence which are no longer supported by current evidence.
1- While the most extreme environmental zealots may be relatively few in number, they have managed to gain undue influence by exploiting the gullibility of many ordinary and scientifically illiterate people, who are only too willing to believe that the planet needs saving from man’s excesses. Perhaps it is a psychological throwback to those earlier civilizations that offered human sacrifices to the gods, to assuage their sins and spare them from punishment in the form of drought, flood, famine or disease. There are certainly many parallels between modern environmentalism and religion.
2- By focusing our priorities on future generations we focus less on improving the lives of people who are alive today. These future generations bear no closer relationship to us than those now living in developing countries whose lives we disdain to save. Why are we not feeding people in the world who are hungry? Why are we not giving clean water to the almost one billion people who don’t have clean water? The greatest source of environmental degradation is poverty. Why aren’t we helping eliminate poverty? One answer is that perhaps it is a lot easier worrying about future generations than trying to fix present day problems.
3- Global warming is a major industry today. Between 1992 and 2008 the US Government spent $30 billion on climate change research and now contributes $6 billion a year. This finances jobs, grants, conferences, international travel and academic journals. It not only keeps a huge army of people in comfortable employment, but also fills them with self righteousness and moral superiority regardless of the fact that real science did not support it.