Global Warming Decided?

2006 Nov 7

Our world's climate is changing! But why is it changing, and what are the implications?

I have long been a skeptic of anthropogenic global warming. I am also an optimist and a steward. That means the doom and gloom of the warming crowd offends me. But, I want to take care of the world I live in. So when there is data about climate change in the media, I check it to see if it makes sense.

I make a living measuring stuff (diagnostic medical ultrasound equipment). Therefore I know that measurements are harder than they look. And I know that your point of view and the assumptions you use to interpret the measurements are critically important. They control what data you accept and the decisions you make about adjustments to your data.

So, I am an amateur scientist. Based on my skills, I have a practical sense of data acceptance criteria. Because of this, I don't trust much of the data used to promote the warming agenda. For instance, many of the predictions from warming proponents have not proved true. The world has not experienced the heating they have predicted (0.1 actual C vs 0.3 C predicted over the last decade). The oceans have not risen as they have predicted (over the last decade, 1 in. actual vs ~30 in. predicted). In science, if the predictions from a model do not occur, then it is the model that is wrong.

I had read Michael Crichton's book State of Fear that is a work of fiction about the global warming topic. It had a very reasoned approach to the data that that did not promote global warming ideology. I appreciated the 17 pages of supporting scientific & social bibiography at the end of the book. (Very unusual for a work of fiction.)

Then I found an article by Christopher Monckton, a Britsh scientist. He backed up his article with sources and calculations. To a great degree, his data and his reasoning made sense, although some of his detailed scientific calculations were in areas in which I don't have expertise.

I regularly read a website that reports stories of interest to geeks. Readers also comment on the articles, and usually a high percentage of them have good content. When Monckton's article appeared there, it was no different. For instance, in this entry a physicist independently derives of one of Monckton's figures.

There were also a substantial number of nay-sayers. However, considering the topic, that was to be expected. Some made ad hominem attacks, some were global warming true-believers and other writers simply didn't know what they were talking about. These are all unfortunate, but can be discounted. The point is that I didn't see good technical arguments refuting Monckton's points.

So the response to Monckton's artical was huge. When he wrote a second article on the issue, he first addressed some of the responses. This included corrections on some details. I have generally found that a person who cheerfully corrects their mistakes is often a good source of information because they are much more interested in the truth than ego.

Most of the second article was on the politico/economic parts of the issue. Monckton showed that much of what the warming crowd is promoting politically, doesn't make sense.

  • The developing world is exempted from the Kyoto CO2 limits even though their growth in CO2 production is faster than ours.
  • Even if we followed the Kyoto accord, the beneficial effect would be vanishing.
  • Nuclear power is perfect for CO2 avoidance, but the warming crowd still doesn't really promote it.
  • Wind power may be popular, but it may be impossible to get sufficient capacity.

In essence, although there are elements of truth in all their "solutions", they are actually only feel-good solutions to guilt about economic and energy affluence.

Sometimes when an oracle tries to warn people of impending danger, they use loud, large language. Charitably, that may be what the global warming people are trying to be doing. However, neither their arguments nor their solutions make sense. They are not making their point with me.