SETTLED SCIENCE or FALSE RELIGION?
by Murray Allatt                      printer-friendly

Introduction
For over thirty years there has been a debate among the “scientific” community as to the cause of acknowledged recent warming of the Earth’s climate. The warming involves an increase, roughly speaking, over the course of the 20th Century to the present, of about 1 degree Fahrenheit or half a degree Centre grade in average temperatures. In Australia it is claimed that nine out of the last ten years have been the hottest on record. 2007 it is claimed was Australia’s warmest year with temperatures more than half a degree above the annual average. Now of course, the “record” only goes back to about 1880.

In seeking to identify a cause for this modest rise in average temperatures a number of scientists noted a correlation between the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and the rise in the emission of carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse” gases from the burning of fossil fuels and the consequent increase in concentration of those gases in the atmosphere. Hence they have deduced that “global warming” is man made. So convinced of their theory are the advocates of “man made global warming” that in recent years, in dismissing the doubters and skeptics, they have proclaimed over and over again that the science is settled on this issue.

Is it true that the science is settled? In the minds of many it is but is that right?

A Little History
Apart from numerous “climate” scientists, many the recipients of generous grants to study the problem, the chief advocates of man made global warming are various “green” environmental groups and the media. The chief characteristic of all these advocates is the alarmist doom and gloom preachments as to what will befall mankind if the governments of this world and individuals do not act to stem the flow of carbon emissions to the atmosphere

Official temperature readings are limited to about the last 130 years. However, the record of the earth’s climate is known going back at least (for the purpose of rational discussion) to 900AD when a period in the earth’s climatic history known as the Medieval Warm Period commenced. This period lasted at least till 1300AD. In about 1500AD the period known as the Little Ice Age commenced. The Little Ice Age came to an end around 1850 at the time the Industrial Revolution was moving into full swing. During the Little Ice Age the River Thames, flowing through London, would freeze during winter, as did New York Harbor.

Recent studies have shown that the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today. It lasted four hundred years. Plainly man had zero impact on bringing about that climate epoch. And the Polar Bears survived.

Likewise man had zero impact on bringing about the Little Ice Age and did nothing to bring it to an end. Not surprisingly, when the Little Ice Age came to a close temperatures rose. It is noteworthy that the very modest temperature rise over the 20th Century and since the Little Ice Age has coincided with such great advancement by the western world and the world in general, on any measure, of living standards, food production, life expectancy and health.

It is also of note that during the 20th Century the media, with all it’s hype and alarmist cries of pending catastrophe, have pushed upon an unsuspecting public several other fear campaigns based upon “scientific” reports regarding claimed changing climate. From the turn of the 20th Century to the 1930’s the newspaper headlines appeared pushing alarmism over another Ice Age. From the 1930’s to the mid 1950’s the predictions of climate doom focused on rising temperatures. From the 1950’s to the mid 1970’s the “science” and the press reverted to fears of global cooling. And that period covered the post WWII boom in industrial output when levels of CO2 emissions increased exponentially.

The accepted wisdom
Today, after 30 years of global warming alarmism, with dire predictions stretching 100 years into the future, the governments and peoples of the world have, for the most part capitulated, fallen into line and come to espouse belief, perhaps not always heartfelt, in the accepted wisdom that man is the cause of global warming since the 1970’s.

Up till December 2007 only the USA and Australia had withstood the schoolyard peer pressure to sign up to Kyoto. With a change of government in Australia at the end of 2007 only the USA now stands outside the UN brokered Kyoto Protocol but perhaps not for long given a pending presidential election. But then, even despite refusing to sign Kyoto, as in Australia, many government policies are geared as if manmade global warming was a fact.

Kyoto, and the successor agreement due to be agreed to by 2009 and come into force in 2012, are all about reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere in the belief that CO2 and other “greenhouse” gases generated by man’s industrial endeavours are the root cause of current planetary warming. Advocates claim reductions in CO2 emissions will need to be 60% by 2050, some 90%, to head off global catastrophe.

And as far as the advocates are concerned - scientists, the media, special interest groups and Al Gore - the science is settled.

The alternative, rational view
There are many scientists, recognized experts in relevant fields, and many thinking members of society, unwilling to be bullied into acceptance of the “accepted wisdom”. In 2007 it was reported that over 400 scientists had spoken out against the theory of manmade global warming. A number of those who have spoken out were formerly believers in manmade global warming. Quite a number were authors and “lead authors” of the UN’s IPPC’s published reports. They came to know better. They saw from the inside how findings were distorted in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) process to suit the cause of political necessity – to reach a conclusion that warming is manmade. One such was Dr. Claude Allegre. Claude Allegre, one of France's leading socialists and among her most celebrated scientists, was among the first to sound the alarm 20 years ago about the dangers of global warming. In 2007 he changed his mind. His break with what he now sees as environmental cant on climate change came in September, in an article entitled "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" in l' Express, the French weekly. His article cited evidence that Antarctica is gaining ice and that Kilimanjaro's retreating snowcaps, among other global-warming concerns, come from natural causes. "The cause of this climate change is unknown," he states matter of factly. There is no basis for saying, as most do, that the "science is settled."

There are also many scientists unwilling to speak out publicly against the “accepted wisdom” for fear of ostracism by their peers and loss of funding for their projects. Indeed it has been commented upon more than once that obtaining grant money for research is made all the easier if the applicant can somehow spin a “global warming” element into the grant submission.

However, rather than the science being settled, a cursory overview of the scientific literature throws up, not one, but several logical, and given a little thought, obvious explanations for the shift in the world’s climate from cooler to hotter and back again. These explanations have no relationship whatever with what puny man has produced in “greenhouse” gases over the past 200 years of the industrial age. We have certainly produced a lot of pollution, but impacted significantly, or at all, global temperatures – no.

Other mechanisms for climate change
Forty years ago, in science classes, it was taught that a scientific “theory” had to take into account, accommodate and explain all known facts of a particular phenomenon to be valid and accepted. Any explanation for today’s elevated average temperatures logically must be capable of also explaining past periods of warming and cooling, such as the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. It makes no sense at all to ignore those epochs of earth’s recent climate history. And yet, that is what advocates of manmade global warming do when they deny any cause of warming other than their guilt ridden, fear driven, “manmade” explanation for the current phenomenon, ignoring the past. It is bad science.

A primary cause of earth climate change must surely be obvious – the Sun. Studies show that sunspot (solar flare) activity operates generally in 11 year cycles. These are linked to changes in the Sun’s magnetic field. Other studies show that the sun has periods of hyperactivity over extended periods that may last 50 to 100 years. Then follows a crash of hyperactivity leading to much lower activity. It has been found that the Medieval Warming Period coincided with an extended hyperactive period. During that period Britain had a wine industry and Greenland was settled by Norsemen and farmed in the south for several hundred years. At least one explanation for the name “Greenland” was that it was in fact very green, at least in the southern zone. Even last summer parts of this area were used for raising livestock and cropping – not possible till recently.

It is reported that in the 17th Century sunspots almost entirely disappeared (a crash) and that period coincided with the coldest part of the Little Ice Age when New York Harbor froze over, Greenland was abandoned and Finland and Iceland lost one third and half of their populations respectively.

As a matter of interest it is reported that Greenland in January 2008 has had the coldest weather in a decade freezing over harbors and the surrounding seas to 50cm depth. It is also of interest that while the global warming alarmists were hyping the loss of glacier ice around Greenland in the late 1990’s and early years of this century, predicting that the loss of ice from Greenland could raise the oceans by 7 meters, in fact a study demonstrated that between 2002 and 2005 the ice cover on Greenland’s interior increased 6cm per year. It has continued to do so. Likewise in Antarctica where ice has increased by one third recently.

Further, Russia has reported in January 2008 some of the fiercest cold snaps in decades, as has China, with many deaths. In fact the Chinese have reported the coldest weather for fifty years. Logic tells you that situation has nothing to do with global warming but you can bet someone will claim it does. That is because the theory of manmade global warming accounts for all weather, especially if it is extreme. That is why when Al Gore was asked on a visit to Australia in 2006 what he thought of Australia’s then long running drought he answered, “It proves global warming” (meaning manmade). Apparently, in his mind “ El Nino”, a facet of the Pacific Decadel Oscilation ocean currents, long accepted as linked with drought in Australia, had nothing to do with it. Likewise one imagines Mr. Gore thinks “La Nina” has nothing to do with current flooding and way above average rainfall in Eastern Australia. No, that would be global warming as well.

Other Causes
In 2006/2007 Lawrence Solomon wrote a series of articles for the National Post, called "The Deniers". He covered the opinions and thoughts of a number of respected experts in their fields relevant to the global warming debate. The following refers to some of the people he wrote about and what he wrote. It is well worth reading all of his pieces in the series.

In support of the solar influence on global temperature change it is a little publicized fact that according to NASA the planet Mars is just coming out of an ice age. Evidence from the Mars Odyssey has shown that in some low latitude areas the ice has almost completely dissipated. Dr. Habibuulo Abdussamatov of the Saint Petersburg Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory has been reported as commenting, “ Mars has global warming, but without a greenhouse and without the participation of Martians. These parallel global warmings – observed simultaneously on Mars and Earth can only be a straight line consequence of the effect of the one same factor: a long-time change in solar irradiance”.

He also said, “ It is no secret that increased solar irradiance warms the earth’s oceans, which then triggers the emission of large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So the common view that man’s industrial activity is a deciding factor in global warming has emerged from a misinterpretation of cause and effect relations”. He says solar irradiance has begun to fall and a protracted period of cooling will commence by 2015.

Another explanation for recent changes in global temperatures has come from Dr. William Gray, 78, a professor at Colorado State University and meteorologist expert, who told a conference in October 2007 that a natural cycle of ocean water temperatures related to the amount of salt in the ocean water is responsible for global warming that he acknowledged had occurred. Plainly the sun, as Dr. Habibuulo Abdussamatov noted, primarily affects ocean temperatures.

Dr. Gray said a period of global cooling would commence soon and said, “ We’ll look back on all this in 10 or 15 years and realize how foolish it was”. He noted that between 1900 –49 there were 101 hurricanes in a cooler period compared with 83 between 1957 to 2006, when the earth warmed.

He concluded, “The human impact on the atmosphere is simply too small to have a major effect on global temperatures”.

Another prominent hurricane expert to take issue with the UN’s IPPC and former lead author is Christopher Landsea of the Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory, a renowned expert in Atlantic hurricanes. Landsea came to understand in 2004 the lengths of deception and falsehood that proponents of man made global warming would go when the IPPC section head, the man who had invited Landsea to write for his fourth IPPC report, called a press conference to announce a rise in frequency of hurricanes due to global warming, a claim Landsea knew to be false and a claim made despite Landsea’s attempts to correct what he thought was a misunderstanding. His attempt was simply dismissed and ignored. Landsea came to the realization that the IPCC was corrupting science. He resigned in an open letter to the scientific community laying out his reasons.

Yet another viable theory dismissed out of hand by global warming affionados involves the role played by cosmic rays proposed by Henrik Svensmark of the Danish National Space Center who for more than a decade has been pursuing an explanation for why Earth cools and warms.

Svensmark and his colleague had arrived at their theory after examining data that showed a surprisingly strong correlation between cosmic rays –high speed atomic particles originating in exploded stars in the Milky Way -- and low-altitude clouds. Earth's cloud cover increased when the intensity of cosmic rays grew and decreased when the intensity declined.

Low-altitude clouds are significant because they especially shield the Earth from the sun to keep us cool. Low cloud cover can vary by 2% in five years, affecting the Earth's surface by as much as 1.2 watts per square meter during that same period. "That figure can be compared with about 1.4 watts per square meter estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the greenhouse effect of all the increase in carbon dioxide in the air since the Industrial Revolution," Dr. Svensmark explained.

The Danish scientists put together several well-established scientific phenomena to arrive at their novel 1996 theory. The sun's magnetic field deflects some of the cosmic rays that penetrate the Earth's atmosphere, and in so doing it also limits the immense amounts of ions and free electrons that the cosmic rays produce. But something had changed in the 20th century: The sun's magnetic field more than doubled in strength, deflecting an extraordinary number of rays. Could the diminution of cosmic rays this century have limited the formation of clouds, making the Earth warmer?

Did the IPPC welcome their findings and want to investigate further? No. Instead the chairman of the United Nations Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change, the chief agency investigating global warming castigated them in the press, saying, "I find the move from this pair scientifically extremely naive and irresponsible." Others accused them of denouncing the greenhouse theory, something they had not done. However, it does a scientist's career no good to buck the accepted wisdom. Raise doubts about the accepted wisdom of global warming and as a scientist you are shunned. And the mass public are just carried along with it all on the doomsday scenarios.

As noted above, a rational logical explanation of global temperature change must be able to explain the known incidents of previous epochs. The one constant, outside influence in the life of this planet since its creation, let alone the last few centuries, has been the Sun. The same could be said of Mars and all the solar system.

What drives the global warming advocates?

We see, very much in summary form, that there is credible, rational and logical explanation for global temperature change (global warming, climate change – call it what you will), dare we say a valid theory, apart from the theory that puts man in charge and makes man responsible and says man can and must fix it. It’s called the Sun. Rhetorically it could be asked, what’s to fix? Plainly the Earth’s climate has changed from time to time over millennia. We have looked at two such changes known to recent history in the Medieval Warming Period and Little Ice Age. Whatever is causing today’s “climate change” must have caused these earlier events to have any credibility.

It is so obvious that you are left wondering what is it that the global warming advocates do not get? Did they miss that science class discussion on validating theories? Or is something else operating.

Let’s deal with that question. There is a parallel to be seen between the theory of manmade global warming and the theory of evolution.

Evolution, the theory that life came from lifeless matter and evolved over millions of years relies for its acceptance on unproved and unprovable claims, and frankly “ a misinterpretation of cause and effect relations.” It ignores the fact that there are multitudes of facts that the “theory” does not accommodate. Why? Because it is an attempt to deny God’s role in creating the earth and all life on it and it seeks to exclude God from a role in ordering the way man should live. By adoption of evolution as a belief its advocates seek to reduce God to a myth and all of his Word, the Bible, to allegory and Hebrew "beddy bye" stories. It puts man in charge without need of God.

The theory of manmade global warming also puts man in charge. It rejects, once again believe it or not, the role of God in ordering the earth and setting in motion the life sustaining circumstances of the earth’s environment. The earth’s rotation around the sun, its orbit, is exactly the right distance from the Sun, within variable parameters, that is necessary to support life. But the climate change advocates discount the Sun as merely a heat source of constant emission, rather like a radiator in the corner of a room. They reject the Sun’s obvious variability of heat output– and the Earth’s ability to accommodate that variability- and therefore, the Sun’s ability to effect climate change over the long term to warm or cool the planet.

False religion
The theory of manmade global warming is based on bad science. It is a theory that does not stack up against all the known facts. Just as evolution does not stack up against all the known facts. Therefore, when someone says they “believe” man is responsible for the current warming of the planet they are getting into the realm of faith and faith is a religious concept.

Because it is improbable and requires “belief” and “faith”, the theory of evolution, even though dressed up as science and fact, has rightly been likened to a religious belief. In reality, the same can be said of “man made global warming”. It is unproved and unprovable. It’s adherents, in the face of other rational explanation for the recent warming event, embrace their “belief” that greenhouse gases produced by man are responsible.

Other indicia that tell us we are dealing with a “religious belief” in the “manmade global warming” theory and is the way in which its advocates speak about themselves and those who oppose or don’t accept their theory.

Those who favor the theory of man made global warming call the doubters “climate change deniers.” That term alludes to the Holocaust and it is used to convey the catastrophic consequences that may befall humanity if action is not taken – and yesterday. It is used as a term of opprobrium against the “non believers”.

To listen to or to read the language associated with comments made by those who favor human activity as the main driver of “climate change” and what is written about the opposing sides you could be forgiven for thinking you were observing a religious debate about “beliefs” - and you are.

There are “deniers” and “sceptics” on the one side and there are “believers” in opposition to the “deniers”. And the deniers often refer to the “believers” as “alarmists” (and they are). When one prominent scientist recently changed his view from being “a believer” in manmade climate change to one who thought the recent warming episode was caused by other factors he became a “sceptic” and he was said to have “converted.” Then you have your zealots. Have you ever seen a “debate” between “doubters” and “zealots” on the issue of climate change? It is not edifying, mainly due to the zealots inability to reason and listen to another view. They tend to sink into ridicule – an arrogant defence. Often the defence of “religious” people.

Manmade global warming is, despite claims the “science is settled.” a theory and nothing more than a theory – with less credible evidence to support its claims than the “scientifically” supported theory of evolution.

Yes. The adherents of belief in manmade global warming are involved in a religious belief. It is a false religious belief and it is based on fear. Its adherent’s talk of pending catastrophe on a worldwide scale. They claim that drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions must be made “to save the planet.” It is in a real sense a “salvation religion.” It has its dogma and its mantra. It is a false religion based on the belief that man is in charge and driven by fear that uncontained CO2 emission driven climate change will result in cataclysm for the world. The threat of nuclear war takes a back seat for these “true believers.”

Jesus Christ said, “When the son of man comes, will He find faith?” The answer has to be yes. Abundant, misplaced faith in many false religions, including the latest false religion on the scene, global warming - supported by bad science.

 

Breaking News Stories
Go here for the latest news stories on this subject. –news stories added 1 March 2008
 
Further reading:
Books
The Deniers by Lawrence Solomon
 
21 Century Watch
Topsy Turvy Weather! What is going on?
 
Our Commentary
Extreme Weather–Better Reporting or Prophetic Trend?
Weather In Chaos! 

Feature Page: Evolution

 
Resources
Global warming controversy Medieval Warm Period Little Ice Age
Kyoto Protocol Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory
Senate Article — Global Warming Skepticism Mars Odyssey  
 

Photo:  Symbol for Global Warming