I spotted the question and thought it would be worth answering.
Global warming is the theory that continued increasing levels of burning fossil fuel will result in catastrophic warming of the world. Like all similar scares, it is based on a little bit of science and a lot of hype and arguments not so much “ad adsurdem” but “ad profitem”.
There has been a measurable increase in CO2 levels. It can be argued how much of this is due to burning fossil fuels, but let’s not get bogged down in such detail. CO2, being a complex gas, readily exchanges energy with Infra red. Note, I haven’t said: “absorbs” infrared, because it’s a two way thing. It both emits and absorbs IR energy.
The bulk of the light from the sun passes through the atmosphere without getting absorbed (unless it is cloudy). It heats the ground (or clouds) and that surface then looses heat by a combination of water evaporation, wind cooling and emission of IR.
If you ignore all the other complexity of the atmosphere and just consider the IR cooling of the earth’s surface, increasing the CO2 will tend to block the heat loss from the ground leading to an absolutely massive and earth shattering rise of around 1C “if we continue to rapidly increase fossil fuel use as before”.
To put that in perspective. Urban areas are often a few degrees higher than the surrounding country. So, the total sum of the “science” if you discount everything else is that the whole globe will warm less than the typical city.
But, this ignores many important aspects. To take one, the atmosphere isn’t static as the model requires. Instead, around half the heat is lost via evaporation. Evaporation causes the air to rise (humid air is less dense). As the air rises, it expands, and whilst the energy in the air remains the same, its temperature drops until it can no longer hold the water and it forms clouds. That cloud formation dumps huge amounts of energy into the air (around half the sun’s energy). This transfer of heat from the surface takes it above the majority of the atmosphere (80% is in the troposphere where this active cooling happens). That active cooling needs a heat sink, and obviously as a vacuum can’t conduct, that heat is lost via IR emission to the cold of space. The fact that so much of the cooling occurs above the bulk of the atmosphere bypasses the whole so called “greenhouse effect” of CO2 because paradoxically, in the cooling cycle, the greater IR activity of CO2 means that it helps cool the climate – it actively helps cooling. What’s more the static model clearly ignore the clouds. Anyone sitting outside on a cloudless night knows heat rapidly escapes without clouds – or visa versa, clouds retain the majority of heat.
And if this weren’t bad enough. Recent work with the latest gas spectral data now suggests that even the 1C warming may be a vast overestimate.
“economics” with the truth
Because climate “scientists” (in quotes as real scientists wouldn’t do it this way) can’t explain why the temperature readings in the last century increased … OK, more accurately they reject the suggestion that urban heating and automation accounts for the vast bulk of the change … because they have readings that went up more than any science would allow, they invented a mythical force called “positive feedback”. Like the “force” in starwars, this is something that exists and has effects without needing to be explained. It is included in all the “scientific” models accounting for the vast bulk of the doomsday warming, without being based on real science.
So, rejecting the simple explanation that the temperature readings were never set up to measure fractions of a degree and that most sensors have suffered from the increased heat in urban areas and local heated dwellings, and the effect of changes to farming on local land temperature. Ignoring all the simple explanations, they said: “you’ve got to explain this warming, and as no one can (ha ha!) it must be due to a magical new force of nature: positive feedback that increases the real science by 300% to make our models match the (error prone) temperature readings.
Now, having fabricated a totally bogus model saying that “warming = 3x the real science” (6x if latest spectral data is accurate). They then used the argument ad adsurdem to say that “because fossil fuel use has grown in the 20th century it will therefore continue to grow at the same rate until the world is literally flowing in oil and gas meters thick …”
So, ignoring the obvious fact that most of the world’s oil & gas reserves are running out, they multiplied the real science by 3 (of 6), then multiplied the current energy usage by another massive factor, then allowed themselves sufficient time to ensure that no one could ever ask for their money back as they would all be dead (100 years) and they came up with a totally bogus estimate of 1.4-5.8C rise in temperature … when we are all dead, assuming we have figured out a way to get blood (oil) out of a stone.
Having been totally economical with the truth about their predictions (which continue to fail against the real world to such an extent the Met Office have given up long term forecasts — except for the ones so far in the future they can’t be tested against reality)
… having created totally provenly unscientific predictions, they then just opened up the floodgates of eco-lies and encouraged every conceivable prediction of the effects from death of the lesser spotted goat toad to the tidal wave flooding of most of the UK. Of course, prior to this rubbish, anyone talking about the history of climate change would have pointed out that warmer periods have been better for humanity. But suddenly, “warm” meant plagues, droughts, floods, BBQ summers and “no snow” … until it started snowing and then it became “the gulf stream is switching off and there will be more snow” (until we get another mild winter)
To put it in perspective, I checked around 100 “scientific” papers looking at the effects of global warming, to see how many mentioned the obvious benefits of a warmer climate such as less winter deaths in the UK, increased crop yields in northern climes … the known benefits of warmer weather. ONLY ONE even mentioned any benefit, and as I recall that was a half hearted mention after a long discussion on the obvious doomsday awaiting us.
So on that basis, it’s probably safe to say >99% of this is “science” is crap.
Argument ad profitem
Now, for the biggest con. Let us suppose that global warming had been a real problem. How might one sensibly respond? There are basically three main responses:
- To live with it – to accept that warming will occur and address the main problems
- To cut down world energy use by reducing energy per person
- To cut down world energy use by maintaining energy use (living standards) and cutting population.
Now it doesn’t take a genius to work out that if you double world population as has happened recently, that even if you keep the same standard of living and same energy consumption, that total energy use and therefore CO2 emissions will also double.
So, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that halving world population will halve emissions (at the same standard of living). So, why doesn’t anyone ever talk about this obvious solution? We all have the same standard of living, it’s just that we have less children. Well the obvious answers are:
- There’s no profit in this solution
- The people who want to save poor mother nature … are the same kind of nurturing caring people who enjoy having children. Or to put it another way. Fast cars, big industry, etc. are quintessentially male interest, and global warming is an anti “male” crusade by the “carers” in society … carers who would prefer that men lost their hobbies rather than women. (but I digress … but it is anti-male)
And of course, where’s the profit in just living with warmer weather?
Then we have the ubiquitous solution to “global warming”: wind. Why is it that wind was the mainstay of all global warming solutions? Wind energy produces electricity. Electricity is useless as a fuel for transportation (almost 100% of transporation runs on oil). Electricity is costly to transport, it is costly to produce. There are many ways to reduce energy use by insulation, there are simple ways to gather renewable energy like large south facing windows or even solar water heating (usually pays back in a few years). So, why were we all driven down the “wind” and solar PV routes, when wind costs us money, wherease energy saving measures save us money?
Because it was an argument ad profitem. The only reason these people were pushing global warming was to sell windmills, to sell solar PV and basically to con the public out of huge amounts of money to no benefit except those dreaming up these schemes.
And lets not forget that we were told in the UK that wind would create 45,000 jobs. In truth the answer is that for every job created in wind 3.7 jobs are lost in the rest of the economy by paying for these rogues.
The same is true of academic research. Again the profit or grant motive, led a lot of academics to effusely evangelise the global warming problem … without ever looking at the science. Everyone seemed to accept that there was science somewhere, so why should any one academic actively search out the evidence for themselves when all they were doing was referring to “known science” in support of their own project to research the less spotted goat toad and the likely impact of the “inevitable” global warming which was “unquestionable science”. There’s none so blind …
And the politicians likewise jumped on the bandwagon. Clearly all the “scientists” agreed that global warming was real(ly good for getting grants). So who were they to question the science. Likewise the BBC, how could anyone deny all the scientists?
The precautionary Principle
As the evidence began to emerge that there were an awful lot of people going on about the “fact” of global warming, but little or no evidence to support this claim (imaginary 3x multipliers). A new argument developed: global warming had to be treated seriously because despite the lack of evidence: lack of evidence itself shouldn’t affect our decision given the plagues, floods, droughts, snow and BBQ winters that were about to descend on us like the hellfire and damnation that the vengeful gaia…. oops, sorry “science” told us was going to happen.
Well, let’s treat that claim with the seriousness it deserves: bullshit!
By the same logic, sooner or later a flu virus could develop that would kill the world. By the “precautionary approach” we should therefore treat all new viruses as if they were this killer virus, therefore as the threat to humanity is so great, the life of just one person who has that flu virus is a sacrifice (to stupidity) worth making. QED kill anyone with flu. In fact, since most rapists are men , men fight most wars, they drive cars, and have beards … lets castrate the lot. And don’t forget that in our nanny state … precautionary means children shouldn’t be allowed to play outside, shouldn’t touch anything which hasn’t been plastered with toxic chemicals to kill all known bugs (and mammals).
The precautionary principle is simply a way to bypass common sense. If the facts don’t support your view … scare your audience about what might happen and then say: “because that might happen we’ve got to use the precautionary principle to stop it happening”.
In short … the only time I’d advocate using the precautionary principle … is parents of the scare mongerer scum who advocate the precautionary principle … preferably backdated 9months prior to their birth!
The real evidence
The real evidence is:
- Global warming “science” does not accept the normal standards of science. Peer review is ineffective and it cannot be taken seriously as a consequence until it starts basing its assertions on the evidence and not their opinions.
- Global temperatures had a short period when they appeared to show real warming from around 1970-2000. This period coincided with a time that instrumentation was being automated and massive growth in urban heating effects as well as other possible causes of apparent heating such as reduced air particulates – which would have cleared the air particularly around urban areas where many sensors were situated.
- From 2000 global temperatures have been stable.
- The theory of Global warming was used by the Met Office to predict global temperatures for around nine years in the naughties. These were so bad at predicting the actual temperature that the Met Office stopped. In normal science this would be considered as proof that there is something wrong with the theory. No such admission has ever been found.
- Research groups have looked for trends in the level of extreme weather globally. The result “expectantly” No such trend has been found. This clearly shows that this was no “sceptic funded stooge” out to disprove real science, but a real scientist reporting the facts as they found them.
- Measured sea level has been rising for steadily (by mms/century). If CO2 was having an impact, then we would expect to see an increase in the rate of sea level rise. There is no such affect, indeed, if anything the rate of sea level rise has dropped.
- Arctic sea ice extent has dropped by around 3% over the time it has been measured. There are accounts but no measurements of a similar deficiency of ice at the beginning of the 20th century.
- Glaciers continue to melt – as they have done so since the little ice age. This may indicate a real increase in global temperature or it may not.
- Since 2007, the level of media interest in global warming has been dropping. Early this year, there was a sharp drop in interest. The BBC e.g. has dramatically changed its coverage. Whilst it is yet to report sceptical evidence as it is required, it clearly doesn’t actively suggest that each and every extreme weather event is “yet further proof of global warming”.
- Global political action is at a standstill. Whilst some politicians still continue to force through climate change legislation, they do so in opposition to the global consensus that does not support further action.