Had a 27 year old investor built a buy and hold retirement portfolio back in 1975, he would have almost certainly avoided "big oil" because President Jimmy Carter was telling the world that there was only a 10 year supply left of economical oil, and he would almost certainly have had an overweighting in stocks that would generate growing earnings during the coming ice age.
Now we have a choice. But if we wait, we will live in fear of embargoes. We could endanger our freedom as a sovereign nation to act in foreign affairs. Within ten years we would not be able to import enough oil -- from any country, at any acceptable price. Jimmy Carter
The arguments of the 1970s claiming a "coming ice age" are every bit as convincing as the arguments of the 1990s claiming "global warming," and now the 2000s claiming "climate change." Environmental fads are nothing new. Reading President Carter's energy speech highlights how the demagogic rhetoric remains the same regardless of which climate catastrophe the earth faces.
Tonight I want to have an unpleasant talk with you about a problem unprecedented in our history... this is the greatest challenge our country will face during our lifetimes...The energy crisis has not yet overwhelmed us, but it will if we do not act quickly.
The trademark urgency, the greatest challenge claims and the call to action are all symbolic of the political nature of these "causes." Back in the 1975 Newsweek article titled "The Cooling World" the proposed solution was to put black soot all over the North Pole to melt the ice. Thankfully no one rushed to implement that strategy.
Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot
President Carter went on to say:
It is a problem we will not solve in the next few years, and it is likely to get progressively worse through the rest of this century...We must not be selfish or timid if we hope to have a decent world for our children and grandchildren...We simply must balance our demand for energy with our rapidly shrinking resources. By acting now, we can control our future instead of letting the future control us.
The characteristic emotional appeal, the sanctimonious appeal of self sacrifice, the old "do it for our children" ploy, and of course the claim that man does somehow posses the power to ward off a coming ice age and energy crisis. Well, President Carter was correct about one thing, America did have to act, and she did have the power to solve the energy crisis. America voted President Carter out of office and elected President Reagan and the rest was history.
That is all it took to end the nonsensical claims of a coming ice age and end the energy shortage. It wasn't until around 1995 that the "climatologists" re-emerged, only this time pushing global warming. 15 years is about the time required for a generation to forget the past, and a new generation to occupy our school rooms, void of any knowledge of past errors.
Just reading President Carter's speech highlights why memories must be erased for these fads to take hold.
Many of these proposals will be unpopular. Some will cause you to put up with inconveniences and to make sacrifices.
The most important thing about these proposals is that the alternative may be a national catastrophe. Further delay can affect our strength and our power as a nation.
Our decision about energy will test the character of the American people and the ability of the President and the Congress to govern. This difficult effort will be the "moral equivalent of war" -- except that we will be uniting our efforts to build and not destroy.
Back in the coming ice age era, the solutions were the same as they are today during the climate change era, but with one twist. Back in the 1970's President Carter was calling for the use of coal. Funny how things can change in just a matter of years.
Because we are now running out of gas and oil, we must prepare quickly for a third change, to strict conservation and to the use of coal and permanent renewable energy sources, like solar power.
It is shocking to see just how wrong President Carter's predictions were:
Inflation will soar, production will go down, people will lose their jobs. Intense competition will build up among nations and among the different regions within our own country.
If we fail to act soon, we will face an economic, social and political crisis that will threaten our free institutions.
The reason I reviewed President Carter's speech was to remind investors not to get caught up in the environmental fad du joir, the politics or the "consensus" science. They have a history of not only being wrong, but being wrong on an epic scale, and long-term investors must understand the politics and science that back these environmental policies do decide if they are just fads or truly worthy of a long-term investment.
Because the politics of "climate change" is used as a foundation of the EPA's Renewable Fuels Standard 2 regulations, it is important to understand the "science" and controversies that surround it. The reason I claim it is "important" is because as fellow Seeking Alpha author Tristan R Brown points out, these EPA regulations are highly fluid, prone to change and highly susceptible to political pressure.
What exactly does the EPA paragraph quoted above mean? Well, like many of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's past vague pronouncements on the economy and quantitative easing that have sent the markets into a tizzy, it really means that the EPA is going to spend some time determining how to best do what it is legally obligated to do...I'm not convinced that this necessarily means that the EPA has completely given up on the future volumetric mandates...Such a waving of the white flag by the EPA would be uncharacteristic of the organization's record under the Obama administration, however, for two reasons. First, it would send to Congress the message that the EPA is unwilling to push expensive GHG emission restrictions...in the face of Congressional opposition. Second, it would mean that the EPA no longer wishes to reduce GHG emissions from the transportation sector by the maximum possible amount.
Just as coming ice age investors watched their portfolios melt with the election of Ronald Reagan, Climate Change/Global Warming/GHG investors may watch their portfolio returns go in the deep freeze if the political winds change in Washington. Considering almost the entire ethanol, solar, wind and biofuels industries are totally dependent upon government regulations for their survival, I thought it might be worth while to review the "science" behind global warming/climate change, and present the side rarely seen in print; the view of a skeptic.
First the undeniable facts:
1) The earth has been warming for the past 12,000 years. Global warming is nothing new, the trend has been in place for over 12,000 years.
2) Glaciers have been melting for over 12,000 years, there was once a full mile of ice above where I currently sit.
3) Evidence of warming is not evidence that man is causing the warming. As mentioned above, the earth has been warming since before the time of man.
4) Climate change is the norm, not the exception. There has never been a period of time on earth when climate hasn't been changing. Egypt used to be the Western World's bread basket, Vikings inhabited Greenland, Romans had wineries in Northern England and the "Little Ice Age" was one of the catalysts that triggered the revolutions of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
5) CO2 is a trace greenhouse gas with a concentration of about 400 parts per million (PPM). Man is responsible for 5% of atmospheric CO2. To put that in understandable terms, Ohio Stadium holds about 100,000 Buckeye Fans on football Saturday. If each fan represented a molecule in the atmosphere, 40 fans would represent atmospheric CO2. 2 of those fans would represent man's contribution to atmospheric CO2. The entire man made or "anthropogenic" green house gas theory or AGW is based upon those 2 molecules having the ability to alter the entire climate of the globe.
6) Water vapor is by far the most significant green house gas, it absorbs the majority of the infrared (NYSE:IR) spectrum, and its absorption almost completely matches the total atmospheric absorption of IR as well as overlaps the IR spectrum absorbed by CO2.
7) The atmosphere doesn't warm the globe, it cools it by blocking incoming radiation. Greenhouse gases don't warm the globe, they slow its cooling, just like insulation doesn't warm a house, it slows its loss of energy. The moon that has no atmosphere to speak of and has a diurnal temperature variation between -250 degree F and +250 degree F.
8) The "greenhouse gas effect" is caused by greenhouse gases absorbing IR radiation that has been emitted from the earth. The greenhouse gas effect is pretty much irrelevant during the day, as the incoming radiation falls in the visible spectrum and dwarfs the heating impact of trapping IR. This is proven by daytime temps are almost always higher than nighttime.
9) CO2 is relevant because it traps IR around the 15 micron wavelength. Treating the earth as a black body would have it with a temperature of 14.51 C emitting a peak around 10 microns (1,000 wave number). NASA uses 294 K or 20.85 C in this chart, which would have a peak radiation around 9.85 microns. NASA however has various black body temps for the earth. This report has it at 254.3 K. This highlights one of the main problems with "climate science." Many data sets simply don't match up. The 294 K black body chart lines up with 15 microns would have the average earth temp of 21 C and 254 K is -19 C. 294 K emits at 10 microns, not 15 as the chart implies, and even using 254 doesn't get the peak radiation out to 15 microns. Something is clearly wrong with either the formula used to calculate black bodies, or NASA's representation of atmospheric absorption.
10) The average global temperature is actually 14.4 C/57.92 F/287.5 K. That puts the peak black body radiation from earth at 10 microns, not 15. CO2 does not absorb at 10 microns, oxygen and ozone do. More importantly, when you calculate the black body distribution for 287.5 K, the upper and lower ranges of the distribution to not include the 15 microns that CO2 absorbs.
I think the above outline is a pretty fair representation of the climate change/anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory. The challenge for investors is to discern whether or not the science is sound, and will it be able to survive through another Carter/Reagan election. Many companies like:
BioFuel Energy Corp (NASDAQ:BIOF)
Darling International (NYSE:DAR)
ELEMENTS MLCX Biofuels Index TR ETN (NYSEARCA:FUE)
General Motors (NYSE:GM)
Green Plains Renewable Energy (NASDAQ:GPRE)
Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ:PEIX)
Renewable Energy Group (NASDAQ:REGI)
REX American Resources (NYSE:REX)
Syntroleum Corporation (NASDAQ:SYNM)
Tyson Foods Inc Cl A (NYSE:TSN)
Tesoro Corp (TSO)
Valero Energy Corp (NYSE:VLO)
Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM)
First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR)
SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR)
Daystar Technologie (NASDAQ:DSTI)
Ascent Solar Technologies (NASDAQ:ASTI)
Trina Solar Ltd (NYSE:TSL)
Suntech Power Holdings Co ADS (NYSE:STP)
are either totally dependent upon the RFS2 and belief in AGW, or would have their earnings negatively or positively impacted if the political winds shift. A 20 year old investor today will face 12 presidential elections before they retire, so understanding the longevity of the AGW science is critical to building a successful retirement portfolio.
This article will attempt to outline in an objective, apolitical, analytical and scientific manner the challenges AGW will have to overcome to truly be a theory worth risking a young adult's retirement assets. Everyone's heard that there is a scientific "consensus," but has anyone really looked behind the curtain to see if the wizard is real?
Challenge #1: Daytime temperatures reaching record levels flood the headlines on an almost daily basis. Daytime temperatures reaching record highs however has absolutely nothing to do with AGW.
Daytime temperature records actually work against the AGW theory. Incoming radiation during the day totally avoids the IR spectrum that is relevant to AGW. Frying an egg on the sidewalk in Death Valley isn't evidence of AGW, it is evidence that more solar radiation is reaching the earth and not being trapped in the atmosphere. Daytime temperature records are due to 1) greater solar output 2) cleaner air with less particulate matter 3) fewer clouds 4) stagnant air 5) heat absorbing material on the earth which causes the urban heat island effect and 6) combination of 1 thru 6. Once again, daytime temperature records do not prove AGW, in fact they are evidence against it. From this graphic, one can see that daytime radiation totally avoids the AGW IR spectrum as well as dwarfs its scale and impact. Ironically, If man has contributed to AGW it is not by producing CO2 but by cleaning the air. This graphic is from a text book used at PSU. It creates a real problem for the IPCC because it shows the earth's radiation doesn't line up with CO2's absorption. What overlap there is also is absorbed by H2O and H2O is measured in parts per hundred, not PPMs. This problem has not gone unnoticed by the AGW critics, and most ironic is that as the earth warms, the emitted terrestrial peak shifts to the left, away from the CO2 absorption band at the cooler 15 microns. Believe it or not, the hotter the earth gets, the less the impact CO2 has on the GHG effect. CO2 has its greatest effect when the earth is cooler (15 microns), which may be Mother Nature's way of ensuring the earth gets a double layer of insulation when it gets cold. It also helps provide some insulation when water vapor precipitates/condensates out in extreme cold. CO2 picks up some of the slack when water vapor isn't present. 15 microns by the way lines up with a black body temperature of 192 K or -81.15 C. I'm not even sure Antarctica gets that cold in the winter months on a frequent basis.
Challenge #2: CO2 simply isn't a potent greenhouse gas (NYSE:GHG). From the above graphic one can see that CO2 absorbs a very small fraction of the IR spectrum, having 3 narrow peaks near 2.7, 4.3 and 15 microns. Water vapor on the other hand absorbs much more of the IR spectrum, including those wavelengths absorbed by CO2. More importantly, the terrestrial radiation is near 10 microns, which avoids the CO2 absorption range. O2 and O3 absorb at 10 microns. Whether or not the earth's black body radiation is at 10 microns or 15 microns depends upon the source that you choose, as noted above even NASA different values depending on where you look. Calculators however don't lie, and there are many to choose from to validate the numbers.
CO2 being a weak GHG is evidenced by desert vs rain forest diurnal temperature variations. Deserts go from extreme hot to extreme cold because there are few clouds and little water vapor in the atmosphere to trap the heat being released from the earth. Pay special attention to the term "primary" in the below quote. I've never found a source that claims atmospheric temperature variations between regions is due to different concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere, but I find atmospheric temperature variations being attributed to differing concentrations of water vapor consistently.
Humidity. Water vapor is good at absorbing and giving off longwave radiation (energy that's released from the Earth) as well as absorbing in the near-infrared part of solar radiation, which reduces the amount of daytime energy reaching the surface. Because of this, daily highs are typically lower in humid environments than they are in dry environments.
This is a primary reason why desert regions experience some of the most extreme day-to-night temperature fluctuations.
Ironically temperature variations in Antarctica are also blamed upon water vapor, not differences in CO2.
Temperatures during the austral summer rarely exceed -20°C and during the winter months temperatures are often around -60°C. Precipitation is usually snow in the form of 'diamond dust' - tiny ice crystals formed from the sublimation of water vapour in a clear, but intensely cold atmosphere - averaging less than 50mm (water equivalent) per year. Near the coast there is greater seasonal variation in temperature, and in the austral summer, temperatures can warm to around 0°C. Due to the lower altitude and latitude the air is warmer than inland, so enabling it to hold a lot more water vapour
Challenge #3: If AGW were occurring, we would see a narrowing of the earth's diurnal temperatures, as more energy would remain trapped in the atmosphere at night. We would also see a greater number of nighttime temperature records set verses daytime temperature records. Daytime records being set would be expected to result in nighttime records also being set, so one would need to see a greater percentage of nighttime records being set to attribute it to AGW. That is in fact exactly what has been happening.
Does that prove CO2 and AGW is the cause? Nope, once again, water vapor is the culprit. Hotter days results in more evaporation and atmospheric water vapor. Oddly, after explaining how water vapor and clouds were the cause, the nighttime warming is used to validate the climate models. If that is the case, the climate models prove H2O, not CO2 is the cause of night time warming.
I spoke with Phil Duffy, Climate Central's chief scientist, about why nighttime lows are warming faster than the daytime highs. He replied that the answer isn't straightforward, and then he referred me to research that has shown that an increase in cloudiness (as well as a few other factors) has warmed nights more than days. During the day, clouds both warm and cool, as they act like a blanket to reflect heat back to the surface (warming), but they also reflect sunlight back to space (cooling). At night, they only warm temperatures, acting like an insulating blanket. Thus, nights warm more than the days, and this is exactly what climate models predict. In fact, this is a good example of climate models making a prediction (warmer nights), and then having the prediction born out by the data.
Challenge #4: CO2 levels are at records never seen before in history. That is Al Gore's famous claim as he lifts himself with a fork lift to reach the level of atmospheric CO2 in his documentary An Inconvienient Truth.
Al Gore's chart however does far more damage than good for the AGW theory.
1) The bottom chart (lite blue) is temperature. It shows temperatures falling as CO2 is ascending to all time highs.
2) The charts show multiple peaks in temperature, all above the level we are at today, and all occurring with apparently far less atmospheric CO2.
3) CO2 is shown to lag, not lead, temperature, as would be required if CO2 was the causative agent. Using Al Gore's chart as evidence of AGW would be like claiming that lung cancer causes smoking.
4) Records show CO2 has reached 7,000 PPM, and at levels of 4,000 or 10x the level we are at today the earth fell into an ice age. Temperatures have also been much warmer than today for expended periods of time.
Challenge #5: The earth is not warmest it has been in over 1,000 years. According to the first Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC report the earth is about in the middle of the normal temperature range. The IPCC chart also shows the medieval warming period as well as the little ice age, two very well documented historical events.
The obvious problem this created for the IPCC is how can it claim a "scientific consensus" that man's production of CO2 is causing AGW when the data the IPCC provided as evidence proved just the opposite? How could there be a "consensus" when there was no warming? If man has caused record levels of CO2, then the IPCC needed a chart that showed record temperatures, and that is exactly what was produced in the 3rd IPCC report in 2001.
I'll leave it to the readers to struggle with how there can be a scientific "consensus" when the data for the most significant variable of any climate model hasn't even been settled.
Challenge #6: Warming has stopped, yet CO2 continues its unaltered march upward. Global warming ended over a decade ago, in fact climate forecast models are on the verge of being rejected at the 95% confidence level.
Challenge #7: Many "peer reviewed" articles have been written about how global warming is causing the earth's glaciers to melt. In this video The Ohio State University's Byrd Polar Research Center's Dr Lonnie Thompson reviews how the tropical glaciers are disappearing due to AGW. His arguments are extremely convincing and his photos are very dramatic, but according to the leaked climate gate e-mails, they are all misleading and at best reflect a half truth. According to the leaked e-mails, Dr Thompson believes the disappearing tropical glaciers are due to "sublimation" not AGW. I challenge anyone to find that explanation in any "peer reviewed" scientific journal articles written by Dr Thompson, but it can be found in the leaked e-mails.
I've heard Lonnie Thompson talk about the Kilimanjaro core and he got some local temperatures - that we don't have access to, and there was little warming in them. The same situation applies for Quelccaya in Peru and also some of his Tibet sites. Lonnie thinks they are disappearing because of sublimation, but he can't pin anything down. They are going though. Lonnie's email is "Lonnie G. Thompson" [Phil Jones]
At 10:32 16/09/2004, you wrote:
phil <> we have been concerned that people often use the melting glacier on kilimanjaro as an example of impacts of man-made warming. you may have seen some stories countering this on the sceptics websites. I got philip brohan to look at temps there (see attached) and there isnt any convincing consistent recent warming in the station data. but your gridded CRUtem2V does show a recent warming. presumably that is because (as philip suggests) the gridded stuff has influences from quite a large radius, and hence may reflect warming at stations a long way from kilimanjaro? would you agree that there is no convincing evidence for kilimanjaro glacier melt being due to recent warming (let alone man-made warming)? be grateful for your help cheers
geoff Dr Geoff Jenkins Head, Climate Prediction Programme Hadley Centre
The poster child for AGW is Africa's Mt Kilimanjaro's glacier. The Mt Kilimanjaro glacier is at 19,340 ft, 5,000 above the freeze line and it never gets above freezing. I find it shocking that in none of these "peer reviewed" articles no one ever seemed to ask the obvious question, what temperature is the air around the glacier, and has it been warming? Ice simply doesn't "melt" in sub zero temperatures, you don't need to be a NASA rocket scientist to know that.
Challenge #8: There is no "scientific consensus." There are many scientists that challenge the AGW theory, in fact the US Senate keeps a list of them. One of the greatest minds the world have ever known, Freeman Dyson, is a skeptic...as all true scientists are. Additionally, science isn't determined by the popular vote, science isn't determined like the Miss America Pageant or Prom Queen election, it is determined by scientific experimentation and data driven results based conclusions. Climate science is unique in its reliance upon "opinions,""consensus," "herd/group mentality,""us vs them public education campaigns" and highly subjective computer models over actual scientific research and experimentation.
There are no experiments a scientist can run about the climate in 100 years without the use of a time machine. Computer models aren't facts or evidence of anything. Every financial major firm has a computer model of the S&P 500 and there is never a consensus reached between investment firms, nor is there ever a consensus of weathermen regarding the weather 5 days in the future. The S&P 500 and short-term weather forecasts are relatively simple, and yet we can reach a "consensus" on the climate of the future which is infinitely more complex? The belief that there can be a scientific "consensus" on a computer model based science relying upon multi-variables forecasting of anything in the future is simply beyond any statistical capabilities that I know to exist. If they did, every major Wall Street firm would have climate scientists running their statistics and modeling departments. I've never seen a credible multivariable forecast model reach anywhere near the 98% confidence the climate scientists claim proving that the science is "settled." As I said above, you can't even reach 98% confidence with a weather forecast going out just 5 days.
Challenge #9: The "peer review" process is deeply flawed. The leaked e-mails expose collusion in writing journal articles by some of the most prominent peer reviewed scientists. Scientists were found to be discussing statistical techniques in order to "hide the decline" in temperatures using something called "Mike's nature trick." This video does a good job reviewing the article and meaning of the e-mails. The man in the video is Steve McIntyre who is responsible for debunking the temperature chart used in the 3rd IPCC report called the "Hockey Stick." The very fact that a non-academic could find deep flaws in the peer reviewed and celebrated "Hockey Stick" pretty much proves there are serious issues with the peer review process. The "Hockey Stick" was the main temperature chart used by the IPCC to support its claim of AGW, and none of its obvious flaws were caught in the peer review process.
Challenge #10: If the earth was warming at an increasing rate, glaciers would be melting at an increasing rate, sea levels should be increasing at an increasing rate...but they aren't. The slope of the sea level has actually been falling. And the current rate of increase of about 3mm/yr is insignificant when put on a historical basis.
Challenge #11: CO2 in evenly distributed around the globe so that it is about 395ppm in the lower atmosphere. The problem this creates for climatologists and the AGW theory is that it is hard to explain a difference being due to a constant. Climate models are differential equations, a change in X leads to a change in Y. Most of the warming over the last 100 years has occurred in the N Hemi, but the N Hemi is mostly land, and there are many factors other than CO2 that could alter the climate and temperatures. Roads and Cities create a known "urban heat island effect" which has absolutely nothing to do with atmospheric CO2.
The S Hemi however is mostly water and undisturbed by man, so it give a far better representation of the true natural climate and any impact CO2 would have. The temperature increase in the S Hemi is only 3/4th that of the N Hemi. Both N and S Hemi have equal CO2, so the higher temperature increase in the N Hemi can not be attributed to CO2, it has to be due to something else. Constants can't cause changes, at least not in a differential equation. Any real scientist would know this, and the N Hemi temperature data would be adjusted "controlling" for the non-CO2 factors that increase the variability and magnification of the N Hemi temperatures. Using the S Hemi as a true representation of temperatures undisturbed by man and yet subject to CO2 increases, global temperatures have only increased 9/10th a degree C over the last 100 years, and most importantly the trend has remained essentially unchanged, if anything the slope is flattening.
Challenge #12: The IPCC climate models are very very close to being rejected at the 95% confidence level on the downside. The current temperatures are resting right on the limit of the 95% confidence band, and if temperatures remain flat through the end of the year, the temperatures will fall in a range that would reject the model at the 95% confidence level.
Temperatures must be up by more than 1/2 degree C from 1960 for the model to remain valid. Current temperatures are right at that level, but appear to be reversing trend. If the temperature trend does reverse by year end, or even the and of next year, the IPCC's model will be rejected at the 95th percentile level. It has already been rejected at the 75th percentile level.
Challenge #13: Multivariable models are inherently inaccurate. Each variable added brings its own error into the model, and having multiple variables with multiple errors simply compounds the problem. Data sets can be highly accurate when the value is directly measured such as a speed when measured with an atomic clock, or less accurate when a proxy is used. Proxies by definition are less accurate, ie has greater error, than the actual event being measured. Climate "science" uses proxy data in multi-variable models, and yet they will claim models with 95% accuracy. I highly doubt tree rings, coral, sea sentiment and ice cores have 95% accuracy when estimating temperature alone, let alone once they are thrown into a multi-variable model. The claims by climate "scientists" simply defy everything I've ever been taught in science and statistics. There is no way to truly know what historic temperatures were, so that alone makes this "science" more speculation than "science." When I was a child Dinosaurs were slow moving gray lizards, today they are brightly colored ancestors of the birds. Prehistoric is just that, prehistoric, we don't have a history of what really happened, so the errors in such "theories" are huge.
Challenge #14: Data sources of global temperature measurements are constantly changing. Early data mostly reflected the N Hemisphere, and as time progressed, S Hemisphere stations were added. Global temperature charts that show a gradual temperature increase over time fail to disclose that early temp data was from the N Hemisphere, and late added in the S Hemisphere. Adding sources from different latitudes and areas where it is summer when the N Hemisphere is winter dramatically alter the character of the data. Here is a video highlighting how the data samples dramatically change over time. Compare 1881 to 1934 to 2010 and ask yourself could those samples possibly give a consistent measure? Ask that question to a statistician. Also look at 1990 and how a huge number of weather stations drop out with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Here is the chart created from those ever changing weather stations. Don't you think adding warmer locations to the sample might have a bit to do with the warming?
Worse yet, temperatures used by warming advocates collected from land-based thermometers are continually "adjusted." They don't remeasure the temperature. They change it. As Australian climate watchers David Evans and Jo Nova point out, "they are still changing the temperature record for the 1970s, 30 years later, and always in the direction of making recent warming seem worse."
We are told to trust people, who never seem to adjust questionable raw data to lessen the alleged threat.
It's a tragedy that we can't trust the science because of agenda-driven scientists. But it is more than an academic exercise. Global warming alarmists' temperature claims have driven political agendas across the world for decades.
The latest stampede to combat dreaded global warming says $100 billion a year must be paid by nations with more money to nations with less. If you are suspicious that this is more of a wealth redistribution than a climate-cooling maneuver, congratulations. It is.
Challenge #15: Atmospheric temperature and atmospheric H2O are highly correlated. Where water vapor is, warm air exists. No such correlation exists between atmospheric CO2 and atmopspheric temperature.
Challenge #16: The most accurate data set out there, satellite data, basically shows little warming since 1980. The 13 month moving average of temperatures was the same in 1980 as it was in 2008. Warming since 1980 is about 0.15 degree C. Using the highly inaccurate, inconsistent and ever changing methodology and samples of land and sea measurement data, global temperatures have increased about 4.5 degree C. The only way to conclude that we are experiencing global warming is if one deliberately chooses the less accurate data set. Here is a graphic to demonstrate the differences.
Challenge #17: This is the model vs actual temperature chart from the AR4 (Assessment Report #4). It clearly shows the temperature way outside the 95% confidence ban. Additionally it shows no warming over the last 10+ years. Over the last 10+ years many many many natural weather phenomenon has been blamed on global warming, yet the IPCC's own data demonstrates that there has been no global warming. How does the press report on this? Take a look. Clearly they fail to teach elementary science in our journalism schools.
Challenge #18: Climate change is real, in fact, climate change in the norm for the climate. Want to spoil a cocktail party of climate scientists? Simply ask them when has the been a period when climate wasn't changing? This chart is the longest continual temperature record. It dates back to 1659. The Little Ice Age existed from the 15th or 16th century to the 19th century, so from the temperature data we are just getting our temperatures above those levels considered to be abnormally cold. It should be no surprise that the warmest temperatures on record are occurring now, considering the starting point was the Little Ice Age.
From the above chart it is clear that temperature swings in the past were much larger, and the variability of temperatures have moderated. In the early 1700s, temperatures went from over 10 degree C to under 7 degree C in a matter of years. We are getting back to the pre-Little Ice Age values, and that should be considered a good thing, not a bad thing. Unfortunately people like Al Gore are out scaring people with his "climate bubble" fearmongering.
Challenge 19: It often isn't so much as what the Climate "Scientists" say, it is what they don't say. So much of their argument is cherry picked anecdotal evidence. Here is a photo of the Ross Ice Shelf labeled with "melt fissure from hot water from volcano." I've never seen peer reviewed research on how volcanoes are melting the Antarctic ice shelves, I've never seen photos like this used in any public presentation on global warming and Al Gore certainly didn't highlight volcanoes in his movie. I only know of this photo because I stumbled upon it browsing around the Byrd Polar Research Center's website. You can use a reverse search engine like TinEye to see where this photo resides. I can't seem to find it on the University Sites anymore. Here is a link to a write up about the volcanic event. The numbers represent temperature, so one needs to ask why ice melts in areas where it is 21 degrees F, and how would CO2 cause such large temperature changes in such a small area?
Challenge 20: New evidence is really pointing towards the past being warmer, and that we are headed for a long period of cooling. Ironically Climate "Scientists" played down the roll of the sun when it comes to warming and cooling. I've personally attended events hosted by Dr Lonnie Thompson when he uses images of vegetation being exposed by a receding glacier claiming that the vegetation was buried 5,000 years ago in ice. That isn't evidence of global warming, that is evidence that things were as warm or warmer 5,000 years ago when CO2 was at a much lower level.
He also sent part of it to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for carbon dating. The scientists at these labs independently determined that the plant (a type of moss; Distichia muscoides) was about 5,200 years old!
Challenge 21: The climate alamists don't even seem concerned with conveying the truth. I recently watch a CNN interview where Sierra Club CEO Michael Brune made one unsupportable claim after another. It was only a matter of time before someone did a fact check to get to the truth. You can watch the video here, and what I found so frightening is the complete and utter ease at which Michael Brune was able to repeat his misinformation. I encourage everyone to simply look up the data supporting Michael Brune's comments. The data simply doesn't support his claims. The Sierra Club seems to be willing to risk the credibility of all environmental groups, the EPA, the Government at large, our primary educational system and our higher educational system to push their anti-conventional energy pro-alternative energy agenda. If their agenda truly has merit it should stand or fall upon its own merits, not require support by half-truths, misrepresentations and outright lies. CO2 traps heat, there is no mechanism by which CO2 can cause cooling, and Al Gore's chart proves climate change is a constant. The are no flat periods on Al Gore's charts, so if we didn't have climate change, that would be abnormal. Can you find a flat period on this chart? I can't. Climate Change is the norm, no climate change is abnormal.
Challenge 22: Misdiagnosis results in a failed treatment plan. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Facts are there are many many many problems this world faces that aren't caused by global warming, and yet blamed on global warming. We haven't had global warming for over a decade and headlines are claiming recent weather activity on climate change. The recent bee population decline and countless other phenemonon are blamed upon global warming. This recent article discusses the frog decline, and makes a good point, the finger shouldn't automatically be pointed at global warming. The reason being that if you automatically blame a bogus cause like global warming, you will fail to discover the real cause, and therefore be unable to cure the illness. Blaming climate change/global warming is simply scientific malpractice and intellectually lazy and dishonest. Worst yet, it results in solutions that won't solve the problem. Here is an article where a typhoon is being used as an excuse to loot our oil companies. Last I looked oil companies don't burn fuel, they manufacture it. You and I burn the fuel in our cars. Oil companies are simply fulfilling a demand that we create.
Challenge 23: CO2 blankets the globe with an even concentration, CO2 is the same above the oceans as it is over the land. The problem is, if CO2 was the main drive of temperature, temperature increases would be the same above land as they are over sea. From these following charts it is obvious that that isn't the case. Land measurements are the ones most susceptible to errors like the urban heat island effect. Between 1910 and 1945 land temperatures increased at a rate of 0.046 degrees/year. Between 1978 and 1995 temperatures increased at 0.074 degrees/year. Clearly there appears to be an acceleration in temperatures. Temperatures between 1945 and 1978 temperatures FELL by an average of 0.042 degrees/year, yet CO2 increases remained unchanged.
Over the oceans, temperatures are much less dramatic. Between 1910 and 1945 land temperatures increased at a rate of 0.06 degrees/year. Between 1978 and 1995 temperatures increased at 0.035 degrees/year. Unlike land temperatures that accelerated over this time period, ocean temperatures are decelerating. Temperatures between 1945 and 1978 temperatures FELL by an average of 0.052 degrees/year, yet CO2 increases remained unchanged.
The global land and sea temperatures shows yet another story. Between 1910 and 1945 land temperatures increased at a rate of 0.057 degrees/year. Between 1978 and 1995 temperatures increased at 0.047 degrees/year. By combining the two data sets the charts appear to show relatively constant rates of increase, but that clearly isn't the case. Temperatures between 1945 and 1978 temperatures FELL by an average of 0.053 degrees/year, yet CO2 increases remained unchanged.
Clearly the above three charts demonstrates the flaws in using ground and ocean measurements. The most accurate and consistent of the two, ocean measurements, shows an actual decrease in the rate of change of temperatures even with an increase in CO2. From 1979 to 1997 satellite temperatures showed an increase of -0.25 to 0.65 for an increase of 0.047 degrees/year, but there is no trend like that seen in the land and sea measurements, satellite date is essentially flat with a spike in 1997. Temperatures in 2009 are unchanged from 1980.
In reality, what the most recent evidence is showing is that natural phenomenon like El Nino pump heat from the deep oceans to the ocean surface and atmosphere resulting in the measured warming. That is why warming tracks El Nino, not atmospheric CO2.
Challenge #24: Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts, it isn't about confirming a "consensus." Science is about the belief that the entire world is wrong and then setting out to prove it. Einstein isn't remembered because he ran a bunch of experiments to confirm the consensus, he is remembered because he proved the consensus wrong. The Wright Brothers, Christopher Columbus, Galileo, Leonardo da Vinci and Newton aren't remembered because they agreed with what they were being taught, they are remembered because they proved that the entire world was wrong and they were right. Real science is done by those who aren't afraid to say others are wrong, and when they do, they back it up with facts. Real science isn't about herd mentality, group think or conformity, real science is about rocking the world at its very foundation. Real scientists don't play well with others.
Real science simply doesn't exist in the almost entirely government funded climate science departments of our universities. I am continually amazed at how existing text books totally debunk the CO2 driven global warming theory, and yet climate scientists just seem willing to ignore the flaws in their theories. Greenhouse gases have 3 methods of radiating heat 1) electronic 2) vibrational and 3) rotational. CO2 is a weak greenhouse gas because it is symetric and has no dipole. This limits CO2 to just vibrational heat transfer. CO2 additionally is a trace gas, occupying only 400 parts per million of the atmosphere. H20 on the otherhand is bent, has a permanent bipole and tranmits heat through vibrational AND rotational means. H20 can also reach 4 parts per 100 in the atmosphere. Most importantly, H20 absorbs almost 100% of the infrared spectrum or IR.
It is seen that nearly all of the outgoing infra-red radiation from the earth's surface is absorbed by water vapour except for the window between 8 and approximately 15 microns
The drive to somehow implicate CO2 is so strong however that the climate "scientists" can't just leave well enough alone. Following the above quote, the author just had to mention CO2.
However, CO2 is strongly active in this window with an absorption band between 14 and 16 microns.
That is in fact an accurate statement, but is irrelevant to global warming here on earth. Don't take my word for it, the author provides a graphic to prove my point. I added a vertical line to prove that the IR emitted from the earth mostly misses CO2 absorption range. You can see that only a small area of the right tail is absorbed by CO2, and most of that area absorbed by CO2 is also absorbed by H2O. CO2 simply doesn't absorb much of the radiation that is transmitted from earth, and what it does is consistent with very very very cold temperatures, well below the earth's average temp of 15 degree C.
These graphics highlight the area unique to CO2.
Like Al Gore's CO2 and Temperature chart proving that there hasn't been a period without climate change in the last 600k years, the above chart appears in textbooks worldwide, yet no one seems to grasp their meanings. The meaning is that CO2 driven climate change, global warming and extreme weather is a hoax, not supported by real science. Why don't you hear more dissenting views? It could be that the climate inquisition found out about such heresy, and had the heretics' books burned like what recently happened when the scientific journal Pattern Recognition in Physics failed to preach the climate gospel and was terminated. Galileo must be rolling over in his grave knowing that the government sponsored "sciences" are now those leading the witch-hunts and book-burnings in the 21st Century.
This graphic highlights that temperature drops with altitude, as does H2O concentration. CO2 is a constant 400 PPM. Also, humidity increases with temperature. That is why the tropics are hot and the poles are cold. Follow the water vapor and you find the heat. That isn't the case with CO2. There is plenty of H2O in the coastal regions of the poles, and temps are relatively warm. Go inland a few miles and temperatures plummet. As precipitation falls out of the air leaving it dry but still with 400 PPMs of CO2. CO2 isn't enough to warm the inland poles, and it isn't enough to warm other areas either.
In conclusion: History has a way of repeating itself, and for investors that base their decisions upon AGW and climate change, the 1980 presidential election provides a good case study as to what one might expect for a portfolio based on AGW. In this article I tried to review some of the problems unbiased and objective people may have if this science is ever heavily scrutinized by the US Congress. Just recently we witnessed how political pressure can influence the EPA, and if the EPA is willing to bend during an extremely supportive administration, it will likely break when there is no political support. This article is not to settle the argument whether or not AGW/Climate Change exists, only to highlight some issues that may present a problem if this issue is ever given a fair hearing in Congress. If it does, I would expect the returns of AGW based portfolios will be severely reduced, and many of the wind, solar, ethanol and other biofuels firms are almost certain to go bankrupt. In my opinion, betting one's retirement money on the hope that Toto will never looks behind the curtain to reveal that the wizard is just a man, of for the boy not to cry "the emperor has no clothes" is not a sound investment strategy.
Disclaimer: This article is not an investment recommendation. Any analysis presented in this article is illustrative in nature, is based on an incomplete set of information and has limitations to its accuracy, and is not meant to be relied upon for investment decisions. Please consult a qualified investment advisor. The information upon which this material is based was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but has not been independently verified. Therefore, the author cannot guarantee its accuracy. Any opinions or estimates constitute the author's best judgment as of the date of publication, and are subject to change without notice.
Disclosure: I am long SYNM. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.