Monday, January 27, 2014

#27 / Eventually Facts Prevail

I regularly read The Wall Street Journal. On Friday, January 24th, the paper carried an editorial titled "Whistling Past the Wind Farm." 

According to the editorial, the European Union has abandoned country-by-country targets for greenhouse gas emissions after 2020, and this demonstrates that while everyone is committed to greenhouse gas reductions "in theory," "nobody is responsible for meeting the targets." The Journal suggests that this means that the European Union has, in fact, abandoned the idea that we should actually try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Evidence of this change in policy is not only the elimination of country-by-country reduction targets but also the efforts of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to "push through cuts in wind and solar subsidies."

In many ways, The Wall Street Journal is a house organ of the oil industry. The Journal doesn't like anything that remotely resembles an effort to reduce the combustion of hydrocarbons, and the news that the European Union may be giving up on the effort is very "good news" from The Journal's point of view. 

The editorial opines that even the benighted Obama Administration will ultimately have to get with the program, and give up the absurd notion that governments should change national policies so that we reduce carbon emissions to the atmosphere. The Journal puts it this way: "Eventually facts prevail, even in Washington."

With my apologies to The Journal for using their own language to a contrary purpose, I truly hope that The Journal is right, and that "eventually facts prevail." I would hope that this will be true in Washington, in Europe, in Asia, and in the editorial offices of The Wall Street Journal. The "facts" are that the world is heating up, and that we are all at risk, and that we should be doing everything we possibly can to minimize and eliminate our contribution to the phenomenon. 

If facts don't prevail, we are all going to be in very hot water indeed. Until, perhaps, we are not around anymore. 

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  1. The "Just Facts" web site cited is an incredibly important resource. I hope you have the time to read it thoroughly and dispassionately.

    You'll find after reading all the citations on this site that, in fact, "The Facts" are that the world is NOT heating up. Global average surface temperature has been increasing since around 1700 AD, as the global climate recovers from the Little Ice Age.

    But "The World" is not heating up. "The World" is slowly cooling and has been for the past 2000 years. This long cooling trend is due to natural solar cycles caused by the elliptical orbit of the sun around the moon that precesses over 25,000 years, changing the relationship between the sun and the earth. This, in combination with the sun's interior magnetic cycles, causes the earth's ice ages and interglacial periods.

    We are now at the end of the Holocene interglacial, trembling at the abyss before we plunge into the next glacial advance. Just as in every other glacial cycle, global average surface temperature and CO2 have increased concurrently until the point where interglacial ends and the next cold period begins.

    This didn't begin with the Industrial revolution. This has been going on for 2.5 million years in the most recent glaciation.

    There's no reason to think that this interglacial/glacial advance is any different than the four other interglacial/glacial advance series that have preceded it

  2. "Just the facts" is an oversimplification and leaves room for trolls like Hayduke.

    Science is a process that involves theory and evidence (also called "facts").

    Anthropogenic climate change due to greenhouse gas emission from the burning of fossil fuels is predicted by basic theory, computer models, and confirmed by the evidence.

    All the evidence (ice cores, recent air/surface/ocean temperature measurements, net glacial melting, insolation from space satellites, etc.) agrees with the consensus theory.

    All this evidence STRONGLY CONTRADICTS with Hayduke's hypothesis, that recent warming can be explained by ice solar cycles alone.

    1. I'm always disappointed when posters resort to name-calling. Calling someone a troll stifles discussion and says more about the name caller than the recipient of such vituperation.

      Careful readers will note that I did not say "recent warming can be explained by ice (sic) solar cycles alone." I merely explained the natural solar cycles that have geologically resulted in repeated glacial advances.

      There is no "consensus theory" that human produced CO2 alone is causing the present increase in global average surface temperature. While anthropogenic CO2 (5% of total CO2 production) may influence natural climate variation, it's contribution is far outweighed by natural climate cycles.

      Therefore, draconian economic measures can do little to change natural climate variation. Rather than attempting the impossibility of "stopping" climate change, we must accommodate and adapt to natural climate variation such that whatever future climate brings, we can continue without undue negative impact to human societies and the natural world.

    2. This is you.

      This is scientific consensus.

    3. Waving the IPCC URL is no guarantee of scientific rigor. The IPCC is a United Nations policy organization, an arm of the UN's Sustainable Development program.

      In fact, there is as much disagreement within the IPCC as there is in the broader scintific community.

      "Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007." U.S. Senate, Environment and Public Works Committee, Minority Staff Report (Inhofe), December 20, 2007.

      Page 7: "Dr. Richard Courtney, a UN IPCC expert reviewer and a UK-based climate and atmospheric science consultant: "To date, no convincing evidence for AGW (anthropogenic global warming) has been discovered. And recent global climate behavior is not consistent with AGW model predictions.' "

    4. I'll just leave you to your lonely science denial.


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