Heretics of the new religion?
Going with John Stewart Mill’s view that no-one with a strongly held belief should be afraid to have it questioned – did anyone see Channel Four’s ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’? This was not a wholesale attack on all issues environmental – it was purely a critique of the perceived causal link between human activity and global warming. A co-founder of Green Peace was one of its main contributors.
It was a very long programme, but in a nutshell (sort of) it said this:
Are we experiencing global warming this century?
Very definitely, yes.
Have CO2 levels historically risen with the temperature of the earth (as shown by Al Gore’s polar samples, for example)?
Yes they have.
Both factors rose over time, but did they rise simultaneously?
No, the data shows there has always been a consistently large time-lag between the two.
(That’s the ‘complicated’ bit Al Gore skipped over in his documentary.)
Which factor appeared first according to those same polar samples, the warming or the CO2 levels?
The warming, actually.
(Amongst other factors, oceans and their contents are slow to warm up apparently but, when they do, they release more CO2, when they get colder, they absorb more.)
Did the earth’s temperature go up with the rise in CO2 levels (man-made or otherwise) during the post WWII industrial boom?
No, it got colder. In fact there was a rather doom-laden BBC documentary in the late sixties warning of an imminent ice-age.
Has global warming generally increased again since the seventies?
Here’s the interesting part – when all the available records are put together from centuries past to the present, there is one factor that fits far more snugly on a decade by decade basis with the rise and fall of the earth’s temperature than CO2 levels and that is, solar activity. More sun spots, warmer earth and eventually… more CO2.
Were the Twenty Five Hundred ‘scientists’ included in the IPCC report’s bibliography all in agreement?
No, several eminent specialists resigned in disgust at the foregone conclusion but their names remained on the list (one has subsequently resorted to legal action to get his removed). Many on the list were mere scientific reviewers at best.
Were any of the dissenting voices (and there were many) quoted in the documentary in the pay of some vested interest?
(In fact, it became abundantly clear that to attempt to gain funding for research that didn’t back-up the received wisdom was vastly more difficult than the other way round, let alone the professional ostracism and in at least one case, death threats, suffered by those who come up with contrary findings.)
Most importantly, given their desperate need for electricity – should we be brow-beating the Third World into using expensive and inadequate solar and wind power to generate electricity instead of utilising their own cheap natural resources of oil and coal?
It was a fascinating documentary.