"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Slick Willie Speaks

President Narcissistic Swine, aka Bill Clinton, now solemnly informs the world that "climate change is real... and caused by human activities." Not so real, of course, to have induced him actually to submit the Kyoto Protocol to the Senate for ratification back in 1997; he would have received no more than ten votes in favor, and what's a little environmental destruction when his political interests are at stake?

Well, where Willie stands depends on where he (or someone) sits. So let us review the actual evidence on anthropogenic global warming, shall we?

1. Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere have increased from about 290 parts per million in 1900 to about 360 ppm today. Over 80 percent of that increase occurred after the surface temperature peak around 1940, a sequence of event inconsistent with the standard left-wing argument. Many of the same people now screaming about global warming were screaming about global cooling in the mid 1970s.

2. The evidence shows that surface temperatures 3000 years ago were about 2 degrees C higher than today, abnormally low 1500 years ago, and over a degree C warmer 1000 years ago, after which the earth entered the Little Ice Age until about the year 1700, from which surface and atmospheric temperatures now are emerging. Temperatures now appear to be a bit below or at the 3000-year average, and the evidence does not support the claim that temperatures in the 20th century were unusual compared with the previous 900 years.

3. Satellite and weather balloon (radiosonde) measurements since 1979, corrected for orbital drift, instrument calibration shifts, and other such measurement error, show an increase in lower tropospheric temperature of 0.06 degrees C per decade, or 0.6 degrees C if extrapolated for 100 years. Other recent work correcting the IPCC models yields a similar modest warming of about 1.5 degrees C over the next century.

4. Surface temperature measurements over the last century show an increase of about 0.27 degrees C; since 1940, the figure is about 0.09 degrees C if extrapolated for 100 years. We do not know if adjustments in the data for urbanization ("heat island") effects are complete.

5. Since 1979, surface temperatures have increased about 0.18 degrees C per decade. The figure for the lower troposphere is 0.06 degrees C; but the conventional IPCC models predict that the troposphere should warm more than the surface. This suggests significant modeling error in the conventional models.

6. The IPCC models predict larger effects from increased concentrations of carbon dioxide than actually observed in the satellite and weather balloon data, an outcome consistent with the hypothesis that the interactions among water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other atmospheric components tend to dampen the effects of increased concentrations of carbon dioxide.

7. Data on solar activity and surface temperatures are correlated highly.

8. Satellite measurements of global sea levels show a downward trend for most of the earth, with the exception of the eastern equatorial Pacific.

9. The data since 1940 show trend declines in the frequency and intensities (wind speeds) of hurricanes.

10. Both theory and evidence suggest that prospective anthropogenic warming will be modest and will occur for the most part in the coldest and driest air masses, particularly Siberia and western North America in the winter.

Basic global warming theory is correct: increase the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere, and the earth will warm a bit. The problem is that the conventional models in essence are disequilibrium models: The warming will cause more ocean evaporation, the resulting increase in water vapor concentrations will warm the earth even more, so water vapor concentrations will increase further, etc. This story is objectively false: The warming 3000 years ago, not caused by capitalism generally or SUVs in particular, did not yield a permanent warming. Nor is it at all obvious that a warmer earth would be worse than a cooler earth; that depends on the decrease in the value of the existing capital stock, the cost of adjustments, etc. All a topic for another day.

12 comments:

J-Deal said...

I sound like a broken record as I always link this,

But this is the best thing I have ever read on Global Warming, and how we are destroying today, by worrying about tommorow.

J-Deal said...

http://www.crichton-official.com/speeches/npc-speech.html

Forgot the link

Tom Van Dyke said...

Thanks for your rhetorical accuracy, Ben---Clinton never actually submitted Kyoto to the Senate, but they did scare him off with one of those "sense of the Senate" things (97-0) that said they'd never go for any global warming treaty that would damage our economy.

But somehow, it's still Bush's, or at least the GOP's fault, or so the implication goes.

Ex-president Pander Bear (remember that one?) said:

"If the US had a serious, disciplined effort to apply on a large scale existing clean energy and energy conservation technologies... we could meet and surpass the Kyoto targets easily in a way that would strengthen, not weaken, our economies."

Well, Clinton had 8 years of his considerable eloquence to sell this to the American public, but he was busy with other things, like making interns and other micro-initiatives.

So it's patently "do as I say" stuff, because the time to do such things was when he was president during an economic boom with no existential terrorist threat taking out major pieces of New York real estate.

But let's give him the courtesy of a hearing, in the interest of fairmindness and because he is not an unclever man:

Certainly using more expensive energy sources would not benefit the economy, so that doesn't fly. And I would think the beancounters who run American business of late, if they could figure out that not serving meals on planes could translate into hundreds of millions in savings, would already have invested in energy-saving conservation technology as self-evidently good bottom-line strategy.

Now, I would listen to arguments that some Keynesian/win-win dropping of a few hundred billion more of deficit spending into Clinton's magic beans would do the beancounters one better.

But tho I hate to summarily dismiss the other side of the aisle, I'm just not hearing this guy. Facts just not in evidence. Bush made a better case for whacking Saddam, who killed hundreds of thousands of people, even without the, um, lies.

What up, Bill? Hats with solar panels for our iPods, set your thermostat in summer to 87 and walk around naked?

Ok, maybe I am hearing this guy. Never mind.

connie deady said...

I might have read the post without the "narcissitic swine" comment. Personally I think Clinton is without much moral character, but I feel that way about Bush, too. Talking a game and acting it are two different things.

I'm not sure Clinton ever did something because it was the right thing to do, as opposed to the politically beneficial thing, but "narcissitic swine" leaves me pretty cold.

Tlaloc said...

"Not so real, of course, to have induced him actually to submit the Kyoto Protocol to the Senate for ratification back in 1997; he would have received no more than ten votes in favor, and what's a little environmental destruction when his political interests are at stake?"

Um, gee I might not be a politician but if you KNOW you aren't going to get more than 10 votes when you'd need 51 to pass then doesn't it make sense not to bother sending the issue up for a vote? Just kinda? Are you seriously arguing that Clinton is scum because he refused to take on battles he couldn't win (because of the blindness of the GOP dominated congress)?

Seems kind of an odd way for you to go, if you see what I mean.



"So let us review the actual evidence on anthropogenic global warming, shall we?"

Would you mind providing your sources, seeing as your conclusions vary drastically from the wide consensus of climatologists around the world?

Tom Van Dyke said...

97-0, tloloc. But as noted above and elsewhere by me, it's always the GOP's fault.

Connie, the swinishness is in Mr. Clinton going before foreign audiences to disagree with and attempt to discredit the legally elected government of his own nation.

On the narcissism, we all seem to agree.

connie deady said...

I wouldn't call that swinish behavior. I think of swinish as greedy. I publically disagree with Bush all the time. :)I realize the expected standard of behavior for Clinton might be higher, but I figure he's doing the country a service by persuading the rest of the world we aren't all ugly Americans like Bush.

tbmbuzz said...

The data since 1940 show trend declines in the frequency and intensities (wind speeds) of hurricanes.

Actually, this is incorrect. Atlantic hurricanes run on a 50-60 year cycle, driven by El Nino and ocean current cycles. But it is true that there is NO correlation to human activity or global warming.

But another item to add to the list is the FACT that the Martian ice caps are shrinking. Must be all those neo-con SUVs driving around on the planet!

Benjamin Zycher said...

See footnotes 7-17 at the following link.

http://www.pacificresearch.org/pub/sab/enviro/CO2-Study-12-03.pdf

The Classic Liberal Anonymous said...

Must be all those neo-con SUVs driving around on the planet!

They're looking for oil ...

Tlaloc said...

"But it is true that there is NO correlation to human activity or global warming."

Based on what precisely? Not the consensus among trained climatologists. They clearly state that human activity is a direct contribution to global warming. See the IPCC third assessment report. They conclude
"most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities".

http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/

Tlaloc said...

Ah sorry I misread your statement as saying no correlation BETWEEN human activity and gloobal warming. My apologies.