It’s About Freedom, Not Climatology
by Floy Lilley
by Floy Lilley
When Vaclav Klaus, who has just won reelection as President of the Czech Republic, states that he has comparative advantage over other speakers on the issue of Climate Change, he is trenchantly correct. Klaus lived under the last large central planning scheme – communism. He rejects the offer to live under the even more draconian central plan of our time – climate alarmism and environmentalism.
Klaus explained his déjà vu vantage point to over five hundred participants at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change assembled at Times Square New York City on March 2–4. Stressing his personally acquired wisdom, Klaus said, "Future dangers will not come from the same source [communism]. The ideology will be different. Its essence [environmentalism and climate alarmism] will, nevertheless, be identical – the attractive, pathetic, at first sight noble idea that transcends the individual in the name of common good, and the enormous self-confidence on the side of its proponents about their right to sacrifice the man and his freedom in order to make this idea a reality."
"What I see in Europe and the U.S.," Klaus cautioned, "is a powerful combination of irresponsibility, of wishful thinking, of implicit believing in some form of Malthusianism, of a cynical approach of those who are themselves sufficiently well-off, together with the strong belief in the possibility of changing the economic nature of things through a radical political project."
Klaus focused on facts that showed that decreases in CO2 emissions in the EU have come about because manufacturing radically disappeared when the communist economy collapsed. Future decreases appear to rely on miracles or the deliberate pushing of the EU countries back into the Dark Ages. Carbon dioxide decreases are not normal for growing and prospering civilizations, given current technology. Most of those assembled would not consider such decreases to be either needed or desirable.
Klaus brought to our attention that the thinking of the climate alarmist is the same as Hayek’s portrayal of central planners in The Fatal Conceit. He boldly challenged the large assembly, "We have to restart the discussion about the very nature of government and about the relationship between the individual and society. [Freedom] should be the main message of our conference."
The aim and objective of this stimulating gathering was to collapse the fake "consensus" on human-induced catastrophic global warming. Achieving this is a necessary step toward turning climate alarmism into climate realism. The step was taken. "Consensus" collapsed. Over one hundred scientists were provocative proof of the absence of "consensus" that has been touted by alarmists.
These scientists presented, exchanged and debated research showing global warming to be mostly natural, definitely moderate and realistically unstoppable. They held no consensus in their approaches or their results. Enter the dawn of climate realism.
The New York Times on Tuesday, March 4, ran an article by Andrew C. Revkin titled "Cool View of Science at Meeting on Warming." Written as a criticism, Revkin wrote that "the group…displayed a dizzying range of ideas on what was, or was not, influencing climate." That was the very point of the conference.
No "consensus" can be touted when, in fact, so many scientists do indeed dispute what data are meaningful and causative of the highly complex dynamics of climate change. Several, like Dr. Willie Soon, astrophysicist and geoscientist, displayed data showing the sun to be the more likely driver of temperature variations, as compared to carbon dioxide radiative forcings.
Howard Hayden, physics professor, concluded that astronomical phenomena cause about seventy-five percent of the fluctuations in Earth’s temperature. The combined effects of all greenhouse gases, changes in surface reflectivity of the sun’s radiation, and other Earthly changes account for no more than about three degrees Celsius of the changes during transitions between ice ages and interglacials. Hayden provided a repeatable sound bite when asked about computer models that are the basis for alarmist views. He simply said, "Garbage in; gospel out."
Dr. William M. Gray, meteorological researcher for more than forty years, contributed that the deep oceans, not carbon dioxide, are driving climate. Rather than global warming, Gray believes a recent up-tick in strong hurricanes is part of a multi-decade trend of alternating busy and slow periods related to ocean circulation patterns. Contrary to mainstream thinking, Gray believes ocean temperatures are going to drop in the next five to 10 years.
Dr. Vincent Gray, knows water vapor to be the principle greenhouse gas as others do. However, Gray emphasizes that climate models fail to reflect the fact that water vapor is extremely variable. Gray’s work finds that the global warming claim fails on two fundamental facts: 1.) No average temperature of any part of the earth's surface, over any period, has ever been made. 2.) The sample is grossly unrepresentative of the earth's surface, mostly near to towns. No statistician could accept an "average" based on such a poor sample. It cannot possibly be "corrected." Dr. Vincent Gray, a member of the UN IPCC Expert Reviewers Panel since its inception, has written to Professor David Henderson, to support the latter’s call for a review of the IPCC and its procedures. Gray’s call for such a review ends with these harsh words, "The disappearance of the IPCC in disgrace is not only desirable but inevitable. The reason is that the world will slowly realize that the "predictions" emanating from the IPCC will not happen. The absence of any "global warming" for the past eight years is just the beginning. Sooner or later all of us will come to realize that this organization and the thinking behind it is phony. Unfortunately severe economic damage is likely to be done by its influence before that happens."
Dr Roy Spencer, NASA senior scientist, produced recent evidence for reduced climate sensitivity. Background "noise" in climate systems creates temperature variations that are not random. This "noise" exceeds all of the warming that has been thought to have been made by humans. Climate models don’t handle clouds and convection in the tropics well. Precipitation systems interactively regulate the climate system. Computer models predicting climate change are necessarily flawed. Spencer releases his new book March 27, 2008: Climate Confusion – How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians, and Misguided Policies That Hurt the Poor.
Dr. Robert Balling, professor of climatology, questioned what the increase in global temperature does and does not tell us. Water vapor and non-solar control seem dominant. The theory, measurements, and understanding of the greenhouse effect are advancing rapidly, and drastically changing the original predictions from only a few decades ago. Measured warming has been nowhere near the earlier predictions, and the mathematical models are being constantly revised. Both Balling and Dr. Ross McKitrick highlighted failings in data collection. Many temperature stations have been discontinued. Technology for recording temperatures has changed. Urban heat-island effects continue. Data adjustments made by alarmists appear biased.
Dennis T. Avery, and co-author S. Fred Singer, wrote Unstoppable Global Warming – Every 1,500 Years They presented their findings and stressed, "Most of our modern warming occurred before 1940, before much human-emitted CO2. The net warming since 1940 is a minuscule 0.2 degree C – with no warming at all in the last nine years. The Greenhouse Theory can’t explain these realities, but the 1,500-year cycle does." The cycle is solar induced. Ice cores show sun, not humans, controlling Earth’s climate.
So, no consensuses surfaced.
None need exist when the subjects are scientific.
Hypotheses and theories should continue to be tested.
By different skeptical approaches each scientist at this gathering proved he was courageous. Why courageous? Because, to be a climate change skeptic is political-funding suicide. Few feel they can step forward before they retire. Many, even when gathered together and taking courage from the presence of so many others, felt they had to step away from being in group pictures. Those are choices. They are respected.
Debunking the false "consensus" position of climate alarmists didn’t end with the mere conclusion of the conference. Several synchronous efforts include: A Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change. It was endorsed by scientists and researchers. The document stated clearly that "Global warming" is not a global crisis. This tangible product with many signatories declared among other points: That attempts by governments to inflict taxes and costly regulations on industry and individual citizens with the aim of reducing emissions of CO2 will pointlessly curtail the prosperity of the West and progress of developing nations without affecting climate; the furtherance of the nascent International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) publication of a current and future Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change report (NIPCC) a new journal on climate science; making video presentations from the conference online; making audio CDs of either a session or the complete conference available; enlistment of interested parties into a speakers bureau; and a 2009 London conference being planned.
This agenda is aggressive, necessary, and appreciated. Hopefully there will be many others who step up, especially in response to Vaclav Klaus’ plea that we recognize that the issue has never been global climate cooling or global climate warming. It has always and ever been about political power and control of earth’s population.
For over seventeen years I have witnessed at United Nations international gatherings so much ego, money and meeting time being poured into this global central plan to ration energy – to control carbon dioxide by controlling people. To control people by controlling carbon dioxide. To brand the stuff of life – carbon – a deadly pollutant. Political, activist and business careers, especially legal careers, now depend upon creating this new bureaucratic global layer of rules and regulations. The new-age rulers want the wealth and power that will accrue to them as they impose their centralized, consummate plans upon us.
The Czech Republic’s President stands firm, honoring the lives and liberties of his citizenry against this particular brand of fresh oppression. Would that these United States had such a courageous leader.
March 11, 2008
Floy Lilley [send her mail] is an adjunct faculty member at the Mises Institute. She was formerly with the University of Texas at Austin's Chair of Free Enterprise, and an attorney-at-law in Texas and Florida.