Wednesday, 17 September 2008

bowled out

trawling for amusement across the ditch i found this one...a golden typo. anyone with sense would have left it in place as a national monument. click on the picture for the link and the full story...

and now on a more serious's a different angle on the global climate issue, well worth reading

I DEVOTED six years to carbon accounting, building models for the Australian
Greenhouse Office. I am the rocket scientist who wrote the carbon accounting
model (FullCAM) that measures Australia's compliance with the Kyoto
Protocol, in the land use change and forestry sector.
FullCAM models carbon flows in plants, mulch, debris, soils and agricultural
products, using inputs such as climate data, plant physiology and satellite
data. I've been following the global warming debate closely for years. 
When I started that job in 1999 the evidence that carbon emissions caused
global warming seemed pretty good: CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the old ice core
data, no other suspects. 
The evidence was not conclusive, but why wait until we were certain when it
appeared we needed to act quickly? Soon government and the scientific
community were working together and lots of science research jobs were
created. We scientists had political support, the ear of government, big
budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful (well, I did anyway). It
was great. We were working to save the planet. 
But since 1999 new evidence has seriously weakened the case that carbon
emissions are the main cause of global warming, and by 2007 the evidence was
pretty conclusive that carbon played only a minor role and was not the main
cause of the recent global warming. As Lord Keynes famously said, "When the
facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?" 
There has not been a public debate about the causes of global warming and
most of the public and our decision makers are not aware of the most basic
salient facts: 
1. The greenhouse signature is missing. We have been looking and measuring
for years, and cannot find it. 
Each possible cause of global warming has a different pattern of where in
the planet the warming occurs first and the most. The signature of an
increased greenhouse effect is a hot spot about 10km up in the atmosphere
over the tropics. We have been measuring the atmosphere for decades using
radiosondes: weather balloons with thermometers that radio back the
temperature as the balloon ascends through the atmosphere. They show no hot
spot. Whatsoever. 
If there is no hot spot then an increased greenhouse effect is not the cause
of global warming. So we know for sure that carbon emissions are not a
significant cause of the global warming. If we had found the greenhouse
signature then I would be an alarmist again. 
When the signature was found to be missing in 2007 (after the latest IPCC
report), alarmists objected that maybe the readings of the radiosonde
thermometers might not be accurate and maybe the hot spot was there but had
gone undetected. Yet hundreds of radiosondes have given the same answer, so
statistically it is not possible that they missed the hot spot. 
Recently the alarmists have suggested we ignore the radiosonde thermometers,
but instead take the radiosonde wind measurements, apply a theory about wind
shear, and run the results through their computers to estimate the
temperatures. They then say that the results show that we cannot rule out
the presence of a hot spot. If you believe that you'd believe anything. 
2. There is no evidence to support the idea that carbon emissions cause
significant global warming. None. There is plenty of evidence that global
warming has occurred, and theory suggests that carbon emissions should raise
temperatures (though by how much is hotly disputed) but there are no
observations by anyone that implicate carbon emissions as a significant
cause of the recent global warming. 
3. The satellites that measure the world's temperature all say that the
warming trend ended in 2001, and that the temperature has dropped about 0.6C
in the past year (to the temperature of 1980). Land-based temperature
readings are corrupted by the "urban heat island" effect: urban areas
encroaching on thermometer stations warm the micro-climate around the
thermometer, due to vegetation changes, concrete, cars, houses. Satellite
data is the only temperature data we can trust, but it only goes back to
1979. NASA reports only land-based data, and reports a modest warming trend
and recent cooling. The other three global temperature records use a mix of
satellite and land measurements, or satellite only, and they all show no
warming since 2001 and a recent cooling. 
4. The new ice cores show that in the past six global warmings over the past
half a million years, the temperature rises occurred on average 800 years
before the accompanying rise in atmospheric carbon. Which says something
important about which was cause and which was effect. 
None of these points are controversial. The alarmist scientists agree with
them, though they would dispute their relevance. 
The last point was known and past dispute by 2003, yet Al Gore made his
movie in 2005 and presented the ice cores as the sole reason for believing
that carbon emissions cause global warming. In any other political context
our cynical and experienced press corps would surely have called this
dishonest and widely questioned the politician's assertion. 
Until now the global warming debate has merely been an academic matter of
little interest. Now that it matters, we should debate the causes of global
So far that debate has just consisted of a simple sleight of hand: show
evidence of global warming, and while the audience is stunned at the
implications, simply assert that it is due to carbon emissions. 
In the minds of the audience, the evidence that global warming has occurred
becomes conflated with the alleged cause, and the audience hasn't noticed
that the cause was merely asserted, not proved. 
If there really was any evidence that carbon emissions caused global
warming, don't you think we would have heard all about it ad nauseam by now?

The world has spent $50 billion on global warming since 1990, and we have
not found any actual evidence that carbon emissions cause global warming.
Evidence consists of observations made by someone at some time that supports
the idea that carbon emissions cause global warming. Computer models and
theoretical calculations are not evidence, they are just theory. 
What is going to happen over the next decade as global temperatures continue
not to rise? The Labor Government is about to deliberately wreck the economy
in order to reduce carbon emissions. If the reasons later turn out to be
bogus, the electorate is not going to re-elect a Labor government for a long
time. When it comes to light that the carbon scare was known to be bogus in
2008, the ALP is going to be regarded as criminally negligent or
ideologically stupid for not having seen through it. And if the Liberals
support the general thrust of their actions, they will be seen likewise. 
The onus should be on those who want to change things to provide evidence
for why the changes are necessary. The Australian public is eventually going
to have to be told the evidence anyway, so it might as well be told before
wrecking the economy. 
Dr David Evans was a consultant to the Australian Greenhouse Office from
1999 to 2005


  1. Lord help us, thank you for this post. there are so many environmental issues we need to address, but the madness perpetuated by the man-made global warming theories has distracted us from real issues. For instance, the largest dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico has been caused for fertilizing corn which is subsidized for ethanol in a time of rising food prices. And all of our gas has ethanol added, which rots the rubber in non ethanol compliant cars. agggghhh. I came over to soothe my mind. I'll be back to do so.

  2. mmm and the production of bio-fuels is increasing the deforesting AND reducing food production; double whammy!

  3. My poor grandchildren-to-be. Or maybe not...

  4. this is so very interesting... now i'm wondering why the environmentalists (of whom i'm one -- well i *was* on this issue) are continuing with the global warming story if the data no longer supports it.

  5. it's convenient to pin the blame on reality though deforestation and general emissions should probably shoulder the blame.
    encouraging people (especially the Chinese cos there are so many of them!) to get back on their bicycles and STOPPING deforestation would be a jolly good start.

    presently forests are being felled for soy plantations, and maize plantations (for so-called green fuel) and toilet paper.

    planting trees and using recycled toilet paper are two useful initiatives. wearing upcycled clothes stops them rotting in landfills. consuming less stuff in general does some good too. i could go on at length...

  6. Wow!!! I know this post is old, but i still haven't heard it.... Thanks for sharing.

  7. now one is seriously confused ... especially as that is almost 6 years ago ... :(

    1. i'm confused too. but the one thing i am clear about is that we need to stop cutting down forests and actively plant more trees.