Science & Technology

Alex Epstein: Interviews Bjorn Lomborg on The “False Alarm” About Climate Change

In Alex Epstein’s popular Power Hour podcast he interviews Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, author of False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet. Writes Epstein:

As I discussed in my review of the book several weeks ago, I think this is an extremely valuable book, on two counts above all. 1. It documents in case after case how the media and political leaders wildly distort the conclusions of mainstream climate research.2. It documents in case after case how human adaptation can neutralize climate danger. The book was recently attacked in a New York Times “review” by the famous near-socialist economist Joseph Stiglitz. Bjorn systematically refuted the pseudo-review in this impressive LinkedIn article.

On the show we discuss:

  • How trusted media sources manipulated a climate research paper to predict 187 million climate refugees when the number was actually around 300,000 (half the number of people who move out of California every year)
  • Why we always need to look for positive and negative impacts, not just one or the other
  • How many seconds worth of electricity all of America’s batteries can store today
  • The true state of solar and wind in the world today
  • How people in developing countries around the world demand “real electricity,” not the meager, unreliable electricity provided by much-heralded solar installations
  • The prospects for nuclear energy
  • Some of the crude errors of the New York Times review of False Alarm
  • How global capitalism will encourage energy progress even when specific technophobic countries reject it

Far-UVC light Kills Viruses and Bacteria in the Air without Damaging Human Cells

From “Could a New Ultraviolet Technology Fight the Spread of Coronavirus?” by Carla Cantor (April 21, 2020) Columbia News:

Scientists have known for decades that germicidal UV light (wavelength around 254 nm) has the capacity to kill viruses and bacteria. Hospitals and laboratories often use germicidal UV light to sterilize unoccupied rooms, as well as other equipment. But conventional germicidal UV light cannot be used in the presence of people as it can causes health problems to the skin and eyes.

In contrast, far-UVC light, which has a very short wavelength (in the range from about 205 to 230 nm), cannot reach or damage living human cells. But these wavelengths can still penetrate and kill very small viruses and bacteria floating in the air or on surfaces.

Far-UVC lamps are now in production by several companies, although ramping up to large-scale production, as well as approval by the Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency, will take several months. At between $500 and $1000 per lamp, the lamps are relatively inexpensive, and once they are mass produced the prices would likely fall, [Columbia researcher David] Brenner said.

In other news “YouTube removes video on possible coronavirus treatment based on UV rays“:

YouTube removed a video Friday touting an ultraviolet-based medical platform as a possible treatment for COVID-19 coronavirus. The video in question was posted by Aytu BioScience, a publicly-traded special pharmaceutical company focused on “commercializing novel products,” after the White House said there was evidence humidity and ultra-violet light could greatly affect the virus. It promoted a product called Healight, developed by Californian Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and exclusively licensed to Aytu BioScience, as per a press release published April 20.

The Google subsidiary took down the clip for “violating community guidelines” after being flagged by a New York Times reporter. Previously, YouTube said it was going to take down coronavirus content that did not follow the World Health Organization’s guidelines on COVID-19.

The basic idea by Californian Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is to put a UV light that can kill viruses but no harm human tissue within the lungs. From their press release:

Led by Mark Pimentel, MD, the research team of the Medically Associated Science and Technology (MAST) Program at Cedars-Sinai has been developing the patent-pending Healight platform since 2016 and has produced a growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating pre-clinical safety and effectiveness of the technology as an antiviral and antibacterial treatment. The Healight technology employs proprietary methods of administering intermittent ultraviolet (UV) A light via a novel endotracheal medical device. Pre-clinical findings indicate the technology’s significant impact on eradicating a wide range of viruses and bacteria, inclusive of coronavirus. The data have been the basis of discussions with the FDA for a near-term path to enable human use for the potential treatment of coronavirus in intubated patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). Beyond the initial pursuit of a coronavirus ICU indication, additional data suggest broader clinical applications for the technology across a range of viral and bacterial pathogens. This includes bacteria implicated in ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP).

“Our team has shown that administering a specific spectrum of UV-A light can eradicate viruses in infected human cells (including coronavirus) and bacteria in the area while preserving healthy cells,” stated Dr. Pimentel of Cedars-Sinai. Ali Rezaie, MD, one of the inventors of this technology states, “Our lab at Cedars-Sinai has extensively studied the effects of this unique technology on bacteria and viruses. Based on our findings we believe this therapeutic approach has the potential to significantly impact the high morbidity and mortality of coronavirus-infected patients and patients infected with other respiratory pathogens. We are looking forward to partnering with Aytu BioScience to move this technology forward for the benefit of patients all over the world.”

#MeSometimes: Tara Reade, Joe Biden and Justice Kavanaugh

In this Analysis (download) of the Christine Blasey Ford Allegations, a 25-year prosecutor of sex-crimes shows that in a criminal court of law, Dr. Ford’s accusations against Justice Kavanaugh would be found baseless.

Or in her the Prosecutor’s words,

“In the legal context, here is my bottom line: A “he said, she said” case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that. Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them. For the reasons discussed below, I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee. Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard.”

Some of the reasons for this include:

“Dr. Ford has not offered a consistent account of when the alleged assault happened.”

“Dr. Ford has struggled to identify Judge Kavanaugh as the assailant by name.”

“When speaking with her husband, Dr. Ford changed her description of the incident to become less specific.”

“Dr. Ford has no memory of key details of the night in question—details that could help corroborate her account.”

“Dr. Ford’s account of the alleged assault has not been corroborated by anyone she identified as having attended—including her lifelong friend.”

“Dr. Ford has not offered a consistent account of the alleged assault.”

“Her account of who was at the party has been inconsistent.”

Such is not the case with the account given by Tara Reade of her 1993 encounter with Biden.

The response — or rather the non-response and silence — of the Democrats and their media allies, to Tara Reade’s allegations against Joe Biden, is ominous.

It demonstrates that to the Democrats and their media allies, the #MeToo movement to “Believe Women” was nothing more than a weapon to smear their political enemies, such as Republican Supreme Court nominee, Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

It is a vivid demonstration of the moral hypocrisy of the Democratic Party and its supporters.

***

Well, not all of them.

Rose McGowan, the actress from the popular series Charmed, also a victim of convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein, slammed her co-star Alyssa Milano — a Biden supporter — on Twitter, saying:

You are a fraud. This is about holding the media accountable. You go after Trump & Kavanaugh saying Believe Victims, you are a lie. You have always been a lie. The corrupt DNC is in on the smear job of Tara Reade, so are you. SHAME https://t.co/B7NHK4k09K
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) April 6, 2020

Furthermore, according to McGowan, the Washington Post’s “report” on the Reade allegations was nothing more than “victim shaming”:

“This is not journalism, this is an agenda. This is a hit piece. You’ve sunk to a new low in slanted journalism and victim shaming @WashingtonPost …

“As a survivor, the way you launched into this woman’s assault is truly vile …. Your motto is ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness’ well I guess it’s dead because you are dark. Evil lives and it loves the DNC.”

Whether you agree with McGowan or not, at least she is consistent.

***

Of course, Biden should be held with the presumption of innocence by any objective standard.

Yet, where was this presumption in the Kavanaugh House Witch Hunt Hearings?

But the presumption of innocence — a legal application of the ethical principle of justice — is not the professed standard of the Democratic Party and the Anti-Capitalist “Progressive” New Left.

To the Democrats and their media allies, “justice” is only necessary when it can be used as a political weapon to advance their lust for power, and like the Communist call for freedom of speech, can be dispensed with when it no longer serves their unjust purpose: the destruction of the American Capitalist Republic.

***

Update: Cathy Young over at the Quilette on “Tara Reade’s Dubious Claims and Shifting Stories Show the Limits of #BelieveWomen” (March 14, 2020) examines Tara’s Reade’s allegations and does not find her top be a “credible complainant.” Writes Young:

Last week, this theater of the absurd got slightly more surreal when a prominent feminist wrote in the New York Times that she thinks Biden is a rapist, but will vote for him anyway. Linda Hirshman, a retired professor of women’s studies and philosophy, and a prolific author (most recently of Reckoning: The Epic Battle Against Sexual Abuse and Harassment), explained to Times readers that she believes Reade, but also believes that “the cost of dismissing Tara Reade—and, worse, weakening the voices of future survivors” is justified on purely utilitarian grounds, since (as she sees it) Trump is the greater evil. Hirshman argued that the Democrats’ current strategy of defending Biden’s innocence is both cowardly (since it avoids the “hard work of moral analysis”) and harmful, since it means “casting a reasonably credible complainant as a liar.”

[…]

By casting the Democratic leadership as dishonest and cynical, Hirshman is kneecapping the party she says she supports.

And she is doing it quite needlessly, because the totality of evidence suggests that Reade is in no way a “credible complainant.” Her credibility is further undermined by court documents that contradict her account of an entirely separate 1996 episode involving her ex-husband. In an ironic twist, these documents, part of Reade’s 1996–1997 California divorce files, were uncovered not through a dirt-digging expedition, but by researchers seeking evidence corroborating her allegations against Biden.

After much analysis of Reade’s complaints, she ends that whatever the outcome the Democrats have played into Trump’s hands:

Biden will probably ride out this scandal: As Hirshman candidly notes, there’s simply too much at stake in the election for Democrats to follow their #MeToo conscience. But if Reade’s claims really do sink Biden in November, the Democrats will merely be reaping what their moral panic has sowed. Hamstrung by slogans that depict half of the human population as inveterate truth-tellers incapable of dishonesty, the party has backed itself into a corner. Democrats must either stipulate that the church of #MeToo shall provide Biden with a one-off indulgence—or else urge Americans to vote for a presumed rapist. It’s hard to say which narrative would make Trump happier.

COVID-19 Roundup: (April 2020)

Fact 1: The overwhelming majority of people do not have any significant risk of dying from COVID-19.
Fact 2: Protecting older, at-risk people eliminates hospital overcrowding.
Fact 3: Vital population immunity is prevented by total isolation policies, prolonging the problem.
Fact 4: People are dying because other medical care is not getting done due to hypothetical projections.
Fact 5: We have a clearly defined population at risk who can be protected with targeted measures.

After providing evidence for the above facts he goes on to conclude:

The appropriate policy, based on fundamental biology and the evidence already in hand, is to institute a more focused strategy like some outlined in the first place: Strictly protect the known vulnerable, self-isolate the mildly sick and open most workplaces and small businesses with some prudent large-group precautions. This would allow the essential socializing to generate immunity among those with minimal risk of serious consequence, while saving lives, preventing overcrowding of hospitals and limiting the enormous harms compounded by continued total isolation.

A pandemic does not alter the role of a government. For example, it can limit the freedom of those individuals who carry the virus for limited periods to protect others, whose right to life would be violated. This could involve testing, tracing contacts, and tracking. When governments are involved in operating health care systems, as they are in most mixed economies, they would isolate nursing home residents and other vulnerable people, increase hospital capacity, and set guidelines for physical distancing—as opposed to violating everybody’s right to liberty by locking down economies.

We need to learn to appreciate progress—both what we’ve already done, and why we can’t stop now. We need to tell the amazing story of progress: how comfort, safety, health, and luxury have become commonplace, and what a dramatic achievement that has been.

More recently, in the wake of the Covid-19 virus outbreak, we’ve seen unwarranted, unprecedented violations of all three realms of freedom in America – mandates to close businesses, edicts that people stay in their homes (“shelter in place,” akin to a nationwide house arrest of innocents presumed guilty), decrees against assembling (compelling “social distancing”), orders restricting access to gun shops, even the classification of some street protests (against the illiberal controls) as prohibited because a “non-essential” activity.  We’ve yet to see challenges from the ACLU or court orders staying the rights violations. Why?

The lockdowns, whatever one thinks of them, were never sold to us as a way to eradicate the disease. They were sold as a way to “flatten the curve” so that the medical system didn’t become overwhelmed, leading to *unnecessary* deaths. […] We must open the economy as fast as we can. And we must do so while managing the disease as best we can. That includes selective isolation for the most vulnerable. (I have family members in this category…and, if it matters, they support re-opening the economy. They recognize that it would be immoral to demand that we sacrifice the whole country to reduce their odds of getting the disease.)

  • Alex Epstein’s video “A pro-freedom approach to fighting COVID-19″: (Power Hour, April 15, 2020):

If you’re seeking to avoid COVID-19, the hand sanitizer gel you carry in a pocket or purse did not exist until the 1960s. If you start to show symptoms, the pulse oximeter that tests your blood oxygenation was not developed until the 1970s. If your case worsens, the mechanical ventilator that keeps you alive was invented in the 1950s—in fact, no form of artificial respiration was widely available until the “iron lung” used to treat polio patients in the 1930s. Even the modern emergency medical system did not exist until recently: if during the 1918 flu pandemic you became seriously ill, there was no 911 hotline to call, and any ambulance that showed up would likely have been a modified van or hearse, with no equipment or trained staff.

If you are a scientist at an academic institution currently working on a COVID-19 related project and in need of funding, we invite you to apply for a Fast Grant. Fast Grants are $10k to $500k and decisions are made in under 48 hours. If you wish to apply to grants for scientific or biomedical COVID-19 projects, please apply through FastGrants.org.

Stored Away 2013 Bat Sample Found To Contained Covid-19

Writes Matt Ridley on the Bats Behind The Pandemic (WSJ, April 9, 2020):

RaTG13 is the name, rank and serial number of an individual horseshoe bat of the species Rhinolophus affinis, or rather of a sample of its feces collected in 2013 in a cave in Yunnan, China. The sample was collected by hazmat-clad scientists from the Institute of Virology in Wuhan that year. Stored away and forgotten until January this year, the sample from the horseshoe bat contains the virus that causes Covid-19.

[…]

In a paper published in February last year, Patrick Woo and colleagues at Hong Kong University surveyed the coronaviruses found in bats and came to a prescient conclusion: “Bat–animal and bat–human interactions, such as the presence of live bats in wildlife wet markets and restaurants in Southern China, are important for interspecies transmission of [coronaviruses] and may lead to devastating global outbreaks.”

 

 

WHO Hindered The Fight Against COVID-19

In an excellent article in the UK Telegraph, WHO must answer serious questions before it is trusted with leading a Covid-19 inquiry (April 3, 2020), Matt Ridley shows that WHO’s actions demonstrate that WHO placed politics and cronyism above world health:

[WHO]… failed to prepare the world for a pandemic, spending the years since the Sars and ebola alarms talking more about climate change, obesity and tobacco, while others, including the Wellcome Trust and the Gates foundation, actually set up a coalition for epidemic preparedness innovation, and countries like Singapore and South Korea put in place measures to cope with an outbreak like SARS in the future.

[WHO]… once the epidemic began in China, WHO downplayed its significance, tweeting as late as January 14 that “preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus”, when it had already been warned by the Taiwanese health authorities among others of strong evidence for medical staff in Wuhan becoming ill. The Chinese government at this stage had known for weeks that the virus was spreading, probably person to person, yet WHO then sycophantically praised the Chinese government.

[WHO]… has failed before. When the ebola outbreak in West Africa that was to kill 11,000 people began in late 2013, on its own admission WHO hindered the fight against the virus, obsessed with not letting others find out what was happening.

A $300 3D-Printable Automated Ventilator

 

A team at Rice University has developed an automated bag valve mask ventilation unit that can be built for less than $300 in parts and help patients in treatment for COVID-19. The university expects to make plans to build the unit freely available online. Up-to-date details about the project, dubbed the ApolloBVM, and its progress are available here: http://oedk.rice.edu/apollobvm/

From U.S. Hospitals Have a Ventilator Shortage. A Team of Rice Engineers Say They Have a Solution (Texas Monthly):

Tonight, [Thomas] Herring and five other engineers are rushing to finish a project that is arguably among the most consequential in the world at the moment, one that could be deployed to the public as early as next week: a $300 3D-printable automated ventilator.

If successful, the ventilation unit—a DIY device that looks like the work of a high school robotics club—could go into mass production as early as next week, offering hospitals around the world a way to address a ventilator shortage that is expected to kill thousands of coronavirus patients suffering from the respiratory illness in the coming weeks.

High-quality ventilators like the kinds hospitals rely on can easily cost $10,000 apiece. Faced with shortages, doctors might soon have to make tough decisions about redistributing them from older patients to younger, healthier ones, many experts believe.

Many hospitals have an abundant supply, however, of bag valve masks, which are hand-operated ventilators that are inefficient and difficult for one person to operate for more than an hour at a time; they require a rotation of people to keep the patient alive.

The Rice prototype automates the pumping of the bag and can be specifically calibrated for each patient’s needs. With mechanized bag valve masks on hand, hospitals could buy themselves some time, allowing them to redistribute limited resources, move patients to other facilities, or allow family members the chance to say goodbye to loved ones who have no chance of recovery and might otherwise be taken off in-demand machines.

The Rice team believes they can eventually lower the cost of their units to somewhere between $100 and $200. The low cost was built into the engineering. The machines were designed using laser cutters and 3D printers, as well as parts that can be found in most hardware stores. “Houston and the rest of the U.S. may have manufacturers that can make these things by the hundreds,” Kavalewitz said, “but a small hospital in Malawi doesn’t have that luxury, but we’ll be able to give the plans to save lives.”

The Department of Defense is interested in their design and several Texas Fortune 500 companies have expressed interest in producing the model, team members say. The governor of Tennessee has also expressed interest in purchasing the machines once they’re completed.

Read the rest here.

 

Thomas Jefferson on “a wall of separation between Church and State”

A Letter to the Danbury Baptists Association by Thomas Jefferson. Emphasis added.

To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, and Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. My duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect and esteem.

Th Jefferson

Jan. 1. 1802.

Further Truths About Climate Change

By Andrew Bernstein

In 2017, I published an essay, “The Truth About Climate Change,” showing the evidence that climate periods cycle–and that climate change is natural, on-going, and likely incessant. The Modern Warm Period from the late-19th to the early 21st centuries, is only trivially man-made and not pernicious, but rather, is overwhelmingly natural and fully benign.[i] It is to be neither deplored nor curtailed–but to be celebrated. Now, after further research, I present more evidence supporting these conclusions.  

 

Part One: Endless Climate Predictions Endlessly Wrong

Does anyone remember the great ice age fear of the 1970s? Although during the 20th century the Earth generally warmed slightly, there was a cooling period roughly from 1940 to 1975. It triggered a mini-hysteria in response. For example, on April 16, 1970, the Boston Globe ran a story entitled, “Scientist Predicts a New Ice Age by 21st Century.” James P. Lodge, a scientist at the national center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado claimed that within the first third of the 21st century ice age conditions might prevail on Earth.[ii] Similarly, on July 9, 1971, the Washington Post published a story entitled, “U.S Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming,” in which Dr. S.I. Rasool of NASA predicted possible ice age conditions within the next 50 or 60 years.[iii] Continuing, on January 29, 1974, the British newspaper, The Guardian, ran a story with the sensational headline, “Space Satellites Show New Ice Age Coming Fast.”[iv]  Time, on June 24, 1974, in its Science section, published an essay entitled, “Another Ice Age?” It fretted that declining temperatures since the 1940s might herald the dawn of a new ice age. Finally, one of many other essays that could be cited to this effect, “The Cooling World,” published by Newsweek on April 28, 1975, worried that declining temperatures of the past few decades might signal a “reversion to the ‘little ice age’ conditions that brought bitter winters” to northern Europe and North America between 1600 and 1900.[v]

It is important to note that many of these media reports cited scientists considered experts at the time. Dr. George Kukla of Columbia University is referenced many times, for example, as are numerous other scientists. A New York Times essay, “International Team of Specialists Find No End in Sight to 30-Year Cooling Trend in Northern Hemisphere,” is especially noteworthy. It mentions that with increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, rising temperatures, not falling ones, should be expected. The aforementioned Dr. Kukla said that “the cause of the apparent cooling remained unknown…”[vi]  This New York Times article, claiming that no end to the cooling was in sight, was published on January 5, 1978. By 1979-80, the Earth started slowly warming again. Oops.

It is fascinating that Dr. Kukla (and presumably other scientists who believed that rising atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide should cause warming) did not know the cause of the apparent cooling. For part of the answer shined on them virtually every day: The Sun. But more on the sun-climate connection to come.[vii] So from roughly 1979 until the present day, the Earth gently warms again…as it did in the early years of the 20th century. By the late-1980s, a full-blown hysteria regarding warming, to dwarf the previous one regarding cooling, is underway.

Let’s cite a few examples. An Associated Press story of June 30, 1989, quoted “a senior UN environmental official” to the effect that “entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth  by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.”[viii] Less than a year before this prediction, in September 1988, the Environmental Affairs Director of the Maldives claimed that these Indian Ocean islands could be entirely submerged “within the next 30 years.”[ix]  In March, 2000, Dr. David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) at Britain’s East Anglia University predicted that, in England, winter snows “will become a very rare and exciting event.”[x]  In December, 2008, Al Gore warned that the “North Polar Ice Cap would be completely ice free in five years;” in 2009, Gore amended his prediction to claim that the Arctic would have ice-free summers by 2014.[xi] In July 2013, a report in Britain’s The Guardian quoted scientist,   Peter Wadhams, who claimed that the Arctic would be ice-free by 2015.[xii]  And on it goes….Including the prediction that the Arctic polar bear population would be severely diminished, if not made extinct.

How about a reality check? No nations were wiped off the face of the Earth by 2000, nor by 2019, nor were any close to it–and the Maldives are still above water. By 2018, there were still millions of square kilometers of summertime Arctic Ocean with at least 15 percent sea ice[xiii] and, in 2017, ice increased in parts of Greenland and the Arctic.[xiv] As for snow in England, a severe snowstorm hammered the United Kingdom, including England, in March 2018;[xv] October 2019 saw record cold temperatures across significant swathes of the country;[xvi] and, also in 2019, snow fell across parts of Wales, England, and Scotland during the second weekend of November.[xvii] The polar bears, of course, are flourishing. Due to a ban on hunting, their population has increased from some 5,000 in the 1960s to roughly 22,000 to 30,000 today.[xviii]

Why are the doomsday warming predictions always flagrantly wrong? Why, for thirty years now, are the warnings regarding dangerous consequences of warming never accurate? Why do the hyperbolic warming claims turn out to be as repeatedly mistaken as the earlier hyperbolic cooling ones? Let us approach these questions like intellectual detectives seeking to unravel a mystery, and we’ll find the truth.

 

Part Two: Further Mistaken Predictions

One such truth is that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide continue to rise but there is no corresponding acceleration in the rate of warming. The computer models deployed by the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predict that as atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide increase, the Earth’s rate of warming should accelerate. The models project that from 1995 to the present, the Earth should have warmed by just under a full degree Celsius (a significant amount in such a short time period). Finally, they predict that the rise in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide occurring since 1880 should have increased Earth’s temperatures by 4.1 degrees Fahrenheit (roughly 2.3 degrees Celsius).

All of these predictions, when compared to real-world measurements, are mistaken. In fact, the rate of warming since 1995 has not increased; rather, the Earth has continued to warm at a gentle rate of 0.096 degrees Celsius per decade, that is, by less than one-tenth of a degree every ten years, the same as it was in 1995.[xix]  A 2017 study in the journal,  Nature Geoscience, acknowledges this truth. “‘We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models,’ said Myles Allen, professor of geosystem science at Oxford and one of the authors of the study. ‘We haven’t seen that in the observations.'”[xx]  This truth is known via satellite data, which measures the entire atmosphere, not merely parts of it, and is consequently the most accurate data available.

Further, since the rate of warming is so slow, the Earth since 1995 has not even approximated a one-degree Celsius temperature rise; rather, the satellites show virtually no increase in temperature since the late-1990s.[xxi]  Finally, real-world measurements show that since 1880 global temperatures have risen not by 2.3 degrees Celsius but by merely 1.2 degrees.[xxii]

AGW (anthropogenic or man-made global warming)supporters argue that 2016 was the hottest year on record. Insofar as this claim goes, it is true. But it is not the full truth. The full truth is that 2016 was a major El Nino year with the significant warming that this generates. Not surprisingly, early in 2017, global temperatures plummeted by some 0.6 degrees Celsius.[xxiii] As if all of this weren’t bad enough, it gets worse for the AGW Hypothesis.

 

Part Three: Inconvenient Truths For the AGW Hypothesis 

Climate scientist, Dr. Fred Singer, points out that most of the 20th century warming occurred before 1940…before a significant rise in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. Then, as a post-War industrial boom pumped substantial amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, the Earth cooled between roughly 1940 and 1975. “Most of the current warming occurred before 1940, before there was much human-generated CO2 in the air. After 1940, temperatures declined until 1975 or so, despite a huge surge in industrial CO2 during that period. These events run counter to the CO2 theory…”[xxiv]  They certainly do. They coincide, however, with variations in emission of solar radiation, as well as with multi-decadal shifts in ocean currents, as will be seen.

Making matters worse, some 95 percent of all carbon dioxide spewed annually into the atmosphere comes from natural, not man-made sources. Given the hysteria over human-caused carbon dioxide emissions, this is an astonishing truth.  Dr. Roy Spencer, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, confirms it. Dr. Spencer holds a Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin, he was a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and he–along with his partner, Dr. John Christy–received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites.   He points out: “…natural CO2 emissions are about 20 times what anthropogenic emissions are…(since human emissions are now close to 5% of natural sources and sinks)….we emit twice as much [carbon dioxide] as is needed to explain the atmospheric increase…”[xxv]

So, according to the best estimate of one of our best climate scientists, human beings emit twice as much carbon dioxide as is needed to explain observed atmospheric increases, and nature emits twenty times as much CO2 as we do. Where in hell does all the carbon dioxide go? The IPCC acknowledges that it does not know. We know there are “sinks,” i.e., natural repositories that absorb carbon dioxide. The oceans, for example, contain 50 times as much carbon dioxide as does the atmosphere.[xxvi]  Is that a clue regarding where the “excess” carbon dioxide might go?

Dr. Tom Segalstad thinks it is. Dr. Segalstad is a Norwegian geologist, he has served as head of the Mineralogical-Geological Museum at the University of Oslo, and has accomplished much else besides in his distinguished career.[xxvii]He is a former expert reviewer for the IPCC. “The IPCC,” he asserts, “needs a lesson in geology to avoid making fundamental mistakes…most leading geologists throughout the world, know that the IPCC’s view of Earth processes are implausible if not impossible.”[xxviii]How so? Because the agency holds that man-made carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for 50, 100, or even 200 years, leading thereby to substantial atmospheric accumulations. “This is nonsense,” Dr. Segalstad states. Dozens of real-world studies, conducted by numerous scientists, in varying disciplines, relying on differing methods of measurements, over a period of decades, have established that the shelf life of atmospheric CO2 is five to ten years, perhaps as long as twelve years.[xxix]

“Amazingly, the hypothetical results from climate models have trumped the real-world measurements of carbon dioxide’s longevity in the atmosphere.” The IPCC’s claim that “CO2 lasts decades or centuries [in the atmosphere]  have no such measurements or other physical evidence to support their claims….Neither have they demonstrated that the quite various forms of measurement that support the traditional five-to-ten year view are wrong.

“‘They don’t even try,’ says Prof. Segalstad. ‘They simply dismiss evidence that is, for all intents and purposes, irrefutable. Instead, they substitute their faith, constructing a kind of science fiction or fantasy world in the process.'”[xxx]

What, according to the real-world studies, happens within 5-10 years to CO2 pumped into the atmosphere? The studies show that the oceans have a “near-limitless capacity to absorb CO2.”

Herein lies one reason that the IPCC’s predictions are always wrong, and always overstate–never understate–the warming. AGW advocates consistently over-estimate the duration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

 

Part Four: The Failure of the AGW Hypothesis to Explain Climate Change

The AGW hypothesis cannot explain how or why most 20th century warming occurred before 1940, prior to human emission of large amounts of industrial CO2. The theory does not and cannot explain the mid-20th-century cooling that triggered the mini-hysteria regarding an impending ice age. Worse, it cannot explain why the rate of 21st century warming does not accelerate even as atmospheric levels of CO2 gradually rise. Nor can it explain why the total warming of the entire Modern Warm Period dating back to 1880 is significantly less than the models predict. Finally, it does not explain how the 5 percent of CO2 spewed annually into the atmosphere by humans contributes more decisively to rising CO2 levels than does the 95 percent regurgitated by natural sources.

The AGW Hypothesis has little evidence to support it. The best that might be said for it is this: There is a greenhouse effect, rising levels of atmospheric CO2 will cause a slight warming, human activities contribute marginally to rising CO2 levels–therefore,  human activities might contribute trivially to the observed 20th century warming. But predictions based on this theory are relentlessly, manifestly false.

It is time to point out, as in Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, that the Emperor has no clothes…or, at best, a few threads. What the AGW Hypothesis does have is a gigantic, noisy fan club. But, as I instruct my Logic students regularly, popularity does not equal truth. The scientific theories opposing such innovative minds as Copernicus, Galileo, Darwin, and Pasteur were widely held, as well. Their popularity among scientists did not make them true. Only evidence in support of an idea does that.

Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide only trivially explain the Modern Warm Period and explain the mid-20th century cooling not at all. We need to look further and deeper to find the causal factor(s).

 

Part Five: The Sun-Climate Connection

Astrophysicists have identified that the Sun undergoes various cycles in its emission of radiation. To put it simply, at times it gives off greater amounts of energy, at other times lesser. The varying amounts of radiation reaching the surface of the Earth contributes to rising or falling temperatures. Further, diverging amounts of the Sun’s output trigger other natural processes, terrestrial and/or celestial, that in concert drive Earth’s temperatures up or down. One such process, identified by Danish astrophysicist, Henrik Svensmark, is the role of cosmic rays, and the complex relationship between the Sun’s varying output, the amount of cosmic rays reaching Earth’s atmosphere, and the role these rays play in generating cooling cloud cover.[xxxi]  The complexity of factors impacting Earth’s natural climate cycle is staggering, still little understood, and extends way beyond atmospheric accumulations of CO2, which is merely one factor.

However, Fred Singer reproduces a graph published by astrophysicists, Dr. Sallie Baliunas and Dr. Willie Soon. It charts the relationship between amounts of solar radiation emitted and terrestrial temperatures from 1750 to 1995, a period of almost 250 years.[xxxii]   Dr. Singer comments: “Given the variability of the temperatures, the close relationship between the two is startling.”[xxxiii]

Dr. Singer continues: “Richard Wilson, affiliated with both Columbia University and NASA, reported that the sun’s radiation has increased by nearly 0.05 percent per decade since the late 1970s [tracked from 1978 to 2003]….The trend is significant because the sun’s total energy output is so huge. A variation of 0.05 percent in its output is equal to all human energy use.”[xxxiv]    This time line correlates exactly with the late-1970s resurgence of warming and the Earth’s continued warming throughout the rest of the century.   The timing is also congruent with the Great Pacific Climate Shift. We know today that the Pacific Ocean (and the Atlantic, as well) undergoes multi-decadal oscillations.  In 1976, the Pacific entered its warm phase and proceeded to warm the northern Pacific area by a full 3 degrees Celsius[xxxv] (roughly 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit). This event drove some of the warming observed by satellites between 1979 and 2000.

Earth’s temperatures do not correlate exactly with atmospheric levels of CO2, but they do with such natural occurrences as variations in emission of solar radiation–and with oscillations of Earth’s ocean currents. This includes the mid-20th century cooling, as well as the entirety of the Modern Warm Period.[xxxvi]

Related, the sun-based climate theory helps explain another truth regarding carbon dioxide. The oceans, it turns out, are a source of, as well as a sink for CO2. “The oceans swing both ways [between source and sink]: they have enormous capacity to absorb CO2, but sometimes they give it up.”[xxxvii] When do they function as a source of CO2? Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov has one possible answer to the question. Abdussamatov, born in Uzbekistan in 1940, earned his Ph.D. at the University of Leningrad and headed the space research laboratory of the Russian Academy of Science’s Pulkovo Observatory.  “If the temperature of the ocean rises even a little, gigantic amounts of CO2 are released into the atmosphere through the evaporation of water,” explains Dr. Abdussamatov. “It is no secret that increased solar irradiance warms Earth’s oceans, which then triggers the emission of large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So the common view that man’s industrial activity is a deciding factor in global warming has emerged from a misinterpretation of cause-and-effect relations.”[xxxviii]

So total solar irradiance (TSI) increases–the Earth, including its oceans warm–the warmer water evaporates more quickly, releasing large amounts of CO2 into the air.

 

Conclusion

Although there are numerous factors that drive the natural climate cycle, the activities of the Sun are one of the principal causes. The bad news is that the Sun currently winds down toward the Dalton Minimum, a relative low point of the sun spot cycle. Diminished solar irradiance will reach Earth’s surface, bringing in its train a colder climate, as it has done in the past.[xxxix]   Dr. Abdussamatov asserts that: “The depth of the decline in solar irradiance reaching Earth will occur around 2041 (plus or minus 11 years, he estimates) and ‘will inevitably lead to a deep freeze around 2055-60,’ lasting some 50 years, after which temperatures will go up again.”[xl] A colder climate means shortened growing seasons and diminished agricultural production. In poorer nations, this will inevitably unleash famine.

Dr. Abdussamatov’s prediction of a looming colder climate is not based in ignorance of its cause, as was the case during the 1970s scare; nor is it based on the relatively puny power of man-made carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, rather, it is based on known cycles of the Sun, and the colder climates associated with the Dalton Minimum in Earth’s past. Largely because of AGW hysteria, we are not paying attention to the colder climate looming before us. But reality has a way of painfully slapping the faces of those who try to ignore it. We need to pay attention. Now.

Andrew Bernstein holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the City University of New York. He lectures all over the world. He has written numerous books, including his novel, A Dearth of Eagles, recently published and available from Amazon.

 

Endnotes

[i] Andrew Bernstein, “The Truth About Climate Change,” www.andrewbernstein.net

[ii] Myron Ebell and Steven Milloy, “Wrong Again: Fifty Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions,” September 19, 2019, cei.org/blog/wrong-again-50-years-of-failed-eco-pocalyptic-predictions. Retrieved on November 6, 2019.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] www.dennisdutton.com/cooling_world.htm  Retrieved on November 10, 2019.  An extensive list of 1970s  essays predicting global cooling and/or possible ice ages can be found at: Dr. Roy Cordato, “Climate experts believe the next ice age is on its way…within a lifetime…” www.johnlocke.org/update/climate-experts-believe-the-next-ice-age-is-on-its-way-within-a-lifetime/ Retrieved on November 10, 2019.

[vi] Walter Sullivan, “International Team of Specialists Find No End in Sight to 30-Year Cooling Trend in Northern Hemisphere,” January 5, 1978, www.nytimes.com/1978/01/05/archives/international-team-of-specialists-finds-no-end-in-sight-to-30year.html  Retrieved on November 11, 2019.

[vii] And a great deal regarding this issue is discussed in my first climate change essay.

[viii] Myron Ebell, Steven Milloy, “Wrong Again: Fifty Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions,” September 18, 2019, cei.org/blog/wrong-again-50-years-of-failed-eco-pocalyptic-predictions. Retrieved on November 6, 2019.

[ix] Ibid.

[x] Ibid.

[xi] Ibid.

[xii] Ibid.

[xiii] Anthony Watts, “Ten years ago, Al Gore predicted the North polar ice cap would be gone. Inconveniently, it’s still there,” December 16, 2018, http://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/12/16/ten-years-ago-algore-predicted-the-north-polar-ice-cap-would-be-gone-inconveniently-its-still-there/ Retrieved on November 8, 2019.

[xiv][xiv] “Global Warming: Who Are The Deniers Now?” http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/global-warming-who-are-the-deniers-now/ Retrieved on November 8, 2016.

[xv] Andrea Tonks, “UK snow in Pictures as Met Office issues weather forecast warning for Beast from the East,” http://www.express.co.uk/news/weather/933224/snow-UK-latest-pictures-weather-forecast-Met-Office-warning-pics. Retrieved on November 8, 2019.

[xvi] “Central England Experiences Historically Chilly October,” http://electroverse.net/central-england-experiences-historically-chilly-october/ Retrieved on November 8, 2016.

[xvii] Faye Brown, “Snow blankets parts of UK as temperatures plunge to -7C,” November 9, 2019,  http://metro.co.uk/2019/11/09/snow-blankets-parts-uk-temperatures-plunge-7C-11071817/ Retrieved on November 10, 2019.

[xviii] Craig Rucker, “Polar bear expert purged,” October 18, 2019, www.cfact.org/2019/10/18/polar-bear-expert-purged/  Retrieved on November 11, 2019.

[xix] “Another Global Warming Study Casts Doubt On Media’s Climate Change Fairy Tale,” November 30, 2017, www.investors.com/politics/editorial/another-global-warming-study-casts-doubt-on-medias-climate-change-fairy-tale/  Retrieved on November 9, 2019.

[xx] “Global Warming: Who Are The Deniers Now?”Op. cit.

[xxi] “Global Warming: Who Are The Deniers Now?” Op. cit.

[xxii] “Another Global Warming Study Casts Doubt On Media’s Climate Change Fairy Tale,” Op. cit.

[xxiii] “Global Warming: Who Are The Deniers Now?” Op. cit.

[xxiv] Fred Singer and Dennis Avery, Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.: 2007), 10.

[xxv] Roy Spencer, “How Much of Atmospheric CO2 Increase is Natural?” August 27, 2014, www.drroyspencer.com/2014/08/how-much-of-atmospheric-co2-increase-is-natural/ Retrieved on November 11, 2019.

[xxvi] Lawrence Solomon, The Deniers: The World-Renowned Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Warming Hysteria, Political Persecution, and Fraud–And Those Who Are Too Fearful to Do So (Minneapolis, Minn.: Richard Vigilante Books, 2008), 84.

[xxvii] Ibid., 84.

[xxviii] Ibid., 80.

[xxix] Ibid., 79-83.

[xxx] Ibid., 83-84.

[xxxi] Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Calder, The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change (Cambridge, England: Icon Books, 2007), passim.

[xxxii] Singer and Avery, Unstoppable Global Warming, op. cit., 192. Source: S. Baliunas and W. Soon, “Solar Variability and Climate Change,” Astrophysical Journal 450 (1995): 896.

[xxxiii] Ibid., 192.

[xxxiv] Ibid., 192.

[xxxv] Brian Hartmann and Gerd Wendler, “The Significance of the 1976 Pacific Climate Shift in the Climatology of Alaska,” https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI3532.1 Retrieved on November 15, 2019.

[xxxvi] The sun-climate connection is discussed much more extensively in my prior essay on this topic.

[xxxvii] Solomon, The Deniers, 80.

[xxxviii] Ibid., 163.

[xxxix] “NASA Predicts Next Solar Cycle Will Be Lowest In 200 Years,” June 18, 2019, https://electroverse.net/nasa-predicts-next-solar-cycle-will-be-lowest-in-200-years-dalton-minimum-levels-the-implications/ Retrieved on November 14, 2019.

[xl] Solomon, The Deniers, 163.

Lockitch: Spacetime, Black Holes, and Gravitational Waves

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for the first-ever detection of gravitational waves, confirming a 100-year-old prediction of Einstein’s. The discovery, announced in 2015, launched a new era of gravitational wave astronomy, but also raises challenging philosophical questions about the nature of space, time and gravity. What are gravitational waves and how are they being used to study the universe? And is there an inherent conflict between General Relativity and key metaphysical principles?