US takes heat on global warming

US takes heat on global warming
November 30th, 2005  

Topic: US takes heat on global warming

US takes heat on global warming
MONTREAL, NOV 29: US officials told a UN conference on climate change that their government was doing more than most to protect the earth’s atmosphere. In response, leading environmental groups blasted Washington for refusing to sign the Kyoto protocol, a global treaty that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Canada opened the 10-day UN climate control conference on Monday, with about 10,000 experts from 180 nations, to brainstorm on ways to slow the alarming effects of greenhouses gases and global warming. The conference aims to forge new agreements on cutting poisonous emissions, considered by many scientists to be the planet’s most pressing environmental issue. Dr Harlan L Watson, senior climate negotiator for the US Department of State, said that while president George W Bush declined to join the treaty, the US leader takes global warming seriously. He noted greenhouse gas emissions had actually gone down by 8% under Bush.

“With regard to what the United States is doing on climate change, the actions we have taken are next to none in the world,” Watson told the Associated Press on the sidelines of the conference.

Watson said the United States spends more than $5 billion a year on efforts to slow the deterioration of the earth’s atmosphere by supporting climate change research and technology, and that Bush had committed to cutting greenhouses gases some 18% by 2012. The United States, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, saying it would harm the US economy and is flawed by the lack of restrictions on emissions by emerging economic powers such as China and India.
November 30th, 2005  
The Discovery channel has had a program running called "Little Ice Age: Big Chill" and it shows that we have a mini ice age lasting 500 years which had a huge effect on the development of the world. And I personally fail to see the big deal with global warming, it's a cycle of ups and downs that has been occuring since..... the dinosaurs rules the earth, we just came out of a slump and are heading into a rise, that's all.

Or course I am an American so I am obviously not as well informed as others and come from a state that has benefited from this "global warming."
November 30th, 2005  
The problem is that the current RATE of acceleration has never been equalled. It is this extremely rapid change that is of concern.
US takes heat on global warming
November 30th, 2005  
Why not? It's just another thing to blame on us

Just for grins, here are some debunked "facts" about global warming.

Fallacy 1: Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing at alarming rates. It just ain't so, according to de Freitas, who notes that annual CO2 concentration increases appear to be leveling off in recent years. He also wonders what is alarming about the aerial fertilization effect of atmospheric CO2 enrichment, which dramatically stimulates the growth rates and enhances the water use efficiencies of essentially all of earth's plants.

Fallacy 2: Humans are big players in the global carbon cycle. In reality, says de Freitas, "anthropogenic CO2 emissions are only about 3% of the natural carbon cycle and less than 1% of the atmospheric reservoir of carbon." He also notes that the increase in the air's CO2 content over the past few centuries could well have been the result of earth's oceans giving off the gas in response to the planet's recovery from the Little Ice Age.

Fallacy 3: There is a close relationship between changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature. De Freitas debunks the implied message of this myth, i.e., that it is changes in CO2 that drive changes in temperature, by citing many well-documented cases where just the opposite occurred, over periods ranging from months to millennia, reminding us that correlation does not prove causation and that cause must precede effect.

Fallacy 4: Global temperature has increased over the past two decades. Although data gathered by various types of thermometers do indeed indicate warming in many places over this time period, the concurrent growth of cities and towns, according to numerous scientific studies cited by de Freitas, has increased so dramatically that much - if not all - of that warming may be due to an intensifying of the urban heat island phenomenon.

Fallacy 5: Satellite data support IPCC claims on observed and projected global warming. No way, says de Freitas; climate models predict significant warming of the lower atmosphere, which is not evident in the satellite temperature record. Hence, the only data set that provides a truly global perspective of atmospheric temperature actually provides "direct evidence against the IPCC global warming hypothesis."

Fallacy 6: Global climate trends during the past century are very unlike those of the past. This highly-heralded falsehood is soundly refuted by de Freitas, who cites the results of a host of scientific studies that demonstrate the warming of the past century is but the most recent phase of a natural climatic oscillation that over the past millennium brought the world the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age, and now the Modern Warm Period.

Fallacy 7: There are reliable forecasts of future climate. No credence can be given to this claim, says de Freitas, until the models making the forecasts have been verified, which likely will not happen anytime soon. In fact, he notes that "earth's atmosphere has warmed only about 10 per cent as much as climate models forecast, averaged over the last 30 years." The reason? "Large uncertainties associated with most model parameters."

Fallacy 8: Significant anthropogenic global warming is underway. First of all, as de Freitas has noted, there may not be any warming currently occurring. Second, as he has demonstrated, much of what may be occurring may be natural. Third, much of what little man-induced warming may exist may not be due to CO2 emissions, but rather to urbanization, changes in land use, and various other greenhouse gases and particulates.

Fallacy 9: Global warming will produce a rise in sea level. Again, not so, according to de Freitas. For one thing, he notes there has been no acceleration in long-term sea level rise over the past century. Plus, he cites the work of many scientists who suggest that warming could result in greater snowfall over the polar ice caps, transferring large amounts of water from the oceans to the ice sheets and possibly halting sea level rise.

Fallacy 10: Global warming will result in more extreme weather events. Nothing could be further from the truth, as de Freitas demonstrates. Whether it be extremes of heat and cold, droughts, floods, hail, tornadoes or hurricanes, there is absolutely no evidence that these phenomena have increased globally over the twentieth century. In fact, there is much empirical evidence to suggest that more warmth leads to a more stable climate.

Fallacy 11: IPCC's predictions are reasonable. In addition to the many problems associated with current climate models, IPCC warming predictions are based on future greenhouse gas scenarios that are patently unreasonable. Over half of their predictions, according to de Freitas, assume that atmospheric CO2 is increasing twice as fast as it actually is, while methane concentrations have fallen steadily for the past seventeen years.

Fallacy 12: Observed temperature trends are those predicted by climate models. It is difficult to see how this statement can be believed when, as noted by de Freitas, (1) "observed global warming is so much less than predicted by conventional climate models," (2) so fantastically less than the high-end warming that is used to leverage political action, (3) possibly due to other causes than CO2, or (4) even non-existent.

Fallacy 13: There is a consensus that greenhouse induced climate change is a major threat. Quoting de Freitas, "scientists are a well-educated, diverse and ill-disciplined assortment of freethinkers." To believe such a group would reach a consensus on so complex an issue is ludicrous in the extreme. Indeed, de Freitas' own paper, with its many references, is ample proof that true science is alive and well ... and dissenting.

Fallacy 14: The threat of human-caused climate change justifies taking the action proposed in the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol. If there is a consensus on anything related to this issue, it is that Kyoto's effect on temperature "would be imperceptible," writes de Freitas. "So," he continues, "in addition to being ineffective, costly, and unfair to industrialized nations, the Kyoto Protocol is also unnecessary."

University of Auckland, NZ
Reid A. Bryson Ph.D., D.Sc., D.Engr.1