Monthly Archives: September 2009

The Weakness of the AGW Theory

The “American Thinker” blog has an article by John McLaughlin that shows the weakness of the man-made global warming (AGW) theory.  The article Global Warming ‘Science’ discusses the fact that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, sponsored by the UN, was ..

Since its inception in 1988, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has sought to evaluate the risk of climate change brought about by human activity.  There has never been a requirement to also evaluate potential natural causes.”

The author discusses the impact the infamous Hockey Stick Temperature Graph had on the IPCC reports.

Their reports include a graph derived from mathematical models showing average global temperatures back to 1000 AD.  The graph appears relatively flat for over 900 years.  Then, about 1920, temperatures begin to rocket upward with but a brief pause around 1970 before heading still higher with no relief in sight.  So startling was this graph when it first appeared, it became known as the “Hockey Stick” chart.  The IPCC concluded the graph’s sudden change in character during the early 20th Century correlated with the introduction and increasing use of fossil fuel energy in that period, and that production of carbon dioxide (CO2) represented the principal man-made greenhouse gas culprit.

hockey stick graph

The Hockey Stick Temperature Graph

(Note, no medieval warm period & the “hockey stick” jump in temperatures)

Then he walks you through the story of how the Graph was exposed as a fraud:

As political hysteria over “man-made” or anthropogenic global warming (AGW) increased, other scientists began checking the mathematical analysis and measurements behind the hockey stick chart because it did not correlate with other known historical temperature data.  In 2003 Professor McKitrick teamed with a Canadian engineer, Steve McIntyre, in attempting to replicate the chart and finally debunked it as statistical nonsense.  They revealed how the chart was derived from “collation errors, unjustified truncation or extrapolation of source data, obsolete data, incorrect principal component calculations, geographical mislocations and other serious defects” — substantially affecting the temperature index.

And perhaps worse,  the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics concluded that:

“……the statistical methodology underpinning the hockey stick version was, indeed, profoundly flawed.  The Wegman panel submitted a report to the U.S. House of Representatives (which should have been available to all House members including Rep. Waxman) which cited results of an earlier National Research Council panel endorsing the work and results of McIntyre and McKitrick.  Wegman’s work also found the McIntyre and McKitrick analysis independently verifiable, their observations of the IPCC flaws correct and “valid,” and their arguments “compelling.”

McLaughlin also demonstrates that man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) can not be a significant cause of global warming.

Numerous gases make up the Earth’s atmosphere.  Of these, nitrogen represents about 78% by volume,  oxygen comprises just under 21%, and other gases (including “greenhouse gases”) make up slightly over 1% by volume remaining.  Of the principal greenhouse gases, water vapor is by far the most prevalent.  Second place belongs to carbon dioxide (CO2) at 0.04% with methane and nitrous oxide finishing a very distant third and fourth.

What complicates analysis of any manmade greenhouse effect is the relatively overwhelming prevalence of water vapor — a gas ignored by the IPCC.  The U.S. Department of Energy estimates water vapor makes up 95% of identified greenhouse gases and, of that amount, less than 0.001% can be attributed to manmade causes.  Thus, the IPCC and AGW proponents have focused on CO2 as the principal anthropogenic greenhouse gas.”

And :

Put another way, if accumulation of greenhouse gases has any impact on global warming, Department of Energy data indicates nearly 99.9% would have to be attributed to natural causes.  Nevertheless, AGW proponents blame approximately 1/1000 of all produced planetary CO2 — this trace gas  which, in its totality, comprises less than 4/10,000 of the atmosphere — as the principal cause of climate change because it provides the only way to link global warming to human activity.

Numerous scientists and climatologists point to the terrible flaw that the IPCC analysis totally ignores the impact upon climate of solar activity, water vapor, and effects of cloud formation on global air pressure, temperature and winds.  As Dr. Tim Ball, a former climate scientist at the University of Winnipeg, put it:  “The analogy that I use is that my car is not running that well, so I’m going to ignore the engine (which is the sun) and I’m going to ignore the transmission (which is the water vapor) and I’m going to look at one nut on the right rear wheel (which is the human-produced CO2) … the science is that bad!

He discusses that fact that actual data regarding global warming and sea level rise contradict the alarmists’ scare stories;  the fallacy of the “Consensus “ argument; and finishes with conclusions that contradict the thinking ChairmanWaxman used to justify the House of Representatives passing of the Cap and Trade bill.  To read the article in its entirety,  click here

Many things have recently come to light that further contradict the man-made global warming theory.    I will try to bring those to you in future blogs.

See    The Weakness of the AGW Theory-Part 2

The Weakness of the AGW Theory-Part 3


Cap And Trade Cover-up by Obama Administration

While the admistration was coercing the OMB into coming up with the “it will only cost the price of a postage stamp a day (ca. $175/year)” for the impact of the House passed Cap and Trade bill,  it was  burying the Treasury Department’s assessment that the cost would be more than $1700 per family per year.


Cartoon by Ramirez—See his marvelous array of cartoons here

We have previously discussed the fact that the OMB’s “postage stamp” was bogus as it neglected to take in the effect on the GNP. see here The Treasury’s number coincides with that of the Heritage Foundation, the Brookings Institute and others.   The Treasury’s figure was pried-out by Chris Horner using the Freedom of Information Act.  Even then much of it was redacted.  So much for Obama’s promise of a “transparent administration”.

See the  full story here


Arctic Sea Ice Minimum–The Expert Predictions

Several months ago,  the Study of Environmental ARctic Change (SEARCH) ask experts to forecast the low point regarding the extent of Arctic sea ice for 2009.

These forecasts were based upon July sea ice data.  As September is normally the low point,  they were only forecasting 1 to 2 months into the future.   The chart below was prepared by Anthony Watts of the blog,  (see blogroll to access this blog)


Inspecting the chart one can see that the experts were all forecasting ice extent at 5 million square kilometers or less. When the chart was made 6 September 09, the ice extent was greater than their predictions at over 5.3 million square kilometers.  The WUWT blog for this chart and comments can be seen here.

On the 15th of September,  Watts updated the current ice extent.


Watts prepared a table of daily values for the sea ice and the low will  probably be that of 13 September with a value of 5,249,844 square kilometers. The area increased on the 14 and 15 September to 5,301,094 square kilometers.

It seems the experts were again pessimistic and missed the mark even though they were only predicting 6 weeks in advance of the low point.

For more on this entry by Anthony Watts,  click here.


August CO2 Report

The Science and Public Policy Institute’s monthly CO2 report is now available.   It contain articles on OCEAN HEAT BUILDUP,  SEA LEVELS,  PREDICTIONS OF ATMOSPHERIC CO2 CONCENTRATIONS IN 2100,  THE QUITE SUN, WHY THE GREAT ICESHEETS WONT COLLAPSE,  ARCTIC  SEA  ICE  AREA, ETC.

Click here to read the report.


4 Billion Years of Climate Change

For the past several weeks, I have been planning on sending the link to  “The Grand View: 4 Billion Years Of Climate Change”.  The article is from the book “The Resilient Earth” by Doug Hoffman and Allen Simmons. It is really informative and for those of us that can’t keep on geological Eras, Periods, or the years relating to them straight,  it is a reference you might want to keep.

early_bombardment-500 Early Earth–From “The Resilient Earth

To give you a taste of what is covered, look at the following:


That concludes our whirlwind tour of Earth’s climate history. There are a number of observations that can be made from our overview of the Phanerozoic:

Earth’s temperature is always changing.

Over time there have been periods when it has been colder than it is today.

For most of the Phanerozoic it has been much warmer than it is today.

Life has persisted during periods both hot and cold.

There is no one “right” temperature.

Carbon dioxide has always been present in Earth’s atmosphere.

Over time there have been periods when CO2 has increased and decreased     naturally.

For most of the Phanerozoic it has been much higher than it is today.

Life has persisted during periods with high CO2 and low CO2.

CO2 levels will change with or without human contributions.

Over time there have been a number of ice ages—Life has endured multiple ice ages.

For most of the Phanerozoic there have been no persistent polar ice caps.


Eras and Periods from The Resilient Earth

To read the  article   click here


Science and The Obama Administration—OSHA and the EPA

President Obama has stated he wants to “restore science to its rightful place”.   Now we are left to wonder how he squares that statement in view of his promotion of the man-made global theory  (see Cap and Trade).   Moreover,  it seems that he will tolerate more anti-science doings in his administration—-specifically in OSHA.   David Michaels is Obama’s nominee to head OSHA.

A Washington Times Editorial tells us that in the Supreme Court case, Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals all 9 justices …”agreed that trial judges could hold hearings without juries present to determine if proposed ‘expert testimony’ is “relevant and reliable,” based on objective criteria such as use of scientific method and peer reviews.  This way, a trial can be protected from being polluted by hired guns who may look and sound impressive enough to sway a jury that has no particular scientific expertise but who actually are peddling bogus theories or trumped-up evidence.”

Michaels has railed against this, saying that the ruling created a social imbalance away from the interests of plantiffs and their lawyers.  He also heads a group funded by George Soros’ Open Society Institute.  The group, Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy, was initially funded by a trust fund created from the silicone breast transplant scare (which subsequent studies have shown the scare was unfounded).

See the full story here.

Which brings me to the EPA.  A suit was filed by Massachusetts against the EPA saying that the EPA had to regulate greenhouse gases.  In a surprise ruling, the Supreme Court found that the petitioner had a good case and the EPA was charged by the Supreme Court to make a finding that CO2 was or was not a hazard.   The EPA‘s preliminary finding was that it is a hazard and should be regulated.  The EPA admits that they did not do any scientific study of their own but relied upon the IPCC 2007 report that concluded that man-made warming will result in a global catastrophe in the future. The EPA is soon to issue final ruling.

I don’t know what is more threatening,  passage of a Cap and Trade bill in the Senate to go along with the one passed in the House of Representatives or letting the EPA come up with regulations on how to reduce atmospheric CO2.  I have been predicting that the legislators would not enact cap and trade because they would be in danger of not being re-elected when the cost of that legislation was felt by the US citizens.  So, they would take the easy way and let the blame fall on the EPA if things turned out badly.

Now enter the US Chamber of Commerce which argues that the before a final decision is made that the EPA must be required to defend it scientific conclusions in front of an administrative law judge.  The EPA has said they don’t see the necessity of this. The following is statement by Senator James Inhofe, (Ok-R):

“Why would anyone oppose a full, open, transparent hearing to determine whether evidence supporting the most consequential regulatory decision of our time—affecting schools, hospitals, farms, apartment buildings, restaurants, nursing homes, and thousands of other sources—is up-to-date, accurate, and reflective of the best available scientific research? And why wouldn’t the Obama Administration, and its supporters in the environmental community, faced with a decision potentially imposing billions of dollars of costs on consumers and small businesses, favor a process that ensures maximum public participation and stakeholder input?”

“The answer is simple: in dismissing the Chamber’s petition as “frivolous,” EPA has made clear that, even before finalizing its regulation and considering thousands of public comments, it has already decided the question of endangerment. And in so doing, it has ignored, either deliberately or through omission, reams of scientific data, which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has rigorously identified, undermining the case that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare.

EPA has also made clear that it doesn’t want to hear dissenting voices on this important question. This runs contrary to President Obama’s speech last December, in which he expressed his views on scientific integrity in the administrative process. As he said, “It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient — especially when it’s inconvenient.” (Emphasis added by Cbdakota)

Read Senator Inhofe’s full comments here.

Now that the President is on record for “restoring science etc……”  and “…..listening even when it is inconvenient”  shouldn’t you let him know that you want him to direct the EPA to have the hearing.


Global Warming, Politics and Economy by Dr Akasofu

Translated from Japanese, Dr Syun Akasofu’s article “20 points of context on global warming, politics and the economy of the world” has been put online.  Dr Akasofu works at the International Arctic Research Center at the U of Alaska.  In his article he says that future global warming conferences, like the upcoming December Copenhagen Conference,  should be postponed until we know more science.  He has many more interesting comments such as:

8. One problem in this particular discipline of science is that scientists who base their research on computer simulations have become too arrogant, saying that they can predict the temperature in 2100, although too much is still unknown about the earth system. Ignoring natural causes of climate change and even unknown aspects of cloud physics, they rely on computer work in predicting the temperature rise in 2100. However, a computer is like a robot. It can perform only what it is instructed to do by the programs produced by the human brain. If a computer program is incorrect or inaccurate, the output will also be incorrect or inaccurate. In science, incorrect programs or hypotheses (produced by one or a group of scientists) are criticized by other scientists and can thus be improved. That is the way science should progress. However, the IPCC regards those who criticize them as “skeptics”, or “deniers”, etc., and brought this newborn and immature science to the international stage. They stated in 2007 that scientists have done all they can and that the science is settled, and the rest of the task should be in the hands of policy makers. Such a statement is very irresponsible.

10. The Obama administration is promoting wind power and solar power. However, there is no way to supply more than 10% of the US power needs (Obama says that they should try for 20%, but has he estimated the cost involved?) It is only about 2.5% at present. In any case, 80-90% of future electric power has to be found.

20. We should bring back the science of climate change to a basic science, avoiding interferences by policy makers and the world mass media. Only then can this particular science proceed in a scientifically healthy way. Only then can we discuss any global warming hypothesis as proponents and opponents (instead of as “believers” and “skeptics” or “deniers” in the religious sense), regardless of one side being in the majority or minority. In science, unlike in politics, a minority can be right.

While Dr Akasofu’s belief maybe accurate that Pres.Obama really wants to promote nuclear power, his left wing environmentalists don’t.  They will oppose with every lawsuit they can muster, every attempt at new nuke facilities.  While their success is not certain to stop these facilities, these environmentalists will delay startup and raise the cost.

Read all of Dr Akasofu  comments here


The Rope to Hang Ourselves

We have been told that the Cap and Trade legislation will create millions of green jobs.  But thoughtful analysis plus experience in Europe tell us not to expect the new green jobs to be in millions.  And the analysis and experiences show that we will lose many more manufacturing jobs because the Cap and Trade bill rations and raises the price of energy in the US.

We have long known that the majority of the equipment needed for wind farms comes from overseas.   Now lets add to that knowledge.  It appears that the solar equipment will also be manufactured overseas.  The following quote is from the Energy Tribune’s entry “China’s Photovoltaic Industry: Exporting on the Cheap”:

“………it appears that Chinese PV producers will continue to push their panels onto the world market.  And they will do so at prices that undercut PV producers in the US and Europe.  Last month, the New York Times quoted Thomas M. Zarrella the chief executive of GT Solar International, a New Hampshire-based company that sells equipment to solar panel makers about the looming shift in global PV production.  ‘I don’t see Europe or the United States becoming major producers of solar products—-they’ll be consumers’, he said.”

The Energy Tribune blog notes that the pragmatic Chinese are exporting nearly all of their production overseas rather than using the panels in their own country. Read the blog here

Cap and Trade will construct the gallows and the Chinese will sell us the rope to hang ourselves.


Would You Buy A Chevy Volt?

The Chevy Volt seems to be the most ballyhooed electric vehicle not yet available for sale. The vehicle is scheduled to be in the showrooms November 2010 with a price tag of about $40,000 before a government subsidy of $7, 200.


Chevy Volt

Courtesy of Popular Mechanics Magazine

It’s wheels are driven by an electric motor.  The power for the electric motor is a lithium-ion battery pack.  The pack can be charged either by plugging it into an electrical outlet or by the on-board 71hp Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) which can keep the battery pack charged. The range of the battery pack is about 40 miles before requiring recharging.   The range using the on-board ICE charger is essentially unlimited.  When operating on the  ICE charger, the MPG is said to be about 50.

Depending on the type of driving you do, you might like this car.  If you seldom drive more than 40 miles a day, you have a garage where you can recharge the battery pack and  you don’t expect high performance, then this may be the vehicle for you. Because you are happy getting 50 MPG,  you don’t mind the under performance you get from a battery pack charged by a  71 hp engine,  it could work for you.  For those of you that like to be seen as “early adopters” or like to let people know of your environmental credentials,   this could be the car for you.

Before you buy—–

If you find that the above noted specs fit you, there are a couple of things more that you should consider.   First consideration is the price of the Volt.   An Edmund’s study compares the Volt’s high purchase price versus other lower priced hybrids with nearly as good mileage. That study says, despite the estimated 230 miles per gallon for the Volt, the $11+thousand higher purchase price would not the Volt owner to  break even with the Prius for 17.4 years.  See that study here.


The mileage of these all-electric vehicles will use the expression “miles per gallon equivalent” (MPGe).  This term is based upon the electrical energy consumed expressed as the equivalent energy in a gallon of gasoline.   A gallon of gasoline is pegged at 115,000 btu per gallon.  The electrical equivalent is 33.7KWh.  For example if your electric vehicle uses 150 W-h per mile,  it’s MPGe = (1/150  W-h/mile)(33,700W-h/gal)= 225 MPGe

The big issue

The battery pack is probably the most problematic issue with respect to the Volt and for that matter for every all-electric vehicle.   In my next posting, I will discuss some of the potential pot holes in the road that the battery pack may represent.