October 13, 2007

Oslo Calling

Monique Chartier

The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced yesterday that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 would be shared by Al Gore and the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change

But the intrinsic assumption of that statement is that the theory of anthropogenic global warming has been proven and that evidence accrued in recent years has only bolstered the conclusion that man is causing global warming. In fact, the reverse has been true.

The attempted re-label - "climate change" - is in itself an admission by proponents of a weakness in the theory. But more substantively, problems have arisen in several components of the "evidence" to support the theory that the greenhouse gases generated by man are causing the planet's temperature to rise.

Let's back up and start with what we know:

> The Earth is warming. Since 1860 when man began putting all those icky fossil fuels into the air, the Earth's average temperature has risen less than one degree centigrade. [Not per year. For that 147 year span.]

> Man has been generating greenhouse gases. Responsibility for the generation of greenhouse gases is apportioned thusly: Mother Nature 94% ~ man 6%.

Now, the theory of AGW is that man, with the 6% of greenhouse gases he contributes, caused that rise in temperature. And AGW computer models predict that man's 6% will cause a further rise of 4 to 7 degrees fahrenheit over the coming century, with the attendant melt of certain ice caps and the well publicized projected rise in sea levels.

"Houston, we have a ..."

... several, actually.

> With the method of data collection; more specifically, the location of temperature sensor stations. Wish I could tell you more about this problem but

the NCDC removed all website access to station site locations, citing "privacy concerns." Without this data (which had been public for years), the validation effort was blocked.

> With the computer models, the scientific crux of AGW. These models do not (because they cannot) factor in the impact, either way, of clouds on the global temperature. Even more scary, they do not "predict" observed conditions.

> With how high we think sea levels will go. Two of the darlings of AGW, Dr. James Hansen and the IPCC, disagree.

In short, it is clear that the case against man as the cause of global warming is seriously flawed. Further, the above list of flaws, by no means comprehensive, also demonstrates that a non-scientist can easily ascertain the existence of such weaknesses.

The Nobel Committee, then, could have done a modicum of their own research on AGW as a function of weighing the worthiness of all nominees. They did not do so. The result is not only damage to their own credibility but the further promotion of a far from proven theory for which draconian solutions are being proposed and even legislatively considered.

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To quote the Nobel Foundation Statement on 2007 Peace Prize and Washington Post in full per your link:

“The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 is to be shared, in two equal parts, between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”

“Thousands of scientists and officials from over one hundred countries have collaborated to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of the warming. Whereas in the 1980s global warming seemed to be merely an interesting hypothesis, the 1990s produced firmer evidence in its support. In the last few years, the connections have become even clearer and the consequences still more apparent.”

“Al Gore has for a long time been one of the world's leading environmentalist politicians. He became aware at an early stage of the climatic challenges the world is facing. His strong commitment, reflected in political activity, lectures, films and books, has strengthened the struggle against climate change. He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted.”

How do you relate “the NCDC removed all website access to station site locations, citing "privacy concerns."

This was accomplished in 2006 (go back and check article dates) under President George W. Bush watch and not former VP Al Gore who was no where in office?

I think you should present your papers to the Nobel Foundation because you seem to be more qualified to speak than the “Thousands of scientists and officials from over one hundred countries have collaborated to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of the warming” and Al Gore (Oh no! He’s a Democrat!)

Posted by: Ken at October 14, 2007 3:47 AM

Al Gore and a UN group win a Nobel Peace prize for peddling a theory that many many many in the scientific community believes to be pure fiction. Jeez only thing funnier would be Yasser Arafat winning a ...err nevermind.
Nobel has gone the way of so many other 'game' shows. Completely PC and totally irrelevant.
Al Gore? The UN? lol

Posted by: Tim at October 14, 2007 8:32 AM

Ken, the subject of the post is the Nobel Committee and the underlying issue that was the basis for the award of the prize. I was not criticizing the award because the recipient was a Democrat. Al Gore's party affiliation is irrelevant to me in this instance. There are Republicans who agree with Mr. Gore on the cause of global warming and my exasperation extends as much to them as to Al Gore. Anyone, Republican or Democrat, who wholly believes and promotes the theory of AGW simply hasn't done some basic research.

As to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), the removal - possibly illegal because they receive tax dollars - of public information about temperature sensor locations was clearly done because it was damaging the case for AGW. I have no idea who ordered the removal of that information though I kind of doubt President Bush has the time to micromanage such a situation.

But let's go with your suggestion. President Bush ordered the removal of data which is damaging to AGW. So George Bush believes in AGW. And since you apparently do, too, shouldn't you be thanking rather than criticising him for helping the cause?

Posted by: Monique at October 14, 2007 9:34 AM

Call me crazy but I always liked Al Gore, especially when he distanced himself from Clinton.

Posted by: michael at October 14, 2007 1:10 PM

Depends on which Al Gore you liked, Michael . . . There were so many of him to chose from!

Did you like the pro-life Al Gore, or the pro-abortion Al Gore?

The tobacco farmer Gore, or the anti-tobacco Gore?

The "Bush 41 blew it by not bringing down Sadam" Gore, or the "Bush 43 blew it by invading Iraq" Gore?

So many options, kinda hard not to find at least one that you could like!

Posted by: brassband at October 14, 2007 2:20 PM

I suppose I should be glad that the extreme right wing (which to considerable extent has taken over the Republican party and is determined to obliterate its historic conservation orientation) discredits itself with most infomed people by global climate change denial. True conservatives should both favor conservation of resources in part so as to help combat climate change, and also be "prudent" - (as a one-time student of meteorology I know indeed how complicated the atmosphere and its feedback mechanisms can be) in the sense that it is better not to tqake a crapshoot with our atmsophere, the results of which can be even worse than predicted just as they may indeed be not as bad as predicted. But the right wing apparently rather just defend the short-term greed of the fossil fuel industry. But its too bad, climate change denial can help take down the Republican party, just as there is a need to build it up, at least locally, to combat the culture of corruption of the Democratic leaders here.

Posted by: Barry at October 14, 2007 5:01 PM

"But the right wing apparently rather just defend the short-term greed of the fossil fuel industry."

Nothing could be further from the truth. The continued existence of the fossil fuel industry is of complete indifference to me.

It's that the case has not been convincingly made that man is the cause of global warming. And the "solutions" proposed not only would not solve the problem, even if man is the culprit, they would be a heavy burden upon the poor and middle classes. (Can't Congress come up with a solution that doesn't involve more pointless revenue for the federal budget?)

Keep in mind, Barry, that man only generates 6% of greenhouse gases. Mother Nature makes the other 94%. The question is, what is the tipping point? Suppose it is 3%. Now, think of all of the activity in this country and around the world "powered" by greenhouse gases. Imagine reducing all of that activity by half so that man is only generating 3% of greenhouse gases. Half the manufacturing and trucking of goods. Half the gasoline to drive to work. Half the electricity for lights and appliances. Half the heat and air conditioning. Etc.

We need to phase out fossil fuels for other reasons. No one is a fan of air pollution and some of us are actually closet tree huggers.

But to prematurely stampede in that direction without replacement power in place because of a poorly documented theory is a bad idea.

Your comments about the source of the culture of corruption in Rhode Island are very much on point and appreciated. Please drop by more often.

Posted by: Monique at October 14, 2007 10:42 PM
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