Meet John Doe: Climate change is not global warming, and neither are hoaxes, part two

July 30, 2014

Paul Gorski

Paul Gorski

By Paul Gorski

The basic premise of my article “Meet John Doe: Climate change is not global warming, and neither are hoaxes” from the June 18-24, 2014, issue was that the measurements and arguments used to support the belief that the Earth’s climate is rapidly changing are not part of an elaborate hoax or lie. What purpose would that hoax serve? Readers responded. One reader replied with an explanation.

One explanation is that the theory of global climate change serves as a distraction, a sleight of hand, to keep us focused on the debate, while the leaders of the world are up to no good. Rally the world together for a single worthy cause, while cheating us from something, yet undetermined. Maybe money, maybe our human rights. Given that scientists are typically skeptical of politicians, I do not see scientists around the world agreeing to this coordinated deception. No, I do not believe the climate change debate is a fabricated distraction, and I do not view climate change as a hoax.

Some readers flatly deny global surface temperatures are on the rise, and that contrary to popular belief, temperatures are stable or even in decline, arguing we are misinterpreting the data. I admit we may not see a consistent climate change pattern depending on the information one chooses to review. People on both sides of the argument are selectively picking information, including only information that supports their opinion. We do know sea levels are rising, agricultural zones are shifting, and polar ice caps are either shrinking or expanding, depending which pole we look at. We see this happening now. We cannot deny these facts.

Other readers recognize these facts and admit our climate is changing, but claim there is no direct cause and effect between human-generated carbon dioxide and climate change. What proof is there that driving my car is warming the Earth? I concede that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions may not be the only cause of global climate change. Theories are testable, so the theory that CO2 emissions affect climate change is testable, too.

We can test the climate change theory by reducing global CO2 emissions and monitoring the results. If reducing CO2 emissions does not affect the climate, what have we lost? The effort to lower CO2 emissions is driving us to conserve fossil fuels and spurring research and growth in alternative energy sources. Rather than costing us money, we are creating new jobs in new industries. The free market is working. Capitalists and environmentalists can rejoice together — how often can we say that? I do not see the downside of reducing CO2 emissions.

Join the discussion. Readers have posted valuable comments and links online in response to my original article at http://rockrivertimes.com/2014/06/18/meet-john-doe-climate-change-is-not-global-warming-and-neither-are-hoaxes/. Send a letter to the editor or post more opinions online. I offer a special thank-you to reader “Ken” for his patience and well-reasoned views.

Paul Gorski (paul@paulgorski.com) is a Cherry Valley Township resident who also authors the Tech-Friendly column seen in this newspaper.

From the July 30-Aug. 5, 2014, issue

33 Comments

  1. charles Crothers

    July 30, 2014 at 10:33 am

    “We can test the climate change theory by reducing global CO2 emissions and monitoring the results. If reducing CO2 emissions does not affect the climate, what have we lost?”

    When you destroy jobs, (Coal and Keystone pipeline)and “tax” through Cap and Trade, and allow China, India and other countries a free pass to pollute while their competing global economies have an unfair advantage over the U.S.,,, What you have LOST is plenty. Until people properly correlate a rise in CO2 to an “after the fact normal climatic excursion of higher temps, however brief, the alarmists and “research grant writers” and doom purveyors will prevail. The oceans and vegetation have an amazing buffering capacity for CO2.
    There is only ONE thing I can promise you: the earth is on schedule for an Ice-Age – Then where will all “human-caused climate change subscribers” be as a thousand feet of ice-sheet cover Toronto??? Me? I just have a Master’s Degree in Forest Science so what would I know….

    • Thomas Lee Elifritz

      July 30, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      What do you know? Not freaking much. Science and scientists don’t use terms like ‘amazing’, they use numbers and equations and evidence and data. I guess you missed that in your Master’s program. I guess you are secure in your smugness.

    • Alisan Tucker-Giesy

      July 30, 2014 at 10:34 pm

      Then you should the know that the future is always in motion, as Yoda said. You should also know that we are monitoring a chaotic system, and that the outcomes are still in doubt. When in doubt, be prudent. The oceans’ and vegetations’ capacity for buffering is marvelous, but limited. We are well over the Earth’s CO2, CH4 and temperature constraints from the last 400K years. How far are we going to stretch those constraints? Are we willing to find the limits? I tell my students that we are running an experiment and we are in the test tube. We will be among the first to know when we have exceeded the boundaries that we HUMANS find acceptable. I also tell them that the Earth will be fine and will keep on turning. WE might find the changed world unacceptable.

    • Chris G

      July 31, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      Wow, where to start?
      Who told you mitigating climate change would cost jobs? No, really, who told you and why do you believe them? A revenue neutral carbon tax would actually increase jobs. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/jun/13/how-revenue-neutral-carbon-tax-creates-jobs-grows-economy
      I have economic studies; what have you got?

      Let’s see, Arrenhius predicted that our burning of fossil fuels would increase the CO2 content of the atmosphere and that would cause warming. That was in 1896, check on both accounts.

      If the oceans and vegetation can buffer our CO2 production, why has the atmospheric content gone up by 40%?

      No, the earth is not on track for an ice age. Where did you get that idea?

      • Mike W

        August 1, 2014 at 3:03 pm

        “Who told you mitigating climate change would cost jobs?”

        http://judithcurry.com/2014/07/30/lomborgs-senate-testimony/

        • Chris G

          August 2, 2014 at 1:50 am

          And you believe it because Lomborg said so, and it is what you want to believe. How many companies and government agencies use Lomborg’s advice to decide economic policy? How many use REMI?
          Why should we believe Lomborg?

    • Don Osborn

      August 1, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      Going to renewables create many more good jobs than are lost. Already there are more people employed in the US in just solar alone than in the coal industry. As we move forward more countries follow our lead. Even China is getting serious.

  2. John Doe

    July 30, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    The hypothesis is only truly testable with a control climate to compare it too. We have none. However, I encourage everyone to pick a point in advance (if you are not a believer yet) of climate change, say when the seas boil as an extreme, where you would see the evidence as undeniable. And then wait…

    • Ed K

      July 31, 2014 at 10:47 am

      Actually we do have comparison climates in the form of proxies, such as tree rings, Antarctic sediments and ice cores, to analyze past climates against today’s. That’s also why they create models to test against assumed climates of the future, based on past climates and current weather patterns.

  3. Odin2

    July 31, 2014 at 8:58 am

    The skeptics have always said that the alarmists over emphasized CO2’s role in global warming and under emphasized the role of other natural causes like solar and ocean cycles etc. There has not been any global warming of the atmosphere in the past 17 years and 10 months despite the fact that CO2 concentrations have increased dramatically during this period (the pause). At first the alarmists tried to deny the pause, but now some are trying to explain the pause by pointing to natural causes besides CO2. Example- the ocean ate my global warming but I can’t find it.

    Now a number of prominent scientists who study solar cycles are predicting that we are about to enter a prolonged cooling period. Several Russian scientists are even predicting a new ice age for the next 200 years. We can only hope that the Russians are being as alarmist as the alarmists who argue that global warming is caused primarily by human generated CO2 (CAGW). In this regard, a recent study indicates that human generated CO2 constitutes less than 4% of atmospheric CO2. And, since CO2 constitutes less than 4% of total atmospheric gases, CAGW is just another example of the flea wagging the dog (to paraphrase Dr. Tim Ball).

    • Chris G

      July 31, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      It’s not that complicated. The Pacific ocean absorbs more heat than it let’s off during La Nina and gives off more than it absorbs during El Nino. There hasn’t been a strong El Nino since 1998.

      We can measure inbound energy and outbound energy, and more is coming in than leaving. Do you have a problem with the law of conservation of energy? If not, where do you think the energy has gone?

    • Chris G

      July 31, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      Your numbers are grossly off for CO2 content, but regardless, maybe this picture of the earth emission spectra will clear things up a little for you.
      http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/people/faculty/djj/book/bookchap7-15.gif

    • Mark H

      August 1, 2014 at 1:13 am

      I agree with Chris G.
      Please link your data.

    • Barry M.

      August 1, 2014 at 9:42 am

      If you look at the temperature record going back to 1880, you will see lots of other “pauses” (decadal climate variability), only to be followed by more rises in temperature. It’s the long term trend that counts, and fact is that global temperatures in the last 17 years have been higher than in the last 2000 years, and “natural variability” cannot account for this.

      Also, humans generating even a small fraction of CO2 in the atmosphere is enough to throw off the energy balance and lead to warming of, say, up to a few degrees Celsius. And if you think 1-4 C is not a big deal, save up for your legacy and advise your children to buy some coastal property.

  4. PeteLJ

    July 31, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    How naïve to think that the Government never engages in propaganda or deception. From WMD in Iraq to Y2K computer meltdown to Democrats being concerned about the welfare of minorities/”migrants” to IRS being fair and evenhanded. Follow the money.

    • RickG

      July 31, 2014 at 4:20 pm

      Absolutely. The US government has spent $190,000,000,000.00 on global warming. There’s big money to be made.

      • Don Osborn

        August 1, 2014 at 3:41 pm

        Even more money in the fossil fuel industry. So if you are following the money on who pushes propaganda look no further than your coal companies and their neo-con allies such as Heritage and Marshall Foundations.

  5. richardc

    July 31, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    You don’t see a downside to reduced emissions LOWERING the production
    of food crops??? More CO2 translates into higher food production using
    less water; is this not a good thing?

    • Barry M.

      August 1, 2014 at 9:42 am

      Gee, then why aren’t California farmers doing better this year?

      • richardc

        August 4, 2014 at 3:14 pm

        My family and my wifes’ both are farmers since late 1800’s. Go
        learn something about farming, and you will understand what a
        foolish question you asked.

  6. Philip Haddad

    July 31, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Why is it so difficult to understand that while the burning of fossil fuels emits CO2 the fossil fuels are burned for the heat they produce. Is there any other reason to burn them? During the 20th century energy consumption increased 20-fold. CO2 increased one fourth. Is this small increase in a minor component of the greenhouse gas significant as compared to the tremendous increase in the heat emitted beneath this blanket? Heat emissions alone, from fossil fuels and nuclear power can explain the climate changes we see with better accountability than the fallacious CO2 models which ignore the effects of heat emissions and the cooling effects of photosynthesis and Arctic glacial melting,( which is currently at a rate of one trillion tons a year). This focus on CO2 has led to foolish energy policies such as carbon cap and trade, CO2 capture and storage, taxing of CO2 instead of heat release, permitting the construction of more nuclear plants (nuclear power emits three times the total heat as its electrical output. Isn’t a re-evaluation of the cause of global warming long overdue?

    • Mark H

      August 1, 2014 at 1:02 am

      please link your data references

  7. Ken Carter

    July 31, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    These experiments have already been tried in Europe. The results are that for every new green job added 2.1 jobs are lost from the resulting slowdown in GDP, the reduction in fossils fuels usage which is much more efficient than solar or wind power and the higher overall cost of not only energy but practically everything since energy is needed to produce, transport etc. nearly all products in any given market. Green jobs are also far more likely to be temporary in nature. So there is a real human cost. As others have commented hard dollars involved are also substantial, we are talking trillions.

    So it make no sense to move forward with energy rationing schemes (CO2 reducing plans make energy less available by design) transfer of wealth schemes (which are at the heart of most of the taxes proposed in the name of decarbonizing our economy) all of which are by design climatically meaningless. By climatically meaningless in mean, the US, China, India, Europe all followed Kyoto or any other prominent CO2 reduction accord the temperature will be effected no more than a degree or so…..woohoo. All pain and no gain.

    • Matteo

      July 31, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      fossil fuels are not more efficient than solar energy, not sure where you got that information

      • Ken Carter

        August 1, 2014 at 12:56 pm

        If solar power is more efficient then it would be more cost effective than coal, oil or natural gas. But it’s not and of course solar power is heavily subsidized as well.

        Additionally solar power has to have a backup power source available such as fossil fuel since solar energy is not available all of the time (night time/rainy days etc.) This requirement creates even more inefficiency as coal fired or natural gas powered electric plants have to remain online idling and ready to back up solar and wind generation of power. So no solar is less efficient and less reliable than fossil fuels.

        There are other issues with solar power as well such as the amount of geography needed to supply power in any real scale close to our power needs. Also at the end of the solar cells life expectancy disposal is not exactly environmentally friendly and adds additional costs.

        My point is decarbonization of our economy is anything but cheep. It will be very costly and will be a net drag into the trillions of dollars. Just look at European contries energy costs vs. the USA. They are paying the price for this folly big time and we need to learn from their mistakes….not repeat them while kiding ourselvs that there will be no costs or even some sort of net growth in jobs or GDP.

    • Don Osborn

      August 1, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      Actually, the German economy (the vanguard of going renewables) is steaming along and doing quite well. Get your facts straight. Up is not down.

  8. mememine69

    July 31, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Climate blame was a lib’s excuse to hissy fit hate neocons.
    No matter how determined you “believers” try to eagerly “believe” in this misery actually happening for our children, the denier voting majority will never allow your “climate action” to SAVE THE PLANET until science is more than their laughable 95% certain that THE END IS NEAR.
    Deny this;
    The remaining “believers” would have us believe that the scientific method prevents science from actually “saying” they are more than “95%” certain or say “proven” or “eventual” or “inevitable” even though it’s about saving the entire planet from a global climate crisis possibly caused by Human CO2. That’s why it’s called “belief”. History will call it exaggeration but generations of children will call it fear mongering.
    Get up to date;
    *Occupywallstreet now does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by politicians.
    *Canada killed Y2Kyoto 2 years ago with a freely elected climate change denying prime minister and nobody cared, especially the millions of scientists warning us of unstoppable warming (a comet hit). And what did YOU do about it planet lovers?
    Climate blame exaggeration and fear mongering has done to the left what Bush and his war mongers did for the neocons but did Bush goose step billions of innocent children to the greenhouse gas ovens of an exaggerated crisis just because he hated dems so much? This was your Iraq War girls.

    • Mark H

      August 1, 2014 at 1:11 am

      Probably made more sense in your head, than on paper. Reform your thought, at present it’s gibberish.
      Or elaborate further. I don’t get your train of thought.

  9. Mark H

    August 1, 2014 at 12:54 am

    Climate change is a fact, man made climate change is a hypothesis. The term Pseudoscience comes to mind. Example (maybe a poor one): I can claim the reason for increased temperature is due to babies. Input reason why here. It cannot be proven or dis-proven unless you want to go around killing babies (which no one sane would do). Science can test theories and prove or dis-prove them, but something like this is not provable.
    That being said, all signs point to humans being linked to temperature change. There are enough data points to link the two. There are 3 ways carbon gets released into the atmosphere (not just one). There’s evaporation (self explanatory), decay (think rotting trees), and burning (think power plants).
    Now, we (as a species) have increased carbon release due to decay and burning. So we have, in fact, changed the atmospheric content of carbon. So what is the effect?
    This is where the debate starts. The science is in. Even the lawsuits being filed do not question the science, they question the effect. No one can predict the future, so there is basis for climate change denial.
    http://web.law.columbia.edu/climate-change/resources/us-climate-change-litigation-chart
    http://www.climatecasechart.com/
    However, it comes down to the question, “Do you want to find out?”
    Example: We can cycle through generations of fish quickly, so we can find out long term effects. BPA has been shown to effect fish after several generations of exposure. Male fish started growing female fish parts. Will the same thing happen in humans? Do you want to find out? Most people said no, and we eliminated BPA from sippy cups.
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/247741.php
    http://cosmos.ucdavis.edu/archives/2013/cluster1/Ramesh_Swathi.pdf
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/03/opinion/kristof-how-chemicals-change-us.html
    Climate change is another, “Do you want to find out?” Are you willing to gamble on destroying the only planet we have? We have an appetite for self destructive behavior. We must rise above this.

  10. forrest snavely

    August 4, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Mr. Gorski, would you like to read Lord Monckton’s website? He is a meteorologist and climatologist who is a global warming denier. His views have been censured from the BBC. The sun peaked in Jan. 2014. The next 5 years will be cooler. Monckton predicts the weather by studying the history of weather related to the position of the moon to the earth. People pay for his forecasts. He predicted the autumn 2013 tornado in South Dakota.

  11. Mark H

    August 8, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?r=147

    It’s not the sun. Our atmosphere and other planets’ atmospheres are not the same. The sun will not have the same effect on all planets. I linked that first because it’s easier to read.
    This next link is to the American Institute of Physics, much harder to read…. but says the same thing…. =\
    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/solar.htm
    Why don’t deniers ever link references…oh yeah, it’s just their uninformed opinion, it has nothing to do with science?….

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