But then came the unexpected: a recession brought on and exacerbated by the heavy hand of government, and a second consecutive severe winter. Indeed, we may look back and see that our current financial crisis and Mother Nature were the saviors of free-market capitalism. They may have slowed the statist steamroller long enough for the proponents of climate realism to make such socialistic schemes as "cap and trade" understood for what they are and what they are not. They are not about anything to do with global warming or climate change. They are instead a massive transfer of wealth from the productive to those who will not adopt free markets.
While the primary promoters of the warming hoax have not "broken and run" yet, there is much evidence that there is an increasing tide of defectors and that climate catastrophists have completely run out of dry powder.
Temperatures Stopped Increasing
Satellite data from NASA shows no increase in average global temperature since 1998, a year when El Niño caused a worldwide spike having nothing to do with carbon dioxide. Alarmists contend this is just a pause in a continuous rise in temperatures and that it will begin to increase again. Ironically that is the same argument that the warming skeptics have been using for years. There was warming for the first 40 years of the 20th century — until the very time CO2 began to climb significantly — and then came cooling, which sparked concerns in the '70s about a looming Ice Age. Then rising temperatures resumed until 1998 and now we're back on a cooling trend. This fits well with a general planetary warm up, but is in conflict with climate forcing by CO2 that calls for a continuous upward temperature movement.
Unfortunately for the alarmists, nothing seems sacred these days. It has long been known that the disintegration of the Soviet Union ended temperature data from large parts of that country, especially Siberia. Without massive re-calculations to exclude temperature readings from these stations during the Soviet era, a significant increase in global temperatures would be seen from the absence of this data during the post-Soviet period. From available literature there is no indication that any meteorological body went to such trouble. But what about the weather data from the United States — the "best in the world"?
In his presentation at the International 2009 Conference on Climate Change, 25-year veteran meteorologist Anthony Watts showed alarming data for the global-warming alarmists. But first we should note that the global temperature rise that we are supposed to be concerned over was less than 1°C for the entire 20th century, meaning minor errors in measurements can contribute significantly to an apparent warming trend. Watts was certainly aware of the "urban island" effect that causes cities like Tucson to have temperature increases three times those of surrounding rural measurement stations. But how have reporting stations, "urbanized" by a spreading population, been affected? With 650 volunteers, more than 860 of the National Weather Service's 1,221 climate-monitoring stations were inspected and photographically documented. Of these, 89 percent did not meet the Weather Service's own requirement of being 30 meters away from artificial heating or reflecting sources such as pavements or building.
Public Opinion Is Shifting
According to a January Rasmussen poll, 44 percent of U.S. voters now say "long-term planetary trends are the cause of global warming — up from 35 percent two years ago, while only 41 percent blame it on human activity, down from 47 percent. The remainder either attribute global warming to some other reason or are unsure. This means that only about 4 in 10 of the polled "expected voters" are still falling for the "greatest scam."
For the alarmists to pass their "cap and trade" or "carbon tax" legislation — the purpose of all this turmoil — they must do so before the awakened voters reach the 70-percent level, at which point some political analysts believe that even many liberal Democrats will abandon a sinking ship.
When people are more informed on the issue, the tide swings dramatically away from the alarmist position. In the Czech Republic where President Vaclav Klaus, a speaker at the climate-change conference and current president of the European Union, is educating his countrymen on the climate debate, a mere 11 percent believe in anthropogenic global warming. The more informed people are, the less likely they are to be in the alarmist camp.
This was evidenced by a 2007 Oxford-style debate in New York sponsored by National Public Radio, a more difficult venue being hard to imagine for warming skeptics, or "deniers" as they were popularly referred to. The issue under debate was "Global Warming Is Not a Crisis." Prior to the debate about 30 percent of the audience agreed with the motion, and 57 percent were against, with 13 percent undecided. After the debate 46 percent agreed, while 42 percent were opposed with 12 percent apparently still unsure, a swing of 19 percent of those with an opinion toward the climate-realist position.
More and more scientists are also publicly coming out against the anthropogenic global-warming hypothesis. On March 21, 59 additional scientists from NASA, the EPA, the Navy, the Air Force, the Defense and Energy Departments, and major universities joined the previous 650 who disagree with this hypothesis, according to Senator James Inhofe, ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
Goodbye CO2, Here Comes the Sun
Because of undeniable properties of the spectral properties of atmospheric gases and the wavelengths of solar radiation and terrestrial re-radiation, all climate predictive models have a "hot spot" in the atmosphere at a height of 8 to 10 kilometers above the equatorial regions. Sought after for years as proof of CO2-induced warming, thousands of radiosonde (balloon) and satellite measurements have failed to find this critical signature or "fingerprint" of CO2 as a climate-forcing agent. Lack of such evidence caused the defection of Dr. David Evans from his post with the Australian Greenhouse Office. But there is other evidence of this disconnect presented by none other than Al Gore in his movie, An Inconvenient Truth. Featured in the video is a large graph with two lines of data, one being temperature as calculated by the thoroughly discredited and phony "Hockey Stick" graph, while another plots the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The data are separated for a reason: if you put them together, it is evident that a rise in temperature precedes the increase in CO2, as if the oceans give up the gas when they are heated. Which they do.
On the other hand, the controversy has brought to light a correlation that seems to have been lost in history: temperature change versus solar activity, not only solar irradiance that can account for only a small change in temperature, but activity that includes solar winds and magnetic fields.
Let us take two end points: first the coldest temperatures of which we have a historical record, the depth of the Little Ice Age from about 1645 to 1715, and the second being today's global temperatures. Next to this we plot the lowest sunspot activity, a period known as the Maunder Minimum where there were no sunspots for five decades, and then the solar activity that occurred at the end of the 1900s, estimated to be the highest in the last 11,000 years.
It is interesting that the lowest temperature is associated with the Maunder Minimum while the highest is found in the late 1900s temperatures. Unfortunately while this may bring thinking people to discount the warming hoax, there is a possible downside for the human race. In the last two years there have been almost no new sunspots while scores, if not hundreds, were expected in a new solar cycle. Not wanting to sound like an alarmist, nonetheless, this condition bodes ill for a continued warming trend and is likely the precursor of significant cooling — the real problem for the human race.
One can imagine a scene 10 years hence when government has shut down coal-fired power plants while global temperatures are plunging toward those last seen in the mid 1800s.
Alarmist Leaders Avoid Questions
The two most vocal and quoted leaders in the campaign to convince the public that global warming is both caused by human activity and is a threat to mankind are former Vice President Al Gore and NASA employee James Hansen. Both were invited to speak at the March 8-10 Conference on Climate Change. Neither accepted.
In his closing address to the conference, producer of the informative DVD Apocalypse, NO!, Lord Christopher Monckton remarked: "Gore's speaking contract stipulates that he will not debate, he will not answer unscripted questions, and he will not be interviewed except by journalists acceptable to him. Which journalists are they? The dim ones that don't know any science, and the prejudiced ones that don't care. Just about all of them."
Gore appeared before the U.S. Senate a few weeks ago in a "public" hearing, except the public was not invited. The former V.P. showed "science slides" to the senators. Would you like to know what they were about? Me too. Sorry, but they are secret, and the Senate is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act. Fancy that.
Meanwhile Chief Alarmist James Hansen wasn't too busy to lend a hand at a March 2 demonstration, self-proclaimed as "Mass Civil Disobedience at the Coal-Fired Capitol Power Plant in Washington D.C." The nation anxiously awaited Capitol Climate Action's report proclaiming: "Courageous activists have now occupied three of five gates at the Capitol Power Plant. The march of thousands is continuing to circle the plant." The report didn't mention that the plant no longer generates electricity and is already slated to be changed over to natural gas.
At this point the entire cabal of global-warming alarmists must realize that all it would take is a single mainstream news organization to opt for truth, and their entire house of cards would come tumbling down. Through public pressure on our legislators and through letters to the editor, we can hasten this glorious day.
The 2009 International Conference on Climate Change was held in New York City on March 8-10. Over 800 people from 40 countries attended lectures chosen from a smorgasbord of 80 topics in paleoclimatology, climatology, climate-change impacts, and economics & politics. Featured keynote speakers included European Union President Vaclav Klaus, MIT Professor Richard Lindzen, Hon. John H. Sununu, Willie Soon, Astronaut Harrison Schmitt, Arthur Robinson, Jay Lehr, NASA retiree John Theon (former boss of James Hansen), Lord Christopher Monckton, and Joe Bast, president of the sponsoring organization, the Heartland Institute.
Photos: Heartland Institute, Surface Stations