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Climate science: models vs. observations

By Richard K. Moore | Aletho News | January 16, 2010

This document continues to evolve, based on continuing research. The latest version is always maintained at this URL:

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If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence.
— Bertrand Russell, Roads to Freedom, 1918

Science and models

True science begins with observations. When patterns are recognized in these observations, that leads to theories and models, which then lead to predictions. The predictions can then be tested by further observations, which can validate or invalidate the theories and models, or be used to refine them.

This is the paradigm accepted by all scientists. But scientists being people, typically in an academic research community, within a political society, there can be many a slip between cup and lip in the practice of science. There are the problems of getting funding, of peer pressure and career considerations, of dominant political dogmas, etc.

In the case of models there is a special problem that frequently arises. Researchers tend to become attached to their models, both psychologically and professionally. When new observations contradict the model, there is a tendency for the researchers to distort their model to fit the new data, rather than abandoning their model and looking for a better one. Or they may even ignore the new observations, and simply declare that their model is right, and the observations must be in error. This problem is even worse with complex computer models, where it is difficult for reviewers to figure out how the model really works, and whether ’fudging’ might be going on.

A classic example of the ’attached to model’ problem can be found in models of the universe. The Ptolemaic model assumed that the Earth is the center of the universe, and that the universe revolves around that center. Intuitively, this model makes a lot of sense. On the Earth, it feels like we are stationary. And we see the Sun and stars moving across the sky. “Obviously” the universe revolves around the Earth.

However, in order for this model to work in the case of the planets, it was necessary to introduce the arbitrary mechanism of epicycles. When Galileo and Copernicus came along, a much cleaner model was presented, that explained all the motions with no need for arbitrary assumptions. But no longer would the Earth be the center.

In this case it was not so much scientists that were attached to the old model, but the Church, which liked the model because it fit their interpretation of scripture. We’ve all heard the story of the Bishop who refused to look through the telescope, so he could ignore the new observations and hold on to the old model. Galileo was forced to recant. Thus can political interference hold back the progress of science, and ruin careers.

Climate models and global warming

Over the past century there has been a strong correlation between rising temperatures, and rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere, caused by the ever-increasing burning of fossil fuels. And it is well known that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Other things being equal, higher CO2 levels must cause an increase in temperature, due to trapping more heat from the sun. Many scientists, quite reasonably, began to explore the theory that continually rising CO2 emissions would lead to continually rising temperatures.

Intuitively, it seems that the theory is “obviously” true. Temperatures have been rising along with CO2 levels; CO2 is a greenhouse gas; what is there to prove? And if the theory is true, and we keep increasing our emissions, then temperatures will eventually reach dangerous levels, melting the Antarctic ice sheet, raising sea levels, and all the other disasters presented by Al Gore in his famous documentary. “Obviously” we are facing a human-generated crisis – and something has got to be done!

But for many years, before Gore’s film, governments didn’t seem to be listening. Environmentalists, however, were listening. Public concern began to grow about CO2 emissions, and the climate scientists investigating the theory shared these concerns. They had a strong motivation to present the scientific case convincingly, in order to force governments to pay attention and take effective action — the future of humanity was at stake!

The climate scientists began building computer models, based on the observed correlation between temperature and CO2 levels. The models looked solid, not only for the past century, but extending back in time. Research with ice-core data revealed a general correlation between temperature and CO2 levels, extending back for a million years and more. What had been “obvious” to begin with, now looked even more obvious, confirmed by seemingly solid science.

These are the very conditions that typically cause scientists to become attached to their models. The early success of the model confirms what the scientists suspected all along: the theory must be true. A subtle shift happens in the mind of the scientists involved. What began as a theory starts to become an assumption. If new data seems to contradict the theory, the response is not to discard the theory, but rather to figure out what the model is lacking.

In the case of the Ptolemaic model, they figured out that epicycles must be lacking, and so epicycles were added. They were certain the universe revolved around the Earth, and so epicycles had to exist. Similarly, the climate scientists have run into problems with their models, and they’ve needed to add more and more machinery to their models in order to overcome those problems. They are certain of their theory, and so their machinery must be valid.

Perhaps they are right. Or perhaps they’ve strayed into epicycle territory, where the theory needs to be abandoned and a better model needs to be identified. This is the conclusion that quite a few scientists have reached. Experts do differ on this question, despite the fact that Gore says emphatically that the “science is settled”. Which group of scientists is right? This is the issue we will be exploring in this article.

Question 1

Compared to the historical record, are we facing a threat of dangerous global warming?

Let’s look at the historical temperature record, beginning with the long-term view. For long-term temperatures, ice-cores provide the most reliable data. Let’s look first at the very-long-term record, using ice cores from Vostok, in the Antarctic.

Data source:

Vostok Temperatures: 450,000 BC — Present

Here we see a very regular pattern of long-term temperature cycles. Most of the time the Earth is in an ice age, and about every 125,000 years there is a brief period of warm tempertures, called an inter-glacial period. Our current inter-glacial period has lasted a bit longer than most, indicating that the next ice age is somewhat overdue. These long-term cycles are probably related to changes in the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit, which follows a cycle of about 100,000 years.

We also see other cycles of more closely-spaced peaks, and these are probably related to other cycles in the Earth’s orbit. There is an obliquity cycle of about 41,000 years, and a precession cycle, of about 20,000 years, and all of these cycles interfere with one another in complex ways. Here’s a tutorial from NASA that discusses the Earth’s orbital variations:

Next let’s zoom-in on the current inter-glacial period, as seen in Vostok and Greenland, again using ice-core data. Temperatures here are relative to the value for 1900, which is shown as zero:

Vostok Temperatures: 12,000 BC — 1900

Data source:

Greenland Temperatures: 9,500 BC — 1900

Here we see that the Southern Hemisphere emerged from the last ice age about 1,000 years earlier than did the Northern Hemisphere. As of 1900, in comparison to the whole inter-glacial period, the temperature was 3°C below the maximum in Vostok, and 3°C below the maximum in Greenland. Thus, as of 1900, temperatures were rather cool for the period in both hemispheres, and in Greenland, temperatures were close to a minimum.

During this recent inter-glacial period, temperatures in both Vostok and Greenland have oscillated through a range of about 4°C, although the patterns of oscillation are quite different in each case. In order to see just how different the patterns are, let’s look at Greenland and Vostok together, for the period 500BC–1900. Vostok is shown with a feint line, actually a dotted line if you click to see the enlarged version.

The patterns are very different indeed. In many cases we see an extreme high in Greenland, while at the same time Vostok is experiencing an extreme low. And in the period 1500—1900, while Greenland temperatures were relatively stable, within a range of .5°C, Vostok went through a radical oscillation of 3°C, from an extreme high to an extreme low. These differences between the two hemispheres might be related to the Earth’s orbit (See NASA tutorial), or they might be related to the fact that the Southern Hemisphere is dominated by oceans, while most of the land mass is in the Northern Hemisphere. Whatever the reason, the difference is striking.

There may be some value in trying to average these different records, to obtain a ’global average’, but it is important to understand that a global average is not the same as a global temperature. For example, consider temperatures 2,000 years ago. Greenland was experiencing a very wram period, 2°C above the baseline, while Vostok was experiencing a cold spell, nearly 1°C below the baseline. While the average for year 1000 might be near the baseline, that average does not represent the real temperature in either location.

This distinction between a global average, and real temperatures, is very important to keep in mind. Consider for example the concern that warming might lead to melting of the tundra in the Arctic, leading to the runaway release of methane. If that happens, it must happen in the Arctic. So it is the temperature in the Arctic that is relevant, not any kind of global average. In Greenland, temperatures 2,000 years ago were a full 2°C higher than 1900 temperatures, and there was no runaway release of methane.

The fact that the global average 2,000 years ago was dragged down by Antarctic cooling is completely irrelevant to the issue of melting tundra. Temperatures in the Arctic must rise by more than 2°C above 1900 levels before tundra-melting might be a problem, and this fact is obscured when we look at the global-average-derived hockey stick put out by the IPCC:

This graph gives the impression that temperatures 2,000 years ago were relatively low, and that in 1900 temperatures were higher than that. This may have some kind of abstract meaning, but it has nothing to do with what’s been going on in the Arctic, and it is very misleading as regards the likelihood of tundra-melting, or Arctic-melting in general. The graph is a gross misrepresentation of what’s been happening in the real world. It obscures the actual temperature record in both hemispheres, by presenting an artifical average that has existed nowhere.

Let’s now look at some other records from the Northern Hemisphere, to find out how typical the Greenland record is of its hemisphere. This first record is from Spain, based on the mercury content in a peat bog, as published in Science, 1999, vol. 284, for the most recent 4,000 years. Note that this graph is backwards, with present day on the left:

This next record is from the Central Alps, based on stalagmite isotopes, as published in Earth and Planteary Science Letters, 2005, vol. 235, for the most recent 2,000 years:

And finally, let’s include our Greenland record for the most recent 4,000 years:

While the three records are clearly different, they do share certain important characteristics. In each case we see a staggered rise, followed by a staggered decline — a long-term up-and-down cycle over the period. In each case we see that during the past few thousand years, temperatures have been 3°C higher than 1900 temperatures. And in each case we see a gradual descent towards the overdue next ice age. The Antarctic, on the other hand, shares none of these characteristics.

If we want to understand warming-related issues, such as tundra-melting and glacier-melting, we must consider the two hemispheres separately. If glaciers melt, they do so either because of high northern termperatures, or high southern temperatures. Whether or not glaciers are likely to melt cannot be determined by global averages. In this article we will concern ourselves with the Northern Hemisphere.

In the Northern Hemisphere, based on the shared characteristics we have observed, temperatures would need to rise at least 3°C above 1900 levels before we would need to worry about things like the extinction of polar bears, the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, or runaway methane release. We know this because none of these things have happened in the past 4,000 years, and temperatures have been3°C higher during that period.

However such a 3°C rise seems very unlikely to happen, given that all three of our Nothern Hemisphere samples show a gradual but definite decline toward the overdue next ice age. Let’s now zoom in the temperature record since 1900, and see what kind of rise has actually occurred. Let’s turn to Jim Hansen’s latest article, published on, 2009 temperatures by Jim Hansen. The article includes the following two graphs.

Jim Hansen is of course one of the primary proponents of the CO2-dangerous-warming theory, and there is considerable reason to believe these graphs show an exaggerated picture as regards to warming. Here is one article relevant to that point, and it is typical of other reports I’ve seen:
Son of Climategate! Scientist says feds manipulated data

Nonetheless, let’s accept these graphs as a valid representation of recent temperature changes, so as to be as fair as possible to the warming alarmists. We’ll be using the red line, which is from GISS, and which does not use the various extrapolations that are included in the green line. We’ll return to this topic later, but for now suffice it to say that these extrapolations make little sense from a scientific perspective.

The red line shows a temperature rise of .7°C from 1900 to the 1998 maximum, a leveling off beginning in 2001, and then a brief but sharp decline starting in 2005. Let’s enter that data into our charting program, using values for each 5-year period that represent the center of the oscillations for that period. Here’s what we get for 1900-2008:

Consider the downward trend at the right end of the graph. Hansen tells us this is very temporary, and that temperatures will soon start rising again. Perhaps he is right. However, as we shall see, his arguments for this prediction are seriously flawed. What we know for sure is that a downward trend has begun. How far that trend will continue is not yet known.

Next, let’s append that latest graph to the Greenland data, to get a reasonable characterization of Northern Hemisphere temperatures from 2000 BC to 2008:

This graph shows us that the temperature rise in the Northern Hemipshpere from 1800 to 2005 was not at all unnatural. That rise follows precisely the long-term pattern, where such rises have been occurring approximately every 1,000 years, with no help from human-caused CO2. Based on the long-term pattern of diminishing peaks, we would expect the recent down-trend to continue, and not turn upward again as Hansen predicts. If the natural pattern continues, then the recent warming has reached its maximum, and we will soon experience about two centuries of rapid cooling, as we continue our descent to the overdue next ice age.

So everything depends on the next decade or so. If temperatures turn upwards again, then the IPCC may be right, and human-caused CO2 emissions may have taken control of climate. However, if temperatures continue downward, then climate has been following natural patterns all along in the Northern Hemisphere. In this case there has been no evidence of any noticeable influence on climate from human-caused CO2, and we are now facing an era of rapid cooling. Within two centuries we could expect temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere to be consideralby lower than they were in the recent Little Ice Age.

We don’t know for sure which way temperatures will go, rapidly up or rapidly down. But I can make this statement:

As of this moment, based on the long-term temperature patterns in the Northern Hemisphere, there is no evidence that human-caused CO2 has had any effect on climate. The rise since 1800, as well as the downward dip starting in 2005, are entirely in line with the natural long-term pattern. If temperatures turn sharply upwards in the next decade or so, that will be the first-ever evidence for human-caused warming in the Northern Hemisphere.

As regards the the recent downturn, here are two other records, both of which show an even more dramatic downturn than the one shown in the GISS data:

University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH)
Dr. John Christy
UAH Monthly Means of Lower Troposphere LT5-2
2004 – 2008

Remote Sensing Systems of Santa Rosa, CA (RSS)
RSS MSU Monthly Anomaly – 70S to 82.5N (essentially Global)
2004 – 2008

Based on the data we have looked at, all from mainstream scientific sources, we are now in a position to answer our first question with a reasonable level of confidence:

Answer 1

Temperatures, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, have been continuing to follow natural, long-term patterns — despite the unusually high levels of CO2 caused by the burning of fossil fuels. There have indeed been two centuries of global warming, and that is exactly what we would expect based on the natural pattern. Temperatures now are more than 2°C cooler than they were only 2,000 years ago, which means we have not been experiencing dangerously high temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere.

The illusion of global warming arises from a failure to recognize that global averages are are a very poor indicator of actual conditions in either hemisphere.

Within the next decade, or perhaps sooner, we are likely to learn which way the climate is going. If it turns again sharply upwards, as Hansen predicts, that will be counter to the long-term pattern, and evidence for human-caused warming. If it levels off, and continues downwards, that is consistent with long-term patterns, and we are likely to experience about two centuries of rapid cooling in the Northern Hemisphere, as we continue our descent toward the overdue next ice age.

Question 2

Why haven’t unsually high levels of CO2 significantly affected temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere?

One place to look for answers to this question is in the long-term patterns that we see in the temperature record of the past few thousand years, such as the peaks separated by about 1,000 years in the Greenland data, and other more closely-spaced patterns that are also visible. Some forces are causing those patterns, and whatever those forces are, they have nothing to do with human-caused CO2 emissions. Perhaps the forces have to do with cycles in solar radiation and solar magnetism, or perhaps they have something to do with cosmic radiation on a galactic scale, or something we haven’t yet identified. Until we understand what those forces are, how they intefere with one another, and how they effect climate, we can’t really build useful climate models, except on very short time scales.

We can also look for answers in the regulatory mechanisms that exist within the Earth’s own climate system. If an increment of warming happens on the surface, for example, then there is more evaporation from the oceans and more precipitation. While an increment of warming may melt glaciers, it may also cause increased snowfall in the arctic regions. Do these balance each other or not? Increased warming of the ocean’s surface may gradually heat the ocean, but the increased evaporation acts to cool the ocean. Do these balance each other?

Vegetation also acts as a regulatory system. Plants and trees gobble up CO2; that is where their substance comes from. Greater CO2 concentration leads to faster growth, taking more CO2 out of the atmosphere. Until we understand quantitively how these various regulatory systems function and interact, we can’t even build useful models on a short time scale.

In fact a lot of research is going on, investigating both lines of inquiry. However, in the current public-opinion and media climate, any research not related to CO2 causation is dismissed as the activity of contrarians, deniers, and oil-company hacks. Just as the Bishop refused to look through Galileo’s telescope, so today we have a whole society that refuses to look at many of the climate studies that are available.

I’d like to draw attention to one example of a scientist who has been looking at one aspect of the Earth’s regulatory system. Roy Spencer has been conducting research using the satellite systems that are in place for climate studies. Here are his relevant qualifications:

Roy W. Spencer is a principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. He has served as senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

He describes his research in a presentation available on YouTube:

In the talk he gives a lot of details, which are quite interesting, but one does need to concentrate and listen carefully to keep up with the pace and depth of the presentation. He certainly sounds like someone who knows what he’s talking about. Permit me to summarize the main points of his research:

When greenhouse gases cause surface warming, a response occurs, a ‘feedback response’, in the form of changes in cloud and precipitation patterns. The CRU-related climate models all assume the feedback response is a positive one: any increment of greenhouse warming will be amplified by knock-on effects in the weather system. This assumption then leads to the predictions of ‘runaway global warming’.

Spencer set out to see what the feedback response actually is, by observing what happens in the cloud-precipitation system when surface warming is occurring. What he found, by targeting satellite sensors appropriately, is that the feedback response is negative rather than positive. In particular, he found that the formation of storm-related cirrus clouds is inhibited when surface temperatures are high. Cirrus clouds are themselves a powerful greenhouse gas, and this reduction in cirrus cloud formation compensates for the increase in the CO2 greenhouse effect.

This is the kind of research we need to look at if we want to build useful climate models. Certainly Spencer’s results need to be confirmed by other researchers before we accept them as fact, but to simply dismiss his work out of hand is very bad for the progress of climate science. Consider what the popular website SourceWatch says about Spencer.

We don’t find there any reference to rebuttals to his research, but we are told that Spencer writes columns for a free-market website funded by Exxon. They also mention that he spoke at conference organized by the Heartland Institute, that promotes lots of reactionary, free-market principles. They are trying to discredit Spencer’s work on irrelevant grounds, what the Greeks referred to as an ad hominem argument. Sort of like, “If he beats his wife, his science must be faulty”.

And it’s true about ‘beating his wife’ — Spencer does seem to have a pro-industry philosophy that shows little concern for sustainability. That might even be part of his motivation for undertaking his recent research, hoping to give ammunition to pro-industry lobbyists. But that doesn’t prove his research is flawed or that his conclusions are invalid. His work should be challenged scientifically, by carrying out independent studies of the feedback process. If the challenges are restricted to irrelevant attacks, that becomes almost an admission that his results, which are threatening to the climate establishment, cannot be refuted. He does not hide his data, or his code, or his sentiments. The same cannot be said for the warming-alarmist camp.

Question 3

What are we to make of Jim Hansen’s prediction that rapid warming will soon resume?

Once again, I refer you to Dr. Hansen’s recent article, 2009 temperatures by Jim Hansen.

Jim begins with the following paragraph:

The past year, 2009, tied as the second warmest year in the 130 years of global instrumental temperature records, in the surface temperature analysis of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). The Southern Hemisphere set a record as the warmest year for that half of the world. Global mean temperature, as shown in Figure 1a, was 0.57°C (1.0°F) warmer than climatology (the 1951-1980 base period). Southern Hemisphere mean temperature, as shown in Figure 1b, was 0.49°C (0.88°F) warmer than in the period of climatology.

The Southern Hemisphere may be experiencing warming, but it has 2°C to go before that might become a problem there, and it has nothing to do with the Northern Hemisphere, where temperatures have been declining recently, not setting records for warming. This mathematical abstraction, the global average, is characteristic of nowhere. It creates the illusion of a warming crisis, when in fact no evidence for such a crisis exists. In the context of IPCC warnings about glacers melting, runaway warming, etc., this global-average argument serves as deceptive and effective propaganda, but not as science.

Jim continues with this paragraph, emphasis added:

The global record warm year, in the period of near-global instrumental measurements (since the late 1800s), was 2005. Sometimes it is asserted that 1998 was the warmest year. The origin of this confusion is discussed below. There is a high degree of interannual (year‐to‐ year) and decadal variability in both global and hemispheric temperatures. Underlying this variability, however, is a long‐term warming trend that has become strong and persistent over the past three decades. The long‐term trends are more apparent when temperature is averaged over several years. The 60‐month (5‐year) and 132 month (11‐year) running mean temperatures are shown in Figure 2 for the globe and the hemispheres. The 5‐year mean is sufficient to reduce the effect of the El Niño – La Niña cycles of tropical climate. The 11‐ year mean minimizes the effect of solar variability – the brightness of the sun varies by a measurable amount over the sunspot cycle, which is typically of 10‐12 year duration.

As I’ve emphasized in bold, Jim is assuming that there is a strong and persistent warming trend, which he of course attributes to human-caused CO2 emissions. And then that assumption becomes the justification for the 5 and 11-year running averages. Those running averages then give us phantom ’temperatures’ that don’t match actual observations. In particular, if a downard decline is beginning, the running averages will tend to ‘hide the decline’.

It seems we are looking at a classic case of over-attachment to model. What began as a theory has now become an assumption, and actual observations are being dismissed as “confusion” because they don’t agree with the model. The climate models have definitely strayed into the land of imaginary epicycles. The assumption of CO2 causation, plus the preoccupation with an abstract global average, creates a warming illusion that has no connection with reality in either hemisphere, as we see in these two graphs from Jim’s article:

As with the Ptolemaic model, there is a much simpler explantation for our recent era of warming , at least in the Northern Hemisphere: long term patterns are continuing, for whatever reasons, and human-caused CO2 has so far had no noticeable effect. This simpler explanation is based on actual observations, and requires no abstract mathematical epicycles or averages, but it removes CO2 from the center of the climate debate. And just as powerful forces in Galileo’s day wanted the Earth to remain the center of the universe, powerful forces today want CO2 to remain at the center of climate debate, and global warming to be seen as a threat.

Question 4

What is the real agenda of the politically powerful factions who are promoting global-warming alarmism?

One thing we always need to keep in mind is that the people at the top of the power pyramid in our society have access to the very best scientific information. They control dozens, probably hundreds, of high-level think tanks, able to hire the best minds, and carrying out all kinds of research we don’t hear about. They have access to all the secret military and CIA research, and a great deal of influence over what research is carried out in think tanks, the military, and in universities.

Just because they might be promoting fake science for its propaganda value, that doesn’t mean they believe it themselves. They undoubtedly know that global cooling is the real problem, and the actions they are promoting are completely in line with such an understanding.

Cap-and-trade, for example, won’t reduce carbon emissions. Rather it is a mechanism that allows emissions to continue, while pretending they are declining — by means of a phony market model. You know what a phony market model looks like. It looks like Reagan and Thatcher telling us that lower taxes will lead to higher government revenues due to increased business activity. It looks like globalization, telling us that opening up free markets will “raise all boats” and make us all prosperous. It looks like Wall Street, telling us that mortgage derivatives are a good deal, and we should buy them. And it looks like Wall Street telling us the bailouts will restore the economy, and that the recession is over. In short, it’s a con. It’s a fake theory about what the consequences of a policy will be, when the real consequences are known from the beginning.

Cap-and-trade has nothing to do with climate. It is part of a scheme to micromanage the allocation of global resources, and to maximize profits from the use of those resources. Think about it. Our ‘powerful factions’ decide who gets the initial free cap-and-trade credits. They run the exchange market itself, and can manipulate the market, create derivative products, sell futures, etc. They can cause deflation or inflation of carbon credits, just as they can cause deflation or inflation of currencies. They decide which corporations get advance insider tips, so they can maximize their emissions while minimizing their offset costs. They decide who gets loans to buy offsets, and at what interest rate. They decide what fraction of petroleum will go to the global North and the global South. They have ‘their man’ in the regulation agencies that certify the validity of offset projects. And they make money every which way as they carry out this micromanagement.

In the face of global cooling, this profiteering and micromanagenent of energy resources becomes particularly significant. Just when more energy is needed to heat our homes, we’ll find that the price has gone way up. Oil companies are actually strong supporters of the global-warming bandwagon, which is very ironic, given that they are funding some of the useful contrary research that is going on. Perhaps the oil barrons are counting on the fact that we are suspicious of them, and asssume we will discount the research they are funding, as most people are in fact doing. And the recent onset of global cooling explains all the urgency to implement the carbon-management regime: they need to get it in place before everyone realizes that warming alarmism is a scam.

And then there’s the carbon taxes. Just as with income taxes, you and I will pay our full share for our daily commute and for heating our homes, while the big corporate CO2 emitters will have all kinds of loopholes, and offshore havens, set up for them. Just as Federal Reserve theory hasn’t left us with a prosperous Main Street, despite its promises, so theories of carbon trading and taxation won’t give us a happy transition to a sustainable world.

Instead of building the energy-efficient transport systems we need, for example, they’ll sell us biofuels and electric cars, while most of society’s overall energy will continue to come from fossil fuels, and the economy continues to deteriorate. The North will continue to operate unsustainably, and the South will pay the price in the form of mass die-offs, which are already ticking along at the rate of six million children a year from malnutrition and disease.

While collapse, suffering, and die-offs of ‘marginal’ populations will be unpleasant for us, it will give our ‘powerful factions’ a blank canvas on which to construct their new world order, whatever that might be. And we’ll be desperate to go along with any scheme that looks like it might put food back on our tables and warm up our houses.

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January 16, 2010 - Posted by | Aletho News, Deception, Environmentalism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science


  1. […] Aletho News […]


    Pingback by Climate science: models vs. observations « In These New Times | January 17, 2010

  2. Great article. Very well reasoned and researched. You didn’t even get into how limits on CO2 will cause havoc in the developing world and potentially kill millions who are already barely surviving.

    You did lose at this part:
    “You know what a phony market model looks like. It looks like Reagan and Thatcher telling us that lower taxes will lead to higher government revenues due to increased business activity. It looks like globalization, telling us that opening up free markets will “raise all boats” and make us all prosperous.”

    It has been well-proven that, all things equal, lower taxes do increase employment and economic activity. Although there can sometimes be short-term imbalances, in general free markets and free trade bring even greater benefits to indigenous peoples and emerging economies than to the developed economies they trade with.


    Comment by Mark | January 17, 2010

    • Hi Mark,

      Perhaps we need another blog to get into economics. One cannot look at tax levels in isolation, nor free trade in isolation. You need to look at the whole economic picture. The economic forecasts and models employed by Reagan were simply dead wrong, and known to be wrong at the time. They were a scheme to bankrupt the government and begin the process of globalization / corporatization / destruction of national sovereignty. Every nation that has developed a strong economy has done so by means of protectionism. Free trade is promoted by strong economies in order to prevent the emergence of competing economies. A good read is Chossudovsky’s ‘The Globalization of Poverty’.


      Comment by Richard Moore | January 19, 2010

  3. You state “the assumption is that CO2 is a primary driver of climate”. This is just very silly. Historic climate change is initiated by changes in Solar Radiance, Changes in the earth’s orbit, movement of continents, changes in the biosphere and the reflectiveness of the earth’s surface.
    Where CO2 does come in to play is that once climate change is kicked off by one of these events there is just not enough of a climate forcing to explain the extent of the change.
    So for example, if you look at a change in the Earth’s orbit, the energy budget alone is not enough to explain the dramatic effect it has. Unless you accept that greenhouse gases (which do keep the temperature like it is on the Earth and not like the Moon) have a part to play and the relative amounts of the gasses are controlled by the initiating events I describe above.
    That’s why you get a start in temp rises caused by one of the events, but this alone would not be enough to keep temperatures rising unless that initial rise caused increases in CO2 or Methane which in turn kept the temp rise going.

    The analogy is like a debt and interest on a bank account. Because interest always follows on from debt does that mean that interest cannot cause debt?
    What if you had a stable bank account then your bank came up with a clever way of charging you interest when you weren’t in debt and they did so a rate which was greater than your ability to service the debt? I know the analogy is getting bizarre but then so is digging up centuries of sequestered CO2 and releasing into the atmosphere in the blink of an eye.

    I don’t want to be rude about you attempts to reconstruct historical global temps but all the research shows that last 20th century temperatures exceed anything that occurred during the MWP. Your selective use of one proxy is amateurish, why don’t you try the same thing with the Vostok Ice Core, you might get a different result.

    It is interesting that you set yourself up as arbitrator of what data is acceptable and what it not.

    For the purposes of this argument you state that a reconstruction of Oxygen Isotopes (Ice Cores) are more accurate instrumental measurements.

    You state “thermometer-based measurement stations are in areas that have become urbanized during this period, which yields temperature readings that are atypically high”, except we adjust for this. Also when we omit temp station in urban areas we end up with the same outcome.

    Furthermore you ignore the fact the ice cores, satellite etc… all support the thermometer readings.

    You state that natural forces have been driving climate all along. Not relevant, only a mad person would disagree with you and certainly not climate scientist I have every met.

    You claim that the thousands of leaked emails from CRU indicate a strong intention to prove the case for dangerous warming, yet you can count on one hand the emails that are held up as ‘proof’ of this assertion and when you look into the background of these emails the conspiracy theory falls apart.

    You elude to the ‘hide the decline’ email. As you probably know this is not an attempt to hide a decline in actual temperature records but to exclude an anomaly in tree ring records from 1960 onwards. The ‘trick’ was to exclude tree ring data from 1960 as it was going off in a different direction from all other data including the actually temperature measurements. It would have been nuts to include it.

    This is the data selectivity that you refer to, you can just use raw data (like you have with your ice core from a only one side of the Earth) without checking it to make sure it’s not rubbish or biased. “Remember Garbage in – Garbage Out”

    It is true that temperature has levelled out from 1984 and the last two years have dipped. But this does not disprove any long term trend, nobody is saying that no one year will always be warmer that any previous year, that would be silly and denying your important point that there are other drivers of the climate other than human impact.

    You claim “folks who support the CRU models are themselves taking the possible reversal seriously”, okay now prove it. There is NOBODY in mainstream climate science claiming there is a reversal in the medium to long term trend.


    Comment by Antony | January 19, 2010

  4. Hi Antony,

    Thanks for your critique. You do make some good points and I’ll be changing my article accordingly. I’m not trying to disprove or prove anything, but to understand what’s really going on. I find many of your comments over-defensive of IPCC and not really constructive. We’ve all heard the excuse about the tree rings, but the choice of language, “hide the decline” is indicative of a certain mindset. That mindset is also reflected in the desire to change the rules of peer review, and to suppress opposing viewpoints. And I notice you didn’t comment on the last section my article, which also reflects on the CRU / IPCC position.

    but thanks again,


    Comment by Richard Moore | January 19, 2010

  5. This posting has been updated considerably. I’ve addressed the objections that were raised to the earlier version and added quite a bit of new data and new arguments.


    Comment by Richard Moore | January 26, 2010

  6. Great blog!

    Check this site out for the latest on the Antarctic temps.

    They seem quite disappointed really. I wonder how they justify the predictions?

    There might be global warming or cooling but the important issue is whether we, as a human race, can do anything about it.

    There are a host of porkies and not very much truth barraging us everyday so its difficult to know what to believe.

    I think I have simplified the issue in an entertaining way on my blog which includes some issues connected with climategate and “embarrassing” evidence.

    In the pipeline is an analysis of the economic effects of the proposed emission reductions. Watch this space or should I say Blog

    Please feel welcome to visit and leave a comment.



    PS The term “porky” is listed in the Australian Dictionary of Slang.( So I’m told.)


    Comment by rogerthesurf | January 29, 2010

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    Comment by Inaaya | December 14, 2011

  8. Thanks Roger for the link to the “First comprehensive review of the state of Antarctica’s climate”. That reflects the total absurdity of the AGM cult. They describe how sea ice is increasing, and temperatures are not warming, and precede that by the ‘conclusion’ that AGM is a certainty!

    “There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is generally adopted.”
    (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


    Comment by Richard Moore | December 15, 2011

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