willie-soon

Willie Soon.

Op 2 juni 2017, in een ‘Letter regarding US withdrawal from Paris climate agreement‘, gericht aan de MIT-gemeenschap, bekritiseerde Professor Rafael Reif, rector magnificus van MIT, de beslissing van president Trump om uit de klimaatovereenkomst van Parijs te stappen. Deze brief bevatte weer de bekende litanie van (virtuele) klimaatellende.

Onder de titel, ‘To Put America First Is to Put Our Planet’s Climate First’, publiceerde een groep vooraanstaande klimaatsceptici (Istvan Marko, J. Scott Armstrong, William M. Briggs, Kesten Green, Hermann Harde, David R. Legates, Christopher Monckton of Brenchley en Willie Soon) een gedetailleerde weerlegging van het schrijven van Rafael Reif. Het artikel is gelardeerd met verwijzingen naar de peer-reviewed literatuur.

Ik pik er een aantal hapklare brokken uit.

CO2 volgt temperatuur, niet andersom

There is no science unambiguously establishing that CO2 is the chief cause of the warming observed since the end of the Little Ice Age. The opposite has been repeatedly demonstrated. Ice cores have revealed that changes in CO2 concentration follow, rather than precede, changes in temperature. During the last deglaciation, the latest high-resolution records show atmospheric CO2 lagging temperature by 50 to 500 years.

Professor Humlum and colleagues have demonstrated that changes in CO2 concentration follow changes in temperature after about 8-11 months. The time-lag between changes in temperature and consequent changes in CO2 concentration are caused by outgassing of CO2 from the oceans when they warm and uptake by the oceans as they cool. In addition, the growth rate of the atmospheric CO2 has been slowing recently, linked to an enhanced terrestrial biosphere uptake. Our contribution to atmospheric CO2 adds to the effect of these fluctuations, but it does not add much. One of us (Harde 2017) has reached similar conclusions.

Overeenkomst van Parijs is niet bindend en niet effectief

Professor Reif’s assertion that global temperatures can be regulated by an international agreement to atone for our sins of emission is, therefore, at odds with scientific knowledge regarding cause and effect. King Canute’s warning to his English courtiers in 1032 A.D. that even the divinely anointed monarch could not command sea level should be heeded by bombastic intergovernmental agencies a millennium later. The professor’s assertion is, moreover, logically invalid, since the Paris agreement permits China and India to industrialize without limit on their emissions.

Besides, the Paris agreement is not binding. Under its terms, no nation is compelled to sin no more, and many – even including Germany and Denmark, the leaders in renewable energies – now appear unlikely to meet the agreement’s targets. The Paris agreement is, in practice, a political tool for suppressing growth and redistributing wealth.

Consensus?

Professor Reif writes, “The scientific consensus is overwhelming.”

The late author Michael Crichton, in his Caltech Michelin Lecture 2003, said, “In science consensus is irrelevant. … There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.” Doubt is the seedcorn of science. Consensus is a political notion which, when pleaded, indicates that the pleader is totalitarian. As Abu Ali ibn al-Haytham said in the eleventh century:

The seeker after truth [his splendid definition of the scientist] does not place his faith in any mere consensus, however venerable or widespread. Instead, he subjects what he has learned of it to his hard-won scientific knowledge, and to investigation, inspection, inquiry, checking, checking and checking again. The road to the truth is long and hard, but that is the road we must follow.

The alleged “consensus” is nothing more than an agreement that the weather has warmed in the past 300 years. Yet the quantum and attribution of warming are hotly debated among climatologists. Even today, measuring global temperature is subject to errors, biases, missing data, and subjective adjustments. …

Scientists agree that climate changes. It has done so since the first wisps of the Earth’s atmosphere formed, but they disagree on the causes of climate changes, including the mild warming since the Little Ice Age. Legates et al. (2015), for example, found that only 0.3 percent of 11,944 peer-reviewed articles on climate and related topics, published during the 21 years of 1991 to 2011, had explicitly stated that recent warming was mostly man-made.

Meer CO2. Meer opwarming? Meer zeespiegelstijging? Meer weersextremen?

In the last 20 years, we have released more than a third of all the CO2 produced since the beginning of the industrial period. Yet global mean surface temperature has remained essentially constant for 20 years, a fact that has been acknowledged by the IPCC, whose models failed to predict it. NOAA’s State of the Climate report for 2008 said that periods of 15 years or more without warming would indicate a discrepancy between prediction and observation – i.e., that the models were wrong. Just before the recent naturally occurring el Niño event raised global temperature, there had been 18 years and 9 months without any global warming at all.

The climate models relied upon by the IPCC and the politicians they advise have predicted warming at about twice the rate observed during the past 27 years, during which the Earth has warmed at 0.4 °C, about half of the 0.75 °C 27-year warming rate implicit in IPCC’s explicit 1990 prediction that there would be 1.0 °C warming from 1990-2025. …

The average sea level rise since 1870 has been 1.3-1.5 mm (about a twentieth of an inch) per year. Professor Nils-Axel Mörner, a renowned sea-level researcher who has published more than 500 peer-reviewed articles on this topic, has been unable to find observational evidence that supports the models’ predictions of dramatically accelerating sea level rise.

Observations during the last few decades indicate that extreme events, including tornadoes and hurricanes, have been decreasing, rather than increasing, both in number and in intensity. Moreover, the total accumulated cyclonic energy has also been declining. As MIT Emeritus Professor Richard Lindzen has explained, the decline in storminess is a consequence of reduced temperature differentials between the tropics and exo-tropics that arise when global average temperatures are warmer.

Klimaat, uitputting natuurlijke hulpbronnen, massamigratie

Professor Reif wrote, “As the Pentagon describes it, climate change is a “threat multiplier” because its direct effects intensify other challenges, including mass migrations and zero-sum conflicts over existential resources like water and food.”

Milder temperatures and increased CO2 levels green the planet, instead of browning it. Deserts are retreating, and vegetation cover has increased throughout recent decades. The production of maize, wheat, rice, and soybeans is at a record high. More CO2 in the air helps plants by CO2 fertilization. Our planet has seen more than 20 percent greening during the past three decades, half of which is due to the action of CO2.

Forecasts of droughts are also not borne out by experience. …

Though the U.N. Environment Program had published in 2005 a document predicting 50 million climate refugees by 2010, to date there have been no bona fide climate refugees. Nor has mass migration owing to global warming been observed.

Verblijfstijd CO2 in atmosfeer

Professor Reif wrote, “The carbon dioxide our cars and power plants emit today will linger in the atmosphere for a thousand years.”

The average residence time of a CO2 molecule in the Earth’s atmosphere is about four to seven years. Taking into account multiple exchanges leads to an estimate of a mean lifespan of 40 years (Harde 2017). Rather than a problem, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the prime nutrient for plants. Indeed, plants grow more strongly when CO2 concentrations are much higher than they currently are, which is why commercial greenhouses add CO2 to the air. The current CO2 concentration is higher than for 800,000 years, but it is far lower than at almost any time in the previous history of our planet.

Nor is CO2 a pollutant. It is a colorless, odorless gas that is not toxic to humans and other animals even at concentrations much higher than we are currently experiencing. ….

Duurzame energie als banenmotor

Professor Reif wrote, “In 2016 alone, solar industry employment grew by 25 percent, while wind jobs grew 32 percent.”

Growing jobs by subsidy is easy, provided that one cares nothing for the far greater number of jobs destroyed by the additional taxation, energy price hikes, or public borrowing necessary to pay for the subsidy. Several studies have shown that the creation of one “green” job results in the loss of two jobs elsewhere in the economy. Despite all those subsidies, solar power accounts for 0.9 percent and wind generation for 5.6 percent of total U.S. electricity production. Electricity itself is a small fraction of total energy consumption, including transportation, industrial processes, and heating.

The so-called alternative energy companies survive through heavy subsidies and supportive regulations. …

Conclusie

Europe is suffering from political rejection of fossil fuels: energy prices have soared, millions of poor people are unable to pay their energy bills, and energy-intensive businesses are relocating to where energy is cheaper. Theirs is not an example the U.S. should wish to follow.

By withdrawing from the Paris agreement, President Trump did a wonderful thing for America and the world. He showed that advocacy masquerading as science should not be the basis for political decisions. He showed that to put America first is to put the planet first. And, by rejecting the non-problem of man-made global warming, he began the long and necessary process of waking up the likes of Professor Reif to the fact that the diversion of time, effort, and trillions of dollars away from real environmental problems and towards the bogus but (to MIT) profitable non-problem of supposedly catastrophic global warming is as bad for the planet as it is for true science.

Lees verder hier.

Voor mijn eerdere bijdragen over klimaat en aanverwante zaken zie hierhier, hier, hier en hier.