Why I Stopped Believing in Man-made Global Warming and Became a Climate Skeptic

protest_climateWhen I was in my late 20s, I was living in San Francisco and playing in a reggae band. At the time, I fervently believed that global warming was a real, man-made problem. And I was vocal about it. Among other things, my friends and I would slap bumper stickers on SUVs that said: “I’m Changing The Climate, Ask Me How.” I didn’t like yuppies, and I resented their big SUVs struggling to climb the city’s steep hills, needlessly warming our planet.

It seemed obvious to me that there was a climate change problem. I heard about it—and read about it—every day in the news. Eventually, I started to study the issue, thinking that I needed to understand it better to write informed articles on the subject.

The first time I experienced a twinge of climate change doubt was when I learned that carbon dioxide (CO2) comprised less than 0.04 percent of the atmosphere. In truth, such a seemingly small amount shouldn’t be underestimated since CO2 starts trapping heat quite effectively at far more minuscule concentrations. But at the time, I thought, “That’s strange. I would have thought it was a lot more.”

The point is I had been barraged with so much global warming hysteria that I figured CO2 must comprise one percent or five percent or 10 percent of the atmosphere. But since it was only 0.04 percent, it seemed to me that the people making the case for global warming should be more careful, and not exaggerate their claims—to not lose credibility.

Regardless, I continued to believe that man was changing the climate. And I was unhappy with friends who seemed like stubborn, cranky holdouts when they disputed this indisputable fact—that humankind was indeed warming the planet.

The years rolled along and I still assumed global warming was a man-made catastrophe—until I finally started to study the science of the issue. At that point, two minor pieces of information helped to trigger a real curiosity for me—and led me to realize that the issue was far more complicated than I had always believed.

The first was learning that man produces only a tiny portion of all CO2 released into the atmosphere each year. In contrast, for example, termites alone release far more CO2 annually (and by several orders of magnitude) than all the burning of fossil fuels. The second was learning that there had been a global cooling scare in the 1970s.

After stumbling across these two seemingly random nuggets of information, I started to really read—and with an open mind. And it was then that I began to profoundly change my opinion. Simply put, I went from wholeheartedly believing in man-made “climate change” to viewing the science undergirding the case as very questionable. Overall, I became resentful that I’d been naively indoctrinated by a daily, one-sided media barrage. And I started to look at myself as something of a freedom fighter—someone who was pushing back against misinformation—and making people aware that they were being manipulated.

If asked why I don’t believe in the theory of “anthropogenic” (man-made) warming, I try to list some very simple points. I explain that, yes, the Earth has warmed by roughly 0.8 degrees Celsius over the past 150 years—and I agree that surface temperatures have warmed, that the oceans have warmed, and that glaciers have retreated. But I disagree with the root cause of this warming.

For starters, CO2 is actually a rather flawed “greenhouse gas.” When CO2 is first introduced into the atmosphere it rapidly absorbs as much heat (in the form of infrared radiation) as possible. But it doesn’t take long for CO2 to become “optically saturated.” This means that after reaching roughly 0.0020 percent (20 parts per million) of the atmosphere, CO2 starts fading. From then on, it takes ever-doubling amounts of CO2 to trap the same amount of heat. By the present concentration of 0.04 percent (400 parts per million), CO2 is essentially saturated—and can’t meaningfully trap much additional heat.

This limitation of CO2 actually runs completely counter to the prevailing notion that adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will continue to trap ever greater amounts of heat. In truth, basic science demonstrates exactly the opposite, which is why climate scientists actually base most of their projected warming on “positive feedback” from water vapor.

Significantly, water vapor functions as the predominant heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere. And so, when climate scientists use computer models to predict future warming due to man-made climate change, they are essentially saying the following: We know that CO2 rapidly fades as a greenhouse gas. We think that before CO2 becomes saturated, it will raise global temperatures enough to add more water vapor to the atmosphere. This added water vapor will trap more heat, which will raise temperatures more, which will add more water vapor. The result will be a feedback loop that keeps driving a rise in temperatures.

There’s a major flaw in this theory, however, and one that climate scientists have never been able to solve. Simply put, water vapor in the atmosphere inevitably transitions to clouds. And cumulus clouds not only reflect solar radiation back into space but also produce rain—which not only lowers surface temperatures but also scrubs CO2 from the atmosphere.

Regardless of the cloud problem, this presumed climate “sensitivity” to CO2 is the overall engine of man-made warming and continues to be programmed into computer models. But it remains a tenuous argument. So the real question should be: Well if CO2 isn’t driving global warming, what is?

And that brings us to the second point that I try to make—the issue of solar variability. Over the past 150 years, the sun’s output has increased quite significantly—to levels not seen in as much as 2,000 years. Many people assume that the sun’s output is constant, but in fact, it ebbs and flows on various short- and long-term cycles. And so, not only did solar activity increase sharply during the 20th century, but this same increase in output corresponds quite closely with other warm periods recorded over the past few thousands of years.

Sadly, advocates of man-made climate change essentially discount solar activity as a meaningful contributor to global warming. Their reasoning is that changes in solar irradiance (“brightness”) are quite small compared to the overall, observed warming of the 20th century. However, this view overlooks the related—and larger—impacts of solar variability, including atmospheric ionization and cloud formation. And so, when considered together, these associated factors demonstrate a more complete picture of solar variability’s relevance.

Compounding the impact of increased solar activity in the 20th century is the issue of ozone depletion. From the late 1950s until the mid-1990s, ozone concentrations in the stratosphere steadily diminished. As ozone levels declined, the amount of ultraviolet radiation (UV) reaching the Earth’s surface steadily increased. UV radiation is the primary source of atmospheric warmth, which helps to explain why increased UV penetration during the latter portion of the 20th century contributed to a rise in temperatures. Notably, the ozone layer began to stabilize after 1996, when the Montreal Protocol (which banned chlorofluorocarbons) was fully implemented. In fact, since the late 1990s, both satellite data and weather balloon measurements show a net flatlining of global temperatures.

This “pause” in the rise of global temperatures since the late 1990s has become the focus of serious debate within the climate community. Simply put, the theory of man-made warming cannot account for a halt in the overall rise in temperatures, or why computer models (programmed to emphasize a high climate sensitivity to CO2) are continuing to diverge from actual, observed temperature measurements.

The flatlining of net temperatures observed by satellites is also at odds with recent adjustments to surface measurements issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and adopted by NASA. By revising its temperature collection methods to include measurements taken from the engine manifolds of oceangoing vessels, and by estimating Arctic Ocean readings based on neighboring land masses, NOAA was able to announce in 2015 that there has been no “pause” in temperatures and that recent years are the “warmest on record.” The fact that NOAA’s findings continue to conflict with satellite readings has not received much attention.

What’s really interesting to study about climate change is the pattern of warming and cooling seen over the last few thousand years of the current interglacial period. It’s somewhat ironic that claims of a “warmest year on record” only include the “modern” instrumental era of 1880 to the present. But studying 100 or 150 years yields only a partial glimpse of recent temperature trends. If one actually looks back over the past 2,000 years, for example, a far more complete—and complex—landscape emerges.

Thanks to proxy measurements of carbon, beryllium, and oxygen isotopes, geologists can estimate both temperatures and solar activity going back many thousands of years. And so, we know that from roughly 250-400 AD, the global climate was warmer than today, in what was called the “Roman Warm Period.” Solar output at the time was high, which helps to explain the temperate conditions that aided the expansion of the Roman Empire. However, solar activity plummeted during the middle of the first millennium, leading to several centuries of brutal cold during the Dark Ages, culminating in the Nile River actually freezing in 829 AD.

One hundred years after the Nile River froze, however, solar activity started climbing back toward more comfortable levels, leading to a “Medieval Warm Period” that spanned roughly 950-1250 AD. Historical and geologic records indicate that, globally, the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today, with balmy weather allowing the Vikings to farm on Greenland (hence its name), and the British to raise vineyards and produce wine.

From 1350-1850, though, solar activity plummeted several times, leading to a colder era nicknamed the “Little Ice Age.” Millions of people died of famine and disease during this inhospitable time, and it was only with the rebound of solar activity in the latter part of the 1800s that temperatures climbed back to a more comfortable climate.

And now we’re in the “Modern Warm Period,” the latest in a succession of warm/cold episodes that track closely with solar variability. Something to consider when reviewing these alternating periods of climate is that it is during warm phases that civilizations flourish. While millions of people starved during the Dark Ages and the Little Ice Age, global agriculture thrived during the Medieval Warm Period.

Overall, and as noted above, there are valid reasons to conclude that CO2 is not the primary forcing agent of global climate. Thus, it’s unfortunate that the media often ridicules climate critics rather than spend more time investigating their views. Clearly, there’s a media bias involved, and one that reinforces notions such as “the science is settled,” or that “97 percent of scientists agree.”

However, the idea of an overwhelming consensus on global warming not only conflicts with the more than 30,000 scientists who have signed the “Petition Project” rejecting man-made warming but relies on spurious assumptions. The 97 percent figure stems from a May 2013 Tweet by President Obama stating that “97 percent of scientists agree: climate change is real, man-made, and dangerous.” As his source, the president linked to a newly published study by John Cook at the University of Queensland. However, a closer look at Cook’s study reveals that of the 11,994 research papers examined, only one-third actually took a position regarding the causes of global warming.

There are various instances of this exaggeration and hype in the climate change debate. But nothing could be as troubling as the prescriptions currently being formulated by climate alarmists. In the service of preventing a future catastrophe based solely on flawed computer modeling, public figures are calling for an 80 percent (or even 100 percent) ban on the future use of fossil fuels. While seemingly well-intentioned, these policies overlook two real-world problems.

First, a mass reduction in fossil fuel use would forfeit the lives of hundreds of millions of people in developing nations. Currently limited to the barest of medical aid and technical infrastructure, these populations already exist at a poverty line, barely supported by sporadic power generation. It is only through the introduction of water and sewage treatment (powered by natural gas and coal plants) that some areas of the Third World are attempting to raise living standards.

Second, a presumed switch to wind and solar generation overlooks the glaring deficiencies of both forms of power: Wind and solar are inherently intermittent means of electricity production (because the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine). And both are also low-yield and expensive—in part because their unreliability still requires ample backup generation from “spinning reserves” of either natural gas or coal.

If the United States were to actually make the transition to a partially or fully wind- and solar-based power infrastructure, the failures of Europe and Australia’s green energy experiments show that the nation would experience an ongoing series of power shortages and blackouts. The result would be a consequential loss of health and safety measures. Hospitals would fight to prioritize available power. Water treatment and waste systems could fail. Foods would spoil due to lack of refrigeration.

The overall point is that there are valid reasons to question both the assumptions and policies advocated by climate change activists. It would be helpful if those who take a stand against presumed man-made warming were given a chance to expand on their reasoning, rather than face criticism and scorn. And so, at a time of political uncertainty and economic difficulty, it would make sense to fully study all the potential ramifications of such a complicated issue.

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Comments (123)

  • Avatar

    Squidly

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    Hey Steven, evidently you aren’t aware that CO2 does NOT “trap heat” .. Even the most ardent AGW freak knows better than this. CO2 in FACT re-radiates IR virtually instantaneously!!! … So in FACT, it CANNOT “trap” heat.

    Another news flash for you, NO GAS can “trap” heat … in FACT, no substance in the universe can “trap” heat. Heat always moves, you CANNOT get around entropy!!!

    • Avatar

      Steven Capozzola

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      Yes, you’ve parsed my language quite astutely. CO2 absorbs and releases infrared radiation. Referring to the process as “heat-trapping” is shorthand for this process.

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        FutureUser

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        Great article. One key point to consider: Plants have optimum growth in the range of 1100 ppm to 1500 ppm CO2. If they were created, of course, they were created for that range. But if they evolved, the same result applies — how could plants possibly evolve to be “optimized for their environment” if plants grow best in a “dangerous range” so far above 400 ppm? Obviously, plants tell us that the “normal” range of CO2 for Earth should be 1100 ppm to 1500 ppm. Interestingly, many companies make CO2 generators for greenhouses. Google “Johnson Gas CO2 generator” for details.

        Also, note that because most plant water losses are through transpiration (not water usage during photosynthesis), higher CO2 levels mean plant stomata spend less time open for CO2 intake, so the result is that not only do plants grow better and have higher yields in high-CO2 environments, but they *use less water* while doing so!! So it’s a double benefit to have more CO2.

        And CO2 is only toxic to humans and animals in ranges above 5,000 ppm.

        • Avatar

          Steven Capozzola

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          Agreed, and good points. It seem s to be that 1,000 ppm would be a beneficial starting point for optimum agricultural development.

          Technical side-note: As I’ve understood it, CO2 toxicity for humans begins at roughly 5% concentration, which would be 50,000 ppm, not 5,000 ppm.

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            Steven Capozzola

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            Thanks, Gene. Yes, Patrick Moore has taken an important stand in making clear the beneficial aspects of CO2 for plant life, etc. Good to hear from you.

          • Avatar

            Dave Mc

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            STEVEN CAPOZZOLA and THOMAS RICHARD please post your Jobs and Resume so readers can evaluate your qualifications.

          • Avatar

            amirlach

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            “STEVEN CAPOZZOLA and THOMAS RICHARD please post your Jobs and Resume so readers can evaluate your qualifications.”

            Your logical fallacy is appeal to authority. This is in no way a scientific argument.

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            JayPee

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            Amirlach
            Mc’s objection is argumentum ad hominem
            and therefor of no relevance.

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            Gator

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            The problem with the Dave MC’s of this world, is that they never learned to discern truth from fiction, and so they follow their chosen “shepherds”. Credentials have zero effect on truth.

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          Brian

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          Plants may grow optimally at a higher CO2 level but those levels must be reached more slowly. The only times in the past that the levels have risen as fast as they are today is during mass extinction events. A rise to 1100ppm would be great if it took a hundred thousand years to get there to allow all life on earth time to adapt to the changes.

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            amirlach

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            What exactly are you basing your “hundred thousand” year claim on? Cause Greenhouse Operators vary Co2 levels from 400ppm to over 1000 in the course of 24 hrs.
            http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/00-077.htm#suppl

            I’m thinking that empirical observations of industry standard trumps your imagination.

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            Gator

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            BS Brian. I experimented with plants at varying CO2 levels 40 years ago, and everytime the resluts were same. The higher the CO2 level given to the plant, the faster and larger it grew. My high CO2 plants were all exceptionally healthy and used less water by mass than the ambient air plants.

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    GUY MOOSBURGER

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    Great read.

    • Avatar

      Steven Capozzola

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      Thanks, Guy. Glad you commented.

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        Gavin

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        John Cook doesn’t appear to contribute much to the science explanations, but it looks as though it has the support of several credible people, many contributors, and it’s also filled with science references.

    • Avatar

      Steven Capozzola

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      I’m often amazed at the lengths that the Skeptical Science site will go in order to defend anthropogenic warming. And regarding the limitations of CO2, they simply ignore that CO2 is a “well-mixed gas.” (CO2 is fairly evenly dispersed throughout both the troposphere and stratosphere.) Thus, CO2 is saturated even up at the top of the atmosphere. Furthermore, there is essentially no water vapor up in the stratosphere, which further diminishes heat-trapping capacity that high up. So, I’m rather skeptical about Skeptical Science’s rather involved answer in response to the saturation of CO2.

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        Gavin

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        May I please have a scientific reference for the claims that

        “CO2 is a “well-mixed gas.” (CO2 is fairly evenly dispersed throughout both the troposphere and stratosphere.) Thus, CO2 is saturated even up at the top of the atmosphere. Furthermore, there is essentially no water vapor up in the stratosphere, which further diminishes heat-trapping capacity that high up”

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          Steven Capozzola

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          Gavin: You already know this stuff. Go look it up. I’ve obviously hit the nail on the head by noting that CO2 is indeed a well-mixed gas (thanks to strong, ongoing atmospheric convection). This is basic climate science and you know that it reinforces the relevant aspects of CO2 being saturated throughout the atmosphere. We’re done here, so thanks for dropping by and best of luck with your work. Have a healthy Thanksgiving, and please tell your family that I send best wishes for health and happiness. Thanks, steven

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            Gavin

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            “You already know this stuff”. No I don’t. If you want to discuss science, you should provide scientific references so people can confirm the origins and veracity of your claims. Otherwise what you say could be considered conjecture. If you leave us to Google things for ourselves, then a lot of us are going to find conflicting information

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        Jim

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        Finally someone noticed that the sun might have an impact on our climate! I have never believed in the whole global warming scare as I couldn’t help but notice all of the scientists who had supposedly done the original work at the UN resigned in protest and went on a tour to speak out against it. That and Al Gore couldn’t remember meeting with Ex-Enron CEO Lay on how to structure his CarbonCap trading business. By the way, WikiLeaks is also a good source on this subject as well. Thanks for the article. It’s about time people started thinking instead of reacting.

        • Avatar

          Steven Capozzola

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          Right on, Jim. Solar variability is indeed an underrated aspect of the debate. Thanks for commenting.

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    Scott Whitehead

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    Some interesting points. What is you opinion on some of the climate models predicting ahead? Some question their results because the models aren’t yet sophisticated enough: garbage in, garbage out. I think one model 10 years ago predicted warming of 5C by 2100! Unless the sun suddenly becomes a gas giant I would have thought that this is physically impossible.
    The science isn’t settled – it never is. Any good scientist will always have doubt and will always strive to find out more in where the world’s climate is heading. As ever in referring to climate models ‘more runs are needed’.

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    Steven Capozzzola

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    My thought is that the climate models will continue to diverge from real-world observation. Significantly, solar activity is now falling off in drastic fashion. Thus, we’re a few years away from the start of what could be a real leveling out of global temperatures, or potentially a cooler era (which would be troubling). We saw, with the most recent El Nino, that even a massive spike in temperatures–with a concurrent injection of added atmospheric water content–failed to sustain itself. Temperatures simply returned to their starting point after the El Nino crashed. And so, it’s pretty evident that the pause will continue. But I worry about the impact of declining solar activity. A colder era will mean a reduction in agricultural output–and that’s something we should be prepared for.

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    Ryan

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    Thank you.

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    deenpac

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    Thank you for this calmly, well-written article. I’m sharing in the hopes others will also start looking at the science that underlies the AGW theory. My biggest concern is that we may be (and it looks to be true at this point) towards an era of very cold climate and our governments are not preparing for the short growing season and the frigid cold that people and animals with need to endure. I see disease and death if we don’t wake up soon. Warming? Life loves warmth! It’s the cold we need to fear.

    • Avatar

      Steven Capozzola

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      Agreed. The downward long-term trajectory of solar radiation certainly suggests a cooling period. We also happen to face a Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) moving into the negative (cool) phase. Combine the two and you get a troublingly colder climate, with serious repercussions for global agriculture. Let’s stay vigilant, and thanks for commenting.

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    Jason

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    When do you anticipate us entering this “cooling period?” What is your opinion of Arctic ice melting by 2050 (per some online news articles)?

  • Avatar

    Steven Capozzola

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    1. If we go by the estimates of a widely cited Russian science team, we should see a colder climate by 2030. My own estimate is that, in the next few years, we’ll see the same temperature range as current. Ie. We’ll continue the “pause”–especially since temperatures have already returned to the levels seen before the recent El Nino.

    2. Arctic Ice appears to be rebounding already from the decreased summer-melt levels of a few years ago. And we know that Antarctica’s ice cover is the most expansive it’s been since the start of the satellite era. I don’t foresee a complete summer melt of Arctic Ice at any point, to be honest. From various indicators, it’s likely that the 1930s were the hottest decade on record–and the Northwest Passage briefly melted away at the peak of that era. But Arctic summer ice never disappeared completely, even then.

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    BBould

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    Thanks for the article Steven. I went through this whole global warming thing in pretty much the same way you have. I’ve read all sorts of papers, I’ve followed all the blogs, and still do, I’ve even read Skeptical science and pretty much figured out that they were making things up, but it was hidden fairly well. Then I noticed how many people (including myself), would argue over the minutia and tiny bits of data that global warming keeps coming up with. Now I’ve stopped reading papers and articles unless they are new and interesting because nothing has changed except the words on many pages. I still haven’t seen global warming anywhere. My child hood stomping grounds near the ocean still looks the same, initials carved into rocks 55 years ago still are at the same water mark. And all I get if I talk about it is more minutia or tiny data fragments from people who want to argue. I’m done now and happier for it. Though I do keep one important bit of minutia and post it in forums when it seems appropriate, from the IPCC “Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C (high confidence), extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence), and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence)” this quote has always shown me how uncertain scientist are about all of this.

    Once again thanks for taking the time writing such a great article.

    • Avatar

      Steven Capozzola

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      Thanks for your comment. To be honest, I sometimes have to stay off of Facebook, just to keep from getting sucked into yet another trivial debate.

      As for the current state of the global warming debate, it sort of reminds me of what I’ve read about trench warfare in WW I. Over the span of a year, the battle line could shift a few feet–with endless fighting over mere inches. In the climate debate, plenty of minutiae gets haggled over, again and again…

      Anyway, good to hear from you. Thanks.

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      C. Earl Jantzi

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      Check out “the needle in the haystack” on http://www.wuwt.com about how the models are so basically wrong that they multiply their error bars each year till at 100 years they are + or – 14 degrees C, looking for a few degrees change hidden in the middle. A massive fail for EVERY model.

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        Gator

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        Dr Frank’s presentation on cloud modeling errors is a hoot. It is one of my favorite pokes at, and a most devastating blow to, climate models.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THg6vGGRpvA

        This terrifies the informed alarmists, as they too know that it’s models all the way down.

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    amirlach

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    “IPCC “Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C (high confidence), extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence), and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence)”

    One needs to compare this “confidence” to reality. It’s a complete and utter failure.
    https://informativestats.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/hayden_ipcc_arrow.jpg
    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/06/even-with-the-best-models-warmest-decades-most-co2-models-are-proven-failures/

  • Avatar

    Steven Capozzola

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    Thanks for writing. You included links to graphs by John Christy and Roy Spencer, two guys doing great work–and receiving little thanks and a lot of criticism in response. Joanne Nova is great, too.

    Yes, the models are continuing to diverge from the actual satellite and ballon measurements. You’d think that would make a few folks rethink their agenda.

    Glad you posted this. Thanks.

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    Lori Grossman

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    What this article fails to explain or acknowledge is the rapid and dramatic increase in temperature and CO2 levels since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Scientists have been able to reconstruct global temperatures dating back almost 2,000 years. While temperature and CO2 fluctuations have occurred throughout history due to seasonal and natural causes, as well as sunspot activity, the dramatic increase from 1880 to today is unprecedented. The burning of fossil fuels, the clearing and burning of land for agriculture, and industrialization without consideration of maintaining nature’s carbon cycle balance are all contributing to global warming. Information from the NOAA (https://insideclimatenews.org/news/04062015/global-warming-great-hiatus-gets-debunked-NOAA-study?gclid=COHh6K-ivtACFYiCfgodAzUCTw) and the Institute of Artic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado, Boulder (http://instaar.colorado.edu/explore-our-science/activities/carbon-tracking/) demonstrate scientific research supporting the alarming increase in both temperature and CO2 across the globe.

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      Gator

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      (yawn)

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      Steven Capozzola

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      Lori, I don’t think you actually read the article. I addressed these issues.

      1. Of course CO2 levels have increased with the burning of fossil fuels. They’ve also increased as a consequence of a warming climate (ie. net outgassing from the oceans). No one doubts or dispute this. In fact, increased atmospheric CO2 is a good thing, since it’s led to a significant “greening” of the planet, with increased agricultural output. CO2 is essentially plant food, and we currently live in (from a plant perspective) a CO2-starved world.

      2. There is nothing alarming about the observed rise in temperatures since 1880. It tracks consistently with prior warming periods–though not as warm, I might add.

      3. If you look at 1880-present, there have been two periods (1880-1910, 1940s to 1970s) where temperatures actually declined–a clear contradiction of the CO2/AGW hypothesis, but what one would expect from the influence of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).

      Clearly, you’ve dropped by to stir the pot, to argue for the alarmist view. But I see nothing new in what you’ve written– and noting even addressing the actual points in the text. If you had, you wouldn’t have simply cited NOAA’s rejiggered SST readings.

      This article was intended to urge people to have an open mind, to recognize where they are being spoon-fed the same old information. But it’s obvious you wanted to defend your team’s point of view, without either reading or processing the points in the article.

      I’m always glad to see a healthy debate and discussion, but your comments simply lead to the inevitable he said/she said that goes round and round. We’ll get nowhere that way–particular when you characterize 20th Century temperature increases as “‘alarming” and “dramatic” when the data do not support anything remarkable about the Modern Warm Period as compared to, for example, the Roman Warm Period or the Medieval Warm Period.

      I’m gonna have to stop answering comments on this article if we’re going to get into fruitless back and forth that simply perpetuates the same wrangling. What matters to me is alerting the general public that they have been given a very one-sided and incomplete view of an issue for which drastic and frightening policy prescriptions are being advocated.

      Best of luck in your work, and thanks for stopping by. Let’s all enjoy a restful Thanksgiving and reflect on how fortunate we are to live in a nation that enjoys easy access to the ample power generation that ensures safe, healthy living.

      • Avatar

        Lori Grossman

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        Hello again Steve,
        So, after the spanking you gave me for my vague and pot-stirring comments, I took your comments to heart and reread your article. With an open attitude towards looking at both sides of the picture, I took the time to better understand the various key points. I’d like to comment on just a couple of them. I understand and recognize the important role that CO2 plays in the life cycle of plants and animals. Plants will thrive under greater CO2 concentrations and use less water. However, plants will also transpire less water, making less water available for absorbing into the atmosphere. Less water, fewer clouds; fewer clouds, less rain. Researchers at the Max Planck Society estimate there could be a 15% reduction in evaporation due to a combination of increased temperature and CO2. You also state there has been a pause in the increase in global temperatures since 1990 but you do not state the source of your information. I was not able to find a single resource that showed a flattening of global temperatures since 1990. What I found were three reputable resources that show dramatic global temperature increases since 1980 — the NOAA, NASA and Hadley Centre. There does not appear to be any halt in the overall rise in temperatures. While I agree that climate change is not man-made and has occurred throughout earth’s history, I don’t see how we can deny the negative impact we are having on our environment and the atmosphere. CO2 is almost equally exchanged in the atmosphere between the land and ocean. However, there no CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels. As you noted in your article with regard to ozone depletion and the subsequent implementation of the Montreal Protocol, steps can and should be taken to reduce man-made CO2 emissions. Thanks for encouraging me to do my homework first. I remain unchanged in my opinion.

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          amirlach

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          ” However, plants will also transpire less water, making less water available for absorbing into the atmosphere. Less water, fewer clouds; fewer clouds, less rain.”

          Might be an issue if that was the only way water got into the atmosphere… It’s not.

          ” I was not able to find a single resource that showed a flattening of global temperatures since 1990. What I found were three reputable resources that show dramatic global temperature increases since 1980 — the NOAA, NASA and Hadley Centre.” You think these serial data “adjusters” are “reputable”? LOL… Have a look at how they have “adjusted” the data. https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/ushcn/ts.ushcn_anom25_diffs_urb-raw_pg.gif

          “It would appear that the temperature rise profile claimed by the adjusted data is largely if not entirely an artefact arising from the adjustments applied (as shown in Figure 3), not from the experimental data record. In fact, the raw data does not in any way support the AGW theory. ”

          “Based on analysis done by Tony Heller at “Real Climate #Science,” the data that NOAA uses (and shares with NASA) is deviating from satellite temperatures at about 1.3 degrees per century.” Sounds “reputable” eh?

          There are several post about the “Pause” on this very blog. Seems like you didn’t look very hard Lori.
          http://climatechangedispatch.com/satellite-temperatures-show-global-pause-resumes-as-temperatures-plunge/

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            Steven Capozzola

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            Amirlach: Thanks very much for addressing the above points by Lori. Much appreciated, since I’m tight on time this evening. Best, steven

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          Steven Capozzola

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          Lori: Thanks for looking into all of this.

          1. Satellite data, as noted in my link in the article shows the net “pause” in temperatures. NOAA has changed its methodology in a rather curious way in order to show no pause.

          2. In my opinion, CO2 is not pollution in any way. However, we should be vigilant about real pollution–specifically China’s unmitigated industrial byproducts (dumped into rivers/oceans, plus tremendous particulate matter in smokestack exhaust). That is troubling and needs to be addressed.

          Thanks for checking in with us. (I think Amirlach already did a good job of responding in depth to your comments).

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            Lori Grossman

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            Steven and Amirlach – points well taken. However, short-term weather patterns should also not be confused with long-term climate change. We can’t predict the future but we can observe historical patterns as an indicator of historical trends or a pattern that needs our attention. The spike in CO2 levels and temperature anomaly from 1950 to present (often called the hockeystick) is unprecedented and worth seriously considering. As you mention, China is of serious concern because what they do in their country does affect other countries through ocean and atmospheric currents. I would hope that like politicians, those on the left and right side of the climate change debate could meet in the middle (or on closer sides of the middle) to recognize that mankind does have an influence on the climate and should make reasonable efforts to mitigate and reduce that influence.

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          Scott

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          “I will look at any additional evidence to confirm the opinion to which I have already come” ~ Hugh Molson (British Politician)

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      John Doran

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      Very good article, & mostly good comments, thank you.
      Two books & two sites I recommend to expose the warming/climate scam aimed at achieving global totalitarian govt & global depopulation.
      drtimball.com & his book, The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science.
      Put overpopulation in his search box.

      Prof Ian Plimer’s superb book: Heaven and Earth global warming: the missing science. Completely demolishes the nonsense that CO2 is a climate driver.

      http://www.c3headlines.com
      Click on Quotes to find the agendas of the eugenicist 1%s & the mad Communists driving this scam.
      Many great articles & graphs also, showing modern warming is neither unprecedented nor a problem.

      A bonus book: Merchants of Despair, by PhD nuclear engineer Robert Zubrin, who has 9 patents to his name or pending.
      Shows the Darwinian/Malthusian roots of the present anti-humanist warming/climate hoax, & that a safe, clean nuclear powered future is being derailed.

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        Steven Capozzola

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        John, good points, thanks. I’ve pondered the when/if/how on moving toward more nuclear power. There’s interesting research on thorium-powered reactors, for example. And China has been studying liquid salt reactors. If we’re to provide robust power for generations to come, safe use of nuclear energy needs to be considered. Glad you raised the point.

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      amirlach

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      “While temperature and CO2 fluctuations have occurred throughout history due to seasonal and natural causes, as well as sunspot activity, the dramatic increase from 1880 to today is unprecedented.”
      Not really. Here is the 1895 warming beside the 1957- 2008. Very comparable.
      http://yelnick.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c563953ef012877a7b656970c-500wi

      You have repeated this false claim.
      “The spike in CO2 levels and temperature anomaly from 1950 to present (often called the hockeystick) is unprecedented and worth seriously considering.”
      Well it seemed like there was a 30 year correlation between rising Co2 and temperatures. Correlation does not prove causation. And now there is a 20 year “pause” or a divergence from what was “predicted”. 58 years if you look at radiosonode data.
      https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2016/03/07/noaa-radiosonde-data-shows-no-warming-for-58-years/
      And once again we see the 1979 cherry picked start date.

      What is really worth considering is how badly the model based predictions have failed and what the Scientific Method has to say about failed predictions.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5v8habYTfHU

      “Scientists have been able to reconstruct global temperatures dating back almost 2,000 years.”

      Yes and what do they show? Temperatures match solar, not Co2.

      From 1600 on…
      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OEdgny5flYo/UZUoP5jhMFI/AAAAAAAAFKE/hLzGOoHTMG8/s1600/ScreenShot3459.jpg

      Or how about the last 10000 years?

      http://i.snag.gy/BztF1.jpg

      How does Co2 and Temperatures correlate? Not so much.
      http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0120a7c87805970b-pi

      “I would hope that like politicians, those on the left and right side of the climate change debate could meet in the middle (or on closer sides of the middle) to recognize that mankind does have an influence on the climate and should make reasonable efforts to mitigate and reduce that influence.”

      Your argument here, has no merit. Science is not done by consensus. It is either a one or a zero. Proven or unproven. Your argument is a political one based upon something akin to a faith based religion. These are invalid model predictions. In short it is failed science.

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    Peter Wells

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    homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~fifield/
    My personal enlightenment came with a trip to Glacier Bay in Alaska ten years ago. The glacier there started melting prior to the year 1800, when earth’s population was around 1/6 of today and transportation was by horse, foot, and sailing vessel. It was largely gone by 1900, prior to the invention of the airplane and mass production of the automobile. These facts clearly told me that factors other than human influence had to be involved.

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    Steven Capozzola

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    Peter: Thanks for your comment. Interesting side-note to all of this is that glaciers retreated during the Medieval Warm Period, then advanced again during the Little Ice Age, then started receding again with the onset of the Modern Warm Period. Best, steven

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    John Doran

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    I couldn’t resist:two more sites.
    http://www.wattsupwiththat.com a healthy discussion forum with 29 million views which labels only one site unreliable: cartoonist John Cook’s skepticalscience with the fabricated & fraudulent 97% consensus.

    http://www.realclimatescience.com
    Tony Heller’s relentless drive for truth.

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    Spuds

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    Steven,
    Great article. As someone who has spent 3 decades or more in the environmental industry from the regulator to the regulated, you hit the proverbial nail on its head. It saddens me when politicians and celebrities talk down to regular individuals when they are blatant violators of their own policies. The average person is somehow confused that climate change and pollution control are one in the same, they are not. If methane is such the bogeyman greenhouse gas that some award winning actor says it is then why isn’t that same person advocating for the investment of capturing that methane from a WWTP and/or Agricultural digester for its beneficial use for combination heat and power? If anything that makes us homo sapiens equal is that we are all respiratory organisms that produce wastes that can be converted back to energy. Now that I believe is called sustainable “green energy”.

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    Steven Capozzola

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    Spuds, thanks. I’ve often found it interesting to ask people basic questions regarding the science/assumptions of anthropogenic warming. I find that they are simply regurgitating what has been drilled into them by a biased media. I was that way, too–which is why I wrote this article. And yes, pollution and CO2 are two different issues. But CO2 is often demonized as “carbon pollution,” which simply confuses the issue and indoctrinates people into parrot certain talking points.

    Thanks, steven

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    Scott

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    Best read I think I’ve ever read on a classic rebuttal to global warming alarmism, thank you

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    Mike H

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    Steve:
    Well said. You had a different starting point than I, but a similar track. I started as somebody who was very skeptical of the human induced warming. I said I would try to convince myself on the merits of the other side. After all, if my first inclination is wrong, I’d better get on board. Spent 1 year trying to do it. Couldn’t find anything near indisputable support for AGW. It was all easily dismissed with historical data and scientific facts/methods you referred to (Applied by the IPCC no less; Completely misinterpreted by the Summary for Policy Makers however). Hence, I’m completely on board with you.
    A couple things to add. Independently launched Balloon based radio sound temperature detectors agree with the satellites, further supporting them over notoriously inaccurate land based temperature measurements.

    One you missed, unless I misread. I assume you are an environmentalist, as I am. By that I mean, humans should take every reasonable step to be the best environmental stewards we can. Once one studies this in depth, one realizes how much following the path suggested by the Catastrophic AGW promoters is not just the human toll you referred to, but how much environmental damage that path would cause.
    Again, great article and I will happily share it for all the right reasons.

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      Steven Capozzola

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      Mike: Thanks for your input. And yes, I would describe myself as an environmentalist, in that I want clean air and clean water–and I would object to unnecessary attempts to spoil or pollute natural resources. What you reference is true as well– without ample power and effective infrastructure, mankind can foul up groundwater, etc., via improper disposal of sewage. That should always be a smart starting point for environmental preservation. Anyway, I appreciated hearing from you. Thanks, steven

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    DD More

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    Steven, your 97% “The 97 percent figure stems from a May 2013 Tweet by President Obama stating that “97 percent of scientists agree: climate change is real, man-made, and dangerous.” As his source, the president linked to a newly published study by John Cook at the University of Queensland.

    Only the tip if the argument and missed 2 other sources. A little long, but eye opening.

    As Legates et al., 2013 pointed out, Cook et al. defined the consensus as “most warming since 1950 is anthropogenic.” Cook then relied on three different levels of “endorsement” of that consensus and excluded 67% of the abstracts reviewed because they neither endorsed nor rejected the consensus.
    http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024;jsessionid=50408643435B65D1D23F1507F2D3898E.c4.iopscience.cld.iop.org

    Doran and Kendall Zimmerman, 2009 – http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf
    An invitation to participate in the survey was sent to 10,257 Earth scientists. The database was built from Keane and Martinez [2007], which lists all geosciences faculty at reporting academic institutions, along with researchers at state geologic surveys associated with local Universities, and researchers at U.S. federal research facilities (e.g., U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, and NOAA (U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) facilities; U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories; (and so forth). [Note only government scientists, private sector need not apply]
    This brief report addresses the two primary questions of the survey

    1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
    2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

    With 3146 individuals completing.
    In our survey, the most specialized and knowledgeable respondents (with regard to climate change) are those who listed climate science as their area of expertise and who also have published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change (79 individuals in total). Of these specialists, 96.2% (76 of 79) answered “risen” to question 1 and 97.4% (75 of 77) answered yes to question 2.

    the AMS survey Stenhouse et al., 2014.
    In this survey, global warming was defined as “the premise that the world’s average temperature has been increasing over the past 150 years, may be increasing more in the future, and that the world’s climate may change as a result.”
    Questions –

    Regardless of the cause, do you think that global warming is happening?
    2a./2b How sure are you that global warming (a. is /b. is not) happening?
    How sure are you? –Extremely –Very sure –Somewhat sure –Not at all sure -Don’t know –Not at all sure –Somewhat not sure – Very not sure – Extremely not sure

    So answering the questions –
    1) most warming since 1950 is anthropogenic?
    2) When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
    3) Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?
    4) Regardless of the cause, do you think that global warming is happening?
    5) How sure are you that global warming (a. is /b. is not) happening?

    Answers and questions use generalized words of most, think, significant, contributing and no values or significance is asked for. No where is proof or dates or amounts or data of +/- estimates required and did you see CO2 anywhere?

    Do these questions really provide the answer that; stopping man-made, catastrophizing, CO2 control knob, ever increasing (global warming / climate change / disruption / weirding ) [pick 1 or more], which can only be prevented by higher taxes, more regulations and a loss of personal freedom will actually keep us all from floating down the River Styx in a handbasket?

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      Steven Capozzola

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      DD, you’re absolutely right. There are a number of instances where a “consensus” was fashioned from vague responses. Theres also the “fallacy of equivocation” and “explicit endorsement with quantification.” I linked in the article to an article by Alex Epstein that explains this “implicit endorsement” method of generating consensus.

      I was brief in the article on some of these points, so as to provide an overall perspective on the wider subject. But I’m glad you weighed in to expand on this. Much appreciated.

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    Paul Ashley

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    “Overall, I became resentful that I’d been naively indoctrinated by a daily, one-sided media barrage. ”

    An it isn’t just media; it is also our government-run schools at all levels.

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      Steven Capozzola

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      Paul, that’s very true. There is an assumed party line on the subject of global warming, and the way it is propagated is troubling. Thanks for commenting on this.

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      Nicholas Tidemann

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      Indeed. I still recall my class being shown An Inconvenient Truth in my second year of junior high, and while I didn’t personally think much about it at that point, and found out quite fast that it was complete bullshit (excuse my French) when I started thinking critically and learning more about it on my own, I know many people from that period who have ended up becoming catastrophists and anti-humanists, and it saddens me to know that government propaganda might have been a contributing or decisive factor in that.

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        Steven Capozzola

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        Nicholas, thanks for your comments. What’s particularly frustrating with ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ is the misleading portrayal of the temperature vs. CO2 timeline. Gore either doesn’t understand or deliberately obscures the connection between temperature and CO2’s solubility in water (the oceans). He implies that CO2 leads temperature–and doesn’t explain that, for example, a warming climate (when it enters an interglacial period) will lead to warmer oceans, which will lead to net outgassing of CO2 (which leads to higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations).

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    Gator

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    Actually, I was a climatology student looooong before it was cool. SkS was the very first website I ever visited on the topic, and it was clear that Mr Cook’s site was anything but skeptical.

    So no, I do not need to familiarize myself with the propagandist’s website to which all trolls point, repeatedly, ad nauseum.

    I have more dirt in SkS. Would you like to disregard all of that too?

  • Avatar

    Steven Capozzola

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    Gator, I laughed out loud at your comment above, wherein you wrote “(Yawn)” after someone did the typical comment/reference to Skeptical Science.

    It’s sort of bizarre how involved the “answers” are at Skeptical Science to some basic issues. One gets the sense there’s a certain desperation to prove a point, no matter how tenuous and winding the logic is. It’s sort of like, if you have to work that hard to fit the square peg in the round hole, maybe you’re not on the right track to begin with.

    Anyway, great to have you commenting. Much appreciated.

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      Gator

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      Thanks Steven, I have to agree. Einstein is credited with saying, “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” Experts may disagree over wether or not this quote is from Einstein, but most agree that the idea is solid. What bears out as absolute truth, is that the science is far from setlled, and those who are shouting the loudest and waving their hands the most, are the least qualified to speak.

      I look forward to your next offering.

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        Steven Capozzola

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        Thanks, and agreed. Good to hear from you.

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    Klaus E. Berger

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    Very good article! I myself was an alarmist once, but became a sceptic soon after I looked into the data. Have you ever heard about the German scientist Ernst Georg Beck? Link: http://scmsa.eu/archives/ART_2006_Beck_CO2_report.pdf
    He found out that the CO2 level goes up and down indipendently of human activity.

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      Steven Capozzola

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      Good to hear from you, Klaus. I haven’t studied Beck. But I’ve always been particularly interested in atmospheric CO2 increase/decline based on long-term temperature shifts. Ie. Net outgassing from the oceans during warming periods, ocean absorption during cool periods. That point is completely missed by many–since they don’t focus on (or are unaware of) CO2’s solubility in water (the oceans). Temperature is a key factor in solubility, but this is overlooked. Anyway, good to hear from you, and thanks for your input.

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    edmh

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    Our current beneficial, warm Holocene interglacial has been the enabler of mankind’s civilisation for the last 10,000 years. The congenial climate of the Holocene epoch spans from mankind’s earliest farming to the scientific and technological advances of the last 100 years.

    When considering the scale of temperature changes that alarmists anticipate because of Man-made Global Warming and their view of the disastrous effects of additional Man-made Carbon Dioxide emissions in this century, it is more useful to look at climate change from a longer term, century by century and even on a millennial perspective.

    Northern Hemisphere Ice Core records from Greenland show:
    • the last millennium 1000AD – 2000AD has been the coldest millennium of the entire Holocene interglacial.
    • each of the notable high points in the Holocene temperature record, (Holocene Climate Optimum – Minoan – Roman – Medieval – Modern), have been progressively colder than the previous high point.
    • for its first 7-8000 years the early Holocene, including its high point “climate optimum”, had virtually flat temperatures, an average drop of only ~0.007 °C per millennium.

    • but the more recent Holocene, since a “tipping point” at ~1000BC, has seen a temperature diminution at more than 20 times that earlier rate at about 0.14 °C per millennium.
    • the Holocene interglacial is already 10 – 11,000 years old and judging from the length of previous interglacials the Holocene epoch should be drawing to its close: in this century, the next century or this millennium.
    • the beneficial warming at the end of the 20th century to the Modern high point has been transmuted into the “Great Man-made Global Warming Scare”.
    • eventually this late 20th century temperature blip will come to be seen as just noise in the system in the longer term progress of comparatively rapid cooling over the last 3000+ years.

    The much vaunted and much feared “fatal” tipping point of +2°C would only bring Global temperatures close to the level of the very congenial climate of “the Roman warm period”.

    https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/the-holocene-context-for-anthropogenic-global-warming-2/

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    Steven Capozzola

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    EDMH– thanks for your comment. Not only am I in complete agreement with you, but your blog page contains some excellent graphs on the long-term temperature trends.

    1. Yes, I do fear that we are in the late stages of the Holocene. My assumption has been more along the lines of having 3,000-5,000 years remaining–but that is admittedly optimistic/naively hopeful.
    2. The last few warm periods have indeed been warmer than the present. This is logical since we are steadily losing the Milankovitch window. Ie. Each warm period since we’ve passed the Holocene Optimum has enjoyed progressively less of the ideal angles for maximized summer warmth. Kind of sad to note this since, as you correctly state, all of recorded history has come since the brief respite of the current interglacial.
    3. It does appear that the Eemian was warmer than the Holocene. Really fascinating stuff, to look back on that.
    4. We should be grateful to be living in (and enjoying the benefits of) the current Warm Period–as opposed to the Little Ice Age or the overall (future) end of the Holocene.

    Good conversation. Thanks.

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    Jim Schultz

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    When I first became aware of the anthropogenic global warming claims, a couple of questions popped into my mind, one of which I have never seen addressed. I know that we have proxy temperature records as well as CO2 concentrations going back centuries. Has there been any investigations that anyone knows of where these are compared? In other words, has anyone attempted to quantify what temperatures can be expected at various concentrations of CO2?

    That seems a basic question to me. Personally, I believe that man cannot do anything if nature decides to turn up (or turn down) the thermostat. One quotation I’m fond of (even though agnostic):
    “Anybody else ever get the sense that God in His Infinite Kindness looks down on us and says to his Only Begotten Son, Jesus, “Arent they are so cute when they think they can control the Earth…”

    • Avatar

      Steven Capozzola

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      Jim: what you ask has has actually been investigated, studied, and debated at length–and obviously still continues… If you look at the various IPCC models, they project anywhere from 1-5 degrees celsius of warming based on a doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial levels.

      I reject those assumptions, as do many other critics. To answer your question more broadly, there are a multitude of factors that bear on temperature trends. It’s interesting to look at the long-term comparison charts of CO2 plotted alongside temperature for the earth’s overall geologic history. Over those timespans, we see no correlation between CO2 and temperature trajectories.

      If we review the past 800,000 years or so, when the earth has undergone repeated glacial cycles of the current ice age, we see that when the climate cools (into a glacial period), atmospheric CO2 declines. This is logical since a colder climate means colder oceans–and colder oceans draw-in plenty of CO2 from the atmosphere. Fossil and proxy studies suggest that the lag between cooling and net ocean absorption of CO2 can be hundreds of years. Conversely, the emergence of each warm interglacial period has meant a net outgassing of CO2 (after similar lag times of hundreds of years) that leads to higher atmospheric CO2.

      This correlation is often used, on compressed time-series graphs, to suggest CO2 leads temperature trends. But that defies the basic physics involved, though it hasn’t stopped many, many folks from basing their whole case for manmade climate change on such a misrepresentation of the data and physical process.

      I’m glad you checked in. Your question underscores the need for clarification on this basic point. Good to hear from you. Best, steven

      • Avatar

        Jim Schultz

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        “I reject those assumptions, as do many other critics. To answer your question more broadly, there are a multitude of factors that bear on temperature trends. It’s interesting to look at the long-term comparison charts of CO2 plotted alongside temperature for the earth’s overall geologic history. Over those timespans, we see no correlation between CO2 and temperature trajectories.”

        This is exactly what I’m referring to. I’ve just never seen a rigorous analysis of these data. While correlation doesn’t imply causality, I’ve always believed that lack of same demonstrates non-causality except under some very extreme cases, i.e. masking effects that multicollinearity can obscure. The type of chart you mention is a strong visual that demonstrates the lie of their main argument. Can you point me to one?

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    Dale

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    Excellent and concise explanation. I can’t add much if anything to what has already been said except to thank you for the work and reasoning, which you’ve kindly shared. Best of luck and a Happy Thanksgiving from Canada.

    • Avatar

      Steven Capozzola

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      Dale, much appreciated. Good to have you check in here. Thanks. And stay warm up there.

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    SETH FREED

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    Mr. Capozzola,

    I appreciated this article. Too often, you see articles and news and conversations lean to the side of man-mad global climate change and scientific evidence is provided to prove it. I have never believed in a man-made climate change, but have still striven to have an open mind to the science and look into the research. I am happy that you eventually looked into the research yourself and saw what I saw. Science being manipulated to fit an agenda. You see it a lot as well in statistics where the manipulate the data or how it is represented on a chart to better meet their wants. When you only take 150 years of recorded data to look at, you miss the whole picture. If the Earth were billions of years old, 150 years would fail to show you anything reliable. Sampling the data makes it easier to get to a conclusion, but it does not show everything and can lead to false realizations. I enjoyed your article and your point of view, thank you for the read.

    Very respectfully,
    Seth

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      Steven Capozzola

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      Seth, good to hear from you. We’re in full agreement. Thanks for commenting. (I often say that focusing on such a short timespan is like looking at the wart on a giant– you miss the bigger picture.)

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    DannyDOGood

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    So Steven, Has anyone every taken into account for rising sea level being caused by building land masses in our oceans and city sized cruse ships etc… we are filling our waters with? Moving mountains into the ocean all over the globe and thousands of city sized ships will cause rising sea levels. Just like putting rocks into a glass of water will over fill the glass.

    Secondly our heat index rising, radiation creates heat as you even admit that CO2 does. Now what about over the last 70+ years of nuclear testing and then radiation leaks. Could this be the real cause of our heat index?

    But hey lets get real here. If man made global warming is real. Science has created all that is killing us. Should we not ban most science and what its creates? Hmm?

  • Avatar

    Steven Capozzola

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    Danny, the good news is that the issue of rising oceans is not as troubling as portrayed. Sea levels have been rising since the end of the last interglacial. Lately, there has been a deceleration of sea level rise. Something interesting to consider as well is the issue of tectonic rebound–land masses “springing” back up (rather slowly) after being pressed down by the weight of the various glaciers that had formed during the last glacial period. With this rebound, we see some areas rising and some falling (in relation to mean sea level). It sort of complicates the picture, but it’s a fascinating concept to picture on such enormous geographic scales.

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    Matt

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    Hi Steven,

    I concur and appreciate the time you have taken to write this article which I find informative and well researched. Like many people reading this article I have shared the link to your insights but, also like a lot of people I’m sure, I have “friends” that wholeheartedly disagree with you and call us both “Climate change deniers” even though I have stated that I am not arguing against climate change per se, but anthropogenic climate change specifically.

    My friend has referenced the below publication put out by the Royal Society  on which I would be keen to hear your thoughts (Sir Isaac Newton was a founding member don’t you know!)

     https://royalsociety.org/~/media/Royal_society_Content/policy/publications/2007/8031.pdf

    Other comments include:
    “Yes I read his entire argument, much of which comes down to his failure to understand the science.. He doesn’t, for instance, understand why there is “so little carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, sure it should be more if it’s a problem?”.. that’s about as scientific as saying if only a few milligrams of CO are in your bloodstream, why do you die?

    “All his points are the same old rope that’s trotted out endlessly by climate change deniers, and it’s all been roundly refuted by the actual scientific community”

    “One of my good friends from school is the science funding advisor for the Royal Society (he’s got a PhD after his name, so is well schooled in this sort of thing), and sorry, I trust what he has to say more than a libertarian fringe-blog”

    And in response to my point that much of the scientific community does not actually agree with man-made climate change, he says “the vast majority of scientists support the rigorous and robust science that quite clearly states we have a real problem on our hands”

    I really appreciate the time you have taken to respond to all the comments written about your article and I sincerely hope you can take the time to respond to these comments too.

    Thanks for your time.

    • Avatar

      Steven Capozzola

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      Matt, thanks for your email. It’s frustrating to read what you describe of your friend’s responses because they don’t respond to the arguments themselves. I don’t even see any logic to his points. But at least he recognizes the scarcity of CO2 in the atmosphere. Tell him that it would be better if atmospheric CO2 reached 1,000 ppm– that would be beneficial for agricultural output. (If asked why CO2 is so scarce in the atmosphere at this point in the earth’s history, tell him that much of the earth’s carbon is now locked away in fossil layers. Strange that he would even comment on that since it refutes the alarmist view that CO2 is at dramatic, unprecedented levels.) Overall, it’s clear that many people have put up a hard brick wall when it comes to letting in any opposing views. As for the Royal Society–they are very alarmist and their rebuttal points are geared toward simple responses. Their response in talking point number 1 states that the Medieval Warm Period was a regional event–a falsehood easily rebutted by the overwhelming geologic evidence of worldwide warming at that time. And they simply say that 20th Century warming can’t be accounted for by “natural factors”– a rather meaningless statement since both the Roman and Medieval warming drove temperatures up to higher levels than today. Ahh, I could go on, but it’s too frustrating…

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      Steven Capozzola

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      PS: When I have time, I think I’ll write a point-by-point rebuttal to those Royal Society talking points. Stay tuned…

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    Geir Aaslid

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    Great read. I have two points to add:

    With reference to the great cooling scare of the 1970ies: At the time there was scientific agreement that the world had warmed roughly 0,5 degreees C up until the 1940ies, and then had cooled roughly by 0,3 degrees C. This 30 year long cooling period is normally referred to as The Grand Hiatus.
    Strangely enough the IPCC never explained this warming, apart from stating there was insufficient antropogenic CO2 released to affect the climate. Something else did this.
    Neither did the IPCC explain this cooling, again it must have been something else. Yes, it’s the sun, stupid.

    But the warming after 1975 was suddenly caused by us, at least 51% of it. If you look up the influence of the sun for this period in the IPCC reports, it is defined as a 7% clinate driver.
    https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/SYR_AR5_FINAL_full_wcover.pdf

    How did they manage to arrive at that conclusion??? Well, partly because the IPCC manadate is antropogenic warming, everything natural is irrelevant to them and outside their mandate. Accordingly they can ignore the sun which they do. When you look at the latest IPCC report’s chapter about the sun, and the CVs of those involved, you won’t find a great many solar physicists (There is one only, according to Dr. Willie Soon)

    The second point: the water vapour referred to in this great text as “the predominant heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere”. Actually it’s effect is 95%, with CO2 responsible for roughly 2/3 of the remaining 5% of the so-called greenhouse effect (what is taking place within the greenhouse is the opposite of what is happening outside the greenhouse!)

    We are told that increasing temperatures will lead to more water in the atmosphere, but strangely enough we are not given the most important facts: That more water vapour near the surface will only increase the convenction, it is only in the stratosphere that water vapour will magnify the “heat trapping” effect of more CO2.

    And even more strangely, we are not told that observations since 1950 confirm that there is a decreasing amount of water vapour up there. So it is known, but ignored by the warmists, that we here have a cooling effect.

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    Steven Capozzola

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    Geir, thanks for writing. I’ve often thought that, technically-speaking, the 70’s cooling scare was based on solid footing. At that point, there had been 30 years of cooling (likely driven by a negative phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation). But lacking a longer range perspective, the observations of an impending glacial period seemed plausible at the time–since all those folks had to work with was the immediate temperature record. (It was a close-up, short-sighted view, but I’m sure well-intentioned.)

    Regarding atmospheric water vapor content, agreed–and it’s significant that there is little stratospheric water vapor. Thus, it’s hard to follow the logic of alarmists who deny CO2 saturation. They posit that warming will increase in the stratosphere. But the thorough mixing of CO2 throughout the atmosphere, and the lack of H2O in the stratosphere argue against their view.

    Anyway, I appreciate you checking in. Good to hear from you.

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    Anant

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    I read the entire article and yes, you present facts and I’m all for accepting that what you say might even be true if it’s based on hard science. What I find weird is that no where in the article do you also present an unbiased argument for the OTHER problems caused by man made fossil fuel based pollution. Like all the air that is being particulated and killing people slowly. Like all the water that the effluent from fossil fuel based industries destroys. Like all the oil spills that destroy the seas and animal life? Like all the smog being created in China and even India.

    Global warming is just ONE of the issues being caused by man made pollution and dependence on fossil fuels but I don’t see you presenting that in your argument. Also, people in the third world countries do rely upon fossil fuels more than those in other countries, but the pollution is killing them more than it is helping them.

    Lastly, there are various OTHER forms of renewable energy that are perpetual and not intermittent such as hydroelectric, geothermal, tidal and wave energy. Greenland is a prime example of this with 25% of their country being powered by it. Almost 90% of their buildings get their heat from geothermal and in addition to that over 70% of their power comes from hydroelectric stations. Less than 1% of their entire power generation comes from fossil fuels. Now you might say that they are a country with a low population and so they manage, but then there’s this which also proves that the entire world could go to renewable if we just WANTED to > http://thesolutionsproject.org

    Plus, if you’ve researched The Venus Project you’d know that an underwater tidal generator on the Being Strait could easily power the entire world. The only thing stopping us from moving to renewable (read:smarter) energy sources is the lobbying from the oil industry and the opposition to changing the current infrastructure and economic restraints forcefully imposed on anything new that might disrupt the power flow of the oil industry, since banks, billionaires and the military industrial complex all depend on oil.

    Btw, I’m from India so I know what third world problems are like and I’m saying that we could do a whole lot better and cleaner if we went renewable.

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      Gator

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      CO2 is not a pollutant, and is not warming the planet any further.

      Seven million innocent human beings needlessly die each year because leftists insist we spend trillions on a nonexistent problem.

      Lifespans have increased in an unprecedented fashion thanks to fossil fuels. Anant, you have been had by the alarmofascists.

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    Ryan

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    I have my thoughts, but, Steve what do you think is the real driving force for the government and media to keep pushing the idea of mankind is the cause of global warming?

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      Steven Capozzola

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      Ryan: I think there are a lot of scientists, academics, and policy makers who honestly believe they are fighting a global catastrophe. That’s a very compelling ideology– being a “savior,” and finding celebrity as a “leading light” in the climate community has its perks. But there’s also billions and billions and billions of dollars in funding available to promote/research this one particularly viewpoint. That’s a very strong lure. And then there’s the segment of global politicians who see regulating fossil fuels as an effective way to rein in the “excesses” of the industrialized world.

      There are a number of reasons. But human nature doesn’t change, and those who have been pushing the alarmist viewpoint so prominently are digging in their heels and doubling down on a questionable theory– to save face? to keep from looking foolish/incorrect in the public domain?… As we’ve seen with the ongoing pause in temperatures, there are clear reasons to suspect that anthropogenic warming theory is completely faulty. Rather than admit any errors, however, the climate community and the IPCC are fighting harder, making sure to discredit anyone who crosses them.

      I’m not sure where all this will lead, but I honestly believe that in 50 years, people will say, “Ohh…remember when people used to worry about global warming?…”

      Best, steven

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        Ryan

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        Thanks for the reply Steven, my thoughts are it all comes down to money and where to put it, who’s pockets get lined… Just like in the movie “Independence Day”, a $1,400 toilet seat, and $700 hammer… I don’t recall the actual numbers from the movie currently, but the point is made.

        Thanks, and I’ll keep reading!

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    Newton Brown

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    Great stuff! I’ve been a skeptic after being jaded by the green industry of which I was a part of in NYC back around 2011. The thing I like about this particular article is it would read well for alarmists. I’m always trying to push articles on all my commie-environmentalist friends (whom I love dearly of course) trying to wake them up but they always think they come directly from Rush Limbaugh (whom I also love) so it is great to come across something like this that I believe approaches the topic in a great way. Way to go Steven!

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      Steven Capozzola

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      Newton: Thanks for checking in. I tried to write the piece as honestly as I could. Ironically, the article has been reposted in various places, and some of the comments show that folks completely missed the intent of the article. That, and suggesting I don’t have a 5th grade science education, or that I don’t understand the idea of H2O, CO2, etc., helping to maintain a warm/habitable atmosphere. Oh well… Anyway, thanks for your candid comments. Best, steven

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    Wndrtch

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    Hi Steven, I loved reading your article here. I’ve been a skeptic of man-made Global Warming since I first saw the Scotese/Bremer chart showing both the average global temps for the last 600 million years and the CO2 concentrations over the same time period. It was obvious the Earth cycles between 12degC to 22degC, regardless of what CO2 concentration is. Today, we are sitting at the bottom of a cold swing, about to start the cycle back to 22deg, so of course the Earth is going to get warmer at some point, she always does. What surprised me most was seeing that when the CO2 concentration was at 7,000ppb, the Earth never went over 22degC.

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    Steven Capozzola

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    WNDRTCH: Good to hear from you. And you know, the Scotese chart has been widely reprinted, and really makes the case for huge CO2 variability throughout the earth’s geologic history. As for upcoming climate, the earth is in the latter stages of an interglacial period. If you look at the pattern of glacial/interglacial cycles (the Milankovitch cycles built on changes in orbital facing, eccentricity, etc.), we could likely be just a few thousand years away from the next glacial cycle. That’s certainly something to ponder…

    Anyway, I really appreciate you commenting on the article.

    Best,
    steven

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    Steven Capozzola

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    Responding to the comment by “DAVE MC” who asked abut my resume and jobs. Essentially, he’s looking to see what qualifies me to comment on the global warming debate.

    Here’s my qualifications: taxpayer, concerned citizen.

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    Bob Grise

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    Steven, this scam is worse than you imagined. The late John Daly showed quite convincingly that the rural reporting stations haven’t warmed at all. They typically show it was slightly colder in the 50’s 60’s 70’s, but the most recent 25 years was generally the same temp as 1900 to 1924. Daly’s long list of rural stations just happens to include where I live, St. Cloud, MN and his trend line matches our local university records to a T. I have not looked at all the stations but curiously one station that shows cooling is Al Gore’s Tennessee! Love the irony. Daly’s website: http://www.john-daly.com/stations/stations.htm#Russia (not the homepage and no updates for ten years, since he died). St Cloud, MN temps: http://web.stcloudstate.edu/raweisman/climate/tempmonth.html Pre 1900 temps account for all the warming – it got warmer after 1899. The most recent 25 years was a hair (about a tenth of a degree) colder than 1900 – 1924 in St. Cloud, MN. As Daly often said, we are still waiting for the greenhouse.

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    Steven Capozzola

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    Bob: Agreed. And even further complicating/obscuring the data collection is a reliance on ground-based measuring stations that are corrupted by either/both proximity to urban activity and the “heat island” effect that cities experience. (Pavement and buildings retain/radiate heat, etc.)

    Glad you commented. Thanks, steven

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    Eric McCay

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    Brilliant article. I traveled an almost identical journey 10-15 years ago with regard to feedbacks, temperature lagging CO2 etc.

    The question is why they are going to such extraordinary lengths to lie about something so easily debunked.

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      Gator

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      The question is why they are going to such extraordinary lengths to lie about something so easily debunked.

      Simple. As the once famous bank robber Willie Sutton allegedly replied when asked why he robbed banks, “”because that’s where the money is”. This is also known as ‘Sutton’s Law’.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sutton's_law

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        JayPee

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        ALSO

        Carl Sagan”s declaration that

        Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

        The claims of a Greenhouse Effect, Global Warming, and Climate Change are

        EXTRAORDINARY

        in view of any previous scientifically accepted priority.

        Well.
        Where was the extraordinary proof ?

        There NEVER was ANY proof.

        But there was plenty of political and economic fodder to feed on
        as long as you were willing to ignore actual science.

        So away everyone went to the land of make believe
        were everything is fine forever

        When the grant money spigot stops,
        a lot of so-called scientists will be in

        DETOX !

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          Steven Capozzola

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          JayPee– it is kind of fascinating to ponder what these flabby academics would do if their meal ticket were suddenly pulled away… The money involved, the careers now dependent on a preprogrammed assumption– it’s bizarre, troubling, infuriating.

          -steven

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        Steven Capozzola

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        Gator, you make a good point. The amount of money being thrown at global warming is stunning. And it’s all in the service of reinforcing the same theoretical view. (The U.S. government alone spends billions per year on “climate change” research and policy efforts.) And with all that taxpayer money spent, there’s no open science, no questioning of a failing hypothesis.

        And so we fight on. -steven

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        amirlach

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        From the Dark Knight Rises.
        “Trader #1: This is a stock exchange! There’s no money you can steal!
        Bane: Really? Then why are you people here?”

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      Steven Capozzola

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      Eric, very good points. The problem is that the average person hasn’t studied it, so they just nod their heads and trust the “conclusions.” I did…

      Anyway, it really is amazing how obvious some of the flaws are in AGW theory.

      Thanks for checking in, steven

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    Eric McCay

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    So… this is the likely reason.

    The Climate change industry is a multi trillion dollar, Enron created carbon trading scam backed by fictional science, in particular a fictional temperature record

    “Billions, possibly trillions of dollars of free carbon credits (license to produce CO2) were handed out to big business. In the absence of global warming, they would be worthless”.

    My website

    http://www.scrapthetrade.com/

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    Jose

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    Brilliant article Steven. Really just brilliant.

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      Steven Capozzola

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      Jose, thanks for stopping by. There’s plenty of people who don’t agree with the article, of course. But I was just trying to express my views honestly.

      Good to hear from you. Best, steven

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