Saving the Planet?

Nov 24th, 2008, in IM Posts, Opinion, by

Willie Soon & Christopher Monckton, climate change sceptics, on temperature levels in Indonesia and the "saving the planet" mantra.

Indonesia’s National Agency for Meteorology & Geophysics plays host to the International Symposium on Climate and Weather of the Sun-Earth System in Jakarta on November 24th-26th 2008.

In this article Dr. Willie Soon, geo-scientist at the Solar, Stellar and Planetary Sciences division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, and Lord Christopher Monckton, chief policy adviser to the Science and Public Policy Institute in Washington DC., urge the assembled scientists to avoid the hysteria of global-warming alarmists, and instead study solar activity.

Indonesia’s Climate Follows the Sun

Carbon dioxide is not an air pollutant. It is plant food. All life on Earth depends on it. It is natural. It forms the bubbles in bread, champagne, and Coca-Cola. You breathe it out, and plants breathe it in.

The Earth contains a lot of CO2, but the atmosphere contains so little that the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) rightly calls CO2 a “trace gas”. A scientific mystery is why the air does not hold more CO2 than it does. Half a billion years ago, there was almost 20 times today’s CO2 concentration.

Most farmers would prefer to grow crops under much-higher concentrations of CO2 than today’s 385 parts per million—less than 1/25 of 1 percent of the atmosphere. To feed the world, low CO2 concentration is not such a great idea. High concentrations are better, and they cause no harm. Experiments have shown that even delicate plants such as orchids thrive at CO2 concentrations of 10,000 ppm.

That is why U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia has declared that if CO2 is to be labeled an “air pollutant”, then so must Frisbees and flatulence.

What about the danger of overheating the Earth by CO2? Al Gore is spending $300 million telling us “global warming” will be a catastrophe. Yet a survey of 539 scientific papers containing the words “global climate change” and published between January 2004 and February 2007 found not a single one that provided any evidence that “global warming” would be catastrophic. It does not matter how many scientists or politicians say that more CO2 will cause a catastrophe. To true scientists, what matters is whether any real-world data support the idea.

If CO2 is a powerful greenhouse gas, we would have seen a great warming trend in Indonesian temperature history. We haven’t. Recent temperatures, according to the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, have been scarcely warmer than they were 70 to 100 years ago. Instead of a strong warming trend, the Indonesian data are dominated by year-to-year changes and natural oscillations every 50 to 100 years.

It is remarkable to find documents on the Internet, circulated by WWF-Indonesia, trying to scare the unsuspecting public by saying the temperature in Indonesia has “increased by 0.3º C” over the twentieth century and that one can expect additional warming of 0.1 to 0.3º C per decade for the next 20 to 100 years.

In a humid, equatorial nation such as Indonesia, with annual temperatures between 23º and 32º C, there is little chance of seeing those predicted warming trends, or any of the predicted changes in rainfall.

Professor Mezak Ratag of the Indonesia National Agency for Meteorology & Geophysics says,

The output from different models is often different and sometimes contradictory. For example, [a UK climate model] predicts increases in temperature and decreases in precipitation for Indonesia, while [a German model] predicts an increase in both temperature and precipitation.

When climate models say that both increased and decreased rainfall are possible, they are not actually making any predictions.

Worse, climate scientists from Stanford University and the University of Washington in the United States recently admitted that

the islands of Java and Bali are not even represented as land in many global-circulation models [used by the IPCC].

The 100-year mean temperatures over the period 1901-2000 for March-April-May, June-July-August, September-October-November, and December-January-February are 26.2, 25.6, 26.1, and 25.9º C, respectively. This confirms the clear dependence of the basic climatology of Indonesia on the arrival and relative intensity of the sun overhead. More sun means warmer weather, and vice versa. It is as simple as that.

More sun also means more rain, except that during the December-January-February season there is an additional large contribution from the northwest monsoon and the southward migration of the inter-tropical rainbelt.

Look to matahari (the sun in Bahasa Indonesia) rather than CO2 as the key player in Indonesia’s climate.

Cutting CO2 emissions by sharply curtailing the use of gasoline and other fossil fuels will make no difference to the weather. It will merely lead the foolish to feel good about “saving the planet”. Even if the planet needed saving, all proposed mitigation measures would be futile. It would be cheaper and less irresponsible to adapt to warmer weather as—or rather if—necessary.

We have already seen food prices double and triple worldwide because the “green” movement told us biofuels would “save the planet”. Science, however, demonstrates that biofuels have a bigger carbon footprint than does gasoline.

Foolish mitigation measures that owe everything to political fashion and nothing to scientific rigor are already harming the world’s poor. It is time to stop the hysteria about CO2 before anyone else gets hurt—or even killed.

About the Authors

Willie Soon
Willie Soon is a geoscientist at the Solar, Stellar and Planetary Sciences division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He will address the International Symposium on Climate and Weather of the Sun-Earth System, hosted by Indonesia’s National Agency for Meteorology & Geophysics in Jakarta November 24-26.

Christopher Monckton
Christopher Monckton is chief policy adviser to the Science and Public Policy Institute in the USA. (http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org).


57 Comments on “Saving the Planet?”

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  1. avatar David says:
    November 24th, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    I have to say I’m naturally attracted to this kind of argument, any argument which runs against the majority view – perverse character fault maybe – or more accurately the majority view of educated upper middle class people who just generally suck. The trouble though with an argument based on the science of things is that the average Joe Schmoe like me doesn’t know the science from one end to the other.

    Foolish mitigation measures that owe everything to political fashion

    There’s the interesting thing though, what is at the root of it? political fashion yes, but it probably goes deeper than that, I suspect, not originally, there’s a cultic pseudo religious aspect to the ‘saving the planet’ business, people who have no religion finding a substitute, it always comes back to religion…., he he.

  2. avatar Monckton of Brenchley says:
    November 24th, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
    Patung is right – the “global warming” alarmists are the new adherents of an old religion: Puritanism, which is against fun. He rightly raises the question whether non-scientists can understand the scientific arguments and form a view of whether the alarmist Puritans or the skeptical fun-lovers are in the right. He may like to visit http://www.scienceandpublicpolicy.org, a website dedicated to explaining the scientific arguments against alarm so that the layman can understand where we get our facts from, and verify them for himself. – Monckton of Brenchley

  3. avatar John Turvill says:
    November 24th, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Skepticism and challenging any scientific hypothesis is good science, and your commentary is welcomed for that. However, if you are going to challenge the validity or relevance of anything, you arguments are seriously devalued by your selective and misleading selection of data to support them.

    For example:
    1) You quote that 500 million years ago “there was almost 20 times today’s CO2 concentration”. You fail to discuss any of the potential reasons for this or implications of it. 500 million years ago, there were no probably no land animals, insects had not yet evolved, and the only plants were mosses (eg per wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_evolution).
    You also fail to point out that a CO2 concentration 20 times higher than today is also approximately 50% higher than the “Permissible exposure Limit – PEL” defined by OSHA, the US Occupational and Safety Health Organization. Nor do you point out that the oxygen level was far below that required for humans to breathe, so the overall comparison does not seem very relevant to a discussion of the current composition of the atmosphere.

    2) you quote the daily temperature range in Indonesia as being ‘between 23 and 32°C’. But it is not correct to draw the conclusion just from this statement that there is no warming trend, or that it is impossible to detect a trend of this magnitude from several years worth of data. If there is no trend, then prove it, or show that here is insufficient data, or discover for yourselves that a trend actually exists,if it does.

    3) Quoting the 100 year mean temperatures for each season does nothing to prove or disprove log term temperature and/or climate change. It does correctly show that there are seasonal variations, but surely this is not in dispute?

    My personal view is that the case for ‘global warming’ per se has not yet been made conclusively. However, I also believe that there is compelling evidence of a significant increase in atmospheric CO2 since the 1800’s and that this best correlates with the increase in human use of fossil fuels. As a geologist I find the evidence for large changes in the earth’s climate, atmosphere, and sea level over geological time is also compelling.

    For Indonesia,I would suggest that a rise in sea level is potentially the most significant issue. This would occur if any significant portion of the ice currently on Greenland and/or Antarctica were to melt. So I suggest that the more relevant debate is not whether there will be a significant temperature change in Indonesia, but whether there will be a significant increase in temperature in either Greenland or Antarctica that would cause this ice to melt. I am sure you will agree that there is a large body of evidence on temperature trends in both places, and more than enough statistics for anyone to selectively support a variety of conclusions, so I will refrain from attempting to draw one here.

    Given that, as you seem to agree, we cannot yet fully model the interaction between the composition of the atmosphere and climate, I believe we should be very cautious in assuming that we know all the answers.

    This seems far more prudent than encouraging people to ignore the whole topic by selectively quoting figures and statistics in a less than scientifically rigorous mode, especially when this lack of scientific rigour is a large aspect of what you are arguing against.

    Regards
    John Turvill

  4. avatar Monckton of Brenchley says:
    November 24th, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

    Mr. Turvill asks for evidence against the alarmist viewpoint. In what was inevitably a very short article, we could only include some of the vast quantity of evidence against alarmism that is available both in the scientific data and in the peer-reviewed literature. Further evidence will be found at http://www.scienceandpublicpolicy.org, and a more detailed analysis of the UN climate panel’s exaggerated estimates of the effect of increased CO2 concentration on temperature is available under my name in the July 2008 edition of Physics and Society. You can find it by googling “Physics and Society” and following the links.

    Yes, humankind has added CO2 to the atmosphere: but the concentration remains minuscule in geological terms. Recommended daily limits are vastly in excess of any present or projected level of CO2. The increase in the concentration of CO2 has been so small that its influence on temperature is negligible and its influence on health generally beneficial, since it is essential food for plants and trees, and – until we put matters to rights with our emissions – there was really too little CO2 for plant and trees to flourish. Now they are growing much more rapidly than before. Orchids and other sensitive plants have been tested at concentrations of up to 10,000 parts per million (around 30 times today’s concentration), and they have come to no harm. We should stop looking on CO2 as a pollutant. It is essential to all life on Earth and, if there were more of it, more good than harm would result. – Monckton of Brenchley

  5. avatar Purba Negoro says:
    November 24th, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    There is an undeniable fact which cannot be merely parceled off.
    Human activity alone has increased carbon dioxide output massively over the past 50 years.
    Irrefutable.
    The issue is whether we are able to measure yet the positive or negative impact of this major CO, CO2, CO3, O3 emission.

    Commonsense would argue surely there must be an impact of such activity- exactly like human destruction of global forests- every G8 nation aside from Russia has nett less forests now than 100 years ago- and same alarming situation for the emerging world- and a trend in grass/savanna.

    Output of CO2 increasing, absorption capacity diminishing- is logically a very stupid myopic human accident waiting to happen- regardless of human emissions compared to natural process, geological or latent.

    Now viz US Supreme Court- when it’s loaded with handpicked Bush judges with a track record of proven bias to the mighty petrochemical industry- where the US has historically favoured and colluded with the tyre/car/oil industries (read up on LA’s Red Line Trams)- the decision should be taken with the greatest possible cycnicsm more stringently applied to anything American.

    Most counter climate warming scientific pieces are sponsored by some institute with the stench of petrodollars upon it.

    And when one considers the car industry is the only major manufacturing sector left in the US aside from their military-industrial(congressional) unholy trinity complex, the Iron Triangle (re Eisenhower) the US has a vested interest in protecting voters from permanent unemployment.

    Thus attacking the mentality or agenda of the pro-green movement while being blind to very real economic competing motivators is factitious.

    Remember the US is the best democracy money can buy and nation that birthed such bastards as Oppenheimer, Rockerfeller, Vanderbilt and Morgenthau who were never shy of using their money to effect advantageous political decisions- including the facade dismantling of Standard Oil- now exxon-mobil, caltex and Esso-UnoCal all cross-owned by one another- one company 3 different names.

    The UK has a colourful history of being utterly corruptable by business interests dating from the Whigs and East India Company.

    That being said- there is an obvious Green Industrial Revolution agenda to replace ailing oil industry- especially as the US has little control on the world’s new “green fuel”- natural gas.

    IMHO- the green movement is a nett long-term win all round. If big oil can adapt and perhaps reinvent themselves as big bio-oil (financially expensive) there are major nett positives.
    Big oil is dragging its heels to avoid the necessary economic outlay.

  6. avatar Monckton of Brenchley says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 12:24 am

    From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

    It would be preferable if contributors to this column were to confine their remarks to science, not politics. I do not write scientific papers on this subject because I am paid to do so: and such papers would not pass peer-review unless they were advancing a statable scientific case. Most scientific papers on the single question that matters in this debate – by how much, if at all, will the world warm in response to the very small anthropogenic increase in the proportion of the atmosphere occupied by the trace gas carbon dioxide – are by authors of impeccable scientific reputation who have no financial vested interest: and most of the papers on this question now suggest that the IPCC’s absurdly high estimates of the sensitivity of the surface temperature to CO2 enrichment of the atmosphere are wild exaggerations.

    Indeed, Chilingar et al. (2008) even go so far to suggest that the addition of CO2 to the atmosphere could be causing a slight net cooling, somewhat offsetting the 300 years of warming that occurred from the end of the Maunder Minimum in 1700 to the end of the solar Grand Maximum in 1998. During the Grand Maximum, the Sun was more active, and for longer, than during almost any similar period in the whole of the past 11,400 years.

    Even if one does not entirely agree with Chilingar: Wentz (2007), Spencer (2008), Lindzen (2008), Schwartz (2008), and Monckton of Brenchley (2008) all find climate sensitivity to be low, harmless, and generally beneficial. That is now the consensus in the scientific literature. There are many environmental problems, but a small amount of CO2 enrichment is not one of them. – Monckton of Brenchley

  7. avatar Purba Negoro says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 1:13 am

    Monckton
    I respect your knowledge and authority- but I argue one can never view things in their abstract as background motivators always plays, aside from those so noble as yourself, some part.

    Also- can you link to those papers if they are not subscription journals/monographs?

    Also- what are your opinions on the motivation of the green revolution? Is this Western industrial revolution Mark 2?

    Thirdly- considering the sun and solar radiation what are your opinions on US military electromagnetic experimentation with the upper atmosphere- with the HAARP Project and atmospheric detonated nuclear weapons and their effects if any felt today?
    Likely there was similar Soviet- but I am unaware of these and so will focus on the largest gas-emitter and consumer of fossil fuels.

  8. avatar Purba Negoro says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 1:19 am

    Sorry I forgot this?

    What is your response to this:
    The U.S. intelligence apparatus has worked up the first national intelligence assessment to focus on the implications of climate change for U.S. national security by 2030.
    Researchers say climate change poses a range of security concerns. They include:

    Military installations. Coastal military facilities are threatened by rising sea levels and more frequent major, damaging weather events such as hurricanes and tornadoes.

    Part of a larger “greenwash” conspiracy, common wastage of tax money on the hypothetical or …?

  9. avatar Marisa says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 1:25 am

    CO2? How about mercury or lead?

    Never been a devout disciple of green activism, and I for one, is quite apathetic in terms of saving anyone’s planet. Let alone telling other nation on what to do about its own climate. However, it’s good to know that global and regional societies worldwide are assertively participating together in building critical awareness surrounding the subject.

    Being “alarmed” on global warming is not to be undermined, it introduces a new paradigm thus technical standards that the age of modernity barely prioritizes before, such as in transportation, industry, travel and tourism, urban infrastructure, etc — guess it isn’t only some tree-hugging hippie bum holding a placard that screams out: The End is Near!.

    Anyhow, just an addition, Ecuador’s newly granted policy could just be a good example for Indonesia, considering both nations have similar equatorial climate and biodiversity.

    Nature, where life is reproduced and exists, has the right to exist, persist, maintain, and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions, and its processes in evolution. Every person, people, community, or nationality will be able to demand the recognition of rights for nature before the public bodies.

    – Quoted from Constitution of Ecuador

    Yes. In Ecuador, nature has rights as much as humans.

    What I don’t understand from this post and Patung’s comment above is, are you saying that people would be better off not giving a shit at all? Funny how the misconception of CO2 sounds more like a thought-out hate speech for environmental activists.

    Informative post, nonetheless. Thanks for writing.

  10. avatar Marisa says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 1:42 am

    PS: Just the other day, I sent ultratupai this link:
    http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/01/super-green-cit.html

    Thought it would suit the subject. Somewhat. Coincidentally.

    Regards,
    Marisa

  11. avatar BERAN says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 8:37 am

    http://www.climatechangefraud.com/content/view/2548/218/
    http://klaus.cz/klaus2/asp/objednavka.asp?id=35

    B.

  12. avatar janma says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 10:48 am

    Human arrogance….. the planet has been here a lot longer than us and will continue on without us just fine. Humans aren’t the only force that has deforested the world. Previous ice ages also did that. The ice retreated the forests returned, the earth changes.
    Environmental change is only important to us in as far as it affects us and our survival.
    Saving the planet? Saving our own skins more like it!

  13. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Seksi Ibu Janmas Yth,

    As a poet and artist, the Unseksi behaviour towards the environment makes me sad, like an Iis Dahlia song.

    I will make a song for the trees and the planet:

    Save Our Green, Friend, Join Our Green.

    All the orang utan, wild jengkol trees in the jungle, the tikus sawah,

    Even Dog I kick when I come to Bali are god creature.

    Mr. Batak – please don’t eat the dog !

    Help Save Our Green.

    Oke ?

    (Tinklety-pinklety-tinkle) (playing the Ukuele in a little bamboo resting hut in the Sawah).

  14. avatar janma says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 11:00 am

    I love trees too Achmad! that wasn’t my point however…..it’s just all about us…. always about us….. boring. They say tree’s, but they really mean themselves.

  15. avatar trane says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    Regarding the scientific content of the Viscount’s intervention, there has been much discussion at Deltoid:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/global_warming/monckton/

    There is one particular discussion of his Physics and Society article here:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/09/moncktonss_125_errors.php

    Like you, Patung, I have little knowledge of the science. But the argument that ‘saving the planet’ is akin to religion is just too easy. For one, you find exactly the attitude of victimhood and zeal (the poor ‘common sense’ men struggling against ‘would-be’ science, the last men standing against political fashion) on the side of those who deny that humans are the cause of a substantial part of global warming.

    Regards,
    trane

  16. avatar Purba Negoro says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    For all this climate debate- there seems to be no comment from the West regarding the 250 atmospheric nuclear detonations conducted by the US and any effect on the atmosphere.

    Then industry seems to escape from the criticism it deserves. It is ridiculous to argue consumer driving about in obnoxious US SUV is mainly to blame.

    The one who pollute in the millions of tons- especially of acid rain causing gases- are not consumer- but producer.
    Those with very deep pocket who truly ‘own’ US government- Union Carbide, Dupont, Cincinatti Steel, Ohio Coal etc, – then we should consider the huge pollution of oil refinery: BP, Dutch Shell, Standard Oil in its various sub-component
    Then aluminium smelter- vast consumer of energy- prior to most relocating to Iceland and Greenland (cheap hydro and geothermal)

    Then what of the US Airforce- the largest fossil fuel consumer wholly owned by the US government.
    How many 6.5 litre Humvee does US military have?
    How many 2 mpg M1 Abrams tank does US drive?

    Considering nuclear fission/fusion reaction create temperatures hotter than the sun- what possible effect of unleashing 250 micro-suns on thinnest element of atmosphere?
    If none- why ?

    So I am arguing that the true culprit is not correctly blamed- hence understandable feeling of resentment from private citizens- as justifiably upset as they should be as when electricity is rationed- it is them that suffer without their A/C not industry.

  17. avatar Purba Negoro says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Trane
    thank-you

    According to the link Trane suggests
    Monckton’s key paper to the American Physics Society has 125 errors.
    According to this link
    Mockton’s work:
    -is fallacious
    -based on discredited findings
    -has poor mathematics
    -cherry picks
    -confuses “climate” with “weather”

    Summarised as:

    “Monckton’s conclusions have no basis in reality. The IPCC doesn’t “imagine” anything, it summarizes the values reported by climate models, validating against observations and experiments. If Monckton or others seriously believe they have an argument for why the world will not warm so much, all they have to do is put their physical intuition into their own climate model and see how it does. Hand-waving is not an acceptable forum for coming to real scientific conclusions. “

    Although Monckton argues against biofuels (causes starvation) and a land of plenty in a CO2 rich atmoosphere, the World Health Organization summarizes the links between climate change and increased disease, malnutrition, and death indicating that some of this is already happening.

    Indonesia has lost much of its forest to Western greed- more than happy to turn a blind eye to its’ method of extraction.

    The world’s majority- the poor- are again being ransomed by Western greed- do not let them fool you twice with flowery language hiding ill intent.

  18. avatar John Turvill says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my earlier comments. However, I need to apologize for obviously not stating my main point clearly enough. I was not ‘generically’ asking “for evidence against the alarmist viewpoint”.

    My point was that the conclusions you claim are specifically not directly supported by the evidence you chose to offer for them, and that this lack of scientific rigour in your presentation negates any claims you make for similar lack of scientific rigour in support of alternative arguments.

    In your reply you state that “but the concentration [of CO2] remains minuscule in geological terms”. I can accept that, but this is irrelevant to the current debate unless you were trying to conclude that therefore the impact of any change in CO2 is minuscule in climatic terms, and I trust you would agree that this latter conclusion is neither directly supported by, nor disproved by the above statement of yours.

    I could argue that postulated sea level changes of the order of 10ft (~3m) are geologically minuscule, but I trust you would not argue that an increase in sea level of 10ft was insignificant for humankind – if it was to occur over a geologically minuscule period of time starting -now?

    Please do not waste any of your valuable time in responding to my comments in any general way, but I am still very interested to receive a scientifically rigourous explanation of how you are justified in drawing your conclusions – EG the specific conclusions you make regarding temperature trends in Indonesia, All you quote are long term seasonal averages and no information at all concerning the trends. So, what and where is the data that supports a conclusion on the multi-year trend in this data?

    Regards
    John Turvill

  19. avatar Robert G says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    Real scientist don’t anticipate much effect from carbon dioxide at all, much less “increasingly critical”. Atmospheric carbon dioxide’s greenhouse effect is logarithmic — the first half of pre-Industrial Revolution-level effect was achieved by less than 20 parts per million, then needing the addition of 250 ppmv more to achieve the same warming increment to reach pre-IR effect and it will take a massive increase to repeat the dose again. (The “how much” depends on total sensitivity estimates but, utilizing A Field Guide to the Atmosphere (Houghton, 1983)’s commonly cited 7 K greenhouse effect for 300 ppmv (presumably from Kondratyev & Moskalenko but the origin of this common figure is obscure) then quadrupling pre-IR levels to 1120 ppmv can deliver a mere 1.71 K warming in total — since there’s already alleged to have been 0.7 K that leaves just 1 kelvin potential for adding another 740 ppmv to the current 380 ppmv.)

    It’s time to start ignoring the alarmist and deal with real problems in this world.

  20. avatar Ian S says:
    November 26th, 2008 at 3:51 am

    What would the computer models predict if we reduced CO2 to below say 200ppm. As well as less food for plants,would their modelling show the world cooling and, with the negative feedback effects, show a resulting mini ice age or worse. As Janma says, deforestation can be caused by many things, not just human activity. Have any of the modellers done this?

  21. avatar Peter says:
    November 27th, 2008 at 4:23 am

    Was this really supposed to have been written by a scientist, Patung?

    John Turvill in his above comments has already pointed out some of the problems with this post. I won’t re-adress most of these.

    Carbon dioxide is not an air pollutant. It is plant food. All life on Earth depends on it. It is natural. It forms the bubbles in bread, champagne, and Coca-Cola. You breathe it out, and plants breathe it in.

    Funny, there were commercials funded by the oil companies that aired a few years back here in the US that used this same “reasoning”. Anyone remotely scientifically literate knows this, and it has no bearing on the global warming debate. The conclusion reached by the vast majority of the scientific community is that a rapid increase of CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere is causing the planet’s net surface temperature to increase to a degree which will have negative impacts on human life (e.g. rising sea levels, more erratic weather patterns, etc.). This is what we are debating. Your first four paragraphs are irrelevant.

    What about the danger of overheating the Earth by CO2? Al Gore is spending $300 million telling us “global warming” will be a catastrophe.

    I like how you subtly reduced the mainstream scientific community to simply “Al Gore”. Al Gore is not a scientist and has not published scientific papers about global climate change. Why are you using him as a straw man?

    Yet a survey of 539 scientific papers containing the words “global climate change” and published between January 2004 and February 2007 found not a single one that provided any evidence that “global warming” would be catastrophic.

    Quite a dubious assertion here. First of all, you provided no citation, so everyone will just have to “take your word for it”. Secondly, you provided no information about how such a survey was conducted and which journals were accessed. Thirdly, you provided no clear definition of such a highly subjective word as “catastrophic”. Fourthly and most importantly, this is not a scientific way to assess the extent or implications of global climate change. Scientists don’t make conclusions by taking surveys – unless they are seeking to make generalizations about the opinions of their colleagues.

    If CO2 is a powerful greenhouse gas, we would have seen a great warming trend in Indonesian temperature history. We haven’t.

    Are you purposefully trying to mislead people? Global warming is an increase in the average surface temperature of the earth. Some places are getting warmer, while others are not. What we are discussing is the net effect of global temperature trends. Your statement above makes no sense.

    Professor Mezak Ratag of the Indonesia National Agency for Meteorology & Geophysics says,

    The output from different models is often different and sometimes contradictory. For example, [a UK climate model] predicts increases in temperature and decreases in precipitation for Indonesia, while [a German model] predicts an increase in both temperature and precipitation.

    When climate models say that both increased and decreased rainfall are possible, they are not actually making any predictions.

    With all due respect, climate models do not make predictions; they make projections. Any scientist should know this distinction. And different models naturally have different outcomes. Some, however, have proven to be more accurate at projecting certain phenomena, and are therefore more trustworthy.

    Cutting CO2 emissions by sharply curtailing the use of gasoline and other fossil fuels will make no difference to the weather.

    Mr. Turvill already touched upon this, but I feel it is worth repeating, glaring as it is. We are discussing climate change here, not weather change. Do you know the difference between climate and weather? Many people do not, and that is fine. It is a rather discrediting and humiliating mistake, however, for someone purporting to be any sort of scientific authority.

    Your claims about biofuels are mostly true, though the sloppy rhetoric is hard to read through. The World Bank and other organizations have acknowledged the role of biofuels in increasing world food prices.

    If you’d all like to read about the projected impacts of climate change on Indonesia (and Asia in general) written by the world’s most respected climate change scientists (who cite their evidence and won’t insult your intelligence with truisms, obvious errors and false logic), check out the following: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg2/ar4-wg2-chapter10.pdf Just use the pdf search function to find “Southeast Asia” or “Indonesia” in the article.

    To explore the projected impacts of climate change in the world more generally, see:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg2.htm

  22. avatar The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley says:
    November 27th, 2008 at 5:57 am

    From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

    It is not correct to say, as “Peter” says, that “the vast majority of the scientific community” believe that the rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 will have negative effects. He offers no evidence for this assertion. However, Van Storch et al. (2005) sent a questionnaire to many hundreds of scientists in climate and related fields, and found a very large measure of dissent on all the major propositions offered by the alarmist faction. Schulte (2008) surveyed 539 papers on the ISI Web of Science database, selected randomly by whether they contained the words “global climate change”, and found that not one of these papers offered any evidence that anthropogenic CO2 emissions would cause catastrophe, disaster, apocalypse, grave danger, etc., etc. Perhaps the largest survey of scientific opinion worldwide was conducted by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, which obtained the signatures of more than 31,000 scientists across all disciplines, each of whom personally signed a strongly-worded declaration disagreeing with what is presented as the official “consensus”. Science is not, repeat not, done by consensus. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science; if it’s science, it isn’t consensus, as the late Michael Crichton famously said.

    “Peter”, in his rather impolitely-worded and hence credibility-deficient posting, says we were wrong to suggest that if “global warming” were a serious problem there would have been more of an uptrend in Indonesian temperatures than there has. He alleges, without evidence, that we are intentionally attempting to mislead readers, and says that “global warming” is an increase in the average temperature of the whole Earth. However, on all measures there has been no net “global warming” since 1995; and on one measure (UAH lower-troposphere temperatures) 2008 will be cooler than 1980, 28 years ago. On all measures, global mean surface temperatures have been falling for fully seven years, following a phase-transition in the tenperature trend in late 2001. This global cooling has somehow not been very widely reported in the news media, though it is present in all of the major global temperature datasets. Indeed, the fall in global temperatures between January 2007 and January 2008 was the greatest since records began in 1880. So we are faced with a substantial, rapid, and continuing global cooling: and this is one reason why Indonesian temperatures have not shown much of an uptrend recently.

    In short, the climate models got their predictions (or projections) plain wrong. They all forecast that temperatures would rise. Temperatures fell. We do not propose to quibble about the difference between prediction and projection: the fact is that the observed, real-world temperature data do not fit the outputs of any of the computer models relied upon by the UN’s politicized climate panel, regardless of the scenarios on which each of the “projections” of those models were based. Not only the magnitude but now the sign of the temperature trend in the real world is at variance with the models. And there is a serious difficulty with the models’ projections/predictions that if CO2 is causing the warming that isn’t happening, then the rate of warming in the mid-troposphere 10km above Indonesia ought to be about thrice the rate of warming at the surface. However, this tropical mid-troposphere “hot-spot”, predicted by all of the models on which the IPCC relies, is not present in real-world observations going back half a century. This one discrepancy means, according to Professor Lindzen of MIT, that one must divide the imagined effect of CO2 on temperature by at least three (Lindzen, 2008).

    However, the chief reason why it is clear that the “official” “consensus” is likely to be wrong is that there is mounting evidence that the scientific case for climate alarm has been fabricated: that, over and over again, the data have been bent, massaged, manipulated and distorted with the intention of magnifying beyond reason the mild, harmless and largely beneficial effects of the very slight atmospheric warming that might be expected from CO2 enrichment of the air. Forthcoming papers at http://www.scienceandpublicpolicy.org will explain the extent of this dishonest handling of the data, and will expose with ruthless clarity the methods of those responsible. If the “consensus” position were true, there would be no need for such distortions and dishonesties, which lie at the very heart of the IPCC’s case for alarm – an alarm that events have demonstrated to be wholly unjustifiable. There are many real environmental problems: our effect on the climate is so small that it is not one of them. The correct policy response to the non-problem of “global warming” is to do nothing. – Monckton of Brenchley

  23. avatar Purba Negoro says:
    November 27th, 2008 at 11:01 am

    What is the motivation for all this talk debating climate change in Indonesia?

    Will the key parties divulge any and all possible conflicting financial or business interests?

    What ties does Monckton et al have to the petrochemical industry considering much of current British wealth is actually stolen via their vile colonialist parasitism-
    including Indonesia via Royal Petroleum and British Petroleum and London Sumatra Plantations?

    Is Monckton worried about Indonesia suing for reparations for lsot land, lost earnings etc from the vile colonials- especially the petrochemical giants?

    I am confused why Monckton argues against global warming- yet in his paper also introduces the argument “even if global warming…”

    Surely this is contradicting his own argument repudiating climate change by introducing an “even if” qualifier?

    We must ask what is in it for the British if they are so concerned about telling us our land is not baking when it so clearly.
    Jakarta for its first time ever is predicted to suffer deep water bore water shortages within 10 years- this in a city built upon swamp and mangrove with usuallly monsoonal type rains.

    Is this more of the usual Mi6/Shell/BP agit prop?

    What limits are their on their greed- when do they ever believe the loot Dutch-British have stolen so far is ever enough?

  24. avatar Kum Dollison says:
    November 27th, 2008 at 11:34 am

    I’m not a climate scientist, so I’m trying to make a decision. I don’t know if you’re right about “warming; BUT, I KNOW you’re wrong about This:

    We have already seen food prices double and triple worldwide because the “green” movement told us biofuels would “save the planet”. Science, however, demonstrates that biofuels have a bigger carbon footprint than does gasoline.

    If you can sound so Sure (and be so wrong) about this I don’t see how I can possibly assign any credence to your views on the other.

  25. avatar Peter says:
    November 27th, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Purba Negoro,

    The “Science and Public Policy Institute” is an organization formerly known as the Center for Science and Public Policy for the Frontiers of Freedom. Exxon Mobil donated 40,000 dollars to it in 2001, 230,000 dollars to it in 2002, and another 90,000 dollars in 2006.

    We need not waste our time further debating their “scientific” arguments – e.g. asserting that my “meanness” discredits the facts I present. Boo-hoo. They can wipe their tears with whatever of Exxon Mobil’s petrodollars they still have. God knows who else is funding these people.

    DEBUNKED

  26. avatar janma says:
    November 27th, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    diddums PN…..
    poor little brown boys…. did the naughty white boys take your petrol dollars sweetie? Maybe because Indonesia can’t sort it out for themselves… always need the whitey to give them the know how…. imagine indonesia without the colonialists? you can’t, because it wouldn’t exist. hard fact but true….
    as for stealing…. the brown boys been stealing from their own a lot longer than the whitey.

  27. avatar Ross says:
    November 27th, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    So Exxon donated to a body – that disqualifies these guys from expounding their views or being taken seriously?
    At least they don’t use tax-payers’ money, which is why so many scientists hold their tongues when the climate panickers start rabbiting.
    There is a lot of cash in terms of research grants to be had from promoting the establishment line, and a lot of abuse and persecution to be got from challenging it.

  28. avatar Peter says:
    November 27th, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Ross, your point is well taken. What disqualifies these people from being taken seriously is the absurdity of their own claims, their amateurish confusion of “prediction” & “projection” and of “weather” & “climate”, their straw man lines of argument, fallacious logic, and their misrepresentation of the current consensus that has been reached in the scientific community. That petrodollars have funded them helps to explain some of their motivations. I wonder what interest these people have in seeding doubt about global warming on the IM site, though. I’ll let PN and others speculate on that.

  29. avatar Juan says:
    November 27th, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Peter ,

    Why don’t you enlighten us with your amateurish wisdom and explain the difference between prediction and projection..weather and climate. Why don’t you offer something constructive to this blog…what’s wrong…are you and PN choking on your own lack of empirical evidence?

    I know…maybe you can come up with a computer model that says the earth is actually warming. Lord Monckton is trying to educate you and your Islamocrazy,7th century, bigot of a friend…Purba Negoro.

    One only has to do a simple google search of his/her name to see that he has never offered anything constructive to anything.

    Why is it that Lord Monckton must provide citations when you and your asinine friends do not?

  30. avatar The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley says:
    November 27th, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

    I am happy to make the funding position clear. It is not true to say that the Science and Public Policy Institute is the former Center for Science and Public Policy: the two organizations had the same director but are otherwise unconnected. I do not know or care who funds the Science and Public Policy Institute, but I do not think it likely that any funds come from ExxonMobil. Nor do I think it likely that the funding is at all substantial: it is certainly minuscule in comparison with the many tens of billions being spent by national and local government and their agencies worldwide on promoting the climate scare, from which they benefit directly via increased taxation, additional powers of regulation. and expanded numbers of bureaucrats wastefully employed.

    Willie Soon and I both write what we write not because we are paid to write but because what we write may be independently verified to be true. We are not asking any of the readers of Indonesia Matters to believe a word we say. All of what we say is readily verifiable simply by checking the data from publicly-available sources. It is an undeniable fact that global mean surface temperatures have been declining very rapidly, and that the decline began as long as seven years ago, and that the decline has been measured both in atmospheric and in oceanic temperatures. It is an undeniable fact that the surface temperature in 2008 will be much the same as it was in 1995, 13 years ago. That period of stasis is long enough to cast very grave doubt on the likelihood that carbon dioxide enrichment plays more than a small, harmless and beneficial part in warming the climate.

    As before, I do not propose to get into futile semantic arguments about the difference between projection and prediction, weather and climate. Whatever definitions are used, the fact remains that the UN’s climate panel has been warning us that temperatures will rise at a certain rate – a rate that is broadly similar on all projections of all the models on which it relies – and yet, like it or not, global temperatures have not risen at that rate or (recently) at all.

    For the mathematical and physical reasons why it is unlikely that global temperatures will rise anything like as rapidly as the UN fancifully imagines, see my paper Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered, in the July 2008 quarterly edition of Physics and Society. That paper, which was very carefully reviewed by an eminent professor of physics on behalf of Physics and Society before publication, shows that the three key variables whose product is final climate sensitivity are all exaggerated guesses supported, between then, by just four papers in the peer-reviewed literature. On these unfortunate guesses, long discredited both by theory and by events, the UN’s entire case for alarm unsteadily rests.

    Finally, one of the posters above has made a rather unpleasant, racialist remark about my skin colour, as though that had any bearing on the science of climate change. For the record, my skin colour is brownish, because part of my ancestry is Maltese. In the old language, I am a tricesimosecundoroon. I hope that any further racialist remarks, and any further unpleasant ad hominem remarks, will be removed by the moderators. We are dealing with a scientific question, and political yah-boo has no place in scientific discourse. – Monckton of Brenchley

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