Global Warming is a "new kind of morality", says British Channel 4's new documentary, "The Great Global Warming Swindle". (1) The program replies analytically to the fantastically apocalyptic predictions, politicized "science", strident intolerance for dissenting views, and bizarre condemnation of carbon dioxide as a "pollutant" that define the global warming movement and contribute to the witches brew of radical politics and tyrannical economics that could define a whole generation and change our way of life. I furnish this summary for readers who might not have the opportunity to see the documentary.
The GGWS is not a mere polemic. Instead, it presents critiques of global warming theory's premises by credentialed climate scientists. Contributors include: Dr. Timothy Ball (Canadian Climatology Ph.D); Dr. Nir Shaviv (Associate Professor, Racah Institute of Physics, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem); Dr, Ian Clark (Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa); Dr. John Cristy (Professor and Director, Earth System Science Center, National Space Science and Technology Center); Dr. Paul Reiter (Professor of medical entomology, Institut Pasteur of Paris); Dr. Richard Lindzen (Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences); Dr. Fred Singer (George Mason University atmospheric physicist and founder of the Science and Environmental Policy Project); and several others. (There is no "anonymous science" in the documentary.)
The GGWS first addresses "climate change" - arch-bogeyman of the global warming movement. Scientists show that climate is always changing. Vast ice sheets once covered much of North America and Europe. During warmer periods, now-temperate parts of the globe were tropical forests. The GGWS examines the Medieval Warm Period (AD 900-1300) and the Little Ice Age (AD 1300-1900) - both within the recorded history of Europe and/or North America. The Medieval Warm Period - unknown by most people today - is shown as a "golden age" of wealth and prosperity when the climate was warmer than it is now. Vineyards grew in the north of England. The great cathedrals were built. Vikings rowed the North Atlantic in open boats. And Greenland was colonized and farmed. Food was plentiful. People were healthier and more active.
The Little Ice Age saw much colder temperatures. Ice fairs were held on the frozen River Thames, and ice-skating was common on Holland's canals. The period was much less healthy, however. Several epidemics of the Black Death occurred. Farther back in history, the Holcene Maximum (6000-3000 BC) was warmer than either the Medieval Warm Period or the present. Climate has warmed and cooled repeatedly without any help from man.
Modern warming began around 1870. Temperatures increased until about 1940, but then began to fall - reaching a minimum around 1980. (In the bitterly cold winter of that year - well within my adult memory - people drove cars across the frozen Potomac, near Washington. An iceberg was spotted in the Chesapeake Bay. And we heard about a possible "new ice age".) Thereafter, temperatures started increasing until they reached (and slightly exceeded) the 1940 levels. Since 1998, notes Professor Tim Ball, temperatures have again been declining.
CO2 and the Greenhouse
One would not learn any of this from alarmist reports by the Global-Warming/Greenhouse-Gas lobby. We hear that temperatures have risen since 1870. Yet the data clearly show that most of that warming occurred before 1940. Post-1980 warming mostly reversed the 1940-'80 cooling. Al Gore blames modern-era warming on increased CO2 emissions from industrial activity and cars, but the 1870-1940 warming preceded modern industrialization. After World War II, when global industry really expanded, the climate actually cooled. (This is a really inconvenient truth that Al Gore likes to ignore.)
Climate activists are fixated on CO2 emissions as the cause of modern warming, but scientists like Dr. Fred Singer say CO2 - less than 0.05% of the atmosphere - is not even the main "greenhouse gas". Water vapor produces 95% of the "greenhouse" effect by which earth's atmosphere captures the sun's heat. Were it not for this benign effect, earth's temperatures would plunge to sub-zero levels at night, making crop growth and most animal and human life impossible.
If our present warming trend were actually due to greenhouse gasses, say Drs. Singer and Cristy, the troposphere would be warming more than the surface of the earth. But satellite and weather balloon data show earth's surface warming more than the troposphere. The warming is at the wrong place. It is clearly not due to greenhouse gasses.
Although Al Gore says CO2 caused warming over the last 600,000 years, scientists now see that the link is the other way round. Ice core samples show that CO2 levels lag temperature. About 800 years after a warm period, CO2 levels rise, and vice-versa. CO2 is the result of, not the cause of warmer temperatures. The basic assumption of global-warming theory is thus shown to be wrong.
That Lucky Old Sun
Scientists are realizing that the sun is the major driver of both climate (in the long term) and weather (in the short term). The idea is not new. British meteorologist Piers Corbyn pioneered highly accurate weather-predictions on the basis of solar activity - primarily sunspots, which are visible manifestations of higher solar activity. In 1893 Edward Maunder showed that the deepest temperature-trough of the Little Ice Age (1645-1715) featured few sunspots. (That epoch became known as the Maunder Minimum.) In 1991 an exact correlation between sunspot activity and temperature was demonstrated.
The GGWS video also shows how sun-activity produces more than a hotter sun. Clouds are known to be a major component of global cooling because they shield the earth from the sun's rays. When cosmic rays meet water vapor in the air, clouds result. But when the sun is more active, its "solar wind" sweeps cosmic rays away from the earth, preventing clouds from forming. This makes the earth hotter. The linkage works thus:
More sunspots => more solar wind => fewer cosmic rays => fewer clouds => hotter earth
Fewer sunspots => less solar wind => more cosmic rays => more clouds => cooler earth
It all comes down to the sun. In a sense, observed one scientist, we are inside the atmosphere of the sun. A hotter climate heats the oceans, which are the major source of CO2 in our atmosphere. Warmer oceans release more dissolved CO2. Thus, CO2 is a record of past climate - not a driver of present climate. The sun is the primary engine of climate.
Global Warming Politics
The GGWS documentary also explores the global-warming movement's political origins - tracing the movement to the 1970s when the science on a coming new ice age was also "settled". (Sound familiar?) Newsman Nigel Calder mentions the "cooling scare" that accompanied latter stages of the 1940-'80 cooling era, recalling that a lone Swedish scientist named Burt Bolin thought higher levels of CO2 might soon warm the climate. This postulate was ignored until 1978, when British miners struck. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher worried that a new fossil fuels crisis might damage her, politically. Wanting to push nuclear power, she authorized funding for scientists to "prove" that CO2 could cause undesirable warming. This research ultimately produced the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The new movement's emphasis on stopping CO2 emissions drew "medieval environmentalists" who oppose development, motorcars, industrialization, etc. They particularly hate and want to destroy that Great Satan of technological villainy, the USA. At the same time, Greenpeace was moving from anti-pollution to more extreme positions. (An original founder of Greenpeace relates how the organization came out against all chlorine use on the earth.) Marxists - lacking a cause after the Soviet Union's collapse - also found alliance with anti-warming environmentalists advantageous because the Marxists opposed capitalism. These strange bedfellows launched the defining political movement of our time.
By the 1990s, global warming activism had become a full-blown political phenomenon. In the USA, climate-study funding has gone from $170 million in the late 1980s to over $2 billion a year, currently. Thousands of jobs depend on that funding. And an ever-growing crisis is needed to keep the money flowing and growing. Nigel Calder notes how many environmental journalists' jobs are also wedded to the warming scare. If it all goes away, many will be looking for work.
Much of climate-research funding has gone into building climate models that assume CO2 to be the main cause of climate warming - ignoring the sun, clouds, water vapor and cosmic rays. Scientists quoted in the GGWS note that judicious "tweaking" of model parameters can produce nearly any result, but none of the models can correctly account for our current climate. The quality of 100-year predictions from these models - as one scientist wryly noted - will be long forgotten when their targeted era actually comes round. Meanwhile, their "interesting" content generates news coverage, notoriety and more funding today.
Global Warming Myths
Shibboleths of the global warming movement are demolished by the documentary. The notion that more hurricanes - and of greater intensity than ever before - are caused by global warming is called "rubbish" by scientists who know that such storms arise from temperature gradients, not from higher global temperatures. The idea that warming in Greenland and Siberia will endanger polar bears is also debunked. Core samples and tree rings show that those regions have been far warmer in the past. Yet the highly adaptable polar bear has survived.
Calving of icebergs from the Antarctic and Arctic ice caps is also shown to be an annual springtime occurrence - not a "disaster" due to greenhouse warming. Knowledgeable scientists say the ice is always moving. Iceberg-break-offs are highly publicized by global satellite-coverage, but this is not a new crisis. Sea-level changes - a major article of Al Gore's scare-u-drama, "An Inconvenient Truth", are also debunked. Shifts in sea-level have nothing to do with melting ice. They are due to the warming of the ocean, which takes hundreds of years.
Another global-warming myth relates to insect-borne diseases, which (activists say) will spread northward as the climate warms. Dr. Paul Reiter notes that he was "horrified" to read activists' claims that mosquitoes cannot survive in temperatures below 18°C. This, he notes in GGWS, is "clearly untrue". Dr. Reiter points out that mosquitoes thrive in arctic regions, and malaria is not a tropical disease. A 1920s malaria epidemic in northern Russia killed tens of thousands.
The Dark Side
The global warming scare darkens as the video moves to its conclusion. Science is being prostituted by global-warming funding which has a political agenda. Scientists who disagree with the "received wisdom" on global warming can find their funding withdrawn, their professional integrity questioned and even their lives threatened. Dr. Tim Ball has received several death-threats. Dr. Patrick Michaels was accused of being in the pay of the multi-national fuel interests. Nigel Calder says people who raise a contrary voice are called "heretics".
But the darkest aspect, by far, of the climate crusade is its pressure on the developing world not to develop. Western governments, including the USA, have agreed to restrain development in the developing world in order to retard CO2 emissions and control global warming - an incredibly cruel objective that redefines idiocy beyond anything the Marx brothers ever did.
Some 2 billion people in the world lack access to electricity. Most cook and heat with smoky, open fires burning wood or animal dung in unhealthy atmospheres that cause deaths of some 4 million children from respiratory ailments every year. There is no electricity for lights, hot water, refrigeration, heat, or cooling. One African official notes that the West cannot imagine how hard life is without electricity. He bitterly decries "romanticization" of a primitive African existence that no westerner would tolerate for five minutes.
Africa possesses vast resources of coal, oil and natural gas that could enrich the continent and improve the lives of its people. But environmentalists oppose development of these resources. They want Africa to produce power with solar panels and windmills, even though electricity so generated is unreliable and three times as expensive as electricity from coal-fired generating plants. Rich countries can afford the luxury of experimentation, observed the same official, while poor countries are expected to use the most expensive, inefficient forms of power-generation. The African dream is to develop, he said. You might power a light bulb with a solar panel, but how can you have steel mills and factories?
The Global Warming movement, concludes the GGWS, is basically anti-human. Few ordinary citizens realize this, having been led to believe that the movement is benign - like the anti-pollution crusade. "Being green" is the happening thing. Businesses cheerfully offer to help customers "save the climate". Meanwhile, global warming activists sweep from triumph to triumph. President Bush's recent acquiescence, in principle, to the Koyoto Protocols is a cited example. Climate politics, notes the GGWS narrator, are so firmly entrenched that they now seem invincible. Opposition has been effectively silenced. The danger is very great because so many people don't see the true objectives of the movement.
There are some huge problems in the world - certainly including disease, hunger and ignorance in a desperately poor third world. If we have any spare change, we need to spend it on these needs - not waste it on silly attempts to change the climate. Furthermore, if backward places like Africa are ever going to pull themselves out of their primitive past, they must be able to use all the resources at their disposal. They'll never do that with windmills, solar panels, grass huts, dirt floors, rats running around, and cook-fires burning buffalo shit. This move to "restrain" third-world development is so unimaginably vile that I'm ashamed my country is involved in it. With Al Gore and the "medieval environmentalists" running things, we could all end up the same way.
Bravo to Channel 4. Don't miss this video. I doubt if it will be shown in the USA.