Faith, not facts, drives global warming

Rodney Hide

The global warming hullabaloo has always been a religious movement. It has never been scientific.

And as its political potency has waned, the modern-day clerics have become ever more strident.

Let me illustrate with a recent and local example.

Back in March, Dr James Renwick appeared on TVNZ’s Q&A to tell farmers to de-intensify. He was in no doubt that man-made global warming was causing the summer drought.

“Yeah, it is. Yeah, climate change, global warming. Put more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and things warm up.” The host Corin Dann double-checks: “And you’re of no doubt of that?”

“Oh, no, no. There’s no other explanation that’s remotely plausible.”

That’s religious zealotry in action. Science is never that certain. The best-ever scientific knowledge was Newtonian mechanics. And Einstein blew it to bits. That’s the nature of science. It gets nearer the truth but can never declare the truth.

Only religious fundamentalists have certitude. Their knowledge is a belief system that’s immune to real world experience and facts.

Science is a method

Science is also not a person, a job, a group, a qualification, 100 peer-reviewed papers or a received wisdom. It’s a method. It’s the method of critically testing competing theories. Failed theories are tossed and successful theories are only ever tentative.

Anyone can do science. And scientists can often fall short.

It’s Dr Renwick’s certitude that gives him away. That’s not science.

His Q&A comments even fail the test of logic. The one thing that we know for certain is that global warming didn’t cause the drought. That’s because there hasn’t been any.

The world stopped getting warmer 17 years ago. That’s incontrovertible. As a result the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) scary projections have not been realised.

Its best estimate in 1990 was a warming trend of 0.3 degrees a decade. The given range was 0.2-0.5. The actual trend has been 0.14-0.18. The warming didn’t happen.

I can even follow global warming’s playbook and argue from clerical authority: IPCC lead author Dr Kevin Trenberth wrote the 2009 Climategate email that declared, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t”. 

And IPCC head honcho Dr Rajendra Pachauri admits global warming has been “paused” for 17 years.

The lack of warming hasn’t produced the banner headlines it deserves, but that doesn’t make the result any less true.

Dr Renwick declares, “there’s no other explanation that’s remotely plausible” for the drought. But logically that’s the one explanation that can be readily ruled out.

The changes we observed in Y can’t be caused by X. That’s because X itself hasn’t changed. Dr Renwick’s failure is not a failure of science, it’s a failure of logic.

He also declared, “Put more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and things warm up.” That’s the theory. But the real world hasn’t followed the theory.

Roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon were added to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010. That’s about a quarter of all the CO₂ ever pumped out by the burning of fossil fuels. And the world’s temperature? No warming trend.

The X variable increased. A lot. The Y variable didn’t budge. The experience falsifies Dr Renwick’s simple theory. 

Will the global warming hullabaloo now quietly go away? Has it blown up with a bang? Nope. It’s religion. And power. And big money.

And history amply demonstrates that religions mixed with power and money readily survive long past their use-by dates.

This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about My Tags

Post Comment

82 Comments & Questions

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

Claims of global warming is a money making scam that's hitting us all in the pocket - for what? Not one cent taken from us is put to any good.

Reply
Share

Yeah. Well all I know is that when I walked my daughter to school this morning and we breathed in the motor vehicle fossil fuel fumes, I wished that there were more hydrogen and electrically powered cars on the roads. But why aren't there? Oh yeah, gigantic oil company money and power and their friendly Governments stifling innovation. Rodney your ideology clouds your rational and logical thought. Why would "warmist's" distort scientific findings? What is their gain from doing that?

Reply
Share

The statement “The world stopped getting warmer 17 years ago.” is factually incorrect. Global Warming Deniers continue to recycle this myth, but it can be easily shown that Global Warming is continuing.

The “Global Warming Stopped in 1998” Lie
http://www.durangobill.com/GwdLiars/GwdGlobalWarmingStoppedIn1998.html

Reply
Share

Didn't you read what RH wrote? Even IPCC Pachauri admits that warming has stopped. Accept the facts and get real.

Reply
Share

No, Pachauri was not quoted directly. It was a potted summary by a News Corp journalist. Certain key words such as 'surface' and 'atmospheric' were probably omitted. The oceans are a great heat store and are net absorbers particularly in La Niña years.

Reply
Share

So the world has stopped warming, has it? care to offer an explanation for that, or are you so super smart that you can just make the greenhouse Effect go away with the power of your enormous brain?

FFS, the idea that the world has stopped warming is unbelievably, stupendously, grandiously stupid. The laws of physics demand that the Earth will continue to heat up because the CO2 in the atmosphere reflects heat back onto the ocean and ground.

You need to disprove that if you are going to claim that that heating has stopped.

Reply
Share

Popular AGW theory does not conform to the laws of physics. There is no equation of any predictive accuracy that links the actual trace amounts of CO2 to warming. I challenge you to find such an equation.

Reply
Share

Funny that Pachauri has a PhD in Economics and is Chair to several BIG oil companies

Reply
Share

Seventeen might be an exaggeration because of poor quality ground-based temperature curves. Looking at satellite data there is no doubt that warming has been absent since the beginning of this century. Warmists have tried to invent warming for our century by fraudulent means. One example comes from Hansen. He claimed that 2010 and 2005 were both warmer than the giant super El Nino of 1998. Checking his claim we find that 2005 is pure fabrication. 2010 happens to be the peak of the 2010 El Nino. Global mean temperature is not the same as El Nino peak temperature. To get global mean you must average the temperatures of the El Nino peak and its neighboring La Nuna valley. The La Nina closest to the 2010 El Nino is the 2008 La Nina, the one that drove Trenberth nuts. Their mean lines up neatly with the horizontal temperature platform rhat starts with our century. Hansen also makes a big deal of the observation that nine out of ten warmest years came after 2000. It so happens that the super El Nino of 1998 brought much warm water across the ocean which then created a step warming of 0.3 degrees in its wake. 0.3 degrees is a third or more of the entire twentieth century warming. It lasted only four years and was the only warming within the last 33 years. All the years after 2000 sit on top of the warm platform created by this step warming. The warming itself was oceanic in origin, but Hansen wrongly attributes it to greenhouse warming of which there has been none this century.

Reply
Share

This article sounds like the drivel written by RH about the 'need for a merger' in Auckland! Now, 3 years after the event, we see the impact of his stupidity & blind faith in rhetoric!!
Spare a thought for the Poor Auckland ratepayer!

Reply
Share

Jack

Please don't read my column. There's no need and they clearly upset you. I sense too that you are frustrated because they upset your world view but you appear incapable of a counter argument. The abuse does you no favours and doesn't trouble me. Stick to your view, be happy and leave debate to civil people who like to question and to learn.

Rodney

Reply
Share

Get yourself back into parliament, Rodney. I reckon Epsom might just need a new candidate at the next election, or, dare I say it, at a byelection.

Reply
Share

Oh but then I wouldn't get to write my column!

Reply
Share

You might do... As Mayor...

Reply
Share

Alright then. Forget Epsom. Pick a quiet seat where you will get a few spare minutes to write your column. Just be sure to win it, and let another Act candidate win Epsom.

Reply
Share

Even the hypothetical doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial levels turns out to be a croc. Callendar selected 280-290 ppmv on the flimsiest of evidence.

There is ample indication that a more accurate average may well have been 330-350 ppmv. CO2 levels were measured at circa 500 ppmv during the period around WWII and quickly fell back.

The whole thing is built on quicksand and the foundations have already slipped below ground level.

Reply
Share

Interesting. Every bit of it that I have looked into is wrong. There must be something they got right. But then maybe not!

Reply
Share

I've covered most of it here

More about CO2 – Page IV – Four key names

http://grumpydenier.wordpress.com/resources/more-about-co2/more-about-co...

Reply
Share

Too lazy to follow your link if you are too lazy to give some description of your opinion.

Reply
Share

And whats worse, the Greens really believe it, and they'll be running the country by the end of next year

Reply
Share

Here's a good exercise. Sit down and calculate how much CO2 (and a bunch of other much more toxic chemicals) have been belched into the atmosphere since Mankind figured out that coal, oil and natural gas can be extracted and burned for energy.

Think of all the fossil fuels that have ever been burnt by steel mills, power stations, glass factories, smelters, stoves and even BBQs. Where did all the newly liberated CO2 go?

Then ask yourself: can it be possible that Earth's thin layer of atmosphere has been able to absorb these billions of tonnes of CO2 with no detrimental effects?

If you believe that, try locking yourself in a greenhouse and starting a coal fire. See what happens.

Reply
Share

Even Al Gore doesn't think CO2 will be at levels in the atmosphere toxic to humans. Or maybe he hadn't thought of that one yet!! The alarmists have just announced it's hit 400 parts per million. Human physiology won't have noticed. But it's great plant food!

Reply
Share

If you have evidence -based answers to the questions that you posed, then why not say so?
This is a matter for science, not ill-informed conjecture.
It appears that you have no understanding of the carbon cycle , and the amounts of carbon involved , let alone an understanding of the complexity of climate regulation.
Yet you seem prepared to jump to conclusions in the absence of hard facts. Are you perhaps an admirer of Greenpeace?

Reply
Share

The average daily CO2 reading hit 400 parts per million. Meanwhile:

"From studying air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice, scientists know that going back 800,000 years, the carbon dioxide level oscillated in a tight band, from about 180 parts per million in the depths of ice ages to about 280 during the warm periods between. The evidence shows that global temperatures and CO2 levels are tightly linked."

Reply
Share

400 is just a number. It is only humans that give it more weight than 399 or 401.

There is little doubt that CO2 levels are higher now, we know we are releasing CO2 that has been stored as a solid for millions of years, of course the levels are going to rise.

The real debate is about causation and net effects. Proving causation is extremely complex but a few equations are enough to scare off most people so scientists can get away with almost anything. There aren't enough data points to confidently use Antarctic ice and there is huge selection bias. Even harder is proving that the net effect is negative. If warming is occurring then it is positive for agricultural production in Russia, less so in central Africa.

Reply
Share

<blockquote>If you believe that, try locking yourself in a greenhouse and starting a coal fire. See what happens.</blockquote>

Don't be silly. That could kill you. You are using an inappropriate analogy.

A "coal fire" produces all manner of pollutants. So you must use modern pollution-removal technology to remove the dangerous emissions and leave the innocuous water vapour and carbon dioxide that does you no harm. Greenhouse owners routinely pump CO2 into them to raise levels to between 1200 and 2000 ppmv and increase plant growth. Those levels are perfectly safe for humans.

You suggest without quite asserting it that all those emissions of ours have been dangerous, yet the fact is that the temperature has not become dangerous. This is emotional but not logical.

Part of the reason is that the ocean, plants and the earth itself has absorbed about half of all our emissions. Oddly, as our emissions rise, the amount absorbed by the environment also rises. Why this should be so is a mystery unexplained by science.

Reply
Share

Would you sooner live in a cave and wrap yourself in skins?????

Reply
Share

I saw Al Gore's scary TV film on Global Warming. I knew only one of the proofs he gave; that was that the inhabitants of one Pacific Ocean nation had to be evacuated to New Zealand due to rising sea-levels. I knew that was untrue.
Now, either
a. Gore knew it was untrue, but used that lie as proof, and is thus a deliberate liker, or
b. He didn't know it, so obviously didn't check his "facts".
In either case his TV drama can claim no validity. But he makes a lot of money out of "global warming"

Reply
Share

Yes. His movie is a bit like spot what he got right! I can't help but wonder of there will ever be a holding to account for the misrepresentation that has cost everyone so much.

Reply
Share

I have no view on global warming but I do notice that a person's opinion on this subject has a high co-relation to their political leaning.

Another nice piece of writing Rodney; Just the Facts. Loved the X and Y analysis.

Reply
Share

Ta

Reply
Share

Socialists want to control everything, for the betterment of society, in their eyes. Naturally they believe they can control the climate through taxation. Perfectly logical.

Reply
Share

Why didn't Q&A ( or TVNZ in general) know that global warming stopped 17 years ago?

Why didn't the NZ Herald notice this huge story ( front page in Australia) when Dr Pachauri declared that a "standstill" began in 1996, and that no global warming has been detected this century.

Is this a conspiracy of silence or just a refusal to undermine the faith of the publisher?

Reply
Share

I wish I knew the answer to that one. It's a lot more important and more interesting than Aaron Gilmore's emails!

Reply
Share

......it's called advertising from 'green-mailed' corporates who daren't go against any of this tripe.
It is part of the parallel universe the IPCC mercenaries operate in and goes neatly with the old adage for academics.....'publish or perish'. They've turned it into 'publishing about perishing'.....and hit-up the foundation and UN monies....who like the corporates, cannot stand against 'research and science'.
No mysteries there; just greed.

Reply
Share

Derrr, I always thort you were think Rodney. But not thick dumb and stupid surely?? So what else is causing the planet to heat up, the poles to melt and weather patterns become even more erratic? It don't take a Dodo Bird to work that out!

Reply
Share

Yeah right!

Reply
Share

Apart from appalling grammar, atrociousl spelling, and a total lack of logic, your contribution is excellent. Well done.

Reply
Share

St Bernard: Touche.

A saying for Thick or What "People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones"

Nice article Rodney - keep up the good work. Someone has to be a voice of reason.

Reply
Share

How do you account for the ice caps melting at increasing rate in the last few years, creating new shipping lanes that have never been accessible, and low lying islands being swamped from a recent rise in sea levels?

If there has been no increase in global temperature in the last 17 years as you have reported (which may well be right), what is responsible for this phenomenom?

Reply
Share

You are wrong ; it has happened before. Read your history books; it is cyclical.

Reply
Share

The new shipping lanes opened have never been sailed before, so that indicates you are wrong, ya dim wit?

Reply
Share

Ships date back to the beginning of human endeavour , right?
Sorry, epic fail!
The planet has been here a lot longer than ships.

Reply
Share

Please name the "new shipping lanes" opened that have never been sailed bfore.

The two major shipping lanes in the Arctic are the North West and North East Passages. The North East passage was first navigated in 1878, and the North West in 1906.

Reply
Share

While you are about it can you also explain the droughts in the US of the 30's, the little ice age in the 1500's or thereabouts, and also the 'global warming' that bought about the last ice age 10,000 years ago?.

I notice the term global warming has been out of favour with its proponents... they now favour climate change. This allows them to explain events in both directions of temperature! Very handy that.

The earth has warmed and cooled for a long time. The question is does man interfer with this process? Like Rodney points out, instead of using science many propents are using a belief system to explain it.

Reply
Share

"If you believe that, try locking yourself in a greenhouse and starting a coal fire. See what happens."
You will be killed by the carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide will cause the plants to grow even better. It will also get warmer which will make the plants grow better.

"Why didn't the NZ Herald notice this huge story ( front page in Australia) when Dr Pachauri declared that a "standstill" began in 1996, and that no global warming has been detected this century"
I complained to the Press Council about the Herald's lack of balance in its coverage of global warming. The Press Council found in their favour and, at the same time, expressed confidence that the Herald would soon publish information on the lack of warming. I am still waiting. I suspect I will wait a very long time. It is nothing short of scandalous.

Reply
Share

You would EVENTUALLY be killed by the CO and CO2, but it would take time.
Obviously the greenhouse example is contrived, but it makes the point. Our plants do like CO2 and will consume much of the new supply, but the fact is that Mankind has dug up a sh*tl%$d of carbon that was sequestered over many millenia and released it in blink of the eye (in historic terms).
I am a scientist and businessman and I have no difficulty at all 'buying' the global warming story. At the end of the day, however, whether melting of the icecaps is induced by Man or a cyclical phenomenon, it is happening, and coral reefs are dying because of increased water temperatures. I am very concerned for my children.

Reply
Share

Coral reefs are not dying because of increased water temperatures. As the water temperature increase, some of the organisms die off – coral bleaching – and are replaced by others. During the La Nina/El Niño cycle the Great Barrier Reef experiences major temperature changes. It has survived them for thousands – maybe millions – of years.

Most of the coral species on the Great Barrier Reef also thrive around New Guinea where the water is warmer.

Reply
Share

"Think of all the fossil fuels that have ever been burnt by steel mills, power stations, glass factories, smelters, stoves and even BBQs. Where did all the newly liberated CO2 go?"
Man made of carbon dioxide is a tiny proportion of the total exchange between the atmosphere and the earth and the sea. The extra carbon dioxide does some good in promoting the growth of plants without the need for extra water in areas like the Sahel where extra carbon dioxide has caused the desert to retreat.

Reply
Share

Post New comment or question

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7856 0.0005 0.06%
AUD 0.8939 -0.0020 -0.22%
EUR 0.6204 -0.0012 -0.19%
GBP 0.4905 0.0011 0.22%
HKD 6.0943 0.0043 0.07%
JPY 84.5060 0.3840 0.46%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1241.1 -7.450 2014-10-22T00:
Oil Brent 84.7 -1.510 2014-10-22T00:
Oil Nymex 80.5 -1.970 2014-10-22T00:
Silver Index 17.2 -0.310 2014-10-22T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5279.7 5299.9 5279.7 0.25%
NASDAQ 4429.2 4435.9 4419.5 -0.83%
DAX 8873.5 9017.8 8940.1 0.18%
DJI 16615.3 16653.9 16614.8 -0.92%
FTSE 6399.7 6403.3 6399.7 -0.34%
HKSE 23296.0 23397.2 23404.0 -0.30%
NI225 15093.8 15232.5 15195.8 -0.37%