Martin McCauley writes: Where has our summer gone? Last August in Britain was the wettest on record. And the winter of 2007 had proven to be the coldest in North America for the last 30 years.
So why is there still all this talk about global warming which is supposed to put our planet in mortal danger? The facts would suggest the exact opposite. I know it is politically incorrect to challenge the established view, promoted by our politicians and many scientists, that global warming exists. However, a good scientist is aware that knowledge always evolves: today’s wisdom becomes tomorrow’s nonsense. And as for politicians, they have an uncanny ability to get things wrong.
Why, you may ask, do I reject the concept of global warming or anthropomorphic climate change? There is simply no hard scientific evidence to prove that it is happening. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its so-called ground breaking report in November 2007 argues that global temperatures have risen by 0.7 degrees Celsius since 1880. The problem with this is that there were not many thermometers around in 1880 and, even more importantly, they were not standardised. Many assumptions were made in calculating an average.
In order to ensure that their calculations are reliable scientists aim for a P (probability of error) of 0.05 or 5 per cent. If they are under 0.05 it means the results are not due to mere chance. In the case of global warming the P value is 800. This means that there is no direct link between the data and the conclusions that were made. This renders the IPCC study useless from a scientific point of view. But even despite this many scientists proceed to lay down instructions for policy makers.
What evidence do the doom and gloom mongers present to support their argument that global warming is taking place? Well, they say that the Arctic ice is at its lowest level for thousands of years. This has led to the Northwest Passage in Canada becoming free of ice. The problem with this is that the Northwest Passage was open in the 19th century and in the 1930s. The Canadian government is about to launch a search operation for two British ships, captained by Sir John Franklin, with 128 men on board, which sank in an attempt to sail through the Passage in 1845-48.
Then there is the problem of carbon dioxide (CO2). Mankind produces about 4 per cent of the atmospheric CO2 in any given year. The natural variation in CO2 is higher than the total CO2 production of humankind. There is no evidence that CO2 causes temperatures to rise. Indeed, the evidence points to elevated temperatures raising CO2.
What about the question of the shrinking ozone layer? We are told that there is a huge hole up there and that it is growing all the time. Actually, the hole in the ozone layer may always have been there. Who knows when it first formed? There is no reliable scientific data to answer this question.
The IPCC study is careful not to claim omniscience about global warming. Its conclusions are full of statements which begin: ‘It is likely’ or ‘It is very likely’. This is science speak for ‘we don’t know’. It attempts to estimate the global economic effects of climate change. Here again the scientists are in the realm of pure speculation. Economists have a dismal record when attempting to predict what will happen in the near future. Hence one can safely say that predicting what effect climate warming will have in two or three decades is not worth the paper it is written on.
But, you may say, our climate is changing. Of course it is. Climate is always changing. A few years ago a huge mammoth was detected in the permafrost region of Siberia. How could such a huge beast survive in that inhospitable environment? Prior to permafrost, deciduous forests and grasslands had predominated in northern Siberia. Even more striking, in northern Canada remains of deciduous trees have been found. Again such forests had covered the region centuries ago.
No one disputes that pollution is a real problem. But does it induce global warming? Does it even affect climate change? Some experts believe that climate change is independent of environmental factors. There is no proven scientific way of determining at present if there is a link between our present lifestyle and climate change. It is almost impossible to destabilise the equilibrium of the environment, including the oceans. So the good news is that you can relax and get rid of your guilt complex that you are contributing to climate change and global warming.
The myth of global has another side to it: scientists can only obtain official funding if they subscribe to this myth. Before Galileo no one dared argue against the view that we inhabited a heliocentric world. In other words, the sun revolved around the earth. There has always been political correctness. If one were a cynic I would say that many scientists have discovered that global warming is, in Arthur Daley’s immortal phrase, ‘a nice, little earner’. Scare everyone with some scientific babble and the money will roll in.
Global warming is bad science. We can only hope that good science will eventually discredit bad science. And the sooner the better.
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