Global Warming: The Bogus Religion of our Age

29 08 2013

By Richard LindzenImage

Originally Published in the Daily Mail March 8th, 2007

Anyone who knows me, realizes that I am not religious. I generally have a  very tolerant view of religion, as long as someone’s religious views do not infringe on my rights, or harm any other human being in any way.  One this line is crossed however, I take a stand.

The following essay outlines what I believe to be the biggest threat to humanity in our time. And it is indeed what I deem as a religion.


The world is heading for environmental catastrophe ? or so we are constantly being told by the politicians and self-appointed experts.

They warn us that unless we take drastic action, the earth will soon be devastated by climate change and global warming.

Entire species will be lost, crops will be obliterated, floods and famine will sweep across the planet, and western economies will slide into depression.

Certainly, there have been many sweeping predictions of global ruin, few more emphatic than the report from Sir Nicholas Stern into the economics of climate change, which states with an air of unchallengeable conviction: ‘The scientific evidence is now overwhelming. Climate change presents very serious global risks and it demands an urgent global response.’

His study, commissioned by the Government in July 2005 and published amid much Whitehall hype in October 2006, seemed to carry all the more weight because Stern is one of the most senior civil servants in Britain, the head of the Government’s economic service.

His conclusions appeared to be based on powerful scientific authority, since his team of 20 or so officials had drawn on a wide range of published papers and data.

Tony Blair has described it as the most important document produced during his ten years as Prime Minister, and urged that the Stern blueprint, with its calls for more regulation and taxation, be adopted in full.

‘The disaster is not set to happen in some science fiction future, but in our lifetimes,’ said Blair, who went on to claim that the ‘the world faces nothing more serious, more urgent and more demanding of its leadership than climate change.’

All this has helped put the Stern report at the very forefront of the debate. The central theme of it is that there is a near universal consensus of opinion within the scientific community about the dangers of climate change. But this is not true.

There is no such unanimity among scientists.

Throughout the 550 pages of his document, Stern continually strikes a confident note, as if there were no dispute about the issues.

Completely divorced from scientific reality

Yet this self-assured stance is completely divorced from scientific reality. It is an inconvenient truth for Stern and his political allies that there is, in fact, precious little hard evidence to back up his sweeping claims.

In a revealing recent comment, Stern admitted that when he was appointed by the Government, he ‘had an idea what the greenhouse effect was but wasn’t really sure’.

This lack of understanding of science shines through every chapter of his report.

He is guilty of misreading the data, of distorting the evidence to suit his political masters’ dogma, of throwing numbers about with reckless abandon, of promoting alarmism in place of rational discussion, and of reinventing climate history.

There are fundamental misconceptions throughout the document. He seems to think that climate prediction is a mature science stretching back to the early 19th century, hence the confident tone science stretching back to the early century, hence the confident tone of his pronouncements.

But in reality climate prediction is a relatively modern science, which has emerged only in recent decades thanks partly to the emergence of computers.

So there are no easy certainties about the past ? or the future.

Stern states boldly that the scale of global warming has been unprecedented for at least the past 1,000 years, but he cannot possibly be sure on this point because data from previous centuries is unreliable.

At most, we have a 50-year span of accurate measurements. The only genuine global records of temperature come from weather balloons, since 1958, and from microwave sounding units, since 1978.

What they indicate is a very gently warming trend, nothing approaching the apocalyptic vision of Sir Nicholas.

Moreover, this minor trend could have easily have been caused by irregularities such as volcanic eruptions or El Nino events (major fluctuations in ocean temperatures in the Pacific which affect climate).

Stern’s report ‘ignores the evidence that does not suit his ideology’

In support of his gloomy thesis, Stern, like all global warming enthusiasts, ignores the evidence that does not suit his ideology. He glosses over the fact that, according to a host of historical accounts, Europe was far warmer in the Middle Ages than it is today, or that the 17th century was much colder, prompting what was known as ‘The Little Ice Age’, when the Thames was often frozen over for months at a time.

Stern also refers to ‘significant melting of and an acceleration of ice floes’ near the coast of Greenland because of global warming.

Yet several reputable scientific studies have shown that the mass of the Greenland ice sheet is actually expanding, while Stern also fails to note that the temperature of Greenland is now lower than it was in 1940 and little changed from the first measurements in the 1780s.

Environmentalists are fond of jerking heartstrings with pictures of polar bears struggling on supposedly melting icebergs, but it is estimated that there are now 22,000 polar bears compared with 5,000 in 1940.

Nor can we be sure that any long-term changes in our climate are due to mankind. There are any number of other possibilities and the programme tonight examines the possibility that the sun’s radiation is primarily responsible for climate change.

Indeed, the climate can fluctuate without any external cause at all ? something again ignored by Stern, who wants only to indulge in the fashionable notion that western capitalism is entirely to blame for every drought and disaster.

Further, Stern takes no account of the capacity of mankind to adapt to, and improve his, environment.

There can be little dispute that, more than a century after the peak of the 19th-century industrial revolution, Britain is a cleaner, healthier, less polluted country than it was in the late Victorian age, when smog, disease and slums were rife.

Genuine science is about gathering evidence and testing the veracity of theories, not cheerleading for a particular ideology.

That is what is so disturbing about the current debate on global warming. Healthy scepticism, which should be at the heart of all scientific inquiry, is treated with contempt.

Far from being the powerful masterpiece that Blair claimed, Stern’s report is manifestly incompetent.

It is another dodgy dossier, where assertions are presented as facts and data is twisted to suit a political purpose.

I agree with the economist critic who noted: ‘If a student of mine were to hand in this report as a masters thesis, perhaps if I were in a good mood, I would give him D for diligence, but more likely I would give him an F for fail.’ We are shifting away from science and into the realm of religious fanaticism, where the followers of the creed, brimming with self-righteous fury, believe that they are in possession of a higher truth.

Like a religion, environmentalism is suffused with hatred for the material world and again, like religion, it requires devotion rather than intellectual rigour from its adherents.

It is intolerant of dissent; those who question the message of doom are regarded as heretics, or ‘climate change deniers’, to use green parlance.

And, just as in many religions, the route to personal salvation lies in the performance of superstitious rituals, such as changing a lightbulb or arranging for a tree to be planted after every plane journey.

What is so tragic is the way that this dubious ideology has achieved such dominance in our public life.

Politicians love the green agenda, of course, because it means more control, more regulation, more taxes, more summits, and more opportunities for displays of self-important zeal.

The tragedy is that the likes of Sir Nicholas Stern are using bogus science to push forward this agenda.

Richrad Lindzen is an American atmospheric physicist and Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lindzen is known for his work in the dynamics of the middle atmosphere, atmospheric tides and ozone photochemistry. He has published more than 200 scientific papers and books.  He was a lead author of Chapter 7, ‘Physical Climate Processes and Feedbacks,’ of the IPCC Third Assessment Report on climate change.  He is a well known skeptic concerning catastrophic global warming (CAGW) and critic of what he states are political pressures on climate scientists to conform to what he has called climate alarmism and rightly so, “Global Warming Religion”.

Stealth Skiing

28 12 2009

I think I have discovered an exciting new activity – late night x – country skiing. It’s a pretty simple concept. Either get hopelessly lost while exploring a new area or overestimate one’s performance when getting a late start and by default x-country skiing in the dark is an inevitability.

I have a friend however who’s first date with his now long-term relationship girlfriend (not married but almost) was an intentional outing on skinny skis under a moon – lit night. Yes it sounded romantic but it also sounded pathological when I first heard of it.

My ski/scramble buddy Andrew and I found ourselves in the position of a return trip in West Bragg Creek recently after we had a late start. Our entire darkened  return was downhill…adding to the merriment. I bent a pole on a spectacular yard sale. The city of Calgary was a reddish/gold glow to the East, appearing warm and inviting from our heights in the foothills. At the end of the trail, I couldn’t stop smirking. We ran into someone looking for a group of skiers who, apparently, do this all the time and were just heading out. Madness begets even greater madness.

Andrew and I hit up Shaganappi golf course shortly after…and were getting our skis on just as the sun was setting. Enough ambient light illuminated the tracks for us to ski without serious injury.

We almost skied Hawkridge at night, but arrived too late (we searched for it over 90 minutes..Blackberry crash killed my mobile browser and Andrew has a heavy foot) as I had obligations not at all concerned with such foolishness.  We did return however the next morning…and had a wonderful time skiing in -25c temperatures.  As a side note – when we left Calgary, the temp was -18c. Hawkridge is only 5 minutes from Calgary’s deep south-west. Andrew’s truck thermometer AND the ski lodge thermometer registered -25c. We skied for 90 minutes, scraped the ice off our eyeballs, and saw the temperature hadn’t budged.  It warmed up just as we were getting back to town. The average temperature we noted while driving through town was – 18c. The highest temperature we observed was -15c. A ten degree temperature difference from city to just outside of town. Urban Heat Island Effect is not significant say those who also speak of “simple physics” when expounding on AGW theory ?

Anyway, tonight we went back to Shaganappi. We got there around 23:30 and skied till 1:15. This time I brought a headlamp. It was amazing…. a completely surreal experience and I have much more confidence skiing at night now that I can see the trail and any hazards. My pain allowance is now significantly increased.

However since going full-out at 1 AM means my body wont let me sleep immediately after…here I am at my computer. It’s now 4:21.

Global Warming – The Cold Hard Facts? – Tim Ball

5 10 2009

The following article was written in February of 2007 by one of Canada’s leading Climate Researchers, Dr. Tim Ball.

Global Warming, as we think we know it, doesn’t exist. And I am not the only one trying to make people open up their eyes and see the truth. But few listen, despite the fact that I was one of the first Canadian Ph.Ds. in Climatology and I have an extensive background in climatology, especially the reconstruction of past climates and the impact of climate change on human history and the human condition. Few listen, even though I have a Ph.D, (Doctor of Science) from the University of London, England and was a climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg. For some reason (actually for many), the World is not listening. Here is why.

What would happen if tomorrow we were told that, after all, the Earth is flat? It would probably be the most important piece of news in the media and would generate a lot of debate. So why is it that when scientists who have studied the Global Warming phenomenon for years say that humans are not the cause nobody listens? Why does no one acknowledge that the Emperor has no clothes on?

Believe it or not, Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). This in fact is the greatest deception in the history of science. We are wasting time, energy and trillions of dollars while creating unnecessary fear and consternation over an issue with no scientific justification. For example, Environment Canada brags about spending $3.7 billion in the last five years dealing with climate change almost all on propaganda trying to defend an indefensible scientific position while at the same time closing weather stations and failing to meet legislated pollution targets.

No sensible person seeks conflict, especially with governments, but if we don’t pursue the truth, we are lost as individuals and as a society. That is why I insist on saying that there is no evidence that we are, or could ever cause global climate change. And, recently, Yuri A. Izrael, Vice President of the United Nations sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed this statement. So how has the world come to believe that something is wrong?

Maybe for the same reason we believed, 30 years ago, that global cooling was the biggest threat: a matter of faith. “It is a cold fact: the Global Cooling presents humankind with the most important social, political, and adaptive challenge we have had to deal with for ten thousand years. Your stake in the decisions we make concerning it is of ultimate importance; the survival of ourselves, our children, our species,” wrote Lowell Ponte in 1976.

I was as opposed to the threats of impending doom global cooling engendered as I am to the threats made about Global Warming. Let me stress I am not denying the phenomenon has occurred. The world has warmed since 1680, the nadir of a cool period called the Little Ice Age (LIA) that has generally continued to the present. These climate changes are well within natural variability and explained quite easily by changes in the sun. But there is nothing unusual going on.

Since I obtained my doctorate in climatology from the University of London, Queen Mary College, England my career has spanned two climate cycles. Temperatures declined from 1940 to 1980 and in the early 1970’s global cooling became the consensus. This proves that consensus is not a scientific fact. By the 1990’s temperatures appeared to have reversed and Global Warming became the consensus. It appears I’ll witness another cycle before retiring, as the major mechanisms and the global temperature trends now indicate a cooling.

No doubt passive acceptance yields less stress, fewer personal attacks and makes career progress easier. What I have experienced in my personal life during the last years makes me understand why most people choose not to speak out; job security and fear of reprisals. Even in University, where free speech and challenge to prevailing wisdoms are supposedly encouraged, academics remain silent.

I once received a three page letter that my lawyer defined as libellous, from an academic colleague, saying I had no right to say what I was saying, especially in public lectures. Sadly, my experience is that universities are the most dogmatic and oppressive places in our society. This becomes progressively worse as they receive more and more funding from governments that demand a particular viewpoint.

In another instance, I was accused by Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki of being paid by oil companies. That is a lie. Apparently he thinks if the fossil fuel companies pay you have an agenda. So if Greenpeace, Sierra Club or governments pay there is no agenda and only truth and enlightenment?

Personal attacks are difficult and shouldn’t occur in a debate in a civilized society. I can only consider them from what they imply. They usually indicate a person or group is losing the debate. In this case, they also indicate how political the entire Global Warming debate has become. Both underline the lack of or even contradictory nature of the evidence.

I am not alone in this journey against the prevalent myth. Several well-known names have also raised their voices. Michael Crichton, the scientist, writer and filmmaker is one of them. In his latest book, “State of Fear” he takes time to explain, often in surprising detail, the flawed science behind Global Warming and other imagined environmental crises.

Another cry in the wildenerness is Richard Lindzen’s. He is an atmospheric physicist and a professor of meteorology at MIT, renowned for his research in dynamic meteorology – especially atmospheric waves. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has held positions at the University of Chicago, Harvard University and MIT. Linzen frequently speaks out against the notion that significant Global Warming is caused by humans. Yet nobody seems to listen.

I think it may be because most people don’t understand the scientific method which Thomas Kuhn so skilfully and briefly set out in his book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.” A scientist makes certain assumptions and then produces a theory which is only as valid as the assumptions. The theory of Global Warming assumes that CO2 is an atmospheric greenhouse gas and as it increases temperatures rise. It was then theorized that since humans were producing more CO2 than before, the temperature would inevitably rise. The theory was accepted before testing had started, and effectively became a law.

As Lindzen said many years ago: “the consensus was reached before the research had even begun.” Now, any scientist who dares to question the prevailing wisdom is marginalized and called a sceptic, when in fact they are simply being good scientists. This has reached frightening levels with these scientists now being called climate change denier with all the holocaust connotations of that word. The normal scientific method is effectively being thwarted.

Meanwhile, politicians are being listened to, even though most of them have no knowledge or understanding of science, especially the science of climate and climate change. Hence, they are in no position to question a policy on climate change when it threatens the entire planet. Moreover, using fear and creating hysteria makes it very difficult to make calm rational decisions about issues needing attention.

Until you have challenged the prevailing wisdom you have no idea how nasty people can be. Until you have re-examined any issue in an attempt to find out all the information, you cannot know how much misinformation exists in the supposed age of information.

I was greatly influenced several years ago by Aaron Wildavsky’s book “Yes, but is it true?” The author taught political science at a New York University and realized how science was being influenced by and apparently misused by politics. He gave his graduate students an assignment to pursue the science behind a policy generated by a highly publicised environmental concern. To his and their surprise they found there was little scientific evidence, consensus and justification for the policy. You only realize the extent to which Wildavsky’s findings occur when you ask the question he posed. Wildavsky’s students did it in the safety of academia and with the excuse that it was an assignment. I have learned it is a difficult question to ask in the real world, however I firmly believe it is the most important question to ask if we are to advance in the right direction.

Aral Sea Disaster – cause and effect

30 09 2009

15262373Soviet  hunger for cotton and rice  to supply an ever – growing population in the 1960’s has caused one of the greatest man-made ecological disasters that many of us will ever witness.  The Aral Sea, very recently the 4th largest inland body of water in the world (by surface area), has become a mere puddle of what it used to be.

Straddling the borders of Northwestern Uzbekistan and Southern Kazakhstan, the Aral Sea has been for thousands of years an inland saltwater sea with no outlet. Two main rivers, the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya, kept the salty lake in balance to support a commercial fishery, tourism, and a true oasis in a very dry, remote region of Central Asia. As many as 20 species of fish flourished in the giant glacial bathtub, and life along the shore was intrinsically linked to the inland sea.

Fast forward 45 years, and the oasis has become a toxic desert. Monoculture crops that were dependent on heavy use of pesticides and massive diversions of water from the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya , have turned the once bountiful region into a place of man – made misery.  As the sea dried and the shoreline shrank (now the 10th largest inland body of water, a fifth of what it once was) , the salty soil underneath became exposed along with the runoff of all that pesticide.

The communities along the Aral Sea became disease – ridden ghost towns as the link to the sea was severed. The  result has been economic collapse and a spike in respiratory diseases and related cancers due to the toxic dust and water that residents are  subject to. Along with the collapse of the physical environment the region has suffered culturally as well. Truly the largest anthropogenic (man-made) ecological disaster of the 20th century.

The Aral Sea disaster has been a stark reminder of man tinkering with the forces of nature without consideration for the long – term after effects on an extremely vulnerable Eco-system and the people who have for centuries resided along its shores.

This is a very evident case for anthropogenic environmental disaster. Diversion of the Aral’s two main rivers cut off the water supply to this once vast sea. Without the water, natural evaporation took away more than was being poured into the basin. Add the nasty bug-killing chemicals into the mix, and you have a recipe for a death sentence. Only one of the estimated 20 species of fish has been able to survive the abrupt increase in salinity. Plants and vegetation have succumbed to the rapid desertification of the region. In fact, the loss of that much water has led to a regional climate shift, whereas the once temperature – moderating effect of all that H2O is now mostly gone, like the water itself.

Avoidable? Probably. Hubris? Absolutely. We know the causes for the tragedy, and we know the effects. Over the course of the last 45 years, we have been able to witness and record this preventable catastrophe with the aid of data from hundreds of researchers including biologists, geographers, hydrologists, and climatologists. The effects are a direct result of the causes. It’s really a no-brainer.

I became aware of the Aral Sea disaster way back in the 80’s when it was  still a substantial body of water. Over the past two and a half decades, I’ve watched this once prolific inland sea vaporize in real time. It has influenced my involvement in organizations that advocate water quality and availability. It has always been clear as to the drivers of this disaster. I can evaluate the data, compare trends and physical changes in the environment, and draw my own conclusion as to why this happened.

Not so when it comes to anthropogenic climate change. Specifically, global warming with Co2 as the driver. We know the effects, or are beginning to. In actuality, many of what some deem as evidence of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), including Arctic ice melting, glaciers retreating, droughts, storms, and any other climate-related event is clearly not evidence that Co2 caused any of this. Why then are so many individuals absolutely positive that man-made Co2 is the cause of Climate Change?

Back in the 90’s I think we were all on the bandwagon. I know I was. As world governments began investigating ideas such as a carbon tax, I was one of the ambulance-chasers, keen on exploiting a grave disservice to make a healthy profit. I was assigned the role of Green House Gas Verification (GHGV) “expert” by my employer in 2005, a global organization based in the UK. I attended a GHGV course run by Environment Canada. The principal trainer was a dirt-munching, tree-hugging Aussie lass who had several examples of the Australian government’s carbon-influenced policy changes, and the nasty carbon-criminal perpetrators she encountered in her line of work. The curriculum was a unique blend of engineering principles, and chartered accountant practices. Gas = $. Based on Intensity.

I didn’t pass the course (not much of an engineer or an accountant) but it was instrumental in opening my mind to the science of it all. Over the  next two years, I began to examine the data driving the polemic of AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming).  What I discovered has not only made me feel like a senior swindled out of their entire life-savings by a telemarketing scam, but has ignited a passion for science and the basic understanding of what science really is.

Science is objective. A scientific theory can be turned into an undeniable belief by many if it is widely accepted as a theory. The world was once believed to be flat. It only takes one person to prove a theory wrong.  The data that is available (to those with the wherewithal to research it) on the anthropogenic effects of Co2 on climate lead the scientifically- inclined to call bullshit on the popular opinion.

Thanks to the likes of the IPCC  “Hockey stick” graph (popularized by Al Gore in “An Inconvenient Truth” and REMOVED from the most recent IPCC Assessment Report on Climate Change) much of the global populace is polarized in their belief that Co2 is driving climate change. That particular graph has been proven to be faulty, as the data fed into the computer model was either corrupt, or manipulated. There is a very good reason the IPCC no longer references the graph. Let us remember that real data, such as the data regarding the Aral Sea, is a far cry from what any computer model can churn out.

Any layman’s examination of ice core data clearly demonstrates that Co2 lags behind (as much as 800 years) an increase in global temperature. While the two may be related, scientific data reveals that Co2 follows an increase in temperature, it does not precede it. Thus, Co2, and in effect the Greenhouse Gas Global Warming theory,  is not a driver for climate change…if you use science to intemperate this theory. The fact that the “Greenhouse Signature” is missing from recent data over the tropics where the effect should be obvious, the fact that temperatures have not risen globally since 2001, and that Co2 is a minor gas in the GHG equation, absorbing almost as much as it can, leads the scientifically inclined to asses that something else is causing climate change.

We, as a civilization, coupled with the human condition, are quick to latch on to the cause, because we sincerely feel bad for the “climate crimes” we have perpetrated with Co2. We feel better knowing what the cause is, and reducing our impact to hopefully reverse the effects we believe man has set in motion.

It gives us all warm fuzzies to reduce our “carbon-footprint”, while those of us who have nothing better to do, or are so fanatical in our zeal,  protest by way of enviro-terrorism (see: Greenpeace). All because we are steadfast in our belief (via government-sponsored acceptance and kowtowing media..which results in more hysteria and more people buying “media’s product”) that WE have caused the planet to warm as a result of Co2 emissions. Politicians know that popular policy wins votes. Big business (Oil and Gas companies) realizes that “carbon-capture” technologies and offsetting emissions influence popular opinion, and shareholders. I’ll bet some of them even believe they are the cause of it. Professional proponents of AGW who count on it’s acceptance (so-called scientists, lobbyists, policy makers) realize that without acceptance of the polemic, they have to find a new job.

Real scientists, many of whom have worked with the IPCC dispute the polemic, and many more have been ostracized by their peers for arguing science against the popular opinion. My opinion to add to this theory, is that the scientific community, and people in general, hate to be proven wrong.

Let us not forget that this is all theory. If you have no hard evidence, and no situation where a theory can be proven false, it is a belief. Theories must be falsifiable. That, in a nutshell, is science. Anything else is dogma.

I got on this rant because today, I read a comment that the recent earthquake off of Samoa could be a result of AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming). An earthquake is not a weather-related event. Climate has no bearing whatsoever on the shifting of tectonic plates. If this is where we have arrived as a civilization, then I guess all bets are off.

If you have any scientific inquiry burning a searchlight in your cranium, then I implore you to use the best possible resources you have in exploring the issue and the science, before that deceitful telemarketer calls. Feel free to come up with your own theory. And remember the Aral Sea next time you pour yourself a glass of water.