CO2 causing much of warming but action lacking

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    After I sent out email re Al Gore petition for Bali meeting re climate change, had a response saying:

    Actually, im not sure I agree with him that carbon is the cause of global warming, I think theres a good chance it might be attributable to greater solar activity.

    led to short correspondence; my follow up:

    Yes, there’s tiny amount of science re solar activity; countered by massive weight of science, inc looking directly at solar activity issue.
    [qdded: see, eg, ‘No Sun link’ to climate change


    But the amount of funding available if you are a scientist and casually drop the words “carbon”, and “global warming” into your pitch is vast.

    So its a self-fulfilling prophecy, the funding leads, the weight of research follows. Scientists are only human too. They need to put food on the table for their children.

    If even a fraction of that funding was routed to investigate alternative explanations, the picture might be more balanced. But we wont know.

    Consequently folk are thinking about windfarms on the Mongolian steppe, when they could be thinking about the next corona virus to be brewed up in Guangdong.

    Denying global warming today is as heretical as denying the holocaust. Thats not scientific, thats sensationalism.

    me again:

    Sorry, but you’re wrong.

    corona virus trivial against warming

    Warming is underpinned by real, hard science (have you read IPCC reports, say; or Royal Society and other leading science bodies on the issue? Important to do so.
    look at even “scientists” denying re CO2, and can often find their claims to expertise are bogus).

    BBC env guy did strong piece on sceptics saying they were being muted, funds restricted. Found they were wrong; their claims evaporated when looked for actual evidence to back them up. Just noise, like so much here – including idea there’s any debate among scientists re anthropogenic warming.
    [adding – Climate science: Sceptical about bias

    If could come up with something solid re CO2 increase being unimportant, could get massive funds; Exxon alone could keep you going.

    Heresy isn’t about denying facts, nor about science based counter-arguments.
    There’s no religion here, despite right wing claims.
    Otherwise, well into idiot America territory; dinosaurs pulling carts in museums and so forth.

    Timidity of those who won’t take action is among most alarming things.

    I also then sent:

    Nothing to do with self-fulfilling prophecy

    Warming thro CO2 emissions, melting ice etc were forecast.
    Now being observed.

    About as “self-fulfilling” as predicting that if make water temp fall below 0C under regular conditions, will get ice; then indeed make temp below 0C, and see ice.

    Science shouldn’t really be tough to grasp.
    But seems it’s too easy to obscure.
    (Esp with 0C being not always typical; not always hard and fast w predictions – with warming, seen arguments that can never be precise.)


    f you’re a polluter….you just buy cheap carbon credits and pollute even more

    If you’re a financier, you trade credits and float an AIM listed private equity company

    If you’re a Chinese industrialist either
    a) You build a coal fired power station
    b) You build and demolish something more noxious (in return for western carbon credit revenues)

    So, thats the ‘industry’ thats grown up opportunistically around the science. Not a very edifying one.

    My question then is….in 2007 will there be more or less carbon gases pumped my man into the atmosphere than in 2006?

    Because if it is on an upward trend then there’s something about this new system and paradigm that isn’t working well!

    to which I responded:

    Yes, but that’s not science per se.

    CO2 emissions rising, with – as I recall – latest IPCC saying actual above even worst projections
    Rather as several actual impacts are stronger/faster than had been forecast.

    Problem well known.
    Solution seems remote.


    NYTimes blog post on issue re how to get some action taken
    – read it today; even posted
    Are Words Worthless in the Climate Fight?

    Here’s a letter I recently had published in the South China Morning Post, in response to an opinion piece from the grandiose sounding International Policy Network.

    I am writing regarding the article “Alarmism is not the way to tackle climate change”, by Kendra Okonski, of the International Policy Network. Finding the article highly unbalanced, I checked re the network, and learned it has received over US$390,000 from ExxonMobil – surely the most infamous supporter of global warming “sceptics”.

    Given this, Okonski’s claim of “biases” – towards global warming “alarmism” – resulting from funding by “powerful interest groups” is ludicrous. Her piece is riddled with cherry picked facts, half truths, or worse.

    It’s immensely deceptive to claim, “The science of climate change remains hotly contested.” No, it does not; witness the standpoints of august bodies such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Britain’s Royal Society, and our own Hong Kong Observatory. Among all but a tiny minority of actual scientists, there is no longer debate over whether warming due to greenhouse gases is real – instead, any debates are now over just how severe it will be, and what measures are needed to ensure we don’t devastate the world as we know it.

    Okonski asserts the International Government Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “is also biased towards alarmism” – which is curious, given that some of the more alarming forecasts of scientists have been removed during the editing process. She appears oblivious to the fact that some observed changes – such as melting of Arctic ice, and expansion of the Tropics, have proceeded more swiftly than in even some of the more alarming forecasts.

    While noting the number of people killed by weather disasters has fallen since good records began, Okonski fails to mention vastly improved warning systems, and Oxfam¡¦s report that the number of number of natural disasters has increased fourfold since two decades ago.

    With no scientific foundation whatsoever, Okonski claims the best thing to do about climate change is adapting, while helping people create wealth. Here, she is seemingly blinded to the obvious: if the worst of climate change predictions come true, adaptation will prove impossible for countless people, and there will be widespread economic reversals.

    Overall, it seems Okonski’s piece stems from fear of doing the right thing, and adopting measures that economists have suggested could cost 1 percent of world income. With climate change real, the outcomes uncertain yet potentially devastating, it is alarming to read calls for yet more procrastination.


    Here’s another letter I’ve sent the South China Morning Post [edit: appeared on 7 Jan 08], responding to letter from Viscount Monckton.

    Dear Sir:

    It was interesting to see that Viscount Monckton of Benchley – who once wrote an article titled “The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS”, recommending quarantine for all HIV carriers – has written to the South China Morning Post, attempting to put the editors right regarding global warming.

    Sadly, Monckton fails to muster arguments that make his case. Claiming global surface temperatures have not risen in a statistically significant sense since 2001, he omits to mention that NASA ranks 2005 the warmest year in over a century, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently reported that “Eleven of the last twelve years (1995-2006) rank among the twelve warmest years in the instrumental record of global surface temperature (since 1850).¡¨

    Plus, in seeking a trend over just six years, Monckton has tumbled into his own trap of lacking statistical significance. The warming trend is clearly upwards, and the latest data suggests the rise is faster than previously estimated.

    Monckton also refers to apparent anomalies in temperatures recorded in the tropical upper troposphere, and states that from these we now know that the relatively minor warming that ceased (sic) in 2001 was largely not caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Here, he ignores the large errors in upper troposphere temperature measurements. And – as so often with global warming “sceptics” – he ignores the mountain of scientific publications that show global warming resulting from greenhouse gas emissions is real and significant, and cherry picks from the molehill of science that suggests otherwise.

    In concluding that no imposts should be inflicted upon us unless we are told how much they will cost and how much effect they will have, Monckton reveals his narrow knowledge of global warming. The IPCC has forecast that measures to mitigate the worst impacts of global warming could slow global GDP growth by an average of 0.12 percentage points.

    The Post was correct to write of a “planetary emergency”. We are all effectively locked in a test tube, in surely the greatest experiment man has ever performed. If the worst projections come true, this will mean the transformation of life as we know it: a dire, apparently sci-fi scenario, yet a succession of news reports tell us of warming-related events that are unfolding at a startling pace.

    This is not a time for debating and waiting and seeing, but for action.

    Yours faithfully,
    Dr Martin Williams

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