Monday, June 29, 2009

Global Warming - Cap and Trade: The Joke is on You

Congress passed Cap and Trade (tax) on Friday, June 26, 2009. America’s citizens now await a Senate vote with bated breath. The Congressional Budget Office places the cost of the program at $170 per family per year, but this only considers the administrative cost to the government (hence, taxpayers) for managing the program. The cost to Americans is more closely $1,000 to $4,000 per year when considering the additional government cost and the costs of the program which will be passed to consumers. Everything from utility bills to food will be higher as a consequence if Cap and Trade is passed.

Portions of the bill also permit companies to pay their carbon penance though revegetation efforts in foreign countries, further robbing the Unites States of wealth and jobs while simultaneously increasing costs for all citizens. Ultimately, the plan amounts to a massive tax on the American public which will have untold calamitous impacts on our already ailing economy. Robbing an entrepreneurial society of capital for future innovation also stymies hope of greater technological advances that might one day make this legislation moot. In all, it is a tyrannical means to achieve an end that is unnecessary.

The Myth:

I’m not going to mince words or succumb to idiotic political correctness: Anthropogenic Global Warming is patent absurdity. Anyone who claims otherwise either (A) stands to benefit financially from Global Warming hysteria or (B) has failed to examine the facts and prefers to blindly believe the paranoia on a purely environmentalist philosophical basis.

The Reality:

Climate changes. Before the industrial revolution there were changes in climate; there were trends suggestive of warming and cooling. These trends were the result of natural changes and were functions of myriad variables within the global climate system. Similarly, we have trends in more recent times. The same variables are still in effect and the climate still changes naturally.

Proponents of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) cite the strong correlation between CO2 levels and the warming trend of average global temperatures. However, correlation can never prove causation; instead it can only suggest a relationship. Further to the point, an actual analysis of the correlation reveals a correlation coefficient of approximately 0.3, indicating a poor correlation at best. The AGW cheerleaders will quickly counter that their computer climate models show the strong dependence of temperatures on atmospheric carbon dioxide; yet the IPCC’s own report admitted that these computer models cannot be validated. In most areas of scientific study, a computer model is developed and validated by test before it is promulgated as having any predictive capability. In industries with governmental compliance requirements (such as commercial aviation), computer models can be used to verify compliance to requirements only if those models have been extensively validated. There is no means to test climate models because no empirical method can account for the size and intricacy of a global climate system; however, this hasn’t deterred the World governments from advocating for trillions of dollars in spending and economic encumbrances towards resolving an unsubstantiated threat.

The IPCC even changed the wording in its “Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis” report from “Model Validation” to “Model Evaluation” because of objections from the scientific community. In the report, IPCC scientists proclaim a strong predictive capability of the climate models based on attempted recreations of temperatures during the 20th century. However, the models failed to retroactively predict any significant deviations, such as the cooling in the 1970s, “Models tend to underestimate natural climate variability derived from proxy data over the last few centuries.” Moreover, the IPCC report proclaims the models had a reasonable ability to predict sub-continental temperatures, but were poor predictors of cloud cover and precipitation. The last time I checked, a cloudy and/or rainy day had significantly different temperatures compared to a bright, sunny day. Even figure 1.1 in the IPCC report (below) shows the influence of clouds on reflecting solar insolation and trapping surface radiation (back radiation), “8.10.3 Clouds and humidity remain sources of significant uncertainty but there have been incremental improvements in simulations of these quantities.” Water vapor, i.e. clouds, is a far more significant contributor to global warming than is carbon dioxide. Given their impairment to predict cloud cover, how useful can climate models really be? Yet, the models are the source of doomsday predictions envisaged by Al Gore and his ilk to foretell of global flooding, droughts, and widespread destruction of flora and fauna.
Changes in solar insolation are a much more viable explanation for global temperature variation. Recent investigations by climatologists concluded that solar irradiance was not as significant a contributor to climate change as carbon dioxide. However, the method of validation was by manipulation and modification of the existing climate computer models. Using unvalidated climate models to conclude the global climate is relatively insensitive to solar radiation is nonsensical and unscientific. How can anyone deduce that the arbitrarily determined forcing function for carbon dioxide is more meritorious than the arbitrary forcing function developed for solar radiation? Even the IPCC report acknowledges the lack of solar radiation data and the poor quality of what data does exist. They contend that the variation in solar radiation is roughly 1.1 W/m2 but state the uncertainty in the data is 4 to 7 W/m2. Of course, the models were assessed assuming a 1.1 W/m2 variation, not a +/- 4 W/m2.

Here are some other valuable quotes from the IPCC report:

6.11.1.1 Thus, longer-term and more accurate measurements are required before trends in TSI can be monitored to sufficient accuracy for application to studies of the radiative forcing of climate.

8.2.2 We fully recognise that many of the evaluation statements we make contain a degree of subjective scientific perception and may contain much “community” or “personal” knowledge (Polanyi, 1958). For example, the very choice of model variables and model processes that are investigated are often based upon the subjective judgement and experience of the modelling community.

8.2.3 While at times we use a figure of merit to intercompare models for some selected variables, we usually apply more subjective assessments in our overall evaluations; we do not believe it is objectively possible to state which model is “best overall” for climate projection, since models differ amongst themselves (and with available observations) in many different ways. Even if a model is assessed as performing credibly when simulating the present climate, we cannot be sure that the response of such a model to a perturbation remains credible.

Not only do the “real” scientific findings offer no confidence in truth of AGW, but several scientists, including many on the IPCC, are speaking out against it. Moreover, AGW’s leading scientists have admitted to falsifying data to make global warming appear more dire. Among them is Dr. Hansen, a common point of reference used by Al Gore for his Armageddon predictions. Perhaps they are growing more desperate since average temperatures have been leveling off since 1998 with more than the last 18 months showing decreasing average temperatures. Their response being that this is just a normal variation in the global climate while refusing to admit that the recent increases in temperatures could also be a normal variation. In reality, the AGW “scientists” are guilty of deterministic science – they hold an a priori belief that global warming is human caused and therefore fail to look at the data objectively. As a consequence, the gun of hysteria is being leveled against all of humanity and we are spending fortunes to “correct” a problem that does not exist.

Why?

Environmentalists are always quick to levy charges of collusion with “Big Oil” against opponents of AGW. Their tag line is, “follow the money.” Interestingly, AGW proponents don’t fare too well under their own examination.

For instance, Al Gore, the self-nominated spokesperson for AGW, has invested heavily in companies that would benefit financially from government regulations imposing restrictions on CO2 emissions, e.g. carbon offsets, carbon tracking software, and cap and trade brokerages. He is chairman of Generation Investment Management, a firm that owns a 10% stake in CCX, the Chicago Climate Exchange. CCX handles over 90% of the market in cap and trade. Meanwhile, he uses his significant political contacts to heavily lobby for Cap and Trade legislation while also utilizing his non-profit, “The Climate Project,” to promulgate his climate doomsday message across the country.

For climate researchers, the existence of an impending global climate disaster provides the impetus for research grants and gainful employment. We have already seen the lack of scientific integrity from the likes of Dr. Hansen; so it is not difficult to imagine the climate research community partaking in deterministic science for the purpose of financial recompense.

Politicians stand to gain significant power over industry and citizens with the Cap and Trade bill. They can wield far greater political muscle with the trillions in revenue from Cap and Trade and garner significant political capital from constituents hungry for research dollars. Not to mention the personal investments these politicians have in companies that would benefit from government mandates such as Cap and Trade. Remember, all politicians were millionaires before they became politicians, and they will continue to be millionaires.

The media is also a profiteer from AGW. General Electric, the largest supplier of wind turbines, also owns MSNBC. Their shameless promotion of pro-wind energy politicians and doomsday global warming predictions is too blatant to ignore. Furthermore, all media outlets choose to broadcast sensationalized stories about our impending catastrophe to improve ratings and thereby increase advertising revenues. How many people would tune in to watch an expose on, “Climate change: It’s a Totally Normal Cyclical Thing.”?

President Obama is an outspoken advocate for Cap and Trade, even acknowledging that it would, “necessarily cause energy costs to skyrocket.” Yet he flies in Air Force One to deliver a speech on Earth Day. Were he a true advocate for climate change he would have used the technology of which he has claimed a mastery to deliver the message via web conference instead of burning thousands of gallons of jet fuel (a 747 burns roughly 4,000 gallons per hour on climb and 1,500 gallons per hour during normal flight). Likewise, Al Gore tours the country in a private jet and with a Secret Service entourage giving speeches on the evil of CO2. How the self-proclaimed inventor of the internet professes a faith in AGW while choosing heavily polluting modes of transportation over webcasting is beyond my comprehension. Recall that he only retrofitted his Nashville home with green technology after his energy excesses were discovered. Similarly, Prince William recently launched a European tour denouncing CO2 emissions as the source of climatic doom while also traveling on a private jet. Even our much beloved Madam Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, makes frequent trips back to her home state of California on a private jet. Were any of these political figures serious about AGW they would be leading by example: living in a small apartment, using public transportation, and minimizing their consumption.

You may despise corporate greed and contend it is the paragon of evil, but, as a free market participant, you get to decide how to spend your money. If you harbor disdain for Wal-Mart you can choose not to shop there. If you think the local supermarket is exploiting its workers and producers you can go to the local farmers market. But when the government issues an edict you no longer get to decide how to spend your hard earned money. The truth is Anthropogenic Global warming is laughable, but the joke is on you because you will be making Al Gore, politicians, and other global warming profiteers richer whether you like it or not.

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