While the Gillard Government continues to slide in the polls and lose the respect of most Australians, she continues to push many of the moonbat causes which have contributed to her unpopularity. Her mindless push for a carbon tax is one such crusade which she could better do without.
Scientists continue to pour cold water on the idea of both a carbon tax, and the pseudo-science which lies behind it. One of the more recent contrarian voices to be heard has been that of David Evans. Interestingly, much of the world’s press has been picking up on a recent speech he gave, while the mainstream Australian media has been ignoring it.
I refer to a talk he gave late last month in Perth. His speech was important for a number of reasons, not least of which is because he admits to how many scientists are simply on the gravy train, too unwilling to offer a dissenting voice, simply because of the money, careers and prestige involved.
He seems to have some sound qualifications here: he “consulted full-time for the Australian Greenhouse Office (now the Department of Climate Change) from 1999 to 2005, and part-time 2008 to 2010, modelling Australia’s carbon in plants, debris, mulch, soils, and forestry and agricultural products. He is a mathematician and engineer, with six university degrees, including a PhD from Stanford University.”
His whole speech is well worth reading, but let me offer you some large slabs of it. He begins this way: “The debate about global warming has reached ridiculous proportions and is full of micro-thin half-truths and misunderstandings. I am a scientist who was on the carbon gravy train, understands the evidence, was once an alarmist, but am now a skeptic. Watching this issue unfold has been amusing but, lately, worrying. This issue is tearing society apart, making fools out of our politicians.
“Let’s set a few things straight. The whole idea that carbon dioxide is the main cause of the recent global warming is based on a guess that was proved false by empirical evidence during the 1990s. But the gravy train was too big, with too many jobs, industries, trading profits, political careers, and the possibility of world government and total control riding on the outcome. So rather than admit they were wrong, the governments, and their tame climate scientists, now outrageously maintain the fiction that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant.”
He focuses on the CO2 issue: “Let’s be perfectly clear. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and other things being equal, the more carbon dioxide in the air, the warmer the planet. Every bit of carbon dioxide that we emit warms the planet. But the issue is not whether carbon dioxide warms the planet, but how much.
“Most scientists, on both sides, also agree on how much a given increase in the level of carbon dioxide raises the planet’s temperature, if just the extra carbon dioxide is considered. These calculations come from laboratory experiments; the basic physics have been well known for a century. The disagreement comes about what happens next.
“The planet reacts to that extra carbon dioxide, which changes everything. Most critically, the extra warmth causes more water to evaporate from the oceans. But does the water hang around and increase the height of moist air in the atmosphere, or does it simply create more clouds and rain? Back in 1980, when the carbon dioxide theory started, no one knew. The alarmists guessed that it would increase the height of moist air around the planet, which would warm the planet even further, because the moist air is also a greenhouse gas.
“This is the core idea of every official climate model: For each bit of warming due to carbon dioxide, they claim it ends up causing three bits of warming due to the extra moist air. The climate models amplify the carbon dioxide warming by a factor of three – so two-thirds of their projected warming is due to extra moist air (and other factors); only one-third is due to extra carbon dioxide.
“That’s the core of the issue. All the disagreements and misunderstandings spring from this. The alarmist case is based on this guess about moisture in the atmosphere, and there is simply no evidence for the amplification that is at the core of their alarmism.”
He continues to examine the evidence: “There are now several independent pieces of evidence showing that the earth responds to the warming due to extra carbon dioxide by dampening the warming. Every long-lived natural system behaves this way, counteracting any disturbance. Otherwise the system would be unstable. The climate system is no exception, and now we can prove it. But the alarmists say the exact opposite, that the climate system amplifies any warming due to extra carbon dioxide, and is potentially unstable….
“They overestimate the temperature increases due to carbon dioxide, selectively deny evidence, and now they conceal the truth. One way they conceal is in the way they measure temperature.
“The official thermometers are often located in the warm exhaust of air conditioning outlets, over hot tarmac at airports where they get blasts of hot air from jet engines, at waste-water plants where they get warmth from decomposing sewage, or in hot cities choked with cars and buildings. Global warming is measured in 10ths of a degree, so any extra heating nudge is important. In the United States, nearly 90% of official thermometers surveyed by volunteers violate official siting requirements that they not be too close to an artificial heating source.
“Global temperature is also measured by satellites, which measure nearly the whole planet 24/7 without bias. The satellites say the hottest recent year was 1998, and that since 2001 the global temperature has levelled off. Why does official science track only the surface thermometer results and not mention the satellite results?
“The Earth has been in a warming trend since the depth of the Little Ice Age around 1680. Human emissions of carbon dioxide were negligible before 1850 and have nearly all come after the Second World War, so human carbon dioxide cannot possibly have caused the trend. Within the trend, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation causes alternating global warming and cooling for 25 to 30 years at a go in each direction. We have just finished a warming phase, so expect mild global cooling for the next two decades.”
Evans concludes with these words: “We are now at an extraordinary juncture. Official climate science, which is funded and directed entirely by government, promotes a theory that is based on a guess about moist air that is now a known falsehood. Governments gleefully accept their advice, because the only ways to curb emissions are to impose taxes and extend government control over all energy use. And to curb emissions on a world scale might even lead to world government – how exciting for the political class!
“Even if we stopped emitting all carbon dioxide tomorrow, completely shut up shop and went back to the Stone Age, according to the official government climate models it would be cooler in 2050 by about 0.015 degrees. But their models exaggerate 10-fold – in fact our sacrifices would make the planet in 2050 a mere 0.0015 degrees cooler! Finally, to those who still believe the planet is in danger from our carbon dioxide emissions: Sorry, but you’ve been had. Yes, carbon dioxide is a cause of global warming, but it’s so minor it’s not worth doing much about.”
Of course all the true believers will simply attack Dr Evans and claim he is unqualified to speak on these issues. Instead of dealing with the evidence he provides, they will seek to discredit him. But this is par for the course with the true believers.
However, as more and more scientists come out of the closet, and admit that this is as much about politics, job security, and research grants, the harder it will be to take the alarmists seriously. And since the Australian MSM saw fit not to widely disseminate Dr Evans’ remarks, I and other alternative media outlets will be happy to do so.