Re: [asa] Letters to Sam Harris a "Maladjusted Misotheist"

From: Janice Matchett <>
Date: Wed Dec 06 2006 - 12:38:51 EST

At 04:41 PM 12/5/2006, P vM wrote:

>I see, you do accept a human component. That's a
>good start and if my comment misrepresented your
>position then I apologize. The quote from
>which I gathered your position suggested as
>much. So we now have the existence of natural
>cycles, as well as a human caused component. The
>human caused component has been shown to be a
>significant contribution to the global warming
>we are experiencing right now. ~ Pim

@ This is just about how significant the "human component" is:

[1] Global warming began when the doom-mongers
cast off their thermal underwear, climbed into
the leopardskin thongs, slathered themselves in
sun cream and wired their publishers to change
all references to "cooling" to "warming" and
voila! - in 1970 the planet stopped its very
slight global cooling and began to undergo very
slight global warming. But then in 1998 the
planet stopped its very slight global warming and
began to resume very slight global cooling. It
was at this time that the doom-mongers said,
"Look, do we really want to rewrite the bumper
stickers every 30 years? Let's just call it
'climate change.' That pretty much covers

[2] Warming and cooling of the climate is local
and regional in impact - not global. Learn it, live it, love it.

     (A.) This paper provides further evidence as
to why we need to focus on local and regional
scales if we are to better understand climate science. The new paper is
Alpert, P. Kishcha, Y. J. Kaufman and R.
Dimming or Local Dimming? ­ Effect of Urbanization on Sunlight Availability”
Geophysical Research Letters,32, L17802, doi:10.1029/2005GL023320. 2005.

The abstract of the paper is :

 From the 1950s to the 1980s, a significant
decrease of surface solar radiation has been
observed at different locations throughout the
world. Here we show that this phenomenon, widely
termed global dimming, is dominated by the large
urban sites. The global-scale analysis of
year-to-year variations of solar radiation fluxes
shows a decline of 0.41 W/m2/yr for highly
populated sites compared to only 0.16 W/m2/yr for
sparsely populated sites (<0.1 million).

Since most of the globe has sparse population,
this suggests that solar dimming is of local or regional nature.

The dimming is sharpest for the sites at 10°N to
40°N with great industrial activity. In the
equatorial regions even the opposite trend to
dimming is observed for sparsely populated sites.

This paper illustrates the importance of
spatially heterogeneous diabatic heating, as was
discussed, for example, on our weblog of July
28th entitled “What is the Importance to Climate
of Heterogeneous Spatial Trends in Tropospheric
Temperatures?”, and recommended in the 2005
National Research Council report
forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties”.
was my Comment on the David Parker’s article in
Nature in November 18 2004 entitled “Large-scale
warming is not urban” not
New Study On The Importance of Land-Surface Types
Including Urbanization on Surface Temperatures »

Click link to continue:
    (A) One of the most decorated French
geophysicists has converted from a believer in
__manmade__ catastrophic global warming to a
climate skeptic.

This latest defector from the global warming camp
caps a year in which numerous scientific studies
have bolstered the claims of climate skeptics.

Scientific studies that debunk the dire
predictions of __human-caused__ global warming
have continued to accumulate and many believe the
new science is shattering the media-promoted
scientific “consensus” on climate alarmism.

Claude Allegre, a former [g--------t] official
and an active member of France’s [S--------
P----], wrote an editorial on September 21, 2006
in the French newspaper L'Express titled “The
Snows of Kilimanjaro” detailing his newfound
skepticism about manmade global warming. See:

Allegre wrote that the “cause of climate change
remains unknown” and pointed out that Kilimanjaro
is not losing snow due to global warming, but to
local land use and precipitation changes. Allegre
also pointed out that studies show that Antarctic
snowfall rate has been stable over the past 30
years and the continent is actually gaining ice.

“Following the month of August experienced by the
northern half of France, the prophets of doom of
global warming will have a lot on their plate in
order to make our fellow countrymen swallow their
certitudes,” Allegre wrote. He also accused
proponents of manmade catastrophic global warming
of being motivated by money, noting that “the
ecology of helpless protesting has become a very
lucrative business for some people!”

Allegre, a member of both the French and U.S.
Academy of Sciences, had previously expressed
concern about manmade global warming. "By burning
fossil fuels, man enhanced the concentration of
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which has raised
the global mean temperature by half a degree in
the last century," Allegre wrote 20 years ago. In
addition, Allegre was one of 1500 scientists who
signed a November 18, 1992 letter titled “World
Scientists' Warning to Humanity” in which the
scientists warned that global warming’s
“potential risks are very great.” See:

Allegre has authored more than 100 scientific
articles, written 11 books and received numerous
scientific awards including the Goldschmidt Medal
from the Geochemical Society of the United States.

Allegre's conversion to a climate skeptic comes
at a time when global warming alarmists have
insisted that there is a “consensus” about manmade global warming.

Proponents of global warming have ratcheted up
the level of rhetoric on climate skeptics
recently. An environmental magazine in September
called for Nuremberg-style trials for global
warming skeptics and CBS News “60 Minutes”
correspondent Scott Pelley compared skeptics to
“Holocaust deniers.” See hot link at:
In addition, former [V--- P--------] [A- G---]
has repeatedly referred to skeptics as "global warming deniers."

This increase in rhetorical flourish comes at a
time when new climate science research continues
to unravel the global warming alarmists’ computer
model predictions of future climatic doom and
vindicate skeptics. [snip] Click above ASA link to continue.


>As to the hockey stick graph, I ran across my
>good friend Tim Lambert when researching this
>online [snip] ....In other words, Janice's
>objections to the Hockey Stick are the real red
>herring as it ignores that the data are
>statistically significant, and even though the
>program may produce hockey sticks using random
>data, the resulting match is not one of
>statistical significance. Statistics 101. And
>perhaps an apology is in order for calling the
>hockey stick fraudulent? Hope this clarifies. ~ Pim

@ The red herring is yours, sorry. Tim Lambert
is a __computer__ scientist at the University of New South Wales.

Your friend can stay up to speed on "climate
science" here: December 6, 2006

"Climate experts" is the operative term
here. Excerpted from the item below which quotes
"CLIMATE" experts and what sort of weight they
give to other sorts of scientific opinions:

"Among experts who actually examine the causes of
change on a global scale, many concentrate their
research on designing and enhancing computer
models of hypothetical futures. "These models
have been consistently wrong in all their

Scientists respond to A G's warnings of climate
catastrophe "The Inconvenient Truth" is indeed inconvenient to alarmists
Canada Free Press
| June 15, 2006 | Tom Harris

"Scientists have an independent obligation to
respect and present the truth as they see it," A
G sensibly asserts in his film "An Inconvenient
Truth." With that outlook in mind, what do world
climate experts actually think about the science of his movie?

Professor Bob Carter of the Marine Geophysical
Laboratory at James Cook University, in Australia
gives what, for many Canadians, is a surprising
assessment: "A G 's circumstantial arguments are
so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply
incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention."

But surely Carter is merely part of what most
people regard as a tiny cadre of "climate change
skeptics" who disagree with the "vast majority of scientists" A G cites?

No; Carter is one of hundreds of highly qualified
non-governmental, non-industry, non-lobby group
climate experts who contest the hypothesis that
human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are
causing significant __global__ climate change.

"Climate experts" is the operative term here. Why?

Because what A G 's "majority of scientists"
think is immaterial when __only a very small
fraction__ of them actually work in the climate field.

Even among that fraction, many focus their
studies on the impacts of climate change;
biologists, for example, who study everything
from insects to polar bears to poison ivy. "While
many are highly skilled researchers, they
generally do not have special knowledge about the
causes of global climate change," explains former
University of Winnipeg climatology professor Dr.
Tim Ball. "They usually can tell us only about
the effects of changes in the local environment
where they conduct their studies."

This is highly valuable knowledge, but doesn't
make them climate change cause experts, only climate impact experts.

So we have a smaller fraction.

But it becomes smaller still.

Among experts who actually examine the causes of
change on a global scale, many concentrate their
research on designing and enhancing computer
models of hypothetical futures. "These models
have been consistently wrong in all their
scenarios," asserts Ball. "Since modelers concede
computer outputs are not "predictions" but are in
fact merely scenarios, they are negligent in
letting policy-makers and the public think they
are actually making forecasts."

We should listen most to scientists who use real
data to try to understand what nature is actually
telling us about the causes and extent of global
climate change. In this relatively small
community, there is no consensus, despite what A G and others would suggest.

Here is a small sample of the side of the debate we almost never hear:

Appearing before the Commons Committee on
Environment and Sustainable Development last
year, Carleton University paleoclimatologist
Professor Tim Patterson testified, "There is no
meaningful correlation between CO2 levels and
Earth's temperature over this [geologic] time
frame. In fact, when CO2 levels were over ten
times higher than they are now, about 450 million
years ago, the planet was in the depths of the
absolute coldest period in the last half billion
years." Patterson asked the committee, "On the
basis of this evidence, how could anyone still
believe that the recent relatively small increase
in CO2 levels would be the major cause of the past century's modest warming?"

Patterson concluded his testimony by explaining
what his research and "hundreds of other studies"
reveal: on all time scales, there is very good
correlation between Earth's temperature and
natural celestial phenomena such changes in the brightness of the Sun.

Dr. Boris Winterhalter, former marine researcher
at the Geological Survey of Finland and professor
in marine geology, University of Helsinki, takes
apart A G 's dramatic display of Antarctic
glaciers collapsing into the sea. "The breaking
glacier wall is a normally occurring phenomenon
which is due to the normal advance of a glacier,"
says Winterhalter. "In Antarctica the temperature
is low enough to prohibit melting of the ice
front, so if the ice is grounded, it has to break
off in beautiful ice cascades. If the water is
deep enough icebergs will form."

Dr. Wibjörn Karlén, emeritus professor, Dept. of
Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology,
Stockholm University, Sweden, admits, "Some small
areas in the Antarctic Peninsula have broken up
recently, just like it has done back in time. The
temperature in this part of Antarctica has
increased recently, probably because of a small
change in the position of the low pressure systems."

But Karlén clarifies that the 'mass balance' of
Antarctica is positive - more snow is
accumulating than melting off. As a result, Ball
explains, there is an increase in the 'calving'
of icebergs as the ice dome of Antarctica is
growing and flowing to the oceans. When Greenland
and Antarctica are assessed together, "their mass
balance is considered to possibly increase the
sea level by 0.03 mm/year - not much of an effect," Karlén concludes.

The Antarctica has survived warm and cold events
over millions of years. A meltdown is simply not
a realistic scenario in the foreseeable future.

A G tells us in the film, "Starting in 1970,
there was a precipitous drop-off in the amount
and extent and thickness of the Arctic ice cap."

This is misleading, according to Ball: "The
survey that A G cites was a single transect
across one part of the Arctic basin in the month
of October during the 1960s when we were in the
middle of the cooling period. The 1990 runs were
done in the warmer month of September, using a wholly different technology."

Karlén explains that a paper published in 2003 by
University of Alaska professor Igor Polyakov
shows that, the region of the Arctic where rising
temperature is supposedly endangering polar bears
showed fluctuations since 1940 but no overall
temperature rise. "For several published records
it is a decrease for the last 50 years," says Karlén

Dr. Dick Morgan, former advisor to the World
Meteorological Organization and climatology
researcher at University of Exeter, U.K. gives
the details, "There has been some decrease in ice
thickness in the Canadian Arctic over the past 30
years but no melt down. The Canadian Ice Service
records show that from 1971-1981 there was
average, to above average, ice thickness. From
1981-1982 there was a sharp decrease of 15% but
there was a quick recovery to average, to
slightly above average, values from 1983-1995. A
sharp drop of 30% occurred again 1996-1998 and
since then there has been a steady increase to
reach near normal conditions since 2001."

Concerning A G 's beliefs about worldwide
warming, Morgan points out that, in addition to
the cooling in the NW Atlantic, massive areas of
cooling are found in the North and South Pacific
Ocean; the whole of the Amazon Valley; the north
coast of South America and the Caribbean; the
eastern Mediterranean, Black Sea, Caucasus and
Red Sea; New Zealand and even the Ganges Valley in India.

Morgan explains, "Had the IPCC used the standard
parameter for climate change (the 30 year
average) and used an equal area projection,
instead of the Mercator (which doubled the area
of warming in Alaska, Siberia and the Antarctic
Ocean) warming and cooling would have been almost in balance."

A G 's point that 200 cities and towns in the
American West set all time high temperature
records is also misleading according to Dr. Roy
Spencer, Principal Research Scientist at The
University of Alabama in Huntsville.

"It is not unusual for __some locations, out of
the thousands of cities and towns in the U.S.__,
to set all-time records," he says. "The actual
data shows that overall, recent temperatures in the U.S. were not unusual."

Carter does not pull his punches about A G 's
activism, "The man is an embarrassment to US
science and its many fine practitioners, a lot of
whom know (but feel unable to state publicly)
that his propaganda crusade is mostly based on junk science."

In April sixty of the world's leading experts in
the field asked Prime Minister Harper to order a
thorough public review of the science of climate
change, something that has never happened in
Canada. Considering what's at stake - either the
end of civilization, if you believe Gore, or a
waste of billions of dollars, if you believe his
opponents - it seems like a reasonable request. ~

Noted here, among other places, also:
Gore's Bad Science--Scientists respond to Al's An Inconvenient Truth.

~ Janice

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Wed Dec 6 13:03:26 2006

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Dec 06 2006 - 13:03:26 EST