The politics of climate

Published in Expansión

Ten or twelve years ago I had a long lunch with the representative that Al Gore had sent to Spain, who would later work as a high rank official in the Obama Administration. In those years I had had the opportunity to personally meet President Clinton but not Gore, although I had seen his documentary An Inconvenient Truth during a long and sleepless transatlantic flight. As a lover of nature and, above all, of the sea, I was very interested in environmental issues and did some homework previous to the lunch, which was my first serious contact with global warming. To my surprise, my otherwise charming lunch partner limited his interventions to repeating propaganda slogans, some of which had no scientific or even logical basis, and to establishing too-happy cause-effect relationships which I took with a great deal of skepticism. Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas: not in vain did Roman poet Virgil call fortunate anyone who knew the cause of things, for we all know the enormous difficulty involved in distinguishing correlation from causality. This spurred my curiosity and so I began a decade of reading and reflection devouring books and specialized articles and discovering three things: first, that there was scientific controversy over the many loopholes in the theory of anthropogenetic global warming (no “consensus”); second, that alarmism was pure propaganda not backed by science (no Apocalypse), and third, that many had made a living out of this, with power and money mattering more than science. Understanding that this information was being withheld from the public, I decided over the years to write sporadically on the subject, reporting on the reality of the data, backed by sources that had the scientific credentials and authority that I logically lacked.

Throughout this time I have observed that most people who for the first time hear truthful data contrary to what the media obsessively repeats to them feel as if they have been freed from a spell, such is the social pressure. Sometimes someone appears who, by not bothering to consult the sources of my articles even though they have been published omits or ignores the fact that the main responsible for the greenhouse effect is water vapor and not trace gases such as CO2 (0.04% of the atmosphere) or methane, ignores that the net oxygen contribution of forests is negligible[1], and overlooks that there is controversy in the paleoclimatic evidence with studies indicating that historically CO2 has tended to increase about 800 years after temperatures (Vakulenko et al. quoted by R. Spencer[2]), or that there is a negative CO2-temperature correlation between 1940 and 1975 (CO2 increased as the planet cooled) and a very weak correlation in the 21st century. Some also confuse, based more on subjective impressions than on scientific measurements, the variability of local meteorology with the planet’s climate, and do not understand that, except by suggestion, it is impossible to notice climate changes from year to year (the irregular rate of global warming since 1979 has been around 0.15°C per decade[3]). How can this happen? No doubt Gore’s biased documentary did a lot of damage, as many confused the effective propaganda of a seasoned politician – a trap for the unwary that took advantage of Hurricane Katrina – with scientific truth. These people may be unaware that less than a year after its launch, a British High Court of Justice ruled, after a timely trial, that it contained at least nine scientific errors, called it “political” and warned that its “apocalyptic vision” had nothing to do with an impartial scientific analysis (The Telegraph, 11-10-07[4]). Years have passed, and what remains of Al Gore’s catastrophic predictions when compared to reality? They remind me of the doomsayers of the Middle Ages preaching the end of the world. An example: Gore echoed in 2008 that there was research that said that there was a “75% chance” that the Arctic (which is losing ice) would run out of ice in the summer of 2013[5]. In the summer 2019 minimum, Arctic ice covered 4 million km2, eight times the surface of Spain (National Snow and Ice Data Center, 17-9-19[6]). There is much literature on the fallacies of An Inconvenient Truth, but I recommend Inconvenient Facts, by geologist G. Wrightstone, and A Disgrace to the Profession, by M. Steyn.

No wonder the Nobel Prize in Physics Robert Laughlin said: “Please remain calm. We have no power to control the climate”. NASA studies claim that Antarctica, which has 1,250 times more ice than the Arctic (whose volume of ice is relatively irrelevant and does not affect the level of the oceans), is gaining ice (Zwally et al. 2015, 2018)[7]; sea levels have been rising since the lowest point of the last glaciation some 20,000 years ago[8], and are now doing so at a rate of between 1.5 and 3mm per year (IPCC AR5, WG 1, Ch. 3.7[9]; Humlum, 2018[10]; Houston and Dean, 2011); at this rate, by 2100 sea levels would rise by only 12 to 24 centimeters. There is also no longer a problem of deforestation on the planet (Nature no. 560, Aug 2018[11]; FAO 2018[12]) and, very importantly, it is proven that neither hurricanes, droughts nor floods have increased for a century (IPCC 5th Report, WG 1, chap. 2.6[13]). Finally, from 1998 to 2014 the global temperature has barely increased. This “hiatus”, as scientists call it, destroys the hypothesis of the prophets of doom, so they shy away from it like the vampire from holy water, denying it years later in spite of the evidence (“The annual-mean global temperature has not risen in the twenty-first century”, Nature, n.501, Sep. 2013[14]; “Climate Models and the Hiatus in Global Mean Surface Warming in the last 15 years”, IPCC 5th Report, WG1, p.61, 2014; “The Recent Pause in Global Warming: A Temporary Blip or Something More Permanent?”, NASA Langley Colloquium, Aug. 2014[15]). Don’t trust me, but your own eyes: look for the sources at www.fpcs.es and judge for yourself.

These reassuring facts are systematically hidden from the public, and I wonder: why? In Western countries, climate change activists (and those who make a living out of it) try to suppress the free exchange of data and opinions and literally silence the views of those who make use of the freedom of science, thought and opinion, and I ask myself again: if this is only science and not politics, isn’t such infamous attempt of censorship a bit odd?

Truth and freedom always go hand in hand, as do deceit and oppression. In his famous farewell speech, President Eisenhower warned us that political power and money (which decide which research is funded and what goes to the media) could turn science into a dangerous power tool by taking advantage of the ignorance of the general public. On the other hand, the power junkies constantly use human passions to achieve their goals: anger, envy and, of course, fear, which transforms free, rational citizens into a frightened, easily manageable mob. Global warming, then climate change and now climate emergency (the new slogan) uses “science” to intimidate and uses fear to control the people through a massive use of propaganda, typical to the political-ideological project that it really is, a real threat to progress and freedom.

 

Fernando del Pino Calvo-Sotelo

www.fpcs.es

 

[1] https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/no-the-amazon-fires-wont-deplete-the-earths-oxygen-supply-heres-why and also https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/08/why-amazon-doesnt-produce-20-percent-worlds-oxygen/
[2] The Great Global Warming Blunder by Roy Spencer, 2010, p. 29 and others.
[3] http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/
[4] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/earthnews/3310137/Al-Gores-nine-Inconvenient-Untruths.html
[5] https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-20/inconvenient-truth-al-gore-ice-still-there
[6] https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

[7] https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasa-study-mass-gains-of-antarctic-ice-sheet-greater-than-losses  and also  https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-glaciology/article/mass-gains-of-the-antarctic-ice-sheet-exceed-losses/983F196E23C3A6E7908E5FB32EB42268
[8] https://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/gornitz_09/
[9] https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/WG1AR5_all_final.pdf
[10] https://www.thegwpf.org/new-report-global-warming-is-not-accelerating/
[11] https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0411-9
[12]  http://www.fao.org/3/I9535EN/i9535en.pdf
[13] https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/WG1AR5_all_final.pdf
[14]  https://www.nature.com/articles/nature12534
[15] https://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/press_releases/lectures/Loeb_LaRC_Colloq.pdf

 

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