Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Sun Did It

Sir Nicholas Stern, head of Britain's Government Economics Service and adviser to the government on the economics of climate change and development, has produced, with great fanfare, the "Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change", 700 pages of scary global warming propaganda, complete with tables and charts to make it look authoritative. British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, declares the Stern Review "the final word" on why we must act now to contain the damage we humans are doing to Mother Earth.

Stern threatens that if we don't do what he says, bad things will happen. Very bad things. One hundred million people will be flooded out of their homes. A billion people will run out of water due to melting glaciers. Hundreds of millions of "climate refugees" will wander the Earth, looking for a habitable spot. Forty percent of the world's species will die out. Twenty percent of the world economy will be obliterated. However, we can avoid all this if we raise taxes now, a mere 1% of the world's gross domestic product. Of course, most of the world doesn't produce much of the world's GDP, so those higher taxes will fall on productive nations like the USA.

Unfortunately, the Stern Report has the ripe smell of a political position, not a well-reasoned position based on irrefutable facts. Bjon Lomborg, the Skeptical Environmentalist, takes apart the report in the Wall Street Journal. Lomborg finds the Stern Review has cherry-picked its facts to support its fear-mongering conclusions. For example, the previous figure for the environmental cost of emitting a ton of carbon dioxide into the air has been placed at $2.50, a figure that has been criticized as too high. Stern places the cost at $85.

In some cases, Stern doesn't understand what his numbers represent. Stern claims that the increasing damage from hurricanes in the US is evidence of the effect of global warming. Lomborg points out that there is more damage because there is more to damage. The population of the US has increased, increasing the population of people living in hurricane-prone areas, and exposing more property to harm.

Lomborg concludes that Stern's recommendations would harm, rather than help: "Given reasonable inputs, most cost-benefit models show that dramatic and early carbon reductions cost more than the good they do. Mr. Stern's attempt to challenge that understanding is based on a chain of unlikely assumptions." Lomborg believes that money spent to ward off global warming is a poor investment. We would reap a higher return on investment in better health, nutrition, water, sanitation, and education.

Hans H.J. Labohm points out in TCS Daily that Stern's fellow economists have strongly criticized his report, claiming his conclusions are far too confident and unqualified given the uncertainty of projecting climate change. For example, Stern projects dire results from the current decade of melting glaciers in Greenland. However, Greenland's glaciers also had a decade of warming in the 1920s. The European glaciers Stern cites as additional evidence began retreating long before carbon dioxide accumulated enough to warm them. The problem is that the models upon which global warming rests can not predict the current climate based on known data, let alone confidently predict the future climate. Simply put, science can not predict the weather two weeks from now, let alone a century from now.

Christopher Monckton writes in the Sunday Telegraph that "the "climate-change" scare is less about saving the planet than, in Jacques Chirac's chilling phrase, "creating world government"." Monckton points how the global warming doomsday cult of politicians, government bureaucrats, and politicized scientists have cooked the evidence to support their political agenda. In other words, they are creating a phony crisis to gain more power for themselves. For example, he shows how the UN rewrote the Medieval Warm Period, the global warming which came and went from 1100 to 1300 AD, out of history to build the famous "hockey stick" which the greenies use to "prove" that the current warming is caused by humans. As one global warming scientist emailed indiscreetly to a colleague: "We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period." The facts didn't fit their politics.

The current warming trend is probably due to the sun, not anything human. William Herschel, an astronomer, was reading Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" two centuries ago when he notice that the grain prices Smith cited fell when the number of sunspots rose. In other words, when the sun flares up, it warms the Earth, more grain grew, and the glut of grain depressed prices.

The last fifty years has seen a warmer sun than in the last 11,400 years, according to Sami Solanki, a solar physicist. That accounts for a quarter of the past century's warming. Feedback from the climate amplifies that warming.

If you want to know what warmed the Earth, the sun did it.

**** UPDATE ****

For a good debunking of scare stories about global warming, try "A Challenge To Journalists Who Cover Global Warming" by Senator James Inhofe.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your link to Inhofe's document doesn't work.

Mon Dec 18, 08:39:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Tantor said...

Thanks. It looks like they removed it. I have replaced the link with another source. Try it again.

Tue Dec 19, 01:14:00 AM 2006  

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