As a graduate chemical engineer I feel compelled to speak on this serious matter of global warming. I do not have an axe to grind because my software business has nothing to do with securing government grants for research into global warming. I do not work for a large corporation in the energy sector. I am not obliged to follow the apparent current scientific concensus concerning global warming. I am compelled by my scientific curiosity to seek the truth.
I wanted to be an engineer early in high school and my fascination with science was initiated and nutured by the late Mr Rupert Helmer, my science and chemistry teacher to whom I will always be indebted. The scientific method has advanced the frontiers of knowledge and improved life immensely on this planet. It saddens me to see the current misuse of science by politicians and the instant gratification derived from premature conclusions that give some scientists their 15 minutes of fame.
In my final year of chemical engineering we had to design and use computer models to run on the now infamous IBM 360 to predict how a distillation column would perform under various conditions. That simple bit of programming and matching of experimental data was a nightmare. Having said that, climate change computer models have become in vogue today as tools in the climate change business. In the May 2006 issue of New Scientist (page 7) it is stated that a climate change computer model could infer that by the year 3000 our climate could warm by as much as 7.7 degrees C. That’s right, its not a misprint, the climate model predicts that in 994 years “the climate could warm by as much as 7.7C” That ludicrous statement is incredible, misleading and complete nonsense with respect to predicting the climate in 1000 years based upon current computer climate models. This 1000 year prediction is junk food science at its best! The most powerful computer models of the day cannot forecast the weather/climate for the next 30 days let alone 1000 years into the future.
The best example of misleading information derived from climate change models is the now infamous hockey stick graph, that allegedly proved the global temperature rising dramatically from 1900 to 2000. Two Canadian researchers, Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick tried to verify this graph which was given the blessing of the United Nations, in the UN third assessment report in 2001. Michael Mann and his co workers who published the hockey stick graph were very reluctant to give their “data” (above) to others so that it could be verified. In fact it took 6 years before anyone thought of verifying the hockey stick graph because it was published by the United Nations, that to some is beyond reproach. In the end the two Canadian researchers found that they could feed any data they wanted into Michael Mann’s computer climate change model and make the graph appear any way they wished. Michael Mann’s graph is now dismissed and recognized as nonsense by climate scientists around the world. However, for over six years the infamous graph was trotted out in front of every one and any one to prove that planet earth is warming dramatically.
Earth’s climate is continuously (and has been for a long time) changing because the planet is not in thermodynamic equilibrium. It is impossible to perform a thermodynamic energy balance on planet earth and describe earth’s climate by a single temperature. Therefore referring to an average global temperature is as meaningless as quoting an average global telephone number. These principles are obvious to anyone who understands thermodynamics. The apparent rapid climate changes of late, are real and extremely complicated. Climate management, if possible, will not be achieved by simplistic solutions such as the KYOTO accord and its unrealistic emission targets of green house gases. The billions of dollars that would be wasted on carbon emission credits that Canada would pay to other countries should instead be used to immediately study and implement ways of making our use of energy more efficient until we move to a non fossil fuel energy source. Restricted shower nozzles and bricks in the toilet and every one taking a bicycle to work are not going to make a dent in our energy consumption. Very difficult, realistic and practical decisions based on reproducible scientific facts are going to be required and soon!
Until these difficult decisions are made, here is a simple first step that will put Canadians on the KYOTO road.
Obviously you are interested in numbers and interested in the truth or else you would not be on this web site. If you think the Banks have been pulling the wool over your eyes, they are amateurs compared to the cult of KYOTO ACCORD high priests. For an in depth, unbiased and factual discussion of “global warming” and examples of the current misuse of science in the Kyoto accord, the following book is a must read! As concerned and informed citizens of the planet we must shed unscientific, romantic notions of the planet above). We need to address global warming with realistic solutions today that dont require a paradigm shift in thinking or life style. If it is wrong to put future generations at risk of living on a defiled planet then it is also wrong to put current people at risk of a lower standard of living. I am sick and tired of listening to people complain about the so called future dilema without ever offering viable solutions now, other than destroying the world economy! Here is for example, a practical, realistic and achievable energy saving idea that can be achieved today, click here yet no one has even entertained implimenting it anywhere in Canada.
The following book is not sexy, fashionable or full of power point graphs but it is factual. You can either be taken in by Hollywood do gooders or you can decide for yourself, whats fact or fiction, once you digest this book!
TAKEN BY STORM, The troubled science, policy and politics of global warming. by Dr. Christopher Essex and Dr. Ross McKitrick. Key Porter Books, Printed and Bound in Canada.
Dr. Essex is a professor in the department of applied mathematics at the University of Western Ontario Dr. Ross McKitrick is an associate professor in the department of economics at the University of Guelph.
If you take the time to read this book you will discover the authors have presented an extremely complex topic in a well organized and logical manner. The study of global climate is far from being over. In fact, over 30 years ago, before it was fashionable to be an environmentalist, Dr. Timothy Ball was studying Global Climate. Dr. Ball is another Canadian scientist who shares Dr. Essex’ and Dr. McKitrick’s views. Global climate is extremely complex and dynamic. It is continuously changing. We currently understand very few of the many many complex variables that effect the global climate. It is not a simple as some people would lead you to believe. There is so much misinformation and junk food science today it is no wonder people are confused.
For example, on page 117 of the book, TAKEN BY STORM, the authors mention that Dr David Suzuki, a Canadian environmentalist , explained in the London Free Press (May 12, 1990) that automobiles get hot on sunny days because the carbon in the glass caused the warming. I will reiterate the two authors message with a blunt sentence. Suzuki’s explanation is pure nonsense! Attached is Suzuki’s Opinion column that appeared in the London Free Press in May 12, 1990. I felt compelled to verify the article (Suzuki, above) because of the skeptic in me. I thought initially the two authors were grandstanding in order to promote their book or that Dr. Suzuki was misquoted. I found it hard to believe that an environmentalist with a PHD did not understand the metaphorical statement “greenhouse effect”, worse still Dr. Suzuki did not know there is no carbon in glass. If Dr. David Suzuki is confused about these two elementary scientific facts, what else is he confused about?
On page 118 the two authors also point out that Environment Canada’s web site promotes the incorrect explanation of the “greenhouse effect” as the official government mantra. Junk food science is being force fed to our children and citizens. Its no wonder there is mass confusion running rampant concerning scientific matters. If we really want to do something for our childrens children then we need to stop teaching them that everything coming out of smoke stacks is pollution!
The documentary film, The Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore is the latest Hollywood rage. If you view that film, then for a balanced perspective on the truth of the matter you must also see the documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle. After viewing both films and reading the TAKEN BY STORM book you will be in a better position to try to understand the incredible complexity of CLIMATE CHANGE. You will then understand that climate is not just temperature.
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