Very nicely written article. Very informative and well documented. mrossol
The Epoch Times. 2/21/2021
A few days ago, my husband and I were chatting about the freezing weather in Texas and the resulting blackouts. My daughter got grumpy when she heard us and said, “So you don’t believe in global warming?”
“Not necessarily. If you want to convince me, answer my questions,” my husband said. “First, is it true that we have global warming? See how cold Texas gets and how much snow we are getting.”
“Scientists said these are caused by global warming! I can find out,” said my daughter.
“OK. Second, if global warming is true, is it caused by carbon dioxide or by human activities? Third, would it help if the United States and Europe stopped emitting carbon dioxide while China can do whatever it wants? You know, the emissions from China are more than those from the United States and Europe combined.”
“Global warming is an interesting topic for my writing, I guess,” I interjected.
“No! You can write about anything but global warming!” my daughter yelled.
“Because it’s stupid!”
“Why is it stupid? I am going to research it.”
“The scientists… the United Nations… NASA said global warming is true! If you doubt it, it is like you are saying the earth is flat!”
“Well, I don’t think the earth is flat, and I will do some research on global warming,” I said.
“But what you write is about socialism stuff. That’s politics. Global warming is SCIENCE!”
“OK, if it is a science, people should be allowed to debate about it based on evidence and data, right? Why are you so upset? I am just curious to find answers to your dad’s questions. I don’t think you would be upset if I wrote about whales and sea turtles, and checked which of them swims faster.”
At that point, I made up my mind to do the research and find out why my daughter was so nervous about this topic.
Explaining Texas Freezing as a Symptom of Global Warming
Since my daughter mentioned NASA, I researched NASA first. They’ve published a video showing the global surface temperature changes from 1880 to 2020. It looks like the global surface temperatures are getting higher, especially since 2005. The temperature increase at the North Pole is most obvious.
But why is Texas, in the Sunshine Belt, getting so cold? According to mainstream media, like the New York Times, a warmer Arctic Sea and thinner Arctic sea ice is the reason for colder continents in lower latitudes of the northern hemisphere. This is because the warmth weakens the circulating “jet stream” holding the cold polar air, so the frigid air escapes to the lower latitude areas.
Although this is the media’s standard answer, in scientific circles it is still considered a hypothesis and has been challenged by prominent climate scientists:
“It’s an interesting idea, but alternative observational analyses and simulations with climate models have not confirmed the hypothesis, and we do not view the theoretical arguments underlying it as compelling.
… Coincidence does not in itself constitute a strong case for causality. Cold air outbreaks even more severe than occurred this winter affected the United States in the early 1960s, the late 1970s (most notably 1977), and in 1983, back when the Arctic sea ice was thicker and more extensive than it is today.”
—John Wallace, Isaac Held, David Thompson, Kevin Trenberth, and John Walsh, in a 2014 letter published in Science.
“Over the past six or so years, there has been a surge of modelling studies suggesting only a weak influence of Arctic warming on mid-latitudes. The magnitudes of the simulated responses are consistently weaker than observations might imply, for reasons that are uncertain and contentious.”
—Russell Blackport and James A. Screen, in a 2020 letter published in Nature.
Apparently, scientists haven’t found a compelling explanation for the extreme winter chill in Texas in the context of global warming. That is quite inconvenient for climate apocalypse advocates.
Global warming has been held as the culprit for all kinds of miseries, like hurricanes, droughts, flooding, wildfires, heatwaves, malaria, and rising sea levels. Therefore, extreme winter cold has to be caused by global warming somehow, right? Just as Liz Sherwood-Randall, President Biden’s homeland security adviser, told reporters on Feb. 18, “The extreme weather events that we’re experiencing this week … do yet again demonstrate to us that climate change is real and it’s happening now, and we’re not adequately prepared for it.”
Global Warming vs. Hurricanes
“Hurricanes have been depicted as the literal poster-child of the harmful impacts of global warming.”
—Christopher Landsea, American meteorologist
Thanks to Chapter Sixteen (Parts I and II) of The Epoch Times book “How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World,” I was shown a gateway to an ocean of knowledge about climate change.
Christopher Landsea is an American meteorologist and hurricane expert. On his webpage on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website, I found an article on the relationship between hurricanes and global warming.
In the article, Dr. Landsea indicates that he believes that global warming has occurred, and human activities have contributed to the warming. However, according to his research, “the overall impact of global warming on hurricanes is currently negligible and likely to remain quite tiny even a century from now.”
Global warming increases both ocean temperature and air temperature. According to Dr. Landsea, higher ocean temperature contributes to the formation of tropical storms or hurricanes, while higher air temperature aloft impedes the storms. Other factors—like air moisture, thunderstorms, and wind—might play bigger roles than ocean temperature.
Dr. Landsea’s prediction is—if the global temperature increases by a significant 2–3°C (4–6°F) by 2100—that the number of hurricanes may decrease by 25 percent, the intensity may increase slightly (approx. 3 percent), storm surges may increase by 3 percent, and rainfall may increase by 10 percent per hurricane.
Wait a second! Aren’t we getting more hurricanes and bigger damage in recent years? Some studies showed that the number of hurricanes and tropical storms has increased from 6–8 per year in the 1870s to 14–16 per year in the 2000s, while the sea surface temperature increased by over 0.78°C (1.5°F) during the 100-year period.
Dr. Landsea argued that the increase of hurricanes can be attributed to the more advanced technologies to detect and monitor hurricanes. Tropical storms and hurricanes form above the oceans. Most or all of their power would be dissipated above the oceans. Nowadays, researchers have aircraft, satellites, radar, buoys, and automated weather stations to monitor hurricanes. Many of these technologies were not available decades ago. Therefore, it is impossible to get accurate historical data on the actual number of hurricanes.
An alternative way to evaluate the trend is to check those storms and hurricanes that have struck land. By this measure, more hurricanes made landfall in 1933 than in 2005, and the long-term upward trend in numbers disappears significantly.
As for the increased damage by the hurricanes, Dr. Landsea explained that it is caused by more wealth we own per capita, and much more population on the U.S. coastlines. From Maine to Texas, the coastal population has increased from 10 million in 1900 to almost 50 million in 2000. If these factors are taken into consideration, or, if we calculated the damage of the historical hurricanes based on today’s society, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was not as powerful as the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926, and the hurricane damage from 1996 to 2005 would be equivalent to that between 1926 to 1935. “There have been no peer-reviewed studies published anywhere that refute this. However, this normalized record of damages does provide us with some indications of hurricane climate variations that likely are unrelated to global warming,” Landsea wrote.
In his celebrated 1974 “Cargo Cult” lecture, the late Richard Feynman [1965 Nobel Prize in Physics Laureate] admonished scientists to discuss objectively all the relevant evidence, even that which does not support the narrative. That’s the difference between science and advocacy.
—Steven E. Koonin, Theoretical Physicist, Director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York Univ.
Dr. Steven E. Koonin is the former undersecretary for science of the U.S. Department of Energy. In an article he wrote for the Wall Street Journal in November 2017, he lamented that many climate scientists show data out of complete historical context in order to support their narratives. This practice, however, violates “basic scientific norms.”
He pointed out that, in the U.S. government’s Climate Science Special Report to be published in November, the description of sea-level rise was questionable. “The report ominously notes that while global sea level rose an average 0.05 inch a year during most of the 20th century, it has risen at about twice that rate since 1993. But it fails to mention that the rate fluctuated by comparable amounts several times during the 20th century. The same research papers the report cites show that recent rates are statistically indistinguishable from peak rates earlier in the 20th century, when human influences on the climate were much smaller.”
This is not the only example of misleading omission in the report. “The report’s executive summary declares that U.S. heat waves have become more common since the mid-1960s, although acknowledging the 1930s Dust Bowl as the peak period for extreme heat. Yet buried deep in the report is a figure showing that heat waves are no more frequent today than in 1900.”
This governmental report was written by a team of about 30 scientists. The artifice revealed by Dr. Koonin also appeared in other official climate reports for the U.S. government and the United Nations.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations has promoted the theory that malaria and other insect-borne diseases are getting more widespread as the climate warms. However, according to a 2011 Forbes article, “The World Health Organization reports global malaria deaths have declined by nearly 40% during the past decade, even as the earth experienced its ‘hottest decade on record.’” An article published in Nature in 2011 presented a scientific study that found that “warmer temperatures seem to slow transmission of malaria-causing parasites, by reducing their infectiousness.”
As for the relationship between droughts and global warming, David Legates, former Director of the Center for Climatic Research at the University of Delaware, testified to a Senate committee in 2014 that “droughts in the United States are more frequent and more intense during colder periods.”
William Happer, a research physicist and former vice president for research at Princeton University, testified to a Senate subcommittee that “In spite of the drumbeat of propaganda, CO2, is not ‘carbon pollution,’” but brings “increased agricultural yields.” He also pointed out that “various mainstream climate models have predicted much more warming than observed.”
Current climate researchers rely almost entirely on computer models to do their studies, because the complexity of the climate problem makes it impossible to experiment and validate under controlled conditions in the laboratory. However, the climate models are far from perfect. According to Joanne Simpson, an award-winning NASA atmospheric scientist, “We all know the frailty of models concerning the air-surface system.”
The late Princeton physicist, Freeman Dyson, pointed out that, while clouds are a very important factor that affects the climate, climate models cannot simulate them realistically because they are “far too small and too diverse.” He also said, “You can learn a lot from [models], but you cannot learn what’s going to happen 10 years from now.”
Global Warming vs. Carbon Dioxide vs. Humans
The earth has gone through cycles of warming and cooling throughout history. According to Dr. Takuro Kobashi and other Japanese researchers, 11,270 years ago the temperatures in the northern hemisphere rose about 4°C (7°F) within a few years. 8,000 years ago, the Greenland temperature cooled by about 3°C (5°F) in less than 20 years, followed by a warming that lasted for about 70 years.
Chinese scientist Zhu Kezhen pointed out that the annual average temperature in China 3000 years ago was about 2°C (4°F) higher than the current temperature. Elephants were roaming the plains at the same latitude as Little Rock, Arkansas. One thousand years ago, Europe experienced 300 years of the Medieval Warm Period. It was followed by a 400-year cold period called the “Little Ice Age,” which resulted in a wide range of food shortages and famines.
Whether the current warming is largely caused by humans, or part of a natural climate fluctuation, is a debatable topic in scientific circles. Some scientists believe that galactic cosmic ray flux or solar activities play bigger roles in climate change than man-made carbon dioxide emissions.
In addition, according to “Modeling Climatic Effects of Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide Emissions: Unknowns and Uncertainties,” a research paper published in the Climate Research journal in November 2001, scientists found that the warming effect of greenhouse gases (mainly carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide) can be mitigated by factors like stratus clouds. “A 4% increase in the area of stratus clouds over the globe could potentially compensate for the estimated warming of a doubled atmospheric CO2 concentration.”
In 2013, Dr. Hans von Storch, a German climate scientist reported a phenomenon that cannot be explained by the current climate models: “Recent CO2 emissions have actually risen even more steeply than we feared. As a result, according to most climate models, we should have seen temperatures rise by around 0.25°C (0.45°F) over the past 10 years. That hasn’t happened. In fact, the increase over the last 15 years was just 0.06°C (0.11°F).”
The Sacred ‘Consensus’ and the Canceled Scientists
IPCC’s establishment in 1988 signified the entry of global warming into the political realm.
Every five years, IPCC publishes an authoritative report for policymakers involved in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The objective of the UNFCCC is “to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system …” Apparently, the assumption here is that humans are the culprit creating “interference with the climate system.”
In her testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives in March 2017, Dr. Judith Curry, a climate scientist at Georgia Tech Univ. pointed out that, with the mandate of the UNFCCC, “the climate community has prematurely elevated a scientific hypothesis on human-caused climate change to a ruling theory through claims of a consensus.”
Dr. Frederick Seitz, the 17th president of the United States National Academy of Sciences, published an article in the Wall Street Journal in 1996 that criticized the newly released IPCC Assessment Report. He discovered that the published report did not contain any statements expressing uncertainty about humans’ roles in climate change although these statements were in the final peer-reviewed version approved by the contributing scientists.
A Forbes report revealed that the report “used selective data, a doctored graph,” in addition to the omissions mentioned by Dr. Seitz. It also mentioned that “several tens of thousands of scientists have lodged formal protests regarding unscientific IPCC practices. Some critics include former supporters.”
With practices like this, a “consensus” is established: Climate change is caused by human activities; extreme weather events will result; substantial and increasing damage will occur.
Dr. Stephen Schneider, an advocate of the “consensus,” and a Lead Author of IPCC’s Third Assessment Report, was quoted by Jonathan Schell in a 1989 Discover magazine article talking about the strategy for spreading the “consensus”: “We need to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.”
As science becomes the servant of politics, scientists who stood their ground against the “consensus” tasted the chilling cancel culture. Quite a lot of examples were given in the book “How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World.”
Physicist Michael Griffin, then the administrator of NASA, expressed in an interview with NPR in 2007 that higher temperatures are not necessarily bad for humans. He was immediately criticized by the media and some climate scientists, and had to apologize for the controversy to NASA employees the following week.
Swedish meteorologist Lennart Bengtsson, then the director of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, received intense repercussions in 2014 because he joined the board of The Global Warming Policy Foundation, a think tank promoting open-mindedness on the science of global warming. He had to resign from the foundation within two weeks due to tremendous pressure.
The late David Bellamy, a famous British botanist, stated publicly that he did not believe in the “consensus.” As a result, in 2004 he lost his leadership roles in Plantlife International and the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts. The BBC also stopped working with him on nature programs. He was even spat on in a London street by activists.
Similarly, Dr. Hendrik Tennekes, a Dutch meteorologist, lost his position as the director of research at the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute in 1995, after publishing an article criticizing the accuracy of climate models.
The list goes on. Many researchers also lost their funding because of their stance against the “consensus.”
In a 2015 Senate hearing, Dr. Judith Curry testified that “A climate scientist making a statement about uncertainty or degree of doubt in the climate debate is categorized as a denier or a ‘merchant of doubt,’ whose motives are assumed to be ideological or motivated by funding from the fossil fuel industry.” Dr. Curry herself was labeled as a “climate heretic” because of her expression of concerns on the “consensus.”
What Is Behind the Political-Scientific Alliance on Climate Change?
Now I started to understand my daughter’s fear. A label of “denier” of climate change make people think of Holocaust deniers. “How dare you not care about the future of mankind? How dare you not worry about a scorching earth with rampant fires and horrific hurricanes?” Also, the risk of being “canceled” socially or professionally is scary.
But what is behind the very obvious political-scientific alliance on climate change?
In a 2010 interview, IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer gave some startling confessional statements: “Basically it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization … One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy … One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.”
Sound familiar? Globalization. Wealth Redistribution. Green New Deal. The Great Reset. Climate Change is their common denominator.
This is a new form of socialism. Actually, not that new. Eco-marxism and eco-socialism are not new concepts. From the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century, British scientist Arthur Tansley, who originated the concept of ecology, and Darwinian zoologist Ray Lankester, were both Fabian socialists. Lankester was even a friend of Karl Marx. While Marx labeled capitalists as the enemies of workers, Tansley and Lankester labeled capitalism as the enemy of nature. Environmentalism is a convenient storefront for communists to continue the fight against the free world.
The Paris Climate Agreement is the result of climate change advocacy. According to the agreement, by 2025, developed countries must commit $100 billion annually to developing countries to help them “reduce emissions” and “adapt to climate change.” This is a brilliant wealth redistribution strategy.
Besides, the United States, which has 12 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, is supposed to cut emissions by 26–28 percent by 2025, while China, which has the highest share (23 percent) of emissions, is only required to “PEAK carbon emissions no later than 2030.” In other words, the Chinese Communist Party can do whatever it wants until 2030, without an upper limit for emissions. This kind of rule would definitely weaken the economy of the free world while boosting Chinese communist power.
Concepts like carbon neutrality (balancing carbon dioxide emissions with removal), carbon credit (tradable permit for emission), and carbon market are floating around and gaining momentum. A developed country whose carbon credits are used up can buy carbon credits from developing countries. This carbon credit can be a new form of currency, and it is a new way for wealth redistribution!
In November 2019, Bloomberg published an article with a chilling title: “Climate Changed. Earth Needs Fewer People to Beat the Climate Crisis, Scientists Say. More than 11,000 experts sign an emergency declaration warning that energy, food and reproduction must change immediately.”
Apparently, the social movements driven by the climate change theory are changing the world. Based on a glorified hypothesis and computer models, it is becoming a tyranny, a way to take away our freedom. I am going to share my research results with my daughter, and I hope it helps you to know more about it as well.
Jean Chen is originally from China, and writes under a pen name in order to protect her family in China.