Update: View and download some of the charts and other material presented in this lecture by clicking on Global warming fundamentals available.
Speaking at a recent meeting of Libertarians of South Central Kansas, Wichita Geophysicist Dennis Hedke provided much useful information about the scientific basis of climate change science.
The presentation included a lot of data, with many charts and illustrations. This is important, as the global warming alarmists — I’ll call them “warmists” — base their case on data. Following are some notes from the talk.
Much of the data the warmists use is not credible, Hedke said. Some key points to remember:
- We’ve been looking for the greenhouse gas “signature” for years, and it hasn’t been found.
- There is no evidence to support the idea that carbon emissions cause significant warming.
- The satellites that measure temperature all say that the recent warming trend ended in 2001.
- Ice core data shows that in the past six global warming periods, the temperature rises occurred, on average, 800 years before an accompanying rise in carbon dioxide. This has been known, without dispute, since 2003. Yet Al Gore presented this evidence in his 2005 movie in support of carbon dioxide as the cause of global warming.
Other charts and graphs show that there is not a relationship between levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global temperature.
Water vapor is a greenhouse gas, and it provides a powerful warming effect. It is responsible for 95% of the greenhouse gas effect. Carbon dioxide is 3.5% Further, it’s estimated that human activity is responsible for just three to five percent of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
What drives temperature? The sun. The level of sunspot activity has a tremendous impact on temperature, more than any greenhouse gas effect.
The number of tornadoes is decreasing. So is the number of Atlantic hurricanes making landfall, and their windspeed, too. Warmists use increases in these as something bad that global warming will cause.
The famous “hockey stick” chart, the one that shows a very rapid rise in temperatures in recent years, is based on erroneous data.
The goal of radical environmentalists is to get rid of hydrocarbons, Hedke said.
Looking at the sources of energy, renewable sources such as solar and wind play just a tiny role in our nation’s energy supply. Even with these sources rapid growth — subsidized by government — they will continue to supply a small fraction of our entire energy needs.
Nuclear power holds the possibility of energy security for the United States. Currently, that is just a promise, as political considerations, not technology, hold back development of nuclear power.
In Denmark, which has relied heavily on wind power, electricity is the most expensive in Europe. Heavy reliance on wind there is now recognized as a mistake.
Cap-and-trade will be very expensive for consumers. Costs will skyrocket and will be passed on to consumers — according to Barack Obama while on the campaign trail last year.
The McCain-Lieberman cap-and-trade efforts will result in temperature reduction of just a tiny fraction of a degree. This would occur at a very high cost to the American economy.
Hedke recommends that we adopt these policies:
- Permit and build coal-fired power plants.
- Build nuclear plants, too.
- Open offshore waters open to gas and oil exploration and production.
- Eliminate subsidy to wind power production.
- Eliminate trying to manipulate greenhouse gases, as we can’t do much to impact the levels.
- Cancel the idea of cap-and-trade.
31,000 American scientists have signed the petition at Global Warming Petition Project, which reads “We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”
Hedke speaks about his topic with a great deal of passion and energy. He presents a lot of data, which is important, as our policies need to be based on a sound and thorough understanding and discussion of the science underlying climate change.