Anyone not already familiar with the stance of geologists towards the global warming scare would have been shocked by the conference at the University of Ottawa at the end of May. In contrast to most environmental science meetings, climate skepticism was widespread among the thousand geoscientists from Canada, the United States and other countries who took part in GAC-MAC 2011 (the Joint Annual Meeting of the Geological Association of Canada, the Mineralogical Association of Canada, the Society of Economic Geologists and the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits).
The lead symposium of the conference, Earth climate: past, present, future, was especially revealing. Chaired by University of Toronto geology professor Andrew Miall, the session description starts: “The scientific debate about climate change is far from over. Some of the projections of climate change and its consequences contained in the 2007 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the United Nations’ IPCC) have been called into question. This symposium will address some of these issues and present a geological perspective on the scientific debate.”
The talks were from “climate rationalists,” defined by Australian geology professor Bob Carter of James Cook University as “persons who are critical (on balanced scientific grounds) of the IPCC’s alarmism … reflecting the primacy that such persons give to empirical data and thinking. The climate rationalist approach contrasts markedly with the untestable worlds of computer virtual reality that so many climate alarmists now inhabit.”
Leading off the GAC-MAC climate symposium was fellow Australian, Ian Plimer, professor in the School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at the University of Adelaide. In a keynote presentation entitled Human-induced climate change: Why I am skeptical, Plimer completely dismantled the greenhouse-gas-driven climate-change hypothesis. He showed how climate has varied naturally on all time scales and how recent changes are not unusual. Plimer explained the lack of meaningful correlation between the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) and planetary warming and cooling, and how “climate models throw no new light on climate processes.” He concluded, “Pollution kills, CO2 is plant food, H2O vapour is the main greenhouse gas…. Humans can adapt to future changes.”
Following Plimer were 14 other climate presentations by leading geoscientists. Henrik Svensmark of the National Space Institute in Denmark spoke about how cosmic ray variations in the atmosphere are influencing climate by changing the microphysics of clouds. University of Ottawa emeritus professor Ján Veizer presented his research describing the role of the Sun and water vapour on CO2 and climate change. Calgary geophysicist Norm Kalmanovitch showed how satellite radiation measurements demonstrate that the “enhanced greenhouse effect” from greenhouse gas emissions has never even existed to any measurable extent. Carleton University researcher Hafida El Bilali showed how her work with paleoclimatologist professor Tim Patterson revealed that variations in the output of the Sun have had major influences on regional climate for the past nine millennia.
And so it continued. Although one speaker presented information that was consistent with IPCC claims, no other presentation in the symposium supported the UN’s human-caused dangerous global warming hypothesis. In the discussion period following the talks, climate rationalists decried the lack of media or public attention to the symposium or their research findings. In the exhibit hall, few participants seemed interested in human-caused global warming. The catastrophic messages that so overwhelm other climate-related conferences were nowhere to be found.
Where were all the other scientist supporters of climate alarmism? Did they not know that climate was a major focus of this, the largest geologic conference in the country?
They knew. According to Miall, even though some were directly invited, they either refused to participate or ignored the invitation. “The people on the IPCC side generally will not debate,” explained Miall. “Anything that’s brought up that they disagree with, they say has been dealt with and is no longer considered important, or is a minor effect. This is often quite wrong.”
In the Q&A following the public lecture at last June’s Canadian Meteorological and Ocean Society (CMOS)/Canadian Geophysical Union Congress in Ottawa, the prospect of a public debate between the two sides was put to keynote speaker Warwick Vincent of Laval University. Vincent was supportive, as was a CMOS past president communicated with later. Yet, when I approached CMOS executives and directors about taking the steps necessary to arrange such a public event, the responses were negative to the point of abuse and nothing transpired.
This was perhaps not surprising. Proposals for a proper climate science debate have been opposed by CMOS leaders for a long time. As early as 1990, the chairman of the CMOS congress scientific committee, Tad Murty (then a senior research scientist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Institute of Ocean Sciences) tried to arrange a global-warming debate. But it never happened. Murty cites a “lack of enthusiasm” from other committee members as the reason.
When the Kyoto Protocol was created in December 1997, long-time CMOS member Madhav Khandekar (then just retired from his research scientist position at Environment Canada) highlighted several uncertainties in IPCC science and called for an open debate on the issue in the CMOS Bulletin. His article, Global warming & climate change in Canada: A need for an open scientific debate, was completely ignored by CMOS executives and its membership at large.
At this week’s congress in Victoria, CMOS, like many organizations of its ilk, still maintains a rigid stance of climate catastrophilia. The congress includes sessions described with clearly mistaken statements such as “Recent research has highlighted the irreversibility of CO2-induced climate change on centennial timescales …..” Other, less extreme but also unjustified assertions abound: “It has become widely recognized that under a changing climate, the frequency and intensity of meteorological/hydrological extreme events and associated damage costs would more likely increase in the 21st century.”
The narrow-mindedness of CMOS and other climate alarmists matters because they have the ear of the mass media, most of which uncritically reports on CMOS’ statements that the science is settled and debate unnecessary. Recent surveys show that the public is highly influenced by these assertions and so seriously flawed CMOS messages are incorporated into government pronouncements.
Miall maintains that the views of geoscientists are crucial for a proper understanding of climate.
“This should have been accepted practice all along, not because geoscientists are necessarily right, but because this should be the normal process of science,” said Miall. “The idea that any science is ‘finished’ violates all the norms of the science process, which should, by definition, be permanently open to new data and new ideas. The history of science is full of examples of so-called ‘normal science’ that is shown to be wrong on the basis of a single critical piece of data or a new idea. That’s all we were trying to do at the GAC meeting — keep our minds open.”
Uncomfortable though it may be for geoscientists, society needs them to speak out forcefully now. Otherwise, the climate alarm, its science failing but the movement still heavily funded, will stagger on, leading society into wasting billions of dollars more and destroying millions of jobs worldwide.
Tom Harris is the executive director of the International Climate Science Coalition.
Short summary: Climate scientists not interested in debating geoscientists as reported in the Financial Post section of the National Post
Story title: Canadian Climate Scientists and Canadian Geophysicists – not birds of a feather
SY1: Earth climate: past, present, future
Sponsored by / Parrainé par: /
Organizers / Organisateurs: Andrew Miall (U. Toronto)
Room / Salle: Montpetit MNT201
Time: 8:20 AM
Presenter: Ian Plimer
Keynote (40 min): Human-induced climate change: Why I am skeptical
Plimer, I., University of Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ice on Earth is rare. Planet Earth has been warmer and wetter than at present >80% of time and, since late Archaean, atmospheric CO2 has decreased from ~30%v to 0.039%v. The decrease in CO2 results from the long-term biota-assisted sequestration into carbonate rocks and altered rocks. In former times of high atmospheric CO2, oceans were not acid, there was no runaway greenhouse and the rate of change of temperature, sea level and ice waxing and waning was no different from the present. Doubling or quadrupling of CO2 will have very little effect on temperature unless atmospheric CO2 residence times increase by two orders of magnitude. To argue that temperature and sea level are increasing depends on when measurements first started. Since 1842, it has been known that coral atolls rise with rising sea level. Coastal planning based on ‘global sea level rise’ ignores compaction, sedimentation and tectonism.
Six major ice ages since the Palaeoproterozoic were all initiated when atmospheric CO2 was higher than now. CO2 increases follow temperature rises during deglaciation. Temperature decreases (1880-1910, 1940-1976, 1998-present) show no correlation of temperature with CO2 increase, therefore no causation. Ongoing Milankovitch, solar and PDO cycles will lead to another glaciation as part of the present ice age that started at 34 Ma.
Humans have adapted to live on ice, in mountains, in the desert, in the tropics and at sea level and can adapt to future changes. During interglacials, humans have created wealth; populations grow; glaciation is heralded by famine, starvation, disease, depopulation. Humans, although not the dominant biomass of Earth, have changed the surface of the planet. Pollution kills, CO2 is plant food, H2O vapour is the main greenhouse gas. Climate models throw no new light on climate processes.
Heartland Institute will host its Sixth International Conference on Climate Change in Washington, DC on June 30 – July 1, 2011 at the Marriott Wardman Park, 2660 Woodley Road NW.
Dozens of think tank cosponsors and hundreds of scientists will gather in an effort to “restore the scientific method” to its rightful place in the debate over the causes, consequences, and policy implications of climate change.
The theme of the conference, “Restoring the Scientific Method,” acknowledges the fact that claims of scientific certainty and predictions of climate catastrophes are based on “post-normal science,” which substitutes claims of consensus for the scientific method. This choice has had terrible consequences for science and society. Abandoning the scientific method led to the “Climategate” scandal and the errors and abuses of peer review by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The scientists speaking at this conference, and the hundreds more who are expected to attend, are committed to restoring the scientific method. This means abandoning the failed hypothesis of man-made climate change, and using real science and sound economics to improve our understanding of the planet’s ever-changing climate.
Heartland has been very active in the global warming debate, publishing books and monographs, maintaining multiple Web sites providing information on the issue, and in 2009, publishing Climate Change Reconsidered, a comprehensive reply to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Scores of other organizations have been invited to be co-sponsors to help supply speakers and promote the event to their members and supporters. Sponsors of previous ICCCs have included Americans for Tax Reform, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, and Science and Public Policy Institute, and Science and Environmental Policy Project.
The event is open to the public. Federal and state elected officials can attend for free.
Well I am busy getting ready for a mini-conference locally but it sounds like a good time. It also sounds like a death knell for AGW. Scientists are beginning to understand that the faked and tricked-up data put out by the Warmers is of no consequence and that climatic change is a result of multiple factors operating all over the globe...and the primary cause of warming remains Solar activity. Even Ian Plimer, no friend of creationists and therefore one of those multiple ice age guys still doubts AGW and presents a strong case. Check it out for yourself!