Global Warming: A Convenient Lie
by Andrew Marshall Global Research
, March 15, 2007
Recently, a documentary aired on the UK’s Channel 4, entitled “The Great Global Warming Swindle”,
which challenged the prevailing political understanding that global warming is caused by man-made activity. The movie argues that it is in fact the sun that is responsible for the current changes in the Earth’s temperature and the film is riddled with the testimony of many scientists and climate experts, furthering a growing dissent to the man-made theory. After all, that’s all it is, a theory. As soon as people start to state that “the debate is over”, beware, because the fundamental basis of all sciences is that debate is never over, that questions must be asked and answered and issues raised in order for the science to be accurate. So what exactly are the arguments behind the Sun being the main cause of global warming?
First off, it is very important to address the fact that Earth is not the only planet to be experiencing climate change in our solar system currently. In fact, many astronomers have announced that Pluto has been experiencing global warming,
and suggested that it is a seasonal event, just like how Earth’s seasons change as the various hemispheres alter their inclination to the Sun. We must remember that it is the Sun that determines our seasons, and thusly has a greater impact upon the climate than we could ever even try to achieve. In May of 2006, a report came forward revealing that a massive hurricane-like storm that occurred on Jupiter may be caused by climate change occurring on the planet, which is expected to raise its temperatures by 10 degrees. National Geographic News reported
that a simultaneous rising in temperature on both Mars and Earth suggest that climate change is indeed a natural phenomenon as opposed to being man-made. The report further explains how NASA has reported that Mars’ carbon dioxide ice caps have been melting for a few years now. Sound familiar? An astronomical observatory in Russia declared that, “the Mars data is evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun”. They further point out that both Mars and Earth have, throughout their histories, experienced periodic ice ages as climate changes in a continuous fashion. NASA has also been observing massive storms on Saturn
, which indicate a climate change occurring on that planet as well. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has also been recording massive climate changes on Neptune’s largest moon
, Triton. Triton, whose surface was once made up of frozen nitrogen, is now turning into gas. The Associated Press has reported that satellites that measure the temperature of sunlight have been recording an increase in the sun’s temperature
, meaning that the sun itself is warming up. Even the London Telegraph reported in 2004 that global warming was due to the sun being hotter
than it has ever been in the past 1,000 years. They cited this information from research conducted by German and Swiss scientists who claim that it is increasing radiation from the sun that is resulting in our current climate change.
Claude Allegre, a leading French scientist, who was among the first scientists to try to warn people of the dangers of global warming 20 years ago, now believes that “ increasing evidence indicates that most of the warming comes of natural phenomena
”. Allegre said, “There is no basis for saying, as most do, that the "science is settled." He is convinced that global warming is a natural change and sees the threat of the ‘great dangers’ that it supposedly poses as being bloated and highly exaggerated. Also recently, the President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus said, when discussing the recent ruling
by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that global warming is man-made, “ Global warming is a false myth
and every serious person and scientist says so. It is not fair to refer to the U.N. panel. IPCC is not a scientific institution: it's a political body, a sort of non-government organization of green flavor. It's neither a forum of neutral scientists nor a balanced group of scientists. These people are politicized scientists who arrive there with a one-sided opinion and a one-sided assignment.” And if you are about to ask why no politicians here seem to be saying this, Klaus offered up an answer, “Other top-level politicians do not express their global warming doubts because a whip of political correctness strangles their voice”. Nigel Calder, the former editor of New Scientist, wrote an article
in the UK Sunday Times, in which he stated, “When politicians and journalists declare that the science of global warming is settled, they show a regrettable ignorance about how science works.” He further stated that, “Twenty years ago, climate research became politicised in favour of one particular hypothesis”. And in reference to how the media is representing those who dissent from the man-made theory he stated, “they often imagine that anyone who doubts the hypothesis of man-made global warming must be in the pay of the oil companies”, which is exactly what I believed up until I did my research. He also wrote, “Enthusiasm for the global-warming scare also ensures that heatwaves make headlines, while contrary symptoms, such as this winter’s billion-dollar loss of Californian crops to unusual frost, are relegated to the business pages”.
For those who saw Al Gore’s “documentary”, it was very convincing of its hypothesis that global warming is a man-made phenomenon that has the potential to kill us all and end humanity. After all, the film was filled with graphs and charts, so it must be true. Let’s just get something straight here, Al Gore is not a climatologist, meteorologist, astronomer, or scientist of any kind; he is a politician. And as we all know, politicians always tell the truth. However, as Al Gore’s popularity grows and with his recent winning of an Academy Award for his movie, the issue has spiraled into massive push for quick action and stifled debate, forcing many scientists to speak out and challenge the political status quo. A group of scientists recently stated that the research behind Al Gore’s film and in fact, the concept of greenhouse gases causing global warming, is “a sham”.
They claim that in fact, there is very little evidence to prove that theory, and that the evidence actually points to an increase in solar activity being the cause of climate change. In Gore’s movie, he presented evidence that was found in the research done on ice core samples from Antarctica, which he claimed is proof for the theory of CO2 being the cause of rising temperatures. However, this group of scientists state that “warmer periods of the Earth's history came around 800 years before rises in carbon dioxide levels”, meaning that a rise in Carbon Dioxide follows a rise in temperature, rather than increasing temperature following rising CO2 emissions. And not only that, but it follows behind the rise in temperature by about 800 years. The group also mentions that, “after the Second World War, there was a huge surge in carbon dioxide emissions, yet global temperatures fell for four decades after 1940.” They also claim that the report given by the UN, which said it was backed by over 2,000 of the worlds leading scientists, “was a ‘sham’ given that this list included the names of scientists who disagreed with its findings.”
Timothy Ball, one of the first Canadian doctors in climatology, recently wrote an article addressing the issue of why no one seems to be listening to scientists who claim that global warming is NOT man-made
. He starts by writing, “Believe it or not, Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). This in fact is the greatest deception in the history of science”. He continues, “We are wasting time, energy and trillions of dollars while creating unnecessary fear and consternation over an issue with no scientific justification.” Then he mentions how Environment Canada is spending billions upon billions of dollars on “propaganda” which defends an “indefensible scientific position while at the same time closing weather stations and failing to meet legislated pollution targets.” Then Dr. Ball brings up a very interesting point that everyone should take into consideration, citing that 30 years ago, in the 1970s everyone was talking about “global cooling” and how it was the defining issue of our lives, our species, that our very survival depended on what we did it about it. Interesting, sounds like every Canadian politician. Ball continues to explain that climate change is occurring, but that it is because it is always occurring, it is a natural change that is a result of the changes in the Sun’s temperature. He explains that we are currently leaving what was known as a Little Ice Age and that the history of Earth is riddles with changes in the climate. That’s what climate does and is always doing, changing. Dr. Ball claims that “there is nothing unusual going on,” and that he “was as opposed to the threats of impending doom global cooling engendered as [he was] to the threats made about Global Warming.”
Dr. Timothy Ball later wrote, in commenting on the problems that arise for scientists who speak out, that, “Sadly, my experience is that universities are the most dogmatic and oppressive places in our society. This becomes progressively worse as they receive more and more funding from governments that demand a particular viewpoint.” He also mentions how he “was accused by Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki of being paid by oil companies.” He concludes in referencing others who have and continue to speak out against the prevailing myth of man-made global warming, such as author Michael Crichton, who’s book, ‘State of Fear’, explains the inaccurate science behind the man-made myth. Another prominent name is that of Richard Lindzen, an atmospheric physicist and a professor of meteorology at MIT, who often speaks out against the man-made theory, yet no one seems to be listening to him.
An article in the February 12th Washington Times discussed how skeptics of global warming are “treated like a pariah”.
The article begins, “Scientists skeptical of climate-change theories say they are increasingly coming under attack -- treatment that may make other analysts less likely to present contrarian views about global warming.” He cites an example of this by mentioning how a climatologist in Oregon might be stripped of his position by the governor for speaking out against the origins of climate change. Most skeptics don’t claim that climate change is not occurring, they just disagree with what is causing it, and yet they are treated like traitors. A NASA funded study
in 2003 found that, “Changes in the solar cycle -- and solar output -- are known to cause short-term climate change on Earth.”
In a storm of scientists speaking out against Al Gore’s movie, an Australian professor of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory has publicly stated, "Gore's circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic.
It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention." In response to the use of images in Gore’s movie of glaciers breaking off, Dr. Boris Winterhalter, a professor on marine geology and former marine researcher at the Geological Survey of Finland, said that, “The breaking glacier wall is a normally occurring phenomenon which is due to the normal advance of a glacier.” Makes sense, especially since history tells us that glaciers move, after all, that’s what helped form our valleys and reshaped mountain ranges at the end of the last ice age about 10,000 years ago. Maybe my memory isn’t very good, but I don’t think people were driving SUVs 10,000 years ago. Another clever use of images to manipulate facts that Gore has in his movie is that of a polar bear seemingly stranded on a piece of a broken off ice berg, stating that polar bears are becoming extinct because of global warming. However, there are a few things wrong with this assessment, first of all, that according to a paper published by University of Alaska professor Igor Polyakov
, “the region of the Arctic where rising temperature is supposedly endangering polar bears showed fluctuations since 1940 but no overall temperature rise.” Secondly, if the polar bear is in such danger according to Al Gore, then why does a recent government survey in Canada show that they are not declining
, but rather rising in numbers? Thirdly, the very idea of a polar bear “stranded” on a small block of ice is in itself misleading for Gore’s argument, as polar bears are excellent swimmers and according to Sea World, “They can swim for several hours at a time over long distances [and] they've been tracked swimming continuously for 100 km (62 mi.)”
Professor Carter, speaking about Gore and his personal crusade, said, “The man is an embarrassment to US science and its many fine practitioners, a lot of whom know (but feel unable to state publicly) that his propaganda crusade is mostly based on junk science.” Even if Al Gore was telling the truth about the causes of global warming, or climate change, which most evidence points to the fact that he is not, but even if he was, he would still be a hypocrite. It was recently revealed that Al Gore doesn’t exactly practice what he preaches, such as what he said in his Academy Award acceptance speech
, “People all over the world, we need to solve the climate crisis. It's not a political issue; it's a moral issue.” Well, in that case, why is it that a recent study by the Tennessee Center for Policy Research found that one of Al Gore’s mansions uses 20 times the amount of electricity that the average American does. It was also reported that Al Gore consumes twice as much the electricity in one month that the average American consumes in one year.
In examining that there is more evidence to prove the basis for a conclusion that changes in climate are more related to an increase in the temperature of the Sun rather than influence of people, we must examine why efforts to expose this myth are stifled and those who speak out are attacked. In fact, there are reported cases of scientists who speak out against the man-made theory as having received death threats
. There has even been talk of relating those who speak out against the currently held theory on global warming as being equal to those who deny the Holocaust. In a recent op-ed piece in the Boston Globe commenting on the report issued by the UN, Ellen Goodman wrote
, “Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.” This is a very disturbing comment, not only because there is reason to scientifically doubt the man-made theory, but also because this is a scathing attack on freedom of speech, the most vital and important of all rights and freedoms.
With the UN Panel’s judgment in, western politicians are quick to declare that the debate is over, and action must be taken immediately. What is this action that they are planning on taking? The Chancellor of the Exchequer in the UK, Gordon Brown, soon expected to be the next Prime Minister after Tony Blair steps down, has publicly called for a “new world order”
to combat the threat of climate change. So let’s have a look at this New World Order that’s being implemented to combat the threat of global warming. One major thing being pushed through with little, cancel that, no debate, is a UN recommendation that we impose “a global tax on greenhouse gas emissions”.
Most people will hear this and think, “Good, polluters need to be taxed”. Well, this means people who drive cars will be taxed, because according to Al Gore, when you drive your car, you’re causing global warming. This is no joke, as an article in the UK’s Guardian Newspaper reported that, “The government is throwing its weight behind a revolutionary plan that would force motorists to pay £1.30 a mile to drive
on Britain's busiest roads”. That is approximately $3.00 per mile. A study conducted by an expert in transportation and infrastructure found that, “a Birmingham commuter might end up paying about £1,500 a year
for driving 19,000 miles.” That’s equal to about $3,000 per year. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know many people who can afford that. In the European Union, plans are being made to impose an increase of taxes on diesel.
The European Commission recently proposed to “raise the minimum tax on commercial diesel fuel by nearly 20% over the next seven years”. This, they claim, is to help protect the environment because it will act as a deterrent for people to drive. This is just excellent news, because as anyone who has driven in the past two years knows, gas prices are just too low. Another concern arising out of the concept of taxing people for how far they drive is how it is done. According to the Transport Secretary in the UK, “Every vehicle would have a black box to allow a satellite system to track their journey”.
This has been raising concerns in the UK of an increase in Big Brother technology and government programs. Proposals currently being made in Canada recommend that, “Canadians would pay an extra 10 cents per litre at the gas pumps”,
mirroring plans in the European Union. Another important recent news item is that Toronto “Mayor David Miller said yesterday he would support ‘region-wide’ road tolls
”, to combat climate change.
The European Union is also imposing a ban on conventional light bulbs
, replacing them with energy-saving bulbs. That ban would fully be in effect within two years, forcing all 490 million citizens of the EU’s member states to switch from the current conventional lights they now have. However, some problems of this plan have been raised considering that the supposed energy-efficient light bulbs “have to be left on all the time, they're made from banned toxins and they won't work in half your household fittings. Yet Europe (and Gordon Brown) says 'green' lightbulbs must replace all our old ones.” They also are “ up to 20 times more expensive
” than conventional light bulbs. They also give off a much harsher light and do not produce a steady stream of light but rather just flicker 50 times a second. These special “efficient” light bulbs also need more ventilation than conventional bulbs, which means that they cannot be in an enclosed light fitting. I’m sure that this won’t inconvenience any of the 490 million who are being forced to switch. In Canada, talk is taking place of having a ban on conventional light bulbs
being included in Stephen Harper’s clean air act. This discussion was recently brought about by the act of Australia taking moves to ban conventional light bulbs
by the year 2010. As well as that, a lawmaker in California has introduced a bill to ban the selling of conventional bulbs by 2012, with a similar bill also being introduced in New Jersey. Royal Phillips Electronics, one of the leading corporations in producing light fixtures announced that they would stop selling conventional bulbs by 2016. This will result in a massive cost to the consumer, who is losing their free will in where they spend their money and how they choose to help the environment. Hoping to get by without buying new bulbs and sneak it by the government? Good luck. As a recent report pointed out in the UK, the government has very intrusive plans to make the UK the world’s first green economy. Part of this plan is that every home in the UK is to be ‘carbon neutral’ within 10 years, making every house updated to “green” standards. The government said they would provide the renovators, which has led many to fear that it is a method of spying on homeowners to make sure they go green
. Blair Gibbs, a member of the Taxpayer’s Alliance and critic of the plan stated, “It's bad enough that politicians want to take so much of our money away in tax. For them also to intrude into our homes in order to have the ability to penalise us even further is simply unacceptable.”
I am not saying that it isn’t a good idea to take action to help the environment, but I ask you to consider this: if the majority of scientific data points to the fact that global warming is caused by the Sun, then how will a tax on carbon emissions help to stop it? How does us driving cars cause climate change on Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, Neptune and Triton? Can Al Gore please fill me in on this? If CO2 increases as a RESULT of temperature increases, then how can we hope to accomplish anything by taxing emissions? That’s like saying we will prevent the process of humans ageing by dying their grey hairs. It’s not grey hair that causes people to age; it’s ageing that causes grey hair. And nothing that you do to your hair will have any affect on how long you live. Especially since ageing is a natural process that cannot be stopped and has always occurred and will always occur. Just like climate change.
It seems worrisome that politicians are all too eager to grab onto this man-made myth of global warming in order to make us afraid and guilty. Guilty enough to want to change it, and afraid enough to give up our freedoms and undergo massive financial expenses in order to do so. So this lie, being pushed by big money and big governments, is a convenient lie for those who want to exert control and collect money. However, it’s inconvenient for the mass amount of people who are already experiencing the problems of a widening wage-gap and fading middle class.
If the problems we are being presented are based on lies, then how do we expect to find any true solution to helping the environment? A Global Tax won’t clean up the oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez, which is still polluting waters in Alaska
nearly 18 years after the spill occurred. A Global Tax won’t stop Shell from making the Niger Delta
the most endangered Delta in the whole world. No, we have to first be realistic, mature, and have debate about the problems we are facing, and then, and only then, can we even hope to achieve any sort of solution. Andrew Marshall is a 19 year old political science student at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia (BC).
© Copyright Andrew Marshall, Global Research, 2007
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Global Warming Poll : Socialism 7, Capitalism Zip!
The socialist agenda of the global warming alarmist community is showing signs of success, even here in the United States. According to a world wide poll taken by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
in conjunction with World Public Opinion-dot-org
, 43% of Americans surveyed believe that global warming is a "serious and pressing problem" and that we should "begin taking steps now even if this involves significant costs." An additional 37% of Americans said that "the problem of global warming should be addressed, but it's effects will be gradual, so we can deal with the problem gradually by taking steps that are low in cost." That means that 80% of the Americans polled think global warming needs to be dealt with.
Even more troubling, is is the way Americans answered the fourth question of the poll:
"Q4. If the less-developed countries make a commitment to limit their greenhouse gas emissions, do you think the developed countries should provide substantial aid to help them?"
A whopping 64% of Americans are willing to "provide substantial aid to less-developed countries" in order to stave off the CO2 Boogie Man.
of 17 countries includes China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, Poland, Iran, Mexico, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Argentina, Peru, Israel, Armenia—and the Palestinian territories. Palestinian territories? Iran? Really?
The sixth and final question asked:
"Q6. Overall, do you think that countries that are part of international trade agreements should or should not be required to maintain minimum standards for protection of the environment?"
91% of Americans said that countries "should be required" to maintain minimum standards for protection of the environment. Viva la socialism!
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Just when you thought it can't possibly get any more absurd,
Just when you thought it can't possibly get any more absurd, the Associated Press
is reporting that NASA is reading a report a report reviewing suggestions on how to slow down global warming. One NASA scientist describes some of these proposals as ranging from "great" to "idiotic."
Some of the more bizzare proposals include... The Giant Sun Shade:
Launching an enormous fleet of small spaceships into orbit to form a giant umbrella in an effort to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth. The Man-Made Volcano:
Some scientists suggest simulating volcanic eruptions by using cannons, balloons or jet engines to launch sulfate particles into the atmosphere. Iron Supplements:
According to the AP article
, one company in California is already implementing the "Geritol" solution by dumping tons of iron dust into the ocean, to encourage massive algae bloom that will absorb carbon dioxide.
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The following articles pegged the bullshit meter all the way off the scale. For the purpose of this topic only, this thread reads from top to bottom, the most recent articles at the bottom. Scroll down for the latest update: Climate scientist 'duped to deny global warming'
- Ben Goldacre and David Adam, yes David Adam, Environmental Corespondent for the Guardian, the same David Adam that blogged his comments
on the program without even watching it first! (03/10/07) Climate change: An inconvenient truth... for C4
- This expert in oceanography quoted in last week's debunking of the Gore green theory says he was "seriously misrepresented"
- By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor (03/10/07)
Less than 48 hours after this controversial new documentary challenging some of the assertions that man made CO2 is causing global warming aired on British TV, one of it's participants is claiming that his views were "grossly distorted"
by the film. Professor Carl Wunch of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology continued to say that not only was he "totally misled"
and "completely misrepresented"
but also that the film was "as close to pure propaganda as anything since World War II." According to Independent
, Professor Wunsch also said... Professor Wunsch:
"I am angry because they completely misrepresented me. My views were distorted by the context in which they placed them. I was misled as to what it was going to be about. I was told about six months ago that this was to be a program about how complicated it is to understand what is going on. If they had told me even the title of the program, I would have absolutely refused to be on it. I am the one who has been swindled".
The Professor went on to say that he believes it is Professor Wunsch:
"an almost inescapable conclusion that if man adds excess CO2 to the atmosphere, the climate will warm".
After viewing these comments by the professor only hours after watching the program, I was shocked. I decided to go back and analyze the scenes in which the good professor appeared, and see if I could possibly imagine a "context" in which the actual words uttered by Professor Wunsch would have had a significantly different meaning. I could not. Maybe you can. I have printed the Professor's words as they appeared in the film, and the time at which they appeared. The film is currently available on Google Video
but I don't know how long it will be there.
In this portion of the discussion, Professor Wunsch begins by explaining how the ocean's surface temperature plays a role in the exchange of carbon dioxide. He later comments on the vastness of the oceans, and their extremely slow reaction to any changes in climate as a result of such vastness. Professor Wunsch:
25:43 The ocean is the major reservoir into which carbon dioxide goes when it comes out of the atmosphere or to from which it is re-emitted to the the atmosphere. If you heat the surface of the ocean, it tends to emit carbon dioxide. Similarly, if you cool the ocean surface, the ocean can dissolve more carbon dioxide.
26:44 - The ocean has a memory of past events ugh running out as far as 10,000 years. So for example, if somebody says oh I'm seeing changes in the North Atlantic, this must mean that the climate system is changing, it may only mean that something happened in a remote part of the ocean decades or hundreds of years ago who's effects are now beginning to show up in the North Atlantic.
In this portion of the film, the professor is speaking about the complexity of climate models and how their results can be greatly influenced by the input data they are given. Professor Wunsch:
49:22 - The models are so complicated, you can often adjust them is such a way that they do something very exciting.
50:46 - Even within the scientific community you see, it's a problem. If I run a complicated model and I do something to it like ugh melt a lot of ice into the ocean and nothing happens, ugh it's not likely to get printed. But if I run the same model, and I adjust it in such a way that something dramatic happens to the ocean circulation like the heat transport turns off, ugh it will be published. People will say this is very exciting. It will even get picked by the media. So there is a bias, there's is a very powerful bias within the media, and within the science community itself, toward results which are ugh dramatizable. If Earth freezes over, that's a much more interesting story than saying well you know it ugh fluctuates around, sometimes the mass flux goes up by 10%, sometimes it goes down by 20%, but eventually it comes back. Well you know, which would you do a story on? That's what it's about.
I've watched this video several times now and I can't believe the comments made in the film, and those in the above mentioned articles came from the same man. In my opinion, the Professor's words speak for themselves. I don't see how they could mean anything other than what they mean.
And speaking of bullshit...below is a great article by Alek Boyd, editor and founder of vcrisis.com. The Great Global Warming Swindle
- By Alek Boyd - One of the added benefits of having read Geology is that one can easily tell apart the bullshit from the science when it comes to earth's matters. (03/10/07)
To be fair, here is the actual letter
from Carl Wunsch to WAG TV - (03/10/07)
In doing some further research on Professor Wunsch, I found this article
from March of 2006. In it Professor Wunsch begins... Professor Wunsch:
People ask "is it clear that human activity is directly responsible for climate change?" The context for answering this question must be another question: to what extent can the climate change all by itself? The answer to the alternative question is: "a very great deal."
He also states... Professor Wunsch:
"we know that it (climate) is capable of remarkable changes without human intervention."
Finally, he closes with... Professor Wunsch:
"it is essential to remember that the inability to prove human-induced change is not the same thing as a demonstration of its absence. It is probably true that most scientists would assign a very high probability that human-induced change is already strongly present in the climate system, while at the same time agreeing that clear-cut proof is not now available and may not be available for a long-time to come, if ever. Public policy has to be made on the basis of probabilities, not firm proof."
First, I reccomend you read the entire article
for the full context of Professor Wunch's remarks.
I think this last paragraph is very telling. I don't think I'm very comfortable with making policies based on probabilities. If we were to do so, what percentage of probabilities are we to make such policies based on? 90%? 70%? 50%? 25%? Precisely what percentage constitutes a probability? Should we only require 50% compliance with a policy that was enacted based on a 50% probability. Now I'm really confused. I think this mind set of the "let's do something now" crowd that disturbs me the most about this issue.
I also found this summary below. The Professor's summary is reprinted in it's entirety. Pay particularly close attention to the last two sentences: Professor Wunsch:
Summary of Abrupt Climate Change: An Alternative View by Carl Wunsch (2006) - A Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) event is a rapid climate fluctuation, taking place at the end of the Ice Age. Twenty-three such events have been identified between 110,000 and 23,000 years before present. A widely held view of abrupt climate change during the last glacial period is that these D-O events are at least hemispheric, if not global and caused by changes in ocean circulation. It has been hypothesized that there may be abrupt climate change similar to a D-O event because of ongoing global warming and its oceanic affects. Underlying the major conclusions about D-O events and abrupt climate change there are several assumptions, including (1) the 18Oxygen variations appearing in ice cores are viable as a proxy, (2) climate fluctuations in Greenland reflect those on a hemispheric or global basis, (3) the cause of D-O events can be traced to major changes of the North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation and perhaps failure of the Gulf Stream, and (4) apparent detection of a D-O event at a remote location in a proxy implies local climatic importance. In this article Wunsch reexamines these assumptions in order to assess their relevance, specifically focusing on (2) and (3). In terms of using 18Oxygen in the Greenland ice cores as a climate proxy, Wunsch found that although is was relatively accurate for central Greenland, when aligned with other locations a visual similarity would appear on the spectral graph, but that there was actually little statistical correlation; this occurred when comparing time periods of less than 900 years. While this does not disprove the hypothesis of a large impact of the D-O events, it cannot be used to support this assumption. There are three possible explanations for the disappearance of covariance for these periods less than 900 years. First, although both records have wide variability, it is primarily regional in character and there is no simple relationship between them. Second, the age-model (the calibration of age versus depth in the core) error has a larger influence on the short period variations than the long period ones. Third, different physical processes dominate the proxies at high frequency in the two separate locations, but they have roughly similar low spectral moments. Any of these factors could affect the lack of covariance between geographical locations. Subsequently, the assumption that there exist large-scale hemispheric correlations with the D-O events is neither proven nor disproven. The heat flux associated with meridional overturning (the sinking and spreading of cold water and dispersion of heat) of the ocean has the most direct impact on the atmosphere in terms of oceanic circulation patterns. The contribution of the oceanic Northern Hemisphere to this pole-ward circulation falls very rapidly as heat is transferred to the atmosphere. At the 40th latitude North, the oceanic contribution is less than 25% of the atmospheric contribution. Hypothetically, if warming continues, and the Northern Atlantic is injected with fresh water from glacial melting, the meridional overturning circulation would be dramatically reduced, resulting in a D-O-like event. However, models attempting to construct this theoretical climate change have not been successful, mostly in that they have not taken into account the overlying wind field response to this event. Since much of the temperature flux of the North Atlantic is carried in the Gulf Stream, scenarios requiring wind shifts sufficient to shut it down are likely a physical impossibility because of the need to conserve angular momentum in the atmosphere. 90 Coupled models that have been claimed to show an atmospheric response to oceanic flux shifts are so simplified and lack adequate resolution that they cannot be skillfully integrated over the time periods required to describe true climatic time scales. Again, these models are only indicators of processes that can be operating but with no evidence that they dominate. While the abrupt climate changes in Greenland may not have occurred in other parts of the globe, there still is the question of why it occurred in Greenland. One apparent observation is that the D-O events ceased in the Holocene and have been remarkably placid since. As such, the operative mechanism causing the D-O events must have also disappeared. The answer is the disappearance of the Laurentide and Fennoscandian ice sheets. Two enormous mountain ranges of high albedo (reflection factor) were removed. In a study by Jackson (2000), he noted that small, regional changes in the ice sheet elevations had a large effect on the atmospheric stationary wave patterns. As a standing wave, the wind encountering the ice sheets had more than one equilibrium state. Major local climate change could appear with a slight shift in the wave pattern of the wind system. While the model for this hypothesis is rough, other studies have indicated great influence of the ice sheets on atmospheric scales as well. The body of these theories suggests that the most important and sensitive determinant of oceanic circulation is wind, and not the temperature flux. Similarly, the widely accepted view that D-O events were of global impact and may occur as a result of recent warming is based on four assumptions, which in turn are based on ambiguous data and a high degree of uncertainty. As such, to make conclusions about such events would be imprudent without first addressing the uncertainties in the age-model as well a cautious reinterpretation of proxy signals.
So I guess from this summary, probability lies somewhere between 0% and 100%. Now I get it! The sky is falling...maybe.
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