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Bad Science

January 13th, 2010 by Myrhaf · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

Walter Williams gives us some remarkable facts in his latest column, “Global Warming Is A Religion.”

Over long periods of time, there is absolutely no close relationship between C02 levels and temperature. Humans contribute approximately 3.4 percent of annual C02 levels compared to 96.6 percent by nature. There was an explosion of life forms 550 million years ago (Cambrian Period) when CO2 levels were 18 times higher than today. During the Jurassic Period, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, CO2 levels were as much as nine times higher than today. Contrary to what educators are brainwashing our children with, polar bear numbers increased dramatically from around 5,000 in 1950 to as many as 25,000 today, higher than any time in the 20th century.

Are his facts right? If so, then the whole push to pass wide-sweeping laws restricting CO2 production is based on bad science, to put it kindly.

3 Comments so far ↓

  • Embedded I

    This common graph shows CO2 and Temperature plotted over geological time. It shows that Williams is correct.

    We should keep in mind that there are no confidence limits nor do we know if all temperature and CO2 data were gained by consistently comparable methods.

    The dinosaurs reigned during the Triassic and Jurassic Periods. Science has known for decades (even before 1970) that CO2 levels were much higher back then. Depending on what time you select, the CO2 levels were ~2500 ppm, as compared with our 385 ppm. Mid-20th century CO2 was 315 ppm. The AGW crowd are in a flap over a change of a paltry 70 ppm!

    Note the temperature levels on the graph. Through most of geological time the Earth has been warmer by 10 degrees Celsius(!) than it has been for the last million years. We are in a cold, low-glacial, non-ice-age period.

    We can see that species have mainly evolved on a normal ‘Earth’ that had much more CO2 and was much warmer than it is at present. (That is also why there is so much more natural diversity in the equatorial regions. )

    Global temperature is causally connected to insolation (solar input to Earth) cycles, which are closely and predominantly influenced by cyclic solar activity, Earth’s cyclic orbital variations, and Earth’s cyclic axial precession (wobbles).

    Ice Ages occur when the above cycles coincide to cause unusually low insolation and when major ocean currents shut down, ending poleward heat transfer. (E.g., it is easy to forget that England is on the same latitude as James Bay, and would be as cold were it not for the Gulf Stream coming from the Caribbean.) Though we are in a cool period, ocean currents continue to circulate heat preventing an Ice Age.

    Aside from the direct liars and manipulators, few people think in essentials, and do not know how to do it with facts: they do not put facts in a hierarchical order of importance for the context in which the facts are being used. Certain facts, as with moral issues, trump others. The above information trumps most, if not all, of the Warmists’ arguments.

  • Michael Bahr

    I am reluctant to spend too much time pushing the scientific side of the AGW debate because it frames the debate around the wrong issue.

    The issue is not whether AGW is occurring; perhaps it is. The issue is that it is unacceptable for governments to grab power and extend increasingly intrusive regulatory controls into the lives of citizens with AGW as the excuse du jour.

    Dr. George Reisman astutely pointed out that if the consequences of AGW are economic and societal collapse, it hardly helps to allow the government to bring about economic and societal collapse in the name of fighting AGW! Instead, Reisman notes, the solution to AGW now and forever (as well as any other disaster or condition that might ever occur) is to make society as free as possible, so that there might be the largest and most robust possible industrial base in place to guarantee human survival and prosperity through, during, and after the disaster strikes.

  • Embedded I

    Michael Bahr, I understand your point, but wish to temper it. People must make their own inductions from concretes even as they become aware of related abstract principles. The point is little different from writing a cogent argument: the reader needs a balance of relevant concretes and abstractions, else he becomes lost in concretes, or encounters the abstractions as “Floating”. In the latter case, his acceptance or rejection of abstract principle will be more rationalization than reason.

    On the AGW topic, should it come up, I make use of the Medieval Warm Period facts. Those facts give them pause, usually to ask about CO2. I explain how low it is today compared to geologic history, and suggest it is absolutely wicked that people and governments want everyone else to restrict technology —from factories, to air conditioners, to concerts, to cars and the space shuttle— over a trumped up, Chicken-Little issue.

    Now I can suggest that politicians, especially Leftists, can use AGW to encourage that all-time Big Lies: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you..”

    In a place I attend regularly, people who have listened will introduce me to other visitors on the AGW issue. My wordings vary, and so does my ‘mileage’, after all the mental pathways of one person may have more severe potholes, gates and dead ends than others.