Global Warming Skepticism: Don’t Just Take Our Word For It….

By November 5, 2006Global Warming

So much has been written about the Stern Report since it came out late last month, with the mainstream media being largely an unabashed Amen chorus, with nary a hint of independent judgment applied. They pretty much just accepted it all lock, stock, and barrel.

Well here come two excellent pieces which look at the report more critically. The first is from The Business, a British magazine and says:

” Stern’s novelty was to produce two figures: that global warming would eventually reduce the size of the world economy by 10% if left to fester; but that curbing emissions at his recommended level would cost only 1% of global wealth.
Between those two suspiciously certain figures lies a world of conjecture, supposition and stabs in the dark… Doubts have been hardened into certainties, contradictory facts downplayed or omitted. The result is a tax-raising manifesto which could see Great Britain — which generates just 2% of world carbon emissions — sleepwalk into a growth-destroying agenda which will hit the poorest hardest.”

The second is from our friend Bob Carter, head of the Australian Environment Foundation, who after pointing out the many flaws in the study says in part:

“Though it will be lionised for a while yet, the Stern review is destined to join Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb and think tank the Club of Rome’s manifesto, Limits to Growth, in the pantheon of big banana scares that proved to be unfounded. It is part of the last hurrah for those warmaholics who inhabit a world of virtual climate reality that exists only inside flawed computer models.”

We pass them both along — in the interest of balance.

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Andrew Worth says:


    1. Here is a graph of CO2 levels, I don’t see the rise you are referring to.
    My understanding is that the evidence points to the little ice age being associated with the Maunder minimum, this sun spot-free period occurred between about 1645 and 1715. Lots of AGW denialists probable will see that statement as a vindication of the theory that recent warming can be attributed to changing solar activity, the problem with jumping to this conclusion is that the warming has been most dramatic over the last 50 years and no trend in solar output has occurred that would account for this warming.
    The evidence also points to the little ice age being felt more severely in the Northern Atlantic than in other parts of the world, initial palioclimate reconstructions had a disproportionate amount of their data relying on sources in this area, as the data from further a field has been included, the significance of little ice age on the whole northern hemisphere has been shown to be less, it has not however “disappeared” or been made to disappear as many AGW denialists claim.

    Why was it felt more in the Northern Atlantic? Those most concerned with AGW believe that even a modest change in climate forcings (whether solar or green house) can result in much larger regional variations by causing changes in ocean currents e.g. the gulf stream, and wind patterns.

    It needs to be emphasized that climate models DO take into account the climate forcings and feedbacks that occur, other than just greenhouse gases (solar, aerosol, volcanic, land use, etc), while our understanding of these forcings is not complete, it is fairly good, the recent warming that has occurred cannot be explained without attributing most of it to higher greenhouse gas concentrations.

    a. There is no suggestion that the Earths temperature at the time of the medieval warm period was anywhere near high enough to result in less polar ice mass than exists today.
    b. The polar melt predicted in the future assumes global and polar temperatures much higher that those that occurred during the MWP.
    c. The weight of evidence is that present global temperatures are comparable, or higher than those that occurred during the MWP.

  • John Seebeth says:

    Climate change skeptics, in case you missed this news story. Stay tuned………………

    Evidence grows of waning ocean current…
    James Randerson in London…
    The Sydney Morning Herald…
    October 28, 2006…

    SCIENTISTS have uncovered more evidence of a dramatic weakening in the vast ocean current that gives Western Europe its relatively balmy climate by dragging warm water northwards from the tropics.

    The slowdown of the North Atlantic Drift, which climate modellers have predicted will follow global warming, has been confirmed by the most detailed study yet of ocean flow in the Atlantic.

    Most alarmingly, the data reveals part of the current, usually 60 times more powerful than the Amazon River, came to a temporary halt during November 2004.

    The nightmare scenario of a shutdown in the meridional ocean current that drives the Gulf Stream was dramatically portrayed in disaster film The Day After Tomorrow.

    That scenario had Europe and North America plunged into a new ice age virtually overnight. Although no scientist thinks the switch-off could happen that fast, they do agree that even a weakening over a few decades would have profound consequences.

    The Gulf Stream originates in the Gulf of Mexico, flows up the US east coast, then crosses the Atlantic, where it splits in two, with one branch crossing to West Africa. The other branch, the North Atlantic Drift, extends towards Europe. The warm water it brings to Western Europe’s shores raises the temperature by as much as 10 degrees in some places and without it the continent would be much colder and drier.

    Researchers are unsure what to make of the 10-day hiatus in the current in 2004.

    “We’d never seen anything like that before and we don’t understand it. We didn’t know it could happen,” said Harry Bryden, of Britain’s National Oceanography Centre, who presented the findings to a conference in Birmingham on rapid climate change.

    Is it the first sign that the current is stuttering to a halt?

    “I want to know more before I say that,” Professor Bryden said.

  • Richard Suddick says:

    Paul Ehrlich was largely right in his forecasts of the population explosion and many of its dire effects. In fact global warming will, in all probability, become to be recognized as the most significant and damaging effect of all those derived from the explosive growth of the human species. It’s ironic that you chose his warnings in that realm as an example of the boy-cries-wolf syndrome when, in fact, it is unfettered population growth that is the basic cause of the explosive growth in carbon emissions and the greenhouse effect. And, as far as whether global warming is tied to carbon emissions or not, the evidence there is simply overwhelming – IT IS; one simply needs to look at the predictions of today’s global temperature averages compared to predictions of same made by computer climate models twenty-five years ago (see Hansen, et al, PNAS web site). So let’s see … which is more important: putting a potential crimp on economic growth, or saving the earth as we know it? Gosh, that’s really a tough one. But rest easy, NAM has the answer.

  • I keep asking two questions, but receive no answers, probably because I am no scientist with a large grant from a ‘green’ foundation. In any event, here goes, once again:
    1. During the Medieval Warming Period, research has shown that the CO2 level rose, as it is doing now. In that early era, there were no internal combustion engines spouting their exhaust. But, global warming was present, as the ice cover on southern Greenland retreated for at least the 300 years that Eric the Red and his descendants occupied the area. They left after global cooling set in and they could no longer cultivate their lands. What natural condition caused this warming?

    2.During this period of warming and ice melting, did the world’s oceans rise 20 feet, more or less? Has any scientific evidence been found to support even a one foot rise?

  • b norman says:

    I sometimes wonder how many of the “global warming skeptics” that are also members of the “Flat Earth Society”? They seem to have the same kind of attitude towards science…..

  • Russ George says:

    Affording Less Stern Solutions to Climate Change

    Here’s an illustration of how the global warming environmental apocalypse doesn’t mean we need to risk an economic apocalypse.

    I keep getting asked whether I think buying a hybrid car or choosing some other techno option to reduce ones carbon footprint is a good thing to do. Of course it’s good to reduce our use of energy and cut down some of the CO2 we are pouring into the global air. But let’s look at why we might choose to buy a hybrid car. Presumably the primary reason is because it’s a “green car” and this helps save the planet. The hybrid burns about 1/2 the fuel of a comparable regular gas guzzler and so it emits about 1/2 the CO2. In the case of a Toyota Camry Hybrid vs. Camry Gas Guzzler the reduction in the CO2 emission for the hybrid version is about 2-3 tons of CO2 per year. That’s great but to reach that reduction you have to pay about $6000 up front to Toyota. You get the added benefit of reduced fuel cost that makes up for this $6000 over many years if you keep the car that long. OK so all this is wonderful and helps the planet. But can less money do more is the question.

    Here is my take on the story. Consider the added cost of a hybrid averaged over 5 years and provides a 50% reduced carbon footprint which means the cost of that footprint reduction is about $1200 per year (over five years). The cost of achieving the same carbon footprint reduction via Planktos ecorestoration of trees and seas is about $10-$15 per year (2 or 3 tons X $5). Go to and you can do it now. That’s a mighty big difference, a factor of about 1000 times. So for the same money paid to Toyota Corporation for a great hybrid car a person could erase the carbon footprint of a lifetime of cars, homes, and airplane flights via ecorestoration. We think that is a compelling reason why people should look first to our ecorestoration option. OK, if you still just have to have one of those cute hybrids, by all means do so too!

    That factor of 1000X in cost is why the world is talking about the potential economic apocalypse that we risk if we act to solve the impending environmental apocalypse. Take for example the figures that came out this week from the UK saying the world needs to spend $7 trillion to redress rising CO2 in the air. That $7 trillion is the number you come up with if you use Toyota’s hybrid price tag as the index on the cost of action… the ecorestoration price tag provides a more affordable global solution and better results at a mere $7 billion. That’s a number we can all afford to restore our planetary gardens, and we then get to live there.

    To listen to a talk radio show on this topic visit our streaming radio link at

    Russ George – President
    Planktos Inc.
    Foster City, CA (San Francisco)