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from Michigan Pete, comment at Gristmill on 26-04-08: I think we need to stop worrying about the polar bears... A survey of the animals' numbers in Canada's eastern Arctic has revealed that they are thriving, not declining... In the Davis Strait area, a 140,000-sq kilometre region, the polar bear population has grown from 850 in the mid-1980s to 2,100 today. "There aren't just a few more bears. There are a hell of a lot more bears," said Mitch Taylor, a polar bear biologist who has spent 20 years studying the animals."

As an environmentalist I used to believe in Global Warming. I now know that CO2 was not remotely the cause of recent warming.

I saw Al Gore's film and was convinced by his science that is built on the work of Roger Revelle and others, and the beliefs of most scientists today. I was convinced by his statement, backed up by a study by Prof. Naomi Oreskes, that there was consensus among scientists, and that only "kooks or crooks" now differed. Al Gore showed a very serious picture - threatening our whole future - unless we drastically lower our carbon dioxide emissions, and unless we act quickly. James Hansen, high up in NASA, showed even more alarming scenarios possible.

I then joined Transition Towns and learned about Peak Oil as well. I checked and checked the official science of Global Warming, the "greenhouse effect" of CO2, and the many "rebuttals of skeptics' arguments" at New Scientist, BBC, Gristmill, Royal Society, Skeptical Science, Met Office, and RealClimate. They all said, in effect "... there are a very limited number of objections or attacks on what is really very sound and well resolved science" :-

  • Our CO2 emissions were the cause of the "unprecedented" rising CO2 levels, they said,
  • ...since "nothing else" could have caused this...
  • ...and the rising CO2 must have caused the "unprecedented" global temperature rise, they said,
  • ...since, again, there was "nothing else".

I was then challenged by contradictory evidence -
- that steadily rising CO2 does NOT fit cooling periods as well as warming periods -
- that "Anthropogenic Global Warming" is bad science and even outright fraud -
- that no runaway "tipping points" are even possible -
- that there is no science "consensus" -
- many have done two "U-turns", ignorant skeptic > AGW believer > informed skeptic

  • Global temperatures have been falling for ten years, yet CO2 is rising as steadily as ever
  • Carbon Dioxide is the foodstuff of plants, and cannot cause more than a tiny amount of global warming
  • Global warming is not bad for life; cooling is far more hazardous
  • Global temperatures have been changing at all times, in both recorded history and geology
  • there is no consensus - and any claim that "the debate is over" is at best unscientific, at worst fraudulent
  • Most scientists are only familiar with their particular discipline and, doubting their ability to assess the whole global warming thesis, often say "I believe in Global Warming... except in my speciality"
  • Climate Science has been taken over by people with political agendas, headed up by the UN IPCC
  • Seriously suspect "alarmist" science has arisen, some directly sponsored by IPCC
  • All the the media and science publications are putting out the alarmist science
  • All the major science bodies have "refutations" of the skeptics' science - but the refutations do not hold up
  • Activists and much of the media have been engaged in libellous slander against all the best skeptics
  • People are now in grave danger of making blunders of a size never seen before, based on bad science.

Who pays me: I'm not now, nor ever was or will be, in the pay of any big business to promote their position. I wish I had more money.
I wish I didn't have to put in this disclaimer - especially since almost all the slush funding now goes towards AGW support.

It took me a solid month of study to be sure which side was correct.
Some basic issues have been skewed or ignored; some areas are still unclear.
Checking and counter-checking both sides was essential.
For evidence and references to back all this up, please see the full story

Scientists have been naturally driven by concern for the environment. But they have also discovered that predicting catastrophe, and claiming that research is needed to avert the catastrophe, is the most effective way, even the only way, to secure research grants. Official Climate Science has increasingly abused public trust, and, together with the media, it has been trading its birthright of evidence-based truth, for sensation. It also serially withholds data - whose inspection might reveal the scams and the bad science. Climate scientists have debunked and marginalized much good science and, unbelievably, set up theories to support Anthropogenic Global Warming that appear to override already-well-established scientific laws and evidence (eg the "buffer" effect overriding Henry's Law - see Primer). Unbelievably, some activists have gained positions of power in scientific organizations where they can - against the most basic principles of openness and checkability in Science - suppress the debate - so that many do not know, or do not want to believe, or have neither time nor skill to investigate, the suppression that has happened.

Commonsense should remind us that CO2 is an essential resource for plants to live - in fact, plants have benefited from the recently increased CO2 levels, and could easily take a lot more. Market gardeners use up to FIVE TIMES the current levels in their greenhouses to maximise growth - without harm to anything or anyone. The only "Precautionary Principle" of any use is to ask questions - ask for evidence that CO2 has ever caused any measurable warming let alone runaway heat - and learn the basic science here. I was lucky to have time to check the evidence. In order to make the journey manageable, I have done various things:

  1. To read the story in brief, go here.
  2. To learn the real science, and understand how innocent concern became corrupted, go to my Skeptics' Primer - "Curious Anomalies in Climate Science". 
  3. The video page is a nice relaxed way of learning the true science in easy steps and from top scientists - Christy, Theon, Plimer, and others.
  4. Here are references to important info sources you will, sadly, never find in the once-unbiassed science journals.
  5. Join our Forum (or if inactive currently, join another like WUWT) and explore key issues.
  6. Look here at a more detailed exploration of key topics, with the most clinching evidence where possible.
  7. If you want to learn to stay with key issues in debate, see Joanne Nova's Skeptics' Handbook.
  8. If you want to read my first long study, go here. I only left it in for the record - it's not where I'm at now!

Accusations of "oil-funded!" and "not peer-reviewed!" are frequently levelled when accusers are unable to address the science itself. Sadly, the peer-review process itself has become corrupt - difficult to prove and most unwelcome to believe. The high level of specialization today can make the number of scientists even capable of peer-reviewing an inbred group. I thought that watchdogs would watch for corrupt science, but I now realize that most of the activists have been taken in by the bad science, or are on a power roll themselves. But there are also environmentalists with superb track records who are now fighting for the truth in Climate Science.

Look at the Science Blog of the Year 2008, WattsUpWithThat - and the 2007 winner Climate Audit. Watts at WUWT was once an AGW believer; his blog stays manageable by being chatty but that belies a huge amount of science actually happening there. CA is doing exactly what its name says, auditing the science. CA shows that the official science has been playing fast and loose with data, again and again, to arrive at desired IPCC-alarmist conclusions. Look for the science threads. Bear with the humour that forbids ad hominem personal accusations but may sometimes poke fun. Allow for some odd posters; these sites still compare favourably, both re courtesy and re science, with the AGW believers' mainstay, RealClimate. Through slander and silence in the media, many do not even realize of the existence of friendly, informed, active skeptics networks where real science happens. RealClimate censors or pillories those who disagree, and does not even mention WUWT or CA by name except to disparage, whereas all can post at WUWT and CA providing courtesy is maintained.

If you don't believe me, try these three and see for yourself. If you still find otherwise, contact us. Only if you are firmly ensconsed with RealClimate, don't waste my time. Chances are you'll just keep on repeating their stuff while not listening to ours. I've seen this happen. Chances are you'll not even visit the experts we can point you towards because you believe you already "know" they are "suspect". I say, give truth and evidence a chance.

Revised 5th September 2009

 

 

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