Bermuda Post

Monday, Jul 04, 2022

Climate Change for Inquiring Minds – Part 1

Climate Change for Inquiring Minds – Part 1

After reading inaccurate articles and emotional opinion pieces in the Royal Gazette and Bernews on climate change over the last few years, I decided to clear up the debate using understandable straight-talking language commonly called facts.
“The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” - President Ronald Reagan

Numerous surveys continue to show that “climate change” is near the bottom of the list of people’s priorities for governments to address. However, governments worldwide are salivating at spending hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars annually, enacting new green taxes & regulations, lowering your standard of living, and pushing going green to save the planet. The seriousness of this Herculean effort was recently demonstrated by the enormous carbon footprint generated by COP26. Thousands of bureaucrats, a few billionaires, several celebrities, numerous heads of nations, and thousands of green activists attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP) in Glasgow, Scotland. The 26th meeting of COP ran from 31 October to 13 November 2021, and left a carbon footprint that was at least double the size left behind from the 2019 Madrid conference. An estimated 102,500 tons of carbon dioxide vs. 51,101 tons, or the equivalent to the total average annual emissions from over 8,000 United Kingdom residents. We are told that “climate change” is a complex issue that governments, the United Nations, scientists, and activists are addressing, but is it?

This will come as a shock to most people, but you do not have to be a “climate scientist” nor hold a Ph.D. to understand the topic of “climate change.” In debating the topic with many people here in Bermuda and elsewhere, I have yet to encounter one person who has actually performed any research on their own. People simply regurgitate the standard talking points provided by the news media, celebrities, politicians, activists, and flawed studies such as the world-famous 97% consensus.

1. What is my background?
I have over thirty years of global business consulting and Information Technology experience. Most relevant to the subject at hand, I am a Technology Expert Reviewer of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) and Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Also, a Reviewer of “Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment,” for the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). This means that my education, having read hundreds of research papers and work experience credentials, were accepted by each organization. Once accepted, non-public report access was given to review the drafts. I read and analyzed the draft papers then submitted numerous comments on questionable statements and illustrations. To the best of my knowledge, no one else in Bermuda has performed these reviews.

2. What is climate change?
“The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” - Henny Penny, aka Chicken Little.

Since climate on earth first began under the watchful eyes of Mother Nature, the environment over time and geographic regions have changed. Where I grew up in New York State used to be under one to two-mile thick ice sheets. Over thousands of years, ice sheets formed, melted, formed, and melted - several times. There were no internal combustion engines and no coal-fired electricity plants releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. But the ice sheets somehow melted and not due to methane (CH4) flatulence and burps from herds of Wooly Mammoths warming the planet. Mother Nature simply does wonderous things.

The following “climate change” definition was recently, yes, recently added online to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service Glossary:

“A non-random change in climate that is measured over several decades or longer. The change may be due to natural or human-induced causes.”

For decades, the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) Glossary of Meteorology has been the authoritative source for definitions of meteorological terms. Not to be outdone by NOAA, the AMS also recently added online and defined “climate change” as:

“Any systematic change in the long-term statistics of climate elements (such as temperature, pressure, or winds) sustained over several decades or longer.

Climate change may be due to natural external forcings, such as changes in solar emission or slow changes in the earth’s orbital elements; natural internal processes of the climate system; or anthropogenic forcing.”

Notice that both organizations use the word “or,” in the definitions. Neither assigns a percentage of natural vs. human influence, the minimum size of an area affected, nor mentions the weather.

In public discussions, climate change today means whatever you want it to mean to fit a given argument. Too hot, too cold, too much rain, too little rain, a hurricane, a tornado, yada, yada, yada – climate change! The mainstream meaning is that humans are totally responsible for warming the planet. Why “climate change?” Because the much-touted “anthropogenic global warming theory” (AGW theory) phrase was too complex a catch-phrase for the general public to comprehend or even pronounce. Theory, obviously, had to be dropped. Anthropogenic, according to Merriam-Webster, “meaning relating to, or resulting from the influence of human beings on nature.” “Global warming” did not resonate with people snowed in from blizzards, record snowfalls, and record frigid days. “Man-made global warming” is obviously sexist and politically incorrect.

Focus groups settled on the nebulous phrase “climate change” because that means whatever you want it to mean. It is what it is today, thanks to better marketing convincing the public in believing that humans through industrialization are changing the climate on a global basis.

3. What is the 97% consensus?
“There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” - Mark Twain

How many times have you heard or read about the 97% scientific consensus that humans are causing the earth to warm? 97% of the scientists agree! Really? Did you ever read even one of the many “peer-reviewed” papers and articles that claim a 97% (or higher) consensus? Does anyone actually believe that politicians pushing going green such as Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, John Kerry, any Bermudian in the Government, reporters, or green activists, including Greta Thunberg, have read just one paper?

Without boring readers with a litany of well-known issues with each paper, the easiest one to follow is the often quoted and leader of the pack Doran and Zimmerman (published, Eos, Vol. 90, No. 3, pp. 22-23, 20 January 2009). Professor Doran’s and college graduate student Zimmerman’s research also illustrates how the 97% was generally calculated in other papers.

In 2008, 10,257 Earth Scientists were selected from a database of academic and Government institutions to answer a less than two-minute online survey. The sample size of 10,257 equals 100%. 3,146 (30.67%), a subset, responded. Apparently, no attempts were made to obtain responses from the 7,111 scientists (69.33%), the overwhelming majority who did not reply, nor their reasons for not participating.

From those who responded, Doran and Zimmerman added filters such as the number of papers published, years of relevant experience, etc. Why that was not done before sending out the survey is a mystery. This filtering produced a subset of a subset with seventy-nine (79) scientists. As a percentage of the sample size, 79 / 10,257 = 0.77%. WHAT? Of the respondent subset, 79 / 3,146 = 2.51%. Again, WHAT?

From Doran and Zimmerman: “In our survey, the most specialized and knowledgeable respondents (with regard to climate change) are those who listed climate science as their area of expertise and who also have published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change (79 individuals in total). Of these specialists, 96.2% (76 of 79) answered “risen” to question 1 and 97.4% (75 of 77) answered yes to question 2.”

Q1: “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?” 76 of 79 (96.2%) answered “risen.”

Q2: “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?” 75 of 77 (97.4%) answered “yes.”

And there you have it, from 0.77% of the sample size to a 97.4% consensus by scientists in “peer-reviewed” research that human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean (average) global temperatures. This is a perfect example of what I call Green Math.

4. “(Insert year) is the warmest year on record.”
“A lie told once remains a lie, but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.” - Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda

If the earth is really warming, should each successive year not be warmer than the previous year? By the way, did you know that there is no global weather monitoring network that covers the entire planet? Most of what exists are not correctly placed, not regularly maintained & calibrated, and not annually certified for accuracy. This produces the infamous and not-talked-about “margin of error.” Those are just some of the reasons why temperature data in studies is adjusted and, for some reason, usually upwards. As we say in Information Technology - Garbage In, Garbage Out (GIGO).

For example, when confronted on the warmest year on record claim, NASA had to admit the following: UK DailyMail Online - David Rose 18 January 2015. Headline: Nasa climate scientists: We said 2014 was the warmest year on record... but we’re only 38% sure we were right

“The Nasa climate scientists who claimed 2014 set a new record for global warmth last night admitted they were only 38 per cent sure this was true.
In a press release on Friday, Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) claimed its analysis of world temperatures showed ‘2014 was the warmest year on record’.

The claim made headlines around the world, but yesterday it emerged that GISS’s analysis – based on readings from more than 3,000 measuring stations worldwide – is subject to a margin of error. Nasa admits this means it is far from certain that 2014 set a record at all.”

NASA exemplifies the use of Green Math and GIGO. “38 percent sure” also means 62 percent unsure about the data collected from over 3,000 stations. That same erroneous data is used for computer modeling climate change projections out to 2050 and 2100. Was anyone fired for failure to properly maintain the stations? Would you accept a bank statement that was only 38% accurate, but the bank says it is correct until proven otherwise? Would you trust a heart or a brain surgeon who claimed that a 38% successful operation rate was really a 100% success rate? Should any Government make a decision to spend taxpayer dollars on green projects knowing the climate modeling data is only 38% accurate?

When it comes to statements about climate change, “Trust, but verify.” – President Ronald Reagan.

To be continued.
Joe Zajac, Devonshire
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