Monday, May 23, 2016

Anatomy of the false link between forest fires and anthropogenic CO2

Here is my latest article, published moments ago on Research Gate.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303446052_Anatomy_of_the_false_link_between_forest_fires_and_anthropogenic_CO2


Anatomy of the false link between forest fires and anthropogenic CO2

By D. G. Rancourt, PhD
Research Gate, May 2016
DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2059.6087

Summary: In this critical review of the scientific literature about fire, I describe how the false notion of a link between forest fires and anthropogenic CO2 was ignited in 2006 by a fatally flawed article promoted in the science-trend-setting magazine Science, and spread like wildfire through the scientific literature and beyond, driven in part by high winds of climate modelling extravagance, while fortunately leaving large unburnt patches. There is no evidentiary basis for such a link. On the contrary, established knowledge about forest fires leads to the conclusion that dedication to teasing out such a link is preposterous: In the present circumstances starting in approximately 1900, the dominant effect is direct human impacts on land use, which causes global fire occurrences to be dramatically less than from the known long-term natural cycles (modern fire deficit). No special circumstances or regions have been correctly identified where forest fire behaviour can be attributed to CO2. Canada’s recent Fort McMurray fire is no exception. The claimed 7 g mean birth weight loss arising from mothers’ general exposure to CO2-driven southern California wildfires, like all such claims, is a product of statistical and conceptual overenthusiasm. I use concepts from the animal-behaviour scientific literature to explain how some scientists and their followers can get so carried away.

Read the entire article HERE.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Climate Hustle: Oh Mann...

Movie review, by Denis Rancourt



I finally got to see the feature-length documentary film Climate Hustle (Producer/Director: Chris Rogers, Host/co-writer: Marc Morano, CFACT, 2016). It was released today in 400 cinemas for one day, including in Toronto.

Disclosure: I make two brief appearances in the film, along with some 30 other scientists. I don't believe in dangerous anthropogenic global warming [1]. I have scientist friends who don't believe in dangerous anthropogenic global warming. I have never received any money from the energy industries, and I have never received anything for expressing my views on climate, other than insults and threats.

Hustle is a solid, well crafted, and highly entertaining documentary film that makes extensive use of authoritative sources. Namely, serious scientists who have substantively questioned the agenda-driven global warming bandwagon, and who are willing to say so publicly.

The film is a precious contemporary record of the politicization of establishment science, and also documents how conscientious scientists can come to dissent from a majority view, when too much is too much. The personal story of highly regarded climatologist Judith Curry is simply riveting in that regard, as are others.

The historical 1970s footage of "the coming ice age" frenzy and the depictions of the shrill current alarmists are priceless. And I love the interviewed writer's explanation of the human psychology of alarmism.

Hustle is fast-paced, fun, and thought provoking throughout. The characters are wonderfully human.

The film does give the impression, which can also be detected in the scientific literature, that climate scientists will correct their over zealous departure from objectivity, but it's not at all certain that the main culprits will be purged. In my opinion, the likely scenario is that the science will now go on its merry way and the US-regime global architects will implement what ever they can get away with in the cloud of publicity, institutional and diplomatic deception that they have created [2].

I have three criticisms of Hustle.

The first is the film's use of a graphical illustration tactic that is based on a scientific error. CO2 is not a "trace gas". It is a "minor constituent" of the atmosphere. "Trace" has a precise scientific definition. More importantly, it is irrelevant how little CO2 there is. What matters to global radiation balance is not the small amount of CO2 or of greenhouse-effect gasses, but rather the degree to which the resulting atmosphere is opaque to infrared radiation. That is, the amount of gas must be multiplied by the resonant absorption cross-section of the molecule. The said resonant cross-section of CO2, in the relevant band, is huge, which is why the CO2 effect is "saturated" and increasing the CO2 atmospheric concentration has little impact on surface temperature [3].

Thus, the film's short cartoon segment with coloured cubes representing the gas constituents of the atmosphere is a false representation, based on incorrect logic, or incorrect physics if you prefer. This error is essentially the same misrepresentation that Al Gore used in reverse to suggest that increasing CO2 has a proportionate impact on climate. Hustle correctly has a scientist explain the error in the Al Gore stunt and did not need the coloured blocks. I guess it was just too tempting to leave out, and the host's script was not reviewed for accuracy by a physicist.

Secondly, I dislike the particular and brief ending point that those who will suffer most from the global policies to enforce a carbon economy are the planet's most vulnerable, who do not have clean water and electricity. While this is true, and has been brilliantly documented in Amy Miller's The Carbon Rush, it is nonetheless a cheap shot to go there, equal to Al Gore followers' disingenuous concerns for the planet's vulnerable peoples. The main players opposing carbon trade restrictions have interests other than improving the lives of distant brown populations.

Thirdly, I am concerned about the elephant in the room. While Hustle has convincingly exposed the politicization and complicity of establishment science, a la "slap in the face", it is silent on the true underlying driving forces that are geopolitical and economic in nature and that are comprised of opposing (though unequal) corporate blocks beyond simple citizens and activists [2].

While the film's answer (here) is good, it is far from complete, and addresses only the mechanisms of professional engagement. It does not address the overall movement of a larger system and the real economic battles on national and global scales.

The global finance instruments of the US regime do not gear up to impose a carbon economy out of popular demand, to spread democracy and justice, or to save humanity, nor does all of this simply self-organize spontaneously out of professional self-interests [2]. Possibly the first to signal the global finance reality of the then newfound media phenomenon of climate alarmism was the late historian of science and technology David F. Noble, on a blog that I host [1][4].

The film was a riot that I totally enjoyed.


References

[1] Alexander Cockburn, Dissidents Against Dogma, CounterPunch, 9 June 2007; and The Nation, 25 June 2007; and see Dru Oja Jay, Questioning Climate Politics: Denis Rancourt says the “global warming myth” is part of the problem, The Dominion, 11 April, 2007.

[2] Denis Rancourt, Carbon Reality Check, Dissident Voice, 30 April 2016.

[3] See: Denis Rancourt, Radiation physics constraints on global warming: CO2 increase has little effect, archive.org, 3 June 2011; and video lecture of 21 November 2015.

[4] David F. Noble, The Corporate Climate Coup, Activist Teacher, 1 May 2007.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Carbon Reality Check

By Denis Rancourt

"No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change."
-- Barack Obama, leader of the US global dominance regime, Nobel Peace Prize laureate. (Any questions?)

The current world energy sources are like this:




Let that sink in.

Now imagine what that means in terms of physical infrastructure and organization of the world economy.

Given this evident reality, any carbon management plan can only be for actual reasons other than halting world development or significantly altering the use of fossil fuels.

Carbon management plans can never stop energy use or significantly divert the economy towards more expensive sources than the ones currently available and into the foreseeable future.

Such plans (the "carbon economy" legal and financial instruments) are advanced and promoted for other reasons, practical reasons, such as:

  • altering the competitive landscape of different energy providers, favoring some while disadvantaging others
  • geopolitical machinations, such as limiting or taxing the emerging powers, under military threat enforcement eventually
  • strengthening the global finance instruments controlled by the US regime (World Bank, International Monetary Fund)
  • possibly securing the US dollar as the carbon trading unit, thus artificially maintaining the US regime's currency
  • providing governments with a guaranteed tax base tied to the real economy rather than fluctuating markets
  • benefiting privileged sectors of the economy, tied to developed countries, such as financial speculation corporations and high technology sectors of energy production, carbon sequestration, resource monitoring, planetary monitoring, and so on
  • providing a useful diversion for Western public opinion, and misdirecting middle class civil discontent towards acceptable and usable demands

There you have it. These are possible underlying motives of the global push towards carbon management. The alleged "saving the planet" motive is a delusion that the dominant global oligarchy does not share with gullible propaganda consumers.

The underlying battles are real and are tied to competing corporate, finance, and geopolitical entities.

The shale sector is presently a wild frontier that does not want to be suppressed whereas big oil is happy to be "green".

BRICS is emerging and will surpass the US constellation but not without a vicious fight that already includes carbon management pressures and wars for energy reserves and pipeline routes.

"Climate change" is the perfect pretext that energy reserves should be in the hands of the dominant US energy corporations and their financiers, which allegedly alone have the required technologies of efficiency and the capital leverage to develop alternative technologies...

And so on. That is the game behind the media show that is visible and that is blaring the carbon-induced-human-extinction scenario.

I've been making the obvious point for over ten years [1] that the global corporate-finance web of energy extraction and use will not and cannot be restructured to reduce CO2, never mind the fantasy of affecting global mean surface temperature via CO2 management.  In the latter regard, I have outlined the basic science itself: The physics of the planetary radiation balance [2]. My contributions to these various debates are listed here.


References

[1] Alexander Cockburn, Dissidents Against Dogma, CounterPunch, 9 June 2007; and The Nation, 25 June 2007.

[2] Denis Rancourt, Radiation physics constraints on global warming: CO2 increase has little effect, archive.org, 3 June 2011; and video lecture of 21 November 2015.

Related article: Denis Rancourt, "Climate Stupidity and Human Survival", Dissident Voice, 26 May 2015.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

There are no increased dry and wet episodes from industrial CO2

Hello warmist enthusiasts. This new article is of note. Hard science published in the top journal shows that there is no increased high-intensity weather events periods or regional climate changes associated with industrial-era CO2. That little hypothesis based on creative toy models does not hold up to the actual data.

Northern Hemisphere hydroclimate variability over the past twelve centuries (link)

  • Fredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist,
  • Paul J. Krusic,
  • Hanna S. Sundqvist,
  • Eduardo Zorita,
  • Gudrun Brattström
  • & David Frank
Nature 532, 94–98 doi:10.1038/nature17418

Abstract: "Accurate modelling and prediction of the local to continental-scale hydroclimate response to global warming is essential given the strong impact of hydroclimate on ecosystem functioning, crop yields, water resources, and economic security. However, uncertainty in hydroclimate projections remains large, in part due to the short length of instrumental measurements available with which to assess climate models. Here we present a spatial reconstruction of hydroclimate variability over the past twelve centuries across the Northern Hemisphere derived from a network of 196 at least millennium-long proxy records. We use this reconstruction to place recent hydrological changes and future precipitation scenarios in a long-term context of spatially resolved and temporally persistent hydroclimate patterns. We find a larger percentage of land area with relatively wetter conditions in the ninth to eleventh and the twentieth centuries, whereas drier conditions are more widespread between the twelfth and nineteenth centuries. Our reconstruction reveals that prominent seesaw patterns of alternating moisture regimes observed in instrumental data across the Mediterranean, western USA, and China have operated consistently over the past twelve centuries. Using an updated compilation of 128 temperature proxy records, we assess the relationship between the reconstructed centennial-scale Northern Hemisphere hydroclimate and temperature variability. Even though dry and wet conditions occurred over extensive areas under both warm and cold climate regimes, a statistically significant co-variability of hydroclimate and temperature is evident for particular regions. We compare the reconstructed hydroclimate anomalies with coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model simulations and find reasonable agreement during pre-industrial times. However, the intensification of the twentieth-century-mean hydroclimate anomalies in the simulations, as compared to previous centuries, is not supported by our new multi-proxy reconstruction. This finding suggests that much work remains before we can model hydroclimate variability accurately, and highlights the importance of using palaeoclimate data to place recent and predicted hydroclimate changes in a millennium-long context."