Thursday, 18 August 2011

Rick Perry - the man to watch in the US Presidental Race

The Texas Star-Telegram reports:
(Texas) Gov. Rick Perry found himself at the center of attention again on Wednesday, this time after reiterating his skepticism over climate change and his belief that some scientists have manipulated data to keep the issue alive.
Two days after drawing fire for blunt comments regarding Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Perry decried the global warming issue as "politicized" and questioned the science behind it while speaking at an event in New Hampshire.
Perry has been outspoken on the issue for years, but his comments are getting attention like never before now that he's a front-running Republican presidential candidate. reports:

Rick Perry Gets It on Global Warming

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's entrance into the GOP presidential primary has almost overnight deflated the prospects of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and Perry’s skepticism of man-made global warming has been one of the key factors.

Perry rides into the presidential contest with a bold brand of global warming skepticism that is sure to ignite tea party enthusiasts and GOP primary voters. Perry told the Guardian that global warming is "one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight."

It would be wonderful for our cause if the next US President was a Sceptic (or in US spelling - Skeptic)
The UK betting agencies now have Governor Perry as favorite in the Rebublican race for the Presidency. The Campaigning has started in earnest. One agency has the following odds:

Rick Perry                    3/1
Mitt Romney                5/1
Michele Bachmann    10/1
Jon Huntsman              25/1
Sarah Palin                   20/1

It's early days yet and, if my memory serves me correctly, at this stage in the last Presidential Race for the Democrat Party Hillary Clinton was way in front.

The International Climate Science coalition's Tom Harris:

The other Sceptical candidate is Michele Bachmann. The infighting has started. The Houston Chronicle:

Rick Perry explains why he’s better than Michele Bachmann (with video)

So after some elbowing, our Shaky Hand Productions crew asked Gov. Rick Perry a direct question — and got a complete sentence response — Monday at the Iowa State Fair. The question: What makes you a better candidate than Rep. Michele Bachmann, who would be his chief rival for Iowa’s social conservative voters?
We asked Bachmann the same thing about a week earlier, but — as you remember — her press people literally put their hands over The Shaky Hand camera and physically blocked us from getting close to Bachmann. Now more reporters are complaining about similar treatment from Team Bachmann.


Gavin Schmidt, Galileo Movement and Lubos Motl

Gavin Schmidt

Gavin A. Schmidt is a climatologist and climate modeler at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

He works on the variability of the ocean circulation and climate, using general circulation models (GCMs).

He was educated at The Corsham School, earned a BA (Hons) in mathematics at Jesus College, Oxford, and a PhD in applied mathematics at University College London.[3](Wikipedia)

Luboš Motl (born December 5, 1973) is a Czech theoretical physicist who keeps a blog commenting on physics, global warming and politics
Luboš Motl

He received his master degree from the Charles University in Prague, and his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Rutgers University and has been a Harvard Junior Fellow (2001–2004) and assistant professor (2004–2007) at Harvard University.
On Luboš' blog, the Reference Frame (link in title) he comments on Gavin's "fight against" the Galileo Movement's booklet - Science in a nutshell.

If Luboš is to be believed ( and TCS blog, for one believes and trusts him) then Gavin Schmidt is either a complete scientific buffoon or worse, a denier of the truth, trying to uphold the falsified AGW hypothesis.

Here is just one example. For an enlightening read go to the Reference Frame and read the whole post and don't miss the comments.
GM - Galileo Movement
GS - Gavin Schmidt
LM - Luboš Motl

GM: In every 85,000 molecules of air, just 33 are CO2. For every 33 molecules of CO2, 32 are from Nature and known to be essential to all life on Earth. How can one molecule of the same gas produced by humans be blamed for supposed imminent, irreversible, catastrophic global warming? It cannot.

GS: False.

Two hundred years ago, only 24 of those molecules would have been CO2. Today, 33 molecules are – a 40 percent rise of a key greenhouse gas.

The reference to "one molecule" is misleading: By talking ratios, the Galileo Movement obscures the staggering amount of carbon dioxide society has pumped into the air. In the last two centuries, society has dumped 220 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. It added another 110 billion tons via deforestation and land-use changes.

The atmosphere weighs about 5 quadrillion tons, and carbon dioxide, despite our emissions, remains a small component of that. But it grows larger every year. The International Energy Agency expects annual global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels alone to top 40 billion tons a year by 2030.

The math gets complicated from here, but there is an enormous quantity of molecules in those 330 billon tons of CO2.
LM: The statement by the Galileo Movement is obviously right, totally accurate, and immensely important for this whole discussion.

It just says that 33 molecules among 85,000 - not sure why this number was chosen (I guess that it was 100,000 to start with but they wanted the final small numbers to agree with something else) - are CO2 molecules and none of these CO2 molecules can individually be identified as "harmful". In fact, when you ask each molecule how they got into the atmosphere the last time they did, 32 of them will reply that they got to the atmosphere from natural sources.

This small percentage of the "fresh man-made molecules" boils down to something we discussed at the beginning - the man-made CO2 emissions are just a small portion of the annual CO2 budget. Schmidt is right that the total number would be close to 24 and not 33 or 32 molecules if there had been no industrial activity. But that doesn't mean that there's anything inaccurate about the statement by the Galileo Movement.

You may say that 24 molecules would be there regardless of the humans - you can't say which ones among the 33 molecules, of course. They're identical to each other. 1 molecule was added by humans during the last loop of the carbon cycle. And what about the remaining 33-25=8 molecules? They were added by Nature during the most recent cycle but Nature wouldn't be able to add them if men didn't previously get them to the circulation.

In this sense, you might call the recently emitted 1 molecule a "recent stimulus package" and the remaining 8 molecules are "results of Nature's activity that boils down to the historical stimulus packages in the past". At any rate, the main point is that the CO2 molecules that have been added to the system in the past have been recycled dozens of times and became a standard part of the cycle of Nature. That's what Nature does with any molecules, especially the totally inherent and like-like molecules such as CO2 that have been driving life for billions of years.

These 8 molecules are the same molecules - in principle, totally indistinguishable - as the 24 natural molecules. So you can't even say which one is which. There is no physical experiment that would distinguish the 24 "totally natural molecules" from the 8 "natural now but man-made in the past" molecules or 1 "recently man-made molecule". (There might be heavier isotopes and their percentage in different sources may differ but biochemical processes don't distinguish the isotopes and all of them are ultimately mixed with everyone else.) If you admit that the 24 molecules are very important and beneficial for the plant life, you must admit that we have increased the happiness of the plants on Earth by 40%, while causing no disadvantages for anyone else.

The alleged disadvantage that the climate fearmongers made up - the temperature - would actually also be an advantage. But more importantly, its magnitude is totally tiny. In the language of economists, it's an externality but its value is much smaller than the value of the "internalities" that are never talked about because they're inconvenient (even though they decide about 99+ percent of the key quantities).

Just try to imagine that you're a plant. And you are offered this deal: your food happiness may increase by 40% - because the amount of CO2 will grow by this figure - but you may dislike the temperature change that is connected with this deal with may be about 0.6 °C of warming (and I am generously assuming that all temperature change in the last 100 years is due to human activity). Will you accept the offer? You bet. Half a degree in either direction is totally irrelevant in comparison with a 40% increase of your food supply. (And I am generously overlooking that the warming would be good for almost any plant, too.)

As some children already know, plants are important even for those people who prefer meat because the meat comes from animals that either ate some plants :-) or they ate other animals that [....] and ultimately the final animals eat plants which is why everyone depends on CO2. Some children even call this insight "food chain".

The idea that there is something wrong about our addition of the CO2 molecules just doesn't add up. It's complete rubbish. What propagandistic articles such as Schmidt's tirade in SciAm want to achieve is something that can't really be achieved: they want all the people to abandon all of their common sense and 99% of their knowledge of science and mindlessly repeat some cherry-picked 1% of science factoids, add 100 times larger pile of myths to this scientific core, and convince themselves that these cherry-picked factoids as well as myths are important for their lives - or the life on Earth - even though they are demonstrably not important.

The Galileo Movement must be applauded for producing a booklet that actually and accurately explains many more key scientific points about the CO2 and temperature dynamics than all the movies ever shot by the climate alarmists combined.

The Truth about Greenhouse Gases

Photo: Princeton University
William Happer is the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics at Princeton University. He is a member of the (Global Warming Policy Foundation) GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council. In February 2009 Happer testified before Congress, "I believe that the increase of CO2 is not a cause for alarm and will be good for mankind", for among other reasons because of its beneficial effects on plant growth. Along with other notables, Happer led[6] the 2009 petition [7] to the American Physical Society to change its position statement on climate change.

His latest publication is called the truth about Greenhouse Gases. (pdf here)

GWPF's Dr Benny Peiser reports:
London, 17 August - The Global Warming Policy Foundation today publishes an outstanding briefing paper by the distinguished physicist Professor William Happer of Princeton University (USA).

In his paper The Truth About Greenhouse Gases, Professor Happer criticises the misguided scare-mongering about CO2 emissions as well as the habitual exaggeration of the likely impact and risks posed by global warming. He particularly laments the co-option of climate science by governments.

Happer discusses what he calls the "contemporary moral epidemic" of climate alarmism: the notion that increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide, will have disastrous consequences for mankind and for the planet and advocates a sober and balanced assessment based on empirical observations, not computer models.

"CO2 does indeed cause some warming of our planet. Other things being equal, more CO2 will cause more warming. The question is how much warming, and whether the increased CO2 and the warming it causes will be good or bad for the planet," Happer writes.