Friday, December 4, 2009

ClimateGate on the People's Network

Last night we may have witnessed a turning point in the Canadian discussion of Anthropogenic (human caused) Global Warming (AGW). Readers of the Toronto Globe and Mail have long known that two regular columnists Margaret Wente and Rex Murphy are AGW skeptics and have written courageous columns to that effect on many occasions in the past. Rex Murphy also happens to be an employee of the CBC, and has a regular opinion piece every Thursday on The National led by Pastor Peter Mansbridge. As a regular viewer of The National and a fan of Rex Murphy's way with words, I don't recall a broadcast where Rex has been unleashed and spoken so bluntly about his views on AGW.

CBC and AGW have been like peanut butter and jelly, that close and supportive of one another. To see Rex Murphy let loose finally on one of his pet peeves was jaw dropping. Have a look:


  1. Have you watched Potholer54's response to the climate emails?

  2. I'm very familiar with potholer54 and his excellent series on Evolution - well worth watching. And I've seen his clever and funny response to the Climategate story. He may have a point, but my point (in previous postings)has not changed. Certainly Earth is in a warming period that began well before humans could possibly have had an impact. That has never been explained adequately because the science has not been settled. If this issue does nothing else but wake people up that a hasty reponse to AGW might well impoverish them in the present to protect from a dubious future catastrophe, then it has served its purpose. Try these websites:

  3. That of course IS the question. I don't know. I've taught students for years about ice ages and warming periods possibly due to changes in the earth's wobble, variations in the earth's orbit etc. I would feel better if we had a better theory for previous climate change. We are in a warming period - have been for 11 000 years or so. Do the so called greenhouse gases (CO2, H2O, CH4) accelerate this warming? Maybe, a lot of jobs are at stake for people who work in or around the IPCC in university's and governments around the world. Pushing that agenda is job security. Much money and power are feeding this frenzy - that should be enough reason to give any thinking person pause. This is going to be a very, very expensive "fix", especially for Canadians, and their is no guarantee of success nor is there any way to measure success. Most of us won't live long enough to see that the planet is saved. Something rotten is happening in the state of Denmark!

  4. The physics of greenhouse gases are not in dispute. They cause the surface of the earth to be warmer than without them.

    Our environment is basically stable - incoming heat from the sun is roughly equal to the amount of heat radiating off the earth. Oil is basically trapped sunlight. By burning it, we release this heat very quickly and increase CO2. Simple physics says the earth should stabilize at a higher temperature and if we stop burning oil, the temperature should stabilize at a lower temperature but there will be a lag. The problem is that we've burned tremendous amounts of oil and dumped large amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It will take about 100 years to cycle this CO2 out, if we stop outputting it now.

    The increase in temperatures and increase in CO2 is no longer a correlation, there is a strong causal connection. If the models are correct, the situation is dire. Higher temperatures, even 2 degrees will mean disaster for billions.

    Switching to Wind, Water and Solar will reduce CO2, reduce the release of trapped energy and have virtually no pollution. This should stabilize AGW, make populations healthier and provide local jobs maintaining the system.

    We have the technology to do this, why wouldn't we?

  5. I agree with much of what you said - I don't like this part: "If the models are correct, the situation is dire. Higher temperatures, even 2 degrees will mean disaster for billions." I'm not convinced that the models have all the input data required to make those kinds of predictions. Computer modelling is a relatively new field and from my limited experience at programming back in the '70s I recall the phrase "GIGO-garbage in - garbage out".
    But lets assume the models are correct and we need to switch to alternative fuels NOW in the real world! Are you prepared to scrap your gas/oil furnace in favour of a very expensive alternate? Will you give up your car(s) in favour of public transit or bike? Turn off your computer, TV, dryer, fridge...etc.- and will your neighbours do it too? Then you will say everyone needs to do this to save the planet so the government will force us ALL and help us with grants and subsidies, rebates etc. Sounds good eh? The government here in Canada, is already spending more than it takes in and already has a considerable debt. How does the government meet all its future obligations - aging boomers - health care expenses increase, the war - support the troops etc. etc. Now we want to save the planet - where does that money come from? How much debt are we prepared to take on? Who will lend us the money? The world is still in a credit crisis, and mark my words we are a long way from getting out of this recession. All these new expenses will create a huge transfer of wealth from your pocket and my pocket and the mouths of your children and mine. Our children will have less opportunity than you and I because their discretionary income will be usurped by government edicts (as a libertarian, I have a problem with that). The economics is complex, the bottom line is you will have less. I'm mulling over a new blog on the cost of fixing AGW, in the meantime yesterdays Globe had an op-ed that discusses some of the complexities involved: