The title of the this post, without the ?, was the title of a book written in 1974 by the science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. I have mentioned Isaac and this book in previous posts but it seems worth a reprise in view of the publication of Dan Brown’s latest novel ‘Inferno’. Dan is clearly a Malthusian thinker and like Malthus the passage of time, I believe, will prove his thoughts to be equally in error.
Page 56 of Asimov’s tome shows a fearsome graph predicting world population at 7.5 billion by the millennium. Not a bad estimate for 25 years into the future as it turned out. But he then loses the run of himself and starts speculating about 20 billion souls by 2060, while the UN and most other organisations involved in this field are predicting the world population to peak at around 9 billion in 2050, just 2 billion more than the current figure. Where Asimov’s book was supposed to be fact, he lapsed into old habits of writing science fiction, quote “Know natural gas reserves will last only 13 years…Experts see rationing by 1976″. These were his predictions for key mineral depletions – Zinc gone by 1990, Lead gone by 1995, Tin and Oil gone by 2000, Copper and Uranium by 2005 and Iron ore by 2320 – well the jury is still out on that one.
The only difference between these two books is that Asimov wrote a factual book, which as it turned out was based on fiction while Brown has written a fictional book based on, well, fiction. So that’s OK then. I am sure that ‘Inferno’ will, like Brown’s other novels, be a jolly good read, but my problem with this sort of writing is that it pretends to be fact based and the vast majority of those reading it will be taken in by its alarmist nonsense. The film ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ had people similarly believing that Global Warming would cause global freezing – another load of alarmist rubbish.
I’m all in favour of a good exciting novel, but please, let’s leave Inferno and its ilk firmly in the fiction section where it belongs.
During the Middle Ages climate change had a devastating impact on the world’s population. The Little Ice Age caused famine across the globe, and severely weakened citizens succumbed in their millions to the Black Death and other diseases. In an attempt to understand the problem the great and the good of the scientific and religious communities got together to come up with a solution. Sort of the Medieval equivalent of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). The best idea it seemed was to burn witches. This practice continued for several hundred years and in light of the ending of the Little Ice Age around 1850 it could be claimed to have been something of a success.
Our own IPCC believes that if we could only reduce carbon dioxide emissions then we could end a 150 year rise in world temperatures. To those naysayers who would question the collective wisdom, the head of the IPPC (Ragendra Pachauri) has declared their methods “voodoo science” A campaign of burning 4% of the world’s corn production each year (in the form of ethanol), has been initiated, to mitigate a perceived 3% fall in world corn production due to excess carbon dioxide. Perhaps in a few hundred years we will see whether this has worked. Who know such methods have appeared to be effective in the past.
One of the fundamentals of scientific research and the scientific method is the need for the falsifiability of a particular hypothesis. For example I might claim that for every 500 feet rise above sea level, the temperature falls by 1 degree C. This is easily tested. If the temperature instead increased by half a degree for every 500 foot rise above sea level then my hypothesis would fail.
Now, the latest report from the IPPC (5AR) claims that humankind is causing both global warming and global cooling ipso facto their hypothesis is unfalsifiable. This strikes at the very heart of the nature of the IPCC. It does not act in the manner of a scientific institution therefor its pronouncements on things scientific have no validity.
This smacks of desperation. In the face of 17 years of world temperature stasis, these charlatans have nowhere else to go.
My interest in the environmental movement dates back to my childhood. Basically as far as I can remember. David Attenborough, Hans and Lotte Hass and Jacques Cousteau were the highlight of the single black and white BBC channel that was all that was available in our remote corner of Derbyshire. So it is with great sadness that I perceive that one of these pioneers of wildlife filming, namely David Attenborough, is beginning to tarnish his once sparkling reputation for factual reporting.
The rot started to set in some years ago when he buckled under the pressure of the BBC to tow the warmist line and drop in references in many of his transmissions to the ‘evidence’ of Global Warming. Just a few weeks ago he blotted his copy book (in my eyes) when he described humanity as a plague upon the Earth. Then to my utter amazement in the last episode of his wonderful series on Africa (transmitted in glorious HD and Dolby 7.1) he made the astonishing claim that Africa had warmed by 3.5℃ in the last 20 years. Oh David what has happened to you?
They say you should never meet your heroes. I think I have just got to close to one of mine. Where is the David of the stunning fact, the carefully researched data? I suspect he is just a little tired these days and is relying on some sloppy researcher, who as Leo Hickman of the Guardian opined (yes you heard it right – the Guardian) “You get the sense that they simply Googled “African temperature rise” and went for the first thing they found.”
Please David come back. Is there any chance of a Damascene road conversion as we witnessed with James Lovelock? I do hope so, there is still time.
I know your Mother told you not to look at the sun but maybe it is about time the IPCC set aside this maternal advice and began considering that variations in solar radiation may have something to do with the fluctuations in earth’s temperature.
It has long been the IPCC’s contention that while there have been minor fluctuations in the energy output from the sun this is more than compensated for by magnification of the so called ‘greenhouse effect’ by increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by human activity.
A paper produced by the National Academy of Science has challenged that assertion. Using Beryllium 10 and Carbon 14 isotopes (found in ice cores and tree rings) as proxies for Solar radiation, the academy has determined that Solar radiation at the end of the 20th Century is the highest it has been in the past 9,400 years.
But let us be careful. Just because we are seeing correlation with temperature rise does not mean we have causality, however this data surely merits serious consideration in the overall study of climate by the IPCC. Perhaps it’s the old cynic in me, but somehow I don’t think they will bother.
Ok then, weather forecasting by the star? Or to be absolutely correct our star the Sun. Much as I love the idea that WeatherAction can produce highly accurate long range weather forecasts by interpreting Solar activity, the old sceptic in me wants to know how it’s done.
Yes I know Piers Corbin makes money from his predictions and I would not want him to lose his livelihood by divulging his methodology but hey, if his methods are that accurate his methodology must have a significant dollar value. Is there no philanthropist (Bill Gates – if you are reading this…) or far sighted government out there that would buy him out and make his techniques available for the common good?
I want to believe. The idea that Solar based predictions can trump CO2 biased computer models fills me with joy. Buuut – is there anyone out there who can persuade me that it’s not all smoke and mirrors?
If anyone was in any doubt that the BBC was the official mouth piece of Global Warming Alarmism then this article “Satellites reveal sudden Greenland ice melt” confirms it.
While the headline is entirely correct it only took three lines before the BBC pushed the panic button. “Scientists said the “unprecedented” melting took place…” NO – what the real scientists said (not the ‘scienticians’ employed in NASA’s propaganda division) was;
“Ice cores from Summit show that melting events of this type occur about once every 150 years on average. With the last one happening in 1889, this event is right on time,” says Lora Koenig, a Goddard glaciologist and a member of the research team analyzing the satellite data.
Now place your mouse cursor over this word “unprecedented” right click, then choose ‘synonyms’ from the drop down menu. What do you see;
Nowhere does it say, ‘on a regular basis’.
Even the satellite images are misleading. The natural inference is that all the ice has melted. I know that’s not what has happened – but what about Joe Public?
I despair; these once great organisations (BBC, NASA) can no longer be believed when it comes to reporting on Global Warming. If we can’t believe them on this, then why should we believe them on anything?
A design for a Thorium nuclear reactor addresses one of the biggest fears associated with nuclear power – meltdown. A fission reaction can be maintained by firing a proton beam (similar to that generated by the Large Hadron Collider at CERN) in a straight line aimed at Thorium fuel (which is both more abundant and generates less nuclear waste than Uranium). The reaction can be turned off by switching off the beam. No Fukushima style meltdown if the power fails.
Sounds like a winner to me. Construction starts in 2015, should be operational by 2023. Can’t wait. Let’s hope it lives up to expectations.
New Scientist Magazine
Well if recent field trials in Alaska are anything to go by then the answer could be yes. Methane hydrates are the most abundant source of carbon based fuel on the planet. They exist in quantities many times that of oil, natural gas and coal combined. Don’t believe me? Then take a look at this report on the most conservative of web sites – the US Geological Survey
I don’t want to get too excited but even US Energy Secretary Chu thinks this is a technology that should be pursued. Now there are few instances that Steven Chu and I are on the same page when it comes to energy development. Using carbon dioxide to release the natural gas trapped in ice seems to be a master stroke.
I propose that all alternative energy research money be diverted to developing this wonder technology so then all us sceptics and warmists can live together in perfect harmony – I feel a song coming on. Now what do you think are the chances of that (the harmony not the song) – no I didn’t think so either
The appliance of science – Select Committee “I think we are running out of time” Russell Brand “Time is infinite” Nice one Russell