by: Wes Ishmael
“Man-caused global warming is the biggest scam perpetrated against society since time began,” says Jay Lehr, Science Director for the Heartland Institute. “The whole concept behind climate change is fear and control.”
Such a bold statement is music to the ears of folks who have pondered how it's possible that measly mankind could overwhelm Mother Nature. But, such a confident, sweeping indictment of the global warming movement demands knowing if Lehr is some kind of right-wing crackpot.
Lehr has studied global climate change for more than three decades. He's an internationally renowned speaker, scientist, and author who has testified before Congress on more than three dozen occasions on environmental issues and consulted with nearly every agency of the federal government and with many foreign countries. More than that, he sounds downright normal.
Lehr was a featured speaker at the recent annual convention of the Texas and Southwest Cattle Raiser's Association.
Global Warming Theory a well-funded House of Cards
By now, you've heard plenty about the much-publicized revelation of e-mails in November that have called into serious question the credibility of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and scientists behind the organization. IPCC is the proverbial closet gorilla when it comes to global warming rhetoric and demands for policy.
According to an article by H. Sterling Burnett for the Heartland Institute, the e-mails, “…revealed longstanding efforts to manipulate, hide, and destroy scientific data that cast doubt on global warming alarmism. The late-November document leak also exposed pernicious tactics used to strong-arm the peer-review publishing process in order to keep skeptical scientists from publishing their findings.”
Though the revelation cast doubt from some who were previously supportive of or apathetic toward the movement, plenty of folks have questioned IPCC claims since the organizations released its Scientific Assessment of Climate Change in 1990. That was IPCC's first shout to the world that global warming was occurring at a catastrophic rate, and that the warming was caused in large part by the Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) that mankind was responsible for producing.
Unchecked, goes the theory, and mankind will slow-roast itself into oblivion.
“The whole scam is based on mathematical models,” Lehr explains. He adds none of those models anticipated, nor accounted for the global cooling in 2007 that basically erased the 100 years of global warming preceding it.
Speaking in Australia to the Institute for Private Enterprise, in conjunction with the Australian Climate Science coalition, Lehr explained, “The climate modelers are mathematicians. Some of you may not be familiar with mathematical models. Well, if you don't understand the physical system, you can write an equation that you think simulates how the physics of the universe works. You can write an equation with a number for cloud cover, cloud height, ocean circulation, topography, various movements of air and ocean water, incoming solar radiation, dust in the air, volcanic eruptions. You can write equations for anything.
“I can write an equation to determine if and when a plant out there may change color at the end of summer by knowing how much foliage is on the plant, the nature of the soil that it's growing out of, the moisture content of the soil, and maybe I will be right. But if I write that equation about when that plant is going to change color, and let's say you're judging me, can I go on telling you when it's going to change color forever? You just watch the plant and see if I'm right. It's a mathematical model that can be proved right or wrong. But the climate modelers can't be proved right or wrong because with these models they're projecting decades; in fact 100 years out in the future. It's nuts.”
Back in the early 1970's climatic sensationalism revolved around the supposed fact that mankind was on its way to creating a new ice age with the use of aerosols punching holes in the ozone layer, allowing heat to escape and whatnot. Be truthful, how many of you still believe squirt bottles are more environmentally friendly than aerosols?
As for the physical evidence of global warming, proponents often point to melting glaciers. Lehr explains there are an estimated 160,000 glaciers in the world. Mankind has studied 260. Of those, a third are growing, a third are shrinking and another third are neither growing nor shrinking.
Then there are those pitiable polar bears that folks like former Vice President, Al Gore, hold up as the innocent victims of man's senseless zest to increase global warming. According to Lehr, the polar bear population in North America was 5,000 in 1960. Today it's 25,000. There are 22 North American clans of them, says Lehr. Of those, 14 clans are growing and 6 remain stable. The only two clans that are declining are the ones in the coldest part of the continent.
By the way, you likely remember hearing about the 2007 Oscar-winning movie, An Inconvenient Truth. It supported a book by the same name authored by Gore. The movie documented the power point presentation of the book's message that Gore has presented around the world. Lehr says there's a scene in the movie depicting a forlorn polar bear swimming and swimming, looking for a glacier until finally, apparently exhausted, the bear begins going under, presumably for the last time.
It's a fake, says Lehr, computer animation, as are other scenes used in the movie. “Pity not the polar bear,” Lehr says, “They can swim 60 miles.”
There is no Smoking Gun
Moreover, the cause and effect global warming proponents suggest between global temperature and GHGs from man holds no scientific water.
The chief GHGs are water vapor (90 percent) carbon dioxide (about four percent), methane (about four percent), with the remainder nitrous oxide and sulfur oxide. Of the four percent of carbon dioxide and methane, Lehr says about three percent is man-made; the other 97 percent comes from oceans and plants.
Besides which, Lehr points out something called the GHG Envelope is what keeps the earth warm enough to be inhabited. Carbon dioxide, then, is a friend rather than a foe.
“If the GHG Envelope was responsible for global warming, then the upper atmosphere would be warmer than the lower atmosphere,” Lehr says. “It hasn't been warming for the last two decades.”
“The fact of the matter is we are growing about two million tons of additional vegetation on the equator as a result of the increased greenhouse gases, and now the increased growth in the rain forest along the equator has far outweighed whatever amount of vegetation was cut down by peasants in order to scratch some food out of the land,” Lehr explains. “There was a loss of rain forests and now there's a very significant advancement of green energy in rain forest.”
Spun another way, Lehr stresses carbon dioxide and methane are not pollutants; they are absorbed by the atmosphere.
Of course, that didn't stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from trumping Congress in December and filing an endangerment finding for GHGs. Of its own volition, the agency essentially declared that greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people and should be regulated via the Clean Air Act (more next month).
Keep in mind, the EPA ruling came out a week after Climategate broke. Unsurprisingly, a number of states are suing EPA over the designation, and some federal law makers are working to get EPA to rescind their judgment.
The reason folks hear few of these facts, Lehr says, is that the media prefers to focus on alarmist rhetoric, cash-strapped scientific researchers are cowed into looking at global warming in order to get funding, there's piles of money to be made from trading carbon credits, and there's lots of power to be wielded if you control people's carbon footprints.
The Cold, Hard Truth
Ice core samples reveal that temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide have ebbed and flowed for the past 900,000 years in fairly predictable 1,500-year cycles.
For the past 5,000 years, Lehr says we have recorded history to go by. The warmest period in that time span was the Medieval period—about 800-1200 AD—when temperatures were 7°-9° F. warmer than today. That's when Greenland was green, literally. By 1550 or so came the Little Ice Age, lasting until 1800, from which the earth is still emerging. “Five times more people die from cold than from heat,” Lehr adds.
According to Lehr, Earth's recent cooling stems from reduced sunspot activity—those solar explosions that increase energy radiated by the sun. None of the global warming models accounted for this particular phenomenon.
“Temperature fluctuations during the current 300-year recovery from the Little Ice Age correlate almost perfectly with fluctuations in solar activity,” Lehr explains. “This correlation long predates human use of significant amounts of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas.”
Back to those ice cores, Lehr says Carbon 14 and Carbon 12 are always present. The ratio between them indicates how long since a frozen gas bubble was in the atmosphere.
“We can actually date an ice core to within 50 years,” Lehr says. Oxygen isotopes in the core tell how cold the air was when it was frozen.
The core also reveals how much carbon dioxide is in the bubble.
“We find that the temperature rise always precedes the carbon dioxide rise. It is temperature that causes an increase in carbon dioxide, not carbon dioxide that causes an increase in temperature. This is so logical, this is so obvious,” Lehr says. “A temperature increase will drive carbon dioxide out of solution in the ocean. The ocean is the primary source of carbon. Water contains more carbon dioxide when it's cold than when it's warm. So when the ocean is warm the carbon dioxide comes out.”
By Mom Nature's own records, the earth's temperature today is below average, the current cooling produced by reduced sunspot activity should last another 10-20 years, and man had nothing to do with it.
“No computer known to man could account for all of the necessary variables and solve the riddle of what the climate will be in 10 or 20 years, much less in hundreds of years,” Lehr says.
Next Month, we'll take a closer look at global warming facts and how GHG regulation and carbon credit cap and trade would impact the cattle business.
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