In the NZ Herald last Wednesday, David Venables, executive-director of the Greenhouse Policy Coalition, talked about world leaders at Cancun soon putting “the finishing touches to a global agreement on climate change.”
Why do we want such an agreement?
Though Mr Venables, oddly, leaves it unsaid, it is to reduce our emissions of “greenhouse gases” or “carbon” to halt what we now call “climate change.”
But is this enough? Will this stop climate change? No, it won’t, and there are two reasons for that: NZ’s tiny emissions and the eternally changing nature of the climate.
First, New Zealand’s emissions are minuscule. Taking everything we do: transport, industry, some smelting, the little thermal power generation we have, all agricultural emissions and even throwing in aviation, our output of “greenhouse” gases are a puny 0.2% of all human emissions.
Ruin the economy for nothing
Big deal. It means that if our entire economy closes down overnight and we all go back to scratching in the ground for food (those of us who survive the loss of electricity, pumped water supply and proper sewage disposal) the world won’t notice and the climate won’t change.
Although it would be an extreme and stupid act, it is clearly the most we could possibly do to reduce our emissions, yet it’s not enough. Anything less might permit the survival of our industrial and agricultural way of life, but will have less effect on our emissions.
Don’t overlook this simple but important conclusion: whatever sacrifice we make, however much it costs us, the climate will not be affected. There is no reason to put ourselves through the pain and the expense. It would be the ultimate in symbolic, empty gestures.
Stop the planet from turning
Second, the climate will always change. It has changed on every time scale as long as we’ve studied it. As far back as proxies can take us, we see the climate changing. We’ve identified no period when the climate failed to change. It’s just water and air — turbulent and dynamic; they won’t stop moving and therefore they will change, willy-nilly.
The ocean and the atmosphere move because the planet is turning. You want to try to stop it?
Air: 0.00039 CO2
Right now there are about 3000 gigatonnes (GT) of atmospheric CO2 (most of it natural). Doubling it, on some estimates, could take another 70 years. The total human contribution to the “greenhouse effect” is about 0.28% (including water vapour). Human additions of CO2 to the atmosphere are about 30 GT per year, only 7% of natural sources (683 GT). The whole carbon dioxide content of the air is so small that it has to be measured in parts per million by volume (390 ppmv).
That’s 0.039%. Just to put it into some kind of perspective.
The IPCC acknowledges that, if the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide doubles, the global mean temperature will rise by about 1°C. That small temperature rise is no crisis. Only prodigious, and highly controversial, positive feedbacks, mostly concerning water vapour, could create greater warming. Of course, the computer models of the climate produce such high climate sensitivity because they have the feedbacks programmed into them. They are used to promote the scary scenarios we’re familiar with. But the General Circulation Models (GCM) are human creations and have never been verified against real-world observations.
Climate models limited by our understanding
Defenders of the GCMs say the results mimic the observed climate for certain periods, but they don’t mention that the models must be heavily skewed with undisclosed “parameters” for aerosols, cloud cover and who knows what else to achieve their mimicry. They are so variable that two runs of a model never give the same results. That’s why the IPCC refuse to call them “predictions” and instead use the term “scenarios”.
Certainly, they are unable to predict the major oceanic cycles, such as La Nina and El Nino, which affect global weather for months at a time. Why not? Because nobody knows what causes them — nobody knows enough about the climate. Those GCM predictions of catastrophe in 100 years are incredible.
Who do you call a denier?
Climate has changed naturally since climate began; change is what it does. Those who would “fight” climate change obviously want to stop it from changing.
That’s revealing, isn’t it? Because you can only attempt to keep the climate the same if you deny the observed truth that its natural condition is to change.
So, far from climate sceptics being “deniers”, it is in fact those alarmists with preposterous predictions of catastrophe who are the deniers. Their fight for an unvarying climate declares their denial of change.
If we accept that the climate will always change, we remove the need to stop it from changing and so we won’t need these large, difficult (expensive) international negotiations.
If we stop trying to change the climate, there will be a lot of money for international aid and development programmes.
So stop fighting climate change and thousands of people will become free to perform useful work; stop teaching our children climatic lies and they will learn the truth.
Stop fighting the climate and end this public insanity.