The Sky is Warming!
By Greg Richter

If you don't park your Harley the earth will overheat, the glaciers will melt and untold polar bears won't get their ice-cold Cokes like they're used to. The sky isn't falling, but it is heating up. Except for one small and inconvenient truth:

It's just not true!

Global warming as a concept, religious belief and scientific theory is a fairly recent fabrication. Not long ago, April 28th 1975, Newsweek ran an article on The Cooling World, explaining in layman's terms all about global cooling and the coming Ice Age! Climate scientists were calling for drastic measures, just as they are today, albeit in the other direction.

Let's take a look at the actual, verifiable facts:

Temperatures rose from the 1900's to the 1940's, falling steadily until the 1980's and are now rising again. Today we're about where we were, temperature wise, in 1945. If you go back and look at the data, that's what we've got. Nothing alarming here.

CO2 emissions are considered to be the culprit, and the obvious answer is to take the cars and electricity away from people who use too much of them - the developed world. But CO2, as any grower will tell you, is not a pollutant but a requirement! We inject CO2 into our grow rooms to foster plant growth. The plants take up the CO2, generate oxygen and the cycle stabilizes itself.

As far as Greenhouse Gasses go, atmospheric water vapor accounts for 95% of light absorption. Naturally occurring CO2 accounts for another 3.5%, and man-made CO2 almost 0.12%. Sulfur dioxide is more of a problem, but try like we might, there's not enough fossil fuel available to even try and catch up with natural processes. Currently, no one is clamoring to outlaw water vapor. A 2007 report by the National Science Foundation even stated that “... a severe fire season lasting only one or two months can release as much carbon as the annual emissions from the entire transportation or energy sector of an individual state.” That's a lot of CO2. But carbon dioxide isn't a bad thing, and the fact is we don't produce all that much of it, by comparison to natural processes. So why the popular notion that Carbon = Bad?

Bad science gives bad results. If an engineer makes a mistake, products fail, people get hurt and things get expensive. If a scientist puts forth a theory to be tested, either it advances knowledge or it is proven wrong, and no one typically stands to get hurt by errant theories. Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is a theory that does not have unbiased data to back it up, is not universally accepted by the scientific community, but does have the capacity to drive political agendas and cost you money.

If you want to prove that global temperatures track carbon emissions you have to use data from 1970 onward to make your case. If you look at remote weather stations, like Mauna Loa in Hawaii, the data does not support AGW. If you add in the reports from weather stations in areas that have urbanized in the past four decades, that helps, but comes under the heading of Faking The Results. Even the UN's own IPCC model has a negative correlation – since 2000 it has gotten cooler, not warmer. Oops. The only way to make a case for AGW is to “cook” the data, as has been widely reported.

To generate the famous hockey stick graph predicting dramatic global warming you also have to ignore inconvenient data like the Medieval Warm Period (600-1100 CE) and the Little Ice Age (1450-1780 CE) which ruins the fake science and makes a doomsday graph look like the cyclical chart the data suggests.
Take a look at the real measurements:

Looking at the natural cycles of the sun and ocean temperatures the data seems to follow a natural rhythm. Buying a Prius probably isn't going to change these cycles.

If CO2 is the problem, though, Outgoing Longwave Infrared Radiation (OLR) will fall as the sun's IR is trapped by greenhouse CO2. Basically, the sun's energy can be measured and what bounces back out of the atmosphere can also be measured. Energy that's trapped by the greenhouse effect could be measured precisely if we just had a satellite available to prove that this is or isn't happening. If we had satellite OLR measures from say, 1970, 1997 and 2006 that'd settle the debate once and for all, wouldn't it? We do, of course, have those studies, all done on on a series of cloudless days over the Pacific ocean. Do they show the expected greenhouse effect? Not at all. From 1970 through 2006, OLR is virtually identical, which means the greenhouse effect as measured is not increasing or decreasing over the past 36 years. Boom. That's the sound of an imploding theory.

You can read a report on it, and links to the actual study data here:

The alarmists would have you believe that the predicted 1 degree C temperature rise would be the end of life as we know it, but during the Cambrian period, when life on earth had it's greatest diversity, CO2 concentrations were likely many times what they are now and temperatures were several degrees warmer. CO2 levels are around 400 PPM now. Keep in mind if they drop below 180 PPM plants start to wither. At just a little over twice the minimum required for healthy plant life, we're not THAT far into the woods just yet!

Open questions that scientist still puzzle over:
Why is there a jump in temperature in 1977 and 2002? Mysterious!
Where is the predicted warming that has not happened since 2002?
Why do night time ocean air temperatures, tropospheric measurements, and proxies like tree rings from 1980-2000 not match up with reported surface temperatures?

Next time someone squeezes off a load of questionable science and drops it in front of you, take a moment and check their credentials. Watching television isn't a valid scientific credential, and neither is seeing a movie based on fake data. You've got to do the work, do the math, and get the Truth.

To read more and see what's really happening, take a look here:

Great presentation from fellow aviator Burt Rutan

Both sides of the debate

If you really want to get alarmed about the environment, look at the pollution of coastal fisheries, overfishing and depletion of stocks and the widespread contamination of groundwater with halogenated hydrocarbons and other nasties. There's real work to be done in protecting our air and water, but the earth isn't getting hotter because of our activity. It is getting toxic, though, very toxic, and that is worth doing something about. Fake causes based on faked science take resources and attention away from real problems based on real observation. Now that's worth getting hot about!