TCS Daily


My Green Friend

By Hans H.J. Labohm - June 29, 2006 12:00 AM

Alexander de Roo is former member of the European Parliament for Green Left. Together, we take part regularly in public discussions in the Netherlands on the climate issue and Kyoto. He believes anthropogenic global warming may yield disastrous consequences for mankind, and that Kyoto is the right way to tackle this problem. I don't.

Still, I like him as an opponent, because the two of us succeed in keeping our public quarrels courteous and amicable, which -- in this particular debate -- is tantamount to defying gravity. He believes that when (European mini-) Kyoto Mark I will expire in 2012, there will be a follow-up, which will also be joined by other countries, such as the U.S.. In order to substantiate his point, Alexander recently drew my attention to press clippings reporting that corporate America, which once dismissed fears about global warming as unfounded, appears to be changing its mind, and is now publicly acknowledging that man has an adverse impact on climate change. A side effect -- or was it its motivation? -- being that it may boost its green credentials in doing so.

I replied to my Green Left opponent that this is how capitalism functions. It is based on consumers' sovereignty. Companies want to keep their customers happy and to satisfy their needs. If their clients -- for whatever reason, rightly or wrongly -- want to buy "green", suppliers will be eager to supply them with it. In a way, this is Green Right.

But what to do if the populace is hoodwinked by the enchanted flute of the climate alarmists, playing on the mesmerizing beat of AlGorhythms? It is not the role of entrepreneurs to deny their clients what they want. Therefore, independent scientists should step in and explain that there are more things in heaven and earth, than are dreamt of in the man-made global warming hypothesis. The science is far from settled.

Earlier I wrote about the re-emergence of the global cooling hypothesis:

"Recently the astronomer Khabibullo Abdusamatov of the Pulkovo Astronomic Observatory in St. Petersburg declared that the Earth will experience a 'mini Ice Age' in the middle of this century, caused by low solar activity. Temperatures will begin falling six or seven years from now, when global warming caused by increased solar activity in the 20th century reaches its peak. The coldest period will occur 15 to 20 years after a major solar output decline between 2035 and 2045, Abdusamatov said. This view is shared by the Belgian astronomer, Dirk Callebaut, who expects a 'grand minimum' in the middle of this century, just like the Maunder Minimum (1650-1700), a period during which the Thames, the Seine and the Dutch canals were frozen in winter."

In the meantime a new study has appeared that seems to support this view. According to research by NASA's solar physicist David Hathaway, the Sun's Great Conveyor Belt has slowed to a record low crawl. This has important repercussions for future solar activity.

The Great Conveyor Belt is a massive circulating current of fire (hot plasma) within the Sun. Researchers believe the turning of the belt controls the sunspot cycle. According to theory and observation, the speed of the belt foretells the intensity of sunspot activity ~20 years in the future. A slow belt means lower solar activity; a fast belt means stronger activity. Hathaway believes that Solar Cycle 25, peaking around the year 2022, could be one of the weakest in centuries.

Against this background companies should be cautious in taking sides. They should particularly pay heed to the warnings of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. As Juliana G. Pilon (International Foundation for Electoral Systems), referring to a story told by Alexander Solzhenitsyn in Washington, wrote:

"... in a difficult moment, at a party meeting in Moscow, he [Lenin] said: 'Comrades, don't panic, when things get very tough for us, we will give the bourgeoisie a rope, and the bourgeoisie will hang itself.' Then Karl Radek, who was a very resourceful wit, said: 'Vladimir Ilyich, but where are we going to get enough rope to hang the whole bourgeoisie?' Lenin effortlessly replied, 'They will sell it to us themselves.'"

If we apply this reasoning to the global warming issue, there can hardly be any doubt that that the putative warming threat will be used to legitimize all kinds of new regulation, even to the extent that they will undermine the basic tenets of our free market system, thereby paralyzing its wealth creating capacity. Reason enough for business to remain cautious and critical. That is not to say that one should not enhance efforts to boost energy efficiency. For many reasons this is quite desirable. But as far as I am concerned, global warming is not one of them.

My esteemed Green Left opponent, Alexander de Roo, probably does not care too much about the frontal attack on the free enterprise system by man-made global warming alarmism. But I am sure that many other people do.

Hans Labohm is a TCS Daily contributor.

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7 Comments

My GOP/Corporate Friends
Global Warming on Main Street
Business Week, June 27, 2006

Wall Street is getting the climate-change message loud and clear. That's because corporate giants such as Dow, BP, Shell, General Electric, Wal-Mart, and DuPont have accepted the scientific consensus that global warming is real and that human activity contributes to it...

...A shift is also occurring among Republicans in Congress. Representative Bob Inglis, a South Carolina Republican who heads the U.S. House Science Research subcommittee, says "There are more and more Republicans willing to stop laughing at climate change and who are ready to get serious about reclaiming their heritage as conservationists."

In addition to Inglis, the list of Republicans now paying serious attention to global warming includes senators Pete Domenici of New Mexico, the chairman of the chamber's Energy Committee, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Representative Jim Leach of Iowa...

http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/jun2006/
sb20060626_603752.htm

Great article. Short and to the point
Why is it that greens don't get natural cycles and/or put so much emphasis on human effects on the planet? Our most notable effect is light (pollution?) at night. It is about all that can be detected of human habitation above 100 miles up.

We puny humans have a long way to go before we can find a way to drastically effect change in global climate or any other natural process.

A Case of the Vapors
Jet Contrails Alter Average Daily Temperature Range
Penn State, August 8, 2002

FOR THREE DAYS AFTER SEPTEMBER 11, the FAA grounded commercial aircraft in the U.S., stranding travelers, hindering mail delivery and interrupting courier service, but for scientists at Penn State and the University of WisconsinWhitewater, the three-day shutdown provided a rare glimpse of the climate effects of jet contrails...

Carleton, and Dr. David Travis, climatologist at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Ryan Lauritsen, then an undergraduate at UW-W, looked at high and low temperatures recorded throughout the country during the three days of commercial air shutdown and at satellite photos taken during that time. The satellite photos show where contrails were occurring, mostly absent over the U.S. between Sept 11-14, but still occurring in Canada and northern Mexico...

The diurnal temperature range is the difference between the nighttime low temperature and the daytime high temperature, usually for a given day.

"Sept. 11-14, 2001, had the BIGGEST DIURNAL TEMPERATURE RANGE OF ANY THREE-DAY PERIOD IN THE PAST 30 YEARS," said Carleton. Contrails form when water vapor and particles from jet engine exhaust enter the atmosphere. If the atmospheric temperature is cool enough, and the humidity high enough, the exhaust forms ice crystals that create the contrail. Contrails generally last one to two hours, but can last as long as six...

"Satellite images showed that cloud cover on Sept. 11 was light, but that cloud cover and humidity increased on the 12th, 13th and 14th," says Carleton. "These clouds and greater humidity should have suppressed the range, but the temperature range was still the largest in 30 years."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020808075457.htm

green friend
But isn't your green friend worried that even the euroland countries aren't living up to the Kyoto standards? Or does he think it OK to just acclaim it, but not have to live up to it? Or maybe he only wants the US to live up to it. You said your friend was a former MEP. Now that he's not on that particular gravy train, has he found another way to feed at the public trough or do he have a real job?

How does this relate?
This is one of those interesting obeservations that doesn't really prove much. The claim that the tempature range was the "Largest in 30 years" is just that, a claim that needs, and probably deserves, more research.

In that light, how does this apply to either of our last posts?

rhampton can't tell the difference between PR and science. Then again he believes in AGW.
...

The NAS has done the research you request
and that claim that the last 30 years is in any way unusual is nothing but hogwash.

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