Are humans definitely causing global warming? No, really, The Guardian’s environment section asks this as part of the Guardian’s ‘ultimate climate change FAQ’.
It’s a bit like watching volleyball. The Guardian knows what answer it wants to give, so it cherry picks the bits of information that fit its narrative (the ‘set’) and then delivers a supposedly unequivocal answer (the ‘spike’). As it’s not a particularly long piece it seems an appropriate time for a fisk…
Just as the world’s most respected scientific bodies have confirmed that world is getting hotter, they have also stated that there is strong evidence that humans are driving the warming.
Wow! Impressive! That would be respected bodies like the utterly discredited International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), NASA’s GISS, University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and the UK’s Met Office. Strange, there is no mention of Climategate, Amazongate, Glaciergate, the number of times GISS has been forced to ‘adjust’ its data, the fact CRU cannot find its vital raw data and that the Met Office’s forecasts are a standing joke.
The 2005 joint statement from the national academies of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US said:
“It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities.”
Likely, they say. So that means there is uncertainty and therefore a lack of proof. And then it says ‘most’ of the warming. So nature is actually up to something that mankind has no control over? Incredible.
Countless more recent statements and reports from the world’s leading scientific bodies have said the same thing. For example, a 2010 summary of climate science by the Royal Society stated that:
“There is strong evidence that the warming of the Earth over the last half-century has been caused largely by human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels and changes in land use, including agriculture and deforestation.”
Ah yes, that would be the Royal Society that had to rewrite its position on climate change because it was accused by 43 of its Fellows of refusing to accept dissenting views on climate change and exaggerating the degree of certainty that man-made emissions are the main cause. Strange, there is no mention of that. Could it be the fundamentally dishonest Guardian is trying to hide something? So if there is such ‘strong evidence’, where it is? Is it perhaps that the ‘evidence’ is nothing more than correlation and there is nothing to prove causation? Leave it to The Guardian and we will never know.
The idea that humans could change the planet’s climate may be counter-intuitive, but the basic science is well understood. Each year, human activity causes billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases to be released into the atmosphere. As scientists have known for decades, these gases capture heat that would otherwise escape to space – the equivalent of wrapping the planet in an invisible blanket.
The basic science is indeed well understood. You erase from history any mention of periods when the earth was warmer than now, you collect temperature data from monitoring stations at locations where they get blasted with warm air from vents or aircraft engines and ignore unreliable temperature records they produce, you produce a disturbing graph that looks like a hockey stick but don’t tell anyone that any data produces the same curve, you sample the cores of a number of trees and discount the overwhelming majority that show there has been barely any change in temperature, then you apply adjustments to the data so instead of a broadly flat line you end up with a steeply rising one that becomes your ‘strong evidence’. And while we’re at it, let’s take a closer look at that ‘invisible blanket’ shall we?
Of course, the planet’s climate has always been in flux thanks to “natural” factors such as changes in solar or volcanic activity, or cycles relating the Earth’s orbit around the sun. According to the scientific literature, however, the warming recorded to date matches the pattern of warming we would expect from a build up of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere – not the warming we would expect from other possible causes.
Of course, this only works if one ignores all the other literature produced by scientists who state the greenhouse gas effect is dramatically overstated. Strange, there’s no mention of that counter consensus of scientists (as opposed to railway engineers and economists) whose research finds that greenhouse gas (they mean CO2 when they use the terms because water vapour never gets a mention, despite being by far the most volumous greenhouse gas – perhaps measuring and taxing water vapour emissions is too difficult) has nothing like the claimed impact on temperature and therefore casts huge doubt over man’s supposed influence on the climate.
Even if scientists did discover another plausible explanation for the warming observed to date, that would beg a difficult question. As Robert Henson puts it in The Rough Guide to Climate Change:
“If some newly discovered factor can account for the climate change then why aren’t carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gases producing the warming that basic physics tells us they should be?”
And carbon dioxide, the currency of the new world order, finally gets its first mention. Why did that take so long? Well, it was only a matter of time before a strawman was built in order to be knocked over and it had to be about the disputed influence of CO2. The climate is far more complex than some grant-chasing scientists are willing to admit and if greenhouse gases played anything more than a bit part in nature’s regulation of the planet’s atmosphere and ecology we would have all long since fried. Basic physics according a number of scientists The Guardian says, but exaggerated cant according to plenty of other scientists. And so we come to the end…
The only way to prove with 100% certainty that humans are responsible for global warming would be to run an experiment with two identical Earths – one with human influence and one without. That obviously isn’t possible, and so most scientists are careful not to state human influence as an absolute certainty. Nonetheless, the evidence is now extremely strong.
This is cute. Despite telling us for years that the ‘debate is over’ and that the ‘science is settled’ the flaws and failings in the global warming/climate change narrative – combined with nature’s stubborn refusal to perform as computer models say she should – have forced the warmists to adjust their arguments, much like they adjust the temperature records.
The basic lie here – and let’s face it, The Guardian is a world leader when it comes to lies – is the claim that most scientists are careful not to state human influence as an absolute certainty. This is not true if you look at those scientists who sing the warmist creed. Hansen, Jones, Trenberth, Mann, Briffa, all describe human influence on climate as ‘incontrovertible’. These are the high priests of the warmist cult whose flawed / missing / adjusted / corrected / selective ‘research findings’ are treated as a baseline from which other research begins – therefore meaning the outcome will always point to human induced warming.
Again, in a piece that links off to various other material, there is nothing pointing us to this ‘strong evidence’. We are just expected to accept it as a truth. We are expected to ‘believe’ because that is what the ‘believers’ need us to do, regardless of the reality and the facts.