Department of Research


A Global Warming Warning, written by Freydis

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Global warming is an increasingly contentious issue around the world. The ones most alarmed see the stakes as immense and consequently they fight for their view like ideological partisans and nothing else matters more. This creates a very polarized environment for dialogue that tends to Is carbon dioxide from human industrial activity warming the planet through the greenhouse effect, or is it a result of water vapor - increasing as the Earth shifts out of the ice-age?negate objectivity and impartial analysis allowing panic, fear, and others emotions to guide the debate. The partisan divide that has emerged is an especially worrisome trend in climate research.

To start with let's review the main elements of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), or in other words human-caused global warming.

The Main Elements of Global Warming

All future climate predictions are based on computer models.

The past record of Earthís temperatures and climate can be measured in various and often quite creative ways, from drilling ice cores in glaciers to studying the growth patterns of tree rings. Through a combination of efforts it's possible to gain an incomplete idea of Earthís climate history, but we donít have anything that can tell us what the future will be. Thatís why researchers have turned to computer simulations to try and predict what Earth will be like tomorrow, or two hundred years from now. Not surprisingly the models for future climate change have a wide variation of predicted outcomes because a simulation is only as accurate as the input data and the mathematical formulas being used. When you stop and consider how comically inaccurate forecasters are at predicting the weather even just two days into the future, I think we can be forgiven for remaining slightly skeptical of current climate predictions for Earth in the year 2100.

Clouds and Water Vapor - the Missing Factor

Clouds are excellent indicators of future weather patterns, they can tell us if a storm is approaching or if clear skies are headed our way. But what exactly is a cloud? A cloud is just water, in the form of vapor or ice crystals, at variable altitude in the atmosphere. Water is the important thing to recognize about clouds when it comes to the global warming issue. Water has a very high capacity for storing heat, and this is why the oceans greatly help to moderate Earthís temperature. This also means that water vapor in the form of clouds acts as a very potent greenhouse gas by storing warmth. Water can store far more thermal energy than CO2 or methane, making it far and away the most important Ďgreenhouse gasí.

Clouds affect climate in a various, and often unpredictable, ways.But clouds have other important atmospheric effects as well because they can block or reflect sunlight. Depending on the altitude clouds can reflect heat back into space like a mirror, or they can trap it next to the Earthís surface like a blanket. And some clouds are artificial. Contrails are clouds produced by the crystallization of water vapor from the engine exhaust of jet aircraft. These artificial clouds also have an impact on climate. One fascinating result of the September 11, 2001 attacks was the grounding of all aircraft over the United States. This had the unintended effect of creating an experiment that researchers could use to discern climate changes resulting from a complete lack of jet contrails for a short period of time. The apparent result was slightly warmer days and slightly cooler nights, the normal night to day temperature range having increased by 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit). [14] The dire computerized predictions of a few degrees warming from carbon dioxide seem minor in perspective if just jet contrails can change the climate by over one degree Celsius!

Indeed, clouds are such a huge force affecting Earthís climate, and with such wide variations in potential impact, that so far no has any clear idea how to factor them into predictions of long-term climate change.

[A]s the latest (2007) assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes clear clouds and cloud behaviour constitute major unknown factors in determining future climates: a change in almost any aspect of clouds, such as their type, location, water content, cloud altitude, particle size and shape, or lifetimes, affects the degree to which clouds warm or cool the Earth. Some changes amplify warming while others diminish it. [14]

Is it all negative?

Even if the temperature increases 1 or 2 degrees Celsius that may not be an undesirable event! History and paleontology have shown that life on Earth thrives during warm periods and struggles during the cold cycles. Even if the sea level increases because of the warmer temperatures the increase in habitable land closer to the poles will more than compensate. Is global warming really all negative? No, absolutely not, and this is an important point that is quickly lost in the emotional debate.

Warming is the effect but what is the cause?

The Earth really is getting warmer, global warming is a real and verifiable effect, but the substantiating details of this effect depend on the time frame and location being measured. Even then, a warming climate is hardly abnormal! Earthís climate has varied wildly in the past, long before humans were around, and scientists still aren't sure what causes the changes. Even the most charitable climate comparisons based on geological evidence only yield ambiguous or contradictory results. For instance,

Ashley Ballantyne at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and colleagues analysed 4-million-year-old Pliocene peat samples from Ellesmere Island in the Arctic archipelago to find out what the climate was like when the peat formed. At that time, CO2 levels are thought to have been close to current levels Ė around 390 parts per million Ė but global temperatures were around 2 to 3 įC warmer than today. It was the last warm period before the onset of the Pleistocene glaciation, and is used by climate researchers as a model for our future climate. [24]

Quantities of carbon dioxide gas have increased in Earthís atmosphere, and that can reasonably be associated with the vast quantity of fossil fuels humans have burned over the past 150 or so years of industrialization. But CO2 is not a strong greenhouse gas, as opposed to methane or even water vapor, and other natural factors are so much more powerful and widely varied that disentangling cause and effect is truly a daunting scientific challenge. Also there's a delay between cause and effect when it comes to burning the fossil fuels and when the Earth begins to warm, if indeed the two can be directly correlated at all. Itís so early in this cycle that researchers have to guess about the effect from the known causes but many fear that if they downplay the potential dangers they will do a disservice to everyone if it later turns out to be a real problem. I contend that many climate researchers are dong the disservice to the public by extrapolating highly questionable future trends and turning them into predictions of disaster that may never occur, and indeed such predictions are distracting us from other more tangible and correctable problems.

Where's the consensus supporting artificial global warming?

A standard tactic in psychological manipulation is to emphatically imply that a belief or assumption is so assuredly true that nearly everyone agrees with it, and that anyone extreme enough to disagree is crazy or foolish and therefore not even worth listening to. Commercial mass-marketing successfully uses this trick to sell their products to consumers every day. The Artificial/Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) hypothesis is being sold to the public in the same manner, based on the erroneous assumption that all respectable scientists and researchers unequivocally agree with it. But this is absolutely not the case.

In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Working Group One, a panel of experts established by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme, issued its Fourth Assessment Report. This included predictions of dramatic increases in average world temperatures over the next 92 years and serious harm resulting from the predicted temperature rise. ... The 4th IPCC report was released 10 months before it shared the Nobel Prize with Al Gore, and that publication made it clear that there was a consensus of 2,500 scientists across the globe who believed that mankind was responsible for greenhouse gas concentrations, which in turn were very likely responsible for an increase in global temperatures.

However, just two weeks ago, Dr Arthur Robinson of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine told the National Press Club in Washington DC that more than 31,000 scientists had signed the so-called Oregon Petition rejecting the IPCC line.

Moreover, some of those included on the IPCC's list have also raised objections. On 12 December 2007, the US Senate released a report from more than 400 scientists, many of whose names were attached to the IPCC report without - they claim - their permission. In the report, the scientists expressed a range of views from skepticism to outright rejection of the theory of anthropogenic global warming. [1]

What can we really do about it anyway?

The developing countries of the world are building polluting industry like mad. China has already eclipsed the United States in industrial pollution and CO2 emissions! China is building coal burning power plants at a staggering rate, around one per week, all in a desperate attempt to keep up with rapidly growing electricity demands. China has adopted the most wasteful and polluting economic model they could find and are well on their way to the new, I mean old, gloriously smog-choked future of an automobile based society. Fear of global warming has done nothing to stop this catastrophe. And catastrophe is an understatement because it will definitely have a negative effect on the entire planet, from pollution to resource scarcities.

To give you an example of how AGW is misdirecting attention away from a very tangible and correctible pollution crisis, consider the case of the melting glaciers. We've probably all heard the horror stories concerning the rapidly diminishing bodies of ice in mountains being blamed on global warming. Yet whatís really happening actually has less to do with greenhouse gasses and much more to do with simple soot (black carbon) from factories and fires. Black carbon has a potent warming effect in the atmosphere, and where it collects on surfaces, by absorbing and retaining solar radiation (sunlight). The melting of glaciers in the Himalayan Mountains is largely a result of this soot being produced in record amounts by rapidly industrializing India and China Ė not by atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Black carbon, which is caused by incomplete combustion, is especially prevalent in India and China; satellite images clearly show that its levels there have climbed dramatically in the last few decades. The main reason for the increase is the accelerated economic activity in India and China over the last 20 years; top sources of black carbon include shipping, vehicle emissions, coal burning and inefficient stoves. Ö

[B]lack carbon affects precipitation and is a major factor in triggering extreme weather in eastern India and Bangladesh, where cyclones, hurricanes and flooding are common. It also contributes to the decrease in rainfall over central India. Because black carbon heats the atmosphere, it changes the local heating profile, which increases convection, one of the primary causes of precipitation. [23]

We can minimize factors like the production of soot, but if the dominant arguments continue to be misdirected towards carbon dioxide then reaching practical solutions will remain elusive, if not impossible.

Even if the wealthy countries decide to significantly cut their CO2 emissions, all the greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, as well as all the new additions from the poor and developing countries, will continue to build up and the stuff already up there isnít going away either. It's a legitimate question to ask, is it really worth the massive effort to try and stop this based on less than conclusive predictions when all that effort may well be better directed at more immediate problems or at least at problems that can actually be solved in our lifetime?

Gun Smoke
(Chemical Violence)

Gun Smoke, 0151012d8z000

Even worse for restricting CO2 emissions, enormous quantities of carbon dioxide are being produced through entirely natural causes. Huge underground coal fires burn constantly around the world, pumping out enormous volumes of carbon dioxide and pollution. Coal seams catch fire from natural causes, like lightning, and can burn for hundreds, even thousands, of years, while exacerbating widespread problems of soot, smog and acid rain. Just one coal fire in northern China is burning an area more than 3,000 miles wide and almost 450 miles long. Chinese fires alone consume 120 million tons of coal every year, equivalent to the combined annual coal production of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois. [21]

Whereís the Warming?

Computer model based climate researchers made the stunning admission in spring 2008 that Earthís temperature will not increase for 10-20 years, and instead may actually cool! [2]

A recent study in the journal Nature by scientists from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University, postulates that global temperatures are unlikely to rise again until around 2015-2020, after a decade-long leveling-off since the 1998 recorded high. In other words, it is possible that by 2020, the world will not have warmed for over 20 years. [1]

Why are we being compelled to panic over this global warming mega-event thatís supposed to occur at a perpetually postponed future date when very real problems, such as smog and air pollution, are occurring right now and can be realistically solved using current knowledge and technology?!

The real disaster is science in the service of ideology

Whether they realize it or not through their zeal the fact is that many climate researchers, including respected institutions and not just the fringe element, are flagrantly lying about global warming because they continue to make assertions and predictions that cannot be substantiated by any known scientific evidence. When you read about the impending catastrophes from global warming donít forget the mindset here: itís never really a lie if it promotes concern over artificial global warming. Catastrophic artificial global warming as it's known today is like Walt Disney Ďscienceí where if you believe in it enough it will have to come true.

A Warning on Warming

Critics of the AGW hypothesis are not just being isolated and marginalized anymore they are being directly attacked and punished for their views. If everyone that held a dissenting view on the causes of global climate change were clearly crackpots without any credentials or valid arguments then marginalization might be appropriate, but that's definitely not the case this time.

This is the greatest risk we run, by polarizing and politicizing the debate and putting all our bets on the one hypothesis that global warming is caused by human action, if these convinced climate researchers are later proven to be wrong it wonít just be a few scientists with a black mark on their career but all of science that will be condemned by the public. Similar collective failures have already happened, most notably with predictions of global over-population catastrophes after the year 2000, and predictions that Earth was headed for another ice age made just 30 years ago with as much fervency as artificial global warming is made today.

The doom and gloom catastrophist prognostications have taken on the same quality as the lunatic on the street-corner holding up the cardboard sign exhorting us all to read the Bible and find Jesus because the world will end tomorrow. If the scientific community fails this time the stakes are much, much higher because of the very way the argument has been heated up with exaggerated rhetoric and extreme predictions of future disaster while simultaneously being linked with ideological causes. And thatís really what artificial global warming is about. Even worst case scenarios put 2-3 degrees in temperature increase 100 years out, far enough away that we may well have developed technological solutions anyway.

The issue of Artificial Global Warming (AGW) boils down to an argument between the climatologists and the geologists. The climatologists insist that AGW is an imminent hazard and they have computer models and a hundred years of weather data to prove it. Geologists say AGW is just a convenient fiction and they have billions of years of geological history to prove it.

If global warming can be tied to human actions then it creates a direct path to attack large-scale industry and the rampant environmental pollution that has gone along with it. That is the real intent of the argument and science is just being abused to open up that path.

"Now they are playing with some of the most powerful emotional triggers in Western culture. They've adopted the language and imagery of a millenarian cult. They read science in the way that fundamentalists read religious texts: they cherry-pick the bits that support their argument and use them to scare people.Ē - Theologian and environmentalist Martin Palmer [22]

Pollution is a terrible problem, ironically a very tangible and immediate one that is a direct consequence of human effort, as opposed to global warming, but using global warming as a pretext to cut industrial emissions and radically alter human economic and social behavior is foolish, to put it mildly.

Artificial global warming is the dues ex machina of the 21st century

Global warming is blamed for just about every severe weather event that occurs now, floods, famine, fires, and earthquakes even! The list is nearly endless since the artificial global warming advocates can say just about anything they want without fear of criticism because itís the same story on every channel: 'artificial global warming proven without doubt; everyone says so!' Just as Ďterrorismí lurks under every rock and in every shadow to the Bush/Cheney regime, global warming is the hidden demon responsible for every major climate event and natural disaster.

For a revealing look at how the fervent belief in artificial global warming has lost scientific legitimacy to become a new religion read Alexander Cockburnís excellent article from June 2007, with references: Dissidents Against Dogma.

The Achilles' heel of the computer models (which form the cornerstone of CO2 fearmongering), is their failure to deal with water. As vapor, it's a more important greenhouse gas than CO2 by a factor of twenty, yet models have proven incapable of dealing with it. The global water cycle is complicated, with at least as much unknown as is known. Water starts by evaporating from oceans, rivers, lakes and moist ground, enters the atmosphere as water vapor, condenses into clouds and precipitates as rain or snow. Each transition from one form of water to another is influenced by temperature and each water form has an enormous impact on global heat processes. Clouds have a huge, inaccurately quantified cooling effect: they reflect heat received from the sun, though how much is unknown. Water on the Earth's surface has different effects on retaining the sun's heat, depending on whether the water is liquid and dark, as are the oceans, which are highly absorbent; or ice, which is reflective; or snow, which is even more reflective than ice. Such water cycle factors cause huge swings in the Earth's heat balance; they interact with global temperatures in ways that are beyond the ability of computer climate models to predict.

The first global warming modelers simply threw up their hands at the complexity of the water problem and essentially left out the atmospheric water cycle. Over time a few features of the cycle were patched into the models, all based on unproven guesses at the effect of increased ocean evaporation on clouds, the effect of clouds on reflecting the sun's energy and the effect of cloud warming on rainfall and snow. All of these "band aid" equations are hopelessly inadequate to repair the computer models' inability to describe the water cycle's role in temperature.

Besides the inability to deal with water, the other huge embarrassment facing the modelers is the well-researched and well-established fact published in many papers that temperature changes first and CO2 levels change 600 to 1,000 years later. Any rational person would immediately conclude that CO2 could not possibly cause temperature if the rise in CO2 in comes centuries after the rise in temperature. The computer modelers as usual have an involuted response ... - Alexander Cockburn, June 2007

Noctilucent Clouds, A Mysterious Weather Wild Card

Particulate material in the upper atmosphere can have a significant impact upon global weather temperatures, but this effect has many variables, such as the altitude and whether the location is equatorial or polar, and this makes predictions problematic.

Noctilucent cloudsNoctilucent clouds are a strange and poorly understood phenomena, thought to consist of ice covered meteorite particles, and known to have an unquantified impact on Earth's climate. Being highly reflective (white), and very high altitude at 50 miles up, in large quantities they can reflect significant heat. Indeed, it's possible that a large meteorite storm could generate sudden weather changes

Not only meteorite particles, but dust, and solar radiation as well, could also be factors influencing the formation of noctilucent clouds, and thereby affecting global temperatures by reflecting heat and solar radiation away from the Earth.

Iridescent, silvery blue clouds at the edge of space that may be connected to global warming will be studied by a NASA spacecraft set to launch on 25 April.

The [noctilucent] clouds were first observed above polar regions in 1885 Ė suggesting they may have been caused by the eruption of Krakatoa two years before. But in recent years they have spread to latitudes as low as 40į, while also growing in number and getting brighter.

And greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide actually help to cool the upper atmosphere, where the clouds form. That is because carbon dioxide, like methane and water, is an efficient radiator of energy Ė both downwards, towards the Earth, and upwards, out to space.

The source of the particles that seed the clouds is also a mystery. Since the clouds form during the local summer months, when the pole is bathed in perpetual sunlight, one possibility is that warm air rising above the pole could carry dust upwards from lower atmospheric altitudes. The dust could also have a cosmic source, however, dropping into the atmosphere from space. [7]

How many other factors that science barely knows about, or that are completely unknown yet, can have a major influence upon Earth's atmosphere and weather?

* * *

The Water Vapor Factor: Underground Aquifers and Noctilucent Clouds

18.04.10 & 28.09.10 One factor that hasnít been given due consideration in the issue of AGW has to do with underground aquifers of water. All over the world vast reservoirs of water, trapped underground for thousands of years, are being pumped above ground by human efforts where it then evaporates or drains off into the ocean. These reserves of fresh water, many being prehistoric formations accumulated from water seeping underground over millennia, are being sucked out of the ground far faster than they replenish. This most immediate serious issue this generates is simply that in a matter of decades many of these underground water supplies, critical to cities and their inhabitants, will be exhausted.

Yet, the trouble doesnít end there. A secondary problem is being created here, since water vapor is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and since by pumping out these aquifers faster then they replenish we are increasing the quantity of water vapor in the atmosphere, this action could be a major factor in raising global, or at least localized, temperatures. This artificial action also leads directly to higher sea levels, being blamed on Global Warming. [26]

As an artificial force, correcting this problem is much simpler than enacting convoluted and inherently corrupt Ďcarbon credití schemes, or demanding de-industrialization of civilization. Instead of pumping out water from underground, where it often goes to farm fields and evaporates into the atmosphere, we would instead have to focus on recycling the water we have above ground, and perhaps even pumping water back below to restore the previous balance between atmospheric water vapor and subsurface.

Interestingly, this underground issue also connects to another mystery in the upper reaches of the atmosphere Ė noctilucent clouds. These clouds wax and wane over a 27 day cycle, but no one has known why. One new idea is that increased UV light from the sun may be breaking down water molecules and, temporarily, reducing noctilucent cloud formation. The sun is most likely responsible for the short term variation of the clouds because it delivers an uneven amount of UV light and takes 27 days to complete a rotation. Second, the long term increase in noctilucent clouds may be connected to increased levels of water vapor in the atmosphere.

Smells Like Global Warming

Smells Like Global Warming, 011201b09q000

The Carbon Credit Scheme

Since artificial Global Warming has all the trappings of being just more dogma from the Church of the Green we should ask, is Global Warming a Sin?

In a couple of hundred years, historians will be comparing the frenzies over our supposed human contribution to global warming to the tumults at the latter end of the tenth century as the Christian millennium approached. Then, as now, the doomsters identified human sinfulness as the propulsive factor in the planet's rapid downward slide.

Then as now, a buoyant market throve on fear. The Roman Catholic Church was a bank whose capital was secured by the infinite mercy of Christ, Mary and the Saints, and so the Pope could sell indulgences, like checks. The sinners established a line of credit against bad behavior and could go on sinning. Today a world market in "carbon credits" is in formation. Those whose "carbon footprint" is small can sell their surplus carbon credits to others, less virtuous than themselves.

The modern trade is as fantastical as the medieval one. There is still zero empirical evidence that anthropogenic production of CO2 is making any measurable contribution to the world's present warming trend. The greenhouse fearmongers rely entirely on unverified, crudely oversimplified computer models to finger mankind's sinful contribution. Devoid of any sustaining scientific basis, carbon trafficking is powered by guilt, credulity, cynicism and greed, just like the old indulgences, though at least the latter produced beautiful monuments. [6]

Even if Ďcarbon creditsí would reduce global emissions of carbon dioxide, and (falsely) assuming that CO2 is the true source of the problem, the carbon credits scheme still has major flaws. One of the most notable problems that both critics and proponents of AGW have so far identified is the fact that it isnít reducing construction of new power plants, like dams in China. Instead, power plants that would have been built anyway in the developing world are simply cashing in, collecting the money, and then making consumer in the west pay for it!

At today's low market prices, those credits would be worth some $300 million, paid to Chinese developers and presumably billed to German electricity customers, who by 2007 were already paying more than double the U.S. average rate per kilowatt-hour.

Utilities from Italy's Edison to Tokyo Electric are making similar deals for hydro-project credits in a dozen other countries, from Peru to India to Vietnam.

Rather than reduce their own emissions, "firms in developed countries are buying offsets that don't represent real behavioral change, real reductions in emissions," said Wara, the environmental law professor.

Does AGW Belief Signal the Death of Science?

The rise of Anthropocentric Global Warming (AGW) as a crisis issue is at least partially the result of the increasing specialization of scientific research, for instance climate computer modelers mostly support AGW but geologists don't.

Iíve already mentioned the hazards of scientific specialization in my article Science as presently practiced is a false savior..., and unfortunately, modern science is mostly just creating a rainbow of disjointed facts rather than the functional answers and practical solutions that can only emerge from establishing a valid holistic framework within which to place all these isolated pieces. This is why we read so many contradictory news articles on harmful foods, for instance, every research study looks at one small thing in isolation and no one is looking at everything taken together. By fixating on one narrow element a researcher may be able to derive an answer but that answer may not have any validity within the greater context!

The scientific process begins to fail when scientific research becomes so highly specialized that scientists can no longer communicate their results to researchers in different fields of study, and when they cannot resolve discrepancies and contradictory answers from across disparate fields of inquiry.

Even more serious is the loss of public support for science. People lose confidence in the utility of the scientific process as it becomes increasingly politicized and the answers more and more contradictory. The higher the stakes are raised the more contentious and ugly the debate over the direction and conclusions become. Again this is because of the narrow focus, as people lose perspective panic sets in and the immediate fixation assumes fantastic importance far beyond true reality, i.e. Ďif we donít stop global warming right now the whole universe will explode!í Remember: the easiest way to manufacture absurdity is to separate facts and events from surrounding context.

The situation is not hopeless, the contemporary approach to science can certainly change but only if problems are recognized and addressed in time. And in this regard the clock is definitely ticking. 25.08.07

The planet will continue to change, adapt and evolve, with or without us. The atmosphere will continue to change as it always has under the influence of life and of geology. We can't control these things. We can barely perceive them correctly. But we can take control of how we treat each other. The best we can do for the environment and for the planet is to learn not to let undemocratic power structures run our lives. The best we can do is to reject exploitation and domination and to embrace cooperation and solidarity. The best we can do is to not trust subservient scientists and to become active agents for change beyond head-in-the-sand personal lifestyle choices. - David Noble, environmental science researcher at the University of Ottawa putting things back in perspective.

Hot Button Earth


Goddess Gaia

Gaia - that the sum of all life on earth works to balance atmospheric and environmental conditions to optimize life conditions. This idea was concocted by an atmospheric chemist named James Lovelock and a microbiologist Lynn Margulis. "The Gaia Hypothesis proposes that our planet functions as a single organism that maintains conditions necessary for its survival." [3] It is said that Gaia is valid because no single living organism on Earth could be removed and set on another planet and it would survive on its own, hence the whole world is connected to such an extent that it's a single living entity. But is this intentional or accidental?

All life evolved next to other life, it only makes sense that everything has developed connections! The Gaia metaphor attempts to connect other things as well such as the Earth atmosphere as a cell membrane or the entire universe as a cell or a living organism that is born grows (and collapses?) and dies. But none of these apparent connections can be verified empirically. Nevertheless it stirs the imagination. In The Beginning is an intriguing book written by fringe science author John Gribbin in 1993. The primary theme is how the universe and components can be seen as living organisms and the Gaia hypothesis figures into it quite heavily. Ultimately it will be very difficult to know one way or the other whether the universe itself is actually growing, multiplying and doing all the things that life does, so scaling it up to that level is pretty farfetched.

More recently, Reason magazine features a short article on Gaia which summarizes the hypothesis fairly well, albeit to make a rather facetious point.

According to the Gaia hypothesis, the history of life on Earth can be regarded as a progressive modification of the planet's chemistry and temperature by biological organisms acting in ways that enhance their own flourishing. For example, Earth's atmosphere was modified over billions of years by photosynthetic microorganisms from one that was predominantly carbon dioxide and methane into its current oxygen-rich state. This oxygen-rich atmosphere apparently set the stage for the evolution of multicellular life that took off in earnest during the "Cambrian explosion" some 540 million years ago. [4]

This conveniently ignores the fact that the atmosphere changed to one of oxygen as a byproduct of pollution. Oxygen emerged as the toxic byproduct of microorganism life that went amok and created a global pollution of unmatched proportions, even killing off the polluters in the process! Gaia is totally putting the cart before the horse. All organisms function on a completely selfish basis, they want to survive and if it means destroying other life, competitors or just in the way, so be it. Besides that Gaia seems like a very teleological concept because it posits that everything is connected to serve a long range purpose; that everything is intentionally working together to create something larger than any single part. Indeed some even believe that Earth will 'reproduce' through space colonizing humans!

It just doesn't work that way, naturally everything individually seeks an imbalance in its own favor but collective competition creates an equilibrium as long as no single entity can dominate. Besides that random external and even internal events are constantly shifting the balance. Life just tries to fit into whatever situation arises, hence natural selection i.e. evolution. "Molecular biologists view life as replicating strands of DNA that compete for survival and evolve to optimize their survival in changing surroundings." [3]

The flaws in this model, which is why it's called the Gaia hypothesis and not theory, are more numerous than that which support this contention. For instance all evidence points to a universe that will expand forever not re-collapsing in a reverse big bang creating that perfect set of bookends.

The single largest complaint lodged against the strong Gaia hypothesis is that experiments can't be designed to refute it (or test it at all, for that matter.) Without going into all the details, suffice it to say that those arguments are valid. The strong Gaia hypothesis states that life creates conditions on Earth to suit itself. Life created the planet Earth, not the other way around. As we explore the solar system and galaxies beyond, it may one day be possible to design an experiment to test whether life indeed manipulates planetary processes for its own purposes or whether life is just an evolutionary processes that occurs in response to changes in the non-living world. [3]

Sometimes it seems science is listening to musical notes emanating from behind a wall while trying to guess what the musical instrument looks like.

I think the Gaia hypothesis is flirting with something much more fundamental than the idea that everything is living. Likely this has to do with the simple fact that the universe is finite and filled, no entity can expand without subtracting from something else. The laws of propagation and survival are interwoven into the very fabric of the universe. Graphic artist MC Escher unintentionally demonstrated this principle in two dimensions through what he called 'division of the plane'. "Repetition and multiplication - two simple words. The entire world perceivable with the senses would fall apart into meaningless chaos if we could not cling to these two concepts," [5] MC Escher. Also note that within these tessellations if one character moves the others move as well; it's 'all connected' but not in any spiritual Gaia way, not even in a biological way, it's just the dimensional nature of these structures. Indeed, evolution itself can be seen as a division of a plane, the fourth dimensional plane of time. Only the most fit of the species can inhabit their niche at any given moment. "Over and over again it was, and still is, a great joy to have "found" such a motif that repeats itself rhythmically in accordance with a specific system and thus obeys immovable lows. It gives one the sensation of approaching something that is primeval and eternal," [5]

The Gaia hypothesis is not completely flawed but it does create more fog of confusion than it disperses. The basic idea is helpful in that it has created an awareness that everything has consequences and that even simple actions can generate unpredictable and pernicious reaction over vast geographic and chronological spaces. But at the same time it highlights its own absurdity because if everything is in balance or seeks a balance then whatever anyone does is of little concern because it will all just balance itself out! "If the Earth is indeed self-regulating, then it will adjust to the impacts of man." [3] So why care?

Gaia is a model, it's an attempt to understand complicated processes and connect the dots but regardless of the origins it has nonetheless been massively perverted and distorted for teleological and mystical purposes. Everyone from the new Green religion to Anarchists have latched onto this myth of the 'Earth Mother' to justify their preordained plan and make their violent and self-destructive actions more palatable both to their own selves and the cynical public. Bottom line: Gaia is garbage, it has the stink of spiritualism and faith all over it while failing to make anything more lucid or understandable and it doesn't make any valid predictions. The scientific community is doing themselves a significant strategic disservice by continuing to debate a model that is fundamentally flawed and incapable of verification while failing to address the misconceptions spreading like a bad disease amongst the ill informed public. 04.08.02

Holes in Global Warming

Where's cause and effect with the ozone / CFC issue? These CFC’s haven’t been used by industrialized nations since the mid 1990s, so use of ‘ozone depleting’ chemicals has decreased yet the Arctic ozone hole has gone from nothing to serious threat level since they were banned in 1996.

As temperatures fall during Arctic winter, polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) [microscopic ice crystals] can form. A complex series of chemical reactions on the surface of PSC cloud particles frees up active chlorine and bromine, which react with sunlight to catalyze ozone destruction when the sun returns in early spring. [8]

The real cause of the ozone holes is the drop in temperature over the poles which creates the PSC ice clouds at temperatures around 80 below 0 C, this in conjunction with the presence of chlorine, bromine, and CFCs acts to break up ozone. Antarctica usually gets this cold so the temperatures there aren’t necessarily abnormally low but the Arctic usually doesn’t stay at those levels long enough to cause ozone depletion chemistry. But both poles have been consistently colder over the past decade. Shouldn’t scientists be investigating why this is? CFCs don’t make the atmosphere colder and they've been in the atmosphere for years but only recently has ozone depletion occurred, at least in the Arctic. So which is the cause here the cold or the CFCs?

The answer is the cold temperatures but the researchers study the CFCs because it simplifies and politicizes the issue making funding more abundant but obscuring the true factors at work. Are (some) scientists ignoring this because of dogmatic heterodoxy i.e. it can’t be the cold because the earth is experiencing ‘global warming’? I hope not, that would sure be one glaring irony if the world freezes over while everyone is panicked out over global warming. 23.01.00

The Next Ice Age

It seems profoundly egotistical and narcissistic for humanity to believe itself so powerful that it has the capability to alter the environment radically enough to create total and permanent climate change. Volcanoes are merely one example that counters this belief; in one single blast they spew out more chemicals, poisons and particulate matter than carbon fuel burning could possibly produce in decades. My point, first off, is that natural elements are much more significant to Earth’s climate. Not only that but so many factors go into creating our climate that predictions are at best merely guesses. Axial tilt, sunspots, solar activity, geomagnetic anomalies, cosmic rays, volcanic activity, single cell sea life, butterfly wings, the list is endless.


Like a heartbeat, the Earth progresses through ice-ages and warming periods with regular frequency, as indicated by historical sea levels (more ice on land equates to lower sea levels, and vice versa). The preponderance of established physical evidence contradicts the statistically unlikely (and egotistical) belief that our age is a unique exception. In fact, history dictates that the Earth is headed for another ice-age, not runaway global warming.

But thatís not to say that our climate won't change, or that it isnít altering significantly even as I write. But with that baggage out of the way, first consider the cyclical El Nino / La Nina effect that are turning into a prelude to another larger cycle called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation wherein the edges of the Pacific basin are biased hot and cold creating unpleasant weather patterns. And truthfully, unpleasant weather is just the stuff we donít expect to usually happen, the biggest problem is that humans demand that the weather stay within that narrow statistical band of normal temperatures and average rainfall when the climate is really a much more dynamic system, but I digress again. The PDO is not unheard of but itís significant enough to warrant attention.

Second, the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean currents are changing. Some ice is melting in the Arctic, for whatever reason, but the effect is to lower water temperatures (like ice cubes in a glass of water) and this alone or with other factors is altering the circulation of warm water to the detriment of the regional land masses notably Europe and Eastern North America. This certainly helps explain why those areas have been hit by colder than usual winters. If these new ocean circulation patterns hold, this part of the world could be in for some rugged weather.

Third, the arctic air temperatures are constantly and continually at record cold levels. This is involved in an ozone hole at the North Pole but the effect once again is to chill the entire polar area. In essence this is turning the North Pole into a copy of the colder Antarctic twin to the south.

This year is most unusual. Temperatures have been consistently as low as ever recorded in the Arctic stratosphere," says Harris. "There have been polar stratospheric clouds since the end of November and we are already seeing ozone destruction. [9]

Now, when the air gets cold enough high in the atmosphere microscopic ice crystals form, a common event in Antarctica. These crystals act as a mirror reflecting away large quantities of solar radiation before it enters and heats the earth. This ice-over effect is one of the most significant factors in starting and maintaining an ice age because it creates a feedback mechanism. Heat is reflected away and temperatures at the poles continue to drop creating more atmospheric ice crystal, etc. Volcanic plume near Quito.Normally this is all mitigated by proper temperature circulation patterns between the warm equator land and water and the cold poles keeping ice age at bay.

If this circulation system breaks down for long enough and the earth drifts to extremes of temperature, very cold at poles and warmer at equator, then more precipitation falls and snow builds up on the high altitudes and then glaciers form. The high albedo of the white ice and snow reflects away more heat. The current pacific weather has been dumping unusually large amounts of snow on the mountains in Western North America. Iím not sure if this effect is being counter balanced by dry mountains elsewhere but some places, like Mt. Baker in Washington state, have received record snowfalls in recent years.

The next most significant factor that stimulates ice-age formation has to do with volcanic gasses and particle being injected into the upper atmosphere blocking out sunlight for long periods of time. Certainly Central and South America have had a lot of recent activity but most of it is low level and not especially unusual - example Quito Ecuador. Will one or more of the Andean volcanoes blow soon?

Ice ages are the statistical norm over Earthís recent history but the next ice age if it follows the past pattern isnít expected for several thousand years; although another could start anytime. Geological evidence and ice-cores for example have shown they can form extremely rapidly over just a few decades. Weather is one of the last strongholds our technology canít control yet and not surprisingly it still has an aura of power and fear associated with its unpredictable and pitiless forces. Perhaps this explains the fervent dogma of artificial global warming?

Stop Global Warming

Stop Global Warming, 013001ssr2000


Very Cold European Winters Due to Lack of Sunspots on Sun

When sunspot numbers are down, the Sun emits less ultraviolet radiation. Less radiation means less heating of Earth's atmosphere, which sparks a change in the circulation patterns of the two lowest atmospheric levels, the troposphere and stratosphere. Such changes lead to climatic phenomena such as the North Atlantic Oscillation, a pattern of atmospheric pressure variations that influences wind patterns in the North Atlantic and weather behavior in regions in and around Europe. [28]

All weather is ultimately driven by the sun's energy, or lack of it, since that's where the Earth gets all of its energy (the small exception being radioactive thermal energy from the Earth's core.

* * *

Arctic Ice Loss

By studying driftwood and sand on Arctic islands, researchers have found that regional ice loss was much worse a few thousand years ago. Current rates of ice loss were previously based on satellite measurements that only go back to 1979, but actual evidence on the ground presents a different story, and ice loss is not likely to be nearly as severe as previously thought.

[T]he Greenland north coast provides valuable long-term perspective, with the driftwood and sand on the beaches recording ice trends that go back 10,000 years.

Between 8,000 to 5,000 years ago, when the temperatures were warmer than today, Funder and his colleagues report, there was probably less than 50 per cent of the summer 2007 ice coverage, which was the lowest in 30-year satellite record.

During the pre-historic warm period, they say, the southern limit of Greenland's year-round sea ice was about 1,000 kilometres north of where it is today. [27]

* * *

Judge Rules Global Warming can be a Religion

In November 2009 a British judge, Justice Michael Burton the same one that ruled in 2008 that Al Gore's global warming film ĎAn Inconvenient Truthí was political and partisan, ruled that "A belief in man-made climate change, and the alleged resulting moral imperatives, is capable if genuinely held, of being a philosophical belief for the purpose of the 2003 Religion and Belief Regulations." Therefore it is illegal to discriminate against someone who holds such religious or philosophical beliefs. [20]

The philosophical belief in this case is that mankind is headed towards catastrophic climate change and that, as a result, we are under a duty to do all that we can to live our lives so as to mitigate or avoid that catastrophe for future generations. It addresses the question, what are the duties that we own to the environment and why? - Dinah Rose, defense lawyer

The crux of the matter is the fervent belief that catastrophe is upon us and that we must act in a specific way to avert it. Since the apocalypse is such a horrible mental image any and all means are suddenly justified in averting impending calamity. Yet thereís still no real evidence of impending catastrophe from global warming, nor that itís artificially created, or that itís even something we can actually change! Global Warming paranoia is intentionally being fuelled by deceptive rhetoric intended to elicit a specific response, in other words, itís a political propaganda campaign wearing the clothing of environmentalism.

* * *

Global Warming: it's coming really ... right after the cooling

Breaking with climate-change orthodoxy, he [Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University] said NAO  [North Atlantic Oscillation] cycles were probably responsible for some of the strong global warming seen in the past three decades. "But how much? The jury is still out," he told the conference. The NAO is now moving into a colder phase. ...

Another favourite climate nostrum was upturned when Pope warned that the dramatic Arctic ice loss in recent summers was partly a product of natural cycles rather than global warming. Preliminary reports suggest there has been much less melting this year than in 2007 or 2008.

In candid mood, climate scientists avoided blaming nature for their faltering predictions, however. "Model biases are also still a serious problem. We have a long way to go to get them right. They are hurting our forecasts," said Tim Stockdale of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts in Reading, UK. [19]

* * *

How does one pole freeze and the other melt, according to AGW?

Even though the Arctic sea is losing ice, the Antarctic is gaining ice, a fact that seems to be a serious contradiction for the theory of anthropogenic global warming. "By the end of the century we expect one third of Antarctic sea ice to disappear," says Turner. "So we're trying to understand why it's increasing now, at a time of global warming." Once again computer models come to the rescue of AGW, generating an unlikely (and ironic) culprit: the ozone hole! [18]

But donít panic just yet, ten years from now it will all start melting like itís supposed to once the ozone hole fades away. At least according to some experts interpreting computer models of Earthís weather.

We know that the Earthís axis of rotation changes over time. If you think about it, it seems like the simplest way to explain this polar effect is if one pole is tilted closer to the sun and stays there longer than it used to. The North Pole could be getting more thermal radiation and the South Pole less ... but then again, Iím not an expert and I donít have a computer simulation.

* * *

Carbon cuts 'only give 50/50 chance of saving planet' is a typical news article on global warming that manages to be both alarmist and powerless at the same. Here are some key excerpts:

The chilling forecast from the supercomputer climate model of the Met Office's Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research will provide a sobering wake-up call for governments around the world. [16]

Again, all of this evidence for anthropogenic causality is based on computer models simulating Earthís weather and climate, yet as we all know every computer model is only as accurate as the data put into it and the algorithm used to produce a result; Garbage In Garbage Out (GIGO). At the same time statements like this emphasize how AGW is inseparable from politics, indeed everyone should be asking Ė where does politics end and science really begin here?

But the Hadley Centre's simulation indicates that even if global emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas causing the warming, were to be slashed at a very high rate the chances of holding the rise at the [2]C threshold are no better than even. [16]

And yet, according to this, thereís really nothing we can do about it anyway because itís practically impossible to slash carbon dioxide to the safe levels dictated by the computer simulations. Maybe if more people stopped breathing that would be enough to reduce carbon dioxide emissions?!

The treaty, which is due to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, is widely seen as the Last Chance Saloon for the community of nations to take effective action against the greatest threat the world has ever faced. [16]

I hope all the heavy breathing isnít the real source of global warming! We know from the geological record, consisting of voluminous evidence that doesnít require computer simulations, that the Earth has been much warmer in the past and life thrived. Stating that global warming is the greatest threat the world has ever faced is totally over-the-top. A fossil of a tropical turtle from the Cretaceous period, about 95 million years ago, was recently discovered in the Canadian Arctic. Back then, long before factories and cars, the temperature at the poles averaged 57 degrees Fahrenheit! ďThe region would have felt like modern-day North Carolina.Ē [17]

* * *

Russia, not being tied to the same views and assumptions as in the west, often has a different viewpoint that is often overlooked out of arrogance or ignorance. The issue of global warming is no exception. Some Russian assessments conclude that instead of the anomaly of a runaway warming effect, the historically routine ice-age is about to return.

The main flaw in the AGW theory is that its proponents focus on evidence from only the past one thousand years at most, while ignoring the evidence from the past million years -- evidence which is essential for a true understanding of climatology. The data from paleoclimatology provides us with an alternative and more credible explanation for the recent global temperature spike, based on the natural cycle of Ice Age maximums and interglacials. ...

The graph of the Vostok ice core data shows that the Ice Age maximums and the warm interglacials occur within a regular cyclic pattern, the graph-line of which is similar to the rhythm of a heartbeat on an electrocardiogram tracing. The Vostok data graph also shows that changes in global CO2 levels lag behind global temperature changes by about eight hundred years. What that indicates is that global temperatures precede or cause global CO2 changes, and not the reverse. In other words, increasing atmospheric CO2 is not causing global temperature to rise; instead the natural cyclic increase in global temperature is causing global CO2 to rise. [15]

* * *

In June 2008 it was announced that the tropical ocean is removing much more ozone and methane from the atmosphere than researchers and climate modelers previously assumed. This is significant for the global warming debate because ozone in the upper atmosphere (up to 10 kilometers above the surface) is considered a key greenhouse gas, and methane even more so.

Ozone is known to be largely broken down by sunlight and water vapour. This produces hydroxyl radicals, which in turn remove methane from the atmosphere.

Halogens like iodine and bromine can also help break down ozone. When the researchers plugged the bromine and iodine values measured at the observatory into their model they were better able to predict the decay of ozone. The results suggested that the halogens help create an ozone "sink", which sucks the greenhouse gas out of the lower atmosphere.

"It has come as a surprise to find these chemicals, not only in coastal regions with lots of iodine rich seaweed, but also in the middle of the Atlantic ocean," says Lewis. [10]

This is yet more evidence that the supposedly finalized conclusion on AGW is really far from actually being resolved, and the complexity and volume of chemical interactions that shape Earth's atmosphere are only in the very rudimentary stages of accurate human understanding. 26.06.08

* * *

Another Reason Not to Panic

Previous assumptions on the speed of Greenland's ice sheet sliding into the ocean are incorrect.

Many fear a positive feedback loop, whereby the accelerating flow will bring more ice down out of the mountains and toward warmer temperatures near sea level. Roderik Van De Waal and colleagues at Utrecht University in the Netherlands now say there is no evidence this will happen. ...

[T]he acceleration was short-lived, and ice velocities usually returned to normal within a week after the waters began draining. Over the course of the 17 years, the flow of the ice sheet actually decreased slightly, in some parts by as much as 10%.

"For some time, glaciologists believed that more meltwater equaled higher ice speeds," Van de Waal says. "This would be kind of disastrous, but apparently it is not happening."

* * *

Oceanographers Discover Huge Atlantic Carbon Sink

Once again global warming assumptions have turned out to be incorrect after collecting and analyzing verifiable data. Researchers were surprised to discover recently that the Atlantic ocean has a giant carbon sink produced by the Amazon river.

A seasonal bloom of ocean plankton fertilised by the Amazon river pulls much more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere than researchers had previously supposed. [12]

And not only that, other rivers probably produce similar effects.

And although the Amazon is the largest of the world's rivers, other major tropical rivers such as the Congo and the Orinoco may have similar effects, he says Ė a conjecture he is now aiming to test. [12]

Even with massive gaps in our understanding of the Earthís climate and the interaction between the oceans, rivers, and living organism, vocal global warming experts still treat anthropogenic global warming as factual gospel! 22.07.09

Moreover, much of this carbon ends up in long-term storage instead of being recycled quickly like most carbon in the ocean. That's because the main photosynthesisers are diatoms, single-celled algae that build a heavy silica shell around their bodies. [12]



1. Global warming, an unsettled science,
by Simon Roughneen, ISN Security Watch, May 30, 2008.

2. Next decade 'may see no warming',
by Richard Black, BBC, May 1, 2008.

3. The Gaia Hypothesis

4. Defenders of Earth - Are humans Gaia's immune system?,
by Ronald Bailey Reason Magazine, July 31, 2002.

5. Exploring the Infinite, translated from the original book: Het Oneindiga, 1989, Henry N. Abrams publishers.

6. From Papal Indulgences to Carbon Credits Is Global Warming a Sin?, by Alexander Cockburn, Counterpunch newsletter, April 28-29 2007.

 7. Satellite to study source of 'night shining' clouds,
by Maggie McKee, NewScientist, April 12, 2007.

8. International Scientists Now Studying Arctic Ozone Loss,, January 18, 2000, italics added.

9. Freezing clouds threaten record Arctic ozone loss,
New Scientist, January 22, 2000.

10. Tropical ocean sucks up vast amounts of ozone,
 by Nora Schultz, New Scientist, June 26, 2008.

11. Greenland ice sheet slams the brakes on,
by Michael Reilly, New Scientist, July 3, 2008.

12. Plankton turn tropical Atlantic into a huge carbon sink,
by Bob Holmes,  New Scientist, July 21, 2008.

13. China dams reveal flaws in climate-change weapon,
by Joe McDonald and Charles J. Hanley, AP, January 25, 2009.

14. The Cloud Book, by Richard Hamblyn, David & Charles Limited, 2008.

15. Earth on the Brink of an Ice Age, by Gregory F. Fegel, Pravda, January 11, 2009.

16.Carbon cuts 'only give 50/50 chance of saving planet', by Michael McCarthy, The Independent, March 9, 2009.

17. Tropical turtle fossil found in Arctic, by Emily Sohn, MSNBC, March. 6, 2009.

18.  Why Antarctic ice is growing despite global warming, by Catherine Brahic, New Scientist, April 20, 2009.

19. World's climate could cool first, warm later, by Fred Pearce, New Scientist, September, 4 2009.

20. Judge rules activist's beliefs on climate change akin to religion, by Karen McVeigh, The Guardian, November 3, 2009.

21. Underground coal fires called a 'catastrophe', by Michael Woods, Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh), February 15, 2003.

22. Using religious language to fight global warming, by Helen Grady, BBC Radio 4, January 25, 2010.

23. Black Carbon a Significant Factor in Melting of Himalayan Glaciers, by Julie Chao, Berkeley Lab News, February 3, 2010.

24. Soaring Arctic temperatures Ė a warning from history, by Jeff Hecht, New Scientist, July 9, 2010; italics added for emphasis.

25. Deep Dark Secrets, by Andrew Todhunter, National Geographic magazine, August 2010.

26. Groundwater Levels Draining Fast, by Jessica Marshall, Discovery News, September 27, 2010.

27. Arctic ice loss has been much worse historically: Study, by Margaret Munro, Vancouver Sun, August 4, 2011.

28. Link Found Between Cold European Winters and Solar Activity, ScienceDaily, August 23, 2012.

Resources / Further Research

"No matter if the science (of global warming) is all phony ... climate change (provides) the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world."
- Christine Stewart, former Canadian minister of the environment.

 Content & Design © Freydis
Updated: August, 2012
Created: June, 2008