No, I don’t celebrate Earth Day, or as my wife puts it – we have different religious beliefs. We certainly believe that mankind has the stewardship to look after the earth, but we don’t worship the creation more than the Creator. And that is what Earth Day and the overall green movement has become over the years.

I will make the prediction that people at Earth Day rallies will talk about the evils of man-made climate change. And you will probably also read news stories about the need of a carbon tax or cap and trade tax to limit the amount of CO2 mankind emits each year. These are easy predictions because Earth Day celebrants and the green movement have been calling for taxes on CO2 for years, when they aren’t too busy selling carbon indulgences. But CO2 isn’t an evil pollution that needs to be controlled, but it is necessary plant food. You could call CO2 the magic gas that makes plants grow.

The supporters of global warming climate change have been riding high on the wave of popularity and prestige for years, especially since their patron saint, former Vice President Al Gore, got an Oscar for his documentary *snicker* “An Inconvenient Truth.” But the last few years have been pretty rocky for them. More and more scientists and concerned people have been questioning the data underlying the “settled science” of global warming climate change, but with the hacking of the emails and data from East Anglia, there has been a sea change. From their own emails and data, we now know that the science is far from settled. Visit Jo Nova’s site to get an idea of what Climategate has opened up. Here are two of my favorite points:

  • The Climategate emails confirmed that the science itself was suspect. That the doomsayers themselves couldn’t make the data work. That they were debating among themselves some of the same points that the sceptics raised, and were privately acknowledging that they didn’t have answers to the issues that the sceptics raised.
  • The Climategate emails confirmed that the doomsayers were so determined to hide their data from inquiring minds that they were prepared to break the law to hide it – and did break the law – by avoiding Freedom of Information requests.

These are not the actions of scientists seeking the truth. These are the actions of fanatic faithful struggling to suppress the attacks on their faith. The science behind global warming climate change is far from settled. And when the science doesn’t back up the believers, they are left to rely on their faith. I am not a global warming climate change believer, so on this Earth Day, I’ll be putting my faith in God, the Creator of earth, rather than worshipping His handiwork.

October 24th is the International Day of Climate Action. You may hear people in the news, the ‘Net or around you talking about how we need to drop from our current CO2 level of about 390 parts per million down to 350 ppm, their magic number for a happy-happy earth. But it seems I have heard that number somewhere before. Anyway, 350.org is the site driving this orgy of activism, and the website has some information about their purpose:

What does the number 350 mean?
350 is the most important number in the world–it’s what scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Two years ago, after leading climatologists observed rapid ice melt in the Arctic and other frightening signs of climate change, they issued a series of studies showing that the planet faced both human and natural disaster if atmospheric concentrations of CO2 remained above 350 parts per million.

Everyone from Al Gore to the U.N.’s top climate scientist has now embraced this goal as necessary for stabilizing the planet and preventing complete disaster. Now the trick is getting our leaders to pay attention and craft policies that will put the world on track to get to 350.

Is 350 scientifically possible?
Right now, mostly because we’ve burned so much fossil fuel, the atmospheric concentration of co2 is 390 ppm—that’s way too high, and it’s why ice is melting, drought is spreading, forests are dying. To bring that number down, the first task is to stop putting more carbon into the atmosphere. That means a very fast transition to sun and wind and other renewable forms of power. If we can stop pouring more carbon into the atmosphere, then forests and oceans will slowly suck some of it out of the air and return us to safe levels.

Is 350 politically possible?
It’s very hard. It means switching off fossil fuel much more quickly than governments and corporations have been planning. Our best chance to speed up that process will come in December in Copenhagen, when the world’s nations meet to agree on a new climate treaty. Right now, theyOctober 23, 2009re not planning to do enough. But we can change that–if we mobilize the world to swift and bold climate action, which is what we’re planning to do on October 24th.

Evil CO2 will melt the ice at the poles, spread drought, kill forests, drown polar bears, flood the coasts, and shave your head while you sleep. But the inconvenient truth is that there have been times when the CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have been significantly higher than today. For example, during the Jurassic period CO2 levels were 3.5 to 5 times higher than now. If only Al Gore had presented his PowerPoint slides to the T Rex, they might be still be alive and staring in Jurassic Park IV: The Quest for Global Climate Change Control.

I can’t get all worked up about global warming climate change like the Chicken Littles of 350.org. Earth is doomed, Doomed, DOOMED! they say, unless Al Gore stops flying around the world like a hummingbird on crack. Hah, just kidding. Al Gore can blow out tons of CO2 gallivanting around the globe for he is the Oscar One. The rest of us have to cut back, as explained in one comment on Etsy:

Small changes in your daily domestic routine can have a huge impact, i.e. lower thermostat temp, turning out lights when leaving a room, hanging laundry to dry, hand washing dishes, and not using a microwave. Simple conservation yields a noticeable difference in the electric & heating bills, too!

While it is true that small changes may have an impact on our own bills, it will have a negligible impact on the CO2 of the world. To have a major impact on CO2, the whole world needs to undergo massive changes. 350.org explains their mission: “the solutions to climate change must be equitable, they must be grounded in science, and they must meet the scale of the crisis.”

I can guarantee that the mission statement will fail in all three parts. Any solutions proposed by governments in Copenhagen this year will not be equitable, but will be heavily weighted on the U.S. and Europe. There is science showing that the earth has been cooling, not heating, in the last decade, and the actions proposed will be far more disastrous than allowing global warming climate change to proceed unchecked.

If reducing the CO2 in the atmosphere were truly critical, it could be easily solved with three steps: electricity is turned off, fossil fuels are unused, and everyone lives like the Amish. You better not be living in a large city, because the lack of electricity and fossil fuels will make transporting food from farms much slower than it is now. If the whole earth turned to an Amish lifestyle, we would have a massive die-off. But that’s OK, since a massive reduction in humanity would mean less CO2 being produced.

And that’s the goal for climate change fanatics, right?

It’s official — former Vice President Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with global warming.

Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Friday for their efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change and lay the foundations for counteracting it.

Contrary to what you might think, it wasn’t awarded because of his huge CO2-spewing house and CO2-spewing private jet junkets, but because of his vanity puff-piece movie, An Inconvenient Truth. I call it a vanity puff-piece because the movie is not about global warming as much as it is about Al Gore talking about global warming.

But is Gore’s movie and subsequent CO2-spewing trips to blab about global warming really the best candidate for this award? I have to believe that the answer is no because of the poor science behind the movie. I’ve already written about Gore’s movie, but since then, there have been some interesting news items come out about his movie.

A truck driver in England brought Gore’s movie to court because he believed it was biased, inaccurate, and shouldn’t be shown to school children as fact. The final ruling isn’t in yet, but the judge on the case has found 11 inaccuracies in the film. (hat-tip Climate Skeptic) Here is the listing of the 11 inaccuracies from the movie, as specified by the judge.

  • The film claims that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro evidence global warming The Government’s expert was forced to concede that this is not correct.
  • The film suggests that evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years. The Court found that the film was misleading: over that period the rises in CO2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years.
  • The film uses emotive images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests that this has been caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that it was “not possible” to attribute one-off events to global warming.
  • The film shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims that this was caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that this was not the case.
  • The film claims that a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing arctic ice.  It turned out that Mr Gore had misread the study: in fact four polar bears drowned and this was because of a particularly violent storm.
  • The film threatens that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream throwing Europe into an ice age: the Claimant’s evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility.
  • The film blames global warming for species losses including coral reef bleaching. The Government could not find any evidence to support this claim.
  • The film suggests that the Greenland ice covering could melt causing sea levels to rise dangerously. The evidence is that Greenland will not melt for millennia.
  • The film suggests that the Antarctic ice covering is melting, the evidence was that it is in fact increasing.
  • The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7m causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.
  • The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The Government are unable to substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim.

Yeah. This is worth awarding the Nobel Peace Prize. Rush Limbaugh pointed out this week that Mother Theresa got the Nobel Peace Prize after a life-time of service. Al Gore makes an inaccurate movie that is more a vehicle for his own vanity than it is about global warming, and he gets the same prize. The bar has really been lowered.

In other environmental news, the Nobel Peace Prize was also awarded this year to a German chemist, Gerhard Ertl, for his work that can explain the destruction of the ozone layer.

“Surface chemistry can even explain the destruction of the ozone layer as vital steps in the reaction actually take place on the surfaces of small crystals of ice in the stratosphere,” the award citation said.

That would be really impressive if it weren’t for some other news in the chemistry world this year. As written up in Nature, “Chemists poke holes in ozone theory.”

“Our understanding of chloride chemistry has really been blown apart,” says John Crowley, an ozone researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry in Mainz, Germany.

“Until recently everything looked like it fitted nicely,” agrees Neil Harris, an atmosphere scientist who heads the European Ozone Research Coordinating Unit at the University of Cambridge, UK. “Now suddenly it’s like a plank has been pulled out of a bridge.”

And here’s the final paragraph with my emphasis added.

Nothing currently suggests that the role of CFCs must be called into question, Rex stresses. “Overwhelming evidence still suggests that anthropogenic emissions of CFCs and halons are the reason for the ozone loss. But we would be on much firmer ground if we could write down the correct chemical reactions.”

It’s still man’s fault, but they can’t prove it. Yep. Sounds like rock-solid science to me. And well worth awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to a chemist who can “explain the destruction of the ozone layer” when that same chemistry is being called into question. And while Gore’s movie is being called into question, why not award him, too? But they have a history of doing this. Former President Jimmy Carter was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his work for peace and the Agreed Framework with North Korea. The same Agreed Framework that North Korea announced in 2002 that they had violated from the beginning.

At this point I don’t have any respect for the selection process of the Nobel Peace Prize. I only write this because liberals will be applauding Saint Gore for his prize, and they will ignore the shaky science behind it.

Remember the really nasty hurricane season of 2005? Twenty-eight storms formed that year and 15 made it to full-fledged hurricane status. The images of devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina so terrified the nation that former Vice President Al Gore used the image of a hurricane on the poster and DVD cover of his movie, An Inconvenient Truth. Coming off that year, experts predicted that 2006 would give us 17 storms with nine hurricanes, but the actual results were almost half that at ten storms and five hurricanes. As of this writing, there have been only two named storms for 2007, neither of which became a hurricane. This calm year has led hurricane forecaster WSI Corp. to change its season predictions from 15 named storms and eight hurricanes to 14 named storms and six hurricanes.

The failed forecast for 2006 and the shifting of the forecast in 2007 has led Investor’s Business Daily to ask a very good question of the Global Warming crowd:

If scientists can’t get near-future projections in a limited area right, how can they predict the climate decades from now?

A reasonable response is: They can’t. But the global warming climate of fear did not blow in on the soft breezes of reason, but by the storm winds of emotion.

Professional meteorologists have a difficult time making an accurate forecast two days in the future, let alone accurately predicting the temperature two weeks from now. If they have that much trouble predicting the very near future, how much confidence can we put in the long-range forecasts of global warming proponents?

Short answer: not much at all.

A pig and a chicken were walking down the street when they noticed a billboard advertisement for a bacon and egg breakfast special. The chicken turned to the pig and exclaimed, “Isn’t it great? Think of all the people made happy by what we do!” The pig responded, “I don’t see why you feel so special. For you, it’s just a contribution, but for me it’s a total commitment.”

Are we totally committed, or are we merely contributing?

Let me give an example. In 1863, as the Civil War dragged on, the North needed men and money for the fight. The North levied a draft, but with a significant loophole — any draftee could get out of service by paying the government a fee of $300. Now it cannot be denied that a draftee buying his way out of service with $300 had contributed significantly to the war effort, but could he be said to be completely committed? Of course not. How could anyone be totally committed when all he had done was throw some money at his problem to make it go away? The soldiers who stood shoulder-to-shoulder in firing lines were completely committed, and almost 600,000 paid with their lives.

The difference between making a contribution and being totally committed was not lost on the people of the day. A well-dressed gentleman might be greeted with a sardonic call of “There goes a $300 man!” While both soldiers and wealthy “$300 men” contributed to the war effort, the total commitment of the soldiers trumped the monetary contribution of the wealthy.

Here’s a more recent example. The other day I drove behind someone with a TerraPass bumper sticker. The driver was still putting CO2 into the atmosphere, but he had purchased an indulgence from TerraPass so he didn’t have to change his lifestyle and become totally committed to reducing pollution. After a quick look at the TerraPass site, I realized that I could buy forgiveness for my car’s CO2 emissions with a simple yearly payment of $39.95. And it’s so much easier to pay to have someone else take care of my CO2 emissions than it is to be wholly committed to a vastly smaller CO2 footprint. That’s the difference between contribution and commitment.

I have seen the distinction between contribution and being completely and totally committed in another way. Former Vice President Al Gore has spent countless hours bringing global warming to the people’s attention through his movie An Inconvenient Truth, his books, and his speeches. But based on his actions, is Gore merely contributing to a solution, or is he completely committed to that solution?

The answer has to be obvious. While Gore is contributing his time, his energy, and his money, he is far from being totally committed to fixing global warming. Gore talks about the effects of CO2 on global warming, but his actions and lifestyle produces vast quantities of CO2. He has flown many thousands of miles on private and public jets to promote his cause, and his personal mansion consumes more energy in one month than the average American household consumes in a year. If he were totally committed he would change his lifestyle in a significant way, but he has not. Instead, he excuses his large, deep CO2 footprint through his contribution of money to fight the problem in his name.

If you ask me, Al Gore and TerraPass users are the 21st century’s version of the $300 man.

There is an oft-repeated phrase that has been bothering me for a while now. During an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC, former Vice President Al Gore said that “the debate in the scientific community is over” regarding global warming. Really? I have long had a problem with the idea of consensus being the way scientific truths are judged. All it takes — all it should take, anyway — for a commonly-held belief to be overturned is for one voice to propose a new theory that explains the facts better. Scientists don’t vote on whether E=mc2 is true; they judge whether the theory best explains the data. And that theory, once it has proven useful in explaining the facts, will continue to be tested by other scientists; if it fails to explain real-life results, scientists will look for a new and better theory.

History is full of examples of the commonly-held consensus being wrong. Here’s a few as listed on Wikipedia, quoting The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn:

I particularly like the last one, because I remember when scientists finally started to accept the idea that stomach ulcers were produced by a bacterium rather than spicy foods.

Anyone who brings up the “scientific consensus” argument is making a logical fallacy known as “appeal to authority;” basically, the argument goes, “Global warming is real because Al Gore tells me it is real.” It’s the same false argument as the old parental favorite, “Because I’m the Mom, and I say so.” But while these examples point out the pitfalls of consensus, they didn’t point to a particular article I remembered reading a while ago about the problem of scientific consensus; that article caused me to distrust anyone who claims consensus as a valid reason to support global warming theory.

And then I found it again, and it was written by an author I hadn’t suspected: Michael Crichton. I have several of his books, and they can be a fun read, but Crichton’s nearly-constant pessimistic theme of “mankind can’t be trusted to handle science or technology” can really grate on my nerves. However, Crichton does have an interesting view of “consensus science.” He delivered a lecture, humorously titled “Aliens Cause Global Warming,” at the California Institute of Technology in January of 2003. Here are two relevant sections from that lecture, regarding scientific consensus:

There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.

… I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.

Read the whole lecture. For one thing, if you do, you’ll understand the link between aliens and global warming. I have a minor beef with the lecture, since Crichton makes this link at the beginning of his lecture, but he fails to reiterate the link at the end. My high school English teacher drilled into my head that a thesis paper needs to have the thesis stated at the beginning and reiterated for reinforcement at the end. But Crichton is being paid for his writing, and I am not, so what do I know?

Interestingly enough, this same lecture by Crichton was also the source for my dislike of the Drake equation about which I recently wrote. I had first heard the Drake equation in Carl Sagan’s Cosmos TV series and book, back in the early ’80s, but it took me until the 2000s to realize that anything multiplied by guesswork becomes a guess, and that is why I dislike the “consensus” argument on global warming. It’s science multiplied by politics multiplied by guesses, and no matter how many times Al Gore may say that scientists have achieved consensus on the subject, that still ain’t how science works.

So when you read the title, did you think of someone making fun of former Vice-President Al Gore, or did you think of him mocking someone else? In this case it is both — because Al Gore is mocking someone else, specifically Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), and succeeding in making a mockery of himself.

Al Gore gathered with Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Rep. Reichert’s Democratic challenger, Darcy Burner, at a Seattle University conference room on October 24th, 2006. At one point, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels said that Rep. Reichert doesn’t believe people are causing global warming. Here is what the Seattle Times reports that Al Gore responded:

“Did he say that?” interrupted Gore, whose film about global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth,” grossed $23.7 million. “He’s not sure it’s caused by humans?”

“He’s not convinced that it’s caused by human beings,” responded Nickels.

“C’mon! And this man is a United States congressman?” asked Gore. “You know, 15 percent of people believe the moon landing was staged on some movie lot and a somewhat smaller number still believe the Earth is flat. They get together on Saturday night and party with the global-warming deniers.”

That’s a nice little ad hominem attack and appeal to ridicule that Gore launched. I can’t take his argument that seriously if he has to resort to logical fallacies in a debate.

I wish I could have been there, because I’d like to ask Al Gore two questions. Here they are:

1) Mr. Gore, are you aware that the Martian polar ice caps have been melting at an accelerated rate?

2) What percentage of the current global warming of Mars is attributable to human action?

I’d love to hear Al Gore try to explain how human activities on Earth could explain planetary warming on Mars. But there is a very clear answer that has nothing to do with human beings: increased solar activity.

But the inconvenient truth — that the sun is the real force behind global warming — doesn’t sell as many movie tickets, I guess.

Today my wife pointed out something interesting: former Vice President Al Gore and movie maker Michael Moore, as they appeared together on the Drudge Report, are beginning to look like they were separated at birth. Judge for yourself.

Separated at Birth?

When I followed the link below Gore’s photo it led me to a news story that made me laugh:

The documentary, which Gore narrates, is critical of the United States and Australia for refusing to adopt the Kyoto Protocol for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Prime Minister John Howard, a friend and ally of Bush, said he would not meet Gore during his Australian visit and would not heed his advice to sign up to Kyoto.

“I don’t take policy advice from films,” Howard told reporters.

Way to go, Prime Minister!

Today is the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hitting Louisiana and Mississippi. I predict you will see lots of video montages of the disaster, and certain people will use it as a chance to castigate President Bush by name and FEMA in general as not doing enough for the victims. And I’m sure many more round-ups of Katrina will appear this week. But I’m not going to focus on that. Instead, I’m going to focus on hysteria — specifically, the hysteria surrounding global warming.

We can expect blow-hards like former Vice President Al Gore to fan the flames of hysteria over global warming with the alarming tripe of An Inconvenient Truth. And Gore spends plenty of time hyping the hurricanes of 2005. Even National Geographic is pondering global warming with articles like “Is Global Warming Making Hurricanes Worse?” You could have made that case last year with the number of named storms in the Atlantic, but if we are in a crisis of global warming, and global warming makes worse hurricanes, then riddle me this: what’s up with this year’s hurricanes?

On this day in 2005, Katrina pounded the states of Mississippi and Louisiana. As a named storm beginning with the letter K, it was the 11th storm of the season big enough to warrant a name. Today we are worried about Ernesto hitting Florida; as the E name indicates, Ernesto is the 6th named storm for 2006. Let’s see, if I do the math right here… carry the two… adjust for pi… round up… round down… hide the remainder… it appears that we’ve had about half the storm activity this year as we did last season. Did global warming give up this year? Hah! Like you’d ever hear that from a global warming activist. No, you’ll hear the activists say global warming is the cause for this year’s fewer hurricanes in the same way that global warming was the cause for last year’s high number of hurricanes. I wrote how global warming activists will accept pretty much any weather as proof of global warming:

But global warming does seem to be a great catch-all explanation. If it’s rainy, it’s global warming. If it’s dry, it’s global warming. At the height of summer, you’ll hear reporters and politicians bemoaning global warming. But just as many will cry and wring their hands over global warming in the middle of winter. Some goofs even had the bright idea to hold a global warming conference in Montreal in the middle of freakin’ winter.

I believe hurricanes are created by a multitude of interacting environmental factors, and not by one environmental blowhard global warming source.

Boy, it’s hot! Oven hot. Surface of the sun hot. Walking around in Iraq hot. Don’t believe it’s hot? Well, smarty pants, here’s proof!

Boy, it's hot!

In all honesty, that’s not the accurate temperature here, although we did break the high temperature record on Sunday. I noticed today that this window thermometer dropped from about 100°F to below 80°F as soon as the sun stopped shining directly on it. Cheap plastic doohickey.

And yes, I do have proof of global warming. Why, just six months ago, it was cold enough to wake up to frost and snow, and now a cup full of ice melts faster than Chicken-Little liberals can peddle environmental fear-mongering in a movie.