By Allan MacRae
The Global Warming Crisis? The War on Fossil Fuels?
Predictions from 16 Years ago prove correct.
It is seldom that the climate alarmists will agree to debate, and when they do they usually lose. Allan MacRae has submitted some 2002 conclusions from one rare debate.
In 2002, Astrophysicist Dr. Sallie Baliunas (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), Paleoclimatologist Dr. Tim Patterson (Carleton University) and I co-authored a debate*1 with the Pembina Institute, sponsored by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA). Our assessment was subsequently excerpted in several professional journals, as well as The Globe and Mail and La Presse national newspapers.
In our rebuttal, we made eight statements, all of which are supported to date based on full-Earth-scale scientific observations. The following two statements are particularly significant:
“CLIMATE SCIENCE DOES NOT SUPPORT THE THEORY OF CATASTROPHIC HUMAN-MADE GLOBAL WARMING – THE ALLEGED WARMING CRISIS DOES NOT EXIST.”
“THE ULTIMATE AGENDA OF PRO-KYOTO ADVOCATES IS TO ELIMINATE FOSSIL FUELS, BUT THIS WOULD RESULT IN A CATASTROPHIC SHORTFALL IN GLOBAL ENERGY SUPPLY – THE WASTEFUL, INEFFICIENT ENERGY SOLUTIONS PROPOSED BY KYOTO ADVOCATES SIMPLY CANNOT REPLACE FOSSIL FUELS.”
We were correct in both these statements 16 years ago. The net impact of observed increasing atmospheric CO2 is greatly increased crop yields and at most mild, net-beneficial warming. Green energy has proved to be a costly, destructive debacle, primarily due to intermittency.
CATASTROPHIC HUMAN-MADE GLOBAL WARMING IS A FALSE CRISIS
a) All observations indicate a low climate sensitivity to increasing atmospheric CO2, no greater than approximately 1C/(2xCO2)*2*3 . This 1C/(doubling of CO2) is calculated by assuming that ALL observed warming is due to increasing atmospheric CO2. This assumption projects a worst-case scenario that is not dangerous, but is net-beneficial for humanity and the environment.
b) Another full-Earth-scale observation is that fossil fuel combustion strongly increased after about 1940, but global temperatures then DECREASED from approx. 1945 to 1977, increased until the mid-1990’s following the Great Pacific Climate Shift of 1977, and have remained relatively constant since, except for two major El Nino’s. Thus the correlation of global temperature to ever-increasing atmospheric CO2 has been negative, positive, and near-zero, which falsifies the hypothesis that CO2 is the primary driver of global temperature.
c) The IPCC’s climate computer models that predict catastrophic global warming run much too hot, since they are designed to create false alarm. These models, which falsely assume large positive feedbacks to inflate their values of climate sensitivity to CO2, are simply not credible.
d) The Catastrophic Global Warming Hypothesis, that assumes increasing atmospheric CO2 is causing dangerous human-made global warming, is falsified according to the principles of the scientific method, based on highly credible full-Earth-scale observations.
e) The Climate Change Hypothesis, which assumes increasing atmospheric CO2 is causing wilder weather, is so vague that it is unscientific nonsense. Furthermore, there is no evidence that weather is wilder or more variable than in past decades, and ample evidence to the contrary.
f) The fact that Earth is colder-than-optimum for humanity is demonstrated by Excess Winter Mortality statistics, which show that millions more people die every year in the winter months than in the non-winter months, even in relatively warm climates like Thailand and Brazil*4.
GRID-CONNECTED GREEN ENERGY SCHEMES ARE COSTLY, INTERMITTENT AND UNRELIABLE
Current forms of green energy are not green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy.
Grid-connected green energy schemes are costly fiascos, due primarily to intermittency. Because of intermittency, almost 100% spinning reserve (back-up power) is required for when the wind does not blow or the Sun does not shine. As a result of this intermittency, green energy schemes are excessively expensive – and do not even reduce CO2 emissions.
In most cases, it would be less expensive and much more reliable to never install the wind or solar power, and simply run the conventional spinning reserve power on an as-needed basis.
Also because of intermittency, green energy schemes destabilize the electrical grid and greatly increase energy costs, increasing Winter Deaths that especially target the elderly and the poor.
Fossil fuels continue to comprise about 85% of global primary energy, virtually unchanged in decades despite huge growth in global primary energy demand. If fossil fuels were eliminated tomorrow as the greens insist, almost everyone in the developed world would die within a month or so from starvation and exposure. Society is overwhelmingly reliant on fossil fuels.
3) CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Our opponents in the 2002 APEGA debate, the leftist Pembina Institute, cited the IPCC reports and their predictions of dangerous runaway global warming, which have failed to materialize. The IPCC and its climate models have negative scientific credibility.
Global warming alarmists have heavily promoted costly green energy schemes that are not green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy, due to the fatal flaw of intermittency.
The ability to correctly predict is perhaps the best objective measure of scientific competence. The global warming alarmists at the IPCC have been consistently wrong to date, and therefore THE IPCC HAS DEMONSTRATED CONSISTENT NEGATIVE CREDIBILITY ON CLIMATE AND ENERGY.
1. DEBATE ON THE KYOTO ACCORD 2002
PEGG November 2002, reprinted in edited form by professional journals, and national newspapers The Globe and Mail and La Presse, by Baliunas, Patterson and MacRae
2. Satellite Bulk Tropospheric Temperatures as a Metric for Climate Sensitivity
by John R. Christy and Richard T. McNider, November 2017
3. The impact of recent forcing and ocean heat uptake data on estimates of climate sensitivity
By Nic Lewis and Judith Curry, updated April 2018
4. COLD WEATHER KILLS 20 TIMES AS MANY PEOPLE AS HOT WEATHER
by Joseph D’Aleo and Allan MacRae, September 4, 2015
5. EU ELECTRICITY PRICES and RENEWABLE ENERGY
by Paul Homewood, August 1, 2015