Belmont Club

Who Mourns For Gaia?

A new NASA dataset covering the years 2000-2011 suggests that important parameters of the “global warming model” are wrong. For one thing, far more heat is being released into space than  United Nations computer models have predicted.  Moreover, the data shows the atmosphere begins shedding heat into space long before the computer models predicted they would.

Study co-author Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite, reports that real-world data from NASA’s Terra satellite says “the satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show,” Spencer said in a July 26 University of Alabama press release. “There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans.”

This follows evidence that pollution is cooling the planet. The Independent reported a study by Robert Kaufmann, of Boston University, who concluded that China’s dirty coal has been reflecting away heat from the sun.

“The rapid growth of the Chinese economy over the past decade and the amount of coal they used to fuel it has tended to cool the climate, which offset to some extent the warming effect of carbon dioxide emissions,” he said. But Simon Lewis, of the University of Leeds, said that the study could be easily misinterpreted: “While sulphur emissions do have a cooling effect, this is only short-term. Meanwhile, the carbon dioxide emissions will lead to a long-term planetary warming.”

But Lewis’ touching faith in Global Warming is precisely what the NASA data has tended to cast doubt upon. Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist in the UA’s Earth System Science Center, argues the new evidence shows the climate system is much more complex than the models allow for. They compared the data directly to a Global Warming model and found a divergence in what the model predicted and what was actually observed.

“At the peak, satellites show energy being lost while climate models show energy still being gained,” Spencer said.

This is the first time scientists have looked at radiative balances during the months before and after these transient temperature peaks.

Applied to long-term climate change, the research might indicate that the climate is less sensitive to warming due to increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere than climate modellers have theorized. A major underpinning of global warming theory is that the slight warming caused by enhanced greenhouse gases should change cloud cover in ways that cause additional warming, which would be a positive feedback cycle.

Instead, the natural ebb and flow of clouds, solar radiation, heat rising from the oceans and a myriad of other factors added to the different time lags in which they impact the atmosphere might make it impossible to isolate or accurately identify which piece of Earth’s changing climate is feedback from manmade greenhouse gases.

“There are simply too many variables to reliably gauge the right number for that,” Spencer said. “The main finding from this research is that there is no solution to the problem of measuring atmospheric feedback, due mostly to our inability to distinguish between radiative forcing and radiative feedback in our observations.”

For this experiment, the UA Huntsville team used surface temperature data gathered by the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Great Britain. The radiant energy data was collected by the Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments aboard NASA’s Terra satellite.

The six climate models were chosen from those used by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The UA Huntsville team used the three models programmed using the greatest sensitivity to radiative forcing and the three that programmed in the least sensitivity.

But the immense political momentum behind “Climate Change” legislation, as “Global Warming” was formerly known, means that efforts to engineer the weather will continue despite the lack of any reliable science behind those efforts. No matter what the science says, too many people are now invested in the religion of Global Warming to easily give it up.

How can political religion trump science in the 21st century? It can happen easily if enough money is involved.

Back in 1991, Jerry Pournelle wrote a science-fiction novel called Fallen Angels, in which science and technology have been delegitimized in favor of a unthinking political correctness. In his book, evidence is systematically misinterpreted to serve the cause of environmental politics and the world descends into an anthropogenic ice-age where climate-deniers are ruthlessly hunted down.

As a radical Nazi-like environmentalist party now controls the US government, the scientific explanation is denounced as “propaganda from life-hating technophiles”, and blame for the ice age is instead solely placed on the society surviving in orbit. Science fiction fandom forms the core of a pro-technology underground in the United States, working in tandem with Hacker movements. Other technologists were accused by the government of pursuing “materialist science” were removed from their jobs and forced underground, where they were generally unable to continue their work. This rabid distaste for technology has resulted in the collapse of the economy and lack of education and a complicit media has left the majority of the population credulous and easily manipulated. The Greens have been in power for most of the lives of the characters.

As glaciers rapidly advance south, Canada and the northern United States are all but destroyed. Near the edge of the glaciers, in the Twin Cities, barbaric feudal systems arise as the federal government and markets collapse, leaving violence and disease in their wake. In orbit, Mir and Space Station Freedom survive in tandem with a Lunar colony, but with no support from Earth. The city of Winnipeg is the last major outpost of Canadian civilization, warmed and inhabitable due to immense amounts of solar power beamed from the space stations. …

The novel takes aim at several targets of ridicule: Senator William Proxmire, radical environmentalists and mystics, such as one character who believes that one cannot freeze to death in the snow because ice is a crystal and “crystals are healing.” It also mocks ignorance in journalism, which greatly helps the main characters (for example, one “expert” cited in a news article believes that the astronauts must have superhuman strength, based on a photograph of a weightless astronaut easily handling heavy construction equipment) and the non-reality based community in general.

Although “only a work of science fiction”, Fallen Angels is a reminder that a sci-fi is a genre that comes into its own in times of severe discontinuity. Some have argued that it is the only form of writing capable of saying anything meaningful in times of rapid and uncertain change, because “realistic” fiction is conventionally forced to accept settings that are little changed from the present.

Gene Rodenberry, believed sci-fi’s greatest strength was that it allowed the writer to see the rapidly changing present clearly, without blinkers. “For me science fiction is a way of thinking, a way of logic that bypasses a lot of nonsense. It allows people to look directly at important subjects.”

Where else but in sci-fi could someone imagine that a pseudo-scientific priesthood had taken over the planet and was expending trillions of dollars wrecking it in the name of an ancient Greek goddess? But of course that scenario already occurred in one of Rodenberry’s fictional creations as spacemen find themselves in conflict with Greek gods, back when men still dreamed of traveling in space.

Nonsense, Captain Kirk. Our first duty is to Gaia or to the Human Extinction Project, or perhaps to the dreams of Karl Marx, who needed a barber as much as a shave. Our duty is to forbear from going where everyone used to dream of going before. The way we shall content ourselves with our new rulers is to shrink our imagination down to their size.

“No Way In” print and Kindle edition at Amazon
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