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 Jennifer de Lasala

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Geo-engineering the Planet 

 

Geoengineering: Can We Save the Planet by Messing with Nature?

 

“As the carbon dioxide in the air hits 400 parts per million for the first time in human history, some are arguing that the best way address climate change is to use the controversial practice of geoengineering — the deliberate altering of the Earth’s ecological and climate systems to counter the effects of global warming. Supporters of geoengineering endorse radical ways to manipulate the planet, including creating artificial volcanoes to pollute the atmosphere with sulfur particles. Many scientists and environmentalists have raised concerns about geoengineering technologies designed to intervene in the functioning of the Earth system as a whole.

We’re joined now by Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, Australia. Hamilton’s new book, ‘Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering,’ lays out the arguments for and against climate engineering, and reveals the vested interests behind it linking researchers, venture capitalists and corporations.

 

Transcript Extracts

 

Amy Goodman: We turn now to look at the issue of climate change, the growing concern about climate change and what to do about it. A recent survey of more than 4,000 academic papers published over the last 20 years found [ 97 ] percent of them agree climate change is caused by human activity. This comes as scientists are warning the planet has now reached a grim climate milestone not seen for two or three million years. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmoshere has topped 400 parts per million. the 400ppm threshold has been an important marker in U.N. climate change negotiations, widely recognized as a dangerous level that could drastically worsen human-caused global warming.

Some are arguing the best way to address climate change is to use the controversial practice of geoengineering—the deliberate altering of the Earth to decrease the level of greenhouse gas emissions. While controlling the Earth’s climate system sounds like science fiction, such proposals are already being hatched out by government agencies, scientists, businesses around the world. Supporters of geoengineering endorse radical ways to manipulate the planet, including creating artificial volcanoes to pollute the atmosphere with sulfur particles. This is environmental scientist David Keith explaining the idea.

David Keith: This geoengineering idea, in its simplest form, is basically the following. You could put fine particles—say, sulfuric acid particles, sulfates—into the upper atmosphere, the stratosphere, where they would reflect away sunlight and cool the planet. And I know for certain that that will work—not that there aren’t side effects, but I know for certain that will work. And the reason is, it’s been done. And it was done not by us, not by me, but by nature. Here’s Mount Pinatubo in the early ‘90s that put a whole bunch of sulfur in the stratosphere with a sort of atomic-bomb-like cloud, and the result of that was pretty dramatic. After that and some previous volcanoes we have, you see a quite dramatic cooling of the atmosphere.

Amy Goodman: Many scientists and environmentalists have raised concerns about geoengineering technologies designed to intervene in the functioning of the Earth system as a whole. Speaking on Democracy Now! in 2010, Indian scientist and activist Vandana Shiva warned about some of the dangers.

Vandana Shiva: These shortcuts that are attempted from places of power—and I would add, places of ignorance—of the ecological web of life, are then creating the war solution, because geoengineering becomes war on a planetary scale, with ignorance and blind spots, instead of taking the real path, which is helping communities adapt and become resilient.

Amy Goodman: Well, our next guest has written a new book that lays out the arguments for and against climate engineering, and reveals the extent of vested interests linking researchers, venture capitalists and corporations. We’re joined by Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, Australia. He’s the author of Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering.’

[…] Amy Goodman: What do the climate scientists say about geoengineering?

Clive Hamilton: Well, the climate scientists—there’s a range of views about it. There are some, like David Keith, who are very gung ho, who say that this is the answer to the global warming problem, we really should pursue this rapidly, and so he has a research interest, but he also has a financial interest in geoengineering.

And then you have scientists at the other end. Alan Robock, for example, is a prominent American climate scientist who points of the grave risks associated with attempting to tinker with the climate system of the Earth as a whole. So, they tend to focus on the scientific risks.

After all, we’re talking about, you know, the mother of all ecosystems, the Earth as a whole, and, you know, we have trouble enough understanding the complexities of local ecosystems, let alone planet Earth.

But, of course, apart from the scientific risks, there are the political risks, the kinds of things that I’ve talked about, the danger that geoengineering becomes a substitute for reducing greenhouse gas emissions—in other words, as a way of protecting the political economic system from the kind of change that should be necessary.

Amy Goodman: What is Richard Branson involved with, who founded of Virgin Air?

Clive Hamilton: Well, Richard Branson has got in early into the geoengineering, and he sees it—you know, he’s one of these billionaires that wants to save the world. And so, among other things, he set up a prize for—a competition for whoever can come up with the best geoengineering scheme, and I think it was a $10 million prize that he offered to the winning entry.

And so, he has set up a website, and he’s got some, you know, funky employees there who have this kind of ‘we can use technology to get ourselves out of this fix.’ So, he very much comes with this sort of can-do attitude: If we put money into it, we cut through the politics, and we’ll use technology to save the day. It’s a very kind of Silicon Valley view of the world. But, of course, what it doesn’t recognize is that technologies are never neutral. Technologies always come in a political and social context, which is why we see, you know, the Cato Institute and the Heartland Institute backing geoengineering, but bagging or attacking or dissing renewable energy.

Amy Goodman: Let me ask you about what’s happening in Australia, as that’s where you’re from. The—Australia pushing for an amendment to the London Protocol on marine pollution and dumping at sea, which would introduce a complete prohibition on the practice of fertilizing the oceans without scientific justification, this just announced by the Australian government?

Clive Hamilton: Yeah, and a bit of a surprise, I have to say, a welcome surprise. I mean, it’s part of a growing push from a range of countries, mostly from the South, but also backed by some Scandinavian countries, to try to develop an international governance structure to regulate research into geoengineering.

So, I was very pleased to see that the Australian government was taking—was on the side of progress in this particular case. And so, but most countries, including the United States, are kind of taking an arm’s-length view here. We don’t really want to get involved. It’s not big enough yet. And the same, incidentally, goes for some of the big environment groups.

Amy Goodman: Now, you talked about this before, putting iron sulfate into the oceans, but the process came to prominence last year after an attempt was made to augment salmon stocks off the Canadian Pacific coast by adding chemicals to the ocean waters?

Clive Hamilton: Yes, it came to prominence through this unauthorized experiment by this colorful entrepreneur, Russ George, who said he was spreading iron sulfate in order to stimulate salmon stocks. But, in fact, he had tried it before, specifically as a form of geoengineering. And he has said quite explicitly—in fact, he’s tried to sell shares in his company, saying, ‘We can spread iron sulfate on the seas, which will encourage it to suck up carbon dioxide. We will generate carbon credits this way, which we can sell on the international market.’ So, you know, it’s very much a commercial venture, which has not very good science behind it. And it’s—so it’s rung alarm bells amongst regulators and certain environment groups, that here we have someone, a rogue geo-engineer, who’s taken it upon himself to experiment with these kinds of schemes to affect the planet—the climate of the planet.

Amy Goodman: You write that ‘The potential risks are enormous: disrupting the food chain, damaging the ozone layer, the loss of monsoon rains in Asia.’ How?

Clive Hamilton: Well, in the case of the monsoon, the Indian monsoon, which provides the annual water for a billion or more people, one of the—some of the early scientific work on the impact of installing this solar shield around the Earth through a sulfate aerosol layer is that it may—it will certainly cool the Earth, as David Keith said. He’s pretty confident of that, because it mimics volcanoes. But it will also affect and change global rainfall patterns. And one of—some of the studies suggest that it could shift the Indian monsoon.

And, of course, let’s say either the United States or China decides, in a desperate state, to install this solar shield, and it shifts the Indian monsoon, and there’s a massive continuing drought, and people are going hungry. So, here we have a—you start to get a sense of the geopolitical implications of this, because this is not—you know, everyone, through their greenhouse gas is, you know, as an unintended consequence, changing the climate of the Earth, which is happening now.

Here you’ve got a government, probably, backed by the military, probably, or in collaboration with their military, actually setting out to regulate the temperature of the Earth, which may suit their interests. It may help fix their climate, but if it’s severely damaging the climate of another country, particularly a poor country, I mean, what are they going to do? If it’s a nuclear-armed country—you know, these are the kind of scenarios that are attracting the attention of the military planners, who are now—the Pentagon, for example, is taking an interest in geoengineering, because they can see some of these longer-term implications.

[…] Amy Goodman: Let’s turn to the Pentagon. In 2010, the Pentagon highlighted climate concerns in its main public document on military strategy that’s released every four years, the Quadrennial Defense Review, or QDR. This is Michèle Flournoy, the then-undersecretary of defense for policy.

Michèle Flournoy: This is the first QDR to address climate and energy issues, which are both significant factors in the future security environment. Climate change could increase demand for U.S. forces and humanitarian response, creating a new operating environment in the Arctic and requiring adaptation in our own facilities and systems. DOD’s enormous dependence on energy makes its operations vulnerable to disruptions in energy flows and to price fluctuations. DOD aims to be a leader in the government to improve sustainability, resource efficiency, increase of renewable energy supplies, and reduction of energy demand, to improve operational effectiveness and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Amy Goodman: That’s the Pentagon’s Michèle Flournoy. She was one of the people on the short list, apparently, for Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s job. Clive Hamilton?

Clive Hamilton: Well, she was talking principally about the implications of climate change on energy supply for the operations of the U.S. military. But, of course, the other part of it is the militarization of climate change itself, the geostrategic implications of a changing climate around the world, the potential destabilization that it is likely to bring about, particularly if we continue to do little about it.

And so, when it comes to geoengineering schemes, using technology to essentially take control of the world’s climate, it’s no wonder that the Pentagon has now got people, you know, on the case, watching the scientific debate and taking note of the fact, for example, that China a year ago included geoengineering amongst its earth science research priorities. We can see that the emergence of a kind of global situation, where a number of nations are starting to investigate geoengineering, in the absence of regulation or, at this stage, any kind of global cooperation or transparency, and so it’s no wonder that the Pentagon is taking an interest in it. I mean, it would be derelict in its duty if it weren’t taking an interest in the emerging science and geopolitics of geoengineering.

Amy Goodman: Have you heard of the HAARP program of the U.S. government?

Clive Hamilton: I have.

Amy Goodman: Which would alter the weather?

Clive Hamilton: Well, it might. I mean, I think we have to be careful about the HAARP program and attributing too much to it. It’s an experiment in the ionosphere that does not appear to have anything to do with geoengineering, not as typically understood.

Amy Goodman: Finally, the whole issue of sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and, as we wrap up, where you feel the science and the politics need to go from here?

Clive Hamilton: Well, one scheme, and a very prominent scheme, again backed by David Keith, who seems to be ubiquitous in this, is to build huge arrays of basically metal boxes that would suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, concentrate it in a safe form—calcium carbonate or something like that—and then pipe it somewhere to bury it permanently underground—you know, so to turn coal, which is stable carbon, into some other form of stable carbon under the ground. But, you see, it would require the construction—and these things would be built next to coal-fired power plants, perhaps. It would require the construction of a vast industrial infrastructure to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, fix it, pipe it, bury it, in order to offset the effects of our existing vast industrial infrastructure. And it would be expensive. And so, it seems to make sense just to wind back our existing industrial infrastructure based on fossil fuels and replace it with the technologies that we already have, the zero- and low-carbon technologies that we already have. It will not be enormously expensive to make that energy transition. It’s not that we lack the technology to solve climate change. We lack the political will.

Amy Goodman: On that note, I want to thank you very much, Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, Australia, author of the new book Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering.” By Democracy Now! May 20, 2013. https://www.democracynow.org/2013/5/20/geoengineering_can_we_save_the_planet   

 

To see the entire interview go to this link. (https://www.democracynow.org/shows/2013/5/20?autostart=true)

 

 

 Geoengineering: Can We Save the Planet by Messing with Nature?

 

“As the carbon dioxide in the air hits 400 parts per million for the first time in human history, some are arguing that the best way address climate change is to use the controversial practice of geoengineering — the deliberate altering of the Earth’s ecological and climate systems to counter the effects of global warming. Supporters of geoengineering endorse radical ways to manipulate the planet, including creating artificial volcanoes to pollute the atmosphere with sulfur particles. Many scientists and environmentalists have raised concerns about geoengineering technologies designed to intervene in the functioning of the Earth system as a whole.

We’re joined now by Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, Australia. Hamilton’s new book, ‘Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering,’ lays out the arguments for and against climate engineering, and reveals the vested interests behind it linking researchers, venture capitalists and corporations.

 

Transcript Extracts

 

Amy Goodman: We turn now to look at the issue of climate change, the growing concern about climate change and what to do about it. A recent survey of more than 4,000 academic papers published over the last 20 years found [ 97 ] percent of them agree climate change is caused by human activity. This comes as scientists are warning the planet has now reached a grim climate milestone not seen for two or three million years. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmoshere has topped 400 parts per million. the 400ppm threshold has been an important marker in U.N. climate change negotiations, widely recognized as a dangerous level that could drastically worsen human-caused global warming.

Some are arguing the best way to address climate change is to use the controversial practice of geoengineering—the deliberate altering of the Earth to decrease the level of greenhouse gas emissions. While controlling the Earth’s climate system sounds like science fiction, such proposals are already being hatched out by government agencies, scientists, businesses around the world. Supporters of geoengineering endorse radical ways to manipulate the planet, including creating artificial volcanoes to pollute the atmosphere with sulfur particles. This is environmental scientist David Keith explaining the idea.

David Keith: This geoengineering idea, in its simplest form, is basically the following. You could put fine particles—say, sulfuric acid particles, sulfates—into the upper atmosphere, the stratosphere, where they would reflect away sunlight and cool the planet. And I know for certain that that will work—not that there aren’t side effects, but I know for certain that will work. And the reason is, it’s been done. And it was done not by us, not by me, but by nature. Here’s Mount Pinatubo in the early ‘90s that put a whole bunch of sulfur in the stratosphere with a sort of atomic-bomb-like cloud, and the result of that was pretty dramatic. After that and some previous volcanoes we have, you see a quite dramatic cooling of the atmosphere.

Amy Goodman: Many scientists and environmentalists have raised concerns about geoengineering technologies designed to intervene in the functioning of the Earth system as a whole. Speaking on Democracy Now! in 2010, Indian scientist and activist Vandana Shiva warned about some of the dangers.

Vandana Shiva: These shortcuts that are attempted from places of power—and I would add, places of ignorance—of the ecological web of life, are then creating the war solution, because geoengineering becomes war on a planetary scale, with ignorance and blind spots, instead of taking the real path, which is helping communities adapt and become resilient.

Amy Goodman: Well, our next guest has written a new book that lays out the arguments for and against climate engineering, and reveals the extent of vested interests linking researchers, venture capitalists and corporations. We’re joined by Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, Australia. He’s the author of Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering.’

[…] Amy Goodman: What do the climate scientists say about geoengineering?

Clive Hamilton: Well, the climate scientists—there’s a range of views about it. There are some, like David Keith, who are very gung ho, who say that this is the answer to the global warming problem, we really should pursue this rapidly, and so he has a research interest, but he also has a financial interest in geoengineering.

And then you have scientists at the other end. Alan Robock, for example, is a prominent American climate scientist who points of the grave risks associated with attempting to tinker with the climate system of the Earth as a whole. So, they tend to focus on the scientific risks.

After all, we’re talking about, you know, the mother of all ecosystems, the Earth as a whole, and, you know, we have trouble enough understanding the complexities of local ecosystems, let alone planet Earth.

But, of course, apart from the scientific risks, there are the political risks, the kinds of things that I’ve talked about, the danger that geoengineering becomes a substitute for reducing greenhouse gas emissions—in other words, as a way of protecting the political economic system from the kind of change that should be necessary.

Amy Goodman: What is Richard Branson involved with, who founded of Virgin Air?

Clive Hamilton: Well, Richard Branson has got in early into the geoengineering, and he sees it—you know, he’s one of these billionaires that wants to save the world. And so, among other things, he set up a prize for—a competition for whoever can come up with the best geoengineering scheme, and I think it was a $10 million prize that he offered to the winning entry.

And so, he has set up a website, and he’s got some, you know, funky employees there who have this kind of ‘we can use technology to get ourselves out of this fix.’ So, he very much comes with this sort of can-do attitude: If we put money into it, we cut through the politics, and we’ll use technology to save the day. It’s a very kind of Silicon Valley view of the world. But, of course, what it doesn’t recognize is that technologies are never neutral. Technologies always come in a political and social context, which is why we see, you know, the Cato Institute and the Heartland Institute backing geoengineering, but bagging or attacking or dissing renewable energy.

Amy Goodman: Let me ask you about what’s happening in Australia, as that’s where you’re from. The—Australia pushing for an amendment to the London Protocol on marine pollution and dumping at sea, which would introduce a complete prohibition on the practice of fertilizing the oceans without scientific justification, this just announced by the Australian government?

Clive Hamilton: Yeah, and a bit of a surprise, I have to say, a welcome surprise. I mean, it’s part of a growing push from a range of countries, mostly from the South, but also backed by some Scandinavian countries, to try to develop an international governance structure to regulate research into geoengineering.

So, I was very pleased to see that the Australian government was taking—was on the side of progress in this particular case. And so, but most countries, including the United States, are kind of taking an arm’s-length view here. We don’t really want to get involved. It’s not big enough yet. And the same, incidentally, goes for some of the big environment groups.

Amy Goodman: Now, you talked about this before, putting iron sulfate into the oceans, but the process came to prominence last year after an attempt was made to augment salmon stocks off the Canadian Pacific coast by adding chemicals to the ocean waters?

Clive Hamilton: Yes, it came to prominence through this unauthorized experiment by this colorful entrepreneur, Russ George, who said he was spreading iron sulfate in order to stimulate salmon stocks. But, in fact, he had tried it before, specifically as a form of geoengineering. And he has said quite explicitly—in fact, he’s tried to sell shares in his company, saying, ‘We can spread iron sulfate on the seas, which will encourage it to suck up carbon dioxide. We will generate carbon credits this way, which we can sell on the international market.’ So, you know, it’s very much a commercial venture, which has not very good science behind it. And it’s—so it’s rung alarm bells amongst regulators and certain environment groups, that here we have someone, a rogue geo-engineer, who’s taken it upon himself to experiment with these kinds of schemes to affect the planet—the climate of the planet.

Amy Goodman: You write that ‘The potential risks are enormous: disrupting the food chain, damaging the ozone layer, the loss of monsoon rains in Asia.’ How?

Clive Hamilton: Well, in the case of the monsoon, the Indian monsoon, which provides the annual water for a billion or more people, one of the—some of the early scientific work on the impact of installing this solar shield around the Earth through a sulfate aerosol layer is that it may—it will certainly cool the Earth, as David Keith said. He’s pretty confident of that, because it mimics volcanoes. But it will also affect and change global rainfall patterns. And one of—some of the studies suggest that it could shift the Indian monsoon.

And, of course, let’s say either the United States or China decides, in a desperate state, to install this solar shield, and it shifts the Indian monsoon, and there’s a massive continuing drought, and people are going hungry. So, here we have a—you start to get a sense of the geopolitical implications of this, because this is not—you know, everyone, through their greenhouse gas is, you know, as an unintended consequence, changing the climate of the Earth, which is happening now.

Here you’ve got a government, probably, backed by the military, probably, or in collaboration with their military, actually setting out to regulate the temperature of the Earth, which may suit their interests. It may help fix their climate, but if it’s severely damaging the climate of another country, particularly a poor country, I mean, what are they going to do? If it’s a nuclear-armed country—you know, these are the kind of scenarios that are attracting the attention of the military planners, who are now—the Pentagon, for example, is taking an interest in geoengineering, because they can see some of these longer-term implications.

[…] Amy Goodman: Let’s turn to the Pentagon. In 2010, the Pentagon highlighted climate concerns in its main public document on military strategy that’s released every four years, the Quadrennial Defense Review, or QDR. This is Michèle Flournoy, the then-undersecretary of defense for policy.

Michèle Flournoy: This is the first QDR to address climate and energy issues, which are both significant factors in the future security environment. Climate change could increase demand for U.S. forces and humanitarian response, creating a new operating environment in the Arctic and requiring adaptation in our own facilities and systems. DOD’s enormous dependence on energy makes its operations vulnerable to disruptions in energy flows and to price fluctuations. DOD aims to be a leader in the government to improve sustainability, resource efficiency, increase of renewable energy supplies, and reduction of energy demand, to improve operational effectiveness and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Amy Goodman: That’s the Pentagon’s Michèle Flournoy. She was one of the people on the short list, apparently, for Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s job. Clive Hamilton?

Clive Hamilton: Well, she was talking principally about the implications of climate change on energy supply for the operations of the U.S. military. But, of course, the other part of it is the militarization of climate change itself, the geostrategic implications of a changing climate around the world, the potential destabilization that it is likely to bring about, particularly if we continue to do little about it.

And so, when it comes to geoengineering schemes, using technology to essentially take control of the world’s climate, it’s no wonder that the Pentagon has now got people, you know, on the case, watching the scientific debate and taking note of the fact, for example, that China a year ago included geoengineering amongst its earth science research priorities. We can see that the emergence of a kind of global situation, where a number of nations are starting to investigate geoengineering, in the absence of regulation or, at this stage, any kind of global cooperation or transparency, and so it’s no wonder that the Pentagon is taking an interest in it. I mean, it would be derelict in its duty if it weren’t taking an interest in the emerging science and geopolitics of geoengineering.

Amy Goodman: Have you heard of the HAARP program of the U.S. government?

Clive Hamilton: I have.

Amy Goodman: Which would alter the weather?

Clive Hamilton: Well, it might. I mean, I think we have to be careful about the HAARP program and attributing too much to it. It’s an experiment in the ionosphere that does not appear to have anything to do with geoengineering, not as typically understood.

Amy Goodman: Finally, the whole issue of sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and, as we wrap up, where you feel the science and the politics need to go from here?

Clive Hamilton: Well, one scheme, and a very prominent scheme, again backed by David Keith, who seems to be ubiquitous in this, is to build huge arrays of basically metal boxes that would suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, concentrate it in a safe form—calcium carbonate or something like that—and then pipe it somewhere to bury it permanently underground—you know, so to turn coal, which is stable carbon, into some other form of stable carbon under the ground. But, you see, it would require the construction—and these things would be built next to coal-fired power plants, perhaps. It would require the construction of a vast industrial infrastructure to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, fix it, pipe it, bury it, in order to offset the effects of our existing vast industrial infrastructure. And it would be expensive. And so, it seems to make sense just to wind back our existing industrial infrastructure based on fossil fuels and replace it with the technologies that we already have, the zero- and low-carbon technologies that we already have. It will not be enormously expensive to make that energy transition. It’s not that we lack the technology to solve climate change. We lack the political will.

Amy Goodman: On that note, I want to thank you very much, Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, Australia, author of the new book Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering.” By Democracy Now! May 20, 2013. https://www.democracynow.org/2013/5/20/geoengineering_can_we_save_the_planet   

 

To see the entire interview go to this link. (https://www.democracynow.org/shows/2013/5/20?autostart=true)

 

Climate Change

                                                                                                                                                           

 

The Electric Universe is a variant of Plasma Cosmology, and it is necessary to differentiate between the two. While they share more similarities than differences, it should be noted that EU ideas tend to go a step further than the generally more conservative approach of Plasma Cosmology.

 

While both viewpoints permit many ideas previously excluded by Big Bang Cosmology, The Electric Universe looks at the bigger picture, and promotes more radical ideas about the role of electricity in the universe, from ancient mythology to the mind-body connection.

 

Both PC and EU proponents acknowledge the fact that space is NOT electrically neutral, a fact largely denied in conventional astronomy.

 

A Brief History of The Electric Universe

 

The term 'Electric Universe' has been used before, but never in the same broad, holistic sense. Australian Physicist, Wal Thornhill, is regarded as the founder of this Electric Universe. In July 2013 he was awarded the prestigious Sagnac award for lifetime achievement at the 20th annual conference of the Natural Philosophy Alliance.

 

Previously, Charles Bruce used the term in 1960 in: "An All-Electric Universe". Electrical Review, 162, pp. 1070-1075, 23 Dec. 1960.

 

Also, in 1901, in another context, George Woodward Warder said: " There is no loss of energy, as well as no loss of atoms, in this vast Electric Universe. The nebular hypothesis and gravitation explain nothing"

 

As The Electric Universe grows ever more popular we are likely to see the terms bandied around more loosely, but let's hope that the true pioneers receive the credit they deserve.

 

The above is quoted from www.thunderbolts.info

Geo-engineering the Planet

 

 Geoengineering: Can We Save the Planet by Messing with Nature?

 

“As the carbon dioxide in the air hits 400 parts per million for the first time in human history, some are arguing that the best way address climate change is to use the controversial practice of geoengineering — the deliberate altering of the Earth’s ecological and climate systems to counter the effects of global warming. Supporters of geoengineering endorse radical ways to manipulate the planet, including creating artificial volcanoes to pollute the atmosphere with sulfur particles. Many scientists and environmentalists have raised concerns about geoengineering technologies designed to intervene in the functioning of the Earth system as a whole.

We’re joined now by Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, Australia. Hamilton’s new book, ‘Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering,’ lays out the arguments for and against climate engineering, and reveals the vested interests behind it linking researchers, venture capitalists and corporations.

 

Transcript Extracts

 

Amy Goodman: We turn now to look at the issue of climate change, the growing concern about climate change and what to do about it. A recent survey of more than 4,000 academic papers published over the last 20 years found [ 97 ] percent of them agree climate change is caused by human activity. This comes as scientists are warning the planet has now reached a grim climate milestone not seen for two or three million years. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmoshere has topped 400 parts per million. the 400ppm threshold has been an important marker in U.N. climate change negotiations, widely recognized as a dangerous level that could drastically worsen human-caused global warming.

Some are arguing the best way to address climate change is to use the controversial practice of geoengineering—the deliberate altering of the Earth to decrease the level of greenhouse gas emissions. While controlling the Earth’s climate system sounds like science fiction, such proposals are already being hatched out by government agencies, scientists, businesses around the world. Supporters of geoengineering endorse radical ways to manipulate the planet, including creating artificial volcanoes to pollute the atmosphere with sulfur particles. This is environmental scientist David Keith explaining the idea.

David Keith: This geoengineering idea, in its simplest form, is basically the following. You could put fine particles—say, sulfuric acid particles, sulfates—into the upper atmosphere, the stratosphere, where they would reflect away sunlight and cool the planet. And I know for certain that that will work—not that there aren’t side effects, but I know for certain that will work. And the reason is, it’s been done. And it was done not by us, not by me, but by nature. Here’s Mount Pinatubo in the early ‘90s that put a whole bunch of sulfur in the stratosphere with a sort of atomic-bomb-like cloud, and the result of that was pretty dramatic. After that and some previous volcanoes we have, you see a quite dramatic cooling of the atmosphere.

Amy Goodman: Many scientists and environmentalists have raised concerns about geoengineering technologies designed to intervene in the functioning of the Earth system as a whole. Speaking on Democracy Now! in 2010, Indian scientist and activist Vandana Shiva warned about some of the dangers.

Vandana Shiva: These shortcuts that are attempted from places of power—and I would add, places of ignorance—of the ecological web of life, are then creating the war solution, because geoengineering becomes war on a planetary scale, with ignorance and blind spots, instead of taking the real path, which is helping communities adapt and become resilient.

Amy Goodman: Well, our next guest has written a new book that lays out the arguments for and against climate engineering, and reveals the extent of vested interests linking researchers, venture capitalists and corporations. We’re joined by Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, Australia. He’s the author of Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering.’

[…] Amy Goodman: What do the climate scientists say about geoengineering?

Clive Hamilton: Well, the climate scientists—there’s a range of views about it. There are some, like David Keith, who are very gung ho, who say that this is the answer to the global warming problem, we really should pursue this rapidly, and so he has a research interest, but he also has a financial interest in geoengineering.

And then you have scientists at the other end. Alan Robock, for example, is a prominent American climate scientist who points of the grave risks associated with attempting to tinker with the climate system of the Earth as a whole. So, they tend to focus on the scientific risks.

After all, we’re talking about, you know, the mother of all ecosystems, the Earth as a whole, and, you know, we have trouble enough understanding the complexities of local ecosystems, let alone planet Earth.

But, of course, apart from the scientific risks, there are the political risks, the kinds of things that I’ve talked about, the danger that geoengineering becomes a substitute for reducing greenhouse gas emissions—in other words, as a way of protecting the political economic system from the kind of change that should be necessary.

Amy Goodman: What is Richard Branson involved with, who founded of Virgin Air?

Clive Hamilton: Well, Richard Branson has got in early into the geoengineering, and he sees it—you know, he’s one of these billionaires that wants to save the world. And so, among other things, he set up a prize for—a competition for whoever can come up with the best geoengineering scheme, and I think it was a $10 million prize that he offered to the winning entry.

And so, he has set up a website, and he’s got some, you know, funky employees there who have this kind of ‘we can use technology to get ourselves out of this fix.’ So, he very much comes with this sort of can-do attitude: If we put money into it, we cut through the politics, and we’ll use technology to save the day. It’s a very kind of Silicon Valley view of the world. But, of course, what it doesn’t recognize is that technologies are never neutral. Technologies always come in a political and social context, which is why we see, you know, the Cato Institute and the Heartland Institute backing geoengineering, but bagging or attacking or dissing renewable energy.

Amy Goodman: Let me ask you about what’s happening in Australia, as that’s where you’re from. The—Australia pushing for an amendment to the London Protocol on marine pollution and dumping at sea, which would introduce a complete prohibition on the practice of fertilizing the oceans without scientific justification, this just announced by the Australian government?

Clive Hamilton: Yeah, and a bit of a surprise, I have to say, a welcome surprise. I mean, it’s part of a growing push from a range of countries, mostly from the South, but also backed by some Scandinavian countries, to try to develop an international governance structure to regulate research into geoengineering.

So, I was very pleased to see that the Australian government was taking—was on the side of progress in this particular case. And so, but most countries, including the United States, are kind of taking an arm’s-length view here. We don’t really want to get involved. It’s not big enough yet. And the same, incidentally, goes for some of the big environment groups.

Amy Goodman: Now, you talked about this before, putting iron sulfate into the oceans, but the process came to prominence last year after an attempt was made to augment salmon stocks off the Canadian Pacific coast by adding chemicals to the ocean waters?

Clive Hamilton: Yes, it came to prominence through this unauthorized experiment by this colorful entrepreneur, Russ George, who said he was spreading iron sulfate in order to stimulate salmon stocks. But, in fact, he had tried it before, specifically as a form of geoengineering. And he has said quite explicitly—in fact, he’s tried to sell shares in his company, saying, ‘We can spread iron sulfate on the seas, which will encourage it to suck up carbon dioxide. We will generate carbon credits this way, which we can sell on the international market.’ So, you know, it’s very much a commercial venture, which has not very good science behind it. And it’s—so it’s rung alarm bells amongst regulators and certain environment groups, that here we have someone, a rogue geo-engineer, who’s taken it upon himself to experiment with these kinds of schemes to affect the planet—the climate of the planet.

Amy Goodman: You write that ‘The potential risks are enormous: disrupting the food chain, damaging the ozone layer, the loss of monsoon rains in Asia.’ How?

Clive Hamilton: Well, in the case of the monsoon, the Indian monsoon, which provides the annual water for a billion or more people, one of the—some of the early scientific work on the impact of installing this solar shield around the Earth through a sulfate aerosol layer is that it may—it will certainly cool the Earth, as David Keith said. He’s pretty confident of that, because it mimics volcanoes. But it will also affect and change global rainfall patterns. And one of—some of the studies suggest that it could shift the Indian monsoon.

And, of course, let’s say either the United States or China decides, in a desperate state, to install this solar shield, and it shifts the Indian monsoon, and there’s a massive continuing drought, and people are going hungry. So, here we have a—you start to get a sense of the geopolitical implications of this, because this is not—you know, everyone, through their greenhouse gas is, you know, as an unintended consequence, changing the climate of the Earth, which is happening now.

Here you’ve got a government, probably, backed by the military, probably, or in collaboration with their military, actually setting out to regulate the temperature of the Earth, which may suit their interests. It may help fix their climate, but if it’s severely damaging the climate of another country, particularly a poor country, I mean, what are they going to do? If it’s a nuclear-armed country—you know, these are the kind of scenarios that are attracting the attention of the military planners, who are now—the Pentagon, for example, is taking an interest in geoengineering, because they can see some of these longer-term implications.

[…] Amy Goodman: Let’s turn to the Pentagon. In 2010, the Pentagon highlighted climate concerns in its main public document on military strategy that’s released every four years, the Quadrennial Defense Review, or QDR. This is Michèle Flournoy, the then-undersecretary of defense for policy.

Michèle Flournoy: This is the first QDR to address climate and energy issues, which are both significant factors in the future security environment. Climate change could increase demand for U.S. forces and humanitarian response, creating a new operating environment in the Arctic and requiring adaptation in our own facilities and systems. DOD’s enormous dependence on energy makes its operations vulnerable to disruptions in energy flows and to price fluctuations. DOD aims to be a leader in the government to improve sustainability, resource efficiency, increase of renewable energy supplies, and reduction of energy demand, to improve operational effectiveness and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Amy Goodman: That’s the Pentagon’s Michèle Flournoy. She was one of the people on the short list, apparently, for Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s job. Clive Hamilton?

Clive Hamilton: Well, she was talking principally about the implications of climate change on energy supply for the operations of the U.S. military. But, of course, the other part of it is the militarization of climate change itself, the geostrategic implications of a changing climate around the world, the potential destabilization that it is likely to bring about, particularly if we continue to do little about it.

And so, when it comes to geoengineering schemes, using technology to essentially take control of the world’s climate, it’s no wonder that the Pentagon has now got people, you know, on the case, watching the scientific debate and taking note of the fact, for example, that China a year ago included geoengineering amongst its earth science research priorities. We can see that the emergence of a kind of global situation, where a number of nations are starting to investigate geoengineering, in the absence of regulation or, at this stage, any kind of global cooperation or transparency, and so it’s no wonder that the Pentagon is taking an interest in it. I mean, it would be derelict in its duty if it weren’t taking an interest in the emerging science and geopolitics of geoengineering.

Amy Goodman: Have you heard of the HAARP program of the U.S. government?

Clive Hamilton: I have.

Amy Goodman: Which would alter the weather?

Clive Hamilton: Well, it might. I mean, I think we have to be careful about the HAARP program and attributing too much to it. It’s an experiment in the ionosphere that does not appear to have anything to do with geoengineering, not as typically understood.

Amy Goodman: Finally, the whole issue of sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and, as we wrap up, where you feel the science and the politics need to go from here?

Clive Hamilton: Well, one scheme, and a very prominent scheme, again backed by David Keith, who seems to be ubiquitous in this, is to build huge arrays of basically metal boxes that would suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, concentrate it in a safe form—calcium carbonate or something like that—and then pipe it somewhere to bury it permanently underground—you know, so to turn coal, which is stable carbon, into some other form of stable carbon under the ground. But, you see, it would require the construction—and these things would be built next to coal-fired power plants, perhaps. It would require the construction of a vast industrial infrastructure to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, fix it, pipe it, bury it, in order to offset the effects of our existing vast industrial infrastructure. And it would be expensive. And so, it seems to make sense just to wind back our existing industrial infrastructure based on fossil fuels and replace it with the technologies that we already have, the zero- and low-carbon technologies that we already have. It will not be enormously expensive to make that energy transition. It’s not that we lack the technology to solve climate change. We lack the political will.

Amy Goodman: On that note, I want to thank you very much, Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, Australia, author of the new book Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering.” By Democracy Now! May 20, 2013. https://www.democracynow.org/2013/5/20/geoengineering_can_we_save_the_planet   

 

To see the entire interview go to this link. (https://www.democracynow.org/shows/2013/5/20?autostart=true)

 

 
History of Climate Change 

 

 By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)


History of Climate Change: In the second edition of “Climate, History, and the Modern World”, climate change research pioneer H.H. Lamb expressed disappointment with the direction the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia was taking. Lamb had worked diligently to establish the unit to understand the causes of climate change, both warming and cooling, before any undue influence from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) could be found. Lamb feared a global cooling, and had studied abrupt climate change from changes in pollen and other proxy records. Lamb’s depiction of temperature change from proxy records in central England in the first report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) became an icon.

Unfortunately, the CRU and the IPCC became overwhelmed by the fashionable belief that CO2 will be a major cause of climate change. This belief appeared to be backed-up by the 1979 Charney Report published by the US National Academy of Sciences. Quickly forgotten, was that the Charney Report makes clear that the projections of significant change from CO2 were based on speculation from climate modelers – not established by physical evidence, hard data.

There were no comprehensive calculations of global temperatures available in 1979, although the collection of the necessary data by satellites had just begun. The technique of using the collected satellite data to estimate temperatures was published by Roy Spencer and John Christy in the early 1990s. Without comprehensive global atmospheric temperatures, there can be no calculation of the direct influence of CO2 on temperatures, the influence of which occurs in the atmosphere. Surface instrument data only records a possible secondary effect, and are extremely limited, largely land based, and confined to westernized locations.

Also, unfortunately, the IPCC’s promotion of Mr. Mann’s hockey-stick had a negative impact on the use of proxy data to understand climate history. The hockey-stick had several deficiencies, including improper mathematical manipulation, failure to properly calibrate instrument data with proxy data, and improper elimination of data that did not support the hypothesis, “cherry-picking.” In the west, even well-conducted proxy studies have a cloud.

Many western scientific societies have succumbed to political pressure from the IPCC and others; but, fortunately not all. The Chinese Academy of Sciences is to be congratulated for publishing a study of proxy data covering the past 2,000 years.

The proxy data are from tree rings, lake sediments, ice cores, stalagmites, corals and historical documents and show four distinct warm periods, epochs, over the past 2000 years. They show significant warming and cooling and changes in precipitation. There appears to be three distinct multi-year cycles. Generally, warm periods are associated with prosperous times. The current warm period is comparable to ones in 981 to 1100 AD and 1201 to 1270 AD. The current warm period is associated with El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. Cold periods were associated with sunspot minima. The difference between warm periods and cold periods is about 1.3°C (2.3°F). See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


New Technique? Using artificial neural networks (ANN), which are a form of machine learning (big data and artificial intelligence), Australians Jennifer Mahonhasy and John Abbot deconstructed 2000 years proxy data to reconstruct what temperatures may have been in the absence of human CO2 emissions. The proxy data they use include tree rings and coral cores. They state that the proxy records show cycles of warming and cooling within in a band of 2°C.

Interestingly, they date the Medieval Warm Period “from AD 986 when the Vikings settled southern Greenland, until 1234 when a particularly harsh winter took out the last of the olive trees growing in Germany” and the “end of the Little Ice Age as 1826, when Upernavik in northwest Greenland was again inhabitable – after a period of 592 years.”

Inhabited by Inuits, Upernavik is the northernmost town in Greenland with a population over 1,000 and the northernmost point in Greenland where Norse runic characters have been found, on a stone. Mahonhasy states “the modern inhabitation of Upernavik also corresponds with the beginning of the industrial age. For example, it was on 15 September 1830 that the first coal-fired train arrived in Liverpool from Manchester: which some claim as the beginning of the modern era of fast, long-distant, fossil-fuelled (sic) fired transport for the masses…So, the end of the Little Ice Age corresponds with the beginning of industrialization.” [local spelling]

They show a graph on the match between the ANN projections and the proxy temperatures from 1880 to 2000. Based on the analysis, they conclude that the influence of industrialization (CO2) emissions has been in the order of 0.2°C, not the approximately 1°C, claimed by the IPCC. It remains to be seen whether this technique holds up to independent analysis. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Hurricane Harvey: The record breaking period of almost 12 years without a major hurricane, category 3 or above, hitting the US is over. Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast, between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor (east of Corpus Christi) on Friday night. Harvey is a strong, slow-moving storm, Category 4 at landfall, and National Weather Service predicted a storm surge up to 9 to 13 feet (2.7 to 4 meters) and heavy rainfall of 15 to 30 inches (38 to 76 cm) with up to 40 inches (102 cm) in some locations

Fittingly, Roger Pielke Jr. cautioned against drawing long-term conclusions from short-term weather trends when he wrote:

“The world has had a run of good luck when it comes to weather disasters. That will inevitably come to an end. Understanding loss potential in the context of inexorable global development and long-term climate patterns is hard enough. It is made even more difficult with the politicized overlay that often accompanies the climate issue.”

On August 9, the National Weather Service has upped its forecast for the season to 14 to 19 named storms, 5 to 9 hurricanes with sustained winds of at least 74 mph (33 m/s; 64 knots; 119 km/h) (Category 1), and 2 to 5 major hurricanes with sustained winds of at least 111-129 mph, (96-112 knots 178-208 km/h).

One of the reasons for the revised forecasts of more hurricanes is the absence of an El Niño, which inhibits the formation of hurricanes. The contrast between 2016 and 2017 is ironic. The two hottest years in the atmospheric record are 1998 and 2016, both strong El Niño years. The EPA, and other government groups, claim that CO2-caused warming endangers human health and welfare. Yet, El Niños, which are a cause of increases in temperatures, occur with global wind patterns that inhibit the formation of hurricanes, which are truly destructive. See links under Seeking a Common Ground and Changing Weather.


Changing Sea Levels: With Hurricane Harvey, no doubt we will see many more articles on the dangers of sea level rise, including government reports from NOAA and NASA claiming short-term trends are indicative of long-term trends. As stated in the May 13 TWTW, the recently deployed GRACE satellites may be calibrated incorrectly, attributing sea level rise to a presumed melting in the West Antarctic that may be more appropriately attributed to the melting of the great ice sheets covering much of the Northern Hemisphere.

Three recent studies cast further doubt on forecasts a significant increase in sea level rise; two for the Atlantic coast, and one for California. The Virginia Beach – Norfolk – Newport News area of Virginia may be one of the most vulnerable areas in the US to sea level rise. The Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has a population of 1.7 million and has a large military presence, large ice-free harbor, shipyards, coal piers, miles of waterfront property and beaches, and significant industries.

Frequently, warnings of CO2-caused climate change resulting in increased sea level rise appear in the local papers, prompting Roger Bezdek to study the problem. He states:

“At the Sewells Point tidal station in Norfolk, Virginia, rising sea levels have been recorded since 1927: Sea level at Sewells Point rose at an average rate of 4.4 mm/yr. from 1927 to 2006, with a 95 percent confidence interval of ±0.27 mm/yr”

“It is important to get the cause of local sea level rise correct. For governments to identify an incorrect cause becomes a colossal waste of time and money. Far too often “climate change” is thrown about as the cause, but is meaningless and wasteful.”

The measured increase of 17 inches (44 cm) per century is considerably greater than generally accepted rise of 7 to 8 inches (18-20 cm) per century world-wide. There are three local conditions that may result in this increase: groundwater extraction resulting in aquifer-system compaction, geological conditions from a past meteor impact, and tectonic effects from the past ice age. Bezdek considers the latter two insignificant, but considers the former a significant problem that has been known for over 40 years.

“The two areas where subsidence rates were the most rapid roughly coincide with groundwater pumping centers at Franklin and West Point. Measurements of land subsidence are currently made at Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) in the region. The National Geodetic Survey has computed velocities for three of these stations between 2006 and 2011 and found an average subsidence rate of 3.1 mm/yr. (12 inches per century).

In Bezdek’s view, the primary problem of groundwater extraction and aquifer subsidence is solvable, as it was solved in the Houston-Galveston, Texas area.

Another study by Arnoldo Valle-Levinson, et al. of the Miami area finds:

“Tide gauge records reveal comparable short-lived, rapid SLR [Sea Level Rise] accelerations (hot spots) that have occurred repeatedly over ~1500 km stretches of the coastline during the past 95 years, with variable latitudinal position. Our analysis indicates that the cumulative (time-integrated) effects of the North Atlantic Oscillation determine the latitudinal position of these SLR hot spots, while a cumulative El Niño index is associated with their timing. The superposition of these two ocean-atmospheric processes accounts for 87% of the variance in the spatiotemporal pattern of intradecadal sea level oscillations.”]

Wind variance plays an important role in relative sea level rise, not CO2.

A study by Albert Parker and Clifford Ollier finds:

“that the sea level rises estimate by a local panel for California as well as the IPCC for the entire world are up to one order of magnitude larger than what is extrapolated from present sea level rise rates and accelerations based on tide gauge data sets.

“As the evidence from the measurements does not support the IPCC expectations or the even more alarming predictions by the local California panel, these claims and the subsequent analyses are too speculative and not suitable for rigorous use in planning or policy making.”

As stated in the NIPCC reports, to understand local sea level rise, one must examine local conditions, not regional or global models of what is speculated to happen. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC and Changing Seas.


Why have US CO2 Emissions Fallen? Writing in Energy Matters, Roger Andrews follows-up on a prior paper by him and another by Euan Mears trying to develop a better estimate on this important matter. Many analysts have offered simple answers to this question, based on one single factor, such as fracking, renewables, the recession, etc. These answers do not try to assess the relative importance of a multiple factors.

Using US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, Andrews finds that between 2007 and 2015, total annual US CO2 emissions decreased by 740 million tons (12%). Drilling deep into the EIA data he finds “that 35% of this decrease was caused by natural gas replacing coal in electricity generation, 30% by lower fuel consumption in the transportation sector, 28% by renewables replacing coal in electricity generation and 7% by other factors.” These estimates do not include the impact of the recession and as Andrews bluntly admits the estimates are speculative and cannot be easily confirmed.

Using his conversion factors of TWh for CO2 emitted by generation type, one can calculate that, in general, coal produces 2.55 times more CO2 per TWh generated than natural gas. [A Terawatt-hour (TWh), is a measure of electrical energy, 10 raised to the 12th power, watt-hours.]

Later, writing in the comments section, Andrews states:

“…the underlying purpose of this post was to obtain an estimate of how much of the recent reduction in US emissions could be attributed to renewables as opposed to ‘market’ forces. According to the results 28% can be attributed to renewables if we ignore the impacts of the 2008-9 recession, and arguably as little as 12% if we don’t. Either way this doesn’t represent much bang for the ~200 billion bucks the US has so far spent on developing renewable energy.” [Andrews lives in Mexico.]

See links under Energy Issues – US


Greenpeace and RICO: Prior to the last election, certain politicians suggested using the US Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) against individuals whose views they do not like and whom they call “climate deniers” and “anti-science.” The environmental industry did not make a loud outcry against such action.

Now the builders of the Dakota Access Pipeline have sued Greenpeace for $300 Million in damages citing RICO. Under RICO, the damages award would triple. Greenpeace US attorney Tom Wetterer said that the suit was “not designed to seek justice, but to silence free speech through expensive, time-consuming litigation. This has now become a pattern of harassment by corporate bullies.”

The same can be said about politicians who threatened to use RICO. Nonetheless, the issue of damage to pipeline property remains open, and government officials refused to maintain order during the protests. What recourse do private citizens and companies have in such circumstances? See links under Litigation Issues


Word Counting and Evidence: Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes, at the Department of the History of Science, Harvard University, performed a textual content analysis (word counting) of Exxon documents. In the abstract of their paper they state:

“This paper assesses whether ExxonMobil Corporation has in the past misled the general public about climate change. We present an empirical document-by-document textual content analysis and comparison of 187 climate change communications from ExxonMobil…” [Boldface added.]

Apparently, at Harvard word counting is now considered empirical evidence in science. SEPP is still waiting for the hard, empirical evidence that CO2 is the primary cause of global warming, as the IPCC and many government officials and academics have claimed. Content analysis does not suffice, especially from the IPCC.

But, what can one expect from a Harvard historian who so poorly represented the writings of Paul Samuelson, perhaps the most outstanding graduate of Harvard in economics, and the first US Nobel laureate in economics? For years, Samuelson advocated that the economy of the Soviet Union was comparable to that of the US because its military was comparable. In attacking others, Oreskes claimed that it was common knowledge that the Soviet military was weak and could not be sustained, because its economy was weak.

This could be a very instructive learning moment – don’t trust authorities in one subject, if they assert claims, with no hard evidence, in another subject. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy.


Number of the Week: One million atomic bombs. Roy Spencer calculated that the energy released by a hurricane such as Harvey is more than 1,000,000 atomic bombs exploding per day, of energy dropped on Hiroshima. See link under Changing Weather.

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