Global Warming alias Climate Change by Dr. David Kear, Whakatane, NZ
(PDF version at foot of this article. Please download and distribute)
“Climate Change” has become an important international topic – one might almost say religion. It began life as “Global Warming”. So very many people, including politicians and “news people”, appear to have been overwhelmed by it, and have led others to believe, and follow the doctrine.
It has sponsored a good deal of international co-operation, which can only have been good. However, the cost of “Combating Carbon” has been extremely high, and the debt and economic consequences are being passed on to present citizens, and, worse still, to future generations, including all our grandchildren.
This booklet attempts to raise, in citizens’ minds, questions regarding the enormous sums of money and effort being wasted on this topic. Is it soundly based? Will it “do good” or “do bad” for ordinary citizens? Do those promoting it deserve our attention?
This booklet suggests that Global-Warming-alias-Climate-Change, as proposed by “Global Warmers” makes no sense. You, as the reader, must judge that for yourself – not to help the writer of this booklet, but to help you and your family.
Do you think after reading all this that the proponents are absolutely reliable? Should you add your voice to those against it, or at least talk to your councillors and members of parliament and see how they feel?
The Ancient Acceptable View
Our Earth’s climate is highly variable, and records show clearly that it always has been so. Animals and plants have had no option but to accept what comes, and to adapt life in ways that suit best. Evolution gave some help by introducing “the Survival of the Fittest”
Humans found early that their discussion and understanding were helped by a belief in some extraneous source being the cause of recorded changes of climate – perhaps with divine power. This booklet uses “Mother Nature” in that role to avoid wordy explanations.
Humans discovered that they could ameliorate climatic effects with buildings, clothing and the rest, and even create “microclimates” through windbreaks, forest clearing, artificial lakes, fossil fuel burning, and the rest. However, no-one originally thought seriously that man could change the basic influences to our climate – our Sun, our Earth’s rotation, the total quantity of our Planet’s water, and the rest. Mother Nature is able to change all such things (and has been doing so for some 3,000,000,000 years), but we are not.
The New Belief – The New Problem
That ancient and acceptable view was amended in the minds of some people whom I call the “Global Warmers”. I’ve heard nothing convincing about their so-called “Science”; but what they publish convinces me that it’s close to nonsense. The most convincing evidence against it comes mostly from the Global Warmers themselves.
In this booklet, the beliefs of “Global Warming”, and “Climate Change” have initial capital letters. That contrasts with natural warming, or natural changing of climate – indicated by lower case initial letters. The idea of a human cause is much less than 300 years old.
My interest in our changing climate and sea level
During fieldwork for a PhD thesis I found a coastal exposure of soft sandstone at Ohuka Creek, south of Port Waikato. There were Pliocene fossils of marine shellfish below an extensive horizontal bedding plane. Above that plane were more fossils, but of cool-lovinga plants. A finger could show the exact location of the abrupt change to the cooler climate at the onset of the first of the world-wide Pleistocene glaciations [Ice Ages]. Ice formed widely at the ultimate expense of sea water, so sea level fell. At Ohuka, sea bed had become land. Such changes are rarely seen in a continuous sequence, so I recorded it in a 1957 scientific paperb. That resulted in my joining an informal world-wide Group researching changing sea levels.
Most interest then was about the rate of sea level rise as the Earth warmed following the “Little Ice Age”. That cool period, from about 1500 to 1700 AD, halted winemaking in England and taro cropping in New Zealand. Our Group determined the rate of sea level rise in many different World regions, from widely-available readings of tide gauges (less variable than those of thermometers). The average for us all was 125 mm/century (“125” here). Hence it would take 8 centuries for sea level to rise 1m – no serious threat to us.
Global Warming Dawns
Subsequently, I attended many international science conferences representing DSIR, NZ or Pacific Nations. I noted the words “Global Warming” appearing increasingly in paper titles, and sensed a growing number of adherents. Those latter arranged a first-ever “Conference on Global Warming” in Vienna in 1985. Unlike most such meetings, where a communiqué summarising achievements was released on the final day, the full results of this one were delayed for over 2 years.
When they did appear (front page NZ Herald, two days before Christmas 1987) a World Declaration included “Overseas scientists have estimated that the seas around New Zealand will rise by up to 1.4 m in the next 40 years”. That article concentrated on the massive consequent problems, caused by our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, but gave no adequate supporting science. That rate of rise was equivalent to 3,500 mm/century, 28 times faster than our 125. Hence we stupidly ignored it, thinking noone could possibly believe it. But the World did believe, and the Global Warming mirage was born. Had 3,500 been true, sea level should have risen by almost 1 m by today – it hasn’t, not even closely.
This showed unambiguously that those “Overseas Scientists” were not true scientists. They ignored a most important basic rule of true science “Thou shall not publish Science without first checking it. A check against local tide gauges would have shown how wrong 1.4 m in 40 yrs was; they simply hadn’t bothered to check. That was a First Grave Error.
Australian government scientists were concerned about the effects on Pacific Island nations by any sea level rise of around 3,500 mm/century, and launched a project to determine the correct figure at that time. They announced the result at the 1992 meeting of SOPAC – a geoscientific organisation of South Pacific nations. Their figure was 122 mm/century, confirming the order of magnitude of our group’s 125 average value.
Fooling the World
The Global Warmers persisted with their use of pseudo-science and made further predictions. Understandably they too all proved wrong. At conferences I began to hear, regardless of the science involved, when a speaker wished to “rubbish” some scientific idea or research, he/she stated that conclusion firmly, and followed it by “Just like Global Warming”. Clearly the Global Warmers heard that too. They didn’t change their pseudo-science, but cleverly changed the name to ‘Climate Change”. [One can disprove warming, but the words change of climate can’t be proved wrong].
The United Nations became interested – major sea level rise could cause havoc in low-lying areas or island groups. They established an Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) and invited nations to send delegates. Not surprisingly those chosen were almost entirely Global Warmers, because they clearly knew something about it. But to do them credit the Panel members acted a little more like true scientists than those earlier.
They accepted that “1.4 m in 40 yrs” was wrong and re-evaluated it as “0.49 m by 2100”, [roundly a century ahead]. Thus they dropped 3,500 down to 500 mm/century – to 14% of the original. The cause remained unchanged – our CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. In no other human activity would those involved retain a belief when the most crucial item involved was found to be 86% wrong by themselves. That was a Second Grave Error.
In spite of that, the World was taken in. Politicians were able to promise to save us from the consequences, and the Media had an unending “Field Day”. It wasn’t that people necessarily believed, but they lacked the courage to risk that it might come true, and that they might have to bear the terrible consequences that had been so forcibly promised.
The New Errors
The new value of “0.49 m by 2100” became widely accepted. In New Zealand, District Councils were instructed by Government Departments, like Conservation and Environment, and by Regional Councils, that they must take full account of the risk that “0.49” implied for a sea level rise by 2100. Councils had to consider that in the same way as earthquake and volcanic risk. Yet that “0.49” value doesn’t stand up to the most simple scientific scrutiny.
First, the rate is four times faster than the current sea level rise, as indicated by regional, widely-available tide gauges; second, no reason was given for quadrupling the value, and third, good science interprets “0.49” in this sense as being deliberately different from 0.48 and 0.50. Thus that effectively claims that those who determined that value know, for sure, where sea level will be a century ahead to ±5 mm. That was, and is, patently absurd. These were the Third, Fourth and Fifth grave errors.
Further Damning Disclosures
The United Nations appointed me personally to their UNCSTD Committee which assists small countries with their ability regarding Science and Technology Development. Three or so of us would go to a central city to talk and discuss their options with delegates from regional countries. On one occasion we met in Prague, to assist countries on both sides of the “Iron Curtain”. While there, we were invited to visit the World’s only “Institute for Global Warming”. It was founded and funded incredibly by the USA and Soviet Union jointly, at the height of their “Cold War”, in an attempt to fund something “for the good of Mankind”, rather than “for armaments”. Some of its staff could have attended the 1985 Conference, and helped create the 1987 World Declaration.
I took the opportunity of asking to see copies of the documents that had been brought to that 1985 Meeting in neutral Austria. Several attendees brought their estimates for sea level rise due to Global Warming. The values, converted to mm/century, ranged from 500 minimum to 3,500 maximum. There can be no doubt that, to ensure that their 1987 World Declaration made the greatest impact, they published the maximum value – contravening the most sacred rule of acceptable science Thou shall not publish items for monetary, political, or personal gain that are not clear un-biased un-inflated truths.
The fact that “up to” was used, might be allowed in non-scientific areas, but not in Science. If World Media had distorted the message, the Warmers should immediately have denied what was wrongly claimed, and ensured that the proper statement got equal publicity. Using a maximum value for greatest effect was the Sixth (and Worst) Grave Error.
Old Scientific Conclusions on Climate Ignored
19th Century science posed a important question. Why is our Earth’s average temperature significantly higher than that calculated from the then-recent determinations of our Sun’s distance and its radiation? Knowing my interests in climate, DSIR librarians found me a publication in German that answered that puzzle early. It had Scandinavian author(s), if I remember correctly. Its answer was that the CO2 in our atmosphere acts like glass in a glasshouse. Both change the optical physical nature of the Sun’s infra-red rays [that carry the warmth to us] such that they may enter, but cannot then leave. So we are warmed by the heat trapped below our CO2; like the glasshouse below its glass.
I surmise that the Global Warmers, along with Al Gore, noted correctly that CO2 keeps us warm, but thought wrongly that more would make us warmer. The analogy with glass is important. Horticultural experiments long ago found that more (thicker) glass does not cause more warming, so more CO2 probably doesn’t either. The effect is like that of polarising spectacles, where the change takes place as light begins passing through the lenses. Thickness makes no difference. Polarisation is either 100%, or not at all. A coincidence timed the Little Ice Age’s end with the Industrial Revolution’s start. The Warmers blamed the undoubted warming on the latter – ignoring the glasshouse evidence.
The New Climate Regime
NIWA The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) retains New Zealand climate records. It has a history of persuading successive governments that Global Warming and Climate Change are both real. It often encouraged media headlines like “We are Getting Warmer”, when any news item suggested any higher temperature. Science progresses by new concepts and ideas being aired freely for scientific scrutiny. That has sometimes taken centuries to be completed. Although I don’t agree with some of NIWA’s views, it is proper that they should be aired for discussion, as in this booklet.
One announcement (that surely originated from NIWA) was very important to me and all citizens, and was a credit to NIWA itself. At the close of 2007, it stated that the decade just finishing was the warmest since New Zealand records began. The announcement added that, of those 10 years, 1998 was the warmest ever since records began. I was grateful to NIWA, and concluded that 2007 was no warmer than 1998, and probably cooler. I could assume therefore that warming at our 125 rate finished in 1998. In the roundest of figures, the Little Ice Age lasted for some 200 years. There would be no conflict with accepting that the following warming should similarly last for some 200 years.
As always in Science one seeks confirmation whenever possible. I have seen many items that lead to that same view of “no warming since 1998”. The best was a written debate in the Imperial Engineer of autumn 2008. [That scientific journal is produced for engineering graduates of Imperial College, London – arguably UK’s top university in engineering.] The debate was on whether Humans were to blame for current changes of climate. Prof Joanna Haigh blamed Humans, Lord Monckton blamed Mother Nature. The only point on which they both agreed was that there had been no warming since 1998. That confirmed NIWA’s statement perfectly, along with several comparable pronouncements.
My conclusion is that warming since the Little Ice Age’s end is now almost certainly finished. That was supported further by NIWA’s release at the end of 2012,concerning the Eastern Bay of Plenty. Their report was that 2012 had been drier and colder than 2011. Citizens also notice that warming seems to be over. Skiing seasons are extended, winter fires are needed earlier, and some of us travelling overseas have been asked by those from Queensland, even Hawaii, whether we in New Zealand feel colder generally – as they do. I conclude that the New Zealand climate has not been warming since 1998.
The Affects on Citizens
Astronomical Cost of Major Measures to Combat a Non-Existent Threat:
Politicians and the Media have listened to the proponents of Global-Warming-Climate-Change, but don’t seem to have made any critical assessment of it all. Perhaps they were bemused by the Global Warmers constantly naming themselves and associates as “Scientists”. As has been shown, those people disregarded the basic rules of true Science. Their political and media audiences innocently believed the statements – which contained grave errors.
Innocents in politics and the media were badly mis-led. They gladly supported projects to combat the non-existent threat of Global-Warming-Climate-Change. The projects were unnecessary because there was no threat; extremely costly in money time and effort; full of praise where ridicule was deserved misleading about benefits and options; and above all diversionary away from today’s real problems.
A huge international bureaucratic industry was born – with Cabinet Ministers, government departments, company sections, travel, conferences, treaties, carbon credits, and carbon trading, and very much more. The challenge was often heard that we must curb our carbon emissions or sacrifice our grandchildren’s well-being. In truth, those children were being saddled with a gigantic debt to pay for everything encompassed by the Warmers’ “carbon footprints”, including the salaries and expenses of the loudest proponents.
Perhaps the saddest part has been that the essential and innocent gas, carbon dioxide, has been demonised and criminalised. It is essential in creating plant growth using chlorophyll and photo-synthesis. It is thus essential for our very existence. Crops grow better in a CO2-enriched and warmer atmosphere, when heated by an oldfashioned vertical kerosene heater. It gives off “carbon emissions” that are valuable to us all.
Costs and Dangers of Local Measures to combat the Non-Existent Threat:
Local authorities were compelled to adopt measures designed to combat the nonexistent threat. Typically, maps were drawn showing the coastline’s position now, and in the year 2100 with intermediate zone(s), assuming that sea level would rise 0.49 m in the next 100 years. Onerous restrictions have been emplaced within the zones that were thus defined.
Many regions have vast quantities of sand transported by rivers to their coast, released by the erosion of hills and mountains, continuously raised by Mother Nature. Their coastline extends seawards steadily. Citizens in such regions have long noted (with surveys and photos) that the coastline has a net seawards movement. It contrasts with many Councils’ imposed belief in “0.49” which demands landwards movement (“inundation”).
Councils seem unable to accept their citizens’ constant and loud protests about all this. They seem to feel that higher authorities insist that they must ignore such views. It is not just (a) the absurdity of restrictions about where houses may be erected (only inland of certain lines), etc.; or (b) the increasing costs to those building their first home. At the other end of the scale there are enforced dangers; a requirement for higher floor levels, leading to more steps, with unnecessary risks to elderly folk falling, when using them.
The fact that sea level is no longer rising is a new extra factor for councils to ignore. In the example of Ohope Beach, a Commission of enquiry, set up by Council, backed the Council’s view of landwards inundation. That rejected all citizens’ factual evidence of seawards net movement for periods ranging from 50 to 5,000 years. Council also rejected the advice, supporting the Citizens, by one who was highly qualified in engineering and science and had had long and successful experience in coastal work.
Much worse, the Council’s own appointed consultants provided an additional report based on every coastal survey for which a record was available. It showed a “retreat of the sea” [seaward shoreline movement, or accretion] at the only three Ohope sites, of 0.30-0.94 m/yr over 130 years that was still ongoing in 2008. Clearly neither Council nor Commission had bothered to read that critical report, written by highly regarded consultants, who had been appointed for this project by the Council itself.
The widespread obsession with Global-Warming-Climate-Change, in opposition to all factual evidence, is quite incredible. It leads to unfair treatment of some citizens, and a massive bill for all, for nothing useful. When will citizens revolt effectively against such callous disregard for their observations and wishes, by those who are essentially their elected employees? When will the perpetrators examine the basis of their ideology, and realise that it’s based on unfounded unscientific beliefs, not on confirmed, widely-available investigations by real scientists who abide by the moral standards of their profession?
References to Kaawa‐Ohuka
a) Couper RA & McQueen DR 1954: Pliocene and Pleistocene plant fossils of NZ and their climatic interpretation. Trans Roy Soc NZ 77(3): 398-‐420
b) Kear D 1957: Statigraphy of the Kaawa-‐Ohuka coastal area, West Auckland. NZ J Sci Tech B 38 (8): 826-‐42
c) Kear D 1963: Geology of Te Akau, West Auckland & regional implications. PhD thesis, London University. 2 vols, 599 pp (copies at libraries of GNS, and of London, Auckland & Waikato Universities). ISBN 978-‐0-‐473-‐25154-‐3 July 2013
Biographical Note: Dr David Kear has a background in geology and engineering, becoming the Director General of the DSIR (New Zealand’s Department of Scientific and Industrial Research) in 1980. He is a Fellow and Past Vice-President of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and Past President of the New Zealand Geological Society. Dr Kear has over 100 publications on New Zealand and Pacific geology, vulcanology and mineral resources. He has been publishing on sea-levels since the 1950s.