As an engineer with over 40 years experience in the design and development of power generation and environmental control systems, I had just completed a chapter in my next book, to be called "Global Warming Trounced", when I received from Amazon Roy Spencer's "The Great Global Warming Blunder", followed by their invitation to review it.
It was gratifying to note that Dr. Spencer's book confirmed much of what I had said and written about the subject, ever since declaring war on it, when it first appeared some twenty years ago, and I have no hesitation in recommending the book as a "must read" for anyone who cares about the future of civilization.
The book abounds with passages which I could have written myself: "The climate policy of most of the world's leading industrial nations is based on a total lie" ---- "The junk science that has led to these policy disasters is the greatest scientific blunder in history" - - - - "At some point in the future we will realize that the fear of climate change was the worst case of mass hysteria the world has ever known".
The whole thing appears to have been invented by Steve Schneider, a brash young physics graduate of the 60's, who was determined to make a name for himself, and chose as his topic "What were humans doing to the climate?" In other words, he invented the fatuous notion that our piddling activities could have an effect on the climate, which strikes me as hubris of the worst kind. Taking advantage of the newly available computer technology, he was able to devise his computer models of climate change, and in 1972 he gave a lecture to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, at which he first advanced his Theory of Global Warming. With amazing rapidity the nonsense spread. As Benjamin Franklin observed: "A lie spreads around the earth overnight, before truth has got out of bed".
Dr. Spencer has a refreshing approach to this phenomenon: "The theory that our greenhouse gas emissions cause global warming can be refuted with some fairly basic concepts combined with satellite observations of Earth" (at which he is one of the world's foremost experts). "The evidence and arguments" he says, "should be understandable to most eighth graders."He then goes on to show that the proponents of the junk science have been fooled by nature into confusing cause and effect. The point at issue is whether changes in cloud cover cause global warming, or vice versa. Well, I'm not about to go any further into it in this review, the purpose of which is to get you interested in thinking it out for yourselves. It all reminds me of the time, just before all this started, when a civilized academic debate was proceeding on the question of whether an increase in atmospheric pollution would cause the earth to heat up or cool down.
I was somewhat disappointed that Dr.Spencer did not address the puzzle of why almost the entire population of the planet swallowed the whole global warming nonsense hook, line and sinker, once it had morphed into a catastrophe which would see us all off unless we obeyed our lords and masters at the IPCC. Hoping it will not be regarded as too presumptuous, I would like to advance my theory in explanation of this weird phenomenon.
It seems to me that humanity has a tendency to revel in apocalyptic scenarios. Consider the sequence:
After WW-2 we lived for forty years with the daily expectation of being blown to radioactive bits in a thermonuclear war. This was finally exposed as nothing more than a pissing contest between high-placed men in suits, and was quickly replaced by the Hole in the Ozone Layer, which was getting bigger, and would admit the deadly cosmic radiation to kill us all. Junk science was enlisted to show that this was caused by CFC refrigerants rising into the stratosphere to react with ozone particles and destroy them. The whole thing was started by companies making the stuff and whose patents were about to expire, so to maintain their market dominance they had to outlaw the use of CFC's, thus forcing everyone to go to alternative non-CFC refrigerants which had been developed. The idea spread rapidly round the developed world, culminating in the Montreal Protocol, when the nations agreed to ban the stuff. I objected violently at the time, pointing out that the vapour was heavier than air, so how did it get up into the stratosphere ? This objection was channelled through one of my professional associations - ASHRAE, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers. I criticized them severely for not using their influence to put a stop to this nonsense, whereupon they threw me out. In the end, CFC manufacturing plants were set up in the Third World, thereby enabling developing countries to be spared the frustration of being pitched back into the Stone Age, and the whole thing settled down.
With impeccable timing, Global Warming appeared on the scene, to keep the Apocalyptic Scenario going, and now, at long last, it has received the kiss of death. In Summer, the leaders of the 20 most influential countries held a summit meting in Toronto, to decide how to run the world for the next little bit. At the end of this they issued the usual summary, which didn't even mention it! This prompted a column in my newspaper headed "Catastrophism Collapses", and sub-headed "G-20 Leaders in Toronto try to avoid the fate of colleagues felled by warming advocacy". No doubt the lunatic fringe of environmentalists is now working on the next catastrophe which will destroy civilization, and I would like to suggest a few possibilities:
THE BIG ONE. A rogue asteroid will impact the earth and blow it up. Solution - to land a team on it, and blow it up with an atom bomb.
THE HOT ONE. The sun will go nova. (Latest estimate, 5 billion years). Solution: To evacuate everyone to a distant planet. This has been used as an argument to keep the Space Program going.
WATERWORLD. A big bang on the ocean floor (probably caused by an oil rig) will generate a huge tsunami, which will inundate the world. Solution - build an Ark.
ARMAGEDDON. India and Pakistan (or whoever) fight a nuclear war, which spreads a radioactive blanket over the earth, and wipes everything out. No solution in sight.
THE LARGE HADRON COLLIDER. It doesn't seem to have occurred to the mad scientists playing with this obscene toy that, if they achieve their aim to "generate conditions that existed at the time of the Big Bang," they are talking about the explosion which, according to them, started the Universe. That should be more than enough to finish us off. Solution - obvious
Well - that should be enough to keep us worried for the next little while.
Dr.Spencer has a few interesting insights later in the book, when he is summing up the results of his work and reaching some conclusions. One of my favourites is: "We have enough real problems to address in this world, without making up imaginary ones".
Elsewhere he invokes "hubris", which was the first word that came to my mind when I started writing on this topic. To drive the point home, I refer the reader to the Oxford Dictionary: "Hubris - - -Insolent pride - - - overweening pride leading to Nemesis". (see p.1, para 4). Spencer writes: "The hubris of the claim that mankind now controls the climate system is astounding. I would think that the first place one should look to find explanations for climate change is in nature, not in the tailpipe of an SUV." My sentiments entirely.
To recap: "The Great Global Warming Blunder" is a highly recommended read for people wishing to think the thing through for themselves.
I am the author of "Nuts and Bolts: Chronicles of a Wayward Engineer" and "Sweeping Up the Bits: Further Chronicles of a Wayward Engineer", both published by Griffon Abbeye Press [...]