Saturday, August 23, 2014

Patrick Moore

  1. Dr. Keating:

    I would be curious as to your take on the following statements of Patrick Moore, who is said in this cut and pasted article to be a co founder of Greenpeace. Specifically, it would appear that his points 1-3, 6 and 9, if true, would disprove man made global warming based on carbon dioxide emissions.

    Climate change" is a theory for which there is "no scientific proof at all" says the co-founder of Greenpeace. And the green movement has become a "combination of extreme political ideology and religious fundamentalism rolled into one."

    Patrick Moore, a Canadian environmentalist who helped found Greenpeace in the Seventies but subsequently left in protest at its increasingly extreme, anti-scientific, anti-capitalist stance, argues that the green position on climate change fails the most basic principles of the scientific method.

    "The certainty among many scientists that humans are the main cause of climate change, including global warming, is not based on the replication of observable events. It is based on just two things, the theoretical effect of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, predominantly carbon dioxide, and the predictions of computer models using those theoretical calculations. There is no scientific "proof" at all."

    Moore goes on to list some key facts about "climate change" which are ignored by true believers.

    1. The concentration of CO2 in the global atmosphere is lower today, even including human emissions, than it has been during most of the existence of life on Earth.

    2. The global climate has been much warmer than it is today during most of the existence of life on Earth. Today we are in an interglacial period of the Pleistocene Ice Age that began 2.5 million years ago and has not ended.

    3. There was an Ice Age 450 million years ago when CO2 was about 10 times higher than it is today.

    4. Humans evolved in the tropics near the equator. We are a tropical species and can only survive in colder climates due to fire, clothing and shelter.

    5. CO2 is the most important food for all life on earth. All green plants use CO2 to produce the sugars that provide energy for their growth and our growth. Without CO2 in the atmosphere carbon-based life could never have evolved.

    6. The optimum CO2 level for most plants is about 1600 parts per million, four times higher than the level today. This is why greenhouse growers purposely inject the CO2-rich exhaust from their gas and wood-fired heaters into the greenhouse, resulting in a 40-80 per cent increase in growth.

    7. If human emissions of CO2 do end up causing significant warming (which is not certain) it may be possible to grow food crops in northern Canada and Russia, vast areas that are now too cold for agriculture.

    8. Whether increased CO2 levels cause significant warming or not, the increased CO2 levels themselves will result in considerable increases in the growth rate of plants, including our food crops and forests.

    9. There has been no further global warming for nearly 18 years during which time about 25 per cent of all the CO2 ever emitted by humans has been added to the atmosphere. How long will it remain flat and will it next go up or back down? Now we are out of the realm of facts and back into the game of predictions.

  2. Mr. Moore was forced out Greenpeace and then became a paid supporter of the nuclear power industry in Canada, counter to the position taken by Greenpeace.

    The fact that Mr. Moore, or anyone else, stated there is no scientific proof global warming doesn't make it so. Ask yourself, with all of the climate scientists out there, do you really think there is no scientific evidence to support AGW? That alone speaks to Mr. Moore's credibility.

    Also, saying climate change is a theory and there is no scientific evidence is a contradiction in terms. Many people substitute 'theory' for 'hypothesis' but in science they are very different things. A theory is something that has been rigorously tested via the scientific method and has passed all of the tests. Mr. Moore would be in a position to know that.

    I'll address each of his comments in order.

    1. I discussed this in my post here:

    As you can see in the graph provided (today is on the left), the CO2 level over the last 800,000 years has been higher at times, but has been mostly lower.

    But, so what? There is no connection shown between those events in the past and what is happening today.

    2. Same plot in the same posting. Again, you can see the temperature levels have been higher at times, but mostly lower for the last 800,000 years. Again, so what? Where is the connection with today's events? This is a false argument to claim what is happening today is the same as what happened in the past. Where is the proof?

    3. This is a true statement, but incomplete. The reason there was so much CO2 in the atmosphere was because of a series of massive volcanic eruptions. The CO2 from those eruptions first caused global warming, but then the chemicals and ash in the atmosphere led to the global cooling.

    4. So what? Does this have anything to do with the debate here?

    5. Once again, an irrelevant statement. At least it is true.

    6. Mostly true, but irrelevant. I have heard of this before, but my source say the optimum level is between 1000 and 1200 ppm. No real difference there. But, so what? This has no bearing on the debate.

    7. There is a lot of debate about this. Many studies show that growth levels will first rise, but then fall. But, so what?

    8. And, what does this have to do with the debate?

    9. Finally, a statement with some meat on it. However, this claim has been soundly debunked and I have commented on it several times. Take a look here.

    All in all, Mr Moore's comments have nothing to do with our debate. But, it was a nice little comment.

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