Weekend Edition April 28 / 29, 2007
From Papal Indulgences to Carbon Credits
Is Global Warming a Sin?
By ALEXANDER COCKBURN
In a couple of hundred years, historians will be comparing the frenzies over our supposed human contribution to global warming to the tumults at the latter end of the tenth century as the Christian millennium approached. Then, as now, the doomsters identified human sinfulness as the propulsive factor in the planet's rapid downward slide.
Then as now, a buoyant market throve on fear. The Roman Catholic Church was a bank whose capital was secured by the infinite mercy of Christ, Mary and the Saints, and so the Pope could sell indulgences, like checks. The sinners established a line of credit against bad behavior and could go on sinning. Today a world market in "carbon credits" is in formation. Those whose "carbon footprint" is small can sell their surplus carbon credits to others, less virtuous than themselves.
The modern trade is as fantastical as the medieval one. There is still zero empirical evidence that anthropogenic production of CO2 is making any measurable contribution to the world's present warming trend. The greenhouse fearmongers rely entirely on unverified, crudely oversimplified computer models to finger mankind's sinful contribution. Devoid of any sustaining scientific basis, carbon trafficking is powered by guilt, credulity, cynicism and greed, just like the old indulgences, though at least the latter produced beautiful monuments. By the sixteenth century, long after the world had sailed safely through the end of the first millennium, Pope Leo X financed the reconstruction of St. Peter's Basilica by offering a "plenary" indulgence, guaranteed to release a soul from purgatory.
Now imagine two lines on a piece of graph paper. The first rises to a crest, then slopes sharply down, then levels off and rises slowly once more. The other has no undulations. It rises in a smooth, slowly increasing arc. The first, wavy line is the worldwide CO2 tonnage produced by humans burning coal, oil and natural gas. On this graph it starts in 1928, at 1.1 gigatons (i.e. 1.1 billion metric tons). It peaks in 1929 at 1.17 gigatons. The world, led by its mightiest power, the USA, plummets into the Great Depression, and by 1932 human CO2 production has fallen to 0.88 gigatons a year, a 30 per cent drop. Hard times drove a tougher bargain than all the counsels of Al Gore or the jeremiads of the IPCC (Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change). Then, in 1933 it began to climb slowly again, up to 0.9 gigatons.
And the other line, the one ascending so evenly? That's the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, parts per million (ppm) by volume, moving in 1928 from just under 306, hitting 306 in 1929, to 307 in 1932 and on up. Boom and bust, the line heads up steadily. These days it's at 380.There are, to be sure, seasonal variations in CO2, as measured since 1958 by the instruments on Mauna Loa, Hawai'i. (Pre-1958 measurements are of air bubbles trapped in glacial ice.) Summer and winter vary steadily by about 5 ppm, reflecting photosynthesis cycles. The two lines on that graph proclaim that a whopping 30 per cent cut in man-made CO2 emissions didn't even cause a 1 ppm drop in the atmosphere's CO2. Thus it is impossible to assert that the increase in atmospheric CO2 stems from human burning of fossil fuels.
I met Dr. Martin Hertzberg, the man who drew that graph and those conclusions, on a Nation cruise back in 2001. He remarked that while he shared many of the Nation's editorial positions, he approved of my reservations on the issue of supposed human contributions to global warming, as outlined in columns I wrote at that time. Hertzberg was a meteorologist for three years in the U.S. Navy, an occupation which gave him a lifelong mistrust of climate modeling. Trained in chemistry and physics, a combustion research scientist for most of his career, he's retired now in Copper Mountain, Colorado, still consulting from time to time.
Not so long ago, Hertzberg sent me some of his recent papers on the global warming hypothesis, a construct now accepted by many progressives as infallible as Papal dogma on matters of faith or doctrine. Among them was the graph described above so devastating to the hypothesis.
As Hertzberg readily acknowledges, the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere has increased about 21 per cent in the past century. The world has also been getting just a little bit warmer. The not very reliable data on the world's average temperature (which omit most of the world's oceans and remote regions, while over-representing urban areas) show about a 0.5Co increase in average temperature between 1880 and 1980, and it's still rising, more sharply in the polar regions than elsewhere. But is CO2, at 380 parts per million in the atmosphere, playing a significant role in retaining the 94 per cent of solar radiation that's absorbed in the atmosphere, as against water vapor, also a powerful heat absorber, whose content in humid tropical atmosphere, can be as high as 2 per cent, the equivalent of 20,000 ppm. As Hertzberg says, water in the form of oceans, clouds, snow, ice cover and vapor "is overwhelming in the radiative and energy balance between the earth and the sun Carbon dioxide and the greenhouse gases are, by comparison, the equivalent of a few farts in a hurricane." And water is exactly that component of the earth's heat balance that the global warming computer models fail to account for.
It's a notorious inconvenience for the Greenhousers that data also show carbon dioxide concentrations from the Eocene period, 20 million years before Henry Ford trundled his first model T out of the shop, 300-400 per cent higher than current concentrations. The Greenhousers deal with other difficulties like the medieval warming period's higher-than-today's temperatures by straightforward chicanery, misrepresenting tree-ring data (themselves an unreliable guide) and claiming the warming was a local, insignificant European affair.
We're warmer now, because today's world is in the thaw following the last Ice Age. Ice ages correlate with changes in the solar heat we receive, all due to predictable changes in the earth's elliptic orbit round the sun, and in the earth's tilt. As Hertzberg explains, the cyclical heat effect of all of these variables was worked out in great detail between 1915 and 1940 by the Serbian physicist, Milutin Milankovitch, one of the giants of 20th-century astrophysics. In past postglacial cycles, as now, the earth's orbit and tilt gives us more and longer summer days between the equinoxes.
Water covers 71 per cent of the surface of the planet. As compared to the atmosphere, there's at least a hundred times more CO2 in the oceans, dissolved as carbonate. As the postglacial thaw progresses the oceans warm up, and some of the dissolved carbon emits into the atmosphere, just like fizz in soda water taken out of the fridge. "So the greenhouse global warming theory has it ass backwards," Hertzberg concludes. "It is the warming of the earth that is causing the increase of carbon dioxide and not the reverse." He has recently had vivid confirmation of that conclusion. Several new papers show that for the last three quarter million years CO2 changes always lag global temperatures by 800 to 2,600 years.
It looks like Poseidon should go hunting for carbon credits. Trouble is, the human carbon footprint is of zero consequence amid these huge forces and volumes, and that's not even to mention the role of the giant reactor beneath our feet: the earth's increasingly hot molten core.
Alexander Cockburn Part 2
Weekend Edition June 9/10 2007
Source and Authorities
Dissidents Against Dogma
By ALEXANDER COCKBURN
We should never be more vigilant than at the moment a new dogma is being installed. The claque endorsing what is now dignified as "the mainstream theory" of global warming stretches all the way from radical greens through Al Gore to George W. Bush, who signed on at the end of May. The left has been swept along, entranced by the allure of weather as revolutionary agent, naïvely conceiving of global warming as a crisis that will force radical social changes on capitalism by the weight of the global emergency. Amid the collapse of genuinely radical politics, they have seen it as the alarm clock prompting a new Great New Spiritual Awakening.
Alas for their illusions. Capitalism is ingesting global warming as happily as a python swallowing a piglet. The press, which thrives on fearmongering, promotes the nonexistent threat as vigorously as it did the imminence of Soviet attack during the cold war, in concert with the arms industry. There's money to be made, and so, as Talleyrand said, "Enrich yourselves!" I just bought two roundtrip British Airways ticket to Spain from Seattle and a BA online passenger advisory promptly instructed me that the CO2 "offset" cost would be $7.90 on each ticket, which I might care to contribute to Climate Care. It won't be long before utility bills will carry similar, albeit mandatory and much larger charges. Here's a forewarning of what is soon going to happen, courtesy of Samuel Brittan in the Financial Times, under the menacing title, "Towards a true price for energy":
"An enhanced [climate change levy] could be the basis for a genuine shadow price for energy, which could become the basis for energy policy and replace the mind-boggling variety of specific schemes now in place. But for this to happen the consumer exemptions would have to go, and the levy first increased and then raised each year by more than inflation. An approach along these lines would be a contribution to an international effort to reduce dependence on imported and polluting fuels; but it would also benefit any particular country taking this route. And if Opec made disapproving noises we would know that we were really on to something."
Back in the 1970s, as the oil companies engineered a leap in prices, the left correctly identified and stigmatized the the conspiracy. Some thirty five years, here's the entire progressive sector swallowing, with religious fervor, a far more potent concoction of nonsense to buttress a program which will savagely penalize the poor, the third world and the environment.
The marquee slogan in the new cold war on global warming is that the scientific consensus is virtually unanimous. This is utterly false. The overwhelming majority of climate computer modelers, the beneficiaries of the $2 billion-a-year global warming grant industry, certainly believe in it but not necessarily most real climate scientists-people qualified in atmospheric physics, climatology and meteorology.
Geologists are particularly skeptical. Peter Sciaky, a retired geologist, writes to me thus:
"A geologist has a much longer perspective. There are several salient points about our earth that the greenhouse theorists overlook (or are not aware). The first of these is that the planet has never been this cool. There is abundant fossil evidence to support this--from plants of the monocot order (such as palm trees) in the rocks of Cretaceous Age in Greenland and warm water fossil in sedimentary rocks of the far north. this is hardly the first warming period in the earth's history. The present global warming is hardly unique. It is arriving pretty much "on schedule." One thing, for sure, is that the environmental community has always spurned any input from geologists (many of whom are employed by the petroleum industry). No environmental conference, such as Kyoto, has ever invited a geologist, a paleontologist, a paleoclimatologist. It would seem beneficial for any scientific investigatory to include such scientific disciplines.
"Among all my liberal and leftist friends (and I am certainly one of those), I know not a one who does not accept that global warming is an event caused by mankind. I do not know one geologist who believes that global warming is not taking place. I do not know a single geologist who believes that it is a man-made phenomenon.
"There are hundreds of reasons--political, pragmatic and economic, health and environmental--for cleaning up our environment, for conservation of energy, for developing alternate fuels, cleaning up our nuclear program, etc. Global warming is not one of them."
Take Warsaw-based Professor Zbigniew Jaworowski, famous for his critiques of ice-core data. He's devastating on the IPCC rallying cry that CO2 is higher now than it has ever been over the past 650,000 years. In his 1997 paper in the Spring 21st Century Science and Technology, he demolishes this proposition. In particular, he's very good on pointing out the enormous inaccuracies in the ice-core data and the ease with which a CO2 reading from any given year is contaminated by the CO2 from entirely different eras. He also points out that from 1985 on there's been some highly suspect editing of the CO2 data, presumably to reinforce the case for the "unprecedented levels" of modern CO2. In fact, in numerous papers prior to 1985, there were plenty of instances of CO2 levels much higher than current CO2 measurements, some even six times higher. He also points out that it is highly unscientific to merge ice-core temperature measurements with modern temperature measurements.
Or take Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov, of St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory. He says we're on a warming trend but that humans have little to do with it, the agent being a longtime change in the sun's heat. He predicts solar irradiance will fall within the next few years mainly based the well documented sunspot cycle, and therefore we may well face the beginning of an ice age very shortly, as early as 2012. The Russian scientific establishment is giving him a green light to use the nation's space station to measure global cooling.
Now read Dr. Jeffrey Glassman, applied physicist and engineer, retired from California's academic and corporate sectors, who provides an elegant demonstration of how the absorption and release of CO2 from the enormous carbon reservoir in the earth's oceans controls atmospheric CO2 concentrations. This absorption and release is very much a function of the earth's temperature and Glassman shows how the increase in atmospheric CO2 is the consequence of temperature, not the cause.
Move to that bane of the fearmongers, Dr. Patrick Michaels, on sabbatical from the University of Virginia, now at the Cato Institute, who has presented in papers and recently, in his book Meltdown, demolitions of almost every nightmare scenario invented by the greenhousers, particularly regarding hurricanes, tornadoes, sea rise, disappearing ice caps, drought and floods. A qualified climatologist, he analyses the data invoked to buttress each of these scenarios and shows the actual climate history not only fails to support the claims but also that in the majority of cases the opposite is true. Hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts and floods and other weather extremes are currently decreasing, contrary to Hansen, Mann and the other sensationalists. Michaels is particularly good on the ludicrous claims regarding catastrophic sea rise as well as the by now universally trumpeted melting icecaps and supposed impending disappearance of the Greenland ice sheet. Michaels is sometimes slammed as a hired gun for the fossil fuel industry, but I haven't seen any significant dents or quantitative ripostes to his meticulous scientific critiques.
Then there's Christopher Landsea. A research meteorologist at the Atlantic Oceanic and Meteorological Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, he described to Lawrence Solomon (author of a very interesting series on "The Deniers" in Canada's National Post in February of this year) how the IPCC utterly misrepresented his work to concoct a scare scenario about warming and increased incidence of hurricanes and cyclones.
There are many others. The geologist Bruno Wiskel of the University of Alberta, was once a passionate adherent to the theory of anthropogenic global warming. He even started to build a "Kyoto house" in honor of the UN sanctioned Kyoto Protocol which was signed in 1997. These days he's changed his views entirely and indeed has written a book, "The Emperor's New Climate: Debunking the Myth of Global Warming." Wiskel says global warming has gone "from a science to a religion" and noted that research money is being funneled into promoting climate alarmism instead of funding areas he considers more worthy.
The astrophysicist Dr. Nir Shaviv, one of Israel's scientists, also abandoned his belief that manmade emissions were driving climate change. ""Like many others, I was personally sure that CO2 is the bad culprit in the story of global warming. But after carefully digging into the evidence, I realized that things are far more complicated than the story sold to us by many climate scientists or the stories regurgitated by the media. Shaviv is quoted as saying in the the Canadian National Post series. "Solar activity can explain a large part of the 20th-century global warming" . Shaviv believes that even a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere by 2100 "will not dramatically increase the global temperature."
One of the best essays on greenhouse myth-making from a left perspective comes from Denis Rancourt, an environmental science researcher and professor of physics at the University of Ottawa. I recommend his February 2007 essay "Global Warming: Truth or Dare?" on his website, Activist Teacher, which has also featured fine work by David Noble on the greenhouse lobby. Rancourt is a good scientist and also a political radical and the conflation is extremely stimulating though --alas--very rare:
"The planet will continue to change, adapt and evolve, with or without us The atmosphere will continue to change as it always has under the influence of life and of geology. We can't control these things. We can barely perceive them correctly. But we can take control of how we treat each other. The best we can do for the environment and for the planet is to learn not to let undemocratic power structures run our lives. The best we can do is to reject exploitation and domination and to embrace cooperation and solidarity. The best we can do is to not trust subservient scientists and to become active agents for change beyond head-in-the-sand personal lifestyle choices.
"We need to get political, beyond corporate-controlled shadow governments and co-opted political parties. We need to take charge more than we need to recycle. Global warming is strictly an imaginary problem of the First World middleclass. Nobody else cares about global warming. Exploited factory workers in the Third World don't care about global warming. Depleted uranium genetically mutilated children in Iraq don't care about global warming. Devastated aboriginal populations the world over also can't relate to global warming, except maybe as representing the only solidarity that we might volunteer."
The Achilles' heel of the computer models (which form the cornerstone of CO2 fearmongering), is their failure to deal with water. As vapor, it's a more important greenhouse gas than CO2 by a factor of twenty, yet models have proven incapable of dealing with it. The global water cycle is complicated, with at least as much unknown as is known. Water starts by evaporating from oceans, rivers, lakes and moist ground, enters the atmosphere as water vapor, condenses into clouds and precipitates as rain or snow. Each transition from one form of water to another is influenced by temperature and each water form has an enormous impact on global heat processes. Clouds have a huge, inaccurately quantified cooling effect: they reflect heat received from the sun, though how much is unknown. Water on the Earth's surface has different effects on retaining the sun's heat, depending on whether the water is liquid and dark, as are the oceans, which are highly absorbent; or ice, which is reflective; or snow, which is even more reflective than ice. Such water cycle factors cause huge swings in the Earth's heat balance; they interact with global temperatures in ways that are beyond the ability of computer climate models to predict.
The first global warming modelers simply threw up their hands at the complexity of the water problem and essentially left out the atmospheric water cycle. Over time a few features of the cycle were patched into the models, all based on unproven guesses at the effect of increased ocean evaporation on clouds, the effect of clouds on reflecting the sun's energy and the effect of cloud warming on rainfall and snow. All of these "band aid" equations are hopelessly inadequate to repair the computer models' inability to describe the water cycle's role in temperature.
Besides the inability to deal with water, the other huge embarrassment facing the modelers is the well-researched and well-established fact published in many papers that temperature changes first and CO2 levels change 600 to 1,000 years later. Any rational person would immediately conclude that CO2 could not possibly cause temperature if the rise in CO2 in comes centuries after the rise in temperature. The computer modelers as usual have an involuted response: They say the temperature increase is initiated by the "relatively weak" effect of increasing heat from the sun during the rising phase of the Milankovich cycle (Milankovich's meticulously calculated cycles on rising and falling heat input from the sun are universally accepted by astrophysicists). That effect initiates the warming of the oceans, which - just as Dr. Martin Hertzberg says - releases lots of CO2. According to the modelers the released CO2 is the real culprit because it amplifies the "relatively weak" effect of the sun, turning minor warming into a really serious matter.
This is a cleverly concocted gloss which would be a wonderful argument for demonstrating that once warming starts, CO2 will make it worse and worse until all life on earth dies. Unfortunately for the climate modelers the history of the earth's many temperature and CO2 swings tells us that it obviously does not get worse and worse. After any given warming phase begins, thousands of years later the cyclical Milankovitch decrease in the sun's heat kicks in. The warming stops, reverses and an ice age ensues. Where the modelers' clever gloss founders is onm explaining how the "relatively weak" decrease in the sun's heat makes all that extra CO2 disappear. Obviously the "bad" C02 must disappear due to some "feedback" that the modelers haven't thought of yet, i.e., one that keeps the earth's climate in rough equilibrium.
If the public swallows this new greenhouse dogma, it won't just be carbon taxes on an airline ticket. It will be huge new carbon offset charges on your utility bill for the alleged carbon savings of the hundreds of immensely expensive nuclear plants the industry is so eager to build. And you, having been softened by the propaganda of the CO2 fearmongers, will be delighted to pay those hefty levies to give a cooler, cleaner world to your grandchildren.
Alexander Cockburn – Part 3
Weekend Edition May 26 / 27, 2007
Explosion of the Fearmongers
The Greenhousers Strike Back and Out
By ALEXANDER COCKBURN
I began this series of critiques of the greenhouse fearmongers with an evocation of the papal indulgences of the Middle Ages as precursors of the "carbon credits"-ready relief for carbon sinners, burdened, because all humans exhale carbon, with original sin. In the Middle Ages they burned heretics, and after reading through the hefty pile of abusive comments and supposed refutations of my initial article on global warming I'm fairly sure that the critics would be only to happy to cash in whatever carbon credits they have and torch me without further ado.
The greenhouse fearmongers explode at the first critical word, and have contrived a series of primitive rhetorical pandybats which they flourish in retaliation. Those who disagree with their claim that anthropogenic CO2 is the cause of the small, measured increase in the average earth's surface temperature, are stigmatized as "denialists," a charge which scurrilously combines an acoustic intimation of nihilism with a suggested affinity to those who insist the Holocaust never took place.
The greenhousers endlessly propose that the consensus of "scientists" on anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming. By scientists they actually mean computer modelers. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and their computer-modeling coterie include very few real climatologists or atmospheric physicists. Among qualified climatologists, meteorologists and atmospheric physicists, there are plenty who do not accept the greenhousers' propositions. Many others have been intimidated into silence by the pressures of grants, tenure and kindred academic garottes.
Peer review, heavily overworked in the rebuttals I have been reading, is actually a topic on which the greenhousers would do well to keep their mouths shut, since, as the University of Virginia's Pat Michaels has shown, the most notorious sentence in the IPCC's 1996 report ("The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate") was inserted at the last minute by a small faction on the IPCC panel after the scientific peer review process was complete. Here's how Dr Fred Goldberg describes the probable culprit, Professor Bert Bolin, a politically driven Swede who was the first chairman of the IPCC, from 1988 to 1998. Goldberg's very interesting paper is entitled, "Has Bert Bolin fooled us all concerned climate change caused by humans?":
"In 1995 IPCC presented its second report: ‘The Science of Climate Change’. In this report a large number of researchers work through hundreds of scientific reports and delivers a comprehensive report where they conclude that there is no evidence that human beings have had an influence on the climate. This conclusion is of course very important for politicians and policymakers around the world. But what happened? The editor of the IPCC report then deleted or changed the text in 15 different sections of chapter 8 (The key chapter concerning whether human influence exists or not) which had been agreed upon by the panel of contributors involved in compiling the document. In practice politicians and policymakers only read the so-called Executive Summary for Policy Makers. In this document consisting of a few pages it is clearly stated that humans have influenced the climate, contrary to the conclusions of the scientific report.
"Professor Fredrik Seitz, former chairman of the American Science Academy, wrote in the Wall Street Journal already the 12th of June 1996 about a major deception on global warming: ‘I have never before witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report.’ He gave many examples of changes and redefinitions and finished by demanding that the IPCC process should be abandoned.
"Had somebody subordinate to Bert Bolin within IPCC made these changes it is reasonable to think that Bert Bolin himself would correct the errors. That he has not done is why I draw the conclusion that it must be Bert Bolin himself who is responsible for the changes and no subordinate person has dared interfere with his boss."
I should acknowledge one imprecision in my description of Dr. Martin Hertzberg's graph in my first column -"the smoothly rising curve of CO2"-that prompted several intemperate responses, charging that I couldn't possibly expect CO2 or carbon levels to drop just because of a one-third cut in man-made CO2. Indeed, I should have written "one could not even see a 1 part per million bump in the smoothly rising curve." Even though such transitory influences as day and night or seasonal variations in photosynthesis cause clearly visible swings in the curve, the 30 percent drop between 1929 and 1932 caused not a ripple.
Empirical scientific evidence that the human contribution is in fact less than a fart in a hurricane, as Dr. Hertzberg says.
As for the alleged irrefutable evidence that people caused the last century's CO2 increase, the "smoking gun" invoked by one of my critics, Dr. Michael Mann, and his fellow fearmongers at realclimate.com, the claim is based on the idea that the normal ratio of heavy to light carbon - that is, the Carbon-13 isotope to the lighter Carbon-12 isotope, is roughly 1 to 90 in the atmosphere, but in plants there's a 2 percent lower C13/C12 ratio. So, observing that C13 in the atmosphere has been declining steadily though very slightly since 1850, they claim that this is due to man's burning of fossil fuels, which are generally believed to be derived from fossilized plant matter. On the naïve and scientifically silly assumption that the only way that plant-based carbon can get into the atmosphere is by people burning fuels, they exult that here indeed is the smoking gun: decreases of C13 in the atmosphere mean that our sinful combustions are clearly identifiable as major contributors to the 100 ppm increase in CO2 since 1850.
This is misguided, simply because less than a thousandth of the plant-based carbon on earth is bound up in fossil fuel. The rest of the huge remaining tonnages of plant-based carbon are diffused through the oceans, the forests, the grasslands and the soil. In other words, everywhere. Obviously, lots of this C13-deficient carbon has the opportunity to oxidize into CO2 by paths other than people burning fuel, i.e., the huge amount of plant material that's
naturally eaten or decayed by the biosphere.
Perhaps even more significantly, cold ocean waters absorb lightweight C12 preferentially, resulting in lots of C13-deficient carbon in the oceans. This low-C13 carbon most certainly would have been released massively into the atmosphere over the course of the world's warming trend since 1850, when the Little Ice Age ended. All of these larger natural pathways for emitting low-C13 carbon into the atmosphere have been considerably accelerated by this same warming trend. So once again, the greenhousers have got it assbackward.
The 100 ppm increase in CO2 can't be uniquely attributed to humans because at least as plausibly it could be the effect, not the cause, of the warming that started after the Little Ice Age denied by Dr. Michael "Hockey Stick" Mann.
I had promised that this third column would pose the question "Are things really so bad," a theme I will take up in this series, along with a continuation of these rebuttals. Originally I had hoped to deal with criticisms at the end of the series. I have changed my plans since committed greenhousers like George Monbiot (honorary chairman of the King Canute Action Committee, committed to beating back non-existent anthropogenic global warming by tactics which would have zero impact anyway) that I have ignored their rebukes. In actual fact I was offline, in Russia, flying thither over the Arctic and thus able to make a direct review of the ice cap. So wait a couple of weeks for my next column before you critics let fly again.
Coming up: how greenhouser theologians deal with the global water cycle and the highly embarrassing and persistent lag between temperature and subsequent atmospheric CO2 change. After that, I'll offer a real treat: the nightmare visions of the greenhousers and how many of their quavering predictions have fallen under the implacable guillotine blade of reality.