A team of scientists from Harvard University and the company Carbon Engineeringannounced on Thursday that they have found a method to cheaply and directly pull carbon-dioxide pollution out of the atmosphere.
If their technique is successfully implemented at scale, it could transform how humanity thinks about the problem of climate change. It could give people a decisive new tool in the race against a warming planet, but could also unsettle the issue’s delicate politics, making it all the harder for society to adapt.
Climate scientists are giving science a bad name, says a leading atmospheric physicist in an essay on the global warming debate.
Professor Garth Paltridge, formerly a chief scientist with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Division of Atmospheric Research, says that the behavior of certain members of the climate science establishment is “seriously threatening the public’s perception of the professionalism of scientists in general.”
Many climate scientists are much less sure about man-made global warming than they will admit in public, he says. But rather than reach out to skeptics in order to open up the debate and explore the uncertainties, they have instead closed ranks and rubbished anyone who disagrees with them:
Some of the more vocal of the establishment climate researchers have fallen into a mode of open denigration of climate sceptics (“deniers” is the offensive popular terminology of the day). They insist that only researchers directly within the climate-change community are capable of giving authoritative advice. They insist that one can find true and reputable science only in peer-reviewed climate literature. But most significantly, they seem to have evolved a policy of deliberately excluding sceptics from climate-change forums of one sort or another, and indeed of refusing to take part in any forum where sceptics may share the podium.
Their high-handedness, Paltridge says, is redolent of “medieval religion”:
Fewer and fewer Republicans and Independents believe that ‘climate change’ is a credible threat; more and more Democrats do. ‘Global warming’, it is becoming increasingly clear, is a political issue and not a scientific one.
In the chart below from a study by Polovodova et al, we see that 20th century warming is perfectly normal in a long-term historical context. It was no warmer – indeed, is slightly cooler – than either the Roman Warm Period or the Medieval Warming Period.
What we also learn from the papers is that these warming periods were global – not, as alarmists like to claim to support their scaremongering thesis, local:
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has given its prestigious award for Public Engagement with Science to climate scientist, Michael E. Mann.
No, this is not a joke – though it should be.
That’s Michael Mann as in the creator of possibly the most discredited artefact in climate science history: the ludicrous, fabricated “Hockey Stick.”
That’s Michael Mann, the litigious activist and vexatious Twitter troll who dismisses any scientist who disagrees with him as a “denier”; who was exposed in the Climategate emails trying to ruin the careers of his opponents and attempting to shut down the journals who published them.
That’s Michael Mann, the guy who has erroneously claimed to be a Nobel prizewinner on the hilarious basis that, as one of the hundreds of contributors to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he sorta kinda qualifies on account of the fact that the IPCC won the prize in 2007.
That’s Michael Mann, the ferociously partisan, Trump-loathing bully who led the recent campaign to have Republican supporting donors removed from the board of trustees of the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
If, like me, you love the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York, here is a question I can guarantee you’ve never asked.
Never once — as you’ve circumnavigated the blue whale or gawped at those marvelous Teddy Roosevelt-style dioramas in the mammal halls or admired the T-Rex’s jagged 6-inch gnashers — have you paused in deep thought and mused to yourself: “Gee. I wonder if the guys who pay for all this stuff are Democrats or Republicans?”
The reason you’ve never had this thought is because you’re not stupid. Or at least, not that stupid.
You understand — because it’s so obvious that even one of the stuffed primates in the Akeley Hall of African Mammals could grasp this basic point — that the collections in the American Museum of Natural History have nothing whatsoever to do with politics. They have to do with science, which is something completely different.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Paul Ehrlich’s eco-doom bestseller The Population Bomb. Maybe we should all stage a mass die-in to spare the distinguished Stanford biology professor his embarrassment.
Well if Ehrlich is not embarrassed, he should be. His book sold over three million copies – presumably making him a very decent amount of money. It turned him into an academic rock star, helped win him numerous prizes (often with large sums of money attached) and may well have been responsible for winning him the post he still occupies aged 85 as Bing Professor of Population Studies at Stanford University…
…And all for writing a book which is essentially junk. Not just junk but dangerous junk. It’s bad enough that it got its predictions – about a disastrous population collapse due to resource depletion – wrong. But far worse was the damage it did to public and political consciousness, doing much to generate the environmental hysteria we see gripping the world today.
In fact, The Population Bomb did the one thing which science books aren’t supposed to do: it actually made the people who read it more stupid.
You see its malign influence today everywhere from the whispery prognostications of gorilla-hugging Malthusian David Attenborough to all those people who say they agree with me on climate change but then go on to tell me with a knowing, conspiratorial tap of the side of their noses that “Of course, the real elephant in the room is overpopulation.”
No, overpopulation is not the elephant in the room. If it were the elephant in the room it would mean that Paul Ehrlich’s book was right and he thoroughly deserved all that money and that tenure at Stanford – and I wouldn’t be writing this piece, would I?
‘Fish prefer plastic to food,’ claimed a paper published in Sciencelast year. It was the environmental horror story du jour.
The billions of tons of plastics that we release into the environment for the most part do not biodegrade. But they do degrade, breaking into ever smaller particles that end up in the oceans. Lönnstedt et al. show that the impacts of these microplastics are multifold (see the Perspective by Rochman). Eurasian perch larvae exposed to microplastics were less active, less responsive to predator cues, more likely to be eaten, and less likely to thrive—preferring to eat plastic rather than their natural prey.
Naturally, this news was seized on by the mainstream media as further proof of the damage man’s selfishness, greed and refusal to amend his lifestyle was causing to the planet.
The study, by Swedish researchers, seemed to confirm everyone’s worst suspicions about plastic pollution of the oceans. Of especial concern in this case were the plastic microbeads used by the cosmetics industry in skincare products. These microbeads have been madeillegal in the U.S. under legislation introduced during the last days of the Obama administration, with the European Union considering a similar ban.
Maybe the biggest of all the lies put out by the global warming scaremongers is that the science is on their side. No it isn’t. And if you’re in any doubt at all you should read this interview with the brilliant scientist István Markó. It tells you all you need to know about the science of global warming.
Dr. Markó, who sadly died earlier this year aged only 61, was a professor and researcher in organic chemistry at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium’s largest French-speaking university. More importantly for the purposes of this interview, he was one of the world’s most outspoken and well-informed climate skeptics, who contributed to several articles on the subject for Breitbart News.
Before he died, he gave an extensive interview to the French journalist Grégoire Canlorbe. Here are highlights of the English translation. As you’ll see, he doesn’t pull his punches.
CO2 is not – and has never been a poison
Each of our exhalations, each of our breaths, emits an astronomical quantity of CO2proportionate to that in the atmosphere (some >40,000 ppm); and it is very clear that the air we expire does not kill anyone standing in front of us. What must be understood, besides, is that CO2 is the elementary food of plants. Without CO2 there would be no plants, and without plants there would be no oxygen and therefore no humans.
Plants love CO2. That’s why the planet is greening
Plants need CO2, water, and daylight. These are the mechanisms of photosynthesis, to generate the sugars that will provide them with staple food and building blocks. That fundamental fact of botany is one of the primary reasons why anyone who is sincerely committed to the preservation of the “natural world” should abstain from demonizing CO2. Over the last 30 years, there has been a gradual increase in the CO2 level. But what is also observed is that despite deforestation, the planet’s vegetation has grown by about 20 percent. This expansion of vegetation on the planet, nature lovers largely owe it to the increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.