03 February 2007

Geologist Giegenback: I Voted For Al Gore, Not His Documentary!

U Penn's Bob Giegenback has been a respected geologist specialising in climate change for almost 50 years. His career has spanned the "global cooling" scare of the 1960's and 70's, and the current "climate change catastrophe" scare of modern times. He has viewed Al Gore's documentary, and he is not amused.

...Giegengack tells his students they might want to consider that “natural” climatic temperature cycles control carbon dioxide levels, not the other way around. That’s the crux of his argument with Gore’s view of global warming — he says carbon dioxide doesn’t control global temperature, and certainly not in a direct, linear way.

Gieg has lots more slides to show. He points out that within his lifetime, there was a three-decade period of unusually low temperatures that culminated in the popular consciousness with the awful winter of 1976-77. Back then, scientists started sounding the alarm about a new ice age.

....“Sea level is rising,” Giegengack agrees, switching off the sound. But, he explains, it’s been rising ever since warming set in 18,000 years ago. The rate of rise has been pretty slow — only about 400 feet so far. And recently — meaning in the thousands of years — the rate has slowed even more. The Earth’s global ocean level is only going up 1.8 millimeters per year. That’s less than the thickness of one nickel.

...“At the present rate of sea-level rise,” Gieg says, “it’s going to take 3,500 years to get up there. So if for some reason this warming process that melts ice is cutting loose and accelerating, sea level doesn’t know it. And sea level, we think, is the best indicator of global warming.”

....If we somehow cut our CO2 emissions in half, you wouldn’t be able to measure the difference because of the role played by India and China.

It’s over. If CO2 is the problem, we’ve already lost.”

When Gieg gets to this point in his argument, as he often does when talking about global warming, he gets a little frustrated. “I always get sidetracked because, first of all, the science isn’t good. Second, there are all these other interpretations for what we see. Third, it doesn’t make any difference, and fourth, it’s distracting us from environmental problems that really matter.” Among those, Gieg says, are the millions of people a year who die from smoking and two million people a year who die because they don’t have access to clean water.

Professor Giegenback is not the most vocal of the skeptical mainstream scientists who are trying to head off the lemming-like stampede over the cliff. He is just an ordinary and conscientious geologist who has studied the issue for most of his life, and has come to several inconvenient conclusions honestly.

The release of the recent IPCC political summary for policymakers should be the stimulus for scientists from all fields that impact climate studies to be heard--in all their diversity of opinions. The totalitarian orthodoxy of apocalyptic climatologic catastrophe has been allowed to exercise rigid control of this debate for far too long.

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Blogger StaticNoise said...

Thankfully there have been dozens of thoughtful refutations of the IPCC alarmism. Professor Giegenback as well as Professor Harm de Blij could not be considered right-wing, big business funded "deniers". They are proper scientists doing proper science. De Blij makes clear that we are currently living in an Ice Age. We happen to be in a inter-glacial period where global temperatures rise as part of a natural cycle that repeats itself many times during each Ice Age. The current ice age started some 35 million years ago.

Both of these serious scientists are not going to swayed by this hysteria. And it's heartening to hear Giegenback echo Lomborg's call for our money and efforts be directed at clean water, sanitation, and medicine for the backward societies.

Saturday, 03 February, 2007  
Blogger al fin said...

I am not familiar with De Blij, but I cannot disagree with his assertions about ice ages being the status quo.

There actually are a lot of good, steady scientists who prefer not to get involved with political issues such as climate change, because when it becomes politics it is no longer science.

Sunday, 04 February, 2007  

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