Deniers evolution from ozone to global warming

Read time: 2 mins

Here are recent statements by vocal media impressarios and think tanks who spend their time, not in a laboratory, but in the popular media trying to convince the public that global warming is either not happening, or is not caused by our continued consumption of fossil fuels (oil, coal, gas etc). Below each one, I have also provided an historical quote on what they had to say about the effects of CFC's on the hole in the o-zone layer. Notice any similarities?

Tim Ball
Tim Ball on CFCs' and ozone: “CFC's were never a problem… it's only because the sun in changing.” And, “fluctuation of ozone in the stratosphere is likely a natural phenomenon because solar radiation is a fluctuating event.” (Western Standard, June, 1993)

Tim Ball on global warming: “The climate is changing all the time, and what's going on right now is well within natural variability.”(Saskatchewan Leader Post, July, 2006)

Fred Singer
Singer on CFC's and ozone : “The hypothesis that CFCs deplete ozone is still just that: a hypothesis. The theory did not predict the Antarctic ozone hole and cannot predict what will happen globally. There is no firm evidence as yet for a long-term depletion of global ozone. Much of data is contaminated; the ozone record is dominated by large, natural fluctuations on many time scales…”

Singer on global warming : “Greenhouse warming will be barely detectable and within the “noise” of natural, year-to-year temperature changes.” And, “there has been no warming observed as yet as a result of the ongoing human-caused CO2 increase.”

Hugh Ellsaesser
Ellsaesser on CFC's and ozone : “The public has been misled to an even great in that the possible beneficial consequences of increased UV have been consistently ignored.” (sic.) And, “There has indeed been a slight decline in global ozone levels, probably due to sunspot activity and natural dynamics in the atmosphere.”

Ellsaesser on global warming : “Natural variability in the Earth's climate easily exceeds recent global temperature trends.”

National Centre for Public Policy Research
On CFC's and ozone: “The impact of CFCs on the ozone layer is not fully known. Changes in weather patterns, the eruption of volcanos, changes in ultraviolet output of the sun linked to the 10-11 year solar cycle and other natural phenomena can, like CFCs, inhibit the production of ozone.”

On global warming: “A careful examination of the Earth's climate history, however, shows that this warming is the result of a natural fluctuation in temperature and poses no threat to humanity.”

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Excellent post! You should add a third dimension to it, that of cigarette smoke. I know that Singer at least, was invovled in denying the negative impact of cigarettes.

And it is worth looking at. Here is Singer’s report on that condemns the EPA for the side-stream smoke analysis (ETS=Environmental Tobacco Smoke). At first I thought, he may be qualified in the area of risk assessment or something, and it could be an interesting read. NOT. Far from it; it is one of the lamest reviews ever, on any topic. One of his points seems to have been pulled out of the exercises at the back of Chapter 1 in an intro statistics book.

Singer and Jeffreys:

“Futhermore, the EPA does not utilize the approrpiate “two-tailed” analysi of where ETA causes lung cancer. In a two-tailed test, a specific assumption is made, for example that ETA has an effect on human health. (The two “tails” refer to the fact that the hypothesized effect may be harmful or beneficial: the evidence may point in either direction.)”

This is not true, to the point of being silly. EPA wanted to know only if there was a negative impact, so of course a one-tailed test was correct. EPA was entirely correct in their analysis, and their methods go way beyond this mis-worded and weak complaint by Singer, which do not even approach the interesting statistical and analytical questions. If as an editor I had sent this out for review and received this result, I would send it out for another review to try to get a stronger case, in either direction.

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Great idea, I am planning to do a similar one shortly on tobacco quotes vs. global warming quotes. Maybe one on mercury as well.

^ Don’t forget HIV denial.

The continued rapid cooling of the earth since WWII is in accord with the increase in global air pollution associated with industrialization, mechanization, urbanization and exploding population. – Reid Bryson, “Global Ecology; Readings towards a rational strategy for Man”, (1971)

The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. Population control is the only answer – Paul Ehrlich - The Population Bomb (1968)

I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000 – Paul Ehrlich in (1969)

In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish. – Paul Ehrlich, Earth Day (1970)

Before 1985, mankind will enter a genuine age of scarcity … in which the accessible supplies of many key minerals will be facing depletion – Paul Ehrlich in (1976)

This [cooling] trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century – Peter Gwynne, Newsweek 1976

There are ominous signs that the earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production - with serious political implications for just about every nation on earth. The drop in food production could begin quite soon… The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologist are hard-pressed to keep up with it. – Newsweek, April 28, (1975)

This cooling has already killed hundreds of thousands of people. If it continues and no strong action is taken, it will cause world famine, world chaos and world war, and this could all come about before the year 2000. – Lowell Ponte “The Cooling”, 1976

If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder by the year 2000…This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age. – Kenneth E.F. Watt on air pollution and global cooling, Earth Day (1970)

Ponte was just another Crichton.

This [cooling] trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century – Peter Gwynne, Newsweek 1976

And given a few centuries it might have done as he said, although he was guessing. CO2 changed that.

The levels of atmospheric CO2 were climbing when these guys made their ice age predictions and had been for all of the 20th Century. While the earth cooled from about 1940 to about 1980, industrial CO2 output rose dramatically. How did the earth cool for about 40 years if CO2 is a direct cause of planetary heating? In fact, why is Antarctica cooling a bit now? Damn inconvenient facts.

This is typical obfuscation at its worst. Try reading some actual science papers rather then the rubbish the deniers are putting out.

There is ample solid scientific data which explain these findings. Somehow I suspect that you know this (since nobody can be that lacking in knowledge) and are just making those wrong statements to muddy the waters. It won’t work John, most people (Canadians in particular) are smarter than that.

Ian Forrester

The fact that Canadians are smart and are reading something other than the hysterical computer-modelled nonsense from the AGW fundamentalists has desmoggers really worried. Why else would this web site be devoted to trashing the reputations and character of those who question this orthodoxy? If the science behind AGW was sound, there would be no need to defend it with these sleazy tactics. You folks are running scared because real climate science is starting to get some media play and people are beginning to learn that atmospheric CO2 is only one of many climate drivers and a not very important one at that.

John Dowell said: “You folks are running scared because real climate science is starting to get some media play.”

Please tell me who and what you mean by “real climate science”.

I must have missed their reports so please document them for me.

The real “real climate scientists” have known for ever and ever that there are a number of climate drivers. However, you are completely mistaken when you say that they overwhelm the effects of CO2. Just check with the recent SPM from AR4.

Do you get paid for putting out this misinformation? You wouldn’t look so stupid if you did get paid, otherwise you just look stupid and uninformed.

Ian Forrester

“Why else would this web site be devoted to trashing the reputations and character of those who question this orthodoxy?” Because deniers have been getting 50% of the press when they have a much, much smaller percentage of peer-reviewed science supporting them?

“some actual science papers” You mean read only one side of the story don’t you Ian? My last dip into the One True Church’s approved reading list was the new IPCC Summary. Not much science to be found there. You probably could have written a better one and made it more interesting by throwing in lots of your usual invective. Your post sounds like the ravings of a really desperate propagandist.

Zog, don’t be so stupid, you know exactly what I mean. What is accepted as relevant scientific information is to be found in the peer reviewed scientifc literature. What you refer to as the “other side” is the misinformation and distortions appearing in mass media op-ed columns, right wing pseudo-science web sites (FOS, NRSP) and the talking points sent out by rightwing nut jobs.

Once again, there is overwhelming scientiifc evidence that AGW is real and is happening right now.

Do everyone a favour and stop spreading nonsense. Your low level of scientific literacy is only showing how truly unknowledgeable you are.

Ian Forrester

Trouble is, Ian, that the peer reviewed papers that you babble about (although you’re always careful not to cite one specifically) don’t contain any EVIDENCE of AGW and, yes, I’ve read a few of them since they became in vogue a few years back. Most contain verifiable empirical evidence of warming - regionally sound and globally a little shakey, but not a scintilla of proof that human activity has anything to do with it. Lots of conjecture and (in Weaver’s work for example) excrutiatingly precise projections based on conjecture, but that’s not science in the traditional sense. Predictions are just that - predictions, and predictions aren’t proof. If Nostradamous had had access to a super computer, he could have “outmanned” Mann to concoct all sorts of scary scenarios for gullible boobs who get their edikashon from the Toronto Star.

1. Do you believe that CO2 has increased over the past 100 or so years?

2. Do you understand how CO2 retains solar energy and warms the atmosphere?

3. Do you understand how scientists can show how much of the extra CO2 is derived from fossil fuels?

4. Do you have any other mechanism whereby fossil fuel carbon can get into the atmosphere other than by burning it?

Now, all of these questions are answered by applying well-accepted principles of chemistry and physics, no climate science is involved. Since the correct answers to these questions confirm AGW are you suggesting that besides all the climate scientists you believe are in some vast conspiracy all the chemists and physicists must be involved too since I do not see them out in the streets waving their arms in the air shouting “AGW is not true, the physics and chemistry disprove it”.

So now, tell me just what about AGW is it that you disagree with (based on my questions). Have you discovered some new chemistry and/or physics that we mere mortals do not understand?

I can answer for you. You do not accept AGW because it goes against your political believes and/or your connection with the very industries who are emitting the CO2 into the atmosphere. You cannot argue with the science (I don’t think you have a clue about that anyway) but use a political argument which is not backed up by any scientific evidence.

Ian Forrester

I thought that you actually wanted to get into a sensible discussion of the science until I got down to your last paragraph Then the old Ian appeared with his stupid personal insults - “connection with the very industries” - “I don’t think you have a clue”, blah, blah. Nevertheless, here are the answers to your 4 questions. #1: Yes #2: That’s a gross oversimplification. The CO2 doesn’t “retain solar energy” and the global warmers don’t claim that it does #3: This is questionable since only the amount of fossil fuel-derived CO2 can be determined. All other quantities are wildly speculative, so relative percentages can’t be calculated. #4 Actually, yes, but the quantities aren’t significant. Anyway, it doesn’t matter (See #3) No, you won’t see sceptical scientists demonstrating in the streets, nor will you find them hiring PR flacks like you and Hoggan to carry the scientific debate to the public. You’ll be pleased to know that yesterday I met yet another scientifically-trained individual who believes in the one true revellation. Too bad, because he’s a high school teacher and therefore in a position to do harm. That makes 3 who actually take AGW seiously, out of 20 or 30 science types (BSc. to PhD.) with whom I’ve discussed the question in recent years. However, as I’ve said many times, scientific truth isn’t determined by a majority vote, and I guess that cuts both ways.

You are clueless as you failed to answer 3 and 4. As for 2, it is in fact very simple which you would realize if you knew anything about the science.

25% is a failing mark in any body’s book.

You must spend more attention in class and read the right books. Improvement must be attained to allow you to progress to the next grade.

You should spend more time listening to your teacher friend, you might learn something of value.

And by the way, I am not a PR flack.

Ian Forrester

Not one of Hoggan’s heroes? From the tone of your posts, I doubt that. If not a PR flack, what? Certainly an arrogant, boorish, uneducated lout. You say that I “failed” your silly little quiz by giving sensible and useful answers to your questions. How would you know? O.K., now I’m “debating” at your level, and that disturbs me. I think that I’ll wander off and find a blog that operates on a slightly higher intellectual level.

I’m none of the things you have accused me of as my many educated and intelligent friends will vouch for.

I always knew that you could not debate at my level since you always respond in an unintelligent and ignorant (of the facts) manner. I suggest that you spend more time on climatefraudit where people will agree with you no matter how stupid your comments are, as long as they attack the science of AGW.

Ian Forrester

Don’t argue with idiots. They will always try to bring you down to their level.

Either this person is getting paid to bait liberal science types as part of a large PR campaign, or he is an idiotic and gullible dupe of the denialist PR campaign.

This person is not interested in understanding reality through evidence. He has a preconceived notion, and it will not change, no matter what evidence is presented. He feels that if he repeats his assertion over and over with increasing intensity, then he will win. In fact, that is what his real intention is: to repeat lies over and over until they sink in. Kind of like advertising ;)

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“Trouble is, Ian, that the peer reviewed papers that you babble about (although you’re always careful not to cite one specifically) don’t contain any EVIDENCE of AGW and, yes, I’ve read a few of them since they became in vogue a few years back.”

Wrong. Try every single paper surveyed by Oreskes. Every single one of the 928 reports surveyed said AGW is in existence.

ZOG, you’ve really got your head in the sand on this one.

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Just saw Inholf on Headline News and the host was agreeing with him. The denialists are in full swing. We are fighting the mafia. The neoconservative denialists have substantial overlap with organized crime. And currently, they are in charge of much of the media and government. In the end, this comes down to society’s worship of self interest over the common good.

Just what is Earth’s normal ozone level? We have been measuring it, what,for 50-60 years or so? Do the amounts of atmospheric ozone fluctuate?

Yes. Ozone levels do fluctuate on an annual basis and ozone levels have been declining since 1980. Look at the Ozone and Climate Change button in that link for a graph of historical ozone levels.

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Found in a conservative (putting it mildy) discussion on a website. This seems interesting, especially the part about “The resulting chaos, with claims all over the map, will do enough to thoroughly confuse everyone”. That must be the science part.


Posted: 01/ 10/ 07 2:20 pm Post subject: If the science is wrong, then nothing else matters Reply with quote I completely agree with fourhorses that the ultimate aim is to create a situation where the CPC can say assertively, “The science no longer supports the assumptions of the Kyoto Accord.”

However, politically this cannot be done overnight without the Conservatives taking what they consider to be an unacceptable hit (do people think they would really lose votes with this statement (from Canadians who would otherwise vote for them, that is?).

So, the solution put on this site a little while ago by Tina is one I would support as well - namely, they don’t take sides at all and admit they don’t know and so are holding unbiased, public hearings in which scientists from both sides are invited to testify. The resulting chaos, with claims all over the map, will do enough to thoroughly confuse everyone (which is appropriate, actually, since the science is so immature and, frankly, confusing) and take the wind out of the sails of the “we are causing a climate disaster and must stop it” camp entirely, and the CPC can quietly turn to important issues without really having had to say much at all.

What’s wrong with this approach?


Tom Harris, Executive Director, Natural Resources Stewardship Project

end of quote

Harris is showing up around the blogosphere; here’s a couple of blogs which are not buying what he has to sell:

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Any time that you see the science of climate change atttibuted to “Gore” or “Suzuki”, or both (!), then you know how much the speaker has read on the subject. Newspapers, and mostly neocon newspapers at that. We need sceptics who don’t just kneejerk about how Suzuki and Gore are whatever bad things they can think of, and don’t simply grab whatever intro-level excuse they can find.

[[While the earth cooled from about 1940 to about 1980, industrial CO2 output rose dramatically. How did the earth cool for about 40 years if CO2 is a direct cause of planetary heating?]]

In brief, because CO2 is not the only factor that affects climate. The 1940-1970 (not 1980) cooling was primary due to aerosols produced by industry in that time frame. In the ’70s pollution controls were increased (remember Earth Day?), so aerosols decline, but CO2 kept on climbing, thus the heating since then.

[[Trouble is, Ian, that the peer reviewed papers that you babble about (although you’re always careful not to cite one specifically) don’t contain any EVIDENCE of AGW and, yes, I’ve read a few of them since they became in vogue a few years back. Most contain verifiable empirical evidence of warming - regionally sound and globally a little shakey, but not a scintilla of proof that human activity has anything to do with it. ]]

Well, science doesn’t deal in “proof,” for one thing. But here are the main lines of evidence.

1. CO2 is largely transparent to visual radiation but absorbs greatly in the infrared, i.e., it is a greenhouse gas. This was first proven by lab work by John Tyndall in 1859.

2. The more the CO2 in the atmosphere, the hotter the ground, all else being equal. This is basic radiation physics. For a good introduction, try John Houghton’s “The Physics of Atmospheres” (3rd ed. 2002) or Grant W. Petty’s “An Introduction to Atmosphere Radiation” (2006).

3. The amount of CO2 has risen steadily since the industrial revolution began. This was first convincingly demonstrated by Keeler and others at Mauna Loa observatory in the early 1960s. The preindustrial level of CO2 was about 280 parts per million by volume. It was 315 ppmv in 1958 and is now 390 ppmv.

4. The new CO2 in the air is not coming from the biosphere, since it is deficient in carbon-14 – i.e., it is very old, as in fossil fuel. The isotope signature of fossil fuel combustion in ambient air was first demonstrated by Hans Suess in 1955.

Therefore, it seems overwhelmingly likely that human activity is causing global warming.

[[Tim Ball: Yes, it warmed from 1680 up to 1940, but since 1940 it’s been cooling down. The evidence for warming is because of distorted records. The satellite data, for example, shows cooling.]]

Tim Ball should know better. Santer and others published three articles in Science in 2005 showing that the satellite data had been misinterpreted and actually showed warming. Satellites, radiosondes and land and ocean temperature readings are all in agreement at this point.