Reason and Superstition: The Truth About Greenhouse Gases

Part 1: Reason and Superstition

Global Warming is not Man-Made

When the history of this age comes to be written, surely it will be remembered as the age or the period of superstition.

Following the Renaissance there came the age of Enlightenment. The basic feature of the Enlightenment was the belief in the superiority of reason over superstition.

But this present age has taken a giant step backwards, and the chief architect of that backward step must surely be ex-Vice President Al Gore.

He it is who has put forward an idea, never formulated before, that Global Warming is bad and dangerous and that a minute trace gas in the atmosphere is causing that unwelcome and dangerous warming. Furthermore the burning of fossil fuels means that man is contributing to that dangerous warming.

But this is simply impossible. A gas, no matter what gas, cannot ever be a driver of climate. To believe that any gas, say methane, say carbon dioxide, can drive climate is pure drivel, it is simply unreasoning superstition. And I have good friends who actively propagate this unreasoning superstition, and get really angry and cut me off for saying so. How come I cannot believe that Carbon Dioxide is causing man-made Global Warming?

Very easily, because it is simply totally illogical so to believe. It confuses Cause and Effect, which is the basic error of the Gore position.  It denies the basic Laws of Physics.  It is simply superstition put about by a wizard of propaganda, a politician. It is put about that Carbon Dioxide can trap heat. This is simply a bad use of language. Carbon Dioxide can be heated and can be cooled, as in Dry Ice. Carbon Dioxide can be liquefied; it can be stored in a container. All gases are passive.

In 1772 Joseph Priestley in Leeds first identified Carbon Dioxide and slurped it with water, and produced soda water, the precursor of all our carbonated drinks. It was only a little while before that in 1756 that Joseph Black discovered that ‘air’ was not one substance but was composed of a number of gases.

 

I have a friend who has an opinion, and he opines that everybody is entitled to his or her opinions. That may be so, but unfortunately opinions are often uncritical superstitions, and these superstitions have often lead to the dunking of witches and to all sorts of unreasonable actions. Giordano Bruno was imprisoned for 7 years, while he resolutely refused to renounce the Copernican model, which declared the Earth orbited round the sun. And he went farther, declaring that the Sun was a star. Eventually the Inquisition got to him on a charge of heresy, because he could not accept that Jesus Christ was other than a Prophet of God and not God Himself. He refused to give up his reason and was burnt at the stake.


The Trial of Giordano Bruno – by Ettore Ferrari

So I have friends who are seriously declaring that they are fighting against climate change, and that there is only a short window of opportunity to do so, and to combat the effects of Global Warming. It seems to have passed them by that there is no man-made Global Warming, that there is absolutely no evidence of man-made warming, ergo no proof of it, so there are no man-made effects to be combated. Reason has gone out of the window – superstitions and hysteria are in.

There is warming and there is cooling – it happens every day as day turns into night. It happens with seasons, it is warmer in summer and colder in winter, which is obvious to the simplest of simpletons. There are also long periods in the history of the Earth of Glacials (Ice Ages) and Inter-Glacials. We are emerging even now out of the Little Ice Age and this has provoked some hysteria. Do you think that we have left behind the Dark Ages?  Even as I write a monstrous witch-hunt is being held against a famous and honourable scientist, who has spoken out against those who stoke this frenzy.

So that now we have come to the point that any event produced by Great Nature, whether it is floods in Pakistan, earthquakes in New Zealand, a tsunami of huge proportions in Japan, it does not matter what, these Black Magicians will attribute it to Anthropogenic Global Warming.

So idiotic and so maladroit has this become, that leading politicians all over the world are castrating their own economies in order to genuflect to the Green Goddess. This false religion has even percolated into the Brotherhood Subud to which I belong, which is based not on ‘belief’ but on evidence and experience.  In Australia this battle is reaching a climax, where the sheer volume of the forces of ignorance are overwhelming those who dare to stand up for reason and scientific fact. Instead, fraud and ignorance, superstition and malevolence prevail.

The real battle is not about climate at all. It is a battle of Reason against Hysteria, it is a battle for the scientific method against malicious scams, in a word it a battle for the Truth, for Veracity against Mendacity.

Surely, when history comes to be written, this period will be remembered not for Global Warming, but for collective Global madness. In a time when every economy needs the cheapest forms of energy available, ignorant potentates set about ‘greening the grid’, and choosing the most expensive and the most ineffective forms of energy.

Lord God of Hosts, when will this age of rampant superstition come to an end?

Anthony Bright-Paul

August 2011

Part 2:  Singing from the same Hymn Sheet

William Happer: The Truth About Greenhouse Gases

New GWPF Briefing Paper

London, 17 August – The Global Warming Policy Foundation today published an outstanding briefing paper by the distinguished physicist Professor William Happer of Princeton University (USA).

In his paper The Truth About Greenhouse Gases, Professor Happer criticises the misguided scare-mongering about CO2 emissions as well as the habitual exaggeration of the likely impact and risks posed by global warming. He particularly laments the co-option of climate science by governments.

Happer discusses what he calls the “contemporary moral epidemic” of climate alarmism: the notion that increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide, will have disastrous consequences for mankind and for the planet and advocates a sober and balanced assessment based on empirical observations, not computer models.

“CO2 does indeed cause some warming of our planet. Other things being equal, more CO2 will cause more warming. The question is how much warming, and whether the increased CO2 and the warming it causes will be good or bad for the planet,” Happer writes.

William Happer is the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics at Princeton University. He is a member of the GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council.

The Truth About Greenhouse Gases

Now, Sceptics and Sceptic Professors, does is not make your hearts feel good to see that yet another evidently eminent Professor of Physics has come out boldly on behalf of the sceptic cause? But is there anything in his statement that gives you pause?

I am no Professor, I have no degree of any kind, I am personally only concerned with logic. I am concerned with Facts and Conclusions. In reading the History of Science what one sees that it takes time for Facts to be established and even longer for the correct Conclusions to be arrived at. This process is ongoing.

There is one thing however that does concern me about Professor Happer’s statement, which is, “CO2 does indeed cause some warming of our planet.” Why does that worry me? It is because that is precisely the argument that the Alarmists use. Please note the use of the word ‘cause’. This means that Professor Happer considers that Carbon Dioxide can be a Driver of Climate, which is precisely the argument that Al Gore puts forward and that most sceptics declare is false. Professor Happer goes on “Other things being equal, more CO2 will cause more warming.”

Once again he asserts that CO2 is causative, if only in a small degree. But is that logical? What is the basis for claiming that Carbon Dioxide can cause warming? Lord Monckton takes the same attitude, proclaiming that the Greenhouse Effect is real, based on the easily replicable Tyndall experiment. But what does the Tyndall experiment show? That Carbon Dioxide absorbs strongly in the infrared and the near infrared. Nobody will quarrel with that, as an established Fact. But what conclusion can be derived from that? Since Carbon Dioxide absorbs heat, does that infer that it causes heating? Sorry, no way is that logical. For we also know that Carbon Dioxide can also be cooled to make Dry Ice. Ergo, Carbon Dioxide is reactive and not an agent, not a Driver.

This is even clearer with Water Vapour. We all can experience humidity on a hot day. Does the humidity create the heat? Obviously not, because we know that freezing fog is also Water Vapour. In both cases the gas is passive. In simple language they both can be cooled and be heated. There is no way that they can cause heat.

Yesterday at midday here in England, in Farnborough where I live, it was 22°C and very humid, so much that I was reluctant to get up and mow the grass, sitting by my table in the garden. This varnished tabletop was noticeably hot to the touch. Did I conclude from that, that the tabletop was heating the garden? No way, for it was clear that the day before when we were inundated with rain the table was likewise cool.

Now did the humidity, the water Vapour make the temperature hotter, or just more uncomfortable? Or could it even have made it cooler? Here I will quote from Ian Plimer’s book Heaven + Earth, p433.

“Water vapour is an amplifier rather than a trigger. This can easily be put to the test. In a humid coastal area with a clear sky it is warm in the day and mild at night. At the same latitude inland where the air is dry, it will be hot in the day and cold at night.”

Here is an interesting use of the word ‘trigger’. So Water Vapour is not a cause. Had there been no Water Vapour then the temperature would likely have been higher and the evening colder. This seems to bear out the contention of Hans Schreuder that far from warming, the so-called Greenhouse Gases actually have a cooling effect.

Al Gore is clearly unable to distinguish cause and effect – let that not be said of any sceptics.

Professor Happer ‘… advocates a sober and balanced assessment based on empirical observations, not computer models.’

There we must all agree with him. Based on empirical observations! Absolutely. But, is there one shred of evidence that man has in any way, shape or form been able to cause warming? Is there any one piece of evidence that shows that any warming can be attributed to man that cannot be simply attributed to Great Nature?

So Alarmists will cobble together disparate observations that Arctic Ice is melting, even that the North West Passage is open. Such seasonal melting can easily be explained by warming ocean currents. The calving of Arctic glaciers, as Jim Peden pointed out, is a sign of advancing, not retreating glaciers. As far as I am aware there is no empirical observation whatsoever that proves conclusively that man has caused any warming whatsoever. Not even Professor Karoly could produce a summer’s day.

Svante Aarenhuis wanted to make the world warmer – who can blame him? – but all the evidence is that everything that is hot always cools. Is there any one single thing that grows hotter and hotter by itself?

Here simply on the basis of Philosophy and Logic I hope and pray that all Sceptics will get together and sing from the same hymn sheet.  Certainly I would agree with Stephen Wilde that the very last thing we would want is for Sceptics to attack each other. Therefore if my Facts are wrong, I am willing to be corrected. Likewise if my reasoning, if my logic is flawed, I am ready to be corrected.  Nevertheless, if we are to say that CO2 causes warming, causes Global Warming in any way, shape or form, we are creating a hostage to fortune; we are ceding one of the principle bulwarks of the Alarmists.

Given the Adiabatic Lapse Rate, given that the atmosphere above approx 7,500 feet is Zero°C and declining, and is about 45°C minus at 30,000 feet, how can heat be reflected down from that altitude where no heat exists? Let Professor Trenberth make diagrams that make no sense, and which according to the Rev Philip Foster do not even add up, but don’t let Sceptics get caught up in such confusion. There cannot logically be greenhouse gases except in a greenhouse.  It is easy enough to trap a butterfly with a fine net, but try to trap it with air, with any gas or combination of gases, that is impossible. So gases may be heated, may even be burned, may be compressed, may even be liquefied, but in no way can a gas trap anything. The amount or the volume of the gas is entirely irrelevant.

It is vitally important that the Sceptics agree on this fundamental, so that it is entirely logical. It must be simple and logical, so that the Sceptic cause is presented in a simple and logical way to the average man in the street. It is clearly totally illogical to suggest that any gas whatsoever drives Climate. Physics deals with the mechanics of how things happen. But let us never confuse the mechanics with the cause, for that is what the Alarmists do.

Anthony Bright-Paul, August 2011

Postscript: Here is an interesting excerpt from John Gribbin’s “The History of Science.”

Joseph Priestley began his experiments involving ‘airs’ during his time in Leeds, where he lived close to a brewery. The air immediately above the surface of the brew fermenting in the vats had recently been identified as Black’s ‘fixed air’ and Priestley saw that he had a ready-made laboratory in which he could experiment with large quantities of this gas.

He found that it formed a layer roughly nine inches to a foot deep above the fermenting liquor, and that, though a burning candle placed in this layer was extinguished, the smoke stayed there. By adding smoke to the Carbon Dioxide layer, Priestley made it visible, so that waves on its surface (the boundary between carbon dioxide and ordinary air) could be observed, and it could be seen flowing over the sides and falling to the floor.

From this we know that carbon dioxide is one and a half times heavier than air, and must therefore be subject to the laws of gravity. In which case it can only be carried upwards by convection, and must fall earthwards subsequently, like cinders from a bonfire. 

 

 Part 3: Opinions

It is a very trite saying that everyone has the right to their opinions. But let us be honest about this. If people have opinions that differ from our own, do we not think that their opinions are ill founded, biased, stupid, crass and so on and so forth?. And very often we are right. Most opinions that we hear expressed aloud are biased and ill-founded. But then what about our own?

I know that a lot of my friends consider me to be some sort of nutcase, because I refuse to bow down to the Green Goddess. Furthermore those in the Alarmist camp believe that the ideas of the sceptic scientists should not be given air-time, should not be allowed at all. For the Alarmists, scepticism is a form of heresy, and there are even suggestions that these heretics, should somehow be effaced. In my own case I am again and again refused access to the one organ through which I should naturally make contact with those in my own association.

It was ever thus. Since the pen is mightier than the sword, the pen is the most feared of all. In England we have a free Press, that comments and criticises as it wills, even Prime Ministers, Members of Parliament, Chiefs of Police and so on and so forth. Journalists are free to express their opinions, and some do so with a ribald sense of glee. Even as I write this I chuckle over an article I read by Richard Littlejohn. Clearly that is because I share his point of view and share his opinions on certain matters.

However, does that mean that he is right and that I am right? Have I perhaps been brought up with similar background, with a similar appreciation of syntax that he has? Are my views and his views any more right than those devious views expressed by that journalist in the Guardian, who makes my gorge rise even to think on his name – which I have conveniently forgotten for the moment, but who is well known to all sceptics to be the rudest, the most illiterate, the most unreasonable of all journalists on the Planet?       

Now, reader, do you see what I am searching for? Is there some objective way in which right can be established? If it is true that when we die, we are brought before the Judge and all our misdeeds, all our thoughts and motives and actions are replayed before us, in such a way that we can deny nothing, but have to confess and agree to all that we have done wrong in our lives on this Earth, just imagine that for one moment, how utterly devastating that would be. We would be face to face with Reality, with Objectivity, – who would not then cry out, ‘Lord have Mercy’, that is if we had a voice with which to cry? 

And so we come to Fact and Laws. In the History of Science, which I am now devouring – why do schools spend so much time on the Thirty Years War or the Counter-Reformation – when the History of Science is the History of knowledge, or rather the unfolding of knowledge?

For Knowledge, for Science, has been opposed by ignorance and prejudice and pre-conceived ideas every step of the way.  This is certainly true of Copernicus, Bruno and Galileo, but it is less true of Joseph Black and Joseph Priestley because they were Chemists and could demonstrate and reproduce their experiments. In this way they could demonstrate in a way that could not be denied that air is a mixture of gases, 99% Oxygen and Nitrogen and 1% only containing the so-called greenhouse gases. Furthermore it was established for example that Carbon Dioxide was 1.5 times heavier than air, a fact often overlooked even today.

I am not here concerned with the niceties, but only with Proof and with Objectivity. Can some opinions be proven?  Can some opinions be based on irrefutable Fact?

I believe that they can, but that does not mean that the Facts will not be questioned and the Conclusions resisted to the end. But in the end, I pray to the God of Logic, who dispensed mankind with the syllogism, that Truth will eventually be established here on Earth, before we have to appear at Judgment Day. Nobody questions now that if a = b, and b = c, therefore a must = c.

Then and only then, when someone or other resists the force of the syllogism, only then might you know that you are objectively right and facing a foe that is linked with the Prince of Darkness.

Anthony Bright-Paul , August 2011

Part 4: Malicious Ignorance

The word ‘scientist’ is derived from the Latin, scio, scire scivi, scitum. Scire is to know. It is interesting to think about what we really know. The utterly amazing thing is that there is a whole raft of things that we know, but that we have also never learned. For example, a baby knows how to suck – nobody ever taught the baby, not even the mother. And if you think that is strange, just think of the act of swallowing, which each of us must do a hundred or more times a day. Yet this act of swallowing is a truly extraordinary, indeed miraculous property given to every human, every animal, and indeed, in a different form, to all plant life.

If I were to say to you, ‘Look out of the window’, you would immediately be able to look. However no one has ever taught you how to look. So there are a hundred and one things that we know that are instinctive, and on the whole it is better not to know them consciously, not to interfere with them. Those who are interested in Yoga sometimes attempt pranayama, which is a type of breathing exercise, sometimes with disastrous effects on their respiratory systems.

What is truly amazing is that we all fall asleep without fear – indeed many of us welcome sleep – when we forget everything for a period, yet we rely on our hearts to keep pumping blood around the body, we rely on the lungs to keep breathing and when we awake we expect our acquired knowledge to be intact,  – or fairly intact, when we get older.  Indeed many of us who puzzle over crosswords may find that a clue that has eluded us is instantly solved after a period of sleep.

Instinctive knowledge then is a given, something that we have not acquired. On the other hand we have direct knowledge that is gained from experience. In fact one might say that this knowledge is our only true knowledge. If you think about it, it is strictly limited. Scientists increase their experiential knowledge by experiment, and others, to add to their knowledge, can replicate these experiments.

Whoever then does the experiments then has direct knowledge. For the vast numbers of us, who merely read descriptions of said experiments, the knowledge gained is strictly second hand. Even such writers as Professor Ian Plimer who produced the block–buster ‘Heaven + Earth’ refers throughout his text to other papers in numerous footnotes. The same can be said of Professor Robert Carter’s ‘Climate; the Counter Consensus’. They have their own areas of expertise, but must needs supplement first hand experience with the knowledge of others.

The whole of our educational system leads us to rely on second-hand knowledge, that is knowledge that we get from books, papers, magazines, films and now television. Last night I watched a programme by a young lady historian on the 9 years of the Regency Period, which she had researched. Highly entertaining and well researched, but nothing better illustrated than that this was a tiny segment of History, and that there is so much to know that for every single one of us the area of our ignorance completely eclipses the area of our knowledge.

I was fortunate enough to befriend a genius of language. Hussein Rofé knew 90 languages, starting from a base of English, Arabic, French and Italian. He learnt Hebrew during the French lessons at a Public School, as he was bored. He learned the Scandinavian languages, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian all at the same time. He learned and then spoke Indonesian fluently, and translated for Pak Subuh when he first came to England in 1957. When my wife and I were on holiday with him in the South of France, I saw him effortlessly change from French to Cantonese, to Japanese, and then as we lunched across the border in Italy he instantly changed to faultless Italian. In his house in Brighton one room was devoted to Dictionaries, from floor to ceiling round the walls. Since he ran a translating service, which incidentally served Hilary Clinton at a conference in Peking, he had to have perhaps 6 specialist dictionaries to cover Technical, Chemical and Engineering terms.  Yet for all his knowledge of languages and of mystical literature one has only to think of the Indian sub-continent alone where it is reckoned that there are some 1,652 mother tongue languages! Even with his genius the area of ignorance surpasses the area of knowledge every time.

As a young man in my twenties I was fortunate to study for 7 years with J.G.Bennett at his Institute for the Study of History, Philosophy and the Sciences, which was a grandiose title for those who were studying the psychological ideas and methods of G.I. Gurdjieff. Now Bennett as a young army officer became Head of our Secret Services in Constantinople at the end of the 1st World War. Typically, he had learned Turkish by forced marches, just as later he learned Russian. He spoke also Greek and Italian, he could easily lecture in French, and in all spoke some 20 languages. On top of this he was a scientist of some repute, being the Founder Director of the British Coal Utilisation Research Association, where he had a team of scientists working on smokeless fuels. Amongst other books he wrote ‘The Dramatic Universe: The Foundation of Natural Philosophy”. Like P.D. Ouspensky before him, he was much concerned with the dimensions of Time, considering that Time like Space had 3 dimensions, Time, Eternity and what he called Hyle.  When Pak Subuh arrived at the Institute in June 1957 in only 3 months Bennett had learned sufficient Indonesian to be able to translate his talks – much to the amazement of his pupils, and rather to the chagrin of the aforementioned Rofé.

The welter of new knowledge, of new technologies, overtakes us all. It is simply impossible for a scientist to be expert in more then one or two disciplines. There is an avalanche of new knowledge with which the ordinary General Practitioner, or Doctor, is unable to cope. Every single week the advances of Computer technology are heralded on the BBC programme Click. Who can possibly keep up with all this super-abundance of knowledge?

Only in one field can a basic knowledge lead on naturally to a greater knowledge and that is in the field of Number.  Once one has grasped that 2 + 2 = 4, and that 2 + 2 can never equal 5 then one has a basis that can be expanded exponentially. Even so who can really understand that most famous of equations e = mc2, or Energy equals Mass times the Speed of Light squared?

Reading the History of Science one cannot but be struck by the visionary aspect of so many discoveries. The excitement of perception comes through – every bit of new knowledge is almost mystical in its inception. That is to say that almost all required a higher level of consciousness. Surely this is true of Albert Einstein’s above-mentioned equation.

What is also true is that most every new vision, with every new understanding there arose almost without exception dire opposition. Socrates was forced to drink hemlock. Jesus Christ was crucified and for what? Copernicus was lucky enough to die before his great work was published. But Giordano Bruno was not so lucky. He also averred that the Earth revolved round the Sun. One has to have some sympathy for the people of those times, because even now it appears that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, so the idea that the Earth is the centre of the Universe was apparently logical enough. But Bruno stuck to his guns and though the Inquisition imprisoned him for 7 years he would not recant and was burned at the stake. Galileo took care not to offend the Inquisition as he had a horror of the rack, and he just managed to survive a similar fate to Bruno.

Perhaps it is inevitable that every positive must have its counterpart, its negative – as matter and anti matter. Perhaps it is only human nature that as more and more knowledge surges through that there is a restraining backlash. I mean that those who had been brought up on the ideas that God had formed the world in 7 days as it appears in Genesis were naturally affronted by scientists who averred a totally different time scale of the creation. The Big Bang idea simply contradicted, so it seemed, the Bible. Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection was an understandable affront to those who had held fixed ideas and positions for a long time on Creation.

As the frontiers of Knowledge advanced it is understandable that Ignorance should take some time to recede and be worn away. But that is simple ignorance by default – that is simple ignorance by not knowing.

But today we have encountered a new phenomenon, which I will call Malicious Ignorance. Because this malicious ignorance is not really based on not knowing, but on deliberately avoiding conclusions that are attendant upon the facts – facts that are well known.

For example, are we really supposed to believe that ex-Vice President Al Gore is not acquainted with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics? Why, even my granddaughters have learned that in school, as they have proudly texted me. Are we really to believe that Professor Trenberth is totally unaware of the Adiabatic Lapse Rate? Even a non-scientific person who flies once in a while can observe the monitor that tells the temperature at different altitudes. Even the most ordinary unobservant person cannot help seeing the snow on the top of mountains.  Is he defying a fundamental Law of Physics? Of course, both the above know these laws very well. Is Michael Mann so ignorant of the history of the Planet in respect of Warm Periods and Ice Ages that he has never heard of the Mediaeval Warm Period, let alone the Roman and the Minoan Warm Period? Of course he knows about all those things – he is a Professor.

Are we to supposed that say Professor Karoly is totally ignorant of the properties of gases? Of course not! He knows that gases take their temperatures from the surroundings.  That is fundamental to their properties. And as to Dr Phil Jones who produces figures to show that the Planet is warming, which leg is he pulling? What part of the Planet? Not the Stratosphere, not the Mesosphere, not the Ionosphere – does he mean just the Troposphere? Well, none of these are warming, so he and his team are restricting themselves to an average of near-surface temperatures. Well, I never. Even his figures show no warming there, no Global warming for a decade, but what do his figures mean any way?  Against the evidence of our senses, which tells us of the varying temperatures during the day, and the consistent drop in temperature during the night, wherever you might be, in spite of the coldest August in England for some 13 years, will the Met Office tell us yet again  that we have had the warmest year on record?  I trust not. I hope not. We have all endured far too long such mischievous claptrap.

So this is not real unintentional ignorance, but what one might call malicious ignorance that is passed on deliberately and foisted on the gullible by every possible means of persuasion. Why! Even Prime Ministers, even the President of the United States of America is taken in by all this nonsense.

Do you really suppose that these eminent Professors have not read about the early discoveries about the composition of air? They will all know the early experiment of Joseph Priestley, they will all know that Carbon Dioxide is transparent and that it is one and half times as heavy as air. Why then do they go along with the ridiculous notion that Carbon Dioxide is a pollutant? Why do they let non-scientific politicians imbibe such crap?

Are we to suppose that that these Professors do not know about photosynthesis? Of course they know – these are learned men. Why! it is textbook Biology that plants take in Carbon Dioxide and produce Oxygen as a by-product! They all know this very well. They know that plants grow better with more Carbon Dioxide and that we could well do with some 1,000 ppmv instead of the minuscule 385 present parts per million. They have seen cross-sections of leaves under a microscope; they know that leaves are very, very busy.

Are we to suppose that these eminent Professors do not know that Water has a far greater thermal capacity than Air? Of course they know that. They know very well that in Arctic regions with the angle of the sun the surface temperatures are insufficient to melt the ice, and that melting can only be caused by warm ocean currents? They know that very well – these are learned men. So why then do they use the seasonal melting in the Arctic Circle to support a dubious Global Warming?

Are we to suppose that these learned men do not know that Carbon is the very foundation of Organic Chemistry? Why then do they not shout from the housetops that Carbon is the stuff of Life, instead of urging the gullible to curb their Carbon Footprints? ?

Are we to suppose that these very learned Professors are ignorant of the movement of the tectonic plates? Of course they know that and more. So they know that climates are changing all the time, and that to talk of reversing climate change is imbecile and puerile. It is not only unreasonable, but it defies the laws of Physics.

Are we to suppose that Professor Trenberth thinks there is a physical barrier high in the sky reflecting heat back to the Earth? No, he knows very well there is no reflector in the sky. So are we to suppose he does not know the size of molecules of CO2 which cannot even be seen under a microscope? Are we to suppose that he really believes that a cold gas in a cold atmosphere can somehow or other radiate heat back down to the surface of the Earth? Or have these so tiny molecules got somehow heated up there and have created for themselves a method for radiation to go against the flow of convection in the lower troposphere? Of course, he is a scientist – he knows far better than I that such a thing is a complete impossibility. There is no such thing as a Greenhouse Effect, except in a greenhouse in your back garden!

This is not ignorance in the ordinary sense. These are Professors, men of learning. Why then are they backing a distortion of science? Why then are they champions of Malicious Ignorance?

Anthony Bright-Paul

Malicious Ignorance

 

The word ‘scientist’ is derived from the Latin, scio, scire scivi, scitum. Scire is to know. It is interesting to think about what we really know. The utterly amazing thing is that there is a whole raft of things that we know, but that we have also never learned. For example, a baby knows how to suck – nobody ever taught the baby, not even the mother. And if you think that is strange, just think of the act of swallowing, which each of us must do a hundred or more times a day. Yet this act of swallowing is a truly extraordinary, indeed miraculous property given to every human, every

animal, and indeed, in a different form, to all plant life.

 

If I were to say to you, ‘Look out of the window’, you would immediately be able to look. However no one has ever taught you how to look. So there are a hundred and one things that we know that are instinctive, and on the whole it is better not to know them consciously, not to interfere with them. Those who are interested in Yoga sometimes attempt pranayama, which is a type of breathing exercise, sometimes with disastrous effects on their respiratory systems.

 

What is truly amazing is that we all fall asleep without fear – indeed many of us welcome sleep – when we forget everything for a period, yet we rely on our hearts to keep pumping blood around the body, we rely on the lungs to keep breathing and when we awake we expect our acquired knowledge to be intact,  - or fairly intact, when we get older.  Indeed many of us who puzzle over crosswords may find that a clue that has eluded us is instantly solved after a period of sleep.

 

Instinctive knowledge then is a given, something that we have not acquired. On the other hand we have direct knowledge that is gained from experience. In fact one might say that this knowledge is our only true knowledge. If you think about it, it is strictly limited. Scientists increase their experiential knowledge by experiment, and others, to add to their knowledge, can replicate these experiments.

 

Whoever then does the experiments then has direct knowledge. For the vast numbers of us, who merely read descriptions of said experiments, the knowledge gained is strictly second hand. Even such writers as Professor Ian Plimer who produced the block–buster ‘Heaven + Earth’ refers throughout his text to other papers in numerous footnotes. The same can be said of Professor Robert Carter’s ‘Climate; the Counter Consensus’. They have their own areas of expertise, but must needs supplement first hand experience with the knowledge of others.

 

The whole of our educational system leads us to rely on second-hand knowledge, that is knowledge that we get from books, papers, magazines, films and now television. Last night I watched a programme by a young lady historian on the 9 years of the Regency Period, which she had researched. Highly entertaining and well researched, but nothing better illustrated than that this was a tiny segment of History, and that there is so much to know that for every single one of us the area of our ignorance completely eclipses the area of our knowledge.

 

I was fortunate enough to befriend a genius of language. Hussein Rofé knew 90 languages, starting from a base of English, Arabic, French and Italian. He learnt Hebrew during the French lessons at a Public School, as he was bored. He learned the Scandinavian languages, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian all at the same time. He learned and then spoke Indonesian fluently, and translated for Pak Subuh when he first came to England in 1957. When my wife and I were on holiday with him in the South of France, I saw him effortlessly change from French to Cantonese, to Japanese, and then as we lunched across the border in Italy he instantly changed to faultless Italian. In his house in Brighton one room was devoted to Dictionaries, from floor to ceiling round the walls. Since he ran a translating service, which incidentally served Hilary Clinton at a conference in Peking, he had to have perhaps 6 specialist dictionaries to cover Technical, Chemical and Engineering terms.  Yet for all his knowledge of languages and of mystical literature one has only to think of the Indian sub-continent alone where it is reckoned that there are some 1,652 mother tongue languages! Even with his genius the area of ignorance surpasses the area of knowledge every time.

 

As a young man in my twenties I was fortunate to study for 7 years with J.G.Bennett at his Institute for the Study of History, Philosophy and the Sciences, which was a grandiose title for those who were studying the psychological ideas and methods of G.I. Gurdjieff. Now Bennett as a young army officer became Head of our Secret Services in Constantinople at the end of the 1st World War. Typically, he had learned Turkish by forced marches, just as later he learned Russian. He spoke also Greek and Italian, he could easily lecture in French, and in all spoke some 20 languages. On top of this he was a scientist of some repute, being the Founder Director of the British Coal Utilisation Research Association, where he had a team of scientists working on smokeless fuels. Amongst other books he wrote ‘The Dramatic Universe: The Foundation of Natural Philosophy”. Like P.D. Ouspensky before him, he was much concerned with the dimensions of Time, considering that Time like Space had 3 dimensions, Time, Eternity and what he called Hyle.  When Pak Subuh arrived at the Institute in June 1957 in only 3 months Bennett had learned sufficient Indonesian to be able to translate his talks – much to the amazement of his pupils, and rather to the chagrin of the aforementioned Rofé.

 

The welter of new knowledge, of new technologies, overtakes us all. It is simply impossible for a scientist to be expert in more then one or two disciplines. There is an avalanche of new knowledge with which the ordinary General Practitioner, or Doctor, is unable to cope. Every single week the advances of Computer technology are heralded on the BBC programme Click. Who can possibly keep up with all this super-abundance of knowledge?

 

Only in one field can a basic knowledge lead on naturally to a greater knowledge and that is in the field of Number.  Once one has grasped that 2 + 2 = 4, and that 2 + 2 can never equal 5 then one has a basis that can be expanded exponentially. Even so who can really understand that most famous of equations e = mc2, or Energy equals Mass times the Speed of Light squared?

 

Reading the History of Science one cannot but be struck by the visionary aspect of so many discoveries. The excitement of perception comes through – every bit of new knowledge is almost mystical in its inception. That is to say that almost all required a higher level of consciousness. Surely this is true of Albert Einstein’s above-mentioned equation.

 

What is also true is that most every new vision, with every new understanding there arose almost without exception dire opposition. Socrates was forced to drink hemlock. Jesus Christ was crucified and for what? Copernicus was lucky enough to die before his great work was published. But Giordano Bruno was not so lucky. He also averred that the Earth revolved round the Sun. One has to have some sympathy for the people of those times, because even now it appears that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, so the idea that the Earth is the centre of the Universe was apparently logical enough. But Bruno stuck to his guns and though the Inquisition imprisoned him for 7 years he would not recant and was burned at the stake. Galileo took care not to offend the Inquisition as he had a horror of the rack, and he just managed to survive a similar fate to Bruno.

 

Perhaps it is inevitable that every positive must have its counterpart, its negative – as matter and anti matter. Perhaps it is only human nature that as more and more knowledge surges through that there is a restraining backlash. I mean that those who had been brought up on the ideas that God had formed the world in 7 days as it appears in Genesis were naturally affronted by scientists who averred a totally different time scale of the creation. The Big Bang idea simply contradicted, so it seemed, the Bible. Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection was an understandable affront to those who had held fixed ideas and positions for a long time on Creation.

 

As the frontiers of Knowledge advanced it is understandable that Ignorance should take some time to recede and be worn away. But that is simple ignorance by default – that is simple ignorance by not knowing.

 

But today we have encountered a new phenomenon, which I will call Malicious Ignorance. Because this malicious ignorance is not really based on not knowing, but on deliberately avoiding conclusions that are attendant upon the facts – facts that are well known.

 

For example, are we really supposed to believe that ex-Vice President Al Gore is not acquainted with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics? Why, even my granddaughters have learned that in school, as they have proudly texted me. Are we really to believe that Professor Trenberth is totally unaware of the Adiabatic Lapse Rate? Even a non-scientific person who flies once in a while can observe the monitor that tells the temperature at different altitudes. Even the most ordinary unobservant person cannot help seeing the snow on the top of mountains.  Is he defying a fundamental Law of Physics? Of course, both the above know these laws very well. Is Michael Mann so ignorant of the history of the Planet in respect of Warm Periods and Ice Ages that he has never heard of the Mediaeval Warm Period, let alone the Roman and the Minoan Warm Period? Of course he knows about all those things – he is a Professor.

 

Are we to supposed that say Professor Karoly is totally ignorant of the properties of gases? Of course not! He knows that gases take their temperatures from the surroundings.  That is fundamental to their properties. And as to Dr Phil Jones who produces figures to show that the Planet is warming, which leg is he pulling? What part of the Planet? Not the Stratosphere, not the Mesosphere, not the Ionosphere – does he mean just the Troposphere? Well, none of these are warming, so he and his team are restricting themselves to an average of near-surface temperatures. Well, I never. Even his figures show no warming there, no Global warming for a decade, but what do his figures mean any way?  Against the evidence of our senses, which tells us of the varying temperatures during the day, and the consistent drop in temperature during the night, wherever you might be, in spite of the coldest August in England for some 13 years, will the Met Office tell us yet again  that we have had the warmest year on record?  I trust not. I hope not. We have all endured far too long such mischievous claptrap.

 

So this is not real unintentional ignorance, but what one might call malicious ignorance that is passed on deliberately and foisted on the gullible by every possible means of persuasion. Why! Even Prime Ministers, even the President of the United States of America is taken in by all this nonsense.

 

Do you really suppose that these eminent Professors have not read about the early discoveries about the composition of air? They will all know the early experiment of Joseph Priestley, they will all know that Carbon Dioxide is transparent and that it is one and half times as heavy as air. Why then do they go along with the ridiculous notion that Carbon Dioxide is a pollutant? Why do they let non-scientific politicians imbibe such crap?

 

Are we to suppose that that these Professors do not know about photosynthesis? Of course they know – these are learned men. Why! it is textbook Biology that plants take in Carbon Dioxide and produce Oxygen as a by-product! They all know this very well. They know that plants grow better with more Carbon Dioxide and that we could well do with some 1,000 ppmv instead of the minuscule 385 present parts per million. They have seen cross-sections of leaves under a microscope; they know that leaves are very, very busy.

 

Are we to suppose that these eminent Professors do not know that Water has a far greater thermal capacity than Air? Of course they know that. They know very well that in Arctic regions with the angle of the sun the surface temperatures are insufficient to melt the ice, and that melting can only be caused by warm ocean currents? They know that very well – these are learned men. So why then do they use the seasonal melting in the Arctic Circle to support a dubious Global Warming?

 

Are we to suppose that these learned men do not know that Carbon is the very foundation of Organic Chemistry? Why then do they not shout from the housetops that Carbon is the stuff of Life, instead of urging the gullible to curb their Carbon Footprints? ?

 

Are we to suppose that these very learned Professors are ignorant of the movement of the tectonic plates? Of course they know that and more. So they know that climates are changing all the time, and that to talk of reversing climate change is imbecile and puerile. It is not only unreasonable, but it defies the laws of Physics.

 

Are we to suppose that Professor Trenberth thinks there is a physical barrier high in the sky reflecting heat back to the Earth? No, he knows very well there is no reflector in the sky. So are we to suppose he does not know the size of molecules of CO2 which cannot even be seen under a microscope? Are we to suppose that he really believes that a cold gas in a cold atmosphere can somehow or other radiate heat back down to the surface of the Earth? Or have these so tiny molecules got somehow heated up there and have created for themselves a method for radiation to go against the flow of convection in the lower troposphere? Of course, he is a scientist – he knows far better than I that such a thing is a complete impossibility. There is no such thing as a Greenhouse Effect, except in a greenhouse in your back garden!

 

This is not ignorance in the ordinary sense. These are Professors, men of learning. Why then are they backing a distortion of science? Why then are they champions of Malicious Ignorance?

 

Anthony Bright-Paul

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Worth a Look:  Myths of Global Warming


Comments

  1. J.a. says

    Media broadcast alert!!!! They havn”t any intentions to co_op with the transition to this domain of evidence, So be here it full authority goes to climategate if understood correctly and to the producers of article present as a decree of international standard prepare for major changes within the social media representatives,The cost works for the better future media network please do duty if want a future a way as meant to be.

  2. says

    I agree that CC is partly man-made — how much is an open question, but I also think it’s just difficult to believe that climate change could “end the world” as we know it (see http://tinyurl.com/3cxdouj & http://tinyurl.com/7yezx26 & http://tinyurl.com/82qjew7 ). Reasonable estimates for temp. increase are about 3 C, at the high end, by the end of this century, i.e., 90 years from now, which wouldn’t be good but it’s hardly the end of the world. Same with rising sea levels: reasonable predictions suggest a rise by the end of the century that will be more than manageable.

    More to the point, if you’re really worried about the end of the world, it can easily happen, and not in 90 years but in less than 90 minutes. In 30 minutes in fact.

    20 years after the fall of the U.S.S.R. and the end of the cold war, 1000s of multi-megaton thermonuclear weapons remain on high alert. The chances of an accidental small or all out massive nuclear exchange are far from zero and we’ve had several very close calls w/in the last 50 years, the most serious in 1994 when Yeltsin actually had to open his nuclear football to enter launch release codes before they figured out that the missile their early warning radar was tracking was carrying a weather station into space.

    Today, the U.S. & Russia have a combined strategic nuclear force of about 6000 multi-megaton thermonuclear weapons, 3000 on each side, not counting reserves after a first strike or retaliation. An attack with just two 1-megaton nuclear warheads would unleash explosive power equivalent to that caused by all the bombs used during World War II. Today, each of these 6000 multi-megaton weapons on high alert are at least 1-2 megtons and hundreds are in the 5-10 megaton range (designed to obliterate large cities, e.g., NYC, Chicago, etc., and kill 10 million people in quarter of a second).

    http://www.nucleardarkness.org works through the consequences of even a small exchange. Where as climate change predicts, at worst, a 2-3 C rise in global temp. over the coming century, a small nuclear exchange would drop global temps of at least that w/in 24 hours. An out all exchange would drop temps by up to 10 C. Basically, this will be a man made ice-age, and it would only take a few hours to create it, killing 100s of millions in the process and ending both civilization and history w/in the same time frame. Oh, and radioactive fallout would blanket much of the planet.

    Steven Starr, senior scientist with Physicians for Social Responsibility, said research makes clear the environmental consequences of a U.S.-Russian nuclear war: “If these weapons are detonated in the large cities of either of their nations, they will cause such catastrophic damage to the global environment that the Earth will become virtually uninhabitable for most humans and many other complex forms of life.” And it would only take 24 hours to create these conditions.

    Climate change has nothing on accidental or deliberate nuclear war.

    Why haven’t we had an accidental exchange? We’ve been lucky, many times, but if you keep doing something dangerous, sooner or later, your luck runs out. We need to de-alert these massive weapon systems now. We need serious disarmament now. For those of us old enough to remember the cold war days . . . climate change is a problem but hardly the end of the world . . .

  3. Jay says

    “But what conclusion can be derived from that? Since Carbon Dioxide absorbs heat, does that infer that it causes heating? Sorry, no way is that logical.”

    I believe you are misunderstanding why scientists think CO2 warms the planet. CO2 ‘blocks’ infrared heat from escaping from the atmosphere, it’s not that the gas itself absorbs heat. Hence the terminology “greenhouse” gas.

  4. Ab Asaff says

    How bright is Anthony? Well, Global Warming is not altogrther caused by ignorant human behaviour such as persuing the cheapest and most toxic and contaminated form of energy, ie. nuclear, petrolium and coal. Acording to Anthony Bright, it is necessary to persue those sickning cheap fuels that are destroying the planet because green alternatives are too expensive to save the planet in our over populated world. Short term gain long term loss is the Bright philosophy here and we need to eat it raw.

    Most of the world scientist have come to understand that while the planet is naturally warming up, ignorant human activity is speeding it along. No longer is the heating process moving gradually but excelerating unnaturally. That along with the ruling money pigs reluctance to allow the truth be known will leave humanity unprepared for the catastrofic events that are now and comming more frquent and of larger magnatude. Anthony speaks of enlightenment as apposed to superstion. While no one should believe in superstion, no one should bury their head in the sand either.

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