The nascent Japanese eco-skepticism
Posted by ampontan on Sunday, July 27, 2008
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace in a continual state of alarm (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing them with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
- H.L. Mencken
When people come to know the truth, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.
- Dr. Akasofu Shun’ichi, Professor Emeritus of the University of Alaska and Founding Director of the International Arctic Research Center
THE JAPANESE USED TO SAY they were 10 years behind the Americans in everything. Of course that wasn’t true—after all, college students in this country in the late 1970s never did dose themselves with LSD to turn on, tune in, and drop out.
But there’s one instance in which they may be right. Their growing skepticism of the claims of the radical environmentalists about global warming, carbon dioxide, and rising ocean levels is just now becoming apparent. That skepticism has been building for the better part of a decade in the West. It fully emerged seven years ago when former Greenpeace member Björn Lomborg revealed in his groundbreaking book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, the blantant exaggerations, mythology, and untruths behind what is now more new religion than scientific concern.
Consider the statement above by the Nagano-born Dr. Akasofu, now an American citizen. Then consider his credentials. A geophysics professor since 1964, he was named one of the “1000 Most Cited Scientists” in 1981 and 2002. He has received the Chapman Medal from the Royal Astronomy Society of London, the Japan Academy of Sciences Award, the John Adams Fleming Award of the American Geophysical Union, and the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Star, a Japanese medal.
He has written a paper titled Notes on Climate Change, which you can read here. Dr. Akasofu compares the current climate change scare to the panic caused in the U.S. by 30 October 1938 radio broadcast of Orson Welles’s realistic dramatization of The War of the Worlds.
Another skeptic is Dr. Itoh Kiminori of Yokohama National University, who has written several books on this subject in Japanese. The most recent is Lies and Traps in Global Warming Affairs (地球温暖化論のウソとワナ –Here is the Amazon.jp link for Japanese readers.)
Despite serving as an expert reviewer of the work done by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared a Nobel Prize with Al Gore, Dr. Itoh sharply disagrees with their conclusions. In a guest post on a climate science website, he outlined six points for policy makers to consider when formulating environmental policy:
- The global temperature will not increase rapidly if any. There is sufficient time to think about future energy and social systems.
- The climate system is more robust than conventionally claimed. For instance, the Gulf Stream will not stop by fresh water inflow.
- There are many factors to cause the climate changes particularly in regional and local scales. Considering only greenhouse gases is nonsense and harmful.
- A comprehensive climate convention is necessary. The framework-protocol formulism is too old to apply to modern international issues.
- Reconsider countermeasures for the climate changes. For instance, to reduce Asian Brown Cloud through financial and technical aid of developed countries is beneficial from many aspects, and can become a Win-Win policy.
- The policy makers should be “Four-ball juggler.” Multiple viewpoints are inevitable to realize sustainable societies.
A third Japanese eco-skeptic is Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University. His most recent book is Hypocritical Ecology. (偽善エコロジーHere is the Amazon.jp link for Japanese readers.)
The Japan Times recently ran a profile of Dr. Takeda, in which he said:
Fear is a very efficient weapon: It produces the desired effect without much waste. Global warming has nothing to do with how much CO2 is produced or what we do here on Earth. For millions of years, solar activity has been controlling temperatures on Earth and even now, the sun controls how high the mercury goes. CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another. Soon it will cool down anyhow, once again, regardless of what we do. Every scientist knows this, but it doesn’t pay to say so.
Dr. Takeda speaks of fear; H.L. Mencken spoke of alarm over the hobgoblins.
Why is this Japanese awareness emerging now? Could it be part of a larger emerging global awareness of the combination of improbable claims and tyrannical methods of the environmentalists?
It’s not out of the question. Take for example the Physics and Society Forum of the American Physical Society, which has recently crossed over to the camp of the skeptics.
The APS is opening its debate with the publication of a paper by Lord Monckton of Brenchley, which concludes that climate sensitivity — the rate of temperature change a given amount of greenhouse gas will cause — has been grossly overstated by IPCC modeling. A low sensitivity implies additional atmospheric CO2 will have little effect on global climate.
Larry Gould, Professor of Physics at the University of Hartford and Chairman of the New England Section of the APS, called Monckton’s paper an “expose of the IPCC that details numerous exaggerations and “extensive errors”
In an email to DailyTech, Monckton says, “I was dismayed to discover that the IPCC’s 2001 and 2007 reports did not devote chapters to the central ‘climate sensitivity’ question, and did not explain in proper, systematic detail the methods by which they evaluated it. When I began to investigate, it seemed that the IPCC was deliberately concealing and obscuring its method.”
Here is Monckton’s paper on their website:
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) concluded that anthropogenic CO2 emissions probably caused more than half of the “global warming” of the past 50 years and would cause further rapid warming. However, global mean surface temperature has not risen since 1998 and may have fallen since late 2001…More importantly, the conclusion is that, perhaps, there is no “climate crisis”, and that currently-fashionable efforts by governments to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions are pointless, may be ill-conceived, and could even be harmful.
- Even if temperature had risen above natural variability, the recent solar Grand Maximum may have been chiefly responsible.
- Even if the sun were not chiefly to blame for the past half-century’s warming, the IPCC has not demonstrated that, since CO2 occupies only one-ten-thousandth part more of the atmosphere that it did in 1750, it has contributed more than a small fraction of the warming.
- Even if carbon dioxide were chiefly responsible for the warming that ceased in 1998 and may not resume until 2015, the distinctive, projected fingerprint of anthropogenic “greenhouse-gas” warming is entirely absent from the observed record.
- Even if the fingerprint were present, computer models are long proven to be inherently incapable of providing projections of the future state of the climate that are sound enough for policymaking.
- Even if per impossibile the models could ever become reliable, the present paper demonstrates that it is not at all likely that the world will warm as much as the IPCC imagines.
- Even if the world were to warm that much, the overwhelming majority of the scientific, peer-reviewed literature does not predict that catastrophe would ensue.
- Even if catastrophe might ensue, even the most drastic proposals to mitigate future climate change by reducing emissions of carbon dioxide would make very little difference to the climate.
- Even if mitigation were likely to be effective, it would do more harm than good: already millions face starvation as the dash for biofuels takes agricultural land out of essential food production: a warning that taking precautions, “just in case”, can do untold harm unless there is a sound, scientific basis for them.
- Finally, even if mitigation might do more good than harm, adaptation as (and if) necessary would be far more cost-effective and less likely to be harmful.
In short, we must get the science right, or we shall get the policy wrong.
The conclusion cites as an example of misguided policies the starvation caused by the use of food crops for biofuel. Here’s what the World Bank thinks:
Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% – far more than previously estimated – according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian…It will add to pressure on governments in Washington and across Europe, which have turned to plant-derived fuels to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and reduce their dependence on imported oil.
Rising food prices have pushed 100 million people worldwide below the poverty line, estimates the World Bank, and have sparked riots from Bangladesh to Egypt. Government ministers here have described higher food and fuel prices as “the first real economic crisis of globalisation”.
“Without the increase in biofuels, global wheat and maize stocks would not have declined appreciably and price increases due to other factors would have been moderate,” says the report.
Winnipeg climatologist Tim Ball says that severe weather patterns are the result of global cooling, rather than global warming, but that the proponents of human-caused climate change ignore that. In addition to the bad science, Dr. Ball says the proponents are pushing a fraud:
The world is cooling while CO2 levels continue to rise. In every record for any period in history temperature increases before CO2, not as assumed. Plans to implement carbon taxes to offset warming exacerbate soaring fuel prices. Effects of policies implemented to replace fossil fuels with biofuels are driving food and total living costs rapidly higher.
The graph from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that severe tornadoes were higher in the period from 1950 to 1975. Global temperatures were falling during that time. Since then frequency has decreased as the world warmed to 2000. Since then the world has cooled slightly and the pattern shows a slight increase in severe tornadoes.
This trend of severe weather is most likely to increase as the Earth continues to cool. Proponents of human caused climate change will claim it proves them right. They will continue their practice of claiming natural events as unnatural. Unless people understand the basic science they will continue the fraud and pressure politicians into even more damaging energy and environmental policies.
Meanwhile, in The Guardian, the aforementioned Björn Lomborg says we’re being force-fed vastly over-hyped scare stories that block out sensible solutions to climate change.
When it comes to global warming, extreme scare stories abound. Al Gore, for example, famously claimed that a whopping six metres of sea-level rise would flood major cities around the world.
Gore’s scientific adviser, Jim Hansen from Nasa, has even topped his protege. Hansen suggests that there will eventually be sea-level rises of 24 metres, with a six-metre rise happening just this century. Little wonder that fellow environmentalist Bill McKibben states that “we are engaging in a reckless drive-by drowning of much of the rest of the planet and much of the rest of creation.”
Given all the warnings, here is a slightly inconvenient truth: over the past two years, the global sea level hasn’t increased. It has slightly decreased. Since 1992, satellites orbiting the planet have measured the global sea level every 10 days with an amazing degree of accuracy – 3-4mm. For two years, sea levels have declined. (All of the data are available at sealevel.colorado.edu.)
This doesn’t mean that global warming is not true. As we emit more CO2, over time the temperature will moderately increase, causing the sea to warm and expand somewhat. Thus, the sea-level rise is expected to pick up again. This is what the UN climate panel is telling us; the best models indicate a sea-level rise over this century of 18 to 59 centimeters (7-24 inches), with the typical estimate at 30cm. This is not terrifying or even particularly scary – 30cm is how much the sea rose over the last 150 years.
Simply put, we’re being force-fed vastly over-hyped scare stories. Proclaiming six meters of sea-level rise over this century contradicts thousands of UN scientists, and requires the sea-level rise to accelerate roughly 40-fold from today. Imagine how climate alarmists would play up the story if we actually saw an increase in the sea-level rise.
Here’s the truly scary part:
Increasingly, alarmists claim that we should not be allowed to hear such facts. In June, Hansen proclaimed that people who spread “disinformation” about global warming – CEOs, politicians, in fact anyone who doesn’t follow Hansen’s narrow definition of the “truth” – should literally be tried for crimes against humanity…Campaigner Mark Lynas envisions Nuremberg-style “international criminal tribunals” against those who dare to challenge the climate dogma.
Of course the politicians aren’t interested in the science–they’re seizing the chance to make themselves look good by confronting imaginary hobgoblins. Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo led the way earlier this month at the Toyako Summit.
The Group of Eight powers took a step forward Tuesday in the fight against global warming at their summit in Lake Toyako, Hokkaido.
They agreed to “seek to share” with both developing and developed countries the goal of halving global emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by 2050. They called on all signatories to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change to share this vision and to adopt this goal at their meeting.
What better solution for today’s G-8 leaders? They’ll be long gone by 2050, but meanwhile they’ll get the credit today for their empty but expensive promises.
The parties to the pact are preparing to create a framework to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, whose implementation period expires in 2012. It is, therefore, significant that the G-8 requested parties to the pact to adopt this goal.
The United States did not readily accept the 50-percent reduction by 2050 goal. Instead of giving up, the G-8 decided to leave the matter to the U.N. framework. In effect, Japan and Europe brushed aside outgoing U.S. President George W. Bush’s reluctance to ensure that the United Nations leads the initiative.
American CO2 emissions have declined since the Kyoto Protocol was written, while those of Europe, signatories to the treaty, have increased. So what does the G-8 decide to do? Take the matter out of the hands of the people who were successful and put it into the hands of the people who are “deliberately obscuring” their methods to produce bad science.
The Asahi would also have us think global “warming” is a question of security.
In June, the National Intelligence Council (NIC), a U.S. government organization that analyzes foreign policy issues based on data provided by the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence bodies, published its assessment of the security threats posed by climate change.
In its report, the council warned that global warming could aggravate the problems of poverty and resource shortages, thereby triggering more civil strife and conflict in already volatile regions.
The world must brace itself for all sorts of problems triggered by continued warming of the Earth. At the same time, it must take every possible step to eventually curb harmful climate change.
As demonstrated by the biofuel solution, the only problems we’ve have so far have been those caused by governments responding to hobgoblins.
Global warming is projected to have disastrous consequences–a rise in sea levels and more frequent droughts and flooding.
Refer to the link above regarding the satellite measurements of sea levels showing that no disastrous consequences are in the offing. The Asahi didn’t.
Security strategy among the major powers tends to concentrate political and military power on regions which are most likely to experience conflicts or which involve intertwined national interests. Europe was such a region during the Cold War, just as the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula are today.
The impact of global warming, whether it be sea-level rises or extreme weather, will cut wide swaths around the world. Such crises could emerge simultaneously in many parts of the world.
If the fallout brought on by global warming causes conflicts to break out all over the world at the same time, even the overwhelming military power of the United States or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the world’s largest military alliance, will be powerless to handle this intractable situation.
Now that took some writing skill: the Asahi needed only three paragraphs to turn hot air into uncontrollable global chaos.
The basic principles of sustainable security include…spreading democratic governance to prevent the proliferation of failed nations that are unable to govern their people.
Good luck with China. They didn’t think the Kyoto Protocol had anything to do with them either.
The threats posed by global warming, if compounded by delayed policy responses, will only cause more confusion.
So stop confusing yourself by thinking and do as we say!
Developing countries are likely to be hit the hardest by sea-level rises, floods and other damaging effects of climate change. This is particularly troubling.
Harmful climate change could widen the gap between rich and poor in these countries, thus setting the stage for riots and political unrest. This could trigger a huge refugee exodus as people flee their devastated countries. Some people may even be tempted to join terrorist organizations.
A worst-case scenario including the above developments must be taken into account when we map out strategies for expanding aid to developing countries….
If a “worst-case scenario…must be taken into account”, none of us would get out of bed in the morning.
But give them extra credit for those writing skills: three more short paragraphs to spin some more hot air into a justification for a global income redistribution scheme to prevent terrorism.
And if you object, Jim Hansen will put you on trial for crimes against humanity.
Support should also be provided to help developing countries improve their political systems and administrative abilities so they can respond more effectively to problems caused by climate change. But such support should be provided in the least intrusive manner.
Wouldn’t you love to hear just how they propose to accomplish that?
All these threads converge in the recent visit of Tavau Teii, deputy prime minister of Tuvalu, to Japan to shake down the government for money.
Well, that’s not what he said, but that’s what he was doing. The Asahi—natch—has the story:
The audience gasped as Tavau Teii, deputy prime minister of the tiny Pacific island state of Tuvalu, presented his slide show. Frame after frame showed how global warming threatens to submerge the island group that is home to fewer than 12,000 people.
Get ready for it.
“Tuvalu stands as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. There is no time to waste,” Teii said, addressing about 650 citizens at a public awareness symposium organized by Tokyo’s Adachi Ward late last month ahead of the Group of Eight summit that starts Monday in Hokkaido…The event was to serve as a showcase for Japan’s first program to help Pacific island states cope with the impact of global warming under the Cool Earth Partnership, a wide-ranged program for helping developing countries deal with climate change.
In mid-December, Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia submitted a proposal for dealing with climate change, aimed at prodding the major emitters to heed the demands of island nations.
The proposal called on industrialized countries to create systems to compensate for damage caused by global warming, with funding from taxes that would be levied on international airline fees and shipping fees.
While welcoming the package, experts based in small Pacific island nations note that more will be expected from Japan.
What a lovely scam.
Step one: Make up false charges about a real issue.
Step two: Force other people to pay for a false solution.
Step three: Congratulate yourself for finally achieving income distribution from the developed world to the undeveloped world using the hobgoblin of rising ocean levels that aren’t rising.
Step four: Get the Japanese to pay even more for an even longer time.
Patrick Nunn, a professor of geology at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji…called Japan’s program a “short-term measure, not a long-term sustainable one.” At the current pace, it is inevitable that parts of island states such as Tuvalu will become uninhabitable in 50 years, he said. The Japanese program, as he understood it, would “likely only help islanders survive for another 30 years.”
In other words, the beggary/buggary will go on for half a century.
Get ready for more:
“Climate change is a problem caused by industrialized countries, with the burden borne disproportionately by developing countries, like those in the Pacific. Those responsible for causing the problem should shoulder greater responsibility in alleviating it,” said Jyotishma Naicker, a climate change specialist at WWF South Pacific Program based in Fiji…
What’s the point? To shame people into feeling so guilty they won’t object when the contents of their wallets are stolen in the name of morality and environmentalism—even though income distribution is the real name of the game.
It is likely that the beach erosion and building on (Tuvalu) caused the sea flooding of areas over the last decade. And that is a true environmental concern. But it is a local, man-made problem that will not be solved with massive cuts in carbon dioxide emission.
An environmental official of Tuvalu, Elisala Pita, is concerned with the alarmism of western eco-imperialists. In an interview in the Canadian Globe and Mail on November 24, Pita says that, “This [coastal] erosion is caused by man-made infrastructure. Tuvalu is being used for the issue of climate change. People are telling all these lies, just using Tuvalu to prove their point. No island is sinking. Tuvalu is not sinking. It is still floating.”
Careful, Mr. Pita–you might be looking at a stretch in jail for saying what you think.
Some Japanese have finally gotten wise to what’s going on. The Asahi is surely a hopeless case, but what will it take for the rest of the country?
Charging Dr. Akasofu Shun’ichi–who received a medal from the Emperor of Japan for his scientific work—with crimes against humanity at the Nuremburg/Tokyo Environmental War Crimes Tribunal?
They’re not going to stop, you know. Now that they’ve been exposed, they’ll fight back with more extreme claims and more despotic measures.
Get ready for it.
This entry was posted on Sunday, July 27, 2008 at 7:14 pm and is filed under Environmentalism, Mass media, Social trends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.