The climate has not changed much since the summer 2012 release of In Global Warming We Trust: A Heretics Guide to Climate Science—at least not much for the promoters of global climate doom. Yes, the disaster-monger tactics have changed somewhat, their hysteria has increased a bit, and much more money and politicking have been devoted to their dubious cause. The August 3, 2015 release of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan and the United Nation’s late 2015 climate confab are grand cases in point. But, regardless of high-level machinations, the climate keeps operating as usual, changing in its substantially natural way.
No matter, trusting continues big time! After all, in essence what are far-ranging outlooks of global climate conditions—especially those fine-tuned for local areas? They are at best educated guesses by purportedly really smart people, and as such require trust by lesser entities, including other really smart people who don’t have advanced degrees in climatology.
So, it comes down to trust, and the fact that people will believe what they want to believe, or are compelled to believe.
Yet, what if there are some really intelligent, independent, scientifically-minded folks out there with some impressive credentials, a lot of real world experience, and a dash of objective common sense, who question the ability of those other purportedly really smart people to be so utterly certain of their own prophetic powers? Would the input from the really intelligent, independent, scientifically-minded folks have any value in a free society, especially a society required to pay the bill for an enormously expensive gamble that the purportedly really smart people actually know what they’re talking about?
And, we certainly are paying the bill. The federal government alone has poured billions of our tax dollars into research directed at substantiating preformed conclusions that humans are responsible for disastrous climate change and that increased carbon dioxide (“carbon pollution”) produces only bad effects. Mounds of money are used to prop-up wind mills and solar collectors in the hope of averting an airy adversary in the form of increased severe weather events. In addition, a boat load of our cash floats into “education” of the public and students from grade school through graduate school on the culpability of people for climate catastrophe.
Like the giant financial institutions, the “climate-industrial complex”—as former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency senior analyst Alan Carlin and others have dubbed it—has now supposedly become “too big to fail.”
But, are we investing wisely? Are there bigger issues out there in the real world that demand our serious financial attention and compassionate focus—issues that pose a bigger threat to humans and the ecosystem than some potential uptick in temperature levels. Two big threats topping the list are terrorism and abject poverty, both quite destructive to people and the planet, both within the means of our nation to greatly alleviate.
I am just one professional of the likely thousands that work in the atmospheric-science and related fields every day that see tremendous distortion by the news media, environmentalists, politicians, and even governmental bodies like the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of what is and is not known about the earth’s climate. So, this revised and considerably expanded Stairway Press edition of In Global Warming We Trust is my continued challenge to the final-form science of contemporary climatology foisted on an unsuspecting public. Arguments and insights presented herein are once again advanced not as “just another partisan broadside,” but as a continued plea for more open-mindedness and tolerance in a discipline that absolutely necessitates such conditions for its optimal performance.
The bottom line is this: Authentic science requires that observations match predictions and no amount of bluster or conceit will change that. When scientists have lost humility, they have lost the ability to do science.
Anthony J. Sadar
Certified Consulting Meteorologist
One hundred and sixty miles above the Arctic Circle, on the shores of the icy Chukchi Sea, lies a lonely military outpost, one of the many forgotten sentinels protecting the United States. Here at Cape Lisburne, Alaska in the summer of 1977, I began my career in atmospheric science. RCA Service Company hired me a year after I graduated with a BS degree in meteorology to provide civilian observations for the Air Force Weather Service Agency station along the arctic shoreline, and to train non-military radar technicians to do the same.
The sky that summer was mostly cloudy, temperatures were quite cool, and rain and mist were frequent. Though it snowed on July 5th, on two days temperatures hit 70oF.
On this small military base I experienced wilderness life. For a weather observer who grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, daily life in the wilds of Alaska was anything but dreary. That summer, I spotted numerous species of birds and small mammals, and brown bears and caribou frequently appeared on the plains near the base.
One day dozens of magnificent caribou were grazing contently in the lush tundra not far from the majestic mount upon which the base’s radar dome and meteorological tower were installed. In the less pastoral setting just outside the compound’s kitchen, bears of various sizes tried their luck at dumpster diving. On one occasion, a small bear wandered into the main building of the base and had to be carefully ushered outside before it was missed and rescued by a protective, angry mother bear.
An undeniable treat for any weather observer was witnessing the aurora borealis. Cape Lisburne happens to be located within the Northern Hemisphere’s maximum auroral frequency zone. On most dark nights the aurora was visible. (I say dark nights because in the summer the area above the Arctic Circle is known as the “land of the midnight sun”—the sun dips close to the horizon, but never actually sets.) There were times when the entire sky, from horizon to horizon, was filled with an awesome light show—a palette of mostly fluorescent lime green hues, gently swaying and swirling.
Several weeks before departing Cape Lisburne, I experienced the kind of anomaly only encountered in the field. The wind direction and speed sensor located on the adjacent hilltop weather tower ceased operating. Upon inspection, it was discovered that the four-foot long, bright orange and black instrument—a propeller weathervane that looks like an airplane without wings—had been mauled, most likely by a bear. I inspected the equipment and tower and ordered a new prop-vane.
A couple of weeks before heading back to western Pennsylvania, the new equipment arrived. Not wanting the new unit to be attacked again, I asked around the base for some ideas on how to dissuade curious critters. The cook recommended using garlic, because bears supposedly hate garlic. So before installing the new unit, I smeared it thoroughly with a homemade garlic paste. For my remaining time in the arctic chill, the equipment operated without interruption.
Later, working as an air pollution technician in the Midwest and subsequently in research and supervisory roles elsewhere, I again encountered interaction between the biosphere and the atmosphere, though mainly from birds nesting in and otherwise disturbing ambient air monitors. Each time effective deterrents had to be improvised to prevent equipment damage and data loss.
Though dealing with the encroachment of wildlife on meteorological instruments was challenging, the most important work that I’ve performed over my career has involved the public: assessing the impact, air quality-wise, on local communities from large and complex industrial operations, plant accidents, hazardous material incidents, and natural events. My classroom education complemented by in-depth field studies has enabled me to objectively and dispassionately evaluate the potential health hazards in such situations. And having a background in both theory and practice helped me when I needed to provide residents with an accurate and reliable, yet understandable and timely, investigative report. Numerous times fears from imagined harm were alleviated, while real problems were cooperatively addressed with effective action. Scientists can attract attention by playing to the public’s fears, but they serve the public best when they identify and help implement solutions.
Overall, my experience with observations, data collection, incident evaluation, technical communication, and the general public is not that unusual. It is part of the vast knowledgebase assembled from the real-world experiences of thousands of atmospheric scientists above and below the Arctic Circle. I draw attention to this expertise not to put down others or invalidate the work they perform, such as theorizing and modeling, but to showcase a group of workaday scientists who appear to have been disenfranchised by contemporary climate science. For whatever reason, climate science is run almost exclusively by the officialdom of the academic community.
Experienced practitioners outside the academy have a lot to offer in terms of perspective, insight, tolerance, and just plain common sense. Indeed, these qualities, along with humility, are sorely needed in today’s climate science. Theoretical and practical knowledge and skills must be better integrated to solve the most challenging environmental and societal issues the world is presently experiencing or will soon experience.
It’s hot, really hot, and it is only going to get hotter!
The state of climate science tells us the world is indeed in trouble. We are facing a catastrophe of global proportions unlike any before in history. And it may already be too late to stop the unfolding cataclysm. Resources will be depleted. Governments will be stretched. Populations will be displaced. Our children’s future will be limited.
All of this turmoil will only result if we don’t effectively address the current state of climate science. The crisis in climate science isn’t the result of a natural catastrophe. It’s manmade: A cadre of scientific specialists has won the support of an army of career politicians, bureaucrats, environmental and social activists, academicians and educators, journalists, bloggers, technologists and consultants, and groupies of all stripes to spin a bit of understanding about the atmosphere into a trillion dollar bonanza.
Mega-computer power, sophisticated software, advanced numerics, and a whole lot of finesse have been mustered to pronounce unmitigated certainties about Earth’s climatic future under increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.
Archimedes once said “Give me a long enough lever and a place to stand, and I will move the Earth.” Well, the lever is certainly long enough—climate forecasts extend to the end of this century and beyond—and the new self-assured climate science professionals certainly have standing. So it looks like Archimedes was right because the globe is about to be moved—by an earth-shaking redistribution of power and wealth.
Unfortunately, those across the planet least able to care for themselves, the poor, will be shaken the most, followed by those without the financial savvy or eminent position to secure their hard-earned cash.
The poor will suffer from imposed resource depletion manifested by their dwindling ability to tap into earth’s vast fossil fuel energy supplies, thanks to worldwide government regulations limiting energy generation to “eco-friendly” sources such as wind and solar power.1 Governments will become bloated as more workers are hired to monitor compliance. Populations will be displaced as people are forced to relocate to either find jobs in the burgeoning (but iffy—think Solyndra and Beacon Power) “renewable” energy sector and government agencies, or to slum it out in low-rent districts after losing more traditional power company jobs. Our children’s future will be limited as their ability to question pompous pedagogy or to challenge doctrinaire dogma in an attempt to exercise independence and creativity will be increasingly squelched by statist norms and standards.
And what is on the horizon for business and industry in the US if science continues to be held in the grips of a political ideology? People complain about business as usual, but wait until the crowd at the United Nations and like-minded Congressmen, academicians, and bureaucrats get their way. Because according to the UN, career politicians, and their friends, the verdict is already in: Human energy consumption, especially in the US, is disrupting the earth’s climate and biosphere at large. So says the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), so says the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), so say outspoken university researchers (who claim an indisputable consensus), so say the major environmental organizations and leaders of scientific societies, and so says a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007 that was based on conclusions drawn by the IPCC. Next to have their say confirmed by the courts may be victims of hurricane Katrina, residents of Kivalina, Alaska (whose village is under siege from melting permafrost and sea ice), and who knows how many cities and states.
Is it really certain that humans are responsible for what some are calling “climate disruption”? Do government and academic scientists, lawyers, organized environmentalists, politicians, bureaucrats, and technocrats know enough to understand and engineer a fix for what they perceive as a broken climate system? Are draconian restrictions on energy use imposed by the President, Congress, and/or the EPA really necessary? In short, is all this expensive angst justified?
In a couple dozen brief chapters, we will examine the science and non-science driving concern over the greenhouse effect, anthropogenic global warming (AGW), climate change, global climate disruption, or whatever deceptive descriptors happen to be in vogue. After offering a succinct historical account of some of the major events leading up to the present hysteria, we will neatly address nearly every aspect of this often complex topic. What is the biggest climate driver? Is there really a consensus among atmospheric scientists on the future global climate conditions that are in store for us? Are greenhouse gas emission reductions, which are now mandated by the EPA for certain industries, really necessary?2 Does “Climategate” matter? Why can’t ordinary folks decide who and what to believe on this issue? What does progressivism have to do with climate change thinking? What roles do politics and funding streams play in climate science conclusions? What do some of the popular books on the topic have to say, and are they reasonable? All of these questions and more are tackled within these chapters.
You may find it profitable to read the book straight through. However, since each chapter (many containing pertinent sidebars) laconically addresses a different aspect of the climate change issue from my own observations, real-world experience, and considered opinion, the chapters can be read in just about any order the reader prefers.
In some ways, climate science is like a schoolyard with its in-crowd, geeks, bad guys, know-it-alls, etc. In this schoolyard of the supposedly settled science of climate change, I believe the public is not getting the full, true story about what is actually known and what are merely just-so stories and hand waving arguments. Many of those called childish names such as “denier” are not against popular and worthwhile ideas such as conservation, energy efficiency, common sense waste minimization, and so on. They are, however, opposed to bullies, questionable activities, and unfair games in which the rules constantly change. (And I’ll have much more to say about this.)
Now it’s time—especially with the 2016 elections looming—to bring some well-reasoned and measured insights to discussions about this critical issue, particularly since climate change confusion is driving calls for ominous and radical changes affecting our energy supply.
The key ideas that need to become part of the ongoing climate change discussion include:
The pursuit of science requires freedom—the freedom for scientists to use their individual skills, knowledge, and perspective in evaluating data and hypotheses.
Every scientist should be encouraged to practice humility. Unfortunately, arrogance abounds in climate science as demonstrated by: a) the presumed knowledge that humans are causing long-term, disastrous, global climate change and b) the absurd belief that we can confidently predict the future of the earth’s climate out to the end of this century and beyond. As one author declares, “Humankind has the potential to alter the climate of the Earth for hundreds of thousands of years into the future. That I feel can be said fairly confidently.”3 You know you are dealing with arrogance when scientists resort to bullying and self-righteous arguments where they should welcome civil discussion and reasoned debate.
Progressive (leftist) ideology, the driving force behind mainstream environmentalism, has caused untold harm to environmental science. (Note that in this book I use the euphemisms “progressive” and “progressivism” to refer to political thinking and goals that should have no influence over scientific findings. Progressives range from people who are anti-industry statists to people who espouse radical ideologies such as Marxism. In short, leftist is a good descriptor and will frequently be used.)
Scientific illiteracy has enabled a great deal of deception regarding what is known and what can be predicted about climate change. Students and the public alike are doomed to simply trust, without question, climate science proclamations. Teaching “final-form science” (unassailable conclusions) and dogma as science have contributed to this illiteracy by short circuiting students’ understanding of how science works (that theories, for instance, are built upon assumptions and have inherent limitations) and by discouraging students’ own creativity and perhaps even their interest in pursuing science as a career.
A crisis-driven science is like a shady business. A supposedly authoritative consortium (such as the IPCC) identifies an urgent condition (anthropogenic global warming), financial backing is procured (largely from the deep pockets of Uncle Sam), solutions are proposed (altering lifestyles, shutting down coal-fired power plants), services are offered (education, research, consulting, trading for carbon credits, etc.), and oversight/enforcement is mandated (national and international bureaucracies). Everyone seems to be cashing in on the doomsday predictions, from private companies (consulting and technology firms) and academic institutions (university research and education) to governments with their expanding power and workforces. The big losers are, as usual, the ones stuck paying the bill—the middle class taxpayers—and the world’s poor. Science also ends up losing thanks to a system of penalties and rewards favoring the crisis-mongers.
In sum, I was motivated to write this book because I have witnessed the increasing distortion of the science behind climate change and the overconfidence and arrogance behind long-range global warming predictions.
I also want to assure readers that I have no direct or indirect financial interest in Big Energy (or little energy, for that matter), though I must admit that I enjoy the comforts afforded by modern energy.4 I do claim, however, to have a unique insider’s perspective on how the atmospheric and environmental sciences operate today.
Meanwhile, back at the UN and in the halls of Congress, the ivory towers of academia, the offices of the EPA, and the courtrooms across America, based on the accepted consensus science and politics, the hue and cry continues to mount to save the Earth from manmade climate change. A headlong rush is underway to change the way we get and use energy. But this change will not be for the better. So before group-think and political mandates turn the lights out in America, let’s see if a little common sense can be employed to avert a genuine manmade catastrophe.
Many knowledgeable skeptics of the manmade climate change hypothesis lament the incessant ad hominem attacks rather than fruitful debate of this important societal issue.
Alan Carlin, the retired senior EPA analyst who had challenged the Obama administration’s faulty climate science, in his new book Environmentalism Gone Mad (Stairway Press, 2015), noted that those pushing the “global warming doctrine” have almost always “refused to openly debate the scientific issues raised by skeptics but instead derided them or questioned their motives or sources of funding.” This was witnessed in early 2015 with Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva’s attack on several prominent atmospheric scientists who dare to defy the authoritarian “consensus” on climate. These veteran scientists include MIT emeritus atmospheric-science professors Richard Lindzen, Georgia Institute of Technology earth and atmospheric science professor Judith Curry, and climatologist Roy Spencer.
Characterizing your formidable opponents as nut jobs, idiots, or shills is a technique for the lowest form of debate and the realm of spin-doctors, not for the honorable scientific profession. But mischaracterization is perhaps the best way to win an argument when the audience, in this case the general public, is ill equipped to understand the complexity of the topic. The public is destined to choose sides on the issue based on their trust in and likeability of the messenger. Hence, those hyping a disastrous climate future, with much help from the main stream media, will make themselves out to be reasonable, friendly, and trustworthy. Opponents of the dire futurists are then simply portrayed as untrustworthy fools, as is anyone who would believe the contrarians.
This disingenuous strategy is a big challenge for those of us who work daily in the field of science that strives to understand objective reality. A big part of that field is the application of what is commonly called the “scientific method” where the major components are observation, hypothesis, and testing. Once again, Dr. Carlin points this out in Environmentalism Gone Mad by stressing that the crucial “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming” hypothesis, which asserts that rising carbon dioxide concentrations will dramatically increase average global temperatures, “does not satisfy the scientific method” largely because observed reality has not matched predictions. Consider that, aside from the one surface temperature analysis recently released in the journal Science,5 numerous temperature measurements have revealed that the globe has experienced a relative flat-lining of temperatures for nearly two decades—this despite man’s best efforts to stay alive and comfortable with carbon-based fuels.
Furthermore, proper scientific practice mandates that climate science conclusions should be based on the scientific method rather than consensus opinion. Such opinion is typically fostered by government largesse and groupthink that conforms to a particular ideology, leaving the resulting conclusions quite questionable.
What’s happening in the field of climatology hits close to home. From my teenage years until now, my personal, academic, and professional life has been in the atmospheric sciences. Early in my career, I became interested in the greenhouse effect, then global warming, then climate change, now the carbon-pollution/extreme-weather issue. I have carefully followed this morphing monstrosity for thirty years. During that time, I have taught meteorology and climatology for Penn State and other institutions, and, as an air pollution meteorologist, have completed numerous air modeling projects. (Note that air pollution meteorology is a subset of the meteorological profession that includes climate-change studies.)
Regardless of my background and passion for the profession, I am branded with the profoundly nonsensical “climate denier” label because I remain unconvinced based on the lack of scientific evidence that humans have much meaningful (and certainly not disastrous) influence over the complex global climate system in the long run.
And thousands of seasoned practitioners like me, who have good reason to remain skeptical of man’s damnable role in climate change, are targeted for derision by political opportunists, closed-minded, arrogant scientists, environmental zealots, professional spin doctors, and generally those who have just a superficial knowledge of how science is supposed to work (like insouciant journalists).
So what? Many, if not most, atmospheric scientists, economists, academics, and entrepreneurs making a living off the climate change issue would likely say “it’s just business, it’s not personal.”
But to me, it’s personal.
Most of my nearly 35 years of professional life has been involved with atmospheric modeling in one way or another. (Note that atmospheric modeling is the tool used to both develop future global climate scenarios and to panic the public on meteorological mayhem.)
I began my scientific career in meteorology in the late 70s. Back then, calculating air quality impacts of air pollution sources, such as smoke stacks and vents, involved using a simple statistical calculator and some basic graphs derived from empirical studies—a rudimentary form of modeling.
Over the years, with more powerful computers and sophisticated graphics, air pollution meteorologists, like me, were able to analyze in more depth and with finer detail contaminant concentrations as they spread from their emission locations.
Today, air-quality models are coupled with some of the very same meteorological models used in climate studies. In this way, state-of-the-science estimates can be made to determine whether, for instance, a proposed industrial facility will contribute to unacceptable deterioration of air quality.
Air pollution models have long been used to evaluate just about any significant operation from the smallest chemical plant to the largest nuclear and coal-fired power plant. Furthermore, the models are useful in anticipating the consequences of mundane releases of contaminants to catastrophic outbursts from accidents or terrorist attacks that disperse gasses or particles like chlorine dioxide or anthrax.
What I and so many other air modelers have discovered is that, as impressive as modeling has become, model results beyond the immediate downwind distance of the pollution source and within a relatively brief amount of time, are not very reliable, despite the awesome computing power available today. We know that dependence on their output is quite limited and to extrapolate too far beyond the bounds of the model assumptions is foolhardy.
Compare the experience of thousands of non-academic air modelers with the largely academic and government climate modelers. Their combined efforts have produced impressive results in scope and scale, yet, like air pollution modeling, their model outputs still boil down to limited guesses.
A bit of understanding about the global atmosphere has been spun into a trillion dollar bonanza by essentially PR supporters. But, if realism and humility about the limitations of climate modeling doesn’t set in soon with enough scientists and those of the general public who care enough to pay attention, then more than our supposed climate future with be in dire straits.
“ Anthony Sadar’s “In Global Warming We Trust” provides important information and profoundly thoughtful insights that reveal how a powerful “climate industrial complex” manipulates public vulnerability to guilt and fear to advance disastrous government energy and environmental policies that impact broad aspects of our lives. Included are a cabal of agenda-driven “green energy” rent seekers, guilt and fear- messaging politicians and environmental activists, scientifically-corrupted academicians, and compliant media pundits that misrepresent facts and distort basic science. Written by a well- informed meteorologist, there is much to trust in this fine book. ”
author of Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax and Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom
“ Tony Sadar possesses the knowledge and field experience to challenge the high priests of manmade global warming on the science that they choose to ignore. He reminds us that science is never really "settled," using inconvenient facts leavened with a measure of humor. ”
President, Air Science Consultants
“ Tony Sadar is an air pollution meteorologist whose insight from decades of experience in government service, academia, and industry consulting makes the case for more independent thinking and less dependence on groupthink when it comes to solving critical environmental problems. In Global Warming We Trust gives a perspective sorely needed in today's climate science debate. ”
Family and Environmental Lawyer
“ In Global Warming We Trust is a unique mix of science and a clear understanding of precisely how politics, money, and power have perverted it. The book is easily understandable by the layman, but it will also richly reward any scientist who reads it. ”
Science Director of The Heartland Institute
Anthony J. Sadar is a Certified Consulting Meteorologist with 35 years of experience in atmospheric and environmental science and science education. During his career, he has divided his time about equally among government, private industry, and academia. Mr. Sadar is currently an air pollution meteorologist and air pollution program administrator and is an adjunct associate professor of science (including meteorology and climatology). He founded Environmental Science Communication, LLC, a private consulting firm specializing in air pollution dispersion modeling, regulatory compliance, and risk communication for business and industry. His hands-on experience includes weather observation above the Arctic Circle, air quality modeling, and environmental project management. Mr. Sadar has authored dozens of articles about atmospheric and environmental issues.
Mr. Sadar, along with Mark Shull, authored Environmental Risk Communication: Principles and Practices for Industry (CRC Press/Lewis Publishers, 2000). Mr. Sadar’s commentaries and book reviews have appeared in The Washington Times, The Washington Examiner, and other newspapers and trade publications.
He holds a BS in meteorology from The Pennsylvania State University, an MS in environmental science from the University of Cincinnati, and an MEd in science education from the University of Pittsburgh.
Mr. Sadar is a member of the American Meteorological Society; the Air & Waste Management Association; Kappa Delta Pi (education honors fraternity); and the Local Emergency Planning Committee of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh, PA).