Monthly Archives: October 2007

Climate Change, Inc.

What’s hip and cool on the outside, but a blushing lie on the inside? Man-made climate change. It’s the talk of the world. It’s the politically correct thing to say, and it’s also the politically incorrect thing to deny.

Lots of people have jumped on the bandwagon to declare that we are experiencing unusual global warming, and it’s caused by human activity on Earth.

It is worth putting things into perspective. The Earth is a some 4.5 billion year old system, and is far bigger and more complex than any man-made system or artifact. Humans have inhabited this planet for the past 130,000 years only. Human machinery and industrialization began some 200 years ago, at most. Human-produced CO2 emissions (widely regarded as a main cause for climate change) have begun some 100 years ago.

Could small humans (however in large numbers), in a mere 100 years, have impacted a 4 billion year old planet’s climate system? Who do humans think they are? To believe that a big system like Earth can be affected by such proportionally small beings and their crazy inventions, is to dwell in dreams of grandeur on the small beings’ part.

Some (or many) of humans’ activities are detrimental for nature, and there is plenty of room for improvement on how man relates to nature. To go further and claim that human activity affects climate is a different story.

In order to debunk the man-made climate change theory, a few questions are in order:

  1. Is there climate change?

    Within the lifespan of a person, a change in climate can seem substantial and strange, but it may be perfectly normal for the lifespan of Earth.

  2. If indeed there is change, is it caused by human activity?

    I strongly believe it is very hard for humans to have an effect on the Earth’s climate. However, two interesting documentaries attempt to show the opposing views in this debate.

    • The first is former US vice president Al Gore’s documentary “An inconvenient truth”, which tries to demonstrate that there is climate change, that it is having devastating effects on Earth, and that is is caused by humans.

      It succeeds in convincing the viewer that lots of changes are happening around the planet.
      It fails, however, to even show how those events are related to human activity.
      (You may easily find this documentary for rental or sale on video stores)

    • The second is a TV documentary titled “The great global warming swindle”. It explains that CO2 may not be the cause of rises in temperature. It also theorizes that there are plenty of economic interests in making people believe that humans have caused a change in climate.
      (Copies of the TV broadcast are easily found on peer-to-peer networks on the Internet. Official sites are here and here).
  3. Are humans the only possible factor affecting climate?

    It would be quite foolish to think so. Although Earth is populated by a few billion of humans, Earth is part of a much bigger system, with far greater power than humans. The Solar system, and in particular the Sun have a far greater impact on Earth than humans do.

The Sun
Let us just look in the direction of the source of heat for Earth and all its life (humans included): the Sun. The main responsible party in making Earth hot is the Sun. Stars, like the Sun, are born and die. Our Sun is currently alive, but one day it will die, turning off Earth’s source of heat, and causing Earth to freeze, quite likely. If Earth can freeze due to a change in the life of the Sun, couldn’t the Sun also rise the Earth’s temperature?

Humans do not know what the Sun is doing everyday, and we cannot claim that we would know if the Sun was the cause of a climate change. Once again, it would be pretentious and foolish to think we know all about the Sun. Earth is greatly affected by the Solar system it lives in, far outweighing the impact humans may have on Earth.

Or… how about the Moon? It has a role in tides, for instance, but does it affect something else? Other candidates? We do not know. Likewise, we do not know whether the Sun may be affecting Earth’s climate But we can be pretty sure that man has very little to do with changes in climate.

Propaganda
Many governments worldwide are part of the propaganda machine, using climate change as an excuse for all sorts of decisions: politically-motivated subsidies for specific industries, economic and/or political pressure on other governments, controlling masses in their own countries, controlling markets (forcing or limiting the export (or import) to (or from) certain countries), etc…

There are far bigger interests in making everyone believe that climate change is real, and is man-made, than the interests of some industries in denying that man is to blame for climate change.

There are those who argue that thousands of scientists worldwide support the theory of man-made climate change, and therefore it must be true (because scientists have found evidence and they should be listened to). They also like to accuse big corporations (in the energy sector, usually) of funding those other researchers and studies that deny the man-made climate change theory.

The problem is that those thousands of scientists are also paid to do their research, mainly by the Governments who want to promote the climate-change propaganda or their political agendas. Government-funded research is necessarily doomed to produce Government-sought results. Therefore, the credibility of those studies can only be taken with a grain of salt.

There are other theories about climate change which stand a far greater chance of being true, like the Sun-induced climate change, for instance.

The man-made climate change theory is not true. It is mere propaganda. Do not let Al Gore and his friends confuse you.

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Plagiarism or forecast?

In Spain, the ruling party (socialist PSOE), presented yesterday a new publicity campaign with its leader (José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero) as the centre of attention: “Con Z de Zapatero”, (“With a Z as in Zapatero”). It has a strong resemblance to “Z comme Zorglub”, the title of one of the great Spirou comics, from 1960. For those who do not know Spirou, Zorglub was one of the bad guys in the stories.

Therefore, is “With a Z as in Zapatero” a forecast that Zapatero will be the Zorglub (the villain) of our time?

Maybe not, and maybe it is just plagiarism of a comic on the part of the PSOE.

Whether forecast or plagiarism, the new publicity campaign by the PSOE is also a message of praise of a person, not of ideas. Pure banana-republic style. Moreover, it is a friendly and cool message, putting aside any political content that should be compromising and committed. In other words, it is the trivialization of the function of Prime Minister.

I for one do not want the Prime Minister to be my buddy or to smile at me: I want him/her to do the job, which this Spain-ruling Zorglub is not doing.

Tied hands at the European Commission

Numerous member states make up today’s European Union, and it grows every so often to incorporate new members. All these states pay for the expenses of the E.U., including administrative costs, EU subsidies, and other forms of aid given by the E.U.

In return for their contribution, each state expects to receive an equal share of E.U. aid back, in one or other form.

Funds administered by the European Commission are therefore subject to being distributed mostly according to geography rather than based on merit or need. Because such awarding method is meaningless, this reflects on the efficiency, quality and usefulness of several major E.U. projects.

For instance, the “Eurofighter” and the “Galileo” project have had to assign manufacturing responsibilities of different parts of the systems to different E.U. countries, simply for the sake of wealth distribution, putting aside efficiency concerns. Because of the geographical distribution of different manufacturing facilities, transportation is needed, adding unnecessary cost to the project. Moreover, possibly cheaper manufacturing facilities located outside Europe may not have been considered, because it would imply that E.U. funds are given outside of Europe.

In other words, the development of a European fighter aircraft, or a European satellite navigation system seem to be secondary matters, superseded by the primary goal of achieving supposedly fair distribution of E.U. money among its members.

European funds must not be tied to a geographical distribution scheme when large projects need to be awarded. It may very well be that a given project may have to be carried out by one main contractor, doing away with participation by a predetermined number of EU states. The E.U. must either rid itself from such constraints, or take on a new and different structure if the aim of a unified Europe working together for a common goal for its citizens’ benefit is to be achieved.

Cancel the Galileo project

The European satellite navigation system, Galileo, is suffering serious delays, and continued cost over-runs. It should be operational by 2008, but has managed to place only one satellite (of 30) in orbit, and it’s a test satellite. This week, the European Commission and European States have discussed ways to jump-start the Galileo project, with a new target date for operation in 2014 (estimated). However, some reports indicate that funding for Galileo is not really secured.

I am a European, and I almost wish the Galileo project would collapse and fail. It would be a great lesson for European companies, States and leaders. The great weakness of Europe is in its diversity: diversity of governing bodies, diversity of cultures, languages and diversity of national interests. Such diversity is too loose and fragile a foundation to build anything on top of it. It’s almost a miracle how Airbus was successful. Recently we have seen how Airbus itself has suffered from the power struggle between France and Germany.

A cancellation of the Galileo project would be a good thing: it would bring shame on Europe, and hopefully it would bring a good jolt to the science and technology industry and politicians in Europe to react and do things differently (very differently) next time.

Other countries have been able to create similar systems and get them running: GPS (USA), GLONASS (USSR/Russia), Beidou (China), but Europe has managed only to waste its technical and scientific capacity.

Eco-hype

Eco-friendly cars have arrived in the market with much fanfare. The global warming fashion is used as the selling point for these new cars which consume bio fuel, and produce fewer CO2 emissions than diesel or gasoline engines.

Yet, these cars are falsely eco-friendly. While their emissions may be lower, their fuel is more energy-consuming to produce than traditional diesel or gasoline.

The amount of energy required to produce 1 horsepower out of a bio-diesel car engine is greater, and more pollutant, than the energy required to produce 1 horsepower out of a regular diesel or gasoline car engine.

Bio-fuels (whether ethanol or bio-diesel) themselves require more energy to produce than the energy obtained out of them. These types of fuel are obtained from vegetable oils, which in turn come from crops, which require more energy to plant, grow, collect and process.

On the other hand, fossil fuels yield much more energy than they require to obtain, extract and process.

In summary, using bio-fuels is more harmful for the environment than using fossil fuels, because it is necessary to consume more energy (from the environment) to produce bio-fuels than they yield.

Of course, bio-fuels are viable only thanks to government subsidies. In other words, governments around the world are wasting public money to sustain a new industry (bio-fuels and related technologies) with the hope that bio fuel will help reduce global warming.

On the other hand, real innovation in eco-friendliness has come only from gasoline-electric hybrid cars: They can re-utilize part of the energy they produce to feed it back to the engine. Real energy savings can be achieved in this way, as the car reuses part of the energy it consumes, instead of requiring a continuous intake of external energy, as regular gasoline/diesel, or bio fuel cars do.

Bio-fuel cars are the latest hype in the climate-change doctrine, provide no advantage, and represent a waste of tax payers’ money, to benefit a few companies while providing governments with great propaganda to present themselves as Earth-saviors.

The problem is: Earth does not really have a problem, and needs no lying guardian.

[EDITED 2007-10-20: Sources and more data added in comments. See below]