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Lars
04-22-2009, 10:17 AM
April 21, 2009

Physicist Compares Global Warming Craze to Aztec Sacrifices











Dr. William Happer holds an endowed physics chair at Princeton University and served as the senior scientist at the Department of Energy until he was reportedly fired by then-Vice President Al Gore for disagreeing with Gore’s caim of man-made global warming. Happer recently testified to the Senate Committee on Environment about historic human obsessions over natural climate change. Comparing the anti-CO2 craze with the temperance movement of 100 years ago, Happer testified, "the climate-catastrophe movement has enlisted the mass media, the leadership of scientific societies, the trustees of foundations, and many other influential people to their cause. Even elementary school teachers and writers of children’s books are enlisted to terrify our children and promote the idea of impending climate doom."



A leading “climate skeptic” met with the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment on February 25.th Dr. William Happer holds an endowed chair in physics at Princeton, served as the senior scientist at the Department of Energy—and was reportedly fired by then-Vice President Al Gore for disagreeing with Gore’s belief in man-made global warming.

Happer noted that climate change has long worried humans.

“Sometimes the obsession for control of the climate got a bit out of hand, as in the Aztec [society] where the local scientific/religious establishment of the year 1500 had long since announced that the debate was over and at least 20,000 human sacrifices a year were needed to keep the sun moving, the rain falling; and thus stop climate change. The widespread dissatisfaction of the [neighboring tribes] who were unfortunate enough to be the source of these sacrifices played an important part in the success of the Spanish conquest of Mexico.”

Professor Happer also pointed to Switzerland in June, 1644, when the Bishop of Geneva led a flock of believers to the face of a glacier that was advancing “by over a musket shot” every day, and threatening a village. The Bishop and his flock prayed over the glacier, “and it is said to have stopped.”

“I predict that future historians will look back on this period much as we now view Prohibition. . . . Deeply sincere people thought they were saving humanity from the evils of alcohol, just as many people now sincerely think they are saving humanity from the evils of CO2. . . . Like the temperance movement 100 years ago, the climate-catastrophe movement has enlisted the mass media, the leadership of scientific societies, the trustees of foundations, and many other influential people to their cause. Even elementary school teachers and writers of children’s books are enlisted to terrify our children and promote the idea of impending climate doom,” Happer warned.

But Happer pointed out that “Institutions like organized crime got their start in that [Prohibition] era. Drastic limitations on CO2 are likely to damage our country in analogous ways.” Happer told the Senators, “I believe that the increase of CO2 is not a cause for alarm and will be good for mankind,” noting that more CO2 helps plants yield more food per acre

The former Energy Department official also took a shot at former Vice-president Gore. “Al Gore likes to display graphs of temperature and CO2 concentrations over the past million years or so, showing that when CO2 rises, the temperature also rises. Doesn’t this prove that the temperature is drive by CO2? Absolutely not! If you look carefully at these records, you find that first the temperature goes up, and then the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere goes up. There is a delay between a temperature increase and a CO2 increase of about 800 years. This casts serious doubt on CO2 as a climate driver.”

Happer says his furnace comes on in the mornings, and his house gets warmer. But the igniting of the furnace precedes the house warming by about an hour. “The thing that changes first is the cause. In the case of the ice cores, the cause of increased CO2 is almost certainly the warming of the oceans.” In other words, instead of more CO2 causing warming, a warming ocean releases some of its abundant CO2 back into the air.

“I personally don’t believe we are facing a crisis, unless we create one for ourselves,” said Happer—as the Aztecs created a crisis of revolution among their neighboring tribes.

Fiddlerdave
04-22-2009, 01:08 PM
A real scientist!! Of course, we could wonder quite how his backround in medical imaging technologies and work with measuring CO2 inside the human lungs prepares him to condemn the entire body of peer-reviewed scientific data that supports AGW.

We further note the dear Dr.'s political appointment by Bush to the DOE is very likely a result of his Denialist position, not his credentials. He knows how to answer the Bush interviewers - "Who did you vote for?" - as the primary scientific concern of that administration.

DReynolds
04-22-2009, 01:24 PM
There is data supporting global warming, there is none supporting MAN-MADE global warming.

Statistical tests for a trend in glboal average temperatures indicate that there IS a statistically significant and positive trend over the last 100 years or so of data. There is a theory that it this is caused by man, rather than a natural cycle. And it's a theory with lots of holes in it. The main hole is that it assumes increased C02=> warming, which is at odds (or at least complictaed by) the observation that historically warming=>increased CO2.

rc
04-22-2009, 01:31 PM
Of course, we could wonder quite how his backround in medical imaging technologies and work with measuring CO2 inside the human lungs

In other words, does this mean we shouldn't listen to anything you have to say, either? After all, unless your job description is "climatologist", then you lack any expertise in the field.

Or, we could listen to you and others. Presumably, the peer reviewed literature to which you refer is written in English or other modern languages, and educated laypersons might be capable of reading it.

This gentleman sounds, at the very least, like an educated layperson, even though I suppose it's convenient to dismiss him as a "Denialist" (with a capital D, of course).

Potemkin
04-24-2009, 12:01 PM
Is the past the "denial denialist" would just point at the scientist and say "Hey, look at the moonbat" as a rebuttal.

Now that real scientists from prestigious universities are coming forward people are using the "he doesn't specialize in that micro area of expertise".

These same people never criticize Al Gore when he says things. Of course Gore has a BA in Government and a JD which means he is qualified to pontificate on global warming. (Excuse me, climate change.)

Some how, I knew that someone would drag Bush into it.

Fiddlerdave
04-25-2009, 01:51 AM
There is data supporting global warming, there is none supporting MAN-MADE global warming.

Statistical tests for a trend in glboal average temperatures indicate that there IS a statistically significant and positive trend over the last 100 years or so of data. There is a theory that it this is caused by man, rather than a natural cycle. And it's a theory with lots of holes in it. The main hole is that it assumes increased C02=> warming, which is at odds (or at least complictaed by) the observation that historically warming=>increased CO2.Well, your scientist here believes AGW is true. He seems to do an intricate dance of assertion of the AGW scientific consensus, mixed with liberal butt-covering reasons why we shouldn't worry about it and in fact it will be GOOD FOR US! Yeah!!!! :rolleyes:
Let me state clearly where I probably agree with the other witnesses. We have been in a period of global warming over the past 200 years, but there have been several periods, like the last ten years, when the warming has ceased, and there have even been periods of substantial cooling, as from 1940 to 1970. Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) have increased from about 280 to 380 parts per million over past 100 years. The combustion of fossil fuels, coal, oil and natural gas, has contributed to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.
.......
And finally, increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere will cause the earth’s surface to warm. The key question is: will the net effect of the warming, and any other effects of the CO2, be good or bad for humanity?
We should not confuse these laudable goals with hysterics about carbon footprints. For example, when weighing pluses and minuses of the continued or increased use of coal, the negative issue should not be increased atmospheric CO2, which is probably good for mankind. In other words, does this mean we shouldn't listen to anything you have to say, either? After all, unless your job description is "climatologist", then you lack any expertise in the field.

Or, we could listen to you and others. Presumably, the peer reviewed literature to which you refer is written in English or other modern languages, and educated laypersons might be capable of reading it.

This gentleman sounds, at the very least, like an educated layperson, even though I suppose it's convenient to dismiss him as a "Denialist" (with a capital D, of course). Well, here he is calling what is the scientific conclusion of virtually everyone in the climatology field a "craze", equal to Aztec human sacrifice, or at best Prohibition. He is welcome to state his personal feelings as a private citizen on the matter (which is all that he is asserting he is doing, BTW), but he gives NO basis for his thoughts. He doesn't refer to anyone, he cites no science, his anecdotes are nice and chatty with plenty of fears thrown in about organized crime, human sacrifice, and the foolish savages who Fear the Global Warming Gods stopping, in their ignorance, the cornucopia that will come from a hotter, higher CO2 earth.:tin:

The difference is that I, or Al Gore for that matter, aren't pretending WE have figured out the problems, we are abiding by the 1000's of scientists and pieces of reviewed work by major research efforts, which is what REALLY has enlisted "mass media, the leadership of scientific societies, the trustees of foundations, and many other influential people to their cause." Mr. Happer is silent on what he thinks made all these groups and people agree.

Credibility becomes an issue when so many who would like to deny AGW condemn by rumor, by the headlines thrown on papers that say noting, cite a single researcher who posits some fantastic reason why sunspots warm the earth without even a basic hypothesis or explanation of the physical agency by which that could happen! The Denialists are the ones invoking "magical forces" to tell us Everything Will Be OK!

What is most amusing in this testimony and paper is a pretty good example of trashing an issue by the negative associations by comparing non-analogous behaviors and events, no science included. Not a bad direction to go - the Grand Global Control Conspiracy charges leveled against AGW is a bit over the top for many, and professional PR articles like this to cast unpleasant aspersions can go much farther since those kinds of "arguments" need no rational thinking at all. Much more palatable without all that nasty thinking! :re:

Kassy
04-25-2009, 06:17 AM
“Sometimes the obsession for control of the climate got a bit out of hand, as in the Aztec [society] where the local scientific/religious establishment of the year 1500 had long since announced that the debate was over and at least 20,000 human sacrifices a year were needed to keep the sun moving, the rain falling; and thus stop climate change. The widespread dissatisfaction of the [neighboring tribes] who were unfortunate enough to be the source of these sacrifices played an important part in the success of the Spanish conquest of Mexico.”

Yeah right... their sacrifices where maybe neccesary to keep the sun moving but that's not quite the same as global warming.

scientific/religious establishment of the year 1500

They didn't have much of a scientific establishment.