Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Sun Is Responsible For Climate Change

Nobel peace prize winner Rajendra Pachauri gives a press conference with his organization, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Rajendra Pachauri: Media went gaga over greenhouse guru

By Paul Mulshine/The Star Ledger (NJ)
February 28, 2010

At the height of the ’60s silliness, the Beatles flew off to India to seek enlightenment at the feet of a guru named the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Their enchantment didn’t last. After they noticed that this master of the metaphysical had managed to acquire his own helicopter to ferry him around the foothills of the Himalayas, the Beatles bolted. As John Lennon was headed to the airport, he penned a parody titled "Sexy Sadie" about a temptress who "made a fool of everyone."

Too bad Lennon’s not around to write a song about the latest guru to emerge out of India, Rajendra Pachauri. Pachauri is a railway engineer by training, yet somehow he managed to work his way up to the chairmanship of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

That’s the group of global-warming alarmists that was recently forced to retract a prediction that the Himalayan glaciers will be gone by 2035. It turns out the claim had no more basis than the Maharishi’s claim that his followers could levitate.

The London Daily Telegraph reported the other day that a United Nations committee will shortly be announcing that an independent panel will investigate the IPCC’s role in what has come to be known as "Climategate."

Though I consider myself a cynic, I confess even I was shocked when I found out that the global-warming guru is a mere railway engineer. I learned that when I was speaking recently to a scientist skeptical of climate-change alarmism, Princeton physicist William Happer.

"I think the best way to restore the credibility of the IPCC is to have some resignations." said Happer. "Someone has to resign and it has to be Pachauri."

Maybe Pachauri could get a job at NJ Transit overseeing the tracks that lead to within walking distance of the Happer Laboratory of Atomic Physics in Princeton. One of the odder aspects of the media coverage of the climate-change controversy is that such serious scientists as Happer and fellow Princeton physics whiz Freeman Dyson have been treated as some sort of kooks while the alarmists led by Pachauri go unquestioned.

In fact, says Happer, climate science involves some of the most complicated questions of physics and astrophysics imaginable. The science simply can’t be reduced to the simple formulas promulgated by the IPCC, which he termed "an advocacy group for global warming alarmism that masquerades as a scientific organization."

Happer points out that the tiny amount of CO-2 that man has introduced into the atmosphere could create only a correspondingly tiny rise in temperature. The climate-change crowd gets around this by contending that the CO-2 results in an increase in the amount of the most important greenhouse gas, water vapor.

But there are experts in that field as well who disagree. Among the most prominent is Don Easterbrook, a scientist at Western Washington University who is an expert on the "Pacific decadal oscillation". This is the flow of water vapor over the planet’s largest body of water, the Pacific Ocean.

When I called Easterbrook the other day, he said there is evidence that the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is decreasing, not increasing. And while the climatologists are dismissing the blizzards that keep hitting us here on the East Coast as anomalies, Easterbrook predicts we’d better get used to them.

"The next decade is going to be colder, no doubt about it," he told me.

Easterbrook based that not just on the Pacific currents but on the possibility that we are entering a "grand solar minimum," a decline in sunspot activity. These seem to come along every 200 years or so, and they create mini ice ages, Easterbrook said. "And it’s global cooling, not global warming, that’s the real killer," he said.

Who’s right, the expert in laying tracks for the Chittagong choo-choo or the expert in the Pacific decadal oscillation? I’ll leave that for you to decide.

As for me, I like to focus on something that we journalists should be focusing on: the question of cui bono. That’s a Latin phrase that translates as "in whose interest?" In whose interest is all this alarmism?

Obviously, there are people like Al Gore who trade in carbon credits. Then there are the environmentalists who want to force their agenda on the world. There’s even the nuclear-power industry, which wants to use the threat of global warming against the aforementioned nuke-hating environmentalists.

And then of course there is that railway engineer from India. He is a follower in a long tradition of producing mantras for the masses. And he has performed his task admirably.