Climate Myths and National Security

The President of the United States recently told the United Nations that "global warming" poses a threat to national security and may engender conflicts as populations are displaced by rising sea levels, droughts, floods, storms etc. etc. etc. However, it is now clear that there is no basis for the notion that the barely-detectable human influence on the climate is likely to prove a threat to climate, still less to national security.

The first principle to which any national security advisor must adhere is that of objective truth. Though he must have an understanding of politics, he is not a politician: he is a truth-bearer. Therefore, he begins by narrowing down the issue to a single, central question whose answer determines whether the suggested threat is real. He then tries to find the truthful answer to that question, and draws his conclusion from that.

Quid enim est veritas? What, then, is the truth? The single question whose answer gives us the truth about the climate question is this: By how much will any given proportionate increase in CO2 concentration warm the world? We now know the answer. The oceans, which must store 80-90% of all heat-energy accumulated in the atmosphere as a result of the radiative imbalance caused by greater greenhouse-gas concentration, have shown no net accumulation of heat for almost 70 years, implying a very small influence of CO2 on temperature (Douglass & Knox, 2009). The devastating analysis of cloud-albedo effects shortly to be published by Dr. Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama at Huntsville will show that the UN has wrongly decided that cloud changes reinforce greenhouse warming, when in fact they substantially offset it. Repeated studies of the tropical upper troposphere (e.g. Douglass et al., 2008) show that it is failing to warm at thrice the surface rate as required by all of the UN's models, again implying very low climate sensitivity. The clincher is Professor Richard Lindzen's meticulous recent paper demonstrating - by direct measurement - that the amount of radiation escaping from the Earth's atmosphere to space is many times greater than the UN's models are all told to believe. From this, the world's most formidable atmospheric physicist has calculated that a doubling of CO2 concentration, expected over the next 150 years, would cause 0.75 C (1.5 F) of warming, at most: not the 3.4 C (6 F) that the UN takes as its central estimate.

Most analysts would stop there. Yet some might ask, "Suppose that the single satellite on which Lindzen's results depend is defective. What then?" They might consider the economic cost of attempting to mitigate the "global warming" which, as our Monthly Reports demonstrate, is not actually happening. The figures turn out to be startlingly simple. To mitigate just 1 C (2 F) of warming, one must forego the emission of 2 trillion tons of CO2. The world emits just 30 billion tons a year. So the analyst, as a thought-experiment, would shut down the entire world economy, emitting no CO2 at all. Even then, and even on the incorrect assumption that the UN's exaggerated projections of the effect of CO2 on temperature are correct, it would take 67 years to mitigate 1 C warming. Preventing the 3.4 C (6 F) warming that the UN's climate panel thinks would occur in 100 years would take 225 years without any transportation, and with practically no electrical energy. The national security advisor would at that point advise his head of government that there has never been any security threat less grave, or more expensive to prevent, than the non-problem that is "global warming". It is the fearmongers that are the real national security threat.
The President of the United States recently told the United Nations that "global warming" poses a threat to national security and may engender conflicts as populations are displaced by rising sea levels, droughts, floods, storms etc. etc. etc. However, it is now clear that there is no basis for the notion that the barely-detectable human influence on the climate is likely to prove a threat to climate, still less to national security.

The first principle to which any national security advisor must adhere is that of objective truth. Though he must have an understanding of politics, he is not a politician: he is a truth-bearer. Therefore, he begins by narrowing down the issue to a single, central question whose answer determines whether the suggested threat is real. He then tries to find the truthful answer to that question, and draws his conclusion from that.

Quid enim est veritas? What, then, is the truth? The single question whose answer gives us the truth about the climate question is this: By how much will any given proportionate increase in CO2 concentration warm the world? We now know the answer. The oceans, which must store 80-90% of all heat-energy accumulated in the atmosphere as a result of the radiative imbalance caused by greater greenhouse-gas concentration, have shown no net accumulation of heat for almost 70 years, implying a very small influence of CO2 on temperature (Douglass & Knox, 2009). The devastating analysis of cloud-albedo effects shortly to be published by Dr. Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama at Huntsville will show that the UN has wrongly decided that cloud changes reinforce greenhouse warming, when in fact they substantially offset it. Repeated studies of the tropical upper troposphere (e.g. Douglass et al., 2008) show that it is failing to warm at thrice the surface rate as required by all of the UN's models, again implying very low climate sensitivity. The clincher is Professor Richard Lindzen's meticulous recent paper demonstrating - by direct measurement - that the amount of radiation escaping from the Earth's atmosphere to space is many times greater than the UN's models are all told to believe. From this, the world's most formidable atmospheric physicist has calculated that a doubling of CO2 concentration, expected over the next 150 years, would cause 0.75 C (1.5 F) of warming, at most: not the 3.4 C (6 F) that the UN takes as its central estimate.

Most analysts would stop there. Yet some might ask, "Suppose that the single satellite on which Lindzen's results depend is defective. What then?" They might consider the economic cost of attempting to mitigate the "global warming" which, as our Monthly Reports demonstrate, is not actually happening. The figures turn out to be startlingly simple. To mitigate just 1 C (2 F) of warming, one must forego the emission of 2 trillion tons of CO2. The world emits just 30 billion tons a year. So the analyst, as a thought-experiment, would shut down the entire world economy, emitting no CO2 at all. Even then, and even on the incorrect assumption that the UN's exaggerated projections of the effect of CO2 on temperature are correct, it would take 67 years to mitigate 1 C warming. Preventing the 3.4 C (6 F) warming that the UN's climate panel thinks would occur in 100 years would take 225 years without any transportation, and with practically no electrical energy. The national security advisor would at that point advise his head of government that there has never been any security threat less grave, or more expensive to prevent, than the non-problem that is "global warming". It is the fearmongers that are the real national security threat.