Does global warming cause extreme weather?
Anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory supporters are in the midst of a big propaganda campaign leading to a global "Connect the Dots" day on May 5. Their goal is to convince the public that recent extreme weather events are due to global warming and that global warming is man-made.
They are preparing public opinion for the huge economic sacrifice involved in curbing carbon dioxide emissions, a process which they will demand at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development from June 20 through 22.
So far, their propaganda campaign has been succeeding. In fact, the New York Times reported on April 17 ("In Poll, Many Link Weather Extremes to Climate Change") that the public now believes stuff that the scientists who adhere to AGW theory don't even claim to be true:
Scientists may hesitate to link some of the weather extremes of recent years to global warming -- but the public, it seems, is already there.
A poll due for release on Wednesday shows that a large majority of Americans believe that this year's unusually warm winter, last year's blistering summer and some other weather disasters were probably made worse by global warming. And by a 2-to-1 margin, the public says the weather has been getting worse, rather than better, in recent years.
The survey, the most detailed to date on the public response to weather extremes, comes atop other polling showing a recent uptick in concern about climate change. Read together, the polls suggest that direct experience of erratic weather may be convincing some people that the problem is no longer just a vague and distant threat.
Meanwhile, the mainstream media has been largely hiding from the public the actual cause of recent extreme weather events -- big amplitude swings in the jet stream. In an April 2 YouTube video (click here to see it), British astrophysicist Piers Corbyn explains why severe weather occurs regularly every 60 years, plus or minus 5 years:
Technically, they say, "Well, the big extremes are caused by changes in the track of low pressure systems as they go around the globe, and when there's big amplitude swings in this track, then you do get more extreme events." However, they don't know where these big amplitude swings come from.
However, we do understand the origin of these big amplitude swings in the jet stream, and these are caused by a mingling of solar-magnetic factors and lunar factors which is why the basic signal is the 60 year signal we've mentioned.
And for the last three years we have been in the middle of one of these peaks of big swings in the jet stream, and we are going to carry on like this for at least another year or so. And right now we are in, perhaps, the most exciting phase of this 60 year cycle.
Corbyn is a brilliant astrophysicist. He looks for repetitions of historic solar-magnetic factors (such as sunspots) and bases his long-range weather forecasts on what those patterns, when combined with moon factors, caused in the past. His long-range predictions have been correct about 85% of the time. He makes his money, mostly from British insurance companies and farmers, by successfully predicting extreme weather events.
We are fortunate that he is starting to make long-term predictions about U.S. weather. In the same YouTube video, he notes that he correctly predicted March's extreme weather in the U.S.:
The thirteenth to fifteenth of March, we specifically predicted this in our forecast in detail, we said there would be tornadoes and giant hail in the lower Midwest. That happened.
We also said, after that there would be a big heat wave in the central and eastern parts of the USA. That happened.
And then we said that would turn into or change into something more focused on Texas with intense heat in Texas. That happened.
And then, finally, there was a cold blast just coming down from Canada in the Northeast part of America at the end of March carrying into April which we predicted.
The theory that climate change, both global warming and cooling, is related to magnetic disturbances on the sun and cloud-creating cosmic rays is supported by a large number of scientists who have published their findings in refereed journals (click here to watch a review). This theory has succeeded in explaining climate changes whether the scale is years or hundreds of millions of years. For example, it explains the colder climate from 2006-2010 as partly the result of reduced solar activity and the recent warmer climate as partly the result of solar activity rising throughout 2011.
Its adherents don't deny that global temperatures may be influenced by greenhouse gas concentrations, but they hold that the influence of greenhouse gases on the weather is probably small. Once the contributions of solar and cosmic rays to climate are precisely determined, it will be possible to determine what is left to be explained by other influences.
In contrast, the AGW theorists can't explain why earth temperatures stopped rising in 1998, despite the continuing rise in carbon dioxide concentrations. They are vicious toward those who oppose them, calling them "deniers" and unscientific. One could argue that it is they who are the deniers. It is scandalous that none of those involved in the East Anglia revelations of attempts to suppress publication of contrary findings has been punished by the universities employing them.
In short, there are two competing theories. The solar/cosmic ray theory successfully predicts weather and climate. The man-made global warming theory correctly predicts opinion polls.
President Obama is staking his re-election campaign upon the opinion polls. His administration is suppressing fossil fuel production and development. On March 27, Obama's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limited carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants to 1,000 pounds per megawatt-hour. This rule prevents the building of the lowest-cost producers of electricity: coal-fired power plants. It will raise the price of electricity for American households and businesses.
Then, on March 29, Obama moved to reduce domestic drilling for oil by calling on Congress to end $4 billion in "taxpayer giveaways" to the oil industry and instead to double down on investments in clean energy industries "that have never been more promising."
Dr. Bernard Weinstein, associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University, in an op-ed in the New York Post, stated that oil companies enjoy no benefits not available to other businesses. They are permitted to expense prospecting and drilling costs during the year those costs are incurred. Weinstein estimates that these deductions amount to $2.8 billion, while wind and solar plants enjoy real subsidies not available to other businesses amounting to $12.5 billion per year -- and this does not include state subsidies.
Oil and natural gas companies used to enjoy percentage depletion allowances as their form of depreciation, but those are now denied to the large oil companies. Moreover, when the wells they dig prove unproductive, they can use their losses only to offset gains from their productive wells.
Oil and natural gas companies pay more taxes to federal and state governments than does any other sector of the economy. According to the federal Energy Information Administration, as reported in the Wall St. Journal, the oil industry paid some $35.7 billion in corporate income taxes in 2009, the latest year for which data are available.
Wind and solar plants receive subsidies from federal and state governments equal to or greater than half their cost. They not only pay no taxes, tax credits being one of the incentives to construct such facilities, but they often receive cash and land from both the federal and state governments and exemption from local government property taxes. Many are also enabled to borrow at low interest rates through federal government guarantees of loans made by banks and other commercial lenders.
Solar energy and wind energy may someday be economically feasible without government subsidies, but they are not feasible now. None of the wind and solar electric generating plants makes a net economic contribution to the economy. To the contrary, they impede recovery by consuming more resources than they produce, require substantial imports worsening our international trade deficit, and discourage investment in manufacturing.
The money wasted on subsidies to windmills and solar energy-producers should be put to better uses. To mention a few, controlling floods, getting hurricanes and tornadoes under control, and reducing the destructive consequences of natural disasters. Then the USA could be ready the next time solar-magnetic and lunar factors cause extreme weather events. That would be a meaningful climate policy!
Disclosure: The authors get royalties from gas wells and own stock in companies that are involved with oil and natural gas development. They maintain a blog at www.idealtaxes.com and co-authored the 2008 book Trading Away Our Future: How to Fix Our Government-Driven Trade Deficits and Faulty Tax System Before it's Too Late, published by Ideal Taxes Association.