‘Global warming’s evil twin’: ‘Ocean acidification’ being exposed as another phony crisis

Just as with purported global warming, hyped by pictures of lonely polar bears floating out to see on a small piece of ice, children have been brought to tears by pictures on another bit of nature’s wonder supposedly threatened by callous mankind’s reliance on hydrocarbons for energy. I refer to the “ocean acidification” scare that, we are told by authoritative sources, will destroy the world’s coral reefs.

In a remarkable piece in the UK Spectator, James Delingpole lays out the evidence suggesting that the ocean acidification “Threat” is just as fraudulent as global warming,  and that it was, in fact, invented from data that required careful excision, just as the warmists had to “hide the decline” in order to produce the infamous “hockey stick graph” that fored the core of Al Gore’s Oscar-winning (and fortune building) An Inconvenient Truth.

[Ocean acidification] has been assiduously promoted by environmentalists for more than a decade now as ‘global warming’s evil twin’. Last year, no fewer than 600 academic papers were published on the subject, so it must be serious, right?

First referenced in a peer-reviewed study in Nature in 2003, it has since been endorsed by scientists from numerous learned institutions including the Royal Society, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the IPCC.

That timing is quite suggestive. As Delingpole notes, it was just about this time that the failure of the models to predict the actual temperature record, that showed no warming, was starting to embarrass the crisis-mongers. So the doomsters cooked up another back-up scenario, because the first one wasn’t working.

Ocean acidification is the terrifying threat whereby all that man-made CO2 we’ve been pumping into the atmosphere may react with the sea to form a sort of giant acid bath. First it will kill off all the calcified marine life, such as shellfish, corals and plankton. Then it will destroy all the species that depend on it — causing an almighty mass extinction which will wipe out the fishing industry and turn our oceans into a barren zone of death.

Scary to the max! But just a second:

According to Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, long one of ocean acidification theory’s fiercest critics, the term is ‘just short of propaganda’. The pH of the world’s oceans ranges between 7.5 and 8.3 — well above the acid zone (which starts below ‘neutral’ pH7) — so more correctly it should be stated that the seas are becoming slightly less alkaline. ‘Acid’ was chosen, Moore believes, because it has ‘strong negative connotations for most people’.

It’s true: less alkaline sounds a lot less scary than acidification. Acid eats away stuff, doesn’t it. Of course, alkaline doesn’t connote good consequences either. I think of “alkaline deserts” if I have to come up with an image. But in fact, given that pH 7 is neutral, less alkaline would be the scientific way to describe the process that is supposed to be underway, and that we are supposed to be fearful of.

But what of the basic thesis: that the world’s oceans are becoming less alkaline?

Ocean acidification theory appears to have been fatally flawed almost from the start. In 2004, two NOAA scientists, Richard Feely and Christopher Sabine, produced a chart showing a strong correlation between rising atmospheric CO2 levels and falling oceanic pH levels. But then, just over a year ago, Mike Wallace, a hydrologist with 30 years’ experience, noticed while researching his PhD that they had omitted some key information. Their chart only started in 1988 but, as Wallace knew, there were records dating back to at least 100 years before. So why had they ignored the real-world evidence in favour of computer-modelled projections?

When Wallace plotted a chart of his own, incorporating all the available data, covering the period from 1910 to the present, his results were surprising: there has been no reduction in oceanic pH levels in the last -century.

I am starting to get a feeling of deja-vu. This is exactly he technique used to gin up fears of global warming, Ignore the past data, and use proxy data, so as to obtain the desired result, however misleading it might be. 

And there is another parallel. Just as we are finally beginning to notice that increased atmospheric CO2 leads to the “greening” of the planet (as global warming skeptics have pointed out for many years), bringing higher crop yields and many other benefits:

Moore quotes a killer analysis conducted by Craig Idso of all the studies which have been done on the effects of reduced pH levels on marine life. The impact on calcification, metabolism, growth, fertility and survival of calcifying marine species when pH is lowered up to 0.3 units (beyond what is considered a plausible reduction this century) is beneficial, not damaging. Marine life has nothing whatsoever to fear from ocean acidification.

It is time for the world’s taxpayers to wise up. We have been conned by scare mongers who have built enormous wealth (see centi-millionaire Al Gore) on the basis of fighting imaginary threats, via massive extraction of subsidies and through regulations favoring their schemes. 

According to a report last year by Climate Change Business Journal,  [global warming’s] now worth an astonishing $1.5 trillion — about the same as the online shopping industry. If the scare goes away, then all bets are off, because the entire global decarbonisation business relies on it. The wind parks, the carbon sequestration projects, the solar farms, the biomass plantations — none of these green schemes make any kind of commercial sense unless you buy into the theory that anthropogenic CO2 is catastrophically warming the planet and that radical green measures, enforced by governmental regulation, must be adopted to avert it.

It’s no coincidence that the ocean acidification narrative began in the early 2000s — just as it was beginning to dawn on the climate alarmists that global temperatures weren’t going to plan. While CO2 levels were continuing to rise, temperatures weren’t. Hence the need for a fallback position — an environmental theory which would justify the massively expensive and disruptive ongoing decarbonisation programme so assiduously championed by politicians, scientists, green campaigners and anyone making money out of the renewables business. Ocean acidification fitted the bill perfectly.

Just as with purported global warming, hyped by pictures of lonely polar bears floating out to see on a small piece of ice, children have been brought to tears by pictures on another bit of nature’s wonder supposedly threatened by callous mankind’s reliance on hydrocarbons for energy. I refer to the “ocean acidification” scare that, we are told by authoritative sources, will destroy the world’s coral reefs.

In a remarkable piece in the UK Spectator, James Delingpole lays out the evidence suggesting that the ocean acidification “Threat” is just as fraudulent as global warming,  and that it was, in fact, invented from data that required careful excision, just as the warmists had to “hide the decline” in order to produce the infamous “hockey stick graph” that fored the core of Al Gore’s Oscar-winning (and fortune building) An Inconvenient Truth.

[Ocean acidification] has been assiduously promoted by environmentalists for more than a decade now as ‘global warming’s evil twin’. Last year, no fewer than 600 academic papers were published on the subject, so it must be serious, right?

First referenced in a peer-reviewed study in Nature in 2003, it has since been endorsed by scientists from numerous learned institutions including the Royal Society, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the IPCC.

That timing is quite suggestive. As Delingpole notes, it was just about this time that the failure of the models to predict the actual temperature record, that showed no warming, was starting to embarrass the crisis-mongers. So the doomsters cooked up another back-up scenario, because the first one wasn’t working.

Ocean acidification is the terrifying threat whereby all that man-made CO2 we’ve been pumping into the atmosphere may react with the sea to form a sort of giant acid bath. First it will kill off all the calcified marine life, such as shellfish, corals and plankton. Then it will destroy all the species that depend on it — causing an almighty mass extinction which will wipe out the fishing industry and turn our oceans into a barren zone of death.

Scary to the max! But just a second:

According to Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, long one of ocean acidification theory’s fiercest critics, the term is ‘just short of propaganda’. The pH of the world’s oceans ranges between 7.5 and 8.3 — well above the acid zone (which starts below ‘neutral’ pH7) — so more correctly it should be stated that the seas are becoming slightly less alkaline. ‘Acid’ was chosen, Moore believes, because it has ‘strong negative connotations for most people’.

It’s true: less alkaline sounds a lot less scary than acidification. Acid eats away stuff, doesn’t it. Of course, alkaline doesn’t connote good consequences either. I think of “alkaline deserts” if I have to come up with an image. But in fact, given that pH 7 is neutral, less alkaline would be the scientific way to describe the process that is supposed to be underway, and that we are supposed to be fearful of.

But what of the basic thesis: that the world’s oceans are becoming less alkaline?

Ocean acidification theory appears to have been fatally flawed almost from the start. In 2004, two NOAA scientists, Richard Feely and Christopher Sabine, produced a chart showing a strong correlation between rising atmospheric CO2 levels and falling oceanic pH levels. But then, just over a year ago, Mike Wallace, a hydrologist with 30 years’ experience, noticed while researching his PhD that they had omitted some key information. Their chart only started in 1988 but, as Wallace knew, there were records dating back to at least 100 years before. So why had they ignored the real-world evidence in favour of computer-modelled projections?

When Wallace plotted a chart of his own, incorporating all the available data, covering the period from 1910 to the present, his results were surprising: there has been no reduction in oceanic pH levels in the last -century.

I am starting to get a feeling of deja-vu. This is exactly he technique used to gin up fears of global warming, Ignore the past data, and use proxy data, so as to obtain the desired result, however misleading it might be. 

And there is another parallel. Just as we are finally beginning to notice that increased atmospheric CO2 leads to the “greening” of the planet (as global warming skeptics have pointed out for many years), bringing higher crop yields and many other benefits:

Moore quotes a killer analysis conducted by Craig Idso of all the studies which have been done on the effects of reduced pH levels on marine life. The impact on calcification, metabolism, growth, fertility and survival of calcifying marine species when pH is lowered up to 0.3 units (beyond what is considered a plausible reduction this century) is beneficial, not damaging. Marine life has nothing whatsoever to fear from ocean acidification.

It is time for the world’s taxpayers to wise up. We have been conned by scare mongers who have built enormous wealth (see centi-millionaire Al Gore) on the basis of fighting imaginary threats, via massive extraction of subsidies and through regulations favoring their schemes. 

According to a report last year by Climate Change Business Journal,  [global warming’s] now worth an astonishing $1.5 trillion — about the same as the online shopping industry. If the scare goes away, then all bets are off, because the entire global decarbonisation business relies on it. The wind parks, the carbon sequestration projects, the solar farms, the biomass plantations — none of these green schemes make any kind of commercial sense unless you buy into the theory that anthropogenic CO2 is catastrophically warming the planet and that radical green measures, enforced by governmental regulation, must be adopted to avert it.

It’s no coincidence that the ocean acidification narrative began in the early 2000s — just as it was beginning to dawn on the climate alarmists that global temperatures weren’t going to plan. While CO2 levels were continuing to rise, temperatures weren’t. Hence the need for a fallback position — an environmental theory which would justify the massively expensive and disruptive ongoing decarbonisation programme so assiduously championed by politicians, scientists, green campaigners and anyone making money out of the renewables business. Ocean acidification fitted the bill perfectly.