An Informative Interview with István Markó

This interview was published by Breitbart News Network, in an edited version, on 28 October 2017. Here is the complete version.

István Markó (1956 – 2017) was a professor and researcher in organic chemistry at the Université catholique de Louvain. Prof. Dr. Marko was an outspoken defender of the skeptical view on the issue of human-caused/anthropogenic global warming, appearing in numerous French-language media on the Internet, in public debates and diverse English-language blog postings. He also joined with Anglo-Saxon climate skeptics, publishing several articles together on Breitbart News.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: Climate activism is thought of as Marxism’s Trojan horse, a way for its followers to proceed with their face masked, in the never-ending holy war that Marxism claims will be necessary to establish communist totalitarianism. Yet it was actually Margaret Thatcher, the muse of conservative libertarianism, who kick-started the IPCC. How do you make sense of this?

  István Markó: More precisely, Margaret Thatcher, although a trained chemist and therefore aware of the mendacious character of such an allegation about carbon dioxide (CO2), was the first proponent to use the excuse of climate implications posed by CO2 to achieve her political ends. At the time, that is, in the mid-1980s, Thatcher was waging war with the almighty coal union. In those days, the UK coal unions were remunerating themselves with public monies and by lobbying via the Labour Party had managed to pass an enormous number of laws and subsidies to keep an industry afloat that was no longer profitable on its own.

While facing a strike by the British miners, chaired by Arthur Scargill, (nick-named “Arthur the Red”) who was later to found and lead the Socialist Labor Party, Thatcher thought it worthwhile to enshrine the thesis of warming linked to CO2 emissions to wind up the trade unionists holding her country hostage. But she was not really the initiator of the IPCC. The “kick-off,” as you call it, came more from personalities who were involved in hard ecologism,[1] such as Norwegian Gro Harlem Brundtland, who chaired the UN Commission responsible for the famous 1987’s report “Our Common Future,” or Canadian Maurice Strong, who ranks among the founding members of the IPCC.

The belief in a catastrophic greenhouse effect due to CO2 emissions provided Thatcher with an additional asset, in her arm wrestling with the union, to set up the United Kingdom to get out of coal and to transition to nuclear energy. It was a belief she knew to be unfounded, but one she largely helped to entrench and popularize. One can, admittedly, deplore Thatcher’s strategy based on a perversion of science. The fact remains that, at that time, the electric power generation industries, notably that from coal, did not do so under very clean conditions. Even though CO2 has absolutely nothing to do with a poison, there existed then a real pollution associated with coal burning due to a lack of modern emission control technology.

Indeed, the combustion of coal not only produces innocuous CO2emissions, it is accompanied by sulfurous and nitrogenous waste, produces SO2 emissions, SO3 emissions, and NOx emissions, ejects fine particles, and leaves nominally radioactive ashes (despite the fact that the epidemiological evidence and data for any serious health harms are still very controversial and hard to come by). Since the 1980s, the treatment of industrial pollution has however evolved. Today an electrical utility power generation plant that uses coal as a raw material now results in very little environmental pollution.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: According to you, a person sensitive to pastoral charms, smitten with lounges of greenery and variegated grass beds, can only celebrate the increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air. Could you come back to the necessity to stop demonizing CO2 as a “Satanic gas” in view of the objective data of chemistry?

  István Markó: Again, CO2 is not, and has never been, a poison. Each of our exhalations, each of our breaths, emits an astronomical quantity of CO2 proportionate to that in the atmosphere (some >40,000 ppm); and it is very clear that the air we expire does not kill anyone standing in front of us. What must be understood, besides, is that CO2 is the elementary food of plants. Without CO2 there would be no plants, and without plants there would be no oxygen and therefore no humans. The equation is as simple as that.

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Plants need CO2, water, and daylight. These are the mechanisms of photosynthesis, to generate the sugars that will provide them with staple food and building blocks. That fundamental fact of botany is one of the primary reasons why anyone who is sincerely committed to the preservation of the “natural world” should abstain from demonizing CO2. Over the last 30 years, there has been a gradual increase in the CO2 level. But what is also observed is that despite deforestation, the planet’s vegetation has grown by about 20%. This expansion of vegetation on the planet, nature lovers largely owe it to the increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

If we study, however, what has been happening at the geological level for several million years, we realize that the present period is characterized by an extraordinarily low CO2 level. During the Jurassic, Triassic, and so on, the CO2 level rose to values sometimes of the order of 7000, 8000, 9000 ppm, which considerably exceeds the paltry 400 ppm that we have today. Not only did life exist, in those far-off times when CO2 was so present in large concentration in the atmosphere, but plants such as ferns commonly attained heights of 25 meters. Reciprocally, far from benefiting the current vegetation, the reduction of the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere would be likely to compromise the health, and even the survival, of numerous plants. To fall below the threshold of 280 or 240 ppm would plainly lead to the extinction of a large variety of our vegetal species.

In addition, our relentless crusade to reduce CO2 could be more harmful to nature as plants are not the only organisms to base their nutrition on CO2. Phytoplankton species also feed on CO2, using carbon from CO2 as a building unit and releasing oxygen. By the way, it is worth remembering that ~70% of the oxygen present today in the atmosphere comes from phytoplankton, not trees: contrary to common belief, it is not the forests, but the oceans, that constitute the “lungs” of the earth.

About the supposed link between global warming and CO2 emissions, it is simply not true that CO2 has a major greenhouse effect. It is worth remembering, here too, that CO2 is a minor gas. Today it represents only 0.04% of the composition of the air; and its greenhouse effect is attributed the value of 1. The major greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is water vaporwhich is ten times more potent than CO2 in its greenhouse effect. Water vapor is present in a proportion of 2% in the atmosphere. Those facts are, in principle, taught at school and at university, but one still manages to incriminate CO2 alongside this learning, in using a dirty trick that presents the warming effect of CO2 as minor but exacerbated, through feedback loops, by the other greenhouse effects.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: Many theories that claim to be scientific amount to an elaboration, more or less rigorous from the logical point of view, more or less robust from the experimental point of view, destined to justify some feelings inherently found in those very theories. Besides, people letting themselves be swayed by their feelings rather than by arguments, the persuasive power of a theory will come essentially from the feelings it expresses—and not from the logico-experimental varnish that covers them.

Beyond political interests, what then are the feelings that inspire the anthropogenic global warning thesis and that render it so appealing?

  István Markó: As a scientist, I naturally hope that I can manage to confine myself into the field of what Vilfredo Pareto used to call the logico-experimental method, and that I do not let myself be skewed, without my knowledge, by feelings interfering with the seriousness of my theories and the validity of my experimentations. But my feelings are very certainly at stake when I examine the militant’s speech about the thesis of anthropogenic warming and the strange influence it exerts on governments and public opinion.

To begin, I believe in science: I mean that I believe in the possibility of objectively knowing reality through science. I believe that there are truth and falsehood, that science allows us to distinguish between the two, and that truth must be known; that scientific knowledge must be placed in the hands of the population. I also believe in freedom. I believe that every man is entitled to lead his life and to manage his goods as he sees fit, that he is the only possessor of himself, and that statist socio-economic control is as morally reprehensible as it is harmful in its social, economic, and environmental consequences.

I note two things distressing me: firstly, the population is increasingly misinformed scientifically; and secondly, the media and governments take advantage of this to propagate a theory that is doubtful, namely that of anthropogenic warming, and to promote coercive measures on its behalf. Few people take the time to get vital information about the actual CO2footprint; and few people, more generally, are still interested in science. I deeply regret that our Western societies have succeeded in cultivating such mistrust of science: such a reluctance to have confidence in its capacity to know the world objectively and to transform it positively.

The theory of anthropogenic warming claims to be scientific; but if people accept this theory, if they hold it to be true, it is clearly not out of interest for science. Such a fragile theory, in view of the CO2 facts I have presented to you above, could never have been accepted by people who truly care about science; and who possess a deep understanding in that field. In my eyes, there are two main reasons—or if you prefer, two main types of feelings—that make people let themselves be seduced by the theory of anthropogenic warming so readily. In the first place, the Catholic religion is in decline in the Western world; and what I call ecologism comes to replace it.

In the second place, Westerners have a pronounced taste for self-flagellation; and the theory of anthropogenic warming provides justification for that tendency, possibly anchored in our Judeo-Christian heritage. So, on the one hand, we have religious feelings: faith in a new system of thought, which is ecologism; the veneration of a new divinity, which is benevolent and protective Nature. On the other hand, we have a feeling of guilt, expressed in our conviction that, if the climate warms up, it is our fault; and that if we do not immediately limit our CO2 emissions, we will have sullied and disfigured our planet.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: The following facts are commonly presented to us as proving the planet is warming, whether it has anything to do with the toxicity of CO2. Firstly, the level of seas and oceans would increase year after year, engulfing entire islands, while the level of glaciers and polar caps would decrease; secondly, temperatures would register a gradual augmentation, while the frequency of extreme weather events and the area affected by droughts would also reach increasingly high levels; thirdly, the resurgence of some diseases such as that of anthrax, in Russia, would follow the return of bacteria freed by thawing of permafrost in the north.

Which of those commonly accepted facts do you judge to be substantiated?

  István Markó: Over the last 12,000 years, what we have witnessed is an oscillation between warm and cold periods, thus periods with rising and declining sea levels. Incontestably, sea and ocean levels have been on the rise since the end of the Little Ice Age that took place approximately from the beginning of the 14th century until the end of the 19th century. At the end of that period, global temperatures started to rise. That being said, the recorded rise is 0.8 degrees Celsius and is, therefore, nothing extraordinary. If the temperature goes up, ocean water obviously dilates and some glaciers recede. This is something glaciers have always done, and not a specificity of our time.

Thus, in Ancient Roman times, glaciers were much smaller than the ones we know nowadays. I invite the reader to look at the documents dating back to the days of Hannibal, who managed to cross the Alps with his elephants because he did not encounter ice on his way to Rome, (except during a snow storm just before arriving on the Italian plain). Today, you could no longer make Hannibal’s journey. He proved to be capable of such an exploit, precisely because it was warmer in Roman times.

Sea levels are currently on the rise; but this is an overestimated phenomenon. The recorded rise is 1.5 millimeters per year, namely 1.5 cm every ten years, and is, therefore, not dramatic at all. Indeed, it does happen that entire islands do get engulfed; but in 99% of the cases, that is due to a classic erosion phenomenon[2] and not to rising sea levels. As far as the Italian city of Venice is concerned, the fact it has been faced with water challenges is not due to any rise of the lagoon level; and is just the manifestation of the sad reality that “the City of the Doges” is sinking under its weight on the marshland. Once again, the global sea and ocean levels are rising; but the threat effectively represented by that phenomenon is far from being tangible. I note that the Tuvalu islands, whose engulfment was previously announced as imminent, not only have not been engulfed, but have seen their own land level rise with respect to that of waters around them.

Still another phenomenon we tend to exaggerate is the melting of the polar caps. The quantity of ice in the Arctic has not gone down for 10 years: one may well witness, from one year to the other, ice level fluctuations, but on average that level has remained constant. Right after the Little Ice Age, since the temperature went up, the Artic started to melt; but the ice level in the Arctic finally settled down. Besides, ice has been expanding in Antarctica over the last 30 years; and similarly, we observe in Greenland that the quantity of ice increased by 112 million cubic kilometers last year. On a global scale, glaciers account for peanuts, with most of the ice being located in Antarctica and on Greenland. One cannot but notice an almost unchanged ice level over hundreds of years.

Many other climate myths and legends exist. From storms to tornados, extreme events are going down all around the world; and when they occur, their level is much lower, too. As explained by MIT physicist Richard Lindzen, the reduction of the temperature differential between the north hemisphere and the equatorial part of our planet makes cyclonic energy much smaller: the importance and frequency of extreme events thus tend to decrease. But once again, the rise of temperatures shows a magnitude considerably lower with respect to that we currently project.

If you look at satellite data and weather balloon measurements, you then note that the temperature rise around the world is relatively modest; that it is much lower than the rise that is predicted for us by authorities, and that these predictions rely on calculations that are highly uncertain. This is because the simulation inputs cannot take into account past temperatures (for which there is no precision data[3]), except by subjectively adjusting x, y, z data that are not always known. The recent temperature spikes measured by satellites and balloons are part of a classic natural phenomenon which is called El Niño. This short-term phenomenon consists of a return of the very warm waters at the surface of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The heat thus liberated in the atmosphere pushes up the global temperature and CO2 plays no role in that process.

Another issue I would like to raise: present deserts, far from expanding, are receding; and they are receding due to the higher quantity of CO2available in the air. It turns out that greenhouse operators voluntarily inject three times as much CO2 in the commercial greenhouse as it is present in the atmosphere. The result we can observe is that plants grow faster and are bigger, that they are more resistant to diseases and to destructive insects, and that their photosynthesis is way more efficient and that they therefore consume, less water. Similarly, the rise of CO2level in the atmosphere makes that plants need less water and thus that they can afford to colonize arid regions.

Regarding diseases and other weird phenomena hastily attributed to climate warming, there is a website—“globalwarminghoax.com,” if I recall —that collects the different rumors and contemplations on this theme. The fact that masculine fertility decreases; the fact that birds’ wings shrink; the fact that a shark showed up in the North Sea; absolutely anything is likely to be connected to climate change if one displays enough intellectual dishonesty. That is where honest journalists come into play: your role is to investigate on the true reason of phenomena and to demystify the ready-made thinking that financial and political forces ask the media to channel slavishly.

Climate-related diseases are relatively rare; and even malaria does not directly depend on the climate, but rather on the way we enable the parasite to reproduce and the mosquito to flourish in the place where we are located. If you find yourself in a swampy area, the odds you will get malaria are high; if you have drained the system and you no longer have that wetland, the odds you will catch the disease are very low. In the end, automatically blaming the resurgence of some disease on climate change comes down to removing the personal responsibility from the people involved: such as denying that their refusal of vaccinations, for instance, or their lack of hygiene, may be part of the problem.

Grégoire Canlorbe: In his 1993’s speech, in Liechtenstein, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was alarmed by the disadvantages associated with the blossoming of industry and mass consumption. “The first neglected point, only recently discovered,” he affirmed, considering both the communist regimes and also the capitalist economies, “is that an unlimited Progress does not sit well with the limited resources of the planet; that nature must be preserved rather than overly exploited; that we are making a flashy rampage through an environment that is also our common destiny.”

Solzhenitsyn claimed the abundance of inexpensive consumer goods, the progress of industry, the pursuit of material ease, all that has desiccated the soul of Westerners. “The victory of scientific and technical civilization has breathed a sort of spiritual insecurity into us. Its gifts enrich us, but also hold us in slavery. All is interests, we are compelled to look after ours, all is struggle for material goods; but an inner voice tells us that we have left there something pure, superior, and fragile.”

How do you respond to that archipelago of acerbic views?

István Markó: Solzhenitsyn’s analysis, which castigates what he calls “the scientific and technical civilization,” seems to me to be imbued with a curious defiance with respect to science and the technological progress: that same mistrust, in fact, which has spread like wildfire in our Western societies. I imagine that Solzhenitsyn’s pessimistic bias stems from his dark and painful life under the Soviet regime. I do not know whether one should also recognize in his speech typically Orthodox-Slavic traits of thought: be that as it may, his anguish before the scientific, industrial, and material development is somewhat reminiscent of some passages by Dostoyevsky.

To begin, those who convey the idea that the finite character of resources renders infinite growth impossible, leave out of account the ability of the human being to innovate in our technology, to enrich our knowledge of nature, and to enhance our extraction strategies. Let us take the case of this finite resource that is petroleum: one notices, firstly, that new reserves are regularly discovered; secondly, that the depleted oil reserves, (originally tapped by conventional drilling) are exploited by more advanced methods which improve the yield and recovery rate of remaining, formerly unrecoverable oil; and thirdly, that the “peak oil,” which Malthusians constantly say is about to be reached, is constantly postponed. On the other hand, humankind devises recycling methods that let us glimpse the possibility, in a more or less surrealist future, to build growth on perpetually and integrally recycled resources.

I agree that we must preserve our environment; and avoid over exploitation. But what we must also understand is that Nature does not give anything spontaneously: resources are not available by themselves; they must always be fetched, extracted, by means of some technology. Moreover, Nature is not hospitable by itself. To survive and prosper, we had to adapt to our environment, and adapt our environment. The environmental record of communist regimes, which fail, or have failed, in everything, is indeed disastrous; and Solzhenitsyn’s mistrust of “the scientific and technical civilization” arguably comes from there.

To blame mass consumption and industrial progress as such leaves me perplexed, were it only because it is waste, not consumption itself, which is the real problem. As much as the struggle against waste seems to me to be well-founded and necessary, the struggle against the “consumer society,” which happened to inspire a certain terrorism, seems to me irrelevant. I recall that it is notably mass consumption derived from the industrial exploitation of fossil resources that have liberated Western society from poverty and from a whole series of tasks that previously degraded him. The victory of medicine, which is so often praised, would never have been possible, without the chemistry of fossil resources. It is the chemical and industrial advances in pesticides, insecticides, and fertilizers that have enabled us to master our environment.

Unless one deems degrading and enslaving the very fact of improving our living conditions, none can seriously blame science, technology, and consumption for holding us in slavery. Solzhenitsyn’s criticism seems to avoid denying the economic and sanitary benefits of “progress.” That is, it seems to focus on the psychological consequences. But even from that point of view, one easily exaggerates the deleterious effects associated with scientific and technological development and the resulting material comfort and mass consumption. Pathological behaviors, such as addiction, are the work of a minority of consumers: they are therefore exceptional and accidental; and not a sort of congenital disease of “consumer societies.”

As to the idea that having a comfortable life would create in us a moral desert, that it would make us greedy and heartless, this notion does not stand up to scrutiny either. It is enough to note to what extent people in opulent societies give to charitable organizations of all kinds. Ironically, Asian societies, which have remained faithful to their spiritual traditions, today cultivate a much greater respect for science and technology than that which prevails in the secularized West. It is therefore false to claim, as Solzhenitsyn seems to do, that the spirituality of people atrophies as their way of life is more centered on science and technology.

That said, there are indeed psychological drawbacks that I think can be legitimately attributed to material comfort. Over generations it gradually disposes people who take their comfort for granted, to lose sight of the inhospitable and dangerous world in which they live. Blinded by the ease of their standard of living, and the facilities stemming from their scientific, industrial, and technological advancement, Westerners have finally forgotten a fundamental law: this world gives nothing without effort. Again, the reason we are able to inhabit this planet in conditions that are so favorable to our health and to our hygienic wellbeing, as well as to our economic and demographic development, is that we have rendered our environment hospitable.

Gaia does not take us under her protection; nor is she that delicate and innocent goddess, offended by blood and toil, raped by factories, mines, and urban groups, which ecologists celebrate. I mentioned above the colonization of deserts by plants thanks to the greater amount of CO2available to them. Colonization genuinely comes from Nature itself, not the human being; it is not so much that humans “invented” colonization, or industry, commerce, war, or even infanticides; we only inherited those behaviors from Nature. If the reader does not take me seriously on infanticides, let him think of the polar bears that do not hesitate to kill their own offspring and to take their heads away for the evening meal.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: You seem to have a very special tenderness for China, where you have travelled extensively. The Chinese generation IV nuclear system particularly seems to catch your attention. Drawing on your onsite experience and your research, do the environmental/energy policies of China and its semi-planned version of a capitalist economy deliver, in your eyes, superior results than those obtained in Russia and in the Western world?

  István Markó: As a visiting professor at two Chinese universities, I have extensively travelled in China; and I must confess, as you say, that I have a special affection for that country. Russia’s openness to the capitalist economy was far too brutal and hasty: it led to what I would be tempted to call mafia-type capitalism. The Chinese understood this well. Instead of “liberalizing” like mad, with those unfortunate consequences, they have preferred to opt for a smooth transition from communist totalitarianism to semi-planned capitalism.

Key members of the Chinese government are all trained as scientists or engineers: they are leaders who can reason in a logical way, who can analyze and dissect a problem scientifically; and since they do not have to worry about organizing an election campaign every two or five years, they are in a position to make decisions over the long term. That type of elite production is an undoubtable force of Chinese capitalism; and the development of fourth-generation nuclear, as you rightly point out, is one of the great successes to their credit.

Having said that, I feel obliged to state that I am not candid about the fate of political and social freedoms there. I note, however, that freedom of expression is advancing at breakneck speed. In particular, I witnessed demonstrations in Tiananmen Square that were in the purest European style, and that did not result in any of the participants being shot or beheaded. In 1993, a doctoral student who wanted to come to Belgium could only do so if his family remained hostage on Chinese soil. Today, there is no longer any problem for his family to accompany him.

china-trump

On the Chinese internet, speech is uninhibited; and nearly each young person owns one, or even two mobile phones, things are said and transmitted at a phenomenal rate. There are, admittedly, restrictions, but not more in China than elsewhere. Admittedly, Google and Facebook have been blocked, but the fault lies with the owners. I do not contend that China is the paradise of freedom: all I want to point out is that China is evolving towards freedom and that it respects science, while in the West, we are evolving towards communism, the atrophy of freedom of expression, and contempt of science. Donald Trump seems to know that; and he seems to be the natural alpha leader that America needs to stamp its process of decadence, and to maintain its leadership against the Chinese competitor.

Two things deserve to be said about the ecological balance of China. Contrary to what is suggested by a certain pessimistic prejudice, the Chinese are increasingly rich. One notices the emergence of a veritable middle class, and as they get richer, their environmental concerns increase. But the Chinese, both elites and “ordinary citizens,” do not care about global warming – their concern deals with air quality, the preservation of forests, the safeguard of threatened species, and not with a hypothetical warming of the climate that should be counteracted. Moreover, the Chinese have understood that the future of electricity and power generation lies in nuclear or fossil energies, and certainly not in intermittent ‘renewable’ energies.

The wind industry, over which ecologists swoon, produces highly unpredictable output, depending on the intensity of the wind. Even under good atmospheric conditions, wind delivers too little electricity to be a profitable industry on its own. Warren Buffet, who owns one of the largest wind farms in Iowa, said it without embarrassment: “On wind power, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. This is the only reason to build them. They do not make sense without the tax credit.” The ecological balance is just as bad: onshore wind turbines kill hundreds of thousands, even millions of birds and bats per year. As for wind turbines at sea, they kill many marine mammals, again in the utmost indifference of ecologists.

We are plagued, in Europe, by a morbid fear of nuclear power. The Chinese, but also the Russians and the Indians, know that this fear is irrational, and that renewables that can only provide intermittent energy, are not a viable alternative. They are developing their nuclear industry at a brisk pace and are already experimenting with the next-generation, thorium-fueled nuclear reactor. As for the Germans and the French, and soon the Belgians, alas, they are regressing! They are horrified by the Fukushima accident, encouraged by silly elites, and so they are destroying their wonderful energy/power generation industrial parks, becoming the laughing stock of emerging countries. I recall that the earthquake and the tsunami of 2011 certainly caused numerous victims, about 20,000 deaths. But no one has died because of the nuclear industrial accident as such.

In the United States, there currently happens to be an upsurge in funding for what one calls small modular units. But China assuredly possesses leadership in the nuclear industry. They are in first place before the Russians and the Indians. The Chinese regularly build nuclear power plants, having become masters in that field, they do so faster and faster. They are, today, in the process of devising two thorium-based nuclear pilots. They know that its combustion results in highly radioactive products, with long life spans; but they have managed to solve that problem and find a way to obtain ultimate products that are very weakly radioactive.

Besides this, the Chinese are on the way to becoming leaders in the conquest of space. They built their own platforms, which they managed to send into space and they also have their own launchers, which are extremely reliable, and which are much cheaper, for example, than the Ariane launchers. If the Chinese are such high performers and so innovative, it is because, like the Indians and the Russians, they have faith in science: they have faith in the ability of science to embellish their future and to create a better world. In Europe, there was a time when we, too, had faith in science; and faith in an evolution of our societies that would rest on science. Today we have not only turned our backs on science, we are choked and infantilized by bureaucrats who suck the living forces of the old continent.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: According to a recurring affirmation on your part, the panda (a short while ago endangered) constitutes an “error of nature.” You see it as a creature too ill-adapted to its environment and too convoluted in terms of survival or reproduction strategies. Could you tell us more about it? Ultimately, where does the responsibility of human beings stop and where does that of Mother Nature herself begin in her children’s extinction?

  István Markó: It occurred to me to come up with the expression “error of nature” to qualify the panda. Belonging to the family of Ursidae, the panda is normally an herbivore. It feeds almost exclusively on bamboos, a certain type of bamboo, in fact, which has a variable energy capacity according to the time of the year. Moreover, the panda is a solitary animal, which avoids seeking the company of its congeners, and which therefore rarely leaves its own territory. Those two facts concur to render the reproduction of the panda highly unlikely. On top of this, it is more unlikely as the fertility time of a female panda is only about three days per year.

Firstly, when she is fertile, the female must move off to meet a male disposed to mate with her, and she must do quickly. Secondly, when she ends up with a male, the latter declines the proposition in nine out of ten cases, and this is because at that time of year, their bamboo food source has very poor energy quality. The male panda therefore prefers to rest. No wonder as his testosterone level, at that time of year, is also very low. In addition, pandas care very little about their children. For all those reasons, I think that the panda is a naturally endangered species: a species condemned by nature and saved by the human being.

Among the species that disappear every year, some do so for natural reasons, others owe their extinction to the activity of the human being. That second scenario is the minority, in reality. As in the case of dodo, the species that disappear, or have disappeared, through the fault of the human being are generally insular. Once their biotope has been reduced, they have few possibilities of defending themselves. It is utterly true that there are about 800 species, over the last 600 years that may have disappeared, but the figures that we are hammered with ad nauseam, by environmental activists, the tens of thousands of species supposed to disappear every year, are essentially pulled out of a magical hat.

One day I wrote an e-mail to WWF asking them to enumerate, preferably in Latin, the names of the species that disappeared in the current year, as well as to indicate the location of the cadavers. To this day, I have never received an answer! And for a very simple reason, NGOs want to frighten us and make us feel guilty with baseless allegations. In addition, we should remember it so happens quite regularly that species believed to have disappeared resurface – the coelacanth, for instance, but also the Guinea wolf.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: The utopia of a worldwide caliphate, revived in the era of information and of the instantaneous and globalized networking, is all the less anachronistic as it echoes the Gaianist and “warmist” dream to confine the reins of sustainable development to a global government. Do you see a convergence of struggles looming between totalitarian ecologism and Islam?

  István Markó: Many persons, generally those coming from the former Eastern Bloc, let themselves be seduced by the idea that the resolution of our environmental problems would be that of global governance. In many respects, ecologism is also the communism of the 21st century. In the same way as Islam, it occupies the place left vacant by the decline of Marxism-Leninism. I do not know if a convergence of struggles between Islamists and ecologists will actually take shape; however, I note that we already have the equivalent, on a smaller scale, of the global ecological caliphate. I am thinking of the European Union, which gives us a foretaste of the bureaucratic, global, and totalitarian governance that the United Nations manifestly endeavors to establish.

Since we are talking about globalization, envisioned in its political aspect, the prospect of a world government, but also in its economic and, say, informational aspect—the networking, sometimes instantaneous, of humans, goods, and ideas—I would like to opine a possible perverse effect. As cultures and mentalities mingle, the Westerners’ ecologist (or Gaianist) religion, as well as their penchant for repentance, seem to even reach some of the Asian peoples. Japan, which emerged spiritually emasculated from the Second World War, is more conducive to letting itself be invaded by that Western sanctification of the self-denial of ecologism.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: At the Austrian World Summit, in June 2017, Arnold Schwarzenegger described the fate he would reserve to a climate change skeptic in a scenario as follows. “In a movie, it would have been simpler. One would have said: ‘Who thinks the greenhouse gases are not polluters?’ And the one who would have answered: ‘Yes, I do.’ I would have strapped his mouth to the exhaust pipe of a truck [and] turned on the engine.”

As for you, what treatment would you appreciate to see a devotee of anthropogenic warming enduring on screen?

  István Markó: Having myself practiced bodybuilding in my youth, I am a great admirer of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the man and his cinematography. But I suspect his chemical knowledge, at least what he shows of it, to be a bit light, in contrast to that of Swedish screen star Dolph Lundgren, who at least graduated in chemical engineering. When it comes to getting an enlightened advice in politics or philosophy, I would rather trust Jean-Claude Van Damme.[4]

Arnold expresses himself here completely ignoring that all greenhouse gases are not poison. To strap a car’s exhaust pipe to the mouth of someone and to turn on the engine will only result in blowing up the lungs of the person, which does not have much to do with the greenhouse effect. For my part, the worst ‘punishments’ I would wish upon a devotee of anthropogenic warming, on-screen or in reality, is to be confronted with honest information, data and figures that are not manipulated, which oblige him to recognize the vacuity of his dogma.

Going back to Arnold, among the gases that come out of a powered engine, one finds some that are noxious pollutants—for example, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, or ozone—but carbon dioxide is not part of them. Amongst those polluting gases, all do not have a greenhouse effect. Regarding sea level rise, in many places, notably in Europe, the level of the earth is rising with respect to that of waters. This is a classical geological phenomenon which is known as rebound, due to the fact that at the end of the last glaciation, the enormous quantities of ice that covered the European and North American continent melted, allowing the land that was pushed down by their weight to rise slowly.

We are told that the level of water will increase throughout the world and increase to the point that it will overwhelm a large part of our continents. As Hans von Storch, one of the world’s leading climate modelers, has shown, the models supporting those forecasts are, for 98% of them, totally false. We are told that the air we breathe in the big cities has never been so polluted. One only must review the documents oneself about the air that people used to breath in London in the 1960s to realize how much urban pollution has diminished. In Peking, often castigated for poor air quality, there happens, every now and then, a fog reminiscent of the London smog. But even that pollution in Peking is far from competing with that which, a short while ago, reigned in London.

We are warned against glyphosate, we are called upon to banish it, but I am ready to drink ten grams of glyphosate in front of you. The truth is that glyphosate is a product half as toxic as salt. In practice, it is not more polluting for our environment than it is carcinogenic to our organism. Behind the anti-glyphosate campaign, you find all kinds of NGOs that I call eco-terrorists; and that are ready to do everything, even banishing scientific truth itself, to destroy Monsanto. I am neither a partisan nor an enemy of that firm, but I deplore the unjustified animosity surrounding a truly brilliant product. This animosity is fueled by a shameful propaganda on the part of the Avaaz and other Greenpeace type groups.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: Thank you for your time. Would you like to add a thing or two?

  István Markó: I would like to thank you for the relevance of your questions. I was recently in Santa Barbara, California, where I had the opportunity to eat with plates and cutlery made of corn, which are thus biodegradable. This is an initiative that I welcome, and that has nothing to do with the vain, costly, and spiritually lethal struggle against CO2emissions. If there is one final message I would like to convey, it is that we have to be concerned about the real ecological problems — noxious pollutants, unmanaged waste, untreated human sewage. We have to cease letting ourselves be manipulated by causes that purport to be good for our planet, but that are simply pretexts for enslaving and tying up humanity.

God knows there are abominable things happening to our planet! Think about the pollution of the oceans and the “seventh continent;” think about the extinction of some marine species like codfish, which is the victim not only of overfishing, but of the proliferation of seals whose hunting has been prohibited. We must preserve our environment, it goes without saying. We must also exercise our critical mind and identify the real problems, otherwise our good feelings for ‘saving the planet’ are only arrogant, hypocritical, and stupid tears.

The agreement of the Paris COP 21 was not signed to save the planet and to prevent us from roasting due to an imaginary temperature increase of +2°C. Behind all that masquerade is hidden, as always, the ugly face of power, greed, and profit. All the industrialists who are in favor of that commitment, which will ruin Europe and immensely impoverish its citizens, do so for the good reason they find in it a huge and easy source of income. As for NGOs, when they are not simply motivated by greed, their motive consists in a resolutely Malthusian ideology. Their object is to return the world to a very small population, on the order of a few hundred million people. To do so, they impoverish the world, remove the power of fossil fuel energies, and thus ensure that the number of deaths increases.

solzhenitsyn-thatch_785322c

Alexander Solzhenitsyn meeting Margaret Thatcher in 1983


Grégoire Canlorbe, a political and scientific journalist, has conducted numerous interviews for journals such as Man and the Economy, founded by Nobel-Prize winning economist Ronald Coase, Arguments, and Agefi Magazine; and think tanks such as Gatestone Institute and Mises Institute. He has a few articles and appearances on radio, as a political analyst, to his credit. And he is currently cooperating with sociologist and philosopher Howard Bloom on a conversation book, dealing with mass behavior in the universe, from atoms to humans.

 Contact: gregoire.canlorbe@wanadoo.fr — https://www.facebook.com/gregoire.canlorbe

[1] « Ecologism is a new political ideology based on the position that the non-human world is worthy of moral consideration, and that this should be taken into account in social, economic, and political systems. » Brian Baxter http://press.georgetown.edu/book/georgetown/ecologism

[2] The island shores are eroded by the persistent pounding of the ocean waves. This is perceived as ‘sinking’ or as ‘sea level rise’ but upward creep of the waters is is due to island soil being washed away.

[3] Historic temperatures are determined by ‘proxies’ – using broad estimates drawn from various geological, carbon-14, tree-ring or other natural indicators. Modern thermometers were invented in the early 1700’s. Still today with high precision instruments, no measurements less than 1°C can be accurately measured. Marko famously wrote of the 2016 ‘hottest year ever’ claim by the WMO that : “The World Meteorological Organization – another emanation of the United Nations and which is also, like the IPCC, an intergovernmental forum – declares 2016 the year the warmest of history. Knowing that 2016 is supposedly hotter by 0.02°C than 2015 and that the margin of error on this value is 0.1°C, we see the absurdity of this statement. For those who don’t understand, this means that the variation in temperature can be of + 0.12°C (global warming) or -0.08°C (global cooling). In short, we can’t say anything and WMO has simply lost its mind.”
https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/wmo-confirms-2016-hottest-year-record-about-11°c-above-pre-industrial-era

[4] The Belgian martial arts expert and movie star is known for his support of Trump and for his concern for the protection of natural species.

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145 thoughts on “An Informative Interview with István Markó

  1. With respect to China, getting better is not the same as leadership.

    Cleaning up coal pants and building nuke plants 50 years after the west started, is not leadership.

    When China and the US produced the same amount of coal, China admitted to 5000 deaths compared 50 in the US. The principles of mine safety have been know for 100 years.

  2. His SLR statement, given at 1.5 mm/yr, seems a little low. It could be 1.5 mm/yr I suppose if 2.2 (+/-0.7) mm/yr is the real number with an uncertainty bound.

    I liked the comment where he told of asking the WWF (I assume the World Wildlife Fund, no the wrestling federation) for a list of species gone extinct to to climate change, and for the “locations of the cadavers.”

    It’s good to see that in Europe some science sanity remains in academia. But again, like here in the US, skeptical scientists are almost exclusively those at the end of their working careers or retired. The intimidation to the younger academics to not rock the corrupt boat of CC is real. Play along and get along, and get your grant and tenure is what they’ve been taught.

  3. Read on Breitbart and now read it here, interview style. Both a regreat reads.

    “ecologism comes to replace it.”

    A great descriptive term.
    Complete with pantheons of saints, sinners and devils. No angels.

    “In the second place, Westerners have a pronounced taste for self-flagellation”

    That is the best explanation for why trollops regularly expose their near absolute lack of thought, reason, logic and common sense.

    They’re here for the punishment!

    • Dr Michael Crichton, who also died too young, made in 2006 a very convincing, easy to follow argument that environmentalism is a religion.

    • As I read that in the article the picture in my mind was the albino priest in the movie “The Da Vinci Code” flogging himself.

  4. One of the clearest explanations of Margaret Thatcher’s embrace of the CO2 problem despite her chemistry background. She did later disavow her earlier public stance but too late.

    Heartening to hear of China’s progress in the 4th-generation nuclear modules. If they can build them for Africa at a reasonable price made possible by the lack of strangling environmental regulations, we may yet see the emergence of African nations out of poverty.

    • By the time Africa goes nuclear, it will be Australia that will have become the new Third World country. We have a third of the world’s reserves of uranium yet we’re the only G20 country without nuclear power. Why? Because of the demented political elite hell bent on saturating the country with bat crazy renewables. Why? “in order to meet our international obligations to reduce our ‘carbon’ (that’s carbon dioxide to anyone with half a train) emissions” that, by the way, won’t make one scrap of difference to the global climate, though that is the trumpeted rationale. So the national economy is fast becoming a train wreck.
      Utterly insane leadership.

      • I am an Australian and have been a regular reader here for years. I too despair of our leaders ever coming to their senses about the way we generate electricity. All your comments above are so apt and I despair.

      • Our Wizards of Oz are sadly all left or far left authoritarians who skite about being the lucky country and think that’s an achievement – we’ve not got much chance at all with this to work with (I always picture them raising their arms and shouting TIMMY ! ) The media here are all clueless gossips so they’re no help at all – heck, when the China/India trade agreement was signed all those years back I thought ohshit and waited for the media to have an apoplexy but nope. The death knell sounded but the media were sleeping.

        Australia had all the opportunities but we’re fast on track to abandoning any decent future we once might have had.

      • In Ontario we have “utterly insane leadership” as well, and similar issues with ‘unreliables’ that are government subsidized and have long term contracts that supposedly can’t be broken.
        Why are we not doing psychometric assessments of all political candidates? Our collective future is at stake because of incompetent leadership.
        This was one of the most comprehensive interviews I’ve ever read.
        Thank you Anthony for publishing at this critical juncture.
        It needs to be ready by everyone, but how many have the level of focus and comprehension to do so?

      • As with Australia and Canada and most countries in Europe your Parliaments are more “Democratic” than here in the USA. But since the start if the 20th century we have become more polarized with left-wing and right-wing ideologies in our Congress…because of more immigration from everywhere else bringing those ideologies here. When he brought up how the western countries are moving more communistic and communist countries are moving more westernized economically. I felt vilified for comment I have said along the same path. Some people that get twisted out of shape when political ideologies are drawn into scientific comments just don’t understand how they are connected.

    • Thatcher, in her autobiography, admitted her mistake as you point out. She explained that by that time her political power had all but disappeared.

      For another reason I was looking more into Maurice Strong the other day and hadn’t previously realised that he left the UN and had most if not all of his honours stripped away over fraud involving oil money from Iraq and money disappearing (~$1m) from UN coffers into one of Strong’s companies.

      He then fled and sought refuge in China where his cousin had lived – she was a member of Comintern and had lived with Chairman Mao for 2 years. Strong was then well looked after in China.

      The classic statement made by Strong, and one I frequently quote is from his speech to the Club of Rome :

      “In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that .. the threat of global warming.. would fit the bill…. the real enemy, then, is humanity itself….we believe humanity requires a common motivation, namely a common adversary in order to realize world government. It does not matter if this common enemy is a real one or…. one invented for the purpose.” (Maurice Strong – speech to Club of Rome – and “invented” referred specifically to ‘Global Warming’)

      “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsiblity to bring that about?”

      and those two statement explain what lies behind and is the sole reason for the invention of ‘Global Warming / Climate Change’ – the destruction of industrialised nations and replacement with an unelected marxist world government. .

      One of the various articles on Strong I was reading was the following:
      http://www.foxnews.com/story/2007/02/08/at-united-nations-curious-career-maurice-strong.html

    • Arthur Scargill and his ilk stood in the way of Maggie saving Britain. He was a far greater evil than CO2.

  5. Anthony,
    Thank you for publishing the complete version of the interview with Prof. Dr. Marko. It is a long read but worth every moment.

    joelobryan,
    I had a saved bookmark of one of Dr Michael Crichton writings/speeches that really caught my attention about the time of the climategate emails. Lost it with the demise of my old computer. I may try to revisit it if google will allow. I’ll update with a link if I find it and time to look.

    • By saving bookmarked sites to Pocket (Google for GetPocket) or Evernote, the loss of ones computer won’t mean the loss of those links.

      • Once the URL of the Pocket-saved sites is in Pocket, Google can’t affect one’s subsequent access to them.

      • Roger Knights “Once the URL of the Pocket-saved sites is in Pocket, Google can’t affect one’s subsequent access to them.”

        So Pocket is eternally reliable? Glad to hear it. If so, it would be a first!

      • The Pocket data and the Pocket “app” is stored on ones own computer (and remotely backed up), so it should be less risky than being stored in the cloud.

  6. A very well said interview on scientific logic that is so lacking today in much of academia. Fellow Belgian skeptics wrote in an e-mail to NTZ that Prof. Markó was “a great man” and one of the “leading spirits” among the skeptic side of the debate. “István was a prince among man, a true scientist.”

    A powerful and honest voice on the state of climate politics. So sad that he died prematurely due to complications with surgery. RIP Marko, we will carry your light into the future.

  7. “and similarly, we observe in Greenland that the quantity of ice increased by 112 million cubic kilometers last year”

    Well, Greenland is a bit over 2 million square kilometers, so even 112 thousand cubic kilometers would be 50 meters of new ice.

      • Maybe original lost in translation…meant 112 Gigatonnes 112 billion Tonnes = 112 km3
        Obviously not 112,000,000 km3 since the Greenland ice sheet only holds 2,850,000 km3 total ice. Estimates were that up to 270 km3 were melting per year in the mid 2000’s. Last year, Greenland gained mass ice balance so 112 km3 sounds reasonable.

  8. I had the honor to meet István several times with the French-Belgian group of climate realists. His untimely death was a deep shock for everybody who knew him. We will miss him as the heavy weight who was a beacon of reason in the climate madness striking Europe these days.

  9. As Marko says,climate is controlled by natural cycles. Earth is just past the 2003+/- peak of a millennial cycle and the current cooling trend will likely continue until the next Little Ice Age minimum at about 2650.See the Energy and Environment paper at http://journals.sagepub.com
    and an earlier accessible blog version at http://climatesense-norpag….
    Here is the abstract for convenience :
    “ABSTRACT
    This paper argues that the methods used by the establishment climate science community are not fit for purpose and that a new forecasting paradigm should be adopted. Earth’s climate is the result of resonances and beats between various quasi-cyclic processes of varying wavelengths. It is not possible to forecast the future unless we have a good understanding of where the earth is in time in relation to the current phases of those different interacting natural quasi periodicities. Evidence is presented specifying the timing and amplitude of the natural 60+/- year and, more importantly, 1,000 year periodicities (observed emergent behaviors) that are so obvious in the temperature record. Data related to the solar climate driver is discussed and the solar cycle 22 low in the neutron count (high solar activity) in 1991 is identified as a solar activity millennial peak and correlated with the millennial peak -inversion point – in the UAH6 temperature trend in about 2003. The cyclic trends are projected forward and predict a probable general temperature decline in the coming decades and centuries. Estimates of the timing and amplitude of the coming cooling are made. If the real climate outcomes follow a trend which approaches the near term forecasts of this working hypothesis, the divergence between the IPCC forecasts and those projected by this paper will be so large by 2021 as to make the current, supposedly actionable, level of confidence in the IPCC forecasts untenable.””

    See Fig 12 to see cooling forecast to 2100

    “3.1 Long Term.
    The depths of the next LIA will likely occur about 2640 +/-. In the real world no pattern repeats exactly because other things are never equal. Look for example at the short-term annual variability about the 50-year moving average in Fig. 3. The actual future pattern will incorporate other solar periodicities in addition to the 60-year and millennial cycles, and will also reflect extraneous events such as volcanism. However, these two most obvious cycles should capture the principal components of the general trends with an accuracy high enough, and probability likely enough, to guide policy. Forward projections made by mathematical curve fitting alone have no necessary connection to reality if turning points picked from empirical data in Figs 4 and 10 are ignored.
    Fig. 12 compares the IPCC forecast with the Akasofu (31) forecast (red harmonic) and with the simple and most reasonable working hypothesis of this paper (green line) that the “Golden Spike” temperature peak at about 2003 is the most recent peak in the millennial cycle. Akasofu forecasts a further temperature increase to 2100 to be 0.5°C ± 0.2C, rather than 4.0 C +/- 2.0C predicted by the IPCC. but this interpretation ignores the Millennial inflexion point at 2004. Fig. 12 shows that the well documented 60-year temperature cycle coincidentally also peaks at about 2003.Looking at the shorter 60+/- year wavelength modulation of the millennial trend, the most straightforward hypothesis is that the cooling trends from 2003 forward will simply be a mirror image of the recent rising trends. This is illustrated by the green curve in Fig. 12, which shows cooling until 2038, slight warming to 2073 and then cooling to the end of the century, by which time almost all of the 20th century warming will have been reversed. Easterbrook 2015 (32) based his 2100 forecasts on the warming/cooling, mainly PDO, cycles of the last century. These are similar to Akasofu’s because Easterbrook’s Fig 5 also fails to recognize the 2004 Millennial peak and inversion. Scaffetta’s 2000-2100 projected warming forecast (18) ranged between 0.3 C and 1.6 C which is significantly lower than the IPCC GCM ensemble mean projected warming of 1.1C to 4.1 C. The difference between Scaffetta’s paper and the current paper is that his Fig.30 B also ignores the Millennial temperature trend inversion here picked at 2003 and he allows for the possibility of a more significant anthropogenic CO2 warming contribution.”

  10. To István Markó condensed
    We are warned against glyphosate, we are called upon to banish it, but I am ready to drink ten grams of glyphosate in front of you. The truth is that glyphosate is a product half as toxic as salt. In practice, it is not more polluting for our environment than it is carcinogenic to our organism. Behind the anti-glyphosate campaign, you find all kinds of NGOs that I call eco-terrorists; and that are ready to do everything, even banishing scientific truth itself, to destroy Monsanto. I am neither a partisan nor an enemy of that firm, but I deplore the unjustified animosity surrounding a truly brilliant product. This animosity is fueled by a shameful propaganda on the part of the Avaaz and other Greenpeace type groups.
    ———————————————————————————————————————–
    The effect of Glyphosate is indirect and connected with its effect on the soil and the effect on the food grown in the soil . See below
    Research and compiled by : Robert S Hardt
    Independend Scientific Researcher A.E.N.T
    Contact Information
    ROBERTHARDT@YAHOO.COM
    1-310-389-4011
    CONTACT INFORMATION
    ROBERTHARDT@YAHOO.COM
    1-310-398-4011
    PDF – Google Search
    GLYPHOSATE ROUNDUP READY BINDS, CHELATES PDF – Google Search
    With the significant increase in genetically modified organisms or “GMO” crops (e.g., RoundUp Ready® crops),, the
    wide-spread use of the herbicide glyphosate (i.e., RoundUp® herbicide) has raised concerns. Glyphosate may not
    break down in the soil after contacting plants. The herbicide kills many types of soil microbes, including microbes
    that make micronutrients plant-available. Glyphosate strongly chelates micronutrients in the soil, including selenium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, nickel, cobalt and zinc. Thus, the use of GMO crops can decrease
    herbicide costs at the expense of plant health. Accordingly, and potentially, what these GMO crops (Corn, Soy,
    Millet, Cassava, Rice, Sugar Cane Beets, Wheat and many others) when consumed by Mammals and Man are a
    food source that is less nutritious and a biochemical chain reaction disaster, that binds, blocks and disrupts
    essential micronutrient minerals, enzymes and hormones that provide metabolic energy and free radical protection
    of the mitochondria of all our life giving cells!
    Below is a visual chain reaction story of how this herbicide has potentially caused all neurologically related
    diseases, autoimmune diseases, sleep disorders, depression, metabolic diseases and all forms of cancer….ever
    since its exception and continued utilization!
    In its most basic application, Glyphosate disrupts every enzymatic DNA and RNA function by chelating the most
    essential minerals that we need for these functions…..copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, nickel, cobalt and
    zinc.
    It also cuts off and effects the bioavailability of all B-Vitamins and the protein conversion amino acid Trytophan,
    which then effects Serotonin and Melatonin synthesis….resulting in a cascade of neurological dysfunctions,
    diseases and cancers.
    Glyphosate chelation PDF Google Search Glyphosate chelation is not selective. … /The relation- ship between the
    depletion of rat liver tryptophan pyrrolase haem … tryptophan depletion leads to serotonin and melatonin
    depletion in the brain … heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease…..Oct 16,
    2013 – Disrupted gut bacteria; Depleted serotonin supply; Deficiency in … Tryptophan ! serotonin !
    melatonin … deficiency is linked to obesity, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, …. *http://sustainablepulse.com/wpcontent/
    uploads/GMO-health.pdf … Glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor that promotes breast
    cancer*….Widespread serotonin deficiency is at least partially responsible for the … rationale to explain common
    age-related disorders such as depressed mood and … L-tryptophan serves as a precursor not only to serotonin,
    but also melatonin and niacin. … diseases, and HIV infection are associated with tryptophan depletion,
    even …hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) and onwards to melatonin had been clarified and the … Whilst interest in the role
    of tryptophan and serotonin to the autistic … development of the vitamin deficiency disease, pellagra (E52,
    ICD-10) as a ….. It has been shown that a diet depleted of tryptophan is not beneficial for children with ASDs.
    A deficient production of melatonin can result in anxiety and mood disorders, lowered … Phase Syndrome;
    Immunological Disorders; Cardiovascular Disease; Cancer … Abnormalities of melatonin circadian function have
    been closely linked to a …. 5HTP is intermediate in the tryptophan to serotonin/melatonin pathway…Serotonin
    decreases due to enzymatic breakdown (14) which occurs with a … When a serotonin deficiency exists, sleep
    disturbances (8, 9), anxiety, … L-tryptophan can no longer be converted into serotonin, melatonin, or be …. of
    interferon-induced tryptophan catabolism in cancer, auto-immune diseases …melatonin, serotonin, and a
    variety of KP products including … Tryptophan pathways in neurodegenerative disease. International Journal of …
    their genesis partly through serotonin deficiency in turn mediated by tryptophan depletion from KP acti- vation
    (see … ase (TDO) particularly in relation to the factors that can modulate …
    In the present review we summarize the relationship between the amino acid, tryptophan, the neurotransmitter,
    serotonin, and the indole, melatonin, with the rhythms of sleep/wake and the immune response along with the
    possible connections between the alterations in these rhythms due to aging and the so-called “serotonin and
    melatonin deficiency state.” The decrease associated with aging of the brain and circulating levels of serotonin and
    melatonin seemingly contributes to the alterations of both the sleep/wake cycle and the immune response that
    typically accompany old age. The supplemental administration of tryptophan, e.g. the inclusion of tryptophanenriched
    food in the diet, might help to remediate these age-related alterations due to its capacity of raise the
    serotonin and melatonin levels in the brain and blood. Herein, we also summarize a set of studies related to the
    potential role that tryptophan, and its derived product melatonin, may play in the restoration of the aged circadian
    rhythms of sleep/wake and immune response, taking the ringdove (Streptopelia risoria) as a suitable model.
    Keywords: immune function, melatonin, serotonin, sleep-wake cycle, ringdove, tryptophan

    • Typical enviro-twaddle. It reads like a word association game, leaping from topic to another. They just string lots of ‘scientific’ key-words and concepts together into a hypothetical stream-of-consciousness disaster scenario, and think that will fool everybody.
      And it does fool some people.

      • Also,

        “Glyphosate strongly chelates micronutrients in the soil, including selenium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, nickel, cobalt and zinc. Thus, the use of GMO crops can decrease
        herbicide costs at the expense of plant health”

        More enviro-speculation, building castles in the air when the truth is often not so simple as alarmists choose to believe from their over-simplifications. Chelating molecules, such as EDTA, are indeed used in many circumstances, especially solution chemistry, to reduce the availability of certain metal ions. But in cases where there is a significant amount of such ions already present as insoluble precipitates/aggregates, such as one might expect in soil, chelating materials can actually mobilise them, thus increasing the amount available. I’ll be more convinced by sustained non-partisan in-depth experimental data, not green conjecture.

      • When paraquat was developed in the 1960s the subsequent route of its breakdown products in the soil was followed down to CO2 and NH3. Has something similar been done for the fate of glyphosate?

      • StephenP,

        Soil bacteria remove most of glyphosate in the soils in a matter of weeks. Even so traces of it can be found in food, in the order of one piece of suger in an Olympic pool (*)… That is the problem with the enormous sensitivity of today’s analytic methods. Even IF it is carcinogenic, which is questionable, the quantities found in food are probably negligible.

        (*) Just a guess of mine: I have asked several times at what daily dose there were problems with glyphosate found and what the maximum dose was that was ingested by food. Never had an answer…

      • Michael
        Terry Harnden’s “stream of consciousness” is perfect example of how mechanistically reductionist science can easily lead you up the garden path. The sheer volume of analytical data obtained from measuring anything can very easily be craft into a sciency-sounding scare story.

        Take the litany of disasters listed for glyphosate. It would be easy to create a similarly scary list of biochemical consequences of eating an Oreo biscuit, drinking a glass of Stella Artios beer or peeing in the bushes.

        Anything and everything can be turned into disaster copy simply by selectively listing result of chemical and biochemical analysis. The fact that detailed scientific data can so easily be made into a disaster story is fuelling the growth of the eco-religion and eco-caliphate that Istvan so clearly describes here.

      • Look, you can say the same exact thing about the skeptic view of climate change: words are strung together that will fool everybody. The point, which we constantly tell alarmists, is to examine the evidence carefully and don’t go by assumptions or by what we want to believe or prefer. I’m a bit skeptical about the claims of the safety of glyphosate. Maybe an in-depth discussion of that issue would be a good exercise in real skepticism (ie, subjecting opinions and evidence to scrutiny) although admittedly this might not be the time or place for that, and I certainly am no expert on the subject. It’s possible that CAGW is false AND that glyphosate really is harmful; it’s also possible that glyphosate is not, but I certainly am not going to go simply by Markó’s claim that he’ll drink 10 grams of it. It’s possible that he is misinformed just as it’s possible, and in fact is probable, that many good, honest, and competent scientists are nevertheless misinformed about CO2.

        So if we want to defend, or incriminate, glyphosate, please let’s talk real evidence and let’s not fall into glib dismissals or rely on “I’ll take 10 grams!” evidence.

      • The latest study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has a lead author which received his PhD from the Maharishi University (of the Yogic Flyers fame – which is also not a recognized accredited institution obviously).

        So the ecologist religious people are able to pass their studies off as real. I mean in JAMA no less. It even says PhD next to his name.

        https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2658306

        https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-j-mills-758352133/

        https://www.mum.edu/about-mum

      • Thanks Bill Illis for the references.

        As glyphosate is water soluble and after a few days the amount in urine of humans equilibrates with the intake, the intake over the years increased to about 1 μg/day (0.000001 g/day) in 2016-2017.

        From http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/dienochlor-glyphosate/glyphosate-ext.html

        The LD50 in rats (acute lethal dose for 50%) is 5,600 mg/kg.
        The NOEL (no observed effect level) in rats is 57 mg/kg/day
        The NOEL in rabbits is 175 mg/kg/day.
        The NOEL in dogs is 500 mg/kg/day.

        Humans and other primates in general have better tolerances to chemicals, than other animals, no matter natural or synthetic.
        No mutagenity in bacteria strains (Ames test).
        No reproductive effects up to the highest dose tested of 350 mg/kg/day

        If the late István Markó ingested a one-time dose of 10 g he probably will not have any effect, as he was around 100 kg (200 pounds), thus even a dose of 50 g/day every day all life long, would do no harm to humans of that weight.

        My impression is that the NGO’s want to kill that product, as it is one of the least toxic and effective herbicides on the market. If you can ban this one, you can ban them all…

      • Ha ha ha,

        another dumb attack on a well researched chemical, that has a demonstrated LOW Toxicity effect on Humans,due to the fact that Glyphosate has a SPECIFIC effect on plant physiology:

        “Mode of Action:

        Target Organisms

        In plants, glyphosate disrupts the shikimic acid pathway through inhibition of the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate (EPSP) synthase. The resulting deficiency in EPSP production leads to reductions in aromatic amino acids that are vital for protein synthesis and plant growth.1,4
        Glyphosate is absorbed across the leaves and stems of plants and is translocated throughout the plant.1,3 It concentrates in the meristem tissue.10

        Plants exposed to glyphosate display stunted growth, loss of green coloration, leaf wrinkling or malformation, and tissue death. Death of the plant may take from 4 to 20 days to occur.4,10
        The sodium salt of glyphosate can act as a plant growth regulator and accelerate fruit ripening.2
        Non-target Organisms

        The shikimic acid pathway is specific to plants and some microorganisms. The absence of this pathway in mammals may explain the low toxicity of glyphosate to non-target organisms.”

        There is a lot of research on this chemical in the link,

        http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/archive/glyphotech.html

      • “I mean in JAMA no less.”

        If the AMA would change the title of their publication to “Proceedings and Journal of the AMA,” it it would have the acronym PAJAMA.

    • Terry,

      Robert S Hardt is indeed an independent researcher, who is against everything synthetic, no matter how good (or better) it is than “natural” ingredients in our food. See e.g.:
      https://www.academia.edu/6205459/Their_Actions_and_Interactions

      Not clear is if he ever has made any real research himself to check the dose-response relationship between any synthetic or natural ingredient and harm – or good – done to the body. Most of his work seems to be his own interpretation of research by others.

      The best joke I have read about glyfosate was that traces were found in Ben & Jerry ice cream. Nothing was said about the quantities found, but I am pretty sure that the “natural” sugar (25%) and milk fats in ice cream (and a host of other ingredients for taste and color) are much worse for health than the traces of glyfosate…

      • Funny that discussion about round-up rarely mentions the benefits of glyphosate to the world’s food supply or to the costs of agricultural production. All while there is no evidence of harm to humans. Of course, there may be some costs but without comparing benefits there can not be a reasonable analysis. If medical drugs had to face the same scrutiny we would not even have aspirin left on store shelves.

      • Sunsettommy,

        Not (yet) in Europe, but the pressure on the commissions of both sides is high, as they need to make a decision for the next 10 years.
        Problem in Europe is that individual states (or even regions) can ban anything under the umbrella of “health concerns”. In Flanders, Belgium, the regional government banned its use for domestic purposes, but still allows it for professional agriculture use. Several towns and communities banned it and now use “environmental friendly” alternatives like burning the weeds (caused already several fires), which doesn’t destroys the roots, thus far from effective and work intensive…

        As I live about 1.2 km from the border with the Netherlads, I have bought a good stock, as it isn’t forbidden there…

    • anybody ignorant of the distinction between effect and affect is a fakeademic – and anybody who can’t tell is a fool.
      howbow dah?

  11. A brilliant insight into the current situation regarding the trashing of modern science.

    Thank you Anthony for posting this.

  12. I do “believe” in limited resources, and also in population control. At least for the poorer countries. These are the real problems of humanity. It seems evident that population should stop growing for a reason or other. It is better to stop growing because “can have a will” than because we are killing each other or dying of hunger. In this sense, the error of Malthus was to ignore the future power of fossil fuels, that had barely started when he was alive. But if we are unable to find new sources of energy than those we are using today, we are going to have a serious problem, Huston.
    But even in the event of finding new ways to generate energy, cheap or not, the population must have to stop growing for rational reasons. We can not end filling the planet till we will be one person per square meter. I have had some disputes with communists that do not understand the need to stop the growth of population. It is like communists need that poor keep growing up so an unsurmountable mountain of problems would give them a chance to make a proletarian revolution. In this sense, conservatives seem to be thinking in a similar way. I am a natural skeptic, and I do no believe so much in science or technology, simply because it must exist some natural limits to progress in both fields.

  13. Good discussion of some of the key inconsistencies of the “mainstream” position on matters concerning “global climate change” (and mitigation of the same) — particularly because it is presented in layman’s terms.

    Does anyone know what was the cause of Markó’s death?

      • Thank you, Ferdinand.

        Unfortunate. Condolences to his family and friends. A brave man and a rare one these days (unafraid of being politically incorrect when attempting to insert some rational thought into today’s so-called “science”).

        Kurt

        P.S. That would be “led”, not “lead”.

  14. “On the Chinese internet, speech is uninhibited; and nearly each young person owns one, or even two mobile phones, things are said and transmitted at a phenomenal rate. There are, admittedly, restrictions, but not more in China than elsewhere.”

    what an ignorant kook.

    It the same kind of intelligence that doesnt realize that C02 is a poisen and will most definately kill you.

    https://healthfully.com/stages-death-carbon-dioxide-8696252.html

    • Can you let me know how many men on submarines die from exposure to 8000ppm co2-

      Testing growing vegetables on a Submarine-

      “We tested 83 different varieties of plants, including vegetables and fruits — everything from strawberries to zucchini, beans and rhubarb — a little bit of everything,” Holman said. “About 51 of those 83 that we tried grew well in hydroponic conditions. The whole concept was to grow a salad for the submariners.”

      Leafy green vegetables did particularly well, but plants requiring more sun and heat, such as tomatoes, struggled.

    • Ha Ha Mosher

      How thick are you? Can we measure it, is it possible?

      Tell you what, start drinking water and keep drinking and see how long it takes you to die. You will because obviously water is ‘poisonous’ to humans!

    • Oh this is priceless –

      “Extreme Exposure

      If you are exposed to a level of carbon dioxide that is 20 percent or higher, death is imminent. You will rapidly fall unconscious or into a coma. Convulsions are likely to occur. Death will follow, usually by asphyxiation, because the CO2 prevents blood from carrying oxygen into the bloodstream. This can happen in a matter of minutes”

      https://healthfully.com/stages-death-carbon-dioxide-8696252.html

      near me are guys working in greenhouses with co2 levels at 1200ppm, they are dropping like flies.

      • I know why the Dinosaurs were wiped out- they started going crazy-

        “Previous studies have looked at 10,000 ppm, 20,000 ppm; that’s the level at which scientists thought effects started,” said Berkeley Lab scientist Mark Mendell, also a co-author of the study. “That’s why these findings are so startling.”

      • The only effect I find is it make me angry at about 40,000ppm . When I travel into London on the central line and it is so packed i am rammed up tight i get madder than hell.

    • By your “logic” water is also a poison. It too can definitely kill you. By the way, you might want to learn how to spell “poison” and “definitely”. It makes you look like even more of a doofus than you already are, if that’s possible.

      • Yes, many things that are safe and beneficial at one level become dangerous at a different level.
        Its not that hard to understand.

      • Yes Steve, it is called DOSE,anything can be toxic to Humans at a certain dose. Drinking too much Alcohol can kill,so can too much water,candy and so on,it depends on the DOSE level of the ingested material.

      • Yes Steve,
        When your neighbour has goofy ideas about CO2 levels rising and destroying the world, we just assume he’s had a couple too many and help him into his house, but when the government starts spouting nonsense and making things up, we need to take action.

      • “Yes, many things that are safe and beneficial at one level become dangerous at a different level.
        Its not that hard to understand’

        Like drinking too much water.

        Eeek – ban water.

    • somebody hacked mosher’s acct? cuz he knows how to spell poison.
      the comment is stupid in a way i don’t associate with mr mosher..

      • Some substances can be both a poison and a cure.

        The argument is largely a red herring.

        Biology tells us that c02 at certain levels is good for plants, above certain levels, not so important.
        Biology tells us that c02 at certain levels is not harmful to us, and at other levels it can kill
        Physics tells us that c02 will warm, not cool the planet.

        basic.
        simple.

      • “Biology tells us that c02 at certain levels is good for plants,”…
        biology also tells us that current levels are limiting….obviously

        …are you drinking?

    • Mosher is right.

      Once we start getting up to 4,000 or 5,000 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, we should probably slow down some on our emissions.

      • Long before that it causes warming.
        and the warming will raise the sea level
        and the water will flood your cities.
        and yes, that also can kill people.

        This is not hard.

      • I suspect we will have a great deal of nuclear in place a good thousand years before we could hit those levels.

      • With 5,000 ppmv, we would have burned all available gas and oil and most of coal reserves…

        5,000 ppmv is the base of the Bern model, where some saturation of even the deep oceans can occur, thus leaving more CO2 in the atmosphere. But that doesn’t look to be for tomorrow…

    • WTF, Mosher (or are you just an imposter troll?) –

      Firstly, that’s CO2, not C02.
      Secondly, CO2 is neither a poisen nor a poison. Nor will it definately, defiantly or definitely kill you.
      – do you really believe CO2 is a poison? Please expound.
      For the purposes of this discussion, we are concerned with atmospheric CO2 concentration on the order of 400 ppm +/- 100 ppm.
      Thirdly, just because Markó doesn’t believe Chinese government restrictions on internet & telephony are not more severe than elsewhere doesn’t make him an ignorant kook. He was speaking from his own personal experience.
      Fourthly, the man is deceased. Show some class.

      • Stuff that appears normally in the body is not a poison, nor stuff that has no long term effect at a relevant exposure.

        Or is water a poison? It definetely kills you at 400,000 ppm. Or oxygen, as divers know.

      • At least they didn’t recommend soaking dentures in bleach. I see off to the side they stuck with vinegar for that purpose.

    • A quote from youir link:
      “Mild Exposure
      Carbon dioxide is present in natural air at a quantity of approximately 0.035 percent. When you are exposed to a low level of carbon dioxide, around 1.5 percent, you will begin having physical and mental issues….”

      So, it has to rise to 1.5% to start having any effect at all, that’s nearly 40 times the normal amount. And it has to be *much* higher to have any lethal effects.
      You insulted a person who has just died. You should be ashamed.

      I did have some amount of respect for you, although I didn’t agree with you. But no longer.
      If you have any integrity, then you should publicly withdraw your “ignorant kook” remark.
      Chris

  15. Excellent interview. His logic and knowledge of the issues is unassailable. I did find his comment about the plates and utensils made from corn and thus biodegrable puzzling, but a minor flaw in his logic. And while I don’t share his enthusiasm for the Chinese, I do have a newfound respect for them.

  16. But wait, the genuis also understands internet restrictions in china.

    Funny, I live there. he is a kook.

      • I think he’s right on the internet restrictions.

        Neighbors grading neighbors on adherence to socialist principles, a very subtle yet smothering internet environment. China is a very risky place for those not taking the party line.

    • And very short on actual evidence, heavy on name-calling. Not a real endorsement for believing your comments.

    • Attacking the source, not the information. Not science, not a good argument, etc. Maybe try refuting the article with actual factual data from non-news sources. (That means “no Washington Post”, etc.)

    • “And there is very little fact in the rest of this article either.”

      Perhaps you could be a bit more specific? But you’d have to read it…

      Then there’s the question of why anyone should believe you. But that is for later.

    • Meh, don’t get too worked up. Griff is just doing his typical drive by trolling. Too bad he wasn’t humorous this time.

  17. “In the first place, the Catholic religion is in decline in the Western world; and what I call ecologism comes to replace it” I couldn’t agree more.

  18. I believe that the criticism of Solzhenitsyn is off the mark. Capitalism, while beneficial in many ways has many drawbacks, which is what Solzhenitsyn addressed. People (i.e., their labor) are just another factor in the production equation. Globalism is a way for wealthy countries to exploit the people and other resources of poor countries. The primary objective of capitalism is to increase productivity (to do more with less), regardless of the adverse effects on labor, in order to increase profits.

    • “The primary objective of capitalism is to increase productivity (to do more with less), regardless of the adverse effects on labor, in order to increase profits.”

      Thank you for today’s statement of the obvious. Adam Smith describes it well in his scenario of making nails by hand versus by machine. The nail maker using a machine gets profit, society gets cheap, high-quality nails. Anyone that does not wish to participate is entirely free (well, in his day) to continue using hand-made nails. I suspect building codes are such that today one might not be free to do that.

      • So you agree with me that there are downsides to Capitalism. However, you completely miss the point.

      • South River writes “So you agree with me that there are downsides to Capitalism. However, you completely miss the point.”

        As do you. “Up” and “down” are self-referential. Imagine a section of railroad track freshly forged at a mill; still warm to the touch.

        And some guy comes along and says, “What is this? You weren’t planning to EAT it were you?”

        Good heavens, no! That’s not what it is FOR.

        Capitalism describes an efficient means of production. That is what it is FOR. It is not for equal rights or any of a billion other things that might seem more important to you.

        Capitalism is not opposite Socialism; they are orthogonal. You can have socialism and capitalism at the same time, more or less, they are somewhat rival but not completely rival.

        The human race, more particularly intelligence, arose because of inequality and the force of natural selection in certain locations on Earth where intelligence turned out to be advantageous. Many Neandertals died. All of them apparently. You exist because some great ancestor did not share the banana and only one starved rather than both.

  19. Good interview but I differ on the example of glyphosate. Science is for sale and not only in climate research but in every scientific study. It has become clear since the court case allowed the release of internal Monsanto documents that they have been paying off scientists and editors. This does not bolster their case that it is safe, quite the contrary.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/monsanto-papers-reveal-company-covered-up-cancer-concerns-a-1174233.html

      • Then you can wade through all the emails that were released due to the ongoing court case. They tell a story as damning as the climategate emails.

      • TRM “They tell a story as damning as the climategate emails.”

        Not to me.

        Monsanto is in business for themselves; that’s hardly news. Now if there was a global socialist movement intending to force (or deny) glyphosate, and a small cabal of men took control of some university science departments to make the problem seem catastrophic and imminent (while accruing benefits to those departments), then some similarities would exist.

    • TRM,

      The problem seems to be in:
      “Glyphosate is OK, but the formulated product causes the damage”.

      That means that not glyphosate is the cause of harm, but one of the other ingredients of Roundup, probably the surfactant used to adhere the product to the leaves…

      • That is a common problem. Testing only the “active ingredients” is not the way to go. As David L. Lewis PhD, said in his book “Science for Sale” finished product testing is the only way to go. There are several ingredients in Roundup that were supposedly inactive that are very active.

  20. From the article: “Besides this, the Chinese are on the way to becoming leaders in the conquest of space. They built their own platforms, which they managed to send into space”

    Which now seem to be falling back to Earth.

    article: “and they also have their own launchers, which are extremely reliable, and which are much cheaper, for example, than the Ariane launchers.”

    The Chinese have Bill Clinton to thank for their reliable rockets. He gave away American technology so the Chinese could fix their rockets, which kept blowing up every time they launched one. Bill transferred technology to China, just like he transferred 20 percent of U.S. uranium to Russia. Bill has been undermining U.S. national security for a long time.

    Article: If the Chinese are such high performers and so innovative, it is because, like the Indians and the Russians, they have faith in science: they have faith in the ability of science to embellish their future and to create a better world.”

    Yeah, they have faith in science and steal just as much of it as they can manage.

    • Bill Clinton did not transfer 20% of U.S. uranium to Russia. Neither did Hilary. Ownership of the company does not mean the uranium was transferred. An export license still must be obtained to ship it, and one hasn’t been issued.

      • Bill Clinton did not transfer 20% of U.S. uranium to Russia. Neither did Hilary. Ownership of the company does not mean the uranium was transferred. An export license still must be obtained to ship it, and one hasn’t been issued.

        Wrong. Ownership was transferred after 150 millions were paid to Hillary, and $500,000.00 paid to Bill directly, and the material moved by proxy from a wholy-owned export company that DID have the permits.

    • In fact the flow of fissile material has been from Russia to the US, in the Megatons to Megawatts program. As Russia dismantles it’s stock of nuclear warheads, the material ended up in US nuclear reactors for commercial production of electricity.

      • That flow was begun back in the early 90’s after Reagan defeated the USSR, and it’s former colonies (er, client-states) wanted to recycle the nuclear bombs (plutonium in the bombs) into money. The program stopped a few years later when all of the available nukes were emptied out. It was not so much “Russia” that was recycling weapons – they kept almost all of theirs active – but the states around Russia. Obama and Hillary-Kerry’s State Dept were fervent enemies of any former Soviet Union client state, and worked to remove their protections, remove/defuse anti-missile defenses over their territory, and to force several (including most visibly Ukraine) to accept Soviet domination.

      • Megatons to Megawatts ended in 2013. My understanding is it used primarily stock piled enriched uranium, not necessarily the weapon cores themselves,

    • TA says “Which now seem to be falling back to Earth.”

      That is true of all orbital platforms. Continuously falling.

  21. Which makes more sense:

    (1) The entire mass of the atmosphere dictates how warm it is?, or (2) 0.06% of the mass of the atmosphere dictates how warm it is?

    … (1) CO2 “traps” heat?, or (2) gravity “traps” warm mass?

      • Hot air balloons actually have a burner that makes them rise. Gravity tries to shuffle warmth downward, but the effect is small and easily overcome by a heat source. The effect, however, is ever present, and so produces a lapse rate.

      • Hot air is less dense. Vibrating molecules exert pressure on neighbors and spaces them out slightly, thus making a mass of warmer air less dense. Airplanes have difficulty flying in warm air. See “density altitude” for more on this topic. At any rate, less dense also means less weight as compared to surrounding air, so the heavier air pushes in on the warm air and it rises since it is being pushed less from the top as compared to the bottom.

      • Mark, if it didn’t “trap” warm mass,it would have long ago left the planet. The ATMOSPHERE is held in place by gravity.

        You missed something there?

      • Michael 2 October 29, 2017 at 8:55 pm

        Airplanes have difficulty flying in warm air. See “density altitude” for more on this topic.

        Airplanes fly just fine in warm air. The engines just don’t put out as much power in warmer air, so they have longer takeoff runs.

      • Mike McMillan writes “Airplanes fly just fine in warm air. The engines just don’t put out as much power in warmer air, so they have longer takeoff runs.”

        https://www.aopa.org/training-and-safety/air-safety-institute/accident-analysis/featured-accidents/film-crew-captures-density-altitude-crash

        “The less dense the air, the less lift, the more lackluster the climb, and the longer the distance needed for takeoff and landing. Fewer air molecules in a given volume of air also result in reduced propeller efficiency and therefore reduced net thrust.” https://www.aopa.org/training-and-safety/active-pilots/safety-and-technique/weather/density-altitude

        Heat reduces density of air, that’s what makes a hot air balloon rise. They work best when the air is cold outside of the balloon and hot inside.

    • Agreed with the false dichotomy. What warms the air is mostly solar energy and a bit of residual Earth heat from its core. Gravity keeps the atmosphere from drifting away into space.

  22. “Heartening to hear of China’s progress in the 4th-generation nuclear modules.”

    What progress is that? Is that like the progress we have made in flying cars since the 50s?

    People like to debate futuristic ideas. It easy to ignore problems until the reality of experience sets in.

    The reason we will not see very many Gen IV reactors is the sucess of Gen II reactors that produce lots of electricity. If China is going to build cheap reactors in Africa by taking advatage of weak regulations, it will be by cloning American designs from the 70s. Just like they are dong in China now. I do not see anything wrong with that either.

    Critics of nuclear power do a good job of playing the fake news industry.

    For example, critics say do not have a solution for the long term storage of spent fuel. Of course that is not true since there are many potential solutions. We do not need a long term solution until there is a problem with short solutions.

    Some of the more logical will say that the lack of problems in the last 50 years may indicate that we do not need a long term solution.

  23. I would join the applause too except that the late professor’s statements contain some errors.

    Regarding sea-level rise “The island shores are eroded by the persistent pounding of the ocean waves. This is perceived as ‘sinking’ or as ‘sea level rise’ but upward creep of the waters is due to island soil being washed away” While there are some simple instances of erosion (mainly due to lost sources for beach replenishment), land sinking is a very real factor in apparent seal-level rise – even the IPCC acknowledge this. I can think of two reasons why land might sink: i) post-glacial subsidence (e,g, south Great Britain and the US eastern seaboard) and ii) sea-mount subsidence. Sea mounts subside the Earth’s sub-oceanic crust is relatively thin and weak and unable to support the weight of a two-mile high lump of basalt.

    Regarding Tuvalu, I recall that the scientific finding was that Funafuti Atoll had increased in area. This is not quite the same as the land *rising*. The underlying seamount has subsided to a very great depth and probably continuing to subside. But so far the coral reef-building process has been able to keep-up with the subsidence. (The basalt seamount under Funafuti was the subject of a famous expedition by Edgeworth David in the late 19th century)

    Then there was this: “To fall below the threshold of 280 or 240 ppm would plainly lead to the extinction of a large variety of our vegetal species.” Maybe it was a typo – or the oral equivalent of a typo? Did he mean to “180 or 140 ppm”?

    • Error in the above: It should have read “Sea mounts subside BECAUSE the Earth’s sub-oceanic crust is relatively thin and weak and unable to support the weight of a two-mile high lump of basalt.

  24. My guess is that Istvan Marko has never been a patient in a provincial Chinese Hospital. Even in a VIP ward he would have had his esteem for Chinese respect for science and human values terminally challenged.

    I had the opportunity to question two expatriate Americans there about their strategy for surviving disease or injury in China.

    One, the owner of a string of stent factories spread across China (stents are very popular with Chinese of the rich class, and their merits are widely advertised on billboards), told me that it was to always go to the Beijing Union Hospital. And I marveled silently at this response, as we were speaking at a location 14 hours by train from Beijing.

    The other was a retired executive who had married a Chinese woman. And his solution had been to buy an insurance plan from, IIRC, a Danish firm, that allowed him to be transported by air ambulance to any nearby country except the US. His choice, politically quite correct, was to fly to Hong Kong, where his life, or at least his leg, had once been saved from bungled care in Guangzhou.

    I wished them both luck, and resolved never to put foot in China again.

  25. Too lengthy article — Though some commented positively on the report but I feel it is nothing new except some points. The introductory point is nothing new, for example see the 1st Para of Preface of my book “Climate Change: Myths & Realities” [2008]: The “Science of Climate Change” has turned in to a political satire of “Global Warming & Carbon Credits”, in tune with this the “Science of Climate Change” moved from a scientific body, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), into an elected political body, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and as a result the scientific community and the media along with political communities started thinking locally and acting globally. In this process the major casualty is the health of life forms on the Earth, more particularly in developing countries, most of which are located in ”warm” tropics. WMO as back as 1966 presented Technical Note (79) titled “Climate Change” prepared by J.M. Mitchell, B. Dzerdzeevskii, H. Flohn, W.L. Hofmeyer, H.H. Lamb, K.N. Rao & C.C. Wallen that provided methodologies to separate natural variability from man induced trend. This I used in characterizing rainfall data series over different parts of the globe, which are included in my book of 1993 [book review appeared in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology Journal of Elsevier Publ. in 1994].

    Unfortunately neither UN nor the US or Pope Francis have put realistic emphasis on pollution reduction as with this component there are severe ramifications with Multinational Companies [MNCs] interests. MNCs lobbied with the groups preparing the draft to be presented at Paris meet to COP21 and were successful. Because of the same reason, UN shifted the environmental movement of 70s towards global warming and carbon emissions at 1992 Rio Summit and since then no turning back and as a result pollution component has taken back seat. Pollution has several components, namely Air, water, soil & food in association with agriculture, transport, industries, urbanization, etc. Carbon dioxide is not pollution. Carbon dioxide has more positive impacts. Top Ten Fears of USA from Chapman University Survey of 2017 includes four relating to pollution.

    Few salient features of the present report are given as follows:

    Human contribution to CO2: The combustion of coal not only produces innocuous CO2 emissions, it is accompanied by short lived in the atmosphere gases & particles such as sulfurous and nitrogenous waste, produces SO2 emissions, SO3 emissions, and NOx emissions, ejects fine particles, and leaves nominally radioactive ashes (despite the fact that the epidemiological evidence and data for any serious health harms are still very controversial and hard to come by). Since the 1980s, the treatment of industrial pollution has however evolved. Today an electrical utility power generation plant that uses coal as a raw material now results in very little environmental pollution. CO2 is not, and has never been, a poison. Each of our exhalations, each of our breaths, emits an astronomical quantity of CO2 proportionate to that in the atmosphere (some >40,000 ppm). It is very clear that the air we expire does not kill anyone standing in front of us. What must be understood, besides, is that CO2 is the elementary food of plants. Without CO2 there would be no plants, and without plants there would be no oxygen and therefore no humans. The equation is as simple as that. I pointed out on the CO2 release from humans increasing with growth in population. Later somebody presented the relationship between population growth and CO2on this site.

    Plants need CO2, water, and daylight. These are the mechanisms of photosynthesis, to generate the sugars that will provide them with staple food and building blocks. That fundamental fact of botany is one of the primary reasons why anyone who is sincerely committed to the preservation of the “natural world” should abstain from demonizing CO2. Over the last 30 years, there has been a gradual increase in the CO2 level. But what is also observed is that despite deforestation, the planet’s vegetation has grown by about 20%. This expansion of vegetation on the planet, nature lovers largely owe it to the increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Plants: If we study, however, what has been happening at the geological level for several million years, we realize that the present period is characterized by an extraordinarily low CO2 levels. During the Jurassic, Triassic, and so on, the CO2 level rose to values sometimes of the order of 7000, 8000, 9000 ppm, which considerably exceeds the paltry 400 ppm that we have today. Not only did life exist, in those far-off times when CO2 was so present in large concentration in the atmosphere, but plants such as ferns commonly attained heights of 25 meters. Reciprocally, far from benefiting the current vegetation, the reduction of the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere would be likely to compromise the health, and even the survival, of numerous plants. To fall below the threshold of 280 or 240 ppm would plainly lead to the extinction of a large variety of our vegetal species.

    Phytoplankton: Our relentless crusade to reduce CO2 could be more harmful to nature as plants are not the only organisms to base their nutrition on CO2. Phytoplankton species also feed on CO2, using carbon from CO2 as a building unit and releasing oxygen. By the way, it is worth remembering that ~70% of the oxygen present today in the atmosphere comes from phytoplankton, not trees: contrary to common belief, it is not the forests, but the oceans, that constitute the “lungs” of the earth.

    Water Vapour: About the supposed link between global warming and CO2 emissions, it is simply not true that CO2 has a major greenhouse effect. It is worth remembering, here too, that CO2 is a minor gas. Today it represents only 0.04% of the composition of the air; and its greenhouse effect is attributed the value of 1. The major greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is water vapour, which is ten times more potent than CO2 in its greenhouse effect. Water vapor is present in a proportion of 2% in the atmosphere.

    School/University: Schools and Universities teach these in principle. But one still manages to incriminate CO2 alongside this learning, in using a dirty trick that presents the warming effect of CO2 as minor but exacerbated, through feedback loops, by the other greenhouse effects. Firstly, the population is increasingly misinformed scientifically; and secondly, the media and governments take advantage of this to propagate a theory that is doubtful, namely that of anthropogenic warming, and to promote coercive measures on its behalf. Few people take the time to get vital information about the actual CO2footprint; and few people, more generally, are still interested in science. I deeply regret that Western societies have succeeded in cultivating such mistrust of science: such a reluctance to have confidence in its capacity to know the world objectively and to transform it positively. The theory of anthropogenic warming claims to be scientific; but if people accept this theory, if they hold it to be true, it is clearly not out of interest for science.

    Oscillation: Over the last 12,000 years, what we have witnessed is an oscillation between warm and cold periods, thus periods with rising and declining sea levels. Incontestably, sea and ocean levels have been on the rise since the end of the Little Ice Age that took place approximately from the beginning of the 14th century until the end of the 19th century. At the end of that period, global temperatures started to rise. That being said, the recorded rise is 0.8 degrees Celsius and is, therefore, nothing extraordinary. If the temperature goes up, ocean water obviously dilates and some glaciers recede. This is something glaciers have always done, and not a specificity of our time. Thus, in Ancient Roman times, glaciers were much smaller than the ones we know nowadays — reader to look at the documents dating back to the days of Hannibal, who managed to cross the Alps with his elephants because he did not encounter ice on his way to Rome, (except during a snow storm just before arriving on the Italian plain). Today, you could no longer make Hannibal’s journey. He proved to be capable of such an exploit, precisely because it was warmer in Roman times.

    Sea Levels: Sea levels are currently on the rise; but this is an overestimated phenomenon. The recorded rise is 1.5 millimeters per year, namely 1.5 cm every ten years, and is, therefore, not dramatic at all. Indeed, it does happen that entire islands do get engulfed; but in 99% of the cases, that is due to a classic erosion phenomenon and not to rising sea levels. As far as the Italian city of Venice is concerned, the fact it has been faced with water challenges is not due to any rise of the lagoon level; and is just the manifestation of the sad reality that “the City of the Doges” is sinking under its weight on the marshland. Once again, the global sea and ocean levels are rising; but the threat effectively represented by that phenomenon is far from being tangible. I note that the Tuvalu islands, whose engulfment was previously announced as imminent, not only have not been engulfed, but have seen their own land level rise with respect to that of waters around them.

    Ice Melting: Another phenomenon we tend to exaggerate is the melting of the polar caps. The quantity of ice in the Arctic has not gone down for 10 years: one may well witness, from one year to the other, ice level fluctuations, but on average that level has remained constant. Right after the Little Ice Age, since the temperature went up, the Arctic started to melt; but the ice level in the Arctic finally settled down. Besides, ice has been expanding in Antarctica over the last 30 years; and similarly, we observe in Greenland that the quantity of ice increased by 112 million cubic kilometers last year. On a global scale, glaciers account for peanuts, with most of the ice being located in Antarctica and on Greenland. One cannot but notice an almost unchanged ice level over hundreds of years.

    Others: Many other climate myths and legends exist. From storms to tornados, extreme events are going down all around the world; and when they occur, their level is much lower, too. As explained by MIT physicist Richard Lindzen, the reduction of the temperature differential between the north hemisphere and the equatorial part of our planet makes cyclonic energy much smaller: the importance and frequency of extreme events thus tend to decrease. But once again, the rise of temperatures shows a magnitude considerably lower with respect to that we currently project.

    Data: If you look at satellite data and weather balloon measurements, you then note that the temperature rise around the world is relatively modest; that it is much lower than the rise that is predicted for us by authorities, and that these predictions rely on calculations that are highly uncertain. This is because the simulation inputs cannot take into account past temperatures (for which there is no precision data), except by subjectively adjusting x, y, z data that are not always known. The recent temperature spikes measured by satellites and balloons are part of a classic natural phenomenon which is called El Niño. This short-term phenomenon consists of a return of the very warm waters at the surface of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The heat thus liberated in the atmosphere pushes up the global temperature and CO2 plays no role in that process.

    Deserts: Present deserts, far from expanding, are receding; and they are receding due to the higher quantity of CO2available in the air. It turns out that greenhouse operators voluntarily inject three times as much CO2 in the commercial greenhouse as it is present in the atmosphere. The result we can observe is that plants grow faster and are bigger, that they are more resistant to diseases and to destructive insects, and that their photosynthesis is way more efficient and that they therefore consume, less water. Similarly, the rise of CO2level in the atmosphere makes that plants need less water and thus that they can afford to colonize arid regions.

    Diseases: Regarding diseases and other weird phenomena hastily attributed to climate warming, there is a website—“global warminghoax.com”, —that collects the different rumors and contemplations on this theme. The fact that masculine fertility decreases; the fact that birds’ wings shrink; the fact that a shark showed up in the North Sea; absolutely anything is likely to be connected to climate change if one displays enough intellectual dishonesty. That is where honest journalists come into play: your role is to investigate on the true reason of phenomena and to demystify the ready-made thinking that financial and political forces ask the media to channel slavishly.

    Climate-related diseases are relatively rare; and even malaria does not directly depend on the climate, but rather on the way we enable the parasite to reproduce and the mosquito to flourish in the place where we are located. If you find yourself in a swampy area, the odds you will get malaria are high; if you have drained the system and you no longer have that wetland, the odds you will catch the disease are very low. In the end, automatically blaming the resurgence of some disease on climate change comes down to removing the personal responsibility from the people involved: such as denying that their refusal of vaccinations, for instance, or their lack of hygiene, may be part of the problem. – Guntur in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India is famous for Malaria [as a student during 1961-64 I was affected by Malaria four times in Guntur]. In Maputo Mozambique during 1984 to 1989, I was affected by Malaria once].

    The agreement of the Paris COP 21 was not signed to save the planet and to prevent us from roasting due to an imaginary temperature increase of +2°C. Behind all that masquerade is hidden, as always, the ugly face of power, greed, and profit. All the industrialists who are in favor of that commitment, which will ruin Europe and immensely impoverish its citizens, do so for the good reason they find in it a huge and easy source of income. As for NGOs, when they are not simply motivated by greed, their motive consists in a resolutely Malthusian ideology. Their object is to return the world to a very small population, on the order of a few hundred million people. To do so, they impoverish the world, remove the power of fossil fuel energies, and thus ensure that the number of deaths increases.

    Similarly, I presented sometime back that “Unfortunately world media and UN agencies are giving hype with billions of dollars of green fund to global warming at the cost of pollution [air, water, soil & food]. Pollution is the major cause for concern in urban India as governments are paying lip-sympathy. I have been advocating this for the last two decades or so.”

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  26. Marko! Marko from Tropoje? /sarc/

    Please accept my apology for the rude comment above. It’s what jumps to mind when I hear of see the name. Yours is a good post and I am especially pleased that it was written by a chemist, having been on myself. One minor quibble. You speak, as many do, of the theory of (catastrophic antropogenic global warming (CAGW) but I don’t think it merits this title. Relativity deserves the title because continues to be supported by experimentation and observation. Not so CAGW.

    TGannett

    • MNCs versus power production game in global warming:

      I am a more practical man and nothing rude against the writer. I presented MNCs versus power production game in global warming. See the below two recent reports on MNCs mysterious actions that affect the Indian agriculture and thus food production.

      India used to have an excellent seed programme that helped the farmers. With the MNCs entering in to seed market, first they collected germplasm and put in their gene banks and they brought in Bt-Cotton a GM seed in 2002. GM with high subsidized fertilizer under irrigation increased multifold the area under cotton in five states in India, namely AP, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat. This created farmers suicide a regular phenomenon with monsoon rains. With normal cotton the risk was low with no-suicide technology. With this government agencies are sub-serving the interests of these seed giants. This is openly seen from the following two recent reports on cotton.

      Report 1:

      The issue of smuggling and cultivation of bollgard III (BG-III or round-up ready flex — RRFlex) cotton seeds into country, including Yavatmal district, has come to fore. Multinational Monsanto, the seed giants, was to release the modified Bt cotton with an additional gene into India about six months back. But it withdrew its decision considering the anti-GM atmosphere in India. Speculations are that it is likely to come to India in 2020. However, history seems to repeat itself. Like how the first Bt cotton was brought to India illegally in 2000 from farmers in Gujarat, this time to the BG-III has made an entry into Vidarbha illegally.

      According to sources, the BG-III has come to Yavatmal from Andhra Pradesh apart from Gujarat. KK Patil, a farmer from the district, told TOI that traders from Gujarat sold the illegal BG-III seeds by sending local unemployed youths to farmers’ homes from April to June. The exercise was conducted during night hours to escape attention. “About 5.5 lakh packets reached the district during this period. The youth were given a commission per packet. The seeds have been cultivated at least in 2.5 lakh hectares. There is a separate channel for this operation across the country. They sell these seeds by labeling them with the names of the variety that the farmer demands. The farmer is unaware of the actual variety he has grown. The packets were sold from Rs800 to Rs1,200 per 450 grams,” said Patil.

      Kishor Tiwari, the chairman of the Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission (VNSS) — the state task force on farm distress, claims that as much as 10 lakh hectares of land has been cultivated with BG-III. He also claims that this has led to an increased attack of all types of pests. “The government has completely failed to regulate the agriculture policies,” he said. It was Tiwari who apprised the agriculture department about the illegal cultivation of BG-III in Yavatmal. SS Jadhav, the director (extension) of Maharashtra agriculture department from Pune, told TOI that he was unaware of the issue.
      Strangely, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) was aware of the illegal use by farmers. It has directed the city-based Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR) to investigate and test the cotton crops for the presence of BG-III about a week back.

      “The ICAR has asked us to check the crop for presence of the third gene, the herbicide tolerance gene (HT) in crop in farmers’ fields. We are yet to start the process. It is, however, too late to test as the plants have already reached the boll formation stage,” said Waghmare.

      Report-II

      Bollgard II RRF is a proprietary technology owned by Monsanto, the world’s biggest seed maker, which last year withdrew its application seeking approval from the regulator, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), for this variety. Monsanto applied for GEAC approval of Bollgard II RRF, known for its herbicide-tolerant properties, in 2007. Farmers in Andhra Pradesh have planted 15 percent of the cotton area in the state with Bollgard II Roundup Ready Flex (RRF), prompting the local government on Friday to form a panel of officials to “inspect the fields of farmers growing RRF”. The order, issued by senior Andhra Pradesh official B. Rajasekhar, did not say how the farmers accessed the unapproved variety of genetically modified (GM) cotton. Calls to his office went unanswered.

      The illegal sale of the seeds violates India’s environmental protection rules, said C.D. Mayee, president of the South Asia Biotech Centre, a not-for-profit scientific society. Mayee, a former government scientist, estimated that 3.5 million packets of such seeds were sold this season. “Over the years, we have kept the regulators and key stakeholders apprised of the illegal usage of unapproved technology,” the Monsanto spokesman said. “Even as late as August 2017, we have sought their intervention on the gross misuse of patented and regulated technologies which may pose numerous other challenges to India’s cotton ecosystem.” A spokesman for the federal environment ministry was not immediately available for comment.

      This is the way environment is being destroyed.

      Governments are in the hands of MNCs.

      Regarding fossil fuel use in power production: This has gradually increased all over the world as the electricity defines the development of a nation. Gas and coal form 65% of the total electricity produced in India and this is 68.7% in 2011.

      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  27. The “AGW Theory” is not a theory. It is a hypothesis. It would need some proof to become a theory. And proof came there none!

  28. it is a very sad day when a professor of
    chemistry does
    not know and understand the
    Planck law, or understand
    the role of water vapor in the
    atmosphere. he does not
    understand basic physics

    • crackers345 writes “he does not understand basic physics”

      Whereas you do. I have often tried to find a curriculum of “basic physics” since it is cited frequently. In my experience, basic physics does not impart sufficient information to turn a person into a climatologist, or a meteorologist. More of a springologist or weight-and-balance-ologist.

      • crackers345 “yes, i do understand physics. deeply”

        Glad to hear it. My comment pertains to the oft-cited but seldom quantified “basic physics”. Perhaps you would be the one to succeed where others have failed and elaborate on what exactly is “basic physics”.

    • How would you have even the slightest idea if anyone understood physics or chemistry.?

      You are a know-nothing clown, who can’t even put proper sentences together.

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