Why Politicians Who Don’t Understand the Science of Global Warming Don’t Need to Act.

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

My last article chastised leaders for their apparent inability to understand or even question the evidence that shows CO2 is causing global warming. I can understand the reluctance to express public opinions about such a complex scientific issue, especially coming from the UN and with such universal acceptance. Well, here are easily understood facts from the UN reports that allow anyone to express public opposition to the world view on global warming. When you consider them, you will understand why so many experts happily identify as global warming deniers.

Greenhouse gases are approximately 6% of the total atmosphere. Water vapour is 95% of that total, and CO2 is only 4%. That means CO2 is only 0.04% of the total atmosphere. Water vapour varies a great deal in volume and location than any other gas, so estimates of changing volume are poorly measured or understood. It is probable that a 2% variation in water vapour, which is not uncommon, equals all the effects of CO2 on global temperature. The reality is we don’t know. In light of these observations consider the improbable precision of claims made for CO2 induced global warming.

There are no useful measurements of global temperature. We only have temperature measurements for approximately 15% of the earth’s surface. Everything you read about are computer model estimates; there is no empirical data to support the warming claims. Indeed, all of the computer model estimates of global temperature that began in 1990 have been wrong. Recent research shows all the models consistently overestimate future temperatures. The fascinating point is that even with these exaggerations, their forecasts pose no threat to anyone or anything.

Based on contrived pseudoscience that isolated CO2 as 95% of the cause of global warming since 1950, the UN created the Kyoto Protocol as policy action. A major player in the pseudoscience and political creation was Tom Wigley in his role as Director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) based at the University of East Anglia. In 1998, he estimated that even if Kyoto were to be 100% successful in meeting its targets, it would only reduce temperatures by an estimated 0.05 degrees Celsius by 2050. Since Wigley was and is a strong supporter of Kyoto, this was a significant admission. Kyoto was a crazy waste of money, and the only politicians who did a true cost/benefit analysis were the US Senate. They avoided a direct vote on Kyoto by asking, in the Byrd/Hagel resolution, if the application to only developed nations was fair and what impact on US jobs and economy would eventuate. They voted 95-0 against approving Kyoto. It didn’t matter. Kyoto was exposed when emails of major players who produced the science reports leaked from the CRU.

Within two years they introduced a full replacement called the Green Climate Fund (GCF) through the UN process. The GCF was scheduled for and received ratification at the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. Here is what statistician and climate specialist Bjorn Lomborg says would happen with implementation of the entire GCF program.

“If we measure the impact of every nation fulfilling every promise by 2030, the total temperature reduction will be 0.048°C (0.086°F) by 2100.

Even if we assume that these promises would be extended for another 70 years, there is still little impact: if every nation fulfills every promise by 2030 and continues to fulfill these promises faithfully until the end of the century, and there is no ‘CO₂ leakage’ to non-committed nations, the entirety of the Paris promises will reduce temperature rises by just 0.17°C (0.306°F) by 2100.”

A complete application of the Paris Climate Agreement would achieve virtually nothing, but even that is not happening. The United States canceled its involvement, and the GCF is receiving virtually no other money. Hopefully, world leaders will realize that they don’t need to do anything, and that is a secure and logical path.

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Arthur G Foster
June 26, 2019 10:19 am

Donald Trump and James Hansen agree: the Paris talks were a farce. –AGF

Reply to  Arthur G Foster
June 27, 2019 6:10 am

Radical greens lie about anything and everything – lying is one of their core competencies.

17. Commentary concerning global warming and climate change catastrophes are typically political propaganda, not scientific reality.

The leaders of the radical greens typically know they are misleading the public. The Climategate emails provide irrefutable evidence of their misconduct. Their followers typically believe the falsehoods, and apparently do not have the education or the intellectual ability to do otherwise.
Reference: https://wattsupwiththat.com/climategate/
Reference: https://www.thegwpf.com/climategate-a-scandal-that-wont-go-away/
Reference: http://www.theclimategatebook.com/about-the-book/table-of-contents/

18. We have known for decades that global warming alarmism was a false crisis, and that “green energy” schemes were not green and produced little useful (dispatchable) energy.

In 2002 we were confident in the following points, sufficient to publish them and sign our names to them:

“Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”

“The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”

Reference: APEGA’s “Debate on the Kyoto Accord”, published in the PEGG November 2002, reprinted by other professional journals, The Globe and Mail and La Presse
by Sallie Baliunas, Tim Patterson and Allan MacRae, November 2002

19. Science, governments, media and institutions have all been corrupted due to false global warming / climate change alarmism.

Enormously costly and destructive government policies have been adopted to “fight global warming / climate change”. Trillions of dollars of scarce global resources have been squandered, tens of millions of lives have been needlessly lost and delicate environments including tropical rainforests severely harmed due to environmental extremism.

Reference: “Hypothesis: Radical Greens are the Great Killers of Our Age”
by Allan MacRae, April 14, 2019

“CO2, Global Warming, Climate and Energy”
by Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng.

June 27, 2019 11:18 am

17, 18 and 19 were good.

Did I miss something?

Where’s 1 through 16 ?

I don’t see this mentioned much, but humans already have 300+ years of experience with mild, intermittent global warming, since the 1690s during the Maunder Minimum.

That includes 78 years of mild, intermittent global warming since 1940, WITH large CO2 increases.

So why waste time and energy with scary (fictional) computer game forecasts of the future?

We can observe what actually happened in the past … about +0.6 degrees C. warming since 1940, although the measurements are very rough before 1979.

We do know high (cold) latitudes warmed the most after 1975, mainly during the coolest six months of the year, and mainly at night.

If I could go back in time, to 1975, to do a survey in Alaska, asking one question: Would you like warmer, winter nights in Alaska?, I bet the overwhelming answer would be “yes”.

My point, and I do have one, is that we have observed global warming, cause unknown, even the worst case assumption (CO2 caused all the warming after 1940) tells us that warmer winter nights ARE GREAT NEWS, the warming was at a rate of less than +0.8 degrees C. per century from 1940 through 2018, and if CO2 caused all (or any) of that warming, let’s put MORE CO2 in the air, and get even warmer winter nights !

What causes people to believe in wild guess computer games, that predict ONLY bad news from FUTURE global warming, when they have actually experienced PAST global warming, and it was 100% good news?

My only answer is that “the coming climate crisis” is just a political game intended to seize more political power over the private sector — it has nothing to do with real science, common sense, or logic — it is a secular leftist religion — no claims can be falsified, or refuted — all skeptics are character attacked — the future is “known” with great certainty — and the future will be “really bad news” unless the sheeple do what the leftist leaders demand of them, without question.

And of course the leftist leaders don’t really “want” more government power for themselves — they “need” more government power to “save the planet for the children”.

The coming climate change crisis is the biggest science fraud in world history.

It has been kept alive for over 30 years, as the climate gets better and better … although after the past really cold winter in the US, perhaps I can’t say that anymore !

June 26, 2019 10:19 am

For politicians who have to choose between:
a. Sit there and do nothing, and spend no money.
b. Don’t just sit there…. Panic! Spend Big.
The safe choice is always ‘a.’ The public does not like politicians spending their money, and eventually always notices it. Further, as spending the money will have virtually no effect, spending the money will receive no awards for achievement.

Adam Gallon
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
June 26, 2019 12:08 pm

Nope, wrong way round.
Politicians have to be seen to be “Doing Something”. If they don’t, their opposition will.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Adam Gallon
June 26, 2019 2:30 pm

And if politicians don’t spend money on their friends, their opponents will spend it on their enemies.

Reply to  Adam Gallon
June 27, 2019 3:49 am

You are correct. I have seen what passes for the Tory “leadership” debate on BBC. When a 15 year old female climate activist is put on to challenge the candidates for their allegiance to the “climate emergency”, they did not disappoint. Or to be more accurate, they did disappoint, as each one pledged their oath of allegiance to some mythical zero target, the likes of which is so radical and destructive that only a complete eco loon would agree to it. Even this wasn’t enough for the activist, as I suspect the BBC had already figured would be the case.

GREG in Houston
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
June 26, 2019 7:26 pm

European sheep lover to follow their governments down the loo. They think they’re “doing something.”

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
June 27, 2019 9:24 am

Politicians of course will never be the deciders of what constitutes scientific truth, yet politicians (if not dictators) are always faced with the need to make public policy decisions, one way or the other. That’s what governments do, and that is why governments exist. So they cannot simply cop out and say and do nothing at all.

However, that is a false choice. The climate alarmists never ever speak of the social and economic costs of their proposals, which are in fact enormous, the very opposite of trivial.

The notion that really needs to take root as a valid choice for political leaders is to follow the ancient Roman doctrine of “Primum non nocere” … in English, “First, do no harm”.

Not going crazy with climate alarmist nostrums and solutions to problems that have not been proven to exist at all is not “doing nothing”.

Not going crazy with climate alarmist nostrums and solutions to non-existent problems is “First, do no harm”. Physicians for centuries have subscribed to that same guide, called the Hippocratic Oath.

Once that oath or creed is fully comprehended – and the problem is, very few people today do comprehend that notion -then political leaders can take whatever time is necessary in order to not do any harm.

After all, the baseline that the alarmists claim is we’re all about to die, but always at some point in an ill-defined future, because of course we aren’t all dying now. We’re all living fantastically longer and better lives than during all of prior human history, through ice ages and inter-glacials, both “little” and “not little”.

Joe Boo
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
June 27, 2019 12:33 pm

Nice try. So scientists have been fooled huh?that is the most asinine comment I have ever seen in my life. Scientist don’t go on gossip an alarm ism. They go by facts. They go by trial and error. They do not accept political sides. I could sit here and make up a report just as easily as this b*******, but I’ll accept the findings of 95% of the scientists who are not on big oils payroll dissing this real world emergency.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Joe Boo
June 27, 2019 2:10 pm

Joe, it appears you don’t believe scientists are human. They have no human failings?

Reply to  Joe Boo
June 27, 2019 9:30 pm

Scientists produce scientific results that speak for themselves, without the need for subjective opinions or interpretations, which are the breeding grounds of confirmation bias. When you say that you “accept the findings of 95% of the scientists who are not on big oils (sic) payroll” what you really mean is that you let other people do your thinking for you, and you just defer to the opinions of those who you think are the most objective.

But science isn’t about opinion. If I walk up to a bunch of college football fans and ask them to assess the percentage likelihood that Clemson repeats as college football champions next year, would you ever think that this query is a scientific approach to measuring the actual likelihood of that happening? Be careful how you answer that question, because my follow-up is to ask how you think that the IPCC came up with their assessment of a 95% likelihood that more than half of the observed warming in the last half-century was due to greenhouse gas emissions. Yes, you guessed it – it was nothing more than a consultation of the gut instinct of the authors of the Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC report.

These people you call “scientists” are nothing but mere professors, or other academics, who lack any actual scientific accomplishment or advancement to their names, who only care about publishing their next precious peer-reviewed research paper. Because when you get right down to it, the quantity of their published work is just a cheap substitute (a proxy if you will) for an actual record of competence, which will be forever beyond their grasp because the quantitative assessment of how climate changes in response to changes in atmospheric composition is simply not amenable to empirical scientific measurement.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Kurt
June 27, 2019 10:08 pm

A fascinating comment, Kurt. What climate-related fundamental scientific insights related to CO2 have there been since John Tyndall’s original work? I’m aware of a number of discoveries concerning some of the physical properties of the climate such as Hadley Cells, etc. But those are obtained by better measuring and mathematical techniques. Lorenz’ chaos work comes to mind.

It seems to be that CliSci just dicks around with unproven assumptions and model speculations. Am I wrong?

Reply to  Dave Fair
June 28, 2019 1:11 am

I’ve said this before on another thread, but the only real measure of our understanding of any physical system is the demonstrable use to which we put that understanding. I don’t have to know anything about Maxwell’s equations to have confidence in the science behind electricity generation – I flip a switch and the lights come on. Whatever it is, it has to be right. It’s not confidence in words written in a peer reviewed journal that provides certainty that large amounts of energy are released when an atom is split. A couple explosions over Japan in the 1940s proved that to everyone.

This is what settled science really looks like. Application of knowledge is the dividing line between what we actually know and what we only think we know. Climate scientists have no way of demonstrating their competence, or expertise. That’s why they bow down to the false gods of peer-review and consensus.

June 26, 2019 10:20 am

The trick is to do nothing while appearing to do something. Trudeau Jr. comes to mind although I have no idea what’s really going on, and maybe neither does he.

Reply to  commieBob
June 26, 2019 12:39 pm

“When in danger, or in doubt. Run in circles. Scream and shout!”

Seems like a plausible Fabian philosophy, however I would appreciate a more honest and sober response such as:
“All this seems overly dire and rash. The time lines to act are not immediate even with the most extreme cases. Lets not act too hastily only to regret our actions later. The easiest problems to fix are the ones we don’t create.”

Reply to  Rocketscientist
June 26, 2019 3:12 pm

Personally, I think Trudeau Jr. is an idiot. On the other hand, if we’re being fair, he’s between a rock and a hard place.

He will remember the western alienation caused by his father’s National Energy Program. He also knows better than to wreck the economy with green policies.

For a long time the Alberta Oil Sands protected the Canadian economy from crashing and burning. Right now, Alberta can’t get its oil to tide water and has to take a deeply discounted price from the Americans. That’s hurting the Canadian economy and really hurting the Alberta economy. Trudeau’s problem is that he wants to attract green voters. Right now, the polls are not with him. link

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Rocketscientist
July 1, 2019 4:49 am

commieBob :

For a long time the Alberta Oil Sands protected the Canadian economy from crashing and burning. Right now, Alberta can’t get its oil to tide water and has to take a deeply discounted price from the Americans. That’s hurting the Canadian economy and really hurting the Alberta economy.

And What Tidal Waters:


Reply to  commieBob
June 26, 2019 6:48 pm
June 26, 2019 10:25 am

The science was always a joke next to the underlying agenda; tax and regulate carbon as the global gatekeeper. That’s why the IPCC was formed, the conclusion proceeded the research.

Iceages, Manhattan underwater, Earth turning into Venus, species facing extinction. The science was always a prop for the control agenda. The average person can’t absorb or critically think on matters of science. The elite have the agenda and understand this.

The trouble is as much the skeptics who can’t face this political truth as the charlatans blathering “IT’S ABOUT SCIENCE!’ when it’s 90%+ political agenda.

There isn’t uniformity of the political underpinnings of the climate agenda among skeptics, in fact many have collectivist predispositions in a more general way. Hence they enter a thousand rabid holes and the debate is controlled by advocates who have no science proof but a very uniform belief system (collectivism) holding their climate work agenda together.

June 26, 2019 10:26 am

Good advice – the big problem is the politicians are doing nothing whatsoever about anything important, other than getting reelected.
They certainly already know how to do nothing at all with finely crafted word salad.

So they should get on with major projects such as Lake Chad Transaqua, fusion, back to the moon big-time.

But wait – isn’t that the entire reason for Paris – to do nothing at all of the above?

I think you have them jujitsu-ed .

Dave Fair
June 26, 2019 10:27 am

“Hopefully, world leaders will realize that they don’t need to do anything, and that is a secure and logical path.”

That’s your problem right there, Dr. Ball; expecting world leaders to take the logical path. Scaremongering works to secure and keep political advantage.

Additionally, ideological socialists are using climate fears to push for centralized control of all life aspects. Control freaks just gotta control.

Global Cooling
June 26, 2019 10:27 am

Please do not attack the politicians and scientists. Readers do not follow you in that.

Instead challenge the reader. Do I think that 0,5C temperature change is an apocalypse? Of course not. I can’t notice 0,5C change that has realized in my lifetime. Going 100 m down a hill makes the same change. It is nothing to worry about.

Average fallacy is surprisingly long lasting. Change in global average temperature does not hurt anyone. Local changes might, but they are not observable. Arctic life is flourishing. Pacific islands rise not sink.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Global Cooling
June 26, 2019 11:59 am

**Instead challenge the reader. **
I agree.
So here is my question to anyone who calls me a denier:
Show me ONE study that MEASURES warming caused by CO2.

Mr T
Reply to  Gerald Machnee
June 26, 2019 12:32 pm

Dear Gerald,
The effect of certain gases absorbing heat radiation was discovered in 1859 by John Tyndall. His publications were accepted without dispute by the Royal Society of London. You can read about it in this article: https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/wea.386
Or you can measure it yourself if you have an aquarium and a spectroscope.
Have fun!

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Mr T
June 26, 2019 1:21 pm

So we live in an aquarium filled with gases that absorb but do not emit radiation? Fascinating.

Arthur G Foster
Reply to  Mr T
June 26, 2019 2:27 pm

Arrhenius despaired that his homeland would never benefit from the CO2 produced from burning coal: he thought the ocean would soak up all the heat (they hadn’t discovered thermal stratification). Callendar hoped that CO2 would “save us from the deadly glaciers,” but few were so optimistic: they thought the CO2 spectrum was totally swamped by water vapor. Reid Bryson, the most influential climatologist of the 70s said spitting in the wind would have as much effect on climate as CO2, and few thought differently until the globe actually did heat up a little. Most, like Bryson, thought we were headed for a new ice age. Pity the brainwashed masses.

Phil R
Reply to  Mr T
June 27, 2019 7:06 am

Mr T,

Just wondering if you’re also aware of the 18th century concept, later debunked, that Tyndall used to explain the radiative and absorptive properties of molecules?

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Gerald Machnee
June 26, 2019 1:07 pm

Well on a post the other day someone linked http://asl.umbc.edu/pub/chepplew/journals/nature14240_v519_Feldman_CO2.pdf
a study which used spectral data of the sky to determine CO2 forcing by differencing the measured data from model data using local meteorological data.

It’s amazing, they concluded that the CO2 forcing signature alone could be seen in a steady trend between 2000 to 2010 when global CO2 average rose by 22 ppm, matching perfectly as it should for any given time. And here I was thinking that localized CO2 levels on land, especially places like the North Slope of Alaska with seasonally thawing tundra, varied wildly compared to a simple global average. I guess they just “proved” that local CO2 levels don’t actually show extreme variability, all that previous research with actual measurements must have been wrong.

Who would have thought that when you take raw data and difference it from model output, that is simply fudged math to explain observations with back radiation hypothesis, that you get results showing that the hypothesis which was built into the model is exactly what you expect. Essentially, they used the hypothesis to confirm the hypothesis.

Reply to  Gerald Machnee
June 26, 2019 1:38 pm

Gerald, how about this study: https://notrickszone.com/2018/03/23/uncertainty-mounts-global-temperature-data-presentation-flat-wrong-new-danish-findings-show/

The failure of post 2000 temperatures to exceed the thirties temperatures says natural forces dominate, not CO2.

A comment by K Richards, reposted here:

“CO2 theory apparently does not work in valleys. Rather, we need ocean-trends to affect temperature data to see alarming temperature rise after 1950. Areas without ocean noise in data show that the heat balance over the Earth today resembles 1930-50.”

This echoes what the IPCC has had to say about temperature changes in the Arctic, where urbanization has not corrupted temperature:

“Arctic temperature anomalies in the 1930s were apparently as large as those in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still considerable discussion of the ultimate causes of the warm temperature anomalies that occurred in the Arctic in the 1920s and 1930s.” – IPCC AR5 Chapter 10

It also matches the global-scale sea level rise trends, which reached into the 3 mm/yr during the 1930s and 1940s.

Reply to  Gerald Machnee
June 26, 2019 1:47 pm


CO2 does cause warming.
It’s not only used in greenhouses as plant food, but also to help regulating the temps.. ..in a controlled (read: lab) condition. Because that is what a greenhouse is: a lab. CO2, already being used as food, is a fine alternative to the more effective water vapor as you don’t want to turn your greenhouse (read: veggie factory) into a sauna.

Our atmosphere works different, anything far from controlled – it is a chaotic system. The matter here is not if CO2 has warming properties but how feedbacks do work out in our chaotic -not controlled- atmosphere.

Reply to  M.Hillridge
June 26, 2019 2:32 pm

M. Hillridge, please tell me where in the specific heat table for CO2 is says to augment the values shown with the forcing equation.

Thermodynamics says that X amount of energy from any source of any form is necessary to raise the temperature of CO2 1 degree C. It says nothing about IR.

Reply to  M.Hillridge
June 26, 2019 10:00 pm

CO2 causes warming? Greenhouses use natural gas/methane heaters, without venting, raising the levels of the combustion byproducts of CO2 and water vapor. CO2 does not regulate the heat, a thermostat does.

I was going to give you a similar example of cooking in a camping trailer without the windows open.
Here is a better example for you. Find an old deep freezer and climb in. A deep freezer is well insulated making the perfect greenhouse effect. Your body radiates heat as it burns oxygen, giving off carbon dioxide and water vapor.
The walls of the freezer will absorb your bodies radiation and reflect it back at you in a feedback mechanism raising the temperature of the compartment. As the oxygen levels drop, the CO2 levels will rise as long as your body is producing heat, not the other way around.
Once you’re dead, with the heat source gone, the temperature of the compartment resumes room temperature within a few hours. Even though the levels of CO2 are near 100,000 ppm.

Another way to explain it coming from the perspective of CO2. Carbon dioxide is 400 ppm. Divide 1 million by 400 and it totals 2,500. That means every CO2 molecule has the responsibility to warm 2,500 air molecules. To accomplish this, that carbon dioxide molecule would have to be a minimum of 2500° too warm that many air molecules just 1° For less than one second. Hot enough to melt iron.
The air temperature, where I live, had reached 30° warmer than the night time low by 10 o’clock in the morning. On a cloudless day, every molecule of carbon dioxide would have to capture and reradiate 75,000° Continuously heating all air molecules to achieve this, nearly 8 times hotter than the surface of the sun (photosphere)

I can’t help but think about dragon fire been nothing more then the dragon holding its breath and breathing out CO2. Perhaps someone should bring it before the climate conference as a possible model for global warming. Dragons are dark life? made out of dark matter and dark energy…? Even though we can’t see them or detect them, we need to “act now” before they destroy our planet! Let’s tax, tax, tax!
Superstitious beliefs are stronger than scientific facts. Every faith based religion has a code to live by. Warmatology will force us all to worship their pseudo-God!
They won’t feel better until they sacrifice some virgins and burn a few witches… Instead of oil. Ha!

June 26, 2019 10:31 am

If Valentina Zharkova is a correct that’ll be the least of these crooks worries.

June 26, 2019 10:35 am

Thanks Tim,

would you please send that to the UK government, with a copy directly to Theresa May who has passed into law the spending of £1Tn to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

PS – I don’t think it’s clear how they even quantify ‘net zero’.



CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  HotScot
June 26, 2019 1:54 pm

HotScot: I am left wondering if there is a component of this 1 trillion pound plan that includes figuring out how to get the British people to stop exhaling. Perhaps you Brits could spend some of the money to develop carbon sequestration masks to fit over your faces. What is the population of Britain, 60-some million? Take that times 2 pounds of CO2 exhaled per person per day times 365 days per year.
That’s a lot of CO2, isn’t it?

Now, on the other hand, if some of that money could be spent on research and development of advanced nuclear power technology as other countries are doing (including the U.S.), that might make some sense. But do you need 1 trillion pounds for that? I don’t know. I would guess that a lot of it is going to places approved of by the British Green Anti-Fossil Fuel Establishment, which would probably exclude nuclear.

At any rate, I guess we here in the U.S. can be thankful that Republican control of the Senate and White House precludes something like this British plan from happening here. At least for the time being anyway.

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
June 26, 2019 11:41 pm

It’s not a British plan. It’s a very stupid lame duck PM’s parting ‘gift’ to a nation that hates the treasonous saggy beeetch.

June 26, 2019 10:40 am

If 4% of the GHGs is CO2 and amounts to .04% of the atmosphere, then wouldn’t 96% of GHGs being water vapor amount to .96% of the atmosphere, not 6%? Also, 96% of 6% of 760 torr (standard sea level atmospheric pressure) would mean a water vapor pressure if 43.8 torr which requires water surface temperature of about 36 degrees C.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
June 26, 2019 12:19 pm

You are right DLK. Let’s go easy on Tim Ball though. He’s talking about the big issues and gets a bit sloppy about the details.

Bill T
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
June 27, 2019 6:20 am

“Greenhouse gases are approximately 6% of the total atmosphere. Water vapour is 95% of that total, and CO2 is only 4%. That means CO2 is only 0.04% of the total atmosphere. ”

Oxygen, nitrogen, argon… are the other gasses, so CO2 would only be .04% of the total atmosphere.

You left out “total”. Ball is fine with his statement.

June 26, 2019 10:42 am

2% variation of water vapor equalling the effect of all of the CO2 in the atmosphere: Only if the effect of water vapor varies linearly with it’s concentration, which is not true.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
June 26, 2019 12:21 pm

Well, “DUH”, ……what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, ….. there are a zillion silly people that claim that …. “the warming effect of CO2 varies linearly with it’s concentration”.

June 26, 2019 10:43 am

Not every solution has a problem, not every problem is a lack of control. Politicians need solutions (not problems) to stay popular/electable. Staying electable indicates the perception of knowledge, possibly control.
This is why no crisis will got to waste.

June 26, 2019 10:50 am

A misleading headline. Politicians are the only ones who understand the “science of global warming”. It is their favorite toy. If you have a dog, you know that the only way to remove its favorite toy is to offer a newer one. For politicians it would mean an even more lucrative one, so maybe the global warming is not so bad after all.

Reply to  Curious George
June 26, 2019 11:10 am

They understand the political science of “global warming”.

June 26, 2019 10:55 am

Bookmarked and thank you.

June 26, 2019 11:16 am

In a world with temperature swings of 10, 20, 100 degrees ore more with the flick of an axis. A mechanism characterized in isolation, extrapolated with liberal license to global proportions, estimated with AI and brown matter to fill in the missing links, has been determined to be a first-order forcing of a progressive process that will birth a catastrophic event.

June 26, 2019 11:38 am

There is one model that seems to give reasonable results, the Russian INM4 (now INM5). It is the one at the bottom of the spaghetti chart(s) that John Christie likes to show. What is it about that model that differs from the other 30 or so which run warm, and for some, very very warm?

Reply to  DHR
June 26, 2019 1:11 pm

What is it about that model that differs from the other 30 or so

This question gets asked from time to time.
I have heard it said that the Russian model is different, very famously, because it is the only one which does not consider carbon dioxide as a greenhouse forcing agent.

Nobody wants to talk about that Russian model. Strange, that. Maybe they all just want it to go away.

Reply to  DHR
June 26, 2019 1:20 pm

INMCM4 was the one CMIP5 model that closely reproduces the temperature history. It has high inertia from ocean heat capacities, low forcing from CO2 and less water for feedback.

Details are at https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/temperatures-according-to-climate-models/

The features and hindcasting by INMCM5 are described at https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/2018-update-best-climate-model-inmcm5/

Dave Fair
Reply to  DHR
June 26, 2019 2:41 pm

DHR, INM4&5 do not assume that water vapor greatly amplifies the small, theoretical CO2 atmospheric warming, thus having low ECSs compared to the other models’ high ECSs. The INM4&5 models’ low ECSs appears to be validated by the lack of a tropical tropospheric hot spot required by the (discredited) water vapor amplification theory.

Bruce Cobb
June 26, 2019 11:50 am

What we “deniers” need to remember is that CO2’s powers go far beyond mere warming, which includes the ability for “carbon heat” to hide in the oceans so we can’t see it (unless we’re Greta, but that’s a different story); nay, CO2 is able to wreak havoc on its own, causing “extreme weather”, droughts, floods, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. It also wreaks havoc in the plants and animals, causing mass extinctions, which again, are hidden from view (but Greta sees them). It causes wars, and mass migrations, and really, just about any ill known (or unknown) to man. In short, CO2 is evil, unless it’s at 350 ppm, in which case it’s ok. This is all scientific fact, known by at least 97% of all scientists. The other 3% are of course, in the pay of Big Oil.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
June 26, 2019 12:16 pm

You forgot this: the sudden rising oceans are going to become an acidic cauldron of death as they sweep over New York City and Miami.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
June 26, 2019 2:37 pm

You forgot Ice ages :
– CO2 can also trigger 100000 years Ice Ages and their nano brothers, Little Ice Ages.

If astrophysicists’ forecasts are right, human being will be very soon (in the coming 3 to 5 years) accused of having caused a catastrophic antropogenic global cooling.

And they will prove this very scientific fact using the same tampered data (just inverting the diagrams vertical axis of T time series and changing the colors from hot orange, red and brown to cold blue, blank and violet).

Andy Mansell
Reply to  Petit_Barde
June 27, 2019 10:24 am

I’m old enough to have already been accused of this in the early ’70s…..

Hokey Schtick
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
June 28, 2019 12:13 am

Also carbon caused Trump, but at the same time, Trump caused carbon. See how vicious this cycle is?

June 26, 2019 12:02 pm

there is no empirical data to support the warming claims. “

I disagree with that statement. There is a lot of ocean temperature data showing warming. We can argue the amounts and where (shallow or deep, polar or equatorial, etc), but there has been some warming. We can argue how much is natural coming out of the LIA and how much is due to slowed overturning (if any), but again, there has been some warming. Categoricals like “there is no empirical data to support the warming claims” only weakens your overall argument when it can be shown wrong.

On the point about why global warming/climate change can be ignored is better argued from economics at this point. The actual science left the debate somewhere between the IPCC AR1 and AR2 with Ben Santer’s unethical re-write on attribution and then getting away with it without sanction. Protected by VP Al Gore, its been a downhill destruction of climate science ever since… the Mann hockey stick deception and it’s uncovering without sanction, the continued adjustments of historical temperature records to nodding approval of the climate rent-seekers who used to be scientists, gate-keeping and pal reviews at top tier journals, to the use of deceptive practices in the latest US government NCA (NCA4). The science of climate as it is practiced by the community is totally corrupted.

The best way to ignore climate hysteria is to use the economic argument. The costs of the proposed policies in terms not just economics (stunted GDP growth) and the environmental damage an energy poor humanity will inflict, for what is at best a fraction of degree C temperature difference in 100 years, is the best reason to ignore climate change.

The wealth set to be wasted on wind and solar schemes to zero net emissions benefit would be vastly better spent on infrastructure projects and societal resilience to all forms of natural disasters (weather related or not). Earthquakes and tsunamis that will continue to kill far more people than a few extra centimeters of SLR or the hurricanes that have always happened, and will continue to happen even if we could magically make CO2 go back to 285 ppm with the snap of the fingers.

Yes, the science of climate change is bad, corrupt, and cooked but nature will eventually deliver the un-caring comeuppance to climate hustlers and their cargo cult models. But we can’t wait for that. The argument should now be economic, not science based.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
June 26, 2019 1:27 pm

I think he meant the claims that the warming is entirely due to anthropogenic activity have no empirical support, based on the fact that the models are grossly overestimating the warming.

The last Kelvin Wave to sweep across the Pacific appears to be like dead cat bounce and equatorial heat content is again rapidly decreasing. If the PDO finally flips negative, how well do you think the back radiation hypothesis will stand up to scrutiny?

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
June 26, 2019 1:43 pm

No, the science is a mess. If there was proof of CO2 warming as opposed to the earth brightening, ie less clouds, then yes, we could move on to economics. As it is, we do not understand why the clouds do what they do and cause heating/cooling, independent of CO2.

Robert W Turner
June 26, 2019 12:35 pm

I watched a pro-climate alarm documentary last night called The Warning – How US and Russian Secret Services Collaborated on Climate Change.

I was surprised to learn that global warming alarmism actually originates from a CIA meeting with 20 carefully selected “preeminent scientists” in their fields. At the time of this meeting, scientists like John A Wheeler and Richard Feynman were alive and still researching, yet the “preeminent scientists” included ecologists and oceanographer types that I had never heard of – though I can’t find the full list of these scientists. In fact, I can’t find anything about this at all from another source, like this documentary is the only thing that exists on this information.

Does anyone have knowledge of this event?

After watching, the famous “tell Vlad I’ll have more flexibility after the election” from Obama came to mind.

HD Hoese
Reply to  Robert W Turner
June 26, 2019 2:05 pm

‘How US and Russian Secret Services Collaborated on Climate Change.’
I may know of, possibly even well, “preeminent scientists” of ecologists and oceanographer types of that time period. Then again there are so many that go by those designations. Some may be OK, quite possibly they have been very good scientists who have lost their way, so to speak. Some of the younger ones with experience seem improved. Saving the planet too often satisfies the checkbook, need for notoriety, and what they may consider their soul. Don’t know about the situation but will watch for it.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  HD Hoese
June 26, 2019 3:06 pm

It’s on Amazon Prime.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  HD Hoese
June 26, 2019 4:11 pm

And I’m not saying there are not preeminent ecologists and oceanographers, just that physicists would have been my first choice.

HD Hoese
Reply to  Robert W. Turner
June 27, 2019 7:43 pm

I’ll check it out. At least a few of these authors are activist oceanographer (more biological) types, not the only possibilities. They rely on the 2007 IPCC report and at least a couple still think the Gulf of Mexico will be totally tropical by 2100. (Consequences of Climate Change on the Ecogeomorphology of Coastal Wetlands) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12237-008-9047-6

They use impressive terms like biocomplexity, ecogeomorphology, and sustainability but most of the referenced science seems OK, effects hypothetical. If I (or my mentors) had reviewed it I would asked about the use of “climate change” without considering cooling, necessary for understanding warming and the past evolutionary history. Selective references and statements like “…it is likely that there will be more and stronger hurricanes in the coming decades,” citing Emanuel, 2005, that there has been an 80% increase in intensity over the last half century. These are from the school of thought of ecological engineering that thinks that they will know enough to fix it. I doubt it.

Other possibilities include some that trained these or those referenced. One of the references is for a Union of Concerned Scientists and Ecological Society of America publication, both currently activist organizations, the latter more recently, I think. One would think it would more sensible to be physical, chemical, or geological types, but there are fewer of these and I would guess less activist.

Samuel C Cogar
June 26, 2019 12:46 pm

The title of Dr. Tim Ball’s commentary:

Why Politicians Who Don’t Understand the Science of Global Warming Don’t Need to Act.

An appropriate title for a response commentary should state:

Why Politicians Who Understand the Science of Global Warming Should Keep Their Mouth Shut.

Jeff L
June 26, 2019 1:01 pm

“There are no useful measurements of global temperature.”

This is actually an understatement of the ultimate problem . The heat capacity of the air varies significantly depending on location. In general, the heat capacity of warm moist air is much greater than dry cold air. This is significant because it takes less energy to heat cold dry air than warm moist air. So , if we are measuring a “global average temperature” but don’t know the heat capacity of various regions that contribute to that number, what do we really understand about energy imbalances?

And at the end of the day , “global warming” is about an energy imbalance, not a temperature imbalance. Of course, the public, politicians etc can’t even wrap their head are temperature changes , let alone energy imbalance. As far as I can tell, a lot of the “global average” change is driven by the arctic, which has lower heat capacity & thus represents a smaller energy imbalance than the equivalent temperature change at tropical latitudes.

June 26, 2019 1:10 pm

You forgot Ice ages :
– CO2 can also trigger 100000 years Ice Ages and their nano brothers, Little Ice Ages.

If astrophysicists forecasts are right, human being will be very soon (in the coming 3 to 5 years) accused of having caused a catastrophic antropogenic global cooling.

And they will prove this very scientific fact using the same tempered data (just inverting the diagrams vertical axis of T time series and changing the colors from hot orange, red and brown to cold blue, blank and violet).

Reply to  Petit_Barde
June 26, 2019 2:34 pm

Ouch … wrong place …

Rudolf Huber
June 26, 2019 1:32 pm

Politicians are just blowing smoke in our eyes while they knowingly waste trillions of USD, EURO’s and Yen in order to comply with completely useless targets. Even if all that has been said about Climate Change was true (which it is not) we were in no position to prevent it. So, as we know already now that Trillions won’t even do anything, why spending this money? Because it lines the pockets of lots of people with high stakes in this business? That’s what must be assumed and that’s what really happens. So, either those snake oil salesmen get replaced through the ballot box and we save what we can now or we have the same result for an indescribable pile of debt afterward. Maybe they assume that all is lost anyhow so this further pile won’t change things anymore.

June 26, 2019 2:00 pm

Campaign with this article! Send it to your local Congressman/Senator/MP or whatever – I just have. It neatrly summarises the futility of the expensive policy measures they are taking.

Thank you Dr. Ball!

Dave Fair
June 26, 2019 3:04 pm

The average politician, much less the average citizen, cannot understand the various scientific arguments for and against CAGW. Well-funded ideology is winning the propaganda game.

My advice? Ask how much of your money do they want to fund their schemes. Ask how much of your freedom of action do they want you to give up. Ask how much more your heating, cooling, transportation, etc. will cost you.

Tim Gorman
June 26, 2019 3:55 pm

“There are no useful measurements of global temperature.”

There are no useful measurements of AVERAGE global temperature.

When the average goes up you simply don’t know whether minimum temperatures went, whether maximum temperatures went up, or if the average went up due to a combination of the two! And it gets even worse when you recognize that the average temperature varies wildly based on geographical location.

When the AGW alarmists, the media, and the politicians start talking about regional average maximum and minimum temperatures then perhaps some actual strategies to address any problems can be developed. The one-size-fits-all global attack on CO2 is idiocy.

June 26, 2019 4:02 pm

A. dry good article. Thanks; but I have one beef:
You say that we don’t know much about the effects of water vapor. Quote: “The reality is we just don’t know “.
Engineers do know but are considered lessor mortals by scientists so the science and behaviour of water gets ignored.

Water is only a greenhouse gas in the absence of phase change. At phase change the situation markedly reverses mainly due to two factors; namely first that at phase change absorbed energy is converted to Latent Heat at CONSTANT temperature, thus there is no additional radiation due to temperature. Secondly the molecular structure of the vapor is such that it is lighter than dry air and therefore possesses considerable buoyancy which drives the Latent Heat up through the atmosphere (and CO2) for dissipation in the clouds and beyond to space. This without a temperature difference which drives convection.
The confabulation of convection with buoyancy leads to error.

In fact the Hydro Cycle operates as the Rankine Cycle. Very well understood in engineering circles.
One of the interesting factors in this Rankine Cycle is that providing the temperature and the pressure are constant any input of energy results in an acceleration of the the cycle where the energy output equates to the input. (Well that’s how steam power generators work)
In the Hydro Cycle the pressure is determined by gravity and is more or less constant. the temperature is again fixed by the behaviour of water responding to the pressure. I won’t go into details here as a bit complex for a mere comment.
All in all the result is that at this phase change water becomes strongly negative as feedback. Which challenges the view that water feedback is positive when the net figure is calculated. ( For info., the Latent Heat which is being driven upwards is in the order of 680 Watthrs per kilogram – a tidy amount when compared with the GHE.

OK all very simplified and subject to pedantic debate. Just hope that someone with better brains than me takes these concepts on board and quantifies the vagaries. (My maths has somewhat deteriorated over the years!)

Steve Z
June 26, 2019 4:03 pm

There are a lot of scare-mongers out there putting out forecasts of accelerating warming, or accelerating sea level rise, which (according to them) would lead to some kind of disaster in 50 or 100 years, although there is no evidence that these trends are accelerating. Just like the hockey stick, if past data is extrapolated with a parabola or exponential curve, one can predict some runaway trend that is very unlikely to occur, and try to justify some massive expense to try to “prevent” what probably would not occur if nothing was done.

One of the major concerns of warming alarmists is sea level rise–in X years Y square miles and Z cities will be inundated, if sea level rise accelerates. But sea level rise, currently running at less than 2 mm per year, shows no sign of accelerating, so it would be reasonable to extrapolate the current trend linearly. In that case, is it reasonable to spend trillions of dollars to avoid burning fossil fuels, or more reasonable to build an 8-inch high seawall around coastal cities over the next 100 years, which would be much cheaper?

Global-warming alarmists accuse skeptics of “denying science”, but computer models which have over-estimated trends in the past are unreliable in predicting the future. Everyone can admit that sea level is slowly rising, but we should be discussing the most effective way of protecting our coastal cities.

Archeologists suggest that sea levels thousands of years ago were low enough for a land bridge over which people migrated from eastern Siberia to Alaska. Mankind was unable to prevent the ocean from flooding this bridge and forming the Bering Strait, but they did develop ships able to cross the Bering Strait and the Pacific Ocean. Mankind needs to make a similar adaptation now, rather than throw away the fossil-fuel-based technology that has enabled tremendous advances in our standard of living.

Andy Mansell
Reply to  Steve Z
June 27, 2019 10:35 am

I’ve been arguing these points with the local hippies- how many times are we going to get ‘just 5/10/whatever years before the end of the world’? I’ve been hearing this for at least 30 years, yet here we still are….

Transport by Zeppelin
June 26, 2019 4:16 pm

Dear Tim Ball; thanks for your contributions to this forum. I always look forward to reading your articles.


June 26, 2019 6:46 pm

“There are no useful measurements of global temperature. We only have temperature measurements for approximately 15% of the earth’s surface.”

Are the satellite measurements not useful?
Are you referring to surface station measurements?

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Sam Grove
June 27, 2019 6:15 am

The satellites are not measuring temperature.

They are measuring up-swelling IR radiation …… but don’t know exactly what the source is.

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