The Desk Main Page
The Index of the Desk's Non Fiction and Mystery Series Articles and the Desk's Political Coverage

©07 The Media Desk

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.
Stephen Hawking

Desk article posted 2 March 2007

Consensus versus Science

It would seem the Desk is not alone in its doubt of man's causality -
11/07 Global Warming Update
The UPDATE from Canada, Summer Solstice 07

A look at the DEBATE about Global Warming.

Before we get started, The Conclusion:
      The Desk came into this article with the view that: Yes, the climate is warming. It has been since the end of the last Ice Age. How much of an effect on it does the activities of mankind have? Negligible to minor if any at all. Should Americans turn their entire lifestyle upside down to combat it? No. Should we take reasonable precautions and make some effort to minimize waste and abuse of Nature. Yes, of course.
      During the research and the writing of the article the Desk discovered many things. Most of them not featured on the major TV news shows and the Weather Channel's update.
      Over the month or so this article was in production it became very clear that the major media outlets and several political groups on both sides of the debate are flatly ignoring research and information that does not fit their agenda. Doing so IS NOT SCIENCE, it is propaganda. And it is from BOTH SIDES.

See NOTE, Includes Updates from April/07 at bottom News (including recent developments like Nat'l Geo and the BBC), and Active Links to sources at END of article.
The New York Times must be reading the Desk! "From a rapt audience, a call to cool the hype" 13 March, 07

And now the article.

"Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense."
Carl Sagan
1934 - 1996

Billions and Billions

      Dr. Sagan is perhaps most famous for his line from his COSMOS TV series in which he explained Cosmology and Astronomy and other hard sciences and their pursuit and various theories and discoveries about the Universe in terms those of us who weren't on the staff of the Jet Propulsions Laboratory's team that was investigating Venus and the moons of Saturn could at least partially understand.... and it is something that later he claimed he never said in so many words.... "Billions and Billions..." but nevertheless, he used it as the title for his final book.

      Well, whether he did say it on TV or not is absolutely irrelevant. What is more important is that even though Sagan was one of the first to predict Global Climate Change, first 'global cooling' due to oil well fires in Kuwait, then 'global warming' due to similar factors, he was first and last a scientist and promoted "Skeptical Inquiry".

"A central lesson of science is that to understand complex issues (or even simple ones), we must try to free our minds of dogma and to guarantee the freedom to publish, to contradict, and to experiment. Arguments from authority are unacceptable."
Carl Sagan
Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium
Published in 1997 after Sagan's Death the year before.
Random House

      The science itself is not as cut and dry as most of the activists on both sides of the issue claim it to be. Climatology is a fairly new branch of science. Reliable weather data in most locations barely covers the last hundred years. Some areas are just now being covered by weather tracking satellites. The world wide water cycle as it relates to heat distribution is still being mapped. To claim the science is completely understood and is now able to predict long term trends based on short term information is misguided. Local weather projections for next week are notoriously unpredictable let alone worldwide climate predictions for the next fifty years. And local weather is exactly that, local weather. So when the proponents say "short term local weather changes are a precursor of global..." they are simply lying.
      It is the dogma on both sides of the argument that is doing more to muddy the issue and polarize the public than anything else. Part of the problem is that if the proposition is true, strident proclamations from its adherents make some people skeptical because previous doomsayers have shouted from the rooftops about various forthcoming disasters and nanny-state interventions that have backfired.

Some examples from both sides.

  • One against ham-fisted government intervention is the ban on DDT due to a poorly researched book and subsequent hysteria. As it turns out, DDT wasn't the bird-killing demon it had been painted as, nor was it the magic bullet that would kill every mosquito in the world. But the resulting ban (which wasn't effective world wide until the 1990's) has led to rise in deaths from Malaria in third world and developing countries as more environmentally friendly degradable pesticides are more expensive and less effective than the persistent agent.
  • And one incident almost begging for more reactive regulation by governments. It has been known for years that single-hulled oil tankers are a menace on the high seas and a environmental disaster just waiting for a place to happen. Several spectacular incidents- the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, the wreck of the 'Prestige' off Spain in 2002, and the 2004 'Athos' spill in the Delaware River were all caused at least in part by human negligence (for example; the 'Prestige' did not receive a required inspection prior to her last voyage), there is ample evidence that if the ships had been double hulled the resulting spills may have been minimized if not avoided altogether.
  • One last one which points out the more inexplicable tendencies of government that tends to defy common sense. According to US General Services Administration, smoking is basically banned in and around all US Government Buildings. Neither Employees nor Visitors are allowed to smoke in any Federal Building, nor within a certain number of feet from the entrances under some proposed rules changes. However, there is one exception to the rule, and one class of people it applies to: the new US Speaker of the House has banned smoking on the House Chamber Floor and certain other areas, but it is allowed in the member's own office and a balcony outside the Speaker's Lobby.

      Dr. Sagan was also fond of quoting a line that had been use in many places including various Science Fiction works:
"Arguments from authority simply do not count; too many authorities have been mistaken too often."

      So let's look at the authority of both of the most radical camps on both sides of the issue.
      Both sides are teeing off on the word "consensus" and going from there.
      By definition, science is not a 'consensus' type of undertaking. Especially in the hard sciences. Argument could be made that in the behavioral sciences, especially in the Human Behavioral Sciences, consensus may be the best you hope for, but even then those involved with the research like more concrete definitions.
      Some would say that the United Nations committee the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the first and last authority on the matter. Others will say the committee is nothing more than a political group and mouthpiece for various social engineers and backers of One World Government.
      An honest statement on just who is the best authority and has the bulk of scientific data on their side is impossible. Without a doubt the IPCC rigged their data to support their political view, and in some cases, their data is straightforward. The best examples of this are the infamous 'Hockey Stick' temperature chart that has been thoroughly discredited but is still in use, and the heart wrenching story about drowning polar bears. Well, polar bear populations are actually on the rise, see story linked below from the SCOTSMAN. And without a doubt various debunkers have doctored their results and evidence as well. One of those being drawings and quotes from a Chinese expedition to the Arctic in 1421 which supposedly reported an ice free ocean at the North Pole. In reality, the Ming Dynasty expedition may never have done more than sail along the northern Alaskan and Canadian coastline which is ice free in summer.

      But to play the devil's advocate, let's look at news stories for anecdotal evidence of Global Warming before we look at the hard science things like deep core samples of ocean sediments and glacial ice.

      Because of the hype if you put the words 'global warming' or 'climate change' into a search engine you are buried under thousands of links to everything from the ads for Mr. Gore's movie to debunking sites. So the best you can do is to look for individual stories like melting polar ice caps and CO2 emissions.
      Which is exactly what this writer did in an effort to find source documents.
      Then it got a shock.

"Ice is Nice"
      Yes. The polar ice caps are smaller now than at any time in the history of such observations.
      The polar ice caps.... On Mars.

      "Malin said images of Mars' southern polar cap showed that scarps formed there are retreating at 'a prodigious rate' of about 10 feet per Mars year. Mars years are nearly twice as long as Earth years.
      "The images, documenting changes from 1999 to 2005, suggest the climate on Mars is presently warmer, and perhaps getting warmer still, than it was several decades or centuries ago just as the Earth experienced its own Ice Ages. Malin said scientists had no explanation yet as to why Mars might be warming."
Michael Malin is principal investigator for the Mars Orbiter Camera on the Surveyor Probe.
The Houston Chronicle
Sept. 20, 2005
      Even National Geographic has noticed the lack of human caused warming on Mars. See link below.

      Some of the Ice on Earth, namely Antarctica's hard water, doesn't seem to be behaving exactly as we've been told either. According to another article over the last 10 years the Antarctic icepack has grown by nearly 10 percent.

[Subjective Editorial Statement and Relevant Quote:
      Why haven't we seen those two stories on the various cable news outlets?
      Perchance because Global Warming on Mars cannot be attributed to minivans and that what might be a 'little ice age' in the Southern Hemisphere doesn't play into the various political agendas of various political celebrities and social engineers.

fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt
     "as a rule, men willingly believe that which they wish to" People believe what they wish to be true, even if it isn't.
Attributed to Julius Caesar.
End of Editorial Statement]

      OK. Back to the science and that greenhouse gas we mentioned before.

      One of the largest banners from the Global Warmers is Carbon Dioxide. The 'carbon footprint' of Western Industrialized Societies is undeniably greater by several orders of magnitude than various Bushmen tribes who are living at Stone Age subsistence levels.
      However, something left off the scale of emissions is the amount of CO2 produced by natural processes like plant decomposition and large complex cycles in rain forests. A good article explaining it is here: (hot link below)
      There are local volcanic processes which are known to release more CO2 than many towns do per day. Just one vent in the giant Long Valley Caldera in California has been releasing 50 to 150 tons of Carbon Dioxide per day since 1996. Which works out to some forty thousand tons per year from the one vent. The Caldera has several vents and large areas of tree kill due to CO2 ground poisoning. (hot link below) also

The Earth's Climate Changes.

      Yes it does.
      That is simply a fact.
      During the time of the Dinosaurs most of what we call the Coastline was under water. Central Europe was an island chain in a sub-tropical sea. China was a swamp. For a time St. Louis, Missouri was beachfront.
      During the last great Ice Age Miami, Florida was several miles inland and Berlin, Germany was buried under ice.
      The Medieval Warm Period and subsequent Little Ice Age are matters of record. Regardless of whether or not the Chinese sailed around an ice free Arctic Ocean in 1421, there is ample evidence that Andean Glaciers had all but melted only to return years later.
      None of these events have anything to do with the carbon emissions of Chicago.


"At the peak of the dinosaur era, there were no polar ice caps, and sea levels are estimated to have been from 100 to 250 metres (330 to 820 feet) higher than they are today. The planet's temperature was also much more uniform, with only 25 degrees Celsius separating average polar temperatures from those at the equator. On average, atmospheric temperatures were also much warmer; the poles, for example, were 50 °C warmer than today." links below
Greenland and the Vikings
      In the 980s AD many from the Norse mainland and Iceland settle in Greenland after the exploration of the area by Erik the Red and later Leif Eriksson.
      Fifty farms over three settlements in south western Greenland (mostly from Nuuk south to the tip of the island), with dairy cows and all. Summer temperatures today in Greenland can reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit, winter temps are in the 0 to single digits, for farms to have flourished as they did, the averages may have been slightly warmer during the Viking period.
      At around 1125 the Catholic Church established a Diocese at Gardar (now Igaliku). In 1261 the Greenland Parliament swore allegiance to the King of Norway.
      A Norse population of about three thousand people called the island home for nearly five hundred years. At times they exported goods including cheese and wool to Iceland and back to Norway.
      It all came to an end as the climate changed and the cold and ice returned during the fifteenth century. See for more: hotlink below

[Another Editorial Comment:
      In the face of mounting evidence of a NATURAL CYCLE of climate change due to a variety of factors including solar activity and as yet unexplained natural factors and maybe, just maybe, some part due to human activity. We have to wonder if the current mass media panic is simply to give Mr. Gore a day job to pay his mansion's $30,000 a year electric bill. It is a wonder the former US Vice President isn't generally regarded as the laughing stock he actually appears to be. link below
End of Comment]

      Prior to the current media frenzy we had:

  • Alar On Apples. You would have to drink 5000 gallons of apple juice per day to get the dose given to the lab animals.
  • Acid Rain. While it was a problem, the solution did not require the dismantling of the entire economy. Rather simply filters and scrubbers were installed on various smoke stacks and the issue has been all but forgotten about.
  • The Ozone Hole. As it turned out, it was a natural cycle after all and high altitude lightning and other phenomena makes more than enough ozone to replenish what is needed to filter sunlight.
  • Recovered Memories. Many innocent people found their careers and lives ruined by so called 'recovered memories' which led to child abuse charges and show trials where tearful accusers 'remembered' things that had happened years before. In the long run, the vast majority of the memories were discounted and the real victims, those whose lives were shattered without recourse against their false accusers, tried to move on.

In the end... What have we learned?

A few things. Let's list them:

  1. The Earth itself IS NOT warming exactly as Mr. Gore claims. At least the Northern Hemisphere does seem to be experiencing something of an increase in overall temperature that may even now be slowing or reversing given some recent data. The Southern half of the globe however seems to be actually cooling and may experience a 'Little Ice Age' as the Northern did from about 1700 to the mid nineteenth century.
  2. Climate Change is Unavoidable and Inevitable. It has happened before, it will happen again, and it is probably happening now as the climate HAS NEVER been static for very long since the Earth was Created.
  3. Part of this otherwise natural process may be caused, accelerated, or even retarded, by human activity including deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, river diversion, and even electromagnetic field generation. However, the overall climate is a result of Natural factors and forces.
  4. The popular media needs sensational headlines to draw viewers and readers.... which they then bombard with advertising. Panics and prophesies of doom and ultimate 'Hell on Earth' calamities make for great headlines and prime time specials that guarantee an audiance.
  5. The UN, through its agent, the IPCC, and the Media are in bed together to promote their own agenda which seems to be, as our friends in Australia point out in their paper -linked below- to usurp the sovereignty of industrialized nations, possibly with one eye on the redistribution of their wealth to less developed countries.
  6. And their are those in the various countries: the US, Australia, Germany, and so on, who are actively collaborating with the UN and the IPCC.
Bottom line time.
      Would it be for the best of everybody and everything involved if some practical and cost efficient measures were taken to minimize the overall environmental impact of human activity? Of course. Should everybody run out and buy a solar car and a wind turbine electric generator? No, that's stupid. Should we all buy 'carbon credits' from Mongolia to ease our communal guilt over running our dishwasher? No, that's stupid too.
      Should "We the People" surrender ourselves to the UN's committee and become Amish? ... nevermind.
      Ultimately. What 'we' do is is up for "You the People" to decide.

end of article


All outside links will open in a new window.

Dr. Carl Sagan's site

One of the premier Global Warming sites:

DDT and Malaria The Press Release

Panel Discussion

Federal Smoking Ban
And at
Article that cites the exceptions to the ban including Congressional Offices:


THE world’s polar bear population is on the increase despite global warming, which scientists had believed was pushing the animal towards extinction.
According to new research, the numbers of the giant predator have grown by between 15 and 25 per cent over the last decade."

Mars Warming at: posted as this article was being finished!

CO2 stuff at

the gas page from the Long Valley Volcano Observatory
More on Volcanic Gases:

A page of Greenland History.

In the North Atlantic, sediments accumulated since the end of the last ice age nearly 12,000 years ago show regular increases in the amount of coarse sediment grains deposited from icebergs melting in the now open ocean, indicating a series of 1-2ºC (2-4°F) cooling events recurring every 1,500 years or so. The most recent of these cooling events was the Little Ice Age. These same cooling events are detected in sediments accumulating off Africa, but the cooling events appear to be larger, ranging between 3-8ºC (6-14°F) Little Ice Age article at
Wikipedia Unedited Temperature Charts for
2000 Years
1000 Years
Extensive article and multiple charts

Over the last 10 years the Antarctic icepack has grown by nearly 10 percent.

About the world of the Dinosaurs on Wikipedia

Another writer looks at the sideshow the debate has become

"It's clear that not even the activists believe everything they're peddling. In 2006, while being interviewed by ABC's chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos about "An Inconvenient Truth," Gore admitted that when it comes to the actual impact of global warming on the planet, '(scientists) don't know, they just don't know.'"


Newest developments at bottom of section.

A British Lord fires back, debunking Global Warming Hysteria

"The Royal Society says there's a worldwide scientific consensus. It brands Apocalypse-deniers as paid lackeys of coal and oil corporations. I declare my interest: I once took the taxpayer's shilling and advised Margaret Thatcher, FRS, on scientific scams and scares. Alas, not a red cent from Exxon."

A European Leader Speaks Out.

"Global warming is a false myth and every serious person and scientist says so. It is not fair to refer to the U.N. panel. IPCC is not a scientific institution: it’s a political body, a sort of non-government organization of green flavor. It’s neither a forum of neutral scientists nor a balanced group of scientists. These people are politicized scientists who arrive there with a one-sided opinion and a one-sided assignment. Also, it’s an undignified slapstick that people don’t wait for the full report in May 2007 but instead respond, in such a serious way, to the summary for policymakers where all the “but’s” are scratched, removed, and replaced by oversimplified theses. This is clearly such an incredible failure of so many people, from journalists to politicians. If the European Commission is instantly going to buy such a trick, we have another very good reason to think that the countries themselves, not the Commission, should be deciding about similar issues."
The Honorable Vaclav Klaus, the President of the Czech Republic
Transcript at
Story at

A Cardinal weighs in and speaks his mind.

      "...An overseas magazine called for Nuremberg-style trials for global warming skeptics while a U.S.A. television correspondent compared skeptics to “holocaust deniers”. A local newspaper editorial’s complaint about the doomsdayers’ religious enthusiasm is unfair to mainstream Christianity. Christians don’t go against reason although we sometimes go beyond it in faith to embrace probabilities. What we were seeing from the doomsdayers was an induced dose of mild hysteria, semi-religious if you like, but dangerously close to superstition. The evidence on warming is mixed, often exaggerated, but often reassuring. Global warming has been increasing constantly since 1975 at the rate of less than one fifth of a degree centigrade per decade. The concentration of carbon dioxide increased surface temperatures more in winter than in summer and especially in mid and high latitudes over land, while there was a global cooling of the stratosphere.
      The East Anglia university climate research unit found that global temperatures did not increase between 1998 – 2005 and a recent NASA satellite found that the Southern Hemisphere has not warmed in the past 25 years. Is mild global warming a Northern phenomenon? While we might have been alarmed by the sighting of an iceberg off Dunedin as large as an aircraft carrier we should be consoled by the news that the Antarctic is getting colder and the ice is growing there.
      The science is more complicated than the propaganda!"
His Eminence + Cardinal George Pell
Archbishop of Sydney
18 Feburary 2007 also
28 February 2007

      ..."I believe that is one of the principal reasons why political leaders around the world have not yet taken action," Gore said. "There are many reasons, but one of the principal reasons in my view is more than half of the mainstream media have rejected the scientific consensus implicitly - and I say 'rejected,' perhaps it's the wrong word. They have failed to report that it is the consensus and instead have chosen … balance as bias."
      Gore would not answer any questions from the media after the event.
Mr. Gore's house in Tennessee uses $30,000 worth of Electricity a year!

The Lavoisier Group joins the Debunking Fray.

"Past climate has shown much natural variability, globally or regionally, at many time-scales. Observed surface warming, over the last half-century at least, is largely in the Northern Hemisphere, in temperate and northern latitudes, on land, and in winter. This warming is related to the ca 1500-year cyclic fluctuation of which the Roman Empire time, Dark Ages, Mediaeval Warm Period, and finally the Little Ice Age of AD 1300-1900, are manifestations. Furthermore, Green House Gases cause the atmosphere to heat up in the first instance, with subsequent re-radiation of this increased warmth and consequent 'greenhouse warming' at the surface; we now have 21 years of atmospheric temperatures---and there has been little or no warming! But surging ice-sheets with resulting redirection of oceanic warm currents, and also variable solar output, are crucial. Reciting the mantra 'we accept the science' would be a poor substitute for considering the full range of relevant scientific input before Australia ratifies the Kyoto Protocol."
Bob Foster speech in May 2000
The newest paper in PDF format from the same site.

FROM BBC4, posted on 4 March, 2007 Another voice joins the skeptics:
Ian Clark, Professor of Isotope hydrogeology and paleoclimatology at the Dept of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa explains: 'Solar activity over the last hundred years, over the last several hundred years, correlates very nicely, on a decadal basis, with temperature.'
the BBC's ch 4
Also at

New Development 5 March 2007-
The Leading French Scientist on the subject hangs Mr. Gore out to dry:

Calling the arguments of those who see catastrophe in climate change "simplistic and obscuring the true dangers," Dr. Allegre especially despairs at "the greenhouse-gas fanatics whose proclamations consist in denouncing man's role on the climate without doing anything about it except organizing conferences and preparing protocols that become dead letters." The world would be better off, Dr. Allegre believes, if these "denouncers" became less political and more practical, by proposing practical solutions to head off the dangers they see, such as developing technologies to sequester C02. His dream, he says, is to see "ecology become the engine of economic development and not an artificial obstacle that creates fear."

Again with the Inconvenient Facts, sorry Al.

UNITED STATES Climate Summary
February 2007
The average temperature in February 2007 was 32.9 F. This was -1.8 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average, the 34th coolest February in 113 years. The temperature trend for the period of record (1895 to present) is 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit per decade.

1.56 inches of precipitation fell in February. This was -0.46 inches less than the 1901-2000 average, the 16th driest such month on record. The precipitation trend for the period of record (1895 to present) is 0.00 inches per decade.

NOW it's serious... from

Global Warming: now it hits brothels
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
    Brothel owners in Bulgaria are blaming global warming for staff shortages. They claim their best girls are working in ski resorts because a lack of snow has forced tourists to seek other pleasures.
    Petra Nestorova, who runs an escort agency in Sofia, said: 'We have hired students, but they are temps and nothing like our elite girls.'

And with that news from Europe, we will stop updating this article and begin putting together a post mortem of the Global Warming Circus and Hall of Wonders and Curiosities.

Sorry... one more. From the Old Grey Lady!
The New York Times "From a rapt audience, a call to cool the hype"

Updates from April/07

Alaskan Scientist calls himself a "CRITIC" of the global warming hysteria.

Syun-Ichi Akasofu (former director of both UAF's Geophysical Institute and International Arctic Research Center) said there is no data showing that "most" of the present warming is due to the man-made greenhouse effect, as the members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change wrote in February.
He pointed out that the atmosphere cooled from 1940 to 1975 despite a rapid increase in carbon dioxide emissions during the same period.
"Nature changes all the time," he said. "The natural component is there. Until you remove it, you don't know the man-made effect."

Could NOT resist posting this one

...and just when you think the Europeans can't go any further.....
Belgium to will monitor outdoor grill emissions with helicopters to fight global warming.
BRUSSELS, April 3/07 (RIA Novosti) - The government of Belgium's French-speaking region of Wallonia, which has a population of about 4 million, has approved a tax on barbequing, local media reported.
Experts said that between 50 and 100 grams of CO2, a so-called greenhouse gas, is emitted during barbequing. Beginning June 2007, residents of Wallonia will have to pay 20 euros for a grilling session.
The local authorities plan to monitor compliance with the new tax legislation from helicopters, whose thermal sensors will detect burning grills.
Scientists believe CO2 emissions are a major cause of global warming.

which puts out more CO2? A grill or a helicopter?

Thank you
Dr Leftover

      [NOTE: This article is NOT really about Global Climate Change on either side of the argument. The Desk is NOT qualified to evaluate the science. However, the Desk is fully qualified to evaluate something else related to the issue. In this article the Desk is looking at the debate, the attempts from both sides to quash debate, and the tunnel vision used by both to exclude (to use a popular expression) 'Inconvenient Truths'. As far as the science, the reader is free to look at the raw data that is being made available from either side and make up their own mind.

      Further Note: The subject is a very fast moving target. New information on both sides is being released daily. During formatting of this article the Lavoisier Group released a major article debunking much of the Al Gore movie, some of which used the exact same science he touted in his presentation. Because it was a lot of information to wade through, it was not included in this article, but it may be dealt with in an update. The entire article is here: thank you ]

11/07 Global Warming Update

To the main page

[NOTE: The Desk is not affiliated with any of the above outside sites or entities. Mention of a particular document or article is not to be taken as an endorsement by or of the Desk. No infringement or disrespect is intended or is to be assumed. thank you ]