Chapter II Brazilian Scientists Assess Environmentalism – I
The public is bombarded with movies, documents and statements presenting nature in a state of fury: cities swallowed by the ocean, crops decimated by drought, glaciers falling into the sea, hungry bears wandering about, penguins walking in the desert, hurricanes destroying everything in their path.
An Inconvenient Truth, the book and film by former U.S. vice president Al Gore, marked a peak of propaganda designed to traumatize audiences and turn them against the specter of “global warming.” Incredibly, the movie even won two Oscars, Best Original Song and Best Documentary Feature, plus 15 other prizes.
In 2006, Al Gore visited Brazil, making a great splash in the national media. In its October issue that year, Época magazine changed its cover green for the occasion and advised its readers: “Think green: what you can do to save the planet.” Al Gore’s film was shown in schools, and students took home to their parents the concern for saving humanity.
The film has since been denounced for fraud. There was even a campaign to take back its Oscars. Moreover, the harsh winters seen in the northern hemisphere have helped debunk the “global warming” myth.
1. Climate Change Is a Normal Phenomenonc
Many people confuse climate with weather, a misconception which helps biased environmental propaganda to gain wider acceptance without proper testing. Climate is defined as an average of weather elements (temperature, precipitation, wind, solar radiation, etc.) for a period of at least 30 years, and therefore it is a feature of long duration.
Each region has its own climate, which cannot be confused with weather. When we say that the Amazon region is hot and humid throughout the year, we are talking about the area’s climate. But if we say that the day is hot we are referring to the weather, i.e., the state of atmospheric conditions at a particular time and place. Therefore, weather is a transient characteristic whereas climate is constant over a long period, though it may change over the centuries due to natural causes.
Climate is a very complex thing influenced by different factors such as the oceans and ocean currents, and its main source of energy is the sun.
There are several types of climate: polar, temperate, Mediterranean, tropical, equatorial, subtropical, desert, semi-arid etc. Brazil, located in the tropical zone, is dominated by hot and humid climates.
Global warming is the main environmentalist “dogma.” It claims that the average temperature of the air and oceans is rising due to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases (CO2, methane, etc.) resulting from human activities such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation.
The historic track record of climate change belies the claim that warming is caused by CO2. During the “Medieval Warm Period” (MWP), temperatures in Europe were higher than they are now. Grape vines grew in northern England and crops flourished in icy Greenland (‘green earth’ in the Viking language).
A “Little Ice Age” occurred from the sixteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century, and chroniclers recount how people skated in London on the frozen River Thames. In the decades between 1940 and 1970 there was a large cooling to the point that scientists raised the possibility we were entering a new ice age, a development that made the cover of Time magazine on Jan. 31, 1977. How could that be possible if we were already in the middle of the industrial age?
2. Baseless Climate Terrorism
As it happened at COP-15 in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2009, and Rio+20 in 2012 (without great success), the more alarmist hypotheses on global warming were raised to cause profound apprehension in people’s minds. Some scientists and media relentlessly regurgitate platitudes about the dangers that “climate change” poses to the planet. However, the number of researchers who oppose the climate alarmists is growing by the day. It is worth noting that many of these renowned researchers are now boycotted, especially by the media, merely because they dispelled the myth that human activity produces climate change.
Based on serious research, renowned Brazilian scientists have challenged the flawed and catastrophic view upheld even by the UN. One of them is Professor Luiz Carlos Baldicero Molion. A graduate in physics from the University of São Paulo with a Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a post-doctorate in Hydrology of Forests at the Institute of Hydrology in Wallingford, England, he was director and researcher at the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and currently teaches at the Federal University of Alagoas (UFAL) in Maceio, where he also directs the Institute for Atmospheric Sciences (ICAT).
Below are some of his enlightening statements in an interview with Catolicismo magazine (n° 709, January 2010):
a) The IPCC Claims, But Fails to Prove, that Global Warming is Man-Made
“The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), a UN-linked agency does not prove that global warming is man-made. Previous studies on climate variability have found that global warming is within the bounds of natural variability. It is impossible, with the current knowledge about climate, to identify and demonstrate that global warming is possibly anthropogenic.
“There are three basic arguments in this regard:
- The series of mean temperatures around the globe are not representative. In recent years, the number of weather-gauging stations was drastically reduced from around 14,000 in the late 1960s to fewer than 1,000 today, according to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (Dr. James Hansen). Most disabled stations were in the countryside. Those located in cities suffer the effects of urbanization, the so-called ‘heat island effect’, which tends to show a warming trend.
- An increase in CO2 concentration does not correlate with a temperature increase. While oil consumption accelerated after the end of World War II, the average global temperature decreased. In past eras like the interglacial periods of 130,000, 250,000 and 360,000 years ago, temperatures were higher than now, albeit with lower CO2 concentrations. Therefore, it is not CO2 that increases the air temperature but rather the opposite: an increase in temperature causes an increase in the concentration of CO2, particularly due to ocean heating.
- Climate models employed for ‘projections’ of average global temperature over the next 100 years are still developing and do not represent the complexity and interactions of the physical processes that determine the climate. The scenarios used by IPCC are hypothetical and most likely will not come to fruition because the oceans, upon cooling, will absorb more CO2. In other words, simulations with climate models are nothing but mere academic exercises unfit to formulate adequate policies for the development of society.”
b) CO2, a Gas Beneficial to Both Man and Animals
“The main greenhouse gas – if the greenhouse effect does exist – is water vapor. In some places and occasions its concentration is up to 100 times greater than CO2. The latter, in turn, is a natural gas. In a sense, even more so than oxygen, it is the gas of life. In the highly unlikely hypothesis that we would be able to eliminate CO2 from the atmosphere, life on Earth would cease. Man and the other animals feed on plants and do not produce the foods they consume. It is the plants that absorb CO2 through photosynthesis and produce starches, sugars and fibers, and as a byproduct, the oxygen that we breathe. Other gases such as methane and nitrogen oxides are present in very low concentrations and thus do not cause problems.
“There has been much talk that the global temperature rise would cause ipso facto a proliferation in the number of diseases which rely on mosquitoes as vectors (e.g. yellow fever, malaria, dengue). It is well to recall that malaria killed thousands of people in Siberia in the 1920s, a very cold period, and that Aedes aegypti has been found living at -15 ° C (-5 F). These mosquitoes continue to kill humans and have survived warmer and colder climates. Up until the early decades of the twentieth century there were very serious outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases in both Europe and the USA. Therefore, the problem is more one of basic sanitation and pest control than climate-related. Obviously, however, every effort made to reduce air, water and soil pollution will be very beneficial to mankind.”