The End of Big Bang, Black Holes and the Science of Stephen Hawking?

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Iconic figure in cosmology, Professor Stephen Hawking, has his Singularity Theorem claims challenged in a remarkable new paper by probably the most able scholar in Einsteinian type general relativity, Stephen Crothers, of Queensland, Australia.

Stephen Hawking

Crothers has produced many definitive refutations of the ‘Big Bang,’ black holes and other fallacies spawned from Einsteinian general relativity that have irked the scientific mainstream. In his latest paper, ‘On the Invalidity of the Hawking-Penrose Singularity ‘Theorems’ and Acceleration of the Universe from Negative Cosmological Constant,’ [1]

Crothers argues, “To disprove the Hawking-Penrose Singularity Theorem requires only disproof of one of the conditions the Theorem must satisfy. Nonetheless, all of the required conditions are proven invalid herein.”

As with his previous papers (2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2012b) Crothers demonstrates that ‘Big Bang’ scientists “have no valid basis in science bearing in mind that their concepts and arguments are based on the General Theory of Relativity which is easily proven to violate the usual conservation of energy and momentum and to not predict the black hole.”

The abstract is below and a link to the full paper is found here.


Hawking and Penrose proposed “A new theorem on spacetime singularities …

which largely incorporates and generalizes the previously known results” which

they claimed “implies that space-time singularities are to be expected if either the

universe is spatially closed or there is an ‘object’ undergoing relativistic

gravitational collapse (existence of a trapped surface)” and that their ‘Theorem’

applies if four certain physical conditions are satisfied. Hartle, Hawking and

Hertog have proposed a quantum state with wave function for the Universe which

they assert “raises the possibility that even fundamental theories with a negative

cosmological constant can be consistent with our low-energy observations of a

classical, accelerating universe.” They also relate this concept to string cosmology.

It is however proven in this paper that the Hawking-Penrose Singularity ‘Theorem’

and accelerated expansion of the Universe with negative # are invalid because they

are based upon demonstrably false foundations relating to Einstein’s field

equations, trapped surfaces, and the cosmological constant.

Crothers concludes that with the ‘Big Bang’ Cosmology, lacking any theoretical basis it tells us that the Cosmic Microwave Background is not the afterglow of the birth of the Universe from a Big Bang “creatio ex nihilo or otherwise.”



[1] Crothers, S., J., ‘On the Invalidity of the Hawking-Penrose Singularity ‘Theorems’ and Acceleration of the Universe from Negative Cosmological Constant,’ (Queensland, Australia), (May 4, 2013)

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Why did Anthony Watts pull a Bait and Switch?

Written by Alan Siddons & John O'Sullivan

Anthony Watts of the science blog Watts Up With That appears to have pulled a bait and switch to dodge Principia Scientific International’s (PSI) direct and forthright answer to his (and Dr. Roy Spencer’s) “put up or shut up” challenge.

On May 10th of this year, Watts and Spencer challenged PSI’s “Slayers” to provide a realistic model of earth’s energy budget, one that did not incorporate additional heating by “greenhouse gases.” We obliged.

Postma Earth Energy Budget

But rather than acknowledge our response and cogently address our thermal model (illustrated above), Watts incongruously posted an “experiment” to attack us once again. An upcoming article will provide details about Watts’ experiment proving the opposite of what he intended. For now, however, the crux of the debate remains: Is radiative forcing – in other words, heating by greenhouse gases – a real phenomenon? Here and here we have clearly indicated no.

To clarify matters for anyone less familiar with the present debate, the Greenhouse Effect (GHE) has for 30 years been the centerpiece of claims about man-made global warming. The basic contention is that sunlight doesn’t provide enough heat to account for the Earth’s temperature, but additional radiation from about 1% of the atmosphere’s gases does account for it. These gases respond to the heat radiated by the Earth’s surface and send that energy back, which makes the surface warmer. Thus in effect the Earth is heated by its own radiation, much like a battery charging itself with the electricity it produces.

Spencer’s so-called “time-dependent” Earth model, then, presupposes the existence of such a heating mechanism and from this assumption he derives what he calls “reasonable surface temperatures.” Convinced his model proves that the GHE is real, he dared us to present an alternative. In promptly doing so we also demonstrated that Spencer’s version (below) is not only far from being “time dependent,” it’s not even capable of generating enough heat for clouds to form — let alone enough heat to melt ice. Reasonable surface temperatures indeed.


Yet after calling for an alternative to a heat source that augments the Sun, Watts instantly ignored or perhaps forgot that his call had been answered. He wandered instead into another playground, distracted by a picture which he found amusing. So it’s natural to ask: Is Watts seeking to confuse readers by pretending that what occurred did not occur? Or is the confusion inadvertent?

Anyway, Anthony Watts has now produced a video, New WUWT-TV segment: Slaying the ‘slayers’ with Watts, featuring a homespun experiment with a mirror, an infrared camera and a 65 watt incandescent lamp. Judging by comments to his post, Watts has certainly succeeded in drawing attention away from the original issue. We will address some of Watts’ most recent remarks nevertheless.

“[Slayers] tend to ignore real world measurements”

Astounding. Please open your eyes, Mr. Watts. PSI members have both performed experiments and used respected third party empirical data to validate our views. Look here, here, here and here. For example, in his PSI paper Observations on ‘backradiation’ during Nighttime and Daytime, professor Nasif Nahle carefully compiled a series of real time measurements of thermal radiation from the atmosphere and surface materials both night and day. Nahle demonstrated that radiant heat transfer from the atmosphere to the Earth’s surface simply does not occur. A cooler system radiating toward a warmer system is physically untenable as a heating mechanism.

“Most of what that group does is to spin sciencey sounding theories and pal reviewed papers by a mysterious members-only peer review system.”

On the contrary, Mr. Watts, offering pseudo-scientific garbage like Willis Eschenbach’s heat-magnifying shell and Ira Glickstein’s photon-slicer is your specialty. Our group deals with standard scientific principles. And we don’t mince the 2nd Law of thermodynamics into incomprehensible confusion like crafty lawyers would. Actual scientists understand the matter clearly. This is from the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, for example:

Heat always moves from a warmer place to a cooler place.

Heat transfers in three ways:

  • Conduction
  • Convection
  • Radiation

It’s as simple as that: heat always moves to a cooler place, which includes heat transfer by radiation. By the same token, this excludes radiant heat transfer to a warmer place, a point that Mr. Watts and his fans emphatically contest. Which places them on the outskirts of standard science, not us.

As for “a mysterious members-only peer review system,” no. In fact, PSI has pioneered a new kind of open peer review system: PROM (peer review in open media) which allows anyone to post feedback on all the papers submitted to us. Every such paper must pass PROM review and remain up for public scrutiny for a period of no less than one month. During that time authors must respond to any criticisms submitted to PSI on their work. PSI weighs the merits of feedback from members and non-members alike and compels authors to modify or withdraw the paper when objections are deemed valid. Thanks to the thoroughness of our open PROM system, every paper eventually published by PSI has been found in need of some amendment beforehand.

Now for some of Watts’ more serious misconceptions, however.

“a greenhouse atmosphere has higher temperatures near the surface, but lower temperatures at high altitudes”

Yet this trait is common to every planet’s atmosphere, irrespective of that atmosphere’s composition. Has Watts ever bothered to look?

Relative planetary temp and pressure

As you’ll notice in every case, atmospheric temperature increases with depth and decreases with height. Above 0.1 bar of pressure, all planetary atmospheres do this. The presence of radiating trace gases aren’t responsible for this but the interaction of gravity with a gas’s ability to hold onto heat. Indeed, as this NASA page shows, the rate of atmospheric cooling (or heating) for a given unit of altitude can be predicted by accounting for the planet’s gravitational acceleration (<g>) and its atmosphere’s heat capacity (Cp) alone. For more information about this phenomenon see A Discussion on the Absence of a Measurable Greenhouse Effect, PSI publication.

Incidentally, it is also the case with every planet’s atmosphere that its lower-altitude temperature exceeds a blackbody-based prediction. In other words, the same method for predicting a minus 18 degree Earth also fails everywhere else. Each planet’s atmosphere is warmer than predicted, even when it is principally composed of hydrogen and helium.

But will this prompt greenhouse theoreticians to reconsider their tenets? Don’t hold your breath.

“To be honest, I laughed when I saw this”

Now we are veering toward the biggest misconception yet. Watts here is referring to a picture that shows a bright light bulb facing a mirror. The caption explains that the mirror’s reflection doesn’t heat the light bulb or make it shine any brighter. This is only common sense, however, because anyone can readily verify such a thing for himself. Even a concave (light-collecting) mirror will demonstrate that an object cannot be brightened by its own radiance. The light it shines can only illuminate something that is shining less.

Believing that an object actually can be brightened by its brightness is rather queer, in fact, like standing inside a bucket and giving an honest effort to lift it off the ground. Yet Watts sincerely believes that by means of its own radiant power an object can increase its radiant power, and he finds it funny that others consider that a joke.

But this ties in to another of his odd beliefs, for Watts also objects to us mentioning that other greenhouse theorists propose that radiant energy is doubled when it is doubled back to the radiator.

“I’ve never made a doubling claim like that, nor am I aware that any of the others named have claimed a doubling”

This is a veritable WHOPPER. Because two of Watts’s greenhouse stars, Eschenbach and Glickstein have clearly explained on Watts’ own pages that radiant energy is doubled if certain conditions prevail.

Willis Eschenbach, for instance, has it that a steel shell suspended around a cold steel sphere will radiate back the sphere’s thermal light and increase its radiance from 235 watts per square meter to 470 watts per square meter. Check our math, but isn’t 470 equal to 235 times 2?

Likewise, Ira Glickstein has it that a greenhouse atmosphere is somehow able to split a single outgoing photon into an incoming photon and an outgoing photon, such that an incoming photon scale that would read “1” in the absence of greenhouse gases will read “2” when they’re around. Pardon us again, but doesn’t 1 + 1 = 2?

The Glickstein Photon Slicer

Here’s the real question, though: How can Anthony Watts be utterly unaware of what his own greenhouse explainers have been explaining? One might also ask whether Watts is aware that Eschenbach and Glickstein are merely regurgitating the basic concept of greenhouse theory as taught in universities. Outgoing surface heat rays turn into incoming atmospheric heat rays, which double the surface’s heat rays.

Richard Lindzen believes this too. His is one of the names we mentioned.

In Greenhouse Effect, A Scientific Analysis, professor Lindzen explains,

The basic idea of the greenhouse effect is illustrated by Figure 1. Suppose that the atmosphere and clouds can be represented by a single layer of gas and clouds at some temperature Tα , and that this layer of gas and clouds can be treated as a perfect emitter. The layer therefore emits radiant energy both upward and downward at the rate σTα 4 , while the surface emits upward at the rate σTs4 , where Ts is the surface temperature. At the top of the atmosphere, the total outgoing radiative flux, given by σTa4 , must balance the net incoming solar flux of 240 Wm-2, giving Ta = 255 kelvins. But the surface receives energy from both the sun and the atmosphere, and the thermal equilibrium of the surface requires that

σTs4 = 240 Wm-2 + σTa4 = 480 Wm-2.


And there it is again. Eschenbach transforms 235 watts per square meter into 470, Glickstein conjures 2 out of 1, and Lindzen turns 240 W/m2 into 480. Since on Watts’ own website Spencer wrote approvingly of yet another paper where Lindzen explains how surface heating by a back-radiating atmosphere works, and since another Watts favorite, Christopher Monckton, endorses both Lindzen and Spencer, we just naturally assumed that Watts himself was in on this doubling business. But no —

“I’ve never made a doubling claim like that, nor am I aware that any of the others named have claimed a doubling”

it would appear that Watts objects to it. So we await his refutation of Lindzen et al.  

Lindzen GHE model with Double Radiation



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Carbon Dioxide Makes Alkaline Water – Experiment

Written by Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser

Anyone can do this experiment and prove that carbon dioxide (CO2) increases the pH of natural water systems.

If you read the statements of carbon dioxide “war mongers”, including those from EPA, you are led to believe that CO2 causes acidification of water. That is true under aseptic conditions such as in a laboratory with distilled water, but not in nature. In nature, there are two crucial differences: the presence of nutrients and sun light. Together, they make a big difference as you will see for yourself by undertaking this simple experiment.

Lab testing

The Idea

The idea of this experiment is to prove that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere INCREASES the pH of water.

Supplies & Ingredients

You need:

  1. A transparent glass or plastic container (flask, container) with a tight-closing lid. [I am using one of those 1-quart plastic containers used in supermarkets for bulk food items, etc.].

  2. A small amount of common plant fertilizer. [I am using a 20-20-20 type all-purpose plant fertilizer].

  3. Distilled or de-ionized water, available in any drug store and most supermarkets.

  4. A way to measure pH of the water [I am using pH sticks; see also bottom note].

  5. A sunny place near your home (inside or outdoors).

  6. A few weeks of time.

What to Do

There is very little to do; the sun does most of the work. Also, please note all of the quantities and concentrations mentioned do not need to be exact; they are just general guidelines.

  1. Fill your container about two-thirds with the water. Keep the lid off and let it stand a comfortable temperature for a few days.

  2. Then measure the pH of the water. It should stabilize near pH 4.5 (weakly acidic).

  3. Add fertilizer at the appropriate rate for the amount of water in your container as per instructions by the manufacturer (commonly a teaspoon for 4 liters or a gallon) and stir until it is dissolved.

  4. Check the pH again; it should not have changed.

  5. Add a smidgen (barely visible amount) of soil, or pond algae as an inoculum.

  6. Tightly close the lid and place the container at a sunny spot.

  7. Wait a few weeks (say 3 to 6 weeks, depending on area, temperature and sunshine).

  8. Once you see obvious signs of algae growing in the container (discoloration of the dye coming with the fertilizer) and turbidity (slime or particles in the system), check the pH again. It will have increased to approximately pH 8.

  9. You have finished the experiment.


You will have demonstrated the conversion of carbon dioxide (from the air) together with the nutrients (the fertilizer you added) and sun light (radiation energy) to plant matter. Of course, nature does this all over without you doing anything at all. Minerals in rocks and soils slowly dissolve and the sun does the rest.

Initially, the distilled water contained no minerals and its pH was determined solely by the dissolution of carbon dioxide from air into the water. The resulting solution of carbonic acid has a pH of approximately 4.5.

Once you added the nutrients (plant fertilizer), added a smidgen of inoculum and waited a few weeks, things had changed dramatically.

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UN Global Warming Fraud Exposed by Detailed New Study

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Professor Vincent Gray, in his latest New Zealand Climate Truth Newsletter, showcases an important new study by Canadian professor, Ross McKitrick that details why the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) should be abolished.


Detailing compelling facts exposing how government climatologists engaged in data manipulation, subjective bias, suppression of inconvenient evidence disproving their alarmist claims about man-made global warming, McKitrick’s study is shown by Professor Gray to be perhaps the most compelling condemnation of junk science yet seen. Gray’s full report is detailed below.
MAY 21st 2013
Ross McKitrick has a recent report entitled “What is Wrong with the IPCC ? Proposals for a Radical Reform.”
The Report has a foreword by John Howard, former Australian Prime Minister.
It is published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, whose Chairman is Lord Lawson, former British Foreign Secretary and whose Directors and Trustees include four other members of the British House of Lords.
McKitrick   does   an  excellent   job   in   explaining   the   origins   and   structure   of   the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He also provides a damning indictment of its failings. He makes the following recommendations for its reform:
Recommendation 1: An objective and transparent Lead Author selection procedure.
Recommendation 2: A transparent Contributing Author recruitment process.
Recommendation 3: Appointment  of  an  Editorial  Advisory  Board  and  identification  of potentially controversial sections.
Recommendation 4: Explicit assignment of both section authorship and reviewer positions.
Recommendation 5: Adoption of an iterative process to achieve a final text under the joint supervision of authors, reviewers and editors.
Recommendation 6: Adoption of a procedure for seeking technical input when necessary from outside the list of authors and reviewers during the assessment process.
Recommendation 7: Due diligence regarding key supporting papers and full disclosure of all data and methods used to produce original IPCC Figures and Tables.
Recommendation 8: Immediate online publication of the full report upon finalization, prior to production of summary.
Recommendation 9: Production of Summary by Ad Hoc group appointed by the Panel based on recommendations from the Editorial Advisory Board.
Recommendation  10:  Release  of  all  drafts,  review  comments,  responses  and  author correspondence records within 3 months of online publication of the full report.
Recommendation 11: That the nations involved in the IPCC Panel begin these reforms at once, and if such a process cannot be initiated then those national governments that seek objective and sound advice on climate change issues should withdraw from the IPCC and begin the process of creating a new assessment body free of the deficiencies identified herein.

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Exposed: Academic Fraud in new Climate Science Consensus Claim

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Authors of a new climate science consensus study trumpeted by mainstream media hacks for “proving” that most scientists blame humans for global warming are today being accused of fakery. Uproar ensued just days after publication of a controversial paper, Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature.

John Cook University of Queensland

(John Cook, University of Queensland)

Experts whose work was cited in the paper by lead author, John Cook (pictured) are aghast that their work has been used to justify far-fetched claims that there exists a  “97% consensus” among scientists regarding human-caused global warming.  Among those upset scientists cited in the new paper is Dr. Craig Idso. Idso reacted: “That is not an accurate representation of my paper.”

Nonetheless,  key authors, John Cook and Dana Nuccitelli, are unashamedly taking the plaudits from pro-green news outlets that are citing their paper as justification for draconian carbon taxation policies. California’s KPBS proclaims the study a “survey of the work of almost 30,000 scientists” which has “found 97% of published papers agree human activity is the cause of climate change.

Mr. Cook, who owns and runs the controversial and confusingly named alarmist blog, Skeptical Science, is Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, Australia. His paper, appearing in the journal “Environmental Research Letters”  has added real irony for its claim that there really is “a striking discrepancy between public perception and reality.”

But as more independent analysts look into Cook’s claims the less reliable they seem. Another scientist quick to report being misrepresented by the new study is Dr. Nicola Scafetta who spoke of the “ utter dishonesty” at work. While Dr. Nir J. Shaviv of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, when asked whether Cook’s study reliably reported his paper, replied “Nope… it is not an accurate representation.”

Now Cook’s “97% consensus” study is being met by a backlash from the very heart of European green policy. Once solidly pro-green Germany sees its flagship news magazine, Spiegel Online, quick to throw cold water over Cook’s claims.

Speigel Online

Speigel reports:

“There’s an obvious discrepancy between the public perception and reality. The authors speak about ‘consensus on man-made climate change’ – and thus this threatens to further increase confusion within the public. The survey confirms only a banality: Climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that man is responsible for at least a part of the climate warming. The important question of how big is man’s part in climate change remains hotly disputed.”

Nonetheless, in the United States it’s climate alarmist business as usual in the Whitehouse. President Barack Obama this week was again turning the heat up. The President’s new “Call Out the Climate Change Deniers” website is hard at work trying to sell the myth that opposition to climate alarmism among scientists is “vanishingly small.”  Such assertions fly in the face of the fact tens of thousands of  American scientists are actively on record as condemnatory of such junk climate. As many correctly point out,  you will see that  by comparison there is only a miniscule number of climate scientists who have actually put names on record to assert humans are dangerously warming the climate.

Indeed, a U.S. Senate minority report demonstrates that if you contrast and compare the actual number of names of alarmist scientists on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) versus those named scientists opposing the scam then the skeptics are “12 times the number of U.N. scientists who authored the official IPCC 2007 report.”

And the skeptic naysayers are scientists of real pedigree. Among them are some of the world’s best. Among them is a past winner of a Nobel Science Prize (unlike that Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the IPCC and Al Gore).

While in another instance, in late 2012, no less than 135 prominent scientists signed the Open Letter to UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon denouncing the climate fraud. Among the signatories are half a dozen linked to Principia Scientific International (PSI). PSI is a rising force in independent climate study and proclaims that carbon dioxide can only have a cooling effect on climate. Joining in opposition to the climate fraud are no less than 49 former NASA astronauts and engineers as well as the 30,000+ American scientists who signed the Oregon Petition.

What all those opposed to junk climate science condemn is the deceit and duplicty of establishment bodies ranging from once respected science journals and national academies to mainstream media outlets that never seem to call to account those government scientists exposed for such fraudulent conduct. It appears that the sentinels for truth and the restoration of robust scientific standards are those emergent bodies finding their voice on the World Wide Web and coming together in common cause thanks to emergent organizations such as Principia Scientific International.


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Roy Spencer and WUWT Cut and Run on own Greenhouse Gas Challenge

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Dr. Roy Spencer threw down his “put up or shut up” challenge (May 10, 2013) to Principia Scientific International (PSI) demanding PSI prove they possessed a better climate model than the discredited greenhouse gas “theory.” PSI’s model accounts for all the incoming and outgoing solar energy on Earth without any need to factor in the alleged heating effect of carbon dioxide (CO2). As such, PSI promptly did “put up” and now Roy has been shut up.
Because Joe Postma’s detailed reply on behalf of PSI [1] has met with stony silence we thought it opportune to better explain why the Spencer CO2 challenge has backfired. We take a look below at the essential points in this debate. We indicate why, absent Spencer’s response, he and his beloved “theory” are seemingly outdone.
The Basics in this Brouhaha
The consensus view held by most government climatologists since the late 1980’s is that the greenhouse gas effect (GHE) is real and “settled science.” At the extreme end of the spectrum are the alarmists, such as James Hansen, Michael Mann, etc, who have claimed the current rise in CO2 levels will trigger the GHE into causing dangerous global warming. Meanwhile leading lights in the skeptics’ camp, Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen, Anthony Watts, etc. hold moderate views believing any increase in CO2 will only cause “some warming.” What makes PSI the heretics in this debate is that we assert that CO2 is empirically proven to be a cooling gas. As such it can contribute no warming whatsoever. Backing our claims are our eight peer-reviewed papers (see under ‘Publications‘ on our site).
Dr. Spencer has disputed PSI’s science for several years. But as Postma’s rebuttal showed, Spencer appears not to have even read it. As more scientists have increasingly agreed with PSI’s position Spencer has felt the need to publish his own theoretical model of the GHE. Of course, the mere fact Spencer feels he must resort to his own pet theory of the GHE proves how little faith he has in that of others.
But strangely for a so-called “skeptic” of the “science” of the alarmists Spencer still relies on the calculations of key doomsayers, Kiehl and Trenberth, with his latest model (diagram below).
On this Dr. Spencer hangs his scientific hat and stridently asserts:
“The Slayers have had ample opportunity to answer my challenge: take your ideas, put them into an alternative time-dependent model for surface temperature, and run it from any initial state and see if it ends up with a realistic temperature.”
Swiftly trumpeting Spencer’s challenge was popular science blog, WUWT, owned by Anthony Watts. Well, to the dismay of Spencer and Watts PSI promptly answered their challenge. We have now been waiting the better part of two weeks for Spencer’s and WUWT’s comeback.
Now as time drags on without any acknowledgement from Spencer and Watts both are looking increasingly foolish on this point. These denizens of the skeptic cause seem to have been blissfully unaware that PSI has been advocating a new and alternative time-dependent model for two years (see diagram below). Our model of the atmosphere was announced with the PSI usual fanfare in July 2011 and October 2012 (also, see here and here). Links to these have been posted among those “hundreds of comments” Roy says he gets from us on his blog. As such, this proves PSI’s long standing charge that neither Spencer or Watts have ever wanted to genuinely engage in open and honest examination of new science critical of the basis of climate alarm.
Innocent Oversight or Intentional Misrepresentation?
Nonetheless, Dr. Spencer innocently (or intentionally) continues with his misrepresentation of PSI’s position. Dr. Spencer alleges PSI claims “the atmosphere does not have so-called “greenhouse gases” that emit thermal infrared radiation downward.” That is also untrue. PSI acknowledges those gases are real. What we actually say is that the alleged properties of “heat trapping” and/or “delayed cooling” of solar radiation Spencer and others claim for those gases have never been shown to exist in nature.
Frankly, Spencer and Watts don’t seem to understand what a “time-dependent model” means. Below is PSI’s visual aid for a dynamic model of the Earth, presented almost two years ago by Joseph E. Postma and it is a true  “time dependent model” unlike Roy’s.
POSTMA 3D model
We have repeatedly challenged others to comprehend that this model means that you cannot legitimately average sunshine down to a freezing cold value it never actually is. But despite two years of waiting no one has yet refuted the PSI model. But aside from all the models and complex technical reasons why there can be no GHE there are also common sense proofs evident to anyone possessing a skeptical outlook. For example, scientists and non- scientists know that real sunshine can generate clouds and does generate copious quantities of them.
But in Spencer’s (and GHE climatology’s world) their models never do, because climatologists crassly treat sunshine as freezing cold. Cold sunshine means no evaporation of surface water and thus no clouds. Frankly, the GHE models are self-evidently wrong by definition, as further shown below.

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Lord Monckton was Never a Government Science Adviser

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Lord Monckton’s latest open letter in our debate about the validity of the greenhouse gas “theory” is peppered with vituperation, untruths, errors and self-contradictions. Monckton’s reply follows that of his first open letter. These are in rebuttal against John O’Sullivan’s first and second open letter challenges to Monckton about the so-called greenhouse gas ‘theory.’ Below we show how unreliable his lordship is as a supposed authority. Sorry it’s so long but it’s not easy to debunk the sophist arguments in a few words.

Lord Monckton


Let us examine his lordship’s latest diatribe where Monckton takes great umbrage to O’Sullivan’s assertion that his lordship has cultivated an image of himself as the former “science adviser” to Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. They say a picture speaks a thousand words. In that light, please take a look at this Youtube video where Monckton smiles contentedly as a news interviewer refers to him in those very same terms – no words of correction whatsoever from his lordship.

But while Monckton throws insults at me for daring to describe him that way he seems to have no qualms when such attributions are made by his supporters, including Marc Morano at Climate Depot. Morano explicitly states, “Former Thatcher Science Advisor & UN IPCC Reviewer Lord Christopher Monckton,” and again here, to which Monckton, replied, “The story circulated by the indefatigable Marc Morano is – as one would expect – accurate in every particular.” 

The appellation seemingly thus implicitly approved by Monckton going back at least to 2009 as per UKIP Leader Malcolm Pearson when Pearson announced:

“I am delighted that Lord Monckton has accepted my invitation to join UKIP as our chief spokesman on Climate Change. He was Margaret Thatcher’s Special Adviser in Downing Street on a number of areas, including science.”

Thatcher Minister Mocks Monckton’s Mendacious Claims

Current UKIP leader, Nigel Farage will see that the self styled “Special Adviser” on science to Margaret Thatcher was nothing more than a glorified press officer and odd job. Yes, he has an arts degree but no science qualifications we can find. By contrast, Margaret Thatcher was an Oxford University Chemistry graduate. “It was I [Monckton] who—on the prime minister’s behalf—kept a weather eye on the official science advisers to the government, from the chief scientific adviser downward.” Well, Thatcher’s autobiography makes not one mention of Monckton and attributes all such climate science advice to George Guise and Sir Crispin Tickell.

So, your lordship, since you’ve called me a liar, in my defense I challenge you

If all you claim is true then why do you appear to have done nothing to counter Thatcher’s climate alarmism? You claim you had at that time hard evidence to prove such alarmism wrong. But newspaper reports and your own piece in the Daily Telegraph (Nov 6, 2006) stand at odds with quotes attributed to you elsewhere (The Guardian:June 22, 2010) suggesting you disregarded all those “calculations” you say you performed using the “first computer in Downing St;” calculations you say proved that, at most, CO2 could only cause “some warming.” So why, by your omission to speak out, do you appear complicit in Thatcher’s original greenhouse gas-based global warming alarmism?

Monckton’s other Gaffes and Scientific Self Contradictions

Monckton has contradicted himself in his pronouncements about the science. In his first reply in our exchange he said:

“He [O’Sullivan] says I am wrong to assert that blackbodies have albedo. Here, he confuses two distinct methods of radiative transfer at a surface: absorption/emission (in which the Earth is a near-blackbody, displacing incoming radiance to the near-infrared in accordance with Wien’s law), and reflection (by which clouds and ice reflect the Sun’s radiance without displacing its incoming wavelengths).”

But his lordship is blowing a smoke screen. His comments about “blackbody albedo” even took Jo Nova’s gang by surprise when he published his astonishing claims on her blog.

Monckton then asserts:

  “Interaction of greenhouse gases with photons at certain absorption wavelengths induces a quantum resonance in the gas molecules, emitting heat directly. It is more like turning on a tiny radiator than trapping heat with a blanket.”

To validate your armchair science speculation please cite any peer-reviewed scientific paper that specifically characterizes your “tiny radiators.”

Monckton then asserts:

“He [O’S] says, with characteristic snide offensiveness, that I “crassly” attribute the “heat- trapping properties of latent heat to a trace gas that is a perfect energy emitter”. On the contrary: in its absorption bands, CO2 absorbs the energy of a photon and emits heat by quantum resonance.”

Yes, of course, energy is absorbed and then immediately emitted by CO2. But your GHE “theory” infers CO2 then traps or delays the release of such energy to cause “some warming.” Please cite any peer-reviewed science paper that applies empirically gathered data that proves/quantifies the trapping/delay you say occurs.

Climate Science Policy Adviser for UKIP and SPPI?

As the preferred official climate science adviser of UKIP and SPPI, Christopher Monckton believes that even the atmospheric lapse rate is the result of “radiative forcing” by greenhouse gases. His lordship states:

…because the atmosphere contains greenhouse gases and, therefore, its temperature is not uniform, consequent maintenance of the temperature lapse-rate of about 6.5 K/km of altitude will ensure that the surface warms as a result.” [1]

But NASA disagrees.[2]

Alan Siddons observes, “The lapse rate is entirely due to thermodynamics, gravity, and the ideal gas law. Even mathaphobics will notice that infrared-absorbing gases have nothing to do with it.[emphasis added]. And the modification known as the moist lapse rate owes simply to the release of latent heat by condensing water.”

A statement like, “the atmosphere contains greenhouse gases and, therefore, its temperature is not uniform,” is thus a false statement. As the NASA chart shows, no planet’s atmosphere has a uniform temperature; every planet’s atmosphere has a lapse rate.

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Experiment: Why our Oceans Moderate Planetary Temperature Extremes

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Popular Canadian climate scientists Dr. Tim Ball is skeptical over alarmist claims about man-made global warming. Like an increasing number of non-government scientists he’s been weighing up the data and is convinced the trace gas, carbon dioxide (CO2), plays no measurable role in climate.

Instead, like an increasing number of skeptics Dr. Ball is pointing to empirical evidence showing that it is the oceans that cover 70 percent of our planet’s surface that is nature’s key climate thermostat.

To reinforce his point Dr. Ball urges scientists and non-scientists alike to keep in mind the simple yet powerful message contained in the video experiment below.

In ‘When a Balloon Won’t Pop’ ( we see how any responsible parent and child can demonstrate the enormous heat absorbin power of water. When we put a balloon too close to a flame we will hear a loud bang as it quickly pops. “But what happens if you add some cold water to the equation?” is the big question.

As the video shows, by adding water to the balloon the liquid now absorbs the heat from the flame before the balloon can pop. This cool experiment also fundamentally relates to climate and how the Earth’s oceans lock up heat and move it around.

Indeed, perplexed global warming alarmists such as climatologist, Kevin Trenberth, who now admit they don’t know what’s happened to all that dangerous “missing heat” they predicted should take heed.

Climate researchers at Principia Scientific International are prominent among those saying that water and not CO2 has always been the key to the climate controversy. But Trenberth and most government climatologist aren’t giving up easily on their discredited hypothesis of a greenhouse gas effect (GHE). Their “theory” says CO2 has a forcing factor more critical than the cooling properties of water itself. But PSI evidence shows that to be nonsense. They say government climatologists are just too reluctant to let go of their CO2-driven GHE hypothesis because their government employers, in turn, don’t want to let go of CO2 emissions as a factor in their taxation policies.

But more and more new studies keep piling up the pressure on those CO2 alarmists. One such study appears in the peer-reviewed “International Journal of Modern Physics B” and supports the assertion of PSI researchers that CO2 “is innocent.” [1]

The new paper (May 13, 2013) from University of Waterloo s cience professor , Qing-Bin Lu is causing quite a stir. It casts further doubt on whether carbon dioxide is a cause of global warming. Professor Lu summarizes, “…we have observed data going back to the Industrial Revolution that convincingly shows that  conventional understanding is wrong.

Increasingly, scientists are seeing that our mostly watery planet has nature’s best in-built climate thermostat. So much so that a bouyant Dr. Ball proclaims, “I will continue my campaign to change the name of the planet from Earth to Water.”


[1] Q.-B. LU  , ‘Cosmic-Ray-Driven Reaction and Greenhouse Effect of Halogenated Molecules: Culprits for Atmospheric Ozone Depletion and Global Climate Change,’ (doi: 10.1142/S0217979213500732) 

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Math is True but Words can Lie

Written by Joseph E. Postma

While mathematics is a Formal language, English and any other verbal language are Natural spoken languages.  And with human languages, the inevitable result is that you can lie with them.  Because mathematics can be complicated and it is readily apparent that even people with PhD’s in science have a hard time understanding it, it is therefore possible to present a totally valid mathematical equation and at the same time totally misrepresent what the equation means.  This is, of course, the purview of sophistry and those who produce it.
equation tattoo
What I will do here is give you some simple math, and the correct words and correct descriptions to understand it, and then contrast that to some mental garbage that has instead been presented in order to lie about what the math actually means from some examples that I’ve been personally witness to.
Case Point #1
Let us look at the equation for radiant heat flow between a hot object and a cold object.  In the equation below, the scenario could be for two walls facing each other which have unit emissivities and absorptivities, so that these factors, and the areas, can all be cancelled out of the equation.  The equation is thus:
Q =  σ[ (Thot)4 – (Tcold)4 ]                                                                                                         Eq.{1}
and it couldn’t be any more simple.  It simply says that “Q”, which is the rate of heat transfer between a hot object and cold object, in Joules per second per square meter, is equal to a constant “σ” (sigma) times the difference of the fourth powers of the temperatures of the two objects.  This makes sense: the greater the difference in temperature, the more heating power the hotter object will have on the cooler object because it will be that much warmer than the cooler object.
In Equation 1, Thot and Tcold are called independent parameters, meaning that they’re determined independently of the equation itself, by measurement, say.  On the other hand, Q, the heat transfer rate, is a dependent parameter because it obviously depends on the values on the right hand side of the equation.  For example, if you increase Tcold (or decrease Thot), then you decrease Q because you made the difference between the hot temperature and cold temperature smaller.  Conversely, if you increase Thot (or decrease Tcold), then you increase Q because you made the difference between the hot temperature and cold temperature larger.  The equation is for telling you what the value of Q is given two temperatures, and so Q is not a fixed independent parameter but is rather dependent upon the two temperatures.
Greenhouse effect believers who apparently do not understand physics, although they can do some simple math, have stated that if you fix Q in that equation, and then increase Tcold, then Thot has to increase “in order to keep Q constant”, and “therefore cold heats up hot”.  This claim is made because they have this faith belief system that cold things make hotter things hotter still, rather than um, you know, hot things making cold things hotter still….(lol).  The person (a sophist) even went out of their way to rearrange the equation so that Q was no longer a dependent parameter on the left hand side of the equation, in order to make it look like this:
Thot = 4√[Q/σ + (Tcold)4]                                                                                                          Eq.{2}
All this is, is a simple algebraic rearrangement of Equation 1; doing such a thing does not change what the actual original physical equation represents in the first place.  The only way this simple algebraic rearrangement makes sense is if you were giving a problem to a student, in which you knew the temperature of the cold object and you also knew the current rate of heat transfer between the hot object and cold object, and were thus asked to determine the temperature of the hot object.  Problems like this are done simply for the training of mathematical competency and relating it to theoretical physical problems; the Q parameter in Equation 2 still depends on the difference between Thot and Tcold and can not in any way be independently fixed.
If you understood Equation 1, then it is clear that is impossible to “hold Q constant” if you increase Tcold.  To say that you want to hold Q constant in Equation 2, actually makes Q an independent source of input energy and heat that no longer has any relation whatsoever to the difference between Thot and Tcold and the heat transfer equation, and so that is a completely different problem and set of physical principles you’re dealing with.  Pretending that you can hold Q constant in that equation, in order to further pretend that cold heats hot and thus there is a greenhouse effect, is pure sophistry – albeit advanced sophistry.  It is outright lying with (or should I say, about) mathematics, in no uncertain terms.
How to actually do it
If you want a physical equation that denotes temperature as function dependent on external independent parameters, such as an independent fixed heat source “Q”, then you have to go through the development for such a thing as I showed in last year’s paper where we proved that there is no GHE in operation in the atmosphere.  I’ll quickly show this here.
Tobj = q / (m*Cp)                                                                                                                      Eq. {3}
where “q” (different from big Q; but see ahead) is just the internally held total thermal energy content of an object of mass m, with thermal capacity “Cp“, at temperature “Tobj“.
To know how the temperature changes as a function of a change in the internal energy, we take the differential with respect to time:
dTobj/dt = 1/τ * dq/dt                                                                                                            Eq. {4}
where τ = m*Cp for convenience.  Now, in terms of energy input and output and the first law of thermodynamics, the temperature will change when the time-derivative of q, dq/dt, which is the total rate at which energy is entering or leaving the system, is non-zero.  To follow the unit convention above from Equations 1 & 2, where big “Q” is a rate of heat transfer, then dq/dt = Q.  Q now represents the sum of independent and dependent energy inputs and outputs, and so can actually be composed of multiple terms – two terms if there is an input and output.
In terms of radiation, the energy output from the surface of the object is σ(Tobj)4, and so that is the output term of Q which is dependent on the object’s current temperature.  That leaves an input term for Q which can be an independent parameter which doesn’t depend on any other terms in the equation.  Changing the notation a little bit, Q can now just represent the independent input, while σ(Tobj)4 represents the dependent output.  So this gives us
dTobj/dt = 1/τ * (Qin – σ(Tobj)4)                                                                                            Eq. {5}
which is a non-linear differential equation.  The input term is positive because it will serve to increase the temperature, while the output term is negative because output provides cooling.  This is the only way in which you can speak of fixing an independent variable labelled “Q”; it works here because Q is a true independent variable which does not actually depend on the other terms in the equation.
To make this loook similar to our initial setup, if Tobj refers to a passive cold wall (Tcold), then Qin can refer to a hot wall with constant temperature, and then Qin = σ(Thot)4 leaving
dTcold/dt = σ/τ * ((Thot)4 – (Tcold)4)                                                                                      Eq. {6}
When the temperature of the cold wall increases, then all that happens is that the rate of increase of temperature of the cold wall decreases, because the difference in temperature between the hot wall and cold wall becomes smaller.  It is basically in this way that the condition of thermal equilibrium is achieved in nature.  And note that an increasing temperature of the cold wall does not affect the temperature of the independent hot wall!  Cold does not heat hot in real physics.
Now that we have a new equation, I should point out that it is obviously still possible for people to lie about what it means, misinterpret its use, and create greenhouse effect sophistry and obfuscation with it.  Of course, I know exactly how that would be done and what would be said, but I’ll save having to write about it for another article, when a sophist inevitably tries to do it.

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Bad planning – no sea level rise

Written by Nils-Axel Mörner

behind “ drowning” of St. Louis, Senegal

Comments by Nils-Axel Mörner

It was recently claimed (Times LIVE, May 26) that the City of St. Louis in the delta area of Senegal River in West Africa is on its way of drowning due to climate change. 

In the text, we learn that “the city is plagued by flooding during the rainy season when the river overflows”. This implies that the flooding has nothing to do with a rising sea level.

Further in the text, we read: “In 2003, heavy rain in the drainage basin of the Senegal River alarmed the authorities who feared the water would rise above critical levels and so dug a new outlet for the river water across the spit. The channel was about 100 metres (328 feet) in length and 4 metres wide but grew rapidly in the first days as the sea flooded into the river mouth and continued to widen to more than 2 kilometres across today”.

So it was the digging of a new channel that altered the conditions and initiated the erosion and flooding into the river. This is bad planning and has nothing to do with “climate change”.

It is a convenient way, however, of transferring the blame on the builder to the blame of climate change – and so they think, they are free of guilt.

Convenient maybe, but neither honest nor ethical. This is a side of the “climate change” issue that unfortunately has become increasingly common.
CO2 confusion


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Treat Yourself to this Excellent Book and help Support PSI

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Author, Ken Coffman, is generously donating to Principia Scientific International all gross sales of his novel ‘Endangered Species’ for the week ending Friday, May 31st 2013.

Endangered Species by Ken Coffman

This highly-rated book is a fast-paced literary adventure; a story of how three groups converge in the Pacific Northwest to discover the secret of the Sasquatch. Enjoying an Amazon ‘five star’ review status Endangered Species‘ is described by one satisfied reader:

There’s hardly a topic that isn’t touched on here: economics, engineering, societal constructions, population control, climate change, eco-terrorism, survival, cannibalism, politics, Earth-worship-cults, and sex. There’s a jaded, lethal rich bastard looking for both a business partner and the ultimate thrill. And a spoiled rich kid who finds the thrill isn’t so thrilling. And an Everyman who’s accidentally on a voyage of self-discovery.And there’s a love story. Several, in fact. Willie and Maria–a mismatched pair (in more ways than one) who work beautifully together–are at the core of this delightful piece of insanity. And Graham, who finds himself and the love of his life. And Robert and Raven. Sex is had. Love is made. Sometimes things don’t end well.

Endangered Species‘ is currently on limited offer for only $11.01 via Amazon and there is FREE shipping on orders over $25. Buy your copy today, have a great read and feel you’ve also helped sponsor the world’s only independent science association dedicated to campaigning against corruption within science.


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Dyes & Color

Written by Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser

Dyes and pigments are everywhere. They make us see things in many colors. The blue of your jeans is just one dye of many.

Some History

In ancient times (say Neanderthals’ time), the available dyes were mostly minerals, such as “ocher,” rust, carbon (black) and similar pigments. Pictographs made with them some tens of thousands of years ago have survived quite well to this date.

Later on, just a few thousand years ago, some organisms-derived organic dyes became widely known. They include Indigo (the blue dye in “blue jeans”) from the plant Indigofera tinctoria, Tyrian Purple (a purple dye, the Roman imperial purple) from the snail Murex sp., Cochineal (a red dye) from the aphid-like insect Sternorrhyncha sp. among many others.

The evolution of chemistry changed it all. Beginning with the elucidation of the chemical structures of some of the natural dyes above, chemists found ways to duplicate those en masse in laboratories and create derivatives and novel dye structures on the basis of then-recognized simple principles. Fig. 1, showing the chemical structure of indigo helps to understand that principle. All the “aromatic bonds” (indicated by a pair of parallel lines spaced by a single line) create a large molecule with a “conjugated-bond” structure. Such conjugated-double bond arrangements have optical absorption bands in the visible spectrum of light and hence are dyes.

indigo blue chemical structure

Fig. 1. The chemical structure of the indigo (blue) dye from the Indigo plant.

Just a (small) change of the chemical structure causes a shift in the material’s spectrum to make it a purple dye. This compound has two additional bromine atoms, as indicated by “Br” in Fig. 2.

Tyrian purple chemical strucure

Fig. 2. The chemical structure of the Tyrian Purple (purple-red) dye from the Murex snail.

Today, such synthetic dyes number now in many tens of thousands. Your (color) photocopier or printer, your newspaper and every glossy magazine you look at makes liberal use of such inventions. Without the glitzy color, the new car ads just wouldn’t have the same sex appeal!

The World of Color

Just twenty years ago, most newspapers were strictly black and white without any color pictures whatsoever. These days, in the same papers you’ll find full page color-ads and pictures throughout.

While we humans enjoy a world of color, others on Earth are only able to perceive dark and light. For example, deer and moose do not have color vision. Instead, their dark and light perception far exceeds ours. That allows them to move through dense forests in the middle of the night without much difficulty.

Yet other species perceive entirely different “colors,” namely parts of the electromagnetic wave spectrum we cannot see at all; the infrared spectrum belongs to that. Many insects, certain snakes and other critters have organs which can “see” infrared radiation as it is emanating from warm bodies. We only feel that radiation as warmth hitting our skin when sitting near a camp fire or similar heat source, but we cannot see it with our eyes.

Without our ability to perceive color, the world would appear more bleak, just in shades of light and dark.

Aren’t you glad that chemistry invented some fabulous additions to the world of color?


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Twenty Facts About Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

Written by Dr Darko Butina

Twenty facts about CO2 that have been kept ‘top secret’ by the manmade global warming community

By Dr Darko Butina

carbon dioxide molecule

1. We know everything about physico-chemical properties of CO2 there is to know since its discovery 200 years ago, and categorical statement can be made that the physico-chemical properties of CO2 in its pure state, including IR properties, have nothing to do with its properties as part of the mixture called air.

2. We know that no gas molecule of the open system, as our atmosphere is, can possibly control temperature.


3. We know that there are two very different mechanisms that drive dynamics of CO2 exchange between airwater and air-biomass and therefore there is no such thing as global levels of CO2. Levels of CO2 above the water mass, covering 70% of the Earth surface is controlled by solubility of CO2 in water which is solely driven by temperature; while levels of CO2 above the biomass that covers most of the land surfaces is solely driven and controlled by photosynthesis.


4. We know that the only way to know exact numbers about CO2 concentrations above the water and biomass surfaces is to measure them at the surface levels, which we do not do, and therefore use of CO2 levels measured at a single point on the globe and at 4000 meters altitude (Mauna Loa Observatory, MLO, at Hawaii) represents one of the most miss-used high accuracy dataset in the history of modern science.


5. We know that the total emissions/reabsorption of CO2 by nature makes emissions of CO2 by burning fossil fuels totally insignificant and lost in the instrumental accuracy levels.


6. We know that the levels of CO2 that we live amidst in our everyday lives have nothing in common with the observed CO2 levels at MLO based at an altitude of 4000 meters above sea level.


7. We know that there is no difference between CO2 levels accurately measured 200 years ago and last year – they all go up and down depending when and where you measure them.


8. We know that there is no possible correlation between CO2 levels dissolved in water in its liquid state and CO2 levels found in ice, i.e. water in its solid state.

9. We know that it is CO2 that makes major contribution to the width of tree rings. So, no CO2 means no tree rings and no life.


10. We know that the human body ignores CO2 levels in air when breathing in and the only function of breathing out is to get rid of CO2 that is created in every cell of the human body by the complex bio-chemical process that maintains life.

11. We know that CO2 levels would need to reach concentration in air of 60,000 ppm (from current levels of 390 ppm) to become toxic for humans.


12. We know that every single molecule of CO2 is surrounded by 2500 molecules that are NOT CO2 and therefore any theoretical blanket built from CO2 fibers that supposedly is surrounding the Earth is practically made of NOTHING.

13. We know that every single molecule of CO2 is surrounded by 2500 molecules that are NOT CO2 and therefore one has to offer some explanation as to what those 2500 ‘other or NOT-CO2’ molecules are doing while 1 molecule among them is receiving and ‘back radiating’ all that heat energy.

14. We know that every molecule of CO2, irrespective of which source it comes from, can go up-and-down (in Z-axis) due to its molecular weight, its heat capacity and its solubility in water (rain or snow) and along (X-Y space) carried by wind. Therefore someone has to be able to explain: how does a molecule of CO2 generated by an SUV in Los Angeles gets transported across 2500 miles of water mass to Hawaii and then go up another 4000 meters, while avoiding all the biomass available within few miles of land surface in California and all the water mass along its journey to the CO2 detector at MLO, Hawaii?


15. We know for certain that at 200 ppm of CO2 plants stops growing and that the optimum levels for plants grow is between 1300 and 1500 ppm, and yet the advice to all governments around the globe is to commit mass suicide of all species by reducing CO2 concentrations to 200 ppm levels.


16. We know that there is no difference whether we grow or dig fuel in terms of CO2 emissions, we know that CO2 emissions from burning fuel are irrelevant to the CO2 dynamics of emissions/absorption and yet we use our precious food-growing surfaces to grow fuel and thus create famine and kill life.


17. We know that there is no such a thing as self-heating greenhouse and yet new theories have been invented to argue something that cannot be argued.

18. We know that there is nothing in common in IR spectra between CO2, methane and water and yet they have been classified together as ‘greenhouse gases’ because they absorb infrared radiation, together with millions of other molecules.


19. We know that CO2 in the atmosphere could not be detected by a standard IR-spectrometer and yet that property of CO2 has been used to argue for the existence of a greenhouse effect.


20. We know that all the knowledge about the physical world comes from experiments that can be validated and not from calculations that cannot be validated. And yet, everything about man-made global warming is about calculations and NOTHING about measurements.



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A Bloomin’ Mess

Written by Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser and Dr. Paul F. Hamblin

Once again, Laker Erie is on the verge of choking on too much nutrient. In 2011, its western basin had massive blooms of Microcystis and Cladophora sp. algae. It happened before, in the 1960’s, leading to it being declared “dead.” A new paper by AM Michalak and 28 coauthors describes the event in detail; the figure below shows a satellite image of the observed bloom.

Lake Erie algae bloom

Fig. 1. Observed algal blooms, 2011, in western Lake Erie; source: Michalak et al. (2013).

Algal Blooms

Algae begin to thrive when the concentrations of phosphorous- and nitrogen-type nutrients become overabundant. The algae produce fibers which commonly wash up on the shores. There, the rotting mass produces slimy surfaces and pungent smells. What’s worse though, the stuff not washing up on the shores dies in the water column and sinks to the bottom of the lake. There, its decomposition consumes the water’s oxygen to become uninhabitable by bottom-dwelling organisms which require that oxygen. Furthermore, Microcystis-type algae also produce natural toxins that are highly toxic to a variety of species, man included.

Lake Erie

Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the Laurentian Great Lakes (LGLs) with ~26,000 km^2 (~10,000 square miles) of surface area. Lake most other LGLs, it is shared between Canada and the US.

When Lake Erie experienced severe algal blooms several decades, then predominantly of Cladophora sp. ago (in the western basin of Lake Erie, the toxic Microcystis algae were first observed in the mid 1990s), governments on both sides of the border sprang into action. The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQ) of 1972 was based on research findings, much of it undertaken by the then new Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington, Ontario. The GLWQ recognized the need for limitation of excessive nutrient loadings to the lakes in order to prevent such algal blooms. Primarily, the agreement called for the construction of sewage treatment facilities which would remove excessive phosphate loadings from municipal sources.

Lake Erie responded extremely well to the new effluent controls, some people even called it “miraculous.” Within a few years, fishermen’s catches of perch and walleye increased to levels not seen for decades, the shores were no longer covered with smelly decaying algae, and all was fine, again.

Beginning with the early 2000s, blooms of algae, now predominantly of the Microcystis species, started to re-appear in Lake Erie, generally getting more severe over the decade. This trend went into overdrive in 2011.

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