James Balog’s Misleading Climate Change Lectures

Scientists have no way of determining whether changes in recent climate are due to natural variability or man made influences.  Any scientist who claims there is a way to discern this difference is a liar.  To determine man made influences on worldwide climate would require a control earth where man never evolved.    Scientists could then compare the climate of the control earth with that of the earth we live upon.  But there is no control earth.  Instead, scientists are dependent upon mathematical models that calculate natural forcing vs. anthropogenic influences– in other words…wild guessing.

James Balog is a photographer who instigated the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), a project that has been documenting 16 shrinking glaciers with 33 cameras since 2007.  He has completed a documentary for National Geographic, and he’s frequently on the lecture circuit.  One such lecture can be seen on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjeIpjhAqsM  The EIS is a worthwhile project, however, his lectures are alarmist and misleading.  He admits to formerly being skeptical about anthropogenic influences on global warming, acknowledging, as I do, that it is based on mathematical models.  But when he started seeing physical evidence of glaciers receding, he became a believer.  I find this leap of faith deceptive.  True, 95% of earth’s glaciers are receding, but this is not evidence that humans are responsible.  Natural cyclical warming may be causing the glaciers to contract.

During his lectures, Mr. Balog shows a map of the Ilulisset Glacier in Greenland and how it has receded since 1850.  This is extremely misleading.  A cool period, known as The Little Ice Age, ended in 1850.  This cool climate phase began about 1300, and the Ilulisset Glacier expanded for 550 years.  Its recent reduction may be due to natural variability as the climate has rebounded since the end of The Little Ice Age.  I’d like to ask Mr. Balog why he doesn’t show a map of the Ilulisset Glacier since 1100 or 1300.  Why start at 1850? I accuse him of being purposefully misleading.

Global warming alarmists like to claim the recent spike in global temperatures is unprecedented.  A glance at the geological record of past average worldwide temperatures debunks this ridiculous claim

Graph of average annual temperatures over the last 1000 years from glacial ice core data.  Present annual average temperatures are now approaching those of the Medieval Warming Period but are still about 3 degrees Fahrenheit less.

A graph of the last 15,000 years shows average annual temperatures are lower today than they’ve been throughout much of the last 10,000 years, and the recent rise is nowhere close to being unprecedented.

15,000 years ago, annual average temperatures rose 21 degrees Fahrenheit within less than a century, far surpassing the 1 degree rise of the last century.  This is known as the Boling-Alerod warm phase and it brought the last Ice Age to an end.  A sudden 14 degree F drop in temperatures 12,900 years ago precipitated the Younger Dryas cold phase.  This phase ended just as abruptly 11,500 years ago with another 21 degree F rise.  All of these climatic fluctuations occurred well before man was releasing any significant quantities of greenhouse gases.  Modern day temperatures are still 3 degrees F less than the warmest phase of the Medieval Warming Period, a phase of climate that lasted from 900 AD to 1300 AD.  (Scientists dispute whether this phase of climate was restricted to northern Europe or was a worldwide phenomenon.  More data is probably required.)

A new study led by Buffalo University scientist Jason Briner discovered that the Jakobshiva Isbrae Glacier in Greenland expanded during the Little Ice Age as rapidly as it is currently receding.  The disintegration and re-expansion of glaciers is a natural occurrence and nothing to be alarmed about.  Calling it unprecedented is simply a lie.

Map showing the reduction of the Jakobshiva Isbrae Glacier in Greenland.  A new study found it expanded as rapidly during the Little Ice Age as it is now shrinking.

I think people should work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible because we shouldn’t treat earth’s atmosphere like a giant chemistry experiment.  But I doubt humans will ever take serious action.  Few people are willing to give up electrical power generation or automobiles.  Fossil fuels are finite, though, and some day the human race will run short of carbon-based energy sources, thus haulting the emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.  One way or another it will come to an end.

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2 Responses to “James Balog’s Misleading Climate Change Lectures”

  1. Dr. John Barwis Says:

    Can you please supply the reference to the data used in your 15,000 year temperature graph? Whenever I show something like this to an alarmist, they accuse me of making it up.

    • markgelbart Says:

      Here’s one reference. There are hundreds of studies with this temperature curve.

      Journal Reference:
      1.Christo Buizert, Vasileios Gkinis, Jeffrey P. Severinghaus, Feng He, Benoit S. Lecavalier, Philippe Kindler, Markus Leuenberger, Anders E. Carlson, Bo Vinther, Valérie Masson-Delmotte, James W. C. White, Zhengyu Liu, Bette Otto-Bliesner, and Edward J. Brook. Greenland temperature response to climate forcing during the last deglaciation. Science, 5 September 2014: 1177-1180 DOI: 10.1126/science.1254961

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