Heat?

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Dear FRONTLINE:

Your 2-hour program broadcast on 21 Oct 08 called HEAT followed the script of the self-appointed priests of global warming exactly. There was no attempt at balance. Those who might have provided it were marginalized as "Deniers" with no names and were accused by innuendo of being paid by the fuel industry. A Canadian reporter who was also an environmentalist discovered that many "Deniers" were highly qualified scientists who would better be called the less pejorative name "Climate Realists." His book is: Lawrence Solomon, The Deniers: The World-Renowned Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Warming Hysteria, Political Persecution, and Fraud (and Those Who Were Too Fearful To Do So), 2008.

Many Climate Realists are Professors Emeriti or retirees from government service who were prevented from promoting climate realism while serving. One such is Prof. Roy Spencer, NASA scientist, whose satellite measurements of atmospheric temperature indicate 9 years of global cooling since 1998, as do rural ground temperatures. His book is: Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies that Hurt the Poor, 2008.

Names and affiliations of over 32,000 scientists and engineers who are climate realists may be seen at petitionproject.org.

Examples of bad science in HEAT were use of the term "climate change" rather than global warming as though change were the exception and not the rule, and that any change would be bad. There was incessant use of the term "greenhouse gases" when carbon dioxide was the only one meant, while the only major greenhouse gas, water vapor, was ignored. Direct chemical assays of carbon dioxide from 1812–1965 showing levels as high or higher than now were suppressed; and there is no correlation of carbon dioxide levels with world temperatures.

HEAT stated that 2008 was the "hottest summer on record," while actual data do not support this claim.

HEAT promoted a common climate scare that glaciers and ice caps are melting and will disappear, and that sea levels are rising dangerously; these exaggerations which are used to terrify citizens have been debunked by Viscount Monckton of Brenchley in an open letter to John McCain.

HEAT presented a graph of recent carbon dioxide levels in air with levels on the Y-axis of a graph cut off at 300 ppm rather than zero, a cheap trick better left to stock promoters.

HEAT showed pictures of steam or fog from cooling towers or stacks. These white fogs are water droplets, but the voice over always mentioned carbon dioxide. Cooling towers were a requirement for power plants of many types, not just nuclear ones as implied.

HEAT implied that sequestering carbon dioxide from burning coal was viable, but a US government project in Illinois failed, and after trying it in Scotland and Australia, BP gave up.

HEAT was realistic about ethanol for fuel, and did not vilify nuclear power for lack of safety, but found a way to disparage it by claiming that there was no safe disposal site, ignoring the U.S. Department of Energy Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, NM, which IS accepted by local residents.

France's successful use of nuclear power for electricity was disparaged by wondering which other countries would follow. Many have, including India, China and Japan.

Wind power came in for plenty of attention, but not a clear indication that the erratic nature of wind requires expensive backup power from fuels, or that wind power installation per watt costs 2–3 times that of nuclear.

Fixation on vilifying the essential plant food, carbon dioxide, diverts attention and funding from the real problem: secure sources of liquid fuels for the USA. On the electricity front, photovoltaic (solar) installations work fine for those who can afford them, and nuclear fission reactors at present work fine for large installations. Converting transportation "fuels" to mostly electric will be forced upon the USA. HEAT did not make clear that merely reducing fuel consumption by some fraction (say from 21 mpg now for cars and light trucks to 35 or more mpg) will not be enough.

In summary: HEAT was not based on real science. It was a blatant work of political partisanship carefully timed for the U. S. presidential election. It carried on the program of terrifying citizens as is being done to children in schools to the point where many are depressed and have nightmares about climate and hatred of their parents. So while it may be too much to call HEAT a program of climate terrorism, it was a disgrace to the idea that PBS is an unbiased source of information.

October 27, 2008

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