Green Home Building and Sustainable Architecture

Sustainable architecture is an exciting and important field, with many people reviving traditional methods of building and others creating innovations to established practices. Kelly Hart, webmaster of the popular website www.greenhomebuilding.com, posts text and photos featuring what he discovers from around the world.

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Location: Crestone, Colorado, United States

Kelly Hart has been involved with green building concepts for much of his life. He has also worked in various fields of communication media, including still photography, cinematography, animation, video production and now website development. Kelly has lived in an earthbag/papercrete home that he built and consults about sustainable building design.

January 14, 2007

Anti Global Warming Theory

Every year I go through all of the books I have listed at www.greenhomebuilding.com to update and cull through the listings. This is a time-consuming process, but one that I feel is warranted by wanting to keep abreast of any new developments or pertinent media. Today I have been going through the listings of books available at Amazon.com on the topic of "global warming," assuming that with the recent new public awareness of this critical issue, there would be scores of newly published books detailing the science, consequences and public action related to this.

Indeed there are many new books written by people who are well-positioned to know how real the threat is and what sort of action we should all be taking to counter this trend. I have been under the impression that the balance has definitely shifted toward popular acceptance of the reality of what scientists have been warning us against for at least the last decade, and that the nay-sayers were finally having to withdraw from the folly of their assertions.

So when I reviewed the top listings at Amazon of books on this topic, I was astonished when I noticed that fully half of the books listed on the first page were intended to dissuade the reader that global warming was really caused by human activities...or even if it were, the consequences should not be particularly alarming! Their titles are particularly revealing:
  • Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media
  • Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years
  • Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming
  • Global Warming and Other Eco Myths: How the Environmental Movement Uses False Science to Scare Us to Death
  • Global Warming in a Politically Correct Climate: How Truth Became Controversial
  • Global Warming - Myth or Reality?: The Erring Ways of Climatology

So who is writing and publishing all of this disinformation, and why are they so intent on doing so? Here are the publishers (in the same order as the books listed above):

  • The Cato Institute, a conservative think tank supported primarily by big business, including oil.
  • Dennis T. Avery (has written many publications for the Hudson Institute, another conservative think tank) and S. Fred Singer (a research Fellow with the Independent Institute, also funded by big business, especially oil)
  • Patrick J. Michaels is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and The George C. Marshall Institute (also funded by ExxonMobile, among others)
  • The Competitive Enterprise Institute, another "neoliberal" think tank funded by large corporations.
  • Mihkel M. Mathiesen both wrote and published this as an on-demand book.
  • Marcel Leroux is a French climatologist, and director of the Laboratory of Climatology, Risk, and Environment.

So it is obvious to me that, by and large, the motivation to publish this material comes from the concern of big business that their "business as usual" is threatened by actions that might take place to mitigate the onset of global warming. Indeed, this is likely true...as it is for virtually all human activity!

17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

again the "big business" argument. I wonder, can you explain why would "big business" be interested in hiding the truth about global warming ? How could they lose money ? I reckon they would only stand to gain if production and consumption of fuel would be limited: they will sell less gasoline for a better price, so there would be a higher margin for them. Isn't this the dream of every company: to bother less with production and get more money per unit produced ?

"Big business"es are in this to make money, not to pump CO2 into the atmosphere. Supposing they couldn't make money by selling fuel, they will sell plastic bags or something else. Oil, gas and coal are not used only for energy production.

Emil Per

12:09 AM  
Blogger Kelly Hart said...

As you say, the bottom line for big business is always financial. This is why they oppose strict environmental controls on pollution, because these controls are expensive to implement and cut into the market for their products, whether these are energy-related or not.

7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emil,
Big business is afraid that people realize that they are causing so much harm with their products (oil, plastic production, etc). Demand raises prices. If people actually care and decide to reduce consumption dramatically and switch to cleaner, renewable energy, then the demand will drastically drop. That would not be what big business wants. Also, investments would go to new technologies and stop going to these dirty technologies. Will it happen in my lifetime, who knows, but I certainly hope so!

10:59 AM  
Blogger thisoldbuilder said...

These companies devote huge budgets to their marketing campaigns, and by now books defending their products have become part of the accepted scope of those efforts. Without concerned citizens like Kelly pointing out the connections and partisan interests these authors have, the general public will never know. Thanks for the info.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Red Earth Robert said...

Several years ago, on a geology field trip while I was working for an oil company, I stood on an ancient beach deposit about 40 million years old in deep east Texas about 150-200 miles north and 200 feet higher in elevation than the current sea shore. This indicates that the sea level was much higher, meaning the climate was much warmer 40 million years ago. Wow, and with no humans around to cause the warmer climate. Also, scientists have recently observed that the polar ice caps on Mars are shrinking. Wow, and no humans on Mars causing it. The bottom line is that global warming/cooling is a natural part of Mother Earth's natural cycles. While our activities may now contribute to some extent to the natural temperature increase on the surface of the earth, no one can say what percentage is directly related to man's activities and it is likely that most of the warming is due to natural cycles of the Sun's activities. Otherwise, how do we explain the Mars conundrum?

The truth of the matter is that we do not live on a static planet or in a static solar system. All of the earth's systems are always in flux. We are always either trending toward warmer or cooler. In my opinion, industry plays a paltry role in the current trend of warming of about 1 degree. The Sun is a far greater influence than man.

I am currently housebound by all the ice in Oklahoma. I'd give anything for a little dose of global warming right now.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Al Lebo said...

Global warming hysteria is just one component of the man vs. nature debate, with few academics rooting for man. I see it as a cultural divide with an element of smugness. A developer wants to build a house in the woods. An environmentalist already owns a house in the woods. As a lower middle class person I cannot allow myself to be drawn into the media churned hysteria generated by the rich folks on both sides of this debate. There is absolutely nothing one little person can do to influence the outcome of this issue. That said, I prefer to live my life in such a way as to leave a small footprint and am searching for cheaper solar for electric and effective heating solutions so that I can head into retirement on the cheap.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous DAN said...

QUOTE
"no one can say what percentage is directly related to man's activities and it is likely that most of the warming is due to natural cycles of the Sun's activities." HOW ABOUT 90% CERTAIN? FROM A FIGURE ATTAINED BY A CONSORTIUM OF SCIENTISTS AND GOVERNMENTS FROM THE IPCC. MR. ANONYMOUS WORKS FOR BIG OIL, WHAT A SURPRISE!
INFORM YOURSELF:

www.greencoast.org/node/31734?cat=climate

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many IPCC scientists have dissented from the "consensus". When that happens, the IPCC still lists them as contributors, but does not mention their dissent. No big oil or big business required. Just conscientious scientists who honestly dissent from the "consensus."

There is an IPCC consensus, which is mostly political. Journalists are riding the crusade bandwagon, as are many climatologists who get bigger research grants these days.

It is the true believers who need to inform themselves better on the true range of non-partisan conscientious science-based viewpoints. KBISFB

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worrying about Global warming is a waste of energy. The problem is not, and has never been consumption. Conservation will not save you. The problem is, was, and always will be, population. The world quite simpy, can not sustain 6+ billion people.

An acre of ground can only support a finite number of rabbits. Laws of physics. The earth can only support a finite number of people. We are far in excess of that limit.

Hang on tight. It's going to be a bumpy and ugly ride!

11:03 PM  
Anonymous Emily B said...

Yes, there have been climate changes in the past that occurred SLOWLY and gradually throughout geologic time. This climate change, as anyone who's at least as old as me (28) can tell, is not happening SLOWLY at all. It's happening rapidly.

There is some truth that this is a rich man's battle. But as in all rich man's battles, it's the world's poor who will become the infantry. Those living on the coasts, for example, as in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and even New Orleans, are disproportionately poor. Yes there are the rich with their beach house, but you can bet that will change when the sea begins to rise visibly.

Watching television will confuse you. Who do you think pays for the media? The rich men will try to confuse you into believing that this battle is about something else, but it is just one more way that the rich will use their power to screw the poor. BUT theres a twist here, because the rich men are also screwing themselves. Of course, most of them are too old to care. Take Dick Cheney, for example. He just wants to collect all the billions he can before he dies. He knows that he'll croak long before he has to deal with climate change. But some older folks care about future generations...

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big Business will not pay for the "pollution controls" you say they resist. They will only past the cost along to you and I. The satellite evidence shows the planet has actually been cooling over the last 8 years and we should all beware of "science by consensus". Look up the definition of science. If you understand English, you will come to realize that sceince, by definition, cannot be based on "consensus"

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rabbit who said "Hang on tight. It's going to be a bumpy and ugly ride!" is right.

Whether global warming is occurring, or whether it is caused by human activity, is irrelevant- folks, it's already too late. There are already too many rabbits per acre. Roger, on the sustainability issue of this web site, has posted the same consensus.

Our fast paced society has come to expect immediate results and so are disbelieving of all the warnings. I think too, that people are arrogant because of belief in god(s). Ouch!, I know that hurts some (people), but there is no reason for people to believe that that our species won't be another dead branch on the tree of life. ironically, all the "save the planet", "think green", and other buzz phrases and catch words are really about saving the human species.

so, sooner or later maybe someone should step forward and talk about the reality of the possibility that it is all going to collapse soon and what that really means...

oops, i guess that would be called sci-fi. let me get this straight. if what we are talking about is that our species population can run uncontrolled indefinitely, then that is believable. but, if what we are talking about is that all the laws of nature applies to our to our species as well, then that is make believe. hmmm?

12:48 PM  
Blogger kyle said...

An author usually gets his book published by whoever will publish it just because there is a supposed like between the publisher and “big business” is not a good reason to cast doubt on the author’s integrity. It is a shame you make no effort to address the claims made in these book but instead dismiss them as misinformation based solely on your assumption that they are in league with American industry.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The terribly unsubstantiated "science" of global warming aside, the thing that really burns my britches is when people claim all dissenters are simply pawns of oil companies.

Who do you think funds all of the pro-global warming research? 100% unaffiliated persons and corporations? Some of the largest proponents of all this nonsense stand to profit the most.

Visit petitionproject.org and see who really opposes this movement. The "scientific facts" (even though all of these green monsters use facts about as frequently as religious fundamentalists) aren't even worth the effort of debate because the truth is slowly becoming painfully clear and history will view you as the biggest fools of all.

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The truth is,Science is man's belief systems.What was regarded as true 200,400 years ago eventually gave way to the light of reason.

At one time all the Scientists were in agreement that the world was flat.In time,this flawed belief was discounted.

In the time of the Revolutionary war,
Scientists believed diseases were due to 'poisons' in the blood,leeches were applied to the afflicted;many people lost their lives due to these faulty beliefs.

Now we have the 'Global Warming' fanatics (check the >Pollution credits< scammers and see who's on the board of directors)!
These folks have softened their terminology in the last year.
It now goes by the name of "Climate Change".

The "Climate" has been "Changing" ever since there was a Climate...well before Mankind.

I do believe that overpopulation is the main cause of environmental problems in the world.

If everyone would plant a tree,CO2 levels would quickly decrease.

1:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Claim that global warming is a natural cycle was dissproven for good a couple of months ago when scientists revealed the results of a study that would prove once and for all that the sceptics were wrong. The story was on the bbc some months ago but did not gett the attention it deserved. When the sea begins to rise i the world will hang Bush and the neocons for their scepticism.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Cydnie said...

I find it interesting that those who utilize greenhouses in their line of business often "pump" co2 into the greenhouse so the plants will grow better. Seems like additional co2 would be a good thing for the planet since it makes up such a small part of total gasses in the atmosphere and plants thrive on it...but what do I know.

Having said that, I choose to be a good steward of the planet but don't think anyone should force someone else to be. It needs to be a bottom up effort involving individuals that influence their communities which leads to love, freedom, non-coercion, abundant creativity, strong families and communities joined in an effort, which leads to prosperity and a better life enjoyed by all involved.

By contrast, a top down society historically is based on fear, control, force, centralized planning (does one size fit all?) stifled creativity, dependence on others to tell you what to do and how to live, concentrated power (never good, leads to corruption), and poverty from the taxation and stifled creativity. It is crazy to me that people think the government has the solution when they have proven to be the single greatest polluter in the US!

The way the Climate Change group is going about it is all wrong and of course people will buck. No one wants to be told to do something by force. Education and local, community based solutions are key. Big government and taxation are NOT if we are to maintain our liberties and ensure future generations have plenty of the planet's precious resources to live a good life.

For more info. read the chapter "The Environment and Indiginous Power" of the book Common Sense Revisited (not Glenn Becks book) online at http://commonsenserevisited.com

2:37 PM  

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