Answer to Tony Heller’s five best arguments

Scott Adams invited noted climate skeptic Tony Heller to present his Top Five skeptical arguments for public debate. Tony’s arguments are here

I hereby take the challenge here of answering to Tony’s five arguments

However, the main problem here is that Tony is not arguing against what the climate scientists says, he is arguing against what some alarmist journalists says.

I view myself as representing mainstream climate science and I think the UN Climate panel (IPCC) do a very good and important job with their climate reports. My answers here are compliant with their latest Report

The label ‘alarmist’ is one I would use on those who think that the climate change poses an imminent existential threat to our civilization. The  view of the UN climate panel is that it can develop to a huge problem, but we have several ways to stop it before the consequences become too severe. Therefore I do not label the UN Climate panel as alarmists.


Point 1. “Climate alarmism is based mainly around fear of extreme weather.”

Answer: Typical media alarmist may prioritize this viewpoint, but the climate science is more conservative on this topic.

However, there are some well known facts we can say for sure, such as:

  • We know that hurricanes increase in strength when the sea surface temperature is above 27 Celsius. The warmer water, the quicker they increase in strength.
  • Warm air can contain more water. This means that we can expect heavier rain in a warmer climate.
  • Warm water occupies more space. This means that the sea level increase if the sea temperature goes up and if the glaciers melt the sea level will increase further.

Point 2 “Climate alarmism is much like the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes. … Only a small handful of people whom the press and politicians quote over and over again are allowed to state an opinion”

Answer: I agree in the last point above. The media should confront new sensational claims with what IPCC says on that topic before reporting it.


Point 3:  “Academics have been making apocalyptic predictions for decades”

Answer: I Partially agree. The problem is that a small minority of academics have always come with apocalyptic predictions, and the media have reported only those. The new now is that virtually all academics agree on the fundamentals of climate science which are:

  • There are such things as a climate effect and climate gases
  • Water vapor, CO2 and methane are the three most important climate gases.
  • The amounts of CO2 and methane in the atmosphere are the highest in at least 800 000 years, and probably the highest in 3 million years.
  • The reason for the current elevated level of CO2 and methane is human emissions.
  • The amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is correlated with temperature. Higher temperature results in more water vapor. This effect, viewed separately, means that the temperature increase caused by the greenhouse gases, CO2 and methane, increase more than the greenhouse effect from CO2 and methane alone should imply.
  • Higher amounts of climate gases in the atmosphere should result in higher temperatures.
  • The average surface temperature on the planet has increased by approximately one degree Celsius since 1900, and the rate of increase has been exceptionally high since 1980.

Point 4: “Climate alarmism is completely dependent on graphs and useless climate models generated by a small handful of people.”

Answer: Science is about analyzing models, and it has been so at least since Galileo and Kepler. It is true that the models which prevail have been developed by a small number of people, but the strength in science is that these methods are transparent and open to critique by all the scientific community.

Point 5: The most important argument against climate alarmism is that the proposed solutions are unworkable, dangerous and useless.

Answer: I disagree, although this is of course a huge topic by itself. My take is that there are several solutions to the problem, many are impractical, but a few are doable:

  • The electricity production can be totally de-carbonized by either nuclear power, or renewables in combination with hydroelectric pumped storage.
  • Virtually all the industry and transport sector can either be electrified, based on gas produced by power to gas solutions or bioenergy.

So how serious problem is the climate change?

My view is that it belongs among the top five challenges to humanity. Perhaps below the crisis that we still have a billion people on the planet living in desperate poverty; the economic development for those people should not be constrained in any way by requirements for green solutions.

We, in the richest part of the world have to take the lead.

Why we bought an electric car



My new electric car

My new New Nissan Leaf in the shop

August 1st 2014 we became owners of an electric car. We chose the Nissan Leaf, which is the most sold electric car both worldwide and in Norway where we live. One of the reasons we chose the Leaf was that we think it is a huge benefit to have a car which is well known by the service stations.
I will explain our reasons for going electric shortly. There are several benefits and some drawbacks by electric car compared with a traditional gasoline or diesel car. To take the drawbacks first, it is four of them:
1. Limited range. According to the European Driving Cycle test our car have a range of 195 km, but in reality with mixed driving we can expect around 120 km.
2. Long charging time. Normal charging from ordinary home outlet take about 10 hours. Rapid charging up to 80% level can be done on about 30 minutes. Even the rapid charging take very long time compared to a gasoline filling.
3. Too few charging stations. The stations which offer quick charging are especially scarce.
4. The batteries are expensive and we do not know their lifetime. The guarantee says 5 year, but we hope that the car will last longer than that. We hope and expect that battery prices will fall in the long run as the technology rapes and we also hope and expect that the battery lifetime will be much more than 5 years. We may be wrong on one of these expectation, but hopefully not on both.
The benefits falls in two categories; one category is the benefits for the owner and the other category is the benefits for the society.
The benefits for the owner are:
1. Low cost for fuel. Where we live is the mileage cost is approximately 10 % of the mileage costs for a gasoline car.
2. Low service cost. No oil shift and few service points in the engine make it economically in maintenance.
3. No engine noise. You can listen to the wind and the birds.
4. Quick acceleration and no gearing.

The benefits for the society are:

1. No tailpipe emissions. Gasoline and Diesel cars have toxic exhaust emissions which create smog and is unhealthy and can even cause deadly diseases like lung cancer.
2. No engine noise
3. Far less energy use. The carbon footprint is far less than the footprint from dieasle and gasoline cars.

We think that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

See my other sites: is a site presenting long time trends in pollution and environmental indicators


Some sites in Norwegian

I build bat houses presented here

We have an old boat