Debunking Cowspiracy

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I recently took the time to watch the documentary Cowspiracy on Netflix.  The documentary basically makes the case for doing away with animal husbandry because of its environmental impact.  One of the key points the documentary hammers on about is the impact animal husbandry has on global warming.  As many of you may already know, I think “global warming” is a gigantic scam being foisted upon us by scientists who need a bogeyman to pump their public funding.

That said, all the other points the documentary makes about the ecological destruction caused by animal husbandry are spot on.  I HIGHLY recommend people take the time to watch this documentary.  It’s a real eye-opener.  I think the most important point the documentary nails is the amount of water and land usage it takes to raise cattle.  The amount of water consumed is simply mind-blowing. It’s the number one reason why all of our lakes are running dry.  Droughts play a minor role compared to the amount of water that’s being siphoned off to support the meat industry.

The other really important point I wanted to touch on was the amount of subsidies the meat and dairy industry gets from the government.  This is a libertarian themed blog after all, so this particular issue really pisses me off.  The 2014 Farm Bill clocked in at a whopping one trillion dollars – that’s 1/16th of the entire US GDP handed to agribusiness in subsidies.  If meat and dairy producers were not able to externalize costs through subsidies, meat and dairy would be exponentially more expensive than they are right now.  For a detailed breakdown of this issue, be sure to read Meatonomics by David Robinson Simon.

I suspect that simply doing away with these food subsidies would pretty much rectify the bulk of America’s medical and environmental problems.  Medicare is bankrupt, and medical costs are going to keep increasing until people are forced to take responsibility for their own care, which means not getting sick in the first place.

It’s clear from numerous prospective large population studies, along with numerous interventional and randomized control trial studies, that meat and dairy cause cancer. Meat and dairy induce obesity. Meat and dairy clog arteries with high loads of saturated fat.  The incidence of cancer, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, basically every negative health problem you can think of, is lower among people who eat a vegan diet, even when body weight and caloric intake are accounted for.

In the Adventist Health Study, only vegans as a group had ideal body weights and they had the lowest all cause mortality.  If everyone were to eat a vegan diet, the amount of savings in health costs alone would be enough to balance the entire US budget.  Be sure to watch these lectures by Dr. Michael Greger on the latest annual findings in nutrition research, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, where he goes over the evidence to support my claims.

But I digress.  Back to debunking Cowspiracy’s claims of global warming.  Some of you may recall the Climategate incident, where a huge load of hacked climate scientist emails and climate model source code was leaked to the public.  As a software developer, I took the time to carefully go over that source code and the research that accompanied it.  I learned a tremendous amount about how climate science works in the process of going over that code.

Climate science is really more theory than fact.  It’s much like theoretical physics today.  Physicists look at experimental or observational data and then try to wedge what they see into hypothetical models that attempt to explain the observations.  Of course, this doesn’t mean their models represent what is actually occurring, it only means that they made a model that accounts for all the observations that were made.  The validity of the model comes from its predictive power.  If a model fails to make accurate predictions, then it must be wrong.  And by all measures, climate models have consistently failed to predict at every level.

The issues are complex, but the biggest problems revolve around something called historical proxy data and the way present climate data is accumulated and calculated.  Proxy data comes from sources like ice core samples or tree ring growth patterns.  Proxy data is how scientists extrapolate what the temperature must have been like in a given area prior to the advent of thermometers and accurate historical records.

What the proxy data actually shows is a pattern of warming followed by cooling… except there was no measured cooling in the historical temperature data.  This is called the “divergence problem” because proxy temperatures diverge from the recorded thermometer temperatures.  The cause of this divergence has never been explained. In fact, many scientists blame the “divergence problem” on man-made global warming, which creates a circular argument as proof of man made global warming – pretty neat trick hey?  Thus the refrain, “hide the decline” which came about when scientists omitted data from their model that didn’t agree with their preconceived ideas.

What this means is that the proxy data scientists are using in their models is a useless and inaccurate measure of historical temperatures.  Scientists basically read into the proxy data what they want to see, without any scientific basis for their assumptions, and then they omit the data that doesn’t agree with their preconceived ideas, which is how we arrive at the outrageous and inaccurate temperature predictions that are being promoted today.  All of this is documented in painstaking detail on the site WattsUpWithThat.

The second large problem comes from how surface temperatures are measured.  There are basically mini weather stations stuck all over the planet which relay temperature data back to a central source.  The problem with this method is that the environment around these stations is constantly changing.  For example, if an asphalt road is built near a weather station that was previously surrounded by a field, this will raise the temperature readings of the thermometer.  So urban sprawl plays a large, yet unaccounted for, role in surface temperature increases.  There are also problems with how the data is aggregated.  Hypothetical models are employed to smooth the data, and all sorts of statistical trickery can creep into the measurements.

That said, it’s never been proven, nor can it be proven, that increasing temperatures will cause environmental devastation.  It may be that a warmer Earth is a good thing.  We know that plants grow far better when there is more CO2 and the weather is warmer.  In fact, indoor growers often intentionally add CO2 to their greenhouses to boost plant growth.  I mean what’s the purpose of a greenhouse anyways?  To keep plants warm!  Theories that speculate we may be better off are no less valid than those which say we will be worse off, and that assumes we are actually undergoing warming which is debatable in the first place.

Further, more and more evidence is emerging that the Sun and the plasma environment that surrounds Earth is far more important in driving climate change than anything humans could ever do.  Scientists don’t even know what causes lightning for god’s sake!  Yet they think they can predict what the global climate will be decades from now?  Their hubris is utterly shocking.

Cumulus_clouds_in_fair_weatherIt may come as a surprise to many, but modern science has very little to say about most of the weather we observe on a daily basis.  Here are a few quotes to demonstrate what I’m talking about.

“Scientists are still puzzled as to what triggers a spark during a thunderstorm. The latest attempt to answer the question only adds to the intrigue. It seems hard to believe that we still don’t understand what causes lightning during thunderstorms – but that’s a fact.” – BBC’s Phillip Ball

Yep, scientists can’t tell you what causes lightning to form. However, they claim that they can predict what the global climate will be nearly a century from now.

How about tornadoes?

“We don’t know if a particular storm will produce a tornado so the truth is we really don’t know what causes a tornado. We do know the necessary conditions needed for tornado formation. ” – Steven A. Ackerman and Jonathan Martin, professors in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UW-Madison.

And what about clouds?

Climatologists are remarkably mum on the subject of clouds.  While they have plenty of theories about cloud formation, virtually none of them address why clouds appear as they do.  Obviously an attractive and repulsive force is necessary for the water droplets in a cloud to stick together cohesively the way they do.  There is only one obvious force that meets this requirement, and it’s not dark matter.

A few scientists have seen the light, or should I say charge?  A recent study by Giles Harrison and Maarten Ambaum, from the University of Reading, found that the electrical connection between Earth and its surrounding electrified plasma environment may play a much larger role in driving Earth’s weather than anyone previously realized. “Particularly interesting is the possibility that space weather changes could affect weather in the lower atmosphere, ” Harrison notes in a recent PhysicsWorld article.

“The realization that the electrical heartbeat of the planet plays a role in the formation of layer clouds indicates that existing models for clouds and climate are still missing potentially important components,” adds Ambaum. “Understanding these missing elements is crucial to improve the accuracy of our weather forecasts and predicting changes to our climate.”

The Earth’s weather is obviously highly electrical.  From lighting storms to cloud cohesion, the electrical forces of weather are on display for all to see.  However, the vast majority of climate scientists want nothing to do with electricity.  Electricity screws up their models and injects a climate driver that they can’t model nor predict.  Harrison should be nominated for “Understatement of the Year” with his comment.

In fact, Harrison and Ambaum aren’t the only climatologists to see a connection between Earth’s weather and space.  Looking at hurricanes, a recent study by N.V. Isaev et al, noted that, “In some cases the ‘typhoon eye’ is formed over the tropical depression zone in the ionosphere, that is, the region with sharply decreased plasma density and pressure is observed a day and more prior to the moment when it happens in the atmosphere.”  The ionosphere is a region of electrified plasma on the edge of space that surrounds the planet.

Professor Gerald Pollack, University of Washington, has presented findings that demonstrate the water molecule has some amazing electrical properties that science is only now starting to uncover.  Pollack’s lecture will blow your hair back.  For example, I bet you didn’t know you that you can create a battery using water and piece of polymer. You can view Pollack’s presentation here:  part 1, part 2

Pollacks’ work with water casts some serious doubt on the climate models presently held up as gospel by the academic community.  Pollack contends that the like-likes-like electrical properties of water create a colloid crystal structure in clouds, giving them the cohesive shapes we observe.  The science he presents to back his case is nothing short of stunning.  If you’ve ever wondered why clouds are puff-balls with defined edges instead of diffuse blobs, there’s your answer.

Bill Nichols, a scientist for the National Weather Service, also has some serious issues with current theories of weather and climate that fail to incorporate the electrical nature of Earth’s solar environment into their models.  Quoting Nichols, “the present model suck.”  Nichols contends that the majority of Earth’s weather is electrically driven, and the space surrounding the Earth plays a large role in that process.

Nichols notes that weather formations can appear homogeneously out of nowhere, with no thermodynamic drivers, other than the Sun. This obviously indicates a strong correlation between weather and the Sun that goes ignored in climate models, but fits very well with Pollack’s findings about water.

Further, Nichols talks about the dozen or more atmospheric and oceanic oscillations that have been identified.  Of particular interest is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.  Contrary to Wiki’s claims, this oscillation is poorly explained by “tropical forcing and extra-tropical processes.”  This oscillation of temperature is statistically perfect across the entire Pacific ocean over the time frame of decades.  There’s just no possible way that can be explained by local thermodynamic drivers.  I’ll bet my bottom dollar that we see a matching oscillation taking place in the ionosphere. The data shows that the atmosphere goes with or leads the changes in the oceans, discounting the oceans as being primary drivers of weather and climate, as our climate models assume today.

To demonstrate just how out of touch our present weather science is with the rest of the physics world, Wikipedia claims that, “Electromagnetics and lightning have little or nothing to do directly with what drives tornadoes.”  As Pollack demonstrated, electromagnetic forces have virtually everything to do with clouds and their formation, so saying that electromagnetics play no role in tornado evolution is just flat out wrong. It’s also worth noting that dusty plasmas can naturally create vortex formations.  Plasma vortex formations appear everywhere we look in space, yet this simple electrical explanation for tornadoes remains ignored. Plasma vortexes have been identified in the Earth’s magnetosphere, on Saturn, on Venus, on Mars, etc.. etc.. etc..

The interesting thing about the Mars tornadoes is that Mars has virtually no atmosphere; certainly not enough to produce any kind of wind capable of moving dust or debris, yet clearly the Martian atmosphere is capable of moving huge volumes of debris.  The only explanation that makes sense is an electric discharge. An F3 tornado force wind on Mars is about the equivalent of a 20 mph gust of wind on Earth.  The debris must be charged dust grains and the “wind” must be caused by electric forces.  There are no thermodynamic drivers of note to power such raging dust storms. Dust storms on Mars can cover the entire planet – scientists who believe that thermodynamic drivers are solely responsible for that are delusional.

Another recent Thunderbolts article points out that tornadoes have been observed to electrically discharge.  I’m not talking about lightning, I’m talking about the entire column of air lighting up with the intensity of an arc-welder, causing near blindness in the people who observed it from thousands of feet away.  There are also reports from people who have survived being run over by a tornado that the interior column is lit up like a neon sign. Don’t believe me?  I was able to find an example of a discharging tornado on YouTube (video no longer available, screenshot below).

The event was so strange that it was filed under UFO conspiracy junk – but remember,  “Electromagnetics and lightning have little or nothing to do directly with what drives tornadoes” – so sayeth our great Wiki Overlords.  Learn more about the electric nature of tornadoes here.

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If scientists can’t explain what causes lightning or tornadoes, how is it possible that they can model the climate?  They MUST be missing a big piece of the puzzle here.  I haven’t even touched on upper-atmospheric lightning, which is completely ignored by climatologists.  This lightning can stretch right to the edge of space.  Wiki notes that, “The global rate of TLE [upper-atmospheric lightning] occurrence has been estimated from satellite (FORMOSAT-2) observations to be several million events per year.”  This lightning shows that there is a direct connection between space and weather events occurring on the surface.

The Earth is a globe immersed in an ever changing sea of charged particles.  Given the proven electrical nature of Earth’s weather, it seems illogical to conclude the weather we experience on Earth is primarily driven by local Newtonian forces of pressure, confined to our lower atmosphere. It seems much more likely to me that the Sun, and the sea of plasma we are immersed in, are the dominant drivers of weather and climate here on planet Earth.  A growing number of scientists agree.

A little update: It looks like I was correct with my guess.  Here’s a paper showing that records of the aurora match the decadal oscillations:

We show that a harmonic constituent model based on the major astronomical frequencies revealed in the aurora records and deduced from the natural gravitational oscillations of the solar system is able to forecast with a reasonable accuracy the decadal and multidecadal temperature oscillations from 1950 to 2010 using the temperature data before 1950, and vice versa.

I didn’t know this paper existed at the time I wrote the article, but when you view things through the framework of the Electric Universe, it makes it easy to know where to look.

Dr. Nicola Scafetta, Duke University, has made some major contributions to this area of research.  There are several more papers available on his page that demonstrate the same kind of effect.

Dr. Scafetta writes (DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2011.12.005),

We show that the IPCC GCM’s claim that all warming observed from 1970 to 2000 has been anthropogenically induced is erroneous because of the GCM failure in reconstructing the quasi 20-year and 60-year climatic cycles…

…The results of this paper reinforce previous claims that the relevant physical mechanisms that explain the detected climatic cycles are still missing in the current GCMs and that climate variations at the multidecadal scales are astronomically induced and, in first approximation, can be forecast.

Thanks for proving my point Dr. Scafetta.  If I ever meet you in person, I’ll have to buy you a beer.

So there you have it folks. Man made global warming is a pseudo-scientific theory at best, and a complete scam at worst.  There’s plenty of reasons to be skeptical about global warming, not the least of which is that temperatures have declined or remained flat as CO2 has increased.

Of course, we are still facing numerous and serious environmental problems, many of which were accurately detailed in Cowspiracy, which is why I still highly recommend watching it. We need to focus on the problems that we can fix.  If all of us who proclaim to be environmentalists followed the advice given in Cowspiracy, we would solve all of our environmental and budgetary problems overnight.   I give it 5 stars, and that’s coming from a guy who doesn’t even believe in man made global warming.

Be sure to watch the follow up to Cowspiracy called What The Health!