Written October 6, 2010
Transcript of the Willie Soon Video
Note that Dr. Soon makes a few minor English errors, especially his addition of the “s” sound to several words when he should not have added “s”, and his omission of the “s” sound sometimes when he should have used it. I'm guessing that Dr. Soon grew up in Hong Kong. (He is IELTS Band 7.0 for speaking, possibly 7.5.)
This transcript is not meant to be a model of perfect English – the video and this transcript are here to give you information and ideas, not examples of perfect English.
So, essentially I’ve been studying this issue on how CO2 affects the earth’s climate system for almost twenty years and I’ve been checking over, let’s say, two to three hundred claims of how CO2 can cause hurricanes to be more intense or less intense, or even polar bears to die off and most of it is clearly untrue! It is based on mostly computer modeling work that has no bearing with reality!
In fact, in terms of some examples that I can point to … is, for example … let’s just take a look at the arctic surface temperature. This is the region where the global warming believers tend to suggest that, well, of all places on planet earth, if you were to [be able to] expect the signature of this carbon dioxide to show up, then we should expect it in (the) arctic region first. So this is the “canary in the coal mine” for this CO2 climate change idea. Unfortunately, even looking at that particular issue, I’m not able to confirm the fact at all because one simply do (= does) not see that there is any clear suggestion of CO2 affecting the arctic temperature, for example.
Here’s how you should look at this. The arctic temperature for the last hundred and thirty years has been doing, sort of er, … let’s say from about eight … nineteen hundred (1900) ... it started to warm up to the period … reaching a peak about … you know, warm around (the) nineteen twenties (1920s) and nineteen thirties (1930s) and nineteen forty (1940) and then started to cool from (the) nineteen forties (1940s) to (the) nineteen seventies (1970s) or so, and then started to warm again from nineteen seventy (1970) to the present time. And then, if one were to look at the CO2 curve, one sees that during the nineteen hundreds (1900s) to (the) nineteen forties (1940s), it’s essentially a flat curve and then the CO2 started to rise very rapidly after (the) nineteen forties (1940s).
So, imagine these two curves; you have a situation in which that … yes, the warming from since the nineteen seventies (1970s) tends to agree with the rising of the CO2 but you (you’ve) got two problems. The first problem is that from, let’s say, the nineteen hundreds (1900s) to the nineteen forties (1940s), clearly the CO2 was flat but the arctic temperature is (was) warming very, very large. On top of that, from (the) nineteen forties (1940s) to nineteen seventy (1970) you (you’ve) got this CO2 still rapidly rising. Yet (!), we have CO2 … (I mean) we have temperature, arctic temperature not warming! In fact, it’s cooling ever so slightly. Does that mean that CO2 is causing the earth, the arctic temperature, to cool? Obviously not true!
So, … but then … so, in terms of my own actual scientific research, what I’ve found is that this particular warming, and cooling, and warming sort of feature on the arctic temperature agrees almost perfectly with the changes in the sun’s energy output. Ok? Which means, as the sun gets slightly brighter, the arctic temperature tends to … appears warmer and then, if the sun’s energy were to ever decrease ever so slightly then the temperature is not warming up and it kind of cools ever so slightly and then when the sun sort of started to get brighter again, the temperature, the arctic temperature started to warm again.
So, just based on that empirical basis, it just simply would not allow me to make the scientific conclusion that CO2 has anything to do at all with the arctic temperature, whereas this is what is being proposed to be the, what I call, … you know … the “canary in the coal mine” for the CO2 idea. And, in science there is a very simple rule – you have a theory, you have a hypothesis, you check it against observation. If it disagrees with the data, the observation, then your theory is no good. So therefore, all these ideas then about … you know … the United States is going to propose this …you know … stop emission, emitting carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and all that, would be very, very futile. Essentially you’d be cutting … you’d be asking (asking society) to not emit all this carbon emission, not allow power plants to be built to generate electricity that we need to use, not allow people to drive cars … you know … burning gasoline … and all of that. Essentially … and yet … you will not get anything out of this. The bottom line of all these ideas about cutting CO2 emission, to give the idea that we can somehow change the climate system or even change the arctic, er … temperature, is ridiculous! You simply don’t have any scientific basis to support that. So this is why I say … you know …(this is an) “all pain but no gain” sort of idea. And people should be very, very cautious because it will cost your pocket a lot of money and you will get nothing out of this.
That’s all I have to say. Thank you.
(Question from off-camera) “Can I ask you, real quick … Would you say this global warming movement is more political than it is scientific?”
Indeed, I would categorically say that, yes. It …it … most of this has been very, very political and, er … as a scientist I’m truly concerned about this sort of corruption of politics on science. Science should be an endeavour that is free to … sort of, er … formulate hypotheses and then reject hypotheses and then leave whatever facts that is (are) relevant around, to inform public policy. But now, we have a … a reverse situation in which the public agenda, the public policy agenda, a political agenda, an environmental “ism” is telling what the scientists is (are) supposed to give them, in a sense are generating all these computer model outputs that (are) showing all these disastrous scenarios that our former Vice President Gore is promoting all over the place where there is no basis to that. Clearly, Mr. Gore is a politician so he can be excused but then, the damage that he would be doing if we do not … sort of … let the truth be out, or let the science to be told, freely, would be very, very damaging for society. So, that’s my concern.
(Question from off-camera) “Have you met with a lot of resistance for sticking with science?”
I would say, somehow, yes and no. But clearly the people who wish to … sort of, er … do science, er … and then to simply just state some facts, are not very much welcome, I would say, by folks like, er … Mr. (Vice) President Gore.
Er, I will just give a very personal, er … experience. I so happened to have the great opportunity, er … about five days ago, at a closed-door meeting, where Mr. Vice President and me is (were) in the same room, where he spoke, of course, and I just had to be a good listener. And he was continuing to tell all these untrue stories about how CO2 is causing climate crises where (what) we simply have is climate variability, climate change … he is (was) telling people how CO2 is an air pollutant and CO2 is doing all these bad things to all of us, and I just simply say (= said) that, “Well, CO2 is not an air pollutant, CO2 is food for plants and marine life.” And I … in fact, didn’t have the time but I wanted (= want) to say it (here) on camera, to say that, “Well, if your idea of cutting CO2 emission … if it so happened that you were able to lower the atmospheric carbon dioxide, and we do know, for a fact, that CO2 is food for plants and marine life, then, will you, Mr. Vice President be responsible for the ecological crisis, because all these plants will not have enough food to eat, and marine life, and this will affect humans itself? And who will then be responsible for that kind of, er, … irresponsible action to call for CO2 emission cuts? What are we gonna ( = going to) gain from this? Whereas, we know from empirical grounds that we cannot find any strong evidence of CO2 changing weather or climate. And yet, we know that CO2 is food for plants and animals. And who will be responsible for the damage that will be done to the ecosystem?” So, when I indeed asked Mr. President, er … Mr. Vice President that question on what will we get by lowering CO2 emissions, Mr. Vice President sort of, reluctantly and sort of arrogantly replied by saying that, “Well, how about saving human civilization? How about death?” Ok? To me. And I would just simply … of course I didn’t have a chance to respond … again, I’ll do it on camera here … I’d just simply say, “Well, how about saving civilization from the damage that is promoted by you, politically, with no basis in science?” That’s all.
(From off-camera) “Well, ok!”
“This is Henry Lampman, with The New American. We’re here with …”