Think 15 years without global warming means the theory is dead? You obviously haven’t heard of “hidden energy.”
In high school physics we learned about epicycles. This was a model proposed by ancient Greeks such as Ptolemy to clarify why planets sometimes appeared to move backwards in their orbits, or be closer or further from the Earth. For those who believed the Earth was at or near the center of a geometrically perfect universe, this apparent retrograde movement posed a problem.
Not to worry, epicycles saved the day. The theory went that planets not only orbited the Earth, but they also orbited around their orbits. So while they were moving in perfect circles, they were also swinging around the arc of the orbit, which sometimes made it appear they were moving backwards. Scientists, intellectuals and theologians accepted this idea as fact for around 1500 years. It was supported by mathematics, reason and faith. The science was settled. Then along came Copernicus and spoiled the fun.
I was reminded of epicycles while reading statements by the Met Office in the UK, which has been forced into its last ditches in defense of global warming. The Met, struggling to explain why global temperatures have stopped rising since the 1990s while carbon emissions have kept rising, reports that “the Earth system [sic] has continued to absorb heat energy over the past 15 years, and … this additional heat has been absorbed in the ocean.” OK, so the ocean, which comprises 70% of the “Earth system’s” surface, is warming up rapidly while the rest of the Earth is not? That seems a bit of a stretch. But not so fast; Met head Professor Stephen Belcher explains that “the Earth is continuing to accumulate energy but it looks like it is being re-arranged and hidden from view.” Presumably some day this energy will be unleashed from the ocean, Godzilla-like, to wreak havoc.
The novel notion of hidden energy raises a number of questions. By what process is energy being “re-arranged” and “hidden?” Why did the “hidden energy” phenomenon kick in all the sudden after years of warming in the 80s and 90s? Why didn’t the Earth hide energy sooner? Or has it always been hiding? Were the Ice Ages caused by hiding too much energy? Can we harness hidden energy to cool off this sultry summer heat wave?
Who- or whatever is hiding global warming is doing a good job. Not even the oceans have noticed. Global sea surface temperatures (SSTs) peaked in 1998, just like land temperatures, and since then the trend had been flat. The Met says this is because the energy is hidden further down in the water. So how is “rearranged” heat reaching the cold ocean depths? No one knows. How is it passing below without radically raising the temperature of the water above? Not quite sure. The theory is best illustrated by a glass of ice water in the sun. The ice melts for awhile, but then it stops melting. The sun’s heat is rearranged and hidden by the ice cubes at the bottom of the glass, rendering a system in apparent stasis, but actually building and storing energy that eventually will be released. This makes perfect sense, if you discard the laws of thermodynamics.
Warmists are clearly starting to panic over the global meltdown that didn’t happen. They say the missing heat is hidden in the ocean because they have no other place to go. The heat can’t be in the air or on the land because scores of satellites and thousands of thermometers around the world say otherwise. It can’t be escaping to space because that would destroy the greenhouse gas theory at the root of warmist orthodoxy. And they dare not say that warming simply isn’t happening. It would be like Ptolemy questioning Earth’s central place in the universe.
Back in the old days scientists didn’t have to explain critical gaps in their thinking to an inquisitive public. In the low information centuries, people pretty much accepted what the learned few said as fact. If educated people challenged the orthodoxy with inconvenient truths, they faced censorship, the inquisition, excommunication, and other less savory consequences. Times haven’t changed all that much; some prominent scientists, politicians and pundits have called for “deniers” to face punishments for their heresy ranging all the way up to being strangled in their sleep. President Obama mocks those who critically analyze climate alarmists’ claims as “flat Earthers,” even as reality forces warmists to walk back their predictions of imminent catastrophe. But it won’t take a Copernicus to topple the temple of global warming, the high priests are doing it by themselves. “Hidden energy” makes Ptolemy’s epicycles look like genius.
James S. Robbins is Deputy Editor of Rare and author of Native Americans: Patriotism, Exceptionalism, and the New American Identity. Follow him on Twitter @James_Robbins