Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Quiz to Destroy Global Warming Conventional Wisdom

Every weekly meeting of the Gualala Rotary features a quiz to raise $2 per person attending. If the person misses their question, they pay $2, and if they get it right the persons on their left and right pay $1 each.

Our Gualala Rotarians are, for the most part, retired business people and professionals. In other words, a bit older, and often struggling with declining hearing ability.

I decided I wanted to give everyone a chance to participate fully in the quiz, so I gave everyone a printed copy of it.

As far as selecting the questions for the quiz, that was easy. I just looked for subjects where “news” selectively reported by the main stream media had created false perceptions or, put another way, erroneous conventional wisdom.

Two subject areas leaped out: the conventional wisdom that the United States economy was a basket-case, and that global warming was caused by the activities of mankind.

Rather than attempt argument, I chose to just present facts – facts that would fly in the face of wide-spread perceptions.

Al Gore and I don’t have many things in common, but neither of us is a scientist, and both of us think a picture is worth a thousand words – or in Al Gore’s case, a thousand converts.

I wanted desperately to include at least one picture in the quiz, but it would have been too cumbersome, so I left it out.

But I can add it to your quiz.

Polar bears in Summer

This photo was used by Al Gore in "An Inconvenient Truth" to illustrate his claim that global warming was causing unprecedented melting of Arctic ice, and imperiling polar bears by taking them into danger of starving and drowning. Which of the following answers is an inconvenient truth about this photo?

a. It was taken in August, at the end of Summer when such melting of ice is normal.

b. These polar bears were close to land and in no danger of drowning.

c. Both of these statements are inconvenient truths if your name is Al Gore.

d. None is an inconvenient truth, since none of the above statements is true.

1. What percentage of the world’s gross domestic product was produced by the United States in 2006?

a. 12% b. 17% c. 22% d. 27%

2. The United States GDP for 2006 was roughly as large as the total of the next highest ___ countries?

a. 2 b. 3 c. 4 d. 5

3. The 2006 GDP of the European Union was $14.6 trillion, approximately equal to the total of three nations, the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
How many countries are in the European Union?

a. 17 b. 22 c. 27 d. 32

4. Which is the biggest exporting country in the world?

a. United States b. Germany c. China d. Japan

5. Which of these countries has the highest unemployment rate?

a. United States b. Germany c. China d. France

6. Which has the lowest?

a. United States b. Germany c. United Kingdom d. France

7. Measured by purchasing power per person, which nation is ranked above the United States?

a. Luxembourg b. Ireland c. Norway d. Only these three e. None of these three

8. According to an article in the journal Science, how many years does it take before savings from using biofuels instead of conventional fuels equals the amount of greenhouse gases created during the first year of their production?

a. 0 years b. 13 years c. 23 years d. 93 years

9. The production of biofuels and ethanol causes:

a. Food costs to rise b. Increased water shortages c. Increased use of natural gas d. All the above e. None of the above.

10. During the first thirty years of greatly increased atmospheric CO2 (1945-1975), the Earth experienced:

a. Global warming b. No change in climate c. Global cooling d. Hot flashes and erratic mood swings

11. Evidence that the Medieval Warm Period (about 800 to 1300 AD) was warmer than the present includes:

a. Thriving vineyards in the south of England that can’t survive today.
b. Tree remains hundreds of feet above the current tree line.
c. Remains of Greenland farms now being uncovered as ice retreats.
d. All the above.
e. None of the above.

12. Proof that the Medieval Warm Period was a world-wide phenomenon was derived from a study of over 240 climate studies conducted by:

a. The Institute of Vast Right-Wing Conspiracies
b. Al Gore and his Acolytes of Apocalypse
c. A team of Harvard and Smithsonian researchers
d. All of the above

e. None of the above

13. What factor does not correspond directly with the following dramatic periods of climate change of the past 5,000 years known as the Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, Holocene Optimum, Roman Warm Period, and Dark Ages Cool Period?

a. Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide preceding warming
b. Variation in solar activity
c. Orbital variances
d. All the above
e. None of the above

14. The warmest year on record during the past 100 years was

a. 1934 b. 1998 c. 2005 d. 2007

15. United States temperature records for the past 100 years, which are the most complete and measured with the most sophisticated weather technology of any in the world, indicate how many of the ten warmest years in the past one hundred years occurred over fifty years ago?

a. 1 b. 3 c. 6 d. 9

16. During the past century global sea level rose about seven inches. What has been the average rise in sea level per century during the past 18,000 years since the end of the last Ice Age?

a. About zero b. About 6 inches c. One foot d. Two feet

17. Glacier retreat is thought to be a sign of man-caused global warming. Since significant increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide began about 1945, when did the current glacier retreat start?

a. 1945 b. 1975 c. 1995 d. 1850

18. The Little Ice Age began approximately AD 1300. When did it end?

a. AD 1350 b. AD 1450 c. AD 1650 d. AD 1850

19. Frequently we hear that the present period is the warmest on record. When did the record begin?

a. Just before Noah built the Ark in 2304 BC.
b. About 1450 when Gutenberg invented the printing press.
c. About 1850 when graduated thermometers came into use.
d. 1978 with the first weather satellites.

20. Which of the following statements is true?

a. The highest rate of warming came in the first half of the twentieth century (+0.6º C from 1910 to 1945)
b. Global warming has only increased 0.6º C in over sixty years since 1945
c. For a thirty-year period (1945-1975), as atmospheric CO2 went up, global temperature went down
d. All the statements (a, b and c) are false
e. All the statements (a, b and c) are true

21. In “An Inconvenient Truth” Al Gore showed a chart of carbon dioxide and temperature fluctuations over hundreds of thousands of years. Which of the following statements is true?

a. Carbon dioxide increases are followed by temperature increases.
b. Temperature increases are followed by carbon dioxide increases
c. Carbon dioxide increases are followed by temperature decreases.
d. "b" and "c" are correct

22. Which of the following statements is true?

a. Global warming is unequivocal.
b. Global warming is natural
c. Both statements are true
d. Only a. is true

23. Which of the following statements is true?

a. Some of the years since 1998 have been warmer than 1998.
b. Arctic sea ice is much smaller (Feb. 2, 2008) compared to February 2, 1980.
c. Both statements are true
d. Both statements are false

24. Global warming scientists at the UN say there could be many signs of global warming, among which are the weather being:

a. Cooler b. Wetter c. Calmer d. All the above e. None of the above

25. Scientists say there could be many signs of global cooling, among which are the weather being:

a. Cooler b. Wetter c. Calmer d. All the above e. None of the above

26. Which of the following statements in false?

a. Al Gore and I are not scientists
b. Al Gore and I both believe global warming is unequivocal
c. Al Gore has proof that global warming is caused by increased levels of atmospheric CO2.
d. I have proof that global warming has occurred naturally many times

27. Which of the following occurred because of the colder weather of the Little Ice Age (AD 1350 to 1850)?

a. Crop failures and famine
b. Pandemics of influenza, cholera, and plague
c. More frequent and violent storms
d. All the above
e. None of the above

The answers can be found by clicking "ANSWER SHEET"

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