July 28, 2013
Modern Environmentalism in One Sentence
From Andrew Stuttaford's review of The Age of Global Warming by Rupert Darwall.
When AGW — with its blood-curdling new angle on the dire consequences of man’s excess –arrived on the scene, the natural response by many in the environmentalist community was to see it as a fresh stick with which to whip humanity into line.
Mr. Stuttaford nails it.
November 27, 2012
On Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming
Dr. Walter Starck, a marine biologist who pioneered in the scientific investigation of coral reefs, is not a fan of the CAGW theories.
The climate gravy train can provide a sumptuous ride for those whose work shows promise of producing what the government wants.
For third rate academics CAGW has much to offer. One doesn’t need to be particularly capable to speculate about some dire consequence of warming, receive widespread publicity and be treated as an important expert. Unlike in real science, no colleagues will dispute them and the few sceptics willing to question anything will generally be ignored and denigrated by all their peers. The news media will describe them as experts and provide the public attention they know they deserve but somehow had never been recognised by anyone else until they climbed onto the climate bandwagon. Grants then flow and jetting off to attend important conferences in attractive places with all expenses paid provides frequent welcome breaks from the tedium of academia. Perhaps best of all, is a delicious feeling of importance and moral superiority over all of the high achievers striving so hard to discover something of consequence about the real world. The only personal cost is to one’s own scientific integrity and that’s not worth much if one is just another unrecognised minor league academic no one had ever heard of before they joined into the climate alarm. In any case, saving the planet is the noblest of all causes and absolves any tinge of guilt in such regard.
Via Power Line.
May 14, 2012
Turning The CO2 Adjustment Knob
German physicist and meteorologist Klaus-Eckart Puls recently voiced his skepticism of current climate change theory in an interview by Bettina Hahne-Waldscheck of the Swiss magazine “factum“. A translation of the interview, which can be found here, concludes with this:
factum: So we don’t need to do anything against climate change?
Puls: There’s nothing we can do to stop it. Scientifically it is sheer absurdity to think we can get a nice climate by turning a CO2 adjustment knob. Many confuse environmental protection with climate protection. it’s impossible to protect the climate, but we can protect the environment and our drinking water. On the debate concerning alternative energies, which is sensible, it is often driven by the irrational climate debate. One has nothing to do with the other.
Via Power Line.
February 27, 2012
Science in The Service of Politics
Simon Carr of the Independent recently reported on a presentation by climate scientist Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT to the House of Commons. (My emphasis below.)
Over the last 150 years CO2 (or its equivalents) has doubled. This has been accompanied by a rise in temperature of seven or eight tenths of a degree centigrade.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change attributes half this increase to human activity.
Lindzen says: “Claims that the earth has been warming, that there is a Greenhouse Effect, and that man’s activity have contributed to warming are trivially true but essentially meaningless.”
He said our natural body temperature varies by eight tenths of a degree.
He showed a Boston newspaper weather graphic for a day – it had the actual temperature against a background of the highest and lowest recorded temperature for that day. The difference was as much as 60 degrees F.
When you double CO2 there’s a two per cent change in the “radiation budget”. Yet two billion years ago, the sun was 20 to 30 per cent dimmer – and the planet’s temperature was about the same.
The Al Gore graph showing CO2 and temperature rising and falling in tandem showed that the release of CO2 from the oceans was prompted by warming, not vice versa.
He gave us a slide with a series of familiar alarms – melting ice caps, disappearing icebergs, receding glaciers, rising sea levels. It was published by the US Weather Bureau in 1922.
How to explain the procession of eminent opinion leaders – some even in our own Royal Society – who advance the tenets of catastrophic global warming? “It is science in the service of politics,” he said.
And the money spent on the advice of “scientists in the service of politics” can be measured in trillions.
Update: Here is Professor Lindzen's full presentation. An excerpt:
Our present approach of dealing with climate as completely specified by a single number, globally averaged surface temperature anomaly, that is forced by another single number, atmospheric CO2 levels, for example, clearly limits real understanding; so does the replacement of theory by model simulation. In point of fact, there has been progress along these lines and none of it demonstrates a prominent role for CO2.
Professor Lindzen concludes:
Perhaps we should stop accepting the term, ‘skeptic.’ Skepticism implies doubts about a plausible proposition. Current global warming alarm hardly represents a plausible proposition. Twenty years of repetition and escalation of claims does not make it more plausible. Quite the contrary, the failure to improve the case over 20 years makes the case even less plausible as does the evidence from climategate and other instances of overt cheating.
In the meantime, while I avoid making forecasts for tenths of a degree change in globally averaged temperature anomaly, I am quite willing to state that unprecedented climate catastrophes are not on the horizon though in several thousand years we may return to an ice age.
Global warming alarm. Hardly a plausible proposition.
February 23, 2012
Robert Tracinski offers thoughts on the bungled, and pathetically stupid, smear that Peter Gleick aimed at the Heartland Institute.
Fakegate shows us, with the precision of a scientific experiment, several key truths about the global warming movement. It shows that most warmists, both the scientists and the journalists, will embrace any claim that seems to bolster their cause, without bothering to check the facts or subject them to rigorous investigation. (Anthony Watts notes how few journalists bothered to contact him before reporting the claims about him that are made in the fake memo.) And it shows us that warmists like Gleick have no compunction about falsifying information to promote their agenda, and that many other warmists are willing to serve as accomplices after the fact, excusing Gleick's fraud on the grounds that he was acting in a "noble cause." It shows us that "hide the decline" dishonesty is a deeply ingrained part of the corporate culture of the global warming movement.
Gleick wasn't just an obscure, rogue operator in the climate debate. Before his exposure, his stock in trade was lecturing on "scientific integrity," and until a few days ago he was the chairman of the American Geophysical Union's Task Force on Scientific Ethics.
Gleick's frame up failed spectacularly when he apparently threw in the faked Heartland Institute internal memo. The document, supposedly a confidential strategy memo, was ludicrously error laden.
Isn't this the frosting on the cake? Gleick routinely lectured everybody else about ethics. But it's not just the global warming crowd that suffers from these ethical lapses. It's a progressive trait. Progressives invariably argue that their crisis du jour is so severe and their cause is such a moral imperative that anything they do, anything at all, that advances their cause is justified. There might even be some of them who believe it. At least for a while. But mostly they're lying about it, even if it's only to themselves.
Global warming, health care reform, income inequality; these are all contrived crises whose solutions are invariably designed to entrench progressives and enhance their power. Global warming in particular was intended to be the motherlode. A Carbon Market was supposed to provide an exchange for the trading of Carbon Credits. Companies and individuals could purchase indulgences to offset their contributions to the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. The money would fund research and green projects. Global Climate Change treaties would impose all manner of taxes and fines and of course wealth transfers from richer nations to poorer nations. Naturally there would be legions of progressives doing the research, running the projects, and overseeing the whole thing. Naturally they would be compensated for it.
Richly compensated. Climate study grants already run in the millions. When you get to the bottom of these ethical lapses it's about the money. It's about progressive job security and the preferred progressive strategy of leveraging coercive government power as the way to get rich. It turns out we're all capitalists at heart. Even if you business is the destruction of capitalism.
February 21, 2012
In Other Climate Change News
By way of Da Tech Guy, it turns out there is another ClimateGate in the offing. This one is called FakeGate, perpetrated by one Peter H. Gleick, who heads an organization known as the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security.
Gleick claimed that he received an anonymous tip, a strategy email from the Heartland Institute that reveals its diabolical conspiracy to undermine the good science of Global Warming. But then he went on to describe how he misrepresented himself to a Heartland Institute staffer in order to steal some internal documents that he expected would corroborate the anonymous memo.
At the beginning of 2012, I received an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute's climate program strategy. It contained information about their funders and the Institute's apparent efforts to muddy public understanding about climate science and policy. I do not know the source of that original document but assumed it was sent to me because of my past exchanges with Heartland and because I was named in it.
Given the potential impact however, I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document. In an effort to do so, and in a serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else's name.
The repercussions of Gleick's confession appear to be huge. All the more so because former Heartland board member Ross Kaminsky published an article in the American Spectator identifying Gleick as the likely thief, even before he made his confession.
One obvious suspect in the Heartland document theft -- and this is just my speculation -- is Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security and a true enemy of the Heartland Institute. Gleick is a committed alarmist rent-seeker who seems quite bitter that he shares Forbes magazine’s pages with Heartland’s James Taylor.
Mr. Kaminsky didn't leave it at that. He went on the describe the original anonymous memo comparing to Dan Rather's broadcast of the phony Texas Air National Guard memos that on the eve of the 2004 election falsely accused then President George W. Bush of being AWOL and insubordinate during his Air National Guard career.
The document which the alarmists have been trying to make the most of is called “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy.” It appears to be of a similar nature to the forged “Rathergate” documents which ended Dan Rather’s long career promoting leftist views disguised as news.
First, the Heartland document is written in a way which makes it appear unlikely to be genuine. As a commenter on a Forbes.com article about this mini-scandal notes, “It uses the term ‘anti-climate’ to refer to Heartland’s own position — a derogatory term which climate skeptic outfits never use to describe their positions (and…) it is written in the first person, yet there’s no indication of who wrote it. (Have you ever seen a memo like that?)”
Downloading the document, I find that the document properties list no author and say it was created on Monday by a scanner.
Furthermore, as others have noted on the web, the data shows that the file was created on a computer set to the Pacific time zone (signified by the -08:00 in the timestamps), where Gleick is based but where Heartland does not have an office. The stolen documents show their creation in the Central time zone.
In other words, all evidence so far supports Heartland’s emphatic assertion that the document is a forgery.
Interestingly, Gleick, who would normally be preening and prancing in glee at this sort of attention to the Heartland Institute has so far been utterly silent at his Forbes blog and on his Twitter feed.
It boggles the mind. Here is the "anti-climate" wording that Mr. Kaminsky mentioned in the excerpt above. My emphasis below.
Heartland plays an important role in climate communications, especially through our in-house experts (e.g., Taylor) through his Forbes blog and related high profile outlets, our conferences, and through coordination with external networks (such as WUWT and other groups capable of rapidly mobilizing responses to new scientific findings, news stories, or unfavorable blog posts). Efforts at places such as Forbes are especially important now that they have begun to allow high-profile climate scientists (such as Gleick) to post warmist science essays that counter our own. This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out.
It's an odd phrase, "reliably anti-climate," for a think tank to use in describing an audience receptive to its ideas. And the part about how important it is to "keep opposing voices out." How characteristic of the Global Warmist crowd.
With the Gleicks of the world there is a higher truth, one not constrained by mundane facts. If they indulge in a bit of literary license to save the world, won't we all be the better for it? They'd like you to think so.
Dueling Climate Scientists
About a month ago sixteen scientists signed a letter published in the Wall Street Journal, No Need to Panic About Global Warming.
In September, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever, a supporter of President Obama in the last election, publicly resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) with a letter that begins: "I did not renew [my membership] because I cannot live with the [APS policy] statement: 'The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.' In the APS it is OK to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?"
In spite of a multidecade international campaign to enforce the message that increasing amounts of the "pollutant" carbon dioxide will destroy civilization, large numbers of scientists, many very prominent, share the opinions of Dr. Giaever. And the number of scientific "heretics" is growing with each passing year. The reason is a collection of stubborn scientific facts.
Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now. This is known to the warming establishment, as one can see from the 2009 "Climategate" email of climate scientist Kevin Trenberth: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't." But the warming is only missing if one believes computer models where so-called feedbacks involving water vapor and clouds greatly amplify the small effect of CO2.
The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause. Faced with this embarrassment, those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2.
It was quite an obvious tactical maneuver by the Climate Change establishment, and amusing too. Global Warming became Climate Change. Be that as it may the establishment struck back. Kevin Trenberth, Sc.D, Distinguished Senior Scientist, Climate Analysis Section, National Center for Atmospheric Research headed a long list of climate scientists who signed a letter of objection which said in part,
Climate experts know that the long-term warming trend has not abated in the past decade. In fact, it was the warmest decade on record. Observations show unequivocally that our planet is getting hotter. And computer models have recently shown that during periods when there is a smaller increase of surface temperatures, warming is occurring elsewhere in the climate system, typically in the deep ocean.
They're around here somewhere, those warmer temperatures, but down in the deep ocean? Our sixteen concerned scientists remained skeptical, and today they replied.
The ARGO system of diving buoys is providing increasingly reliable data on the temperature of the upper layers of the ocean, where much of any heat from global warming must reside. But much like the surface temperature shown in the graph, the heat content of the upper layers of the world's oceans is not increasing nearly as fast as IPCC models predict, perhaps not increasing at all. Why should we now believe exaggerating IPCC models that tell us of "missing heat" hiding in the one place where it cannot yet be reliably measured—the deep ocean?
Given this dubious track record of prediction, it is entirely reasonable to ask for a second opinion. We have offered ours. With apologies for any immodesty, we all have enjoyed distinguished careers in climate science or in key science and engineering disciplines (such as physics, aeronautics, geology, biology, forecasting) on which climate science is based.
In the meantime Robert L. Byer, Ph. D. and president of the American Physical Society jumped in with his objections to the original letter.
The APS statement is unequivocal. It notes that "global warming is occurring." And the commentary states that "while there are factors driving the natural variability of climate (e.g., volcanoes, solar variability, oceanic oscillations), no known natural mechanisms have been proposed that explain all of the observed warming in the past century." The statement does not declare, as the authors of the op-ed suggest, that the human contribution to climate change is incontrovertible.
Concerned scientists suspect that Robert Byer is splitting hairs over what exactly is incontrovertible.
Turning to the letter of the president of the American Physical Society (APS), Robert Byer, we read, "The statement [on climate] does not declare, as the signatories of the letter [our op-ed] suggest, that the human contribution to climate change is incontrovertible." This seems to suggest that APS does not in fact consider the science on this key question to be settled.
Yet here is the critical paragraph from the statement that caused the resignation of Nobel laureate Ivar Giaever and many other long-time members of the APS: "The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now." No reasonable person can read this and avoid the conclusion that APS is declaring the human impact "incontrovertible." Otherwise there would be no logical link from "global warming" to the shrill call for mitigation.
The concerned scientists go on to argue that CO2 is not a pollutant, its warming effect greatly exaggerated, and that it is time to rethink the "frenzied pursuit of decarbonization."
...scientific facts come from observations, experiments and careful analysis, not from the near-unanimous vote of some group of people.
I'm on board with that. Like almost every other policy aim of this latest incarnation of the progressive movement, Climate Change seems to have been contrived as a plausible excuse for giving progressives dictatorial political control. Like the rest of them it becomes more implausible with the passage of time.
June 06, 2011
Speaking of Bone-headed Beliefs
Someone named Richard Glover thought it would be a good idea for "climate-change deniers" to have their beliefs tatooed across their chests or along their arms. Then he had a better idea!
On second thoughts, maybe the tattooing along the arm is a bit Nazi-creepy. So how about they are forced to buy property on low-lying islands, the sort of property that will become worthless with a few more centimetres of ocean rise, so they are bankrupted by their own bloody-mindedness?
Count me in! That low-lying island property ought to be dirt cheap by now, what with the threat of global warming and all. I ought to be able to afford it. So c'mon! Where's my island? How 'bout Nantucket?
December 28, 2010
Facts? Who Needs Facts?
In their coverage of Global Warming, which incidentally has become Global Climate Change since global warmists are now unsure of which way the temperature will go from here, the media have been stingy with the facts. That is according to Larry Bell.
Much global warming alarm centers upon concerns that melting glaciers will cause a disastrous sea level rise. A globally viewed December 2005 BBC feature alarmingly reported that two massive glaciers in eastern Greenland, Kangderlugssuaq and Helheim, were melting, with water "racing to the sea." Commentators urgently warned that continued recession would be catastrophic.
Helheim's "erratic" behavior reported then was recently recounted again in a dramatic Nov. 13 New York Times article titled "As Glaciers Melt, Science Seeks Data on Rising Seas." Reporters somehow failed to notice that only 18 months later, and despite slightly warmer temperatures, the melting rate of both glaciers not only slowed down and stopped, but actually reversed. Satellite images revealed that by August 2006 Helheim had advanced beyond its 1933 boundary.
It's quite simple. Media professionals are predominantly lefties. Lefties believe their causes can be achieved only when the will of the stupid people, who happen to make up the American majority, is thwarted by government imperative. They also believe that their causes are so important that any means to achieve them are legitimate. Global Warming, Climate Change, or whatever they call it next year, demands the imposition of government authority, which in turn, in the lefty view, will pave the way for establishment of their long sought Utopia. Mere facts can't possibly be allowed to stand in the way of lofty lefty goals.
December 27, 2010
First Blizzard Of The Season
In Nashua we're expecting anywhere from 10 to 25 inches. Hiking on Mount Washington is not recommended today.
Observers on top of Mount Washington are bracing for bone-chilling and harsh conditions on the Northeast's highest mountaintop as the storm plays out at 6.288-feet, issuing a wind chill advisory for today.
"By Monday night, the summits will likely see the first wind chill warning of the season as a combination of negative temperatures and 100-mph winds combine for values below 50 below," wrote Mount Washington Observatory meteorologist Ryan Knapp on the Observatory website.
Blizzard conditions are also expected on the summit, according to observers.
U.S. Forest Service snow rangers predict the avalanche danger on the slopes of Mount Washington today will be high.
"Expect blizzard-like, arctic conditions with very limited visibility, making above treeline travel (today) quite severe and not recommended," wrote snow ranger Christopher Joosen on the Mount Washington Avalanche Center's website.