I don’t mind at all saying “I told you so” when it comes to the alarmists and “climate change”. You’ll remember a few weeks ago when the alarmists began screeching about the collapse of an ice shelf in Antarctica and how that was going to raise sea levels by feet, not inches and that there was nothing we could do about it? Oh, and it was because of man-made global warming?
We found out subsequently, that the “rise in sea levels” might occur with this melting of the ice shelf, but that it would likely take a 1,000 years. And, at that time, I put forward an article I’d written for QandO in 2009 where I noted that volcanic activity (aka geothermal activity) was responsible for an ice melt then. I further posited that it was entirely possible it was responsible for the most recent ice shelf melt (since it is very close to the shelf itself) and had nothing to do with man.
Thwaites Glacier, the large, rapidly changing outlet of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is not only being eroded by the ocean, it’s being melted from below by geothermal heat, researchers at the Institute for Geophysics at The University of Texas at Austin (UTIG) report in the current edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The findings significantly change the understanding of conditions beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet where accurate information has previously been unobtainable.
The Thwaites Glacier has been the focus of considerable attention in recent weeks as other groups of researchers found the glacier is on the way to collapse, but more data and computer modeling are needed to determine when the collapse will begin in earnest and at what rate the sea level will increase as it proceeds. The new observations by UTIG will greatly inform these ice sheet modeling efforts.
Using radar techniques to map how water flows under ice sheets, UTIG researchers were able to estimate ice melting rates and thus identify significant sources of geothermal heat under Thwaites Glacier. They found these sources are distributed over a wider area and are much hotter than previously assumed.
The geothermal heat contributed significantly to melting of the underside of the glacier, and it might be a key factor in allowing the ice sheet to slide, affecting the ice sheet’s stability and its contribution to future sea level rise.
Oh my. Who knew? Uh, we did. Or at least we were able to apply facts and logic to the event and give a credible hypothesis as to why what was happening was happening. Nice.
On another subject, the Bergdahl fiasco, it appears that Mr. Obama, who was perfectly fine about taking all the credit for his release when it appeared it would be to his political advantage (thus the Rose Garden announcement with the family), has now found someone he can throw under the bus since it has all gone wrong. It’s Hagel’s fault:
FInal approval for the prisoner exchange that freed Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was made by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, members of Congress learned on Monday from administration officials.
‘They indicated (it was) Secretary Hagel (who made the final call),’ Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) said after a classified briefing, ABC points out.
‘It was the president of the United States that came out (in the Rose Garden) with the Bergdahls and took all the credit and now that there’s been a little pushback he’s moving away from it and it’s Secretary Hagel?’
Yup … I’ve lost count of all those who’ve found themselves looking at the underside of the Obama bus. And for those who don’t think that this was an attempt to divert attention from the VA scandal, check this little tidbit out:
The final agreement was brokered in a week by Qatar and dovetailed with Obama’s announcement of a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of 2017. Engulfed in a scandal over hospital care for veterans, it also provided him an opportunity to demonstrate he was helping those who had served.
So it was Hagel’s final call? Yeah, right. Again, the administration insults our intelligence.
Meanwhile we find more and more neglect and corruption in the VA, an agency that Mr. Obama criticized when his predecessor was in charge and vowed to clean up:
The agency said more than 57,000 new patients have waited at least 90 days for their first appointments and that about 13 percent of VA schedulers indicated they were told to falsify appointment-request dates to give the impression that wait times were shorter than they really were.
Remember, this is pure government run health care aimed at a very small population, relatively speaking. And it is a disaster.
The agency also found evidence that in the past 10 years, nearly 64,000 veterans who sought VA care were simply never seen by a doctor.
“Simply”. Not simply at all. This is mind numbing incompetence and corruption. This was Ezra Klein’s ideal example for touting the benefits of government run (single payer) health care back when he was shilling so hard for the ACA. Obama has done nothing to change the situation. Congress, as usual has simply thrown money at it assuming that would fix it. But its not just Obama’s problem. This is a decades old institutional problem driven by a corrupt and incompetent bureaucracy that has given short shrift to the care of our veteran population. This is the face of “government run healthcare”.
One of the first things you learn when you’re putting an argument forward is to check the premise of your argument to ensure it is valid. Obviously if it isn’t, then you end up battling a straw man and looking like a bit of a fool.
We have a practical example of not checking your premise (that’s giving him the benefit of the doubt- in fact it may be a case of creating a false premise on purpose) in the New York Times today by a professor of classics and anthropology at George Washington University. Professor Cline writes an op/ed there in which he attempts to prove that climate change doomed the ancients and that the history of that time replicates the danger we face at this time.
Uh, ok. But, of course, that’s not the real purpose of his history lesson as soon becomes evident. It is to take a political shot at “climate deniers” by using Senator James Inhofe as a proxy for AGW skeptics – without ever naming them as such:
The authors, 16 retired high-ranking officers, warned that droughts, rising seas and extreme weather events, among other environmental threats, were already causing global “instability and conflict.”
But Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee and a stalwart believer that global warming is a “hoax,” dismissed the report as a publicity stunt.
Perhaps the senator needs a history lesson, because climate change has been leading to global conflict — and even the collapse of civilizations — for more than 3,000 years. Drought and famine led to internal rebellions in some societies and the sacking of others, as people fleeing hardship at home became conquerors abroad.
Note how he switches from “global warming” to “climate change” – a term he will use throughout the rest of his article. He knows “global warming” has become a loaded term. But it is clear, the premise he is putting forward is that Senator Inhofe is denying the climate is changing and calling it all a hoax.
But, in fact, Senator Inhofe has never denied “climate change”. Who would? Our climate changes – constantly. Instead, what he has denied is that man is causing it. He’s been quite clear about that.
“I have to admit—and, you know, confession is good for the soul… I, too, once thought that catastrophic global warming was caused by anthropogenic gases—because everyone said it was.” [emphasis mine]
That’s right – everyone said it was. And some never bothered to investigate it themselves, but took it on faith that the nonsense being touted was factual and true. But subsequent study of the actual science, not that which had been manipulated (and now discredited), as well as the history of temperature change in the last 17 years (it hasn’t changed) vs what the models said would happen, have led him and many others to believe the entire basis of AGW was flawed and a “hoax”.
By leaving out the fact that Inhofe thinks that ” man made” climate change is a “hoax”, Cline creates a false premise – that Inhofe doesn’t believe climate change is real. And by addressing only “climate change”, he then can attempt to make Inhofe look like a science denier who isn’t acting in the best interest of our nation and our military. By doing that he marginalizes Inhofe.
So why would Senator Inhofe call a report on the impact of climate change on our national security a hoax if we all know the climate always changes and, at some point in the future, could indeed impact our national security? He probably wouldn’t. He didn’t call it a hoax for that reason. He called it a hoax because of a couple of paragraphs in the report’s executive summary that clearly, if not implicitly, put AGW to the fore as the reason for this climate change as well as calling for emissions to be limited:
“Scientists around the globe are increasing their confidence, narrowing their projections, and reaffirming the likely causes of climate change. As described in Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Assessment: “Heat trapping gases already in the atmosphere have committed us to a hotter future with more climate related impacts over the next few decades. The magnitude of climate change beyond the next few decades depends primarily on the amount of heat trapping gasses emitted globally, now and in the future.”
Climate mitigation and adaptation efforts are emerging in various places around the world, but the extent of these efforts to mitigate and adapt to the projections are insufficient to avoid significant potential water, food and energy insecurity; political instability; extreme weather events; and other manifestations of climate change. Coordinated, wide-scale and well-executed actions to limit heat-trapping gasses and increase resilience to help prevent and protect against the worst projected climate change impacts are required – now.
Obviously you can’t stop or limit the “amount of heat trapping gasses” emitted by nature, so what gasses are the authors talking about here? Why what else – those emitted by man. IOW, they’ve carefully danced around not saying “man-made global warming” but it is precisely what they’re talking about. And that, given the evidence now available in the present, is what Inhofe is calling a hoax.
Cline lays out his history lesson based on this false premise. As far as the history goes, meh, it’s okay. I’m not sure it proves much of anything concerning whether or not this was happening globally, but the regional change obviously had an effect. A hint that it was a regional phenomenon is found in one of Cline’s paragraphs:
While sea levels may not have been rising then, as they are now, changes in the water temperature may have been to blame for making life virtually unlivable in parts of the region.
Guess the glaciers and such located around the globe must have been pretty stable, even while all this was going on in the area noted, huh?
Anyway, he concludes with this little gem:
We live in a world that has more similarities to that of the Late Bronze Age than one might suspect, including, as the British archaeologist Susan Sherratt has put it, an “increasingly homogeneous yet uncontrollable global economy and culture” in which “political uncertainties on one side of the world can drastically affect the economies of regions thousands of miles away.”
But there is one important difference. The Late Bronze Age civilizations collapsed at the hands of Mother Nature. It remains to be seen if we will cause the collapse of our own.
And there it is. While refusing to call it “man-made global warming” through the entire piece, his last few words give away the game [emphasis mine]. He’s just another pedantic alarmist using a false premise to try to attack someone who disagrees with the obviously flawed “consensus”. Somehow he thinks relating a cyclical climate event from centuries ago where man obviously couldn’t have influenced it even if he tried to what is happening (or not happening in reality) today somehow makes a compelling case. You know, it couldn’t just be the same cause that precipitated the events back then coming to visit us again could it? Nope, it has to be man.
This guy is teaching your children folks. And this is the quality of his work. The irony is he just prostituted his academic credibility to take a political shot at someone – and missed.
Yes, that’s right … scientists. Here’s their opening. As you’ll see, they don’t mince words nor do they show much respect for the nonsense spouted in the NCA or those who produced it. And I don’t blame them:
The National Climate Assessment – 2014 (NCA) is a masterpiece of marketing that shows for the first time the full capabilities of the Obama Administration to spin a scientific topic as they see fit, without regard to the underlying facts. With hundreds of pages written by hundreds of captive scientists and marketing specialists, the administration presents their case for extreme climate alarm.
As independent scientists, we know that apparent evidence of “Climate Change,”however scary, is not proof of anything. Science derives its objectivity from robust logic and honest evidence repeatedly tested by all knowledgeable scientists, not just those paid to support the administration’s version of “Global Warming,” “Climate Change,” “Climate Disruption,” or whatever their marketing specialists call it today.
We are asked to believe that humans are drastically changing the earth’s climate by burning fossil fuels. The problem with their theory is very simple:
It is NOT true.
Here we address the administration’s basic thesis and the essential evidence that they claim support extreme concern. The theory of ‘Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming’ (CAGW) is based on a string of inferences that begins with the assumptions that carbon dioxide is a ‘greenhouse gas’ and that we are slowly driving up the atmospheric concentration by burning fossil fuels. It is therefore claimed as self-evident that the Global Average Surface Temperature (GAST) has already risen significantly and will continue to do so.
Higher GAST is then presumed to lead to all sorts of negative consequences, especially Extreme Weather. They promote their ‘Climate Models’ as a reliable way to predict the future climate. But these models dramatically fail basic verification tests. Nowhere do they admit to these well-known failures. Instead, we are led to believe that their climate models are close to perfection.
This document is structured around a “fact-check,” where we quote a number of the government’s key claims in the NCA and show each to be invalid. The first three claims involve their three crucial scientific arguments (Three Lines of Evidence or 3 LoE), which, if valid, would satisfy a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for making their case. But each is easily shown to be false; and because each is crucial, their entire theory collapses. That means that all of the overblown “Climate Disruption” evidence that they mention, whether true or not, cannot be tied back to man’s burning of fossil fuels. Hence, efforts to reduce or eliminate Extreme Weather by reducing the burning of fossil fuels are completely nonsensical.
They then present a point by point rebuttal of the “3 LoE”, pointing to evidence that shows them to be demonstrably false. And, as they point out, since those 3 LoE are the foundation of the CAGW theory, the theory collapses.
The cult of global warming, aka “alarmists”, have found a new drum on which to bang. Scientists recently announced that the western ice shelf in Antarctica is “collapsing”. Immediately the “Chicken Little” pronouncements of imminent doom were sounded by the usual suspects all implicitly tied to AGW. The UK’s Guardian sounded the alarm in various headlines which read:
“Two separate studies confirm loss of ice sheet is inevitable, and will cause up to 4m of additional sea-level rise
‘Collapse will change the coastline of the whole world’
Reading on into the actual findings of the studies, however, one finds that the drama that is implicit in these headlines could have been tempered a bit with a very slight modification:
But the researchers said that even though such a rise could not be stopped, it is still several centuries off, and potentially up to 1,000 years away.
Oh. So it isn’t a crisis that will impact the world today or anytime in the near future, correct?
This is not new stuff either. This story has been popping up since 2008. I wrote about it here and here. As noted in 2008, a fairly simple discovery, not mentioned in any of these articles, proffered an explanation of why the ocean water was warming and the ice shelf was melting.
“Scientists have just now discovered an active volcano under the Antarctic ice that “creates melt-water that lubricates the base of the ice sheet and increases the flow towards the sea”. That could include the Wilkins Ice Sheet as well (the article cited talks about the Larson A and B sheets.
But, say the alarmists, we’re not talking about Wilkins or the Larson sheets. We’re talking about the Thwaites glacier.
The study honed in on the Thwaites glacier – a broad glacier that is part of the Amundsen Sea. Scientists have known for years that the Thwaites glacier is the soft underbelly of the Antarctic ice sheet, and first found that it was unstable decades ago.
The University of Washington researchers said that the fast-moving Thwaites glacier could be lost in a matter of centuries. The loss of that glacier alone would raise global sea level by nearly 2ft.
Thwaites also acts as a dam that holds back the rest of the ice sheet. Once Thwaites goes, researchers said, the remaining ice in the sheet could cause another 10 to 13ft (3-4m) of global sea-level rise.
Ok. Well, let’s look at a couple of pictures then. The first is from the 2008 post I did on the volcano:
The second picture, from the Guardian article, shows the area of the study. The red dot is the glacier in question:
Does anyone notice anything interesting? Yes, that’s right, the glacier in question is in the vicinity of the volcano in question. And I don’t think anyone would argue that a undersea volcano can’t heat up the sea in the vicinity to a little higher temperature than it would be normally (it was certainly successful with Wilkins). Has it had an effect? Who knows … it doesn’t seem to have been mentioned at all in the study. But, if you go to the Guardian article you’ll see an embedded 17 second video that attempts to explain the effect of the warmer water on the glacier. It shows less dense (and therefore lighter) warm water somehow flowing under much denser and therefore heavier cold water to destabilize the glacier. The only reasonable explanation for such a flow would be if the heat source were somewhere near the bottom of the ocean, no? Otherwise its hard to explain how that warm water got below the cold water and stayed there.
But if you question things like this, you’re an ignorant nincompoop. A “denier”, which, by the way is akin to being a member of the KKK and a Holocaust denier all in one. However, I’m certainly not denying that something is happening in Antarctica. I am questioning the purported cause though. It isn’t at all unimaginable that the side of Antarctica most exposed to warmer South Pacific sea currents and experiencing volcanic activity might see some melting due to causes unrelated to CO2 put in the atmosphere by man.
That, of course, won’t stop the cultist from declaring themselves to be the ones with science on their side and deniers to be the fact-challenged among us. Here’s a perfect example from today’s NYT:
But the unfortunate fact about uncertainty is that the error bars always go in both directions. While it is possible that the problem could turn out to be less serious than the consensus forecast, it is equally likely to turn out to be more serious. In fact, it increasingly appears that, if there is any systemic bias in the climate models, it’s that they understate the gravity of the situation. In an interesting paper that appeared in the journal Global Environmental Change, a group of scholars, including Naomi Oreskes, a historian of science at Harvard, and Michael Oppenheimer, a geoscientist at Princeton, note that so-called climate skeptics frequently accuse climate scientists of “alarmism” and “overreacting to evidence of human impacts on the climate system.” But, when you actually measure the predictions that climate scientists have made against observations of how the climate has already changed, you find the exact opposite: a pattern “of under- rather than over-prediction” emerges.
Really? If that’s the case, that should be pretty easy to demonstrate, shouldn’t it? Since pictures are worth 1,000 words, here’s a little picture I picked up over at The Federalist that does exactly that – it demonstrates that the pattern of the climate models is exactly as the “deniers” have claimed they are:
Somehow, the claimant from the NYT couldn’t be bothered to actually fact check. Instead she swallowed whole the alarmist line and regurgitated it with the usual ignorant literary smirk found in most of their fact free writing. Sean Davis sums up the argument for most “deniers” very well:
I have a simple rule when it comes to people who want me to invest obscene sums of money in their forecasts of discrete future events: just be accurate. If you come to me and tell me you can predict future stock market performance based on these five factors, then you had better predict future stock market performance based on those five factors. All you have to do is be correct, over and over again. But if your predictive model is wrong, I’m not going to give you any money, and I’m certainly not going to pretend that what you just did is science. Any idiot can make incorrect guesses about the future.
Science, properly practiced, is the search for truth. Science, properly practiced, rejects forecasting models that consistently produce inaccurate forecasts. There’s nothing scientific about shouting down anyone who has the audacity to point out that the only thing your model can accurately predict is what the temperature won’t be.
Apparently tomorrow, President Obama will “showcase” his climate change agenda. According to the Washington Post:
After years of putting other policy priorities first — and dismaying many liberal allies in the process — Obama is now getting into the weeds on climate change and considers it one of the key components of his legacy, according to aides and advisers. He is regularly briefed on scientific reports on the issue, including a national climate assessment that he will help showcase Tuesday. He is using his executive authority to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other sources, and is moving ahead with stricter fuel-efficiency standards for the heaviest trucks. And while he routinely brings up climate change in closed-door meetings with world leaders, according to his aides, he also discusses it in his private life, talking about global warming’s implications with his teenage daughters.
As usual, he intends to proceed by using executive power, whether or not the people or their representatives agree. And also without any consideration of the cost to the consumer. All in the face of mounting evidence that the supposed crisis of CO2 is a non-crisis. According to the WaPo, this intention to address “climate change” was spurred by Obama viewing satellite pictures of the California mountain snow pack:
Of course, most of us know that’s likely a local weather phenomenon, not a result of “global warming” or we’d be unlikely to be seeing things like this:
Antarctic sea ice continues to set new records, with extent in April at the highest since measurements began in 1979.
Remember, Antarctic and Arctic sea ice melts were to be the harbingers of doom. In fact, the Arctic was supposed to be ice free last year according to the perpetually wrong alarmists. Instead we saw record sea ice there as well. Factor in the fact that there has been no global warming for over 17 years and one has to ask why this, in the face of a badly performing economy and over 92 million Americans being out of work, is suddenly to become a priority for the White House? As one editorialist puts it:
The problem is, it’s just so hard to be an alarmist these days. Temperatures aren’t rising, U.S. CO2 emissions are down, and now it turns out that peak oil won’t peak. What’s a scare-monger to do?
The answer is keep on trying to gin up the alarm to satisfy the true-believers who are an important political constituency of the Democrats. And it is becoming clearer every day that the Democrats are going to need all of their constituencies to even have a ghost of a chance in the November mid-terms. To this point, the left environmental movement hasn’t been to happy with the Obama administration and it certainly wants more drastic action to be taken to curb the use of fossil fuel. So its time to shore up their support:
Environmentalists such as Democratic donor and billionaire Tom Steyer want him to veto the Keystone pipeline and wean the nation from natural gas. Natural Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke said of the administration: “We have to increasingly get them to acknowledge that there has to be a major transformation away from fossil fuels.”
That desire the Natural Resources Defense Council voices has resulted in such things as the “war on coal” and the reduction in production of oil on federal lands and off our coasts. It has also meant slow walking the permit process as well as holding the Keystone Pipeline hostage to presidential politics. So why now? Why is this the time to do this? Because he can:
A White House official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the plans are not final, said Obama has made it clear that he considers climate change a priority and is less politically constrained now that he no longer faces reelection.
Meanwhile the public views the issue as a low priority if a priority at all, given jobs and economic problems. Yet Obama persists. Elections are in the offing. And if there is one thing he has at least a semblance of competence in, it’s getting elected (or helping others do so). So all the high flying rhetoric aside, this is about votes, this is about elections and this is about trying to preserve at least one Democratic house in Congress for the last two years of his presidency. It is one of many such moves he’ll be attempting in the coming months. But make no mistake – this isn’t about the environment or his legacy, it’s about politics. ~McQ
Because, you know, their track record is sooooo good. In the wake of Earth Day, yesterday, let’s revisit another Earth Day – say the first one in 1970 – and take a look at all the predictions we were then treated too in order to scare the devil out of us:
- “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — Harvard biologist George Wald
- “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner
- “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” — New York Times editorial
- “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich
- “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich
- “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day
- “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter
- “In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” — Life magazine
- “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
- “Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich
- “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
- “[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.” — Newsweek magazine
- “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt
Yes, that’s right dear friends … then all this pollution was going to spawn a new Ice Age and we were all going to starve in the cold.
Now add in a dash of Al Gore and a few others and you can see why they’ve been so interested in quelling skepticism. It goes against the n0nsense they’ve been trying to sell for 50 plus years. Note all the appeals to authority (Demographers almost unanimously agree?) that came to naught. Look and the dire conclusions presented without caveat that were just flat wrong.
There is nothing new among the enviro radicals today except we’re headed for a heat wave instead of an Ice Age. The “science?” Just as flaky now as it was then. But their belief in the correctness of what they’re pumping out there now? Just as total as it was then.
Their only problem, as usual, is reality continues to bitch slap them. Meanwhile the skeptics are the one’s called names.
While doing a review of Rupert Darwall’s book “The Age of Global Warming”, Charles Moore does an excellent job of succinctly identifying the alarmist movement’s core origins and core identity:
The origins of warmism lie in a cocktail of ideas which includes anti-industrial nature worship, post-colonial guilt, a post-Enlightenment belief in scientists as a new priesthood of the truth, a hatred of population growth, a revulsion against the widespread increase in wealth and a belief in world government. It involves a fondness for predicting that energy supplies won’t last much longer (as early as 1909, the US National Conservation Commission reported to Congress that America’s natural gas would be gone in 25 years and its oil by the middle of the century), protest movements which involve dressing up and disappearing into woods (the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, the Mosleyite Blackshirts who believed in reafforestation) and a dislike of the human race (The Club of Rome’s work Mankind at the Turning-Point said: “The world has cancer and the cancer is man.”).
These beliefs began to take organised, international, political form in the 1970s. One of the greatest problems, however, was that the ecologists’ attacks on economic growth were unwelcome to the nations they most idolised – the poor ones. The eternal Green paradox is that the concept of the simple, natural life appeals only to countries with tons of money. By a brilliant stroke, the founding fathers developed the concept of “sustainable development”. This meant that poor countries would not have to restrain their own growth, but could force restraint upon the rich ones. This formula was propagated at the first global environmental conference in Stockholm in 1972.
Indeed, the resulting grouping was a natural one. Eco radicals out to ‘save the world’ from evil capitalism (and man) and poor countries looking for a way to extort billions from rich countries without having to do anything of note to help themselves.
The G7 Summit in Toronto in 1988 endorsed the theory of global warming. In the same year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was set up. The capture of the world’s elites was under way. Its high point was the Kyoto Summit in 1998, which enabled the entire world to yell at the United States for not signing up, while also exempting developing nations, such as China and India, from its rigours.
The final push, brilliantly described here by Darwall, was the Copenhagen Summit of 2009. Before it, a desperate Gordon Brown warned of “50 days to avoid catastrophe”, but the “catastrophe” came all the same. The warmists’ idea was that the global fight against carbon emissions would work only if the whole world signed up to it. Despite being ordered to by President Obama, who had just collected his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, the developing countries refused. The Left-wing dream that what used to be called the Third World would finally be emancipated from Western power had come true. The developing countries were perfectly happy for the West to have “the green crap”, but not to have it themselves. The Western goody-goodies were hoist by their own petard.
The UN was the natural forum for this push and the IPCC, headed by an railway engineer, the natural “scientific” instrument. We know how that story has turned out to this point. No global warming registered for 17 years and 6 months despite all the dire, but apparently scientifically groundless, predictions. The irony, of course, is it is those who have been skeptical of all of this are the one’s called “deniers”. And the alarmists have become so bankrupt and shrill that some of them are calling for the arrest of “deniers.” One supposes since the alarmist cause most closely resembles a religious cult, the call for arrest is on the grounds of heresy … or something.
Meanwhile, “green energy” – the eco radical solution to all – continues to not be ready for prime time, while fossil fuel becomes cheaper and more plentiful.
Yet somehow, the so-called “elites” have decided – based on what, one isn’t sure – that the threat to the globe is real. More irony. On the one hand, the eco radicals don’t care at all if it costs lives since they’ve been convinced for decades that it is man that’s the problem. Less of us is a “good thing” in their world. On the other hand you have the elites, aka, politicians, who see an opportunity to both expand government power and create revenue literally out of thin air. The fight is over who will get the money.
Meanwhile the reputation of science – real science – will suffer because of this very political cause and the actions of some scientists to serve it.
Scientists, Rupert Darwall complains, have been too ready to embrace the “subjectivity” of the future, and too often have a “cultural aversion to learning from the past”.
And that is a complete disservice to science. Given all of that, who are the real deniers here?
In the past couple of weeks we’ve all been “treated” to climate change alarmist screeds calling for the arrest of “deniers.” Hey, just because you have a bi-line in a publication doesn’t mean you’re particularly smart. In fact, I’ve always found that “true believers” who voice no skepticism about much of anything to be, well, not the brightest bulb in the room.
However, I’m not sure there’s anyone out there “denying” climate change. The climate of the world is in constant flux and few if any deny that. The denial is of the claims – the assertions – that trace gas CO2 is the major culprit and that man is the major reason for all the CO2. That man’s activities are driving climate change, not natural forces.
Of course all this recent alarmist activity has been designed to coincide with the UN’s IPCC report on climate change. As you might imagine, they’ve become a little gun shy at the IPCC after so many of their previous claims have been found to be either groundless or wrong. So this report is couched in a mountain of qualifiers like “could”, “may”, “might” etc. They still claim they’re right, but they aren’t quite as specific about it as previously. Instead they use the qualifiers to help put fear in people without really having to take responsibility for their claim.
It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book for those who perceive themselves to be on very shaky ground but still have an agenda to fulfill.
Thankfully there are a few “denier” organizations (skeptical is the word most normal folks would use) who are monitoring the IPCC and the screechy alarmists and answering even their caveated claims. For instance:
IPCC: “Risk of death, injury, and disrupted livelihoods in low-lying coastal zones and small island developing states, due to sea-level rise, coastal flooding, and storm surges.”
NIPCC: “Flood frequency and severity in many areas of the world were higher historically during the Little Ice Age and other cool eras than during the twentieth century. Climate change ranks well below other contributors, such as dikes and levee construction, to increased flooding.”
IPCC: “Risk of food insecurity linked to warming, drought, and precipitation variability, particularly for poorer populations.”
NIPCC: “There is little or no risk of increasing food insecurity due to global warming or rising atmospheric CO2 levels. Farmers and others who depend on rural livelihoods for income are benefitting from rising agricultural productivity throughout the world, including in parts of Asia and Africa where the need for increased food supplies is most critical. Rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels play a key role in the realization of such benefits.
IPCC: “Risk of severe harm for large urban populations due to inland flooding.”
NIPCC: “No changes in precipitation patterns, snow, monsoons, or river flows that might be considered harmful to human well-being or plants or wildlife have been observed that could be attributed to rising CO2 levels. What changes have been observed tend to be beneficial.”
IPCC: “Risk of loss of rural livelihoods and income due to insufficient access to drinking and irrigation water and reduced agricultural productivity, particularly for farmers and pastoralists with minimal capital in semi-arid regions.”
NIPCC: “Higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations benefit plant growth-promoting microorganisms that help land plants overcome drought conditions, a potentially negative aspect of future climate change. Continued atmospheric CO2enrichment should prove to be a huge benefit to plants by directly enhancing their growth rates and water use efficiencies.”
Etc, etc., etc. What it seems you get from the IPCC is pseudo-scientific and blatantly political claims. The UN has decided that “climate change” is a huge and threatening problem (and a grand method of redistributing national wealth from the 1st world to the 3rd world). Consequently it has decided to make “science” bend to the political agenda they’ve put forward. And compliant “scientists” are apparently willing to do their bidding.
Meanwhile, as Anthony Watts has pointed out, no one among that group of IPCC “scientists” can answer the most basic and troubling question. Why hasn’t it warmed, as predicted, in 17 years and 6 months in the face of higher CO2 levels, and, in fact, is trending toward being cooler? One chart points the the alarmist problem in a nutshell:
So tell us again, oh ye Chicken Littles of the alarmist creed, why we should believe a single thing you claim about climate change when you and your predictions (and models) have been so awfully wrong for almost 2 decades?
Here we are.
Quick hits on the last day you have, had, might have had, to sign up for your ObamaCare insurance. Curiously a rush of people appeared to sign up that I predict the Administration will report will carry them over the 7 million
lost policies, log ons , applications, enrollments payed policy holder goal line. If anyone can recall 7 million was the original goal when this benevolent plan to help the uninsured portion of the population of the United States started. We should overlook the percentages of likely to use older and less healthy participants versus the younger will pay and never use participants and the predicted cost curves and such. If you have a plan and don’t like what they’re offering they promise you can keep your plan. Ha! Fooled you! It’s okay though, your old plan sucked whatever it was and whether you thought it did nor not.
There’s a rumble of war in the east, the Russians will, they won’t, they can’t because we stood up to them, occupy Ukraine, or eastern Ukraine, and will maybe go so far as to establish casino dominance in the Crimea. Take that Winstar Casino! But Putin is now in a box owing to the stringent actions of the EU and the US to contain his aggressive ADHD driven tendencies. And owing to
the President’s our ever watchful eye we have Putin’s army where we want it now.
At the pump gas prices are consistently higher over time under the current administration than the previous administration. But not the highest single spike and that’s what’s important. We can assume the personal finances of the President are secure as it was a well documented fact during the Bush administration that upticks in gas prices are the result of the President’s holdings in oil companies and his desire to make sure his retirement fund is well padded. Harry Reid said that when they rose under Bush, or someone said they heard Harry Reid say someone said that. Meanwhile in another energy independent decisive policy act the President is going to render a decision on the job creating, oil providing, Keystone pipeline at any moment. If you click on those links, you might want to jot down the dates on the articles for reference and hilarity. Continued samples of the brilliant ultra decisive actions we’ve come to expect from this President.
Environmentally the administration is rolling out a new plan to deal with global warming. It’s likely this plan will establish policies to deal with dangers such as earth quakes, meteor strikes, comets and other ill portents all suspected to be linked to man made catastrophic global warming by the consensus science community. Officially known as the
American Economy Wrecking plan Climate Action Plan, they should consider calling it Obamafarts as a sort of short catchy handle that will appeal to the millenials almost as much as Pajama Boy did.
Speaking of American youth, they continued this last weekend to demonstrate their anger over being spied on, lied to and future taxed into oblivion by focusing on what’s important the same way the President uses his laser like focus to solve the country’s problems. Such a trend could, in as little as 300 years, lead to as broad a nationwide protest to the current government policies as was seen in the 60’s and 70’s during America’s involvement in Vietnam, though the former Soviet Union would need to rise up again and send us more campus agitators.
Finally the President’s 4 point approach to deal with America’s immigration problem is showing very positive signs in at least 2 of the 4 parts. Coupled with his crack down on companies that hire illegals, it was shown over the weekend by an independent study of ICE’s activities that the President can safely add the title “Deporter in Chief” to his list of accomplishments. We’re calling this latest ‘by Presidential order’ approach the “Catch and Release” mandate. It’s thought highly likely that once the mid-term elections are over the Administration (and the Republicans) will step up their efforts on part 3, “Streamlining Immigration” by declaring any individuals, living or deceased, in the continental US, it’s states, or territories on Jan 1st 2015 be recognized officially as American citizens. The President may extend the deadline to January 15th 2015 for those who thought about coming to the US, but couldn’t make it before the cutoff date.
Have a great day America.
UPDATE – April 1st
As my two Great Danes could have predicted – “With daily volumes continuing to surge, analysts believe the final tally could approach or even exceed an original goal of 7 million”
Now, don’t let the fact that the system was down for a good portion of the day deceive you. This “surprising” come back was destined, written, fated, according to prophecy, etc.
I wish the numbers in my checking account were as flexible as the numbers used by the Obama Administration.
A new study from National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado revealed that a ‘small’ nuclear exchange would solve the global warming problem.
That wasn’t what they intended it to show, but it sure would be a quick fix to this impending global climate change heating up disaster the President and John Kerry keep flogging wouldn’t it? But seriously, it shows a drastic global cooling effect brought on by nuclear exchange. The term nuclear winter is bandied about, but in this theoretical exercise things don’t go quite far enough to trigger Fimbulwinter.
In the study, only the US is still a superpower but we’re not the problem. That term superpower may need to go to the shop for repair all things considered, but for once the study didn’t presume Evil Bush pushed the buttons to send us to perdition. Instead India and Pakistan square off and slug it out with low yield bombs in the Hiroshima class range. To the tune of 100 15kt weapons.
What they collectively have 100 of that would need nuking isn’t clear, but assume bases, cities and so forth, and maybe re-nuking some targets. It’s a study in long term effect after all, not military use of the weapons. 100 of them in the territory given certainly implies some tactical activity for their deployment as well as strategic hits on infrastructures and civilian centers. Therefore we can assume air bursts and ground bursts, as each one will have different effects for the purposes of the study. As an aside, they must have really dedicated fighters and leaders in their model to continue fighting long enough to exchange 100 nukes. Be that as it may, once the blasting is over the study simulates the effect on climate on land, sea and air. The conclusion as you would expect is catastrophe not just for India and Pakistan, but globally.
We’re talking, according to the study, global cooling effect and the loss of the ozone layer for as long as a decade. The cooling to be caused by 5 million metric tons of dust spewing into the atmosphere.
The conclusion is that 100 weapons of Hiroshima scale would throw up 5 million metric tons of sunlight blocking dust and drop average surface temperatures world wide 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit ( or for fuzzy foreigners 1.5 degrees Celsius). That would be the lowest averages in over 1000 years. Here in the US we’d experience winters that were significantly colder by from 4.5 to 10.8 degrees F and cooler summers. All of which would lead to lethal frosts and reduced growing seasons. No doubt causing world wide famine and destruction of biblical plague proportions. if it didn’t say that last part, it can be pretty much concluded though. It was originally thought by previous studies that the temperatures would go back to something like normal after a decade or so, but this new study shows the cool temperatures could persist for 25 years or more. Global precipitation would fall off and this would lead to forest fires world wide which of course would raise the amount of particulate in the atmosphere. Somewhere in there dogs and cats probably start living together and there’s mass hysteria.
Now this is the third study of this nature that’s been done, and “their conclusions support each other”. As the models get more sophisticated they show the effects of a limited regional nuke war to be more and more pronounced.
If you have access, you can see the detail of their findings here, but your bumbled journalist here gets a big 403 Forbidden from the link.
All of this stuff is cool, no pun intended, and interesting. Well, other than perhaps the models might look to real climate history for some reference about effects of nuclear above ground detonations on the earth’s climate. It’s not like the world hasn’t had any experience or history to go by.
First there’s the bombs. 100 bombs at 15kt each is 15000 kt, or 1.5 megatons. That’s gonna be a bad start to anyone’s weekend. After all 1 exploding dumb 250 lb iron bomb ruins your day if you’re nearby.
But the “BRAVO” hydrogen test shot on Bikini Atoll was 15 megatons all by itself, so, multiply this little ground war’s explosions by 10 and we’re in the same range as this one explosion on Bikini. India and Pakistan are going to have to fight a little harder. The United States alone, in atmospheric nuclear testing, accounted for 137 megatons worth of explosions above ground over a 17 year period. That works out to a little over 8 megatons worth of nuclear explosions per year for 17 years. That’s just the US contribution. France, Britain, The Soviets, ‘Red’ China, all tested atmospheric bombs, all in the megaton range. The Soviet Tzar Bomba was rated, by itself, as at, or over, 50 megatons. Before the distinction is made about tests over the ocean, versus tests over the land, the US detonated 27 nuclear devices here in the US, above ground, in 1957 alone.
The various nuclear armed parties continued with these above ground tests up until 1980.
1.5 megatons causes drastic global cooling?
Then there’s the dust estimates – 5 million metric tons of dust high into the atmosphere. By way of comparison, Mount St. Helens in 1980 is estimated to have blown 1.5 million metric tons 20 miles into the atmosphere with 500 million falling tons falling in Washington, Idaho and Montana. Krakatoa in 1883 is estimated to have produced 12 BILLION metric tons of dust – I based this number on a study here – which estimates a 10,000 megaton nuke war would put 25 billion metric tons of dust into the atmosphere and that study estimates that amount to be about double the dust produced by Krakatoa. Krakatoa is credited with screwing up the weather in 1884, with results like crazy prolific rain in Southern California and average Northern Hemisphere summer temperatures falling by 2.2 degrees F.
There’s no disputing the effect of dust in the atmosphere, there should be a serious dispute about the effect the amount of dust used in their sophisticated model will produce. The warmers will probably claim that was why it didn’t get warmer until after 1980 when atmospheric nuclear testing stopped.
Finally there’s the business of stripping off the ozone layer in the atmosphere. We can only speculate that our modern ozone must be different than the ozone available in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s since that old timer ozone didn’t all vanish when we nuked Enewetak in 1952 to the tune of 10.5 megatons worth of boom, dust and excited atomic particles.
It is safe to believe that some fair percentage of the people involved in these studies probably don’t remember atmospheric nuclear testing, or possibly even Mount St Helens, but they, or their elders who do, might consider cracking open a world history book from the WWII onwards and then a climate history review between 1945 and 1981.
And then try tuning their keeno sophisticated nuclear war climate models and running them again.