Correcting the record Posted by: McQ
on Saturday, June 30, 2007
James Taylor takes Al Gore at his word in his book, The Assault on Reason, when Gore says, ""We must stop tolerating the rejection and distortion of science. We must insist on an end to the cynical use of pseudo-studies known to be false for the purpose of intentionally clouding the public's ability to discern the truth."
For example, Gore claims that Himalayan glaciers are shrinking and global warming is to blame. Yet the September 2006 issue of the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate reported, "Glaciers are growing in the Himalayan Mountains, confounding global warming alarmists who recently claimed the glaciers were shrinking and that global warming was to blame."
Gore claims the snowcap atop Africa's Mt. Kilimanjaro is shrinking and that global warming is to blame. Yet according to the November 23, 2003, issue of Nature magazine, "Although it's tempting to blame the ice loss on global warming, researchers think that deforestation of the mountain's foothills is the more likely culprit. Without the forests' humidity, previously moisture-laden winds blew dry. No longer replenished with water, the ice is evaporating in the strong equatorial sunshine."
Gore claims global warming is causing more tornadoes. Yet the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated in February that there has been no scientific link established between global warming and tornadoes.
Gore claims global warming is causing more frequent and severe hurricanes. However, hurricane expert Chris Landsea published a study on May 1 documenting that hurricane activity is no higher now than in decades past. Hurricane expert William Gray reported just a few days earlier, on April 27, that the number of major hurricanes making landfall on the U.S. Atlantic coast has declined in the past 40 years. Hurricane scientists reported in the April 18 Geophysical Research Letters that global warming enhances wind shear, which will prevent a significant increase in future hurricane activity.
Gore claims global warming is causing an expansion of African deserts. However, the Sept. 16, 2002, issue of New Scientist reports, "Africa's deserts are in 'spectacular' retreat . . . making farming viable again in what were some of the most arid parts of Africa."
Gore argues Greenland is in rapid meltdown, and that this threatens to raise sea levels by 20 feet. But according to a 2005 study in the Journal of Glaciology, "the Greenland ice sheet is thinning at the margins and growing inland, with a small overall mass gain." In late 2006, researchers at the Danish Meteorological Institute reported that the past two decades were the coldest for Greenland since the 1910s.
Gore claims the Antarctic ice sheet is melting because of global warming. Yet the Jan. 14, 2002, issue of Nature magazine reported Antarctica as a whole has been dramatically cooling for decades. More recently, scientists reported in the September 2006 issue of the British journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Series A: Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences, that satellite measurements of the Antarctic ice sheet showed significant growth between 1992 and 2003. And the U.N. Climate Change panel reported in February 2007 that Antarctica is unlikely to lose any ice mass during the remainder of the century.
Anyone out there holding their breath for a new Gore release entitled "An Inconvenient Truth: Revised?"
I think this debate is overly politicized from both angles. The Left demands that the science insists upon specific political solutions, while the Right insists that the scientific evidence that points to significant anthropogenic contributions to global warming is, itself, political rather than empirical. Both are incorrect, but both seem to be pretty locked in.
In response to James Taylor’s critique, one could say, "We must stop tolerating the rejection and distortion of science. We must insist on an end to the cynical use of pseudo-studies known to be false for the purpose of intentionally clouding the public’s ability to discern the truth."
James Taylor is a staff member of the Heartland Institute, the for profit think tank that publishes Environment & Climate News. While the Heartland Institute now hides the source of it’s funding, the paper trail leads to tobacco companies, oil companies, and right wing foundations like the Scaife Foundation. Such ties do not automatically make the science behind the claims Taylor quotes invalid, in fact the science he quotes is NOT invalid, but the conclusions that Taylor pretends can be drawn from the science are invalid.
In the article Jon posted, as well as several other sources, it is clearly shown that Taylor uses anecdotal evidence and pretends it represents trends and universal research results. He tries to debunk the research showing that Himalyan glaciers are retreating by pointing to growth of glaciers for one year on one particular mountain range.
I am not a scientist, but I can spot poor logic and sophistry when I see it, and I see it all over Taylor’s hit piece.
As some have offered variations on the titles for Taylor’s work, here’s my suggestion...
"A Convenient Conclusion Drawn From Any Scrap That Helps"
The sad thing is that there is real science out there that makes global warming claims suspect, but this issue is so political that real sciece has become irrelevant. I am as concerned about people just buying global warming scenarios and investing into responses as I am about people buying into the opposing arguments and shunning any responses. I’d like to find a way to allow the real science to speak for itself, but it appears that is not likely, so what we will get is the response that whichever camp is most political successful wants, which will have little do with science.
I suggest we start a firm for the purpose of providing carbon offsets for the environmentally challenged. Provide some intelligent-looking people with white lab coats and clipboards to visit prospective clients’ homes and perform what appears to be a carbon analysis of their lifestyle, feed the analysis into a computer model that can be rigged to convert the analysis to some level of carbon offsets, charge the client based upon his/her ability to be shaken down, and later provide the client with a series of pictures of people planting trees to show them how they made the world a better place to live in.
Everybody wins. We get rich. The environmentally self-conscious get their egos stroked and they can be openly contemptuous of their fellow travelers for not doing "the right thing" for the environment. The neighbors are envious of their environmental righteousness and become instant clients.
I highly suggest you look at the source of this hit piece. The Heartland Institute is funded heavily by tobacco and oil interests. ANything they publish on this issue should be suspect. In the article there are misrepresentations and out right lies. Read this analysis of the hit piece.
So McQ, What do you think, did you rely on a bad source because it told a story that you liked to hear?
Did you do the "cause" of debunking global warming any good, or did you solidify your credentials as a gloabl warming denier?
I don’t know much more about global warming than I did before I read this, but I did learn that it must be hard to find good science debunking Al Gore’s claims or else we would see something better than this drivel from paid hacks.