Free Markets, Free People

global warming


Independents and key demographics

As I mentioned on the podcast last night, I’ve quit looking at how Democrats or Republicans react to a particular poll. Their reactions are all too predictable. If the Dems are for something by 86%, the Reps will be against it by 90%. Nothing to learn there. Nope, I pretty much zero in on how the independents feel about a particular issue to try to figure out who has the most support. And as I’ve mentioned, more and more the independents seem to be siding with the GOP. That’s not good news for the Dems, no matter what Chuck Schumer thinks.

That brings us to another key to electoral success. Key demographics. We heard so much made of the “young vote” in 2008. They were a key because they actually turned out for once and voted mostly Democratic.  One of the most coveted demographics, however, is that of the elderly – over 65. That’s because they always vote.

So, with that given, let’s take this poll if FL as an example of what’s happening out there.  Yes, it’s a temperature check of the citizens of that state at this time. We all recognize it can change. With that disclaimer out of the way, the usefulness of this poll is found in the information about how independents view recent events.  It also contains info on the key elderly demographic.  For objective observers there are no real surprises.

Florida voters dislike the new healthcare law so much that President Barack Obama and the state’s top Democrat, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, are paying a hefty political price, according to a new survey and analysis by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.

Only 34 percent of Florida voters support the new law while 54 percent are against it, according to the poll. Opposition is significantly strong among two crucial blocs: those older than 65 and voters with no party affiliation. Seniors disfavor the bill by a 65-25 percent margin, while independents oppose the law 62-34.

The poll, conducted last week, is the first to be taken in Florida since Obama signed the healthcare reform bill into law.

If you’re wondering why the president continues to try to sell this thing and why Nancy Pelosi has told Democrats headed out on Easter recess to do the same, this Florida poll gives you a nice indicator. Independents as a whole oppose the bill almost 2 to 1 and elderly independents show the same level of opposition.  It certainly doesn’t appear that the president’s umpteen speeches or the assurances of Congress that this bill is wonderful have met with much success.  Apparently only the Dems bought into the Bill Clinton assurance that everyone would love them once they passed that law.

Why they think that’s going to change if they just push a little harder, especially with the corporate write-downs in the news, is beyond me (and why is Henry Waxman keeping those write-downs in the news with hearings?).

A couple of other results from the poll to mull:

It shows that Floridians have a more negative than positive view of Obama by a margin of 15 percentage points. And they oppose his so-called “cap-and-trade” global warming legislation as well as the new healthcare law.

Why are FL voters opposed to cap-and-trade?

Only 35 percent believe global warming is proved, while 57 percent say it isn’t an established fact. By a 34-50 percent spread, voters oppose the cap-and-trade legislation. And five times as many voters believe it will raise the cost of fuel.

And I have to say I believe the majority to be correct on all counts.

This has had an effect on the numbers for Democratic Senator Bill Nelson as well. His approval rating has dropped a significant 18 points. His only saving grace is he has until 2012 before he must again run. The bad news may be he’ll be on the same ballot as Obama. As for his sudden unpopularity, this was the reaction of his spokesperson:

“If there’s a dip in the polls, it’s due to this inaccurate and unfair bashing for sticking up for these seniors,” McLaughlin said.

Of course it is – and they’re too dumb to know it, aren’t they Mr. McLaughlin? It is that persistent little thread that I see throughout the Democratic reaction (the dumb rubes are being hornswoggled by the slick Republican pitchmen) to bad poll numbers that indicates they’re still deceiving themselves. The old “it’s not the message, it’s the delivery” fantasy that Dems continue to believe.

In the meantime, the polls continue to tell the same tale, over and over and over again.

~McQ


“Global” Warming?

I was reading through a piece over at the American Thinker where Bruce Thompson takes a run at trying to describe why the computer climate models are pretty bad.  And while I’ll admit to not really following all his points concerning modeling and the math, there was a graphic which just blew me away.  It was a plotting, world wide, of all the temperature substations available to the modelers and from which they took the temperatures from which they claimed a “global” phenomenon was taking place.

Remember, these are the same people that continue to claim the Medeival Warm Period was a “regional” event. 

Take a look at this map of the 7008 weather stations from which the data was taken prepared by Dr. Roy Spencer:

As you can see, the Southern Hemisphere is essentially ignored.  Thompson says:

Note that for practical purposes the continents of South America, Africa, Australia and Antarctica are missing. And we haven’t even touched on the 70% of the earth’s surface covered by oceans.

Forget the fact that they only used about 6,000 of them and futher culled that down to 1,200. The lower right quadrant of that map, fully one quarter of the world, has 15 reporting stations by my count (there are some light yellow spots which are hard to see on the map I’ve copied). Forget that their models are crummy and the programming stinks.

Simple question: How do you claim something is a “global” phenomenon when your data essentially ignores 50% of the world, 70% of the oceans of the world and both poles?

~McQ


IPCC Hurricane Conclusions Called Into Question

And the hits keep on coming.  Now it is hurricane data being called into question:

More trouble looms for the IPCC. The body may need to revise statements made in its Fourth Assessment Report on hurricanes and global warming. A statistical analysis of the raw data shows that the claims that global hurricane activity has increased cannot be supported.

Dr. Les Hatton says he is neither “a warmist nor a denialist”, but a scientist. And as a scientist he took a look at the IPCC’s claims about hurricanes and found them wanting:

Hatton performed a z-test statistical analysis of the period 1999-2009 against 1946-2009 to test the six conclusions. He also ran the data ending with what the IPCC had available in 2007. He found that North Atlantic hurricane activity increased significantly, but the increase was counterbalanced by diminished activity in the East Pacific, where hurricane-strength storms are 50 per cent more prevalent. The West Pacific showed no significant change. Overall, the declines balance the increases.

“When you average the number of storms and their strength, it almost exactly balances.” This isn’t indicative of an increase in atmospheric energy manifesting itself in storms.

Says Hatton, after running his statitistical analysis and reading the IPCC report, he found it’s conclusions could not be supported by the data:

The IPCC continues: “It is more likely than not (> 50%) that there has been some human contribution to the increases in hurricane intensity.” But, as Hatton points out, that conclusion comes from computer climate models, not from the observational data, which show no increase.

“The IPCC goes on to make statements that would never pass peer review,” Hatton told us. A more scientifically useful conclusion would have been to ask why there was a disparity. “This differential behaviour to me is very interesting. If it’s due to increased warming in one place, and decreased warming in the other – then that’s interesting to me.”

It would be interesting to others as well since it might indicate the observed warming was a result of regional weather, not global warming. Hatton has put his work on his personal web site (you can see it here) and issued an open invitation to prove his analysis wrong. Al Gore has said he’ll get right on it.

~McQ


More Global Warming Claims Debunked

It started as a trickle and is now turning into a flood.  More claims found in the “bible of the alarmists”, the UN’s 2007 IPCC report, have been found to be false.

The two latest have to do with extreme weather increases and the disappearance of the Amazon rain forest.

The IPCC 2007 report claimed that global warming was leading to an increase in extreme weather, such as hurricanes and floods. Like its claims about the glaciers, this was also based on an unpublished report which had not been subject to scientific scrutiny — indeed several experts warned the IPCC not to rely on it.

The author, who didn’t actually finish his work until a year after the IPCC had used his research, has now repudiated what he sees has its misuse of his work.

His conclusion: “There is insufficient evidence to claim a statistical link between global warming and catastrophe loss.”

Yet it was because of this — now unproved — link that the British government signed up to a $100 billion transfer from rich to poor countries to help them cope with a supposed increase in floods and hurricanes.

Peer review? Obviously impossible since the work hadn’t even been finished by the time the IPCC report was published. And much the same has been found concerning the IPCC claim that 40% of the Amazonian forests were at risk from global warming and would likely be replaced by “tropical savannas” if temperatures continued to rise.

This claim is backed up by a scientific-looking reference but on closer investigation turns out to be yet another non-peer reviewed piece of work from the WWF. Indeed the two authors are not even scientists or specialists on the Amazon: one is an Australian policy analyst, the other a freelance journalist for the Guardian and a green activist.

The WWF has yet to provide any scientific evidence that 40% of the Amazon is threatened by climate change — as opposed to the relentless work of loggers and expansion of farms.

What was that question that alarmists like to ask about the IPCC report? Oh, yeah – “how can 2,500 scientists be wrong?” Here’s how – take unfinished research, fudged data and un-peer reviewed work and publish it claiming it is none of those things, that’s how.

The good news?

The sceptics may be about to get their first scalp. Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC chairman often wrongly described in the media as the world’s leading climate scientist (he’s actually a railway engineer), at first attacked those who questioned the IPCC’s alarming glacier prediction as “arrogant” and believers in “voodoo science”.

He’s since had to retract the prediction but can’t quite manage an apology — and is now under mounting pressure in his Indian homeland to resign.

And resign he should – the IPCC report, for which he was responsible, seems to be a pack of lies promulgated to advance a political agenda designed to loot rich countries and transfer the wealth to poorer countries under the auspices of “science”. He and that group have, instead, tarnished the reputation of science and set it back at least 50 years. It’s time for a little accountability in this world. Pachauri should resign at a minimum and, if a way can be figured out to do it, brought up on charges of conspiracy to defraud.

~McQ


Global Warming – Last On America’s Priority List

For those that have chosen to make man-made global warming a form of religion this might come as disappointing news. Americans just don’t really care that much about it. In fact, since it was first measured by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press in January of 2007, it has slipped a full 10 points and is now listed as dead last on the people’s priority list.

Dead last among 21 priorities

Global warming is simply not a priority except among Democrats. And even among them it is a minority position – only 43% see it as a top priority while only 11% of Republicans and 25% of independents see it as such.

Is it because they just aren’t buying the hype anymore and don’t believe it is really an urgent problem or is it because other are indeed more urgent problems? As I pointed out previously, since Pew has been tracking it in 2007, it has always been among the lowest of priorities with 38%. It has declined even more each and every year since.

There’s a lesson for the cap-and-traders there who would use global warming as a reason to enact the carbon taxing scheme designed to create a revenue stream for government out of thin air.

Global warming ranks lower among the public than trade policy – which I’m sure is followed with interest and understanding by the masses.  Politicians aren’t dumb – well not completely.  They’ll see that list and figure out what is below the 49 to 50% level and shy away from that for the time being.  That means immigration, tax cuts, financial regulation, the environment and global warming are going to find convenient back burners on which to sit.  Or should.

As an aside,  just because the public isn’t clamoring for tax cuts, it should be clear to all, given this chart, that spending can  not go on as scheduled.  Nope – deficit reduction ranks up there in the 60% range.  No tax cuts?  Cut spending then – big time.  Not piddling little 15 to 25 billion a year “freezes” – cut spending.  Pick a percentage and do it. 3% a year, across the board, for 10 years.  Budget for it.

That’s about the only way the economy will get moving. Government has got to quit sucking up all the available credit for these nonsense projects politicians like to claim will “create jobs”.    If those who think global warming is an important priority want to see it addressed at all, they’d better find a way to satisfy the rest of the country that the other 20 priorities have been successfully addressed.

“It’s the economy, stupid.”

[HT: looker]

~McQ


AGW’s Crumbling House Of Cards (updates)

Uh oh … in advance of Copenhagen when this government will try to give away what little is left of your earnings, reality is beginning to dawn:

Global warming appears to have stalled. Climatologists are puzzled as to why average global temperatures have stopped rising over the last 10 years. Some attribute the trend to a lack of sunspots, while others explain it through ocean currents.

That last sentence should tell you all you need to know about the AGW scam – if they can’t figure out what’s causing this cooling event, how in the world can they be relied upon to forecast the future? The fact is they use models which are, in the big scheme of things, technologically crude and force certain types of climate variables while minimizing or leaving out altogether numerous others. They can’t, in fact, model what has happend in our history, much less what is coming – and yet, by some, they’re taken as scientific “proof” of impending doom.

Now they have to deal with something their models didn’t at all predict:

The Earth’s average temperatures have stopped climbing since the beginning of the millennium, and it even looks as though global warming could come to a standstill this year.

[...]

Latif, one of Germany’s best-known climatologists, says that the temperature curve has reached a plateau. “There can be no argument about that,” he says. “We have to face that fact.”

As for “settled science” and consensus:

“It cannot be denied that this is one of the hottest issues in the scientific community,” says Jochem Marotzke, director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. “We don’t really know why this stagnation is taking place at this point.”

Or maybe we do:

Just a few weeks ago, Britain’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research added more fuel to the fire with its latest calculations of global average temperatures. According to the Hadley figures, the world grew warmer by 0.07 degrees Celsius from 1999 to 2008 and not by the 0.2 degrees Celsius assumed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And, say the British experts, when their figure is adjusted for two naturally occurring climate phenomena, El Niño and La Niña, the resulting temperature trend is reduced to 0.0 degrees Celsius — in other words, a standstill.

Again, that “settled science” canard of Al Gore’s is out the window. Not that there won’t be warmist deniers:

But a few scientists simply refuse to believe the British calculations. “Warming has continued in the last few years,” says Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). However, Rahmstorf is more or less alone in his view. Hamburg Max Planck Institute scientist Jochem Marotzke, on the other hand, says: “I hardly know any colleagues who would deny that it hasn’t gotten warmer in recent years.”

But, as is obvious and is now being admitted, it hasn’t.

So back to the drawing board boys. When you can put a model that can duplicate the past with fidelity, then we might accept what it has to say about the future as “proof” of something. But trying to pawn off the results of those you now use in the face of the real temperatures and trends we’ve undergone (which are wildly different from the models) seems at best anti-scientific. The theory’s the models force have been disproved – or at least heavily damaged. Try, try again.

Unfortunately, even while the scientific community begins to understand the huge scam that has been pulled on them, politicians are blinkered creatures who, having now made up their unscientific minds that global warming is happening, and being a part of a caste which has as a juvenile part of its job description a desire to save the world, will meet in Copenhagen and try to strike a global monetary redistribution scheme to do so.

Facts – they don’t need no stinkin’ facts to give your money away. See “national debt”.

UPDATE: Hacked emails or leaked?  Which ever is the case, they’re pretty damning to the “science” of AGW.

UPDATE II: Remember the UN’s IPCC report that Copenhagen is going to be based upon?  Uh oh:

A scientific scandal is casting a shadow over a number of recent peer-reviewed climate papers.

At least eight papers purporting to reconstruct the historical temperature record times may need to be revisited, with significant implications for contemporary climate studies, the basis of the IPCC’s assessments. A number of these involve senior climatologists at the British climate research centre CRU at the University East Anglia. In every case, peer review failed to pick up the errors.

It is getting tougher and tougher for the alarmist warmists to maintain their “settled science” mantra. In fact, it’s getting tougher and tougher for them to even call what has been foisted upon the world “science” at all.

Question: How long will it take the media here (the stories are coming out of the UK and Australia and have been picked up by blogs here) to cover the story and, assuming they do, will it have legs are get the page A35 treatment?

[HT: Hot Air]

~McQ


Americans Are Cooling Toward Global Warming

Part of the reason is the financial situation and part of it is the new evidence that science is producing which is making Americans more skeptical about the AGW crowd’s claims.

Recent  Gallup polls carry the news:

Here’s what Gallup found: The number of Americans who say the media have exaggerated global warming jumped to a record 41 percent in 2009, up from 35 percent a year ago. The most marked increase came among political independents, whose ranks of doubters swelled from 33 percent to 44 percent. Republican doubters grew from 59 percent to 66 percent, while Democratic skeptics stayed at around 20 percent.

What’s more, fewer Americans believe the effects of global warming have started to occur: 53 percent see signs of a hotter planet, down from 61 percent in 2008. Global warming placed last among eight environmental concerns Gallup asked respondents to rank, with water pollution landing the top spot.

Another recent Gallup study found that, for the first time in 25 years of polling, more Americans care about economic growth than the environment. Just 42 percent of people surveyed said the environment takes precedence over growth, while 51 percent asserted expansion carries more weight. That reverses results from 2008, when 49 percent of respondents said the environment was paramount and 42 percent said economic growth came first. In 1985, the poll’s first year, 61 percent placed a bigger priority on the environment, while 28 percent ranked economic growth highest.

Scientists have begun to push back against those who have been claiming “consensus” for so long. And, Americans are simply becoming more informed about the matter. Part of that is the effect of the new media which has broken the monopoly hold of the mass media’s ability to shape public opinion. As the poll points out, Americans increasingly think the media is exaggerating the problem. That skepticism has to be based in something, and the only media carrying the skeptical side of the argument is the new media.

Obviously, since the financial meltdown, priorities have also changed. While AGW was apparently never a high priority among environmental priorities, it is dead last now. That’s again because people are becoming more informed about the economic impact of the draconian legislative measures being touted as a solution. And as time goes by, and there is more of a focus put on cap-and-trade legislation, I expect the numbers in opposition to go up even further.

Naturally the opposition disagrees and cites polls from Pew and the National Wildlife Federation that they claim contradict Gallup (no date for those two polls is given). But as you recall, Rasmussen had a very recent poll which had similar results to the Gallup poll.

The radical agenda is in trouble, folks. Whether that means Democrats will “listen” as they claim they do, is another matter entirely. I fully expect them to attempt to ram both health care and cap-and-trade through. But that doesn’t mean we have to give them a pass if they do. Be your “un-American” best and tell them loudly and strongly that cap-and-trade is not a good thing for the US and is not something that should be passed while the science of AGW is decidedly unproven.

Again, what’s the freakin’ rush?

~McQ


Antarctic Ice Shelf Split – Global Warming Or Volcanic Activity?

Another day, another breathless  “Antarctica is melting” report:

An ice bridge linking a shelf of ice the size of Jamaica to two islands in Antarctica has snapped.

Scientists say the collapse could mean the Wilkins Ice Shelf is on the brink of breaking away, and provides further evidence of rapid change in the region.

Sited on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula, the Wilkins shelf has been retreating since the 1990s.

The BBC report seems to consciously avoid blaming it on global warming, but does imply the change is recent (and leaves it to you to decide what that means):

“The fact that it’s retreating and now has lost connection with one of its islands is really a strong indication that the warming on the Antarctic is having an effect on yet another ice shelf.”

Since this is a floating ice shelf, its breakaway will have zero effect on sea levels.

The NYT, of course, is not so careful with its coverage:

An ice bridge holding a vast Antarctic ice shelf in place has shattered and may herald a wider collapse caused by global warming, a scientist said Saturday.

While citing both articles, Think Progress naturally choses the more dire pronouncement as its lede.

Of course we’ve been through this before. You may remember the discussion when it first came up almost a year ago to the day, we did some research and discovered, low and behold, that the area where the Wilkins Ice Sheet is located also happens to be the location of some active undersea volcanoes.
wilkins
Notice the ice shelf is on the western side of the peninsula and south of its tip. Now, look at this:

volcano

Well I’ll be – an active volcano very near the shelf which also vents further up the peninsula. I wonder – could that cause a bit of warming in the area?

Last year, the Ice Cap provided a little sanity to the discussion.  Then it was an MSNBC report.  It is essentially no different than thes reports.  In fact it is more of what they don’t say than what they do say the make the news reports suspect. Here’s what Ice Cap said last year:

The [MSNBC] account may be misinterpreted by some as the ice cap or a significant (vast) portion is collapsing. In reality it and all the former shelves that collapsed are small and most near the Antarctic peninsula which sticks well out from Antarctica into the currents and winds of the South Atlantic and lies in a tectonically active region with surface and subsurface active volcanic activity. The vast continent has actually cooled since 1979.

The full Wilkins 6,000 square mile ice shelf is just 0.39% of the current ice sheet (just 0.1% of the extent last September). Only a small portion of it between 1/10th-1/20th of Wilkins has separated so far, like an icicle falling off a snow and ice covered house. And this winter is coming on quickly. In fact the ice is returning so fast, it is running an amazing 60% ahead (4.0 vs 2.5 million square km extent) of last year when it set a new record. The ice extent is already approaching the second highest level for extent since the measurements began by satellite in 1979 and just a few days into the Southern Hemisphere winter and 6 months ahead of the peak. Wilkins like all the others that temporarily broke up will refreeze soon. We are very likely going to exceed last year’s record. Yet the world is left with the false impression Antarctica’s ice sheet is also starting to disappear.

In other words, it is tiny portion of Antarctica which is located in a part of the continent which is most exposed to South Pacific currents and also has “surface and subsurface volcanic activity” to add to any warming. Graphically it looks like this:

temps

So, other than it finally looks like Wilkins may split away, the situation isn’t any more dire than it was last year at this time and seems, instead, to be the work of natural forces that certainly would have a warming effect without the assistance of any sort of “global warming”.

~McQ