Free Markets, Free People

AGW

Polar bears not "endangered" per White House – Al Gore in shock

A favored myth of the warmist alarmist is we’re killing off the polar bears through AGW by melting their habitat.

Not so fast says the Obama administration:

The Obama administration is sticking with a George W. Bush-era decision to deny polar bears endangered species status. In a court filing Wednesday, the Fish and Wildlife Service defended the previous administration’s decision to give the polar bear the less-protective “threatened” species designation, a move that will frustrate environmentalists who hoped for stronger protections under the Endangered Species Act.

One of the more obvious things most should understand, at least by now, is getting an animal on the endangered list isn’t so much about the animal is about power. All sorts of regulatory restrictions kick in with such a designation.

And the enviros get to help enforce them. Go out on Ft. Bragg NC’s maneuver areas and marvel at the red-cockaded woodpecker’s power – and the the enviro monitors who sit out in the habitat area and ensure soldiers don’t invade the woodpecker’s space.

The same sort of power would accrue the enviros with the placement of the polar bear on the endangered list.

FWS Director Rowan Gould said the 2008 "threatened" listing was made "following careful analysis of the best scientific information, as required by the ESA." At the time, the service determined the bears weren’t danger of extinction, so did not warrant the “endangered” status.

The bears were listed as "threatened" because they face serious threats from projected decline in its sea ice habitat due to global warming would result in them likely being in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future.

Typical of the "science" used by the alarmists is this:

In a news release issued after its conference last July, the PBSG concluded that only one of 19 total polar bear subpopulations is currently increasing, three are stable and eight are declining. Data was insufficient to determine numbers for the remaining seven subpopulations. The group estimated that the total number of polar bears is somewhere between 20,000 and 25,000. (Estimates of the population during the 1950s and 1960s, before harvest quotas were enacted, range from 5,000 to 10,000.)

So the polar bear population has more than doubled from the high 1950’s estimate yet they’re "endangered" according to some? This little caveat is also listed:

However, the PBSG quickly acknowledged that “the mixed quality of information on the different subpopulations means there is much room for error in establishing” the numbers, and “the potential for error, given the ongoing and projected changes in habitats and other potential stresses, is cause for concern.”

Or said another way, "we don’t know what the real polar bear population is but it must be in decline and, btw, our projected decline is based on those stellar climate change models that have been so accurate to this point". Regardless, it is hard to sell endangered species when the species has had a 100% plus growth in 50 years (with harvesting).

The “science?”

Harry Flaherty, chair of the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board in the capital of Iqaluit, says the polar bear population in the region, along the Davis Strait, has doubled during the past 10 years. He questions the official figures, which are based to a large extent on helicopter surveys.

“Scientists do a quick study one to two weeks in a helicopter, and don’t see all the polar bears. We’re getting totally different stories [about the bear numbers] on a daily basis from hunters and harvesters on the ground,” he says.

Want to make a bet on who is right?

Bottom line: “Science” in the name of a political agenda is no science at all.  And as more information continues to come out, it appears that the “science” of AGW isn’t based in science so much as it is the accrual of power and control to those who would love to dictate how you must live – for the planet, of course.

~McQ

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Natural disaster? It’s capitalism’s fault …

Strongman Hugo Chavez says the flooding in Venezuela that has resulted in 70,000 homeless and 32 deaths is easy to understand.  It’s the result of “criminal capitalism” and it’s effect on the world’s climate:

"The developed nations irresponsibly shatter the environmental order, in their desire to maintain a criminal development model while the immense majority of the earth’s people suffer the most terrible consequences," he said on Venezuelan television Sunday.

You may be wondering why this sort of stupidity is even worth mentioning.  It is worth mentioning because it is a sterling example of the nonsense that has been precipitated by AGW scaremongering that I discuss below.  This is a dictator’s excuse, however absurd it sounds, for his regime’s inability to control the flooding in his country. 

"The world’s powerful economies insist on a destructive way of life,” he said on Sunday. "And then refuse to take any responsibility."

I’m sure it doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what taking "responsibility" would mean. In the past this would be viewed as another in a long line of failed socialist dictators who, because of their crippling of their country’s economy, have rendered unable to cope with natural disasters. But with the convenient excuse of AGW to pin the blame on, and by extension the richer nations, shifting the blame is a natural.

Any bets as to whether this will be a topic in Cancun?

~McQ

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The AGW summit in Cancun–“ritualized scaremongering?”

While what David Rose of the Mail calls “another giant, 15,000 delegate UN climate jamboree” is underway in Cancun Mexico, the British press is hard at it again, pointing out that in the world of AGW there’s just no “there there”.   As an example, Rose and others point to the Met Office and its claims:

A year ago tomorrow, just before the opening of the UN Copenhagen world climate summit, the British Meteorological Office issued a confident prediction. The mean world temperature for 2010, it announced, ‘is expected to be 14.58C, the warmest on record’ – a deeply worrying 0.58C above the 1961-1990 average.

World temperatures, it went on, were locked inexorably into an ever-rising trend: ‘Our experimental decadal forecast confirms previous indications that about half the years 2010-2019 will be warmer than the warmest year observed so far – 1998.’

Met Office officials openly boasted that they hoped by their statements to persuade the Copenhagen gathering to impose new and stringent carbon emission limits – an ambition that was not to be met.

[…]

Never mind that Britain, just as it was last winter and the winter before, was deep in the grip of a cold snap, which has seen some temperatures plummet to minus 20C, and that here 2010 has been the coolest year since 1996.

Globally, it insisted, 2010 was still on course to be the warmest or second warmest year since current records began.

But buried amid the details of those two Met Office statements 12 months apart lies a remarkable climbdown that has huge implications – not just for the Met Office, but for debate over climate change as a whole.

Read carefully with other official data, they conceal a truth that for some, to paraphrase former US VicePresident Al Gore, is really inconvenient: for the past 15 years, global warming has stopped.

Of course, that won’t stop the “jamboree” from recommending the looting of the “richer” nations to help the “poorer” nations with “global warming”.  After all, that’s what the meeting is really all about.  Just as Democrats are all about income redistribution and “taxing the rich” in this country, their counterparts in the world body are obsessed with the same.  AGW is the perfect pseudo-scientific cause on which to pin the extortion.

In fact, say the Brits, 2010 was an “unexceptional El Nino” year

As for that infamous “scientific consensus?”  Not so much any more:

But little by little, the supposedly settled scientific ‘ consensus’ that the temperature rise is unprecedented, that it is set to continue to disastrous levels, and that it is all the fault of human beings, is starting to fray.

Earlier this year, a paper by Michael Mann – for years a leading light in the IPCC, and the author of the infamous ‘hockey stick graph’ showing flat temperatures for 2,000 years until the recent dizzying increase – made an extraordinary admission: that, as his critics had always claimed, there had indeed been a ‘ medieval warm period’ around 1000 AD, when the world may well have been hotter than it is now.

Other research is beginning to show that cyclical changes in water vapour – a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide – may account for much of the 20th Century warming.

Even Phil Jones, the CRU director at the centre of last year’s ‘Climategate’ leaked email scandal, was forced to admit in a littlenoticed BBC online interview that there has been ‘no statistically significant warming’ since 1995.

That’s not to say the true believers (or deceivers, take your pick) aren’t going to continue to try – especially with the “jamboree” going on.  Christopher Booker of the Telegraph reports:

Between their tequilas and lavish meals paid for by the world’s taxpayers, they heard how, by 2060, global temperatures will have risen by 4 degrees Celsius; how the Maldives and Tuvalu are sinking below the waves faster than ever; how the survival of salmon is threatened by CO2-induced acidification of the oceans; how the UN must ban incandescent light bulbs throughout the world.

“Scientists”, we were told, are calling for everyone to be issued with a “carbon ration card”, to halt all Western economic growth for 20 years.

Meanwhile, Dr Rajendra Pachauri was telling us that we must spend hundreds of billions on covering the world’s oceans with iron filings, on building giant mirrors out in space and on painting all the world’s roofs white to keep out the heat from the sun.

The most obvious thing about all this ritualised scaremongering was how stale it all was. Not one of these points hasn’t been a cliche for years.The only scientist who believes we should all be issued with carbon ration cards is a Prof Kevin Anderson, who has been saying it since 2004. It is only those same old computer models that predict that Tuvalu and the Maldives are about to drown, when real measurements show the sea around them not to be rising at all. Far from the oceans acidifying, their pH currently ranges between 7.9 and 8.3, putting them very firmly on the alkaline side of the threshold, at 7.0.

The prediction that global temperatures will rise by four degrees in 50 years comes from that same UK Met Office computer which five weeks ago was telling us we were about to enjoy a “milder than average” winter, after three years when it has consistently got every one of its winter and summer forecasts hopelessly wrong. (And the reason why our local authorities are already fast running out of salt is that they were silly enough to believe them.)

Wonderful stuff, eh?  Oh, and speaking of the Met Office’s ‘mild winter prediction’ even when wrong “scientists” see an opportunity to push the AGW argument:

RESEARCHERS have warned the last three winters’ cold spells could be a taste of things to come for Wales – with even a chance glaciers could return to Snowdon within 40 years.

According to one theory, global warming could paradoxically trigger a collapse in temperatures in Western Europe.

There’s always that “one theory” which will, even paradoxically, doggedly try to pin even bitterly cold temperatures on “global warming”.  It’s a religion, I tell you, not science.

Some truths most of us have learned while following this is 1) the real science is far from settled, 2) the climate is far more complex and still barely understood, and consequently the present day computer models and their predictions are less than useless, 3) the fact that temperatures have remained flat over the past 15 years with a slight trend toward cooling has blown the predictive models out of the water, 4) until there is much better science (and if based in models, models that can at least replicate past climate results) no major public policy initiatives – initiatives that would most likely spend money we don’t have and have a crippling effect on the economy – should be undertaken.  And finally 5) alternative renewable and clean energy sources should be pursued with vigor, but until they’re viable and cheap, traditional fuel sources should be exploited to the maximum (with government getting the heck out of the way).

Of course the Third World Debating Society, aka the UN, won’t leave this scam alone until they manage to rope the richer nations into it and bleed them of a few hundred billion or so.  If ever there was a time to adapt the Nancy Reagan drug slogan to other duty it is now.

“Just say ‘no’.”

~McQ

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Climate “scientists” ratchet up AGW scare warnings

In case you missed it, this weekend all those who’ve made an industry of global warming climate change will be gathering in Cancun, Mexico to again try and find a way to tax the world into submission based on dubious science and and obvious political agenda.

Apparently, faced with the fact that the Goreish climatic apocalypse warnings have mostly been refuted and in the wake of Climate-gate, it appears the reaction of warmists is to again ratchet up the scare factor.

The UK’s Telegraph reports on the latest attempts.

In a series of papers published by the Royal Society, physicists and chemists from some of world’s most respected scientific institutions, including Oxford University and the Met Office, agreed that current plans to tackle global warming are not enough.

Unless emissions are reduced dramatically in the next ten years the world is set to see temperatures rise by more than 4C (7.2F) by as early as the 2060s, causing floods, droughts and mass migration.

Of course readers here are familiar with the arguments (and the fact that the Met office admitted to serious problems with its temperature data used as a base for previous projections) and the fact that skeptics seem to be winning the day.  As mentioned in a previous post, the public’s belief in the science supporting the warmist cause has dropped to an all time low, with a vast majority now seeing no reason to engage in cap-and-trade to tax emissions of CO2.

So the answer, of course, is to make the consequences of ignoring the warmists seem worse.  We’re now likely to see 7.2F increases as soon as 2060 if we don’t do what they want now!

Oh, and by the way, rich nations, here’s more that you should do:

In one paper Professor Kevin Anderson, Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said the only way to reduce global emissions enough, while allowing the poor nations to continue to grow, is to halt economic growth in the rich world over the next twenty years.

This would mean a drastic change in lifestyles for many people in countries like Britain as everyone will have to buy less ‘carbon intensive’ goods and services such as long haul flights and fuel hungry cars.

Prof Anderson admitted it “would not be easy” to persuade people to reduce their consumption of goods.

He said politicians should consider a rationing system similar to the one introduced during the last “time of crisis” in the 1930s and 40s.

This could mean a limit on electricity so people are forced to turn the heating down, turn off the lights and replace old electrical goods like huge fridges with more efficient models. Food that has travelled from abroad may be limited and goods that require a lot of energy to manufacture.

“The Second World War and the concept of rationing is something we need to seriously consider if we are to address the scale of the problem we face,” he said.

Or said another way “let’s do a wartime command economy”  among the rich nations, because command economies works so well history tells us.  Meanwhile China and India?  Keep on keeping on.  And don’t worry, our eminent scientist tells us it won’t be so bad:

Prof Anderson insisted that halting growth in the rich world does not necessarily mean a recession or a worse lifestyle, it just means making adjustments in everyday life such as using public transport and wearing a sweater rather than turning on the heating.

“I am not saying we have to go back to living in caves,” he said. “Our emissions were a lot less ten years ago and we got by ok then.”

You know, I’ve always thought scientists should stick to science and let the politicians concentrate on political agendas.  Someone – anyone – tell me this isn’t “science” wrapped in politics?  And surprise – the agenda will cost you money, freedom and the ability to live the lifestyle you now live.

All for a trace amount of a trace gas that until recently has always been found by science to be a lagging indicator of warming.

Go figure.

~McQ

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I know it has been a rough year for a number of us. The economy, the debt/deficit that’s been increased, and the usual political nonsense, etc.  On a personal level, my job of 24 years went away on Oct. 1st (company sold, didn’t need my redundant position).

On the plus side of the ledger, my son came home from Afghanistan (which wipes away all the “aw crap” moments), I see the lay off as a gift (it has gotten me off my complacent rear and into trying something I’ve been dying to do for years – more about that at a later date), and health wise, most of the family is in pretty good shape.  Besides, I have 4 grandsons who live within 4 miles of me – how could life be much sweeter.

Enough about that – on to  more about what we talk about here daily (and another thing I’m continually thankful for are the QandO readers and commenters – from the bottom of my heart – thank you).

One of the things I’m most thankful for are hack writers.  They create such a target rich environment.  Without them I couldn’t go off on righteous rants which I truly enjoy.  To make life easier for those of us thankful for hacks, Alex Pareene of Salon has compiled a list of what he considers the 30 worst hacks now writing.  For the most part I agree with his list and I have no problem at all with his number 1 pick.  There are others I’d add however, like this one.

Conspicuously absent from the top 5, however, is this one.

A couple of other writers who could easily graduate to that list and actually end up in a top 10 position are Mark Ames and Yasha Levine who wrote one of the worst articles for the Nation it has ever been my displeasure to read.  It is entitled “Koch-funded libertarians behind the TSA scandal”.  About the only fairly interesting thing about the article is they don’t provide a scintilla of proof to back the premise in their title.  None.  In fact it is so bad that Glenn Greenwald and I agree on something – mostly that this is just pitiful.  It is a hatchet job that should end up in every J-school course as a case study on how to destroy your own reputation and that of the journal for which you write in one easy lesson.

One other thought that occurred to me while sifting through the merde was “what were the editors thinking” when they okayed this nonsense?  Another in any number of increasingly obvious cases that question the worth of editors.  Even a lunatic with a blog out there in flyover land would most likely think twice before publishing this sort of crap.

Finally, at least for today, I’m thankful for this:

[T]he number of Americans who agree the earth is warming because of man-made activity has been in free fall, dropping to 34 percent in October, from 50 percent in July 2006, according to a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

It is nice to see sanity winning over Chicken Little alarmism.  Science is all about skepticism, not consensus.  And there has been plenty, as we’ve noted over the years, to be skeptical about. 

Anyway, enough for today – go, enjoy the family, enjoy the turkey and have a wonderful day.  And thanks again for your loyal readership.  We appreciate you more than you know.

Happy Thanksgiving.

~McQ

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An AGW update

More alarmist myths bite the dust.  The claim that rain forests would be damaged by warming:

The threat to tropical rainforests from climate change may have been exaggerated by environmentalists, according to a new study. Researchers have shown that the world’s tropical forests thrived in the far distant past when temperatures were 3 to 5C warmer than today. They believe that a wetter, warmer future may actually boost plants and animals living the tropics.

And:

There are many climactic models today suggesting that … if the temperature increases in the tropics by a couple of degrees, most of the forest is going to be extinct. What we found was the opposite to what we were expecting: we didn’t find any extinction event [in plants] associated with the increase in temperature, we didn’t find that the precipitation decreased.

Or the claim that melting glaciers would threaten 2 billion people:

The spectre of imminent thirst and/or starvation for billions by 2035 from melting glaciers would appear to have been confirmed as the worst kind of alarmist scaremongering.

Sea level increases and more violent hurricanes?

First, there is still no proof the Earth is experiencing “dangerous” warming. Temperatures have levelled off since 1998. Many measuring locations are also located in unsuitable areas. Furthermore, the methodologies of averaging temperature are inconsistent and full of problems. This is why “Global Warming” was replaced as a slogan by “Climate Change” (nobody denies that climate changes), and more recently by “Climate Disruption” (which is impossible define or prove).

Second, the increased temperature is supposed to increase sea level mainly by melting the ice-caps, which is impossible. Thermal expansion of the oceans seems to be of little consequence at present because the satellite measurements show the oceans are cooling. Le Mesurier gilds his picture with a few asides on “extreme climatic events” in general and hurricanes in particular. Recent studies, however, show no increase in hurricane activity in the last 40 years.

But remember, the "science is settled".

Then there’s the drive for “green jobs” , “green technologies” and how that’s faring:

MORE than $1 billion of taxpayers’ money was wasted on subsidies for household solar roof panels that favoured the rich and did little to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, a scathing review has found.

And:

Despite a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government, Solyndra, a maker of solar panels in the southeast San Francisco Bay Area city of Fremont, will close one of its manufacturing plants, lay off 40 permanent and 150 contract workers, delay expansion plans of a new plant largely financed with the government-guaranteed loan and scale back production capacity more than 50 percent. Despite the hype and tax money, Solyndra seems unable to compete with Chinese manufacturers, whose prices are lower. This is the latest bad news for the company touted by Mr. Schwarzenegger and President Barack Obama as one of the green industry’s supposed shining lights.

Because, you know, government’s do this stuff so much better than private markets.

Thought you’d want to know.

~McQ

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AGW skeptics the moral equivalent of slavery defenders

Mark Hemingway at the Washington Examiner brings this little goodie to our attention:

The American public is still mired in doubt about the science and the economics of climate change, he said, but is ready for the kind of social shift that eventually brought success to the abolition movement of the 18th and 19th centuries.

“Just as few people saw a moral problem with slavery in the 18th century, few people in the 21st century see a moral problem with the burning of fossil fuels,” Professor [Andrew] Hoffman [of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and School of Natural Resources] said. “Will people in 100 years look at us with the same incomprehension we feel toward 18th-century defenders of slavery?”

So now skeptics of AGW are the moral equivalent of slavery defenders because they don’t agree that the science is there which supports the warmists view that man’s CO2 emissions are the driver of global climate change?   Really?

If people might do anything during a 100 year retrospective it will be to look askance at the rhetoric this particular issue generated from one particular side.  My guess is they’ll look at Hoffman’s analogy and shake their head in wonder at the absurdity of his claim.

I’m not sure what offends me more – Hoffman’s attempt to equate scientific skepticism with an immoral institution like slavery or his obvious ignorance of the fact that science is skepticism.

Hoffman needs to also get out more – there is little if any “social shift” in the making concerning this nonsense.  The science is not settled (in fact it is badly discredited), there is no consensus and until there is much more solid evidence from the scientific community – not some divinity school drop out and failed presidential candidate – the public isn’t going to willingly sacrifice its economic well being on some incredibly expensive scheme concocted by warmists that most likely will have no effect whatsoever on the alleged problem.

But, then, what do we slavers know.

~McQ

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Wondering why the right is skeptical of AGW

Bill McKibben wonders why the right is so down on man-made global warming.  He’s convinced it’s the hottest thing to come along politically since woman’s suffrage.  What is it we folks on the right don’t get?  Or is it we have a vested interest in other things that run contrary to wanting to see this problem solved.

Hmmm.  First, I’ve always believed that climate change occurs.  It seems to me that the left has suddenly awakened in a world in which the climate is changing for the first time.  Obviously that’s not the case and, as someone said, the only thing consistent about the climate is change.  So to address an implied question of the McKibben piece, the right certainly understands and accepts climate change as a reality of life.

However, that brings us to the second question – how significant is man’s part?  That’s where we differ.  Most of those who are skeptics question the science that claims man’s part is significant – more significant than the natural forces out there such as the sun and clouds and, well, just about everything else.  Add into that the fact that the present “science” claims that a trace gas of which we add a trace amount is the one primary reason for the rise in global temperature.

Uh, yeah, still not buying.  Factor in that until science decided otherwise, that gas was a trailing indicator of warming – not a cause.  There in a nutshell is the objection to the thesis that says any warming (or cooling apparently) is caused by man.  And we further object to the notion that if we would just stop emitting carbon (something that is and has been an integral part of our lives since our species emerged) all this would be fine.

McKibben is sure, at least on the political side, that it’s all about the right and oil:

One crude answer is money. The fossil fuel industry has deep wells of it—no business in history has been as profitable as finding, refining, and combusting coal, oil, and gas. Six of the ten largest companies on earth are in the fossil-fuel business. Those companies have spent some small part of their wealth in recent years to underwrite climate change denialism …

But as most know who keep up with this, their contributions pale into significance with the government grant money that has flowed unceasingly to the other side for years.  And, many claim, that’s had a significant part in corrupting the science.  The most recent to say this is Professor Harold Lewis:

A TOP American professor has quit a prestigious academic body after claiming that global warming has become a “scam” driven by “trillions of dollars” which has “corrupted” scientists.

Professor Harold Lewis, 87, described his “revulsion” at last year’s leaked “Climategate” emails which appeared to show scientists at East Anglia’s world-leading Climate Research Unit rigging evidence in favour of man-made climate change.

He branded man-made climate change “the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud” he has ever seen.

The scientists involved have been cleared of wrongdoing by a series of investigations. But Prof Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has formally resigned from the American Physical Society after nearly 70 years as a member.

He claims that the APS, the society for America’s top physicists, has refused to engage in proper scientific debate about climate change and ignored climate sceptics.

McKibben offers a second reason.

Conservatives possess some new information about climate science. That would sure be nice—but sadly, it’s wrong. It’s the same tiny bunch of skeptics being quoted by right-wing blogs. None are doing new research that casts the slightest doubt on the scientific consensus that’s been forming for two decades, a set of conclusions that grows more robust with every issue of Science and Nature and each new temperature record.

After telling us it is a massive conspiracy funded by the oil companies, we’re told that it’s just a tiny bunch of contrarians doing no research.  And note how he swings the phrase “scientific consensus” around.  Really, how 20th century is that?  I thought by now even the most ardent of warmists had figured out that real science has nothing to to with “consensus”. 

Finally – note that he simply ignores those recent findings that destroy his hypothesis that no new research supports the skeptical side.  Except of course that which has talked about sun spots, the fact that there’s been no real warming over the last ten years and the trend is toward a colder climate, not a warmer one.  Skip all that and he may have a point.

But mischaracterization by McKibben isn’t confined to just global warming.  He even mischaracterizes the right’s role in the civil rights movement – a common and easily rectified mistake if one would only do some research. Speaking here about a recent poll of conservatives who found Jimmy Carter to be one of the worst presidents ever, he says:

If Jimmy Carter was the worst guy the country ever produced, we’re doing pretty well—but surely it was his nagging reminders that there were limits to our national power that account for his ranking. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat wrote an embarrassed piece earlier this fall about the failure of conservatives to take climate change seriously—it was the ’70s, “a great decade for apocalyptic enthusiasms,” that turned many of them off, he concluded. That’s not much of an argument—it’s like saying “conservatives mostly got it wrong on civil rights, so let’s never listen to them again about liberty and freedom.”

But, of course, conservatives didn’t get it mostly wrong about civil rights – their vote was the critical part of passing the legislation that Democrats tried to filibuster and block.  Yes, they were “Southern Democrats”, but they certainly weren’t “conservatives”, i.e. “the right”.

Anyway, this all boils down to McKibben wanting a carbon tax and assuring us that if we’d do that and do it quickly we’d probably be 90% of the way to solving the problem.  Of course, no word from the sun as to whether it would cooperate if we’d just take a bit more money into government for our emissions.  After McKibben chastises his lefty friends for their desire to do away with the internal combustion engine, he gives us this simplistic “solution” in its place.  And then wonders about the right’s skepticism? 

Finally McKibben appeals to the tradition of right intellectualism hoping that it will reassert itself and go along with the Chicken Little faction.  I wonder – given his obvious unfamiliarity with the real arguments of the right and the science that supports it if perhaps that intellectualism has already “asserted” itself and is calling on the left to do the same.

Don’t hold your breath.

~McQ

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Throwing a bit of ice on some AGW claims

Lots of stuff coming in under the oil spill and McChrystal radar. For instance, Antarctic ice melt (“PIG” refers to Pine Island Glacier, to which some scientists have attempted to attribute melting to man made sources – i.e. AGW):

Many scientists have theorised that the PIG’s accelerating flow is due to global warming. However, recent research – including surveys beneath the bottom of the floating, projecting ice sheet by Blighty’s Autosub robot probe – indicate that this may not be the case.

It appears from the Autosub’s under-ice surveys that the PIG’s ice flow formerly ground its way out to sea across the top of a previously unknown rocky underwater ridge, which tended to hold it back. Many years ago, however, before the area was surveyed in much detail, the glacier’s floating outflow sheet separated from the ridge top which it had been grinding away at for millennia and so picked up speed. This also allowed relatively warm sea water to get up under the sheet and so increase melting and ease of movement.

“The discovery of the ridge has raised new questions about whether the current loss of ice from Pine Island Glacier is caused by recent climate change or is a continuation of a longer-term process that began when the glacier disconnected from the ridge,” says Dr Adrian Jenkins of the British Antarctic Survey.

Really? There’s debate about whether a rock ridge might protect it from warmer sea water and thus when it broke away from it, what was then in the sea melted faster?

If there is debate, it’s face-saving debate. Instead why not admit to the fact that the theory its melting was driven by AGW was flawed because the information being used for the hypothesis was flawed (inaccurate and incomplete). Those that did the study conclude “the glacier would have shown the same acceleration and thinning it has shown since the 1990s with or without climate change.”

Moving on, this time to Arctic ice. A new study, using a new technique to measure ice thickness and distribution in the polar region (where we’ve been consistently told by the AGW crowd we’d be ice free soon) yielded these results:

Overall the researchers conclude that the distribution of old Arctic ice has changed little since 2007 and what changes there have been are well within the range of natural variability. They speculate that the large ice loss seen in 2007 may have been offset by weather patterns since then that prevented further ice loss.

“There is still hope for the ice,” said Christian Hass, adding that in many ways thje ice is in better shape entering the melt season than it has been for years. He dismisses suggestions that a “tipping point” may soon be encountered that will result in catastrophic, runaway ice loss. Extreme melts there may be, but he considered they would be compensated for by rapid recoveries.

Al Gore call your publicist. It seems that 2007 may have been an anomoly, but not one that was outside of the range any credible scientist would dismiss as “natural”.

And that also applies to Swiss glaciers as well – another favorite of the AGW crowd:

Matthias Huss and colleagues gather about 10,000 observations of glaciers in the Swiss Alps (daily ice melt, snow accumulation, ice and snow volume) made over the past 100 years and used them to create a computer model of some 30 glaciers.

Visible in the data was the influence of the very poorly understood Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) – a regular change in sea surface temperatures on timescales of up to 60 years or more.

The glaciers studied generally lost mass during the 20th century although there were brief periods of mass gain in the second decade and in the 1970’s. In the 1940’s and since 1980 mass has been lost as more precipitation fell as rain rather than snow.

Last December, Huss published a study that showed that Swiss glaciers melted at a faster rate in the 1940’s than they do nowadays, and that glacier melting is influenced by long-term changes in solar radiation.

You know, that big yellow hot thing that hangs in the sky every day? Yeah, that. Note too that glaicer melt was more pronounced in the ’40s than now.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the Swiss Alps now join Mt Kilimanjaro as having had a misleading press. We now know that Mt Kilimanjaro’s dramatic shrinkage of its summit glacier is due to decadal fluctuation in air moisture and not man’s effects. The changes seen in the Swiss Alps likewise seem to have a greater natural, perhaps even dominant, variation than has recently been reported. Glaciers are highly sensitive to many environmental factors, most of which cannot be laid at the door of man-made climate change.

All that to say you should be “cool” to any further suggestions by the Al Gore set that man is melting the ice caps and glaciers. Seems, as usual, to be a “misinterpretation” (one I see as deliberate) of natural phenomenon.

I’ll leave the “why” up to you, but the big three that come to mind for me are power, money and control. I’d also add that it appears that real science is finally beginning to prevail and show the AGW scare to be the big scam most of us skeptics thought it to be from the beginning.

~McQ

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About That Climate Change Consensus …

What was always suspected, yet never proved, has now been exposed:

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change misled the press and public into believing that thousands of scientists backed its claims on manmade global warming, according to Mike Hulme, a prominent climate scientist and IPCC insider. The actual number of scientists who backed that claim was “only a few dozen experts,” he states in a paper for Progress in Physical Geography, co-authored with student Martin Mahony.

“Claims such as ‘2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous,” the paper states unambiguously, adding that they rendered “the IPCC vulnerable to outside criticism.”

You’re shocked I’m sure. But just who is Mike Hulme that he’d have any credibility to make such a bold claim? As it turns out, he’s not only a professor at the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (yes, that one), and the founding Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, he also was a co-ordinating lead author on a portion of the IPCC

Not exactly a climate-denialist. But you do have to wonder why he’s making this claim now? Why didn’t he expose the consensus fraud while in the middle of his work on the IPCC?

Actually, if you read the paper (pdf) in which his statement appears, it seems that Hulme wasn’t so much making an accusation as he was simply making an offhand comment:

Since its origins, the IPCC has been open and explicit about seeking to generate a ‘scientific consensus’ around climate change and especially about the role of humans in climate change. Yet this has been a source of both strength and vulnerability for the IPCC. Understanding consensus as a process of ‘truth creation’ (or the more nuanced ‘knowledge production’) which marginalises dissenting voices – as has frequently been portrayed by some of the IPCC’s critics (see Edwards & Schneider, 2001; Petersen, 2010) – does not do justice to the process.

Consensus-building in fact serves several different goals. As Horst and Irwin (2010) have explained, seeking consensus can be as much about building a community identity – what Haas (1992) refers to as an epistemic community – as it is about seeking the ‘truth’. Equally, as Yearley (2009) explains, IPCC consensus-making is an exercise in collective judgement about subjective (or Bayesian) likelihoods in areas of uncertain knowledge. Consensus-making in the IPCC has been largely driven by the desire to communicate climate science coherently to a wide spectrum of policy users – ‘to construct knowledge’ (Weingart, 1999) – but in so doing communicating uncertainties have been down-played (van der Sluijs, 1998). As Oppenheimer et al. (2007: 1506) remark: “The establishment of consensus by the IPCC is no longer as critical to governments as [is] a full exploration of uncertainty.”

Without a careful explanation about what it means, this drive for consensus can leave the IPCC vulnerable to outside criticism. Claims such as ‘2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous. That particular consensus judgement, as are many others in the IPCC reports, is reached by only a few dozen experts in the specific field of detection and attribution studies; other IPCC authors are experts in other fields. But consensus-making can also lead to criticism for being too conservative, as Hansen (2007) has most visibly argued. Was the IPCC AR4 too conservative in reaching its consensus about future sea-level rise? Many glaciologists and oceanographers think they were (Kerr, 2007; Rahmstorf, 2010), leading to what Hansen attacks as ‘scientific reticence’. Solomon et al. (2008) offer a robust defence, stating that far from reaching a premature consensus, the AR4 report stated that in fact no consensus could be reached on the magnitude of the possible fast ice-sheet melt processes that some fear could lead to 1 or 2 metres of sea-level rise this century. Hence these processes were not included in the quantitative estimates.

Incredibly, Hulme’s point here is that making completely false claims, such as that a consensus on AGW has been reached by “2,500 of the world’s leading scientists” (or maybe it’s 4,000!), is merely the aggressive flip-side to being too conservative in failing to make unsupported claims on which no one agrees. At least, he compares these two “criticisms” of the IPCC efforts to build consensus as if they were two ends of a spectrum. Sadly, when it comes to climate “science” this is exactly where the problem lies.

Instead of dealing in actual science (where hypotheses are proposed, experiments and data-collection ensue, and actual results inform us as to what is happening), we instead are offered catastrophic theories unsupported by little if any actual data but that, by golly gee, sure do have a whole lot of “consensus” behind them. After all, who are we peons to doubt the “experts”? It’s not as if a group of people has ever been persuaded to … ahem, “adjust” their arguments in order to acquire sweeping political power. One wonders if the word “cabal” exists in any dictionaries in the University of East Anglia’s libraries.

If anyone working on the IPCC wants to know why their reputation is in the tank, perhaps they’d better take a look at what the public “consensus” is regarding fraudulent claims designed to increase the fraudsters’ power. And then maybe they should reacquaint themselves with actual science.