How the GW myth is perpetuated

Walter
#1
Why let facts get in the way?

By FRED WARD

Monday, Jul. 16, 2007 (external - login to view)
IN JUNE THE New Hampshire Union Leader published a story "At mount (Cannon), talk is about global warming." This article quoted some participants making statements like "winters with less snow and more rain," without specific dates and data. It's difficult to check fuzzy comments like that.
However, there was one data set quoted, "the average winter temperatures in the Northeast have increased 4.4 degrees since 1970," which was a checkable piece of information. These same erroneous data were quoted in the Keene Sentinel last August, but in the context of a 4.4 degree increase in winter temperatures in New England. The Sentinel published my response stating that the actual change in winter temperature in New England, based on all 11 first-order National Weather Service stations in New England, from the early 1970s to the early 2000s, was a whopping two tenths of one degree!
Now we have the very same erroneous number quoted for the Northeast, and it's just as wrong this year as it was last year.
Looking at the same years as previously for New England, but adding three randomly selected stations outside New England but in the Northeast -- Cleveland, Buffalo and Philadelphia -- for the same years (1971-1975 and 2001-2005), the data show that the average winter temperature at Cleveland had actually fallen from 30.2 in the early 1970s to 29.6 in the early 2000s, Buffalo had fallen from 27.2 to 26.9 and Philadelphia from 35.8 to 35.1.
It's unlikely that the weather data from other stations in the northeastern United States would give much different results.
So why do the global warming zealots continue to quote 4.4 degrees?
One has to wonder if any one of "the panel of experts" at the conference knew better. Did he or she speak up to correct such a glaring misstatement of fact?
If the last 30 years show little change, what about climate change over centuries or millennia? Good, worldwide temperature data are available for less than a century, but that hasn't stopped the alarmists from quoting what are called "temperature" data extending back to the Romans. Such data are not temperatures, but proxies which are claimed to measure temperature.
Such proxies include tree rings, ice cores and the like, but they all suffer from one serious limitation. The proxies can be calculated from the weather, but the weather cannot be calculated from the proxies. The brief reason is that many different weather elements work in complex ways to produce the proxy.
Tree rings are a simple case, made thicker or thinner by a combination of autumn and spring rains, sun and temperature. All kinds of combinations of these weather elements can produce a thick ring or a thin ring. But which combination? Was it a lot of sun, or maybe gentle rains, or what? All proxies have similar, but different problems.
A more interesting argument heard in New Hampshire is that the ski areas and the maple syrup industries are hurting because of global warming. Using skis and syrup to make the case that the temperature in New Hampshire has warmed substantially is disingenuous because the actual temperature data for New Hampshire are available. Why would you use ski and syrup data to measure temperature when the temperature data are easy to find?
You could suspect that anyone using the ski and syrup data, rather than the temperature data, has already looked at the actual temperature data and found what I found, little or no warming, so they turned to skis and syrup. Interesting!
Finally, for those of you old enough to read in the 1970s, there was a lot of hysteria back then about the global temperature. The same "if we don't act promptly, in 10 years it will be too late" statements were published, on the covers of reputable papers and magazines, by many of the same "scientists," and for many of the same base motives. The only difference between the 1970s and now was that the disaster that was just around the corner was global cooling!
How times change, while people don't.
Is it global warming, political warming or globaloney?
Fred Ward of Stoddard has a Ph.D. in meteorology from MIT
 
Avro
+1
#2
Today, you have a widespread scientific consensus (external - login to view), supported by national academies and all the major scientific institutions, solidly behind the warning that the temperature is rising, anthropogenic CO2 is the primary cause, and it will worsen unless we reduce emissions.
In the 1970s, there was a book (external - login to view) in the popular press, a few articles (external - login to view) in popular magazines (external - login to view), and a small amount of scientific speculation based on the recently discovered glacial cycles (external - login to view) and the recent slight cooling trend (external - login to view) from air pollution blocking the sunlight. There were no daily headlines. There was no avalanche of scientific articles. There were no United Nations treaties or commissions. No G8 summits on the dangers and possible solutions. No institutional pronouncements. You could find broader "consensus" on a coming alien invasion.
Quite simply, there is no comparison.
If you want some additional detail, Real Climate has discussed this (external - login to view), and William Connelly (external - login to view) has made a hobby of gathering everything that was written about global cooling at the time (external - login to view).
 
Walter
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by AvroView Post

Today, you have a widespread scientific consensus (external - login to view)...

A Word About Consensus
"Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.
"Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus.
"Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus."
Michael Crichton
 
#juan
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

A Word About Consensus

"Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.
"Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus.
"Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus."
Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton is trying to sell his book. A book, a work of fiction, that contradicts the evidence of global warming.

The scientific method of research is exactly that. A majority of Climatologists have produced results that others in the field have reproduced. Consensus is not some evil word......it simply means that a majority of scientists in the field have agreed that global warming is a threat. They have agreed that according to the best evidence, the global temperatures are rising and human produced greenhouse gasses are causing it.
 
thomaska
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

...it simply means that a majority of scientists in the field have agreed that global warming is a threat. They have agreed that according to the best evidence, the global temperatures are rising and human produced greenhouse gasses are causing it.

At worst, another great work of fiction...at best, just hysterics.
 
#juan
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by thomaskaView Post

At worst, another great work of fiction...at best, just hysterics.

Well thomaska, are you saying the global temperatures are not rising? Are you saying that man has not pumped 8 trillion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution? These are facts that are irrefutable. You can dissagree that man is causing it I suppose, but who else is there? How do you explain the fact that we are losing cubic miles of ice in both poles and Greenland....ice that has taken thousands of centuries to form. How do you explain the fact that there is bare ground in the arctic that has been covered in ice for thousands of years? There is no evidence of any cycle or increased solar heat that would explain these things. I see no hysteria.....just hard, cold, facts.
 
Phil B
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

How do you explain the fact that there is bare ground in the arctic that has been covered in ice for thousands of years?

Are you sure you meant Arctic?
 
#juan
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by Phil BView Post

Are you sure you meant Arctic?

I've flown a lot over the Arctic and I have seen the change. I understand there is more impressive evidence of global warming in the Antarctic and Greenland but the Arctic is what I've seen.
 
Unforgiven
#9
Just remember Juan, you don't have to convince everybody, you just have to convince most. There will always be people who don't believe anything they do can possibly have an affect on the Earth.

Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

Well thomaska, are you saying the global temperatures are not rising? Are you saying that man has not pumped 8 trillion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution? These are facts that are irrefutable. You can dissagree that man is causing it I suppose, but who else is there? How do you explain the fact that we are losing cubic miles of ice in both poles and Greenland....ice that has taken thousands of centuries to form. How do you explain the fact that there is bare ground in the arctic that has been covered in ice for thousands of years? There is no evidence of any cycle or increased solar heat that would explain these things. I see no hysteria.....just hard, cold, facts.

 
Walter
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

I see no hysteria.....just hard, cold, facts.

Al Gore's movie was anything but cold, hard facts. It is mostly about what might happen in the extreme, distant future.
Last edited by Walter; Jul 23rd, 2007 at 10:54 AM..Reason: grammar
 
Twila
#11
Extreme distant future? What about the unprecedentad hurricanes? What about the flooding going on all over the world? What about the change in the ocean temperature? Extreme distant future....your in it....it ain't later....it's now.

Don't forget global warming is only ONE problem we have currently. Assuming we will survive the pandemics and epidemics coming our way and avoid any nuclear altercation global warming is sure to be our undoing. Although....maybe if half the worlds population kicks it from avian flu or a new plague global warming will not be a problem.
Last edited by Twila; Jul 23rd, 2007 at 10:57 AM..
 
tamarin
#12
"Don't forget global warming is only ONE problem we have currently. Assuming we will survive the pandemics and epidemics coming our way and avoid any nuclear altercation global warming is sure to undo us..."

That's what's needed to finally turn heads on GW. A pandemic would do it. The weather's not strong enough to be convincing. Our winters in the North-East have obviously changed but our summers haven't. Or they haven't changed sufficiently to merit the notice our winters garner. Add to that the breakdown in professional weather forecasting ability and you have a public that has every right to be skeptical. This summer in Ontario was supposed to be hot and dry. It's been warm and wet. The previous winter was supposed to be cold and snowy. It was cool and virtually snow-absent. Even the farmer's almanac has a chance to win readers now. Not good news for GW champions.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

Well thomaska, are you saying the global temperatures are not rising? Are you saying that man has not pumped 8 trillion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution? These are facts that are irrefutable.

Its the connection between those 2 facts which lacks the clarity. Global Warming is a theory that proposes that these 2 facts are connected. It remains to be seen if they truly are.
 
Twila
#14
Quote:

Its the connection between those 2 facts which lacks the clarity. Global Warming is a theory that proposes that these 2 facts are connected. It remains to be seen if they truly are.

How about Global Dimming? How about if we forget about global warming as being a problem and what/who the culprits are and we just start to worry about global dimming instead. Either way...humans whether they cause it or not NEED to do something about it. THe how it happened at this point is irrelevant...the apathy towards action is hugely worrying sign
 
#juan
#15
There is so much evidence that the world is warming up it is hard to see how even the reddest neck could avoid seeing it.





The debate is over about whether or not climate change is real. Irrefutable evidence from around the world - including extreme weather events, record temperatures, retreating glaciers, and rising sea levels - all point to the fact climate change is happening now and at rates much faster than previously thought.
The overwhelming majority of scientists that study climate change agree that human activity is responsible for changing the climate. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is one of the largest bodies of international scientists ever assembled to study a scientific issue, comprised of more than 2,000 scientists from 100 countries. The IPCC has concluded that most of the warming observed during the past 50 years is attributable to human activities. Its findings have been publicly endorsed by the national academies of science (external - login to view) of all G-8 countries, as well as those of China, India and Brazil. The Royal Society of Canada – together with the national academies of fifteen other nations – also issued a joint statement (external - login to view) on climate change that stated, in part: "The work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents the consensus of the international scientific community on climate change science. We recognize IPCC as the world's most reliable source of information on climate change."
Who are the climate change skeptics?
Despite the international scientific community’s consensus on climate change, a very small band of critics continues to deny that climate change exists or that humans are causing it. Widely known as climate change “skeptics” or "deniers", these individuals are generally not climate scientists and do not debate the science with the climate scientists directly – for example, by publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals or participating in international conferences on climate science. Instead, they focus their attention on the media, the general public, and policy makers with the goal of delaying action on climate change.
Not surprisingly, the skeptics have received significant funding (external - login to view) from coal and oil companies, including ExxonMobil. They also have well-documented connections (external - login to view) with public relations firms that have set up industry-funded lobby groups to - in the words of one leaked memo (external - login to view) - "reposition global warming as theory (not fact)."
Over the years, the skeptics have employed a wide range of arguments against taking action on climate change - some of which actually contradict each other. For example, they have claimed that:
  • Climate change is not occurring
  • The global climate is actually getting colder
  • The global climate is getting warmer, but not because of human activities
  • The global climate is getting warmer, in part because of human activities, but this will create greater benefits than costs
  • The global climate is getting warmer, in part because of human activities, but the impacts are not sufficient to require any policy response
After 15 years of increasingly definitive scientific studies attesting to the reality and significance of global climate change, there has been a noticeable shift in the skeptics' tactics. Many skeptics no longer deny that climate change is happening, but instead argue that the cost of taking action is too high - or even worse, that it is too late to take action. All of these arguments are false and are rejected by the scientific community at large.
To gain an understanding of the level of scientific consensus on climate change, a recent study examined every article on climate change published in peer-reviewed scientific journals (external - login to view) over a 10-year period. Of the 928 articles on climate change the authors found, not one of them disagreed with the consensus position that climate change is happening or is human-induced.
These findings contrast dramatically with the popular media's reporting on climate change (external - login to view). One recent study analyzed coverage of climate change in four influential American newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, and Wall Street Journal) over a 14-year period. It found that more than half of the articles discussing climate change gave equal weight to the scientifically discredited views of the skeptics.

This discrepancy is largely due to the media’s drive for balance in reporting. Journalists are trained to identify one position on any issue, and then seek out a conflicting position, providing both sides with roughly equal attention. Unfortunately, the “balance” of the different views within the media does not always correspond with the actual prevalence of each view within society, and can result in unintended bias. This has been the case with reporting on climate change, and as a result, many people believe that climate change is still being debated by scientists when in fact it is not.
While some level of debate is of course useful when looking at major social problems, eventually society needs to move on and actually address the issue. To do nothing about the problem of climate change is akin to letting a fire burn down a building because the precise temperature of the flames is unknown, or to not address the problem of smoking because one or two doctors still claim that it does not cause lung cancer. As the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (external - login to view) (UNFCCC) acknowledges, a lack of full scientific certainty about some aspects of climate change is not a reason for delaying an immediate response that will, at a reasonable cost, prevent dangerous consequences in the climate system.
Learn More:

Who are the skeptics

ExxonMobil uses Big Tobacco’s tactics to manufacture uncertainty on climate science (external - login to view)

‘Some Like It Hot' - Mother Jones article on climate change skeptics (external - login to view)

The Global Warming Denial Lobby (external - login to view)

'Mr. Cool & friends' - Globe and Mail article on climate change skeptics (external - login to view)

Responding to Global Warming Skeptics - Prominent Skeptics Organizations (external - login to view)

'The Smoke Behind the Deniers' Fire' - by George Monbiot (external - login to view)

'The Denial Machine' - CBC's the fifth estate program (downloadable video)


Who funds the skeptics

What Exxon doesn’t want you to know (external - login to view)

ExxonSecrets: How ExxonMobil funds the climate change skeptics (external - login to view)

‘Put a Tiger In Your Think Tank’ - Mother Jones article on ExxonMobil funding (external - login to view)

'Clash of the Titans' - An excerpt from the book ‘Boiling Point’ (external - login to view)

Exxpose Exxon (external - login to view)

'Coal-fired cooperative coughs up cash to climate crank (external - login to view)'

Royal Society tells Exxon: stop funding climate change denial (external - login to view)

http://tinyurl.com/yvfmf6
 
Avro
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

A Word About Consensus

"Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.
"Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus.
"Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus."
Michael Crichton

There was a huge difference with the claim of global cooling and global warming as I stated with the above.
 
#juan
+1
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

Al Gore's movie was anything but cold, hard facts. It is mostly about what might happen in the extreme, distant future.

It's simple Walter, you never watched it.......
 
#juan
+1
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiingView Post

Its the connection between those 2 facts which lacks the clarity. Global Warming is a theory that proposes that these 2 facts are connected. It remains to be seen if they truly are.

It is no longer a theory. Global warming is happening. Since there is no evidence that the sun is producing more heat, we have to find something else. All the computer models point to the huge amount of C02 that we've pumped into the atmosphere. You know, the IPCC report is out there for all to read.
 
Walter
#19
Abnormally Cold Temperatures in Texas Threaten Cotton Crop


By Noel Sheppard (external - login to view) | August 4, 2007 - 11:59 ET
If summer heat and drought were jeopardizing crops in the Midwest, would a climate change obsessed media be having a field day (pun intended) reporting the news whilst connecting it to manmade global warming?
24 hours a day, seven days a week, right? CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC would likely have correspondents in the cornfields giving daily updates about the gravity of the situation.
Yet, further south in Texas, there's a crop very important to Americans in tremendous danger that has gotten almost no attention.
Why? Because abnormally cold summer temperatures are threatening it, and that just doesn't fit the current media agenda. As reported (external - login to view) by the Associated Press Friday (h/t NB reader Phillip A. Smith):
Brad Heffington has farmed cotton in West Texas for nearly two decades but he and other producers in the world's largest growing patch say this year has been odd.
The weather has been cooler than Heffington can remember in his 19 years of growing the fluffy fiber, with temperatures so far failing to warm enough to optimally encourage cotton's fruit _ its bolls _ toward maturity.
"This is really an odd year," Heffington said. The cooler temperatures are "not exactly ideal for cotton. It's not a major concern right now but it could have real serious implications down the road."
The result could be reduced yields at harvest, which begins, at the earliest, at the end of September. "It could stand to be sunnier and warmer," Plains Cotton Growers spokesman Shawn Wade said.
Heat units, the measure of accumulated warmth on cotton plants throughout the growing season, are down 16 percent from normal for the three-month period that ended Tuesday, Randy Bowman, a cotton agronomist with the Texas Cooperative Extension, said.
[...]
The National Weather Service in Lubbock recorded below normal average temperatures for all but three days in July.
The AP issued its first version of this article around 5AM EST Thursday. Yet, Google News and LexisNexis searches identified almost no print coverage.
As for television news outlets, I can find no mention of this matter whatsoever.
It appears the potential for weather related crop damage is only newsworthy in America if it can be reported as evidence of anthropogenic global warming.
What a disgrace.
—Noel Sheppard is an economist, business owner, and a contributing editor to NewsBusters
 
#juan
#20


New global warming evidence presented

Scientists say their observations prove industry is to blame


David Perlman, Chronicle Science Editor (external - login to view)



sfgate_get_fprefs(); Washington -- Scientists reported Friday they have detected the clearest evidence yet that global warming is real -- and that human industrial activity is largely responsible for it.
Researchers at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science cited a range of evidence that the Earth's temperatures are rising:
-- The Arctic regions are losing ice cover.
-- The populations of whales and walrus that Alaskan Eskimo communities depend on for food are crashing.
-- Fresh water draining from ice and snow on land is decreasing the salinity of far northern oceans.
-- Many species of plankton -- the microscopic plants that form the crucial base of the entire marine food web -- are moving north to escape the warming water on the ocean surface off Greenland and Alaska.
Ice ages come and go over millennia, and for the past 8,000 years, the gradual end of the last ice age has seen a natural increase in worldwide temperatures, all scientists agree. Skeptics have expressed doubt that industrial activity is to blame for world's rapidly rising temperatures.
But records show that for the past 50 years or so, the warming trend has sped up -- due, researchers said, to the atmospheric burden of greenhouse gases produced by everything industrial, from power plants burning fossil fuels to gas-guzzling cars -- and the effects are clear.
"We were stunned by the similarities between the observations that have been recorded at sea worldwide and the models that climatologists made," said Tim Barnett of the University of California's Scripps Institution of Oceanography. "The debate is over, at least for rational people. And for those who insist that the uncertainties remain too great, their argument is no longer tenable. We've nailed it."
Barnett and other experts marshaled their evidence and presented it to their colleagues for the first time at a symposium here.
For the past 40 years, Barnett said, observations by seaborne instruments have shown that the increased warming has penetrated the oceans of the world - - observations, he said, that have proved identical to computer predictions whose accuracy has been challenged by global-warming skeptics.
The most recent temperature observations, he said, fit those models with extraordinary accuracy.
But a spokesman for the Bush administration -- which has been criticized for not taking global warming seriously -- was unfazed by the latest news.
"Our position has been the same for a long time," said Bill Holbrook, spokesman for the White House Council on Environmental Quality. "The science of global climate change is uncertain."
"Ice is in decline everywhere on the planet, and especially in the Arctic, " said Ruth Curry, a physical oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, "and there is large-scale drying throughout the Northern Hemisphere."
Ice cores drilled deep into the Greenland ice cap show that salinity of the ice at the upper layers of the cores has decreased sharply due to the incursion of fresh water draining from melting snows on the surface, she reported, and land ice and permafrost are in decline all around the Arctic. In the meantime, she said, measurements show that salinity of the ocean waters nearer the equator has increased as the rate of evaporation of warmer tropical and subtropical oceans quickens.
It may take several centuries for all the ice that covers Greenland to melt, Curry said, "but its release of fresh water will make sea-level rise a very significant issue in this century." In fact, she said, changes in the freshwater balance of the oceans has already caused severe drought conditions in America's Western states and many parts of China and other Asian countries.
Already, the physics of increased warming and the changes in ocean circulation that result are strongly affecting the entire ecology of the Arctic regions, according to Sharon L. Smith, an oceanographer and marine biologist at the University of Miami.
Last summer, on an expedition ranging from Alaska's Aleutian islands to the Arctic Ocean above the state's oil-rich North Slope, Smith said she encountered the leading elder of an Eskimo community on Little Diomede island who told her that ice conditions offshore were changing rapidly year by year; that the ice was breaking up and retreating earlier and earlier; and that in the previous year the men of his community were able to kill only 10 walrus for their crucial food supplies, compared to past harvests of 200 or more.
Populations of bowhead whales, which the Eskimo people of Barrow on the North Slope are permitted to hunt, are declining too, Smith said. The organisms essential to the diet of Eider ducks living on St. Lawrence Island have been in rapid decline, while both the plants and ducks have moved 100 miles north to colder climates -- a migration, she said, that obviously was induced by the warming of the waters off the island.
Another piece of evidence Smith cited for the ecological impact of warming in the Arctic emerged in the Bering Sea, where there was a huge die- off in 1997 of a single species of seabirds called short-tailed shearwaters.
Hundreds of thousands of birds died, she said, and the common plankton plants on which they depend totally for food was replaced by inedible plants covered with calcite mineral plates. Those plants thrive in warmer waters and require higher-than-normal levels of carbon dioxide -- the major greenhouse gas -- to reproduce, Smith said.
"What more convincing evidence do we need that warming is real?" Smith asked.
Chronicle news services contributed to this report.E-mail David Perlman at dperlman@sfchronicle.com (external - login to view).

This article appeared on page A - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle
 
Walter
#21

New View of Global Warming: Hoax or Herding?
7/27/2007 11:57:02 AM

Bob Prechter discussed how social herding seems to be leading to social hysteria over global warming in his June Elliott Wave Theorist. That article brought cries of outrage from some readers. As he puts it in his July Theorist: "Because my interest lay in the herding phenomenon, I gave short shrift to the scientific case for man-made global warming...." Bob goes on to revisit his discussion to clear up any misconceptions. If you care about global warming – one way or the other – you will be interested to read his explanation of why mass fears often prove to be unfounded.
* * * * *

Excerpted from the July 2007 issue of The Elliott Wave Theorist
The Herding Aspect of Global Warming
Now back to my main point: The fact remains that there is powerful evidence of herding at the social level on the global warming issue. Commentary on the subject is even selling theater tickets. And like all past social trends that were ending, there is a rush to extrapolate. The temperature data from which modelers at NASA derive their extrapolation are scant, the projection is extreme and their tone is strident. When any writers, including scientists, extrapolate 29 years’ worth of temperature data to predict an imminent apocalypse of Biblical proportions in an environment of waxing social focus, rising panic and calls for government obstruction, one must acknowledge the likelihood of social-psychological forces behind such a report and investigate whether the data support the prediction.
It’s fine to describe chemistry. It’s fine to offer a theory of atmospheric and temperature change. But there seems to be a degree of statistical selectivity behind this specific prediction from NASA.
Global warming advocates told me that doubting man-made global warming was akin to denying evolution, but the global warming movement has not a little taste of old-time religion in its accompanying admonition of humanity: Man is evil; he is destroying the earth; he is “fouling his own nest,” as one scientist on the web says. Scientists are usually good at their fields but not necessarily at recognizing their own political, moral and economic biases.
As I said, “My primary intent is to take a look at the question from the point of view of a social psychologist to decide whether it appears to be the result of hysteria.” One thoughtful scientist took issue with the term, “hysteria.” But the term applies here to social activity, not the overt behavior of any particular individual.
In 2005, when I was speaking about real estate hysteria and warning people against investing in property, people sporting a rather bemused expression would coolly respond, as if instructing an alien who lacked understanding of the way things worked on Earth, “They are not making any more land” and “it’s all about location.” They would say this with utmost calm. They had thought about it and sifted through the evidence. They were not hysterical but rational and thoughtful. At least, this was the appearance of behavior at the individual level. At the collective level, something else was going on. The number of people participating in the real estate market was unprecedented, and their borrowing, building and bidding activities, collectively, were extreme. Advocates of man-made global warming may appear sober as judges individually, but they are participating in a mass movement, complete with press releases, student rallies, pop concerts, movie documentaries and an underlying tone of moral crusade.
As one advocate for global warming admitted, the issue does become problematic when politics enters the picture. This is an understatement. Collective fears come and go, but public policy in response to them usually causes real horrors. Millions of people in the world are infected with malaria thanks to the DDT ban. The US starves for oil and emits more greenhouse gasses thanks to the ban on building nuclear plants, which could have powered a clean rail system.
Perhaps global warming is an exception to the overwhelming tendency of mass fears to prove unfounded. Perhaps NASA’s spectacular extrapolation of more than a 10 percent rise in temperature in the span of a single lifetime is accurate. But the advocates of government restrictions on productive activity had better be right, or they will once again have to answer for the “collateral damage” they will do with their proposals.
So, would I call man-made global warming a hoax, as a recent television program did? Definitely not; it has a strong scientific basis. Is the social environment with respect to the issue one of mass herding in an emotional state? It most definitely is. Should you believe predictions that climate change will usher in mass doom in coming decades? I don’t. I think the current frenzy over the subject is probably a symptom of peaking cycles in both climatic temperature and social psychology. But unfortunately 70 years from now most of us won’t be around to know the answer.
What I expect, based upon observing mass movements, is that this fear, too, will go away. Like the sweeping prison-yard spotlight that catches glimpses of external causes for stock-market behavior and then passes over them after a few years, crescendos of commentary on various foci of social fear almost always go away. Before my lifetime ends, global warming will probably fade as a focus of concern, and some new mass fear will be on the front page of USA Today. Nevertheless, I caution that only my views on the social aspects of the matter—not the meteorological aspects—are adequately informed.
 
Minority Observer84
#22
Personally I find it hard to believe that there are people out there still maintaining that global warming is a myth . What is it going to take the disappearance of one of the poles ?
 
#juan
#23
No, even that wouldn't do it. We could lose both poles and have ocean front property in Edmonton and they would blame it on politics or something. I've flown over the north pole a fair amount in the last twenty years and the changes are dramatic. We just have to tell ourselves that it is all a myth and that water rising above our knees is only temporary....
 
Tonington
#24
Simple science here, greenhouse gases increase temperature. Venus is twice as far from the sun than is Mercury, with an average temperature of 461 Celsius for Venus and 179 for Mercury.

We've increased the CO2 in our atmosphere by 30%, and doubled the methane which is a more potent greenhouse gas. Not only that, there are positive feedbacks present in Earth's climate which are increasing the net amount of greenhouse gases we're adding to the atmosphere, ie. natural sinks can't absorb all the extra gases we're adding.

But why let any hard facts at all get in the way....
 
Unforgiven
#25
Is it too early to point out the difference between argument and just being contrary?
 
#juan
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by UnforgivenView Post

Is it too early to point out the difference between argument and just being contrary?

You could be right unforgiven. There is no room anymore for reasonable argument.
 
Walter
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

We could lose both poles and have ocean front property in Edmonton

Please post when it happens; but not before.
 
Walter
#28
Challenging the Cult of Environmental Disaster

function createQString(s) { return escape(s);}var Heading = "Challenging%20the%20Cult%20of%20Environmental%20D isaster";var tempTitle = createQString(Heading);var Title = "&t="+tempTitle;
August 8, 2007
By Ed Iverson

The Cult of Environmental Disaster did not arrive with the showing of "An Inconvenient Truth." In 1798, Thomas Malthus asserted that while resources grow linearly, human population grows exponentially, according to Wikipedia. This led him to predict widespread starvation within half a century. His prophecies came to nothing, but he is still revered by many because of his demand that we radically limit human population.

Fast forward to the decade of anxiety. In 1963, Rachel Carson worried that DDT was killing all the birds. Her book, "Silent Spring," was merely a run-up to "The Population Bomb," published in 1968 by the King of Angst, Paul Erlich. While virtually none of Erlich's pessimistic prophecies came true, he is still widely quoted by the Cult of Environmental Disaster.

"The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now."

That was Erlich in 1968. He is also famously quoted as forecasting, "In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish." In 1969 he proposed a wager: "I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000." He might have won that bet, but not because he was right about environmental disaster. Rather, the thing that is making the existence of England increasingly suspect is what Melanie Phillips identifies as "Londonistan."

Proclamations by scientists made a mere 30 years ago make for interesting reading. In a 1971 book, "Global Ecology," Reid Bryson warned, "The continued rapid cooling of the Earth since World War II is in accord with the increase in global air pollution associated with industrialization, mechanization, urbanization and exploding population." Bryson was the first director of the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin. His work is grist for many future columns since at age 86; he has now become one of the foremost climatologists debunking the belief in man-caused global warming.

In 1976, Newsweek's Peter Gwynne reflected the environmental hysteria of the day when he said, "This [cooling] trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century." The drumbeat of the mid-'70s was relentless. Lowell Ponte warned, "This cooling has already killed hundreds of thousands of people. If it continues and no strong action is taken, it will cause world famine, world chaos and world war before the year 2000." And Kenneth E.F. Watt cautioned "If present trends continue, the world will be about 4 degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but 11 degrees colder by the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age."

Clearly, scientific exactness is not the objective of the high priests of the Cult of Environmental Disaster. Many devotees of the cult are sincerely concerned about what the future holds. They assist the cult by filling the role of what Lenin called "useful idiots." Against this, many of my fellow "climate change deniers" point out that these bogus alarms represent a danger to human liberty. Environmental hysteria, they warn, is a great breeding ground for increased government regulations and more onerous taxation. That is true enough.

It must also be said that the soil from which the environmental disaster movement derives its real nourishment is religious. Stewart Brand longs for "a disaster to bomb us into Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion - guilt-free at last!" Here is revealed the real objective of the high priests of the Cult of Environmental Disaster.

Dave Foreman, an early advocate of eco-terrorism, said it best: "We advocate biodiversity for biodiversity's sake. It may take our extinction to set things straight. Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental."

Now here it the truth: These guys are searching for a religious answer, not a scientific one.
 
Avro
#29
The Truth About Denial

By Sharon Begley
Newsweek

Aug. 13, 2007 issue - Sen. Barbara Boxer had been chair of the Senate's Environment Committee for less than a month when the verdict landed last February. "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal," concluded a report by 600 scientists from governments, academia, green groups and businesses in 40 countries. Worse, there was now at least a 90 percent likelihood that the release of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels is causing longer droughts, more flood-causing downpours and worse heat waves, way up from earlier studies. Those who doubt the reality of human-caused climate change have spent decades disputing that. But Boxer figured that with "the overwhelming science out there, the deniers' days were numbered." As she left a meeting with the head of the international climate panel, however, a staffer had some news for her. A conservative think tank long funded by ExxonMobil, she told Boxer, had offered scientists $10,000 to write articles undercutting the new report and the computer-based climate models it is based on. "I realized," says Boxer, "there was a movement behind this that just wasn't giving up."

If you think those who have long challenged the mainstream scientific findings about global warming recognize that the game is over, think again. Yes, 19 million people watched the "Live Earth" concerts last month, titans of corporate America are calling for laws mandating greenhouse cuts, "green" magazines fill newsstands, and the film based on Al Gore's best-selling book, "An Inconvenient Truth," won an Oscar. But outside Hollywood, Manhattan and other habitats of the chattering classes, the denial machine is running at full throttle—and continuing to shape both government policy and public opinion.


Since the late 1980s, this well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists, free-market think tanks and industry has created a paralyzing fog of doubt around climate change. Through advertisements, op-eds, lobbying and media attention, greenhouse doubters (they hate being called deniers) argued first that the world is not warming; measurements indicating otherwise are flawed, they said. Then they claimed that any warming is natural, not caused by human activities. Now they contend that the looming warming will be minuscule and harmless. "They patterned what they did after the tobacco industry," says former senator Tim Wirth, who spearheaded environmental issues as an under secretary of State in the Clinton administration. "Both figured, sow enough doubt, call the science uncertain and in dispute. That's had a huge impact on both the public and Congress."
Just last year, polls found that 64 percent of Americans thought there was "a lot" of scientific disagreement on climate change; only one third thought planetary warming was "mainly caused by things people do." In contrast, majorities in Europe and Japan recognize a broad consensus among climate experts that greenhouse gases—mostly from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas to power the world's economies—are altering climate. A new NEWSWEEK Poll finds that the influence of the denial machine remains strong. Although the figure is less than in earlier polls, 39 percent of those asked say there is "a lot of disagreement among climate scientists" on the basic question of whether the planet is warming; 42 percent say there is a lot of disagreement that human activities are a major cause of global warming. Only 46 percent say the greenhouse effect is being felt today.

As a result of the undermining of the science, all the recent talk about addressing climate change has produced little in the way of actual action. Yes, last September Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a landmark law committing California to reduce statewide emissions of carbon dioxide to 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent more by 2050. And this year both Minnesota and New Jersey passed laws requiring their states to reduce greenhouse emissions 80 percent below recent levels by 2050. In January, nine leading corporations—including Alcoa, Caterpillar, Duke Energy, Du Pont and General Electric—called on Congress to "enact strong national legislation" to reduce greenhouse gases. But although at least eight bills to require reductions in greenhouse gases have been introduced in Congress, their fate is decidedly murky. The Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives decided last week not even to bring to a vote a requirement that automakers improve vehicle mileage, an obvious step toward reducing greenhouse emissions. Nor has there been much public pressure to do so. Instead, every time the scientific case got stronger, "the American public yawned and bought bigger cars," Rep. Rush Holt, a New Jersey congressman and physicist, recently wrote in the journal Science; politicians "shrugged, said there is too much doubt among scientists, and did nothing."

It was 98 degrees in Washington on Thursday, June 23, 1988, and climate change was bursting into public consciousness. The Amazon was burning, wildfires raged in the United States, crops in the Midwest were scorched and it was shaping up to be the hottest year on record worldwide. A Senate committee, including Gore, had invited NASA climatologist James Hansen to testify about the greenhouse effect, and the members were not above a little stagecraft. The night before, staffers had opened windows in the hearing room. When Hansen began his testimony, the air conditioning was struggling, and sweat dotted his brow. It was the perfect image for the revelation to come. He was 99 percent sure, Hansen told the panel, that "the greenhouse effect has been detected, and it is changing our climate now."

www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20122975/site/newsweek/ (external - login to view)
 
Avro
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

Abnormally Cold Temperatures in Texas Threaten Cotton Crop

By Noel Sheppard | August 4, 2007 - 11:59 ET
If summer heat and drought were jeopardizing crops in the Midwest, would a climate change obsessed media be having a field day (pun intended) reporting the news whilst connecting it to manmade global warming?
24 hours a day, seven days a week, right? CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC would likely have correspondents in the cornfields giving daily updates about the gravity of the situation.
Yet, further south in Texas, there's a crop very important to Americans in tremendous danger that has gotten almost no attention.
Why? Because abnormally cold summer temperatures are threatening it, and that just doesn't fit the current media agenda. As...

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post
The chaotic nature of weather means that no conclusion about climate can ever be drawn from a single data point, hot or cold. The temperature of one place at one time is just weather, and says nothing about climate, much less climate change, much less global climate change.
 

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