How the GW myth is perpetuated

Walter

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Why let facts get in the way?

By FRED WARD

Monday, Jul. 16, 2007
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

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Today, you have a widespread scientific consensus, 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 in the popular press, a few articles in popular magazines, and a small amount of scientific speculation based on the recently discovered glacial cycles and the recent slight cooling trend 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, and William Connelly has made a hobby of gathering everything that was written about global cooling at the time.
 

Walter

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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

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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

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May 24, 2006
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...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

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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.
 

#juan

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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

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May 28, 2007
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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.

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

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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.
 
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Twila

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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.
 
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tamarin

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Jun 12, 2006
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"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

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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

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Mar 26, 2003
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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

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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 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 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 from coal and oil companies, including ExxonMobil. They also have well-documented connections with public relations firms that have set up industry-funded lobby groups to - in the words of one leaked memo - "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 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. 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 (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

‘Some Like It Hot' - Mother Jones article on climate change skeptics

The Global Warming Denial Lobby

'Mr. Cool & friends' - Globe and Mail article on climate change skeptics

Responding to Global Warming Skeptics - Prominent Skeptics Organizations

'The Smoke Behind the Deniers' Fire' - by George Monbiot

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


Who funds the skeptics

What Exxon doesn’t want you to know

ExxonSecrets: How ExxonMobil funds the climate change skeptics

‘Put a Tiger In Your Think Tank’ - Mother Jones article on ExxonMobil funding

'Clash of the Titans' - An excerpt from the book ‘Boiling Point’

Exxpose Exxon

'Coal-fired cooperative coughs up cash to climate crank'

Royal Society tells Exxon: stop funding climate change denial

http://tinyurl.com/yvfmf6
 
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Avro

Time Out
Feb 12, 2007
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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

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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

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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 reported 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

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New global warming evidence presented

Scientists say their observations prove industry is to blame


David Perlman, Chronicle Science Editor



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.

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