The Global Warming Scam: The Beat Goes On

 

For some years now, the President of the United States and his minions have been lying to us about the threat posed to our well-being and our security by global warming. In the next few decades, they say, the temperature will dramatically rise and the climate will change markedly for the worse. The consequences will be dire, and human activity is the cause. We must curb carbon emissions … or millions will die. They have even induced the armed forces to list combating global warming as one of their prime missions.

And the beat goes on. In a breathless report, posted yesterday on the website of Time Magazine, Noel Feeney tells us that “more than 100,000 people are taking to the streets of New York City on Sunday to take part in the People’s Climate March” and that 2,700 similar demonstrations will be taking place in 150 different countries.

The march is taking place ahead of Tuesday’s United Nations climate-change summit, which is convening to discuss an international carbon emissions agreement. Those marching hope their participation will put pressure on world leaders expected to attend, such as President Barack Obama, to take policy action to curb the climate change damage. . .

The event is believed to be the largest climate change-related demonstration in history. It may also be the loudest — demonstrators are using horns, speakers and other noise-making methods to literally sound the alarm on climate change.

“It’s going to be beautiful,” the organizer of the march reportedly told NBC News. “It’s like sounding a burglar alarm on the people who are stealing the future.”

What makes Feeney’s report especially intriguing is that neither he nor Justin Gillis and Coral Davenport, who wrote a similar report for Pravda-on-the-Hudson, nor Joe Jackson, who is reporting on the event for The Wall Street Journal, anywhere acknowledges the existence of climate scientists who doubt that the shifts taking place in temperatures across the globe are anything to be alarmed about.

hr01Even more striking is the failure of these reporters to mention the fact that, over the last 16 years, the planet has been cooling. The left-liberal activists who pose as journalists have this in common with Barack Obama. They are disinclined to allow scientific fact to get in the way of the sacred cause they espouse.

But the facts are nonetheless there to be seen. As Matt Ridley observed earlier this month on the op-ed page of The Wall Street Journal, there is no climate emergency, and everyone with any knowledge of climate science knows it.

The U.N. no longer claims that there will be dangerous or rapid climate change in the next two decades. Last September, between the second and final draft of its fifth assessment report, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change quietly downgraded the warming it expected in the 30 years following 1995, to about 0.5 degrees Celsius from 0.7 (or, in Fahrenheit, to about 0.9 degrees, from 1.3).

Even that is likely to be too high. The climate-research establishment has finally admitted openly what skeptic scientists have been saying for nearly a decade: Global warming has stopped since shortly before this century began.

First the climate-research establishment denied that a pause existed, noting that if there was a pause, it would invalidate their theories. Now they say there is a pause (or “hiatus”), but that it doesn’t after all invalidate their theories.

Alas, their explanations have made their predicament worse by implying that man-made climate change is so slow and tentative that it can be easily overwhelmed by natural variation in temperature—a possibility that they had previously all but ruled out.

When the climate scientist and geologist Bob Carter of James Cook University in Australia wrote an article in 2006 saying that there had been no global warming since 1998 according to the most widely used measure of average global air temperatures, there was an outcry. A year later, when David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Foundation in London made the same point, the environmentalist and journalist Mark Lynas said in the New Statesman that Mr. Whitehouse was “wrong, completely wrong,” and was “deliberately, or otherwise, misleading the public.”

We know now that it was Mr. Lynas who was wrong. Two years before Mr. Whitehouse’s article, climate scientists were already admitting in emails among themselves that there had been no warming since the late 1990s. “The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998,” wrote Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia in Britain in 2005. He went on: “Okay it has but it is only seven years of data and it isn’t statistically significant.”

If the pause lasted 15 years, they conceded, then it would be so significant that it would invalidate the climate-change models upon which policy was being built. A report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) written in 2008 made this clear: “The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more.”

Well, the pause has now lasted for 16, 19 or 26 years—depending on whether you choose the surface temperature record or one of two satellite records of the lower atmosphere. That’s according to a new statistical calculation by Ross McKitrick, a professor of economics at the University of Guelph in Canada.

It has been roughly two decades since there was a trend in temperature significantly different from zero. The burst of warming that preceded the millennium lasted about 20 years and was preceded by 30 years of slight cooling after 1940.

Ridley does not doubt that carbon emissions produce warming and that human activity has an effect on the climate. His point is simply that it appears to be far less influential than the changes produced by mother nature, which are considerable.

Nor is Ridley alone in his skepticism. On the cover of the review section in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, you will find an article by Steven E. Koonin — who was once professor of theoretical physics and provost at Cal Tech and who served as undersecretary for science in the Energy Department during President Barack Obama’s first term (and who is now director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York University) — in which we are told the following:

The crucial scientific question for policy isn’t whether the climate is changing. That is a settled matter: The climate has always changed and always will. Geological and historical records show the occurrence of major climate shifts, sometimes over only a few decades. We know, for instance, that during the 20th century the Earth’s global average surface temperature rose 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Nor is the crucial question whether humans are influencing the climate. That is no hoax: There is little doubt in the scientific community that continually growing amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, due largely to carbon-dioxide emissions from the conventional use of fossil fuels, are influencing the climate. There is also little doubt that the carbon dioxide will persist in the atmosphere for several centuries. The impact today of human activity appears to be comparable to the intrinsic, natural variability of the climate system itself.

Rather, the crucial, unsettled scientific question for policy is, “How will the climate change over the next century under both natural and human influences?” Answers to that question at the global and regional levels, as well as to equally complex questions of how ecosystems and human activities will be affected, should inform our choices about energy and infrastructure.

But—here’s the catch—those questions are the hardest ones to answer. They challenge, in a fundamental way, what science can tell us about future climates.

Beyond [observational challenges regarding how best to estimate human contribution to global warming, our vast ignorance of the oceans, and the way various factors feedback on each other] are those posed by the complex computer models used to project future climate. These massive programs attempt to describe the dynamics and interactions of the various components of the Earth system—the atmosphere, the oceans, the land, the ice and the biosphere of living things. While some parts of the models rely on well-tested physical laws, other parts involve technically informed estimation. Computer modeling of complex systems is as much an art as a science.

For instance, global climate models describe the Earth on a grid that is currently limited by computer capabilities to a resolution of no finer than 60 miles. (The distance from New York City to Washington, D.C., is thus covered by only four grid cells.) But processes such as cloud formation, turbulence and rain all happen on much smaller scales. These critical processes then appear in the model only through adjustable assumptions that specify, for example, how the average cloud cover depends on a grid box’s average temperature and humidity. In a given model, dozens of such assumptions must be adjusted (“tuned,” in the jargon of modelers) to reproduce both current observations and imperfectly known historical records.

We often hear that there is a “scientific consensus” about climate change. But as far as the computer models go, there isn’t a useful consensus at the level of detail relevant to assessing human influences.

He concludes:

While the past two decades have seen progress in climate science, the field is not yet mature enough to usefully answer the difficult and important questions being asked of it. This decidedly unsettled state highlights what should be obvious: Understanding climate, at the level of detail relevant to human influences, is a very, very difficult problem. . . . [B]ecause the natural climate changes over decades, it will take many years to get the data needed to confidently isolate and quantify the effects of human influences. Policy makers and the public may wish for the comfort of certainty in their climate science. But I fear that rigidly promulgating the idea that climate science is ‘settled’ (or is a ‘hoax’) demeans and chills the scientific enterprise, retarding its progress in these important matters.

In short, though there is such a thing as climate science, its practitioners are not currently in a position to do more than guess at future trends and won’t be for a good long time. Climate science may not be a hoax, but the claim that the science is settled is demonstrably false — and the administration in which Professor Koonin once served is trying, with the help of a great many dishonest climate scientists, to put one over on us.

Somehow, I doubt that Al Gore, Bill de Blasio, Harry Reid, or anyone else at the march is going to tell the crowd anything even remotely resembling the truth. Nor do I think that we will soon hear a mea culpa from Michael Mann.

Image Credits: 1) Flickr user Royce Bair; 2) Matt Ridley.

There are 33 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Now, now. Why would they lie to us? Ahem.

    Reason Magazine has a man-on-the-street video asking climate hysterics — um, justice marchers what they’re hoping will come out of their protest.

    You get three guesses and the first two don’t count: more socialism. Yay for more socialism!! Massive redistribution! Kill the industrialists!! Turn off everything! — Well, except for my cell phone. Can’t live without my cell phone.

    • #1
  2. user_82762 Thatcher
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Paul,

    You know we must be the ones who are prepared to fight the really big lies.  Socialism, Keynesianism, and Man-Made Global Warming are three of the biggest.  Since Mann got caught destroying the careers of peer reviewed climate scientists, at least some of the real data has been surfacing.  This has been enough to punch big holes in the intellectual Hindenburg that Climate hysteria really is.

    What is sometimes interesting is to see that even the little lies can really hurt.  Delingpole followed a little lie at Breitbart London that was just beautiful.  The extinct snail that wasn’t.  Reports of the snails extinction were greatly exaggerated (to paraphrase Mark Twain).

    SNAILGATE

    Incredibly the little lie of the snail may have made a dent into the reputation of the Royal Society perhaps the world’s most revered scientific body.  Oh well lie down with dogs and you will wind up with snails er.. flees.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #2
  3. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Like.

    • #3
  4. virgil15marlow@yahoo.com Member
    virgil15marlow@yahoo.com
    @Manny

    I’m sick of all this global (Gore Bull) warming bull crap.  The evidence is scanty and the implications, even if true, are minor, if not negligible.  This is the left’s new passion, and they will not stop until they get their way.  This is how they hold their nitwits together election time and sooner or later they will have to deliver for the nitwits.

    • #4
  5. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    We can believe there is a climate crisis when Al Gore, Leo DiCaprio, John Kerry, Barack Obama, et al ramp back their lifestyles. And when there are windmills in Nantucket Sound.

    • #5
  6. user_138562 Moderator
    user_138562
    @RandyWeivoda

    Paul A. Rahe:

    We know, for instance, that during the 20th century the Earth’s global average surface temperature rose 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

    And this has not been continual.  The temperature rose from about 1890 to the 1940’s, then leveled off and we went into a cooling trend until the mid-to-late 1970’s, when warming started again.  Will it be warmer, cooler, or the same twenty years from now?  I don’t know and neither does Al Gore.

    • #6
  7. Fredösphere Member
    Fredösphere
    @Fredosphere

    Western Chauvinist: Reason Magazine has a man-on-the-street video asking climate hysterics — um, justice marchers what they’re hoping will come out of their protest.

    You get three guesses and the first two don’t count: more socialism. Yay for more socialism!!

    Mmmmm, watermelon.

    • #7
  8. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya
    Western Chauvinist

    Now, now. Why would they lie to us? Ahem.

    Reason Magazine has a man-on-the-street video asking climate hysterics — um, justice marchers what they’re hoping will come out of their protest.

    You get three guesses and the first two don’t count: more socialism. Yay for more socialism!! Massive redistribution! Kill the industrialists!! Turn off everything! – Well, except for my cell phone. Can’t live without my cell phone.

    I have no doubt that only a tiny fraction of the “climate justice” marchers have anything more than Wiki-knowledge of the science involved.  Their concern about global warming is simply blind faith–a prejudice they cling to because it reinforces other cherished beliefs:  Capitalism is bad, corporations are evil, Earth is fragile, collectivism is good, and they, the climate change believers, are so very enlightened and smart.

    • #8
  9. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    Good. Thanks.

    • #9
  10. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    It’s entirely possible that the natural climate trend in the future will be toward colder temperatures and perhaps even a “little ice age”.  If that were the case, wouldn’t a bit of human-caused warming be welcome, to mitigate the natural trend?  It’s hubris to think that we can see the future with 20/20 foresight.  Better to wait and see what the future brings and adjust to it.

    • #10
  11. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    The whole environmental movement is an anti-humanist crusade.  Anything that man does is bad.  If burning fossil fuels moderated the climate they would be campaigning against “Global Climate Moderation” suppressing the “natural rhythm of the global climate system”.

    • #11
  12. Marion Evans Inactive
    Marion Evans
    @MarionEvans

    Odd how the global warming movement took off exactly one minute after communism collapsed circa 1990. Same people and same agenda.

    Odd also that when it stopped warming, they started to call it ‘climate change’ instead of ‘global warming’.

    • #12
  13. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Perhaps warming hysterics could conduct their march at the North Pole.  It should be getting quite balmy up there by now, and they could help maintain the polar bear population by being, you know, food.

    • #13
  14. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Larry3435:Perhaps warming hysterics could conduct their march at the North Pole. It should be getting quite balmy up there by now, and they could help maintain the polar bear population by being, you know, food.

    Sustainability!

    • #14
  15. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    Johnny Dubya:It’s entirely possible that the natural climate trend in the future will be toward colder temperatures and perhaps even a “little ice age”. If that were the case, wouldn’t a bit of human-caused warming be welcome, to mitigate the natural trend? It’s hubris to think that we can see the future with 20/20 foresight. Better to wait and see what the future brings and adjust to it.

    Back in 1975, Newsweek published a piece on the danger of global cooling. The earth had been cooling since the 1940s, and hysterics feared the onset of a new ice age. Here are some magazine covers.

    • #15
  16. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Here’s Matt Ridley defending the article which you quoted above.

    • #16
  17. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Here is what is clear to me:  most people aren’t interested in the truth.  What they are interested in is their own “pointless point of view.”  Or to say it differently, they are interested in their cause.  If you take their cause from them, what else do they have?  People will continue to march against climate change and rattle on about this and that, and nothing will convince them that what they believe is wrong.

    • #17
  18. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    The irony is that it is the curbing of carbon emissions that really would produce millions of deaths.

    • #18
  19. user_8847 Inactive
    user_8847
    @FordPenney
    Z in MT

    The whole environmental movement is an anti-humanist crusade.  Anything that man does is bad.  If burning fossil fuels moderated the climate they would be campaigning against “Global Climate Moderation” suppressing the “natural rhythm of the global climate system”.

    Exactly the point and the anti-humanist isn’t hiding behind a very big cloak re:

    Ultimately, if you think about all the youth that everybody has mentioned here in Africa, if everybody is raising living standards to the point where everybody has got a car and everybody has got air conditioning, and everybody has got a big house, well, the planet will boil over — unless we find new ways of producing energy.
    –Barack Obama at town hall event in South Africa

    So the president is ok with what he has and to keep it you can’t have it… sorry Africa, you must sacrifice and suffer, its best for everyone on the planet, especially us. Any wonder why the world thinks of the US as arrogant?

    • #19
  20. George Savage Contributor
    George Savage
    @GeorgeSavage

    The Sunday Boston Globe front page yesterday featured a story titled, “In Maine, Scientists See Signs of Climate Change.”  The story opens in typical Globe fashion:

    ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Maine — With milder winters sparking a surge in deer ticks, park rangers now duct-tape their ankles while combing the wilds of Acadia, where native flowers are disappearing at alarming rates and invasive species are thriving.

    Along the rocky coast of Georgetown, Maine, lobstermen are finding more black sea bass in their traps, spiny intruders that until recently were almost never spotted so far north. In a pond in Brunswick, an increasingly prevalent disease has ravaged amphibians.

    In a state with the highest percentage of forested land and a long, famously scenic coastline, where timber and fisheries remain at the heart of the economy, climate change has become an immediate concern.

    Heat waves, more powerful storms, and rising seas are increasingly transforming Maine — effects that most climate scientists trace to greenhouse gases warming the planet. Wedged between powerful streams of cold and warm air, the state is buffeted by climate fluctuations in the arctic and the Gulf of Maine, both of which are warming rapidly.

    Well it is certainly hard to argue with hard quantitative science like that, isn’t it?  Actually, nothing could be easier as the first page of the article is a data-free zone.

    The Globe lede tells us that people in Maine are concerned about climate change and reporting warming-caused oddities at an increasing rate.  In my field we call this “confirmation bias;” in journalism it counts as “settled science” worthy of front page treatment.

    After the jump we are provided a dollop of data, but dispensed in a manner calculated to mislead.  A prominent infographic depicts the cataclysmic warm-up of Maine currently underway.  Interestingly, the authors use 1980-2000 for their baseline and compare to a “predicted” future spanning 2041-2070.

    Of course, the 1998-2014 and counting “pause” in global warming is nowhere mentioned, leading one to suspect that the decision to excise the past 14-years from the only data presented may not be an oversight.  And though the Globe does not describe the model used to generate the just-over-the-political-horizon 2041-2070 forecast, I am willing to wager that it is one of those that should be on the mathematical scrap heap as a result of the facts Professor Rahe presents above.

    • #20
  21. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    George Savage:The Sunday Boston Globe front page yesterday featured a story titled, “In Maine, Scientists See Signs of Climate Change.” The story opens in typical Globe fashion:

    ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Maine — With milder winters sparking a surge in deer ticks, park rangers now duct-tape their ankles while combing the wilds of Acadia, where native flowers are disappearing at alarming rates and invasive species are thriving.

    Along the rocky coast of Georgetown, Maine, lobstermen are finding more black sea bass in their traps, spiny intruders that until recently were almost never spotted so far north. In a pond in Brunswick, an increasingly prevalent disease has ravaged amphibians.

    In a state with the highest percentage of forested land and a long, famously scenic coastline, where timber and fisheries remain at the heart of the economy, climate change has become an immediate concern.

    Heat waves, more powerful storms, and rising seas are increasingly transforming Maine — effects that most climate scientists trace to greenhouse gases warming the planet. Wedged between powerful streams of cold and warm air, the state is buffeted by climate fluctuations in the arctic and the Gulf of Maine, both of which are warming rapidly.

    Well it is certainly hard to argue with hard quantitative science like that, isn’t it? Actually, nothing could be easier as the first page of the article is a data-free zone.

    The Globe lede tells us that people in Maine are concerned about climate change and reporting warming-caused oddities at an increasing rate. In my field we call this “confirmation bias;” in journalism it counts as “settled science” worthy of front page treatment.

    After the jump we are provided a dollop of data, but dispensed in a manner calculated to mislead. A prominent infographic depicts the cataclysmic warm-up of Maine currently underway. Interestingly, the authors use 1980-2000 for their baseline and compare to a “predicted” future spanning 2041-2070.

    Of course, the 1998-2014 and counting “pause” in global warming is nowhere mentioned, leading one to suspect that the decision to excise the past 14-years from the only data presented may not be an oversight. And though the Globe does not describe the model used to generate the just-over-the-political-horizon 2041-2070 forecast, I am willing to wager that it is one of those that should be on the mathematical scrap heap as a result of the facts Professor Rahe presents above.

    Anything to further the cause!

    • #21
  22. user_183043 Member
    user_183043
    @FrankMonaldo

    All,

    There is an even larger  over-arching question: Given whatever reasonable assumptions we wish to make about climate change and man’s role in it,  what should we be trying to optimize in public policy? Is the goal of public policy to maximize human material well being, or to minimize impacts on the environment?  It is my intuition that the economic regulation required to significantly reduce human impact on the climate would impoverish many and probably require extensive limits on personal freedom.

    Frank

    • #22
  23. CuriousKevmo Member
    CuriousKevmo
    @CuriousKevmo

    I wish the warming would resume, I can’t convince my Mrs. to move to Montana until it gets a little warmer.

    • #23
  24. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Frank Monaldo: Is the goal of public policy to maximize human material well being, or to minimize impacts on the environment?  It is my intuition that the economic regulation required to significantly reduce human impact on the climate would impoverish many and probably require extensive limits on personal freedom.

    Agreed. But, the climate hysterics use, um… counterfactuals like “Capitalism kills!” The truth is, socialism — the tragedy of the commons — causes much more environmental devastation than the prosperous West ever did by emitting CO2 plant food. East Germany contrasted with the U.S. illustrates the point.

    I forget who said it, but I like the aphorism, “People of affluence don’t like to live in effluence.” The richer we get, the cleaner our environment. Which is why the Left had to pick something as benign as the natural byproduct of living (CO2) to turn into a “pollutant.”

    • #24
  25. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    CuriousKevmo:I wish the warming would resume, I can’t convince my Mrs. to move to Montana until it gets a little warmer.

    We in Michigan share your preferences.

    • #25
  26. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Paul A. Rahe:The irony is that it is the curbing of carbon emissions that really would produce millions of deaths.

    Explain please.

    • #26
  27. ParisParamus Member
    ParisParamus
    @ParisParamus

    At this point (or in 2012, for that matter), how does a candidate for President, or even Senate deal with the fact that speaking the truth on this subject will possibly spell political defeat?

    Also, I have trademarked the term GLOBAL MORONING, but you’re free to use it.

    • #27
  28. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    Spin:

    Paul A. Rahe:The irony is that it is the curbing of carbon emissions that really would produce millions of deaths.

    Explain please.

    The energy attendant on the emission of carbon is essential for sustaining life. It heats our homes, it transports our food. I could go on.

    • #28
  29. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    ParisParamus:At this point (or in 2012, for that matter), how does a candidate for President, or even Senate deal with the fact that speaking the truth on this subject will possibly spell political defeat?

    Also, I have trademarked the term GLOBAL MORONING, but you’re free to use it.

    I will use it.

    • #29
  30. Matty Van Inactive
    Matty Van
    @MattyVan

    There’s a little gem of a quote from the “Organizer of the March.” I’m not sure exactly how he relates it to global warming, but I think we ought to borrow his phrasing to explain our warnings on deficit spending. He says,

    “It’s like sounding a burglar alarm on the people who are stealing the future.”

    • #30

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.