Icing The Hype
Jan 04, 2008
Weather Alarmism as a Noble Strategy

By John Tierney, New York Times

Amidst the denunciations of my column and post on weather alarmism, there was a calm question from one critic, Annie Jia: “What is your purpose in writing these articles, aside from making climate-change-is-a-problem advocates look bad, and making climate skeptics happy, and making yourself appear smart by debunking “popular wisdom”? Shouldn’t journalism be more responsible and purposeful than that, and be geared towards some positive end?”

I’ll spare you the usual lecture on journalism being a search for the pure truth no matter where it leads. Journalists, especially columnists, want to tell the truth while also performing some useful public service, and we’re inevitably selective in what we choose to write about. So why did I write about the weaknesses in some of the alarms being raised about global warming? Even if some availability entrepreneurs like Al Gore are mistakenly attributing isolated weather events to global warming, aren’t they serving a noble purpose by getting an otherwise apathetic public to take action against a real problem?

I hope we don’t spend the new few decades watching dueling entrepreneurs trying to turn every weather anomaly into an argument about what humans are doing to the climate. It would be nice to think that we, unlike the ancients who propitiated the gods with human sacrifices, could accept the fact that it’s natural for unusual weather to occur - that the weirdest year of all would be one in which no record was set anywhere. Indulging our superstitious impulses isn’t going to help us deal with the scientific uncertainties ahead. Read more here.

Jan 04, 2008
In 2008, a 100 Percent Chance of Alarm

By John Tierney, New York Times

I’d like to wish you a happy New Year, but I’m afraid I have a different sort of prediction. You’re in for very bad weather. In 2008, your television will bring you image after frightening image of natural havoc linked to global warming. You will be told that such bizarre weather must be a sign of dangerous climate change - and that these images are a mere preview of what’s in store unless we act quickly to cool the planet.

Unfortunately, I can’t be more specific. I don’t know if disaster will come by flood or drought, hurricane or blizzard, fire or ice. But there’s bound to be some weird weather somewhere, and we will react like the sailors in the Book of Jonah. When a storm hit their ship, they didn’t ascribe it to a seasonal weather pattern. They quickly identified the cause (Jonah’s sinfulness) and agreed to an appropriate policy response (throw Jonah overboard).

Today’s interpreters of the weather are what social scientists call availability entrepreneurs: the activists, journalists and publicity-savvy scientists who selectively monitor the globe looking for newsworthy evidence of a new form of sinfulness, burning fossil fuels.

A year ago, British meteorologists made headlines predicting that the buildup of greenhouse gases would help make 2007 the hottest year on record. At year’s end, even though the British scientists reported the global temperature average was not a new record - it was actually lower than any year since 2001 - the BBC confidently proclaimed, “2007 Data Confirms Warming Trend.” When the Arctic sea ice last year hit the lowest level ever recorded by satellites, it was big news and heralded as a sign that the whole planet was warming. When the Antarctic sea ice last year reached the highest level ever recorded by satellites, it was pretty much ignored. A large part of Antarctica has been cooling recently, but most coverage of that continent has focused on one small part that has warmed.  Read more here.

UPDATE: In a January 2, 2008 editorial in Investor’s Business Daily, The Times - They Are A-Changin’, they opine: “We hope Tierney’s piece signals the beginning of a fair and balanced debate on the Earth’s climate and man’s impact on it in the mainstream media, including all the inconvenient truths that are fit to print.”

Jan 02, 2008
Man-Made Global Warming ‘Bites the Dust’

By Bob Stuart, Planet News

Jackson Hole, Wyoming - With headlines blaring “Catastrophe is imminent,” many are convinced that anthropogenic (man-made) global warming is fact and a crisis. We’re told the debate is over, there’s a scientific consensus, and the few remaining skeptics are “deniers.” Unfortunately for Gore and his minions, those “few” skeptics number in the hundreds if not thousands. A U.S. Senate report released on Dec. 20 details the objections of over 400scientists who have disputed man-made global warming claims. They include Nobel Prize winners and many who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and Al Gore. A progression of peer-reviewed studies appearing in publications like the Journal of Geophysical Research and the International Journal of Climatology prompted astronomer Dr. Ian Wilson to declare, “Anthropogenic global warming bites the dust.”

Denis G. Rancourt, professor of physics at the University of Ottawa opines: “I argue that by far the most destructive force on the planet is power-driven financiers and profit-driven corporations and their cartels, backed by military might; and that the global warming myth is a red herring that contributes to hiding this truth.” We must resist the politicization of science. A split has occurred between politically driven “official” science and science that is “determined by what is actually happening with the [climate] data,” says Dr. David Evans. It’s a dangerous time for science and politics, and while science historically wins these battles, grave harm occurs. We must learn to adapt to inevitable climate change, and reject the fear-mongering of power-driven elitists.  Read more here.

Jan 02, 2008
Editorial: Global Warming ‘Consensus’ a Fiction

An Orange County Register editorial

Global warming hype peaked in 2007 with calls for vast increases in government control to stifle industrial growth, eliminate fossil fuels and impose new carbon taxes. We were told desperate measures are needed because there’s a scientific “consensus” that man-made greenhouse gases are increasing dangerously. Former Vice President Al Gore claimed there’s no legitimate objection to the catastrophes he and the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predict. All this received much media coverage and support from politicians and government bureaucrats, who stand to gain control if we heed their warnings. The problem is, there’s noscientific consensus for doomsday claims, let alone that drastic remedies are needed.

Growing numbers of global warming science skeptics are making their opposition known. They include experts in climatology, oceanography, geology, biology, environmental sciences and physics, among others. They are affiliated with prestigious institutions worldwide, including Harvard, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, MIT, the International Arctic Research Center, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and many others. Many shared a portion of IPCC’s 2007 Nobel Peace Prize (co-won with Mr. Gore), and others have won previous Nobel Prizes for their research.

A U.S. Senate report accumulated more than 400 of their views to refute Mr. Gore’s claim of “consensus.” Read more of this editorial here.

Jan 01, 2008
Newsweek’s Prophetess of Doom Wonders ‘Why We Were So Stupid’

By Tim Graham, Newsbusters

Some journalists are so confident that we’re already cooked by global warming that they’re scolding ignorant Americans in advance for all the now-unpreventable doom that’s coming our way. Newsweek’s Sharon Begley rings in the new year by shaking her head at the Stupid, Soon to Be Overheated Majority and how we’ll have to adapt to being cooked: “As scientists and policy types figure out what changes will be necessary to cope with global warming, it’s obvious that massive sea walls will be required to hold back rising oceans, that enormous new reservoirs will be needed to cope with the alternating droughts and deluges that many regions will suffer and that a crash program to develop heat- and drought-resistant crops would be a good idea if people are to keep eating....”

I’d love to see Begley face the idea that news magazines and other scientific sages saw the opposite weather threat in the 1970s. As R. Warren Anderson and Dan Gainor laid out in the Business and Media Institute report Fire and Ice.

Tim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center

Dec 31, 2007
Anthropogenic Global Warming is Nonsense

By Edward Townes

These days it is well nigh impossible to not be aware of the ‘Global Warming’ hysteria.  From the doomsday movies, to alarming media headlines, to politicians scrambling over each other to get on the green bandwagon, one thing is clear - it’s not politically correct to question it.  When I first decided to look into what all the fuss was about on climate change, I was not opinionated on the subject at all.  From what I understood then, the only difference between the global warming alarmists and me was a difference in opinion on the economics involved.  That has now completely changed.

They have engaged in exaggeration and deception on just about every single last aspect of climate change. The point of my article is to show you that the theory of anthropogenic global warming needs to be exposed to criticism to ensure its health.  If the theory has merits, then it has to be proved under the rigors of the scientific method, not through political campaigns.  It is important for any subject, but especially one on a global scale with so much at stake, to be rationally discussed without the panic, hysteria, and sensationalist rubbish.  People who try to suppress this debate are highly irresponsible and their motives should seriously be called into question.  A lot of the responsibility for how this is handled rests on you and me.  If someone tells you that the world is going to end in 100 years time because of the gases that come out your mouth and backside, you should have the intellectual fortitude to critically question that claim, and not treat like heretics those who do. Read more here.

Dec 29, 2007
Scientific Evidence Builds to Counter Global Warming - Another View

The Morning Call

Heads of state, government bureaucrats, environmental activists, and the news media—15,000 strong—have just completed a global warming conference in Bali, Indonesia. They intended to force mandated reductions in man-made carbon dioxide emissions (CO2 ) in order to avert the catastrophic consequences of global warming. But respected and skeptical climate scientists were banned from panel discussions, censored, silenced, and threatened with removal by the police if they tried to present peer-reviewed evidence contradicting the ‘’prevailing wisdom.’’ The message was that, ‘’the debate is over; don’t confuse the issue with facts; it’s time to move ahead.’’

But, the nations of the world refused to commit to CO2 reductions because the consequences to their economies would have been truly disastrous. Perhaps the scientific evidence that man-made global warming does not exist somehow sneaked into the conference, and caused doubt about the conventional wisdom, the so-called ‘’scientific consensus’’ that humankind causes global warming.

The 2007 report issued by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee details the views of over 400 prominent scientists from more than 25 countries who voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called ‘’consensus’’ on human-caused global warming. Many of these scientists are current or former members of the IPCC, and are criticizing the claims of the IPCC. This blockbuster report lists the 400-plus scientists by name, academic/institutional affiliation, country of residence, and features their own words—verbatim. The thing that is glaringly absent from the global warming theory is testing. The scientific method requires exhaustive testing to validate a hypothesis, and also requires that a test be applied that would show the hypothesis to be false. This was not done, but instead, the environmentalists cherry-picked only periods of time when CO2 and temperature were both increasing. The problem is, that has rarely happened. Read more here.

Dec 27, 2007
Contaminated Temperature Data

World Climate Report

It’s that time of year again when we see headlines about 2007 being the mth warmest year on record over the past n years whether we are talking about the United States or the world as a whole. Reporters breathlessly reveal that the trend in temperatures is alarming and completely unprecedented over the eons of earth history. The buildup of greenhouse gases is immediately blamed, and we are all left to believe that the rising temperatures can only be explained by human emissions. Rarely does anyone seem to question the quality of the temperature data, and yet, articles appear regularly in the scientific literature showing that the near-surface air temperature measurements are fraught with errors, gaps, and any number of inhomogeneities.

Climate scientists have been writing about these problems for over a century. Long ago, scientists noticed that temperatures in London were substantially higher than the surrounding rural landscape, and urban climatology has been a subdiscipline in the atmospheric sciences ever since. Once the greenhouse debate got fired-up in the late 1980s, countless articles appeared in the literature on everything from the urban heat island to changes in instrumentation to changes in time of observation. Yet another major article related to the issue of contamination to the temperature record has appeared recently in the Journal of Geophysical Research written by two of the leading greenhouse skeptics walking the planet – Ross McKitrick of the University of Guelph and Patrick Michaels of the Cato Institute. Be aware that the peer reviewers of the manuscript would have been fully aware of who conducted the research and wrote the article, they would certainly have known of the international reputations of McKitrick and Michaels, and accordingly, the research would likely have been held to the highest standards of scrutiny.

The authors state “our analysis does suggest that nonclimatic effects are present in the gridded temperature data used by the IPCC and that they likely add up to a net warming bias at the global level that may explain as much as half the observed land-based warming trend.” Cancelling half of the “global” warming of the past few decades is highly noteworthy at World Climate Report, but no worthy of coverage elsewhere? We can only imagine the press coverage had they been able to squeeze even more warming out of the IPCC temperature record.  Read more here.

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