Icing The Hype
Sep 13, 2007
SPPI Exposes Fundamental Scientific Error in Laurie David’s “Global Warming” Book for Children

EON Business Wire

A fundamental scientific error lurks in a book calculated to terrify schoolchildren about “global warming”, Robert Ferguson, SPPI president, announced today: “The Down-To-Earth Guide to Global Warming”, by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon, is intentionally designed to propagandize unsuspecting school children who do not have enough knowledge to know what is being done to them.  A new SPPI paper briefly examines a cardinal error, found on page 18 of the David book, where she mousetraps children: “The more the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the higher the temperature climbed. The less carbon dioxide, the more the temperature fell. You can see this relationship for yourself by looking at the graph. What makes this graph so amazing is that by connecting rising CO2 to rising temperature scientists have discovered the link between greenhouse-gas pollution (sic) and global warming.”

What really makes the David-Gordon graph “amazing” is that it’s egregiously counterfactual. Worse, in order to contrive a visual representation for their claim that CO2 controls temperature change, the authors present unsuspecting children with an altered temperature and CO2 graph that reverses the relationship found in the scientific literature.

image
Graph with reversed curves corrected

The manipulation is critical because David’s central premise posits that CO2 drives temperature, yet the peer-reviewed literature is unanimous that CO2 changes have historically followed temperature changes.  Case in point, on page 103 of their book, David cites the work of Siegenthaler et al. (2005). However, Siegenthaler et al. clearly state the opposite, that CO2 lags “with respect to the Antarctic temperature over glacial terminations V to VII are 800, 1600, and 2800 years, respectively, which are consistent with earlier observations during the last four glacial cycles.”

“Parents and teachers should be concerned enough to demand that the publisher, Scholastic Books, recall, pulp and correct the error before mores copies reach innocent children,” said Ferguson.

Icecap Note: Laurie David and Cambria Gordon have dedicated their new book, “The Down-To-Earth Guide to Global Warming” to their daughters, Mark Jabo thought that was such a great idea that he decided to write his own dedication to his only son to be used in his next book. See the two letters here.


Sep 13, 2007
Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

By Debra Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle

FOR YEARS, supporters of global warming alarmism have repeated an odd refrain: Even if we’re wrong, we’re right.

Sen. Timothy E. Wirth, D-Colo., said it in 1988, as the National Journal reported. “What we’ve got to do in energy conservation is (to) try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, to have approached global warming as if it is real means energy conservation, so we will be doing the right thing anyway in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”

I regularly receive e-mails with similar arguments. Or as one reader put it, “If global warming is not real, and we spend money trying to fight it, what harm will come of our mistake? Cleaner air? If global warming is real, and we do nothing, what harm will come of our laxity? On which side should we err?”

The very question presupposes that the sacrifices that Americans will have to make are small. To go the distance supported by global warming alarmists requires big changes.
If the alarmists are right, the whole world will have to change and it will be onerous. If the global warming alarmists are wrong, much of the sacrifices they demand will have been for nothing.  Read more here.


Sep 08, 2007
NASA’s James Hansen Finally Releases Climate Data Computer Codes

By Noel Sheppard, Newsbusters

Much as when the organization he leads quietly made changes to the United States historical climate record at the prodding of Climate Audit’s Stephen McIntyre, James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies finally released critical computer codes scientists have wanted for years, but did so with absolutely no official press release. As a result, not one media outlet covered this occurrence that years from now could be seen as a huge turning point in the climate change debate.

Despite the secrecy, there was great celebration amongst anthropogenic global warming skeptics that have wanted these closely held codes to be able to identify how NASA and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration make adjustments to raw climate data collected by weather stations. One such skeptic is Anthony Watts, who happily reported Saturday: “Apparently us “court jesters” (as as Dr. James Hansen calls us) carry some weight after all.

I’m happy to report that NASA GISS has in fact released the computer code used to arrive at temperature adjustments for the USA and the world. The first task is to make sure it matches what has been seen, and to verify that we have all of it. This is hugely important in doing independent verification of the surface temperature record. Following that, an analysis of the methodology and replication of the computer program output to see if it matches the current data sets. Then perhaps we can fully understand why some stations that are in “pristine” condition, such as Walhalla, SC, with no obvious microsite biases, get “adjusted” by Hansen’s techniques. Shouldn’t good data stand on it’s [sic] own?” Yes, that sounds reasonable, Anthony, unless your goal is to manipulate the data to support your agenda. Of course, another happy skeptic was Stephen McIntyre who reported the news at Climate Audit.

Regardless, it seems a metaphysical certitude that the same media which ignored the changes to the climate record a month ago will be equally disinterested in reporting this information. Read more here.


Sep 06, 2007
Global Warming Faces Popular Backlash

By Thomas Lifson

Further evidence that global warming enthusiasts have jumped the shark comes with the box office disaster experienced by Leonardo DiCaprio’s film 11th Hour. Roger Friedman of Foxnews.com reports: “The 11th Hour,” has been a total bust at the box office. After 18 days in release, the film has grossed only $417,913 from ticket sales. The 90-minute snore-fest is playing on 111 screens this week, but that number is likely to be reduced this Friday. The film will be sent to DVD heaven after that.

I confess to being personally incapable of evaluating all the scientific evidence on climatology, physics, and the other relevant disciplines. But I am experienced in the scholarly method of evaluating alternative hypotheses, and well understand that accepted “consensus” views are often overturned by subsequent generations armed with better data. Thomas Kuhn wrote the classic book on the subject, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, a work which I used to ask doctoral candidates to master, in order to learn the lesson that all hypotheses, no matter how widely accepted, remain but tentative models of reality, subject to being replaced by better ones as more evidence comes in.

I wonder how many years it will require for global warming’s snake oil faction to become ashamed of their role in pushing their dogma with their chosen methods. The public seems to have caught on, judging by the box office surprise Leo got, not to mention all the empty seats at various Live Aid concerts. By the way, have you seen Al Gore in the news recently? I haven’t. Maybe he and his obsession have become what Variety used to call “B.O. Poison”. Read more here.


Sep 05, 2007
Global-warming Believers Fear an Honest Debate

By Debra Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle

If dissent is so rare, why do global-warming conformists feel the strong need to argue that minority views should be dismissed as nutty or venal? Why not posit that there is such a thing as honest disagreement on the science?

As for the overwhelming majority of scientists believing that man is behind global warming, former NASA scientist Roy Spencer, now at the University of Alabama, told me: “It’s like an urban legend. There has never been any kind of vote on this issue.” He referred me to a 2003 survey in which two German environmental scientists asked more than 530 climate scientists from 27 countries if they thought humans caused climate change: Fifty-six percent answered yes, 30 percent said no.

What really frosts me about the Newsweek story is that it concentrates on industry funding for skeptics while ignoring the money that pours into pro-global-warming coffers. That focus ignores where the big grant money goes: to pay for crisis-mongering research. Or as Reid Bryson, the father of scientific climatology, told the Capital Times in Madison, Wis.: “If you want to be an eminent scientist, you have to have a lot of grad students and a lot of grants. You can’t get grants unless you say, ‘Oh, global warming, yes, yes, carbon dioxide.’”

True believers appear to be afraid of a fair fight. In March, when the audience was polled before a New York “Intelligence Squared U.S.” debate, 30 percent agreed with the motion that global warming is not a crisis; 57 percent disagreed. After the debate, 46 percent agreed with the motion, while 42 per cent disagreed. Read more here.


Sep 02, 2007
Belgian Weather Institute (RMI) Study Dismisses Role of CO2

Brussels: Carbon dioxide is not the big bogeyman of climate change and global warming. This is the conclusion of a comprehensive scientific study performed by the Royal Meteorological Institute, which will be published this summer. The study does not state that CO2 plays no role in warming the earth. “But it can never play the decisive role that is currently attributed to it,” climate scientist Luc Debontridder says.

“Not carbon dioxide, but water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas, responsible for at least 75 % of the greenhouse effect. This is a simple scientific fact, but Al Gore’s movie has hyped carbon dioxide so much that nobody seems to take note of it.” said Luc Debontridder. “Every change in weather conditions is blamed on carbon dioxide. But the warm winters of the last few years (in Belgium) are simply due to the ‘North-Atlantic Oscillation’. And this has absolutely nothing to do with carbon dioxide.”

Translated into English from this story here.


Sep 01, 2007
Not So Hot

By Wall Street Journal On-Line

The latest twist in the global warming saga is the revision in data at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, indicating that the warmest year on record for the U.S. was not 1998, but rather 1934 (by 0.02 of adegree Celsius). Canadian and amateur climate researcher Stephen McIntyre discovered that NASA made a technical error in standardizing the weather air temperaturedata post-2000. These temperature mistakes were only for the U.S.; their net effect was to lower the average temperature reading from 2000-2006 by 0.15C.

The new data undermine another frightful talking point from environmentalists, which is that six of the 10 hottest years on recordhave occurred since 1990. Wrong. NASA now says six of the 10 warmest years were in the 1930s and 1940s, and that was before the bulk of industrial CO2 emissions were released into the atmosphere. It’s also not clear that the 0.15 degree temperature revision is as trivial as NASA insists. Total U.S. warming since 1920 has been about0.21 degrees Celsius. This means that a 0.15 error for recent years is more than two-thirds the observed temperature increase for the period of warming.

What’s more disturbing is what this incident tells us about the scientific double standard in the global warming debate. If this kind oferror were made by climatologists who dare to challenge climate-change orthodoxy, the media and environmentalists would accuse them of manipulating data to distort scientific truth. NASA’s blunder only became a news story after Internet bloggers played whistleblower by circulating the new data across the Web. So far this year NASA has issued at least five press releases that could be described as alarming on the pace of climate change. But the correction of its overestimate of global warming was merely posted on the agency’s Web site. James Hansen, NASA’s ubiquitous climate scientist and a man who has charged that the Bush Administration is censoring him on global warming, has been unapologetic about NASA’s screw up. He claims that global warming skeptics—“court jesters,” he calls them --are exploiting this incident to “confuse the public about the status of knowledge of global climate change, thus delaying effective action to mitigate climate change.” So let’s get this straight: Mr. Hansen’s agency makes a mistake in a way that exaggerates the extent of warming, and this is all part of a conspiracy by “skeptics”? It’s a wonder there aren’t more of them. Read more here.


Aug 29, 2007
Less Than Half of Published Scientists Endorse Global Warming Theory

By Noel Sheppard, Newsbusters

A new survey about to be published by the journal Energy and Environment finds that less than 50 percent of the scientific papers written about climate change since 2004 have endorsed the view that man’s activities are causing global warming. Think Katie, Charlie, and Brian will be discussing this tonight?

As reported by DailyTech Wednesday: Medical researcher Dr. Klaus-Martin Schulte recently updated this research. Using the same database and search terms as [history professor Naomi] Oreskes, he examined all papers published from 2004 to February 2007. The results have been submitted to the journal Energy and Environment, of which DailyTech has obtained a pre-publication copy. The figures are surprising.

Of 528 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the consensus. If one considers “implicit” endorsement (accepting the consensus without explicit statement), the figure rises to 45%. However, while only 32 papers (6%) reject the consensus outright, the largest category (48%) are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject the hypothesis. This is no “consensus

Read more here.


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