By James Delingpole: Thunderer, Times Online
First there came the computer-generated polar bear in Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth; then that heartrending photo, syndicated everywhere, of the bears apparently stranded on a melting ice floe; then the story of those four polar bears drowned by global warming (actually, they’d perished in a storm). Now, in a new cinema release called Earth – a magnificent, feature-length nature documentary from the makers of the BBC’s Planet Earth series – comes the most sob-inducing “evidence” of all: a poor male polar bear filmed starving to death as a result, the quaveringly emotional Patrick Stewart voiceover suggests, of global warming.
Having been up to the bears’ habitat in Svalbard, I do have a certain amount of sympathy with these concerns. To claim, however, that they are facing imminent doom is stretching the truth. In 1950, let us not forget, there were about 5,000 polar bears. Now there are 25,000. No wonder Greenpeace had trouble getting polar bears placed on the endangered species list. A fivefold population increase isn’t exactly a catastrophic decline. But never let the facts get in the way of a good story. The doom-mongers certainly won’t. Despite evidence from organizations such as the US National Biological Service that in most places polar bear populations are either stable or increasing, Ursus maritimus will continue to top the eco-hysterics’ list of animals in danger because it’s so fluffy and white and photogenic.
If you’re really that worried about their demise, I’d book yourself a ticket to Churchill, Manitoba, where the evil buggers (about the only creature, incidentally, that actively preys on humans) are so rife they’re almost vermin. Read more here.
By Paula Easley, Anchorage Daily News
Reading about the recent global warming rally at Kincaid Park, I wondered if the participants would be relieved if man’s activities were proved not responsible for Alaska’s warming weather. An intriguing question.
They probably don’t know ground-based warming stopped in 1998, according to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change data. This temperature stability is occurring despite a four percent increase in atmospheric C02 over the last eight years. Lower atmosphere satellite data also show little, if any, warming since 1979, although atmospheric CO2 increased 17 percent.
In another surprising turn, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies corrected data errors this September that required changing America’s warmest year on record from 1998 to 1934, thus refuting the Gospel According to James Hansen, the Institute’s director. The third hottest year is now 1921.
Ancient Chinese records have revealed historic warming from year one to about A.D. 240 (the Roman Warming); a cold period between years A.D. 240 and 800 (Dark Ages); warming between 800 and 1400 (Medieval Optimum); and cooling from 1400 to about 1900 (Little Ice Age). Where were man-made CO2 emissions then? Contrary to today’s predictions of catastrophic weather events, during China’s warm periods it experienced fewer and milder storms, fewer droughts and floods, better crops and more prosperity. Here at home, researchers found serious droughts are becoming rare. According to www.CO2Science.org, seven droughts occurred before 1920, seven from 1921-1940 (including the Dust Bowl disaster), eight from 1941-1960, five from 1961-1980 and just three during the next two decades.
But people are dying because of global warming, prominent climate alarmist Deborah Williams wrote (ADN, April 18, 2006), noting 31,000 Europeans died in the 2003 heat wave. Yet cold kills many times more people than heat (as Alaskans well know). Cold weather in England and Wales, 1998-2000, caused some 47,000 deaths each winter. Read more of Paula’s story here.
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit
In recent discussion of the Weblog 2007 Awards, several commenters at other blogs have argued that our criticisms of the Mannian parlor tricks have been “thoroughly refuted and discarded by climatologists, published in a credible journal”; that “other professionals in the field who also have “looked in great detail at the problem at hand” and have come to the conclusion that rather than McIntyre’s findings being “valid and relevant”, they instead have found them to be “without statistical and climatological merit”; that CA “fluffed on the whole hockey stick thing”.
Omitted in these references are the fact that the people described as “climatologists published in a credible journal” or “professionals in the field” are none other than Wahl and Ammann, serial coauthors with Michael Mann, students of Mann, who are not independent of the controversy. Indeed, they largely use (without citation or attribution or even acknowledgment to Michael Mann) arguments originally published at realclimate (and already responded to in MM 2005b(EE). Aside from their lack of independence, neither Ammann nor Wahl qualify as statistical authorities. Ammann did his undergraduate work in geology; Wahl in divinity. While this does not exclude them from having potential insight in the matter, it is evidence that one should not necessarily expect a sure grasp of mathematical and statistical issues and that their conclusions cannot be relied upon uncritically, even if Stephen Schneider accepted their article. Read more from Steve recapping the history of the totally debunked hockey stick here.
Icecap Note: Congratulations to Steve and Climate Audit to see his hard work rewarded with a virtual tie with Bad Astronomy blog for Best Science Blog 2007.
By Molly Reuter, KLTV
It’s a movement that’s gained momentum and has become mainstream, especially in political and media circles. Even major television networks these days are promoting Going Green, to stop Global Warming. One of the things you’re not hearing in the national media is a voice like John Coleman, founder of The Weather Channel. In a recent article, Coleman calls Global Warming the greatest scam in history.
“There is no runaway climate change,” said Coleman. “The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. In time, a decade or two, the outrageous scam will be obvious.” KLTV 7 has three meteorologist on staff. It’s their job to analyze weather patterns both in the short term, and the long term. When it comes to Global Warming, all three have a lot to say.
It’s being blamed for almost every major catastrophe, hurricanes, tornados, flooding and even droughts. More and more people are now on the Global Warming bandwagon. “Any idea can become mainstream if you just hear one side of the argument,” said KLTV 7 Meteorologist Morgan Palmer. For those who study the weather everyday, the idea of man-made Global Warming is a scientific theory, and Palmer says it has now become political. It is because of money,” said Palmer. “Folks that are writing these papers, that a lot of institutions are going after, grant money and grant money is given by folks who might have very good intentions, but unfortunately the papers that are being written are heavily weighed on man-made Global Warming.”
Now, Meteorologist Mark Scirto and Grant Dade want the other side of the argument to be heard. Read more here.
By John Stossel, ABC 20/20
Recently on “20/20,” I said “give me a break” to Al Gore for claiming that the global-warming debate is over and suggesting that all dissenters were in it for the money. I interviewed independent scientists who say Gore is wrong.
Some people were relieved to finally hear the other side: “Thank you, thank you, thank you for your report on climate change. … I’m sick of hearing ‘the debate’s over’ and writing anyone who differs off as a nut. This report showed the true nature of the debate and true lack of consensus, something you can’t get anywhere else.” Others were just mad: “Your 20/20 report on Global Warning made me sick. ... Your sarcastic ridiculing of Al Gore … I have lost all respect for you and your reporting.”
Yes, the globe has warmed, but whether severe warming is imminent and whether human beings are causing it in large degree are empirical questions that can’t be answered ideologically. The media may scream that “the science is in” and the “debate is over,” but in fact it continues vigorously, with credentialed climate scientists on both side of the divide.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may present a “consensus view of scientists,” but the “consensus” is not without dissent. “Consensus is the stuff of politics, not science,” says Paul Reiter of the Pasteur Institute. The scientific process ought to be left to play itself out with as little political bias as possible. Politically influenced research is poison to science. Read more here.
By Christopher Booker and Richard North, UK Telegraph
No one can deny that in recent years the need to “save the planet” from global warming has become one of the most pervasive issues of our time. Inevitably, many people have been bemused by this somewhat one-sided debate, imagining that if so many experts are agreed, then there must be something in it. But if we set the story of how this fear was promoted in the context of other scares before it, the parallels which emerge might leave any honest believer in global warming feeling uncomfortable.
Evidence now has been accumulating to show that, despite the continuing rise in CO2 levels, global temperatures in the years since 1998 have no longer been rising and may soon even be falling. It was a telling moment when, in August, Gore’s closest scientific ally, James Hansen of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, was forced to revise his influential record of US surface temperatures showing that the past decade has seen the hottest years on record. His graph now concedes that the hottest year of the 20th century was not 1998 but 1934, and that four of the 10 warmest years in the past 100 were in the 1930s.
Furthermore, scientists and academics have recently been queuing up to point out that fluctuations in global temperatures correlate more consistently with patterns of radiation from the sun than with any rise in CO2 levels, and that after a century of high solar activity, the sun’s effect is now weakening, presaging a likely drop in temperatures. If global warming does turn out to have been a scare like all the others, it will certainly represent as great a collective flight from reality as history has ever recorded. The evidence of the next 10 years will be very interesting. Read more here.
By Hans H.J. Labohm, Independent Economist
Climate scepticism has now gained a firm foothold in various European countries. In my own country, the Netherlands, the situation has markedly improved. In line with the tradition of consensus-seeking, it has been possible to establish something close to a real dialogue between AGW adherents and the climate sceptics. Personally, I have even been invited by the Netherlands Royal Meteorological Institute (KNMI) to become expert reviewer of the IPCC. As such, I have submitted many fundamental criticisms on the draft texts of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Panel (AR4). What happened to my comments? To be honest, I have not the faintest idea. Most probably, nothing at all.
Nevertheless, in my capacity as expert reviewer of the IPCC, I have also received (a tiny) part of the Nobel price, which has been awarded to Al Gore and the IPCC (yes, thanks for your congratulations). Should I be grateful? I don’t think so. Both ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and the latest IPCC report labour under cherry-picking, spindoctoring and scare-mongering (Al Gore’s movie more than the IPCC reports). Awarding the Nobel price for such flawed science is a disgrace.
And what about our kids? Well, they have survived the story of Santa Claus without any visible scars. Wouldn’t they survive the nonsense of man-made global warming as well? Read more here.
By Sewell Chan, New York Times
Is the environmental movement, like the war on terror, premised on a “politics of fear”? In other words, does it try to unify people by scaring them with threats to their basic survival? That was the provocative thesis advanced by Alex Gourevitch, a doctoral candidate in political theory at Columbia University, at a panel discussion on Tuesday evening at the New York Public Library. He was confronted by vigorous dissent from his fellow panelists and from some members of the audience.
Let’s say it: Environmentalism is a politics of fear. It is not a progressive politics. When I say it is a politics of fear, I don’t mean that it just deploys hysterical rhetoric or that it exaggerates threats, which I think it does. I mean it in a much deeper sense. Mr. Gourevitch did not portray himself as a skeptic of climate change, but he argued, “What the science cannot tell you is what our political and social response should be.” Science cannot determine whether humans should focus on mitigation or adaptation, he said.
Mr. Gourevitch quoted Al Gore as describing the climate change not only as the most urgent issue of our time, but also as a unique opportunity for current generations to affect the course of history. Mr. Gourevitch summarized this approach as “the thrill of being forced by circumstances to put aside the pettiness and conflict that so often stifle the human need for transcendence.”
He added: Environmentalism is not just some politics. It’s a political project, a full-bodied ideology, and one that presents itself in terms of progress and aspiration. But when you look at what this ideology is built on, it’s built on the idea that a collective threat that makes security the basic principle of politics and makes the struggle for survival the basic and central aim of our social and political life. This, to me, is not a progressive politics at all. Most provocatively, Mr. Gourevitch compared the environmental movement to the war on terror, which he said relies on a unity based on fear. Read more here.