Icing The Hype
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.

Aug 28, 2007
Intolerance Mars Climate Change Debate

By Christopher Lingle, Special to the Japan Times

What’s up with journalists in the mainstream media? In most cases, they tend to be unconditional supporters of free expression and strive to report on controversial views. However, reporting on issues relating to global warming has become strikingly one-sided. With no need to persuade using rational argument, a new conventional wisdom is being formulated that is beyond challenge by “sensible” people.

Creating group-think and mass behavior should be anathema to honest journalists. Otherwise, reporters become opinion makers rather than neutral observers. Along these lines, there are signs of a growing intolerance in the debate on global climate change. Climate-change denial has become a taboo that invites a sense of moral repugnance toward deniers.

As it turns out, most “skeptics” are simply those that raise doubts about the certainty of computer models of the future that predict climate doom. For their part, nondeniers readily accept long-term projections for climate change that rely upon computer models.

Citing computer model forecasts to justify scientific consensus about climate change beggars logic and denies real-world experience. As it is, weather forecasters and economists using similarly elaborate computer models are legendarily inept in making short-term predictions. Read more here.

Aug 27, 2007
Quarter-Degree Fix Fuels Climate Fight

By Andy Revkin, New York Times

Never underestimate the power of the blogosphere and a quarter of a degree to inflame the fight over global warming.  quarter-degree Fahrenheit is roughly the downward adjustment NASA scientists made earlier this month in their annual estimates of the average temperature in the contiguous 48 states since 2000. They corrected the numbers after an error in meshing two sets of temperature data was discovered by Stephen McIntyre, a blogger and retired business executive in Toronto. Smaller adjustments were made to some readings for some preceding years.

Jay Lawrimore, a scientist at the National Climatic Data Center of the Commerce Department who works on assembling the climate records that NASA analyzed, said his agency could probably do a better job of emphasizing the uncertainty surrounding its annual temperature announcements.
Mr. McIntyre and the government scientists do agree on at least one more thing: the need to improve the quality of climate data gathered around the world, including in the United States, which has by far the planet’s biggest network of meteorological stations.

Mr. McIntyre is not alone in pointing out that the need to adjust and revise such data — with the attendant risk of mistakes — would be reduced with more care and consistency taken in collecting climate data.

The National Academy of Sciences has repeatedly called for improvements in climate monitoring. An independent group of meteorologists and weather buffs is compiling its own gallery of American weather stations at www.surfacestations.org, with photographs showing glaring problems, like thermometers placed next to asphalt runways and parking lots. Dr. Lawrimore said that the government is preparing to build a climate reference network of more sophisticated, and consistent, monitoring stations that should cut uncertainty in gauging future trends.  Read more here. Also read McIntyre’s blog on Revkin’s take on the Hansen Fiasco here.

Aug 20, 2007
Hunting and Fishing for New Opinions on Global Warming

HunterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com

Hunter and Angler Industry Snapshot

Most anglers and hunters are concerned about global warming. According to a national poll of 2,602 sportsmen and women conducted by AnglerSurvey.com and HunterSurvey.com in July, 2007, 58 percent of hunters and 66 percent of anglers reported they consider global warming to be threat.

Of these, two-thirds think global warming is a natural cycle that is accelerating as a result of human activities.

At the other end, nearly a quarter of hunters and 16 percent of anglers felt global warming was not an issue but is being made into an issue by others.

The specific results were: 
Global warming is a threat and is a natural cycle that is accelerated by human activities: Hunters 38.1% Anglers 46.1%
Global warming is a threat and is primarily a natural cycle not accelerated by human activities: Hunters 13.5% Anglers 10.1%
Global warming is a threat and is fully caused by human activities: Hunters 6.6% Anglers 10.2%
Global warming is not an issue. It is being made into an issue by others: Hunters 24.0% Anglers 16.1%
I am uncertain if global warming is really happening or not / no opinion: Hunters 17.8% Anglers 17.5%

Aug 20, 2007
Propaganda as Journalism

By Michael J. Economides, Cullen College of Engineering, University of Houston

One of the vilest, most venomous pieces of writing masquerading as journalism was the Newsweek cover story on August 13, 2007. With the sun as the backdrop, which in the piece got a minor supporting role for global warming, compared to man-produced CO2, the magazine screamed “Global Warming is a Hoax” * and the asterisk led to the clincher as a large enough footnote: “ Or so claim well-funded naysayers who still reject the overwhelming evidence of climate change. Inside the denial machine”.

Had the writer attempted even remote due diligence, just by asking some of the 800 “authors” of the IPPC report to produce just one reference, she would discover that there is not one paper in the peer reviewed heat transfer or thermodynamic literature that shows the causal relationship between the presumably observed and, especially, forecasted global warming and the increased CO2 at the 300 parts per million levels. Correlation does not prove causation. That’s what I thought until now. I am even willing to accept that global warming can cause enhanced CO2 in the atmosphere by reducing the solubility of the gas in the oceans. But the other way around is what is at issue.

Second, while slogans and magazine articles lament what they consider to be a looming catastrophe, other than saying oil, gas and coal are bad for you, they are not really suggesting what else can be done because if they did they would quickly find the insurmountable costs. Unless committing economic suicide is what’s in their mind. If the recent virtual economy hiccup can cause the problem that it did, imagine what a forced energy supply disruption will mean for the world.

I have calculated that sequestering just the expected incremental CO2 between today’s levels and 2030 will require 1.7 million wells at a cost of over $7 trillion. Alternative energy sources will cost more. I am sure that all this nonsense will be swept away by the economy and reality. There is no need to worry. Oil and gas will be the dominant sources of energy for another 50 years, at least.

Read this insightful op ed here.

Aug 20, 2007
Hansen Says Global Warming Skeptics Are Court Jesters Working for Big Oil

By Noel Sheppard, Newsbusters

In Hansen’s own words:

The deceit behind the attempts to discredit evidence of climate change reveals matters of importance. This deceit has a clear purpose: to confuse the public about the status of knowledge of global climate change, thus delaying effective action to mitigate climate change. The danger is that delay will cause tipping points to be passed, such that large climate impacts become inevitable, including the loss of all Arctic sea ice, destabilization of the West Antarctic ice sheet with disastrous sea level rise later this century, and extermination of a large fraction of animal and plant species (see “Dangerous”, “Trace Gases”, and “Gorilla” papers).

Make no doubt, however, if tipping points are passed, if we, in effect, destroy Creation, passing on to our children, grandchildren, and the unborn a situation out of their control, the contrarians who work to deny and confuse will not be the principal culprits. The contrarians will be remembered as court jesters. There is no point to joust with court jesters. They will always be present. They will continue to entertain even if the Titanic begins to take on water. Their role and consequence is only as a diversion from what is important.

Read more here.

Icecap note: More likely in the next few years, Hansen, Gore and their cronies will be seen as the fabled Emporer with no clothes



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