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.
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%
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.
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
By the Boston Herald editorial staff
Newsweek’s Aug. 13 cover story on what it snidely calls “the denial machine” of people who doubt the dogma of global warming borders on the scandalous. It is another distressing example of arguing over difficult and disputed ideas not according to evidence or theories for or against but on the basis of who supports or opposes them. In real science, results do not depend on who is doing the work.
In this case, skepticism about global warming is supposed to be laughed out of court because some industries have supported some conservative think tanks in casting doubt on the greenhouse dogma, or much of it. That’s the notion that catastrophe looms because carbon dioxide from combustion of fossil fuels is building up in the atmosphere and trapping heat like the glass walls and ceilings of a greenhouse.
And unlike the tobacco researchers, climate skeptics have a reasonable candidate theory to explain the data, a theory that Newsweek totally distorts. (The hypothesis is that solar variations amplify variations in the earth’s cloud cover - more clouds, more warming; fewer clouds, less warming.)
Maybe the skeptics are all wrong and the true believers 100 percent correct. But the believers would do better to keep calm and advocate policies that could be reversed later if it turns out that they are the ones who are wrong or largely so. Read full editorial here.
By Lubos Motl, The Reference Frame
NBC has fully joined the most radical group of the global warming jihadists. It’s kind of amazing but in these 2 minutes and 34 seconds, a form of the word “denier” appears seven times - a higher frequency than the apparance of “infidels” in the Islamic jihadists’ speeches. They probably want to make sure that you won’t miss it. Prof Patrick Michaels is chosen as the representative of all of us, the deniers. They show him walking above a caption saying “IN DENIAL”.
Anne Thompson even accuses Michaels of not believing that global warming will flood one third of Florida! Well, Michaels must be a truly fringe denier, indeed. Would you believe that someone would deny such an obvious prediction. They uncritically cite an extreme political activist group, the Union for Concerned Scientists, to sling mud at everyone who doesn’t agree with the tenets of the global warming jihad. The “deniers” are surely paid by ExxonMobil, and so forth. I wonder whether they realize that these corrupt journalists themselves have earned more money through this gigantic worldwide fraud than the money that they are incorrectly associating with the “deniers”.
Read more of this blog here.
Editorial in The Washington Times
It was never supposed to be a trick question. Which year is the hottest on record? Depending where one looks, there are three different answers: 2006, 1998 or 1934. Until last week, the answer was supposed to be 2006, but it might have been 1998. Now, citing corrections of faulty data, NASA says it was actually 1934. The National Climactic Data Center disagrees; it still says 1998.
Here’s what we know: The National Climatic Data Center reported in mid-January that 2006 was the hottest year on record. Then, in May, it revised the numbers, concluding that 1998, in fact, was the hottest on record. NASA’s old numbers echoed that last contention. But last week, it emerged that NASA had quietly restated its numbers, without fanfare or so much as a press release, after a blogger pointed out faulty methodology. Now, per NASA: 1934 is hottest, followed by 1998, 1921, 2006 and 1931.
Here’s another hysteric, The Washington Post, in January: “Last year was the warmest in the continental United States in the past 112 years,” read its front-page story, “capping a nine-year warming streak ‘unprecedented in the historical record’ that was driven in part by the burning of fossil fuels, the government reported yesterday.” Funny, but we thought “unprecedented” would require an absence of, well, precedents, such as the 1920s and 1930s. These years were similarly warm decades, like the present. Alas, when the source of data that prompted this story, the National Climatic Data Center, adjusted its numbers in May, The Post did not correct its shrieking January story. Nor has The Post yet bothered to report NASA’s latest data restatement. Instead, on Friday, we get: “Did Global Warming Cause NYC Tornado?”
If we cannot get through 2007 without a data restatement so fundamental that it dethrones the “hottest year on record,” we should not keep hearing angry intonations that “The debate is over.” The debate is not over — not if such basic climate data is so disputed. Read full story here.
By Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe
Anthropogenic global warming is a scientific hypothesis, not an article of religious or ideological dogma. Skepticism and doubt are entirely appropriate in the realm of science, in which truth is determined by evidence, experimentation, and observation, not by consensus or revelation. Yet when it comes to global warming, dissent is treated as heresy—as a pernicious belief whose exponents must be shamed, shunned, or silenced.
Newsweek is hardly the only offender. At the Live Earth concert in New Jersey last month, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. denounced climate-change skeptics as “corporate toadies” for “villainous” enemies of America and the human race. “This is treason,” he shouted, “and we need to start treating them now as traitors.”
This is the zealotry and intolerance of the auto-da-fé. The last place it belongs is in public-policy debate. The interesting and complicated phenomenon of climate change is still being figured out, and as much as those determined to turn it into a crusade of good vs. evil may insist otherwise, the issue of global warming isn’t a closed book. Smearing those who buck the “scientific consensus” as traitors, toadies, or enemies of humankind may be emotionally satisfying and even professionally lucrative. It is also indefensible, hyperbolic bullying. That the bullies are sure they are doing the right thing is not a point in their defense.
“The greatest dangers to liberty,” Justice Louis Brandeis wrote, “lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” Read full op ed here.