My good friend and TWC founder John Coleman still gets it right. And below Dr. Patrick Moore the co-founder of Greenpeace does too.
John Hinderaker, Powerline Blog
It is increasingly clear that the battle over global warming consists of science on side, and politically-motivated dogma on the other. Ken Haapala of the Science and Environmental Policy Project offers historical context:
In the 30 years between the 1979 Charney report to the National Academy of Sciences on an investigation of the possible effects of increased carbon dioxide on the earth’s temperatures to the 2009 EPA’s finding that carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases, endanger human health and welfare, government-funded Climate Studies have largely turned from empirical science to dogma - a belief system unsubstantiated by physical evidence.
The Charney report included some of the nation’s best meteorologists and climate researchers and the report recognized that laboratory tests demonstrated that the direct influence on global temperatures from doubling carbon dioxide would be minor - possibly unmeasurable.
The report also identified educated guesses - estimates [ that the CO2 influence might be greatly enhanced by increases in water vapor - the dominant greenhouse gas. If correct, this positive feedback would greatly multiply any increase from CO2. The report recognized that the warming would occur in the atmosphere, and that we did not have comprehensive measurements of atmospheric temperatures. Thus, the hypothesis of significant atmospheric warming from increased water vapor could not be tested.
Now, of course, it can be, and is, being tested.
In March 1990, Science Magazine published a paper by Roy Spencer and John Christy describing a method of using data collected from NOAA polar orbiting weather satellites to comprehensively calculate atmospheric temperatures for virtually the entire globe, except for the extreme poles. These data cover about 97 to 98 percent of the globe, including oceans, deserts, mountain ranges, jungles, etc. where there are few surface instruments. Initially, certain small errors in calculation were discovered, including orbital decay. These were acknowledged and corrected. This is how science advances.
These data, published monthly, are independently calculated by two other entities and are independently verified by four sets of weather balloon data using different instruments. The government-sponsored United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), and the EPA largely ignore the atmospheric data, which is far more comprehensive and better tested than surface data.
Not only are the satellite data more comprehensive and better tested than surface data, they haven’t been tampered with. Government-funded warmists at NOAA and other agencies have systematically altered historical surface temperature data by lowering temperatures that were recorded decades ago, and raising temperatures that have been reported recently. The surface temperature record has been so badly corrupted that it is doubtful whether it can be used to prove anything at all. Yet government-funded warmists rely on it to the exclusion of the transparent satellite data.
Unfortunately, subsequent government-funded research went from properly testing the educated guesses (hypotheses) in the Charney Report to using them to create fear of global warming, now called climate change. Economically drastic programs and government policies have been justified based on these untested guesses.
From 1993 to 2016, the US government spent over $40 Billion on what government entities classify Climate Science - and has produced no refinement to the 1979 Charney Report.
Where did that $40 billion go? It didn’t buy any battleships, or pay for the construction of transcontinental highways. An enormous portion of it must have gone into the pockets of “scientists” who were generating the scary reports that left-wing government agencies wanted.
Independent scientists and climate researchers have produced far better estimates of the influence of CO2, based on empirical (scientific) observations. But that research is not included in official government publications.
Public policies on energy and the environment should be based on the best available empirical science, not on incomplete studies, which have become dogma.
On March 29, the U.S. House Committee on Science Space & and Technology held a hearing titled “Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications, and the Scientific Method” featuring climate scientists John Christy, Judith Curry, Michael Mann, and Roger Pielke Jr., who recently left the field, in part because of abusive tactics by certain members of Congress. Comparing the written testimony of John Christy with that of Michael Mann provides a stark illustration of the difference between empirical science and scientific dogma.
Follow the link for more. You will wonder, as I do, why anyone classifies the vicious Michael Mann - author of the fraudulent “hockey stick” as a scientist.
A daughter can make a man do almost anything. I know: I’ve got one and I am putty in her hands.
If she wants a pony and bats her eyelashes at me, I’ll be off in a trice to buy her a herd. Baby unicorn ponies, if that’s what she prefers. With jewels inlaid in their spiral horns and maybe some magical attachment that plays the collected works of Taylor Swift while she rides.
So I totally get where President Trump is coming from when I read reports that, under the influence of Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, he has toned the phrasing of an Executive Order so that it no longer includes derogatory comments about the utterly useless and pointless climate deal signed in Paris in 2015 by Barack Obama.
Kushner and Ivanka “intervened to strike language about the climate deal from an earlier draft of the executive order,” sources familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.
Ivanka and her husband “have been considered a moderating influence on the White House’s position on climate change and environmental issues,” WSJ reports. Now, the executive order will have no mention of the so-called Paris agreement.
If it’s just a case of casual daughter-pleasing, fine. But if he actually means it than we should all start to worry.
I’ve said it before but it’s worth saying again: if President Trump proves to be as radical on energy and climate as he promised to be on the campaign trail, then this, even if he achieves nothing else, will more than qualify him for a place next to the greats on Mt Rushmore.
He will go down in history as the hero who slew ManBearPig: the president who, unlike his pusillanimous, career-safe, Establishment predecessors from Clinton and the Bushes to the ultimate horror that was Obama, finally had the courage, integrity and honesty to point out that the Climate Emperor is wearing no clothes; the guy who brought to the end the greatest scientific scandal ever; who saved Western Industrial Civilisation from the Watermelons.
But it’s all very well having good instincts and good intentions. The hard part will be dealing with all the obstacles thrown in his way by the monstrously large group of special interests sometimes known as the Green Blob and sometimes as the Climate Industrial Complex.
Ivanka and Jared Kushner are part of that Green Blob. So is Hollywood. So is most of the mainstream media. So are most of the colleges, corporations, law firms, NGOs, local governments, schoolteachers, and even significant elements of the Republican party, like the GOP grandees currently agitating to introduce a Carbon Tax.
To get an idea of how big the problem is you should have been there at CPAC at the weekend, as I was, when Scott Pruitt - the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, was asked what he thought about man-made climate change.
He just didn’t dare say.
Here he was, in the seductive and friendly company of conservative interviewer Dr Gina Loudon, in front of a 100 per cent sympathetic audience of GOP faithful, and still he fudged the question with a waffling, awkward, embarrassed, fence-sitting, evasive, non-answer.
And Scott Pruitt is one of the good guys - as we know from the fact that one of the main things he was known for doing when he was Oklahoma attorney general was suing the Agency of which he is now the head. I’ve little doubt that he will do sterling work reining in the EPA’s excesses and unravelling the environmentalists’ anti-business, anti-property-rights, anti-liberty agenda. But judging on his public appearances in the fortnight since he was confirmed in the post, I’d say he’s sounding too much the cautious, career-safe politician and not enough the fearless and refreshing Trump-style radical.
His first speech as administrator was all about what a thorough and competent technocrat he’s going to be.
“Regulations ought to make things regular,” said Mr. Pruitt, repeating a line he used at his confirmation hearing in January. “Those that we regulate ought to know what they can expect from us.”
At CPAC, his main theme was the importance of restoring federalism and states’ rights.
All sensible stuff. But if this Administration is really serious about slaying the Green Blob it’s going to have to do better than merely hiding behind the Constitution and due process. It’s going to need make a convincing case as to why all this stuff needs doing. Otherwise, the Trump Administration’s best efforts are going to be swamped by green propaganda aimed at making it look uncaring and anti-environment and unscientific.
What’s so stupid is that making this case is really, really easy.
I know because I did it at my three speaker events at CPAC. And if I can do it, anyone can.
First, was this brilliant panel, expertly moderated by John Fund, in which blogger Tony Heller (aka Steven Goddard) and lawyer, blogger and EPA scourge Steve Milloy dealt with the basics: the climate data has been rigged by a corrupt, untrustworthy scientific establishment; there has been little global warming and what there has been is entirely within natural boundaries; the reason that this global scam appeals to so many different interest groups - politicians, activists, (mostly second-rate) scientists, rent-seekers etc - is that it caters to such a variety of motivations (political; religious; follow-the-money).
Second was a talk on energy economics with the fascinating Mark Mills of the Manhattan Institute who explained why renewables are such an inadequate and unnecessarily expensive response to the massively increasing global demand for energy; and why fossil fuels - especially shale gas and oil - are by far the most effective solution for at least the next few hundred years.
Third was an equally enlightening talk with Dr Craig Idso of the Energy & Environment Legal Institute on how increased atmospheric CO2 is greening the planet - thus more than counteracting all the disasters the greenies have been predicting as CO2 levels rise.
So to recap:
Man-made global warming is evidently and demonstrably not a problem.
The people who pretend otherwise are crooks, liars, idiots or shills.
CO2 does far more good than harm.
Fossil fuels aren’t running out - especially not now we’ve discovered the game-changing technology of hydraulic fracturing - and are the ideal solution to our energy needs.
Renewables are a waste of everyone’s time - and always will be.
There is copious evidence to support all these statements and it’s really about time those of us on the winning side of the argument stopped pussyfooting around and apologizing for being 100 per cent right. That should include everyone in the Trump administration.
No more cautious speeches equivocating as to whether carbon dioxide is a problem or not, and whether we ought to have more renewables in the mix.
This is a revolution; we’ve got truth and justice on our side; we owe the enemy nothing - and we really shouldn’t count our job done till we’ve crushed them, seen them driven before us and heard the lamentations of their women.
Donald Devine, The American Spectator
One shocking claim has dominated the nomination battles for Donald Trump’s Cabinet appointees, from Science magazine, Mother Jones, and mainstream media to constant invective from Democratic senators - the candidates are science deniers!
The idea that people will not accept the findings of science drives a certain class of self-described intellectuals crazy. Even those who can comprehend the Yale University Cultural Cognition Project research warning that scientific findings are screened by individuals through pre-existing cultural beliefs and are interpreted in ways to reinforce those beliefs still insist their own scientific beliefs are objective and settled.
That research finds progressives risk averse, biased toward control of their environment, while conservatives tolerate risk, partial toward greater freedom - the recognition of which does not overcome the progressive insistence that relativity explains all motion or that global warming is “settled science.” Conservative wise man Eric Voegelin traced the progressive predisposition to the positivist philosopher Auguste Comte, who invented the social sciences to replace religion with objective empirical research that would eventually allow humans to achieve perfection in this world rather than waiting for the next.
The fact that this hope has fallen a bit short over the following century has not diminished its appeal. For progressivism, it is just science, at least when it agrees with its own reductionist, materialistic predispositions by academic fields dominated by fellow progressives. While it might surprise that 43 percent of physicists believe that God or some higher spirit affected material development, it is even a majority belief among biological and chemistry scientists. On the other hand, few hold this belief in psychiatry and many other social sciences.
In fact, settled science is rather difficult to find, even the purely physical sciences. Columbia University physicist Brian Greene explained: “[G]eneral relativity and quantum mechanics cannot both be right” as currently formulated, even though they are “the two foundational pillars upon which modern physics rests.” The journal Physical Review Letters reported that a major study of the light sterile neutrino, widely expected by scientists to undermine Standard Model physics, found at a “99% certainty” level that neutrinos do not even exist.
An article in Current Biology questioned whether biologists’ long-held conception of the basic structure of the animal cell is in fact universal. Ninety-eight percent of human genome DNA had long been determined to be “junk” and only 2 percent meaningful - until the ENCODE project recently reported that in fact at least 80 percent of it was active. Scientists have known for years there are 83 distinct areas in the brain, but the journal Nature published a study last year more than doubling the number of brain regions to 180.
The one field where the science must be “settled,” of course, is global warming. Or is it “climate change,” when clearly no skeptic doubts climate changes? Why the alteration in terminology? Perhaps because, in 2007, the world’s leading experts at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported its “central forecast” for long-term warming to be 3 degrees C. Yet, since then its reports have not listed a single central estimate but did reduce its minimal expected warming down from a 1.5-degrees rise to only a 1.0-degree temperature increase.
The U.S.’s NASA-Goddard Institute did announce that 2016 was the “hottest year on record,” but while NASA had formerly warned against accepting “misleading” specific temperatures without considering the ranges of scores within the measurement margin of error, it did not repeat that warning in 2016. As the Wall Street Journal’s Holman Jenkins showed, after taking into account error margins, 2015 and 2016, two El Nino years, were actually tied for being the warmest years recorded, and 1998, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014 were all tied for second place, close behind.
As climatologist Judith Curry testified to Congress, IPCC models have forecast surface temperatures to increase 0.2 degrees C each 21st century decade. But during the first fifteen years, actual temperatures only increased 0.05, four times lower than predicted. And the models cannot explain why more than 40 percent of the temperature increases since 1900 took place between 1910 and 1945, which produced a mere 10 percent of the carbon emissions.
Actually applying science to human beings is even more complicated. Consider what has been called “the crown jewel of government-run medical research,” the National Institutes of Health. What happens within its walls takes place in quiet labs with an occasional announcement of scientific cures for cancer or the like that hold potential after further research. The veil is lifted occasionally by an employee. In early 2015, a pharmacist reported, not to her NIH boss but to the Food and Drug Administration, she had seen discoloration in a medicine vial that turned out to be a fungal contamination, which led to a second adulteration and the closing of the pharmacy.
The FDA made five additional inspections of NIH that month, finding further compromises of sterile environments. In September, the two pharmacy administrators were advised they might face dismissal, eventually only being reassigned. When NIH informed Congress, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., suggested an outside review that a year later in April 2016 revealed “a lack of compliance” not only in the pharmacies but overall. The entire “Clinical Center doesn’t meet the standards you need to have when dealing with human lives,” where patient safety became “subservient to research demands.” This resulted in reassignment of three senior hospital officials in May but still no dismissals. Top management at NIH then extended the review to all of its labs, and the pharmacy remains closed to this day.
That was meant to be the end of my story. But NIH announced just last month that a nurse discovered “environmental mold” in a mouth rinse solution as it was readied for a scientific experiment. Nine bottles were found to hold particles, three of which held mold. Fortunately, the experiment was stopped before the solution was administered. Since the pharmacy was closed, the mold was traced to the Microbiology Section of science’s crown jewel home.
What difference do exaggerated expectations from science make? President Donald Trump was partially elected on the claim that extreme views on climate science produced overly-stringent environmental regulations that reduced economic growth and cost too many Americans jobs. A world meeting of the International Union for Conservation of Nature met recently to announce advances in gene editing called “gene drive” technology. This is a stretch of DNA that is passed on to offspring more frequently than regular genes so that positive attributes can be inherited and negative ones avoided. While hopes were high, the members recognized great potential for dangers too and passed a resolution limiting such research until the risks of malformations or even destroying whole species could be evaluated.
Two decades ago, air bags were made mandatory for all autos sold in the U.S. Over the years, the National Highway Safety Administration began to recognize research that found that air-bags could either deploy when inappropriate - even taking lives, especially of children - or not deploy in accident situations. But it refuses to reconsider its mandate or even to allow the removal of faulty airbags firing at 200 miles per hour when a scientific Journal of Trauma study reported by NIH found that airbags provided little protection beyond ordinary seat belts. NIH has promoted safe sex since the 1980s, but the most obvious effect seems to be a 61 percent increase in male oral cancer over the past four years under the assumption it is safer than vaginal sex.
In 2015, NIH spent $24.5 billion on scientific research. A 2009 study published by the journal PLOS reported that two percent of scientists admitted they had fabricated, falsified, or modified data in their studies and 33 percent admitted using “questionable research practices.” With billions of dollars at stake, the oversight Office of Research Integrity makes only 10 to 15 findings of misconduct a year and has not made a plagiarism finding since 2013. To trace all those funds, there are only eight investigators. The former office director quit calling his bureaucratic superiors “profoundly dysfunctional.”
Even more disturbing to the science-knows-all myth, research published in scientific journals has been notoriously difficult to replicate. Stanford University Professor John Ioannidis was the first to question it publicly with an article in 2005 titled “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False.” He argued that scientists do not intentionally falsify but “fool themselves” in their search to find something new that can be published when most experiments merely confirm what is already known and cannot be published and lead to honors and promotions.
More systematic evidence was produced in 2011 and 2012, when two pharmaceutical companies attempted to replicate multiple academic studies on drug safety and efficacy but failed. In 2015, Ioannidis’ Center for Open Science tested 100 scientifically referred psychology studies but could replicate only 39. Last month, the center tried to replicate five cancer studies from leading scientific laboratories. Three of the five were inconclusive or actually failed to be replicated.
Contrary to the progressive hysteria, the fact that President Trump’s Cabinet nominees take a skeptical stance toward what science knows and how to apply it is probably the best reason to have some confidence in them.