Why the skeptics reject ‘human-induced’ climate change

As the new school year gets underway, here’s some reflection on what may be the current atmosphere of the academic scientific community.

Certain campus professors and theoreticians have cast their lofty claims of climate catastrophe out of the comfort of the credulous classroom and faculty lounge and on to the critical community of the wary general public. The result: substantial resistance.

Many campus scientists are dismayed at what they see as unreasonable skepticism of the scientific establishment and the denial of the edifice of scientific facts that include disastrous global warming resulting from excessive human carbon emissions. In the coming decades, such emissions will apparently doom the planet, according to some high-level sources…

Read more at The Washington Times.

Calls to punish skeptics rise with links to climate change, hurricanes

…“Climate change denial should be a crime,” declared the Sept. 1 headline in the Outline. Mark Hertsgaard argued in a Sept. 7 article in the Nation, titled “Climate Denialism Is Literally Killing Us,” that “murder is murder” and “we should punish it as such.”

The suggestion that those who run afoul of the climate change consensus, in particular government officials, should face charges comes with temperatures flaring over the link between hurricanes and greenhouse gas emissions.

“In the wake of Harvey, it’s time to treat science denial as gross negligence — and hold those who do the denying accountable,” said the subhead in the Outline article, written by Brian Merchant.

Brad Johnson, executive director of Climate Hawks Vote, posted last week on Twitter a set of “climate disaster response rules,” the third of which was to “put officials who reject science in jail.”…

Read more at The Washington Times.

Climate scientist rebuts Hollywood hurricane hype: ‘This is what weather looks like’

Sparring with celebrities and Al Gore over global warming may not be what Roy Spencer had in mind when he earned his Ph.D., but it’s certainly become a bustling sideline for the University of Alabama in Huntsville climatologist.

A month after rebutting Mr. Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Sequel,” Mr. Spencer has published another short e-book, this one challenging statements by Jennifer Lawrence, Bill Nye, Stevie Wonder and others linking global warming to this year’s active hurricane season.

Read more at The Washington Times.

Exposing the climate crowd’s sick hurricane lies

Flooding in homes and businesses across Houston was still on the rise when Politico ran a provocative article, titled “Harvey Is What Climate Change Looks Like.”

Politico was not alone, as another news outlet called the one-two punch of Harvey and Irma the potential “new normal.” Brad Johnson, executive director of the advocacy group Climate Hawks Vote, says Harvey and Irma are reason to finally jail officials who “reject science.”

Rather than focus on the victims and offer solutions for speedy recovery, pundits and politicians in the wake of Harvey focused on saying, “I told you so.”

Except they’re not telling the full story.

Consider this data from a 2012 article in the Journal of Climate, authored by climatologists Roger Pielke Jr. and Jessica Weinkle. Pielke tweeted a graph from the paper that shows no trends in global tropical cyclone landfalls over the past 46 years.

 

Statistician and Danish author Bjorn Lomborg also tweeted a graph showing major hurricanes making landfall in the U.S. trending downward for well over a century. 

Before anyone starts claiming that Pielke and Lomborg’s charts rely on denier data, mainstream science published similar findings.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in its most recent scientific assessment that “[n]o robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes … have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin,” and that there are “no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency.”

Further, “confidence in large-scale changes in the intensity of extreme extratropical cyclones [such as ‘Superstorm’ Sandy] since 1900 is low.”

Other media outlets tying Harvey to climate change took a more measured approach.

For instance, Vox wrote that man-made global warming did not actually cause Harvey, but simply exacerbated the natural disaster by creating heavier rainfalls.

But this claim is discredited by University of Washington climatologist Cliff Mass, who after examining precipitation levels in the Gulf found that “[t]here is no evidence that global warming is influencing Texas coastal precipitation in the long term and little evidence that warmer than normal temperatures had any real impact on the precipitation intensity from this storm.”

Mass went on to explicitly refute those who attribute Hurricane Harvey to climate change:

The bottom line in this analysis is that both observations of the past decades and models looking forward to the future do not suggest that one can explain the heavy rains of Harvey by global warming, and folks that are suggesting it are poorly informing the public and decision makers.

Politicians seeking to exploit Harvey and Irma as reasons to act on climate change would only make a bad situation worse. Climate policies and regulations designed to prevent natural disasters and slow the earth’s warming simply will not do so.

Such policies aim to limit access to affordable, reliable conventional energy sources that power 80 percent of the country. Restricting their use through regulations or taxes will drive energy prices through the roof and make unemployment lines longer.

Further, these policies will destroy economic wealth, meaning fewer resources would be available to strengthen infrastructure to contain the future effects of natural disasters and to afterward.

Instead of blaming man-made greenhouse gas emissions, climate catastrophists should see natural disasters for what they really are: natural.

If policymakers want to take a page out of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s “never let a crisis go to waste” playbook, they should worry less about costly nonsolutions to climate change and focus on natural disaster response, resilience, and preparedness.

Commentary by Nicolas Loris. Originally published at The Daily Signal.

Soros caught paying Al Gore to spread climate hoax

Click here to STOP AGENDA 21!

I guess Al Gore already spent all his Qatari oil money.

That’s because new documents reveal Gore’s multi-million dollar campaign to spread Fake Science is being funded by creepy billionaire George Soros.

The Daily Caller reports:

A document published by DC Leaks shows Soros, a Hungarian-born liberal financier, wanted his nonprofit Open Society Institute (OSI) to do more to support global warming policies in the U.S. That included budgeting $10 million in annual support to Gore’s climate group over three years.

“U.S. Programs Global Warming Grants U.S. Programs became engaged on the global warming issue about four years ago, at George Soros’s suggestion,” reads a leaked OSI memo.

“There has been a budget of $11 million for global warming grants in the U.S. Programs budget for the last several years,” the memo reads. “This budget item captures George Soros’s commitment of $10 million per year for three years to Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, which conducts public education on the climate issue in pursuit of creating political space for aggressive U.S. action in line with what scientists say is necessary to put our nation on a path to reducing its outsize carbon dioxide emissions.”

So who’s funding Fake Science and globalist anti-American economic policies? George Soros, who stands to make billions off the phony “carbon credits” market and by reducing the size of the U.S. economy to give his foreign companies less competition.

Do 97% of Scientists Really Believe in Global Warming?

Many people have heard the claim that 97 percent of scientists believe in global warming. Politicians from President Barack Obama to former Secretary of State John Kerry have cited the statistic.

But is it true? 

The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based think tank and national nonprofit organization dedicated to research and education, recently released a video on their Youtube channel analyzing the claim.
 

As stated in their video, “The 98% claim (from 2009) was based on a single survey by a University of Illinois professor and a graduate student. They sent a 2-minute online survey to 10,257 earth scientists. They got 3,146 responses to only these two questions…”

The first question asked, “When compared with pre-1800 levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?” The second asked, “Do you think that human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?”

Ninety percent of the respondents said that the mean temp had risen, while 82 percent said that human activity was a significant factor. However, the term “significant” was never defined. Furthermore, according to the Heartland Institute, most skeptic scientists would agree with the statistic if the term was defined.

The video explains that when formulating the 97 percent statistic, researchers used only the responses from “climate scientists.” However, only 5 percent of the respondents – 79 people – were climate scientists.

So, out of 10,257 academics that the professor and graduate student identified as worthy survey participants, only 79 were in agreement with their final finding. When calculated, those 79 scientists – now accepted as 97 percent – make up a meager 0.77 percent of academics. And, since only 97 percent of the 79 answered positively (which would be 76.63 people – so we will round to 77), the percentage shrinks from 0.77 percent to 0.75 percent.

Is the Heartland Institute right to call this research project “phony science?”
This post Do 97% of Scientists Really Believe in Global Warming? was originally published on Intellectual Takeout by Anna Mathews.

Dilbert cartoonist burns climate activists

A communications group at Yale University has put out a video that seems to be a rebuttal to a Dilbert cartoon by Scott Adams poking fun at climate scientists and their misplaced confidence in models. The video is full of impressive-looking scientists talking about charts and data and whatnot. It probably cost a lot to make and certainly involved a lot of time and effort. The most amazing thing, however, is that it actually proves the points being made in the Dilbert cartoon. Rather than debunking the cartoon, the scientists acted it out in slow motion.

The Dilbert cartoon begins with a climate scientist saying “human activity is warming the earth and will lead to a global catastrophe.” When challenged to explain how he knows that, he says they start with basic physical principles plus observations about the climate, which they then feed into models, pick and choose some of the outputs, then feed those into economic models, and voila. When asked, what if I don’t trust the economic models, the scientist retreats to an accusation of denialism.

The Yale video ends in exactly the same way. After a few minutes of what I will, for the moment, call “scientific information,” we see climatologist Andrew Dessler appear at the 4:28 mark to say “It’s inarguable, although some people still argue it – heh, heh.” As in, ah those science deniers.

What exactly is “inarguable”? By selective editing we are led to believe that everything said in the video is based on multiple independent lines of evidence carrying such overwhelming force that no rational observer could dispute it. Fine, let’s go to the 2:38 mark and watch someone named Sarah Myhre tell us what this inarguable science says.

“It’s irrefutable evidence that there are major consequences that come with climate warming, and that we take these Earth systems to be very stable, we take them for granted, and they’re not stable, they’re deeply unstable when you perturb the carbon system in the atmosphere.”

How does she know this? From models of course. These claims are not rooted in observations but in examining the entrails of model projections. But she has to pick and choose her models because they don’t all say what she claims they say. Some models show very little sensitivity to greenhouse gases.  If we put the low-sensitivity results into economic models the results show that the economic impacts of warming are very low and possible even negative (i.e. a net benefit). And the section of the IPCC report that talks about the consequences of warming says:

For most economic sectors, the impact of climate change will be small relative to the impacts of other drivers (medium evidence, high agreement). Changes in population, age, income, technology, relative prices, lifestyle, regulation, governance, and many other aspects of socioeconomic development will have an impact on the supply and demand of economic goods and services that is large relative to the impact of climate change.

It goes on to show (Figure 10-1) that at low levels of warming the net economic effects are zero or positive. As to the climate being “deeply unstable” there’s hardly any point trying to debate that since these are not well-defined scientific words, but simple reflection on human experience will tell you that the climate system is pretty stable, at least on decadal and century time scales. The main thing to note is that she is claiming that changes to atmospheric CO2 levels have big warming effects on the climate and will cause a global catastrophe. And the only way she knows this is from looking at the outputs of models and ignoring the ones that look wrong to her. Granted she isn’t bald and doesn’t have a little beard, but otherwise she is almost verbatim the scientist in the cartoon.

Much of what she says in the video is unsubstantiated and sloppy. For instance she talks (2:14) about paleoclimatic indicators like tree rings, ice cores and sediment cores as if they are handy records of past climate conditions without acknowledging any of the known problems extracting climate information from such noisy sources.

Her most telling comment was the Freudian slip at 1:06 when she says “There is incredible agreement about the drivers of climate science.” What she meant (and quickly corrected herself to say) was “climate change.” But her comment is revealing as regards the incredible agreement—i.e. groupthink–that drives climate science, and the individuals who do the driving.  Myhre’s Freudian slip comes right after a clip in which Michael Mann emphatically declares that there are dozens of lines of evidence that all come together, “telling us the same thing,” adding “that’s how science works.” Really? The lines of evidence regarding climate do not all lead to one uniform point of view, nor is that how science works. If that’s how science worked there would be no need for research. But that’s how activists see it, and that’s the view they impose to drive climate science along in service of the activist agenda. As Dr. Myhre herself wrote in a recent op-ed:

Our job is not to objectively document the decline of Earth’s biodiversity and humanity, so what does scientific leadership look like in this hot, dangerous world? We don’t need to all agree with each other – dissent is a healthy component of the scientific community. But, we do need to summon our voices and start shouting from rooftops: “We have options”, “We don’t have to settle for cataclysm”.

Got that? The job of scientists is not objectively to gather and present evidence, but to impose an alarmist view and yell it from the rooftops. At least according to Sarah Myhre, Ph.D..

The video opens with a straw man argument: climate science is all just made up in computer models about the future, and it’s all just based on simulations. This is then refuted, rather easily, with clips of scientists listing some of the many observational data sets that exist. Whoopee. That wasn’t even the point of the Dilbert cartoon, it was just a straw man made up by the interviewer. Then, in the process of presenting responses, the video flits back and forth between lists of observational evidence and statements that are based on the outputs of models, as if the former prove the latter. For instance, when Myhre says (2:45—2:55) that the climate systems is “deeply unstable” to perturbations in the carbon “system” (I assume she meant cycle) the video then cuts to Andrew Dessler (2:55) talking about satellite measurements, back to Myhre on paleo indicators, then to Carl Mears and Dessler (3:11) talking about sea ice trends. None of those citations support Myhre’s claims about instability, but the selective editing creates the impression that they do.

Another example is a sequence starting at 1:14 and going to about 2:06, in which various speakers lists different data sets, glossing over different spatial and time scales, measurement systems, etc. Then an assertion is slipped in at 2:07 by Ben Santer to the effect that the observed warming can’t be explained by natural causes. Then back to Myhre listing paleoclimate indicators and Mann describing boreholes. The impression created is that all these data types prove the attribution claim made by Santer. But they do no such thing. The data sets only record changes: claims about the mechanism behind them are based on modeling work, namely when climate models can’t simulate 20th century warming without incorporating greenhouse gas forcing.

So in a sense, the video doesn’t even refute the straw man it set up. It’s not that climate science consists only of models: obviously there are observations too. But all the attribution claims about the climatic effects of greenhouse gases are based on models. If the scientists being interviewed had any evidence otherwise, they didn’t present any.

Now suppose that they are correct in their assertion that all the lines of evidence agree. All the data sets, in Mann’s words, are telling us the same thing. In that case, looking at one is as good as looking at any of the others.

Ignore for a moment the selective focus on declining Arctic sea ice data while ignoring the expansionof Antarctic sea ice. And ignore the strange quotation from Henry Pollock (3:23—3:41) about how ice doesn’t ask any questions or read the newspaper: it just melts. Overlaid on his words is a satellite video showing the summer 2016 Arctic sea ice melt. Needless to say, had the filmmaker kept the video running a few seconds more, into the fall, we’d have seen it re-freeze. Presumably the ice doesn’t read or ask questions in the fall either, it just freezes. This proves what exactly?

Anyway, back to our assumption that all the data sets agree and say the same thing. And what is it they tell us? Many key data sets indicate that climate models are wrong, and in particular that they overstate the rate of warming, (see herehereherehereherehereherehere, etc.). So according to the uniformity principle so strongly enunciated in the video, all the evidence points in the same direction: the models aren’t very good. And by implication, statements made based on the models aren’t very reliable.

There’s another irony in the video’s assertions of uniformity in climate science. At the 3:55 mark Michael Mann announces that there’s a consensus because independent teams of scientists all come at the problem from different angles and come up with the same answers. He’s clearly referring to the model-based inferences about the drivers of climate change. And the models are, indeed, converging to become more and more similar. The problem is that in the process they are becoming less like the actual climate. Oops.

So how did the video do refuting Scott Adams’ cartoon? He joked that scientists warning of catastrophe invoke the authority of observational data when they are really making claims based on models. Check. He joked that they ignore on a post hoc basis the models that don’t look right to them. Check. He joked that their views presuppose the validity of models that reasonable people could doubt. Check. And he joked that to question any of this will lead to derision and the accusation of being a science denier. Check. In other words, the Yale video sought to rebut Adams’ cartoon and ended up being a documentary version of it.