Talking About Climate Change: A Skeptic’s View

Published September 15, 2014

Climate Change Weekly #138

In a recent essay in The Atlantic, Charles C. Mann purports to instruct readers on “How to Talk About Climate So People Will Listen.” Mann tries to find a middle ground between the Alarmists and the Skeptics. In this, he fails more than succeeds.

The vast majority of the article simply accepts and rehashes the dubious and sometimes outrageous assertions made by alarmists in the first place–points skeptics have already debunked.

Mann’s first mistake is missing the fact the mainstream media are almost completely unreliable sources of information on the climate issue. Disaster sells papers and raises ratings, so news stories downplay or ignore facts that get in the way of a good story. In addition, the MSM relies on special interests for advertising revenue and lack expertise to report on science matters. Most of Mann’s article treats mainstream media accounts of the climate debate as dispositive.

Mann correctly scolds alarmists for “rhetorical overreach, moral miscalculation, shouting at cross-purposes,” describing this as a “toxic blend” that damages their cause and fuels the skeptic backlash. However, he mischaracterizes their opponents as economists.

Surveys show two-thirds of the American people don’t think global warming is manmade or a serious problem. He can’t believe two-thirds of the American people are economists.

Mann states “a few critics argue that for the past 17 years warming has mostly stopped. Still, most scientists believe that in the past century the Earth’s average temperature has gone up by about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit.” But the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which Mann and alarmists generally hold out as the gold standard of climate research, admitted there’s been no warming for the past 15 years in its recent final draft Summary for Policymakers, before politicians and environmental activists made them take it out. That is not “a few critics.” In addition, skeptics acknowledge about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit of warming occurred over the past century, but they note much of the increase occurred before it could have been attributed to the human presence.

The crux of the problem, both with Mann’s attempt to find a middle ground in the global warming debate and with the left’s obsession with the issue, is global warming alarmism rests on assumptions, not facts, logic, or reason.

SOURCE: The Heartlander


Climate conference held, attendees absent … Using polar bears as a political tool … Climategate’s Michael Mann can’t keep facts straight … Critical questions: climate policy


It seems world leaders are largely shunning the Climate Change Special Conference requested months ago by U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon. The conference, to be held in New York on September 23, 2014, is aimed at getting countries to agree on concrete actions to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in order to prevent a climate catastrophe. To get agreement, the major players must attend, but world leaders from countries such as China, Germany, and India have declined.

SOURCE: No Trick Zone


In the popular press, polar bears have become the mournful poster child for global warming’s allegedly woeful effect on wildlife and the environment, but prominent scientists dispute any plausible upcoming climate change can cause the species’ extinction. These scientists point out polar bears are more numerous now than at any time in recent history. Since science indicates any future climate change likely will be quite modest, polar bears, which have proven to be quite adaptable over millennia, should survive and thrive into the future.

SOURCE: The Daily Mail


Climate scientist Michael Mann has misstated the facts again in court filings. Mann claimed in a Reply Memorandum he had absolutely nothing to do with a 1999 graphic used by the World Meteorological Organization. Climategate emails and Mann’s own CV tell a different story. Mann’s CV lists him as a coauthor of the 1999 diagram.

SOURCE: Watts up with That


A new report from the Senate Environment and Public Works minority staff updates the July 2013 EPW Republicans’ report. In light of new scientific and economic findings, the report provides an opportunity to reconsider the Obama administration’s current climate policy course. Recently, Australia withdrew its carbon tax, China and India are not expected to attend the upcoming U.N. summit conference in New York City, and only 11 of the 144 original parties to the Kyoto Protocol have thus far signed an extension. Beyond the politics, the updated report examines new scientific findings concerning the benefits of CO2; wildfire and forestry management issues; inaccuracies in the Obama administration’s National Climate Assessment; and updated data on extreme weather events.

SOURCE: Senate Environment and Public Works minority staff

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