The Intersection of Science and Social Engineering

Published March 23, 2012

Climate Change Weekly #43

The question of whether humans are causing a severe global warming problem is on the surface almost entirely one of science. True, perspectives and judgments can vary on what level of climate change and/or negative impacts would constitute a “crisis,” a “severe global warming problem,” or some other threshold justifying bold, decisive action at almost any economic price. But the inquiry into current and future human impacts on the climate should logically be one of science.

At times, however, the science seems to take a backseat to political agendas that envision global warming as a means to the end of a dramatically restructured society, usually comporting to a “politically left” collectivist model. This is a major reason why collectivists tend to support action to address the asserted global warming crisis and advocates of personal freedom tend to be more skeptical.

Along these political lines, Scientific American Senior Editor Gary Stix further raised the stakes this week by writing an editorial titled, “Effective World Government Will Be Needed to Stave Off Climate Catastrophe.”

Stix contends “far more is needed” than merely revamping existing United Nations institutions and other international environmental institutions to deal with global warming. “To be effective, a new set of institutions would have to be imbued with heavy-handed, transnational enforcement powers,” Stix asserts.

“Would any institution be capable of instilling a permanent crisis mentality lasting decades, if not centuries?” writes Stix. “How do we create new institutions with enforcement powers way beyond the current mandate of the U.N.?”

Is it any wonder so many Americans want more scientific evidence than speculative and dubious computer models before agreeing to “science” editors’ calls for “heavy-handed” United Nations policing of our domestic affairs?

SOURCE: Scientific American


Arctic treeline defying computer models … Antarctica experienced Medieval Warm Period … Polar sea ice not alarming … Masters misrepresents study on weather-related disasters … Study suggests tree ring samples understate past temperatures


The Arctic treeline is moving northward more slowly than the 2 kilometers per year predicted by alarmist computer models, according to a newly released study by the University of Cambridge.

“Where we have the most detailed information, our results suggest that a rate of around 100 meters per year is more realistic. In some places, the tree line is actually moving south. The predictions of a loss of 40 percent of the tundra by the end of the century is probably far too alarming,” said lead researcher Gareth Rees in a University of Cambridge press release.

SOURCE: University of Cambridge


New research published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters provides more evidence that the Medieval Warm Period was global. An international team of scientists analyzed samples of crysta,l known as ikaite, stable only in cold temperatures, to confirm other research indicating the Medieval Warm Period was not limited to the vicinity of Northern Europe. “This ikaite record qualitatively supports that both the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age extended to the Antarctic Peninsula,” the scientists report.

SOURCES: Earth and Planetary Science Letters and UK Register


Arctic sea ice throughout the month of March has been greater than its March extent during any of the prior five years, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Also, Antarctic sea ice is currently greater than the 30-year March average. Meteorologist Anthony Watts presents the data and has written a very interesting commentary on related polar ice issues.

SOURCE: Watts Up With That?


Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters, a prominent advocate of the theory that humans are causing a global warming crisis, wrote a recent article in the popular meteorology magazine Weatherwise that a newly published study implied global warming could be responsible for increases in monetary damages from extreme weather events. A look at the actual wording of the study, however, shows the author said exactly the opposite.

“The studies show no trends in losses, corrected for changes (increases) in population and capital at risk, that could be attributed to anthropogenic climate change. Therefore, it can be concluded that anthropogenic climate change so far has not had a significant impact on losses from natural disasters,” concluded the study.

SOURCE: Roger Pielke Jr.’s Blog


Sampling biases may lead researchers to erroneously conclude that temperature in past centuries were colder than they actually were, an international team of scientists writes in a newly published study. Fast-growing trees are under-sampled in tree ring studies of past centuries, the scientists report, resulting in researchers believing past temperatures were colder than was actually the case.

SOURCES: Global Biogeochemical Cycles and Watts Up With That?

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