Climate Change Weekly #159 [Subscribe]
David Letterman’s nightly top-ten list is usually pretty funny. By contrast, a top-ten list assembled this week by The Heartland Institute’s James Taylor is not funny at all. Taylor details ten of the most ludicrous but persistent lies climate alarmists tell.
Taylor’s column was written in response to a fundraising letter sent by Environmental Defense, “10 Global Warming Effects That May Shock You.” Taylor argues the letter may have set a new low for climate alarmism in the pursuit of cash.
One claim made by EDF is “National Security Threatened,” as climate change allegedly causes droughts and other natural disasters spurring mass migration from politically unstable regions of the world. As Taylor points out, this national security threat depends on two assertions: that global warming is causing a reduction in food and water supplies, and that migrations of people to places with more food and water will increase risks of military conflict.
The facts provide comfort. Due in part to increased carbon-dioxide fertilization, crop production soared during Earth’s recent modest warming, with several staple crops repeatedly setting new production records. Data show there has been a gradual increase in global precipitation as the planet warmed, resulting in improved soil moisture. As a result of these trends, the twentieth century’s slight warming should have reduced the likelihood of conflict over food and water supplies.
Another climate threat from EDF’s top-ten list is the claim global warming will result in severe economic harm if not halted or slowed.
Will EDF never learn? As Taylor writes, “Severe storms, floods and agricultural losses may cost a great deal of money, but such extreme weather events – and their resulting costs – are dramatically declining as the Earth modestly warms. Accordingly, EDF’s asserted economic costs are actually economic benefits.”
By contrast, alarmists’ preferred policy for reducing carbon dioxide emissions – forcing Americans to use expensive, unreliable energy instead of relatively inexpensive, abundant, reliable fossil fuels – is already a constraint on economic progress. Per Taylor, “The economic consequences of Obama’s global warming policies can already be seen in electricity prices, which are currently the highest in U.S. history. Remarkably, Obama’s global warming policies are increasing electricity prices even while new natural gas discoveries, revolutionary advances in natural gas production technologies, and a dramatic resultant decline in natural gas prices would otherwise spur a dramatic decline in electricity prices.”
The remaining EDF climate lies are even less credible than the ones described above.
If these are the best arguments climate alarmists can make in favor of intrusive government action to fight impending global warming, policymakers should simply ignore the coming barrage of climate hype leading up to the U.N. climate conference in Paris this December. None of these arguments is accurate or alarming.
— H. Sterling Burnett
IN THIS ISSUE …
Hotter climate won’t mean stormier weather … Doctoral candidate dismantles climate models … New blog details bad climate predictions … Post exposes Pentagon’s climate hype … Reporters given climate marching orders
HOTTER CLIMATE WON’T MEAN STORMIER WEATHER
A study in the January 30 issue of Science, by atmospheric physicists from the University of Toronto, finds global warming will not lead to a stormier planet. Borrowing techniques from oceanography and using climate models, the researchers tested atmospheric circulation scenarios under simulated warming conditions. According to lead author Frederic Laliberte, the increase in water vapor from ocean evaporation made the storm formation process less efficient.”We believe atmospheric circulation will adapt to this less efficient form of heat transfer and we will see either fewer storms overall or at least a weakening of the most common, weaker storms,” said Laliberte.
DOCTORAL CANDIDATE DISMANTLES CLIMATE MODELS
A Ph.D. thesis by Alexander Bakker from The Netherlands, “The Robustness of the Climate Modelling Paradigm,” challenges the belief general circulation climate models are useful tools for determining the causes of climate change or projecting future climate impacts. Bakker worked with climate models for eight years at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute. “I have been regularly confronted with large model biases,” he wrote. “Virtually in all cases, the model bias appeared larger than the projected climate change, even for mean daily temperature. It was my job to make something ‘useful’ and ‘usable’ from those biased data. More and more, I started to doubt that the ‘climate modelling paradigm’ can provide ‘useful’ and ‘usable’ quantitative estimates of climate change.” Bakker’s work also addresses concerns about the enormous amount of resources being plowed into climate modeling. “Another important consideration is about the expenses. Apart from the very large computation time (and costs), the post processing and storage of the huge amounts of data ask lots of the intellectual capacity among the involved researchers. The used capacity is not available anymore for interpretation and creativity. This might be at the expense of the framing and communication of uncertainties and of the quality of some doctoral dissertations.” Judith Curry praises Bakker’s “intellectual integrity and courage in tackling this topic in … his Ph.D. thesis. I am further impressed by his thesis advisors and committee members for allowing/supporting this. I seriously doubt that such a thesis would be possible in an atmospheric/oceanic/climate science department in the U.S. – whether the student would dare to tackle this, whether a faculty member would agree to supervise this, and whether a committee would ‘pass’ the thesis.” That is a sad commentary on the free exchange of ideas within the American university system, and on the scientific process as it has been corrupted in the field of climate research.
NEW BLOG DETAILS BAD CLIMATE PREDICTIONS
The developers behind climatechangepredictions.org detail scary climate predictions made over the past 40 years. Among the predictions the website presents are climate scientist David Viner’s 2000 prediction “within a few years … [c]hildren just aren’t going to know what snow is” and Paul Ehrlich’s claim “by the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands inhabited by some 70 million hungry people.” In addition to exposing failed climate predictions, the developers maintain under the category “woe to you” a list of the threats levied against climate realists by global warming zealots, including this gem by Richard Parncutt, a professor at the University of Graz, Austria in 2012: “I don’t think that mass murderers of the usual kind … should face the death penalty. GW [global warming] is different. With high probability it will cause hundreds of millions of deaths. For this reason I propose that the death penalty is appropriate for influential GW deniers.” This is similar to the mindset of witch hunters in the Middle Ages and is more frightening to me than the persistent ignorance displayed by the proponents of anthropogenic global warming theory when faced with evidence contravening climate model predictions.
SOURCE: Climate Change Predictions.org
POST EXPOSES PENTAGON’S CLIMATE HYPE
A recent Washington Post report exposes the lengths to which the Obama administration’s Pentagon will go to motivate action on climate change. For instance, the cover photo chosen by the Pentagon for its “adaptation roadmap” study was of a four-story building on a military base in Alaska that purportedly collapsed when the permafrost melted under it. Except the entire tale was false. The building in the photo was not on a U.S. military base. It wasn’t even in Alaska, but rather in Russia, and its collapse was due to poor maintenance, not global warming. The photo isn’t the only instance of Pentagon climate hype. John Conger, acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, stated some military bases are running out of water. The Post reports:
“There are a couple bases that will run out of water in the West in twenty years,” Conger said last June at a conference on sea-level rise hosted by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) at Old Dominion University. “What do you do when a base runs out of water? Truck it in like you do in Afghanistan?”
It is highly unlikely the bases will ever run out of water, given humanity’s ability to adapt to such situations. At Fort Irwin, one base cited as being in danger, the Army identified nearby alternative water sources and implemented conservation measures that have cut annual water consumption by 300 million gallons per year.
REPORTERS GIVEN CLIMATE MARCHING ORDERS
A new study from researchers at George Mason University shows reporters are being directed by their editors not to quote or cite critics of anthropogenic global warming theory because they are “generally irrelevant.” In its coverage of the study, The Washington Examiner noted,
The reporters described how their field was getting hit by newsroom cuts and always under fire because climate change stories are both incremental and bad news.
But they said that the fight over climate change is over, that America believes it is happening, and that critics are no longer being interviewed.
“As one reporter said, ‘there is pretty much understanding across the board in the United States media now that this is real, this is true, it’s happening, [and] we’re responsible. That debate is over.’ For this reason, he concluded, ‘in this day and age, including climate denialists in a story about climate change is generally irrelevant,'” said the study.
The practice of ignoring dissenting voices concerning global warming is a growing problem for climate realists and is dangerous because for many people, the Examiner noted, “how media covers climate change determines what many people believe.” Climate skeptics will increasingly need to leverage alternative media platforms to reach a wider audience with the truth about global warming.
SOURCE: The Washington Examiner
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