Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Reply to The New Yorker

In the usual Green/Left style, The New Yorker has published a very embittered article about climate skepticism that focuses heavily on personalities and politics while ignoring any consideration of the science. Joe Bastardi, AccuWeather's Senior Long Range Meteorologist, was attacked and mocked at the outset of the article. Below is his reply

We finally have an objective way of measuring global temperatures [satellites], and the Warmists are obviously afraid that the resultant answer is wrong.

I am growing weary of stating the obvious.. in a fight that is a side issue to me. My agenda is nailing the weather, not saving the planet. I believe what I believe based on research to get to the correct forecast on anywhere from a day to a multi-decadal trend.

That the IPCC is being shown to have got it wrong on lower tropospheric temps, upper tropospheric temps, the stratosphere, the positive feedback, and that the "death to the icecap" people have now also been beaten back, at least for the time being, should make any person of goodwill understand there is room for a debate here. Which is what I advocate in the spirit of what has made this nation great, the exchange without fear of ideas in the open forum.

It's not a debate I want to be in, but one I want to watch to make sure I have all the ideas in front of me. What could possibly be wrong with this cry for sanity in this matter?

A nation that has homeless and uninsured should not be dumping money into chasing something that may not be there, when we have problems that are here. I am sorry that my old New England John Kennedy roots come out with that statement, actual concern for what I know to be rather than a ghost that may not be there.

A nation that has built itself, in spite of its faults, on the freedom to confront the truth will not survive if those freedoms are discouraged and hard realities are not confronted.

Obviously these people think that MAN MADE global warming is a hard reality. I say there is room for debate and this debate can be settled in the next 20 years based on the now homogeneous way of measuring temperatures via satellite.

Of more importance is to actually get a way to handle the kinetic energy budget, as warming in the arctic is not the same as warming in the tropics, where a small drop in temperature (as you will see again with the La Nina this fall and winter and after what I think is a big atlantic hurricane season cools the tropical waters there again) can easily offset a rise in the arctic.

But only people with an open mind can think like this, and that is all I ask, people look at all the information for themselves.

I have made my forecast, that by 2030 we will return to where we were at the end of the last cold PDO, in the 70s. No one on the AGW side of the issue ever had defined the optimum temp or co2 levels that are ideal for the planet. At the very least I am willing to make a forecast based on what I know, not on what I don't know.

Joe is on vacation so the reply above was received by email in first draft form with a request that it be tidied up grammatically etc. -- which I have done -- JR

Senators Question Flawed NASA Climate Data

After admitting that the United States' own climate data was worse than the Climategate-tainted University of East Anglia’s, two U.S. Senators are demanding answers from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

“In light of recent revelations and scientific reports, we are contacting you regarding our continued concerns with the apparent declining credibility of United States climate data," wrote Senators John Barraso of Wyoming and Louisiana’s David Vitter in a letter to NASA administrator Charles Bolden. "With almost ten percent unemployment, America cannot afford to base its energy policy on flawed data."

After a series of scandals and blatant errors largely discredited the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that warned of disastrous global warming, the letter explains that policymakers turned to American data as a sort of back up. "Unfortunately, it appears that U.S. data is equally flawed and corrupted by questionable scientific practices," the Senators stated.

The letter refers to information obtained from NASA by the Competitive Enterprise Institute under a Freedom of Information Act request. In the documents, a senior scientist from the space agency advised a reporter that NASA’s climate data is inferior to the Climategate-spoiled records from the UEA’s disgraced Climatic Research Unit — and that NASA’s information is partially derived from the CRU’s flawed data.

Also casting doubt on U.S. climate data is an investigation by meteorologists Alan Watts and Joseph D’Aleo. “The study highlighted that among many other data integrity issues, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and NOAA have not only reduced the total number of weather stations that they gather climate data from, but have 'cherry picked' the ones that remain by choosing sites in relatively warmer places," explained the Senators’ letter.

The results of the investigation — which also concluded that some 90 percent of weather stations do not even meet the government’s own standards on the appropriate distance of stations from biasing influences like roads or airports — are available at surfacestations.org.

A former NASA physicist’s study is also cited in the letter, fueling even more questions about the agency’s “science.” Dr. Edward Long, who released the results of an investigation in late February, concluded that "GISS, over a 10-year period has modified their data by progressively lowering temperature values for far-back dates and raising those in the more recent past." And after reviewing the study, the Senators concluded in their letter that the result of NASA's methodology had been to "dramatically change the true temperature record of the United States."

The lawmakers noted that they had “serious concerns” about the recent reports. They also invited NASA chief Bolden to testify before the Senate on the credibility of the agency’s data. “The American people deserve to know the facts about the science behind our policies,” they explained.

Another prominent U.S. Senator, Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe, called for investigations of some climate scientists after a report prepared for his Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee concluded that there were potentially criminal activities involved. Even the former head of the UN’s climate-change panel has called for an inquiry into an apparent “warming bias” by government climate researchers.

In an interview with Fox News about the letter and NASA’s climate data, Senator Barraso also criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate carbon dioxide — a gas exhaled by humans and essential to plant life. "When the administration is trying to make an endangerment finding on carbon dioxide, I think it's reckless to make such huge decisions affecting American jobs and the American economy based on data that may not be reliable, and seems to be contaminated," he said. "I don't think the facts bear out, at this point. You wonder if it's more about politics than it is about science."

But amidst all of the scandals, NASA’s climate research programs are set to increase their funding by a whooping $2.4 billion, or 62 percent through 2015, according to the Washington Post. “The budget increase reflects both a campaign promise by President Obama to focus far more on the threat of climate change and what NASA officials called a ‘philosophical shift’ on the issue,” the paper reported.

Without an even greater outcry from citizens, the governments of the world will continue pouring the people’s resources into this scam. There is too much at stake for them to go down quietly. But as illustrated by the seemingly never-ending stream of scandals, errors, and lies, the climate crusade is imploding, and fast.

The IPCC report has already been all but debunked after a long series of scandals and obvious errors were uncovered. Many American politicians and officials distanced themselves from the flawed report after the revelations, claiming they were relying instead on U.S. government data. But now, it has become obvious that NASA and other American agencies in charge of U.S. “climate science” have been providing less-than-accurate information as well.

As reported recently by The New American magazine, global-warming alarmism is dying a slow death. The recent NASA scandals are just a new chapter in the rapid unraveling of the campaign to convince people around the world to pay carbon taxes to global authorities. And as documented in an earlier article for The New American magazine from the UN Copenhagen global-warming summit, the anti-science climate alarmist agenda is clear: more taxes, more regulation, more government, and less freedom.

With a poll from October of last year showing that barely a third of Americans believed in human-caused global warming, the alarmists were clearly already losing the battle for public opinion. And that was before the recent exposure of all the mistakes and scandals, which also made it clear that alarmists are losing in the scientific arena as well. But governments have vast sums of money at their disposal, and Obama made it abundantly clear when he rammed through healthcare “reform” despite massive opposition that public opinion will not alter his agenda.

Stopping governments from saddling the people of the world with economy-destroying taxes and regulations is a crucial fight. But it will be long and hard. To win, a groundswell of Americans even larger than the opposition to health “reform” must demand an end to unconstitutional EPA carbon regulations and put a stop to the billions in funding for bogus climate “science.” If legislators refuse to listen, they must be removed from office as soon as the next elections permit.


CNN Weather Guy says government-paid Climate Scientists mostly need to be Warmists to keep their jobs

On Tuesday, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers accused climate scientists of corruption, saying that because they “work for the government,” they could lose their jobs if they didn’t say man-made global warming was real. In an interview with CNN’s Ali “Clean Coal” Velshi, Myers responded to a New York Times article that television meteorologists widely believe that man-made global warming is a hoax, in stark contrast to actual climate scientists. After admitting that “man has a lot to do with” the rising global temperatures, Myers went on the attack:

I also think it has something to do — follow the money a little bit. Meteorologists aren’t paid by the government, the ones on TV, the climatologists are. If there’s nothing to talk about, will their jobs really be all that secure? So, follow the money a little bit, I think you’ll find 10% and 15% and every little corner has to do with it.

Myers’ implication of a widespread conspiracy to doctor science for cash seems odd, coming from someone who almost without doubt makes considerably more money than any climate scientist on the planet. The television industry — unlike scientific research — is driven by pursuit of controversy, not accuracy. Myers, who has a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of Nebraska, had been a denier of man-made global warming as recently as 2008, telling Lou Dobbs, “To think that we could affect weather all that much is pretty arrogant.”


500 scientists support Attorney General Greg Abbott's lawsuit against EPA and global warming

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot recently filed a lawsuit against the federal government regarding global warming a subject that is much discussed when people get together here in Wichita Falls it seems. How does global warming affect people in Wichita Falls? How will any changes in the government's plans of reducing global warming affect jobs in Wichita Falls if it is determined that it is not man-made?

The national news media has headlined Abbott's lawsuit as the first of its kind. What is the basis for this lawsuit?

Abbott is challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's finding that gases blamed for global warming threaten public safety.

More than 500 scientists have published evidence refuting the current man-made global warming scare, according to a new analysis of peer-reviewed literature by the Hudson Institute.

Dennis Avery, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, said, "Of the 500 scientists who have refuted at least one element of the global warming theory, more than 300 have found evidence that a natural moderate 1,500 climate cycle has produced more than a dozen global warmings similar to the current circumstances since the last Ice Age and that such warnings are linked to variations in the sun's irradiance."

Avery reached the conclusion that, "This data and the list of scientists make a mockery of recent claims that a scientific consensus blames humans as the primary cause of global temperature increases since 1850."

At stake are hundreds of thousands of jobs in Texas with energy companies if the Environmental Protection Agency is allowed to further regulate carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases based on the global warming theory. How many jobs could be lost in Wichita Falls. That is yet to be known.

Also at issue are whether imposing costly regulations on energy businesses is a smart move as the nation struggles to emerge from recession.

Abbott stated in his petition for his lawsuit that, "The EPA improperly relied on the scientific conclusions of other groups, particularly the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to make the endangerment finding on heat-trapping gases."

Texas Governor Rick Perry has agreed with the Abbott that the federal finding is inaccurate regarding global warming.

The issue of global warming exploded across the world with the release of the film that former Vice President Al Gore made called "An Inconvenient Truth" which won an Oscar. It has now been put in book form and become mandatory reading for many students in public schools.

Greg Abbott mentioned in his lawsuit against the feds that, "There clearly is lying, falsification, cover-ups etcetera that are going on here(in the federal government report)."

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is also attempting to strip the agency of its power to regulate climate-altering emissions.


Pay Attention Parents: It's Almost Earth Day!

Few adults may know it, but kids across the country are about to celebrate a holiday: Earth Day, which is April 22. Schools will take a break from normal instruction to discuss the importance of preserving the environment. That may sound like a harmless activity, but too often Earth Day becomes a platform for pushing an ideological brand of environmentalism. Parents need to pay attention and ask their children's teachers what's their plans are for Earth Day.

Unlike most holidays, Earth Day expressly focuses on youth. No gifts will be exchanged and no Easter Bunny will deliver jelly beans in biodegradable packages (undoubtedly the process of refining all that sugar alone offends true Earth Day enthusiasts), but galvanizing young people to become involved in protecting the environment is the day's express purpose.

The first Earth Day was held in 1970. Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day's founder, endeavored to bring national attention to the cause of improving the environment. He saw the success of anti-war activists in raising awareness about their cause through demonstration and “teach-ins.” He wanted to enlist the same spirit in the cause of the environment. Today, schools across the country—and even around the world—participate in Earth Day events.

This sounds like a smashing success. And not just for Senator Nelson and environmentalists, but for all of us who benefit from a healthy, clean environment. After all, we all want to protect the planet and have the next generation grow up appreciating nature and the importance of maintaining our natural habitat.

Yet Earth Day organizers too often go beyond promoting that simple message and use the occasion as a platform for advancing a political ideology. Global warming, for example, is a frequent topic on Earth Day. Schools tend to echo the message of global warming alarmists, claiming that man is causing temperatures to rise with potentially catastrophic consequences for our planet and mankind. Many schools even show Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth. That film may have won an Academy Award, but it is widely recognized as propaganda, with a judge in the United Kingdom finding that it grossly exaggerates even the most dire predictions about global warming's potential harm.

Schools shouldn't be frightening our children with misleading information about environmental threats. Research shows that children already have a disproportionate fear of global warming. One study reported that: “Nearly 4 in 5 kids saw global warming as “a very serious problem,” 3 in 4 saw it as “a threat to all life on the planet” and about 2 in 3 felt global warming is “a threat to my future well-being and safety,” and “feel afraid of what might happen.”

Instead of adding to this alarmism, schools should provide students with some balance by presenting evidence from scientists who don't believe we are experiencing unprecedented warming or that warming is caused by man's activities.

One parent in Indiana, a PhD scientist, decided he'd had enough of his children being given a one-sided perspective on global warming. On the last Earth Day, his children's school was set for a school-wide showing of An Inconvenient Truth—that would have been the third time his kids had to watch the movie as a part of their school day. He began talking to teachers. He then went to the principal, and then the school board. He urged them to at least provide the other side of the story, informing them of another film they could show: Not Evil, Just Wrong, which analyzes some of the misleading information presented in An Inconvenient Truth. Not Evil, Just Wrong also highlights alternative theories about what might cause changes in temperatures and the potential consequence in terms of job loss and poverty of the policies that are being advanced in the name of combating climate change.

That parent in Indiana has been rebuffed by school administrators. So he is taking his case to the public. Unlike the opposition, he isn't trying to silence global warming alarmists. He just wants both perspectives to be presented to students. After all, just because it is Earth Day, schools aren't supposed to abandon their mission to educate students, provide facts, and encourage them to draw conclusions on their own.

Other parents need to find out about their schools' plans for Earth Day, and encourage teachers to give their students the balanced education they need and deserve. Schools aren't supposed to engage in indoctrination, no matter what day it is on the calendar.


What's the Next 'Global Warming'?

Herewith I propose a contest to invent the next panic

By BRET STEPHENS [bstephens@wsj.com ]

So global warming is dead, nailed into its coffin one devastating disclosure, defection and re-evaluation at a time. Which means that pretty soon we're going to need another apocalyptic scare to take its place.

As recently as October, the Guardian reported that scientists at Cambridge had "concluded that the Arctic is now melting at such a rate that it will be largely ice free within ten years." This was supposedly due to global warming. It brought with it the usual lamentations for the grandchildren.

But in March came another report in the Guardian, this time based on the research of Japanese scientists, that "much of the record breaking loss of ice in the Arctic ocean in recent years is [due] to the region's swirling winds and is not a direct result of global warming." It also turns out that the extent of Arctic sea ice in March was around the recorded average, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

The difference between the two stories has little to do with science: There were plenty of reasons back in October to suspect that the Arctic ice panic—based on data that only goes back to 1979—was as implausible as the now debunked claim about disappearing Himalayan glaciers. But thanks to Climategate and the Copenhagen fiasco, the media are now picking up the kinds of stories they previously thought it easier and wiser to ignore.

This is happening internationally. In France, a book titled "L'imposture climatique" is a runaway bestseller: Its author, Claude All├Ęgre, is one of the country's most acclaimed scientists and a former minister of education in a Socialist government. In Britain, environmentalist patron saint James Lovelock now tells the BBC he suspects climate scientists have "[fudged] the data" and that if the planet is going to be saved, "it will save itself, as it always has done." In Germany, the leftish Der Spiegel devotes 15 pages to a deliciously detailed account of "scientists who want to be politicians," the "curious inconsistencies" in the temperature record, the "sloppy work" of the U.N.'s climate-change panel and sundry other sins of modern climatology.

As for the United States, Gallup reports that global warming now ranks sixth on the list of Americans' top 10 environmental concerns. My wager is that within a few years "climate change" will exercise global nerves about as much as overpopulation, toxic tampons, nuclear winters, ozone holes, killer bees, low sperm counts, genetically modified foods and mad cows do today.

Something is going to have to take its place.

The world is now several decades into the era of environmental panic. The subject of the panic changes every few years, but the basic ingredients tend to remain fairly constant. A trend, a hypothesis, an invention or a discovery disturbs the sense of global equilibrium. Often the agent of distress is undetectable to the senses, like a malign spirit. A villain—invariably corporate and right-wing—is identified.

Then money begins to flow toward grant-seeking institutions and bureaucracies, which have an interest in raising the level of alarm. Environmentalists counsel their version of virtue, typically some quasi-totalitarian demands on the pattern of human behavior. Politicians assemble expert panels and propose sweeping and expensive legislation. Eventually, the problem vanishes. Few people stop to consider that perhaps it wasn't such a crisis in the first place.

This is what's called eschatology—a belief, or psychology, that we are approaching the End Time. Religions have always found a way to take account of those beliefs, but today's secular panics are unmoored by spiritual consolations or valid moral injunctions. Instead, we have the modern-day equivalent of the old Catholic indulgence in the form of carbon credits. It's how Al Gore justifies his utility bills.

Given the inescapability of weather, it's no wonder global warming gripped the public mind as long as it did. And there's always some extreme-weather event happening somewhere to be offered as further evidence of impending catastrophe. But even weather gets boring, and so do the people who natter about it incessantly. What this decade requires is a new and better panic.

Herewith, then, I propose a readers' contest to invent the next panic. It must involve something ubiquitous, invisible to the naked eye, and preferably mass-produced. And the solution must require taxes, regulation, and other changes to civilization as we know it. The winner gets a beer and a burger, on me, at the 47th street Pig N' Whistle in New York City. (Nachos for vegetarians.) Happy panicking!



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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