Monday, September 26, 2011

"Godwin's law" revisited?

I do not personally accept the authority of Godwin as a lawgiver any more than I accept the authority of Al Gore, Jesus Christ or Karl Marx -- but Godwin's observation that Hitler comparisons are often the mark of desperation in an argument has some cogency. It lacks cogency only if the comparison is accurate.

So when we find a Warmist who compares a skeptic to Hitler, it is reasonable to ask what accuracy there is in the comparison. A Warmist who rather amusingly calls himself "Science Guy" has replied to a critic who mocks meteorology generally as well as global warming in particular. The critic goes by the nom de guerre of "Cowboy". "Science Guy" says:
I found someone who agrees with Cowboy on the weather

The following quotes come from perhaps the most famous man of the 20th century:

“One can’t put any trust in meteorological forecasts. (Weather men) ought to be separated from the army.

“Weather prediction is not a science that can be learned mechanically. What we need are men gifted with a sixth sense, who live in nature and with nature, whether or not they know anything about isotherms or isobars. As a rule, obviously, these men are not particularly suited to the wearing of a uniform. One of them will have a humped back. Another one of them will be bandy legged. A third paralytic. Similarly one doesn’t expect them to live like bureaucrats.”

The quotes come from … Adolf Hitler

It is certainly clear that Adolf did not think much of the meteorologists of his day but he would not be alone in that. Weather forecasters so often get things wrong that they are widely mocked to this day.

So the issue is not skepticism about meteorology unless "Science Guy" wants to brand all those millions who mock weather forecasters as Nazis.

The issue is whether Cowboy would agree that credibility is to be assigned to shamans and the like. There is no evidence that Cowboy does. His skepticism seems as wide-ranging as mine and I don't even believe that the word "God" is meaningful!

So "Science guy" has indeed fallen foul of Godwin's law and his reply to Cowboy reveals that his argument is one of desperation, not science.

The oceans have suddenly started to absorb more heat???

We read:
The rate of global warming may be kept flat for about a decade, even in the middle of long-term warming, because Earth’s oceans can absorb enough heat to temporarily keep it from skyrocketing, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research say ocean layers below 1,000 feet can hold enough of the “missing heat” to hold global air temperatures steady during these periods, and such intervals can be expected during the next century, even as the trend toward overall warming persists, an NCAR release said Monday.


NCAR’s top climate scientists seem to be unaware that ocean temperatures have already been declining for over a decade. They also seem to be unaware that physical law doesn’t change to meet their own funding needs.


1912 : Global Warming – Ice Caps Shrinking And Thinning – Animals Migrating North – Winters Getting Mild And Short

Some more of the history that the man in the street may be unaware of but which real scientists should know about. By that criterion there are few Warmists who would pass as real scientists
West Gippsland Gazette Warragul, Vic., Tuesday 19 March 1912

GREEN CHRISTMASES By C. Le Lacy Evans, in the”Daily Mail.”)

For many years back we have witnessed a noticeable climatic change in our winters in England, Scotland, and Northern Europe generally, together with reports of a similar character from America. As an instance of the former, during the present December a rare variety of spring sights and sounds are reported. With the thermometer often up to 50 deg., “partridges had practically commenced to pair” and “the rooks wers a busy repairing their old nests.” Fresh and succulent grass has grown as in spring, and cattle have been turned out “to enjoy both the weather and the food.” A second group of flies are seen here and there, and often a cloud of gnats may be witnessed doing their vertical war-dance, while in more than one instance the bees-water scouts have been busy. To the gardener these observations are unnecessary – he sees the facts daily. In New York during the present month the temperature rose to 6Odeg. which is a record, 59deg. being registered in 1873. The underground railways registered 70deg. This heat wave was general throughout the eastern States. “In Boston trees are budding in the parks, and on the Berkshire Hills, with the mercury showing 70deg the maple sap is running as it does in spring-time.” This last phenomenon however, may not be continuous, but these quotations are sufficient to show the climatic state of England and America during the present December.


Zoologically the same change is observed, and it is not long ago since I read a letter from a nephew of Mr George R. Sims giving a list of birds which formerly inhabited the United States only, but have recently migrated northward and are now commonly found in Lower Canada. This shows that the northern climate is becoming warmer, and the statement is con- firmed by the fact that the records of the Hudson Bay Company state that ”the winter on the shores of the Bay has grown shorter, at the rate if of one day in every ten years.” The same change is noticeable In Siberia, Greenland, and Alaska. The northern ice cap is decreasing in area and thickness, and the land, which was tropical and bore the grape-vine the magnolia, and the water-lily before the Great Ice Age, will become habitable again. As an instance In confirmation of this, in 1907 Dr W. S. Bruce’s expedition explored the. whole of Prince Charles Foreland, an island 60 miles long lying to the west of Spitzbergen, and where only ice and snow had previously existed. “brilliant verdant vegetation was found in several places”


It is interesting to glance back even to the recent written period of man, without alluding to a former period during which we can trace the advance and retreat of the pine and the rein- deer with the precision of a mathemati- clan. Snow was well known to the Egyptians., and in Palestine one of David’s officers “slew a lion in a pit at the time of snow.” At the time of the Roman occupation Gaul was semi- Arctic. In A D. 462 Theodomer march- ed his army over the frozen Danube: in A.D. 763′ the Dardanelies was frozen over wiith 5Oft of snow. The River Po was frozen to the bottom in A.D. 1236. In A.D. 1292 the Cattegat was frozen, and travellers crossed between Norway and Jutland. In A.D. 1344 wine distributed to soldiers in Flanders was cut in pieces by hatchets. In A.D. 1571 all the rivers in France were frozen, and the Hellespont in A.D. 1622. In AD. 1658 Charles X. of Sweden crossed the Little Belt from Holstein to Denmark with his whole army. foot, horse, baggage, and artillery. In A.D. 1684 brakes drove along the Thames. In A.D. 1709 the Adriatic and Mediterranean near Genoa were quite frozent over. In A.D. 1716 all the lakes in England were frozen to an enormous thickness, and a whole ox was roasted on the Thames. ’This has occurred since, accompanied by a fair. but is not likely to recur. About every nine to eleven years we -till experience extreme cold, when sunspots decrease the sun’s power.


EPA To Shut Down 20% of Coal Plants in 2012

This article is a few days old, but it is worth a mention nonetheless. Susan Kraemer at CleanTechnica can barely contain her excitement at the prospect of environmental regulations. In an article titled "Obama's EPA Cues 130 Billion Race to Cut Pollution By 2015", she reports that the EPA will shut down 20 percent of coal plants through the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. She acknowledges the cost of these regulations ($130 billion), but insists that this is actually good for the economy.

How, pray tell, does $130 billion in regulatory expenses transform into a $130 billion boon? Because it will push coal plants out of the way and free up energy production for green technology, of course!
The EPA will shut down an estimated 20% of the nation’s coal plants through the ground-level ozone rule (the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) ) through cap and trade that is about to be implemented in January 2012. Opponents of the Obama administration’s “over-reaching” EPA say these are costly regulations. Financial analysts estimate that the cost of this rule will be $130 billion by 2015. But if that figure is correct, that’s good news for the US economy.

Because there is another way of looking at that $130 billion “expense”. One industry’s expense is another industry’s sales bonanza. For the coal industry’s balance sheet, it is an expense, but think about who is going to perform this $130 billion cleanup – fairies? Hardly. This is a job for real American industries.

In the most depressed economy since the Great Depression, a slew of US companies will be selling the clean energy solutions (and adding employees to manufacture them) as coal companies must begin a race to have the least polluting coal plants. Source: Clean Technica (

Real American industries? Like Solyndra? Given all the green scandals that are coming to light, now might not be the best time to advocate these types of solutions. The kicker, though, comes in the last paragraph of the article:
A hand-full of coal industry plutocrats are simply not able to inject $130 billion into the US economy just taking cruise trips around the Mediterranean or whatever it is that they do with the profits that they don’t spend cleaning up.

If the concern is that coal plants don't put enough money into the economy, then what's going to happen once there are fewer of them? My guess is that we will be left on the hook for more large loans to green technology companies that eventually go bankrupt, and other goodies that could only come about when people like Kraemer decide they know best how companies should spend their profits.


Climate skeptics don't 'deny science'

Jeff Jacoby

BILL CLINTON DECLARED LAST WEEK that Americans "look like a joke" because leading Republican presidential contenders decline to embrace the agenda of the global-warming alarmists. Presumably he had in mind Texas Governor Rick Perry, who says that "global warming has been politicized" and calls claims of a decisive human role in climate change an unproven theory. "You can't win the nomination of a major political party in the US," fumed the former president, "unless you deny science?"

To which Marc Morano, publisher of the irreverently skeptical website Climate Depot, promptly replied: "Bill is correct! No Democratic presidential candidate could get the nomination unless they deny the large role that natural variability plays in climate."

In truth, global-warming alarmism is not science at all -- not in the way that electromagnetic radiation or the laws of planetary motion or molecular biology is science. Catastrophic climate change is an interpretation of certain scientific data, an interpretation based on theories about the causes and effects of growing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is not "denying science" to have doubts about the correctness of that interpretation any more than it is "denying economics" to have doubts about the efficacy of Kenyesian pump-priming.

You don't have to look far to see that impeccable scientific standards can go hand-in-hand with skepticism about global warming. Ivar Giaever, a 1973 Nobel laureate in physics, resigned this month as a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) to protest the organization's official position that evidence of manmade climate change is "incontrovertible" and cause for alarm.

In an e-mail explaining his resignation, Giaever challenges the view that any scientific assertion is so sacred that it cannot be contested.

"In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves," Giaever writes, incredulous, "but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?"

Nor does Giaever, a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute faculty member, share the society's view that carbon emissions threaten "significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security, and human health." In fact, the very concept of a "global" temperature is one he questions:

"The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degrees Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me … that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this 'warming' period."

By now, only ideologues and political propagandists insist that all reputable scientists agree on the human responsibility for climate change. Even within the American Physical Society, the editor of "Physics and Society" (an APS publication) has acknowledged that "there is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree … that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are … primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution."

Giaever is only one of many distinguished scientists who dissent from the alarmist view on climate change. Among the others are Richard Lindzen of MIT and John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville, both noted climatologists; the eminent physicist Freeman Dyson of Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study; and S. Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia. Within the population of weather experts best known to the public -- broadcast meteorologists -- The New York Times reported last year that skepticism of the prevailing anthropogenic global-warming theory "appears to be widespread."

Such skepticism is not "anti-science." Everything in science is subject to challenge; innumerable facts about the natural world have been discovered only by poking holes in once-prevailing theories. And if that is true generally, how much more so is it true when it comes to something as vast and complex as climate change? Researchers still have no way "to reliably discriminate between manmade warming and natural warming processes," climate scientist Roy Spencer has written. "We cannot put the Earth in a laboratory and carry out experiments on it. There is only one global warming experiment, and we are all participating in it right now."

Someday the workings of climate change may be as well understood as plate tectonics or photosynthesis. Until then, different theories will compete, assumptions will be fought over, and scientific findings will be overstated by people with political or social agendas. We'll know that the science really is settled when the battles have come to an end.


The not so green side of green energy

You could safely say that the environment and environmental concerns are a priority for this administration.

Agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) see fit to regulate and over-regulate every aspect of the environment including air, water, soil and everything in between. Knowing that your drinking water is safe to drink is a good thing, but over-regulating businesses’ emissions levels to impossible-to-meet standards has hurt production levels of goods and services in the U.S.

Furthermore, the current administration’s push and support towards “green” energy coupled with overbearing environmental regulations has made the cost of manufacturing products like solar panels in the U.S. so expensive that it has forced some companies and jobs overseas. So in an effort to stay green, America then imports solar panels from countries like China.

In fact, expressing concern over the high number of imports of solar panels, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) wrote a letter to the president. Sen. Wyden, a proponent of renewable energies and technologies being manufactured in the U.S., said in his letter, “Chinese imports of solar panels are surging and are on pace to increase 240 percent this year, compared to 2010. Furthermore, imports of Chinese solar panels increased 1,593-percent between 2006 and 2010.”

Chinese producers of solar panels do receive large subsidies from their government allowing them to price the product at a much lower level than market value, thus out-pricing most competitors. But as some Chinese manufacturing plants have learned, the production of these green products isn’t so green at all.

In mid-September, about 500 villagers from an eastern Chinese town protested a solar plant over pollution fears. Water samples taken near the plant tested high for levels of fluoride, which can be toxic in mass amounts, and when fish from a local river showed up dead, villagers were adamant that the plant close.

Now local Chinese government officials say there will be an “overhaul of the production procedures at the plant involving the emission of waste gas and waste water,” states the BBC article.

If China, a country much more lax on environmental regulations than America, is being forced to take more aggressive steps to regulate environmental concerns over solar panel manufacturing, imagine the steps that would have to be taken in America if they were to be mass produced here.

A product that might be “green” in the long run doesn’t make that product green from the start. As this administration and the EPA continue their battle against coal manufacturers and natural gas extracting mechanisms, other forms of energy creation might be worse, and less efficient, than these already proven forms of energy.

It doesn’t make America a very environmentally conscious nation when it imports products from overseas that destroy and pollute the manufacturers’ local communities.

After all, we all drink water from the same sources, eat food grown from the same ground and breathe in the same air.

Despite spending a large amount of government stimulus money and taxpayer handouts, America’s green industry falls flat on its face time and time again. It’s not a viable industry, it can’t stand on its own, and from the sounds of it, doesn’t sound all that environmentally friendly anyways.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, 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 is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


1 comment:

Garry said...

It's hard not to be completely gobsmacked about today's hysteria and exaggeration when you read stuff like the following. Note the dates:
January 10, 1891 – Front Page
New York Times

LONDON, Jan. 9. — It is now the seventh week of the prevalence of frost throughout the United Kingdom, with no signs of abatement of the severity of the weather. From John O’Groat’s House to Land’s End the country is wrapped in snow and canals and streams are icebound. Even a number of tidal rivers are frozen fast.
June 08, 1907,
New York Times

NEW WEATHER THEORY.; Is Wireless Telegraphy Changing Our Climate?
Section , Page 8, Column , words

It would be well if those having sufficient authority should undertake the task of finding out what is causing the present rainy season.
February 25, 1923 – Article
New York Times

REPORT THE ARCTIC IS GETTING WARMER; Explorers and Fishermen Find Climate Moderating About Spitzbergen. FIRST NOTED ABOUT 1918 Old Glaciers Have Disappeared — Changes in Flora and Fauna.

The Arctic seems to be warming up. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers who sail the seas about Spitzbergen and the Eastern Arctic, all point to a radical change in climatic conditions, and hitherto unheard of temperatures in that part of the earth. Old glaciers have disappeared and land once covered with field ice is bare.
April 28, 1935,
Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. ();

GLACIERS’ EBB SPED BY HOT ’34 SUMMER; Last Remnants of Ice Age Are Receding at Double-Time, Geologists Are Told.

Section , Page 28, Column , words

WASHINGTON, April 27. — The great glaciers of the West, last remnants of the Ice Age on continental United States, have been retreating from their strongholds in the mountains at double time since last year. This was reported before the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union by Francois E. Matthes of the United States Geological Survey, chairman of the union’s committee on glaciers.
December 12, 1938,

World Climate Growing Warmer, Say Russians, Citing Arctic Data; Two Professors Independently Find Change in Temperatures–They See a Gulf Stream Relation, but Look for Deeper Causes TEMPERATURE RISE OVER WORLD SEEN

Section , Page 1, Column , words

The findings of Soviet explorers aboard the icebreaker Syedoff, now drifting within 300 miles of the North Pole, together with earlier observations by other investigators, have caused Soviet scientists to conclude that the Arctic region and, indeed, the whole world is growing warmer.
Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES. ();
January 28, 1940,

BRITISH COLD SNAP CAN NOW BE TOLD; Military Censorship on the Weather Lifted–Freeze Severest Since 1894 7-DEGREE LOW IN LONDON Press Has Noted Subzero Spell in Europe Without Word of Local Arctic Conditions Stretch of Thames Frozen Over One Reporter’s Story Lost
Section , Page 5, Column , words

LONDON, Jan. 27–Now it can be told. For the first time since the war began, British censors today allowed that humdrum conversational topic, the weather, which has been a strict military secret in Britain, to be mentioned in news dispatches –providing the weather news is more than fifteen days old.