Anthony Watts has a very amusing story about a Colorado newspaper editor who published a letter from a skeptic and then next day took it down in response to an angry complaint from prominent climate fraud Michael Mann. But when Watts and others began querying the nervous etitor he put the letter up again in an edited form. Below is what Dr Hertzberg originally wrote (received from the author):
Vail Daily, Vail, CO - Friday, 30 September, 2011 - Commentary
VALLEY VOICES - Martin Hertzberg
More hot air than science in global-warming theory
"Cherish Your Doubts, for Doubt is the Handmaiden of Truth"
--- Robert Weston
Since I am a long-time denier of human-caused global warming, and have been described as an "inaccurate" and "irresponsible" "fool" by Scott Glasser's 9/26/11 commentary in the Vail Daily, I feel compelled to respond. I am a research scientist who also served as a meteorologist for the U. S. Navy. I am also a life-long, progressive Democrat. For the 25 years that I have been studying the theory that human emission of CO2 is causing global warming/climate change, it has never ceased to amaze me at how many otherwise intelligent people, including our President, have been taken in by that scam. There is a simple way to tell the difference between scientists and propagandists. If scientists have a theory, they search diligently for data that might actually contradict their theory so that they test it rigorously or refine it. If propagandists have a theory, they carefully select only the data that might agree with their theory, and dutifully ignore any data that might contradict it.
The anecdotal drivel cited in the Glasser article regarding atmospheric CO2, average global temperatures, ice area coverage, and rate of sea-level rise, was carefully "cherry picked", or is totally false. For the totality of the available data for the last several decades, go to www.climate4you.com . The data show nothing remarkable: just the normal variability in all those weather-related parameters.
Knowledgeable scientist, including the more than 30,000 like myself who have signed the "Oregon Petition", know that changes in atmospheric CO2 do not correlate with human emission of CO2; that human emission is a trivial fraction of sources and sinks of CO2; that the oceans contain about 50 times more dissolved CO2 than is present in the atmosphere; that recycling of CO2 from the tropical oceans where it is emitted to the arctic oceans where it is absorbed, is orders of magnitude more significant than human emissions; and that the carbonate-bicarbonate buffer in the oceans makes their acidity (actually their alkaline pH) virtually insensitive to changes in atmospheric CO2. The data for the glacial coolings and interglacial warmings for the last 500,000 years always show that temperature changes precede atmospheric CO2 changes by about 1000 years. That indicates that temperature changes are driving CO2 changes and not the reverse as the Gore-Hansen-IPCC clique claim. As oceans warm for whatever reason, they emit CO2, and as they cool they absorb CO2.
The CO2 "greenhouse effect" argument on which the fear-mongering hysteria is based is actually devoid of physical reality. The notion that the colder atmosphere above can re-radiate its absorbed infra-red energy to heat the warmer earth below violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. For details see "Slaying the Sky Dragon - Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory" co-authored by myself and several other scientists, which was published earlier this year by Stairway Press. In any case, if one compares the effect of water in all of its forms (polar ice, snow cover, oceans, clouds, water vapor in the atmosphere) with that of human emission of CO2, the CO2 emission is about as significant as a few farts in a hurricane.
Glasser, who calls me a fool, really tips his hand by defending the notoriously fraudulent "hockey-stick" curve of Prof. Mann. That curve has the shape of a hockey stick, flat for the last 1000 years with a sharp rise during the past few decades. It was fabricated from carefully selected tree-ring measurements with a phony computer program. Every knowledgeable climatologist knows that tree rings are unreliable proxies for temperature because they are also sensitive to moisture, sunlight, pests, competition from adjacent trees, etc. Furthermore, when those same tree ring data actually showed a decline in temperature for the past several decades, Mann and his co-authors simply "hid the decline" by grafting direct measurements (inadequately corrected for the urban heat-island and other effects) to his flat tree ring line. Knowledgeable climatologists knew that the Medieval Warm Period when the Vikings settled Greenland and grapes grew in northern England, was much warmer than today and that its presence in all regions of the world was overwhelming. Similarly, for the Roman Warm Period that preceded it, and for a whole series of natural warmings and coolings until one gets back to the big one: the interglacial cooling of about 20,000 years ago.
And that all happened without any significant human emission of CO2.
The conclusions being promulgated by the scientifically illiterate diplomats who control the U. N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are fraudulent concoctions that have already been denounced by many of its scientific members. Those diplomats, like the bureaucrats at the EPA, have huge egos and a lust for power. That is far more important to them than the triviality of scientific truth. Once committed to one side of such an issue, they will rarely admit that they have made a mistake. Once having invested their political capital and our economic resources to start the huge, massive inertia wheel turning, it takes too much courage, energy, and loss of face to stop it. That was the case with the war in Vietnam, and currently with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The conclusions of the IPCC need to be repudiated lest they continue to discredit the United Nation's legitimate functions: its programs to improve the standard of living of the underdeveloped nations; its programs to combat hunger and poverty; its support of the Conventions against genocide and torture; and its support of the World Court prosecution of war criminals.
Ozone "hole" in the Arctic now too
So a fat lot of good the Greenie bans on freon etc. have done. We now have at least double the "hole" we used to have. And even more amusing is that they are blaming it all on COOLING. I sometimes suspect that Greenies can't see the nose in front of their face.
Tom Nelson read the "New Scientist" account of the matter and noted this amazing admission: "The hole was similar in size to those seen in Antarctica in the 1980s. The Antarctic hole has continued to grow since then, and is far larger today."
A great Greenie triumph has turned to dust
SCIENTISTS have discovered another hole in the ozone layer - this time it's in the Arctic. "Unprecedented depletion" of ozone was recorded above the Arctic, comparable to the size of the ozone hole above the Antarctic for the first time on record.
The hole in the ozone in the Antarctic was caused by human produced chemicals and unusually long winters. The extremely cold conditions trigger a chemical reaction that converts atmospheric chlorine from human-produced chemicals into ozone destroying forms.
The Arctic is usually less affected by ozone loss because it is considerably warmer than the Antarctic. But researchers found that this year the Arctic cold snap lasted more than 30 days longer than any previously studied winter [Global cooling?], causing the rare ozone depletion.
"Day-to-day temperatures in the 2010-11 Arctic winter did not reach lower values than in previous cold Arctic winters," said lead author Gloria Manney of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
"The difference from previous winters is that temperatures were low enough to produce ozone-destroying forms of chlorine for a much longer time. This implies that if winter Arctic stratospheric temperatures drop just slightly in the future, for example as a result of climate change, then severe Arctic ozone loss may occur more frequently."
Further studies are needed to determine what factors caused the cold period to last so long.
However Ms Manney said that without the 1989 Montreal Protocol - an international treaty limiting production of ozone-depleting substances - chlorine levels already would be so high that an Arctic ozone hole would form every spring. [A statement of pure faith]
The long atmospheric lifetimes of ozone-depleting chemicals already in the atmosphere mean that Antarctic ozone holes, and the possibility of future severe Arctic ozone loss, will continue for decades.
"Our ability to quantify polar ozone loss and associated processes will be reduced in the future when NASA's Aura and CALIPSO spacecraft, whose trace gas and cloud measurements were central to this study, reach the end of their operational lifetimes," said Ms Manney. "It is imperative that this capability be maintained if we are to reliably predict future ozone loss in a changing climate."
That gol-durned hotspot is still missing too
One of the assemptions of the Warmist models is that there will be an upper atmosphere "hotspot" in the tropics. Radiosonde (balloon) observations have for many years been unable to find it. So a recent paper in the generally Warmist GRL is of interest. The authors looked for the hotspot using satellite data. The Abstract:
On the warming in the tropical upper troposphere: Models versus observations
By Qiang Fu, Syukuro Manabe and Celeste M. Johanson
IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) AR4 (Fourth Assessment Report) GCMs (General Circulation Models) predict a tropical tropospheric warming that increases with height, reaches its maximum at ~200 hPa, and decreases to zero near the tropical tropopause. This study examines the GCM-predicted maximum warming in the tropical upper troposphere using satellite MSU (microwave sounding unit)-derived deep?layer temperatures in the tropical upper- and lower-middle troposphere for 1979-2010. While satellite MSU/AMSU observations generally support GCM results with tropical deep-layer tropospheric warming faster than surface, it is evident that the AR4 GCMs exaggerate the increase in static stability between tropical middle and upper troposphere during the last three decades.
That sounds a bit bad for the models but Jo Nova has gone on to read the rest of the paper and finds this remarkable paragraph:
The trends of T24-T2LT from both observations and models are all positive (Figure 2, below), indicating that the tropical upper-middle troposphere is warming faster than lower middle troposphere [Fu and Johanson, 2005]. But the positive trends are only about 0.014 ñ 0.017 K/decade from RSS and 0.005 ñ 0.016 K/decade from UAH, which are not significantly different from zero. In contrast, the T24-T2LT trend from multi?model ensemble mean is 0.051 ñ 0.007 K/decade, which is significantly larger than zero. The trends from observations and multi-model ensemble mean do not fall within each other's 95% confidence intervals.
In plain man's language, there is virtually no overlap between what the models predict and what is actually up there. The whole idea of heat being "trapped" in the upper atmosphere and "reflected" back to earth is not found in the data.
Jo Nova has all the details.
Clean-energy credits tarnished
WikiLeaks reveals that most Indian claims are ineligible
As the world gears up for the next round of United Nations climate-change negotiations in Durban, South Africa, in November, evidence has emerged that a cornerstone of the existing global climate agreement, the international greenhouse-gas emissions-trading system, is seriously flawed.
Critics have long questioned the usefulness of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which was established under the Kyoto Protocol. It allows rich countries to offset some of their carbon emissions by investing in climate-friendly projects, such as hydroelectric power and wind farms, in developing countries. Verified projects earn certified emission reductions (CERs) - carbon credits that can be bought and sold, and count towards meeting rich nations' carbon-reduction targets.
But a diplomatic cable published last month by the WikiLeaks website reveals that most of the CDM projects in India should not have been certified because they did not reduce emissions beyond those that would have been achieved without foreign investment. Indian officials have apparently known about the problem for at least two years.
"What has leaked just confirms our view that in its present form the CDM is basically a farce," says Eva Filzmoser, programme director of CDM Watch, a Brussels-based watchdog organization. The revelations imply that millions of tonnes of claimed reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions are mere phantoms, she says, and potentially cast doubt over the principle of carbon trading. "In the face of these comments it is no wonder that the United States has backed away from emission trading," Filzmoser says.
The cable, written on 16 July 2008, was sent by the US consulate in Mumbai, India, to the US secretary of state, and summarizes a discussion of the CDM involving representatives of the consulate and the US Government Accountability Office, along with Indian officials and executives of large Indian companies. At the time, 346 Indian projects had been registered with the CDM's executive board. Today, more than 720 Indian projects have been approved and have gained some 120 million tonnes' worth of carbon credits, a large fraction of the 750 million tonnes issued since 2005 (see 'Cleaning up').
Yet on the evidence of discussions at the meeting, most of the carbon-offset projects in India fail to meet the CDM requirements set by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The cable also describes the UN's validation and registration process as "arbitrary".
Indian authorities were also criticized in the cable. All CDM projects must be validated nationally, then verified independently by an accredited firm. But the cable quotes R. K. Sethi, then chairman of the CDM's executive board and member-secretary of the Indian CDM authority in New Delhi, as admitting that the authority simply "takes the project developer at his word for clearing the additionality barrier".
"This will not invalidate carbon trading, but it does go to show that the CDM has serious flaws," says Mark Maslin, a climatologist at University College London. "In India and China, the multiple levels of governance which you need to have in place to make carbon trading work are simply not there."
A Bird-Brained Prosecution
Indicting oil and gas companies but giving wind turbines a pass for birdkills
The Obama Administration's hostility to oil and gas exploration is well known, but last week it took an especially fowl turn. The U.S. Attorney for North Dakota hauled seven oil and natural gas companies into federal court for killing 28 migratory birds that were found dead near oil waste lagoons. You may not be surprised to learn that the Administration isn't prosecuting wind companies for similar offenses.
Continental Resources is accused of violating the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act because "on or about May 6, 2011 in the District of North Dakota" the company "did take [kill] one Say's Phoebe," of the tyrant flycatcher bird family. Brigham Oil & Gas is accused of killing two Mallard ducks. The Class B misdemeanors carry fines of up to $15,000 for each dead bird and up to six months in prison.
The companies have pleaded not guilty, though they are not unamazed. They say they're not responsible for the bird deaths and that, even if they were, the deaths were "incidental" to lawful commercial activity in full compliance with all environmental laws.
Law enforcement officials we talked to in North Dakota say they can't remember such a case ever going to court. One local commentator calls it "the most absurd legal action taken by the government in the history of North Dakota." One of the charged oil companies "even went to U.S. Fish and Wildlife and self-reported a number of birds, asking what else they could do soon after they had found the dead birds," reports the Plains Daily, North Dakota's statewide newspaper.
U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon is nonetheless undaunted as he pursues the cause of ornithological justice.
Absurdity aside, this prosecution is all the more remarkable because the wind industry each year kills not 28 birds, or even a few hundred, but some 440,000, according to estimates by the American Bird Conservancy based on Fish and Wildlife Service data. Guess how many legal actions the Obama Administration has brought against wind turbine operators under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act? As far as we can tell, it's zero.
At the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area Northern California, some 5,000 wind turbines each year kill scores of golden and bald eagles, which are highly protected under federal law. There have been no federal prosecutions, though NextEra Energy Resources has agreed to purchase new turbines that are less likely to harm birds.
The wind industry is even seeking a formal legal waiver to shield it from the type of criminal or civil action that the oil companies now face. According to the September 13 draft of its new "Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines," the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would give the wind industry "assurances" of law enforcement discretion if it adheres to certain safeguards and then inadvertently kills birds.
A few preservation groups have raised the issue of bird deaths from wind turbines, but the big green lobbying machines like the Sierra Club have largely been silent about their feathered former friends and the wind waiver. These groups deplore the externalities of producing carbon and nuclear power, but not the bird-death externalities associated with wind power.
It's hard to believe anyone deserves prosecution for incidental bird deaths, but it is a blatant injustice to indict companies whose oil operations may kill a few birds while giving a pass to wind operators that kill them by the thousands. The Administration can loathe carbon fuels all it wants, but that loathing doesn't justify selective and foolish prosecution.
Science, Lies, and Videotape
It is the elite perception that conservatives are beetle-browed, anti-science nutters wedded to faith-based, unverifiable beliefs eschewed by the more sophisticated, scientific-thinking left. I call this the Garofolo Theory to memorialize this darling of the left's observation this week:
Herman Cain is probably well liked by some of the Republicans because it hides the racist elements of the Republican Party. Conservative movement and tea party movement, one in the same.
So there you have it: the classic damned if you do (in this case, support black candidates), damned if you don't (support them). Conveniently for Garofalo, the charge is utterly unfalsifiable as made, since the lack of evidence to her way of thinking is itself evidence.
But beyond the self-congratulatory nonsense exemplified by Janeane Garofolo, the history of who believes in science and who opposes scientific thinking and methods is far more muddled. There's plenty of evidence that the clown shoes belong on the other (political) foot, and this week, because of the work of Watts Up With That and videotape analysis, we can establish that not only is the left unscientific, but it also relies on demonstrably false "evidence" to make its arguments.
Blogger Judith Curry is the inspiration for my decision to strike at the "conservatives are anti-science" meme. She pulled together posts where writers and readers debated the issue.
Among the positions progressives have taken which are false and unsupported by science are the following examples I culled there from posts by Mike Hanson of Purdue University and Ken Green. Collectively these men observe these fallacies supported by those who call themselves progressives:
- DDT causes cancer;
- Alar causes cancer;
- Polar bears are drowning as the icebergs melt;
- Video displays or cell phones cause cancer;
- There are grave risks to hydraulic fracturing;
- Misuse of toxology -- hexavalent chromium contamination in Hinkley, California; amaranth, saccharin;
- nuclear winter;
- Claims that there's a giant plastic cocoon in the middle of the ocean;
- BPA and Phthalates are carcinogens and endocrine disruptors;
- Claims that organic food is safer and healthier than conventionally grown foods;
- Claims that eating locally grown foods is better for the environment than foods grown further away;
- Cloth grocery bags are better for the environment than paper or plastic ones;
- Claims of species' endangerment based on faked or flawed evidence;
- Claims that climate models have predictive power and that individual weather events represent climate change;
- Claims that frogs died because of climate change;
- Claims that there were alligator penis malformations from endocrine disruptors;
- Claims that bees were dying as a result of climate change;
- Claims that butterflies were dying from Bt crops;
- Unsubstantiated claims about low dose radiation hazards.
I'm sure you could add to their list. Generally, the "dangers" the left invents or exaggerates involve modern technology, existing energy sources, and large-scale production. They represent a strange amalgam of Rousseau and Luddite notions and hark back to an ideal, never-existing "state of nature."
Mike Hanson continues in his post at Curry's blog:
The National Academy of Science states that "no dose of radiation is safe" but they have no data to back this statement up, only a hypothesis they cannot test. The linear threshold model is a liberal (no pun intended) application of the precautionary principal as you cannot conduct an epidemiological study of radiation exposure at low levels of exposure and get any meaningful data. This being the case, the linear threshold model for radiation exposure is not science, it's a philosophical argument.
Manipulation of "science" is VERY mainstream among liberals. You can hardly pick up a lefty magazine or newspaper and not see it. The left "science deniers" are similar in pathology to Christian millenarianists who await the Apocalypse. They pinpoint a date for wholesale destruction, and they're always wrong. But unlike Christian fundamentalists, liberals have the advantageous distinction of never needing to say sorry. In fact, the worst of them, people like John Holdren and Paul Erlich go onto serve in very high places in the scientific community.
The debate at Curry's site is lengthy and thorough. At best, it seems, one might argue that both sides of the political spectrum have exhibited the desire to use science for sociopolitical ends, but it seems to me undeniable that the claim that the left is scientific and the right is not must fall.
This week we have more ammunition for this point of view. On the one hand, we have President Obama ignoring his own scientists and attacking Texas Governor Perry for being a climate skeptic:
On Sunday, President Obama gave Gov. Rick Perry heat for being a climate skeptic, calling him "a governor whose state is on fire, denying climate change." But, Obama seems to be denying the conclusions of his own government scientists when it comes to the cause of the Texas droughts. But, earlier this month, Dr. Robert Hoerling, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research meteorologist, who served as the lead author of the U.S. Climate Change Science Plan Synthesis and Assessment, clearly and emphatically dispelled the notion that climate change has anything to do with droughts in Texas.
Then there's Congressman Henry Waxman justifying the waste of a half billion dollars on the Solyndra solar panel factory scam: "Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., railed at Friday's hearing, "We need to face reality and stop denying science."
And the editors of the New York Times, grossly exaggerating the potential contribution of solar energy:
Are New York Times editorial writers complete innumerate nincompoops? Okay, silly question. The answer is a self-evident truth. This sentence finally made me spit my coffee: "Recent studies suggest that, globally, renewable energy will grow faster than any other energy source in the coming decades."
This is simple-minded drivel that wouldn't make a sub-moron's mouth twitch if he'd sat through the first day of a statistics class. All of these studies are based on pure percentage growth rates -- not absolute amounts of energy produced by source. It is the same kind of logic as someone who wonders how a swimmer can drown in a Minnesota lake that averages only two feet deep. Example: if you go from one unit of something to two, look! Wow! A 100 percent growth rate! While if you go from 100 to 105 units of something, we'll that's only a five percent growth rate, even though it five times the amount of end product as the source with the 100 percent growth rate.
All of the renewable energy studies and forecasts play that game because the renewable output is starting from such a low base, and never compare the actual amount of energy growth with other sources. ... According to the BP data, guess which energy source over the last 10 years produced the largest total amount of new energy in the world? Coal. A somewhat inconvenient truth. A student who tried to pass off the Times claim in Statistics 101 would get an F on the exam. (And this leaves aside the point John makes, namely, that nearly all "renewable" energy sources require huge government subsidies. Isn't the social welfare state unsustainable enough? How does the Times think that scaling up renewable energy won't also end in bankruptcy?
All this takes place in a week when a key scientist resigned from the American Physical Society in protest of the Society's stance on global warming (italics in the original):
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 challenged 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 wrote, incredulous, "but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?''
Nor does Giaever 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. . . [sic]
And all this in the same week when the EPA's own inspector general called the greenhouse gas science used by the agency seriously flawed. The endangerment finding in question will cost American consumers $300-$400 billion a year, boost energy prices considerably, and destroy "hundreds of jobs," says Oklahoma Senator Inhofe, who this week released the IG Report.
[T]he scientific basis, on which the administration's endangerment finding for greenhouse gases hinged, violated the EPA's own peer review procedure. In a report released Wednesday (at the request of Inhofe, dating back to April) the inspector general found that the EPA failed to follow the Data Quality Act and its own peer review process when it issued the determination that greenhouse gases cause harm to "public health and welfare."
"I appreciate the inspector general conducting a thorough investigation into the Obama-EPA's handling of the endangerment finding for greenhouse gases," Inhofe said. "This report confirms that the endangerment finding, the very foundation of President Obama's job-destroying regulatory agenda, was rushed, biased, and flawed. It calls the scientific integrity of EPA's decision-making process into question and undermines the credibility of the endangerment finding."
Much of the folderol of calling witchcraft science takes place behind the scenes -- as in the EPA endangerment finding -- but sometimes the fraud takes place before our very eyes. In his latest big presentation to the world on global warming, "The Climate Reality Project" -- i.e., the latest iteration of the hoax that made him a billionaire -- Al Gore presented a falsified experiment by Bill Nye ("the science guy"), which Gore called "high school physics," to make his point.
The video was not labeled a dramatization, and Anthony Watts of the renowned climate blog Watts Up With That?, taking enormous pains to duplicate the materials used and the techniques followed by careful examination of the video, establishes that this is a "staged production from start to finish." You can see Gore's and Nye's hocus-pocus unveiled before your eyes, with frame-by-frame analysis. Of course, the pair consider you stupid anyway, for, as Watts notes:
Of course the whole Climate 101 CO2 experiment is questionable to begin with, because it doesn't properly emulate the physical mechanisms involved in heating our planet. Note the heat lamps used, likely one of these based on the red color we see in the lamp fixture:
Heat lamps like this produce visible red light and short wave infrared (SWIR is 1.4-3 æm wavelength). As we know from the classic greenhouse effect, glass blocks infrared so none of the SWIR was making it into the cookie jar. All that would do is heat the glass. John Tyndall's 1850?s experiments used rock salt windows, which transmit infrared, for exactly that reason. Adding insult to injury, CO2 has no SWIR absorption bands. What CO2 does have though is higher density than air. The gas in the cookie jars was primarily heated by conduction in contact with the SWIR-heated glass.
Moreover, the CO2 injection in one cookie jar would raise it from 0.04% CO2 to very near 100% CO2 which is hardly comparable to the atmosphere going from 0.03% to 0.04% CO2 during the industrial age. Gore's team provides no indication of the concentration of CO2 in the jar, that's hardly scientific.
James Delingpole of The Telegraph credits the internet for blowing Gore's and Nye's cover and exposing the establishment's fake science generally:
The point that can't be made often enough about the internet is that it represents our best and perhaps only hope of outmanoeuvring the lies, bullying and control of the political establishment. Nowhere is this truer than with the Man Made Global Warming scam. Had it not been for the internet, Climategate would not have been broken, nor the earlier work of McIntyre and McKitrick disseminated, nor a community created in which scientific experts (and interested laymen) all over the world were able to discuss climate science freely without the risk of being defunded, or having their journal closed down or being ostracised by their colleagues. But though the internet was a necessary condition for this to happen, it was not a sufficient one. The other vitally important ingredient was the trainspotterish diligence of men and women like Anthony Watts, and Richard North and Donna Laframboise and Joanna Nova.
Why is this trainspotterish diligence so essential? Because one of the main planks of the defence used by the climate alarmist establishment against sceptics is that they have all the expertise on their side, all the PhDs, all the notable scientific institutions, and that therefore their "authority" trumps the feeble witterings of all those nonentities, crazed Oxford English graduates, and other such verminous specimens who dare to speak out against the mighty, unimpeachable wisdom.
What the internet has proved in these debates, time and again - from Glaciergate to Amazongate to Polarbeargate - is that when the rebellious amateurs of the sceptical blogosphere go head to head with the climate establishment, the bloggers always win. Not as a result of invective or snarkiness or any of the other things that bloggers also do quite well: but on the actual hard science and raw evidence. Look at almost any tussle between, say, WUWT on the one side, RealClimate on the other, and you'll notice that when it finally boils down to the irreducible truth, the side that emerges triumphant is the sceptical one, not the alarmist one. It's partly because the facts are on our side (so we jolly well ought to win if we're doing our job even remotely properly), but also because, being the underfunded underdogs, we've been forced to raise our game to a higher standard than that of our rather complacent, smug opposition.
Well, as the world economy weakens and it turns out that we are sitting on enormous quantities of natural gas and oil, it grows more likely that this childish nonsense -- which, probably not coincidentally, has proven a financial boon for Democrat-backers, too -- shall pass. But faster, please, so we can get back to being the world's powerhouse.
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