Thursday, February 23, 2017

Fake news at the NYT

The article below appeared in the NYT as "How an Interoffice Spat Erupted Into a Climate-Change Furor".  In the best traditions of the Green/Left it is an attempt to discredit scientific dissent by "ad hominem" abuse.  It refers to the Bates revelations about the Tom Karl "pause" paper but has no science in it at all.  It is just an extended effort to discredit the motives of Bates.

It gives no answer to the important allegation that Karl constructed his temperature database by using invalid ocean temperature measurements and mentions not at all the Fyfe et al. paper, in which some prominent Warmist scientists also distanced themselves from the Karl paper. The article is a closing of the ranks, nothing more.  It is a desperate attempt to trivialize an important issue of scientific integrity.

A few weeks ago, on an obscure climate-change blog, a retired government scientist named John Bates blasted his former boss on an esoteric point having to do with archiving temperature data.

It was little more than lingering workplace bad blood, said Dr. Bates’s former co-workers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Dr. Bates had felt he deserved his boss’s job at NOAA, they said, not the demotion he received.

“He’s retaliating. It’s like grade school,” said Glenn Rutledge, a former physical scientist at NOAA who worked with Dr. Bates.

But in what seems like a remarkable example of office politics gone horribly wrong, within days the accusations were amplified and sensationalized — in the pages of the British tabloid The Mail on Sunday — inciting a global furor among climate-change deniers.

The Mail claimed that Dr. Bates had revealed fraud in important research by NOAA that supports the widely held belief that climate change is real. “How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data,” the article’s headline said.

The scientific community swiftly shot down the accusations, and affirmed the accuracy of the research. And Dr. Bates himself later stated in an interview with a business news site that he had not meant to suggest that his former boss had played fast and loose with temperature data. “The issue here is not an issue of tampering with data,” Dr. Bates said.

Still, Dr. Bates has emerged as a hero to some conservative media outlets and politicians, and among climate-change deniers on Facebook and Twitter.

The Texas congressman and longtime climate skeptic Lamar Smith posted a link to a summary of the claims multiple times on Twitter. The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, which Mr. Smith heads, took up the controversy at a hearing.

NOAA itself is now bringing in independent investigators to review Dr. Bates’s claims. “NOAA takes seriously any accusations that its policies and procedures have not been followed,” a spokesman, Scott Smullen, said in a statement.

Dr. John Bates, a retired government scientist, at his home in Arden, N.C. His criticism of a former boss on an esoteric point about archiving temperature data resulted in a furor among climate-change deniers. Credit Chris Bott
Dr. Bates did not respond to repeated requests for comment nor to detailed questions about the incident and his former co-workers’ characterizations.

Interviews with six of his former colleagues at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, including two former bosses, painted a picture of a room filled with brilliant scientists, and — like many workplaces — its fair share of mundane professional spats and jealousies.

Dr. Bates was demoted from a managerial role in 2012 under Thomas Karl — the lead author of the study Dr. Bates has questioned — after complaints over Dr. Bates’s professional conduct, according to the former colleagues and supervisors. He also became frustrated that his efforts to enforce strict procedures in the archiving of climate data were not getting as much attention as he had hoped.

“He was often heard saying that he, not Karl, should be running the center,” said Marjorie McGuirk, former chief of staff at the data center.

At the heart of the furor is a study led by Dr. Karl, the former director of NOAA’s data center. The NOAA center handles the nation’s trove of climate and weather data. Dr. Karl’s study had refuted earlier work suggesting that global warming had slowed earlier in this century.

According to the article in The Mail, Dr. Bates claimed that the study relied on problematic data. The researchers threw out good data on sea temperatures recorded on buoys, and “corrected” it with what he said was bad data from ships, Dr. Bates said, according to The Mail.

“You never change good data to agree with bad, but that’s what they did — so as to make it look as if the sea was warmer,” he was quoted in The Mail as saying. The Mail on Sunday article also argued that the study had been rushed into the journal Science to influence the 2015 Paris climate deal, in which world leaders agreed to curb planet-warming emissions.

David Rose, the author of The Mail on Sunday article, said in a Twitter correspondence that he stood by his reporting.

The Mail on Sunday, together with its sister tabloid, The Daily Mail, in the past has been accused of publishing work that disputed the widely held scientific belief that warming is the result of human activity.

The outcry over Dr. Bates’s claims points to a push by some in the right-wing media to cast doubt on established climate science, and to dispel public support for emissions regulations. Breitbart, the right-wing website formerly run by Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s chief strategist, repeatedly played up Dr. Bates’s claims. “John Bates has provided the smoking gun,” it reported. Fox News called the accusations “explosive.”

Rick Perry, the former Texas governor who is President Trump’s pick for energy secretary, at his conformation hearing last month. Mr. Perry, once a climate-change denier, now acknowledges that the climate is warming. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times
Breitbart and Fox News did not respond to a request for comment.

“I think there’s already been enormous damage,” said Bob Ward, a researcher at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics. “What they’re trying to do is to slow the pace of action on climate change.”

In his interview with the site E&E News this month, Dr. Bates stated that the issue wasn’t with data tampering. Rather, he said, his issue was that some of the processed data used in the report wasn’t subsequently archived in accordance with strict protocols that Dr. Bates had developed. In other words, it was a filing problem, not a science problem.

The paper’s authors disputed that strict archiving of the calculations was necessary, because all of the original data used in the report was properly archived. And the data was subsequently made available to other researchers, said Tom Peterson, a research meteorologist who is a co-author of the study with Dr. Karl.


Sea Level Rise: A Reason to Drown in Fear?

The debate isn't so much over the facts of warming but how to respond

The quibbling over how much warming the world has actually seen is back in the news thanks to new allegations from Dr. John Bates, a former NOAA scientist who says the agency used bogus techniques to discredit the recent global warming pause. Given the long history of accusations against the agency — including longstanding charges of rewriting logbook data — these assertions should be investigated, regardless of what may or may not turn up. Perhaps the agency is guilty, or perhaps not.

But let’s set aside for a moment the wrangling over the magnitude of warming and lay out what everyone can agree on. We know unequivocally that global temperatures have gradually warmed for more than a century now. (This acknowledgement, by the way, reveals the Left’s slandering of conservatives as “climate deniers” to be all the more vindictive). We also know that periods of cooling or static measurements have occasionally interrupted this gradual warming, but it hasn’t been enough to reduce the overall upward trend. And finally, we know that global carbon dioxide emissions have risen to slightly more than 400 parts per million (ppm), an increase from 340 ppm in the early 1980s.

It’s what to extract from this information that results in harsh disagreement and even indignation. How much of the warming is natural? How much is cyclical? How much (if any) is driven by CO2? If it’s a mix of man-made and cyclical effects, which one is disproportionately to blame for meteorological changes? The Left, in addition to blaming climate change for what it says are worsening droughts and burgeoning heat waves, worries that sea levels, aided by the acceleration in ice loss, will wreak havoc on coastlines and nearby lowlands.

In truth, it’s admittedly a bad time for sea ice concentration. A few years ago, Antarctica was almost routinely, it seemed, breaking records in ice coverage. So it might come as a surprise today to learn that it’s now at a record low. In fact, both the North and South Poles are measuring historically low percentages. According to a large number of scientists, the continuation of global warming means coastal areas are in for a nightmare scenario. What does the data say?

Last June, NOAA reported, “Sea level has been rising over the past century, and the rate has increased in recent decades. In 2014, global sea level was 2.6 inches (67 mm) above the 1993 average — the highest annual average in the satellite record (1993-present). Sea level continues to rise at a rate of about one-eighth of an inch (3.2 mm) per year, due to a combination of melting glaciers and ice sheets, and thermal expansion of seawater as it warms.” And according to a February 2016 USA Today report, ocean levels overall increased by 5.5 inches during the 20th century.

Think about that. The rate at last check was one-eighth of an inch per year and mere inches when all added up. Assuming this is true — not to mention even accurate, considering these are such minuscule measurements for a vast swath of geography — that’s hardly what we would call a crisis, and it’s worth noting too that the way this stuff is measured has been revolutionized over time. That said, both poles are experiencing higher-than-average ice melt today, which presumably will affect this rate. But just how much?

In the same report, NOAA went on to estimate “that there is very high confidence (greater than 90% chance) that global mean sea level will rise at least 8 inches (0.2 meter) but no more than 6.6 feet (2.0 meters) by 2100.” And that’s taking into account rather extreme scenarios. Some people, particularly those along the coast, understandably worry about this (though a significant number of Americans actually enjoy the more pleasant effects of global warming, like milder winters). The question isn’t so much that global temperatures — and to a smaller degree the oceans — are rising, but why. Furthermore, how do we respond?

This is where policy disagreements come in. The bottom line is that this debate could come down to whether we want to adapt to climate change or instead attempt to mitigate its effects. NOAA says the rate at which seas are expected to rise “depends mostly on the rate of future carbon dioxide emissions and future global warming.” We contend there are very legitimate reasons to embrace CO2. Though for the most part temperatures and carbon dioxide emissions have risen in tandem, emissions alone can’t explain the periodic temperature drops and stagnations. And completely eliminating those emissions would be futile — and immensely expensive. But economic control, after all, is the real climate agenda.

As The Daily Signal’s Katie Tubb observes, “[C]limate sensitivity modeling used by the EPA shows that totally eliminating all carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. would reduce warming by only 0.137 degree Celsius by the end of the century, and only 0.278 degree Celsius if the entire industrialized world totally eliminated all carbon dioxide emissions.” Moreover, the greening of deserts and an abundance of food for trees and vegetation are surely welcome benefits.

Whether the globe is warming or cooling, there are benefits and setbacks to both, as history demonstrates. And humans who expect to have the ability to balance the climate are significantly less realistic than those who advocate adapting, like we always have, to what comes next. Americans didn’t abandon certain areas altogether because of earthquakes; they figured out how to create stronger and more flexible structures. The same goes for places prone to tornadoes and hurricanes. Remember, temperatures have not risen at the rate at which they were projected, and the future of sea levels are equally uncertain.

Game-changing global cooling didn’t happen like the CIA and Time magazine and others warned in 1974, nor will an ice age happen by 2021, as The Washington Post forecast in 1971. On the flip side, the New York Times' 1969 warning “that the ocean at the North Pole may become an open sea within a decade or two” didn’t happen either. So take predictions with a grain of salt.

In any case, even if the threat is real, adaption creates far more economic opportunities than forcing hundreds of millions into destitution through costly taxation and regulation. So go ahead and build your beachfront home. We’ll figure out, through innovation, how to protect it if we ever reach that point. Or maybe we could just get Barack Obama to finally cash in on his 2008 promise about the “moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow…”


Dakota Access Pipeline protesters cost North Dakota taxpayers $33 million

Last summer, hordes of professional leftists, ne’er-do-wells, thugs, and drug users descended upon North Dakota intent upon “helping” the tribes opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is being developed by Energy Transfer Partners.

The self-important radicals dubbed themselves “water protectors.”  In their view, the $3.8 billion pipeline had to be stopped because of their fervent belief in global warming and the possibility that, one day, the pipeline might leak and pollute the water.

This motley crew has been far from ideal neighbors. One activist complained that others in the group were consuming tribal resources without contributing sufficiently and seemed to view the protest as little more than a Burning Man festival. Another activist advised potential protesters not to bring alcohol or drugs and told them that “you are not on vacation.”

Due to the protesters, the tribe’s casino has seen a decline in business, which has caused a shortfall of millions of dollars in the tribe’s budget.

And the tribe is not the only one paying the price for the protest. According to a state estimate, state and local taxpayers were responsible for paying nearly $33 million to deal with the protests as of Feb. 10. With the imminent arrival of flooding season, federal authorities have ordered the squatters to leave.

In early Dec. 2016, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Dave Archambault II, asked protesters to leave, but hundreds chose to ignore his request. Previously, the tribal chairman had expressed concern over the fact that protesters were digging latrines in the flood plain, which could result in waste being washed into the Cannonball River.

As if that was not bad enough, protesters have also burned tires. What kind of environmentalists burn tires — willfully releasing carbon and noxious chemicals into the atmosphere?

The left, including many in the media, would have you believe that these protesters have been peaceful. The facts are otherwise. Over the past several months, protesters have flagrantly defied government orders; blocked state and county roads and railroad tracks; attacked police with pepper spray; pointed lasers at police; thrown rocks, bottles, bricks, feces, burning logs, and Molotov cocktails, among other things, at police; intentionally stampeded hundreds of bison toward police; and burned county vehicles. One protester even shot at police.

Unsurprisingly, many — over 700, in fact — have been arrested. Of those arrested, many had criminal records, and more than 90 percent were from out of state. Of course, the protesters have complained bitterly about the police response to the protesters’ criminal actions.

Nor have police been the protesters’ only targets. Protesters have sabotaged or burned construction vehicles and equipment; cut ranchers’ fences allowing bison to escape; harassed farmers and ranchers; and killed cows and bison. In one disturbing incident, protesters ran a pipeline construction worker off the road and chased and surrounded him until he was extricated by federal agents.

According to one estimate last fall, protesters had caused $10 million of damage to construction equipment. Protesters and their supporters have also phoned in numerous death threats to a local county government and local businesses.

As the number of protesters has dwindled, another problem has grown: the protesters’ piles of garbage. The tribe, working together with local and state authorities, is in the process of removing an estimated 4.5 million pounds of garbage and debris — much of it still frozen. The process was expected to take weeks; but, with snow already beginning to melt, time is running out.

About 200 vehicles, which were abandoned by protesters, are also being removed. Knowing time is of the essence, protesters continue to cause problems: just last week, they blocked several sanitation trucks from entering their camp.

Rick Manning, President of Americans for Limited Government, stated, “President Trump must investigate the funders of these polluting protesters and to send them the bill for the mess the protesters created. It is unacceptable for these costs to be borne by taxpayers and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.”


Our children have been brainwashed about global warming

It’s all about destroying capitalism

Yes, our people have been brainwashed from K to BA from ignorant teachers and professors who, themselves, were brainwashed before them. Nowhere in the news media or schools have the following subjects been exposed:

Christiana Figueres, the U.N.’s top climate change official, says that it’s not about the climate. It’s about redistribution of the wealth and the destruction of capitalism. In simpler terms, she intends to replace free enterprise, entrepreneurial capitalism with UN-controlled, centralized, socialized One World government and economic control.

Papal Advisor Naomi Klein admits in her much-publicized screed that ‘Global Warming’ is all about anti-capitalism and nothing to do with science.

Ottmar Edenhofer, lead author of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (2007), summed up the situation quite clearly. Speaking in 2010, he advised: “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth.”

Head of the EPA Gina McCarthy admitted during a U.S. House hearing that anti-coal CO2 regulations attached to EPA’s so-called “Clean Power Plan” wouldn’t have any measurable impact on global warming. She testified, “We see it as having had enormous benefit in showing sort of domestic leadership as well as garnering support around the country for the agreement we reached in Paris.”

Also mentioned was a quote from former U.S. Senator and chief climate envoy during the Clinton administration, Timothy Wirth, which shows how Democrats unconditionally stick behind climate change to forward its progressive agenda. “We’ve got to ride the global warming issue,” Wirth said. “Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing.”

The late Dr. Stephen Schneider’s heartfelt rationalization for climate-change advocacy involved his stated position that climate scientists must necessarily “offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have” so as to “capture the public’s imagination” by “getting loads of media coverage” as a means to advance the cause.

Maurice Newman, the chairman of Australia’s business advisory council said the UN was using false models showing sustained temperature increases to end democracy and impose authoritarian rule.

“The real agenda is concentrated political authority,” Newman wrote in an opinion piece published in the Australian newspaper. “Global warming is the hook. It’s about a new world order under the control of the UN…. “It is opposed to capitalism and freedom and has made environmental catastrophism a household topic to achieve its objective.”

Today’s folks have heard over and over from such sterling non-scientists as Barack Obama, Al Gore, and John Kerry that the global warming fiction is, in fact, the truth. It’s refreshing that we now have a president who actually speaks the truth, which is: 1) CO2 is not a pollutant and 2) CO2 does not cause global warming.

We can only hope.


Climate Models Are Warming Earth Two Times Faster Than Reality

Climate models show twice as much warming during the 21st Century than what’s actually been observed, according to a new report highlighting the limitations of global climate models, or GCMs.

“So far in the 21st century, the GCMs are warming, on average, about a factor of 2 faster than the observed temperature increase,” Dr. Judith Curry, a former Georgia Tech climate scientist who now runs her own climate forecasting company, wrote in a report for the U.K.-based Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Curry has been one of the foremost critics of climate models, arguing that while they can be useful, there are too many uncertainties and issues to rely on models for public policy decisions.

Curry’s report gives a detailed rundown of why models can be useful for modeling complex climate systems, but also points out that GCMs fail to capture natural variability in the climate.

“The reason for the discrepancy between observations and model simulations in the early 21st century appears to be caused by a combination of inadequate simulations of natural internal variability and oversensitivity of the models to increasing carbon dioxide,” wrote Curry.

Climate models assume carbon dioxide is the control knob for average global temperature and fail to take into account “the patterns and timing of multidecadal ocean oscillations” and “future solar variations and solar indirect effects on climate,” Curry explains.

Models also “neglect of the possibility of volcanic eruptions that are more active than the relatively quiet 20th century” and suffer from an “apparent over-sensitivity to increases in greenhouse gases,” Curry continues.

Global warming skeptics have been pointing out problems with climate models for years, but only recently have scientists taken a hard look at modeling’s actual predictive powers.

A group of scientists admitted in early 2016 that the 15-year “pause” in global warming threw a wrench into climate model predictions, forcing some to go back to the drawing board to see what went wrong.

“There is this mismatch between what the climate models are producing and what the observations are showing,” John Fyfe, Canadian climate modeler, told Nature in 2016. “We can’t ignore it.”

But climate model problems predate the recent warming “pause.” Chip Knappenberger and Patrick Michaels, climate scientists at the libertarian Cato Institute, have long criticized most climate models, which they say have not accurately predicted global temperature rises for the past six decades.

In late 2015, Michaels and Knappenberger published research comparing observed rates of global surface temperature warming since 1950 to predictions made by 108 climate models.

They found the models predicted much higher warming rates than actually occurred from rising carbon dioxide emissions.

Even the recent string of “record warm” years are below what most climate models predicted. A recent El Nino temporarily brought global average temperature in agreement with most climate models, but the globe is expected to cool in the coming years as the tropics cool.

And that’s only surface temperature readings. A similar mismatch exists between satellite-derived temperature readings and model predictions.

Climate scientists John Christy and Roy Spencer manage a prominent satellite-derived temperature data set out of the University of Alabama, Huntsville. Their data showed no warming for about two decades — a streak only broken by the recent El Nino warming event.



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