Thursday, July 25, 2019

Things Keep Getting Worse For The Fake "Science" Of Human-Caused Global Warming

If you follow closely the subject of hypothesized human-caused global warming, you probably regularly experience, as I do, a strong sense of cognitive dissonance.  On the one hand, you read dozens of pieces from seemingly authoritative media sources, as well as from important political officeholders, declaring that the causal relationship between human CO2 emissions and rapidly rising global temperatures is definitive; declaring that “the science is settled”; and further declaring that impending further increases in temperatures over the next decade or several decades are an “existential crisis” that must be addressed immediately through complete transformation of our economy at enormous cost. 

On the other hand, you studied the scientific method back in high school, and you can’t help asking yourself the basic questions that that method entails: 

What is the falsifiable hypothesis that is claimed to have been empirically validated?  You can’t find it! 

What was the null hypothesis, and what about the data caused the null hypothesis to be rejected?  You can’t find that either! 

Where can you get access to the methodology (computer code) and the full data set that was used in the hypothesis validation process; and are those sufficient to fully replicate the results?  You can’t find these things either! 

You learn that there have been major after-the-fact adjustments to the principal data sets that are used to claim rapidly warming global temperatures and to justify press releases claiming that a given year or month was the “hottest ever.”  You look to see if you can find details supporting the data alterations, and you learn that such details are not available, as if they are some kind of top secret from the Soviet Union.  (You can read my 23-part series on this subject at this link.) 

What’s going on here?  If this is “science,” it’s some kind of “science” that turns the scientific method that you thought you understood on its head.  I have previously covered multiple instances of real scientists attempting to apply the actual scientific method to the human-caused global warming hypothesis.

 For example, I had a post on September 19, 2016 titled “The ‘Science’ Underlying Climate Alarmism Turns Up Missing.”  That post reported on a scientific paper then just out from a group of scientists led by James Wallace that concluded that the so-called “Tropical Hot Spot” (a pattern of temperatures in the tropical lower troposphere) could not be found in the temperature data, thus invalidating the basis on which the U.S. EPA had concluded that CO2-induced greenhouse warming was occurring.  Another post on May 14, 2018 titled “More On The ‘Science’ Behind The Global Warming Scare” reported on another paper with Wallace as lead author that tested whether any statistically-significant relationship could be shown between the time series line of world temperatures (as measured by UAH) and the time series line of atmospheric CO2.  Conclusion: “[I]ncreasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations did not have a statistically significant impact on the UAH TLT 6.0 temperature data set over the period 1979 to 2016.”

You might think that serious papers like these that seem to have invalidated the very foundations of the global warming scare would draw equally-serious rebuttals from some high-ranking people who back the global warming hypothesis.  Perhaps they would point out important data that were not considered, or would demonstrate a flaw in the methodology.  But you would be wrong.  Instead, these and other comparable papers are simply ignored.  In lieu of any rebuttal, we get endless repetition of the mantra that “the science is settled.”

The past few months bring two new and important papers into the mix.  The first, from the January-February 2019 issueof a Russian science journal, is O.M. Povrovsky, “Cloud Changes in the Period of Global Warming:  the Results of the International Satellite Project.”  The second, with a date of June 29, 2019, is J. Kauppinen and P. Malmi, “No Experimental Evidence for the Significant Anthropogenic Global Warming.”   

Some background will be helpful.  Since about 2007, there has been a notable counter-theory to the hypothesis of human-caused global warming.  The counter-theory is that fluctuations in world temperatures over the past several decades have been caused more by fluctuations in the cloud cover of the earth than by increases in greenhouse gases like CO2.  This counter-theory is often called the “Svensmark hypothesis,” after Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark, who proposed it.  The basic idea is that heavy clouds act like an umbrella and prevent sunlight from reaching the earth’s surface, thus resulting in cooler temperatures.  The hypothesis then ties world temperatures to solar activity through the intermediation of cosmic rays.  The hypothesis proposes this mechanism:  Cosmic rays are a factor in ionization of the atmosphere, which enhances cloud formation.  Strong solar irradiation produces a more powerful “solar wind,” which disperses the cosmic rays, leading to fewer clouds on the earth, and hence warmer temperatures.  Conversely, lower solar irradiation allows more cosmic rays to penetrate the atmosphere, forming more clouds and resulting in cooler temperatures. 

I have no position on whether this hypothesis is “right.”  However, prior to the collection of data, it is a plausible hypothesis — equally as plausible as the hypothesis that increasing temperatures are mainly caused by human-emitted greenhouse gases.  Accepting the human-caused warming hypothesis as proved requires rejecting the alternative Svensmark hypothesis (as well as all other plausible null hypotheses; but let’s stick with Svensmark for now).

Which brings us to the Povrovsky and Kauppinen, et al., papers.  Povrovsky did something that somebody should have long since done by now, which is to collect month-by-month satellite cloud-cover data for the earth for the period 1983-2009, and plot it on a graph, and then compare that graph to the month-by-month temperature graphs.  What is the correlation of the two?  From Povlovsky:

[T]he correlation coefficient between the global cloud series on the one hand and the global air and ocean surface temperature series on the other hand reaches values (–0.84) — (–0.86). . . .  Since the tropics are dominated by water areas, this fact suggests that the increasing influx of solar radiation primarily entails an increase in the temperature of the ocean surface (TPO). Not surprisingly, the cloud cover values themselves and their temporal trends are close to global characteristics. Thus, changes in cloud cover over three decades during global warming can explain not only the linear trend of global temperature, but also some interannual variability. 

Kauppinen, et al., pick up where Povrovsky leaves off.  They provide the following graph, comparing the satellite-based cloud data to temperature data for the 1983-2008 period:

The relationship between more clouds and lower temperatures, and between fewer clouds and higher temperatures, is obvious to the eye.  Conclusions (from the abstract of the article):

The IPCC climate sensitivity is about one order of magnitude too high, because a strong negative feedback of the clouds is missing in climate models. If we pay attention to the fact that only a small part of the increased CO2 concentration is anthropogenic, we have to recognize that the anthropogenic climate change does not exist in practice. The major part of the extra CO2 is emitted from oceans [6], according to Henry‘s law. The low clouds practically control the global average temperature. During the last hundred years the temperature is increased about 0.1°C because of CO2. The human contribution was about 0.01°C.  We have proven that the GCM-models used in IPCC report AR5 cannot compute correctly the natural component included in the observed global temperature.

Note that I have not independently verified or replicated the work of either Povlovsky or Kauppinen.  There could well be flaws in their work, either in the data or in the methodology.  The work is now open for all to challenge.

However, both Povlovsky and Kauppinen are doing the fundamental work of science, which is to take a leading contender for an alternative causation hypothesis, and then see which of the two hypotheses is more consistent with the data.  That approach stands in stark contrast to the alternative way of going about things, which I call “fake science,” as exemplified by the IPCC.  That method is only to look at your preferred hypothesis, and dismiss all plausible alternatives with the back of your hand, without ever checking whether one of them might better fit the actual data.  Here is something called “Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report,” which is the IPCC’s most recent detailed pontification on the subject of what causes climate warming.  At page 44 they have their only consideration of what they call “natural radiative forcings”:

Changes in solar irradiance and volcanic aerosols cause natu- ral radiative forcing (Figure 1.4). The radiative forcing from strato- spheric volcanic aerosols can have a large cooling effect on the climate system for some years after major volcanic eruptions. Changes in total solar irradiance are calculated to have contributed only around 2% of the total radiative forcing in 2011, relative to 1750. {WGI SPM C, Figure SPM.5, 8.4}

That’s it.  How about dealing with the Svensmark hypothesis, guys?  Or cloud cover?  Or the effect of CO2 out-gassing from the oceans?  They can’t be bothered.  They already have their pre-determined conclusion.  Meanwhile here in New York, we plow ahead with plans to reconstruct all buildings, build thousands of new wind turbines, ban airplanes, block pipelines, and on and on.  Madness.


“Join The Skeptical Movement” …Hip German Youths Push Back On Climate Hysteria, Post Skeptic Videos, Go Viral!

What follows today is really quite cool, and highly encouraging in a country known for lockstep thought.

Over the past months we’ve seen great media hype in Germany surrounding climate alarmist youngsters like Greta, FFF and more recently Rezo, who have played major roles in stirring up a lot of climate hysteria, all aided and abetted by the established media.

But apparently in Germany there are a few young, hip persons pushing back on all the climate hype and hysteria with their own videos that have since gone viral.

“Join the Skeptical Movement”

The latest video comes from young German teen Naomi Seibt, who has decided to think for herself and check what’s really behind the climate “science” and hysteria.

Since she uploaded what she calls her “most elaborate project to date” on July 1st, her video — dubbed “Climate change – All hot air? — has been viewed more than 75,000 times and gotten over 8000 thumbs up.

YouTube takes Naomi down – temporarily

She writes at YouTube: “If you want to join the skeptical movement, please share this video.”

In her video Naomi explains how many large factors are at play in the climate system, how the UN IPCC is playing it loose with the facts and that politicians are attempting to use the issue to gain control over every aspect of our individual lives. The 18-year demonstrates an impressive knowledge on the subject, rarely seen among today’s youth.

Naomi’s success apparently has taken the climate activists by surprise and caused them to panic. Die kalte Sonne here reports how YouTube actually took down her video, before reinstating it.

JasonHD: “Manipulations and untruths”
Another spectacularly successful climate hysteria skeptical video was recently produced by German JasonHD on May 24th. In it he takes down climate alarmist and leftist political agitator Rezo (mentioned above) point by point.

JasonHD dismantles the “manipulations and untruths concerning climate change”.

So far JasonHD’s thoughtful video has racked up 190,000 views.

Rapper: “Climate Change – Climate Lies, Climate Swindle”
One of the earlier pioneers of German youth climate-hysteria pushback is Austrian rapper Kilez More, who already in 2011 uploaded his rap song “Climate Change – Climate Lies, Climate Swindle” song on YouTube.

As of today it’s been viewed some 209,000 times.

We need to get these young leaders at the climate conferences in place of the usual old, crusty figures. They’re well connected and are reaching their generation.


Media Requests for EPA Records Soar Under Trump

Major news outlets, seemingly more prone to investigative reporting in the Trump era, are much more aggressive in seeking records from the Environmental Protection Agency than they were in the final years of the Obama administration, The Daily Signal has learned.

ABC News, CBS News, the Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Politico are among 20 news organizations showing a large increase in Freedom of Information Act requests, according to EPA numbers obtained by The Daily Signal.

The 20 media outlets include not only news organizations with liberal perspectives but some, such as CNN, BuzzFeed, Mother Jones, and Huffington Post, that freely mix news coverage and left-leaning opinion.

According to the data, the biggest percentage increase in FOIA requests to the EPA by the 20 media outlets occurred between 2016, Barack Obama’s last year as president and 2017, Donald Trump’s first year as president.

The organizations made a total of 626 FOIA requests to the EPA in 2017, more than doubling the 249 requests in 2016.

Dating to 1967, the federal Freedom of Information Act  requires disclosure, upon written request and with exceptions, of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the U.S. government. Such requests—whether by a media outlet, other organization, or an ordinary member of the public—have come to be known as FOIAs, after the law’s acronym.

The Washington Post, which added the slogan “Democracy Dies in Darkness” to its home page after Trump’s election, submitted just one FOIA to Obama’s EPA in 2014 and none in 2013, 2015, or 2016.

But during the first two years of the Trump administration, the Post submitted 43 FOIA requests to the environmental agency, jumping from nine in 2017 to 34 in 2018.

“Based on The Washington Post’s failure to seek transparency during the Obama administration, it is clear that if democracy does die in darkness, then it died during Obama’s eight years in office,” Rick Manning, the president of Americans for Limited Government, a nonprofit based in Fairfax, Virginia, said in an interview.

“It is not surprising at all to find that Obama’s collaborators in the media showed zero curiosity about the inner workings of Obama’s regulatory regime,” Manning said.

With 2019 only half over, the 20 media outlets have submitted a total of 341 FOIAs to Trump’s EPA, more than the full-year requests to Obama’s EPA in any single year between 2013 and 2016.

The FOIA numbers The Daily Signal obtained from the EPA don’t go back further than 2013, the first year of Obama’s second term.

Here’s a look at what else the FOIA numbers at the EPA show:

The New York Times submitted 59 requests in 2017 and 36 in 2018, up from two in 2016. Politico filed 45 requests in 2017 and 125 requests in 2018, up from five in 2016. 

CBS News submitted 13 requests in 2017 and five in 2018, up from two in 2016. The Associated Press made 23 requests in 2017 and 19 in 2018, up from three in 2016.

ABC News filed 22 requests in 2017 and 10 the next year, compared with three in 2016. BuzzFeed submitted 20 requests in 2017 and 18 in 2018, up from three in 2016.

CNN made 19 requests in 2017 and 28 last year, compared with nine in 2016. The Los Angeles Times submitted seven requests in 2017 and four in 2018, up from one in 2016.

Manning said his organization, Americans for Limited Government, continues to “aggressively FOIA” agencies of the Trump administration, to acquire information denied to him and his team by Obama administration officials.

Kevin Dayaratna, a senior statistician and research programmer with The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email that FOIA requests to government agencies such as the EPA are critical to the cause of openness and transparency regardless of who is in power, because executive agencies need to be kept in check.

“The work the EPA does definitely deserves public scrutiny,” Dayaratna said. “Several years ago, I found a mistake in the EPA’s social cost of carbon models used to guide regulatory policy that resulted in overestimates of the Obama administration’s stated results. It is imperative that the public keep an eye on work done by the EPA and other organizations that, if not done properly, can deceive the public and mislead policymakers.”

Dayaratna said public frustration with the lack of government openness during the Obama years may have been a contributing factor to Trump’s election:

I think one reason Trump was elected is that the public saw that the EPA and other agencies were not being completely transparent. So, the American people elected an outsider to shake up Washington. A number of government [computer-based] models have essentially been treated as a black box for years, when they should have been made open and available for public scrutiny.

In addition to The Washington Post, other media outlets that submitted zero FOIA requests during the Obama years include Mother Jones in 2014 and 2015, ABC News in 2015, and the Los Angeles Times in 2015.

The Daily Beast and MSNBC didn’t submit any FOIA requests between 2013 and 2016, according to the data. But The Daily Beast has submitted five requests to Trump’s EPA, while MSNBC has submitted three.

Tim Graham, director of media analysis for the Media Research Center, told The Daily Signal in an email that the disparity in FOIA requests to the EPA between the current and previous administrations provide insight into the media’s tight relationship with environmental advocacy groups. 

“These facts are shocking if you assume the media are fair and balanced, and not allied with one party or another,” Graham said.

“These facts are not shocking if you assume the media are strongly allied with the Sierra Club and the Democrats in Congress. Obama’s EPA are the ‘good guys.’ Trump’s EPA are the polluters. This underlines that when the Old Media stands on a soapbox and boasts about holding people accountable, you can add an asterisk for ‘people we don’t like.’”

The Daily Signal sought comment Monday from all 20 of the news organizations about their FOIAs to the EPA, but only BuzzFeed, Reuters, and The Washington Post responded as of publication time.

Reuters declined to comment. The Washington Post replied that it would need more time to confirm the numbers.

BuzzFeed said in an email response that the increase in FOIAs to the EPA “probably” could be attributed to its addition of a science desk and hiring of two reporters with experience in submitting FOIAs.


David Attenborough: upper-class warrior

Rich environmentalists would happily make life more difficult for the poor.

If you are British and have watched television at any point in the past 50 years, you know who David Attenborough is and you know what David Attenborough does. Many people find it impossible to imagine a nature documentary without hearing his slightly urgent, curiously authoritative whisper – always expected, always reassuring. When you think of David Attenborough, you think of blue whales bursting out of the waves, gazelles being tackled in slow motion by a lioness, or huddled penguins moodily enduring a blizzard. For more decades than I have been breathing, Attenborough has been educating and enthralling us in equal measure with the wonders of nature and the precariousness and beauty of life.

But even as his constant presence on our screens turned him into a national treasure, few of us knew who Sir David was, or what he thought about anything (besides his devotion to the great outdoors). Like many others, I always thought he was a cuddly, genial figure with a nice mellow voice, who liked sitting next to gorillas. I am less in awe than other people about his televisual longevity. I think that making essentially the same nature documentary roughly 10,000 times is not an automatic qualification for sainthood. But I’m as ready as the next man to sit down for a relaxing bit of lion watching. So I’m grateful for Sir David’s efforts.

But the sad truth is that, in his twilight years, a new figure has emerged, a new light has been cast on the Attenborough legacy. He recently made a Corbynesque appearance at Glastonbury, tottering out from backstage to deliver a short, sharp lecture on climate change, the sad fate of polar bears, and the naughtiness of plastic. The Glastonbury audience listened carefully, of course. Sir David lavished praise on the audience for not buying any of the plastic that was not available to buy this year, and the audience roared with approval. It was an ecologically conscious version of ‘what a great crowd you are’, including a tactful failure to mention the several hundred tonnes of discarded trash that the Glasto crowd leaves behind each year.

Like Jeremy Corbyn or Channel 4’s scrupulously impartial Jon ‘fuck the Tories’ Snow, Attenborough has shown himself to be another elderly, middle-class man suffering under the delusion that he is an 18-year-old student radical. And Glastonbury was not an isolated incident, either. Anything a 16-year-old Swedish girl can do, Sir David has obviously decided, he can do, too. Forget the splendours of nature, huddling down close to a termite mound in South Africa, or watching a crocodile barrel roll its next meal in the Zambezi – Attenborough’s attention is now fixed firmly on the human zoo of politics.

In a recent appearance before parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, he compared changing attitudes to plastic to changing attitudes to slavery. He also complained that air travel was ‘extraordinarily cheap’. He called for prices to be hiked, conceding that this would hit the poor hardest. At the same time, he admitted that he himself travels by air ‘frequently’. The best way to ‘restrict’ air travel would be ‘economically’, he argued. So a man who has clocked up more air miles than the average African dictator is deeply concerned that your once-a-year package holiday to Spain is destroying the planet. If Attenborough had his way, a certain class of people (by coincidence, his class) would be allowed to jet around the world enjoying themselves, while others would be restricted from doing so.

Attenborough also seems to think that the British people must bear the greatest cost of green policies because our ancestors developed, discovered and invented more rapidly than those in other parts of the world. Britain ‘started the problem’, said Sir David, to parliament. ‘It was the Industrial Revolution that started here, based on burning coal.’ For Attenborough, the Industrial Revolution was a crime for which people who were not alive at the time must be condemned.

While Sir David observes lions, whales and penguins with a certain geniality, he doesn’t seem to extend the same warmth to his fellow man, especially the poor and working class. Like much of the liberal elite, he sees us as a species to be studied, guided, ruled, prodded and nannied.

And isn’t it revealing, when we consider the class Sir David represents compared with the class that will bear the burden of environmentalist measures? The rich will not struggle to pay more expensive airfares. They will not lose their weeks in the sun. They will not lose the industrial or manufacturing jobs that will be sacrificed to climate-change activism. They will not suffer. But we will.


Wind farm bird kills ‘should be revealed’

Wind farms should be forced to detail eagle, bird and bat deaths and other environmental impacts on a public online register and face tougher controls on the use of independent experts, Australia’s Wind Farm Commissioner has said.

In response to concerns about the impact of wildlife, Commissioner Andrew Dyer said his recommendations for tougher noise monitoring controls should be extended to environmental harm.

Former Greens leader Bob Brown has objected to a wind farm development in Tasmania because of its visual impact and potential to kill eagles and shore birds. Other wind farm projects have killed many birds, particularly raptors.

A spokesman for Dr Brown said he did not wish to comment, and the office of federal Greens leader Richard Di Natale did not respond to questions.

Wind industry enthusiasts have said more birds are killed by tall buildings, cars and cats.

The use of independent ­experts to estimate the impact of wind farms on animals has been controversial, with accusations of poor data-handling and the ­deletion of nesting and sighting records.

Wind farm developments engage­ experts to estimate the ­potential impact on wildlife. Post-construction monitoring of existing wind farm developments has often shown that the impact on bird life has been worse than ­anticipated.

Despite strict guidelines on how bird and animal losses should be offset, critics argue that little has been done to force wind farm companies to act.

Mr Dyer said his recommend­ations for tougher reporting and reviews of noise issues should also apply to birds.

“Different independent experts should be used before and after projects are commissioned and findings should be properly audited,” he said.

In his latest annual report, the commissioner said the design and approval of a proposed wind farm relies heavily on third-party consultants to prepare a range of ­reports, including assessments ­related to noise, visual amenity, shadow flicker, aviation impact and various environmental ­assessments.

Many of the assessment ­reports rely on complex calculations or results from predictive computer modelling.

Once the wind farm is built, experts are often re-engaged to carry out post-construction ­assessments.

These assessment reports use data from the wind farm, but still rely on assumptions and modelling to analyse the collected data.

“It is very common practice that experts engaged to perform the design assessments and ­reports during the planning phase are the same experts engaged by the developer to perform the post-construction assessments,” Mr Dyer said.

“There is certainly scope for a much better separation between the experts used for the predictive assessments used in the design, versus the experts used for the post-construction assessments of a wind farm, along with the ­addition of audits of the expert­’s work.”



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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