The Skeptics are winning the science battle but are still running behind in the political /media arena. What can we do to help?
Scientists are abandoning the man-made global warming (AGW) theory in increasing numbers. They are recognizing the obvious: The skeptic’s science is based upon observationally based science whereas the AGWers theory is based on computer projections.
Observationally Based Science versus Computer Projections
Amazingly, the AGWers will often say that the facts are wrong because their computer comes up with different answers. This is most recently illustrated with respect to the recent reports on global sea level. From a WattsUpWithThat posting:
A few months ago a widely-publicized article by Houston and Dean was published in the Journal of Coastal Research (and on your site), noting that although sea-level is rising; the tide gauge data does not show any increased rate of rise (acceleration) for the 20th and early 21st centuries. This augmented by a >).”>recent paper authored by an Australian scientist as well.
Houston and Dean (2011) considered only tide-gauge records with lengths greater than 60 years, noting that shorter record lengths are “corrupted” by decadal fluctuations.
Rahmstorf and Vermeer (RV) had previously reported on sea level change using their computer-aided program that provided different results of those of Houston and Dean. RV attacked the Houston and Dean entry. Houston and Dean responded to the RV criticism by saying:
RV link sea-level rise with temperature using a simple linear relationship with two free variables of opposite signs that allow them to “fit” any smooth data set. However, they are curve fitting, not modeling physics, so the approach cannot be used to predict future sea level.
A recent workshop of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2010) considered the semi-empirical approaches of Rahmstorf (2007), Vermeer and Rahmstorf (2009), and others and concluded, “No physically-based information is contained in such models …” (p. 2) and “The physical basis for the large estimates from these semi-empirical models is therefore currently lacking” (p. 2). Other recent studies show slowing or reversal of the sea level. See
The AGWers Are Getting Desperate
For some 12 years, global temperatures have not shown any discernable trend upward to match the increasing amounts of atmospheric CO2. At last the AGWers know the reason, its volcanoes or it might be China’s coal based power plant emission. Certainly we can be grateful that the computers have resolved (well sort of) this issue. So coal based power plants actually make the global temperatures cooler and all along we have been told just the opposite.
POLITICS AND THE MEDIA
The Need For an Informed Public
For the nearly 10 years that I have been actively involved in discussions and reporting on global warming, I have always believed that the science was on the skeptic’s side. In a status review of global warming prepared for some State Senators in 2003, I stated that being right about the science would probably not be enough to win this struggle with the AGWers. For example, the taxing and regulating authority that would stem from enacting Cap and Trade legislation will drive the politicians. I think the beginning of the end of AGW driven legislation will take place when the public began experiencing pain of the resulting financial burden. But are we going to be reduced to third-world status as a nation before we can turn the ship of state around?
How can we avoid this national destruction on the altar of the watermelon (red on the outside/green in the inside) movement?
First principle should be that the people who are going to be asked to pay for these green programs be completely informed of the consequences of the regulations or legislation being enacted. This is not happening now.
Let’s remember that the House of Representatives in 2009 passed legislation for imposing Cap and Trade on fossil fuel use. The bill was over a thousand pages long. The Democrat leadership pushed this massive attempt to bring the nation’s energy under the control of the Government without anyone fully understanding what was in the bill. The committee chairmen said they did not know!!!!!! In an attempt to mollify the unhappy conservatives, they agreed to have the bill read. So those clowns hired a speed-reader. I believe that a legislative rule should be enforced that requires no bill can be voted upon without a minimum of a week’s worth of legislative sessions following proposed law being published unless a ¾ vote in favor of suspending the rule is passed. This would not impose a significant burden upon the members. The objective would be to raise their constituents’ understanding and the legislators should not be afraid of doing that. Fortunately, as you know, the Senate failed to pass companion Cap and Trade legislation and thus it was never enacted.
Regulations for Cap and Trade are being written by the EPA. Yes, the EPA is writing regulations for legislation that could not get approval in Congress. Part of the blame for this are five of the nine members of the Supreme Court.
Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, 549 U.S. 497 (2007), is a U.S. Supreme Court case decided 5-4 in which twelve states and several cities of the United States brought suit against the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to force that federal agency to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as pollutants.
Despite the knowledge that this legislation could not get passed in Congress and despite the fact that CO2 was excluded from the Clear Air Act, the Supremes gave the EPA the authority to determine if CO2 were a threat and if so, to write regulations to control it.
The EPA used the 2007 IPCC Global Warming report as their science basis. The EPA asked for comments on their study and then they ignored any response that said that AGW science was badly flawed. People within the EPA that expressed doubt were told to be quiet. The EPA found CO2 to be a threat and began writing regulations. These regulations are vast and growing.
There is a little irony here in that the environmentalists want all sources of CO2 to be regulated. The EPA does not want to do that because the enormity of the ensuing burden. Every furnace exhausts CO2, every hospital, every mall, almost everything that makes our nation go would have to be monitored and reported. The regulation overload will quickly result in demands for changes. In fact I believe the EPA worries that it would result in legislation taking CO2 out of the Clean Air Act again.
Here again, the straightforward thing would be for your representatives to inform you of what the impact on them will be. Congress should limit the damage the Supreme Court and The Executive (EPA) Branches do when they usurp the Legislatures prerogatives, by passing legislations that restores the balance of powers.
Any other suggestions?
We all value the freedom of the press as guaranteed in the US Constitution. However the media, by and large, is supportive of BIG GOVERNMENT versus more individual freedom and responsibility. So they practice a form of soft censorship themselves by only reporting one side of the story. One would expect better of them. Although their domination of “what is fit to print” has been somewhat weakened by the ubiquitous Internet, it still is the primary input of news and information for most of the citizens of the US. If our citizens would do less American Idol and pay more attention to what the politicians are doing, it would have a salutary effect on the their personal well-being and the nation’s well-being.
Surely some part of their misguided reporting of climate science is because they are not trained scientifically. They apparently are too lazy or too intimidated to try to research the issues. A science reporter from a newspaper in my area has obviously no curiosity or no understanding of what a millimeter is. He reported about the danger of calving Antarctic Ice that would raise sea level several millimeters per year. Recently he did a fairly straightforward report on the transfer of State Climatologist title from one PhD to another. The one surrendering the title is a notable skeptic and frequent co-author of papers with other notables such as Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas. At the end of the report about the transfer, the reporter took a cheap shot at the skeptic saying that the skeptic was know to be a member of a group that was part of another group that once received money from Exxon. If the reporter had any level of curiosity he could find out that the most of Exxon’s grant money is for groups that are working on alternative energy. If the reporter believes funding by an advocate of a particular position is wrong, then why not then report on monies granted by Greenpeace, of the World Wildlife Fund to AGW scientists and groups. Secondly, the grants of money by AGW groups swamp the piddling amount the skeptics receive. These grants are governmental and NGOs supplied and they total into the billions. See these reports for further information about the distribution of monies.Here & here & here.
One suggestion is that you keep up with the skeptic blogs like WUWT, Ice Cap, Climate Depot, Heartland, Climate Audit, Science, etc and I hope, Climate Change Sanity and spread the information widely.
Also write to the newspapers. Tell them when they are off base. Suggest things they should look into.
If you have some thoughts on all of this, let me know.