Science

Regular viewers of BBC News or  readers of their web site know that the BBC has been the leading promoter of global warming alarmism among the major media.  It therefore comes as real news that the BBC has recognized that the lack of any global warming for the past decade presents a problem for the alarmists to explain.  BBC weatherman and climate correspondent Paul Hudson published an article last Friday titled, “What Happened to Global Warming?”

There is nothing remotely new in anything Hudson reports, but the article is astonishing for what it reveals about the changing grounds of the debate.  Hudson concludes:  “One thing is for sure.  It seems the debate about what is causing global warming is far from over.  Indeed some would say it is hotting up.”

Naturally, the alarmists are not amused.  Nor will they be amused by Debra Saunders’s column in the San Francisco Chronicle or the fact that the Drudge Report featured the BBC story

State by State, Selling the Lie

by Joe D Aleo on September 22, 2009

in Science

By Joseph D’Aleo, Fellow of the American Meteorological Society

As part of a well thought out and executed plan to convince the public there is global warming despite the cold and snow records of the last two years, get state climate action plans approved, keep the grant gravy train rolling through the university systems, and get government legislation or carbon control legislation approved that will benefit Wall Street and the government at our expense is underway.

Detailed well produced reports are being dribbled out state by state warning of a ridiculously warm and severe climate future. They are based on the same climate models which have failed miserably in the first decade showing strong warming while the globe cooled, sea levels accelerating up while they have stopped rising and heat records increasing in frequency while we have had fewer heat records in any decade since the 1800s, and disappearing snow while all time snow records occurred in the last two years. But don’t confuse the issue with facts. These reports are timed to affect the decisions made by congress w/r to Cap-and Tax.

Dr. Anthony Lupo reported on one such story in Missouri last month here. He starts “In late July, a document was released by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) regarding the kind of future that Missouri faces as a result of global warming. This is part of a series of reports they’ve issued about climate change in the Midwest. Global warming is an issue that has gained more attention than usual within the last year, culminating in the late June passage by the US House of Representatives of the Waxman – Markey Clean Energy and Security Act. This has stimulated debate about combating climate change.

In the local newspaper, an alarmist scientist from the University of Illinois was quoted that we face a 14 degree Fahrenheit increase in summer temperatures as he relayed information from the UCS document “Confronting Climate Change in the US Midwest”. He stated this as if it were a done deal, especially if we continue emitting carbon dioxide at the same rate we are today. This kind of hyperbole then becomes accepted by the media as reality, and comes with the implication that things are worse than we thought. These exaggerated claims are no doubt behind subsequent alarmist editorials in other major newspapers advocating even more severe measures than Waxman – Markey.” Read more in Tony’s response.

And last week, while I enjoyed a college reunion at my alma mater in Madison, WI, two University of Wisconsin environmental professors published a story in the local newspaper, Study Reveals Dynamic Wisconsin Climate, Past and Future. They start “If the future scenarios being churned out by the world’s most sophisticated computer climate models are on the mark, big changes are in store for Wisconsin’s weather during the next century. Using a realistic estimate of future global carbon emissions, University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists are forecasting significantly warmer winters, altered patterns of precipitation and more severe weather events for the Badger state.” Those changes, according to the Wisconsin researchers, will be layered on a climate that, based on temperature and precipitation measurements from around the state over the past 60 years, has already warmed 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit, on average, and 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter.

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The enlarged image is here.

“Looking into the future, we are anticipating that by 2050 Wisconsin will have an annual mean warming of between 4 and 9 degrees Fahrenheit,” says Dan Vimont, a UW-Madison professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences, who, along with colleagues Chris Kucharik, David Lorenz and Michael Notaro, developed estimates of the state’s future climate as well as a chart of climate change in Wisconsin’s recent past.”

Icecap Note: The map above shows the change since 1950, this is the same cherry picking trickery Phil Mote, formerly state climatologist in Washington State and now Oregon did while examining western United States and Canada did. Starting in 1950, a very cold and snowy year at the start of the cold PDO and ending at the warm and dry end of the warm PDO ensured a warming and reduction in western snowpack. When Oregon’s former state climatologist George Taylor pointed out that if he had started 50 years earlier, he would have seen cycles but no trend, George was attacked, when Assistant State Climatologist Mark Albright found the same, he was stripped of his title.

The same holds for Wisconsin, the cold PDO leads to more La Ninas, cold and snow in winter (exhibit A the last two years), spring flooding and severe weather and the warm PDO warmer, less snowy winters. With the 60 year PDO cycle, the temperatures can be seen to cycle up and down. You can see in the following NCDC plots for the North Central, cyclical variations – with some rise in January and July since 1950 but no measurable trends over the whole record.

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Larger image here.

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Larger image here.

The Milwaukee NWS also recently took a look at the long-term temperatures observed for Milwaukee, and calculated the number consecutive days with temperatures above 32F – that is, the minimum temperature for any calendar day had to be above the freezing mark of 32F.  In a rough sense, looking for the number of consecutive days each year that plants had a chance to grow or survive.  We found some interesting trends, but in general, there has been a lengthening of the growing season since the 1960s, but we haven’t exceeded what was observed in some of the years during the perod of 1900 to 1934.

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If your local newspapers have not reported such a story for your state yet, expect one to come soon. Rest assured they are not based on real science and can be dismissed as propoganda, much as the CCSP, a glossy well produced nonsense document full of lies and mistatements, an embarrassment to NOAA. NOAA is complicit in maintaining an issue by manipulating data (allowing 80% stations to drop out, removing urban adjustment and satellite ocean monitoring, allowing 90% of climate station to have poor siting resulting in an artifical warming of 0.75F for the United States and accounting for most of the warming the last century). All this to counter the emerging evidence the changes are natural and cyclical related to the sun and oceans. President Obama will be defending this man-made global warming nonsense and promising the US (that means you and your family) will go to great pain to deal with this non issue. Keep your cards and letters and phone calls coming to congress to urge them to resist taking unneccesary action.  See post and more here.

Our very own Christopher C. Horner explains the hype behind global warming and talks about his new book, Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed on Living the Life, available on ABC Family and CBN.com. Learn more about the climate debate at GlobalWarming.org.

Two children should be limit, says this British green “guru.”

What makes him a guru? Saying outrageous things that others should do, but not him personally. He has two children of his own; notice he didn’t say the limit should be one child. He and his kids taking up space and “footprinting” the world is OK, but others are a different matter:

I am unapologetic about asking people to connect up their own responsibility for their total environmental footprint and how they decide to procreate and how many children they think are appropriate….I think we will work our way towards a position that says that having more than two children is irresponsible.

He’s courageous enough to “pronounce the P-word,” but not courageous enough to pronounce judgment upon himself or limit his own “footprint” beyond what he finds personally appropriate.

James Hansen of NASA is one of the leading climate alarmists, and possesses a scientific credibility lacking in the Goracle.  But Hansen really has become a parody of himself, more activist than scientist.  His supervisor at NASA was a skeptic.  And as Bill Steigerwald of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote a year ago:

If you’ve paid any attention to the global warming debate, you’ve heard of James Hansen.

Hansen is the politicized NASA climate scientist who virtually invented the global warming issue in the broiling summer of 1988 when he was the star doomsayer at Senate hearings called by Al Gore.

Since then, Hansen has received better press than Mother Teresa. In hundreds of interviews and glowing profiles, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies has been treated as objective and/or infallible by an adoring mainstream liberal media.

Yet Hansen’s not even close to being an objective scientist. He is openly ideological and rabidly partisan. His political pals and financial patrons are liberal Democrats — Gore, John Kerry and left-wing groups funded by George Soros and Teresa Heinz.

Nor is Hansen part of the hallowed scientific “consensus” on global warming. He’s much more apocalyptic. He still predicts faster and much greater sea-level rises, ice-sheet meltings and species extinctions than the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Hansen’s Teflon credibility wasn’t even scratched after the August revelation that since 2000 he and his fellow scientists had been incorrectly crunching the data from about 1,200 ground weather stations that NASA uses to take the country’s annual average temperature — and which the unquestioning mainstream media used as “proof” the country has been getting hotter every year since 1998.

Maybe Hansen will be proved right.  But these days he seems more interested in ideology than science.

James Hansen of NASA has become one of the leading climate alarmists.  Quite simply, the world is about to end.  That being the case, industry executives who don’t toe the line (only wrecking the economy can save humanity from destruction) should be tried in a kind of environmental Nuremberg Trial.

It turns out that Hansen’s supervisor, at least, was not so enamored of his work.  Reports the Spectator in London:

But now the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works reports that James Hansen’s former supervisor, retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist Dr. John S. Theon, former Chief of the Climate Processes Research Programme at NASA who was responsible for all weather and climate research in the agency from1982 to 1994, has said he thinks man-made global warming theory is anti-scientific bunk:

‘I appreciate the opportunity to add my name to those who disagree that global warming is man-made,’ Theon wrote to the Minority Office at the Environment and Public Works Committee on January 15, 2009. ‘I was, in effect, Hansen’s supervisor because I had to justify his funding, allocate his resources, and evaluate his results. I did not have the authority to give him his annual performance evaluation… Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it). Hansen thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress…

Theon declared ‘climate models are useless.’ ‘My own belief concerning anthropogenic climate change is that the models do not realistically simulate the climate system because there are many very important sub-grid scale processes that the models either replicate poorly or completely omit,’ Theon explained. ‘Furthermore, some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results. In doing so, they neither explain what they have modified in the observations, nor explain how they did it. They have resisted making their work transparent so that it can be replicated independently by other scientists. This is clearly contrary to how science should be done. Thus there is no rational justification for using climate model forecasts to determine public policy,’ he added.

It’s too bad Dr. Theon’s views don’t get the same attention as those of Dr. Hansen.

Al Gore, the lobbyist

by Julie Walsh on January 28, 2009

in Science

In a letter dated January 26th, 2009 Al Gore’s company Generation Investment Management sent a coalition letter along with other institutional investors representing $1.7 trillion in assets to Senate Majority leader Harry Reid. The letter asked for:

1) longer-term economic incentives including extending the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for five years or more,

2) funding for energy efficiency programs – such as retrofitting buildings,

3) federal funds to flow to states that allow utilities to treat energy efficiency comparable to new supply; states that adopt energy efficiency resources standards to achieve energy savings goals; or, states that adopt strong building codes to encourage energy savings, and

4) that part of the funding in the stimulus package should be directed toward modernizing and improving the electric grid system.

Today, two days later,  Al Gore, The Climate Protector, testified to the Senate Foreign relations Committee of the need for:

1) renewable tax credits and “small” grants for wind power and solar,

2) energy efficiency and conservation,

3) decoupling (giving utility companies a guaranteed source of revenues and Gore’s declared “single most important measure”), and

4) the need for a new electric grid.

He also frequently mentioned solar energy (an extremely expensive source of energy), deforestation (big area of carbon trading) and soil carbon credits (they need the farm votes).

Of course, Chairman Gore punctuated these requests by the possibility of every earthly catastrophe befalling us if we don’t grant him his requests.

Apparently, global warming is now irreversible. Or, at least, it is if you don’t consider any of the policy options that might, you know, reverse it. As Roger Pielke Jr points out, the study didn’t examine the potential for geoengineering:

Geoengineering to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere was not considered in the study. “Ideas about taking the carbon dioxide away after the world puts it in have been proposed, but right now those are very speculative,” said Solomon.

Then only reason geoengineering remains speculative is because the global warming industry is locked into one policy model: mitigation. If adaptation is the red-headed stepchild of global warming research, geoengineering is the unacknowledged bastard, kept tied up in the basement and fed only with a bucket of fish heads.

Meanwhile, the McKinsey Global Initiative has come out with version 2 of its “we can save the world very cheaply” report, which is available if you register and give them your email address via the links here. The fiendish consultants have disabled the ability to cut their charts out, so you’ll have to get a copy for yourself, but their Exhibit 1 shows that all the “affordable” options are to do with energy efficiency, not grand new green energy projects, which are much more expensive and require aggressive carbon pricing (and this needs to be born in mind as well). Furthermore, these are truly global initiatives – something has has to be done everywhere, around the world – as Exhibit 4 makes clear. Something we can do quite affordably may be a different kettle of fish heads for the developing world. If you can’t afford an incandescent lightbulb, you can’t afford an LED lamp, whatever the CO2 abatement potential is. I hope to provide a full response to the McKinsey paper soon.

Krugman is Wrong – Again!

by Iain Murray on January 26, 2009

in Science

Boy, that wacky Paul Krugman. The newly-crowned Nobel laureate (they should be allowed to wear a laurel wreath everywhere they go, so we’d know of their brilliance), fresh from revealing how little he understands the history – or purpose – of liberalism, shows he knows diddly-squat about Air Traffic Control.

In today’s column he argues, plonkingly,

Here’s how to think about this argument: it implies that we should shut down the air traffic control system. After all, that system is paid for with fees on air tickets — and surely it would be better to let the flying public keep its money rather than hand it over to government bureaucrats. If that would mean lots of midair collisions, hey, stuff happens.

Unfortunately for Krug, the fact is that the public sector does a pretty poor job of Air Traffic Control. Not because of large numbers of accidents – that doesn’t happen anywhere much these days – but in terms of waste and inefficiency. American ATC is based on a system of beacons from the early days of air transport. Those have long since been superseded in safety terms by GPS and other innovations, but the system is still based on them. Liberalizing ATC actually makes a huge amount of sense, which is why plenty of governments around the world have done it, without seeing mid-air collisions, erm, explode. As I say in the new Agenda for Congress:

Liberalize Air Travel. … Privatization and modernization of the air traffic control system not only would allow faster flights and less delay at airports but save up to 400,000 barrels of oil per day, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions accordingly. And there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Canada’s successful air traffic control privatization offers a useful model.

You can only really object to that if you’re a socialist dogmatist, or your thinking is stuck in the 1930s. I’m not sure which is the case with El Krug.

For a broader picture, Jon Henke does a great job of commenting on the entire column over at The Next Right.

The New Green Economy?

by Iain Murray on January 21, 2009

in Science

I’ve spent a while crunching the numbers relating to energy and environment spending in the stimulus bill. The bill will spend about $80 billion on energy and environment, which can be broadly broken down into the following categorizations:

Electricity infrastructure/efficiency – $35.6 billion
Renewable projects – $11.95bn (mostly $8bn in loan guarantees and $2.4bn for clean coal)
Climate science/general energy academic research – $9.3bn!!! (including $1.9 for nuclear research)
EPA programs (Superfund cleanup etc) – $12.2bn
Other environmental (National Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management etc) – $10.899bn

So that means around $57 billion of the total is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Thanks to Jonathan Tolman, we can work out how many jobs this will create. As he says, not every program gives a figure for created jobs, but about 5/8ths of them do. That $50 billion is supposed to create just under 1 million jobs, but many of these are in the traditional environmental areas of clean-up.

Of the $57 billion aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, just over half the expenditures have job numbers associated with them. Those total $32.3 billion, for a total of 353,000 jobs, at $91,000 per job. These are overwhelmingly related to the (much-needed) creation of a smart electricity grid, and improving the efficiency and weatherization of the housing stock, which will be a good thing even if global warming turns out not to be a problem*.

The actual “green energy/jobs” program, in the sense most people think about it of revolutionizing our energy provision, amounts to $6.4 billion and 70,000 jobs. There may well be more (there are no job figures attached to the renewable energy loan guarantees, for instance), but that remains so speculative that it was not even suggested in the Bill.

* This should not be taken as an endorsement of government expenditure on the programs.