Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tamping Down Climate Change Hysteria

You might have gotten into science for the love of knowledge, but then you got a taste of the power.

You no longer see yourself as a geeky scientist poring over data in a musty lab. You are dictating government policy and changing the face of industry around the world. Your research is raising taxes and shutting down industries around the world. Thanks to you the landscape is increasingly dotted with windmills.

You have discovered that if you tell everyone that it’s scientific fact they line up to follow your lead.

You didn’t get into science to change the world, but once you feel the power coursing up your spine you are not going to give it up without a fight.

You don’t even have to be a scientist. One disgruntled former presidential candidate, Al Gore, discovered that he could amass a fortune and could influence government policy around the world… merely by selling the idea of global warming.

And you thought that he was just another “crazed sex poodle.”

One suspects that many global warmists are playing Faust by ginning up climate hysteria. One has the right to be skeptical of their prophecies.

Keep in mind, predictions about what the climate will look like a century from now are not science. They are prophecy. To be more charitable they are hypotheses.

The last time a respected international organization offered its predictions for the earth’s climate was 2007.  Then, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued an alarmist report that was taken by many to be settled science.

The IPCC was sponsored by the United Nations and for many people that gave it credibility. For me, not so much.

Since then, many scientists have studied these questions. If Al Gore and his ilk really cared about science, they would not have found comfort in the results. Matt Ridley explained in the Wall Street Journal:

Since the last IPCC report in 2007, much has changed. It is now more than 15 years since global average temperature rose significantly. Indeed, the IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri has conceded that the "pause" already may have lasted for 17 years, depending on which data set you look at. A recent study in Nature Climate Change by Francis Zwiers and colleagues of the University of Victoria, British Columbia, found that models have overestimated warming by 100% over the past 20 years.

Take a deep breath. The models have “overestimate warming by 100%....” How bad does it have to get before you start to doubt the “settled science” that is being used to change our world.

Two weeks from now the same IPCC will issue a new report in which it will admit that its 2007 predictions were wrong. It exaggerated the effect that carbon emissions would have on the environment.

Ridley has seen an early summary of the report. He explained:

The big news is that, for the first time since these reports started coming out in 1990, the new one dials back the alarm. It states that the temperature rise we can expect as a result of man-made emissions of carbon dioxide is lower than the IPPC thought in 2007.

Admittedly, the change is small, and because of changing definitions, it is not easy to compare the two reports, but retreat it is. It is significant because it points to the very real possibility that, over the next several generations, the overall effect of climate change will be positive for humankind and the planet.

Specifically, the draft report says that "equilibrium climate sensitivity" (ECS)—eventual warming induced by a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which takes hundreds of years to occur—is "extremely likely" to be above 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit), "likely" to be above 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.4 degrees Fahrenheit) and "very likely" to be below 6 degrees Celsius (10.8 Fahrenheit). In 2007, the IPPC said it was "likely" to be above 2 degrees Celsius and "very likely" to be above 1.5 degrees, with no upper limit. Since "extremely" and "very" have specific and different statistical meanings here, comparison is difficult.

He continued:

A more immediately relevant measure of likely warming has also come down: "transient climate response" (TCR)—the actual temperature change expected from a doubling of carbon dioxide about 70 years from now, without the delayed effects that come in the next century. The new report will say that this change is "likely" to be 1 to 2.5 degrees Celsius and "extremely unlikely" to be greater than 3 degrees. This again is lower than when last estimated in 2007 ("very likely" warming of 1 to 3 degrees Celsius, based on models, or 1 to 3.5 degrees, based on observational studies).

Most experts believe that warming of less than 2 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels will result in no net economic and ecological damage. Therefore, the new report is effectively saying (based on the middle of the range of the IPCC's emissions scenarios) that there is a better than 50-50 chance that by 2083, the benefits of climate change will still outweigh the harm.

Worse yet, for the climate change hysterics, it turns out that moderate levels of global warming can be beneficial:

Warming of up to 1.2 degrees Celsius over the next 70 years (0.8 degrees have already occurred), most of which is predicted to happen in cold areas in winter and at night, would extend the range of farming further north, improve crop yields, slightly increase rainfall (especially in arid areas), enhance forest growth and cut winter deaths (which far exceed summer deaths in most places). Increased carbon dioxide levels also have caused and will continue to cause an increase in the growth rates of crops and the greening of the Earth—because plants grow faster and need less water when carbon dioxide concentrations are higher.

For another, extensive report on the IPCC study, here’s a link to an article in your and my favorite tabloid, the Daily Mail.


Malcolm said...

The left starts with a premise and anything that adds to that premise has a lot of weight. Anything that takes away from the premise has no weight.

Anonymous said...

Of course the climate is changing. It changes all the time! Again, "climate change" is a self-fulfilling prophesy posing as science while in fact it is the rallying cry to promote a misanthropic, megalomaniacal worldview.

There used to be dinosaurs. There aren't anymore, and it would be rather incovenient if there were. Home sapiens used to cross a land bridge across the Bering Sea. Now they cannot. We had Dust Bowls in the 1930s. Now we do not. There are periods of climate-changing volcanic activity. Mt. Pinatubo created spectacular sunsets and cooler weather. Krakatoa created atmospheric oddities that created the equivalent of daylight in London at midnight. Some may say periods of increased volcanic activity are unusual and irregular. I suggest it is usual and regular, given an average tectonic time scale is different from a backyard perennial garden. People see hurricane devastation, and are understandably sad for the people who are impacted. But hurricanes are normal phenomena at certain times of the year, and storm activity and intensities spike from time-to-time. Yet people still want to know why, and scientists say it's because of something called anthropomorphic global warming (AGW). And the victims of these disasters want to stop it -- as if politicians, bureaucrats and climate scientists can stop hurricanes. The arrogance and preying on people's misfortune are astounding.

Scientists like to tell us on PBS' "Nova" (a great program) that the world is a dynamic place with all kinds of interconnected systems like plate tectonics and phytoplankton bursts and all this other stuff that makes our world what it is. Sometimes things are up, sometimes they're down year-over-year. Yet AGW is portrayed as this linear, exponential doomsday scenario that's completely inevitable. What happened to the "dynamic Earth" mentioned earlier in the episode???

I stopped getting National Geographic 7 years ago because. I'd subscribed for 30 years and gained a sense of awe and wonder of the natural world, which they brilliantly documented with great articles and stunning photography. I stopped NatGeo because I got sick of the parade of doomsday articles month after month, first about "Global Warmng," which later morphed into a more sprawling theory of "Climate Change." This from the magazine that published an article in the mid-1970s warning of global cooling.

We hear that there's overpopulation, that the oil is going to run out, that natural gas is bad, that we shouldn't barbeque or run lawn mowers, that the oceans and seas are rising, and all this other apocalyptic blather. We've been hearing it for years. Thank God for people like Matt Ridley, lest we blindly believe this rubbish.


n.n said...

Climate is defined as the average weather conditions in time and place. It is the conditions prevalent to a neighborhood or region over a decadal period (e.g. 30 years). Unless there is an overwhelming subterranean, terrestrial, or extraterrestrial event, which causes a global disruption, then a global metric is not only useless, it is also deceptive.

To paraphrase Billy Joel:

We didn't start the chaos. It was always changing. Since the world's been turning. We didn't start the chaos. No we didn't cause it, but we tried to exploit it.

Nice try, global warming profiteers.

Anonymous said...

It's ironic to have Matt Ridley is leading the call against climate change hype, being the chairman of a bank in England who failed to recognize the risks of the financial credit bubble. Perhaps he's trying to redeem his risk-management reputation on a 100 year bet that climate change is hype?

For Ridley fans, I found an audio of a speech of his, being very sensibly skeptical of climage change.

He says he was excited to first see the Hockey stick graphs as proof of warming, but then they were debunked.

Ridley's sensible arguments come down to our psychological "confirmation bias" where we look for evidence for what we expect to see and ignore what doesn't fit, and that's a worthy warning to scientists, but its just as likely on both sides, so he gladly accept denier arguments while not looking looking at the validity of their arguments.

So Mr. Ridley likes to gamble when there appears to be advantage to do so, and is willing to let future generations pay if he's wrong. And as someone who is experienced in the banking world, I'm sure he can see much bigger disasters on our horizon that will sink the global economy much faster than the quick sand of climate change.

Anonymous said...

People who dispute climate change also believe there was some big conspiracy and cover-up with "Benghazi." Ha ha ha ha! The lunatic fringe. It's like believing in UFOs. Keep on being cuh-razy because it guarantees you will NEVER win actual elections, but will be forever relegated to the lunatic world of blogs and tabloids. Cray cray! aspecup

Sam L. said...

Where I grew up, I was told that about half the state had been glaciated about 15K years ago. No SUVs, no industry, hardly any people at all then. Since they were not needed then for climate change, I figure it isn't now.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous 9/16/13 @7:12 AM...

Remember when people said there wasn't anything to the IRS scandal? Are you aware of what people are concerned about with the Executive branch's action/inaction in Benghazi?

Do you believe the world is flat? Why not? Distrusting the sweeping claims of climate scientists who receive all their funding from a massive, megalomaniacal government (whether Demoblican or Republicrat) is a far cry from believing in UFOs.

What do you believe about climate change, in a paragraph in English (no hyperlinks to "studies"). What's the self-evident change in the Earth you see and how is it impacting your life? Enough of the pejoratives and name-calling. Let's have a conversation!

I'm quite comfortable being called names. What powers do you see man having over the Earth's climate?

And on another matter, why is it so important to you to win elections? What do you get in return? I've seen you post on this blog before, saying the same thing. I find t interesting.


Dennis said...

When people lack the intellectual capacity to present a cogent well reasoned argument for what the believe they use pejoratives and name calling. They almost never understand that a large number of us take the pejoratives and name calling as a sign that we have won the debate.


I have seen this same usage on other sites. It would seem that all he/she does is copy/paste and alter the issue line. Typical of most trolls and I suspect an indication of someone who does not get much in the way of positive reenforcement so seeks negative reenforcement.
When I first read this I had opted to not feed the troll's desire for attention. Very needy person.
The more mature I get the more it strikes me that even those who read a lot never question what they read nor do they think through the issue or process. Just because it is in a book, article, commentary, et al does not give it validity. One of the reasons bibliographies are so important is because it gives one the research material that the writer utilized to come to his/her conclusions.
Never do these people address aphelion/perihelion and its affect on climate. They never address the fact that the Earth wobbles through space and how that action may affect climate. They never address the solar flare cycles, and other cycles that affect the Sun and its affect on climate. I could go on, but would be wasting my time on a troll who has neither the inclination or desire to understand the physical science that goes into how this planet operates and the things that impinge upon it and are external to it as well.
A good place to start is to ask what does the word science actually mean, but I suspect to most leftists and progressives anything that would challenge their beliefs would not interest them. Their beliefs are defined by the word religion at the same time as they detest religion. Not withstanding that history is replete with "settled science" being disproved.
I love the intellectual challenge you forwarded for not many of the name callers will rise to justify their comments. I would suggest that the "inadequate party (Republicans) would walk over the "incompetent party "(Democrats) if they just were not so inadequate to the job, but who knows what will happen in two years.

Dennis said...

For anyone who is actually interested in how GIGO (Garbage In/Garbage Out) affects the use of computer models and what is considered mainstream thought based on these models.
As anyone can readily see the actually data does not come any where close to that predicted by the IPCC, and other, models. In fact CO2 has a negligible affect.
If a computer model is this ineffective in predicting the future one who not be incorrect in the notion that they should not be utilized to justify any governmental policies.
An aside here. I made the mistake, when working full time, of taking two graduate level course at one time. One was Organizational Behavior and the other was Microeconomics. Little did I realize that Organizational Behavior was going to have me take up residency in the library at IU.
The Microeconomics class was built on the author's econometric model. In almost every case the author removed any variable that would affect the outcome he sought. His econometric model could not predict the past and was not going to come close to predicting the future. There is a reason that Economics is a social science vice a physical science.
Computer modeling is a nice tool, but should be taken as an inference and not as a fact.

Anonymous said...

Oh please. You are the ones who think the world is flat! "Benghazi" = looking for Jesus in a piece of toast. It's just toast, folks. There's nothing there.
I was actually bored enough one day to look up "Benghazi" and what you conservatives are always bleating on about. I figured, there has to be SOME kind of possible misdeeds going on. Imagine my surprise when I learned all I need to in about 10 minutes. There is nothing there. Total dream world. No scandal, nothing. Just a bunch of lemmings who believe anything Rush Limbaugh says, nothing more. Desperate attempt to smear Obama and Hillary.

It's so patently obvious I am astounded you are keeping up with it, but keep on. It only makes you look desperate and stupid.

Keep it coming! As everyone knows by now (and as your reaction to the Syria debate really showed), you stand for nothing, and have absolutely no political principals beyond saying No to Democrats and smearing Democrats. That's it. That's all you got. Negative attacks and innuendo.

I foresee a campaign against Hillary featuring "Benghazi" and "Huma." Ha ha ha ha ha! You will lose if that's all you have--UFOs and Jesus in toast and the Daily Mail!