Obtuse Observer

July 13, 2012

Global Warming Zealots in the Press

Filed under: AGW,Anthropogenic Global Warming,Global Warming — Obtuse Observer @ 1:31 pm

A recent conference call with global warming scientists was reported in the press blaming the summer’s hot weather and fires on global warming.  Except that’s not what the scientists told the reporter.  When the press can be relied upon to lie to us about global warming  and when the scientists have been shown time and time again to have fudged data, mislead and lied it becomes reasonable to hold strong doubts as to their theories.

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Heritage Blog piece in the issue


Scientists Blame Global Warming for Heat Wave, But Fail to Back It Up

Michael Sandoval

July 11, 2012 at 7:07 pm


Global-warming alarmists have reemerged with a vengeance following the recent heat wave featuring record temperatures across the nation and dozens of wildfires throughout the West. But how much has global warming contributed?

At least two climate change scientists refused to identify any possible threshold, with one declaring, “I honestly don’t think you can really put a number right on it.”

Climate Communication, a non-profit science outreach organization funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the ClimateWorks Foundation and dedicated to the study of “global environmental change,” hosted a conference call with reporters on June 28 to coincide with the release its newest publication, “Heat Waves and Climate Change.”

When pressed by Associated Press science reporter Seth Borenstein on the connection between global warming to recent events, Dr. Michael Oppenheimer and Dr. Steven Running, two of the panelists showcased by Climate Communication, rejected the line of questioning, refusing to offer any estimate.

“I won’t do it,” said Oppenheimer.

Running told Borenstein that to offer such an estimate is “probably really dangerous for us,” instead clarifying that more analysis and “statistical rigor” would need to be applied before the conclusions were sent out “into the public arena.”

Susan Hassol, the moderator for the call, appeared to chastise Borenstein when he pursued the line of questioning, offering to “make it easier” by saying whether or not global warming accounted for more or less than 50 percent to the current situation.

According to Hassol, the question from Borenstein was not “well-posed,” and stated that even the types of modeling necessary to determine attribution “are not very good” at providing that conclusion.

Borenstein bristled at Hassol’s comments.

“I understand, I’ve been covering this for 20 years, I understand. I don’t need a lecture, thank you very much,” responded Borenstein.

Borenstein’s most recent AP story was titled, “This US summer is ‘what global warming looks like,’” dated July 3, five days after the conference call.

In the story, Borenstein, by way of exposition, wrote:

If you want a glimpse of some of the worst of global warming, scientists suggest taking a look at U.S. weather in recent weeks.

Horrendous wildfires. Oppressive heat waves. Devastating droughts. Flooding from giant deluges. And a powerful freak wind storm called a derecho.

These are the kinds of extremes climate scientists have predicted will come with climate change, although it’s far too early to say that is the cause. Nor will they say global warming is the reason 3,215 daily high temperature records were set in the month of June.

Scientifically linking individual weather events to climate change takes intensive study, complicated mathematics, computer models and lots of time. Sometimes it isn’t caused by global warming. Weather is always variable; freak things happen.

Borenstein also quoted Oppenheimer’s observations about the recent weather events.

“What we’re seeing really is a window into what global warming really looks like. It looks like heat. It looks like fires. It looks like this kind of environmental disasters,” said Oppenheimer.

Oppenheimer’s colleagues in story agreed.

“This is what global warming looks like at the regional or personal level. The extra heat increases the odds of worse heat waves, droughts, storms and wildfire. This is certainly what I and many other climate scientists have been warning about,” said one professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences.

Another simply declared that it’s “I told-you-so time.”

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) revealed the contents of the conference call during a speech on the Senate floor earlier today.

AP Reporter Seth Borenstein: Let me try and put you more on the spot, Mike and Steve: I know there’s no attribution – you haven’t done attribution studies, but if you ballparked it right now and had to put a percentage number on this, on the percentage that the heat wave, the percentage of blame you can put on anthropogenic climate change, on this current heat wave, and on the fires, what percentage would the two of you use?

Dr. Michael Oppenheimer: Come on, I’m not going to answer that. Yes I will answer it, and my answer is: I won’t do it. You know, we have to do these things carefully, because if you don’t, you’re going to end up with bogus information out there. People will start disbelieving because you’ll be more wrong, more often. This is not the kind of thing I want to do off the top of my head. Nor do I think it can be done, you know, convincingly, without really taking – doing careful analysis, so I’ll pass on this one and see if Steve has a different view.

Dr. Steven Running: Well, I already got way too hypothetical in my last answer. Yeah, it’s… it’s probably really dangerous for us to just lob out a number. I – We could certainly lob out some guess, but it wouldn’t be based on the kind of analysis and statistical rigor that we want to put out into the public arena.

Seth Borenstein: Okay let’s make it easier. 50% line…how about 50% line: Is it more than 50%, do you think, or less? Just, you know, on one end. More or less?

Susan Hassol, Moderator for the Climate Communication conference call: Seth, most of the scientists I talk to say it’s a contributing factor and that’s what we can say and that it’s really not even really a well-posed question, to ask for a percentage, because it just – what you’re asking really is for a model to determine the chances of this happening without climate change or with climate change and models are not very good at that.

Seth Borenstein: I understand, I’ve been covering this for 20 years, I understand. I don’t need a lecture, thank you very much. What I’m asking for is when the fingerprint – when the attribution studies are done, two or three years later, it’s already beyond people’s memory. I’m just looking for whether you could say this is – global warming was the biggest factor, more than 50 – most of the factor, you know, either more or less than 50%…

Dr. Michael Oppenheimer: I honestly don’t think you can really put a number right on it. What I honestly think is global warming has in general made this part – that part of the world – warmer and drier than it otherwise would be, and that makes it fertile ground for fire events like the one we’re seeing. So did global warming contribute? Yes. Can I really make any sort of estimate – numerical estimate- about how much? Not really sitting here on a telephone at my desk, and maybe not even if I had six months.

May 18, 2012

Global Warming, Alternative Energy and Stupidity

Filed under: AGW,Al Gore,Anthropogenic Global Warming,Generational Investment Managment — Obtuse Observer @ 10:36 pm

Keep these things in mind

  • Man made global warming is NOT settled science
  • CO2 is a lagging not leading indicator of global warming, demonstrated in the 1990s and a point of fact on which Al Gore lost in court in the UK over his alarmist movie. 
  • Al Gore’s film had many other inaccuracies determined by the court including (please visit link for list of 35 errors):
  1. the Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheets will cause seas to rise 6cm over the next 100 years not 6M
  2. the polar bears drowned in a blizzard
  3. Kilimanjaro’s summit doesn’t get above freezing – the glacier melted away because of deforestation
  4. Lake Chad isn’t drying up – irresponsible irrigation and other human use techniques are bleeding it like the Soviets bled the Aral Sea
  • Increased CO2 may lead to increased temperatures, or it may lead to greater water evaporation and increased clouds etc – we are not certain. 
  • The Sun is a more important driver of global climate than an SUV or an entire planet of SUVs.
  • Historically warming periods (the Roman warming and Medieval Warming) are associated with periods of affluence and population growth.  Historically cooling periods (Dark Ages, Little Ice Age) are associated with plague, famine, competition for dwindling resources and war.
  • Al Gore’s hockey stick graph actually (actually Michael Mann’s) was long ago removed from the IPCC’s reports.  Those reports have been updated further and predictions have been reduced.  Predictions are based on modeling which are subject to widely fluctuating results with small variable changes.
  • On a basis frequent enough to have become old news we read about “scientists” who fudged their data in order to reach their dire predictions.
  • Al Gore is worth about $100,000,000.00 by trading carbon credits with his firm Generational Investment Management – which positioned itself to benefit from alarmist legislation to reduce global warming.  His global warming alarmism is self-interested.
  • Global warming fears have lead to foolish investments of tax dollars such as Solyndra and lead Barak Obama to declare that when he became President he’d tax carbon enough make building coal burning plants a bankrupting event.

Those are just a couple of the quantifiable and terrible results from the sky is falling thinking.  The next time you’re urged to “please do something” about global warming consider this…

1) Global warming is real (there is evidence that this is true though that it has currently arrested.  There is also evidence that says climate is dynamic and changes considerably over time and does so on established cycles)

2) Global warming is man made

3) Global warming is a bad thing (but historically we know the opposite to be true)

4) Taking drastic measures with known quantifiable costs in the short term will reduce global warming

5) The reduction is desirable (historical evidence denies this)

6) The cost of reduction is less than the cost of doing nothing.

All… All of those must be true to rationally justify flushing $500,000,000 down the Solyndra toilet.  Next time we’re asked to spend it to save the planet ask if those doing the flushing can answer those questions in the affirmative.

Here’s a more detailed (well footnoted) and scathing article on global warming alarmism by Richard Lindzen who is is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of the GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council.  Those of you suspicious of my bullets…. read the scientist’s report.

March 10, 2012

Kiribati Moving?

Filed under: AGW,Anthropogenic Global Warming,Environment,Global Warming,Kiribati — Obtuse Observer @ 3:27 am

Headline: As sea levels rise, Kiribati eyes 6,000 acres in Fiji as new home for 103,000 islanders.  Article.

From the article:

Tong said some villages have already moved and there have been increasing instances of sea water contaminating the island’s underground fresh water, which remains vital for trees and crops. He said changing rainfall, tidal and storm patterns pose as least as much threat as ocean levels, which so far have risen only slightly.

Some scientists have estimated the current level of sea rise in the Pacific at about 2 millimeters (0.1 inches) per year. Many scientists expect that rate to accelerate due to climate change.

I have two points to make.

1)  The rate of sea level rise is so slow that it would take over a decade to rise an inch leaving the islanders a good deal of time to make their decision.

2)  The population of Kiribati has more than doubled in the past 50 years.  Modern water consuming devices such as plumbing, dish washers, refrigeration, air conditioning have become more common.  Tourism has increased as well.  These factors result in a dramatic increase in fresh water consumption.  That dramatic increase depletes fresh water aquifers.  When the aquifer falls below point X salt water intrudes.  The rate at which the fresh water is consumed as well as the rate of increase in consumption exceeds the rate of sea level rise.   What does this mean?  Kiribati’s fresh water is at risk from over consumption not from the sea level rising.

The moral of the story: Islands have limited resources, that’s why island dwarfism occurs.  When the resources of an island get stressed bad things happen.  In the present case resorting to fears of the consequences of global warming are silly at best.  What is perhaps most troubling is the lost of an opportunity to note the real problem… poor management of the immediate environment can push it beyond the brink. 


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