What Fresh Hell Is This?

February 14, 2010

Jack Kelly Sunday

I'm cracking my knuckles in anticipation of this week's Jack Kelly. Our friend Jack, a columnist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, has written a column titled:Get it? GloBULL Warming. "Bull" as in "bullshit."

Needless to say, we all know from which direction the BS is oozing.

Let's begin at the beginning, shall we?
Eve Ensler, writer of the "Vagina Monologues," snickered with Joy Behar on Ms. Behar's talk show Monday about how stupid Sarah Palin is for not regarding earthquakes and tsunamis as proof of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming.

"I just think the idea that she doesn't believe in global warming is bizarre,"said Ms. Ensler, who was on the show to promote her new book.

"Every scientist at every note believes in it but Sarah Palin doesn't believe in it," Ms. Behar said.

"We just have to walk around the world at this point and look at what is happening to nature and earthquakes and tsunamis," Ms. Ensler said.

"Right," agreed Ms. Behar.
Actually, if you watch the clip you'll see that while Ensler does misstep in mentioning earthquakes and tsunamis, she and Behar are not criticizing Palin because she doesn't think global warming causes earthquakes and tsunamis (which they obviously don't), they're criticizing her because she believes in creationism but not global warming. But of course such context is lost on those with different point to make.

Oh, and Jack needs to actually listen to the clip before pasting the transcript from Newsbusters. Behar says "Every scientist of any note..." not "Every scientist at every note..."

Sorry to say this yet again, but this is something his editors at the P-G should have caught. I would think that a newspaper columnist, if he or she is going to quote someone, should probably try to get the words right. Especially if it's on tape.

Take a look and give a listen if you don't trust me.

At this point, I should note that neither Behar or Ensler are climatologists.

Jack then moves onto another climatologist non-climatologist, Robert F. Kennedy Jr:
Recent events have tested the faith of true believers in AGW. In September 2008, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote an op-ed lamenting that, thanks to global warming, it would snow no more in Washington, D.C. The blizzard of 2010, which dumped record snow on the nation's capital, must have come as a shock.
It should come as no shock to the readers of this blog that Jack Kelly misquoted Bobby's son.

Take a look at the column. This is all Kennedy said about the weather in DC:
In Virginia, the weather also has changed dramatically. Recently arrived residents in the northern suburbs, accustomed to today's anemic winters, might find it astonishing to learn that there were once ski runs on Ballantrae Hill in McLean, with a rope tow and local ski club. Snow is so scarce today that most Virginia children probably don't own a sled. But neighbors came to our home at Hickory Hill nearly every winter weekend to ride saucers and Flexible Flyers.

In those days, I recall my uncle, President Kennedy, standing erect as he rode a toboggan in his top coat, never faltering until he slid into the boxwood at the bottom of the hill. Once, my father, Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy, brought a delegation of visiting Eskimos home from the Justice Department for lunch at our house. They spent the afternoon building a great igloo in the deep snow in our backyard. My brothers and sisters played in the structure for several weeks before it began to melt. On weekend afternoons, we commonly joined hundreds of Georgetown residents for ice skating on Washington's C&O Canal, which these days rarely freezes enough to safely skate.
He talks of the current "anemic winters" comparing them to the winters he remembers. No where in the oped does he write anything resembling "no more snow for DC." Something else, I am sorry to say, that his editors should have caught.

Next he does a flim (or is that a flam?):

Europe is experiencing its coldest winter in decades. During its winter (our summer), Australia experienced record cold.

Journalists have hastened to remind us that weather is not climate.

Actually it's scientists who remind us that weather is not climate not journalists. By putting the experts' words into inexpert mouths, Jack is hoping to invalidate the reminder. They're only journalists, you know. If he were to have written that climatologists remind us that weather does not equal climate then his previous paragraph would have been rendered moot.

Which brings me to the biggest problem with Jack's column. He touches on polar bears, malaria and Minnesota's moose population. No where does he actually tackle the science of global warming itself, just its effects.

The science, as I told the lovely and talented Heather Heidelbaugh on OffQ a few weeks ago, is solid. The stolen emails in East Anglia do nothing to undermine the science.

The temps are up, that's a fact.

It'll have an effect on the world for decades to come.

Do I need to point out (yet again) that The Pentagon agrees?


rich10e said...

when "cap'n trade"doubles your light bill, you'll bemoaning for the good ole days when there were steel mills on the souside or in hazelwood..

EdHeath said...

Because everyone uses steel to power their homes.

Except we might be able to do things like using more energy efficient homes, using things as simple as more cost effective compact fluorescent bulbs, efficient furnaces, insulation and even cheap plastic sheets on your windows (assuming you don't already double pane windows). You can lobby your Congressmen now and ask the (Federal an State) government to do more to subsidize home energy systems (like solar or wind). You can change your driving habits (drive 55 on the highway) and buy a more fuel efficient vehicle next time you bu a car.

And by the way, all those individual efforts, especially multiplied across millions of Americans, will help achieve the very goals cap and trade is designed to achieve. Which I assume we want to achieve We have gotten a free ride in using essentially limited resources that when burned create green house gasses. We need to adopt a more sustainable lifetime, or light bills that are twice as expensive will be the least of our problems.

Heir to the Throne said...

No where in the oped does he write anything resembling "no more snow for DC.
Heck of a strawman there Dayvoe. It does imply there is less snow.

Snow is so scarce today that most Virginia children probably don't own a sled.

rich10e said...

you're smart enuff to make the connection...and we all know the connection between coal,electric and the use of coal that was the demise of the steel industry in the US...GASP and their friends kept a 1 billion dollar coke plant out of Hazelwood. As President Obama said,and I paraphase, if anyone wants to use coal in their business,I will make doing business impossible. I contacted my Congressman, Mike Doyle, and made it clear to him that I was disappointed with his pro "cap 'n trade" stance which is certainly not pro-PA, not pro-business,not pro-labor and certainly not pro-growth.Put down the kool-aid.

EdHeath said...

HTTP, I pretty much agree at least that part of the Kennedy piece was pretty silly. So what? As Dayvoe pointed out, Kennedy is not a climatologist. Any and all mistakes over eager journalists or liberals won't make the actual effects of climate change go away. Maybe the effects won't kill us all, but certainly the economies of the world will be badly hurt until the planet sorts itself out.

So your triumphant gloating about this Kennedy's mistake achieves exactly what? Everyone would be delighted if a mistake by this Kennedy would make global warming go away, but I am afraid that is not going to be the case.

Oh I forgot, the emails "prove" that global warming doesn't even exist (the stolen emails, the ones where you suddenly don't care about laws). So we should do nothing. Because oil and coal will last forever and global warming is a conspiracy. And this is proven because a scientist or two left some contradictory tree ring data off of a chart with temperature data. Or do you actually have anything specific (and that would be a direct question, one I am sure you will avoid, just like all conservatives do)?

EdHeath said...

rich10e, we don't all know "the connection between coal,electric and the use of coal that was the demise of the steel industry in the US.". I don't know that GASP kept a billion dollar coke plant out of Hazelwood, but you certainly could be right about that. However, there were other factors in the demise of the steel industry here and in the US in general (don't you guys like to make unions the bogeyman?). Anyway, steel is gone, so it hardly matters.

But did you really want all the lakes in the north east dying from acid rain?

Am I wrong that driving a more fuel efficient car (in a more careful manner) and making your house/apartment more fuel efficient will save you money even as it reduces our consumption of oil, natural gas and/or coal? Or are you saying that oil, natural gas and coal are actually unlimited resources and we shouldn't care? Or even that we have so much in oil sands and off shore and in the ANWR and in coal gasification that it doesn't matter, that it will always cost exactly the same amount of money to extract oil and other resources.

And since the National Academy of Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science among others have stated they believe in human caused climate change, perhaps you can tell us all what you evidence is that contradicts these scientific bodies? Same question as for HTTT, do you have some specific evidence we are not going to see most of the ice in the Arctic Circle melt during the summer months? Or did you want to share your kool aid?

Heir to the Throne said...

So your triumphant gloating about this Kennedy's mistake achieves exactly what?
I get a small amount of schadenfreude seeing Robert F. Kennedy Jr humbled. I remember seeing a interview with him where he belittled/mocked climate change deniers". So what goes around comes around.
did you want to share your kool aid?
I love it when a progressive uses the kool aid analogy.
Gives me a chance to remind them that Jim Jones was a progressive.
what you evidence is that contradicts these scientific bodies?
tree-ring data have diverged from actual measured temperature.
For the past ten years Global temperatures have fallen.
And I do know that the Climate Change alarmist dismiss it due to the variability in the climate.

EdHeath said...

HTTT, good try, I give you credit for that. Oh, first, I mentioned kool aid in response to rich10e bringing it up. I am amused when conservatives use the kool aid analogy, it reminds me that Jim Jones might have held some few radical ideas early in his life, but at the end he was around the bend crazy.

The tree ring data was taken up in an article by the Christian Science Monitor
(http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Bright-Green/2009/1215/Climategate-global-warming-and-the-tree-rings-divergence-problem). According to them, first, it is not all sets of tree ring data that do not agree with temperature readings for the last twenty years, only some. Second, there are some new factors in the atmosphere affecting trees, apparently particularly those at the tree line of mountains, which tree ring scientists like to use because those trees are normally very responsive to changes in temperatures. Pollution and water vapor (from increased melting in glaciers and the ice caps) can affect sunshine and growth rate in other ways. Read for yourself.

Now, 1998 was an outlier in the record of yearly temperatures, apparently the hottest year on record. I know there was the business about years in the thirties, but right now it looks like people are saying 1998 was hottest. According to whatever data the English Hadley Climate Research Centre collects, 1998 is still the hottest year as of 2008 (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14527-climate-myths-global-warming-stopped-in-1998.html), but NASA says that 2005 was hotter (http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/2005_warmest.html). They apparently use different testing data, but I suspect you would find they are quite close in any event. The 2005 figure seems to be borne out by the most recent data (http://www.climate.gov/).

So 1998 was an outlier, and the graphs show a basic trend of up ward temperature date. But in a strict technical sense you are right, as far as the English are concerned, it has not been as hot on the planet up to 2008 as it was in the one year 1998. Not that the planet has shown a cooling trend, just that it was really frickin' hot in 1998.

So since I have at least partially addressed your concerns, how about you answer why the US and other countries' National Academy of Science's say man made global warming is real?

Ol' Froth said...

This month's Skeptical Inquirer has some pretty good articles on climate change denialism, the people behind it, and some of the science behind global warming, and why the vast majority of climatologists beleive its true, and that we are contributing to it. Unfortunatly, they don't have much content online, gotta buy the magazine.