What Fresh Hell Is This?

February 4, 2010

Like Clockwork...

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wastes 2 (TWO) of its "Thursday Takes" on the "fraud" that is global warming:
The scandal grows: The same British scientist alleged to have suppressed evidence contrary to the theocracy of global warming now is being accused of fudging data from Chinese climate stations. The Guardian of London says Phil Jones "sought to hide problems in key temperature data on which some of his work was based." The newspaper says some of the data can't even be produced. How many more shoes will drop before the world wakes up to the global warming fraud?

A movement dies: Writing in The American Interest, Walter Russell Mead pronounces the "global warming movement as we have known it is dead." The cause of death? "Bad science and bad politics," says Mr. Mead. "(I)t turns out that the most prestigious agencies in the global warming movement were breaking laws, hiding data and making inflated, bogus claims resting on, in some cases, no scientific basis at all." So, shouldn't a lot of people be prosecuted?
But, as I wrote a few days ago, if it's such a hoax then why is the Pentagon releasing reports that include things like this:
Climate change will affect DoD in two broad ways. First, climate change will shape the operating environment, roles, and missions that we undertake. The U.S. Global Change Research Program, composed of 13 federal agencies, reported in 2009 that climate-related changes are already being observed in every region of the world, including the United States and its coastal waters. Among these physical changes are increases in heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, lengthening growing seasons, lengthening ice-free seasons in the oceans and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows.
Note that they used the word "will" there. Not "may" or "possibly if the science turns out to be true" but "will." Climage change will effect the Department of Defense. That's what the Pentagon wrote.

But, as always when dealing with the Trib editorial board (or any other folks infected with teh crazie) when you look at the details you find how much they are spinning.

Let's take a look at that Guardian article. Here it is. Now if you were to actually take a look at the article (and not just skim it for the words you want to read - like the braintrust obviously did) you 'll see that the article is about the data supporting a paper from 1990. Oh, and the Guardian says, about that paper:
The revelations on the inadequacies of the 1990 paper do not undermine the case that humans are causing climate change, and other studies have produced similar findings.
But, wasn't the brain trust using the revelations for exactly that?

Why, yes. Yes, they were.

They're assuming no one will check their "work" and see how badly they're spinning.

Then there's the Walter Russell Mead piece. Again if you read it c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y you'll see he's talking about the "movement" and not the "phenomenon" of climate science. He even says so:
The death of global warming (the movement, not the phenomenon) has some important political and cultural consequences in the United States
And what does he think of the evidence?

I am glad you asked. While he is not a supporter of "the movement" he does write:
The global warmists were trapped into the necessity of hyping the threat by their realization that the actual evidence they had — which, let me emphasize, all hype aside, is serious, troubling and establishes in my mind the need for intensive additional research and investigation, as well as some prudential steps that would reduce CO2 emissions by enhancing fuel use efficiency and promoting alternative energy sources — was not sufficient to get the world’s governments to do what they thought needed to be done. [emphasis added]
Wait, wait. There's "actual evidence" for global warming? Mead just said so. AYE-und (that's how the lovely wife says "and" when she's emphasizing a point) it's "serious" and "troubling"?? Mead just wrote that also.

And yet Richard Mellon Scaife's braintrust...well you know the drill. Spin, distort, omit, lie, whatever it's called. When it comes to Climate Science, it's what they do on the Trib editorial board.


n'at said...

It seems the crux of the matter is the un-scientific push by non-scientists to stop global warming, while scientists, governments and others are wrapping their heads around modern inferences of climate change and how we can forecast and adapt. On a local note, the state of Pennsylvania has also been looking into the potential effects of climate change on our state's agricultural industry.

EdHeath said...

Unfortunately, n'at, the nature of the beast is that generally the policy makers are non-scientists. So the new policies designed to address global warming will almost certainly have the typical pork and give-a-ways to industries in the districts of key Congress-persons. Although possibly the mandate of the EPA will be expanded to include ameliorating the effects of climate change (and people might start comparing Obama to Nixon).

I mean, we all should know about the exaggerations of Al Gore with regard to climate change. The impetus to address climate change seems to have fallen off our collective radar, and the damage done to Obama's popularity by both ends and the middle of the political spectrum has made it risky to bring up again. I hope that climate change will be bundled with oil depletion, as a national security issue, and we will reduce carbon emissions so our children are not forced to knuckle under to European aggression (do you want your wives and children to eat that rich food, those heavy deserts, that rich food? ... I probably got the quote wrong).

Joy said...

Um, no. Scientists, including climate scientists, are not supporting a "break it then fix it" answer. Why? Oh, 20+ reasons, any of which, alone, are adequate.

1. CO2 buildup turns seawater into something like weak seltzer water. From WHOI: "When CO2 gas dissolves in seawater, it combines with water molecules (H2O) to form carbonic acid (H2CO3). The acid releases hydrogen ions into the water. The more hydrogen ions in a solution, the more acidic it becomes. Hydrogen ions in ocean surface waters are now 25 percent higher than in the pre-industrial era, with an additional 75-percent increase projected by 2100."

Result? Sealife that depends on using calcium carbonate for their outsides--not just clams and coral, but base-of-the-marine-food-chain stuff like a lot of plankton--goes soft and dies. WHOI, again: "Higher acidity has a negative impact on almost every species examined. In some experiments, you can actually watch the shells of living organisms dissolve away with time." The only way to limit C02 is to...limit CO2.

2. you can't put upper-atmosphere particulates, space balloons, or iron you dumped in the sea, back in the box. Remember the concept of "nuclear winter"? A single supervolcano or asteroid strike has been enough to plunge the entire planet into a decades-long "winter." In modern times, the 1915 eruption of Mt. Tambora led to the "year without a summer" in 1916. Even if--a big if--we could perfectly calibrate the degree of global sunblock relative to predicted CO2, there's no way to vacuum up dust or bring back space balloons if we have lower-than-expected CO2 emissions (economic slowdown, cleaner energy sources, plain old conservation)...or extra particulates (volcanoes, major fires).

3. Computer-controlled shields? Yeah, how much does it cost to have one (1) deep space vehicle that reliably stays in contact with the earth? (Ever notice all the news stories about spacecraft not responding?) Also, we're at the end of a quiet period for sunspots / solar radiation. One good solar burst can fry out the controls on 10 gazillion radio-controlled space umbrellas. A cycle where we're blocking sun based on long term predictions and then locking ourselves into generating at least the predicted levels of CO2--where a failure of the system is catastrophic, and successful deployment sub-optimal--is not a sane answer.

4. The science behind reduced CO2 generation is about as robust as it gets. The economics agrees. Not all science is counterintuitive. "Insulate more, burn less fuel" is comprehensible to the layman. That doesn't mean it's not good science.

5. "plants that grow well in higher CO2 and lower light" and "plants that we grow commercially"? Those are not really overlapping groups. So far, the big winners are poison ivy and kudzu. Mmmmm, nummy.

Scientists are always glad to take funding to study some technology. When was the last time you heard one of us say, "we realized that this was not really relevant to cancer, and we don't see it leading directly to a cure, so we'd like to give back our funding"? Give a scientist "purpose directed" funding to model or develop something that they think is totally worth studying for its own sake, and they'll study the heck out of it...whether or not it's actually remotely realistic.

"I know, let's do nuclear winter on purpose!" is not an actual strategy. I'm not saying we shouldn't study it--heck, I'm a scientist, and you never know what you might figure out about dinosaur extinction, or what to expect if Yellowstone blows. But if you want value for money, go with the "more insulation / take a bus / ride a bike" answer.