Prosecute the torture.

December 26, 2015

The Anti-Science GOP - Dave Majernik, Allegheny County Republican Committee, Edition

Recently, President Obama had this to say about the GOP:
Keep in mind that, right now, the American Republican Party is the only major party that I can think of in the advanced world that effectively denies climate change.
We can see this at the national level in The Senate, when Senator Inhofe (R-OK) tried to use a newly packed DC snowball as evidence against Climate Change - all during what was then the beginning of the warmest year on record.

Over in the Republican-led House of Representatives the Chair of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is a well known science denier (who incidentally has received more than half a million dollars from the fossil industry over the course of his congressional career, I wonder why.)

And our own Republican representatives in Congress are science deniers - for instance Pat Toomey, who voted against a Senate resolution that said that:
...human activity significantly contributes to climate change. [Emphasis added.]
A statement at odd with the science.  Interestingly, Toomey voted in favor of a resolution that said:
...human activity contributes to climate change.
It's the word "significantly" that evidently tipped Toomey's balance.

Again, as it's at odd with the science, Toomey's a science-denier.  Simple.

But it gets even more local-ier than this.  Gaze upon this letter to the editor penned by Dave Majernik, Vice Chairman of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County.

His first paragraph:
Richard Ankney's letter asserting that “The basic science of climate change is settled” clearly attempts to shut down honest debate ( “Climate crossroads,” Nov. 24 and Many scientists do not believe in man-made climate change.
But 97% of those scientists who are actually experts in the field do.  In fact, according to that study the more expert you are, the more you agree with the science.

Majernik's next paragraph needs to be addressed sentence by sentence, so chock full o'nutty ignorance it is:
Climate change theory is based on computer models without real evidence.
Simply not true.  There's readings from satellites, bouys, land based weather stations and so on.  It looks like Dave is questioning the validity of the computer models themselves.  Again, he's wrong.  The models are tested, in a way, backwards - by something called hindcasting.  A model is constructed and then tested on the known data up to, say, 1980.  If the model accurately "predicts" the 90s and 00s (and scientists can compare the "prediction" with the actual data) then the model is said to be accurate.

And the models used have passed the hindcasting test and are valid.

His next two sentences:
Michael Mann's “hockey stick” graph is held up as “proof” world temperatures are sharply rising. This graph, showing a sudden upswing of temperatures during the Industrial Age, has been discredited even by those who believe in man-made global warming.
Wow, the anti-science crowd is still going after the hockey stick?  Did you know Mann's paper dates back to 1998?  Interesting that Majernick didn't go with the "no warming since 1998" lie.  I wonder why.  Anyway, back to the science:
The "hockey stick" describes a reconstruction of past temperature over the past 1000 to 2000 years using tree-rings, ice cores, coral and other records that act as proxies for temperature (Mann 1999). The reconstruction found that global temperature gradually cooled over the last 1000 years with a sharp upturn in the 20th Century. The principal result from the hockey stick is that global temperatures over the last few decades are the warmest in the last 1000 years.
Has it been recreated?  That is to say have other climate scientsts supported it?  Why, yes:
An independent assessment of Mann's hockey stick was conducted by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (Wahl 2007). They reconstructed temperatures employing a variety of statistical techniques (with and without principal components analysis). Their results found slightly different temperatures in the early 15th Century. However, they confirmed the principal results of the original hockey stick - that the warming trend and temperatures over the last few decades are unprecedented over at least the last 600 years.
But there's also this from the National Research Council.  It's from the North Report, a report requested by Congress.  This is from the Summary:
The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence that includes both additional large-scale surface temperature reconstructions and pronounced changes in a variety of local proxy indicators, such as melting on ice caps and the retreat of glaciers around the world, which in many cases appear to be unprecedented during at least the last 2,000 years.
So Majernik is wrong about the science. Again.

So wrong that we can giggle when Majernik writes:
Climate change is a diabolical scheme concocted by socialists to end capitalism through deceitful moral intimidation because socialism cannot win fairly in the arena of ideas.
Dave Majernik, Vice Chairman of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County, climate science denier and someone perfectly at home in today's anti-science GOP.


bill said...

Most of these GOP science deniers are the same ones quick to point to science when talking about viability of a fetus outside the womb. Selective science denial I guess.

Omega Supreme said...

Please list the scientific advancements based on the FACTS of Evolution, Climate Change and the Big Bang.

Ol' Froth said...

Omega's modern reinterpretation of the relationship between the linguistic construction of the unknown and the idea of indeterminacy is sure to meet with a warm reception.

Omega Supreme said...

Science!!!! from the climate writer Robert Scribbler
Warm Arctic Storm ... Push Temps to 36-72+ Degrees (F) Above Normal at North Pole

temperatures at the North Pole are expected to exceed 1 degree Celsius readings. Such temperatures are in the range of more than 40 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit) above average. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

Ol' Froth said...

Why can't Omega read? Once again, the article (and headline) you linked to doesn't state what you think it does.

Omega Supreme said...

So it is not above freezing at the North Pole?

Ol' Froth said...

SO, you're finally coming to terms with a warming planet, or, as I think, you initially misread what you linked to and now you're backpedaling?