Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Waiting for Retractions

Every time there's some unusually cold weather somewhere in the world, we see comments such as, "There was frost in East Spitwad yesterday. This is May. So much for global warming!"

Well, here's today's US forecast high temperature map from AccuWeather:

All that reddish stuff represents temperatures that are way above normal for mid-June. I wonder how many comments we'll see along the lines of, "Wow, they were right after all! Global warming is real!"

(No, these high temps don't prove global warming—just as low temps don't disprove it. It's just interesting that so many latch on to the cold temperatures to deny climate change but remain silent when it gets hot.)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Crack in the Armor

I ran across an op-ed piece by Samuel Thernstrom in today's Washington Post titled "Could We Engineer a Cooler Planet?" A few not-so-random excerpts:
[A] growing number of climate scientists and scholars believe that [legislative efforts to reduce greenhous gas emissions] are likely to be too little, too late to stop warming.
Despite the progress we may see in the coming years, the mathematics and politics of rapid greenhouse gas reductions remain remarkably daunting.
Many climate scientists believe that a significant degree of warming is already "locked in" by past emissions and that greenhouse gas concentrations have already reached potentially dangerous levels. To avoid warming, therefore, global emissions would have to be halted immediately -- and existing emissions would have to be removed from the atmosphere as well. Not a likely prospect.
Warming seems inevitable; the only questions are its timing, distribution and severity. The effects may prove to be modest—but they could be severe or perhaps catastrophic.
The piece then goes on to discuss some geoengineering ideas, but it's what's above that caught my interest. Obviously it accepts global warming as a given; whether or not AGW is "real" isn't even dicussed. What's so interesting about that? Well, look at the information about author Thernstrom at the end of the column:
The writer is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he co-directs a project exploring the policy implications of geoengineering.
The American Enterprise Institute? The same Exxon-funded AEI that reportedly offered cash prizes to scientists to dispute a 2007 IPCC report? The same AEI that said this in a 2006 article?
This [crusade to fight global warming] intimidates the public and would-be dissenters with its unrelenting line that the science of global warming is settled, full stop. (Time swallowed it whole: “The debate is over. Global warming is upon us--with a vengeance. From floods to fires, droughts to storms, the climate is crashing.”) The “consensus” that human activities are playing a role in the earth’s so-far mild warming trend is misrepresented as agreement that we are headed toward catastrophic results that can be prevented only by immediate and drastic action.

In fact, many scientists don’t believe the catastrophe scenarios. But those who dissent from the politicization of climate science face withering ad hominem attacks.
That American Enterprise Institute now accepts global warming as a given? Interesting.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Question That's Never Answered

I've been involved in a whole lot of online discussions of climate change. In every case, a very significant portion of the deniers' posts will be some variant of this:
Global warming is a HOAX. It's the BIGGEST SCAM IN HISTORY. The ONLY reason for it is to line the pockets of Al Bore, George Soros, GE, and their minions. Follow the money, you MORONS.
And in every such discussion, I always ask something like this:
OK, let's assume that everything you said is true: Gore, Soros, and GE are peddling all this fake science just so they get rich. The problem is, what about the scientists? Where's their piece of the pie? Remember, these were the smartest kids in your grade school. They've loved science since they were little. They built weather stations from scratch in their back yards, won the science fair every year, and danced badly (if at all). Then they spent a decade of their lives and a couple hundred grand getting advanced degrees. For what? So that they could practice fake science and write fraudulent research papers for the US scientist's average salary of $70K? Why?
If I get a response at all—which is rare— it's like this:
Funding, duh!!!!!! How do you think these scientists get money for research?
To which I reply:
Funding for fake research? They did all this stuff so that they can get funding to practice fake science for peanuts? What is the point of that? You're saying that these thousands upon thousands of science-loving kids abandoned everything they ever believed in so that they could get funding to do fake science and lie about it for $70K/year? All of them? And they all manage to keep it a secret, too?

I've posted some version of that message probably a dozen times, and I've never had a single response. Not one.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Damned If You Do, Etc.

[This entry on Fox Nation has been moved to the new Fox Nation Watch blog. See ya there!]