Thursday, July 2, 2009

Consummate Nonsense

According to Climate Depot, a team of "prominent atmospheric scientists" has sent an open letter to Congress in anticipation of Senate debate on the Waxman-Markey "cap and trade" bill.. The letter is so full of what P.G. Wodehouse might have called "frightful horse-radish" that I don't even know where to begin, so I'll just pick a few particularly insane bits.
The sky is not falling; the Earth has been cooling for ten years, without help. The present cooling was NOT predicted by the alarmists' computer models, and has come as an embarrassment to them.
We'll skip over the the decidedly unscientist-like language ("alarmists"?) and simply note that this is, well, wrong. Just flat-out wrong. The earth has not been cooling for ten years:

(Source: NASA)
The finest meteorologists in the world cannot predict the weather two weeks in advance, let alone the climate for the rest of the century. Can Al Gore?
This is an utterly bizarre thing for "prominent atmospheric scientists" to say. Predicting weather and predicting climate have almost nothing in common--what sort of climate scientist would not understand this?

Weather is, for all practical purposes, random; climate is the average of all these events over a very long period of time. It's often the case that averages can be predicted even if the individual events that make them up can't be. For example, I can't predict what the next roll of the dice will be—but I can predict, with considerable accuracy, what the average of ten thousand rolls will be. It's the same way with predicting weather and climate. While we can't predict next week's weather with much accuracy, that doesn't mean that we can't predict average weather over a long timespan.

I also have to ask, what on Earth does Al Gore's ability to predict climate have to do with anything? Is Al Gore a climate scientist? No? Then why would he be able to predict climate? I have a follow-up question: One of the signers of the letter is Laurence I. Gould, Professor of Physics at the University of Hartford. How's he on predicting weather (since they seem to think it's the same thing)? Gore can't predict climate. Gould can't predict weather. So, why is this incompetent Gould a signer?
[C]limate alarmism pays well. Alarmists are rolling in wealth from the billions of dollars floating around for the taking, and being taken. It is always instructive to follow the money.
Indeed. One of the authors of this letter is listed as "Roger W. Cohen, Manager, Strategic Planning and Programs, ExxonMobil Corporation (retired)." Let's follow the money. (You won't find much of it, by the way, in the hands of the tens of thousands of climate scientists around the world who agree with the basic thinking on climate change.)