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The godfather of global warming lowers the boom on climate change hysteria

From “global warming” to “climate change” to “ecosystem management,” the buzzwords have changed, but the issue remains: enthusiasm and hype are part of the PR machine that drives the public perception of science. When well-meaning activists rely on emotions as a shortcut to get the cooperation of the public, the fabric of civic discourse is weakened. Lovelock positions himself outside the debate. Lovelock is a world-renowned scientist and environmentalist whose Gaia theory — that the Earth operates as a single, living organism — has had a profound impact on the development of global warming theory. […] Having observed that global…

Newspapers Retract ‘Climategate’ Claims, but Damage Still Done

I’ve been blogging about the climate change issue for some time now. Here’s the latest, which responds to the exposure of private e-mails in which a climatologist is accused of acknowledging deliberately tweaking the data in order to make a stronger environmental case. [N]ot only did British investigators clear the East Anglia scientist at the center of it all, Phil Jones, of scientific impropriety and dishonesty in April, an investigation at Penn State cleared PSU climatologist Michael Mann of “falsifying or suppressing data, intending to delete or conceal e-mails and information, and misusing privileged or confidential information” in February. In perhaps the biggest backpedaling,…

The great global warming collapse

It is dangerous to use local weather events (such as a heavy or light winter) to make judgments about global climate. With that caveat, I’m blogging the following because I’ve noted a shift in the online discussion about “global warming,” or the more general “climate change”. This essay does a good job exploring the events driving what seems to be a populist pushback. “The global warming movement as we have known it is dead,” the brilliant analyst Walter Russell Mead says in his blog on The American Interest. It was done in by a combination of bad science and bad…

Global Warming: A Tale of Two Writers

While the Church gets a lot of guff for its skeptical responses to Galileo’s astronomical findings, some Jesuit astronomers not only listened to his ideas but repeated his observations, and some university faculty members flatly refused to look through a telescope. Simplistic representations of scientific issues, with heroes and villains, make good stories, but rarely do justice to the science. Unquestioning media representation of the climate change issue — by journalists who cite environmentalist press releases, or PR writers who’ve sold their souls to the highest bidder — drives me crazy. Here’s a thoughtful essay that usually places climate change…

Climate facts to warm to

The Australian publishes an interesting detail about coverage of climate change: Duffy asked Marohasy: “Is the Earth still warming?” She replied: “No, actually, there has been cooling, if you take 1998 as your point of reference. If you take 2002 as your point of reference, then temperatures have plateaued. This is certainly not whethat you’d expect if carbon dioxide is driving temperature because carbon dioxide levels have been increasing but temperatures have actually been coming down over the last 10 years.” Duffy: “Is this a matter of any controversy?” Marohasy: “Actually, no. The head of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on…

'Sexed-up' numbers should not always be accepted as science

Times Online: In December 2005 a study in the journal Nature offered the observation that the circulation in the North Atlantic Ocean, which sustains the Gulf Stream, had weakened by up to 30 per cent over the previous few decades. This figure and its juxtapositioning alongside the melodrama of films such as The Day after Tomorrow were amplified through the cooperation of scientists and media to result in headlines such as “Alarm over dramatic weakening of Gulf Stream” ( The Guardian, Dec 1, 2005). The urban myth that emerged from this episode was that we were closer to a mini…

The planet's burning. Let's party!

‘One approach to seeing the future is through scenarios — carefully crafted “what if?” stories that let us imagine several different outcomes’, the book says. It suggests holding a ‘scenario party’ (seriously) where you can ‘pool the imaginations and experiences of your friends’. In short: we have no idea what the future will look like, but let’s knock about some shocking ‘what if?’ scenarios over a glass of wine to make ourselves feel simultaneously terrified/terrifically important. It’s the closest you’ll get to a naked admission from the climate change lobby that its warnings of floods and pestilence and swarms of…

Read the sunspots

Solar scientists predict that, by 2020, the sun will be starting into its weakest Schwabe solar cycle of the past two centuries, likely leading to unusually cool conditions on Earth. Beginning to plan for adaptation to such a cool period, one which may continue well beyond one 11-year cycle, as did the Little Ice Age, should be a priority for governments. It is global cooling, not warming, that is the major climate threat to the world, especially Canada. As a country at the northern limit to agriculture in the world, it would take very little cooling to destroy much of…

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Global warming?

The words “global warming” provoke a sharp retort from Colorado State University meteorology professor emeritus William Gray: “It’s a big scam.” And the name of climate researcher Kevin Trenberth elicits a sputtered “opportunist.” At the National Center for Atmospheric Research, where Trenberth works, Gray’s name prompts dismay. “Bill Gray is completely unreasonable,” Trenberth says. “He has a mind block on this.” Only 55 miles separate NCAR’s headquarters, nestled in the Front Range foothills, from CSU in Fort Collins. But when it comes to climate change, the gap is as big as any in the scientific community. —Mark Jaffe —Global warming? (Denver…

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Scientists OK Gore’s movie for accuracy

The former vice president’s movie — replete with the prospect of a flooded New York City, an inundated Florida, more and nastier hurricanes, worsening droughts, retreating glaciers and disappearing ice sheets — mostly got the science right, said all 19 climate scientists who had seen the movie or read the book and answered questions from The Associated Press. The AP contacted more than 100 top climate researchers by e-mail and phone for their opinion. Among those contacted were vocal skeptics of climate change theory. Most scientists had not seen the movie, which is in limited release, or read the book.…

There IS a problem with global warming… it stopped in 1998

Yes, you did read that right. And also, yes, this eight-year period of temperature stasis did coincide with society’s continued power station and SUV-inspired pumping of yet more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In response to these facts, a global warming devotee will chuckle and say “how silly to judge climate change over such a short period”. Yet in the next breath, the same person will assure you that the 28-year-long period of warming which occurred between 1970 and 1998 constitutes a dangerous (and man-made) warming. Tosh. Our devotee will also pass by the curious additional facts that a period…