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Posts Tagged ‘Al Gore’

Revkin: The Gore-a-thon Was Good, Actually It Was Bad

2011/09/15 6 comments

I just posted this comment about the Gore-a-thon at Andy Revkin’s Dot Earth “Seeking Reality on Climate” entry:

Apologies for being even slower than usual Andy but…could you please explain exactly what “usefulness” these soon-to-be-forgotten 24 hours have had?

I can see you criticize the Gore-athon’s polarizing stance, oversimplification, mix-up of science and policy, and finally silence about “fossil fuels”. Unless of course the first few praising paragraphs are there simply to make your life simpler, by making sure nobody can accuse you of Gore-bashing.

Al Gore Suffers A Case Of Inconvenient Translation

2010/03/08 3 comments

Funny episode around the world’s preferred Oscar+Nobel AGWer…

As reported in a blog by Piero Vietti of Italian daily “Il Foglio, Al Gore’s NYT Op-ed about (not) wishing away climate change has been slightly “censored” when translated by Rome-based uberwarmist newspaper “La Repubblica. The problem? Most likely, excessive mysticism on the part of the former VP.

Here’s the original:

Their most consistent theme is to label as “socialist” any proposal to reform exploitive behavior in the marketplace. From the standpoint of governance, what is at stake is our ability to use the rule of law as an instrument of human redemption. After all has been said and so little done, the truth about the climate crisis — inconvenient as ever — must still be faced. The pathway to success is still open, though it tracks the outer boundary of what we are capable of doing.

This is the translation:

Il loro tema costante consiste nell’etichettare come “socialista” qualunque proposta di riformare i comportamenti basati sullo sfruttamento. La strada verso il successo è ancora aperta.

The translation corresponds roughly to the following text:

Their constant theme is to label as “socialist” any proposal to reform exploitive behaviors. The road to success is still open.

Perhaps, to left-leaning Italian readers of La Repubblica all calls for “human redemption” simply resonate too much as Papal exhortations. And some people still claim that AGW doesn’t look like a religion?

Be Good At Christmas – Help Save The AGWer

2009/12/24 15 comments

(Love the WWF)

If the consensus disappears then it will be game over for the AGWer.

Act now. Adopt now. Adopt an AGWer. With your continual support we can do more to help the AGWer in its struggle for survival.

ADOPT your AGWer HERE

Order now

Start giving a regular donation today and you’ll receive your adoption pack within the next couple of weeks. It contains an irresistibly fluffy Al Gore doll, skeptic bag, certificate, photos and a greetings card. We’ll also send you three updates through the year, letting you know how your donations are helping. An AGW Skeptical Adoption would make a great present, so why not give the gift that makes a big difference!

Photos of AGWers

Don’t forget you can also keep track of our group of AGWers, with our special online tracker. You will find all the details of this in your adoption pack.

Last minute gift?

No problem! If you are worried the adoption pack might not arrive in time, you will be able to print or email a gift certificate to give on the day.

A continuous struggle…

Reality is causing the Global Warming consensus to melt and what remains is thinner and more treacherous. AGWers need the consensus to hunt so they are having to travel further and further to reach their prey. As the consensus melts the area is also opened up to proper debate and free discussion and scientific exploration adding independent thinking to the many threats the AGWers already face.

Adult AGWer with two members of the public (AGWers-in-the-making)

Did you know…

…AGWers shelter the public from independent thinking in the safety of their “the debate is over” dens when they go hunting for skeptics. But as the consensus melts, these dens are collapsing – leaving the public vulnerable to skepticism and exposed to extreme discussion conditions.

…experts predict that Global Warming consensus could disappear completely in summer by 2011.

AGWer adoption/gift/present pack

Adopt an AGWer today…

…by adopting an AGWer you can help us save the AGWer and its home from the effects of reality and free discussion.

We must act now to try and save the AGWer from extinction.

COP15: Ed Milliband, Gordon Brown And Some Other “Jokers”

2009/12/21 5 comments

You know something very odd has happened in Copenhagen between Friday and Saturday when Luboš Motl and Plane Stupid’s Joss Garman write more or less the same thing about it. In the meanwhile, RC is silent, Stoat is silent, tamino is silent, Desmogblog has a pathetic “let’s be cheerful” attempt at blaming “politicians”, and Monbiot is entering paranoia territory.

Finally, a consensus has been reached!

100% of the people all over the world agree that 45,000 humans travelled to Denmark and made a lot of fuss for about two weeks, and all we’ve got is a declaration that is not worth a single paragraph of commentary. Give me another UN conference like this and we’ll be back to the League of Nations.

There’s more one should think about and I am sure it will slowly surface in the next few days. One question is who are the losers out of that all, and by that I mean the “jokers” that were presumed to be able to achieve something, proceeded to huff and puff a lot but were then demonstrated able to achieve nothing at all. Among them:

  • Yvo De Boer
  • Rajendra Pachauri and the IPCC
  • Al Gore and (admittedly, in a considerably lesser amount) Jim Hansen
  • Ed Milliband, Gordon Brown and the whole UK government
  • France, Germany and all other EU countries (apart, one suspects, from the Czech Republic)
  • Japan
  • Greenpeace, Avaaz and a list of greenie organizations just too eager to jump on the AGW bandwagon

When push came to shove, the Powers That Be did not care at all about the opinions of those listed above.

I wouldn’t be too harsh with the Maldives, most of the African nations, etc. They do not have much power to do anything at UN level, anyway. Russia has lost a bit, by not being included in the final five signatories, and for the same reason Brazil, India, and (mysteriously) South Africa have gained a little.

But let me say very clearly, as UK taxpayer I find the performance of the Ed Milliband particularly awful, and the absolute unimportance of anything Gordon Brown had to say especially embarrassing. Go, go, Gordon go!!

Please!

ps looks like it’s high time to get US or Chinese citizenship…

Al Gore Reverts To Sore-Loserhood, Resorts To Slander

2009/12/07 8 comments

Is this the best sign catastrophical AGW is beyond the sell-by date? Now we have Al Gore suggesting, in an interview to Italian archwarmist newspaper La Repubblica, that everybody not convinced about global warming being “the biggest threat to our civilization” is on the pay of the “big CO2 polluters.

Particularly risible the list of “global warming facts” (can’t wait to see Tamino, Greenfyre or RealClimate excoriate it):

The climate is changing. Glaciers are melting. Droughts happen more often. Southern Europe is threatened by desertification. And climate refugees are already abandoning the lowlands of Bangladesh, for example, threatened by rising sea levels. The melting of glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica are threatening catastrophic sea level rises. Floods are getting worse. Tropical diseases are moving from the Equatorial regions to Europe and other temperate zones. These are facts

Well, at least the “facts” don’t include hurricanes any longer.

Al Gore vs. The Aristotelian Method – or The Moral Irrationality Of Climate Scaremongering

2009/03/04 13 comments

The following is my translation of a talk given by Prof Luigi Mariani of the Agrometeorological Research Group, Dept. of Crop Science, University of Milan after a public screening of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”, on 23 January in Comano, Italy.

The original text in Italian is available at this link: “Verità, mezze verità e menzogne – Un commento al documentario ‘Una verità scomoda’

Al Gore vs. The Aristotelian Method – or The Moral Irrationality Of Climate Scaremongering
by Luigi Mariani

Overall remarks
As a complete non-expert in the field of documentary movies, my opinion is that Gore is a natural born actor and “An Inconvenient Truth” (AIT, directed by David Guggenheim) such a well-paced work, that it is hard not to feel the involvement.

It places itself half-way between American Graffiti and the classical tale of the romantic hero, seasoned with a moral vision calling at times for a collective sense of responsibility for humankind. It is also full of slogans that sound great. All in all, AIT is a veritable testimony of faith in the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW).

AGW is based on the theory that greenhouse gases are the key factor for climatic variability. In particular, according the AGW the rise in temperatures recorded in the past 150 years (after the end of the Little Ice Age) is caused by human emissions into the atmosphere, especially of carbon dioxide. One of the best known champions for AGW is the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Composed of scientists and government representatives, the IPCC supports a human cause for increased temperatures on the basis both of past climates’ reconstructions and of “forecasts” for up to 100 years in the future, made with mathematical models (Global Circulation Models – GCM). What is less widely known is that the IPCC’s is not the only way to take a look at climate (Mariani, 2008). With those premises, let’s analyze Gore’s documentary according to the three Aristotelian techniques (Wollf, 1995), ie logic, dialectic and rhetoric.

Logic (one may say, science) is the rational process reaching “true” conclusions starting from “true” statements and using demonstrations. Dialectic seeks the “truth” starting from conflicting ideas. Rhetoric is the art of persuading an audience of the “truth” an idea. My personal assessment for AIT is as follows: 10% science, 0% dialectic and 90% rhetoric. In other words, it is a well-polished work of propagandistic fiction.

Of science there is not a lot, because Gore is not a scientist and knows simply too little about Atmospheric Physics (even with Keeling in the background, the absence of any experience in actual scientific research is apparent). The sheer number of contradictions in Gore’s charts vs. words makes that all too evident. The graph showing CO2 concentrations over the last 650,000 years (in red) alongside temperatures (in blue) clearly indicates increased CO2 is an effect of warming and not a cause. Temperatures in Switzerland definitely increase but only from 1989: why would the greenhouse effect of CO2 show up only from that date, one wonders? Is there something else, perhaps, underneath Gore’s neat explanations?

I am really impressed by Gore’s light-mindedness in navigating among contradictory data. If he delivered the same ideas around the world in hundreds of speeches, how on Earth can it be possible that not even one person in the attendance has ever made Gore confront his own contradictions? Had he spent at least part of his precious time reading scientific literature or at least opening himself to a frank and open discussion with anybody aware of the complexities of climate science, I am sure he would have presented things in a different way.

Also note how many times Gore pushes on the ethics button, whilst anybody with a different mind on these topic is basically a person of lowly morals (a “skeptic”, a well-paid mouthpiece for Big Oil, etc). That’s why there is no dialectic at all.

What openness to dialogue could be expected from someone convinced of being the depository of an absolute truth? And what science can be done if there is no space for dialectic, and rhetorics is instead sprinkled away freely throughout AIT, even with the empathetic use of a series of private events (such as the emotional life stories of the son and the sister of Gore, and a retelling of his misadventures during the 2000 election?).

Scientific remarks
With not even an inch of dialectic lightening up AIT’s heavy chains of rhetoric, focusing on the scientific elements of the Gore-Guggenheim documentary becomes more important than ever. In this regard please note that all my comments below are based on data and bibliographical references from the scientific literature to date (January 2009). You may notice how this constrasts with Gore’s assertion that an analysis of over 928 scientific papers in international journals showed exactly 0% of them in disagreement with AGW. It should go without saying that most scientific work concerns limited areas of research. This is the way of science as there has to be a suspension of disbelief in respect of matters that are not covered by the available data. That alone explains why many scientists in their peer-reviewed articles express no actual opinion regarding the whole-planet interdisciplinary topic of research called climate science. And yet their silence is taken as consent.

Still, it is not really that difficult to find peer-reviewed scientific articles critical of AGW, focusing instead on the importance of solar activity (Shaviv, 2005), the role of land use (Pielke et al., 2007) and even the sensitivity of climate to changes in the underlying forcings (Lindzen and Giannitsis, 2002), to mention a few.

Point-by-point rebuttal
Let’s check Gore’s statements against current scientific understanding.

1. The ice cream shown in the cartoon melts not due to global but of urban warming effect (Mariani, 2008). If global temperatures have risen by 0.5C in a century, in a city like Milan they have increased by 2.5C, especially in the minima (at night, during the summer heatwaves, our cities are definitely less comfortable than in the past). So what’d be wrong in fighting urban warming? Is anybody afraid of interfering with “bricks”, since those make up the foundations of our economy?

2. In another animation, greenhouse gases trap the rays of the sun. Now, even if one should not be too picky in adapting science knowledge to the masses, still one should steer clear of anything capable mostly of entrenching further ignorance. The so-called “greenhouse effect” is due to components of atmosphere intercepting longwave radiation emitted from the planetary surface, and partly irradiating it back towards the ground. This is a phenomenon essential for life, contributions to which come from water vapor (55%), clouds (24%) and CO2 (14%) (Mariani, 2008). Considering CO2 alone (Mihre, 1998) and translating its increase in concentration into a rise in temperatures using the Stefan Boltzmann equation, the expected “global warming” will be less than 0.5C between today and the time when CO2 concentration will be double the pre-industrial levels. AGW mathematical models estimate a larger increase on the (unproven) assumption that CO2 increases correspond to great increases in water vapor and decreases in low clouds (and/or increases in high clouds).

3. Gore at one point says that we must get rid of “evil” greenhouse gases. Everybody must be made aware of the fact that CO2 is not a poison, rather it is a major foundation for life itself. Without CO2, there would be no photosynthesis and we would not have much if anything to eat. Vascular plants appeared during the Devonian era, with CO2 levels 20 to 30 times higher than current ones, and yet temperatures were not much different than today’s (Hetherington et al. 2005). And if there was no man at the time to call CO2 as a “cancer on the planet”, could anybody please explain on what grounds Devonian air was the way it was?

4. Gore indicates the melting of the Kilimanjaro glaciers as an unequivocal sign of AGW. However, according to Kaser et al. (2004) ice started declining on the tallest African mountain around 1880, probably because of land use changes (the destruction of forested areas) and a consequent change in available humidity and rainfall patterns.

5. Gore speaks of unprecedented melting of Arctic and Alpine glaciers as a symptom of Global Warming. What should be noted though is that an even more massive melting of Alpine glaciers took place between 7500 and 5500 years ago, during the so-called “postglacial optimum”, and then 1000 years ago, coinciding with the “medieval optimum” (Mariani, 2006). Many current glaciers originated during the “little ice age” period between 1500 and 1850 (Giraudi, 2005).

6. Gore argues that to allow CO2 to increase is deeply immoral. It would be interesting to ask for an opinion on such a claim by a plant of wheat, or a vine.

7. Gore argues that the European heatwave of 2003 is a perfidious effect of AGW and that it is the alarm bell for phenomena increasingly more common in the future. Chase et al (2006) have analyzed the frequency and persistence of major subtropical anticyclonic fronts of the kind that lingered on for much of the the summer in 2003. Their analysis covered 1979-2006 and a latitudinal band between 22° and 80° North. According to their findings similar or greater anomalies than 2003’s happen regularly and there is no significant trend in the annually affected area. What was different in 2003 was the structure of European urban areas, with high-rise buildings of stone and mortar, and very little, often not even properly irrigated green areas (Leroy Ladurie, 2004).

8. Gore mentions Hurricane Katrina as evidence that we are facing an increase in the destructiveness of hurricanes. However, U.S. statistics for 1900-2005 indicate a substantial lack of any trend (Pielke et al., 2008).

9. Gore says that AGW leads to an increase in rainfall and cites as unprecedented example the 930mm that fell upon Mumbai in just 24 hours. This assertion is false as a number of precedents have been recorded for decades (Cati, 1981). Among the highest global pluviometric records during the space of 24 hours: 1168mm in Beguio (Philippines, 14-15 July 1911); 1036mm in Cherrapungi (India, 14 June 1876); 1034mm in Funkiko (Taiwan, 31 August 1911); 975 mm in Thrall (Texas, 9 September 1921); 940 mm in Suva (Fiji, 9 August 1906). In Italy alone: 948 mm in Bolzaneto (Genoa, 7-8 October 1970); 750mm at the Reschenpass (9 October 1936) and 702 mm in Lentini (17 October 1952).

10. Gore talks of unprecedented cases of drowned polar bears. It is just very inconvenient for him to mention that Arctic temperatures reached similar values to present ones in the 1930s, and were higher in at least four occasions since the end of last ice age (Figure 1). If Polar bears survived then, perhaps they are capable of adapting themselves to periods of mild climate

11. Gore fears the spread of tropical diseases like malaria. Would anybody please remind him that in the middle of the “little ice age”, Oliver Cromwell died of malaria in London in 1658, killed by a disease that was endemic in the Thames region (Lamb, 1966). What is keeping Londoners healthy today, temperatures notwithstanding, are health policy measures (Reiter, 2008).

12. Gore talks of an increase in the level of the oceans. In truth, oceans have gone up by 1mm/year between 1900-1951, then decreased by approximately the same yearly amount up to 1980, and are now rising again, still by about 1mm per year (Mornera et al., 2004; Mornera, 2007). That translates in 10 cm in a century, far less than needed for submerging entire regions (such as the Netherlands or Florida, shown in what is a veritable moment of fiction during AIT). Note that even with CO2 levels significantly lower than current ones, abnormally high sea levels happened 125,000 years ago, with up to +6 meters compared to today (IPCC, 2007); 7000 years ago, up to +2 meters (Törnqvist et al., 2004) and 1000 years ago, up to +0.5 meters (Froede, 2002).

13. Gore raises concerns about floods, droughts and storms: computerized GCMs present those scenarios, something in my opinion still all to be proven. However, even taking them as true, don’t they also show temperatures rising more at the Poles than in the tropical regions? And doesn’t that translate into a contraction of the pole-equator thermal gradient, the main trigger of general circulation and energy source for the smaller circulatory structures that make up the weather? One would then expect a reduction in extremes, not an increase.

14. Just to be clear, the father of the theory of continental drift was Alfred Wegener (1880-1930), a meteorologist and a disciple of Koeppen, a great climatologist), not any one of Gore’s classmates. Wegener’s own story (expelled from his University post in Germany as an advocate of a theory considered heresy by most of the “scientific community” in his days) is a clear example of the importance of a free, unimpeded scientific debate for the advancement of knowledge, rather than ever more clumsy attempts at silencing whoever does not follow “scientific consensus”

15. Gore cites Mark Twain “Danger comes not from what we know not, but from what we believe to be true but it is not”. A formidably true sentence if there’s ever been one, and even more so concerning AGW, a field about which there still is so much room for uncertainty, in my opinion. Having read Mark Twain (see for example his story “How the Animals of the Wood Sent Out a Scientific Expedition“) I can imagine how little trust would he put into a “dominant scientific theory” such as AGW.

Last but not least, global warming as such has stopped in 1998 (warmest year ever, with a very strong El Nino phenomenon). Global temperature data similar to 2008’s happened in 1996 (see the satellite MSU data in Figure 2).

Discussion and conclusions
Regarding such a complex system as climate, no serious scientist can claim absolute certainty. Doubt is inevitable, actually functional for the growth of knowledge. Perhaps that is why Guggenheim’s documentary is led by Al Gore, a politician mandated to hide all doubts and trained from an early age into rhetoric as a tool to convince the masses. That is the exact opposite of scientists, trained instead to be wary of any truth and to criticize and verify existing “dominant” theories. Modern science sprung also from the ideas and experiences of Copernicus and Galileo, as recently reiterated by Claude Allègre in a beautiful article published by Le Monde in October 2006 (C. Allègre, 2006). The history of science is like a graveyard of once-popular theories, now outdated, and that more often than not have allowed an increase in the understanding of the world exactly by being proven erroneous.

Let me finish then with the following question: is there an ethical aspect in all of the above? Yes, there is, but not in the sense claimed by Gore and repeatedly reaffirmed by his followers.

When all efforts are concentrated into a single all-pervasive issue, attention is distracted from the real problems, and solution to any of those prevented. Mental energy dissipated in analyzing false concerns is simply not there to confront real ones. As clear an example as any, the attitude after the 2003 European heatwave: having failed to recognize the importance of urban rather than global warming, no measures will be taken to counteract the real cause. For example in Milan (of which Gore is now honorary citizen, by no coincidence (Tiezzi, 2008)), houses are being allowed to rise up by an additional floor, further preventing cooling at night, which means of course that the city will be even more hot in future heatwaves.

AIT offers no science-based evaluation of what issues are really at stake: it is in fact its exact opposite, more likely part of a neo-Apocalyptic mindset that distorts the scale of importance of our issues and is capable of contributing little or nothing to the solution of actual problems currently facing humanity. And it will open up the field to speculators, including (not by chance) the same Big Oil denounced by Gore as guilty of financing the “non-scientists”’ efforts to deny the “Inconvenient Truth”.

Granting the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize together to a politician (Al Gore) and a supposedly scientific organization (the IPCC) has simply reinforced the idea that the IPCC itself and AGW in general are heavily constrained by politics. And for this topic, I refer you to Professor John Christy’s “My Nobel Moment” (2007) article on The Wall Street Journal.

Christy has long worked within the IPCC and his insider’s view is definitely useful to enlighten the issue of AGW.

“…I’m sure the majority (but not all) of my IPCC colleagues cringe when I say this, but I see neither the developing catastrophe nor the smoking gun proving that human activity is to blame for most of the warming we see. Rather, I see a reliance on climate models (useful but never “proof”) and the coincidence that changes in carbon dioxide and global temperatures have loose similarity over time.

There are some of us who remain so humbled by the task of measuring and understanding the extraordinarily complex climate system that we are skeptical of our ability to know what it is doing and why. As we build climate data sets from scratch and look into the guts of the climate system, however, we don’t find the alarmist theory matching observations….

…Mother Nature simply operates at a level of complexity that is, at this point, beyond the mastery of mere mortals (such as scientists) and the tools available to us. As my high-school physics teacher admonished us in those we-shall-conquer-the-world-with-a-slide-rule days, “Begin all of your scientific pronouncements with ‘At our present level of ignorance, we think we know . . .’”
I haven’t seen that type of climate humility lately. Rather I see jump-to-conclusions advocates and, unfortunately, some scientists who see in every weather anomaly the specter of a global-warming apocalypse. Explaining each successive phenomenon as a result of human action gives them comfort and an easy answer…

… California and some Northeastern states have decided to force their residents to buy cars that average 43 miles-per-gallon within the next decade. Even if you applied this law to the entire world, the net effect would reduce projected warming by about 0.05 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, an amount so minuscule as to be undetectable. Global temperatures vary more than that from day to day.

Suppose you are very serious about making a dent in carbon emissions and could replace about 10% of the world’s energy sources with non-CO2-emitting nuclear power by 2020 — roughly equivalent to halving U.S. emissions. Based on IPCC-like projections, the required 1,000 new nuclear power plants would slow the warming by about 0.2176 degrees Fahrenheit per century. It’s a dent.
But what is the economic and human price, and what is it worth given the scientific uncertainty?

My experience as a missionary teacher in Africa opened my eyes to this simple fact: Without access to energy, life is brutal and short. The uncertain impacts of global warming far in the future must be weighed against disasters at our doorsteps today. Bjorn Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus 2004, a cost-benefit analysis of health issues by leading economists (including three Nobelists), calculated that spending on health issues such as micronutrients for children, HIV/AIDS and water purification has benefits 50 to 200 times those of attempting to marginally limit “global warming.”

Given the scientific uncertainty and our relative impotence regarding climate change, the moral imperative here seems clear to me.

Christy’s article’s moral stance is incomparably superior to Gore’s rhetoric-filled documentary. Who in their right mind would ever argue against the necessity of consistently pursuing health policies, water resource management, energy sources’ differentiation, and food security starting from a rational assessment based on available data, instead of Gore’s neo-Apocalyptic grandstanding?

BIBLIOGRAPHY (partly not in English)
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le rechauffement de la terre est suspécte. On ne peut accepter l’idée d’une verité incontestable et officielle. Le Monde,
venerdì 27 ottobre 2006
Alley, R.B. 2000. The Younger Dryas cold interval as viewed from central Greenland, Quaternary Science Reviews
19:213-226
Cati L., 1981. Idrografia e idrologia del Po, Poligrafico dello Stato, Roma, 310 pagine.
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Cuffey, K.M., and G.D. Clow. 1997. Temperature, accumulation and ice sheet elevation in central Greenland through
the last deglacial transition. Journal of Geophysical Research 102(C12):26383-26396.
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Froede, C.R., Jr., 2002, Rhizolith evidence in support of a late Holocene sea-level highstand at least 0.5 m higher than
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higher Apennine massifs (Italy). Quaternary Research 64: 176-184.
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climate change: observations and facts, International Journal of Climatology.
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Mariani L., 2006. Clima ed agricoltura in Europa e nel bacino del Mediterraneo dalla fine dell’ultima glaciazione,
Rivista di storia dell’agricoltura, anno XLVI, n.2, 3-42.
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Figure 1 – Central Greenland temperatures from the end of last ice age to present (Alley, 2000). Four large warm episodes are noticeable: medieval optimum (1), Roman warm period (2), Mycenean warm period (3) and postglacial optimum (4). Last 90 years of data extracted from the GISP2 set by Cuffey and Clow (1997).
Figure 01

Figura 2 – Global temperature measured with the UAH MSU sensors (source: University of Alabama in Huntsville – http://mclean.ch/climate/Tropos_temps.htm)

Figure 02

Double non-AGW Whammy on the International Herald Tribune

2008/12/10 1 comment

Interesting choice in the Dec 10 paper edition of the International Herald Tribune, with an Op-Ed by Jeff Jacoby (“Skepticism on climate change“) and a full-page article by James Kanter titled “EU carbon trading system brings windfalls for some, with little benefit to climate” (this one featured in part on the front page too).

Jacoby’s point is quite simple: “skepticism and inquiry go to the essence of scientific progress“, hence all the calls for skeptical voices to be silenced or singled out for insults or worse remind more of the Spanish Inquisition than of serious attempts at preventing AGW.

(By the way…could anybody – yawn – please tell Al Gore – yawn – that it is logically idiotic to state that “Climate deniers fall into the same camp as people who still don’t believe we landed on the moon“?, because – yawn – the Moon landings belong to the past and climate change belongs to the future? –  thanks!)

Kanter’s article goes at length to explain all that is wrong with the EU carbon emission trading system (“ETS”). No wonder its acceptance was suspiciously easy…:

After heavy lobbying by giant utilities and smokestack industries, who argued their competitiveness could be impaired, the EU all but scrapped the idea of selling permits. It gave them out for free, in such quantities that the market came close to collapsing because of a glut.

But in line with the original strategy, utilities in countries from Spain to Britain to Poland still put a “market value” on their books for the permits and added some of that putative cost to the prices they charged industrial customers for electricity. And they did not stop there. In one particularly contentious case, regulators in Germany accused utilities of charging customers for far more permits than they were entitled to

Rabid AGWers must be very wide-eyed people indeed, if they have allowed to happen under their watch absurdities such as the fact that the

“implementation [of the ETS] has been marked by maneuvers and adjustments to the original framework that have yielded significant cost benefits to many of the continent’s biggest polluting industries”

In other words, the first consequence of “environmental legislation on carbon emissions” has been rewarding the polluters, whole industries that frankly emit much more dangerous stuff than CO2.

Sadly, and paradoxically, little or no lesson has been learned. We are still hearing of “lofty goals”, that will be manipulated of course by the same polluters.

Looks even more lucrative than smuggling drugs, doesn’t it? And it doesn’t land you in jail…

Joe Bastardi: Unbelievable Al Gore

2008/03/31 16 comments

Joe Bastardi, long-range forecast expert at Accuweather.com, responds to Al Gore’s statements on CBS’s 60 Minutes that people skeptical of AGW are “almost like the ones who still believe that the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona and those who believe the world is flat“:

I am absolutely astounded that someone who refuses to publicly debate anyone on this matter and has no training in the field narrated a movie where frames of nuclear explosions were interspersed in a subliminal way in scenes of droughts and flood, among other major gaffes, can say these things and then have them accepted… by anyone.

[…] What gets me most is he goes on unchallenged one-on-one on this. Never in all my years of competition have I seen someone elevated to a level that he is, in any thing, without any face-to-face competition to establish credibility.

[…] anyone that believes he knows absolutely what is going to happen with the climate in the future, well you be the judge as to who is the card carrying member of the flat Earth society, that person, or the skeptic.

The Failure of AGW Advocacy

Are climate skeptics helping prevent AGW policies from being implemented? That may well be true: but the actual situation is much more complex.

In truth, one cannot fault people expressing their opinions, and their dissent from “consensus”, for the fact that their views appear to be listened to by politicians (not sure they truly are), whilst the “consensus” usually results into idle talk or cures that are worse than the illness (see biofuels, or the idiotically expensive Kyoto treaty).

One important point to remember is that much of the Anglo-Saxon world’s brouhaha around climate change is linked directly to the hysteria accompanying a lot of AGW proclamations and actions. Likely due to political naivete, groups of scientists-advocates have joined Greenpeace and the likes in an escalation of hyperboles, with the world depicted almost as turning into cinder by Tuesday, if we don’t all go back to living in caves.

As some AGW scientists said about Al Gore’s movie, those hyperboles are not scientifically right, but are deemed ok to “convey the message”.

Distortion of science for a good cause was and unfortunately still is in fact a tactic devised to break down the BAU inertia (aka the “cost of Doing Something”). The problem is that there are only so many times such inertia can be countered with doom-and-gloom. AGWers have been unlucky enough to show up years if not months after major scares have fizzled out, like Y2K and SARS.

The general population then, and many politicians, have been healthily inoculated against unwarranted exaggerations. That’s why the AGW camp, still using obsolete influencing techniques, have literally painted themselves into a whining-and-crying corner, with few listening to them unless when there is an occasion for swindling public money (see US corn subsidies, and the European cap-and-trade system).

You can just read Dr Pachauri’s incredible declarations about the latest Antarctic huge iceberg, to see what I mean by hyperbole, exaggeration and distortion of science:

“if the huge bodies of ice of western Antarctica and Greenland ice sheets, sitting on land, were to collapse […]”

There is no danger nor forecast nor model that suggests anything of the sort happening for a long long long time even under the direst temperature increases we can imagine. So what is the point of talking about that, rather than more pressing concerns, such as the droughts and floods that do seem to come out of the model runs???

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And so the situation is: in a corner, AGW scientists and advocates kicking and screaming for action. In the rest of the world, lots of people that are turned off any meaningful action…by the kicking and screaming of those AGW scientists and advocates. Little wonder politicians do nothing of any meaning on the topic, apart from when they can spread “pork” and get more votes.

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Every once in a while some analysis appears begging the “environmental” movement to change their ways of communicating what they care about:

But the AGWers are still in the dark ages, as far as advocacy is concerned.

Lately the only novelty is that they appear to have decided to be relentless, as if following the old saying that if you keep repeating a lie, eventually it will be taken as truth. But time is not on their side: year-on-year climate fluctuations are larger than any AGW “signal”, as admitted even by RealClimate.

There is so much we can say, think and care about the world in 2020, let alone 2050, when the models say evidence would be so much stronger. And when the news talk about a catastrophe for the 1,000-th time, the impact on the public will be much much smaller than it was 999 times before.

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Anybody believing in AGW can keep on lamenting the situation…just please, try to understand: the lament is part of the problem. The existence of scientist-dissenters is not.

Just look at France: where a “green package” was discussed, defined and delivered without anybody running around like headless chickens. Believe it or not, I may have even signed that package myself!

Too Much Ice? Who Knows?

2008/03/22 4 comments

Much blogosphere talk about a report by “Svend Erik Hendriksen, a certified weather observer in the Kangerlussuaq Greenland MET Office, who is responsible for all the weather observations at Kangerlussuaq Airport (near to Sisimiut)” according to whom polar bears this year are “very hungry” because of “too much sea ice“.

Since skepticism is not something to turn on and off at will, I have done some research on the topic. Turns out that there is at least one member of a forum that calls himself “S.E. Hendriksen” and claims to be from Kangerlussuaq.

He mentions metereological stuff in at least one post.

Has Mr Hendriksen commented about hungry polar bears in 2008, and too much sea ice? I haven’t found any “original” text so I am simply unable to tell.

One thing for sure, he is not your average AGWer, and publishes curious if somehow jaw-dropping “Roschach-like” analysis of Al Gore’s movie.

Let’s wait a few more days…usually, fake or overblown remarks don’t live that long.

Penn Jillette: Al Gore, the Weather Opportunist

2008/01/16 5 comments

Another short video by Penn on his Crackle “Penn Says” channel: “I want to see an article by Al Gore that says ‘if we have 8 hurricanes next year…or we have zero hurricanes or we have something that means that I was wrong about global warming’. Because if you don’t have something that can disprove what you believe than you are believing in anything…”

Excerpted transcript below is mine:

…article in the New York Times about weather opportunists (1)…everything is caused by Global Warming…whether it is hurricanes, whether it is warmer, whether it is colder, more storms or fewer storms…

The important thing in the article is that there are these “weather opportunists” that are making anything…ice-cap melting, polar bears, they all look like they are caused by the same thing.

But I remember an article…several years ago…on the New York Times, an op-ed thing by Al Gore where Al Gore talked about how hot it was in New York…and how that showed there was global warming…and that’s insane. Even if you believe in global warming (I still scratch my head but it seems everybody does) it wouldn’t be enough that you could notice it in New York City that there would be a hot summmer because you wouldn’t notice that walking down the street.

And it struck me that the New York Times article just wasnt’ enough. because the real question is what weather could come along that would show us we were wrong about global warming. I want to see an article by Al Gore that says “if we have 8 hurricanes next year…or we have zero hurricanes or we have something that means that I was wrong about global warming”

Because if you don’t have something that can disprove what you believe than you are believing in anything…it must be falsifiable, you know, if something causes everything than it causes nothing.

I am not coming out, I am not crazy enough to come out against global warming or even man-made global warming (I just don’t know enough) but man! I wish they would try to convince me, stop exaggerating in order to clarify because all it does is give me less trust, and I also wish they would stop saying that everything is because of global warming because if everything is because of global warming then nothing is

(1) I cannot find any relevant article on “weather opportunists” on the New York Times archive. Perhaps he is referring to the Tierney Labs blog “Are There Any Good Weather Omens?“. Or perhaps the NYT article used a synonym.

Penn Jillette: Bill Gates Cares About Children, Not Global Warming

2008/01/16 2 comments

Penn of Penn&Teller fame wonders on his Crackle channel “Penn Says” why hasn’t Al Gore been able to convince Bill Gates to speak out against global warming. “Bill Gates still thinks that the most important thing to worry about in the world is children starving, AIDS spreading, dissenteria, suffering, of children in developing countries

Excerpted transcript below is mine:

[…] Al Gore didn’t get science classes in college and Bill Gates even if he didn’t finish college took science classes. And Bill Gates knows about numbers, knows about the world. and yet he hasn’t talked about global warming.

Al Gore had his guys go in for a 7-h meeting with Bill Gates with snacks and everything and gave him don’t just the slide show AIT, gave him everything he could.

You know that must have happened (doesn’t Al Gore want to convince Bill Gates) and yet Bill Gates still thinks that the most important thing to worry about in the world is children starving, AIDS spreading, dissenteria, suffering, of children in developing countries. Bill Gates didn’t say anything about Global Warming…[…]

Spiked Online’s Christmas All-Out Attack on AGW

(a) “Al Gore: enviro-tyrant” by Brendan O’Neill (Dec 18)
After Bali: In aspiring to ‘control the destiny of all generations to come’, Gore has unwittingly unveiled his anti-democratic streak

As he flies around the world to tell people that they should fly less, or organises rock-star extravaganzas to tell the masses they should live more meekly, some sceptics have asked: ‘Who the hell does Al Gore think he is?

(b) “Eco-imperialism at the Bali summit?” by James Heartfield (Dec 18) 
After Bali: Are Western powers offsetting their industrial growth by blackmailing poorer countries to foreswear development? One writer thinks so

More than most scientific questions, the state of the environment has been deeply mixed up with international rivalries. In fact, some nations seem to have politicised environmental claims as a weapon in their economic competition. CO2 emissions mirror industrial output. The agreement in Bali to limit CO2 emissions looks to me like an attempt by the Great Powers to regulate industrial competition.

(c) “Hairshirt posturing vs everyday reality” by Robert Lyons (Dec 18)
After Bali: It ended in stalemate because while everyone poses as an opponent of CO2-emitting technologies, the fact is humanity needs them.

‘It was exactly what we wanted, we are indeed very pleased. We will have now two tremendously demanding years, starting right in January.’ So said the European Union’s chief negotiator Humberto Rosa following the outline agreement forged at the UN climate change talks in Bali last weekend. But it seems quite clear that, on the substantive issues under negotiation, everyone simply agreed to disagree.

(d) “Return of the Skeptical Environmentalist” by Tony Gilland (Review, Dec 2007)
In his new book Cool It, Bjørn Lomborg shows how ‘the science’ on global warming – covering everything from polar bear extinction to the disappearance of Greenland – has been distorted and politicised

(e) “Who’s afraid of…Greenland melting?” by Rob Lyons (Dec 13) 
Rob Lyons says we should keep cool about the ongoing scare story of Greenland’s melting ice.

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