Archive for the ‘climate change’ Category

Sticking your head in the ground is a popular scheme of all science deniers, and for some reason that I’m still unsure of, the basic science of climate change, and a manifestation of that – global warming – has become incredibly politicized over the last few decades. The science really is settled as to the basics of what’s going on. Politicians and deniers will have you believe otherwise.

They often turn to ridiculous conspiracy theories and rants. One of the latest is by Christopher Booker from The Telegraph and parroted by Greg Corombos on World Net Daily: “Climate Guru: Brace for Massive Cover-Up.”

I’m not even going to get into his argument. It’s the same old tired crap, but it pleases people who desperately need confirmation that their conspiracies could possibly be real.

I experienced something similar when I did a massive, thoroughly researched podcast episode into claims of scientific foreknowledge by Billy Meier about Jupiter and Saturn. I showed without a doubt that the information Meier wrote about was known or already shown as very likely to be the case (as in, hypothesized and put out as specific predictions) by scientists before Meier wrote about it. Meier fans picked through it and harped on minutia (like the exact definition of “craters” or “rings”) rather than the overall point in order to disclaim my entire episode and analysis. In other words, complaining that one tree that looks a little sicker than all the healthy trees, and saying therefore the entire forest is dead.

Anyway, Phil Plait has utterly lambasted this latest attempt in his post, “No, Adjusting Temperature Measurements Is Not a Scandal.” In it, he explains what is meant by scientists when we “process” data. And he shows that independent groups have gone through completely different analyses of the data and gotten the same results.

It’s pretty thorough. I recommend just reading that instead of the WND article. Unless you want a headache.

In lieu of a post yesterday, you get a 149-word ranty post today based on WND’s snippet, “Senate to Vote on Whether Climate Change Happening.”

There are so many things wrong with this, but when I put on my science outreach hat, the biggest issue here is that it gives the impression that science is up for vote.

Is 2+2=5? It might be if the Senate votes it is!

That sort of thing seems ridiculous to most people, but this is the exact same thing that this headline implies: If the Senate votes climate change is happening, it is! If they don’t, it isn’t!

Yes, I fully realize that this is an opportunity for everyone to score perceived points for their base, for conservatives to show that they don’t believe it and liberals to show they do. But the idea that they are voting on a scientific idea is just … UGH!!!

Ah, another return from hiatus. This episode, we return to ChristianLove™ wherein we have the story, “Megapastor Launches Multi-Faith Effort on Climate Change.”

Wow. Religion attempting to do something constructive! Not only recognize the state of scientific evidence on something, but actually not be head-strong asses, in that they’re reaching out to someone who may believe something very slightly different from them!

But, does Pastor Joel Hunter get accolades? Praise from his fellow Christians in his attempt to bring together Muslium, Jewish, Catholics, and Protestants?

Of course not, this is World Net Daily. The top-rated comment (23 up-votes) is by “Cadasilva” who wrote, “Another apostate “pastor“ being used by the enemy of souls.”

“gardeninggal1” (15 up-votes) wrote: “If he had any credibility as a pastor and I assume he did then I would consider his credibility gone. He is opening the door for a blending of faiths and he knows better. Looks like this pastor is on the dark side and a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

And rounding out the top three with 14 up-votes, “Snod” wrote: “More proof that many of our churches are working for the other side! Wake up and listen to what that person behind the pulpit is saying. If they are wrong it is your duty to call them on it!”

This episode was brought to you by ChristianLove™, ChristianCompassion™, and ChristianTolerance™.

Some things are just so obviously crazy at WND that I have decided it’s just boring and repetitive to address it. The blood moon stuff, black mob violence, even EMPs … getting old and repetitive, and the middle one I’ve refused to address more here because of it’s ridiculously skewed and racist reporting.

Climate change is another one of those topics. But, they keep publishing about it, and I’ve accumulated a few dozen links in the past two months that I thought I’d quickly do a run-down of:

U.N. Calls Summit on Global Warming” (December 27, 2013) – Jerome Corsi – 215 comments

Reporting On: “The 2014 UN global warming summit is being billed as a prelude to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, Conference in 2015, at which UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon hopes to advance the UN agenda to get a final international agreement signed in Paris to replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol carbon emission reduction agreement dating back to 2008.”

Thesis: Points to isolated incidents of cold weather and therefore an overall warming trend is wrong.

Climate-Change Panel Gets Cold Feet” (January 3, 2014) – news snippet – 32 comments

Reporting On: The projection of 0.4-1.0 °C temperature rise over the next 2 decades has been “quietly” revised down to 0.3-0.7 °C.

My Take: This is science. Revised data, new projections, 0.3-0.7 is well within the 0.4-1.0 original projection. This is like saying, “Look, that’s a bird!” and getting closer and saying, “Look, it’s a crow!”

Frozen Over” (January 6, 2014) – WND poll – 11 comments

Results: 212 voters, only 2 (1%) said that climate change is real. In response to the question, “Do you still believe in global warming?” 88% selected the option “No, I never did. It’s one of the greatest hoaxes every perpetrated.” 5% selected, “No, it’s rife with fraud, and its No. 1 proponent, Al Gore, is insane.”

Bitter Cold Blasts Climate-Change-Fighting Chicago” (January 7, 2014) – Steve Goreham – 0 comments

Reporting On: It was cold in Chicago, therefore the globe isn’t warming.

Atmospheric CO2 Is Mostly to Do with Dirt” (January 12, 2014) – news snippet – 22 comments

Reporting On: Fungi can regulate the amount of carbon in soil.

Commenters: Top-rated “FauxScienceSlayer”‘s comment claims that CO2 is mandatory for life, therefore natural, therefore good, and it has “ZERO ability to store or ‘redirect’ radiant energy.” The rest of his comment is just as crazy and wrong.

‘Fewer and Fewer’ in Senate Buy Global Warming” (January 12, 2014) – Drew Zahn – 236 comments | and | Inhofe: ‘Fewer and Fewer’ Senators Buy ‘Global Warming’” (January 15, 2014) – news snippet – 15 comments

My Take: Why would I ever turn to the US Senate to get a lesson on science?

Climate-Change Disbelief Rises in America” (January 16, 2014) – news snippet – 39 comments

Reporting On: “The number of Americans who believe global warming isn’t happening has risen to 23 percent, up 7 percentage points since April 2013.”

My Take: And 25% don’t know that Earth orbits the Sun, and over 40% think that the Judeo-Christian God directly created humans, many of them 6000 years ago. As with the previous, why would I turn to the American public for a science lesson?

‘Climate Change’: Heads I Win, Tails You Lose” (January 14, 2014) – Molotov Mitchell in video – 4 comments

Some non sequitur on taxing electric vehicles to build roads?

Is a Mini Ice Age on the Way?” (January 17, 2014) – news snippet from The Daily Mail – 59 comments

My Take: It’s from The Daily Mail … ‘nough said.

Blizzard Pummels Northeast” (January 21, 2014) – news snippet – 6 comments

My Take: Remember — weather ≠ climate. Simple as that.

The Thermageddon Cult Strikes Again” (January 21, 2014) – Lord Monckton – 41 comments

I really have no idea what’s going on with this one. It sounds like a petulant child stamping his foot for not getting his way. There are allusions to Galileo, the Borg, and Nazis. If you want to read a weird one, this would be a good read.

Chill Out About Global Warming” (January 21, 2014) – John Stossel – 2 comments

His Thesis: I think this is it … “If serious warming happens, we can adjust, as we’ve adjusted to big changes throughout history. It will be easier to adjust if America is not broke after wasting our resources on trendy gimmicks like windmills.”

‘Big Chill’ Expected to Stay Until 2040” (January 21, 2014) – Greg Corombos – 151 comments

His Thesis: That there’s one guy (Tim Ball) who says it’s going to stay really cold for another 25 years.

My Take: Argument from authority strikes again. Remember that you can always find a scientist to say something. Should you believe that one compared with the thousands that say the opposite? Maybe, but what about you, who has no expertise on the subject? Don’t you think it’s a tad arrogant to think that you are better informed to make a decision on something than the people who have been studying it their entire lives?

Again! Massive Fudging on Global-Warming Temps” (January 27, 2014) – Bob Unruh – 427 comments

Reporting on: “An independent data analyst whose work has been published by Principia Scientific, where scientists deliberate and debate, throwing out predetermined political results in favor of the truth in the data, says the global warming activists are at it again. They’re manipulating the data.”

My Take: See above. And, this is exactly like those people back during President Obama’s second election who claimed that every single poll conducted was wrong, skewed towards Democrats, so Mitt Romney was really going to win in a landslide. These guys are doing exactly the same thing – making ridiculous “corrections” because they perceive a bias – and getting the results they want instead of what’s really going on.

‘The President Just Made That Up’” (January 17, 2014) – news snippet – 39 comments

Reporting On: The top-Senate-climate-change-denier, Jim Inhofe (Republican (duh), Oklahoma) said that President Obama was lying about climate change.

My Take: A Republican denying science and accusing a Democrat President of lying? Must’ve been a slow news day.

Why There Is Global Warming” (February 4, 2014) – Joseph Farah – 58 comments

Thesis: “The socialist left began fishing for new “crises” they could use to reorder societies committed to free enterprise and limited government. In fact, they began manufacturing them. This is why we have global warming today – or, should I say, why we have the fraudulent hysteria about catastrophic, man-made climate change.”

My Take: Not worth even dignifying with a response.

The Rubber-Science Called Climate Change” (February 5, 2014) – Phil Elmore – 16 comments

His Thesis: Liberals are using a manufactured fake crisis to fund unpopular investments in clean energy.

My Take:

Climate Summit Comic by Joel Pett for USA Today

Climate Summit Comic by Joel Pett for USA Today

Scientists Tricked into Believing This Lie” (February 15, 2014) – Greg Corombos – 735 comments

And a columnist on the rightest-of-the-right-wing websites is going to explain why 97% of the world’s climate scientists are wrong. Refer above to my mention of arrogance.

Identified: Major Cause of Climate Change” (February 17, 2014) – Greg Corombos – 680 comments

Reporting On: Again, Tim Ball. Who’s selling his book, The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science.

For my first post in about three weeks, I have just as many WND stories on climate change that I’m going to just compile here, mostly to point out that — yup!! — they still think it’s a fraud and conspiracy and liberal propaganda, etc. etc. etc.

One story is from November 24, 2013: “Democrat: Stadiums at Risk from Sea-Level Rise“. It’s a 2-paragraph excerpt from a CNS News article where Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) “warns sports stadium are at risk from the ‘sea level rise effects of climate change,’ and that climate change specifically threatens hockey and skiing.” I’m not quite sure what I think about that since it seems somewhat minor relative to everything else that climate change threatens, but if that’s the only way to reach people (“Oh noes! Sportses will be ruined!”), then I’m all for it. The story got a meager 3 ratings (3.67/5 stars) but 49 comments. The comments are exactly what we’ve come to expect from WND: Global warming is fake and Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim. Sigh.

Next up is an actual article on the subject, from November 25, 2013, by WND’s own “senior staff reporter and Jerusalem bureau chief,” Aaron Klein: “If You Like Your Climate, You Can Keep It.” Two interesting bits on this one before we even can get to the article. First is the URL, which implies the article was initially titled, “Here’s Brains Behind Climate Change Deception.” Second is the sub-title: “Obama minion strikes again in massive effort to deceive Americans.” President Obama has minions now? Makes him sound almost … diabolical?

The story is about marketing, claiming that it was “progressive pollster Celinda Lake” who “recommended the use of the term ‘climate change’ after her research found many people were not buying into the term ‘global warming.'” The entire rest of the article goes off of this premise. Now, I cannot speak to whether that’s true from a political standpoint. What I do know is that the term “global warming” is accurate, as is “climate change.” “Climate change” is just more accurate. That’s because, just like in the last ice age, the entire globe was not covered in ice. Summer was still warm. It was just that winters were colder, climate overall was colder, and so accumulated snow and ice was more stable and melted less, creeping farther south in the process. Similarly, global warming is the same, but opposite: Not everywhere on Earth will experience a net warming (though those locations will be few and far between), and certainly not all locations will experience the same amount of warming. You will still get cold winters. They will just be less frequent. You will still get ice and snow. It will just stay around less.

Ergo, “climate change” is a more accurate term, overall, for the average person to understand the concept. Surprisingly, Klein’s article does not appear to be widely read with only 17 ratings averaging 4.47/5 stars and an anemic 37 comments. Nothing new in the comments here, either.

The final article is by birther-in-chief, Jermoe R. Corsi, posted on November 29, 2013: “U.N. Milks ‘Warming’ Claim to Spend Half-Trillion-Plus.” Not sure why he put in that last hyphen. The first paragraph states: “Acting on global warming fears, the United Nations and the World Bank urged the spending of $600 to $800 billion a year on “sustainable energy” as an alternative to continued reliance on oil and natural gas.” And that’s the jist of the rest of the story.

Here’s my problem with this mentality, and it’s best summed up in this comic:

Climate Summit Comic by Joel Pett for USA Today

Climate Summit Comic by Joel Pett for USA Today

I have not seen any conservative / climate change = conspiracy person argue against it other than sorta muttering in a corner about “free markets.” This article has garnered 14 ratings (4.38 average) but a relatively large 113 comments. As with the other two, the comments are predictable and not worth going into.

World Net Daily has published several other articles over the last few weeks about global warming / climate change, but I did not open them up to write about — no catchy headlines.

Though, I wrote this post on an airplane and just checked my RSS feeds and Bob Unruh has one up from 3 hours ago: “‘Global Warming’ Iced By ‘Coldest Days Ever.’” It’s an actual full article, and given that, and the catchy headline, in 3 hours it has gotten 13 ratings (4.38/5 stars) and 4 comments. Again, nothing that you wouldn’t expect from WND (including the lovely non sequiturs like, “Marxists hate to lose.” by “Ruler4You”), but worth mentioning given my last paragraph.

In 2006, some researchers were dredging the bottom of the North Atlantic ocean near Iceland. They pulled up a lot of creatures, put ’em in a freezer for later analysis, and did their work. These researchers happened to be climate scientists looking for data on past climate, which can be done by studying ocean sediments and the way that growth rings are created in mollusks like clams. To estimate the age of a mollusk, you count the number of rings since a new one is laid down every year (every growing season) just like tree rings. When the scientists did this a few years ago, they estimated an age of around 400 years, but several of the rings were highly compressed and difficult to distinguish. The latest research puts it at 507 years, making it the world’s oldest known living animal. Until they killed it by opening it to estimate its age (and probably also killing it by putting it in the freezer).

Sad? Sure. The oldest [anything] is kinda neat. And it probably would have went on living for many years to come. Its existence also means there are probably others like it that are just as old, give or take a few decades. When I read this story on a normal news site, the story was the revised age by over 100 years.

When you read this on WND, it’s that these scientists were climate scientists and they killed something: “Climate Scientists Kill World’s Oldest Creature.” In other words, this article is brought to you by a few logical fallacies such as the non sequitur (doesn’t follow, as in two unrelated things) and poisoning the well (naming dirty icky climate scientists so we like them less).

It’s gotten 4 ratings for a 3.25/5 average, and it has garnered only 5 comments. Let’s just list three of them:

  • “Pi10107” wrote: “It has never been about the climate or environment. It is about power and control of people. These people are frauds.”
  • “dan690” wrote: “That sounds like an Obama scientist. Let’s kill this thing to see how old it is.”
  • “Joannepatriot” wrote: “Politicized scientists: groping around in the dark.”

Fascinating. Note that no where did it say whether these particular climate scientists think climate change is real. No where do they talk about “grabbing power.” And determining the age of something after it is dead is a standard practice and technique that has nothing to do with politics.

Ah … World Net Daily.

I feel fairly confident in that title for this particular post. I’m writing it in reaction to Joseph Farah’s normal column, this particular article entitled, “‘Science’ Is Giving Itself a Bad Name.


Let’s review what he’s talking about in this particular case. He’s talking about a story that I saw earlier this week, a new study suggesting that life could survive on Earth for around another 1.75 billion years, then Earth will become uninhabitable. The story was big, oh, last week (Joseph’s a little behind in his ranting, or he saved it for a day he didn’t have something else to rant about).

This is what I personally consider interesting research, and it gets to the whole question of habitability, and if we discover a planet somewhere, what criteria does it need to meet in order to consider it habitable. The number is actually not new — around 7 years ago when I was taking a seminar on habitability, we were reading papers that said around 1.5 billion years (250 million years is NOT a large uncertainty in doing these kinds of models). The modeling is based on the increasing temperature of the sun and Earth’s position in the solar system. Then, how would – how could – Earth respond, as a planet, with all its known feedback mechanisms, to that increase in solar energy.

As I said, an interesting problem, and a very complicated one. The latest research is apparently now putting it at 1.75 to 3.25 billion years (read that as “1 and 3 quarters to 3 and one quarter” as opposed to knowing a value to the three significant figures). Anyway, so that’s the news, that’s the research. After that period of time, based on what we know about various feedback mechanisms, Earth would become too hot to have any liquid (or solid) water and would bake, becoming lifeless.

Now we go to Farah’s article. He seems to be ranting about this research. Except he’s ranting about climate change and “Climategate.” And it has overtones of young-Earth creationism.

In a clear non sequitur, he’s pointing out that this research was done at the University of East Anglia (UK), which is infamous in conservative circles for “Climategate” e-mails that were read out of context by people who don’t know how science works and showed nothing except the ignorance of their readers but persuaded many in the public that scientists were faking data (sorry for the long sentence, I typed it all in one breath).

Besides that, he’s confusing climate change making life a pain in the ass for current human society with the Earth being unable to support life. Again, a non sequitur, or perhaps even a false equivalence.

Not only that, he uses this as a springboard to argue that all of modern science is flawed because, effectively arguing as Ken Ham does, effectively asking the question, “Were you there?” Don’t believe me? Here’s what he says (in part):

How did these researchers at East Anglia University determine the world has at least 1.75 billion years left?

Did they use scientific methodology? Did they consider all the possibilities, including how much longer the sun will continue to shine? Does any scientist or team of scientists have the capability of considering all the possibilities?

I think not.

Furthermore, the particular “scientist” behind this study makes some pretty amazing pronouncements that go well beyond the ability to “observe” and “experiment.”

For instance, he states categorically that life first appeared on Earth nearly 4 billion years ago. Did he see it? Did he observe it? What evidence does he have for that statement? He continues with more sweeping suppositions: “We had insects 400 million years ago, dinosaurs 300 million years ago and flowering plants 130 million years ago. Anatomically modern humans have only been around for the last 200,000 years – so you can see it takes a really long time for intelligent life to develop.”

I know, you hear this kind of thing from “scientists” all the time. But is it really science? Is there any evidence whatsoever to support these statements. If so, I would like to see it. I’ve searched and searched and can’t find any.

Where’s the observation? Where’s the testing of the hypothesis? Where’s the scientific method we’ve been using since the 17th century?

It’s simply not there.

I’m writing this post only a few hours after Farah put it live on WND, so there are very few comments. Though, I’m making it go live two days after I wrote it, because I’m currently in Yellowstone and without any internet. But, I think that this stuff stands on its own without needing WND commenters to make it even more ludicrous.