Windsor Star misleads public over global warming

No 399, Posted by fw, January 31, 2012

In an article in today’s Windsor Star, journalist Chris Vander Doelen made a number of misleading claims about global warming. In this post, my rebuttal email, which I submitted directly to Vander Doelen, precedes his flawed piece. I encourage citizen activists to respond similarly to newspaper climate change articles that mislead the public, whether intentionally or as a result of sloppy research.

Re: The sky is not falling by Chris Vander Doelen, Windsor Star, page 3, January 31, 2012

Chris Vander Doelen may be entitled to his own opinion but he’s not entitled to mislead the public by passing off opinion as fact.

Claim: University of East Anglia Climatic Research Office and the UK’s Met Office quietly released a paper last week which says that temperature readings from 30,000 worldwide measuring stations show that global temperatures stopped rising in 1997 and have been dropping since.

Fact: As usual Vander Doelen fails to identify his source. It may well have come from serial disinformer David Rose of the UK’s Daily Mail: “Forget global warming – it’s Cycle 25 we need to worry about (and if NASA scientists are right the Thames will be freezing over again)” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2093264/Forget-global-warming–Cycle-25-need-worry-NASA-scientists-right-Thames-freezing-again.html

Had Vander Doelen bothered to do his homework he would have discovered that the Met Office quickly debunked the Daily Mail’s deliberately misleading report. See Met Office’s response on its website here — http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/met-office-in-the-media-29-january-2012/ Or read physicist Joe Romm’s authoritative account here http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/01/30/414478/daily-mail-warming-human-emissions-dwarf-any-solar-changes/

Claim: Pal Brekke, senior adviser to the Norwegian Space Centre, told the Daily Mail on Sunday. “Ten or 15 years from now we will be able to determine much better whether the warming of the late 20th century really was caused by manmade CO2, or by natural variability.”

Fact: Well, for starters, Vander Doelen is citing the Daily Mail, a notoriously unreliable source for climate science reporting. Moreover, Brekke, who is not a climate scientist, is well known as the defender of “It’s the sun, stupid” as the cause of global warming. For a source several notches in reliability above the Daily Mail, Vander Doelen might have checked out this site: http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm

Claim: Vander Doelen cites Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. “If we don’t see convincing evidence of global warming by 2015, it will start to become clear whether the models are bunk.”

Fact: Lurking behind its title, the Global Warming Policy Foundation is hiding some dirty little secrets that are now under investigation.  Brendan Montague, the co-founder and director of the Request Initiative, asked a British information tribunal judge to reveal the name of the wealthy public figure who gave £50,000 as the seed donor of Global Warming Policy Foundation, which publishes demonstrably false statements about climate science and the IPCC’s research. The grounds for the request — “a pressing need to scrutinize” any links with the oil and coal industry. See the story here — http://requestinitiative.org/2012/01/lord-lawson-should-name-funder-of-climate-sceptic-think-tank-judge-told/

As well, the eminent US climate scientist, James Hansen, has testified in this case. See  Hansen’s Cowards in Our Democracies: Part 1http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2012/20120127_CowardsPart1.pdf

Finally, it’s sad to see a Windsor Star journalist get away with personal smears against respected Canadians Elizabeth May and David Suzuki. How desperate Mr Vander Doelen – and by association, The Windsor Star — must be to stoop so low.

Signed , etc.

Here is a copy of Vander Doelen’s article, The sky is not falling.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is starting to look like one of those absurd cartoon figures who carry signs that read, “The End is Near.”

In the cartoon strips — most notably those of the great Gary Larson — the ongoing joke is that “the end” never comes. But the sign carriers never lose faith in their grim fantasy.

That’s May and her acolytes, global warming believers who never get the joke. And they never seem dispirited by mounting evidence that their scientific priesthood has been making up their climate research to keep the government money flowing.

May was in Windsor on the weekend beating a dead political horse called the Kyoto Accord. According to people who heard her speak at what I call the Saint David Suzuki elementary school, the audience ate up her message as if it had been freshly baked that day.

But then they would have, since the audience was a believer group called the Windsor Essex County Environmental Committee. “Global warming is indisputable,” its co-chair said.

May reassured WECEC that indeed the sky will fall due to a climate damaged by humans. Because of that, the Harper government is wrong to try to pull Canada out of Kyoto, although our attempt to do so is merely a technicality that could be overturned by the end of the year, she claims.

The bulk of May’s message was politically partisan, according to some attendees. WECEC loved it, pronouncing May a charming first guest preacher for their new Green Speaker Series of environmental sermons.

Perhaps none of the people in the room had heard the latest climate news. And maybe it wouldn’t have mattered, given the religious nature of their devotion to the climate faith. But yet more evidence has turned up to support the theory that global temperatures are not rising.

In fact, it appears temperatures are actually going down. So says the now infamous University of East Anglia Climatic Research Office (some of the people who have been massaging the research work there) and the Met Office, the United Kingdom’s weather service and meteorological research agency.

The two bodies quietly released a paper last week which says that temperature readings from 30,000 worldwide measuring stations show that global temperatures stopped rising in 1997 and have been dropping since. In fact, the world could be heading for a mini ice age like the one that froze most of Europe and its rivers in the 1600s.

Why is this happening? The less hidebound scientists say they don’t really know. Some believe it could be linked to sun spot activity, which they believe wreaks far more powerful effect on our climate than we have realized.

Others say the cooling could be linked to the rotating temperature layers of the oceans, which “flip” over every 60 years, producing the El Nino and La Nina effects.

In the past year, world temperatures have dropped by half a degree Centigrade due to La Nina in the Pacific, and is likely to plunge more, last week’s report said. Had that been an increase, May and her fellow sign-carrying enviro-doomists would be in hysterics right now.

“Nature is about to carry out a very interesting experiment,” Pal Brekke, senior adviser to the Norwegian Space Centre, told the Daily Mail on Sunday. “Ten or 15 years from now we will be able to determine much better whether the warming of the late 20th century really was caused by manmade CO2, or by natural variability.”

And for those who inevitably will claim that Brekke is a lone freak, a “denier” who refuses to see the truth because he’s in the pocket of some secret cabal of tarsand owners, there are many more who think the latest data means that global warming, as a theory, is probably deader than Sarah Palin’s presidential hopes.

“We’re now well into the second decade of the pause,” says Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. “If we don’t see convincing evidence of global warming by 2015, it will start to become clear whether the models are bunk. And, if they are, the implications for some scientists could be very serious.”

Not to mention the implications for some politicians. There is now a mountain of evidence that a tightly knit group of scientists and climate change believers around the world have been cooking their own scientific findings to shore up their flawed theories.

It will never matter to this group if the end of the world doesn’t actually arrive due to warmer weather. It’s their belief in the end of the world that matters — that, and their self-righteous prescription of wealth redistribution via the Kyoto Accord as the cure.

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3 thoughts on “Windsor Star misleads public over global warming

  1. Not certain that I still recall material from Grade 10 Science class back in the late 60′s; but,it goes something like this: Take a block of ice the size of a washing machine and leave it in a bedroom to melt off at 12% per day. Take another block of ice the size of a washing machine and leave it in the living room melting off at 16 to 20% per day.
    Now you might very likely observe that the faster the same size of a block of ice melts the more cold air that it gives off. So as the north pole begins to melt faster it is possible that it gives off more cold. The climate change deniers will soon have their day when there is no more north pole and they are still arguing that there is no global warming………

  2. All true. The world is indeed warming, either from 100% human-made C02 or a mix of C02 and natural processes. Nevertheless, I think it’s just difficult to believe that climate change could “end the world” as we know it (see http://tinyurl.com/3cxdouj & http://tinyurl.com/7yezx26). Reasonable estimates for temp. increase are about 3 C, at the high end, by the end of this century, i.e., 90 years from now, which wouldn’t be good but it’s hardly the end of the world. Same with rising sea levels: reasonable predictions suggest a rise by the end of the century that will be more than manageable.

    More to the point, if you’re really worried about the end of the world, it can easily happen, and not in 90 years but in less than 90 minutes. In 30 minutes in fact.

    20 years after the fall of the U.S.S.R. and the end of the cold war, 1000s of multi-megaton thermonuclear weapons remain on high alert. The chances of an accidental small or all out massive nuclear exchange are far from zero and we’ve had several very close calls w/in the last 50 years, the most serious in 1994 when Yeltsin actually had to open his nuclear football to enter launch release codes before they figured out that the missile their early warning radar was tracking was carrying a weather station into space.

    Today, the U.S. & Russia have a combined strategic nuclear force of about 3000 on each side, not counting reserves after a first strike or retaliation. An attack with just two 1-megaton nuclear warheads would unleash explosive power equivalent to that caused by all the bombs used during World War II. Today, there’s over 6000 multi-megaton weapons on high alert, and most of these weapons are at least 1-2 megton, many are in the 5-10 megaton range (designed to obliterate large cities, e.g., NYC, Chicago, etc., and kill 10 million people in quarter of a second).

    http://www.nucleardarkness.org works through the consequences of even a small exchange. Where as climate change predicts, at worst, a 2-3 C rise in global temp. over the coming century, a small nuclear exchange would drop global temps of at least that w/in 24 hours. An out all exchange would drop temps by up to 10 C. Basically, this will be a man made ice-age, and it would only take a few hours to create it, killing 100s of millions in the process and ending both civilization and history w/in the same time frame. Oh, and radioactive fallout would blanket much of the planet.

    Steven Starr, senior scientist with Physicians for Social Responsibility, said research makes clear the environmental consequences of a U.S.-Russian nuclear war: “If these weapons are detonated in the large cities of either of their nations, they will cause such catastrophic damage to the global environment that the Earth will become virtually uninhabitable for most humans and many other complex forms of life.” And it would only take 24 hours to create these conditions.

    Climate change has nothing on accidental or deliberate nuclear war.

    Why haven’t we had an accidental exchange? We’ve been lucky, many times, but if you keep doing something dangerous, sooner or later, your luck runs out. We need to de-alert these massive weapon systems now. We need serious disarmament now. For those of us old enough to remember the cold war days . . . climate change is a problem but hardly the end of the world . . .

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