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 1 — http://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.