Climate Change

June 8, 2011
By

This is very, very good…and it has the added advantage of being true…

Steven Hayward, posting at Powerline, answering Hugh Hewitt’s question about how Republican candidates should answer the questions about the pseudo-science of anthropogenic “climate change” on the campaign trail.

This is a long post; better get yourself a cup of coffee. Brother Hugh Hewitt takes note of one of Mitt Romney’s potential tergiversations about climate change last Friday and made a shout out to me for guidance on how GOP candidates should think and talk about the issue on the stump (and suggesting I post the answer here). Hugh got a lot of e-mails attacking Mitt as a RINO for saying that the earth has warmed and that we should be looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I’m with Hugh in thinking people are mistaken about the first part of that criticism, but think Romney blew it in embracing climate orthodoxy of near-term fossil fuel suppression.

Climate change is a complex matter, not easily tackled in the short sound-byte format of modern campaigns and inch-deep political reporters. It is possible both to acknowledge the potential seriousness of the issue while going on the attack at the same time against the badly flawed conventional wisdom. Herewith a primer on the short answers candidates should give, along with supplemental commentary and additional facts. Even these answers are probably too long for the campaign trail, but is necessary for candidates to at least master this much of the outline of the issue, and have the confidence to speak with authority on it.

Question: Do you believe that climate change is taking place?

Answer: “Yes, the earth has clearly warmed since the end of the “Little Ice Age” roughly 200 years ago, by a little less than 1 degree Celsius. I accept the opinion of the large number of scientists who conclude that human activity has helped cause the warming we’ve experienced so far. The question for scientists is how much further warming might occur, and for policy makers the question is what should be done about it. Both scientists and the environmental community have done a poor job on both questions.”

Comment: This last sentence could be put even stronger, such as “The climate science community and environmental advocates have approached this issue disastrously, wasting 20 years and leading the entire world to a dead end on climate policy.” And add as a twist of the knife: “The environment is much too important to be left to environmentalists. They’ll just make an even bigger mess of everything, like they have on climate change.”

Analysis: To be sure, there are problems with the temperature record on which the finding of 0.8 degrees Celsius warming since the early 1800s is based, and as the “Climategate” scandal revealed, many scientists have abused the data or acted in bad faith, undermining their credibility. But too many of the visible signs of a warmer world, such as retreating arctic glaciers, shrinking arctic sea ice mass, and permafrost melting earlier in the spring, are apparent to deny that warming has taken place. This view has been affirmed by no less a certified non-RINO than Sarah Palin.

Can these changes be attributed to natural climatic changes, such as long-wave ocean current and temperature oscillations, solar activity, and the end of a long-wave climate cycle that gave us the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age? Yes, but the research on these potential explanations is incomplete, often purposely so (that is, the mainstream climate science community suppresses or ignores inquiries into these factors), to be sure. Moreover, the warming effect of changes in greenhouse gas concentrations can be demonstrated in a laboratory, though that is just the beginning of the matter. The effect of current and projected levels of greenhouse gases alone is quite modest–a doubling of carbon dioxide would give you about a 1.1 degree rise in temperature. That’s about it. Not much to write home about. Most of the so-called climate “skeptics,” such as Richard Lindzen and Pat Michaels, agree with this much of the so-called “consensus.” All of the action in the catastrophic climate scenarios–the oft-heard projections of a 3 to 5 degree Celsius temperature increase over the next century–is in the “feedback” effects of warming oceans that greatly magnify warming, changing atmospheric moisture levels, melting ice caps, altered cloud and jet stream behavior, changes in land cover (deforestation), etc. All of these projections may have a plausible basis in theory, but for now must be produced by complicated computer models that assume many of the conditions they set out to prove. The empirical basis for the suite of “feedback” effects is woefully inadequate, and many real world observations so far do not match up with many of the climate models.

Read it all here – there’s more climate changey goodness.

29 Responses to Climate Change

  1. Steve on June 8, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    The empirical basis for the suite of “feedback” effects is woefully inadequate, and many real world observations so far do not match up with many of the climate models

    That’s only because Breitbart planned it that way.

    Don’t you know that the evil genius Breitbart is using global warming as yet another snare to trap both liberals and rinos? Mind control beams. I’m telling you, it’s mind control beams so the lefty-cats better stock up on more tin-foil hats.

    Here kitty kitty kitty…
    Here kitty kitty kitty…

    No? Darn :cool:

  2. Aldo Raine on June 8, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Would it be too Nazi-esque to tattoo a big “L” on utaprez’s forehead for chugging Steven Hayward’s Kool-aid?

  3. anonymous un-RINO on June 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    No, no need to worry about Hewitt, as he’s just another RINO, as is Romney, who you may depend Hewitt wants to be the R nominee. Global warming kookery is a non-starter. Romney committed suicide the other day, in advocating for it. I don’t think he was going to win the nomination, but now I’m becoming certain of that.

    Good article from a physicist about the scam:

    http://www.firstthings.com/article/2011/05/the-truth-about-greenhouse-gases

  4. Charles on June 8, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Good article from a physicist…

    Ah, very good, a physicist! Here is the policy statement from the American Physical Society (APS):

    “Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.

    The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

    Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth’s climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.”

  5. Charles on June 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    The American Physical Society has over 40,000 members. About 200 members, including “your” physicist, petitioned the APS to change the above policy statement. The petition was rejected.

    It is stunning that 99.5% of the membership of the American Physical Society supports “global warming kookery” and less than 0.5% understand the truth that it is a scam!

  6. anonymous un-RINO on June 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Hey, whatever works, troll.

    We conservatives just want you lefty kooks to shriek that global warming kookiness at the top of your lungs.

    Is there anyplace where we can donate, to get you to do that? ;-)

  7. unclefred on June 8, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Rather appealing to authority lets ask a couple of very simple questions:
    1) Other than water vapor, what percentage of the atmosphere is made up of greenhouse gasses, and of that what percentage of the greenhouse gases is CO2?

    2) What percentage of atmospheric CO2 is contributed by mankind from all sources?

    The answers to these questions make it clear that mankind is not responsible for global climate change. Look them up.

  8. Charles on June 8, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    From the Weather Channel:

    “At least 25 high temperature records for June 7 were broken Tuesday. Even Minneapolis hit 103 degrees. Now the sweltering conditions are spreading into places like Philadelphia.”

    103 degrees in Minneapolis!

    But you won’t hear about heat on this website, only reports of snow.

  9. Charles on June 8, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Other than water vapor, what percentage of the atmosphere is made up of greenhouse gasses, and of that what percentage of the greenhouse gases is CO2?

    But, you wouldn’t dare ingest that fraction of your weight in cyanide, would you?

    What percentage of atmospheric CO2 is contributed by mankind from all sources?

    Almost a doubling of the amount of CO2. Now, if you won’t ingest the fraction of your weight in cyanide, certainly you won’t ingest double that amount.

  10. anonymous un-RINO on June 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    And it snowed in Hawaii the other day, troll.

    Nice try though.

  11. anonymous un-RINO on June 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    More brilliance. Carbon dioxide is cyanide.

    We’ll donate to get you to shriek that too, troll. ;-)

  12. Steve on June 8, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    The American Physical Society has over 40,000 members!!!

    Typical, whenever liberals are absent solid facts,
    ..they try to get into a "credentials battle"

    I’ll see your scientist and raise you a phd
    I’ll see your phd and raise you a physicist

    Phffft!! :roll:

    Save your credentials battle for the gulli’bulls’ on the left troll

  13. Mad Dog on June 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I suspect that 99.5% of the American Physical Society couldn’t find their assholes with two hands and a road map.

  14. Gary on June 8, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Willard isn’t even getting close to the nomination. He’s doubling down on being a RIno.

  15. ATTILA on June 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    I suspect that 99.5% of the American Physical Society couldn’t find their assholes with two hands and a road map.

    That, and the fact that many of them subsist on federal grants to survive. They won’t rock the boat. Neo luddite whack jobs.

  16. Rex Magnus Trollius on June 8, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Someone who works for the Fossil Fuel mining industry has no, and I mean ZERO, credibility on this issue.

    Slick.

  17. anonymous un-RINO on June 8, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    You’re so right, troll.

    And you should remind everybody in the mainstream of that obvious fact, by getting out in the streets screeching about the dangers of global warming.

    Do it loud. Do it often.

    People must know. You need to get the message out.

    And don’t forget the part about nazi tattooing anybody who doesn’t agree. ;-)

  18. Charles on June 9, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Typical, whenever liberals are absent solid facts,
    ..they try to get into a “credentials battle”

    Actually, no. Whenever a scientist speaks out against global warming then the denialists cite their credentials. Physicist from Princeton, etc.

    But whenever a scientist speaks about the evidence in favor of global warming, then they are smeared as being marxists looking for grant money.

  19. Charles on June 9, 2011 at 6:35 am

    And it snowed in Hawaii the other day

    What day? The other day sounds like last week.

  20. Charles on June 9, 2011 at 6:37 am

    Carbon dioxide is cyanide.

    Uh, no. My point was that small amounts can have big effects. If you don’t think so then try ingesting microgram amounts of LSD.

  21. Mad Dog's mom on June 9, 2011 at 7:42 am

    “I suspect that 99.5% of the American Physical Society couldn’t find their assholes with two hands and a road map.”

    Why don’t you show them, honey? You have never had any problem finding other peoples’ assholes with your hands.

  22. anonymous un-RINO on June 9, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Oh, so carbon dioxide is LSD now, eh troll?

    Go out in public and shriek that, too.

    We’ll be glad to pay your for that shrieking as well. ;-)

  23. Charles on June 9, 2011 at 8:49 am

    carbon dioxide is LSD?

    No.

  24. unclefred on June 9, 2011 at 8:49 am

    I note that NEITHER question was answered. Not surprising.

    Roughly 95% of green house gas is water vapor from the oceans.

    CO2 constitutes about 0.036% of the atmosphere.

    CO2 levels have risen from about 330 to 360 parts per million over this period. Scientists estimate that about 10% of the 30 ppm bump is due to man’s activities. This makes the man caused CO2 contribution to come in at around 1-2% of the total atmospheric CO2

    So 1%-2% of 0.037%. AGW is absurd on it’s face.
    Like I said mankind is not responsible for Global Climate Change.

  25. Charles on June 9, 2011 at 9:28 am

    unclefred, you really should link when you copy and paste. Otherwise it is called plagiarism.

    Roughly 95% of green house gas is water vapor from the oceans.

    Yes, but CO2 and water vapor do not overlap in their absorption spectra. It is that non-overlap that is important.

    CO2 levels have risen from about 330 to 360 parts per million over this period.

    Over what period? It is over 380 ppm now.

    Scientists estimate that about 10% of the 30 ppm bump is due to man’s activities.

    It is more than a 30 ppm bump. And it is the highest that it has been over the last 800,000 years (Tripati et al. Science 326:1394; 2009). Please source your statement that “scientists estimate”.

  26. Charles on June 9, 2011 at 9:35 am

    unclefred, here is a link regarding CO2:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-3.html

    Greater than 100 ppm increase.

    “The increases in global atmospheric CO2 since the industrial revolution are mainly due to CO2 emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels, gas flaring and cement production. ”

    This contrasts with your contention that only 10% is due to man’s activities.

    Here is graph for you:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/faq-2-1-figure-1.html

    Since CO2 and methane have non-overlapping absorbance spectra with water vapor, you can see why CO2 and methane are problem greenhouse gases.

  27. anonymous un-RINO on June 9, 2011 at 9:38 am

    One thing I gotta thank you global warming kooks for, you somehow managed to do we conservatives a favor, and hook that idiot Romney. Thanks!

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