By Marc Sheppard • American Thinker
It’s hard to believe that we’re just shy of ten years since contents of the so-called “Climategate” folder revealed the fraudulence of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) scare. Yet, somehow, Climate Alarmists continue to behave as though it was all an innocent misunderstanding; that all evidence of lying, cheating, and exaggeration aside, anyone who doubts the self-serving drivel alarmists have been pushing is a “denier.”
And yet it is they, the climate hucksters, who continue to refuse any honest debate on the subject, resorting instead to the same worn out tactics of the pre-Climategate era: false claims of a “consensus” and demonization of dissenting opinions and facts. Those of you who have been paying attention know that you can fertilize your lawn with claims of “consensus.”
At a time when the realists’ science is the sounder by far; when alarmists’ dire warnings of imminent disaster have been exposed as the exaggerated globaloney they are; when energy experts have analyzed and cast serious doubt on alarmists’ renewable energy proposals, how can those taking a rational position possibly be called the “deniers”?
Alarmists Still Refuse to Debate
Chuck Todd opened last year’s final Meet the Press show, which focused its entire hour on climate change, with a pompous, long-winded speech blaming human activity for a disastrously overheating Planet Earth. The NBC News host made news himself by declaring that “climate deniers” aren’t welcome to the discussion because “the science is settled.”
It was an awful show, even by NBC standards – a Sunday news and discussion program that not only deliberately invited only one point of view to the table, but proudly proclaimed as much in its opening statement. As promised, what followed was as one-sided and alarmist-biased a presentation on the subject as you’re likely to see anywhere. And yet, even in the absence of opposition opinion, Todd somehow seemed to lose the debate.
One member of the silenced opposition, Dr. Roy Spencer, principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, was quick to point out Todd’s mistake. Addressing the “settled science” canard from his excellent blog:
The belief in human-caused warming exceeding a level that what would be relatively benign, and maybe even beneficial, is just that – a belief. It is not based upon known, established, and quantified scientific principles. It is based upon the assumption that natural climate change does not exist.
Having attended numerous lectures by Richard Lindzen, the American atmospheric physicist Lord Monckton referred to as “the greatest climatologist of his age,” I couldn’t help hearing his words in my mind’s ear:
Virtually by definition, nothing in science is ‘incontrovertible’ – especially in a primitive and complex field as climate. ‘Incontrovertibility’ belongs to religion where it is referred to as dogma.
And remembering Prof. Robert M. Carter:
As to “the science is settled”; or, there is a “consensus” on the issue. … [S]cience is about facts, experiments and testing hypotheses, not consensus; and science is never “settled.” Indeed, Einstein’s relativity theories are still being tested; e.g.”Lorentz invariance.”
Incidentally – of course no science is ever settled, nor would we want it to be. Suppose computer science had been “settled” back in 1946, when the IBM 603 was developed. Can you imagine cramming all those big, bulky vacuum tubes and relays into a smartphone?
Fortunately, just as are the sciences of semiconductors, sensors, mobile processors, and image capture tools (to name just a few), climate science is in a constant state of flux, as is the climate itself, and neither will likely ever be “settled.”
There’s No Denying the Facts
Not two weeks after NBC’s fiasco, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal hosted a discussion on the “The Green New Deal & the 116th Congress.” League of Conservation Voters senior V.P. Tiernan Sittenfeld faced off against Heartland Institute senior fellow James Taylor. Once again, the conservative offered facts, while the liberal offered invective.
Throughout the segment, Sittenfeld spewed bumper-sticker declarations of a “climate crisis” and “record hurricanes,” at one point misquoting the IPCC with a ridiculously hysterical warning that “we have 12 years to stave off another catastrophe.”
Taylor countered that “global warming doom and gloom” isn’t backed by science, that 2017 ended the longest period in history without a major hurricane strike in the United States and set a record for the smallest percentage of the U.S. not covered by drought. Additionally, the last two years set a record low for the number of tornadoes in this country, while at the same time, we’ve had record increases in global crop production.
Rather than dispute any of Taylor’s facts, Sittenfeld would fly into dismissive tirades, crying, “This is embarrassing” and “horrifying,” calling his views “dangerous and flat-out wrong” and contrary to scientific consensus. At one point, Sittenfeld actually accused the Heartland Institute of “spewing misinformation.”
Taylor challenged her to stop the personal attacks and lecturing and to instead show him why he’s wrong. He calmly challenged her “consensus” fiction with the Global Warming Petition Project (aka the Oregon Petition), signed by 31,487 American scientists (9,029 with Ph.D.s), which states:
There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.
Taylor also mentioned that over the course of humankind (not just the past 100 years), temperatures have in fact seen periods of warmth greater than today.
Sittenfeld’s response to the truth was a wide-eyed look of disbelief and the admonishment that the “notion of denying climate change is so fringe and so marginalized” as to be “beyond the pale.”
Demonizing the Realist and Conflating the Science
Notice how in the ten years since liberal journalist Ellen Goodman introduced the term into the debate, “denier” has all but replaced “skeptic” and “realist” in the public lexicon. Don’t believe me? Just Google “climate denier” and see for yourself.
Its usage has a sinister intent, which is to put a particular stink on the erstwhile “skeptic” – the stink by association of the dimwitted, troglodytic, bigoted Holocaust-denier. This is a stink that instantly shuts down conversation while consigning contrary opinion to the fringe and the loony bin. (See my 2007 piece “Global Warmists Exploit the Holocaust.”)
In reality, no one is “denying” anything. There’s no doubt that climate changes; it has for eons. But crafty warmists have learned to phrase all climate issues in a manner that confuses the conclusion.
This is alarmist SOP; they and their media accomplices build a straw man of global climate change, citing “record temperatures” and “unprecedented disasters,” then demand action against AGW, an entirely different issue. So all remedies proposed address atmospheric CO2, which likely has a minimal impact on global temperatures, if any. Anyone not all in on CO2 as the principal driver of global temperatures:
1. Doesn’t believe the climate is changing and
2. is therefore
3. a denier.
It’s no wonder that Richard Lindzen has included these words in each of the three lectures I’ve attended.
Climate Always Changes
Before we lost him in 2016, I was fortunate enough to know paleoclimatologist Prof. Bob Carter. I remember attending a fabulous lecture where Bob used Greenland ice core data to chart our current geological era, the Holocene. When plotted from its beginning, approximately 12,000 years B.P. (before present) to today, the post-glacial period, naturally, trends warm. However, were we to use 10,000 years B.P. as a start point, it plots essentially flat or slightly cooling.
And, although looking at the past 2,000 years, we see several warming periods (Roman, Medieval), overall, cooling occurred at an even faster rate. Significantly, the last 700 years, which includes the historically colder Little Ice Age (LIA), brought even faster cooling and then warming coming out of the LIA into the Modern Late 20th-Century Warm Period, which was, in Bob’s words, “nothing special,” particularly by paleontological measures.
It seems that over the past 10,000 years, we’ve seen warming and cooling oscillate within a range of +/- 2.5 degrees Celsius (D.C.). The rate today using satellite data (if you’re familiar with Anthony Watts’s other website, you know that nothing else will do) is 1.5 D.C./century, which is right within the Holocene averages.
And other than an abrupt jump during the super-ENSO of 2015 (the pause in the pause), there’s been no statistically significant warming in the 21st century.
The point is, there are no climate change-deniers in the skeptic camp – none. Said Bob:
The late 20th century warming of half a degree, and the current pause or cooling, fall well within the bounds of previous natural temperature change; they are therefore not necessarily alarming, nor necessarily of human causation.
It’s Not CO2
At ICCC4, Lord Monckton pointed out that Hadley data shows three recent periods of rapid warming: 1850-1880, 1915-1945, and 1975-1999. We can rule out CO2 as the cause of the first two periods, as the increases in CO2 concentration during those periods were in any view insufficient to cause the rapid warming.
However, all three periods of warming did correspond with the PDO of the time.
The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is a pattern of Pacific Ocean-atmosphere climate variability, similar to ENSO but exhibiting much longer phases. PDO shifts between warm and cool phases take place every 20 to 30 years, while ENSO cycles generally last only 6 to 18 months. Shifts in the PDO phase impact hurricane activity, droughts and flooding, cloud fluctuations, and global temperature patterns.
Donald J. Easterbrook is emeritus professor of geology at Western Washington University. In 2000, he correctly predicted that the previous warm cycle had ended and that global warming would abate, rather than increase, in the coming decades. He based this on observations that glacier fluctuations match the PDO, which coincides with solar variations and matches global temperature patterns:
Since 1900, each time the PDO was warm, global climate warmed; each time the PDO was cool, global climate cooled. Each of the two PDO warm periods (1915-1945 and 1978-1998) and the three cool periods (1880-1915, 1945-1977, 1999-2014) lasted 25-30 years.
Dr. Spencer, who believes that 75-80% of warming could be due to cloudiness changes due to PDO, agrees:
PDO phasing appears to correspond to periods of cloud cover and thereby warming and cooling. IPCC modelers have ignored natural cloud variations (they assume cloud cover to be constant) which has led to the illusion of Positive Feedback (aka a “sensitive” climate system).
Settled science, my gluteus maximus.
So then, 20th-century warming and cooling patterns do not correspond to man-made atmospheric CO2 concentrations but do correspond to natural solar, ocean, and cloud variations. And yet, the left wants to legislate a “Green New Deal” that would completely rewire the U.S. economy and add tens of trillions of dollars to the national debt in order to reduce atmospheric CO2.
Tell me: exactly who is in denial?