by John Hinderacker • PowerLine
I suppose it was Earth Day that prompted a mass email on climate from the Democratic Party. What is striking about the Democrats’ fundraising pitch is its mendacity. Here it is, in pieces:
I wrote a long post on the falsity of this claim here: “Was 2014 Really the Warmest Year Ever?” The key point is that “on record” means since 1880, i.e., roughly the end of the Little Ice Age. Satellite data, the only transparent and uncorrupted temperature record, indicates that 2014 was either the third or sixth warmest year since 1979 (when satellite data begin), but the differences are negligible.
More importantly, we are living in a relatively cool era. Ice core data indicate that it is cooler now than it has been around 90% of the time since the end of the last Ice Age:
So 2014 was anything but the warmest year on record. The Democrats continue:
This nonsense has been rebutted so many times that it has gotten tiresome. NO ONE “pretends that climate change isn’t real.” On the contrary, climate realists have pointed out, over and over, that the climate has always changed, and will always change, as long as the Earth exists. The place where I am now typing was buried, very recently in geologic terms, under ice approximately a mile deep. The climate most certainly has changed, and similarly dramatic changes are destined to occur in the future. There is no such thing as “climate change denial.”
The 97% claim is pathetic. It is based on a childishly incompetent paper, as Steve described here. The real question, of course, is what proposition 97% of climate scientists supposedly agree on. If the proposition is that “climate change is real,” as the Democrats put it, the number should be 100%. If the proposition is that human activity is responsible for a catastrophic increase in temperature, it is subscribed to by only a minority of scientists in the relevant fields.
Here the Democrats may have a point. It isn’t enough for Republican politicians to keep saying “I am not a scientist.” They should be prepared to debate the climate issue intelligently, with a reasonable knowledge of the science. The science is all on the realists’ side, so they have a winning argument. Moreover, most Americans have figured out that global warming hysteria, like the global cooling hysteria that more plausibly preceded it, is mostly a scam. Climate change generally ranks dead last among voters’ concerns. So Republicans shouldn’t hunker down on the issue, they should counter-attack. Through their hostility to fossil fuels, the Democrats have terribly damaged our economy for no reason.
Well, no, actually, it isn’t. One of the many problems the Left has with the global warming debate is that if you assume the alarmists’ models are accurate–which they are not, as the experience of the last 20 years has shown–then nothing the U.S. can plausibly do will make any perceptible difference to the Earth’s climate. Dr. Judith Curry testified before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology earlier this month that even if the models are right, and if the United States were to reduce its CO2 emissions by 28%, as proposed by President Obama, the effect would be to “prevent three hundredths of a degree centigrade in warming by 2100.” Three hundredths of a degree. If the alarmists are right. Think about that.
Now we get to the punch line:
I suppose the Democrats will succeed in raising a few million dollars with this misguided appeal. But the extent to which they are willing to lie to raise money from the ignorant is shameful.