Global Warming Stupidity on the Rise

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007 4:53 pm by Neal

Maybe it’s the heat, but the global warming nutters seem close to blowing their remaining sanity fuses. It’s one thing to have faith that Al Gore’s power point presentation should garner him a Nobel prize in paleoclimatology, but to blame the Minneapolis bridge collapse on global warming?

Jeez. If there is a limit to absurdity, the warmers are crashing into it. A few examples should suffice.

“Ex-Clinton Official Ties Minneapolis Bridge Collapse to Global Warming.”

A former member of the Clinton administration, and current Senior Fellow at the virtual Clinton think tank the Center for American Progress, claimed Monday that global warming might have played a factor in the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis last week.

I kid you not.

Writing at Climate Progress, the global warming blog of CAP, Joseph Romm – who served as Acting Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy in 1997 and as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary from 1995 though 1998 – stated in a piece amazingly entitled “Did Climate Change Contribute To The Minneapolis Bridge Collapse?”

Let’s take a closer look at that CAP piece.

Melissa Hortman of the Minnesota House of Representatives “speculated that 90-plus-degree heat Wednesday and the above-normal temperatures of the past two summers may have been a contributing factor,” and said “You wonder if this bridge was built to withstand the massive heat we have had this summer.” Or even if it was built to withstand heat, whether its structural deficiencies undermined the design integrity to a point where heat contributed to the collapse.

Some may object to even asking the question, “Did climate change contribute to the Minneapolis bridge collapse?” My guess is those are the same people who deny that global warming is caused by humans or that it is a serious problem – the same people who inevitably say “we can adapt to whatever climate change there is.”

But, in my experience, those “adapters” are actually not interested in finding out what the impacts of global warming are. The Bush administration has blocked research into the impact of climate change on this country and muzzled climate scientists from discussing key climate impact issues, such as the connection between global warming and the recent increase in intense Atlantic hurricanes – which is obviously a central adaptation issue.

The best part of this entire entry, however, are the comments at the bottom. Here are a few good ones:

Citizen of St. Paul Says:
August 6th, 2007 at 3:31 pm

The Collapse of the 35 W Bridge may be due to Minneapolis’s refusal to complete the Tibetan Sand Mandala Ceremony – and preserving the Mandala, instead of pouring it into the river.

Paul Says:
August 7th, 2007 at 12:12 pm

The bridge collapsed because the sky fell on it.

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

See. It is windy today. The sky is falling!

Also… Emperor Gore is naked.

Bob Says:
August 7th, 2007 at 2:08 pm

Did Global Warming Cause the Collapse.

No, you f’ing morons, it didn’t! Good God – is there anything you WON’T blame of the global warming scam.

Rosie said that airplanes on fire with 1000 degree temps can’t melt steel. She said the fire has never melted steel, and now you say that an increase in temp of 2 degrees caused a bridge to collapse. Are you people that stupid? Have you no ability to think logically about anything?

You global warming lemmings are a joke. Literally. You are a joke.

The global warming lemmings are suckers of the worst prank in history. That’s what happens when people believe politicians “playing” scientists. Note this jab from the last sentence quoted in the CAP post, “the connection between global warming and the recent increase in intense Atlantic hurricanes”.

Keep that quote in mind as you read this article by Paul, “This Week, Global Warming = Hurricanes.”

I hope you have a score card at home. You’ve been told the science was settled and Global Warming causes hurricanes but that was before the 2006 hurricane season was a dud so the global warming hucksters made a new theory that Global Warming reduced hurricanes. [And the 2007 hurricane season isn’t quite meeting predictions either. — Neal]

But either this week’s folks didn’t get the memo or the grant they received was to prove hurricanes where caused by global warming, but whatever the reason, we have another bogus study on our hands…

Here’s the “study:”

Study blames climate change for hurricane rise

By Jim Loney
MIAMI (Reuters) – The number of Atlantic hurricanes in an average season has doubled in the last century due in part to warmer seas and changing wind patterns caused by global warming, according to a study released on Sunday. …

The new study, published online in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, said the increased numbers of tropical storms and hurricanes in the last 100 years is closely related to a 1.3-degree Fahrenheit rise in sea surface temperatures. …

In the new study, … researchers found three periods since 1900 when the average number of Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes increased sharply, and then leveled off and remained steady.

Back to Paul’s post where he eviscerates the above “study.” Let’s start with this graph (click for larger image)

While your eyes might be looking at the blue line, or even the green, that’s not the most important part of this graphic. Look at the top. The top shows what methodology we used to find hurricanes when. Hint: We didn’t have weather satellites in 1900.

Taking the last 10 years off the table, you see quite clearly that the number of storms recorded doubled not from global warming but because of the technology used to find them. A perfect example of this can be found with Hurricane Vince in the infamous 2005 hurricane season. There is zero percent chance that would have been recorded in 1900.

Also, recorded storm intensity increases with better technology. We now try to measure pressures right at the eyewall while they are still over open water. We didn’t even know to do that 30 years ago.

But I know what some of you (cough liberal trolls cough) are thinking, so I won’t stop there.

Now let’s look at the last 50 years. There was a profound spike when we started using aircraft. If you look carefully we’ve been well below those numbers thru the 1960s, 70s, 80s and most of the 90s. Also notice this graphic is smoothed so the 1992 and 2005 hurricane seasons weights it. Let’s look at that…

Tear your eyes off the big bold lines and look at the jaggy lines in the back. You’ll see the 10 year weighted average is skewed by the 1992 and the 2005 seasons. You’ll also notice this graphic DOES NOT yet include the 2006 season which as I linked above was almost non-existent. That would bring the 10 year average (the bold line) back down. [The graph also excludes the 2007 season which, unless things change, will bring it way down. — Neal]

A simple look at the red line shows that we’re barely back to 1950 levels.

An honest look at the graphic reveals that the RECORDED number of hurricanes has indeed doubled in the last 100 years… But not because of global warming, but because we now have the technology to watch every corner of the globe. Correlation does not imply causation but here we don’t even have correlation.

In short, this “study” is completely bogus.

Are you starting to see why global warming cultists respond to criticism by calling names? That is the last resort of those who have no leg to stand on. Global warming is built on a shaky foundation of assumptions, ignorance, bogus statistics, scientific errors, simplistic models, and chicken-little fear. As the foundation erodes, the whole house of cards comes crashing down. And the increasingly-desperate alarmists approach the limits of silliness. For example, consider this “study:”

“Walking to the shops ‘damages planet more than going by car’”

Walking does more than driving to cause global warming, a leading environmentalist has calculated.

Food production is now so energy-intensive that more carbon is emitted providing a person with enough calories to walk to the shops than a car would emit over the same distance. The climate could benefit if people avoided exercise, ate less and became couch potatoes. Provided, of course, they remembered to switch off the TV rather than leaving it on standby.

The sums were done by Chris Goodall, campaigning author of How to Live a Low-Carbon Life, based on the greenhouse gases created by intensive beef production. “Driving a typical UK car for 3 miles [4.8km] adds about 0.9 kg [2lb] of CO2 to the atmosphere,” he said, a calculation based on the Government’s official fuel emission figures. “If you walked instead, it would use about 180 calories. You’d need about 100g of beef to replace those calories, resulting in 3.6kg of emissions, or four times as much as driving.

“The troubling fact is that taking a lot of exercise and then eating a bit more food is not good for the global atmosphere. Eating less and driving to save energy would be better.”

But wait, there’s more! The article also contains these conclusions:

— Traditional nappies are as bad as disposables, a study by the Environment Agency found. While throwaway nappies make up 0.1 per cent of landfill waste, the cloth variety are a waste of energy, clean water and detergent

— Paper bags cause more global warming than plastic. They need much more space to store so require extra energy to transport them from manufacturers to shops

— Diesel trains in rural Britain are more polluting than 4×4 vehicles. Douglas Alexander, when Transport Secretary, said: “If ten or fewer people travel in a Sprinter [train], it would be less environmentally damaging to give them each a Land Rover Freelander and tell them to drive”

— Burning wood for fuel is better for the environment than recycling it, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs discovered

— Organic dairy cows are worse for the climate. They produce less milk so their methane emissions per litre are higher

— Someone who installs a “green” lightbulb undoes a year’s worth of energy-saving by buying two bags of imported veg, as so much carbon is wasted flying the food to Britain

— Trees, regarded as shields against global warming because they absorb carbon, were found by German scientists to be major producers of methane, a much more harmful greenhouse gas

So what’s a good little eco-nutter to do? Oh, the humanity!

Yes, this is all very funny except that so many people are being hoodwinked by this scam that there is a risk that real financial damage will be done by knee-jerk politicians in guilt-plagued Western countries. More troubling is the potential to damage the reputation of Science — the discipline and methodology on which technological progress is built. This latter threat is made real by agenda-driven, pseudo-scientific organizations like the IPCC which abuse science to further a radical, anti-Capitalist agenda. For instance, consider this article in the Financial Times, “The steamrollers of climate science:”

For the rest of us, however, this is a pity – because to put it bluntly the IPCC deserves the administration’s disdain. It is a seriously flawed enterprise and unworthy of the slavish respect accorded to it by most governments and the media. In the decisions which have already been made on climate-change mitigation, to say nothing of future decisions, the stakes are enormous. In guiding these momentous judgments, the flawed IPCC process has been granted, in effect, a monopoly of official wisdom. That needs to change and the IPCC itself must be reformed.

For a fully documented indictment, read the article by David Henderson in the current issue of World Economics. Mr Henderson, a distinguished academic economist and former head of economics at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, has been tangling with the IPCC for some time. Five years ago, he and Ian Castles (a former chief of the Australian Bureau of Statistics) first drew attention to a straightforward error in the way emissions scenarios were being calculated. The projections had used long-range cross-country projections of gross domestic product that were based on exchange rates unadjusted for purchasing power. This mistake yielded projections for individual countries that were in some cases patently absurd. Far from acknowledging the point and correcting the projections, the IPCC treated these eminent former civil servants as uncredentialed troublemakers. Its head, Rajendra Pachauri, issued a prickly statement complaining about the spread of disinformation.

As Mr Henderson’s new article makes clear, the episode was symptomatic of a wider pattern of error (often, in the case of economics, elementary error) and failure to correct it. How can this be possible? The IPCC prides itself on the extent of its network of scientific contributors and on its rigorous peer review. The problem is, although the contributors and peers are impressively numerous, they are drawn from a narrow professional circle. Expertise in economics and statistics is not to the fore; sympathetic clusters of co-authorship and pre-commitment to the urgency of the climate cause, on the other hand, are.

Add to this a sustained reluctance – and sometimes a refusal – to disclose data and methods that would allow results to be replicated. (Disclosure of that sort is common practice these days in leading scholarly journals). As a result, arresting but subsequently discredited findings – such as the notorious “hockey stick” chart showing the 1990s as the northern hemisphere’s hottest decade of the millennium – are left to be challenged by troublesome outsiders.

Underlying it all is a pervasive bias. From the outset the IPCC network was fully invested in the idea that climate change is the most pressing challenge confronting mankind and that urgent action far beyond what is already in prospect will be needed to confront it. In the minds of the panel’s leaders and spokesmen, this conviction justifies public pronouncements that often go beyond the analysis which the IPCC’s own scientists have presented.

One day the global warming swindle will be recognized as the biggest — and most expensive — hoax ever perpetrated on the easily-duped “environmentalists” and their fellow travelers in the mainstream media. Scientific ignorance has a real cost.

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