At the moment, the space climate is undergoing an extremely interesting phase. Now a 100-year period of heightened solar activity is coming to an end. The reason behind the fluctuation in solar activity is not yet known. One hypothesis is that these long solar cycles are caused by the gravity forces of the planets in the solar system. However, the current knowledge does not support this hypothesis. --Juha Merimaa, Helsinki Times, 18 August 2014
Climate-change science is “settled,” say proponents of anthropogenic (human-induced) global warming, or AGW: the earth is getting warmer, and human activities are the reason. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), set up by the United Nations in 1988, has issued five assessment reports since its founding. In its most recent, in 2013, the IPCC stated that it was now “95 to 100 percent certain” that human activities—especially fossil-fuel emissions—are the primary drivers of planetary warming. Frequent news reports—such as the story of the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, a process that some scientists say is irreversible—seemingly confirm these conclusions.
And yet, highly credentialed scientists, including Nobel Prize–winning physicist Ivar Giaever, reject what is often called the “climate consensus.” Giaever resigned from the American Physical Society in protest of the group’s statement that evidence of global warming was “incontrovertible” and that governments needed to move immediately to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. Sixteen distinguished scientists signed a 2012 Wall Street Journal article, in which they argued that taking drastic action to “decarbonize” the world’s economy—an effort that would have major effects on economic growth and quality of life, especially in the developing world—was not justified by observable scientific evidence. And, like Giaever, they objected to the notion of a climate consensus—and to the unscientific shutting down of inquiry and the marginalization of dissenters as “heretics.” Most recently, renowned climate scientist Lennart Bengtsson stepped down from his post at a climate-skeptic think tank after he received hundreds of angry e-mails from scientists. He called the pressure “virtually unbearable.”
Billionaire hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer attempted to explain why there is still a sizable portion of Americans that do not buy in to global warming alarmism by, basically, generalizing virtually all of America as not “super sophisticated.”
Speaking at a climate conference hosted by the American Renewable Energy Institute, Steyer said:
“I think if you were to go around to most of the — what I would think of as super-sophisticated people who think about politics and policy more than five minutes a month — we are doing really well.”
I suspect most readers of my column do not religiously read The Atlantic. I don’t either. But I have people—readers who alert me to news and information I might not see otherwise. Though The Atlantic has gained recent notoriety for the interview with Hilary Clinton, in which she says: “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” there is more to it. With so much focus on the Clinton quote, it would be easy to overlook an article within the September issue: How to Talk About Climate Change So People Will Listen.
While I don’t think the author of the nine-page article, Charles C. Mann, ever really offers the answers the title posits, and is seven pages in before he even attempts to advise the reader on the premise, he does offer some noteworthy insights.
Bitter Arctic winds could plunge parts of Britain into the coldest spell of August weather for almost a century.
Thermometers are set to plummet as a stubborn band of low pressure drags air in from the north - with two weeks of wet, windy and cold weather on the horizon.
There is even a chance of snow and sleet over the mountains of Scotland as it dips to near freezing overnight.
Government figures show the last time it was this cold in August was in 1919 when the mercury rose no higher than 8.9C for four days in Yorkshire and Cumbria.
Hillary Clinton has come under fire this summer for her speaking fees, including some charged for events at universities and colleges where many students put themselves deep in debt to get their education. Clinton and her defenders insist that those fees get paid out by donors, not the schools themselves, and that some of those fees get donated to the Clintons’ charitable foundation rather than into her pocket. Those pockets get a pretty cushy ride back and forth to these events, though, as the contract for her UNLV speech uncovered by the Las Vegas Review-Journal details:
According to a May 31, 2013 email, Clinton’s standard contract usually includes:
■ Round-trip transportation on a chartered private jet “e.g., a Gulfstream 450 or larger jet,” plus round-trip business class travel for two advance staffers who will arrive up to three days in advance.
The climate change debate rages, beginning with physical science and continuing with economic analysis and government policy.
The good news is that the balance of evidence continues to point toward modest warming scenarios, not catastrophic ones, from the human influence on global climate.
This would seem to be good news.
But now, some climate activists are going to extreme measures to attack our energy renaissance, analogizing that opposition to pricing carbon dioxide is akin to benefitting from slavery. “Burning fossil fuels is an ethical problem,” said former EPA official Wes Wilson. “Slavery had a lot of economic benefits, but it had an ethical problem.”
The 96 years of measuring the water levels of the Great Lakes done by the Army Corps of Engineers represents a relative sliver of time compared to the thousands of years prior to 1918 when no one was keeping track of these levels. Nonetheless, in recent years global warming adherents were citing low water levels on the Great Lakes as evidence of global warming.
Now that Great Lakes levels are no longer low, they are seizing on the recent wet weather in southeast Michigan to advance their arguments.
The 4.7 inches of rain that swamped Detroit on Aug. 11 was the second highest daily rainfall for the city since the Army Corps of Engineers started keeping records in 1918. The highest daily rainfall on record for Detroit is 4.74 inches on July 31, 1925.
From the "It's the Sun, stupid" dept. Note the last line that says climate models don't incorporate the sun's influence on the climate, regional or otherwise. From EurekAlert! (bold added):
For the first time, a research team has been able to reconstruct the solar activity at the end of the last ice age, around 20,000-10,000 years ago, by analysing trace elements in ice cores in Greenland and cave formations from China. During the last glacial maximum, Sweden was covered in a thick ice sheet that stretched all the way down to northern Germany and sea levels were more than 100 metres lower than they are today, because the water was frozen in the extensive ice caps. The new study shows that the sun's variation influences the climate in a similar way regardless of whether the climate is extreme, as during the Ice Age, or as it is today.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s abrupt exit from nuclear energy after the Fukushima disaster in Japan and aggressive push into renewables has unnerved German industry. A recent overhaul of the country’s complex renewable energy law has done little to alleviate uncertainty over future policy or assuage fears about German energy competitiveness. “Energy intensive industries in particular have lost confidence in the future of Germany as a business location,” said Thomas Mayer, a former chief economist at Deutsche Bank. --Reuters, 16 August 2014
The Green Party has criticised Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, for cancelling her attendance at the UN Climate Summit on 23 September in New York and accused her of giving preference to lobby interests. "Instead of fighting for global climate protection on the international stage, she rather goes to speak to the lobby group of German industry which is not known to be a haven of climate change activism," said the party's parliamentary deputy Oliver Krischer.--Die Welt, 15 August 2014
The battle over climate-change science is heating up, so to speak, and it has moved to the courts. The defamation lawsuit brought by climatologist Dr. Michael E. Mann — one of the creators of the famed “hockey-stick graph” that shows a recent spike in world temperatures — has now moved to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the equivalent of a state supreme court for the district.
Mann alleges that a blog post by Rand Simberg on the blog of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), and subsequently quoted by Mark Steyn at National Review Online, was libelous. The Cato Institute, joined by the Reason Foundation, the Goldwater Institute, and the Individual Rights Foundation, has filed an amicus brief supporting the defendants, arguing that courts should not be called upon to referee scientific disputes.
Science is a rough-and-tumble sport; underneath its genteel veneer of peer-reviewed articles and conferences, scientists challenge each other’s most basic assumptions and compete for glory with gusto and glee.
It’s been that way since Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz quarreled over who “invented” calculus. Late in his life, Newton explained his part in the controversy by writing to a friend, “I have never grasped at fame among foreign nations, but I am very desirous to preserve my character for honesty.”
Those are the motives claimed by modern scientist Michael Mann, who is suing a think tank, a magazine and some columnists, who he says libeled him by casting doubt on his global warming claims.
But the truth is that Mann and others simply want to silence skeptics.