“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
—Daniel J. Boorstin

What to call a NYT reporter of climate science?

gillis lindzenThe title of Justin Gillis’ recent NYT article is an excellent tip-off of how bad environmental reporting has gotten:

What to Call a Doubter of Climate Change?

Now, as a skeptical PhD climate scientist who has been working and publishing in the climate field for over a quarter century, I can tell you I don’t know of any other skeptics who even “doubt climate change”.

The mere existence of climate change says nothing about causation. The climate system is always changing, and always will change. Most skeptics believe humans have at least some small role in that change, but tend to believe it might well be more natural than SUV-caused.

Snowfall is Increasing in Vermont

vermont snowstormOver at the Vermont Watchdog, Bruce Parker has an article about how the "Vermont Public Interest Research Group says the Green Mountain State faces a future without snow if lawmakers don't pass a carbon tax on gasoline and heating fuel."

Of course, the trend in Vermont is towards more snow, not less.

Since records began in 1906-07, the Burlington climate sub-region -- which dominates the Vermont landscape -- has seen a highly (p<0.001) statistically significant increase in annual snowfall.

Mischief with factoids

cartoonFacts are facts, as any reputable scientist would tell you, and if someone tries to change them, like changing a pair of soiled pants, they risk embarrassing exposure. The global warming hysteria is premised on “facts” showing the earth is warming, but these “facts” have been repeatedly exposed as “factoids,” the playful invented word of novelist Norman Mailer, to describe something that is presented as fact, sounds like it could be a fact, but is actually not a fact. Surely imposing global restrictions on human activity, which would deny prosperity to the poorest among us, must be premised on something better than factoids.

New chief meteorologist explains weather this winter

Weather front IdahoDean Hazen, the new meteorologist-in-chief of the Pocatello Weather Forecast Office, has spent his life analyzing climate patterns in numerous regions across the United States, including Florida, Oklahoma and California.

But he says Southeast Idaho is different than anywhere else.

“Every place has its own forecast challenges,” he said. “But this area is particularly difficult.”

Hazen said this difficulty is due to Idaho’s mountainous terrain and the state’s storm systems that originate in the Pacific Ocean.

Divestment ethics and realities

stockCollege students who support divestment of fossil fuel stocks are passionate about their cause. Just look at their word choices. Though they could never function even one week without hydrocarbon energy, they call fossil-fuel companies “rogue entities,” assert that oil, coal and natural gas interests have the “political process in shackles,” and believe most of the world’s known fossil fuel resources must “stay in the ground” to avoid “catastrophic global warming.” It’s a shortsighted view of energy ethics and corruption.  

Their over-heated hysteria over climate change is fanned by groups like 350.org and college professors who rehash doom-and-gloom forecasts about rising seas, dying species and other cataclysms that they insist can be remedied only by terminating fossil fuel use and investments in fossil fuel companies.

Study: Climate Sceptics Know More About Climate Science Than Believers

cartoonIn my opinion no one … should close the road to free philosophizing about mundane and physical things, as if everything had already been discovered and revealed with certainty. Nor should it be considered rash not to be satisfied with those opinions which have become common. No one should be scorned in physical disputes for not holding to the opinions which happen to please other people best. –-Galileo Galilei’s timeless warning in his famous Letter to Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany (1615)

Are global warming skeptics simply ignorant about climate science? Not so, says a forthcoming paper in the journal Advances in Political Psychology by Yale Professor Dan Kahan. He finds that skeptics score about the same (in fact slightly better) on climate science questions. The study asked 2,000 respondents nine questions about where they thought scientists stand on climate science. On average, skeptics got about 4.5 questions correct, whereas manmade warming believers got about 4 questions right. --Maxim Lott, Fox News, 12 February 2015

Are We Seeing History Repeat Itself?

bomb“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it” is the famed quote of George Santayana, a Spanish philosopher (1863-1952).  I am beginning to think that the world is making its way toward a future that repeats the horrors of the last century’s wars and earlier times when Europeans battled Islam to free Jerusalem, to protect their homelands in Europe, and to eject Muslims from Spain.

In his book, “Jihad in the West: Muslim Conquests from the 7th to the 21st Centuries” historian Paul Fregosi documented the history of Islam and its attacks on European nations, characterizing jihad as “essentially a permanent state of hostility that Islam maintains against the rest of the world.” It is a Muslim sacrament, a duty they must perform.

Europe Moves Closer To Shale Gas Development

fracking2Yesterday, two major events took place, bringing Europe a step closer towards developing a domestic shale gas industry. In the UK the Infrastructure Bill has been given Royal Assent and in Germany the Federal Government held a public hearing on the planned hydraulic fracturing draft law. --Shale Gas Europe, 13 February 2015

U.S. natural gas production is poised to reach a record for a fifth year as shale drillers boost efficiency, driving prices toward a low of more than a decade. Output will rise 3.2 percent in 2015, led by gains at the Marcellus formation, the nation’s biggest shale deposit, according to the Energy Information Administration. Marcellus production will increase 2.8 percent through February after a 21 percent gain in 2014, a year when prices tumbled 32 percent. Producers in Pennsylvania and West Virginia have cut break-even costs by half since 2008, according to Oppenheimer & Co. --Naureen Malik, Bloomberg, 7 February 2015

New paper claims AGW pushed the "Western US toward the driest period in 1,000 years"

droughtA modeling study published in Science Advances claims global warming has pushed the "Western US toward the driest period in 1,000 years" and "the U.S. Southwest and Great Plains will face persistent drought worse than anything seen in times ancient or modern, with the drying conditions "driven primarily" by human-induced global warming."

However, the tree-ring proxy data in the paper shows that at the end of the record in ~2002, soil moisture of the central plains was considerably above the average of the past millennium, and peaked around ~1930, a relatively warm period in the US. The proxy record also shows many periods of drought during the Little Ice Age and that the 20th century was relatively wet period in comparison to the past millennium.

Megadrought Hysteria

A new study is causing shockwaves amongst the climate alarmism community.

According to Slate.com, we are about to enter the "The United States of Megadrought." The article shows the following graphs of historical, current, and projected moisture balances in the Central Plains and Southwest regions (negative numbers indicate dry conditions, with the magnitude indicating the degree of dryness).

chart

Winters in Boston Becoming Drier

winterMuch has been said in recent weeks about how bigger snowstorms in Boston are (supposedly) just what climate models have predicted. “Global warming” is putting more water vapor into the air, leading to more “fuel” for winter storms and more winter precipitation.

While this general trend is seen in climate models for global average conditions (warming leads to more precipitation), what do the models really predict for Boston?

And what has actually been observed in Boston?

Green Subsidy Sharks: EU Wants India To Contribute To $100 Billion UN Climate Fund

cartoonThe European Union Sunday said it expects India and other emerging economies to contribute to the Green Climate Fund after 2020, stating that "geopolitical realities have changed significantly". South Africa, speaking on behalf of G-77 plus China, and supported by BASIC, LMDC and other groups of small nations, warned that "any attempt to re-negotiate, re-write or re-define" the basic principles of the UNFCCC would delay the process of reaching the Paris agreement. --Press Trust of India, 9 February 2015

Climate change negotiations started at Geneva on Sunday, working to draw the rough blueprint for the global Paris agreement, which will be agreed upon by the end of the year. The signs of solidarity over select issues, which had emerged in the developing country block, G77+China, at Lima last year, reverberated at the Geneva venue too. On Monday several of the groups that fall within the umbrella of the G77 demanded that the ‘Loss and Damage’ track of negotiations be treated separately from the talks on the issue of adaptation. At the same time, the European Union (EU) demanded that the preamble of the Paris agreement not have any reference to the existing provisions of the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change or to historical responsibility of the developed countries. --Nitin Sethi, Business Standard, 10 February 2015