Archive for September, 2009

It’s Even Worse Than We Expected

September 26, 2009

It seems like everywhere I turn, I see the alarmists making claims along these lines.  Given that global surface temperatures have been trending downwards for the last 10 years, one wonders what exactly they were expecting. 

Seems to me this is pretty clearly a ploy designed to create a sense of panic.  Why would the alarmists want to create panic?  Well, besides the usual reasons of getting attention, funding, and prestige, it seems to me they are faced with a problem which is that evidence is starting to mount that their predictions were wrong.

If temperatures continue to trend downwards, then eventually the alarmists will become laughingstocks.

But if the alarmists can create enough panic to get some kind of carbon-limiting treaty passed, then they can claim credit if temperatures continue to trend downwards.  So they will at least have a little fig leaf.

Another Red Flag: Predictions Which are Conveniently Difficult to Falsify

September 19, 2009

Here is a graph which purports to show model predictions for arctic sea ice:

What’s interesting to me about the graph is how convenient it is for climate modelers.  According to the graph, the really dramatic changes will not start taking place for another 20 years or so.  In the short term, i.e. the next 10 or 20 years, it doesn’t matter whether artic sea ice increases modestly, decreases modestly, or stays the same.  In all of these cases, the climate modelers can say that reality is consistent with their models. 

In 10 or 20 years, if and when their predictions don’t pan out, they can claim that their models have improved a lot since then.

This is a red flag that the models are bogus.

Another Simple Question: What Caused the Little Ice Age?

September 13, 2009

By way of background, the “Little Ice Age” was a period a few hundred years ago when global surface temperatures were lower than they were before or afterwards.    You can read more about it here:

On more than one occasion, I have asked warmists “what, in your view, caused the Little Ice Age?” I have never gotten a straight answer to that question.

For me, the question is very easy to answer. (drumroll  . . . . )  I don’t know what caused the Little Ice Age. 

Why is it that warmists are afraid to admit they don’t know what caused the little ice age?  Well, their predictions of catastrophic warming are based on computer simulations.  Those simulations are based in large part on what the simulators understand (or hope they understand) about the various forces which affect the climate. 

So if simulators do not understand what caused the Little Ice Age, it follows that there is likely to be some important force which is either omitted or not accurately represented in their climate simulations.  Obviously this calls into question the results of these simulations. 

Moreover, if we don’t know what caused the Little Ice Age, we cannot rule out the possibility that the same factor (or some change in that factor) is what caused the Earth to warm in the late 20th century. 

So that’s why warmists cannot admit ignorance about the Little Ice Age.  To do so would be to admit substantial uncertainty about their core claims.

Simple Questions; Red Flags

September 12, 2009

Further to my post about “red flags,”  , it occurs to me that there is another indication that CAGW is a hoax.

Specifically, in my experience, the warmists frequently evade or refuse to answer simple questions about their position.  When an advocate refuses to answer simple, fair, tough questions, it’s often because the question exposes some serious flaw in his position which he is trying to obscure from others and even from himself.

For example, I recently asked a warmist blogger a simple yes or no question:

“Was there global warming between 1988 and 1998?  (simple yes or no question).”

The bogger evaded the question and in fact deleted the parenthetical.  Why would anyone evade a simple question like this? 

The reason is that this blogger was on the horns of a dilemma.  He had already claimed that global cooling between 1998 and 2009 was a “myth” in part because the time period involved is only 10 or 11 years.  By the same logic,  it follows that global warming between 1988 and 1998 is a “myth.”  Which is is ridiculous on its face.

Personally, I am not afraid to answer simple questions about my position.  Why should I be?  If it demonstrates a problem with my position, it gives me the chance to discover I am wrong about something and learn more. 

But warmists are in a different boat.  They are invested in their hypothesis — emotionally, financially, or both.  They are afraid of falling into a trap which will expose a weakness in their position.  So they must evade questions.

Warmist Bait and Switch

September 2, 2009

I had thought I was going to use this blog to just to lay out my position on the global warming controversy and not to make additional posts as with a normal blog.  However in recent weeks I have felt a little frustrated by the fact that I have attempted to make reasonable points on pro-CAGW blogs but the people running those blogs have failed to publish my comments.  So I have decided to start posting thoughts here.

This post arises from an exchange I had with a warmist blogger.  This blogger essentially claimed that “global cooling since 1998” was a “myth.”

To me, stating that a claim is a “myth” means you are saying, in essence, that there is essentially no factual basis for the claim.  Is that the case with “global cooling since 1998”?  It does not seem so:

According to the “HadCRUT” data series (which I understand to be one of the leading temperature data series), it does appear that global surface temperatures are generally trending downwards between 1998 and the present.  I pointed this out to the blogger, who responded as follows:

[If you pick a different start year and/or a different temperature series, you might have a different impression. For instance try Gistemp from 1999.

Of course 10 years is way too short to draw any conclusions, especially when a record year is cherrypicked as the starting point. A more compelling analysis would note that long term linear trend are as high or higher compared to the period ending in 1998, or that the 2000s are significantly warmer than the 1990s, on average. In all data sets, including HadCRU.]

It seems to me that this blogger is engaging in bait and switch tactics.  The claim was that global cooling since 1998 is a “myth.”  But this is not the claim that this blogger is defending.  Instead, he is arguing that by some other measures, global surface temperatures have not been trending downwards.  And that any cooling does not invalidate his basic position.

I am happy to discuss these other issues, but first let’s face facts:  Global cooling since 1998 is not a myth.

I debate with warmists a lot, and these sorts of bait and switch tactics are pretty common.

Update:  I edited this post to take out the name of the blog in question.