Jason Hayes

Libertarian thought, policy, religion, the environment, tech, coffee, and Tabasco – the stuff of life
This is my personal blog - the thoughts and ideas expressed here are posted on my own time and are mine and mine alone.



Unbiased journo’s celebrate Paris climate agreement

Never fear gentle reader; the media will always present climate issues, for which they are engaged in an orgiastic frenzied celebration in this video, in an unbiased and dispassionate manner.

In Senate testimony, Sierra Club President refuses to recognize science and fact

This is an amazing set of questions from Sen. Ted Cruz to Sierra Club President Aaron Mair. Mair is clearly out of his depth as he repeatedly has to look over his shoulder to get fed answers by his staff on one of the Sierra Club’s signature issues.

After watching this back and forth between Cruz and Mair, I am struck by the absolute and steadfast refusal of the Sierra Club executive to allow facts and science to even cause them to pause to reconsider, let alone actually move them from their ideological position. As Sen. Cruz stated, actual satellite temperature readings have shown no statistically significant warming over the past 18+ years. However, that reality does not phase Mair; he (via his staff) just keeps going back to the long  ago debunked Cook study that claims a “97% consensus” on so-called climate science.

Despite their clear inability to allow scientific facts to impact their worldview, Mair and his organization are playing a significant role in the establishment of environmental policy for this nation.

Something is clearly wrong with this picture and I – for one – am very glad to see the Senate beginning to provide some oversight in this area.

An errant environmental encyclical

Paul Driesen’s articles and books are always worth checking out. Paul is an excellent writer and researcher. I would encourage readers to check out the links to his work at the bottom of this article. This article is reprinted here, with Paul’s permission.  — Jason

Pope Francis’ prescriptions will perpetuate poverty, disease, premature death in Third World

By: Paul Driessen

Pope_Francis_Korea_Haemi_Castle_19_(cropped - Source: Wikipedia) The Laudato Si encyclical on climate, sustainability and the environment prepared by and for Pope Francis is often eloquent, always passionate but often encumbered by platitudes, many of them erroneous.

“Man has slapped nature in the face,” and “nature never forgives,” the pontiff declares. “Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as in the last 200 years.” It isn’t possible to sustain the present level of consumption in developed countries and wealthier sectors of society. “Each year thousands of species are being lost,” and “if we destroy creation, it will destroy us.”

The pope believes climate change is largely manmade and driven by a capitalist economic system that exploits the poor. Therefore, he says, we must radically reform the global economy, promote sustainable development and wealth redistribution, and ensure “intergenerational solidarity” with the poor, who must be given their “sacred rights” to labor, lodging and land (the Three L’s).

All of this suggests that, for the most part, Pope Francis probably welcomes statements by his new friends in the United Nations and its climate and sustainability alliance.

One top Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change official bluntly says climate policy is no longer about environmental protection; instead, the next climate summit will negotiate “the distribution of the world’s resources.” UN climate chief Christiana Figueres goes even further. UN bureaucrats, she says, are undertaking “probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the global economic development model.” [emphasis added]

However, statements by other prominent prophets of planetary demise hopefully give the pope pause.

Obama science advisor John Holdren and Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich, in their Human Ecology book: “We need to de-develop the United States” and other developed countries, “to bring our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation.” We will then address the “ecologically feasible development of the underdeveloped countries.” [emphasis added]

Ehrlich again: “Giving society cheap energy is like giving an idiot child a machine gun.” And most outrageous: The “instant death control” provided by DDT was “responsible for the drastic lowering of death rates” in poor countries; so they need to have a “death rate solution” imposed on them.

Radical environmentalism’s death campaigns do not stop with opposing DDT even as a powerful insect repellant to prevent malaria. They view humans (other than themselves) as consumers, polluters and “a plague upon the Earth” – never as creators, innovators or protectors. They oppose modern fertilizers and biotech foods that feed more people from less land, using less water. And of course they are viscerally against all forms and uses of hydrocarbon energy, which yields far more energy per acre than alternatives.

Reflect on all of this a moment. Unelected, unaccountable UN bureaucrats have given themselves the authority to upend the world economic order and redistribute its wealth and resources – with no evidence that any alternative they might have in mind will bring anything but worse poverty, inequality and death.

Moreover, beyond the dishonest, arrogant and callous attitudes reflected in these outrageous statements, there are countless basic realities that the encyclical and alarmist allies sweep under the rug.

We are trying today to feed, clothe, and provide electricity, jobs, homes, and better health and living standards to six billion more people than lived on our planet 200 years ago. Back then, reliance on human and animal muscle, wood and dung fires, windmills and water wheels, and primitive, backbreaking, dawn-to-dusk farming methods made life nasty, brutish and short for the vast majority of humans.

As a fascinating short video by Swedish physician and statistician Hans Rosling illustrates, human life expectancy and societal wealth has surged dramatically over these past 200 years. None of this would have been possible without the capitalism, scientific method and hydrocarbon energy that radical, shortsighted activists in the UN, EPA, Big Green, Inc. and Vatican now want to put in history’s dustbin.

Over the past three decades, fossil fuels – mostly coal – helped 1.3 billion people get electricity and escape debilitating, often lethal energy and economic poverty. However, 1.3 billion still do not have electricity. In India alone, more people than live in the USA still lack electricity; in Sub-Saharan Africa, 730 million (equal to Europe) still cook and heat with wood, charcoal and animal dung.

Hundreds of millions get horribly sick and 4-6 million die every year from lung and intestinal diseases, due to breathing smoke from open fires and not having clean water, refrigeration and unspoiled food.

Providing energy, food, homes and the Three L’s to middle class and impoverished families cannot happen without nuclear and hydrocarbon energy and numerous raw materials. Thankfully, we still have these resources in abundance, because “our ultimate resource” (our creative intellect) has enabled us to use “fracking” and other technologies to put Earth’s resources to productive use serving humanity.

Little solar panels on huts, subsistence and organic farming, and bird-and-bat-butchering wind turbines have serious cost, reliability and sustainability problems of their own. If Pope Francis truly wants to help the poor, he cannot rely on these “alternatives” or on UN and Big Green ruling elite wannabes. Who are they to decide what is “ecologically feasible,” what living standards people will be “permitted” to enjoy, or how the world should “more fairly” share greater scarcity, poverty and energy deprivation?

We are all obligated to help protect our planet and its people – from real problems, not imaginary ones. Outside the computer modelers’ windows, in The Real World, we are not running out of energy and raw materials. (We’re just not allowed to develop and use them.) The only species going extinct have been birds on islands where humans introduced new predators – and raptors that have been wiped out by giant wind turbines across habitats in California and other locations. Nor are we encountering climate chaos.

No category 3-5 hurricane has struck the USA in a record 9-3/4 years. (Is that blessing due to CO2 and capitalism?) There has been no warming in 19 years, because the sun has gone quiet again. We have not been battered by droughts more frequent or extreme than what humanity experienced many times over the millennia, including those that afflicted biblical Egypt, the Mayas and Anasazi, and Dust Bowl America.

The scientific method brought centuries of planetary and human progress. It requires that we propose and test hypotheses that explain how nature works. If experimental evidence supports a hypothesis, we have a new rule that can guide further health and scientific advances. If the evidence contradicts the hypothesis, we must devise a new premise – or give up on further progress.

But with climate change, a politicized method has gained supremacy. Based on ideology, it ignores real-world evidence and fiercely defends its assumptions and proclamations. Laudato Si places the Catholic Church at risk of surrendering its role as a champion of science and human progress, and returning to the ignominious persecution of Galileo.

Nor does resort to sustainable development provide guidance. Sustainability is largely interchangeable with “dangerous manmade climate change” as a rallying cry for anti-hydrocarbon, wealth redistribution and economic transformation policies. It means whatever particular interests want it to mean and has become yet one more intolerant ideology in college and government circles.

Climate change and sustainability are critical moral issues. Denying people access to abundant, reliable, affordable hydrocarbon energy is not just wrong. It is immoral – and lethal.

It is an unconscionable crime against humanity to implement policies that pretend to protect the world’s energy-deprived masses from hypothetical manmade climate and other dangers decades from now – by perpetuating poverty, malnutrition and disease that kill millions of them tomorrow.


Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death, and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: Saving the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine.

Climate changing in style

Amusing to see the hypocrisy of the ‘elite’ climate change crowd. They preach on the coming apocalypse, threaten those who disagree, and demand that the peons eschew any form of CO2-emitting activity – like driving to work, or heating their home. However, the climate change crusaders feel quite justified in continuing with their profligate waste and extravagant lifestyles. Some of them even tweet about it to show off to their friends and followers.

Musician Will.I.Am has been criticised for arriving at a climate change debate in a private helicopter, producing the same amount of CO2 most people do in a month.

The Voice judge had been meeting climate change experts at Oxford University as part of a guest speaking role.

Despite his environmentally-conscious stance on green issues, the Black Eyed Peas rapper, 37, chose to take a private helicopter to the venue.

It is understood the journey, which is a 286 mile round-trip from London, used 71.5 gallons of fuel and released three-quarters of a ton of CO2 into the atmosphere.

He even tweeted pictures of the so-called “hip.hop.copter” for fans to admire, after landing at the Oxford’s University Parks.

So it is apparently OK to spend huge amounts of money and release huge amounts of CO2 if – and only if – you’re a climate change activist who is flying to a climate change conference. The rest of us would just be hastening the coming climate apocalypse.

U.K. Govt forced to pull climate ads

The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change was spanked by the Advertising Standards Agency for “going beyond mainstream scientific consensus” in a few of their recent global warming adverts.

Anyone else would call it fear mongering.

AGW high priest admits “science” can be perverted for profit

The Telegraph has an amusing editorial on the how “the high priest of the AGW cult,” George Monbiot, “is feeling frustrated and depressed.”

In a Guardian editorial Monbiot is laments the discovery of a massive academic and scientific fraud perpetrated by several of the world’s eminent climate scientists. Of course he refers to this revelation as an “attack on climate scientists.” He continues by claiming that this horrid “attack” is “now widening to an all-out war on science.”

Laughable of course, and that hilarity is quickly pointed out by the editorial author, Gerald Warner who states that Monbiot shouldn’t get too far ahead of himself as the “war” is only being waged against “bogus science.”

But as Monbiot attempts to argue, no one but he and his similarly endowed high priests have a prayer of understanding their advanced thoughts and theories on climate. Furthermore, the merciless “monopolies” led by publishers and editors of scientific journals make it impossible for the public to access the ‘science’ that he and his cohorts are producing (would those be the same journals in which Phil Jones, Mike Mann, and the other CRU & IPCC-linked “scientists” conspired to control the content, or to shut out when they found they couldn’t? Just asking …) Even worse, he then goes on to detail how popular culture makes all scientists into “sinister schemers.”

So, after reading Monbiot, you begin to understand that its the public’s stupidity, the greed of publishing companies, and that eevilll Hollywood (except when they’re awarding Al Gore his Oscar or Academy Award) that makes it impossible for poor, misunderstood, and under-appreciated climate scientists to get their clear vision of truth, justice, and climate purity out to the masses.

It has nothing to do with the East Anglia fraud, Climategate, Glaciergate, the misreported NASA data, or any of the other frauds perpetrated in the name of climate change. It’s just that we’re too dumb and to easily controlled by publishers and the media.

Monbiot’s hand-wringing and whinging might be easier to endure if he weren’t so completely arrogant about his massive intelligence as compared to the public’s stupidity and malleability. It might be easier still to endure if the fact that none of his stated concerns mattered in the least when the true-believer’s ideas were doing the influencing.

Will wonders never cease?

An informed voice in Congress?? Who would have thought it possible?

CBCs Rex Murphy – the MSM actually reports on ClimateGate

Classic bit of reporting from Rex Murphy on CBCs National. Finally, someone in the MSM has the guts to even admit that ClimateGate exisits.

Even Jon Stewart is mocking the EAU climate “scientists”

Kind of hard not to mock what this group has done to the supposedly “settled science” of climate change.

To stop global warming honey

Classic rework of a recent hysterical global warming commercial by the folks at M4GW – after you watch this, be sure to head over to the No Cap & Trade site to sign the petition. Tell Obama that he can keep his Cap & Trade bill.

Personally, I prefer the M4GW version, but here’s the original, prepared by ActOnCO2 – nothing quite like scaring little kids half to death with their over-the-top, end times prophecies. Of course, you can always tell when the alarmists are starting to get scared that their fear mongering isn’t working any more. They get more and more hysterical and step up the frightening rhetoric – the drowning puppy pretty much says it all.

Mann’s “Hockey Stick graph” proved a fraud

Great post over at What’s Up With That that looks at Steven McIntyre and Ross McKitrick’s tireless work to find the facts underlying the infamous Mann et all “hockey stick graph.”

I dont’ have the time to go into real detail (they’re all laid out on in the post anyway, along with several links to McIntyre’s Climate Audit blog).

Short version of the posts for those who are too busy – Mann and a few other so-called scientists appear to have very carefully selected a specific group of tree ring data to ensure that they minimized the reality of the Medieval Warm Period and then “discovered” the late 20th century spike in temperatures that has been so prominently paraded around in IPCC reports and Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.” After publishing their findings in various papers, this group fought tooth and nail to keep their data set hidden from scrutiny, thereby making it effectively impossible for another scientist to recreate their findings. At best people could guess at what they were doing, but actually recreating the experiment to verify the findings was impossible.

After Mann published another paper — trying to push his tree ring theories — in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, he was compelled to provide his data, due to that journals strict data archiving policies. After a prolonged fight, McIntyre gained access to the data and the results of his work since then are no less than breath-taking.

Steven McIntyre - Climate Audit - rcs_chronologies_rev2

McIntyre’s version of the graph not only doesn’t recreate Mann’s findings, it finds almost the opposite. It appears to confirm the Medieval Warm period and deny the existence of the late 20th century temperature spike associated with human- caused greenhouse gas emissions.

In a rational world, Mann’s reputation would be shot. He’d be sending out resumes to local temp agencies while he packed up his lab. I’m confident, however, that his sycophants will be circling the wagons and soothing themselves with thoughts of how they’ll “get that McIntyre!!” Watch for the inevitable, “it doesn’t matter! The science is still settled!” headlines and the stepped up personal attacks on McIntyre and McKitrick.

Dying winds in U.S. to produce more intense storms

We’ve heard over and over again for the past decade-ish that global warming was THE cause behind the increasing intensity of major storm events. We were, of course, all duly saddened by our callous disregard for Gaia Mother Earth’s well being and scared stiff of the hurricanes that would be touching down in Flagstaff and Vancouver.

Now, there’s even more research that proves what a horrific and destructive infestation the human species is. It seems that this new research is showing how global warming is causing wind speeds around the country to slow down.

(As an aside: that’ll be some tough luck for all those people who are sinking millions into wind farm developments. Even more completely off topic and aside: No word yet on how slower winds will still be able to cause more intense storms, but I digress…)

So there you have it. It’s real. It’s happening now. It’s increasing wind speeds and slowing wind speeds at the same time. It’s warming the Earth; it’s cooling the Earth. It’s lessening species diversity while increasing species diversity. It’s making Aunt Tilley’s bunions ache and it’s ALL YOUR FAULT!!

Clearly folks, it is past time to break out the big guns and start executing the deniers for their “treasonous” “high crimes against humanity.” (Snort! Chuckle! and 4-letter word warning)

Marc Morano debates Joe Romm on climate change

Here’s a great debate on the science and politics of global climate change. Marc Morano, the executive editor and chief correspondent of ClimateDepot.com debates Joe Romm of ClimateProgress.org.

As we have typically seen with this debate. Morano is pretty calm and provides ample backing information for his premises. Romm, on the other hand, starts off with ad hominem attacks — calling Morano “fringe” and claiming that Morano just “makes stuff up.” He then degrades into hysteria — that the world is going to warm by 15 degrees F by the end of the century and that sea levels will rise by 5 or more feet. One of the most telling points is where Morano correctly points out that Romm is suggesting the political process used to develop the IPCCs SPMs counts as “science.”

Morano easily dissects and defeats Romm’s personal attacks and his repeated use of the argumentum ad populum fallacy.

The debate starts at the 3:45 min mark in this video

The second part of the debate starts immediately in this portion of the video.

Lastly, what does the Swift Boat issue have to do with climate change? If that’s where Romm needs to try and take the argument, you can guess how strong his climate-related arguments might be.

Update: April 8: You might have thought that the debate was over when Morano calmly cleaned Romm’s clock on the Roll Call debate, but you would have been wrong. After getting his “Marc Morano just makes stuff up” and “Swift Boat … Swift Boat … Swift Boat” arguments handed back to him, Romm has stooped to taking his ball and going home.

Check out his recent post on Climate “Progress” blog where Romm calls Morano names and then bans him. No joke people, because Morano demolished him in the debate, Romm is refusing to post anything from Morano or to link to anything that Morano might write.

Swift boat smearer Marc Morano, former denier-in-chief (DIC) for Sen. James Inhofe (R-OIL), is emailing around his bio and his new website to whatever members of the media are aching to tarnish their professional reputations. You can read that full bio in the Wonk Room post “Climate Depot Alert! Global Warming Denier Marc Morano Sets Up Shop! Now With Crazier Formatting!” — I can’t bring myself to inflict it on you.

You just did “inflict it” on us. And speaking of tarnishing one’s professional reputation … this is the best that Romm can come up with. A man with a PhD who is held up as someone to listen to and someone to watch in the discussion on climate change. He seriously called Morano a “dick” and then continued on with his “Swift Boat … Swift Boat … Swift Boat” silliness. (sorry folks, I can’t bring myself to inflict it on you, so I’ll move on to even better stuff)

I will be taking a different tack. Morano is simply not part of the legitimate discussion about climate science and policy. Marc Morano is unquotable and uncitable.

Besides his penchant for smear, he just makes stuff up and misrepresents scientists’ work

Of course we’re meant to ignore the fact that standard AGW supporter means of dealing with dissent flies in the face of scientific inquiry. “You don’t agree with everything I say. Therefore I declare that you are not part of the ‘legitimate discussion.’ Therefore, I summarily dismiss you from the conversation.”

Moving on, did the man who referred to Morano as “fringe” and who called Morano a “DIC” just say that Morano has a “penchant for smear”? But wait, it gets better,

For a journalist, quoting or citing him as a source is the Swiftist way to smear your own reputation. For anyone other than a rightwing anti-scientific blogger, even linking to his new site ClimateDepot to debunk him gives him the attention and credibility he does not deserve.

I will not be linking to his website nor will I allow any links to his website to appear on this blog. It is conceivable that circumstances might arise where I refer to something Swift boat smearer Marc Morano has written, but I can’t imagine them right now.

Did you catch the Swift Boat reference in that quote. It was pretty well hidden and flowed so smoothly that one could be forgiven for not picking up on it. To help you out, it was in the first sentence where Romm says that for a journalist to quote Morano is the Swiftist way to smear your reputation. Get it? It’s kind of a funny play on words … Swift – as in Swift Boat … swift – as in quick or speedy … Get it? Man that Romm is good at this rhetoric thing.

This is too rich. Romm is reinforcing the stereotype of the classic, coddled, and protected ivory tower “academic.” He and his ilk can’t stand to face debate. In their blinkered world, they are just understood to be correct every time they open their mouths. In their world, everyone immediately recognizes their brilliance (or should be made to). So when they are forced into a debate — and lose badly — they make excuses.

Yes, I did debate Swift Boat smearer Morano recently – but I was filling in at the last minute as a favor. As readers know, I believe such debates are pointless if not counterproductive, since we have known for 25 centuries that debates are not won on the facts but by who is a better debater, which is to say, who understands the principles of rhetoric (see “Why scientists aren’t more persuasive, Part 2: Why deniers out-debate “smart talkers” and “Voodoo Economists 4: The idiocy of crowds or, rather, the idiocy of (crowded) debates“). In particular, it is very hard to win a debate against someone who just repeatedly makes stuff up.

Fortunately, Swift Boat smearer Morano isn’t a terribly good debater and really screwed up in the second half. While I am seriously out of practice, I’d say I did about as well as one can do. I am not going to post the links here, since I don’t view watching the debate as a productive use of your time — and ClimateProgress is all about saving you time by separating the wheat from the chaff — but you can find them on the not-so-Accuweather Blog here:

“Honest… I ran out of gas. I, I had a flat tire. I didn’t have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts. IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD.”

The world of research and academia is rife with Prima Donna’s like Romm. I’ll just inflict one other example from my past on you because its so similar in tone and attitude.

I used to work in the forest industry in British Columbia and we did a lot of research on the regeneration of crop trees. One time there was a group of foresters reviewing the research trials of a provincial research scientist. One of the foresters questioned the the methodology employed in one of his research projects. Essentially, he argued that the research trial used conditions that could never be recreated in the real word, so he wondered if it had any application to the work we were doing. The research scientist didn’t like the tone of the question, pitched a fit, and then (literally) stomped back out of the block and sat in the cab of his pickup. There was a few moments of awkward silence and then the rest of the group carried on the discussion without him. Not surprisingly, we heard later that that research scientist waited until he returned to his protective office environment to begin recreating the discussion in his mind so he came off looking good and then started throwing out snitty, disparaging remarks about the forester who dared to question his work.

Since Romm is so good at rhetoric, analogy, and the like, I don’t need to tell him that he’s welcome to stomp out of the cutblock and sit in the cab of his truck all he likes. The discussion will carry on whether he chooses to be part of it or not.

Newsbusters also has some good comments on Romm taking his ball and running home.

The Goracle serves endangered species at daughter’s wedding

This is a few months old, but I just saw this today. (I wonder why this wasn’t a bigger story in the media? Hmmmm.)

It seems the Goracle (former VP Al Gore), the man best known for his eco-warrior ways and for thinking that he can save the Earth from the devastation wrought by your SUVs tailpipe is only really interested in stopping you from having an impact on the ecosystem. As is the case with so many of these well-to-do, self-righteous, socialist, do-gooders, his calls to stop using natural resources only apply to you. He allows himself to essentially ignore all his suggestions for saving the planet.

We’ve all heard about his massive and wasteful mansions (three of them) that consume more energy in a month than most of us consume in a year. We’ve all heard that the massive energy bills for his three residences don’t use green energy (or at least didn’t until very recently, despite the fact that it has been available for years). We’ve all heard about Gore’s owning massive stock holdings in mining ventures and oil and gas firms. We have also all heard about Gore’s willingness to flit around the country and the world in private jets that release four times the amount of CO2 that a commercial airline would.

We’ve all heard about those examples of hypocrisy from the Goracle and probably several more. However, this one took the (wedding) cake. It seems that at his daughter’s wedding rehearsal dinner, Mr. self-righteous environmentalist himself served an endangered species as one of the meal’s six courses.

Only a week after Live Earth, eco-warrior Al Gore didn’t do much for his green credentials when he shocked fellow environmentalists by serving up an endangered fish at his daughter’s wedding rehearsal dinner.

The former US vicepresident provided 75 guests with Chilean sea bass – one of the world’s most threatened fish species.

Gore, 59, who created the climate change documentary An Inconvenient Truth, sampled a sixcourse tasting menu at Beverly Hills’ Crustacean restaurant which included the sea bass. …

Also known as Patagonian toothfish, the species is under huge pressure from illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing activities in the Southern Ocean, jeopardising the sustainability of remaining stocks.

It is known as one of the world’s most endangered species of fish.

Once again, it’s always “do as I say, not as I do” with these people. They’re exempt from their own restrictions on resource use because they know better than you do and have more money and power than you do. They can carry on their extravagant lifestyles because they have forced you to curtail everything that you do — so there’s lots of resources left for them and their blue-blooded daughters to exploit as they see fit.

Hurricanes may not be linked to climate change

We’ve all read the hysterical headlines and the apocalyptic predictions of death, mayhem, and hell on earth that global climate change will cause as it increases the number, intensity, and severity of hurricanes around the globe.

National Geographic writers eagerly parroted warnings that,

More heat could “generate more storms and more intense hurricanes” (and) … a new study in the journal Nature found that hurricanes and typhoons have become stronger and longer-lasting over the past 30 years. These upswings correlate with a rise in sea surface temperatures.

The duration and strength of hurricanes have increased by about 50 percent over the last three decades, according to study author Kerry Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

From the RealClimate blog — which bills itself as a source of “climate science from climate scientists” — we are instructed that in the real world there is “no way to prove” that climate change will impact on either the frequency or severity of hurricanes. We are also told that,

due to the semi-random nature of weather, it is wrong to blame any one event such as Katrina specifically on global warming

All that aside, the climate scientists then move on to show how it is possible to employ arcane and confusing statistical analyses and complex computer modeling to move beyond the real world and actual research findings. Using those statistics and climate models, scientists can input data that helps suggest that climate change will strengthen already forming hurricanes.

Yet this is not the right way to frame the question. As we have also pointed out in previous posts, we can indeed draw some important conclusions about the links between hurricane activity and global warming in a statistical sense. The situation is analogous to rolling loaded dice: one could, if one was so inclined, construct a set of dice where sixes occur twice as often as normal. But if you were to roll a six using these dice, you could not blame it specifically on the fact that the dice had been loaded. Half of the sixes would have occurred anyway, even with normal dice. Loading the dice simply doubled the odds. In the same manner, while we cannot draw firm conclusions about one single hurricane, we can draw some conclusions about hurricanes more generally. In particular, the available scientific evidence indicates that it is likely that global warming will make – and possibly already is making – those hurricanes that form more destructive than they otherwise would have been. …

Hurricane forecast models (the same ones that were used to predict Katrina’s path) indicate a tendency for more intense (but not overall more frequent) hurricanes when they are run for climate change scenarios (Fig. 1).

In the particular simulation shown above, the frequency of the strongest (category 5) hurricanes roughly triples in the anthropogenic climate change scenario relative to the control. This suggests that hurricanes may indeed become more destructive (1) as tropical SSTs warm due to anthropogenic impacts.

Very interesting.

Moving forward, we can also find the hard-working journalists at Time magazine working to build fear of the next big hurricane that will inevitably strike the Gulf Coast. They instruct us that the people of New Orleans are,

mostly thinking about the savage rains and 140 mph winds that have driven them from their homes. But it’s that meteorological arcana that’s made such a mess of the bayou, and to hear a lot of people tell it, we have only ourselves—and our global-warming ways—to blame. …

So is global warming making the problem worse? Superficially, the numbers say yes—or at least they seem to if you live in the U.S. From 1995 to 1999, a record 33 hurricanes struck the Atlantic basin, and that doesn’t include 1992’s horrific Hurricane Andrew, which clawed its way across south Florida in 1992, causing $27 billion dollars worth of damage. More-frequent hurricanes are part of most global warming models, and as mean temperatures rise worldwide, it’s hard not to make a connection between the two. …

One especially sobering study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that hurricane wind speeds have increased about 50% in the past 50 years. And since warm oceans are such a critical ingredient in hurricane formation, anything that gets the water warming more could get the storms growing worse. Global warming, in theory at least, would be more than sufficient to do that. While the people of New Orleans may not see another hurricane for years, the next one they do see could make even Katrina look mild.

Spooky, isn’t it? But that’s not all. The Pew Center on Global Climate Change continues by invoking the name and research findings of the all-knowing, all-seeing IPCC

Intensity: According to the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-AR4), it is “more likely than not” (better than even odds) that there is a human contribution to the observed trend of hurricane intensification since the 1970s. In the future, “it is likely [better than 2 to 1 odds] that future tropical cyclones (typhoons and hurricanes) will become more intense, with larger peak wind speeds and more heavy precipitation associated with ongoing increases of tropical [sea surface temperatures].”

Frequency: According to the IPCC-AR4, on a global scale, “[t]here is no clear trend in the annual numbers [i.e. frequency] of tropical cyclones.” As discussed above, however, the frequency of tropical storms has increased dramatically in the North Atlantic. Reasons for this increase are currently subject to intense debate among climate scientists. At least two recent peer-reviewed scientific studies indicate a significant statistical link between the increased frequency and global warming, but research to identify a mechanism explaining this link is ongoing.

Clearly, the links are there. Too strong to deny and too numerous to question. Right? You’re continued use of the internal combustion engine, your “addiction” to oil, your new Blackberry, and your general western, imperialist brand of capitalist over-consumption ARE causing more and stronger tropical storms and hurricanes. Admit it and be frightened, very very frightened.

Or not. You see, all those reports and links and statistical games and pretend worlds that we build in our climate models might just be wrong. Or so says new research that has been published in Nature magazine.

A new method for modelling hurricanes suggests that a warmer climate might not increase storm intensity as much as was previously believed.

The results came as a surprise to lead author Kerry Emanuel, a hurricane expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, who had previously argued that global warming was behind an estimated 75% increase in category 4 and 5 hurricanes since 1970. …

He suggests one of two explanations: either the recent increase is not due primarily to global warming, or the current generation of global climate models is not effectively capturing the effects of global warming in the future. Others say that it could be a combination of the two.
Stormy history

“Those are two interpretations, and they could both be true to a certain degree,” says Gabriel Vecchi, an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey. “I think their paper really highlights the subtlety of the question: depending on which models they use, depending on which metrics they use, they can get different answers.”

Did you read that? Read it again

“I think their paper really highlights the subtlety of the question: depending on which models they use, depending on which metrics they use, they can get different answers.”

That’s the climate scientist’s way to say the well-known computer and modeling phrase, “garbage in … garbage out.” In other words, they can tweak their modeling findings to suit their world view. If they happen to believe in anthropogenic global climate change (or need to support that theory as a means of ensuring a continued stream of research dollars), they can fiddle around in the guts of their models (subtly of course) and — SHAZAM!!!! — the models show that anthropogenic global climate change is happening and is changing the frequency and severity of tropical storms. If, however, they need to try and come up with a reason for why their dire predictions of massively destructive hurricanes throughout the 2006 and 2007 hurricane season never appeared, they just

spontaneously ‘seeds’ storms within global climate models, rather than initiating small storms in certain areas on the basis of historical observations.

Then they press < Enter > on the big ol’ computer model and … chugga chugga chugga … ding! Out pops the answer.

This method was able to reproduce the increase in major storms seen in recent decades fairly well. Projecting forwards by almost two centuries, to the period 2181–2200, the model suggests that, overall, global storm frequency decreases. Storm intensity increases modestly in certain regions, including the northern Atlantic Ocean.

So now some in the scientific fraternity appear to have moved beyond the notion that,

“more likely than not” (better than even odds) that there is a human contribution to the observed trend of hurricane intensification since the 1970s.

to admitting that,

In particular, climate models systematically fail to reproduce the kinds of major storm observed in the tropics owing to the way they handle heat convection, he says. “Climate models have certain inherent flaws that may prejudice the results somewhat, and my suggestion is that they may prejudice them in the direction of fewer major storms.”

In the mean-time, you should keep your heartbeat and stress levels elevated and continue to reassure yourself that there is a large, potentially devastating (something) that is waiting out there, ready to pounce and inflict grievous damage on you, your family, your belongings, and everything you hold near and dear. You should also remember that whatever that great and terrible something is, it’s your fault and most likely due to the fact that you bought your kid the XBOX 360 for Christmas last year.

Climate change: you will believe

No heating since 1998 – but when you admit that, the true believers jump on you with both feet and demand that you cease all debate. If you don’t snap to attention and do their bidding, they’ll threaten you with a ruined career and much more. You will accept their views and you will do as they say, or else.

Correcting the media’s smear of Dr. S. Fred Singer

Thank you to Steven Milloy for taking the time to set straight the media’s deceptive smear campaign against an eminent and respected scientist – Dr. S. Fred Singer. Although Dr. Singer has recently been targeted by the mainstream media for his work in the area of climate science, Milloy’s article reveals that Singer and his work have been well known for several decades.

Rather than employing cowardly, anonymous attacks from “climate scientists from NASA, from Stanford University and from Princeton” and inflammatory quotes from NGO activists as ABC News reporter Dan Harris did in his unimaginative hit piece on Dr. Singer, Milloy actually took a few minutes to look into Dr. Singer’s career.

Armed with a doctorate from Princeton University, Dr. Singer played a key role in the U.S. Navy’s development of countermeasures for mine warfare during World War II. From there, Dr. Singer went on to achieve fame in space science.

Some of his major accomplishments include: using rockets to make the first measurements of cosmic radiation in space along with James A. Van Allen (1947-50); design of the first instrument for measuring stratospheric ozone (1956); developing the capture theory for the origin of the Moon and Martian satellites (1966); calculating the increase in methane emissions due to population growth which is not key to global warming and ozone depletion theories (1971); and discovering orbital debris clouds with satellite instruments (1990).

Dr. Singer is exceedingly modest about his career. Although I have personally known him for more than decade, I only inadvertently learned of his earlier achievements last year while reading “Sputnik: The Shock of the Century” (Walker & Company, 2007) which chronicles the development of the U.S. Space Program.

The book described Dr. Singer, along with Van Allen, as a “pioneer of space science.” The author also wrote, “America’s journey into space can arguably be traced to a gathering at James Van Allen’s house in Silver Spring, Maryland on April 5, 1950. The guest of honor was the eminent British geophysicist Sydney Chapman… The other guests were S. Fred Singer…”

Among his many prominent positions, Dr. Singer was the first director of the National Weather Satellite Center and the first dean of the University of Miami’s School of Environmental and Planetary Sciences. He’s also held many senior administrative positions at federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation and Department of Interior.

Despite all of this work, the best attributed information that Harris’ journalistic training appears able to uncover is a Greenpeace employee, trying to pass themselves off as a “global warming specialist,” thinks Dr. Singer is “kind of a career skeptic.” The rest of Harris’ work is anonymous attacks and editorialized rhetoric – real top drawer stuff.

And journalists wonder why the vast majority of the public no longer trusts their work.

Oceans cooling – where’s the global warming?

Interesting article on the NPR site today. Essentially, the article notes that if we are experiencing global warming, the oceans should be one of the first places to show the rise in heat. However, a group of robots that are being sent around the bottom of the world’s oceans are sending back data that indicates a flat line or slight cooling.

Some 3,000 scientific robots that are plying the ocean have sent home a puzzling message. These diving instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren’t quite understanding what their robots are telling them.

This is puzzling in part because here on the surface of the Earth, the years since 2003 have been some of the hottest on record. But Josh Willis at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory says the oceans are what really matter when it comes to global warming.

In fact, 80 percent to 90 percent of global warming involves heating up ocean waters. They hold much more heat than the atmosphere can. So Willis has been studying the ocean with a fleet of robotic instruments called the Argo system. The buoys can dive 3,000 feet down and measure ocean temperature. Since the system was fully deployed in 2003, it has recorded no warming of the global oceans.

“There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant,” Willis says. So the buildup of heat on Earth may be on a brief hiatus. “Global warming doesn’t mean every year will be warmer than the last. And it may be that we are in a period of less rapid warming.”

Equally interesting is the fact that the scientists doing this research are at a loss to describe where the heat (that they expected to find) has gone.

Kevin Trenberth at the National Center for Atmospheric Research says it’s probably going back out into space. The Earth has a number of natural thermostats, including clouds, which can either trap heat and turn up the temperature, or reflect sunlight and help cool the planet.

That can’t be directly measured at the moment, however.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have adequate tracking of clouds to determine exactly what role they’ve been playing during this period,” Trenberth says.

Did you all catch that? Do you understand what that means? Read it again.

“(The heat that should be in the oceans) is probably going back out into space … unfortunately, we don’t have adequate tracking of clouds to determine … what role they’ve been playing.

But wait, I thought that CO2 in the atmosphere is stopping the heat and causing the earth’s atmosphere and oceans to heat unnaturally. How could the heat possibly be going back out into space?

The reality of the situation is that scientists really DON’T HAVE A FIRM GRASP OF WHAT IS GOING ON in the natural world!!! They can make some good guesses, but they don’t know for sure. Despite that lack of knowledge, however, the IPCC and world governments can confidently predict — within a hundredth of a degree — what the earth’s temperature will be a century from now. Even worse, they then try to tell us that by implementing Kyoto (or some other protocol or treaty) we can “stop climate change”?

This is the difference between real world scientific research and relying on bureaucratically filtered and finagled modeling results to determine what you think might happen at some distant point in the future.

To be fair to the scientists in the article, they are working on the issue and (I believe) honestly trying to figure out what is happening in an almost unimaginably complex natural system. What I find offensive however, is when highly politicized scientists and bureaucrats take a sliver of climate information, while purposefully ignoring or not admitting about findings like these sea temperature readings, and then seriously try to convince us that the “science is settled,” or that they have determined “with a high level of certainty” that anthropogenic influences on the atmosphere are causing global warming and that we need to impose severe restrictions on our economy and wellbeing to “stop climate change.”

While we have many scientists honestly telling us that they have no solid answers as to what is going on and that they need to keep researching, we have another group of scientists and politicians arguing that they have THE answer and that they know how to control the climate down to a tenth or a one hundredth of a degree Celsius a century from now. How anyone can take their policy suggestions seriously is beyond me, as it is obvious that their hubris knows no bounds.

Study questions validity of modeling software

This finding in this study should cause reasonable people to question their unwavering faith in the ability of modeling software to accurately predict the future state of natural ecosystems.

An eight-year study of ocean life shows a “chaotic” balance of nature, and Dutch scientists say this chaos makes it impossible to predict the rise and fall of wild species — anywhere, ever.

Ecologists and politicians often want computers to show how nature will react if we bulldoze a forest or change the global temperature, but the Baltic Sea study now argues this kind of modeling may not be worth much.

If so, it raises doubts about how we can ever preserve a healthy environment, except through good luck.

The small Baltic creatures such as plankton were isolated from the rest of the ocean and studied for eight years. Each member of the “food web,” or network of who eats whom, took turns multiplying and becoming scarce, even though the scientists kept the outside conditions constant.

And they could never figure out a pattern that allowed real predictions of how any species would fare.

“Advanced mathematical techniques proved the indisputable presence of chaos in this food web,” they conclude in the journal Nature,” adding that “short-term prediction is possible, but long-term prediction is not.”

Perhaps people should start to wonder if similar issues could crop with our climate models (hint: they have – climate models cannot accurately predict current temperatures, using past data).

Stating the facts is not meant as a slam against the models and modelers; they do help us to better understand natural systems. However, it is time that people and elected officials recognize and admit models are not the real world. It isn’t a put down to admit that a model is by definition of recreation of reality. Since we do not know everything there is to know about the earth’s natural systems; we do not completely understand their feedback mechanisms; their ability to heal after an impact; their ability to withstand change; etc., we cannot reasonably expect to perfectly model those systems. Therefore, it isn’t (or shouldn’t be) all that surprising that errors in our predictions are commonplace.

If we can’t perfectly model these systems, one can reasonably question if we should be tossing our economies in the dust bin to stop the climate change our models are predicting, especially when our efforts may be not much more than a crap shoot (as this study appears to indicate they are).

Coldest winter in 15 years

I always find the complete lack of reference to global climate change in these cold weather stories amusing.

‘It looks like we’re in for one heck of a winter’
Forecasters have warned of the coldest winter in 15 years, and now it’s here – whether Canadians like it or not …

British Columbia’s Lower Mainland received up to 10 centimetres of snow and parts of Vancouver Island were bracing for up to 40 centimetres. Cold weather hit the Prairies and a major storm blew across Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada, pelting many areas with snow and freezing rain. …

Southern Ontario struggled through its first big winter storm, dumping snow, ice pellets and rain that made driving treacherous on many highways. Environment Canada expected some areas of northwestern Ontario to receive 40 centimetres of snow. About 15 to 30 centimetres were in the forecast for Southern and Eastern Ontario, coupled with freezing rain. Another 15 centimetres are forecast for today in Eastern Ontario. …

By Sunday morning, the Toronto area received 10 centimetres of snow as the system that blasted its way across the U.S Midwest made its way through Ontario before hitting Quebec, where in Montreal 25 centimetres were forecast overnight. Some parts of Quebec are expected to receive up to 40 centimetres of snow.

Strong winds and snow also blew across the Atlantic provinces with gusts of up to 100 kilometres an hour, hitting parts of Newfoundland and Labrador, dumping 25 centimetres of snow on Saturday in parts of the province’s southeastern coast and inland areas with another 15 centimetres in the forecast Sunday.

By Sunday up to 20 centimetres of snow fell on parts of Nova Scotia, especially on the northern coast of Cape Breton as well as Prince Edward Island, with winds gusting at 90 kilometres per hour in parts of the provinces.

Whenever the mercury pushes a quarter of a degree above what it was the year before, reporters trip over themselves to find every “expert” and environmentalist out there that will give them a quote on the coming climate apocalypse. Then they repeatedly cite that one instance of warm weather as another “proof” that humans are causing an environmental collapse. When the forecast is for record cold temperatures though, none of those “experts” are quite as quick to offer up any opinions.

I wonder why?