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“A Gross Alarmist”



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Inconvenient weather



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Hot summers were the perfect backdrop for the Goracle’s landmark global warming hearings in 1988. But the weather isn’t being so cooperative these days. In January, Gore’s Oscar nomination was accompanied by California freezes that decimated the state’s citrus crop. This week the Detroit (and national) media are awash with reports that IPCC scientists have concluded that “earlier blooming in the spring are linked to increased CO2 concentrations.” (AP)

 

Meanwhile, outside in the real world, the Detroit Tigers cancelled Thursday afternoon’s game with the Toronto Blue Jays due to unseasonably cold April temps 20 degrees below normal, stiff winds, and flurries. Further north, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, two feet of snow fell.

 


Frightful stuff this global warming.

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Argumentum ad Hitlerum



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Argumentum ad Hitlerum . It does tend to indicate rationale discourse has ended.

Speaking of Religion



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More on global warming and religion



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While Iain is on the subject of Christianity and global warming, I’m reminded of this outburst by Rev. Gore (while Democratic senators’ heads nodded) during his March 21 Senate testimony as to why global warming is the moral challenge of our time:

 

I do believe that the Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. I believe that the purpose of life is to glorify God, and you cannot do it while heaping contempt on God’s creation. And I think that the joining of this debate by the evangelical and faith communities has been a very powerful factor changing the dynamics here.

 

Wealthy Oakland Co. here north of Detroit has gone Democratic in recent presidential elections in part because of concerns about the Religious Right. What would they make of this rhetoric from the Religious Left?

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We’re Doomed! Doomed!



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So, the IPCC’s second summary report of the year is out. Working Group II’s report on Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability predicts a world facing food and water shortages and risk of flooding. The environmental lobby is already up in arms because of “government interference” with the conclusions. We could have told them years ago (hang on, we did) that polticizing the science in the way they did when the IPCC was set up would lead to such pressures. In fact, it’s inevitable.

Anyway, on to the substance. If the IPCC is correct and the world is facing exacerbated damages in this way (these problems existed before global warming, after all), then we need to work out our best response. As CEI has argued for years (pace The New Republic), adaptation to build up resiliency in poorer countries is desperately needed. However, because we are so focused on mitigation (trying to stop weather effects in the distant future), money spent on mitigation in developing countries outstrips adaptation spending at a rate of 25 to 1. The IPCC appears to recognize this, calling adaptation essential and mentioning its current “limited basis,” but does not grapple the bull by the horns in discussing, in a world of limited resources, where money is best spent.

If we want to take a positive approach to global warming (rather than running around with our hands in the air yelling “We didn’t listen!”) then we need to focus policy attention much more on adaptation now (and, correspondingly, much less on mitigation). Indur Goklany has pointed out that we can do a great deal now in terms of adaptive management of global warming risks. In fact, we could probably over the next thirty years or so reduce the incidence of water shortage and famine and secure land against sea level rise so that even with larger-than-likely temperature rises, there wouldn’t be the sort of severe impact the IPCC warns against. The Copenhagen Consensus also speaks to this.

In short, if global warming is the problem people claim it is, then we should be doing things now that will help people in the near future and beyond. We’re not, though, and instead, we are focused on the far future and creating vast bureaucracies and cartels that will make banks and utilities rich while raising energy costs for the working man. That suggests strongly that those who are celebrating the IPCC report have got their priorities badly wrong.

A radiative scientist speaks



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A distinguished atmospheric scientist in the field of radiative transfer and remote sensing feels he has to speak out about the hyperbole surrounding “certainty” in global-warming science:

The recent IPCC summary report has just informed me, and the rest of the
world, that there is little doubt but that the global warming we are experienced is due to greenhouse gas emissions into our atmosphere. That conclusion was really surprising to me, it having come from a world wide group of supposedly outstanding climate experts.

The Grand Unification Theory



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“Christianity isn’t like global warming. It is global warming.”

Discuss.

NanoEngineering Guy Again



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He e-mails in response to the responses:

It is noteworthy that the (correct) charts on global mean temperature do not include “error bars” around the data points– as required in good science reporting. If error bars were included, one would see them get smaller over the period 1860 to the present reflecting mankind’s ever increasing ability to measure temperature routinely with accuracy around the globe as a result of the advance of technology. Derb could weigh in here, but it is a simple principle of mathematics that the greater the number of measurements, the more accurate is the “average” value calculated, reducing the error.

Consequently, it would be useful if your “hard-science professor” could cite the number of people making accurate daily surveys of temperature worldwide in decade 1860-1870 that we can use today to reliably calculate global mean temperature for those years. For completeness we need data from sub-Saharan Africa, the Yukon, Patagonia, etc. etc. Just a reminder, the transcontinental railroad was not completed until after the Civil war so in 1860 there were vast swaths of the continental United States without one settler, never mind one with a mercury thermometer dutifully and accurately recording daily temperatures. Stanley did not meet Livingston who was looking for the source of the Nile (not measuring daily temperatures) until 1871.

My company has sold nano-particle measurement instruments to NIST among other clients, and, yes, we do report error-bars on calibrations of our instrument’s resolution and sensitivity.

UPDATE:

We won’t continue this all day, but hard-science prof is back:

The error bars, about which your nanofriend is complaining, are included in the graph on the National Climatic Data Center page. (It was linked in your post!)

Little Comment Required



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Margot Wallstrom, the European Commission’s Vice President for Communications, has launched a new website, “50 ways forward”, to tout Europe’s successes in celebration of the EU’s 50th anniversary (sort of). It is typical Wallstrom — noting “how Europe overcame post-WWII food shortages to secure its food supplies” — who one must recall, on the 60th anniversary of V-E Day took the lead in “[giving] the EU sole credit for ending the Cold War, making no mention of the role of Nato and the United States.” [Yes, as an American I demand equal credit for the "pet passport [so] your dog, cat or bunny rabbit can come along too” to the Costa del Sol which, somehow thanks to the EU, is an affordable hop away for Europeans].

Take the tour of various rooms, to note Brussels’ grand achievements and also chcukle at how even just laying out 50 such boasts had to be made overly complicated. List them? Non, mon Dieu! Get your mouse-clicking finger ready.

Most amazing, and why the Planet Gore posting, is her repeated emphasis on how the EU encourages “cheap flights.” It seems that in the effort to ease Fluffy’s passport troubles she has missed out on certain developments.

SCOTUS Goes Nuclear



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Temp Taking



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A hard-science professor e-mails: 

I understand your scepticism regarding the temperature record. Temperature fluctuates by a few degrees every day and you may have a hard time understanding how the average temperature can be reported with the accuracy of one-tenth of a degree.

It nonetheless can be done.  When temperature is monitored continuously throughout the day, week after week, the hourly and daily fluctuations average out.

There are also spatial fluctuations: weather varies from place to place. However, averaging over the globe helps get rid of this source of noise, too.

If you are interested in further details, more information is available at the National Climatic Data Center .

A Decade Here, a Decade There...



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Well, this is about what one has come to expect from reporting on “global warming”:

Hundreds of political delegates become “hundreds of scientists”; yes we’re used to this, at least it beats the usual “thousands”. But, c’mon, “China, which is set to overtake the United States within the next decade or so as the world’s single largest emitter of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas driving global warming,…” Also ignore for the moment the subtly clever characterization of CO2′s role in climate; the real offense is that the author just made this part about China up.

In reality, the International Energy Agency’s projection — that China would overtake the U.S. in 2008 — was recently revised forward by the US Energy Information Administration to China’s emissions likely overtaking ours…this year. An error of a decade in the article, without the remotest possibility that the rreporter sourced is somewhere. I assure you that you will not find this error working the other way, to wit, “China, which passed the United States a decade ago as the world’s single largest emitter of carbon dioxide…”, for the obvious reason that that would do nothing to paint the U.S. as bad guy.

Another Temp Question



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From a nanoengineering reader:

Subject: WRONG Temperature in USA Report

Dear Ms. Lopez:


As can be seen in this chart and many others like it found on the web.

global mean temperature has been between -0.4 C and +0.4 C or approximately 32 F over the years 1860 to the present.

I have no idea what the USA Today chart is depicting that reports temperatures in the range 56.4 F and 57.7 F, and it is certainly not clarified in the article.

UPDATE:

Another e-mail:

In reference to your email from a “nanoengineering reader,” please note that the referenced graph refers to deviation from the mean, not the mean. The globe’s mean temperature does not range -0.4 to +0.4 C. I hope this engineer never designs anything that I’ll come into contact with, because he (and you) seem to be able to read the simplest displays of data.

And another:

Aside from your skepticism (which I share) over the accuracy of global temperature measurements in 1860, there is another huge problem with the graph which you reproduced from USA Today.  It is enormously distorted to show a steep incline in temperature when, in fact, the incline is, in absolute terms, really quite modest. 

You can make any increase or decrease look either large or small by the parameters that you use for the measurements on the vertical axis of the graph.  In the graph used in USA Today, someone has arbitrarily chosen to only graph temperatures between 56 Degrees and 58 Degrees.  They did that, I’m sure, for the sole reason of making it look like a dramatic spike.  If they had chosen 0 to 100 (or even 0 to 58), the graph would have looked virtually flat.

Anyone who works in a large bureaucracy knows this game.  It’s the game people play at budget time, to show spikes in their Department’s activity or similar phenomena to try to justify the budgetary increase for which they are asking.  Where I work, we’ve started requiring all graphs to start with a baseline of zero in order to stop this kind of thing, because it is just plain dishonest.

Heated Distortions?



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P.S. A friend points out:

Check out the USA Today graph accompanying the AP story on the international global- warming report. It makes it appear that the earth’s temperatures have been shooting upward. But upon closer examination, it only shows an increase of 1.2 degrees—over the last 150 years. 1860, according to the chart, is when “accurate measurements began.” Really? They could accurately measure the temperature, around the globe, to the tenth of a degree, in 1860? And as accurately as we can today with satellites?

When you have to stretch something that far, it’s usually best to start over.

Rancor on the Planet



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BRUSSELS (AP) — An international global warming conference approved a report on climate change Friday, chairman Rajendra Pachauri said, after a contentious marathon session that saw angry exchanges between diplomats and scientists who drafted the report.

“We have an approved accord. It has been a complex exercise,” Pachauri told reporters after an all-night meeting.

Several scientists objected to the editing of the final draft by government negotiators but in the end agreed to compromises. However, some scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change vowed never to take part in the process again.

“The authors lost,” said one participant. “A lot of authors are not going to engage in the IPCC process anymore. I have had it with them,” he said on condition of anonymity because the proceedings were supposed to remain confidential. An Associated Press reporter, however, witnessed part of the final meeting.

The climax of five days of negotiations was reached when the delegates removed parts of a key chart highlighting devastating effects of climate change that kick in with every rise of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, and in a tussle over the level of confidence attached to key statements.

The United States, China and Saudi Arabia raised the most objections to the phrasing, most often seeking to tone down the certainty of some of the more dire projections.

Is global warming driving auto sales?



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Like hurricane-season predictions, the MSM now shades monthly car sales stories with an eye towards global warming. As Toyota and Honda continue to carve into Detroit’s market share, the knee-jerk Green line is that Big Three sales are down because Americans are abandoning Detroit’s gas-guzzling trucks and opting for Japanese hybrids.

Well, not exactly.

 


Consider Toyota. Its U.S. numbers surged last month in part because sales of its unique Toyota Prius hybrid more than double from a year ago. But the company’s other hybrids – the Toyota Highlander and Lexus RX-400 – saw sales slide by 16 and 40 percent respectively.

 

Ditto Honda’s hybrid sales. Its compact Insight (introduced in 1999, a year before the Prius) has been discontinued due to lack of demand, while sales of the hybrid version of its popular Accord are off a whopping 33 percent.

 


The Prius is an undeniable hit (selling over 100,000 units in 2006), but industry analysts say there is another factor in its March sales spike: The federal tax break on the Prius of $1,575 dropped 50 percent to $787.50 on April 1 under federal rules. Furthermore, the tax break only applies to the first 60,000 of any one hybrid model’s sales. That, combined with generous sales incentives, may mean Prius hybrid sales will fall to earth with other hybrids as the year winds down.

 


Meanwhile, Toyota truck sales of its huge new Tundra and Tacoma trucks are up by double digits, while GM’s biggest truck – the mammoth, 14-mpg Suburban – saw sales race ahead 31 percent last month!

 


Look across all vehicles and the trend in today’s auto market is not Al Gore-induced eco-awareness as many MSM pundits would have you believe. What continues to drive the American consumer is quality. And Toyota does that consistently better – big or small, model for model – than anyone out there.

Newt vs. Kerry



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This I want to be at.

“Ordering the E.P.A. to address global warming may be a legal victory for environment groups, but it will probably just slow progress against global warming. “



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More from John Tierney here.

Is global warming driving auto sales?



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Like hurricane season predictions, the MSM now interprets monthly car sales figures with an eye towards global warming. As Toyota and Honda continue to carve into Detroit’s market share, the knee-jerk Green line is that Big Three sales are down because Americans are abandoning Detroit’s gas-guzzling trucks and opting for Japanese hybrids.

 

Well, not exactly.

 

Consider Toyota. Its U.S. numbers surged last month in part because sales of its unique Toyota Prius hybrid more than double from a year ago. But the company’s other hybrids – the Toyota Highlander and Lexus RX-400 – saw sales slide by 16 and 40 percent respectively.

 

Ditto Honda’s hybrid sales. Its compact Insight (introduced in 1999, a year before the Prius) has been discontinued due to lack of demand, while sales of the hybrid version of its popular Accord are off a whopping 33 percent.

 

The Prius is an undeniable hit (selling over 100,000 units in 2006), but industry analysts say there is another factor in its March sales spike: The federal tax break on the Prius of $1,575 dropped 50 percent to $787.50 on April 1 under federal rules. Furthermore, the tax break only applies to the first 60,000 of any one hybrid model’s sales. That, combined with generous sales incentives, may mean Prius hybrid sales will fall to earth with other hybrids as the year winds down.

 

Meanwhile, Toyota truck sales of its huge new Tundra and Tacoma trucks are up by double digits, while GM’s biggest truck – the mammoth, 14-mpg Suburban – saw sales race ahead 31 percent last month!

 

Look across all vehicles and the trend in today’s auto market is not Al Gore-induced eco-awareness as many MSM pundits would have you believe. What continues to drive the American consumer is quality. And Toyota does that consistently better – big or small, model for model – than anyone out there.

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