22 October 2009

The Invigorating Sight Of New Non-Green Shoots Of Unhope

Poll: US belief in global warming is cooling (Dina Cappiello, AP, 10/21/09)
Americans seem to be cooling toward global warming.

Just 57 percent think there is solid evidence the world is getting warmer, down 20 points in just three years, a new poll says. And the share of people who believe pollution caused by humans is causing temperatures to rise has also taken a dip, even as the U.S. and world forums gear up for possible action against climate change.
I could get all wigged out about the AP's ignorance of the scientific consensus that "pollution" causes global cooling and part of whatever warming happened in the latter half of the 20th century was due to cleaning up the air. But why spoil this moment.


Peter Burnet said...

As the article indicates, they are now on Plan B. The scientific consensus that the climate is changing is holding firm, but it is now being supplemented by a consensus that they aren't getting the message out effectively. Funny, I've always thought they were really, really good at getting their message out.

It appears we are now in a period of cooling that may last up to ten years. The reaction to this is to assert that long-term warming will be marked by oscillations, and some IRPP German dude has done a graph showing the path to the frying we're all going to see by 2100 (hey, wasn't it just yesterday we were talking about 2030-40?)will be marked by osciallating ups and downs. However, an Australian dude with impressive credentials has simply taken the osciallations since 1880 and projected them forward, resulting in a flat line. Also, the claim is being heard across the land that ten-year cooling periods are "completely consistent" with longterm warming and that this has never been denied. I've skimmed the 2007 IRPP report executive summary, and I can't find that anywhere, although they do warn of serious crop failures in Africa by 2020. It's starting to ressemble the debate over Darwinism where every discovery of any kind whatsoever is prononced to be completely consistent with it.

All this has brought into stark relief what we've known but perhaps really didn't contemplate deeply--the whole game is driven by computers. If we hadn't developed the computer power, we wouldn't be having this debate. Without some fancy programme, how can anyone say we are in an oscillation until it's over? Does it make any sense to assert we are at such and such a point in a business "cycle" when it hasn't finished cycling?

The other interesting thing is all the accusations that the sceptics are lying. How can you lie about a future projection? As far as I know, there is no controversy about the baseline data or climate records. It's all about the models and the future.

David said...

Apparently, someone on the warming side has now determined that we're 10 years into a counter-cyclic 30 year cooling period. So, prepare yourself for 20 years of "this snow in July is completely compatible with global warming and, in fact, proves our case."

Peter Burnet said...

Here is a comment from a debate on the "message crisis" on a usually non-(too)-wacky leftist site up here:

I would like to find the person who first coined the phrase “global warming” and kick him or her squarely in the jaw for ever uttering it - those words alone have given the anti-climate change people more propaganda fuel than they deserve.

It’s another example of short sighted strategic thinking, why did they not consider that a phrase like that would be used against them?

OTOH, surely it is a peculiar form of postmodern madness for Canadians to breath a collective sigh of relief at the news global warming isn't happening.

Susan's Husband said...

Actually, Mr. Burnet, there is quite a lot of debate and dissension on basic climate records. The warmenists have been very reluctant to make their data and methods public, which I have to say is not only the primary reason I am a skeptic, but also a good reason to claim they are not doing Science in the first place. Check out "east anglia climate records" or "Yamal tree rings".

"it is now being supplemented by a consensus that they aren't getting the message out effectively. Funny, I've always thought they were really, really good at getting their message out."

Ah, but you touch on it right there. Note the lack of the word "effectively" in the second sentence. Like most MAL propaganda, it seems effective at the time because most people just mouth whatever the MAL fad of the day is to get by, until it's time to pay up. Then it's discovered that all the sane people were just playing along to get along.

Harry Eagar said...

Many people consider carbon dioxide is a pollutant, including apparently, the AP.

'As far as I know, there is no controversy about the baseline data or climate records.'

Not only are there problems with the keeping of the records, there is also the problem that before the 21st c. there is no global record.

There are reconstructions, but they are iffy and in any case not accurate to within hundredths of a degree.

Hey Skipper said...

One of the things that makes me skeptical of AGW is the tendency for it to break down at the detail level.

For instance, AGW is supposed to be most pronounced in the Arctic.


I visited Denali recently -- it is a huge, nearly pristine park. Thinking Denali might have good, continuous temperature records — and where UHI would obviously not be a factor, I did a little googling.

And came up with this. (Page 3, center column, halfway down)

So, although the decades since 1977 have averaged two degrees F warmer than the previous three decades, those decades were in turn two degrees F colder than 1923-1945 (Figure 4). Therefore, the net change in annual temperatures since 1920 is less than 0.5 degree F. These results highlight the importance of defining the period of record when analyzing long-term trends. If a 30-year record were analyzed it would show significant warming in the region, but with 80 years of data the large decadal variability of the climate becomes more apparent.

And the correlation to presumed AGW becomes just about zero.

BTW, this is for central Alaska, not just Denali (see page one).

I just did the same for Mauna Loa (a big Hawaiian mountain that is the site of some astronomical observatories).

Various warmests were all in 1998. Coldests were in the 1970s.

How does AGW explain that?

Put another way, is there any combination of facts that would invalidate AGW?

If not -- and I think "not" is the answer -- then AGW is a religion.

Bret said...

"Not" is the answer and AGW is a religion for some and a useful tool for political or material gain for others.

Harry Eagar said...

This is a problem of complex systems.

Not doubt gaseous molecules can trap heat. People get fixated on that.

Obviously something else is also going on, or we'd all be dead. I recall when I first heard Hansen's warning.

It sounded alarming for about 90 seconds, until I recalled Rene Dubos' caution to the greeniacs who liked to say that Nature recycles everything. His answer was: Coal.

Obviously, there was a whole lot more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in the past than now. Yet we are not as hot as Venus.

The most likely answer is clouds. Earth is the only partly cloudy planet. (Not strictly true, but Mars' clouds are exiguous.)

Hey Skipper said...

Yet we are not as hot as Venus.

You have fallen for a fallacy.

Earth's surface temperature is nowhere near Venus's. But with gasses, it is pressure that counts.

Venus's average atmospheric temperature at the 1000mb level (i.e., where the pressure is the same as Earth's at sea level) is 100 F.

Scarcely any higher than for Earth, particularly considering how much closer Venus is to the sun, and especially considering the percentage difference when counting from zero Kelvin.

Harry Eagar said...

Venus has high albedo, right?

I'm guessing that if it had a transparent atmosphere like ours, after a few billion years, it would heat even more than it has.

Susan's Husband said...

Venus has a high albedo because it has a permanent cloud cover. One presumes the same would be true for Earth, should it heat up as much as well.

Personally, I think we should move Venus out a bit until it's in a better orbit, then hit it with a few ice moons to blow off some of the atmosphere, boost the water level, and speed the rotation.

Peter Burnet said...

Personally, I think bloggers who divert an interesting discussion on the politics of climate change to arguing about cloud cover and atmospheric pressure on Venus within ten comments are either religious fanatics or terminal nerds.

erp said...

Peter, I'm with you. I have no idea what albedo is and I don't want to know. It's much more fun trying to guess from the comments. From what I've gathered so far, it can't be cured by Viagra or Cialis.

SH, I like your idea of "correcting" Venus's orbit and atmosphere. It sounds like it would be a really good place to send all the libs, so they can practice their social engineering and leave the rest of us alone.

Bret said...

OK, let's see if I can redirect it back to the political aspect since some don't want to be bored by the discussion of "terminal nerds".

The poll question apparently was "From what you’ve read and heard, is there solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades, or not?"

Using the term "few" is pretty lame, in my opinion. First, because the answer is different (again in my opinion) if "few" is 2 or "few" is 3 or more. Second, it's kinda tough to compare the results of the survey today with previous years, since by definition, the period of time being discussed has changed. To make the survey vaguely consistent, one would have to say something like, "From what you’ve read and heard, is there solid evidence that the average temperature on earth increased between [date 1] and [date 2], or not?" And [date 1] and [date] need to stay the same for all of the surveys.

Otherwise, it's not necessarily that "US belief" in warming changed, only that the time period and associated data changed so of course people are going to answer differently. This is actually accurate since the last 2 years or so have pulled the trend from being up to more or less flat for the 2 decade period.

In just the last few weeks, I've noticed a significant uptick in the number of articles challenging catastrophic AGW. Unfortunately, they've been rather sloppy like this one. I'll have to admit that the CAGW propaganda machine is much better than the anti-CAGW group.

erp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
erp said...

Looks like this might be the death knell of the movement.

Susan's Husband said...

What's fun about fixing Venus is that we can do it without any really new technology, it would just take a while (less than a million years, though, so let's get cracking!). Just be glad I didn't bring up super-mundane planets.