Newspaper column: Casting doubt on climate doomsayers

The apocalypse is nigh.

It must be so. It is in all the papers.

Why even a 16-year-old Swedish scold lectured the delegates to the United Nations recently:

“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words and yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

“For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.”

If some pulpit-pounding preacher were to repeatedly predict the end of the world, only to have the world blithely continue unabated, one would expect his congregation would shrink a bit. Not so with the climate change doomsayers.

Breitbart writer John Nolte recently put together a list of 41 environmental doomsday predictions dating from 1967 through 2014 — everything from an impending ice age to rising oceans obliterating whole nations to an ice-free Arctic to acid rain to killer bees. Of the 41, not a single one has come to pass, but the congregation keeps shouting “Amen!”

“Think about that … the so-called experts are 0-41 with their predictions, but those of us who are skeptical of ‘expert’ prediction number 42, the one that says that if we don’t immediately convert to socialism and allow Alexandria Ocasio-Crazy to control and organize our lives, the planet will become uninhabitable,” Nolte writes. “Why would any sane person listen to someone with a 0-41 record?”

This summer James Taylor, a director and writer at the Heartland Institute, cited the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) own data to argue there has been no atmospheric warming in the continental United States since 2005.

According to Taylor, in 2005 NOAA began recording temperatures at 114 sites spaced across the nation that were far away from urbanization, such as growing airports that tend over time to become greater and greater heat sinks, thus skewing data. Using data from those pristine sites, Taylor says U.S. temperatures are now slightly cooler than they were 14 years ago.

“There is also good reason to believe U.S. temperatures have not warmed at all since the 1930s,” Taylor writes. “Raw temperature readings at the preexisting stations indicate temperatures are the same now as 80 years ago. All of the asserted U.S. warming since 1930 is the product of the controversial adjustments made to the raw data. Skeptics point out that as the American population has grown, so has the artificial warming signal generated by growing cities, more asphalt, more automobiles, and more machinery.”

It’s not just the U.S., Taylor says, noting that globally satellite instruments report that temperatures have risen only 0.15 degrees Celsius since 2005 — less than half the increase predicted by the oft-cited U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

As for those models, industrial chemist Mark Imisides recently penned a piece for Principia Scientific International arguing that it is thermodynamically impossible for carbon dioxide to cause global warming.

“In a nutshell, water takes a lot of energy to heat up, and air doesn’t contain much,” Imisides writes. “In fact, on a volume/volume basis, the ratio of heat capacities is about 3300 to 1. This means that to heat 1 litre of water by 1˚C it would take 3300 litres of air that was 2˚C hotter, or 1 litre of air that was about 3300˚C hotter!”

In an everyday example, he compares this to trying to heat a cold bath by putting a dozen heaters in the room and expecting the water to get warmer.

He further relates that for every ton of water there is only a kilogram of air. To heat the entire ocean by just 1 degree Celsius would require heating the air above it by 4,000 degrees Celsius.

So, there is no warming and, if there were, the culprit wouldn’t be burning fossil fuels anyway. But the apocalypse is nigh and we must act yesterday.

A version of this column appeared this week in many of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel and the Lincoln County Record — and the Elko Daily Free Press.

13 comments on “Newspaper column: Casting doubt on climate doomsayers

  1. Athos says:

    It’s all about the money. And since adults won’t buy into it, go after the children. What these lunatics are doing today borders on child abuse.

  2. Rincon says:

    If your intent was to show how ridiculous it is for liberals to claim Armageddon for our near future by making equally ridiculous claims on the Conservative side, you’ve succeeded. The Heartland guy, with his 114 samples was somewhat humorous. He managed to cherry pick data two different ways on the same claim. Pretty impressive. For those who went past it,

    1) Since the United States represents less than 1% of our planet’s surface, using it’s temperature to decide whether or not the entire planet is warming while assiduously ignoring the other 99% is certainly funny, but he did more:
    2) Picking only 114 sites from 50 states – barely more than two per state – sounds more like a high school project than a legitimate scientific endeavor, but it sure makes it easy to cherry pick the coolest areas. Nah, just because his employer and publisher is politically extreme doesn’t mean the author is, does it?

    It’s also just as funny to list the Heartland Institute as a legitimate scientific source as it would be to do the same with information put out by Greenpeace. So which radical political activists should we pick, the super greenies or the super fossil fuel supportees (Heartland is funded by the Koch brother(s) among others).

    Of course, he ignores the satellite data available for the last 50 years or so, which are not affected significantly by any “heat island” effect, which clearly show a major warming trend from their first day.

    He also seems to ignore rising sea levels. Perhaps he has some alternative theory as to how that can happen without increasing temperatures?

    And, instead of boring everybody with other obvious evidence of warming such as melting glaciers and ice caps, I suppose people can decide if The Heartland Institute or Nat Geo is more to be trusted. Nat Geo: “Scientists who assess the planet’s health see indisputable evidence that Earth has been getting warmer…” Indisputable? Not to a Heartland zealot who ignores everything except his own cherry picked data. Maybe Nat Geo is part of the global conspiracy against those poor fossil fuels.

  3. Rincon says:

    Mark Imisides is also pretty funny. Let’s see. His credits say, “Dr. Mark Imisides is an industrial chemist with extensive experience in the chemical industry, encompassing manufacturing, laboratory management, analysis, waste management, dangerous goods and household chemistry.” An industrial chemist! How impressive. Naturally, he’s a real expert on such things as the physics of cloud formation on temperature. It’s probably all closely akin to say, coming up with a new shampoo.

    He says that heating a bathroom’s air would not make the water in the tub any warmer – even if you heat the air for 50 years? Wow! The things I never knew about physics. Oh wait, he’s a chemist, isn’t he? But hey, all chemistry is physics, right, so who’s looking?

    He also says that for every ton of water , there’s only a kilogram of air. Do you see the hidden plant? What legitimate scientist would mix U.S. and metric measurements? Of course, he’s letting us know that he’s really a comedian (although he should keep his day job).

    He also pretends that he can, as a lone, individual comedian, compute the various complex feedback mechanisms, such as arctic water absorbing more heat and light than ice, and the increasing formation of clouds as temperatures rise. Not bad for a comedian. He probably has one of those really impressive calculators with 50 functions. He also seems to ignore the fact that most of the sea’s water is the same temperature that it was a thousand years ago. Only the surface layers have warmed significantly. The relatively weak vertical currents of the oceans insure that the deep layers will only warm after centuries. But hey, it’s so much easier to just average everything. Calculus is so hard!

  4. Steve says:

    Attacking the messenger?

    Oh well, I guess Al Gore is right then. The Arctic is all melted. No northern ice cap anymore.
    And that ice age, predicted in the 1970’s is upon us now,,, After all it did happen in the early 2000’s.
    And all the rest of the doom and gloom…like running out of crude oil…way back in 1952 no less..guess we don’t have anything to fear about fossil fuels now,,,that was a totally accurate scientific prediction….right? RIGHT?

    Look, the science is on target and is not settled. Not in any way at all.
    Nevertheless, we cannot be the top of the food chain without effecting our climate and environment to some degree.
    That degree remains to be scientifically measured. To date all we have are politicians making claims of “settled science”, Barrack Obama. And claims for 12 more years before we all go over the cliff and die, Pete Buttigieg.

    Go ahead, keep believing the politicians. I will wait for the scientists…(ALL of them, not just the vocal minority) The scientific community to make their full disclosure. Which they have not done as yet. Only politicians have been publicly wrong for the last 100 years on this gloom and doom.

    Forgive me for being skeptical of politically motivated claims of science fact…the world is not flat. Columbus did not fall off.

  5. Rincon says:

    Comparing climate change, which has had a 35 year or so robust consensus of the scientific community with the fringe accounts of a coming ice age presented in the occasional news article of the ’70’s, at a time when much of the scientific community considered warming to be more likely is, I think, either mistaken or disingenuous. BTW, do you remember the reasoning of those who said an ice age was coming? Didn’t think so.

    The peak oil forecasts were primarily from a single scientist, it generated no major societal concern, and allowed that future technological achievements might forestall it to some extent. Anyone who took it as a Nostradamus type prediction misunderstood completely. Holding anyone making a projection to the impossible standard of predicting all future technological advances is inherently ridiculous.

    I do understand that many conservatives of their times predicted dire consequences when Social Security, Medicare, racial equality, gender equality, air and water pollution control, OSHA regulations, and employment laws took effect. We seem to have survived all of these. Today, the same Conservative way of thinking predicts catastrophe if we wean ourselves from fossil fuels. History will prove their claims to just as ridiculous.

  6. Steve says:

    The Ice Age prediction was Kenneth Watt. Media at the time jumped all over it. Just like they do today. Politicians loved it, news media gave them all kinds of attention on that prediction for as long as it played out.

    At the time, peak oil was THE reason for the 70’s oil crisis and THE thing that made OPEC possible. OPEC rode that train right up until the USA figured out horizontal drilling.
    Politicians and news outlets absolutely loved dishing the hype and scaring the public.

    Yes indeed, your call out of conservative doomsayers is equal to my call out of liberal doomsayers.
    Politicians absolutely love to dangle squirrels in place of reality as they pull bipartisan wool over our eyes.

    Science…as I have maintained all along is VERY different from politically driven science…the world is not flat, Columbus did not fall off the edge as all the politically driven scientists of the day insisted he would. None of the politician claimed doomsday events in the last 35, 50 or 100 years have come to fruition either and Pete Buttigieg’s 12 year prediction will fall flat on it’s face too.

    Notice, again, I call out the politics, not the science. And those scientists who have expressed an opinion on AGW are in the minority of their field. The majority do not express an opinion and the science is not settled or they would not be doing any more research on the subject.
    The “consensus” is a politically driven minority.

  7. Rincon says:

    Are you saying that anthropogenic global warming has not been shown to be extremely likely or that those predicting an apocalypse are off base?

  8. Rincon says:

    Do you question that the Earth is warming approximately as measured or just that we are a primary cause?

  9. Steve says:

    Seconding Mitch’s reply. Both.

    And, in answer to the new post, Rincon even the scientific community does not have a consensus on whether we are a primary cause. They are still researching. Nevertheless, no species can be the dominate species W/O affecting its climate in some percentage. That is what remains unknown. And without that measure, there is no “mitigation” that can be taken and measured against the unknown percentage as yet scientifically unavailable.

    So, the only real answer available is to study previous predictions for alacrity. Then decide if the politicians are the best source for “solutions”…I think you can see where that goes. At least, I hope you can.
    Open your eyes, Rincon.

  10. Rincon says:

    “Rincon even the scientific community does not have a consensus on whether we are a primary cause” That’s news to me. Do you have a source? Here’s mine, from 1990: “We calculate with confidence that: …CO2 has been responsible for over half the enhanced greenhouse effect” I have many others available, but just wanted you to know that there has been substantial agreement for at least 29 years!

    “So, the only real answer available is to study previous predictions for alacrity.”
    Way back in 1990, here was the prediction of the IPCC: “Based on current models, we predict: under [BAU] increase of global mean temperature during the [21st] century of about 0.3 oC per decade (with an uncertainty range of 0.2 to 0.5 oC per decade)”

    The actual rise? Approx. 0.4 degrees C in the past 19 years. Pretty impressive!
    Meanwhile, deniers like Heartland’s “industrial chemist” (that’s the best they could find – really!) have done no meaningful research of their own despite millions in funding by fossil fuel interests. The tobacco companies used the same game plan and managed to delay the decline in smoking by several decades. They were successful because many of us believe what we want to believe rather than what the evidence indicates – and the dead bodies of those who did litter the pathways of history. Unfortunately, the effects of warming will fall mostly on the heads of the innocent rather than on the deniers. Sad to say, there is no karma.

  11. Steve says:

    Here we go again…wait.
    We have been down this same road multiple times and nothing has ever come of it other than tossing stats and links at each other only to have them attacked and debunked then re bunked and re attacked.

    Therefore, I say it is time to agree to disagree. I will not take the words of politicians and politically driven, biased, vocal scientists over the scientific method which has not been worked to completion on climate change. I maintain the science is not settled. You are free to maintain it is at your own peril.
    I will not go over a non existent cliff…you keep hoping one does exist…while all the doomsayers have been, still are and always will, be wrong.

  12. Rincon says:

    I think you’re right Steve. This is fruitless.

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