I answer three Global Warming Cultists

This blog probably would have died after a year or so like so many other one-writer blogs do, if I had not been told that I just had to try Twitter. Ever since I joined Twitter, there have been no shortage of ideas for blog posts. In fact I am way behind in responding on a couple of issues that I promised I would get to this summer. Ah, if only time was unlimited. It may be that time itself is the most scarce thing of all.

Today, I am responding to three friends that I met in the comments area of Glenn Greenwald’s blog about five years ago and then later started interacting with them on Twitter. They range from libertarian leaning all the way to the hard-core progressive left,  but all are decent people who can think for themselves. Friends. These people, Joe , Presumptuous Insect , and Rena , all decided one day recently to claim that catastrophic, anthropogenic, CO2 caused global warming was going to kill us all and send those thoughts my way on twitter. I don’t know who was behind the idea to gang up on me late one night when they knew I was already asleep, but I suspect Joe. Well, friends, it is not going to get too hot on planet earth. The political scam of the “fight to save the earth” itself might well kill off a lot of people by driving up energy costs well beyond what we poor folks can pay, but there will not be any drastic warming.

So, even though I don’t like to do “global warming” here at this blog since others cover that subject much better than I can, I am going to respond to the trio on the issue in this post. Before I launch into a talk on temperatures, let me first exhibit a couple of representative tweets.

Presumptuous Insect

  Awful. The elderly really cannot tolerate heat. I guess they have the “freedom” to die now.

I live in central Florida and it is much warmer here, on average, than in New York. Even so, we don’t have tons of elderly dying off each summer due to the heat. Why is that? It is because freezing cold kills people, not warmth. With warmth you can take measures like staying inside in the a/c or just sitting in the shade with an iced tea. Please don’t try to destroy the world’s modern economy by claiming that a fraction of a degree on average is going to kill off the old folks. I am one of them and I tell you it just ain’t true.

I honestly do think the denial is directly related to the very real shortcomings of the market to control AGW.

I have covered this issue many times as has Rothbard, Block, and many others. We feel comfortable in saying that private contractual cooperation among free people whose property rights are respected and protected will deal with the problem of pollution better than the current system of control by the nation-state. I do not detect any ‘fear’ of environmental issues on the part of Anarcho-Capitalists in the least. What I do detect is a willingness on the part of most libertarians to read the damn charts and look at real world data with a scientific outlook like the one they trained me in science to have back in college: “being skeptical even of one’s own work is the default position of the scientist”. (See Karl Popper)

I saw one tweet where The Bug wanted to move the goal posts yet again by saying:

“Some prefer term ‘climate collapse’ as more accurate as that phrase takes emphasis off just warming & looks at all anomalies”

Well after 17 years of no warming and global colling since 2002 I can see how she might want to change the fraud’s slogan yet again. After all, consider this:

Professor Judith Curry of, the chair, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, on June 14, 2013: “Attention in the public debate seems to be moving away from the 15-17 year ‘pause’ to the cooling since 2002 (note: I am receiving inquiries about this from journalists). This period since 2002 is scientifically interesting, since it coincides with the ‘climate shift’ circa 2001/2002 posited by Tsonis and others. This shift and the subsequent slight cooling trend provides a rationale for inferring a slight cooling trend over the next decade or so, rather than a flat trend from the 15 yr ‘pause’.”

And to beat all, these cAGW cultists (catastrophic anthropogenic global warming) sent me all these tweets in the very week that Steve McIntyre has been vindicated in his destruction of the “hockey stick” in the early Bfiffa papers in the publication of the Briffa et al 2013 paper. Yes, Briffa has admitted defeat and given up trying to run shoddy statistical analysis past real statisticians. The CRU has abandoned the shoddy one tree super-stick.

The problem with the cultists is that every prediction has been wrong and the real world data does not match their theory and yet they still think CO2 is a poison. Are we to criminalize human breathing?

All the data sets have been “adjusted” to show more present warming but even those data sets can’t hide the decline in temperatures that run counter to the CO2 hypothesis. But consider one long, long data set from England.

Central England Temperatures: Do They Provide Evidence That Current Global Warming Scare Is Totally Blown Out of Proportion?

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Now keep in mind that the chart above goes from 1659 to only 2009 and so does not show the latest present cooling that has stumped so many of the climate alarmists. However, look at it. The slight rise in temperatures is exactly what has been going on since the end of the Little Ice Age that the cultists love to use as a starting point to show warming. Hell, we should be glad that the temperatures have warmed since the 1800s!

The chart is from the Central England Temperature dataset which is reputed to be the oldest in the world. It has over 350 years of temperature records drawn from “multiple weather stations located both in urban and rural areas of England, which is considered a decent proxy for Northern Hemisphere temperatures – not perfect, but decent.” Climate Cycles Change provides us with some analysis.

The first characteristic of the graph to note is the green trend line. That line indicates an overall warming of 0.26°C per century rate since 1659. So, for some 350 years central England, and the world, have been warming. No big surprise there since Earth has been continuously warming since the end of the Little Ice Age; and, at the end of that 350 year trend line of warming is the first decade of the 21st century.

The second characteristic of the graph is that temperatures just seem to have this habit of going up and down, for extended periods. What’s really amazing is that they did this consistently before the large increase of human CO2 emissions, pre-1946. Okay, maybe that’s not so amazing since this is called temperature variability and represents the natural, dynamic nature of our climate….That variability, as displayed by the CET data in the graph, has experienced temperature changes as much as 2.5°C from one year to the next. A change of 2.5°C in a single year! Keep that figure in mind as we further analyze the dataset. Please note, the graph also reveals very similar temperature variability post-1946, after the huge atmospheric input of human CO2 emissions.

That Climate Cycles Change post was inspired by an analysis of CET by Czech physicist Lubos Motl. Because the CO2 hysterics and fraudsters make such a big deal of the very slight warming trends seen in the past 30 years, Lubos Motl applied the same technique to the full CET dataset of 350 years.

Let us see what Motl found:

In the late 17th and early 18th century, there was clearly a much longer period when the 30-year trends were higher than the recent ones. There is nothing exceptional about the recent era. Because I don’t want to waste time with the creation of confusing descriptions of the x-axis, let me list the ten 30-year intervals with the fastest warming trends:

1691 – 1720, 5.039 °C/century
1978 – 2007, 5.038 °C/century
1977 – 2006, 4.95 °C/century
1690 – 1719, 4.754 °C/century
1979 – 2008, 4.705 °C/century
1688 – 1717, 4.7 °C/century
1692 – 1721, 4.642 °C/century
1694 – 1723, 4.524 °C/century
1689 – 1718, 4.446 °C/century
1687 – 1716, 4.333 °C/century

You see, the early 18th century actually wins: even when you calculate the trends over the “sufficient” 30 years, the trend was faster than it is in the most recent 30 years.

Climate Cycles Change confirmed this analysis with charts of its own. What they all show that is that the current 30 year history of climate in England is far from being dramatic, dangerous and unprecedented. The CET changes in the last 30 years have been well within the normal and natural cycles of climate change in England.

I was first concerned that the so-called climate scientists (alarmists like Hansen of NASA) were frauds and anti-science because the love to start their alarming charts at the end of the Little Ice Age. By starting at the end of the LIA one can easily (and understandably) show warming — and thank the gods for the warming. There was a Forbes story not long ago that detail a bit of the climate history of the LIA.

Around 1250 A.D., historical records show, ice packs began showing up farther south in the North Atlantic. Glaciers also began expanding on Greenland, soon to threaten Norse settlements on the island. From 1275 to 1300 A.D., glaciers began expanding more broadly, according to radiocarbon dating of plants killed by the glacier growth. The period known today as the Little Ice Age was just starting to poke through.

Summers began cooling in Northern Europe after 1300 A.D., negatively impacting growing seasons, as reflected in the Great Famine of 1315 to 1317. Expanding glaciers and ice cover spreading across Greenland began driving the Norse settlers out. The last, surviving, written records of the Norse Greenland settlements, which had persisted for centuries, concern a marriage in 1408 A.D. in the church of Hvalsey, today the best preserved Norse ruin.

Colder winters began regularly freezing rivers and canals in Great Britain, the Netherlands and Northern France, with both the Thames in London and the Seine in Paris frozen solid annually. The first River Thames Frost Fair was held in 1607. In 1607-1608, early European settlers in North America reported ice persisting on Lake Superior until June. In January, 1658, a Swedish army marched across the ice to invade Copenhagen. By the end of the 17th century, famines had spread from northern France, across Norway and Sweden, to Finland and Estonia.

Reflecting its global scope, evidence of the Little Ice Age appears in the Southern Hemisphere as well. Sediment cores from Lake Malawi in southern Africa show colder weather from 1570 to 1820. A 3,000 year temperature reconstruction based on varying rates of stalagmite growth in a cave in South Africa also indicates a colder period from 1500 to 1800. A 1997 study comparing West Antarctic ice cores with the results of the Greenland Ice Sheet Project Two (GISP2) indicate a global Little Ice Age affecting the two ice sheets in tandem.

The Siple Dome, an ice dome roughly 100 km long and 100 km wide, about 100 km east of the Siple Coast of Antartica, also reflects effects of the Little Ice Age synchronously with the GISP2 record, as do sediment cores from the Bransfield Basin of the Antarctic Peninsula. Oxygen/isotope analysis from the Pacific Islands indicates a 1.5 degree Celsius temperature decline between 1270 and 1475 A.D.

The Franz Josef glacier on the west side of the Southern Alps of New Zealand advanced sharply during the period of the Little Ice Age, actually invading a rain forest at its maximum extent in the early 1700s. The Mueller glacier on the east side of New Zealand’s Southern Alps expanded to its maximum extent at roughly the same time.

Ice cores from the Andeas mountains in South America show a colder period from 1600 to 1800. Tree ring data from Patagonia in South America show cold periods from 1270 to 1380 and from 1520 to 1670. Spanish explorers noted the expansion of the San Rafael Glacier in Chile from 1675 to 1766, which continued into the 19th century.

The height of the Little Ice Age is generally dated as 1650 to 1850 A.D. The American Revolutionary Army under General George Washington shivered at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-78, and New York harbor was frozen in the winter of 1780. Historic snowstorms struck Lisbon, Portugal in 1665, 1744 and 1886. Glaciers in Glacier National Park in Montana advanced until the late 18th or early 19th centuries. The last River Thames Frost Fair was held in 1814. The Little Ice Age phased out during the middle to late 19th century.

The Little Ice Age, following the historically warm temperatures of the Medieval Warm Period, which lasted from about AD 950 to 1250, has been attributed to natural cycles in solar activity, particularly sunspots. A period of sharply lower sunspot activity known as the Wolf Minimum began in 1280 and persisted for 70 years until 1350. That was followed by a period of even lower sunspot activity that lasted 90 years from 1460 to 1550 known as the Sporer Minimum. During the period 1645 to 1715, the low point of the Little Ice Age, the number of sunspots declined to zero for the entire time. This is known as the Maunder Minimum, named after English astronomer Walter Maunder. That was followed by the Dalton Minimum from 1790 to 1830, another period of well below normal sunspot activity. …

The increase in global temperatures that humanity has since since the end of the LIA in the 1800’s is simple a reflection of the end of the Little Ice Age and natural climate cycles. Look up in the sky at noon some day and see the big ball of fire that drives our weather. It is not some trace gas of 400 parts per million in our atmosphere. The global temperature trends since the end of the LIA have followed ocean temperature cycles and not CO2.

I would like to introduce you to a chart from Wikipedia which is notoriously pro-alarmist. The chart is one of climate history over the millions of years and represents our best understanding of ice core data and other proxy data that yields this climate reconstruction. This chart is not controversial.

Temperature History

Temperature History, click to enlarge

Please look at the last 100 million years or so and see the steep decline in global temperature. It was this chart or charts much like this one that helped fuel the “new ice age scare” of the 1970s. There is little that can be done about the long term cooling other than using our technology to adapt to it. There is just not much grant money going to flow from studying natural cycles of millions of years compared to a nice short term warming cycle that can be played into a “world threatening crisis”. But the warming stopped in the ’90s friends. It has been cooling since ’02. Wake up, you have been played for a sucker.

Why did the governments of the world back the cAGW scam? Because it meant ever more control over your lives. The whole play reminds one of the GWOT. In both cases an imaginary hobgoblin was used to scare the pants of the public to get them to demand government action. The same tactic works every time it seems like.

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. ~ H.L. Mencken


4 thoughts on “I answer three Global Warming Cultists

  1. Mark,

    Appreciate you taking the time to write this. It’s a topic I’ve been waiting for the right time to engage you on, and I guess we’ve finally arrived here now. Please understand all my objections below are aimed at good natured intellectual growth, and an understanding that I am not a ‘cultist’ with regards to this matter.

    Here is my response to the first part, and hopefully you will be able to figure out where I am coming from based on the items I’ve chosen to focus on…

    “claim that catastrophic, anthropogenic, CO2 caused global warming was going to kill us all”

    For the record, I don’t argue one way or the other on warming or cooling. I do know that we have increased CO2 levels. I also know that we, however small and insignificant in the long run, have the capability to alter the ecosystems and atmosphere of this planet. I do not think it will kill us all. At least not from a warming or cooling standpoint. From an ecological collapse though? Certainly.

    “I don’t know who was behind the idea to gang up on me late one night when they knew I was already asleep, but I suspect Joe”

    It was indeed my idea.

    “the “fight to save the earth” itself might well kill off a lot of people by driving up energy costs well beyond what we poor folks can pay,”

    We all know these energy costs reflect the fact that we do not properly account for ‘natural capital’ when we determine the value of fossil fuels. Any proper free-marketer must acknowledge that. We look at our resources as if they exist outside our economic system. Very few consider the real value of our ‘natural capital’. What price would you put on the oxygen trees produce? Or the cleanliness of our water? Of the pollination that bees do to keep our food system in existence? We as a species are currently living beyond our means. The world will not sustain us at the present course, there simply isn’t enough natural capital to maintain our current levels of spending.

    “We feel comfortable in saying that private contractual cooperation among free people whose property rights are respected and protected will deal with the problem of pollution better than the current system of control by the nation-state.”

    That’s fine and great when actual property is at stake. What about the oceans? What about the air? These are not traditionally considered things one has property rights over. How do these parts of our world fit into market control over pollution?

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