You Need To Panic About Global Warming

When alleged activists get their news from the Wall Street Journal there is something terribly wrong with the world. Rady Ananda of COTO Report recently wrote a short piece about her growing suspicion of the evidence that man made global warming is occurring. In her words:

This letter propels my shift from ardent warmist to lukewarmist, to, eventually, full blown skeptic, it seems.

To give Rady credit, she does some good reporting on a variety of different issues from genetically modified food to vaccines. But after reading this recent post I have removed her website from my favorites list. I simply can’t imagine how someone with her credentials could possibly write such drivel. It is possibly the most poorly researched article I have ever read by an activist.

To begin, her entire premise is based on the recently, and completely debunked Wall Street Journal op-ed piece titled “No Need To Panic About Global Warming”. The opinion piece was published on January 27th and she apparently rushed to publish her piece the same day, I can only assume she did zero research before so, since nothing in the article can be validated. On the same day, the Union of Concerned Scientists debunked the piece here. Again on the same day, Forbes magazine of all places also debunked it. Five days later, 38 Climate Scientists published a response entitled, “Check With Climate Scientists for Views on Climate” which begins with the explanation that only a few of these 16 scientists are actually climate scientists, and they are well known to have dissenting views, for example, Richard Lindzen, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, was accused by Harpers magazine of at one time receiving $2,500 per month from oil and gas companies. He also doesn’t believe that smoking causes cancer. To add insult to injury, the Journal refused to publish a piece in 2010 signed by 255 members of Lindzen’s own National Academy of Sciences:

The most amazing and telling evidence of the bias of the Wall Street Journal with respect to manmade climate change is the fact that 255 members of the United States National Academy of Sciences wrote a scientifically accurate essay on the realities of climate change and on the need for improved and serious public debate around the issue, offered it to the Wall Street Journal, and were turned down. The National Academy of Sciences is the nation’s pre-eminent independent scientific organizations. Its members are among the most respected in the world in their fields. Yet the Journal wouldn’t publish this letter. Instead they chose to publish an error-filled and misleading piece on climate because 16 so-called experts aligned with their bias signed it. This may be good politics for them, but it is bad science and it is bad for the nation.

Another of the 16, Claude Allegre, doesn’t believe asbestos is hazardous. And Roger Cohen and Edward E. David Jr. are former Exxon executives, go figure. In fact,  A investigation found that:

Half of the 16 scientists who penned a controversial Wall Street Journal opinion piece proclaiming there is “no need to panic” about global warming have ties to either the oil and gas industry or groups dedicated to debunking climate science, a investigation has found. The article, criticized by climate scientists and environmental groups, says that the field of climate science is dominated by opportunists and that “a large and growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree that drastic actions on global warming are needed.”

The first fabrication is the outrageous idea that no warming has occurred in the last ten years. This has been so thoroughly debunked that it is hardly worth mentioning, however people who read these lies for some reason tend to believe them. Not one climate scientist in his right mind would point to the last ten years as evidence of anything. All climate science is based on earth time, which is measured not in decades but hundreds and thousands and millions of years. The best data we have is the last 130 plus years because records are not available prior to then. The fact that warming has only increased slightly in the last ten years is completely irrelevant. No climate scientists have posited that warming has a direct relationship with carbon emissions, climate moves in fits and starts, up and down and the only way to measure warming or cooling for that matter is to take a look at long term trends. The point of these mindless rants is to muddy the argument, to cause doubt amongst the readers so they begin questioning their own beliefs. The WSJ piece, of course, offers no evidence of their claims. While researching the topic, I found a Forbes article from June 2011 where hack, I mean, “contributor” James Taylor explains to the simpletons who read his columns that:

NASA satellite instruments precisely measuring global temperatures show absolutely no warming during the past the past 10 years.

The entire premise of these 16 scientists opinion rests on the “no warming in ten years” claim. So let’s examine the evidence. The below chart is the evidence presented by the hack at Forbes. Pay close attention to the Y axis, it says “Temperature Departure from ’81 – ’10 Avg.) Notice the use of only double digit years. It is likely that someone reading this might assume that similar to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the data collector means 1881, since all climate science is based on ALL available data. Allow me to provide some background.

Whenever the gas and oil companies and their subsidiaries like the Heartland Institute want to publish this nonsense, they trot out these climate “skeptics” like Roy Spencer to “prove” that climate change is natural and the amount of carbon in the atmosphere does not affect the earth at all. See Dr. Spencer’s website. So this graph speaks for itself, while the NOAA graph above uses a departure from Avg. time frame of 1880-2012, Dr. Spencer’s data uses a time frame of 1981-2010. This is a classic lesson on how to lie with numbers and graphs.  If you were to print the below graph, it would be useful for nothing more than toilet paper, it is the definition of junk science. Here is a graph of the last 132 years of climate data from NOAA, using the standard 1880 and after data set that legitimate climate scientists use:

Charting The Climate

Here is another NOAA graph:  But far more disturbing to me is that all this does is change scope of the discussion. There are a million reasons to reduce carbon emissions, anthropocentric global warming is just one. The objective of oil and gas companies is to create doubt, not to prove a point. If you can change the discourse to credibility of a particular climatologist, or cherry picked data making it look as though warming has not occurred, you can manifest the idea that perhaps the earth is not warming, perhaps the science is wrong. This plays out on American television news every day, as if the climate skeptics have an equal say in whether AGW (Anthropocentric Global Warming) is happening. As if they represent half of the scientific opinion. Even though about 97-98% of climate scientists agree that AGW is happening.

Forget the fact that 2010 was tied  with 2005 as the warmest year on record, forget the fact that the last decade was the warmest in recorded history. So that being said let me pose an question to all of you who are now questioning whether or not climate change/global warming is man made and whether or not we should do something about it. If you have children, would you let them play in traffic? What if I showed you all kinds of persuasive graphs and statistics showing how safe it was and that there was an acceptable percentage risk that they would not be run over by a car. What threshold would you accept to allow them to play in traffic? A 50% chance they would be run over? 30% chance? what is it. The fact is if you are in any way interested in your child’s safety you would not allow them to play in traffic at all.

This is exactly the argument these deniers put forth. They want you to believe that because climatologists can’t prove for a fact that carbon emissions are causing anthropocentric global warming that we should do NOTHING about it. This is a profoundly flawed argument. There isn’t a parent in the world that would allow their children to do ridiculously dangerous activities that could easily result in their death. If something has a ten percent chance of killing your kids you don’t do it, simple as that. That is if you have that information. We have significant data showing that carbon emissions are killing the planet and our children’s future, therefore, if you are a concerned citizen you must acknowledge that even if there is only a 5% chance that AGW is occurring we need to do everything in our power to curb carbon emissions, end of discussion.