Libertarian Hawk


Global Warming Fanatics: This Generation’s Flat-Earthers

August 31, 2011 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Environmentalism

flat earth

Image by Scott Spiegel via Flickr

No longer content to compare global warming skeptics to mere Holocaust deniers, Al Gore recently implied that climate doubters will someday be seen as this generation’s Klansmen.

In an interview with the Climate Reality Project, Gore declared that the civil rights and climate change movements are similar in that both harbor a profound moral component.  (Honestly, Gore’s new comparison lacks the punch of “Today the evidence of an ecological Kristallnacht is as clear as the sound of glass shattering in Berlin.”)

The bloated old walrus offered his awestruck, rosy-cheeked interviewer a two-pronged strategy that global warming believers should adapt from anti-racism protestors to “win the conversation.”  First, global warming fanatics should persuade non-believers through facts; second, they should confront “inappropriate” statements by expressing loud disapproval just as if they were racial slurs.

I could be wrong, but I think in order to “win the conversation,” you have to actually have a conversation first, at least one in which both sides are allowed to speak.  Yet the Goracle is notoriously reluctant to accept invitations to debate climate change skeptics such as brilliant mathematician and former Margaret Thatcher advisor Christopher Monckton—probably because he knows Monckton has enough logic and facts at his disposal to mop the floor with Gore.

In his Climate Reality Project interview, Gore claims that it is no more difficult for warming adherents to “win the conversation” on global warming than it was for pro-equality Southerners to “win the conversation” on racism.  In other words, put Gore on record as stating that it’s no more accepted fact that people should be judged by the content of their character than it is that the folks who overestimated the impact of Hurricane Irene on New York City by an order of magnitude can tell us how many degrees warmer the planet will be in 100 years.

Gore also chides Texas Governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry for claiming that the world’s scientists are in on a vast conspiracy to profit from preventive actions to halt climate change.  In fact, Perry said no such thing.  What Perry said is that climate change has become a politicized issue—which it has—and that key researchers have been caught shielding data from the public—which they have.  Perry also noted that scientists have been stepping forward en masse to express skepticism about climate change science—which is true.

It is also true that a prevailing orthodoxy has set in regarding climate change, such that skepticism is discouraged, and only research expected to confirm the outlines of preordained alarmist conclusions is deemed fundable by government agencies and even most private foundations.  It’s unlikely that scientists the world over think as objectively about climate change as they would if there were equally large gobs of money for research opposing the notion of manmade global warming.

But back to Gore’s ludicrous race-climate comparison: Since he brought it up, it’s worth noting that most climate change skeptics these days are Republicans.  In contrast, the most recalcitrant racists from the 1950s and 1960s were Southern Democrats—like Gore’s father, Al Gore Sr., who voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Bull Connor, whom Gore cites for his brutal act of turning fire hoses on protestors.  So comparing Republicans to civil rights opponents may not be Gore’s best rhetorical move.

Meanwhile, noted climatologist Paul Krugman advances the skeptic-bashing on another front by sneering that Republicans are “anti-science,” “anti-knowledge,” and “anti-intellectualism.”

Let’s see: What does the science tell us about climate change?  For one thing, it tells us that there has been no statistically significant rise in global temperature over the last 16 years, even though CO2 emissions have increased.  It tells us that there has even been evidence of global cooling over the last 11 years.

The science tells us that 9 out the past 11 winters have delivered above-average snowfall and below-average temperatures to North America, Europe, and Asia.

The science tells us that H20, not CO2, is by far the biggest greenhouse gas—though I don’t recall Democratic politicians’ calling for a ban on sprinklers watering the neatly manicured lawns at their beachfront resorts.

If all of this were really about the science, then climate “scientists” would be aggressively working to falsify accepted hypotheses, challenge conventional knowledge, and test the rigor of their models—not toadying up to politicized government funding agencies that hand out taxpayer-funded research money like candy.

Far from resembling Gore’s smear of narrow-minded segregationists, climate change skeptics have demonstrated abundant open-mindedness and courage in their willingness to confront institutionalized wrongheadedness and public acceptance of falsehoods.  These qualities suggest that, if right, global warming skeptics will someday be seen as this generation’s moral heroes.

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Trusting Liberals Is Now Just a Thing of the Past

December 29, 2010 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Environmentalism

Aftermath of the Winter Storm

In 2000 the British paper The Independent ran a story with the wistful headline “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.”

Faithfully advancing the theory of anthropogenic global warming like a good leftist media foot soldier, the author nostalgically declared, “Snow is starting to disappear from our lives.  Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain’s culture.”

The Independent cited Dr. David Viner of the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia, who predicted that in a few years, snow will be “a very rare and exciting event…  Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.”

That would be the same climatic research unit involved in last year’s Climategate scandal, in which a whistleblower released thousands of e-mails documenting researchers manipulating, covering up, and losing data used in the UN’s report on dangerous manmade global warming.

In The Independent’s story, one researcher at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research envisioned a world in which British children might have to settle for experiencing online “polar scenes” or feeling “virtual cold.”

Meanwhile, in the decade since, Brits, Americans, and the rest of the world have gotten to experience actual polar scenes and feel real cold in spades.

Eight of the past 10 winters have seen above-average snowfall and below-normal temperatures across North America, Europe, and Asia, not counting the cold spell of December 2010.

The entire Eastern seaboard of the U.S., most of the Midwest, and much of the South were recently rocked with a series of paralyzing storms that stranded Christmas travelers, crippled airlines, stalled vehicles, collapsed sporting complexes, cleared Times Square, shut down New York City’s mass transit system, halted Amtrak service, destroyed marine life in the Carolinas, and cryogenically froze a functioning lighthouse on Lake Michigan.

The British Transport Secretary recently sought the advice of the UK’s top science advisor regarding whether, in light of the massive snowfall that shut down Heathrow and other major European airports last week, extra levels of preparation and spending should be budgeted in future years for harsher winters.

Just as it was becoming clear that snow was not on the verge of extinction, global warming fanatics began to air the theory that climate warming actually predicted increased snow, because warm air “holds” more precipitation.  (The same could be said for liberals’ attempts to fool the public: the more hot air they spew, the more likely they are to wallop us with a snow job.)

Note that this cockamamie notion that increased snow results from global warming was conveniently produced after the harsh, snow-drenched winters of the past few years, not before—and certainly not back in 2000.

Global warming alarmists laugh at skeptics who point out that temperatures have not increased over the past 10 years, but rather have decreased.  Though there has been no measurable global warming since 1998, Al Gore worshippers insist that trends of a few years prove nothing, and that temporary ups and downs are to be expected when addressing a phenomenon that can be measured only over decades or centuries.

This is not, of course, what the alarmists were saying in the 1990s, when they cited every melted popsicle and bare midriff as incontrovertible proof that the globe was dissolving.

So we now know that global warming can eliminate snow (pace The Independent), but can also produce more snow and gargantuan, historic blizzards.  Global warming can lead to slightly above-average temperatures (as in the 1990s), but can also result in a 12-year decline in global temperature, cold and miserable springs, and brutal winters.  (See The New York Times’ recent op-ed “Bundle Up, It’s Global Warming,” in which the author explains that “the overall warming of the atmosphere is actually creating cold-weather extremes.”)

Global warmists are quick to give birth to a litter of ad hoc explanations about why “warming” has led to cooling.  But if the past 10 winters had been unusually warm and snow-free, the warmists inarguably would have cited that data as iron-clad proof of their prognostications.

Alarmists pull after-the-fact hypotheses out of thin air to compensate for their failed forecasts, but their routine is getting old.

Manmade global warming is, given our current state of scientific knowledge, and the way the majority of the world’s climate centers and media outlets treat the evidence, an unfalsifiable theory.

In liberals’ view, the only outcome global warming can’t lead to is mankind being let off the hook from the charge of destroying our natural habitat through the sin of industrial civilization.

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Top 10 Stories of 2009

December 23, 2009 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Miscellaneous

Warning: Tiger Woods, Michael Jackson, and Balloon Boy are nowhere to be found in this list!

1. Iran Election Upheaval – Brave protestors took to the streets of Tehran and Twittered to the world shocking pictures and videos of civilian beatings and shootings by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, despite the inability of our Commander-in-Chief to raise an eyebrow over the carnage for a week.  As “President” Ahmadinejad continues to mock the West’s demands that Iran halt its uranium enrichment, the outrage of the emboldened and mobilized protest movement has the potentially farthest-reaching consequences of any event in 2009.

2. Health Care Reform Debate – Simultaneously the most outrageous and boring story of 2009.  On the one hand, we listened all year in disbelief as conservative think tanks unearthed fresh horrors in evolving versions of the bill; on the other hand, we listened to Democrats recite tired lies about “45 million uninsured” and “bending the cost curve” and “Nancy Pelosi approving a surtax on Botox.”  As Obama supporter Camille Paglia admitted, “By a proportion of something like 10-to-1, negative articles by conservatives were vastly more detailed, specific and practical about the proposals than were supportive articles by Democrats, which often made gestures rather than arguments and brimmed with emotion and sneers.”

3. Climategate – In which more pages of e-mails and computer code than in all the healthcare reform bills combined were leaked to the press, revealing climate “scientists” fudging data, threatening to delete data, and doing everything but counting pregnant chads to make the results come out the way they wanted.  Here’s a deal for Michael Mann, author of the discredited “hockey stick” graph of global temperature over the past few millennia: if “trick,” “hide,” and “decline” no longer mean what they once did, then neither do “dire,” “peer-reviewed,” or “consensus.”

4. Afghanistan Surge – General McChrystal begged President Obama in private and in public to give him the troops he needed to implement the counterinsurgency strategy Obama had hired him to carry out back in March.  After four months of dawdling, Obama gave McChrystal 75% of his revised request—which was 50% of his initial request—with no rationale provided for his bargain basement offer.  If this is how Obama treats the “good war,” I’d hate to see what he does to the bad one.

5. Tea Party Movement – Rasmussen released a poll in December showing that in a three-way generic race among Democratic, Republican, and Tea Party candidates, the Tea Party contender would beat the Republican by 5 points.  Despite the left’s ludicrous charges of racism and desperate use of lewd sexual terms never adopted by any Tea Party patriot, the biggest mass uprising against government spending and abuse of power since 1773 grew angrier and more forceful as the year went on, and will only be further inflamed by the Senate’s Christmas Eve passage of the health care spending act.

6. Stimulus Bill Passage – It would give you a concussion if it fell on you, even if dropped by Obama at the nadir of his bow to the King of Saudi Arabia or the Emperor of Japan.  Four months after its urgently required, life-or-death passage, only 5% of stimulus funds had been spent, a detail the administration papered over by simply lying about funded projects.  Naturally, this summer Democrats began clamoring for another stimulus package.

7. Sonia Sotomayor Confirmation – Proof that Democrats were never the party against racism—they were once the party that supported racism, and now they’re the party that supports reverse racism.  If Our Wise Latina’s speeches on biological differences between the races had been half as incendiary, the media would be consoling us that she might have been rejected for the Supreme Court if what she had said had been any worse; yet the fact is, if her words had been twice as offensive, wimpy Republicans in Congress would probably still have voted to confirm her.

8. Ft. Hood Shootings – The first terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, which was allowed to happen for the same reason as 9/11—the politically correct refusal to identify the danger of Islamism and its adherents’ wish to obliterate us and our allies for promoting freedom.  The most damning detail was Major Nidal Hasan’s PowerPoint presentation to a group of army scientists on the Koran’s injunction to decapitate infidels—to which the army responded by giving Hasan a promotion in Texas to get him out of their hair.

9. Pakistan Helps the U.S. Fight the Taliban – The Pakistan Army finally stepped up to the plate, no thanks to Obama’s dithering over the U.S.’s own commitment in the region.  Pakistan began Operation Path to Deliverance, in which they managed to send the same number of troops Obama finally agreed to as part of General McChrystal’s surge (30,000) to South Waziristan to beat back insurgents.

10. New Jersey/Virginia Gubernatorial Elections – Last year, liberals hooted that Republican primary candidates were avoiding George W. Bush like the plague, but the joke’s on them—their messiah is turning into the kiss of death in just his first year of office.  Obama’s multiple campaign stops for would-be governors Corzine and Deeds did nothing to assist them, and possibly even hindered their candidacies.

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Copenhagen or Bust (Hint: Bust)

December 09, 2009 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Environmentalism

I hate to have to point out the obvious to the rosy-cheeked, starry-eyed eco-warriors heading en masse to the international global warming summit this week (OK—I love to point it out), but the fact is that the Copenhagen Climate Conference is going to be, on every level, a monumental failure.

As has been reported for months, the nations of the world have not agreed, and will not agree, to legally binding reductions or limits on carbon dioxide emissions at the conference.  The biggest “polluters” are least likely to volunteer to give up their 21st-century living standards (the U.S., Australia, Canada) or their efforts to achieve such (China, India, Brazil).

As George Will noted, the U.S. population in 2050 will have risen to 420 million, which means that if we honor Obama’s pledge to reduce our nation’s “carbon footprint” by then to 80% below 2005 levels, emissions per capita “will be about what they were in 1875.  That.  Will.  Not.  Happen.”

Even climate change alarmists admit that pledges hinted at by Obama for Copenhagen and outlined in the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill passed by the House this summer will have barely any effect on the earth’s climate.

And even if Obama decided to place some of his rapidly swelling political capital on the line and make a pledge for emissions reductions at Copenhagen, it wouldn’t be legally binding, because any treaty must be ratified by the U.S. Senate, which has already demonstrated its hostility to the less ambitious Waxman-Markey bill.

If all of this isn’t promising enough, Copenhagen delegates’ support from their constituencies for making firm commitments to reduce emissions will be diluted by several other factors.  One is the laughable hypocrisy on display in conference attendees’ lavish, luxury-filled, CO2 emission-intensive accommodations and entertainments.  The UK Telegraph documents that the summit, including jet and limousine travel, “will create a total of 41,000 tonnes of ‘carbon dioxide equivalent,’” about the same as the daily emissions of 30 smaller countries.  This is even after Al Gore canceled his talk in Copenhagen and the extra fuel required to fly him there was subtracted from the total.

Another lacuna in the alarmists’ scheme is that little matter known as “Climategate,” or, the fallout at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia from a whistleblower having leaked thousands of e-mails and other files documenting climate change “scientists” manipulating data, losing data, being unable to reconstruct data, and doing everything but counting “dimpled chads” to make the numbers come out the way they wanted.

Even before Climategate, polls showed that a majority of Americans believed climate change was primarily due to natural and not human causes and that such beliefs have been growing more common in recent years.  Yet Yvo de Boer, the UN’s top climate official, is worried only about people’s “perception” of the e-mails, not whether they reveal compromised data analysis.  Of the general public, he patronizingly states, “[W]hen they have the feeling… that scientists are manipulating information in a certain direction, then of course it causes concern in a number of people to say, ‘You see, I told you so, this is not a real issue.’”  Yes, Yvo—when people realize that the UN’s top climate official cares more about whether the little people discover the truth than he cares about discovering the truth, it does cast climate change alarmists in a suspicious light.

Then of course there’s the science, which is too complex for most non-climate scientists to follow (and now, we know, most climate scientists), but which infiltrates the public’s awareness from time to time, due to the efforts of honest climate scientists and tireless, usually unpaid fact-checkers, statisticians, and bloggers.  For example, these skeptics have helped publicize the well-documented Medieval Warming Period, during which temperatures were hotter than they are today, yet SUVs were still only in the test market phase.

Those over 40 remember the international scientific “consensus” in the early 1970s that the planet was cooling at an alarming rate and that humans were careening toward the next Ice Age.  More recently, those over 15 remember the catastrophic, government-fueled, technology-related Y2K predictions, none of which came true.  (Those over 9 months remember Obama’s promise that if we didn’t pass the $787 billion stimulus bill, unemployment might someday soar all the way to 8.0%.)

Acting in concert with Obama, the EPA on Monday released a declaration of intent to regulate and require permits from the largest U.S. emitters.  The timing of the announcement on the first day of the Copenhagen conference, which was a total coincidence, was meant to goad Congressmen into passing cap-and-trade legislation, lest the EPA effectively do it for them.

This usurpation of the legislature’s function is not sitting well with many in Congress, including even such Democrats and moderate Republicans as Russ Feingold, Blanche Lincoln, Byron Dorgan, and Olympia Snowe.  The working and middle classes will be none too happy, either: as Forbes’ Joel Kotkin notes, “Huge increases in energy costs, taxes and a spate of regulatory mandates will restrict their access to everything from single-family housing and personal mobility to employment in carbon-intensive industries like construction, manufacturing, warehousing and agriculture.”  Who ever said Democrats don’t look out for the little guy!

So Monday’s EPA ruling does not help, but actually undermines, any Copenhagen pledge in two ways: (1) the ruling undercuts the necessity of Obama’s making any public commitment in Copenhagen, because it allows the administration to enact its schemes more stealthily, yet (2) the ruling will not withstand the inevitable, prolonged legal challenges from every corner of society, or the public’s anger at an administration that would allow such an authoritarian agency to make this ruling, which will undermine the administration’s ability to carry out any pledge it makes at Copenhagen.  Paradoxically, Obama’s best prospect for restricting carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. is rescinding the EPA ruling and making no promises in Copenhagen, and taking his chances with Congress next year.

So in case it’s still not obvious to some, I’ll repeat it: Copenhagen will be a monumental failure on every level.

Bonus revelation: It deserves to be.

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A Miscellany of Climategate Scenarios That Will Not Appear

December 02, 2009 By: Scott Spiegel Category: Environmentalism

If you, like most Americans, doubt that scientists will ever demonstrate a direct causal link between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming, try wrapping your mind around any of the following deeply implausible scenarios in the wake of the recent Climategate scandal:

(1) The Climate Research Unit at the UK’s University of East Anglia, origin of the thousands of pages of leaked e-mails and computer code two weeks ago, will honor requests to release the CRU data used to produce results showing steady global temperature increases over the past 150 years.

Phil Jones, head of CRU, who resigned yesterday in light of the fraud, once e-mailed U.S. colleague Michael Mann, “[D]on’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites – you never know who is trawling them…  If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone…  We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind.”

(2) The CRU physically possesses the data it has collected over the years and the programs used to generate its previously published results, or can figure out how to reproduce these programs.

Here are a few nuggets from the infamous “HARRY_READ_ME” text file containing three years’ worth of notes (2006-2009) documenting one CRU scientist’s attempt to reconstruct published temperature data using the center’s poorly documented datasets and computer code:

“I immediately found a mistake! Scanning forward to 1951 was done with a loop that, for completely unfathomable reasons, didn’t include months! So we read 50 grids instead of 600!!!”

“Wherever I look, there are data files, no info about what they are other than their names…  [T]he filenames… are identical, but the contents are not.”

“I’ve worked all weekend, and just when I thought it was done I’m hitting yet another problem that’s based on the hopeless state of our databases.  There is no uniform data integrity, it’s just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they’re found.”

“I am seriously close to giving up, again.  The history of this is so complex that I can’t get far enough into it before my head hurts and I have to stop.  Each parameter has a tortuous history of manual and semi-automated interventions…  I could be throwing away all kinds of corrections.”

(3) Phil Jones will come up with a convincing explanation for how his e-mail describing use of “Mike’s trick” to “hide the decline” references anything other than fraudulent manipulation of data to achieve a desired outcome.

The e-mail in question: “’I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature [journal] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 to hide the decline.”

Jones’ response to the leak: “The use of the term ‘hiding the decline’ was in an email written in haste.”  Note to Jones: So was your lame defense of that shifty e-mail.

The defense offered by Michael Mann, originator of the long-discredited “hockey stick” graph of global temperature increase, was not much better: Mann claimed that the word “trick” referred to a clever method of solving a problem “and not something secret.”  Not anymore, it’s not!

(4) The University of East Anglia, the BBC, and the international mainstream media will get more agitated about the implications of the hacked CRU e-mails than the fact that they were hacked.

The criminal penalties lying in wait for the scientists who conspired to alter, misrepresent, or delete data after FOIA requests, while spending millions in public grant money, are far greater than for the hacker who obtained the e-mails.  The implications of falsified data for global climate change regulations, taxes, and government takeover of industrial economies render the hacker’s moral breech moot.

(5) The New York Times’ Andrew Revkin and other environmental “reporters” will admit Climategate is a big deal.

The CRU is one of two centers that compile global land temperature data; the other is the U.S. Goddard Institute for Space Studies.  Roughly 50% of terrestrial temperature data has thus been demonstrated to be worthless—more than 50%, if you take into account the greater weight given the CRU data in the IPCC report, the close working relationship between the centers, and the documented bias and possible fraud in U.S. data.  Yet Revkin claims, “The evidence pointing to a growing human contribution to global warming is so widely accepted that the hacked material is unlikely to erode the overall argument.”  Case closed!

(6) Climategate will backfire against skeptics.

Kenneth Trenberth, CRU crony and researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, insists—hold your laughter—that the hacked e-mails demonstrate “the integrity of scientists.”  Even George “Moonbat” Monbiot, global warming columnist for the UK Guardian—who bitterly wrote, “I apologise.  I was too trusting of some of those who provided the evidence I championed.  I would have been a better journalist if I had investigated their claims more closely”—was ludicrously recalcitrant in his support for CRU researchers: “By comparison to his opponents, Phil Jones is pure as the driven snow.”

(7) Any climate change alarmists other than Monbiot will apologize for putting too much credence in CRU data without being able to independently verify it.

The shills at, for example, write: “There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research… no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist-communist-vegetarian overlords.”  Apology accepted!

(8) Global warming alarmists will view the halt in statistically significant global warming over the last 15 years, the demonstrable global cooling over the last 9 years, and the projected global cooling over the next several decades by skeptics whose models correctly predicted both of the above, as evidence that might prove their climate change theories wrong.

See all of the above.

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