"The US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing today on "climate change". A lot of it was business as usual, starting with the opening statement from Senator Barbara Boxer:
We should all know we must take action to reduce harmful carbon pollution, which 97% of scientists agree is leading to dangerous climate change that threatens our families.Ah, the old 97 per cent consensus. To illustrate the point, the Democrats had invited as their witnesses four former heads of the Environmental Protection Agency, who all happen to be Republicans and yet who all support the "consensus". They were the Honorable Christine Todd Whitman, the Honorable William K Reilly [WWF], the Honorable William D Ruckelshaus [DDT], and the Honorable Lee M Thomas - a couple of years in the hyper-regulatory bureaucracy apparently sufficing to earn one a prenominal honorific for life.
Still, in the end they turned out to be pretty Honorable. Click the video below, and note the moment 1 minute and 20 seconds in, when Senator Jeff Sessions says:
"The President on November 14th 2012 said, 'The temperature around the globe is increasing faster than was predicted, even ten years ago.' And then on May 29th last year he also said - quote - 'We also know that the climate is warming faster than anybody anticipated five or ten years ago.' Close quote.
So I would ask each of our former Administrators if any of you agree that that's an accurate statement on the climate. So if you do, raise your hand."
Do stick with the video to see how many of the EPA honchos agreed with the President.
"Thank you," said Senator Sessions. "The record will reflect no one raised their hand."
That's a 100 per cent consensus that the President's words were not an "accurate statement". You can put them up there next to "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan", and there's not a "smidgen" of corruption at the IRS, and that video guy's to blame for Benghazi, and all the other stuff - if there's still any room on the board. I wrote yesterday of the Administration's contempt for the citizenry. One measure of that contempt is the ease with which the President and his taxpayer-funded writers slough off obvious falsehoods in speech after speech.
Of course, the difference between "If you like your plan" and "The climate is warming faster than predicted" is that, whereas the "health" "care" "reformers" always knew the former would prove false, the Big Climate alarmists would dearly like the latter to be true. As the global-warming "hiatus" heads toward the start of its third decade, the sky-is-falling types are desperately hoping something will turn up. This spring they pinned their hopes on a 1997-size El Niño, but that's proving just another damp squib.
So the big-picture cartoon climatology is going nowhere. That's true not just of the President's careless and inaccurate statements, but also of James Cameron's unwatched climate-celeb save-the-planet yawnfest and of Michael E Mann's "hockey stick" - the original climate cartoon that, more than any other single image, started the bizarre 21st century trend of presidents, princes and prime ministers running around sounding like the apocalyptic loons who used to wander the street with sandwich boards.
What we saw at the Senate this morning is a glimpse of how meaningless that "97 per cent" consensus is when supporters have to endorse full-scale Big Climate alarmism in full view of the world and under oath. When we eventually get to trial in the clogged septic tank of DC Superior Court, I wonder how many of Dr Mann's colleagues will be willing to stick their hands up for him and his stick. Conversely, the number of scientists who regard his work as "scanty", "sloppy" and "sh*tty", not to mention "rubbish", "a disgrace to the profession" and "just bad science" is already huge - and they're all members of the 97 per cent, too.
Big Climate alarmism advances through a game of Climate Whispers - or, if you prefer, what Dr Mann's colleague Keith Briffa called "letting Mike push you (us) beyond where we know is right". But he never stops pushing, until all the nuances and uncertainties have been pushed out, and only the cartoon alarmism is left, pushed out through the activists to the rube celebrities to the Gores and Kerrys until one day the President of the United States is standing up there pushed so far beyond what's right that his statement is completely wrong - and is, in fact, the opposite of what's been happening these last 17 years.
That was a great moment in the Senate hearing that makes me even more eager to get on with the trial. Meanwhile, we're pushing on with witness interviews and other research on both sides of the Atlantic, and I thank you for your continued support for this campaign via the Steyn store. If you have any info you think might be helpful, you can send it along here. The willingness of "the leader of the free world" to spout this kind of ludicrous propaganda is itself a good illustration of why Big Climate alarmism needs to be decisively defeated." via Free Republic
6/9/14, "Going My Way," Mark Steyn, SteynOnline
"Herewith the latest commentary re the upcoming trial of the century. In The Washington Post, law professor Jonathan Adler returns to the case for the first time in some months with a column called "Mann v Steyn - Steyn Goes His Own Way":
First, Steyn is again represented by legal counsel. That's good for him. But he has also decided to go his own way due to strategic differences with the other defendants. Whereas NR and the others would like to see Mann's suit dismissed, Steyn has decided to forgo procedural wrangling and would like a full trial on the merits as soon as possible.Do scroll down for the comments about how I'm too "unlikeable"
and "comedic" to appeal to a DC jury. Hey, and don't forget "foreign". No wonder those Taliban guys decided to skip the trial and hightail it to Qatar.
In Canada's Sun newspapers, my old friend Ezra Levant considers Michael E Mann and his fellow warm-monger and serial litigant Andrew Weaver:
"These lawsuits are not really about a particular column in a newspaper or magazine. They're about two big bullies – Weaver and Mann – who love to attack their enemies at will, not being man enough to take criticism themselves. Not being scholarly enough to engage in debate. Not being big boys enough to ignore the odd insult.
It's about silencing of critics. Which is the best these eco-extremists have got."
In fairness to Mann and the other Warmanos, silencing critics is pretty much their standard operating procedure. In my own recent update on the case, I mentioned en passant:
"We're supposed to ignore this nigh-on-two-decade warming "pause" because the "97 per cent scientific consensus" tell us to. But, as Richard Tol's new paper argues, that 97 per cent consensus is no more real than the rampant global warming. In fact, there's so little consensus that the only consensus the Geological Society of Australia can agree on is a press release saying there's no consensus..."
All of which happens to be true. Nevertheless, Jason Quick of Papillion, Nebraska didn't care for the cut of my jib:
In your blog post of 7 June, you cite Richard Tol's recent paper, covered at Watts Up With That to buttress your claim that there is no consensus among climate scientists on climate change.
However, the very text cited in that page contains the following line from Dr Tol:
'There is no doubt in my mind that the literature on climate change overwhelmingly supports the hypothesis that climate change is caused by humans. I have very little reason to doubt that the consensus is indeed correct.'
In short, Tol AGREES with the idea at issue - namely, that an overwhelming number of those in climate science and related fields accept global warming as real and occurring. In short, he seems to agree with climate-change.
Dr Tol's entire campaign against the Cook paper seems to have been one based on his dislike of Cook's methodology and his perception of a lack of transparency on Cook's part regarding data collection and tabulation.
Dr Tol is also on-record in other fora saying the same thing - to wit:
'Published papers that seek to test what caused the climate change over the last century and half, almost unanimously find that humans played a dominant role.
'Funny enough, Cook et al. failed to establish the obvious.'
Also, consider the fact that other studies have concluded similar things to Cook et al: Oreskes, 2004.
In closing, I have a couple suggestions:
1) It seems like it'd be a good idea to read the things you link to in support of an argument.
2) It also seems like it'd be a good idea to drop the "there's no consensus" argument, because there really is. It's bad enough that your argument essentially consists of wholesale slander of scientists as liars, but employing a blatant falsehood not even supported by your "sources" is downright dumb and self-defeating.
Papillion, NebraskaFirst of all, I link to all kinds of things - stuff I agree with, stuff I think is absolute codswallopping balderdash, and stuff that falls somewhere in between. Every reader is free to click on the link and decide where on that spectrum he personally falls.
You'll notice, for example, that we frequently link to both Michael E Mann's Twitter feed and Facebook page so that readers can judge for themselves the merit of his arguments. Whereas Dr Mann never links to those who disagree with him - I'm referring not merely to myself but to fellow scientists such as Judith Curry. He attacks plenty of people but without linking. That's one reason why he won't share a stage with anyone who disagrees even mildly with him: a man too insecure and cowardly to share a link is not a man who would acquit himself well in any kind of debate, or on the witness stand. I take a different view. I have no fear of people clicking the link and seeing for themselves.
In this case, however, you misrepresent both me and Dr Tol. I never said "there's no consensus", except with respect to the Geological Society of Australia, where there is, indeed, no consensus. I referred to "the 97 per cent consensus" - twice. Because that's what's being claimed. Not a majority consensus - not 53 per cent, not 64 per cent, not 76 per cent, not 89 per cent, not 94 per cent, but 97 per cent. A number that has been hammered on relentlessly since this guy Cook purported to have "proved" it: Google "climate 97 per cent" and you'll get 22,900,000 hits. It isn't enough for you guys that there's a consensus; there has to be an all-but-unanimous election-night-in-Pyongyang consensus.
That's false. No such consensus exists.
Nor does Richard Tol merely have, as you claim, a few statistician's quibbles with Cook's methodology. The other link I included in my piece was to Dr Tol's own website, where, after remarks about "weird patterns in the data that cannot be explained by chance alone" and other technical criticisms, he puts the "97 per cent" in context:
"Climate policy is for the long haul. We need a broad consensus, maintained over decades, to decarbonize the economy. We need sober, non-partisan research. We need open discussion about the pros and cons of all options for climate policy.
Instead, Cook and friends tried to shut down the debate, but their incompetence and secrecy only served as fuel on the flames of an already polarized debate."
In other words, the marketing of this fake "97 per cent" is emblematic of what's gone wrong in the broader climate debate
But, as I said, you not only misrepresent Dr Tol, you misrepresent me. As I wrote a couple of weeks ago:
"Like Steve McIntyre, I'm not terribly bothered about the "97 per cent consensus" thing myself. Aside from the climate of fear Mann & his fellow Warmanos have ushered in, there seems to be a fair element of genuine groupthink at work."
So I don't doubt that there is some kind of "consensus" out there. But click on that Steve McIntyre link, and read what he says:
For the record, the 97% consensus thing is not an issue that has particularly bothered me. Although this topic has been a sore point at some blogs, I've always presumed that the views of IPCC and various national academies represented a form of consensus among the climate science community. However, I doubt that the consensus endorsing the proposition that 2 deg C is "dangerous" is as unanimous as the consensus endorsing the propositions that temperatures are currently warmer than the 19th century and that CO2 has a direct impact on temperature – a proposition uncontested by Lindzen, Christy or Spencer.So what is the consensus community actually consenting to? There is certainly no "97 per cent consensus" on anything actionable. Indeed, it's not even clear to me that you, as a card-carrying member of the 97 per cent, actually know what consensus you've signed on to. You quote Dr Tol - "the literature on climate change overwhelmingly supports the hypothesis that climate change is caused by humans" - and then say:
In short, Tol AGREES with the idea at issue - namely, that an overwhelming number of those in climate science and related fields accept global warming as real and occurring. In short, he seems to agree with climate-change.Like a frog-prince Fred Astaire, you've artfully glided across a trio of separate lily pads:
"climate change is caused by humans";
"global warming as real and occurring", and finally simple
These are three different things:
"Climate change" is a vague, amorphous catch-all going nowhere with the public.
Actual "global warming" was "real and occurring" in the late 20th century, but not so much now, in defiance of all those climate models.
Which brings us to the third-category: "human-caused" global warming. There is a consensus that man was responsible for at least some of the global warming before it ground to a halt. But what proportion exactly? Judith Curry:
I think it is important to include the 'A' [anthropogenic] when we are talking about that unknown fraction of warming since 1950 that can be attributed to humans. If you leave out the 'A', people are misled into thinking that all warming for the past 1000 years is caused by humans (the 'hockey stick' argument).She's right. Mann's "hockey stick" shows that there was no such thing as "global warming" until the Industrial Revolution took off bigtime. So, in Mann's science, 100 per cent of "global warming" is anthropogenic. In that case, where did it all go in the 21st century? See Tony Allwright's graph above: China and India industrialized in double-quick time, and it made no difference. One obvious explanation is that there is a non-anthropogenic element in play, something called "natural climate variability".
But Mann and the other Warmanos can't admit to that. Because the important and influential part of Mann's hockey stick is not the blade (as Steve McIntyre says, very few people dispute that it's warmer now than 200 years ago) but the shaft. In abolishing the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, Dr Mann wound up abolishing the very concept of "natural climate variability". To the point where all his rube celebrity pals believe there was a millennium-long stable climate until industrial, consumerist humans came along and broiled the planet.
They believe that because that's what the hockey stick told them.
You won't find 97 per cent of scientists willing to sign on to that. Most of them understand that Mann's stick was crude cartoon science that peddled a simple-minded plot something as complex as global climate was never likely to live up to.
As to your closing comments, that my "argument essentially consists of wholesale slander of scientists as liars", actually I'm getting on rather well with all kinds of scientists around the world, as you'll see when I call my witnesses in court. The only one I regularly call a liar is Dr Fraudpants himself, Michael E Mann. Because he is a liar.
He lied on an industrial scale about being a Nobel Laureate.
He lied about having been investigated and exonerated by the British Government and by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
He told the DC Superior Court that he had been exonerated by Lord Oxburgh's inquiry for the University of East Anglia (see page 19), but he told readers of his whiny self-serving book that his "own work did not fall within the remit of [Oxburgh's] committee, and the hockey stick was not mentioned in [Oxburgh's] report" (see page 235). So he's either lying to the judge or lying to his sap readers.
And that's before we even get to his science, where IPCC colleagues refer to Mann's "misrepresentations", and where fellow members of that 97 per cent consensus call his work "scanty", "sloppy" and "sh*tty".
I don't know whether 97 per cent of scientists think Mann's "scanty", "sloppy" and "sh*tty", but it's getting up there. And that's what we'll demonstrate in court."
Caption for above chart: "Following our recent graph showing no global warming for 17 years and 9 months, Dublin reader Tony Allwright superimposed on it the relentless rise of CO2 during the same period. "It is the two curves in tandem that are so damning to the cause-and-effect case," writes Tony."