Monday, June 22, 2009

Making Pravda Blush

In the near future, Congress will vote on possibly the most ill advised piece of legislation imaginable - cap and trade. It is an economy busting piece of legislation being pushed as we are in the worst recession since the Great Depression. It will put the final stake in our energy industry just as another energy crisis looms. It is legislation that is so cost ineffective as to be mind numbing. More importantly, the science on which cap and trade is founded is ever more being shown false. Not letting any of that interfere with their push, Team Obama has released a 196 page report, "Global Climate Change Impacts In The United States" produced by the U.S. Global Change Research Program. It could have been written by the Goracle himself. As one climate scientist has stated, it is a report whose inaccuracies and twisting of data would "make Pravda blush."

The report begins:

Observations show that warming of the climate is unequivocal. The global warming observed over the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced emissions of heat-trapping gases. These emissions come mainly from the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas), with important contributions from the clearing of forests, agricultural practices, and other activities.

How they come to the conclusion that most global warming is due to man made emissions is something the authors do not explain. Given that less than 4% of CO2 emissions come from "human induced emissions," it seems the distortions start in paragraph one. And as you can well imagine, its downhill from there. The reports conclusion is, of course, that we have to enact massive legislation to control carbon dioxide now or face certain disaster in the future.

No mention is to be found in the report that all of the computer models relied on to predict global warming are deviating ever more from reality. They each predict that global temperatures will rise with CO2 levels. The reality is that global CO2 levels are rising, but the earth is in its seventh straight year of cooling and is experience aberrant winter weather that is now, ominously, having an appreciable effect on agriculture. Nor is there any mention of normal variations in historic temperature and CO2 levels in comparison to modern day, etc.

In predicting dire consequences - i.e., increased natural disasters, etc., - the report relies heavily on the research of Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. And the first person to rip this report to shreds for its falsification of science and misrepresentation of data was . . . Dr. Pielke. You really need to read his whole post on this, but in essence, he finds that his data has been misrepresented by people writing the report and, further, he finds that they have a financial stake in seeing global warming legislation passed:

Imagine if an industry-funded government contractor had a hand in writing a major federal report on climate change. And imagine if that person used his position to misrepresent the science, to cite his own non-peer reviewed work, and to ignore relevant work in the peer-reviewed literature. There would be an outrage, surely . . .

This post is about how the report summarizes the issue of disasters and climate change, including several references to my work, which is misrepresented. . . .

Read the entire post. At the conclusion, Dr. Pielke quotes conclusions from a previous CCSP report that in fact is supported by his work:

For those wanting a more rounded picture of extremes in the United States, here is what an earlier CCSP report concluded about extreme events in the United States, but which was uncited by this new CCSP report in this paragraph:

1. Over the long-term U.S. hurricane landfalls have been declining.

2. Nationwide there have been no long-term increases in drought.

3. Despite increases in some measures of precipitation (pp. 46-50, pp. 130-131), there have not been corresponding increases in peak streamflows (high flows above 90th percentile).

4. There have been no observed changes in the occurrence of tornadoes or thunderstorms

5. There have been no long-term increases in strong East Coast winter storms (ECWS), called Nor’easters.

6. There are no long-term trends in either heat waves or cold spells, though there are trends within shorter time periods in the overall record.

Other scientists are popping up elsewhere with similar criticism. Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Chris Walcek is one. Citing to one example of how the government has grossly distorted the science, he notes that the report's authors state that "winter temperatures across the northern great plains have increased more than 7 degrees over the past 30 years." As Dr. Waleck comments:

. . . Why only look at winter temperatures (3 months of the year), and IGNORE the other 75% of the measurements? because summer temperatures and annual temperatures show COOLING!!

Why only look at the past 30 years, and IGNORE the entire 100 years, thus "throwing out" over 70% the data? because over the entire record the trends are negligible and show little warming.

Where the HECK did they get 7 degree F warming??? Sioux City Iowa shows winter temperatures only increasing about 3 F warming in recent decades. They probably compared one recent year with a single year 50 years ago, neglecting to tell us that winter temperatures in the northern great plains naturally vary from year-to-year by 15-18 degrees F ALL THE TIME!! Next winter could be 10-20 degrees warmer or cooler than this winter in any location in the upper great plains, and even a 7F warming is well within the natural "noise". (but that 7 F number is apparently pure fiction!!)

Probably the most thorough roll up of the problems with this report comes from Thomas Fuller of the SF Environmental Policy Examiner. As he writes:

. . . The release of the report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, should have helped advance the cause of science. After all, it calls itself a State of Knowledge Report from the U.S. Global Change Research Program. However, a week's worth of review has revealed the document to be more of a religious tract aimed at comforting the comfortable and afflicting the already afflicted. See here, here, here and here for my previous reports.

The report says that we know things that in fact we do not know. It claims to see a future that in fact we cannot see. It claims to be reviewed by peers to increase its trustworthiness. In fact, many of the publications cited were works of the report's authors. Some of the work is not at all peer-reviewed, despite the claims of the report.

The report is criticized more completely here, here, here, here, here, and a summary of other criticisms is found here. . . .

Far more interesting than the report itself are the comments submitted when it was in draft stage. The fact that the paper attracted 359 pages of comments, mostly harshly negative, and that the response of the report writers was so defensive ('We comply with all laws and regulations'?) should have warned us all. I highly recommend a quick flip through the comments to anyone who wonders if the debate on global warming is actually settled. It is obviously not.

Read his entire article here. The Obama administration's report is just more proof that money and politics are meeting in a toxic brew that is grossly distorting science. Perhaps we need to be concerned with CO2, the truth is I don't know. But I can say with total confidence that we should not be voting to enact cap and trade on the basis of the "unequivocal conclusions" of this piece of fiction.

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