July 25, 2009

Climate change you can believe in

FROM-NRO [Mark Steyn]
Further to the post below, several readers have asked why I didn't refute the case made against me. Well, the case made against me is that I'm an uneducated clod, and I agreed with that.

But, if you mean the argument on "global warming", my general line is this: For the last century, we've had ever so slight warming trends and ever so slight cooling trends every 30 years or so, and I don't think either are anything worth collapsing the global economy over.

Things warmed up a bit in the decades before the late Thirties. Why? I dunno. The Versailles Treaty? The Charleston?

Then from 1940 to 1970 there was a slight cooling trend. In its wake, Lowell Ponte (who I believe is an expert climatologist and, therefore, should have been heeded) wrote his bestseller, The Cooling: Has the new ice age already begun? Can we survive?

From 1970 to 1998 there was a slight warming trend, and now there's a slight cooling trend again. And I'm not fussed about it either way. But here's how Media Matters corrects me:

In fact, as Media Matters for America has noted, annual global average temperatures have both risen and fallen over the past 11 years, and while there have been some relatively cooler years during that period — including a decline in each of the past three years relative to the year before — climate scientists reject the idea that those temperatures are any indication that global warming is slowing or does not exist.

Gotcha. Those scientists "reject" the cooling trend of the last decade and think it's part of the "long-term" warming trend of the previous three decades. Just as, presumably, when he published his book on "the new ice age" in 1976, Lowell Ponte thought the warming trend of the 1970s was part of the "long-term" cooling trend of the previous three decades.

If you dig that jive, I'm happy for you. Glad you're a satisfied customer - like the lady who went to see the fortune teller and was told she'd meet a tall dark stranger the following Wednesday, and on Thursday met a blond midget! Amazing! But I like the way Professor Ian Plimer puts it:

I’m a natural scientist. I’m out there every day, buried up to my neck in sh**, collecting raw data. And that’s why I’m so sceptical of these models, which have nothing to do with science or empiricism but are about torturing the data till it finally confesses. None of them predicted this current period we’re in of global cooling. There is no problem with global warming. It stopped in 1998. The last two years of global cooling have erased nearly 30 years of temperature increase.

In the mid-nineties, which climatologist and which model predicted the cooling trend of the turn of the century and the oughts? And, if they didn't, on what basis do you trust their claims for 2050 or 2100?

1 comment:

  1. Climate change in microcosm:
    A Google "dust bowl" hit (Wikipedia)

    "The region is also prone to extended drought, alternating with unusual wetness of equivalent duration.[8] During wet years, the rich soil provides bountiful agricultural output, but crops fail during dry years. Furthermore, the region is subject to winds higher than any region except coastal regions.[9]

    "The unusually wet period, which encouraged increased settlement and cultivation in the Great Plains, ended in 1930. This was the year in which an extended and severe drought began which caused crops to fail . .."

    More generally, in different parts of the globe
    Hot and cold, wet and dry, have alternated
    Long before the internal combustion engine
    And other "carbonators" man has created.