A Few Things Ill Considered

A layman's take on the science of Global Warming featuring a guide on How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.

Friday, August 25, 2006

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Back From Australia

Well, as you may or may not have noticed, this blog has been pretty quiet, the last post being almost a month ago. That is not due to lack of interesting events, rather to my being away for a business trip in Australia. Tasmania to be more precise.

Now, while considering what to post next, a rather cheap shot from Roger Pielke Jr has given me that elusive motivation strong enough to overcome the inertia of the long silence.

So the subject of the post is the question I posed in the comments section of a recent Real Climate post.

Is it wrong to be pleased that the American people seem to have really awoken to the danger of Global Warming due to this summer's extreme heatwave and last year's hurricane season? The problem being that no individual storm can be directly attributed to global climate change and this summer's heat wave can't either and we will undoubtably still see some extreme cold snaps, record setting even, in the warming-or-not future.

Global Warming is a grave concern and large protions of the US public, being so susceptible to the accidental genius of the American propaganda machine, have long held its existence in doubt, believing there to be no conclusive scientific evidence yet available. This is not the reality. Now along comes a tremendous storm (not even so tremendous, Katrina was Category 3 at landfall) and suddenly people seem to believe Global Warming is here and now.

And this is the reality.

But Katrina was not proof of that, nor was this summer's heat wave. Not even the record warmth of 2005 can be claimed as "proof", proof does not exist in this kind of science, one must look at the balance of the evidence. So the public has come to believe in a reality through faulty reasoning.

Is it wrong to accept this state of affairs with gratitude? How hard should one try to stamp out that misconception, that Katrina is clear evidence that Global Warming is here? As I stated in my comment (link above), I would not say it, and will correct people who say it to me, but I don't feel any urge to go out of my way to stamp it out.

Is that wrong?

(An interesting article on distinguishing Hurricane Katrina from Catastrophe Katrina here.)

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

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The Turn of the Tide?

From Steve Milloy at JunkScience.com:
The State of California has filed a request in federal court to force auto makers to disclose all documents and communications between the companies and the so-called “climate skeptics.” California accuses the climate skeptics of playing a “major role in spreading disinformation about global warming.”

The "sceptics"under the gun?
In a pre-trial discovery motion, California and the environmental groups asked for:

All DOCUMENTS relating to both GLOBAL WARMING and to any of the following individuals: S. Fred Singer, James Glassman, David Legates, Richard Lindzen, Patrick J. Michaels, Thomas Gale Moore, Robert C. Balling, Jr., Sherwood B. Idso, Craig D. Idso, Keith E. Idso, Sallie Baliunas, Paul Reiter, Chris Homer [sic], Ross McKitrick, Julian Morris, Frederick Seitz, Willie Soon, and Steven Milloy, including but not limited to:

All DOCUMENTS relating to any communications between YOU and these individuals, and All DOCUMENTS relating to YOUR relationship (or the relationship of any automobile manufacturer or association of automobile manufacturers) with any of them, including but not limited to payments directly or indirectly from YOU or any other automobile manufacturer or association of automobile manufacturer to any of them.

Apparently some of the credit for this action goes to Ross Gelbspan and his book "The Heat is On".

I can't wait to see if those voices claiming Michael Mann should have been happy for the chance to defend himself from a witch-hunting congress will present the same view in this case.