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Climate Alarmists Push Panic Button

January 13, 2017

Climate Change Weekly #236

Climate alarmists in government agencies, in academia, and among radical environmental groups are panicking at the thought of Donald Trump, a self-proclaimed climate skeptic, becoming president. Among the signs alarmists have become unhinged is a conspiracy theory they have created out of thin air.

These alarmists, who always claim to be wedded to the scientific method of following the evidence, claim Trump is about to wage a war on science and part of his battle plan is to excise from government agencies’ computers and files data and research that support the theory humans are causing catastrophic global warming. On December 13, the Washington Post published an op-ed, “Why I’m trying to preserve federal climate data before Trump takes office,” and an article, “Scientists are frantically copying U.S. climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump,” describing how scientists are scrambling to copy and store government data and research outside of government computers before Trump assumes office. Why? Because, as the author of the op-ed wrote:

Trump is serious about overtly declaring war on science. ... It’s an Inquisition. It’s a 21st-century book burning. The incoming administration is likely to be willfully hostile toward the scientific process, with far-reaching implications.

One of the most tangible consequences of sharp cutbacks in federal funding for climate science is the potential loss of critical data – whether by neglect or malice – that underlie global efforts to understand our climate system. By all accounts, that’s exactly what Trump and his team want: Ignorance of how human actions are affecting our planet makes it easier to maintain the status quo.

This is a paranoid rant with no evidence to back it. Still, as detailed by the Post’s news article, many scientists and climate alarmists seem to share this paranoid delusion:

Alarmed that decades of crucial climate measurements could vanish under a hostile Trump administration, scientists have begun a feverish attempt to copy reams of government data onto independent servers in hopes of safeguarding it from any political interference.

Who needs evidence when you’ve got unfounded fear and suspicion? To be fair, Trump has promised to cut budgets and refocus the government’s research efforts, and since many of the researchers now feverishly copying files have likely produced no research advancing health, knowledge, or wealth in years, they might rightfully fear for their jobs. Even then, there is no evidence the work they have already produced is at risk of being purged.

Ironically, as Breitbart points out:

No one has done more damage to ‘climate data’ in the past three decades than the corrupt, politicized activist scientists who are now afraid that they may be neutered or booted out of office by the incoming administration.

One of the many shocking revelations of the 2009 Climategate emails was that in some cases the raw temperature data had been destroyed or lost by the scientists whose job it was to maintain it. Phil Jones of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia admitted that they had not kept “the original raw data” for reasons of “data storage availability.”

It’s the pot calling the kettle black! The very people who fear Trump will make the evidence for human climate change disappear have done more to retard the advance of scientific understanding in the field of planetary physics than anyone since the Catholic Church forced Galileo to recant.

Alarmists embedded in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have corrupted the political process as well. EPA has been caught illegally encouraging the public to lobby for rules EPA would like to enact and collaborating off the books with environmental groups to shape environmental regulations to expand the agency’s power over the economy under the guise of fighting global warming.

Climate alarmism has corrupted climate research and climate policy. That’s not conspiracy, that’s fact!

-- H. Sterling Burnett

SOURCES: Climate Etc.; Washington Post; Washington Post; Breitbart; Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works; and GAO


IN THIS ISSUE …

Santer misstates climate science againClimate moderate Curry retires citing alarmist craziness ... Evangelical community supports Trump’s EPA nomineeCoral well-suited to survive climate change


SANTER MISSTATES CLIMATE SCIENCE AGAIN

In a recent commentary published by CNBC, Benjamin Santer, a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), implores President-elect Donald Trump to reverse his realistic appraisal of the uncertainties concerning the causes of climate change and his commitment to reverse President Barack Obama’s climate policies, which Trump recognizes have harmed the country’s competitiveness and cost Americans jobs.

As detailed by my Heartland colleague Jim Lakely, Santer has a history of doctoring reports to produce fearful claims humans are dangerously altering the planet. As lead author of Chapter 8 of the 1995 IPCC Working Group I Report on the state of climate science, Santer was caught red-handed deleting from the final report – after the contributing scientists had signed off on their work – statements acknowledging there was limited evidence for attributing climate change to human actions. Frederick Seitz, past president of the NAS, said Santer’s changes were aimed at “deceiv[ing] policy makers and the public into believing that the scientific evidence shows human activities are causing global warming.”

Santer deleted a number of key conclusions from IPCC’s 1995 draft report including:

  • “None of the studies cited … has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases.”
  • “While some of the pattern-base studies discussed here have claimed detection of a significant climate change, no study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed] to [man-made] causes.”
  • “While none of these studies has specifically considered the attribution issue, they often draw some attribution conclusions, for which there is little justification.”
  • “When will an anthropogenic effect on climate be identified? It is not surprising that the best answer to this question is, ‘We do not know.’”

Santer replaced those statements with diametrically opposed statements:

  • “There is evidence of an emerging pattern of climate response to forcing by greenhouse gases. ... These results point toward a human influence on global climate.”
  • “The body of statistical evidence in Chapter 8, when examined in the context of our physical understanding of the climate system, now points to a discernible human influence on the global climate.”

Fortunately, as Lakely notes, “[I]t is unlikely that Trump will listen to Santer’s ignorant voice. ...”

SOURCES: CNBC and Ricochet


CLIMATE MODERATE CURRY RETIRES CITING ALARMIST CRAZINESS

Climate scientist Judith Curry is retiring from her position as professor at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, citing growing “craziness,” hostility, and intolerance from colleagues who disagree with her moderate position on climate change. Curry believes human greenhouse gases are causing climate change but has regularly derided climate alarmists’ extreme claims linking climate change to catastrophic harms to Earth and humanity.

Curry has criticized climate researchers, including Pennsylvania State University climatologist Michael Mann and Harvard University climate historian Naomi Oreskes, who have called for dramatic near-term restrictions on fossil fuel use. Curry’s research indicates natural forces play a larger role in the climate system than is acknowledged by climate models. As a result of the significant uncertainty we have concerning the relative causes and ultimate effects of climate change, Curry argues we ought not to act precipitously in response to a problem we don’t understand well. She says the policies enacted by the Obama administration will have little effect on climate: “Once you understand the scientific uncertainties, the present policy path that we’re on doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

In an interview with Environment & Energy News, Curry said President-elect Trump may bring some sanity to climate science, saying, “Once we get over this little bump of activism, if the Trump administration will put us on a slightly reassuring and saner footing, that will allow all this to die down.”

For Curry, among the problems with climate science today is the politicization of the field as government money flooded in to climate research, along with the increased reliance on inadequate climate models. She notes,

We’ve lost a generation of climate dynamicists ... people who develop theories and dig into data on the system and really try to find out how the system works. We’ve ceded all that to climate models, and the climate models are nowhere near good enough. …You just need to cut the funding 80 to 90 percent, everybody [will] go away and then start over with a new generation of math[ematicians] and physicists.”

SOURCE: ClimateWire


EVANGELICAL COMMUNITY SUPPORTS TRUMP’S EPA NOMINEE

The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation is circulating a letter among religious leaders and others supporting the candidacy of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) as administrator of the U.S. EPA. The letter, signed by more than 200 people at the time this was written, says Pruitt has demonstrated the legal expertise necessary to promote environmental protection within the limits of the law and has shown a commitment to protecting human life and health from environmental harm.

The letter notes Pruitt has not been swept up in climate alarmism, stating, “Some radical environmentalists and religious activists oppose Mr. Pruitt because he does not embrace their exaggerated fears of human-induced global warming – fears that go well beyond the empirical evidence crucial to genuine science – or their antipathy to the development of the abundant, reliable, affordable energy indispensable to lifting and keeping whole societies out of poverty and the disease and premature death that invariably accompany it.” The letter calls on Trump to stand by Pruitt through what is likely to be a bruising hearings process.

SOURCE: Cornwall Alliance


CORAL WELL-SUITED TO SURVIVE CLIMATE CHANGE

Many scientists and commentators have predicted a sharp decline in and possibly even the extinction of coral reefs within the next few decades due to human-caused climate change. A recent study in Scientific Reports adds to the growing body of literature showing those concerns are mistaken. A team of 11 international researchers compared the skeletal structures of living Acropora corals with well-preserved fossil Acropora skeletons from the Eocene, Oligocene, and Miocene, 56 to 5 million years before present.

The researchers found Acropora corals “have experienced major fluctuations in atmospheric CO2 levels (from greenhouse conditions of high [carbon dioxide levels] in the Eocene to low [carbon dioxide levels] ice-house conditions in the Oligocene-Miocene) and a dramatically changing ocean [temperature].” Even ocean temperatures and carbon dioxide levels much higher than today did not harm Acropora corals. Instead, the authors note:

the most diverse, widespread, and abundant reef-building coral genus Acropora (20 morphological groups and 150 living species) has not only survived these environmental changes, but has maintained its distinct skeletal biomineralization pattern for at least 40 My [million years]. [Such] remarkable evolutionary stability exists despite major global geochemical fluctuations, from greenhouse (high pCO2) conditions and low seawater Mg/Ca (calcitic seas) in the Eocene to icehouse (low pCO2) conditions and rapidly increasing Mg/Ca (aragonite seas) during the Oligocene-Miocene.

In short, Acropora corals production is “strongly biologically controlled” and should not be harmed by changes in temperature or seawater chemistry.

SOURCE: CO2 Science

Author
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is a Heartland research fellow on environmental policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.
hsburnett@heartland.org

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