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This Is What Pseudoscience Looks Like

A mighty wind of illogic is blowing...

by
Rand Simberg

Bio

July 9, 2012 - 12:30 am
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Well, with the twin weather disasters of the wild conflagrations in the west and the unusual “derecho” storm (derecho and El Nino – the storms that will do the jobs that American storms won’t) that left millions powerless and sweltering in the east, it didn’t take long for the propaganda mill of the warming religion to spool up. I first noticed it in a tweet from the so-called “science” guy, Bill Nye:

CNN about fires in Colorado. I was just there. It’s the real (bad) deal. Just the start of things climate change-wise.

The next day, he followed up:

MSNBC with Ed Schultz. We’re talking fires, heat, and climate change. Let’s see if we can convey the seriousness & convince a few citizens.

My emphasis.

In lockstep with the message was NBC’s D.C. weatherman, on the air:

If we did not have global warming, we wouldn’t see this.

Over at AP, Seth Borenstein did a whole story on the theme, though he at least started with a cautionary note:

Scientifically linking individual weather events to climate change takes intensive study, complicated mathematics, computer models and lots of time. Sometimes it isn’t caused by global warming. Weather is always variable; freak things happen.

And this weather has been local. Europe, Asia and Africa aren’t having similar disasters now, although they’ve had their own extreme events in recent years.

But after that brief clearing of the narrative throat, he found several of the usual suspects to tell us that this was indeed global warming:

“This is what global warming looks like at the regional or personal level,” said Jonathan Overpeck, professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences at the University of Arizona. “The extra heat increases the odds of worse heat waves, droughts, storms and wildfire. This is certainly what I and many other climate scientists have been warning about.”

Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in fire-charred Colorado, said these are the very record-breaking conditions he has said would happen, but many people wouldn’t listen. So it’s I told-you-so time, he said.

…”What we’re seeing really is a window into what global warming really looks like,” said Princeton University geosciences and international affairs professor Michael Oppenheimer. “It looks like heat. It looks like fires. It looks like this kind of environmental disasters.”

“This is what global warming looks like.” Expect to hear a lot of that theme in the coming days.

“This is what global warming looks like” — despite the fact that, in the case of the fires, it’s actually what decades of government mismanagement and anti-human environmental extremism look like.

But also recall that this is the same Kevin Trenberth who, in October of 2009, expressed his frustration in a leaked email to Michael Mann that the darned planet just would not cooperate with his hysterical prognostications:

Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming? We are asking that here in Boulder where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record. We had 4 inches of snow. The high the last 2 days was below 30F and the normal is 69F, and it smashed the previous records for these days by 10F. The low was about 18F and also a record low, well below the previous record low. This is January weather (see the Rockies baseball playoff game was canceled on saturday and then played last night in below freezing weather).

…The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.

Again, my emphasis. See, nothing wrong with their models — it’s reality that’s mistaken. And now that Gaia is finally starting to behave properly, at least in the tiny portion of it comprised of the continental U.S., Trenberth is doing a victory dance.

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