The New Fallback Position
A friend pointed us to a recent article in the New York Times, a paper that has incidentally just dismantled its 'environment desk', to the chagrin of would-be planet-savers everywhere, one imagines. The article is entitled “Heat, Flood or Icy Cold, Extreme Weather Rages Worldwide” and is decorated with a photograph of snow-covered palm trees in Jerusalem (now you know why they don't call it 'global warming' anymore). Anyway, the article is a long litany of weather-related woes, which as it were we have probably heard in one form or another for as long as we can remember (not a year passes without someone or other assuring us that the 'weather has never been as extreme as it is now', and usually they can also cite a statistic or two to 'prove' their case. It seems that extreme weather is rather common, actually).
Anyway there is one sentence in the article that we found really interesting. After we are assured with the aid of a long list of examples that there is indeed an unusual confluence of weather-related extremes clustered in the here and now, we learn from a Mr. Omar Baddour in Geneva (where apparently one of the great many cushy taxpayer-financed climate bureaucracies is located, in this case the 'World Meteorological Organization'):
“Such events are increasing in intensity as well as frequency, Mr. Baddour said, a sign that climate change is not just about rising temperatures, but also about intense, unpleasant, anomalous weather of all kinds.”
Say what? It is already suspicious enough that 'global warming' has over the years inconspicuously morphed into 'climate change' (a very convenient term, since the climate is always changing), but that seems to be in the process of acquiring an entirely new meaning now, namely 'inclement weather'.
This appears to be the newest fallback position of the AGW theorists – 'unpleasant weather' seems to be the new hallmark of the oncoming catastrophe that can allegedly only be prevented by throwing untold billions in the general direction of people like Mr. Baddour (though no longer in the direction of the NYT's 'environment desk', alas), while severely retarding economic growth and increasing government control over our lives by an order of magnitude (think incandescent light bulb; sorry, we had to mention it).
Egged on by this curious discovery, we looked around to see if there were any recent climate science-related developments that would account for this sudden adoption of unpleasant weather as the latest sign of surely impending imminent doom by the warming cult. Whether there is really a connection to what we found we cannot say, but for those who missed it, it is surely quite interesting nonetheless.
Oh God, not the environment desk of the New York Times….we're done for!
(Photo via twicsy.com)
Apparently the Met Office in London has decided to begin the year by coming clean about what has happened to the warming cycle over the past 15 years. This is actually not news, what is news is who is now admitting it. Actually, it placed the news on its home page on 24 December of 2012, apparently so well hidden that it took the UK press until January 8 to find out about it!
And this is the news:
“The Met Office has admitted that global warming has stalled. Officials say that by 2017, temperatures will not have risen significantly for nearly 20 years. They concede that previous forecasts were inaccurate – and have come under fire for attempting to ‘bury bad news’ by publishing the revised data on Christmas Eve.
Now a press release, published yesterday, has confirmed that over the next five years temperatures will be 0.43 degrees above the 1971-2000 average, instead of the previously forecast 0.54 degrees – a 20 per cent reduction. This rise would be only slightly higher than the 0.4-degree rise recorded in 1998, an increase which is itself attributed by forecasters to an exceptional weather phenomenon.
With all but 0.03 degrees of the increase having occurred by 1998, the revision means that no further significant increases to the planet’s temperature are expected over the next few years.
Dr David Whitehouse, science adviser to the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said: ‘That the global temperature standstill could continue to at least 2017 would mean a 20-year period of no statistically significant change in global temperatures. ‘Such a period of no increase will pose fundamental problems for climate models. If the latest Met Office prediction is correct, then it will prove to be a lesson in humility.’
Dr. Whitehouse is to be commended for his assessment – this would indeed call for a bit of humility, considering that these people have been keeping the world in a constant state of alarm over the entire period of zero warming. However, a few of his colleagues may be plagued by visions of evaporating grants:
“However, Dr Richard Allan of the University of Reading said: ‘Global warming is not “at a standstill” but does seem to have slowed down since 2000, in comparison to the rapid warming of the world since the 1970s. ‘In fact, consistent with rising greenhouse gases, heat is continuing to build up beneath the ocean surface.’
Evidently, Dr. Whitehouse has neglected to extend his temperature feelers into the Atlantic ocean lately. Otherwise he'd know about this humility-precluding sub-surface condition. Another presumably tenured bien pensant weighs in as follows:
“He was backed by Bob Ward of the London School of Economics, who said it would be wrong to interpret that warming had stopped. However, he also condemned the Met Office for releasing data without an explanation of its full meaning.
‘It’s true to say this isn’t the Met Office’s finest hour,’ he said. ‘The sceptics have simply exploited that fact. I think on this particular occasion the Met Office has fallen short of the standards one would expect of them.’
How can they go ahead and just blurt out the truth! Not their finest hour!
So there has been zero temperature increase since 1998, they finally admitted it, and not only that, we are likely to look forward to another five years of 'standstill' at a minimum. First they fail to hide the data well enough (it was found by the press after two weeks…), then it turns out they published it without explaining why it really doesn't mean what it evidently means! The horror!
Who knows what will happen after the five more years of 'standstill'. Perhaps a new cooling cycle will begin? Actually, looking at the chart below, which shows the difference between the forecast of the alarmist 'climate models' and reality, the only question we have is this: why is this not a page one story everywhere? Seems like big news, doesn't it?
Chart made from data published by the Met Office 'on the quiet' at Christmas. The 'old forecast' based on climate models versus the reality and the new forecast.
Admittedly, not even a 20 year period of zero warming 'proves' anything one way or the other. Climate change happens on much vaster time scales – and it has been happening for billions of years, with or without humans. However, that is not what the alarmists said, is it? Note that not a single one of the dire predictions made since 1980 has so far come true (still waiting for those climate refugees! Micronesia still not under water, what's up with that?). But now we have inclement weather – what more proof do you need? Unless we stop all economic growth immediately, we will all die!
Kidding aside, so much for the 'consensus' and its predictions. Appeals to the so-called scientific consensus are in any case counterproductive. Science has historically progressed through challenges to the prevailing consensus, not through blind acceptance of same. Ultimately, no scientific hypothesis is entirely safe, although some are obviously more firmly established than others (we wouldn't rate AGW as one of the very firmly established ones). Moreover, there was a 'consensus' in the mid 1970's, after a cooling cycle had produced slightly declining temperatures for about four decades, that we would all freeze to death if we didn't immediately cover the Arctic and Antarctic in black soot so they would no longer reflect sunlight.
As an aside, to have doubts about AGW theory, especially in view of the growing body of countervailing evidence, does not automatically indicate that one believes that dinosaurs walked the earth 6,000 years ago, nor does it necessarily mean that one has an armory brimming with assault weapons. All it means is that one doesn't believe the 'debate is over'. It isn't.
We won't dwell on the near-record cold temperatures that have just been recorded in California, but we will say this:
“Ceterum censeo, bring back the incandescent light bulb to the deprived citizens of the EU”
Charts by: Die Presse
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