RAB, my fellow Kitty Counter and bullshit buster, has requested a fisk. I am only too happy to oblige. He has handed me Climate of Denial (CoD), a target rich piece of ordure penned by the the Archbishop of the Church of Climate Catastrophe himself, Al Gore aka ManBearPig. Clearly Gore has been paying attention to evidential developments regarding anthopogenic global warming (AGW) his licence to print money at the world’s expense. Clearly he doesn’t want his licence revoked. Equally clearly he has failed to check his “facts” - again.
This fisk, by sheer necessity of size, will be serialised. So where to start?
Gore opens with a clumsy but strangely apt analogy comparing the AGW battlegound with a travelling sideshow.
The first time I remember hearing the question “is it real?” was when I went as a young boy to see a traveling show put on by “professional wrestlers” one summer evening in the gym of the Forks River Elementary School in Elmwood, Tennessee.
The evidence that it was real was palpable: “They’re really hurting each other! That’s real blood! Look a’there! They can’t fake that!” On the other hand, there was clearly a script (or in today’s language, a “narrative”), with good guys to cheer and bad guys to boo.
But the most unusual and in some ways most interesting character in these dramas was the referee: Whenever the bad guy committed a gross and obvious violation of the “rules” — such as they were — like using a metal folding chair to smack the good guy in the head, the referee always seemed to be preoccupied with one of the cornermen, or looking the other way. Yet whenever the good guy — after absorbing more abuse and unfairness than any reasonable person could tolerate — committed the slightest infraction, the referee was all over him. The answer to the question “Is it real?” seemed connected to the question of whether the referee was somehow confused about his role: Was he too an entertainer?
This is what the AGW debate circus boils down to in Gore’s fevered mind. Not science but a cheesy, choreographed wrestling match. Topping the bill is Johnny “Tree Hugger” Smith vs Jimmy “Bear Drowner” Jones. No prizes for guessing who has set himself up as the referee. Did I mention that Tree Hugger’s gimmick is torturing data attempting to brain opponents with a post normal proxy hockeystick? A practice the entertainer referee actively encourages.
Thus Gore has now set the theme of the piece.
So we move on to the first subtitle:
Scorched Earth: How Climate Change Is Spreading Drought Throughout The Globe.
Clicking on this subtitle in the original article takes you to another Rolling Stone article penned by no other than leading climate scientist…er…Al Gore. He cites a new study by the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). There are two maps, the first one supposedly depicting drought stricken areas at the end of the last century. If you study the map closely you will see that the central Australian deserts are wetter than the Amazon Basin and South Western France and the whole of Spain (including the snow covered Pyrenées) the are drier than the Sahara. Shome mishtake shurley?
The second map, a future projection, has an awful lot of warmageddon red in varying shades plastered all over it. There is an ominously huge and dark swathe of “unprecedented” bullshit drought across Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. I see that the owners and operators of 22 badly programmed and widely vilified global climate models are desperately seeking next week’s rent in the only way they know how, eh? Gore doesn’t explain where all the moisture sucked into the atmosphere will go. Perhaps it hangs around, sulking at the perfidity of horrid Mankind. Perhaps, with Gaia’s blessing, it will drift out to sea, piss down like it’s the end of the world and, together with the melting ice caps, cause a catastrophic sea level rise that will put out the fires. Taking the precautionary principle into consideration, perhaps Al should moor one of these at the wet end of his multi-million dollar, Montecito beachfront property.
Sooo, back to Al’s CoDswallop.
That is pretty much the role now being played by most of the news media in refereeing the current wrestling match over whether global warming is “real,” and whether it has any connection to the constant dumping of 90 million tons of heat-trapping emissions into the Earth’s thin shell of atmosphere every 24 hours.
Only a moron would dispute whether or not climate change global warming is real but that isn’t the issue. The issue is, does anthropogenic “greenhouse” gas emissions cause catastrophic global warming? Although Gore hasn’t mentioned carbon dioxide we can assume that’s what he means by “heat-trapping emissions” although his failure to mention plant food the “demon” gas by name is a little strange. The real question is, can the 0.039% of mostly naturally ocurring carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (390 parts per million and at a near geological all time low) drive a catastrophic positive feedback in the Earth’s climate? The answer is yes, but only in global climate models. When it comes to applying model projections onto the real world the “evidence” doesn’t add up. In fact there is no evidence of the tropospheric hotspot predicted by the models whatsoever. Not in the satellite data and not in data collected by over a million radiosondes. 90 million tons a day sounds like a lot but when you consider that the approximate weight of the atmosphere is 5×1018 kg (18 zeros), Gore is talking gnat piss in an Olympic sized swimming pool proportions. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations have been much higher in the past but life on Earth just keeps rolling along.
Admittedly, the contest over global warming is a challenge for the referee because it’s a tag-team match, a real free-for-all. In one corner of the ring are Science and Reason. In the other corner: Poisonous Polluters and Right-wing Ideologues.
Didn’t take long for the ad hominems to enter the ring did it? Thus Gore sets the level of the piece - lower than a worm’s belly.
The referee — in this analogy, the news media — seems confused about whether he is in the news business or the entertainment business. Is he responsible for ensuring a fair match? Or is he part of the show, selling tickets and building the audience? The referee certainly seems distracted: by Donald Trump, Charlie Sheen, the latest reality show — the list of serial obsessions is too long to enumerate here.
Yeah, the news media only prints/broadcasts what it considers to be news rather than devoting every column inch to kissing Gaia’s Gore’s arse. The utter, utter bastards!
But whatever the cause, the referee appears not to notice that the Polluters and Ideologues are trampling all over the “rules” of democratic discourse. They are financing pseudoscientists whose job is to manufacture doubt about what is true and what is false; buying elected officials wholesale with bribes that the politicians themselves have made “legal” and can now be made in secret; spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year on misleading advertisements in the mass media; hiring four anti-climate lobbyists for every member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. (Question: Would Michael Jordan have been a star if he was covered by four defensive players every step he took on the basketball court?)
Oh noes! GOPpers are being accused of playing by tried and tested Democratic rules. What unconsionable, double-dealing slags! Question: WTF has Michael Jordan got to do with this?
This script, of course, is not entirely new: A half-century ago, when Science and Reason established the linkage between cigarettes and lung diseases, the tobacco industry hired actors, dressed them up as doctors, and paid them to look into television cameras and tell people that the linkage revealed in the Surgeon General’s Report was not real at all. The show went on for decades, with more Americans killed each year by cigarettes than all of the U.S. soldiers killed in all of World War II.
More anti-AGW sceptic ad hominem. So much for the Science and Reason Gore claims ownership of. Where’s the fucking alarmist science, Gore? Where’s the hard evidence for AGW? All we’ve had from you so far is 22 over priced tea leaf generators GCMs, two dodgy maps and a shitload of maybes and perhapses.
This time, the scientific consensus is even stronger. It has been endorsed by every National Academy of science of every major country on the planet, every major professional scientific society related to the study of global warming and 98 percent of climate scientists throughout the world. In the latest and most authoritative study by 3,000 of the very best scientific experts in the world, the evidence was judged “unequivocal.”
Maybe you should have a quiet word with Kauffmann et al, Al.
Part 2 will follow shortly.