Saturday, February 03, 2007

Commentary on commentary

Keep in mind, this is only one example of this kind of idiocy. Unfortunately, a lot of people get their "information" (opinion) from people like this. For those of you who don't know, Neil Boortz is a Rush Limbaugh-wannabe (sad). Apparently he and another author have written a very thoughtful book about tax reform that I hear good things about. I haven't read it yet, so I can't comment on that but that's not what this is about. This is about someone with a megaphone and a lot of loyal listeners (choir members) spouting stupidity about the recent IPCC report.

I neither have the time nor energy to deconstruct all of this...here's some of my favorite tidbits from his editorial titled "Why I Am Skeptical About Man-Made Global Warming"

A 21-page report from something called the "Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change" has been released today...in Paris, no less...and as expected, it's predictions are dire.
Sweet...right off the bat, we get some anti-French sentiment. Always a crowd-pleaser.

But really, it makes sense that the global warming crowd would come to this conclusion. After all, global warming is a religion. The anti-capitalist enviro-nazis don't ever want the problem to be solved. After all, if global warming were to be solved tomorrow, what would they blame the United States for? They'd have to find some other reason.
The underlying motivation for being skeptical about this report is revealed in this introductory section of the editorial. It's not about science at all....it's about the anit-capitalist enviro-nazis...let's call them the ACENs. The ACENs have plotting to take over the world since the first Earth Day I think. This is key to understanding this point of view. By connecting "anti-capitalist" directly to the prefix "enviro" and then throwing in the evil noun "nazi" the stage is set.

He then goes into a bunch of bullet points that are weak, unsubstantiated, and have been torn down numerous times. But, remember, it doesn't matter because the connection between being "enviro", whatever that means, and anti-American has already been established. Let's look at a few of the points that actually mention climate science in some way or form (as fun as it is, we'll move away from the ACEN theories).

Because the sun is warmer .. and all of these scientists don't seem to be willing to credit a warmer sun with any of the blame for global warming.
Hmmm....reference? Of course, an editorialist can't be bothered with citing. This claim, however, does not fall under opinion. To say something like this requires some backing. But, I will say this...at least he doesn't discredit the actual warming. There aren't many of those left. It's mostly about cause now.

It wasn't all that long ago that these very same scientists were warning us about "global cooling" and another approaching ice age?
The very same scientists. Who are they? He, of course, doesn't provide a list. He wants his followers to picture a small group that meet in undergound lairs (sensu Dr. Evil) plotting to take over the world. Here in reality, we know that this report is the summation of hundreds of scientists from around the world and across disciplines.

How much has the earth warmed up in the last 100 years? One degree. Now that's frightening.
What an idiot. When the global average temperature was 5-6 degrees colder than now there was an ice sheet a mile thick sitting over my hometown in New York state

Because that famous "hockey stick" graph that purports to show a sudden warming of the earth in the last few decades is a fraud. It ignored previous warming periods ... left them off the graph altogether.
Please demonstrate the errors in this. Oh wait....all you have to do is assert that, I forgot. See this summary of the hockey stick graph debate.

Because global warming "activists" and scientists seek to punish those who have different viewpoints. If you are sure of your science you have no need to shout down or seek to punish those who disagree.
Seek to punish. Seek to punish?

What happened to the Medieval Warm Period? In 1996 the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a chart showing climatic change over a period of 1000 years. This graph showed a Medieval warming period in which global temperatures were higher than they are today. In 2001 the IPCC issued another 1000 year graph in which the Medieval warming period was missing. Why?
Oooh...juicy. Conspiracy. More here.

There are about 160,000 glaciers around the world. Most have never been visited or measured by man. The great majority of these glaciers are growing, not melting.
The great majority....what is that 70%? Reference? Of course not.

Rising sea levels? The sea levels have been rising since the last ice age ended. That was 12,000 years ago. Estimates are that in that time the sea level has risen by over 300 feet. The rise in our sea levels has been going on long before man started creating anything but natural CO2 emissions.
One of my favorite things people like this do is confuse the issue by constantly bringing up facts about the Earth's climatic fluctuations. What about rate of rise instead of magnitude, Mr. Boortz? If you look at the sea-level curves for the last 12,000 years you see the rate of rise slow until about 5,000-6,000 years ago. Since then the rate of rise is very small, hence we've been at a "stillstand" in sea level (see Lambeck & Chappel, 2001).


During the last 20 years -- a period of the highest carbon dioxide levels -- global temperatures have actually decreased. That's right ... decreased.
Another assertion with no reference.

Why are global warming proponents insisting that the matter is settled and that no further scientific research is needed? Why are they afraid of additional information?
I definitely want to know what scientist ever said they didn't want more data.....that's all we want! We can't get enough of it...give me a break.

There's a lot more of this kind of stuff in that particular editorial as well as out there on the airwaves, TV, and internet. The "great majority" of it is repetition of the same assertions that are, at best misconstrued and, at worst downright false. The fact that these assertions are seldom referenced by people like Boortz is because he knows by citing a particular study he is inviting rigorous scientific critique of his information (which has been done already). By doing this in an editorial fashion he doesn't have to reference and he continue preaching about the real message: that the anti-capitalist enviro-nazis (ACENs) are plotting to take over the world.


Lambeck, K., and J. Chappell, 2001, Sea level change through the last glacial cycle: Science, v. 292, p. 679-686.

1 comment:

Brian said...

I forgot to put the complete citation for the Lambeck and Chappel sea-level curve I mentioned:

Lambeck, K., and J. Chappell, 2001, Sea level change through the last glacial cycle: Science, v. 292, p. 679-686.