Alarming News

April 26, 2008

Global warming is a crock

“For the last ten years, we have, in fact, been not warming but slightly cooling, which is why the eco-warriors have adopted the all-purpose bogeyman of “climate change.” But let’s take it that the editors of Time are referring not to the century we live in but the previous one, when there was a measurable rise of temperature of approximately one degree. That’s the “war”: one degree.”

-Mark Steyn

I can’t find a link but Ann Coulter had a funny comment along these same lines: “Global warming means a 1 degree increase every few hundred years. So, you’re sitting on a beach and it’s 80 degrees and then oh my G-d, it’s 81 degrees!”

Posted by Karol at 11:10 AM |
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I know you love him, but I find Mark Steyn intellectually dishonest on the global warming issue (particulalry where all it does is divert attention from his policy arguments that subsidizing biofuels is wasteful and we need more nuclear power plants).
Without getting into whether or not warming is a problem or whether it’s caused by people, to deny it is happening at all is daft.
In this case, he picks the warmest year in recorded history (1998) and then says the earth is “cooling” over the past ten years — an excellent rhetorical ploy but shamefully misleading and ignores that temperatures have trended upward since the ’70’s. It just so happens that after 1998, the next 7 warmest years happen to be 2005, 2003, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2001 and 2007. (Temperatures are up over 11 years, there up over 9 years, there up over 8 years — they just don’t happen to be up over 10 — which definitely means it’s all a crock.)

Posted by: Alceste at April 26, 2008 at 5:54 pm

While I don’t disagree with Steyn, I think his logic is often quite silly-but then that’s par for the course. There are more trees in his part of NH now than a century or two ago. Well yes. You would have thought that the economy of the Granite State was based on logging and farming in 1908 or 1808. But why should Steyn know that? That is American history and America’s heritage. And therefore not Mark Steyn’s.

Posted by: Von Bek at April 26, 2008 at 8:22 pm

I’ve been reading a fair amount of algorithmic game theory lately. There is a decent sized body of work that documents that when you make decisions with your head up your ass, you are a pretty bad decision maker. Mark’s got goatse level vision obscuration.

Posted by: David at April 27, 2008 at 8:17 am

What I’m trying to get at is that, when you don’t try to understand temporal effects outside of ‘now’ and your ability to imagine the effects of the world on people stops when it gets to ‘me’, you construct a narrow, naive understanding of the world. To then try and pawn that understanding off as applicable and appropriate for EVERYONE is facile hucksterism.
There is a world that exists outside of your experience whether you acknowledge it or not. I’m not championing a particular cause, just noting that the high and mighty are really lowly slobs like the rest of us.

Posted by: David at April 27, 2008 at 8:23 am

goatse level vision obscuration
My pick for best euphemism of the year.

Posted by: Jamie at April 27, 2008 at 11:17 am

“You would have thought that the economy of the Granite State was based on logging and farming in 1908 or 1808. But why should Steyn know that? That is American history and America’s heritage. And therefore not Mark Steyn’s.”
You would have thought that there was a massacre of Tutsis in 1994. But why should Von Bek know that? That is Rwandan history and Rwandan heritage. And therefore not Von Bek’s.
You would have thought that there was a war between Russia and Japan in 1905. But why should Von Bek know that? That is Russian and Japanese history and Russian and Japanese heritage. And therefore not Von Bek’s.
I could go on, but it’s just too damn easy.

Posted by: Oschisms at April 27, 2008 at 1:51 pm

The hysteria over global warming is really pretty funny. I set up a website to highlight the most absurd, funny and just plain silly claims about global warming. I thought I’d be updating it a couple of times a week. But there’s so much silly stuff out there I just can’t keep up!
GlobalWarmingInsanity.com

Posted by: Patrick at April 27, 2008 at 3:07 pm

I could talk all about the Russo Japanese war of 1905 if you wanted me to from Port Arthur to Teddy R Oschisms. Sorry. Mark Steyn seems to take offense at the desecration of an iconic American image on the Time magazine. I wonder why. I mean if Time showcased education problems by using a template of “The Death of Wolfe”, I don’t know if I’d be upset.

Posted by: Von Bek at April 27, 2008 at 3:58 pm

You would have thought that there was a war between Russia and Japan in 1905. But why should Von Bek know that? That is Russian and Japanese history and Russian and Japanese heritage. And therefore not Von Bek’s.

Yes, but do you know who brokered peace between the two warring nations? The answer is Von Bek’s heritage.

Posted by: Shawn at April 27, 2008 at 4:18 pm

What’s intellectually dishonest, Alceste, is willfully ignoring and then misrepresenting Steyn’s argument. He isn’t denying that global warming hasn’t happened — over a very, very long time. Now, if you would bother to read what you wrote yourself, you’d see Steyn is pointing out cooling in the last decade. So perhaps you should get on the same wavelength/time frame?
I’ve been told by a raving liberal, “I’ve read that if we don’t do something about global warming in the next two or three years, it will be too late to stop it.” No doubt the source were those unquestionable oracles Al Gore or the New York Times? Yet now studies show that global warming has not only slowed in the last decade, but stopped and reversed. Was it the sudden adoption of Kyoto? Hardly, because the projection is that its economy-wrecking measures will reduce the average global temperature by a fraction of a degree by 2050. (Half a degree, sometimes a tenth, depending on who you read.)
Sure, the Earth has been warming overall for the last several decades — but it actually has been since the end of the last Ice Age. In more recent times, the Earth has been warming for the last few hundred years (pre-industrialization, no less), since the end of the mild freeze of the mid-second millenium that devastated European agriculture. That cooling followed the “global warming” roughly 800 years ago, I suppose caused by those awful diesel engines the Vikings used to sail across the Atlantic?
The bottom line: let’s keep our wits about us, and not pretend this is something purely man-made. Temperatures are overall much lower (especially by the fractional-degree standards of global warming hysteria) since the time of the dinosaurs, yet the planet survived. Species will adapt.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at April 28, 2008 at 11:55 am

Perry — the whole idea of “cooling” over the last decade is exactly what I was addressing — thought it was clear from what I wrote but just in case — temperatures are still trending upwards (even over the past ten years — the rate has slowed, but temperatures are still going up) — it is cooler now than it was 10 years ago, but only because ten years ago was as warm as it has ever been recorded — 8 of the 10 warmest years in recorded history have been over the past decade — how can you say that is cooling?
(As for the crock comment, that’s really directed at Karol’s headline — not Steyn — I don’t think he has his head in the sand as some people do — only that he’s willing to micharacterize the facts on this issue for rhetorical points)
But why does he even need to make the cooling assertion — I’d argue he doesn’t, it serves as a hook for his readers — and it was an effective hook too — karol doesn’t reference the actual policy arguments, she went straight to “global warming is a crock” — Steyn didn’t need to mischaracterize “cooling” to argue that biofuel subsidies are a waste (they are) and that more nuclear power plants are needed (he’s right there too) — but that’s just the way he rolls as some folks around here say…

Posted by: Alceste at April 28, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Steyn didn’t need to mischaracterize “cooling” to argue that biofuel subsidies are a waste (they are) and that more nuclear power plants are needed (he’s right there too)
Yay!
Really, why come at something sensible from the fringe when you can draw from the middle. From a simple leadership point of view, “Hey you, stupid people who can’t see the folly,” is not a great intro to, “You should do this reasonable thing.”

Posted by: David at April 28, 2008 at 9:15 pm

No, Alceste, you wrote: “…to deny it is happening at all is daft.” Thus you willfully ignored and misrepresented his argument. Nobody is denying the Earth has warmed over the last while, actually over the last few hundred years (thus predating industrialization and your demonized carbon emissions). How much warming depends on how far back you want to go, but if you really want to go back, the Earth has gradually cooled for millions of years.
Now you criticized Steyn for picking only the last decade, but you yourself used a limited timeframe: “…temperatures have trended upward since the ’70’s.” Which would you prefer to call what you did, hypocrisy or intellectual dishonesty?
I don’t know what kind of mathematics you were (mis)taught, but you spewed a lot of self-contradicting garbage here:
Perry — the whole idea of “cooling” over the last decade is exactly what I was addressing — thought it was clear from what I wrote but just in case — temperatures are still trending upwards (even over the past ten years — the rate has slowed, but temperatures are still going up) — it is cooler now than it was 10 years ago, but only because ten years ago was as warm as it has ever been recorded — 8 of the 10 warmest years in recorded history have been over the past decade — how can you say that is cooling?
So you yourself agree that 1998 was the warmest temperature in the last decade. Then it is simply impossible that “temperatures are still going up.” Perhaps you meant since the 1970s, but here you’re specifically talking about over the last 10 years. You need to go back to junior high school science class, where they teach the difference between rate and velocity.
Eight of the ten years of recorded history, and how long have we been recording, let alone analyzing, these temperatures? Not very long, comparatively. Now once again, it’s all about how far back you want to go. If you look at the facts, the Earth has had warming periods long before human industrialization. Our Cenozoic Era has largely been one of a cooling planet compared to previous temperatures, and our “warming” of the last few hundred years still hasn’t brought us up to what the planet saw during Mesozoic times.
How about extreme global cooling? I doubt it, but there’s just as much evidence for it, it not more, than your global warming hysteria.
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2008/s2225759.htm

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at April 29, 2008 at 12:27 pm
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