Calder is a very entertaining writer, and sharp as a tack. He also brings perspective to the subject, perspective developed over a 50 year career reporting about Science. Highly recommended.
During the 20th Century, the world’s average temperature rose by less than one degree Celsius. That’s not at all remarkable compared with other changes of climate over the previous centuries and millennia, and there are two explanations on offer. Despite anything you may hear to the contrary, the cosmic-ray story is fully supported by the evidence of observations and experiments.
The manmade global warming story has no such support. Quite the opposite. The very mechanism for the supposed greenhouse warming, reinforced by that extra CO2, requires tropical air temperatures to rise faster at high altitudes (6 miles above the ground) than they do lower down. Weather balloons routinely carry thermometers to those heights and beyond. They have shown no such trend over recent decades.
In 2008, after a careful study of all hurricanes since 1900, Chris Landsea of the National Hurricane Center in Miami declared: “There is nothing in the US hurricane damage record that indicates global warming has caused a significant increase in destruction along our coasts.” Taking account of the changing value of the dollar, Landsea and his colleagues found, for example, that the 1926 Miami hurricane was twice as costly as Katrina. Putting aside climate change, any impression that things are getting worse can be explained by better tracking of storms and more seaside real estate. Physically there’s been no increase in the frequency or violence of the storms. Although Landsea made his reassuring declaration in a press release from NOAA, the US weather bureau, and although Reuters picked up the story, it was reported in only one major newspaper (USA Today).
You’re not supposed to remember that in the 1960s and 1970s the top climate experts were predicting global cooling. A little ice age, or even a big ice age. They’ll try to tell you that this was just a scare got up by the media, but again that’s simply untrue. An advantage of old age is to have lived through various climate changes and the theories about them. For example, I was present in Rome in 1961 when UN agencies convened a conference of climate scientists, who discussed the dreadful effects that the all-too evident global cooling was going to have on world food supplies.
Some American journalists boast openly about their bias. Ross Gelbspan, former editor of The Boston Globe, said “Not only do journalists not have a responsibility to report what skeptical scientists have to say about global warming, they have a responsibility not to report what these scientists say.” Charles Alexander, science editor of Time magazine said, “I would freely admit that we have crossed the boundary from news reporting to advocacy.”
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Science and Propaganda
Nigel Calder (former editor of The New Scientist) has taken one of his speeches from a couple years back and turned it into a rather long blog post about the politicization of science that's occurred during the era of Global Warming hysteria. If you're at all interested in this topic, it's well worth a read. Excerpts: