Summary: These posts about the climate change debate not only provide little-known information about this important subject, but illustrate important aspects of US society. Many posts on the FM website have discussed the Right’s anti-intellectualism and emotional reasoning in pursuit of political goals. Today we look at the same dynamics on the Left.
The Left’s long years making wild charges of “lies” and “racism” have burnt away their credibility, as we see in the example below. It’s sad, now that they can validly do so against the GOP — buy few beyond their fellow partisans believe them.
For example, see Kevin Drum analysis of the same Globe and Mail article discussed in Still good news: global temperatures remain stable, at least for now. The Mail article quoted eminent climate scientists; Drum quotes none. The Mail article says “global warming is real”; Drum says that the Mail says the opposite (“denial”). And most importantly, Drum’s main criticism is wrong — a widely misunderstood aspect of global warming.
Here’s his article: Lying With Statistics, Global Warming Edition“, Mother Jones, 15 October 2012:
The Daily Mail, which has something of a specialty in climate denial, apparently discovered this weekend that Britain’s Met Office has updated its long-term global temperature series. This happened several months ago, and the changes from the HadCRUT3 series to the HadCRUT4 series were fairly minor, but I guess anything is a good excuse to rerun one of their oldest wheezes: a colorful chart that starts with the unusual temperature spike of 1997-98 to make it look like global warming has stopped.
You know the rest of this story, right? It’s a noisy data series, and if you choose any other starting point — 1996 or 1999 will do fine — the trendline looks quite different. A chart that includes the entire past century is below, and as you can see, it’s easy to find several decade-long plateaus if you cherry pick the data just the right way. But if you look at the entire series, it’s pretty obvious that the world is still heating up.
Drum shares a commonplace belief among laymen,that the past two centuries of warming results from anthropogenic CO2 emissions. That makes graphs like Drum’s compelling evidence for anthropogenic global warming — even for catastrophic climate change.
In fact the early warming constitutes a recovery from the Little Ice Age. Our CO2 emissions went ballistic after WWII (see data here), and became a major driver of warming sometime after that. That short period of anthropogenic-driven warming is why many scientists (eg, those cited in my post) discuss the statistical significance of the pause (important information of which Drum appears ignorant).
This is clear in the climate literature. As we’ll see in the next post: When did anthropogenic CO2 become the major driver of modern warming?
Other chapters in this series
- What we know about our past climate, and its causes
- Good news! Global temperatures have stabilized, at least for now.
- Is it possible to debate climate change with true believers? See the replies to Thursday’s post. Comments welcomed!
- What can climate scientists tell about the drivers of future warming?
- What can climate scientists tell us about the drivers of future warming? – part two of two
- The slow solar cycle is getting a lot of attention. What are its effect on us?
- Still good news: global temperatures remain stable, at least for now
- Kevin Drum talks about global warming, illustrating the collapse of the Left’s credibility
- When did anthropogenic CO2 become the major driver of modern warming?
For More Information
Too see all posts about these matters, go to these FM Reference Pages:
- Science and Nature – my articles.
- Science & nature – studies & reports
- Science & Nature – the history of climate fears
- Information & disinformation, the new media & the old
Propaganda about climate change:
- The media doing what it does best these days, feeding us disinformation, 11 February 2008
- More attempts to control the climate science debate using smears and swarming, 19 October 2009
- The facts about the 1970′s Global Cooling scare, 7 December 2009
- About Wikipedia’s handling of controversial topics…like climate science, 20 December 2009
- The floodgates slowly open and the foreign news media debunk climate change propaganda, 24 January 2010
- Quote of the day – hidden history for people who rely on the mainstream media for information, 12 February 2010
- The hidden history of the global warming crusade, 19 February 2010
- A real-time example of the birth and spread of climate propaganda, 9 March 2010
- Lies told under the influence of the Green religion to save the world, 30 July 2010
- We see the world in terms of facts (mostly numbers). Our world changes rapidly, including the past’s numbers, 2 August 2010
- A new video about global warming, a Leftists’ wet dream pretending to be humor, 1 October 2010
- Shaping your view of the world with well-constructed propaganda, 21 June 2012 — About rising sea levels.
- Run from the rising waves! (The latest climate catastrophe scare), 27 June 2012
- Ignorance and propaganda about extreme climate change, 10 July 2012