Thursday, September 8, 2011
What a week. Texas burned in the midst of its global-warming-fueled drought, and in Somalia hundreds of people were dying every day of hunger and thirst, in a region driven to the edge of mass catastrophe by a combination of critical drought, high food prices, and political and social chaos.
Spencer and Braswell continued to take a beating, as Dessler (2011) exploded their toy models with actual data, and showed their sloppy methods implied ocean warming causing ocean warming. Skeptics were duely chastised and promised to curb their overreaching claims based on unphysical models ignoring actual physical evidence (kidding about that one.)
Rick Perry took the Galileo Effect mainstream in last night's Republican debate, but not before we explored how totally nonsensical such an invocation is:
Perry's bumbling invocation of this minor myth was part of a shrill and unimpressive showing in which he called Social Security a "massive lie" and a "Ponzi scheme." In this the new face of climate denial? Let's hope so.
Meanwhile, two other denier candidates, Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul, went on record opposing mandatory vaccinations for schoolchildren. As we've noted before, the different strains of anti-science denial have significant overlap.
The Yale Project on Climate Change Communications had some good news for those of us who spend too much time in the blogosphere: outside the Tea Party, every group of voters -- including Republicans, albeit more narrowly than Democrats or independents -- favors a binding international treaty to cut CO2 emissions. The Tea Party -- only 12% of the population -- are the only ones who think global warming isn't happening.
How little influence do "loud and proud" deniers wield? More than three-quarters of the public has never heard of "climategate." Half the Tea Party members have never heard of it.
Sea ice volume is at record lows, area and extent will go down to the wire vs mighty 2007. The sea ice volume chart really tells the tale:
After the plunge in 2007, we see a slight increase in the seasonal low the following year, as you would expect, based on the principle of regression towards the mean. But with that one exception, every year for the past ten years has seen the ice hit a new record low. It's awfully close to the continual steady change that deniers always demand as proof of outside influence -- although since that kind of steady change is rarely seen in large, complex systems, it really implies such a rapid change that the natural variation of the system has been completely overwhelmed.
Climate scientists continue their observations of the natural world, while also, gradually, improving how they communicate scientific findings:
And the public is willing to listen: scientists are still be far the most trusted source of information about climate change -- even among deniers!
All and all, if you deny the physical reality of global warming and view mitigation of these rapid, irreversible changes as an eco-Marxist conspiracy to install the collectivist New World Order, you might want to take a long weekend, start fresh on Monday. Because this week things are just not going your way.