Wolf Pangloss's Fish Taco Stand

"But, reverend father," said Candide, "there is horrible evil in this world."

"What signifies it," said the Dervish, "whether there be evil or good? When his highness sends a ship to Egypt, does he trouble his head whether the mice on board are at their ease or not?"

"What, then, must we do?" said Pangloss.

"Hold your tongue," answered the Dervish.

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15 October 2007

Global Warming Family Feud

Family Feud was once a television show hosted by the incredibly sleazy Richard Dawson featuring two "families" who competed to match answers that were supplied by "100 respondents to a random poll." It still exists, hosted now by John O'Hurley. For some people Family Feud was a guilty pleasure. For others it was just a plague on popular entertainment. For others, it has become the basis for climate science, and a catchall of other leftist beliefs.


In February 2007 a Fox News Poll revealed that
  • 82% of Americans believed in global warming. (91% of Democrats, 84% of Independents, 72% of Republicans)
  • 41% believed that humans are the sole or primary cause of global warming (52% of Democrats, 30% of Republicans)
  • 38% believed that humans in combination with natural climate patterns account for it. (42% of Republicans)
  • 14% believed that natural climate patterns account for all of it. (20% of Republicans)
This is the scoring for Global Warming Family Feud. Let's play!

Mona Charen writes:
Consensus can be wrong. So warned The New York Times in a science section piece on Oct. 9. "Diet and Fat: A Severe Case of Mistaken Consensus" reviewed the history of our belief that dietary fat was as big a health risk as smoking. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop declared as much in 1988. He was speaking not for himself but for the scientific community, which was nearly unanimous in fingering fat as the cause of heart disease and cancer.

The trouble was, study after study failed to prove the hypothesis. It was a case, the Times explains, of "informational cascade" -- a phenomenon in which groups tend to reach false conclusions because individuals often assume that the majority must be right.

Thank you, New York Times. It's a good cautionary tale about human psychology and one the Times ought to take to heart in its coverage of the global warming question. That is the issue we are currently "cascading" to conclusions about, the Times no less than anyone else. The climate of opinion on climate is dogmatic verging on hysterical.
Sorry, Mona. According to the rules of our game, you only get at most a score of 38. Why do you want to get such a bad score in Global Warming Family Feud?

How about Schnitt of the Schnitt Show?
  1. [Video] - The Great Global Warming Swindle
  2. [YouTube] - Global Warming - Doomsday Called Off
  3. [YouTube] - Climate Catastrophe Cancelled
  4. Man-made Global Warming - So What If It's a Hoax? By Geoffrey P. Hunt
  5. EARTH IN THE BALANCE Don't Believe the Hype Al Gore is wrong. There's no "consensus" on global warming. BY RICHARD S. LINDZEN
  6. FREE INQUIRY Climate of Fear Global-warming alarmists intimidate dissenting scientists into silence. BY RICHARD LINDZEN
  7. Why Global Warming is Probably a Crock By James Lewis
  8. [PDF] - Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth One-sided, Misleading, Exaggerated, Speculative, Wrong By Marlo Lewis, Jr.
  9. Gorey Truths 25 inconvenient truths for Al Gore. By Iain Murray
  10. Chill out over global warming By David Harsanyi
  11. HOT & COLD MEDIA SPIN CYCLE: A CHALLENGE TO JOURNALISTS WHO COVER GLOBAL WARMING SENATOR JAMES INHOFE CHAIRMAN, SENATE ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE
  12. Global Warming: The Cold, Hard Facts? By Timothy Ball
  13. There IS a problem with global warming... it stopped in 1998 By Bob Carter
  14. Resisting Global Warming Panic By J.R. Dunn
And there is a lot more. A veritable cornucopia of articles claiming that Global Warming is a swindle sold by the same people who were selling Global Cooling and the new Ice Age in the 1970s.

Oh gosh! That doesn't look very hopeful for a high score at all! Judges, what score can we give Schnitt in Global Warming Family Feud? 14 points? Is that all? Schnitt, I don't think you're going to make it to the bonus round in Global Warming Family Feud!

How about a NASA scientist who worked with James E. Hansen? In a July 1971 article, S. I. Rasool, one of his colleagues, using computer simulations based on Mr. Hansen's work, claimed that a New Ice Age was coming.
NASA scientist James E. Hansen, who has publicly criticized the Bush administration for dragging its feet on climate change and labeled skeptics of man-made global warming as distracting "court jesters," appears in a 1971 Washington Post article that warns of an impending ice age within 50 years.

"U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming," blares the headline of the July 9, 1971, article, which cautions readers that the world "could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age, a leading atmospheric scientist predicts."

The scientist was S.I. Rasool, a colleague of Mr. Hansen's at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The article goes on to say that Mr. Rasool came to his chilling conclusions by resorting in part to a new computer program developed by Mr. Hansen that studied clouds above Venus.

The 1971 article, discovered this week by Washington resident John Lockwood while he was conducting related research at the Library of Congress, says that "in the next 50 years" — or by 2021 — fossil-fuel dust injected by man into the atmosphere "could screen out so much sunlight that the average temperature could drop by six degrees," resulting in a buildup of "new glaciers that could eventually cover huge areas."

Rasool, not good. For not even believing in Global Warming, but in Global Cooling, you can't get any points at all. I'm afraid your trip to Global Warming Family Feud is over! And we better keep an eye on Hansen too. His data looks dodgy.

Next up is Nigel Calder, former editor of the New Scientist.
Enthusiasm for the global-warming scare also ensures that heatwaves make headlines, while contrary symptoms, such as this winter’s billion-dollar loss of Californian crops to unusual frost, are relegated to the business pages. The early arrival of migrant birds in spring provides colourful evidence for a recent warming of the northern lands. But did anyone tell you that in east Antarctica the Adélie penguins and Cape petrels are turning up at their spring nesting sites around nine days later than they did 50 years ago? While sea-ice has diminished in the Arctic since 1978, it has grown by 8% in the Southern Ocean.

So one awkward question you can ask, when you’re forking out those extra taxes for climate change, is “Why is east Antarctica getting colder?” It makes no sense at all if carbon dioxide is driving global warming. While you’re at it, you might inquire whether Gordon Brown will give you a refund if it’s confirmed that global warming has stopped. The best measurements of global air temperatures come from American weather satellites, and they show wobbles but no overall change since 1999.

That levelling off is just what is expected by the chief rival hypothesis, which says that the sun drives climate changes more emphatically than greenhouse gases do. After becoming much more active during the 20th century, the sun now stands at a high but roughly level state of activity. Solar physicists warn of possible global cooling, should the sun revert to the lazier mood it was in during the Little Ice Age 300 years ago.

Well, shoot, good old Nigel isn't even trying! Either zero or 14 points. How can he win Global Warming Family Feud if he doesn't even try?

Pretty soon he's going to bring up Mars or something, like Kate Ravilious.

In 2005 data from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey missions revealed that the carbon dioxide "ice caps" near Mars's south pole had been diminishing for three summers in a row.

Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of space research at St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia, says the Mars data is evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun.

"The long-term increase in solar irradiance is heating both Earth and Mars," he said.

Abdussamatov believes that changes in the sun's heat output can account for almost all the climate changes we see on both planets.

Who cares that the polar icecaps are melting ... on Mars? It's just a coincidence that Mars is suffering from Global Warming too, despite the distinct lack of dirty coal burning power plants, backyard grills, methane-producing cow farts, giant SUVs, private jets flying Democrats and leftist Hollywood celebrities on shopping and baby-adopting trips all over the world, and snowmobiles on Mars.

Actually, it isn't coincidence. It's wobbles. I've seen the light. Hallelujah! Earth's Global Warming is caused by people, coal power, cookouts, farting cattle and elephants, SUVs, snowmobiling Eskimos, and Al Gore's private jet. But Mars' Global Warming is caused by wobbles. Don't believe me, believe the scientists.
The conventional theory is that climate changes on Mars can be explained primarily by small alterations in the planet's orbit and tilt, not by changes in the sun.

"Wobbles in the orbit of Mars are the main cause of its climate change in the current era," Oxford's Wilson explained. (Related: "Don't Blame Sun for Global Warming, Study Says" [September 13, 2006].)

All planets experience a few wobbles as they make their journey around the sun. Earth's wobbles are known as Milankovitch cycles and occur on time scales of between 20,000 and 100,000 years.

These fluctuations change the tilt of Earth's axis and its distance from the sun and are thought to be responsible for the waxing and waning of ice ages on Earth.

See? Wobbles explain Mars' Global Warming, but don't explain Earths' Global Warming, which is caused by the energy used for the Oscars, Emmy Awards, the Golden Raspberry Awards, and other Hollywood extravaganzas. And plasma televisions. You can stop worrying about these things. The scientists know better, and all we have to do is stop questioning them and believe believe believe BELIEVE in the scientists, Saints Einstein and Darwin, and the Big Bang that created us and that will swallow the Universe at the end of time. Arguments about how many angels can fit on the point of a pin can't hold a candle to string theory for pure mind-boggling arcane obfuscation and pettifoggery.

Ahem. Sorry, got a bit off track there.

Michael Asher, you are our next contestant!
My earlier column this week detailed the work of a volunteer team to assess problems with US temperature data used for climate modeling. One of these people is Steve McIntyre, who operates the site climateaudit.org. While inspecting historical temperature graphs, he noticed a strange discontinuity, or "jump" in many locations, all occurring around the time of January, 2000.

These graphs were created by NASA's Reto Ruedy and James Hansen (who shot to fame when he accused the administration of trying to censor his views on climate change). Hansen refused to provide McKintyre with the algorithm used to generate graph data, so McKintyre reverse-engineered it. The result appeared to be a Y2K bug in the handling of the raw data.

McKintyre notified the pair of the bug; Ruedy replied and acknowledged the problem as an "oversight" that would be fixed in the next data refresh.

NASA has now silently released corrected figures, and the changes are truly astounding. The warmest year on record is now 1934. 1998 (long trumpeted by the media as record-breaking) moves to second place. 1921 takes third. In fact, 5 of the 10 warmest years on record now all occur before World War II. Anthony Watts has put the new data in chart form, along with a more detailed summary of the events.

The effect of the correction on global temperatures is minor (some 1-2% less warming than originally thought), but the effect on the U.S. global warming propaganda machine could be huge.

Then again -- maybe not. I strongly suspect this story will receive little to no attention from the mainstream media.

Well, this joker is claiming that there really isn't all that much warming going on, and that much of the evidence of global warming can be traced to a Y2K computer bug. This must have been the only Y2K computer bug to have gone uncaught in the whole entire world, what with all the boondoggle programming that was being done back in 1999 to prevent global ca-lender-tastrophe. No points in Global Warming Family Feud for Michael Asher. He doesn't seem to believe that Global Warming is a real trend. And there is a problem with this Hansen guy too. His computer models are back and misbehaving.

Again according to Asher:
Hansen specializes in climate "modeling" -- attempting to predict future events based on computer simulations. In 1971, Hansen wrote his first climate model, which showed the world was about to experience severe global cooling. NASA colleagues used it to warn the world that immediate action was needed to prevent catastrophe.

Most research papers are rather dry reading, written to be as unemotional as possible. Not so with Hansen's reports, whose works scream alarmism even in their titles: "Climate Catastrophe," "Can We Defuse the Global Warming Time Bomb," and "The Threat to the Planet." Hansen was most recently in the news when an amateur blogger discovered an error in his climate data, a mistake Hansen later discounted as unimportant to the "big picture" of compelling public action on climate change.

But who is James Hansen? Is he an impartial researcher seeking scientific truth? Or a political activist with an axe to grind?

In 2006, Hansen accused the Bush Administration of attempting to censor him. The issue stemmed from an email sent by a 23-year old NASA public affairs intern. It warned Hansen over repeated violations of NASA's official press policy, which requires the agency be notified prior to interviews. Hansen claimed he was being "silenced," despite delivering over 1,400 interviews in recent years, including 15 the very month he made the claim. While he admits to violating the NASA press policy, Hansen states he had a "constitutional right" to grant interviews. Hansen then began a barrage of public appearances on TV, radio and in lecture halls decrying the politicization of climate science.

Turns out he was right. Science was being politicized. By him.

A report revealed just this week, shows the 'Open Society Institute' funded Hansen to the tune of $720,000, carefully orchestrating his entire media campaign. OSI, a political group which spent $74 million in 2006 to "shape public policy," is funded by billionaire George Soros, the largest backer of Kerry's 2004 Presidential Campaign. Soros, who once declared that "removing Bush from office was the "central focus" of his life, has also given tens of millions of dollars to MoveOn.Org and other political action groups.

Certainly Soros has a right to spend his own money. But NASA officials have a responsibility to accurate, unbiased, nonpartisan science. For Hansen to secretly receive a large check from Soros, then begin making unsubstantiated claims about administrative influence on climate science is more than suspicious -- it's a clear conflict of interest.

But the issues don't stop here. Hansen received an earlier $250,000 grant from the Heinz Foundation, an organization run by Kerry's wife, which he followed by publicly endorsing Kerry. Hansen also acted as a paid consultant to Gore during the making of his global-warming film, "An Inconvenient Truth," and even personally promoted the film during an NYC event.

After the the GISS data error was revealed, Hansen finally agreed to make public the method he uses to generate "official" temperature records from the actual readings. That process has been revealed to be thousands of lines of source code, containing hundreds of arbitrary "bias" adjustments to individual sites, tossing out many readings entirely, and raising (or lowering) the actual values for others, sometimes by several degrees. Many areas with weak or no rising temperature trends are therefore given, after adjustment, a much sharper trend. A full audit of the Hansen code is currently underway, but it seems clear that Hansen has more explaining to do.

Well at last we come to someone who wants to win Global Warming Family Feud. And he's willing to take payoffs from billionaires, flip-flop from his earlier pro-Global Cooling stance, tweak and falsify data, hide embarrassing Y2K coding errors, throw hissy fits against George W. Bush, plus suck up to Democrat politicians! What a trooper! 41 points for Hansen.

Come on down British High Court Judge Michael Burton. You're next on Global Warming Family Feud!
One day before Friday's announcement that he was a co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, a British High Court judge ruled that Gore's global warming film, "An Inconvenient Truth," while "broadly accurate," contained nine significant errors.

The ruling came on a challenge from a UK school official who did not want to show the film to students. High Court Judge Michael Burton said that the film is "substantially founded upon scientific research and fact" but that the errors were made in "the context of alarmism and exaggeration."

Burton found that screening the film in British secondary schools violated laws barring the promotion of partisan political views in the classroom. But he allowed the film to be shown on the condition that it is accompanied by guidance notes to balance Gore's "one-sided" views, saying that the film's "apocalyptic vision" was not an impartial analysis of climate change.

The claim was originally filed by truck driver Stewart Dimmock, whose two children have not yet seen the film.

Here come de Judge. Here come de Judge. Things don't look too good for the Judge.

The Guardian has more.
Arguing that the film's promotion of partisan political views was "irremediable" and that it contained scientific inaccuracies and "sentimental mush", Mr Dimmock attempted to get the film totally banned from schools in England.

The film is already being distributed to secondary schools in Scotland and Wales.

Mr Justice Burton, sitting at the High Court in London, said the Department for Children, Schools and Families was not under a duty to forbid the film, provided it was accompanied by the guidance.[...]

Awarding Mr Dimmock two thirds of his estimated legal costs of more than £200,000 against the government, the judge said: "I conclude that the claimant substantially won this case by virtue of my finding that, but for the new guidance note, the film would have been distributed in breach of sections 406 and 407 of the 1996 Education Act."

These sections ban the political indoctrination of schoolchildren and require political views to be presented in a balanced way.

It doesn't look good for Dimmock or the Judge. Dimmock is clearly a 14-pointer, or a zero. De Judge appears to be a 38-pointer.

That's the last of today's contestants in Global Warming Family Feud!

We have a winner in Global Warming Family Feud with 41 points: James E. Hansen! Congrats to Dr. Hansen. May his reign as winner of Global Warming Family Feud be prosperous, and may he enjoy the lifetime supply of Turtle Wax and Rice-A-Roni that he won.

He's one of the scientists. We should all start acting like a scientist, stop worrying about the quality of the science and JUST BELIEVE!

Hallelujah! I have seen the light! And it's hot, but not as hot as CO2, except not the CO2 in my Coca-Cola, which is really cool and delicious!


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Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

                Matthew 7:15-16