Clips from news stories published in the past year:

The coldest summer ever? You might be looking at it, weather folks say. Right now the so-called summer of ‘08 is on pace to produce the fewest days ever recorded in which the temperature in Anchorage managed to reach 65 degrees.

This winter has been one of the toughest in decades, with temperatures today reaching as low as -38C in large areas of the Midwest. 

Germany marked record low temperatures for the third day in a row on Thursday, with meteorologists measuring a frosty -33.4 degrees Celsius (-28 degrees Fahrenheit) in the Bavarian Alps in the early morning hours.

Flint broke a 95-year-old record early Wednesday morning when the temperature plummeted to a frigid 19 below zero.

Charlottes Pass at 13 degrees below average set a new Australian record for cold today at -13 degress celcius. This sets a new cold record for April for anywhere in Australia.

If it seemed cold to you in Green Bay on Saturday, it was. The high temperature for the day, reached at 9:50 a.m., was 52. That set a record for the lowest high temperature for June 6, according to the National Weather Service office in Ashwaubenon. The old mark was 53, set in 1943.

Last summer was one of the coolest on record.  It was followed by one of the coldest winters on record, which in turn was followed by a record-cool spring.  May in New Zealand was the coldest on record … but the resorts were delighted, because ski season arrived early.  In Michigan, farmers are concerned that frost is killing off their crops – in June. 

Meanwhile, it turns out the ice in Antarctica is 1) thicker than scientists had previously believed, and 2) appears to be getting even thicker, except in the west. 

Faced with these inconvenient truths, several prominent members of the media apologized for having such a girl-crush on Al Gore, promised they’d no longer count U.N. bureaucrats with no scientific background as “scientists” who believe humans are causing global warming, and assured the public they will stop referring to CO2 – one of the most common and natural substances on the planet – as a “pollutant.”

Kidding!  Of course that didn’t happen.  Good news doesn’t sell newspapers or draw ratings, and good news on the climate doesn’t support the agenda of the media’s favorite political party and the president they openly worship.  (I’m assuming they would view a cooling trend as good news, which is itself debatable.  Warm weather supports life.  Cold weather kills.)

Instead, we are being treated to the same old scare-mongering.  I recently bookmarked this article on the MSNBC site, which offers a harrowing vision of what the U.S. could look like in 2100 if we don’t stop global warming:  forest fires, hurricanes, droughts, heat waves, beachfront property in the Rockies … oh my! 

Well, yeah, the country could end up like that.  Or, given the current cooling trend, Americans could end up freezing their asses off while paying through the nose for heating fuel, thanks to all the “cap and trade” schemes designed to stop global warming.  Either scenario is possible, and of course the MSNBC article is pure conjecture.  But look at the words the writer chose:

We can still turn it around, but here is the world our grandchildren will live in if we don’t. 

Pardon me?  This is the world our grandchildren will live in?!  She doesn’t know that any more than I know they’ll be ice-skating in Miami. 

And you wonder, “Is climate disaster already upon us?” Scientists say the answer is “yes.”

Uh, no … some scientists say the answer is “yes.”  Some also say the answer is “no,” or at least “we have no idea.”  An anti-Kyoto petition states:

“There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”

That petition has been signed by 31,000 scientists, including 9,000 with doctorate degrees in atmospheric science, climatology, Earth science, or environmental science.  (They apparently forgot to consult with Al Gore before forming their opinions.)

After I read the article online about how the Antarctic ice is getting thicker, I kept my eyes open to see how often the story was picked up by major U.S. newspapers and TV networks.  As far as I can tell, it wasn’t – but a story about the ice thinning in the western region of Antarctica was.

A more recent news story warned that CO2 “pollution” is estimated to increase by 40 percent over the next 30 years or so.  (Oh my gosh!  My kids will have to wave the stuff out of their faces just to see where they’re walking!)  The story doesn’t say anything that isn’t true, you understand – that is the official government estimate.  But a journalist without an agenda might bother to mention a few facts to provide a little perspective, such as:

  • It’s an estimate … one that assumes we won’t develop a new means of producing energy in the next 30 years.
  • If humans increase their CO2 output by 40 percent, that doesn’t mean CO2 concentration in the atmosphere will rise by 40 percent.  Humans produce a fraction of the CO2 emitted – about 5%.  (Plants and animals contribute more of the “pollutant.”  That’s why the greenies are so upset about cow farts.)
  • Carbon dioxide makes up about .039% of the atmosphere, and is estimated to account for about 2.3% of the total greenhouse effect.

So the real story is that if nothing changes in our energy use, humans will add another 40 percent to the small fraction they emit of a gas that causes a teensy bit of the total greenhouse effect.  Is that enough to tip the atmospheric balance, give the earth “a fever,” melt the ice caps, and sink Manhattan?  I don’t know.  Neither does Al Gore.  Neither does whoever wrote the story.  But given our record-cold temperatures over the past year, I doubt it.

The scare-mongers will, of course, start coming up with ad-hoc theories to explain the cold weather:  It’s an anomaly, you see, so it doesn’t mean anything … Without man-made global warming, it would’ve been even colder, and when this anomaly is over, we’re going to be cooking the planet again … Well, global warming actually causes colder weather … Global warming?  Did we say “global warming?”  We meant “climate change,” and by gosh, look at the change in climate!

Real scientists have a word for ad-hoc theories:  bull@#$%.  I learned a lot about ad-hoc theories while researching my documentary Fat Head.  Ad-hoc theories are how bad scientists explain results they don’t like.  Ad-hoc theories are how the anti-fat hysterics defend the “saturated fat causes heart disease” theory, despite all the evidence against it. 

In real science, you propose a hypothesis, then check the data as it comes in to see if it supports the hypothesis.  If the data doesn’t support the hypothesis, a real scientist concludes that the hypothesis is probably wrong.  (Unfortunately, real scientists are becoming a rare breed in some fields.)  The recent cooling trend certainly doesn’t support the theory that human beings are giving the planet a fever.

So what’s causing the cooling trend?  Nobody knows for sure.  But buried beneath all the noise about man-made global warming, there has long been a competing hypothesis to explain climate change:  sun spots.  According to this theory, sun spots produce warmer temperatures on earth.

The bad thing about this theory is that it has zero appeal to leftists.  You can’t blame American corporations, industrialization, capitalism, greed, the World Bank, Republicans in general or George W. Bush specifically for what happens on the sun.  U.N. bureaucrats can’t release position papers on global sun-spot initiatives and feel self-important.  Environmental groups can’t raise millions of dollars by promising to fight sun spots.

 The good thing about this theory is that it seems to fit the actual data; when scientists compare historical warming and cooling trends (and there have been several of them) to sun-spot activity, there’s a strong correlation. Lots of sun spots, warmer temperatures.  Fewer sun spots, cooler temperatures.

And guess what?  Sun-spot activity has been declining lately.  If the decline continues, we could even be heading into a “little ice age” – the kind Newsweek warned about in 1975 before jumping on the global-warming bandwagon a decade or so later.

Below, I’ve posted YouTube clips of a lecture by one of the many scientists who dispute the idea that we’re warming up the planet.  (As far as I know, he doesn’t deny the Holocaust.)  But first, here’s my favorite news clip from the previous year:

Snow fell as the House of Commons debated Global Warming yesterday – the first October fall in the metropolis since 1922.

10 Responses to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
  1. SnowDog says:

    Good take on the whole thing. But you realize, that with the reinvention of global warming as global climate change, that this sort of take, plays right into their hands. 🙂

    Yeah, I know. They’re convinced the climate has never changed before.

  2. fatlies says:

    The climate disaster… warming, eh… green house change… is a firmly established religion. It has nothing to do with science. Just like the cholesterol religion.

    Alfred Nobel is spinning in his grave since the Nobel Peace Prize Commitee, elected by the Norwegian parliament, awarded Al Gore with the prize.

    Keep up the good work! ;–)

    I found amazing similarities between the “animal fat kills!” crowd and the “humans are baking the planet!” crowds. They both are based largely on quasi-religious beliefs (“eating meat is evil” … “industry is evil”), they both are populated largely but not exclusively by leftists, and they both cling to their beliefs no matter how much evidence piles up that those beliefs are wrong.

    The Nobel committee became politicized years ago. I now rank their objectivity up there with the committee that awards the Oscars.

  3. TonyNZ says:

    ” You can’t blame American corporations, industrialization, capitalism, greed, the World Bank, Republicans in general or George W. Bush specifically for what happens on the sun.”

    Watch this space, baby.

    You should look at the trend of fossil fuel emissions versus rise in atmospheric CO2. There is a tremendous amount of “missing” CO2, taken up by the sea. So the projections of heating are all rubbish anyway.

    Like the body, the planet adjusts. I don’t think the ecosystem is as “delicate” as the global-warming crowd believes. In fact, I think we could try to destroy the planet with everything we’ve got and Mother Nature would kick our asses. That being said, I share Dr. Carter’s attitude: I’m against pollution; but CO2 is not a friggin’ pollutant.

  4. Dave Dixon says:

    Hey Tom. I think you’ll like this guy.

    Good stuff. I took a glance and will read more fully later. I especially liked what I saw right up top: “science is never decided by consensus” … or shouldn’t be, anyway. It was the consensus committee at the National Cholesterol Education Campaign that managed to enshrine the idea that fat and cholesterol cause heart disease. As Dr. Kilmer McCully told me on the phone, there were plenty of scientists who hotly disputed the whole idea, but the committee was all about creating “consensus,” so they simply swept those objections aside and ignored them in the final report.

  5. Karin says:

    I didn’t catch the name of the scientist in this lecture. I don’t see it in your blog. Would you let me know what it is? Thanks very much, and I love both of your blogs.

    The professor is Bob Carter of James Cook University. He’s probably fortunate to be Australian; most American universities would have had his scalp by now.

  6. TonyNZ says:

    To be a science something has to be falsifiable. When people refuse to hear evidence against, it is no longer science.

    I’ve tried to make that exact point when I’m faced with the argument that even if warming and cooling cycles have occurred many times are therefore natural, we can’t prove that we’re not making those cycles worse. True, we can’t prove that … we also can’t prove that ocean currents aren’t affected by invisible giant whales flapping their fins. You can’t disprove a theoretical negative. But since they’re the ones who want to spend trillions of dollars, the burden of proof should be on them.

  7. Dave Dixon says:

    Falsifiability is too narrow of a concept. Testability is broader, i.e. your hypothesis has to be amenable to some test that allows you to change your belief one way or another. You will never achieve absolute truth or falsehood, and those are logically pathological states anyway.

    Glassman (the rocket scientist guy I linked above) had a great lecture about this, but unfortunately it only seems to be available to subscribers of CrossFit Magazine.

    I won’t hold my breath waiting for MSNBC to do a feature on the guy.

  8. Karen says: linked to this NASA article:

    I live in the high desert of SoCal and have been enjoying the cooler weather. I wish that solar jet stream would slow down some more and keep the sun spot numbers low! Of course, if that happens then the global warming nitwits will start shrieking again. Oh, wait, they never stopped…

    Interesting article. I live in Southern California, soon moving to Tennessee, and my Irish blood isn’t fond of hot weather, so frankly I wouldn’t mind a cooling spell myself.

    Pretty soon we’ll be hearing about “man-made sunspot reduction.”

  9. TonyNZ says:

    @Dave Dixon

    Much more appropriately put than mine, and I do have the same thoughts. I was just whacking in a post in before I went out the door with that last post.

  10. KenC says:

    I’ve done 6 months of investigation on the subject of fat, cholesterol and carbohydrates in your movie, Fat Head. I’m in total agreement with the view of this subject presented in this movie. Well done. However, I don’t agree with the view your presented here on climate change.

    Will you please provide reference information about the petition sighed by 30,000 scientists. I’m skeptical about your skepticism on climate change. Perhaps you can help me to appreciate your view on this subject.

    Your skepticism is healthy.

    The scientists who signed the petition aren’t saying global warming isn’t happening; they’re saying they are not convinced humans are causing it. That’s where I’m at on the issue as well. Given the number of times the planet has warmed and cooled, I don’t see any convincing evidence that this time, it’s our fault.

    My view on the topic is pretty much the same as Professor Carter’s. Whether you agree with him or not, he’s not alone among scientists, and that’s why the idea that “the debate is over” is ridiculous.

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