It's not clear that the partial scrubbing of climate change from the website of the Department of Natural Resources in Wisconsin was at the directive of the Governor Scott Walker, or if there happens to be a stray science denier who got lodged in the Department itself. What is clear is that it's got climate conspiracy theorists at WUWT enthused and hopeful. They seem to think that if the words "climate" and "change" are scrubbed from government websites, then global warming will stop. It won't.
(Scott Walker was a presidential hopeful at one stage, and reportedly dodged questions on climate change.)
Anthony Watts is so excited about this latest bit of climate censorship that he's posted two articles about it. One was written by Bob Tisdale (archived here) and the other by Kip Hansen (archived here).
Climate change in Wisconsin
For those like me who only had a vague idea of where Wisconsin is located, it borders on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, and is a fairly cold place in winter time. It gets reasonably warm in summer. Here's a map from Google Maps:
It's only about 170,000 sq km in area. (Victoria in Australia is around 238,000 sq km, and is considered small, being the second smallest state in Australia after Tasmania.)
Climate change in Wisconsin is affected by changes it causes to the Great Lakes. That's the page that DNR changed (new vs old). The Department is now shielding the public from learning about how this will affect them.
The new website does say that "the earth is going through a change", but wrongly claims that it is "As it has done throughout the centuries". That's wrong, because this time it's different. Climate change is happening faster than any time in recorded history, and is on pace to be ten times faster than at any time in the past 65 million years. It's also being caused by human activity, which means we can do something about it.
Apparently, "The DNR staff stands ready to adapt our management strategies in an effort to protect our lakes, waterways, plants, wildlife and people who depend on them." It's just that going by the DNR website, the Department isn't keen to let the public in on what is the threat.
It wasn't always that way. Before 21 December, DNR was quite open about what is happening. According to the old web page, DNR was previously willing to inform the public and enlist their help, stating:
The good news is that we can all work to slow climate change and lessen its effects. To find out more about climate change and how we can all help, please visit the following links.DNR staff previously told the public what is happening, and what is likely to happen:
Earth´s climate is changing. Human activities that increase heat–trapping ("green house") gases are the main cause. Earth´s average temperature has increased 1.4 °F since 1850 and the eight warmest years on record have occurred since 1998. Increasing temperatures have led to changes in rainfall patterns and snow and ice cover. These changes could have severe effects on the Great Lakes and the plants, wildlife and people who depend on them. While no one can predict exactly what climate change will mean for our Great Lakes, scientists agree that the following changes are likely if climate change patterns continue.
- Increased summer and winter temperatures will cause increased evaporation, lower lake water levels and warmer water, resulting in reduced habitat for cold water species and a loss of critical wetland areas.
- Decreased winter ice cover will also contribute to increased evaporation and lower lake water levels which could have severe economic consequences for our valuable shipping industry, lakeshore recreation, and coastal businesses.
- Changes in rain and snowfall patterns (including more frequent and severe storms) could change water flow in streams and rivers and increase stream bank erosion and runoff pollution.
Yes, the page was out of date. Now it's more like the average global temperature is 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than in 1850, and 17 of the hottest 17 years on record have occurred since 1998, sixteen of them this century.
Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts
WICCI was formed in the fall of 2007, by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the University of Wisconsin Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. The Nelson Institute had been approached by several state legislators, who wanted to understand the impact of climate change on their constituents. DNR staff wanted to understand impacts on the state's natural resources, so they could make better management decisions.
One indicator - temperature rise in Wisconsin
Here is what has been happening in Wisconsin, in regard to warming. First the decadal temperatures (December to November). The last three ten year periods have been the hottest in the record.
|Figure 1 | Temperature change in Wisconsin in ten year intervals (December to November). Data source: NOAA|
Next, the annual (December to November), showing how it's been getting warmer over time:
|Figure 2 | Temperature change in Wisconsin (December to November). Data source: NOAA|
It's not just changing temperature, the WICCI website also shows how the changing climate is affecting agriculture in Wisconsin, with potential positive and negative impacts.
WUWT wants governments to censor climate change from websites
Bob Tisdale wrote a short article about the censorship. It was mostly copy and paste, which is unusual for Bob. His own words were few, but he did say that he hoped more agency websites would hide the fact that humans are causing climate change, writing:
I’m looking forward to more changes like this in the not-so-distant future.Kip Hansen was the same. He calls proper mention of climate change the “AGW party line” and regards FUD as a "considered statement". Kip wrote about the dumbed down wrong text on the DNR web page:
This is a magnificently crafted statement – and a huge pull-back from heretofore obligatory echoing of the IPCC consensus talking points.Kip is also very hopeful that the New York Times is going to normalise science denial. He made much of his finding that:
...the last times both terms were used [denier and hoax, I think] in the New York Times, outside of the Opinion page, were in an article by Clifford Krauss and Maggiue Heberman on December 10th....I did a Google search. The word "denier" isn't used much by the New York Times, so Kip might be able to bask a little longer in his hope that "this represents a real change at the NY Times".
...It now has been two weeks and counting since such language appeared in any NY Times news article. One can only hope that this represents a change in editorial policy — a change to the style manual of the NY Times.
I admit that I find it perplexing that science deniers, who are predominately free speech advocates who dislike political correctness, prefer euphemisms like "dispute the science of climate change" to the more correct "deny the science of climate change".
From the WUWT comments
The "thoughts" come from both Bob Tisdale's article and Kip Hansen's article.
macawber makes a good point
December 29, 2016 at 5:53 am
Following Trump’s list of penetrating questions to be answered by State and Federal funded Environmental Organisations, this is just the start of evidence that the staff involved and consultants employed there value their pay cheques more than their principles!
Hans-Georg is a "climate hoax" conspiracy theorist, who can think of nothing but money:
December 29, 2016 at 9:13 am
Did these Schleimers ever have principles? In the context of the agenda of humanized climate change with the business interests behind it, via a gold mine for people who know how to use this with their capital, this was nothing but a huge money redistribution machine from the bottom up.
AndyE is delusional, like most at WUWT, and thinks that expunging climate change from websites will cause global warming to stop. If only it were that easy:
December 29, 2016 at 6:23 am
Come back in ten years – the whole issue of “climate-change” will have dropped from the mass media to the history books where it belongs.
Pop Piasa is an acid rain denier:
December 29, 2016 at 1:41 pm
Don’t forget the terrible acid rains in the 70’s that must have made the oceans acid now.
(/sarc, for new folks and simpletons)
george e. smith thinks that Milankovitch cycles are what's causing modern warming. He's clueless:
December 29, 2016 at 12:42 pmGeorge might be clueless, but not as clueless as Pegasus, who doesn't seem to realise that it's where the sun shines during shifts in the tilt and orbit that makes a difference. Nor that if a climate model left out the radiation coming in from the sun, then it would show the earth as a frozen wasteland:
I would suggest that the most obvious, and principal causes of climate change are (A) The eccentricity of earth’s orbit being greater than zero; and (B) The tilt of the earth’s polar axis being about 23.5 degrees off the plane of the ecliptic; or words to that effect.
For the life of me, I can’t think of anything else that changes climate much, besides long term variations of A and B.
If I come up with (C), I’ll let y’alls know.
December 29, 2016 at 1:12 pm
Your point makes sense, you just left out the glaringly obvious, that being the sun of course. Tilt, orbit etc are relative. Wasn’t that the primary factor all the models left out, the effect of the sun!!
joel demonstrates that the main reason many science deniers deny is because they are obsessed with money and want, if not anarchy, at least few regulations. (Though in my experience, such people call for more regulations when it suits them. Many Americans love locking people up in prison.):
December 29, 2016 at 3:59 am
My theory is that the D’s will simply stop talking about CO2 and latch onto another crisis which will need, surprisingly, a lot of money and regulation.
Greg is another one who thinks that hiding DNR staff are hiding facts to protect their jobs:
December 30, 2016 at 1:35 am
The DNR change the Tisdale brought to our attention looks a lot like “oh we’re not alarmsists, misinforming the public, we’re the good guys. Please don’t defund us”.
Expect a lot more of this as the alarmists climb over each others dead or dying bodies to grasp for last drops of gravy from the disappearing gravy train.
Gareth Phillips thinks that Trump might not be a denier after all. Or does he? His "thought" is a bit confusing:
December 30, 2016 at 1:51 am
There are a lot of posters on this site who have invested a lot of hope and energy in the assumption that Trump is a skeptic with regard to climate change. If the writer of this article is correct, they may be deeply disappointed. Admittedly Trump may climb down from that lofty and somewhat extreme position in the same way has he has done with other claims and commitments he has made during the election, but there is plenty of material out there that suggests he was pretty convinced that climate change and the science was a con when he made the statements.
ironicman is hopeful that Donald Trump will be able to stop global warming. (Did I get that right?):
December 30, 2016 at 2:24 am
Gareth the next president is a closet member of the Denialati and won’t be climbing down or kowtowing to established thinking. Trump is a revolutionary and intends to demolish the AGW facade.
I think joel must be too young to understand what war is like. If so, he might get the chance to learn, if Trump gets his way:
December 30, 2016 at 5:23 am
I think the use of the word “purge” makes their position clear.
Guys. We are in a war. Accept it.
Dodgy Geezer is another run-of-the-mill "climate hoax" conspiracy theorist, who writes at some length how he thinks it's time for deniers to keep quiet:
December 30, 2016 at 2:37 am
We all know how humans work.
If we all stay quiet, the press will slowly move over to the ‘New’ interpretation, which will be that Climate Change ‘certainly exists’, but that maybe it has been a bit ‘over-emphasised’, and no one is really to blame. Then, slowly, it will get forgotten (just like the Piltdown Man fiasco), and in two or three generations, when no one can lose face over it, some studies will be produced which say that the scientific authorities back in the 2000s were stupid, and aren’t we lucky that science corrected itself before any real harm was done.
If, however, we make a noise about it, the die-hards will cling to the belief that we are all about to die, and will undertake all kinds of extreme political activity intended to force their beliefs on the politicians. We see this happening with Brexit in the UK as the Remainers try to force a reappraisal of the Leave vote through the courts, and in the US where we had the unedifying spectacle of crowd-funded recounts, and the strange process of blaming the Russians (Commies?) for doing ‘something technical’ (we’re not sure what) to let the Republicans in….
What a world we live in!!
Martin A doesn't mean that WUWT conspiracy theorists are about to throw in the towel:
December 30, 2016 at 3:57 am
Are Public Positions on Climate Change Changing?
Yes. The end of the Great Delusion is at hand.
Karen appears to disagree with Kip Hansen, who wants to use euphemisms, and is a big fan of wacky climate conspiracy blogs:
December 30, 2016 at 5:26 am
Hopefully these are the first signs of cracks in the facade, with many more to come. Lots of good reasons listed here for this new language; funding concerns, dooms days that never materialize, interest T-curves, etc. After following the debate for many years, and eventually aligning with the skeptics, I find this a moment of cautious celebration.
Imagine how different the picture would be today without the new media, and sites like WattsUpWithThat, IceCap, IceAgeNow, etc. They’ve started a snowball (ha) that is gaining speed. No wonder the Warmists are out to crush Free Speech.
Free Speech – cherish it, defend it!
Leo Smith might seem strange, but in WUWT's world of the weird he's what passes for normal:
December 30, 2016 at 5:40 am
My stance is simply this: None of the real movers and shakers behind the ‘useful idiots’, ever believed in climate change of the man made sort. It was and is a political and commercial marketing narrative.
By voting in Trump, a new version of what the ‘stupid ordinary man’ is thinking has emerged, in the minds of those who see it that way. AGW doesn’t have traction. So it will be binned, and the useful idiots like Monbiot, and so on who promulgated it, will be quietly dumped, or paid off in some way.
Climate change, the agenda, will never be admitted to be wrong. It will simply fade from public consciousness as the next campaign (probably some kind of ‘global social justice’/migration initiative) replaces it as The Thing Everyone Is Talking About. Climate out of vogue, social justice back in.