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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Paul Driessen and CFACT promote climate "hoax" conspiracy theories at WUWT

Sou | 12:50 AM Go to the first of 7 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts loves a good conspiracy theory, particularly the one about climate science being a hoax. He would probably claim that he doesn't "believe in" conspiracy theories, yet he constantly posts them on his blog.

Today it was Paul Driessen, who's employed by CFACT to lobby against environmental protection, in one of his more blatant articles (archived here). Usually he is moaning about clean air and water, wishing the USA would resurrect the smog and dirty water of decades past. Paul wrote stuff like this today:

The notion that manmade carbon dioxide now drives climate and weather – and we can predict climate and weather by looking only at plant-fertilizing CO2 and other “greenhouse gases” – is just as absurd now as before.
The quotes are a giveaway, even if you knew nothing about the subject. Putting the words "greenhouse gases" in quotes shows that Paul is a greenhouse effect denier. He doesn't believe in physics and chemistry.

He's also wrong - weather isn't predicted by looking only at atmospheric CO2. In fact, weather forecasts are made by models, initialised with current weather conditions. Similar to the models used by climate scientists who are studying long term changes in temperature, precipitation, ice cover, vegetation cover, ocean currents and all aspects of the earth system.

As you know, one of the telltale techniques of a climate science denier is the logical fallacy. Paul's article is riddled with them. Spot the logical fallacies, the irrational, the alarmism, and lies in these quotes:
  • As climate realists take the reins at EPA and other federal and state agencies, the Trump Administration should ensure that tax dollars are not squandered on more alarmist science that is employed to justify locking up more fossil fuels, expanding renewable energy and “carbon capture” schemes, reducing US living standards, and telling poor countries what living standards they will be “permitted” to have. (link)
  • A “skeptic” scientist has warmed to the idea that a major Greenland ice shelf may be shrinking because of climate change, a front-page piece in the Post claimed. Perhaps so. But is it manmade warming? Does it portend planetary cataclysm, even as Greenland’s interior and Antarctica show record ice growth? Or are warm ocean currents weakening an ice shelf that is fragile because it rests on ocean water, not land? (link)
  • Reliable forecasts, as far in advance as possible, would clearly benefit humanity. For that to happen, however, research must examine all natural and manmade factors, and not merely toe the pretend-consensus line that carbon dioxide now governs climate change. (link)
Paul followed up that last one by pretending that climate scientists don't study all aspects of climate. He seemed to think that scientists don't study clouds, or oceans, or storms, or incoming solar radiation, or any of the other aspects that are in the scientific literature and have been covered in every IPCC report to date. (Most WUWT readers assiduously avoid reading scientific journals and the thought of opening any of the IPCC reports would make them ill.)

Given how deniers have been comparing all recent temperatures with those in the 1998 El Nino, this para is not only wrong, it's especially disingenuous:
The desire to secure research funding from Obama grantor agencies also perpetuated a tendency to use El Niño warming spikes, and cherry-pick the end of cooling cycles as the starting point for trend lines that allegedly “prove” fossil fuels are causing “unprecedented” temperature spikes and planetary calamity.
Paul has some hopes for the Trump administration. He wrote:
The Trump Administration and 115th Congress have a unique opportunity to change these dynamics, and ensure that future research generates useful information, improved understanding of Earth’s complex climate system, and forecasts that are increasingly accurate. 
One of the things he wants to do is to cut back on climate research. Like many conspiracy generating climate disinformers, Paul Driessen is pushing the message that if we don't know about it then it can't possibly happen. He wrote that Trump should:
Significantly reduce funding for climate research, the IPCC and EPA, and science in general. Funding should be more broadly based, not monopolistic, especially when the monopoly is inevitably politicized.
The people who politicised climate science were the conservative extremists in the USA, who've now managed to take over the country.

After calling for climate science funding to be reduced, Paul then tried to claim that his anti-science rant  "is not an “attack on science.” It is a reaffirmation of what real science is supposed to be and do." Really? I guess if you're a WUWT authoritarian follower, you'll believe anything that fits your world view.

From the WUWT comments

Of course Anthony Watts' fans lap it all up. They seem to prefer smog and non-potable water and droughts and floods and heat waves to a modernised energy sector.

Just days before NASA, NOAA and the UK Hadley Centre will be discussing what is likely to be the hottest year on record following a string of record hot years, Phillip Bratby's dumb thought was:
January 9, 2017 at 1:36 am
“man-made global warming” is dead, deceased, popped its clogs, passed on, expired, ceased to be, gone to meet its maker, joined the choir invisible. It is no more. RIP.

Toneb criticised the silly cartoon Anthony put at the top of the article:
January 9, 2017 at 2:20 am
Judging by the cartoon, the author still confuses weather with climate.
Well done.
I see nothing changes here. 

M Courtney doesn't understand the impact that the incredibly high temperatures in the Arctic can have on the world, nor the concept of averaging, and is stuck in medieval conspiracies. He equates global temperatures over decades to centuries with global temperatures over weeks to months, and puts more faith in paleo studies of a proxy temperatures at a small number of locations relative to the global coverage of modern instrumentation. Even that he gets wrong:
January 9, 2017 at 3:04 am
You may be right. But the Arctic is not Global.
There is far more evidence that the MWP was a global event than that the current warming period is.
I predict that Antarctica won’t have a minimum ice extent next Summer. 

Scottish Sceptic is another one who refuses to read any science. If he had he'd know that the ocean is studied because it has a huge impact on weather and climate:
January 9, 2017 at 4:44 am
The argument for their ability to predict long term climate goes thus: because the climate is isolated from space, it can only be the sum of what comes in and goes out.
Thus it follows that because the atmosphere is sealed, the weather can only be affected by the different between what goes in and out. And to a large extent that is actually true! It’s cold and night and warm during the day.
It therefore follows, that if they can’t predict short term weather, they can’t predict long term climate (as they are basically the same atmospheric physics).
“But hang on” – some might say – isn’t it obvious that the weather systems will affect the weather. “But hang on” say I – isn’t it obvious that the distribution nof heat in the ocean will cause long term “climate” effects. Apparently not! Or at least the alarmists still believe in the “sealed earth” concept whereby climate is not affected by anything other than atmospheric composition.

From the HotWhopper archives


  1. "It therefore follows, that if they can’t predict short term weather, they can’t predict long term climate (as they are basically the same atmospheric physics)."

    such a daft thing to say

    forecasters don't know with any certainty that February (in the NH) will be warmer (on average) than January

    according to the physics of increased solar insolation that would be a good assumption/hypothesis

    but they can forecast with a high degree of accuracy/certainty that August will be warmer - so a longer time period, but a more accurate prediction

    even flat earthers get this

    why are the deniers so fixated with temperatures going up in straight lines - it seems the mother of all strawmen to me

    or have I missed something!!

    1. Weather forecasting is pretty good these days.

      Deniers at WUWT often express surprise that it snows in some places in winter. I don't think they know much about climate, let alone climate science.

    2. yes, I am a keen windsurfer so take note of the weather forecast, - and it is pretty good on the whole, I believe that the 5 day forecast is now as accurate as a 3 day one from 20 years ago - which seems about right

  2. Or are warm ocean currents weakening an ice shelf that is fragile because it rests on ocean water, not land

    I have read this three times and I still don't know if he really thinks the Greenland Ice Sheet is floating around or not.

  3. Indeed, the daftness of that statement is amazing.

    With that sort of logic Las Vegas should not only be unprofitable it should never have existed.

    After all, if you can't predict with certainty the next seven rolls of the dice nor the next seven cards in blackjack, certainly the house cannot predict with relative accuracy what the trends will be. It's all just the same rules and odds. That's just common sense.

    1. Apoogies, that was supposed to be a reply to Tadaaa in reference to Scottish Sceptic's statement ...

      "It therefore follows, that if they can’t predict short term weather, they can’t predict long term climate (as they are basically the same atmospheric physics)."

  4. That Scottish Sceptic post is just a word salad of disconnected sentences.

    I like this one:

    "It therefore follows, that if they can’t predict short term weather"

    I just cannot work out what it "follows"? I suspect it is an argument de psitaccus in the echo chamber.


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