|Greenhouse Effect. Credit/Source: NASA|
After EPA administrator Scott Pruitt admitted on television that global warming is happening, but all but rejected that it was caused by an increase in greenhouse gases, the crazies at WUWT went berserk (archived here). A chap who writes nonsense there from time to time, David Middleton, wrote how "of course" the EPA website still has science on it. His theory was that it was only because Pruitt hasn't yet got to it on his "to do" list. He thinks that soon enough Pruitt will replace any science on EPA's website with quackery.
Here is the excerpt verbatim (or as close as) from CNBC, where Scott Pruitt said that he doesn't believe the last two centuries of scientific evidence and the explanation of how things work:
CNBC interviewer: One other thing. Just to get to the nitty gritty. Do you believe that it's been proven that CO2 is the primary control knob for climate? Do you believe that?
Pruitt: No I, I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact. So no, I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.
Pruitt: But we don't know that yet. As far as, we need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis.
CNBC: It's it's a. I agree. When I hear that the science is settled, it's like I. I never heard that science had actually gotten to a point where it was a - that's the point of science, you keep asking questions, you keep asking questions. I don't want to be called a denier, so um, you know. It scares me. That's a terrible thing to be called. Anyway, Administrator Pruitt, I know you don't want to be called that either. Um. Thanks for being with us this morning. I appreciate it.
One thing I noticed is that Pruitt does not dispute the fact that the world is getting hotter. The people at WUWT don't seem to have cottoned onto that part. The other thing I noticed is what everyone else did - that Pruitt disputes an increase in greenhouse gases as the cause. He doesn't say what could have caused it. He's a typical denier, not a rational thinking human being.
Pruitt's now in charge of an agency that has a mandate to keep the USA safe for people, including trying to limit the adverse effects of climate change, but he rejects the advice of his own experts.
The EPA has a budget of around $8.3 billion and has a ceiling of around 15,400 full time equivalent staff. It costs the equivalent of around $26 per person a year to try to keep the air safe to breathe and the water safe to drink and play in. That's too high a price to pay for potable water and breathable air for the current US President and for Mr Pruitt. They are thinking of chopping funding by 25%. Now the current budget hasn't changed in six years, and is quite a lot lower than it was from 2005 to 2010, and that's in nominal (actual) dollars not in real cost terms. Climate change only gets about 14% of the budget so the vandals will have to cut a lot more work than that.
How about some comparisons. Donald Trump would rather spend up to $25 billion or more on his wall to stop Americans escaping into Mexico (or whatever). Spread that over three years and that's the same as three years of clean air and water.
Trump also wants to spend another $54 billion a year on the military. I think he wants to start another war, so that's a very conservative estimate. That would get you almost seven EPAs. Some hawks want to increase the military budget by another $37 billion, making it almost eleven EPAs.
Remember, Americans are going to have to fork out more for health insurance, and if their water and air quality declines they'll be forced to spend even more. $26/year per person pales into insignificance beside the cost of health insurance in America, and is way cheaper than what a sick person has to pay to get their health back, if they need health care.
Pruitt doesn't care about that. Like most of his political party, he's as bad at arithmetic as he is at science. And, like most in his party, he'd rather Americans who get sick or have an accident just curled up and died. They seem to think that if you're not rich enough to pay for health insurance then you don't deserve to live. And even if you were at one time rich enough, if you can't stay that way despite being sick and spending all your savings on hospital bills and medications, then you aren't well enough organised to meet the requirements for life in the USA.
It's worse than that, though, isn't it. The Republicans don't just want sick people to fall off the perch. They want to make people sick by polluting waterways, destroying air quality, and have more frequent weather disasters by bringing on climate change more quickly. (Perhaps they think there are too many people in the USA but they are too cowardly to overtly state they've adopted decimation policies.)
David Middleton is hopeful that Mr Pruitt will find someone in the EPA to tell lies about climate science. He wrote about an article by Chris Mooney at the Washington Post, and, twistedly, said:
Mr. Pruitt has been on the job for about three weeks. To my knowledge, he is the only Trump appointee in the EPA so far. Why is Chris Mooney shocked that Mr. Pruitt hasn’t had time to revise every bit of nonsense on EPA websites? He’s the EPA Administrator. He has a job to do, running the EPA. Erasing 8 years of propaganda from EPA websites is probably not at the top of his “to do” list. But, thanks to English major and former AGU board member, Chris Mooney, Mr. Pruitt knows which bit of propaganda the IT folks should tackle first.IT folks don't write articles. They can set up the web pages, but they wouldn't normally provide the text. That's the job of the communication people, who base it on information from the in-house experts. The inhouse experts are not likely to write that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas. Nor are they likely to write that greenhouse gases aren't causing global warming. Nor are they likely to write "we don't know", when "we" do know.
From the WUWT comments
As I said, Anthony Watts is just feeding the utter nutters, who he needs to pay his mortgage. They are coming out in droves to show that the American education system hasn't been all good everywhere over the years.
ferd berple gives quite a good illustration of a particularly thick denier whose cognitive function is quite inelastic. Ferd builds a strawman. No-one at the EPA would claim the atmosphere works like a closed greenhouse. Ferd cannot conceive that a word can survive more than a century, even though it turns out that the way a greenhouse gets warm is not the same as the way greenhouse gases warm the planet.
March 10, 2017 at 7:53 amWell, it might be a fundamental question, but Ferd should know the answer by now. He's been commenting on climate at WUWT for years and years. (Okay, there's the answer to the puzzle right there. WUWT isn't about science, it's a conspiracy blog. Ferd needs to learn how to use Google search, and get out more.)
The EPA and other government websites regularly make the claim that CO2 warms the atmosphere by the same process that warms real greenhouses. Thus the name Greenhouse Gas and Greenhouse Effect.
However, real greenhouses warm not by radiation, but by limiting convection. Thus, the EPA and other government institutions are contradicting themselves, because the CO2 greenhouse effect is believed to be due to radiation.
So which is it? Does CO2 warm the atmosphere by the same process as real greenhouses or not? And if the process is different, why is CO2 called a greenhouse gas.
This is a very fundamental question. If CO2 does not warm by limiting convection, then why is it called a greenhouse gas? Why is “radiation” called a greenhouse effect, when greenhouses do not warm as a result of radiation. Rather they warm as a result of limiting convection.
How can it be science, when the same term is used for two different effects with two different causes? How does it advance scientific understanding to use confusing and imprecise labels. Should we now call typhoid and influenza by the same name, because they both cause a fever in the patient?
Dave_G mistakenly thinks that CO2 from burning fossil fuels and chopping down forests will behave differently from CO2 from other sources. It's the same molecule, Dave.
March 9, 2017 at 2:42 pmReverend richardscourtney has been appearing at WUWT again lately, minus his usual shouting. He's a hard core science denier who refuses to accept any and all evidence of the last 150 years. He's been commenting at WUWT for years, too. I guess he missed this WUWT article by, of all people, "Steve Goddard" (before he became an inveterate liar).
The BBC are fake-newsing this article on the grounds that Pruitt discounts *CO2* as contributory to global warming when he was clearly referring to MAN-MADE CO2.
March 10, 2017 at 12:46 am
It is worse than you say.
On its main news programs the BBC is saying, “Much scientific evidence shows CO2 is causing most global warming.
That is clearly wrong because there is no scientific evidence – none, zilch, nada – which shows CO2 is causing ANY global warming. There is only an hypothesis that CO2 may be causing global warming and models constructed to show what effects of that hypothesis may be.
There is no reason to wonder why the BBC is not citing any of the “scientific evidence” it is proclaiming: they cannot cite it, nobody can because it does not exist.
Meanwhile, the BBC is NOT reporting the petition from Lindzen et al..
As richardscourtney wrote to Griff (who accepts science), at WUWT it's considered a mistake to attempt to use your brain. I doubt Griff could practice not using his brain if he tried. He's a thinker, unlike all of Anthony's adoring fans:
March 10, 2017 at 9:29 am (excerpt)
You have again made the mistake of trying to think.
Pamela Gray is another whacko who, despite being a long-time WUWT commenter, hasn't ever bothered to read any science about climate change. Or if she has, she rejects physics and chemistry. She rejects experimental data showing that CO2 absorbs infrared radiation. She even rejects the fact that this evidence exists and that the wavelengths have been measured. She's just another WUWT crank.
March 10, 2017 at 8:55 am
Warming is warming is warming. There is no factual attributable evidence as to the cause in the temperature data. Natural and man made warming does not have distinguishing markers that sensors can detect. We have only correlations which as you know cannot by themselves determine cause and effect. Therefor everything you read regarding anthropogenic warming is more often than not speculation, occasionally conjecture, and very rarely theoretical.
More importantly, it is supposed to be warm as we are in an interstadial period. The null hypothesis must continue to rule if we are to abide by classical research methods.
I don't know if it's possible for Scott to get "dumber". He had a bizarre thought about some elementary science from an article at Yahoo news - water expands as it warms. I'm guessing that he thinks the oceans are expanding by pure magic. (Does he know how a bulb thermometer works?) Update: Numerobis has an eagle eye and pointed out the part that I missed. Scott was probably picking up on the "CO2 enters the ocean" part, not the "warm water expands" part. It's the cause attributed (CO2 in the ocean) that makes the sentence wrong.
March 10, 2017 at 5:24 amI skipped over a lot of the comments. Deniers are gleeful, mistakenly thinking that Scott Pruitt will change the behaviour of greenhouse gases by decree. (Like I said, WUWT-ers are nuts.)
Exact quote before they delete it … not even bothering on other whoppers in the article … “CO2 is also a contributor to sea level rise because as CO2 enters the ocean, it warms up the water and the water expands, and when it expands it has to go somewhere meaning the ocean will get bigger and our beaches will get smaller.”
And we will get dumber. I’m just amused by the liberal brain, and its ability to be like a child and creatively make up bs stories.