Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Selective memories of climate science deniers

Sou | 8:37 PM Go to the first of 3 comments. Add a comment

In a guest post on WUWT, a science denier called Alan Caruba writes an article titled: "Short Meteorological Memories".  He draws together a couple of denier memes.

How can one remember something that hasn't ever happened in living memory?

Caruba writes:
What I always find interesting is the way much of the population seems to have absolutely no memory of any previous heat wave or, for that matter, a major blizzard. Either way the news media goes bananas, usually seeing it an apocalyptic scenario. No, it’s just a perfectly normal heat wave or blizzard.
That may be true or not in any one instance.  Caruba does mention the record heat Australia had last January where the average for the entire continent hit 40.3 degrees Celsius (104.6 degrees Fahrenheit).  That's not a hot temperature in one location, which, while extra hot, would no longer be unremarkable in many parts of Australia these days.  What it is is the average maximum across the entire continent of Australia.

Just think how hot it must have got over such a vast area to record a continent-wide average of 40.3 degrees Celsius.  Not only that, but there have only been 21 days in 102 years where the average maximum temperature for the whole of Australia has exceeded 39°C; eight of these days happened last summer.

I doubt there'd be anyone living today who would have a prior memory of anything like that because it hadn't happened before in the entire instrumental record.  You can see just how hot the continent was in this animated gif chart. (Click to enlarge.)

Global warming causes climate change

Caruba goes on about terminology, claiming that "climate change" has replaced "global warming".  Not so.  The terms are not identical.  Global warming signifies the earth heating up.  Climate change is what happens as a result. Here are some references to the two terms going back some time:

It's happened before, but not like this

Caruba then cites two extreme events (for the time) that happened thirty years apart.  One in the UK and one in the north-east USA.  Most reasonable people would come back with ten or more events that have happened in the past ten years.  Consider just these events, listed on Jeff Master's blog on Wunderground:

Earth's Deadliest Weather-Related Disasters Since 2000
  1. Cyclone Nargis, Mayanmar, 2008: 138,366
  2. Heat wave, Europe, 2003: 71,310
  3. Heat wave, Russia, 2010: 55,736
  4. Flood, India, 2013: 5,748
  5. Cyclone Sidr, Bangladesh, 2007: 4234
  6. Heat wave, Europe, 2006: 3418
  7. Hurricane Jeanne, Haiti: 2004, 2754
  8. Flood, Haiti, May 2004: 2665
  9. Flood, Pakistan, 2010: 1985
  10. Typhoon Bopha, Philippines: 2012, 1901
  11. Hurricane Katrina, U.S., 2005: 1833
  12. Landslide, China, 2010: 1765

I reckon it's Alan Caruba who has a very selective memory, deliberately ignoring what is happening around the world weatherwise these days.  I'll amend the last sentence of Caruba's fluff denial of reality:

By the end of the week, deniers on WUWT are sure to issue another boring claim that the latest weather disaster is "nothing new to see, climate is always changing, CO2 levels were higher 3 billion years ago". Ignore them.


  1. Hmmmm. I wonder what Caruba thinks the 'CC' in 'IPCC' (formed in 1988) stands for?

    But here's an extract from the memo in which a shadowy, sinister organisation proposed the change in terminology..

    We have spent the last seven years examining how best to communicate complicated ideas and controversial subjects. The terminology in the upcoming environemtnal debate needs refinement, starting with 'global warming' and ending with 'environmentalism'. It's time for us to start talking about 'climate change' instead of global warming and 'conservation' instead of preservation

    Greenpeace? The US EPA? Nope, political advisor Frank Lutz in a memo to Republican activists in the Bush era.

  2. Caruba is seriously ignorant. If one put his brains in a bird, the bird would fly backwards.

  3. KR

    Caruba is a PR expert, specializing in "crisis PR" for chemical and other industries. He's also a frequent contributor to CFACT (lobbying group) among others, and has written absurdities including the following claims of spontaneous generation of oil:

    The widespread use of the term “fossil fuels” is a deception created by anti-energy propagandists and earlier theorists to make people believe that oil is the result of countless dead dinosaurs and decaying vegetation. Oil, however, is “abiotic”, a term that means it is a natural product of the earth itself “manufactured at deep levels where there never were any plants or animals.”

    In other words, he's a pure PR flack who will write complete nonsense for his clients. Nothing to do with science, or with reality for that matter...



Instead of commenting as "Anonymous", please comment using "Name/URL" and your name, initials or pseudonym or whatever. You can leave the "URL" box blank. This isn't mandatory. You can also sign in using your Google ID, Wordpress ID etc as indicated. NOTE: Some Wordpress users are having trouble signing in. If that's you, try signing in using Name/URL. Details here.

Click here to read the HotWhopper comment policy.