Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The illogical Anthony Watts and more spin from the Telegraph

Sou | 8:10 PM Feel free to comment!

Almost everyone who has ever visited WUWT (or HotWhopper) knows that logic is not a strong suit of Anthony Watts.  The exception might be people who are afflicted with a similar logic disability.  This time his logic fails (see here) when he reads an article by Bruno Waterfield in the Telegraph (archived here).

Bruno Waterfield fails ethics 101

Bruno Waterfield of the Telegraph in the UK, as part of a series of disinformation articles, has spun something said by the European Commissioner for Climate Action, Ms Connie Hedegaard to suit his own purposes.  (Archived here.) Instead of representing her views accurately and in context, Bruno Waterfield took some of her comments right out of context and spun them to suit his own anti-science agenda.

Connie Hedegaard
Credit: Magnus Fr√∂derberg
Ms Hedegaard as the European Commissioner for Climate Action is in a better position than most to understand what we are doing to our planet, and knows that humans are causing global warming.  As part of an interview with Bruno Waterfield she apparently said the following:
"Say that 30 years from now, science came back and said, 'wow, we were mistaken then now we have some new information so we think it is something else'. In a world with nine billion people, even 10 billion at the middle of this century, where literally billions of global citizens will still have to get out of poverty and enter the consuming middle classes, don't you think that anyway it makes a lot of sense to get more energy and resource efficient," she said.
Ms Hedegaard is basically arguing that there is more than one reason for the world and the EU to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.  Global warming is a very big reason, but even if that weren't happening, the world will need to move to renewable resources in the medium to longer term in order that it can keep functioning.

Credit: Joel Pett

Anthony Watts fails logic 101

Logic-deficient Anthony Watts writes (archived here):
Every once in awhile a window opens and shows us the dark, illogical souls of the bureaucrats in the climate cabal. This is one of those times.
Anthony believes efforts to shift to clean, renewable energy are "illogical", giving this quote from the EU Commissioner as an example of what he regards as failed logic:
Regardless of whether or not scientists are wrong on global warming, the European Union is pursuing the correct energy policies even if they lead to higher prices, Europe’s climate commissioner has said.

Exposing Bruno Waterfield and the Telegraph (it's not hard)

Bruno Waterfield is a foot soldier for The Telegraph, which is waging a war on facts as part of its war on human civilisation.  He writes the following lies which are too easy to check (my bold italics):
In the process of defending controversial policies, the EU has often linked extreme weather events to global warming after the IPCC said six years ago that it was more than 50 per cent sure that hurricanes, flooding and droughts were being caused by manmade global warming. That figure is expected to be revised down to less than a 21 per cent certainty that natural disasters are caused by climate change.
The Telegraph is getting very cheeky mixing facts with such bald lies. What makes Bruno Waterfield misrepresent people and make up stuff? These events have been happening since time immemorial. What global warming does is affect climate and therefore weather. Some things will happen more often, some less often.  Some will be more intense.

It will be interesting to see if Bruno Waterfield backtracks on his "less than 21 per cent certainty" when the IPCC report is released.  Want to take bets?  Going by his record he'll probably just tell more lies and write more spin.  I would be very surprised if the IPCC report suggests that flooding and droughts were "less than 21 per cent certain".  Hurricane frequency maybe.  That is still the subject of much research.

Contrast what the Telegraph wrote above with what was written six years ago in the 2007 IPCC report.  The 2007 report says less in regard to what has happened in regard to the above, but it does write about what can be expected.  For example: (my bold italics):

On hot extremes, heat waves and heavy precipitation events and floods- they will all become more frequent.  So yes, more flooding is expected - like we're already seeing in some parts of the world:
(In Europe) Negative impacts will include increased risk of inland flash floods and more frequent coastal flooding and increased erosion (due to storminess and sea level rise). {WGII 12.4, SPM} (see here with similar statements for some other regions)
There is now higher confidence in the projected increases in droughts, heat waves and floods, as well as their adverse impacts. (see here)
It is very likely that hot extremes, heat waves and heavy precipitation events will become more frequent. {SYR Table 3.2; WGI 10.3, SPM} (see here)

On drought - the areas will increase in extent and have likely already done so (where I live we had the longest hottest drought on record recently.  Parts of the USA are also drying out, despite the record flash floods in Colorado in the last few days (while other parts are getting wetter):
 Globally, the area affected by drought has likely[2] increased since the 1970s. {WGI 3.3, 3.9, SPM} (see here)
Drought-affected areas are projected to increase in extent, with the potential for adverse impacts on multiple sectors, e.g. agriculture, water supply, energy production and health. (see here)

On hurricanes - more intense but less frequent and moving toward the poles:
Based on a range of models, it is likely that future tropical cyclones (typhoons and hurricanes) will become more intense, with larger peak wind speeds and more heavy precipitation associated with ongoing increases of tropical sea-surface temperatures. There is less confidence in projections of a global decrease in numbers of tropical cyclones. The apparent increase in the proportion of very intense storms since 1970 in some regions is much larger than simulated by current models for that period. {WGI 3.8, 9.5, 10.3, SPM}
Extra-tropical storm tracks are projected to move poleward, with consequent changes in wind, precipitation and temperature patterns, continuing the broad pattern of observed trends over the last half-century. {WGI 3.6, 10.3, SPM}

Bruno Waterfield quotes Bjorn Lomborg (see this article on Lomborg's spin) and ends up with a quote from the arch-conservative Nigel Farage, leader of the crank Ukip party who, like Bruno, wants to send the world hurtling faster into the sixth major extinction event.  These people have no shame and no morals.

From the WUWT comments

Here are some comments from WUWT (archived here).

Flydlbee possibly can't conceive of a mere woman being in charge of anything and says:
September 17, 2013 at 12:10 am
The man contradicts himself within the same sentence, and expects people to agree with him. Why is it “good” to have been utterly and hugely wrong?

Brian H says:
September 17, 2013 at 1:56 am
If the renewables were what they claim, there might be some excuse for the “better world” delusions. As they are not, and cannot be, the sacrifices and deadly economic disruptions required to build them out are the more destructive the more they “succeed” in displacing conventional energy.

Ceetee says - "what a rotter for wanting a better world":
September 17, 2013 at 1:37 am
So she’s all for killing grannies and grandads then?!. What a nasty piece of work.

Alexander Feht wanders off into a surreal flight of fancy and says:
September 17, 2013 at 12:11 am
Dark, yes. Illogical? I doubt it.
You see, when Ms. Hedegaard is talking about “many good things,” she means things that are good for her and her subspecies. The fact that the same things may be deadly for me or for some other variety of human being is just the point. They are instinctively afraid of more intelligent life forms, and they want to exterminate us.

Swiss Bob blames "everything" on those "commies" (despite the fact that Ms Hedegaard is a member of the Conservative People's Party) and says:
September 17, 2013 at 12:56 am
Most of these apparatchiks are communists, which should tell you everything you need to know. Can’t quite understand why the US Govt loves the EU so much…..

grumpyoldmanuk says that you don't have to be a "Leftie" to be an "ecoloon":
September 17, 2013 at 12:22 am
Ms. Hedegaard is a Danish Conservative and a former minister. In Europe and the U.K. you don’t have to be a Leftie to be an ecoloon, pace John Gummer, Frau Merkel and David Cameron.

Some WUWT commenters are not as logically-challenged as Anthony Watts and others:

SideShowBob passes logic but fails geography (Ms Hedegaard is from Denmark and the EU is more than just Germany):
September 17, 2013 at 1:25 am
Nothing wrong with Europeans moving away from Russian oil and gas, putting global warming and climate change aside, this is a clever long term German policy to insulate their country from future oil and gas price shortages… and if global warming turns out to be true well that’s just a bonus as the Germans will have already done the heavy lifting in eliminating CO2 emissions

jimmi_the_dalek isn't logic deficient either and says:
September 17, 2013 at 12:32 am
Surely what she means is that securing energy supplies, preferably from renewable sources, is a good idea independently of any consideration of climate change?

harrywr2 demonstrates some logic and says:
September 17, 2013 at 12:30 am
There is nothing odd about the statement.  The EU is heavily dependent on Russian energy supplies. Russia has been known to use energy supplies as a ‘weapon’.  So to the extent that the EU moves away from Russian Oil,Coal and Natural gas for whatever reason leads to EU energy security.
Take away the issue of ‘Climate Change’ in Europe and all the politicians will simply switch to talking about ‘energy security’.
Have the windmll and solar industry’s been successful in tilting the emphasis away from ‘energy security’? Sure…but that is always going to happen when you use 1/2 a reason rather then the whole reason when making political arguments.

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