Monday, November 25, 2013

Anthony Watts finds more 'reasons' to fight against the rising seas

Sou | 5:02 PM Feel free to comment!

In another futile objection to the ever-rising seas, Anthony Watts, who runs a pseudo-science blog known colloguially as WUWT (among other things I'm too polite to mention), wastes a lot of his blog protesting the fact that national sporting bodies in the USA are taking action to help mitigate global warming. (Archived here.)

National sporting bodies in the USA do their bit to mitigate global warming

Anthony refers his readers to a press release from Senator Whitehouse, in which national sporting bodies have outlined some of the actions they are taking:
Highlights from the letters from the leagues released by the Task Force include:

    •    NBA:  The National Basketball Association supports EPA “standards to reduce the carbon pollution from electric power plants.”  The NBA also supports current action taken by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to set more stringent fuel standards and additional clean energy research and development investment.  See letter.

    •    NFL:  The National Football League is engaged in a number of projects that help mitigate climate change and was “the first professional sports organization formally to assess the environmental impact of [its] marquee events.”  The NFL measures the greenhouse gas impact of the Super Bowl and uses renewable energy offsets to green its power usage and mitigate team travel emissions.  At last year’s Super Bowl, the NFL conducted solid waste management and recycling at all major Super Bowl facilities.  See letter.

    •    NHL:  The National Hockey League notes, “Hockey’s relationship with the environment is unique.  Our sport was born on frozen ponds, where – to this day – players of all ages and skill levels learn to skate.  For this magnificent tradition to continue, it is imperative that we recognize the importance of maintaining the environment.”  The NHL’s member clubs have pursued a range of energy efficiency improvements and other environmentally friendly initiatives, including the installation of HVAC systems and on-site renewable energy.  See letter.

    •    MLB:  Major League Baseball “[recognizes its] responsibility to be part of the national effort to preserve our environment.”  Multiple MLB stadiums have adopted solar panel systems (AT&T Park in San Francisco, Chase Field in Phoenix, Fenway Park in Boston) or wind turbines (Progressive Field in Cleveland) to generate energy with a lower carbon footprint.  Since 2008, the purchase of certified renewable energy credits also helps offset the energy use of MLB All-Star Game events.  See letter.

Serengeti here we come!

Needless to say, Anthony glosses over the fact that it is the national sporting bodies themselves that are proposing climate action. Anthony as usual adopts the Serengeti Strategy of isolating Senator Whitehouse and trying to ridicule him.  He quotes from CNSnews.com, which has a video in which Senator Whitehouse says:
"Without cold enough weather for frozen ponds, the kind of hockey that you play out of doors with your friends gets a little bit harder to achieve.
"I took my kids skiing at Yawgoo Valley ski slopes in Rhode Island. The New York Times recently reported that we can expect all the ski slopes in Connecticut and Massachusetts to be gone. Obviously, given Rhode Island's location, if that's true of Connecticut and Massachusetts, that will also be unfortunately true of Rhode Island. 
"We see significant sports facilities, the palaces of - of sport that are at risk from the storm, climate, sea-level rise effects of climate change, and so this is an issue that really affects many of America's favourite pastimes."

Anthony picked out this bit: "We see significant sports facilities, the palaces of - of sport that are at risk from the storm, climate, sea-level rise effects of climate change..." and then makes an even finer selection, proceeding to do a long article about sea levels.  He spent a heap of time preparing lots and lots and lots of tide gauge charts and photos of sporting stadiums.

Anthony is fixated on rising seas.  He just cannot believe that when ice melts it turns into liquid water and insists that in future seas will only rise at the rate they have in the past.  (See here and here and here and here for other examples.)

Not only that, but Anthony neglects to mention the other aspects to which Senator Whitehouse referred, like storms.  Probably because Anthony usually ignores adverse weather events (unless he is downplaying them).

The impact of adverse weather on sports

For example, it was barely a week ago that the Chicago Bears game had to be suspended for two hours because of an unusual storm, which spawned a series of tornadoes much farther north than usual.  As Jeff Masters reported at Wunderground.com:
A rare and deadly late-season tornado and severe weather outbreak blitzed the Midwest U.S. on Sunday, killing at least six people and leaving widespread significant damage. A tornado preliminarily rated as a violent EF-4 touched down in New Minden, Illinois, east of St. Louis, carving a path of destruction three miles long, killing two people, and blowing semi trucks off of I-64. The twister was one of only twenty EF-4s to occur in the U.S. in November dating back to 1950, and was the third most northerly November EF-4 ever observed, according to data from the Tornado History Project.

Now I'm not buying into the question of whether or not there will be more or fewer tornadoes as global warming kicks in this century.  That's yet to be resolved.  What's clear is that global warming affects all weather.  There is more energy in the earth system because of all the extra greenhouse gases.  Anthony Watts doesn't want his readers dwelling on that fact, which is why he protests the science and instead fills his blog with a lot of pseudo science quackery.

For another picture - what about the stadium in Calgary Alberta after the devastating floods in June this year, when it was reported that:
A Calgary Flame stepping from the tunnel onto the Saddledome ice Saturday would have required scuba gear.
Credit: The Canadian Press
Source: CityNewsToronto

As for the sports that rely on snow and ice - how can we forget the problems in Vancouver when it staged the Winter Olympics?  And snowfields in the northern hemisphere are having to cope with less snow in spring as climate change kicks in:

Source: Rutgers University Global Snow Lab 

In regard to the impact of excessive heat on sports, I expect that delaying games for an hour will be the least of the concerns of sporting bodies.

From the WUWT comments

The fake sceptics at WUWT mostly meekly complied and behaved just as Anthony instructed them to. Quite a few of the commenters are like Anthony Watts.  If it hasn't happened yet it won't happen in the future.  Others take the view, "so what - deal with it when it happens, don't try to prevent it".  Here is a small sample - archived here.

Charles Stegiel says:
November 24, 2013 at 11:51 am
It is of interest perhaps that the Science Museum in San Francisco is all about warning of major sea level rise from global warming. To my knowledge the Warriors stadium moving to the waterfront has not been impacted by these concerns.

markstoval says:
November 24, 2013 at 11:59 am
Dumbest ever? Hmmmm. That is a high bar indeed. I can’t answer that one because there are so many worthy competitors in climate “science”.
I will say that there are plenty of structures world wide that are close to the sea’s edge and have been there for decades on end. These places show no danger of being covered by the sea. And if a sports stadium were to be lost to this mythical sea rise — so what? Should we destroy the industrial economies of the world to save a few sports stadiums? Give me a break.

Sean says:
November 24, 2013 at 12:12 pm
Remember, the Superbowl will be played in MetLife Stadium this year. It looks to be a colder than normal winter on the east coast and a pattern is developing that might bring nor’easters up the coast this season. The NFL and some green groups are conspiring to spread climate alarm and a few well placed ads coupled with a little help from Mother Nature might make for some interesting messaging about climate change and sports stadiums.

John M says:
November 24, 2013 at 12:42 pm
So while these welfare-queens-in-luxery-boxes (owners) were sucking up to this two-bit pol, did any of them actually promise to keep their taxpayer subsidized digs in place for more than 25 years?
What’s the big deal? They’ll just have to make sure the next taxpayer fleecing is used to build a new stadium/arena on higher ground.

Aussiebear says:
November 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm
I read this story in my daily Global Warming/Climate Change Google News feed on Friday. Wow. Just Wow.

Jimbo says:
November 24, 2013 at 3:18 pm
Did we need an IPCC style organisation to ‘tackle’ sea level rise between 1800 to 1987? Did we make it? Yep. Why are these bastards wasting our time and spending our taxes? Holland anyone? Polders? Concrete? Thames flood barrier? Accretion? Coral Island atolls rise?
It’s time to call the police on this fraud.

jbenton2013 says:
November 24, 2013 at 3:48 pm
God, I thought we had some stupid, inept politicians in the UK but even we can’t compete with this level of stupidity.

Michael Jankowski says:
November 24, 2013 at 3:58 pm
Well if these dire predictions are true, some existing beach volleyball nets are going to be in trouble.

Mike Smith says:
November 24, 2013 at 4:04 pm
We the people should be scared. But not about global warming and sports stadiums under water.
We need to be scared (and outraged) at the stupidity of certain political leaders. It’s truly frightening.

Barbee says:
November 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm
He’s the perfect politician!
Representing the people, emphasizing the most crucial priorities and handling those crises most urgent in the minds of his constituents.
A man who is really ‘in touch’ w/ the average citizen!
Ten more of him and Congress can go skiing all year long!

Pamela Gray says:
November 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm
Can we just collect all the missing village idiots into one fancy building, give them desks with their names on them with a little lamp on the corner, and let them play? Oh wait…

TeaPartyGeezer says:
November 24, 2013 at 7:27 pm
Sheldon Whitehouse is the guy who stands up in the Senate, every week, for a 15 minute rant during which he rails against Republicans for denying the theory of AGW. He’s the one who condemned Republicans as ‘disgraceful, polluters, and extremist lemmings’ after the tornado hit Moore, OK in May 2013 … except he called it a ‘cyclone.’

ECK says:
November 24, 2013 at 7:42 pm
Wow, what a response to such drivel from a Senator (given that that’s what most of what emanates from such is so). Glad to see most of us consider such persons ignorant, if not practical morons, but, sadly not irrelevant.

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