From time to time over the past nine years, I have written about "globaloney," a shorthand term for the pseudo-science behind “climate change,” and “globalarmism” to describe the enviro-hysteria over "global warming" and the misguided public-policy prescriptions arising from that hysteria. Since the Paris climate talks have just begun, the press hysteria has reached a fever pitch.
At the Associated Press on Sunday, Seth Borenstein, swept up in that hysteria, wrote up a perfect example of "news" coverage embodying the essence of each term. We should be forever grateful that longtime skeptic Christopher Monckton, at the Watts Up With That blog, picked Borenstein apart, utterly destroying the AP reporter's work, piece by piece.
I'll present the first four paragraphs of Monckton's comprehensive takedown in full, and select highlights from the remainder. Rest assured that it's no substitute for reading the whole thing (Borenstein's original text is plain; Monckton's responses are in bold):
AP’s Seth Borenstein gets something right (but only the date)
Earth is a wilder [no], warmer [no] place since last climate deal made in 1997
This time, it’s a hotter [Satellites show no global warming for the 223 months (i.e., 18 years 7 months) since April 1997], waterier [Water vapour is difficult to measure, but some records show no change in water vapour except in the vital mid-troposphere, where it has actually declined], wilder Earth [The IPCC, both in its 2012 Special Report on Extreme Weather and in its 2013 Fourth Assessment Report, says there has been no particular overall trend in storminess, floods or droughts] that world leaders are trying to save [They are not trying to save the world: Bjorn Lomborg has reliably calculated that the effect of honouring all nations’ Paris pledges will be to reduce global temperature by 0.05-0.17 C° by 2100 compared with having no pledges, and the cost of getting that reduction will be $1 trillion].
The last time that the nations of the world struck a binding agreement to fight global warming was 1997, in Kyoto, Japan [It wasn’t binding: any nation had the right to give a year’s notice and just walk away, and one or two have done so]. As leaders gather for a conference in Paris on Monday to try to do more, it’s clear things have changed dramatically over the past 18 years [But according to the mean of the RSS and UAHv6 satellite records there’s been no global warming in all that time, so none of the changes that have occurred could have been caused by warming].
Some differences can be measured: degrees on a thermometer [a zero trend since April 1997], trillions of tons of melting ice [global sea-ice shows little change in extent or trend since satellite monitoring began 37 years ago], a rise in sea level of a couple of inches [the ENVISAT satellite showed that sea level is rising at a rate equivalent to 1.3 inches per century]. Epic weather disasters, including punishing droughts [declining for the past 30 years globally], killer heat waves [but killer cold snaps kill far more] and monster storms [nothing unprecedented], have plagued Earth [But no more than usual].
As a result, climate change is seen as a more urgent and concrete problem than it was last time [on no evidence: the rate of global warming since 1990, on all datasets, is well below the least rate predicted with “substantial confidence” by the IPCC in that year, and is only half to one-third of its central prediction].
- (Princeton University’s Bill Anderegg said in an email) that the speed of climate change is proceeding even faster than we thought it would two decades ago.”[In 1995 the IPCC had issued predictions of warming that were in some respects even more extreme than those it had made in 1990: but there has been no statistically-significant global warming since 1990, and none at all since 1997]
In 1997, Earth set a record for the hottest year, but it didn’t last. Records were set in 1998, 2005, 2010 and 2014, and it is sure to happen again in 2015 when the results are in from the year, according to NOAA [Its results have been tampered with in a manner that, when set against the satellite record, seems suspicious: hence the Congressional investigation. The satellites do not show 2014 as the warmest year, and will not show 2015 as the warmest year either. Besides, the weather was warmer in the mediaeval, Roman, Minoan, Old-Kingdom, and Holocene warm periods, so there is nothing special about today’s temperatures].
- The number of weather and climate disasters worldwide has increased 42 percent, though deaths are down 58 percent [This increase, to the extent that it exists, for no reference is provided, is likely to be attributable to better reporting: the IPCC is quite clear that there is no evidence for increased extreme weather in almost all categories].
- Hurricane Sandy, worsened by sea level rise, which caused more than $67 billion in damage and claimed 159 lives [Sandy was also not caused by global warming but by a rare coincidence of three storms from different directions over a major population centre, and sea level at the New York Battery tide-gauge shows just 11 inches’ increase in 100 years, most of that before Man could have had any influence]
- Another big change is China. In Kyoto, China and developing countries weren’t required to cut emissions. Global warming was seen as a problem for the U.S. and other rich nations to solve. But now China — by far the world’s No. 1 carbon polluter — has reached agreement with the U.S. to slow emissions and has become a leader in solar power. [In fact, China has made no definite commitment of any kind; has absolutely refused to allow any international monitoring or control of its emissions; already emits one-third of all CO2 worldwide; has recently been found to have understated its emissions by as much as one-sixth; has built hundreds of surplus coal-fired power stations so that in a few years it can get the kudos for announcing a halt to its building programme; and is a “leader” in solar power only to the extent that, at huge environmental cost and using rigged low wages, it manufactures cheap and often unreliable solar panels for export].
It just goes on and on.
Facts have long since ceased mattering; only the agenda, which to be carried out would require a statism-dominated world regime with massive redistribution, i.e., plundering, of wealth, does.
We have 11 more days of utter rubbish like Borenstein's to endure and to pray that Bjorn Lomborg is right in his prediction that "The Paris Climate Summit Will Fail" (even though we can expect face-saving "agreements" which mean little) because "The Copenhagen-Paris approach requires us to force immature green technologies on the world even though they are not ready or competitive."
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.