John Moore: Climate skeptic arguments don't hold ice

Counterpoint: Climate skepticism for beginners
(National Post) … considering the enormous scale of the sacrifices we have been asked to make based on this theory, a growing proportion of voters are demanding to be convinced by more traditional means, namely empirical evidence. This has caused a problem for the alarmist camp, because such empirical evidence has failed to turn up, despite the billions of dollars thrown into research worldwide. However, before addressing the issue of the missing evidence, let’s address the points raised in Mr. Moore’s column.
14 July
(National Post Commentary) Climate change skeptics are rejoicing in eastern Canada’s lousy summer. Not a day goes by that I don’t receive a phone call or an email from some wisenheimer archly complaining about how cold it is. Throw in the recent story about a study from a high-ranking American scientist getting the kybosh from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because it contradicted the established orthodoxy, and it would seem to be a great year for the skeptics.

But of course, all is not as it seems. Let’s start with the anecdotal evidence argument, one of the oldest denier tropes there is. “Gee it’s cold today. So much for global warming.” It works so long as you ignore the crushing heat wave in India or the fact that this year’s prairie crops are being written off due to drought.

The deniers are great at cherry-picking oddball weather but they have a harder time explaining why Manitoba has suffered the worst flooding in a century twice in the last decade. Or why the Netherlands has been forced to come up with a whole new civic architecture because two centuries of sea-level control no longer works.

The deniers are obsessed with temperature because they can’t explain all the other anomalies. All right, let’s talk temperature. A popular skeptic assertion is that warming has stopped; they insist that 1998 was the warmest year, which is true because 1998 was an especially aberrant year. But take a look at the graph below: Does that look like a cooling trend to you?

The skeptics have been in a particularly gleeful froth in recent weeks over reports of the suppressed EPA report. This would be juicy stuff … if it were true. The story is that physicist Alan Carlin submitted a 98-page paper questioning the assumptions on climate change and pointing out that climatologists have been ignoring other more important sources of warming. Never mind that the report actually contradicts the skeptic contention that there is no warming, the fact that it was “too hot to handle” is red meat. In reality, it’s more like tofu.

Carlin is employed at the EPA as an economist. His report was unsolicited. Its contents were a ham-fisted cobbling together of denier greatest hits. His supervisors read and rejected the report and told Carlin to get back to his real job. Scientists at real-climate.orgalso read the report and dismissed it as “a ratbag collection of un-peer-reviewed Web pages, an unhealthy dose of sunstroke, a dash of astrology and more cherries than you can poke a cocktail stick at.” But no matter what I or the overwhelming majority of relevant scientists write, the deniers will always have a new factoid or false argument to retreat to. So consider this:

Earlier this year, I learned that the guys who build and maintain outdoor hockey rinks in southern Ontario were complaining that the number of days they could produce a useable surface had dwindled to so few that it was hardly worth putting up the boards and getting out the hose. Civic administrations had begun to consider purchasing permanent plastic rinks produced in the United States at a cost of about $180,000 each.

The guys who maintain hockey rinks don’t have a pony in the climate change race. It doesn’t make a lot of sense for a mayor to spend wads of money to replace something you can produce with free water and Mother Nature.

If climate change has come down to small towns trying to preserve Canada’s national game, just how likely is it that the phenomenon is the fanciful invention of corrupt scientists, deluded governments and liberal fans of one world government?

– John Moore is host of the drive home show on NewsTalk 1010 CFRB. He used to play hockey on an outdoor rink.

One Comment on "John Moore: Climate skeptic arguments don't hold ice"

  1. Helen Henry August 25, 2009 at 4:03 am · Reply

    Thanks John – I am currently compiling a list of the skeptic arguments presented (flung) at me in the past 6 months. As it is a wet winter here now in Australia they are rife. Keep up the great work. Perhaps you may be interested in the new Aussie movie “Age of Stupid”

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