Posts Tagged ‘Global Warming’
Shameless self-promotion of my “China and the BBC Warming Bias” blog over at the “Omniclimate – The Unbearable Nakedness of CLIMATE CHANGE” site, in which I compare the BBC attitude towards reporting heatwaves vs snowstorms.
July 2002: Chinese heatwave is caused by “the increase in vehicles on the roads, which raise street temperatures”
One year ago: Warm, dry weather in north China “linked to climate change“ (page is chock-full of climate change links)
Today: “China is struggling to cope with its worst snowfall in decades” (not one climate change link in sight)
They didn’t even care to mention that severe snowstorms have affected the very areas that were experiencing “climate-change-related” drought last year…
For more thoughts on the AGW bias at the BBC:
In “Alarming UN report on climate change too rosy, many say” (IHT, Nov 18) Elisabeth Rosenthal and James Kanter report that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has “described […] children in Chile having to wear protective clothing because an ozone hole was letting in so much ultraviolet radiation.”
Is that actually happening in Chile?
I have not been able to find any evidence supporting such a strong statement.
(1) Pubmed through keywords “chile”, “ultraviolet” and “children” shows an article by Aranibar et al [Association between sunburn in children and ultraviolet radiation and ozone layer, during six summers (1996-2001) in Santiago, Chile (33,5 degrees S)] Rev Med Chil. 2003 Sep;131(9):1011-22.
I cannot find the original article, but the abstract seems to report that the behaviour of children 6-10 is at risk of sunburn (hardly world-shattering).
(2) From that article I was able to find more relevant stuff. There is one by Abarca JF, Casiccia CC., “Skin cancer and ultraviolet-B radiation under the Antarctic ozone hole: southern Chile, 1987-2000“. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2002 Dec;18(6):294-302.
It reports that people of whiter skin may suffer in Punta Arenas due to repeated exposure, and increased rates of skin cancer may be occurring, and recommends further research.
(3) Another related article is by Abarca JF, Casiccia CC, Zamorano FD., “Increase in sunburns and photosensitivity disorders at the edge of the Antarctic ozone hole, southern Chile, 1986-2000”, J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002 Feb;46(2):193-9.
It indicates the worries but lists no actual skin cancer data.
(4) Then of course there is Molgó M et al, [Sun exposure behaviors and knowledge among Chileans] Rev Med Chil. 2005 Jun;133(6):662-6. Epub 2005 Jul 22. In Spanish.
It’s a survey and reports risky behaviours. Once again, no data on Skin Cancer.
(6) As a comparison, in England the prevalence among Europeans is 13/100,000
(7) “Environmental Journalist” Stephen Lehay writes a year ago that “Ailments Surge as Ozone Hole Widens” indicating that “Diagnoses of malignant melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, have doubled in recent years, leading Chilean health authorities to recommend avoiding direct exposure to the sun between 11:00am and 5:00pm, and especially to protect children”.
No sources and no absolute values are reported for this information.
(8) The same Lehay writes a couple of months ago “Skin Cancer Rising Despite New Ozone Deal to Cut CO2 Emissions” making a controversial connection betweeen skin cancer rates in the USA and a “crippled” ozone layer.
Being an environmental article (here in full) it can’t help predicting soaring numbers of cancer victims by 2060
(a) Peer-reviewed work has not find much interest in Chilean children, or better yet in any Chilean skin cancer.
(b) At best, CONAC (the Chilean ONG on Cancer) is recommending protection in the middle of the day, but that is good advice the world over especially in summer, and nothing special about Chile.
Either children in South America are risking their lives as we speak among a global indifference, or the UN Secretary General has “sexed up” the truth.
Vincenzo Ferrara, the scientist advising the Italian Environment Minister on Climate Changes, explains how to become a famous Climatologist in a 1982 article (“(”Rivista di Meteorologia Aeronautica”, Vol XLII n. 1, Jan-Mar 1982).
The following is an abridged translation:
If you are a climatologist and you want to survive as a climatologist, perhaps even increasing your reputation, all you have to do is provide the exact diagnosis and prognosis that people expect.
To the question “Is the climate changing?“, by all means, never, ever reply “No, everything’s normal“, or “It’s just fakery pumped up by newspapers and on television“: because people would unanimously conclude that you understand nothing about metereology, and nothing about climate.
It would be the end of your career.
The only sensible answer is: “Of course it is changing! It’s a well-known fact, scientifically confirmed and one that none cannot argue against“. You can then launch yourself in forecasting for the next hundred years a climate identical to the current one, amplifying the latest phenomena to extreme consequences.
If it is cold you’ll therefore predict “ice ages“, if it’s warm a “torrid period“, and if there are signs of strong variability “short-term climatic extremes” and more-or-less the same climate in the long term.
You may be wondering, how can a serious climatologist provide impossible, mutually-excluding forecasts without looking silly? Fear not: science will provide all the support needed.
Because climatology has already thought of everything and will supply the right solution in every circumstance, even in the most hopeless cases.
So if it is cold, here’s what you will have to say: “The climate is changing and we are approaching an Ice Age.
This fact has already been scientifically assessed because since 1940, the average temperature of the northern hemisphere has diminished by approximately 0,4°C, probably because of a decrease in atmospheric transparency due to air pollution.
The cooling of the air causes an increase in the extension of glaciers and of snow fields, furthering lowering temperatures with their highly reflecting (high albedo) surfaces. Glaciers therefore increase even more, in a positive feedback that will bring us to a new Ice Age in a hundred years or even less“.
What if it is warm? Then the discourse becomes: “The climate is changing and we are approaching a Torrid Age.
This fact has already been scientifically assessed because since 1850 the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere has progressively increased and just in the last twenty years has gone from 315 to 334 parts for million. That means that in 2020 the accumulation of carbon dioxide will have more than doubled, taking into account the continuously increasing energy demands and consumption of fossil fuels.
The increase of carbon dioxide reduces the Earth’s long-wave emissions to space (greenhouse effect) so within half a century the average air temperature will increase by approximately 2 or 3°C; the polar ice will dissolve and a sizeable sea level increase will submerge several coastal cities“.
This can inspire a new version of an old joke:
An atmospheric physicist, a metereologist and a famous climatologist are interviewed for a position as climatologist. The atmospheric physicist is asked: “What do you predict for the climate next year?” and proceeds to answer: “I am not sure, but give me a supercomputer and I will set up the calculations for a rough forecast“. It’s now the metereologist’s turn, and the answer is: “I am not sure, but provide me with the seasonal charts and the observations from previous years, I will set up the calculations in order for a rough forecast“.
The famous climatologist is finally asked “What do you predict for the climate next year?“. To that, the answer is “Whatever you want me to predict…“.
I have just stumbled into two examples of all that is wrong with Climate Supremacists’ mindset of impending doom by climate change/global warming: their absolute inability to tolerate any form of dissent, however mild.
First, have a look at Bill McKibben’s review of Bjorn Lomborg’s new book “Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming” (The New York Review of Books, October 11, 2007).
McKibben’s review is a series of invectives against Lomborg, with ample space dedicated to denigratory remarks and the one, solitary invite to visit www.lomborg.com to read anything positive about the Danish author.
I simply cannot remember any article of comparable vitriol on the NYRB during the past 2 years at least. Evidently McKibben holds some grudge against Lomborg: from the former’s remarks, it is apparent that the issue is Lomborg’s questioning of the received wisdom of having to be very, very worried about the evolution of the world’s climate.
It is important to note that Lomborg believes in the scientific consensus of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Alas, he commits the radical sin of trying to think for himself, of pointing out there are other issues to tackle, and (the shock! the horror!) of having received “right-wing support“.
For all of the above, Lomborg’s work cannot simply be reviewed by McKibben: it has to be demolished along with its author’s reputation, over and over again in sentence after sentence.
The second example is an inadvertently hilarious piece by Roger Harrabin, BBC Environment Analyst (“The heat and light in global warming“, BBC News Website, October 11, 2007).
After a long analysis on all that is wrong with people that don’t think it appropriate for the movie “An Inconvenient Truth” to be shown to youngsters in schools, Harrabin remarks about his own experience after asking an inconvenient question to Al Gore:
“…after the interview [Al Gore] and his assistant stood over me shouting that my questions had been scurrilous, and implying that I was some sort of climate-sceptic traitor.”
Once again, Harrabin is a firm believer that AGW is happening, and he even shows all signs of worry for the future: still, the one time he tries to think for himself, immediately he’s considered a “traitor”.
Will Roger Harrabin ever connect the dots, and understand that Al Gore’s message on climate is an ideological, all-encompassing, freedoms-destroying credo that cannot leave any space whatsover to any dissent? Some hope!
It is a constant of history that leaders have been able to curtail freedoms in the name of public safety and a brighter future.
As Climate Supremacists ominously follow those earlier examples, stopping their dictatorial attitudes is the duty of every libertarian and of anybody that takes liberty into consideration.