Thursday, September 13, 2007

Are you ready for Freddy?

The global-warming-denier-blogosphere is abuzz. If you believe them, there are more than 500 scientists who have published challenges to the scientific consensus that the current global warming is man made. Oh my God...

Let's ignore for a minute the irony that lies in the fact that those who proclaimed again and again that they don't believe in science now feel vindicated by, gosh, scientists.

Let's instead look at what really happened.
At the heart of the cries of joy of the global-warming-denier-blogosphere is a pr-release on PR-Newswire. No kids, I'm not making this up.

But you might say: So what if it's not an article in a peer-reviewed journal, it still might be right, right?

Sure it might, but it's a hard to really test this claim from a release on PR-Newswire that doesn't back up any of its claims, isn't it? Shouldn't this alone have led all those self proclaimed sceptics in the deniersphere to be a little, well, sceptic?

What we can do however is look at who made the claim. And lo and behold, it's the Stan and Ollie duo of the denierscene: S. Fred Singer of passive-smoking-doesn't-hurt-you and my-climate-research-is-funded-by-Exxon-Texaco-Shell-Arco-fame and Dennis Avery of the-great-organic-food-and-ecoli-hoax fame. (And no, my dear deniers, critically assessing the source of a claim is not an ad hominem attack.)

So, now that we have established how distinguished the gentlemen making the claim are, let's look at their actual main claims:

A new analysis of
peer-reviewed literature reveals that more than 500 scientists have
published evidence refuting at least one element of current man-made global
warming scares.

Ah, so they haven't refuted or disputed man-made global warming, but merely wrote something that according to Stan and Olli refuted on element of the man-made global warming scare. But what did they say now?
More than 300 of the scientists found evidence that 1) a
natural moderate 1,500-year climate cycle has produced more than a dozen
global warmings similar to ours since the last Ice Age and/or that
Wait. Stan and Ollie are once again trying to act as if scientists doing research on natural climate change are somehow refuting man-made global warming. A cheap trick they already used before that hasn't gotten any better with time. As this has already been eloquently refuted, let me simply quote:
The existence of climate changes in the past is not news to the climate change scientific community; there is a whole chapter about it in the upcoming IPCC Scientific Assessment. Nor do past, natural variations in climate negate the global warming forecast. Most past climate changes, like the glacial interglacial cycle, can be explained based on changes in solar heating and greenhouse gases, but the warming in the last few decades cannot be explained without the impact of human-released greenhouse gases.
Natural and human-induced climate changes both exist. Studying one does not imply disbelief in the other.

And they go on:

2) our Modern Warming is linked strongly to variations in the sun's irradiance.

Well, as there has been some debate on this issue, you'll probably find some older articles making this argument, however, the debate has been settled and it is well established now that the sun is not the cause of our modern warming.

They then go on to tell us that there is research that the sea levels haven't risen importantly, though of course nobody claimed they would, that corals and birds have well adapted, etc.

One point they make however is worth a honorary mention for it's utter stupidity:

that human deaths will be reduced with warming because cold kills twice as many
people as heat

Again, I'm really not making this up. Let me make a prediction here: They will "back this up" by studies showing that twice as many people die in, for example New York, in the winter than do in the summer.

Finally, let's get to the most revealing sentence of the pr-release:

"Not all of these researchers would describe themselves as
global warming skeptics," said Avery, "but the evidence in their studies is
there for all to see."

Yup, they really say this. So kids, beware, you aren't a global warming sceptic if you are a global warming sceptic, but if Stan and Ollie say you are!

And so, with this little magic trick, simply by declaring that research that neither does nor intends to challenge the scientific consensus on global warming is, contrary what the dumb authors of this research might believe, challenging the consensus, Stan and Ollie were able to come up with their little pr-piece. Now who says "research" can't be fun?

Oh, how could I forget this? Here's a link to the great Newsweek story on global warming deniers, which also has a lot of information on Stan, eh, Fred Singer.


Swedish lamps and other energy tales said...

Thanks for clearing this up.

I for one will now believe in everything I read, just because it is fun to play with words! hehe

Andrea said...

The study was of peer-reviewed articles and so whether a press release about it appeared in a peer-reviewed journal or not is of no significance. The book has been out for a while now, and there was no corporate funding involved in this study. So much for red herrings.

stimmedeshern said...

andrea, the study itself however was not peer-reviewed now, was it?

And if you look at the pr-release, our clown duo found scientist that don't disagree with the consensus, but that our clown duo nonetheless claim to disagree.

So it's not about if the studies were peer-reviewed, it's about what Singer and Avery make of these studies. And what they make of these studies was not peer-reviewed!

Finally, I'd really like to see proof that corporate money was not involved. After all, the authors have a history of being experts for hire and of lying about this fact.

Zlaya said...

i'll tell you where corporate money is indeed going into - global warming fearmongering.

have you ever thought about why the big oil companies, MTV, FOX, big corporations are all funding, and promoting this global warming farce?

its just another war on you, stop buying the lies.