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May 7 2014

Some Thoughts on the Administration's New Climate Report

Charlotte Hays

First, we had doctors in white coats telling us how great ObamaCare was going to be. That didn’t seem to fool the masses, who remained unconvinced about the president’s signature achievement, which is still widely feared and loathed.

Well, now the administration is bringing in the TV weather men and women (who apparently prefer to be called meteorologists), to help promote global warming. The president is granting one-on-one interviews to eight TV weather people (please, no Bill Ayres jokes) to talk about the scary new report on climate change that the administration released yesterday.

If you think this looks more like a campaign stunt than anything else, you are not alone. Sean Davis writes over at The Federalist:

The Obama Administration released a new report on global cooling global warming climate change this week, and its findings and recommendations are about what you’d expect: conservatives are stupidheads who hate Science™, so give us eleventy trillion dollars.

Climate change is real of course. Been going on for millions of years. And before that.  But the problem with predicting it, as Sean Davis points out, is that accurate climate models that can say anything meaningful about the future simply don’t exist.

Davis writes:

I’ll see your “95 percent of scientists believe in global warming” talking point and raise you a “95 percent of reality thinks your climate models are garbage.” According to that chart of actual satellite and surface temperature observations vs. what was predicted by 90 different climate models, 95 percent of models overestimated actual temperatures. Nothing says Science™ like predicting stuff incorrectly over and over and over again.

And therein lies the real reason why so many global warming cultists are so desperate to change the terms of the debate. Rather than discuss the actual science, they’d rather marginalize anyone who disagrees with their policy prescriptions.

The global warming alarmists aren’t attempting to shut down debate because they’re worried the dissenters are wrong; the alarmists are attempting to shut down debate because they know their models are wrong, and they’d rather nobody focus on that inconvenient little fact.

As the old legal adage goes: When you have the facts, argue the facts; when you have the law, argue the law; when you have neither, just accuse your adversary of hating science and hope that nobody will listen to what they have to say about your consistently wrong forecasting models. And if that doesn’t work, blatantly manipulate and torture the English language and hope that nobody will notice.

I live on the earth, as it happens, and don’t harbor a secret desire to drown in melted Arctic water. Nor do I want to sizzle to death in the heat. But the White House’s report doesn't convince me that the end is near. It isn’t credible because of bias. Yes, the report cites scientists, but as George Will cautioned last night on Fox:

There is a sociology of science. Scientists are not saints in white laboratory smocks. They’ve got interests like everybody else. If you want a tenured position in academia, don’t question the reigning orthodoxy on climate change. If you want money from the biggest source of direct research in this country, the federal government, don’t question its orthodoxy. If you want to get along with you peers, conform to peer pressure. This is what’s happening. … The New Yorker magazine, which is impeccably upset about climate change, recently spoke about the report from the IPCC as “the last word on climate change.” Now, try that phrase, “the last word on microbiology, quantum mechanics, physics, chemistry.” Since when does science come to the end?

What we should really be irritated by in the White House’s report is that it is hysteria masquerading as science.  Scientists who objectively study weather trends are one thing. We would welcome such studies and perhaps they would inspire us to take actions, if necessary.  But biased scare reports are another matter.

Another annoying aspect of scare reports is that if the authors get it wrong, they don’t have to apologize.  Remember the global cooling scare of the 1970s? There was a Time magazine cover of a man bundled up and with snow on his face. Cover line: The Big Freeze. “The prospect is literally chilling,” the story began. “The ultimate in climate control—20 degrees cooler not only indoors but outside as well.”

When global chilling began to seem unlikely, the politico-scientific establishment simply switched to global warming. And—here’s the neat thing—the remedies are always the same: more government control, elimination of the use of fossil fuels, and other things that appeal to warmists and coolists alike.

I love John Hayward’s summary of what this latest report means:

Rain is Gaia weeping over your capitalist sins, America. Drought is when she chokes on her sobs. You can apologize by paying more taxes.

He could have sent the same tweet, if twitter had existed back in the 1970s, when we were afraid of freezing to death.  

Being a climate scientist means never having to say you are sorry.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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