Contrasting climate change claims

Two very contrasting articles via real Politics on climate change – one claiming “No ice has been lost by Greenland…” and the other “the Greenland ice sheet is melting at its fastest rate in at least 400 years”.

Conrad Black at National Post – Thirty years of climate hysterics being proven wrong over and over again

It is 30 years this past week that Dr. James Hansen, then well into the first of more than three decades as head of the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)-Goddard Institute for Space Studies, testified to a U.S. Senate committee that the then-current heat wave in Washington was caused by the relationship between “the greenhouse effect and observed warming.” This was the starting gun of a mighty debate about the existence, cause and consequences of global warming.

In his testimony, Hansen described three possible courses for the world’s climate, depending on public policy.

It is the third result that has occurred: unchanged world temperatures since 2000, apart from 2015-2016; then the temperature rose slightly after a heavy El Nino, and then receded again although world carbon emissions have increased moderately.

He gives no evidence of that claim. I’m sure someone else somewhere is saying something similar, but this is from NASA (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) in Global Temperature:

Parallel predictions were made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which forecast temperature increases twice as great as occurred in the period up to 2000, with accelerating increases in the years since, when the temperature has been flat (with the exception of the one year mentioned). Hansen also predicted exceptional warming in the Southeast and Midwest of the United States, which has not occurred either. As his predictions were battered and defied by the facts,

Hansen reinforced his expressions of ecological gloom and in 2007 predicted that all Greenland’s ice would melt and that ocean levels would rise by seven metres within 100 years.

I can’t find evidence of those claims by Hansen. In Scientific reticence and sea level rise (2007) heb talks only of estimates of possible scenarios based on the known science in 2007. he does say “The nonlinearity of the ice sheet problem makes it impossible to accurately predict the sea level change on a specific date. However, as a physicist, I find it almost
inconceivable that BAU climate change would not yield a sea level change of the order of meters on the century timescale”.


We have only had 11 years, but no ice has been lost by Greenland, other than what melts every summer and then forms again, and water levels have not moved appreciably.

In contrast from Scientific American: Greenland Is Melting Faster Than at Any Time in the Last 400 Years

study published this week in Geophysical Research Letters finds that melt rates in western Greenland have been accelerating for the last few decades. Melting is now nearly double what it was at the end of the 19th century, the research suggests. And the scientists say a significant increase in summertime temperatures—to the tune of about 1.2 degrees Celsius since the 1870s—is mainly to blame.

Future warming may only continue to enhance the melting, the researchers warn—a major concern when it comes to future sea-level rise.

The researchers used models informed with historical climate data to investigate some of the climatic factors influencing melt rates from one year to the next over the last century. Fluctuations in ocean temperatures and certain atmospheric circulation patterns were shown to have a major influence on year-to-year variations in melt rates since the 1870s.

That’s important to note, because these oceanic and atmospheric patterns may change under the influence of future climate change. Scientists are still debating how they may be affected, but the new findings suggest that a better understanding will be critical to making accurate short-term predictions about melting and sea-level rise.

The need for ongoing scientific research is obviously important. And most of the current science (as opposed to opinion of people like Black) suggests a growing problem with the effects of climate change. The biggest uncertainty is by how much and over what time period.

I got sidetracked addressing some of Black’s claims. The second article from RealClear: Clmate Change Is Our Most Critical National-Security Challenge

Progressive American politicians must embrace the necessity of dramatic action on climate change as a touchstone. So far, Senator Bernie Sanders has done it the most persuasively, campaigning on addressing climate change, health care, racial justice, and economic inequality as his unvaried quartet of issues, invoked in every speech and backed up with serious legislation that shows a willingness to move with real speed. Other party leaders will back him on one bill or another, and scientists and engineers are now runningfor office.

Seriousness on climate change needs to be a qualification, not an afterthought, for anyone who wants to run for president. Because it’s not an environmental issue; it’s the most crucial security question that humans have ever faced.

There’s a major problem with this – Sanders didn’t even make the presidential election, Trump won and is taking the US into the climate change dark ages, and progressive politics in the US is in disarray.

Excusing Trump’s behaviour

While Donald Trump still lags in the polls he still has a sizeable level of support, including in media. There are people who are willing to play down and excuse his temperament and behaviour.

Alarmingly Conrad Black claims This is how democracy is supposed to work.

He may be over the top in criticising Clinton but makes some valid points:

Hillary Clinton, though she would probably be an improvement on the recent past, represents continuity of what has been the most catastrophic 20 years of misgovernment in American history.

I think that’s debatable.

She was there, as first lady, senator, secretary of state, or candidate, for the housing bubble and Great Recession, the terrible drain of Middle East war that delivered most of Iraq to Iran and produced a colossal humanitarian tragedy, the doubling of the national debt in seven years to produce one per cent annual economic growth while 15 million people dropped out of the work force, and the terrible fiascoes of the abandoned red line in Syria and the cave-in to Iranian nuclear military ambitions with a fig leaf of (unverifiable) deferral.

She has been part of a government that has overseen serious problems, both domestic and international.

But she is an able person, still carrying the torch of feminism, and she isn’t Trump.

Fair summary.

This is why what is happening is not surprising: she represents the continuity of misgovernment that has angered and frightened Americans; a sure recipe for defeat, except that the alternative is so radical a change of pace and personality he gives the forces of change pause.

And the alternative:

Trump’s strength is that he has never sought public office, elected or otherwise and has brilliantly made himself the evocator and the voice of all Americans who are outraged at what has been done to their country.

I would say successfully rather than brilliantly. He has been far from brilliant, especially in the last couple of weeks.

He is not at all the sociopath that is claimed, or even the boor he sometimes seems. Personally, his conversation is a good deal less coarse than Hillary Clinton’s, and his demeanour is more equable. But he is a vintage American blowhard. This has sometimes extended to locker-room, towel-snapping bravura, and the Democrats have levered on that to claim that he is a sexist, a racist, and now, a molester of vulnerable females.

This is inexcusable excuse making. And ignoring how ‘a vintage American blowhard’ might get on in international diplomacy, the scariest part of a Trump presidency.

Imagine if Trump wins the presidency, WikiLeaks turns on him and he thinks the Russians are involved? His reactions to attack have been very ugly in the campaign. A lot more would be at stake on international relations.

Trump is not a racist; he just dislikes Muslim terrorists and illegal migrants. He is not a misogynist; he just expresses his sexual appreciation of them crudely, as men (and women) often do.

FFS. That is horrible excuse making.

And quite inaccurate – for example most people dislike Muslim terrorists, but Trump goes much further, saying he will shut out all Muslims, and ostracise those who currently live in the US. Same with ‘illegal immigrants’.

And ‘expresses his sexual appreciation of them crudely’ is a pathetic description.

Some of his coarseness was tactical, to energize and bring out immense numbers of lower-income, limited education yahoos who don’t normally vote. Some of it is his dislike of political correctness, and some part of his nature is emotional immaturity and hyper-sensitivity. It doesn’t remind anyone of Washington or Lincoln, but it doesn’t make it more likely that he will blow up the world.

He would, as a talented and historically bipartisan deal-maker, get the give-and-take system with the Congress working again and get it past the recent impasse between the use of unconstitutional executive orders and constant threats to shut down the government.

Talented and historically bipartisan deal-maker? He has torn the Republican Party apart, and has blamed the Democrats and the media of rigging the election, and worse. Much worse.

This is not the end of America or a serious blow to democracy. Either of these two candidates will be better than many U.S. past presidents and than most of the other current leaders of important countries. Vulgar though it is, if this campaign wasn’t an engrossing spectacle, we wouldn’t bother watching it.

It may not be the end of American democracy but it is dragging it down to new lows. US credibility has taken a serious hit.

Sorry Alan. While Conrad Black makes valid points his excuse making for horrible behaviour and his describing a terrible campaign as ‘how democracy is supposed to work’ is terrible.

And Black is not alone in his promoting of Trump’s chances.

Tom Howell Jr at Washington Times: Trump within striking distance of Clinton despite groping allegations

Donald Trump’s allies tried their best Sunday to tamp down an eruption of stories accusing the Republican presidential nominee of untoward sexual advances against women, as national polls showed the billionaire businessman still within striking distance of Hillary Clinton after a horrendous week.

The poll gap has eased a bit but it is still an uphill battle for Trump, – and up a fairly slippery slope.

His running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, said he “couldn’t be more proud” to stand shoulder to shoulder with Mr. Trump, despite the rising tally of women who have accused the presidential candidate of groping and other unwanted advances over the past few decades.

Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani also vouched for the real estate developer.

“I believe my friend Donald Trump when he tells me he didn’t do it,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “I know Donald. I have been with him for 28 years. I have never seen him do anything like that.”

No mention of the growing number of complainants, just parading a couple of excusers.

Mr. Trump has three weeks to make up ground lost in must-win battleground states before voters have their say on Nov. 8.

He has a lot of making up to do.  Real Clear Politics had him easing to -5.7% over the weekend but have just bumped the gap back up to 6.4%.

Are Black and Howell part of a pro-Trump conspiracy?  I don’t think so, they just promote him over Clinton and make excuses for him.