Milloy spreads lie

Rolling Stone has published a major feature on global warming. Steve Milloy was mentioned as one the chief anti-science guys in the debate, so he has a column in Fox news trotting out all the usual tired old discredited arguments:

  • “the sort of crystal ball climate modeling that the IPCC report relies on has never been validated against historical temperatures” Not true.

  • “Watson, of course, overlooked at least 17,000 scientists who signed a petition cautioning against global warming alarmism” See here.

  • “[Dr. Cicerone] managed leave the impression of a substantial 20th-century human-caused warming [while] ignoring the cooling between 1940 and 1975 that has always created problems for advocates of anthropogenic global warming.” No it doesn’t.

Milloy even resorted to an argument that has not only been discredited, but shown to be an outright lie:

But Dr. Hansen’s predictions of global temperature increases have also been famously wrong. While Dr. Hansen predicted a 0.34 degrees Centigrade rise in average global temperatures during the 1990s, actual surface temperatures rose by only one-third as much (0.11 degrees Centigrade)

i-0b4cebe1344e2ceff6415f26e4696713-hansenupdated.gif In his paper Hansen showed the results of three possible scenarios, but in his testimony before congress Hansen only showed the results of the most likely one, scenario B. As the graph on the right shows, scenario B turned out to be a very good prediction. However, in 1998 Pat Michaels published a blatant lie about Hansen, erasing B and C and claiming that scenario A was his prediction. Since then, folks like Michael Crichton and Steve Milloy have been repeating the lie.

Unfortunately, even something this blatant doesn’t bother Michaels apologist Leigh Cartwright, who offers this:

He’s not lying; he’s only talking about one scenario brought forward.

Comments

  1. #1 ben
    November 17, 2005

    I can’t seem to Hansen’s the paper, only the abstract is available at the link you gave. I would just like to know why scenario B is the most likely of the three.

  2. #2 z
    November 17, 2005

    “why scenario B is the most likely of the three.”

    That was based on some estimates of things like smokestack emissions, tailpipe emissions, etc. One scenario was based on an immediately beginning switchover to lower emissions sources, and thus represented a minimum reasonable estimate; another was based on very rapidly accelerating rate of emissions, and represented a maximum reasonable estimate; B contained the most likely estimates of growth, switchover to lower emissions technology, etc. and thus was considered the most likely estimate. And it looks like he hit it pretty well on the nose.

  3. #3 z
    November 17, 2005

    “The extreme scenarios (A with fast growth and no volcanos, and C with terminated growth of greenhouse gases) were meant to bracket plausible rates of change. All of the maps of simulated climate change that I showed in my 1988 testimony were for the intermediate scenario B, because it seemed the most likely of the three scenarios. But when Pat Michaels testified to congress in 1998 and showed our 1988 predictions (Fig. 1) he erased the curves for scenarios B and C, and showed the result only for scenario A. He then argued that, since the real world temperature had not increased as fast as this model calculation, the climate model was faulty and there was no basis for
    concern about climate change, specifically concluding that the Kyoto Protocol was “a useless appendage to an irrelevant treaty”.
    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/edu/gwdebate/

    Of course, Crichton manages to quote the lie unquestioningly:

    “Dr. [James] Hansen overestimated [global warming] by 300 percent”

  4. #4 nanny_govt_sucks
    November 17, 2005

    Your citing of RealClimate regarding the 1950-1975 cooling really doesn’t address the issue. Quoting from the RealClimate link you provided:

    “The first set of comments relate to the attribution of the recent warming trend to increasing CO2. One character suggests that “if CO2 didn’t cause the global cooling between 1940 and 1970, how can you be sure it is responsible for the recent warming?” (paraphrased from p86) . Northern Hemisphere mean temperatures do appear to have cooled over that period, and that contrasts with a continuing increase in CO2, which if all else had been equal, should have led to warming. But were all things equal? Actually no. In the real world, there is both internal variability and other factors that affect climate (i.e. other than CO2). Some of those other forcings (sulphate and nitrate aerosols, land use changes, solar irradiance, volcanic aerosols, for instance) can cause cooling. Matching up the real world with what we might expect to have happened depends on including ALL of the forcings (as best as we can). Even then any discrepancy might be due to internal variability (related principally to the ocean on multi-decadal time scales). Our current ‘best guess’ is that the global mean changes in temperature (including the 1940-1970 cooling) are actually quite closely related to the forcings. Regional patterns of change appear to be linked more closely to internal variability (particularly the 1930′s warming in the North Atlantic). However, in no case has anyone managed to show that the recent warming can be matched without the increases in CO2 (and other GHGs like CH4).”

    So, some possible culprits have been named (aerosols, land use, TSI), but no evidence shown that any may have actually caused any cooling for the 35 year period in question. It appears that all Real Climate has is a “Best Guess” which just highlights Miloy’s claim that this period of cooling is a problem for AGW proponents.

  5. #5 nanny_govt_sucks
    November 17, 2005

    Sorry, that should be “1940-1975″, not “1950-1975″.

  6. #6 nanny_govt_sucks
    November 17, 2005

    “As the graph on the right shows, scenario B turned out to be a very good prediction.”

    Actually, doesn’t the observed line appear to be a lot closer to scenario C?

  7. #7 Dano
    November 17, 2005

    which just highlights Miloy’s claim that this period of cooling is a problem for AGW proponents.

    So what? Too bad the contrascientists can’t give a theory, reason, model, idea, clue why the CO2 ppmv wouldn’t raise the temperature above the MWP. All they have is stuff like this.

    Best,

    D

  8. #8 nanny_govt_sucks
    November 17, 2005

    ” Too bad the contrascientists can’t give a theory, reason, model, idea, clue why the CO2 ppmv wouldn’t raise the temperature above the MWP.”

    Well, I think the general idea is that the effect of increased CO2 concentrations on atmospheric IR absorption is overstated by AGW proponents. Saturation of the CO2 absorption bands is a big factor that reduces the effect of any increase in CO2.

  9. #9 nanny_govt_sucks
    November 17, 2005

    Oh, and another reason is that the feedback mechanisms are likely overstated as well by AGW proponents. Here’s one possible example:

    http://www.ametsoc.org/amsnews/Minschwaner_March04.pdf
    “The analysis suggests that models that maintain a fixed relative humidity above
    250 mb are likely overestimating the contribution made by these levels to the water vapor feedback.”

  10. #10 Eli Rabett
    November 17, 2005

    I just love it when silly nannys try to teach me how to spit. Yes, we know the CO2 lines are saturated and this means that the effect varies as the square root of the increase and not directly (as opposed to adding methane). Do you know what happens in the wings of the lines, especially when one layer of the atmosphere is colder than another dear child?

  11. #11 Eli Rabett
    November 17, 2005

    Nanny dear, the upper troposphere does not contribute much to the greenhouse effect and there is not much water vapor up so high either because the temperature is pretty low.

    Read, understand, but only then cut and paste

  12. #12 Ender
    November 17, 2005

    nanny_govt_sucks – I am not sure that the saturation of CO2 bands is as you say. If you are referring to this paper on John Daly’s site http://www.john-daly.com/artifact.htm
    then this sort of approach was discredited in the very early years of CO2 research.

    An interesting history is here
    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm

    That states
    “Yet Plass had proved one central point: it was a mistake to dismiss the greenhouse effect with spectroscopic arguments. He warned that climate change could be “a serious problem to future generations” ? although not for several centuries. Following the usual pattern, Plass was mainly interested in the way variations in CO2 might solve the mystery of the ice ages.”
    If you are citing this work as evidence then it would seem that the author has not read of research such as these papers
    Kaplan (1952); for other workers see, e.g., Müller (1951), pp. 46-47.

    Plass (1956); see also Plass (1956).

  13. #13 Michael Seward
    November 18, 2005

    Milloy’s reaction to the Rolling Stone article on global warming leaves me wondering: How does he justify repeating long discredited arguments and dishonestly misrepresented distortions of fact?

    Hanson’s projections are honest science, the Oregon Petition is known to be a fraud, and the 17,000 people who signed it endorsing the Robinson et al paper have been proven wildly wrong, the troposphere cooling is now known to be an artifact of mathematical errors, and so on.

    I am fascinated by Milloy’s apparent inability to distinguish between science and nonsense, indeed his special talent for mistaking bogus arguments for truth itself. It seems to be a characteristic shared by many global warming skeptics.

  14. #14 Eli Rabett
    November 18, 2005

    Silly nanny says in number 6:

    > Actually, doesn’t the observed line appear to be a lot closer to scenario C?

    Which is no great surprise, since if she was able to read the web page that the pretty picture was on (RTFR) she would have seen:

    > Scenario A has a fast growth rate for greenhouse gases. Scenarios B and C have a moderate growth rate for greenhouse gases until year 2000, after which greenhouse gases stop increasing in Scenario C. Scenarios B and C also included occasional large volcanic eruptions, while scenario A did not

    Silly nannys will now bleat that Hanson put the volcano in the wrong year…

    At a certain point all the spaghetti falls off the wall

  15. #15 z
    November 18, 2005

    “I am fascinated by Milloy’s apparent inability to distinguish between science and nonsense, indeed his special talent for mistaking bogus arguments for truth itself. It seems to be a characteristic shared by many global warming skeptics.”

    Implicit selection. The chances of sticking with the What-AGW? position as the evidence keeps amassing is roughly proportional to the ability to ignore it.

  16. #16 z
    November 18, 2005

    “Actually, doesn’t the observed line appear to be a lot closer to scenario C?”

    If you can see a significant difference between the observed line, scenario B, and scenario C, you could easily get a high paying job with a drug company.

  17. #17 Tram
    January 4, 2006

    Regardless what the past climate (or mean annual surface temperature) did , it will do it again and in no particular order .
    And nobody of you wise guys here or elsewhere is able to predict what it will be doing in 2100 .

    Yep , like the IPCC , I can make a prediction that the mean annual average temperature in 2100 will be between 5 °C down and 5 °C up compared to the average of this year (or last year or whatever year) .

    Yet , also like the IPCC , I am unable to give the probability that it could be so .

    Even more , and still like the IPCC , I will say that it is impossible to determine probabilities for any of the garbage aka scenarios .
    Any number in the range of “reasonable” (define reasonable …) decadal variabilities will do .

    I did my lot of computer modelling of highly non linear processes with several typical time scales and all I can tell to people who never did it yet for some strange reason believe in God , that over long term periods it is better to use a crystal ball than a computer BS .

    Don’t even bother to talk models untill you have proven the existence and unicity of a smooth solution of the NS equations .
    You can’t ?
    Too bad for global warming then .

  18. #18 Mark Schaffer
    January 4, 2006

    Tram,

    Why should anyone believe you? How do we know you have actual expertise and that you know what you are talking about?

  19. #19 z
    January 4, 2006

    “Why should anyone believe you? How do we know you have actual expertise and that you know what you are talking about?”

    Only a liberal would believe that “training” and “experience” and “education” would elevate one person’s opinion above that of anyone else! A true libertarian knows that as an equal of any person, his opinion on climate modeling is just as good as theirs! That’s why true libertarians, conservatives, and other Defenders of Freedom know that the whole climate change scam is just a way for the liberals to rule the world and destroy the free market system in order to force their value system of kindness and benevolence and compassion upon the unwilling masses! And that’s why the AGW chicken-little want to take away your guns!

  20. #20 z
    January 4, 2006

    “And nobody of you wise guys here or elsewhere is able to predict what it will be doing in 2100.”

    Even as a layman in the field of climate prediction, I would gladly bet you $10 (US or Australian, take your pick) that the average global temp will be somewhere above -40 degrees (Centigrade or Fahrenheit, take your pick). You shouldn’t generalize from your own personal abilities; many people us can predict future climate with varying degrees of success, despite your handwaving unspoken assumptions that unless we can predict every microsecond within .01 degrees it isn’t worth the attempt.

  21. #21 Mark Schaffer
    January 4, 2006

    Hi Z,

    Nice bit of sarcasm! Are you from my neck of the woods, the U.S.? I wonder because you seem to know the spiel quite well from the slightly more than 50% stupid enough to vote for Bush.

  22. #22 Ian Gould
    January 4, 2006

    I can make a prediction that the mean annual average temperature in 2100 will be between 5 °C down and 5 °C up compared to the average of this year (or last year or whatever year) .

    True now can you get thousands of climate scientists to sign off on that prediction?

  23. #23 z
    January 4, 2006

    “Are you from my neck of the woods, the U.S.?”
    Currently resident
    “I wonder because you seem to know the spiel quite well” well, it’s posted on Usenet enough…

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