Joe Kernen is a business finance talking head who co-hosts CNBC’s Squawk Box. I don’t know if he actually knows much about Wall Street, but I can prove he doesn’t know squawk about Climate Science. Have a look (warning: Might make you dizzy):

Something about a low participation rate because people are getting older. But that’s kind of unclear. Obviously, what is needed is a nice clear analogy from …. climate science!

So, the warmest period ever was in the 1930s when there were much lower CO2 levels. I did not know that.

Then the glaciers retreat and there are big forests. Arm wavingly big forests!

Then we realize in the Middle Ages it was warmer than it was now! Why??? WHY????

Why, then, why was the participation rate so low?????? Enquiring climate scientists want to know!!!

Please. Allow me to “put it in the big picture”

First, I have no idea why participation rates in some thing are low. That is not my field of study and I have no idea what they are talking about. Therefore I will not wave my arms around and tell you something about that.

Was the decade of the 1930s the warmest period ever? Let’s look at a graph!

The 1930s was a period during which global warming occurred, ant it was in fact warmer than PREVIOUS decades.  But then it got warmer.  Like in this graph.

The 1930s was a period during which global warming occurred, ant it was in fact warmer than PREVIOUS decades. But then it got warmer. Like in this graph.

So, no.

Was CO2 lower then? Let’s look at a graph:

CO2 was lower then.  And so was temperature.  In fact, temperatures and CO2 seem to ... correlate!  Huh.

CO2 was lower then. And so was temperature. In fact, temperatures and CO2 seem to … correlate! Huh.

What about the glaciers melting. Let’s look at a graph:

Glacial melting is not well measured back as far as the 30s, but we know they weren't melting back then or al the towns downstream from them would have noticed it then. But they certainly have been melting!  It's a global warming thing.

Glacial melting is not well measured back as far as the 30s, but we know they weren’t melting back then or al the towns downstream from them would have noticed it then. But they certainly have been melting! It’s a global warming thing.

What about the Giant Arm Waving Forests? Hard to say. Where glaciers have melted away, maybe some day there will be forests there. Many mountain glaciers, though, are up at high altitudes where there are very few arm-waving forests, but rather, stumpy short alpine forests with no arms. In any event, I’m not sure what the point of this is. Perhaps Joe is assuming that after glaciers melt giant arm waving forests grow and eat all the CO2 we are releasing into the atmosphere. Or maybe the trees just wave their arms and blow the greenhouse gasses away. I await clarification.

Finally, there is the Medieval warm period. There was such a thing. It was warm. There are two problems, though, with this. First, it was a regional warming that happened in only some parts of the world enough to notice. But it was important. It was like having your heat on high in the winter time, then you go outside in the cold and it feels colder that it otherwise might because you were used to very warm air. This is because the Medieval warm period was followed by the little ice age. That sort of took people by surprise. The second problem with Joe’s statement is that it was not warmer then than it is now.

Let’s look at a graph:

Moberg_Hockey_Stick

So, no. Not that either.

Joe, I recommend you stick to your subject. I assume you know something about that. The random unexpected bloviation about how climate change science is wrong makes you look like a clown. Also, whoever produces this show … do try to keep track of these things. In other words, be professional!

Comments

  1. #1 Dunc
    September 9, 2013

    That’s some pretty good arm waving there!

  2. #2 Dunc
    September 9, 2013

    That’s some pretty good arm waving there!

  3. #3 Dunc
    September 9, 2013

    Ooops sorry about that. Trigger finger.

  4. #4 kimberly
    September 9, 2013

    I don’t watch CNBC but now I really don’t watch CNBC

  5. #5 melanie
    September 9, 2013

    The science of global warming, that is, that it has been happening and is for real, is so simple and straight forward, this makes me wonder about Mr. Kernan’s overall intelligence. I’m not sure I would take financial or money advice from him.

  6. #6 David Kirtley
    September 9, 2013

    Dizzy indeed! I think, maybe, the thing with the forests, he might be saying something like, “look the glaciers melted and uncovered big forests which would indicate a much warmer period before the glacier was there.” Or something.

  7. #7 Doug
    manhattan, ks
    September 10, 2013

    I teach weather and climate, and one of my research areas is the interaction between climate, the biosphere and disease. I mention this because as a sorta-climatologist in a blood red state, I am often called on to talk about climate change, usually to be people who don’t believe it’s happening and are sure it’s all natural if it is. One of the main lines of argument I hear from these folks is that it was hotter in the 1930s, without global warming, and what about that Medieval Warm Period. They have a hard time with the fact that both of these events were regional, whereas what were seeing now can only really be explained by a global scale driver. This guy’s screed kind of reminded me of that. People have a hard time seeing outside of their own little bubble. Pity. Apologies for the long post, but one occasionally needs to vent.

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    September 11, 2013

    Wow. CNBCs Joe Kernen is really going after me on twitter. He’s out of control, acting like an MRA with his foot stuck in a trap. It’s all about climate change but he’s also really pissed that I’m a feminist liberal pro environment kinda guy.

    His handle is @JoeSquawk