Politics

Why the People’s Climate March Is a Farce

Debunking the hysteria of the global-warming alarmists who've joined the anti-Trump #resistance

After watching the March for Science, we now need a March for Sanity. But that’ll have to wait because this weekend is the People’s Climate March, another opportunity for left-wing agitators to show off their ignorance on poster-sized tablets preaching the global-warming gospel. It’s unsurprising: Over the past eight years, we’ve heard nothing but alarmist rhetoric from the climactivist-in-chief, Barack Obama, and his PR department, the mainstream media.

The climate march’s website calls itself part of “the resistance” that prevented President Trump from repealing Obamacare and also “stymied his despicable Muslim ban.” And organizers say they will do the “same thing to his attacks on our climate, our air, and our water.” How Mr. Trump was attacking the environment is unclear, since our air and water have never been cleaner.

Everyone has a right to protest and march peaceably. But using factoids from an Al Gore or Leo DiCaprio movie is something that most climatologists would find embarrassing.

What’s becoming clear is that these marches aren’t about the climate but more about preventing Obama-era regulations from being rolled back. Activists don’t want to prevent a climate catastrophe; they want to force mankind to stop using fossil fuels by pressuring political leaders. That’s why the marches began under Obama’s tenure; organizations want to “keep it in the ground” and prevent fuel transport across the country through safe, efficient pipelines. They want the rest of us to accept their fantastical claims that carbon dioxide is a control knob for the planet’s climate.

The next time a warmist starts blathering on about carbon pollution, hand him a glass of tonic water and say “Here, have some carbon pollution.” Yes, that seltzer water contains plenty of the dreaded carbon dioxide. And because the media have warned of “carbon pollution” so often, the public now confuses CO2 with perceived soot emissions. But America’s modern coal-fired power plants use advanced scrubbers to remove mercury, nitrous oxide, sulfates, and particulate matter, leaving only a mixture of water vapor and carbon dioxide to rise up the “smokestack.” Of course, CO2 is also a key nutrient for all plant life and, according to NASA, is making the Earth greener.

So, let’s start with the “hottest year ever” claims. Why do the media refuse to show how much warmer 2016 was than 2015? And why do the media instead show melting icebergs, hapless penguins, and calving glaciers when discussing this crucial data point? According to the available satellite datasets, 2016 was warmer than 2015 by only 0.04 degrees. The margin of error is 0.1 degrees, meaning it’s statistically insignificant. What we can say is that since we left the Little Ice Age in 1850, the Earth has warmed by one degree Celsius. We’ll survive.

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Pundits also refuse to tell their readers what drove the warming of the past two years: a particularly strong, naturally occurring El Niño that lasted from 2015 to 2016. El Niño events form during profound shifts in Pacific Ocean convection, with sea surface temperatures becoming warmer than normal for more than three consecutive months. Such powerful reversals of prevailing circulation can affect weather worldwide for many months at a time. As potent as the recent El Niño was, temperatures are now plummeting back to previous levels, according to both satellite and weather balloon data.

Unfortunately, stationary land and sea measuring stations have diverged from satellite scans. NASA has always referred to satellite temperature measurements as the “gold standard” — until they stopped showing net warming after 1998. But these satellite measurements are particularly important because there are no adequate temperature stations located in the tropical forests of South America or much of Africa. Antarctica has a few stations clustered at research stations on one side of the continent, while the Arctic is largely uncovered.

Prior to 1980, the United States possessed the most measuring stations of any nation. Most countries across Eurasia didn’t bother to measure how warm or cold it was during both World Wars. U.S. data happen to be so robust that most meteorological organizations have integrated America’s pre-1980 data. And by incorporating those data, these organizations have also inherited any corruptions or data-tampering in the 20th-century temperature records. That’s because “adjusted” data sets have allowed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to cool the past in order to demonstrate more dramatic warming during the latter part of the 20th century. In fact, NOAA clumsily erased the nearly 30-year-long cooling period from the ’40s to the ’70s and tweaked the 1930s — the hottest decade on record — to make these years look less dramatic.

As meteorologist Joe Bastardi pointed out on Fox News this week, much of the warming over the past 150 years can be directly tied to sunspot activity, oscillating patterns of oceanic warming and cooling, and numerous sub-variables. But climate alarmists treat CO2 as the sole stove knob for changes in temperature and weather. Bastardi notes that, historically, CO2 and temperature have rarely correlated, including Ice Age periods with much higher CO2 levels.

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Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported former Energy Department Undersecretary Steven Koonin’s claim that President Obama’s administration manipulated scientific data to sway public opinion. “What you saw coming out of the press releases about climate data, climate analysis, was, I’d say, misleading, sometimes just wrong,” he said.

As an example, Koonin pointed to the National Climate Assessment (NCA) of 2014, which showed an increase in hurricane activity from 1980 as an example of how federal agencies cooked the books. He said the NCA assessment was wrong because, “What they forgot to tell you, and you don’t know until you read all the way into the fine print, is that it actually decreased in the decades before that.”

He’s right. According to NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, there has been no “detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity.” And what about the intensity of tropical cyclones/hurricanes? None have gotten worse, according to the data mapped out by climatologist Dr. Ryan N. Maue. Al Gore once warned of a pending hurricane epidemic. But the facts indicate that there has been “no uptick in the global frequency of tropical storms or hurricanes” and “no trend in cyclone energy.”

Koonin said it’s a scientist’s job “to put the facts on the table.” And so, the worst offenders have been NASA and NOAA, with both using their data to politicize science. Koonin sees these agencies’ actions as problematic because “public opinion is formed by the data that [come] from those organizations and appear in newspapers.”

And so, a deeper dive into the data reveals a lack of support for the catastrophic global warming narrative. But that won’t stop protesters from claiming that America’s coastlines are quickly going underwater. Al Gore pointed to Hurricane Sandy’s flooding of New York and New Jersey as proof of sea-level rise (and of his predictions). Actually, it was proof of a hurricane’s storm surge.

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Has sea-level rise increased? According to a study published in 2016 in Scientific Reports, it’s actually slowed down to two millimeters per year, and “current altimeter products show the rate of sea-level rise to have decreased from the first to second decades of the altimeter era.” You can look at coastal photographs from the early 1900s and those from today and see there are minuscule differences, even along rocky coastlines. One prominent study showed the Earth has added more coastline than it’s lost.

And before you say Miami flooding, the occurrence is caused by a naturally occurring event known as a King’s Tide, in which the moon and sun line up to create a higher-than-normal tide. This has been happening since Miami was settled. And because of land subsidence, it’s gotten worse (the land is sinking, because altimeters show sea-level rise has actually slowed down.)

Have tornadoes increased? According to NOAA’s climate-information website, there has been “little trend in the frequency of the stronger tornadoes over the past 55 years.” The year 1974 is still the reigning champion and that was during the Great Cooling Scare.

Snow extent in the Northern Hemisphere? According to Rutgers University Snow Lab, snow extent has increased. And Al Gore said children wouldn’t know what snow was by 2012….

Wildfires? According to the EPA and National Interagency Fire Center, wildfires haven’t increased. Ironically, poor forestry management — which has emphasized actions to rapidly halt any forest fires — has yielded an excess of dry kindling, which has enabled subsequent, larger wildfires.

Floods and droughts have not grown in intensity or strength. More people have moved into flood zones and areas once not considered habitable. And such wealthy living has led to larger insurance payouts after catastrophe strikes. But because it’s been so long since a large-scale event has occurred, people think it’s safe to live in a flood plain or in the wild. Of course, when a massive flood or wildfire occurs, activists blame it on global warming. But the risk is on the occupants, who chose to settle in areas that do indeed face risks.

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As for stronger storms or extreme weather, not a single government agency can say there has been any uptick in trends because the data don’t back it up. Even the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most current AR5 report said there have been few instances of extreme weather, which makes it premature to attribute severe weather events to global warming.

Everyone has a right to protest and march peaceably. But using factoids from an Al Gore or Leo DiCaprio movie is something that most climatologists would find embarrassing.

In science, nothing is ever settled. If it were, we’d still think trans fats are no big deal, the Earth is flat, and the sun revolves around the Earth. That’s why real scientists cringe at the word consensus, and why politics should be kept as far from the lab as possible.

Thomas Richard is a freelance writer living outside of Boston, Massachusetts. He’s also the managing editor of the site Climate Change Dispatch.

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