Snow, Freezing Temperatures on Monterey Bay; Polar Bears Eat Babies.

Coldest December 8th in 29 years on Monterey Bay according to the National Weather Service. What does it all mean in terms of global warming? Absolutely nothing. To have a trend, you need many points. That’s true irrespective of what you believe to be true. That’s true irrespective of your ideological preference. There is more. Let’s pretend there is a long series of points showing rising temperatures worldwide. (There isn’t.)

If you want to argue that the cause of a trend is some other phenomenon or phenomena, you need another set of points. That’s for a beginning. Global warming advocates tell us that the increased use of coal and petroleum, carbons, is the cause of a global warming trend. That’s what the Copenhagen conference is all about.

If there were such a trend, that second set of points would have to correspond with the first set, the global warming trend set of points. In this case, the first set would have to conform to the second with a lag that makes sense. The lag idea is that what happens tomorrow cannot cause what happens today. In his case, the upward trend in carbon burning must precede the alleged trend in rising world temperatures. This would work if, for example, increasing use of carbon, in the 19th and 20th century, was followed by rising temperatures. I am not picky; I would take almost any interpretation of “following” seriously.

In fact, we know for a fact that temperatures in Greenland were much higher in the 11th and 12th centuries than they are today, year after year, after year. They were higher than at any time in the past three hundred years. So, the trend in rising temperatures precedes the beginning of serious reliance on carbons, instead of following it. It does so by several centuries. How do I know about medieval temperatures in Greenland? The Scandinavian settlers there ate beef. This means that it was warm enough there to grow hay, which you could not do today. I get this info from Jared Diamond, a committed environmentalist. (Several other postings on this matter on this blog.)

I don’t need to explain why the two trends don’t coincide to show that any other statement of a positive relationship between carbon burning and rising temperatures is wrong, not true to fact. Let me recapitulate: There is no evidence of a recent trend in global warming. If there were, the idea that there is global warming due to man’s use of carbons would be wrong.

I can’t resist pointing out that if there were evidence of rising temperatures and if the two trends coincided better (see above) that would still not demonstrate that increased human reliance on carbon causes rising temperatures. The reason for this is simple: There is no scientist who would go on the record affirming that coincidence in time – even with a lag that makes sense – is good evidence that one thing causes the other. Such a coincidence is only enough to get one interested in the possibility of a causal relationship.

In the meantime, polar bears, both in the Arctic and in Antarctica, are running out of their normal food because of global warming. Adult male bears are reduced to eating their offspring. Just like the lions on the Serengeti plain eat lion cubs. Just like Democrats eat their young (and mine). So what if there were never any bears in Antarctica? My mind is made up. Don’t confuse me with facts. Pleeeease!

There is a, easy-to-read and calm article on the intricacies of the “Climategate” conspiracy to commit fraud in the current issue of the Weekly Standard. ( “Scientists behaving badly,” by Steven F. Hayward, Weekly Standard, Dec. 14th 2009.)

PS Pres. Obama is a disaster both to his remaining supporters and to his growing legions of opponents. He is going to crash. I just wonder how. Any idea?

About jacquesdelacroix

I am a sociologist, a short-story writer, and a blogger (Facts Matter and Notes On Liberty) in Santa Cruz, California.
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2 Responses to Snow, Freezing Temperatures on Monterey Bay; Polar Bears Eat Babies.

  1. Prem Joshi says:

    Global Warming: Fact or fiction.

    When Science meets Politics, a high degree of skepticism is in order. The scientific community has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Human Activity is the cause of global warming. I was never convinced by the method of arriving at the few degrees of increased temperature of the earth over a period of time, and co-relating it with the increase production of green house gases. Too much statistical averaging of data points in a dynamic climate. Recent hacked Emails of climate scientists, alleging the manipulation of scientific data for political purposes has only added to my uncertainty. So, I had to take a fresh look at global warming.

    Green House Gases

    There are gases that allow heat radiation from a high temperature source to pass through but reflect back heat radiation from a low temperature source. These are called Green Houses gases..

    The main green house gases of concern are:.

    a. Carbon dioxide. Produced by burning fossil fuels e.g. coal and petroleum.
    b. Methane. Produced by cattle and decaying vegetable matter in bogs.
    c. Nitrous Oxide. Used in rockets and aerosols propellants.
    d. CFC. Industrial name Freon-12. Use as a refrigerant and aerosol propellant
    e. Water vapor. Produced by our oceans

    This table shows the increase in green house gases in the atmosphere.

    Carbon dioxide 280 ppm in 1750 Now 387 ppm
    Methane 700 ppb in 1750 Now 1,745 ppb
    Nitrous oxide 270 ppb in 1750 Now 314 ppb
    CFC-12 0 in 1750 Now 533 ppt

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas

    If the above data is in doubt, then the experiments, procedures and processes can be repeated and audited to our satisfaction. The only possible error could be a matter of degree. That means the rate of increase of green house gases in the atmosphere is faster or slower.

    During the day, radiated heat from the sun, a high temperature source, passes through the green house gas laden atmosphere and heats the earth. At night since the earth is at a low temperature, the heat radiated by the earth cannot pass through the atmosphere to outer space. Instead it is reflected back to the earth. The result is that heat accumulates in the earth.

    The amount heat accumulated in the earth is proportional to the amount of green houses gases present in the atmosphere. The effect of accumulated heat is rise in temperature, however slow that may be. We all have experienced that a cloudy night warmer than a clear sky night. This is because water vapor is a powerful green house gas.

    My conclusions

    Since earth is an island in space, the only way it can lose heat is by radiation.
    That means, global warming is happening. No matter how slowly. We may not be able to measure the change in average global temperature at this time. But its possible that when we can accurately measure the temperature, the physical effects of global warming will be too obvious and may be too late to do anything to prevent the consequences.

    So EITHER we accept global warming is taking place. OR we prove that the earth loses the added heat by some other means. Global Warming is therefore, a Hypothesis to be acted upon until it can be proven wrong. Since the effects of global warming are irreversible, we should act to prevent it. We can always stop acting when the hypothesis is proven wrong.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Joshi: Thanks but in your conclusion, you are talking as if doing something cost nothing or as if the costs were negligible. What we have seen so far, especially Cap and Trade , is not negligible. I think it would be economically disastrous, especially for poor people in poor countries.

      How about we do nothing and start studying the issue in a real conventionally scientifically manner? The cost of this would be low. The worst predictions of the UN Inter Government Panel on Climate Change for the next hundred years are not catastrophic. We can deal with them with current technologies at the current level of economic development. You are relying on the so-called precautionary principle. According to the same principle, I should never drive to the dentist because I might die in an accident on the way.
      PS I wish you would divulge as much about your credentials as you feel comfortable with. That’s just so my conservative friends recognize you for the rational gentleman you are rather than mistake you for another crank.

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