Extreme Weather, Extreme Claims

Via email press release:

A new paper at SPPI looks at the history of extreme weather events.

The on-going claims of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming have been ramped up again lately because of the opportunities presented by the heat wave in Russia and the floods in Pakistan, which are also being claimed as attributable to anthropogenic CO2. If the amount spent on global warming were to be diverted to mitigating and preventing the worst effects of natural disasters, then the desperate plight of the people of Pakistan would be relieved more quickly.

The paper can be downloaded here: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/extreme_weather_extreme_claims.html

The Author, Dennis Ambler, concludes:

Extreme Weather – The Blame Game

The Aztecs had sophisticated irrigation systems and “astrolonomical” observatories, (apparently a mix of astrology and astronomy), to attempt to predict the weather and reservoirs. But the unseasonal frosts and cold, followed by severe, prolonged drought, may have taken them to the brink of collapse. Once the climate became more benign again, they praised their gods with human sacrifice.

“When rainfall and agriculture had resumed, the Aztecs responded by massively increasing the number of human sacrifices to their rain god Tlaloc. It is thought that hundreds of thousands of people were sacrificed.”

In the Little Ice Age, witchcraft was blamed for the devastating climate:

Fagan’s The Little Ice Age (Basic Books, 2000):

“Witchcraft accusations soared, as people accused their neighbors of fabricating bad weather….  Sixty-three women were burned to death as witches in the small town of Wisensteig in Germany in 1563 at a time of intense debate over the authority of God over the weather.”

“Almost invariably, a frenzy of prosecutions coincided with the coldest and most difficult years of the Little Ice Age, when people demanded the eradication of the witches they held responsible for their misfortunes.”

These days we don’t blame witchcraft for the weather, instead we blame it on our emissions of carbon dioxide, describing it as a pollutant that must be controlled by Government taxes and vilifying anyone who dares to challenge the orthodoxy.

We ignore thousands of years of climate evidence, in favour of an agenda based upon a century and a half of sometimes distorted and often-disputed temperature records, coming out of a known Little Ice Age and we call it “Science”.

Have we really left the Dark Ages behind?

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75 thoughts on “Extreme Weather, Extreme Claims

  1. Like the Aztecs, The Moche, in what is now Peru, suffered the same fate. The local climate changed. Must have been all those SUV’s and patio heaters belching Co2 and destroying the planet. *sigh*

  2. Climate Disruption has a very long history. You might even say it’s as old as the hills.
    Man’s history has had it all: Cllimate cooling, warming, drying and soaking.
    It’s always been somebody’s fault. It’s a gods doing, it’s mans doing, it’s lack of proper sacrifice, it’s the wrong gods, etc.
    The only thing new is the way it is packaged for sale, and the price that is paid for the sacred sacrificial snake oil to control it.
    Don’t look now, but there they go again, pointing the bony finger at us, demanding we sacrifice our everything to save the planet.

  3. Have we really left the Dark Ages behind?
    NO
    Have not progressed in at least 3000 years, still fighting, killing, waring with one another.
    Humans, the slowest learners on the planet.
    Nothing has changed.

  4. “Almost invariably, a frenzy of prosecutions coincided with the coldest and most difficult years of the Little Ice Age, when people demanded the eradication of the witches they held responsible for their misfortunes.”
    Once the climate became more benign again, they praised their gods with human sacrifice.
    I guess they were looking for balance…

  5. Good question, and the answer is – No.
    The distortion of data and the misrepresentation of the findings by Greenstrife, Fiends of the Earth, Governments and the media finds a ready market in the minds of those whose education is at best partial and whose zeal probably exceeds that of the witch-finders and accusers. As an aside, most of the accusations against women were over inheritance, land and property – I wonder what the current crop of accusers are really after?

  6. As I remember it, Marvin Harris claims that the real reason for the human sacrifices was to enhance the food supply. The sacrifices were mostly prisoners of war and were eaten afterwards.
    Interesting parallel, anyway.

  7. Comparing science with burning witches and human sacrifice? This must mark a new high point in this site’s continued vilification of science and scientists. I know Watts didn’t write this vile slur, but by repeating it without comment, he shares some responsibility for it.

  8. Human memory is short and selective. More alarmist ‘research’ is reported every day. the latest is the loss of 20% of all plant species due to habitat loss. (presumably our fault and climate change). What is not reported is that we do not know how many plant species there are on the planet so claims of 20% loss is a guess. Deforestation of rainforest is claimed as the prime cause of species loss. But, NASA has shown, through satellite surveys, that within ten years of clearing an area of rainforest it has recovered. Tree life in the rainforest is about 200 or so years but the forest is millions of years old so how many generations have there been of each species. Also the indigenous natives used to use a slash and burn technique to clear for villages and agriculture before moving on when the soil fertility had fallen. The forest recovered and soil fertility increased due to the rotting of leaf litter.
    Another piece of research, published at the same time has shown that hundreds of species once thought to have gone extinct have now been found alive and well. We were obviously looking in the wrong place.

  9. Strange how, even today, mankind cannot rid himself of false belief and superstition. Time we moved on and realised that we are only a very small cog in the wheel of the universe and do not influence the future of events. Enjoy the ride while it lasts!

  10. richard telford says: Comparing science with burning witches and human sacrifice?
    Wrong.
    Its a poignant analogy..
    The author is comparing previous primitive reactions to changes in climate, to todays primitive(hysteria?) pseudo-scientific garbage (AGW)which is based on discredited models and politically driven hysteria.
    Not sure how you missed that. 🙂

  11. Have we really left the Dark Ages behind?
    Well, err………no! We haven’t changed a bit, the technology has, but the mind set hasn’t & fear always controls others, that’s how people manipulate others, they use fear & in this case scare stories. The similarites of CAGW as a pseudo-relious belief system in beyond belief, forgive the pun. The vilification of all who challenge or even question the prevailing authority, & the selling of carbon credits, making people feel guilty about enjoying life, is incredibly similar to the old ways of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, who defied anyone to question their authority & knowledge under pain of death, priests roaming the countryside selling Papal Indulgences to the rich, & brow-beating the poor for their “sins”. I posted on a recent topic a pretend letter to John Holdren, about resorting to witchcraft tests that were the established science of the day, it’s a lose-lose situation because eother way the “accused is screwed”! We’re only one small step backwards into a “New Dark Age”!

  12. On my website I show the annual and yearly trend in the anomaly maps each week. It isn’t really hard science, but it is useful to see how weather patterns repeat and continue. It also hopefully gives people a feel for how temperature anomalies build into “global warming.”
    I know when I gathered all of the US anomaly maps it was interesting to see how the anomalies change in the different seasons. Summer have the least anomaly while winter consistently has very large anomalies. Just that is enough to show that the current warming trend is more seasonal that anything else. A trend in warming winters is exactly what the Earth’s climate should be doing right now.
    http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/

  13. richard telford says:
    September 30, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Comparing science with burning witches and human sacrifice? This must mark a new high point in this site’s continued vilification of science and scientists.

    Richard, one does not need to stick a bone in ones nose, pray to the Gods whilst slicing open a virgin to be “sacrificing”.
    I’ll let Fiona Kobusingye explain it to you….(the full paper at the SPPI site)
    “Life in Africa is often nasty, impoverished and short. AIDS kills 2.2 million Africans every year according to WHO (World Health Organization) reports. Lung infections cause 1.4 million deaths, malaria 1 million more, intestinal diseases 700,000. Diseases that could be prevented with simple vaccines kill an additional 600,000 annually, while war, malnutrition and life in filthy slums send countless more parents and children to early graves.
    And yet, day after day, Africans are told the biggest threat we face is – global warming.”………
    …….”However, the real problem isn’t questionable or fake science, hysterical claims and worthless computer models that predict global warming disasters. It’s that they’re being used to justify telling Africans that we shouldn’t build coal or natural gas electrical power plants. It’s the almost total absence of electricity keeping us from creating jobs and becoming modern societies. It’s that these policies KILL.
    The average African life span is lower than it was in the United States and Europe 100 years ago. But Africans are being told we shouldn’t develop, or have electricity or cars because, now that those countries are rich beyond anything Africans can imagine, they’re worried about global warming.
    Al Gore and UN climate boss Yvo de Boer tell us the world needs to go on an energy diet.
    Well, I have news for them. Africans are already on an energy diet.We’re starving!”
    So yes, these people ARE being sacrificed. Aided abetted and egged on by the likes of YOU.
    Now you have a relaxed and comfy sleep tonight won’t you mate?

  14. We entered a new dark age in science long ago, where-by those of a different view from the consensus have been pilloried and derided. This dark age applies to many scientific doctrines, not just climate. The advancements we have seen in technology owe little to main stream science and much to practical inventors and engineers. Spin charm and a big bang have no more relevance than AGW on reality. Witch craft in my country is big business and astrologers are making a good living. The gods on mount Olympus no doubt are looking down on us and laughing. Rather than sacrificing a virgin to save us all, our masters wish us to sacrifice our health and wealth to the new god carbon.

  15. — coming out of a known Little Ice Age and we call it “Science”.—
    This is not a scientific look at the actual reason for LIA or why it is different now. The increase in solar activity that ended the LIA has leveled several times, most recently in the 1950’s. Saying that we are “coming out” of LIA is not a skeptical look at the situation. It’s a nice tag line to repeat and make sense to those who don’t know the reality, but it is not science. At some point people should challenge this assertion; it’s easily debunked as nonsense.
    Oh, and witches and human sacrifice? Do you really think that it is an intelligent way to condemn science? Have these front groups lost all subtly and now dropped all the pretense that they are legitimate sources of information?

  16. Follow the money of this scam!
    Governments need more income to justify there beaurocricy costs as they are running out of control. I’d love to see what a country, ANY country has to pay to have a government with the amount of red tape & political correctness they have these days. Every thing is strangled, put down or over taxed, or is it just me?

  17. People who are skeptical about the truth of or evidence for the AGW hypothesis are not skeptical about science. They are not participating in some wholly imaginary “continued vilification of science and scientists.”
    They just doubt the strength of the evidence for hypotheses that are being advanced by some particular scientists in one particular field of science. I don’t think they are skeptical about the application of scientific inquiry to the climate. They just doubt that the evidence for AGW is as strong as some scientists assert.
    In the same way, those of us who were skeptical that the MMR vaccine caused autism were not skeptical of medical science, or doctors or science, nor were we a bunch of deniers. We just were not convinced by the evidence cited to show that there was the alleged connexion, and we have been proved right.
    We are similarly finding that the alleged connexion between cholesterol and heart disease may not be quite what it has been asserted to be. Those of us who have always been uneasy about how forceful and how consistent the alleged evidence for this connexion may be are also not deniers or vilifiers of science. We just are not convinced by the evidence which is cited.
    In another five years, it will be interesting to see whether people still think that CO2 is a driver of warming on the scale the AGW hypothesis asserts. I doubt it will be generally believed. But we will find out together, and in the meantime, we are skeptics, not deniers or vilifiers of science and scientists.

  18. richard telford says:
    September 30, 2010 at 2:09 am
    Comparing science with burning witches and human sacrifice? This must mark a new high point in this site’s continued vilification of science and scientists. I know Watts didn’t write this vile slur, but by repeating it without comment, he shares some responsibility for it.

    Whatever you want to believe, but the one thing I did notice was that you did not mention how this is wrong…
    By just going on the attack, your credibility is skewed. How is it that the IPCC’s document is not the same as a crazed witch doctor telling his people to sacrifice the “poor people to the south” in order to get a better climate? Or are we supposed to assume somehow that the scientists involved in that document are better then the charletons in the Aztec’s times simply because they were educated at “modern” universities?
    The more things change, the more things stay the same. No modernization for Africans, and what goes with energy comes back with yet more generations of poor living standards. Kudos to the IPCC for human sacrificing the un-developed nations in the name of the God named “climate science”. I wish we all would have learned our lessons before this started, but it appears some of you truly believe that by using human sacrifices today, we will have a better tomorrow weather wise (climate wise, or whatever you want to call your religion today..)

  19. richard telford says:
    September 30, 2010 at 2:09 am
    Comparing science with burning witches and human sacrifice? This must mark a new high point in this site’s continued vilification of science and scientists. I know Watts didn’t write this vile slur, but by repeating it without comment, he shares some responsibility for it.

    Think my first post got eaten, but if not thought it was important enough to repost in any regard:
    The burden once again my alarmist friend is on you to prove this article is incorrect. Platitudes of “everyone knows this is wrong” are taken at face value along with assumptions that scientists really are better then witch doctors.
    IPCC calls for not allowed third world countries to develop. Common sense tells us that without development, their lives are going to be brutal and cut-short at the same time. So this document supposedly written by scientists on how to control our weather, err I mean climate over the long-term calls for sacrificing generations of lives in Africa and elsewhere in order to appease the Gods of climate disruption or whatever the religion wants to call itself this week.
    Can you tell me my logic is flawed? By refusing to allow power plants to be built in Africa you are responsible for cutting lives short, which is the same thing the Aztecs did in a rather brutal method by ripping the victim’s hearts out of their chests. Instead of doing this, you simply do it from a desk today by writing them off as “sub-people” and saying that if they die, it will help our planet. Kudos for having a method that keeps your hands clean, but whether you issue the order or simply tell others to do this, you are just as guilty and until proven wrong, I do believe I have an honest opinion of climate scientists…

  20. Here are 10 of the worst weather events in relation to deaths. Most happened before 1988.
    Worst natural disasters in history
    http://library.thinkquest.org/C003603/english/worstdisasters.shtml
    “So have there been more natural disasters in recent years? In a word, NO.
    What we have, rather, is an increase in our ability to detect hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.”
    http://www.epicdisasters.com/
    “Have disaster losses increased due to anthropogenic climate change?”
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2010BAMS3092.1

  21. richard telford says:
    September 30, 2010 at 2:09 am
    “Comparing science with burning witches and human sacrifice? This must mark a new high point in this site’s continued vilification of science and scientists.”
    We get called “denialists”, a reference to holocaust deniers, even in the most prestigious science journals. Several expressions come to mind: tit for tat; when in Rome do as the Romans do; fight fire with fire; and payback’s a bitch.
    Suck it up Telford and take your medicine like a man.

  22. How can anyone believe that there were no extreme weather events prior to the industrial revolution? Has anyone heard of Noah and his Ark? The bible is full of natural disasters. Ancient peoples were obsessed about them and wrote about them. Back then they blamed them on God, the devil, sins of man, etc. Now we blame it on humans in the form of CO2.

  23. The science today is corrupted so badly has to now become a tradition.
    Educating tradition in schools as science.
    The arrogance of mans small time on this planet to try and control and manipulate science for their own gains and outcomes due to controlling factors that has corrupted this area into the garbage it is today.
    Rotation and motion has NEVER been included into science.
    The basics of how our planet and solar systems mechanics is not in the past models where the models are setup in ideal lab conditions where no motion is felt.
    So these models NEVER see the real motion that is generated.
    A great deal of fiction is now our LAWS that we HAVE to follow no matter how they fall apart with new research shows they are incorrect.

  24. gryposaurus says:
    September 30, 2010 at 3:46 am
    — coming out of a known Little Ice Age and we call it “Science”.—
    This is not a scientific look at the actual reason for LIA or why it is different now.

    Cherry picking part of a sentence, and attacking it as a straw man? Classy.
    Here’s the entire sentence:
    “We ignore thousands of years of climate evidence, in favour of an agenda based upon a century and a half of sometimes distorted and often-disputed temperature records, coming out of a known Little Ice Age and we call it “Science”.”
    It has to do with the temperature records (which have been skewed, by the way), and in particular, the “hockey stick”, which not only conveniently erases the MWP, but then alarmingly and conveniently shows the ramp up of temperatures since when? Why, bust my buttons, since the LIA!
    Oh, and please do tell us how and why “it is different now”.

  25. richard telford says:
    September 30, 2010 at 2:09 am
    Comparing science with burning witches and human sacrifice? This must mark a new high point in this site’s continued vilification of science and scientists. I know Watts didn’t write this vile slur, but by repeating it without comment, he shares some responsibility for it.
    ========================================================
    Sis, alarmism and alarmists does not equate to science and scientists. If you were to read the entire PDF, you’d probably see through the hyperbole of “unprecedented climatic events”. Or, you can choose to be part of the modern witchcraft prosecuting movement. The choice is yours, but days for pretending the alarmism is science is long past.

  26. I remember the fifties pretty well. When we had odd weather, the cause was clear- atomic bomb testing. People generally like things to stay the same. Change makes them uneasy.

  27. Storms of a severe nature didn’t exist before there were movie cameras. Same way temps before satellites couldn’t have been warm.

  28. If we sacrificed Gore, Mann, Hansen, Jones, Romm, Holdren, Monbiot, Black and a few others then climate variations may just be accepted as the norm.

  29. richard telford says:
    September 30, 2010 at 2:09 am
    Comparing science with burning witches and human sacrifice? This must mark a new high point in this site’s continued vilification of science and scientists. I know Watts didn’t write this vile slur, but by repeating it without comment, he shares some responsibility for it.
    No Richard, please quit with the disingenuous comments. No one has compared, or is comparing, “science” to burning witches and human sacrifice. We are comparing the STATE of so-called “climate science” to the burning of witches and human sacrifice. Is that really so hard to get? Is it so hard to understand that both are based on anti-scientific bulls**t?
    “Vile Slur” my arse. You want slurs, you just listen to the crap that comes out of the mouths of the likes of Mann and Jones et al. You want slurs, just look at the damned Hockey Schtick and compare it with temp reconstructions with the tree-ring proxies taken out of the picture. You want slurs, read emails from crooked scientists using tricks to hide declines, destroying data and conspiring to get journal editors sacked. Or of course you could just continue to turn a blind eye to that behaviour and pretend that three “enquiries” have truly exonerated them.

  30. “Have disaster losses increased due to anthropogenic climate change?”
    It’s the ‘shark-bite’ syndrome: the number of reported shark attacks seems to rise after a shark-related death. Journalists need to be aware this bias (if they care) and try to be more objective.
    Yes, easier said than done.

  31. “John Marshall says:
    September 30, 2010 at 2:20 am
    Human memory is short and selective. More alarmist ‘research’ is reported every day. the latest is the loss of 20% of all plant species due to habitat loss. ”
    Interesting, and true. Here in Australia, I listened to a news article about extinct species. Apparently, some ~120 species (Plants, animals etc etc) recorded to be extinct in the past, have, magically, been found alive in a recent report!!!
    I mean, this change is just too changeable. Can we not install a tax to re-instate some stability?

  32. michel says:
    September 30, 2010 at 4:07 am
    Brilliantly put! None of us should lose sight of the fact that scepticism is a vital tool for science and the truth. If a hypothesis can stand a good kicking it’s likely to be a good hypothesis. If it requires the efforts of a massive political / quasi religious movement resorting to a propaganda war to prop it up, it is likely there is something wrong with it.

  33. A few comments to add, which I posted on another website, which relates to climate science and history.
    Most of the history of the world has been about exploiting uncertainties for power. Nations go to war based on it. Religions and ideologies arise from the fear of it, and totalitarian regimes attempt to wipe it from the face of the earth.
    Exploiting uncertanties in climate is nothing new to the 20-21st centuries. Most of the ancient religions stumbled on the idea that you can exploit the fear and uncertainties regarding projected climate/weather (floods, droughts etc) for power.
    Why were humans were ever sacrified to a Sun God?. It is essentially about replacing uncertainty of future climate with a false certainty about future climate, whilst at the same time eliminating dissent -either real dissedents or simply ‘potential’ dissedents- by a formalised ritual tradition.
    Sound too extreme? Thousands of people per year were sacrificed in Central and South America (notably-in areas prone to climate swings and El Nino-La Nina) to serve a political structure based on fear and uncertainty surrounding climate. Spanish conquistadors found 100’s of thousands of skulls sacrificed simply for the sake of exploiting fear of climate and climate projections, and to eliminate dissent, and doubt, of a political system built on false climate certainties.
    In the common case of sacrificing young female virgins, this also served the purposes of male patriarchy, but it was ultimately and largely for reasons of personal and class-based power. Nothing more.
    Climate scientists are not going to fool skeptics with this possible recent revival of an old-age trick-denying and using uncertainty in the Earth’s climate and weather as a means to social control.
    One should never ‘cast aside’ one’s ‘doubt of climate science’; such is the road to ideology, blind faith, and false certainty as a means to social power and control. The Aztecs and Mayans discovered it, and now some 21st century ‘scientists’ have discovered it.
    If you think this view is extreme, take a look at human history, or ask anyone who has actually lived under a totalitarian regime. They don’t take their scepticism lightly.
    Jacob Bronowksi was very clear in his conclusions about human history in his infamous ‘Ascent of Man’ series and book; if history teaches us anything, its that people should never be too sure of themselves.

  34. In my study of history, it is always power and fortune involved, no matter how “primitive” the belief system. “Follow the money” is our more modern version of follow the elites, usually the battle between different groups of elites as the pickin’s get slimmer, and slimmer, and slimmer. No different with AGW. Here it is the new global money and political powers versus the Post-WWII groups who developed affluence and advocated a modicum of democracy and the scientific method. Of course the new global powers includes the newly enriched nemeses of the affluent P-WWII groups (communism and islam).
    I used to follow the evolutionary game called tic-tac-toe. No one could beat the “cooperative” perspective — always cooperate until wronged, then punish, then return to cooperation. Exclude those who refuse to cooperate. Strategy after strategy failed to stop the cooperators…..until….alliances of multiple anti-coooperating entities viciously targeted the cooperaters. The cooperaters lost. I think we need a heads-up along many fronts. Non-cooperaters will not quit; they must be vanquished.
    Thanks to Anthony, Dennis Ambler, and SPPI. Extreme weather, extreme anything, is simply the Earth rearranging herself, like she has done for a few billion years. We are travelers on chaos. Lucky when we get a smooth ride. We need to work like never before to keep it as smooth (and cooperative) as humanly possible.

  35. Steven Schuman says:
    September 30, 2010 at 5:07 am
    I remember the fifties pretty well. When we had odd weather, the cause was clear- atomic bomb testing. People generally like things to stay the same. Change makes them uneasy.”
    Yes, and I remember in the early 70’s my grandmother was convinced that the extreme and odd weather was due to NASA punching holes in the atmosphere with rocket launches.

  36. One thing you can draw from this article (and the history of the world) is that climate changes; always has and always will. Most of us who believe that increasing CO2 will not create a climate crisis, recognize that the current changes are predominantly natural. Those who believe that the current changes are all man-made, must start with the assumption that natural climate is ‘stable’.
    The real ‘climate change deniers’ are those who believe in near stability of the natural climate and that all current climate change must be man-made. AGW crisis skeptics are anything but climate change deniers.
    I think it is a symptom of a personality disorder to project ones own problems onto those who confront you.

  37. If the establishemnt science was never challenged, we’d still be living in caves, hitting our loved ones over the head with our clubs, & talking in grunts! We’d still be putting leeches on our bodies to cure a whole bunch of ills. We’d still be denying heavier that air flight. We’d make no more scientific discoveries after the end of the 19th C. We’d have no theory of relativity. We’d never have invented penecillin. We’d know nothing of DNA. We’d still be claiming stomach ulcers were caused by eating too much spicey food & being overstressed. The list is endless becasue of challenges to establishment science!
    Somewhat OT – BBC mildish propagandist science programme “Bang Goes the Theory” last night told the story of Earths seasons & its axial tilt. It stated as a fact, that a sister planet of Earths collided with it forming the moon & causing the Earth’s tilt! Is this established fact or just another theory? Anyone?

  38. richard telford says:
    September 30, 2010 at 2:09 am
    Comparing science with burning witches and human sacrifice?
    I think the system ate my last post.
    *********************
    By letting the crazies speak for them the true scientists have earned the distrust of the sane people.
    Al Gore goes to the US congress and demands reparations for people freezing to death in Peru that is crazy. People say Al isn’t a scientist and they are right but the true scientists by silence give consent to his nonsense.
    All extreme weather events become “weirding” weather and thus caused by CO2. If that isn’t witchcraft what is it ? By their spinelessness the true scientists allow the crazies to speak for them. Until they get a voice of reason I will continue to distrust them.

  39. Al Gore goes to the US congress and demands reparations for people freezing to death in Peru that is crazy. People say Al isn’t a scientist and they are right but the true scientists by silence give consent to his nonsense.
    All extreme weather events become “weirding” weather and thus caused by CO2. If that isn’t witchcraft what is it ? By their spinelessness the true scientists allow the crazies to speak for them. Until they get a voice of reason I will continue to distrust them.
    By letting the crazies speak for them the true scientists have earned the distrust of the sane people.

  40. Extreme events are usually caused by blocking events – prolonged flow of warm, cold, dry or wet air masses into one region. NOAA keeps a record of blocking since 1948, but alas, there is no tendency:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/csi/moscow2010/images/hovm_days_obs.jul-aug.jpg
    Atmospheric blocking happens regardless whether it is summer or winter, cold or warm, so several tenths of degree higher global average can not have any effect; otherwise, summers with high average temperature would be full of extremes, and winters with no extremes at all, which is not the case. Recent cold winter in South America was also caused by blocking, allowing prolonged ingress of cold Antarctic air deep into the continent, and global warming can be hardly blamed, since it happened during the winter.
    The simple way to analyze alleged rise of extremes in given area is to observe the changes in standard deviation in daily precipitation or temperature. More extremes would lead to rise of their SD. I tested the hypothesis for Hurbanovo meteorological station (Slovakia) with daily data available via the KNMI website since 1950.
    Daily standard deviation for temperature per decade:
    http://i54.tinypic.com/2m45478.jpg
    Daily standard deviation for precipitation per decade:
    http://i55.tinypic.com/2m7dyth.jpg
    There is no trend in standard deviation, e.g. alleged bigger fluctuations in temperature/precipitation are not happening.
    We have had a rather rainy year so far, total precipitation already reached average annual limit. Local climatologists are torn between two doom predictions, one saying that global warming will turn our country (Central Europe) to savanna soon, and at the same time, that warming will mean more rain. It somehow does not matter, that these two theories contradict themselves. But again, there is no relation between our summer temperatures and precipitation:
    http://www.shmu.sk/File/ExtraFiles/KMIS/clanky/Hurbanovo_T_R_korelacia.png
    (1880-2010 correlation between summer temp. and precip. for Hurbanovo station)

  41. “We ignore thousands of years of climate evidence”
    So I’m guessing he hasn’t seen any Global temperature reconstructions.

  42. I think we need to amend George Santana’s famous aphorism to: “Those that fail to remember their past and understand it, are doomed to repeat it.” Me, I am leaving the office in a few minutes to go and visit some ±500 my old limestone outcrops, that are contain huge fossil assemblages. I need to remember.

  43. Bruce Cobb,
    —Cherry picking part of a sentence, and attacking it as a straw man? Classy.
    Here’s the entire sentence:
    “We ignore thousands of years of climate evidence, in favour of an agenda based upon a century and a half of sometimes distorted and often-disputed temperature records, coming out of a known Little Ice Age and we call it “Science”.”—-
    What? Classy? How is stating the whole sentence change that it is an incorrect look at the reasons for the increased temperature anomaly over the past 30-40 years? The point being that looking at recent temperature rise and saying that we are “recovering” or “coming out” of the LIA has no scientific backing whatsoever. It is still a tag line no matter what sentence you place it in.
    —-It has to do with the temperature records (which have been skewed, by the way), and in particular, the “hockey stick”, —-
    We are talking about blaming the LIA for “recovery” for recent warming. Nothing to do with hockey sticks.
    —-which not only conveniently erases the MWP, —-
    Then why is it that every reconstruction has a MWP in it? Just because it is not as pronounced as you think it should be (I assume based on proxies I don’t know about) that doesn’t mean it was “erased”. All the reconstructions I’ve seen over the last 5 years are in agreement with each other.
    Maybe you want to read the NAS conclusion. And I know what the prevailing thoughts are here on the “hockey stick” No need to fill me on the evil scientists and their incessant need to steal tax money by getting grants to research the climate change that isn’t happening, that is caused by the sun, and that non-problem of climate change that isn’t happening and is caused by the sun should be fixed by the free market.
    —-conveniently shows the ramp up of temperatures since when?—-
    As are the temperature reconstructions of the last 30 years in agreement, including Dr. Spencer’s. The “ramp up” likely due to the fact that you are looking at charts that show 1000-2000 year intervals. The proxies do not show the same increase as the instrumental record. That is what is different.

  44. stephan says:
    September 30, 2010 at 6:53 am
    “OT but NH ice now passing 2005 levels. the recovery is one of the fastests ever?
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php
    With SST falling etc I think we can safely now surmise that AGW will be buried 2011″
    I’m sure we’ll see a press release from NSIDC about this in 3…2…1…[cue crickets chirping].
    Or…we’ll now start seeing stories on how ALL skiing will be gone in 3 years due to global warming unless we all cut our energy use by 95% (government labs and academia excluded, of course).

  45. As the global temperature stubbornly fails to keep up with “Hockey Stick” projections then a new scare tactic is required.
    Blame any unusual weather event in AGW.
    The Pakistan Floods and Russian heat wave were caused by a blocked jet stream in the stratosphere.
    No credible scientist has dared to link these events to increased CO2
    However a quick blame game and move on to next scare story seems to pass for so called “climate science”/

  46. Agree with those who see the non-development agenda of the greens as
    a way of population control
    As I have said- the gnawing fear of Greenies is healthy, happy dark-skinned people…

  47. Chris in Queensland,
    “Humans, the slowest learners on the planet.”
    Would you please point to any organism on the planet that has learned anything??

  48. kuhnkat says:
    September 30, 2010 at 8:30 am
    Would you please point to any organism on the planet that has learned anything??

    Actually, octopi are pretty smart at figuring things out. Bonobo apes can teach each other new tricks, according to studies. Oh, and housecats have figured out how to be pampered in return for not doing much of anything at all. 🙂

  49. gryposaurus says
    This is not a scientific look at the actual reason for LIA or why it is different now. The increase in solar activity that ended the LIA has leveled several times, most recently in the 1950′s. Saying that we are “coming out” of LIA is not a skeptical look at the situation. It’s a nice tag line to repeat and make sense to those who don’t know the reality, but it is not science. At some point people should challenge this assertion; it’s easily debunked as nonsense.
    ***************
    Going into the LIA [Maunder Minimum ] the atmosphere cooled about .5 to .7 ° C. During that time the thermometer was invented and records began to be kept.
    Rapid warming was observed 3 times since then and 2 of these times CO2 could not have been the cause. [1860-1880 , 1910-40 and 1975-1998] The warming rates and duration are similar in all three. What is special about the third ? Nothing !
    .
    These periods of warming coincide with alignment of the PDO, and ADO and happen every 60 + years. No big surprise there ?
    .
    When the sun returned and the alarmists beloved “feedbacks” kicked in the planet recovered the lost .7 ° C. [Or did you think that feedbacks only applied to CO2 induced warming ?]
    Superimposed upon this slow warming there is a 60 year sign wave caused by the PDO and ADO which were in positive cycle during the last 3 warming periods. Coincidence ? I don’t think so.
    Blaming the entire .7 ° C. warming since the LIA on CO2 is not logical.

  50. In the early and middle part of the 20th century, it was thought all problems could be solved by properly applying science. In the late part of the 20th century, science was blamed for many of our problems and a new age view of science replaced the time tested science we depended on for years. We are now paying the price because these new age scientist are respected more than the real scientist who understand how things work and have the solutions that will solve todays problems. Critical thinking is looked down upon by the majority because they lack the ability having instead learning the emotional feel good way of thinking. Talking to these people is almost worthless because they counter a logical thought with an emotional response. Our main hope is to educate their children, the same tactic that was used on the current generation to teach them new age science.

  51. AGW is to science what Jim Jones is to religion. CRU and friends have proven that AGW is religion, politics, something else, but not science. To deny AGW is to deny astrology.

  52. In the Little Ice Age, witchcraft was blamed for the devastating climate:
    I thought it was the evil elder sister who insulted the twelve seasons.

  53. Want to know when did all this began?
    “Imagine” (The Beatles)
    Imagine there’s no Heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today
    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace
    You may say that I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one
    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world
    You may say that I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will live as one

  54. David L. says:
    September 30, 2010 at 4:42 am
    How can anyone believe that there were no extreme weather events prior to the industrial revolution? Has anyone heard of Noah and his Ark? The bible is full of natural disasters. Ancient peoples were obsessed about them and wrote about them. Back then they blamed them on God, the devil, sins of man, etc. Now we blame it on humans in the form of CO2.
    CAGW is the new Revelations.

  55. “Have disaster losses increased due to anthropogenic climate change?” I think that the operative word here is “losses” which undoubtedly increased simply due to the greater number of people and their insane push to live on the coasts and in flood plains or at the foot of volcanoes. Due to ACC? Not likely.

  56. One thing is currently happening faster than previously imagined:
    The call to sacrifice the economy before the weather gods turn angry again.
    Bring forth the prisoners.
    Agribusiness – check.
    Refineries – check.
    Drilling – check.
    Mining – check.
    Jobs – check.
    Homes – check.
    Business loans – check.
    Power Generation – check.
    Prepare the Tax Dragon.
    Let the ceremony begin.

  57. The persistent of religious beliefs, belief in astrology and other superstitions plus the enormous success of any TV programme which deals with the supernatural as fact or fiction shows that we have not progressed as a species from the times of the hunter- gatherers.
    When humans don’t understand something they invent explanations to ease their anxiety.

  58. netdr2
    —-Blaming the entire .7 ° C. warming since the LIA on CO2 is not logical.—-
    No one blames the entire change on CO2. There were several factors at the beginning of the twentieth century, ie increase in solar activity, decrease in volcanic ash in stratosphere, and increasing land use. In the 40’s – 70’s there was an increase in human aerosol emissions and then a reduction in solar activity. After, the 80’s, aerosols were decreased dramatically. CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions are the most likely climate drivers only in last 30-40 years, NOT the case since the end of LIA.
    From the IPCC:

    It is very unlikely that climate changes of at least the seven centuries prior to 1950 were due to variability generated within the climate system alone. A significant fraction of the reconstructed Northern Hemisphere inter-decadal temperature variability over those centuries is very likely attributable to volcanic eruptions and changes in solar irradiance, and it is likely that anthropogenic forcing contributed to the early 20th-century warming evident in these records

  59. Patrick Davies>
    “Apparently, some ~120 species (Plants, animals etc etc) recorded to be extinct in the past, have, magically, been found alive in a recent report!”
    Easily rectified, where’s my shot-gun?

  60. richard telford says:
    September 30, 2010 at 2:09 am
    “Comparing science with burning witches and human sacrifice? This must mark a new high point in this site’s continued vilification of science and scientists.”
    Since blaming extreme weather events on increased atmospheric CO2 is only wild speculation and not really science, it actually is a fair comparison.

  61. richard telford says:
    September 30, 2010 at 2:09 am
    Comparing science with burning witches and human sacrifice? This must mark a new high point in this site’s continued vilification of science and scientists. I know Watts didn’t write this vile slur, but by repeating it without comment, he shares some responsibility for it.
    ========================================================
    Did not the scientists at UEA/CRU behave exactly as the witch doctors of old ??
    Didn’t they have a bag of secret tricks (homogenized data), made predictions of the future that the “tribe” relied upon.
    Didn’t this bag of secret “tricks” elevate them to a position of power greater than their chief, and told the chief what to do. IPCC, guide for policy makers !!
    Once we knew what was in the bag of tricks (FOI), the jig was up !
    Richard, none so blind as those who won’t see.
    I said above, nothing changes, only the names.

  62. Juraj V,
    Thanks for the great information on blocking events. Is stalled high pressure a blocking event? I lived in St. Louis, MO from 1971 through 1995. The greatest suffering that I experienced at the hands of extreme weather was caused by stalled high pressure fronts. They caused the temperatures to soar and to stay high overnight.

  63. Enneagram says:
    September 30, 2010 at 11:15 am
    Back in the day, one of my sons was required to sing “Imagine” for a second-grade “Happy Holidays” event. Unbeknownst to us, he raised a fuss at school because the song praises communism and atheism. We had no idea where that came from. Today, in high school, he is happy, well-adjusted, and repeats by rote the mantras of AGW, Multiculturalism, Obamacare, and whatever else the teacher unions are promoting.

  64. Chris in Queensland says:
    September 30, 2010 at 3:18 pm
    You mention UEA/CRU. Well, if you go to:
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=974
    and put Telford in the search box, it turns out that a “Richard Telford” was in
    Mr. K. Briffa’s contact list (Filename: 1098294574.txt).
    Is it possible that the contributor at September 30, 2010 at 2:09 am is a Climegate person of interest?

  65. In the middle ages, you could buy a piece of paper from a priest and do penence. As a result your sins were forgiven.
    In the 21st century, you can buy a piece of paper from Al Gore and do penence. And as a result your sins are forgiven.
    I don’t see the difference.

  66. Patrick Davis wrote, “Like the Aztecs, The Moche, in what is now Peru, suffered the same fate. The local climate changed. Must have been all those SUV’s and patio heaters belching Co2 and destroying the planet. *sigh*”
    I think this may have been the same logic my sister used when I was a toddler (and she 4 years old). I was learning walk and managed to fall down a lot. My sister came along and pushed me. When called on it by our parents she argued, “Eric falls down all the time on his own. My pushing had nothing to do with it.”
    Sorry Patrick. Just because climate changed in the past doesn’t mean our actions today are not causing it to change now.

  67. Weather Astronomers/astrologers; Babylonians, Chaldean, Classic Greek, Neolithic stone circle builders in Britain, Tycho Brae, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton etc. The very ancient 7 circuit labyrinth found worldwide, is a rudimentary rain calendar, mapping the heliocentric cycles of Jupiter, Mars, Earth and Venus over 44.75yrs.

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