Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach
A man who has a daughter is a pretty pathetic specimen, ruled by the vicissitudes of hormones and hairspray. So when my daughter told me this morning “Hey, Dad, I put the newspaper on your desk, you’re gonna like it a lot!”, I knew my blood pressure was in deep trouble.
When I finished my shower and got to my desk I saw that the very first story, above the fold, had the headline:
In 20 years, sea level off state to rise up to 1 foot
I figured that it was some rogue alarmist making the usual warnings of impending doom … but no, it was a report from the National Academy of Sciences.
Now, I’ve spent a good chunk of my life at sea, and living in California the sea level rise is of great interest to me, so I knew immediately that the report was unmitigated nonsense. To see why, first let me show you the actual sea level record from San Francisco:
Figure 1. 160 years of sea level observations in San Francisco, California. Source: PSMSL
San Francisco has one of the longest continuous sea level records in the US. As you can see, there’s nothing too remarkable about the record. It is worth noting, however, that over the last 160 years the sea level in San Francisco has gone up by about 8 inches (20 cm) … and there are 12 inches in a foot (30 cm). It is also worth noting that during the last couple of decades it has hardly risen at all.
So what does the National Academy of Sciences projection of a one foot rise by 2030 look like?
Well … it looks like this:
Now, people are always saying to me things like “Willis, why don’t you believe in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming? After all, the National Academy of Sciences says it is real and about to happen.”
And indeed, there is a whole cottage industry these days dedicated to figuring out why the American public doesn’t believe what the climate scientists and people like the NAS folks are saying. Some people studying the question say it’s because the scientists aren’t getting the message across. Others say it’s because the public doesn’t understand science. Another group ascribes it to political affiliation. And there’s even a group that says it is a psychological pathology.
I hold a different view. I say that both I and a large sample of the American public doesn’t believe what the folks in the white lab coats at the National Academy of Science are saying because far too often it is a joke. Not only is it a joke, it’s a joke that doesn’t pass the laugh test. It is risible, unbelievable, way outside the boundaries of the historical record, beyond anything that common sense would say is possible, ludicrous, out of this world. I mean seriously, folks … is there anyone out there who actually believes that the sea level rise shown in Figure 2 will actually happen by 2030? Well, they believe it over at the National Academy of Sciences.
So the next time someone trots out the pathetic claim that catastrophic AGW must be real because the most prestigious and highly respected National Academy of Sciences says so … point them to this post.
The NAS press release, with a link to the actual paper, is here.
PS—While this is a comedy, it is also a tragedy. It is a measure of how blinded and blinkered the climate science establishment has become. It is a tragedy because in an uncertain time, science should be our pole star, the one fixed thing in a spinning sky … but instead, it has become a joke, and that is a tragedy indeed.