Exploiting Human Misery and Distorting the Science: An environmentalist’s critique of “Years of Living Dangerously”

Guest essay by Jim Steele, Director emeritus Sierra Nevada Field Campus, San Francisco State University

In “Years of Living Dangerously” Hollywood’s Don Cheadle partners with Christian climate scientist Katharine Heyhoe to convince fellow Christians that they should trust the climate scientists who blame the misery brought by a Texas drought on rising CO2. Indeed in times of natural climate calamities, people suffer and become insecure as they confront nature’s awesome power.

Unfortunately that is when charlatans exploit their misery, making it truly a time of living dangerously. Quick interviews with ranchers who still believe the drought was caused naturally or by God was a feeble attempt to suggest it is religion that has blinded ranchers to the purported “science” of catastrophic climate change. Instead the documentary evoked memories of the 1956 movie “The Rainmaker.” Rancher Noah Curry tells Burt Lancaster (who is playing the Bill Starbuck the rainmaker), “We don’t believe in rainmakers!” Lancaster snaps back, “What do you believe in mistah? Dyin’ cattle?” Cheadle and Heyhoe were employing the age old rainmaker’s trick of exploiting natural catastrophes and human misery. I have documented similar ploys here, here, here, here and here.  

The ranchers’ belief in natural drought cycles actually grew from life long experiences, and most will tell you the 1950-1957 drought was likely much more devastating. Even Heyhoe admits the cycle of floods one year and droughts the next is the norm for Texas. The research by ten NOAA climate scientists also supports the ranchers’ belief, and their climate models indicated that at least 80% of Texas’s drought was due to the cooling of the eastern Pacific Ocean associated with La Nina and the natural cycles of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.1 In fact most climate scientists have shown that droughts and floods in the American southwest are the result of ocean cycles,2,3,4,5 but Cheadle and Heyhoe did not share such research. Climate models driven by CO2 had predicted extreme drying in the southwest during the 80s and 90s. But those model predictions failed due to misunderstanding ocean cycles.2 Actual observations revealed a trend of increasing precipitation during the 80s and 90s due to more El Ninos. The most recent drought has occurred as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) reversed again to its cool phase, just like devastating Texas droughts of the 50s that happened when the PDO entered its cool phase and promoted more La Ninas.

The NOAA’s models did suggest that perhaps 20% could be blamed on human caused climate change but researchers warned:

“There are various difficulties in interpreting such an analysis and assessing its relevance to understanding observations. First, no summertime warming over Texas in the long historical record has been detected, and we emphasized in this paper that the CMIP5 model-simulated Texas warming over the last century is inconsistent with observations…based on CMIP5 experiments, these estimates of changes in event probability drawn solely from CMIP5 must be viewed with great caution.1 [emphasis added]

Instead of driving to west Texas, Cheadle merely had to look at the Plainview TX temperature trends found online from the US Historical Climate Network to confirm that had been no climate warming.

clip_image002

Instead, to counter the beliefs of those Christian ranchers who had actually experienced those natural drought cycles, Heyhoe and Cheadle highlighted a statistical virtual reality – a “hockey-stick graph” of global warming. But the global average temperature is a chimera of many different climate dynamics and artificial adjustments. Droughts and heat waves are not global, but regional phenomenon. It is disturbing that Heyhoe, who has been hailed as a Christian committed to the truth in both science and faith, committed major sins of omission. The truth is there has been no climate warming in Texas. If Heyhoe was truly promoting objective climate science, she should have included the science of natural cycles and addressed why Texas had been getting wetter in the 80s and 90s and why it had not warmed during te 20th century.

But perhaps her misleading presentation was not all Heyhoe’s doing. One of the chief science advisors for this fearful climate documentary is the rabid CO2 advocate Joe Romm. Romm has previously teamed with the advocacy journal Nature to publish opinion pieces that CO2 is causing global “Dustbowlification”. Romm also uses his blog ClimateProgress to attack those scientists who have demonstrated that in fact natural ocean cycles have driven most droughts. That would explain the slanted drought presentation.

It is also the only reasonable explanation for the outlandish attempt to marry the civil war in Syria to rising CO2. Natural climate change does create insecurity. However Romm’s concern about the Dustbowlification proves slightly schizophrenic. While climate scientists have shown that the ocean surface temperatures are the best predictor of regional droughts, the extremes of the American Dust Bowl can only be explained when degradation of the landscape is also taken into account.6 Likewise the drought in Syria can not be understood without understanding how politics have altered the Syrian landscape. I thought NY Time’s journalist Thomas Freidman who has studied Middle East conflicts for decades would provide that historical background. But Freidman’s role was to marry the current Syrian drought to the simplistic notion that CO2 had caused climate change and thus the war, and landscape and political causes of stressed farmers were never brought to light.

The Syrian revolution has indeed been led by hungry displaced farmers. But to blame CO2 is simply climate fear mongering. To understand the enormous complexity of the problem I suggest reading “Unsustainable land use in Syria: Drivers of Unsustainable Land Use in the Semi-Arid Khabur River Basin, Syria”7 by Yale University’s Dr. Frank Hole. Scientist know this region’s climate is highly variable and we know from “archaeology and history that settlements in this semi-arid steppe have expanded on cycles of 200–300 years of good weather and retreated on cycles of 1000 or more years of poor weather and political instability.” Recently multiyear droughts happened in 1968–1971, 1997–1998, 1999–2000 and 2000–2001. “A drought in 1961 resulted in the loss of 80% of the camel population and nearly50% of sheep.” 7

“In 1940, the Khabur could be considered a self-sustaining steppe [a semi-arid grass and shrub land] for the pasturing of camels and sheep, with highly productive rain-fed agriculture, and equally productive gravity irrigation along stretches of the river. Fishing and hunting of wild gazelle were important contributors to the diet. Both are now extinct, with no foreseeable possibility of regeneration.” 7

A dramatic drying of this region began during the Little Ice Age, forcing many tribes to abandon fixed settlements and adopt a nomadic lifestyle. The vast steppe then became controlled by migratory tribes who pastured camels and sheep seasonally, holding the land in common according to well-established customary tribal law. The tribes migrated with sheep and camels to fresh pastures on an annual cycle, which allowed vegetation to regenerate and also support herds of gazelle. The closing of the border between Syria and Turkey in the 1940s curtailed some of the traditional movements of Syria’s nomadic tribes, which once migrated into the pastures of Turkey’s Taurus Mountains during summer.

The American DustBowl had been created in part when the government subsidized wheat prices to meet the demand during World War I. This resulted in a loss of native buffalo grass that sustained the semiarid American west. An area the size of state of Ohio was quickly ploughed to plant wheat. When prices fell and governments no longer guaranteed farmers a high price, many abandoned the land. Without natural vegetation to hold the soil, when the natural cycle of droughts began the Dust Bowl ensued. Similarly the “demand for grain during the Second World War encouraged expansion of Syrian agriculture. In the early 1950s, when the new Syrian State abolished tribal land tenure, that agriculture, supported by mechanical ploughs, expanded on to virgin steppe but most proved to be unproductive.” Much of the land degradation has been the result of deep that ploughing that removed native vegetation and exposed soil to wind and water erosion, as well as destroying much of its organic content. It is no coincidence that many of Syria’s revolutionary leaders are failed cotton farmers who once depended on the whims of government subsidies.7

Syria’s Khabur River is a principal tributary of the Euphrates and flows entirely within Syria. However it is largely fed from limestone springs that are recharged by precipitation that falls in the adjacent Turkish mountains. Huge increases in the use of groundwater for irrigation in both Turkey and Syria have left the fields dry that depended on drawing irrigation water from the springs and upper course of the Khabur River. Furthermore recently built dams in Turkey now control the flow of water into Syria and the amount of water allowed to reach Syria and Iraq is now wielded as a political weapon. 7

As refugees dramatically increased Syria’s population, they added greater and greater stress on a landscape already in serious decline. While regional strife increased the flow of refugees into Syria, it also limited the flow of incoming water. “In 1987, Turkey guaranteed a minimum water flow of 500 cubic metes per second and Syria, in return, promised to cooperate in security matters. A few months later, Turkey complained about terrorist activities and accused Syria of supporting. Turkey allegedly hinted at a cut in the flow of Euphrates water to Syria over Syrian support for Kurdish terrorists. In January 1990, Turkey completely stopped the flow of the Euphrates [emphasis added]. The official justification for the interruption was to fill the lake behind the Ataturk Dam and the interruption was intended to be only for one month. Behind the scenes, this interruption was an indirect threat to Syria for its continued support of the PKK. Turkey did not care about Iraq’s reaction as Syria and Iraq were bitter enemies; however, Turkey’s actions united both Iraq and Syria against it.”10

The myriad of factors stressing the revolutionary farmers is very complex. Obviously blaming Syria’s water woes on CO2 is a simple-minded ploy. But one could still argue that “unprecedented climate change” had exacerbated any problems created by bad government and landscape abuse. However as in Texas, there are no unprecedented climate trends other than those created locally by landscape abuse. Historical records of droughts in Turkey’s Anatolia and neighboring countries corroborate the data furnished by tree-ring widths to indicate that cycles of major droughts and famine events have occurred in 1725, 1757, 1887, 1890–1891, 1893–1894 and 1927–1928, long before rising CO2 could play a role. As seen in Fig. 5 the lack of recent precipitation is a minor bump in the road when compared to records over the past 350 years.9

clip_image004

And as in Texas, based on proxy data there has been no “global warming” in this region either. Tree ring researchers striving to put recent temperatures into a historical context concluded, “Low-frequency variations, which were associated with the medieval warm period and the little ice age, were identified in the winter-to- spring temperature reconstruction, however, the twentieth century warming trend found elsewhere could not be identified in our temperature proxy record.”8 [emphasis added]

clip_image005

The third segment of the documentary exposed how government corruption was destroying the Indonesian ecosystem. However anyone concerned about deforestation should ask why Harrison Ford failed to mention the most powerful driver of Indonesia’s disappearing rain forests and the endangerment of the Orangtuans. It is not climate change, but climate fear mongering. Politicians have used climate fear to justify government handouts in the form of subsidies for planting more corn in America, sugar cane in Brazil and palm oil in Indonesia. These subsidies have upset world food markets and destroyed efforts to protect wild lands. In the 2013 research article “The EU Biofuel Policy and Palm Oil: Cutting subsidies or cutting rainforest?” by The International Institute for Sustainable Development, they report the European Union alone has provided $11 billion dollars in biofuel subsidies and the bulk of that has subsidized palm oil for the biodiesel industry. I loved Harrison Ford for his ability to provide such gripping Hollywood illusions as Indiana Jones, but I am deeply troubled by his current role in distorting climate reality.

The emotional, virtual realities created by modern technology can indeed be dangerous. The speed of modern communication and the ease by which our fears can be exploited demands that we become better critical thinkers. The baby boom’s motto of the 60s to question authority is more important now than ever. We all can fall victim to our own predilections and be blinded by our beliefs. Only respectful debate can free us from our illusions. Unfortunately people like Joe Romm who are pushing climate catastrophe, also argue that the debate is over. Increasingly alarmists demand that skeptics should be banned from public forums and seek to “deny the deniers the right to deny”. They want us to only believe that the Hollywood illusions presented in “Years of Living Dangerously” are the real truth. Yet their sins of omission and the distortion of published science illustrates why, now more than ever, more climate debate is needed.

Literature Cited

1.Hoerling et al (2013) Anatomy of an Extreme Event. Journal of Climate, vol. 26

2. Dai (2012) The influence of the inter-decadal Pacific oscillation on US precipitation during 1923–2010. Climate Dynamics, vol

3. Seager, R. et al. (2008) Drought in the Southeastern United States: Causes, Variability over the Last Millennium, and the Potential for Future Hydroclimate Change. Journal of Climate, vol. 22, p. 5021-5047.

4. Cook, E., et al., (2004) Long-Term Aridity Changes in the Western United States. Science 306, 1015-1018.

5. Herweijer,C., et al., (2007) North American Droughts of the Last Millennium from a Gridded Network of Tree-Ring Data. Journal of Climate, vol. 20, p. 1353-1376.

6. Cook, B., et al., (2011) Atmospheric circulation anomalies during two persistent North American droughts: 1932–1939 and 1948–1957. Climate Dynamics, vol. 36, p. 2339–2355

7. Hole (2009) Unsustainable land use in Syria Drivers of Unsustainable Land Use in the Semi-Arid

Khabur River Basin, Syria. Geographical Research March 2009 47(1):4–14

8. Heinrich (2013) Winter-to-spring temperature dynamics in Turkey derived from tree rings since AD 1125. Clim Dyn 41:1685–1701

9. Akkemik (2005) A preliminary reconstruction (A.D. 1635–2000) of spring precipitation

using oak tree rings in the western Black Sea region of Turkey. Int J Biometeorol 49:297–302

10. Hipel (2014) Strategic Investigations of Water Conflicts in the MiddleEast. Group Decis Negot (2014) 23:355–376

11. (2013) The EU Biofuel Policy and Palm Oil: Cutting subsidies or cutting rainforest?” The International Institute for Sustainable Development

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

[We welcome all rational comments here at WUWT but are firmly of the opinion that using insults and abuse is not the way to influence thinking on this matter. Your comment was entirely content free and was essentially trolling. Try again please, but be polite and provide content rather than abuse.. thanks . . mod]

H.R.

If I recall my Sunday School lessons correctly, one point was that “It rains on the just and the unjust alike.” Whether it’s flood or drought, God doesn’t play favorites.
Shame on any so-called ‘Christians’ who would exploit others by taking advantage of their faith.

Beautiful timing WUWT, thank you. My son sent me the link to the YouTube presentation of this show this morning and I watched it with bemusement – but I loved Harrison’s earring – and my response to my son was “make sure to check out WUWT for a objective review of this show idc. I am sure he will sleep a little better this evening after, hopefully, reading this. Thanks again and keep up the good work, work that is sure to be tough this week with the IPCC issuing dire warnings out of Berlin.

the fact they need propaganda shows the weakness. If they had proved anything they also would have the power of prediction which they don’t.
if you know the earth spins then you can predict when sunrise will be be. They do not have any power of prediction which demonstrates they know nothing.
i’ve done a few posts demonstrating the christian ‘forcing’ of climate change as they want to ‘save the world’. The Head of uk met office was an ‘eco christian’. he’s now at the Hadley Climate Modelling Center. Terms like man made climate change is a sin’ or ‘demonic’ come out. So the Christians are right at the heart of the uk climate snake oil machine thta is a key support for the ipcc.
it seems to escape them that bearing false witness’ is a sin and is one of the 10. Climate change if it is a sin isn;t one of the 10.

As well as the PDO, there is also the AMO. According to NOAA
Recent research suggests that the AMO is related to the past occurrence of major droughts in the Midwest and the Southwest. When the AMO is in its warm phase, these droughts tend to be more frequent and/or severe (prolonged?). Vice-versa for negative AMO. Two of the most severe droughts of the 20th century occurred during the positive AMO between 1925 and 1965: The Dustbowl of the 1930s and the 1950s drought.
And, of course, we are in the warm phase at the moment.
http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/facts-about-the-amo/

Greg Goodman

“The ranchers’ belief in natural drought cycles actually grew from life long experiences, and most will tell you the 1950-1957 drought was likely much more devastating.”
That is also a form observational based science. And is probably a lot more value that computer models that fail dismally in their first decade of validation.

ConfusedPhoton

Speaking of the consequences of weather extremes, John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” was banned in many places in the US and even burnt in some (memories of Kristallnacht). Even the FBI kept him under surveillance for some time. Similarities with our present day climate alarmists!
It would seem that many exploit natural effects to further their own agenda and are willing to use very undemocratic means to achieve their aims. To misquote Wilfred Owen – “The end justifies the means – The old Lie!”

Sir John Houghton EX Co-Chair of IPCC one of the main drivers behind global warming co2 theory is an eco christian who says this is a spiritual problem and a sin not to act and talks about “repenting for our lack of care for the earth”.
and these are the people the bbc say are ‘the scientists’ and deny real scientists critical of it a voice
http://www.christian-ecology.org.uk/houghton.htm
houghton as the man behind the scenes powerhouse who says
“Some Christians, particularly in the US, see climate change as a way of hastening the end of the world and the return of Jesus.”
http://www.ecostreet.com/ecospeak-an-interview-with-ex-ipcc-co-chairman-sir-john-houghton/

People who supposedly call themselves Christian and yet ally with evil doers (and warmistas are evil) are dancing with the devil. The devil says when the dance will end.

Greg Goodman

” In the 2013 research article “The EU Biofuel Policy and Palm Oil: Cutting subsidies or cutting rainforest?” by The International Institute for Sustainable Development, they report the European Union alone has provided $11 billion dollars in biofuel subsidies and the bulk of that has subsidized palm oil for the biodiesel industry.”
Yet more bureaucratic meddling. They are really so inept. Whatever all these massive funds aim to do always seems to end up doing the opposite.

Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)

Dr. Steele: Permission to repost!?!

eco christian houghton says
. “When I began with the IPCC in 1988, our first meeting of 50-100 scientists discussed how we should address the issue of climate change. We all agreed that it was a big issue of importance for all nations. If, therefore, we were going to create a scientific message of relevance for the world, then the world’s scientists had to be thoroughly involved. But then there was the problem of how certain we were about the message. Although the basic science was reasonably well understood, many of the scientists present felt that the range of uncertainty was still too large for us to say anything too definite, or even to say anything at all.
At that time I was heading the Met Office. Every day we put out weather forecasts. Now when forecasters stand up in front of the television audience and say, “Here is the forecast for tomorrow” they cannot go on to say, “I’m really sorry I am very unsure what the weather is going to be so I cannot give you any guidance at all, Goodnight!” That’s just not on – their instructions are that they must say what they think is the most likely weather; they must tell the most likely story. And further, if there is a chance, even some low chance of really severe weather that would be very disruptive, they must also explain that, explaining too as far as possible how certain or uncertain they are. The public is used to weather forecasts, they know the uncertainty in weather forecasts, but nevertheless they find them useful because they’re much better than no information at all. In fact, commercial companies will pay good money to receive the best possible weather information to put into their planning.
I used this example to try to explain to the group of IPCC scientists the responsibility we had to convey the best possible information. “Although we are uncertain about some of the science,” I explained, “as a group we know more than anyone else and therefore must tell what we know. If we do not there are many people out there who know very little, who do not feel inhibited and who will convey false information. Also because, unlike weather forecasts, the public have no experience of climate forecasts, we must also carefully explain the uncertainty in our forecasts.” I think this example helped our discussion. Everyone agreed to try to explain what we know and what we do not know about climate change and the IPCC process began to evolve.
http://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/cis/houghton/lecture6.html
———
“we must also carefully explain the uncertainty in our forecasts.” lol that bit got lost on the way. Today they claim they are 95% sure there is no uncertainty of any kind.

I’ve heard ads for this movie on the radio. Quickie thought: The CAGW types might do better if they drop the calamity stuff. Talk about daily catastrophic fires and floods and so on being caused by CO2 just doesn’t make it in real life where you and I live. It’s OK for yet another “OMG Here come the zombies again!” movie, but as “science”— . Even a truck-driver such as myself will know better if we engage our brains.

TinyCO2

Excellent rebuttal to that show.
There is a nasty habit of presenting the best climate for any one area as the normal climate and claiming that natural deviations into poor climate are man made.

bernie1815

Excellent informative critical summary. I watched the first episode yesterday. It is essentially a false narrative built on a few facts. My issues are fundamentally about what is not said or half said – you have to watch the pea. As I watched I made note of each assertion, especially projections, and spent a few minutes with Google and GISSTemp to check these assertions. On GISSTemp, I checked small towns around Lubbock and for long records. Try Crosbyton: Even with the adjusted record there is, inconveniently, no recent warming.
The exploitation of the Syrian Civil War is pretty appalling. The fight among Syria, Iraq and Turkey over control of the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates is longstanding. Anybody familiar with this part of the world, like Friedman, knows this. Dramatic increases in local population and agricultural demand for water should have been the first explanation for the collapse of regional agriculture. I suspect, though did not check, that the area has little local precipitation even in the best of times. As Jim notes, perhaps the most egregious omission is the failure to point out that the primary reason for the massively destructive expansion of palm oil plantations is not because we buy too much ice cream (suggested in the movie) but because of the demand for bio fuels.
I also noted the convergence between the false narrative of this first episode of Years of Living Dangerously and the just released SPM of WGII. A coincidence?

hunter

As for Keyhoe and her combination of religious beliefs with her promotion of AGW: In the age eugenics there were some Christians who also promoted eugenics, the pseudo-scientific madness of 100 years ago. For that matter, there were Christians who had no problem with slavery, either.

Akatsukami

If I recall my Sunday School lessons correctly, one point was that “It rains on the just and the unjust alike.” Whether it’s flood or drought, God doesn’t play favorites.

“The Bible says it rains alike
Upon the just and unjust fella
But more upon the just, because
The unjust has the just’s umbrella.’

i think some would sober up pretty quick if they knew who eco christian Houghton was as a driver behind global warming co2 theory and ex chair ipcc and knew about his christian doctrine on saving the planet.
https://www.scienceandchristianbelief.org/serve_pdf_free.php?filename=SCB+9-2+Houghton.pdf

Ian Cooper

I watched the first ten minutes of that documentary and found that was all I could handle. I have trouble digesting such drivel from glob-trotting actors who are telling us to cut back to save us all from ourselves. Yeah, right!
On the otherhand I found this review an enlightening insight to the real story not being told by the film makers. I have much affinity with those struggling with drought as we have just finished our second severe drought in a row on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Both droughts were due to the influence of the neutral El Nino which is just slightly more dominant in producing drought conditions compared to La Ninas in our region of the planet. El Ninos come in a distant 3rd as far as having any drought influence here. They, El Ninos, are more often aligned to the return of the prevailing, water laden westerlies our latitude is most famous for (the Roaring Forties).
The truth is far more interesting than the fiction Joe Romm and Hollywood throw at us, but some people are just obsessed with believeing that humankind is inherently evil and we need to punish ourselves because of it.

DirkH

Thanks for the perspective on Syria and on the Dust Bowl. The drop in price and abandoning of fields as a cause in the latter one was unknown to me; but makes perfect sense.

cedarhill

It’s always a good thing to see a carefully thought out refutation of the warmists political campaigns. One should note Hollywood is all about image, projection, emotion and timing. This series was intentionally timed for the Easter season along with “Biblical” works in the Noah genre. In this case, Years of Living Dangerously spans the Pentecost. Expect an avalanche of ads, promotions, free streaming, MSM commentaries, 60 Minutes agi-prop discussion(s), specials on “The Making of The Years…” and followups not only re-explaining the 8 episodes but analyzing the “impact”.
Most visitors to WUWT recognize Showtime’s series for what it iis — out and out propaganda to solely designed to move the political debate of CO2 back to it’s favored place of years past. I did like Steele’s essay and it will be useful for anyone engaging in a debate. However, one needs to realize the realm of modern politics is how much can be squeezed into the time between tweets.
You might consider tweeting to your BFF whether they plan on watching the latest Showtime Sci-Fi Zombie Apocalypse? After all it’s entertaining, silly, uncool but really funny – sort of like watching those videos of college kids not knowing the Earth revolves around the Sun. If they ask why you call it a Zombie movie, you should bring up Steele’s essay points. But only one point at a time. It’s a slow process to de-program folks away from the alarmists.

In a way, it makes a lot of sense. Keyhoe and Cheadle are using religion to fight religion. So of course they cannot reveal any heresy.

Thanks, Jim, for another excellent post. We also discussed the flaws in “Years of Living Dangerously” in my open letter to its producers last December:
http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/open-letter-to-the-executive-producers-of-years-of-living-dangerously/
Cheers.

Bruce Cobb

We watched a documentary the other night called “Waiting For Armageddon”, delving into the beliefs of some 50 million evangelicals about a soon-to-come “battle of Armageddon”, and “The Rapture”, which is where the Faithful get to join with God, while everyone else dies horribly and spends eternity in Hell (or something). The reason I mention this is that there are striking parallels between that, and the belief system of the Warmist faith. Both require the ability, nay the desire to shut down rational thought in favor of a fantasy. The fantasy, for them, becomes reality. Everything that has happened or is happening is all fodder for this fantasy, reinforcing it. Emotionalism reigns supreme, in place of rational thought. That is what complete schlock such as “Years of Living Dangerously” taps into. The function is two-fold: firstly, it is meant to reinforce and reinvigorate the True Believers, in hopes of evangelizing them and encouraging them to “spread the faith”, and second, the hope is to bring into the fold those vulnerable to such persuasion tactics, particularly the young, and those of, shall we say, somewhat lower IQ levels. The difference, of course, is how the Warmist faith has spread, cancer-like into government, into schools, and many other aspects of the social sphere.
The apparent desire and ability to shut off rationality in huge segments of the population is both puzzling and troubling, as it doesn’t speak well for the future of mankind. In some ways, instead of evolving, we seem to be de-evolving.

BruceC

”Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.”
John Houghton

H.R.

Akatsukami says:
April 14, 2014 at 3:48 am
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/14/exploiting-human-misery-and-distorting-the-science-an-environmentalists-critique-of-years-of-living-dangerously/#comment-1612942
=================================
LOL! Never heard that one. I guess I missed Sunday School that day.
As for the Propagandumentary; I suppose the bottom line is, “Give us your money or the Earth gets it.”

knr

No shock , from day one its been clear that the alarmist will do and use ‘anything ‘ to further their ideas , for after all their ‘saving the planet ‘ and on massive ego trip too.
The reason they look like religions extremists , is becasue they act like religions extremists.

Clovis Marcus

They might need a little chat with Julia “warm air carries more water” Slingo and try to get their stories consistent.

Don B

In 2004, McCabe et al published in the PNAS their research that drought patterns in the US were primarily caused by long term ocean cycles (PDO & AMO).
In August 2011, Judith Curry presented the McCabe research at a NOAA water workshop in Boulder, and predicted that the drought patterns of the 1950s would repeat, since the current situation of a cool PDO and warm AMO repeated what existed in the 1950s.
In June 2012, Roger Pielke, Sr. wrote a blog article about the above, and showed that the current drought pattern in the US was as expected.
The warmists don’t want to hear about science which undercuts their scary story.
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/perspective-on-the-hot-and-dry-continental-usa-for-2012-based-on-the-research-of-judy-curry-and-of-mccabe-et-al-2012/

jhborn

Excellent post.
Although most of this site’s regulars no doubt have at least a nodding acquaintance with Mr. Steele’s oeuvre, I personally had not previously encountered the following Web page, to which I invite the readership’s attention: http://landscapesandcycles.net/why-unwarranted-temperature-adjustments-.html.

“The apparent desire and ability to shut off rationality in huge segments of the population is both puzzling and troubling, as it doesn’t speak well for the future of mankind. In some ways, instead of evolving, we seem to be de-evolving.”
You may not accept this, but I firmly believe that this has been brought about by the general move away from organized religion over the last 30 or 40 years, leaving a large portion of the population desperate for anything to fill the gap. For some, it’s self-gratification, but that never lasts; for others it’s politics, but that’s even more disappointing over the long run. (always, and for everyone)
To roughly quote G. K. Chesterton, A man who believes in nothing will believe in anything.

Jim Bo

I don’t know about you but, when I look for unblemished truth, my first stop is always what “Hollywood” has to say about an issue.
We are truly a nation of idiots.

Dell from Michigan

While I haven’t seen the series, the whole premise seem very political to me.
However, if people build houses in flood plains where there are histories of floods; next to forests where forest fires have been occuring for centuries; on ocean fronts where hurricanes have been happening for centuries; try to grow farms where droughts and floods have been occuring for centuries; etc., why are the so surprised when natural disasters that have been happenning for centuries happen?
The only “man-made” contribution to these disasters are because man has put themselves in areas that are direct targets where the risk of natural disasters happen.

urederra

All started with the in the Old Testament with the Great Flood.

Where would we be without the moral leadership of Hollywood?

beng

Always a treat to read your essays, Jim.

Otter
Everyone always has permission to repost.. Thanks

Bruce Cobb

wws says:
April 14, 2014 at 4:52 am
“The apparent desire and ability to shut off rationality in huge segments of the population is both puzzling and troubling, as it doesn’t speak well for the future of mankind. In some ways, instead of evolving, we seem to be de-evolving.”
You may not accept this, but I firmly believe that this has been brought about by the general move away from organized religion over the last 30 or 40 years, leaving a large portion of the population desperate for anything to fill the gap. For some, it’s self-gratification, but that never lasts; for others it’s politics, but that’s even more disappointing over the long run. (always, and for everyone)
To roughly quote G. K. Chesterton, A man who believes in nothing will believe in anything.

Possibly so. Organized religion probably does serve a function in society, however the evangelicals seem to go off the rails into what can only be described as insanity. The threshold between what is real and what is fantasy has been crossed, as it has with those of the Warmist faith.

JJ

According to accepted science, rain and drought in the SW United States are linked to El Nino Southern Oscillation events in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
El Nino (warm water) events put a lot of moisture into the atmosphere off America’s SW coast. This moisture travels inland to the north and east, and falls as rain in the SW US. El Nino (warm water) events bring rain to Texas.
La Nina (cold water) events reduce evaporation and put less moisture into the air off America’s SW coast. Less moisture travels inland to the north and east, and less rain falls in the SW US. La Nina (warm water) events bring drought to Texas.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the last several years have been dominated by La Nina (cold water) conditions. It is thus no surprise that the last few years have brought drought to Texas and the SW US.
According to climate science, ‘global warming’ caused by human CO2 emissions will cause more El Nino (warm water) events, and fewer La Nina (cold water events). So, ‘global warming’ should lead to fewer droughts in Texas.
Drought in Texas is evidence that ‘global warming’ is not occurring as claimed. This Showtime Entertainment propaganda piece turns the truth upside down. Showtime’s strength is bringing Hollywood movies and soft core pornography to the masses. They should stick to that.

Mark Hladik

Ashamed to admit it, but I lasted until about the 0:45 minute mark.

Evan Jones

For that matter, there were Christians who had no problem with slavery, either.
I daresay that 97% of those who supported slavery in the American South were Christians.
Well, closer to 99.9%, actually . . .

Bruce Cobb:
“In some ways, instead of evolving, we seem to be de-evolving.”
Those ranchers in Texas need Brawndo! Brawndo makes plants grow. It has electroytes.

Taphonomic

When will Don Cheadle, Katharine Heyhoe, and all the other celebrities reduce their carbon footprint to less than that of average human inhabitant of the planet Earth?
Until they do, they need to stop lecturing people about their beliefs.

The point about Syria caught my attention.
I had been working in Syria for about 10 months for an agency of the EU when the revolt began to spread to many parts of the country. I left in April 2011 because the UK Ambassador had sent his family home and he advised us to leave too.
During the 10 months I was in Syria I was aware of the economic problems facing the country because my job combined development finance and economics. In discussion with my Syrian colleagues I did not get the impression that climate change was considered to be the basis for the concerns they had about the future of agriculture.
Much of Syria is arid and parts region rely to a greater or lesser extent on irrigated agriculture depending on the crop. Consequently, when discussions turned to availability of water the main concern was Turkish control over the Euphrates River.
As for the revolt itself the commentators who blame climate seem to be totally ignorant about the Syrian people, the history of the regime, and the events leading to the revolt. They seem to live in a fantasyland where everything is blamed on climate.
During the ten months I lived and worked in Syria I met many devout muslims but no fanatics. Syrians were, at least until the revolt, overwhelmingly moderate. I base this statement on the experience of working and living for 35 years in seven countries with majority muslim populations.
That radical muslims have a big role in the present conflict I attribute to the fact that they have had so little support from the West.

Frodo

FWIW I am a (Catholic) Christian and the whole CAGW movement is repulsive to me – in large part because it is a non-scientific movement, and, I believe, as Monseigneur Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître said – that “there is no conflict between religion and science”. You can believe in the truth of both (and I do – strongly) and one does not need to ever contradict the other.
In addition to being deliberately deceiving and anti-science. I also believe the CAGW movement is misanthropic, and therefore anti–Christian,especially in the way it punishes the developing third world. Those most in desperate need of help and Christian charity are being harmed by whackos that want to put up a few solar panels instead of providing abundant cheap energy, which the the 3rd world desperately needs to get itself out of poverty.
I have come to the conclusion that the CAGW movement is nothing more than the bastard child of the “population bomb” movement – anti-Christian to the very core. How any Christian can support it is beyond me.

Eustace Cranch

wws says:
April 14, 2014 at 4:52 am
“In some ways, instead of evolving, we seem to be de-evolving.”
Q: Are we not men?
A: …
(Inside joke, sorry)

starzmom

The criticism of ranchers and farmers for seeing natural cycles does not surprise me. Several years ago, I worked on a project at the University that was specifically aimed at figuring out how to persuade farmers to grow feedstock for biofuels to combat climate change.
One group in the multidisciplinary project was a sociology/anthropology group. They interviewed farmers all over the state to determine how they made decisions about what crops to plant and when. It was a surprise to these ivory tower idealists that farmers considered weather patterns and that they viewed these as natural cycles. As people of faith, many farmers referred to “God’s will” and “God’s way”. The researchers were having fits over this. They belittled the faith and the recognition of natural patterns as anti-science, uneducated and naive. It was pretty appalling.

I am not a churchgoer but I was brought up Christian and my whole family was devout Christian. I still hold sacred 2 things from my upbringing. The first is the golden rule to do unto others as we would to ourselves. The second is the story of Abraham. It is the one story common to Christian Muslim and Jews alike. For me it is the one story that unites true religion with true science. Feynman argued a good scientist exhibits “a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty–a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid–not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked–to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.”
Likewise, stripping any specific religious trappings from the story of Abraham, I see “God” as the life force and the greater truth, and Abraham is warned that he has strayed from the greater truth. To get closer to the truth he must sacrifice his legacy, his son. To sacrifice our “brainchild”, our memes and our beliefs that guide our daily actions, is as emotionally difficult as sacrificing our own flesh and blood. Only our willingness to set our beliefs aside allows us to see the greater truth and as with Abraham we will find our brainchild is still alive and we have come much closer to the truth. The same religious teaching is found in eastern philosophies such as LaoTzu who says we must become empty to become full, or the native American vision quest or the Australian aborigine walkabout.
It is bad science and bad religion that demands that you must only believe in a single version of the truth without ever questioning, without ever seeking that greater truth.

MikeUK

Excellent article, its deserves to reach the widest possible audience, any chance of the author (with support and encouragement from WUWT) donning full metal jacket and trying to get it published in “mainstream” media? It would be fun for spectators to watch the backlash, but probably not so much for the author.

Ralph Kramden

Climate change? Ha! When I was a kid I can remember preachers preaching sermons about Rock & Roll music. “Rock & Roll music is the Devil’s music and it will destroy civilization”, now that was scary stuff.