Actual Scientists School Bill Nye on Hurricanes

Bill Nye is a science guy. But, as the trope went for an old commercial, he isn’t a scientist, he just plays one on T.V. From time to time, Nye’s limited understanding of science can get him into trouble. One of those times was last week Nye talked about how global warming affected hurricanes.

On Radio Andy, a Sirius XM show, Nye told Dan Rather, “It’s the strength [of hurricanes] that is almost certainly associated with global warming.”

“Global warming and climate change are the same thing,” Nye said. “As the world gets warmer and there is more heat energy in the atmosphere, you expect storms to get stronger. You also expect ocean currents to not flow the way they always have and that will make some places cooler and some places warmer.”

“The more heat energy in the atmosphere strengthens the storms, Dan, that’s what you’d expect,” the science guy concluded.

Ryan Maue, a meteorologist whose Twitter bio also identifies him as a “think tanker” for the Cato Institute, took to Twitter to point out what should be obvious to a climate scientist, the fact that hurricanes draw their strength from the ocean not the atmosphere. “Bill Nye confuses the oceans with the atmosphere,” Maue tweeted, adding the hashtag, “#FakeScience.”

As most weather-watchers know, the ocean feeds hurricanes. They draw strength from warm tropical ocean water and grow while at sea. Once a hurricane makes landfall, the storm begins to weaken and dissipate, no matter how warm the atmosphere is.

That begs the question of whether global warming caused warmer ocean waters to feed the current crop of killer storms. Cliff Mass, a climate scientist at the University of Washington, says “no” on his blog.

“Hurricane Harvey developed in an environment in which temperatures were near normal in the atmosphere and slightly above normal in the Gulf,” Mass wrote. “The clear implication: global warming could not have contributed very much to the storm.”

“OK, let me go out on a limb,” Mass continues. “Let us assume that all of the .5 C warming of the Gulf was due to human-caused global warming.  That NONE of it was natural.  And that the air was warmed by the same amount. Using the scaling described above implies an increase of 3.5% in the extreme precipitation of this storm.  So, for places that received 30 inches, perhaps 1 inch resulted from global warming. Not much.  Immaterial regarding impacts or anything else.”

“The bottom line in this analysis is that both observations of the past decades and models looking forward to the future do not suggest that one can explain the heavy rains of Harvey by global warming, and folks that are suggesting it are poorly informing the public and decision makers,” Mass concludes.

NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory agrees in a statement on its website. “It is premature to conclude that human activities–and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming–have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity,” the agency points out.

NOAA’s statement does include a qualifier that climate change may cause worse storms in the future.  “Anthropogenic warming by the end of the 21st century will likely cause tropical cyclones globally to be more intense on average (by 2 to 11% according to model projections for an IPCC A1B scenario),” the statement notes. “This change would imply an even larger percentage increase in the destructive potential per storm, assuming no reduction in storm size.”

Nye did make a second point that was more valid. “The problem in the Southeast United States and Mexico is that these hurricanes are very powerful,” the science guy said, “and, as I say all the time, they are very expensive. We are all going to pay for Harvey. We are all going to pay for Irma one way or the other.”

Mass agrees here, saying, “What the media SHOULD be discussing is the lack of resilience of our infrastructure to CURRENT extreme weather.   Houston has had multiple floods the past few years and poor planning is a major issue.  When you put massive amounts of concrete and buildings over an historical swamp, water problems will occur if drainage and water storage is not engineered from the start.”

Hurricane Harvey, a category three storm, was not the strongest hurricane on record. The biggest problem was the that storm stalled over Houston rather than moving through quickly. This caused Houston’s Depression-era drainage system to overload. The area’s rapid growth and lack of planning have contributed to the problem.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were very damaging, but there is no evidence that they were the result of climate change. In fact, the storms were weaker and less damaging that the category four hurricane that killed 12,000 people in Galveston, Texas. If you don’t remember that one, it is because it happened in 1900, long before the advent of global warming.

Amelia Earhart Photo Debunked, But History Channel May Have Debunked Global Warming Concern

The History Channel special on Amelia Earhart this week fell flat with respect to finding the fate of the famed aviatrix, but, in addition to discrediting The History Channel, the special may have also helped debunk a major concern of climate change alarmists. The evidence for the survival of Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan was largely based on photograph. Ironically, it is a History Channel photograph that, if accurate, causes problems for the climate change crowd.

The “lost evidence” for Earhart’s survival consisted of a photograph that showed people who resembled Earhart and Noonan on a dock on Jaluit Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The History Channel’s assumption, based on the resemblance of the people in the photo to Noonan and Earhart, was that the pair had survived their last flight and were taken prisoner by the Japanese and later executed.

In a post on July 9, Japanese military history blogger Kota Yamano challenged the History Channel claim. Yamano said that an internet search for the picture revealed that it was taken too early to be Earhart and Noonan. The picture was originally published in a travelogue, “The Ocean’s ‘Lifeline’: The Condition of Our South Seas,” in 1935, two years before the disappearance of Earhart and Noonan.

“The photo was the 10th item that came up,” Yamano said in an interview with The Guardian. “I was really happy when I saw it. I find it strange that the documentary makers didn’t confirm the date of the photograph or the publication in which it originally appeared. That’s the first thing they should have done.”

There were other problems with The History Channel theory as well. The Daily Beast points out that when Charles Lindbergh made an emergency landing in Japan in 1931, he was given a hero’s welcome. The Daily Beast also cites a Japanese book from 1982 that detailed the story of a crewman on the Japanese navy ship in the picture. According to the testimony of Japanese veterans, the Japanese navy was instructed to join the search and rescue effort for Earhart. The ship’s log contains no mention of Earhart or Noonan.

Earhart and Noonan disappeared on July 2, 1937. At that time, relations between the US and Japan were still good. The attack on Pearl Harbor was four years away. Even though fighting in the Pacific predated America’s entry into World War II, the region was still largely peaceful at the time. Japan’s war with China began five days after Earhart’s disappearance with a battle between Japanese and Chinese forces at Marco Polo bridge in Beijing. At the time, Earhart disappeared, the Japanese had not motive to keep her rescue a secret.

The theory that Earhart went off course on her way to Howland Island and wound up crash landing in the Marshall Islands also strained credulity. The Marshall Islands are 1,000 miles away from Earhart’s intended target. To end up there, Earhart and Noonan would have had to fly to the vicinity of Howland Island, realize that they were lost, and then, low on fuel and disoriented in bad weather, fly past numerous other islands for another thousand miles.

On the other hand, Steve Milloy of Junk Science claims that a graphic used in The History Channel’s documentary undermines the argument for rising sea levels due to climate change. The graphic shows Mili Atoll, an island in the Marshall Islands, with markings that say “area between blue lines was shore in 1937.” The blue lines on the photo show a forested area in 2017. If the History Channel photo is accurate, Mili Atoll has grown since 1937 instead of getting smaller due to rising seas.

The History Channel documentary does point out that coral islands can change shape over time. A 2015 report by New Scientist found that, even if sea levels rise, many islands are rising faster.

If the History Channel expose’ was truly a bust on the scale of Geraldo’s unveiling of Al Capone’s vault, what really happened to Earhart and Noonan? Sometimes the simplest and most obvious explanation is also the correct one. The pair were using primitive navigation methods to Howland Island, a small, isolated speck of land. The Pacific is a very big ocean and Earhart and Noonan are most likely at the bottom of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want To Fix The Environment? Less Marching, More Working

A few weeks ago, my wife and I happened to be in downtown Denver the same day as the “March For Science.”   It was an odd thing to observe.   It was strikingly unsacrificial.  If you’re familiar with Denver, its not exactly a herculean effort to draw young, wealthy liberals downtown on a Saturday.  Sure, they had repurposed their knitted hats from the Women’s march into “brain” hats, and had to defer their venture to the bookstore until after the rally, but it was a notably ordinary activity for most.   The tone of helplessness and passivity was disheartening. (yes, passivity, – I’m reading Ben Sasse’s book, and that word is sticking with me.)  Here were a bunch of ostensibly smart professionals, working in the sciences, helplessly demanding that the government force them to do something about the climate.

In the wake of the withdrawal from the Paris accords (don’t you dare call it a treaty, because that would require an actual vote.), we are seeing more of this angry passivity from those who are passionate about the issue.

If the issue is real, and serious, why aren’t these people, you know, working on it?    If we need to power our lives in a way that emits less carbon dioxide, then that sounds like a science problem, not a political one.  Large corporations like Apple and Google, with billions in research and development capital, are lamenting the American departure from the agreement.   Wouldn’t it be better to work on the solution, and possibly profit from it, than complain about a government policy for 4-8 years?

Many alarmist climate predictions have been wildly off base, but there were predictions in the 20th century that might have been right, if not for one man, Norman Borlaug.   The scientific community saw rising populations, and our limited food production capacity as a recipe for disaster.  There simply wasn’t enough food, or  even the key ingredients to produce it (nitrogen) to feed a growing world population.     The political solutions were draconian.  China’s “one child” policy is an outgrowth of this Malthusian fear.   But the real solution didn’t involve politics, it was agronomy.

Instead of marching for population control measures, or policies limiting food consumption, Borlaug took his Iowa farm background, Christian faith, and his Ph.D. in plant pathology and genetics, and went to work.  Borlaug worked in Mexico, and later in India, pioneering new breeding techniques, and developing genetic traits in wheat that led to higher yields, better disease resistance, and ultimately, a 600% increase in wheat yields.    This is what we love about science!  The ability for humans to use their God given intellect to make things better.

This is why the protest culture surrounding climate science is so frustrating.   There are limitless opportunities to develop technologies to make energy cheaper, cleaner, and more accessible.     Instead of standing in a wheat field in Mexico (metaphorically) to develop a solution, we are culturally stuck, waiting for politicians to fix the problem for us, or more accurately, we are asking them to force us to fix the problem.  The political solutions will be economic and humanitarian disasters, especially for the third world, where they desperately need more, not less, energy.   The Borlaug-ian solutions are out there, if we would stop marching, and start working.

A Few Logical Questions About Climate Change

In the wake of President Trump’s long awaited decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate nontreaty (at least according to the Obama Administration), the liberal left has broken out into hysteria on the assumption that the slowdown in the rise of the sea levels that was brought about by the election of Barack Obama has been reversed by President Trump. Reports of the Earth’s demise due to the US exit from the “executive agreement” are likely to be greatly exaggerated.

The full text of the president’s speech seems to indicate that he is not opposed to a climate treaty in principle, but is chiefly opposed to the cost in American jobs and productivity through the agreement’s call for strict regulations on the United States, but more permissive approach to other countries.

In fact, Mr. Trump called upon climate activists to negotiate a new deal that he would be willing to sign and presumably submit to the Republican-controlled Senate for formal ratification. “I’m willing to immediately work with Democratic leaders to either negotiate our way back into Paris, under the terms that are fair to the United States and its workers, or to negotiate a new deal that protects our country and its taxpayers,” Trump said.

If President Trump is truly skeptical of the danger of climate change, then it seems unlikely that any deal that he could negotiate would be fair to the United States and its taxpayers. If climate change is a hoax, as the president has been known to charge, then any deal would not be beneficial to the American workers that President Trump represents. As a service to the president, I would like to present a logical framework for determining whether a future deal would be fair to the United States… or is necessary at all.

Is climate change real? The first point to consider is whether climate change is actually happening. I will concede that it is. In fact, as the NASA website notes, “Earth’s climate is always changing. There have been times when Earth’s climate has been warmer than it is now. There have been times when it has been cooler. These times can last thousands or millions of years.”

Is the world climate actually warming? This is a more difficult question to answer. There is debate on whether warming is still occurring. In November 2016, Dr. David Whitehouse wrote on the Global Warming Policy Forum, “Satellite data indicates a large fall in the temperature of the lower Troposphere back to pre-El Nino levels. This decrease has reinstated the so-called ‘pause’ in lower atmosphere temperature.”

If the assumptions that the world is still warming are wrong, it would help to explain why predictions by the global warming alarmists have been so far off the mark. Reason pointed out last year that James Hansen predicted in 1986 that global temperatures would rise by two degrees in 20 years. The actual increase in that time was 0.2 degrees. Hansen’s predictions were off by a factor of 10.

In 1988, Hansen forecast that global temperatures would rise by 3 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit from the year 2025 to 2050 causing sea levels to rise by one to four feet. By 2007, the estimates had been reduced to “8 to 16 inches above 1990 levels by 2090.” Most of the long-term predictions about warming seem to have fallen short.

Is warming caused by human activity? It seems likely that at least some warming is the result of human activity, but warming that occurred prior to the industrialization of the late 20th century cannot be legitimately blamed on human production of carbon dioxide since humans were not big emitters of CO2 in the early 1900s. Patrick Michaels, a climate scientist at the Cato Institute, estimates that about half of the 0.9 degrees in warming since the Industrial Revolution can be attributed to humans.

Is warming a bad thing? If the Earth warms, some parts of the globe will suffer, but other parts will benefit. A warmer Earth could mean longer growing seasons, lower energy costs and fewer cold-related deaths for much of the world. Loss of land from rising sea levels may well be offset by bountiful crops from areas where agriculture is not currently efficient.

A common claim is that climate change causes more severe weather and worse storms than in the past. However, data from Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, do not support claims that climate change has led to more losses from severe weather. The trend has been mostly flat for the past 25 years even as warming supposedly reached critical levels.

Can we stop warming if it is catastrophic? It is an unknown whether global warming can be stopped, but it is generally acknowledged even among environmentalists that the Paris agreement would not do it. Bjorn Lomborg estimates that the Paris promises would reduce warming by only 0.05 degrees Celsius over doing nothing. This is a miniscule gain at an enormous price.

Even if we can stop climate change, there are other indirect costs to be considered. Third world nations that are in the process of industrializing may pay the biggest price. Citizens of these nations may lose the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty because fears of climate change stop development and economic growth. Given that many of the dire forecasts of the alarmists have not come to pass, the cure for climate change may be as bad as the disease.

A better solution is to allow businesses to adapt to the changing climate. Technological innovation is reducing emissions as well as helping people to become more prosperous. Oil companies are now predicting that world consumption of oil will peak and begin to decline in the next few decades even without a top-down mandate from the United Nations. If we want to enter into a treaty to protect the

If we want to enter into a treaty to protect the climate, then negotiate one that will actually acomplish its goal. And actually send it to the Senate for ratification.

President Trump can take comfort from history as well. When President Bush decided to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol in 2001. The left predicted disaster then as well. Fifteen years later, however, we are still waiting on the apocalypse.

Drag Queen Jesus

President Trump intends to remove the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. It is a voluntary agreement to which every nation save Syria and Nicaragua signed and 100% of the nations who signed it have done nothing to actually advance the accord’s goals. Like much of the left these days, the act of signing was the salvific act — virtual signaling that one believes climate change is real. Actually doing anything under the agreement was unnecessary. President Trump, withdrawing the United States from the agreement, shows what an utterly wasted exercise it was. The anger about President Trump’s withdrawal has nothing to do with what the United States may or may not do and everything to do with it exposing how utterly useless the agreement actually is.

We will, very shortly, see social justice warriors masquerading as ministers trot out their Jesus to claim the President is somehow engaged in an affront to Christianity by withdrawing from the accord. The signatures on the draft letter are already making the rounds.

But the signatories are not truly worshiping the real Jesus, but a drag queen Jesus called Gaia. Gaia is not real, but is an object of religious devotion for much of the left. Worship of creation instead of worshipping the Creator has allowed members of the religious left to embrace child sacrifice. After all, more people means more breathers and more breathers means more carbon output and resource consumption. It has also allowed liberal Christianity to ignore the plight of the poor.

They are perfectly happy driving up the cost of living for poor Americans and putting people out of work in the poorest regions of the country because their unemployment is penance for extracting coal from their drag queen Jesus.

The theological left and secular left, more and more the same these days, will harm the poor, run down the economy, and claim salvation by the misery they inflict on all of us. They see symbolic agreements as modern religious creeds and ignore saving the soul in favor of saving the soil.

They would return us all to the time when we were last dependent on solar power and wind power, which our history books call the Dark Ages.

President Trump did the right thing by withdrawing from a meaningless, voluntary agreement that amounts to nothing more than virtue signaling. The theological liberals who will now condemn him and play to the press may be heralded as heroes now, but will be separated out with the goats on the last day. Salvation comes from Christ alone, not from signing silly documents and worshipping effeminate man created Jesus’s called Gaia.

President Trump Should Withdraw From the Paris Accord. Here’s Why.

I’m one of those conservatives who does think the climate is changing. I even think humanity plays a role. I just think that when we’re listening to scientists who change on a dime about whether eggs will kill you or salt will kill you or cheese will kill you, we should maintain a healthy skepticism when they claim to know for certain what the world will look like fifty to one hundred years from now.

Also, I really don’t care. The world has warmed and cooled through millions of years and would with or without us. We can adapt. We can also advance technologically. The scientists who once warned humanity was going to starve to death and people would resort to cannibalism now want us to know adaptation is impossible and we’re all going to die. Honestly, I might care more about this issue if the scientists most likely to raise the alarm did not have a history of both being wrong and failing to be humble as a result. It seems much of the climate change movement is less pro-earth than it is anti-people.

All that said, none of that has to do with why the President should withdraw from the Paris Accord. If you believe press reports, there is a fight going on in the White House between the left wing led by Team Kushner and the right wing led by Team Bannon. Team Bannon is right on this.

The media spin is that the rest of the world would be angry with us. Barack Obama got China to get on board and it would look bad if we withdrew. Unfortunately for those who hold to that argument, this is the nature of democracy. For President Trump to stay in the Accord despite his disagreement, he would be signaling that he can and will be bound by policies of prior Presidents who the voters have rejected and who he rejected. The nature of our republic is that a new President gets to move in different directions.

Second, to bind the United States to the Paris Accord would give the Accord the weight of a treaty though Barack Obama bypassed the constitutional process of treaty ratification. This is a dangerous precedent. Though executive agreements exist, those agreements cannot and should not bind future executives who want to go in different directions. Supporters of the Paris Accord are treating the Accord like it is a binding treaty though it has never been ratified by Congress.

Third, the President should abandon the Paris Accord to show he will not be bullied and intimidated. Several times now, from the budget to Obamacare, the left has amped up pressure on the President and he has caved. His second pick for Army Secretary withdraw because of objections to the gay rights movement. His budget extension funded Planned Parenthood because of feminist objections. Where will the President stand his ground if he caves on such a central promise as walking away from the Paris Accord?

Lastly, the President should reject the Paris Accord because as long as we are bound to it, future Presidents can wreak havoc on our economy. I trust that President Trump would not be aggressive in implementing policies related to the Paris Accord, but what about a President Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren? Barack Obama is now out saying we need to curtail meat consumption because of global warming. If the Paris Accord remains in place, God help us when a lefty nutter takes the White House, which is bound to happen eventually.

President Trump needs to burn it down and walk away. The voters rejected the Democrats and their policies. They embraced a man who promised to scrap a deal that will ruin our economy. He should keep that promise.

Bret Stephens Questions Certainty of Global Warming Predictions in NYT Column. The Left is Enraged!

New York Times conservative columnist, Bret Stephens, published a column last Friday, Climate of Complete Certainty, that explains how too much faith in predictive data models drives leftist climate change supporters to refuse any sort of reasonable debate about the future.

As Stephens explains, “We live in a world in which data convey authority. But authority has a way of descending to certitude, and certitude begets hubris.”

Or as Ben Shapiro pointed out on Monday:

Stephens’ language about certainty is actually designed to help climate change enthusiasts – if they keep making claims that keep being proved wrong, without any doubts baked into the cake, people will simply discount what they’re saying.

While Stephens has been already branded a “climate change denier” by leftists, he actually references the 2014 IPCC report to find common ground that the global climate is indeed warming, and that it has been caused by humans. (Which is a far cry from the stance of more staunch climate change skeptics.)

Beyond those two elements, however, Stephens diverges in regard to predictive data models, their reliability, and how we should throw caution to the wind for policy and regulatory changes that are too drastic.

Climate change activists look to squash any sort of debate about predictive models and instead claim the science is “settled” as they advocate for policy agendas with clear ideological intentions.

As Stephens states:

Demanding abrupt and expensive changes in public policy raises fair questions about ideological intentions. Censoriously asserting one’s moral superiority and treating skeptics as imbeciles and deplorables wins few converts.

Many leftists are completely enraged over it, and the NYT is dealing with a wave of criticism. Instead of taking the feedback, many are canceling their subscriptions to the NYT, even starting a trend on Twitter: #showyourcancellation.

This kind of overreaction is a precise example of Stephens’s main argument. One would think that a reasonable conversation on the issue could be started on a basis of: 1. Global warming is real, and 2. Humans are causing it. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case.

It’s all or nothing, by and large, for climate change activists, and if you’re not on board for the sweeping policy changes (both domestically and internationally), then you’re a wacky, greedy-capitalist, flat-Earth denier that is hell-bent on the destruction of the planet.

Heck, maybe the federal government should throw you in prison!

Stars Are Moving Away From The Beach Out Of Global Warming Fears

For the longest time Hollywood has been the bastion of meterologists and climate scientists. These distinguished members of he scientific community have often built palatial homes on the beach, but now as their fears of global warming continue to grow, they’re starting to put their money where their mouth is, not by donating to causes or helping develop green technology, but by moving away from the beach.

That’s right – the formerly gauche land side of the Pacific Coast Highway has become more attractive as the stars worry about rising sea levels.

“The whole ‘being on the beach’ thing has started to fade away in Malibu because of global warming and climate change,” said Anthony Paradise, an international agent for Sotheby’s, to the Hollywood Reporter. “Some people will buy on the land side because they’re fearful that ocean-side homes may disappear.”

Celebrities are also discovering that the once undesirable hills above Malibu offer more privacy, but their primary concern is disappearing beaches.

Most important, it features sweeping ocean views without the worries of dry sand slipping away. “From Lady Gaga’s house, you actually feel like you’re on the beach — you can even see people walking on the sand — but you’re not on the beach,” says [real estate executive Santiago] Arana, whose current Malibu Park listing offers a similar sense of beachfront living without the rising sea-level fears: The $13.95 million, ocean-view modern farmhouse sits on more than 4 acres. “It’s got acreage, a tennis court, barn and organic gardens. It’s also gated and extremely private.”

There’s no need to worry, however; even though the stars are giving up their beachside homes and heading for the hills, they’re not letting go of their limousines and private jets, so their anti-technology hypocrisy will remain on full display. After all, some things never change.