Energy & Environment

The yin and yang of climate change

The yin and yang of climate change

Hysterical burn-the-heretics rhetoric from the Church of Global Warming has been escalating over the past couple of years, even as it becomes difficult to deny that global warming isn’t happening.  The climate really isn’t changing that much.  This inconvenient fact was marginalized by describing it as a “pause” or “temporary lull” in global warming – which might have been a defensible position in the early days of the “pause,” but is a very tough sell when that “temporary lull” has been running for eighteen years.

None of the vaunted climate change models predicted the “pause,” but we’re still supposed to have absolute faith in the models and their masters.  At roughly the same time the Church of Global Warming went into hard-core witch-hunting mode, forming a chorus of enforced groupthink to shout down anyone who dared to challenge its hive-mind “consensus,” Church elders also began offering fanciful explanations for the “pause” they could no longer ignore.  Skeptical website Climate Depot has a collection of the top 38 excuses for the Great Global Warming Pause, many of which have been conclusively debunked.

The one most likely to sound familiar to casual consumers of climate science news, the theory that deep ocean water somehow “ate” all the global warming, has been debunked most thoroughly and repeatedly.  At best, a few variations on the “ocean heat sink” theory are clinging to life as dubious assertions that cannot be either proven or completely ruled out.  Some of the other excuses, such as solar activity variations and sheer mind-blowing coincidence, would debunk the incredibly powerful and expensive man-made global warming movement, if they proved true.  (If climate change is largely a result of solar energy variation, why have we been allowing Green radicals to siphon off billions of dollars and damage Western economies for the past three decades?  Would mankind be able to overwhelm the Sun’s effect on global climate even if we acted deliberately, in global concert?)

There’s always been a powerful ideological payload stuffed into the terms “global warming” and “climate change” (the latter coming into vogue when “warming” became too easy to disprove.)  Some scientists point to reams of accumulated data and note long-term changes in regional climate, but question whether human industrial activity has much to do with it.  Among other things, quite a few temperature extremes and periods of intense weather occurred after detailed records began to accumulate…  but before any “greenhouse gas” industries existed.  The Church of Global Warming – the politicized wing of the climate change movement – hasn’t got much to complain about if global weather patterns are shifting naturally over time, with very little real influence from humans.  That’s not the kind of climate change they’re talking about.

One gets the impression from this controversy that maybe elaborate computer models can’t predict climate change, because excuses for the “pause” often depend on significant new factors that weren’t envisioned by the modelers of previous decades.  This, once again, raises the question of why billions of dollars have been sacrificed to appease those computer models – the data gods that failed.  The Church of Global Warming remains powerful in the political and media realms – even if the entire scientific community threw in the towel on climate change today, it would take years for celebrity lightweights to stop pumping out movies, TV shows, and Internet campaigns indicting human industry for the homicide of the Earth’s environment.  Ambitious politicians don’t want the climate change movement to peter out, because it’s so incredibly useful for leveraging huge amounts of power and money from frightened citizens.  A great deal of effort has been put into infusing the minds of children with climate-change mythology; an entire generation remains conditioned to accept a reduced standard of living in the name of fighting a menace that might not exist.  The data gods might have failed, but their temples still stand, and their high priests still command obedience.

Meteorologist and global-warming skeptic Joe Bastardi has a fairly straightforward theory that models natural climate change in a way that tracks neatly with the accumulated data.  It’s much easier to follow than most such discussions, making it well worth a read for anyone interested in the subject.  In essence, Bastardi describes what might be envisioned as a “yin-and-yang” effect, a swirl of activity caused by the major global temperature systems – the oceans, wind currents, the polar ice caps – returning to equilibrium after going out of sequence with each other, something that happens periodically over the course of centuries, without any human involvement:

Given the way we measure temperature, and the fact most of the warming has been in the Arctic in its cold season when there is little overall effect on the water vapor at such cold temperatures, it is highly likely that the subtle compensating cooling in the south over a much more moisture-laden atmosphere means there is no change in the true global temperature. What is happening now is that the atmosphere has adapted to the added warmth in the same way your shower room adapts to the turning on of a hot shower. So what happens when you turn off the shower (i.e. oceans flip their cycles)? It cools.

We are now in the period of “temperature leveling off”, where the atmosphere is readjusting from the previous increase in heat and moisture from the warmer cycles.

He cites all the data that has proven so inconvenient for the Church of Global Warming, so inconsistent with the hypothesis of human activity knocking global temperatures out of whack… but quite agreeable to the model of a complex planetary system that occasionally grows disjointed, perhaps from factors such as solar activities, but fixes itself over the course of decades.  It’s not global warming or cooling, but a “distortion” that produces hot and cold fluctuations in different regions until the system stabilizes.  A spurt of warmer temperatures in the 80s and 90s coincided with the growth of a political movement determined to use climate science as a club for beating unruly industrial democracies into submission; what we’re seeing today is not merely a “pause” in warming, but a transition to cooling that will return the overall global situation to its historic norms.

As Bastardi observes, he’s got a theoretical model sturdier than anything the Church of Global Warming has been able to produce, after spending $165 billion of other people’s money.  Instead of howling that everyone who questions its officially-sanctioned dogmas is the equivalent of a Holocaust denier, maybe politicized climate scientists should be firmly shoved away from our national treasuries and told to sit quietly while another decade or two of data roll in.  They’ve been wrong about everything so far, while Bastardi, who has been working on his theory and using it as the basis of long-term predictions since 2007, has been right.  I’m old enough to remember when being right or wrong had a lot to do with the respect accorded to scientific theories, no matter how politically useful they were.


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