WSJ to Kerry: Flat Earthers were the “consensus” position

posted at 9:21 am on February 20, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Last week, John Kerry burned 12 tons of carbon to travel to Indonesia and declare global warming as the biggest WMD of all. In what has become the general model of climate-change alarmism, he told his audience that Jakarta would soon be half-submerged thanks to the rising of the oceans that the election of his boss supposedly stopped. The Chicken Little spectacle was so embarrassing that Newt Gingrich suggested that Kerry should retire out of embarrassment, if not national security. “A delusional secretary of state,” Gingrich tweeted, “is dangerous to our safety.”

In the same speech, Kerry referred to climate skeptics as “Flat Earth Society” holdouts. That caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal and two fellows of the American Meteorological Society, Professors of Atmospheric Science Richard McNider and John Christy. Dr. Christy served at one time on the IPCC, the UN body that pushes anthropogenic climate change as the bogeyman of our time, and shared in its Nobel Prize along with Al Gore. Christy and McNider, however, teach a history lesson to Kerry before addressing his shrieking hysteria on global warming. It was the Flat Earthers who clung to “consensus,” and the skeptics who turned out to be right:

In a Feb. 16 speech in Indonesia, Secretary of State John Kerry assailed climate-change skeptics as members of the “Flat Earth Society” for doubting the reality of catastrophic climate change. He said, “We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists” and “extreme ideologues to compete with scientific facts.”

But who are the Flat Earthers, and who is ignoring the scientific facts? In ancient times, the notion of a flat Earth was the scientific consensus, and it was only a minority who dared question this belief. We are among today’s scientists who are skeptical about the so-called consensus on climate change. Does that make us modern-day Flat Earthers, as Mr. Kerry suggests, or are we among those who defy the prevailing wisdom to declare that the world is round?

McNider and Christy agree with AGW hysterics on two core points: carbon is a greenhouse gas, and we’re producing more of it. Other than that, though, they’re sticking with science rather than “consensus,” and the truth of the science is that the AGW hypothesis has long since failed. While the Earth has warmed slightly over the last 35 years, the AGW models predicted a vastly-increasing spike in temperatures that should have started more than a decade ago. Instead, as this chart supplied by the two meteological professors shows, no evidence exists to support those models:

wsj-temps-lg2

We might forgive these modelers if their forecasts had not been so consistently and spectacularly wrong. From the beginning of climate modeling in the 1980s, these forecasts have, on average, always overstated the degree to which the Earth is warming compared with what we see in the real climate.

For instance, in 1994 we published an article in the journal Nature showing that the actual global temperature trend was “one-quarter of the magnitude of climate model results.” As the nearby graph shows, the disparity between the predicted temperature increases and real-world evidence has only grown in the past 20 years. …

The climate-change-consensus community points to such indirect evidence of warming as glaciers melting, coral being bleached, more droughts and stronger storms. Yet observations show that the warming of the deep atmosphere (the fundamental sign of carbon-dioxide-caused climate change, which is supposedly behind these natural phenomena) is not occurring at an alarming rate: Instruments aboard NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association satellites put the Mid-Tropospheric warming rate since late 1978 at about 0.7 degrees Celsius, or 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit, per 100 years. For the same period, the models on average give 2.1 degrees Celsius, or 3.8 degrees Fahrenheit, per 100 years (see graph).

The two note that the willful ignorance of actual science has real-world consequences:

“Consensus” science that ignores reality can have tragic consequences if cures are ignored or promising research is abandoned. The climate-change consensus is not endangering lives, but the way it imperils economic growth and warps government policy making has made the future considerably bleaker. The recent Obama administration announcement that it would not provide aid for fossil-fuel energy in developing countries, thereby consigning millions of people to energy poverty, is all too reminiscent of the Sick and Health Board denying fresh fruit to dying British sailors.

Instead, we have an administration which apparently believes that science consists of badgering doubters into silence, and amplifying the shrieking in direct proportion to the failure rate of models such as those above. Perhaps we should pay more attention to the doubters than to politicians blowing twelve tons of carbon for scaremongering developing nations into consigning themselves to poverty.


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A (Not Quite) Complete List Of Things Supposedly
Caused By Global Warming
….. davidk on February 20, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Looks like that site just stole the warmlist whole cloth and without attribution, which is a shame. The warmlist has been around for many years (and is still expanding – in fact you can submit any you run across that they don’t already have, and they’ll check it out and add it if it’s a good source). It’s a great list to post, but I’d suggest going with the source:

http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

Rational Db8 on February 20, 2014 at 7:14 PM

Well, I knew the list had to be quite extensive, and I’m sure there were a number of items that had to be left off because of space and time constraints, and even more items as yet undiscovered and publicized.

Depressing to think of so many implications of humans’ contributions to GW and other environmental issues.

There should be fewer of us , and give the Left its way there will be. With exceptions of course.

hawkeye54 on February 20, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Apparently you missed the fact that many of the items on that list are directly contradictory, and both cannot be true, and others are so absurdly specious that it’s ludicrous. In other words, the list doesn’t present depressing implications of humans effects on the environment, but a depression list of the sheer idiocy surrounding the entire anthropogenic global warming bullmalarkey.

Rational Db8 on February 20, 2014 at 7:19 PM

When government pays for science, scientists get in bed with government and give it what it wants.

AGW alarmism is a cult. Plain and simple. It has all the hallmarks of one.

xNavigator on February 20, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Sheldon, is that you?

davidk on February 20, 2014 at 8:17 PM

It is correct that water boils at 100 at 1 pressure, but it is not absolutely correct because water can also boil at 99 if it has minerals dissolved in it, as almost all water on earth does.

The earth orbits around the sun is correct, but incomplete and thus not absolutely correct.

Norhing is settled science, scientific inquiry is never settled, but the common descent of species through evolutionary change is the only scientific theory that explains the massive amounts of evidence.

Mordaukar on February 20, 2014 at 8:22 PM

It is correct that water boils at 100 at 1 pressure, but it is not absolutely correct because water can also boil at 99 if it has minerals dissolved in it, as almost all water on earth does.

The earth orbits around the sun is correct, but incomplete and thus not absolutely correct.

Norhing is settled science, scientific inquiry is never settled, but the common descent of species through evolutionary change is the only scientific theory that explains the massive amounts of evidence.

Mordaukar on February 20, 2014 at 8:22 PM

You are equivocating.

davidk on February 20, 2014 at 9:00 PM

Science is equivical, based upon measures that are never absolutely exact, and with theories accepted provisionally. Sorry if you are unable to understand that.

Mordaukar on February 20, 2014 at 9:44 PM

Much the same way back in the 80′s whatever was commonly used for auto air conditioning refrigerant was banned as it was blamed for depleting ozone and the approved replacement was one manufactured by a well connected political cronie that had a substantial interest in having the original refrigerant banned IIRC.

hawkeye54 on February 20, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Actually, Dupont owned the patent on the old refrigerant and it was about to run out. Dupont also owned the patent for the new refrigerant and was able to get it approved as the only replacement for the old.

But, you’re exactly right. Dupont had a very substantial interest in getting gov’t to outlaw the old and replacing it on the market with their new product. The old refrigerant was just as ozone friendly as the new.

UnstChem on February 20, 2014 at 9:58 PM

Science is equivical, based upon measures that are never absolutely exact, and with theories accepted provisionally. Sorry if you are unable to understand that.

Mordaukar on February 20, 2014 at 9:44 PM

Water, under one atmosphere, will boil at 100° C. That is two molecules of hydrogen and one molecule of oxygen.

If you add something to the mix and then try to say it is the same thing, you are equivocating.

If you use equivocation to prove an (rather tenuous) assertion, you are being, to be kind, disingenuous.

“Sorry if you are unable to understand that.”

davidk on February 20, 2014 at 11:31 PM

Water exposed to air has dissolved gasses in it. Exposed to solids it has dissolved minerals in it. Can you heat it uniformly to exactly 100 C or is the part near the heat source always going to be hotter than the part away from it? How pure is the water? 99.999999999% ? Is it exactly one atmosphere or is it 1.00001 atmosphere?

The real world is not the perfect experiment where water is 100% pure heats evenly to exactly 100 C and it is exactly 1 atmosphere.

Sorry that your having difficulty understanding this simple concept. Maybe that is why you prefer magical miraculous explanations for physical phenomena instead of science.

Mordaukar on February 21, 2014 at 12:50 AM

Here’s an interesting little historical tidbit for you. There was never, ever, in Western Civilization, a period of widespread belief in a flat earth. The myth that their ever was such a time only began in the 19th century. It spread as a way for snooty right thinking people to mock those stupid Christians (falsely, see “The Myth of the Flat Earth”. Here is one link among many).

Here’s a little thought experiment for you: If left to their own devices, whom of the following is more likely to figure out the actual workings of the physical world?

An uneducated yet practical medieval sailor whose life and livelihood depends on correctly interpreting geography?

or…..

a modern jet-setting dilettante of no discernible abilities, whose life and livelihood depends on marrying a rich widow?

damage done on February 21, 2014 at 1:15 AM

Up with Mark Stein.

Down with Michael Mann!!

Sherman1864 on February 21, 2014 at 6:38 AM

So, what do we call the “Flat Earth Deniers” (/sarc) like Kerry?

I’m for “Climate Change Deniers” since they seem to refuse to accept the fact that Climate Change is a reality based more on the activity of the sun or volcanic action than any other phenomena. With, of course, the occasional asteroid ;)

Maybe “Idiots” would be more appropriate.

There is no such thing as “settled science.” Period.

Just like there is not such thing as a law that can’t be changed.

Next Constitution*, all laws will have sunset provisions. That way, Congress would be kept busy refining existing ones instead of coming up with new ones most of the time.

* among other changes.

ProfShadow on February 21, 2014 at 6:52 AM

Score one for Richard McNider And John Christy

Good work

To think it appeared in the pancaked WSJ

entagor on February 21, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Maybe that is why you prefer magical miraculous explanations for physical phenomena instead of science.

Mordaukar on February 21, 2014 at 12:50 AM

What physical phenomenon have I contributed to magic?

davidk on February 21, 2014 at 12:12 PM

contributed s/b attributed

davidk on February 21, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Water exposed to air has dissolved gasses in it. Exposed to solids it has dissolved minerals in it. Can you heat it uniformly to exactly 100 C or is the part near the heat source always going to be hotter than the part away from it? How pure is the water? 99.999999999% ? Is it exactly one atmosphere or is it 1.00001 atmosphere?

The real world is not the perfect experiment where water is 100% pure heats evenly to exactly 100 C and it is exactly 1 atmosphere.

Sorry that your having difficulty understanding this simple concept. Maybe that is why you prefer magical miraculous explanations for physical phenomena instead of science.

Mordaukar on February 21, 2014 at 12:50 AM

I can understand your reluctance to adhere to absolute standards.

But inherent in your equivocations is tacit agreement that water
boils at 100° at one atmosphere.

I have seen water boiled until it froze and water supercooled below 0° C.

But in the real world.

davidk on February 21, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Apparently you FAIL to understand that absolute standards do not exist in the real world of scientific experimentation.

You set up something that you want to claim as absolute truth when there is a NEED to equivocate about the conditions of the experiment to make it an accurate and useful model of reality.

You think of water as JUST two hydrogen and one oxygen – as if water anywhere is absolutely 100% pure (it isn’t). Moreover water spontaneously breaks apart into H+ and OH-. Water under one atmosphere of pressure (or as close to 1.0000 as it is possible to get) with “normal” earth air (which changes) will have dissolved gasses within it. Water heats unevenly – it is impossible to have it heat absolutely uniformly.

But this is why science and scientific models are useful in explaining and predicting reality – while creationism has no such utility and is absolutely useless for any practical real world application.

Mordaukar on February 21, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Models are useless if insufficient information exits to build them properly.

blink on February 21, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Absolutely. They are also useless if they are unable to explain or predict observations with any degree of accuracy.

Look at the chart of the predictions -vs- the obserations : obviously the climate models are WAY OFF as far as any ability to predict future observations.

Moreover the theories of climate change are so far insufficient to explain why the Earth went into and then came out of the most recent ice age.

So while science and scientific models, to be of use, need sufficient information to build the models (as you pointed out), they also need to explain past observations and be able to predict future observations.

So far it looks like the climate guys are scoring ZERO for Three; no wonder they need to “hide the decline”.

Mordaukar on February 21, 2014 at 2:42 PM

You think you would just let people dance to their DNA or something…

Murphy9 on February 21, 2014 at 5:15 PM

It is correct that water boils at 100 at 1 pressure, but it is not absolutely correct because water can also boil at 99 if it has minerals dissolved in it, as almost all water on earth does.
Mordaukar on February 20, 2014 at 8:22 PM

No, it doesn’t.
Pure water boils at 100C, under 1 atm (760 mmHg)of pressure.
Add dissolved solits to it, and it increases the boiling point. This also decreases the freezing point, below 0C (also at 1 atm. pressure).

If you’re going to talk Science, your vocabulary must be facts.

ReggieA on February 21, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Those who buy into the “climate change” nonsense also believe that “Star Trek” is a documentary.

lonestarleeroy on February 21, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Global warming / climate change deniers don’t get government grants. Those who promote the whole climate change agenda get the big bucks.

$$$ is a great way to build consensus in the ‘scientific community’ as well as any other community. Don’t give any scientist too much credit or trust, because at the end of the day, every one of them is a human being.

‘Crony consensus’ science is what we are getting these days, and it is working out predictably as well as crony capitalism is working out.

s1im on February 21, 2014 at 9:28 PM

SOS, Mr. Kerry lags sooooo far behind the realities of the World that he needs to Katsup (57 Variety).

SOS Kerry must have reintroduced the “Flat Earth” crowd so that it would fit nicely in his flat head.

So it should be safe to say, SOS Kerry and his ilk are the “Knucklehead’s” FLOTUS is so enamored with today?

MSGTAS on February 23, 2014 at 12:12 PM

The lefties want this global warming like a druggie needs a fix because there will be thousands of jobs just like the EPA if it ever gets a law past to mandate what ever. The EPA is drunk with power and makes a fool of itself now and then but still holds the reins to the horses.

mixplix on February 23, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Add to those facts the fact that so many of the proponents of “Global Warming” are benefiting from governmental funding of studies or from ownership of companies depending on those expenditures, and there is every reason to question not only the argument, but the honesty of those supporters.

TKPedersen42 on February 20, 2014 at 7:05 PM

While you are looking for conspiracies, why are you completely ignoring the huge multinational corporations that benefit from AGW “skepticism”?

Until the time comes that I am an expert in climate change science, I will provisionally accept the current scientific consensus. That doesn’t mean I have to support politician’s proposed solutions to the problem.

yelnats on February 24, 2014 at 12:20 AM

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