Another warming contrarian who can’t/won’t shoot straight


Joanne Nova is, I gather, a former television personality in Australia now blogging away against science and the study of climate change at JoNova.  Here’s how far off the track she is:  She’s been sucked in by Monckton,  as some great scientist and hero — he whose biggest achievements are to call scientists “bedwetters” and attack the reputations of famous dead women (what is it about Monckton and dead women?).

Her latest post is a hoot. She’s claiming that the case for global warming is coming apart.  She illustrates it with this PhotoShop™ masterpiece (note the “JoNova” in the lower lefthand corner, and note it well):

JoNova's PhotoShop of Glen Canyon Dam for an article on wildly inaccurate claims about climate change; original photo copyright by Wild Nature Images.

JoNova defaces photo of Glen Canyon Dam. Original photo copyright by Wild Nature Images.

Glen Canyon Dam poses problems for serious advocates of environnmental protection for many reasons, not the least being the death of Glen Canyon.  This dam represents one of the greatest losses of the environmental movement.  That’s not why Nova chose the photos, I’m sure — I’d be surprised if she could find Glen Canyon on a map, and I’m all but certain she’s clueless about the controversy about the dam (don’t even wonder whether she’s ever read Ed Abbey).

Regardless where one stands on the issues around Glen Canyon Dam, one cannot look at this photo without seeing the white stripe from the water behind the dam, running about 50 feet up the canyon walls.

Check out the original, copyrighted photo here, at WildNatureImages.com (and maybe buy a copy — it’s a great photo of the dam, Lake Powell and the area; no bluer sky anywhere).  I presume that, even with the huge “JoNova” on it, Nova will allow free duplication of her original work; but why didn’t she credit the guy who took the photo (Ron Niebrugge) and the people who put it on the internet for her (WildNatureImages.com)?  Update:  Nova is giving credit, now.

The original, without comment, is at once more beautiful, more awe-striking, and more accurate a portrayal of the effects of climate than Nova’s doctored version:

Glen Canyon Dam - photo by Ron Niebrugge, at WildNatureImages.com

Glen Canyon Dam, photo by Ron Niebrugge, at WildNatureImages.com. Displayed here with express written permission.

See, climate change is thought to be one of the culprits for that white line. Glen Canyon Dam is in straits right now, as is the Colorado River Compact that created the legal justification for constructing the dam, because precipitation in the mountains where the Colorado River is born has fallen dramatically in the past couple of decades — and Lake Powell has shrunk to a vestige of its former self, of its planned extent, of the extent hoped for in cooler times.

Lake Powell's drop, circa 2008, photo by Marco Ammannati via National Parks Traveler

Lake Powell's drop, circa 2008, photo by Marco Ammannati via National Parks Traveler. Caption from National Parks Traveler: "At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, years of drought, possibly an indicator of climate change, have revealed Lake Powell's bathtub walls. Spring runoff, however, could soon make those bathtub walls vanish."

JoNova uses a photograph showing the harms of climate change, to claim that climate change does not occur.

Is this the stupidest anti-climate change statement ever made?

Offer your candidates for dumber or stupider claims below.  It’s time we started counting and cataloging.

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25 Responses to Another warming contrarian who can’t/won’t shoot straight

  1. […] Another warming contrarian who won’t shoot straight (Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub) […]

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  2. [...] Goddard isn’t the first denier to stumble down this path — but can’t they learn from the stumblings of others?  Remember Australia’s “Jo Nova,” who used a photograph of drought-stricken Glen Can… [...]

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  3. Ed Darrell says:

    This is a nagging issue that may be better left dead, but it still ticks me off.

    Baa Humbug said in this thread earlier:

    I commented about the drought at novas site comment #75 Your reply there would be welcome.

    Now he’s going on about having posted some peer review research that, he claims, I dodged. I said earlier that I didn’t know what response would be appropriate, and here’s why. This is post #75 that he refers to, in that thread:

    Baa Humbug:
    February 8th, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    So Gleibitz was formerly banned, so he shall be nick named DDT

    Ed repeats the alarmists mantra ad nauseum whilst waving the flag, just like a politician. mmmm politician, repeating like a parrot. So he shall be nick named Pollie

    Wanna hear a joke DDT? Pollie?

    Man takes a woman to his place for the first time.
    Wanting to impress her, he takes her over to his parrot and says…
    “Pollie want a cracker?”

    Parrot replies…

    “Crack her yourself, you brought her here”

    This is what passes as research at Nova’s blog?

    Humbug probably just got his numbers crossed, but he refuses to restate what peer review research he claimed to have had that he claims I didn’t respond to. His post #75 didn’t make any mention of anything worth commenting on.

    The heathen are still raging at Nova’s blog. It’s more addictive than watching a series of train wrecks.

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  4. Ed Darrell says:

    I note, with some disappointment, that Roy Hogue has not posted what he claims I evaded at Nova’s blog. He probably fears I’ll answer what is answerable, and that everyone else will see through his claims.

    And who is “Eddy Aruda?” Even my proctologist couldn’t identify him, he’s that rare in that genus.

    Like

  5. Ed Darrell says:

    We’ve been without power for two days now, and I apologize for any delays — but you have no room to grouse.

    Lou, if you scan back through my correspondence there you’ll find Jo Nova’s warning to me that I would not be allowed to post unless I cast an oath against science and in favor of denialism, claiming that there is no connection between human activities and warming. When I pointed out that she had accused me of something not what I had done, she relented a bit. Not much.

    I know well how moderation works. I’ve got mine set at more than two links before a post heads there, and I check often to make sure posts don’t get hung up. When I last checked, I had three posts still in moderation at Nova’s site, after more than 48 hours. Other posts with many links had been passed through, showing that moderation was not completely ignored. Ten hours of sleep and work between when you posted and when I got it out of moderation, unedited, with no threats that you need to declare yourself insane or disavow all knowledge of the internet.

    What would a reasonable person conclude?

    I’ll post here. Facts don’t get much respect at Nova’s site, in my experience. I’ll apologize if she ever relents on her anti-science policies and stops spreading false claims. Not much chance of that.

    Like

  6. Lou T. says:

    Ha, I was right, the comment with links says on your blog:

    Lou T. Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    February 16, 2010 at 1:18 am

    But this posted a couple minutes later appears OK.

    I think you owe the lady an apology!

    Lou

    Like

  7. Lou T. says:

    NOTE TO Mr Darrell -

    I think your criticism about imagined censorship at Jo Nova is off base.

    With all the links in you comment, it is no wonder.

    See this:

    http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/comments-in-spam-folder

    “They automatically go to Spam if they contain too many links; you can edit that on your Settings->Discussion page. ”

    You might want to learn how to predict what blogging software does before making bad comments about the lady. Teachers should lead by example.

    You might just ask her to check the spam box for your comment.

    To prove my point my next comment made will contain a bunch of links. Betcha you’ll have to pull it from the spam box.

    Like

  8. Ed Darrell says:

    Roy, how can I post anything with citations, if all posts go to moderation? JoNova is a typical denialist — all bluster, can’t really allow facts to come out.

    What do you claim I’ve left unanswered over there? I’ll answer it here where we can be sure it will be posted.

    Like

  9. Roy Hogue says:

    1) You have steadfastly failed to justify anything you posted on joannenova with anything but appeal to (proof by) authority, which not only does not constitute proof, it isn’t even evidence.

    2) You have evaded answering questions put to you about what you post or related subjects, preferring instead to distract and hope no one will notice your lack of an answer.

    If you would like to go over to joannenova and deny these two points, watch how many will call you on it.

    Oh, I forgot, you’re in moderation there for exactly these things (and others).

    Like

  10. John Mashey says:

    1) Well, actually, Jo Nova probably got to her position on climate by getting involved with her husband David Evans, or more on Evans, or at Deltoid, or more, and here was some of here earlier background. It would be interesting to know the funding for her brochures.

    2) CFACT: is a front group primarily funded by Richard Mellon Scaife’s foundations and ExxonMobil.

    Quoting from Plagiarism? Conspiracies? Felonies?, with the specific page numbers from the now-latest version V1.0.1:

    “CFACT+ – Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (O6b) $
    http://www.CFACT.org/
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Committee_for_a_Constructive_Tomorrow
    http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=25
    Hayden is on the Advisory Board with Baliunas and Michaels, (and Bruce Ames, also on GMI BoD and on SEPP Board of Scientific Advisors) and when living, Seitz.
    CFACT-Europe is described by a Dutch blogger:
    jules-klimaat.blogspot.com/2009/08/its-fact-CFACT.html
    CFACT sponsors Morano’s Climate Depot.
    CFACT’s Rothbard participated in the GCSCT1998 effort to defeat US ratification of Kyoto.”

    See p.63 for the funding matrix.

    Any person who claims to be a skeptic and quotes them as a credible source … isn’t. There is a specific anti-science reason that seems to pop up, for example, a subset of the folks who read Skeptical Inquirer, are proud of their skepticism .. that’s PSY4 on pages 12-13. Unfortunately, debunking UFOs and laughing at psychics are very different from attacking basic physics, so sometimes PSY5 (Dunning-Kruger) gets involved as well.

    Skeptical inquirer went through a kerfuffle a few years ago, when it published a straightforward description of global warming science, and got a firestorm of “cancel my subscription” letters, much to Editor Kendrick Frazier’s astonishment.

    A nontrivial number of people are proud of being skeptics in the classic scientific sense, but demonstrably are not so.

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  11. Ed Darrell says:

    Thanks for the links on Lake Powell, and to Smirking Chimp — everyone should go read that magazine article on the abuses of history by the Texas State Board of Education.

    OPIT, there’s a difference between denialism and the rational, reasoned sort of skepticism you offer. Nova probably got to a denial of human causation by first denying warming occurs, as most denialists did for years — then, when the evidence was just overwhelming even for denialists, they switch to a position that seems more defendable to them. A key way to distinguish: Most denialists think the fact that Hadley Climate Research Unit had e-mails stolen means that climate research is dodgey, though of course it has no such connection; you at least offer a reason and a link to contest, without calling scientists “bed-wetters.”

    Sure, contention is key in science. Contention with data makes science go. Contention without science is just pot-banging politics.

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  12. opit says:

    ‘Deniers’ don’t dispute climate change.Nowhere do I see any recognition of the idea that disputation is a normal and rational part of searching for truth…but rather you repeat cant and misrepresentation. Some policy for a supposed defender of scientific accuracy.
    CFACT
    Global Research.ca
    Both have different articles on variables not addressed in the simplistic model.
    http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.com/2010/02/climate-crisis-articles.html
    The lead is by the science writer who posted Ian Plimer’s YouTube videos to my attention…after I had already noted severe reservations about AWG vs. Climategate because of unrelated political posturings which included perversions of science fact.
    But I headed your way to share what I thought would give you a boot in your ongoing annoyance with idiocy.
    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/26756

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  13. comdenom says:

    What happens when moisture evaporates from the earth’s surface and bodies of water? It forms clouds and disperses the moisture somewhere else. This region is prone to drought and Lake Powell is a man-made reservoir that the area draws from as a water source. NASA claims the drought together with withdrawl from residents are responsible for the lower levels. Keep in mind there are always record highs and lows, whose to say the 1999 levels were not a record high? Here is a NASA link showing the climatic drought is cyclical, since 2006 the water level has been rising.

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  14. Ed Darrell says:

    Anton said:

    I notice she doesn’t stop you or attack you, nor does she come here to waste endless space calling you names.

    I don’t call her names, either. But she does what she can to block people with opposing views.

    For example, this post still hasn’t appeared there, as of 6:10 p.m. Central Standard Time:

    #66, posted at 3:43 p.m. Nova Time:

    Ed Darrell: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    February 13th, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I’ve noticed you fail to respond with evidence when asked. I am referring to your claim about the Sonoran desert stretching to the Midwest if temps rise 1.4 degrees. Again, the temp during the Holocene maximum was several degrees warmer than today yet the deserts didn’t expand. Can you cite any evidence to support your claim?

    Al Gore at least didn’t use a landscape damaged by global warming to claim global warming isn’t happening (nor the opposite, which would have been more appropriate in his case).

    It’s a SWAG figure, like most of those asserted here — but based loosely in actual research. You did notice, of course, that Ms. Nova cites no peer-review research in the lead post in this thread, nor even any authoritative sources. She assumes, as The Australian assumes, that if somebody steals your wallet, you have committed a crime. Having e-mails stolen is not a crime. (Is that really news to you?)

    I notice you didn’t offer any evidence that 1.4 degrees would NOT do serious damage. Got any?

    Do you know where wheat grows in the world? Do you know what temperatures it requires? Do you know what the average rainfall is in Kansas, and how it’s changing? Have you looked to see what increasing CO2 does to crops, and what it does in conjunction with warming?

    I notice no one in the contrarian camp likes to discuss the Dust Bowl, which was a much more modest increase in temperature coupled with droughts that have been coming with increasing frequency. I notice no one has ever contested that humans caused it, and that it can happen again.

    Nor do I expect you’ve got any answers now.

    I notice that when I do respond with significant documentation, no one ever contests it.

    Why don’t you notice some of those things?

    Take a look at these:
    “Global estimation of crop productivity and the effects of global warming by GIS and EPC integration,” Tan and Shibasaki, Ecological Modelling Volume 168, Issue 3, 15 October 2003, Pages 357-370 Landscape Theory and Landscape Modelling
    “Yield and partitioning in crops of contrasting cultivars of winter wheat in response to CO2 and temperature in field studies using temperature gradient tunnels,” G. R. BATTS, R. H. ELLIS, J. I. L. MORISON, P. N. NKEMKA, P. J. GREGORY and P. HADLEY, The Journal of Agricultural Science (1998), 130:17-27 Cambridge University Press
    “Climate Change Impacts on the Potential Productivity of Corn and Winter Wheat in Their Primary United States Growing Regions,” Robert A. Brown and Norman J. Rosenberg, Climatic Change Volume 41, Number 1 / January, 1999, pages 73-107
    “Global Warming Puts the Freeze on Seed Yield (to a degree)” USDA Research Service (ARS), November 1, 2002
    “Global Warming May Lower Grassland Quality,” USDA Research Service (ARS), May 30, 2007

    What’s up with that?

    And then she blocks this one?

    73
    Ed Darrell: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    February 13th, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Utah says no.

    That’s not exactly a good sign for your side.

    See this one.

    And see this.

    Don’t miss this dustup.

    Catch this assault on science.

    And this astounding idea (note that Dr. Sundwall held high positions in the Reagan and Bush I administrations — he is no liberal).

    So, Utah’s legislature, known as the home of crazies to all Americans, agrees with you?

    And you’re happy about that? You’re proud of the fact?

    Too many links, I’ll wager. Too much information — too much contrary information for y’all?

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  15. Ed Darrell says:

    I commented about the drought at novas site comment #75 Your reply there would be welcome

    I’m not sure what response would be appropriate. I’d prefer to discuss serious matters.

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  16. Ed Darrell says:

    Ed Darrel, you are an antediluvian fanatic.

    As are we all, since such a flood has not yet happened. That’s a discussion for a different time, though. I’m sure you didn’t mean to suggest that you don’t buy anything humans know of geology, either.

    If you so loath Jo Nova, who has been incredibly kind to you, why do you keep posting rants to her blog? I notice she doesn’t stop you or attack you, nor does she come here to waste endless space calling you names.

    I don’t know Joanne Nova; consequently, it would be impossible to loathe her. Nor have I said anything there, or here, to suggest that I do. You’re letting your imagination run wild, or you’re projecting.

    Rants? No, I post corrections to her rants and those of others. Why do you so loathe me that you make false accusations?

    The woman posts outstanding falsehoods, paeans to the serial falsehood teller Christopher Monckton, who likes to make false charges about dead women (especially Rachel Carson and Jackie Kennedy), and who appears never to have met a fact he couldn’t twist, nor an audience he’d tell the truth to.

    That’s a danger to democracy, you know? I like to head off such dangers before they grow into serious trouble. I understand from BBC, however, that you’re already agitating to take science out of government in Australia, and perhaps run a replication of the American Dust Bowl. That’s a terrible thing to do to your children, even if Ms. Nova smiles as she helps steal their future.

    Nova got my ire when she complained about my tone and refused to let my posts through unless I swore fealty to her unscientific views. You can read that exchange there. To her credit, she backed down a bit.

    I have hopes she’ll back off of her unholy inquisition of science, and come back to reality. Obviously many Australians trust her. It’s painful to see her betray that trust, don’t you think?

    You obviously have no sense of humor or concept of satire.

    Are you saying her support of Monckton and scathing comments about scientists are satire, and not in earnest? I see no signs of that.

    Quite the contrary, I think it is you who does not appreciate humor. I’ve given not half so good as I’ve gotten over there. You find comments against me, and against science “humorous,” but the facts to be humorless when delivered sharply and accurately?

    I suppose most people don’t like their sacred cows chopped into roasts and steaks. Alas, you appear not even to realize that you regard nonsense as sacred. There is much work to do.

    Your comments at joannenova.com.au are consistently pretentious, rude, long-winded, convoluted, and pointless.

    Try responding to one, point by point. They’re accurate and to the point. I thought you enjoyed humor in debate? Not when you have no facts?

    No matter what the subject, you hold forth as a world expert. You never shut up.

    I’m much more an expert than Monckton. I’ve actually done air pollution research. I’ve actually participated in the policy discussions trying to save the lands you mockingly dismiss to destruction. My family farmed there, and still has economic interests there.

    I don’t see any reason to keep quiet about people trying to do me harm. I think I have an obligation to point out dangers to others.

    In fact, I’ve sworn oaths to that effect, and I subscribe to the ethical canons of all my professions, journalism, and law, and government.

    You ask me to shut up and let evil win? I cannot do that sir.

    You also know that Jo Nova is a very popular, witty, and attractive science presenter in Australia, not some television has-been.

    Then she has a duty to the truth. She’s shirking her duty and misleading people, innocent people. There is a special place in hell for people who do that — and wouldn’t you hate to see her there? You have a duty to awaken her to the facts, too.

    Your feigned ignorance about her is fascinating, seeing how you must spend literally hours a day firing off your innumerable letters to her blog, furiously cutting and pasting.

    I spend hours a day teaching history, organizing Scouts, and studying issues. I type fast.

    You should spend more time tracking down the links I’ve given you, and other facts. It would do you good.

    I will not be shocked if you delete or edit this letter, since you have never demonstrated Ms. Nova’s good manners or tolerance of criticism. That’s your right. It’s your blog.

    I defend freedom. I don’t have to censor.

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  17. Baa Humbug says:

    Here is the citation you wanted

    GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 36, L24405, doi:10.1029/2009GL040598, 2009

    Natalie Lockart,1 Dmitri Kavetski,1 and Stewart W. Franks1
    Received 17 August 2009; revised 29 October 2009; accepted 20 November 2009; published 25 December 2009.

    I commented about the drought at novas site comment #75 Your reply there would be welcome

    Like

  18. Anton says:

    Ed Darrel, you are an antediluvian fanatic. If you so loath Jo Nova, who has been incredibly kind to you, why do you keep posting rants to her blog? I notice she doesn’t stop you or attack you, nor does she come here to waste endless space calling you names.

    You obviously have no sense of humor or concept of satire. Your comments at joannenova.com.au are consistently pretentious, rude, long-winded, convoluted, and pointless. No matter what the subject, you hold forth as a world expert. You never shut up.

    You also know that Jo Nova is a very popular, witty, and attractive science presenter in Australia, not some television has-been. Your feigned ignorance about her is fascinating, seeing how you must spend literally hours a day firing off your innumerable letters to her blog, furiously cutting and pasting.

    I will not be shocked if you delete or edit this letter, since you have never demonstrated Ms. Nova’s good manners or tolerance of criticism. That’s your right. It’s your blog.

    Like

  19. Ed Darrell says:

    Ms. Nova has no facts of the matter. It’s both symbolic and symptomatic of the ignorance of most climate change contrarians that they don’t know what they’re talking about. So they pick a photo of one of the best known drought problems in the American west, whose problems are quite well known to be related to global warming, and then PhotoShop it to be comedic.

    Why not a peer-reviewed study?

    And, you’ve missed the factual rebuttals?

    Then you can catch up. Just look at the sources I’ve listed here, especially the Scripps Institution study, which is indeed peer-reviewed in its publication in Water Resources Research, one of the premier publications in the management of water resources by means such as massive reservoirs. That puts me my exposing Ms. Nova’s absurdity one peer-review article ahead of her total in that piece.

    Humbug, do you have real citations on those papers you claim? (Isn’t it interesting how contrarians claim to have peer reviewed research to back their screeds, but then they don’t produce citations? Is it a syndrome of some sort?)

    Why do the scientists think the decline in Lake Powell is warming related? Because warming shifts the patterns of snow in the Rockies, and the Colorado River is snow-fed. The decline in Lake Powell has been going on for a couple of decades, and the surprise drought simply exacerbated the problem. The surprise drought is thought to have been caused by warming, too.

    How many different ways do we need to document it for you?

    Like

  20. comdenom says:

    I love Lake Powell’s circa 2008 pic, the color variations of the rock with the distinct demarcation between light and dark is stunning. Why do think the drought is due to global warming?

    Like

  21. Baa Humbug says:

    Well well well, are they “peer reviewed” papers cited I see before me?

    Just like the Karoly et al (2003) paper purporting the Murray Darling Basin in Eastern Australia was experiencing severe drought because of global warming. Rebutted by Natalie Lockart et al (2009)

    My dogs got fleas…AGW
    My wife won’t sleep with me….AGW

    Get a life you lot, you’re a disgrace to science.

    Like

  22. Messenger says:

    Ok,

    So you obviously can’t attack her on the facts of the matter so you pick up on a doctored graphic.

    I can only assume you read a lot of comics?

    That’s enough characters wasted on your blog.

    Like

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