Political activists who oppose working to stop or slow greenhouse gas emissions in order to slow global warming find themselves in awkward positions recently.
Before, during and after the Copenhagen meeting in December 2009 they predicted that warming had stopped, and that we are entering a period of global cooling. Alas for their claim, the planet refuses to cool. The decade ending in 2009 was the warmest in human history; 2010 itself turned out to be one of the warmest years in history, worldwide.
Somebody stole hundreds of e-mails from one of the climate research clusters in England, and the anti-action activists claimed that the messages would reveal wrong-doing on the part of scientists, perhaps even criminal action. Instead, five separate investigations discovered no wrong-doing on the parts of scientists, but a lot of hard work gone for too little action because of the anti-science shenanigans of the anti-action crew. The science showing global warming remains untouched, with no significant body of research showing contrary.
So, the anti-action activists are sore. They don’t take criticism well, and they especially don’t like anyone who points out their errors.
Sadly, they didn’t learn from the their past hoaxes. So if even a lowly high school teacher should point out an error of history, they resort to making false claims and censorship against the teacher. They have no data to back their case, nothing but invective to rebut with.
And so it was that a rather new site, hauntingthelibrary, took my comment noting where they could find the data to disabuse their wild claims, stripped it out, and substituted words I did not and would not write.
The movement against the science of global warming is rotten to its core. (Seriously — most sites would be happy to note the pingback from this blog; the blogger had to act to block the pingback from showing up. What are they so afraid of?)
Legend says that Galileo, backing out of the audience with the Pope in which he was put under house arrest after having “recanted” any claim that the Earth orbits the Sun, said quietly, “Still, it moves.” Even the Pope’s powers through the Inquisition could not stop the Earth orbiting the Sun. No matter how powerful the denial propaganda machines, no matter how many anti-science bloggers they recruit, the Earth keeps on stubbornly warming up.
Or, as Galileo might have said, “Eppure, lei si scalda!”
Update: Then there is Anti-Gore Effect Sillies Syndrome — claiming Gore erred, when he didn’t. It’s demonstrated with the infection fully affecting the judgment of its victims at this odd place, XD Talk Forums.
- hauntingthelibrary resorted to a variation of the “Al Gore is Fat” fallacy, claiming that a turn for the better in the pestilence of bark beetles, in a small area of British Columbia, means that Gore was wrong when he properly cited the two-decades of damage from the insects as evidence of the sorts of problems global warming can cause. In short, bark beetle infestations devastate forests; cold winters have traditionally limited bark beetle populations and damage; winters with too few days below freezing allowed and maybe encouraged an explosion in the bark beetle populations, and enabled their spread across North America to previously untouched forests, where they destroy vast tracts of forest. In British Columbia, the beetles appear to have eaten all the thick-barked pine trees, and so they are dying because the thin-barked, younger pine trees they must now infest do not protect them as well from the cold, though the cold isn’t as cold as it used to be. It’s a minor victory for trees and humanity against the bark beetle infestation. hauntingthelibrary claims this minor victory means Gore predicted erroneously. Of course, Gore’s prediction was made over a decade ago, and he’s been more than right for the past ten years — a one year contrary data point is not a trend. Check it out for yourself, though — don’t take my word, unverified.
- A good summary of the problem, and the science, from Global Warming Science; notice that this site mentions the B.C. beetle population decline in an article from two years ago, quoting officials saying the decline of the beetle is good news, except that it comes only because they’ve already destroyed almost all of the trees they can — they ate themselves out of habitat
- Congressional Research Service Reports article discussing the damage from beetles to lodgepole pine, increased by global warming; CRS is one of the most expert and least biased sources possible
- See the section on pine beetles in this CRS Report, “Global Climate Change and Wildlife”
- This March 2010 CRS report explains how deforestation, such as the beetle infestation causes, contributes to global warming
- “Pine Bark Beetles,” G. Keith Douce, Professor of Entomology, The University of Georgia, for BarkBeetles.org
- Newsday, “Beetles, wildfire: Double threat in warming World,” August 19, 2009
- High Country News explained the science denied by hauntingthelibrary, in 2004
- Information on how much more serious are the warming-aided beetle outbreaks, from the U.S. Forest Service; notice this 2008 article puts the beginning of this crisis at about 1990, meaning, were Gore wrong now as the ghostbookshelver claims, Gore was right the previous 19 years. 95% accuracy, to denialists
- Brunelle, A., Rehfeldt, G.E., Bentz, B., Munson, A.S. 2008. Holocene records of Dendroctonus bark beetles in high elevation pine forests of Idaho and Montana, USA. Forest Ecology and Management 255(3-4):836–846. (Article notes that swiftness of climate change appears to aggravate pine bark beetle epidemics, and the current rate of climate change is very swift.) (More publications on pine bark beetle research from Utah State University, mostly with links to the publications)
- If the infestation in British Columbia is in decline, that appears to be the only place it is; NPR story on devastation in Colorado, December 2010; “How a tiny beetle could devastate Yellowstone“
- Beetles pose threat to forests of Arizona, 2011 story from Channel 15, Phoenix
- Infested Torrey pine cut down in San Diego
- CBC story on the crash of beetles in B.C., noting that they ate themselves “out of house and home”
- Story from the Boulder Daily Camera from January 14, four days ago — beetles still epidemic in Colorado
- The Missoulian, January 5, 2011 — not cold enough in Western Montana to end beetle epidemic there
- Toronto Globe & Mail, January 4, 2011 — Alberta, learning from the disaster in B.C. (20,000 jobs lost), is spending $250 million to try to avoid the severest damage; apparently, beetles are not in decline in Alberta
Earlier at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub: