Yes, folks, climate change deniers really are this dense.
Huge news on the climate change front, as one of the main climate change-denying scientist’s highly lucrative links to the fossil fuel industry are exposed: Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for a Doubtful Climate Scientist.
For years, politicians wanting to block legislation on climate change have bolstered their arguments by pointing to the work of a handful of scientists who claim that greenhouse gases pose little risk to humanity.
One of the names they invoke most often is Wei-Hock Soon, known as Willie, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who claims that variations in the sun’s energy can largely explain recent global warming. He has often appeared on conservative news programs, testified before Congress and in state capitals, and starred at conferences of people who deny the risks of global warming.
But newly released documents show the extent to which Dr. Soon’s work has been tied to funding he received from corporate interests.
He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work.
The documents show that Dr. Soon, in correspondence with his corporate funders, described many of his scientific papers as “deliverables” that he completed in exchange for their money. He used the same term to describe testimony he prepared for Congress.
This is the exact same strategy the tobacco industry used for years to spread disinformation about smoking. And in many cases, it’s the very same people and organizations spreading disinformation about climate change.
I’m thinking back to all the climate trolls who used to throw this guy in my face when arguing with them…
Richard Muller founded the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project after declaring himself skeptical about climate change. He was funded in part by the Koch Brothers.
He found out what other scientists have known for decades. The Earth is warming, and we’re doing it.
We have big news on the climate change front today from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and it’s not bad — it’s terrible: 2014 Earth’s warmest year on record; December 2014 record warm; Global oceans also record warm for 2014.
Global highlights: Calendar Year 2014
For extended analysis of global climate patterns, please see our full Annual report.
- During 2014, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.24°F (0.69°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest among all 135 years in the 1880-2014 record, surpassing the previous records of 2005 and 2010 by 0.07°F (0.04°C).
- Record warmth was spread around the world, including Far East Russia into western Alaska, the western United States, parts of interior South America, most of Europe stretching into northern Africa, parts of eastern and western coastal Australia, much of the northeastern Pacific around the Gulf of Alaska, the central to western equatorial Pacific, large swaths of northwestern and southeastern Atlantic, most of the Norwegian Sea, and parts of the central to southern Indian Ocean.
- During 2014, the globally-averaged land surface temperature was 1.80°F (1.00°C) above the 20th century average. This was the fourth highest among all years in the 1880-2014 record.
- During 2014, the globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.03°F (0.57°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest among all years in the 1880-2014 record, surpassing the previous records of 1998 and 2003 by 0.09°F (0.05°C).
- Looking above Earth's surface at certain layers of the atmosphere, two different analyses examined NOAA satellite-based data records for the lower and middle troposphere and the lower stratosphere.
- The 2014 temperature for the lower troposphere (roughly the lowest five miles of the atmosphere) was third highest in the 1979-2014 record, at 0.50°F (0.28°C) above the 1981-2010 average, as analyzed by the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH), and sixth highest on record, at 0.29°F (0.16°C) above the 1981-2010 average, as analyzed by Remote Sensing Systems (RSS).
- The 2014 temperature for the mid-troposphere (roughly two miles to six miles above the surface) was third highest in the 1979-2014 record, at 0.32°F (0.18°C) above the 1981-2010 average, as analyzed by UAH, and sixth highest on record, at 0.25°F (0.14°C) above the 1981-2010 average, as analyzed by RSS.
- The temperature for the lower stratosphere (roughly 10 miles to 13 miles above the surface) was 13th lowest in the 1979-2014 record, at 0.56°F (0.31°C) below the 1981-2010 average, as analyzed by UAH, and also 13th lowest on record, at 0.41°F (0.23°C) below the 1981-2010 average, as analyzed by RSS. The stratospheric temperature is decreasing on average while the lower and middle troposphere temperatures are increasing on average, consistent with expectations in a greenhouse-warmed world.
- According to data from NOAA analyzed by the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the average annual Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during 2014 was 24.95 million square miles, and near the middle of the historical record. The first half of 2014 saw generally below-normal snow cover extent, with above-average coverage later in the year.
- Recent polar sea ice extent trends continued in 2014. The average annual sea ice extent in the Arctic was 10.99 million square miles, the sixth smallest annual value of the 36-year period of record. The annual Antarctic sea ice extent was record large for the second consecutive year, at 13.08 million square miles.
This picture of a catastrophe in the making is not even all the horrible climate news today; a new analysis of data from hundreds of sources shows that we humans are on the brink of causing a mass extinction event in the world’s oceans.
I was going to post something snarky to close this post, but this is some really scary shit, people. And we have a political party in this country doing everything in its power to stop us from dealing with it — if it isn’t already too late. This is political malfeasance on a frightening scale.
Senate Democrats led by Bernie Sanders have proposed a measure designed to make Republicans go on the record as climate change deniers: Senate to Vote on Whether Climate Change Is Happening.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday he will allow the Senate to vote on an amendment asking if they agree that climate change is impacting the planet.
But a measure proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had raised questions about whether he would stick to that commitment.
The Sanders measure asks whether lawmakers agree with the overwhelming consensus of scientists who say climate change is impacting the planet and is worsened by human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.
Democrats believe the measure could be a tough vote for some Republicans, particularly GOP senators running for reelection in 2016 in states carried by President Obama in 2012.
I predict the Republicans will have no problem coming right out with a public denial of the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change. This is absolutely mainstream Republican head-in-the-sand policy, and they’ll all toe the line or risk being labeled a RINO. It’s also completely insane and irrational, and seriously dangerous.
Maybe after they vote that climate change isn’t real, the next vote should be on whether the Earth is round or flat.
Yep, according to almost half of the Americans surveyed, there’s no such thing as climate change. It’s just the End Times.
Poll results released by the Public Religion Research Institute on Friday showed that sixty-nine percent of Americans believe there is solid evidence that Earth’s temperatures are increasing. This is good news, as so far this year has been the hottest ever recorded, despite the recent chill covering the United States. But the pollsters also asked about the cause of recent natural disasters, and the responses from some religious people could impact how America responds to climate change.
While 62 percent of total respondents ascribed the cause of recent natural disasters to climate change, 49 percent also thought biblical “end times” were the cause. For white evangelical Protestants, these numbers basically reversed — 77 percent pointed to the apocalypse, and just 49 percent attributed extreme weather to climate change (the numbers add up to more than one-hundred because people could offer more than one cause).
This fatalistic view of the impacts caused in part by burning fossil fuels could influence the national policy responses to the problem. More than half of the total respondents (53 percent) thought that God would not intercede if humans were destroying the Earth, while 39 percent said that God would step in.
The Public Religion Research Institute poll suggested that congregants who heard about climate change at church were more likely to be concerned about it. Of the respondents who attend religious services at least once or twice a month, 36 percent said their clergy leader speaks about climate change often or sometimes, and these respondents were more likely to be concerned about climate change.
Some excellent news from President Obama’s trip to China: BREAKING: The US and China Just Announced a Huge Deal on Climate—and It’s a Game Changer.
So much for the conventional wisdom that China will never agree to reduce carbon emissions. Two of the world’s major carbon-producing countries have made an historic deal, and of course we can fully expect the Republican Party to freak right out over it.
According to the plan, the United States will reduce carbon emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, nearly twice the existing target—without imposing new restrictions on power plants or vehicles.
Tuesday’s announcement is equally remarkable for China’s commitment. For the first time, China has set a date at which it expects its emissions will “peak,” or finally begin to taper downward: around 2030. China is currently the world’s biggest emitter of carbon pollution, largely because of its coal-dependent economy, and reining in emissions while continuing to grow has been the paramount challenge for China’s leaders.
The White House said in a statement that China could reach the target even sooner than 2030. It “expects that China will succeed in peaking its emissions before 2030 based on its broad economic reform program, plans to address air pollution, and implementation of President Xi’s call for an energy revolution.”
It’s time for Stephen Colbert’s new educational series, “Professor Not-A-Scientist!”
The very last person you’d ever want to see in charge of the Senate Environment Committee will now probably be in charge of the Senate Environment Committee.
On handing Republicans control of the Senate on Tuesday, Americans effectively voted for the party’s hostile plans against President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy. Their votes also put the Senate’s environment and climate policy into the hands of the worst science-denier in national politics: Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, who is almost certainly the next chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Inhofe claimed in 2003 that global warming might help humanity. “It’s also important to question whether global warming is even a problem for human existence. Thus far no one has seriously demonstrated any scientific proof that increased global temperatures would lead to the catastrophes predicted by alarmists. In fact, it appears that just the opposite is true: that increases in global temperatures may have a beneficial effect on how we live our lives.”
Inhofe refuted climate change science in 2012 by citing the Bible. “[T]he Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that ‘as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.’ My point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.”