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Friday, March 27, 2015

Ted Cruz: "global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-Earthers"

UPDATE:  Readers, please check out the comments.  Then tell me which one is legit -- LOL.

by Philip Bump, The Washington Post, March 25, 2015

OK, so Ted Cruz said something, and we went back and forth about whether or not we should address it because it's just baffling. But then we figured, yes, even the baffling things deserve some sort of response.
In an interview with The Texas Tribune, Cruz talked about climate change. Specifically, he said this, as transcribed by the Huffington Post's Kate Sheppard:
On the global warming alarmists, anyone who actually points to the evidence that disproves their apocalyptical claims, they don't engage in reasoned debate. What do they do? They scream, 'You're a denier.' They brand you a heretic. Today, the global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-Earthers. It used to be [that] it is accepted scientific wisdom the Earth is flat, and this heretic named Galileo was branded a denier.
And then he said:
If you look at global warming alarmists, they don't like to look at the actual facts and the data. The satellite data demonstrate that there has been no significant warming whatsoever for 17 years. Now that's a real problem for the global warming alarmists. Because all those computer models on which this whole issue is based predicted significant warming, and yet the satellite data show it ain't happening.
And then he said:
I read this morning a Newsweek article from the 1970s talking about global cooling. And it said the science is clear, it is overwhelming, we are in a major cooling period, and it's going to cause enormous problems worldwide. ... Now, the data proved to be not backing up that theory. So then all the advocates of global cooling suddenly shifted to global warming, and they advocated it's warming, and the solution interestingly enough was the exact same solution -- government control of the energy sector and every aspect of our lives.
There's not much Cruz got right here.
First, Cruz conflates the science of climate change with the politics of climate change. Scientists don't scream, "You're a denier." They point to the scientific evidence that human activity is leading to climate warming -- the evidence of which is overwhelming. (Here's the international version and the U.S. version.) There is no "evidence that disproves their apocalyptical claims," because if there were, scientists would abandon the theory. That's how science works.
Second, science works that way because scientists developed a system in which they created hypotheses and tested them. So it's silly to say that "accepted scientific wisdom" said the world was flat, because the assumption that the world was flat didn't derive from science. Instead, science challenged the conventional thinking, using a superior system for uncovering the truth.
Third, Galileo came along well after people knew the Earth was round. People had sailed around the world before he was born! His conflict with the church was that he said the Earth revolved around the Sun, instead of the opposite. (Actually, his conflict with the church was probably more about his views on transubstantiation, but that's a different topic.) Galileo challenged the orthodoxy based on evidence collected through science.
Fourth, the "warming hiatus" is not "a real problem" for climate scientists, except in the sense that it poses another question to be answered. In fact, scientists have a theory on why temperatures haven't increased as quickly as projected in recent years. (In short: They suspect that it has warmed -- but deep in the ocean.) What's more, scientists that studied the satellite data to which Cruz refers reject the idea that it somehow disproves the idea that human activity is making the world warmer.
Fifth. That Newsweek article. Oh man.
In 1975, Peter Gwynne wrote a brief for the magazine that suggested that some scientists believed the world was cooling. It was nine paragraphs long, quoting scientists who admitted that their projections were preliminary. To DailyClimate, Gwynne explained, "It was just an intriguing piece about what a certain group in a certain niche of climatology was thinking." He added, "Newsweek being Newsweek, we might have pushed the envelope a little bit more than I would have wanted."
But that article has fueled a cottage industry in science rejection. What Cruz is doing is treating as valid one magazine article from 40 years ago but rejecting as hopelessly flawed study after study showing that the world is warming.
The Galileos on climate change are, like Galileo, the scientists. The people pushing back on the science are, like Cruz, those who favor the status quo. Cruz's comments, from start to finish, are simply not correct.

4 comments:

Survival Acres said...

Ted Cruz is a paid prostitute in the grip of Big Energy and an ignorant moron supported by more ignorant morons.

Virtually EVERYTHING he claims about climate is a lie. He's deliberately deceiving people into believing that there is nothing to worry about, while tens of thousands of climate EXPERTS and scientists are claiming we do indeed have MUCH to worry about with the climate and it's high time we paid attention. They're now screaming to be heard, but are being widely silenced by ignorant politicians.

The data Cruz derides proves just how dangerous and how fast the climate is changing against humanity but he want to deflect you from the real arguments and facts.

http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2015/03/methane-levels-early-2015.html

There are now DAILY reports coming from the Arctic, Antarctic and Greenland that 100% support extreme melting, huge levels of fresh water pouring into the ocean, sea level rise, thermohaline blocking of the ocean currents, increasing levels of ocean and atmospheric heating and a overall total MASSIVE impact to the global hydrological cycle which will have a EXTREME effect on planetary survival for all species - including the popular and growing "morons-among-us".

We are on the undergoing cataclysmic changes RIGHT NOW and this talking fool is being paid to pretend it's not happening.

A vote for Cruz is a vote for death and no future survival habitat for humans.

Rum Runner said...

Hi,

I live in France, so I've no idea who Ted Cruz is (nor do I care), but I do follow the climate debate and find your analysis of the "alarmist" V "denier" positions a little off.

Your first point is a strawman. He didn't accuse scientists of screaming "denier". He accused *alarmists* of doing so. Most of the time there is a difference. The more extreme claims of (e.g.) 10C temp rise and 20 metre sea level rise by 2100 are not supported by the science (especially the links you give), but have been made at one time or another by alarmists. I imagine that's what Cruz was talking about.

Your point about the "warming hiatus" and the suspicion of the missing heat is hiding in the ocean has a problem: the deep ocean has been cooling (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00550.1?af=R&), or at least has not warmed (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4321)

The missing heat is somewhere past Betelgeuse by now.

Regarding the '70's global cooling "scare" it wasn't just a single Newsweek article. If you like I can link you to several dozen contemporary reports of the issue.

Rum Runner said...

Hi Survival Acres,

I think that your post proves Cruz's point, and in particular your methane link.

"Metho-deggan" isn't happening

1) The level of methane is way below IPCC projections:

http://oi58.tinypic.com/2j4ak1u.jpg

2) Methane has been being released from below the Arctic for many hundreds of years - it's nothing new:

http://www.geomar.de/index.php?id=4&no_cache=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=903&tx_ttnews[backPid]=185&L=1

3) The IPCC say "Metho-geddan" is not, and will not, happen:

Quote: "Catastrophic, widespread dissociation of methane gas hydrates will not be triggered by continued climate warming at contemporary rates (0.2ºC per decade; IPCC 2007) over timescales of a few hundred years."

So any claim that "Methane changes" will lead to "cataclysmic changes" is (as Mr Cruz would say) alarmist, and is not supported by the science.

Tenney Naumer said...

And you quote outdated research from the 2007 IPCC why?