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Posted by on Jul 28, 2011 in Breaking News, Guest Contributor, Science & Technology | 15 comments

Global Smarming, or, Gone Fission


We begin at the periphery of the chain-reaction:

Dave Blount / Moonbattery: NASA Data Confirm Global Warming Is a Hoax

The atoms keep smashing — as with all chain-reactions, eventually damping down to zero, dependent on confinement and density as to the when but not the what. But when we trace the reaction back to its source, we find that the headline bears very little resemblance to reality. Here’s the beginning [Emphasis added]:

Abstract: The sensitivity of the climate system to an imposed radiative imbalance remains the largest source of uncertainty in projections of future anthropogenic climate change. Here we present further evidence that this uncertainty from an observational perspective is largely due to the masking of the radiative feedback signal by internal radiative forcing, probably due to natural cloud variations. That these internal radiative forcings exist and likely corrupt feedback diagnosis is demonstrated with lag regression analysis of satellite and coupled climate model data, interpreted with a simple forcing-feedback model. While the satellite-based metrics for the period 2000–2010 depart substantially in the direction of lower climate sensitivity from those similarly computed from coupled climate models, we find that, with traditional methods, it is not possible to accurately quantify this discrepancy in terms of the feedbacks which determine climate sensitivity. It is concluded that atmospheric feedback diagnosis of the climate system remains an unsolved problem, due primarily to the inability to distinguish between radiative forcing and radiative feedback in satellite radiative budget observations.

by Roy W. Spencer * and William D. Braswell

[* Remember that name.] In plainer English, essentially, we’re losing more heat by atmospheric radiation than was previously thought, and, therefore, predictive models of  atmospheric “feedback” (Greenhouse effect)  need to be recalculated, taking the new information from satellite observations into account.

FreedomWorks protest of Al Gore in Portland 2009

This is utterly normal in science. New information creates new models, as we progressively (emphasis on progress) model our Universe, to better understand and perhaps predict it. Prediction is based on the best available information, over the longest data period possible, but new twists appear all the time.

A new twist has appeared, at least, according to a scientific paper just released. Ironically, nobody involved in the science pretends that human global warming (or whatever it’s called) is a myth. The new peer-reviewed science paper suggests that a previously unknown factor needs to be factored into “in projections of future anthropogenic climate change.” I can’t find anything “revolutionary” in it. But then, I’m not a brilliant scientist like that Moonbattery fellow must be.

To critique the commonly-accepted best model is as old as science. For years, it was debated whether it was the Indian volcanic field or a large asteroid hit that produced the “extinction layer” in the fossil record of dinosaurs. But nobody argued that there wasn’t an extinction event. The asteroid impact crater was found in the Yucatan, as you’ve probably seen on the Discovery Channel.

Here is the Memeorandum Blog Swarm:

Click here for original

The first highlighted headline leaps out: New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism. As noted in “,” you can’t judge an article by its headline. When you follow the link, it’s YAHOO NEWS, but when you follow further, it’s a blog at FORBES magazine, whose Steve Forbes is not noted for his moderate positions vis a vis business. Let’s skip to the end of the article. The article in question comes to us from a “James Taylor,” who is:

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Environment & Climate News.

Good lord. Little bit of “résumé inflation” there. Before we go further, let it be noted that the innocuous “Environment & Climate News” is published BY The Heartland Institute. The Heartland Institute?

We go to the Heartland Institute’s web site and there is their motto: “Free Market Solutions.” And there is the rotating flash animation of Great Freedomers, Benjamin Franklin, Booker T. Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, Thomas Paine … and Frederick Hayek, Ludwig von Mises and Ayn Rand.


Jeepers, you don’t suppose they’re limited-government “libertarians” do you? Let’s hold that in abeyance for a moment? Let’s see what James Taylor writes, shall we?

In short, the central premise of alarmist global warming theory is that carbon dioxide emissions should be directly and indirectly trapping a certain amount of heat in the earth’s atmosphere and preventing it from escaping into space. Real-world measurements, however, show far less heat is being trapped in the earth’s atmosphere than the alarmist computer models predict, and far more heat is escaping into space than the alarmist computer models predict. When objective NASA satellite data, reported in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, show a “huge discrepancy” between alarmist climate models and real-world facts, climate scientists, the media and our elected officials would be wise to take notice. Whether or not they do so will tell us a great deal about how honest the purveyors of global warming alarmism truly are.

According to his straw man, this knocks all “alarmist global warming theory” into a cocked hat.

Somehow, I kind of don’t actually believe that there is such a thing as “alarmist global warming theory” anywhere in existence other than as a slur on those with whom Taylor disagrees.

I seriously doubt that you’re going to see “Welcome Alarmist Global Warming Theory Convention” on the marquee of any Hilton Hotel anytime soon. And who pays James Taylor to have a specific point of view? The Heartland Institute. Who turn out to have just finished their own little climate conference:

6th International Conference on Climate Change

The Sixth International Conference on Climate Change was held in Washington, DC on June 30 – July 1, 2011. Watch the session videos at

And, when you go to that page, you see this Lunch Debate:

click to go to video page

Gee. Isn’t that the same “Roy Spencer” of the University of Alabama who co-wrote the paper above? Yup. Small world. And, I guess he was the “Con” in the “Is Global Warming Real?” (known to the moonbats as “AGW” meaning  human-caused global warning). The “Pro” guy was grateful for being a sacrificial lamb, according to Freedom Pub, The Heartland Institute’s “action” blog:

AGW Believer Thanks Heartland for ‘Warm’ Welcome Dr. Scott Denning, a climatologist from Colorado State University, praised The Heartland Institute for inviting him to its Fourth International Conference on Climate Change. Denning was among just two AGW advocates who accepted Heartland’s invitation to speak. And Denning emphasized that he was glad he did.

So. I guess Heartland Institute has a definite agenda in this “global warming” debate, if they only invited two members of the “opposition” to speak. You’ll note the astonishing arrogance of the “Tag” at the bottom of each video: “RESTORING THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD.”

Seriously? The inescapable implication is that OTHER people (scientists) aren’t as “sciency” as the good old Ayn Rand Heartland Institute. Yippie-ki-yo-ki-yay.

And then Roy Spencer releases his paper, and then Heartland Institute’s environmental “senior fellow” publishes a slanted interpretation of his view on the Forbes Magazineblog, it’s picked up by Yahoo, and the selfsame suspects who last week jumped to the conclusion that Norway was a Jihadist Muslim Al Qaeda attack jump to the conclusion that evil AGW is conclusively disproven and Al Gore is a dork.

That’s NOT science.

Now, the other highlighted headline comes from a former colleague (1981-2006) at Colorado State University, who merely quotes the press release:

Rpielke / Climate Science: New Paper “On the Misdiagnosis Of Surface Temperature Feedbacks From Variations In Earth’s …

Roger Pielke only quotes the title of the  monograph in his headline. But that doesn’t stop several bloggers from triumphantly citing his quote from the University of Alabama press release:

Jeff Dunetz / YID With LID: New Peer-reviewed Study “Looks Out the Window” to Prove Global Warming is Hoax

Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute: Science Moves On, With Or Without Al Gore

Bryan Preston / Pajamas Media: Uh-Oh: NASA Satellite Data Blows Big Hole in Global Warming Models

Dr. Pielke is a retired Meteorologist from CSU. And, at the end of his conclusions page on his Climate Science blog, he notes, following his objections to several climate models:

Humans are significantly altering the global climate, but in a variety of diverse ways beyond the radiative effect of carbon dioxide. The IPCC assessments have been too conservative in recognizing the importance of these human climate forcings as they alter regional and global climate. These assessments have also not communicated the inability of the models to accurately forecast the spread of possibilities of future climate. The forecasts, therefore, do not provide any skill in quantifying the impact of different mitigation strategies on the actual climate response that would occur.

A bit reductionist (we don’t know, therefore we don’t have any sound reasons to act, therefore, implicitly, I guess we do nothing. Our Current Policy since 2001.) But in no wise refuting the scientific fact of global climate change. That’s important. You can disagree with models and methodologies without disagreeing as to whether the fundamentals are correct. The sneaky sophistry of the blog swarmers and the Heartland Institute is that disagreement equals refutation.

Garbage. This is logical and scientific nonsense.

One paper does not necessarily alter all prior scientific observation, hypothesis and theory. Only an idiot would maintain that to be true.

Back alley science?

Still, the fundamental error of equating scientific controversy over certain methodologies is NOT the same as utterly disproving global warming, neener, neener poo-pooh. And we have to look at the relative honesty of this seeming Heartland Institute manufactured “news.” James Delingpole* of the  Telegraph (UK) who was instrumental in and coined the phrase “Climategate” goes for the bifecta with “Polarbeargate.”

Which suggests that this release of a “scientific paper” conveniently plays into the hands of another manufactured controversy. I wonder who’s having a climate conference this weekend that needs to be squashed? Hmm.

[* From “.” See also the following day’s “,” and, for a little investigation into Delingpole, “.”

Telegraph (UK) blogger James Delingpole, leading light of pushing the “scandal” meme, based on hacked emails, whose authenticity is automatically questionable, given their route to the public eye. Ain’t he a peach?]

Let’s apply the conclusion of James Taylor to James Taylor and the Heartland Institute, shall we?

… climate scientists, the media and our elected officials would be wise to take notice. Whether or not they do so will tell us a great deal about how honest the purveyors of global warming alarmism obfuscation truly are.

What’s sauce for the goose, after all. Heartland Institute from SourceWatch:

Mission According to Heartland website, its mission is “to discover and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems”.[8] The Institute campaigns in support of: “Common-sense environmentalism”, such as opposition to the the Kyoto Protocol aimed at countering global warming Genetically engineered crops and products; The privatization of public services; The introduction of school vouchers; The deregulation of health care insurance; and against: What it refers to as “junk science” (science that that could indicate a need for regulation); Tobacco control measures such as tobacco tax increases (the Institute denies the health effects of second-hand smoke)

And you might want to take a look at this:

The Heartland Institute “global warming experts” list contains vanishingly few researchers who consider themselves climate scientists and who regularly publish papers supporting their climate science views in reputable peer-reviewed journals (e.g., not Energy and Environment).

And, finally:

The Heartland Institute’s Environmental “expert,” James Taylor, is a lawyer based in Florida. Despite presenting a veneer of scientific expertise in their Environmental advocacy, the Heartland lacks any(?) scientists trained to understand climate issues.

Hey! Wasn’t James Taylor the guy who blogged on Forbes to start this whole kerfluffing party?

James Taylor, shyster?

And, just by the by, the Heartland Institute’s CEO is Joseph L. Bast, who is also on the board of directors of the Illinois Policy Institute (our old friend John Tillman) and was a founding director of the State Policy Network, among other interesting connections, including the pharma-backed  “Center for Medicine in the Public Interest.” And, he sits on the Board of Directors of the American Conservative Union, since 2007. (Actually the Heartland Institute is literally steps away from the Illinois Policy Institute on La Salle Street in Chicago.)

I guess that’s what they think “science” is. (Sounds more like ideologically driven partisanship to me. )

Joseph Bast

But you’ve gotta admit, it’s a long way from finding that more heat is radiating from the Earth than previously thought to:

John Hinderaker / Power Line: Is It Over for Global Warming Alarmism?
Doug Powers / Michelle Malkin: Analysis of NASA Satellite Data Suggests UN Climate Models are Full of Hot Air
Rick Rice / Wizbang: “The new findings… should dramatically alter the global warming debate”
Bruce McQuain / Questions and Observations: Climate alarmist theory dealt yet another factual blow
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air: Sky-high hole blown in AGW theory?
Brian O’Connor / Red Dog Report: NASA Data Blows Gaping Holes in Global Warming Hysteria
The Lonely Conservative: Sorry, Global Warmers: New NASA Study Shows Heat Not Trapped in Earth’s Atmosphere as Claimed

And, finally

Dave Blount / Moonbattery: NASA Data Confirm Global Warming Is a Hoax

Goya — the sleep of reason breeds monsters

I guess they’ve all gone fission with their Global Smarming Theory. But that’s not science. And, in NO WISE is it “RESTORING THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD.” The opposite, in fact. And there’s n0thing to stop ANOTHER peer-reviewed scientific paper disputing the peer-reviewed results of this paper showing up.

That’s science.



UPDATE 7:15 PM PDT: From LiveScienceDOTcom

New research suggesting that cloud cover, not carbon dioxide, causes global warming is getting buzz in climate skeptic circles. But mainstream climate scientists dismissed the research as unrealistic and politically motivated.

“It is not newsworthy,” Daniel Murphy, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) cloud researcher, wrote in an email to LiveScience.

The study, published July 26 in the open-access online journal Remote Sensing, got public attention when a writer for The Heartland Institute, a libertarian think-tank that promotesclimate change skepticism, wrote for Forbes magazine that the study disproved the global warming worries of climate change “alarmists.” However, mainstream climate scientists say that the argument advanced in the paper is neither new nor correct. The paper’s author, University of Alabama, Huntsville researcher Roy Spencer, is a climate changeskeptic and controversial figure within the climate research community.


A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, a survivor of Texas and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog.

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  • Allen

    Yes and they should be ashamed of themselves for their propaganda lies. Steve Forbes is the worst, IMO.

    A mile is 5,280 feet. Our atmosphere is, for all intents and purposes, 20 miles thick, but save for aircraft in flight, we only live in less than an eighth of that.

    If you took a standard grade school class globe, the pencil mark from a sharpened #2 pencil would be twenty miles, or, the thickness of our atmosphere against the globe. That’s not much and it’s certainly not what anyone could consider robust. It’s more like the difficult to see body oil film your finger leaves behind if you draw your finger across the bottom of a Petri dish.

    We can’t keep playing around with so little.

  • Exactly, Allen.

  • DLS

    Actually, the thickness (height) of the atmosphere or its “colleague,” the threshold of space, has no single standard definition, but Allen is right that it’s finite and limited. (We can dispense with the diseased “global warming” baggage that accompanies the plain observation that burning fossil fuels is increasing the amount and proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.)

  • Absalon

    Many leftists get together and agree: “HITLER YOUTH! CRUSHING DISSENT! ECHO CHAMBER! AGITPROP! MOBS!”

    Many neo-liberals work in tandem to inflate importance of cocked-together study, seduce fools like Penza:

  • JSpencer

    I look at climate change a couple different ways. One: I follow the science and the continuing body of information it’s study produces. Two: I follow the soap opera and glean whatever comedy it affords. Yup, we live in a pretty closed system allright, unfortunately there seem to be many fools who think things will go on forever without having to worry about the impact we have on this earth.

  • Allen

    You don’t have to be a scientist anymore. All you have to do is look at the ice caps and glaciers.

  • DLS

    J. Spencer wrote:

    [T]here seem to be many fools who think things will go on forever without having to worry about the impact we have on this earth.

    The worse problem always has been the fools and worse who draw incorrect conclusions insofar as energy, economic, and other policy matters are concerned. (Note that the conclusions and policy agenda items have largely existed since the middle 1960s.)

    * * *

    Allen wrote:

    All you have to do is look at the ice caps and glaciers.

    Don’t rush to be superficial (or find “evidence” that supports your pre-conclusion) — not all melting indicates global warming. Much, yes, but not all.

    This is the best writeup currently available and explains this and so much else.

    I’d stick to what’s truly known — the relentless increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (which indicates it’s not occasional or random natural phenomena at work, but from burning fossil fuels). (Most people won’t care until we reach 400 ppm and even then I doubt it’ll be a silly reaction like panic or “outrage,” but more fatalistic. There’s nothing we can do to greatly change it.)

    Not much other than that is trustworthy, because this is an environmentalist movement rather than a scientific subject and academia has been infected and tainted by liberal politics (as are the media and government, for example).

    There’s more that can be said, about the steady-state “worst case” scenario of an ice-free Arctic (it’s the Northern Hemisphere that would be greatly affected by global warming), but so many can’t be trusted with that any more than with other information and speculation about global warming or now, “climate change.”

  • JSpencer

    The worse problem always has been the fools and worse who draw incorrect conclusions insofar as energy, economic, and other policy matters are concerned.”

    Wrong, the worse problem is the absence of political will to do anything real about all the problems that have already been identified for decades. AGW is only one of many environmental issues (albeit a big one), but they are all interconnected to various degrees. In this dumb and dumber citizenry I’m not optimistic.

  • hyperflow

    As a scientist (Master of Science, PhD candidate) it gets discouraging constantly battling “flames!” and “danger!”.

    The arguments are irrelevant — if you already have your conclusions, then who cares about data?

    Not sure which is worse, this pathetic post or Al Gore standing on a escalator to draw a graph on “inconvenient truth”. Science does not bow to emotion. Hence instead we typically bow out of these “discussions”.

    Does the poster even know how to open Matlab/SAS/R/C and do any part of the math yourself? Or do you just hand pick facts that fit your agenda?

    This article would be rejected for a 3rd grade homework report. Why is it here on TMV?

    I think I’ve had enough of TMV.
    Hopes of thoughtful debate fading fast.

    Great work! Keep up the dogma!

  • davidpsummers

    The problem is that this sort of thing is validated by the other side when some, for example, try and link an outbreak of tornadoes to climate when, in fact, the science says you can’t.

  • DLS

    I’m correct, Mr. Spencer, once again. Why do you say I’m wrong? Raw nerve stuck, perhaps? What’s the real reason you chose to say that? (in defiance of reality)

  • DLS

    It was claimed:

    Science does not bow to emotion.

    Tell it to those who present “work” like “An Inconvenient Truth” [sic].

    And you left out something else, politics.

  • Jim Satterfield
  • Jim Satterfield

    One example of how badly people understand how the science works is exemplified in the false controversy about the “hockey stick”. Two conservatives, neither of whom were climatologists, claimed to have found a fatal flaw in a paper by a couple of climatologists. Their criticism was solely in the mathematics used. This has been used ever since to claim that the “hockey stick” was debunked. In reality the “hockey stick” results, which were named after the shape of the graphing of the findings, were similar to results of multiple studies that produced the same basic graph when their analyses were graphed. Those studies were never “debunked”. In addition when the criticisms of the Mann et al were taken into account the change in results were so small that they just didn’t break the graph. In other words, multiple studies produced the same overall results and the criticisms aimed at one of them that got lots of press in places determined to deny warming, not just man’s role in it, were in the end meaningless. Yet the so-called debunking of the hockey stick is still cited over and over again by those who want to deny the science that supports AGW. This same pattern is repeated over and over again. In addition the author of this current paper, Roy Spencer, has had other issues with papers that didn’t survive peer review. They were published but their conclusions have not been confirmed by other scientists after publication. Further analysis tends to disprove similar claims Spencer has made in the past. Besides being obsessed with claims about how clouds influence warming that don’t stand up to review he also allows his religion to inform his opinions in other fields, such as his belief in Intelligent Design and denial of evolution.

  • DLS

    I noticed the experts found some errors (they called them “small”) in the film. I’d suggest people read the book and see the film and note that claims about worse storms, for example, have been shown to be wrong such as by Mueller (as you can see at the page I linked to from his bigger textbook, and he has more to say in his earlier paperback). They’re great for exaggeration and sensationalism (as is Mr. Gore’s incorrect and inappropriate hyperbole that attempts to appeal to emotion of the reader or viewer), but are wrong.

    And, of course, what so many activists want (and largely have wanted for decades) is hardly any kind of “solution,” much less beneficial any more than practical.

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