Sunday, September 29, 2013

Contentious public debates are nearly always won by those who hammer home the most easily repeatable catchphrases

This year’s climate news has been enough to give the even the most fanatical warmist a bad case of heartburn
writes Benny Huang on Patriot Update:
The primary setback to their cause is the revelation that the earth hasn’t warmed at all in the last fifteen years despite ever increasing levels of greenhouse gases.

Hypotheses abound to explain away the lack of warming. Is it a weak La Niña? Fluctuations in the solar cycle? Is more heat being captured in the depths of the ocean? Scientists aren’t sure and their uncertainty speaks volumes.

Contentious public debates are nearly always won by those who hammer home the most easily repeatable catchphrases. The public isn’t particularly informed about the question of climate change but it thinks it “knows” two things—the science is settled and scientists are in broad agreement.

Neither of these statements is true by any objective measure, and yet plenty of people who consider themselves eminently reasonable believe both of them. How then can these same people process the recent revelations coming from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that there hasn’t been a lick of warming since Eagle-Eye Cherry topped the charts? We can now see that the science is not settled because the expected upward trend did not continue, just as easily as we can see that there is no consensus as to why.

 … Several countries expressed their alarm that the IPCC would actually mention the net zero warming that has taken place since 1998. One must wonder why various world governments made their gripes known only in secret. Is it because they knew that they were essentially asking for the conclusions to be massaged to their liking?

Belgium voiced concerns that using the hottest year on record—1998—as the baseline would be misleading. Actually, when the hottest year on record was fifteen years ago, it’s not misleading at all. It’s kind of the point. The Belgians suggested using 1999 or 2000 instead because that would produce … an upward trend. And at the end of the day, ensuring that the chart displays an upward trend is really the goal, isn’t it?

 … Germany wanted to delete all references to the lull supposedly because the time scale of ten to fifteen years was too short. Again, would it have been too short if had supported the sacred cause? Hungary worried that any mention of the lull would only be used as ammunition by skeptics. Did it ever occur to them that the skeptics might be right?