Taking the chill off the Arctic

burning ice

What a joke, doctor

At the Huffington Post, “field biologist” Dr Reese Halter talks of the “unprecedented warming of our globe” and claims that “missing” Arctic sea ice is a “wake-up call.” He says the news of Arctic sea ice reaching its lowest point since the start of satellite observations in 1972 (actually 1979) is “outright heartbreaking.”

The heartbroken biologist meanders through observations on the climate, economics and some waffling, brainlessly misleading arguments against climatic scepticism. Then he goes on in a scientific vein:

It appears that the most powerful media empire and special interest groups like oil, gas and coal are hiding behind the intellectual wall of informed denial and social irresponsibility with respect to global warming.

Laughter, the best medicine

Oh, please, doctor. Don’t make us laugh.

He cannot have noticed that all around the world, big oil and coal have got right behind the green initiatives towards “sustainability” and their messages demonstrate a new, kinder alignment with the environment. There’s little difference, judging from their advertisements, between these new-look oil companies and Greenpeace.

Why has this transformation come about? Because it’s the new marketing tool of modern, socially-responsible corporations. They’re making a lot of money from the nascent surge in awareness of a greenhouse-gas-caused warming climate and the idea that, liberated from our sinning ways, we will even cool it down – of course we will.

Promise you can influence the climate, and people flock to buy your product. When cars are tuned to produce a few less carbon dioxides, you get the impression that rare native frogs leap from the exhaust and colonise the suburbs. When it’s announced that a timber company has minutely reduced the “carbon footprint” (whatever that is) of their timber treatment process we keep an eye open for the return of native pigeons.

Do they believe their green message? It’s hard to be certain, just as it’s hard to know whether Greens avoid buying houses by the sea, only reluctantly drive cars and detest taking long rides in aeroplanes to overseas climate conferences.

Does Halter expect the utility companies to stop their core business? Can they suddenly refuse to sell the petroleum, gas and coal that we want to buy? Can they insist that our electricity generators (at least in the US and Europe) stop using coal in their coal-fired boilers?

They cannot, because we ourselves demand these things, and our modern lives would be destroyed without them. Our cars would not take us to work, our houses would be cold and inhospitable, our hospitals dark and filled with dead equipment and our schools would refuse to admit our children, for their safety.

Come on, Reese, tell us how you propose to fill the void here. Wind farms don’t cut the mustard, so-called bio-fuels are out of favour, though monoculture in advanced countries is a mature practice, solar power is too expensive, hydro drowns lovely valleys, geothermal is expensive and speculative and nuclear power, though perfect, is still reviled on principle. Tell us what is left.

It is very apparent that elevated temperatures are creating climate disruption. For example, Hurricane Irene caused $7.4 billion in damages and Tropical Storm Lee, seven days later, inflicted another couple billion in damages.

There is no known causal link, there’s not even a correlation, between elevated temperatures and storms or hurricanes. However, the really imbecilic part of this comment is the silly doctor’s use of “climate disruption”. What is it and what causes it?

It’s muddled meaning to frighten children, that’s what it is. I’ll give you another name for disruption: chaos. And chaos is an excellent, precise name for the climate. Almost nothing about it is predictable for more than a week or two, and much of it for less than a day.

So it’s “climate disruption”, huh? What happens when you “disrupt” chaos? Do you get less chaos, or more chaos, and how would you know? How can you have more chaos than before? Of course you can’t, it’s just chaotic from beginning to end and you cannot tell where the old chaos stops and the new chaos begins.

In other words, the weather is the weather, it will always change, but not thus far outside historical norms, and there’s no evidence that human activities change it.

Reese claims global warming is “unprecedented”. But he must show us some evidence. We’re tired of people making claims like this without any.

Until you provide evidence, you’re worried about nothing, Reese. Stop wasting our time and go back to the field of your biologies.

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4 Thoughts on “Taking the chill off the Arctic

  1. Andy on 14/09/2011 at 1:32 pm said:

    If you are in Wellington, you can catch Prof Tim Naish from GNS and Victoria University who will be talking about computer modelling and Antarctic ice sheets

    Thursday 15 September, from 12.30-1.30 at VUW’s Pipitea Campus, Railway West Wing 501

  2. Richard C (NZ) on 14/09/2011 at 2:17 pm said:

    It’s simple really, hurricanes (caused by elevated temperatures) disrupt the climate, Stop pumping the atmosphere full of GHG emissions and temperatures will settle back down to placid levels, the hurricanes will go away and the climate will be serene and free of disruption for ever more just like in the days before 1965 when CO2 started disrupting the climate……..oh wait……

  3. Richard C (NZ) on 14/09/2011 at 2:27 pm said:

    OK just checked, it’s not so simple after all.

    US Major Hurricane Strikes Peaked At 310 PPM

    The US suffered the most major hurricanes (category 3-5) between 1930 and 1960, when CO2 levels were at 310 PPM, and barely rising. Over the last six years, we have had no major hurricanes – with CO2 at 390 PPM.



  4. Andy on 14/09/2011 at 2:55 pm said:

    O/T but a reminder that Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project is only a few hours away.
    Bishop Hill has lined up Josh for some live cartooning and WUWT is joining in the fun too.

    The actual website has some great entertainment too.


    Located in an island nation, Auckland is particularly susceptible to sea level rise — as are many of New Zealand’s coastal communities. The small town of Kaeo, north of Auckland, has been flooded so many times in the last few years that residents may have to abandon the town as sea levels continue to rise.



    “What climate change deniers and carbon dioxide have in common”


    All good fun. No animals or children were harmed in the making of this entertainment.

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