21 August 2007

on the coldest August day ever in New York City...

On the coldest August day on record in NYC, I want to remind you that according to begley in Newsweek the number of researchers whose empirical studies find that the world is warming and that human activity is partly responsible numbered in the thousands even then. The IPCC report issued this year, for instance, was written by more than 800 climate researchers and vetted by 2,500 scientists from 130 nations.

"800, and 2,500 — not too shabby. But wait a sec. Begley makes no mention of the 17,000 plus scientists that have signed the petition denying man-caused global warming based on these arguments. Perhaps seventeen-thousand deniers are a bit — Inconvenient? — to her argument. In the one area where she does discuss some of the most recent science that casts doubts about man-caused warming, she dismisses it out of hand.

The idea of a “variable Sun” has remained a constant in the naysayers’ arsenal to this day, even though the tiny increase in solar output over recent decades falls far short of explaining the extent or details of the observed warming.

(I love that paragraph; so indicative of begley's style. Parenthesize something she intends to dismiss or cause doubt about, then label the opposition, AND insert her own quantifying language {tiny, falls far short, etc.}. Really, begley? REALLY? Does it now? Because YOU say so. Thanks. Nice try)

Odd that she didn’t follow up on that one. I’m a lay person, not a scientist, and only a tiny bit of research lead me to the rebuttal of her dismissal (from Canada of all places...) — the changing output of the sun appears to drive climate change with the help of an amplifier, cosmic rays. When the sun cools, more cosmic rays get past the diminished solar wind, penetrating our atmosphere, causing more cloud cover, causing lower temperatures. When solar activity is greatest, the opposite happens. We are near the end of a heightened solar period and those that postulate that the sun is the major driver of climate change have predicted that we will be seeing a cooling cycle over the next few decades."

from the brilliant piece, debunking the drive-by media's junk journalism by Begley at Newsweek, credit: Arthur D. Baker