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2014 SkS Weekly Digest #2

Posted on 12 January 2014 by John Hartz

SkS Highlights

Dana' s The Weekly Standard's Lindzen puff piece exemplifies the conservative media's climate failures generated the most comments of the articles posted during the past week. Coming in a close second was Rob Painting's New Study Suggests Future Global Warming at the Higher End of Estimates: 4°C Possible by 2100

Toon of the Week

 2014 Toon 2

Quote of the Week

Even today, "there is some degree of uncertainty about natural variability," acknowledged Mark McCaffrey, programs and policy director of the National Center for Science Education based in Oakland, Calif. "If it weren't for the fact that humans had become a force of nature, we would be slipping back into an ice age, according to orbital cycles."

But earth's glacial rhythms are "being overridden by human activities, especially burning fossil fuels," McCaffrey noted. The stories about global cooling "are convenient for people to trot out and wave around," he said, but they miss the point: 

"What's clear is we are a force of nature. Human activity – the burning of fossil fuels and land change – is having a massive influence. We are in the midst of this giant geoengineering experiment."

How Newsweek's 'global cooling' story got its legs by Doug Struck, The Daily Climate, Jan 10, 2014 

SkS Week in Review

SkS Rebuttal Articles Updated

The findings contained in the recently puiblished papers discussed in Dana's article, Global warming is being caused by humans, not the sun, and is highly sensitive to CO2, new research shows have been incorporated into the rebuttals to the myths: It's the sun, Clouds provide negative feedback, and Climate sensitivity is low. 

Coming Soon on SkS

  • Global warming and energy – intertwined problems in Africa (John Abraham)
  • Mitigation Mosaic: How small steps can make a difference (BaerbelW)
  • One Million Views of the Widget (Bob Lacatena)
  • High-stakes climate poker (Jim Byrne)
  • Australia’s hottest year was no freak event: humans caused it (Sophie Lewis & David Karoly)
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #3 (John Hartz) 

In the Works 

  • It’s all a Question of Balance (Glenn Tamblyn)
  • New Video: Climate, Jetstream, Polar Vortex (Peter Sinclair)
  • Comments on the Purpose of Privacy (Rob Honeycutt)
  • Rebuttal to the myth 'CO2 is saturated' (Glenn Tamblyn & jg)
  • Saving the Keeling curve (doug bostrom)
  • Thirteen Years of Moths and Flames (jerryd)
  • Honey, I mitigated climate change (Ari Jokimaki)

SkS in the News

Collin Maessen embeds a link to the SkS article, A Rough Guide to the Jet Stream: what it is, how it works and how it is responding to enhanced Arctic warming in hs Real Sceptic blog post, Winter, Weather, And Climate Science Deniers

The findings of Cowtan and Way (2013) are cited by James Wright in his Precarious Climate blog post, Unofficial deputy PM attacks climate science.

In CNN's Crossfire Dredges Up Climate Change Denial During, Media Matters critically reviews the segment refernced below. 

Stephan Lewandowsky features the SkS graphic of Antic sea ice extent in his article, An icebreaker gets stuck in the ice, photos are used to mislead posted on The Conversation. The graph is from the SkS article, Arctic sea ice "recovers" to its 6th-lowest extent in millennia

Eric Holthaus concludes his Quartz article, How global warming can make cold snaps even worse with:

"Skeptical Science (the ‘Snopes’ of climate science) has a comprehensive explainer on Arctic amplification and the jet stream, for those that want to dig deeper on the subject. And, as a PSA, is a great-go to resource when situations like this arise."

The TCP was cited twice by co-host Van Jones on CNN's Crossfire segment titled, Cold Sparks Climate Skeptics.

SkS Spotlights

Coral Davenport reviews four important books about climate change in this weekend's New York Times Sunday Book Review.

THE CLIMATE CASINO Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World by William Nordhaus Yale University

FEVERED Why a Hotter Planet Will Hurt Our Health — and How We Can Save Ourselves by Linda Marsa Rodale

THE MELTING WORLD A Journey Across America’s Vanishing Glaciers by Christopher White St. Martin’s

THE ONCE AND FUTURE WORLD Nature as It Was, as It Is, as It Could Be by J. B. MacKinnon Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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Comments 1 to 6:

  1. Clin? Really? ;)

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] My apologies for taking so long to correct the typo.

  2. Anyone can knows and the background of a fellow named Tom Switzer. He just wrote an opinion piece on smh, which reads like Marc Morano:

    Game finally up for carboncrats (warning  before you read: everything in this link is a lie and baselesss rhetoric; read some reader comments to learn that people, thankfully, are generally not deceived by this nonsense)

    Interesting that smh, which boasts as "Independent, Always", allowed their space to such buffon as Switzer. In the name of "balance" in this "debate"? Sounds pathetic. Perhaps  Mr Switzer represents some special interest that distorts his worldview so badly. That's the reasonI'm asking about his background. And sadly, we have another denier to debunk (unless shm withdraws this piece and appologises to the readers, which seams unlikely).

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  3. chriskoz (#2): The clueless anti-science piece by this Mr. Switzer that you link to is obvious damage control. The Australian based denier fraction is completely besides themselves with desperation right now and will do anything to deflect the publics attention from the extreme heat in Australia at the moment.

    I just watched CNN from the Australian Open and players are passing out from the extreme heat, so a very visible PR nightmare for the deniers, as the AUS Open is broadcast around the world.

    It is going to be a very interesting year, and likely a very difficult one for the flat earth crowd, so they will turn up the rhetoric and noise to 11. 

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  4. Esop @3, "the Australian based denier [faction]", as you put it, currently dominates the party of government.  By July they will have control of both houses of parliament, controll they will use to repeal Australia's carbon price, wind back the renewable energy requirement, and impliment a mitigation scheme which consists of paying the heaviest emitters "to reduce their reduction", with the payment being retained by the emitters even if they increase emissions instead.  Economically, that last works out as a subsidy for CO2 emissions.  In the mean time, they have effective control of some of the most important media in the country, and other media sufficiently cowed such that at best we get false balance on climate change.  That dominance is partly attributable to Tom Switzer, who in his last few years as editor of The Australian's opinion pages gave the 1% of climate scientists who reject AGW an article a day to present their views; with the 97% percent who accept the evidence only being allowed a few articles a year, and only if they were writting to challenge the then proposed emissions trading scheme.   Whatever the motivations behind Tom Switzer's article, desperation is not one of them.

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  5. With regard to Chriskoz @2, we should probably refer further discussion of Tom Switzer's article to the more detailed discussion at the 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #2.  

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  6. Tom (#4): That is not good. Amazing how the anti-science folks have gotten into position in AUS, by the sound of it.

    Up here in Scandinavia, the deniers have been unusually quiet after month after month with extremely mild temperatures. Last 30 days average sits an amazing 7C above normal, but the cold weather just arrived, so the anti science guys will start to blow their horns any day now. The public just soaks up their nonsense like a sponge. Just saw an interview with random folks on the street in the local paper, and it read like a Monckton statement. Only guy worried with the extremely warm winter temps was an Englishman that could not believe the +7C (24-7) in Oslo, Norway (60 degs north) in January. He was also appalled that the locals did not care at all.

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