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May 31, 2011

Newsweek's Global Warming Fearmongering Isn't Science, It's Science-Fiction

Starting in about 2008, the global warming hoax slowly started to come apart. Scientists started to recant as none of their models accurately predicted current temperatures or sea levels. Then came ClimateGate. Just a few months ago polls showed that just 35% of Americans -- a new low -- believe in anthropogenic global warming. Just last week the G8 nations finished abandoning the Kyoto Protocol.

Faced with the widespread decline in their pet theory, what are global warming believers to do? Hit the panic button:

That is Newsweek's latest cover and it comes with a hysterical fantasy from the so-called science editor. The article is one of those piece of media paranoia that is so wrong it is hard to know where to start. Since I haven't got time to fisk the whole piece, here are five obvious errors.

First, remember when global warming believers said that single-year activity (for example, the annual lows in the 2000s) didn't equate to a climate trend? She doesn't:

Even those who deny the existence of global climate change are having trouble dismissing the evidence of the last year. In the U.S. alone, nearly 1,000 tornadoes have ripped across the heartland, killing more than 500 people and inflicting $9 billion in damage.

Is the "nearly 1,000" line, which is supposed to sound like a lot, even out of the ordinary? A glance at the NOAA's annual tornado statistics suggests that it's not.

And, as I wrote last week when Oklahoma and Missouri got hit, do not under any circumstances believe that graph demonstrates a trend. As the NOAA itself admits, tornado-detection is a much more advanced science modernly than in the past. Merely comparing numbers of tornadoes, is not a meaningful comparison. Contra Newsweek's panicked editor, the IPCC concludes "There is insufficient evidence to determine whether trends exist in.....small-scale phenomena such as tornadoes, hail, lightning and dust-storms."

Second, she overlooks the obvious:

The Midwest suffered the wettest April in 116 years, forcing the Mississippi to flood thousands of square miles, even as drought-plagued Texas suffered the driest month in a century. Worldwide, the litany of weather’s extremes has reached biblical proportions.

If the Midwest was wetter 116 years ago, you've got to wonder whether phenomena other than global warming are responsible. Say, a coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon, perhaps.

Note the personification of the Mississippi. Ordinarily we would say that a wet spring caused the Mississippi to flood, not that the Mississippi "was forced" to flood, as if it would have resisted were it not for the cruddy humans causing global warming.

Third, she exaggerates or, well, lies about measured temperature increases.

And the temperature keeps rising: 2010 was the hottest year on earth since weather records began. . . . there is wide consensus that the 2 degrees Fahrenheit of global warming of the last century is behind the rise in sea levels, more intense hurricanes, more heat waves, and more droughts and deluges.

Note the curious circumlocution "hottest year on earth since weather records began." NewsBuster's Noel Sheppard correctly points out that the Newsweek panic editor overstated the amount of warming by almost 50%.

Fourth, she exaggerates or, well, lies about the weather of the past to imply that the weather of the future will be different.

From these and other extreme-weather events, one lesson is sinking in with terrifying certainty. The stable climate of the last 12,000 years is gone.

What "stable climate" of the last 12,000 years? Little Ice Age ring any bells, "Science Editor"?

Oh, on a lighter note, I believe that she's terrified. I just don't believe she's terrified of global warming. She's afraid that people aren't buying it anymore. And, since she has to resort to such obvious lies and exaggerations even to gin up some good-old-fashioned mob panic, you'd have to be a mental defective to fall for it.

And that's the fifth obvious problem with her article: the title -- "The Reality of Climate Change is Upon Us." Of course, rather than discuss reality, a good chunk of her article is made up of paragraphs that start "Picture [dystopian future not based on science, but on fear]." That's not reality. It's fantasy.

Moreover, it is not Newsweek's first panicked fantasy about the weather. Remember this?

Another Newsweek article cited “the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded”, killing “more than 300 people”, as among “the ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically”. But that article was published on April 28, 1975, when Newsweek listed the US tornado disaster of 1974 as one of the harbingers of disastrous global cooling, heralding the approach of a new ice age.

Pathetic, as is anyone who would fall for this bullshit.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 07:37 AM

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