American Elephants

Does the ‘leader’ of the free world really know so little about climate? by The Elephant's Child
June 1, 1915, 6:37 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,
By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Mr. Obama’s remarks at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s Commencement May 20 demonstrate the extent to which his advisors are keeping him divorced from the facts.

President Barack Obama delivers the commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., May 20, 2015. During his comments, Obama discussed the impact of climate change on national security. DoD screen shot

The bulk of his speech was devoted to what is now becoming more and more obviously a non-problem: “the challenge … that, perhaps more than any other, will shape your entire careers – and that’s the urgent need to combat and adapt to climate change.”


Some facts. In the 11 years 2004-2014, the rate of global warming taken as the mean of the three terrestrial datasets was one-twentieth of a degree. The ARGO ocean dataset shows warming of one-fortieth of a degree. The mean of the two satellite datasets shows no warming at all. Subject to formidable uncertainties, the ARGO database gives perhaps the best guide to the underlying warming rate. None of these real-world measurements is the stuff of what Mr Obama called “a peril that can affect generations”.


Next: “Climate change is real”. Well, yes. So is the M31 galaxy.


The question is whether it’s a threat. On the evidence to date, the answer is No for global warming, and Yes for M31, which already occupies ~ 3 degrees of arc in the sky, making it bigger than the moon (but it won’t hit us for 4 billion years or so – much like manmade global warming at the present rate). [UPDATE: recent findings show the ‘halo’ of the galaxy to be even larger]

The Andromeda galaxy M31 is larger than the moon, but isn't noticeable due to its low brightness. Composite photo by Tom Buckley-Houston; background taken by Stephen Rahn on June 10, 2013.

Next: “Our analysts in the intelligence community know climate change is happening.  Our military leaders — generals and admirals, active duty and retired — know it’s happening.  Our homeland security professionals know it’s happening.  And our Coast Guard knows it’s happening.” Me too! Me too! The question is how fast it’s happening (not very), and how much it is to do with us (not much) and whether it will get worse (no) and whether it will be cheaper to act today than to act tomorrow (a unanimous No from almost every economist who has written a peer-reviewed paper on the subject, and even from the IPCC).

Next: “The planet is getting warmer: 14 of the 15 hottest years on record have been in the past 15 years.” No. 14 of the 15 hottest years since 1850 have been in the past 15 years. So what? The “n out of n+1 years were the hottest evaaah” is how babies do statistical trends. Yes, the planet is getting warmer, but at a glacial and unthreatening rate. The medieval (1400 AD), Roman (300 BC), Minoan (1400 BC), Old Kingdom (2250 BC) and Holocene (4000-8000 BC) warm periods were all warmer than today. Yet here we all are.

Next: “Our scientists at NASA just reported that some of the sea ice around Antarctica is breaking up even faster than expected. Not exactly surprising, given that at present it has reached the greatest extent for the time of year observed in the 35-year satellite era. Why did Mr Obama not mention that (or any) fact, by way of balance?


Next: “The world’s glaciers are melting, pouring new water into the ocean.  Over the past century, the world sea level rose by about eight inches.  That was in the last century; by the end of this century, it’s projected to rise another one to four feet.” Actually, most of the world’s glaciers are in Greenland and Antarctica. There are 160,000 of them. Most of them have never been visited, measured, or monitored by Man. And the rate of sea level rise according to tide gauges shows little acceleration compared with the past 150 years. The laser-altimetry satellites, the only ones that purport to show accelerating sea-level rise, have inter-calibration errors that exceed the sea-level rise they purport to measure. The GRACE satellites showed sea level falling from 2003-2008 and only showed an increase when an entirely artificial “glacial isostatic adjustment” was added to make the results conform. The Envisat satellite, during its eight years in operation from 2004-2012, showed sea level rising at a rate equivalent to just 1.3 inches per century. And why would we expect more, given the fact that the sea is barely warming?

Mr Obama talked of climate change as “the most severe threat” that “will impact every country on the planet … a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security. And, make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country. And so we need to act – and we need to act now.” No, we don’t. The evidence just isn’t there.

Then we get the “D” word: “Denying it, or refusing to deal with it, endangers our national security.  It undermines the readiness of our forces.” No, it doesn’t. The mean rate of warming on the terrestrial datasets since 1979 is 0.14 degrees. On the satellite datasets, 0.11 degrees. In the oceans, we don’t know: the measurement method that immediately preceded the ARGO network, the XBT network, showed ocean cooling and had to be adjusted to make it fit the story-line. Same with the ARGO network, which originally showed cooling and had to be adjusted. Even then, it only shows warming at a rate equivalent to a quarter of a degree per century.


These adjustments to the sea temperature records, like just about every other adjustment ever made to the terrestrial or ocean networks, have always been in an ever-upward direction. The probability that so many measurements on so many different systems over so long as a century (for the terrestrial records) and a third of that (for the satellite records) and a third of that (for the ARGO record) would all have erroneously understated global warming is as near nil as makes no difference.

Next: “Confronting climate change is now a key pillar of American global leadership.  When I meet with leaders around the world, it’s often at the top of our agenda – a core element of our diplomacy.” So much more congenial than dealing with real problems, like the murder of Christians in Muslim war zones, the trafficking of children by the million to compensate for the distorting effects of the one-child policy in China, the subsidies by Russia to anti-fracking groups in Europe to keep the gas price artificially high, the stupefying expansion of the U.S. national debt under Mr Obama, the failure of the U.S. Coastguard and border farce to control her own borders, the abandonment of millions of poor people to substandard health care thanks to “Obamacare”, the exaggerations about the supposed “threat” of climate change …

Next: “The effects of climate change are so clearly upon us.  It will shape how every one of our services plan, operate, train, equip, and protect their infrastructure, their capabilities, today and for the long term.” No, it won’t: not once one foreign-born occupant of the White House is replaced by another less scientifically illiterate. Continue reading

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