I have taken some time off in order to finish the book on rowing and, truthfully, to marshall my inner resources in response to the various ad-hominem attacks directed my way after I published this. Allow me to say here that I had exchanged several e-mails with Arianna Huffington prior to her publishing my piece on The Huffington Post. Every single one of my e-mails identified me as a climate change sceptic and a liberal Democrat who was trying to get the word out that it is not just conservatives who reject the manmade global warming alarmists’ dogma.
By disavowing that she knew what was in the piece, as she has, Arianna is asking people to believe that in a time of economic disaster a junior editor risked his or her employment in order to publish a piece sure to incense the boss. Meanwhile, no such junior editor ever contacted me. There was an e-mail from Arianna telling me she was having her staff “coordinate” (again, in response to a very clear e-mail from me identifying the piece as anti-Gore, and anti-global-warming alarmism), then a junior staffer asked me for my bio and a photograph. That was it. I will let those who have eyes to see judge this situation on its merits.
In the meantime, the University of Washington has produced a paper co-authored by Michael Mann suggesting that, contrary to all temperature-station data, Antarctica has actually been warming for the past 50 years. What Mann and his co-authors have done is to use computer models to generate a warming trend where the data itself showed the opposite trend. I will post about this at length in the next week, but this truly is one of the most damning examples of “science” gone berserk. The fact that Al Gore is about to testify in front of Congress that Antarctica is warming, just as predicted, despite the gradual increase in sea ice since satellite measurements have been taken, despite the lack of any increase in temperatures measured on the ground, including and especially at the South Pole station itself, is quite sad.
First of all, the worrisome “increase” the computer modelers have “posited” (there are no measurements showing continent-wide warming) is a matter of moving upward at a pace of .4 degree Celsius per century. Someone might want to point out to Mr. Gore that this red-flag warning, in which average annual temperature “increases” from -50 degrees Celsius to -49.5 degrees Celsius, would not lead most sane people to conclude that any ice is going to melt on the Antarctic mainland anytime soon. Again, the maximum sea ice extent ever measured for Antarctica was in 2007!
Now, in terms of the facts in my piece, which were rejected as “unscientific” by the various posters at the Huffington Post site, once it was seen how much criticism the AGW movement can produce in a short period of time, not one poster dealt with the work of Henrik Svensmark, rejected the sudden cooling since the switchover of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation to its cool phase, discussed the deep solar minimum in which we currently find ourselves (and the known climatological consequences of same), addressed the historic maximum of Antarctic sea ice in 2007, or dealt with any of the other fact-based research contained in my piece. On some level, I do regret not linking to more graphs and peer-reviewed papers. On another, I do not regret it at all. I am trying to write within the Editorial page columnists’ tradition, in which it is assumed that the author has performed extensive research and puts same into the context of his or her own lights, such as they are. Such writing is done for a mass audience. The overwhelming number of editorial opinion pieces published on global warming have, similarly, not gotten bogged down in overly scientific discourse or data spread sheets. There is something to be said for being readable, after all.
I have to wrap this up, but before I do, let me quickly touch on the title of this entry.
What if those of us who look to the solar minimum we’re in and the serious risks of cooling are correct? What if growing seasons are going to shorten in the next three decades? What if crops are going to fail to an extent not seen in the last 100 years in the temperate latitudes? What if while preparing for the perils of a Hot Summer without end, we are failing to prepare for the realities of Brutal Winter, such as those of the early 19th century and earlier? Will those of us who were saying that these possibilities should be considered immoral, the way our detractors claim? Is it wrong to point out that significant atmospheric and oceanic cooling has always presented more challenges to humanity than warming?
What if it’s going to get cold? (There are many legitimate scientific reasons to believe that is.)