Recently, CNN hosted a marathon seven-hour Town Hall discussion of climate change featuring ten Democrats running for president. All of them are true believers in catastrophic climate change, and all of them propose draconian solutions to solve problems that are, so far, simply nonexistent. (For one example, see “Zillow’s White House Crony,” 7/28/19, silvercityburro.com)
The timing of this spectacle was propitious. Less than a week before, on August 31, Michael Moore premiered his latest documentary, Planet of the Humans, which – surprisingly—dramatizes the futility and destructiveness of wind, solar and biomass as sources of energy. (See “Michael Moore gets unstuck on stupid,” 9/2/19, silvercityburro.com)
Also, in the month before the CNN Town Hall, temperature data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, showed there had been no warming in the continental U.S. since at least 2005. Not surprisingly, this was not reported by CNN, or any network that I could find, and it certainly wasn’t mentioned by any of the Democrats in the CNN Town Hall. More troubling, this inconvenient data was deliberately ignored by the NOAA.
The NOAA, which was established in 1970 to be the nation’s “weatherman,” is now a bureaucracy of over 11,000 employees. The NOAA monitors and keeps records of weather and climate data and it has expanded its job to encompass the entire world. At some point in its history, it took on the additional ask of predicting future climate. These bureaucrats are go-getters.
We’ve all seen stories proclaiming: “Hottest day (week-month-year) ever recorded.” Those stories originate with NOAA data. Skeptics note that “ever recorded” represents only the last 100 years or so and that the new temperature highs are usually measured in hundredths of degrees, but a far more serious objection is that these “records” are all from land-based thermometers.
The problem with land-based thermometers is that their readings are subject to human influences that have nothing to do with climate. People create heat as a by-product of just about everything they do. More cars, more pavement, more buildings, more air conditioning, more factories, etc., all add heat to the local surroundings. This creates an upward bias to temperature readings over time. Problems with land-based thermometers have been well known for many years.
In response to those criticisms, in 2005 the NOAA set up a carefully positioned network of 114 thermometers spaced uniformly across the lower 48 states. The intent was to have recorded temperatures that were not affected by urban development, etc.
The problem is that the NOAA ignores the data from this new network, called the U.S. Climate Reference Network, USCRN, in favor of data from one of its old temperature networks, the Cooperative Observer Network, COOP. (How they got COOP as an acronym, I don’t know. CON would have been more apt. Maybe they knew this?)
Back in 2011, the GAO investigated a 1200 thermometer subset of the COOP and found so many siting problems that the NOAA discontinued using data from those thermometers in 2012. However, they continue to use readings from the remaining 7500 COOP thermometers, many of which suffer the same problems the GAO found in the smaller network.
Why, you may ask, would the old problem-plagued network still be used when there is a new state-of-the-art network, the aforementioned USCRN? A Federal bureaucrat would be shocked at the question. They must continue to use the old network because what are the 11,000 NOAA employees supposed to do if you start taking away their thermometers? (Sarcasm, libs, sarcasm.)
A climate skeptic would not be shocked at the question. The NOAA continues to use the old COOP network because it shows temperatures are rising while the new network DOESN’T SHOW ANY TEMPERATURE RISE. In fact, the new data show that the average U.S. temperature is actually cooler now than in 2005.
This is more proof that all those “record high” stories we’ve seen in at least the last 14 years represent “fake news,” otherwise known as BS. Ditto for stories about droughts, floods, tornadoes, etc., in the U.S. being made more frequent or more intense because of rising temperatures.
This is no surprise to anyone who has closely followed the issue. The NOAA press releases are never qualified by noting lower readings from the new network, nor do the press releases mention if the reported temperatures are supported by satellite temperature measurements, which they are not. (Surprise!)
On the other hand, satellite instruments do show that the average global temperature has risen since 2005, but only by .15 degrees Celsius, which equates to +1.07C/1.9F per century, well below what the global warming models predict. Whether this temperature increase is due to humans adding CO2 to the atmosphere is another question, as is the question as to why the continental U.S. is not showing any warming vs. the global warming shown by satellites.
Regardless, the bottom line is that the facts do not justify the climate change hysteria so in vogue amongst the Democrats. To coin a phrase inspired by Al Gore, catastrophic climate change is a convenient untruth, an untruth convenient for those who are trying to panic us into voting for them.
(Note to some of my younger readers: The title of this article is a play on an old gag-line usually attributed to the comedian Groucho Marx, who was popular 50-60 years ago. One version has his wife finding him in bed with another woman. He denies everything and says to her, “Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?”)