Nuz Flash! Old story sez Sun makz climate change! Oh noes!!1!

dasunToday, Memeorandum featured a post by climate disruption denier Michael Andrews and writer for the website DailyTech that claimed, among other things, that “even NASA’s own study acknowledges that solar variation has caused climate change in the past.” Not exactly news, but given that this article has been linked by other prominent denier sites like American Thinker, Newsbusters, and WattsUpWithThat, I figured that it was worth a little more looking.

And I’m glad I did, because I came across a great post at The Phoenix Talking Politics blog that pointed out something I’d missed: Andrews got all hot and bothered by a general interest piece that ran in ScienceDaily in May, 2008.


And just in case you think this is isolated to just a couple of denialist sites, here’s a list of various blogs parroting, reposting, or linking to Andrews, Watts, or Newsbusters (in no particular order): Climate Change Fraud, CongressCheck.com, Truth11, Salt Lake Tribune message boards, Truth is Contagious, Climate Realists, Republic Broadcasting Network, Prairie Pundit, Hyscience, Deceiver, Jumping in Pools, Bluffton Today, The Witless Knower, Political Wrinkles forum, The American Right forum, Bob’s Bites, Cool Science News, Lucianne.com, The Global Warming, Righting the Ship, Micky’s Muses, Fabius Maximus, Melvin Udall, The Political Fish, Right of Course, The Political Asylum forum, Rantings of Mine, Atomic Fungus (as of about 24 hours after the original posting. More will be forthcoming, I’m sure.)

Apparently a significant number of climate disruption deniers are getting desperate for vindication. Talk about embarrassing.

What’s far more embarrassing, however, is what was written in the American Thinker piece:

This report may represent the third time that NASA’s DR. James Hansen, Al Gore’s point man on his AGW hoax, has had to backtrack on his claims that humans are responsible for climate change.

Could Dr. Hansen’s Reign of Error as head of the Goddard Institute for Space Flight be coming to an end?

To say that American Thinker is confused is to be generous. Hansen runs the NASA Goddard Institute for Space STUDIES at Columbia University in New York City, not the Goddard SPACE FLIGHT CENTER in Greenbelt, Maryland. American Thinker must have been in such a hurry to slam Hansen that they forgot to check their facts.

Just a hint, guys – getting your facts this wrong doesn’t do your already nonexistent credibility on this issue any good.

(For the record, the latest science supports the idea that part of climate disruption is natural, so anyone who says that the sun has some impact is entirely correct. However, anyone claims that the sun is the dominant factor over human emissions of greenhouse gases is incorrect. In fact, we know that solar energy output can’t be the dominant factor – if it were, then the stratosphere would be heating up, but instead it’s cooling off as energy from the surface is prevented from entering the stratosphere by greenhouse gas buildup in the troposphere.)

14 replies »

  1. Yup the story is from May 2008.

    Since then the sun has stayed quiet and temperatures have continued to drop.

    It is even more valid today than it was when the report was first released. As you can see CO2 is up, but temperatures continue down.http://icecap.us/images/uploads/MSUCO2.JPG

    Historically there is even less corelation between CO2 and temperature.

    “Fact” check with Hansen…that’s a laugh when he’s been caught fiddling with data numerous times.

    They were whistle blowing!

    • Judy: I know we’ve asked before, but I don’t recall you answering. Who exactly is it that pays you for all your hard disinfo work? Is it an astroturf group of some sort?

    • Judy, time to reacquaint you (again – what is this now, the 10th time?) with some pesky little things I like to call “facts.”

      Since [May, 2008] the sun has stayed quiet and temperatures have continued to drop.

      Um, no. First, you’re talking about weather, not climate.

      Second, I just downloaded the data from GISS, NCDC, HadleyCRU, UAH T2LT, and RSS TLT, and plotted from last May to this April (most of the May data isn’t published yet). And this lovely image is what I got:

      Notice that all those black trendlines are positive or flat – none of them are negative. Facts, Judy.

      I’ve seen that Icecap image before, and it’s meaningless. 7 years is such a short period of time that you literally can’t make any statistically valid conclusions based on it. Give me 20 years worth of data that looks identical to that graph and then you might have half a leg to stand on.

      As for that image of past geological ages, it’s only meaningful if solar output was similar to today (it generally wasn’t), whether the biosphere was similar to today (it generally wasn’t), whether the land masses were located similar to today (they certainly weren’t), whether ocean circulation was similar to today (it certainly wasn’t), and so on. Geologists and climatologists can learn a lot from those periods, but they only matter for today’s climate if they’re substantially similar, and the vast majority of those geologic eras are wildly different in key aspects.

  2. Have you noticed they don’t call it “Global Warming” anymore, but call it “Climate Change?” I wonder who makes those type of decisions(somehow I bet those people are familiar with Limos, Gulfstream IV’s, and the Upper West Side). Global Warming as a slogan just wasn’t working with the average Joe, so voila, “Cliimate Change”…there’s something everyone can believe in.

    Kind of reminds me of the March of Dimes. The March of Dimes originally was a charity to cure Polio. When Salk invented the polio vaccine, the charity was suddenly without a cause. Rather than disband and say, “job well done” they changed their focus to birth defects. This is a good example of a bureaucracy reinventing itself rather than disbanding. Also gets to keep the cash flow going.

    One knows there’s a whole lot of cash flow in “Climate Change.” It’s just going to a different group of people these days, but remember, it’s always about the money.

    • Jeff: Not sure exactly where you’re coming from, but “climate change” was a conservative/denier tactic. “Warming” sounded pretty bad, so if they could neuter the public discussion with the less ominous “change” it was to their advantage. All in all, it’s one of the more clever PR tricks we’ve seen in recent years (arguably even better than “Japan bashing”)….

  3. Climate change is scientifically accurate while global warming is, arguably, not. I use climate disruption because it’s both accurate and better describes what’s actually happening – climates around the world are being disrupted by human-emitted greenhouse gases, land use changes, poor water management, and so on.

    Put another way, change is always happening naturally, but disruption has a cause, and in this case the cause is human energy consumption.