Joe Bastardi / August 16, 2012

Data Deception

July hottest ever?

The recent announcement by NOAA that July was the hottest ever has drawn counterarguments that prove it was not, and you can read about it at these links:

An ‘Inconvenient Result’ – July 2012 Not a Record Breaker According to Data From the New NOAA/NCDC U.S. Climate Reference Network

July 2012 Hottest Ever in the U.S.? Hmmm….I Doubt It

Dear NOAA and Seth, Which 1930’s Were You Comparing to When You Say July 2012 Is the Record Warmest?

• A Simple Proof That The 1930s Were Hotter

Why stop at land? They went after the ocean temperatures too:

Not So Hot – Ocean Temperatures Around the USA Are Not Anywhere Near Record Levels

It is true that it is very warm off the Northeast coast, which is part of the reason I am so concerned that, like the 1950s, the Northeast is vulnerable to hurricane landfalls. However, it’s very cold off the West Coast. That should be relevant also when talking about how warm the waters are off our coasts. It’s part of the cold cycle of the Pacific we have entered.

One can read the debunking above, but I wish to make a few other points. There seems to be a common thread with people who believe their idea of absolute truth means they can say and do whatever they want to get to that truth. The result is a series of loud announcements that grab the attention of a gullible media but when debunked do not have near the coverage as the original pronouncement.

So here are some points:

1.) A significant quantity of weather stations has been compromised by the urban heat island effect. The station data used in the 1930s, when the heat was just as bad or worse, was not nearly as contaminated as it is today. If we remove some of the weather stations that are skewed by urbanization, the heat is not as bad as the 1930s. There are some important points that need to be separated. One might argue that heat islands should not be overlooked because they indeed make the U.S. and planet warmer. However, the amount of land covered by cities pales in comparison to the amount of land/ocean that is not covered by cities. Therefore, the overall effect of heat islands on temperatures is miniscule. However, because a disproportionate amount of weather stations is situated in cities, and thus susceptible to the heat island effect, the calculations used by global warming activists are severely biased. An accurate calculation of global temperatures requires the removal of weather station bias. Additionally, the heat island effect has nothing to do with carbon dioxide emissions and the draconian energy policies that are destroying our economy. And if it was comparatively hot in the 1930s (and in the 1950s), why is CO2 the cause now but not then? The conclusions of Climate Ambulance Chasers about what this means are disturbing to any rational person.

2.) The U.S. is about 2 percent of the earth’s surface. For a movement that is so concerned about the planet, why is it ignoring the rest of the planet? The Southern Hemisphere is having a very cold winter while the Northern Hemisphere had a cold winter last year, despite North America’s warmth.Examine the temperature trend since the PDO changed to its cold cycle.

The trend is down after 10 years of being level. One can see the beginning of the downward start, despite the fact that CO2 continues to rise:

3.) “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.”

Though attributed to Stalin, there are actually hosts of people who may have said this. However, its meaning is clear. For the greater goal, there must be casualties. In the case of what we are confronting, belief in the end result means that there has to be suffering, be it the truth, people, individual freedoms, or the economy. The bullhorn screams doom, the public hears it, and the truth is not heard.

4.) It is either ignorance or deception, probably both. What else can we say? Are Climate Ambulance Chasers ignorant of the facts? Do they even look at the other side of the argument? Is their confidence built on ignorance of the other side of the argument? (The Dunning-Kruger effect – read about it here.)

Or do they know the facts and simply put out deceptive statements meant to confuse the public, forcing them to rely on the state to “save” them and the planet? There is only one way to fight this. We must constantly challenge the public to look at all sides of the argument so they can understand what is going on. This is an uphill fight, but persistence overcomes resistance.

I will end with this popular quote, one that is familiar to most of us:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Doing nothing in this matter is not an option for those concerned about the truth and the ideals our nation was built on.

Joe Bastardi is chief forecaster at WeatherBELL Analytics, a meteorological consulting firm.

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