Climate De-Bait and Switch

Dealing with facile arguments that are supposedly perfect refutations of the climate skeptics’ position is a full-time job akin to cleaning the Augean Stables.  A few weeks ago Kevin Drum argued that global warming added 3 inches to Sandy’s 14-foot storm surge, which he said was an argument that totally refuted skeptics and justified massive government restrictions on energy consumption (or whatever).

This week Slate (and Desmog blog) think they have the ultimate killer chart, on they call a “slam dunk” on skeptics.  Click through to my column this week at Forbes to see if they really do.

103 thoughts on “Climate De-Bait and Switch”

  1. No but a new topic might encourage debate.

    First of all a storm is a heat engine and the amount of
    energy it uses to move air etc is proportional to the temperature DIFFERENCE
    between the input and the output not their
    absolute temperature .

    Here is a simple explanation of the thermodynamics involved.

    Notice that if the temperature out = the temperature in the
    heat engine STOPS !

    CO2 makes the difference less so it slows down.

    By spreading the heat more evenly CO2 tends to make storms

    Despite one extreme
    storm recently the TREND seems to b e
    FLAT without any more or less storms floods or droughts and here is the proof.

  2. I need a blog for people who read what is written instead of what was meant:

    Nurse: Can you tell me your birthday? (Holy medico ritual for absolutely confirming that the correct patient is being addressed.)

    Me: Yes.
    Nurse, with obvious irritation: TELL ME YOUR birthday!
    Me. Monday.

    Me: Am I wrong?
    netdr: No. Followed by conclusive proof that the answer is “Yes”.

    I am nearing 74 years, which means I have been through approximately 7 cycles although I can probably lay claim to recollections of only 6, plus some unknown number learned of through elders, hearsay, and histories.

    So when I read things that look like “TREND seems to b e FLAT”, I see “looks like we have returned to the flat part of the cycle”.

    Of course, you may correctly guess that I have no credentials beyond an avid interest in the weather acquired from my elders (my mother and my paternal grandfather mostly), but I think I have learned that in addition to the fairly obvious 11 year cycle there are other cycles that I don’t think I understand as well, but I do believe they exist whether I understand them or not. The periods of those others may be harmonics, but I think there are others that form a powerful heterodyne so that there are periods where storm activity (or drought, or what have you) are a lot “worse” than they were the last time through this part of the cycle.

    Anyway–I am glad the blog is not dead and I’ll leave it in the must-read-daily list. And I’ll try to say something outrageous to stir up the debate.

    The best I can do for the moment is to say that I wear the badge “skeptic” (in every area I encounter) with considerable pride, and I am deeply chagrined when I am caught (as I too often am) not being as skeptical as I should have been.

    I know! Is there any term in either meteorology or physics with less meaning than “green house gasses”?

  3. Reading it again today, it looks like my leading remarks are wrong–I read but did not absorb apparently.

    At the risk of prolonging the nonsense, I apologize.

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