April 20, 2011

Climate Coup

We are pleased to announce the latest addition to our blogroll category of “Books”—that being Climate Coup: Global Warming’s Invasion of Our Government and Our Lives—a fine publication edited by our own Dr. Patrick J. Michaels.

Climate Coup is published by the Cato Institute and is available through Cato or through Amazon.

Here is how the Cato Institute describes Climate Coup:

Global warming alarmism is invading nearly every aspect of our society. Despite convincing evidence that climate change does not portend an apocalyptic future, children are inundated with that idea in schools. Poor countries shake down rich ones in the name of climate “justice.” Lawmakers try to impose tariffs and sanctions on nations that don’t agree with their environmental views. The military uses climate change as a reason to enlarge its budget. And courts are compelling the government to restrict the amount of energy we use and the way we use it.

Climate Coup provides an antidote to this, gathering together myth-breaking insights and data from a team of experts on the pervasive influence global warming alarmism is having on health, education, law, national defense, international development, trade, and academic publishing.

”Global warming’s reach has become ubiquitous,” writes the editor, Patrick Michaels. “This book documents how far unelected bureaucracies have pushed this issue into our lives.”

Each author details the width and depth of the impact global warming alarmism is having on his or her area of expertise. The coverage includes:

-How the Constitution’s limited government restraints have been torn away, allowing global warming policy to be dictated by the president.

-The deliberate abdication of legislative authority by Congress to further concentrate regulatory power in the executive and judicial branches.

-How outrageous exaggerations of global warming fuel budget expansion within the Defense Department.

-How students are subjected to forms of climate change education that are akin to social engineering.

-How trade policies do nothing about climate change but erode market freedoms.

-Ending the myth that global warming reduces the quality of life in developing countries.

-An examination of the unrealistic and unsupported public health claims made about global warming.

Climate Coup confronts the exaggerations, opportunism, and myths about global warming that are all too pervasively altering the shape of our lives and provides the tools and insights necessary to push back against the takeover.

Climate Coup is edited by Dr. Patrick Michaels, senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute. According to Cato, “Dr. Michaels is widely acknowledged by climate alarmists as today’s most effective synthesizer of the nonapocalyptic view of climate change. He is a distinguished senior fellow in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University and a past president of the American Association of State Climatologists. He has also authored multiple books on global warming, including Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know.”

Climate Coup includes individual chapters contributed by:

Roger Pilon
Evan Turgeon
Ross McKitrick
Ivan Eland
Sallie James
Indur M. Goklany
Robert E. Davis
Neal McCluskey

For those interested in hearing more about what Climate Coup is all about, the Cato Institute is hosting a Book Forum on Wednesday May 4, 2011. The Book Forum will be streamed on-line, and will feature speakers Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, MIT and Bob Ryan, Fellow and past president of the American Meteorological Society and meteorologist for WJLA / ABC 7 News. The discussion will be moderated by Patrick J. Michaels.

Be sure to tune in to see all the fun!

January 11, 2011

OH OH! Redux II

Filed under: Health Effects, Ozone

About 10 years ago, Science magazine published a paper by Ronald Prinn and colleagues with the finding that the atmospheric concentrations of the hydroxyl radical (OH-) were declining, with the authors pointing squarely to anthropogenic global warming as a likely cause. As the hydroxyl radical is particularly good as scrubbing some forms of pollution (like low level ozone) from the atmosphere, the implication was that anthropogenic global warming was inhibiting the atmosphere’s cleansing processes.

Horror, horror!

And as you could imagine, the news media eagerly ran with the story.

At the time, we at World Climate Report were a bit skeptical (big surprise there!) and pointed out that if you got into the nitty-gritty of the research results, the actual story they told was a lot more uncertain than was being portrayed—with the overarching implication that any link to anthropogenic global warming was being grossly overstated, to say the least.


September 8, 2010

Mortality Update

Filed under: Health Effects

An extensive literature exists linking global warming to human health and mortality. There is no doubt that atmospheric conditions have a profound effect on human health; outbreaks of pneumonia, influenza and bronchitis have been linked many times to both weather and climate. Pollen concentrations and pollution levels are certainly related to both weather and human health. Furthermore, the impact of heat waves and cold outbreaks on health and mortality are well established. Humidity not only influences health in terms of allowing bodies to cool in hot periods, but on the other side of the coin, dry, cold air leads to excessive dehydration of nasal passages and the upper respiratory tract increasing chances of microbial and viral infection. Precipitation events, particularly large snowfalls, are directly linked to an immediate decline in human health and an increase in mortality. Given the large literature on the subject, it has been fairly easy for alarmists to make claims that changes in weather and climate will result in higher mortality and an overall decrease in human health.

We have addressed the climate change—mortality connection many times in the past, and while scientists certainly exist claiming the impacts will be catastrophic, others come to the opposite conclusion suggesting global warming might improve human health and extend our lifetimes.


August 19, 2010

The Great Russian Heat Wave of 2010 Part II

Filed under: Health Effects, Heat Waves

Last week we presented our analysis of the causes behind this summer’s record-breaking heat wave in western Russia.

We summarized the situation thus:

But global warming theory doesn’t come anywhere close to explaining why it’s so darn hot this summer in Moscow.

Long-term observations suggest a more basic cause—an unusual and unprecedented (at least since 1950) confluence of several naturally-occurring atmospheric circulation patterns that together combined to set the stage for extreme warmth. Add to that urbanization, changing forestry practices, and perhaps throw in a dash of global warming for good measure, and you take a situation that would otherwise be “very hot” and up it a notch to “record hot.”

Since then, another analysis has been released that concludes the same thing—actually, the new analysis is even less sympathetic to assigning any blame to global warming than even we were.

And surprise, surprise, the analysis wasn’t from some alleged fossil-fuels backed professional denialist group, but from the folks at the Physical Sciences Division (PSD) of the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the Department of Commerce of the United States Government. These are folks who live and breathe atmospheric dynamics.


August 12, 2010

The Great Russian Heat Wave of 2010

Filed under: Health Effects, Heat Waves

The longer and deadlier the heat wave in western Russia becomes, the more frequently it is being linked to anthropogenic global warming.

But global warming theory doesn’t come anywhere close to explaining why it’s so darn hot this summer in Moscow.

Long-term observations suggest a more basic cause—an unusual and unprecedented (at least since 1950) confluence of several naturally-occurring atmospheric circulation patterns that together combined to set the stage for extreme warmth. Add to that urbanization, changing forestry practices, and perhaps throw in a dash of global warming for good measure, and you take a situation that would otherwise be “very hot” and up it a notch to “record hot.”


June 8, 2010

Trying to Hit a Mosquito with a Sledgehammer

Filed under: Health Effects

One of the standard tenets of the global warming bible is that malaria will get worse as temperatures rise. We’ve addressed this many times before, primarily by noting that the link between high temperatures and high malaria infection rates is anything but straightforward. Infectious disease expert Paul Reiter is quick to point out that malaria has been observed inside the Arctic Circle…and this is obviously not typical of a so-called “tropical” disease.

Nevertheless, the case for a malaria-temperature relationship stands on reasonably solid ground. Mosquitoes are more active at higher temperatures so they can expand their range. Biting frequency also depends on temperature, to some extent, so this should increase the infection rate, assuming the little buggers can find enough people to bite. Fairly sophisticated models have been developed that estimate the impact of weather variables on malaria infection rates. On the face of it, this seems like a reasonably solid argument.


April 23, 2010

When South is North (aka Let’s Blame Global Warming)

Filed under: Health Effects

The story making the rounds today is that global warming may be responsible for unleashing a deadly new disease on the U.S. and Canada.

But, a closer look at the evidence reveals that the global warming link is rather slim to none (and that’s putting things generously).

The story was generated by a just-published article in the journal Pathogens by Edmond Byrnes of the Duke University Medical Center’s Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and several of his colleagues.

Reuters picked up the story, which was then highlighted on the Drudge Report, which, in turn, caused it to go, well, viral.

Actually, “viral” is not quite correct, for the new disease is the result of a fungus—Cryptococcus gattii, to be exact.


August 19, 2008

It’sa Getting Warmer—I’ma Gonna Killa Myself

Filed under: Health Effects

Our ongoing quest for researchers making bizarre connections between (fill in the blank) and global warming frequently takes us to far-flung recesses of the library (or, more likely, dusty corner cobwebs of the World Wide Web). For this installment, we have uncovered some novel “climatology” being practiced in the Journal of Affective Disorders, a psychology journal “…concerned with affective disorders in the widest sense: depression, mania, anxiety and panic.” In a 2007 paper, provocatively entitled “Global warming possibly linked to an enhanced risk of suicide: Data from Italy, 1974–2003,” authors Preti, Lentini, and Maugeri argue that “global warming” has raised male suicide rates throughout the Boot.


February 14, 2008

Few French Fried in 2006

In the history of global warming scare stories, the 2003 European heat wave was a landmark event—it was the first time that a rash of human deaths were specifically linked to global warming. Many of you probably recall that a widespread exceptionally hot and dry spell hit Western Europe in August, 2003. Depending on how you count the bodies, up to 35,000 people suffered premature death during this heat wave with the lions-share occurring in France, which happened to be heat wave ground zero. Subsequent research demonstrated that this kind of extreme heat event must surely have been caused by increased greenhouse gas levels (Schår et al., 2004), despite the fact that, when examined from a global perspective, this heat wave was very Euro-centric (Chase et al., 2006), and the last time we checked a map, western Europe doesn’t cover much of the globe (which of course is the reason for centuries of European colonialism).

Well, we bet you didn’t know that there was a very comparable heat wave in France in summer, 2006. Why no headlines about global warming’s increasing death toll? In the category of “all the news that’s apparently not fit to print,” you guessed it, many fewer people died. The 2006 heat wave is the subject of a recent paper in the International Journal of Epidemiology by a group of French researchers led by A. Fouillet entitled, “Has the impact of heat waves on mortality changed in France since the European heat wave of summer 2003? A study of the 2006 heat wave.”


September 21, 2007

Soil Moisture Matters

For decades, climate scientists have run numerical experiments to predict the climate response to the buildup of greenhouse gases and the answer consistently falls on the side of warming on the global scale. The climate models have become more sophisticated by orders of magnitude over the past 40 years, and the prediction of warming given increased concentrations of greenhouse gases remains as the central pillar in the global warming issue. The fact that the Earth has warmed over the past three decades makes it very easy to claim that greenhouse gases are increasing, models predict warming, the Earth’s temperature is increasing, and therefore, the science debate on the issue is over.

We at World Climate Report have confessed repeatedly that some part of the observed warming over the past three decades is very likely related to the ongoing buildup of greenhouse gases. However, thousands (actually, millions on the internet) of presentations on global warming feature claims that climate models are predicting more floods, more droughts, more hurricanes, more glacial melting, more sea level rise, more species extinctions, more … anything you can possibly name (assuming what you name is potentially catastrophic). Our essays repeatedly show that (a) models really don’t make such predictions, (b) models are not capable of such predictions, and/or (c) there is no evidence that such predictions are supported by observational data.


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