Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Ted Cruz dismantles Sierra Club president on Global Warming

Ted Cruz dismantles Sierra Club President Aaron Mair in a congressional meeting on the issue of Global Warming alarmism yesterday. Whether you believe the earth is warming or not. I believe that that probably is the long-term trend, although what is causing it seems less clear. But you've got to find the anti-scientific mentality of the people demanding that everyone else accept it or else to be manifestly disturbing.

Listen to Mair's blatant appeal to authority when confronted with what the actual objective satellite data say about the pause in global warming over the past 18 years. In fact, he doesn't even seem to know what the "pause" is or that it is actually a term used by Warming proponents.

Can you be blamed for not trusting the authorities cited by these people (which de facto places them in the position of authorities for your own opinions)? Are you really supposed to believe so-called experts (who have been well-plied with grant money for taking the positions they take) in the face of evidence?

And do the 97 percent of climate scientists cited by Mair deny the pause? This seemed to be his assumption, but, as far as I know, these scientists were never asked that question.

I sat next to a recently retired climate scientist earlier this year. He was a political conservative, but believed that the evidence was definitive that the globe was warming over the long term. He said that he strongly disagreed with many conservatives who just denied that the earth was warming, but equally disturbed by how his liberal friends tried to sell the idea.

No wonder.

Oh, and here is one Warmer blog that calls Cruz's attempt to confront Mair with actual evidence, "bullying." This is priceless.

If someone argues this badly for a position, it makes you want to reject it even if you are inclined to believe it. In this sense, the Warmers have only themselves to blame if they can't convince people of their position.


Daniel said...

This seems to be what Cruz was referring to...

Singring is basically Mr. Science on this blog. Any thoughts S?

Singring said...

'Singring is basically Mr. Science on this blog. Any thoughts S?'

Many, Daniel.

Global warming is a trend. I have explained this to Martin many times before and I am sure Ted Cruz has had this explained to him many times before, but they choose to ignore it. Make of that what you will.

What does this mean? I don't want to sound patronizing, so my apologies if I'm giving that impression, but given Martin's track record on this I want to make it as basic as possible.

A trend means that there is a general, more or less gradual move of a variable in one direction. However, for a trend to be clear and statistically significant, it does not have to be completely uniform and consistent. For example, consider the development of house prices in the US in the last few decades :

If you look at that graph, you can see that house prices dropped quite a bit between 2005 and 2008. Therefore, the idea that house prices have generally increased since 1963 is nonsense, right?

Obviously, you can see that this is not a very convincing argument - yet it is exactly the argument deniers like Cruz and the now slightly mellowing Martin are making/have made. At least Martin now acknowledges that there *is* a trend, although he still pleads the fifth on what is causing it, unfortunately.

It is true that, if you arbitrarily draw a line between the global average temperature some 18 years ago and connect it to last year's average global temperature, it is almost flat. But please imagine the following - imagine we were living 1996 and we were talking about the trend in house prices. You might say: 'Look, Singring, there's been no change in house prices since 1989, therefore all this talk about a trend of rising house prices is nonsense!' - but if we look at the data and the trend it presents to us now we see how silly that argument was and still is.

The point is that it is not appropriate and in some ways dishonest to take a snapshot of a larger set of data and say 'There is no trend' when there are more data we could look at to see if that is really true in the long term. Which, in the case of global temperatures - it isn't.

What is more, there are a number of things Cruz and other like him don't mention (I wonder why?):

1.) The atmosphere is not the only thing on earth that can warm - in fact, the oceans can absorb way more heat energy than the atmosphere. And if we look at ocean temperatures over the same time span as the atmospheric temperature, we do not see any indication of a 'pause' in the warming trend. See here:

In fact, warming in the oceans has been accelerating recently, which may indicate that the warmth that has been 'missing' from the atmosphere has gone into the oceans instead. Which doesn't make the problem go away and in many ways may make it worse.

2.) The warmest year ever recorded in modern times was last year. So it may well be we are coming out of the 'pause'.

3.) The data we have on surface temperature - like all data - are imperfect. Some analyses indicate that the 'pause' may simply be an artifact of the data:

I'm not saying that this is the case - I'm just saying that this could be one possible explanation. Personally, I have no problem with a 'pause' and, as I have explained above, it in no way is a convincing argument against the observation that global temperature (atmospheric and ocean) has been experiencing a fairly consistent warming trend.

So, at best, Cruz is engaging in poor science sue to his own ignorance - at worst he is lying when he knows better. I wouldn't be surprised either way.

Singring said...

If I may, I would like to make one final point here, from a scientists' perspective:

As a scientist, it is extremely disheartening and frustrating to find that simple concepts like these have to be pointed out to Martin and Ted Cruz and the like again and again and again and again and again without ever seeming to sink in. This is not ideology. These are simple, scientific data. Measurements taken with the same devices that help us take the temperature in our fridge and use or smartphones.

Yet somehow, some people, like Martin, seem to immune to these data. I appreciate that it can be hard to change one's thinking on issues like this - cognitive dissonance does not resolve itself over night. And I understand why Cruz says the things he does - he is funded to some extent by the people who's wealth and income depends on us ignoring global warming and its effects.

What I can't understand is that educated, intelligent people like Martin keep flocking to this nonsense and embarrassing themselves publicly by pretending there is any foundation to these nonsense denialist arguments. Surely they must know better.

Singring said...

I should correct one point (it's late and I'm a bit slow today):

when I said earlier that:

'In fact, warming in the oceans has been accelerating recently, which may indicate that the warmth that has been 'missing' from the atmosphere has gone into the oceans instead. Which doesn't make the problem go away and in many ways may make it worse.'

...that wasn't entirely correct - heat has been apparently been passing from the higher ocean layers into the lower ocean layers, which means there has been continuing warming, but the upper layers have been warming less rapidly than in the recent past. Read the full detail with source data here:

Anonymous said...

"Scientist" Singring cites Real Climate and The Guardian. There you go. Only skepticism makes any sense with these charlatans.

Singring said...

Real climate cites the original source data and the guardian links to the original scientific paper with the source data. Please don't blame me if you're too lazy to check out the original sources.

Anonymous said...

That Sierra Club dude has the IQ of a hockey stick.

Old Rebel said...


That was an insensitive and possibly hateful remark about hockey sticks.

Anonymous said...

Herr Singring, which is more likely in the next 25 years? That the planet will burn up or that the Muslim call to prayer will replace Beethoven in Germany?

Anonymous said...

Angela Merkel might look better in a hajib, but any Muslim goat lover who tries to make Heidi Klum wear one will meet the business end of my 12 gauge

Anonymous said...

Even Forbes isn't buying the pause:

Why do "smart" people believe so many dumb things? Good question.

j a higginbotham

Daniel said...

Thanks Singring! The links (your comments) are much appreciated! :)

Martin Cothran said...

j.a. higginbotham,

You are aware the that the expression "The pause" is a term global warming proponents came up with, aren't you?

Martin Cothran said...


given Martin's track record ...

What is my "track record"? And is it better or worse than the prediction of global temperatures over the last 18 years by climate scientists?

Martin Cothran said...


At least Martin now acknowledges that there *is* a trend

Did I ever deny that?

Martin Cothran said...


On what basis do you say, "The warmest year ever recorded in modern times was last year"?