Year 3, Month 12, Day 21: Hush Now, Don’t Explain

The Independent (UK) confirms that denialists just never stop.

An attempt by climate sceptics to hijack the latest UN report on global warming by selectively leaking claims that it is caused by sunspots rather than man-made emissions of carbon dioxide has backfired.

Sceptics described the forthcoming report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a “game changer” because of its apparent support for the controversial theory that solar activity, interacting with cosmic rays from deep space, can explain global warming.

Alec Rawls, a Republican blogger in the United States who signed himself up as an expert IPCC reviewer, decided to leak the panel’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) on the grounds that it is a taxpayer-funded document.

Mr Rawls claimed the report suggests that the IPCC has finally come round to the idea that solar activity – sunspots – is partly responsible for the observed global temperatures rise seen over the past half century.

“The admission of strong evidence for enhanced solar forcings changes everything. The climate alarmists can’t continue to claim that warming was almost entirely due to human activity over a period when solar warming effects, now acknowledged to be important, were at a maximum,” Mr Rawls said.

“The final draft of [the IPCC report] is not scheduled to be released for another year, but the public needs to know now how the main premise and conclusions of the IPCC story line have been undercut by the IPCC itself,” he said.

However, climate scientists pointed out that Mr Rawls has selectively quoted from the draft report and has ignored other parts of the document stating that solar activity and cosmic rays cannot explain the increase in global temperatures seen over the past half century, as sceptics have repeatedly claimed.

There are lies, damn lies, and climate denialist lies. Fuckers. Sent December 15:

Let’s not dignify climate-change denialists like Alec Rawls with the monicker, “skeptics.” Leaking cherry-picked sections of the forthcoming IPCC report is not representative of skepticism, a term which properly describes a profound level of intellectual honesty. Mr. Rawls and others of similar stripe are selectively misinterpreting data and analysis in order to support their ideology. We’re going to see a lot of this sort of behavior in the coming decades, as the evidence for planetary climate change grows from being incontrovertible to being overwhelming.

A good test of self-described “climate skeptics” is to ask them what sort of evidence could change their minds. A genuine skeptic like Dr. Richard Muller put his hypotheses to the test — and promptly changed his tune on the greenhouse effect’s causes and dangers. By contrast, it seems likely that (absent instructions from his petroleum paymasters) Alec Rawls’ mind will stay permanently shut.

Warren Senders

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