Monday, November 23, 2009

UK Government Cashing In On Green Lies

I wouldn't take nearly so much issue with the modern environmental movement if it wasn't so completely characterized by lies, hypocrisy, and fear-mongering misrepresentation of facts. I believe in taking care of the environment. I believe in the principle of "don't foul your own nest". I have always believed in recycling. I have always abhorred littering and waste. I was an environmentalist before being so was fashionable. However, I refuse to be associated with the absurd lies and manipulations of the modern movement.
It's too bad that governments don't feel compelled to be bound by such high standards.
The United Kingdom has launched a new environmental propaganda website, Act On CO2, that is meant to tell people the "truth" about climate change and correct any myths that might be floating around. It's quite a shame that the site actually perpetuates the myths instead of doing anything about correcting them.
If you go to the very first tab, "Climate change: the facts", and then click on the very first subject heading, "Rising temperatures and the greenhouse effect", the very first thing you'll see is the usual fear-mongering paragraph unsupported by any facts. Worse, actually, what little "facts" do get introduced are used in an extremely misleading manner.
According to this paragraph, "In the last 100 years the Earth has warmed by 0.74°C (and by 0.4°C since the 1970s) ..." This would be the misleading use of facts. Can it really be true that I somehow have so much greater an understanding of math than the average reader in the UK? You can't compare ".74 over 100 years" with ".4 since the 1970s". 1970s? 1970-what? 1971? 1975? 1979? Believe it or not, when figuring with such small numbers, knowing the exact starting figure used is very important. The math shown here also does not make clear if the temperature increase has been .4 per year, .4 over the given years, or what. Math is a precise, unambiguous language and using it in such a sloppy fashion demonstrates either sloppy or unethical workmanship from those involved.
[If math gives you a headache, you might want to skip the next paragraph. Fair warning.]
For the record, I did the math as best I could, using their sloppy figures. Assuming we take, as a starting year, 1975 and round up so that we are dealing with a 40-year period, and assuming an average per year temperature increase of .0074 (since they didn't include their baseline figure in this schlock, I had to take the expedient of dividing their .74 temperature by 100 years - this estimate will be off because of the implied increase over the last 40 years, but I can't know how far off because they didn't include the necessary data - however, at such small numbers, it cannot possibly be too far off). Using that .0074 as a baseline, we find that the expected 40-year increase for this century would be .296. Since we are, by necessity, estimating, we can easily and properly call that .3. So we expected a .3 increase over a 40-year period and got a .4 increase. That's 1/10th of a point higher than expected. Well within the margin of error ratio for any accepted statistical polling. That's an above-expected increase of only .0025 per year. Those numbers don't sound nearly as dramatic when expressed properly, do they?
[End of math paragraph. Those of you who dislike math may continue reading now.]
That mangled math sentence goes on to say, "meaning that global sea levels have gone up, glaciers and sea ice has melted, floods and droughts are on the increase, and heatwaves are worse." Where to begin. Where to begin.
If we go to "The effect of climate change on the UK", we get an expansion on the sea-level rise claim that will help to show the misrepresentation of facts here. "The sea-level rise across the UK is projected to be between 20cm and 80cm by 2100." Sea levels have been rising since the end of the last Ice Age. They have been relatively stable for the last 2-3000 years only in comparison to the first several thousand years. They have still been rising. 19th Century sea level rise is estimated at an average of 1.8mm per year (I know, I know, math again, but it will be minimal this time). In order to reach even the smallest of those UK estimates, the rate of sea level rise would have to increase by a factor of at least 10 and it would have to do it soon. So is sea level rise speeding up? Not according to the physical evidence. Sea level rise today is still estimated at 1.8mm per year. Satellite data would seem to indicate a sea level rise of 3.1mm per year over the last decade (even if true, still an increase by a factor less than 2, far from 10), but we have only been collecting satellite data since 1993, barely over 10 years. According to the same study that established these theories, conducted by Simon Holgate of the U.K.’s Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory in 2007, sea level rise has fluctuated dramatically from decade to decade since 1904, which means that one decade of Simon Holgate of the U.K.’s Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory data is nowhere near enough to draw long term conclusions. The fact remains that tidal gauges, the same technology used to achieve the previous estimates, have not shown any increase in the rate of sea level rise.
Glaciers and sea ice have been melting. What no one wants to mention is that they've also been re-freezing and that they've been doing both at the same time, depending on where you look. Antarctic ice (both sea and land-based) is actually increasing, not decreasing. In some areas, Antarctic ice levels are currently above seasonal norms. If decreasing ice in one part of the world automatically means warming, doesn't increasing ice in another part of the world automatically mean cooling? Of course it doesn't work that way, but that's what the alarmists want you to believe on their side of the equation. The truth of the matter is that we haven't been studying or observing major ice sheets anywhere near long enough to truly know what "normal" is or to know what either the melting or the freezing means. We're just guessing, and everyone wants you to believe that the guesses of their side carry more weight than the guesses of the other side but it's not true. Without scientific data to support it, a guess is a guess is a guess, and there is currently a severe shortage of scientific data.
The rest of that alarmist nonsense is just that: nonsense. There is not one piece of evidence that the rate of floods or droughts has increased anywhere. As far as I have found, this website does not make mention of this funny little "fact" anywhere else either. There is plenty of talk about the floods and droughts that "will" come, but nothing at all to support the claim that they are already occurring. They don't really say anything else about the heat wave claim either, except to make mention of a seasonal heat wave that occurred six years ago (and has not been repeated) and then claim that such heat waves will become normal by the 2040s or 2050s. If you're not expecting this for 30-40 years, why is your opening paragraph claiming that it is already happening?
If a government is going to publish facts, it should publish facts. This mixed up propaganda piece is not facts. It's an attempt to scare people into playing along before the Copenhagen talks. I'm not sure what the tax situation is in the UK, but I definitely think they should be wondering about their money being wasted on this fluff piece. If such shoddy work is the best the alarmists can muster, it's no wonder they're most famous for huge meetings that generally accomplish nothing.

1 comment:

  1. The end result being... advertising hasn't changed a bit, but the advertising companies that used to handle law firms have moved on to "scientific" research companies and universities?
    Weird, lawyers must be slipping if the advertising community doesn't think they're dishonest enough.