AN INCONVENIENT DROP

Last Fall, I wrote a post highlighting Bjorn Lomborg’s very plausible claim that global warming was actually a net positive for global health. But now it appears that we may never get to enjoy the benefits of increasingly balmy terrestrial temperatures.  Daily Tech reports the following:

All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA’s GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

In fact, the temperature drop was steep enough to wipe out a century’s warming. Here’s the graph:

David Catron
 
If this trend persists, it’s bad news from the global health perspective. It is, on the other hand,  good news for reactionary Neanderthals such as yours truly. We knuckle-draggers like the cold weather.

[HT M.D.O.D.]

Comments 16

  1. smartdoc wrote:

    Liberals seek to impose their endless hoaxes upon the general population, from global warming to “free” health care.

    Posted 27 Feb 2008 at 11:48 pm
  2. drmatt wrote:

    when did this become a global warming blog? and to what end would “liberals” want to lie about it? If you think data is misrepresented than there is usually a motivation, it is clear that those who showcase data that doesn’t show global warming have a stake and great deal of power (the oil industry and auto industry stand to lose a great deal). Who is gaining if the otherside is misrepresenting data, this has to make logical sense. Smartdoc, are you under the impression that there is a consipiracy of the solar power league?
    David, you know as well as I do that a single data point on such a graph is meaningless, trends matter, I see no trend here. I however prefer the cold as well, so I hope it is followed by more lower temperature data points. I would prefer that we heed warnings of global warming and find out they were wrong than ignore them and find out they were right. And I dont know about you but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings to send less money to “oil countries” and breath less exhaust fumes even if the global warming crew is wrong.

    Posted 28 Feb 2008 at 8:01 am
  3. Catron wrote:

    “When did this become a global warming blog?”

    We don’t want to let the general theme of the blog become a Procrustean bed that precludes any other subject matter.

    Besides, as the earlier post to which I linked indicates, many “progressives” are making grandiose (and largely unsupported) claims about the health care implications of GW.

    Posted 28 Feb 2008 at 10:05 am
  4. Marc Brown wrote:

    You’re going to come out soon as a creationist or a scientologist David – I’d bet on it.

    Posted 28 Feb 2008 at 11:58 am
  5. Catron wrote:

    “You’re going to come out soon as a creationist …”

    Ironically, Creationism and Warmism have much in common. Both require believers to ignore mountains of contrary evidence and are closely tied to an apocalyptic mindset.

    Posted 28 Feb 2008 at 1:30 pm
  6. drmatt wrote:

    Although the documentary was welcomed by global warming sceptics, it was criticised heavily by many scientific organisations and individual scientists (including two of the film’s contributors[3][4]). The film’s critics argued that it had misused data, relied on out-of-date research, employed misleading arguments, and misrepresented the position of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.[5][6][7][8]

    This is your “mountain” of contrary evidence?
    though I do not believe that man is powerful enough to “change” the course of natural progression, I have no doubt that we can slow or hasten it. apply simple laws of physics, auto engines ignite at 820 degrees celsius multiplied by time running and number of cars, it can’t not effect global temperture. now consider thermognerators and multitudes of other devices that we use that create heat energy, do you think energy just disappears? check your physics under conservation of energy.

    Posted 28 Feb 2008 at 2:59 pm
  7. Catron wrote:

    This is but a single stone on the mountain. I was hoping (apparently in vain) that objective readers could focus on the case made by the sceptics rather than the editorial fluff inserted by Wikipedia contributors.

    One has to be careful with Wikipedia. The fact that the word “consensus” appears more than a dozen times in this article should be a tip off that contributor sympathy is not with the sceptics.

    Consensus is what you get in politics. Science is what happens when falsifiable theories are confirmed by objective data. And, no matter how many times the robots repeat the word “consensus,” warmism doesn’t meet that test.

    Posted 28 Feb 2008 at 3:22 pm
  8. drmatt wrote:

    “warmism doesn’t meet that test.”
    based on your extensive understanding of the interpretation of scietific data, the study of geology, and meteorology? or just because it is the party line? I suppose if the roles where reversed and the VRWC where touting warmism you would be driving a hybrid.

    Posted 28 Feb 2008 at 3:35 pm
  9. Catron wrote:

    Let me suggest two books, drmatt: “The Skeptical Environmentalist? and “Cool It,? by Bjorn Lomborg.

    Lomborg is by no means a “conservative? or even what you would no doubt call a “denier.? He does, however, show that most of the claims made by Warmists are nonsense.

    He also uses cost-benefit analysis to show that the “solutions? demanded by the Stepford ecologists (including Kyoto) would do mankind precious little good.

    If you read these books objectively, you’ll swear off the Kool-Aid.

    Posted 28 Feb 2008 at 3:58 pm
  10. Rich wrote:

    “auto engines ignite at 820 degrees celsius multiplied by time running and number of cars, it can’t not effect global temperture. ”

    Why? because you say so?

    The earth’s environment is not a closed system – it loses heat every second to the cosmos.

    I’m not taking sides here (thought I could), but should we be making judgement, and decisions that will affect peoples lives, based on speculation? Have you a study to demonstrate that auto engines raise global temperature, or is it just the conclusion based on “common sense?” Is this how medicine is practiced, that you can conclude and convince yourself that A leads to B, and make treatment decisions based on your conclusion? Or do you rely on studies that may support your theory, or demonstrate, once again, that “common sense” does not always hold in complex systems. We once thought it made perfect sense to screen for lung cancer with chest xrays, until a study showed that this seemingly simple conclusion was wrong.

    Posted 28 Feb 2008 at 4:03 pm
  11. drmatt wrote:

    Sorry I mislead you, I by no means buy into the horror scenarios, but I also dont believe there is no problem, Though i would gladly read those books objectively i am willing to bet there are a couple of well written well supported books on the otherside of the argument. Point is, whenever I have seen two sides polarized like this, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

    Posted 28 Feb 2008 at 4:06 pm
  12. drmatt wrote:

    Point taken rich, but it is not the arguement it is a point, that is the rate at which we add energy to the system (be it closed or not) is greater than that which is natural, and you well know the “open” system is in a cycle, in all complex chemical reactions if you increase substrates you force the reaction to speed up, or otherwise change the balance of the equation. this is not common sense it is scientific fact. Just wondering, do often skip the point of an arguement to argu a nuance?
    In anycase my arguement is this, I dont know if they are right or wrong, but if they are right then waiting to make sure (after it is too late seems a bit well……..STUPID). Doing something that effects millions to be cautious (you didn’t note whether this effect was neg or pos, but in reality you dont know, so you are just afraid, so be frozen by fear and do nothing, that is a good idea). seems better than doing nothing.
    by the way, have you read any of these studies?? it seems a bit beyond “speculation”
    is this how you practice medicine? wait for something to happen…….then act?

    Posted 28 Feb 2008 at 4:46 pm
  13. Rich wrote:

    I’ve looked at studies that provide evidence either way, and read authors who make arguments for both sides of the issue.

    But to do something just in case – like, frequent chest cts to detect cancer, right? Only to find out that CTs increase the risk of hematologic malignancies.

    There is far too little concern for unintended consequences. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, after all. To do something because you MIGHT do some good, without consideratin of the ILL that you may inadvertantly do, is just as bad (or good) as doing nothing at all.

    “Doing something that effects millions to be cautious … seems better than doing nothing.”

    Isn’t that just an emotional response? Are you certain that doing something, just for the sake of doing something, will lead to a better outcome? Are you certain the outcome will be better? Are you certain no harm will come from whatever action might be taken, “just in case”?

    Look at Kyoto, for example. There is nothing about Kyoto that would change global climate, or global emissions. It would reduce US emissions, and US competitiveness, and so forth, while giving China, for example, carte blanche to continue to pollute as it has been doing. It would probably increase the cost of doing business in the US, cost people their jobs, livelihoods, send more jobs overseas, etc. Regulated businesses affected by the accord in the US would move offshore to places unaffected by the accord, and the impact on the environment would be nil. But of course, there will be less wealth, less productivity, and less prosperity in the US, which, it seems to me, may be it’s raison d’etre.

    Then again, it might not. Are you willing to take that chance?

    I also do not treat sinus infections until there is a sinus infection, though I could prescribe long term daily antibiotics, it just doesn’t SEEM like a good idea, to me.

    Posted 28 Feb 2008 at 7:35 pm
  14. smartdoc wrote:

    Dear Catron:

    I must commend you first of all for the anniversary of your excellent blog, one which never fails to educate.

    Secondly, I admire you for being a gentleman with the patience of a saint. I am not so blessed as you.

    Posted 28 Feb 2008 at 8:28 pm
  15. Catron wrote:

    Thanks, smartdoc. I’m glad you enjoy the blog. As to patience, I have to confess I’m still a work in progress. But, hey, without a challenge or two life would be pretty dull.

    Posted 28 Feb 2008 at 9:18 pm
  16. drmatt wrote:

    A meta-analysis of all available studies reveals no evidence that jumping out of a plane with a parachute changes outcomes opposed to jumping out with a parachute. so dont bother with the parachute!!

    Being sure is impossible with a massive complex system the size of earth. the planet has been around for billions of years, we have a few hundred of reliable data

    Good points though, this is where the debate really stands, between those who would wait and see and those who will act in case. Though your analogy is off, you know in medicine evidence will only take you so far and sometimes you have to take your best guess.

    hard to compare to a sinus infection, it would really suck to fill my gas tank once a month for 25 bucks, and for my brother to get a job at the local solar panel plant.

    You are absolutely right though, no one really knows doing something could be disasterous, on the other hand, doing nothing could be disasterous as well. that being the case my stand is that burning less fossil fuels and sending less money to a terrorist nation (where do you think terrorists get all thier money) is probably a good idea either way, and if we do it slowly, carefully……….well.

    Posted 29 Feb 2008 at 6:45 am

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