Boortz on Warm

I generally like Neal Boortz. But he has completely lost his shit on global warming, posting a massive screed today that thumbs every crank button on the panel. In Boortz’s missive, we learn:

1) Global warming theory was created by the UN to create a redistributionist scheme (the theory predates the UN).

2) The environmental movement is composed entirely of socialists (partly true, but irrelevant)

3) Global warming scientists refuse to account for the solar cycle (completely false).

4) Global warming supporters don’t want to debate and claim the science is settled (as opposed to Boortz, who is absolutely convinced this is a fraud).

5) CRU used tricks to cook the data (False).

6) Scientists disposed of of the raw climate data, which can never be recovered (also false).

7) This is all a conspiracy to prepare us for invasion by the reverse vampires.

OK, I made that last one up.

It’s stuff like this that drove me from the camp of disbelieving skeptics into believing skeptics. This is pure whack-job conspiracy theorism. We’ve had a whole holiday weekend during which it was possible for Boortz to find out the reality behind the “tricks”. He hasn’t even bothered. He’s wallowing in the Right Wing Echosphere, hearing only other ignorami’s OUTRAGE! over this scandal.

It’s sad. What is it about the climate that turns people (on either side, really) into such raving loons?

2 Responses to “Boortz on Warm”

  1. rpl says:

    Honestly, Mike, I don’t understand how you can make some of these claims. At the very least CRU is guilty of shoddy science. I’m short of time, so I’ll address some of your more questionable claims quickly:

    3) [Global warming scientists refuse to account for the solar cycle (completely false).] To the best of my knowledge, the ONLY forcing term in any of the extant GCMs is greenhouse gas forcing. Moreover, the atmospheric science community has widely acknowledged that the least well understood component of the ERB is cloud formation, and that is precisely what is affected by the solar cycle. So, what you have is models that were calibrated to a warming trend with only one forcing mechanism. Predictably, extrapolating that forcing into out-years results in further warming. How could it not when the model was designed that way?

    4) [Global warming supporters don’t want to debate and claim the science is settled] Do you think that trying to remove journal editors who publish articles you disagree with is willingness “to debate”? How about the following quote: “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !” Translation: sure, it’s published, but we don’t like the conclusion, so we’ll exclude it anyhow. Is that, in your opinion, a valid tactic in “debate”?

    5) [CRU used tricks to cook the data (False).] “Tricks” is their word, used in their internal correspondence. I’m sympathetic to their claim that use of that word was tongue-in-cheek, but the fact remains that their process was so poorly documented and had so many manual steps that relied on analyst judgement that we can’t possibly know whether their “tricks” were valid or not.

    6) [Scientists disposed of of the raw climate data, which can never be recovered (also false).] CRU has admitted that it has deleted the raw data, so I assume that what you are claiming is false is that it can never be recovered. Possibly it can, but only at significant expense. Is CRU going to pay for it? Even supposing they recover the original data, they themselves have admitted that they couldn’t possibly recreate the process by which the processed data was produced. Therefore, the CRU dataset is of questionable provenance; it can’t be trusted.

    [What is it about the climate that turns people (on either side, really) into such raving loons?] I might ask of you a similar question. What is it about climate that makes you willing to accept sloppy practice that you would never tolerate in your own research?

  2. Mike says:

    Robert, I am guilty of firing off a blog post quickly and angrily. So, if I can revise and extend my remarks… Your point is mostly about scientific issue, which I agree are very uncertain — even more now in the wake of this event. My response is mostly to the political stuff.

    3) Is true. But the implication of Boortz (and many others) is that this doesn’t fall under the category of “uncertainty” but of deliberate fraud, i.e., they ignore the sun to advance their lefty agenda. The field is filled with people are trying to make the science as rigorous as possible. But, as we’ve found out, it’s also filled with people who are sacrificing integrity for their own agenda.

    4) My point was more to contrast against the global warming critics like Boortz who accuse AGW supporters of not wanting to debate but are themselves absolutely convinced that this is fraud and will not countenance any argument that it might be real. And they use many of the same tactics that are used by creationist and anti-vaxxers. I absolutely agree that these attempts to keep things out of the literature are disgusting and unscientific.

    5) Agreed. But again, you’re talking science, I’m talking politics. This is typical of the Right and Left to pull quotes and words out of context to allege deliberate and sinister malfeasance.

    6) My understanding is that CRU is working to recover the raw data. What I was addressing was the specific claim that is being made that *all* the data were thrown out and it can *never* be recovered and therefore we can *never* know if global warming is real, therefore it is fraud. This is something Boortz specifically said and that none of the Right Wing Echosphere has corrected.

    I was initially favorably disposed toward the CRU guys but as more has come out, I’ve been more and more appalled. They have clearly been using a process that is sloppy and ill-documented and didn’t give a shit as long as it gave them the answer they wanted. Have you see the code they were using? If I’d written something like that in grad school, you and Chris would have beaten me with fungo bats. And I was just fucking around with stars, not setting trillion dollar policy.

    But it’s a long way to go from there to “this is all a huge conspiracy; global warming is a myth”. Even if you throw out everything these guys have done — which seems only fair at this point — the reality of AGW and the danger of it are still something to be concerned about and something we should work on. My favored policy is a carbon tax and R&D, which is a more gentle and transparent policy and moves us away from fossil fuels (which are going to run out one day). My position is closer to that of Bjorn Lonborg or Charles Krauthammer than it is to Algore (who own history on science is poor).