My cranky rant to OLO about ‘cooling since 1998’ myth

Mr Mark Lawson,
please do some reading around and get to know what your fellow climate sceptics are saying because you’re embarrassing yourself.

You repeat one of my FAVOURITE pieces of sceptic propaganda which is that warming ceased in 1998.

First of all, the May 2007 New Scientist listed the top 26 myths promoted by sceptic propaganda and “cooling since 1998” was of course included. In other words, this was debunked years ago. Why are you still circulating this dishonest claptrap?

Not only is the myth of cooling since 1998 factually incorrect (as 2005 was hotter and 2007 was as hot) but even FELLOW sceptics are starting to warn against repeating this myth, in case you all shortly look foolish.

At the 2009 Heartland Institute conference Dr Patrick J Michaels explained that long term climate trends were still up, but that short term El Nino and solar heating trends bumped 1998 up above the mean, and then following cooling La Nina cycles let the trends drop a bit. He warned that when the El Nino cycle switches back we could see even STRONGER warming, and then said:

“Make an argument that you can get killed on and you will kill us all…
If you loose credibility on this issue you lose this issue!”

Ummm, Mr Lawson, you lose.

El Nino is returning. Temperatures this year or next could break the records. We don’t have to wait very long. But hey? Look on the bright side! A few years after that when the La Nina comes back, you can always write about how “global temperatures have been cooling since 2010, as 2010 reached a new high point and it has been cooling since”. I just wonder if your sceptical audience will be dense enough to swallow that ridiculous cherry-picking routine a second time?

So do you want to check out that youtube clip where one of your fellow sceptics rebukes the Heartland institute for spreading this myth, or are you just going to continue on your way making a complete fool of yourself?

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2 Responses to My cranky rant to OLO about ‘cooling since 1998’ myth

  1. trevize79 says:

    Hey Dave, it’s been ages since we used to chat over at SPO, but I thought I’d check in on your blog.

    It’s great to see that you’re involved with a number of things, especially that you met Claude Lewenz! I still haven’t met him in person, but I’m a member of the Melbourne VillageTown “chapter”. To me, VillageTowns seem like the most comprehensive answer so far to the issues we face, that has realistic potential. I’m trying to put together a 3D model for them in SketchUp.

    Also, I’m still involved with the cohousing stuff. A couple of projects in Melbourne starting to pick up pace now, which is great.

    Anyway, keep on bloggin’!


    • eclipsenow says:

      Yeah, time flies hey?

      I’m not really a member of SPO as Ian and I couldn’t see eye to eye on how to deal with the more extreme doomers. We had a big blow up the weekend good old SaturnV got his article in the newspaper. While Tony (SaturnV) seems genuinely to be a nice guy, his ‘inevitable Mad Max’ routine was too much for me that week as I’d just met up with a father whose son had committed suicide over peak oil. No depression or warning signs that he was going to do it. In his mind it was just a calm, logical decision in an insane world. I read his farewell email, which was itself fairly calm and logically structured, if you bought his whole world-view. So SPO seemed to be dominated by this kind of never ending argument, and I plain burnt out.

      Anyway, I of course agree with you on the Village Town idea. Whatever the form, walkable city design would be the wisest, and most community friendly solution for so many reasons, as you know. I’m getting involved in the “Transition Town” movement for Epping NSW. Someone else is leading it, and I will just provide a little graphic design support and wave the flag at events… exactly the sort of role I should have had at SPO (not pretending to lead a group on energy matters when I’m not even a trained scientist!)

      However, have SPO chatted about “Better Place” yet? They seem to be a threat to all the doomer prognostications. The technology seems viable, but the ability to scale it out in time to prevent a Greater Depression might be in question. We shall see. Check out this talk.
      (EDIT: There are no graphics or visuals, just Shai Agassi talking, so no need for the video. Audio on your iPod keeps you interested while doing the kitchen 😉

      This talk explains how the batteries could become cheaper and cheaper, how they could sell km’s at an equivalent price to about 60 cents a litre (from memory), and how when all the cars are plugged in they talk to all the other cars plugged in every 3 seconds and either sell electricity back to the grid or charge from the grid, depending on the owner’s situation. It’s coming to Canberra in 2012. I’d LOVE to share it with SaturnV because we once had a long discussion about how wind turbines could not power your car, and Better Place are ONLY going to use wind turbines in Australia.

      I needed to listen to it a number of times to get the gist of it. Better Place have a video showing their battery swap station in action in Japan.

      Anyway, keep on truckin’.
      (OK, bad expression in a peak oil blog… )


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