The global warming denialists continue to TRY!
I write regularly to the local newspapers, sometimes to respond to someone who has written something silly, or because there is something important to comment on.
This week there was the usual bull written by a Global Warming Denialist regarding CO2 in the atmosphere. He stated that because the CSIRO (in conjunction with the ANU) had found that the deserts were greening due to increases in CO2 in the atmosphere, that CO2 was therefore good for us – at least that was his inference.
As a result of this article, it enforced his already strong opinion, that because the desert was greening, it must be a good thing, and that CO2 must therefore be good for the environment and us. He does specifically mention 300-400 ppm in his letter.
As an aside, I note that CO2 levels peaked at 400 ppm recently – the first time since humanity has existed on earth – which is in itself a little scary!!!
He then went on to suggest that another specific reader should prove that CO2 is harmful to us and the environment, without using models, at 400 (now), and ridiculously 800, or even 1,200 ppm.
I think the guy must be living in fairy land if he thinks that a CO2 level of 1200 ppm is good for live in earth… at least if we exclude most current live on earth that is!
Certainly if we get rid of most of the human race, it could be a good thing! [Sorry that is Greg’s sarcasm for the day!!!]
What was so laughable about this whole thing, is that the article he referred to used mathematical models to show that it was CO2 that caused the greening of the deserts!
Ahhh, but what is wrong with models I hear you ask?
Hmmm… Apparently this denialist has no faith in models to predict global warming, according to this and other letters he has written, but is happy to refer to data that used models to prove that CO2 is greening the deserts (this CSIRO article) – with the inference that CO2 is therefore good for us.
Isn’t this hypocritical. I guess it is OK for denialists to use models to prove that CO2 is greening the desert, but it isn’t OK to use models to prove that global warming is occurring.
I wrote an article about denialists a short while ago
https://blogofgreg.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/climate-change-and-denialism-part-one/, and while I haven’t had time to write part two, I will eventually get there – I hope!
The point is that denialists cherry pick and use data selectively to try to prove their opinion, which is what has happened in this case. (notice I state opinion, not theory)
In his letter, Mr N (I don’t want to publicly harass this man, so will use N) has taken part of the article produced by Dr Randall Donohue, ignored parts, such as the use of ‘mathematical models’ and the ‘noted secondary effects of increased CO2 levels’, and constructed a letter that suggests something that Dr Donohoe didn’t actually say – surprise surprise…..
as if that wasn’t expected from a denialist!!!
This is the typical approach of denialists world over. Cherry picking is very deceptive, and can be very confusing to some people who don’t have the complete information to analyse data adequately for themselves. It has been a ploy used by the fossil fuel fraternity in order to muddy the waters with global warming, and it has been used by tobacco companies – and still is!
I have clipped parts of Dr Donohoe’s text that demonstrate this point:
…”Our work was able to tease-out the CO2 fertilisation effect by using mathematical modelling together with satellite data adjusted to take out the observed effects of other influences such as precipitation, air temperature, the amount of light, and land-use changes.”
…”On the face of it, elevated CO2 boosting the foliage in dry country is good news and could assist forestry and agriculture in such areas; however there will be secondary effects that are likely to influence water availability, the carbon cycle, fire regimes and biodiversity, for example,” Dr Donohue said.
…”Ongoing research is required if we are to fully comprehend the potential extent and severity of such secondary effects.”
These three sections state some very important facts about the study, that were conveniently ignored by Mr N. I state conveniently, because cherry picking deliberately eliminates certain data in order to manipulate results. Which is what has happened in this example in Mr N’s letter.
Two points in particular:
The first one: mathematical models were used to show that CO2 has contributed to the greening of the deserts. This is stated clearly in the article, as reference above. Mr N doesn’t believe that models are accurate, and therefore, as global warming predictions are based on models, the effects of global warming can’t be accurate – at least according to his distorted view of science.
Amusingly though, he is quite happy to rely on models to show that CO2 is helping the greening of deserts – of course with his distortion that CO2 is therefore good for us, but he is very unhappy for scientists, and “believers”, to use models to show that CO2 is causing global warming. A little hypocritical isn’t it???
The second one: Mr N clearly ignores the statement by Dr Donohoe, who says “however there will be secondary effects that are likely to influence water availability, the carbon cycle, fire regimes and biodiversity, for example”.
This is another classical example of cherry picking. Mr N has taken ‘CO2 can increase plant foliage’ out of context, but ignored ‘there could be consequences of CO2 increases – some serious!’ …… Ah yep……
It is almost like saying that “stealing could be good” without including “but you will go to gaol for years!”
That should be Jail for you Americans listening 🙂
There is a lot of research currently occurring, or recently completed, that looks at CO2 and its effect on plant growth. I have referenced at least one in another document, and these are never noted by denialists – or at least the negative bits are never noted.
While CO2 may increase plant growth in the short term, in the long term it may not. This is because of the nutrient limitations in the soil, water availability etc. having a limiting effect on continued plant growth; a long scientific discussion for another time perhaps.
Again the point is that denialists are not interested in including actual facts, just the bits that appear to support their statements or opinions.
As a few final points about this silly letter by Mr N:
I might note that nowhere in the article from CSIRO does it imply that CO2 is actually good for us; even though Mr N implies this. Nor does the article reference concentrations of CO2 anywhere in the document, or imply in any way that we should NOT be concerned about CO2 just because the desert is greening. It just simply states that as a result of CO2 concentration increases, the desert is greening. It DOESN’T say, CO2 is good for us!!!!
Can you see now how the denialists TWIST data to suit themselves???
In fact if you read many reports that are being presented by the CSIRO and others, you will see that the climate is becoming badly affected by global warming. Ocean acidification for example, is becoming so bad, that it is likely to decimate some sea life in years to come if it continues. This is because much of our sea life is damaged by acidity, which is increasing at an alarming rate, as CO2 is absorbed by the oceans and converted into carbonic acid.
Anyway this letter by Mr N is a classical example of how cherry picking by a denialist has twisted facts and figures to suit his own agenda – that agenda being to show that global warming isn’t occurring!
Good luck Mr N… Keep trying, but please learn to actually refer to all parts of the document, analysing how each and every part of the analyses may affect your hypothesis.
Of course that would require you to be scientific, which, as a denialist you are NOT!!!
That’s it for now,