Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lomborg Reviewed

Bjørn Lomborg made his name with The Skeptical Environmentalist, a 2001 book in which he challenged some of the conventional wisdom behind the theory of anthropogenic global warming. Now Lomborg is back with a follow-up entitled "Cool It", which gets an unflattering review here. Elsewhere in Salon, Lomborg is interviewed.

I don't really have time to get into this today, but the interview is pretty tough-minded, especially the parts where interviewer Kevin Berger presses him over the fate of the polar bear and Lomborg's contention that the polar bear can survive by "evolving backwards":

That just seems so shortsighted, Bjørn. The report concludes: "Future challenges for conserving polar bears and their Arctic habitat will be greater than at any time in the past because of the rapid rate at which environmental change appears to be occurring." Now, you write that polar bears "will increasingly take up a lifestyle similar to that of brown bears." Then, in a footnote, you quote from the report: "The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment finds it likely that disappearing ice will make polar bears take up 'a terrestrial summer lifestyle similar to that of brown bears, from which they evolved.'" Are you saying that polar bears will be OK, that the species will survive if they evolve backward?

Yes, that's certainly how I read it.

But you edited the quote. The whole thing goes like this: "It is difficult to envisage the survival of polar bears as a species given a zero summer sea-ice scenario. Their only option would be a terrestrial summer lifestyle similar to that of brown bears, from which they evolved. In such a case, competition, risk of hybridization with brown bears and grizzly bears, and increased interactions with people would then number among the threats to polar bears." That sounds like the species faces much more dire chances to survive, wouldn't you say?

They're saying that it's difficult. Their only option would be this summer lifestyle. So this is what they can do. Yes, this is not going to be easy, but this is exactly what they can do.

Hard times for the polars bears, in other words, and Bjørn wishes 'em luck. Also some good stuff just following where Lomborg denies that comparing Al Gore to the Inquisition is alarmist.


Ti-Guy said...

Oh, have no doubt that life will eventually adapt to whatever environmental conditions just won't be human life.

I think the animals must be looking forward to that time.

Faith Based Science is for everyone said...

and I was hit by a piece of falling sky today.

I am sending it to Al Gore so he can use it to hype his hysteria with real proof.

By the way, how did the polar bears handle the previous warm periods, some of them lasting centuries ? Maybe they are rather adaptive, more so than we know.

ding dong kyoto's dead said...

Once again, I'm wrong. Greenhouse gases fuelled near-record temperatures, U.S. researchers say.

...I'm don't feel bad though...the booze helps with that. And come winter, I'll be right again.

Ding Dong Kyoto's dead said...

"According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2006 was the second-warmest year in the U.S., approximately 0.4 C cooler than 1998.

. . just another "researcher" addicted to government funding and their marketing line that hasn't kept up with the fisking of the hysteria.

1934 is the new year . . . lies, so hard to keep straight once you start.

Anonymous said...

Gee, a left-wing neo-com website giving a bad review to a 'denier'? What a surprise.

I'll bet they tried to pick on him about his age or his toupee, right?

bigcitylib said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ding dong kyoto's dead said...

Fuck off, anoymous, or you'll get a punch in the cock. This is my turf, and no one trolls my preserve except me.

bigcitylib said...

Lomborg's got a toupee?

No, these guys just nailed him for his shoddy research and how he misquotes people to make his points. I'd be the one to nail him for his toup, and only if it was a particularly ugly toup.

Anonymous said...

those damn Swedes . . they really have a thing about outing The Believers

wedish Scientist Accuses UN's IPCC of Falsifying Data and Destroying Evidence
Photo of Noel Sheppard.
By Noel Sheppard | June 24, 2007 - 19:45 ET

If you listen to the global warming alarmists working for the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or folks like soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore, sea levels across the globe are rising at a rate that will eventually doom us all.

According to Swedish paleogeophysicist Nils-Axel Mörner, who’s been studying and writing about sea levels for four decades, the scientists working for the IPCC have falsified data and destroyed evidence to incorrectly prove their point.

Mörner was recently interviewed by Gregory Murphy of Executive Intelligence Review, and began by making it clear that the sea level claims made by the IPCC are a lot of nonsense (emphasis added throughout, h/t Eduardo Ferreyra):

[W]e can see that the sea level was indeed rising, from, let us say, 1850 to 1930-40. And that rise had a rate in the order of 1 millimeter per year. Not more. 1.1 is the exact figure. And we can check that, because Holland is a subsiding area; it has been subsiding for many millions of years; and Sweden, after the last Ice Age, was uplifted. So if you balance those, there is only one solution, and it will be this figure.

That ended in 1940, and there had been no rise until 1970; and then we can come into the debate here on what is going on, and we have to go to satellite altimetry, and I will return to that. But before doing that: There’s another way of checking it, because if the radius of the Earth increases, because sea level is rising, then immediately the Earth’s rate of rotation would slow down. That is a physical law, right? You have it in figure-skating: when they rotate very fast, the arms are close to the body; and then when they increase the radius, by putting out their arms, they stop by themselves. So you can look at the rotation and the same comes up: Yes, it might be 1.1 mm per year, but absolutely not more.

1.1 mm per year? That means that if this were to continue for 1000 years, sea levels would be 1.1 meters higher. Doesn’t sound very catastrophic, does it?

Mörner then addressed what in his view was a ridiculous error by the IPCC:

Another way of looking at what is going on is the tide gauge. Tide gauging is very complicated, because it gives different answers for wherever you are in the world. But we have to rely on geology when we interpret it. So, for example, those people in the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change], choose Hong Kong, which has six tide gauges, and they choose the record of one, which gives 2.3 mm per year rise of sea level. Every geologist knows that that is a subsiding area. It’s the compaction of sediment; it is the only record which you shouldn’t use. And if that figure is correct, then Holland would not be subsiding, it would be uplifting. And that is just ridiculous. Not even ignorance could be responsible for a thing like that.

But that was just the beginning of Mörner’s problems with the IPCC:

Now, back to satellite altimetry, which shows the water, not just the coasts, but in the whole of the ocean. And you measure it by satellite. From 1992 to 2002, [the graph of the sea level] was a straight line, variability along a straight line, but absolutely no trend whatsoever. We could see those spikes: a very rapid rise, but then in half a year, they fall back again. But absolutely no trend, and to have a sea-level rise, you need a trend.

Then, in 2003, the same data set, which in their [IPCC's] publications, in their website, was a straight line—suddenly it changed, and showed a very strong line of uplift, 2.3 mm per year, the same as from the tide gauge. And that didn't look so nice. It looked as though they had recorded something; but they hadn't recorded anything. It was the original one which they had suddenly twisted up, because they entered a “correction factor,” which they took from the tide gauge. So it was not a measured thing, but a figure introduced from outside. I accused them of this at the Academy of Sciences in Moscow —I said you have introduced factors from outside; it's not a measurement. It looks like it is measured from the satellite, but you don't say what really happened. And they answered, that we had to do it, because otherwise we would not have gotten any trend!

That is terrible! As a matter of fact, it is a falsification of the data set. Why? Because they know the answer. And there you come to the point: They “know” the answer; the rest of us, we are searching for the answer. Because we are field geologists; they are computer scientists. So all this talk that sea level is rising, this stems from the computer modeling, not from observations. The observations don't find it!

Pretty extraordinary, wouldn’t you agree? A "correction factor." Honestly, the way these folks manipulate data is nothing less than astounding.

Yet, Mörner wasn’t finished, as he later detailed an incident when IPCC scientists actually destroyed evidence which refuted their rising sea level claims:

This tree, which I showed in the documentary, is interesting. This is a prison island, and when people left the island, from the '50s, it was a marker for them, when they saw this tree alone out there, they said, “Ah, freedom!” They were allowed back. And there have been writings and talks about this. I knew that this tree was in that terrible position already in the 1950s. So the slightest rise, and it would have been gone. I used it in my writings and for television. You know what happened? There came an Australian sea-level team, which was for the IPCC and against me. Then the students pulled down the tree by hand! They destroyed the evidence. What kind of people are those? And we came to launch this film, “Doomsday Called Off,” right after, and the tree was still green. And I heard from the locals that they had seen the people who had pulled it down. So I put it up again, by hand, and made my TV program. I haven't told anybody else, but this was the story.

They call themselves scientists, and they're destroying evidence! A scientist should always be open for reinterpretation, but you can never destroy evidence. And they were being watched, thinking they were clever.

bigcitylib said...

A, Morner the Water Witch. I haven't heard that name brought up in weeks.

Anonymous said...

So you're a homophobe, too!

Nils-Axel Mörner said...

Yorn desh born, der ritt de gitt der gue,
Orn desh, dee born desh, de umn bork! bork! bork!

Jag lever Ding Dong!

TCO said...

If polar bears were ok during the Holocene Optimum, why won't they be ok during the McIntyre Optimum? Seriously.

TCO said...

Plus they are evil man-killers. Ever come up through a lead and have to put a man in the sail with an M-14 to kill them when they try to kill the crew?

bigcitylib said...

OK, TCO? I'm sure lots of them died in the process of adaption. That's how "adaption" happens, evolutionarily speaking. It involves alot of dying off. In the same way people adapted to Hurricane Katrina by fleeing or drowning.

TCO said...

I'm not talking about adaption. I'm so past that. Get with me. I don't think they have to change their DNA. They just proved that they can survive a climate change, no?

Holly Stick said...

tco, how quickly did the climate change in the Holocene? Was it over thousand of years?

Holly Stick said...

NOAA points up some of the differences between then and now:

TCO said...

I'm not talking evolution. I'm talking moving. Or dying off a little, but living as a species. I mean AGW is not a storm. It takes a century for temp to raise an inch. Big deal. things change more in a season.

deno said...

Thank you Anonymous 5.15pm for a very informative article on the lies of the IPCC Panel.


deno said...

"Holly Stick said...
tco, how quickly did the climate change in the Holocene? Was it over thousand of years? "

Yes Holly

Read this from

Polar Bears thrive During Warm Times

Polar bears have thrived during warmer climates because they are omnivores, like their cousins the brown and black bears. Though polar bears eat seals more than any other food source, research shows they have a varied diet. When other foods are available--including fish, kelp, caribou, ducks, sea birds, musk ox, and walrus carcasses--they take advantage of it.

Dr. Mitchell Taylor, a biologist with Nunavut Territorial government in Canada, pointed out in testimony to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that modest warming may be beneficial to bears since it creates better habitat for seals and would dramatically increase growth of blueberries, upon which bears gorge themselves when available.

Taylor explained Alaska's polar bear population is stable and recent research shows the polar bear population in Canada alone has increased 25 percent from 12,000 to 15,000 during the past decade, with 11 of Canada's 13 polar bear populations stable or increasing in number. Where polar bear weight and numbers are declining, Taylor thinks the cause is too many bears competing for food, not Arctic warming.

Climate scientist David Legates said shrinking Arctic sea ice may be a temporary, local phenomenon not linked to global warming, especially as the polar ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are not in decline.

"Russian coastal-station records of both the extent of sea ice and the thickness of fast ice (ice fixed to the shoreline or seafloor) extending back 125 years show significant variability over 60- to 80-year periods," said Legates."

deno said...

From the same site.

"Since the 1970s, while much of the world was warming, polar bear numbers increased dramatically, from roughly 5,000 to 25,000 bears, a higher polar bear population than has existed at any time in the twentieth century. Scientists believe polar bears thrived in the past in temperatures even warmer than at present--during the medieval warm period 1,000 years ago and during the Holocene Climate Optimum between 5,000 and 9,000 years ago."

Anonymous said...

I love this: "Their only option would be this summer lifestyle."

yes, quite. "Lifestyles of the Ice-less and Seal-less".

Kind of paints this picture in your mind of a polar bear siiting in a lounge chair on the beach in the French Riviera, sipping a Piña Colada.

How do people like Lomborg get jobs in academics?

Do they act reasonable until they get tenure and only then start in with the goofy stuff?

Or are the Universities where they work really that desperate for warm bodies?

Ti-Guy said...

You can't argue with Deno, Holly. He's always got a link to some oil-industry associated denier site to back up his claims. He swallows them whole because he's skilled at the open-throat technique all oil patch workers need to if they want to keep paying the mortgage.

Remember, for Deno...climate change is all about his bank account. Fuck the polar bears and the fragile arctic eco-system. By the time it becomes a problem, he'll be dead anyway.

Ti-Guy said...

Big deal. things change more in a season.

If it's no big deal, then why do you care? Go golfing in the well-watered Arizona desert, or something.

deno said...


From Wikipedia
"The Holocene Climate Optimum was a warm period during roughly the interval 9,000 to 5,000 years B.P.. This event has also been known by many other names, including: Hypsithermal, Altithermal, Climatic Optimum, Holocene Optimum, Holocene Thermal Maximum, and Holocene Megathermal."

Also from Wikipedia

"The Holocene Climate Optimum warm event consisted of increases of up to 4 °C near the North Pole (in one study, winter warming of 3 to 9 °C and summer of 2 to 6 °C in northern central Siberia)[1]. Northwestern Europe experienced warming, while there was cooling in the south.[2] The average temperature change appears to have declined rapidly with latitude so that essentially no change in mean temperature is reported at low and mid latitudes. Tropical reefs tend to show temperature increases of less than 1 °C. In terms of the global average, temperatures were probably less than 0.5 to 2 °C warmer than the mid-20th century (depending on estimates of latitude dependence and seasonality in response patterns).

At 140 sites across the western Arctic, there is clear evidence for warmer-than-present conditions at 120 sites. At 16 sites where quantitative estimates have been obtained, local HTM temperatures were on average 1.6±0.8 °C higher than present. Northwestern North America had peak warmth first, from 11,000 to 9,000 years ago, while the Laurentide ice sheet still chilled the continent. Northeastern North America experienced peak warming 4,000 years later"

Holly, we know that the Holocene Climate Optimum lasted about 4000 years with a polar warming of 3 - 9 degrees Celsius. We also know that the poplar bear survived this 4000 year warming period. The IPCC report is predicting much less warming then the Holocene period so the polar bear is in no danger at all.

You are free to ignore the facts and believe the AGW fear mongers that the polar bear is in deep danger because of us big bad humans.


Holly Stick said...

Why would you post all that instead of providing a link so I could go and read it for myself? I mean, how many people need to know all the names for the Holocene Climate Optimum?

According to the NOAA link I posted above: "In summary, the mid-Holocene, roughly 6,000 years ago, was generally warmer than today, but only in summer and only in the northern hemisphere." Golly, sounds like there was still snow and ice in winter.

lenny said...

According to Deno we're presently between 0.8 and 2.3C shy of temperature maximums during the period in question, in the region which polar bears inhabit. How this leads him to conclude that Bears should have no problem surviving predicted future warming is anybodies guess. Never mind that, also according to the information he provides, the Holocene warm period was so different than the current warming that it appears to be worthless to compare them: "...while the Laurentide ice sheet still chilled the continent. Northeastern North America experienced peak warming 4,000 years later."

Anonymous said...

Review? That's an outright attack piece.