Rise of the Natural Climate Cycle Deniers

July 29th, 2009 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Those who promote the theory that mankind is responsible for global warming have been working for the past 20 years on a revisionist climate history. A history where climate was always in a harmonious state of balance until mankind came along and upset that balance.

The natural climate cycle deniers have tried their best to eliminate the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age from climate data records by constructing the uncritically acclaimed and infamous “hockey stick” of global temperature variations (or non-variations) over the last one- to two-thousand years.

Before being largely discredited by a National Academies review panel, this ‘poster child’ for global warming was heralded as proof of the static nature of the climate system, and that only humans had the power to alter it.

While the panel was careful to point out that the hockey stick might be correct, they said that the only thing science could say for sure is that it has been warmer lately than anytime in the last 400 years. Since most of those 400 years was during the Little Ice Age, I would say this is a good thing. It’s like saying this summer has been warmer than any period since…last fall.

These deniers claim that the Medieval Warm Period was only a regional phenomenon, restricted to Europe. Same for the Little Ice Age. Yet when a killer heat wave occurred in France in 2003, they hypocritically insisted that this event had global significance, caused by anthropogenic ‘global’ warming.

The strong warming that occurred up until 1940 is similarly a thorn in the side of the natural climate cycle deniers, since atmospheric carbon dioxide increases from fossil fuel burning before 1940 were too meager to have caused it. So, the ‘experts’ are now actively working on reducing the magnitude of that event by readjusting some ship measurements of ocean temperatures from that era.

Yet, they would never dream of readjusting the more recent thermometer record, which clearly has localized urban heat island effects that have not yet been removed (e.g., see here and here). As Dick Lindzen of MIT has pointed out, it is highly improbable that every adjustment the climate revisionists ever make to the data should always just happen to be in the direction of agreeing with the climate models.

Of course, global warming has indeed occurred…just as global cooling has occurred before, too. While the global warming ‘alarmists’ claim we ‘skeptics’ have our heads stuck in the sand about the coming climate catastrophe, they don’t realize their heads are stuck in the sand about natural climate variability. Their repeated referrals to skeptic’s beliefs as “denying global warming” is evidence of either their dishonesty, or their stupidity.

The climate modelers’ predictions of the coming global warming Armageddon is of a theoretical event in the distant future, created by mathematical climate models, and promoted by scientists and politicians who have nothing to lose since it will be decades before they are proved wrong. They profess the utmost confidence in these theoretical predictions, yet close their eyes and ears to the natural rhythms exhibited by nature, both in the living and non-living realms, in the present, and in the previously recorded past.

They readily admit that cycles exist in weather, but can not (or will not) entertain the possibility that cycles might occur in climate, too. Every change the natural cycle deniers see in nature is inevitably traced to some evil deed done by humans. They predictably prognosticate such things as, “If this trend continues, the Earth will be in serious trouble”. To them behavior of nature is simple, static, always in-balance – if not sacred…in a quasi-scientific sort of way, of course.

They can not conceive of nature changing all by itself, even though evidence of that change is all around us. Like the more activist environmentalists, their romantic view of a peaceful, serene natural world ignores the stark reality that most animals on the Earth are perpetually locked in a life-or-death struggle for existence. The balances that form in nature are not harmonious, but unsteady and contentious stalemates — like the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, humans are doing just what the other animals are doing: modifying and consuming their surroundings in order to thrive. The deniers curiously assert that all other forms of life on the planet have the ‘right’ to do this – except humans.

And when the natural cycle deniers demand changes in energy policy, most of them never imagine that they might personally be inconvenienced by those policies. Like Al Gore, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Leonardo DiCaprio, they scornfully look down upon the rest of humanity for using up the natural resources that they want for themselves.

And the few who freely choose to live such a life then want to deny others the freedom to choose, by either regulating or legislating everyone else’s behavior to conform to their own behavior.

The natural climate cycle deniers’ supposedly impartial science is funded by government research dollars that would mostly dry up if the fears of manmade global warming were to evaporate. With contempt they point at the few million dollars that Exxon-Mobil spent years ago to support a few scientists who maintained a healthy skepticism about the science, while the scientific establishment continues to spent tens of billions of your tax dollars.

So, who has the vested financial interest here?

Even the IPCC in its latest (2007) report admits that most of the warming in the last 50 years might be natural in origin — although they consider it very unlikely, with (in their minds) less than 10% probability. So, where is the 10% of the global warming research budget to study that possibility? It doesn’t exist, because — as a few politicians like to remind us — “the science is settled”.

The natural climate cycle deniers claim to own the moral high ground, because they are saving future generations from the ravages of (theoretical) anthropogenic climate change. A couple of them have called for trials and even executions of scientists who happen to remain skeptical of humanity being guilty of causing climate change.

Yet the energy policies they advocate are killing living, breathing poor people around the world, today. Those who are barely surviving in poverty are being pushed over the edge by rising corn prices (because of ethanol production), and decimated economies from increasing regulation and taxation of carbon based fuels in countries governed by self-righteous elites.

But the tide is turning. As the climate system stubbornly refuses to warm as much as 95% of the climate models say it should be warming, the public is turning skeptical as well. Only time will tell whether our future is one of warming, or of cooling. But if the following average of 18 proxies for global temperatures over the last 2,000 years is any indication, it is unlikely that global temperatures will remain constant for very long.

The above graph shows an average of 18 non-tree ring proxies of temperature from 12 locations around the Northern Hemisphere, published by Craig Loehle in 2007, and later revised in 2008, clearly showing that natural climate variability happens with features that coincide with known events in human history.

As Australian geologist Bob Carter has been emphasizing, we shouldn’t be worrying about manmade climate change. We should instead fear that which we know occurs: natural climate change. Unfortunately, it is the natural climate cycle deniers who are now in control of the money, the advertising, the news reporting, and the politicians.

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