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Home > Politics
Global Warming Denial: A Case Study
by Bob Powell, 11/14/15
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Here are the facts about a global-warming-denier meme that lies about what Gore has said and about the reality of the loss of ice at the Arctic ice cap. The dedication to what's factually incorrect is amazing.

Contents
The Lying Meme
Summary of the Meme Lies
The Exchange with the Denier on FB
Further Comments on the Lies
Conclusion

 

Added 12/13/5: Ted Cruz Lies about Global Warming

An article about how Ted Cruz lied and distorted reality that makes many of the same points in this article. This is politically incorrect to say, but in this time of disdain for political correctness, this is OK to say, Right?: Cruz and those who agree with him are either ignorant or liars; what's for sure is that they're traitors to, and an existential threat to, life on earth.

Ted Cruz Challenged Science At His Climate Change Hearing. Science Won. BY EMILY ATKIN 12/10/15

Much of the information Cruz cited ... was presented in perplexing ways. He confused completely different geographic locations, took data out of context, and made at least one unintentionally hilarious historical comparison.

So, with his assertion that “science and data matter” in mind, here is a debunking of some unscientific things Cruz said during his climate change hearing.

 

The Lying Meme

It's difficult to believe the extent to which deniers will go to lie about the reality of global warming. In a way it's good to see the spread of such blatant deceit.

Summary: This meme lies in very fundamental ways,

  • It shows a picture of ice in the Antarctic, not the Artic; Gore referred to the Arctic in his Nobel Prize speech ... see his comment in the text at left.
  • Gore did not mention "ice caps" in his speech ... only the "North Polar ice cap".
  • Gore didn't "predict" anything ... he cited a range of studies.
  • While the Antarctic gained ice, the Arctic lost 3X more ice than the Antarctic gained.
  • Arctic ice has undergone major thinning over time.

It's quite easy to create a meme like this with so many explicit and implicit lies. It's difficult to take the time to document the lies.

It's both disturbing and amazing that so many are so dedicated denialism that they'll unquestionably believe and defend memes like this.

Rather than Gore being the "chump", the "chumps" are the deniers who are willing slaves to the giant corporations that profit at their expense and endanger the future of life on earth.

It's way past time to be "politically correct" about those who deny the threat from global warming.

That's because global warming, for which "conservatives" deny humans are responsible, is an existential threat to life on earth.

If aliens were doing what the oil corporations are doing, we'd be dedicated to killing every damn one of them ... and their collaborators!
A lying meme shared as a Facebook post is at right. It came with this comment:

Remember this chump?

Read the NASA report about Antarctica at www.louderwithcrowder.com

 

Summary of how this meme lies in fundamental ways:

1. The picture is of ice in the Antarctic, not the Arctic; Gore referred to the Arctic in his Nobel Prize speech ... see that portion of his speech below.
2. Gore did not mention "ice caps" in his speech ... only the "North Polar ice cap".
3. Gore didn't "predict" anything ... he cited a range of studies.
4. Though the Antarctic gained some ice, the Arctic lost 3X more ice than the Antarctic gained.
5. Arctic ice has undergone major thinning over time.

It's quite easy to create a meme like this with so many explicit and implicit lies. It's more difficult to take the time to thoroughly document the lies as I do here.

It's both amazing and disturbing that so many are so dedicated denialism that they'll unquestionably believe and defend memes like this.

 

Some are promoting commentaries that lie about Al Gore making predictions about when Arctic ice will be gone.

Here's one: "Al Gore Forecasted "Ice-Free" Arctic by 2013; Ice Cover Expands 50%" by Alex Newman, 18 December 2013. Another: Wrong: Al Gore Predicted Arctic Summer Ice Could Disappear In 2013, CNS, By Barbara Hollingsworth, September 13, 2013.

But it's not true! From his speech in 2007: "One study estimated that it could be completely gone during summer in less than 22 years. Another new study, to be presented by U.S. Navy researchers later this week, warns it could happen in as little as 7 years." Source: Arctic Sea Ice and Al Gore's "Prediction 2013" By Bruce Melton, 04 October 2013.

That first *one study* would have projected 2014 (not 2013) ... the other said 22 years, which would be in 2029. He didn't make predictions, he cited studies that lead to a range of dates.

Regarding the article from CNS, the Conservative News Service: They solicit donations: "Your continued support will ensure that CNSNews.com is here reporting THE TRUTH, for a long time to come." Yet they lie about what Gore said.

 

The Exchange with the Denier on FB

My comment about the meme:

Nope. He didn't "predict" that. He cited reports that gave a range. And I referred to this section starting just above on Lies about what Al Gore said.

The meme-posters' response on this:

Yep. He did predict it...in his 2007 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

My comment:

Noting what studies have said, is *not* "predicting" that. Here's what Gore said in his Nobel Prize speech:

Last September 21, as the Northern Hemisphere tilted away from the sun, scientists reported with unprecedented distress that the North Polar ice cap is "falling off a cliff." One study estimated that it could be completely gone during summer in less than 22 years. Another new study, to be presented by U.S. Navy researchers later this week, warns it could happen in as little as 7 years.

... that's *could* ... now *will* ... don't blame Gore for an estimate by the U.S. Navy.

The extent to which some will go to obfuscate and deny this existential threat to life on earth is incredible.

Never mind that I showed it wasn't true, here's the meme-posters' response:

Well, if he said this during such an "important" speech, it was obviously something he believed in. He obviously didn't quote those researchers who say that global warming is complete hogwash.

So how do you explain, that the ice caps are now thicker than ever?

This shows incredible dedication to what's factually incorrect. On "thicker than ever"  is false see below.

 

Further Comments on the Lies

My further comments are here, instead of commenting at the FB post. I frequently see this kind of nonsense, so the lies are worth documenting here rather than at an ephemeral FB post.

Fossil fuel corporations fund global warming denial even though they've known the truth for over 3 decades.

Why on earth would Gore cite those paid by the fossil fuel corporations with an enormous financial interest in lying about what's happening? They are not "researchers" ... they are paid shills. Theirs is the "hogwash".

Exxon knew of climate change in 1981, email says – but it funded deniers for 27 more yearsSuzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent, 8 July 2015

A newly unearthed missive from Lenny Bernstein, a climate expert with the oil firm for 30 years, shows concerns over high presence of carbon dioxide in enormous gas field in south-east Asia factored into decision not to tap it.

ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company, knew as early as 1981 of climate change – seven years before it became a public issue, according to a newly discovered email from one of the firm’s own scientists. Despite this the firm spent millions over the next 27 years to promote climate denial.

The email from Exxon’s in-house climate expert provides evidence the company was aware of the connection between fossil fuels and climate change, and the potential for carbon-cutting regulations that could hurt its bottom line, over a generation ago ...

Polar Ice Not Thicker than Ever: The assertion "that the ice caps are now thicker than ever" is not true. The Arctic ice cap is much thinner. NASA:

From Satellites and Submarines Give the Skinny on Sea Ice Thickness, 09.01.09

... Analysis of the new record shows that since a peak in 1980, sea ice thickness has declined 53 percent. "It's an astonishing number," Kwok said. The study, published online August 6 in Geophysical Research Letters, shows that the current thinning of Arctic sea ice has actually been going on for quite some time. ...

In NASA Satellite Reveals Dramatic Arctic Ice Thinning, 07.07.09, see this:

Arctic sea ice thinned dramatically between the winters of 2004 and 2008, with thin seasonal ice replacing thick older ice as the dominant type for the first time on record. The new results, based on data from a NASA Earth-orbiting spacecraft, provide further evidence for the rapid, ongoing transformation of the Arctic's ice cover. ...

In recent years, the amount of ice replaced in the winter has not been sufficient to offset summer ice losses. The result is more open water in summer, which then absorbs more heat, warming the ocean and further melting the ice. Between 2004 and 2008, multi-year ice cover shrank 1.54 million square kilometers (595,000 square miles) -- nearly the size of Alaska's land area.

What's happening in the Arctic, about which Gore spoke, is very different from the Antarctic. Though the Antarctic gained some ice, the Arctic lost 3X more ice than the Antarctic gained. NASA:

Arctic vs. Antarctic: Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches New Record Maximum, Oct. 7, 2014

Sea ice surrounding Antarctica reached a new record high extent this year, covering more of the southern oceans than it has since scientists began a long-term satellite record to map sea ice extent in the late 1970s. The upward trend in the Antarctic, however, is only about a third of the magnitude of the rapid loss of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.

The new Antarctic sea ice record reflects the diversity and complexity of Earth’s environments, said NASA researchers. Claire Parkinson, a senior scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, has referred to changes in sea ice coverage as a microcosm of global climate change. Just as the temperatures in some regions of the planet are colder than average, even in our warming world, Antarctic sea ice has been increasing and bucking the overall trend of ice loss.

"The planet as a whole is doing what was expected in terms of warming. Sea ice as a whole is decreasing as expected, but just like with global warming, not every location with sea ice will have a downward trend in ice extent," Parkinson said.

Since the late 1970s, the Arctic has lost an average of 20,800 square miles (53,900 square kilometers) of ice a year; the Antarctic has gained an average of 7,300 square miles (18,900 sq km). On Sept. 19 this year, for the first time ever since 1979, Antarctic sea ice extent exceeded 7.72 million square miles (20 million square kilometers), according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The ice extent stayed above this benchmark extent for several days. The average maximum extent between 1981 and 2010 was 7.23 million square miles (18.72 million square kilometers). ...

It's very important to make the point that it's "global warming"not"warming everywhere". Parkinson's comment is on point: "The planet as a whole is doing what was expected in terms of warming. Sea ice as a whole is decreasing as expected, but just like with global warming, not every location with sea ice will have a downward trend in ice extent."

There's been major loss of Arctic ice over time. NASA:

2015 Arctic Sea Ice Maximum Annual Extent Is Lowest On Record, March 19, 2015

The sea ice cap of the Arctic appeared to reach its annual maximum winter extent on Feb. 25, according to data from the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. At 5.61 million square miles (14.54 million square kilometers), this year’s maximum extent was the smallest on the satellite record and also one of the earliest. ...

Weather vs Climate: Inherent in the comment, "how do you explain, that the ice caps are now thicker than ever", is the confusion between weather and climate. Yes, there's more ice in the Antarctic even though the planet as a whole is warming; so more ice in one place doesn't mean the planet isn't warming overall.

This confusion is reminiscent of the typical "Fox News" ignorant reporting on major snow storms, like this example:

Climate alarmists blame global warming before blizzard, FOX News, The Five, 1/27/15

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: ... So if this blizzard, this current blizzard in fact proves climate change, the logical conclusion, the logical conclusion is that climate change is awesome, because a storm 130 years ago was much worse than a storm now. That is a logical conclusion that flies in the face of all these idiots who have absolutely no evidence linking extreme weather to climate change. It's almost -- I mean, using hypothetical models is wrong, like saying that 2014 was the hottest year. They used to fixed models, they even used satellites, the satellites show otherwise. It's all bogus.

BOLLING: Don't you find it funny that they know for a fact that the global warming climate change is a fact without any dispute. There's no question in their minds, yet they can't figure out where this storm is going to go. I mean, I found it hugely, hugely, hugely hypocritical.

"Science is no longer the bottleneck. The challenge is political and social."
Oh sure, I'm the idiot alarmist. Hardly. The idiots are those like "The Five" who think that predicting the weather about exactly a snow storm will hit is the same as understanding how global warming affects the climate over time.

Here's the truth: Broken Record: Fox Still Falsely Claiming That Snow Disproves Global Warming Research January 27, 2011

During their recent coverage of winter storms, Fox News has repeatedly mocked former Vice President Al Gore and cited the cold and snowy weather to attempt to discredit global warming. Fox News and other right-wing media routinely use snow to cast doubt on global warming, and internal emails from Fox News' Washington bureau show that in the past Fox employees have been instructed to question climate science.

More severe snow storms accompany global warming because there's more moisture in the atmosphere. When a cold front encounters that moisture, there can be major snowfall. Because of more heat in the ocean hurricanes can be larger and more destructive.

Also see on The Physics of the System:

I also made this comment at the meme post on the physics of the system. Deniers should tell me what they think is incorrect and why:

This presentation (3 minutes) on global warming to the Colorado Springs Utilities Board on 4/22/15 (Earth Day) explains the physics of the system: why global warming is happening, why humans are causing it, and why stopping the increase in emissions is not enough ... we must cut them in half. And it addresses common false objections to addressing the problem.

Trump/Republicans: Worse Than 9/11, 11/16/16.

Do you recall 9/11? The feelings of dread ... of terror of being in one of those jets about to hit a tower? I do. Yes, for me this is worse. "Conservative" denial of Global Warming is an existential threat to life on earth. I describe 7 reasons for this denial. Were I a better person, I would say "forgive them, for they know not what they do". But they are so damned dedicated to not knowing that I cannot.

Gravity is only a theory -- a unified theory of forces isn't "settled science" -- but we know what happens when we jump off a cliff. Global Warming is also only a theory, but it's settled enough to know, not exact temperature predictions, but what's happening because we're jumping off that cliff.

The Physics of Global Warming, 11/06/16.

This article describes The Physics of the System relative to Global Warming. Even though exact modeling of the climate for past and future average global temperature is enormously complicated, the physics, the facts, and what they mean are not. One does not have to be a rocket surgeon to understand this. The facts and their implications are not up for negotiation. "Physics does not negotiate! Physics just does."

Let me be clear, this is an existential threat to life on earth. Please, pay attention and stop denying reality. Some against abortion of fetuses say that's "child murder", yet they are quite willing to vote for Trump/Republicans who deny this threat to all life on earth.

In 2001, Ron Suskind wrote in The One Percent Doctrine, Vice-President Dick Cheney announced that if there was "a one percent chance" that a threat was real "we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response." Cheney added, "It's not about our analysis, or finding a preponderance of evidence." If "conservatives" believe that about attacking other nations, why do they quibble over whether it's 45% or 97% certain that life on earth is threatened by global warming?

Trump/Republicans are a clear and present danger to all life on earth. This is the ultimate in evil. I will not be around for the most disastrous consequences, so this will not affect me personally. I do not have children, but those who do and don't take this seriously are condemning them to a dystopian future in which billions of humans will die and countless species will go extinct.

 

Conclusion

Of course, the reality of all these facts about global warming, and demonstrating that the meme lies in many ways, will make little to no difference to right-wing ideologues who deny the science and data. The willingness of so many to believe and defend such a false meme is incredibly depressing.

I have no children and will be long gone by the time even more devastating effects make the truth of global warming totally evident even to them ... though most of them will be dead, too. That those who have children are so dedicated to denial is unbelievable; it's the absolute opposite of a truly conservative stance on the issue. And yet, many think Gore is the "chump" and that even mentioning his name is a winning argument (see Reductio Al Gore above).

There is no greater evil than promoting global warming denial and policies that are an existential threat to life on earth. So yes, there should be major alarm.


URL: http://www.exponentialimprovement.com/cms/globalwarmingdenialcasestudy.shtml

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