Posted by: Barry Bickmore | May 16, 2013

Rebuttal to Former Senator Bob Bennett

A couple weeks ago, former U.S. Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah) published an op-ed in the Deseret News, in which he went on about how climate science isn’t “settled,” and that we shouldn’t “panic,” but instead do things that “make sense” to combat climate change.  They just published my reply.




  1. Hey, if anyone has some time burning a hole in their pocket, I’m over my comment limit on the Deseret News page, but I wanted to put up this reply.


    You say, “I might buy that, except for the fact that the satellite record also shows a nearly flat trend.”

    At first you were saying the temperature trend in the “raw data” was flat for the last 80 years, and now you say that the satellite temperature record shows a “nearly flat trend” to back up your claim. But since the satellite record only goes back about 34 years, during which time the trend was most definitely NOT nearly flat. I assume, therefore, that you are talking about the trend over the last 15 years, or so, which is too short to say much about what the “climate” (which implies a longer-term average) is doing. You need to slow down and try to make sense of all the information you so readily cite.

    • I too am over the lame 4 comment (200 words per comment) limit. What a way to encourage conversations over there!!!

    • [flat trend 80 years]: What’s 1 C plus or minus among friends?

      Actually, I think they take the 1934 temp from one particular data set to conclude that the current 2012 temp is only a little higher and so the trend is flat.

      More importantly, they don’t have a physical model/explanation that can simulate the temps over that time period and scoff at the model scientists do have because the scientists used CO2 (with the greenhouse effect) as a variable in order to get accurate results.

    • “nearly flat trend” is missing error bars.

      Indeed, the problem that all such idiots have with “the trend is flat” or “no statistically significant warming” is that neither disprove the IPCC or AGW, since the models assert that the trend should be around 1.7C per century, and that if they want to PROVE that wrong, they have to PROVE that the trend calculated PRECLUDES a trend of 1.7C per century.

      Saying “nearly flat trend” doesn’t do that.

      Both logic fail and statistics fail.

      • Since you’re talking error bars, the NOAA claim of 3.4mm ocean rise in 2012 is based on a solar year, not a lunar year and 2012 had an extra high tide cycle. Good luck reparsing the data when there’s an extra low tide! As far as the 0.04 degree increase claimed for ‘deep ocean warming’ it’s not deep measurements and they are potted measurements and only accurate to 0.1 degree therefore any ‘average'<0.1 is just statistical noise, but that noise is the Key Lynchpin of Warmist faith, the mysterious 'deep ocean' sink that's kept temperatures flat for now 18 years.

        • Since you’re talking about trends, that’s a cherry pick.

          Good luck getting any conclusion that can withstand any skeptical viewer.

    • The problem with climate change talk is that most studies are performed by partisan groups. Combine that with statistics (which is easily manipulable) and you can say what ever your side decides. No one is looking for objective truth. They want to prove their hypothesis. Either way, we need to look at the source of these greenhouse gasses. Check out my blog for more info on how livestock can help curb the emergence of methane:

      • rorschachspuke you might be interested to know that about 10 years ago New Zealand farmers started to protest the proposed introduction of a tax on livestock methane emissions. Fight Against Ridiculous Taxes or FART as it was more appropriately known.

      • That’s easy to say when you define as anyone who has looked because it’s their job to look as “partisan”. Yours is just a lazy way of saying “I don’t believe the science and it’s not my fault”.

      • You can verify things said by either side.

        And when you do, what side turns out to be telling lies all the time and what side doesn’t?

        Deniers: “I don’t receive much funding from the Fossil Fuel Industry”. Out of session, admits it’s 40%.
        Deniers: “No significant warming since 1995!”, no *statistically* significant warming since 1995 up to 2009.
        Deniers: “CO2 isn;t a greenhouse gas!”. You can verify yourself it is transparent to visible and opaque to IR
        Deniers: “Al Gore said that the icecap would have melted by 2050 in AIT!”. Nobody ever able to find it.

        • Government scientists, on the other hand receive no funds, unless they’re famous like Hansen, then they get $1.8M, but for the average government scientist, all they get is a salary, healthcare and a pension for life, no conflict of interest there!! Just doin’ their research, sticking with the department and peers position. Don’t ‘go off the reservation’ or you won’ get published, then no tenure, no pension, …but no conflict of interest there!
          Besides ScienceByConsensus is Religion.

          • Nope, 200% wrong there.

            1) there are thousands of scientists working, and nobody knows who they are. So your claim is incorrect that they need to be famous to get paid

            2) you get far far FAR more famous showing everyone else is wrong AND PROVING IT than by going “They have the same answer as me”.

            Actually, make that 300% wrong
            3) Government spending on their staff is miniscule whereas staff spending on the open market is huge. At least as far as the differentials goes. There isn’t a government employee who would get $25mil in a year as their renumeration. Yet Texaco did. So there would be far more money to pay scientists in the fossil fuel industry. If money motivates them and not the science, they’d be pushing the FF line.

            Oh, look, they are.

          • >> all they get is a salary, healthcare and a pension for life, no conflict of interest there!! Just doin’ their research, sticking with the department and peers position. Don’t ‘go off the reservation’ or you won’ get published, then no tenure, no pension

            So what you are saying is that if I follow the ordinary path, then get tenure, then it would be in my interest to do as most scientists do and keep going along that path rather than do like Linden and others who probably have tenure so won’t be fired or lose their pensions, salary, or healthcare as they multiply their take home pay by courting the hundreds of billions yearly in profits from the fossil fuel industry.

            I get it!!!

            Yes, there is a conflict with my financial interest to stay the course and forgo extra income from some of the wealthiest in the world. Hope word of this observation doesn’t get out or climate science is doomed!!!

            >> ScienceByConsensus is Religion.

            The same great consensus-based religion that brought us computers, the Internet, space travel, and modern medicine.

            I believe E=mc^2 and that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction until the Denier Heathens show sufficient evidence to the contrary.

      • Looks like the sheep jokes are still coming at NZ’s expense.

  2. procuradorfiscal, “Actual, unmassaged measurements show a nearly steady average temperature over the past 80 years”

    What do you mean by “unmassaged” and who told you unmassaged data is more accurate? If people measure at different times of the day, you have to massage the data. Satellite data is very messaged, yet you use it as a comparison. [Of course, satellites were not around 80 years ago.] Can you find a scientific body or university that believes temps have not risen over the past 80 years to any significant degree? You are in denial, my friend.

    Also, you seem to be tossing aside thermometer readings in favor of proxies. That makes no sense. Thermometer data show that tree ring data fails at the changes we have observed in the past few decades (at higher temps) but succeeded in earlier ones, yet you prefer the proxy data over thermometers.

    And the BEST study has been the most comprehensive by far, yet you ignore it.

    “All models predicting a “hockey stick” temperature increase have all been discredited by their large deviations from observed data.”

    If you are using proxies as the gold standard, I am not surprised you believe that. Amazing how you believe a global WMP existed (clearly from a time way before we had quality thermometers making readings all over the world) yet refuse to believe temps have gone up significantly in the past 80 years.

    “Even NASA and the IPCC are crafting statements admitting early [read “hockey stick”] estimates of climate sensitivity to radiative forcing due to atmospheric CO2 were likely overly enthusiastic.”

    If you are right about the climate sensitivity opinion change, that is not admitting hockey stick problems. However, the orig hockey stick had been recognized to have been overly enthusiastic. Meanwhile, you still have nothing that shows the existence of a global WMP (and of a specific time period). Ice cores from one site don’t cover the global temperatures. You would need at a minimum matching year core data for multiple sites around the world from both hemispheres.

    “it’s hard to relate studies showing the Sahara has been stable for about 5,500 years to this discussion”

    My bad on the Sahara example. The point was that warmer doesn’t necessarily correlate with wetter (vs drier) as it appeared you were suggesting was the case.

  3. “I would find the pro climate change crowd more convincing if they were riding bikes to work instead of wanting the rest of us to do it first, by government fiat no less!”

    bandersen, you know better that if the rules of play in the economy supported by our government are not changed for everyone, then those “riding bikes to work” will be at a disadvantage and have their businesses fail. When you watch the NBA finals this month, I think you know better than to expect one team to play by one set of rules and the other by a more lenient set. If a firm or citizen wants government support (eg, courts, military, road travel, etc), then it’s not too much for the rest to expect them and everyone to play by the same set of rules.

    Rules that allow anything goes hurts everyone. Rules that accept moderation, allow future generations not to pay for our sins.

  4. Nate, the Julander and Perkins study concluded the data points were not statistically very different for the chosen sites, yet as Charts 3 and 4 show, it does seem that the latter (warmer) period has had less snow pack. My conclusion from this is that the claim that warmer temps result in less snow pack is more likely to be true than false but that supposedly we don’t as yet have enough data to be sure. [I’m assuming that Utah has had temps over the decades so that the first set of 3 decades was cooler than the latter as is true about the global average temp over that time period.] One problem with ignoring this trend in melting, especially when the physics probably supports that claim, is that there might be a speed-up in melting once temperatures rise some more as they are expected to do significantly over the upcoming decades and century. Other parts of the planet have experienced faster melting, so we should not relax just because our own neighborhood might not yet be seeing those speeds.

    Anyway, remember that that one study was limited in range of localities and of measurement types.

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