As I was having coffee this morning, my good ole husband brought in the paper, and now that school is over, this is the first relaxing Saturday I have had for months. I open the Wall Street Journal and started perusing it while sipping my coffee ....and .... at the top of the editorial page ... the article "Worse than Fiction" .... it certainly made my morning.
Here is the opening ....
Global warming alarmists are fond of invoking the authority of experts against the skepticism of supposedly amateur detractors -- a.k.a. "deniers." So when one of those experts says that a recent report on the effects of climate change is "worse than fiction, it is a lie," the alarmists should, well, be alarmed.
Just that paragraph alone made my day. I felt so good to see that there are others like me that fall into the "deniers" category -- I no longer feel alone -- how great.
But what also caught my eye is the way the writer describes the recent Kofi Annan report as worse than fiction, it is a lie". How about that for starters, in the opening paragraph. I said to myself, this is going to get interesting with such an opening salvo. I took two sips of coffee and proceeded, I was so excited!!!
Now, I must admit that for a blunt person like me that does not suffer fools easily, I was kind of shocked (but delighted) that someone would refer to a report on global warming effects, authored by such luminaries as the former General Secretary of the U.N., a "lie". Wow... was incredible to read. I was getting really more excited... and another coffee sip which a gulped down. My husband looked at me and said "what's ...a matter, honey" .... I'll tell you in a second, I said.
As I read, I learned that former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has become now the president of the Geneva-based "Global Humanitarian Forum" (isn't it a nice name? ... "global humanitarian forum" ... it has a ring of civility and humanity... how wonderful a front and cushy job for such a crook. Had he been a "right winger" he would have been in jail for all the corruption that he allowed and participated in while Head of the U.N. ... but that is an aside.
As I read on the editorial I found out that a fellow, whom I had never heard of, but which will be incorporated into my list of gutsy heroes for calling a spade a spade, a professor Roger Pielke, Jr. from Colorado, an expert in disaster trends at the University of Colorado was the one that dared referred to Kofi Annan's report a "lie". Few people, least of all in academia have such guts.
Now as I read on I found out that Mr. Annan's outfit issued a lengthy report last month warning that climate change-induced disasters , such as droughts and floods, kill 315,000 each year and cost $125 billion, numbers it says will rise to 500,000 dead and $340 billion by 2030. And as the WSJ says , Mr. Annan predicts "mass starvation, mass migration, and mass sickness" unless countries agree to "the most ambitious international agreement ever negotiated" at a meeting this year in Copenhagen. NOTHING GETS PEOPLE'S ATTENTION MORE THAN SCARE-MONGERING!!! ... the end of the world is coming!!!
Here is where the Colorado Professor took his blazing gun and let Annan have it with facts. "Malaria kills an estimated one million people a year, while AIDS claims an estimated two million. As for the economic costs, $125 billion is slightly less than the GDP of New Zealand.
Wow... what a way to introduce perspective. Obama, are you listening!!
The WSJ poses professor Pielke's points: Are targeted campaigns using proven methods to spare the world three million AIDS and malaria deaths a year a better use of scarce resources than a multi-trillion-dollar attempt to re-engineer the global economy and save, at most, a tenth that number? The Wall Street Journal answers the proposition with a categoric "yes"... and by the way, I do too!!!
And now the WSJ proceeds and raises that interesting point that "the Annan report" deserves even closer scrutiny as an example of the sleight of hand that so often goes with the politics of global warming.. Now this is elegant prose. It is a more diplomatic way of calling the global warming fanatics ... liars. What an elegant term for twisting facts ... "sleight of hand" ... I love it, what a polite way of calling someone who twists and turn facts for their own ideological purpose, liars. I said to myself, "maybe there is hope for me" if I learn to express myself with such finesse ... I may even be sent to Public Affairs one of these days.
Another sip of my coffee and I jumped to the next point. The WSJ continues saying Unlike starvation, climate change does not usually kill anyone directly. I am sure that the global warming fanatics will say, well global warming does not kill anyone "now" but it "will" in the future.
Another sip of my coffee and my eyes continue to peruse the words with excitement ... "Instead, the study's authors assume a four-step chain of causation, beginning with increased emissions, moving to climate-change effects, thence to physical changes like melting glaciers and desertification, and finally arriving at human effects like malnutrition and "risk of instability and armed conflicts."
It continued ... then to the next thought, and here again the WSJ calls their twisting of facts ...a heroic set of assumptions. I LOVED IT. I turn to my husband who is reading the sports page no doubt and say "hunny you've got to read this" ... his answer ...ahamm... and my eyes go back searching for where I left off ... "a heroic set of assumptions even if you agree that emissions are causing adverse changes in climate." How about that for a one-two punch.
Now the "heroic set of assumptions" turns out to be the "fact" that the supposedly heightened risk of conflicts in Africa is due to climate change and is suggested as the cause of "inter-clan fighting in Somalia." How about that for science fiction!!!
Of course the WSJ offers its opinion about these "heroic set of assumptions" and it reasonably postulates that the likelier explanation is the collapse of a functioning Somali government and the rise of jihadists in the region. Anyone who saw the film 'BLACKHAWK DOWN" would agree with the WSJ's conclusions.
Now I must admit that scientists come up with weirdest sets of names for things and activities, including science magazines or "blogging journals" as they call them. Apparently, Mr. Pielke's writings appeared in the Prometheus science policy blog, where he characterizes Annan's reports as a "methodological embarrassment" and a "poster child for how to lie with statistics" that "does a disservice" to those who take climate change issues seriously. Another sip of coffee... and I am taking notes of the many ways to call people liars without telling them in such blunt fashion ... and I am saying to myself ... "Maggie you are on the way to a position in Public Affairs."
The WSJ cites Mr. Pielke's critique (and here it gets a little technical), and it begins by citing a recent peer-reviewed paper by three German researchers that "it is generally difficult to obtain valid quantitative findings about the role of socioeconomics and climate change in loss increases." Reasons for this, the researchers explain, include "the stochastic [random] nature of weather extremes, a shortage of quality data, and the role of various other potential factors that act in parallel and interact." By the way "stochastic" is related to "random".
The report does admit to a "significant margin of error".
Mr. Pielke according to the WSJ notes that, the Annan "report engages in a very strange comparison of earthquake and weather disasters in 1980 and 2005. The first question that comes to mind is, why? They are comparing phenomena with many 'moving parts' over a short time frame, and attributing 100% of the resulting difference to human-caused climate change. This boggles the mind."
And I am getting to the bottom of my coffee cup ... I had been sipping it and now I am getting to the end.
And here are the two concluding paragraphs of the editorial ...
It gets worse. The Annan report cites Hurricane Katrina as a case study in the economic consequences of climate change. Yet there's not even remotely conclusive evidence that temperature increases have any effect on the intensity or frequency of hurricanes. The authors also claim that global warming is aggravating the El Niño effect, which has "ruined livelihoods, led to lost lives and impaired national economies." Yet new research "questions the notion that El Niños have been getting stronger because of global warming," according to Ben Giese of Texas A&M.
We could go on, except we're worried about the blood pressure of readers who are climate-change true believers. Our only question is, if the case for global warming is so open and shut, why the need for a report as disingenuous as Mr. Annan's?
I am going for another cup of coffee...
p.s. Here is the online reference to the print editorial ....