Sunday, October 2, 2011

Martin Hertzberg... a denialist in action

This is a sequel to the previous post 

Containing the annotated copy of Martin Hertzberg's 9/30/11 letter to the Vail Daily including links to authoritative sources that give clear explanations regarding the state of our knowledge,
information that is in stark contrast to Dr. Hertzberg's profound misrepresentation.

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Hertzberg's text is in purple
my comments are in black
and links are in blue
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Vail Valley Voices:
More hot air than science in global-warming theory
Martin Hertzberg
Vail, CO, Colorado

“Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the handmaiden of truth” — Robert Weston.
{“One directional skepticism equals denial” - CC}

Since I am a long-time denier of human-caused global warming and have been described as an “inaccurate” and “irresponsible” “fool” by Scott Glasser's commentary in Monday's Vail Daily, I feel compelled to respond.

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{These claims simply aren’t supported by a reading of Scott Glasser’s two letters, here and here. Scott never referred to Hertzberg, nor did he do any name calling as Martin implies, as for the title given to the one letter, Martin knows this is usually done by the editor of the newspaper, not the writer.

The closest Scott gets is:
“It is intellectually dishonest and dangerous to ignore science's warnings based on inaccurate and partially understood reporting by partial non-scientists and politically motivated commentators.

Rather than argue here in the editorials, I implore any interested reader to take time and visit the vast and varied relevant scientific websites.”}
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I am a research scientist who also served as a meteorologist for the U.S. Navy. I am also a lifelong progressive Democrat. 

For the 25 years that I have been studying the theory that human emission of carbon dioxide is causing global warming and climate change, it has never ceased to amaze me how many otherwise intelligent people, including our president, have been taken in by that scam. 

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{How many detailed peer-reviewed studies has Hertzberg published explaining exactly why thousands of serious climatologists and their detailed studies are wrong?
I’m curious because what Hertzberg presents here is ideology driven politicized opining and not a review of the science.

Incidentally, below is a list of sources that clearly explain what scientists have learned, what they know and where gaps remain:

American Institute of Physics
NOAA ~ National Climatic Data Center

NASA ~ Climate change: How do we know? 

Empirical evidence that humans are causing global warming

UCAR ~ Understanding Climate Change ~ A global warming primer }
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There is a simple way to tell the difference between scientists and propagandists. If scientists have a theory, they search diligently for data that might actually contradict their theory so that they test it rigorously or refine it. If propagandists have a theory, they carefully select only the data that might agree with their theory and dutifully ignore any data that might contradict it.

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{This is an excellent description of Dr. Hertzberg’s selective rhetorical rant, which you’ll notice is devoid of any good faith attempt to examine or explain the actual evidence.}
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The anecdotal drivel cited in the Glasser article regarding atmospheric carbon dioxide, average global temperatures, ice area coverage and rate of sea-level rise was carefully cherry picked or is totally false.

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{This Herztberg calls drivel:
“Also, from NASA:
* Carbon dioxide, an important greenhouse gas, now at 391 ppm, highest concentration in 650,000 years, and has accelerated tremendously since 1950 when it was only 280 (look at the graph).
* Global temperature has increased an average of 1.5 F since 1860.
* Arctic sea ice at a minimum in 2007, losing ice on average at 11.5 percent per decade.
* Sea level has risen 4-8 inches over the past century, rising 3.27mm per year.
* Greenland ice loss doubled between 1995 and 2005.
* Antarctic sea ice losing 24 cubic miles of ice per year since 2002.”
Notice Hertzberg doesn’t address Glasser’s points, merely calling it nonsense and moving on expecting us to accept his opinion.

Speaking of shrinking cryosphere, here’s the latest on the Arctic
PIOMAS September 2011 (volume record lower still)}
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For the totality of the available data for the past several decades, go to The data show nothing remarkable — just the normal variability in all those weather-related parameters.

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{It’s nonsensical to claim that climate4you contains “the totality of the available data.”
Dr. Humlum’s blog is an interesting mix of fact and manipulation. For more details here are a couple interesting articles explaining some of climate4you’s misleading interpretation of data.

Humlum is at it again }
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Knowledgeable scientists, including the more than 30,000 such as myself who have signed the Oregon Petition (a), know that changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide do not correlate with human emission of carbon dioxide(b), that human emission is a trivial fraction of sources and sinks of carbon dioxide(c), that the oceans contain about 50 times more dissolved carbon dioxide than is present in the atmosphere(d), that recycling of carbon dioxide from the tropical oceans where it is emitted to the arctic oceans where it is absorbed is orders of magnitude more significant than human emissions(e), and that the carbonate-bicarbonate buffer in the oceans makes their acidity (actually their alkaline pH) virtually insensitive to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide (f). 

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{Invoking the Oregon Petition is a red flag in itself considering what a fraud that project turned out to be.
Starting with the shady character of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine itself, 
to Frederick Seitz’s cover opinion dressed up in the form of a well crafted NAS study, 
to the unqualified nature of it’s ideology driven signees. 

In fact the fraud prompted the National Academy of Sciences to release a statement April 20, 1998: 
"The NAS Council would like to make it clear that this (Oregon) petition has nothing to do with the National Academy of Sciences and that the manuscript was not published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences or in any other peer-reviewed journal."[15]

Here’ are a couple interesting videos reviewing OISM by Peter Sinclair

32000 Scientists   

(a) Climate Change: A Consensus Among Scientists? ~ December 23, 2009

For another look at the numbers and signees 

(b) Comparing CO2 emissions to CO2 levels 

(c) Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions increasing  ?

Time-lapse history of human global CO2 emissions 

(d) not sure what the point is, but here’s some interesting information...
Chapter 4: Global Energy Transfer, Atmosphere and Ocean Circulation, Climate 

(e) this ignores that human emissions are above and beyond the natural flux...
The Carbon Cycle and Earth's Climate 
(g) The Acid Ocean – the Other Problem with CO2 Emission

NASA Educational Workshop ~ SeaWiFS: Ocean Chemistry
The Basics of Ocean Chemistry: Carbon, Circulation, and Critters  }
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The data for the glacial coolings and interglacial warmings for the past 500,000 years always show that temperature changes precede atmospheric carbon-dioxide changes by about 1,000 years (a). That indicates that temperature changes are driving carbon-dioxide changes and not the reverse as the Gore-Hansen-IPCC clique claims (b). As oceans warm for whatever reason, they emit carbon dioxide, and as they cool they absorb carbon dioxide (c).

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(a) Why does Hertzberg ignore the understanding behind those historic trends or why those events do not relate to current society injected GHG’s effect. Dr. Richard Alley does a great job of explaining the current understanding in this lecture:
“The Biggest Control Knob ~ Carbon Dioxide in Earth’s Climate History”  

(b) It indicates no such thing and why all those cheap shots?

(c) Notice Hertzberg does nothing to explain what this has to do with the tremendous amounts of society produced GHGs being injected into the atmosphere above and beyond the natural background flux.
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The carbon-dioxide “greenhouse effect” argument on which the fearmongering hysteria is based is actually devoid of physical reality.(a) The notion that the colder atmosphere above can reradiate its absorbed infrared energy to heat the warmer earth below violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics.(b) For details, see “Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory,” co-authored by myself and several other scientists, which was published earlier this year by Stairway Press.

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(a) More insults rather than presenting facts, but what’s a denier to do when the facts dispute their ideologically driven preconceptions?

(b) The Second Law, Radiative Transfer, and Global Warming  

The greenhouse effect and the 2nd law of thermodynamics  }
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In any case, if one compares the effect of water in all of its forms (polar ice, snow cover, oceans, clouds, water vapor in the atmosphere) with that of human emission of carbon dioxide, the carbon-dioxide emission is about as significant as a few farts in a hurricane.

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{What’s a statement like this supposed to mean? Except perhaps an attempt at emotionalizing the question, rather than examining it with intellectual integrity.

Why does Hertzberg ignore the CO2 water vapor connection?
Explaining how the water vapor greenhouse effect works   }
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Glasser, who calls me a fool (a), really tips his hand by defending the notoriously fraudulent “hockey stick” curve of Professor Mann(b). That curve has the shape of a hockey stick, flat for the past 1,000 years with a sharp rise during the past few decades(c). It was fabricated from carefully selected tree-ring measurements with a phony computer program(d).

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(a) No he doesn’t! Look for yourself:
here and here 

It’s as big a lie as his next statements.

(b) Is the hockey stick broken? 

Hockey stick replaced with a hockey team  

(c) No it isn’t! See the graph for yourself 

(d) Nonsense! 
A Review of Michael Mann's Exoneration  

NAS hockey stick report }
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Every knowledgeable climatologist knows that tree rings are unreliable proxies for temperature because they are also sensitive to moisture, sunlight, pests, competition from adjacent trees, etc. (a). Furthermore, when those same tree-ring data actually showed a decline in temperature for the past several decades, Mann and his co-authors simply “hid the decline” by grafting direct measurements (inadequately corrected for the urban heat island and other effects) to his flat tree-ring line(b).

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(a) More nonsense, see
Keith Briffa & Tim Osborn: Tree-ring data  

NOAA Paleoclimatology ~ Tree Ring  

(b) For the rest of the story see: 
Why climatologists used the tree-ring data ‘trick’ 

Clearing up misconceptions regarding 'hide the decline'  

Tree-ring proxies and the divergence problem 
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Knowledgeable climatologists knew that the Medieval Warm Period, when the Vikings settled Greenland(a) and grapes grew in northern England(b), was much warmer than today and that its presence in all regions of the world was overwhelming(c). Similarly for the Roman Warm Period that preceded it and for a whole series of natural warmings and coolings until one gets back to the big one: the interglacial cooling of about 20,000 years ago (d).

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{(a) "The Medieval Warming Crock" 

(b) English vineyards again…  

(c) More claims that aren’t supported with any facts.
Medieval Warm Period not so random  

(d) No supporting data, nor mention that climatologists do understand the various drivers of climate and how they behaved during various periods.

Review of Paleoclimates. Understanding climate change past and present, by Thomas M. Cronin (2010). New York: Columbia University Press. 441 pp. ISBN 978-0-231-14494-0.}
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And that all happened without any significant human emission of carbon dioxide.

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{No climatologist claims that past climate didn’t change!

In fact they have studied past change in excruciating detail and have developed a very self consistent and evidence backed understanding of the various factors that influenced these early changes to a reasonably high degree of accuracy. 

Dr Hertzberg also neglects to mention that the known driving factors of those past climate changes are not major players in today’s transitioning climate. 

These days we have a new and historically unique element in the mix, that is society produced greenhouse gases on the order of two and a half gigatons every month, over and above the background flux}
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The conclusions being promulgated by the scientifically illiterate diplomats who control the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are fraudulent concoctions that have already been denounced by many of its scientific members.

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{Hertzberg again ignores the supposed topic only to reduce himself to this schoolyard bully name calling? Traditionally though it is the class idiot who is the first one to call the teacher an idiot. Hertzberg thinks that simply by calling people names and insulting their intelligence he’s got the right to ignore the substance of their findings and reports. Shame on him.

Sad truth is that all the evidence in the world is worthless if one willfully ignores it!}
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Those diplomats, like the bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency, have huge egos and a lust for power. That is far more important to them than the triviality of scientific truth. Once committed to one side of such an issue, they will rarely admit that they have made a mistake. Once having invested their political capital and our economic resources to start the huge, massive inertia wheel turning, it takes too much courage, energy and loss of face to stop it.

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{Again bully name calling, devoid of any substance or explanation, but we are only supposed to accept Hertzberg’s obvious prejudiced opinion as gospel? 
And speaking of rampaging egos, it takes a lot of chutzpa to indict a whole field of dedicated full-time scientists.}

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That was the case with the war in Vietnam and currently with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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{Interestingly, it was the same group of people in “think tanks” and right wing activist organizations who pushed this country into those insane wars... who are today pushing the global warming is a hoax nonsense.
All dedicated to retaining the status quo and doing nothing about a “corporate free market plan” that has brought our nation and world to the brink of economic and well as environmental destruction.
And Hertzberg implies that this same myopic tunnel visioned group of “masters of the universe” should be trusted to deal with the growing climate crisis that is knocking on our front door.}
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The conclusions of the IPCC need to be repudiated lest they continue to discredit the United Nations' legitimate functions: its programs to improve the standard of living of the underdeveloped nations, its programs to combat hunger and poverty, its support of the conventions against genocide and torture, and its support of the International Criminal Court's prosecution of war criminals.

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{Speaking of drivel, please note Martin’s letter totally sidesteps the science of global warming, while ignoring our society’s dependence upon benign weather patterns. Instead it is another collection of innuendo and insults of the sort denialists have developed into a high art form dedicated to deceive and confuse... and above all to encourage willful ignorance.
Shame on you Martin}
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Dr. Martin Hertzberg writes from Copper Mountain.

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