Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens' Sick Souled Neurosis

Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens' Sick Souled Neurosis
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“Global warming is a sick-souled religion.”

Really?

Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens thinks so in his article, Global Warming as Mass Neurosis.

Unfortunately for Stephens’ and the rest of the planet, his evidence for such an inflammatory claim doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

As evidence of this ‘sick religion’ Stephens points to US temperature records:

NASA now begrudgingly confirms that the hottest year on record in the continental 48 was not 1998, as previously believed, but 1934, and that six of the 10 hottest years since 1880 antedate 1954.”

True enough, NASA did correct their temperature records for the United States. But what scientists are talking about and concerned about is global warming and not United States warming. And global temperature records since 1850 have shown a rapid upswing that you can see in this global temperature record data.

Not to beat a point to death, but when the NASA temperature mistake was discovered, it was considered an insignificant adjustment by Bret Stephens himself [not Steve Milloy as I mistakenly attributed the following quote] who stated at the time that “I [he] am [is] prepared to acknowledge that Mr. McIntyre’s discovery amounts to what a New York Times reporter calls a ‘statistically meaningless’ rearrangement of data.”

Okay, now I am beating the point to death, but when you compare NASA temperature records to the temperature records kept by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the official US Government US temperature tracking agency, the hottest year in the United States remains to be 1998. NOAA recently reported that the 2006 average annual temperature for the contiguous U.S. was the 2nd warmest on record.

On Arctic Sea Ice Stephens writes:

“The Arctic ice cap may be thinning, but the extent of Antarctic sea ice has been expanding for years.”

Yes the Arctic ice cap is thinning and the old, thick ice that can withstand significant thawing under summer temperatures is being replaced by thin, seasonal ice that melts away much quicker in the spring. And this is something that has scientists very concerned, because as the old ice continues to be replaced by seasonal thin ice, the extent of the summer polar ice cap melting is increasing year-after-year. On the decreasing Arctic sea ice, National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) released a statement yesterday that:

“Arctic sea ice extent for June 2008 is close to that for 2007, which went on to reach the lowest minimum since at least 1979. More notably, however, satellite data indicate that melt began significantly earlier than last year over most of the Arctic Ocean. The large area of the Arctic Ocean covered by first-year ice (described in our June analysis) coupled with the early onset of melting may mean more rapid and more severe summer ice retreat than last year.”

Losing Arctic sea ice earlier and earlier every year is a concern to scientists because the earth’s sea ice acts as a massive white reflector, bouncing the sun’s heat back out into space – the less sea ice, the less of the Sun’s heat is reflected back into space, the more heat that is absorbed by the earth, the hotter it gets, the faster the melting. You can read the more scientific explanation of this under the heading Why earlier melt matters, on the NSIDC website.

On Ocean Temperature Stephens writes:

“Data from 3,000 scientific robots in the world’s oceans show there has been slight cooling in the past five years, never mind that ‘80% to 90% of global warming involves heating up ocean waters,’ according to a report by NPR‘s Richard Harris.”

Fair enough, this was the initial finding by NASA‘s gang of ocean-roaming robots. But the initial finding was quickly followed by this statement from NASA:

“Update as of 5/30/07: Recent analyses have revealed that results from some of the ocean float and shipboard sensor data used in this study were incorrect. As a result, the study’s conclusion that the oceans cooled between 2003 and 2005 can not be substantiated at this time. The study authors are currently working to correct these data errors and recompute ocean temperature changes.” (that’s NASA‘s bold for emphasis, not mine)

Stephens uses all of this evidence above to conclude that “Global warming is sick-souled religion.” To make such an inflammatory statement, one that implicates Rupert Murdoch, the owner of the newspaper he works for, you would think Stephens would have taken the time to at least ensure he had his facts straightened away.

And considering how flimsy Stephens apparent facts on the ‘hysteria of global warming’ appear to be, it is fair to say that the only one acting on faith and false-belief is Stephens himself.

Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens' Sick Souled Neurosis

Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog.

He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.

Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks.

Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.

Prior to DeSmogBlog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health.

In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications.

Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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