Does Sterling Burnett actually believe what he says about global warming?

Does Sterling Burnett actually believe what he says about global warming?
on

UPDATE: NASA has released it’s 2008 temperature data finding that last year was the ninth warmest year since 1880.

Sterling Burnett, a “senior fellow” at the oil industry friendly National Center for Policy Analysis is claiming in a release today that global warming is a hoax because it is cold in Minnesota this winter. Really?

If only Burnett were right, we could move on and forget about this whole global warming thing. Unfortunately, Burnett is way off base which is no surprise considering this is the same Fox News pundit that compared Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth to Nazi war-time propaganda. It looks like Burnett has a penchant for making grandiose claims, most likely because they get him facetime on Fox News.

Burnett and the NCPA’s press release today declaring that “global warming is likely not a result of man-made activities” conveniently omits two key facts that seriously bring into question Burnett’s understanding of the basics:

1. Climate versus weather: the Nobel prize-winning climate scientist Dr. Andrew Weaver recently opined in a news article that, “Every time there is a freaking snowfall, it seems like everybody is going, ‘What’s going on?’ It’s frustrating as a climate scientist.”’

It’s frustrating for Weaver because people (i.e. Sterling Burnett) get climate and weather confused. In the article “Snowstorms don’t mean climate change threat has passed” Weaver describes weather as “what is here and now, like the sun shining or rain falling. Climate, on the other hand, is more long-term.”

Weaver explained climate change as a “shift in the distribution of the likelihood of the occurrence of weather events towards the warm”. He continued, “What that means is it doesn’t mean that it will never be cold; it means that the likelihood of it being cold diminishes with time, and the likelihood of it being extremely warm increases with time.”

You would think that someone like Sterling Burnett, who goes around touting himself as a “leading authority” would understand something so fundamental as the difference between weather and climate.

2. It is “global” warming, not “United States” warming: using a cold snap in Minnesota as an argument that the entire earth is not warming is just ridiculous. The bottom line is that when you look at the global trends, the average temperature of the planet continues to rise. Here’s a graph of the global temperatures over the last 126 years:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

(click to enlarge)

And here’s a great video made by the famous broadcaster and Naturalist Sir David Attenborough (of Planet Earth fame) explaining very clearly what is happening with the earth’s global temperature:

Now I’m not a scientist and neither is Burnett, but all of this commonsense information about climate versus weather and global temperatures leads me to believe that *gasp* maybe Burnett is not the “leading authority” he claims himself to be. Nothing new here, sorry everyone, but regardless of what Burnett wants us to think, global warming is happening, human activity is to blame and the best science is telling us that the consequences will be dire.


This month we’re giving away FREE copies Coming Clean: Breaking America’s Addiction to Oil and Coal.

Go here to find out more details about DeSmogBlog’s monthly book give-away.

Does Sterling Burnett actually believe what he says about global warming?

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.

Related Posts

on

A new study adds to a growing body of evidence that fracking represents a “public health crisis,” experts say.

A new study adds to a growing body of evidence that fracking represents a “public health crisis,” experts say.
on

Cheniere Energy has introduced “cargo emissions tags” to assuage climate concerns of potential buyers. But a new report says these tags are riddled with problems.

Cheniere Energy has introduced “cargo emissions tags” to assuage climate concerns of potential buyers. But a new report says these tags are riddled with problems.
Opinion
on

Anti-science rhetoric and special interests have pushed us to the edge of climate chaos. But just as quantum physics disrupted our view of matter and energy, quantum social change disrupts our beliefs about what’s possible, how fast, and by whom.

Anti-science rhetoric and special interests have pushed us to the edge of climate chaos. But just as quantum physics disrupted our view of matter and energy, quantum social change disrupts our beliefs about what’s possible, how fast, and by whom.
on

Climate campaigners are concerned over Jane Toogood’s role in a company that sells technology to produce hydrogen from methane.

Climate campaigners are concerned over Jane Toogood’s role in a company that sells technology to produce hydrogen from methane.