Share This Page

The political posturing of 'climate astrology'

| Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, 8:58 p.m.

Marc Morano operates Climatedepot.com, an Internet clearinghouse for information on climate, environmental and energy news. Morano, a former aide to U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., spoke to the Trib on the latest developments in the climate-change debate.

Q: It's the hottest year on record so far in the Northeast. Must be global warming, right?

A: Globally, it's not the hottest. In fact, here is the problem: The heat they are touting as proof of man-made global warming is occurring in the continental United States, which is less than 2 percent of the Earth's surface. So far in 2012, (global) temperatures have been slightly below the average for the last 15 years. So if the Earth isn't actually in record warmth globally, why are we looking at 2 percent (of its surface) and then trying to draw extrapolations?

Q: Why are we?

A: It's politics, pure and simple. When James Hansen (director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies) announces this week, as he has done in previous years, that we're having (record heat), it sounds so impressive and scary. It sounds like proof of their theory, except for one problem: The (record) temperatures are within hundredths of a degree Fahrenheit difference between (ordinary) years and the years they are claiming are the hottest years.

Q: So you consider such pronouncements scare tactics?

A: Yes, these are hard-core ideological activists at work posing as neutral scientists. It's not that Hansen is lying; it's that he's excluding any information he doesn't find convenient. Satellite temperature data for July (indicated the month was the) coolest globally since 2008. So not only was it not impressively warm globally, it was actually somewhat cooler. We are not looking at unprecedented warmth. They (global-warming activists) are cherry-picking.

Q: What did you think of Hansen's latest study being rebuked by (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researcher) Martin Hoerling? He reiterated his long-standing contention that Hansen is exaggerating the connection between global warming and various weather extremes.

A: Yes, Hoerling said (Hansen's findings) were perception, not science. Another scientist, Roger Pielke Jr., has said (such perceptions) are akin to the predictions of Nostradamus and the Mayan calendar, where they are trying to attribute every single event to global warming. It's unscientific. It's what I like to call climate astrology — it's like a horoscope. No matter what happens, it fits the narrative. They are advancing an agenda and creating a grand narrative of man-made global warming and they are trying to sell it. So now beyond just hot temperatures, they are trying to say that every time there's a flood or hurricane, a drought, a tornado, you name it, that it's proof of the theory.

Q: So to sum up the situation and put it in meteorological terms: Do you consider Hansen and his fellow global-warming activists to be all wet?

A: They are all about political science, not climate science. That's what these claims are about. That's what they are promoting here.

Eric Heyl is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7857 or eheyl@tribweb.com

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.