Bad Astronomy

A firehose of global warming news, both good and bad

earthonfireCripes. I turn my back for like a week, and all sorts of global warming denialist nonsense breaks out.

1) The interesting site has two excellent videos in what they call Profiles in Republican Courage: one is Bob Inglis (R-SC) giving a great speech about global warming and how his party is denying its existence, and another by Sherwood Boehlert (a former Congressman from New York) again chastising his party for their science denialism.

I’ll note Inglis lost the primary to Tea Party über-conservative Trey Gowdy, who doesn’t even think global warming is happening at all. Gowdy won the election and will be a Congressman. Just so’s you know.

2) At ClimateSight, a young blogger and aspiring climatologist named Kate has written an excellent summary of why ClimateGate is much ado about nothing. She apparently understands this a lot better than a lot of people in Congress. It’s a tour-de-force of how the denialists are twisting reality and making noise to suppress the truth. I’ll note I’ve been saying this since day one (and day two).

3) The good news? Climate scientists are fighting back.

4) The bad news? Representative Issa (R-CA) has promised to ignore industry malfeasance and instead use the new Republican majority subpoena power to investigate climate scientists. In other words, he’ll be aiming to keep the witch hunts around for a while. Chris Mooney at The Intersection has more on this potential abuse of Congressional power.

5) A report commissioned by my favorite guy in Congress right now, Joe Barton (R-TX) – the one who apologized to BP head Tony Hayward – and which is highly critical of climate science, turns out to have been largely plagiarized. A lot of media are quick to say that doesn’t negate its findings, but at least USA Today and Gawker point out that the plagiarized parts of the report were “injected with errors, bias, and changes of meaning”. Nice.

6) Remember John Shimkus (R-IL), who said he knows climate change isn’t a problem because it says in the Bible that God promised he wouldn’t use natural disasters to wipe out man? Yeah, him. KTVI in St. Louis did a follow-up report on him, where he says the Bible doesn’t have anything to do with climate change at the same time he re-iterates his belief that a literal interpretation of the Bible precludes any danger from global warming. It’s an amazing interview where he twists reality into a Möbius strip. [Thanks to Paul Dossett for that link]

7) A new NASA report shows that across the planet, lakes are warming up. I imagine Trey Gowdy will want to defund NASA now.

8) I’ll end with something that warms my heart: a professor of thermal sciences named John Abraham eviscerated a radio talk-show host about global warming. This guy is made of awesome. He also created an incredible PowerPoint show where he calmly, reasonably, and utterly destroys the gargantuanly bogus claims of a climate change denier named Christopher Monckton. I watched the whole thing, and it’s a wonder to behold. If you have some spare time, you really should watch it. It’s a marvelous demonstration of how to counter the spin and lies of people who are loudly trying to say global warming doesn’t exist.