More about rivers in Egypt


Like the previous post, this is written in response to a comment made by “Urbanismo” on Francis Bula’s urban affairs blog State of Vancouver.

The comment:

Climate scientists have to honestly address these issues, instead of being wedded to whatever theories will get them the most funding.

Also like the previous post, this citation is a reprint of an article or blog post from elsewhere ( seems to be some sort of clearinghouse for posts of a certain ideological bent). In this case, it’s from “Washington’s Blog“. Who Washington of Washington’s blog is I don’t know – there’s no bio at the site. Regardless, Washington begins by citing a USA Today article the gist of which is that the increase of atmospheric carbon is inadequate to explain the temperature rise during “Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum” – that might be some other process at work and this might have repercussions on current climate modelling. The USA Today article does not say what that process may be.

Washington, though, posits this might be a rise in methane. He cites a Nick Kristof piece from the NY Times on this. Strangely, he leaves out Kristof’s conclusion: The best reason for action on global warming remains the basic imperative to safeguard our planet in the face of uncertainty, and our leaders are failing wretchedly in that responsibility. But whatever, the important point is Washington claims his citation is saying something it clearly isn’t:

It is not just the Times speculating on methane burps as the main source of global warming.

Um, no is isn’t, and neither are any of the other citations he posts about “methane burping”. Indeed, they are all warning that the current carbon caused temperature increases could trigger an even worse methane led cycle!

At the end, Washington exhorts scientists to look into methane (as if they weren’t, as his own citations prove) and to stop “being wedded to theories which will get them the most funding”. It’s a line Urbanismo likes so much he repeats it. As if there wouldn’t be big money to be made if there were supportable alternate explanations from parties with big pockets.

It’s also so ridiculously wrong-headed that it’s what moved me to write this. We have just endured 8 years of an American Administration that both supressed evidence of global warming, and actually cut funding from research:

Last week the head of the US’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Professor Jane Lubchenco, warned that the gathering of satellite data – crucial to predicting future climate changes – was now at “great risk” because America’s ageing satellite fleet was not being replaced…

…Even before her warning, scientists were saying that America, the world’s scientific superpower, was virtually blinding itself to climate change by cutting funds to the environmental satellite programmes run by the Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Nasa. A report by the National Academy of Sciences this year warned that the environmental satellite network was at risk of collapse.