Friday, October 26, 2007

The call of the wild(fire)

Some in the media (perhaps taking a cue from Senate majority leader Harry Reid or the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming) seem to have an irresistible urge to tie the southern California wildfires to AGW. See if you can follow the logic in this op-ed by Tom Teepen. He starts by wondering if TEOTWAWKI is near:

Are we leaving our children and grandchildren a failing Earth or a failed one? Is it, in other words, already too late?

That dire question occurs with more chilling plausibility with each new consequence, the subtle to the dramatic equally, from the accelerating biospheric implosion wrought of global warming.

What could possibly turned his mind to such depressing thoughts? The wildfires, of course. Realizing the nonsequitur, he immediately launches into a preemptive "Yeah, yeah, I know":
And, yes, I am going to bring up the wildfires in Southern California and, yes again, I am perfectly aware that weather is not climate. For now, the California fires are the work of weather, an awful convergence of drought and wind and temperature.
But his disclaimer is merely a minor speed bump as he lunges forward with his jeremiad:
But the fires, historic in number, scope and fury, are as well consistent with the catastrophes that computer modeling has long predicted from the warming. We would have to be fools to ignore that.
So. These fires are similar to what some computer models have predicted as an effect of AGW (actually, they're made more likely by drought conditions, which can happen with or without AGW, but never mind that).

Okay. Connection established. Now Mr. Teepen can tear into the "contrarian fringe" that fails to toe the line with the supposed international consensus.

Of course, we are informed, the contrarians are composed almost entirely of political cultists and scientists who have sold their souls to the energy industry.

That reminds me. From the day I started this blog, I have openly solicited cash from the energy industry in exchange for my advocacy (see "About the Heretic" in the sidebar). Alas, nary a penny so far. Where did I go wrong?

Could it be that some of the "contrarian" scientists are offering their views for free as well?

Dr. William Gray, world-renowned hurricane forecaster and perennial burr in Al Gore's saddle, says that there are many more heretics out there than are willing to publicly admit it. If you want to talk about financial incentives, consider that scientists who become vocal in their skepticism tend to lose grant money, so the advocates end up with both the money and the megaphone.

Thus, Mr. Teepen never gets to hear a serious presentation of what the heretics have to say. All he has to go on are Democratic Party and (WhenWillTheyEver) press releases, so who can blame him?