"Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government." Thomas Jefferson

The Archie Bunkers of Settled Science

Melanie Sturm | @ThinkAgainUSA Read Comments - 18
Publish Date: 
Thu, 10/09/2014


As if on cue, settled-science believer Auden Schendler delivered a punishing retort in the Aspen Times to my recent column, “Inconvenient Truths Denied By Climate Faithful.”


Archie Bunker-like in frustration, Schendler wants me to stifle myself. If I don’t “dummy up” like Archie’s wife Edith, he suggests Aspen Times editors Think Again before publishing my commentary without peer-reviews -- or risk “being complicit in promoting falsehoods.”


Schendler calls this “ground-truthing of scientific claims,” noting the Los Angeles Times doesn’t publish pieces that “deny established climate science.” Like Robert Kennedy Jr. who recently called for jailing treasonous nonconformists who break with “settled-science” orthodoxy, Schendler insists it’s not censorship when there’s no argument.


My crime – tantamount to “yelling ‘fire’ in a movie theater” – is considering climate change “a naturally reoccurring phenomenon to which mankind has always adapted, and still can.” Apparently, I can’t acknowledge earth’s warming and ice-age cycles without embracing political agendas that require living standard cuts -- lifestyle sacrifices activists won’t acknowledge and elites like Kennedy, Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio won’t obey.


Resisting cataclysmic theorizers and their “starve the peasants to save the pheasants” thinking, I criticized alarmists who “invoke the moral equivalent of Holocaust denial to reject those deeming climate change less dangerous than other threats.” I did so believing an economically robust and energy-secure America is the ultimate threat-deterrent.


Today I’d add to my threat list the failure of public institutions to protect and serve Americans, considering recent incompetence, corruption and unaccountability in government agencies – those Schendler wants to grant unprecedented powers to centrally plan and control economic life.


Though denounced by climate “groupthinkers,” dissidents like me are troubled by “the stunning failure of…doomsday-predicting models to forecast warming’s nearly 18-year pause (confirmed by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) or Al Gore’s 2007 prediction that polar bears’ Arctic habitat would be ice-free by 2013.”


These irrefutable observations riled Schendler. Accusing me of “cherry-picking data,” he contends I’m “willfully blind or statistically illiterate to claim warming has stopped.” Citing a Politifact article to support his contention, he apparently overlooked the fact-checker’s concession that “over roughly the past 15 years, global surface temperatures have plateaued.” 


So who’s the “meathead,” considering widespread acceptance of unexpected global temperature stability, and the existence of more Arctic ice than in 2007 – never mind record Antarctic ice levels?


As if answering this question, President Obama’s former Undersecretary of Energy Steve Koonin wrote a consensus-disrupting op-ed -- “Climate science is not settled.”  Lamenting how the settled-science claim “demeans and chills the scientific enterprise” and distorts “policy debates on issues related to energy, greenhouse-gas emissions and the environment,” Koonin argues “we are very far from the knowledge needed to make good climate policy.”


Noting warming’s pause amid rising CO2 emissions, Koonin posits, “natural influences and variability are powerful enough to counteract the present warming influence exerted by human activity.” Despite “different explanations for this [prediction] failure … the whole episode,” he concludes, “continues to highlight the limits of our modeling.”


IPCC lead author Kevin Trenberth admitted this in one of the embarrassing emails leaked in the “Climategate” scandal of 2009. “The fact is,” he wrote, “we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty.” 


Probing the disconnect between observed temperatures and predictions, the Economist asked, “Who pressed the pause button?” in a March 2014 global warming article. Because “the models embody the state of climate knowledge,” they concluded, “if they are wrong, the knowledge is probably faulty, too.”


Even the LA Times broke with the climate consensus, reporting last month “naturally occurring changes in winds, not human-caused climate change, are responsible for most of the warming on land and in the sea along the West Coast of North America over the last century.”


Meanwhile, amid calls to stifle climate debates, technological breakthroughs have made America the world’s most energy-endowed nation, possessing more oil than Saudi Arabia and more natural gas than Russia. 


In substituting lower-carbon resources for coal, we’ve hit the energy jackpot: cheaper energy (a rebate for the poor and an offset of foreign manufacturers’ cheap labor advantages); cleaner air; new jobs; increased governmental revenues; greater energy independence; and CO2 emissions at a 20-year low, outpacing Europe whose expensive renewable-energy strategies have failed.


Despite these advantages, activists refusing to moderate their climate conclusions – no matter the evidence -- rally to curb the development of our cheapest energy resources, denying citizens who can’t afford Whole Foods environmentalism the benefits of our energy bounty.


Unfortunately, except for the rich, Americans are suffering crisis levels of income stagnation, underemployment, economic immobility and poverty. These truths -- not doomsday predictions -- preoccupy Americans.


Think Again – Climate-mongers intent on squashing free inquiry and expression insist dissenters are “dead from the neck up,” Archie Bunker-style.  But being “meatheads” is not our destiny, if we refuse to stifle ourselves.


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Ms Sturm: Given the numbers

Ms Sturm: Given the numbers of professional scientists - and FORMER
members of the American Physical Society saying, writing and quitting
the APS because of the "hoax" of AGW, you are absolutely correct.

What seems to be missing in the entire debate - what is not being
addressed toward the elites making it, let along the useful idiots
repeating it - is the real target: The Western Middle Class. This is an
argument that needs to be made. What did Lenin do first? Destroy the
Kulaks. Stalin? Ukrainian farmers. Mao? everyone with an education. Pol
Pot? Everyone wearing glasses. The immediate goal of the Left - what
must be done prior to ushering in (Communist) paradise on earth - is to
destroy the Middle Class. Progressive economic policies do this quite
well, and if they can toss in Gaea, well, that just hurries-along their

Also lacking is the demographic argument: Those most up-in-arms about
the climate in a century... aren't having any kids.

Take a look at Red v Blue fertility. The only Blue States above 2.1: HI,
NV, NM. All others, including all industrialized & populated Blue States
(and ALL Blue countries) are below replacement fertility. They have no
"hostages to the future," so what are they worried about? Why anyone
pays attention to arguments about the future from a cohort that doesn't
believe in the future even enough to populate it is beyond intelligent

OTOH, there are only 3 Red States below 2.1. The rest of us DO have
those hostages, and so DO care about the future. Ask any demographer
about voting patterns by kids: Precinct without kids vote Left. They
spend our kids' money, borrow from our kids' futures, reduce standards
of living today and tomorrow for more votes and more stuff today. Why
the GOP doesn't make this argument is beyond me, but it's not called the
"Stupid Party" for no reason.

Anyway - good columns on AGW.

I love the "yelling fire in a

I love the "yelling fire in a theater" analogy claiming criminality. What if there IS A FIRE? It seems the yelling fire when there clearly isn't one is a crime that the global warmists/climate changers are committing. What next? In this era of zero tolerance will it be a crime to show a fire on the theater screen? Heck, just some stupid teacher who thinks a drawing of a gun is a crime, we should be worried about those stupid, "liberal", idiots getting scared at seeing a picture of a fire and pulling the alarm!

Melanie, I very much

Melanie, I very much appreciate your original 'Inconvenient Truths Denied by Climate Faithful' and today's rebuttal to Auden Schendler 'The Archie Bunkers of Settled Science' commentary.

I think it is absolutely essential to rebut every one of these 'Settled Science' commentaries, and your are doing great with this.

I just read today that the the Arctic Sea lost 440,000 square miles of sea ice, yet the Antarctic gained 640,000 square miles of ice over the same 12 month period! Global warming?

Recently I read the book '1421 The Year China Discovered the World' by Gavin Menzies. In it he describes that the Chinese had dispatched fleets in 1421 to create maps of the world. (Supposedly Christopher Columbus used one to discover America). The most interesting find is that the Chinese were able to map the entire coast of Greenland, so it could not be icebound in the 15th century as it is today! Adding to this, I attended a presentation by a UK climate sceptic Lord Moncton who took the famous hockey stick graph and extended it back to Medieval times. It showed that the earth was 10 deg C warmer than today, so the 1-2 deg C per century is going to take 5 or 10 centuries to come back to that.

I love your fearless stand,

I love your fearless stand, which I share.

One thing not mentioned is that most of the climate censor extremists cite computer models for their settled science, without understanding the limitations. I always find that unsettling.

A classmate at Columbia University had a successful career as a global warming activist at the National Center For Atmospheric Studies in Bolder, CO, then at Stanford U. We never discussed the issue. One angry commenter replying to my skeptical comment under an article, cited dozens of studies attempting to bully me. I did not check but suspect they were all computer models. What else can be used to predict the future with such certainty?

Nice retort! To me the entire

Nice retort! To me the entire man-made climate change radical rant is the height of human absurdity. Sure, there's Earth climate change; always has been, always will be forever more - forever meaning a billion or so more years from now until the dying sun turns Earth into a cinder and crashes into the sun to extinction. But in the meantime to think humans have the power to change the natural course of climate is arrogant thinking.

Look at the futility this way. Say the five trillion dollar mark is reached over five years spending on reducing CO2. Then suddenly the next day one... one major volcanic eruption spews more CO2 into the earth's eco system cancelling out all, if any, progress over the fast five years. 100% futility.

Humans influence weather? We can change the course of climate? Impossible.

Love the pot your stirring,

Love the pot your stirring, about 5-10 yrs ago Discover mag published an article about a scientist that showed a direct correlation to sunspot activity and higher temperatures. While attending a climate conference, his findings were shouted down since governmental fundings might change. Fight the good fight and enjoy.

Excellent article, Melanie. I

Excellent article, Melanie. I was already of your mind, but it's always good to see that the facts and truth can get out there in the media. I'm glad you mentioned "ClimateGate" as it was certainly ignored by the MSM. If there was ever a case of "cherry picking" and outright falsification of data, the details of ClimateGate show it. And it's shown in both the exposed emails, and also in the discovery by a very smart programmer and whistle-blower of the fact that the models themselves were rigged. I enjoyed that as much as the emails, as I am both a programmer and a degreed economist who reluctantly had to study econometrics/computer modeling and (speaking of Archie Bunking), know what bunk those models are. Pun intended. Good stuff, keep it up.

I am amazed that people who

I am amazed that people who profess to be intellects turn away from scientific fact in defense of their theories.

Observing that many of these same people are atheists or agnostics, how contradictory it is that they cling to faith in their theories while rejecting the faith of others.

I think your response to Auden Schendler is on the mark.

If Global Warmism is the real

If Global Warmism is the real deal & not just something the lefties are using to push more tax & more regulation, then why is the government's only response to push tax & regulation? If they were serious, if they truly believed Global Warmism is real, wouldn't they put at least as much effort into adapting to the impending change?

Plus, don't they understand that down through planetary history, the warm periods have been the times of health & prosperity & strength? Virtually no attention is being given to potential & actual benefits of warmer weather & increased atmospheric carbon dioxide. Lower heating bills. (Heating requires more energy than air conditioning -- you could look it up.) Longer growing seasons. Better vegetative growth. More ice-free navigation to & from cold-weather ports. Etc.

As it is today, the lefties are using Global Warmism scare tactics to stampede the low information crowd into costly & futile expansions of energy regulation along with ever-heavier tax burdens on everyone. If only the low information folks were on the receiving end of all this overreach, that would be 1 thing. Imposing it on everybody else is something else again. Shux upon'm (the scare-tactic lefties, I mean).

I love a good smackdown,

I love a good smackdown, especially when the smackee is a smug, elitist intellectual. Bravo, Melanie.

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