Schwartz study leaves James Inhofe utterly breathless

For a group of people that caution we must be 100% certain before drawing conclusions about human-induced climate change, the denier industry sure jumps all over a single, preliminary study as absolute proof of their own conclusions.

The subject of their breathless “I-told-you-so's” is a paper to be published (pdf copy here) shortly in The Journal of Geophysical Research by a scientist named Stephen Schwartz.

Environment and Public Work's minority chair and global warming denier grandfather Senator James Inhofe writes in a news release today: “An abundance of new peer-reviewed studies, analysis, and data error discoveries in the last several months has prompted scientists to declare that fear of catastrophic man-made global warming “bites the dust” and the scientific underpinnings for alarm may be “falling apart.”

You would think with such absolute language as the entire theory of human-induced climate change “biting the dust” that Inhofe and his mini-me spindoctor Marc Morano would actually read the study. As a legislator it is Inhofe's job to carefully weigh evidence before attempting to lead the public to believe such a claim.

That is what responsible leaders do. Anything else would be considered demagoguery.

As it turns out, the author of the paper, Stephen Schwartz, is probably not comfortable with the claims being made by Inhofe, as evidenced by the conclusion of the Schwartz paper. It states:

Finally, as the present analysis rests on a simple single-compartment energy balance model, the question must inevitably arise whether the rather obdurate climate system might be amenable to determination of its key properties through empirical analysis based on such a simple model. In response to that question it might have to be said that it remains to be seen. In this context it is hoped that the present study might stimulate further work along these lines with more complex models…. Ultimately of course the climate models are essential to provide much more refined projections of climate change than would be available from the global mean quantities that result from an analysis of the present sort.

In other words, Schwartz is suggesting that he has perhaps found an new line of interesting inquiry that he hopes can be elaborated on with further research.

I guess Inhofe and Morano didn't read that part. They've also vividly illustrated how loose and fancy their definition of certainty actually is.

It's a shame that an individual like Inhofe, in such a place of authority and trust, is willing to make such irresponsible claims. No doubt, such exaggerated claims have an effect on the average American who looks to the political leadership for guidance on issues they are concerned about, like global warming.

Joseph Romm has a great piece on the deniers and the Schwartz research. And climate sensitivity expert James Annan has a more scientific take on the Schwartz research.


It will be interesting to see if the AGW denial industry funds more research into this approach. If they really think that more science will disprove AGW, then they should fund research rather than the spreading of talking points. But, of course, they don’t really believe that.

How much do you think CEI paid for the TV ads they ran a while back nationwide? 

Probably enough to sponsor research… 

Brookhaven National Lab scientist Stephen Schwartz contends that the Earth’s climate is only about one-third as sensitive to carbon dioxide as the United Nations’ recent climate study claims. Schwarz’s work will be published in The Journal of Geophysical Research, a peer-reviewed publication.

I guess we know why Kevin was reluctant to state what the Schwartz research paper actually concluded and chose instead to dance around it. If this study withstands critical scrutiny, the alarmist case for AGW is considerably weakened. Is this why Desmoggers and their friends want you to believe the science is settled; the debate is over?

Ironically, isn’t this what Tim Ball has been saying – that there is diminishing green house effect as CO2 builds up beyond a certain point? Gee maybe Ball knows a thing or two afterall. Wonder how big oil got to Schwartz?

Schwartz can “contend” all he wants – the proof lies in the research. The claims being that this study proves or disproves anything past the need for further scientific inquiry on the matter are entirely overblown.

John. I am confused. For someone who touts the need for absolute certainty, you certainly glommed on to this single study as something of definitive proof - something which the paper itself clearly states that it is not.

And where did I dance around the conclusion? I printed it word for word!

You did not report on the substance of Schwartz’s research. You spun your article to attacking some U.S. senatorial aide because I think you recognize the potential impact of Schwartz’s research (assuming it stands up) on your cause. So you threw up a diversionary smoke screen to try and make statements by this senatorial aide the issue. Nice try, Kevin.

It is interesting that you seem to be agreeing that more research is needed. I guess you no longer subscribe to the Desmogger credo that the “Science is Clear” (see lower right of Desmog website). If it is clear and settled, why is there a need for more research?

In reality, as MIT’s Dr. Lindzen has stated, environmentalists, governments and the UN leaped aboard the AGW bandwagon BEFORE there was any research done to support the belief that humans cause global warming. The research is now being done all over the world and study after study casts doubt on this simplistic assertion. Schwartz is just one more scientist showing us that there are lots of shades of gray around an issue that the warmists pretend is black and white.

“In reality, as MIT’s Dr. Lindzen has stated, environmentalists, governments and the UN leaped aboard the AGW bandwagon BEFORE there was any research done to support the belief that humans cause global warming.”

Wrong. Research done BEFORE THE 20TH CENTURY by Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius led him to conclude that loading CO2 into the atmosphere, whether by natural or anthropogenic processes, would lead to warming. This was LONG BEFORE anyone could really detect a change in the global mean temperature.

While you and your ilk jump up and down with excitement over Schwartz’s study, you neglect to acknowledge the thousands of peer-reviewed studies which are contrary to his conclusions.

Time to read up on the science, John. I’d suggest you take a look at this for starters:

Why thank you, Stephen. I hadn’t realized that the green house properties of carbon dioxide were nailed down once and for all over a century ago using the instrumentation of the day. The science really is settled. I don’t know why Schwartz even bothered.

I have had a bit more time to reflect on Kevin’s curious repsonse to the Schwartz study and his reaction reveals much about the warmist/alarmist mindset.

If the warmists truly believe the earth is about to burn up due to man-made global warming, they would surely cheer the news from Schwartz that carbon dioxide may be a less potent green house gas than previouly thought. That means the earth won’t get as warm, right?

But the reaction expressed by Kevin was that of a believer confronted by a heretic. Instead of greeting the Schwartz research as possible good news, Kevin attacks the bearer of that news, some U.S. senatorial aide.

This reaction, which I suspect all warmists share, reveals a very different agenda than they one they publicly espouse. They want us all to live radically different lives with very expensive energy and perhaps energy rationing. The only way people might agree to this draconian agenda is if they fear an even worse alternative. So the warmists have to keep the global warming scare-mongering at a high tempo. If people hear about studies like the Schwartz research and realize there really isn’t much to fear, the warmist cause is DOA.

Oh well, maybe the Greenies can revisit the ozone hole. It is still there.

Wow, what pretty writing! Couldn’t you use your talents for a better cause than helping to destroy our environment?

Perhaps you could use your talents for something other than trying to scare people. But then you warmists need people to be fearful, don’t you. It’s the only way they will swallow the snake oil you peddle.

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Nice thing!! It is so great to do thing for the environment’s purposes. W should establish and work to improve the situation of the ecology right now. We can see that it is almost devastated with so many factors affecting it. No I doubt!!! Environment has a very important role in human lives. We should work on propagating agriculture to help promoting a better world. The new administration has a great chance to do ways on up building a new nation. Bush administration just brought tragic events, which leads to a worst economy of the country.  What this amounts to is that they have bad assets and then – presto change-o – they’re good!  It would be worth a cash advance to figure out how the FASB comes up with these ideas.