Steyn cites discredited Carlin paper to allege "no global warming this century"

››› ››› RAPHAEL SCHWEBER-KOREN

Mark Steyn wrote, "If you're graduating high school, there has been no global warming since you entered first grade. There has been no global warming this century." In fact, experts reject the idea that recent temperatures mean that global warming is slowing or does not exist.

In a July 6 Washington Times column, Mark Steyn cited a discredited report by EPA research analyst Alan Carlin as purported evidence that "[i]f you're graduating high school, there has been no global warming since you entered first grade. There has been no global warming this century. None." In fact, as Media Matters for America has noted, annual global average temperatures have both risen and fallen over the past 11 years, and while there have been some relatively cooler years during that period -- including a decline in each of the past three years relative to the year before -- climate scientists reject the idea that those temperatures are any indication that global warming is slowing or does not exist. Scientists have identified a long-term warming trend spanning several decades that is independent from the normal climate variability -- which includes relatively short-term changes in climate due to events like El Niño and La Niña -- to which they attribute the recent relatively cooler temperatures.

Steyn referred to Carlin's paper as "a report for the Environmental Protection Racket -- whoops, Environmental Protection Agency -- that the agency attempted to suppress." However, the EPA reportedly said in a statement that Carlin "is not a scientist and was not part of the working group dealing with this issue." Moreover, according to a Foxnews.com report, an EPA official said that Carlin acted "on his own," and not at the behest of the EPA. FoxNews.com reported:

An EPA official told FOXNews.com on Monday that Carlin, who is an economist -- not a scientist -- included "no original research" in his report. The official said that Carlin "has not been muzzled in the agency at all," but stressed that his report was entirely "unsolicited."

"It was something that he did on his own," the official said. "Though he was not qualified, his manager indulged him and allowed him on agency time to draft up ... a set of comments."

As Media Matters noted, in a February 11 Guardian op-ed, Vicky Pope, the head of climate change advice at the U.K. Met Office Hadley Centre, wrote that claims about the pace of global warming based only on developments in the past 10 years or in the 1990s are not valid, "since natural variations always occur on this timescale." She continued, "1998 was a record-breaking warm year as long-term man-made warming combined with a naturally occurring strong El Niño. In contrast, 2008 was slightly cooler than previous years partly because of a La Niña. Despite this, it was still the 10th warmest on record." According to the Met Office, "Over the last ten years, global temperatures have warmed more slowly than the long-term trend. But this does not mean that global warming has slowed down or even stopped. It is entirely consistent with our understanding of natural fluctuations of the climate within a trend of continued long-term warming." This long-term trend can be seen in this graph of annual global average temperatures from the U.K. Met Office Hadley Centre:

temps

Gavin Schmidt, a climate modeler at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, wrote in a June 26 RealClimate.org post that in reading Carlin's internal EPA document, "[o]ne can see a number of basic flaws [in its main points]; the complete lack of appreciation of the importance of natural variability on short time scales, the common but erroneous belief that any attribution of past climate change to solar or other forcing means that CO2 has no radiative effect, and a hopeless lack of familiarity of the basic science of detection and attribution."

From Steyn's July 6 Washington Times column:

I don't know how [New York Times columnist Tom] Friedman defines "young," but let's be generous: If you're 29, there has been no global warming for your entire adult life. If you're graduating high school, there has been no global warming since you entered first grade. There has been no global warming this century. None.

Admittedly, the 21st century is only one century out of the many centuries of planetary existence, but it happens to be the one you're stuck living in. Alan Carlin, in a report for the Environmental Protection Racket -- whoops, Environmental Protection Agency -- that the agency attempted to suppress, says:

"Fossil fuel and cement emissions increased by 3.3 percent per year during 2000-2006, compared to 1.3 percent per year in the 1990s. Similarly, atmospheric C02 concentrations increased by 1.93 parts per million per year during 2000-2006, compared to 1.58 ppm in the 1990s. And yet, despite accelerating emission rates and concentrations, there's been no net warming in the 21st century, and more accurately, a decline."

The Obama administration is getting into the global-warming beads and kaftan just as everyone else is beginning to toss 'em into the recycling bin. Same with government automobiles: Been there, drove that -- from Eastern Europe to Northern Ireland.

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Environment & Science, Climate Change
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Mark Steyn
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