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My Turn: Beware climate catastrophe charlatans

The Monitor is correct in asking when the tipping point on “climate change” will be reached (editorial, Aug. 21). But the editors fail to understand the real tipping point we should be asking about is this: When are we going to say enough to the climate catastrophe charlatans?

The science of the atmosphere, the sun, the oceans and everything else that affects our climate is incredibly incomplete. How incomplete? One of the biggest impacts on global climate over seasonal and annual time periods is the El Nino Southern Oscillation – an indicator of the changes in temperatures over the tropical Pacific. We have all heard of El Nino and how it can have major effects on temperatures and precipitation around the globe. What most people don’t know is that none of the climate models are capable of forecasting this effect even a year in advance, never mind the 100-year forecasts. If climate models cannot properly represent these climate effects (as well as other major climate elements) even over short time periods, why do we think they can forecast climate for the next century? They can’t.

The reality is that the models that drive climate hysteria have failed after only a few dozen years of forecasting. These models are the basis for all the claims of temperature increases, loss of ice, loss of snow, sea level rise, hurricane forecasts and every other scare tactic in the fraudsters’ book. The circulated drafts of the upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report have charts that show the poor track record of the models, but unfortunately the climate change industry (the same industry that writes the IPCC reports) will tuck this information away in a dark corner and not discuss either the data or the implications of this uncomfortable fact.

What is disappointing is not just that we have an entire industry whose existence relies on a lack of critical discussion about the foundations of its theories. The real tragedy is that our elected officials and other institutions have refused to talk about the real issues, or do not understand enough about the climate to have a discussion – yet still parrot out the scare tactics. This was driven home in the recent reporting of the dialogue at Saint Anselm College on green jobs. Asked about how believers should address questions about climate change, Cameron Wake of the University of New Hampshire said, “Don’t get bogged down in debating the science.” Why would he say this? Because the “science” arguments are running into the brick wall of real data, and real science that calls into question the underlying premises.

For example, has the Monitor looked at the models that are the foundation of all these predictions and questioned why current global temperatures haven’t risen in more than 15 years? Has it questioned why current temperatures are beyond the range of uncertainty of the models? Has it asked why we should put faith in global models that don’t understand the impact of the sun (by far the largest engine of heat and energy for the planet), the link between the oceans and the atmosphere, ocean temperature patterns and other major climate drivers? How then, given this track record, can the IPCC, Iowa state Sen. Rob Hogg, Cameron Wake or the Concord Monitor claim 95 percent certainty in anything having to do with our climate?

The second derivative of this lack of critical thinking is that most “climate change” studies are based on the outputs of these models. Any responsible elected official, bureaucrat or newspaper should ask the purveyors of this material this: “If the models are clearly flawed and are making projections that are already beyond acceptable error ranges, why should we give any weight to a study based on the model outcomes?” The logical, responsible answer is that they shouldn’t. Unless there can be better modeling and proven understanding of how our climate is impacted by the sun, ocean patterns and myriad other factors, then climate catastrophe stories should be relegated to the trash. That this material is used for setting policy at the state and national level is just another travesty thrust upon us by these con artists.

There will no doubt be theories, adjustments and other excuses as to why this “delay in warming” is due to mankind, why the models aren’t working, why we should still be scared. They are only theories and excuses. The climate changes. That is a fact. Exactly how and why is still unknown. Anyone who tells you differently is selling you snake oil and taking your money.

Unfortunately for all of us, climate scientists, (and the catastrophe charlatans who make money off their efforts) suffer from the hubris of not admitting what they do not know. The rest of mankind is suffering from it.

(Michael Sununu of Newfields is an owner and consultant at Sununu Enterprises LLC, a strategic consulting group that specializes in water, telecommunications, energy and infrastructure projects.)

Legacy Comments57

Wow! UCS is not unbiased on any level. All one has to do is look at their funding, Soros, Hollywood, GE, etc to get who they are. They also do not get their scientific info from unbiased sources either.To present them as an independent organization that is based on science is wrong. The idea that folks who say your info is biased are deniers of climate change is also wrong. That is not the case. Science is a mystery to most folks, so they are easily swayed because they know nothing about it. So politics has been allowed to sway scientific opinions. That is the truth. Fact is you can find any data to support your stance by going to the sights that support your political opinion. Al Gore made billions preaching to the uninformed. The bottom line is that extent of climate change is based on who is giving the information. fact is that we know the climate has changed, but we have no clue how much, causes, extent , is it a cycle that is being repeated and a host of other reasons why. As far as what is left out, Bruce is a master at that. His sources are always based on politics with the hope the readers here are unaware of those sources. There is a lot of money being made with climate change. And the govt is making sure you do not know the facts like they do with every issue. They do that by leaving out where they get their info, then claim it is unbiased. Easy to sway the uninformed. Too bad most folks cannot discuss an issue based on what works and what does not, instead of politics. post is a RANT. Supported by NOT ONE FACT. Should you be even remotely interested in finding some real information about Anthropogenic Global Warming, you should go to your library and read one of the following books: 'The White Planet' by Jouzel, Lorius, and Raynaud; 'Overheated' by Matt Guzman; The Weather of the Future' by Heidi Cullen; or 'Energy for Future Presidents' by Richard Muller. You might want to avoid Overheated, the picture it paints is very depressing. Oh, and Guzman is not a scientist, he is a lawyer.

No ranting here Walter. Dispute what I said. Where does UCS get their funding Walter? Gore has been proven time and again to be wrong. And dispute what I said about climate change being politically motivated. Instead you say it is a rant, as opposed to proving me wrong. You addressed nothing I said.

Richards Muller's co- author had this to say recently...."Forget global warming!? Earth undergoing global COOLING since 2002! Climate Scientist Dr. Judith Curry: ‘Attention in the public debate seems to be moving away from the 15-17 year ‘pause’ to the cooling since 2002’ " - that destroys the globul warming activists agenda

RSS has been flat from December 1996 to July 2013, which is a period of 16 years and 8 months or 200 months. The other slightly higher flat line in the middle is the latest complete decade of 120 months from January 2001 to December 2010. The other slightly downward sloping line is the latest 120 months prior from present. It very clearly shows it has been cooling lately,

And yet ocean temps continue to rise, glaciers are receding and Ice in the polar regions continues to fall into the sea. Yea, we're cooling off alright!

"Ice in the polar regions continues to fall into the sea."...Where else would it fall off? Must have never happened before man came on the scene..right?

Ice in the Antartic is at all time high and Artic ice is back to levels 10 years ago and growing. Glacier receding warnings from IPCC proved to be 100% wrong and a 0.06C rise in deep ocean temps is simply a joke to reference

Another misleading and deceptive post from the deniosphere. The curious will delve into the why ice extent has increased. Hint: it's not because of any spurious 'pause' in the warming, and there is a scientific explanation. And glaciers continue to recede, and the oceans continue to warm. Here's the abstract from a recent publication in "Nature": "Central West Antarctica among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth" December 2012 "There is clear evidence that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is contributing to sea-level rise. In contrast, West Antarctic temperature changes in recent decades remain uncertain. West Antarctica has probably warmed since the 1950s, but there is disagreement regarding the magnitude, seasonality and spatial extent of this warming. This is primarily because long-term near-surface temperature observations are restricted to Byrd Station in central West Antarctica, a data set with substantial gaps. Here, we present a complete temperature record for Byrd Station, in which observations have been corrected, and gaps have been filled using global reanalysis data and spatial interpolation. The record reveals a linear increase in annual temperature between 1958 and 2010 by 2.4±1.2 °C, establishing central West Antarctica as one of the fastest-warming regions globally. We confirm previous reports of West Antarctic warming, in annual average and in austral spring and winter, but find substantially larger temperature increases. In contrast to previous studies, we report statistically significant warming during austral summer, particularly in December–January, the peak of the melting season. A continued rise in summer temperatures could lead to more frequent and extensive episodes of surface melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. These results argue for a robust long-term meteorological observation network in the region."

Now, now, there's no reason to argue. Everyone knows the Sununus are smarter than the rest of us. Doc

Even a non-scientist, non-engineer such as myself can see through Michael Sununu's logic. And he is not making money? So say the "charlatans" are wrong yet we reduce use of fossil fuels, increase solar, wind, geothermal power sources. What is the harm? What is "real" science & data? Whatever Sununu agrees with.

Reduce fossil fuels? Maybe some Hydro, or wind in NH?? No opposition to that, right?

I'm trying to understand the motivation of those who deny climate change. If they were to acknowledge that the earth is warming, then..... what? What would be the repercussions?

In all sincerity let me try to explain the "why" motivation and why people do not buy into the climate change agenda. First and foremost, the messengers kill the message. They come across as if it is an either / or scenario, call it the Chicken Little folks. The sermon of global warming is that humans=bad, prosperity=greed, if we don't act today, this very minute=disaster. Al Gore and folks like him have done absolutely nothing to improve the message, not when they fly around on private jets and make millions on global warming. Then, there is the fact that no matter what climate change fanatics come up with for answers that it will lower our standard of living, our prosperity and they are in your face about it, lecturing us that we have "had it too good". So the message is negative. Then folks on sites like this copy and paste things and profess that they are absolute fact. As anyone who has attended graduate studies knows, there are facts but they always need to challenged and assumptions are always there to be challenged. The more people push and call people deniers and as existing in the deniosphere, the more they dig in their heels. Climate change folks are primarily progressives and people don't trust progressives as a whole because they know that they are primarily out for things like "fundamental change" and a redefinition of our society and for an ideology and they are not trusted. So to be clear, it is the approach, the vitriol if you dare challenge one iota of the science, an in-your-face approach by the acceptosphere :-), mistrust of absolutists, lectures from people who simply copy and paste in the absence of any discussion or challenge of assumptions. Honestly, it is the folks who push and constantly push and every time we learn why they are not exactly accurate.

Still waiting for you to acknowledge or challenge the facts, rather than construct various straw-men and proceed to beat them to death with generalizations, assumptions, stereotypes, and name-calling. Using the term "denier" is not name-calling, not when it accurately reflects the fact that the Carp Per Diems are unable/unwilling to deal with the facts on the issue of climate change. I hasten to add, it's also largely true of discussions about such topics as the economy, taxes and wealth, vaccines, evolution, smoking, schools, and climate science. The right is now waging war on science because the powerful vested interests that bankroll it are threatened. In the case of big oil, their own scientists told them well over a decade ago that global warming was real, and that fossil fuels were the likely cause. Yet these deeply entrenched interests continue deliberately and intentionally to sow confusion and misinformation--doing an enormous disservice to our democratic republic. So powerful are they that they even get some to do it for free.

"I hasten to add, it's also largely true of discussions about such topics as the economy, taxes and wealth, vaccines, evolution, smoking, schools, and climate science."...The economy is terrible, taxes are too high, there are not enough wealthy people, get vaccinated, attend and donate to your church, dont smoke anything, start teaching manufacturing skills (dont turn the machine shops into day care centers) and conserve energy as best you can. And the world would be a better place. There is your free lesson for today :)

You illustrate in your post, why people are not willing to listen to your arguments. "Denier" is name-calling as is Carp Per Diem (although it is clever). Then there is the absolutist approach in things that you and others post. You infer that we if do not act immediately, right now, it will be too late and the world is coming to an end. Sounds a bit like fundamentalist Christianity and the tactics used there. I hope that climate change fanatics continue the hysteria, absolutism, etc. Your approach and the approach of extremists talking about climate change is what has caused the populace to become skeptical.

To follow up on my comments above: If you were truly interested in the facts regarding the science, and their implications for policies, then rather than feeling threatened by them, you might have written: "You know...maybe there's something to this global warming. Maybe we should be investing more R&D into other energy sources than fossil fuels, and looking for ways to make our use of fossil fuels more efficient. And maybe we should be figuring out ways to cope with possible sea level rise in our cities and coastal regions." Those are some things you could have said. But you didn't. You just painted another broad-brush and sloppily inaccurate picture in black/white, that once more shows you to be the closed-minded ideologue you accuse others of being. But it's never too late to change.

Reply to Itsa and GWTW below: Time for a reality check: Still waiting for any effort to deal with the facts, instead of constructing straw men or crafting the snarky non-response. I'm accused of "hysteria" and "absolutism" for writing that "maybe we should be investing more R&D into other energy sources"? While you're the model of moderation and good sense when you write: "here is the fact that no matter what climate change fanatics come up with for answers that it will lower our standard of living, our prosperity and they are in your face about it, lecturing us that we have 'had it too good'." Seriously? Which one is the absolutist and the hysteric?

Reply to Bruce below....Assess the state of wind and hydro in NH. Both are condemned as "ruining the state". Wind really gets me chuckling, as even the putting in a foundation for a wind turbine is defined as an environmental disaster.

"...let me try to explain the "why" motivation and why people do not buy into the climate change agenda." Reasons: 1) The problem is too complicated to understand. 2) Scientists are waaay too smart to be trusted. 3) Nobody trusts 'progressives' because they are too smart (like scientists-note that the got us into Social Security, Medicare, Racial Equality) 4) So what if the ten hottest years have occurred since 1998, there is still a 'pause'. Besides-I'm entitled to my own opinions, even if there is no support for them.

Hmmm...I'll ask you the same question...If you believe it, wouldnt the smart thing to be doing now is move the population centers away from the oceans , or build some sort of seawall around them?

Would you believe that New York City has been planning a seawall for several years now?? What, you didn't know that?? Google is and see!!

The repercussions would be that Big Oil wouldn't give them millions to run their campaigns. Big Oil funds many of these phony anti-climate change groups just like Big Tobacco used to fund medical groups to say that smoking didn't give people cancer.

Funny isnt it...Al Gore the tobacco farmer.

Maybe we should just ignore stupid columns like this one, rather than comment on them. Now Sununu has the satisfaction of thinking that he has all of us with half a brain and the ability to use it that he has us with our knickers in knots.

LOL..too late.

Any day now Van and Sail will morph into one giant 'no nothing' entitiy - Allan Herschlag

can't you do any better than mere ad hom attacks? How school age.

Allan...that is : 'know nothing' !!! And it was a political party, long ago, here in NH.

Walter, yes it is and yes I need to do a better job of reading my comments before posting them -Allan Herschlag

Mr. Sununu seems to be asking us the same question Chico Marx did of Margaret Dumont in "Duck Soup": " Who are going to believe, me or your own eyes?"

This hit piece exemplifies the on-going war on science that the far-right is engaging in. It distorts and mis-states the science and slanders the scientists. I ask again: who is really the charlatan? Here is a listing of some of the organizations that Sunnunu alleges are guilty of "hubris" and/or labels as "charlatans". From the link: "Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. The following is a partial list of these organizations, along with links to their published statements and a selection of related resources."

NASA Stumped: Summer Arctic Ice Extent Among Highest This Decade, Antarctica “Headed Toward Record Extent”

Once again, your post is notable for what it leaves out, rather than for it includes. Polar ice is measured by both extent and volume--thickness. While extent varies from year to year (but still shows a long-term decline), the decline in thickness (which corresponds to age of the ice) is on a steady, and unmistakable downward trend. USUAL, you are WRONG, and have no source of your information (except your misunderstanding of everything). Here is a correct quote: Arctic sea ice extent maintained a steady, near-average pace of retreat through the first half of August, making it highly unlikely that a new record low minimum will be reached this year. Nevertheless, there are extensive areas of low concentration ice, even in regions close to the North Pole, atmospheric pressure and temperature patterns this summer have differed markedly from those experienced in 2012; cooler than average conditions have prevailed over much of the Arctic Ocean. By contrast, Antarctic sea ice is near a record maximum extent for mid-August It comes from Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis. Maybe you should check with google or Wikipedia before making incorrect statements.

Sununu is right on. Any scientist or statistician would compare any prediction against actual data to determine the accuracy of the model. Their models aren't even close. The problem is that the Climate Change industry is getting rich off fudged and bogus data and there is a fool born every day and the democrat party is full of fools and Al Gore Jr is getting filthy rich off of these fools. Hey if you don't have any marketable qualities than be a climate catastrophe charlatan.

Van,,,actually, Sununu is lacking in facts and credibility. It is a given that no climate model can predict what the weather will be on July 1, 2025. However, using the El Nino model as an example of climate models that predict world temperatures is being a charlatan. Sununu didn't mention that the IPCC uses 20 models for its predictions. That these models are checked against past weather reports, such as the 1991 Pinatubo eruption. He doesn't mention that these 20 models agree within a few percent, or that the IPCC reports on the LOW end of their temperature predictions. He does mention those who make money off 'catastrophic predictions'. He ignores those who make money off denying what ALL meteorological and climatological organizations, including the American Geophysical Union and Union of Concerned Scientists have said about man-induced global warming.

The Union of Concerned Scientists in not primarily populated by climatologists or meteorologists. Most of the members are Phd's, social scientists, gynecologists, dentists, doctors, professors (of course), teachers and dozens of other scientists (technically) who would only understand climate change based on what they are told, not what they are educated in. If that is not ideological in nature, then I don't know what is. It would be like saying that an organization believes that nuclear energy is not dangerous and stacking the organization with people related to the industry who will gain something for supporting it. UCC is a sham. usual, you make many misstatements. The Union of Concerned Scientists is a VOLUNTARY organization. None of its members get paid. IF the UCS were to make a position statement about nuclear energy, it would be nuclear scientists that would draft it, of course-those most knowledgeable of the subject. You should google UCS and learn something.

Walter, who said that they got "paid". Obviously it is a volunteer organization. The folks who head the organization get grants and the more the politicians push climate change, the more money becomes available to them in the way of grants. Ever hear of East Anglia? Phil Jones? Michael Mann? 'oh no, the facts don't support our science, we need to hide it and tell no one.....'. Pretty short memory, Walter. I have read the entire UCS site. It's members are political, not scientific experts on climate change, they believe in lockstep with the people running the organization. That is 'politics', not an understanding of the science.

Sunnunu manages a remarkable feat: not once in his screed does he mention greenhouse gases or CO2 in connection with global warming. Sunnunu is conflating two different things:, El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) predictions and climate projections of future warming, and then claiming that because the one can't be predicted accurately yet, climate models that project increasing warming must also be flawed. It's true that scientists are having a hard time predicting El Nino/La Nina events more than 6 months ahead, but this fact has little to do with climate models that project future warming. Nor is it correct to say the climate models have "failed" because they haven't predicted the current slowing of surface warming. Instead, the current warming is at the low end of model projections. If the warming continues to slow, or stops (unlikely, alas) for another decade, then it might be time to say the models have "failed". But not yet. Finally, climate change is much more than computer models. Observations of diminishing Arctic ice extent, continued ocean warming, and sea level rise, indicate that the planet continues to warm, and suggest that those who claim otherwise are the real charlatans.

Bruce - it's worse than that. By referring to scientists with whom he disagrees as charlatans and asserting that they have issued their reports for self-serving purposes, Mr. Sununu is actually trying to delegitimize their work and to persuade the public that they are worse than unreliable - that they are lying in order to get rich. He speaks of critical thinking but makes bare assertions that he fails to substantiate. He cites no studies that support his position. The column appears to be propaganda, and it is not persuasive.

They may NOT be charlatans but they are influenced by ideology, grants and funding from politicians and personal beliefs.

Nice try, but your comments do not go to the deficiencies or the propagandistic nature of the column. Again, you've identified some researchers you disagree with, but have provided no information whatsoever that supports your position. You've made broad, unsubstantiated statements but you've given us no reason to believe you.

Phil Jones, Michael Mann?

CO2 is turning out not to be the demon gas it's been made out to be. After 19 years of both increasing CO2 and temperatures, followed by 16 years of increasing CO2 and stagnant temperatures, perhaps it's time to turn our attention to those vague "natural factors" that seem to be just as important.

Not so...temperatures are not "stagnant". Surface warming has slowed its rate of increase--but it has not stopped. Meanwhile, warming of the deep oceans has increased. From the abstract of "Distinctive climate signals in reanalysis of global ocean heat content"  "The elusive nature of the post-2004 upper ocean warming has exposed uncertainties in the ocean's role in the Earth's energy budget and transient climate sensitivity. Here we present the time evolution of the global ocean heat content for 1958 through 2009 from a new observation-based reanalysis of the ocean. Volcanic eruptions and El Niño events are identified as sharp cooling events punctuating a long-term ocean warming trend, while heating continues during the recent upper-ocean-warming hiatus, but the heat is absorbed in the deeper ocean. In the last decade, about 30% of the warming has occurred below 700 m, contributing significantly to an acceleration of the warming trend. The warming below 700 m remains even when the Argo observing system is withdrawn although the trends are reduced. Sensitivity experiments illustrate that surface wind variability is largely responsible for the changing ocean heat vertical distribution."Geophysical Research Letters Volume 40, Issue 9, pages 1754–1759, 16 May 2013;jsessionid=C0091520A373CF0765F1AF2E52550843.d01t02

Definition: "Screed"-any opinion with which a progressives disagrees. Definition: "Denier"-anyone who challenges the assumptions of climate change. Definition: "Deniosphere"-That place that exists where the ignorant masses who challenge the assumptions of climate change live. Definition: "Ignorant Masses"-Group of people who do not believe as the enlightened, self congratulatory and obvious intellectually superior progressives believe. Definition: "Charlatan"-Anyone other than a high minded progressive; anyone who does not walk in knee jerk lockstep to all science. A person who dares to challenge assumptions of progressives. Definition: "Ideologue"-An individual who places ideology above inclusion, tolerance and diversity of views and who will not allow his/her assumptions to be challenges, using "science" as a weapon and absolute to shout down any opposition standing in their way to reaching their ideological end.

Sunnunu introduced the term "charlatan" in his screed. A screed plays fast and loose with the facts, or is highly selective in presenting them--an accurate description of his "essay". "Ignorant" describes people who are unwilling, or unable to look at facts."Ideologues", contrary to your definition, place their beliefs ahead of the facts on issues. While there are often gray areas and unknowns on any give topic, the language you use: "inclusion, tolerance, diversity" is language that elsewhere is mocked by the right. Here they are merely a rhetorical flag of convenience for you. It's effectively arguing that scientists should accept "flat-earthers" as having equal validity to "round-earthers". Science doesn't work that way. Science advances based on the preponderance of evidence.Hypotheses are developed and tested, then re-tested. If they fail, they are rejected. There is no alternative theory that works to explain the current warming; only man-made greenhouse gases being added to the atmosphere accounts for the warming. Skeptics (not to be confused with deniers, who are ideologues) are always free to retest the data (that's exactly what the BEST study did). Their study confirmed the consensus view on the warming and its sources.

The name Sununu should tell you all you need to know about the "credibility" of this op-ed piece and the GOP's "vision" for our world.

Right, because AlGORE and Hillary Clinton are scientists with much credibility on this subject

Gore and Clinton have never claimed to be scientists. But they do accept the consensus view on the science, and would like to see this nation move toward greater reliance on other energy sources. They're looking past the next quarter's earning report, and also to the day--coming sooner or later--that fossil fuels run out, or their continued extraction becomes too costly in every sense of the word. For this, they are reviled by those who prefer their facts on this and many issues come larded with large doses of conspiratorial nonsense.

Mike, Compared to Obama (the worst president ever and serial liar), Sununu has tons of credibility.

Sununu may have credibility in some areas Van - but not in the area of science.

Van... what has the President have to do with this discussion??

Well, ask Mike what Sununu has to do with the discussion. Honestly, that is profiling based on family. We can't profile anywhere without being accused of some "ism" but progressives can stereotype people based on family? Double standards Walter, double standards.

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