Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Left Hand Of Snarkness

What a wondrous creature is Alexander Cockburn . 
Some years ago , invoking the authority of Fox TV regular Pat Michaels, he entered the Gonzo Climatology Sweepstakes calling man's impact on climate "a fart in a hurricane" and declaring" the human carbon footprint is of zero consequence"  Now he's back to tell us the real culprit is sunspots.
CounterPunch Diary: Sunspots and Republicans 4 March 2012
Suddenly the right has gone truly crazy. It must be sunspots. We’re three years into sunspot cycle number 24 and it crests in activity with 59 sunspots in early 2013, the weakest sunspot cycle in a hundred years, therefore not much help in the earth’s current cooling phase, during which – contrary to warmist doctrine – CO2 levels have been rising. Overall there has been a fairly steady warming trend of 0.5°C per century since 1680, which is when that notorious playboy Charles II of England began racing his Ferrari at Silverstone."
Is the Old Labour Lefty  again  bent on becoming the first Really Red Red State Climatologist, by displacing Michaels in  making common cause with Rush Limbaugh  and the Heartland  institute  to declare scientists are just poseurs wielding  " primitive rhetorical pandybats? "  

Rejecting the first law of thermodynamics ,  which insists that hot things tend to grow cold over time, Cockburn had this to say about the Climate Wars in 2008 :
"In a couple of hundred years, historians will be comparing the frenzies over our supposed human contribution to global warming to the tumults at the latter end of the tenth century...Then as now, a buoyant market throve on fear. The Roman Catholic Church was a bank whose capital was secured by the infinite mercy of Christ...and so...The sinners established a line of credit against bad behavior and could go on sinning. Today a world market in "carbon credits" is in formation. Those whose "carbon footprint" is small can sell their surplus carbon credits to others, less virtuous than themselves.
 The modern trade is as fantastical as the medieval one. There is still zero empirical  evidence that anthropogenic production of CO2 is making any measurable contribution to the world's present warming trend...Poseidon should go hunting for carbon credits...the human carbon footprint is of zero consequence...not even to mention the role of the giant reactor beneath our feet: the earth's increasingly hot molten core"
Untroubled by the conservation of mass , or the variability of the Earth's orbit, he avers that:
" Once again, the greenhousers have got it ass-backward. The 100 ppm increase in CO2 can't be uniquely attributed to humans because at least as plausibly it could be the effect, not the cause, of the warming that started after the Little Ice Age."
Never mind CO2's subversive failure to spike in response to the Medieval Warm Period.
 Some years ago, Cockburn's  host publication, The Nation  warned those who deny a jet liner struck the Pentagon risk sinking into self parody as they   :
"proffer what they demurely call "disturbing questions", though they disdain all answers but their own. They seize on coincidences and force them into sequences they deem to be logical and significant. Like mad Inquisitors, they pounce on imagined clues... torturing the data ­- as the old joke goes about economists -- till the data confess. Their treatment of eyewitness testimony and forensic evidence is whimsical. Apparent anomalies that seem to nourish their theories are brandished excitedly; testimony that undermines their theories... is contemptuously brushed aside."
I wish Cockburn would take these words  to heart. After all, he wrote them.