Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Global Warming Causes Increased Rainfall, No Wait, I Mean Drought

Today's Indianapolis Star features a letter to the editor from a Millard Johnson who thinks she found global warming in her backyard.
Behind my hobby farm in Morgan County is an acre pond. In the deepest part there
is a spillway that should be overflowing at this time of year. It isn't. The pond is 3 feet low and the fields are so hard that farmers' plows have trouble biting into the baked earth.

We elected new legislators this year with a conservative agenda. I hope they realize that global warming and climate change are not political issues. Science gave us most of the wonderful things of the modern world. Global climate change is a scientific issue and legislators need to educate themselves and take appropriate action.

There should be no ideological fight here. If legislators are wrong about health care, we will try something else in a few years; if they are wrong about global warming, people will starve.

Really, Millard? So you are claiming that the drought this year is proof of global warming? You're claiming this one summer proves long-term temperature patterns for this 4.5 billion year old planet?

Maybe I should point out that you even have the global warming claims wrong...global warming is supposed to cause an INCREASE in rainfall for places like the United States, not a decrease.

Here are some additional facts. The climate of the planet has been changing for 4.5 billion years and will continue to change, sometimes dramatically so. The temperature has been hotter than today and cooler. There is nothing to suggest that today's temperature is the ideal and that a warmer planet would be a bad thing. In fact, historically man has done better in warmer climates, including climates warmer than today's.

The sad thing is the politicization of the scientific debate on this issue. Scientists who dare question the politically-correct global warming, er, I mean "climate change" agenda, are ridiculed and ostracized. We need fair, honest scientific debates, not ones driven by a political agenda.


Grey Area said...

As an Indianapolis native who reads this blog regularly I must admit I am disappointed to see this attack on Mr. Johnson as it is an obvious example of the type of politically motivated debate he speaks of.

I am by no means an expert. I also agree with the notion that a pond running dry used as an indication of global warming is suspect at best, but making the suggestion that climate change research makes predictions about rainfall and drought is incorrect as well. Read the article you linked to in USA Today and it tells you in black and white that clouds and rainfall are the weakest predictors available to climate modeling practitioners.

I look forward to gaining insight into local politics through your blog that you offer so well, Mr. Ogden, but please be careful of falling into the same trap that you accuse Mr. Johnson of.

Ellen said...

Brandon is spot-on.

Enough with the politicization of the climate change debate.

Stick to Indiana politics -- you do a great job in field you know well.

Science? You're not so hot!

Dan Pangburn said...

'Global warming' hasn't caused anything since about a decade ago when it ended.

The factors that resulted in the 20th century global temperature run-up have been discovered. The contribution of atmospheric carbon dioxide is between small and insignificant. The time-integral of sunspot numbers and effective sea surface temperature are the main contributors.

A simple equation, with inputs of accepted measurements from government agencies, calculates the average global temperatures since 1895 with 88% accuracy (87.6% if CO2 is assumed to have no influence). See the equation, an eye-opening graph of the results and how they are derived in the pdfs at http://climaterealists.com/index.php?tid=145&linkbox=true (see especially the pdfs made public on 4/10/10 and 6/27/10).

The future average global temperature trend that this equation calculates is down.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Brandon and Ellen,

I think you are mistaken. There's nothing wrong with public criticism regarding an issue. We should encourage that.

The problem is when our scientists need to be above the political debate and doing their job without having it influenced by a political agenda. Therein lies the problem. The problem is not a criticism of Ms. Johnson or someone's criticism of my view.

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

Picking on the writer of a letter to the editor at The Star is beneath you, Paul.

You could have made an argument against "global warming" without denigrating the personal views of one Millard Johnson of Martinsville.

Downtown Indy said...

I saw a story 2 weeks ago that noted the amount of US ground that is snow covered at the time was a record for the (early) date.

Yesterday there was another story about unusually heavy snows in Europe, again for the time of year.

Read IceAgeNow.com



for many more examples of it being cooler and wetter thatn normal in many areas of the globe. I doubt ANY of the 'experts' ever consider when it's getting hotter here in the north, the southern hemisphere is getting colder, and vice versa. So one polar cap or the other is frozen and freezing some more while the other is thawing a bit.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Sorry, HITH, once you put your views out there in the public, it's fair to criticize those views.

This is not exactly the first time I've addressed what was said in a letter to the editor. This is maybe my fourth time. This is the first time anyone complained. Is it because she's female and the antiquated first name "Millard" suggests she's an older woman?

Blog Admin said...

I find it odd that whenever Gary Welsh or you write on a more national issue, these commenters show up out of nowhere saying they're long time readers but say "But on this issue, you're wrong."

I'd be willing to bet that whatever tracking software you have on here would show their IP address would be out of state.

Unigov said...

Point by point:

(1) "Enough with the politicization of the climate change debate" ?

A UN official and member of the IPCC, Ottmar Edenhofer, on 11/14/20 stated "we redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy".

So "Climate Change" IS politics.

(2) Millard Johnson lives in an enormous house surrounded by woods. This is how the property is described on Zillow:

"Outstanding timber frame home can be purchased as part of 97ac HOBBY FARM with log cabin home & stone home or can be purchased on 41 acres w/pond, 10-stall 40x60 barn & 80x60 pole barn. Both w/wtr/elec. No-climb fencing. Absolutely a dream home! Soaring 30' cathedral clg as you enter grt rm w/full wall bricked gas log frplc"

30 foot ceiling ?

Zillow - which use info from property tax records - shows the home at 5,535 sq ft. Pretty big house for someone who cares about the environment.

(3) Indiana precipitation averages 40.5 inches per year, a figure that was exceeded every year from 2002-2010, per NOAA.gov. During that stretch we averaged 46" of precipitation.

(4) Anybody with a lawn knows that late summer-early fall in Indiana was dry. This year precip was distributed less evenly, June being twice double normal, August being half normal. In June, Martinsville had problems with flooding: http://tinyurl.com/2uocmn2

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

The point isn't the debate over climate change.

The point is that Ogden used his bully pulpit to pick on a Martinsville resident who had the audacity to write a letter to the editor.

Cheap trick.

Blog Admin said...

What constitutes "picking on", Hoosier?

There's only one paragraph (3 whole sentences) addressing Johnson.

And yeah, if someone writes in to a newspaper and then gets their letter published, people are free to comment on it. The Star's site allows a comments section on LTTE and sometimes prints responses to letters.

Downtown Indy said...

By the way, the mention of plows having a hard time amuses me. Plowing is not the ecologically-preferred method of growing crops.

The no-till method increase moisture within the soil, encourages the biology of the soil, reduces erosion and cuts the fuel required to farm the land thereby reducing hydrocarbon emissions and other pollutants.

So someone worried about climate change ought not to be plowing in the first place and perhaps ought to be rallying no-till support in the second place.

varangianguard said...

Millard is a male name. Millard Fillmore, for example.

Mildred, on the other hand, is a female name which might have confused you.

I have to come down on the side of, if you want to put in your two cents, then you'd better be thick-skinned enough for the shellacking you might get.

The author of the letter has drawn their own conclusion about "climate change" and has made several unsubstantiated claims to make their point. For example, "people will starve if (some undefined group) is wrong about global warming. In fact, people starve today. They did 100 years ago, and it wasnt' due to the weather.

So, want to have a discussion? Fine. Want to preach? Just don't start snivelling when someone calls you out because of weak argumentation.

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

Millard Johnson is not sniveling.

It's us regular readers of "Ogden on Politics" who are taking him to task for not sticking to the topic of his blog.

"Ogden on Politcs", it should be noted, again.

Not Ogden berating the writer of a letter to the editor from Martinsville for his opinions on climate change.

Shoemaker! Stick to your last!

Blog Admin said...

Please don't speak for "us regular readers", Hoosier, because you don't represent me or anyone else, just your own self.

It's Paul's blog. He can write about what he wants.

Unknown said...

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Hoosier in the Heartland said...

Yes, it's Paul's blog.

But he's in much better form when going after Zoeller and John than letterwriters from Martinsville!