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“The Earth Is Warming, but Is CO2 the Cause?” (‘Ouch’ for climate alarmism)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- November 8, 2023

“By now, it’s some people’s job, if not personal vocation, to enact these rituals of denunciation simply because it helps prop up the green corporate welfare….” (Holman Jenkins, below)

Holman W. Jenkins, a columnist at the Wall Street Journal, is a straight-shooter on many things climate, including the blanks fired from alarmist science. Yes, he defends a CO2 tax, which is considered a “moderate” position within the climate-industrial complex. (Even Homer nods.) But his November 3rd column was powerful.

Jenkins latest column coincides with a new book by Javier Vinos, Climate Puzzle: The Sun’s Surprising Role, summarized at Judith Curry’s Climate Etc. [1] And the climate intelligentsia is upset with such upstream distractions when the downstream of their campaign, Net Zero, is on its last legs. Climate science? We are still stuck in 1980s, sorry to say, when it comes to climate sensitivity and the ecological impacts of anthropogenic warming.


Here are some quotations from Jenkins’s recent article, “The Earth is Warming, but Is CO2 the Cause?” His inspiration was an incident where some top science and scientists ran afoul of Big State Science.

If this column has ever plagiarized itself, it’s by repeating the phrase “evidence of warming is not evidence of what causes warming.” A paper published by the Norwegian government’s statistical agency, written by two of its retired experts, touching on this very subject has called forth so many shrieked accusations of climate apostasy that you know it must be interesting.

The authors ask a simple question: Are computerized climate simulations a sufficient basis for attributing observed warming to human CO2? After all, the Earth’s climate has been subject to substantial warming and cooling trends for millennia that remain unexplained and can’t be attributed to fossil fuels.

As statisticians, their conclusion: “With the current level of knowledge, it seems impossible to determine how much of the temperature increase is due to emissions of CO2.”

Wow. For all the abuse dumped on them for this modest observation…. The correlation-to-causation puzzle is hardly the authors’ invention, having bedeviled the oracular Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since its founding in 1988.

But unrestrained name-calling is required, the critics say, because anything that undermines confidence in
climate models undermines progress against climate change…. Since we’re using abstruse calculations of an annual average global temperature to validate the climate models, it matters if these calculations—based on disparate instruments and unstable sampling frequencies and a variety of “proxies” for times and places when no measurements were taken—are accurate and meaningful….

I’ve long argued that if a future climate scandal is lurking, it’s here. A spirit of disingenuousness already
pervades NOAA’s use of these numbers to make “hottest year” and “hottest month” proclamations, ignoring its own stated margin of error, which is often a large multiple of the claimed temperature difference from one period to the next.

Something beyond hysteria, though, explains the continued reliance on the no-longer-plausible idea that ritually attacking every expression of skepticism moves the ball on climate policy. By now, it’s some people’s job, if not personal vocation, to enact these rituals of denunciation simply because it helps prop up the green corporate welfare….

As long as we’re noting ironies, much of the abuse of the Norwegian authors comes from their fellow Norwegians, whose pretense of green virtue is funded by their country being, per capita, one of the biggest exporters of oil and gas the world has ever known.


The intellectual bodyguards for climate alarmism are out in full force. Andreas Rasche, Professor and Associate Dean at Copenhagen Business School, stated:

Shocking to see that well-respected media outlets like the The Wall Street Journal still publish climate denialism in 2023. On the other hand, also not surprising: WSJ belongs to News Corp which again is owned by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.

News Corp has been sowing confusion and doubt around climate change through its various media outlets for some time.

Of course, everybody is entitled to her/his opinion. But there is a difference between opinions and facts…

I responded: “Ad hominem reveals a dearth of argument and attempt to shut it down. Remember Climategate? Let’s debate…. And don’t think you have all the answers and ‘the science is settled’.”

One of the dismayed stated: “Long past time such blatant promotion of harmful fossil trade by denial of the dangers were considered criminal.”

Really? By the way, Climategate’s 14th anniversary is right ahead–a good time for alarmists to read some unvarnished emails and revisit the scientific method.


[1] Vinos states: “… a large body of evidence supporting that changes in the poleward transport of heat are one of the main ways in which the planet’s climate changes naturally. It also shows that changes in solar activity affect this transport, restoring the Sun as a major cause of global warming. Since climate models do not properly represent heat transport and the IPCC reports completely neglect this process, this new hypothesis will not be easily dismissed.”

One Comment for ““The Earth Is Warming, but Is CO2 the Cause?” (‘Ouch’ for climate alarmism)”

  1. John W. Garrett  

    Meanwhile, I’m still having mandated EVs and expensive, unreliable electricity shoved down my throat by the unholy alliance of Big Government, Big Green and the climate crackpots.


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