Biography

RWP was born in Manchester, in the north of England, in the late 1950s, so he is very old. He really liked the north of England, which by 1965 was hip and had three TV channels, and where he went to a coed school. His parents, for reasons best known to themselves, then yanked him away, to Belfast and then Dublin, which had one TV channel that started up at 6 pm with the Angelus (Catholic call to prayer). He also had to go to an all boys school, where he realized he really missed girls. This probably let him focus on schoolwork, though, and at age 19, after he had finished college, he set off for America, where he still resides. He has a bachelors degree in biochemistry and a Ph.D. from Harvard in biophysics, and has lived also in Mainz, Germany, Setauket NY, and Richland WA. He currently divides his time between Nebraska, Rosslyn VA, and Florida.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ken Haar, untruthful about climate

Ken Haar, a former computer programmer who represents the Sierra Club in the State Legislature while pretending to represent his district, wrote a column in the Lincoln Journal Star today which contains the following.
But recently we have experienced something with far greater impact than just the natural variability we're famous for. We're seeing extreme weather events — one after another — that are unprecedented in the historical record.
In 2011, we had the devastating Missouri River flood stemming from record snowmelt in the Rockies. In 2012, we had a heat wave and a drought worse than the Dust Bowl. And this year, we had a record cold spring, followed by resumed drought, flooding in the west, followed by record tornado winds in several parts of the state and a devastating, earlier-than-usual record blizzard in the Panhandle
Scientists say it's almost impossible to blame any one of these weather events directly on climate change. But they do unequivocally say a warming climate makes extreme weather events more likely and exacerbates the impact.
Really? Why don't we look at the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report AR5 (Climate Change 2013), probably the best summary of the scientific consensus.
In summary, the current assessment concludes that there is not enough evidence at present to suggest more than low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century due to lack of direct observations, geographical inconsistencies in the trends, and dependencies of inferred trends on the index choice. Based on updated studies, AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in drought since the 1970s were probably overstated. However, it is likely that the frequency and intensity of drought has increased in the Mediterranean and West Africa and decreased in central North America and north-west Australia since 1950
(Emphasis mine)
In summary, there is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale severe weather phenomena such as hail and thunderstorms because of historical data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systems
In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale
Is Senator Haar ignorant or a liar? I've never been able to plumb the Green Mind, other than to detect a fascination with controlling the lives of other people, so I wouldn't presume to say. I do know that Haar is completely misrepresenting the science.

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