“Another Top International Scientist Jumps off Global Warming ‘Titanic’” screams one headline, “New peer reviewed study: global warming lowers death rates” claims another.
Is it any shock that more accurate titles would be “Another Top International Scientist reaffirms basic, commonly known facts of accepted climate science!” and “Two year old study shows adaptation, not climate change, explains difference in death rates.“?
Yup, the climate change Deniers are outright, flagrantly lying again (shock, horror, disbelief … say it ain’t so!). So what are the facts behind this latest silliness?
“Another Top International Scientist Jumps off Global Warming ‘Titanic’ “
According to the articles in the Denialosphere, “Dr. Lucka Kajfež Bogataj left cold clear water between herself and her former UN shipmates by declaring that rising levels of airborne carbon dioxide probably don’t cause global temperatures to rise.“
Wow! Pretty damning if true; Dr. Lucka Kajfež Bogataj is definitely a prominent and respected scientist, as well as being an outspoken educator and advocate for climate science, (also here and here), and reducing CO2 levels …. except I can’t help noticing that’s not actually a quote. For some strange reason my experience with the Denialosphere makes me want to check what she actually said rather than rely on the claims of the Deniers (call me a skeptic if you must).
According to the article her actual words were:
“A detailed comparison of temperature data and the quantity of carbon dioxide captured in the ice shows, that sometimes it warmed up first and then the concentration of carbon dioxide increased, and sometimes vice versa, but on average the temperature changed first and some 700 years later a change in aerial content of carbon dioxide followed.”
WOW! So she is admitting that the CO2 lag, well known, understood and accepted as part of climate change science (list below) … and actually predicted by Lorius et al (including James Hansen) before it was discovered, actually exists? She is restating her confidence in the accepted facts of basic climate science?
No wonder the Denialosphere got all excited.
If they understood the basic science the Deniers would realize that one thing that science would have had trouble explaining is if there had been no lag in most historical cases … the Deniers have it totally backwards.
The CO2 lag (a sampling):
- The “Temp leads Carbon” Crock
- CO2 lags temperature – what does it mean?
- The lag between temperature and CO2
- ‘CO2 doesn’t lead, it lags”
- A role for atmospheric CO2 in preindustrial climate forcing
- Mind prisons and prisms: CO2 lag and Global Warming
- Why CO2 lags behind temperature; another climate change skeptic myth explained
I attempted to find the alleged original translation of Bogataj’s article, whether in English, Slovenian, or other, but had no luck. As usual the Deniers never link the original or provide sources as there is a real risk that someone might actually read it and expose their fraud.
So Dr. Lucka Kajfež Bogataj is NOT:
- saying anything that is new;
- refuting, disagreeing with or retracting any part of known climate change science;
- claiming CO2 is not driving anthropogenic climate change;
- doing anything other than explaining the established science.
Naturally the climate change “skeptics”
who understand basic climate science well realized the claim was rtidiculous and ignored it brainslessly reposted the fraud all over the internet.
So are the Deniers outright lying? or so ignorant of simple climate science that they do not realize that this is part of the basic science? Either way, are these the people to trust for reliable, accurate information?
‘New peer reviewed study: global warming lowers death rate’:
Is the title of the post that has been appearing at all the usual Denier sites. It refers to a study that compared deaths due to cold vs deaths due to heat and supposedly found warming saved many more lives than causing deaths. According to the article:
“What it means
Clearly, the IPCC’s “very-high-confidence” conclusion is woefully wrong. Warming is highly beneficial to human health, even without any overt adaptation to it. And when adaptations are made, warming is incredibly beneficial in terms of lengthening human life span.”
Naturally none of the Denier versions link the actual paper … people might then read it and note some of the things that I mention below. For clarity “paper” or “study” = the original research paper, whereas “article” refers to the Denier narrative about it.
Clearly we are meant to assume that the results apply globally, but as usual in the Denierosphere “people” only refers to those in temperate developed nations.
So moderate warming in a northern temperate zone leads fewer deaths by cold and not many due to heat? Really? What happens when you do the same study in Brazil? or Egypt? or Sri Lanka? Global warming affects the entire globe, not just the privileged Industrialized world.
Straw Man I: The paper examines deaths in the period 1976–2005. The IPCC and other projections of significantly increased death toll refer largely to the near to intermediate future, and at most, the very near past. Those deaths currently tentatively attributed to climate change are occurring almost entirely in the Developing World, NOT England and Wales.
Straw Man II: The study only looks at deaths directly attributable to heat stress (no reason it should do otherwise). The article reports on it as if it is a fair assessment of all deaths that may be caused by climate change. The science is quite clear that most of the anticipated deaths will be due to the impacts of climate change (desertification, loss of potable water, drought, storms) which will lead to famine, disease, flooding etc being the immediate causes of death.
Fallacy: Appeal to Novelty: “New peer reviewed study” is about a two year old study that was published over a year ago, which actually means the study (not the article) is more likely to be good since the scientific community has had a chance to review and respond to it. The original post at ‘CO2 Science’ does not claim the study is “new”, but many of the subsequent reposting copy Watts’ in making that claim.
Outright lying about the conclusions: Here is what the paper actually says:
“For example, it would be easy to compare the recent decrease in cold-related mortality with the increase in temperature and make the seemingly logical assumption that fewer people have died because of milder winters. Our work, however, shows that this is not the case. We find that adaptation of the population to colder temperatures can explain much of the observed change. We also show that if adaptation to cold weather had remained unchanged, then the anthropogenic warming would have produced a detectable decrease in winter mortality. Nevertheless, in the real world the effect of adaptation appears to be more important than the impact of the anthropogenic warming.” [emphasis added]
In fairness, the authors do also say that:
“We also show that if adaptation to cold weather had remained unchanged, then the anthropogenic warming would have produced a detectable decrease in winter mortality.”
So as stated above, in a cold climate the moderate warming that has already occurred does (predictably) affect deaths due to cold more than deaths directly attributable to heat stress. So the paper itself seems to be an interesting piece of legitimate science and makes a number of valid observations and recommendations. No problem there at all. The problem is the Denier claims about it.
As usual Watts (and hence all those who copied him) does not explicitly state “this study is global” or “this applies to future warming”, he merely fails to state the relevant information that would put the work in the correct context.
Watts does state “The doom and gloom, hell and high water howling seems to have hit a traffic obstacle in the form of a new paper in the UK that shows warmer weather saves lives. I really liked this part:” so he IS explicitly saying this paper is relevant to the global projections of climate change causing significant human death in the future. His backdoor plausible deniability is totally typical of Watts (Watt? me lie?) and simply not credible as innocent error or oversight.
Naturally the climate change “skeptics”
checked the original paper to ensure accuracy and relevance brainslessly reposted the fraud all over the internet. Small wonder the Denialosphere is referred to as “The Echochamber.”
Unfortunately despite the transparent falseness of both stories the Deniers gullibly accept them. In time they will be repeated by the popular media Deniers like Faux News, George Will and James Delingpole, and thence leak into the public domain.
Almost no one will remember who the alleged top scientist was, or what study said what about climate change and health. All they will recall is that they saw something where “top scientists were recanting in droves” and “global warming is good.”Which is not to say that exposing these frauds as they happen is not of value, merely that it will not be enough.
We give our consent every moment that we do not resist.