Tag Archives: climate

Think You Can Disprove Man-Made Climate Change? There’s $10,000 Up for Grabs If You Can

Dr. Christopher Keating is a former physics professor who taught at the University of South Dakoa as well as the U.S. Naval Academy. He is also author of the book “Undeniable: Dialogues on Global Warming”.

Recently, Keating posted a challenge on his blog: he offered $10,000 to anyone who could disprove man-made climate change using the scientific method. In the post, Keating said,

“I know you are not going to get rich with $10,000. But, tell me, wouldn’t you like to have a spare $10,000? After all, the skeptics all claim it is a simple matter, and it doesn’t even have to be original,” Keating wrote. “If it is so easy, just cut and paste the proof from somewhere. Provide the scientific evidence and prove your point and the $10,000 is yours! This is no joke. If someone can provide a proof that I can’t refute, using scientific evidence, then I will write them a check.”

Christopher Keating, Ph.D

Keating admits his bias, saying he’s sure he’ll never have to write the check because,

“The scientific evidence for global warming is overwhelming and no one can prove otherwise.”

But in response to those criticizing his ability to judge fairly because of his bias and his incentive to not lose $10,000, he had this to say:

“If I am a fraud, then I will be held up as an example of how climate scientists everywhere are frauds.”

Keating refuted the first submission because the data used by the skeptic was “cherry-picked” and only showed the last 14 years of average yearly temperature changes (in Celsius).

The graph submitted by the challenger

Keating responded by posting the same graph, but for the last 34 years, which showed a long-term upward trend.

The graph posted by Keating in his rebuttal, which goes back 20 years further than the graph above

The second submission was a little better. The submitter used data on naturally occurring climate change to argue that the current fluctuations aren’t a result of human activity. While Keating couldn’t dispute the data presented, he basically argued that just saying there was natural fluctuations in the past does not at all prove that the warming we’re now experiencing is natural.

In a recent interview with the College Fix, Keating added that the movement to deny man-made climate change is,

“…very similar to the one waged by tobacco advocates to deny a link between smoking and lung cancer.”

Keating is very confident in his findings and comes off as arrogant more than once in his responses (which I think detracts from his solid arguments). Also, the fact that he has the final say on whether a submission passes the test makes the competition somewhat rigged. However, he does do a great job of backing up his positions with solid data.

For anyone who wants to learn more about both sides of the argument, the exchanges between Keating and those refuting his claims are a pretty good place to start.

Worth noting: one of the biggest indicators of how we are affecting the climate is the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere since it started being recorded in 1958 (Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

At the beginning of the industrial revolution, this number was at 300 parts per million. In the late 80s, it had risen to 350ppm. Now, carbon dioxide levels have risen above 400ppm for the first time in recorded history.

While levels that high have existed before (millions of years ago), the extremely rapid rise in carbon dioxide concentration over the last century is much faster than that concentration has ever risen in the past. Here’s a few reactions to that announcement from NASA scientists.

(h/t The Blaze)

Why Were Canadian Weather Forecasters Just Forbidden to Discuss Climate Change?

Well, according to the Canadian Meteorological Service (CMS), spending years studying meteorology doesn’t qualify a meteorologist to discuss any climate events that occur over a span of more than a few months.

“Environment Canada scientists speak to their area of expertise. For example, our Weather Preparedness Meteorologists are experts in their field of severe weather and speak to this subject. Questions about climate change or long-term trends would be directed to a climatologist or other applicable authority,”

said CMS spokesman Mark Johnson in an interview with investigative journalist Mike De Souza. However, this move follows a longer trend of strict government control over the field of science since Prime Minister Stephen Harper was elected.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

In 2007, shortly after he won the election, Harper’s administration passed a law that banned Canadian scientists from speaking with and/or sharing their findings with the media without first getting government approval. According to Climate Science Watch, media coverage of climate change has dropped 80% since the new law was enacted.

Many people see this recent announcement as just the next step in the Harper government’s war on science. Harper’s administration followed the scientist-media gag legislation by eliminating the position of National Science Advisor just a year later, and there are numerous examples of the government suppressing information from scientists since he took office.

Read more from IFL here.