By Robert W. Endlich
Las Cruces is home to New Mexico State University, New Mexico’s Land-Grant college. When I attended my first of the NMSU Climate Change Education Seminar Series presentations, I found that it’s funded by Climate Alarmist Senator Tom Udall, (D-NM). A news release announced the 6 Feb 2019 lecture guest presenter was Katharine Hayhoe, from Texas Tech.
I had previously istened to Dr. Hayhoe on NPR’s broadcast of The Commonwealth Club, supposedly non-partisan, anything but, and
heavy into the gloom and doom climate alarmist narrative, as I previously noted here.
The topic for her 6 Feb 2019 lecture was, “Barriers to Public Acceptance of Climate Science, Impacts, and Solutions.”
Katharine Hayhoe presents an earnest, wholesome, almost rural and folksy image such as this one from the Guardian, showing smiling Katharine with the windmill in the background.
To prepare for attending Dr Hayhoe’s lecture, I watched one of her previous presentations, “Earthkeeping: A Climate for Change”. I found she’s an excellent speaker, starts by breaking the ice with a joke, has a down-to-earth manner, she’s engaging, has great audience rapport, especially with young college age-people, but her presentation is shallow, full of technical errors, and blatant misstatements of fact. Make no mistake, Katharine Hayhoe is a master of emotional manipulation and selective presentation. I recommend watching this video to see her performance as a master of propaganda.
I think she’s as good a propagandist as Leni Riefenstahl, who produced Triumph of the Will., Note that today’s medium is tightly scripted digital or video and not celluloid as was Riefenstahl’s.
SIDEBAR 1. If you aren’t familiar, Leni Riefenstahl directed Triumph of the Will, a Nazi propaganda film of 1935 with powerful imagery and sound: It is 1934, and Hitler’s plane is making its way through threatening, towering clouds. The clouds part and his plane flies over Nuremburg’s medieval spires. Upon his arrival, the crowds are adoring at the airport and along the arrival route. The rally grounds are marked with military units, crowds cheering, parades, healthy youth competing for honors, concluding with a night-time rally and speeches of the triumphs to come! If you watch the complete video, you will get an introductory message; “This video will be troubling to some,”… but click, “Continue.”
SIDEBAR 2: In 2015, I took a Viking River Tour from Amsterdam to Budapest. The tour included a side trip to this very area of Nuremburg where we visited the rally grounds. Hitler had a structure built to emulate the Coliseum in Rome, and all this property was given to the city of Nuremburg after WW2. There is a Remembrance Museum which documents the Nazi rise to power and WW2. It was summer and several groups of young people; 8th, 9th, and 10th graders; were visiting. In the USA I would expect to see flirting, wisecracking, joking…none of that was happening. The kids were taking all of this in, and were respectful and sober. You could see it in their faces. “This (Nazism) happened HERE. In OUR country. These were our great-grandparents who did this. How did this happen? (The museum tells how it happened.) Now WE bear some of the Guilt.”
My message: Propaganda is very powerful. Katharine Hayhoe is a master. Please see its power for yourselves in her video.
PREPARING FOR THE LECTURE
Since the University web site mentions audience participation, I prepared a question in advance concerning her assertion, in the “Earthkeeping” video, that the use of fossil fuels has caused a hockey stick uptick in temperatures as in Figure 1 below. She shows the decline in temperatures up to the industrial revolution was gentle, no major cycles, not quite linear, and pointedly, with none of the ~1000 year millennial cycles some call the Bond Cycles, such as seen in WUWT’s Paleoclimate Page, most notably here, but also at Roy Spencer’s blog. She wrongly and alarmingly shows present temperatures as the warmest in the Holocene, which clearly it is not, and not even close.
I tried to email my concerns to her using her Texas Tech contact information, only to be faced with her website’s fill-in-the-form format. Four days ahead, I filled out the form and asked for her or her assistant to send an email address to which I could send in my concerns, ahead of time so not as to appear to “sandbag” her during the question and answer portion. I need not have worried…
There was no response. I tried emailing the NMSU point of contact, only to be told, “she has a secretary and is very hard to communicate with.” No kidding.
On the appointed evening I showed up with a clipboard and a hardcopy of my question and several charts and graphs, some from our local climate study web site.
Hayhoe appeared high on the screen in video link format, ostensibly so as not to create a large carbon footprint, but as the lecture started you could see that Hayhoe was in complete command of the production. There were significant differences in style from the presentation from the “Earthkeeping: A Climate for Change” video but many of her points were the same, including graphics, one very similar to Figure 1 above.
Right from the beginning, she engaged the university crowd with “Don’t put your cell phones and tablets away! We are going to use them in this evening’s presentation!” After the title slide, she put up the Texas Tech web location where audience and on-line participants could message her direct with individual answers to the questions she posed.
One of the first questions was, “What do you think the Barriers to Public Acceptance of Climate Science are?
The screen presented a number of possibilities, and the audience participants poked up their replies, and as they came into her location she purred her comments, “Oh, that’s a good one,” “I hadn’t thought of that,” “Sure, the energy industry,” but the on-line input was invisible to the NMSU audience and so it went for the entire presentation; when she asked audience input, maybe seven times, it was visible to her, but not us in the auditorium.
One of her main introductory points was, “We have known the basics of climate science for well over 150 years.” She began with an image of Joseph Fourier and his discovery of what later became known as the poorly-named “greenhouse effect” in the 1820s and continued with other images of physicists, into the 20th century.
One early scientist she pointedly did not mention was Englishman William Henry, who, even earlier, in 1803, presented a paper describing the partial pressures of dissolved gases in liquids and the atmosphere above, which has become known as Henry’s Law, and which is taught in high school and university chemistry classes.
The reason why Madame Hayhoe did not mention William Henry is because Henry’s Law teaches that it is the TEMPERATURE of the liquid which determines the solubility of its dissolved gases. In oceans, which cover 71% of Earth, as the water warms up, it gives off the air dissolved in it until partial pressures of the gases in the atmosphere above and the solution are the same–CO2 being one of the dissolved gases–and conversely. But of course, she would not mention William Henry, to do so would invite knowledge that it is the TEMPERATURE which controls <CO2>, completely contrary to the notion that <CO2> controls temperature, of which Madame Hayhoe and the alarmists proclaim dominates Earth’s climate.
HAYHOE’s DELIBERATE MIS-STATEMENTS–MY CORRECTIONS
Here, in quotes and italics, are other deliberate mis-representations in her pitch:
“Climate has been stable over history, and human civilization depends on a stable climate. The present warming climate threatens the stability of nations and peoples.”
A glance at Figure 2 below shows this assertion demonstrably false.
“The National Climate Assessment volume released in November 2018 shows increasing extreme weather occurrences.”
My post at the link here shows that this clearly is not taking place, in fact 2018 had no violent tornadoes; i.e., those in category EF-4 and EF-5. This was the first year this has happened since modern records began in 1950.
“Infrared radiation is increasing water temperatures,”
We all know that sunlight’s warming visible rays penetrate the water, not invisible infrared radiation.
“Warmer ocean waters are making Gulf hurricanes ‘stronger and stronger.’”
Dr Roy Spencer’s graphic, Figure 3 below, plots major landfalling hurricanes since the 1870s as a function of Gulf of Mexico water temperatures. It shows Hayhoe’s statement is false. Spencer says, “major hurricanes don’t really care whether the Gulf is above average or below average in temperature.”
“Our use of fossil fuels is increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, leading to increasing rates of sea level rise.”
NOAA operates tide gages, and a few of them have been in operation for over 150 years. Below is the San Francisco CA, tide gage from http://SeaLevel.info
http://www.sealevel.info/MSL_graph.php?id=San+Francisco, the longest duration tide gage record from the US west coast. Figure 4 and the figures in the above links do not show any increase in the rate of sea level rise.
“as atmospheric <CO2> increases, our plants and plant harvests are threatened.”
Contrary to this claim, the world grain production data in figure 5 below shows harvests increasing as CO2 concentrations increase.
A splendid example of how the twin miracles of the Haber Process for converting natural gas to nitrogen fertilizers, and the fertilization effect of increasing <CO2>, is leading to corn production efficiencies in the heartland of the United States shown by the University of Missouri, Figure 6 below.
None of Madame Hayhoe’s assertions I mention in this section were accompanied with references to specific studies or literature citations. She just presented them as fact without attribution or reference.
She briefly mentioned,
“we see sinking villages in Alaska,”
accompanied by an image of a manufactured home in Shishmaref, Alaska, on a barrier island, tipping into the Chuckchi Sea not far north from the Bering Strait, supposedly from “global warming,” shown as Figure 7 below.
Two things Dr. Hayhoe does not mention:
First, that this is a barrier island, an ephemeral land created and shaped by shifting currents, vulnerable to coastal storms. There is nothing permanent about barrier islands; when humans erect structures there, they are subject to shifting water currents and normal coastal storminess.
And second, rather than ‘global warming,” Alaska’s temperatures are controlled by the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the PDO, a long term (~60 years) weather event associated with El Nino-Southern Oscillation as shown by Figure 8, below:
BRIEFLY IN THE SPOLIGHT
Katharine Hayhoe’s Internet-delivered presentation at NMSU of 6 Feb 2019 is on line here: https://nmsu.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=8a1fff29-6c55-42a2-b3c5-a9ed0124d435
After Hayhoe’s presentation opened to questions my turn, was about the 1:08:46. mark. Sadly, the audio quality and balance for the questions from from the floor are poor.
My question, “Dr Hayhoe, the barrier to acceptance is your portrayal of the science. You show a hockey stick with present temperatures warmest of the Holocene, the last 10,000 years. That is clearly not correct. And, why don’t you show the prominent 1000-year Bond Cycles?” Hayhoe was seemingly unaware of these cycles, or at least the name. I repeated, “Bond Cycles. They were published in SCIENCE in 1997 and 2001, Gerard Bond.”
I was aware that she wasn’t allowing me to answer but loudly talking over me.
“DID YOU EVER VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT?”
I answered, “Sure. Bill Richardson, Governor.”
The expression of the person holding the microphone and the domineering voice coming from Dr. Hayhoe told me my time was over. Madame Hayhoe wasn’t listening but lecturing. She suggested I should start looking at the science, reading climate alarmist blogs like Skeptical Science, and publications such as those discussing the notion the “consensus on global warming” is a figure of merit for scientific conclusion…
She apparently considered such things much more worthwhile than use of the scientific method or looking at actual observations, measurements, and data…
When I asked a science question, Hayhoe reverted to politics. By her actions, she showed this isn’t about science, but politics despite her denials.
In investigating the question before I asked Hayhoe, I looked up the data: Greenland Ice cores, Atlantic Ocean mud cores, Alpine tree rings and western history, all show the dramatic shifts in climate the past 10,000 years, and significant overall cooling the last 8,000 years.
Looking at Figure 2 you can see the Warm periods: Minoan, 1500 BC; Roman, 0 AD; Medieval, 1000 AD; and now, the present warm period. The Cold intervals: Bronze Age Collapse, 1200 BC; Dark Ages, 700 AD; and Little Ice Age, 1300-1850 AD.
Radiocarbon dated trees in the Sierra Nevada are evidence that the present warm period is not as warm as the Medieval Warm Period. We have images of these trees, Figure 9, now well above the tree line, so it is clear the Modern Warm Period is not as warm as the Medieval Warm Period,1000 years ago in western North America, and elsewhere.
It is dismaying to see the manipulation of the college age students and adults who were in the audience on 6 Feb 2019. It seemed that most were swayed by the message, the messenger, and the method of delivery with ostensible “digital interaction” with The Oracle of Lubbock.
As the lecture ended, there were maybe a dozen or so mostly young people who approached me, curious of my graphs showing a much different picture from what Madame Hayhoe had presented on the screen, and perhaps my confidence and matter-of-fact attitude in standing tall at the microphone. Maybe they were a little impressed that each of my graphics contained a hyperlink to the source, notably missing from Hayhoe’s graphics.
As this informal discussion progressed, for each question they asked, I had an answer with a graphic accompanied with a hyperlink reference. Several asked for our climate study web site, https://casf.me
Also, it’s dismaying to see that NMSU; seemingly on the take of political money in the guise of education, “NMSU’s Climate Change Education Program;” is not willing to allow a parallel presentation to counter the paradigm of the alarmist community: impending climate doom.
A glimpse of Figure 2 plainly shows that climate change is the norm, and that climate cycles, a term not mentioned by Hayhoe, dominate history. Natural warming from the depth of the Little Ice Age ca 1690, for 500 years, half of a thousand-year Bond Cycle, would be a reasonable, even educated, proposition to explain observed changes from cycle minimum temperatures to somewhere near cycle maximum temperatures.
Careful examination of Figure 6 would show that another climate cycle, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, is responsible for the natural warming and cooling episodes in Alaska.
Far from the dogma of Katharine Hayhoe, the science is clearly NOT settled.