New evidence developed by Pacific Northwest scientists, with help from around the world, strongly questions not only the conclusions of ‘Official Climate Science’ here in Oregon, but also the competence of those paid to keep grinding it out. It is a story of greed and ideology overwhelming those qualities typically associated with scientists: technical ability, vast curiosity, and great honesty.
Of all the concerns that Americans have, this story has consistently ranked dead last – until now. Pollsters tell us that ‘Collusion with Russia’ has claimed the biggest yawn. People have grown so tired of hearing Russian conspiracy theories from Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media that apocalyptic climate theories (also a favorite of the elites) do not bore them quite as much. Even though the average guy likely has little knowledge of either topic, he does have enough common sense to spot the rubbish.
But unfortunately, he does not demand that it end. He just ignores it. That allows the hysteria to continue among those who benefit from it. In the case of climate hysteria, that includes everyone from Democratic Party officials who see endless possibilities for attaining political goals that rational people would not normally support to the now massive Climate Cartel that has found all sorts of ways to profit from the scare. If they are making a good living and can claim to be ‘saving the planet,’ it is very easy to overlook ethical considerations.
In Oregon, the principle players who keep the scam alive are The Oregon Global Warming Commission under scientifically-challenged Angus Duncan and the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State University under Meteorologist Phil Mote. Mote has manufactured dire predictions about our local climate for decades (first at the University of Washington and now at Oregon State) and Duncan has organized “solutions” to the nonexistent problem to please the state legislature.
Every few years, Mote puts out a new report to reinvigorate the case for alarm, and Angus Duncan uses it to urge ever more efforts to combat “the problem.” This is a closed process that carefully avoids real accountability. They know that they would not survive the normal give and take of open scientific and engineering debate. So they completely ignore and will not even acknowledge criticism from those of us with the detailed knowledge to show that they are wrong.
Both Mote’s ‘Oregon Climate Assessment’ and Duncan’s ‘Biennial Report to the Legislature’ were very ill-timed this year, because they missed the abrupt shift in our winter weather to much colder conditions that brought heavy snow to the Cascades and rare snow all the way to the Willamette Valley floor. Even though Duncan’s report came out in February when he knew about the substantial snowpack, he still used a cover depicting a substantially barren Mt. Hood from a few years back to compare with ample snow decades ago.
Mote touted his all-too-familiar FAKE science:
“Burning fossil fuels to run our factories, heat our homes, and drive our cars produces heat-trapping gases that unequivocally warm the planet. Effects of warming are evident on physical, biological, and human and managed systems across the globe and here in Oregon.
This report presents strengthening evidence that Oregon is already experiencing the effects of climate change….
The key climate risks facing Oregon remain the same as before. Effects of declining snowpack…The 2015 snow drought foreshadows mid-century normal conditions….Oregon’s mean temperature warmed by 2.2°F per century during 1895–2015….Going forward, Oregon’s mean annual temperature is projected to increase by 2.1°–10.7°F by the 2080s…extreme heat events are expected to increase in frequency, duration, and intensity due to warming temperatures.”
It makes a great story, but one that Mote is unwilling and unable to defend. He ignores the obvious problem: proof of warming is not enough. He has to be able to link that warming to man-made carbon dioxide. Knowing that he cannot, he merely bluffs that the evidence is “unequivocal.”
But the problem he faces is even more profound. Mote cannot make the case that our region or the globe has warmed beyond a tiny rebound from the ‘Dickens Winters’ of the 1800s. For instance, his ‘disappearing Northwest snowpack’ meme falls apart every time he tries to cite only the low snowpack years. By the time his words are published, our snowpack has cycled back to normal or above normal levels.
Keeping after all the nonsense has largely fallen to retired scientists who consider it their duty to confront the bad science that so damages our profession. Among them are former State Climatologists Mark Albright and George Taylor, Meteorologist Chuck Wiese, British scientist Richard Courtney, and yours truly the Astrophysicist. If scientists do not defend the integrity of science, who will?
Snow in the Cascades
Mark Albright recently showed that snow meltout dates, a good measure of winter accumulation and spring melting at Paradise on Mt Rainier have remained amazingly constant since records began in the early 20th century. In recent decades, the snow has disappeared by mid-July on average. It disappeared a couple of weeks earlier in the 1930s, 1940’s and 1960’s.
Similarly, median meltout dates at Stevens Pass have moved slightly later over the nearly four decades since records began, even though the earliest one occurred in 2015.
Temperatures in Astoria, Salem, and Portland, Oregon.
Phil Mote and most other climate fanatics rely on compilations of individual station temperature data, because compilations can be surreptitiously manipulated to show what they want. Furthermore, they usually involve data contaminated by the Urban Heat Island effect, an effect of increasing urbanization. As Richard Courtney pointed out, individual station records are inherently much more reliable for showing real global temperature trends, because all stations are physically connected to the global climate, and we can carefully examine the quality of individual station records.
Take for instance Astoria, Oregon, a town named after the famous Astor family which helped to build America, but not that much in Astoria. Because Astoria has remained relatively small and it has temperature records going back to 1851, it could provide valuable insight into temperature trends. Indeed, the official NOAA ‘Climate at a Glance’ website shows much the same upward temperature trend that Mote claims for our area, namely +2.3 degrees F per century. But Mark Albight found earlier published records from 1851 to 1888 that show an average temperature for July of 59.9 F. That is virtually identical to this July!
Furthermore, the average yearly temperature of 50.0 F in the 1800s is actually higher than what NOAA shows for the present era. They have been correcting the old station data sharply downward to be able to claim a three degree rise. Hence, all the warming claimed for Astoria is due to such “corrections.” That is pure larceny!
Further examination of long standing stations in relatively rural settings, like the station near Salem, Oregon show only a small upward temperature trend of +0.3 degrees F per century, according to NOAA. That is far less than Mote claims for the Northwest.
His nonsense about increasing heat waves is not true either. Salem reached an all-time record high of 108 F three times, none recently: July 23, 1927, July 15, 1941, and August 9, 1981. And the decade with the greatest number of hot days since the 1940s was the 1970s.
Even Portland, with a substantial Urban Heat Island effect, shows a similar pattern. The most 100 degree F days were in the 1970s.
Sorry Phil, your claims of increasing heat waves threatening Oregonians are just hot air.
A little gem: Tatoosh Island, Washington
In his search for long and pristine temperature records, unaffected by relentless urbanization, Climatologist Albright found the first order weather station on Tatoosh Island. Although barely more than a rock outcropping off the northwest coast of Washington State, Tatoosh Island has 134 years of climate records that tell a remarkable story. From the 1910s to the 1940s, this remote station warmed by about one degree F. But for the last 70 years, it has not warmed at all, despite the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide that began in earnest with the industrialization after World War Two.
Sorry Phil, your continued case for climate alarm is hogwash. While your ‘climate models’ do call for greatly increasing temperatures in response to rising atmospheric CO2, the best empirical climate data say they are wrong. It is time to stop scaring Oregonians with continued tall tales of an apocalypse that few scientists support anymore. And it is time for those who use your predictions to propose ever more costly and environmentally destructive solutions for an imaginary problem to find other employment.
Gordon J. Fulks lives in Corbett and can be reached at email@example.com. He holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago’s Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research and has no conflicts of interest on this subject.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Northwest Connection.)