Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Scientific Experts Flunk Nearly All GOP Prez Candidates On Climate Change

It just doesn't get any better than this: At the request of the Associated Press, eight climate and biological scientists (university professors) graded the top dozen presidential candidates on what they have said regarding climate change-global warming.  That includes: in debates, tweets and in interviews, e.g. on radio or TV. (Source: The Denver Post, 'GOP Hopefuls Not Even Warm', NOv. 23, p. 11A)

To eliminate the possibility of bias all the candidates' comments were stripped of identity, names and instead given randomly generated numbers so none of the professors would know who exactly made each comment that they were grading. All of the scientists were selected by professional scientific societies as being the most capable of assessing the level of fact, fiction or distortion in any given statement.

The end results were noting short of amazing, well, okay - assuming you didn't know that the Reepos are the anti-science party.  A summary of the findings, grades follows:

- Hillary Clinton had the highest score at 94.

- Martin O'Malley scored 91, although three of the professors didn't assign grades, saying his statements were more about policy.

- Bernie Sanders scored an 87, and according to press releases was "dinged for exaggeration" when he said global warming "could make the Earth uninhabitable"

But let's be fair here. Technically, global warming itself would not make the planet uninhabitable, BUT - if global warming accelerated to the runaway greenhouse effect, it absolutely would render Earth uninhabitable.  See, e.g.


Moving on:

- Jeb Bush was the only Republican candidate to "almost" pass at 64. (Though in the end the profs agreed to given him a passing grade, I guess because they couldn't bear to see all the Reeptards fail)

- Gov. Chris Christie scored 54, though like O'Malley, two profs deferred grading because they believed his statements were more about policy than science.  (Which suggests to me that the realms of policy and science can often overlap)

- John Kasich scored 47

- Rand Paul scored 38

- Carly Fiorina scored 28

- Marco Rubio scored 21

- Donald Trump scored 15

- Ben Carson score 13

- Ted Cruz scored 6. (All eight professors put Cruz at the bottom of the class)

Some example comments and reactions:

Rubio confronted the issue in a Sept. 16 debate, arguing that:

"China is now the top greenhouse gas emitter and the U.S. can do little to change the future climate"

But one prof from Macalester College (Louisa Bradtmiller) responded that the fact the U.S. still spews out 17 percent of the world's CO2 shows "big cuts would still make a difference"

To Rubio's claim that China isn't doing much, Prof. Andrew Dressler - a climate scientist at Texas A & M called "nonsense" and is "out of date".

Cruz earned bad grades for telling an interviewer:

"If you look at satellite data for the last 18 years there's been zero global warming. That satellites say it ain't happening".

But Florida State's James Elsner called bollocks and noted ground data show every decade has been warmer than the last since middle of the 20th century and that satellite-based observations "show continued warming over the past several decades"

Climate scientist Michael Mann observed, when the comment for Cruz' random numbered comment came up:

"This individual understands less about science and climate change than the average kindergartner."

In fact, federal ground-based data (which scientists aver is more reliable than satellites) show 15 of the 17 years since 1997 have been warmer than 1997, and 2015 is on track to top 2014 as the warmest ever year on record. So much for the nonsense of a "global warming pause".

Meanwhile, "the Donna" (as in prima donna) - in a September radio interview, said:

"It could be warming but it's going to start to cool at some point. And you know in the 1920s people talked about global cooling".

But as I pointed out in several previous posts,  while the global cooling zeitgeist originated in the 1920s it was  picked up again in the mid to late 1970s. It was soon left in the scientific dustbin, after it was discovered a decade or so later, that it had been incepted by particulates and aerosols in the atmosphere.  After the Clean Air Act and similar bills were passed overseas (e.g. in the UK), those particulates disappeared and the cooling was no longer evident. (Aerosols remained and gave way to the global dimming phenomenon which also concealed the worst of global warming - but when aerosols were also controlled - after similar legislation, global dimming also receded and warming assumed dominance.)

Harvard's James McCarthy - a former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)  called Trump's comments "nonsense". Emmanuel Vincent, a climate scientist at the Univ. of California-Merced said:

"The candidate does not appear to have any commitment to accuracy"

The general assessment of all the Reepo candidates who failed?

Roughly the level of advanced kindergartners or first graders. Totally unfit to govern a nation faced with perhaps the greatest crisis in human history.

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