Some of you might remember that when talking to an atheist, Faux News’ Bill O’Reilly said “Tide comes in, tide goes out, you can’t explain it.” Of the ridicule he received for that, my favorite was from none other than Neil Degrasse Tyson, who simply retorted, “I can explain it.” He can. O’Reilly is the one who can’t.
Apparently, O’Reilly now wants to dispute that global warming is caused by humans. Poor Bill … in spite of having decided to push that idea he doesn’t seem to have actual evidence. He, and his staff, don’t even seem to know what are the “best arguments” to support it.
A recent post at RealClimate by Matthew England discusses the results of his (and others’) recent paper (England et al. 2014, Recent intensification of wind-driven circulation in the Pacific and the ongoing warming hiatus, Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate2106) about changes in wind patterns in the tropical Pacific, their impact on ocean circulation, and the resulting impact on global temperature.
One of the most effective techniques by which deniers persuade people, especially policymakers, that it’s OK to do nothing about man-made climate change, is also one of the most reprehensible. To whit: just make up stuff.
Anthony Watts has a post which mocks scientists who are trying to explain “the pause.” It oozes ridicule because so many possible explanations have been explored, which he dismisses as “hand-waving.”
His list is reasonably long:
Too much aerosols from volcanoes, ENSO patterns, missing heat that went to the deep ocean, ocean cooling, low solar activity, inappropriately dealt with weather stations in the Arctic, and stadium waves, to name a few. So much for consensus.
Setting aside whether the list is even right — what Willard Tony doesn’t realize is that he has put the spotlight on the real difference between skeptics and deniers:
When scientists who are genuinely skeptical see something they don’t understand, they try to understand it. When deniers see something scientists don’t understand, they use it as an excuse to claim that “natural variation has been in control, not CO2.”
Here’s some data, annual values for the time span from 1979 through 2013: