NASA: Global warming continues unabated

Hansen (L), Homer (R)

So screams the headline on, which then breathlessly reports:

THE past decade was the warmest ever on Earth, according to a new analysis of global surface temperatures released by NASA. The US space agency also found that 2009 was the second-warmest year on record since modern temperature measurements began in 1880. Last year was only a small fraction of a degree cooler than 2005, the warmest yet, putting 2009 in a virtual tie with the other hottest years, which have all occurred since 1998. According to James Hansen, who heads NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, global temperatures change due to variations in ocean heating and cooling. “When we average temperature over five or 10 years to minimise that variability, we find global warming is continuing unabated,” Mr Hansen said. (source)

Warmest ever? On earth??! Was someone around 8000 years ago with a thermometer at the peak of the Holocene climate optimum? Hysterical nonsense. The Medieval Warm Period (just 1000 years ago) and the Roman Warm Period were almost certainly warmer, and it says nothing of previous warming events. Only later do they concede that modern records began just 130 years ago (a blink of an eye in geological terms). Let’s remember who we’re dealing with here. NASA’s GISS is headed up by James Hansen, an über-alarmist who would do anything to keep the global warming bandwagon rolling. GISS is based on surface temperature records which are “homogenised” (i.e. adjusted) to take account of various factors, but guess what, the adjustments are almost always upwards! Gee, that’s a surprise! And recently it has been revealed that many surface stations are simply left out of the surface temperature record – especially the cooler ones… For example, Bolivia has no stations whatsoever contributing to the GISS temperature record. So the temperature for Bolivia, which includes snow capped peaks and high cold deserts, is just “made up” from readings 1200 km away i.e the beaches of Chile, Peru and of course the Amazon jungle (see here)! The only reliable temperature indication today is the satellite record, which shows no significant warming since 2001:

No statistically significant warming since 2001

And in any event, what’s the big deal about this decade being warmer than the last? It’s hardly surprising considering we’re coming out of a mini Ice Age just a few hundred years ago. But that would spoil a good story, wouldn’t it? And in a great twist, James Delingpole reports that Hansen has put his stamp of approval on an enviro-loony tome:

Reader Michael Potts has drawn my attention to yet further evidence of Dr Hansen’s radical, virulently anti-democratic instincts. He has lent his support to an eco-fascist book advising on ways to destroy western industrialisation through propaganda, guile and outright sabotage. In a scary new book called Time’s Up – whose free online version titled A Matter Of Scale you can read here – author Keith Farnish claims:

The only way to prevent global ecological collapse and thus ensure the survival of humanity is to rid the world of Industrial Civilization.

Like so many deep greens, Farnish looks forward to the End Times with pornographic relish (masquerading as mild reasonableness):

I’m rarely afraid of stating the truth, but some truths are far harder to give than others; one of them is that people will die in huge numbers when civilization collapses. Step outside of civilization and you stand a pretty good chance of surviving the inevitable; stay inside and when the crash happens there may be nothing at all you can do to save yourself. The speed and intensity of the crash will depend an awful lot on the number of people who are caught up in it: greater numbers of people have more structural needs – such as food production, power generation and healthcare – which need to be provided by the collapsing civilization; greater numbers of people create more social tension and more opportunity for extremism and violence; greater numbers of people create more sewage, more waste, more bodies – all of which cause further illness and death.

He believes – as the Hon Sir Jonathon Porritt does – that mankind is a blot on the landscape and that breeding (or for that matter, existence) should be discouraged:

In short, the greatest immediate risk to the population living in the conditions created by Industrial Civilization is the population itself. Civilization has created the perfect conditions for a terrible tragedy on the kind of scale never seen before in the history of humanity. That is one reason for there to be fewer people, providing you are planning on staying within civilization – I really wouldn’t recommend it, though.

Among his proposed solutions to this problem are wanton destruction:

Unloading essentially means the removal of an existing burden: for instance, removing grazing domesticated animals, razing cities to the ground, blowing up dams and switching off the greenhouse gas emissions machine. The process of ecological unloading is an accumulation of many of the things I have already explained in this chapter, along with an (almost certainly necessary) element of sabotage.

Needless to say, our friend Dr James Hansen thinks this book is the bees knees. Here is his puff on the Amazon website:

Keith Farnish has it right: time has practically run out, and the ’system’ is the problem. Governments are under the thumb of fossil fuel special interests – they will not look after our and the planet’s well-being until we force them to do so, and that is going to require enormous effort.

Nice. Read it all here.


  1. Black Duck says:

    Just a minor correction to your commentary Simon. The homogenization uses upward corrections in later years (1980’s to present), but downward corrections in the early parts of the 20th century. This exaggerates the warming trend even though it is illogical. UHI correction would imply correction reductions in later years and no change earlier.

    • @Black Duck: You’re right. Urbanisation should generally require adjustments downwards in more recent years, but I have never seen that in the data. Thanks!

  2. Andrew McRae says:

    Has anyone else noticed the eerie similarities between James Hansen’s outlook and the Unabomber? At least Hansen hasn’t actually killed or maimed anyone yet.

    I believe we are overpopulated with respect to the quality of life we’d like to have and how many people want to have that quality of life. The “number of Earths” analogy for our lifestyle impact is conceptually sound even if the actual figures bandied about are not accurate.

    Climate change (of the natural type) is going to be a challenge but it is not the biggest. Dealing with a future Ice Age is going to be made that much easier if we find ways to keep our high-tech industry intact. This talk of sabotaging industry is throwing the baby out with the bath water.

  3. The problem is that world leaders depended on data that the IPCC reported. When the IPCC said 1998 broke the record as the warmest year in a century this, with other false data, was used to push cap & trade. Then they correctly found the readings were mistaken and reported 1934 was still the warmest year.

    It is much more serious to get global warming temperatures wrong then your shoe size. Hansen is wrong at thinking this was just a mistake with a small percentage of degree. It’s these small percentage of degrees that Obama and Gore are using for a very dangerous agenda.

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