Connect the Dots

Over at Watts Up With That, Anthony’s asking for letter writing to inject a bit of sense into the ‘extreme weather’ hype and counter the response to 350.org’s climate connect the dots campaign. I have another suggestion.

Excerpt from an email by 350.org’s Bill McKibben:

A story on the front page of yesterday’s New York Times described a new poll — Americans in record numbers are understanding that the planet is warming because they’re seeing the “freaky” weather that comes with climate change.

And the story ends by describing the next step in this process: May 5, the giant Connect the Dots day that people are joining all around the globe: http://www.ClimateDots.org

I think there’s a lot more we at skeptical blogs could do with this “Connect the dots” meme.  In fact I’d say Bill McKibben has handed us one on a plate.  OK he’s gone for a very visual thing, asking people to take photo of ‘climate dots’, but he wants that phrase “People are starting to connect the dots.” to be associated with CAGW. Well so be it.

Let’s make it our own. There are so many “connect the dots” in skepticism…

Al Gore says sea level is gonna rise twenty feet. . . . Al Gore recently bought a $8 million oceanfront mansion in Montecito, California – connect the dots.

Get the idea?

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14 Responses to Connect the Dots

  1. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Hey, Verity, good post. However, I’m not sure your example is the best.

    The Gores just bought a villa in Montecito, but it’s not “oceanfront” although the town is. The Real Estalker says (emphasis mine):

    Property records and listing information Your Mama managed to tease out of the interweb reveal that the Gores’ new west coast outpost, sits on a private lane shared by 8 0r 10 other swanky homes high in the hills above The Big O’s spread and has a combined total of 6 bedrooms and 9 poopers in the two-story main house and the impressively sized pool house/ guest house.

    For me, the issue is not the location but the size … Gore already has a huge mansion, and this is a six-bedroom nine-bath monstrosity.

    My regards to you, keep fighting the good fight,

    w.

    • gallopingcamel says:

      Ain’t it wonderful that the folks who want the “little people” to trade in their SUVs and buy bicycles expand their “Carbon Footprints” obscenely.

      Al with his four residences (or is it five) and convenient executive jet. Prince Charles with his four residences including Grosvenor House with its 38,000 heated square feet. Don’t forget that Charles loves the “Royal Yacht” which does about two gallons per mile.

      What modern leader can compare to Mahatma Ghandi who lived humbly among his people while weaving the cloth for his garments and making the salt for his table?

      • Bloke down the pub says:

        Prince Charles and the rest of the royal family may love HMY Britannia but seeing as it’s been moored in Dundee for years as a tourist attraction since it was de-commissioned I don’t think her fuel consumption is relevant.

      • Verity Jones says:

        Well I didn;t like to point this out 😉

    • Verity Jones says:

      Dang! Thanks for pointing this out Willis. It was late when I wrote the post in a hurry and that was the first one that came to mind. Actaully I was hoping, if there was merit in the idea, that it might make a good thread at WUWT for crowd sourcing the statements and fact-checking them.

  2. William Teach says:

    Hmmmm……Warmists are constantly decrying the use of fossil fuels and saying we need to cut back on our consumerism of everything, and they tell us this at conferences all around the Earth with massive consumerism in exotic vacations spots, and they get there by taking fossil fueled flights.

    Oh, and hey, remember all the times Al Gore told everyone to take mass transit, but, refused to take the train from the airport to the Copenhagen IPCC conference?

    [Reply – William, good point – thanks for the comment. By the way I love your gravatar, Verity]

  3. Les Johnson says:

    Verity: It still works. Gore has a condo on the oceanside in San Francisco.

    http://algorelied.com/?p=1585

    I agree with Wiliis though, and it is the size of his footprint, vs the size he wants me to have.

  4. Sleepalot says:

    Hansen makes alarmist, attention-grabbing claims: Hansen gets invited to give talks: Hansen demands large fees to give talks: Hansen gets rich.
    Connect the dots to reveal the mansion.

    [Reply – yes Hansen came to mind when writing this and there is so much material to chose from, Verity]

  5. ArndB says:

    Hi Verity! You said: “I think there’s a lot more we at skeptical blogs could do with this “Connect the dots” meme.”

    I agree with you fully, as well with WUWT. However, the way CLIMATEDOTS urge people: “try to write a compelling invitation that will get people fired up!” will have some success because there is no sufficient scientific definition on what CLIMATE is. The problem of the “sceptical community” is that they accept this, and merely reply without challenging the scientific terminology in the first place.
    The scientific community is not able or willing to provide proper definitions, but is merely using the layman’s explanation: climate is ‘average weather’. This definition “must surely be regarded as quite inadequate” was the verdict of H.H. Lamp, founder of the Climate Research Unit in 1972 in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, back in 1969 (Lamp, 1969).
    More: http://www.seaclimate.com/a/a3.html (see: chapter A3-e)

    The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC, 1992), neither defines “weather”, nor “climate”.
    The AMS Glossary explains weather as follows:
    ___The “present weather” table consists of 100 possible conditions,
    ___with 10 possibilities for “past weather”, while
    ___Popularly, weather is thought of in terms of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, visibility, and wind.
    Even if the AMS-Glossary is silent on “future weather”, the nonsense gets a face.
    (More at: : http://www.whatisclimate.com/b206_need_to_talk_July_2010.html )

    So what is Climatedots (and others) talking about when urging people to write compelling about “the extreme weather we’re witnessing and climate change.”
    Best regards ArndB

    [Reply – “Nonsense gets a face” – I like that. Verity]

  6. Bloke down the pub says:

    Hi Verity, I thought about following up Anthony’s challenge and writing to my local paper only, the corner of Gloucestershire where I live is full of unreconstructed old hippies. I doubt that many of them would be open to logical argument. I will, though, keep an eye on my local rag and respond to any global weirding bull that they try to shovel.

  7. Ron C. says:

    I think that skeptics need to be prepared to refute all the dot-connecting that is coming. For example, I have posted the following:

    To Whom It May Concern:

    In the build-up to the Rio conference in June, we all are encouraged to “connect the dots” between CO2 in the atmosphere and incidents of extreme weather around the world. The claim is that rising CO2 is causing global warming, and that global warming causes more extreme weather (floods, droughts, heat waves, cold snaps, hurricanes, tornados, etc.). This claim has been repeated so often that many people accept it without any examination of the logic and facts supporting it.

    First, it should be noted that all statistical measures of extreme weather show that such incidents have not been increasing with the rise in temperature apparently observed in the last part of the 20th century. Our awareness of such events is greatly heightened by modern media and hype, but in fact warming has not produced more extreme weather.

    The claim is also contrary to global warming theory, which asserts that temperatures should rise more in polar and mid-tropical regions than near the equator. Since storms are the result of temperature differences, greater warming of cold regions should reduce frequency and severity of storms, and in fact that has been the observation.

    Now that the warming has halted since 1998, we may well see cooler, rather than warmer temperatures in the future. In that event, the arctic may well become colder, and extreme weather increase as a result. But the change will be due to global cooling, not warming, and will be in spite of any increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. So, warming does not drive extreme weather, either in theory or in fact—that connection is disproved.

    It is also not proven that rising CO2 causes global warming. In the last 15 years, CO2 has continued to rise, while temperature measures have been flat. Historically, ice cores show that changes in CO2 follow temperature changes, and not the other way around.

    The dots do not connect as claimed.

  8. Ron C. says:

    Anyone can and should play in this sandbox. For instance, another claim:

    In the build-up to the Rio conference in June, we all are encouraged to “connect the dots” between CO2 in the atmosphere and flooding of coastal land. The claim is that rising CO2 is causing global warming, that global warming causes glaciers to melt, that water from glaciers along with warmer seas causes sea levels to rise, and that rising sea levels cause flooding of coastal land. This claim has been repeated so often that many people accept it without any examination of the logic and facts supporting it.

    I haven’t done a response yet, but the claim deserves one.

    • Verity Jones says:

      So many people just believe without even looking for the data to check it out for themselves. Any thing we can do to change that is worth doing.

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