Sunday, 7 March 2010

Earthquakes Blamed On Global Warming

What's worse?
Bad science or gullible media?

Perhaps you missed this one?
I certainly did the first time around.

The story is from two years ago, but in the wake of Climategate and other recent revelations probably more relevant than ever. And it is important to be reminded of such stunning examples of idiocy, blindly reported by a perpetually pliant media:

It concerns the "research" of one "Dr." Tom Chalko. He claims that "global warming" is causing the frequency and intensity of earthquakes to increase at an alarming rate. His "findings" were reported uncritically, by amongst others, CBS news. One of the key pieces of evidence given is the following:

“NASA measurements from space confirm that Earth as a whole absorbs at least 0.85 Megawatt per square kilometer more energy from the Sun than it is able to radiate back to space. This 'thermal imbalance' means that heat generated in the planetary interior cannot escape and that the planetary interior must overheat.”

And the "NASA" source for this orginal claim? Why our old friend - climate alarmist and activist extraordinaire, James Hansen. Hansen's paper is only mildly less laughable than Chalko's, and if you can get past the first assumption packed paragraph, you will find he has failed to ask the same basic, first principles, kind of questions. Or more to the point - the uncritical media hacks that simply picked up the story and repeated it failed to do the same. It was apparently repeated also on Yahoo and MSNBC (links now, unfortunately, pulled). The story was killed with no official retraction. Yet the damage was done - the repetition of such things by the mainstream media gives them an air of credibility that lingers on in the popular psyche as can be seen with cases like Danny Glover on Haiti.

Both Chalko, and his "source", Hansen fail to ask why a positive energy balance on the earth in and of itself might be essential - and where that energy might go. If the Earth reflected back almost all the energy it received from the Sun, life as we know it on the planet would cease. Plants would have no energy to photosynthesise, winds would cease to blow, most organisms on the planet - reliant on an energy rich environment - would simply die. And that is before you consider how a teeny tiny increase in the Earth's surface temperature could possibly affect it's internal working.

Chalko has form though. He also thinks the Earth's core might explode as a result of global warming. Chalko draws his information from the USGS, but at the same time appears to have failed to read their FAQ, which alone debunks his entire thesis.

Alarmists at the time were crying that "denialists" might get hold of this and make them all look like idiots (mainly through the completely legitimate process of asking - so what other junk has been uncritically reported?) Indeed, one of the commenters at the linked blog says: "They'll point out that the story probably saw light because they attached "global warming" to it". Which is exactly the point. That is why it was reported and repeated uncritically. What other inchoate nonsense has been spewed out by these idiots?

But Chalko is just a lone nut right? And the journalists were just being lazy. This was surely just a one off example of credulous reporting. Those immersed more directly in science reporting wouldn't fall for such a thing, would they? Yep. Here's New Scientist joining in last year, this time reporting on an entire convention of scientists. You'll notice in the New Scientist article, we have the familiar alarmist hedge. Apparently both rising *and* lowering sea level can increase vulcanism. It's become well established now that not only does invoking "global warming" guarantee uncritical headlines, it also guarantees funding, especially if you can't provide any testable predictions...

Guest post by Katabasis



Anonymous said...

These shysters should be strung up by their testicles.

Joe Public said...

Its a good job there's the worst freeze-up in the Baltic for 30 years, to counteract this Globollicks Warming

microdave said...

"Earthquakes Blamed On Global Warming"

A whole lot more has been blamed on Global Warming - this excellent site lists them all:

Atheist Ranter said...

Have you seen that CRAP dished out by the BBC in that program with Professor Iain Stewart a geologist from Plymouth University (the last programme of five 'How the earth made us') where he invents a huge list of non facts, too many to list here, about how it's all our fault. Typical paid AGW twat.

The BBC must love this, but I suppose they are paying the man good money to swan around the world (like 'everywhere'!), fly in helicopters and drive fast cars - it must be hard to turn down all that fame and money! It will keep the BBC pension fund healthy though (they invest in 'carbon' industry). I hope the lying bugger pisses his money away on a personal wind farm just to show he means it, not that I think he does, he's just grabbing the money and fame while he can.

More about the twat here:

Anonymous said...

What rubbish Chalko, everyone knows that earthquakes are increasing in frequency and intensity as a result of God's displeasure with sodomy!!

Katabasis said...

Thanks for the guest spot Gotty!

For anyone who is interested, I've just posted a takedown of the Met Office "review" that has just been published, and of the idiotic things the usual suspects (the Guardian, Indpendent) are saying about it:

Met Office review: Climate change human link 'stronger'? Err....NO

Anonymous said...

The Beeb and others have their pension funds to worry about. Cut them some slack. Actually it serves them right for believing their own propaganda.

Lightf00t said...

It's unbelievable how they are getting away with this crap. I've been saying for 10 years that global warming is a load of bollocks.