Any actor knows that the time to leave the stage is when the audience starts to laugh at him. With the latest ‘World on Fire’ show collapsing under the weight of fake statistics, crystal ball attributions, scientific deceptions, made-up estimates and Justin Rowlatt airlifted into heat-torn Alicante, it is surely time to pull down the curtain on this increasingly ridiculous show. When the audience sides start to split as the weather maps turn ‘Cerberus’ black, and heat records soar halfway up the tailpipes of Typhoon jets, it is perhaps dawning on the eco-extremists that they need to lift their game. As last week’s U.K. by-election in Uxbridge showed, a few electoral shifts might be all that is needed to wipe out their vision of a collectivist, all-controlling Net Zero Hades.
Running through all the hysterical reporting has been the outrageous use of fake estimates and statistics. Mainstream media were full of reports last week that temperatures would hit 48°C in southern Europe, a steer that seems to have come from the European Space Agency (ESA). It said that many countries were facing a major heatwave including Germany and Poland, while air temperatures were expected to climb to 48°C in Sicily and Sardinia – “potentially the hottest temperature ever recorded in Europe”. The temperature in Sicily never went above 35°C, according to the Time and Date website that reports past weather from around the world.
But it turns out the ESA was pulling a fast one. It was not referring to the ‘air’ temperature, the standard measurement made two metres above the ground, but the actual temperature on the surface. This latter measurement of course is going to be many degrees higher. The climate science site No Tricks Zone noted: “By the time the ploy was exposed by careful readers, the news had already gone around the world.” Commenting on the affair, German’s Achtung Reichelt is reported to have called it “the most intense climate lie since temperature recording began”. Calling the ESA’s press release “sloppy and manipulative”, it charged that none of it was true.
The climate narrative is now all about individual ‘extreme’ weather, to the despair of many scientists who note climate change is a measurement of long-term trends. But long-term temperature trends do not tell the correct political story since little global warming has been evident for over two decades.
Meanwhile, Arctic surface sea ice waxes and wanes on a decadal basis, but the recent general recovery has been quietly dropped from the Net Zero-inspired narrative. While Europe and the United States explode with fire and brimstone heat, and the fish are sous-vide in the boiling oceans, sea ice in the Arctic continues with what appears to be a small cyclical recovery. According to the U.S.-based National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC), the latest summer daily melt was similar to the 1981-2010 average. At July 17th, the ice extent was the 12th lowest in the 44-year satellite record.
The climate investigator Tony Heller recently lifted the lid on the deceptions surrounding Arctic sea ice. “They bury all the older data [pre-1979] and pretend they don’t notice sea ice is increasing again,” he charged. A linear decrease in the end-summer ice extent since 1979 is widely promoted, but Heller points out the minimum is actually higher now than 10 and 15 years ago. Plotting the trend as a moving average shows that the decline in summer sea ice stopped a decade ago.
The Australian climate journalist Jo Nova recently referred to lies that were told by omission, suggesting that the whole climate movement was built on this “active deception”. Last year’s big omission was coral reefs, that have shown spectacular growth on the Great Barrier Reef of late. This year’s missing scare story is the Greenland ice sheet, where a significant, unreported recovery is in progress.
Almost halfway through the short summer, the accumulation of surface ice on Greenland is more than the 1981-2010 average and a big improvement on a decade ago. But the current improvement could be seen in a much better light. Why are the Danish Polar Portal compilers of the below graph using a 1981-2010 average, when data can be included up to 2020? The NSIDC uses a similar average comparison in its Arctic ice graphs. The Greenland ice sheet lost 51 gigatonnes a year in the 1980s and 1990s and 166gts in the 2000s. In the 2010s the loss was around 244gts, a fivefold increase since the 1980s. Obviously if a 1990-2020 average was shown – with a 50gts loss replaced by one of 244gts – it would amplify the recent recovery by raising the baseline. Last year, the Greenland ice sheet was reported to have lost just 50gts, an amount well within a margin of error that could suggest a small actual increase in the overall size.
When dealing with any statistics regarding climate change these days, it is good advice to start counting the spoons. It has always been an irritation to extremists that up to 10 times more people die of the cold than the heat. Greenpeace founder Dr. Patrick Moore recently displayed how the Lancet medical journal tried to come to the rescue, with the graph pictured on the left below.
To even up the score, with blue for cold and red for heat, the Lancet used an unequal y-axis – a technique so obviously misleading it is hard to understand how anyone could even think of using it. The graph on the right was produced by the Danish economist Bjørn Lomborg, and it corrects the distorted Lancet image. Dr. Moore tweeted: “This is disgraceful for a supposedly scientific journal.”
It seems that the biggest risk of dying in the current British summer – 19°C and showery at time of writing – is to die laughing.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.