Karl Koehler: Get facts straight


To the editor:

Todd Tanner’s recent “Climate in the crosshairs” column was so packed with misinformation that it’s hard to decide where to begin to respond. I’ll start by agreeing that the debate about catastrophic climate change is dying. The computer modeled chicken’s head of global warming hysteria effectively has been chopped off with the ax of accumulated empirical data. Yet still, the catastrophist body’s instinctive will to survive compels the carcass to dash madly around the barnyard, unable to sense or reason that it’s already dead.
Mr. Tanner’s reference to the wisdom of socialist Upton Sinclair pertains most aptly to the grant-addicted climate change researchers he cites. I submit there are two kinds of people: those who carefully observe the world and then seek to understand it, and those who first make up their minds and then only “see” observations supportive of their predetermined worldview.

Mr. Tanner strikes me as a member of the latter group.
Of the list of horribles facing the U.S. today, climate change ranks very near the bottom. Can I back that up? No. But Gallup can: www.gallup.com/poll/167843/climate-change-not-top-worry.aspx. Not because climate change isn’t happening, rather because it always has and always will. Our influence on the process is negligible — at least insofar as it is affected by CO2 emissions.

At long last, a majority of Americans have grown weary of climate change alarmism and are beginning to understand that we have bigger fish to fry.
The sensitivity of climate to CO2 has been quite obviously overstated by the alarmist faction. Compare for yourself graphs of modeled temperature predictions with actual measurements. The growing divergence is undeniable. Mann’s iconic hockey stick graph has been completely discredited; the Antarctic ice sheet has grown to a record area; water levels in the Great Lakes have recovered; July 1936 has reclaimed the its rightful crown as the warmest month on record (a decision once breathlessly, albeit prematurely — and, as it turns out, erroneously — awarded to July 2012); hurricanes routinely degrade short of landfall; tornadoes are not growing stronger nor more frequent; and droughts are most emphatically not worse despite the declarations of Todd, the self-described sportsman.

Forests are not dying because of climate change; neither are coral reefs; and polar bear populations are thriving. Wildfires are no worse than they’ve ever been — we simply have more mismanaged acres to deal with and more incursions of civilization into those acres. Todd might find the history of the Big Burn interesting — 3 million acres of tall timber burnt in a single fire — in two days! The year? 1910. The location? His backyard.
The 97 percent consensus science surveys Todd cites as “proof” are flawed in the extreme. In order to face facts, you must first learn them. Global warming has been politicized and distorted to the point that far too many well-meaning people like Todd, sportsmen in perfect position to take notice and marvel at the cyclical adaptability and astounding resilience of Mother Nature, instead are cooped into the fear-mongering ranks of the green movement. I, too, am a father (and a sportsman), and I refuse to surrender without argument the moral high ground claimed in the name of Todd’s son. My moral obligations to my children include teaching them to think for themselves and speaking out against grossly misallocated resource expenditures completely wasted in the name of climate change. We do indeed have bigger fish to fry. Pass the chicken.

Karl Koehler



Todd Tanner 2 years, 8 months ago

Nicely done, Mr. Koehler. Of course, it would have been better if the information you shared was accurate. But still, nicely done.

I’ll offer my response in the paper, but in the meantime I’d like to propose a little wager. Not because I think you’ll take it - I don’t believe you will - but to show anyone who’s interested that you’re not willing to back up your comments.

I’m relatively certain that because of global warming, next month - August, 2014 - will be warmer than the 20th century average for August. In fact, I’m willing to make that bet. If you take my wager, you’ll be betting that this August will be cooler than the average August. (NOAA keeps track of that data - they typically call it something along the lines of “combined global land and ocean average surface temperature” - so it’s easy enough to determine the outcome.)

If you win, I’ll donate $100 to your favorite charity or nonprofit. If I win, you donate $100 to my favorite charity or nonprofit.

Here’s where it gets interesting. If I win, I’ll let you go double or nothing for September. That’s right. If I win August, I’ll give you a chance to get even in September. And if you lose in September, I’ll go double or nothing in October. And November. And December.

I’ll give you 5 chances to win, and all you have to do is win once to break even. Now if there’s no such thing as human-caused climate change, I’m offering you a great bet. If you truly believe climate change isn’t real, then the odds of any particular month being warmer or cooler than the long term global average are about 50/50. Which means it’s almost certain that your cash is safe. And who knows, you might just take my money at the end of August and leave me looking silly.

Of course, if you lose, and keep on losing until the end of the year, you’d be left trying to explain yourself to people who think you know what you’re talking about.

What do you say, Mr. Koehler? Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is? Or was everything in the paper just so much hot air?


Benjie Robinson 2 years, 8 months ago

Nobody is going to stop climate change. It will happen with or without humans just as it has since the beginning of time. The earth is on it's own cycle. Are we contributing to this? More than likely. For millennia the planet went uninhabited by humans and now it is populated in the billions. It's kind of silly to hold the opinion that we're not having some sort of negative effect but unfortunately the earth and it's inhabitants are viewed as a vast resource to be devoured for profit instead of being seen as a living creature in itself. To me, the logic of arguing back and forth about whether climate change exists or not doesn't make much sense. I think what humans should be considering is how the planet and everything on it could be treated more kindly. If we have technology to create fuels that are less toxic and machinery that creates less pollution then why wouldn't we want that? The ability to stop climate change is not available but people are capable of reducing pollution and waste. Maybe that's what the focus should be instead of daily temperatures, ice sheets and severe storms. Those things won't be going away any time soon but we may as well try to make this world a better place while we still exist.


Nadja Rider 2 years, 8 months ago

Here is a great article for all the global warming alarmists. Real NOAA data to support the fact that we're actually in a cooling trend.


The last sentence of this piece says it all! "Of course, to global warming alarmists, all real-world data are irrelevant." I'm weary of being called a global warming denier (and worse!). Bottom line is that this earth has gone through dramatic warming and cooling since the beginning of time.


George Robertson 2 years, 8 months ago

We humans flatter ourselves. This planet doesn't give one hoot about us! The planet existed for billions of years before we arrived, and it looks forward to another few billion years after we're gone. With that in mind I say party till it's over, and know that the planet will regenerate itself from cockroaches, thistles, and carp.


Karl Koehler 2 years, 8 months ago

Oh no, he didn’t!

A double-dog-dare. Right out there in front of me and, well, Patrick, Benjie, Nadja and George. Just the five of us you say? Nonsense! It’s the principle of the thing! So it comes to this; a direct challenge to the catastrophic climate change denier’s argument. What to do?

First, a fire. Nothing like releasing a few quadrillion pent up CO2 molecules to get the ol’ creative juices flowing. Fly free my children! May the plants you fertilize be enriched and develop vigorous drought-resistant root systems with your selfless sacrifice…

Next, to the business at hand. Mr. Tanner, I’ll take your bet. I’ll take it, wad it up in a little ball and throw it into my fire. Ha! See what I did there? I used the bet to make global warming even worse. Why? Because the wager you offer would prove nothing.

The data you reference defines average temperatures well below current readings. That's after “adjustments” have been applied to accentuate the warming trend. The chances of temps declining to “average” levels in the next five months are nil. You’ll find most skeptics like myself too cautious to nibble on bait as clumsily presented as this. But hey, I get it. As a sportsman, you try a fly or two. If they don’t work, you can always go to the corn and worms, or a trot line.

For argument's sake, if temperatures even threaten to come close to the averages you suggest we track, I am confident that further “adjustments” will be applied to ensure the global warming disaster narrative lives on. Picture this: the temperature record massagers at NOAA as Dr. Frankensteins, working obsessively to reattach the chicken’s head and reanimate the corpse. Only unlike the original Herr Doctor, they started with a perfectly ordinary brain and have done everything in their power to make it appear abby-normal as they exclaim, “It’s alive, it’s alive!”

Rather than split hairs on the legitimacy of the NOAA data (you with your free-lance writing ability, I’d fight a grizzly to protect my family mindset, and a readily accessible “expert” bench – me armed only with my interested observer's knowledge, common sense and an acerbic wit) let’s change the bet. Let’s monitor the UAH satellite temps for five months and compare them to the computer modeled temperature projection of your choice. If at the end of that period, the projection you choose is higher than the satellite data, you consider redefining your environmental glass as half full and award me with the H2 Orvis flyrod from the Conservation Hawks writing contest. If, on the other hand, the UAH temps land at or above the modeled projections, I’ll eat my camouflaged hat. Sorry but that’s all I can offer. I need every spare $100 I have to buy ammo and I advise you and every other transplanted westerner to do the same (most natives are already stocked). Those East coast politicians really aren't to be trusted, even if you were raised among them.


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