Thursday, November 19, 2009

Palin With Boss Limbaugh

Amidst the fluff interviews by Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters, Sarah Palin engaged in a fluff radio interview with Rush Limbaugh on November 17, 2009. She hit all the right conservative notes, almost as if she had been coached. In one such instance, Limbaugh asked her

What's our biggest energy challenge as a country? Do you believe at all or some or a lot in the modern-day go-green movement of solar and wind and all of these nefarious things that really don't produce anything yet?

In a rambling (is anything else even legal on the program?), The Quitting Governor alleged

I think there's a lot of snake oil science involved in that and somebody's making a whole lot of money off people's fears that the world is... It's kind of tough to figure out with the shady science right now, what are we supposed to be doing right now with our climate. Are we warming or are we cooling?

The answer to Mrs. Palin’s query came in an Associated Press article dated October 26, 2009 in which reporter Seth Borenstein noted

Since 1998, temperatures have dipped, soared, fallen again and are now rising once more. Records kept by the British meteorological office and satellite data used by climate skeptics still show 1998 as the hottest year. However, data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA show 2005 has topped 1998. Published peer-reviewed scientific research generally cites temperatures measured by ground sensors, which are from NOAA, NASA and the British, more than the satellite data.

So the AP set up a blind test in which it

gave temperature data to four independent statisticians and asked them to look for trends, without telling them what the numbers represented. The experts found no true temperature declines over time….

Borenstein specifically notes

The ups and downs during the last decade repeat random variability in data as far back as 1880.... Statisticians say that in sizing up climate change, it's important to look at moving averages of about 10 years. They compare the average of 1999-2008 to the average of 2000-2009. In all data sets, 10-year moving averages have been higher in the last five years than in any previous years.

And the last 10 years, according to NOAA climate monitoring chief Deke Arndt

are the warmest 10-year period of the modern record. Even if you analyze the trend during that 10 years, the trend is actually positive, which means warming.

Ironically, the strongest evidence of long-range global warming may have come last year with its La Nina, which typically cools the atmosphere. Though global temperatures dipped in 2008, it was the ninth hottest in the 130 years of NOAA records. Eight of the 10 hottest years have occurred since 2000, and the current El Nino (projected to be stronger next year) will make this year one of the nine hottest.

Clearly, the earth is warming and if enough people are as gullible as Palin apparently believes they are, the earth will continue to warm. We will not be up to the challenge if Palin can lull us into complacency with such as this:

And our greatest challenge with energy is that we're not tapping it to the abundant domestic supplies that God created right underfoot on American soil and under our waters.

To Mrs. Palin, God is the not-all-powerful. Though he “created (energy) right underfoot on American soil and under our waters,” he inexplicably was on vacation when the sun and wind were created. A politician who believes she is worthy of the endorsement of the Almighty might have as much regard for renewable resources as for the value of oil, gas, and coal interests.

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