Rearranging The Deckchairs

Frank O'Dwyer's blog

Yes That Sounds Familiar

Sheesh…more epic fail from Andrew Montford aka Bishop Hill.

Quoting an article from Dan Satterfield at UCAR he writes (my emphasis)

The past twelve months have seen some of the most extreme weather of modern times, especially in North America. NOAA announced in January that in 2011 the United States suffered through a total of 14 weather disasters that cost over a billion dollars each. Among these were the Texas drought that was literally off the charts, and of course the deadly tornadoes in Alabama and Joplin, Missouri, among other places. More of the United States was either extremely wet or extremely dry in 2011 than in any other year on record.

[…] Look at the end of that paragraph. Wet or dry both being evidence of global warming? Does that sound familiar?

Yes, it sounds familiar. It sounds like Andrew Montford being unable to read the simplest paragraph for comprehension again.

Nowhere in that paragraph does it say that wet or dry is evidence of global warming

Nowhere in the article does Satterfield say it either. In fact he explicitly says this:

Starting with what we know

We know our planet is warmer now than it was a century ago, and most of the warming has taken place in the last 50 years

So he’s not saying ‘gee, look at these extremes of wet and dry, that proves it is warming’. He already knows it is warming! We all do!

But it gets worse, Montford then goes on to argue that this is somehow the same as

When Soon and Baliunas published their 2003 take on the Medieval Warm Period, they took dry or wet as evidence of medieval warmth.

Which indeed they did, and indeed that was bullshit. Because they did say wetness means warm, and dryness means warm - and did so without quantifying any of those terms. That wasn’t even their only mistake.

But it’s not what Satterfield did. He said that we know it’s warming, and we know that 2011 had very extreme and very unusual weather. Neither of these was offered as evidence for the other–both are observed facts! And last time I checked in the comments over at Bishop Hill, not one of the army of ‘sceptics’ has spotted Montford’s latest mistake.

‘Sceptics’, my ass.