Hurricane Joaquin: Latest Poster Boy for Uninformed AGW Alarmists

Hurricane Joaquin. Pretty scary, eh?

Hurricane Joaquin. Pretty scary, eh?( Source: Daily Beast)

Well, sure enough, as I guessed they would, the Global Warming alarmists are out touting their newest poster boy, Hurricane Joaquin,-as here in the Daily Beast. At this writing, the storm seems most unlikely to make landfall in the CONUS, making it close to a decade since a category III or larger hurricane hit the coastal US. The last one was in 2005, when there were three Cat III’s, one of which was Katrina. “Super Storm” Sandy was Category I at landfall. High tide and a cold front turned it into a very bad time for millions. The last Category V, was Andrew in 1992.

How do I know this stuff?

Another view of Joaquin. Nah. It's something or other from

Another view of Joaquin. Nah. It’s something or other from “The Day After Tomorrow,” 2004. A year before the very active hurricane season of 2005, followed by the 10-year “Hurricane Drought.”

Well, gosh, I checked the NOAA historical data website. Have a look and you will see no pattern of increased storm activity, nor strength that in anyway correlates to increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. And the last decade has been very quiet, despite predictions to the contrary from NOAA itself.

But, as we’ve been told now for a very long time, it will get really bad. IN THE FUTURE. SWEARSIES.  NatGeo was speculating about this ten years ago.  Still waiting.

The writer of the Beast piece, Michael Shank, is a Phd, as his byline tells us. I smelled a rat when I saw that he is “Director of Media Strategy” at Climate Nexus. The polite term for a media strategist is PR flack; the accurate definition is propagandist.

But hey, he has a doctorate, so maybe he’s a scientist?


PhD, Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University
M.A, Conflict Transformation & Peacebuilding, Eastern Mennonite University
B.F.A Theater, Kent State University
Graduate Certificate, Maryknoll Institute of Language and Culture

Also, Adjunct Faculty at S-CAR, George Mason University. So, no tenure. Getting poppycock like this published helps put (most likely organic, or perhaps vegan) groceries in the larder.

Shank’s PhD is in “Climate Conflict.”  Kurt Vonnegut had this kind of doctorate figured out:  “I’m a doctor of cowshit, pigshit, and chickenshit…When you doctors figure out what you want, you’ll find me out in the barn shoveling my thesis.”

For all his sheepskins, he seems to have missed instruction on the most basic research techniques.

This guy is no more qualified to comment on this stuff than I am. Frankly, I’d say I’m more qualified: I have an MA in creative writing and could easily come up with more plausible bullshit. (OK, anyone with a mastery of high school English Composition could do so.  My degree is bullshit, too.)

Serious proponents of the AGW hypothesis do themselves no favors by giving any credence to such poppycock

Who is a “Climate Scientist?” Maybe You Are.


Michael Crichton: “Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”

Whether Climate Change (nee Global Warming) is  as serious a problem as scientific, academic, governmental  and media elites tell us, is open to debate in my view, so I guess that makes me a “denier.”

The term “denialist,” with its subliminal echo of Peter turning his back on Jesus, is clever, but typical of the triumphalist crowing that is standard in AGW (Anthropogenic  global warming) proponents’ appeals to the larger public.

The framing of these appeals ranges from rude bullying, adolescent snark, to arrant silliness.  The physical sciences relevant to the study of climate change are not only beyond me, but beyond the mastery of any one person, but the tone of a message is a clue to the veracity of its originators.

“Consensus” and “the Science is settled” sound aimed to stifle dissent.

A case in point is this page from NASA, headlined “Consensus: 97% of climate scientists agree.”  So do nine out of ten dentists, according to Crest..

How is the casual reader is to determine the truth of this statement?  Most will simply accept it.   This is NASA, after all, the organization that led the Moon missions, and continues to expand planetary and cosmological knowledge.  It is, however,  also an agency past its glory days and hardly immune from unscientific posturing as a result of political pressure, as in its 2010 outreach to Muslims.

The consensus assertion is footnoted to three journal articles, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Eos Transactions American Geophysical Union Vol. and Science, 2010, 200, 2004, respectively.

The remaining 14 footnotes are policy assertions from various organizations including the IPCC.

The question that hit me immediately upon viewing this page was:  what is a “Climate Scientist?”  I was puzzled to see geologists and medical doctors being cited as such. I suppose geologists might be concerned with core samplings and such, but how did the doctors become climate scientists?  Extension courses?

As I looked over  the PNAS article,the question was quickly answered::

“This result (97 percent consensus closely agrees with expert surveys, indicating that ≈97% of self-identified (Bold italics mine) actively publishing climate scientists.”

That was enough for me. I went on to read the references at the end of the article.  While the greatest number were from Scientometrics, and are concerned with methodology in citation analysis, there are also those that lead one to suspect we are not dealing with entirely disinterested science.

(2000) Challenging global warming as a social problem: An analysis of the conservative movement’s counter-claims. Soc Probl 47:499–522

 The mission statement of Social Problems, from its inaugural issue states that the journal “…will devote itself to original research, whether empirical or theoretical, which brings fresh light to bear on the concepts, processes and consequences of modern science. It will be interdisciplinary in the sense that it will encourage appropriate contributions from political science, sociology, economics, history, philosophy, social anthropology, and the legal and educational disciplines.”

I don’t see anything to do with “modern science” there.  None of the disciplines mentioned would require even high school physics or chemistry.


(2008) The organisation of denial: Conservative think tanks and environmental scepticism. Env Polit 17:349–385.

 A quick look at the free online sample of Environmental Politics will show that rather than science, politics – and environmentalist politics in particular – is exactly what it is about.


(2003) Defeating Kyoto: The conservative movement’s impact on US climate change policy. Soc Probl 50:348–373.

Those evil conservatives!

And then, there is this;

(2006) Science studies, climate change and the prospects for constructivist critique. Econ Soc 35:453–479.

Reminds me of the excruciatingly dull and largely content-free literary criticism I endured in grad school.


 (2009) Featuring skeptics in news media stories about global warming reduces public beliefs in the seriousness of global warming (Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University, Technical Paper), Available at

A technical paper?  Seriously?  Show me the math!  If AGW skeptics are featured anywhere save Fox(rarely) and Glen Beck, I missed it.

In addition to the risible assertion that one hundred per cent of climate scientists, whoever and whatever they may be have chimed in on AGW, neither the study nor the NASA page address the real issue which how devastating “experts” think this climate change will be, and how strong their support is for prevention and/or mitigation  measures, not to mention what and how extreme  such measures should be, or what they should be.

Climate Change/AGW may stem from science but as presented to the public it is all about politics, and the politics spread through both the mass media and obscure journals that almost no one will read form a positive feedback loop through peer approbation and shaming of outsiders with differing opinions.

polar bears

Drowning polar bears? Not these. But Al Gore is drowning in loot. He finally coughed up a license for the pic.

I would no sooner leave the fate of our economies and, ultimately, our civilization to members of this unelected and self described scientific elite than I would to a curia of priests.