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BREAKING: PA-Gov: DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo Resigns

Corbett-Abruzzo
Abruzzo left, Gov. Corbett center

Chris Abruzzo, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, abruptly resigned today.

Abruzzo was one of eight men known to have exchanged pornographic emails from state email accounts.

“Governor Tom Corbett today accepted the resignation of DEP Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo, effective immediately,” according to a press release from Governor Corbett’s office. “Secretary Abruzzo made his decision based on the best interest of the important mission of the Department of Environmental Protection.”

“I thank Chris for his dedicated service to the people of Pennsylvania,” Gov. Corbett said. “Our environment and natural resources are better protected today due to his leadership, as well as the hard work of the men and women of DEP.”

The statement also revealed that Dana Aunkst, a 22-year department veteran and Cumberland County native will be taking over as Acting DEP Secretary. Aunkst was serving as Executive Deputy Secretary for Programs.

During yesterday morning’s debate, the Governor described how disappointed he was in those who had sent out the emails. Abruzzo seems to be the first, though perhaps not the last, casualty of this story.

Update: Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief for WITF, reports the following excerpt from Abruzzo’s resignation letter:

“While I have no recollection of the specific accounts described by the media, I accept full responsibility for any lack of judgment I may have exhibited in 2009,” Abruzzo writes. “I do not condone that behavior and it is not a reflection of the person or professional that I am.”

37 Responses

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  2. The breaking news is that the oceans r absorbing the extra heat. This was recently reported based on measurements not guesses. What that will do to our ecosystem is not certain but is another example of how we r throwing a monkey wrench at a system that has worked for us. Generally monkey wrenches don’t improve the situation but who knows we might luck out. Duh!

  3. Why cut emissions to prevent nonexistent problems? Dr. Koonin is right we don’t know yet what nature will do in the future. We thought we did but were very wrong. It’s irresponsible to waste on abatement when the climate scientists say it won’t do anything. BTW, where’s China and India? What’s the point? Self destruction?

  4. Dr. –
    Dr. Benny isn’t a messenger, but rather a fabricator of messages. YOU brought him in to supposedly counteract my statements, but the guy has ZERO credibility. He’s part of a organization designed to perpetuate fraudulent claims and misinformation.

    As for Dr. Koonin, YOU are ignoring his claims about the existence of global warming. So, if you aren’t going to accept that premise, then you shouldn’t be quoting him at all. My problem with him is that he’s dismissing the models because of their long-term variations, as if that invalidated the underlying result that the warming is occurring.

    So, he’s merely claiming that the models aren’t good enough “to make good climate policy”. But, that’s a misleading and irresponsible abrogation of responsibility, which leaves BAD climate policy as current norm.

    ALL the models indicate that we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If one model says we need 10% cut, and other says 20% and another says 40%… then the policy should be AT LEAST the 10% cut to get the ball rolling, with additional recommendations for cutting by 20% or more (which some industries can do better than others).

    Dr. Koonin is wrong to claim good policy is not possible. A fair statement might be that we couldn’t determine the “optimum” policy. But, that doesn’t mean we should have no policy just because we can’t know the future perfectly enough to pick the perfect policy.

    The right method is to start tackling the problem now, rather than wait decades, when it will be too late for any policy to work.

  5. It looks like the last desperate debate technique of avoiding the message and attacking the messenger has become the first argument of the warmists and David has gotten the party line. For a second there I almost forgot David was a Democrat shill and only slightly less qualified than Dr. Benny.

    I for one am thankful that Obama’s energy secretary Dr. Koonin told us the truth that David’s side lies. I fear that he won’t be treated well by them though.

  6. Dr. is Out-
    Dr Benny Peiser is from the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Global_Warming_Policy_Foundation
    “The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) is the United Kingdom’s most high-profile climate denier group.”

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Benny_Peiser
    “Benny Peiser (b. 1957) is a UK social anthropologist.”
    He’s NOT a scientist, let alone a climatologist.
    “Peiser was educated in West Germany and studied political science, English, and sports science in Frankfurt.”

    TRANSLATION: Peiser is a shill working for a fraudulent organization that is secretly funded.

    It is chaired by Nigel Lawson. In 2012, the Guardian exposed Lawson’s links to coal-fired power companies in Europe.

    So, “Dr.”, thanks for making my point by trotting out a fraud who is claiming (without evidence) that the public is losing interest in the issue. This flies in the face of the record number of protesters for the recent climate change marches.

    He pulls the classic: “It could be this. It could be that. No one is sure….. so let’s not do anything and pretend none of the answers are right.”

  7. Unsanctioned R-
    You just simply aren’t interested in the facts and are cherry picking statements to form contradictory conclusions.

    You are denying the existence of global warming because some past models didn’t (in your view) predict the rate of temperature accurately enough. Yet, you are relying on the op-ed of the Undersecretary of Energy, who contradicts you and says the warming is real and undeniable.

    You fail to understand that recent warming of the ocean and extra CO2 is already causing havoc with marine ecosystems. The sky has already fallen for some habitats.

    Where do you think all the extra heat went? The CO2 and other greenhouse gases have been trapping it, so it has to have gone somewhere (answer: the ocean). To pretend that feedback effects prevent you from knowing is complete bullsh*t. There is signal and noise in measurements. If you raise the base signal/temperature the entire average measurement goes up, even though noise will produce low numbers for some readings.

    The feedback effects cannot overcome the constant supply of extra CO2 we are adding. Pretending that the feedback is larger than the problem is simply wrong and represents a fundamental misunderstanding on your part of the cumulative effects of all the extra CO2.

    You are 100% wrong about Sandy. It was worse because of climate change:
    http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/at-the-edge/2013/11/18/haiyan-sandy-and-climate-change

  8. guevnor corbitt said in the debate that he wants the earth and the climate to be safe and he aint lookin to do nothing dat might be bad for the emvirment and dat is why he gonna win,

  9. In a couple hours, this’ll be on page 2. You can continue to try and misinform others, but I’m done repeating the facts so I won’t be returning. Anyone who would like a reasonable assessment of what we know and don’t know should read the aforementioned op-ed from Obama’s Undersecretary of Energy. I don’t have quarrel with what he says. And although some may disagree with him, they’re in a shrinking minority.

    At long last, there’s an undeniable history of failure on behalf of the climate models. Hopefully sometime soon our public policy will insist on some real scientifically proven hypotheses to act on instead of the knee-jerk, anti-energy response of the “environmental” crowd.

  10. “The models DID NOT miss the cancellation effect.”

    You lie. Everyone knows it.

    You’re now arguing against history, against the facts and against Obama’s man on your side.

    “They expected global warming to counter-act the cooling cycle and cancel it, and exceed it. As I’ve explained, the OCEANS have absorbed the additional heat that the models predicted, so the heat didn’t show up in the land measurements, leading to the MISINTERPRETATION that global warming has leveled off.”
    The only misinterpretation here is yours. The models predicted increasing temps. They were wrong. QED the effects from their projected temps are wrong too. And, it’s not at all unexpected that what we observed regarding extreme weather has not been borne out. Where did all the hurricanes go? Even Sandy has been shown as not climate change related (finally). Perhaps we should be thankful for this new normal? 😉

    “All that heat energy in the oceans is already causing problems with marine ecosystems and accelerating ice melting.”
    LOL. The ‘sky is falling?’ Shall I even compare the carrying capacity of the atmosphere to the ocean? How about all the problems with poor families’ budgets due to an extremist, anti-science energy policy?

    “So, the models were NOT wrong about the overall global warming, but rather the land vs sea distribution of the total energy. The total heat energy is the real problem, and whether it’s occurring more on land or sea, it still is damaging the environment and altering global weather patterns.”
    That’s a hypothesis, one in which the effects are even less studied than surface warming. And due to feedback effects, it is just as likely to be incorrect. You’ve outrun the facts and are making a mountain out of a molehill.

    “We DO know a lot about the natural variability. So, the claim that we don’t is FALSE and just an excuse by the industry and the ignorant to throw up their hands and do nothing.”
    Right, Obama’s man is an industry shill. Get real.

    “CO2 is increasing as well as methane. The “scary effects” are actually increasing: floods, droughts, severe weather, ice melts, etc.”
    What??? I assume you prefer no growing season, glaciers, and starving to death. Such silly hyperbole.

    “The fear-mongers are the ones opposed to regulation. I don’t know how old you are but the industry predicted the collapse of the economy if sulfur was reduced to prevent acid rain. Regulations were enacted, sulfur was reduced, acid rain was reduced, and the gloom and doom never happened.”
    Acid rain is a real, scientifically verifiable cause and effect. Similar to what happened to residential gas prices this past winter when supplies got pinched because of the war on coal. These effects have been observed, unlike predicted global warming.

    “The rising ocean levels with increased warming are a very solid prediction. It’s so basic/obvious that it’s even hard to call it a prediction, anymore than predicting a ball will drop to the ground if you let it go.”
    This is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard a catastrophic global warmist say. It’s especially dumbfounding for someone claiming heat is going into the oceans. It’s not like we can’t easily measure the water level or any rate of change or anything. There’s a real disconnect between this statement and observations. In fact, the data (an unchanged rate of change) would suggest that heat is NOT being stored in the oceans, or at least not nearly to the degree you suggest.

    “My point about the military is that they aren’t a bunch of hippy-dippy tree hungers out to save the planet. They’d still being spreading agent-orange all over the place if they were allowed, and they don’t give a crap about how much pollution, radiation, or toxic waste they produce. However, they DO care about environmental factors that would cause regional problems. So, their motivation is NOT saving the environment, but responding to threats. Also, rising sea levels could swamp existing naval bases here and abroad, as well as affect global shipping of supplies.”
    ‘Senator Boxer, I agree, California is the perfect place for DOD’s Strategic Climate office. Thank you for your support of our budget.’

    “As for all the trillions of stuff we’ve put into the atmosphere, you completely ignore that different gases have different magnitudes of effects. The amount of hydro-fluoro-carbons that were damaging the ozone layer was far smaller than the CO2 contribution, and had a large effect.”
    Good point about the chemistry, but CFCs are well understood to cause a chain-reaction and persist at elevation. They had a voracious appetite so to speak. Very different and complicated physical chemistry here. And feedbacks need to be accounted for in the models’ failures too. CO2’s effect could be asymptotic for a good range because of yet to be understood feedback loops.
    My point was about perspective. Did you know that there is DDT in your body? Do you think that it has significantly changed your biology? Same thing.

    “As for the effects of CO2 in the ranges 350 to 400 ppm, we KNOW from ice core samples with air-bubbles the levels of all the atmospheric gases going back eons. These high levels of CO2 match up with known periods of global warming, and flooding of what are now our coasts.”
    They don’t match up. One trails the other. And it appears that you would have us believe that that temperature trails CO2 when in fact, it’s the other way around.

  11. Unsanctioned R-

    The models DID NOT miss the cancellation effect. They expected global warming to counter-act the cooling cycle and cancel it, and exceed it. As I’ve explained, the OCEANS have absorbed the additional heat that the models predicted, so the heat didn’t show up in the land measurements, leading to the MISINTERPRETATION that global warming has leveled off. All that heat energy in the oceans is already causing problems with marine ecosystems and accelerating ice melting.

    So, the models were NOT wrong about the overall global warming, but rather the land vs sea distribution of the total energy. The total heat energy is the real problem, and whether it’s occurring more on land or sea, it still is damaging the environment and altering global weather patterns.

    So, your statement: “The lack of decline and the fact we can’t predict it is a strong indicator that we don’t know shit about the natural variability that drives 98+% of climate.”
    Is completely wrong. WThey did predict that the decline would not occur because global warming would overwhelm it. Without CO2 global warming, the models would have predicted the cooling, but when they took global warming into account they predicted the temperature rise. We DO know a lot about the natural variability. So, the claim that we don’t is FALSE and just an excuse by the industry and the ignorant to throw up their hands and do nothing.

    CO2 is increasing as well as methane. The “scary effects” are actually increasing: floods, droughts, severe weather, ice melts, etc.

    The fear-mongers are the ones opposed to regulation. I don’t know how old you are but the industry predicted the collapse of the economy if sulfur was reduced to prevent acid rain. Regulations were enacted, sulfur was reduced, acid rain was reduced, and the gloom and doom never happened.

    The rising ocean levels with increased warming are a very solid prediction. It’s so basic/obvious that it’s even hard to call it a prediction, anymore than predicting a ball will drop to the ground if you let it go.

    My point about the military is that they aren’t a bunch of hippy-dippy tree hungers out to save the planet. They’d still being spreading agent-orange all over the place if they were allowed, and they don’t give a crap about how much pollution, radiation, or toxic waste they produce. However, they DO care about environmental factors that would cause regional problems. So, their motivation is NOT saving the environment, but responding to threats. Also, rising sea levels could swamp existing naval bases here and abroad, as well as affect global shipping of supplies.

    As for all the trillions of stuff we’ve put into the atmosphere, you completely ignore that different gases have different magnitudes of effects. The amount of hydro-fluoro-carbons that were damaging the ozone layer was far smaller than the CO2 contribution, and had a large effect.

    As for the effects of CO2 in the ranges 350 to 400 ppm, we KNOW from ice core samples with air-bubbles the levels of all the atmospheric gases going back eons. These high levels of CO2 match up with known periods of global warming, and flooding of what are now our coasts.

  12. Mike, no offense, but it’s that kind of uncritical thinking that the fear mongers have preyed upon. Have you ever considered what a trillion (10^12) is in relation to a 100 quadrillion (10^17)? Practically nothing. Not to even mention all the feedback loops and the role of the major greenhouse gas: water vapor. Sometimes results are counter intuitive, which is why we should use the scientific method.

    Scale is important, but the proof is in the pudding. If we put trillions of anything into the atmosphere and nothing happens. Nothing happens.

  13. “You seem to go out of your way to miss my point.”
    Ditto.

    “If there was no global warming, the temps would have gone down due to the sixty-year cycle.”
    Then why did the models miss that? Why did they not predict the “cancellation effect?” Temps have been flat; the models said they’d be increasing. WHY DIDN’T THE MODELS SAY THAT TEMPERATURES WOULD HAVE GONE DOWN OVER THE PAST TEN YEARS SINCE WE’VE PRODUCED MORE GLOBAL CO2 THAN THE MODELS PREDICTED? A: The models are worthless.

    “That lack of decline is itself a strong indicator of the global warming counteracting the natural cycle.”
    The lack of decline and the fact we can’t predict it is a strong indicator that we don’t know shit about the natural variability that drives 98+% of climate.

    “But, even the article you’ve been citing this whole time unequivocally accepts that global warming is occurring.”
    It also admits that we don’t know at at any worthwhile precision how this minor force will effect us given its small roll in overall variability.

    “The FAKE debate over the models is like getting caught up debating whether we are going to drown in 8 feet of water or 10 feet, and failing to take any measures to avoid drowning,”
    Says the anti-science liars and fear mongers. You really haven’t a clue about what even the consensus models say do you? 8 feet?? That’s a Bidenesque whopper. You’re off by a magnitude even if the models were right.

    “So, let’s stop pretending that there isn’t global warming and acknowledge the clear evidence that is also increasing.”
    You’re confused, CO2 is increasing, but all the scary effects have been decreasing.

    “The debate on how fast it is increasing is being used as a distraction to ignore the increases as well as how bad it already is if it stays level. We have already increased it to the point where it needs to be turned back.”
    Simply not true AND we’ve heard it all before. If we listened to the fear mongers 10 years ago, we would have crippled the world’s economies for what? Even reducing emissions to Zero doesn’t do diddly to their models’ assessments of the risks for many decades. That’s why this whole debate is a distraction from the real motives of those who so want warming to be true and dangerous.

    “The long term costs of a good energy policy using renewables and reducing greenhouse gas are MUCH cheaper than the costs of the current policies, and the subsequent environmental problems.”
    Well, when you predict all the mythical apocalyptic problems we WILL have (and should have already had…but didn’t), maybe. But then again, if we’re avoiding natural cooling, then it could be the best thing that ever happened for people who don’t like starving.

    “The US military has been taking this problem seriously in their long term projections, because these kinds of changes are going to lead to wars. Areas will become drought stricken or flooded or destroyed, causing population shifts, economic problems and food shortages. Basically, all factors that lead to wars and regional conflicts. The US military doesn’t really give a crap about any of these foreign countries unless our military interests are at stake, or we would be dragged into resulting conflicts. Considering how mission-focused the military is, they would not be doing this kind of planning of they did not agree with the models and the threat.”
    Glad to know you’re on the side of the military. I’m sure you support all their perfect, mission-focused decisions even if Obama doesn’t. Listen, I know first-hand how the Pentagon chases a dollar this is your weakest argument. And if you think we aren’t dropping partially climate-funded bombs right now, you’re a fool.

  14. Denial is living in a peaceful little bubble-please do not disturb me! A bubble it must be cause anyone with common sense knows you can only get so far dumping trillions and trillions of tons of crap into the atmosphere before something goes wrong. It’s like a lake, it has an ecosystem that lake will tolerate a certain amount of scrap and process it, but there is a limit and when it’s reached everything starts to go to he’ll. Our bodies are the same and its just how ecosystems work DUH!

  15. Unsanctioned R- You seem to go out of your way to miss my point. If there was no global warming, the temps would have gone down due to the sixty-year cycle. That lack of decline is itself a strong indicator of the global warming counteracting the natural cycle.

    But, even the article you’ve been citing this whole time unequivocally accepts that global warming is occurring.

    The FAKE debate over the models is like getting caught up debating whether we are going to drown in 8 feet of water or 10 feet, and failing to take any measures to avoid drowning.

    So, let’s stop pretending that there isn’t global warming and acknowledge the clear evidence that is also increasing. The debate on how fast it is increasing is being used as a distraction to ignore the increases as well as how bad it already is if it stays level. We have already increased it to the point where it needs to be turned back.

    The long term costs of a good energy policy using renewables and reducing greenhouse gas are MUCH cheaper than the costs of the current policies, and the subsequent environmental problems.

    The US military has been taking this problem seriously in their long term projections, because these kinds of changes are going to lead to wars. Areas will become drought stricken or flooded or destroyed, causing population shifts, economic problems and food shortages. Basically, all factors that lead to wars and regional conflicts. The US military doesn’t really give a crap about any of these foreign countries unless our military interests are at stake, or we would be dragged into resulting conflicts. Considering how mission-focused the military is, they would not be doing this kind of planning of they did not agree with the models and the threat.

  16. “we are not seeing the normal dip in temperatures we would otherwise have had this past decade”

    You may not have been following the models as closely as I was 10 years ago, but it’s the utterly B.S. statements like these that tell me not to trust a thing you say.

    Then again, maybe all you’re saying is that the models today reasonably predict the observations of the past? Well, guess what, all the concensus models ALWAYS model the PAST well. That doesn’t mean anything about the future. Their track record at modeling the future climate has proven worthless every time.

    And every time, the ideologues say that THIS TIME today’s “current” model is going to be right. Well, experience tells us that we continue to observe nature’s “cancellation effect” go unpredicted and rendering all the other extreme weather predictions moot.

    Perhaps it’s we who are right and it’s the much, much larger natural effect that we keep “tweeking” the past for that we really don’t understand? Maybe one day we’ll be thankful for global warming? Maybe one day we’ll forgive for the hubris-filled war on coal and cheap energy?

    Either way, we the people don’t believe you anymore.

  17. Unsanctioned R- I haven’t formed any “hypothesis” about why the models have failed. The warming of the oceans is an OBSERVATION that explains the (apparent) slowing of the global warming trend on the land surface, and is incorporated into the current models. The total heat energy from global is still increasing, even though it’s not being stored where people live (though it is affecting sea life).

    The sixty-year cycle has been around for centuries, and due to global warming, we are not seeing the normal dip in temperatures we would otherwise have had this past decade, but rather an apparent cancellation of effects. But, the sixty-year cycle is about to restart it’s upward trend that will combine with global warming for even bigger temperature increases in the next decades.

    The underlying greenhouse effect has created a new base temperature that is detrimental for us. We see it in the extreme droughts and wildfires. We see it in rising ocean levels in coastal areas. We see the increased strength of hurricanes and tornadoes powered by the extra energy. We see drastic changes to weather patterns.

  18. Congratulations on forming HYPOTHESES for why the models have recently failed. MAYBE they’ll be right next time. Probably not, again. You’re right that we learn more from our failures, but we keep claiming victory prematurely. Those who do are not scientists, and deserve our scorn. They are anti-science and have impure motives. Obama’s guy had it right. Reasonable people (who see the models’ predictions not coming to pass) understand this, which is why the polls are turning against the ideologues. Overselling the facts has brought down your movement and only the most desperate who’ve no credibility left to lose are becoming more shrill.

    Those of us who know science see straight through the deception.

  19. Here is a very recent article (from just a few days ago) on this subject:

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/antarctic-sea-ice-hits-new-max-continent-still-warming-18113

    It expands on what I wrote with some current data. The conclusion is still the same. Antarctica is warming, but that warming is causes changes to weather patterns, ice flows, amounts of fresh (non-salt) water, and snow. These factors increase the extent of snow/ice despite the warming. Therefore, it is false to conclude that the mere presence of additional snow/ice means that global warming is not occurring. The temperature measurements DO show that it is warmer there.

  20. Unsanctioned R-
    1) We’ve already increase the atmospheric greenhouse effect with all the CO2 we’ve already put in, so his claim about additional gases being a 1%-2% effect ignores the existing and cumulative effects that are forming a vicious cycle.

    2) His dismissal of climate change as natural occurrence that happened many times in the past ignores the results: mass species extinctions, droughts, floods, etc. All things we need to avoid, rather than trigger.

    3) The increase in Antartic HAS been explained. Here is the explanation:
    “There are several contributing factors. One is the drop in ozone levels over Antarctica. The hole in the ozone layer above the South Pole has caused cooling in the stratosphere. A side-effect is a strengthening of the cyclonic winds that circle the Antarctic continent. The wind pushes sea ice around, creating areas of open water known as polynyas. More polynyas leads to increased sea ice production. Another contributor is changes in ocean circulation. The Southern Ocean consists of a layer of cold water near the surface and a layer of warmer water below. Water from the warmer layer rises up to the surface, melting sea ice. However, as air temperatures warm, the amount of rain and snowfall also increases. This freshens the surface waters, leading to a surface layer less dense than the saltier, warmer water below. The layers become more stratified and mix less. Less heat is transported upwards from the deeper, warmer layer. Hence less sea ice is melted. Antarctic sea ice is complex and counter-intuitive. Despite warming waters, complicated factors unique to the Antarctic region have combined to increase sea ice production. The simplistic interpretation that it’s caused by cooling is false.”

    4) The following statement is false: “Although the Earth’s average surface temperature rose sharply by 0.9 degree Fahrenheit during the last quarter of the 20th century, it has increased much more slowly for the past 16 years, even as the human contribution to atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen by some 25%. This surprising fact demonstrates directly that natural influences and variability are powerful enough to counteract the present warming influence exerted by human activity”

    The warming influence has not been counteracted. The oceans have been absorbing the extra surface heat, giving the FALSE appearance of a slow-down for those looking only at the surface temp. The warming of the oceans and increased CO2 are changing the acidity of the oceans. The oceans cannot continue to absorb the extra heat, and that 25% increase in CO2 will continue to contribute to overall warming for decades. Also, there is sixty-year warming/cooling cycle that has just been finishing it’s coolest phase this past decade. This wave/signal has masked some of the global warming, as people ignore this change to the underlying base value. The past decade should actually have been much cooler, but wasn’t due to global warming interfering with the sixty-year cycle. Also, the warming is melting areas in the frozen tundra which have begun releasing more greenhouse gases that will continue to accelerate global warming.

  21. David, You misunderstand. Your talking points are sooo 2004, before OBSERVED data showed how poor the consensus models were. Here’s a sampling of quotes from Obama’s man, which are very reasoned and based on a 2014 understanding:

    “The crucial scientific question for policy isn’t whether the climate is changing. That is a settled matter: The climate has always changed and always will. Geological and historical records show the occurrence of major climate shifts, sometimes over only a few decades. We know, for instance, that during the 20th century the Earth’s global average surface temperature rose 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit…

    Even though human influences could have serious consequences for the climate, they are physically small in relation to the climate system as a whole. For example, human additions to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the middle of the 21st century are expected to directly shift the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect by only 1% to 2%. Since the climate system is highly variable on its own, that smallness sets a very high bar for confidently projecting the consequences of human influences…

    The models differ in their descriptions of the past century’s global average surface temperature by more than three times the entire warming recorded during that time. Such mismatches are also present in many other basic climate factors, including rainfall, which is fundamental to the atmosphere’s energy balance. As a result, the models give widely varying descriptions of the climate’s inner workings. Since they disagree so markedly, no more than one of them can be right…

    Although the Earth’s average surface temperature rose sharply by 0.9 degree Fahrenheit during the last quarter of the 20th century, it has increased much more slowly for the past 16 years, even as the human contribution to atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen by some 25%. This surprising fact demonstrates directly that natural influences and variability are powerful enough to counteract the present warming influence exerted by human activity…

    The models roughly describe the shrinking extent of Arctic sea ice observed over the past two decades, but they fail to describe the comparable growth of Antarctic sea ice, which is now at a record high…

    While the past two decades have seen progress in climate science, the field is not yet mature enough to usefully answer the difficult and important questions being asked of it. This decidedly unsettled state highlights what should be obvious: Understanding climate, at the level of detail relevant to human influences, is a very, very difficult problem…”

    David, your assertions are wishful (doomsday) thinking. I don’t know your motives, but you’ve outrun the facts.

  22. Unsanctioned R-
    You misunderstand. We know the basic physics and that CO2 and other gases contribute to global warming. But, there is no “formula” you can just plug in to compute the result. It’s a dynamic system, like the weather, but on a bigger scale. All you can do is run simulations of increasing detail and better data/measurements.

    But, you are wrong that the models don’t agree with experience. They do. But, even if you have 1000 models that all predict the past 20 years with near perfection, the results will still diverge the further out you go into the future. This is an inherent mathematical problem with prediction and simulation.

    And in this particular case, where we can have different assumptions about what industries will to do cut emissions and long term weather patterns and effects of salinity changes in the gulf stream, etc., there are only so many feedback loops you can account for.

    What you CAN do is look at the diverging models as a probability distribution to determine most likely and least likely cases, while looking for consensus to guide policy. To claim that you can’t make policy because all the models don’t agree enough is pure foolishness. All the legitimate models show a dangerous rise.

    We have a pretty good sense that specific temperature changes will correspond to certain changes in sea levels, and droughts in areas that are already on the edge.

  23. David, I don’t know what method it is you describe, but it’s not the scientific one. Models fail then get “tweeked” then fail again. Polls show people are onto the big lie more and more.

    Obama’s Energy guy concedes the cat is out of the bag and begs for more money so that ONE DAY the predictions for policymakers won’t be worthless like he says they are today.

    How many must suffer these unnecessarily high energy costs (and everything costs) in the name of worthless scientific conclusions?

  24. “However, even the most favorable projections are still terrible”

    What a crock. I think it’s David who’s using the old models.

  25. Morons are Us: The DEP has not been enough a pain in the ass to the oil/gas industry. Quite the other way, as it seems they’ve been bending over for the industry.

    Matt- The article you cite didn’t deny climate change nor that a lot of it was being caused by human activity. The article was mostly concerned with the variation in the predictions about how bad it would be. However, even the most favorable projections are still terrible.

    Unsanctioned R-
    The scientists have been improving their models constantly, and updating them with new measurements. The climate change deniers fixate on old models that have since been updated, or outlier models that are not part of the scientific consensus.

  26. Isaac doesn’t understand the first thing about climate science as is evidenced by his opening sentence. He probably doesn’t think any brain surgeons are qualified to sit on hospital boards unless they attend a mythical “hospital board school.”

  27. Perhaps the approach of those promoting catastrophic global warming is not really science.

    Those scientists who continue to beat the drums that the science is settled should heed the words of Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman:

    “In general, we look for a new law (in science) by the following process: First we guess it; then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right; then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is—if it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong.”

    It turns out that the sacred computer models do not agree with experience. They are essentially worthless as a basis for government energy policy

    How have we gotten into this quandary?

    Perhaps the comments of Vince Causey will shed some light on what seems to be the scientific approach of the global warming cult.

    “Richard Feynman’s way is the old way.

    The modern method is take a hypothesis and formulate a prediction. Then build a computer model that also makes some kind of prediction from the hypothesis. Check the computer output against the original prediction. If the two disagree, modify the computer parameters until they do agree. If they agreed first time, skip this step. Finally announce to the world that your hypothesis is very probably correct.

    You can also use the computer model to calibrate real world measuring devices that some still feel is necessary in checking the prediction. If the observed data disagrees with the models that have been validated against the hypothesis, then make adjustments to the observed data until they agree. This ensures accuracy of the measured data which were obviously wrong.”

    Causey’s analysis gives a good insight into what appears to be the modus operandi of the ‘settled science’ crowd.

  28. Dr. Koonin isn’t a climate scientist, he’s a theoretical physicist. My friend is a DPT, but I wouldn’t ask her to do brain surgery. While climate science is constantly evolving as new data become available, there is a clear and obvious trend and the models are constantly being fine tuned and improved, which accounts for revisions in projections. The climate is a complex beast and making solid predictions saying “this specific thing will happen” is usually misinterpretation on the part of media or other individuals who are not scientists – scientists tend to be more humble and nuanced, but it’s difficult for laymen to appreciate that. The fact of the matter remains that the scientific community is more confident in the current model for climate change than it is that taking vitamins helps your health or that smoking causes cancer. If you think climate change is a bunch of bunk, well, four out of five doctors smoke Camels, so smoke ’em if you got ’em!

  29. Mr Diano, you obviously have never tried to start a business that has impact on the environment. If you did, you would know that the PA DEP is royal pain in the ass.

  30. I just saw a copy of this guy’s resignation letter where he praises Corbett for being strong on the environment, health and safety. This guy’s a real idiot (or a terrible liar) if he actually thinks he worked under a governor who made the environment a priority. More likely, he understood his job was to be a flunky for the oil/gas industry.

    This guy is the same fool who claimed he was “unaware climate change can cause harm” during his Senate confirmation hearing.

    His predecessor, Mike Krancer, left to work as an attorney for the energy industry.

    I read elsewhere that Dana Aunkst is an engineer. I would hope an engineer (and not a lawyer=whore) will run this department based on the science instead of the politics, for a change.

  31. At least he had the decency to resign. We never have complete control over our employees. Tom Wolf believes that none of his employees have ever done anything like this… Never say never.

  32. Sweet. This is the guy with NO Environmental background, except as chairman of some sewer authority in the backwoods, who said global warming doesn’t cause any harm. He was one of Tommie’s right-hand henchmen in the AG’s office – yet Tommie had no idea about the porn emails. Good riddance.

  33. “Our environment and natural resources are better protected today due to his leadership”

    That is complete bullsh*t. The DEP has been a toothless organization working in the interest of the polluters. The environment in PA has suffered and we’ve been worse off.

    But, statements like this are no surprise from Corbett who has cut education to the bone, while claiming he’s spend more. Corbett claims to have improved PA financial position, even though we’ve had 4 debt rating downgrades.

Email:
  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?


    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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