Lie #1: The Planet is Not Warming

July 11th, 2015

One of Rick Cina’s most common lies is his insinuation that the planet is not warming. This reflects both duplicity AND hypocrisy on his part. When you corner him, he will readily admit that the earth is indeed warming, and that human emissions of CO2 contribute to this warming, but only to a small degree, he says. Or he’ll make a big deal about the fact that one area did cool for some period of time in the past. He presents a hodgepodge of bits and pieces, waving his hands wildly about all the different places that cooled at different times — but he does everything he can to cast doubt upon the undeniable truth that the earth is warming.

But then he’ll turn right around and post endless citations to scientific papers showing that the North Atlantic Ocean is cooling, the Pacific Ocean is cooling, Antarctica is cooling — he’s got a paper for just about everything. Then he crows that he has SCIENTIFIC PROOF of his claims.

It’s all a lie. What Mr. Cina does not reveal is that there are literally hundreds and hundreds of papers presenting data on various ways of measuring temperatures in various environments. Because many of these papers are on the cutting edge of science, they cannot be taken to represent settled science. To understand their significance, you have to look at ALL the published scientific papers on the subject, weighing each one of them against all the others. Mr. Cina cherry-picks a handful of papers and claims that they constitute SCIENTIFIC PROOF

So how can you, the poor layman (layperson?), sort out the conflicting claims? It’s simple: look to the conclusions of large groups of scientists. You should never place your trust in any single scientist. Scientists are human, after all, and they are fallible. You can only be confident of a statement that a great majority of scientists endorse. Here’s what the National Academy of Sciences, one of the most prestigious scientific institutions in the world has to say on that question:

Earth’s average surface air temperature has increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F) since 1900, with much of this increase taking place since the mid-1970s (figure 1a)A wide range of other observations (such as reduced Arctic sea ice extent and increased ocean heat content) and indications from the natural world (such as poleward shifts of temperature-sensitive species of fish, mammals, insects, etc.) together provide incontrovertible evidence of planetary-scale warming.

(You can find this statement and much more useful information in a brochure prepared by the National Academy of Sciences for the general public.)

So when Mr. Cina insinuates that the planet is not warming, he is lying.