Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bush Lied

Ten years ago it was all one heard: "Bush Lied, People Died." "The Iraq war was a war to steal Iraq's oil." I argued on VP at the time that both claims were manifestly false, and that they cast doubt on the integrity and/or good sense of anyone who made them.

The "lie" allegation was manifestly absurd since every intelligence service in the world thought that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or was working to get them. Not only that, but he acted as though he had them, and had a history of using WMD (chemical weapons) on both his own people and on the Iranians. Bush may have been understandably mistaken that Saddam had WMD, but being mistaken is not lying.

The "oil" allegation was even more absurd. If we wanted to steal oil we could have just taken it from any of a host of countries which would have offered far less cost and risk than invading Iraq posed. Moreover, our subsequent refusal to take Iraqi oil proved that the charge was baseless.

Now Donald Trump has resurrected the old canards and used them to libel George W. Bush all over again. The fact that it's Trump making the charges gives us considerable reason to doubt their accuracy a priori, but nevertheless, the charge is so egregious that it needs to be answered. Judith Miller, former journalist at the New York Times, does just that in this video. Miller was a key reporter of these events at the time, and she was no Bush supporter. Even so, she evidently does care that a generation of Americans who knew not Bush but does know Trump hear the facts from someone who knows the truth:

Sixty Years of No Warming

I'm not sure what to make of this article by Tony Heller, but if he's right then NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has been behaving a bit irresponsibly with their data, and, contrary to the terrifying prognostications of folks like Al Gore, the specter of runaway global warming is a chimera.

The basic claim of Heller's piece is this:
In their “hottest year ever” press briefing, NOAA included a graph, which stated that they have a 58 year long radiosonde temperature record, but they only showed the last 37 years in the graph. The reason for the selective presentation of data is that the earlier data showed as much pre-1979 cooling as post-1979 warming.
In other words, Heller is claiming that NOAA’s data actually shows that there's been no net global warming for 60 years. Given all the alarums raised by climate scientists and all the radical, and very costly, policy proposals promoted by the world's politicians this is quite a shocking claim that Heller is making. I urge interested readers to visit the site and peruse the graphs and supporting materials he provides.

Maybe someone who knows more about climate science can explain why his argument is wrong (or right), but for now it's very hard to accept the confident assertion, made by so many of our politicians from President Obama on down, that global warming is in fact "settled science."