PoliGraph: Gruenhagen climate claim doesn’t hold up

poligraph-falseDuring a state House debate on a jobs and energy bill this week, Democrats offered an amendment that would put the Legislature on record saying that climate change is real and that humans are causing it.

  1. Listen PoliGraph: April 24

Late in the debate, House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, quizzed a number of Republican representatives on their views on climate change.

Among them was Rep. Glen Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, who has said in the past that he’s skeptical climate change is real. Thissen asked him if he thinks climate change is caused by human activity.

“I believe there are eminently qualified scientists who would disagree [that climate change is caused by human activity], and I agree with those scientists,” Gruenhagen said.

Gruenhagen has a right to his opinion, but his comments – and comments made by other Legislators during the debate – suggest the scientific community is divided on the topic.

That’s not true.

The Evidence

Gruenhagen clarified his comments in an email, writing that, “as a lay person I have become more and more convinced that science is not based on consensus and that theories need to be continually vetted and critiqued with the latest scientific info and discoveries.”

He pointed to several groups and articles to support his claim, including the International Climate Science Coalition and the Climate Science Coalition of America. Both groups have ties to other climate skeptic groups like the Heartland Institute, a think-tank that has received money from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.

He also pointed to a petition of more than 30,000 scientists who believe climate change isn’t real. But the petition has raised questions because it is old and it does not list the specialties or affiliations of the signatories. And of the signatories from Minnesota, none is a prominent climate scientist.

But the real problem with Gruenhagen’s comments is that there is strong consensus within the scientific community that studies changes in the earth’s climate.

A 2010 study shows that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is real and is very likely caused by human activity. A study published a year earlier among a wider array of scientists showed 82 percent agree that climate change is real and caused by human activity.

Moreover, the science is clear that climate change is happening.

Since 1998, the rate of warming has slowed. Possible explanations published by leading climate scientists in peer-reviewed journals include increased volcanic activity or variability in temperature oscillations in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

But that doesn’t change the fact that we’ve had some of the hottest years on record in the last decade.

In fact, the latest numbers from the National Climatic Data Center out this week show that the first quarter of this year is the warmest on record. According to the same data, 2014 was the warmest year to date – and that’s absent El Nino, which affected temperatures in 1998.

And in Minnesota, the scientific evidence is clear: Warming is changing our lives, businesses, landscapes, and environment.

The Verdict

Gruenhagen is entitled to his opinion. And PoliGraph isn’t saying that there aren’t any scientists – trained climatologists or otherwise – who disagree that human activity is leading to climate change.

But his statement casts doubt on the fact there is strong consensus among scientists that climate change is real and that it’s caused by human activity.

There is strong consensus, particularly among climate scientists, that Gruenhagen is mistaken.

 

  • TomHarrisICSC
    • ptoadstool

      Do you still stand by your belief that there is evidence for Moses being right in biblical stories while real climate scientists have no credibility?

      • TomHarrisICSC

        You people need a psychologist.

        • ptoadstool

          I’ve studied psychology, and I’d say this strikes a nerve. Care to defend your statement? Here it is: “While historical evidence increasingly suggests that cataclysm really did follow Moses’ prophesies, modern-day forecasts of climate Armageddon are not coming true.”

          • Robert

            Good question to ask. Not surprised it wasn’t responded to.

            That essay was quite something. ..http://archive.is/2YCmB

        • MiMg

          actually there is NO proof about your “god”

    • davem

      you can reply right here, or haven’t the Koch’s told you what to say yet?

    • ptoadstool

      Still waiting to hear from you, Tom. Or are you in Rome convincing the Pope that climate change isn’t real?

      • TomHarrisICSC

        I ignore sarcasm and straw man arguments from anonymous posters.

        • Will

          No you are just waiting for the Koch Foundation to give you your talking points.

    • Robert

      “lot of red herrings and straw man arguments ”
      Examples?

  • EdBradly7

    No surprises here. The Republican Party is also known as the AntiFact, Anti Science Party among other things. And BTW, Myth Romney will beat President Obama.

  • lindblomeagles

    I for one am growing tired of Republicans questioning the veracity of global warming. If you really want the truth, society should always be looking for ways to improvement the environment and energy. Beginning in the 1950s, scientists and communities discovered American society could not ignore the environment when polluted drinking water, dirty air, and a host of chemicals KILLED animals AND people. Since the 1980s, we’ve also learned forests don’t last forever, and took steps to cut down paper use, recycle paper, among other things, and plant a tree or two to replenish tree stocks. Why ANY Republican, let alone American, particular after the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, would question the reasonableness of any scientific finding regarding environmental issues is beyond me. Moreover, I don’t see why we should be up in arms about driving solar vehicles either. I REALLY WOULD like to have a different choice than Big Oil, not only because solar energy is cleaner, but I’m tired of Big Oil’s willy nilly gas rate increases any time it suits them. Much, much, much, harder to charge anyone for something they can’t control, something like the sun.

    • Voodude

      “question the reasonableness of any scientific finding regarding environmental issues”
      -Because reputable scientists publish stuff to the contrary.

  • Fred

    Obama really helped the environment this week with by flying over the Everglades with a Democratic scientist for Earth Day and burning 6000 gals of jet fuel.

    • MiMg

      WRONG

  • raymarshall

    There is a lot of “theory” based on computer modules here. Until there is a “law” of global warming, the question is still open. That’s why after 160 years or so, it is still “Darwin’s THEORY of Evolution.” Somewhat true, but not universally true because it can’t be tested and replicated.

    • MiMg

      SCIENCE is FACT, deal with it

    • Robert

      On the other hand, there is empirical evidence that co2 forces change in temp, ocean acidification, etc. And we have thousands of observations that fit the ACC hypothesis.
      If there were a substantive body of evidence for any alternative hypothesis. ….

  • MiMg

    98% of ALL Scientists believe in Global Warming and Evolution

  • raymarshall

    Computer models are not science or fact, They are guesses!

    • zlop

      Some guesses are useful for supporting Agenda 21 tyranny and
      Rothschild, Gore and Blood, Carbon Tax Extortion Racketeers.

    • Voodude

      “They are guesses!” and they guess wrong, most of the time. Many times, they don’t even have the correct sign, let alone the magnitude, compared to real observations.

  • TomHarrisICSC

    Note how the responses to my posts are the usual sarcasm and logical fallacies we hear from activists when their sacred doctrine is questioned; a sign of the weakness of their position. BTW, MPR never answered my outreach. Sad that they would not want to know the truth.

    • Will

      You have yet to post anything substantial or informative or your position. You never cite what are “red herrings and straw man arguments” in the article. You use sarcasm to tell someone they need a psychologist for citing an article you did (http://archive.is/2YCmB) – which as you quote is “a sign of weakness of their position.” When 97% of climate scientist hold the opposite opinion…you may want to recheck your intentions (i.e. whatever Kock industries is telling you to think).

      • TomHarrisICSC

        Please fill me on the Koshs. Being here I Canada, I know almost nothing about them.

        • Will

          Well you are clueless then.
          Koch Industries has 1.1 million acres of Alberta’s tar sands.
          Koch Industries provides funding to the Heartland Institute (a sham climate denial group) that then provided funding to the International Science Coalition. (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=International_Climate_Science_Coalition
          So are you clueless or are you still trying to make up facts?

          • TomHarrisICSC

            More rude aggression from an anonymous poster, I see.

          • Will

            You still continue to completely ignore any of the criticisms leveled at you including: your organizations ties to Koch Industries, the fact that 97% of climate scientists disagree with your organizations views, and your article (http://archive.is/2YCmB).
            Stop acting like you are a victim when your organization is the one spreading misinformation.

          • TomHarrisICSC

            And I will continue to ignore them as they are pure fabrication by people who are simply out to discredit us instead of thinking seriously about what nature is really doing.

          • zlop

            You are wasting your time with (sociopath?) Christopher Keating Mod

            If he dislikes your post ,you will be banned. White with Red Background.
            “We are unable to post your comment because you have been blocked by dialoguesonglobalwarmong.blogspot. Find out more.”

          • TomHarrisICSC

            I note he has posted a major, hopelessly flawed, attack against me here:
            http://dialoguesonglobalwarming.blogspot.ca/2015/05/guest-submission-denier-comments-in.html

          • zlop

            I am banned from there. Was an interesting encounter, Christopher Keating with Tahoe Steph — After Christopher Keating was dominated by better writing skills and logic, Steph’s posts were deleted.

            Psychopaths keep on changing the rules. It has been compared to a chess game. Every-time you turn you back, the psychopath rearranges the pieces.

            “Robert Hare – Psychopath/Sociopath – The Difference”
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4d4euAOq7s

          • TomHarrisICSC

            Yes, Keating sounds like quite a card.

          • zlop

            There is some entertainment value. Blogs are clogged up with synthetic entities, which are limited to distracting and sabotaging discourse. Their game seems to be to degenerate to emotion generating insults. Disqus is complicit, by not providing an ignore (hide a specific poster) button.

          • CB

            lol! I love how Harris pretends being from Canada keeps him from receiving information from other places… Like the border is some kind of impermeable fact barrier…

            “both Antarctica and Greenland are losing ice.”

            http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/Grace/news/grace20121129.html

          • cunudiun

            Tom and zlop — I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Also nice to learn Tom is impressed with Tahoe Steph’s “writing skills and logic.” 😀 What a complete PR tool he is.

          • zlop

            In the colder climates of Canadia, to stay alive, people have think more.
            Dishonesty is a luxury, for only a few, like David Suzuki.
            TomHarrisICSC did good interviews with Ezra Levant;
            “Tom Harris of the International Climate Science Coalition explains the
            IPCC report is an example of “decision-based evidence making”.
            http://www.ezralevant.com/climate_alarmism/

          • Voodude

            “people have think more”

          • zlop

            Without sounding too racists,
            people of the Canadian and Siberian Cold understand more.

          • CB

            “nice to learn Tom is impressed with Tahoe Steph’s “writing skills and logic.” “

            I guess he’s Heartland’s talent scout as well…

            Ms. Stephanie certainly does reveal she’s far too intelligent to believe the dishonesty she puts out there. She may eventually end up being paid for her spin!

            …though she’ll never earn enough to make up for the damage her lies cause…

            “The traditional snow season ends April 1… The Lake Tahoe Basin’s snowpack Tuesday was only 3% of normal for the date”

            http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2015/04/01/sierra-snowpack-drought-california-lake-tahoe/70760264

          • cunudiun

            Ms. Stephanie certainly does reveal she’s far too intelligent to believe the dishonesty she puts out there. She may eventually end up being paid for her spin!

            Wow, you really nailed it there. She’s got all kinds of science at her disposal, but her information sources are rotten, and she’s dishonest as the day is long. Check out my latest go-round with her. I bent over backwards trying to converse with her in good faith, and I’ll never make that mistake again.

          • I probably started out on the wrong foot with Tahoe Steph after the stuff she posted about atmospheric carbon dioxide saturation and not denying the scientific consensus on the physics of CO2. But after accusing/insulting her about her science denial and trying to hone in on the scientific consensus among climatologists and the IPCC being a scientific body, she admitted to thwarting my attempts at conversation. So there you have it.

          • cunudiun

            Yeah, I just read your whole conversation with her. She has a wide range of scientific and pseudo-scientific material at her disposal, and is a master at gish-galloping indiscriminately between the two categories, but in the end, as you have also realized, her fallback position is sheer dishonesty.

          • I do attempt (or believe that it is possible) to appeal to a person’s better nature, i.e. I actually believe that people want to be honest and trustworthy. Perhaps this will be my ultimate undoing 😉

          • cunudiun

            We really have no choice but to keep coming back to that despite all the evidence to the contrary.

          • “Several motivations and causes for [science] denialism have been proposed, including religious beliefs and self-interest, or as a psychological defense mechanism against disturbing ideas.”

            “Then there are those who engage in denialist tactics because they are protecting some ‘overvalued idea’ which is critical to their identity. Since legitimate dialogue is not a valid option for those who are interested in protecting bigoted or unreasonable ideas from scientific facts, their only recourse is to use these types of rhetorical tactics.”

            “An accusation of “denial” is serious, suggesting either deliberate dishonesty or self-deception. The thing being denied is, by implication, so obviously true that the denier must be driven by perversity, malice or wilful blindness. Few issues warrant such confidence. The Holocaust is perhaps one, though even here there is room for debate over the manner of its execution and the number of its victims. A charge of denial short-circuits this debate by stigmatising as dishonest any deviation from a preordained conclusion. It is a form of the argument ad hominem: the aim is not so much to refute your opponent as to discredit his motives. The extension of the “denier” tag to group after group is a development that should alarm all liberal-minded people. One of the great achievements of the Enlightenment—the liberation of historical and scientific enquiry from dogma—is quietly being reversed.” http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/regulars/words-that-think-for-us-3

          • cunudiun

            Interesting paragraphs, highlighting the difficulty of changing minds, of communicating ideas without driving people deeper into a corner. The best thing I’ve read on this general subject is George Marshall’s book Don’t Even Think About It – Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change. He goes not only into the psychology of denialism but the unique, intractable nature of the problem itself, particularly that not much will appear to be happening until it’s too late to take effective action. I don’t agree with 100% of what he says, but it’s a very interesting book with much to teach us troll-whackers.

          • I have the book and am enjoying a re-read. Have you heard of What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism by Fred Magdoff and John Bellamy Foster? I think they beat Naomi Klein to the punch. Probably only preaching to the converted :-/ Wish I had a better report.

          • zlop
          • TomHarrisICSC

            I see what you mean – take a look here: http://dialoguesonglobalwarming.blogspot.ca/2015/05/tom-harris-exposed.html#comment-2017743175

            Tom Harris, B. Eng., M. Eng. (Mech.)
            Executive Director,
            International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)
            P.O. Box 23013
            Ottawa, Ontario
            K2A 4E2
            Canada

            http://www.climatescienceinternational.org
            613-728-9200

            Note: The ICSC relies on donations from the public across the world to cover its operating expenses. To contribute, please go here: http://tinyurl.com/3ttkw82.

          • zlop

            After being banned and most posts removed, I went back and removed,
            blanked, my remaining posts by editing to Alt255 Alt255

            White on Red — “We are unable to post your comment because you have
            been blocked by dialoguesonglobalwarmong.blogspot. Find out more.”

          • zlop

            “TomHarrisICSC > Christopher Keating • 7 minutes ago

            That is not the issue. You committed serious falsehoods when you publically smeared me as being a lobbyist and working to further the interests of the tobacco industry.”

            I read a book on Internet Law — and same rules apply as outside the Internet.

            Might make an interesting post, detailing query results from 3 law firms.

          • Voodude

            Grist banned me, zlop. I was tolerated until I posted a photograph of a (real) billboard, featuring the unibomber’s image, saying that he still believed in Global Warming …

          • zlop

            In a way, I dont’t mind being banned from sites like grist and carbon brief. They are heavily funded by the Rothschild, Gore and Blood Carbon Tax Extortion Racketeers. They can get high on their Carbon Foolprint odors. The problem is that, we have to subsidize their addiction propaganda, to corrupt perception.

            Discus (NSA thought control compromised) should provide forewarning that, I am unable to post. Where is Net Neutrality, Blocking symmetry?

            White on Red ” We are unable to post your comment because you have been blocked by Grist. Find out more.”

          • Voodude

            San Jose Mercury News took down a bunch of mine, but I haven’t been banned yet.

          • zlop

            Most successful seems to be, to thread lightly and not get into prolonged disagreements with site resident gargoyles. They are tied to a site and cannot fly into truth.

  • cunudiun

    Very good job, Catharine Richert. You have done your homework on this and gotten it right, despite the vast, organized efforts to deceive the public financed by the fossil fuel industries.

  • zlop

    “received money from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.”
    This is how the 97% was arrived at — Koch brothers control a few Billion,
    Carbon Disclosure Project, of #10 Downing Street, controls a lot more?
    “Abel Danger 9-11-2014 $92 Trillion Dollar Carbon Disclosure Project Gambling on Contrived Disaster” https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=-7QlmtOMNGM#t=72

  • Voodude

    Outrageous. This claim that “The US recorded its warmest first quarter since the 1880s … “ is unsupported by the NOAA satellites themselves.

    Remote Sensing Systems’ data from NOAA satellites, show the first quarter of 2015 to be not-so-impressive…
    RSS Global Satellite data (anomaly)
    2015 Jan 0.3667 °C
    2015 Feb 0.3268 °C
    2015 Mar 0.2546 °C
    2015 Apr 0.1745 °C
    ftp://ftp.ssmi[DOT]com/msu/graphics/tlt/time_series/rss_ts_channel_tlt_global_land_and_sea_v03_3.txt

    Earth System Science Center, at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, using a different set of NOAA Global Satellite data, V6.0 beta, shows similar results:
    2015 Jan anomaly: 0.24 °C
    2015 Feb anomaly: 0.14 °C
    2015 Mar anomaly: 0.12°C

    here it is, Version 6.0 beta: http://vortex.nsstc.uah[DOT]edu/data/msu/v6.0beta/tlt/uahncdc_lt_6.0beta1

    • Voodude

      The data from the NOAA satellites, as processed by RSS, continues the small, but steadily COOLING trend:

      • Voodude

        Satellite data from a different set of NOAA birds, as processed by the ESSC of UAH, shows a virtually identical COOLING trend to RSS, using the V6.0b data: