factless Piers … feckless too

Piers Morgan wouldn’t know a fact if it bit him on the a***.

Which Facts Does Piers Not Understand?

At the end of last week’s debate on Piers Morgan’s show between Marc Morano and Bill Nye, Morgan concluded by saying to Morano

OK. Look, I respect that you have views. I don’t think they’re facts and there are many scientists who would take issue with you about the use of the word facts.

So what were these facts that Morgan seemed to have trouble believing?  The NewsBusters website has a full transcription of the debate, and includes citations for most of the points Morano made, and is well worth reading.  But, to summarise, the points he made were as follows :-

There are quite literally hundreds of factors that influence global temperature, everything from tilt of the earth’s axis to ocean cycles to water vapour, methane, solar system, the sun, cloud feedback, and volcanic dust.

Peer-reviewed studies show the Medieval and Roman warming periods as warm or warmer than today, and evidence shows these were world wide phenomena.

We’ve had 16 years with no warming.

In the geological past, there have been warmer times when there was less CO2 than now, and colder periods when there was more.

The number of big tornadoes has declined since the 1950’s.

We’ve gone the longest period without a major hurricane hitting the US since 1900, and there are no unusual trends in hurricanes.

US droughts not getting worse.

US floods not getting worse.

Sea levels have been rising since the ice age, and there is no evidence of acceleration.

There is in fact very little disagreement amongst scientists about any of these issues, although there will be debate about the detail and nuances. There are possibly only two issues where there could be controversy.

1) There is clearly a debate about whether the MWP and RWP were global, or just limited to Europe, as Nye claims. However, even Michael Mann would not be able to deny that there are a host of serious studies which contradict the latter, and which cannot simply be swept under the carpet.

2) The question of whether sea level rise is accelerating. Uncertainty still exists about the exact measurements, but the worst case scenario suggests only an increase from 8 inches per century to 11 inches.

If Morgan genuinely does not believe these are facts, it really does prove just how brainwashed some people, who are otherwise intelligent individuals, have become.

So what did the “Science Guy” have to say?

Let’s finish by looking what Bill Nye contributed to the discussion. He appeared to be extremely badly prepared, with little understanding of the subject. But his main points were :-

The MWP and RWP were just in Europe. [Apparently he has not heard of Greenland.]

CO2 emissions are rising.

The world’s population is rising.

It’s the rate of CO2 increase that is the problem, not the actual level.[Not heard of that one before!]

This is the hottest two decades in recorded history.

Accusing Morano of stating the UN says it’s not the hottest 20 years.[ Where on earth does he get this from?]

Tens of millions will try to move north out of South East Asia.

In reply to Morano’s claim that Kyoto will make next to no difference to global temperatures, Nye responds “We’re not talking about the temperature.”

All in all, a rather rambling performance that showed he had very little understanding of the topic.

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley) Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Incorporated Kimberley Environmental Horticulture (KEH) is a small group of committed individuals who promote the use of indigenous plants for the landscaping of parks and gardens. Rehabilitation of Kimberley coast, bushland and pastoral regions are also high on our agenda. This includes planting seedlings, weed control, damage from erosion or any other environmental matter that comes to our attention. We come from all walks of life, from Professionals and Trades oriented occupations, Pensioners and Students, Public Servants and the Unemployed. We have a community plant nursery where we trial many old and new species, with a view to incorporating these into our landscaping trials. Our labour force are mainly volunteers, but with considerable help from the 'work for the dole' program, Indigenous Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) groups and the Ministry of Justice, with their community work orders; in this way we manage to train many people in the horticultural skills needed for indigenous plant growing. We constantly undertake field trips that cover seed and plant collection in the Kimberley. Networking around the Kimberley region and the east Pilbara is a necessary part of promoting our activities. We consult on a range of Environmental and Landscaping matters that deal with our region. Our activities involve improving Broome's residential streetscapes by including 'waterwise' priciples in planting out nature strips. Sustainable environmental horticulture is practised by members of our group. We use existing vegetation as the backbone of any plantings, using these species to advantage when planning to develop tree forms or orchards. The Broome region is sensitive to development. Subsequently many weed species have become dominant in and around developed areas. The use and movement of heavy machinery is the biggest single cause of environmental degradation. We dont live in a 'Tropical Paradise' but on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. The plants that survive best here, grow in well-drained pindan sand, and are found from the Dampier Peninsular southward to where average rainfall is below 600mm. When we use rainforest species, detail is important when planting, water catchment, sunlight and understorey species are all considered. The use of recycled 'grey' water is an advantage here as well as treated waste-water, although many local species do not fare well with nutrients from this source. We use waterwise planting methods which include harvesting asmuch rainwater as possible, with swales designed to hold up to 200 litres, to help recharge the local groundwater aquifer. There has been a serious decline in this aquifer over the last few years. With the fast expansion of the Broome peninsular, more and more land is being covered by concrete, iron and bitumen so that much less water is available to replenish the aquifer, allowing the salt content to become significantly higher. The small Broome Peninsular is on the south-western corner of the Dampier Peninsular (bound by Broome, Derby and Cape Leveque at the northern tip). Compaction by vehicles also inhibits water retention due to the content of our local pindan sand, hard as concrete in the dry, going to soft and sloppy mud after rain. None of us are botanists, inevitably we have got some names wrong, names changed, or have not gone to sub-species level. If you note a photo or description may be wrong, please e-mail to kimenvhort@yahoo.com.au
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