Global Warming Science -


Bill McKibben: Popular Alarmist, Facts: Irrelevant


[last update: 2011/03/22]



Bill McKibben often has alarmist articles at The New York Times, Huffington Post, and the Guardian, but he neglects to examine actual data when making his alarmist claims, based on his desire to shut down Western society.




Global Warming Effects Similar to Japan’s Earthquake


McKibben wants humanity to shrink (but only Western humanity).






“Sea Levels Have Begun To Rise”


He blames it on anthropogenic global warming. But the data show a long term increase that started well before the global warming era.


The following figure shows global cumulative sea level change for 1900 to 2002 [].


According to the IPCC, CO2-based warming has only shown up since the 1970s. So all of this sea level rise since prior to 1970 cannot be caused by anthropogenic CO2, and yet the trend has not increased in recent years.




The following figure shows the sea level rise for the last 18 years [] from satellite data. The rate appears to be higher than since 1900 because it starts at a dip as shown by the green rectangle in the figure above. The rate has decreased during the past decade.



Sea level rise since the last ice age []:


File:Post-Glacial Sea Level.png



“Sea levels have begun to rise” – yes, Bill, a long time ago – if you think it is due to CO2, you need to go back to skool and git sum science edjumecation.


Details on sea level rise:




“We’re seeing record temperatures that depress harvests”


McKibben is just out to lunch here. “Warmer, wetter climate helping U.S. farmers grow more crops


Warmer and wetter weather in large swaths of the country have helped farmers grow corn, soybeans and other crops in some regions that only a few decades ago were too dry or cold, experts who are studying the change said.Bruce Babcock, an Iowa State University agriculture economist, said soybean production is expanding north and the cornbelt is expanding north and west because of earlier planting dates and later freezes in the fall. "The Dakotas are pretty big corn producers now and soybeans have dramatically increased in North and South Dakota," Babcock said


The USDA provides agricultural productivity data [] listing state-by-state yearly data. The data has been graphed by David Archibald [] and is shown below for 1960 to 2005 for several states. I have added the thick red line showing atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa over the same time period (CO2 graph from


Agricultural Productivity for Six States, Plus Atmospheric CO2 (Red – Scale at right)



Maybe poor ol’ Bill is talking about Asia:


The following figures show crop production in China and India for 1968-2009 (“Crop production index shows agricultural production for each year relative to the base period 1999-2001. It includes all crops except fodder crops.” [])





Or maybe Africa: See: to dispel that illusion.


Or crop science in general:



From the above article: “The more carbon emissions we dump into the air, the faster forests and plants grow


McKibben says: “the amount of grain per capita on the planet has been falling for years.” Since the harvests and yields have been increasing for years, and third-world population has been increasing for years (while most western populations have not), what is it that Bill is really referring to? Not actual grain declines from global warming, but third-world population increasing. He is gravely misleading with his lack of scientific knowledge (or maybe not a lack of scientific knowledge – just purposefully deceiving the gullible).


See also:



And what about those “record temperatures” that are “depressing harvests”?


The following graph shows the count of monthly maximum temperature records for the 50 states by year as well as a 10-year moving average of the data. []




The following graph shows the count of monthly maximum temperature records for the 48 contiguous states summarized by decade [



Individual state temperature records can be found here:



He also says: “severe flooding keeps going up and in the last year countries from Pakistan to Australia have recently ended up on the wrong side of those odds.”


The global warming connection to Australian floods is debunked here:


Pakistan floods were part of the atmospheric blocking that also caused the Russian heat wave. Although the Pakistan floods are not addressed directly, the phenomenon is documented here:



OK – so Bill gets it all wrong – Al Gore would be proud – another inconvenient non-truther.