It was suggested in a post on The Stupid Shall Be Punished group that former RADML Titley was an honorable scientific mind who buys into the AGW story and we should bow to his will. Since I had no knowledge of the admiral, I found this TedTalk he gave while still in uniform (he's now a Professor in the Met department at Penn State - more thoughts on that later)
The tease on this Ted Talk was that he had been a AGW skeptic and had some massive epiphany and this was going to explain it. So, since I am a skeptic, and I tend to give great deference to submariner's opinions, I decided to give the Admiral 22 minutes of my time and see what compelling evidence led him to convert.
I must admit, I was underwhelmed.
Titley goes through a litany of items that he claims don't explain the warming of the 20th Century. He notes that we took on particulate emissions as part of the revision of the clean air act, and jokingly explains that an unintended consequence of this is that it actually contributes to global warming. If he intends it to be ironic that this great accomplishment leads to more global warming AND it was unintended, in a speech where he's trying to convice you the science is immutable, he doesn't seem to be bothered by it.
He even has the chutzpah to suggest that the models are part of what convinced him to change his stripes. At the same time he admits ocean acidification is not really significant, he is touting the unproven, and unlikely party line that all the heat has gone into the oceans. Huh? If there's one thing the Global Warmists should stop doing, it is making predictions. These are not helping their case.
Anyway, I don't find his reasoning that interesting, ground breaking, or compelling. Like many in the Warmist camp, he exaggerates things and relies on the extreme case scenarios when discussing possible outcomes (things like a 21st Century prediction of a 6 foot rise in Global Sea Levels). I'd refer him back to the models, that don't seem too great now after a 20 year pause.
I also find his allegiance to Penn State an issue. This is the group of scientists implicated in the ClimateGate emails as willing to fudge data and smear their opponents. I am sure that were it me, and I wanted to be seen as a purely objective scientist on this issue, I might stay away from PSU. I don't begrudge the guy his job there, but, I wonder how much a former skeptic, looking at retirement from the Navy after 32 years, and seeking to join academia, would be willing to reconsider his beliefs if he felt they might affect future employment opportunities.
On this point, let's be clear. Spending on Climate Change by the Warmists dwarfs that done by skeptics. The biggest spender on AGW research is not Exxon/Mobil/Shell/BP/Etc.but the US Government. The AGW crowd is involved in an industry that must have these research dollars to survive. Like Claude Raines in Casablanca, they are happy to blow with the wind, and the prevailing wind is with the Warmists right now.
Finally, let me address a couple of areas that concern me about the Navy in the last 25 years. Back in 1992, the Navy decided to conduct a witch hunt in the turbulence of the Tailhook scandal. Navy leadership has since then determined that being the most PC of the services was an effective means of securing and currying favor with Congress and Democratic administrations. I can't say that, looking at the prevailing winds in 1991/1992 that this wouldn't have been a prudent, post-Cold War move for a service about to lose its primary reason for existence, the Soviet Navy.
So, the Navy decided it would push hard on integrating women into the service. This came at the expense of much of the male-centered culture that so dominated the service. After 25 years of continual sexual assualt/harassment training and pushes to get more female sailors, I think it's largely a success in its broad goals - addressing manning issues and responding to the pressures brought by lawmakers on the Hill and 2 liberal democratic administrations. That has come at a cost. I'd just like people to acknowledge that the Navy really hasn't embraced this out of some actual desire to forge societal change, but really out of political self-presevation motives.
The other area that not just the Navy, but all the services have decided to bow to political whim is the Global Climate Change cause. If any Navy leader can look me in the eye and say with all seriousness that Global Warming is the greatest challenge facing mankind, I would have to laugh at them (inwardly, if they outrank me). I think this one is an even more cynical self-preservation tactic. I think it's particularly cynical for the Navy.
Let's face it, what could be better for the Navy than 6 more feet of water on the planet and more choke-points and oceans to protect. Hell, we may get our 600 ship Navy this way. We'll need more submarines to prowl the Arctic and track the Russians operating there, as well as conduct GW research missions. We'll need more ships and aircraft to patrol the world's new chokepoints, and we'll (ostensibly) need to retoool our bases that Titley reminds us will (I guess?) be submerged in more water.
Of course, when the models that have failed today don't track on 2030 either, we'll need to re-evaluate this whole climate change thing, but, having gotten out front in 2015, the services, especially the Navy, will be well on the way to nirvana.