Neocarbon

By Phil Plait | April 26, 2009 8:00 am

There has been a spate of far-right insanity about carbon over the past week or so; it’s like a handful of Congresscritters on that side of the aisle has taken crazy pills. Or more pills than usual.

I already showed you Texas goofball Representative Joe Barton, who thought he had a Nobel Laureate on the ropes with his oh-so-probing questions about gas and oil that revealed Barton has a second grade understanding of science.

Capitol smoke

But now House Minority Leader (!) John Boehner reveals he can out-Barton Barton in an exchange with Geroge Stephanopoulos that, well, has to be read to be believed.

STEPHANOPOULOS: […] What is the Republican plan to deal with carbon emissions, which every major scientific organization has said is contributing to climate change?

BOEHNER: George, the idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, you know, when they do what they do, you’ve got more carbon dioxide. And so I think it’s clear…

Um. CO2 a carcinogen? Who would say something as dumb as that? Oh — he must’ve heard it from Barton.

And Congressman? Methane is what comes out of cows. Not CO2, methane. Well, some CO2 comes from cows — they breathe, after all– but in context he obviously meant methane. You’d think with his severe case of rectal-cranial inversion Boehner’d know the difference.

But of course, no one can hold a candle to the pile of crazy that is Michele Bachmann (R-aving lunatic) who sets the bar for "barking mad" so high that Charles Manson can only sit back in jealousy. Listen to this monologue by her about carbon dioxide, and bear in mind she has a college education.

She would flunk a fourth grade science class saying that stuff. Thank heavens she’s only in the friggin’ United States Congress!

It’s hard to know where to start with this. Carbon dioxide is only 0.03% of the Earth’s atmosphere, not 3%. It is most certainly not harmless, as too much of it will kill you. She’s right that it’s natural, but so is arsenic. It’s also important to life, but too much will kill you just as certainly as too much water will — you can’t breathe either of them.

I love how she stresses how natural CO2 is, like humans cannot make it at all. We know where carbon dioxide comes from in human industry, and we know it’s not negligible, and we know it has an effect. What she spouts here is basically a stream of lies piled one atop the other. In the end of that video Representative Earl Blumenauer pretty much smacks her down, letting everyone know that she was indeed simply making stuff up.

The world some of these politicians live in is as bizarre and twisted as anything I have ever seen in a cartoon. It’s incredible to me that such know-nothings are actually able to control the laws and policies of this nation. Happily though, they do eventually come up for re-election. Maybe then we can breathe easy again.

Original Capitol picture from krossbow’s Flickr photostream.

Comments (178)

  1. Tom Phillips

    Thank heavens she’s only in the friggin’ United States House of Representatives?

  2. I blame the electorate for these congresscritters. For every smart voter out there, they are overwhelmed by the thousands of blithering idiots that are responsible for giving these morons a niche…

  3. mus

    “bear in mind she has a college education.”

    she DOES??? oh wow, that is absolutely incredible.

    “It’s incredible to me that such know-nothings are actually able to control the laws and policies of this nation.”

    That is why I think people should be forced to pass a test about each candidate’s specific positions before they are allowed anywhere near a ballot. I believe that even the most basic test would get rid of a large portion of the complete morons in power.

  4. mus

    PS. Or at the very least, people should be required to watch a video or two detailing each candidate’s positions. The problem with that is that people wouldn’t pay attention.

  5. Charlie Young

    That woman need to spend a minute in a room devoid of O2 and filled with CO2,then she can see how harmless it is…although it seems she already has.

  6. Charlie Young

    …that should be spelled needs…

  7. It is a sad fact, as much as we’d like not to believe it, that these people represent the vast majority of Americans. We are an incredibly rich, and incredibly stupid people. Not that there aren’t other stupid people in the world, or that the majorities of other countries aren’t most likely as stupid as ours. But…

    We have no right to be so dumb. Any nation that touts itself as the world leader, that has enough military might to freakin’ blow up a fair percentage of civilization, has no right to be so dumb.

    It’s one thing to argue intelligently the pros and cons of global warming and whether or not manmade CO2 is contributing to it. But the arguments should be…oh, I don’t know…intelligent?

  8. foolfodder

    I love the way she says “in other words” and then just repeats the same thing.

  9. Sili

    Aren’t we getting close to .04% (partial pressure) by now?

  10. Egaeus

    Phil, small point: she’s in the House of Representatives, not the Senate.

  11. Egaeus

    And I can’t seem to read comments.

  12. Somebody kill those scumbrains!

  13. Todd W.

    *sigh* She’s from Minneosta? As a native of that fine state, this is really embarassing. I hang my head in shame.

  14. IVAN3MAN
  15. Becca

    If I hear the word “natural” one more time, I will flip my lid!!!

  16. jasonB

    Gee Phil, no video from points in Al Gore’s movie that has been proven wrong? How about pointing out how many houses and how much energy said houses use, that are owned by special guest star to the hearings Al Gore? But there he is up there lecturing all of us how to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Ho. Ho.

    Wow, the Democrats want another tax on producers!?! And the producers pass the price on to the consumers so we all pay in the end. That’s change you can believe in.

    By the way, what was your carbon footprint on your latest TV appearance? Traveling to stand in front of a rock to tell us about something that has almost NO chance of happening?

    Again, don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great you get to do what you want. It’s just that me and others like me would like to have the same opportunity. Not have every last dollar taxed right out of my pocket so I can sit in my house and wait for my government to provide my next meal or doctors visit.

  17. @ JasonB:

    Not to start a flaming tennis match, but the tax burden left by the previous administration’s war against Iraq will be taking more out your pocket…for the next 40 years…than any carbon tax ever would.

    BTW, which points from Al Gore’s movie were proven wrong? Just curious. Haven’t seen it.

  18. Matt M

    Educated??? Probably one of those ID-leaning schools! So if it does turn out to be a real problem she will insist some invisible being in the sky will feel sorry for us and fix if so she can continue to drive her rolling zipcode!

  19. Aquatic

    It is strange that so many are ill informed and do not even bother to check!
    However how many know that much of the industial gases are extracted from the air and the non commercial residues are expelled back into the air?
    Among these are some of the dangerous ones we cannot breath and do fear, which is the reason some are non commercial. Whether we do use them or not they go back into the air as that is where they came from in the first place.
    Regarding the climate; I do wonder why ” global warming ” is now ” climate change”?
    I am really worried as the climate has always been so constant and reliable and now do not know whether to buy an extra blanket or a fan.
    aquatic.

  20. Miles

    Phil,

    I’m curious where you and others like you stand on this issue when it comes to actually evaluating the damage caused by human emissions. The science is good enough to know that we are causing emissions, and we do know that we have an impact. But I’m not convinced that the science has shown just how significant of an impact we are having, that it is anywhere near as bad as the media and people like Al Gore make it out to be, or that we should be doing anything at all about it.

    One thing that boggles my mind is when I see thoughtful people with a scientific background look at this issue in a vacuum and don’t even consider how much harm can be done by having the government start passing all kinds of crazy legislation to limit our environmental impact. Does anyone remember the DDT scare and how failing to use DDT has ended up costing MILLIONS of human lives? Turns out that DDT isn’t nearly as bad as we thought, yet we have convinced other nations to stay away from using it, and millions of people have died from diseases that could have been prevented by the use of DDT.

    I’m all for trusting the science. And I’m convinced that the science is there to show that we definitely have an impact on our environment and our carbon emissions have certainly increased over the last century. But all this doomsday panic without having a solid understanding of how bad things really are is dangerous and it puts lives in the balance.

  21. @kuhnigget, your first post was brilliant! I’ve been saying this for ages. It’s like “Idiocracy” is actually coming to pass…

  22. Guysmiley

    Caaaarbin Diiiaxide is natchral dontcha know?

    So is arsenic. So is asbestos. So is radon. I’d like to put her in a 10% CO2 atmosphere for an hour and see how natural she thinks it is.

    God damn. They’ll believe anything so long as it fits in their Consumption Uber Alles mentality.

  23. “Maybe then we can breathe easy again.”

    Careful. Think of all the CO2 those signs of relief will produce. Michelle is dangerous coming and going.

  24. andyb

    PZ beat you to posting MB’s idiocy.

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/04/minnesota_once_again_embarrass.php

    Some of my favourite points from the comments there.

    – at 17% CO2 is, in fact, toxic (not that that was her point).
    – concentration is more like 0.03% and is going the way of doubling since the industrial revolution started.

    She was wrong in every figure and point of fact. Amazing.

  25. dragonsyoung

    Phil Plait for president!!! get Geo as your PR rep.

  26. Peter Backus

    Representative Blumenauer was very kind to her. I would love to see her make the same statements in the British House of Commons.

  27. Daniel J. Andrews

    Most people have no idea what Gore said in his movie…they’re just repeating what Limbaugh said that Gore said. Most things that Gore was supposed to have said he didn’t say.

    And JasonB, get over your Gore fixation. The science behind climate change does not alter because Gore has a bigger carbon footprint than someone else. It does not change because Gore misrepresented something, intentionally or not, in his movie. The science stands independent.

    But, just for my amusement, show us some of the points where Gore had been proven wrong. I’ll give you a hint: Do not rely on anything you read from a denialist or anti-Gore website because more likely than not they’ll have just made something up (similar to the way those people in Phil’s video do).

    When you do find something where you think Gore was proven wrong first compare it to a transcript of Gore’s movie and check for yourself to see if he actually did make that claim that is supposed to be proven wrong. If he did make that claim , then check again to see if it has actually been disproven, or are (once again) people making things up.

    Sounds like a lot of work? Compared to just making things up it is, but that won’t stop someone who wants to know the truth. Good hunting.

  28. Jeffersonian

    Barrasso (R-Wy) lies about carbon because his constituents are coal miners and oil workers. What’s Bachmann’s excuse? Does she have a lot of industry in her district? Which industry funds her campaign? Just follow the money.
    Also, what was the context here?
    [For our out-of-country friends: Often when a congressman stands up on the floor and extemporaneously blabs about nothing it’s an attempt to filibuster (run the clock out) on a slightly related issue. When this happens, many Reps just leave because they know it’s just time-filling and attendance has no become optional].
    It still goes on record and reflects the integrity of the politician!
    There’s no IQ test for public office…

  29. Regarding Gore (and Hansen, for that matter). I agree that global warming is real. But Gore is hurting the cause by spewing alarmist scientific gobbledygook that no one is willing to call him on.

    He has claimed that global warming makes hurricanes worse and more frequent. There is no evidence to support this.

    He claims that the rise in tornado activity is due to global warming. Apart from no evidence to support this, the rise in measured tornados is due to the rise in tornado monitoring, not increasing activity.

    He claims we’re having worse droughts than ever. Also not true, for anyone who has read about the dust bowl of the 30’s or the droughts of the 50’s.

    He frequently claims predicted ocean rises ten times the actual IPCC predictions.

    He claimed that we can replace all our energy with renewable resources within ten years; a claim that is laughable. It can take ten years just to authorize and build a single transmission line.

    He is uninterested in the flat temperature trend of the last ten years. This has explanations (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) that fit fine with global warming science. Gore just ignore it.

    I know. I know. It’s some right-wing oil-rich nutcase saying this. That’s right — if the New York Times qualifies: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/13/science/13gore.html

    To me, the alarmist and inaccurate shrieking of certain global warming supporters is, possibly, more dangerous than the delusional rantings of critics. In a recent poll, Americans ranked global warming dead last in issue importance and skepticism for global warming has been growing. Do you think that might have something to do with the scare-monger leading the cause?

  30. I think Bachmann is “perhaps” a complete moron.

  31. SLC

    Re Miles

    Does anyone remember the DDT scare and how failing to use DDT has ended up costing MILLIONS of human lives? Turns out that DDT isn’t nearly as bad as we thought, yet we have convinced other nations to stay away from using it, and millions of people have died from diseases that could have been prevented by the use of DDT.

    Mr. Miles repeats the big lie about DDT, a lie which would do Josef Goebbels proud. Attached is an article about the controversy, which is, like the controversy over HIV/AIDS, the controversy over cigarette smoking/lung cancer, the controversy over CFCs/ozone depletion, the controversy over President Obamas’ birth certificate, etc. a phoney controversy ginned up by the right wing nutcases.

    http://info-pollution.com/ddtban.htm

  32. David D.

    Miles–

    I am in complete agreement with your position. I think the science is still out on exactly how much CO2 emissions affect our environment, and whether there are other causes for the warming that we have been seeing. I think that there are reasonable disagreements with the Ehrlich’s and Chu’s and Holdren’s of the world.

    However, as you are probably about to find out, a lot of folks here on this blog do not suffer such heresy lightly.

  33. David D.

    See what I mean?

  34. Roger Wilco

    Whichever side of the anthropogenic climate change issue you find yourself arguing for, ask yourself this question: What if I’m wrong?

    (Hint: Any billions of dollars that might be collected in taxes stay here and provide long-term benefits to us whereas today we give billions to foreign energy producers.)

  35. James B

    I think someone needs to give Michelle a necklace made from ‘all natural’ Thallium, seeing how harmless nature can be…

  36. flynjack

    If there was ever a case for healthy skepticism man caused global warming is it. The jury isnt in on this issue yet any dissenting voice is automatically branded a nay sayer…denier etc… The pannel allowed Gore to speak but not competent scientist, how stupid is that. Nobel Laureate? Dosn’t speak much for the selection process in my oppinion.

  37. OK, if you’ve read the blog enough, you know it’s heavily biased against Republicans. Why argue anymore? Just accept it and move on.

    None of that changes the fact that Boehner, Bachman, and Barton are idiots, however.

  38. Gray Gaffer

    The “controversy” over the GCC claims is a face-off between those who have spent their lives, considerable IQ, and reputation, studying the issue, and those who are merely parroting the lies promulgated by the paid mouthpieces of the industries whose captains stand to lose face once GCC is politically accepted and acted upon. There is no significant controversy within the large community of scientists who have actually, you know, _studied_ the problems. And those captains who embrace the issues and perform the needed research will win, and win big. Only head-in-sand attitudes will lose here. As usual, follow the money. It is only the very few with mega-million dollar salaries who are reacting out of fear of changing the status quo and losing those salaries. Too bad they control the media. And Congress.

    Mike – go watch the movie again, this time after a refresh of your rules of English Grammar. Gore said none of those things. For some of them he at most pointed out correlations. Based on simple points of fact. As for his residence, that is more like a corporation than a home, houses a large workforce, and is more carbon-aware and Earth-friendly than the vast majority of corporate offices.

    David D. – sorry, w0rng, the science is most definitely “In”. You make the error of confusing the minor differing hypotheses on the details of the observed interaction with fundamental acceptance. Science always sports a bubbling froth of competing ideas – that is how progress is made – but that in no way reflects fundamental disagreements. Unlike dogmatic belief systems, the body of Scientific knowledge is strengthened by disagreement and trial and error, not destroyed by a single weak link. It is parallel, not serial. There is no single chain of logical inference where a single false assumption can invalidate the entire effort.

    As to the shift from “Global Warming” to Global Climate Change”, that simply reflects better what is actually happening. Our climate can be usefully viewed as a large collection of loosely coupled oscillating systems, as one input to the overall issue. The rise of greenhouse gases has resulted in pumping more energy into this system. The sign of increased energy is an increase in the amplitudes of the oscillations. Thus we are seeing more record breaking climate stats lately than any other time in human history, both up and down in factors such as temperature, storms, and rainfall. The system is becoming increasingly chaotic. So, Aquatic, buy both. You’ll need everything.

    Nowhere is the issue one of damage or destruction of the Earth. She will continue bumbling happily along in her orbit, perhaps bearing a minor change of clothes, but no more. The issue is that those globally minor changes are actually major in their impact on us. It is human survival and human living standards that are at risk. And already in peril. The primary source of fresh drinking and irrigation water for the Indian sub-continent – the glaciers in the Himalayas – is rapidly disappearing, and will be resulting in mass starvation within the next 20 years at least, if not sooner, a disaster that will affect the entirety of humanity. That is not the only area at risk. Glaciers are in general our major store of fresh water and are uniformly in rapid retreat.

    Lastly, all of the mitigation suggestions promise positive results regardless of the GCC issues. Energy independence – check. Clean air to breathe and clean water to drink – check. Verdant forests for our physical and mental health – check. Major employment and investment opportunities – check. Regaining our position as the world’s most creative engineering resource – check. All needed for political, National Security, and personal economics reasons. That they happen to also result in GCC mitigation is almost a bonus that does not need such vituperative attacks or attention. GCC right or wrong, we win.

    And time is running out.

  39. Wes Bowie

    This is enough ignorance on both sides of the aisle Phil. How about this gem from Rep. Henry Waxman (D – CA):

    “We’re seeing the reality of a lot of the North Pole starting to evaporate, and we could get to a tipping point. Because if it evaporates to a certain point – they have lanes now where ships can go that couldn’t ever sail through before. And if it gets to a point where it evaporates too much, there’s a lot of tundra that’s being held down by that ice cap..”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/26/quote-of-the-week-5-waxmans-stunningly-stupid-statement/#more-7357

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJUFTm6cJXM

  40. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Oh, other nations have their amount of denialists as well.

    Yesterday I learned about a swedish professor (here: professional CEO of a research department) Bo Nordell by way of a debate article of his (and a student of his) appearing in a popular magazine for engineers. Bo Nordell has his very own, very flawed model of AGW as an effect of “accumulated waste heat”.

    For some reason this crank got his ‘research’ published in peer review. Even though he earned a severe beating for it, he continues to parade his trivial mistakes of physics around. Seems the local AGW deniers can use this crank as ‘dissent’, in the same manner as science denialists everywhere.

    It is easy to see that Nordell refuses to test his model for internal consistency (in fact, he fails twice, for both ad hoc he uses), as well as against other research. In the word of a peer: “This paper is seriously flawed and contradicts basic principles of physics.”

    [On that note, Nordell has also published ‘EM models’ for dowsing, as well as invented a ‘crystal patch’ for use in the alternative medicin market.]

    Here is a simple model of radiative diffusion in an atmosphere (as an exercise that begins on slide 27). It is immediately apparent that Nordell’s linear temperature gradient assumption is a contradiction with Stefan-Boltzmann’s law. (One can also check by deriving the differential equations for radiative diffusion, see for example similar models for star cores.)

    Luckily everyone jumped on Nordell for his article, engineers as well as the geochemist I linked to above. Note that the same link describes how his ideas gets severe demerit and rejection by the Swedish Research Council. So we don’t have it quite as bad as US.

    But I find it funny that Nordell can claim he “won the Best Paper Award” at a global conference in Istanbul (a “Global Conference for [sic?!] Global Warming” no less). Turkey attracts denialists in every area of research.

  41. David D.

    I get it–if I disagree with the alarmist predictions of Gore and Hansen, then I am a parrot.

    See what I mean?

  42. Lawrence

    Quick point about the dust bowl – you should check out “Black Blizzard” on the History Channel. Unfortunately, the Dust Bowl was a man-made creation, with drought made worse by the fact that farmers plowed under all of the native prairie grasses & exposed the bare topsoil to the winds of the region. Combine that with the normal drought that hits that area every couple of decades & bam, you have one of the largest man-made disasters in the history of the country (if not the worst).

  43. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    @ Miles:

    But I’m not convinced that the science has shown just how significant of an impact we are having,

    Well, it is easy to check that it has shown exactly that, in the usual quantifiable terms of significance et cetera. Just look at the latest IPCC report that summarizes all of climatology on this area, and how AGW and its specified impact now approaches “beyond reasonable doubt” in support.

    [No doubt there is more to learn about the impact. But we already know enough to take action if we desire.]

    @ David D:

    I think that there are reasonable disagreements with the Ehrlich’s and Chu’s and Holdren’s of the world.

    Perhaps 5 years ago that could have been a fair statement. Now with the facts and theories for AGW progressing to nearly “beyond reasonable doubt” there is a slight to none gap for ‘reasonable disagreement’. Unreasonable disagreement, yes, sure – just look at this thread for examples.

    @ Mike:

    In a recent poll, Americans ranked global warming dead last in issue importance and skepticism for global warming has been growing. Do you think that might have something to do with the scare-monger leading the cause?

    No, if that would be the case then likely atheists would be the reason why so many Americans deny evolution. But we know it is not that but the absence of knowledge that is the proximal cause (actually also ultimate, as the religion behind the science denial builds on it), and likely the absence of people “leading the cause”.

    And as behind the public “cause” there is the actual factual science cause, I don’t think we should call Gore the sole key player here. Also, it is probably the very skepticism against AGW that have enabled Gore to assume his position.

  44. Yeah, I wouldn’t trust Al Gore either. Take a look at him, he’s just another politician who made a career for himself by vilifying defenseless oil companies. Plus, he’s clearly in the pocket of Big Science.

    And the use of terms like “denialist” and “parrot” are totally egregious. Skepticism about AGW by nonexperts is still justified. It’s not like an international panel of real climatologists have concluded that AGW is currently happening. Or like the leading voices of the “denialist” movement are media personalities or deceased science fiction writers.

    Next you’ll be telling me that Xenu didn’t really blow up trillions of aliens in Hawaii’s volcanoes.

  45. Neil

    I love the deniers in this thread. Not one of them willing to show any evidence, prersent a rational argument, or even address any points made in other comments. They just skip straight to the whining, personal attacks, accusations of persecution, and claims of left-wing bias. Just like the ignorant, petty cretins who represent right-wing America in government. Keep up the good work, guys, and maybe after two terms of Obama we can get Al Gore elected again, and make it stick…in your throats.

  46. Will. M

    The folks at ProjectVoteSmart (PVS) have issued a challenge to every member of the U.S. Congress for the last several years which is comprised of a series of general questions about things topical to the U.S. as a whole, including the “war on terror” (my italics), immigration, the economy, and scientific concerns like global warming or global climate change. Many members answer the questions, and many more do not, regardless of party affiliation. PVS also publishes a list of all of the members of congress’s voting records on every bill which comes before the Senate or the House. If you want to know how your congressperson voted on a particular bill, this is a very good source. It is also a good indicator of just how transparent your rep or senator is, based upon their answer or failure to answer the questionnaire.

    The next time you decide to reelect your senator or representative, you might want to check his voting record at PVS before you cast your ballot. And if his opponent has failed to answer the questionnaire, you might want to ask him why.

  47. SteveT

    The only good thing about having Michelle Bachmann in the House is that it requires her to spend most of her time in DC. This thereby results in a significant increase in the average intelligence of her home district, when she is removed from the equation. I am humiliated to admit that that lump of intellectual fecal matter is MY representative.

    Now if the DFL would come up with a halfway decent candidate to oppose her, maybe we would stand a chance of getting rid of her! Maybe Earl Blumenauer would be willing to consider moving to MN? Please?

  48. Ever wondered what happens to a technological civilisation when the leaders can’t do math, don’t read any books bar The Good One (No, not “Bill the Galactic Hero”) and want to be seen to Be Doing Something?

    *sighs*

  49. Tim G

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated in its 2007 report that
    “The observed widespread warming of the atmosphere and ocean…support the conclusion that it is…very unlikely that it is not due to known natural causes alone.”

    While that is not make an absolute statement regarding AGW, it warrants a cooperative worldwide effort to curb CO2 emissions, in my opinion.

  50. Bruce

    The ill-informed and uneducated people are the ones who believe in global warming. It’s the scam of the century and unfortunately many people are buying into the hysteria. And even worse, the people who dare speak out against the global warming hype are ridiculed as if they’re the crazy ones.

  51. Ema Nymton

    No, David P, you’re not a parrot. You’re just rather lacking in mental acuity.

  52. Gray Gaffer

    Present an original, reasoned, rational, and accurate defense of the GW denier position and I will listen. Otherwise “parroting” is an accurate description of the repetition of the standard deniers’ talking points, which are rife with factual and scientific inaccuracies. If you really do seriously think about and study the subject you will see that. Appeals to Authority arguments only win if the Authority in question is an actual authority on the subject as a result of years of dedication and study and peer validation and useable results. This can not be faked. Nor can the time it takes be circumvented. Their current assessment of the problem is not “alarmist”. It is real. And we are already in deep doodoo.

    GCC is not a partisan concern. It relates to our very survival as a society. The costs of ignoring GCC are far greater than the costs of mitigation, and the latter rather than being a burden will actually benefit us directly as well as help us survive the coming (and current) changes.

    The only rationale I have been able to discern for the deniers’ position comes from following the money, and that leads to the Board of Directors of companies such as Exxon. Other than the energy captains, I fail to see how members of the general population benefit from ignoring or denying the issues. Please, what exactly do you get out of it?

  53. Ethanol

    Opponents of action in response to global warming often assert that climate scientists don’t know exactly what will happen as a result of warming, and this is technically correct. However, this is also classic moving-the-goal-post behavior. Previously the argument was that climate change could not be conclusively linked to human activity, but now that has been largely settled. It is irresponsible to argue inaction simply because we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. If I offered to shoot you in the shoulder, and pointed out that the exact results would be difficult to predict; you might die, or you might make it to the hospital and be all right, or perhaps your near-death experience might ultimately prove to be a positive factor in your life, would that be a reasonable justification for that action?

  54. MarkoL

    I personally haven’t made up my mind on “climate change”, but for those who cannot understand that “climate change” is far from settled, I would highly recommend reading the very newest report on the issue at hand:
    The Fraser Institute: New Report Details Over-Looked Scientific Evidence Against Simplistic Climate Alarmism

    VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – April 21, 2009) – A 110-page report by an international team of climate experts published today by the independent Fraser Institute examines critically-important scientific evidence that has been overlooked or omitted in government reports that blame climate change on carbon dioxide emissions.

    The report, Critical Topics in Global Warming, supplements the Fraser Institute’s Independent Summary for Policymakers, a 2007 analysis of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report.

    The new peer-reviewed report’s seven chapters investigate published scientific literature on issues such as the effects of ocean oscillations and solar variations on climate, historical climate variability, statistical challenges in climate analysis, uncertainties in climate modeling, and quality problems in temperature measurement systems. The report leaves no doubt that the science is far from “settled” on climate change.

    Link to the website: http://www.fraserinstitute.org/researchandpublications/publications/6628.aspx

  55. Grey

    If anyone is interesting in the actual EPA findings document, which includes links to the supporting documentation and hard science that supports that manmade greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to global climate change and are impacting human health, then the findings document is here (.pdf file). You can use the docket no. from that (EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0171) to look at the supporting documentation at Regulations.gov.

    I’m always surprised when people suggest that global warming is something that Al Gore dreamed up. There’s currently 173 supporting documents available for public review.

  56. @LarianLeQuella: I am now starting to think Idiocracy is actually a documentary.

    Given her recent performance on the floor of the house I think we could get Michele Bachmann to support the fight to get Dihydrogen Monoxide banned from the environment (http://www.dhmo.org) :-)

    She appears clueless enough to believe that the information on the DHMO site is true.

  57. Grey

    I should add that the above-referenced findings document is the same proposal to tighten auto emissions to help control four of six identified greenhouse gases.

  58. Bear in mind, MarkoL, that the Fraisier Institute is a Laissez-Faire economic think tank, similar to the Cato Institute in the US. They oppose any sort of government intervention in the free market on ideological grounds, so it’s not really a shock that they would put out a report that would deny there might be a problem worthy of potential government intervention.

    Reading through it, I see a great deal of the same denialist talking points (I.e. solar radiation and local fluctuations otherwise tested for and accounted for in a variety of experiments), and a lot of familiar names, such as Roger Pielke Sr. , and Joseph D’Aleo, whom folks involved with the Climate debate online are probably quite familiar with.

    While climatologists would be more likely to point out the specific technical flaws with the paper, this strikes me as nothing more than a rehash of denialist talking points, run through the the marketing section as being “New and Improved”.

  59. @ JonP:

    Next you’ll be telling me that Xenu didn’t really blow up trillions of aliens in Hawaii’s volcanoes.

    Well, to be fair, you don’t get that revelation until OT3. :)

    –the kuhniggets of Xenu

  60. SLC

    Re MarkoL

    The Fraser Institute is the Canadian counterpart of the US Heartland institute. As the attached like shows, it is a shill for the tobacco companies like Philip Morris and for the energy companies like Exxon/Mobil from whom it receives substantial funding, which funding it hkas tried tried to cover up. The funding was only discovered in an analysis of the annual reports of and documents of the aforementioned corporations. It has no more credibility on climate science then the Discovery Institute has on evolution .

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Fraser_Institute

  61. David D.

    Well, I’m just a parrot, lacking in mental acuity . . . interesting that the personal attacks, Neil, seem to be coming from your side.

    This sort of reminds me of the earlier debates about astronomy last century. Shapley and Curtis argued, given the available evidence, about the location of nebulae (either in the Galaxy or extragalactic). A similar debate occurred later in the century, pitting the Big Bang Theory against the Steady State model. Both were resolved when the science was able to catch up to the theories. ; From what I have read, the debate was for the most part reasoned and polite; if someone called Shapley a “parrot” or a “mouthpiece” I missed it.

    I don’t feel that the science of climate modeling has caught up with the theories at all. It has gotten better, no doubt, but not enough to shift the paradigm, like COBE did in favor of the Big Bang.

    I’m not a “denier” (which seems to be a rather arbitrary term, more an epithet than anything). It is a fact that the globe has been warming (although there is some debate about whether this has continued in the last decade). I have problems with the alarmists who shriek that coal carrying rail cars are “death trains” or that the Arctic sea ice will be gone this summer/last summer/in 5 years/whenever. I also have problems with treaties like Kyoto which penalize much of the Western world, while allowing a big CO2 producer like China to continue to belch away.

    I have yet to see, Gray Gaffer, an original, reasoned, rational, and accurate defense of the GCC position presented here in these pages. I am not a climate scientist, so I don’t feel like I would be the best one to present such an argument. But there are others who do make the contrary points, who are well regarded as scientists. Try Watts Up With That, for starters. To simply label anyone who disagrees with the GCC “troothers” (do you like that term?) as being mentally defective parrots in the pay of Big Oil–well, that kind of smells like the pro-disease crowd, and their “BigPharma” shibboleth, don’t you think?

  62. mus

    “And even worse, the people who dare speak out against the global warming hype are ridiculed as if they’re the crazy ones.”

    The ridiculous and crazy deserve to be ridiculed and called out for what they are. If you want respect, try not making idiotic ad hominems and straw men, try basing your arguments on facts and not misconceptions and lies, try doing actual research instead of just parroting nonsense even a 14 year-old with an internet connection could refute, and try publishing peer-reviewed articles in respected journals.

    Until then, please stop whining and trying to win people over by doing EXACTLY what creationists, homeopaths, antivaxers, and all other lying, pseudoscientific, unthinking fools do.

  63. David D

    And, speaking of 2nd grade understanding of science, here’s a quote from the Honorable Henry Waxman:

    “We’re seeing the reality of a lot of the North Pole starting to evaporate,and we could get to a tipping point. Because if it evaporates to a certain point – they have lanes now where ships can go that couldn’t ever sail through before. And if it gets to a point where it evaporates too much, there’s a lot of tundra that’s being held down by that ice cap..”

    You guys have a few “Bachmann’s” in your closet.

  64. Disgusted

    If you have ever, once, read and/or took seriously something that offered conflicting views to what you beleive, then you would gain real knowledge.

  65. SLC

    Re David D

    Anthony Watts; is that the best that Mr. David D can do? Mr. Watts, in addition to being a global warming denier is also a 9/11 troofer. Just another nutjob who has more then one hobby hourse to ride.

    http://viewsontheridge.com/psychodrama/2007/05/anthony_watts_letter.html

  66. Radwaste

    Thank you, grey, for posting the EPA link!

    So many have problems identifying information sources, rather than editorial or advocacy pieces.

    Assuming you, the reader, have some wit – being a fan of Phil’s, I would like to assume that and associate myself with you in that case – bring the same measure of research to this issue that you would to Sylvia Browne or to a “young”-Earther claim.

    Aside from the EPA, there are root articles available through links at NOAA.gov.

  67. David D

    @SLC–

    I never said that Watts was “the best,” merely a place to start. Do you have a criticism of his meteorological science, or just his crackpot political opinions?

  68. idlemind

    Waxman may have some trouble with nomenclature (he’s no scientist, after all), but he’s essentially correct: average arctic ice cover is disappearing on a season-to-season basis, and methane-containing tundra is warming to the point where release of some of that that methane (a potent GHG) in the next few decades is becoming likely. So he may butcher the science a bit but he’s dead on as to the dangers, whereas Bachmann is butchering pseudo-science that’s rooted in nothing but wishful thinking.

  69. David D

    @idlemind–

    . . . rrright . . .

    Your mental gymnastics at justifying and completely re-interpreting what Waxman said is truly impressive. He spoke about the North Pole evaporating, for pete’s sake! And nowhere does he mention methane-containing tundra.

  70. On the subject of cow emissions...

    “And Congressman? Methane is what comes out of cows. Not CO2, methane. Well, some CO2 comes from cows — they breathe, after all– but in context he obviously meant methane. You’d think with his severe case of rectal-cranial inversion Boehner’d know the difference.”

    Not to defend the cognitively abstinent, but CO2 IS present in most species’ out-gassings, and in concentrations often an order of magnitude more than methane. its just not odoriferous, so its not exactly the first constituent gas that comes to mind.

  71. SLC

    Re David D

    Mr. Watts’ opinions on the issue of the collapse of the World Trade Center towers are based on crackpot science, not his political views. My position is that if we can put no credence in his scientific views on the structural properties of steel, why should we put any credence on his scientific views on global climate change. By the way, maybe I missed it but I didn’t see Mr. David D quoting any other source then Mr. Watts.

  72. David D

    @Mr. SLC–

    “why should we put any credence on his scientific views on global climate change”

    He is a meteorologist. He is not an engineer. Hence, I place much more value in his views on the subject of climate change than I do his views on the structural properties of steel.

    You might want to try Real Climate, Climate Science, Climate Audit, Roy Spencer for some other sites that are skeptical of GCC.

    Of course, according to you and a few others, they’re all just run by ridiculous and crazy defective parrots.

  73. Davidlpf

    If we really wanted to cut carbon emissions maybe we can outlaw politicians. ;-)

  74. idlemind

    No gymnastics required, David. It’s not at all hard to identify the science he’s referring to even if he has the description completely bolluxed up. I’d hope that he’d have someone on staff who is a bit better able to digest the actual science. I’d love for us to have scientist-legislators in congress, but absent that I’ll settle for someone with a nodding acquaintance with actual science as opposed to someone who is immersed in contrafactual conspiracy theories.

    The science is the thing, after all.

  75. Courtney Franklin

    Here’s another Anthony Watt’s piece from the same site that SLC linked

    http://viewsontheridge.com/psychodrama/

  76. David D

    @idlemind–

    Another interpretation of his remarks about the tundra is that he thinks that when the North Pole ice cap finishes evaporating, it will expose a whole lot of tundra, rather than the Arctic Ocean.

    Look, I don’t know what kind of grasp Waxman has of the science in question, and I’m pretty sure that you don’t either. All I can go on is what the man said, and anyone who speaks of the North Pole evaporating seems to have less than a nodding acquaintance with science fundamentals.

  77. Gary

    Like Democrat Congressman Henry Waxman is any better –

    From an interview on NPR as relayed by Tavis Smiley:

    “We’re seeing the reality of a lot of the North Pole starting to evaporate, and we could get to a tipping point. Because if it evaporates to a certain point – they have lanes now where ships can go that couldn’t ever sail through before. And if it gets to a point where it evaporates too much, there’s a lot of tundra that’s being held down by that ice cap..”

    Look, the Congress-people (both parties) are nitwits. It’s their job to make problems where there aren’t any. They should be locked up, not listened to.

    BTW, most of the warming is due to changes in solar input, land use, water vapor & cloud cover and enhancements by feedbacks. CO2 is a less significant contributor than these. Yeah, I know you don’t believe it, but if you look at all the data, not just what the IPCC cherry-picked (remember it’s a political body specifically created to gather evidence in favor of GHG warming – read their reports), you’ll see it’s so. C’mon, be real skeptics and question what the vested interests are promoting.

  78. mus

    “BTW, most of the warming is due to changes in solar input, land use, water vapor & cloud cover and enhancements by feedbacks.”

    http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2009/04/the_solar_cycle_and_global_war.php

    “In addition to virtually no sunspots, the Sun is having fewer solar flares, hit a 50-year low in solar wind pressure, and is at a 55-year low in radio emissions. This is in addition to sunspot activity, which is at a 100-year low!”

    “The last few years (not shown on the graph) have seen both the temperature continuing to rise and the solar output start to fall.”

    To say that the sun is causing the warming is patently absurd.

  79. mus

    God damnit, does discover really have to moderate every comment with a link in it? jeez.

    Here it is:

    Gary:

    “BTW, most of the warming is due to changes in solar input, land use, water vapor & cloud cover and enhancements by feedbacks.”

    scienceblogs . com /startswithabang/2009/04/the_solar_cycle_and_global_war . php

    “In addition to virtually no sunspots, the Sun is having fewer solar flares, hit a 50-year low in solar wind pressure, and is at a 55-year low in radio emissions. This is in addition to sunspot activity, which is at a 100-year low!”

    “The last few years (not shown on the graph) have seen both the temperature continuing to rise and the solar output start to fall.”

    To say that the sun is causing the warming is patently absurd.

  80. Flying sardines

    You’d think with his severe case of rectal-cranial inversion Boehner’d know the difference.

    Great one, BA, LOL! ;-)

    The thought occurs to me that a lot of these colledge educated politicians who *should* know better in reality actually *do* know better & are just talking rubbish (& repetitive rubbish at that) because they think their constitutents don’t know any better and willbe fooled – and because that’s the line their puppet masters in the fossil fuel lobby are tellling them to say.

    Could be wrong of course and not sure how much difference it really makes .. :-(

  81. Flying sardines

    @ James B Says: (April 26th, 2009 at 12:24 pm)

    I think someone needs to give Michelle a necklace made from ‘all natural’ Thallium, seeing how harmless nature can be…

    LOL. ;-)

    Or even just a necklace of poison oak, poison ivy and live venomous spiders – they’re natural too & much cheaper & easier to find! ;-)

    The whole “natural” = good meme is getting sillier and more misused every day.

  82. KC

    This whole solar minimum is canceling global warming is becoming a tired old saw. This is a deep minimum but nothing unusual. We had two deep solar minimums at the beginning of the 20th century (at one point the sun went spotless for nearly 1,000 days) yet no decrease in temperature (IIRC avg temps actually went up).

  83. Spectroscope

    @ Mus, the BA & everyone :

    “The last few years (..cut..) have seen both the temperature continuing to rise and the solar output start to fall.”

    Without meaning to deny the work of climatologists or solar physicists and so forth – or our current understanding of global warming & the anthropogenic greenhouse effect – in any way I’d like to ask :

    What is going onwith the Sun right now?

    I understand its been unusually quiet and the solar cycle that should be in progress hasn’t been progressing very far from the long-lasting solar minima – is that right?

    Anyone got a clue on what might be happening here? Or /& the implications?

    Furthermore, it is my understanding our Sun – like all main sequence “dwarf” stars is gradually becoming ever hotter and brighter as it ages. Eventually, I understand that our Sun will brighten up enough to destroy all life on Earth – as a sub-giant star – and, ultimately, perhaps even destroy the Earth itself when it becomes a red giant star in billennia to come.

    Conversely, I gather our Sun was once much cooler and less luminous during the earliest geological eons – & perhaps was still significantly cooler and dimmer than present during the “hothouse” Mesozoic “dinosaur era” where there were no polar icecaps on Earth.

    I think I read the change was 10 % brighter per million (or was it billion?) years – right?

    Could this (admittedly very LONG term & gradual) process be playing any role in global warming?

    Why might things on Earth have been hotter if the Sun was cooler?

    What are the implications here?

    I’m not denying the Anthropogenic Greenhouse Effect; I’m not meaning to do any more than ask these questions because I’m not sure myself but it is something that does occur to me as something that just might be a possible factor. Could it be?

  84. Spectroscope

    That’s my questions are :

    1) What is going on with the Sun right now?

    I understand its been unusually quiet and the solar cycle that should be in progress hasn’t been progressing very far from the long-lasting solar minima – is that right? Anyone got a clue on what might be happening here? Or /& the implications?

    2) Could this (admittedly very LONG term & gradual) process of our Sun becoming increasinglyhotter and brighter (maybe 10% per million or billion years) be playing any role in global warming?

    3) Why might things on Earth have been hotter when the Sun was cooler?
    What are the implications here?

    For the last qu, of course, one obvious implication is that solar input *alone* is not the controlling factor in climate – plate tectonics, Milankovitch orbital cycles and, yes, levels of greenhouse gases incl. methane, Co-2 and H20 vapour play a significant role. Thus busting the whole “its just the Sun’s fault” idea of the AGE Deniers.

  85. StevoR

    Maybe people should require a license to vote – this liscence to be earned by passing a tets with some basic questions about democracy, the politicial leaders and their positions, plus critical thinking and science.

    Perhaps our society needs to seriously consider whether allowing the truly ignorant and stupid to vote on issues they have too little knowledge of is such a good idea when the potential consequences of bad and scientifically illiterate ledaership is so calamitious.

    Exhibit A – The Bush presidency,
    Exhibit B – read the article that starts these comments!
    Exhibit C – the way Roman and Greek and other democracies eventually failed turning into mob rule and dictatorships.

  86. StevoR

    Also maybe we need a tougher test of scientific political and ability to reason knowledge again for those aspiring to hold political office?

    It is my opinion that most of the Republican party would fail dysmally at such a test – and had such a test been required earlier we’d never have the likes of Bush jr, Cheney and Rumsfeld in charge of the “Free World”.
    (Or at least *thinking* they were in charge.)

    If only …

    & If only the Republicans & the “Religious wrong” (which incl. some democrats eg. Joe Leiberman)would learn from their past disasterous mistakes and give up some of their current insanities. :-(

  87. Eamon

    @ David D

    You might want to try Real Climate, Climate Science, Climate Audit, Roy Spencer for some other sites that are skeptical of GCC.

    Don’t you know that Real Climate is a site that supports the science of GCC?

  88. KC

    >I understand its been unusually quiet and the solar cycle that should be in progress hasn’t >been progressing very far from the long-lasting solar minima – is that right?

    Is that right? Probably not – as in it is not really all that unusual in the long run. We’ve had deep solar minimum before that didn’t affect the climate. We’ve also had huge solar maximums that didn’t raise the Earth’s temperature. Even if there is some kind of relationship, it is most certainly *not* a simple one.

    >Could this (admittedly very LONG term & gradual) process be playing any role in global warming?

    No stars don’t evolve that fast. Certainly stars can fluctuate, we have lots of examples, but I don’t think there’s any evidence that the Sun is fluctuating.

  89. StevoR

    Oh & I don’t think this blog is biased against republicans either – rather it is the Republicans who appear to be suicidally biased against science, scientists and rationality! ;-) :-P

  90. Spectroscope

    @ KC :

    This whole solar minimum is canceling global warming is becoming a tired old saw.

    NOT what I saying. I’m not sure what the exact implications for our climate are assuming the solar minima continued -poerhaps if ittruns toa another “maunder minimum”type period. But I certainly wasn’t meaning tocliam it would necessarily “cancel” global warming.

    This is a deep minimum but nothing unusual. We had two deep solar minimums at the beginning of the 20th century (at one point the sun went spotless for nearly 1,000 days)

    How many days has the solar minimum lasted up to now?

    &

    Are there any signs of it picking up again?

    Any solar observers out here?

  91. KC

    PS BTW even if this solar minima was deep enough to cause the Earth to cool – any cooling we see now *is not* due to the Sun! The oceans have a large amount of thermal inertia and so any affect wouldn’t be seen for a few years.

  92. Spectroscope

    Also KC –

    >I understand its been unusually quiet and the solar cycle that should be in progress hasn’t >been progressing very far from the long-lasting solar minima – is that right?

    Is that right? Probably not – as in it is not really all that unusual in the long run. We’ve had deep solar minimum before that didn’t affect the climate. We’ve also had huge solar maximums that didn’t raise the Earth’s temperature. Even if there is some kind of relationship, it is most certainly *not* a simple one.

    >Could this (admittedly very LONG term & gradual) process be playing any role in global warming?

    No stars don’t evolve that fast. Certainly stars can fluctuate, we have lots of examples, but I don’t think there’s any evidence that the Sun is fluctuating.

    Okay, thanks KC.

    Mind you, I’m not saying it has to be a *fast* process or major fluctuation to have a significant effect.

    I not sure that we can really rule out a gradual rise in solar output passing some particular threshold over which it starts to create a positive (escalating) feedback loop. Example : the albedo effect where ice which had been reflecting light, melts exposing darker water which absorbs more heat which melts more ice which exposes more water which absorbs more heat which melts more ice which .. et cetera..

    Thanks.

  93. Spectroscope

    @ MarkoL : (April 26th, 2009 at 3:19 pm)

    I personally haven’t made up my mind on “climate change”, but for those who cannot understand that “climate change” is far from settled, I would highly recommend reading the very newest report on the issue at hand:
    The Fraser Institute: New Report Details Over-Looked Scientific Evidence Against Simplistic Climate Alarmism

    Looks like you misplaced your “air-quotes” there dude! ;-)

    It should read as follows :

    ***

    I personally haven’t made up my mind on climate change, [funny, sure sounds like you’re dissembling here & are arguing for the Deniers!] but for those who refuse to accept the reality that climate change is scientifically settled, I would highly recommend reading the very newest “report” on the issue at hand:

    The Fraser Institute: New Report Details “Over-Looked Scientific Evidence Against Simplistic Climate Alarmism”

    VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – April 21, 2009) – A 110-page “report” by an international team of Climate Change Deniers & NON-experts published today by the “independent” (yeah, rii-iight! :roll: )Fraser Institute examines critically-important scientific evidence that has been overlooked or omitted in government reports that blame climate change on carbon dioxide emissions.

    [Or so the Denier polemicists claim. :roll:]

    The report, Critical Topics in Global Warming, supplements the Fraser Institute’s “Independent” (Really?!) Summary for Policymakers, a 2007 analysis of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report.

    The new peer-reviewed report’s seven chapters investigate published (when???) “scientific literature” on issues such as the effects of ocean oscillations and solar variations on climate, historical climate variability, statistical challenges in climate analysis, uncertainties in climate modeling, and quality problems in temperature measurement systems. The “report” leaves no doubt that the science is far from settled on climate change. [Because someone paid for that conclusion & “report” no doubt.]

    ***

    BTW. Whenever any publication refers to the mainstream scientific conscensus reached by numerous qualified climatological, glaciological and other professional well-trained and educated scientists as “Simplistic Climate Alarmism” it loses all credibility.

    The latter is an ideological loaded term that tells us all right away that their report is simply a waste of paper produced as anti-scientific propagnda with an axe to grind rather than any serious attempt at objective reasonable scientific research.

  94. @ StevoR:

    Exhibit C – the way Roman and Greek and other democracies eventually failed turning into mob rule and dictatorships.

    Okay, if all the grammar police get to nitpick Dr. BA’s typos, I get to pick nits off this one.

    There was never such a thing as “Greek” democracy. “Greece” didn’t exist in the ancient world. There was Greek culture, but never a single unified “Greece” and certainly not a democratic one. True, Athens had a very limited form of democracy, in which a very small percentage of the overall population voted, but even Athens’ finest hours–from our point of view–came when the city was ruled by tyrants, from the lawgiver Solon, to the artistically inspired Pericles.

    Your sentiment is correct, though, in that powerful nations/cultures all too often fall when their populations–including the ruling class– become corrupt, shortsighted, or ignorant. In that regard, democracy has no better record than any other form of government, and possibly worse. After all, what better breeding ground for a mob than a state in which the mob is supposedly the one running things? (Not word, “supposedly.”)

  95. Damn, that should have read, “Note the word, “supposedly.””

    Grumble grumble…preview…grumble snort.

  96. MarkoL

    Spectroscope
    It is funny how both sides of the climate change issue: the “deniers of climate change” and the “climate change alarmists”, claim that the the other side is biased, has no credibility, no scientific evidence, distortion of facts and both sides make personal attacks on people speaking on either issue. Again, I have not made up my mind on “climate change”, but to simply call documents as propaganda, is just sad. There is no scientific consensus on climate change, if there was, there would not be so many scientists publishing documents and studies all over the world, saying that sea levels are not rising as fast as predicted, temperatures are not rising as fast as predicted, the ice on either pole has not disappeared or even diminished. But again you can call these scientists deniers, biased, oil-company slaves, propagandists, cookoos…Climate Change Deniers & NON-experts, etc. Without examining the content of the studies, checking the facts, looking at the evidence (or lack of) objectively and asking questions, making such remarks makes YOU the denier and anti-scientific. Have a nice day!

  97. Eamon

    MarkoL

    “There is no scientific consensus on climate change, if there was, there would not be so many scientists publishing documents and studies all over the world, saying that sea levels are not rising as fast as predicted, temperatures are not rising as fast as predicted, the ice on either pole has not disappeared or even diminished.”

    Could you give us references to some of these studies?

  98. Anonymous

    Dr. Phil,

    About methane, it’s produced by the animals. So there’s nothing we can do about, unless you endorse big-mammal extermination. And I believe your also not worried about it.
    But wait, and there’s also the thing with those gigantic bubbles of methane surfacing from beneath the tundra/permafrost. Hmmm. Well, in the recent past (i.e.: Viking era) temperatures were considerably higher than today. The poles didn’t melt completely, the bubbles of methane probably didn’t show up (or didn’t make much difference) to create a catastrophic greenhouse effect, the oceans didn’t rose 100 meters, the atmosfere didn’t burn and the planet didn’t explode. So, mankind prevailed.

    Now, talk about CO2. (BTW, your Capitol picture is misleading – CO2 is actually invisible. CO2 is not black smoke.)
    In the dinosaur era (you do believe that dinosaurs exist, right ?), CO2 concentration was 15 times higher than today. The planet didn’t burn to a crisp, did it ?
    Current CO2 concentration is about 380 parts per million today. In a busy classroom you can have a concentration of about 2000 parts per million. To my knowledge, there are no reports to date of students dying from CO2 intoxication.
    About natural elements, O2 is also natural and too much of it can also kill you, so let’s NOT go that way.

    CO2 is not high at all right now, but has been steadily growing. However, apart some weak computer simulations, there’s no proof whatsoever that humans are responsible for the current increase of CO2. CO2 is a natural element which concentration is primarily determined by ocean temperature, among other things beyond our reach.

    CO2 is a “false problem”, a “false issue”. And I am patiently waiting for the one day when you will (finally) come to your senses and stop endorsing the crazy theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW).

    Why you accept all this media disinformation without questioning ? Aren’t you supposed to be a skeptical ? Where’s your “critical thinking” ?

    Thank you for your time.

  99. You know, Phil, there should be a way to prohibit anonymous posting here. I don’t know how DB is set up exactly but you really should demand identification from every poster.

    Before I saw the previous comment, I mainly wanted to warn you that Bachmann won’t be going away anytime soon. If you’ve watched her very much on C-SPAN, you’ll see her speaking into the camera and practicing her media mannerisms, which is probably what got her elected in the first place (style over substance). This tells me she’ll have a TV show if she isn’t re-elected next yet.

  100. JasonB made one claim which is worth looking at a bit more closely.

    Wow, the Democrats want another tax on producers!?! And the producers pass the price on to the consumers so we all pay in the end. That’s change you can believe in.

    It’s true that auctioning emission permits under cap-and-trade will raise revenue for the Treasury. However, this can be used to fund other planned expenditure, or pay down the deficit, both of which effects will also feed through to the voters generally.

    It’s true that cap-and-trade will redistribute money from polluters (and those who buy polluting services) to those who do not: which is the whole point, so that we have an incentive to change behaviour. So, to make it crystal clear, if we the consumers are being made to pay more because of this, it’s because we need to, in order to be pushed into changing.

    In the longer run, of course, we benefit from the disasters avoided.

    That’s not so much change you can believe in, as change we can’t do without.

  101. SLC

    Re David D.

    1. Just for the information of Mr. David D, its Dr. SLC.

    2. Roy Spencer is even nuttier then Anthony Watts. In addition to denying global climate change, he also denies the theory of evolution. How about citing some non-candidates for the loony bin.

  102. jorge c

    vagueofgodalming: what yor said is the idea abot cap and trade, but, have you saw what happens in europe??? no?? ahhh

  103. jorge c

    and from the independet, the british “right wing” newspaper this article: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/the-missing-sunspots-is-this-the-big-chill-1674630.html
    i’m not a denier, but negating the possible influence of the sun….

  104. David D

    @SLC–

    Just for your information, it is Dr. David D.

    Cite your problems with their climate science. You seem to be mired in the ad hominem attacks.

  105. SLC

    Re David D

    Dr. David D seems to be of the opinion that factual statements as to nutty ideas held by individuals he cites as climate change experts constitute ad hominem attacks. Just for the information of Dr. David D, truthfully stating that Dr. Spencer is an evolution denier and that Mr. Watts is a 9/11 troofer does not constitute an ad hominem attack. Nor does pointing out that these facts are evidence of scientific incompetence constitute an ad hominem attack.

    The unfortunate fact is that most of the climate change deniers are either nutcases like Spencer and Watts, have conflicts of interest like the folks associated with the Heartland Institute and the Fraser Institute which are shills for the tobacco and energy industries, or have been wrong previously (e.g. Fred Singer who has previously erroneously denied the relationship between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer and the relationship between CFCs and ozone depletion, when he wasn’t denying ozone depletion).

  106. mus

    Spectroscope:

    I don’t know enough to answer all of your questions, but I will second someone else’s reply to “Could this (admittedly very LONG term & gradual) process be playing any role in global warming?”.

    There is no way that this process could be playing any significant role in global warming, because it’s just WAY too tiny of an effect. I would guess that any possible effect is so negligible that it wouldn’t even be measurable. We are talking about warming on earth in the scale of decades, and the sun changes in the scale millions to billions of years.

    Anon:

    “About methane, it’s produced by the animals. So there’s nothing we can do about, unless you endorse big-mammal extermination.”

    We CAN do something about it, we can eat less red meat. This reduces the number of cows which are raised, and it also reduces the deforesting and burning of forests which results in the clearing of fields for both the cows themselves and all the food they require.

    “In the dinosaur era (you do believe that dinosaurs exist, right ?), CO2 concentration was 15 times higher than today. The planet didn’t burn to a crisp, did it ?”

    in “the dinosaur era”, EVERYTHING was different. The animal life, the vegetation, the oxygen concentrations, the continents/mountains/valleys/etc, the wind currents, the ocean currents, and probably many other things. To compare the two is patently absurd. All of the life back then was adapted to that climate, and that life is NOT the same kind of life we have now!

    As for the rest, they are blatant straw men and red herring, so I won’t address them.

  107. David D.

    @SLC–

    I have asked if you have any criticisms of the climate science expressed by the individuals in question. You have not responded. Instead, you bring up some fact about the pserson making the argument. The process of proving or disproving the claim is thereby subverted, and the argumentum ad hominem works to change the subject. Read the definition of ad hominem attack.

    Again–do you have evidence of their scientific incompetence in the field of climate science?

    And BTW, the climate troofers have their nutters, too—Ehrlich, Hansen, and yes–Gore (wasn’t he a shill for the tobacco industry?).

  108. SLC

    Re David D

    1. Dr. David Ds’ characterization of James Hanson as a nutter shows his true colors. Does Dr. David D have any evidence that Dr. Hanson has nutty views on subjects outside of climate change? Actually, many climate scientists consider that Dr. Hanson is rather conservative in his estimates.

    2. I would agree that Ehrlich, like Fred Singer, was wrong about a number of claims, particularly relative to the depletion of certain natural resources. That doesn’t make him a nutter, just wrong (Dr. David D will note that I didn’t refer to Prof. Singer as a nutter, which he is definitely not; he is just wrong).

    3. Relative to evolution denial, Richard Dawkins puts it best: one who denies the theory of evolution is either ignorant, stupid, insane, or wicked (but he didn’t want to consider that).

    4. Mr. Gore, unlike the others cited, is not a scientist and should in no case be considered an expert on any scientific topic, anymore then Lord Moncton should be so considered. By the way, after studying the issue of tobacco and lung cancer, Mr. Gore changed his mind and accepted the consensus view. This, of course, will never happen with most of the climate change denialists who, like the evolution denialists, will never change their opinions, no matter the evidence. In this they resemble young earth creationist Kurt Wise who has proclaimed that no scientific evidence that could possibly be produced will cause him to change his mind about the theory of evolution.

    5. I see no need to refute the claims of climate denialists as others on this blog, who I suspect are more competent then myself have done a fine job in that regard.

  109. David D

    @SLC–

    –Does Dr. David D have any evidence that Dr. Hanson has nutty views on subjects outside of climate change?– No, I think he has some nutty views about climate change, as do others.

    Just because Dawkins says something doesn’t make it true.

    You link climate change denialists with young earth creationists–yet another example of ad hominem argument. Try Wikipedia–they have a pretty good explanation of the concept.

    It was nice talking with you, Dr. SLC.

  110. Davan M

    Why is it mostly well off white folks are the ones going on about global warming?

  111. Doc

    About 20 years ago Carl Sagan talked publicly about the dangers of the greenhouse effect, and the public generally disregarded it as a far-out theory.

    About 10 years ago a majority of scientists studying the Earth’s climate saw that climate models and direct observations indicated that the increase in CO2 was causing global temperatures to rise, and “global warming skeptics” generally asserted that CO2 was not increasing and global temperatures were not rising.

    About 5 ago the scientists from diverse fields had conclusively shown that both CO2 levels and global temperatures were rising and that these changes were strongly to human activities, and “global warming skeptics” generally agreed but insisted that human activities were not the cause of the increase in CO2.

    Recently climate scientists have warned of environmental disruptions of a catastrophic level, and “global warming skeptics” now generally insist that while the climate is changing and that it’s possibly due to human activities, the changes won’t be so bad.

    I see a definite trend here.

  112. SLC

    Re Doc

    This is an example of what I refer to as the Racehorse Haynes defense. Mr. Richard “Racehorse” Haynes is a famed Texas criminal defense lawyer who is well known for the following progression approach to defending murder cases.

    1. My client was out of the country when the murder occurred.

    2. My client was in the country but was a thousand miles away when the murder occurred.

    3. My client was in the city but was 10 miles away when the murder occurred.

    4. My client was in the vicinity where the murder occurred but he didn’t commit the crime.

    5. My client killed the victim but it was self defense.

    6. My client killed the victim in cold blood but the s. o. b. deserved it.

    Re David D

    The comparison of people like Roy Spencer and Anthony Watts with Kurt Wise is both correct and accurate. The fact is that no evidence of global climate change will convince Dr. Spencer or Mr. Watts that it is occurring, just as no evidence will convince Dr. Wise that evolution is correct.

  113. SLC

    Re David D

    Hey Dr. David D, don’t go away mad, just go away.

  114. Rodney

    Jon Lester:

    Actually,

    While I almost agree with you, about Anonymous, sort of…

    I think it shows great character for the BA to continue to allow Anonymous to post here.

    As long as he’s not too condescending (which I thought he was this time but that’s a different issue), I think it shows BA to be the better man to just let him go.

    While I enjoy the knowledge dispensed by others, I generally come here to see what he, and others of his viewpoint, have written. I think it’s funny and it gets me laughing with my morning coffee.

    But then again, I have zetatalk bookmarked at work, for when I need a “lift”…So I may not be the best person to weigh in on this one.

    rod

  115. Andy

    Not only is Michell Bachmann scientifically ignorant, isn’t the best with the English language either.

    “Carbon dioxide is a natural byproduct of nature.”

    Apparently she has a B.A. from the School of Redundancy School. I truly pity those who elected her as their representation in Congress.

  116. Josh K

    Sigh. I’m from Minnesota. Wishing I wasn’t… At least I didn’t vote for that lunatic.

  117. Charlie Young

    So…what we’re doing with cap-and-trade and all other assortment of environmental proclamations is creating the experimental model to test the hypothesis that man-made CO2 emissions are having a major effect on climate. Once we know that this confounder has been eliminated, we can also look at other sources of climate change.

  118. Jason W

    Phil,

    I wonder, as a skeptic, what you think when someone comments on your blog that something is “scientifically settled.”

    I would think that as a skeptic, you would recoil in horror that someone thinks that you can an some point say “OK we know everything, we can stop doing the science now!”

    As far as monitoring and learning about our planet, we have only just begun.

    The “science is settled” comments regarding global warming scare me as much as teaching creationism scares you.

  119. ndt

    Will. M Says:
    April 26th, 2009 at 1:57 pm
    The folks at ProjectVoteSmart (PVS) have issued a challenge to every member of the U.S. Congress for the last several years which is comprised of a series of general questions about things topical to the U.S. as a whole, including the “war on terror” (my italics), immigration, the economy, and scientific concerns like global warming or global climate change. Many members answer the questions, and many more do not, regardless of party affiliation. PVS also publishes a list of all of the members of congress’s voting records on every bill which comes before the Senate or the House. If you want to know how your congressperson voted on a particular bill, this is a very good source. It is also a good indicator of just how transparent your rep or senator is, based upon their answer or failure to answer the questionnaire.

    The next time you decide to reelect your senator or representative, you might want to check his voting record at PVS before you cast your ballot. And if his opponent has failed to answer the questionnaire, you might want to ask him why.

    That sounds like a lot of work that would encroach on the time I spend watching reality TV.

  120. SLC

    Re Jason W

    #

    I wonder, as a skeptic, what you think when someone comments on your blog that something is “scientifically settled.”

    I would think that as a skeptic, you would recoil in horror that someone thinks that you can an some point say “OK we know everything, we can stop doing the science now!”

    As far as monitoring and learning about our planet, we have only just begun.

    The “science is settled” comments regarding global warming scare me as much as teaching creationism scares you.

    Nobody is saying that the science of global climate change is settled so that no more studies need to be performed. That’s like saying that the science of evolution is settled, which is not true because there are still issues involving the relative importance of natural selection/adaptation vs genetic drift. That’s like saying that physics is settled, also not true as there is no theory of quantum gravity.

    There are a number of issues involving global warming which are not settled. For instance, the effect on hurricanes is very much a bone of contention (just read Chris Mooneys’ book, “Storm World”). What is fairly well settled is that the percent of the atmosphere that is CO(2) is increasing, that the increase is due in part to burning fossil fuels, and that this increase will cause the ambient temperature of the planet to increase. What the effect of that increase will be is still very much up in the air.

  121. Wes Bowie

    Anthony Watts is saying that the ground readings are bogus. A majority of the measuring sites in the U.S. are SUB-STANDARD and/or very poorly maintained. The data are nevertheless used as input in GISS’s models and lo and behold, climate change. I say GARBAGE IN; GARBAGE OUT!

    http://www.surfacestations.org/ – Notice a lot of the plotted stations are orange, which is the code for poor.

    Examples of how not to measure temperature:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/12/08/how-not-to-measure-temperature-part-79-would-you-could-you-with-a-boat/

    and

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/04/18/how-not-to-measure-temperature-part-61-maintenance-optional/

  122. Jason

    I say we waterboard ALL state- and national-level politicians. All of them are scum, anyhow.

  123. Eamon

    @Jason W

    ” wonder, as a skeptic, what you think when someone comments on your blog that something is “scientifically settled.”

    I would think that as a skeptic, you would recoil in horror that someone thinks that you can an some point say “OK we know everything, we can stop doing the science now!”

    As far as monitoring and learning about our planet, we have only just begun.

    The “science is settled” comments regarding global warming scare me as much as teaching creationism scares you.”

    I know I’m echoing SLC here, but the basic foundations of climate change are settled.

    Are you scared when people teach the basics of gravitation, electomagnetism, geology, astronomy, and countless other areas of science which are ‘settled’?

  124. Eamon

    @Wes Bowie

    If you opened up a dictionary and looked at ‘Mendacious’ I wouldn’t be surprised to find Anthony Watts name there.

  125. Tim

    Hi Phil

    The problem with these congresspeople and senators is that they are paid to be ignorant by corporations that want to control the message in their favor.

  126. Dan L.

    @Wes Bowie, etc.

    I was brought up by a fairly liberal single mother in a middle middle class Massachusetts suburb. I got a pretty good liberal brainwashing, and when I finally realized this, I set about trying to find the truth behind things I believed merely through repetition. I’ve grown much more politically and financially conservative through this process.

    So of course, I had to sit down and try to find the facts behind this whole climate change hullabaloo. Now, I had two years of a physics education and ended up getting a math degree — I can usually reason on science. But climate science is pretty complex, there’s a lot of work out there, and much of it is grueling statistical analysis of very complex data sets. To some extent, I have to let the experts speak and find out whether they’re making any sense.

    Science is, of course, a little different from a court of law. In science, the evidence is all that matters. But in court, much evidence is testimonial, and we’ve always known that testimonial evidence is pretty much the least trustworthy of any. As a result, there are two approaches a lawyer can take to prevent a witness for the other side from having much impact on a case: demonstrate directly that the testimony is false or show that the witness his/herself is not a credible source.

    In this case, the climate change “skeptics” are impeaching themselves quite handily, no cross examination required. I’ve never seen a “skeptic” cite a paper from a peer reviewed science journal to support his position. I’ve never seen a “skeptic” make an actual argument based on actual science. I’ve never seen a “skeptic” actually argue with any force that cutting down on use of fossil fuels would cripple the economy or some of the other alarmist claims that are made. I’ve never seen a “skeptic” honestly deal with the facts that 1) industrial processes in the 20th and 21st centuries produce far more CO2 than natural processes at any time that we are able to study in any detail, 2) that in terms of molecular properties, CO2 is most definitely a greenhouse gas, and 3) that 10-30 year trends show a steady warming in the atmosphere across most of the 20th century.

    What I see the “skeptics” do is name-drop Al Gore, cite quite clearly biased sources such as the Frasier institute above, misrepresent the positions of experts who believe in climate change, trump up the credentials of other “skeptics,” and throw out dozens of previously debunked objections to climate change. In addition, I haven’t yet met a skeptic whose view on climate change was fixed. Instead, they all seem to go through a progression: 1) not happening, 2) not caused by CO2, 3) not bad, 4) doing something would be worse, and 5) we can’t do anything about it anyway. Finally, “skeptics” employ the “big lie” technique, simply repeating the claim that PLENTY of climate experts disagree and the climate change is by no means a consensus view — all simply asserted with no actual statements or papers from these “experts” who disagree.

    I am no fan of Al Gore, but if you think simply associating a cause with the man is an argument against the cause, then I have to assume you don’t have much of a case. Any paper put out by a think tank instead of a climate observatory or a university is suspect, but the Frasier Institute looks like it’s pretty clearly motivated purely by political ideology. Climate scientists who believe in anthropogenic CO2 forcing are put on lists of “skeptics” without their knowledge or consent — not exactly an honest way to present your point of view. Most of the “scientists” on these same lists seem to be engineers and meteorologists. Engineers usually also make up much of the lists of “scientists” skeptical of the theory of evolution — not to knock engineers, but we know we can find some who are totally scientifically illiterate. And meteorologists study the weather. The weather is not the same as the climate, though perhaps some meteorologists think they’re experts in all related fields. And since the meteorologists seem split about 50/50 on the question, maybe we should let the climate specialists (looks more like 99/1 at highest) break the tie?

    The other three tactics I mention above come straight out of the creationist playbook, and when I see someone use those tactics without actually citing any evidence or applying any logic, I tend to draw certain conclusions.

    So yes, Wes Bowie, the data is not ideal. Data never is. However, it is what we have. It seems clear that it’s not all bad — thermometers are relatively well-understood pieces of scientific instrumentation, and judging by what I’ve read about the data used for the IPCC studies, many of the problems with the data were corrected through interpolation — which is quite common in other fields that throw off fewer sparks politically. However, if you have a better data source on global temperatures for the last 100 years, we would love to see it. No? OK, then, here’s where the science seems to stand from someone who only recently sat down to take an honest look at both sides of the argument:

    The theory for anthropogenic climate change through CO2 forcing is sound. CO2 is transparent to visible light but opaque to many infrared frequencies, which, everything else being equal, should lead to more solar radiation being retained by earth’s atmosphere.

    The data for this same change is quite strong. There is a warming trend dating from just about the beginning of the temperature records, but it increases fairly sharply towards the beginning of the 20th century. This tracks changes in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Now, many of those who are advocating the truth of AGW (or whatever) are off their rockers, sure. Many make overblown claims and many parrot what has been told to them. However, when I want to find FACTS about the situation, I can trust that the non-nuts on the climate change side will show me facts. If I’m skeptical, they’ll show me the data and tell me to do my own frackin’ analysis. The “skeptic” side on the other hand — I’m beginning to think there may be no non-nuts to help me over there. I’m still waiting for one of you to actually present something that looks like an argument instead of spending as much time as possible insulting my intelligence.

    Sorry for the long post, but if there is anything to climate change skepticism, I would like someone to come out with it already.

  127. SLC

    Re Wes Bowie

    Nothing like citing a 9/11 troofer as an authority on climate change.

  128. David D

    @Eamon–

    Do you have any examples of Watt’s mendacity when it comes to climate science?

  129. SLC

    Re David D

    Hey, Dr. David D is back, still touting the expertise of 9/11 troofer Anthony Watts as his expert. Here’s another view of nutcase Watts from the following link. When is Dr. David D going to find a relatively reputable expert (hint: Roger Pielke)?

    By the way, I didn’t respond to Dr. David Ds’ claim that the quote about evolution from Richard Dawkins is just Dr. Dawkins’ opinion. Is Dr. David D claiming that one who denies the theory of evolution is something other then ignorant, stupid, insane, or wicked?

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/12/the_australians_war_on_science_29.php

  130. Eamon

    @David D

    Sure, he posts stuff like “Subcomittee of Japan’s Society of Energy and Resources disses the IPCC” and despite being told that the article he is referring to has nothing to do with any JSER Subcommittee refuses to change the misleading title of his post.

    Recently he posted a piece on his site entitled “Ice at the North Pole in 1958 and 1959 – not so thick” trying to erroneously imply that because many submarines surfaced at breaks in the Arctic Ice in the past then ice cover in the past must have been as weak as it is reported to be today.

  131. StevoR-Correcting

    @ Kuhnigget :

    Okay, if all the grammar police get to nitpick Dr. BA’s typos, I get to pick nits off this one.

    There was never such a thing as “Greek” democracy. “Greece” didn’t exist in the ancient world. There was Greek culture, but never a single unified “Greece” and certainly not a democratic one. True, Athens had a very limited form of democracy, in which a very small percentage of the overall population voted, but even Athens’ finest hours–from our point of view–came when the city was ruled by tyrants, from the lawgiver Solon, to the artistically inspired Pericles.

    Your sentiment is correct, though, in that powerful nations/cultures all too often fall when their populations–including the ruling class– become corrupt, shortsighted, or ignorant. In that regard, democracy has no better record than any other form of government, and possibly worse. After all, what better breeding ground for a mob than a state in which the mob is supposedly the one running things? (Note word, “supposedly.”)

    Fair enough. & okay their (spelling? Oh well, sur esome grammarnazi will put it right! ;-) ) deomcracy – the Athenian that is & much of early British & “western” democracy too – was also restricted. Eg. no women
    or slaves allowed to vote, only select citizens & /or landholders.

  132. StevoR-Correcting

    deomcracy = Democracy.

    Doom-ocracy? Hope not.

    But do *all* political systems ultimately fail over sufficent spasn of time?

    In a pessimistic mood tonight for some reason. :-(

    Also :

    their (spelling? Oh well, sure some grammar nazi will put it right! ;-) )

    .. is how the bit in brackets was supposed to look. *Sigh* :-(

    [Throws bucket of water over keyboard .. ]

  133. StevoR

    @ Jason Says: (April 27th, 2009 at 8:22 pm)

    I say we waterboard ALL state- and national-level politicians. All of them are scum, anyhow.

    I certainly would like tosee Rumsfeld , Cheney, Wolfowitz and theotherneo-cons who backed the whole waterboarding and rendition ( “black flights” torture) given a taste of their own medicine. That would be appropriate & just.

    Personally, I’d do to Bush Jr what was done to Saddam too. ;-)

    A-n-y-w-a-y … back to the topic.

  134. StevoR

    @

    Sorry for the long post, but if there is anything to climate change skepticism, I would like someone to come out with it already.

    There isn’t which is why they haven’t. ;-)

    All “climate skeptics” and AGE Deniers turn out to be full of hot air (& oil lobby or other vested interest funds.)

    Think otherwise? Then show me one that isn’t .. :roll:

  135. StevoR

    In Oz just recently, we’ve had Ian Plimer, a geologist and mining man plugging his new anti-environmentalists AGE Denier book on ‘Lateline’ – ABC TV.

    He was caught out on that program for using old outdated data & contradicting modern climatologists.

    Shame really because the bloke was otherwise quite reasonable -he tookon creationist over acalimied Noah’s ark finding.

    Still on this issue Plimer’s crediblility is zero & his mining interests & old data misusage make him yet another example of my statement about “hot air & vested interests” above. :-(

  136. StevoR-Correcting

    *Sigh*

    That’s :

    Shame really because Plimer is otherwise quite a reasonable person – he took on some creationists over a claimed “Noah’s ark” finding eevn fighting it out in court.

  137. StevoR-Correcting

    eevn = even

    &, of course, on this issue Plimer’s sadly lost the plot & is dead wrong.

  138. Plutonium being from Pluto

    Still no Gliese 581 e exoplanteary discovery post BA? :-(

    Its old news now (already!) I know but I would still love to hear your views & ideas on it!

    —–

    Radioactively warmed.

  139. David D

    @Eamon–

    I checked the post about the JSER; there is an update (not sure what date) with an explanation from one of the authors of the paper. Whether or not the authors are a subcommittee of JSER or that their discussion was published in the JSER journal does not seem to detract from the science.

    “trying to erroneously imply . . .” In what way is Watt “erroneous?”

    Neither one of these examples speaks to your claim that Watts is mendacious.

  140. Dan L.

    @David D:

    How about you just explain what Watt’s substantive claims are and how they address the three core issues here:

    1) CO2 is, based purely on physical principles, a greenhouse gas.
    2) 20th century industrial production vastly increased the amount of CO2 produced over the last 100 years compared to natural sources.
    3) A clear warming trend appears in the temperature data tracking the increase in CO2.

    I tried taking a look at his website, but it’s just a blog, and all the posts seem to assume that I’m already convinced that AGW is not happening. Is there any actual resource for those who might be looking for, you know, some science behind the “skeptic” side of the “debate”?

    I would also like to briefly mention my long-winded point above, that the “skeptics” seem to engage in underhanded and dishonest means of persuasion, including the use of tactics also used by creationists and HIV deniers. (It would be interesting to get some statistics on the overlap of these three groups.) If the science is on your side, why can’t you just present the facts?

  141. David D

    @Dan L.

    I appreciated your long-winded point earlier.

    Your numbers 1 and 2 are well-based, I think; even some in the “denier” community do not dispute those facts. And although the temperature and the CO2 tracks are similar, whether CO2 is the sole, or major cause of the temp increase is debatable.

    Yes, Watts’ site is a blog. He is not the only scientist who holds a different view on global warming. I think someone mentioned Pielke; John Christy is another. There are many out there, and I don’t think one could characterize the whole lot of them as crackpots. I mentioned Watts’ site not as the best, just as one site that I have visited.

    What is terribly unfortunate is that this issue has become so politicized, and both sides share the blame. It makes it very difficult to get down to the science involved. I think a lot of skeptics are also concerned not only about the “chicken little” hysteria, but also about some of the radical and unproven solutions proposed (like cap and trade).

    As to your last point, I don’t think the “skeptics” have a monopoly on using underhanded and dishonest means of persuasion. IIRC, there was a story about someone making sure the hearing room was exceptionally warm during one particular hearing.

  142. Dan L.

    @ David D:

    I think (3) is also pretty definitely established. The only counterarguments I’ve seen seem to focus on the “cooling trend” the last 10 years, which is clearly a result of ignoring the limitations of statistical analysis to apply a 10 year trend to a 10 year period.

    I agree that it’s not clear that CO2 is the sole or major contributor to this warming trend. In fact, it’s not 100% clear that CO2 is a contributor at all in the same sense that it’s not clear that some benevolent spirit didn’t create the earth 6000 years ago and buried all those fossils to test our faith. Analogies to law can be problematic, but I think this could be constructive: (1) is the motive, (2) is the weapon, and (3) is the body. Without a good alibi, the defendant is in trouble. It’s that alibi I am looking for, and “skeptics” haven’t been forthcoming with it as far as I can tell. We can look at what other causes might contribute — and this is what climate scientists do — but the consensus seems to be that CO2 is the best fit for the cause of the warming trends in the 20th century.

    Despite the claim that “there are many [skeptical climate experts] out there,” it seems like every list includes dead people, AGW believers who are on the list without their knowledge, and a whole lot of dubious credentials. If there are so many out there, why the inflated rolls? I notice you’ve mentioned only a total of three such experts, one of those with the help of another AGW believer – out of a population of (conservatively) a few thousand. I agree that it’s poor form to simply dismiss these folks at cranks without a critical look at their arguments, but I’m having some trouble finding substantive arguments from these people to begin with. This does not make these people wrong, but it certainly suggests a certain amount of caution in trusting their conclusions.

    Cap and trade is neither radical nor unproven. In particular, the cap and trade system for SO2 substantially decreased industrial output of that compound, followed by a pretty direct drop in the acidity of rain water. Similar solutions have been applied to ocean fisheries, and it seems to be a good solution in that situation as well. Moreover, in the context of energy production, every solution is going to be in some sense “unproven.” And this makes me wonder about your position — do you believe that CO2 is not causing warming or that it is and that fixing the problem is too costly? It seems that if you have confidence in the former position, you don’t really need the latter. However, right now I’m trying to talk about the debate about the science behind the theory of AGW — what to do about it is a different debate, though I tend to think the moral and economic arguments for moving away from fossil fuel use are enough on their own, perhaps even if AGW isn’t happening at all.

    I agree, the deniers do not have a monopoly on the shady tactics, and I agree that it’s a shame that it’s been politicized to the extent it has. Of course, the latter was inevitable, as industries based in mining, refining, and distributing fossil fuels have a vested interest in making it political. Which means the former is inevitable, since when one side makes the issue political, there is a certain amount of political backlash. However, when I ignore the extremists on both sides and go in search of the actual evidence, I find the AGW side much more forthcoming and substantially more cautious regarding the implications of their arguments.

  143. David D.

    @Dan L.–

    Again, I appreciate your response–respectful and well-thought out, which is a breath of fresh air compared to what is more often found among the comments here.

    Perhaps cap and trade may work; I have read some economic analyses that are less than hopeful. I think the carbon credit idea is a scam, however. I know that there are other solutions out there in varying stages of development.

    Regardless of whether CO2 is causing the warming or not, I think that for a variety of reasons, we should be looking at alternatives to fossil fuel (Esp. Nuclear).

    If you would, perhaps you can steer me towards some of the global warming “believer” sites that you have found to be useful and scientific. I would like to re-examine some of what is out there.

    Again, your comments and ideas are appreciated.

  144. Dan L.

    @David D:

    My sources would probably come under the heading of the “usual suspects.” The “Start Here” page on realclimate.org starts with a bottom-up primer on climate science building up to the conclusions that lead to the hypothesis of AGW. Honestly, I spent most of my time here going straight to the debunkings, hoping they would link to some more credible sources of skeptical arguments (no such luck). And it includes links to the IPCC reports, which are probably the most comprehensive sources for evidence for AGW.

    Incidentally, the typical response to citing, you know, climate scientists is that they’re obviously biased — apparently, one cannot acquire expertise without simultaneously impeaching one’s own conclusions (unless those conclusions are that AGW is false, of course — the skeptical experts seem to be the only ones who aren’t thrown out of the debate on accusations of bias). To make another imperfect analogy, I find this is rather like saying that despite the warnings of my mechanic, I should just keep driving my car until something is obviously wrong — the mechanic is clearly biased here. This is complicated somewhat by the fact that some of the loudest on the AGW side are quite clearly biased, expertise or no, and their arguments warrant as much skepticism as anyone else’s (and of course, there are dishonest mechanics).

    I think there is certainly a place at the table for voices of caution, though. We cannot base a response on worst-case scenarios alone, which does seem to be the position of at least some in the AGW crowd. In moving on from fossil fuel-based energy, I agree that we need honest estimates of the cost (esp. in terms of short term economic growth) for any mitigation proposals and cautious estimates of the gains. Still, this debate is separate from a purely scientific look at whether the AGW hypothesis is supported by the evidence.

    Anyway, I agree it’s sometimes difficult to find people willing to have a civil discussion on the internet. In this case, as I said before, I think the politicization of the debate was inevitable, and so I think it’s inevitable that the most prominent voices will be the least reasonable. It is what it is. Our exchange has been a pleasure — and please don’t hesitate to point out any good resources for arguments for AGW skepticism you might find.

  145. George

    This is interesting. 700 scientists who don’t make dire enough predictions to garner press in the Kool-Aid drinking popular media have found an outlet for their doubts. At least concede that every scientist does NOT believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming, because it’s simply not true. The skeptics are just marginalized and drowned out. Now that AGW is political many are afraid to speak for fear of losing funding or status. It really is easier to go along with the crowd when the crowd relies the same few shaky climate models. Anyway:

    U.S. Senate Minority Report Update: More Than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims

    I read the whole thing (255 pages), opens in Acrobat reader:

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=83947f5d-d84a-4a84-ad5d-6e2d71db52d9

    If you commenters keep on with some right-wing conspiracy nonsense then I know we are lost. Even Phil is skeptical of conspiracies, I hope?

    Bye

    Phil, I loved your blog, and I may return. Hell, you may be right when it comes to “climate change,” but believe me, there is no consensus. This is a highly-politicized issue and facts are often left by the wayside in such a situation. We cannot debate by starting “there is no debate.”

  146. Wes Bowie

    Ad hominem attacks are not legitimate arguments. Why not try refuting the evidence the source of the temperature data is dubious at best?

  147. SLC

    Re Dan L

    It should be made clear that there is a distinction between climate change deniers, like Roy Spencer and Anthony Watts and climate change skeptics, like Roger Pielke. Spencer and Watts are nutcases, much like Kurt Wise and Duane Gish on evolution, as evidenced by the rejection of evolution by the former and 9/11 conspiracy theories by the latter. No evidence will convince them that they are in error. Pielke, on the other hand raises substantive objections to the theory but makes it clear what evidence would cause him to reverse his position.

    It should also be pointed out that a number of former skeptics now accept the global warming hypothesis. A prime example is Michael Shermer, a noted skeptical thinker who has written a number of books on skepticism..

  148. Wes Bowie

    Again you employ ad hominem attacks, and the logical fallacy of appeal to authority. None of these support your straw man arguments.

  149. SLC

    Re Wes Bowie

    The arguments have been refuted. Check out the RealClimate web site for refutation. Nothing will be gained by copying and pasting arguments from that web site here, just a waste of bandwidth and storage. The climate change denialists who comment here and elsewhere would be better served by not quoting nutcases like evolution denier Roy Spencer and 9/11 troofer Anthony Watts. There actually are a few reputable scientists such as Roger Pielke who are sane, sober individuals with no axes to grind, but who depart from the scientific consensus, at least at present.

    Re George

    On-line petitions are a dime a dozen and are totally meaningless. The Discovery Institute has an on-line petition currently numbering more then 700 names of scientists who question the theory of evolution. There is another on-line petition currently with at least 135 names of scientists who question big bang cosmology. There is another on-line petition of scientists who question the relationship of HIV and AIDS (I don’t recall the number of signatories to this one). I would be willing to bet that there are on-line petitions denying the relationship between cigarette smoking and cancer, denying the relationship between CFCs and ozone depletion, and denying the Holocaust.

  150. SLC is correct about the on-line petitions. In fact the NCSE have “Project Steve” which parodies the DI petition. “Project Steve” lists 700 scientists, all named Steve, who support the theory of evolution.

    http://www.ncseweb.org/taking-action/project-steve

  151. Eamon

    @ David D

    Re: JSER and Watts

    I checked the post about the JSER; there is an update (not sure what date) with an explanation from one of the authors of the paper. Whether or not the authors are a subcommittee of JSER or that their discussion was published in the JSER journal does not seem to detract from the science.

    I’ll note that you’ve avoided comment on Watts’ mendacity.

    Even Dr Itoh’s comments show Watts’ twisting:

    “The article of JSER has been composed of discussions between the five contributors, made through e-mail for several months, and was organized by Prof. Yoshida of Kyoto University (an editor of the JSER journal). Our purpose was to invoke healthy discussions on the global warming issue in Japan. The JSER journal was selected as a platform for this discussion just because Prof. Yoshida has a personal interest in this issue and he is an editor of the journal.

    Thus, it is not correct if one thinks that the discussion represents the opinion of the journal’s editors or of the society JSER. In fact, none of the five contributors belong to the JSER, and Prof. Yoshida kept his attitude neutral in the article.”

    As for the science, obviously there is more bearing if the published articles were as a result of a pertinent professional body investigating the science (Watts’ ‘Subcommittee’ lie), as opposed to the fact that they were invited discussion pieces written largely by denialists to give their views.

    In fact, if you check back to the actual partial translation of the discussion piece in The Register you get the usual voodoo science:

    * No warming since 2001
    * It’s the sunspots!
    * Models are not perfect (nothing is!)

    Nothing new, no breakthroughs, no new insights – just a rehash of stale old canards.

  152. Gray Gaffer

    Dan L, SLC: welcome, clear and concise. Thanks.

    David D: I bow to the results of over 10,000 scientist-years of study on this issue. I have solid grounding in scientific methodology, and until I have the finances and time to spend 10 years repeating the groundwork and statistical analysis supporting GCC I accept the results from those with similar training in the area of their particular specialty. If you disagree with them be aware that you are disagreeing with theories that have survived the test of utility. Unless you have to hand counter-theories that also have demonstrated utility all you have is opinion. GCC / AGW is not an opinion. It is a large body of theoretical knowledge that has predictive capabilities. We may argue about the size of the error bars or what counts as forcing input, but those are the froth on top of the substance. Reality does not care about our opinions, and will slap us around regardless if we place opinions higher in our estimations.

    So my reasoned arguments start with the IPCC document. Which is only “cherry-picked” if you consider including properly worked out science and excluding erroneous, poorly executed, or just plain bad science, to be “cherry picking”.

    When it comes to lone voices winning out against the establishment (a denier argument not made yet on this blog, but I want to forestall it), I would point out that those success stories (plate tectonics, badlands ice-wall floods, asteroid impact 65 million years ago, etc) the loners dedicated their lives to the study and the scoffers did not. In fact, GCC itself is such a loner win.

    I’ve also lived a good while on this Earth and noticed changes, changes that are consistent with the GCC theories and not the denier’s typical mis-use, misunderstanding, or outright lies about the science. So I have first hand anecdotal evidence as well as my respect for the professionals the deniers so love to insult.

    I will also re-iterate: GCC is but one of several arguments for the steps we need to take towards its mitigation. There are multiple arguments for those same actions, from which we will derive National Security, economic, health, and joy of life, benefits. Any one of them is in my mind sufficient to embark on the changes, and as all of them together point the same way I think it insane that we as a society are still arguing against them. Time is running out on being able to implement them at all. If GCC doesn’t get us the economic collapse will. Or the terrorists. Or Idiocracy.

    Appendix: “utility” and “theory” are very specific terms in this context. A scientific “theory” is a set of mathematical relations that describe some aspect of reality. It has “utility” if its predictions are close enough to be useful. To that extent it has risen above being a mere “hypothesis”. Authorship is irrelevant in that any such theory can be used by anyone who can handle its mechanics. Remember, this way of thinking brought us the technology behind this blog. Technology which did not exist at all, not even in SF, when I was a kid. Reality again. GCC / AGW theories have the same pedigree.

  153. Eamon

    @ David D

    “I’ll note that you’ve avoided comment on Watts’ mendacity.”

    Please strike that out. I missed your:

    “Neither one of these examples speaks to your claim that Watts is mendacious.”

    Really? He represents a group of people invited to expand on their mainly denialist views in a Journal as a ‘Subcommittee of the JSER”

    By that twisted logic I’m a member of the Board of the Journals Applied Physics A, and Chemical Engineering Journal

  154. Eamon

    @ David D

    “trying to erroneously imply . . .” In what way is Watt “erroneous?”

    I’ll break it down, but first I’ll repost my short description of the problem:

    Recently he posted a piece on his site entitled “Ice at the North Pole in 1958 and 1959 – not so thick” trying to erroneously imply that because many submarines surfaced at breaks in the Arctic Ice in the past then ice cover in the past must have been as weak as it is reported to be today.

    How can you compare the fact that submarines will try and surface at breaks in the Arctic ice pack with satellite observations of reducing Arctic ice cover and thickness going back 30 years? One concerns a very small area (where the Submarine has surfaced) and the other covers the whole of the Arctic! Erroneous. If you feel it is not then please elucidate.

  155. Dan L.

    @Wes Bowie:

    “Again you employ ad hominem attacks, and the logical fallacy of appeal to authority. None of these support your straw man arguments.”

    Well, I haven’t employed any ad hominem attacks, and if deferring to expertise is an “appeal to authority,” then I must assume you never go to the doctor or the mechanic, never call the plumber, do all your own electrical work, etc. Why don’t you actually make a substantive argument against the crux of AGW if you actually want anyone to take you seriously. Accusing others of logical fallacies doesn’t actually strengthen your point.

  156. David D.

    @Eamon–

    Watts to his credit printed Prof. Itoh’s clarification. I don’t know that I would characterize a seeming plateau in temps recently, or the fact that the sun is disturbingly quiet right now as voodoo science. As far as the Arctic, we don’t have satellite measurements from the 50’s, so it is possible that the ice may have been thinner and weaker in previous years. I understand that Arctic ice area cover has diminished over the last 30 years, but that was not what you were talking about. In fact, there are some recent measurements of ice thickness made by a German team that show thicker ice than what researchers had predicted (radiobremen.de/wissen/nachrichten/wissenawipolararktis100.html; Google can translate).

    Watts prime concern is how substandard surface temperature measuring stations are. This is basic to determining just how much the globe is warming. Even “troofers” have acknowledged that Watts is pointing out a relevant issue that needs to be addressed. Do you have a problem with this aspect of his work?

    @Gray Gaffer–
    Thank you for your clear comments. The IPCC is a governmental body, not necessarily a scientific one, and is not composed primarily of climate scientists. I don’t just toss out everything they say, but I tend to take it with a grain of salt. Statements like “theories that have survived the test of utility” and “large body of theoretical knowledge that has predictive capabilities” are, in my opinion, a bit of an exaggeration. Climate science has a long way to go before it can achieve the predictive foundation that evolution or plate tectonics has achieved. No one is asking that the climate models be perfect by any means.

    It is sad that anyone who questions any aspect of GCC/AGW seems to automatically be labeled as some kind of idiot or crackpot, whether they are “deniers’ or “skeptics.” I feel that there is still a place for reasoned debate and investigation on the subject of climate change, esp given the rather nascent state of climate science at this time. This discussion has helped me to re-examine some of my opinions on this issue, and I appreciate commenters like yourself and Dan L. for furthering the discussion, rather than stooping to name-calling and ad hominem attacks.

  157. Bobby

    “…and bear in mind she has a college education.”

    Perhaps, it would be more accurate to say she attended college!

  158. SLC

    Re Dave D

    Dr. Dave D accuses anyone who points out that Spencer and Watts are nutcases because of their whackjob anti-evolution and 9/11 troofer beliefs as engaging in ad hominem attacks. I have suggested that Dr. Dave D cite respectable scientists like Roger Pielke but apparently Mr. Pielke isn’t sufficiently skeptical for the formers’ taste. Give it up Dr. Dave D, you aren’t going to convince anyone by citing whackjobs and energy company shills.

  159. David D

    @SLC–

    You’re still here?

    Perhaps you have not read any of my recent posts. I suggest you take a moment to do so.
    I think I mentioned both Pielke and Christy in a previous post. I wasn’t trying to convince anyone of anything.

    You obviously have no idea what ad hominem means. I also suggest you look it up. More than one commenter has called you out on it; that usually means you should pay attention.

    Funny how I was able to have a pretty decent conversation with several commenters; I’m sorry you weren’t one of them.

  160. SLC

    Re David D

    Funny how I was able to have a pretty decent conversation with several commenters; I’m sorry you weren’t one of them.

    Unlike some commentors, I don’t suffer fools gladly and you are a fool.

  161. David D.

    @SLC–

    Oh wow. I give up. You win.

  162. Eamon

    @ Dr David D

    Regarding Submarines and Arctic Ice Cover

    In response to Watts trying to link submarines surfacing in ice-free pockets in the 50 to proving that ice coverage was spotty then, you write:

    As far as the Arctic, we don’t have satellite measurements from the 50’s, so it is possible that the ice may have been thinner and weaker in previous years. I understand that Arctic ice area cover has diminished over the last 30 years, but that was not what you were talking about.

    Yup, what I was talking about was that fact that Watts’ thesis was erroneous. You’ve side-stepped that – but I will press on.

    Submarines like to surface where there is little ice, and if they can find areas with no ice – polynya being one such type of area – then they surface there.

    Finding pictures of submarines surfaced at holes in the Arctic ice sheet have no bearing on overall Arctic ice coverage – as submarines seek such areas out!

    Do you understand?

    And here, from Captain Richard Sharpe RN, is an indication of how long submarines had to sail in the early 60s to find such ‘holes':

    If you plan to surface it may take well over 12 hours to find a suitable polynya or thin area of ice.

    (from http://naval.review.cfps.dal.ca/forum/view.php?topic=46)

    Supported by the experience of the Nautilus and by her own research, training, and improved instrumentation, the Skate dashed northward via the deep-water eastern routh, reaching the Pole just eight days after the Nautilus. After considerable searching and an anxious ascent, the Skate managed to surface in a tiny pond just forty miles from the Pole (Page 254 of The Rickover Effect, USS Skate’s first polar trip of Summer 1958)

    The Skate did in fact return to the Pole, in 1959, and did so in March, the coldest, most inhospitable time of the year.
    …she managed to find a tiny spot in the immediate vicinity of the Pole where the ice was thin enough to break through. (from Page 255 of The Rickover Effect)

    (from The Rickover Effect By Theodore Rockwell, accessed from Google Books)

    So, can you see how Watts’ Submarine piece is erroneous?

    Can you?!

  163. Eamon

    Apologies for the formatting there everyone – but I think the piece is understandable formatting errors or no.

  164. Eamon

    @ Dr David D

    Watts prime concern is how substandard surface temperature measuring stations are. This is basic to determining just how much the globe is warming. Even “troofers” have acknowledged that Watts is pointing out a relevant issue that needs to be addressed. Do you have a problem with this aspect of his work?

    Yes I do – because he starts from an erroneous principle – that substandard measuring stations are not accounted for in compiling data.

    Don’t take my word on it – here’s some links, which will expand upon the issue:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2007/07/30/surface-stations/

    *Note that Watts presents the Orland and Marysville data in a style that gives a false impression.

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/03/02/whats-up-with-that/

    *Satellite and Surface Station data are in agreement.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=454

    * Watts’ Mistaken Assumptions.

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/features/temptracker/page2.html

    * The Goddard Institute for Space Studies methodology for dealing with the Urban Heat Island Effect in data.

  165. David D.

    @Eamon–

    Sigh. Okay–let’s try and end this endless tennis match.

    I know a little bit about subs and polynya. I know that a sub doesn’t just punch through any portion of the ice pack.

    Your original statement was that Watts was “trying to erroneously imply that because many submarines surfaced at breaks in the Arctic Ice in the past then ice cover in the past must have been as weak as it is reported to be today.” We have no firm data about the thickness of the ice pack in the 50’s as compared to today. But we do have scientists like Serreze from NSIDC who strongly suggested that the Arctic could be ice free–during the summer of 2008.

    If you can show me that is is not possible that the ice could have been thinner at times in the ’50’s, then most certainly the post is erroneous.

    Can you?!

  166. David D.

    @Eamon–

    I just got your other comment. I’m not familiar with tamino: I will certainly read what he/she to say.

    Again, let me say that this discussion has helped me to re-examine some of my opinions on this issue.

  167. David D.

    . . . although anyone who calls himself “Hansen’s bulldog”might not be the dispassionate observer that I am looking for.

  168. Dan L.

    @David D.:

    “If you can show me that is is not possible that the ice could have been thinner at times in the ’50’s, then most certainly the post is erroneous.”

    The question is not whether the ice COULD have been thinner — of course it could. The question is whether there is any good reason to BELIEVE that it was. The fact that submarines could find holes in the ice cover in the 50’s is consistent with the ice being thinner, but it’s also consistent with the ice being just as thick, or possibly even thicker (I don’t know how easily submarines can find holes in the ice cover now). In other words, it’s not a good reason to think that the ice is actually thicker today than in the 50’s.

    And then, there are good reasons to think it’s thinner now. There are no cooling trends apparent in the data for the 20th century on the scale of a 30 year trend, so the notion that the ice was thin in the 50’s, bounced back in time for the start of satellite measurements in the 70’s, and has been in decline since then is simply not supported by the evidence (well, the decline since the 70’s is, but not the build up from the 50s to 70s).

  169. Robert L

    Hey SLC,

    I think you mischaracterized Anthony Watts. His blog entry on the 9/11 incident is anti-“troofers”

    I quote:
    The Chico News and Review has gotten quite a number of letters on their 911 Truth article which gave a platform to the people whom prefer to believe that a gigantic government conspiracy was the reason behind the 911 WTC collapse, and that the towers were brought down with explosives, rather than by fire.

    I wrote a short blog essay on the subject, and a letter to the editor, pointing out that the recent collapse of the I580-880 freeway interchange had a lot of similarities, illustrating that fire can indeed take town steel and concrete structures.

    Predictably, the 911Truthers lobbed a couple of ticked off letters back at me, even going so far as to say I’m “spreading distortions”.
    While I don’t intend to argue their points, since you can’t usually come out winning when you argue with people whom believe conspiracy theories

    It seems you neglected to read what he actually wrote, and only looked at the venue in which is it was posted. This speaks volumes about your point of view.

    cheers,
    Robert

  170. David D.

    @SLC–

    Perhaps you owe me an apology.

  171. Paracelsus

    Hey Phil, if posting about AGW is banned on BAUT, as is being currently discussed and advocated for by a number of people, including Mods, would discussion of entries such as this one also be forbidden on BAUT?

    Just asking.

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »