NASA talks global warming

By Phil Plait | February 24, 2010 7:08 am

The Earth is warming up. That’s a fact. Denialists will deny (and no doubt will amp up the noise in the comments below) but the truth is the Earth has warmed on average over a degree Fahrenheit in the past century or so, and the past decade, 2000 – 2009, was the warmest on record.

nasa_awarmingworld

NASA is not taking this lightly. Our space agency has a fleet of satellites in orbit which examine the Earth, taking its temperature and measuring the effects of this global rise in heat. They have a website called A Warming World, which does a really good job discussing the reality of global warming, and debunking some of the bigger claims of the denialists.

A video they put online discusses things like how changing solar input might affect the Earth, how much of this energy from the Sun is reflected, and how much is trapped. It’s done simply, elegantly, and with excellent graphics that show just how the Earth is warming up.

They’ve also put online a devastating series of images depicting what’s happening on our warming world. Here’s one of the Bering Glacier, taken by Landsat 7 in 2002:

nasa_beringglacier

In the past century, rising temperatures have caused this glacier’s terminus to retreat 12 km (7+ miles), and the ice has thinned by several hundred meters. They have many other images there as well showing what’s going on.

If I were to say what the biggest problem we have with all this, it’s that, ironically, while the warming is happening rapidly on a geological timescale, and too rapidly for us to wait much longer to take action, the changes are happening too slowly to shake people out of their complacence. I’m certainly not wishing the effects were accelerated! But it’s far too easy for political maneuvering and loud noise-making to distract people from a very real and very serious issue.

I have a lot of confidence in humans. We’re smart, and even better, we’re clever. There are solutions to global warming, and a lot of them are engineering and technology-driven — I think we can advance technology greatly while actually fighting the climate change. But we also have to change our behavior, and part of that is facing reality and accepting that this really is happening, and that we have to get off our fat cans and do something about it.

The noise machine will rattle cages and distract and sling mud and do a grave disservice to everyone. But I’ll be here to fight them along with thousands and thousands of other scientists. And you know what? I have a hope: if we must battle over this for the next hundred years, we’ll have a nice, cool world in which to do it.

Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

MORE ABOUT: global warming

Comments (215)

  1. Katharine

    “I have a lot of confidence in humans.”

    There’s your problem. The unfortunate thing is that much of this will depend on factors we don’t study – we study the natural sciences, but this will depend on a lot of social factors.

    In addition, action from just the United States isn’t going to make much of a dent in carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. China does nothing to regulate its own carbon dioxide emissions. Politics stands in the way, as it always does.

    Also most people in the world are blindingly stupid. The United States itself has a college education rate of, at its most generous, about 33%. (This country can suck it, honestly, because of that. I don’t want to live in a country of dumbasses.)

    Add to that the vast majority of businesspeople, politicians, and media (except for a few) who are almost as scientifically illiterate as the unwashed goob idiots and you have a world populated mostly by wastes of flesh who I’m beginning to think may deserve what it’s going to get when it comes to climate change.

  2. paul

    Their choice of using the red river as an example of flooding is silly, the red river floods like that at least once or twice a decade, I’m not denying anything about global warming, but there’s records of huge floods on this river in the Red River valley during spring since the early to mid 1800’s.

  3. Chaz

    I’m a scientist too, although at the opposite end of the spectrum. Biochemistry / protein engineering and that sort of thing. And I’ve been confused / concerned about one particular issue: solutions.

    Regardless of whether or not climate change is anthropomorphically driven, what can we do? Capping and reducing ‘green house gas’ emissions is equilvalent to taking our foot off the accelerator, but not applying the brake. And if the ‘car’ hits a nice downhill patch (i.e. sun output) aren’t we still negatively affected? Don’t we need to reduce green house gas concentrations to avoid a feedback loop, which means not reducing emissions, but having net negative emissions?

  4. IVAN3MAN AT LARGE

    Like, er… I second what Katharine said above.

  5. Big Al

    OK, global warming is real, and it’s all our fault. Let’s just outlaw all use of combustion, and stop producing CO2. Slaughter all the livestock, stop that nasty respiration. Lie quietly, breathe as shallowly as possible, and wait for it to all be over.

  6. After years of mocking global warming, I’m getting to the point where I’m ready to sit down and concede the evidence. It seems ubiquitous.

    The next questions I’ve been pondering have to do with its effects. What are the dangers of it? Do we know of any definite negative effects? What are the boons? For instance, it crossed my mind the other day that for every acre of land made uninhabitable, there are probably two or three in Russia and Canada where the permafrost will thaw and we’ll have farmland. Also, I read the other day that forests are growing at a faster rate with the increased temperatures and CO2. What kind of difference will that make.

    @1: Katharine

    I certainly feel the temptation to share your misanthropic cynicism. As creatures who thrive on community, it’s disconcerting when your community is locked in ignorance. Just remember that you’re not working, living, laughing for the goobs. You’re doing it for the kids who have too much wide-eyed curiosity to hate science. You’re doing it for the people who want to honestly know better but are stuck in the muck of pseudoscience and anti-intellectual garbage. You’re doing it for the politicians who actually care but can never escape the fray long enough to understand what they actually need to do. For every dumbass in this country, there’s someone else who wants their community to consist of more than vowel-less texts, and they see problems and want to do stuff about them.

    I probably deserve what I get too, when it comes down to it. But if we’re part of a community, it’s not about us and them, it’s just us.

  7. Katharine

    Big Al, that’s the least nuanced, demonstrative-of-knowledge-about-global-climate-and-biochemistry argument I’ve ever seen.

    You fail at the internet.

  8. Katharine

    “I certainly feel the temptation to share your misanthropic cynicism. As creatures who thrive on community, it’s disconcerting when your community is locked in ignorance. Just remember that you’re not working, living, laughing for the goobs. You’re doing it for the kids who have too much wide-eyed curiosity to hate science. You’re doing it for the people who want to honestly know better but are stuck in the muck of pseudoscience and anti-intellectual garbage. You’re doing it for the politicians who actually care but can never escape the fray long enough to understand what they actually need to do. For every dumbass in this country, there’s someone else who wants their community to consist of more than vowel-less texts, and they see problems and want to do stuff about them.”

    This is part of why, despite all the idiocy in the world, I haven’t stuck my head in a bag and inhaled helium until I’ve stopped breathing – because there is, in fact, a population of people who is not bloody stupid.

  9. Daffy

    Big Al,

    Lovely straw man argument.

    In the last 30 years the lovely forests of my youth have all but gone between increased fires and bark beetles…both drought related. Areas that burned/died off years ago have never grown back because of increased average temps and lack of water.

    But, as Phil says, while that has been a rapid change, it has been too slow for anyone really to pay attention. But the right wing controls virtually everything these days, and nothing will be done. Nothing.

  10. Katharine

    And in fact, I am going into the field of research I’m going into because I want to make the world better. It’s possible. It really is. And I love what I do and what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life. Talking to the public is just a task almost equivalent in difficulty to cleaning out the mythological Aegean stables to push the world along to some amount of enlightenment – we still haven’t finished doing it.

  11. Katharine

    Of course, I’m doing science because I love science, and neuroscience because I love neuroscience most of all, and I want to research the neurogenetics of cognition because I think it’s awesome. What I meant to say when I said “I am going into the field of research I’m going into because I want to make the world better” is that there are multiple topics in the neurogenetics of cognition I enjoy, but I want to focus on the topic I’m focusing on PARTIALLY because of the fact that it’ll help improve the world most out of everything I’d enjoy researching.

  12. Don

    Bad Astronomy doesn’t do AGW often enough to draw the professional denialists. You have to go to a site like Andy Revkin’s Dot.Earth to see them in full display. I have a friend who is posting long mock denialist text at multiple sites to see how long it will be before he is contacted by some shadowy right wing group offering to pay him to ramp it up.

  13. @8 Daffy

    Don’t just blame the right wing. The left wing have their own – what did Phil call it? – Cranial/Rectal Occlusion that they just can’t seem to get past. They’ve had more than a year of total control of Congress and the Executive, and still the healthcare bill eludes them. What makes you think they’ll have any greater success on climate change?

    Crap, I just brought up politics. Unleash the hounds.

  14. JackC

    By the time things DO become obvious, for the folks not quite as willing as Crazy Tom – those of teh Big Al sort – measures will need to be desperate.

    And to my knowledge, we have never, ever, done anything “desperate” correctly.

    JC

  15. I’m glad, Katharine. You’ll be contributing more than most. I’m trying to chip in by going into religious counseling. So many people need to learn to live without the black-and-white answers and instead live the seeking.

  16. “And to my knowledge, we have never, ever, done anything ‘desperate’ correctly.”

    That’s going on Facebook.

  17. Joe

    The questions:

    1. Is the earth warming?
    A: yes.

    2. Are we causing it?

    A: Well that’s the $1000000 question, isn’t it? Personally, for me, it doesn’t really matter as much as the next few points. Whether we’re causing it or not, the earth is obviously warming.

    3. If so, can we stop it?

    A: Seconding Katharine above and also citing realistic social and technological limitations, I’d say this answer is far more ambiguous than the second.

    4. If the earth is warming (again, it is) is that BAD?

    A: Dr. Plait’s had people bring this up before, but I think it’s worth restating. Yes, the world might change as we know it. Yes, we might have some major geographical and international changes. But if you compare that to what’s happened to us over the eons, this is actually pretty minor. We’ll adapt, and we’ll deal with it.

    5. If it IS bad, and if we CAN stop it, should we?

    A: Here is the NUMBER ONE kicker for me. Forcing the US and other rich countries to cut back on emissions isn’t really going to help much. This goes beyond hard sciences into the science of economics. I am studying to be a B.S. in Econ (not to toot my own horn or anything) and if there’s one thing that’s been driven into my head the past few years it’s that imposing big restrictions on big corporations or even big nations hurts the little guy more than anyone else. This isn’t something you hear thrown around a lot, but the biggest emitter of bad emissions collectively is third world countries. The thing is, they can’t AFFORD to cut back because industrial-age technology is the only thing standing between their people and starvation. This is an issue that gets totally overlooked by both denialists and proponents.

    I find it interesting to note that the “green” movement sprang up without any government incentive, without any cap and trade program, and without any Kyoto treaty. Despite the pessimism, consumers ARE waking up to the fact that we in the richer countries can afford to make some clean, economical lifestyle changes, and the supply side of the economy is responding. Give it time. The worst thing that could happen, IMO, is for the US to pass cap and trade or some massive legislative act suffocates this latest progress.

    Hope I was middle of the road enough to provoke some thoughts.

  18. Cheyenne

    “But we also have to change our behavior,…”. Phil – how many miles do you fly a year? I think I remember you even wrote a blog post proclaiming how much flying you do. It would be pretty cool if you led by example and said something like “Flying is particularly harmful to the atmosphere, thereby I will lead by example and reduce my average yearly flight miles by 80%. As a scientist I’ll lead by example”. Maybe dramatically cut back the driving miles too.

    As Americans we contribute to global warming a heck of a lot more than virtually anybody else on the planet. It would be nice to have more scientists lead by example in this battle. You know, the whole “Do as I do” thing. Eternal vigilance brother.

  19. Katharine

    Crazy Tom, religious counseling, or my understanding of it, has its own problems. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it done within the framework of a particular religion? I’m an atheist and, surprise surprise, I have pretty strong beliefs that religion is not exactly a force for good and that it’s entirely possible to have the benefits that religion can provide to people without religion, and without religion there would be none of the additional disadvantages such as prejudices, a lack of attachment to reality, et cetera. My personal opinion is that society needs to be radically restructured, however, before this discarding of tribal cultural trappings could happen on a larger scale, since the sort of people who congregate on discovermagazine.com are a tiny minority of society. Of course, if by religious counseling you mean something more on the level of pastoral counseling, which to my understanding doesn’t have to be religious per se but is more philosophical, I think that sort of service is a rather important service to society.

    And I agree, the HuffPo anti-vaxxer PeTA-idiot faction of the left wing is a problem. I don’t understand how the less wackjobby right-wingers get on better with the far-right fringe wackos better than we get along with the freaks on our side of the political spectrum.

  20. Katharine

    ““But we also have to change our behavior,…”. Phil – how many miles do you fly a year? I think I remember you even wrote a blog post proclaiming how much flying you do. It would be pretty cool if you led by example and said something like “Flying is particularly harmful to the atmosphere, thereby I will lead by example and reduce my average yearly flight miles by 80%. As a scientist I’ll lead by example”. Maybe dramatically cut back the driving miles too.”

    This might provide an impetus to make flying greener. I agree that this would be a good thing; of course, one would have to restructure the logistics of scientific conferences.

  21. Katharine

    “But if you compare that to what’s happened to us over the eons, this is actually pretty minor.”

    This, I think, is being forgotten a lot – yes, the Earth has been through worse than this, but if the Earth warms, it’s going to disrupt the lives of the things that live on it currently. Climate belts are going to widen from the Equator, and when that happens, ecosystems change drastically.

  22. Katharine

    “Here is the NUMBER ONE kicker for me. Forcing the US and other rich countries to cut back on emissions isn’t really going to help much. This goes beyond hard sciences into the science of economics. I am studying to be a B.S. in Econ (not to toot my own horn or anything) and if there’s one thing that’s been driven into my head the past few years it’s that imposing big restrictions on big corporations or even big nations hurts the little guy more than anyone else. This isn’t something you hear thrown around a lot, but the biggest emitter of bad emissions collectively is third world countries. The thing is, they can’t AFFORD to cut back because industrial-age technology is the only thing standing between their people and starvation. This is an issue that gets totally overlooked by both denialists and proponents.”

    So how do we balance this? My immediate reaction is that they need to develop, but the social problems in third-world countries are so bad often that they prevent themselves from developing. Many southern countries in Africa have horrible AIDS rates and presidents who make pond scum look like Einstein. The Middle East treats women as crud (some of them aren’t technically very third-world, but they seem third-world). Much of non-Indian South Asia and Central Asia have leaders mired in corruption. Women need to take control of their fertility.

    All of this stuff is interlocked, and nobody in power will admit it.

  23. dodo

    Calm down children. The earth has warmed and cooled many times and will continue to do so with/without SUV or termite gas releases. You insist on thinking you are a pilot when you are only a passenger. This is marketing and you are a mark.

  24. I’d also like to add that meat production is one of the single largest contributors to AGW, larger than the transportation segment I believe. If you accept that AGW is real, and you want the US to do something about it, you can start by switching to a non-animal based diet.

  25. K

    I hate winter. Used to be, I’d wear 2 or 3 layers and be just miserable for our New Years parties. Oh, it was horrible! Now, some years, we can wear shorts and a t-shirt. I have ZERO problem with global warming. BRING IT!

    And I have zero guilt and I won’t accept any either. They’ve been teaching global warming since my 1st cousin once removed was in school, in the 50s. It ain’t my fault. I’ve never been wasteful and if I could use solar power or wind, I would, considering my local power company gave us 2 rate hikes last year and our average bill is between $300-500 every month. And that’s after giving up the dishwasher, the second fridge, the clothes dryer, the heater, and unplugging everything at night. Make it at least pay for itself and I’d be all over it.

  26. Katharine

    In fact, this huge interlocking of the health of the environment, the health of people, the welfare of a society, and the intelligence of a society is a giant part of why I have absolutely no loyalty to my country or any others and why I prefer to be loyal to humanity and the universe as a whole – because tribalist cultural separatism, religious wackjobbery, and internecine warfare separates a species which should be working together at least for some ways, does nobody any good in the long term and only makes people more ignorant and less aware of their environment and makes them less able to deal with it in a logical way.

  27. “Crazy Tom, religious counseling, or my understanding of it, has its own problems. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it done within the framework of a particular religion?”

    Well, yes. That’s the narrative I live my life under – God became man, all that. And when a person subjects their life to a certain narrative, the temptation is to let it try to answer all the questions of life and dominate all your thinking. This happens a lot to the religious, but it happens a lot to the non-religious too. Both narratives produce prejudices, both narratives can produce a lack of attachment to reality. You yourself mention the “HuffPo anti-vaxxer PeTA-idiot faction,” most of whom, I guarantee you, are as inimical to religion as anybody. Human nature is human nature, whichever part of the grid you’re attached to.

    That’s why I’ve chosen religious counseling. When God became man, he came to the world without prejudice, and he shattered the racism and sexism inherent in Judaism at the time. Likewise, he didn’t come as a yogi, sitting on the mountain and spouting empty spiritual sayings. He spent his life with the homeless and the poor, the prostitutes and the hurt. The very people who hated him and killed him were the religious!

    Which is why it always makes me smile whenever people in my Christian community get involved in things like the global warming debate or the anti-anti-vaccine movement. Our faith narrative is supposed to inform the issues of our day and help us to overcome them. The religious life is supposed to be entirely immersed in reality, completely without prejudice but overflowing with goodwill.

    You mention the problems you see in religion. That’s why I’m going into religious counseling – those are the problems I want to help overcome.

  28. Jeff in Tucson

    My friends from Maine are all GW denialists, but I can’t really blame them–it’s fricken cold there. However, developments in recent years of cleaner vehicles, and renewable “green” energy sources are definitely a step in the right direction. Either way, it’s important that we acknowledge what’s going on and take whatever measures we can to minimize our individual carbon outputs. That being said, I argue that we don’t know enough about climate science and the Earth’s natural buffering/feedback systems to say with any certainty what the long-term effects of global warming will be. My fear is that as we begin to have a positive impact, and slow or even stop global warming, that the denyers will use THAT trend to bolster their own arguments and gain support against the system which is causing the improving trend. I leave everyone with this (don’t know where I originally found it):

    http://i.usatoday.net/news/opinion/cartoons/2009/December/e091207_pett.jpg

  29. Katharine

    I’d switch to a non-meat diet were I aware of some method for efficiently absorbing nutrients purely from food, which ensures better health than that of supplements (including taurine, which is only found in meat, and a handful of B vitamins), and were my taste buds a little more amenable to it. I like to think I’m being reasonable by only eating meat organically and ethically and locally.

  30. RambinDude

    Good post and good video. I think this is exactly the right tone to take. Keep pounding the facts home in the spirit of education—and don’t stop.

  31. Joe

    @Katharine #23:

    Simply, by doing away with restrictions on free trade, which includes “emission-reducing” cap and trade programs. This sort of wanders off the beaten path of science and more into the world of economics, but in short, here’s the core of the idea: if the U.S. economy, including those EEEEEEEEVIIIIIIL big corporations, are released from so many of the restrictions that keep them from operating (excepting reasonable antitrust laws) then technology would take off in the US and Europe. This will lead to a speedier development of clean energy, which was happening naturally before all this climate change hullabaloo shook the world. Now, this affects the third world because in order for technology to make its way there, it’s got to start somewhere else, obviously. Unfortunately, this is a somewhat unsatisfying answer for most of the bleeding heart climate change activists around the world, most of whom support some kind of restriction or heavy-handed regulation to stop harmful emissions. But free trade is the only way to develop the third world. Not cap and trade, not US nation-building in the Middle East, and not even charity concerts by U2.

    I think you greatly overplay the role of religion and social customs, honestly and with due respect. That’s a moot point in my book. Free people to make their own life and they’ll either choose to restrict themselves to archaic religious customs or become really, truly free, which ALWAYS advances society. Yes, I agree ideological slavery is a problem, but the way to fight it is not by fighting the ideologies. Give people a choice, and my bet is that they’ll choose progress.

  32. Katharine

    Regardless of non-religious and religious people’s different perspectives on various religious ideas – I can tell you, from your last post, that I disagree with you quite profoundly on the interpretations of what was written in your religious text of choice and on the existence of several things you think exist – I think that humanity has to be united, ultimately, by the fact that the same blood runs through all our veins and that we share a natural history with the rest of the world and with all of existence.

  33. That’s what I knew you’d say. You’ve made your choice, a la Joe. Still, I don’t think that can stop us from having a profound and respectful, and often entertaining, discussion of Bad Astronomy.

    Phil Plait, FTW

  34. Brian

    On a radio interview yesterday,a researcher was discussing a study with regards to our wolrd view. When confronted with information that has an impact on our worldview, we tend to accept information that confirms it while rejecting information that challenges it. This was true if you were religious or not. They first asked people to identify themselves, and then they posted questions about various topics. They started with little known concepts and then moved up to the big, well publicized issues of the day. What they found was that the way people viewed the world did not change much with the facts.

    I personally take a Carlin-esque view of things. The world is warming up, we’re probably strongly influencing this, and we will not act to correct this. Rather than fight human nature, I think we need to let the catastrophe happen. Don’t try to stop it. In fact, we should document it as best as we can so that future generations can point to this and say what we already know – people are idiots.

  35. CW

    24- I understand your point, but that argument smells of animal-activism disguised as climate change…which would turn some people off from all of the actual science and data.

    I also accept global warming, and man-made effect…but I do cringe when I see the vocal few climate-change believers that are using the evidence to propose significant economic change, such as cap-and-trade, carbon taxes (which I still can’t figure out where ‘specifically’ the money from these levies/fines actually go towards). Also, it doesn’t help that you have a vocal group of climate-change accepters that point to every hurricane, tornado, storm and say that is because of “climate change” – when non-believers roll their eyes at perceived hyperbole.

    Here’s my quick take – don’t we need to finally pick one or two alternative energy technologies and start investing serious dollars into it? A lot of companies are waiting for some kind of direction from science and government – because if they invest in wind power, and it turns out that solar power or hydro power gets the breakthrough and consequent government subsidies – then that company could be put at a huge disadvantage. So, at some point, don’t we need to stop putting our eggs in so many baskets, and just pour money specifically into one or two alternative energy technologies (solar being the main one)?

  36. Katharine,

    Actually in terms of emissions, organically and locally is probably worse for the environment. Any doctor will tell you you can live a healthy life as a vegan. There is no longer any issue with getting taurine from non-animal sources.

  37. CW

    Also, whatever happened to the idea of painting roofs white? Wouldn’t the surface area of just 25% of all homes/businesses that are white, replace much of the surface area of the ice that has melted? At least for a short term solution, wouldn’t this help to generate more uv ray reflection than what greenhouse components can absorb?

  38. Steve

    > The United States itself has a college education rate of, at its most
    > generous, about 33%. (This country can suck it, honestly, because of
    > that. I don’t want to live in a country of dumbasses.)

    Wow, just wow. How to put this within the TOS?

    Katherine, may I request you re-read this and think about what it says about yourself? College education does not mean smart. Lack of education doesn’t mean dumb. Today you may not believe this, but I have every hope that in time you’ll realize this.

    Perhaps this is a general frustration I’m having with BA lately? If we wish to convince the (how did you put it?) “unwashed goob masses” of the benefits of science we should not treat them like “unwashed goob masses”. Perhaps treating people like people, welcoming questions and trusting in reason will do more for the cause of scientific skepticism than looking down our noses?

  39. Tom K.

    Carbon, the irreplaceable stuff that allows us to produce ourselves out of existence. Will we have enough oil and natural gas left to run the factories that will produce the next generation of fuel? It is easy to think we helped along the warming just by looking at the piles of coal, watch a gas fired furnace, smell the fumes in a traffic jam. We are using up the carbon that took millions of years to lay down in just a handful of centuries, it had to go somewhere. We’ll probably work our way out of it, but the population of the planet will be much smaller and it won’t be pretty how it gets there. 67%’er (no degree).

  40. Kevin

    Did anyone see The Daily Show a few weeks ago when Washington DC got the big snowstorm? They showed a bunch of clips of those FOX News wackjobs going on and on about how “there can’t be global warming – look at the snow!” Talk about people showing their ignorance.

    But that’s a real problem. People are going to extremes on both sides, and none of them are willing to even use the basic scientific principles to argue their points. They are entrenched in their dogma of “we are right, the rest of you suck” and won’t even listen to anyone who doesn’t agree with them 100%. They have their heads in the sand, and the same time up their “rear areas”.

    We need to get the clueless politicians and actors out of the equation and let the scientists tackle this as unbiased as is possible (okay, I’m dreaming now).

    The world would be a much better place without politicians, and forcing actors to do what their moniker says – act. Stay out of what you don’t know; just because an actor likes little fuzzy animals like polar bears doesn’t make them an expert. Heck, I love looking at Saturn through my telescope, but I’m not an expert.

    Of course, if the “big one” hits – asteroid, GRB, etc – it won’t matter. :D

  41. Doc

    Meat production via locally-raised, grass fed animals can be carbon neutral. It’s only a problem if you’re feeding the livestock grain that was grown with petroleum based fertilizers and transporting the meat across the country in diesel powered trucks.

    Conservation of matter, y’know?

  42. David

    If global warming is real then why is it cold? Is my go to site for accurate scientific analysis of the climate.

  43. Anybody serious about this discussion (and therefore able to drop silly words such as “denialists”) please take a look at Andy Revkin’s “Back to Basics on Climate and Energy”

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/23/back-to-basics-on-climate-and-energy/

  44. Dane Skold

    If the Global Surface Temperature record is infallible, accurate, and free from maladjustments, why then is the British Met office calling for a new global surface temperature survey?

    Why re-invent the wheel?

    Because the wheel was invented, not recorded and kept accurately.

    Your faith in the temperature databases belies your self-described skepticism.

    Britain’s Weather Office Proposes Climate-Gate Do-Over

    By George Russell.

    At a meeting on Monday of about 150 climate scientists, representatives of Britain’s weather office quietly proposed that the world’s climatologists start all over again to produce a new trove of global temperature data that is open to public scrutiny and “rigorous” peer review.

    After the firestorm of criticism called Climate-gate, the British government’s official Meteorological Office apparently has decided to wave a white flag and surrender.

    At a meeting on Monday of about 150 climate scientists in the quiet Turkish seaside resort of Antalya, representatives of the weather office (known in Britain as the Met Office) quietly proposed that the world’s climate scientists start all over again on a “grand challenge” to produce a new, common trove of global temperature data that is open to public scrutiny and “rigorous” peer review.

  45. Doc

    @CW, We’d be much better off planting sod roofs. They suck up CO2, and as a bonus they help the whole storm runoff issue.

  46. It seems to me, trolls like Big Al notwithstanding, that the approach here should be less about “Are we causing it” (which, for sake of disclosure, I should say I believe) and be more about “What can we do to ameliorate and reverse/control it”.

    Thinking over the various “X” prizes, there can be many approaches that go beyond people talking in blogs about what to do. Marshaling the sciences under government, corporate, and social groups needs to be done. What NASA has done, here, is provide yet another Internet portal that will fuel the sides in the debate with more good science and evidence. In the end, the deniers will ignore it and those in the middle will have a small percentage of their number convinced. The bulk of those not already on one side or another will continue to throw up their hands, confused or annoyed to the point of inaction by the bewildering array of voices chattering at them from all corners.

    Perhaps this is what the biggest downside to the Internet has yielded: everyone not only has a voice but is turning to this medium as their sole source of “action”. We tend to sign petitions and give money via the Internet in lieu of actually going out and donating time to getting involved in projects.

    I may be incorrect about this, but I’m starting to wonder if it’s true.

    I applaud NASA for providing some remarkable science on this issue. Continuing to educate is always appreciated! At the same time, as NASA says on their new site, it’s not their job to really come up with direct solutions as to what you can do at home (and they do link to the EPA’s page http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/index.html ) so, yeah, they’re doing what they can.

    I guess what I’m bringing up is a parallel topic for discussion.

    Yours (thoughtfully),
    Dave

  47. kim

    Phil, I’m pleased your hopes are shared with my expectations, my friend.

    Katharine, keep talking.
    ================

  48. Daffy

    Crazy Tom,

    I have no use for the Left, either. They act like they have lost everything when they are STILL the majority party. Spineless wimps at best. “We lost our super majority! We’re doooooooomed!”

    Debating religion is usually pointless. No, correction…it’s always pointless.

  49. On China: The US won’t take action to reduce emissions because China won’t. That’s a little like saying I won’t stop throwing garbage on the street because my neighbour won’t. Someone has to start. What happened to leadership by example?

    On Politics: The Right Wing is decried by the left for denialism and do-nothing attitude. The Weft Wing is decried by the right for demanding legislated, crippling economic measures. Does no one recognize that this is how politics always works, and the only way to get anything done is by setting up hyperbolic stances so that the ultimate compromise can maybe be slightly more to your liking?

    On CO2: In order to decrease CO2 to “acceptable” levels by 2030, we need to build non-emmitting power plants at an impossible rate. Something like one nuke plant a day. So, if it is impossible, does that mean we do nothing? Or do we invest in technologies that will help slow the rate of CO2 release in th elatter half of the century – maybe our kids are screwed, but just maybe our grandkids can be slightly less screwed. Remember, the best time to plant an oak tree is 50 years ago. The second best time is now.

    On adaptation: It has been said here, and in the flame-war discussion of a few days ago, that we should focus on adapting to climate change, rather than preventing it. Firstly, this is a false dichotomy. We can do both. Secondly, the people making this claim are probably sitting in urban environments where they are oblivious to the effects of change, and will likely only notice an increase in the cost of food and goods. Meanwhile, the millions in sub-saharan Aftica slowly starve, and millions in coastal regions of South Asia are displaced. Just adapt. Sure.

  50. Plutonium being from Pluto

    @ 9. Daffy Says:

    But, as Phil says, while that has been a rapid change, it has been too slow for anyone really to pay attention. But the right wing controls virtually everything these days, and nothing will be done. Nothing.

    So President Obama is from the right-wing then? :roll:

    Nothing will be done is true – the failed mess of Copenhagen proves that.

    China will soon out pollute the USA anyhow & India and others too.

    If the AGW is real – which I doubt – we won’t be able to stop it.

    Luckily it isn’t. ;-)

    My idea of the Earth’s climate is that its like a thermostat going between warm and cool cycles and hovering around a rough mean. This means we have decades that are warmer than usual and decades that are cooler. Centuries like that even.

    The 1990’s & 2000’s were warmer than average so I’m guessing next few decades will be cooler and everyone will be worried about a coming ice age soon just as they were in the 1970’s just after we’d had a few cooler than usual decades.

    The Ice Age scare – one far more scary than this Gore’s nightmare stuff fizzled out. The AGW one will too.

    Hottest year globally was 1998. Hottest year in the USA was way back in 1934.

    So Co2 emissions keep rising, fossil fuels keep getting burnt but global temperature records still stand.

    Does that really sound like rapid dangerous warming to anyone?

    Also on the slightly longer term view we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age which finished about 1850 when the Thames froze over every year & past climates have been much hotter and had much more Co2 in them than our current age – but without any humans around to cause that. AGW? Nope, just our chaotic unpredictable climate doing what it has always done & always will.

    Warmer weather is good for us & life generally – the time we should start worrying is when it looks like an ice age is returning which will inevitably happen. Now *that’s* a climate threat we should take seriously! hmm .. perhaps if we burn enough fossil fuels long enough we can stave it off! ;-)

    If global warming ever does become a real problem for us as opposed to political bandwagon we’ll find some technological answer and fix it then.

    Read Professor Ian Plimer’s comprehensive and fully referenced ‘Heaven & Earth” for a complete debunking of the Global Warming myth.

    Horror stories are often funand sell well with their drama. “An inconvenient Truth” there. But really the only thing we do have to fear is over-reacting and wrecking our economy for the sake of fixing aproblem that doesn’t exist

  51. Good post, Phil. Thanks. Obviously NASA can’t be trusted because they hatched the two biggest hoaxes in history: landing on the moon and there are no cities on Mars. All clear-headed people know that global warming is just NASA’s next big hoax.

    And the Hubble telescope pix are all photoshops.

  52. Daffy

    Joe,

    Corporations (especially global ones) have NO allegiance to ANYTHING but the bottom line. They are not inherently evil, but it is important to remember that fact. They are not out for your good or mine. They are out for the bottom line.

  53. Measure

    I’m not going to deny that the globe is warming… but did you choose to use Fahrenheit instead of Celsius in your post just so the numbers sound more scary?

  54. Dane Skold

    NASA’s North Pole weather stations are malfunctioning. http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/gallery_np_weatherdata.html

    I doubt the absence of real, raw data will stop NASA from making up data to fill the gaps.

    And you are okay with NASA making up data, Phil?

    That is not science.

  55. Hottest year globally was 1998.

    That would be wrong.

    2005 was the hottest year. Says who? NASA:

    “The global record warm year, in the period of near-global instrumental measurements (since the late 1800s), was 2005. Sometimes it is asserted that 1998 was the warmest year. The origin of this confusion is discussed below.”

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/01/2009-temperatures-by-jim-hansen/

  56. Congress is just one big game of tug of war – they grunt and they strain and they curse and they yell and they yank and they pull, but in the end they don’t get anywhere but in the mud.

    Rust (46) has a great point. Nobody does anything. It’s hard to get out and invest time when we have our livelihoods and families to worry about, but that’s exactly what it’s going to take. The answer isn’t going to come from government legislation (hint: it never does). It’s going to come from someone inventing their carbon-eating, cancer-curing super microchip, or else from disaster wrecking our factories for us.

    I think the convo should swing that direction – what can we nerds and net-junkies do?

  57. @ Plutonium Being from Pluto
    “My idea of the Earth’s climate is that its like a thermostat going between warm and cool cycles and hovering around a rough mean. This means we have decades that are warmer than usual and decades that are cooler.”

    And you have published this “idea” in which peer-reviewed journal, and based on what evidence?

  58. Rift

    Oh great, now the vegans are meddling the issue.

    Doc in #41 is exactly right. You’ll still have to transport grain from Kansas to both coasts (and oversees) and vegtables from California clean across the country to the east coast. Locally grown food cannot feed 6 billion people.

    And what bugs me about the cow argument is that North America was populated by millions upon millions of buffalo (and other mega fauna) until the native americans came over with no ill effects.

    We have people that don’t even believe this is happening, now you want them all to eat rabbit food too?

  59. Dean

    Judith Curry just posted an excellent essay on the loss of trust in climate science on her blog: http://curry.eas.gatech.edu/climate/towards_rebuilding_trust.html

    That’s the issue with climategate. I acknowledge that the world is warming, that humanity has something to do with it (although it’s not just through CO2 emissions but also through land use changes). This may have bad consequences down the line (and this should be treated as risk assessment).

    However, there is no evidence _at this time_ that we can detect any changes to frequencies or intensities of weather events that are above noise. Also, I don’t believe that there is a good enough understanding of natural cyclical cycles. In fact, I think that what we have here is an upward trend that is superposed by a natural cycle, which is why over the last 100 years we continue to warm, but we do have these 20-30 year periods (ie the 1950s-70s, and the last 8 years or so) where the warming pauses or we get some cooling.

    This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do something about it (although again, I think that mitigation isn’t the best way to go…adaptation is. Adaptation has the benefit of dealing with disasters that aren’t just caused by global warming, but any weather related disaster).

    But I was frankly, really, really really pissed off when I read the climategate emails. I’m a meteorologist. I’ve been monitoring the debate for 15 years now. When I agrue with people who claim that there isn’t global warming, I reply that we can trust these scientists because they have a track record. However, that trust is gone now and needs repairing.

    We just can’t have the people who are most involved in advocacy being the gatekeepers on what is good science and what isn’t. Scientists should not be afraid to have their data or methods under scrutiny, _especially_ when they’re demanding that we make major changes to our lifestyle because of their work.

  60. You’ll still have to transport grain from Kansas to both coasts (and oversees) and vegtables from California clean across the country to the east coast. Locally grown food cannot feed 6 billion people.

    That would be one of the wrongest statements ever made. Most people in the world eat food from a nearby source. The U.S. is the exception, because we’re batshit crazy.

  61. It’s always interesting to witness the full on display of climate alarmists as well.

    There are a few of us “denialists” who do not disagree with the intent of doing things right and recognize that some environmental solutions work at all levels. But what we do disagree with are cap and trade schemes that have already become a hotbed of corruption anywhere they have been implemented while not accomplishing any progress toward the stated goal.

    Way I see it, spending all that money on improving the human condition of nearly two billion humans who could really use some clean water, basic sanitation, and disease control would go a much longer way toward improving the global environment than an already-failing scheme to slow down global warming by a tenth of a degree over the course of the next century.

  62. Yojimbo

    @51. Plutonium being from Pluto – “everyone will be worried about a coming ice age soon just as they were in the 1970’s ”

    Sorry – worng!

  63. JRG

    I think the idea that this is purely a 3rd world problem, and that we can’t do anything about it is a convenient excuse to hide behind.

    2007 data sourced from IEA (http://www.iea.org/co2highlights/) shows the following metric tonne per capita CO2 emissions from fuel combustion:

    United States: 19.1
    Australia: 18.75
    Canada: 17.37
    Russia: 11.21
    European Union (as a whole): 7.92
    People’s Republic of China: 5.57
    India: 1.18

    Obviously, I’ve selectively named larger or more well-developed countries here to illustrate a point. Sure, there are worse per-capita nations. They also tend to be much smaller: Qatar, United Arab Emiratesm, Bahrain, Kuwait, Netherlands Antilles, Luxembourg, Trinidad and Tobago – collectively not even totalling the population of Australia, the smallest one listed above. In some cases, their population doesn’t even total that of a medium sized city (Luxembourg is about 500k). The data I’m using is all on the IEA spreadsheet.

    Now hey, by these numbers, North America is looking pretty bad. I’m not being self-righteous here – I live in Canada, a few measley points below the US in per-capita emissions. So there’s certainly gains to be made there. Many of the countries listed as having significantly lower per capita emissions still enjoy a very high quality of life index (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality-of-life_index#The_International_Living_Magazine.E2.80.99s_quality-of-life_index.2C_2010), so we’re certainly not talking about anything as drastic as “going back to living in mud huts”.

  64. Utakata

    I think this is an inportant point..

    Katharine @ #1 Says:

    “Add to that the vast majority of businesspeople, politicians, and media (except for a few) who are almost as scientifically illiterate as the unwashed goob idiots and you have a world populated mostly by wastes of flesh who I’m beginning to think may deserve what it’s going to get when it comes to climate change.”

    …I will add, these people also make a lot of money at being idiots. Likely more for a single individual than dozens of climate scientist will ever hope to see from grant applications. So can we really ever take them seriously…if it wasn’t for the fact that quite likely their influence is destroying our world?

  65. Plutonium being from Pluto

    Oh & modern environmentalism is just the latest religion substitute.

    Like evangelical puritans the Gore AGW scare lobby tells us we are all (eco) “sinners” that must do what they say or we’re doomed to fire and brimstone. Their AGW predictions are like Christian fundamentalists views of hell and I find them equally unreal and unconvincing.

    We’re doomed – its getting hotter they yell. But I can point out 1998 was hotter than the last decade.

    We’re doomed! The Himalayan glaciers are melting. The IPCC intones. Then withdraws that claim when it is shown it ain’t so.

    We’re doomed! They howl when seeing someone leaked the devasting CRU emails which expose them as charlatans. Uh, yeah, this time *you* are, I nod! ;-)
    Like puritannical Christians or the Taliban they insist we give up things we enjoy, things that make our lives worthwhile, sacrifice and limit ourselves on their say so & accept their authority unquestioningly.

    It has become akin to blasphemy to question the AGW myth even when we are getting lots of mounting evidence ( Eg. the Climategate leaked emails, the withdrawn Himalayan glaciers melting claim thatwas basedon a eco-lobbyists unsupported fantasy in the IPCC, even Phil Jones recent admissions of non-warming, etc ..) that their claims are highly exaggerated and without foundation.It is now heresy to point to the emperors nudity in the snowstorm of Washington or the fudged fakery of Mann’s “hockey stick”” and the unscientific methodology that has been followed nearly everywhere the Warmers go.

    Like the religious sort of doomsayers, you’ll notice that the eco-cultists are sanctimonious hypocrites who rarely practice what they preach. Just look at that fat pompous windbag Al Gore who flies to all his lectures and uses all the technology he blames for causing our problems.

    Gore’s bloated ego clearly took a battering when he lost the election to Bush and he’s trying to regain it and remodel himself into a global saviour by touring the world screeching at everyone that the sky will fall in & self-promoting his so-called “science documentary” which has more flaws than it than “Expelled” and that is really accurately classified as a B-grade horror movie. Still he did invent the internet for us as he said … Oh wait, no he didn’t. :roll:

    If people like that come to tell me what to do with my life – try to impose their beliefs on me and everyone else by law (& tax) as they can’t convince us in argument then, frankly, I’d tell them to go take a long walk off a short jetty.

    Environmentalist preachers … Ugh. Enough to make me want to club a seal pup or eat a panda steak for tea! ;-)

  66. Plutonium being from Pluto

    The Earth is warming up. That’s a fact. Denialists will deny (and no doubt will amp up the noise in the comments below) but the truth is the Earth has warmed on average over a degree Fahrenheit in the past century or so, and the past decade, 2000 – 2009, was the warmest on record.

    You saying it’s a “fact” – however many times and however emphatically you state it – doesn’t make it so.

    Truth is the warmest year on record was twelve years ago now.

    Yes, last decade was warm – but the trend is now either stable or cooling NOT warming.

    Come back to me on this after a few years & if the 1998 record (& the 1934 one too for that matter) has beaten more than once or we’ve had several more increasingly hotter years in a row *then* I’ll concede you may have a point.

    But even then the fact that it might be warmer doesn’t prove its humans or Co2 that are necessarily causing it.
    You know considering the actual evidence which currently indicates against the AGW idea.

    Oh & please try and be polite and refrain from using the offensive “denialist” term for slandering AGW skeptics – its meant to be your policy to be polite and not a jerk here after all isn’t it?

  67. XMark

    Global warming is undeniably real, and undeniably the result of human influence.

    That said, I think it’s a losing proposition to scale back the profitability of countries in the name of carbon reduction. It’s the basic technology behind it all that’s the major problem – fossil fuels. The sustainable future solution is to work harder on developing and distributing renewable energy technology.

    Solar power in particular is still the biggest untapped energy source. Once photovoltaic solar technology gets to a level in which you would save money within a couple years by installing solar panels, we could see a HUGE shift in energy generation as homes and businesses install their own solar panels en masse. I’ll bet the future of energy will be much more decentralized.

    Throw plugin hybrids or full electric cars into the equation and you’ve got people both powering their homes and fueling their cars with zero emissions. And that’s only a couple of iterations of technological development away. You could technically do that today already, but solar panels are still too expensive and I’m not sure if any plugin hybrids or electrics are available in the market yet.

    So yeah, basically what I’m saying is instead of forcing ourselves to burn less stuff for energy, we should work to eliminate the need to burn stuff in the first place.

  68. Gary

    Here is a second for Dean’s suggestion to read Judith Curry’s essay on the loss of trust in climate science on her blog: http://curry.eas.gatech.edu/climate/towards_rebuilding_trust.html

    Everybody should read and think about it instead of continuing the ad hominem attacks.

  69. Ashley Moore

    Ah Joe,
    When you say:

    This isn’t something you hear thrown around a lot, but the biggest emitter of bad emissions collectively is third world countries.

    Unless ‘bad emissions’ means something other than CO2, this is just not true.
    The 3 biggest emitters, China, US & the EU contribute over 50% of the human CO2 to the atmosphere.
    Are you talking about other sorts of emissions, or do you count China as a 3rd world country?

  70. Avery

    I too am a scientist by education. Multidisciplinary. The earth continues to thaw from the last ice age. Deny that and be wrong.

  71. PiCubed

    But free trade is the only way to develop the third world.

    And property rights. Everyone always forgets that. There’s a reason they figure prominently in the Bill Of Rights. This is why I have little patience with the “property = theft” crowd. They are ignoring the empirical evidence. Too many people who accept scientific method suddenly go neurally nonlinear when it comes to economics. It’s strange.

    @Katherine: I agree with Steve’s sentiments. What happened to you to generate such hate? I’m a skeptical misanthrope of the highest order and I was surprised at the seething tone of your post. It’s bigotry. I know a number of people who either skipped college, or just got quick degrees at a city college, who have gone on to great success in some complicated businesses. I challenge you to achieve even a fraction of what they have in terms of their success creating yet more oppurtunity for others and giving back to their communities.

    Science is a wonderful human accomplishment, but there are many other things to be done to make a civilization function. Not everyone can sit around in a lab. There’s an entire world of subjects you probably have little to no interest in, and would be offended if someone labeled you and unwashed goob because of that.

  72. Bemopolis

    @70:

    I too am a scientist by education. Astrophysics. The earth continues to thaw from the last ice age. This is the first ice age to be followed by an geologically-short period of releasing massive amounts of carbon sequestered over millions of years into the atmosphere without regard to consequence.

    Deny that and be wrong.

  73. Plutonium being from Pluto

    @ 62. Yojimbo Says:

    @51. Plutonium being from Pluto – “everyone will be worried about a coming ice age soon just as they were in the 1970’s ” Sorry – worng!

    What is? The fact that people were worried about the threat of an ice age back in the 1970’s? Well, they were & that’s a matter of public record.

    I’ve got a non-fiction book at home called “The Cooling : Has the next Ice Age already begun? Can we survive It?” (Publisher – Prentice-Hall in 1976) by someone named Lowell Ponte which you may be able to find somewhere yourself if you’re lucky. It has a forward by a Senator Claiborne Pell, chairman, “subcomitte on Oceans and International Environment” too showing political figures of the day took ice age fears seriously then too. Its a good read – far better, more accurate and scarier than anything by Gore! ;-)

    As for my prediction of an ice age to come, well I’m afraid it is inevitable and only a matter of time.

    Despite the Warmer hysteria we are actually living in an interglacial period – a breif warm spell in a larger Ice Age pattern that got established back when Antartica and the other continents shifted into their current configurations.

    Geology – and also astronomy – tell us to look at the long term & long timescale perspective. Climatology (esp. the “AGW scare club members only” profession it has sadly become today) just does not look back far enough or put the current alarming claims into any sort of geological or astronomical context. Context in which the Earth has been many times hotter (with no icecaps at all) and much higher – forty or so times higher in fact – in Co2 levels. Despite which it never passed any deadly tipping point and still supported life fine.

    As recently as the Eocene the world was one giant rainforest, in the Jurassic we had dinosaurs living in Antartica, in other interglacial spells we’ve had neolithic men hunting hippos in the Thames which was then like the African grasslands and the Sahara desert was a shallow sea.

    The world has also been *much* colder – frozen over almost totally in “Snowball Earth” ages lasting many millions of years and coming closes to wiping out life. Generally the hotter eons have been more fecund and life has had it better. Earth has no danger of becoming uninhabitable with a bit more Co2 and a bit warmer temps – on the contary, such conditiosn are great for supporting life and ecosystems as prehistory & the fossil record clearly demonstrates.

    If there is an Earth goddess, a green dream Gaea out there, then she likes it hot! ;-)

    Unsurprising then how many geologists are pretty skeptical about supposed catastrophic climate change. More surprising that our host, who is an astronomer who should take the astronomical longer-term perspective is so willing to fall for the political scare campaign that is the Gore’s Bull about Warming. :-(

    Sorry BA – I love your blog but on this one issue you are totally wrong and totally NOT being properly skeptical or scientific. In My Humble Opinion Natch.

  74. Yojimbo

    @73. Plutonium being from Pluto “What is? The fact that people were worried about the threat of an ice age back in the 1970’s?”

    Ah – sorry dude – my bad. I thought you were suggesting that people who knew what they were talking about were worried. So, what you said wasn’t worng, or even wrong – just irrelevent.

  75. Clovis

    Clearly the solution to this problem isn’t reducing emissions, but reversing them. Even if every company (that was financially able to) went carbon neutral, we’d still see increasing CO2 levels. And that’s because, unfortunately, the relationship between temperature and CO2 isn’t what you’d it expect it to be. It’s temperature that rises first, and then CO2 follows. CO2 dissolved in water or frozen in ice is released as the temperature rises, causing the temperature to rise even higher, meaning even MORE CO2 is released. The first domino has already fallen and the only way to stop the cycle is to remove some of the dominos. The easiest way would be to go on some huge “plant a tree” campaign, but in the long run, that’s not going to help much. The best alternative would be to create some sort of “mechanical tree”, like an anti coal burning powerplant. Use energy to reverse emmisions. Sure, it’d be expensive, and arguably would only be canceling out a coal-burning powerplant that produces the same amount of electricity that the other facility would consume, but what if you then went on to phase out fossil fuel and replace it with renewable, and much less poluting facilities like wind, solar, or heck, even nuclear power. I’d say the only draw back would be removing too much CO2, but I’m pretty sure there are enough scientists out there that can use past data to decide how much CO2 in the atmosphere is considered “ideal”.

  76. Charlie Young

    I still can’t see the logic in ignoring improving our future by changing our ways now. It doesn’t matter what your view is on global warming, we just need to stop and look at our short term here. We can mine, drill, and dig our fossil fuel to death, but where do we go from there? We need to be innovative and start looking to a future without these conveniences. There are short term solutions, but we need to think where we are going. Just look at what happened after we polluted our waterways for decades. New laws were enacted that dramatically improved our environment in a relatively short time. All these laws were met with the same resistance of industries at the time. Yes, there will be a huge economic hit in the short term, but the long term benefits will more than pay for the short term pain.

  77. MartinM

    Truth is the warmest year on record was twelve years ago now.

    Not according to NASA’s GISTEMP record, which has the warmest year as 2005. Second-warmest is a statistical tie between 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, and 2009. In other words, six of the seven warmest years on record were in the last decade.

  78. Mat C

    So the Earth is warming relative to a century that was in the “little ice age”- no kidding. And sun spot activity suggests it is the sun that is warming , not only our planet, but others. Easy to understand, pure science and not the religion of global warming, climate change, climate destabilization, or whatever it is called now. Let’s just call it “whatever is different than my estimate and I can sell is a problem to promote”.

  79. Gary Ansorge

    I think David Brin has it pretty well nailed. His perception is that global warming will continue even as we transit to more efficient energy production/utilization, while the disadvantaged of the world struggle to adapt. Their struggle must inevitably spill over into the advantaged world, thru immigration and rapid industrialization(read as: cheap/dirty energy like coal).

    I expect by 2100, 2 billion people will still go hungry every night, the worlds sea levels will rise by about one or two meters, Singapore and Hong Kong will build dikes around their cities, China will settle and exploit lunar resources, the heavily industrialized nations will have half their populations living in virtual realities and necessity will impel poorer nations to develop space industrialization and colonization. By the year 2200, one to two percent of the worlds population will be living/working in space, supplying food and refined materials to the world and those who bothered to learn Mandarin will be the only ones to have real wealth.

    But America will still be fat, dumb and sloppy.

    Gary 7
    PS: What’s that old saw about the frog in the slowly warming water? Sounds a lot like Warming Denialists.

  80. Charlie Young

    Katherine,

    Do you really want to go to medical school? Sounds to me like you’d rather just have the idiots die a miserable death. Oh, and I’m not sure I have your future professional choice correct. My recollection from past posts of a Katherine are my frame of reference.

  81. Plutonium being from Pluto

    @58. Bipedal Tetrapod Says:

    @ Plutonium Being from Pluto : “My idea of the Earth’s climate is that its like a thermostat going between warm and cool cycles and hovering around a rough mean. This means we have decades that are warmer than usual and decades that are cooler.” And you have published this “idea” in which peer-reviewed journal, and based on what evidence?

    I haven’t but this analogy comes from numerous sources that *are* found in popular science books and peer-reviewed journals. It makes sense given we know the Earth’s climate is chaotic and is constantly changing with many hot & cool pendulum swings far more drastic and extreme than anything we are experiencing now.

    @ 67. XMark Says:

    Global warming is undeniably real, and undeniably the result of human influence.

    Undeniable? Really? Funny how many people are denying it or skpeticla about it then isn’t it? Even the comments here should be enough tomake youpause before sstating AGW is “undeniable” when it isclearly contentious and many skeptics & otherintelligent laypeople do indeed deny or are at best uncertain about it.

    Interesting too that the AGWers like the religious fundamentalists speka with such passionate absolute fanatical certainty about somethingmost folks find not certain at all.

    Compare the following :

    “It is certain you’ll go to hell if you don’t do things our way!”
    – Televangelist fire’n’brimstone preacher

    vs

    “It is certain the planet will go to hell if you don’t do things our way!”
    – AGW Alarmist

    &

    “It is certain God exists & his Prophet told us to do this exactly & kill the heretic!”
    – religious zealot

    Vs

    “It is certain, undeniable even, that the AGW exists and Jones, Mann and Saint Gore told us to warp peer review, deny FOI requests and prevent anyone saying otherwise and abuse anyone who disagrees!”
    – Environmentalist zealot.

    Sometimes the people who talk with the most certainty and claim to have the most absolutely “undeniable” evidence are those you need to be most skeptical and least certain about.

  82. Muzz

    Pluto Man, you really ought to check out Monbiot and many others evisceration of Plimer’s hilariously wrong book before you drag that into the debate. Plimer has put out a distressingly shoddy piece of work.

    I’m also repeatedly horrified when people say ‘Things are changing things have always changed. Humans have adapted at each turn and survived”. Yes, the species has survived. Invariably at the cost of countless lives. Behaving as though the deserts growing, rainfall shifting, seas rising and people moving on a mass scale because of it is just the circle of life (mostly because it’ll be a while before it affects your rich white behind) is either rank ignorance or somewhat despicably bourgeoise.

  83. Plutonium being from Pluto

    @ ^ Muzz : Monbiot is hardly a neutral source – of course the Alarmists and believers in the faith of Global warming are going to try & *claim* to have brought down one of their leading & most prominent critics.

    Have you read Plimer’s book to judge for yourself?

    I have seen and spoken with Professor (and noted skeptic) Ian Plimer myself. I’ve reads his book and heard several of his lectures incl. one given at my local astronomical society and he comes across very well and certainly has a sense of humour. I’d trust him and take his word over a political journalists anyday.

    If you are referring to the televised debate between Plimer and Monbiot shown on the Aussie ABC’s Lateline show, your view of it reflects your bias more than it does the outcome – Plimer won convincingly if you ask me! ;-)

    BTW. The Lateline website has a transcript of that Plimer-Monbiot debate if folks want to see for themselves. I may post it here later if I can find it.

    @ 56. Doug Watts Says:

    “Hottest year globally was 1998.” That would be wrong. 2005 was the hottest year. Says who? NASA

    Not NASA per se then but James Hansen who is a notorious Alarmist who has a very obvious bias to the Alarmist side of this debate and therefore little credibilty versus more moderate less biased sources.

    Most sources I’ve seen say that 1998 was the hottest year ever and while I have seen the 2005 figure mentioned it is disputed and not clear and in any case only about the same and not much over 1998 if it is at all.

    Oh and also five years ago already too.

    If the AGW is real & increasing Co2 levels = increasing global temperaures then why wasn’t 2009 hotter than 2005? Well?

    Or if not 2009 specifically why not 2008 0r 2007 or 2006 *or* 2009?

    All these higher Co2 years and not a single one hotter than the lower atmospheric co2 year of 2005 – and when you take it back to 1998 the lack of warming is even starker and more evident.

    The AGW myth is busted on that point alone.

    @ 74. Yojimbo Says:

    @73. Plutonium being from Pluto “What is? The fact that people were worried about the threat of an ice age back in the 1970’s?” Ah – sorry dude – my bad. I thought you were suggesting that people who knew what they were talking about were worried. So, what you said wasn’t worng, or even wrong – just irrelevent.

    Read the book or research it for yourself and I think you’ll find they *did* actually know what they’re talking about. Have you read it yourself? Have you looked at the actual facts?

    If you,yourself, do NOT know what you’re talking about as seems the case then its pretty rich to be accusing others of that very thing. :roll:

    BTW. Ponte’s book is just one source of this – there are many others as well. The 1970’s concern over an ice age on the near horizon is analogous to the more hysterical, more politicised claims made by the AGW alarmists but viewed from the opposite direction – also by looking at the trend over a few cooling decades. It shows that the climate varies and we have cooler and warmer decades – nothing to be overly alarmed about. As such its relevance is pretty durn clear.

  84. MartinM

    Or if not 2009 specifically why not 2008 0r 2007 or 2006 or 2009 – all these higher Co2 years and not a single one hotter than the lower atmospheric co2 year 2005 – and when you take it back to 1998 the lack of warming is even starker and more evident.

    The AGW myth is busted on that point alone.

    You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about, do you? Ever taken a basic statistics course?

  85. Yojimbo

    @84 – It’s okay Muzz. When the Rapture comes, all the people that matter will be gone anyways.

    @85 – Sorry Mr. P, but I just finished my bag of Purina Troll Chow.

    And apologies to the forum for feeding him.

  86. XMark

    Pluto…
    If every single major scientific organization in the world agrees that something is real, then I agree with them. That’s the consensus on AGW at the moment.

    I know what the response will be to this post already, so I’ll go ahead and refute it:

    It’s a logical fallacy to say “science has been wrong in the past, therefore science IS wrong on this particular issue”.

  87. Charles Boyer

    One thing that people seem to always miss when it comes to CO2 levels in our atmosphere is that have varied for many periods in the Earth’s history. Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 in the Early Carboniferous Period were approximately 1500 ppm, but by the Middle Carboniferous had declined to about 350 ppm — comparable to average CO2 concentrations today. For example. During the Jurassic Period (200 mya), average CO2 concentrations were about 1800 ppm or about 4.7 times higher than today. The highest concentrations of CO2 during all of the Paleozoic Era occurred during the Cambrian Period, nearly 7000 ppm — about 18 times higher than today.

    Earth’s atmosphere today contains about 380 ppm CO2 (0.038%).

    All of that says that no matter what steps humans take, the Co2 levels can and will change, and that the climate can and will change, irregardless of our contribution.

    Does that say to go willy nilly and ignore that matters at hand? No. But does it suggest that a Draconian change in our lives will make a difference? Again, no. You can build all of the windmills you like and the climate will still change.

  88. Katharine

    My rationale at bashing on the unwashed uneducated goobs is largely because if you’re intelligent, you ought to be focusing that into an education and there’s money out there for the taking in the form of scholarships and grants and savings in the form of going to community college before transferring into a four-year school. If you’re not, well, you’re stupid in at least one way. One ought to hone their brains, not let them fall into disuse. (I regard Marilyn Vos Savant as the largest waste of neurons in history – such a high IQ, and yet she never got a degree and does nothing but write columns in an insipid magazine. Robert Jarvis must be inane.)

    And no, Charlie Young, I would never go to medical school, because my patience with patients would run out really fast. I don’t have the temperament to put up with noncompliant or ignorant patients, or in fact to do clinical stuff at all, because I am not exactly a giant bloody extrovert, if you can’t tell. I’m headed toward grad school, where at least I’ll be somewhat surrounded by people who for the most part have a certain amount of sense.

    “On Politics: The Right Wing is decried by the left for denialism and do-nothing attitude. The Weft Wing is decried by the right for demanding legislated, crippling economic measures. Does no one recognize that this is how politics always works, and the only way to get anything done is by setting up hyperbolic stances so that the ultimate compromise can maybe be slightly more to your liking?”

    Oh, Overton window shifting.

    I don’t think this is ENTIRELY accurate, but this is a rather intriguing look on how the mind of a politician works versus how the mind of a scientist works. Scientifically-oriented minds care far less about stylistic elements and schmoozing because their job is to find the truth. Politically-oriented minds care far less about factual elements because their job is to get people to do what they want to do.

    They’re practically on opposite sides of the spectrum.

  89. MartinM

    One thing that people seem to always miss when it comes to CO2 levels in our atmosphere is that have varied for many periods in the Earth’s history.

    Who misses that, exactly? Certainly not climatologists.

  90. Katharine

    “One thing that people seem to always miss when it comes to CO2 levels in our atmosphere is that have varied for many periods in the Earth’s history. Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 in the Early Carboniferous Period were approximately 1500 ppm, but by the Middle Carboniferous had declined to about 350 ppm — comparable to average CO2 concentrations today. For example. During the Jurassic Period (200 mya), average CO2 concentrations were about 1800 ppm or about 4.7 times higher than today. The highest concentrations of CO2 during all of the Paleozoic Era occurred during the Cambrian Period, nearly 7000 ppm — about 18 times higher than today.

    Earth’s atmosphere today contains about 380 ppm CO2 (0.038%)”

    Source? In addition, you have to factor in temperature.

  91. G Williams

    “If I were to say what the biggest problem we have with all this, it’s that, ironically, while the warming is happening rapidly on a geological timescale, and too rapidly for us to wait much longer to take action, the changes are happening too slowly to shake people out of their complacence.”

    While the first is certainly true, I don’t think the second necessarily is, there’s little enough proof of the so-called ‘disaster’ scenarios as it is, and even less that they are some how imminent. Of course, continued warming will get us /eventually/ even if it doesn’t trigger a positive feedback loop or other form of ‘runaway’ climate change, but it will take many decades /at least/, if not a century, before climate change starts having serious negative consequences. While that may still be pretty quick, is it to quick for us to do anything about it? Well, lets not forget we’re talking about a species that went from a twelve second first flight to the moon in less than seventy years, I’m not exactly worried.

    As for the third? Well, there have already been significant gains in made towards a cleaner environment, efficiency has become an industry watchword and is rapidly shifting towards the norm. At the same time, the government just promised several billion dollars to Nuclear Power, an excellent investment in our energy future. While it’s true that, in America at least, massive SUVs are still popular, they are declining in popularity every day, and now virtually every major manufacturer has a flagship line of hybrids which are becoming cheaper and more efficient as time goes on.

  92. Westy

    But America will still be fat, dumb and sloppy.

    Yes, and broad brush bigotry against one of the most diverse populations in the world is oh so rational and scientific. Is this where I counter with a rant about lazy, entitled, statist Europeans or maybe something stereotypical about the Chinese?

    Go be a miserable, hate filled little thing elsewhere.

  93. Steve

    Thanks for the links to that Judith Curry blog. Very interesting read, and part of my concern about BA’s first blogs on this subject. No matter how much faith you have in AGW CRU is important because you’re not going to get anything done if you lose the ordinary citizens. This is soewhat similar to my point to Katherine earlier, the skeptics have done a better job not talking down to the people than the warmers have. (note, not “deniers”, not “alarmists”).

    Regarding 70s and the forthcoming ice age. . . I’ve read convincing articles that the consensus of the time was not “ice age”, but that wasn’t the message we got in the popular culture of the time. I was born in ’66 just to give you a reference. The forthcoming ice age was a popular theme on TV and in fiction (or at least SF).

    I wonder how many times Clarke’s THE FORGOTTEN ENEMY was reprinted in the 60s/70s?

    If I may suggest to Yojimbo the statement “I thought you were suggesting that people who knew what they were talking about were worried. So, what you said wasn’t wrong, just irrelevent” is poor strategy.

  94. Under the water of the Apalachee Bay in Florida there are whole villages of arrowheads and pottery and oyster shell middens along the old Aucilla River channel. Climate change is not new to homo sapiens. When sea level rose people just moved uphill. All of Florida is a coral reef for crying out loud. The sea level can get pretty darn high! Then the water went way down, evidenced by those river channels and villages underwater. Now it’s coming up. That’s natural. What’s unnatural is humans’ stubborn insistence their beachside resorts are more important than natural processes, combined with what they’re doing to skew these natural processes through industrialization. I think people should live on the earth without messing with it so damn much. Cope with it, don’t control it. We made a scab and the only way it will heal is if we don’t pick at it!

  95. PiCubed

    My rationale at bashing on the unwashed uneducated goobs is largely because if you’re intelligent, you ought to be focusing that into an education

    And you call that a rationale, huh? Do as St. Katherine decrees or be banished to the realm of the unwashed untouchables.

    Like I said, I know many people who have succeeded grandly in life by not following your One True Path To Enlightenment. Maybe you just need to meet more people, or not make bigoted assumptions about them.

    I regard Marilyn Vos Savant as the largest waste of neurons in history – such a high IQ, and yet she never got a degree and does nothing but write columns in an insipid magazine.

    I’m willing to wager a month’s salary that [1] she is a happier person than you and [2] she never feels the need to vent steaming piles of hate at people who *dare* to choose a different journey in life than she did.

    because I am not exactly a giant bloody extrovert, if you can’t tell.

    No, that was quite blindingly obvious.

    I’m headed toward grad school, where at least I’ll be somewhat surrounded by people who for the most part have a certain amount of sense.

    Yeah, some place safe from all those *icky* people who don’t think in lock-step with your precioussssssss philosophy. Such as it is, anyway.

    By the way, the one of the first steps on the road to science is the abandonment of stereotypes and preconceived notions. Good luck with that.

    Scientifically-oriented minds care far less about stylistic elements and schmoozing because their job is to find the truth.

    Hoooo-boy, are you ever in for a rude awakening! I’d love to be there to see it.

    You know I’m almost ready to declare you a Poe.

  96. I think we might need to break out the Denialist Bingo Cards for this one. Pretty much every single meme of the denialist set has been cracked out up there.

    On second thought, maybe there should be new ones made, considering how much new BS they’ve added to their screeds. Anyone want to volunteer their time on this? I’d do it right now, but I need to go to work.

  97. Ah Phil, skepticism is only ever applied to religions you disagree with. Global warming may exist, but the science behind it is sloppy. It is hard to believe any zealot when they can not or will not share their data, which is what is going on and which is why some of us are skeptical.

  98. Steve

    My rationale at bashing on the unwashed uneducated goobs is largely because if you’re intelligent, you ought to be focusing that into an education

    Katherine: I suspect you’re younger than I am. I used to have a similar meme running through my mind anyway. Trust me, you’ll be happier when you learn to judge people on their individual merits. It’s an important step towards maturity. (a goal I suspect I and most people will only approach asymptotically)

    Specifically, I know PHds I wouldn’t trust to judge a pie eating contest. I know a cashier whose memorized the writings of various enlightenment philosophers.

    If you must judge strangers I suggest watching how they treat waitresses.

  99. QuietDesperation

    @Katherine

    I agree with others that you might want to dial it down a bit, but I think I’m in love. :-D

    People with PhDs in Political Science or MBAs must really puzzle you. :-)

    Note: Sarah Palin, George Bush have college degrees. Just puttin’ that out there.

    College graduate (from Cornell, no less) Thomas Midgley, Jr. went on to give the world leaded gasoline *and* freon. Yeah, one guy did both. Actually, someone might want to see if anything he did is behind global warming because that would deliver an Earth-defiling trifecta to elevate the man to true supervillian status. :-)

    Steve said: If you must judge strangers I suggest watching how they treat waitresses.

    I always give generous tips, especially in poor economic times. I’m probably more misanthropic than Katherine, but I do try to spread the happy.

    Steve said: a goal I suspect I and most people will only approach asymptotically

    I actually hit maturity, went past it, and looped back around the other side. Complex numbers and residues were involved. It was not a pretty thing. Now I just don’t care anymore. :-) It’s a good place to be. Less stress, more gaming.

  100. MartinM

    It is hard to believe any zealot when they can not or will not share their data, which is what is going on and which is why some of us are skeptical.

    Specifically what data do you want, and why?

  101. Charles Boyer

    Katherine:

    http://tinyurl.com/yf4f3at

    Someone as smart as you should know how to do this.

  102. Wayne Robinson

    Whenever the possibility of anthropogenic global warming is raised, I’m certain that it will generate a lot of heat (and very little light).

    Agreed; if true, the Earth will certainly adapt. The Earth’s climate in the past has been much hotter (and also much colder). But will we adapt? Mass extinction generally is the result of major climate change in the past, and adaption generally is due to new species developing rather than older species adapting.

    The Earth currently has 6.5 billion humans. Mass migrations may not be an option. One of the first countries to be affected by climate change would be be Bangladesh, and any mass migration from there would be into India, which would destabilise both it and Pakistan, and both are nuclear-armed and have fought wars in the recent past. The global migrations with AGW would make the initial migration of humans out of Africa due to drought look minor (some scientists estimate only 150 individuals left Africa 70,000 years ago to populate the Earth!).

    India and China refusing to do much about climate change is just shortsightedness on a global scale. There are plenty of people in developed countries who don’t accept the possibility of AGW and are quite happy to continue on their energy guzzling ways.

    Agreed; northern Canada and Siberia might become arable, but will it be enough to offset the loss of arable land elsewhere? The growing season will be shorter and the soil will probably be much less fertile.

  103. Yojimbo

    @95 Steve said “If I may suggest to Yojimbo the statement “I thought you were suggesting that people who knew what they were talking about were worried. So, what you said wasn’t wrong, just irrelevent” is poor strategy”

    Certainly poor strategy to use in a debate, where the object is to exchange ideas. In this case, however, the person I was addressing clearly has no interest in an exchange – he is axiomatically right. So I doubt it makes the slightest difference.

    Anyway, I try not to pass up the chance to use “worng” :)

  104. Of course, once all the states ratify global warming as heretical – er, unconstitutional – we’ll be on our way to a happier, wealthier and meatier world where we can once again safely drive our Tahoes to Walmart and buy lots and lots of petroleum-based goodies to fill up all the empty spaces in our oversized holy homes. Bless our hearts.

    That’s the thing about people, and I’m as guilty as anyone else….it’s hard to comprehend anything as huge as this until it’s literally sitting in your driveway and keeping you from getting to work in the morning. The average person has a limited ability to perceive the complex reality of our planet as a single thing….and companies and politicians know that. Talk about marks and marketing.

    Problem now is, we’ve created this society and infrastructure that relies on processes unhealthy for our environmental niche, and now the only “fix” is a dead halt WITH furious backpedaling. How can that happen? One can propose ideas, but in reality…..how? At this point we’re going to have to ride a lot of this out, it sounds like. Even at best case scenario.

  105. Kevin

    @90. Katharine Says:

    My rationale at bashing on the unwashed uneducated goobs is largely because if you’re intelligent, you ought to be focusing that into an education and there’s money out there for the taking in the form of scholarships and grants and savings in the form of going to community college before transferring into a four-year school. If you’re not, well, you’re stupid in at least one way.

    I have now become offended at your diatribe.

    There is not always “money out there” for people to go to college or university. And, there have been many people who do just find without “higher learning.”

    By saying they are “unwashed uneducated goobs” you insult whole generations of people who have made impacts on society and culture world-wide. Think of all the kids just out of high school that fought in World War II. I DARE you to call them “unwashed uneducated goobs” to their face. And if you did, I hope they would take a swing at you.

    Also, not everyone desires to go into a science.

    A friend of mine recently retired. He owned a company that did a lot of work with astronomers, and he developed some instrumentation which was used by NASA for atmospheric studies. And Guess What? He NEVER went to college/university. And even today I’ll bet he’s more intelligent that you are, or many people out there. He had a talent, and he made it his life’s work.

    So before you start lumping people into your insane generalizations, think first. Talk about a narrow-minded individual.

  106. Daffy

    Plutonium being from Pluto, you keep saying anyone who disagrees with you is following a “religion,” but you are the one who can barely form a sentence without chanting “Gore, Gore.”

    And, btw, yes Obama is a Democrat. Have you seen him get ANYTHING through that wasn’t approved by the Right Wing? I haven’t.

  107. Scott

    A personal note about global climate change.

    I am single, with no family. Considering the average lifespan nowadays, it’s statistically valid to say I won’t be alive by 2030.

    So what does that mean? It means that I could care less about any of this. I won’t be around, and neither will be any family. My family ends when I do.

    So if the Earth gets hotter (or colder), it won’t matter to me. :D

  108. Lawrence

    So what happens when China, India, Indoneasia & Southeast Asia all attempt to move to the kind of living standards (and consumption of resources) that the US enjoys currently?

    Is there enough to go around (oil, coal, etc) to power this push to First World status?

    We’ve seen what our general economic policies (and also the Europeans) have done to the environment (anyone want to say that things in general are still more polluted now than they’ve been in the past) – so what can we expect if you add another 2 billion people to the mix trying to live up to the same kinds of standards?

    AGW is just factor to consider when addressing environmental issues. We can’t throw a switch and go back to square one – that train already left the station a long time ago. At this point, it remains in our best interest to encourage new technologies and innovation to move us past our current generation of energy dependence – we can’t drill our way out of this problem, it is going to take a gradual conversion of infrastructure to support something new – and we should be sharing those types of technologies with these developing nations, so we can avoid the same issues we have now (complete dependence on fossil fuels).

    We have so many overriding concerns that need to be addressed, for the simple fact that once the rest of the world catches up with our level of consumption, there isn’t going to be nearly enough to go around.

    I’m not advocating a run back to the hills – but we have to get a grip as a society, that we just can’t continue to consume resources at the current rate and expect our children and grandchildren to have the same lifestyle that we enjoy today.

  109. Gary Ansorge

    94. Westy

    “Is this where I counter with a rant about lazy, entitled, statist Europeans or maybe something stereotypical about the Chinese?”

    1) I was born and raised in Los Angeles.(las pueblos de los angeles)
    2) I doubt 6’1″ could qualify as “little”
    3) As a native American(1/32 Amerindian), raised in the “old style”, where work is equated with virtue and intelligence is seen as a strength that should be shared with those less fortunate, I feel well qualified to address the cultural short comings of my native land. Americans are FAT, DUMB, and SLOPPY,,,on average,,,it’s the exceptions I admire.

    ,,,and how is it hateful to address social inadequacies? SOME Americans are anything but slothful. THEY are the ones who have consistently dragged the rest of the population, kicking, screaming and scratching into the future.

    KAtherine:

    When I was 16, the world looked like it was headed toward nuclear immolation. Fortunately(for me, at any rate) it survived. I thought then that humans were amongst the dumbest critters on earth.

    As I aged, I found a few humans who were well worth saving. For them, I will tolerate the boobs of the world.

    Peace and may your future bring happiness and enlightenment.

    Gary 7

  110. QuietDesperation

    In the past century, rising temperatures have caused this glacier’s terminus to retreat 12 km

    Which leads to the all important question: have the ruins of any creepy, Lovecraftian ancient civilizations been revealed?

    Wouldn’t that be a kick in the nether regions? On top of all the climate change disaster scenarios, we get a hulking, prehistoric evil awakening and giving us 30 days to vacate the planet because they plan to convert the Earth into a mobile strike base to retaliate against the vast, inscrutable energy beings that suspended them under the glacier in the first place.

    “Well that’s just typical!” — Rick from The Young Ones

  111. Michel

    We need more trees.
    A lot more.

  112. Charlie Young

    Katherine,

    Just one little piece of advice. You are free to do with it what you will. The Wild Wild Web has a nasty habit of coming back and biting you on the rear. Whatever you put out there for the masses to see is also out there for your potential employers and admissions boards to see. Like it or not, those people are politically motivated and do exercise a significant amount of influence on your future. If you show them your true stripes out here and they don’t like what they see, you can pretty much kiss your program of choice good-bye. Like I said, do with this what you deem worthy. Just some advice from having been around the block a few times.

  113. Katharine

    110 –

    That is a bad thing?

    Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu wgah’nagl fh’tagn.

  114. Katharine

    “Yes, and broad brush bigotry against one of the most diverse populations in the world is oh so rational and scientific. Is this where I counter with a rant about lazy, entitled, statist Europeans or maybe something stereotypical about the Chinese?”

    Well, technically, America at least has the fat and dumb down pat.

  115. Rich W

    Aside from the truly delusional, I think it boils down to one thing: Someone makes money from the status quo.

    It’s not just climate change either — the same problem exists with healthcare, roads and schools. Regardless of your position on these matters, what it really comes down to is whether or not a large and very profitable industry/group stands to lose if there is change. It’s part of the American ethos: if you take away my right to make money — or even the potential to make money, there will be a fight. It doesn’t matter what the cost is to society as a whole.

    One of the core tenants of science (one of its strengths, in my opinion) is that it can admit when it is wrong. Many skeptics have been wary of climate change in the recent past — the standard response being “we need more data.” However, the data is starting to come in now. Skeptics are looking at this and are being convinced. Some have even had egos bruised a bit — but I don’t think these people are the problem.

    Those who make money from the status quo are borrowing a page from the young earth creationists: manufacture controversy. What is interesting is that the concept isn’t even all that old. (Reportedly) Hearst used the same tactic in the Spanish-American War at the turn of the 19th/20th century. We went to war over his (alleged) instructions to a reporter in Havana: “You supply the pictures and I’ll supply the war.” Sadly, many very bright people can be swayed by a very savvy marketing campaign.

    Keep fighting the good fight!

  116. Bob in Easton

    My rationale at bashing on the unwashed uneducated goobs is largely because if you’re intelligent, you ought to be focusing that into an education and there’s money out there for the taking in the form of scholarships and grants and savings in the form of going to community college before transferring into a four-year school. If you’re not, well, you’re stupid in at least one way…

    All the others who have answered you before me have been very eloquent. Not much can add except to lower myself to your level, and point out that you are quite an ass.

    Oh by the way, that’s coming from someone with 2 degrees but makes a living restoring antique farm equipment, fixing engines, and working with people that make a living with their hands. Better people then you could ever hope to be. Enjoy your future bitter life, because that is all you have to look forward to.

  117. nichole

    Pardon me, I got pretty far down this thread but got rather nasty and teal deer.

    China is certainly a popular scapegoat these days. I just wanted to point out that China is a developing nation, and not included in the “First World” per Wikipedia’s definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_World and therefore should not be treated as a first world country. They are working on wind power, I hear.

  118. Ad Hominid

    Katherine cogitates: “Well, technically, America at least has the fat and dumb down pat.”

    Gee, I was going to take you to task for this and similar statements but I had to go buy some printer ink. I went to Wal-Mart.
    I have nothing to add at this point.

  119. Jason

    I’m a GW skeptic and there is information to bolster my skepticism in the article that BA linked to…I’m not an expert on sea ice and glaciers, but I do know a thing or two about forest ecosystems and the Mountain Pine Beetle. To cite increasing infestations of MPB as evidence of GW is absurd. The MPB needs mature trees to infest and the number of mature trees has increased dramatically as we have become more aggressive and efficient at fighting forest fires. To quote Natural Resources Canada “Mountain pine beetle activity is related to the amount of old susceptible pine on the landscape. Historically, the amount of old pine depended on fire activity.” The amount of old pine now depends on how we manage fire and harvesting activities. We tend to think fire is bad and harvesting is bad, so our forest managers and gov’t restrict both… The MPB is just moving in to take care of a problem that we created. Blame Smoky the Bear, not Global Warming!!

  120. Daffy

    Jason,

    I have heard that argument a thousand times, and have hiked the forest myself and spoken with Forest Rangers who agreed: often the bark beetle infestations are worse where the trees are thinest. You are also ignoring record droughts and the fact that vast areas that have burned are NOT growing back at their previous rates.

    Could there be another explanation? Certainly. I just haven’t heard it yet.

  121. Mark

    Katharine said, “The unfortunate thing is that much of this will depend on factors we don’t study – we study the natural sciences, but this will depend on a lot of social factors.”

    One of my colleagues is doing her PhD on that topic, the social factors at play in Global Warming. I’m sure she’s not the only one.

  122. jasonB

    “But we also have to change our behavior…”

    Phil, are laughing while you type that?

    What’s next on the travel itinerary? Comic Con? London, to be skeptical? What was the carbon foot print of going to the Galapagos to look at stars?

    Maybe take to task all of the “important” people that have to jet around the world to talk about climate change. Can any of you folks that want to tell me how bad I am, and how I should live maybe hook up by tele-conference? Oh that’s right it’s more fun to actually be able to travel and see things for yourself.

    @Katherine

    You sure can type. You may or may not have an IQ of 235, but, I suspect that at a party (it’s a gathering of people, some who are way dumber than you, that are there to have fun) you’d probably get about a 10% on social competence.

  123. Scientifically-oriented minds care far less about stylistic elements and schmoozing because their job is to find the truth.

    We’re humans, not Vulcans.

    We may desire the truth but along the way we have to live our lives. Sure there exceptions such as Newton. I think he locked himself up for a long time to work on Principia Mathematica (sp?). Nikola Tesla was also pretty weird too. Borderline insane even? Most normal people can’t live a life like that. Perhaps you are one of those exceptions? :)

    On AGW, every time I see a valid argument from one side, I see a valid argument from the other. Whether any is valid they all appear valid. This is why there is such confusion on the subject.

    This subject is NOT black and white. I mean you can’t lump this into two camps; believers and denialists. You have a spectrum. On what side you have people that believe it no matter what the argument. Then you get into people saying “well climate changes but are we causing it?” Then you have the people that say “I’m not sure either way and there is too much noise to really know what is going on.” Then of course you have the people that say “Cimate doesn’t change, never changes, never will, because God won’t let it (or something like that)”.

    I fall around the “climate is changing but how much of it are we causing” camp. I’m neither a denialist or a hardcore believer.

    Oh well, I’ll hurry up and wait longer. :D

  124. Derek

    We have had some fun discussions over the years but this might be the best yet.

    Katherine…the way you talk about the masses shows you are obviously short on life experience and won’t be getting any followers anytime soon, but damn, You go girl!

    Krazy Tom…I hope you like crazy women, because you and katherine are an eharmony match made in heaven.

    You don’t even have to fill out the dumb questionnaire. I’ll save you two the time and the money.

  125. Daniel J. Andrews

    Plutonium–if you want to be taken seriously, you shouldn’t recycle material that has been debunked years ago (e.g. scientists were predicting an ice age in the 70s—go look it up for yourself, and see what the various journals and reports actually were saying. Ignore what the media was saying (as you probably know, they get things very wrong quite often).

    Do check out this site

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

    which covers the basic myths. Also this site

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths

    Same thing, more detail. You can scroll down to the global cooling myth again.

    People who repeat the long-debunked talking points are automatically disregarded as people who don’t know what they’re talking about. These are the absolute basics and if you get those wrong, then you’ll not be getting anything else right. These arguments have been likened to the clown’s red nose—you see someone wearing the clown nose and you can be pretty sure you’re dealing with a clown.

    Again, to be taken seriously you need to educate yourself, and you can do that by reading the “red clown nose” points. I also recommend Spencer Weart’s The Discovery of Global Warming here:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/

    You read that, and you’ll learn about the background to the physics, and the long history of discoveries and experiments from over a hundred years ago to now upon which modern knowledge is based. There is an extremely strong foundation for modern climate science bo build upon. In order for the all scientists to be intent upon hoaxing the world, they would have had to have started over a hundred years ago.

    Lewis ((125); There is some fairly solid evidence and some elegant calculations that give a good estimate of just how much of the climate change humans are responsible for if you’re interested. Just because you’re not fully convinced does not mean you’re “bad” (as you point out). Many people still conserve energy/water, push for politicians to tighten pollution controls, because less pollution = cleaner air, water, and conservation = more money in your own pocket. I, and others, have very little problem with that.

    We do have a problem with people who knowingly lie so business as usual can continue. Anyone who needs to lie, pretend scientists say one thing when they say another, or just make up pretty much anything they want without accountability (as Energy Secretary Dr. Chu recently pointed out), then it gets very difficult to think of anything but the worst of these people.

  126. ND

    Vulcans are human too (ie emotional). Have you ever seen a pissed off Vulcan? I have and believe me you don’t want to be in the same room.

  127. Marko S

    I have to agree with Katharine unfortunately.

    I have a nasty feeling that maybe, just maybe, human intelligence itself is just yet another myth, not unlike the geocentric worldview, or flat Earth theory.

    We, as a collective, are NOT an intelligent species. I think we have certain constraints typical for our species that we just cannot overcome in the longer run – and our time is running out.

    What are these constraints? I suspect the worst is the unholy trinity of tribalism, territoriality and the need for hierarchical command-chains. Because we are a primate species, we just have to have our own little tribes, ruled by a “strong man”, controlling jealously some random territory and it’s natural resources. This characteristic of ours has maybe served our ancestors well in the past, but I believe this will ultimately be our undoing. We are, as a species, evolutionary incapable of tackling problems of global nature – that is, spanning over our little tribal corners of the world.

    I suspect sheer greediness and general short-sightedness are other evolutionary constraints that our species have. Maybe these characteristics have also served us well in the past. “Everything for me right now”-attitude has maybe had some survival value at some point. Obviously not anymore, when we are exhausting the available planetary resources for our own demise.

  128. QuietDesperation

    I think it boils down to one thing: Someone makes money from the status quo.

    *shrug* And other people make money fighting the status quo.

    Even the Apollo Hoax guys make money selling their books and videos. ;-) Actually, it’s probably their whole reason for doing it. You think Hoagland *really* believes in his hyperdimensional physics whatsis and that NASA schedules launches according to some sort of pseudo-astrology?

    One of my early retirement projects is to write a book feeding some conspiracy theory or another. I might even make up a new one, or shine a new light on an old one. Don’t lament that there are a lot of dumb people. Soak them for all they are worth! :-D

    That plays into another thing I see here: that the politicians are stupid. Time for a Spider Jerusalem reality bomb. :-P

    I worked on a campaign many years ago when I was still a sucker, and I learned a lot. The politicians are ***NOT*** stupid. They are sociopaths, filtered out and promoted by a corrupt and broken system, and playing to carefully selected demographics.

    Some play to the conservative loons. Some play to the progressive loons. Some play to certain cultures or religious beliefs. Whatever. They are in it for the power and the money, and they do NOT CARE what happens to you or me no matter what they say.

    They are living high on the hill with endless perks and goodies, and they get vast tracts of the population to argue in their favor, many times without doing anything for their selected demographic, or even working counter to the latter’s benefit. And you folks sit here arguing for one Party or the other, or dismissing the politicians completely and thus ignoring their shenanigans.

    Now, *who* are the stupid ones again?

    If I had my life to do over I would have taken a career path into politics. I possibly still could, but I’d hate myself even more than I do now. Sadly, I possess a non-zero amount of moral wiring in my headmeat.

  129. QuietDesperation

    I have a nasty feeling that maybe, just maybe, human intelligence itself is just yet another myth, not unlike the geocentric worldview, or flat Earth theory.

    Oh, cheer up. :-) Starcraft II and Diablo III beckon from the future, so things can’t be that bad.

    But seriously, you are equating lack of education with lack of intelligence. Read some good books on the brain. It’s a fraking amazing device. It still holds many secrets.

    In fact, the ability of people to delude themselves into detailed artificial realities is a darned impressive feat! Look at it that way if it helps. :)

    And a good history of science in general might help you see what clever monkeys we really are. I recommend “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson. Each chapter is a short history of a different science. Very entertaining, especially some of personality clashes involved when theories collided. It’ll disabuse anyone of the notion of scientists as above the general fray of human behavior.

  130. 58. Bipedal Tetrapod Says: “@ Plutonium Being from Pluto: ‘My idea of the Earth’s climate is that it’s like a thermostat going between warm and cool cycles and hovering around a rough mean. This means we have decades that are warmer than usual and decades that are cooler.’ And you have published this “idea” in which peer-reviewed journal, and based on what evidence?”

    First off, let me say that the tone of this thread has been much more civil than previous go ’rounds on the topic (although it seems to have unraveled a bit towards the end).

    Perhaps a much longer view would help those who are massively worried about this.

    One of my side interests is paleoanthropology, the study of ancient humans and hominids. Have you ever wondered how/why humans are able to occupy just about every ecological niche on the planet? You can find us living from sub-Saharan Africa to above the Arctic Circle, and from below sea level to over 3.000 m (15,000 ft). The answer is that over the past couple of million years, while hominids were busy separating from the australopithecines (apes), the climate did some major slams back and forth. Snow in central Africa? Hippopotami in Europe? Our ancestors who survived all that were the ones that went through the near-extinction bottleneck about 2 MYA. Our biggest survival trait is the ability to adapt to climate change. Once the big exodus from Africa started during the last ice age, the race spread to all corners, regardless of climate.

    We have been remarkably lucky that the climate has been as stable as it has the past 10,000 years or so. That’s what allowed us to create cooperative civilization rather than just concentrating on individual survival.

    – Jack

  131. @Jason the Southern Coastal Plain is embracing prescribed fire and managing forest resources in a way that more closely matches their evolutionary balance. But there’s less than 1% of the original pine forest to burn. There was some research being done into how these pine forests sequester carbon, looking for the missing amount not accounted for by the oceans. Unfortunately the collapse of the economy inclined FSU to close their entire oceanography department so we may never get a measurement on this.

    But it is already obvious that the economic downturn has lowered emissions — Atlanta reported a distinct decrease in air pollution numbers in 2009. Unemployed people don’t drive to work.

  132. @JackH “That’s what allowed us to create cooperative civilization rather than just concentrating on individual survival.”

    And now we’re hissing and spitting at each other across the electric fence over a new “religious” war of my-beliefs-are-real-and-yours-aren’t. All the while the world yet turns and turns, taking us all wherever it’s headed.

    What all has changed again? ;)

  133. Derek

    On a more serious note, I watched a show on PBS last night where the scientists have been trying to prove the last ice age was caused by a meteor(ite). It was actually about how the mega fauna were killed off and this show was trying to prove that some event happened 12,900 years ago. Same time the Clovus arrowheads stop showing up in the fossil records, so to speak.

    It was very convincing in the end….but it made me question whether the glaciers that are still around (like Southeast Alaska) are just mere remnants from the last ice age and would not be there if not for some cosmic hit from space (if that is indeed true).

  134. 134. J. Major Says: “And now we’re hissing and spitting at each other across the electric fence over a new “religious” war of my-beliefs-are-real-and-yours-aren’t. All the while the world yet turns and turns, taking us all wherever it’s headed. What all has changed again?”

    Scale :-)

    BTW, regarding my previous post, if you were worried about your own personal survival, or that of your family, well, sorry; no comfort there. I was talking about humans in general. After all, of the millions of hominids who were alive at any one time in the Pleistocene and earlier, the whole population was done to only a few thousand before starting to “bounce back.”

    – Jack

  135. Lonny Eachus

    Phil, now I KNOW you’ve really swallowed the kool-aid:

    “The Earth is warming up. That’s a fact. Denialists will deny (and no doubt will amp up the noise in the comments below) but the truth is the Earth has warmed on average over a degree Fahrenheit in the past century or so, and the past decade, 2000 – 2009, was the warmest on record.”

    Phil, if you have really been paying attention to the debate (obviously not), you know very well that even the harshest skeptics are aware that the earth has been trending warmer. That is not the issue and never was. Only the really ignorant and the nutcases think otherwise.

    But to see you present that in your blog post as though it were a real issue, just takes that much more away from your credibility as some kind of skeptic. In fact a number of your recent comments have convinced me that you are no “skeptical” when it comes to this subject at all (if you ever were), but rather have become an evangelist. You should be ashamed. I mean that literally. You should be ashamed. I am a bit embarrassed for you.

  136. For anybody interested about global cooling scares in the 1970’s by mainstream scientists, look no further than the 1974 CIA report on the topic I managed to dig up a few weeks ago:

    http://bit.ly/5teax0

  137. @Jack: No, I’m not too worried about my or my family’s survival. I know we’re all doomed to the ravages of time like everyone else. If we’re lucky, that is. ;)

    It’s more of a case of being embarrassed for my species, for its combined hubris and ignorance, and ultimately its greed and desire for more useless stuff. And knowing that what we’re seeing now is the end result of decades of striving for that stuff, and finally having the means to get it (because I do believe that the core desire was probably always there, ever since those few thousand individuals survived the mass dying and most likely before as well) and having the ability to produce speed along faster than our ability to comprehend….IF that ability was ever on our genetic to-do list in the first place. Yes, life is now easier (for select humans, that is), more predictable, safer, more sterile, etc. etc., but at what cost? Was it the only route? Was there a way to achieve all that we now have without the damaging effects on the one and only planet we have to live on? Probably. But we’ll never really know, not that it matters anyway. All we can do is make the smartest choices about how to move ahead with the information we have.

    And all the while trying to dodge the misinformation, off-course agendas and outright lies that come flying from all sides. There’s the trick.

    Also….just read an interesting article on New Scientist regarding several factors that affect how life on our planet is being forced to cope with an ever-growing, continuously-needing human population, not limited to “just” global warming: http://www.newscientist.com/special/ocean-to-ozone-earths-nine-life-support-systems. All things to pay attention to, if we care at all about ourselves and the other forms of life we share our modern world with.

  138. James Mayeau

    The Earth is warming up. That’s a fact.
    Says the IPCC, but the IPCC’s credibility is in shambles.
    EXCLUSIVE: U.N. Climate Panel to Announce Significant Changes

    Climate alarmism, much like communism, can’t really be reformed. The basic ideals of communism – people “voluntarily” working for others and harmonically saying that it’s how the society should work – can only be defended with a violent police system that suppressed human rights and freedoms.

    In a similar way, climate alarmism’s vitally important technique is to keep people in ignorance and to hide the real data because the real data – and people’s knowledge about them – automatically leads to the destruction of the panic, and the evaporation of the very motivation for the IPCC’s existence.

    The truth about the climate is simply not scary. It’s the main reason why the only sensible thing that a reformed IPCC could say would be the statement that the institution doesn’t have to exist.

    Denialists will deny (and no doubt will amp up the noise in the comments below) but the truth is the Earth has warmed on average over a degree Fahrenheit in the past century or so, and the past decade, 2000 – 2009, was the warmest on record.

    According to the Met office and the HadCrut temperature series.

    But now the Met is planning a do over.

    The Met Office proposes that the new international effort to recalibrate temperature data start at a “workshop”‘ hosted by its Hadley Climate Research Centre, which maintains data in collaboration with the controversial Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at Britain’s East Anglia University. The Met Office would invite “key players” to start the “agreed community challenge” of creating the new datasets. A Met Office spokesman said the new effort would take about three years to complete, but would not estimate the cost.

    Sen Barbara Boxer tosses the former “gold standard” IPCC under the bus.

    I wonder if Boxer would still agree with that tired ‘gold standard’ claim. Notice that since 2007, she has consistently used the IPCC as a source for her knowledge, and has invited Pachauri to give presentations and testimony multiple times. The question is, why did she make the statement that she only used American scientists yesterday? If they’ve been good enough for the past several years, why aren’t they good enough now?

    The five stages of climate grief.

    NASA is in stage one. I’d say Phil is in stage two. While the IPCC and MET are in stage three. Boxer is in stage four.

  139. Markle

    So, Plutonium being from Pluto has gone all apesh!t Wall-O-Text denier on us finally. Shame. He used to be a rational human being.

  140. Age Of Reason

    As a Pentagon wonk involved in planning scenarios for global climate change, I found that the effects the planet may have in store for us will be the least of our problems. Climate change may be the planet’s standard operating procedure, but this is the first time 6.5 billion people have ever been on board when it took place. Ice age freezing or global warming only change the initial countries at risk, not the ultimate outcome. Any significant change, even gradual, will result in mass migrations and territorial disputes that will lead to millions of deaths. The disruption of logistics processes and separation of populations from easy access to resources will result in even more deaths and mayhem. Sadly, many of these state-related events will begin even before the more devastating climate change effects become evident.

    Wow, that sounds so depressing. I didn’t mean to make a bad situation worse. I just wanted to point out that nothing brings out bad group behavior quicker than a perceived loss of food and water. And on a state level, that bad behavior is ugly indeed.

    The path that will lead to the least deaths may not be a change in behavior or a reduction in carbon emissions, but state-to-state negotiations and treaties on sharing of resources for any future crisis. Even this action won’t save some major population centers, but it could result in many more lives saved.

  141. Re: 139. J. Major

    I can’t disagree with anything you said there. My response (from a detached observer’s POV) is that greed and hoarding is a survival trait. When the trees were in fruit or the fish were running, you gathered as much as you could as fast as you could since it was all very transient. Even though “stuff” is available continuously, the instinct is still there. It manifests itself differently in different people, but we all have it. If you don’t think so, ask yourself if you would still keep doing your job if the paychecks stopped.

    It’s sort of like our instinct for eating meat (thus tying it in to the “vegan” piece of the thread). Despite what the cartoons show, early hominids were not munching on roast mastodon every evening.* Those that had a taste for this nutrient dense food, eaten rarely, tended to be healthier and survive better than those that didn’t. After a few thousand generations, that “taste” turned into a craving that we still have. Of course, it’s also continuously available, and our guts have not adapted to a high-meat diet (like true carnivores have) hence the health problems.

    – Jack

    *Neanderthals are an exception to this. They were almost exclusive meat eaters even when plant foods were in season.

  142. Plutonium being from Pluto

    @141. Markle Says:

    So, Plutonium being from Pluto has gone all apesh!t Wall-O-Text denier on us finally. Shame. He used to be a rational human being.

    I still am a rational human being thanks – that doesn’t change just because I see things on this heated issue differently from how you do. Yes, I am a mere human, I get tired and emotional, get carried away sometimes and, yes, some things bug me & get me very cheesed off.

    This issue and the Green pseudo-religion that wants to compel us down a particluar harmful path based on poor pseudo-science is one of them. I say pseudo science because, as I understand it (please correct me if I’m wrong) science is based on a method of :

    1. Formulating a theory eg. Human carbon dioxide emissions are warming the planet.

    2. Testing that theory by observations and experiment to see whether the predictions such a theory makes are confirmed or denied by the evidence.

    So in this example, Anthropogenic Global Warming theory suggests that the global average temperature should be rising based on rising Co2 levels.

    If Co2 is primarily the variable that is causing warming we would expect & predict that average temperatures will be rising. Maybe not *every* year but most years.

    Therefore we can predict that if AGW is correct then we should expect to see a string of increasingly hotter years with the hottest year ever record being broken consistently.

    However, when we look at the data it shows that this is NOT the case. The hottest ever year was in a lower Co2 year further back in time – true whether you say that was 12 years ago (1998) or just five (2005) years ago – okay we’ve had a warm decade out of the 150 year data set (roughly co-inciding, BTW, with the time since the Little Ice Age finished in 1850) but temperatures just are NOT getting consistently hotter as AGW theory predicts.

    Which brings us to step :

    3 : draw conclusions based on the evidence and if a theory is supported then it is provisionally accepted as a plausible one and more data is gathered to test it further. Note here that theories are *never* entirely proven or “settled” but always constantly refined and open to disproof based on better theories.

    Or if the theory turns out to be contradicted by the evidence then regardless of one’s emotional or political attachment to it, it must be abandoned as untenable.

    The latter is clearly the case for AGW. It predicts a constant warming corelating with rising human produced Co2 levels, evidence shows this isn’t so thus AGW is falsified and needs to rejected in the same way the Ptolemaic geocentric theory of our solar system or Phlogiston theory of combustion or Hoyle’s Steady State theory of cosmology were rejected.

    The problem is that rather than accepting the reality that AGW has been disproved, AGW believers insist on trying to squirm away from the inconvenient truths in the data and instead try to alter (or even outright suppress) the data to match the theory rather than vice-versa.

    Trying to suppress Freedom Of Information requests, finding the data has conveniently “gone missing”, ordering to colleagues to delete records rather than allow others to see them, trying to use “tricks “to “hide the decline” and alter peer review so that only one side of a scientific debate gets heard – these are NOT the actions of responsible true scientists. The leaked CRU emails (and there’s a lot of them – one or two could perhaps be explained away but not allof them) show that the AGW climatologists who are still squirming about and backpedalling as they fight for a now disproven idea are in fact NOT following the scientific method at all.

    What may I ask is irrational about that?

    Can you really dispute any of what I’ve said or how I’ve interpreted it there?

    If I’ve made a logical fallacy in my assessment here then please correct me – tell me what it is and why you think I’m wrong?

    There is another way science works too – paradigm shift – if scientists refuse to change their veiws based on the facts the dominant paradigm can shift when the scientists holding these views die or get so discredited they are ignored as happened gradually with the Copernican theory vs the Ptolemaic. Eventually the truth gets out and the new paradigm takes over and people wonder why people ever clung so tenaciously to the old one in light of such obviously contradictory facts.

    I feel this is probably where we are now on AGW. The paradigm is shifting and those who cling to AGW in spite of the evident facts are starting to be ignored, discredited or fading away. The new paradigm says humans are NOT causing AGW, is skeptical of simplistically blaming everything on carbon dioxide, says things always vary and we’re lucky its been warm – NOT under threat of catastrophe because things are nicer than alternative climatic conditions. This paradigm is beginning to take hold. It may take a while but as I see it the AGW paradigm is already dead in the water and sinking fast.

    The problem as always is those with a religious or pseudo-religious bent are standing in the way of the reality based skeptics and would like everything to be ordered and controlled and set up based on their false old paradigm understanding. With Copernican theory it was the Catholic church trying to impose a false reality by fiat and hold things back. Today it is the environmental movement who refuse to give up on their AGW boogeyman. History shows that it won’t work.

    @108. Daffy Says:

    Plutonium being from Pluto, you keep saying anyone who disagrees with you is following a “religion,” but you are the one who can barely form a sentence without chanting “Gore, Gore.”

    Well he is the lead pusher and promoter of the AGW idea. As its most prominent and leading spokesman he does have a lot to answer for. That too is an inconvenient truth.

    And, btw, yes Obama is a Democrat. Have you seen him get ANYTHING through that wasn’t approved by the Right Wing? I haven’t.

    Actually I haven’t seen Obama achieve much at all aside from ending the Constellation program. :-(

    I am very disappointed in Obama so far – he promised a lot and has delivered .. well what exactly? Very little methinks. He had a window of controlling Congress, he failed to do it. He hasn’t brought world peace, he hasn’t ended the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he has, quite frankly, been a real dud. And I, personally, will never forget or forgive the fact that he has ended our hopes of going to Moon or exploring space further as human beings rather than just robots. :-(

  143. Bruce the Canuck

    Geesh. Why do you guys even argue with a crackpot like PBFP? As soon as he pulls out crap like:

    “Climate alarmism, much like communism…”

    …you know where he’s coming from. Any admission of externalities like CO2 effects is a threat to his ideology – his personal religion. He’s about as far from an objective skeptical mindset or as alpha centauri is from Kansas. He thoroughly confuses political chattering with the determination of truth through science, as if he can change reality itself if the debate on fox news is won. So this is entirely ideological for him; there is no there there to debate with. Just another crank libertarian.

  144. Bruce

    Osama bin Laden said America is to blame for global warming, so it MUST be true.

    Global Warming Alarmists: DOOMED.

  145. Muzz

    Plutonium Personnage @ 85. Monbiot is just the start and the collator really. I’m sure Plimer is a geat speaker when no one questions what he says. Dozens in climate science, even some people ostensibly on Plimer’s “side”, point out these things he gets wrong all the time.
    Here’s a good start:
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/04/the_science_is_missing_from_ia.php
    I suppose Lambert is too biased for you too. Still if accusations of bias is all you’ve got to argue against genuine errors of fact, you sir are a rubbish skeptic. But we knew that already when you started throwing around canards like ‘alarmist’, ‘warmist’, calling people Gore lovers while acting all hurt when people call you a denialist. Hey if the cap fits… If you aren’t a denialist parrot, come armed with something better than all the deniers’ favourite pre-fab brickbats that play on ignorance of the topic.

  146. MaDeR

    Discussion with Plutonium being is waste of time (well, any discussion with denialist of any kind is waste of time, but it is useful for lurkers and fence-sitters).
    Why? It seems that Plutonium Being will concede that Global Warming exists only if every next year will be warmer than previous year*. Every. Always.

    I do not think I have to explain, how idiotic is this stand.

    Do I understanded it correctly, Plutonim Being? If not, then what would cause you to concede that Global Warming is real?

    * In reality, if this would happen (impossible, by the way), then he would made up another excuse. Been there, done that, dealt with many cranks before. They are sooo predictable.

  147. Jeffersonian

    It’s amazing how many posters have opined that the left wing is currently in control of the US. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Democrats have a tiny edge in congress. Democrats are mostly centrist with a few to the left and a bunch to the right of center. Meanwhile, a majority of states are extreme right at the state level.

  148. Grand Lunar

    An excellent site there, Phil. Favorited it.

    I recall when I brought up global warming with my dad. He said “Don’t believe what Al Gore says.”

    Well, I haven’t even seen his movies, nor read his claims.
    All what I’ve heard or know about climate change, I’ve gotten from NASA and NOAA.
    So unless there’s something wrong with their data, I’m compelled to go by their evidence.

    The part of “Evidence” on that page does give interesting perspective. I had no idea the records for CO2 levels went back as far as 650,000 years for the studies. That really does say something.

    Here’s something I’m wondering; in an older space science book (written just before the shuttles first flew), it mentioned power stations in space, beaming down microwaves that would be converted into electricity by recieving antennae on Earth.
    Is this still fesible? And might it help with reducing CO2 emissions if done correctly?

  149. MaDeR

    “power stations in space, beaming down microwaves that would be converted into electricity by recieving antennae on Earth”
    It should be technically possible, but politically it is very hard sell. This could be used as crude orbital weapon.

  150. Plutonium being from Pluto

    This was originally on the other thread here :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/02/21/you-cant-resolve-away-climate-change/

    But, alas, I left it too late to respond there & so since it’s on the same topic I’ll respond to it here if that’s okay :

    @ 201. llewelly Says:

    Plutonium being from Pluto February 21st, 2010 at 11:10 pm: “The ice age cycles which we are coming out of both small (ie the Little Ice Age of the past few centuries up to 1850 AD) *and* large, eg. the Pleistocene Ice Age. No human factories belching Co2 back when cave men were around – so why assume its us now?”
    Your pretension that CO2 can only come from factories shows you know nothing about climate (or, for that matter, about modern technology; the majority of human-produced CO2 comes not from factories but from coal power plants). The current increase in CO2 is known to come primarily from burning fossil fuels due to several lines of evidence, among them the records of fossil fuels burned, and the change in carbon isotope proportions in atmospheric CO2, which are shifting toward the carbon isotope proportions in fossil fuels.

    Your reply there totally misses my point. Okay so fossil fuels are burnt by cars and coal plants more than factories. Big deal. The question I asked remains unanswered :

    Back when the climate was changing far more dramatically there were no human coal plants cars or factories emitting Co2 – so if it couldn’t have been us before why assume that we’re to blame now?

    In this video Richard Alley explains the role of CO2 in paleoclimatology.

    Thanks but why is his view more authoritative than the views of, say, Professor Ian Plimer or Professor Bob Carter or any of the many other skeptics who disagree on this?

    2. The volcanic and meteoritic dust factor – post Tunguska event there were “white nights” created all over Europe – that impact effected our atmosphere and was just a small one. Volcanoes and supervolcanoes play a major role in cooling the climate.
    A lack of volcanic activity probably did play a role in the in the temperature in the first half of the 20th century. However, volcanic activity in the last few decades has been stronger (example: the 1991 eruption of Pinatubo), and may have masked some of the modern effect of CO2. See here. In the Richard Alley video I linked, Richard Alley explains that space dust (which includes meteoritic dust) has not changed much.

    Ditto here. Thanks for the links but again this is just one man’s view and lots of others think differently. This issue isn’t “settled” or yet entirely clear much as the Warmers will try to claim otherwise.

    ”3. Earth’s orbital Milankovitch cycles and precession cycles. We know these exist, we know they have an effect on climate. Well *most* of us know this – Al Gore & his eco-cultists seem ignorant of that reality!” Richard Alley summarizes the relationship between Milankovitch cycles and CO2 in the video I linked above. See also here. You have no evidence Al Gore does not know about Milankovitch cycles.

    Ah but, OTOH, where’s the evidence that he *does* know about them – has he ever mentioned them? If so I haven’t heard or read about it!

    Besides it is not up to me to prove Al Gore’s extraordinary claims – the burden of proof is on him & the AGWers to show that the recent Late 20th Century Warming is different from the many other warming and cooling cycles such as the Medieval Warm period, the Holocene Optimum, the Minoan Warming, the Roman Warming, etc ..

    4. Solar cycles …The most recent few decades of global warming are not caused by the sun. The sun probably played a weak role in the temperature rise during the first half of the 20th century, but over the last 35 years the sun shows a weak cooling trend. (Which is not expected to continue.)

    &

    5. Cosmic rays and their effect on cloud formation. …
    There is no correlation between cosmic rays and global temperature anomalies over the last 30 years.

    Maybe your right about this. Maybe. Thanks for your links here again. But the recent slow start to the sunspot cycle shows there’s still a lot we don’t know and we need to be humble rather than aggressively certain here. What is predicted and what actually happens are often two very different things.

    Even the pro-AGW NASA video the BA posted above admitted that clouds in particular are a climate wildcard and their effect is unclear. I wouldn’t rule out the cosmic ray influence theory yet.

    4 of your 5 attempts to explain away modern global warming with some aspect of natural variation share a common fallacy: They assume CO2 has little or no effect on climate.

    I don’t see that as a fallacy. I think the fallacy lies in doing the opposite mistake and over-emphasising the role played by Co2 which is a very small trace gas in our atmosphere (far less than 1% of our air) there is so little Co2 especially when compared to prehistoric levels that blaming Co2 & Co2 alone seems much more like the fallacy to me. Especially when on a number of occasions the records seems to say that temperature rises *first* and only then after that does the Co2 level rise follow.

    The physics of CO2 make this extremely unlikely; CO2 absorbs infrared radiation which would otherwise escape into space.

    Yes but how much? Is it really that effective and does it not have its limits? Professor Ian Plimer writes in his comprehensive debunking of AGW ‘Heaven & Earth’ that :

    “Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere operates like a curtain on a window. If you want to keep out light add a curtain. A second curtain makes little difference, a third curtain makes even less difference and a forth curtain is totally ineffectual. Co2 operates the same way. Once there is about 400 ppmv CO2 in the atmosphere, the doubling or tripling of the CO2 content has little effect on atmospheric temperature because CO2 has adsorbed all the infra-red energy it can adsorb.”
    – Page 374, ‘Heaven & Earth’ 2009.

    Professor Plimer notes too that the greatest impact Co2 has is in the first 100 ppmv after which adding more Co2 quickly has less and less effect. That seems to explain why the runaway Greenhouse effect has never eventuated even when carbon dioxide levels were many times higher than they are today & why AGW is bunk.

    Your attempt to attribute global warming to the Milankovitch cycles conflicts with the others, because the effect of Milankovitch cycles on global climate requires that CO2 cause warming; the other known factors (albedo changes, mainly due to ice sheet changes, atmospheric dust, etc) cannot explain the size of the changes provoked by the Milankovitch cycles.

    What I was doing is showing there are many other alternative possibilities to the current AGW orthodoxy. Perhaps some of these are wrong while others are correct. Perhaps they all play different parts and sometimes reinforce each other or cancel each other out.

    Point was that we have alternative mechanisms here that are NOT caused by human Co2 and rejecting all these and insisting that it must just be carbon dioxide seems unscientific. Its like deciding a murder mystery by judging one character guilty at the start and ignoring the other possibilities completely based on just a hunch.

    Furthermore – the links I have used show that climate scientists (and yes, even most of the non-scientists, including Al Gore) do not claim CO2 is the only important factor in climate. James Hansen, Stephen Schneider, Michael Mann, etc, all acknowledge there are many natural factors which affect climate.

    They do? Really? Could’ve fooled me. :roll:

    They must be very quiet when they whisper that caveat or hide it in the fineprint of the IPCC disclaimer. (Under the bit where they note “no responsibility taken if Himalayan glaciers do not melt as advertised” perhaps? ;- ) )

    Climate scientists have gone to great effort to determine what role, if any, these factors play in modern global warming. Unfortunately for those who wish to dodge responsibility, the evidence overwhelmingly shows that human factors dominate the last 30 years global warming. (CO2 accounts for slightly more than half the human effect on global climate). The IPCC AR4 report, which you unjustifiably malign, contains a few hundred pages on non-CO2 factors which affect climate. In other words, your opening paragraph is a giant strawman; it egregiously misrepresents those who are concerned about global warming.

    I disagree with that as you probably expect. I don’t think I’ve set up a strawman nor do I think climate researchers of the non-skeptical AGW variety have paid enough attention to the alternatives and other variables.

    Then there’s questions of how accurate and trustworthy our climate records really are …Lots of allegations, no evidence whatsoever, spread by people who have engaged in a great deal of distortion. In fact, the surface temperature record is reliable.

    I could point you to the “Watts Up With That” blog, a full chapter in Plimer’s book and much more that suggests otherwise!

    ”… even without the evidence leaked from the CRU in the Climategate scandal …” A scandal imagined by people who cannot tell comments from code, and who cherry pick and misquote egregiously.”

    Yeah because the AGW believers are never guilty of “cherry picking” or being selective with their data are they? Rii-iight? :roll:

    “… Himalayan glaciers melting included inthe over politicised IPCC report.” … I count the malformed paragraph in the IPCC AR4 report about Himalayan glaciers as 3 errors. There are about 9 other errors in that report. The whole report is about 3000 pages. Any entity which publishes a 3000 page report with so few errors should be quite proud of their work.

    Who says those are the *only* errors in the IPCC report? I’m sure there are many more still to be found! ;-)

    If the IPCC report was a scientific rather than a political document why did they win the Nobel prize in the peace (ie. politics) category rather than a science category? Not that the Nobel prize comittee has always displayed great judgement anyhow. (*Cough*, Obama, *cough* Arafat, *cough*) :roll:

    As usual, you have no evidence for any of your claims, and there is plenty of evidence against them. I suggest you do some reading and learn something.

    Actually the funny thing is in my original post there I was asking *you* for evidence of your claims that AGW is real & you didn’t really provide any.

    I have already done some reading on both sides of this issue – I have even personally met Ian Plimer & attended some of his talks in person aswellas some by the pro-AGW side so thanks but I think I’m ahead of you here! ;-)

    I’d also suggest you take your own advice and read what the skeptical side has to say here as well. ;-)

    @ 202. llewelly Says:

    Plutonium being from Pluto Says:
    “Plus in this longer term picture (that the pro-AGW’s always overlook) the Earth’s climate has probably *never* been entirely stable anyhow. “The fact that Earth’s climate has never been entirely stable is a very good reason to avoid provoking it.

    Sheesh, you make our planet’s climate sound like an angry god! (Or goddess?) Thing is our climate will do what it does – change – regardless of whether we provoke it or not. If we can possibly influence the climate – which I doubt – it seems far better to nudge it to a warmer state than an ice age one! ;-)

  151. teknochill

    Humans might be clever, but we’re also very greedy (and power hungry).
    Fighting global warming is like fighting a hurricane. A fight we can’t win.
    Why can’t we take the lessons learned from evolution and adapt to the change.
    Quit trying to bail water out of the sinking ship and learn to swim.
    The arrogance (and blind stupidity) of the scientific community is stunning.

  152. Plutonium being from Pluto

    @ 147. MaDeR Says:

    Discussion with Plutonium being is waste of time (well, any discussion with denialist of any kind is waste of time, but it is useful for lurkers and fence-sitters). Why? It seems that Plutonium Being will concede that Global Warming exists only if every next year will be warmer than previous year*. Every. Always.

    No. If you actually read my comment and took the time to understand my case as opposed to attacking the man you’d see that my point is that :

    If AGW makes a prediction – ie. it is rapidly getting much hotter & observational evidence *disproves* that prediction, then the scientific method tells us we must reject AGW as a falsified theory.

    Its not just that *every* year has not beaten the record set in 1998, its that *NO* year has since beaten that record set a dozen years ago.

    If the climate is really warming at an alarming rate why is that so? Please enlighten me.

    I do not think I have to explain, how idiotic is this stand.

    Oh go on, try me.

    Do I understanded it correctly, Plutonim Being?

    As I’ve just explained, no, no you don’t. ;-)

    If not, then what would cause you to concede that Global Warming is real?

    I will concede that Global Warming is real – although NOT necessarily caused by us – if we have two years out of the next three that exceed the hottest ever temperature record set back in 1998.

    You now have this in writing. Feel free to quote me on this in three years time! ;-)

    Along with my prediction that temperatures have stabilised & will either stay stable or cool over the next decade.

    Guess we’ll have to wait & see.. ;-)

    In the meantime, why don’t you actually read Plimer’s book and check out other skeptical sources that present the other side of this debate rather than taking a blinkered, partisan pro-AGW position yourself?

    Its no waste of time talking to me – I’ve already shown a willingness to change my mind based on the actual evidence – you see, I too *used* to believe in the Anthropogenic Global Warming idea but have since changed my mind based on Plimer’s book among other sources.

    Oh & BTW I’m an Australian & not a libertarian in the US sense. I hate Gore becase I feel he lied to me along with everyone else & also because I hate sanctimous hypocrites trying to tell everyone else what to do based on their own messianic delusions and egotism. I also feel betrayed and deeply disappointed by Obama who I had high hopes for once – for whatever difference that makes. :-(

    What would convince you, MaDeR, that AGW is false?

  153. gss_000

    @Plutonium being from Pluto

    There are so many wrong things with what you say it isn’t funny. But let’s stick with the “global cooling in the 1970s” myth. Sure some people thought it was going to happen, and the media ran with it, but it was based on not actually reading what the main paper cited said:

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/02/will-omitted-key-context-in-ice-age.html

    Furthermore, even at the time more papers were being published about global warming than global cooling

    http://ams.allenpress.com/archive/1520-0477/89/9/pdf/i1520-0477-89-9-1325.pdf

    You really only have a half idea of what is going on. Sure some books and articles were written, but it’s completely false.

  154. Pi-needles

    @ 150. MaDeR Says:

    “power stations in space, beaming down microwaves that would be converted into electricity by recieving antennae on Earth”

    It should be technically possible, but politically it is very hard sell. This could be used as crude orbital weapon.

    Actually that “crude orbital weapon” bit could *HELP* sell this technology in some quarters methinks! ;-)

  155. Plutonium being from Pluto

    Again from the earlier AGW thread but replying here – hope that’s alright :

    @ 211. Eamon Says:

    Plutonium being from Pluto@187
    A Few Examples :
    1. The ice age cycles which we are coming out of both small (ie the Little Ice Age of the past few centuries up to 1850 AD) *and* large, eg. the Pleistocene Ice Age. No human factories belching Co2 back when cave men were around – so why assume its us now? Where’s your evidence?
    For the large Ice Ages you’ve answered yourself, no need to invoke fossil fuel CO2:

    Eh? Afraid I’m not following you there. Not sure you’re following me either.

    I’m saying one reason for the apparent warming of the Late 20th century was recovery from Ice Ages both major (Pleistocene) & the Little Ice Age which ended about 1850 C.E. / A.D.

    I’m then asking “No human Co2 emissions then so why assume its the cause now?”

    Only to have you reply that I’ve answered myself here. Really? How? Afraid I don’t understand what you mean there.

    “3. Earth’s orbital Milankovitch cycles and precession cycles. We know these exist, we know they have an effect on climate. Well *most* of us know this – Al Gore & his eco-cultists seem ignorant of that reality! You going to tell me you can disprove the climatological affects of Milankovitch and other Earth orbital cycles? Better have proof of that! ”

    Do you want to reference some papers showing how Milankovich Cycles are having a major impact on the current climate change?”

    Well there is this site linked here :

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/GlobWarmTest/start.html

    Quote :

    “From a geological perspective, global warming is the normal state of our accustomed natural world. Technically, we are in an “interglacial phase,” or between ice ages. The question is not really if an ice age will return, but when.
    Don’t panic when you hear global alarmists warning the earth may have warmed almost 1 degree in the last 200 years. Although this still hasn’t yet been proven, it is in fact exactly what should be happening if everything is normal.
    If Global Warming stops, then you can start worrying! It means our warm interglacial phase is over and we may be heading into another Ice Age!”

    &
    Major Causes of Global Temperature Shifts

    (1) Astronomical Causes
    • 11 year and 206 year cycles: Cycles of solar variability ( sunspot activity )
    • 21,000 year cycle: Earth’s combined tilt and elliptical orbit around the Sun ( precession of the equinoxes )
    • 41,000 year cycle: Cycle of the +/- 1.5° wobble in Earth’s orbit ( tilt )
    • 100,000 year cycle: Variations in the shape of Earth’s elliptical orbit ( cycle of eccentricity )

    (2) Atmospheric Causes
    • Heat retention: Due to atmospheric gases, mostly gaseous water vapor (not droplets), also carbon dioxide, methane, and a few other miscellaneous gases– the “greenhouse effect”
    • Solar reflectivity: Due to white clouds, volcanic dust, polar ice caps

    (3) Tectonic Causes
    • Landmass distribution: Shifting continents (continental drift) causing changes in circulatory patterns of ocean currents. It seems that whenever there is a large land mass at one of the Earth’s poles, either the north pole or south pole, there are ice ages.
    • Undersea ridge activity: “Sea floor spreading” (associated with continental drift) causing variations in ocean displacement.

    For more details see:
    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/milankovitch.html

    ***

    Not exactly a paper but it explains quite a lot quite well, InMyHumbleOpinionNatch .

    As for eco-cultists being ignorant of the reality:
    Filtering of Milankovitch cycles by Earth’s geography, Gerald R North et al, Quartenary Reviews 1991.
    Milankovitch cycles and their effects on species in ecological and evolutionary time, K.D. Bennett, Paleobiology 1990.
    Milankovitch climate forcing in the tropics of Pangaea during the Late Triassic, Olsen and Kent, Paleogeography, Paleoclimatology, Paleoecology 1996.
    Milankovitch Theory and Climate, A. Berger, Reviews of Geophysics 1988.
    High frequency variations of the Earth’s orbital parameters and climate change, Bertrand et al, Geophysical Research Letters 2002.
    Climate. An exceptionally long interglacial ahead? Berger & Loutre, Science 2002
    Et cetera…

    Okay. Thanks. :-)

    However, those were not the people I was referring to as “eco-cultists” exactly. I was actually thinking more of Al Gore & his followers.

    Did Gore ever write any actual scientific papers on the AGW as opposed to just his C-grade horror movie pretending to be a documentary and accompanying text? Surely not!

    No Hansen, Mann or Jones paper on that list there either I see.

    What are the views of Gerald R North, K.D. Bennett & Berger & Loutre when itcoems to AGW – do you know Eamon? Are they skeptics or believers?

    Also have you read those papers yourself & if so do they have any relevence to AGW?

    I’ll also add that many pro-AGW climatologists (Maybe but not *necessarily* those quoted by Eamon above who do sound like palaeoclimatologists and thus people with more of a clue than the average AGW “climatologist.” ) in my view anyhow need to talk to a lot more geologists and astronomers and get an idea of the long timescale and drastic past changes that have occurred in that time. 150 years worth of reliable temperature records in an area that varies over centuries and millennia and hasn’t actually been all that constant aren’t really worth much, IMHON.

  156. Global Warring

    I think the biggest problem is most people trying to protect the Earth are too wishy-washy.

    Environmental groups need to take a harder line. They need to show the pigs there’s going to be real consequences for them if they don’t start fixing things.

    I’m not saying start a war over this, since that’d probably put the environment in even more danger, but all the same, we can’t be afraid of real conflict…

  157. ND

    Would beaming down energy from orbit via microwaves heat up the water in the atmosphere? There would be some energy loss while going through the atmosphere, no? If true, would this mean the receiving stations be placed at higher elevations, such as mountains?

  158. gss_000

    Re: Cap and Trade

    I was rereading some of the initial comments since the ones later down here from some deniers were making my head hurt. People seem to be against cap and trade, but we actually have recent evidence that this works dealing acid rain. When trying to deal with that problem a cap and trade system was used and the issue was dealt with sooner and cheaper than expected. While I’m not 100% convinced it will be the complete solution here, it is the way you use if you want the market to solve the issue.

  159. Plutonium being from Pluto

    Just a few more conclusive quotes & facts from that Global Warming quiz site that I also linked to before (#158) if I may :

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/GlobWarmTest/start.html

    POTENTIAL SPOILERS WARNING!!!

    If you haven’t done that GW facts quiz already & wish to try it take the Quiz there before scrolling down here!

    WARNING!
    WARNING!
    WARNING!
    WARNING!
    WARNING!
    WARNING!
    WARNING!
    WARNING!
    WARNING!
    WARNING!
    WARNING!
    WARNING!
    WARNING!
    WARNING!
    WARNING!
    WARNING! WILL ROBINSON! ;-)

    **** QUOTE *****

    There has historically been much more CO2 in our atmosphere than exists today. For example:

    (See the graph on the source page there too. – ED)

    During the Jurassic Period (200 mya), average CO2 concentrations were about 1800 ppm or about 4.7 times higher than today.

    The highest concentrations of CO2 during all of the Paleozoic Era occurred during the Cambrian Period, nearly 7000 ppm — about 18 times higher than today.

    The Carboniferous Period and the Ordovician Period were the only geological periods during the Paleozoic Era when global temperatures were as low as they are today. To the consternation of global warming proponents, the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today– 4400 ppm.

    According to greenhouse theory, Earth should have been exceedingly hot. Instead, global temperatures were no warmer than today. Clearly, other factors besides atmospheric carbon influence earth temperatures and global warming.

    (Emphasis added -ED.)

    During the Carboniferous Period the atmosphere became greatly depleted of CO2 (declining from about 2500 ppm to 350 ppm) so that by the end of the Carboniferous the CO2-impoverished atmosphere was less favorable to plant life and plant growth slowed dramatically. Today, CO2 concentrations are barely at 380 ppm (0.038% of our atmosphere) and most of that comes from entirely natural sources.

    (Ditto on the emphasis – ED.)

    &

    Life as we know it could not exist without carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.
    Recent studies indicate CO2 enrichment of 1.5 times the present amount in the atmosphere increases photosynthesis by 45%.

    The primary cause of variations in global temperature is due to the cycles of the Sun and Earth’s orbit about the Sun. In addition to 40-year cycles and 500-year cycles, other temperature cycles include:

    • 21,000 year cycle: Elliptical orbit of the Earth around the Sun (precession of the equinoxes)

    •41,000 year cycle: Cycle of the +/- 1.5 degree wobble in Earth’s orbit

    • 100,000 year cycle: Variations in the shape of Earth’s elliptical orbit ( cycle of eccentricity )

    **** UNQUOTE *****

    Now *those* are the real facts!
    Hope y’all learnt something from reading them. ;-)

    Its worth looking at the funny videoclip at the end of the quiz there too. 8)

  160. gss_000

    That quiz is horrible. Please stop quoting it as though its a source of information. It uses facts to lead the participant to false conclusions.

    For instance, while the cycles you cite are real, look at the timescales. If those were the only forces on climate, shifts would happen over thousands of years. In fact, that’s what the site you and that quiz sourced says:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/milankovitch.html
    “Orbital changes occur over thousands of years, and the climate system may also take thousands of years to respond to orbital forcing.”

    Why do you think scientists are so stupid not to have thought of this? In fact, they have. Look at another webpage from the source you again cited.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/globalwarming.html#q10

    “While Milankovitch cycles have tremendous value as a theory to explain ice-ages and long-term changes in the climate, they are unlikely to have very much impact on the decade-century timescale. Over several centuries, it may be possible to observe the effect of these orbital parameters, however for the prediction of climate change in the 21st century, these changes will be far less important than radiative forcing from greenhouse gases.”

    You are incorrectly referencing the cycles.

  161. jorge c.

    Alas!!! the infallible NASA hath spoken!!! because NASA is always, always right…(as the pope) repent deniers (oop sorry) sinners!!! the end is nigh!!!
    and it is not the first time that NASA hath spoken. for example this infallible institution hath said before that “Mountains glaciers (…) may dissappear altogether in certain regions of our planet such as the Himalayas by 2030.” wowww!!! in ONLY 20 years kilometers and kilometers of cubic ice melted!!!!! wowww again!!
    another infallible institution, the IPCC (before admiting the mess) was more optimist, they said that the meltdown will be by 2035. but well, they used only a non peer review article.. Wowwww!!!!!!!
    i like when mr.plait use an argument “ad autoritas”… he is such a believer… like when he show the graphic of the antartic meltdown woww!!!
    and please do not waste your time searching that article in NASA’page, they have now modified it (and without warning) here is a link http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/01/20/glacier_latest/ or another one from a dangerour place http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/23/nasa-climate-page-suckered-by-ipcc-deletes-a-moved-up-glacier-melting-date-reference/#more-15595

  162. Plutonium being from Pluto

    @ 140. James Mayeau :

    Great post. Well said! :-)

    I especially liked this :

    … The five stages of climate grief. NASA is in stage one. I’d say Phil is in stage two. While the IPCC and MET are in stage three. Boxer is in stage four.

    Very true. :-)

    Wonder how long it will take before the BA loses his AGW faith?

    @ 156. gss_000 Says:

    @Plutonium being from Pluto : There are so many wrong things with what you say it isn’t funny.

    Such as? Name a few then.

    Other than just you disagreeing with me. What facts have I got incorrect or fallacies have I comitted in your opinion precisely?

    But let’s stick with the “global cooling in the 1970s” myth. Sure some people thought it was going to happen, and the media ran with it, but it was based on not actually reading what the main paper cited said. (Links deleted for mod.-Ed.)

    So you are essentially conceeding here that, yes, some people *did* think the world was cooling and there was concern in the media at the time about it then?

    Have you read the book I have mentioned earlier ( # 75) – The Cooling by Lowell Ponte? Its quite a good & fairly convincing read albeit dated now. It too has lots of convincing graphs showing a three decade + long cooling – far out doing the mere 1980’s-1990’s rising warm spell of the late 20th C.

    You say it was all just a misunderstanding based on misreading one paper back then – but *this* time its all abolutely for sure. Well, forgive me if I’m unconvinced by that. :roll:

    If nothing else there seems to be a lot more than just one paper and one graph on the 1970’s ice age threat around.

    Furthermore, even at the time more papers were being published about global warming than global cooling

    So then – as now – the climatologists were divided and really unsure about what was actually happening and actually going to happen. Thanks for noting that & helping prove my case here! ;-)

    You really only have a half idea of what is going on. Sure some books and articles were written, but it’s completely false.

    Yes but do you mean then or now? Or both!

    Half an idea? At least I’m willing to admit there are huge uncertainties here and we don’t really know well enough what’s going to happen climate-wise.

    We think we have some ideas based on various variables – some of these ideas like AGW appear to have been disproven -but our climate is a complex & chaotic system & we can’t be too sure of anything much methinks. Least of all that just one tiny variable is doing all the driving and its somehow all our fault. :roll:

    It clearly isn’t. Even if not too much else is clear. AGW has been subjected to tests, it has made predictions, they’ve failed to come to pass.

    Science~wise that’s game over. AGW is demonstrably false.

    Pity the politics side is taking so long to catch up with that reality.

  163. Gary Ansorge

    151. MaDeR

    Space based solar power has been technically feasible for over 30 years. The problem has always been financial. It’s a system built to a large scale, dependent upon advancing tech., both in decreasing launch costs vs improvements in solar cell efficiency vs reduced weight of the solar cells. We’re just now getting to a point where all these technologies are coming together.

    ,,,and no, solar power stations are NOT weaponizable. The power transmission frequencies that are most efficient are those that are NOT absorbed by water vapor in earths atmosphere, which includes the frequencies used for sat communications(2.4 Ghz). That might be a problem, since you don’t want to interfere with established communications channels.

    Micro wave ovens heat water in the cooking food. Micro wave weapons also use such frequencies and can’t transmit very far in atmosphere, so those frequencies aren’t usable in a power sat and every power sat transmitter to earth has to be built with antenna that are of a specific size for the transmission frequency. Those antenna can’t be changed on the fly. It’s not like changing channels on a radio.

    Gary 7

  164. Mark Schaffer

    PBFP=CRANK. Is anyone reading this being persuaded by the nonsense posted by PBFP?

  165. Paul

    Phil is to elite to read this but some of you other should read this….especially if you are under the false pretense of AGW and the pseudoscience that built it up. I’ll be surprised if we hear from Phil…..this link I’m adding has to do with trust in climate science…of which there is none.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/25/judith-i-love-ya-but-youre-way-wrong/#more-16698

    Read it….it’s a little bit long but read it.

  166. gss_000

    “Science~wise that’s game over. AGW is demonstrably false.”

    Wrong. Fine, I’ll start picking some of your stuff apart, but I don’t have all day.

    “You say it was just a misunderstanding back then – but this time its all for sure. Forgive me if I’m unconvinced by that.”

    Because you didn’t read the original paper, did you? Like most deniers, you grasp one thing and run with it without reading or understanding context.

    From, the original paper that started it all: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/194/4270/1121

    “A model of future climate based on the observed orbital-climate relationships, but ignoring anthropogenic effects, predicts that the long-term trend over the next seven thousand years is toward extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation.”

    See that little phrase? “ignoring anthropogenic effects” That’s the key that was recognized back in 1976. Man can affect climate.

    “So then – as now – the climatologists were divided and really unsure about what was actually happening and actually going to happen. Thanks for noting that & helping prove my case here!”

    Then people weren’t as certain. Now they are. It may seem like there are a lot of people who disagree, but the majority of those are a) not scientists, b) not active scientists, or c) not scientists in the field. There actually is strong consensus.

    Now onto other of your incorrect statements. From your thought experiment:
    “Therefore we can predict that if AGW is correct then we should expect to see a string of increasingly hotter years with the hottest year ever record being broken consistently.”

    Noooo. You have no idea what a trend is. The *trend* is expected to warm, not each individual year warmer than the next. There doesn’t have to be any warmer years right after the other, as long as the *trend* is getting warmer as we see.

    “Back when the climate was changing far more dramatically there were no human coal plants cars or factories emitting Co2 – so if it couldn’t have been us before why assume that we’re to blame now”

    Because a) climate was changing over thousands of years, not over decades or a century like it was no, and b) carbon dioxide was not forcing the change. This may be too nuanced for you to handle, but it can both lag and lead climate change. In the past, it’s lags. Now it’s leading the change. By inputing so much over such a short period of time, you force things faster.

    “I’ll also add that many pro-AGW climatologists…in my view anyhow need to talk to a lot more geologists and astronomers and get an idea of the long timescale and drastic past changes that have occurred in that time.”

    Boy, what a novel idea. It’s a good thing no scientist has ever thought of that. Boy you are a genius. Maybe the American Geophysical Union should gather scientists from all these fields together twice a year (they do) or there should be university departments where these varied disciplines can talk to one another (surprise! They exist in departments with labels like Earth and Planetary Science).

    See my previous post as well.

    Now you continually quote from that fraud Ian Pilmer, who can’t recall where a graph in his own book came from: http://www.theage.com.au/national/the-sceptics-shadow-of-doubt-20090501-aqa1.html?page=-1
    “Asked where he found one graph showing temperatures across the 20th century differing markedly to the data used by the IPCC or the world’s leading climate centres, Plimer says he can not recall.”

    Or you should see this exchange, starting here:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2009/aug/05/climate-change-scepticism
    His inept way to get out of answering legitimate questions:
    http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2009/09/14/correspondence-with-ian-plimer/
    And the final debate where Pilmer showed he knew nothing:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2009/dec/16/ian-plimer-versus-george-monbiot

    Yup, there you go. Not that it will matter to you.

  167. gss_000

    @167 Mark Schaffer

    “PBFP=CRANK. Is anyone reading this being persuaded by the nonsense posted by PBFP?”

    I hope not, and I’m probably not helping by responding, but I think for too long these memes have been allowed to go on without question. I’m sick of these falsehoods being passed off as truths.

  168. Paul (#168): Why yes, I am elitist.

    And your link doesn’t really mean much. He is talking about one person’s post about ClimateGate, and I’ve been very clear about that little manufactured controversy. And if you go to the Watts Up With That main page and look just a couple of posts down from that one, you’ll see a post confusing weather and climate (re: the recent snowfall) and mocking Gore. While that doesn’t negate the whole site, of course, it does weaken the idea that the contributors to WUWT are unbiased and not trying to contribute to the noise.

  169. Mark Schaffer

    Paul,
    What educational background do you have and why should anyone trust what you post?

  170. MartinM

    While that doesn’t negate the whole site, of course…

    No, the rest of the content does that nicely. My favourite example is probably the post where the author applies a particularly bizarre transformation to the temperature series, and concludes that the globe is actually cooling.

    Of course, what the transformation in question actually does is flip the temperature series upside down.

  171. dcurt

    I wouldn’t call ClimateGate a manufactured controversy…even if people were to believe that “trick” is really just “scientist” talk…there’s still plenty more emails that could use some explaining. Plus the whole controversy has been a catalyst for recent events…such as taking a closer look at IPCC and it’s lack of integrity. (Greenpeace, WWF….Seriously?)

    Also, the post mocking Gore isn’t being used to prove that global warming doesn’t exist because of the recent weather…it exposes Gore as a snake-oil salesman for claiming that current weather proves AGW.
    Admittedly, the “Gore” talk is tiring…his extremist claims and his agenda have already been exposed. He’s a has-been.

  172. MartinM

    I wouldn’t call ClimateGate a manufactured controversy…even if people were to believe that “trick” is really just “scientist” talk…there’s still plenty more emails that could use some explaining.

    Not really. The vast majority of the claims made about those emails fall apart under the most basic scrutiny.

  173. Curt

    I read that in 2009, the most popular color of cars in North America was white, making up 17.8 percent of all vehicles. Black, silver, gray and blue rounded out the top five. My car is green. My next door neighbor has two vehicles, one is red, the other is a brown. It is obvious to me that the so-called experts and their statistics are dead wrong. These people are lying to us, and twisting their “facts” in order to fool us into believing something that is obviously not true. I intend to join the newly formed Model-T Party, so that my voice is heard along with all the other people who can see through the false arguments. The color white is NOT the most popular color of cars in North America. I know it, and you know it. The intellectuals must be silenced!

    Another point I want to make: This winter, it snowed in January AND February. Isn’t it now obvious that global warming is a myth?

  174. Paul

    Phil, I’m referring to the lack of trust in the people involved in climate gate. The evidence has been tainted and people lost trust. I think the post hits on this very well. Using alarmism increases the distrust. You and I both know that if you falsify data…whether it’s claiming cold fusion or cloning a human or AGW, it’s false. That is how scientific method works. I’m not going to preach to you about SM because you know it as well as I do but that fact remain…..without facts, claims can not be substantiated….ergo, my skepticism (not denialism)

  175. Paul,
    The only people who have “lost trust” are the people who decided what “climategate” meant before the facts came out. You are a liar and a deceiver, and should shut up before you embarrass yourself further.

  176. MartinM

    The evidence has been tainted and people lost trust. I think the post hits on this very well. Using alarmism increases the distrust. You and I both know that if you falsify data…whether it’s claiming cold fusion or cloning a human or AGW, it’s false.

    Specifically what data has been tainted? What data has been falsified? Don’t make accusations unless you have the facts to support them.

  177. Paul

    Martin…..the only real empirical evidence…..the tree ring data from the north part of Siberia……dude, if you can’t keep up, takes notes…..it’s only been in the news since November.

  178. MartinM

    No, you’ll have to do a lot better than that. Specifically how is this data ‘tainted?’ Back up your accusations or retract them.

  179. ND

    Paul,

    “Phil, I’m referring to the lack of trust in the people involved in climate gate.”
    Yeah I don’t trust those who made up climategate either ;) You can’t point to some code you don’t fully understand and claim it discredits the final graphs when you can’t connect the dots between the code and the final charts. That’s the problem with those crying “gate!”

    dcurt et al.
    Forget Gore. It’s the science and the science came first. The use of “Gore” and “Gore followers” is a red herring. Mocking Gore is meant to discredit AGW science indirectly. You can’t be taken seriously this way and you’re just showing you’re driven by hate.

  180. Steve Huntwork

    A wise person once said: “When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging!”

    Once again Phil, I will save this quote of yours for future reference.

    “The noise machine will rattle cages and distract and sling mud and do a grave disservice to everyone. But I’ll be here to fight them along with thousands and thousands of other scientists. And you know what? I have a hope: if we must battle over this for the next hundred years, we’ll have a nice, cool world in which to do it.”

    Have you not been paying attention lately? Even CRU and the IPCC are implementing changes in how they do things, because of the poor quality of thier data.

    Even something as simple as the increase of Antartic ice, you have gotten wrong.

    …..

    In the IPCC AR4 the situation is described like this in Chapter 4, “Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice, and Frozen Ground” (p. 351):

    As an example, an updated version of the analysis done by Comiso (2003), spanning the period from November 1978 through December 2005, is shown in Figure 4.8. The annual mean ice extent anomalies are shown. There is a significant decreasing trend in arctic sea ice extent of –33 ± 7.4 × 103 km2 yr–1 (equivalent to –2.7 ± 0.6% per decade), whereas the Antarctic results show a small positive trend of 5.6 ± 9.2 × 103 km2 yr–1 (0.47 ± 0.8% per decade), which is not statistically significant. The uncertainties represent the 90% confidence interval around the trend estimate and the percentages are based on the 1978 to 2005 mean.

    Notice that the IPCC states that the Antarctic increase in sea ice extent from November 1979-December 2005 is “not statistically significant” which seems to give them good reason to play it down. For instance, in the Chapter 4, Executive Summary (p. 339), the sea ice bullet reads:

    Satellite data indicate a continuation of the 2.7 ± 0.6% per decade decline in annual mean arctic sea ice extent since 1978. The decline for summer extent is larger than for winter, with the summer minimum declining at a rate of 7.4 ± 2.4% per decade since 1979. Other data indicate that the summer decline began around 1970. Similar observations in the Antarctic reveal larger interannual variability but no consistent trends.

    Which in the AR4 Summary For Policymakers becomes two separate items:

    Satellite data since 1978 show that annual average arctic sea ice extent has shrunk by 2.7 [2.1 to 3.3]% per decade, with larger decreases in summer of 7.4 [5.0 to 9.8]% per decade. These values are consistent with those reported in the TAR.

    and,

    Antarctic sea ice extent continues to show interannual variability and localised changes but no statistically significant average trends, consistent with the lack of warming reflected in atmospheric temperatures averaged across the region.

    “Continues to show…no statistically significant average trends”? Continues?

    This is what the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR), released in 2001, had to say about Antarctic sea ice trends (Chapter 3, p. 125):

    Over the period 1979 to 1996, the Antarctic (Cavalieri et al., 1997; Parkinson et al., 1999) shows a weak increase of 1.3 ± 0.2%/decade.

    By anyone’s reckoning, that is a statistically significant increase.

    ………..

    Now look at those IPCC numbers above, and even allowing for a huge margin of error, how can you justify what you previously wrote?

    “As you can see by this NASA graphic from the linked page, Antarctica loses over 100 billion tons of ice per year, the equivalent of about a hundred cubic kilometers (more than 20 cubic miles) of ice. That number is hard to grasp, but it’s the equivalent to the volume of a mountain about 14,000 feet high — or, if you prefer, it’s like saying that one Colorado Rocky Mountain’s worth of ice disappears every year. Just in Antarctica alone.”

  181. Damian

    Steve Huntwork:

    That’s a valid question, but it is also one that took me less than 2 minutes googling to find an answer for:

    The IPCC report may in fact have been wrong, but only because it was unknown at that time.

    From the link:

    The East Antarctic icesheet, once seen as largely unaffected by global warming, has lost billions of tonnes of ice since 2006 and could boost sea levels in the future, according to a new study.

    Published Sunday in Nature Geoscience, the same study shows that the smaller but less stable West Antarctic icesheet is also shedding significant mass.

    […]

    Consistent with earlier findings based on different methods, they found that West Antarctica dumped, on average, about 132 billion tonnes of ice into the sea each year, give or take 26 billion tonnes.

    They also found for the first time that East Antarctica — on the Eastern Hemisphere side of the continent — is likewise losing mass, mostly in coastal regions, at a rate of about 57 billion tonnes annually.

    The margin or error, they cautioned, is almost as large as the estimate, meaning ice loss could be a little as a few billion tonnes or more than 100.

    Up to now, scientists had thought that East Antarctica was in “balance,” meaning that it accumulated as much mass and it gave off, perhaps a bit more.

    So, while more work will clearly need to be done to verify these findings and to figure out a more statistically significant number, this really is a fairly new finding that was not previously known. Such is the nature of science, of course.

  182. Damian

    Steve Huntwork:

    Thinking some more about this, and after reading the post that you are referring to, why on earth are you blaming Phil for reporting something that he has clearly taken from a recent article on the NASA website? Why not take it up with them, in other words, or better still, investigate the issue yourself, as most intellectually honest people would have done, rather than attempt a gotcha?

    Here’s the thing: unless you are a climate scientist, or you are extremely well informed and able to understand all of the nuance of the science, it is necessary to rely on trusted sources of information.

    So, you are well within your rights to point to an apparent contradiction between an IPCC report and what Phil reported, but what I cannot really understand — unless you have absolutely no interest in reality, that is — is why you appear to have neither read the article on the NASA website, or looked for an answer yourself (which, as I’ve said, took me two minutes), and why you don’t appear, at least in your post at 183, to have recognized the qualification in Phil’s post — i.e. “where it matters”?

    I have no problem with honest questions, designed to increase understanding, but it is fairly clear, having re-read your opening few paragraphs, that your goal is anything but. Now that you have two separate answers — i.e. the NASA article, and the fact that fairly new science looks to have found that Antarctic ice has in fact been melting in the last few years (which wasn’t part of the IPCC report because the figures used are based on the period 1978-2005) — I’m sure that Phil will be happy to accept your apology.

  183. Global Warming Farce

    We have heard it all from these researchers such as the dangers of cholesterol, caffeine and alcohol over the past few decades and the virtues of taking aspirin at low doses to prevent heart attacks only to wake up one morning to find that they now find that the before mentioned are bad for us. Of course they have to walk a thin line when telling us any bad news concerning alcohol since its sales support quite a bit of elected officials thus government funding for scientists and other research projects.

    Such blunders and outright lies concerning what the public is told by scientists and research groups can all be traced back to where the money is flowing. Our elected officials choose to use their ability of being able to select who, what and where gets governmental funding thus, the funds are deemed to go to those who will make scientific finds according to the wants and needs of the Federal Government in ways which will benefit both the government itself and those individuals in the Federal Government who stand to reap the monetary benefits from such selected research.

    NASA’s latest bid to keep the public convinced that Global Warming is real in the face of the coldest winter world wide in centuries is a prime example of a so called scientific agency succumbing to the will of those who financially support it. NASA is a part of the U.S. Federal Government and will only support what the Federal Government dictates it to. Actual research and space exploration has gone the way of the dinosaur and been replaced by its support of pseudoscience and war which are the main concerns of its father government in its quest to control the wants, needs, and personal capabilities of the citizens of which it wants total control.

    Those who want us to believe that the discussion is over concerning Global Warming because, as they say, all researchers and scientists are in agreement of the realities of it are liars and thieves with an agenda.

    The truth of the matter is there are more scientists, researchers and meteorologists worldwide who disagree with the Global Warming Myth than there are those who agree with it. One has to get outside the monetary influence of those in the U.S. Federal Government to get a clear and above all honest opinion concerning Global Warming.

    One also does not have to be a rocket scientist to make observations of their own concerning the climate they have observed during their life time.

    I have conducted a little research of my own in which I contacted people in all parts of the world for their opinions on the climate in their area. They were all asked to give me their personal opinion on the climate in their areas based on what they have seen during their life time. They were asked to imagine they had no forms of communication such as television, radio, telephones or the internet to influence their observations and to rely totally on their own personal experience concerning the climate.

    I have yet to receive an observation supporting the idea that the climate is warming. Many have reported that they believe it is getting cooler but the vast majority think the climate in their area remains the same as it always has been.

    The actual unbiased scientific evidence points to a Global Cooling over the past 10 years as has been admitted by the fact is the world climate has been cooling over the past ten years as admitted by Phil Jones, see article at http://www.foxnews.com.

    So who are we to believe here? NASA which is presenting its trumped up computer models showing a warming world over the past 10 years or others who have proof that the world has gone through a cooling period for the past 10 years.

    Here we have two totally differing stories concerning Global Warming. This in itself stinks with the smell of mendacity.

  184. Can we please have something done about all the wall-of-copypasta hit-and-run denialists?

  185. QuietDesperation

    ,and no, solar power stations are NOT weaponizable.

    I love the one about the beam frying birds. (eyeroll) The birds will be fine, folks.

    The best I heard recently was how it could fry the passengers in planes. No, not really, but if you are still concerned you could, you know, NOT FLY YOUR PLANE THROUGH IT!

  186. Steve Huntwork

    For “Damian Says” and “The Panic Man”, I will try to answer your questions in the most honest way possible.

    First off, I use my actual name and do not hide who I am.

    Second, I could not care less what the final results will be, but I tend to get VERY upset with slopply science.

    Be honest and present the raw data, no matter where it may lead. New knowlede is learned by exploring and learning about the things that “did not fit” the current models.

    Damian asked a very valid question:

    “why on earth are you blaming Phil for reporting something that he has clearly taken from a recent article on the NASA website?”

    Because Phil decided to become a Parot instead of a scientist and repeated exactly what he was told to say. That specific quotation was so false, that it got me very upset. I will repeat it each and every time I post something on Phil’s website.

    With a PhD in Astronomy, Phil has nothing but my absolute respect and he earned that the hard way.

    I became a meteorologist in 1979 and worked for the Atmospheric Sciences Laboratory until it was closed in 1994. This is a subject that I am rather well educated in.

    Having publised a few “peer reviewed” papers, I also understood exactly why “Climategate” was so important.

    Any Scientist (Phil included) that supports such sloppy data processing and analysis, should be banned from receiving government grants for the rest of his life.

    That sounds rather harsh, but Phil had better start to wake up. Things are changing very rapidly.

  187. Steve Huntwork

    Damian:

    I can not answer your question for a very simple reason…

    The Antartic has been increasing in ice, and anyone telling you otherwise, is simply lying to you.

    Next question: Why have these people been lying to you?

  188. Steve Huntwork

    Send me your private email and I will send you a video of satellite images of Antartic ice since 1980. Even a child could count pixels on each frame and figure this one out.

    You do realize that Antartic ice will thaw and freeze once again each and every year?

  189. MaDeR

    PBFP: “If AGW makes a prediction – ie. it is rapidly getting much hotter & observational evidence *disproves* that prediction, then the scientific method tells us we must reject AGW as a falsified theory.”
    I already some time ago said that “trend: getting warmer” is not exclusive with “hottest year was x years ago”. Even got picture. Check in dictionary meaning of word “trend”.

    PBFP: “If the climate is really warming at an alarming rate why is that so? Please enlighten me.”
    CO2. Wanna rewrite laws of physics?

    MaDeR: “If not, then what would cause you to concede that Global Warming is real?”
    PBFP: “I will concede that Global Warming is real – although NOT necessarily caused by us – if we have two years out of the next three that exceed the hottest ever temperature record set back in 1998.”
    So you would not concede even if 2010 would be warmest? Nice double standard we have there. You scream all the way that “hottest year was x years ago” – and here you admit that even x = 0 would not convice you*.

    Ergo: this argument is pure bunk. Throw it away. Otherwise you are intelectually dishonest, because argument “hottest year was x years ago” sugests that you would agree that GW exists if hottest year was not so long ago. As we can see, this is not case.

    BTW did I feel moving goalposts? Previously argument was “hottest year was sooo long ago, so GW is BS”. Now “hottest year must be twice in next three years, otherwise GW is BS”. Boy, you make creationists jealous.

    PBFP: “What would convince you, MaDeR, that AGW is false?”
    Trend: its getting colder. And no, “coldest winter in y years somewhere in world” its not gonna cut it. Especially if y is large number – someone would think why y would be so large. :>

    *Note that trend counts, not when was hottest year. But I now trying PBFP’s (pseudo)standards, not mine, to show that he will not follow them, when this would be inconvienent.

  190. Bluesheep

    @191- just a note- no one cares what your name is, or that you don’t ‘hide’. It does nothing to increase your likelihood of being trusted, nor decrease the trust of those who don’t like having there personal information spread all over the web.
    also, according to the article that Damian took to minutes to find, you are using old data to make a point that Phil is wrong about something. Maybe you should check your data to see if it is still accurate today. You Know ‘Things are changing very rapidly”. Did You know, as a meteorologist, you are statistically wrong about half the time?
    @187- uh the coldest winter on record in the world? I live in Maine, it’s like 40(f) up here. in February. it should be around 15 to 30. We should have snow, we got rain. Lots o rain. I guess that just proves global warming!

  191. Peter

    Antarctic ice may be increasing, but those are sea ice, correct me if I’m wrong. That is not part of the antarctic mass.

    It’s sad global warming is being politicized to protect the bottom line of the developed nations. Green house gas is bad, period. Whether it has little to no impact to the globally averaged temperature, steps need to be taken to reduce them for health reasons. But this discussion is moot – after all in United States, labels on genetically modified food are not required and you should know why.

  192. ken

    HERE’s A GOOD LIE: “The Earth is warming up. That’s a fact. Denialists will deny (and no doubt will amp up the noise in the comments below) but the truth is the Earth has warmed on average over a degree Fahrenheit in the past century or so, and the past decade, 2000 – 2009, was the warmest on record”

    FACT: Denialists, at least the very vast majority of them, do NOT deny the Earth has warmed–only that the reasons for the warming are something other than human activity. A sizeable proportion of “denialists” (perhaps a majority of them) will also concede that human activity HAS contributed to some warming (less than a degree) but that the vast majority of the warming is caused by other, natural, factors (many of these ALL climate scientists concede are poorly, or worse, understood).

    Even a number of so-called “alamist” (“Believer”) mouthpieces have come around, to some extent anyway:

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/233887

    http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/022410_metproposal.pdf This is the Executive Summary to the UK’s MET office formal proposal to re-do climate science properly– with openness, public access to all the data used, etc. — the way science is supposed to be conducted (and in most quarters still is). Such a proposal–from such a source no less–would NEVER be necessary had the “science” been conducted properly.

    And watch the CLOUD study at CERN — you know what a bunch of deadbeats those CERN folks are, but, they just might come up with something one way or other. They’re studying in very controlled conditions the effects of cloud & cosmic ray interactions — NOBODY understands the physics, yet, in any detail (which means the climate models do not portray cloud effects accurately).

    Likewise, NOBODY really understands the carbon cycle. Most of it yes, but some 20 percent is still unaccounted for (that’s the figure the NOAA Director stated at a recent symposium in Washington DC). That’s significant if you believe carbon is a major culprit.

    You want to stifle the “deniers” — show’m the facts supported by objective science conducted such that it has survived challenges from more than the select group of “believers.”

    As things currently stand, there’s quite a few key facts that are poorly, or not really at all, understood. Burt Rutan, a capable engineer & someone that can analyze complex data in detail, has an opinion: http://rps3.com/Files/AGW/Rutan.Intro.AGW.b.pdf

    …but to say “denialists’ do NOT believe that warming has occurred is patently ridiculous…unless this blog has degenerated to the point of picking out the “low hanging fruit” of the most extremist (and thus most inconsequential) targets. That would be too bad, as stooping to such a level to sensationalize merey denigrates this site & its author.

  193. ND

    Steve Huntwork,

    Post the video on youtube and post a link to it here in this thread. If the video file is emailable then it’s can be easily uploaded to youtube.

  194. Global Warming Farce says:
    “NASA’s latest bid to keep the public convinced that Global Warming is real in the face of the coldest winter world wide in centuries is a prime example of a so called scientific agency succumbing to the will of those who financially support it.”

    Wait, what? Where the hell did that come from? A few places are being hit – like the UK and the US eastern seabord. Here in Ontario, though, it has been quite a mild winter, and other places as well. Plus, lets face it, there is another hemisphere. So to claim this is the “the coldest winter world wide in centuries” is silly – at least until all the numbers are in.

  195. Mark Schaffer

    Hello Bipedal,
    Remind the readers when winter occurs in the Southern Hemisphere again…

  196. Yojimbo

    @199 Bipedal Tetrapod – Indeed, lots of places are warmer than usual this winter. Here in the Northwest it has been very mild – golf weather in February, unlike last year when it was unseasonable cold. Two years both outside the norm. Not enough for a trend, but interesting.

    Anyway, it seemes to me when one uses words like “worldwide” it probably ought to include, you know, a significant portion of the world. And when we refer to “winter” we ought to include all the winter. Like from both hemispheres.

    @197 “You want to stifle the “deniers” — show’m the facts supported by objective science…”

    Definitions: “Objective science” = “that which agrees with what I have already concluded.”
    The vast majority of the world’s climatologists = a ” select group of “believers.”
    And my favorite – a link to the renowned climate scientist, Burt Rutan :)

  197. Damian

    Second, I could not care less what the final results will be, but I tend to get VERY upset with slopply science.

    Be honest and present the raw data, no matter where it may lead. New knowlede is learned by exploring and learning about the things that “did not fit” the current models.

    Of course, this presupposes that you would know what sloppy science is in the first place, but I see no evidence of that in your posts, thus far. I could well be missing something, of course, but I’m still not entirely sure what your grievance is all about. Your posts at 191, 192, and 193, certainly don’t clarify the matter, particularly as you appear to have ignored the explanation that I have given.

    Notice, though, that this very example is in fact relevant to what you have said here. The IPCC did report the current state of knowledge, and it has since been found — though this is clearly very new and needs to be verified — that they may have been wrong, and that the situation may be worse than was previously known. That’s not sloppy science, it’s the exact opposite.

    And, in actual fact, we are really talking about at least two, and probably three, separate issues. It would first have to be shown that what the IPCC was referencing in 2007 (data spanning the years 1978-2005) is in fact the same thing that Phil was talking about, and that that is the same as what I linked to in my first comment. These are not trivial differences. To be sure, they are all almost certainly related, but there are differences between sea and land ice, the periods that they were measured, and the methods used to do so, etc.

    So, you would need to show that the NASA article is wrong, somehow. Pointing to the latest IPCC report doesn’t really accomplish that, because, as the article that I linked to shows, more recent work has suggested that, although it was previously thought that the East Antarctic ice-sheet was largely stable, it may have started to melt in recent years, and quite quickly, as well.

    Because Phil decided to become a Parot instead of a scientist and repeated exactly what he was told to say. That specific quotation was so false, that it got me very upset. I will repeat it each and every time I post something on Phil’s website.

    That is your right. But unless you can establish that you do in fact know what you are talking about — and I have to admit that I see no evidence of that, so far — and that you fully understand the differences and similarities between what was described in the IPCC report and what has subsequently been reported in the article that Phil linked to, as well as the one that I linked to, I really don’t see how you are justified in your belief that there is a case to answer.

    Perhaps you’d like to explain to us the difference between the various areas of the Antarctic (East, West, etc), sea ice compared to ice-sheets on land, and the various methods used to measure the change that has been happening?

  198. Damian

    First, let me say that I’m an idiot. I didn’t notice it straight away, even though it was staring me in the face, all long, because I clearly wasn’t careful enough. I apologize.

    The IPCC WG1 AR4 Report you refer to is referencing the state of the sea ice, and that is not the same as the ice-sheet which sits on top of the continent of Antarctica — a continent which is the size of Australia!

    Both the NASA article that Phil linked to and the article that I linked to are about the Antarctic ice-sheet, not the sea ice. So, all of this confusion has been caused by the fact that we are talking about entirely different things.

    The IPCC:

    The annual mean ice extent anomalies are shown. There is a significant decreasing trend in arctic sea ice extent of –33 ± 7.4 × 103 km2 yr–1 (equivalent to –2.7 ± 0.6% per decade), whereas the antarctic results show a small positive trend of 5.6 ± 9.2 × 103 km2 yr–1 (0.47 ± 0.8% per decade), which is not statistically significant.

    The NASA article:

    There has been lots of talk lately about Antarctica and whether or not the continent’s giant ice sheet is melting.

    From Physorg:

    The East Antarctic icesheet, once seen as largely unaffected by global warming, has lost billions of tonnes of ice since 2006 and could boost sea levels in the future, according to a new study.

  199. fred edison

    @67 Plutonium being

    AGW could mean Anthropogenic (man-made) Global Warming, or it could mean Anti-Global Warming. I’ll assume, based on your general rants against science, that your words of the “AGW myth” define it as the anthropogenic global warming myth.

    In which case you wrote (with a few typos corrected):
    It has become akin to blasphemy to question the AGW myth even when we are getting lots of mounting evidence ( Eg. the Climategate leaked emails, the withdrawn Himalayan glaciers melting claim that was based on a eco-lobbyists unsupported fantasy in the IPCC, even Phil Jones recent admissions of non-warming, etc.) that their claims are highly exaggerated and without foundation. It is now heresy to point to the emperors nudity in the snowstorm of Washington or the fudged fakery of Mann’s “hockey stick” and the unscientific methodology that has been followed nearly everywhere the Warmers go.”

    Well, if you’d pursue a few minutes of honest research you’d find that Professor Phil Jones didn’t say what you said he said.
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Did-Phil-Jones-really-say-global-warming-ended-in-1995.html

    From the source and linked in the blog article above:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm#

    ——
    [E- BBC News] “How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible?”

    [Prof. Phil Jones] “I’m 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 – there’s evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity.”
    ——

    Immediately toss your tired and false ‘Phil Jones, Anti-Global Warming supporter’ crutch in the nearest garbage can where it permanently belongs. Do it now! Spread the word to your anti-global warming accomplices to do the same. “Mounting evidence.” Meh.

    Do we really need to go over this “Washington DC snowstorm disproves GW” battle cry FAIL for the umpteenth time? As Al Gore would agree, and Jon Stewart well exemplified, global warming doesn’t mean the end of winter or snow. You’d have to be genuinely silly to think that it did. Skip to 3:30 for the best part.
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-february-10-2010/unusually-large-snowstorm

  200. ND

    @193. Steve Huntwork Says:

    “You do realize that Antartic ice will thaw and freeze once again each and every year?”

    Complete and utter red herring. Everyone here knows this and nobody was making any arguments based on this. Hard to take you seriously with such an argument.

    Where’s the video? Let’s see the video? What is your source of this video? Is it on youtube somewhere? Post it!

  201. Pi-needles

    @127 Daniel J.Andrews :

    These arguments have been likened to the clown’s red nose—you see someone wearing the clown nose and you can be pretty sure you’re dealing with a clown.

    Or that its Red Nose day! ;-)

    Did you ever have that one where you are?

    It is (or has been not sure if they still have it here now) a charity thing where people all buy and wear red clown noses to raise money for, I think, research to find a cure for SIDS.

  202. Plutonium being from Pluto

    145. Bruce the Canuck Says:

    Geesh. Why do you guys even argue with a crackpot like PBFP? As soon as he pulls out crap like: “Climate alarmism, much like communism…” you know where he’s coming from.

    If you read the thread more carefully you’d see that that particular comment was by #140 James Mayeau NOT me.

    Not that I necessarily disagree with him! ;-)

    I could call you (& also the others who keep insulting me rather than looking at my actual arguments) lots of rude names too – if, that is, I chose to lower myself to your level & do so. :roll:

    @ 204. fred edison Says:

    @67 Plutonium being : AGW could mean Anthropogenic (man-made) Global Warming, or it could mean Anti-Global Warming. I’ll assume, based on your general rants against science, that your words of the “AGW myth” define it as the anthropogenic global warming myth.

    That is correct – AGW is the standard abbrievation for Anthropogenic Global Warming ie . man-made GW and have used it as such consistently to save space and finger-wear. I have also occassionally spelt it out in full for clarity.

    I guess you could term the full name for this political movement as “Gore’s Bull About Global Warming” but while accurate that would be a smidgin long! ;-)

    While the acronymn “anti-Global Warming” for opponents of Anthropogenic Global Warming works I haven’t seen it used much if at all myself and prefer the term Global Warming skeptic. :-)

    As for “rants against science” it is precisely because I am pro-science</b. and pro=–skepticism that I am so upset with the religion of Anthropogenic Global Warming. I am an amater astronomer & a thoughtful human who loves science and hates this AGW rubbish because it is hurting science and the reputation of real scientists who don’t resort to the tactics used by the CRU “scientists.”

  203. Plutonium being from Pluto

    Oops. last bit there should read :

    As for “rants against science” it is precisely *because* I am pro-science and skepticism that I am so upset at this AGW religion pretending to be science. Real scientists who don’t resort to the tactics used by the CRU “scientists” are being tarred by association with this AGW pseudo-science mob and are also having their reputations harmed. The so-called “climatologists” who support AGW are harming the reputation of science by pretending to be scientific when they are clearly NOT. If you alter the data to support your theory rather than vice-versa as the CRU “scientists” did then you whatever you say or whatever degree you have you are NOT following the scientific method.

    @194. MaDeR Says:

    PBFP: “If AGW makes a prediction – ie. it is rapidly getting much hotter & observational evidence *disproves* that prediction, then the scientific method tells us we must reject AGW as a falsified theory.”
    MDR: I already some time ago said that “trend: getting warmer” is not exclusive with “hottest year was x years ago”. Even got picture. Check in dictionary meaning of word “trend”.

    Yes but what is the trend actually doing? Is it *really* rising? I don’t think so. The fact that it peaked in1998 and hasn’t exceeded that peak since indicates otherwise.

    PBFP: [@ # 155 “Its not just that *every* year has not beaten the record set in 1998, its that *NO* year has since beaten that record set a dozen years ago. ] If the climate is really warming at an alarming rate why is that so? Please enlighten me.”
    MDR : CO2. Wanna rewrite laws of physics?

    You missed the actual question I was asking which was that not a single year has exceeded 1998 and so I was asking if the globe really *is* warming at such a rapid alarming pace then why is *that* the case? Clearly you didn’t understand the question. Do you get it now?

    (NB. No, I do NOT believe Hansen when he claims 2005 beat 1998 – Hansen has no credibility with me & I see a lot more reliable people saying 1998 was hottest not 2005. I will conceed that 2005 was second hottest and warm but not record beating or hotter.)

    MaDeR: “If not, then what would cause you to concede that Global Warming is real?”
    PBFP: “I will concede that Global Warming is real – although NOT necessarily caused by us – if we have two years out of the next three that exceed the hottest ever temperature record set back in 1998.”
    MDR : So you would not concede even if 2010 would be warmest? Nice double standard we have there. You scream all the way that “hottest year was x years ago” – and here you admit that even x = 0 would not convice you*.

    If 2010 was hotter than 1998 I would be very surprised – but one year doesn’t make a trend. If 2011 was hotter than 1998 too *then* I would have some evidence that a hottest record 2010 was not just a freak occurence.

    Having 2 years out of 3 hotter than 1998 is far more convincing than, say, having one hotter year and two colder ones. Is that so unreasonable a stance to take? Esp. in light of the AGW proponents ignoring this seasons cold snaps and record snowfalls as a atypical “just weather” exceptions to the increasingly shaky “rule” of global warming?

    Ergo: this argument is pure bunk. Throw it away. Otherwise you are intelectually dishonest, because argument “hottest year was x years ago” sugests that you would agree that GW exists if hottest year was not so long ago. As we can see, this is not case.

    Actually this is> the case. If the last two years had been hotter than 1998 I would be much less skeptical over the reality of AGW. Since they were NOT hotter when under AGW theory you’d expect them to be, I therefore *am* skeptical. I am willing to be swayed by convinced evidence if it exists.

    BTW did I feel moving goalposts? Previously argument was “hottest year was sooo long ago, so GW is BS”. Now “hottest year must be twice in next three years, otherwise GW is BS”. Boy, you make creationists jealous.

    Eh? Where is the inconsistency there? :roll:

    I’m saying one year isn’t enough time to be sure in both cases. Give me just one year hotter out of the last three and its something but not enough. To give me *two* hotter years out of three and it starts looking more like a pattern and less like a possible one-off. Give me a very long string of years (say 12 years or indeed even only 5) where the temperature has NOT markedly risen and, yes, I’d have to conclude based upon the evidence that AGW is BS.

    PBFP: “What would convince you, MaDeR, that AGW is false?”
    Trend: its getting colder. And no, “coldest winter in y years somewhere in world” its not gonna cut it. Especially if y is large number – someone would think why y would be so large. :>

    How about no clear and indisputable rise in global temperature since 1998? Isn’t that a trend of cooling or at very least stable temperatures? Convinced yet?

    *Note that trend counts, not when was hottest year. But I now trying PBFP’s (pseudo)standards, not mine, to show that he will not follow them, when this would be inconvienent.

    I certainly do have my standards – and yes I do keep them. Not so sure about yours! :-P

    @ 163. gss_000 Says:

    That quiz is horrible. Please stop quoting it as though its a source of information. It uses facts to lead the participant to false conclusions.

    Hey, you think my sources are horrible, I think yours are.

    I’ve checked out your sources and can see errors and bias, you feel the same looking at mine.

    Glad you accept that the quiz is factual, guess that’s a start. Keep thinking about it. I certainly will. :-)

  204. Plutonium being from Pluto

    @ 182. ND Says:

    Forget Gore. It’s the science and the science came first. The use of “Gore” and “Gore followers” is a red herring. Mocking Gore is meant to discredit AGW science indirectly.

    Only indirectly? ;-)

    Since Gore *is* the leader of the AGW scare, I thought it was a much more direct attack on it than that! ;-)

    @ 169. gss_000 Says:

    Because you didn’t read the original paper, did you? Like most deniers, you grasp one thing and run with it without reading or understanding context.

    Actually, I think I grasp quite a bit and understand a *lot* more about context esp. regarding the timescale factor in climate change than most.


    From, the original paper that started it all: [del. link] “A model of future climate based on the observed orbital-climate relationships, but ignoring anthropogenic effects, predicts that the long-term trend over the next seven thousand years is toward extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation.”

    See that little phrase? “ignoring anthropogenic effects” That’s the key that was recognized back in 1976. Man can affect climate.

    That’s not what that’s necessarily saying. You could infer the reverse – that anthropogenic effects are so negligable that they can and should be ignored. Or /& also that anthropogenic effects actually worsen or could hasten the inevitable cooling.

    “So then – as now – the climatologists were divided and really unsure about what was actually happening and actually going to happen. Thanks for noting that & helping prove my case here!” Then people weren’t as certain. Now they are. It may seem like there are a lot of people who disagree, but the majority of those are a) not scientists, b) not active scientists, or c) not scientists in the field. There actually is strong consensus.

    I’d dispute that. What consensus there is appears to have been manufactured by political pressure – as revealed by the CRU emails.

    The pro-AGW climate “scientists” have set up their own little club which refuses to allow in any members who disagree with them and actively works to exxagerate the evidence favouring their side of the debate and suppressing the evidence (& those presenting it) against their theory. Recall how they “change the meaning of peer review” to keep out dissent, “lost” or deleted emails & data, refused FOI requests, etc ..

    Even if there was a consensus that is NOT scientific proof for Anthropogenic Global Warming. In fact, consensus is scientifically irrelevant. There was once a “scientific” consensus that the Sun went round the Earth – it didn’t make it so then & doesn’t make it so with AGW now.

    Now onto other of your incorrect statements. From your thought experiment:
    “Therefore we can predict that if AGW is correct then we should expect to see a string of increasingly hotter years with the hottest year ever record being broken consistently.”

    Noooo. You have no idea what a trend is. The *trend* is expected to warm, not each individual year warmer than the next. There doesn’t have to be any warmer years right after the other, as long as the *trend* is getting warmer as we see.

    Sorry but I’m not with you here. I see a pretty simple relationship being postulated here that more Co2 = ever hotter temperatures. And we just don’t see that. I don’t see any warming trend. Certainly not beyond the margin of noise and outside the error bars.

    “Back when the climate was changing far more dramatically there were no human coal plants cars or factories emitting Co2 – so if it couldn’t have been us before why assume that we’re to blame now”

    Because a) climate was changing over thousands of years, not over decades or a century like it was no, and b) carbon dioxide was not forcing the change. This may be too nuanced for you to handle, but it can both lag and lead climate change. In the past, it’s lags. Now it’s leading the change. By inputing so much over such a short period of time, you force things faster.

    But we have seen climate change happen over centuries – since 1850 & the little Ice Age so a) is wrong.

    Climate changes constantly – we have hotter decades, cooler decades, hotter centuries & cooler centuries and the hotter ones tend to be better for everyone. I really don’t see anything out of the ordinary or negative here.

    “I’ll also add that many pro-AGW climatologists…in my view anyhow need to talk to a lot more geologists and astronomers and get an idea of the long timescale and drastic past changes that have occurred in that time.”

    Boy, what a novel idea. It’s a good thing no scientist has ever thought of that. Boy you are a genius.

    Why thankyou! I have my moments. :-D

    Maybe the American Geophysical Union should gather scientists from all these fields together twice a year (they do) or there should be university departments where these varied disciplines can talk to one another (surprise! They exist in departments with labels like Earth and Planetary Science). See my previous post as well.

    All well and good but why then do the AGW believers seem so reluctant to acknowledge past climate change and insist that the climate variations we are getting now is so out of the ordinary?

    I’ve noticed that a lot of geologists with a vast deal of experience and many hard years of real scientific work such as Ian Plimer, Bob Carter and Harrison Schmidt – who went to the Moon with Apollo 17 – are skeptics. A lot of new computer simulation focussed not so old and experienced, less reputable “scientists” like Phil Jones, Mike Mann &, well, the non-scientist but lead AGW proponent Al Gore are believers.

    Are these groups really talking to each other seriously? Are the believers really taking on board what the skeptics are saying? I find that doubtful.

    Now you continually quote from that fraud Ian Pilmer, who can’t recall where a graph in his own book came from: [del. link] “Asked where he found one graph showing temperatures across the 20th century differing markedly to the data used by the IPCC or the world’s leading climate centres, Plimer says he can not recall.”

    Fair enough too. Is your memory photographic. Wish mine was. ;-)

    Not remembering instantly where you got one specific quote or fact in a book packed with tens of thousands of quotes and facts is hardly evidence of Professor Plimer being a “fraud.”
    Not like having an email on record telling your colleagues to delete their emails rather than hand over their raw data to outside investigators is.

    Or you should see this exchange, starting here:His inept way to get out of answering legitimate questions: [links del.] And the final debate where Pilmer showed he knew nothing: [ditto] Yup, there you go. Not that it will matter to you.

    Because I’ve met Ian Plimer and seen his talks and read his books and I know & trust him and his word over a politically driven journalists anyday. Whose credibility is greater here -Plimer’s or Monbiots? I’d say Plimer’s – & I’ve seen them debate on TV and more myself.

    You can judge for yourself of course. But to take Monbiot’s word over Plimers? Really? :roll:

    Still thanks for your response – always good to have a civilised debate. :-)

  205. MaDeR

    Cut out less important issues – post is already long as is.

    MDR: I already some time ago said that “trend: getting warmer” is not exclusive with “hottest year was x years ago”. Even got picture. Check in dictionary meaning of word “trend”.
    PBFB: “Yes but what is the trend actually doing? Is it *really* rising? I don’t think so.”
    Fun fact: I do think so. More about it at end of post.

    “The fact that it peaked in1998 and hasn’t exceeded that peak since indicates otherwise.”
    Good grief.

    “Trend: getting warmer” is not exclusive with “hottest year was x years ago”.
    Which word from this statement you do not understand? Did you seen this picture (posted under some article on Phil blog some time ago) at all?
    Shows nicely how temperature can slowly rise, jumps momentairly in some year and back down in next year… slightly higher than before peak. And still slowly rising. I cannot now remember link to picture, will post it later.

    “If 2010 was hotter than 1998 I would be very surprised – but one year doesn’t make a trend.”
    And NOW you’re talking about “trend”? Newsflash: trend is not about “every next year is warmer than previous year”. Temperature can rise and fall, and – wonders! – still climbing as average higher and higher in span of many, many years.

    PBFP: “Having 2 years out of 3 hotter than 1998 is far more convincing than, say, having one hotter year and two colder ones. Is that so unreasonable a stance to take?”
    No, if you ignore other possibilites.

    “Give me a very long string of years (say 12 years or indeed even only 5) where the temperature has NOT markedly risen and, yes, I’d have to conclude based upon the evidence that AGW is BS.”
    This is not case, as said below.

    PBFP: “How about no clear and indisputable rise in global temperature since 1998? Isn’t that a trend of cooling or at very least stable temperatures?”
    Yeah… “no clear and indisputable”, eh? For people with agenda, any rise (and yes, there was rise, but it is easier to go LA-LA route) will be disputable.

  206. Albert Tatlock

    Lonny Eachus whined:
    “Phil, now I KNOW you’ve really swallowed the kool-aid”

    How ironic that someone that got his ass handed to him on a plate over his lack of knowledge of the basic properties of CO2 should whine about swallowing Kool-aid.
    Bob Faulks showed you up for the denialist that you are Lonny, professing to” have no position on AGW” but linking to only denier sites, and denying basic science like an ignoramus.

  207. It is a natural phenomenon – oscillating. Lets just hope we are not on the apogee nor on the perigee. These extremes are very sad parts of. Its the story of the deserts in the equator and the icy world of the south poles.

  208. Renee Marie Jones

    Wow, Phil, you sure were right about the quality (or should I say lack thereof) that you expected in these comments!

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