Gore vital

By Phil Plait | February 28, 2010 2:46 pm

I know mentioning Al Gore, let alone linking to him, is like throwing red meat into the pit of denialists, but Gore’s Op Ed in today’s New York Times is really quite good. I wonder if he reads my blog? He hits a lot of the points I have the past few days… though he doesn’t mention the troglodytes in the South Dakota and Utah legislative bodies.

The only point he makes I’m not sure about is the capping of carbon emissions, simply because I haven’t looked into the issue. One more thing on my to-do list.

Anyway, I will be much amused, I’m sure in a schadenfreudelicious sort of way, about the comments that will ensue below. I know! Let’s make it a game! Score ten points for every comment that makes fun of "Inconvenient Truth" without addressing the content of the Op Ed, 20 points for anyone who clearly didn’t read the Op Ed but comments anyway, 30 points for a comment thoroughly rebutted by science (either previously known or pointed out in a subsequent comment) but ignored by the commenter, and 100 points for someone who comments making fun of Gore’s name. First person to 1000 points wins!

What do you win? A planet 1° Fahrenheit warmer than it was a century ago! Hurray!

Comments (164)

  1. Dan

    I don’t disagree with Al Gore on what he said, but it bothers me that Al Gore seems to have become the public spokesperson for climate change and not an actual scientist.

    That being said, I think Al Gore did do a good job of explaining the position.

  2. The prizes in this game don’t seem to be very good. What is behind door number 2?

  3. Who cares. . . not only would I throw red meat, I’d add gravy too. All those denialists know how to do is criticize when 1 out of 1,000 scientists are wrong.

    It is a pretty good article. BTW. . . finished reading “Death from above”. Had a lot of fun.

  4. Monkey Deathcar

    I have to say although I accept all the conclusions of scientists regarding this issue, I am more concerned with winning despite the consequences of winning.

    So, I didn’t read Al Bore’s (+100) article (+20) yet and I am commenting.

    Lets see, that’s 120 points, I now need to figure out how to get the rest of the 880 without boring myself. This game is hard.

  5. Randy

    I read this article before it was on the BA blog, So technically i am cooler than everyone else here

  6. Sam Abbott

    You mean Al BORE (am I right am I right) is still blathering on about this “global warming” business. Jesus Christ theres like 4 inches of snow outside my window right now! How could the earth be getting hotter and there is still snow? Didn’t see him explain that in op-ed in that gossip rag. Everyone knows this is just a cyclical temperature thing. Venus used to look just like earth and look at it now (and no one every drove an SUV on Venus). If Al really wanted to use less carbon-whatever he would film his “documentaries” from the carpool lane and not on his own Private JET!

    Besides climate gate proved it was only a hoax. Over and done with case closed. Humanity wins, Al loses.

    (how did I do?)

  7. hheb09'1

    Pretty incredible use of the word “speciously” there though. He says “Similarly, even though climate deniers have speciously argued for several years that there has been no warming in the last decade, scientists confirmed last month that the last 10 years were the hottest decade since modern records have been kept.” The last sentence links to an article that seems (to my eyes) state results that support the notion that there was no significant warming over the past ten years.

    Since he’s talking about ten years in both cases, it is entirely possible that it is both true that the ten years were the warmest ten years, while having no warming over those ten years. The link seems to back that up.

    I think he could have done without the word “speciously”. :)

    How many points do I get?

  8. I disagree with just about everything he wrote. Starting with “overwhelming consensus on global warming remains unchanged.” I’m so tired of people using this phrase. Maybe the overwhelming consensus of liberals could be true, but not scientists–has Al Gore never heard of the Oregon Petition? See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_Petition.

    And this article completely ignored the rest of the iceberg in referring to Phil Jones’ database of emails. It left out the part where Dr. Jones admitted that there has been no significant warming of the earth since 1998, and that the Medieval Warming Period was warmer than today–with a lot less CO2.

    I could go on, but I think this speaks to Al Gore’s bad science.

  9. kvl

    @Dan(#1), Al Gore knows his stuff and is an impassioned and careful spokesman. We could do a lot worse. In fact, we have. Scientists have depended on journalists all this while to convey the necessary information to the public, but clearly that has not worked out all that well. Furthermore, scientists themselves, with very few exceptions, are not well qualified to speak to primates. See Susan Hassol’s incredibly well-thought out critique of the often confusing language barrier — http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/28/susan-joy-hassol-improving-how-scientists-communicate-about-climate-change/ — she writes that to inform scientists of the problems, but my primary takeaway from that is, we need a spokesperson. Like Al Gore.

  10. complex field

    print “GoreNoMore” * 10
    ;-)

  11. Dan

    So, 100 points to Phil for the title “Gore vital.”

    And 20 to me for not reading the op-ed because the NY times site still requires would-be readers to register.

    (And to keep the scoring fair, I should say I am NOT the same Dan as commenter #1!)

  12. Randy@4 does that mean we can use you to counter global climate change? If not, then I submit that you are not nearly cool enough. *grin*

  13. Yousuf

    Phil, how many points do we get for making fun of you and all of the other “alarmists” who can’t get it through their heads that the science is hardly settled, nor even overwhelming. The only thing overwhelming is the hyperventilating.

  14. Love the game. But more seriously, regarding a carbon cap, I think it’s a wrong approach (though it may be the best one we can get passed).

    In its favor, it does demand that we figure out how much carbon each company is emitting, and simply paying attention to those figures is the first step in any kind of resolution.

    But the biggest problem of it is that it rewards those who have not taken any action yet, and penalizes companies that have tried to do the right thing for decades.

    A carbon cap-and-trade system simply tries to set a quota on the total amount of carbon emitted by companies, based on current emissions. It then tries to ratchet down the total amount of carbon produced by providing a market for trading rights to pollute, creating market incentives for reducing that pollution. It basically rewards companies that can show improvement by allowing them to get paid for reducing their emissions by companies who would rather buy those rights to pollute.

    There’s a whole bunch of problems with this system, beyond the science question about what the impact of all this carbon in our atmosphere: how do you measure carbon emissions? Who audits companies to verify their emissions? Why should the biggest polluters who have taken no action to date have the biggest potential gains out of this system?

    I think a much better approach would be a carbon tax. We already measure fuel usage–if we simply add a tax to the purchase of fuels that emit carbon to cover the true costs to the rest of our environment, it would bring the cost of carbon-based fuels drastically up. Then there would really be a market-based incentive to reduce their use.

    Cap and trade systems are a total boondoggle, a political appeasement strategy that’s easy to cheat, ineffective, and rewards companies for complacency.

  15. kvl

    hheb09’1@5,

    specious (adj), superficially plausible, but actually wrong.

    Over periods of ten years, noise in the pattern can reduce the statistical significance by which the trend can be measured. You can easily hide the rise (haha) by picking for your starting point a year with exceptionally high temperatures and for the ending point a year with exceptionally low temperatures. Look at the long term trend, which averages out the effects of the El Ninos, La Ninas, solar variability, etc.

    So Gore is well within his rights to use the word.

  16. QuietDesperation

    Wait… climate denier? There’s people who deny we even have a climate?

  17. OK, Phil, I think it’s fairly obvious that you’re in some sort of covert post-hits contest within the Discover camp. Do you have to prove your worth or something? Why else would you do three posts on successive days that you know is going to generate 100 or more responses?

    - Jack

  18. complex field

    John Locke — as I understand, cap and trade was effective in reducing mercury and acid-rain-related emissions. Why would there be a difference?

  19. Gary Ansorge

    9. John Locke :

    “I think a much better approach would be a carbon tax. ”

    I agree and you should get double points for my agreement. Maybe we can vote on best constructive ideas?

    Best suggestion I’ve heard on this subject in a long time.

    Gary 7
    PS: Now we need to figure out what could be wrong with it.

  20. Had read the article in full around noon GMT, desperately seeking for any new argument than what Gore had already said countless times.

    Really…how many times does Al Gore need to bang his head against the same spot on the same wall before realizing the way to go does not pass through there? And what makes the BA think it is going to be any different this time around??

  21. Lonny Eachus

    I think the game is interesting, too, but sadly I don’t think this comment is worth any points. What I am curious about is why Phil would link to an article by the most biased person in existence, and pretend that it speaks from authority.

  22. HP

    It is my understanding that Al Gore is fat.

  23. Russell

    I am currently trying to form a jazz ensemble composed of mathematicians who work with climate scientists to make weather models called the “Al Gore-rhythms”… Get it? I also didn’t read the article, so there’s my 120 points.

  24. SLC

    Despite the cold weather and snow in the US Northeast which was mostly due to a dip in the jet stream, January worldwide was warmer then any previous January in history. That, of course, will not make the slightest difference to the AGW deniers who infest the Discover blogs whenever Dr. Plait or Mr. Mooney post something on the subject. And if someone posts a comment that Al Gore is fat, I will preempt them by stating that Marc Morano is fatter.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61O16A20100225

  25. CW

    It is a solid op/ed. And it is a good summary of the talking points. I do feel like Al Gore gets unfairly criticized for being an extremist for some of the vocal carriers of his message and because he won an Oscar. It’s fed the confirmation bias of the climate change deniers.

    But let’s face it, Al Gore strikes a chord with climate change deniers and fence-sitters. And I compare him to a closer relief pitcher that has very good stats – but who’s teams’ fans seem to remember the one or two blown saves (more than the 40+ saves).

    He’s got some residual baggage from the 2000 election and probably some lingering collateral damage from the political views on censorship that Tipper promoted.

    The point is, that despite his solid grasp of the evidence and articulate presentation – it feels like his voice in the discussion may be doing more harm than good.

    So I guess that netted me about 50-70 points, eh?

  26. Theron

    And he has a big electricity bill, therefor no global warming.

    I love this variation of the argument from authority – if you can discredit a given authority, therefor an entire body of science in wrong. Ultimately, it’s an authoritarian argument – only what certain elites do matters.

  27. Kevin

    Just playing the DVD of “Inconvenient Truth” wastes electricity, so in effect it’s not “green.” (It’s not even on Blu-ray)

    And to watch it makes me sick, so I’m wasting water every time I flush away the vomit.

    It’s a “Chore” to watch “Gore” because he’s a “Bore.” Perhaps his name should be “Al Snore?”

    I didn’t read the article.

    Now many points do I have?

  28. In-between an Al Gore and a Jenny McCarthy, when are we going to hear about Phil’s opinions on the Institute of Physics’s memorandum to the UK Parliamentary Committee in charge of the CRU inquiry?

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/memo/climatedata/uc3902.htm

  29. ts765

    Gore rhymes with whore +100pts
    An Inconvenient Lie! +10
    NY Times is a liberal conspiracy perpetuating “global Warming” +20
    ITS SUN SPOTS +30
    POLAR BEARS ARE INCREASING IN POPULATION +30
    SNOW MEANS GW IS FAKE +30
    Al “the lair” Gore +100
    Im bOREd listening to al gore +100
    First it was global cooling, now its global warming +30
    i saw the british documentary “the great global warming swindle” +200 for pure stupid
    Bjorn lomborg is smarter than al gore +30
    IPCC is part of the UN so its all new world order lies +30
    I bet gore is getting paid big bucks to write that article +20
    Rush/Fox said al gore was a fat lair and global warming is fake +200 again for pure stupid
    The earth has warmed up in the passed, therefore its not human +30
    Humans dont generate enough CO2 to effect the climate +30
    ________________________
    990 total
    +10 pt CAPS LOCK BONUS
    =1000PTS

    P.S. The rules of the game dont apply, im a denier so the facts and rules dont matter.

  30. TWalker

    Silly game. Bad prize.

    Hey… didn’t you write a book once?

  31. Not being from the United States I have perhaps had a little less exposure to Al Gore and thus I am perhaps less jaded. He writes well, and makes a case for how he sees that things should progress. When climate deniers attack him, rather than the points that he makes – or even (FSM forbid) make constructive suggestions of their own, it highlights the deficiencies of the denier position and is certainly not consistent with a skeptical approach. Why is that that so many ‘climate skeptics’ consider the word ‘skeptic’ a noun, rather than a verb?

  32. SLC

    Re Kevin

    Just reading the moronic posts by Mr. Kevin is a waste of time and the electricity required to operate my computer.

  33. Well. He has ridden the mighty Moon Worm.

  34. You know who else didn’t think the world was getting warmer?

    That’s right. HITLER.

    I’ll take my prize now, thanks.

    More seriously, I think the problem that Gore faces is twofold. First is as CW@17 noted – Gore’s baggage is a great hindrance to him as a climate change spokesperson. It may be unfair, but it’s much easier to attack Gore than it is to attack the science, and in a culture where Argument From Authority is really more acceptable than it should be, that’s a legitimate way of “winning.”

    The second is as Gore noted himself in the op-ed – climate is an immensely complex and difficult-to-predict thing, where effects can be a very long time in following causes, and which can’t really be presented in a slim stream of sound bites. People who don’t follow the science have only their eyes, and their eyes see four feet of snow in Washington DC. The common-sense conclusion is obvious. Wrong, but obvious.

    Sometimes – and I know I can’t be the first to make this comparison – Gore reminds me of Jor-El. I can’t imagine him trying to launch Al III into space, but the general tone of his writing invites the comparison.

  35. Speaking of red meat…

    Perhaps if Al Gore gave up red meat in addition to all the other animal products he injests, I could take him more seriously as a spokesman. Instead, to fulfill his appetite, he continues to support one of the largest contributes to greenhouse gases: animal agriculture.

    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?newsID=20772&CR1=warning

  36. alfaniner

    Maybe Fox can now take down the blurb “Why is Al Gore So Quiet Now?”, which I’ve heard other lemmings state also.

  37. deep

    Well 20 points to me for not reading the piece (I did skim the first page, but I hate reading articles in the online Times). Although, I’m glad he’s finally getting some things right. Maybe he will realize that stretching the truth is unnecessary and a lot less likely to get him into trouble.

    That being said, I have had to do a lot of time consuming damage control in his wake with my friends flirting with climate change denial. Having to go through “what gore said about this was correct, but this is not” is rather annoying. To be honest I don’t think of him as an ally, nor do I believe other skeptics who care about climate change should. He may have the right intentions, but that doesn’t excuse him from shooting us in the foot.

  38. Markle

    @alphaniner They’ll now claim they prompted him into speaking out.

  39. Jeffersonian

    I like #21′s comment because deniers like to pretend that it’s “USA warming”. When you point out other parts of the globe recently experiencing record heat, it’s fingers-in-the-ear time. Having read Australian books and Euro-media on the subject, I haven’t seen those countryman making similar geocentric claims.

    I don’t really think Gore hit on the best angle but it does come across as professional. IMO, his best angle is in keeping debate open and on the table, as opposed to what’s happening in SoDak and Motah (though he does hit on this a bit as well).

    Funny on the points, Phil.

  40. Chip

    Really lucid and insightful writing from Al Gore. I like that he ended with the Churchill quote. He’s right, the time has come to do what is required. Encourage those in Congress who support the tools America needs. America also needs more Opt-Eds like this from Al Gore and others and better education to counteract the right-wing cable TV pseudo pundit liars.

  41. Old Geezer

    I think the problem is that Gore (and many others) focuses on man-made carbon while the deniers focus on whale farts or cow belching as the cause of this mess. Gore wants us all to agree that, if we only stop what we’re doing, all will be well. The deniers want to point out that whale farts can’t be stopped, so nothing can be done.

    Perhaps we can take a moment to agree that there are a bunch of things that we can’t control, that things really are getting intolerable and that we are a portion of the problem. Then, maybe we can agree that as the supposed dominant species on earth, we are the ones who can do something, anything, and it will do more to help than standing around criticizing each other’s weak points.

    Cap and trade may be good. Carbon tax may be better. Standing around yelling “YOU’RE WRONG!” doesn’t do a damned thing but add to the carbon emissions.

    Gosh, what if climate change is hoax and all we ended up with was a better world?

  42. Chuck G

    The earth may be warming or it may not, but I disagree with the reasons provided by some climatologists as to why. I understand that less than 10% of CO2 produced annually is manmade, so how can our reduction of the emissions of a gas which makes up 0.038% of our atmosphere and which we humans produce less than one part in 10 of have such a drastic effect, when water vapor is a far more powerful (and abundant) greenhouse gas? If we were to reduce our CO2 production by 50%, even that would be a negligible effect on our atmosphere.

    I have also never heard a valid expanation as to why there was a Medieval Warming Period, nor a Little Ice Age a few centuries back, nor have I heard any logical reasons why the earth’s glaciers have been retreating for over a century, even back when man-made CO2 emissions were negligible. If none of these questions can be adequately explained, then I have a hard time taking the word of climatologists who can’t look back at previous evidence to figure something out, yet are expecting us to believe they are soothsayers for the future of the Earth’s climate.

    Also, Gore talks about how our dependence on foreign oil in unstable regions has led to problems, yet it is his party which has forced us to get our oil overseas by not allowing oil and gas reserves in the US, which are potentially greater than Saudi Arabia’s, to be exploited.

    Finally, I blame democrats for the emission of billions of tons of CO2 over the past several decades due to their blocking of the construction of nuclear power plants, as well as Harry Reid’s blocking of the nuclear waste storage facility at Yucca Mountain.

  43. bad Jim

    I like Al Gore, and I think he was pretty good in An Inconvenient Truth, but his campaign speeches in 2000 were incredibly soporific. The words were good, but his cadences, the inimitable Al Gore rhythm, made continued attention a struggle. Was he wooden? I was afraid he’d take root if he stood in the same place too long.

  44. I think every climate change article should come with Dr. Plait’s disclaimer. I’m often disappointed to see the vitriol on climate change posts and articles. Interestingly, the comments on Digg wind up being much more cogent since their users are more science literate and they tend to vote down the lowest-content comments. Skepticalscience.com is my favorite resource to point climate change skeptics to. It has rebuttals to every common argument, backed up with direct links to the appropriate peer-reviewed literature.

  45. Astrofiend

    30. Old Geezer Says:
    February 28th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    “Gosh, what if climate change is hoax and all we ended up with was a better world?”

    Precisely. Imagine it was all wrong, and yet we had actually developed methods of powering our lives that didn’t involve pumping millions of tons of nasty chemicals into the air that we breathe? It is literally as though some people enjoy pissing in their own bathtub and then drinking it.

    You don’t have to be a genius to realise that the rates of disease like cancer are sky-rocketing world-wide, and that SOMETHING is leading to this. Whether this be diet, environment or lifestyle, it cannot be a bad thing for both the planet that we live on AND our own health and well-being to have less impact on our Earth and it’s natural systems, and to live in a cleaner, more natural environment than the alternative.

    P.S. – If you disagree with me, you are wrong.

  46. It’s too bad that this issue has to be so contentious that Phil has to anticipate backlash. Either the planet is warming or it isn’t. It’s a scientific question, and the evidence shows that it is. Attacking Al Gore has nothing to do with the science behind it. It is always distressing that people have to put so much emotion behind issues that should be decided in the scientific realm. Have a problem with it? Do some research! (I’ll note that before you actually do real research, you should know what you’re doing.)

  47. As right as Al Gore may be he has done more harm than good. Al Gore is a politician and and him becoming the poster child for global warming has only given dinalists ammunition.

  48. Dan

    I think that my biggest problem with this whole mess is the idea that if we don’t OMG DO SOMETHING!!! then the world is going to end.

    So the mean temperature of the planet is increasing. It has before in the past. It also cooled after that. Oh, that’s right.. WE’RE partly (or even mostly, I’d even give you that) to blame for this particular warming period.

    What I wanna see is the science of what is going to happen with a 1 degree change in temperature. I see the proof that the change is happening, but not great evidence of what the end result of that will be. As many have said, especially with most of the east coast having one of the worst winters in decades, climate is a hugely complex creature. Any change at all will have innumerable, unforseen effects.

    Of course I hear the claims that the glaciers are going to melt, as well as the ice caps. However, if I can remember my high school geology classes well enough, wasn’t most of north america once covered by glaciers? And wasn’t the retreat of those glaciers due to warming temperatures a major influence on the terrain? Not sure if anyone can really convince me that things are so much more worse now that it’s warmer since then.

    Sorry to sound so cynical about it, but I really am trying to find the best stance based on the evidence I have on hand. Once you get past the fact that the planet IS warming, it can get awfully close to woo-woo apocalypse land and I’m rather uncomfortable with that.

    I guess it boils down to an economic question: is the price of trying to reduce emissions and slow/stop the warming trend enough to offset any gains that may be had by doing so? To answer that question you need to know what exactly the cost/benefit of our actions will be, which as far as I know no one can know.

  49. James

    I found it very suspicious that Al “Snore” didn’t even bother to adress the obvious connection between our record cold winter and the recent dramatic increase in pirate activity.

  50. Daniel J. Andrews

    Hm. It’s actually fairly quiet–I was anticipating some of the usual. But this is more of what we need. Less debate about the science which is fairly solid (i.e. the earth is warming and we most likely have something to do with it (our fingerprint is all over it), and we have the mechanisms to explain it), and more debate about what we actually can do about it? Cap and trade? Taxes? I really don’t know, but if one political party doesn’t like the other party’s solution, then they need to come up with other solutions instead of attacking the scientists, and making up your their facts. Seeing such cooperation would warm (but not in a bad way-heh) the cockles of my heart.

    It is a big enough problem that whole countries will have to cooperate on this, and if we think that is hard to do now, think how much harder it will be when some of those countries are faced with water shortages, drought, famine, and increasing violence and migration. The US military has scenarios based on some of these possibilities–check Dyer’s Climate Wars—I’m not putting that forth as a science book (or science podcast–3 parts) although it contains science, but as an interesting read into some future possibilities the military has dreamt up.

    Gosh, what if climate change is hoax and all we ended up with was a better world?

    Excellently said. It isn’t a hoax, but I keep hoping there will be some negative feedback we’re not aware of yet that will stabilize the climate. Then we’d have spent all that time and effort just to make a better world. :)

  51. Kuttner

    I’m not a GW skeptic, but I have little use for Gore. He advocates green tech because he is invested in it. Hey, I was told to “follow the money” with the skeptics. I just followed the money on the other side, too.

  52. Nate

    Terry Barker (#8)! Thank you for posting the wikipedia page! It sure taught me a lot about the Oregon Petition, like:

    In May 1998 the Seattle Times wrote:
    “ Several environmental groups questioned some of the names in the petition. For instance: “Perry S. Mason”, who was a legitimate scientist who shared the name of a TV character. Similarly, “Michael J. Fox”, “Robert C. Byrd”, and “John C. Grisham” were signatories with names shared with famous people. Geraldine Halliwell was added as: “Dr. Geri Halliwell” and “Dr. Halliwell.” This name may have been contributed by a proxy trying to discredit the petition since Ms. Halliwell has never admitted to signing the petition.

    Asked about the pop singer, Robinson said he was duped. The returned petition, one of thousands of mailings he sent out, identified her as having a degree in microbiology and living in Boston. “When we’re getting thousands of signatures there’s no way of filtering out a fake”, he said.[22]

    In 2001, Scientific American reported:
    “ Scientific American took a random sample of 30 of the 1,400 signatories claiming to hold a Ph.D. in a climate-related science. Of the 26 we were able to identify in various databases, 11 said they still agreed with the petition —- one was an active climate researcher, two others had relevant expertise, and eight signed based on an informal evaluation. Six said they would not sign the petition today, three did not remember any such petition, one had died, and five did not answer repeated messages. Crudely extrapolating, the petition supporters include a core of about 200 climate researchers – a respectable number, though rather a small fraction of the climatological community.[23] ”

    In a 2005 op-ed in the Hawaii Reporter, Todd Shelly wrote:
    “ In less than 10 minutes of casual scanning, I found duplicate names (Did two Joe R. Eaglemans and two David Tompkins sign the petition, or were some individuals counted twice?), single names without even an initial (Biolchini), corporate names (Graybeal & Sayre, Inc. How does a business sign a petition?), and an apparently phony single name (Redwine, Ph.D.). These examples underscore a major weakness of the list: there is no way to check the authenticity of the names. Names are given, but no identifying information (e.g., institutional affiliation) is provided. Why the lack of transparency?[24]

    Interesting! My favorite part is when he says “When we’re getting thousands of signatures there’s no way of filtering out a fake”.

  53. Pi-needles

    @ 3. alopiasmag Says:

    Who cares. . . not only would I throw red meat, I’d add gravy too. All those denialists know how to do is criticize when 1 out of 1,000 scientists are wrong.

    Mmm .. steak and gravy! :-)

    But the scientists being criticised are the 999 scientists here not the one methinks.

    Its more like they find one scientist who disagrees (Ian Plimer anybody?) with the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory and use him to contradict the 999 others who agree with AGW.

    As for the “Points for Gore” game here am I allowed to cut & paste one of ‘Plutonium being from Pluto’ or ‘Spectroscope’s old post or would that be cheating? What if I quote one? ;-)

    As others have already said it already makes a good drinking game to read these posts and drink every time Gore gets a mention.

    That said, Gore’s critics do have a few valid points in that :

    a) Gore is no scientist but a failed politician.

    b) Gore hasn’t (as far as I’m aware) got a degree in climatology or real scientific as opposed to media /political expertise in that area.

    c) “An Inconvenient Truth” was not exactly an even handed and entirely truthful or accurate movie & did indeed contain some science errors and exagerations.

    Just sayin’ ;-)

    Oh & the thing is that Gore did NOT invent or discover the notion of the Greenhouse FXT, Global Warming climate change, etc .. The way some AGW “skeptics” talk you’d think it all started with Al Gore which of course it didn’t. Any more than the internet did! :roll:

    Hey, do I get some points for that last line? ;-)

  54. Dan

    “Gosh, what if climate change is hoax and all we ended up with was a better world?”

    See, here’s my problem with this. What evidence do we have that if we do reduce our carbon emissions, even to zero, it will reduce or eliminate global warming?

    I’m not anti-green tech. I’m very aware of the fact that oil based energy isn’t getting us anywhere and the future lies in new technologies. In fact, I’m a personal fan of the holy grail of fusion power :D That and I’d love to install some solar panels on my roof when I have the money to invest in it.

    My point is that even if we do know know exactly what is going on right now with the climate, it gives us no indication of what the future holds either way.

    Someone please point me to some good *sound* studies of the effects of global warming. However I’m not terribly confident of the predictive power of climatologists when I see the trouble that meterologists have with just the WEATHER :P

  55. jorge c.

    what i liked of the Gore’s op/ed, was this:
    “From the standpoint of governance, what is at stake is our ability to use the rule of law as an instrument of human redemption.”
    HUMAN REDEMPTION? RELIGIOUS concept next to rule of law?? well, where are the sceptics???
    and: “The decisive victory of democratic capitalism over communism in the 1990s…” please!!! it was te victory of DEMOCRACY over TYRANNY!!! do you remember the word GULAG??? equating democracy with capitalism is a very big error. nazi germany was capitalist, china now IS capitalist…
    but well what can you expect from the man who lost before bush… (and if you tell me that he was cheated… it is WORSE!!
    P.S. James Hansen is against Cap and Trade, and he is not a dennier…
    and ehave yor read what the united kingdom Intitute of physics said
    about me jones et.al??? of course not

  56. trebor knil

    I am SKEPTICAL. If the earth gets hotter for three straight days is this a warming trend to concern us? One decade out of 12 that we have records of? A hotter century out of the last 1000? Receding ice revealing settlements that give evidence that it was once warmer? I am not convinced by the science and it looks bad when the science is proven to be falsified. Follow the money. The global warming crowd is trying to maintain its research dollars to justify their existence maybe? I remain a skeptic rather than a denier. I think Phil is following the global warming religion in this case.

  57. Redstar

    @ Dan #48
    This is a pretty good link that will allow you to see all sorts of predicted effects of climate change:
    http://tinyurl.com/y92md2s

    I can’t tell whether you’re being sarcastic or not, but if not: Do even a little bit of searching, and you’ll be able to answer every single question you had. Seriously. It’s all available if you just look a little.

    And the thing about the glaciers is facepalm-worthy. That’s like saying “It was more comfortable when I turned my thermostat up from 40 to 70… so turning it to 100 should make it even more comfortable!”

    I get so angry that I’m able to find out so much, despite having nothing more than a scientific inclination, and yet other people just sit there and say that the public information I’ve read is too hard for them to find. It’s just bloody laziness, and it turns my stomach. Or I must be a goddamned genius or something. /sarcasm

  58. Pi-needles

    Okay, an anaology I thought of earlier to explain AGW :

    Imagine you are out on a boat at sea and you see a dark patch of what you think are most likely underwater rocks lying right in your path.

    Do you hold your course regardless or steer away?

    Now you’re not sure these are really rocks, they could of course be nothing, just a shadow of a cloud on the surface or a change in the underwater terrain or a dense school of fish or something else. But they sure look like hazardous rocks, all dark and menacing with a lot of choppy water breaking on them.

    The only way you’d be really 100% sure is to run your boat into the rocks.
    In which case you’ll be sunk.

    AGW is like that – even if it all seems a lot confusing with the various sides shouting at each other and tossing out contradictory studies, quotes, lectures, books and graphs. Its easy to be confused and it’s tempting to think “no worries, there’s not really a problem.”

    I can understand the appeal of the “climate skeptics” – changing course is painful and difficult, its hard work & may mean sacrifices. Its easier & more comfortable to shrug it off and keep going straight ahead. But then if you hit the rocks its going to be much worse and much more work just to stay alive at all.

    So what would I do? I’d raise the alarm and steer away.

    Heck, the patch could be a school of fish that we’ll miss out on (“the warming is good for us” idea) – but is it worth taking the risk and losing the boat and potentially much more?

    And there’s one more thing, like a boat turning, the climate takes a while to respond to the tiller.

    The watchmen inthe crows nest of the Titanic saw the iceberg. They gave the alarm: “Iceberg, dead ahead!” The Captain got the warning and ordered the liner to steer away – but that took time and it was already too late and so the greatest ocean liner of its day, the “unsinkable” Titanicgrazed the icebergs’ edge gently and was doomed.

    If we wait too long and try to change course at the very last minute, it may be too late for us too.

  59. Dan @53: I call Poe on you.

  60. R-man

    There was a speech from a guy called Al Gore,
    Who warned that we faced a climate War,
    But with typical grace
    the word buried its face
    Unwilling to pass even one measly law.

    Apologies. It’s been a while since I did limericks

  61. jorge c.

    i know that mr plait liked to lambaste the republicans troglodytes in the congress (ande there are a lot of them!!!!) and he is right, but when mr gore speaking about geothermal energy said: “’cause the interior of the earth is extremely hot, several million degrees, and the crust of the earth is hot …”
    or when in the copenhagen summit said:
    “These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.”
    then spoke mr. Maslowski and told the world that:
    “It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at,” Dr Maslowski said. “I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.”
    i forgot to mention that mr gore what he is doing now… well
    the NYT’s post-script identifying the author, which includes: “As a businessman, he is an investor in alternative energy companies.”
    ahhhhh!!!!!! where are you sceptics!!!!!

  62. jorge c.: Please learn the rules of capital letter usage, punctuation, and other nuances of layout and grammar in the English language before you continue to comment. As is, your comments are entirely unreadable.

  63. John

    In a few years, when the sky doesn’t fall in, chicken licken is going to look like a fool for posting this nonsense publicly and masquerading as a ‘skeptic’

  64. Pi-needles

    Okay here we go ..

    I haven’t read the article yet & I’m NOT going to ever because Al Gore Bull Warmin’ is a big fat liar who can’t be trusred because he nearly won the 2004 Presidency and complained when Bush was selected for teh job instead. oh & becoz Bore failed to win the election nd didn’t liek it he went and became teh Pope of the GoreBull Warmin Cult and Conspiracy Scare.

    That’ is all a Great Big Hoax foisted upon us by radical Greenies & teh evull Lie-borals who want us all to live in caves, eat only vegetables and gruel and be communists!

    Teh Klimate is so NOT warming. I had to wear a jumper today and I heard it was snowing some where on the news. In fact, I saw sum scientists looking at an iceberg on last nights news too and it *so* hadn’t melted yet. Which proves we’re NOT getting warming 100% conclusively.

    Besides Ina Plier and Lord Monktonne told me so and they are TOTALLY, totally, *TOTALLY* reliable sources not like taht lying Enviwrongmental preacher Al Gore teh big fat windbag!!!

    Wghat’s that? theer are other scientists – no theirs not! Those others can’t be proper “scientists” becoz they don’t agree with me!!!

    Besides the Klimategayte emails proved it was all a Great Big Hoax to get a Socialist One World Govt and grants and all spearheaded by that big fat liar, liar pants on fire Algore!

    He lost teh Presidency in the election so he’s goint to take over teh world through this communist Gorebull Warmin hoax via the evull UN and those sadistic bustards at the Nobel Prize comitte who were so wrong to award him the Nobel prize thingy along with thsoe corrupt, lying people of the IPCC!

    Those Himalayan glaciers are so NOT melting! Well okay, they are but only very slowly.

    It was warmer in 1934, no 1998, no 2005 and that wasn’t LAST YEAR so that’s proof that the whole world is now getting really coooler and heading into an ice age just like they said back in the 1700′s when it was colder and anyway, anyway I like it hot!

    Hot iz nice. All hawaiian shirts and coconut cocktails and lazy days on the beach!

    We’re not warmin’ the planet, Co2 isn’t to blame, we’re not to blame & don’t hafta change a thing that’s what Plimer and Monckton and Watts all tell me and I belieev them over everybody else ever anyday!

    Peak oil? What’s that, oh nevermind I’m sure its just something else that Lying Liar AlGoreBullWarmin made up.

    Rising sea levels? Great more beaches!

    Florida going underwater? Don’tworry Antartaica willthaw out & we’ll find a huge stock of oiland coal there sowe can keep burning the black gold forever & ever & ever!

    Deserts spreading? Don’worry, Canada and Minnesota willget allnice and warm and more than make upfor that.

    What’s that the planet will keep warming and changing until we finally stop Co2 emissions and the places that benefits now will get over-cooked eventually?

    No they won’t, becoz .. ummm .. becoz ..well they just won’t see!

    No, hot is good, I like it hot! Hot is sexy and roaring fires and roasting chestnuts and sitting around burning copies of AklGore’s books because he’s such a liar and an evullspearhead for those dastardly enviro-mental-lizsts!

    Earth won’t overheat, we’re not Venus. We’ve still got much more Co2 to go before we get liek Venus! hey, won’t it be fun tosee how close to being Venus the Earth can get? Huh? Huh? Won’t *taht* stick up that miserable blighter Al-Gore-Bull-Warmin eh??!

    @##!! AlGore!

    *&^%$%#@ Al Gore!

    &^%#@@!! AlGore!

    Al Gore can %$@#^ & **(()(*%^$$ & ^%#@@! Coz I’d tell him to go %$#@!!#%@! ;-)

    ******

    How’d I score? ;-)

  65. Nate, #51, thanks for actually reading the article. I was starting to think I would get no responses. Yes, I know about the fake names, and the attempts to discredit the petition. But you seem to be implying that therefore, there is no validity to ALL the names. The White House used a figure of 2,500 to show consensus. The Oregon Petition was over 16,000. But, this gives me cause to bring up another point. Both sides agree that the earth has warmed one degree F in the last 100 years. Do you really think that is cause for alarm? BTW, you won’t be able to rebut that temperature figure.

  66. Gary

    Al’s Op Ed says:
    “It is true that the climate panel published a flawed overestimate of the melting rate of debris-covered glaciers in the Himalayas, and used information about the Netherlands provided to it by the government, which was later found to be partly inaccurate. In addition, e-mail messages stolen from the University of East Anglia in Britain showed that scientists besieged by an onslaught of hostile, make-work demands from climate skeptics may not have adequately followed the requirements of the British freedom of information law. ”

    1. the “flawed overestimate” came from a magazine article not peer-reviewed literature as the IPCC rules required.
    2. hundreds of official reviewers somehow missed the incorrect Netherlands land area below sea level data. how could that happen on something so important?
    3. the freedom of information demands only came after the UEA scientists refused polite requests to share data, which is contrary to 400 years of scientific best practice.
    4. the scientists broke British law by lobbying the FOI officers to refuse requests.

    This are all checkable facts. Al Gore’s essay tells substantial untruths and half-truths. And that’s just one paragraph. Believe what you want, but until you check them out fairly, you hardly can call yourself a skeptic.

  67. Petoht

    “Its more like they find one scientist who disagrees (Ian Plimer anybody?) with the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory and use him to contradict the 999 others who agree with AGW. ”

    Mmm… appeal to popularity.

    “100 scientists prove Einstein wrong.”
    “It only takes 1.”

  68. neil

    Every time I see the words denialism or denialist, it makes me more convinced that global warming is NOT science. The essence of science is scepticism. Science demands that alternative explanations be considered. At very best, we have a preponderance of evidence for global warming, leaving plenty of room for scepticism. The attempt of global warming hypothesis ADVOCATES, not scientists, to silence debate on this by comparing critics (obviously) to holocaust deniers, is despicable, and reveals your true colors.

  69. I'd rather be fishin'

    It’s nice to know that most people agree that the planet has warmed up over the past 100 years or more, the only major disagreement seems to be over the cause. The story as I see it, from north of the 49th parallel (Canada, not Alaska), all that CO2 pumped into the air has no effect on the climate what so ever, must be trees/cow farts/sunspots/liberal politicians…

    Why do politicians think that this is a topic for what passes as reasoned political debate? I think I’ll go watch a hockey game while there’s still some ice.

  70. @ Old Geezer # 41
    “Gosh, what if climate change is hoax and all we ended up with was a better world?”

    WIN!

  71. Muzz

    Terry the very poor sez:”And this article completely ignored the rest of the iceberg in referring to Phil Jones’ database of emails. It left out the part where Dr. Jones admitted that there has been no significant warming of the earth since 1998, and that the Medieval Warming Period was warmer than today–with a lot less CO2.
    Um where exactly? The first part is right but, for people playing along at home, that doesn’t mean a) no warming or b)the oft claimed cooling.
    The second I think you’ll find, refers to him responding ‘yes’ to the question “Is it possible the medieval warm period was warmer than today?” which is perfectly reasonable. Now ask him if it’s possible the medieval warm period was cooler than today and see what he says (have a guess what it’ll be, gowaaan).
    And ask him if we know the medieval warm period was a global phenomenon while you’re at it.

    Lastly, yes a .7 degree rise on a global average of about 15 degrees C is a lot, particularly, and its important not to forget this, at the speed with which this has occured. If you want to question the reasoning on what that might mean for the extremes we attain you’re going to have to do a lot better than “The number doesn’t seem very large”.

  72. Dan

    Love the scoring system. Wish we could implement it across the Internet, and for any topic that brings out the logic-impaired (AGW, Vaccinations, Evolution, Moon Hoax, etc.).

  73. Apropos of very little (or perhaps a lot) in this article or the comments on it, I was thinking earlier today of doing a AGW Denier Bingo card, since the only one I can find is woefully ineffective and isn’t up to the current rhetoric. I think I can do this, but I need some suggestions of material to put on it.

    The comments here are a good place to start, I’d say.

  74. Plutonium being from Pluto

    More BA support for the fading old AGW paradigm. Sigh. :roll:

    There was a man named Al Gore,
    The worst liar the world ever saw.
    That the skies falling in
    Can go in the bin
    For the snow shows that Gore
    Not foresaw!

    & another piece of doggrel for y’all to enjoy :

    The Alarmists said we’re getting hot
    The true graphs all say we sure are NOT!
    The IPCC, the Gore party its found
    Have lied an awful lot.

    The worlds no warmer than 1998
    Is this not a far better future fate?
    Why so upset, those Alarmists faces
    Fallen, depressed, as the Climategate braces
    The skeptics triumphantly show their proof,
    Gore cops a blow and goes down with an “oof!” ;-)

    Then, whether you agree with them or not, you have to admit the “Minnesotans For Global Warming” (M4GW) group have a great sense of humour and fun and, while its not Xmas for ages, this Utube videoclip of theirs is pretty classic :

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

    While you are there, its also well worth checking out their other entertaining & spot on clips such as this little gem :

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

    Plus this one too which is my all-time fave of theirs :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEiLgbBGKVk&feature=related

    Seriously though now :

    Al Gore’s credentials to speak on this (or any other) issue are that he is famed as :

    1. an environmentalist zealot,
    2. a failed politican &
    3. a notorious liar.
    (Anyone else recall his “I invented the internet” claim?)

    OTOH, Ian Plimer has a degree in geology, years spent studying and working in the field and, on this specific issue, has written an accurate – as opposed to notoriously inaccurate book, and has also proven his skeptical credentials in a long legal and cultural fight against the creationists.

    So out of those two, Plimer vs Gore – who are you going to believe?

    I know whose word I trust – & it ain’t Gore’s. ;-)

    Other skeptics also have far better scientific and practical experience credentials than Gore (or for that matter, Hansen, Mann, Jones & the other Warmers) and include such heavyweight luminaries as Harrison Schmidt – of the last Apolo mission fame and the only scientist ever to visit the Moon – & Burt Rutan, Spaceship One creator and entrepreneur who we are pinning our future space travel hopes on.

    Not that I expect to win here but BA when you say :

    What do you win? A planet 1° Fahrenheit warmer than it was a century ago! Hurray!

    Do you honestly expect to deliver on that? Can I get your promise on that actually happening? Because I think you may well find that “prize’ is just plain unavailable. ;-)

    @6. Sam Abbott :

    Venus used to look just like earth and look at it now (and no one every drove an SUV on Venus).

    Not yet! But I really hope that one day somebody will. ;-)

    Oh & Earth will NEVER resemble anything remotely like Venus – well not until our Sun starts becoming a red giant star and saying otherwise (Eg. Pi-needles # 64) is plain silly. :roll:

    Venus is – d’uh! – *much* closer to our Sun and that is the only reason why the Cytherean atmosphere and landscape ended up as it did. No matter what our climate does (& I predict it will oscillate between slightly warmer and cooler conditions well within the known historical and pre-historical boundaries) life will survive in pretty much the same way it has for past aeons.

    The “threat” of Global war is vastly over-rated. In My Humble Opinion Naturally.

  75. Bruce

    Fat Albert Gore (100 pts.) had to just sit there and take what he had coming to him. It must’ve been painful for him not to be able to flap his lips about junk science.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-31021_3-10459872-260.html

  76. No sooner do I post that than the best possible source of denialist garbage decides to post yet another wall of fact-free text.

  77. gribley

    20 more points — I haven’t read the op-ed yet, but I have it right here.

    Just adding a reference for you, though — if you’re interested in the economic aspects, I would highly recommend Nordhaus’ “A Question of Balance”, which you can skim in a few hours, and which presents some really nice linked economic/climate models that will help understand the discussion on the economic side of things.

  78. Wait, that said “points”? I thought it said “pints”. Ow, my liver…

  79. Utakata

    I only have one thing to say to Al Gore trashers…

    …Sen. James lol Inhofe.

  80. Muzz

    I note Ol’ Mr Pluto never replied to most of the things said to him in other threads lately. Preferring to spray random rhetoric and bad poetry instead. You could try and unpack it I guess, but I for one am overwhelmed by the sheer tsunami of manlove for Ian Plimer the guy issues every time. Holy crap. I know the guy has a smooth late night radio voice and everything but geez, tone it down a bit. At least in public.

  81. Plutonium being from Pluto

    @ ^ 76. Muzz Says:

    I note Ol’ Mr Pluto never replied to most of the things said to him in other threads lately.

    Actually, I thought I *had* responded to recent comments – did you see the replies I added to the “NASA talks climate change ” one the other day?

    See :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/02/24/nasa-talks-global-warming/

    & also the more recent BA blog thread here :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/02/26/two-posts-about-denialism-climate-change-and-otherwise/

    Unfortunately, I have other things to do in RL as well and am often busy at work plus I’m based in Australia not the USA so there may well be a time zone factor here too.

    Still I try to contribute what I can, when I can, to this debate & present another perspective on this issue.

    As for being a fan of Ian Plimer – guilty as charged. The guy is one of my skeptical heroes & I make no apology for that. As I’ve said before I’ve met him in person, heard him speak and read his books and am convinced he’s right. :-) (smile)

    Why don’t *you* try reading his Heaven & Earth’ book debunking the AGW idea for yourself and actually listening to & seriously considering what Professor Plimer has to say rather than slagging him off without serious thought all the time? You may be surprised – you may even be converted! Hey, I was! ;-) ;-) ;) (wink)

    (Hmm. Emoticons not working here? Watts up with that? I’ve put them in but they’re not turning up on-screen.)

  82. Seconded, Utakata. I was wondering if anyone was going to bring that moron up.

    Just remember, kids, Al Gore’s a big evil scam artist, not like those honest people who want a criminal probe into that terrible global warming scam. Nope, those folks are clean, no skeletons in their closets, no sir.

    Oh, and Plutocrat? Stop with the emoticons and “aren’t-I-so-damned-clever” attitude. You’re just a nuisance, nothing more, and nobody’s buying into your crap.

  83. i dont care about points. i am a skeptic(snarf) not a denialst, i trust over magic. with that said i dont pay attention to al bore, didnt read his article, oped whatever, didnt see his movie, didnt vote for him (that part i do regret). i have excepted the science of climate change (and gravity, and evolution) long before i heard of gore. personally i think gore has politicized science, not intentionally though, those on the right did it for him attacking him and science, so i think he should have stayed out of it

  84. Muzz

    77:“As for being a fan of Ian Plimer – guilty as charged. The guy is one of my skeptical heroes & I make no apology for that. As I’ve said before I’ve met him in person, heard him speak and read his books and am convinced he’s right. :-) (smile)

    Why don’t *you* try reading his Heaven & Earth’ book debunking the AGW idea for yourself and actually listening to & seriously considering what Professor Plimer has to say rather than slagging him off without serious thought all the time? You may be surprised – you may even be converted! Hey, I was! ;-) ;-) ;) (wink)”

    I’m afraid it would be very difficult for me to be converted by his book knowing how many errors of fact it contains in advance. It would be read for sociological interest in the denialist mindset more than anything. There might be some nugget of interest in his geological perspective but it’s couched in terrible ignorance of climate science. He references “The Great Gobal Warming Swindle” fer crissakes. Terminal fail right there.
    If you’re serious about bringing down the percieved ‘cult of Gore’ for his lack of expertise and errors in his populist effort (which I have never seen either, by the way) spreading misinformation and ramping up the issue, you might try applying the same standard to your hero.

  85. Cheri

    There is an upside to climate change. If the climate changes enough, we just might get to see punctuated evolution in action in our lifetimes! Wouldn’t that be cool?

  86. Miko

    The problem I foresee with cap-and-trade is that politically favored corporations will buy up all the permits and then rent them to other companies while making absolutely no products themselves (cf. the history of the Interstate Commerce Commission, in regards to both railroads and trucking). Note that current cap-and-trade draft legislation does not primarily use auctions for distributing permits, but rather gives about 85% of them to politically-connected insiders; passing the legislation in its current form would be as much of a corporatist giveaway as just about everything else Obama has done. As a geolibertarian, I’d prefer cap-and-distribute, in which emissions are ‘taxed’ and all money brought in is distributed in equal shares as a dividend to all citizens: it avoids the corruption mentioned above, it’s fairer since the people are the ones who will pay the costs of pollution, and it’ll be even more popular politically (for obvious reasons).

    (While I like Gore, I also disagree with some of his economic conclusions in the first couple of paragraphs, by the way. Anyone speculating on the “most important sources of new jobs in the 21st century” ten years in is incredibly arrogant and should be prepared to see their predictions end up being utterly wrong.)

  87. “What do you win? A planet 1° Fahrenheit warmer than it was a century ago! Hurray!”

    Or maybe billions and billions of $ not spent the wrong way.

  88. csrster

    You ought to get 50 points for someone calling Gore a hypocrite because of his own carbon footprint. How many points for an outright Godwin ?

  89. Brian D

    I find it hilarious that Pluto goes to an astronomy blog and claims that Venus is hotter than Earth because it’s closer than the sun, ignoring the fact that Mercury (even closer to the sun and possessing a lower albedo, last I checked) is several hundred degrees colder than Venus.

    I mean, of all the pseudoskeptical inactivist lies to spread, and of all the possible locations with which to spread them, you’d think that has to be among the most boneheaded of all possible combinations, wouldn’t you?

    It’s even worse than mentioning Heaven & Earth here. I mean, Plimer claims the IPCC ignores astronomy, so consider the review of H&E from astronomer Michael Ashley, published in the Australian of all places (it has a well-documented, long-standing, transparently-anti-climate-science editorial slant comparable to – or exceeding! – that of Fox News).

    When professional astronomers compare Ian Plimer to Velikovsky or von Daniken, it’s not exactly wise to declare yourself a fan of Plimer in an astronomy-friendly venue. Kind of undermines the whole credibility thing.

  90. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ 17. Jack Hagerty Says:

    OK, Phil, I think it’s fairly obvious that you’re in some sort of covert post-hits contest within the Discover camp. Do you have to prove your worth or something? Why else would you do three posts on successive days that you know is going to generate 100 or more responses? – Jack

    If so, Phil’s struggling – his 2 posts about denialism, climate change and otherwise is on only 83 comments so far. This thread is only on 85.

    Can I suggest a new game – a “total comments number” race between these threads? ;-)

    @84. Brian D Says:

    I find it hilarious that Pluto goes to an astronomy blog and claims that Venus is hotter than Earth because it’s closer than the sun, ignoring the fact that Mercury (even closer to the sun and possessing a lower albedo, last I checked) is several hundred degrees colder than Venus.

    Well, in fairness, I think you have to see it as a straight comparison of Earth Vs Venus not Earth Vs the other terrestrial planets.

    Plus PBFP is correct – the (main / only?) reason why Venus is hotter than Earth *is* because Venus is closer to our Sun. Switch them around in the beginning and Venus would be as cool as Earth is now and Earth would resemble Venus now.

    Interesting side questions

    1. If we could somehow shift Venus to where Earth is today (ignoring graviational complications and the existence of Earth already inthis orbit,etc .. for a moment) then how long would it take the shifted Venus to cool down to Earth’s temperature? Woudl it even do so?

    2. If Earth currently had its atmosphere theoretically swapped for that Venus ie. we had the carbon dioxide and sulphuric acid rich, oxygen & H20 free atmosphere Venus does then what would Earth’s temperature be?

    &

    3. How hot would Venus be today if it was in Mercury’s orbit instead of its current one?

    Any takers?

  91. Nate

    Terry Barker, #65…

    I know a huge list of names seems impressive, despite the fact that some of the names are made up, many of them aren’t scientists, and the percentage of scientists who actually ARE climatologists is fairly insignificant overall (not to mention that the guy who put together the petition said himself that there’s no way to tell how much of it is real and how much is fake), but the fact is, a petition seems embarrassingly weak and almost totally irrelevent to support your side of an issue, when the other side has mountains of evidence and a huge (that is, more than 200 climatologists) consensus.

    I don’t understand why fellow skeptics trust a scientific consensus when it comes to things like evolution, moon landings, alternative medicine, gravity, the earth being round, etc. But when it comes to climate change… sheesh.

    One side has thousands of reports, huge amounts of research and data, scientific agreement around the globe, and the other side has a handful of scientists here and there (many funded by oil companies), internet petitions, and people saying “Gosh it’s cold out today!”

  92. MadScientist

    Nice: “I win, we all lose”. It reminds me of Dr. Strangelove and the Ultimate Doomsday Weapon. Now back to watching Dr. Loveless and his evil plans to conquer the world …

    @Rimantas: You can hardly say the money is “spent the wrong way”. Oil and gas reservoirs are being exploited at an incredible rate (and increasing). The extractable global oil reserves might not last another 60 years (gas is still expected to last longer). Any replacement technologies need to be developed now since it will likely take decades to come up with solutions, years for the approval of individual projects, and decades to replace the bulk of today’s infrastructure. So to avoid a global energy crisis which makes all previous energy scares look like a mild joke, people need to do things now. Unfortunately this is a weakness of the capitalist system – what we currently have is relatively cheap and works well – no one will act until market pressures (scarcity of energy supply) makes it economical to act – but it will be too late then. Why would I spend, say $20B, developing an alternative energy source if no one will benefit from it for another 50 years yet? I won’t make my money back – no sensible capitalist would do it. Going back to the warming, that can have a catastrophic effect on crops – far worse than Gore’s repeated claims of more powerful storms. The increase in dissolved CO2 in the shallow marine environments may also destroy shallow marine systems (though humans are doing a great job of that thanks to runoff from the land washing chemicals into the reefs). Now that’s all stuff that’s pretty certain. Moving on to less certain things, there are claims that rainfall pattern may be altered to a degree that many existing major reservoirs will not receive the necessary rain (or snow melt) to support the current population (much less a growing population). Some people like to say “fine, so we’ll just move” but that is utterly ridiculous – it’s not as if you can pack up Los Angeles one day and open up a new city a few hundred kilometers away the next day, or even the next year. The same goes for farms which may be affected; you can’t simply pack up and move.

  93. Frode

    I guess the main reason we are worried about the the rising global temperature are the potential existence of positive feedback systems, such as melting permafrost: http://www.videojug.com/expertanswer/global-warming-melting-glaciers/why-should-i-be-concerned-about-melting-permafrost

    And i would like to nominate #41; Old Geezer, for one (1), internett!

  94. MadScientist

    @Pluto: “Ian Plimer … has written an accurate – as opposed to notoriously inaccurate book, and has also proven his skeptical credentials in a long legal and cultural fight against the creationists.”

    First of all, Plimer’s book is notoriously inaccurate and has been discussed by many others elsewhere. I don’t see how unfounded claims, wrong claims, and numerous fallacies can be considered to be “accurate”. Nor is Plimer well respected by the Australian skeptic groups in general; in fact he has been lambasted a number of times. He lost an awful lot of money with one creationist case because he has silly ideas about how to challenge the creationists (and unfortunately combine that with laws which do not care for the supremacy of truth and judges with demonstrably poor intellect, Plimer just happens to end up losing). Other Australians take on the creationists, but for the most part you don’t see them in court losing money.

  95. anomaly

    One way to tell an idiot: someone who says “Well, so much for global warming!” every time the weather is chilly in their corner of the world.

    As for “consensus isn’t science,” consider this deniers: if you went to 10 doctors and 9 told you that you needed immediate treatment or you would die, but 1 told you “don’t worry about it, you’ll be fine, just keep doing what you’re doing,” what would your reaction be? Of course, you’d keep on doing what you’re doing because it’s more convenient and “consensus isn’t science.”

  96. Blashy

    “Some news media organizations now present showmen masquerading as political thinkers who package hatred and divisiveness as entertainment. ” -Al Gore

    Even Jon Stewart could not have said it any better.

  97. Yousuf

    This guy is an astrophysicist and ignoring the spin doctoring of Global Warming science, he seems to be actually getting results based on real science. The Global Warming crowd are unsurprisingly and consistently getting the wrong results due to their reliance on their own spin-doctored forecasts.
    ***
    Astrophysicist warns of worst possible March based on the Sun
    “The Met office in Britain does long range forecasts for the country on a seasonal basis. Over the past few years they have been ZERO for FIVE. Astrophysicist Piers Corbyn using the results of solar influences is batting 100%. Strangely the Met office does not recognize Corbyn’s performance. The net result is now causing deaths on the highways of Britain, as well as other countries in western Europe. Sit back and watch as Piers summarizes the successes over the past several months as well as a brief forecast for March 2010. The actual dates for the events he mentioned are only for subscribers of his service, sorry to say, but after all, this his a for-profit enterprise.”
    http://www.examiner.com/x-13886-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2010m2d28-Astrophysicist-warns-of-worst-possible-March-based-on-the-Sun

  98. Jya Jya Binks Killer

    First person to 1000 points wins! What do you win? A planet 1° Fahrenheit warmer than it was a century ago! Hurray!

    Cool! We win a whole planet all of our very own?! ;-)

    Or do you just mean a hotter Earth – also a great prize – but does that mean I get to rule it & decide who stays & goes? ;-)

    Hmm … This I gotta win! :-D

    What were those rules again?

    BTW. Totally off topic but did anyone else here know that William Shatner (aka James T. Kirk) is actually Canadian? Heard it for first time tonight – closing ceremony, Vancouver winter olympics.

  99. Steve in Dublin

    Brian D. @89

    That is such a thoroughly masterful trashing of Plimer’s book by the astronomer Michael Ashley that I’ve perma-linked to it for future reference. It reminds me of Roger Ebert’s review of Expelled.

  100. Childermass

    “What do you win? A planet 1° Fahrenheit warmer than it was a century ago! Hurray!”

    And as every denialist knows. If the world is, on average, one degree warmer it will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, snow or get the least bit chilly.

    How many times do they need the difference between weather and climate explained to them.

  101. Childermass

    Forgot to mention in my last post in the interests of full disclosure:

    Formerly “a lurker”
    /Don’t want to be Norrelly and not disclose that at least once or twice.

  102. dcurt

    I really tried reading the whole thing. But, honestly, I ran into trouble at the second paragraph. I cringe everytime I hear a liberal say “dependency on foriegn oil”. We have the oil ourselves…but liberals have forced the dependency on other countries, by doing everything in their power to block the access to our own oil.

    Everything that politicians touch goes the same way:
    Find a cause (a cause that politicians usually have a hand in creating)
    Convince public that we need gov’t to step in (a round of applause for the MSM)
    Gov’t enacts regulation and laws
    —-SQUEEZE—-

    Politicians have their hands so filthy with AGW that it really is impossible to tell truth from fiction. And we’ll never get answers until the politicians get lost…their too self-serving.
    You’d be hard-pressed to even find a scientific organization these days that hasn’t been completely invaded by politicians.
    The question everyone should be asking is WHY?

  103. Jya Jya Binks Killer

    Alright then …My turn for a 1,000 point attempt:

    Score ten points for every comment that makes fun of “Inconvenient Truth” without addressing the content of the Op Ed,

    Op ed? Haven’t yet it yet, truth is its just too inconvenient to click & read that … [20]

    20 points for anyone who clearly didn’t read the Op Ed but comments anyway,

    Another 20 [40 Total.]

    30 points for a comment thoroughly rebutted by science (either previously known or pointed out in a subsequent comment) but ignored by the commenter,

    The Earth is flat, no really it is! ;-) 30 more pts [70 points]

    (Hey, you didn’t specify it *had* to be on Global Warming did you? ;-) )

    Oh alright then – 1998 was hottest year ever! [100 points T]
    (Surely some year back in the Jurassic or Eocene was hotter! Yeah? Plus 2005. ;-) )

    Snow in winter still = AGW “myth” busted! [130 pts T]

    Its all a hoax or left wing conspiracy! [160 pts T]

    Lord Monckton has a clue! [190 pts T]

    Gore came up with the whole thing – we wouldn’t have a problem if it weren’t for him kicking up a fuss! [220 pts T]

    Its the Sun, the Sun I tell you – why just stare it & you’ll find the truth is blinding! [250 pts T]

    Its not a settled matter -there is no consensus! Only 95 % of scientists agree & that’s clearly not enough to call it yet! [280 pts T]

    The Sun has the same composition as the rocky planets and has an iron core – Plimer said so. [310 pts - or should I make that an even 300 - taking off ten because Plimer did say so after all but keeping the twenty because Plimer is laughably wrong there?]

    and 100 points for someone who comments making fun of Gore’s name. First person to 1000 points wins!

    Aha! I see major points potential here:

    Gore goes at climate change like a Bull Gore-ing a matador! [400 points]

    Al Gore? Al Bore more like! [500 points]

    Or Al Snore! [600 points]

    Or Al San Salvador maybe? [700 - oh come on, that was sorta funny wasn't it?]

    That Al Gore Bull Warming guy … [800 - yeah I know; shamelessly pinched from upthread.]

    … is such a Climate change Bore [ 900 - I'm nearly there yes, I know I've used it already ... still counts though doesn't it? ;-) ]

    [Only 1/2 pts? OK then you asked for it:] … that if I was a bull I’d like to *GORE* him myself! [*Now* 900 ps Total & ..]

    I don’t place any store in Gore! [ YEEEESSSSS! 1,000 pts!]

    Can I have my slightly hotter planet now please BA? ;-)

  104. Mark in Va

    The facts of climate change are facts, not opinion, and as others have so articulately put forth, just because 1 study in 1,000 has flaws isn’t a valid reason to dismiss the argument.

    However, what is also not in dispute is the fact that the geologic record also shows that our little blue dot in the cosmos has a long history of warming and cooling periods, all without any human intervention. Studies show not only that there have been relatively warmer periods in the past, but that in fact our climate today is on the rebound from a relatively cool period.

    In relatively recent geologic history, giant ice sheets covered much of the earth, and they didn’t recede because Paleolithic humans drove around in SUVs or threw their non-biodegradeable McDonald’s Mammoth Burger containers out the window as they cruised around.

    Climate change is an integral part of the biosphere, and those who attempt to suggest that humans have more than a minute effect are the ones in denial. Phil, you are disappointing, because you claim to be a Skeptic, when in fact your views toward climate change are those of a mere propogandist. You harm the cause of all skeptics when you toss away your objectivity as you have done on this issue.

    Stop pandering, and stick to the skeptical science, please.

  105. Charles Boyer

    “I think a much better approach would be a carbon tax. ”

    Yes, because Bog knows government needs the money to fund its ever-growing social welfare programs.

    “You’d be hard-pressed to even find a scientific organization these days that hasn’t been completely invaded by politicians.”

    Unfortunately, that’s pretty much the way that it is. If anyone has a romantic notion of a scientist bravely pursuing the truth for the truth’s sake, they probably need to spend some time at any university anywhere doing some post-grad work.

  106. Lawrence

    I’m not concerned that AGW will destroy the planet, I’m pretty positive that what we need to be concerned about is the cost of adapting to the changes it will cause. Are we really prepared to potentially relocate millions of people, absorb the resulting economic dislocation, and where is the money going to come from to do it?

    Just asking.

  107. Jya Jya Binks Killer

    @ 49. James Says:

    I found it very suspicious that Al “Snore” didn’t even bother to adress the obvious connection between our record cold winter and the recent dramatic increase in pirate activity.

    Win. :-D

    Flying Sphaghetti Monster [may you be touched by his noodly appendage] that’s a win.

    … & I confess I stole a few of the Gore-Snore-Bore ones’ from upthread too. Well there’s only so many around and I needed the points. Don’t take my planet away, please! Nooooooo! ;-)

  108. Rob Zuber

    You should also reward points to people who:

    1) Make fun of Al Gore’s weight
    2) Mention that Al Gore makes money off of green technology
    3) Mention how much he sighed in his Presidential debate

    That will cover most of the wingnuts!

  109. Charles Boyer

    The Earth will certainly not be “destroyed” by AGW. Things may become awfully inconvenient for a lot of people, and objectively speaking, the overall population of humans may decline, but the fact of the matter is that life won’t disappear any more than it disappeared after the Carbinferous Period or after the K-T Bondary Impact.

    The AGW folks that utterly lose me is when they make claims that we humans will turn Earth’s atmosphere into something like Venus. We would disappear long before that happened.

  110. Dan

    I just thought of something and I have a real question here:

    If CO2 works as a greenhouse gas by absorbing radiation and re-emitting it in a random direction, why is the only claim that it is trapping more heat in the earth? Wouldn’t it also have a shielding effect by absorbing incoming radiation from the sun then re-emitting approximately half of that back out into space? More CO2 = less radiation hitting the surface of the earth.

    I’m sure this is pretty simplified and I can bet I’m missing something obvious, but it seems to make sense to me.

  111. Michael

    This kind of topic always get a butt-load of posts. Having done my own research for the last year or so, I am personally convinced that AGW is sheer nonsense. The IPCC is cracking under the strain of their wacky, unscientific projections, and folks are beginning to realize the sham and scam of the AGW alarmists. Almost daily we hear about yet another peculiar prophesy based on skewed or zero data. No I am not a right-winger or fundamentalist ranting against science in general. In fact, I’m an atheist, pro choice, and an advocate of gay rights across the board, as well and fetal stem cell research, etc.

    I am disturned and saddened at how this topic has become so politicized that it’s almost impossible to get any rational discussion going anywhere. The coming cold weather will have far more destructive consequences for humanity than even the AGW folks falsely predicted for global warming.

    Politicians are the very last class of people that should be commenting on scientific matters.

  112. Nate, as Al Gore pretty much said, what’s a few mistakes? Even a 90% fake name rate would still yield 1,600. Come on. And you don’t have to be a climatologist to understand physics. Most people compare the so-called greenhouse effect to global warming, but it’s not good physics. It’s been understood for about a 100 years that the thermal reflection of glass is not the main component of greenhouses warming up. It’s the non-circulation of air. That’s why barns heat up, too–without glass. And the atmosphere is hardly stagnant.

  113. Space Cadet

    If we were really in crisis mode, there would not have been a boondoggle in Copenhagen where everyone had to fly/drive in creating so much pollution.
    If Al Gore REALLY cared for the environment, he would get the hell out of the spotlight and let the scientists take care of the science.
    But it’s ok, he buys his carbon credits.

  114. Muzz, I don’t understand the “poor” adjective. On Dr. Jones admission of “possible” Medieval Period warming. the reason it’s significant, is because he reversed his opinion. He buried the fact in his famous hockey stick graph. On the 1 degree increase, how can you say it’s not trivial–are you saying there can be no NORMAL fluctuation in earth’s temperature? That’s all I’m saying. If global warming is such a big deal, shouldn’t we be able to show it’s abnormal? If any fluctuation in temperature is cause for alarm, we’ll all be running around like Chicken Little–oh wait, some of us are.

  115. Oli

    For some reason, I can’t stand Al Gore. I just don’t like the guy. All this talk about airGorne – er, airborne – CO2 and stuff (the terribleness of that joke was intended. I wunt hundred ponits!).

    No really, I don’t like him at all.

  116. Charles Boyer

    “If Al Gore REALLY cared for the environment, he would get the hell out of the spotlight and let the scientists take care of the science.
    But it’s ok, he buys his carbon credits.”

    From his own carbon credit company.

    Watch the Penn and Teller episode from their show “Bulls—” and learn a little more about that.

  117. Art

    How many points would I get if I didn’t know who this Al Gore fella was?
    “Al Snore” (+100) if I read it at home, and I’m at work now, so I’ll have to continue being ignorant of all things climate related (+20). All I can do is turn off lights and car pool, anyway, like “The Inconvenient Truth” instructed us, right? (+10) I don’t have the pull to do anything else, as long as Politicians and esoteric (esoteric should be worth something) groups make all the important decisions. Besides, cattle are the primary cause of greenhouse emissions and they won’t stop eating. (+30)

  118. Greg in Austin

    I find it interesting that some people say not to listen to Jenny McCarthy talk about autism because she’s not a doctor, but then turn around and say we should listen to Al Gore about global warming, even though he is not a scientist.

    Its great that Al Gore has an opinion on global warming, but I don’t trust him to speak for science. He is, after all, a politician.

    Besides, shouldn’t he be doing more about protecting the space-time continuum? Or does he not have to do that anymore, since he’s no longer the Vice President?

    8)

  119. Art

    (-100) for not reading the above posts that refer to “Al Snore”.

  120. Muzz

    Terry @114 It’s very poor because you’re cherry picking and being captious. It’s late and I’m busy so I’m sorry I’m not going to look anything up right now, but you’ll have to show Jones denied the existence of the MWP. I’m pretty sure he didn’t, nor ever was entirely firm on where it sat in relation to the present. What has always been in dispute is the extent of the MWP, which is why it was only in the background on the ol’ hockey stick trend line. So you see, it’s not a very interesting talking point if he concedes it’s possible the MWP was warmer than today.

    Secondly, the entire point of the AGW argument is that what we’re seeing now is abnormal. In very very basic terms CO2 is up, its isotope content shows it’s fossil fuel based, planet is warming at an alarming rate when other forcing factors like solar output are going in the other direction: thus AGW. .7 degreesC is significant on that time scale all by itself, but moreso because if current human behaviour continues to push it up at the present rates it’s going to go up very fast indeed should some of those normal fluctuations kick in. (and then there’s the various stew of magnification factors once more CO2 is released from ice and seas expand and so on)
    Now, that’s an extremely basic rendering from a hack and someone clever will hopefully be along soon to offer a better one before all the usual canards can be thrown at it. But tell me you’re catching on to the argument at least a little bit.

  121. Gary Ansorge

    110. Dan

    Good question, Dan. The process is this:

    1) visible radiation passes thru the troposphere to the ground(because CO2 is transparent to visible radiation).
    2) the ground absorbs some of the visible radiation
    3) the ground heats up and
    4) re-radiates the absorbed radiation as infra-red radiation, unfortunately
    5)CO2 is opaque to infra-red radiation therefore,
    6) the infra-red radiation is trapped by the CO2, causing the lower atmosphere to get warmer and
    7) we see rising earth temps.

    Just like the trapping of infra-red inside your car on a cold, sunny day.

    GAry 7

  122. XMark

    Re: trebor knil

    Funny, when you say “follow the money” I follow it and end up at gigantic multi-billion-dollar oil companies.

  123. Steve Huntwork

    “Funny, when you say “follow the money” I follow it and end up at gigantic multi-billion-dollar oil companies.”

    Oh, you mean those multi-billion-dollar oil companies making huge profits by being “Green?”

    Companies make profits by charging a percentage of the basic price of the item being sold. The more expensive their basic product is (because of government regulations) the more valuable that percentage is to them.

    Those multi-billion-dollar oil companies are laughing all the way to the bank! And you know why? Because people like you support increasing the costs of the basic product!

  124. Lots of corporate fluffers around here.

  125. snowcamper

    121. Gary Ansorge

    The problem with this assumption is basic physics. Your process is correct, but how this leads to step #7 is less clear… you actually have quite the leap of faith/logic to get from step 6 to step 7, and this is a fundamental issue I have with the whole AGW issue (am I adding up points here?)

    see http://nov55.com/ntyg.html

    But the basic argument is this:
    “Laboratory measurements show that carbon dioxide saturates (absorbs to extinction) at its main peak in 10 meters under atmospheric conditions.* This means there is no radiation left at the peak frequencies after 10 meters. If then there is a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere, the distance of absorption reduces to half, or 5m. A reduction in distance is not an increase in temperature. Convectional currents stir the heat around removing any relevance for distance.”

    Beer’s law is still in effect. Concentration and distance are inversely related.

  126. Ray C.

    From the bleeping article: Of course, we would still need to deal with the national security risks of our growing dependence on a global oil market dominated by dwindling reserves in the most unstable region of the world, and the economic risks of sending hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas in return for that oil.

    How many of the head-in-the-sanders who yell AAAAAAAALLLLLLL GOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRE! when the topic of climate change comes up are the same ones who quake in their boots when some guy with a turban on his head bloviates in our general direction?

  127. Ray C.

    Oh, you mean those multi-billion-dollar oil companies making huge profits by being “Green?”

    [citation needed]

  128. ilostthegame

    I seem to have lost the game (and now you have too). First winner I see is ts765, Second place goes to π-needles, and Jya Jya Binks Killer gets third place PLUS bonus points for the awesome moniker. :D

  129. Steve Huntwork

    [citation needed]

    Are you honestly that dumb? Watch your TV tonight and see who is paying for those “Green” commerials. Are they being paid for by major corporations selling thier “Green” products, or by the “mom and pop” compay down the street from you.

    Pay attention!

    Who do you think is willing to pay thousands of dollars for a 30 second spot on your favorite TV program, so show how “GREEN” they are?

  130. Yojimbo

    A couple observations. First, it is weird to me how so many people act as though AGW was Al Gore’s invention. Its like thinking Luke Wilson invented the Verizon Network, or John McEnroe invented car rental.

    Second, it is amazing how many people seem to think climatology is “easy”, and that they can figure it out using common sense, a popular press book, a half dozen TV sound bites, and their (possibly mis-remembered) high school science. It would be like me ranting about the Great Higgs Boson Hoax and offering my opinions on Quantum Chromodynamics. As Dirty Harry said – “A man has got to know his limitations” :)

  131. TheBlackCat

    Are you honestly that dumb? Watch your TV tonight and see who is paying for those “Green” commerials. Are they being paid for by major corporations selling thier “Green” products, or by the “mom and pop” compay down the street from you.

    What does that have to do with oil companies? Oil companies paying lots of money to try to deceive people into thinking that they are somehow environmentally-friendly, but that doesn’t mean they actually are and doesn’t mean they are fighting tooth-and-nail to avoid having to actually clean up their act.

  132. Old Geezer

    Thanks to those who kindly mentioned my post above. I was mentioning this thread to my pet dinosaur and I asked him why he seemed to be the only one left on Earth. He replied that they saw the extinction coming but the whole lot of them divided into two camps. There were those who just couldn’t believe it was coming simply because the big fat dino that was telling them about it had lost some sort of popularity contest. On the other side were all of those who just stood around arguing with the first group simply to prove they were right. So, I asked, how is it you managed to survive? He replied that he had heard somewhere that actions speak louder than words and decided to try it out.

  133. Nate

    112. Terry Barker -

    “Even a 90% fake name rate would still yield 1,600. Come on. And you don’t have to be a climatologist to understand physics.”

    1,600 climatologists? Nope. But it is true you don’t have to be a climatologist to understand physics. You do, however, have to be a climatologist to understand the climate as best as possible. Your argument there is akin to saying “Physics is just math! You don’t have to be a physicist to understand math!”

    From what I understand, climate science (especially when it comes to global warming) is incredibly complicated. Having the title “scientist” does not make a person an expert in EVERY science. I’m not an expert in much myself, but when most climate scientists think the climate is a certain way, I’m going to trust them. As a non-scientist, it’s the best I’ve got to go on.

    Also, as a skeptic, it seems suspicious to me when a good number of the scientists “skeptical” of global warming are being paid by Exxon. Just sayin’.

  134. ND

    Steve Huntwork,

    Damian responded to your earlier postings on http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/02/24/nasa-talks-global-warming/#comments

    Do you have anything to say?

  135. Joey Joe Joe

    @90 (Messier):

    Plus PBFP is correct – the (main / only?) reason why Venus is hotter than Earth *is* because Venus is closer to our Sun.

    And yet Mercury, closer still, is cooler than Venus. There are two reasons Venus is so hot.

    1) It’s atmosphere is almost 100% carbon dioxide – a known greenhouse gas.

    2) It’s atmosphere is almost 100 times thicker than Earth’s.

    Pluto’s claim that the only reason Venus is hotter is because of the reduced distance is as absurd as the alarmists claim that the only reason is because of the carbon dioxide (ie: completely ignoring the density).

  136. ND

    Here are the wiki pages for the planets Mercury and Venus, listing the surface temperature ranges.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_(planet)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus

    Note that Venus gets about 1/4 the solar energy as Mercury. And people wonder why they’re called denialists.

  137. Joey Joe Joe

    Here is a link to a good discussion of the Greenhouse Effect on Venus and how it relates to Earth. It is worth a read (if you can ignore the lousy presentation).

  138. I’d say the alarmists are the new denialists. The game is named irony, but I wonder if they really get it?

    And I did read the op-ed so no points for me. Too bad, because I think a little bit of warming is a good thing.

  139. Professor Phil Jones, director of the University of East Anglia’s prestigious climatic research unit, admitted to MPs that the centre withheld raw station data about global temperatures from around the world.

    Wich is off course not true since Dr. Jones was quite willing to share data, unless you where branded as a sceptical or downright denier. Because it appears that once Dr. Jones learned that Steve McIntyre had skeptical views, his unwillingness to share data became “standard practice”.

    You don’t want to be scooped. So there is nothing wrong with keeping the data for yourself, but that is, until you have published your paper on climatology in a pal.. err. peer reviewed journal.

    Intresting times at the Science and Technology committee in the UK.

  140. Messier Tidy Upper

    @# 136. Joey Joe Joe Says:

    @90 (Messier): [me] “Plus PBFP is correct – the (main / only?) reason why Venus is hotter than Earth *is* because Venus is closer to our Sun.” And yet Mercury, closer still, is cooler than Venus. There are two reasons Venus is so hot.

    1) It’s atmosphere is almost 100% carbon dioxide – a known greenhouse gas.
    2) It’s atmosphere is almost 100 times thicker than Earth’s.

    Pluto’s claim that the only reason Venus is hotter is because of the reduced distance is as absurd as the alarmists claim that the only reason is because of the carbon dioxide (ie: completely ignoring the density).

    Fair enough I’m not disputing any of that – my point was that PBFP was comparing *only* Earth with Venus & NOT anything else. But, yes, I quite agree that Venus is hotter than Mercury and its extreme temperature is, indeed, due to its natural super-sized greenhouse Co2 FXT.

    Any thoughts on those questions I asked before in comment 90 ? I’m really curious to know what folks think there. Is T~something [Danish? / Finnish? /Swedish? name] Larson (Sp.?) around here still somewhere & would he care to calculate it all please? Maths is not my forte I’m afraid.

    @ # 137. ND Says:

    Here are the wiki pages for the planets Mercury and Venus, listing the surface temperature ranges. [links deleted to avoid awaiting mod limbo.] Note that Venus gets about 1/4 the solar energy as Mercury. And people wonder why they’re called denialists.

    Thanks for that. A quarter eh? Can we imagine what Venus would be like if it was located where *Mercury* orbits instead of where it is? Yikes!

    It reminds me of what I’ve read of “Luciferean” exoplanets – star-brushing Hot Super-Earths like the innermost world of Mu Arae or Corot Exo-7b (or something like that) and … Wow.

    Imagines a lava sea under a swirling, suffocating, poisonous, hyper-dense atmosphere. Not nice places to visit and you sure as blazes couldn’t live there! ;-)

    PS. Australian SBS TV news tonight had an item on Phil Jones being grilled by British MPs over what he has admitted were “awful emails”. I agree with what one person on there said about science needing to be open & transparent.

    The climategate scandal does NOT disprove all of the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory by itself but it certainly looks bad to the general public & does not, I think, reflect well upon the CRU climatologists involved. Disclosure of data and willingness to share it with others is a cornerstone of how science is best done – Phil Jones & his colleagues failed to do that in my opinion.

  141. ND

    “The climategate scandal does NOT disprove all of the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory by itself but it certainly looks bad to the general public & does not,”

    Yes in the court of public opinion it looks bad specially when it can be used in anti-AGW Fox-news style propoganda. For example, disclosure of data. From what I understand, the majority of the data was publicly available to begin with and some of the data they are under legal agreement with the source to not disclose it. So that puts them in a legal bind (but I’m not a lawyer).

  142. Mike G

    Gary (126)
    Getting to step 7 is not at all a leap of faith. Direct measurements of the amount of outgoing longwave radiation at the top of the atmosphere and downwelling longwave at the surface have shown a significant increase in downwelling and decrease in escaping radiation in the spectrum affected by CO2 (as well as other greenhouse gases) over the past 30 years. See:
    http://www.eumetsat.int/Home/Main/Publications/Conference_and_Workshop_Proceedings/groups/cps/documents/document/pdf_conf_p50_s9_01_harries_v.pdf

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006/techprogram/paper_100737.htm

    Both offer direct evidence of an enhanced greenhouse effect, which physics tells us produces warming. We see that warming and the pattern of it fits with an increased greenhouse effect (i.e. warming is greatest at night and the troposphere warms while the stratosphere cools).

    The idea that the CO2 greenhouse effect is saturated is an old (100+ yrs) and long-outdated (~50 yrs) idea based on the erroneous assumption that the atmosphere is homogeneous with altitude and a photon gets one shot at escaping or being blocked. In reality the energy absorbed by H2O in the first 10 meters is re-emitted in all directions. Some is sent back downwards and some is re-emitted to higher layers of the atmosphere where it can be absorbed by another GHG molecule and then re-emitted to higher layers. As you go higher in the atmosphere there is less and less water, but CO2 is well-mixed, so CO2 becomes more important and water becomes less important for the greenhouse effect as you go higher in the atmosphere. The atmosphere also gets less dense with altitude so there are fewer and fewer GHG molecules to absorb the outgoing photons. At some level they eventually escape. It’s the altitude at which the number of escaping photons matches the number of trapped photons that determines the energy balance and temperature of the planet. Adding more CO2 to the atmosphere means the photons that would otherwise escape at altitude x are more likely to be trapped at that altitude and contribute more energy to the system before they escape. Whether they were first trapped and re-emitted at lower layers is largely irrelevant.

    What is a matter of faith is to assume that there is some unknown mechanism that counteracts the warming that physics tells us we should get from the observed enhancement in the greenhouse effect and assume that some other unknown mechanism is simultaneously causing warming that mimics the fingerprint of greenhouse warming and that both unknown mechanisms have kicked in at the right time to fool us into pointing the finger at GHGs. That’s nothing more than a rebranding of the old idea that God created all of the animals of the world but left lots of false evidence for evolution to fool the weak-of-faith.

  143. ND: “(but I’m not a lawyer)”

    No, and i am not a climatologist, but data that is not being allowed to be used to review a published paper, to see that the scientific method has been followed, to see if the theory can be falsified with data that is publically available?

    If this was stocktrading than this would be called “insider trading” wich is very close to that dreaded F-word that the more serious sceptics do not want to use. Spectaculair result, but how did they know?

    You might as well use some form of holy scripture to prove your point then?

  144. TheBlackCat

    No, and i am not a climatologist, but data that is not being allowed to be used to review a published paper, to see that the scientific method has been followed, to see if the theory can be falsified with data that is publically available?

    The data is available to the public, you just need to pay for it or be part of a university. It is not like the data is secret, the scientists are just not allowed to redistribute it however they like. To get it you need to go back to the original owners.

    If this was stocktrading than this would be called “insider trading” wich is very close to that dreaded F-word that the more serious sceptics do not want to use. Spectaculair result, but how did they know?

    No, it is much more like someone using Microsoft Excel to do an analysis, and then not being able to give the Excel software away for free to whoever asks for it. The software is available, you just need to buy it or belong to an organization that has a deal with the software vendor. (actually it would be more like using a Matlab-specific toolbox to do an analysis, since Excel doesn’t really have any exclusive scientific tools built-in, but not as many people here are probably familiar with Matlab)

    The fact that you can’t do the analysis without the software is not a problem as long as there is some legal means to get the software. The fact that you can’t do the analysis without the data is not a problem as long as there is some legal means to get the data. But the scientists can’t just give away the software or the data, you need to get it through the owners (which is not hard, I have bought weather data from NOAA myself).

  145. The software you are talking about is not the problem, its not Matlab or Excel, its not the software that’s being asked for, its the formula’s that go into the excel-cells that’s being asked for, and since it is public-funded research those formula’s and the data that is being fed into those formula’s should be open to the public.

    This is just the same mumbo-jumbo that the climatologist use to stonewall their data and methodologies. Why is it so difficult for them to be transparant when it is asked? Why is it so difficult for some to act with the scientific method instead of against it. Why do they like dr Jones deepen the moat around their castle when auditors like M&M want to check to books to see if the figures add up.

    Even in science the saying “If it looks to good it probably is” has some truth in it. That’s why the hockeystick raised questions, because it looked TO good. And we know now that it looked to good, with climategate now behind us where we learned that “The trick” was needed to hide the fact that tree-rings did not follow the temperatures as measured in the last 50 years.

    So if you can’t trust the results of the past 5 decades, what would be needed to suggest to me that i should trust the previous millenium of tree-rings?

    Its the one black swan in a pond full with white ones. And no this is not a grey painted goose as some say it is proving that there are no black swans.

  146. TheBlackCat

    The software you are talking about is not the problem, its not Matlab or Excel, its not the software that’s being asked for, its the formula’s that go into the excel-cells that’s being asked for, and since it is public-funded research those formula’s and the data that is being fed into those formula’s should be open to the public.

    Yes, I know it is not the best example, in fact I specifically explained that this is specifically the reason it was not the best example. As I said, Matlab toolboxes would be a better example. Matlab contains a lot of very advanced formulas for very specific scientific tasks, organized into what are called “toolboxes”, but you cannot get access to those formulas without purchasing Matlab. So it would be very similar to someone demanding that scientists publicly release the code owned by Matlab that they used to do their calculations. They would be violating the law by doing so. This isn’t data owned by the scientists, it is data owned by a third party.

    It is simply against the law to release data or code owned by someone else without the express permission of the owners. That is how copyright law works, and if you don’t like it you should try to get the law changed or get the groups that own the data to change their licensing policies. But you can’t blame the scientists for simply obeying the law. I find it ironic that the same people who complain about one scientist discussing not following the law with a FOIA request at the same time is outraged that scientists are following copyright law. Do you want scientists to obey the law or not?

    This is just the same mumbo-jumbo that the climatologist use to stonewall their data and methodologies. Why is it so difficult for them to be transparant when it is asked? Why is it so difficult for some to act with the scientific method instead of against it. Why do they like dr Jones deepen the moat around their castle when auditors like M&M want to check to books to see if the figures add up.

    Have you actually tried getting data from organizations like NOAA? Don’t call it “mumbo-jumbo” unless you have actually looked at the licensing deals the scientists have to agree to. I have, I have used such data myself. It would be great if all the data scientists need is freely available, but it simply isn’t. That doesn’t mean the data is not available, it just means the scientists aren’t allowed to release it themselves, you have to ask the owners.

    And we know now that it looked to good, with climategate now behind us where we learned that “The trick” was needed to hide the fact that tree-rings did not follow the temperatures as measured in the last 50 years.

    So if you can’t trust the results of the past 5 decades, what would be needed to suggest to me that i should trust the previous millenium of tree-rings?

    Because 1: it only applies to tree ring data, not to numerous other proxies that agree with tree ring data, 2: it only applies to a very small subset of tree ring data, data that for other time periods all agree and data that except for this small subset all agree for this time period and 3: it only applies when temperatures get above a certain level. This, of course, is all stuff you would know if you had done 5 minutes of research on the subject.

  147. TheBlackCat perhaps it would be a better idea to watch “Phil Jones at the UK parliament”. Its available on Youtube.

  148. @ dcurt #102
    “We have the oil ourselves…but liberals have forced the dependency on other countries, by doing everything in their power to block the access to our own oil.”

    Absolutely right. How dare those pesky liberals prevent drilling in estuaries, wetlands, national forests, fishing grounds, populated areas, and farmland. Sheesh.

  149. Markle

    @Miko #86

    As a geolibertarian, I’d prefer cap-and-distribute, in which emissions are ‘taxed’ and all money brought in is distributed in equal shares as a dividend to all citizens

    Cap and Dividend seems to be the phrase in use. The Economist’s Lexington columnist agrees with you and Maria Cantwell. Strange bedfellows, those.

    @yusuf #97 Piers Corbyn calls himself an astrophysicist in his own publicity, I’m not sure that’s the same as being one. Especially since he’s spent the last 30 years selling weather predictions based on sunspot theory as his bread and butter work. At least that’s what he says he does it with. He won’t share his method. It could be a snake oil ruse.

    And that examiner.com link is hilarious. Did you look down the right column at those “Climate Science and Policy Links”? Sun theory deniers salted with Electric Universe wackiness.
    Jupiter causes sunspots. (No, I’m not kidding!)
    The Sun: An Electro-Magnetic Plasma Diffuser
    Bob Carter described as a Climate Scientist (he’s another aussie geologist who specializes in resource extraction)
    And a cartoon blog made of fail.
    <a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_1ZsNXHv69lg/S0tGLJ-wg4I/AAAAAAAAAQU/YpQ7o6I633Y/s1600-h/January+2010+Headlines.jpg&quot;

    @Dan #110

    If CO2 works as a greenhouse gas by absorbing radiation and re-emitting it in a random direction, why is the only claim that it is trapping more heat in the earth? Wouldn’t it also have a shielding effect by absorbing incoming radiation from the sun then re-emitting approximately half of that back out into space? More CO2 = less radiation hitting the surface of the earth.

    I’m sure this is pretty simplified and I can bet I’m missing something obvious, but it seems to make sense to me.

    Yep. The obvious part is the wavelength. The higher energy visible and UV hits the Earth and on average 30% is reflected back into space, but what happens to the other 70%? It’s absorbed and turns into heat which gets expressed through IR emissions. You’ve also hit on the reason why we know it’s not the Sun getting warmer that is causing the warming. The stratosphere would be warming rather than cooling (Atmosphere is thin enough that IR tends to escape rather than be reabsorbed again*) and nighttime temperatures are rising faster than daytime temps.

    *Edit yeah there’s also the fact that most all of the water vapor is in the troposhere

  150. ND

    Robert, I watched that video and I’m unsure about what exactly is damning in that video?

    Something else to consider, who are the people that wanted complete access to data and programs from the CRU scientists? Were they themselves climate scientists? People with any scientific background? Engineers with overblown egos (there are a lot of engineers who think they’re qualified in various scientific fields)?

    One thing that came up in the video, is the extent of the FOI demands established practice in science? The one problem here is anything that the CRU scientists have done in doing their research, others can as well. They can use the publicly available data and go and get the non-distributable data that the CRU scientists had access to. No? According to your video, the scientists were restricted from passing along the data by various countries, but does this prevent others (let’s say those pesky deniers), from going to the source and getting their own copies of the data they want to see?

  151. ND

    Here’s an NYT article discussing the public criticism and distrust the climate scientists have been feeling:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/03/science/earth/03climate.html?hp

    And here’s a choice quote from that article that I think sums up the frustrations that these scientists are feeling:

    “The battle is asymmetric, in the sense that scientists feel compelled to support their findings with careful observation and replicable analysis, while their critics are free to make sweeping statements condemning their work as fraudulent.”

    I think this explains a lot of what was going on in the CRU emails.

  152. So how many thousands of points have we accumulated from the collective butthurt so far? XD

  153. Paul

    Well Phil,

    I imagine that I am one of many people that do not comment at your website. This is not for lack of love for your postings but because there is little if anything we can add to the discussion.

    In a nut shell, I really love your website and read your site regularly. I never miss a post. I have even recommended your website on user forums.

    There is only one issue that I seem to come at loggerhead with you.

    Phil, can you help me to understand your point of view by providing me with a study that champions your belief in CO2 global warming that holds the same magnitude of Lindzen Choi “On the determination of climate feedbacks from ERBE data”(and I am not unaware of the problems with their paper and am looking forward to their update) or Michael Beenstock and Yaniv Reingewertz “Polynomial Cointegration Tests of the Anthropogenic Theory of Global Warming”

    The language that I see here regarding skeptics on this website seem way off base.

    I am a regular reader here, how about you point me towards something concrete. It is quite distressing to hear all these intangible statements indicating the apocalypse when I cannot see anything that can indicate these assumptions.

    BTW and OT but…: My current hero is Diego Altamirano of Anton Pannekoek Astronomical Institute at the University of Amsterdam.

  154. TheBlackCat

    @ Paul:

    please read The Coppenhagan Diagnosis:
    http://www.copenhagendiagnosis.org/

    You can start with the summary:
    http://www.copenhagendiagnosis.org/executive_summary.html

    It includes an overview of what we have learned since the last IPCC report along with numerous references to peer-reviewed studies backing up its conclusions.

  155. Paul

    @TheBlackCat

    Thank you for the reply but I was looking for a science reference and not a link to an eco-activist page.

  156. ND

    Paul,

    I did not go through the entire site but looked at the authors page and it lists scientists, not some environmentalists with no science credentials.

    http://www.copenhagendiagnosis.org/authors.html

  157. TheBlackCat

    @ Paul: You didn’t actually bother to read anything on the site, did you? What makes you think it is an “eco-activist page”? For your information, it was written by top researchers in the relevant fields. It was intended as an informal interm report on the peer-reviewed literature since the last IPCC report, since the next IPCC report is not coming out for a couple of more years.

    If you had bothered to read past the first paragraph on the first page I linked to, you would have seen a description of what the report actually is:

    The purpose of this report is to synthesize the most policy-relevant climate science published since the close-off of material for the last IPCC report.

    It even says right in the title “The Copenhagan Diagnosis: Updating the World on the Latest Climate Science”

    The site also has a description of the qualifications of the authors:

    The Copenhagen Diagnosis was written by 26 climate scientists, all active researchers, from 8 countries. The group of authors is independent and unaffiliated with any organization. They speak only for themselves, not for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) or anyone else. A core of lead authors established the broader group, drawing in experts across the range of topics covered in the report. About half are IPCC authors, with first hand experience in preparing such an assessment and an understanding of the scientific standards it should meet. The report is firmly based on the more than 200 cited peer-reviewed papers.

    So what prompted you to conclude it was just an “eco-activist page”. I can’t see anything there that could remotely support such a conclusion, other than that it agrees with the scientific consensus on the subject of climate change (I guess for global warming denialists that alone might be enough).

    Besides, even if you don’t want to read the report, you can at least look at the references for a list of recent peer-reviewed literature on the subject, which is what you were asking for.

    But if you want an explanation of the pro-AGW side, what could possibly be better than a report authored by over two dozen of the top people in the fields related to climate sciences, including many of the top authors of the last IPCC report? That isn’t a rhetorical question. If this isn’t enough, what do you want? I simply can’t think of a better source than that.

  158. Paul

    @TheBlackCat

    My original question was regarding actual satellite observational evidence provided by Lindzen Choi 2009 showing their is no ‘alarmist’ greenhouse fingerprint and the lack of an anthropogenic signal in the Beenstock & Reingewertz paper.

    Your reply was to provide a link to a website and a specific page http://www.copenhagendiagnosis.org/executive_summary.html

    The page begins with alarming and unsupported statements. The first

    “The most significant recent climate change findings are:

    Surging greenhouse gas emissions: Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels in 2008 were 40% higher than those in 1990. Even if global emission rates are stabilized at present –day levels, just 20 more years of emissions would give a 25% probability that warming exceeds 2oC. Even with zero emissions after 2030. Every year of delayed action increase the chances of exceeding 2oC warming.”

    Where is the climate change? Where is the beef? Yes, our emissions of C02 have dramatically increased. How does this correlate with the lack of response in the concentrations of CO2 observed in our atmosphere and what if any correlation can be made to temperature? The ‘alarmist’ statements following that one are equally anemic.

    That is the first unsupported alarmist statement in your reply to my question regarding actual evidence as found in the ERBE study and the lack of correlation between CO2 and temperature in the Beenstock & Reingewertz paper.

    Some may be caught like a deer in headlights by following alarmist statements with a list of scientists but without evidence I am unimpressed. Hey theblackcat, I am not posting just to piss in the pool. I am a long time reader here. I love Phil’s astronomy posts. I have read things here and weeks latter read the similar elsewhere. I think Phil is on the mark with vaccinations and he seems like a pleasant individual and comes across well as exhibited in the mp3 awhile back.

    It is not for lack of trying but I just have not been able to find actual observational evidence of AGW forcings. Your links only reinforce my understanding that AGW ‘beliefs’ are based not on actual evidence but on speculation.

  159. TheBlackCat

    Did you completely miss the part where I linked to an executive summary, emphasis on the “summary”? If you want a detailed description of the evidence you need to read the full report. The specifics and references are there. The statements are supported, but obviously that support is not in the summary , it is in the full document. If the details and support was in the summary, it wouldn’t be a summary anymore, by definition. I specifically said “You can start with the summary” (emphasis added), not that the summary is all that there is. I stand by my statement that you didn’t actually bother to read the website, otherwise you would know that the “executive summary” was not the full document.

  160. TheBlackCat

    As for your specific paper, come back when it has passed peer-review. As best as I can tell it is unpublished in any journal, not to mention Nature. They seem to think a simple statistical test is sufficient to disprove AGW. I will wait for the experts to weigh in on whether what they are saying has any merit. They especially need to validate their analysis with simpler examples.

  161. Brian137

    TheBlackCat and Paul,
    Thank you for continuing this discussion even though the OP has now reached page 3 of the Phil’s blog. Paul, I suspect that many climate scientists are aware of the studies you cite and will incorporate the results in proportion to their apparent merits.

  162. Mike G

    You note that you’re aware of the problems with Lindzen and Choi, yet you still seem to view it as an AGW trump card. The problems are hardly minor quibbles. They’re multiple problems that affect the conclusion of the paper. The major significance of their paper was that it purported to show that sensitivity was low, yet their calculated value was low because of demonstrable errors and was highly sensitive to many of the processing choices they made (i.e. it wasn’t robust).

    This paper is essentially a direct response to Lindzen and Choi that discusses the major issues and does similar calculations, arriving at a different conclusion. http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2009GL042314.shtml

  163. Sarah Pressman

    Lonny Eachus Says:
    ” What I am curious about is why Phil would link to an article by the most biased person in existence, and pretend that it speaks from authority.”

    Lonny, having seen some of the sites you link to, your statement is so hypocritical it makes me laugh out loud.

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