Every single Republican Senate hopeful is against climate change action

By Phil Plait | September 29, 2010 9:04 am

earthonfireScience is our best method for figuring out reality. It provides us with a method to rigorously test our ideas to find out if they are right or wrong. We can discard bad ideas, keep good ones, and that way get ever-closer to being able to understand what the Universe is actually trying to tell us.

Scientists are necessarily conservative when it comes to consensus. It takes years, decades, of testing ideas to build an agreement on what’s what. At first, many will argue against it, but eventually, as evidence piles up, the scientists will come to terms with the new idea, and use it as the default position.

When it comes to global warming, that consensus has been built. The vast majority — and I do mean vast — of climate scientists agree that the Earth is warming, and while evidence is still coming in, most of these scientists agree warming is due to human causes.

So what does it say when every single Republican candidate running for Senate this autumn is either a denier of man-made global warming or disputing facts about it we know are true?

It’s actually quite amazing. 37 seats are up for grabs in November, and of the 37 Republicans (and their Frankensteinian offspring, the Tea Party) running for these seats, not a single one supports taking any action on global warming*.

You can read about this at Climate Progress, in The New York Times, as well as in the UK paper The Guardian.

There’s even more at Think Progress (which I found via Daily Kos):

A comprehensive Wonk Room survey of the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate finds that nearly all dispute the scientific consensus that the United States must act to fight global warming pollution. In May, 2010, the National Academies of Science reported to Congress that “the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a national strategy to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change” because global warming is “caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for — and in many cases is already affecting — a broad range of human and natural systems.”

This finding is shared by scientific bodies around the world. However, in the alternate reality of the fossil-fueled right wing, climate science is confused or a conspiracy, and policies to limit pollution would destroy the economy.

That last bit fascinates me: when a crisis comes up, that’s usually a call for technological innovation, which helps the economy. We have plenty of time (well, we did years ago, but the clock is ticking) to work on alternative energies and other means of slowing warming if we actually get off our butts and do something.

Think Progress has a complete list of what those Republican hopefuls are thinking. It’s an astonishing look at politicians who are toeing the party line despite overwhelming evidence — and an entire scientific community of thousands and thousands of scientists.

Political demagoguery, denial, and willful blindness can quite literally doom us all. I really think it’s time we have politicians who can face the hard problems and have the courage to look ahead, instead of lamenting a past that never really existed.

Tip o’ the thermometer to Manotick



* To be fair, there was one guy who decided to go along with overwhelming scientific consensus and was confident global warming is real and man-made: moderate Mike Castle, who was dunked out of the race by Tea Partier Christine O’Donnell (though who may yet run as an independent).

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, Piece of mind, Politics

Comments (166)

  1. IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE
  2. Lomborgist

    Phil, this post, and the sources it cites blur an important distinction. Those who deny the scientific findings are wrong, sure. However, a denier and someone who is opposed to action are not the same thing.

    There are those of us who think we should spend our resources in areas where the most good can be done. We are not deniers, we are defeatists.

    We are willing to change our minds, but science must first persuade us that anything we might do to combat climate change will have any meaningful effect.

  3. Brian Schlosser

    What I wonder is, how many of them REALLY are denialists, and how many are simply too afraid of the Tea Baggers to admit the problem is real. This cycle has been breathtaking in terms of the reality-denialism that has been on display. And its only the last week of September! In a month, we’ll probably see debates about whether we have to burn witches at the stake or if drowning them is sufficient…

  4. Mixonph

    Calling them tea baggers actually makes you look foolish and it is a Appeal to ridicule. The majority of these people just do not want government control of the economy. No, I am not a tea party supporter, so save your insults about me.

  5. As if we needed another reason not to vote republican . . .
    ~Rhaco

  6. Mixonph, when ideas are “ridiculous” ridicule is the correct way to address them =)

    Christine O’Donnell for instance

    ~Rhaco

  7. Alan

    Mixonph said, ” The majority of these people just do not want government control of the economy.”

    Call me cynical, but I think they just profess to be against government control of anything (well, except for important things like whether soldiers are gay or not) because it’s popular with a large number of voters now.

    If any of them get elected and actually deliver (or even make an honest effort) on removing actually useless government interference in the economy and people’s lives, I’ll be greatly surprised.

  8. Brian Schlosser

    Mixonph, that is the name they originally chose, and if they were unaware that it had a pre-existing connotation that is both humorous and strangely fitting, that’s not my fault.

    “The Majority” of “these people” are the Republican party base, singing the same old song with a slightly different tune. If it was just about economic issues, why do their candidates and protestors all drag out the traditional GOP bug-a-boos: Abortion, immigration, gun control, etc.?

    Maybe, for a brief moment, the movement was truly trans-partisan, and focused on the economy (and even that is a BIG maybe). But it was quickly and effectively co-opted by the party establishment.

  9. Tea Baggers named themselves. It wasn’t until it was pointed out shortly later that the name has another, more infamous meaning, that they changed their name to “The Tea Party”.

    Naming themselves was their first public display of extreme ignorance as a “movement”. Since their very beginnings they have provided massive amounts of evidence supporting and not an iota disputing their ignorance.

    Frankly, “Tea Baggee” is the perfect name for them. They practically beg the GOP to rub all over them for the pleasure of the GOP while the GOP couldn’t care less if the tea baggers get anything out of it or not.

  10. Randy A.

    With respect, “Lomborgist” is completely wrong.

    Most of the strategies being discussed for slowing global warming are to use less energy and to shift from fossil fuels to renewables. These actions will have many positive side effects.

    In today’s world, our energy supply is in the hands of large multinational corporations. They have enough money and power to control the US Congress, and to sell doubt — a product that Lomborgist and many others have bought.

    That won’t change overnight… But wouldn’t it be nice to charge your electric car using solar panels on your roof, and say [expletives deleted] to the oil companies? Wouldn’t it be nice to watch your electric meter spin backwards, and look forward to a check FROM the power company, instead of a a bill?

    Wouldn’t it be nice to see blue skies and breathe deep in big cities, even Los Angeles? Or go to the beach on the Gulf Coast without worrying about oil spills? Or explore Appalachia and see forested mountains instead of strip mining scars and landscapes leveled by “mountain top removal”?

    Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about “peak oil”?

    Wouldn’t it be nice to see American companies manufacturing 21st century technology, such as electric cars, renewable energy systems, etc., and exporting those products to the world? Wouldn’t it be nice if our economy worked again?

    EVEN IF WE ARE WRONG ABOUT GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE, THESE ARE ALL WORTHWHILE GOALS!!!

    Of course, not all of these can or will happen. That’s life — some goals remain elusive. But we have to try. Doing nothing means guaranteed failure…

  11. Adam

    It’s funny that a lot of people are offended by the “Tea-Bagger” moniker. As Brian states, but few actually know, the Tea Party originally referred to themselves as Tea-baggers. At the time, they were unaware of the double entendre; afterwords they denied it and claimed it was an insult.

    Much like the climate debate, they rely on a combination non-factual statements and condescension to those who have a good grasp of the truth. A perfect example is their disdain for elitism. This itself demonstrates why the most conservative states also have the fewest college graduates.

  12. Floyd

    From what I can tell, the “tea baggers” are completely controlled by the Republican Party, and trumpet that party line. If you’re a tea bagger and like that corporate line, then vote Republican.

    However, I’m not thrilled with that platform. I’m not sure I’m thrilled with the Democrats, but they’re not as scary.

    Mark Twain from a long time ago: “I’m not a member of any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” That still applies.

  13. Let’s be clear about this: It was the people attending these Tea Party rallies that were calling THEMSELVES “teabaggers” … UNTIL, of course, the amusing sexual connotations of the term became better known.

    When these rallies began occurring (after all the “Town Hall” meetings that people were screaming bloody murder at), attendees were encouraged to bring boxes of tea bags in lieu of the chests and barrels of tea that were thrown into Boston Harbor in 1773. People attending these rallies often attached these tea bags to their clothing and had them dangling from their hats, and they began referring to one another jokingly as “teabaggers.”

    It was only LATER, when they became aware that the term was also used to describe a sexual practice involving testicles, that they tried to repudiate (or “refudiate” as Sarah Palin would say) the word. By then the cat was out of the bag. Sorry about your luck.

  14. Mixonph

    Ok I will admit my mistake they are tea baggers, fine.
    The Democratic party is the best thing that ever has been put on this earth and I apologize for not bowing down and praising everything they do for the country. How dare I think one party control is not the best thing for this country. Again I apologize.

    And BTW do you even know know why they chose TEA?

    Taxed
    Enough
    Already

    And once again I do not support them, I just understand their point of view

  15. QuietDesperation

    Naming themselves was their first public display of extreme ignorance

    Not sure I’d define lack of awareness of crude sexual references as “extreme” ignorance. I spent ten years in the California BDSM scene and I was only peripherally aware of the term. I also didn’t play Halo multiplayer which is where the slang seems to have gained a lot of its recent popularization.

    They practically beg the GOP to rub all over them for the pleasure of the GOP while the GOP couldn’t care less if the tea baggers get anything out of it or not.

    And that’s different from any other side… how, exactly?

    I wish both the big Parties here would dissolve, or destroy one another like matter and antimatter. The hardcore Party loyalists, at any time in any country, on ALL sides are the worst thing to ever happen to civilization. A deadly, bubo forming, hemorrhagic pox upon all of you.

  16. Grand Lunar

    I’m reminded of a similar line from “Revenge of the Sith”.
    Was that an inspiration, Phil?

    Well, the opposing parties can always use this against in their campaigns.

  17. Northstar

    I’m always bugged by one characterstic of people who don’t support taking action against global warning, which was displayed by Lomborgist. The attitude that “nothing we do will solve the problem COMPLETELY, thus it’s not worth doing anything.”

    This just makes no sense to me. Is there any other area of public discourse where an argument like that is ever made?

    “We can’t stop all crime, so why have a police force?”
    “We can’t save everyone sick or injured, so why have hospitals?”

    Using that argument, alomost noone should ever do anything!

  18. klem

    “So what does it say when every single Republican candidate running for Senate this autumn is either a denier of man-made global warming or disputing facts about it we know are true?”

    It means that they know that climate change as a political issue is dead. The public, the people who vote, are not interested in climate change anymore, they have been completely saturated with climate change fear mongering over the past several years, and they don’t want to hear about it anymore. Even at the G8 & G20 summits, the subject was barely broached. Climate change is dead. Oh by the way, now that I know my republican candidate is a climate denier, I will vote for him (Thanks Wonk Room).

  19. QuietDesperation

    I’m not sure I’m thrilled with the Democrats, but they’re not as scary.

    You obviously do not live in California where the leading theory is that the state Democrats are now completely controlled by alien parasites who perceive the world via microwaves and hear colors. The Democrat controlled statehouse here will be remembered as one of the most incompetent in history.

    And the guy who laid the groundwork in the 1970s for much of today’s problems, Jerry Brown, is leading in the polls to be governor again. Actually, I hope he wins. That will be the final coffin nail, and we can move the state into sweet, sweet federal receivership and get things back in order.

  20. Mike Oliver

    If I may broaden the subject a bit, I think there is a fundamental cause that feeds such things as denial of scientific claims: geocentrism, evolution, climate change, and the like. I think that most people think of the “real world” as the world that is man-made; the infrastructure, the culture. Everything outside that, is a separate thing called “Nature” which is somewhat abstract. The “real world” is something which recognizably exists as a matter of consensus, and therefore is largely shaped by opinion, and is totally under human control. Scientific data is then seen as completely man-made, and not reflective of anything other than the agenda of individuals, and thus suspect. I’m pretty sure that’s how other social animals see their world. Prairie dogs don’t spend any time analyzing the actions of weather or predators, but they will adhere rigidly to their ingrained social structure.

    I see evidence of this even in people’s concepts of other nations…as if their own world is somehow the “real” one and those others are odd aberrations.

    Anyone have thoughts on this?

  21. we are defeatists

    There speaks the party of Lincoln, Eisenhower, and Reagan.

    policies to limit pollution would destroy the economy.

    This interests me for a different reason: it’s beyond ironic that the main driver for decrying climate change science as uncertain is a complete certainty about economics. Everything they say about climate science – the unreliability of models, the dissent among practitioners, the vested interests in taking a given position, the alarmism – can be said in spades about economics, yet they blithely assert that any action to mitigate CO2 emissions is certain to bring economic ruin.

  22. It is not just climate change that these critters have a problem with. Christine O’Donnell has problems with evolution.

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/25/odonnell-in-1998-evolution-is-a-myth/

  23. BJN

    @QuietDesparation: From here it looks like Californians have exactly the disfunctional government they want. Initiatives appear to be out of control and defeat a rational approach to taxation and budgeting. It’s always blamed on the politicians, but it’s the electorate who want as much as they can get but who are unwilling to pay for it.

    Tea Baggers are angry, unfocused, and fear-driven. They aren’t a “party”.

    @klem: Corporate conservatives indeed have given the uninformed and scientifically illiterate voters a wedge of doubt that lets them ignore an environmental crisis that puts civilization itself at risk. Instead, they freak out at “threats” like same-sex marriage. If climate change is dead as an issue, we’re headed for dark times as we war over resources and find our planet unable to sustain millions or billions of our species.

  24. RMcbride

    The tea baggers don’t even have internal consistancy. They are for limiting government, except the war or their medicare. I’d be suprised if any of these new senators were to work to end farm subsudies if elected.

  25. Dan I.

    I will say that I still have issues with the climate model. I do think there is some room for doubt. But at the same time I admit that I am no scientist, I haven’t seen all the data, and I trust those with “them dare fancy book lernin’” to know better than I do.

    What I also realize is that…look…pumping a bunch of noxious stuff into the atmosphere, whether its warming the earth or not, is NOT GOOD. It just objectively is NOT GOOD. So no matter what we should be looking into cleaner, renewable sources of energy.

    We’re either warming the planet, toxifying our atmosphere, or both. There is no GOOD there.

  26. Neeneko

    I think this highlights why these so called conservatives are NOT conservatives.

    One of the cornerstones of conservatism is waiting till you have good solid evidence before taking action… not ideologically clinging to an idea long after it has been debunked.

  27. Daniel J. Andrews

    I know the poll over a year ago found 97.4% of climate scientists agreeing AGW is happening, but who disagreed?

    Are there are any climate scientists who publicly say the earth is NOT warming? The Republican Party and denialist favourites like Dr. Richard Lindzen, Dr. Patrick Michaels, Dr. John Christie all have said the world is warming. Dr. Michaels even said at the Heartland Institute conference (that’s the oil/gas/industry funded right-wing think tank denialapalooza conference where they’ll deny everything from harmful effects of tobacco smoke to asbestos to CFCs to various pesticides) that global warming is happening, and we likely have something to do with it, so deal with it.

    So if the shills and obfuscaters are saying it is happening then where are the Republican candidates getting their information it isn’t happening? Ian (iron sun) Plimer, Christopher (cured AIDS, MS, common cold) Monckton, S. Fred (unstoppable warming except it isn’t warming/is cooling/we don’t know) Singer, Anthony (spaghetti on the wall and see what sticks) Watts and other pretend science journalists publishing on various rags and sites?

  28. Bill

    @klem, #19, who said
    “It means that they know that climate change as a political issue is dead.”

    And yet, the climate itself doesn’t seem to care just HOW it’s perceived as a political issue. That’s the scary part of all this – while we stay bogged down in manufactured arguments and controversy, it just keeps doing what it’s doing. Pushed along, according to the best current scientific consensus, by what we’re doing TO it.

  29. Wayne on the plains

    With equal respect, “Lomborgist” is less wrong than “Randy A.”,

    I honestly do wish I lived in a world where my electric car was powered by my rooftop solar panels, microgeneration is an excellent long-term strategy for energy independence AND climate mitigation, and I think a lot of these Republican candidates would like to live in that world too. The question is, how do we get there from here?

    Unfortunately, the only “strategy” anyone seems to hear about is “cap and trade”, which I am yet to be convinced will lead to any meaningful progress on energy alternatives. The only likely outcome seems to be a reduction in energy usage by further crippling the economy, and I don’t think anyone would be happy with that outcome.

    Pie-in-the-sky dreaming about a post-fossil-fuel world is all well and good, but unless there is a path to economic viability for the technologies involved, they are not going to work in the long run. I haven’t checked, but I would bet many of these so-called “climate denying” candidates would be for encouraging more nuclear power in the US, and THAT is one of the few ideas that actually has a chance to help in the near term.

  30. MonkeyDeathcar

    Nothing to add, but I loved this quote “I’m not a member of any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” I shall use it in the future. However, the first page of google (and google obviously knows all) says it’s from Will Rogers.

    That is all.

  31. Retired_Veteran

    We should respect the Tea Party’s wish not to be called “Tea Baggers” regardless of the fact they called themselves that first. How many of us were called cute names as children and have decided to be called by other names as we age? I was known as Danny as a child but have asked everyone to call me Daniel as I aged. I believe persons that insist on calling them “Tea Baggers” know what the term means and use it as an insult.

    As far as Global Warming goes, there is solid evidence the Earth is warming but I am not convinced of the cause. I am all for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and think we should push hard for improving existing methods of renewable energy and researching new methods.

    Call me a denier or whatever else you wish. Name calling rarely gets results and should be left to elementary children.

  32. Stan9fos

    Sorry, it’s been said before & probably will be again, but political activity, if not properly monitored and suppressed, will kill us all. Bilbo Baggins and the forest trolls.

  33. QuietDesperation

    @BJN: Oh, I blame my fellow voters quite a bit but, seriously, the politicians we have here are dumber than rocks. There’s also the systemic problem that by the time you get to the primary elections, anyone who is NOT a total sociopath has been weeded out. There hasn’t been anyone *worth* voting for in a long time. The lesser of two evils is still evil.

    Tea Baggers are angry, unfocused, and fear-driven.

    You are probably correct. I never actually met any, so I don’t pretend to know. But can you blame them? It’s the systemic problem I stated above. They feel out of control and helpless.

    And, honestly, continuing to use “tea bagger” is absolutely childish.

  34. QuietDesperation

    The question is, how do we get there from here?

    A healthy, vibrant economy where the companies that develop such things have adequate R&D money. Anything else is fantasy and vapor.

  35. J

    The vast majority — and I do mean vast — of parapsychologists agree that ESP exists.
    The vast majority — and I do mean vast — of ghostbusters agree that ghosts exists.

  36. Phil,

    Obviously history is not your thing, liberals long ago made global warming a political issue, not a scientific one. Now how politics work, for better or worse, is that Republicans have little choice but to oppose. It is dumb, but it is what it is. How this happened is the left have politicized it and turned it into a method of wealth redistribution on both a national and international level.

    As usual Phil, you mistake science for liberalism and science. Should politicians be concerned, probably. But when Democrats mix social policy in with scientific, bad things happen. The same can be said for conservatives mixing religion into politics.

  37. klem

    “It just objectively is NOT GOOD. So no matter what we should be looking into cleaner, renewable sources of energy.”

    Exactly right, no one thinks polluting the air and water is good. We should be looking into cleaner renewable sources. But the Dems were trying to force us to do this by law through cap&trade. I know, you say it was for the big emitters like power companies, but in the long term, many years down the road, it is designed to be spead to all members of the public. That’s where the real money is. Once Cap&trade is started there is no going back, we are all destined to be carbon traders whether we want it or not.

    think I’m just kidding? A carbon trading credit card has been in the works for years, and it’s for the public, not power companies, read it here ; http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/6167671.stm

    This is why the deniers are so vocal. we have dodged a huge bullet with the failure of Copenhagen and cap&trade in the US Senate. A huge bullet.

    Oh by the way, just google carbon trading scam or fraud to see how the EU is doing with their cap&trade system. To think our President supported such a thing. Disgraceful.

  38. Mixonph

    @The Arquette Sisters

    Well said!

  39. small-l libertarian

    EPIC FAIL. I’m no Republican or conservative, but please, a blog post bashing Republican partisanship links to solely liberal or progressive (like there’s a difference) sources? The New York Times, a newspaper well-known to be liberal-leaning? The Guardian, “….the world’s leading liberal voice”? Climate Progress, a “liberal blog” and project of “The Center for American Progress Action Fund”, a “progressive think-tank”? Also, Think Progress, “voted ‘Best Liberal Blog’ in the 2006 Weblog Awards”, supported by the same think tank? Daily Kos, a weblog that comes from a “liberal perspective”? All regurgitating the same “climate zombie” talking points? (Funny, I bet every last Democrat running in those 37 seats will most likely march in lock step with their party’s position on “climate change” and yet won’t be considered partisan at all.) These sources are mostly mirror images of Fox News, Townhall etc., but ranting, raving and raging about “radical right-wing agendas” and the “fossil-fueled right wing”, instead of the Communist-in-Chief, the North American Union and other absurdities. But sure, only Republicans are partisan morons. And they’re stupid. And evil. On the other hand, you’re educated and sophisticated and nuanced. You don’t see the world in black and white at all. You’re just better people! IT’S THE ONLY LOGICAL CONCLUSION.

  40. Science is our best method for figuring out reality Tell Texas, Congress, and the Department of Education.

    In order to maintain an untenable position you must be actively ignorant – stupidity, religion, insanity, criminality. An advocate makes virtue of failure. The worse the cure the better the treatment – and the more that is required. Rather than foster brilliance we allocate for its suppression. DIVERSITY!

  41. @Mixonph #15: Wow. Really? So in your world, calling out teabaggers for giving themselves a name that they now consider an insult equates to blindly supporting Democrats. And here I thought it was just willful ignorance on their part. Teach us more about this “jump to conclusions” mat of yours.

    And the mealy-mouthed “Taxed Enough Already” backronym is complete BS. Taxes are at historic lows right now. Anyone complaining about taxes right now is either a drooling moron, or is pandering to drooling morons. We have a serious problem in the federal budget which will require:

    1. Tax increases,
    2. Spending cuts, or
    3. Both of the above

    Notice “tax cuts” are not in that list. Anyone complaining about taxes at this moment in history is a know-nothing twit who just wants to belong to a club of other know-nothing twits. “Teabaggers” is a perfectly reasonable name for these people.

  42. Mixonph

    @ Carey
    Congratulations on a wonderful argument. You WIN. I guess I need to find my head in shame. Keep calling people morons and you keep hardening their position.

  43. Retired_Veteran

    @Carey

    I complain about taxes and am NOT a “know nothing twit.” You will have to excuse me if I want to keep the money I earned.

    Since when has increasing taxes reduced the federal debt. Everytime we give Congress (Republican or Democrat) more money they increase spending. Cut spending FIRST! After you cut spending than and only than come ask me for more money. If my household budget is short the first thing I do is stop going to the movies, no dinners out, etc. I do not start looking for another source of income, I CUT FIRST!!! The Government must do the same!

  44. Number 6

    Great blog post, Phil! It does leave readers though with the feeling that they might be on the brink of entering the Dark Ages once again if such people win election and then are able to affect public policy. Scary…and we’re still a month shy of Halloween.

  45. jasonB

    “This finding is shared by scientific bodies around the world. However, in the alternate reality of the fossil-fueled right wing, climate science is confused or a conspiracy, and policies to limit pollution would destroy the economy.”

    Phil do you even read this drivel before you post eloquent?

    Whenever an existing alternative energy source is proposed I don’t believe it’s generally a right-winger bringing suits to stop the building of nuclear plants, wind farms, or damns?

    As for policies to limit population. What happened to a woman’s right to manage her own body? Forced abortions? How about the fact that most “First World” countries have falling domestic populations. This is part of the reason we’re told that we need to let in illegal immigrants. From the very same people that say we need cap and trade.

    Well enjoy yet another jet ride to another convention and maybe you can update us all with the total tonnage of CO2 produced in the making of your TV show.

  46. Number 6

    Too bad someone can’t teach a “reality” course to these Senate wannabees. The qualifications needed to run for the U.S. Senate are way too low.

  47. @Retired_Veteran: “Since when has increasing taxes reduced the federal debt.”

    Common sense would dictate that increasing taxes will reduce the federal debt much more effectively than reducing taxes.

    If you want to talk Laffer Curve, we are at the far low end right now, well past the point where reducing taxes actually increases revenue. So yes, a tax increase is in order if you enjoy things like roads and police and fire protection. I know I do.

    My point is that whining and moaning about taxes being too high is ignorant and juvenile – like you, I think what we need to talk about is where we should be cutting spending. My first choice is the military, but I bet you and I would disagree on that point :) . But at least we’d be having a discussion about reality, and not fantasy.

    @Mixonph: Thanks.

    I have lost patience with teabaggers and other people who have completely detached from reality, so I will continue to call them morons. If you prefer to engage with them civilly, I applaud you. I just can’t do it anymore. I will always call out and ridicule stupidity when I see it.

  48. Scott B

    “We have plenty of time (well, we did years ago, but the clock is ticking) to work on alternative energies and other means of slowing warming if we actually get off our butts and do something. ”

    Other than the “we did years ago” part I completely agree. So let’s do that. I’m fully on board with devoting whatever resources are necessary to get off our butts and develop clean or cleaner energy that is cost competitive with fossil fuels. That’s not what liberals want. They want to force people to reduce energy usage. I don’t think that’s an acceptable solution.

    Also, from that site with this black list:

    OHIO

    Rob Portman is a global warming denier:

    “When you analyze all the data, there is a warming trend according to science,” he said. “But the jury is out on the degree of how much is manmade.” [Columbus Dispatch, 7/25/10]

    Portman also opposes the EPA “power grab” finding that greenhouse gases are pollution and opposes cap-and-trade legislation: “There’s a new energy tax coming our way from Washington that’s a job-killer for Ohio, called cap-and-trade.”

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this man’s statement. Yet look, he’s labeled as a denier. At least 8 of the statements listed on the page aren’t factually wrong. Yet they must be science hating conservatives because they aren’t willing to tax people more for using energy.

  49. Jim

    Wahoo! We need a little restraint on this out of control administration.

    A TRUE skeptic, not a selective skeptic.

  50. Scott B

    @11. Randy A

    “But wouldn’t it be nice to charge your electric car using solar panels on your roof, and say [expletives deleted] to the oil companies? Wouldn’t it be nice to watch your electric meter spin backwards, and look forward to a check FROM the power company, instead of a a bill?”

    Sure, would be great if it didn’t cost much more than putting fuel in my current car and can still drive the same distances. When that’s possible let me know and I’ll be on the greens’ side.

    “Wouldn’t it be nice to see blue skies and breathe deep in big cities, even Los Angeles? Or go to the beach on the Gulf Coast without worrying about oil spills? Or explore Appalachia and see forested mountains instead of strip mining scars and landscapes leveled by “mountain top removal”?”

    Nice, but not close to my highest priority. Tell me all of the costs of it and I’ll tell you if I believe that cost is worth it. Everything I know now says hell no.

    “Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about “peak oil”?”

    Not when the solution will artificially cause the problems of peak oil now.

    “Wouldn’t it be nice to see American companies manufacturing 21st century technology, such as electric cars, renewable energy systems, etc., and exporting those products to the world? Wouldn’t it be nice if our economy worked again?”

    Sure, would be nice if we manufactured much of anything anymore. Unfortunantly, our work costs to much in the global economy to do it. Even if we miraculously designed extremely cheap solar panels that were more cost effective than oil, we’d just outsource that work overseas so companies can make more.

    “EVEN IF WE ARE WRONG ABOUT GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE, THESE ARE ALL WORTHWHILE GOALS!!!”

    Goals are nice. You have to have a workable plan to achieve them though.

  51. mark

    The fact that all the current Republican candidates “don’t believe” has /everything/ to do with what their base believes and /nothing/ to do with reality. You can be sure if ACC was a big concern of the voters, it would be for the pols too. The Repubs are not the only one who show this behavior, by the way.

    Climate change is happening. Most of the people in the know agree mankind is causing it.

    The real point/problem is this: So many are either fooled by the big energy “doubt merchants” — the same as the tobacco folks did for so many years — or have lost interest (we really do have a short attention span) that not many really care enough to make it a votable issue. There are many people with strong opinions (see above ;-) ), but the mass of people out there don’t really care.

    The saddest part is, our kids and grandkids will be shaking their heads and saying “WHAT were they thinking?”

  52. Rich

    Carey is right, not to insult Mix or Retired Veteran, but it is ignorance to think that taxes are somehow the cause of our problems or that they are somehow onerous in the present era. One of, if not the most, prosperous eras in U.S. history the post-WWII era also saw the highest marginal tax rates (upwards of 80%). And guess what, Retired Vet? A lot of those tax dollars did go to pay down our war debts. There were a lot of war bonds to buy back afterall.

    The idea that high marginal tax rates (note – MARGINAL tax rates) interefere with economic expansion has been fairly well rebuted by even conservative economists. In fact there is growing consensus that not taxing the bejesus out of the very highest income earners results in wealth hoarding rather than investment and job/wealth creation, while encouraging ever more devious means of procuring said wealth. One doesn’t even need to look at the past 3 decades to see this effect. Simply look to past gilded-ages in the U.S. and Europe to see how much better off everone was when the strangle-holds which robber-barons and their monopolies held over economies were broken as much by progressive tax schemes as laws designed to break up monopolies and trusts.

    As for spending cuts…. I’m all for it. The problem with arguing spending is that is makes a great issue that never goes away because no one will touch the spending areas that are the greatest drain on our economy and the largest share of our tax revenue spending. Exhibit 1 is military spending which accounts for up to 44% of total tax revenues in any given year. But nothing will stop us from outspending the next 20 largest militaries in the world combined because military spending is one of the third rails of American politics. Everyone is all for cutting spending, but they always want to cut items that amount to nothing compared to total spending. But I am all for hearing what reasonable people want to cut from the budget.

  53. Scott B

    @ 51 Rich

    You already said it. Military. I don’t care if it’s a third rail or whatever. We’ve had a large military for less than a century. It didn’t become such a financial hog, outside of wars, until after WWII. Why does everyone, including liberals, treat this as such a sacred cow? I personally will not support anything that increases taxes for anyone but the most wealthy until we slash our military waste.

  54. Wayne Robinson

    “Unfortunately, the only “strategy” anyone seems to hear about is “cap and trade”, which I am yet to be convinced will lead to any meaningful progress on energy alternatives. The only likely outcome seems to be a reduction in energy usage by further crippling the economy, and I don’t think anyone would be happy with that outcome”. (comment #30)

    Actually, I like James Hansen’s idea of a “Fee and dividend” carbon tax as being the simplest one. Put a progressively increasing tax on all fossil fuels imported or produced, based on the carbon dioxide emitted, and then remit all the money obtained as a dividend to all adults in the country. For example, if it brings in 200 billion dollars per year, and there are 200 million adult Americans, then each adult would receive $1000 per year to cover increased costs, and would also have an incentive to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Being revenue neutral, it would also not get the same degree of opposition as being just a ‘money grab’ on part of the government.

  55. TW

    @51 “One of, if not the most, prosperous eras in U.S. history the post-WWII era”

    Yeah, when every other world manufacturer had had its industrial base bombed into, or near enough to, the stone age…

  56. davem

    Go USA! The world will develop alternate fuels, and expand their economies doing so. When the oil runs out, the US will be f****d. You will have no choice but to buy the technology from outside. That makes double-f****d. But hey, it’s your choice. And it’s not your problem – it’s your children’s and grand-children’s problem. Vote for stupid!

  57. Scott B

    @53. Wayne Robinson

    Interesting idea. How would businesses be taxed for energy? If they are at all, how would money be redistributed back to them?

  58. Rich

    Scott,

    I have long proposed a road to energy independence that does not rely on taxes, in fact it would put money back into the pockets of most tax-payers. I have even gone so far as to write a few Congress-critters but no one seems interested.

    My idea is to heavily subsidize the private purchase of solar and wind energy through a massive tax rebate. You want to install solar panels but the cost is prohibitive? So long as you meet certain requirements like owning the building you want to install on and proving that you can meet at least half of your household energy demands with the alterative/renewable energy sources then you can reduce your federal income tax by the cost of the purchase and installation of that device. In most cases that might mean a significant tax reduction over several years, since the cost will often be more than the mean households annual tax anyway.

    Of course details would need to be worked out. The deduction would probably need to be pro-rated so that as AGI increases the percentage of cost a household could deduct would be reduced. You may have to take portions of the deduction over several tax years. I can think of dozens of potential caveats and I am sure others can think of many I have not.

    But such a program would do several things:
    1. Jump start our nascent solar/wind/geo-thermal industries (I’m not deliberately leaving anything out just sticking with the most obvious and arguably clean)
    2. Put much needed money back into consumers’ pockets at a time of economic crisis
    3. Break our dependence on foreign and often hostile sources of fossil fuels. Thereby:
    4. Putting hundreds of billions of dollars currently spent by consumers on fossil fuels into other areas of the economy.
    5. Massively reduce carbon emissions and hopefully usher in the utility of electric vehicles further reducing carbon based fuel needs and emissions.
    6. Create jobs in building, installing, and maintaining these sources of energy.

    Yes. This is a broad generalization of both the idea and the potential benefits…. but I think this is a good idea and I am tired of telling it only to immediate family and friends or the occassional uninterested politician. So, if anyone else here thinks such a concept has merit, please pass it along and talk about it to anyone who will listen. (Note that though I have the usual pride of ownership that anyone would have for their own ideas I don’t think that such a proposal is either perfect or without potential consequences… but I do think it is a damn site better than the current status-quo!)

  59. Rich

    Absolutely TW #54. That sure didn’t hurt, but it didn’t last long either.

    BTW the post-WWII era boom also benefitted massively from the G.I. Bill which helped transform a nation of laborers and farmers into a nation of professionals. The G.I. Bill a massive government entitlement program that WORKED! Go figure.

  60. Skeptic

    Last time I checked, this blog was about astronomy and not about politics or religion (the article about the pope the other day.) I pick blogs to read to get a break from the usual partisan BS that our world is rife with.

    The only thing to say is to not trust a single person on either side on any topic regarding climate change. Many have been paid to produce the studies they have and those that haven’t make the statements they do to perpetuate other “good” science that they want to do.

    What I do know is that the earth is a wondrous place with secrets yet to discover. Science, by nature, attempts to label and describe processes and observations in a way that helps the layman to gain “certainties” about their environment. The danger lies in the layman taking such science as certain fact. Our observations of earth, even through ice samples are little better than an alien picking up three human (two of which are running a fever) and saying they know without a doubt what a “normal” human temperature is.

    I’m not a climate change naysayer, far from it. I don’t believe that there is much “true, honest science” on this topic and the “good science” there has been has been tainted by the dishonest, partisan science.

  61. Kris

    Lumping opponents of climate legislation together with AGW deniers is disingenuous. I, for one, believe in AGW (I even know what a climate sensitivity is), yet, I strongly oppose the proposed measures. The reason is that I believe that they are deeply flawed. To wit:

    1. A complicated financial scheme, ripe with possibilities of speculation, abuse, and outright fraud (cap-n-trade) is being proposed to internalize cost of burning fossil fuels. Yet, the same goal could be achieved by a much simpler instrument of taxing a CO2 output. Or, for the matter, simply calculating the CO2 cost into the fuel tax (to avoid additional bureaucracy). Such alternatives, however, never enter the public discourse.

    2. Emission reduction could also be achieved without imposing new taxes, by issuing an administrative ban on the construction of new fossil-fired coal plants. That would result in gradual phasing out of emission sources. Strangely, this is also never proposed.

    3. The development of so-called renewable sources is being heavily subsidized. However, because such power sources are inherently unreliable (i.e. wind), they require shadowing by conventional generators. That basically means, that for each MW of wind power there must be a MW of a thermal or nuclear power plant, so the load can be powered even when there is no wind. Since the energy generators cannot be turned on and off on a short notice, an extra fuel is being burned (and extra CO2 emitted) just to provide the energy grid with enough reserve to accommodate the wind power. That’s right, wind turbines increase CO2 emissions. This is yet another fact that is being overlooked.

    4. By yet another strange twist, the politicians who support CO2 reductions also oppose nuclear power (which is the only viable way out of the present crisis). Witness Germany, which is at the same time building COAL power plants to phase out the nuclear plants AND reducing CO2. Where’s the logic here?

  62. Skeptic (61): That’s funny. Last time I checked, this was my blog, and I could write about whatever I want. How come you didn’t complain about my post yesterday with Adam Savage singing?

    I suggest everyone read my policy on all this.

  63. Rich

    Scott re #54. I am with you on both counts. Military spending, among others, can no longer be beyond question and must seriously be challenged by anyone who wants to see government spending or taxes reduced. Where the traction regarding taxes currently seems to be is on those pesky taxes on the highest income earners.

    Trickle-down theory has been fairly definitively debunked at this point. Beyond a certain point the super-wealthy stop investing and spending and start hoarding. And allowing wealth-hoarding encourages all sorts of unseemingly efforts to game the system with the goal of hoarding even more wealth (see the structuring of almost the entirety of the western financial system for evidence of that). I would sorely like to see wealth-hoarding broken up by much higher marginal tax rates on… well, billionaires to start.

    Not to mention, at the end of the day wealth-hoarding is bad for everyone. If the individuals laboring to help produce the wealth that the super-wealthy are hoarding can no longer afford to spend because their share of the benefits of their labor is continually diminishing – then the entire system breaks down as we’ve seen this past decade.

    Frankly, I feel that we are about two steps away from a return to the sorts of economic systems that resulted in company script and the company store. What great times those were when robber-baron capitalists had absolutely no restrictions on what they could do. Becoming indebted to the company you work for as a pre-condition to labor worked so well…

  64. JJ (the other one)

    Skeptic(61) said: “The only thing to say is to not trust a single person on either side on any topic regarding climate change. Many have been paid to produce the studies they have and those that haven’t make the statements they do to perpetuate other “good” science that they want to do.

    [...]

    I don’t believe that there is much “true, honest science” on this topic and the “good science” there has been has been tainted by the dishonest, partisan science.”

    Boilerplate FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt).

    Substitute ‘climate science’ with whatever topic you wish, come up with a throwaway line about your topic (ice cores for climate science, genetics for medicine, fossils for evolution, etc.) and take it to the comment forum!

  65. Jeffersonian

    @37
    revisionist history

    @44
    Because we’re 8 years behind on infrastructure, education, health care, etc. We can’t pay for the war AND fix these areas by cutting first. Such is the cost of removing Saddam’s WMDs. It would seem many citizens have a very short memory (particularly those idiot teabeaggers who truly act like they were born yesterday). Clinton gave us the largest surplus in history but lucky for him he didn’t have the war to pay for. 8 years of everything on hold plus 8 years of playing catch up (16 years!) – taxes can’t be cut. It’s just mathematics. Either that or we start comparing ourselves to the developing world on our health/education stats (not like we’re not doing so already). I for one would like to see the US re-enter the top 15 in these areas. A visit to western Europe or a look at the stats shows how far behind we have become. It’s damaging our future, globally.
    (BTW – I get your point/pain, but in your economics class, you were shown why a household budget was a poor analogy for a first-world government. )

  66. Aleksandar

    Science of AGW has been solved and firm for a long long time. It is only a political and economic issue and debate. But I understand that in a country that rejects evolution stuff can happen.

    As a non USA citizen I’m amazed at looking at real numbers and seeing how little are USA citizens taxed, but you scream so much about it. Dear USA citizens, being a worlds no1 economy and super power doesn’t come for free. Quite complaining about damn taxes, you have no idea how stupidly high taxes are in rest of the world, and we don’t complain 1% as much.

    I can’t even tell how amazed I’m that word “progressive” now has attached only a negative meaning if spoken in USA.

    But I still have to applaud to wise guy above who dares compare real scientific consensus that AGW is quite real, to parapsychologists believing ESP is real and ghost hunters believing (on TV only I’d bet) that ghosts exist.

    You have no comprehensions what science really is, do you? How exactly did you find yourself on a skeptical science promoting blog?

    Edit. To be honest, I’m a evil progressive liberal socialist atheist, and I do believe carbon creditors are a very dumb idea. But that’s what happens when politics take over because science isn’t allowed to speak up. Carbon trade has very little to do AGW and a lot to do with some bright economic and political minds spending time to see how can they profit on it. Because trying to fix the problem is too expensive.

  67. Daffy

    #37—so, Democrats forced Republicans to defy all evidence for AGW because the Democrats were correct about it? Wow.

  68. Steve Metzler

    J (#36) says:

    The vast majority — and I do mean vast — of parapsychologists agree that ESP exists.
    The vast majority — and I do mean vast — of ghostbusters agree that ghosts exists.

    Too bad that parapsychologists and ghostbusters aren’t scientists, huh? Apples, meet oranges.

    Climate scientists agree the climate is changing and mankind is a primary cause because the science tells us beyond a reasonable doubt that that is the case.

    Kris (#62) says:

    Witness Germany, which is at the same time building COAL power plants to phase out the nuclear plants AND reducing CO2.

    Technical impossibility is not technically possible. By the way, I have spent the past 20 years developing a perpetual motion machine, and I’m looking for investors…

  69. t-storm

    I agree calling them teabaggers does not help. Just like people who call it Obamacare.
    Whether they chose the name or not it is now used as an insult and doesn’t help the discussion.

    I will admit they looked extremely stupid dipping lipton teabags into various bodies of water.

    I understand how they got started but I think they are pretty far off of their original message. I’d like to know where taxes have been raised since 2009.

    I’ll admit I’m not exactly a supporter of the humans caused it crowd, but I’ll accept it. My point is, why do we need a reason to focus on sustainable practices? Why can’t we just do it because it’s a good idea? We stopped heavy research into renewables as soon as energy prices went back down (early 80′s, and just a few years ago).

    Oh well. Go Reds.

  70. viggen

    nearly all dispute the scientific consensus that the United States must act to fight global warming pollution.

    I think there’s some slippery wording in there that makes this more easily divisive. The idea that the government (not just any government, but OUR government) is specifically responsible to do this and somehow keep its spending under control and somehow stimulate the economy to return to previous levels will be what the Republicans and tea party are uniformly against. The governmental entity necessary to do all that is both expensive and hugely intrusive and, like it or not, taxing the rich into poverty doesn’t work because the rich will simply leave. I don’t think it’s always a question of denialism, I think it’s also a question of libertarianism. If people in this country aren’t willing to give up their automobile life-style, whether a politician is for or against AGW is a moot point since the people won’t ultimately accept legislation taking away important perceived rights.

    Altruism is nice, but it isn’t cheap.

    For the record, I’m not a denialist, but I think that this incredible need to legislate responsibility in others is ultimately doomed to failure.

  71. Wayne Robinson

    Scott B (comment #58);

    With a ‘fee and dividend’, businesses don’t get a credit for the tax they pay (directly or indirectly) on the carbon tax they pay on fossil fuels. Their costs are passed onto their customers, who have received compensation (if they are individuals, not companies) in the dividend received. Companies that are prepared to change their use of fossil fuels (by increased efficiency or other methods) will get a competitive advantage.

    A carbon tax would also favour less damaging sources of energy; coal would be disadvantaged over oil, which would be disadvantaged over natural gas. Although, the use of coal should also be banned, because of the pollutants present in it (such as mercury). “Clean coal” is an oxymoron.

    In a perfect world, brown coal would be left to mature into black coal, black coal would be left as a reserve in case of an unlikely new ice age, oil would be used as a valuable resource for industry (all pharmaceutical products excluding aspirin come from oil products) and all energy sources (including nuclear) would be on the table for consideration.

  72. Skeptic

    For those that think that Wind energy is the answer…. look to the beautiful island of Maui where I live… a great deal of the time our windmill farm is idle…. it’s not because there’s no wind (the tradewinds blow with vigor in Maui.). but more that the company that owns the windmills is not the company that owns the power company. They’re only permitted to generate a certain percentage of electricity and once that quota is reached, they idle. Yet, we have the highest cost of electricity per kilowatt than anywhere in the US due to the cost of oil. (A “low” electricity bill in Maui runs around $200/month, me being the evil one sees mine closer to $600/month during the cool months.)

    Next door to my office, is a field with 20 windmills in pieces waiting for assembly, they’ve been here for nearly 2 years. They won’t get installed due to politics, greed, and lastly…. environmental impact studies which place a choke-hold in the Hawaiian islands on anything new.

  73. Miles

    I see a lot of grievances here. If you want campaign finance reform to reduce the influence of money in politics yet don’t want xtian morals on gays, stem cells, abortion, sex ed, etc. forced on the country then vote Green Party. If you want something earnest done about Climate Change and politicians who approve of science, then vote Green Party. If you think the rich exploit the poor through obstruction of single payer healthcare and progressive taxes and encouragement of free trade and unnecessary war to depress wages overseas and then ship jobs there, then vote Green Party.

    As for the Tea Party, they’re full of it. They want smaller government, except when it comes to my bedroom or spending they like (like medicare) or bailing out big business. They want to cut taxes for the rich and starve the spending of social programs like education and regulation that protects workers like the Department of Labor. They want to bail out the banks to the tune of hundreds of billions, while its tough luck for the poor (and those minorities feeding off government largesse and privilege). Ron Paul’s Tea Party has already been co-opted by Fox News and other business lobbies into a popular movement for the transfer of wealth to the rich at the expense of the already exploited poor. And they’re a bunch of fascists who want to kill and oppress people, which at least Ron Paul was against. It’s disgusting.

    Not to mention that they’re a bunch of idiots and sheep who gobble up lies about how healthcare reform will cost more (it saves everyone money, it took 40 years too long and it’s marginal savings, but at least it’s a step in the right direction), about death panels, about how we need to keep invading and occupying to protect ourselves from a handful of terrorists when a minimal amount of economic assistance could have kept Afghanistan and Sudan from harboring those terrorists in the first place, about how they think brown people are stealing their jobs when it’s really the same old story of the rich exploiting the weak, and a majority believe evolution/climate change/peak oil are all false and Jesus is coming soon. The Tea Party is a fraud promoted by the rich to further their own ends (decreasing taxes on the rich, defunding social programs, and eliminating regulation), by racists and nationalists to continue killing brown people overseas and discriminating against minorities at home, and by the religious to shove their Puritan morals down our throats. The Tea Party is the party of freedom and liberty in name and authority and oppression in deed.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/210904

    Vote Green Party! They don’t accept ANY campaign donations, and every one of their policies is designed to make the rich pay for what they do instead of passing off the cost to taxpayers and future generations.

    http://www.therealdifference.org/issues.html

    The Green Party is the only true party of economic fairness and social liberty.


    ~ Miles =)

  74. Ian

    “The majority of these people just do not want government control of the economy. ”

    Yeah. Because the free market, un-regulated, works SO WELL.

    They also “oppose sharia law” in the usa. A non issue.
    They also think the president is a Muslim. A non issue, and wrong.
    They also think the president is not an American. Also wrong.

    I’ve seen the protesters on the side of the road with their tea party signs. They all reflected the above notions. The funny thing it, they’re always out there on weekdays while I’m about working. I hope they’re not on the dole!

    The Tea Party is dominated with intellectually bankrupt, credulous simpletons. They dance on the puppet strings of the right for “freedom” (as long as you are white and xtian) and have a laughably distorted view of history spoon fed to them by their ‘tard overlords at fox news.

    No. Ridicule is fully called for as they are ridiculous.

  75. Ronan

    In response to # 21. (Mike Oliver): I’ve definitely noticed this as well, both in the context of denialism and also in a much wider context. There seems to be an extreme…parochiality, I suppose, in the way humans think. Reality is What Aunt Clarissa Said About Shaun, or I Think That Guy Over By The Salad Bar Is Flirting With Me, or I Can Feel In My Heart That (insert statement here). Particularly in first-world countries where we don’t have to worry quite so much about natural disasters, diseases, etc., almost everything that matters to an average person–their world–is social. Art? Social. Music? Social. Friendships? Social. Love? Social. Jobs? A surprising amount are social exercises to fulfill social needs. Food and water? Socially provided; they aren’t limited by what’s available from the environment (at least, not visibly so), they’re limited by social factors. Why should science be different?

    Mind, I don’t think that most people, or even very many people at all, actually think that the workings of nature are socially defined. I’m the only member of my family who’s pursuing science as a career, but my nonscientist family members know full well that Jupiter, to pick a random example, is REAL, and has been swinging around in its great orbit for long before humans ever appeared–and will continue to do so long after we’re dead and gone. And that’s true for the vast majority of people, I’m sure.

    However, there’s a gap between what you know intellectually, and how you actually think about something. Even though your average person (and I don’t hold myself as an exception, I’ve caught myself thinking like this too, and there are probably plenty of times I don’t catch myself) may know how extremely diaphanous, fragile, and…well, unreal, the human social world is in comparison to Reality with a capital R, it doesn’t really sink in. People marvel at great artwork, at beautiful songs, at exquisite poetry–and I’m not saying that those things don’t have value; they’re magnificent. But…compare them to the C4 photosynthetic pathway. Compare them to the Boltzmann distribution of energy levels in the smallest, dirtiest pebble. Compare them to the orbits of world, endlessly turning through a barely-present haze of hydrogen and dust. Compare them to the long, slow million-year dance (a million years; do any of us really understand how LONG that is? Really?) of a diverging species, the great tragic pageantry of evolution and extinction played out over trillions of lives throughout billions of years. Compare them to the the lonely, timeless sojourn of a photon across a galaxy. Those things are real, and they can’t be swayed by opinion or talked ’round to a different point of view.

  76. jdw242b

    Ron Johnson, Tea(bag) Party, R, WI, climate change quasi-denier, blames sunspots:
    http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/100814454.html

    “I absolutely do not believe in the science of man-caused climate change,” Johnson said. “It’s not proven by any stretch of the imagination.”

  77. RawheaD

    @ Aleksandar

    If you’re amazed at the status of the word “progressive” in the U.S., you will be blown away by the status of the word “intellectual” here :-)

  78. RawheaD

    #14 Chuck

    That comic strip needs another scene, dated 2010, with somebody saying “OK, we might feel the effects during our lifetime, but nothing we do will have any meaningful effect”

  79. @Skeptic #73: So, how is that an argument against using wind power?

  80. John Sandlin

    Nice timing – I made a tiny Ficly story (well, they’re all tiny there… lol). It concerns what may happen when AGW runs it’s course: http://ficly.com/stories/21233

  81. Retired_Veteran

    I agree with military cuts. We need to stop Congressmen from forcing the Air Force to take cargo planes they do not want. This year a number of C-12 aircraft were forced on the Air Force because they are manufactured in a certain Congressman’s district. This is they type of military cuts that need to be made. Fund the military at the level the Joint Chiefs ask for and do not force them to take more.

    A congressman from my district wants over $1 million to build a Youth Center in this district. A Youth Center is a good idea, but why are Federal Funds being used to build it. These are the type of cuts we need to make, they may seem small but we have to start somewhere. STOP THE PORK!!! I say again…Make cuts before you ask me for more of my money!

  82. Brian137

    Hi Skeptic,
    In post #61, you said:

    The only thing to say is to not trust a single person on either side on any topic regarding climate change.”

    I pretty much trust a lot of people for a lot of things. In my experience, many (most?) people conduct their affairs with integrity. Do you believe that climatologists are less trustworthy than most other people?

    Also, it seems to me that many of us have our beliefs without necessarily being on a “side.” I, for instance, believe that human activity contributes to global warming. That belief seems neutral – not on a side against any other person or group.

  83. Bruce

    I can’t wait for November when the dullard Democrats get voted out and we get some common sense in Congress. The Republicans aren’t gullible enough to believe in global warming. So keep reading your Daily Kos and Think Progress. I hope that Kool-Aid you’re drinking is tasty.

  84. Paul in Sweden

    In these days of little faith it is apparent that there will be no mandatory national program to sell carbon indulgences. This does not mean that all is lost. The faith is still strong on the left coast and significant battles can be won in the crusade against science and humanity.

    There is a very good chance that the AB 32 California Jobs Initiative can be defeated. Recent polling suggests that AB 32 support has a slight lead. A win for AB 32 in California would be a demoralizing disaster for the national Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming movement. If sweeping bipartisan global warming legislation which has already been passed by the California legislature and signed into law by the governor can be suspended by those without faith through a ballot initiative, what chance is there for the establishment of a national Gospel on Global Warming in the Senate and the House of Representatives?

    All crusades cannot be won, however California in November is important. California can demonstrate what sweeping Global Warming legislation can do for it’s economy and be an example to the rest of the United States as Spain has been an example to Europe. Defeating the AB 32 California Jobs initiative would show the nation just where California stands.

    Gaia’s speed to you all :)

    BTW: Do not forget that there are Democrats lurking among the faithful who have turned their backs against the cause.

    “26 Democrats: Climate Change Should Be Filibustered”
    -http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/04/26-democrats-climate-change-should-be-filibustered.php

  85. Geetarz

    Phil, you’ve lost it. I can only imagine if an Evil Republican administration had been dismantling NASA’s manned programs in the way Obama has been doing. You would have doused yourself in gasoline and set yourself on fire in protest. You rant and rave about “skepticism”, yet you are so biased, you don’t know what it is. Your point of view is so narrow, that you can’t even see the other side.

    Okay, brilliant boy, since you’re so hand-wringingly terrified of the evils of “climate change”, please explain something to me, okay?

    Multiple, repeated periods of glaciation and retreat. In our (relatively) recent geological past, glaciers covered most of the northern hemisphere. You might have heard about it – Great Lakes, that sort of thing.

    So, if we see an established pattern of glaciation and retreat occurring naturally on the planet WITHOUT HUMAN INTERVENTION, what would possibly make you consider that any current change is not man-made?

    *crickets chirping*

    Please, pretend for just a few minutes that you have some rational objectivity, and why don’t you focus your energies on all the years of skill and talent that are about to be laid off by the current administration, with a new goal of “maybe thinking about going to an asteroid or something, in 30 or 40 years or something”.

  86. Messier Tidy Upper

    Since no-one else has yet posted it here’s a link to the

    “Climate Denial Crock of the Week” on-line series which I’d strongly recommend for anyobne interested in this issue :

    http://www.youtube.com/user/greenman3610#p/p

    incl. this latest news update to the Arctic sea ic emelt that is happeneing right now :

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

    & then there’s this Youtube video :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krBeW5LWs3M&feature=related

    showing the Permafrost turning into methane-emitting swampland as we talk.

    Yeah, this Republican refusal to accept the scientific consensus really isn’t good & really does have negative long-term consequences. :-(

    OTOH, at least the Republicans aren’t shutting down NASA’s human spaceflight and exploration program and cancelling Constellation like Obama wants to which will also have grave negative long-term consequences so .. :-(

    Politics ..yeck.

    One final thing toconsider – whatver we do willneed tobe global and notrestrcited toone nationor even ahandfulof them. The USA and Australia (my land) can’t make enough impact ontheir own – we need to get China, India and the rest of the world taking action too. Which after the Copenhagen summit farce seems incredibly unlikely. Depressing subject this one. :-(

  87. Messier Tidy Upper

    CORRECTION for clarity to my post #88 (??) awaiting moderation now :

    One final thing to consider – whatever we do will need to be done globally and not restricted to just one nation or even a handful of them.

    The USA and Australia (my land) can’t make enough impact on their own – we need to get China, India and the rest of the world taking action too. Which after the Copenhagen summit farce seems incredibly unlikely.

    I accept the verdict of most expert climatologists that Anthropogenic Global Warming is real, is a serious problem and we DO need to take action to fight it. But I’m not sure what action we can realistically take though. Especially when the whole world is needed for anything to actually work.

    Can we force China to do the right thing on this?

    Do we have the right to tell the Third World that they must live in poverty and misery so the planet doesn’t warm? Or the will to enforce “anti-Carbon laws and taxes and harsh energy constraints upon them if they refuse?

    The scientific debate is already clearly won by the scientists arguing that AGW is real and really bad.

    The political and cultural debate, however, is one where the Denialists seem to have the upper hand although this may (at least partly) be an artefact of the Murdoch media. (Fox news, The Australian newspaper etc ..)

    Depressing subject this one. :-(

    It sounds terribly grim and awful to say this & I hate to mention it but the stark, harsh reality might be that perhaps our best hope is for a major global pandemic or other event to drastically reduce the number of people on the planet? :-(

  88. John Sandlin

    So apparently all these arm chair climatologists who’ve never done a lick of research know more about how the climate is changing then the people who’ve chosen to study the topic in depth and performed actual research.

    Wouldn’t that be like going to the baseball stadium peanut vendor to have your coronary bypass performed?

  89. davem

    @87: Man made CO2 increasing rapidly over 200 years? Wow, that was difficult /sarcasm

    Do you have any difficult questions?

    @Messier: I’m not so worried about China. They seem to be going full ahead getting new fuel technologies to work. Once they’ve done that, they’ll be aiming to dominate the global market. And that will require them to act, too.

  90. Paul in Sweden

    Thousands and thousands of scientists….

    Where did that PR babble come from?

    The importance of selling consensus to the media was a high priority for the IPCC. John Costella discusses the building of the IPCC “consensus” in the very beginning of his climategate whistle-blower FOIA file analysis(page 18):
    -http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/climategate_analysis.pdf
    ———————-
    October 9, 1997: climategate email 0876437553
    We now encounter one of the most insidious red herrings in the climate debate: how many thousands of scientists “endorsed” the views of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    Just months before the UNFCCC’s Third Conference of Parties (COP III), the critical Kyoto meeting of December 1997 which resulted in the Kyoto Protocol, we find the germ of this idea fertilizing in an email from Joe Alcamo, Director of the Center for Environmental Systems Research in Germany, to Mike Hulme and Rob Swart:

    Sounds like you guys have been busy doing good things for the cause.

    I would like to weigh in on two important questions—

    Distribution for Endorsements—
    I am very strongly in favor of as wide and rapid a distribution as possible for endorsements. I think the only thing that counts is numbers. The media is going to say “1000 scientists signed” or “1500 signed”. No one is going to check if it is 600 with PhDs versus 2000 without. They will mention the prominent ones, but that is a different story.

    This statement alone shows how ridiculous the “endorsement” process was from the very beginning. Signing a petition in support of an opinion—regardless of whether the signatory has a PhD or not—is as scientifically meaningless as if these same people had voted Albert Einstein’s hairstyle as the most interesting in the history of science. It is simply nonsense.

    Alcamo continues:
    Timing—I feel strongly that the week of 24 November is too late.
    1. We wanted to announce the Statement in the period when there was a sag in related news, but in the week before Kyoto we should expect that we will have to crowd out many other articles about climate.
    2. If the Statement comes out just a few days before Kyoto I am afraid that the delegates who we want to influence will not have any time to pay attention to it. We should give them a few weeks to hear about it.
    3. If Greenpeace is having an event the week before, we should have it a week before them so that they and other Non-Governmental Organizations can further spread the word about the Statement. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be so bad to release the Statement in the same week, but on a different day. The media might enjoy hearing the message from two very different directions.
    Conclusion I suggest the week of 10 November, or the week of 17 November at the latest.

    Alcamo demonstrates that this is a carefully crafted piece of political activism, not related to the scientific process at all. Indeed, the optimization of the timing—allowing just enough time for delegates to absorb the message, but not enough time for the scientists signing on to this petition to actually examine or criticize its contents—will return with a vengeance below.
    ——————-

    Consensus is not science and the points that there are agreements are not the points that are spouted off in the media.

  91. Messier Tidy Upper

    @76. Ronan :

    … my nonscientist family members know full well that Jupiter, to pick a random example, is REAL, and has been swinging around in its great orbit for long before humans ever appeared–and will continue to do so long after we’re dead and gone.

    Unless there really are Monoliths there about to turn it into a star as in ‘Space Odyssey 2010′ that is! ;-)

    Great comment there btw. :-)

  92. bad Jim

    I always dread these climate change posts, because the deniers come out of the woodworks like cockroaches. I wonder how it works. Are they amateurs with no lives of their own, is there a bat signal calling them to converge, are they paid shills?

    I’m inclined to go with the amateur hypothesis, if only because they fall all over themselves patting themselves on the back for their cleverness. Libertarians, God’s Own Patsies.

  93. Paul in Sweden

    More on the “consensus” and the IPCC:

    A comparison between the report approved by the contributing scientists and the published version reveals that key changes were made after the scientists had met and accepted what they thought was the final peer-reviewed version. The scientists were assuming that the IPCC would obey the IPCC Rules–a body of regulations that is supposed to govern the panel’s actions. Nothing in the IPCC Rules permits anyone to change a scientific report after it has been accepted by the panel of scientific contributors and the full IPCC.

    The participating scientists accepted “The Science of Climate Change” in Madrid last November; the full IPCC accepted it the following month in Rome. But more than 15 sections in Chapter 8 of the report–the key chapter setting out the scientific evidence for and against a human influence over climate–were changed or deleted after the scientists charged with examining this question had accepted the supposedly final text.

    Few of these changes were merely cosmetic; nearly all worked to remove hints of the skepticism with which many scientists regard claims that human activities are having a major impact on climate in general and on global warming in particular.

    The following passages are examples of those included in the approved report but deleted from the supposedly peer-reviewed published version:

    * “None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases.”

    * “No study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed to date] to anthropogenic [man-made] causes.”

    * “Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced.”
    Wall Street Journal, June 12, 1996
    Mr. Seitz is president emeritus of Rockefeller University and chairman of the George C. Marshall Institute

    -http://www.sepp.org/Archive/controv/ipcccont/Item05.htm

    Similar and worse actions took place with regards to the IPCC fourth assessment report(AR4).

  94. Paul in Sweden

    Royal Society bows to climate change sceptics
    Wednesday, 29 September 2010 22:09 Ben Webster, The Times

    Britain’s leading scientific institution has been forced to rewrite its guide to climate change and admit that there is greater uncertainty about future temperature increases than it had previously suggested.

    The Royal Society is publishing a new document today after a rebellion by more than 40 of its fellows who questioned mankind’s contribution to rising temperatures.

    Climate change: a summary of the science states that “some uncertainties are unlikely ever to be significantly reduced”. Unlike Climate change controversies, a simple guide — the document it replaces — it avoids making predictions about the impact of climate change and refrains from advising governments about how they should respond.

    The new guide says: “The size of future temperature increases and other aspects of climate change, especially at the regional scale, are still subject to uncertainty.”

    The Royal Society even appears to criticise scientists who have made predictions about heatwaves and rising sea levels. It now says: “There is little confidence in specific projections of future regional climate change, except at continental scales.”

    It adds: “It is not possible to determine exactly how much the Earth will warm or exactly how the climate will change in the future.
    -http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/environment/article2746280.ece

  95. wildmonky

    I present to you Tea Party science: http://gop2112.com/archives/226?site=101

    I wish it were a Poe. Maybe it is? It’s the same Michelle Bachman nonsense about how CO2 isn’t harmful.

  96. Not surprising. Most of the Republican candidates probably do know that global warming is man-made and solvable by current or future technology, however to admit that they would have to agree to regulate their lobbyists. I’ll bet if you look at every one of those candidates and see who gave money to their campaigns, nearly every single one will be supported by some kind of petroleum company.

  97. Red

    Mixonph,

    When did you hear that the TEA in Tea Party stands for Taxed Enough Already? I’ve seen those bumper stickers recently, but it was over a year and a half ago that Rick Santelli made his infamous rant about spending and suggesting we have a modern day Boston Tea Party. Maybe the word TEA has been co-opted to be about taxes to some, but that’s not the genesis of the movement.

    For a better treatment of that, check out Matt Taibbi’s article in Rolling Stone.

    Wayne and the others who decry ‘cap and trade’,

    That system was developed under Bush 41 as a market based way to reduce acid rain. It accomplished that goal and didn’t destroy the economy.

    And to those who point out that democrats are also partisan (although I’m quite dubious of that claim): so what? That has no bearing on the willful ignorance being exhibited from the GOP.

  98. They have their position because that’s how they get votes. It has nothing to do with reality. It has everything to do with getting into power. Now, that’s scary isn’t it? Some might even believe it really is man made but at the risk of losing votes, they’ll never admit it.

    As for the ones that don’t believe in evolution… well there’s no hope for them. :)

  99. Steve

    The fact that is the title of this post is one that too many people have trouble coming to grips with. Yes, human-driven climate change is real. Here’s another fact – there is never going to be the political will to change our behaviors to deal with it. Trying to make it so is pounding our head against a wall. We need to be focusing a lot more on mitigation strategies and a lot less on trying to prevent the inevitable. Let’s spend more energy on desalination, levees, efficient irrigation, etc.

  100. Paul in Sweden

    @101. Steve

    Sure, that makes sense….

    Dam lies will cost us plenty
    Herald Sun Andrew Bolt Blog
    Monday, September 27, 2010 at 06:45am

    The Victorian Labor Government – gripped by the green ideology – decided to ban any new dam for Melbourne, and even turned a dam reservation on the fast-flowing Mitchell into a national park.

    Instead, it decided to spend at least four times more on building a desalination plant that would provide a third of the water. But that’s assuming we’ll actually use the water:

    Even if the plant produces nothing, the government will be forced to pay under its contract $570 million a year for 30 years. This is equal to $3.80 a kilolitre without the supply of any water.

    That figure actually came out a fortnight ago, but Kenneth Davidson discovers the financial idiocy of this green plan doesn’t stop there – and neither does the red ink or green lies:

    If the plant is turned on, it uses electricity. The government promised it would be carbon neutral. This means consuming power at the renewable wind farm rate, which is $125 a megawatt hour compared to base rate coal-fired power of $35.

    Of course, it will really be powered by brown coal, probably from Hazelwood, the closest and cheapest power station. There are two reasons for this: wind power is intermittent and grid wind output calculations are based on 8 per cent of the wind farm capacity.

    This means the 98 megawatts required to run the desal plant and pump water across Melbourne can’t be supplied by existing or planned wind farms…

    To calculate the cost of desal water to the household, we have to add in the cost of electricity and the mark-up of at least 25 per cent each for Melbourne Water and the three water retailers.

    This means the … cost of desal water will be $7.05 a kilolitre compared to $1.20 now”
    -http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/dam_lies_will_cost_us_plenty/

  101. Paul in Sweden

    Here is another video for you MTU. Nasa GISS chief Jim Hansen and a bunch of Democrats just prior to their arrest at the recent Global Warming symposium in Washington D.C.

    Such a difference between Democrats and Republicans :)

    -http://www.youtube.com/v/u7OCM7TnzJQ?fs

  102. Gary Ansorge

    I wonder if the Easter Islanders had political argument about the end of their world, as they cut down the last of their trees?

    “Stopping the tree cutting will damage our economy,etc.”

    I hope the first people eaten were politicians.

    Gary 7

  103. Paul in Sweden

    I wonder if the Aztecs had a “consensus” when they blamed changes in climate on the sins of man or if they just thought it was politically expedient lopping off the heads of the peasants…

  104. Lomborgist

    @Wayne on the plains, #30:
    Thanks for calling me “less wrong.” I think you got my point.

  105. Eric

    Scary stuff.
    Did anyone else see the Daily Telegraph article about how thorium could be a potential energy panacea? It was discarded as a viable fuel over uranium, because the by-products of the uranium processes gave plutonium, which made weapons. Thorium has no such by-products and produces no waste. It could make this debate moot, but it will never happen because of big lobby interests.
    It’s an uphill battle for people of reason in this modern world. Is that to be our epitaph as a species?
    Such a much more civil discussion on this site than so many others…must be the science angle, keeps the riff-raff out.

  106. don gisselbeck

    We should start by charging full price for petroleum products. It would not only include the costs of infrastructure, but all of the costs of these mideast wars.

  107. Jeff

    “Scientists are necessarily conservative when it comes to consensus. It takes years, decades, of testing ideas to build an agreement on what’s what. At first, many will argue against it, but eventually, as evidence piles up, the scientists will come to terms with the new idea, and use it as the default position.

    When it comes to global warming, that consensus has been built. The vast majority — and I do mean vast — of climate scientists agree that the Earth is warming, and while evidence is still coming in, most of these scientists agree warming is due to human causes”

    It is very good that scientists are conservative and I myself get irritated by some of the ATM (against the mainstream) people because they keep wasting people’s time 99% of the time .

    But a case like global warming is unfortunately already into the basket case zone. These is one of those things that really truly is in the domain of science, but of course, since it goes to the heart of the industrial revolution, the debate will widen to every aspect of society. And I’ve taught 30 years so I know human nature very well now, and when you get everyone involved in a debate, it devolves eventually into a pie fight. And that is exactly what is going on here.

    But from a true scientific standpoint, it’s probably established that humans are causing this global warming now.

  108. Steve Metzler

    Eric (#107) says:

    Did anyone else see the Daily Telegraph article about how thorium could be a potential energy panacea? It was discarded as a viable fuel over uranium, because the by-products of the uranium processes gave plutonium, which made weapons. Thorium has no such by-products and produces no waste. It could make this debate moot, but it will never happen because of big lobby interests.

    OK, I just read a good portion of the Wikipedia entry on thorium. A lot of what you say apparently bears out. Thorium is 3 – 4 times more abundant than uranium, and 1 ton of thorium appears to generate as much energy as 200 tons of uranium. So far so good. It’s waste products are a lot less pernicious than those of uranium (but it certainly doesn’t produce “no waste” as you state). So… aside from the fact that it doesn’t produce weapons grade plutonium as a fission by-product, why aren’t other countries jumping all over this like India is?

    Being as there’s usually no such thing as a free lunch when it comes to matters like this, there must be a catch. Anybody have the answer?

  109. Wayne Robinson

    Red (comment #99);
    “Wayne and the others who decry ‘cap and trade’,
    That system was developed under Bush 41 as a market based way to reduce acid rain. It accomplished that goal and didn’t destroy the economy”.

    James Hansen in “Storms of My Grandchildren” discussed “cap and trade” in reference to acid rain and concluded that it wasn’t as great a success as made out and actually slowed the reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions.

    “Cap and trade” also has the disadvantage that it’s very complicated, and as a result, to make it work, will make a lot of savvy traders very (obscenely) rich, which will be certain to create a lot of general distrust.

    Whereas “fee and dividend” is very simple and also revenue neutral, so it can’t be attacked as a secret tax grab. It also would be easy to export to other countries; any country that doesn’t have a similar carbon tax, under world trade provisions, can be penalised with import duties on their exports, legally.

    “Fee and dividend” also has the advantage that it’s taxing only a small number of companies; the producers and importers of fossil fuels, so it’s efficient and transparent, and much easier to ramp up by progressively increasing the cost of a tonne of carbon dioxide emissions. “Cap and trade” is very complicated with emitters having to buy on the market a licence (the number of which would have to be progressively decreasing) to pollute, and its eventual customers (the voters who would have to eventually agree with all of this) would get no compensation for the increased costs.

  110. Undeniable

    Phil,

    “Don’t be a dick!”

    Isn’t calling people “deniers” being a dick? In case you’re unsure, the answer is ‘yes’.

  111. OnTheSun

    A hundred billion dollars spent world-wide on your propaganda-based understanding of reality on human-caused global warming. Certainly by your thinking, your comrades got the precise answers taxpayers paid for. “The objective is to prove…”

    Like the educational industry which grows mediocracy proportional to the wages of its protected elite administrators. And its union overlords who “tax” the union members to pay for political control of the Democratic party. “Tax even more—for the kids.”

    Until Ben Franklin proved otherwise, it was believed that weather was a local response by God for local sin. You use the same arguments they did back before then. What is more, you have the same aristocratic attitudes as embodied in Progressivism: You have the right to rule and rob lesser people—for their own good. And, some people should not be allowed to live. Four months of inconvenience is is sufficient justification for abortion. If some evil person ever breaks your leg, would you cut it off? Not you. But you would insist on it for those you disagree with. Just like you feel you MUST silence anyone who disagrees with your liberal-glory reality.

    I know you would refuse to read the US Constitution—except to discover fault in it. Progressives have always been that way. Like the Society For The Prevention Of Blindness, which began with an objective of removing blind people from society. The abortion movement had the same genesis. To paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, a good farmer removes the diseased from the herd—and so should society. They started with the colored churches.

    Woodrow Wilson with his propaganda machine, which you are no doubt enjoying as much of its use as its greatest fans did in Nazi Germany. (The correspondence in the 1930s was prolific.) Placing undesirables into Federal government detention? Yes. Wilson did. FDR did. Barack “The Great Deceiver” Obama? (Soon?)

    From your statements there is little doubt you would leap at the opportunity to file daily reports on the suspicious activities of your family and neighbors, not just “to save the world” for them, but also to prove to yourself and the world that you have the right attitude. True? True. True!

    You must have really enjoyed the past ten years of Democrat propaganda attacking the Republicans weekly in almost every TV show on NBC, CBS, and ABC, MSNBC, CNC. You can download them to keep you warm this winter. And light up your evenings with laughter in the darkness as the government-mandated increases in electrical rates and availability cut back you lighting. (Those photovoltaic really do well covered with ice.)

    A “real American” wants more electricity and lower cost, not less. (And we had it.) But our current government would not achieve its objective—a two-class society. The “Ruling Party” (with the majority in the Democratic party, and some like McCain, in the Republican party) requires serfs. Ask the people of Detroit, or New Orleans of the benefits of 50-100 years of Democratic party rule. (“Got’a love your slave masters. Or else!)

  112. Ronan

    Undeniable: What term would you have him use? “Skeptic?” I can’t speak for him, of course, but personally I wouldn’t use that term because, well, I don’t think that they’re exhibiting true skepticism. Would “Doubters” be preferable?

  113. Wayne Robinson

    I’m afraid you started off with a lie, OnTheSun (comment #113);

    “A hundred billion dollars spent world-wide on your propaganda-based understanding of reality on human-caused global warming. Certainly by your thinking, your comrades got the precise answers taxpayers paid for. ‘The objective is to prove…’”

    And then rapidly went downhill thereafter. A hundred million dollars? Where did you suck that figure? Out of your thumb?

  114. Steve Huntwork

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UHN3zHoYA0&feature=player_embedded

    And this is what you support?

    Well, I am proud of being called a “denier” because I still believe in the scientific method and refuse to blindly follow what I am told to think.

    Vote democrat.

    No pressure!

  115. Steve Huntwork

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeMi8Bxw6lI

    Behind the scenes of No Pressure….

    This was not a satire, but something that you seem to support. If not, then it is time for you to become a man and stand up.

    Vote democrat.

    No pressure!

  116. Steve Huntwork

    Thanks, I fully expected my comments to be deleted.

    You may not realize this, but this is the type of crap that my side of this debate must deal with each and every day.

    As an astronomer, I respect you and read your blog many times a day. However, when you get political, you may not fully realize what you are saying.

    Perhaps this video will help you understand how people like me feel, when we are being attacked from all sides. Our crime? Simply asking questions!

    On the subject of Tea Party:

    It takes a very twisted mind to think that the term “Tea Bagger” was racist or sexual in nature and adopted for that reason.

    Once upon a time in Boston, American citizens organized and had a peaceful demonstration against their government. What they did that night went down in history as the “Boston Tea Party” and nobody was harmed.

    The government refused to listen to what the American citizens were trying to tell them, and the result was a WAR a few years later.

    Over 200 years later, American citizens once again tried to demonstrate against their government and mailed tea bags to their elected in Washington DC. Because of the tea bags, the people involved were termed “tea baggers” by the media.

    Once again, the government refused to listen to a peaceful reproduction of the “Boston Tea Party” and a WAR may be the result.

    Watch that video again and pretend that you were a member of the original “Boston Tea Party.” What would your next step have been over 200 years ago?

    Sorry, but recess is almost over…

  117. Gary

    First label them “deniers.”
    Then up the ante: http://www.1010global.org/no-pressure

    Phil, I hope you condemn this to the same degree you bash people who disagree with you.

  118. Brian137

    Our crime? Simply asking questions!

    What questions?

    I… believe in the scientific method and refuse to blindly follow what I am told to think.

    That would place you in categories for which I think most of us would have a great deal of respect.

  119. Wayne Robinson

    Steve Huntwork,

    As an Australian living 20,000 km from America and having had all the benefits of Australian education, the first time I heard the term “tea baggers”, naturally the first thing I thought of was the Boston Tea Party, with its natural protest of “no representation, no tax” against the rule of King George III (actually, as an Australian, i approve of the American Revolution, otherwise I wouldn’t be here, Australia being settled initially only as a dumping ground for England’s unwanted convicts and political prisoners after America was ruled out). However, I think with the benefit of distance that the aims of the tea baggers is bats**t crazy. What are they complaining about? That they don’t have representation or that they don’t like democracy giving results that they don’t approve of?

  120. Steve Huntwork

    Personally, I hope like hell that the “Tea Party” fails…

    Watch that video!

  121. Brian137

    First label them “deniers.”

    What does the word “deniers” mean (as you refer to it)?

  122. Steve Huntwork

    “What does the word “deniers” mean?”

    From personal experiance, I will try to explain that term.

    After graduating from meteorology school, I was assigned to the Atmospheric Sciences Labratory at White Sands Missile Range. My first duty (as someone new) was to make hourly weather observations.

    Every hour, I would walk out to the weather instrument shelter and record the actual temperature on the thermometers. The next morning, my supervisor would check my records for accuracy. If I was stupid and recorded a large change in temperature or wind speed without a front passing over our location, then something was probably wrong.

    Our official weather records were strictly checked each and every day before they were submitted.

    When I have idiots “adjusting” my official weather measurements years later, I tend to get VERY upset. Unless you can prove in a court of law that I made an error in my records, then….

    Sorry, but sometimes this does get rather personal.

    …………

    “What does the word “deniers” mean?”

    Someone that was actually there and recorded those actual temperatures and is now calling those who have “adjusted” his own data for their own personal needs as FRAUDS!

    So yes, I have “denied” what they have published as not being honest.

  123. Paul in Sweden

    More leftist eco-wacko crap.

    Just kill skeptics.

    10:10 mini-movie – No Pressure

    -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UHN3zHoYA0

    Dropping polar bears from planes just wasn’t far enough.

  124. OnTheSun

    Everything “Green” is propaganda, including and included in the economic calculation. And if not funded by government subsidies and tax breaks, then by people and organizations influenced to expend their own resources.

    One example. Build a Chevy Volt for $81K, sell it for $41K with a $7K tax write-off and free electrical outlet adapters. And others: TV commercials are expensive to make and show on most channels perhaps a dozen times a day, every day, year after year. Education programs in schools on “saving the earth,” targeted at children to make them comfortable with with the green religion and government as god, all knowing, all caring, all powerful—cost more than teaching them math or how to read with critical comprehension. “Obey.”

    Research grants are expensive, as are rockets and satellites, boats and planes, and the people to assess findings, write about them, and promote their interpretations. Then add the impact of environmental regulations on people and businesses. Those mercury-gas-filled lights, made in China, cost a lot to import, sell, install, recycle or cleanup if broken. (As I recall, last year in Ohio, an electric company had them hand-delivered to thousands of customers, then charged them for the bulbs , the service, and expected decrease in electrical use.) Then add in the government-forced increases in energy costs of every kind, particularly those for industrial production, business operations, agricultural production, transportation, residences, the military, and so on. (Make it overseas, not here.”)

    All together, since the late 1960s, a hundred billion dollars can’t be too unreasonable an estimate.

    But instead of exploring these or other possibilities, there is a personal attack, perhaps for amusement, perhaps for identification as a liberal to other liberals. “We are legion. Uncomformist beware!”

    Other ways of showing common liberal agreement include defining everyone by skin color, religion, sexuality, age, physical appearance, handicaps, political party, and wealth. And if an individual is thus different, they must express or otherwise demonstrate their conformity to the accepted objectives and perceptions; else they be commoner, or worse, enemy. “Do you recycle?”

  125. OnTheSun

    Everything “Green” is propaganda, including and included in the economic calculation. And if not funded by government subsidies and tax breaks, then by people and organizations influenced to expend their own resources.

    One example. Build a Chevy Volt for $81K, sell it for $41K with a $7K tax write-off and free electrical outlet adapters. And others: TV commercials are expensive to make and show on most channels perhaps a dozen times a day, every day, year after year. Education programs in schools on “saving the earth,” targeted at children to make them comfortable with with the green religion and government as god, all knowing, all caring, all powerful—cost more than teaching them math or how to read with critical comprehension. “Obey.”

    Research grants are expensive, as are rockets and satellites, boats and planes, and the people to assess findings, write about them, and promote their interpretations. Then add the impact of environmental regulations on people and businesses. Those mercury-gas-filled lights, made in China, cost a lot to import, sell, install, recycle or cleanup if broken. (As I recall, last year in Ohio, an electric company had them hand-delivered to thousands of customers, then charged them for the bulbs , the service, and expected decrease in electrical use.) Then add in the government-forced increases in energy costs of every kind, particularly those for industrial production, business operations, agricultural production, transportation, residences, the military, and so on. (Make it overseas, not here.”)

    All together, since the late 1960s, a hundred billion dollars can’t be too unreasonable an estimate.

    But instead of exploring these or other possibilities, there is a personal attack, perhaps for amusement, perhaps for identification as a liberal to other liberals. “We are legion. Uncomformist beware!”

    Other ways of showing common liberal agreement include defining everyone by skin color, religion, sexuality, age, physical appearance, handicaps, political party, and wealth. And if an individual is thus different, they must express or otherwise demonstrate their conformity to the accepted objectives and perceptions; else they be commoner, or worse, enemy. “Do you recycle?”

  126. Brian137

    Steve,

    Thank you for responding to my post #124.

  127. Steve Huntwork

    Brian137: You are most welcome.

    We often view things from different perspectives, but most people desire the same things.

    When I debate a scientific subject with Phil, it is often because of my personal knowledge on the topic. As an astronomer, Phil is someone who I honestly respect and read his blog a minimum of twice a day. Please do not confuse any of my comments as a personal attack against Phil.

    I do find it rather amazing that nobody has commented about the video that I provided tonight. Interesting….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UHN3zHoYA0&feature=player_embedded

    However, Phil did not delete any of my posting tonight and he has earned my respect because of that.

  128. Paul in Sweden

    @129. Brian137 & Steve #124.

    Everyone knows the radiative properties of CO2 in the atmosphere. What is little understood are the retroactive effects of CO2 on historical data records and proxy reconstructions. CO2 is said to be a phenomenally powerful greenhouse gas capable of rapidly heating the earth’s climate many years in the future(although an increase of 0.7C since the end of the little ice age which by coincidence corresponds with the beginning of the industrial age) and capable of cooling historical temperatures literally rewriting history.

    Homogenization of temperature records has become systematized data fraud.

  129. Paul in Sweden

    One exasperated administration official on Thursday lambasted the environmentalists – led by the Environmental Defense Fund – for failing to effectively lobby GOP senators.

    “They didn’t deliver a single Republican,” the official told POLITICO. “They spent like $100 million and they weren’t able to get a single Republican convert on the bill.”
    -http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0710/40132.html

    $100 million is just one of many drops in the bucket for the well organized industry & government funded PR campaign for Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming(“climate science”).

    What other “science” has costumed mascots & regular arrests at gatherings?

  130. Paul in Sweden

    Gotta love the alarmists….

    Alarmist Clive Hamilton: In an attempt to prevent bad weather, immigration to Australia should be cut by a factor of six
    Green Left Weekly

    Climate denial still needs to be exposed, resisted and ridiculed at every turn because there is no doubt that climate deniers have made great strides in recent times. It’s a highly effective movement, which has shifted the political ground and also has had a large impact on public perceptions.

    They have pursued an explicit strategy of sowing doubt in the minds of the public and political leaders about the validity of climate science. They are very effective in Australia, and are particularly effective in the United States.

    My view is that we should cut immigration to Australia to about 50,000 a year, from the current levels of close to 300,000. And that 50,000 should be used to expand our humanitarian efforts, to expand the number of asylum seekers coming into Australia.

    [This] would help reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and help us better fulfil our humanitarian obligations.
    -http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/45502

  131. Muzz

    Pretty thin gruel the deniers are ladelling these days; ‘greenies are meanies!’, ‘no consensus!’, ‘alarmism!’, ‘Money!’.
    You guys seemed almost relevant a year ago. Now look at you.

  132. klem

    “I personally will not support anything that increases taxes for anyone but the most wealthy until we slash our military waste.”

    I agree, I would love to see the USA pull it’s military installations out of the EU. Within 3 years they’ll all be speaking Russian and answering to Vlad Putin. But hey, we’d save a bundle.

  133. klem

    “I’m not a climate change naysayer, far from it. I don’t believe that there is much “true, honest science” on this topic and the “good science” there has been has been tainted by the dishonest, partisan science.”

    You have just summed up the opinion of most on the denier side, so whether you know it or not, you sir are a climate denier. Welcome.

  134. klem

    I’m always amazed at how people accept the opinions of climate scientists with regards to the role of CO2 in the greenhouse effect. According to Wikipedia “When these gases are ranked by their contribution to the greenhouse effect, the most important are: water vapor which contributes 36–72%, carbon dioxide which contributes 9–26%, methane which contributes 4–9%, ozone which contributes 3–7%.”

    If AGW is so established, how is it that the estimated range for CO2 is so LARGE? The range is 9-26%, that’s almost a 3 fold range. In any science with which I am familiars a range of that magnitude is unacceptable, it is without utility. After 40 years and billions spent on climate science, this is the best they can do?

  135. bigdaddyhen

    @46. JasonB

    “This finding is shared by scientific bodies around the world. However, in the alternate reality of the fossil-fueled right wing, climate science is confused or a conspiracy, and policies to limit pollution would destroy the economy.”

    POLLUTION, not POPULATION.

    How you misread this to think anyone was talking about limiting population is humorous.

  136. Paul in Sweden

    Here is a new analysis of data going back to 1875 showing the benefits of rising atmospheric CO2 levels:
    -http://tinyurl.com/2b33mdb

  137. Wayne Robinson

    klem (comment #137); “I’m always amazed at how people accept the opinions of climate scientists with regards to the role of CO2 in the greenhouse effect. According to Wikipedia “When these gases are ranked by their contribution to the greenhouse effect, the most important are: water vapor which contributes 36–72%, carbon dioxide which contributes 9–26%, methane which contributes 4–9%, ozone which contributes 3–7%.”
    If AGW is so established, how is it that the estimated range for CO2 is so LARGE? The range is 9-26%, that’s almost a 3 fold range. In any science with which I am familiars a range of that magnitude is unacceptable, it is without utility. After 40 years and billions spent on climate science, this is the best they can do?”

    That’s easily explained; water vapour and methane within the atmosphere are more or less transient depending on conditions. Water vapour lasts a few days before it comes out as rain. Methane lasts about a week before it is oxidised to carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide lasts about a hundred years before it is removed as part of the carbon cycle.

    But increasing global temperatures have positive feedback effects; more evaporation from bodies of water, more melting of permafrost with release of methane from bacterial decomposition of frozen vegetation, collapse of methane clathrates in deep sea water, release of more carbon dioxide from oceans (gases are less soluble in water with increasing temperature) …

    It’s the carbon dioxide we have to worry about because anything we do about it today will take decades to have any effect. Methane due to human influences can be relatively easily solved by changing our agricultural practices. And we need water vapour in the atmosphere.

  138. FiveString

    @137.klem

    You reveal your misunderstanding of the nature of science. Accepting opinions is irrelevant. Science rests on an evaluation of data by qualified peers, who can, and do, repeat, improve, and extend experiments if the results seem questionable. This very method has given us computers, airplanes, weather satellites, and modern medicine, to name a few things for which I’m very grateful.

    The numerical ranges that have you so wound-up and, apparently, convinced that you know more than the entire community of atmospheric scientists are addressed in detail in the primary source material (always a better bet than Wikipedia). Briefly stated, they represent the results of computer model runs designed to address the hypothetical question of what each gas’s contribution would be if they didn’t interact with each other in complex ways. Which they do.

    Those uncertainties are absolutely irrelevant to the basic facts: 1) CO2 is an important greenhouse gas. 2) The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen by about 40% since the mid-eighteenth century after having been roughly constant for the prior 50 centuries. 3) That increase is due primarily to the burning of fossil fuels. These facts are accepted by virtually every atmospheric scientist in the world.

    In the past decade or so a mountain of evidence has accumulated from many different sources that clearly demonstrates that the planet (land, atmosphere, and oceans) is warming. There is very little debate about this point either, though it isn’t quite as rock-solid as the previous paragraph.

    Reasonable people can discuss the best way to deal with these facts, or whether to deal with them at all. One can, and should, argue about sensible public policy and that’s how politicians spend their days. But denying the facts to score political points with a misinformed electorate guarantees that they will not get my vote.

  139. Ben

    All I have to say is, the underlying presumption that congress would do anything that would actually /help/ the situation (whatever it may be) is not supportable.

    Not by what they’ve done to our civil liberties; what they’ve done with the drug war; what they’ve done with the Afghan and Iraq wars; how they’ve extended citizenship to corporations, and related, how they are governed by the inputs of corporations; how they have failed to fund the space program; how they intrude religion upon the citizens through actions of the federal government; how the legislators and judiciary have made a mockery of the constitution and the oaths they swear to uphold it; by the inversion of the commerce clause; the 900 million dollars of earthquake aid they are holding up (many months now) because of concerns over fractions of a percent in efficiencies, while the victims suffer by the minute…

    Seems to me that the best outcome here is the rise of actions of the citizens as the best choices become evident (and again, whatever those might be.) Leave the government out of it, or they’ll just monumentally screw it up, like they have screwed up everything else they have touched.

    If you pin your hopes on our government, I have to say you’re deluded – at best.

  140. Markle

    @20 Quiet Desperation

    You obviously do not live in California where the leading theory is that the state Democrats are now completely controlled by alien parasites who perceive the world via microwaves and hear colors.

    So, you live in Orange County? Or is it San Diego?
    I grew up here. The single greatest f#%&-up Jerry Brown did was not seeing the buildup leading to Prop-13.

    Do you know what happened in 1978? I had been used to walking to the library every day after school to read and pick up some books (my Mom had me sandbag my book-a-thon in ’76 because I had read 250+ books over the summer and she thought I’d bankrupt some neighbors). I walked down there and found the doors locked one day in late November. Wasn’t Jerry’s fault. It was some proto-tea-baggers.
    My Dad went to UCB and helped save the USA from pre-emptive attack(technical issues that are probably embargoed) and then went on to design and invent some of the tech you are using to read this. My niece has student loans to pay off after attending the same UCD I did. Ronald Reagan invented the idea of tuition for state schools. There were student fees, but not tuition.
    So go F—- yourself.

  141. Markle

    I believe persons that insist on calling them “Tea Baggers” know what the term means and use it as an insult.

    Wow! How’d you work that out?

  142. QuietDesperation

    So, you live in Orange County? Or is it San Diego?

    L.A. County. Oops! Did I not match up with your vacuous, preconceived stereotype? I’m also registered Independent and never vote a Party line. Oops.

    I grew up here. The single greatest f#%&-up Jerry Brown did was not seeing the buildup leading to Prop-13.

    I grew up here, too.

    Do you know what happened in 1978?

    Yes. They discovered Charon, a moon of Pluto, and, coincidentally, Keith Moon died.

    I had been used to walking to the library every day after school to read and pick up some books (my Mom had me sandbag my book-a-thon in ‘76 because I had read 250+ books over the summer and she thought I’d bankrupt some neighbors). I walked down there and found the doors locked one day in late November. Wasn’t Jerry’s fault. It was some proto-tea-baggers.

    Total and complete piffle.

    Prop 13 arose because:

    1. People were LOSING THEIR HOMES to spiraling property taxes, especially the elderly, but they’re old so they don’t matter, eh?
    2. The California Supreme Court Serrano v. Priest decision
    3. Rampant corruption amongst the tax assessors

    And many other factors. People like you try to boil complex socioeconomic uphevals and trends into simple sound bites, and it is always an epic fail. Funny :-) , but fail.

    No libraries in my city closed, and all the dire propaganda the schools had the kids take home to show the parents never even came close to happening.

    My Dad went to UCB and helped save the USA from pre-emptive attack(technical issues that are probably embargoed) and then went on to design and invent some of the tech you are using to read this. My niece has student loans to pay off after attending the same UCD I did. Ronald Reagan invented the idea of tuition for state schools. There were student fees, but not tuition.

    That was in 1971. Prop 13 was in 1978. Is there a point here other than your whining? *shrug* I worked my way through college. We currently spend more than half the state budget on the schools, and we get crap education for it. But, yeah, just throw more money at it. That ALWAYS works, right?

    So go F—- yourself.

    Aw, just because I said we have bad Democrats here? I’m sorry I insulted your gods. :-P

    Right back at you, sweetie. People like you, the moaning, ideological zombies, are the reason the country is splintered into two halves, the reason we have nothing but extremists and hardcore ideologues in office. You are part of the problem. You are the EXACTLY like a tea partier, and you simply cannot see it.

  143. QuietDesperation

    If you pin your hopes on our government, I have to say you’re deluded – at best.

    If the government is rational and capable of actual critical thought you can. The government is supposed to be *us*, but unless there is a *radical* change to the way we select people for elected office we will continue to get an endless parade of horrible, disassociated walking, talking egos.

    But most of you lot out there will sit around asking why ObamaBushWhomever isn’t out there “creating jobs” and “fixing the economy” with out a single molecule of irony.

  144. MaDeR

    Wow, what a retardicon here. Especial highlight was some rightwing moron that seems to think USA is only thing to prevent Putin taking west europe. Spam of denialists and idiotic propaganda was nice touches, too.

    Seeing from cental europe, sure you yankees are more and more $%^$# up. Only thing that saves you (at least for now) is freedom of speech. Not your eternal two-party pseudo-democracy, oh nooo.

    Good luck – I consider our times as turning point, that will be called by future historians “beginning of fall of USA”. And, like any great empire, USA will not fall tomorrow nor in 10 years. This will take hundreds of years, but beginning is roughly NOW.

    Only my hope is China or Russia will democratize or start to treat pesky things like freedoms and human rights seriously soon. I am not holding breath.

  145. Synyster

    Seeing from cental europe, sure you yankees are more and more $%^$# up.

    You words are those of an ignorant bigot, and hence of zero value. Tend to your own house, hatemonger. You have more than enough of your own problems. And when a major disaster hits, the folks of the old USA will help out just like always.

    Only my hope is China or Russia will democratize

    Yeah, you keep hoping. That’s always an effective strategy. [facepalm]

  146. Messier Tidy Upper

    @130, 126 & 118 Steve Huntwork :

    I do find it rather amazing that nobody has commented about the video that I provided tonight. Interesting….

    I couldn’t see what you posted there getting this message :

    “This video is private.”

    instead. What was it?

    I did see the videoclip provided by (#103.) Paul in Sweden of the protest with former scientist turned activist Jim Hansen, thanks.

    Of course, James Hanson isn’t the only scientist observing climate change / Anthropogenic Global Warming & I think even many who agree AGW is happening consider him to a fringe figure on the far extreme of the debate. Frex, Hanson wants to totally prohibit all coal mining & burning right now. Which is utterly unrealistic and there’s no way that’s going happen any time in the next fifty years.

  147. Messier Tidy Upper

    @147. MaDeR Says:

    …I consider our times as turning point, that will be called by future historians “beginning of fall of USA”. And, like any great empire, USA will not fall tomorrow nor in 10 years. This will take hundreds of years, but beginning is roughly NOW.

    The Soviet Empire (USSR) fell just about overnight over a few years from 1989 – 1991 approx. Guess it can’t have been that great an Empire then – “evil” surely but “great” not-so-much! ;-)

    OTOH, the Mongol empire collapsed pretty quickly after Kublai Khan died too but that was the greatest land empire (at least in geographic extent) ever.

    Britain’s global empire which was arguably one of the best in many ways collapsed very quickly in a couple of bursts over the decade or so post World Wars I & II.

    Is the USA & its “empire” (in the loose sense of world superpower status & allience networks) falling? I hope not. But if so, it could happen more quickly than you might think.

    Empires are very out of vogue & considered un-PC these days but in actual fact Empires generally do a lot of good and enable a lot of stability, progress and advancement making life good & improving for most (not all admittedly) of their citizens.(Natch this varies empire to empire) There really is much that’s positive to said for Pax Romana, Pax Britannia &, yes, Pax Amerciana too and those worlds that imperial peace constructs & allows.

    Star Wars (movies not SDI!) has given empires an undeservedly bad rap if you ask me.

    If the USA is falling – & I seriously hope that’s wrong – prepare for things to get very nasty & unstable. There are many who are very anti-Amercian esp. on the unpatriotic, undermining, Politico-cultural left that really don’t appreciate how good they have it or how brutally “uncivilised” the barbarians out there (eg. the Muslims and “communist” totalitarian China & nationalistic Russia) really are.

    Why is it, I wonder, that those on the political Left are always so utterly lacking in pride for and so hateful towards their own nations, society and cultures?

    Why do I get the strong impression the Left rather suicidally wants the USA and Western civilisation more broadly to fail and collapse?

    Especially when the USA and its philosophically allied Anglosphere (UK, Canada , Australia, NZ, etc ..) “empire” of like-minded capitalist democracies are so relatively enlightened, generous, fair, peace-loving, pro-women and human rights etc .. Why does the Left always seem so keen to speak up for the Wests intolerant enemies & not for values & societies they theoretically at least should be supporting?

  148. Steve Huntwork

    “Messier Tidy Upper”

    That video was so disgusting that it was pulled from YouTube.

    Ask around and you will find many copies of that video…

    For me, this was a declaration of war and the results will be interesting.

  149. Paul in Sweden

    MTU writes “I did see the videoclip provided by (#103.) Paul in Sweden of the protest with former scientist turned activist Jim Hansen, thanks.”

    Messier while I agree with your characterization of James Hansen as a former scientist turned activist I feel it is important to set the record straight.

    James Hansen is the current chief of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space who works with activist and NASA GISS climate modeler Gavin Schmidt. Many here will know Gavin Schmidt from the infamous climategate emails and as his role as bulldog at the eco-activist site RealClimate which was setup by a lobbyist firm to stifle any and all opposition for legislation that would impact government subsidies and investment in “green” boondoggles.

    Messier they may be former scientists current activists in your eyes and mine but they still have the same job fuction as active leaders and working scientists in the CAGW movement.

  150. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ 151. Steve Huntwork :

    Okay but what did it show, what was it about in a nutshell?

    Do you have another link or copy for us?

    @152. Paul in Sweden :

    Well the “Climategate” thing has been debunked & turns out NOT to be evidence of wrong-doing or fraud or suppression of the contrarian case.

    I would agree that some of the climatologists have crossed the line into being political activists rather than real scientists but NOT all of them are in that category and there really is a strong consensus of people who are experts and have spent their lives studying climatology that AGW is true. There are too many scientists and too many intelligent people putting forward persuasive arguments in favour of the reality of AGW for it all to be nonsense even if some of it has been exaggerated or over-hyped. They have provided ample evidence showing that Anthropogenic Global Warming really is taking place.

    OTOH, just how “Catastrophic” AGW will really turn out to be is something we’ll have to see but I no longer think that the argument that AGW isn’t real or isn’t caused by human carbon dioxide emissions is tenable.

  151. Messier Tidy Upper

    I will just add that I think James Hansen should resign from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies and probably retire from NASA as well because he clearly seems to be doing more politics than real science. He is also a personal friend of Al Gore’s and is too partisan to be objective or credible. Not to mention his ridiculously unrealistic stated demands that all coal use be banned immediately.

    FWIW I’m currently reading Hansen’s polemical ‘Storms of my Grandchildren’ book which is my source for the above sentences regarding Gore and coal. Hanson comes across as sincere and knowledgeable and he does make some good points but also as very political and his book isn’t written especially well or overly convincing, IMHON.

  152. Paul in Sweden

    153. Messier Tidy Upper Says:
    October 4th, 2010 at 12:35 am
    @152. Paul in Sweden :

    Well the “Climategate” thing has been debunked & turns out NOT to be evidence of wrong-doing or fraud or suppression of the contrarian case.

    MTU I am fond of your posts and know you are like myself not thin skinned so it is with slight hesitation that I say, only a wilfully blind person, a invested activist or someone who has never read the climategate FOIA files for themselves that would make the statement regarding climategate that you just made.

    New proceedings in the UK parliament have been started due to the outcry from both the public and the scientific communities. In the USA as you know the judge in the UVA/Virginia AG Cuccinelli case upheld Virginia’s right to subpoena records regarding alleged fraud by climategate conspirator Michael Mann dismissing without prejudice AG Cuccinelli’s original broad action and providing the Virginia AG with a legal template to file again in a streamline manner. I look forward to Cuccinelli’s next filing. In the US Congress there have already been promises for comprehensive investigations after the November elections regarding the climategate affair as well as the notable scandals regarding the IPCC itself.

    With regards to the climate investigations we currently stand as follows:

    Conclusions

    Where do matters now stand? Returning to the five issues raised at the start, we can say that the evidence points to some clear conclusions.

    1. The scientists involved in the email exchanges manipulated evidence in IPCC and WMO reports with the effect of misleading readers, including policymakers. The divergence problem was concealed by deleting data to “hide the decline.” The panels that examined the issue in detail, namely Muir Russell’s panel, concurred that the graph was “misleading.” The ridiculous attempt by the Penn State Inquiry to defend an instance of deleting data and splicing in other data to conceal a divergence problem only discredits their claims to have investigated the issue.

    2. Phil Jones admitted deleting emails, and it appears to have been directed towards preventing disclosure of information subject to Freedom of Information laws, and he asked his colleagues to do the same. The inquiries largely fumbled this question, or averted their eyes. Despite being asked by Parliament to conclusively resolve this issue, Sir Muir Russell did not attend the interviews with Jones and, as reported in UK media, his inquiry did not ask Jones if he had deleted emails.

    3. The scientists privately expressed greater doubts or uncertainties about the science in their own professional writings and in their interactions with one another than they allowed to be stated in reports of the IPCC or WMO that were intended for policymakers. Rather than criticise the scientists for this, the inquiries (particularly the House of Commons and Oxburgh inquiries) took the astonishing view that as long as scientists expressed doubts and uncertainties in their academic papers and among themselves, it was acceptable for them to conceal those uncertainties in documents prepared for policy makers.

    4. The scientists took steps individually or in collusion to block access to data or methodologies in order to prevent external examination of their work. This point was accepted by the Commons inquiry and Muir Russell, and the authors were admonished and encouraged to improve their conduct in the future.

    5. The inquiries were largely unable to deal with the issue of the issue of blocking publication of papers, or intimidating journals. These ended up being subjective, he-said-she-said disputes, and in some cases the documentation was too sparse. But academics reading the emails could see quite clearly the tribalism at work, and in comparison to other fields, climatology comes off looking juvenile, corrupt and in the grip of a handful of self-appointed gatekeepers and bullies.

    There remain two other questions needing to be addressed:

    6. Is the IPCC a reliable source of information on climate change? In light of the answer to
    question 3, and the findings of the IAC that fundamental reforms are needed, the answer is that, even if one assumes that the existing problems did not compromise the validity of previous IPCC reports, as of the present, the IPCC should be viewed as unsound until and unless fundamental reforms are implemented. It has become tendentious and conniving, and its review process is compromised.

    Full PDF:
    -http://rossmckitrick.weebly.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/rmck_climategate.pdf

  153. Paul in Sweden

    154. Messier Tidy Upper Says:
    October 4th, 2010 at 1:03 am
    “They have provided ample evidence showing that Anthropogenic Global Warming really is taking place.”

    That is false. To this date there is no measurable evidence of Anthropogenic Global Warming. There are numerous studies within the last IPCC assessment report that analyse what-if scenarios should the earth become two, four or six degrees warmer and what effect it would have on the earth’s flora & fauna(real science) always with the non-scientific statement “and we believe that these changes are occurring now.” There are studies showing that surface stations have measured increased temperatures on airport runways and on tar roofs next to air conditioner heat exchangers. Even this obvious attribution in the scientific record does not demonstrate a global climate effect.

    There is evidence of climate change over millennium. That is all that we have. Attribution of Anthropogenic Global Warming has not been established on the basis of evidence anywhere in the science literature.

    Evidence of climate change is evidence the earth has not been frozen in time (period).

    Climate changes!

    There is no evidence mankind has altered global wind patterns, ocean currents or cloud formations. Statements to the contrary are mere activist propaganda.

  154. Paul in Sweden

    Pax Romana comparison to Pax United States

    I would be interested to see the list of countries and lands that those who hold this Pax United States belief. Actually I am more interested in the reactions of the people in each of the countries and lands that are included in the list by those that hold the belief that they are some how part of a United States empire.

  155. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^ Paul In Sweden : I think opinions on that would vary widely. I do think the USA as a global superpower has been if not perfect thebn atleats a lot better than the alternatives. One strong country imposing some sort of reasonable order is probably better for most people in the world than the chaos of clashing nation-states although this is a matter of opinion and getting wa-ay off topic.

    @ 155. Paul in Sweden :

    MTU I am fond of your posts and know you are like myself not thin skinned so it is with slight hesitation that I say, only a wilfully blind person, a invested activist or someone who has never read the climategate FOIA files for themselves that would make the statement regarding climategate that you just made.

    Thanks. :-)

    I’m certainly not someone who thinks of myself as an invested AGW activist or wilfully blind. I was for some time a strong CAGW skeptic & originally believed that the CRU emails were indeed evidence disproving the scientific consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming. However, many conversations – incl. with people on this blog – and more research has changed my view on this issue.

    I have come to conclude, as I stated earlier, that “Climategate” has been debunked and that it wasn’t all its been hyped up to be. In context the major quotes from there eg. “travesty” & “hide the decline” are NOT saying what they’ve been taken as saying.

    The papers alledgedly supressed weren’t actually suppressed but were included in the IPCC report. No emails were actually deleted. The basic science of AGW is not cast into doubt by anything in the CRU emails.

    1. The scientists involved in the email exchanges manipulated evidence in IPCC and WMO reports with the effect of misleading readers, including policymakers. The divergence problem was concealed by deleting data to “hide the decline.”

    The decline noted there was NOT a decline in temperature. Temperature data does, indeed, show that the past decade was warmer than usual and that the overall temperature trend is rising & not stable or falling.

    2. Phil Jones admitted deleting emails,

    Did he? Really? My understanding now is that despite some calls to do so NO emails were actually ever deleted.

    Can you please provide something to show that statement there is true & that
    emails were in fact actually deleted – not just talked about being deleted but that this really took place?

    3. The scientists privately expressed greater doubts or uncertainties about the science in their own professional writings and in their interactions with one another than they allowed to be stated in reports of the IPCC or WMO that were intended for policymakers.

    Again, please can you point me to a reliable source showing this to be the case? Even if that’s true, it seems to me that that doesn’t overturn the consensus that AGW is real and the basic physics of it are sound. Although it would suggest there is less certainty on some aspects & details than some would have us think. I would agree some exaggeration may have taken place by CAGW extremists but I’d also note that virtually all climatologists with a very few exceptions do consider that AGW is real and is a problem we need to address. Some of them being Over The Top about it doesn’t mean they’re *all* wrong.

    4. The scientists took steps individually or in collusion to block access to data or methodologies in order to prevent external examination of their work. This point was accepted by the Commons inquiry and Muir Russell, and the authors were admonished and encouraged to improve their conduct in the future.

    I agree. I think the science (& science generally) does need to be more transparent and open and I think this criticism is a valid one. But I’ll also not that this doesn’t mean AGW isn’t real or something that we’d be sensible to just ignore.

    5. The inquiries were largely unable to deal with the issue of the issue of blocking publication of papers, or intimidating journals. These ended up being subjective, he-said-she-said disputes,

    Except the papers in question did appear in the IPCC report and were NOT excluded.

    6. Is the IPCC a reliable source of information on climate change?

    Clearly there are some problems but then there are reports and studies other than the IPCC and for all that it has some minor errors in it the IPCC also has got many things right as well.

    Time will eventually tell I guess.

    @156. Paul in Sweden :

    Climate changes!

    Nobody is denying that!

    The climatologists are all well aware that climate has changed naturally in the past but they *are* saying that there is something different about the cause and rate of current climate change and they are saying that *this* time Human carbon dioxide emissions are changing things in ways and at speeds they otherwise wouldn’t be.

    The quiet Sun and cooling phase of the Milankovitch cycles should be making the last decade colder where instead its been the hottest in a very long while. There are natural studies of many different things and areas backing up the AGW theory and the climate change models.

    The evidence for AGW is overwhelming in the opinion of most climatologists and scientists. After spending a lot of time and energy critically and skeptically arguing against that scientific consensus I have eventually concluded that they are right and I now concur with them.

  156. Paul in Sweden

    MTU, the world is incredibly diverse. How groups can have such diametrically opposed arguments and conclusions is at times utterly flabbergasting. This is one of those times.

    The world is in no danger of a global treaty on Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming being agreed upon and put in place anytime in the foreseeable future. Your land of Oz seems to be running away from ETS and the public is learning the true cost of wind powered desal implementations(posted previously).

    Nothing is going to happen in Washington D.C. regarding cap & trade. California is interesting because of the budget crisis, high unemployment and a dead heat in the November California Jobs ballot Initiative which would suspend the sweeping Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming measures which are about to be put in place statewide. I sort of want California to go along with the sweeping Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming legislation so that they can show the rest of the country what going “green” will do for an economy.

    Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) has threatened to implement global warming measures in the absence of legislation. The EPA has been dragging it’s feet which is perplexing. The EPA knows that once it actually does “something” the kid gloves come off and the courtroom will be CAGW’s “Custers Last Stand”. However with Obama nearing the two year mark and by all accounts the chances of Obama being re-elected slim, when will the EPA have a better chance of pushing Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming measures in the USA?

    As the year closes COP16 will startup in Mexico, I am not sure the cheerleaders have it in their hearts to tell us as they do every year that we only have days to save the planet by passing some sweeping pie in the sky Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming treaty. That ship sailed so long ago that it is a distant memory.

    This CAGW issue is going to go back and forth for years until it hits a courtroom in America, and even then, who knows?

    MTU, I read your posts & follow your links, I believe we are both civil to each other and I can say I learn bits and pieces here and there. These BA CAGW threads are frustrating but not entirely unproductive. :)

    Men should be able to state their case to each other until blue in the face, turn to each other and say who has the next round?

  157. Paul in Sweden

    Sept 29 Civil Investigation Demand
    -http://tinyurl.com/33onjds

    Virginia Politics Blog – Cuccinelli reissues global warming subpoena to U-Va.
    “Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has sent a new civil subpoena to the University of Virginia, renewing a demand for documents related to a work of a former university climate scientist that was stymied when a judge blocked his previous request in August.

    The new Civil Investigative Demand revives a contentious fight between Cuccinelli and the university over documents related to the work of Michael Mann, a prominent climate scientist whose research concluded that the earth has experienced a rapid, recent warming. Mann worked at U-Va. until 2005; he is now employed by Penn State University.

    In the demand sent to the university last week, Cuccinelli once again asked that the school turn over all e-mails exchanged between former university professor Michael Mann and 39 other scientists as well as between Mann and his secretaries and research associates.

    An Albemarle County judge had quashed a previous demand from Cuccinelli at the request of the university, ruling that Cuccinelli had not properly explained his rationale for believing fraud may have been committed. He also ruled that Cuccinelli had no right to documents about grants conducted using federal instead of state dollars.

    In response, Cuccinelli has limited his demand to the e-mails and documents related to one state grant Mann received. The attorney general dropped requests for paperwork related to four other federal grants. But he expanded a section explaining why he sought the records, laying out in writing that he seeks the documents because Mann wrote two papers on global warming that “have come under significant criticism” and that Mann “knew or should have known contained false information, unsubstantiated claims and/or were otherwise misleading.”

    “Specifically, but without limitation, some of the conclusions of the papers demonstrate a complete lack of rigor regarding the statistical analysis of the alleged data, meaning that the result reported lacked statistical significance without a specific statement to that effect,” the CID alleges.

    And late last week, he filed a notice with the court that he plans to appeal the judge’s ruling, a clerk with the circuit court confirmed.”
    -http://voices.washingtonpost.com/virginiapolitics/2010/10/virginia_attorney_general_ken_4.html?wpisrc=nl_localpolalert

  158. Messier Tidy Upper

    @159. Paul in Sweden :

    MTU, the world is incredibly diverse. How groups can have such diametrically opposed arguments and conclusions is at times utterly flabbergasting. This is one of those times.

    On that I agree completely. I know many good people who are friends of mine on both sides – and also the third “not sure” position – of this issue. :-)

    MTU, I read your posts & follow your links, I believe we are both civil to each other and I can say I learn bits and pieces here and there. These BA CAGW threads are frustrating but not entirely unproductive. Men should be able to state their case to each other until blue in the face, turn to each other and say who has the next round?

    Agreed completely again & very well put. :-)

    Personally, I do always try to be polite (hopefully successfully) here and while I can debate fiercely I try to make it non-personal, respectful and calm. Getting into flamewars and nasty personal stuff does nothing good and helps nobody ever in my view – and sad past experience.

    Whose shout is it now and what are drinking? I’ll have a Coopers Pale thanks! ;-)

    PS. My apologies for taking so long to return and reply to this thread again.

  159. Paul in Sweden

    “Whose shout is it now and what are drinking? I’ll have a Coopers Pale thanks! ;-)

    MTU, a few pitchers of Coopers Pale might hold us for a time :)

    Think I’ll wait until the next BA global warming thread to go at that #158 comment of yours.

  160. Needed to put you the bit of remark to finally thank you once again for your breathtaking things you’ve documented at this time. It has been so surprisingly open-handed with people like you giving publicly what most of us could have supplied as an e book to make some profit on their own, notably now that you could possibly have tried it if you ever desired. Those tactics additionally served to provide a good way to understand that the rest have a similar fervor just like my personal own to find out more concerning this problem. Certainly there are a lot more pleasant opportunities in the future for those who discover your website.

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