Climate change: the evidence

By Phil Plait | October 26, 2010 7:00 am

earthonfireWhenever I write about climate change, I get a pile of commenters from the noise machine side of things doing what they do best: making noise. They are loaded with nonsense, misleading data, political spin, and sometimes out-and-out falsehoods about climate change.

So I’ll be clear: climate change is real. The average temperature of the Earth is increasing. This is almost certainly due to mankind’s influence on the environment.

No doubt you’ve heard the puerile political propaganda from the denialists. To counter that — or at least, to make the point to people who might be confused on the issue — send them to NASA’s Climate Change evidence page. It’s basically one-stop shopping for clear, concise evidence that the Earth is warming up.

Evidence like this:

NASA_CO2_evidence

… which comes with references that show this connection is causal — one causes the other. And statements like this:

All three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that Earth has warmed since 1880. Most of this warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years. Even though the 2000s witnessed a solar output decline resulting in an unusually deep solar minimum in 2007-2009, surface temperatures continue to increase.

[That quote comes with referenced footnotes which I removed for clarity.]

That page, together with an NOAA report clinching the fact that global warming is real and happening right now, should be linked to again and again by everyone defending reality from those who oppose it.

The noise makers want to confuse you, because that’s how they sow doubt. But the reality, while not precisely simple, is there for all to see who want to actually see it. Go look at those links and see what’s really what.


Related posts:

- New study clinched it: the Earth is warming up
- The cloudy, warming Earth
- Union of Concerned Scientists launches global warming ad campaign
- Sea ice, coming and going


Comments (349)

  1. johonn

    So who was recording the CO2 levels for the past 650,000 years?

  2. IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE

    Climate Change Denialist

    Burying my head in the sand over climate change is so much easier now that half the world’s turned into desert!

  3. You crazy reality-based scientists! You can’t make me become a gay communist! :-)

    Facts can be such an impediment to debate. It’s pages like NASA’s that leave me scratching my head over climate denial intransigence.

  4. Jeff

    “So I’ll be clear: climate change is real. The average temperature of the Earth is increasing. This is almost certainly due to mankind’s influence on the environment.”

    This comes from one scientist, Phil Plaitt, but it is almost certainly a perfect statement of the true situation in this year we live in. Any other statements to the contrary are clearly just political “spin” and which is why I am skeptical we can ever take this debate back to sanity, now that the politicos are deeply involved to stay.

    However, I must say that I am somewhat a fan of Orrin Pilkey’s book “Useless Arithmetic” where he argues that computer modelling has to be taken with a grain of salt. That is not to say that the above statement is not with merit, it is almost certainly the truth, it’s just that we have to be very cautious with computer models. For example, how many times have we “shovelled snow” out of a “party cloudy” forecast in our lives?

    Remember back in the 70s the John Denver song “more people, more scars upon the land” and always I was a fan of the aboriginal american philosophy “we do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”. People, People, People, please think of your children and grandchildren and do something now. Maybe we should go cold turkey back to an aboriginal lifestyle, maybe that will be required to sustain human life and not wreck the environment.
    Go back to the roots of the industrial revolution and the savage takeover of the native americans by the Europeans, reflect deeply on that history.

  5. alfaniner

    Jeff, this isn’t a local weather report that might ruin your backyard barbecue.

  6. I can’t wait to come back later and read about how NASA can’t be trusted because of the huge amounts of money they stand to gain by tricking people into believing the liberal agenda of global warming.
    :D

  7. Also, that graph isn’t a computer model.

  8. “BUNNY”, please review comment #1.

  9. Gary

    This is a more tempered statement than you usually make and rightly identifies the rejection of the idea of *any* anthropogenic influence as coming from political motivations. Essentially all informed skeptics accept that anthropogenic influences are many, varied, and supplement natural variations. The issue is how much each contributes to warming in the last century and a half. That currently is unknown and open to the research and debate. Let’s stop the name-calling and proceed with the science.

  10. Narvi

    @Bunny: Ocean levels will rise by 6 metres if Greenland melts.

    The current predictions for sea rise over the next hundred years are about 70 centimetres.

    In other words, those numbers are referring to completely different things.

    It’s like thinking a war can’t last for a hundred years because bullets can’t travel for more than a second or so.

  11. Let’s stop the name-calling and proceed with the science.

    That’s easy for YOU to say. (See below.)

  12. John Matthews

    Notice something about that chart? There’s some evidence to support the warming/cooling cycles the denialists always talk about and point to, which no one has ever denied has happened. CO2 goes up, temperature goes up. CO2 goes down, temperature goes down.

    Except…

    If you go by that chart, we should normally be looking at heading (or about to head after a few more years of warming) into a cooling period. Instead, the CO2 (and warming) have spiked. Massively.

    Looks like it just kept going up at about the time right after the turn of the century when massive industrialization worldwide kicked in. WWII also probably helped kick start an additional CO2 rise, with another major boost by all the vehicles and industrial expansion that showed up worldwide after WWII.

  13. Here’s why so many American politicians deny the science:

    The number one sales technique of all time: show a customer/mark/voter how you or can make their duress go away (though you may first have to convince them that they are in under duress).

    If excessive western lifestyle is as the root of climate change. Then that means Americans are are among those at fault. To be at fault for a problem is emotionally stressful.

    If I’m a politician and I tell voters that I can make climate change “go away”, it relieves their duress. They vote for me.

  14. Chris

    What are people’s opinions of Hal Lewis’s resignation letter stating the corruption of the scientific community as related to climate change?

    http://www.thegwpf.org/ipcc-news/1670-hal-lewis-my-resignation-from-the-american-physical-society.html

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

  15. Andrew

    First of all let me say that climate change is real.

    Second that it is NOT just an american lifestlye, that same lifestyle is followed by much of Europe and Japan. We may be the worst of the bunch, but blaiming just the Americans is like blaiming all murder on serial killers, ignoring the fact that most murders are committed by non-serial kilers.

    Thirdly, while the graph is convincing, it is also, unfortunately, an example of misleading graphics. Note that it starts at 160 and ends at 440. It would have been very easy to start the graph at 0, as you are SUPPOSED to do if you want to honestly represent the data. If they had done that, then instead of visually appearing like the C02 has doubled (it looks about 100% taller than it used to be), then it would correctly visually represent an increase of only about 30%. While 30% is big, it is not as visually impressive as 100%. Too bad the 30% increase is accurate and the graph lies.

  16. John

    Phil you must then be against all privitized space flights in the planning as we speak. The last article I read (two days ago) stated the the black soot that would be dispensed by these vehicles would be one of the greatest contributors to global warming to date. It would seem that you would be up in arms against this totally commercialized enterprise. I mean its all fat cats with huge wallets who will get to spend some two hours jaunting around the upper atmosphere just for kicks.

  17. Gus Snarp

    @johonn – The ice has. Past CO2 levels are fairly easy to measure from ice cores and soil cores, much easier to reconstruct than temperature, actually. There’s no doubt about this.

  18. Oli

    So what if sea levels rise? If you didn’t believe it and you drown, it’s yer own fault. If you believed it and are safe, good for you. I don’t sea (heh heh) the problem.

    @20. John: Don’t most space ships work with hydrogen? That doesn’t produce soot, and the soot from burning heatshields isn’t that much. There won’t suddenly be hundreds of rocket launches a day.

  19. spurge

    Wow Bunny.

    Way to prove Phil correct.

    You have posted nothing but pointless noise.

  20. PP

    @ Andrew (18)
    “while the graph is convincing, it is also, unfortunately, an example of misleading graphics. Note that it starts at 160 and ends at 440. It would have been very easy to start the graph at 0, as you are SUPPOSED to do if you want to honestly represent the data.”

    I disagree (and I’m not the only one, see Edward Tufte’s site:
    http://www.edwardtufte.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00003q).
    You want to represent the *data*, not some arbitrary point which would never occur anyway.

  21. Malakyp

    @spurge/24

    But it’s been noise posted in a larger font. Big letters make things true, right?

  22. Trebuchet

    @ #1, Johonn: CO2 measurements from air bubbles in ice cores (ironically, probably mostly from Greenland), as explained by the linked NASA page.

    @ BUNNY: Shouting does not make you more credible.

    @ #17, Chris: From your Wikipedia link, Dr. Lewis is 87 years old and has not actively working in science for some years. He is a nuclear, not a climate, scientist. So do you chose to believe an elderly non-specialist, or the vast majority of those currently working in the field?

  23. uudale

    @Andrew #18:

    “Second that it is NOT just an american lifestlye, that same lifestyle is followed by much of Europe and Japan. We may be the worst of the bunch…”

    Ever been to China? I have. Americans are definitely NOT the worst of the bunch. Don’t know what you have to support that assumption.

  24. spurge

    @ Bunny

    Nothing you have posted is even remotely on topic.

    It is just noise.

  25. noen

    “So who was recording the CO2 levels for the past 650,000 years?”

    The data comes from multiple sources, trees, ice cores and others.

    “The issue is how much each contributes to warming in the last century and a half. That currently is unknown and open to the research and debate.”

    No, this is false. The extent of the human contribution to global warming is known. We know how much CO2 we have contributed and can even distinguish CO2 that comes from fossil fuels from naturally occurring CO2.

    “Thirdly, while the graph is convincing, it is also, unfortunately, an example of misleading graphics.”

    I don’t think so. You are expect to bring a certain level of competence to the table. The spike in CO2 levels is clearly very significant and strongly suggest it is due to human activity.

  26. Messier Tidy Upper

    @3. Ben Lawson Says:

    You crazy reality-based scientists! You can’t make me become a gay communist!

    Don’t bet on it! ;-)

  27. Cheyenne

    What is the proposed set of realistic solutions to this problem?

    For Americans the Republicans take back the House on Nov 2nd. Cap and trade is DOA. EPA curbs on CO2 are almost certainly going to whither as well. I can’t think of anybody that is actually undergoing a personal effort to reduce their own contribution to CO2 (that’s actually significant- give me a break Leonardo and globe hopping climate scientists). Public polling shows that a clear majority of Americans rank climate change as a “minor” issue and that belief in it (human caused warming) has fallen substantially over the last year. Polling indicates the same trends in Europe. China and India’s coal burn is going explosive and won’t be ramping down at all for the next 50 or 100 years at least. Global energy use is going to double or triple in the next 100 years. Efforts to resurrect new generation nuclear power are being halted by the Greens and many Democrats.

    So I think we’re basically left with blogging and the Leaf coming out. Yeah, that’ll stem the tide….

    Sorry, but it is just talk and no action. I’d bet a fair amount of dough that nothing is going to change for the next 20, actually, 50 years. CO2 production is not just going to continue at the current rate but is going to substantially increase. Can’t wait to see who made the right climate models.

  28. ND

    Chris,

    Harold Lewis points to “ClimateGate” as evidence of AGW being a fraud. Where in those emails does it point out the fraud again? This guys is losing credibility with me if he says those emails prove AGW is a scam.

  29. Mike G

    And again, Bunny, you refuse to realize that a rise of only 70 cm is just as disastrous for those of us who live at or near sealevel as a 6m rise. Whether the rise was 2 ft or 20 ft, my house, car, and job would be flooded as would many of the world’s major cities.

    Only 70cm of sea level rise would be catastrophic for Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, New Orleans, Bangkok, Venice, Lagos (Africa’s most densely populated city), Bangladesh, and many of the island nations in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, just to name a few.

  30. Bunny has figured out a way to shout without using all caps.

    Still counts as yelling, though. ;-)

    @20. John:

    As far as pollution from space missions go: Launches do create a lot more pollution than a car does. However, there are literally hundreds of millions of cars driving around every day.

    A single shuttle launch burns about as much fuel as the rest of the United States does in one or two minutes. Which sounds like a lot, and it is. But the shuttle launched five times in 2009, I think. There were maybe a hundred or so other launches, worldwide, all smaller than the shuttle.

    That’s less than two hours worth of extra pollution from the United States alone.

  31. noen

    “The last article I read (two days ago) stated the the black soot that would be dispensed by these vehicles would be one of the greatest contributors to global warming to date.”

    I read it on the internet so it must be true!!!!!

  32. Robert

    @18 Andrew,

    I disagree, a graph does not need to start at 0 to represent the data reliably. In the case of CO2 0ppm is a completely unrealistic value, there will always be some CO2, expanding the axes to zero would just mean adding a lot of space with no information content. It’s all about the average value, and the deviations from that, and the graph clearly shows that the current spike is way larger than the normal deviations.

  33. Messier Tidy Upper

    What if we launch a nuclear war and create a nuclear winter as Carl Sagan & others calculated; will that offset global warming? Yegods maybe it will! Let’s melt a few nations down below sea level to act as global water drains and see if that takes the presure off the rest of the planet!

    Heck, it can’t hurt can it? ;-)

  34. noen

    The space program does not contribute to global warming.

  35. Richard Holman

    I agree with Phil, the overwhelming evidence is in favor of warming. But just to to be clear here, even if you do not believe in climate change, even if it is all poppycock to you…..

    What is so bad about cleaner air, cleaner water, and energy that is not manipulated by governments and quasi military forces? If you believe in a free market economy, why stagnate under fossil fuels? Innovate the technologies, sell wind, solar, and hydrogen power to other nations. Eliminate the trade deficet be _selling hydrogen cars TO China_, rather than deny, and hide until it is too late and we lose out when we must _BUY hydrogen cars from China_. New energy should be new free markets right????

    We can mitigate the change, and make money doing it, sounds downright American to me.

  36. @ Noen:

    To be fair, it technically does. Anything that releases carbon does. Even if the rockets themselves were completely clean (which they aren’t), the process of building them, shipping supplies, buying food for the technicians and scientists, building the buildings they work in . . . all of those contribute.

    And the rockets, like I said, aren’t exactly clean.

    What it is possible to say, however, is that the space program does not contribute significantly to global warming. Each shuttle launch contributes to global warming about as much as if everyone in America drove their cars for about two minutes extra that day. It’s not a big deal, in the scheme of things.

  37. Mike G

    @17 Chris

    Had you ever even heard of Hal Lewis before his tantrum? Did you know or care about what he had to say about climate science before? Why do you (or should we) care now?

    His first-hand experience with climate science amounts literally to a couple of weeks working with JASON back in the 1970s. His evidence of corruption among climate scientists is the “climategate” emails. He also did an interview in 1986 in which he talks about engaging in the same behaviors he criticizes climate scientists for today, so it’s hard to take him seriously when he says that scientists from his era were different.

    At best he makes a case for procedural issues with the AIP. He doesn’t provide any evidence for or against climate science itself.

  38. uudale

    “The space program does not contribute to global warming.”

    Riiiight.

    Me passing gas contributes to global warming, just a teeny tiny contribution, though.

  39. Anticlimatic

    “Climate change is real” – The author attempts to equate any climate change with man-made climate change.

    “They (deniers) are loaded with nonsense, misleading data…” – the author’s graph starts at an arbitrary point 650k years ago, because to go further would reveal higher C02 levels then the present.

    “Parts Per Million” – the science communities technique for making little numbers seem big.

    Example:

    Past CO2 levels = 0.00003

    Now CO2 levels = 0.000038

    They would have us believe this is the apocalypse. They would have us believe we need to give them grant money and tax money to stop it. They think you’re stupid.

  40. I’m always amazed by the amout of people, particularly here in the UK, who refuse to accept that climate change is real.

  41. Messier Tidy Upper

    Obligatory link to an entertaining series on this topic -

    Playlist :

    http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=029130BFDC78FA33

    Why we think global warming is real – just a small taste of the multitudinous reasons we have to think as we do :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9SGw75pVas&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    & another good one with plenty of info. well presented

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0HGFSUx2a8&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    Enjoy .. or at least please watch assuming you haven’t already. :-)

  42. Mike

    “So I’ll be clear: climate change is real. The average temperature of the Earth is increasing. This is almost certainly due to mankind’s influence on the environment.”

    Over the last 18,000 years that we’ve been coming out of the last Ice Age?

  43. Ron1

    Bunny. Did you forget to take your meds today – you’re a little (?) on the shrill side, even for a denier! TROLL!

  44. Pshaw

    Why would I believe an agency that faked the moon landings?

  45. @ Bunny:

    Modern corporations would literally enslave us and sell our skin to the highest bidder if they were allowed to.

    I mean, most of them wouldn’t. But the few that were willing to do so would steamroll their weak, moral-laden competition.

    I’m not even sure why I’m bothering to type this, sadly.

  46. Steve

    OK, forget how much the ocean levels might rise. Would you want to live in Miami, New Orleans, New York in even the best case scenario?

  47. Messier Tidy Upper

    @42. noen Says:

    The space program does not contribute to global warming.

    There are far worse contributors to the problem that make space exploration the least of our problems in this area.

    Besides, arguably without space exploration we wouldn’t understand or even know of this problem at all.

    The benefits of our investment in space exploration far, *far* outweigh the relatively miniscule environmental costs.

    - IMHON

    ***

    “Earth will benefit in the end, and not just because there’s a new world to go to, but because of what we’ll learn.”
    - Page 237, ‘Venus of Dreams’, Pamela Sargent, Bantam, 1986.

  48. Oli

    Successful troll is successful.

  49. Calli Arcale

    Bunny:

    The best way to become more environmentally friendly is to have a free anarchist market and to take down governments and replace them with private security/defence and insurance companies!

    Which would promptly become every bit as bad as the government you abhor — and probably a good deal worse, if history is any guide.

    In a truly unregulated market and in a true state of anarchy, the bullies rule. (See also: Somalia.)

  50. spurge

    I see Bunny is nothing but a troll.

    Best ignored.

  51. Red

    All I want to know is how long until my Fort Worth, TX home is beachfront property.

  52. mrsean2k

    Where are the error bars on the contextless graph you cite?

    Where is the evidence that the increase in temperature is lead by increases in CO2?

    What’s the relationship between atmospheric CO2 and rates of warming? (hint: it isn’t a straight line).

    How does it compare with natural forcings?

    How skilful have predictions and models been so far?

    *When* will the sky fall in?

  53. Abi

    @BUNNY: Please stop using up all the exclamation marks. They are a finite resource, and other people may like to be overly dramatic sometimes, too. Thank you.

  54. Messier Tidy Upper

    @56. spurge : best countered rationally via poluite reasoned logical argument. In My Humble Opinion.

    @2. IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE : Nice bit of gallows humour there. :-)

    I can relate entirely. Sadly, all too true.

    @50. Jacob Says:

    Modern corporations would literally enslave us and sell our skin to the highest bidder if they were allowed to.

    Yep. The Nazi’s turned their Jewish victims into soap among other things. Let’s never forget the capacity of humanity tobe coldly, brutally inhumane. :-(

  55. Luis Dias

    So anyone who disagrees with Phil Plait in any given point regarding the multiple questions arisen by global warming is, by definition, a “noise” bufoon spreading lies given to him by the big oil propaganda machine.

    That’s what I call skepticism, Phil: to polarize an issue a priori and call anyone else who may have a point or two as a denialist.

    Some thougths over this:

    1) You’re merely speaking to the choir: anyone who will “listen” to that paternalistic tone will only accept it if they already agree with it;

    2) The graph you presented is not an “evidence” that the earth is “warming”. I know what you did here and your simple and basic 101 intent, but since you’ve been paternalistic, best not to shoot yourself on the foot. If the thesis is “Global Warming is happening due to mankind”, to show a graph about CO2 concentration as evidence of this thesis is kinda stupid.

    3) This rethorical speech of yours is infuriating. Only religious bigots talk about “Reality” like you are doing here. You don’t own the truth, and daring to state that you “defend!” reality is an insult to anyone with more than two neurons, who realises that reality is what it is, and if it ever had the gall to have any considered thoughts about those who try to defend “it”, it would do nothing else than facepalm…

  56. Anticlimatic

    @Bunny

    Most people would cite the LACK of government for the problems of Darfur and Somalia.

    Do you have problems with the government because they don’t pay you enough in unemployment benefits? Do you have a problem with your government housing? Is your government medicare not up to your standards?

    Thank god you can complain about it on this government designed/built medium aka the internet.

    Can you make your brain any bigger, or just our type font?

  57. Ron1

    Bunny. Have you considered olanzapine or another of the atypical antipsychotics? Very useful for trolls with your symptoms.

  58. Daniel J. Andrews

    Re: Harold Lewis. As pointed out, he’s not relevant and doesn’t have the expertise on the subject he’s talking about. Just read his letter (people and plants die from cold, not warmth??). He’s not familiar with even the most basics of climate science and hasn’t actually talked to any climate scientists (see his comment “I know of nobody who denies that the Earth has been warming for thousands of years without our help…”)

    But if you think one lone member of the APS has credibility, then the entire APS must have more credibility so see the APS response to Lewis here: aps.org/about/pressreleases/haroldlewis.cfm
    This is the polite scientific way of saying another scientist is full of BS.

    @Johonn (1): I highly recommend Richard Alley’s book The Two-mile Time Machine which answers your question in great detail. Very readable.

    Also, this see his talk to the American Geophysical Union called The Biggest Control Knob: Carbon Dioxide in Earth’s Climate History.
    agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.shtml

    This is a well done talk and if anyone haven’t seen it, take an hour to watch the whole thing. You too, Phil. Entertaining, educational, interesting. I’ve watched it four times since it came out. Wish there were more profs who could teach/present like this guy. (for more entertainment, check youtube for his Johnny Cash rendition of Ring of Fire–it’s about subduction zones and plate tectonics).

  59. Robert E

    Completely off topic, and rather pointless to respond to trolls like Bunny but:

    Somalia hasn’t had a strong central government since 1991. In fact, it had no government at all from 1991 till 2000, and the “transitional” government between 2000 and 2003 had control that didn’t extend outside the building in which they were housed. The “central” government from 2004 till now isn’t much better.

    So, poverty in Somalia is the result of no government whatsoever.

  60. Luis Dias

    But if you think one lone member of the APS has credibility, then the entire APS must have more credibility so see the APS response to Lewis here: aps.org/about/pressreleases/haroldlewis.cfm

    The “entire” APS is just an APS secretary. Or are you asserting that the entire collection of scientists have spoken against Lewis?

  61. For those batting the point about, the graph is both accurate (as it is clearly labelled and the data correctly plotted) and misleading (as humans are bad at reading graphs, especially cleverly-labelled ones.)

  62. Alan in Upstate NY

    @Bunny,
    Have you ever looked at what happens when the government does not regulate business? Have you read Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle?” Or, more recently, do you recall what havoc the folks on Wall Street created, almost destroying our economy because of their greed and sale of derivatives?
    Unregulated competition only works if everyone is honest and responsible. Do you see a world like that?
    Clear skies, Alan

  63. Gamercow

    Re: space program and its effects on the environment:

    Space shuttle uses liquid O2 and H2 as fuel, which produce zero CO2.

    Atlas rockets Souyz rockets and others often use RP-1, which is a kerosene-like fuel, which produces CO2 and other hydrocarbons.

    No opinions, just the facts.

  64. Anticlimatic

    Phil you might want to read some of Judith Curry’s new blog post on substituting the IPCC’s opinion for your own.

    To laugh at the increasing flow of mainstream scientists denying your global warming fraud, is to laugh at a dripping crack in the face of a dam.

  65. Nerdista

    Bunny needs to take a breath and lower her font size. Down a notch, Kanye.

  66. Oli

    @66. Messier Tidy Upper:

    “Yep. The Nazi’s turned their Jewish victims into soap among other things.”

    Orly? I think no Nazi would want to wash themselves with those filthy inhuman things called Jews (their opinions, not mine).

  67. Messier Tidy Upper

    Please, tell me that “Bunny” is no relation of ‘Naked Bunny with a Whip’ who is usually a much better commenter here! ;-)

  68. Messier Tidy Upper

    @80.Oli : Yes really.

    I do think that was a documented fact during the Shoah or Nazi Holocaust.

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

  69. Calli Arcale

    Andrew @ 18:

    Thirdly, while the graph is convincing, it is also, unfortunately, an example of misleading graphics. Note that it starts at 160 and ends at 440. It would have been very easy to start the graph at 0, as you are SUPPOSED to do if you want to honestly represent the data.

    Actually, it is a legitimate and accepted practice to start somewhere other than 0. It depends on what sort of data you’re representing, and what values are covered. (For instance, it makes little sense to start a table of SAT scores at 0, because it is theoretically impossible to score 0. Likewise, the CO2 level has never been nor ever will be close to zero on Earth, at least during the timeframe we’re interested in — the timeframe when it can support life as we know it.)

    I get what you’re saying, though. It is a common practice to make differences look scarier by misrepresenting the scale of the difference. If I chart heights of people from 5’5″ to 5’6″, it may make the 5’6″ people look a hell of a lot taller than the 5’5″ people, when no normal person would say there was all that much of a difference. The question is, does this chart do that, or is its omission of values below 160 fair?

    To determine that, we need to see how big the range is in proportion to the values. It goes from 160 to 440. Twice 160 is 320, so the top value is considerably more than double the bottom value. Thus, even if the bottom 160 were depicted (and remember, there are no data points under 160, so that’s just empty space), the spike at the end of the graph would still be very significant.

    I decided to go ahead and extend the graph, just to see what it looks like. I also opened up my very first Flikr photostream for the purpose. Enjoy!

    COgraph

  70. bob

    This is ridiculous. The planet’s only 6000 years old so it’s obviously rubbish.

  71. noen

    Jacob Says: (re: does the space program contribute to global CO2)
    @ Noen:

    To be fair, it technically does. Anything that releases carbon does.

    Yes, the engineers do exhale CO2 and drive their cars to work. Nevertheless the space program does not contribute to global CO2 because the space shuttle uses about 2.3 million pounds of solid propellant in the launch boosters and about 1.2 million pounds of LH/LOX in the main engines.

    The result of burning LH/LOX is water. The result of burning solid fuel is potassium chloride, a fertilizer and aluminum oxide, which is inert.

    “And the rockets, like I said, aren’t exactly clean.”

    Actually, they are clean.

    The space program does not contribute to global warming.

  72. 47. Anticlimatic Says:

    Past CO2 levels = 0.00003
    Now CO2 levels = 0.000038

    You realize that you’ve just shown that CO2 levels today are 25% higher then the previous highest levels (over the past 650,000 years, anyway), right? I would think most people consider 25% more is a significant change.

    As a comparison, that would be like taking my five passenger Neon and stuffing one more adult and a baby inside. Remember, it’s already a tight squeeze with five adults. To be honest, the 5 passenger rating is optimistic.

    jbs

  73. Barbara

    @63 One of my oceanography professors put the error bars on those numbers and drew the best case and worst case fit through them. It’s still warming.

    It’s a good question, but certainly not one the scientists overlooked. The error bar on that plot might be as big as a sideways hypen up until about 100 years, then it becomes the size of an apostrophe. Now we have satellites that measure the whole earth every two days and the error bar is so tiny it wouldn’t show up at all.

  74. OK, Bunny – look up the term/phrase “Robber Barron.”

    jbs

  75. Yojimbo

    The nice thing about blocks of bold text and large font is that they’re easy to skip over.

  76. Calli Arcale

    Gamercow @ 76:

    Re: space program and its effects on the environment:

    Space shuttle uses liquid O2 and H2 as fuel, which produce zero CO2.

    Atlas rockets Souyz rockets and others often use RP-1, which is a kerosene-like fuel, which produces CO2 and other hydrocarbons.

    No opinions, just the facts.

    Nitpick: Space Shuttle Main Engines use liquid O2 and H2 as propellants, but that is actually less than half the thrust at liftoff. The Solid Rocket Boosters use ammonium perchlorate, aluminum, iron oxide, PBAN (polybutadiene acrylonitrile) polymer, and an epoxy curing agent. (I wasn’t able to quickly find out what this ingredient specifically is.)

    And just as a sidenote, it’s not clear that so-called “clean-burning” hydrogen is entirely free of global warming effects. The byproduct of a properly balanced LOX/LH2 reaction is going to be water. The Shuttle pumps out more of this at high altitude than any other single vehicle, enough that this water vapor contributes to the formation of noctilucent clouds. It is unclear what, if any, effect this may have, but water vapor is a known greenhouse gas.

  77. Messier Tidy Upper

    @82. BUNNY Says:

    I’m not sure how many times do I have to repeat this!

    Repetition won’t make it true. :roll:

    The more times you tell a lie has only one factual effect – it just means you have told lie X, X number of times.

    The “truthiness” of a given proposition does NOT increase based on the number of times that proposition is expressed.

    Just in case you didn’t know already.

    @87. John Sandlin : Isn’t that how clown cars work? ;-)

  78. Daniel J. Andrews

    to polarize an issue a priori and call anyone else who may have a point or two as a denialist.

    What else would you call them if their “point or two” contradicts all available evidence and they refuse to change their original points?

    Or if their points are self-contradictory? Which ones of the list below do you like?

    It’s the sun warming the planet.
    It’s CO2 from volcanoes warming the planet
    CO2 isn’t a greenhouse gas and instead water vapour is warming the planet.
    It’s some natural cycle that is warming the planet
    The planet isn’t warming, but it is cooling.
    The temperature records/scientists are corrupt so we can’t tell if it is warming or cooling.
    The globe has been cooling since 19982002 2005 2007 (in 2011, they’ll be saying since 2010).

    And Luis, I don’t mean to be rude, but you are abysmally ignorant regarding climate science. You said If the thesis is “Global Warming is happening due to mankind”, to show a graph about CO2 concentration as evidence of this thesis is kinda stupid.. If you knew more, you’d realize the relevance of that graph.

    If you don’t want to be called a denier or misinformer, you need to learn the basics. I mean that kindly and sincerely. Here are some recommendations.

    aip.org/history/climate/index.htm The Discovery of Global Warming (how we know what we know and the history of scientific discovery)

    skepticalscience.com (good reference site–you’ll also see many other “points” that contradict (CO2 sensitivity is high, CO2 sensitivity is low)).

    realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/start-here/ (numerous links for complete beginners to the more informed)

    And of course, Phil’s links above.

    This is the same scientific method and science that brought us space flight, satellites, computers, tv, medicine, and understanding of vast realms from biology to geology to cosmology, done by the same organizations and the same people with an insatiable curiosity about how things work, have worked, and will work.

    If you think that climate scientist–(and others in related disciplines, such as my own in ecology and biology)–world-wide are capable of being simultaneously collectively incompetent or corrupt in their fields of expertise, that means it is possible for all other fields to be equally corrupt and wrong (or a hoax as the extreme wing-nuts think). Nothing then can be trusted. It is post-modernism all over again.

  79. Gary

    Large bold text = paranoid troll who is trying to shout above the voices in their head. *Cough* Bunny *cough*.

  80. noen

    Luis Dias Says:
    “That’s what I call skepticism, Phil: to polarize an issue a priori and call anyone else who may have a point or two as a denialist.”

    That’s not skepticism.

    “1) You’re merely speaking to the choir: anyone who will “listen” to that paternalistic tone will only accept it if they already agree with it;”

    Facts, while uncomfortable are not paternalistic. Science is not your father Luke.

    “2) The graph you presented is not an “evidence” that the earth is “warming”. [...] If the thesis is “Global Warming is happening due to mankind”, to show a graph about CO2 concentration as evidence of this thesis is kinda stupid.”

    No, what is stupid is to think that humans dumping giga tons of CO2 into the atmosphere would have no effect on the climate. The graph shows a significant rise in atmospheric CO2. Much of which is a human contribution. We also know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Therefore the graph should raise the alarm about the connection of human activity to CO2 and hence global warming.

    “3) This rethorical speech of yours is infuriating. Only religious bigots talk about “Reality” like you are doing here. You don’t own the truth, and daring to state that you “defend!” reality is an insult to anyone with more than two neurons, who realises that reality is what it is, and if it ever had the gall to have any considered thoughts about those who try to defend “it”, it would do nothing else than facepalm…”

    There is a real world that exists and there are true facts about that world that are objectively true independent of our wishes and desires. In addition there is only one method known by which we can determine what is in fact the case and what is not the case.

    It is an objective fact that the earth is warming. It is an objective fact that CO2 levels are mainly responsible for that warming. It is an objective fact that humans are responsible for by far the largest percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere.

  81. Messier Tidy Upper

    @93. Daniel J. Andrews Says:

    “to polarize an issue a priori and call anyone else who may have a point or two as a denialist.”
    What else would you call them if their “point or two” contradicts all available evidence and they refuse to change their original points?

    Personally speaking I think ‘contrarian’ is a better term.

    I think the word “denier” is best reserved for the far worse Holocaust Deniers of which the climate denier is an overly insulting and Shoah downplaying echo. :-(

    I would add that I do NOT think the tactic of name-calling* or derisively referring to one’s opponents in any debate over any issue is a good or helpful one. Of course, it takes all kinds and you are free to disagree and I agree that Your M ilage May Vary but still that’s my view ..

    - In My Humble Opinion Naturally.

    * Which labelling those who disagree with the scientific consensus of virtually all the trained and experienced professional experts in the field of climatology that AGW is real as “Deniers” arguably amounts to.

  82. noen

    Calli Arcale Says:
    “Space Shuttle Main Engines use liquid O2 and H2 as propellants, but that is actually less than half the thrust at liftoff. The Solid Rocket Boosters use ammonium perchlorate, aluminum, iron oxide, PBAN (polybutadiene acrylonitrile) polymer, and an epoxy curing agent. “

    The result of burning LH/LOX is water. The result of burning solid fuel is potassium chloride, a fertilizer and aluminum oxide, which is inert.

    “The Shuttle pumps out more of this at high altitude than any other single vehicle, enough that this water vapor contributes to the formation of noctilucent clouds. It is unclear what, if any, effect this may have, but water vapor is a known greenhouse gas.”

    Yes water vapor is a greenhouse gas but CO2 is the bigger concern because unlike water it stays in the atmosphere for centuries. We needn’t worry about water vapor, it will remove itself very quickly. CO2 is truly dangerous and permanent (compared to our life spans).

  83. @ Luis Dias

    “That’s what I call skepticism, Phil: to polarize an issue a priori and call anyone else who may have a point or two as a denialist.”

    Wrong. Phil has posted several times on this topic and to date nobody has posted any evidence at all refuting global warming. Point being, his comments are based on prior evidence and are not “a priori” as you claim.

    You went on to say, “2) The graph you presented is not an “evidence” that the earth is “warming”. ”

    Right. Graphs aren’t evidence. The graph does show, however, that the Earth is warming. The graph is based on measurements taken in a variety of ways. I’m not sure what your point is and all I can conclude is that your agenda dictates that you must deny global warming despite all evidence.

  84. 90. Yojimbo Says:
    October 26th, 2010 at 10:13 am

    “The nice thing about blocks of bold text and large font is that they’re easy to skip over.”

    Exactly. I read the first several of bunny’s posts and have skipped the rest. Ironically, if Phil were the type of person these clowns accuse him of being, their posts would have been disappeared by now.

  85. 46. uudale Says:
    October 26th, 2010 at 9:00 am

    “Me passing gas contributes to global warming, just a teeny tiny contribution, though.”

    Actually, it doesn’t. That CO2 you passed had only recently been captured via photosynthesis. You’re only moving CO2 in part of a cycle, not adding to the system. Burning fossil fuels releases CO2 that has been sequestered for millions of years thereby increasing the CO2 percentage in the atmosphere.

  86. To summarize the climate change deniers in this thread thus far, “Oh yeah?”

  87. Calli Arcale

    noen — well, I did say it was a nitpick. ;-) I did manage to avoid nitpicking the use of hte word “fuel”, and that required a herculean effort! :-D

    As far as water vapor, I’m not convinced it has no effect. Yes, it does leave the atmosphere quickly, in the form of rain. But *where* it comes out is important. I suspect that altering the distribution of water vapor on the planet has actually had a very significant effect on global warming, by changing rainfall patterns and ultimately leading to desertification, though I think development and deforestation have more to do with it than any emitter of water vapor. (That is, it’s not so much the generation of water vapor as it is the shuffling of existing water vapor.)

    Getting back to the criticism about the NASA table not including rows below 160 ppm, it occurred to me that there is a good example of a time when you definitely don’t want to include all values down to zero, and where a relatively small difference in values is extremely important — body temperature. Human body temperature is kept within a pretty tight range of just a few degrees. Anything from 97 to 99 is not going to cause any concern. But 101 is a concern, and 104 requires medical attention. 95, meanwhile, is the threshhold of hypothermia; below that, and body functions begin to falter or even fail. Does it make sense to have a chart of human core temp range from 0 to 110, or would it make more sense just to plot 90-110? Few people will ever drop below 90 except posthumously, after all, and a larger graph could make it difficult to even see the difference between 98 and 101 that indicates the person had a fever.

  88. Yojimbo

    @92. Messier Tidy Upper
    “The “truthiness” of a given proposition does NOT increase based on the number of times that proposition is expressed. ”

    Aren’t you forgetting your Lewis Carroll?
    “… I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true!”

  89. Bill the Cat

    Bunny, you’re incredibly naive if you think that the absolute abolishment of government will lead to a better society.

    I think you should take some economics classes beyond Econ 101. If you want an example of what happens when government is just about abolished, look at what Structural Adjustment did to sub-Saharan Africa in the 1980s. Essentially, the countries cut government by tremendous amounts by getting rid of education, public health and social security programs. Now most of these countries are back to where they were in the 1960s or worse. Even the World Bank has now declared these programs a failure.
    There are some things which governments are much better at doing than markets and vice-versa. The solution is never all capitalism or all socialism. By moving to the extremes and refusing to listen to moderate reasoning you’re simply making everything worse off.
    I doubt you’ll actually listen to what I have to say but I’ll try anyway.

    Large corporations can arise because of government programs, it’s true, but there are also such things as economies of scale which say that in some industries, larger companies are more efficient than smaller companies. This increased efficiency means that larger companies can produce more product for lower cost and therefore sell it for less, undercutting smaller companies and forcing them out of the market before they are large enough to compete. This is why we have antitrust laws.

    Your examples of impoverished countries are also examples of countries that were/are under horrible military dictatorships. Attributing North Korea and Somalia’s problems to economic issues alone is a terrible oversimplification. It would be like saying that capitalism doesn’t work because Haiti is still poor. There are many other factors at work here.

    I think the biggest problem in politics these days is the rush to extremes and the refusal to even consider alternative facts/theories. Shouting, repeating yourself and insulting people doesn’t make you right. It makes you a loud troll.

  90. Anticlimatic

    87. John Sandlin Says:

    I would think most people consider 25% more is a significant change.

    I would think most people consider a change of 0.000008 to be insignificant, but yet both our numbers are correct. Out of One Million parts, C02 was three of the parts, and its yet to hit 4.

    Imagine if you had 10 Football stadiums, each with 100k seat. In just 1 of the 10 stadiums, there are three people sitting in three seats. The additional C02 in the atmosphere isn’t enough to sit down a 4th person in that one stadium.

    Imagine if all 8 million people in New York City put on a shirt with a portion of the atmosphere. Before Industrial civilization, 24 people of 8 million would be wearing a C02 shirt. After Industrialization, an additional 6 people would be wearing a C02 shirt, for a total of 30 out of 8,000,000.

    Those are the best analogies.

  91. 35. Cheyenne Says:
    October 26th, 2010 at 8:37 am

    “What is the proposed set of realistic solutions to this problem?”

    There does not appear to be a realistic solution currently, only stopgaps. Does that mean we should not even try to forestall the effects of climate change? It is possible, even likely that a solution can be found given time, e.g. genetically engineered super algae to capture the CO2 or nanotech foglets that scrub CO2 from the atmosphere – both feasible within the next century, and it’s a pretty sure bet that advances in biotech and nanotech are more that just words in blogs.

    “I can’t think of anybody that is actually undergoing a personal effort to reduce their own contribution to CO2”

    I’m sure there are quite a number or Prius owners who disagree.

    “CO2 production is not just going to continue at the current rate but is going to substantially increase.”

    That is probably incorrect. Peak Oil (really peak-fossil fuel) combined with more efficient energy usage (like hybrid vehicles, led lighting, etc.) is probably going to slow CO2 production somewhat in the future.

  92. jfb

    @noen: what about liquid-fueled rockets that burn RP-1 like the Soyuz family? Those pump out CO2 as a waste product. It’s true that there are several million cars for every rocket, and we’re not launching rockets every hour of every day, but rockets pump good chunk of their exhaust into the high atmosphere directly.

  93. Randy A.

    Despite some rather incoherent comments (see above), the science behind global climate change is largely settled — it’s happening and it’s our fault.

    Denialists insist that there’s some doubt…

    But that’s the wrong issue. The real issue is: Can we take the chance? Do we really want to take the risk that global climate change will cause major disruptions to our lives, and the lives of our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and so forth?

    A fire in my home could be devastating. So even though I think that a fire is unlikely, I pay for fire insurance.

    Global climate change could be very devastating. So why can’t we agree to pay a little extra to reduce the problem, and switch to renewable energy? Especially since converting to renewables would reduce pollution and other problems…

  94. Daniel J. Andrews

    One last thought before work…

    In science, when there is a difference of opinion the various factions dispute it vigorously in peer-reviewed journals, at meetings, on emails, each trying to use the available evidence or come up with new studies/experiments that show their view is right (e.g. origins of birds). Very healthy, if not a little ugly at times with feelings running high.

    By contrast, in the “alternate science” the proponents can hold radically differing and contradictory views (see my post 93 for some contradictory points used, sometimes by the same people), but do not argue against someone else they disagree with in the same alt-med/alt-science category. Instead, they form a united front against their perceived common enemy (e.g. evidence-based medicine, or whatever science contradicts their view points).

    Denialists/misinformers/willfully ignorant contradict each other (and themselves) consistently. Monkton, Plimer, Solomon, Carter, Singer each with differing views on the causes of the warming (or cooling, or staying the same, or “don’t know”) are united in their stands that the experts are incompetent, corrupt, are in on a world-wide hoax etc, yet they don’t argue or discuss their own mutually exclusive contradictions in any forum. Where are the peer-reviewed papers showing that volcano CO2 is the cause of warming? Or the papers showing that CO2 doesn’t cause warming? (that CO2 is a greenhouse gas is just physics, btw. May as well argue water doesn’t freeze at 0 C or get densest at approx 4 degrees C).

    This lack of discussion, papers, infighting indicates that their points are not about science, but about maintaining an ideological belief. Anything that supports this belief is to be used and respected even if it contradicts their own points in support of this belief.

    This is the mechanism used by creationists, climate change deniers, HIV-AIDs deniers, moon-landing hoaxers, tobacco-lobbyists, acid-rain denial, CFC-ozone denial, homeopathy, anti-vacciners, and on and on and on. That is not science. That is blind belief. That is denial.

  95. aw2pp

    Question for you, Phil (if indeed you are still reading this discussion)… what should we be doing?

  96. Calli Arcale

    It’s not the relative sizes; it’s what they mean.

    If you have a thousand people in a stadium, and one of them is wearing a pink shirt while the others are wearing gray, this doesn’t affect the overall color significantly. 0.1% of the people are wearing pink. So what? Obviously it’s not a popular color in this bunch.

    Or say there’s a single pickpocket. The crime rate is 0.1%. Wow, that’s awesome! That’s an amazingly low crime rate. It’ll be annoying to the people right next to him, but nobody else will even notice.

    But if you have a thousand people in a stadium, and one of them has Ebola, that becomes significant. 0.1% of the people have Ebola. Suddenly, “so what” is not in the picture anymore, because Ebola is highly contagious and often lethal. 0.1% now becomes a point where the doors of the stadium are locked and everyone is quarantined and given immediate medical attention to try and avoid them contracting Ebola, while that one person is isolated as much as possible.

    So the raw numbers alone are meaningless. The question is what do they tell you. How sensitive is the global climate and ecosystem to fluctuations in the CO2 level? If it is not very sensitive to it, then this is not important. But if it is very sensitive to it, then it is very important. Consider poisons. It takes an enormous amount of water to poison you. Drinking an extra glass will, at most, send you to the bathroom one extra time. Something like Tylenol is poisonous in much smaller amounts; pay attention to what the bottle says and don’t exceed the dose limits. And then there’s botulism. Botulinum toxin is one of the most toxic substances known; if a mere 1 ng/kg of body weight is injected into your veins, you will probably die.

    So merely because there is a lot of other stuff in our atmosphere (mainly nitrogen) does not mean the fluctuations in CO2 levels aren’t a cause for concern. CO2 is not the same thing as people in different color shirts, because it is not analogous to the other gasses in our atmosphere (which themselves are all quite different from one another).

  97. @86. noen Says:

    Huh! That’s interesting about the shuttle. I didn’t know that. D’oh!

    What about other rockets we use, both in the US and rented out from other countries?

    Please do note that even though I doubt that the space program doesn’t contribute at all to global warming, I think it’s contribution is insignificant and disingenuous to bring up as a reason that the program is somehow bad.

  98. Luis Dias

    No, what is stupid is to think that humans dumping giga tons of CO2 into the atmosphere would have no effect on the climate. The graph shows a significant rise in atmospheric CO2. Much of which is a human contribution. We also know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Therefore the graph should raise the alarm about the connection of human activity to CO2 and hence global warming.

    Strawman there. There is a wide difference between “no effect” and “alarming effect”. And even accepting the latter would still pose a lot of subsequent questions and discussions, none of which really benefit from this polarized paternalistic tone. And I’m not “Luke”, noen, the translation of Luis to english is Lewis. Luke is “Lucas”. Learn something with me at least.

    There is a real world that exists and there are true facts about that world that are objectively true independent of our wishes and desires. In addition there is only one method known by which we can determine what is in fact the case and what is not the case.

    This is ignorant drivel. It’s “common sense”, but like all common sense, it’s usually wrong. No, there are no “true facts” independent of humankind, since the very act of calling such phenomena as “facts” is a human activity. There is no “objectively truly independent facts”, there is merely a collection of inter-subjective dialogues between people who try persistently to diminish their own subjective biases in their analysis of the data they see. But this naive realism you espouse is utter nonsense. If you read nothing else but scientist talk, at least inform yourself and learn what good ol Hawking has to say about “Reality”, models, truth and facts. You’ll get shocked, but hey, that’s the price of truth, ahah.

    It is an objective fact that the earth is warming. It is an objective fact that CO2 levels are mainly responsible for that warming. It is an objective fact that humans are responsible for by far the largest percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    What is mostly objective is that there are a lot of theories out there that seem consistent with the notion that CO2 is responsible for a good share of this observed warming, to say that we are responsible for “by far the largest percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere” is sheer nonsensical grammar. I understand what you are *trying* to say, which it isn’t anything like what you are saying at all. What you are trying to say is that mankind is responsible for most of its concentration *increase* as of late 2010.

    This is all rather uncontroversial.

  99. Nats

    What a snotty article. The science is settled because we say so. Punk.

  100. Calli Arcale

    Jacob: there are many different propellants in use. Popular ones include kerosene derivatives, LOX (which is used to oxidize both kerosene and liquid hydrogen), alcohol (less common), solid props which usually involve ammonium perchlorate and aluminum, liquid hydrogen, and various hypergolic mixtures typically involving a form of hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide. This last one is heavy, as these things go, and extraordinarily toxic. But it’s not very volatile, even in space, and that’s it’s strength. You can tank up the rocket and let it sit for months or even years. Cryogenic propellants boil off so fast you need to be constantly topping them up. (If the Shuttle has to scrub and wait 23 hours to launch, they drain the gigantic external tank and refill it, because that actually uses *less* propellant than keeping it full all that time and has less danger of leaking hydrogen or oxygen vapors around the pad.)

    Hypergolics get used on the Russian Proton rocket, was the main propellant in the Titan IV’s core stage, used to be used in all of our American ICBMs until we went all solids on those, and is the propellant of choice for nearly all spacecraft. Soyuz, Shuttle, deep space probes — the Voyagers still have some, which is good, because they use it to point themselves at Earth. But for the most part, the waste products will never even return to Earth, and are probably broken up by sunlight anyway, reduced to their constituent atoms.

  101. Luis Dias

    Can we take the chance to go to hell while denying Jesus too? Think of the kittens.

  102. Fitz

    Christ, did Bunny finally get blocked? Sheesh.

    Anyhoo, whether global warming is real or not, whether it is anthropogenic or not, there are myriad reasons to “go green”, national security being a rather big reason. I just don’t get all the push back from conservatives.

  103. @1. johonn: I think the Antarctic ice has been recording the atmosphere for us for the past several hundreds of thousands of years. Very nicely and patiently, I may add. Unless it, too, is “in” on the grand scheme…

    This chart is also installed life-size on a wall in Scripps’ Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, a well-respected oceanographic research facility. I took a picture of it when I visited last year….it made a very impressive point at 10 feet tall. (Much more so than 14-point Arial.)

  104. Don’t feed the troll (BUNNY).

    These deniers don’t want to know the truth, NASA is part of the conspiracy after all (they KNOW about the ALIENS watching over us, ready to blast us into little pieces with their lazorz). There is no convincing the deluded.

  105. Playing Devil’s Advocate…

    Obviously, most of the readings for the past 650,000 years are not direct measurements from the atmosphere, but rather through some fossil records. Am I correct that the current readings are direct atmospheric measurements?

    What if the inferred levels from the fossil records is off, and everything should be 30% higher than the calculations show? In that case, 390 is the “line never crossed”, and were currently at 380 as part of a “normal” rise in the cycle?

    How do the directly-measured levels of the past few decades compare to fossil records of the same time?

  106. Ken

    BAD astronomer…LOUSIER STATISTICIAN

    The trends observed are NOT statistically significant: http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=2773

    NASA ALSO observes a number of solar/climate parallels: http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/SunspotCycle.shtml

    CERN — and even the ‘bad astronomer’ concedes they’re pretty smart, talented, etc. wonder about the solar/climate connection and are conducting an experiment to assess a possible linkage — the data isn’t in, so “good science” says we wait before jumping to conclusions to dismiss any such linkage, much less to assert it is not significant:

    CERN’s CLOUD & correlation between cosmic rays & climate: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/16/cern_cloud_experiment/

    Jasper Kirby’s Lecture at CERN: http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1181073/

    ALL THAT ASIDE: Consider the profundity of the ‘bad astronomer’s’ remark:

    QUOTE (with INSERTIONS IN CAPITALS):

    “So I’ll be clear: climate change is real.” NO “DENIER” SAYS “CLIMATE CHANGE” IS NOT REAL.

    “The average temperature of the Earth is increasing.” NO “DENIER” (OR AT LEAST VERY FEW, NOT WORTH MENTIONING) DISPUTE THIS EITHER.

    “This is almost certainly due to mankind’s influence on the environment.” “ALMOST CERTAINLY” MEANS “MAYBE NOT” — AND WHEN THE DATA IS EXAMINED IN ALL (all) ITS GLORY WITH ERROR BARS/UNCERTAINTIES INCLUDED, THE TREND IS NOT STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT (SEE VERY FIRST LINK PROVIDED).

    So, the core statement made here actually agrees with so-called “deniers” (I always find it amusing that climate change alarmists ALWAYS resort to the same jargon used by evangelical religious missionaris of the 70s!). The only difference is that emphasis is placed on the worst-case approach: “almost certainly due to mankind’s influence” rather than the more optimisitic (“denier”) perspective of “maybe not due to mankind’s influence.”

    Its a ‘glass three-quarters full’ vs. ‘glass one-quarter empty’ distinction made out be a major point of contention. If one reads the “denier’s” blogs, etc. typcially this is all there is. If one reads the ‘alarmist’ blogs, etc. (like this one) the same allowances for the other side are also readily apparent.

    And where such occurs one usually finds pseudo-science.

    CHALLENGE: PHIL PLAIT, please rebut the CERN lecture by Jasper Kirkby (link provided) with actual data — noting that their experiment is still underway & complete data from that is not available. To my knowledge nobody has rebutted this, yet, because the other data available is of very poor quality, incomplete, etc.

    Also use valid statistics to rebut the rejection of the null hypothesis (i.e. that the margin of uncertainty is NOT a factor).

    By the way, the NOAA Director a few years ago in the Wash DC area, at a conference, noted that something like half or 20 percent of all carbon uptake by nature is via unknown mechanisms. That’s still the case–unknown. One key factor illustrating the uncertainty embedded within ALL the models. You might also want to address that — why that uncertainty is NOT a factor in reaching the conclusion.

    AND, that prior history shows warming spells without carbon dioxide.

    OR, just go on with the ad-hominum approach that basically presents the statistically invalid argument that correlation (CO2 rise, etc.) MUST be causation (warming).

  107. Rich

    Interesting how the topic of climate change looks to some like the culture wars. There are two things going on here. First – is the climate changing and, if so, what’s driving it? Second – what, if anything, do we do about it?

    Anti-government rants and conspiracy theories have no place in assessing the research.

    How much change we’re all willing to make in reducing CO2 *is* all about politics and leadership.

  108. Robert Leyland

    Before you all jump, be sure to read:

    http://judithcurry.com/2010/10/25/heresy-and-the-creation-of-monsters/

    this from a concerned climate scientist, who is not 87 years old, but recognizes that there are some really serious problems in the global warming meme.

    (Just the mere fact that it is morphing from ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change’ to ‘climate disruption’ should be raising warning signals that all is not right)

  109. About the Space Shuttle: no matter what it burns, you have to consider the CO2 emitted to produce that fuel. Hydrogen does not grow on trees ;-)

  110. Grand Lunar

    Thanks for point these out, Phil. People need reminders about the real science concerning climate change is, especially the deniers.

    What REALLY gets me is that even if we’re wrong about climate change, shouldn’t we still work toward cleaning up our act? Are the climate change deniers so opposed to having a cleaner world to live in that they’d want no action taken?
    To you, climate change deniers, I ask this; why do you hate the Earth?

  111. Zetetic

    Sigh I see that I got to this one too late….
    As usual it’s easier for many to just make arguments from incredulity rather than try to understand the actual science before posting here.

    To answer some of the above questions….they know the past CO2 levels primarily from ice core measurements. Here are some articles of interest….

    First about past climate changes and past CO2 readings
    CO2 lags temperature – what does it mean?

    Then..
    CO2 is not a pollutant

    To be continued next post.

  112. Zetetic

    Let’s try taking a look at both sides (including the AGW denialist position) for a change, shall we?

    There are basically two kinds of people that disagree with Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW).
    1) There are those that don’t know all of the information and so are doubtful about the subject, but they tend to be aware of the limits to their own knowledge and are therefore open to the evidence supporting the reality of AGW.

    2) Then there are those that simply reject the idea of AGW, not on scientific grounds, but on the grounds of ideology and dogma. They refuse to learn from any evidence and usually refuse to look at any conflicting information at all. Members of this last group are the “Denialists“.

    To those that want to learn I would like to suggest the Skeptical Science web site and their fee phone app. IMO it’s a great resource for the general community. The links I provided below go to their site. Please be sure to check their “Arguments” tab just under the banner, see how many of the arguments you recognize and how they have already been refuted!
    Another good site to check out for more information is realclimate.org .
    Also, please notice how an site that actually promotes science tends to provide direct links to the original scientific papers, denialist sites tend to not do that (for AGW and other issues).

    To the denialists here, there are a few simple questions that your side needs to answer if you really want to convince the scientific community, or any other objective parties.

    I’ve observed that many denialists still seem to not be able to understand what credible “positively supporting evidence” actually is. So assuming that any of you denialists out there are not just trolling and actually are just blinded by faith in an ideology, I’ll explain further what it would take to convince anyone motivated by actual evidence that AGW is incorrect.

    In other words, I’m telling you how to make a viable case for your position, since many of you don’t seem to understand what that entails….

    Do you think that the Earth isn’t warming?
    If so then what is the credible evidence that actually shows that the average global temperature has not been rising over the last several decades?
    Easy, right? So where is it?

    After all, several independent attempts at measuring the Earths temperature from scientific groups around the world, often using different techniques show that it is warming.
    Is the hockey stick broken?
    So where is the evidence that it’s not warming on a global average?
    Where is the credible evidence that the long term average temperature of the planet has ether been stable or gone down?
    Please note, I’m not asking for short term drops in temperature (and then ignoring the previous and subsequent rises), and I’m not talking about a local drop in temperature in one area, but rather average global temperature over a long period of time (decades).

    ————————————————————————

    Maybe though you think that the Earth is warming,but that humans aren’t at fault? So next I’ll assume that your position is “The Earth is warming, but it’s not because of human activity”.

    Do you have credible evidence that shows that the Earth’s warming is contrary to what would be expected if the warming was due to greenhouse gasses (GHGs)? In other words, warming that doesn’t fit that pattern?

    Once again, several independent groups all show a atmospheric warming pattern consistent with warming caused by GHGs.
    10 Indicators of a Human Fingerprint on Climate Change

    So where is the credible evidence that shows an long term atmospheric warming pattern inconsistent with GHGs causing warming?
    Or, where is the credible evidence that clearly shows increasing average global temperatures being caused by another source besides GHGs?

    Satellite measurements of infrared radiation escaping the Earth has showed changes over the last few decades consistent with increasing GHGs causing global warming.
    Also, ground based measurements show an increasing reflection of infrared radiation back to the Earth from the atmosphere.
    How do we know more CO2 is causing warming? – Advanced Version (be sure to check out the “Intermediate” tab for a more basic version)

    So where is the credible evidence that shows that increased return of infrared radiation is not happening, that the Earth’s infrared emissions are not showing a change consistent with increases in GHGs?

    Maybe you think that the GHG increases are being caused by nature, and not by human activity?
    Multiple independent measurements of rising CO2 levels show changes over time of the isotopic ratios of C12 to C13, this indicates increased CO2 produced mainly by human activity.
    How do human CO2 emissions compare to natural CO2 emissions?
    Where is the credible evidence that shows any increase in CO2 is coming from natural sources, and if so what natural sources?

    ————————————————————————-

    Please note that in each of the above cases I’m not asking for you to try and nitpick at what ever flaws you imagine (or were told) are in a specific study that supports AGW since that does nothing to actually support your position.
    This is especially true since each of the above items of evidence for AGW are backed by multiple sources (often using different techniques) arriving at the same conclusion.

    What I’m asking you for is, what credible evidence do you have that actually shows each of the above as being contradicted by other and better credible evidence?
    .

  113. Tom Skilling – New record low barometric pressure for October’s been set in Chicago. At 7am this morning, the barometer reading in Chicago fell to 29.02″–eclipsing the old October low pressure record of 29.11″ last reported in Nov 1959–51 years ago. A storm’s barometric pressure and the strength of its winds are related.

    Global Warming to Bring More Intense Storms to Northern Hemisphere in Winter and Southern Hemisphere Year Round

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025152249.htm

  114. January 21, 2010

    One of the most powerful low pressure systems since record keeping began in the 1800s slammed the West Coast yesterday with hurricane-force wind gusts, large hail, and torrential rains that have created flash floods and dangerous debris flows. The storm, centered just offshore near the Oregon/California border this morning, set an all-time record for the lowest pressure ever recorded along the southern Oregon coast yesterday. Medford, Oregon hit a pressure of 978 mb (28.88″) yesterday afternoon, beating their old lowest ever pressure of 28.93″ set in 1995.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1416

  115. Ron1

    Dr Plait.

    Thank you very much for continuing to address climate change in your blog. You continue to do us a great service.

    I first became aware of global warming in the mid 70′s as a result of the Venus missions. As you are aware, the thinking at the time was that Venus’ (current) planetary environment is the result of runaway greenhouse gases and, if it could happen to Venus, could it happen to Earth.

    By 1988, the thinking (and data) had moved to the point where Dr Hansen gave testimony before the US congress. During his testimony, he alerted the US government about global warming. As a result of Hansen’s testimony, the global media ran the story and the lay public also started to become aware of global warming.

    Here we are, almost forty years later (from the Venus missions) and we (collectively) still have our heads in the sand even though we are drowning in a sea of supporting data and an ever increasing tsunami of noise — which makes what your blog is doing ever more important.

    So once again, thank you for being a lighthouse in the storm.

  116. The giant storm that has been affecting the Twin Ports and a wide area of the midwest, has produced the lowest barometric pressure ever in Duluth. As of noon on Tuesday the pressure was at 28.39 which easily breaks the old record of 28.48 set in November of 1998.

    http://kdal610.com/news/articles/2010/oct/26/storm-leaves-duluth-record-low-pressure/

  117. Oli

    Look, these debates are great and all, but they don’t help. Governments and big companies will never do everything they can to stop pollution, because it’s much easier to make money and pollute than to make money without polluting. While fighting a disease is better than fighting the symptoms, the disease here is an incurable result of human instinct. We always want bigger, better, faster, higher, more, more, more. It’d be much easier to just build high dykes and move people.

  118. QuietDesperation

    NASA offers garbage quality at super high prices

    Yeah, probes and rovers that last 10 times their official service lifespans are real garbage.

    (facepalm)

    All you people are nuts. Can I move to the Moon yet? *sigh*

    It’d be much easier to just build high dykes and move people.

    I always wanted to live in one of those “apartment block on a 2000 foot pillar” places from the Jetsons. Did they *ever* show the ground in that cartoon?

  119. Ken W

    Anticlimatic says “I would think most people consider a change of 0.000008 to be insignificant”.

    A number without units and context is meaningless. If I gained 0.000008 megatons of weight, that would be significant. If you mix 0.000008 parts of arsenic to 1 part of your drinking water, that would be significant. Likewise, given the known radiative heat trapping capacity of CO2, a 25% increase is significant. And the projected 100% increase (from pre-industrial times to the not-so-distant future) of CO2 is even more significant.

  120. Zetetic

    Oli @#127:

    Governments and big companies will never do everything they can to stop pollution, because it’s much easier to make money and pollute than to make money without polluting.

    Part of the problem is that the main reason that many governments won’t do anything is because of the denialists lies (paid for by oil companies) misleading the public. That won’t change unless enough people are finally convinced by the evidence that has already convinced the majority of the scientific community.

    On the other side look, at the explosive growth of renewable energy technology in China, a race for future energy that most of the world is letting China win by default. The Chinese government has seen the writing on the wall and already started to act. The only thing really holding back a similar effort in the more democratic countries is a lack of political will, created largely by the fossil fuel companies’ FUD campaigns.

    In the end what is your alternative? Do nothing until the glaciers and poles melt because “doing something” might be difficult?

  121. Alan in Upstate NY

    @Bunny,

    You’re like a little kid who thinks repeating something loudly over and over will make it true.

    Guess you missed our on a lot of history about business before government regulation. Monopolies. Robber Barons. Things like that. As long as there are greedy and dishonest people, consumers need some protection.

    Instead of shouting angrily here you should be reading a little history.

    Clear skies, Alan

  122. Chris Winter

    Oli wrote (#23): “John: Don’t most space ships work with hydrogen? That doesn’t produce soot, and the soot from burning heatshields isn’t that much. There won’t suddenly be hundreds of rocket launches a day.”

    NASA rockets use lox/hydrogen for the liquids, a mixture of oxidizer and rubber compound for the solids. The solids do generate some soot. Commercial rockets will probably use lox/kerosene (smaller tanks). Virgin Galactic’s “Spaceship 2″ has hybrid engines: lox & rubber. This is probably what the article was about.

    Sure, this soot contributes to global warming. But it’s a miniscule contribution compared to the soot from fossil-fuel power plants, old diesel engines, etc.

  123. Yojimbo

    @ 115. Nats Says: “What a snotty article. The science is settled because we say so. Punk.”

    What a snotty comment. And way to go – you get an F for comprehension.

    No – the science is mostly settled because most scientists with relevant competancy say so. Who else are you going to listen to?

    Oh, right – the kooks, pundits, and your drinking buddies. Punk.

  124. @ Calli Arcale: FYI, the bits you added to the graph have horizontal lines every 10 ppm, the original had lines every 20 ppm.

  125. Chris Winter

    BUNNY: LISTEN UP!!!

    We’re onto your trick with the large type.

    We also see how threadbare your arguments are. About economics, as well as about climate science. Study up and maybe you’ll get somewhere.

  126. Chris Winter

    Phil, Do you have any input RE: this blog’s software? I’d like to recommend an update to kill Bunny’s font trick and thereby, um, hide the expansion.

  127. Zetetic

    Chris Winter @ #134:

    um, hide the expansion

    LOL! Nice one…. +1 internet

  128. Scott B

    A couple of notes that the NASA evidence page leaves out.

    Sea level rise

    “Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century. The rate in the last decade, however, is nearly double that of the last century.4″

    What’s not mentioned is that the rate of rise in the first half of the 20th century (1904-1953) was higher (1.91 +/- .14 mm/yr) compared to the second half of the century (1954-2003) 1.42 +/- .14 mm/yr). Given that, why would they focus on that higher rate in the last decade?

    Warming oceans

    “The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.8″

    In an opposite manner to above, they don’t mention that upper ocean heat content has declined from 2004 – 2009. The blog post below shows how this is far below even the lower bounds of the GISS climate models relied upon by the IPCC.

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/05/05/have-changes-in-ocean-heat-falsified-the-global-warming-hypothesis-a-guest-weblog-by-william-dipuccio/

    Ocean acidification

    “The carbon dioxide content of the Earth’s oceans has been increasing since 1750, and is currently increasing about 2 billion tons per year. This has increased ocean acidity by about 30 percent. 12″

    Oooh, 30% = scary number. First, this isn’t a measured value. From Climate Change 2007: Working Group 1:

    “A decrease in surface pH of 0.1 over the global ocean was calculated from the estimated uptake of anthropogenic carbon between 1750 and 1994 (Sabine et al., 2004b; Raven et al., 2005), with the lowest decrease (0.06) in the tropics and subtropics, and the highest decrease (0.12) at high latitudes, consistent with the lower buffer capacity of the high latitudes compared to the low latitudes. The mean pH of surface waters ranges between 7.9 and 8.3 in the open ocean, so the ocean remains alkaline (pH > 7) even after these decreases.

    The consequences of changes in pH on marine organisms are poorly known (see Section 7.3.4 and Box 7.3). For comparison, pH was higher by 0.1 unit during glaciations, and there is no evidence of pH values more than 0.6 units below the pre-industrial pH during the past 300 million years (Caldeira and Wickett, 2003)12. A decrease in ocean pH of 0.1 units corresponds to a 30% increase in the concentration of H+ in seawater, assuming that alkalinity and temperature remain constant.”

    So instead of telling me that real scientific knowledge, I’m just given some 30% number. We’re really talking about an estimated average of around a 0.1 pH drop since the Industrial Revolution.

    Why are all these informative details left out? Isn’t NASA supposed to want to educate me? Why do they leave out data that might reflect some of the uncertainty that exists? They wouldn’t have a political agenda now would they? It’s obvious they do. This and many other examples are why people have become skeptical to the point of calling the entirety of global warming science a complete fraud. People don’t like being lied to. Scientists need to stick to the facts and leave it up to politicians and us average Joes with agendas to cherry pick our details to fit our story.

  129. Andrew

    What’s wrong with more CO2? It helps plants grow!

  130. Schnee Wolfe

    Climate Fluctuation is a given because the Earths Atmosphere, The Sun, and the Biosphere are not STATIC;

    Quote: So I’ll be clear: climate change (Fluctuation) is real. The average temperature of the Earth is increasing. This is almost certainly due to mankind’s influence on the environment.

    While the UN and other governing bodies would like us to believe the evidence is in, and human activity on our Atmosphere and Biosphere is the root cause; the scientists, being the sceptics that they are, always put in the cautionary word; “this is ALMOST certainly due to mankind’s influence on the environment.”

    I don’t deny that there is climate fluctuation happening, what bothers me the most, is the polarization of opinion in the developed world amongst both the average person and the various scientists; I was always taught that in science it was important to keep an open mind, and not discount the impossible until such time as it had passed peer review; with this issue having such a broad scope of scientific disciplines contributing to the overall input, and the dissent in and between the various scientific disciplines, it does seem that the jury is still out for at least the next decade;

    but as others have commented on here and other sites, going green is not a bad thing; what is bad, is keeping developing nations from developing and improving the lot of the poorest people in the world, by saying they cannot use the resources that are theirs, to do that, in the name of preventing climate fluctuations, while our developed world goes happily along polluting and altering the biosphere; we scream about Launch Vehicles polluting the atmosphere, but we do nothing to curb the burning of fossil fuels in cars, electrical power stations, and airplanes; India and China, together encompassing a huge portion of the worlds poor are using their reserves of coal to power their development because they have the military might to do so, while the IMF (through that body, the policies of the developed world and multi-nationals) prevents Africa from doing similarly; where is the logic in that; now we see China and India competing in Africa to assist the development of these countries against the will of the IMF and the developed world;

    the reality is, that almost certainly, climate fluctuation laws and restraints are being implemented to keep the multinationals and the developed world’s foot on the neck of the poorer under developed nations of the world, whether climate fluctuation is going to cause wide spread disasters or not; IMHO the US and the western world have lost the moral high ground by pursuing the climate fluctuation debate, against the best interests of the rest of the world, while doing nothing to help out the poor, and engaging in foreign policies that only go to support their own fossil fuel and economic advantage;

  131. viggen

    the fact that global warming is real and happening right now, should be linked to again and again by everyone defending reality from those who oppose it.

    I’m not a bit against the reality, what concerns me is that ringing the alarm bell is by no means a solution to the problem. Further, if it is anthropogenic, be prepared for the solution to involve the arbitrary decrease in human reproductive freedom and possibly the limitation of lifespan… neither of which people will accept happily. This is the one issue of our time where nearly everything we thoughtlessly consider positive and good will work counter to correcting the fundamental problem–imagine a world where another baby shower and another life saved by medical heroism (or any other kind of heroism) is part of the end of us all. I personally don’t like the thought of that world.

  132. Calli Arcale

    markogts @ 122:

    About the Space Shuttle: no matter what it burns, you have to consider the CO2 emitted to produce that fuel. Hydrogen does not grow on trees ;-)

    Very true. Many people remember learning in high school that you can get hydrogen from water by electrolysis (which is how it was originally discovered, hence its name) but it’s much cheaper to get it from petroleum via a chemical process.

    Ken B @ 120:

    How do the directly-measured levels of the past few decades compare to fossil records of the same time?

    I’m not sure “fossil” is the right word. What they’re measuring is actual samples of ancient atmosphere, trapped in impermeable materials such as ice. Now, there are valid criticisms, such as how the samples are dated and whether or not the atmosphere in one location is representative of the atmosphere globally. But broadly speaking, it’s basically the same measurements.

  133. Brian Utterback

    As noted above, the historical ice core data show that CO2 increase lags temperature increase. This implies that there is a mechanism that releases sequestered CO2 when the temperature raises. Since CO2 is a greenhouse gas (does anyone deny this?) then increased atmospheric CO2 must increase temperatures. Thus a small increase in temperature may create a feedback increasing temperature more until equilibrium is reached. While clearly 650K YA this change was natural, there is nothing to say that the same cycle might not be started by another method, in particular artificially increasing atmospheric CO2. If this releases CO2 that was not previously part of the same cycle, then the equilibrium point might even be higher than in the past.

    The problem here though is that the magnitudes of the cause and effects are critical to deciding what must be done and the issue is very complex, with a lot of subtleties. The
    science should be decided as it usually is, by research and informed debate to reach a consensus on each issue. However, the political process has usurped the scientific one and clouded the issue. The data spinning is done on both sides, although it is more obvious on the denialists side. But if you ever read “An Inconvenient Truth”, it is very obvious that the ice core data was graphed in such a way as to obscure that the CO2 changes lagged the temperature changes, and the text clearly implied the reverse cause and effect. There are now theoretical models to explain this, but to hide that fact and actually use the data as a case of the opposite effect was just dishonest. I have never trusted Al Gore’s data on anything again. I discovered this by reading the original ice core paper. I think that if you have not read the original research, you should probably not offer your opinion on it. I have seen climate research papers where the abstract stated the opposite of what the actual conclusions were. And don’t even get me started on what the media reports on these papers.

  134. Zetetic

    Schnee Wolfe @ #137:

    Climate Fluctuation is a given because the Earths Atmosphere, The Sun, and the Biosphere are not STATIC;

    Agreed…but who the heck is saying that it is static? That smacks of a straw-man argument.

    climate fluctuation laws and restraints are being implemented to keep the multinationals and the developed world’s foot on the neck of the poorer under developed nations of the world, whether climate fluctuation is going to cause wide spread disasters or not

    That might make sense aside from the fact that most of the worlds poor are at greatest risk from AGW than are the developed countries.

    IMHO the US and the western world have lost the moral high ground by pursuing the climate fluctuation debate, against the best interests of the rest of the world, while doing nothing to help out the poor, and engaging in foreign policies that only go to support their own fossil fuel and economic advantage;

    If your argument that the developing nations could be doing more to help the 3rd world become more energy efficient and independent then I’ll agree with you there. But none of that changes the fact of human causation for the planet getting warmer, nor does it mean that nothing should be done.

    ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
    viggen @ #138:

    what concerns me is that ringing the alarm bell is by no means a solution to the problem.

    Straw-man argument….Who here said that just “ringing the alarm bell” solves the problem? It’s very simple…if nobody brings it to the public’s attention then there will never be enough political will, to actually do anything about the issue.

    Further, if it is anthropogenic, be prepared for the solution to involve the arbitrary decrease in human reproductive freedom and possibly the limitation of lifespan… neither of which people will accept happily.

    Actually that is just one of many possible solution, even ignoring the decline in population rates in most industrialized countries.

    This is the one issue of our time where nearly everything we thoughtlessly consider positive and good will work counter to correcting the fundamental problem–imagine a world where another baby shower and another life saved by medical heroism (or any other kind of heroism) is part of the end of us all. I personally don’t like the thought of that world.

    So your solution is to live in a world with coastal flooding, hundreds of thousands dying from heat-waves, famine, drought (in many areas) and the spread of diseases such as malaria into to areas were it used to not exist?

    Regardless you’re making a false dichotomy. There is a wide spectrum of alternatives that you seem to be ignoring again it’s a matter of creating the political will through that “alarm bell ringing”.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

    Brian Utterback @ #140:
    Who here really care about what Al Gore a politician has to say? I sure don’t. I’m more interested in what the scientists say
    Is Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth accurate?

    The article I referenced about does provide links to the relevant sources, here it is the simplified explanation (with links) again.
    CO2 lags temperature – what does it mean?

    The science should be decided as it usually is, by research and informed debate to reach a consensus on each issue

    That’s already been done, and the consensus has been reached…Humans are causing AGW.
    Is there a scientific consensus on global warming?

    I have seen climate research papers where the abstract stated the opposite of what the actual conclusions were. And don’t even get me started on what the media reports on these papers.

    Yes the media is terrible, so what else is new? Have to papers contradicting AGW, and how often are they referenced? Any links?

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————————
    I’m still not seeing anything that credibly supports the idea that human activity isn’t causing AGW.

  135. Ben

    Wow… highest in 650,000 years? That is AMAZING! I guess I have to believe you now. Oh wait… How many years has the Earth been around? About 4.5 billion years. How long has life existed on Earth? About 3.8 billion years. Come on now… That is like taking a survey of 100 people in a population of 5.8 million people. Now you tell me, is that accurate?

    Now I am not disputing “global warming” or “climate change”. But seriously, how can you say that it is because of us? You don’t have enough data! Isn’t science about finding facts? Not just making some numbers up like you are a politician?

    I love science, but I hate it when “scientists” are too blind, paid, blackmailed, or whatever, to see past their preconceptions or political agendas.

    If you actually read this post, then thanks for reading. I hope this gives you cause to actually THINK.

  136. Chris Winter

    Luis Dias wrote (#67): “That’s what I call skepticism, Phil: to polarize an issue a priori and call anyone else who may have a point or two as a denialist.”

    This looks to me like projection due to short memory.

    Luis, do you really expect every post on climate to collect and present all the evidence that supports its point?

    The reality of global warming and its causes has been debated for years now. A few basic facts should be accepted by everyone.

    1. The Earth is gradually warming.
    2. The cause is mostly carbon dioxide from the fossil fuels we are burning.
    3. Lesser causes are deforestation, other greenhouse gases (methane), and black soot.

    Contrary to popular belief, almost everyone here would welcome some evidence that disproves these facts. It would mean we could cross one big problem off the list.

    But mere assertions are meaningless, no matter how verbosely stated or how often repeated.

  137. vel

    millions of years (billions?) of years to “sequester” carbon —-> hundreds to let it out thanks to human activity. CO2 is increasing. CO2 holds in heat. It’s as simple as that.

  138. John

    Phil,

    You need to understand that the increasing amount of noise, as you call it, is coming less and less from those with a political agenda, and more and more from people who smell BS in the whole idea of AGW.

    Ironically, your motivations are conspicuously political, and as a result you fail to smell the BS yourself, which is a matter of great disappointment to the true skeptics amongst us.

  139. Composer99

    Luis Dias,

    If you really, truly, honestly believe the following:

    No, there are no “true facts” independent of humankind, since the very act of calling such phenomena as “facts” is a human activity. There is no “objectively truly independent facts”, there is merely a collection of inter-subjective dialogues between people who try persistently to diminish their own subjective biases in their analysis of the data they see. But this naive realism you espouse is utter nonsense. If you read nothing else but scientist talk, at least inform yourself and learn what good ol Hawking has to say about “Reality”, models, truth and facts. You’ll get shocked, but hey, that’s the price of truth, ahah.

    then you are committing yourself, sooner or later, to science denialism, not skepticism, rationality, or anything approaching ‘common sense’.

    Perhaps you can explain how, exactly, the concept of gravity is a ” collection of inter-subjective dialogues”, or, likewise, the existence of pathogenic microbes. Personally, I would categorize them as objective, empirically-derived facts.

  140. Scott B

    Sorry if this shows up twice. Removed a URL from my post hoping it doesn’t go into moderation.

    A couple of notes that the NASA evidence page leaves out.

    Sea level rise

    “Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century. The rate in the last decade, however, is nearly double that of the last century.4″

    What’s not mentioned is that the rate of rise in the first half of the 20th century (1904-1953) was higher (1.91 +/- .14 mm/yr) compared to the second half of the century (1954-2003) 1.42 +/- .14 mm/yr). Given that, why would they focus on that higher rate in the last decade?

    Warming oceans

    “The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.8″

    In an opposite manner to above, they don’t mention that upper ocean heat content has declined from 2004 – 2009. The blog post below shows how this is far below even the lower bounds of the GISS climate models relied upon by the IPCC. **Here’s where my link was, Google Climate Science: Roger Pielke Sr. to find the blog and then search for the entry titled “Have Changes In Ocean Heat Falsified The Global Warming Hypothesis? – A Guest Weblog by William DiPuccio” if your curious**

    Ocean acidification

    “The carbon dioxide content of the Earth’s oceans has been increasing since 1750, and is currently increasing about 2 billion tons per year. This has increased ocean acidity by about 30 percent. 12″

    Oooh, 30% = scary number. First, this isn’t a measured value. From Climate Change 2007: Working Group 1:

    “A decrease in surface pH of 0.1 over the global ocean was calculated from the estimated uptake of anthropogenic carbon between 1750 and 1994 (Sabine et al., 2004b; Raven et al., 2005), with the lowest decrease (0.06) in the tropics and subtropics, and the highest decrease (0.12) at high latitudes, consistent with the lower buffer capacity of the high latitudes compared to the low latitudes. The mean pH of surface waters ranges between 7.9 and 8.3 in the open ocean, so the ocean remains alkaline (pH > 7) even after these decreases.

    The consequences of changes in pH on marine organisms are poorly known (see Section 7.3.4 and Box 7.3). For comparison, pH was higher by 0.1 unit during glaciations, and there is no evidence of pH values more than 0.6 units below the pre-industrial pH during the past 300 million years (Caldeira and Wickett, 2003)12. A decrease in ocean pH of 0.1 units corresponds to a 30% increase in the concentration of H+ in seawater, assuming that alkalinity and temperature remain constant.”

    So instead of telling me that real scientific knowledge, I’m just given some 30% number. We’re really talking about an estimated average of around a 0.1 pH drop since the Industrial Revolution.

    Why are all these informative details left out? Isn’t NASA supposed to want to educate me? Why do they leave out data that might reflect some of the uncertainty that exists? They wouldn’t have a political agenda now would they? It’s obvious they do. This and many other examples are why people have become skeptical to the point of calling the entirety of global warming science a complete fraud. People don’t like being lied to. Scientists need to stick to the facts and leave it up to politicians and us average Joes with agendas to cherry pick our details to fit our story.

  141. Steve Metzler

    Luis Dias the tiresome troll says:

    If the thesis is “Global Warming is happening due to mankind”, to show a graph about CO2 concentration as evidence of this thesis is kinda stupid.

    In your limited grasp of science and reality it may be stupid. But we know that mankind put most of the extra CO2 there because the ratio of C13 to C12 isotopes in the atmosphere is consistent with the signature you get from burning fossil fuels. Those stupid scientists. Think they can accuse us of doing things without any proof whatsoever. Pfft.

    The “entire” APS is just an APS secretary. Or are you asserting that the entire collection of scientists have spoken against Lewis?

    Press releases are done *through* a Press Secretary, but they reflect the views of the organisation as a whole. Just how naive are you to believe that the APS press release regarding Hal Lewis was the work of one person? Oh wait, I forgot. You’re not niave. Just completely disingenuous.

  142. Chris Winter

    Luis Dias wrote (#72): “The “entire” APS is just an APS secretary. Or are you asserting that the entire collection of scientists have spoken against Lewis?”

    http://aps.org/policy/statements/07_1.cfm

    National Policy
    07.1 CLIMATE CHANGE

    (Adopted by Council on November 18, 2007)

    The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.

    That’s just one sentence I picked out of the APS statement. Why don’t you read the whole thing? Maybe you’ll find that I distorted the meaning by cherry-picking. Maybe the APS actually said it’s a hoax.

    Good luck with that. Because the APS does agree that AGW is real, and thus it opposes Dr. Harold Lewis.

  143. Tom Jones

    The graph only goes back about 400,000 years. I want info that goes back 5M years.

  144. tstorm

    If. The sea level has only gone up 120 cm since the last glacial maximum how do you explain the Chesapeake bay?

  145. Luis Dias

    This looks to me like projection due to short memory.
    Luis, do you really expect every post on climate to collect and present all the evidence that supports its point?

    I expect that, if one is limited to give one single example of a damn good evidence that mankind is responsible for the most global warming we are witnessing, etc., one should give the best. If this is it, GW theory would be in serious trouble.

    It’s a communication critique.

    The reality of global warming and its causes has been debated for years now. A few basic facts should be accepted by everyone.
    1. The Earth is gradually warming.
    2. The cause is mostly carbon dioxide from the fossil fuels we are burning.
    3. Lesser causes are deforestation, other greenhouse gases (methane), and black soot.

    “Should”? Or else what? It’s amazing the pretense of maturity for such a chaotic and immature science field. No, humility serves you better. Learn it.

    Contrary to popular belief, almost everyone here would welcome some evidence that disproves these facts. It would mean we could cross one big problem off the list.

    You’re seeing it the wrong way. The “evidence” shows that if, *if* the various *iffs* being computed in the models are true, *then* GW is a real problem. These are all theories. Climate sensitivities are calculated in an ad hoc fashion, and there are a lot of circular arguments used in the IPCC report (we use models that pressupose CO2 as a big driver, and voilá we have confirmation that CO2 is a big driver). Not to say that these aren’t “true”, but that the rate, the fervor to which these were defended as a “reality science” is a blunder. It’s like playing poker with a pair of clubs, thinking you have a hand of aces.

    But mere assertions are meaningless, no matter how verbosely stated or how often repeated.

    Now that’s the self-humbling attitude I’m talking about! Good show.

  146. amphiox

    Oh Bunny, Bunny,

    You realize this so-called “anarchist” (quotes because it isn’t anarchist, the term being an abstraction that does not and cannot exist in reality) thing-a-ma-bob you go on and on about is just another form of government?

    Anything with any form of coercive power over other people is a government. A parent is a government over a child. A corporation forms a government over its employees. If you have human beings interacting in groups larger than 2, you have a form of government.

  147. Luis Dias

    Why is it that I can’t seem to post a comment here?

  148. amphiox

    “Ocean levels are not going to rise by 6 m, by about 50 to 70 cm!”

    50-70 cm is plenty enough.

    “Ocean levels had risen by about 120 cm since the last glacial maximum!”

    The last glacial maximum was over 10,000 years ago. 60cm/100 years is 50 times faster than 120cm/10,000 years.

    “HOW MANY OF YOU UNDERSTAND HOW SOCIETY OR HOW AN ECONOMY WORKS?”

    I don’t know, but Bunny sure doesn’t.

  149. Steve Metzler

    Ben (#152) and Tom Jones (#160):

    For the past 650,000 years, CO2 has never risen above 280ppm. Now in just 250 years or so, it’s at 390ppm and rising unabated. There is evidence from many independent sources that indicates the increased CO2 is leading to increasing global temperatures. What conditions were like 3.8 billion or even 5 million years ago are completely irrelevant. There was no civilisation then, and no crops that need to feed 6 billion people to depend on.

    It is estimated that the first doubling of CO2 to 560ppm (which we are on course to reach around 2050 if we continue Business As Usual) will lead to a temperature increase since pre-industrial times of about 3C. That increase will lead to changing weather patterns across the globe and a lot of areas that we depend on for agriculture will become dust bowls. Just as the world population is reaching the 9 billion mark or so. If you think that’s an acceptable position to put our future generations in, I pity you.

  150. Luis Dias

    Composer99, Phil Plait’s spam detector prevents me from responding to you, it seems. I had a good comeback to that, but hey. If you want to learn something other than the obsolete 200 year old naive realism you espouse, go to wikipedia and learn something about relativism, or positivism, or, heck, go read the entirety of the 20th century science philosophy. You’re in deep need of it.

  151. noen

    Luis Dias Says:
    “Strawman there. There is a wide difference between “no effect” and “alarming effect”. And even accepting the latter would still pose a lot of subsequent questions and discussions, none of which really benefit from this polarized paternalistic tone. And I’m not “Luke”, noen, the translation of Luis to english is Lewis. Luke is “Lucas”. Learn something with me at least.”

    Facts are not strawmen Luis. BTW, it was a reference to Star Wars hun. Just a joke, relax. As far as your claim that there is nothing to be worried about… well you are simply flat out wrong there. Depending on what we do or fail to do we are looking at a six meter rise in the oceans, 50-90 percent extinction rates and the remaining 2 billion humans confined to the lovely tropical seas at the arctic circle.

    “This is ignorant drivel. It’s “common sense”, but like all common sense, it’s usually wrong. No, there are no “true facts” independent of humankind, since the very act of calling such phenomena as “facts” is a human activity.”

    Your claim that there is no objective reality is laughably sophomoric.

    “There is no “objectively truly independent facts”, there is merely a collection of inter-subjective dialogues between people who try persistently to diminish their own subjective biases in their analysis of the data they see. But this naive realism you espouse is utter nonsense.”

    I am fully prepared and capable of debating my realist position with you however this is not really the time or place. I am quite aware of those philosophers that claim reality is little more than an inter-subjective narrative. They are wrong and I can “bring it” as they say.

    “to say that we are responsible for “by far the largest percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere” is sheer nonsensical grammar.”

    Yet again you demonstrate your profound ignorance of the subject. We can measure the human contribution to global CO2 because CO2 from fossil sources has a different atomic signature than the naturally occurring CO2 in the biosphere.

    FAIL.

  152. Luis Dias

    Steve, as far as I can tell, the theory is about global warming, not “global CO2 pollution of some 100 parts per million that I will never feel in my entire LIFE”. So stop embarrassing yourself so shamelessly. It’s kinda denigrating the level of the blog.

    Press releases are done *through* a Press Secretary, but they reflect the views of the organisation as a whole.

    So you really think that the organization asked every one of its members about the content of the letter? Really. Let me tell you what *really* happened. Mr. president of the APS wrote the letter and had ms. secretary sign it. Now, unless you are one of the weirdest people out there that think that one single man is able to telepathically manage the thoughts of the entire APS membership to produce a coherent piece of paper, what you are really saying is that the APS members are sheep that always think exactly like the president of the organization.

  153. Luis Dias

    That’s just one sentence I picked out of the APS statement. Why don’t you read the whole thing? Maybe you’ll find that I distorted the meaning by cherry-picking. Maybe the APS actually said it’s a hoax.

    Thanks for playing. Next time try to actually read what people say.

  154. noen

    Among the many comments, not all of which I ‘ve had the time to read, there is the question out there:

    What should we do about global warming?

    The answer is: adapt, reduce, sequester.

    For the immediate future the time to affect the outcomes is over. We have the choice now of adapting to what is coming. We no longer have the ability to prevent it.

    For the longer term we can still prevent the worst outcomes. We can and must reduce the amount of CO2 that we dump into the atmosphere. We really really don’t want a six degree world.

    Finally, we need to sequester CO2 and start to draw down what is already in the environment. The way we do that is through Bio-Char. Basically you grow organic matter, convert it to charcoal while harvesting the out gases for fuel and then you bury the charcoal. This is a solution that we could start tomorrow and deploy globally. It is our best and probably only hope.

  155. Chris Winter

    Andrew wrote (#145): “What’s wrong with more CO2? It helps plants grow!”

    Yah — especially poison ivy. Makes the poison stronger too.

  156. Luis Dias

    noen,

    Facts are not strawmen Luis. BTW, it was a reference to Star Wars hun.

    ORLY.

    As far as your claim that there is nothing to be worried about…

    I do not claim that people should not be “worried about”. People worry about whatever they think they should worry about. You’re the one on the business of making me or others “worried”, you’re the one who should present a coherent case with great empirical evidence that we are in “trouble”. No such case was ever presented. All evidence points out to a very mild global warming happening right now, and all the unverified models present global warming (conveniently?) “accellerating” in the middle of the century and turning out to be “dangerous”. Well, perhaps. Perhaps not. This uncertainty was completely shut out of the IPCC report, and we were sold a much less uncertain message, due to the fear of the irrationality of mankind. Well, tough luck.

    50-90 percent extinction rates and the remaining 2 billion humans confined to the lovely tropical seas at the arctic circle.

    You’re insane. There is no single evidence of this malthusian, christian apocaliptic shenanigan. This is the rapture of the ambientalist, forsure.

    I am fully prepared and capable of debating my realist position with you however this is not really the time or place

    Every single “Realist” is not prepared to debate his own case, by its very definition. It’s a lost cause. Educate yourself.

    I am quite aware of those philosophers that claim reality is little more than an inter-subjective narrative.

    “These” were just the most important philosophers of the twentieth century. Look, my feelings towards you on this is the same that a biologist has when confronted with a creationist saying “Yeah I know these biologists keep saying we evolved and some such”.

    Yet again you demonstrate your profound ignorance of the subject. We can measure the human contribution to global CO2 because CO2 from fossil sources has a different atomic signature than the naturally occurring CO2 in the biosphere.

    Actually, it is you who don’t know how to write english and then blame me for pointing it out. Go back to school, tell the teacher the only thing you learned on the internets is to write fail with the caps lock on.

  157. JJ (the other one)

    #152 Ben Said:

    “Wow… highest in 650,000 years? That is AMAZING! I guess I have to believe you now. Oh wait… How many years has the Earth been around? About 4.5 billion years. How long has life existed on Earth? About 3.8 billion years. Come on now…”

    This is just about the weakest talking point and I have no idea why it still has legs.

    That CO2 was ever higher than now means we shouldn’t care until we reach that high mark again?

    That evidence of cycles over the last half million years and evidence that we are now well outside those cycles is not cause for alarm?

    That the last half million years of data is some kind a statistical fluke?

    Seriously, why does the ‘only 650,000 years’ talking point have ANY legs at all?

  158. Meme Mine

    What Killed Climate Phobia?
    The voters had the REAL consensus, and had about as much respect for scientists and journalists, as they did for politicians and abusive priests. Meanwhile, the UN had allowed carbon trading to trump 3rd world fresh water relief, starvation rescue and 3rd world education for just over 24 years of climate crisis warnings. Nice! History is watching.
    Scientists not only polluted the planet with their chemicals, they also produced cruise missiles, cancer causing chemicals, land mine technology, nuclear weapons, germ warfare, strip mining technology, deep sea drilling technology so spare us the saintly scientist religion. Only the independent science organizations that were themselves not milking this CO2 mistake, doubted climate change while the publicly funded science organizations like NASA, IPCC etc scream doom as instructed by pandering politicians. BUT, it isn’t a lie. How is a prediction a lie. Do you see the free pass that climate change gets from science and the mainscream media? It’s ok, doubting isn’t making you a neocon or an oil hack. It makes you a responsible environmentalist. The planet is NOT dying.
    Remove the CO2 factor from the environmental equation and nothing changes except we go from fear to hope to courage to bravery. Stop trying to scare my kids but even they are laughing.

  159. Meme Mine

    Editors:
    Do you see any reader consensus for CO2 phobia? Get ahead of the curve so we can trust you again.

  160. Scott B

    Ugh, people offering up fodder that could be easily answered by a google search for the overconfident warmers. Maybe I underestimate the stupid on the skeptic side.

  161. Steve Metzler

    Luis Dias says:

    Steve, as far as I can tell, the theory is about global warming, not “global CO2 pollution of some 100 parts per million that I will never feel in my entire LIFE”. So stop embarrassing yourself so shamelessly. It’s kinda denigrating the level of the blog.

    What part of ‘increased CO2 causes global warming’ don’t you understand? You have twisted my words to mean something I never said. And the ‘something that will never happen in my entire life’ retort completely sums up your “I’m a complete idiot who doesn’t care what happens to anybody else later on as long as I can do whatever I like right now” attitude. *Me* denigrating the level of the blog? What a laugh! Projection much?

    Odious troll is getting angry that he can’t have his way, and the cracks are showing. Watch out, he’s gonna implode!

    BTW, Daniel J. Andrews (#110). That post is full of win.

  162. noen

    Luis Dias Says:
    “So you really think that the organization asked every one of its members about the content of the letter? Really. Let me tell you what *really* happened. “

    Since you don’t believe in objective reality and instead claim that everything is an inter-subjective narrative your assertion that there exists a factually objective account of “what *really* happened” is quite amusing.

    The problem with epistemic relativists such as yourself is that you are incapable of consistently maintaining your position without lapsing into sophistry. If everything is just someone’s point of view and all truths are relative then there is no “real” account that one can be correct of incorrect about.

    Your position is ultimately incoherent.

  163. Ben

    Steve (#165):

    Yes, it sounds very convincing when you do not consider the whole picture. Yes, millions of years ago we did not have civilization. But what about nature? How many things in nature are cyclical? Things get hot, things get cold (perhaps too simplistic of an example). Are you telling me that it is inconceivable or impossible that the Earth is on a cycle and is heating up due to that? Sure, we produce a lot of CO2, but is it totally out of the realm of possibility that the Earth is just… Heating up?

    You know what else? Humans have high ingenuity and creativity. I personally believe in us as a species. We can come up with a solution to ANY problem thrown at us. Did I forget foresight? Yeah, we see things coming. We take data and extrapolate. And there are so many of us that we don’t come up with the same problem or answer. Unless of course we are told what the problem is by every media source out there. If we just trust that the only problem is the one given, then how are we going to fix the real problem if “they” are wrong? If everyone is force-fed this stuff about climate change, then we could very well be looking in the wrong direction while we are hit with something else.

    So I say, do your own research; don’t just link to some government site that says “We have a problem.” Find the problem for yourself and work with others to find a proper solution. And here is something I have said for years: Creativity is the epicenter of reality. If you truly believe that this problem that you are force-fed is the real problem, then be creative. Find a good solution.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, and again, I hope this causes people to think…

  164. noen

    Luis Dias Says:
    October 26th, 2010 at 3:34 pm
    Facts are not strawmen Luis. BTW, it was a reference to Star Wars hun.

    ORLY.”

    Yes really. Have you ever seen Star Wars? I was making a reference to the plot point where it is revealed that Darth Vader is Luke’s father. I thought it was funny. My intent was to lighten things up.

    You’re insane. There is no single evidence of this malthusian, christian apocaliptic shenanigan. “

    Not at all. That is what will happen with a six degree rise in global temps. It would be very very bad and………… alarming.

    Every single “Realist” is not prepared to debate his own case, by its very definition. It’s a lost cause. Educate yourself.

    I am educated. The argument against epistemic relativism is really quite simple and is similar to arguments against solipsists and general skepticism. Relativism is untenable because, as can be seen in a reply of mine above, you cannot consistently maintain your position without becoming incoherent.

    The assumption of an objective independently existing world that does not respect our feelings and desires is a necessary precondition to any rational debate or thought.

    “These” were just the most important philosophers of the twentieth century. Look, my feelings towards you on this is the same that a biologist has when confronted with a creationist saying “Yeah I know these biologists keep saying we evolved and some such”.

    Grandstanding will get you nowhere. You need to step up and make your claim.

  165. Composer99

    Luis, it’s very doubtful that 20th century science philosophy, relativism, positivism, etc. will make pathogenic microbes go away, nor will they make it safe for me to climb up to the roof of my house and simply step off expecting to gently float to the ground.

    Likewise, given that we can empirically measure the current carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere, the temperature anomalies, and the other climate/atmospheric/cryosphere markers pointing towards anthropogenic global warming, frankly, it is very doubtful that relativism, positivism, etc will make the problems resulting from it go away.

  166. Luis Dias

    Since you don’t believe in objective reality and instead claim that everything is an inter-subjective narrative your assertion that there exists a factually objective account of “what *really* happened” is quite amusing.

    ORLY. My god these people are so slow. What do you take me for? I can nuke your arrogant posturing with a single verb, for crying out loud. Try to learn to read irony and sarcasm. Specially when it is written between **s. Seriously, you should be ashamed to be educated on english by a portuguese.

    The problem with epistemic relativists such as yourself is that you are incapable of consistently maintaining your position without lapsing into sophistry. If everything is just someone’s point of view and all truths are relative then there is no “real” account that one can be correct of incorrect about.

    Of course, your problem is the same as of any religious fundamentalist: you think that the *real* account of anything is of any importance whatsoever. Problem is, if it is, if you are so worried about the *real* account of anything, then you are on trouble, since there is no single fact, no single theory, no single nothing to which you *should* be absolutely sure of. (you can be absolutely sure of anything, but that’s what fundamentalism is about). So even if you perchance would make a complete, absolutely true proposition, you couldn’t know. You would not be able to know it, since all your knowledge is contingent on something else, ad eternum.

    So drop the pretense. You will not ever learn the one true whole truth, neither will anyone else. Gladly, for the rest of us, the sane ones, we have science, concerned with truths, not with Truths.

  167. Luis Dias

    Luis, it’s very doubtful that 20th century science philosophy, relativism, positivism, etc. will make pathogenic microbes go away, nor will they make it safe for me to climb up to the roof of my house and simply step off expecting to gently float to the ground.

    Nor did I imply that you should be safe doing so, for by saying such a thing I would also be saying I would be in possession of a knowledge even superior to our relative scientific one. Which I do not.

    But Douglas Adams once said that to learn to fly, you only have to jump and then miss the ground. Who knows, perhaps he has a point.

    Likewise, given that we can empirically measure the current carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere, the temperature anomalies, and the other climate/atmospheric/cryosphere markers pointing towards anthropogenic global warming, frankly, it is very doubtful that relativism, positivism, etc will make the problems resulting from it go away.

    Sure. But it will erase the cocksure religious nuts who pretend to possess the truth about what is going to happen in the future. Or at least, deprive them of being taken too seriously. I used to think that the huge monumental prediction failures of the environmentalist movement in the last century would somehow make them blush a little and stop spreading exagerating nonsense. But no, they continue unabated, with their announcements of how nigh is the end…

  168. JJ (the other one)

    Scott B – For someone who rolls their eyes dramatically and talks about Googling for answers you really should spend some more time with that search engine.

    I spent five minutes on Google and discover that instrument calibration following a methodology change of how the ocean temperatures are measured is the cause.

    The oceans have *not* been cooling since 2003.

  169. Chris Winter

    @Scott B (#144):

    Those NASA explanations are for the lay public. As such, they’re naturally going to focus on the immediate past and not deluge readers with numbers.

    In presenting your alleged refutations, you give only one link, and it is instructive. It is to “a guest weblog by William DiPuccio, who, although not a published climate scientist, has provided a view on the global warming discussion which is worth reading.”

    So it is — but not for the reason you imagine.

    Monotonic Heating. Since the level of CO2 and other well-mixed GHG is on the rise, the overall accumulation of heat in the climate system, measured by ocean heat, should be fairly steady and uninterrupted (monotonic) according to IPCC models, provided there are no major volcanic eruptions. According to the hypothesis, major feedbacks in the climate system are positive (i.e., amplifying), so there is no mechanism in this hypothesis that would cause a suspension or reversal of overall heat accumulation. Indeed, any suspension or reversal would suggest that the heating caused by GHG can be overwhelmed by other human or natural processes in the climate system.”

    This is wrong. No one expects the heat buildup to be monotonic. Although the oceans might come closest, they still won’t get there. Consider the El Niño / La Niña phenomena, which involve heat exchange between atmosphere and ocean surface.

    There are other things wrong with Mr. DiPuccio’s essay, but I’m not going to further dissect it. If, as you say, you want to look deeper into the matter, I suggest starting with the Skeptical Science site and then move on to papers discussed at RealClimate, such as at this page:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/04/ocean-cooling-not/

  170. Composer99

    Earlier, viggen suggests that:

    Further, if it is anthropogenic, be prepared for the solution to involve the arbitrary decrease in human reproductive freedom and possibly the limitation of lifespan… neither of which people will accept happily. This is the one issue of our time where nearly everything we thoughtlessly consider positive and good will work counter to correcting the fundamental problem–imagine a world where another baby shower and another life saved by medical heroism (or any other kind of heroism) is part of the end of us all. I personally don’t like the thought of that world.

    This strikes me as complete bullocks.

    Fundamentally, this is a technical problem: human emissions of waste carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

    The solution is to reduce atmospheric concentration of these gases (and particularly carbon dioxide) at a rate greater than we emit them.

    Because of limits to technology (and for other considerations, such as intra- and inter-national security & economic stability), in order to accomplish this, we will probably have to make the transition away from fossil fuels as a principal energy source to accomplish this feat – although it is not, strictly speaking, an absolute requirement.

    Also, the fact that fossil fuel combustion & the resulting greenhouse gas emission continues to increase if left unchecked suggests that we will not be able to reduce greenhouse gas concentrations sufficiently if we do not impose some sort of check on emissions.

    But these are not inextricably linked with reducing the population of homo sapiens sapiens.

  171. Steve Metzler

    Ben says:

    You know what else? Humans have high ingenuity and creativity. I personally believe in us as a species.

    Yeah Ben, I’d like to feel that is a possibility too. But when one side of this ‘debate’ is clearly *anti-science*, and they’re most likely to gain a political majority in a few days in a large and influential nation, it kinda makes you wonder if we have the collective will to find a scientific solution to this problem.

    At least the smoking/lung cancer debacle only affected individuals (though I’m not trying to downplay the severity to the individuals and their families that were affected). And the reason it dragged out so long was all down to corporate greed. The AGW issue affects all of humanity. And it’s mostly down to corporate greed. Do you see a pattern here?

  172. Chris Winter

    Luis Dias wrote (#162): “I expect that, if one is limited to give one single example of a damn good evidence that mankind is responsible for the most global warming we are witnessing, etc., one should give the best. If this is it, GW theory would be in serious trouble.”

    Then you mistake the purpose of this blog. It is not a scientific treatise and it is not required to build an ironclad case for anything — not even to present a single piece of evidence that someone might find convincing. Especially not in your case, since you seem unwilling to accept anything that isn’t spoon-fed to you.

    “ ‘Should’? Or else what? It’s amazing the pretense of maturity for such a chaotic and immature science field. No, humility serves you better. Learn it.”

    “Should,” or else be judged as too limited in ability for the material.

    I repeat, these conclusions are well-supported by decades of actual observations. Go look at them.

    “You’re seeing it the wrong way. The “evidence” shows that if, *if* the various *iffs* being computed in the models are true, *then* GW is a real problem.”

    There is evidence apart from the models. You keep ignoring it.

  173. Composer99

    Luis,

    Uncertainty in climate projections is not guaranteed to favour less alarming conclusions.

    Consider, for example, that the measured sea level rise from 1990-2010 was found to match the upper end of the IPCC sea-level projections.

    See the applicable graph in: http: // www [.] skepticalscience [.] com/climate-models-intermediate [.] html

    A specific post showing IPCC projections and how they measure up against empirical observations in the meantime can be found here (please note that this post is two years old): http: // www [.] skepticalscience [.] com/Comparing-IPCC-projections-to-observations [.] html

    I hope the break-up of the links works so I don’t have to worry about the post going into moderation.

  174. TheBlackCat

    But what about nature? How many things in nature are cyclical? Things get hot, things get cold (perhaps too simplistic of an example). Are you telling me that it is inconceivable or impossible that the Earth is on a cycle and is heating up due to that?

    Cycles aren’t a cause, they are an effect. Something else needs to cause the cycle to occur. Massive globe-spanning change don’t just happen, there has to be something that triggers the change. For instance, there are climactic changes that result from changing in Earth’s orbit. These, however, happen over much longer time scales. There are short, decade-long cycles as well due to changes in solar output, but those are much faster than what we are seeing.

    If you have an alternative reason, feel free to provide it, but “it’s a cycle” isn’t an explanation unless you can tell us what is causing the cycle and how it accounts for what we are seeing.

    Sure, we produce a lot of CO2, but is it totally out of the realm of possibility that the Earth is just… Heating up?

    This would violate the laws of physics. One of those laws is the law of conservation of energy. Unless we are dealing with nuclear reactions, energy can neither be created nor destroyed. In order for the Earth to be heating up over these sorts of time scales, one or both of these must be happening:

    1. The amount of energy reaching Earth must increase

    2. The amount of energy leaving Earth must decrease

    3. The amount of energy being produced on Earth must increase

    One or more of these MUST be happening if we accept even the basics of physics. There is no other possible way for the Earth to warm over these time scales.

    We have been tracking solar output, so we know #1 is not enough (there are no other significant sources of external energy). The sources of energy on Earth are negligible so it can’t be #3. That leave us with #2.

    But we have other reasons besides this to think #2 is the reason, and we are responsible. One, we have satellites tracking the energy emitted from Earth, and we know that CO2 and methane are blocking more energy from escaping in roughly the right amount to account for what we are seeing. We also know that the lower layers of the atmosphere are warming while the higher layers are cooling, which is exactly what you would expect if energy is being trapped close to the surface. We know that the polar regions and nights are warming faster than equatorial regions and days, which is what you would expect if the increase is due to more energy staying and the opposite of what would be the case if more energy was arriving. We know that the CO2 increase is mostly due to ancient carbon due to isotope ratios, and there is no other appreciable source of ancient carbon until methane deposits start getting released in a big way.

    Is it possible there is some other cause? I suppose, although the spectral and isotope data make this extremely unlikely. But so far no one has been able to come up with any other explanation that is able to come remotely close to explaining all of these observations.

  175. Chris Winter

    Luis Dias wrote (#171): “Now, unless you are one of the weirdest people out there that think that one single man is able to telepathically manage the thoughts of the entire APS membership to produce a coherent piece of paper, what you are really saying is that the APS members are sheep that always think exactly like the president of the organization.”

    Right. It couldn’t be that the majority of the APS membership looked at the evidence and was convinced by it.

  176. Gordon J. Fulks, PhD

    Perhaps someone has already pointed out why the graph of atmospheric carbon dioxide for the last half million years shows a strong upturn after about 1960. It is largely the result of plotting two quite different data sets together and ignoring a third. Someone has also pointed out the graphing larceny of starting the carbon dioxide concentration at 160 ppmv instead of zero, as an honest person would do.

    Most of the graph presumably comes from Antarctic ice core records at Vostok, Antarctica (or another location that has some preferred characteristics). These assume that the ice traps atmospheric gases in tiny bubbles that preserve the ancient atmosphere. This likely has some validity as to relative changes during the ice ages shown and as to the time lag of the CO2 BEHIND temperature of about 800 years (which establishes causality).

    But carbon dioxide interacts chemically with water, such that it is highly improbable that the gas trapped in tiny bubbles under extreme pressure is a pristine sample of the ancient atmosphere. Furthermore, the process of drilling and removing ice cores is so brutal that one cannot argue that recovered bubbles are uncontaminated. Hence, the CO2 concentrations derived are, at best, relative measurements not absolute ones. Hence, it is great leap of faith to say that CO2 concentrations never rose above 300 ppmv during this period.

    The apparently sharp rise after 1960 comes from using a completely different ‘proxy’ or indirect measurement technique: IR absorption. When you switch measurement techniques, you certainly have to own up to doing so (and really should not plot the two data sets on the same graph, because they are not measuring the same thing.) The IR technique involves a proprietary (secret) process in use on a volcano in Hawaii. Because this volcano emits vast amounts of CO2, measurements are certainly in question much of the time because of large (natural) contamination. There is also a problem with air intakes situated too close to the adjacent parking lot!

    What about direct chemical measurements of CO2 that DO NOT INVOLVE proxies? Yes, these were made from about 1800 until 1950. Because they tell a much different story, Alarmists usually ignore them or pick the data points that they like. That is completely dishonest. What do these 90,000 measurements show? They show an atmospheric CO2 concentration that varies from about 270 to well above 400 ppmv. Yes, considerably higher than today!

    The CO2 peak observed after the Dust Bowl of the 1930′s follows what we would expect: warmer global temperatures (slightly) heated the oceans and released a little CO2 from the vast ocean stores. Then when our climate turned cooler after 1945 (and despite the burning of more fossil fuel) the oceans started absorbing more CO2 and the concentration declined until warmer conditions returned in the late 20th century.

    Some readers fail to understand a very basic fact. The amount of carbon dioxide naturally in play is far, far greater than what man adds to the atmosphere from all his various activities. That is enormously important.

    Readers interested in more information should Google “Ernst-Georg Beck,” the German scholar and scientist who gathered together this wealth of chemical data that cannot be ignored. Some of it comes from chemists who were celebrated in their day with Nobel Prizes.

    Another great reference is: Zbigniew Jaworowski, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc. He is an expert on ice cores. See for example:

    http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/Articles%202007/20_1-2_CO2_Scandal.pdf

    In any case, the author of this blog is certainly not telling you the whole truth as we know it. That is unforgivable in science where ‘utter honesty’ and a little critical thinking are required.

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
    Corbett, Oregon USA

    gordonfulks@hotmail.com

  177. Chris Winter

    Luis Dias wrote (#172): “Thanks for playing. Next time try to actually read what people say.”

    Again I say, look to your own lack of comprehension. You asserted that the reply to Dr. Lewis was somehow sneaked into print by the APS Secretary. I pointed you to the organization’s prior statement on climate change, which also contradicts Dr. Lewis’s allegations relating to the science.

  178. Jeremy Thomson

    Calli Arcale: I find your graph incomplete and misleading. The Y scale is clearly parts per million so to be truthful should extend all the way to 1 million! This would make the graph a kilometre high but then its all in the cause of accuracy, right? Would such a useless graph satisfy “Andrew Says”?

  179. Chris Winter

    The other JJ wrote (#176): “That CO2 was ever higher than now means we shouldn’t care until we reach that high mark again?”

    Why, sure! And it’s the same with other geophysical phenomena. The Earth was once much hotter than it is today; molten, in fact. Therefore we shan’t worry until it gets there again. Stiff upper lip, old chap!

    /sarcasm

  180. AJ in CA

    I fear that the sad truth is that educating the public on global warming is no longer a scientific issue, but a social and political one. Those of us who are convinced by good science are all more or less in agreement at the need to take decisive action, and those who fear a green/socialist/luddite conspiracy are never going to be swayed, no matter how conclusive the evidence.

    I’m sure there are a number of fence-sitters who want to be absolutely sure that every little bit of research checks out in its entirety, but I think that for the most part, if you’re a “climate change is a hoax” believer, scientists aren’t going to convince you.

    One thing that’s struck me while browsing sites like SkepticalScience and NASA’s page and others is that, while they address common anti-AGW arguments based on interpretation of science, they completely ignore the issue of a putative conflict of interest or an ulterior motive for the pro-AGW theory in the first place.

    I know that this is a science blog, and that we’re people who are first and foremost interested in good, evidence-based solid science, but I’m seeing a distinct absence of people who are willing to take the conspiracy theorists on, head-to-head. Granted, nothing will sway the promulgators of conspiracy theories themselves, but I feel that, as far as the public goes, the unwillingness of many in the media or scientific community to address these claims gives them an air of unearned legitimacy. We may think that these ideas don’t deserve to be dignified with a response, but to many observers, I’m afraid it looks as if those who attempt to educate others on AGW are “ducking the question.”

  181. Zetetic

    Tsk Tsk…..

    All of these posts and still no one on the denialist side had managed to offer up a single shred of credible evidence that contradicts the consensus that Global Warming is real and being caused by human activity.

    Come on, is that all that you guys/gals have? That your best arguments are that many of the lay public (that doesn’t even know what the term “theory” properly means in science) don’t believe it because they been lied to?

    Or that, scientists are having to act and less than 100% certainty about every little detail? If that’s your standard the planet will have to become like Venus (fortunately that at least not going to happen) before you get that level of certainty. The fact remains that the models used to predict the future changes will always have a degree of uncertainty, that is unavoidable, what you are asking for is a religious level of certainty about a scientific conclusion. Every scientific prediction has at least some degree of certainty, asking for it to be otherwise is irrational. It’s like a Young Earth Creationist arguing that we can’t believe the age of the Earth due to uncertainty in dating methods. WHen you have multiple models and lines of evidence agreeing on the general direction, you can still have a measure of confidence in the predictions.

    Regardless the current models have been able to accurately predict current conditions using conditions from 19oo (and in some cases 1850)as a starting point, that’s about as good a test as you are going to get without putting the planet and humanity at risk just to keep driving SUVs.
    How reliable are climate models?
    If you notice, if anything the climate predictions tend to be too conservative for some of the models.

    None of which changes that the planet is warming abnormally fast nor does it change that humanity is apparently at fault. Nor does it change that regardless oil is still running out eventually.

    Again it’s just deny, deny, deny, but still no contrary supporting evince that contradicts the scientific consensus that AGW is real.

    The fact of the matter is that on the AGW side we have evidence, a scientific consensus, and politics.
    On the denialist side we have politics, ideology, and attacks on the scientific consensus… but no evidence.

    Come on deniers…just give us one piece of credible supporting evidence that actually contradicts the AGW theory. I’ve already made a list for you denialists back @ #125.
    So where is it?
    Anybody?

  182. Randy A.

    ~200 posts!

    Ok everybody, it’s happening, it’s our fault, and we’re screwed if we don’t do anything about it. So we should all get off our backsides and campaign for politicians in the “reality based community.” (And turn off our computers!)

  183. Ben

    Steve, I am not sure which side you think is “anti-science”. From my perspective the side supporting global warming is “anti-science” because it seems like they are all taking a preconception and finding data to support it. That is not scientific. And as far as I can tell, the only thing that could possibly make the side against global warming be “anti-science” would be: “You don’t accept our, quote on quote, ‘scientific fact’.”

    Yes, corporate greed is bad, but so is any type of greed. It seems like so many people are just out for themselves and don’t want to help their neighbors. But does this cause global warming? No. It may be a symptom, but not the cause. And doing something non-creative like forcing people to do things your way is not a good solution. Why not, instead of spreading doom and gloom, work on something to replace the things that create CO2? Or work on a way to use up the CO2? I am not saying that these are necessarily the correct solutions, I am just saying that there are many solutions to any problem when you put your mind to actually fixing the problem, not the symptoms.

    Again, thanks for reading.

  184. Inetdog

    One thing that struck me when I first glanced at this article is how small the difference is between
    “Climate change: the evidence” and
    “Climate: change the evidence”.
    The NASA evidence is pretty hard to refute compared to that which is limited to contemporary (written history) measurements, but it is not that much harder to ignore.

  185. AJ in CA

    For the benefit of those fortunate enough to not have had to slog through the nuttiness I refer to, here’s a breakdown of the major conspiracy theories that some claim are behind the consensus view of climate change:

    -[Money] – That certain interests stand to make a profit, either:
    —scientists, via research grants
    —certain corporations, via expensive green energy or similar products
    —certain corporations, via exploitative/dishonest carbon-credit trading (this one is actually a potential danger, but certainly not the cause of AGW theory).

    -[Quasi-religious ideology]: That radical Gaia-worshipers want to reduce everyone’s standard of living to some arbitrary “allowable” level for the sheer sake of avoiding “decadence.”

    -[Power]: That the UN wants to reduce the sovereignty of nations and increase its control over energy supplies in order to usher in “One World Government.”

    As much as I’d like to believe that these are isolated fringe ideas, I’ve seen some of them crop up even in people I’m close to, often people who are otherwise quite level-headed.
    Again, I know this isn’t a political blog, but the uncomfortable reality is that these are the ideas that we’re up against when it comes to changing minds to advocate reality-based policy. I’m not sure how best to deal this, but I’m open to suggestions.

  186. JJ (the other one)

    #195 said “Because this volcano emits vast amounts of CO2, measurements are certainly in question much of the time because of large (natural) contamination. There is also a problem with air intakes situated too close to the adjacent parking lot!”

    Old and busted talking points remain both old and busted.

    Also, your ‘scathing rebuttal’ (read: baseless accusations without supporting evidence) of ice core CO2 measurements is one for the ages.

    #202 said “From my perspective the side supporting global warming is “anti-science” because it seems like they are all taking a preconception and finding data to support it.”

    To give this label to the current scientific view on global warming, considering the numerous different scientific disciplines involved that all point in a common direction, strikes me as particularly strange.

  187. Chris Winter

    In addition to the NASA page, there is this NOAA page of climate indicators:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams-state-of-the-climate/2009-time-series/

  188. Zetetic

    Ben @ #202:

    From my perspective the side supporting global warming is “anti-science” because it seems like they are all taking a preconception and finding data to support it.

    Then you perspective is obviously highly biased and you’ve never actually tried to look at the evidence in favor of AGW. Just like a Young Earth Creationist talking about “all the scientists” that disagree over evolution” and “all of the evidence against evolution” your position is completely at odds with the reality of the scientific community.

    Once again, The conclusion that AGW is real was arrived at because of the evidence. The opposing argument that AGW isn’t happening or isn’t man-made is being argued in spite of the evidence and the opposition of the majority of climatologists.

    Back at post #125 I listed the main highlights as to how we know AGW is happening, and I proved links to a site that presents the evidence (including links to the appropriate papers).

    So where is your supporting evidence that AGW isn’t happening, if your position is really based on science and not ideology/dogma?
    Well Ben, or any other denialist, where is it?

    Why not, instead of spreading doom and gloom, work on something to replace the things that create CO2? Or work on a way to use up the CO2?

    Are you freaking kidding here?

    That’s exactly what the the scientific community (and those active about AGW) are trying to do! But that is also exactly what the denialists then attack them for, where those developing such technology are accused of “wasting taxpayer money” and for “encouraging fear”! Have you been even trying to read the research that has gone into developing such tech alternative energy systems and CO2 sequestration technologies? Do you realize how little the world spends on such research (when it could easily be spending more instead of fighting pointless wars) because of demonization by the denialists?

    If we try to propose a solution…science gets attacked for “being involved in politics” and told that “the people don’t care”.

    When scientists try to educate the public for why they should care then your side (and you specifically Ben) then attack them for “spreading doom and gloom”.

    Meanwhile you haven’t even been paying attention to the evidence in supporting AGW.

    So what exactly are the scientists supposed to do, to get your support there Ben?
    Pretend that the glaciers aren’t melting?
    That the ocean pH isn’t dropping?
    Tell you that if you just ignore it that it will go away?

  189. noen

    Luis Dias Says:
    ORLY. My god these people are so slow. What do you take me for? I can nuke your arrogant posturing with a single verb, for crying out loud. Try to learn to read irony and sarcasm. Specially when it is written between **s. Seriously, you should be ashamed to be educated on english by a portuguese.

    I am sure that you can nuke all my arguments, yet you continually fail to do so. Repeated posturing and ad homs do not amount to a single argument.

    There is a difference between telling me that you are going crush me and actually doing it.

    Of course, your problem is the same as of any religious fundamentalist: you think that the *real* account of anything is of any importance whatsoever. Problem is, if it is, if you are so worried about the *real* account of anything, then you are on trouble, since there is no single fact, no single theory, no single nothing to which you *should* be absolutely sure of.

    Did you forget what position you were arguing? You were the one who said that there was a true account which others had got wrong and that you were going to give the correct version of:

    “So you really think that the organization asked every one of its members about the content of the letter? Really. Let me tell you what *really* happened. ”

    If there really is no single fact or theory of which people can be sure of then pray tell how can there be a true account of what “really happened”? You contradict yourself when you claim that all truths are inter-subjective narratives and that there is no single narrative that is privileged above the others and then turn around and claim that there is a “true” account regarding the organization in question.

    So even if you perchance would make a complete, absolutely true proposition, you couldn’t know. You would not be able to know it, since all your knowledge is contingent on something else, ad eternum.

    If you say there are no universally valid truths except the truth that there are no universally valid truths, then you have already allowed for an exception and no reason has been given why there will not be other exceptions. If you say there are no universally valid truths including the claim that there are no universally valid truths, then you have contradicted yourself. You have said the claim both is and is not universally valid.

    You will not ever learn the one true whole truth, neither will anyone else. Gladly, for the rest of us, the sane ones, we have science, concerned with truths, not with Truths.

    You are very confused if you think that what you have been arguing for is scientific truth vs some kind of Platonic Truth. I am well aware that science is contingent and provisional and that scientific knowledge is “justified true belief”. You have not been making the pro science side of the argument. Rather, you’ve been arguing the anti-science position.

    But all you do is engage in childish posturing and ad homs anyway. You’ve yet to advance a single coherent rational argument so far.

  190. Steve Metzler

    Ben says:

    From my perspective the side supporting global warming is “anti-science” because it seems like they are all taking a preconception and finding data to support it.

    Then sorry, but you are beginning to sound like a conspiracy theorist. Though you may be well-intentioned at heart. Nice concern trolling in any case, though.

    Many independent studies using entirely different paleoclimate proxies confirm that the CO2 increase is unprecedented in at least the last 400,000 years, and that the rate of warming is unprecedented in at least the past 1000 years. The only forcing that’s changed substantively in one direction (i.e. is not constant or is not part of a cycle like the solar irradiance) since the temperature started to rise is the anthropogenic component of CO2. So what conclusion do you draw from that?

  191. me

    @ AJ in CA

    Don’t forget the commies ;]
    Many climatologists have large and unnecessary beards, a sure sign of their inner desire to seize the means of manufacture and overthrow the bourgeoisie…

  192. AJ in CA

    @210. me: There’s an idea – distribute shaving kits and shirts printed with the cover of “Atlas Shrugged” to climatologists, so they look less like dirty Marxists!

    *scribbling on a white board* “Razors and Ayn Rand T-shirts”

    Anyone else? :D

  193. Zetetic

    @ Gordon J. Fulks, PhD post #195:
    Personally I’m more interested in more recent measurements and trends myself, so I have a couple of brief questions for you about physics. That is assuming that you don’t mind of course.

    Both satellite and ground based measurements over the last few decades seem to show a decreasing amount of longwave infrared radiation escaping into space, and an increasing amount of infrared radiation re-emitted back to Earth from the atmosphere.
    Measurements of the Radiative Surface Forcing of Climate
    - and-
    Increases in greenhouse forcing inferred from the outgoing longwave radiation spectra of the Earth in 1970 and 1997

    Curiously both the decreased levels of infrared radiation escaping into space, and the increasingly redirected (from the atmosphere) radiation happens to be at the same frequencies that would be expected of infrared absorption and re-emission by increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere as well as other “Green House Gasses”.

    As a physicist, are there any other mechanisms that you are aware of that can account for this phenomena at those specific frequencies? Also, what in your opinion, would tend to be the long term effect of such a trend continues to change further?

    Thank you for your time.

  194. me

    hey AJ, praps get some of them to turn up to some NRA meetings and talk about nuking china over CO2 emissions. that might help the image problem

    They should also use some of their money from the secret communist-profiteering to buy ranches in texas covered in cattle and solar-stirling dishes.

  195. Steve Oregon

    “”"”"”"200. Zetetic Says:
    October 26th, 2010 at 5:06 pm
    Tsk Tsk…..All of these posts and still no one on the denialist side had managed to offer up a single shred of credible evidence that contradicts the consensus that Global Warming is real and being caused by human activity.Come on, is that all that you guys/gals have? “”"”"”

    Zet,

    If you want to see what the denialists have
    You can go here and get thumped

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/26/quote-of-the-week-judith-curry-asks-warmists-how-are-things-going-for-you-lately/#more-26971

    or here and see the ludicrous nature of your climate science arena

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/25/nature-hates-straight-lines/#more-26950

    “They are so far into their models that they actually are using the linearity of the model results to justify the assumption of linearity embodied in those same models … breathtaking”

    or any other of the many WUWT threads where you’ll look entirely foolish.

  196. Arundo Donax

    Can’t we all agree that using energy more efficiently, keeping our air clean, and using a lower amount of fossil fuel is good?

    Also, “climate change” is not a religion dictated by whoever yells the loudest. It’s science folks

  197. me

    “Can’t we all agree that using energy more efficiently, keeping our air clean, and using a lower amount of fossil fuel is good?”

    you’ll have to sell it better than that. stick some guns on it and maybe a car and a girl, while screaming ‘Money!’ in their faces, and I think we might be onto something.

  198. Brasidas

    No, there’s nothing to worry about; AGW is a myth. Honest, no parts of the US will be submerged. Keep burning stuff – it’s all cool. The dustbowl is a left-wing myth, farmers will be richer when their farms are desert or submerged.

    I live in a country that is a competitor of the US and if you guys want to mess yourselves up and elect ignorant no-nothings to govern you, it’s absolutely fine by me.

    Have a nice future!

  199. Don Gisselbeck

    AGW skeptics show the usual signs of crank thinking: they fall into the “All great scientists are persecuted and ignored- I am persecuted and ignored-therefore I am a great scientist” syllogism (apologies to C. S. Lewis) and they cannot imagine scientists being motivated by anything but greed and lust for power. That a person (even Al Gore) could also be curious, think knowledge is cool or just want to do good work cannot cross a crank’s mind even as a hypothesis.

  200. Zetetic

    @ Arundo Donax:
    Yea it’s funny isn’t it? As though cleaner air and no longer being tied to the Middle East for energy would be bad things!
    *headdesk*
    *headdesk*

    One thing that many of the denialists don’t realize, or if they do they don’t care to much about it, is that most of the web sites and “think-tanks” were most of them get their arguments from are paid for by the fossil fuel industry. Exxon for one has been repeatedly outed for this behavior. In fact many of the same “think-tanks” PR firms and experts were the same ones that previously had been defending the tobacco industry!
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    @ Brasidas:

    Really? Whew! Boy is that a load off of my mind!

    Excuse me while I go buy an SUV that I don’t really need, and replace all of my efficient florescent bulbs with watt-hungry incandescent ones! Woo Hoo! :D

  201. Paul In Sweden

    OMG Phil, you seem to have started up the noise machine for real on this one. It seems that everyone that follows your Pope in Rome, your Anglican Church in England, the Climate Jihad leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, the various Judeo-Christian churches in North America along with the Gaia worshipers and malcontents that will skip work or school for any party or cause has come out for this latest post of yours which I consider ridiculous. Phil, why is it that the religious nuts and only one out of every three democrats consider Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming to be an issue?

    Phil, you say “So I’ll be clear: climate change is real. The average temperature of the Earth is increasing” and your evidence is a chart of CO2 proxy records over 400,000 years. First I am stunned that you being an astronomer you would not realize or state to your readers that in geologic terms 400,000 years is pretty meaningless. I mean Phil, what is 400,000 years in even plate tectonics? I would not put you in the anti-science flat-earth, anti-vaxer, creationist group but Phil, this is the company you have chosen to stand shoulder to shoulder.

    Going with your graph of proxy measurements of CO2 over the last 400,000 years I am shocked that you did not choose to utilize a graphic image that overlaid the proxy temperature records with the proxy CO2 records so that your readers could clearly see that their is no correlation with CO2 levels and temperature on your 400,000 year pseudo-geologic time scale.

    Phil, I honestly wonder how many of your readers who seem to be of adult age managed to stay on earth and not have hitched a ride on Hale Bop with the Heaven’s Gate crowd. This post of yours(only because this one seems to not be politically bent which I can wholly understand but has the audacity to pretend to represent science) seems not to be worthy of a scientist but that of the far-left cartoonist Peter Sinclair who many of your readers consider an apostle in your faith of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Warming. This is what happens when too many people get their news from Leno & Letterman. OMG, how many master degreed educators will we have to see on Jay Walking embarrassing the current state of the USA’s far left politically bent indoctrination utilizing education as a beard?

    Phil, how about you come back again and post graphs that show the geologic time scale with the temperture & CO2 proxy records so your readers can see that CO2 is not the dominate factor in our earth’s climate.

    Phil, you can even post a graphic of the current Holocene period showing both proxy records of CO2 & tempatures demonstrating clearly the downward trend in temperatures. :)

    All the above of course falls on deaf ears. It is my sincere hope that the US elections are over soon… I have already voted via absentee ballot. California has shown the power of the Global Warming Industry with both Big Green & the billionaires on the far left blitzing the media with Global Warming propaganda. California should reject the Prop 23 California Jobs Ballot Initiative and let California’s AB 32 make California an example to the rest of the nation. The only thing that would make me happier would be if the Mass Wind, Ted kennedy Memorial Wind Farm was approved and the far left in Massachusetts started reaping what they have sowed before the 2012 election. Heck, if the USA wants to install widespread offshore wind farms or phrenology clinics our state owned Swedish power company Vattenfall will be glad to do it. We just started raping the UK and will be raking in billions for decades to come. :)

    Let us get the election over with so the hearings and court cases regarding Global Warming can begin. I am really looking forward to the expected fraud investigations beginning in 2011 regarding the use of tax rolls to fund bio-fuel, wind & solar farms as well as the Carbon Indulgences(cap & trade) which neither reduce CO2 emissions nor provide usable energy to the public.

    The sooner the better :)

    To recap, Phil, please rectify the deficiencies in your original post with the following:

    - The addition of a graphic which overlays temperatures on your existing 400,000 years of CO2 proxy records so that your readers can clearly see there is absolutely no correlation between temperatures and CO2 records except for those cases where the proxy record shows that increasing temperatures precedes and seems to cause an increase in CO2 Levels.

    - The addition of a graphic of the Holocene period showing both CO2 Levels & Temperatures which will demonstrate to your readers that there is absolutely no correlation between temperatures and CO2 proxy records and that there is clearly a downward trend in temperatures which for your church of Global Warming might indicate an unforeseen apocalypse of an impending ice age(not that I am worried).

    - The addition of a graph demonstrating that that since the end of the Little Ice Age(which wrecked havoc on the earth & coincidentally overlapped the industrial age) the CO2 & Temperature levels which clearly indicate that temperatures have rapidly increased and decreased with no precedent several times in the last 150 years and demonstrate that there is no correlation to anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

    For example:
    -http://tinyurl.com/ctk24k

    BTW: Phil, as you know I visit your blog daily and myself along with MTU & perhaps others have noticed the stop work action you have taken regarding your brother-in-law on Caturday! These posts serve to remind us all that we are human and share a common plane, heck ComicCon is but once a year but Caturday is once a Week(The wife likes Chris’s pics too…mostly). This is something I hope in the future you will be able to rectify. Additionally, with regard to this highly charged and political issue of Global Redistribution of Wealth by lifetime far-left administrators in the United Nations & the European Union(aka- Global Warming, Climate Change, Global Climate Disruption, etc, etc, etc) I would really like to see some real work put into a post addressing the CERN ‘Cloud’ experiment regarding cosmic wind & solar activity. That would be something that I would think would be worthy for you to address. Of course you could just post a video link to your buddies Penn & Teller and their views on Global Warming…

  202. Nobody has said it yet, so I will:
    I call Poe on Bunny!

  203. Glen

    Does anyone know the cause of the other peaks along the way?
    325,000
    230,000
    110,000 years ago?

  204. me

    human species power consumption = 18 Terawatt
    incoming solar radiation after atmospheric absorption = 89000 Terawatt

    existing solar thermal tech @ 30% efficiency + transmission&storage losses = roughly twice the size of portugal

    texas = over 6 times size of portugal
    sahara desert = over 100 times size of portugal
    all hot deserts = over 320 times size of portugal

    hey, even if it is a con, at least it’s one with a good source of fuel. ;]

  205. Astrofiend

    Damn Paul in Sweden. Why don’t you just write a book next time? You’re half way there with your last post alone.

  206. 92. Messier Tidy Upper Says:

    @87. John Sandlin : Isn’t that how clown cars work?

    Oh, I thought the clown car was just a Volkwagen Beetle shaped Tardis.

    JBS

  207. Luke

    TL;DR Paul for the newbies:

    “Climate change is a religion. Here are a bunch of links to blogs instead of peer-reviewed science. I will ignore all challenges to produce evidence.”

    Verbose as Zetetic with the content of BUNNY.

  208. TheBlackCat

    @ Glen: They are called Milankovitch cycles and they are due to periodic changes in Earth’s orbit and rotation. However, they operate over much longer time scales than the current warming, and we are at the wrong part of the cycle.

  209. Zetetic

    Glen @ 209:

    Does anyone know the cause of the other peaks along the way?

    That is addressed here…
    CO2 lags temperature – what does it mean?

    I hope that helps!

  210. Zetetic

    Paul in Sweden the fundamentalist disciple of The Church of the Divine AGW Denialism. (Brought to you by ExxonMobil™!) @ #207:

    OMG Phil, you seem to have started up the noise machine for real on this one

    First, didn’t you claim to be an atheist? Secondly, it’s your side that’s the noise machine, the rest of us are trying to support the side with actual credible supporting evidence.

    BTW P.i.S. it’s been four (4) threads now and you still haven’t provided any supporting evidence yet. I wonder why not?

    would not realize or state to your readers that in geologic terms 400,000 years is pretty meaningless.

    While I haven’t accused you of having rocks in your head yet P.i.S., unless you happen to be a piece of granite we (human beings) tend to be living at somewhat shorter than geologic times. You may have noticed this.

    Also, as has already been pointed out to you repeatedly, the current rate of warming appears to be unprecedented in Earth’s history (as far as we can tell). So why shouldn’t we be concerned about an unusually rapid rate of warming that we seem to be causing?

    I would not put you in the anti-science flat-earth, anti-vaxer, creationist group but Phil, this is the company you have chosen to stand shoulder to shoulder.

    Why? Phil’s not denying the evidence, you are. But then you already knew that P.i.S.

    So have you managed yet to find that credible supporting evidence for your side there P.i.S?.

    you did not choose to utilize a graphic image that overlaid the proxy temperature records with the proxy CO2 records so that your readers could clearly see that their is no correlation with CO2 levels and temperature on your 400,000 year pseudo-geologic time scale.

    Already refuted up thread, this time there is no lag between CO2 increase and warming due to the different “forcing” involved…
    CO2 lags temperature – what does it mean?
    Do try and keep up with the grown-ups here P.i.S.

    how many of your readers who seem to be of adult age managed to stay on earth and not have hitched a ride on Hale Bop with the Heaven’s Gate crowd.

    Again…it’s your side that’s denying the scientific consensus there sparky.
    So how’s that credible supporting evidence coming along, P.i.S.?

    All the above of course falls on deaf ears.

    Because oddly you still can’t actually backup your position, heck P.i.S. you can’t even seem to clearly state what you think is happening, just that you don’t like AGW because some guru apparently told you not to.

    let California’s AB 32 make California an example to the rest of the nation

    Yes that draconian measure to roll CO2 emissions all the way back to the dark ages of 1990 by the year 2020, and you call the IPCC alarmist! LOL!

    -http://tinyurl.com/ctk24k

    I’m sure that you might actually believe such a chart P.i.S, but for those of us motivated by the evidence (i.e. not you) there would need to be a causal mechanism to explain it, and you’d need a longer data set. I know that you seem to think that just asserting tings makes it true and that you can get detailed info without looking at the broader picture, but for the rest of us that kind of group-think you use isn’t sufficient. You know like the I.R. re-emission that you have yet to explain, that’s a causal mechanism that you still haven’t been able to account for in four (4) threads and dozens of your asinine posts.

    Additionally, with regard to this highly charged and political issue of Global Redistribution of Wealth by lifetime far-left administrators in the United Nations & the European Union(aka- Global Warming, Climate Change, Global Climate Disruption, etc, etc, etc) the scientific consensus of the global climatological community

    Fixed that for you…sorry about the stroke you apparently just had there.

    I would really like to see some real work put into a post addressing the CERN ‘Cloud’ experiment regarding cosmic wind & solar activity.

    Why should Phil bring up something that was already refuted?
    A detailed look at galactic cosmic rays
    You see P.i.S. this is why you should read website that aren’t funded by Exxon, to bad it seems to be against your religion.

    Penn & Teller and their views on Global Warming

    You mean the same two guys who later had to make a public correction to their earlier attempts to play down the risk of second hand smoke? They’re OK, but they aren’t scientists and even they let ideology blind them when it comes to the same issues you seem to be blinded by.

    So how’s that credible positively supporting evidence coming along? Found anything yet P.i.S. or are you still waiting on your guru’s (Exxon I presume) orders?

  211. Not that this needs much explanation, but Bunny was rude, posting rampantly, and off-topic as well, so I have deleted his/her comments and marked them as spam. I will continue to do so as they come in.

  212. ND

    Where in the constitution does is say “anthropogenic global warming”?

  213. Zetetic

    Luke @ #213:

    Verbose as Zetetic with the content of BUNNY.

    And Luke wins the thread! LOL!

    Sorry about the SIWOTI, but don’t worry it’s not contagious….. I think….

    :D

  214. Zetetic

    ND @ #218:

    Where in the constitution does is say “anthropogenic global warming”?

    Right next to where it says “Jesus”, just keep looking….
    :D

  215. TheBlackCat

    If you want to see what the denialists have
    You can go here and get thumped

    [link omitted]

    So let me get this straight: Zetetic asks for scientific evidence backing up your position, and you reply with someone bragging about a PR victory? Do you even know what evidence is?

    or here and see the ludicrous nature of your climate science arena

    [link omitted]

    Ignoring the obvious falliciousness of using local, short-duration changes to “disprove” global, long-duration changes, the article claims that since the input models are all linear it is impossible for them to have non-linearities when the section he quoted says they found non-linearitites.

    Now can you provide some actual evidence?

  216. Zetetic

    @ TheBlackCat post #221:
    Thanks for catching that from Steve Oregon, and replying to it. I had missed that one!

    ———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    @ Steve Oregon post #201:
    As TheBlackCat has already pointed out, you seemed to have missed the point. I specifically asked for “a single shred of credible evidence that contradicts the consensus that Global Warming is real and being caused by human activity“.

    While I appreciate your effort what you’ve cited doesn’t actually do that, in other words it doesn’t actually contradict the theory that AGW is real. Rather it’s a ideologue tooting his horn that someone is on his side (I now that it’s rare for AGW denialists to have much support from the scientific community, but come on….) and a link to an article that they obviously hoped that you didn’t read too closely.

    Besides if you stop to think about it a non-linear trend is more likely bad news for the AGW denialists, and everyone in general. It’s odd that the same people trying to argue against the idea of a potential runaway climate change are the same people arguing that the models should be non-linear.

    Perhaps it might be helpful if you read my post that is now at #115 (since Phil has cleaned up the BUNNY droppings), it provides links to the evidence supporting AGW, and then explains what would actually contradict any of those line of evidence. I figured it would be better to just refer you there rather than re-post it.

    Just to be clear what we are asking for, and what would change the mind of the international climatological community is credible positively supporting evidence that actually contradicts AGW. As I posted above (#115), I’m asking you to actually try and prove your side by scientifically supporting it, not wasting time nitpicking and misrepresenting the other (AGW) side. Nor am I asking you for one of a small minority of climate researches whinging that polices to stop AGW are bad, without showing that AGW is not true. Does that help to clarify things?

    The AGW side can point to multiple line of evidence from multiple sources world-wide that all point to the conclusion that AGW is real. That is why the international scientific community related to climate research has come to the consensus that AGW is real.

    If the anti-AGW side can’t provide similar evidence (i.e. the Earth isn’t warming, it’s not human activity causing warming, etc.), then the anti-AGW side is not based on evidence, but rather an ideologically motivated attempt to deny the scientific evidence. Making it no different from Young Earth Creationism, geocentrism, anti-vax, etc..

  217. t-storm

    Real, not real, I still say we should cut back on non-renewable sources.

  218. Jonathan

    Call me a denialist if you want to, but if you’re trying to convince the world that we are facing an unprecedented climate crisis, then people like me are going to be a problem for you. I am not political in any way. I am not a member of any political party. I do not vote. I am not a scientist of any sort. I have absolutely no connection to the oil industry. So believe me when I say I have no ulterior agenda behind my opinion. That being said, I do not really believe there is an unprecedented climate crisis underway on our little planet. Yes, obviously the climate is changing, as it always has. Yes, I’m sure humans are having some measurable effect on it. It’s hard to imagine how we could live here without doing so. I’m not sure why we should be expected to. Life has certainly changed the atmosphere in the planet’s past history, or else CO2 would still be the primary gas here and there would be little or no free O2. But I don’t see any evidence to convince me that anything alarming or unprecedented is happening. Specifically, graphs like the one at the top of the page I find to be misleading. The width of the line itself is probably more than a century. This obviously exaggerates the scale of the modern data. If the graph were truly kept to scale, the uptick at the end would probably not be visible. Do we really know that there weren’t any short upticks above the dotted line over the past 650,000 years? If they were short, they would be averaged out and would not appear on the graph at this scale. It’s like looking at a stock price on the internet. You can look at the 5 year scale and see nothing above 20 dollars, but then zoom in on a peak day and you might find times during that day when it hit $22.50. Do we have specific day-to-day or even month-to-month data from 650,000 years ago? From everywhere on Earth? Correct me if we do. I’m not saying that CO2 levels are going to start dropping tomorrow and this modern blip will be averaged away into invisibility in time. I don’t think that’s going to happen. But I still don’t see any reason to believe the Earth is facing anything it hasn’t faced before. And life doesn’t survive by preventing change, if evolves by adapting to it.

  219. me

    @ jonathan’s “if you’re trying to convince the world that we are facing an unprecedented climate crisis, then people like me are going to be a problem for you. I am not political in any way. I am not a member of any political party. I do not vote. I am not a scientist of any sort. I have absolutely no connection to the oil industry.”

    you are in no way a problem then. if you had some influence, or even the slightest interest in achieving any, then you might be.

  220. Jeffersonian

    @92
    These anaologies don’t work because they don’t address the results of change. They imply that an atmosphere with, say, 10% CO2 is dandy, as if the football stadium needs no balance; football stadiums aren’t Earth’s life-support systems and not a systems anaolgy. Now, maybe if the New Yorkers were wearing nuclear devices instead of shirts…

    @164
    So, you’re saying reality is simply a matter of consensus and not evidence?

    @169
    No, it’s not inconceivable. However it’s not the model that fits the evidence, either.

  221. noen

    “I do not vote. “

    Then you do not matter.

  222. Jonathan

    @ 225 & 227: But my mother says I matter!

  223. Zetetic

    Johnathan @ #224:

    Call me a denialist if you want to

    I personally would only call you a denialist if you don’t allow yourself to be open to the scientific evidence. As long as you are willing to accept reasonable scientific evidence that human activity is causing warming, then you’re not (in my book at least) a “denialist”.

    Do we really know that there weren’t any short upticks above the dotted line over the past 650,000 years

    The main problem IMO with this chart is that people are focusing on the wrong details. The difference is that in the past CO2 levels lagged (were behind) the increases in temperature since they were being caused by Milankovitch cycles and CO2 as positive feedback as was already discussed up thread.
    Here is the relevant link again…
    CO2 lags temperature – what does it mean?

    There are different factors that can cause temperature to rise and fall, called “forcing”. Then difference now is that the CO2 increases are preceding the temperature change since we are not at the correct point of the Milankovitch cycle (we’re not starting from the bottom) for it to be causing the rapid temperature changes that we are seeing.
    How do we know more CO2 is causing warming? (Check out the “Advanced” tab for a more detailed answer)

    Also, no, the current CO2 levels aren’t “just a blip”, they don’t just happen for no reason. The CO2 levels are either produced by nature, or human activity. The fact of the matter is that human activity has “overloaded” the carbon cycle and nature can’t keep up with how much we are pumping out. So it’s building up, this is causing more longwave infrared radiation from being able to leave the Earth (and radiate into space) and therefore more of it is returning back to Earth and creating “heat”, and yes those changes have also been measured, see the second link above.
    How do human CO2 emissions compare to natural CO2 emissions?

    So my point is that even if we didn’t have the ice cores at all, it still does nothing to change the evidence of AGW happening right now since it is merely one small piece of evidence out of many different investigations using different lines of evidence. It’s like saying that if one fossil turned out to be a fake, then therefore all of evolution is wrong, that is an argument that just doesn’t make any sense.

    It may surprise you but many of those arguing that AGW is real and action needs to taken to be kept from getting worse, don’t like the idea of AGW. I personally hate the idea, but what I want doesn’t matter. What matters is the evidence, the benefit of acting intelligently now will be cleaner air and greater energy independence for less cost/imposition. But the longer we put things off the worse (and more expensive) any changes may have to be down the road.

    If you truly are not a denialist, Johnathan, then please check out the site I linked to above, or check out “Realclimate.org” for info about what the scientific community is actually saying, not what someone with an ideological agenda told you the scientists were saying.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————
    @ Jonathan post #228:
    LOL!

  224. Gordon J. Fulks, PhD

    I’m always pleased to find a non-scientist who can think like a scientist. Jonathan (#224) gets more things right than wrong. That is an accomplishment!

    Professor of Geology Bob Carter of Australia does an excellent job of explaining that there is simply nothing unusual going on with our climate today despite the attempt of Alarmists to maintain otherwise:

    http://www.blip.tv/file/791876/

    As to the way Alarmists misuse the CO2 history, I have explain that in comment #182 (which started out as #195).

    Note that there are continual attempts in the comment section to change the subject and even reverse the logic of science. Theories are only a guess as to how the world might work. In this case, the AGW theory comes down to a sort of climate thermostat that some claim we can crank up or down at will by varying the amount of CO2 we release into the atmosphere. Fine, now present the evidence to prove that. CO2 cannot be considered guilty until proven innocent!

    Ask yourself why Albert Einstein did not receive the Nobel Prize in Physics until 1922, seventeen years after his famous papers in 1905. The reason was something he understood perfectly: the necessary evidence had to be found! In his case it was, but with CO2, it is entirely missing despite decades of searching and $100 billion dollars of government money.

    This blog tried to make the case that the present level of CO2 is unusually high and must therefore be anthropogenic. The fact that concentrations were higher in the 1940′s is one of many fatal flaws in the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming. Data trumps theory any day of the week. That was perfectly clear to Einstein.

    It should be obvious to novices (but frequently is not) that ‘consensus’ plays no part in science. In fact, Nobel Laureate in Physics Richard Feynman defined science as the belief in the fallibility of the experts.

    Some of you might have heard of a high school biology teacher from Seattle by the name of Harlen Bretz. He took on all the geological experts of his day to explain the geology of the Pacific Northwest. The overwhelming consensus was that our geology evolved gradually, but Bretz believed it was caused by massive floods from an ice age lake he called Lake Missoula. In one of the great triumphs of science, Bretz prevailed because he could produce the evidence. He eventually became a Professor of Geology at the University of Chicago, ending his career there as I was beginning mine.

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
    Corbett, Oregon USA

    gordonfulks@hotmail.com

    P.S. I notice that one commenter is referring people to two notorious propaganda sites (RealClimate and SkepticalScience). These (and ClimateProgress) have a long history of involvement in climate alarmism. To find authoritative information from scientists who actually follow the scientific method, try:

    http://www.icecap.us/

    Icecap is run by Joe D’Aleo, a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

  225. Jack

    @123:

    Here is an example of how a relatively small amount of government money, (I was going to say STIMULUS but I’m afraid of being lynched by a mob of libertarians and Tea Party members!) applied in a well thought out way, can make a big difference:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/10/27/3049440.htm?section=justin

    I think the figures in this are interesting.

    Not to say that this is the whole answer, but perhaps part of the answer. Note that the principle of freedom of choice is preserved.

  226. Theramansi

    Let’s not forget that not only are we pumping out CO2 by burning fossil fuels and such, but have chopped down much of the natural CO2 “scrubber’ – the rain forest.

  227. jpj

    Hello Mr Plait

    denialists are a slippery bunch. You tell them “climate change is real,” they ask back: “isn’t this what climate does?”. You show them CO2-levels are increasing, they ask back: “where’s the proof that this drives warming?”. You tell them temperatures have been increasing, they ask back, “where’s the proof that this is related to increased CO2?”.

    Their motives are quite easily explained: they are more scared about loss of control over to experts, more worried about what necessary regulations and price management will do to their own wealth than they care about the future of the planet. Everything else are IMHO rationalisations so they do not feel selfish.

    And here, in my view, lies the key to convincing them: We have to acknowledge that they do want to see themselves as decent people. Therefore, all we have to do is 1. making said rationalisation impossible for them and 2. showing them that they have innocently allowed themselves to be mislead.

    Number 1 is crucial, and IMHO blogs like yours play a pivotal role that can even be improved: Most denialists are not experts, and the cloud of the debates on various topics like thermodynamics, statistics etc. only allows them to say, “see? The experts have no straight answers, so I can pick the opinion that suits me best.” Much less focus should be put on these details, which only serve to obscure the simple path.

    The simple path for the lay public – and we are laymen in most fields, even as scientists – should be the same as the one the public took in fields like relativity, big bang theory etc. That path lead not through a walk through the calculations. Rather, it lead through falsifiable prediction and observation: Eddington observed the starlight deflection through the sun’s gravitation that Einstein had predicted; Hubble measured the redshift of distant galaxies that Lemaître had suggested and later Penzias and Wilson detected the cosmic microwave background radiation. These theories have since become mainstream.

    Climate models based on the effect of man-made CO2 equally make predictions that can be observed or falsified. Let us show the public the predictive value that the models display. When the people are reminded of how we came to believe relativity and big bang and are then shown how temperature, snow cover, radiation etc. have been predicted by the models, their minds will come around again. if we then show how certain parties have manipulated and obfuscated the topics for their own interests, their hearts will follow.

    Just my two pennies

  228. Messier Tidy Upper

    @132. Andrew Says:

    What’s wrong with more CO2? It helps plants grow!

    Including weeds. :-(

    And except in heatwaves, droughts, floods or other disasterous events caused by Anthopogenic Global Warming. :-(

    See :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g093lhtpEFo&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    for more.

  229. Jess Tauber

    If you want to stop anthropogenic climate change, you must repress your anthropogenes. Good luck with that. I’m moving to Altair IV where the air is clean, and all the women Ann Francis. Morbius……..Strip!

  230. Wayne Robinson

    I didn’t really ‘understand’ the Milankovitch cycle until I read “Milankovitch wobble theory wobbles” in Ian Plimer’s “Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science”. He concludes “Climate is related to Milankovitch Cycle-we just don’t know how.” It would have been better phrased “Climate is related to Milankovitch Cycle-Ian Plimer just doesn’t know how.”

    His discussion has such gems as :

    “The problem with the Milankovitch Cycle theory may be that orbital wobbles are not the main driver of climate.” (that’s true, it’s called precession) “The annual amount of solar energy between the hemispheres is on a 21,000 year cycle.” (That’s false-it’s also precession, but that only determines when in the year the Summer solstice occurs; it’s not a direct effect on climate).

    “In about 9000 years time, perihelion will occur in the Northern Hemisphere and aphelion will occur in the Southern Hemisphere, the reverse of today.” I know what he meant to write, but what he is actually saying is that the distance between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres is the difference between perihelion and aphelion, about 5 million kilometres (I knew it takes a long time to fly from Perth Australia to London, but I didn’t know it was that far … He actually means “In about 9000 years at the Summer solstice in the Northern hemisphere the Earth will be at perihelion …

    (With glaciation …) “Furthermore, although the increased ice and snow would reflect more energy back into space the increased amount of land exposed would result in less reflection of energy back into space from the enlarged land masses.” This is a major FAIL. The albedo of the oceans is the minimum; it absorbs the most energy from the Sun (that’s why oceans warm the climate). Bare land actually reflects more of the Sun’s energy, so exposing the continental shelves in a glaciation will cause more cooling, not less.

    As an Australian, I’m embarrassed about Ian Plimer, a geology professor from South Australia. I’ll make you a deal; we’ll take back Ken Ham if you’ll take Ian Plimer …

  231. Manny Richmann

    “Phil, how about you come back again and post graphs that show the geologic time scale with the temperture & CO2 proxy records so your readers can see that CO2 is not the dominate factor in our earth’s climate.”

    And the Lonny Eachus Award for Lack of Scientific Knowledge, leading to making a fool of oneself goes to Paul in Sweden.

  232. Wayne Robinson

    jpg says;

    “Climate models based on the effect of man-made CO2 equally make predictions that can be observed or falsified. Let us show the public the predictive value that the models display. When the people are reminded of how we came to believe relativity and big bang and are then shown how temperature, snow cover, radiation etc. have been predicted by the models, their minds will come around again. if we then show how certain parties have manipulated and obfuscated the topics for their own interests, their hearts will follow”.

    No that won’t work. The models aren’t good enough to make accurate projections, and any unforeseen event (such as a large volcanic eruption) will wreck even the best models.

    The best way is to provide other reasons for mitigation of greenhouse gases (decarbonising the economy). For a start, fossil fuels are finite; even coal is going to run out in no more than 200 years. The energy needs of the world are going to continue to increase, just because of population growth and development in the developing world (1.5 billion people currently have no access to any electricity). We are going to have to decarbonise the economy sometime; why not now, while we still have relatively cheap energy to cushion the transition.

    As an analogy, GWB went to war in Iraq because of one reason only (Saddam Hussein had WMD, which he didn’t). If GWB had given more than one reason, no one would have criticised him (I can think of a few, such as Saddam was a psychopathic mass-murderer, and the world is better without him, sanctions against Iraq to stop him from getting WMD were hurting ordinary Iraqis, including increasing infant mortality, lifting sanctions would have allowed him to possibly get WMD, after all, he had a lot of money from the oil …)

    GWB’s plan was also flawed, which is a reason why we have to get AGW policy right too.

  233. saltywar

    I’m certainly not a climate change denier, but the 650 thousand years referred to in the text above the line represents ~0.013% of the lifetime of this planet. So if someone were to say that this seems like a trivially small sample size, I would understand where they’re coming from.

  234. Dunc

    I don’t know why I’m bothering, but anyway…

    The models aren’t good enough to make accurate projections

    They’ve been making accurate predictions for the last 20 years. Hansen et al 1988, scenarios B and C both contain the actual global temperatures within their error envelopes. And that’s the oldest, crudest GCM prediction in town. More recent models are even better.

  235. Dunc

    I’m certainly not a climate change denier, but the 650 thousand years referred to in the text above the line represents ~0.013% of the lifetime of this planet. So if someone were to say that this seems like a trivially small sample size, I would understand where they’re coming from.

    It just happens to be the period we live in, and the conditions that we (and more importantly our civilisation) are adapted to. For approximately half of the Earth’s history there was no free oxygen in the atmosphere, but very few people would argue that getting rid of all the oxygen would be an OK thing to do. But hey, if you think that the potential collapse of civilisation as we know it is no big deal, that’s a perfectly valid opinion.

  236. jpj

    Hello Mr Robinsonn (#234),

    Your point is well taken. I find particularly useful the approach to find several reasons to defend measures as necessary regulations, energy price management and cooperation within supranational decision bodies.

    On the other hand, I find it indispensable to stress the scientific fact of man-made global warming. As you say, one cannot switch one’s tonality in mid-song without sounding disharmonious. We were on a good track until about one or two years ago, but lost the public in the fog we allowed the denialists to produce. We even helped them by getting into details where the people could not follow – and let us admit, where most of us couldn’t follow our fellow scientists into their particular field of expertise.

    So, let us remember what convinced us in the beginning and what convinced the public of other scientific facts: successful prediction of phenomena that could as well have been falsified.: Michelson and Morley might well have found that the speed of light varies with direction: They didn’t, thus no-one follows the ether theory any more. The COBE experiment might well have found something different than scale invariance in the wrinkles of the cosmic background radiation. It didn’t, so Smoot’s and Mather’s inflation theory was vindicated and Spergel’s and Turok’s textures theory was falsified.

    Likewise, the climate models might well have predicted different temperature patterns both spherically as well as vertically, they might have predicted different snowfall patterns or radiation distributions. Without having checked them all, I trust they provided these values accurately – volcanic eruptions or not which, after all, occur all the time. These successful predictions should be announced the very same way as were Eddington’s observations in 1919 or as were Smoot’s findings after the American Physical Society meeting in 1992. And then, let us hammer those in until the denialists look as silly as creationists.

  237. Messier Tidy Upper

    @236. Wayne Robinson Says:

    I didn’t really ‘understand’ the Milankovitch cycle until I read “Milankovitch wobble theory wobbles” in Ian Plimer’s “Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science”. He concludes “Climate is related to Milankovitch Cycle-we just don’t know how.” It would have been better phrased “Climate is related to Milankovitch Cycle-Ian Plimer just doesn’t know how.” … As an Australian, I’m embarrassed about Ian Plimer, a geology professor from South Australia. I’ll make you a deal; we’ll take back Ken Ham if you’ll take Ian Plimer …

    I’ve met Ian Plimer and listened to several of his lectures and read his book. In person he comes across very well & superfically puts up a very good case which it turns out unravels on closer inspection. I must confess that for quite a while I was taken in and absolutely beleived what Plimer was saying before being convinced otherwise.

    There are indeed many howlers in Plimer’s book though for instance on Page 129 :

    “In 1998, the Hubble telescope showed that a moon of Neptune (Triton) since it was visited by the Explorer space probe in 1989.”

    WTF? “Explorer?” Huh?!? There was one & only one spacecraft to ever fly past Neptune and that spaceprobe – as I thought everyone knew – was ‘Voyager 2′.

    As far as I recall (& please correct me if I’m wrong), there has never been an interplanetary spacecraft named ‘Explorer’ – although the USA’s first satellite went by this name I think. Or was that named Vanguard instead?

    Yikes! :-o

    Many of the studies Plimer cites turns out do not mean what they say and muchis cehherry-picked or twisted in interpretation.

  238. Nigel Depledge

    Johnathan (224) said:

    Call me a denialist if you want to, but if you’re trying to convince the world that we are facing an unprecedented climate crisis, then people like me are going to be a problem for you.

    It depends on what you mean by “crisis”.

    If you believe the denialists’ strawman, then, no, we are not facing in imminent catastrophe.

    If, however, you look at the IPCC reports, then we are facing a situation that will have serious consequences about 50 years down the line. The problem with this is that of the human concept of time. We need to act now to avert what could end up being a crisis for our grandchildren. The sooner we act, the less we need to do.

    I am not political in any way.

    I find this very hard to believe.

    I am not a member of any political party. I do not vote.

    This, of course, is your prerogative. Do you not vote out of laziness, or because no-one represents your views? If the latter, you should at least go to the trouble of registering your abstention – otherwise, you can never expect to get represented.

    I am not a scientist of any sort. I have absolutely no connection to the oil industry. So believe me when I say I have no ulterior agenda behind my opinion.

    Right, so you don’t have any attachment to your present western-style, consumerist way of life?

    That being said, I do not really believe there is an unprecedented climate crisis underway on our little planet. Yes, obviously the climate is changing, as it always has.

    Average global temperatures are changing at an unprecented rate.

    Yes, I’m sure humans are having some measurable effect on it. It’s hard to imagine how we could live here without doing so. I’m not sure why we should be expected to. Life has certainly changed the atmosphere in the planet’s past history, or else CO2 would still be the primary gas here and there would be little or no free O2. But I don’t see any evidence to convince me that anything alarming or unprecedented is happening.

    Only because you have shut your eyes to that evidence.

    Our modern way of life has only become possible because of the stability of the climate over the last 10,000 years. Without that stability, agriculture would be a non-starter. We’d still be nomads living from meal to meal.

    Specifically, graphs like the one at the top of the page I find to be misleading. The width of the line itself is probably more than a century. This obviously exaggerates the scale of the modern data.

    How so?

    If the graph were truly kept to scale, the uptick at the end would probably not be visible.

    And that would be OK, would it? Just because the data might not be visible in your scenario, doesn’t mean they can’t have a significant impact.

    Do we really know that there weren’t any short upticks above the dotted line over the past 650,000 years? If they were short, they would be averaged out and would not appear on the graph at this scale.

    Scientists, as a whole, tend to be rather conservative. They only claim that which they consider to be demonstrated by the data.

    As I said before, the climate is changing at an unprecented rate, so the width of the line in the graph is likely only to have an impact on the modern data.

    It’s like looking at a stock price on the internet. You can look at the 5 year scale and see nothing above 20 dollars, but then zoom in on a peak day and you might find times during that day when it hit $22.50.

    The analogy is not relevant. Do the stock market data cover half a million years? No. Does the stock market exhibit sudden rapid changes over very short timescales? Yes. Does the global climate? No, not until pretty recently.

    Do we have specific day-to-day or even month-to-month data from 650,000 years ago? From everywhere on Earth?

    Of course not. Why would day-by-day measurements be relevant when the Earth possesses no natural processes that can influence the global CO2 concentration as rapidly as we have done?

    Correct me if we do. I’m not saying that CO2 levels are going to start dropping tomorrow and this modern blip will be averaged away into invisibility in time. I don’t think that’s going to happen. But I still don’t see any reason to believe the Earth is facing anything it hasn’t faced before. And life doesn’t survive by preventing change, if evolves by adapting to it.

    Of course it does, but this is not relevant. What is threatened is not life on Earth.

    What is threatened is our modern way of life. Global sea levels have risen and fallen over many metres in past epochs. Individuals have perished, but species and life overall continue – mainly through migration. For us modern humans, this is not acceptable. We’ve covered pretty much every part of the planet that we can make habitable. People have nowhere to migrate to when their cities are inundated by rising sea levels. For instance, where would you suggest the population of New York City move to when Manhatten is underwater?

  239. Mike G

    Gordon J. Fulks,

    Does it not strike you as odd that according to Beck’s CO2 series (the one you favor), CO2 levels varied wildly up until EXACTLY the start of modern measurements, at which point they settled into a nice smooth curve (which is a continuation of the smooth curve from the ice cores and other CO2 proxies)?

    Could it be that the old method of measurement was inaccurate or that poor sampling sites were chosen (like industrial areas)? Or perhaps you honestly think that there was a dramatic change in the behavior of atmospheric CO2 that coincided precisely with the start of the modern instrumental record?

  240. Schnee Wolfe

    160. noen Says:
    October 26th, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Among the many comments, not all of which I ‘ve had the time to read, there is the question out there:

    What should we do about global warming?

    The answer is: adapt, reduce, sequester.

    For the immediate future the time to affect the outcomes is over. We have the choice now of adapting to what is coming. We no longer have the ability to prevent it.

    For the longer term we can still prevent the worst outcomes. We can and must reduce the amount of CO2 that we dump into the atmosphere. We really really don’t want a six degree world.

    Finally, we need to sequester CO2 and start to draw down what is already in the environment. The way we do that is through Bio-Char. Basically you grow organic matter, convert it to charcoal while harvesting the out gases for fuel and then you bury the charcoal. This is a solution that we could start tomorrow and deploy globally. It is our best and probably only hope.

    In Answer to WHAT SHOULD WE DO!!

    One would be to stop buying cheap products from China, one of the worlds worst CO2 polluters; all that is produced in China, is through the CHEAP energy provided by coal fired electrical plants;
    personally, I don’t see it happening though, as the Western World is addicted to it’s cheap consumer products; I just received yesterday a gift from a friend in South Africa, of a book that was written in Vermont, USA, and published there, but printed in China because it could be sold for 15 dollars US and make a tidy profit for the “alleged” back to nature / Thoreauesque philosophical ramblings of the artist / philosopher;

    btw to the gentleman who seemed to think that my previous posts opening statement was a strawman; no, it was a simple statement of fact, opening up my post, as a premise to build on; it seems that the ability to understand common sense debate is lost on this younger generation;

    the point of my posts, are that we can sit around this camp fire and yammer all we like to convince the others of our point of view, while the wolves that surround us close in, as we run out of fire wood; the debate is really over as Noen points out; now it is about survival of the individual, and many in the third world are voting with their feet, paying smugglers / human traffickers to get them out of harms way, rather than wait for the help and leadership that should be coming from the first world countries; I don’t deny Global Climate Fluctuations, it is happening as well as the off shoots of global economic disasters (read wars of economic and energy aggression) and I can only see a future where this will be accelerated without a massive philosophical shift in the west, from a position of exclusion, to a policy of inclusion of the rest of the world in the benefits of modern society; Climate Fluctuation is more complex than a shifting of the patterns of the Jet Stream, the El Nino and La Nina; and unless those complexities are addressed, all the debate and efforts at going green, cap and trade and other strategies of fighting CO2 emissions, won’t amount to a mole hill against the Everest that awaits us in 40 years;

  241. Mike G

    @224 Jonathan

    Your suspicion that the temporal resolution of ice cores is low is correct. It’s generally >300 years, so short quick changes won’t be captured. However, that is irrelevant for an atmospheric gas like CO2 with a long residence time. Aside from a huge flood basalt there aren’t any natural sources that would significantly increase the concentration on a decadal scale. BUT even if there were, that increased CO2 would take hundreds to thousands of years to decrease again. The long residence time of CO2 means that you can’t get a short-lived spike, so the resolution of the ice cores doesn’t need to be annual or even decadal to capture the variation.

  242. Messier Tidy Upper

    D’oh! That bad Plimer quote should have included a couple of extra words :

    “In 1998, the Hubble telescope showed that a moon of Neptune (Triton) *had warmed* since it was visited by the Explorer (!?!?!) space probe in 1989.”

    - Page 129, Ian Plimer, Heaven & Earth, Connor Court, 2009. (Unbolded brackets original – not the emphaised WTF one!)

    Mea culpa, I’m to blame for leaving the missing words out – although the error of calling Voyager II is all Plimers.

    That last sentence also is typo-blighted & is supposed to read :

    Many of the studies Plimer cites turns out do not mean what they say and much there is cherry-picked or twisted in interpretation.

    More harsh but fair criticism of Plimer’s AGW contrarian book can be found here :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/11/14/snow-way/#comment-226158

    & here :

    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/04/23/ian-plimer-heaven-and-earth/

    &

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/02/26/two-posts-about-denialism-climate-change-and-otherwise/#comment-250291

    with many reviews linked to individual letters in a very clever bit of net-fu by Markle.

  243. Messier Tidy Upper

    If anyone’s interested or finds it helpful, my personal story of being a climate contrarian – and being argued out of that – is related here :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/08/19/sea-ice-coming-and-going/#comment-291597

    Plus I’ve quoted it a few times on other threads too.

    @ 217. Phil Plait Says:

    Not that this needs much explanation, but Bunny was rude, posting rampantly, and off-topic as well, so I have deleted his/her comments and marked them as spam. I will continue to do so as they come in.

    Being rude and off-topic I can understand but “posting rampantly?” :-o

    I thought that, within reason, posting frequently (& “rampantly” = ???) was okay wasn’t it?

    Aren’t lots of comments a good thing? That is, provided each has something interesting or amusing or informative to contribute?

    Is it better to have many frequent comments or one or two really long ones. What do folks esp. the BA prefer?

    I’ve also asked about this & feedback on what makes a good comment here :

    http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/108644-BA-blog-comments-what-constitutes-a-good-comment-there

    on the BAUT forum as well.

  244. uudale

    Good lord, is this thread still going?

    The earth is warming, the oceans are rising, and there ain’t a thing we can do about it.

    Now someone go find me a decent Scotch.

  245. Paul In Sweden

    211. Astrofiend Says:
    October 26th, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Damn Paul in Sweden. Why don’t you just write a book next time? You’re half way there with your last post alone.

    Astrofiend, Perhaps you just do not follow the Gospel of your Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming cult. Do you not realize that by combining knee-jerk exclamations into one single post you can save the planet?

    Sending and receiving email makes up a full percent of a relatively green person’s annual carbon emissions, the equivalent of driving 200 miles.

    Dealing with spam, however, accounts for more than a fifth of the average account holder’s electricity use. Spam makes up a shocking 80 percent of all emails sent, but most people get rid of them as fast as you can say “delete.”

    So how does email stack up to snail mail? The per-message carbon cost of email is just 1/60th of the old-fashioned letter’s. But think about it — you probably send at least 60 times as many emails a year than you ever did letters.

    One way to go greener then is to avoid sending a bunch of short emails and instead build a longer message before you send it.
    -http://tinyurl.com/27abgz5

    I just wish all of you religious/anti-science/anti-vaxer/creationist climate nuts would take the short bus and stop cluttering up the roads for the rest of us!
    :) I am trying to laugh at your insanity but it is a struggle.

  246. Steve Metzler

    Mike G says:

    Your suspicion that the temporal resolution of ice cores is low is correct. It’s generally >300 years, so short quick changes won’t be captured. However, that is irrelevant for an atmospheric gas like CO2 with a long residence time. Aside from a huge flood basalt there aren’t any natural sources that would significantly increase the concentration on a decadal scale. BUT even if there were, that increased CO2 would take hundreds to thousands of years to decrease again. The long residence time of CO2 means that you can’t get a short-lived spike, so the resolution of the ice cores doesn’t need to be annual or even decadal to capture the variation.

    What you say is absolutely correct. But if you say ‘white’ the deniers will say ‘black’. I just spent a mind-bendingly frustrating few days over at WUWT trying to engage in rational discussion with idiots. One of the things they contend is that the ‘hang time’ of CO2 is something like 4 years instead of hundreds, and put up walls of figures that they copied and pasted from somewhere to ‘prove’ it. Every two hours or so an article goes up on WUWT that is full of lies, ideological rationalisations, and misinformation. After every lie in the comments section, you will see something to the effect of: “That is a well-known fact.” And discovering that I was a new poster, the number of times someone casually dismissed a very solid scientific explanation I had just presented and then said: “Stick around, you may learn something” made me want to gag.

    After three days of that, I retreated in frustration and despair. There is seemingly no way to reach people who believe in something for ideological reasons. They will debate *every* point, no matter how trivial or obviously accepted. If you say the sky is blue they will find a way to disagree with you. It’s pathetic that we have come to this with our supposedly well-educated modern society.

  247. QuietDesperation

    Guess you missed our on a lot of history about business before government regulation. Monopolies. Robber Barons. Things like that. As long as there are greedy and dishonest people, consumers need some protection.

    Well, someone could gain a monopoly with simply a better product, but that’s a different discussion. And I tie of this “greedy” word that’s tossed out so often. Define greedy. If I want to live at something above mere sustenance level, am I greedy? If I want to not have to work until I’m 70, am I greedy?

    The problem is that so few people understand where the proper balance lies. Different industries require different balances. There are some outliers that do best with either zero (software- you can write a program and just start selling it online) or very heavy regulation (aviation). And the balance that works in Maine might not work in, say, Oregon.

    That’s why all this rigid ideology- Left *and* Right- is killing us. We need to be flexible, and not take all our solutions from a single playbook. The moment someone self-identifies as a “liberal” or a “conservative” or a “progressive” or whatever, you are dealing with a closed mind. Sadly, that seems to be a large majority of the population. And if that offends you self described liberals, conservatives and progressives, well, tough. I stand by that analysis.

    As for the whole climate change issue, here’s the one overriding reality: it will be best “fixed” by new and innovative ideas that can only come about in a healthy economy where plenty of funds (via *both* government grants and private industry) exist for research and development. Anything outside of this is just peripheral hot air. We don’t have that economy right now, and kicking it in the gentlemanly area with draconian regulation is not going to help anything in the long run. We need to get back on our feet firmly.

  248. IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE

    Steve Metzler (#252):

    I just spent a mind-bendingly frustrating few days over at WUWT trying to engage in rational discussion with idiots.

    As George Bernard Shaw once said:

    I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You [both] get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.

  249. Paul In Sweden

    251. Steve Metzler Says: “One of the things they contend is that the ‘hang time’ of CO2 is something like 4 years instead of hundreds, and put up walls of figures that they copied and pasted from somewhere to ‘prove’ it.”

    Observational evidence and that darn data always gets in the way of CAGW religious dogma. How are people suppose to blindly believe chicken little sky is falling predictions if evidence and data keeps getting in the way?

  250. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ 254. IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE :

    Still, it can sometimes be fun and entertaining can’t it? ;-)

    @212. John Sandlin Says:

    “Isn’t that how clown cars work?”
    Oh, I thought the clown car was just a Volkwagen Beetle shaped Tardis.

    LOL! Nice ‘un. :-)

    @252. Steve Metzler :

    If you say the sky is blue they will find a way to disagree with you.

    Well, in fairness the sky is black at night – and on the Moon or in space! It’s salmon coloured on Mars, yellowish-orange I believe on Venus (not that you could last long there) and turquoise inside the atmosphere of Ouranos! But I know what you mean! ;-)

  251. Luke. PhD

    @230. Gordon J. Fulks, ****!!__PhD__!!**** (Ooooh!)

    “P.S. I notice that one commenter is referring people to two notorious propaganda sites (RealClimate and SkepticalScience). These (and ClimateProgress) have a long history of involvement in climate alarmism. To find authoritative information from scientists who actually follow the scientific method, try:

    http://www.icecap.us/

    Icecap is run by Joe D’Aleo, a Fellow of the American Meteorological (*ahem*) Society.”

    Hahaha, how grand! Your sites are all propaganda, so here are *my* propaganda sites!

  252. Paul In Sweden

    253. QuietDesperation Says:
    October 27th, 2010 at 10:08 am
    As for the whole climate change issue, here’s the one overriding reality: it will be best “fixed” by new and innovative ideas that can only come about in a healthy economy where plenty of funds (via *both* government grants and private industry) exist for research and development. Anything outside of this is just peripheral hot air. We don’t have that economy right now, and kicking it in the gentlemanly area with draconian regulation is not going to help anything in the long run. We need to get back on our feet firmly.

    A possible breath of fresh air and sanity, QuietDesperation would you do this thread the service of expanding on these observations?

  253. Paul In Sweden

    250. uudale Says:
    October 27th, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Good lord, is this thread still going?

    The earth is warming, the oceans are rising, and there ain’t a thing we can do about it.

    Now someone go find me a decent Scotch.

    If the Scotch is from Speyside I’ll pony up and get the first round with a lager chaser for MTU from Oz. :)

  254. TheBlackCat

    I just wish all of you religious/anti-science/anti-vaxer/creationist climate nuts would take the short bus and stop cluttering up the roads for the rest of us!

    I’m confused by this comment.

    Are you saying that those supporting the scientific consensus on climate change are creationists or are you saying it is bad to be anti-creationist? Considering prominent creationists and creationist organizations have aligned themselves strongly with the climate denialist, it shouldn’t be the former, but then again you and reality have always had a less-than-friendly relationship. I think the latter interpretation is more reasonable, considering your fondness for “borrowing” tactics from creationists.

    Similarly, are you saying that the people here who support the consensus are anti-vaxx or are you saying it is bad for us to oppose movements that are killing people? If the former, you have either not read a single post here about the anti-vaxx movement, or you are lying through your teeth. If the latter, then you seem to not care at all about the damage being done be anti-vaxxers, and once again demonstrates your opposition to good science.

    This comment is either an outright rejection of science or totally opposite of reality, I can’t tell which.

  255. uudale

    Paul @258 says:

    “A possible breath of fresh air and sanity, QuietDesperation would you do this thread the service of expanding on these observations?”

    I second that emotion. I keep pointing out to both my liberal and conservative friends that society has become so politically balkanized that’s it’s almost impossible to get anything done. Left vs. right, red vs. blue, us vs. them. Neither “side” is doing anything to help, it seems as if all of society is on one side or the another, constantly moving farther apart. I was on Moveon.org yesterday and watched a video that basically told me to vote “or we’ll kick your ass”. Really. Moveon.org? Vote how? Democrat/liberal? Or just vote?

    In reality, the solutions do not lie just on either end of the spectrum. That’s why I’m not confident in much getting done.

  256. Steve Metzler

    I said:

    One of the things they contend is that the ‘hang time’ of CO2 is something like 4 years instead of hundreds, and put up walls of figures that they copied and pasted from somewhere to ‘prove’ it.

    To which Paul In Sweden replied with the following incoherent, unscientific rant:

    Observational evidence and that darn data always gets in the way of CAGW religious dogma. How are people suppose to blindly believe chicken little sky is falling predictions if evidence and data keeps getting in the way?

    So where’s your evidence, Paul?

    See, the deniers only cherry-pick the bits of the science that confirm their convoluted world view. While it is true that the time for an individual molecule of CO2 to enter and leave the atmosphere is on the order of 3 – 4 years (anti-science people stop reading right there), this completely ignores the fact that mankind is upsetting the balance by injecting much more CO2 into the atmosphere that can be removed by natural sinks, most notably the oceans. So it would already take on the order of hundreds and possibly thousands of years, should we cease all CO2 emissions right now (heh) for all the fossil fuel CO2 we put up there to percolate out. See here (but, of course, you won’t):

    CO2 residence time

    Paul In Sweden: taking the Noise Machine™ into overdrive.

  257. Steve Metzler

    Quiet Desperation says:

    As for the whole climate change issue, here’s the one overriding reality: it will be best “fixed” by new and innovative ideas that can only come about in a healthy economy where plenty of funds (via *both* government grants and private industry) exist for research and development. Anything outside of this is just peripheral hot air. We don’t have that economy right now, and kicking it in the gentlemanly area with draconian regulation is not going to help anything in the long run. We need to get back on our feet firmly.

    Yes, but you can’t get the collective will to fix something that people don’t agree is broken in the first place. Right now, that is our primary problem. It’s all well and good to say: “Why can’t we all just get along?” But when *every* (22 of them?) GOP candidate in the upcoming mid-term elections doesn’t think global warming is a problem… I really don’t know what else to say. We should be working together to fix this problem, but the conservatives won’t even acknowledge that there is a problem. Hint: it just might be because the people that back them have a vested interest in fossil fuels to the order of $1 billion of *profit* per day.

  258. AJ in CA

    @Nigel Depledge:
    “you don’t have any attachment to your present western-style, consumerist way of life?”

    Just a nitpick, but I really wish people would consider their words more carefully. True, we need to reduce and ultimately eliminate our fossil (“unnatural”) carbon emissions, but to refer to a “western-style, consumerist way of life” in this context is to imply that it’s necessary for us to completely abandon “western-style” (whatever that means) living altogether. And that’s just not going to happen. I need my electricity and food and medicine, as do other humans who’ve become accustomed to living longer then their grandparents did.
    And the word “consumerist” – well, that does remind me of the screeds of those driven by ideology and not scientific necessity. Like it or not, we all consume, and when we consume more then is absolutely necessary to support life, we create jobs and prosperity. With the exception of climate change, this has been mostly a good thing.
    It seems to me that the big boogeyman that those who oppose proactive climate change policy are waving around is the idea that we’ll all have to go back to living in mud huts and reading by glow-worm light. It’s nonsense, of course, but it’s a pervasive fear, and one that needs to be alleviated, not exacerbated.
    Am I making any sense?

  259. Paul In Sweden

    “259. TheBlackCat Says:
    October 27th, 2010 at 11:15 am

    I just wish all of you religious/anti-science/anti-vaxer/creationist climate nuts would take the short bus and stop cluttering up the roads for the rest of us!

    I’m confused[...]” :)

    Your confusion has never been in doubt from my first reading of your posts BlackCat. In the cult of global warming you have your Pope in Rome, your Anglican Church in England, the Climate Jihad leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, the various Judeo-Christian churches in North America along with the Gaia worshipers and malcontents that will skip work or school for any party.

    Reality is a problem for Global Warming Alarmists. Blackcat you really have to face it, you have the religious nuts, the malcontents and in the USA only one out of every three democrats. Blackcat if you can’t convince more than one out of every three democrats that your religion of global warming is even a concern for society how do you expect the people that think will respond to your sermon.

    Nov. 2nd is election day Blackcat, go out and vote. Let us get the Global Warming fraud hearings in congress behind us! Let us find out if installing a wind farm reduces CO2 or just increases electric bills and profits a select group of utilities and the typical far-left-wing-govt-rent seeking GREEN entrepreneurs. Let us see if ethanol reduces CO2 & lessens the impact on the environment or just takes food from the tables of the least able to make ends meet at the end of the month. It is time all the data and facts are out on the table Blackcat. The hearings will happen, and I am looking forward to them.

    BTW: (Blackcat, yes I did truncate your post, but it just seemed to irresistible not to do so. The anti-vaxxer/anti-science/creationist label you clearly own as they are just about the only ones on the planet that still holds a candle (I assume for prayer) for Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.

  260. AJ in CA

    @253 QuietDesperation:
    “That’s why all this rigid ideology- Left *and* Right- is killing us. We need to be flexible, and not take all our solutions from a single playbook. The moment someone self-identifies as a “liberal” or a “conservative” or a “progressive” or whatever, you are dealing with a closed mind. Sadly, that seems to be a large majority of the population. And if that offends you self described liberals, conservatives and progressives, well, tough. I stand by that analysis.”

    I second that!

    “That’s why all this rigid ideology- Left *and* Right- is killing us. We need to be flexible, and not take all our solutions from a single playbook. The moment someone self-identifies as a “liberal” or a “conservative” or a “progressive” or whatever, you are dealing with a closed mind. Sadly, that seems to be a large majority of the population. And if that offends you self described liberals, conservatives and progressives, well, tough. I stand by that analysis.”

    Reposted because it deserves to be read twice.

  261. TheBlackCat

    @ Paul In Sweden: So it looks like it is option number 1 after all: you are a liar. I point out to you that creationist are, in fact, global warming denialists, yet you still equate the scientific consensus on the issue with creationism. Thanks for clearing that up.

    Did you really think cutting out all the substance of my post and just replying to part of one sentence would be effective? Hmm, who loves to quote out of context. Couldn’t be creationists, could it?

    That can’t be right, those supporting the scientific consensus on global warming are the ones who act like creationists. So how could an global warming denialist be acting like a creationist?

  262. QuietDesperation

    Yes, but you can’t get the collective will to fix something that people don’t agree is broken in the first place.

    You don’t have to, really, but in a healthy economy people are more prone to address what I call “distant concerns.” Whether they are truly distant or not is unimportant. Case in point: our state global warming law was passed with general public approval back when the economy was thriving. People are more prone to consider alternate solutions to things when they aren’t wondering if they will be able to buy their kids clothes next year.

    A possible breath of fresh air and sanity, QuietDesperation would you do this thread the service of expanding on these observations?

    Not really as I still have a job. ;-) And Fallout: New Vegas and Fable III came out within a week of one another. A man has to have priorities. :-) Seriously, would more than two people care? I should probably write a book or start a new political party. Maybe a manifesto. Or an un-manifesto.

    PRESS: What is your party’s platform?
    QD: Whatever seems to work. We’ll hire whatever experts we need to reach a solution. These issues are too big and complicated for sound bites.
    PRESS: (heads explode)

  263. Paul In Sweden

    @263. Steve Metzler

    You were in the forest but could not see the trees. Go back to WUWT and follow the links you were given Steve.

  264. Paul In Sweden

    @268. TheBlackCat

    The various speculations regarding catastrophic(apocalyptic) anthropogenic global warming of the pope, the Anglican Church in England, the numerous churches in North America and what you go on about blackcat is not the concern of science or most of the world’s population.

    Good luck in Mexico next month at COP16 – lotta luck in saving the planet – yeah…. I know this IPCC party may be the very last time we have to save the planet and if I call in now to give a donation I may be eligible to receive a carbon indulgence as a bonus.

    You apocalyptic creationists/anti-science/anti-vaxers crack me up Blackcat.

    Give your penance to your Global Warming Pope in the Vatican Blackcat, I will not grant you absolution.

  265. Gordon J. Fulks, PhD

    As apparently the only self-identified scientist commenting here, I must protest the way this site has held up posting my comments for long periods of time. I’m sure they are not happy to hear from someone who can do more than recite talking points from an Alarmist website like SkepticalScience where the site manager admits he is not a scientist (but has enough scientific training to understand the terminology).

    Science is not a debate of talking points but an honest attempt to understand the world around us. The key word is ‘honest.’ Professor Richard Feynman, who was the quintessential skeptic, called it “utter honesty.” Albert Einstein described what he was doing as “trying to understand the mind of God.” That does not mean that science is a religious pursuit where belief and dogma are more important than evidence, it means that it should be free of the bad behavior so evident in discussions such as those at this website.

    Data holds a special position of importance in science. It may be confusing and may contain artifacts that we wish were not there, but it completely trumps theory any day. Of course, data that has been faked or intentionally misused to show something that is clearly not there is especially reprehensible. That is why people need to stay away from the websites that either specialize in faked data or cannot tell the difference.

    Most scientists who are serious about their science will not deal with those who have been involved with anything like Michael Mann’s “hide the decline.” The whole ClimateGate scandal, of which that quote was the signature, showed that the cheating was extensive. Few at this site probably know that Mann’s technique was similar to what was done to the CO2 data above: append a modern data set to a highly uncertain proxy to create the illusion of something drastic happening in the modern period. Mann is the best known leader at RealClimate.

    As to the only data we have involving direct CO2 measurements, the chemical measurements were made by many highly competent individuals over long periods of time when scientists were trying very hard to be honest. All were made long before it became fashionable to acquire (faked) data to prove someone’s theory. That gives the chemical measurements great credibility.

    As to the dynamics of CO2, recent satellite and geographically diverse ground measurements as well as solid theory about the solubility of CO2 in water suggest that atmospheric CO2 is far from uniformly distributed or static. There are large natural sources and sinks that are far larger than anything man is doing. That makes the various isotope studies of the short residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere (5 to 15 years) even more credible.

    For non-scientists it probably comes down to what they want to believe: propaganda or science. It may be difficult for them to discern the difference, because much of the bad behavior originates with scientists who have been corrupted by government money. All you have to say these days is “I believe” and you can dip into the US Treasury. But if you say “I not sure,” forget the funding. It has gotten that bad!

    If you are not concerned about this problem, you should re-read George Orwell’s ’1984.’ Although it was modeled on Stalinist Russia, the ‘Ministry of Truth’ is all too close to what we are seeing today.

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
    Corbett, Oregon USA

    gordonfulks@hotmail.com

  266. Calli Arcale

    Ben Wheatley @ 127:

    @ Calli Arcale: FYI, the bits you added to the graph have horizontal lines every 10 ppm, the original had lines every 20 ppm.

    D’oh!!! That’s what I get for doing it in a hurry. Of course, that means I’ve exaggerated what the deniers are claiming, and it still makes that last spike look significant.

    Fixed version:
    COgraph

  267. Steve Metzler

    Paul In Sweden Says:

    You were in the forest but could not see the trees. Go back to WUWT and follow the links you were given Steve.

    Oh, believe me. I’ve been reading a lot of the anti-AGW screed in the past year or so to try to get a picture of the contrarian mindset. But when I see all the lies and misinformation these people promulgate, it just upsets me so much that I find it hard to continue. Kinda like reading anything you post, actually:

    You apocalyptic creationists/anti-science/anti-vaxers crack me up Blackcat.

    WTF? Scientists are anti-science?! You’ve totally lost the plot.

    But it’s quite obvious to all that your sole purpose here is to completely derail every AGW thread, so it’s mission accomplished no matter what kind of verbal diarrhoea you spew. I for one am never going to respond to one of your posts again.

  268. Steve Metzler

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD Says:

    Most scientists who are serious about their science will not deal with those who have been involved with anything like Michael Mann’s “hide the decline.” The whole ClimateGate scandal, of which that quote was the signature, showed that the cheating was extensive. Few at this site probably know that Mann’s technique was similar to what was done to the CO2 data above: append a modern data set to a highly uncertain proxy to create the illusion of something drastic happening in the modern period. Mann is the best known leader at RealClimate.

    If you really are a scientist, then you should turn in your badge. I had stronger words to say, but I will hold my tongue.

  269. Zetetic

    @ Paul in Sweden:
    Still no credible supporting evidence from from you after 4 threads so far, just lots of barely coherent babble. So no change yet. Just more lies/projection from P.i.S..

    How’s that supporting evidence going there P.i.S.?

    ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD@ #230:
    So linking to sites that simply happen to contradict your point of view, but provide links to the relevant papers (unlike many anti-AGW sites I’ve noticed) are “propaganda” sites? I suppose in the sense that any attempt to convince someone of your position (whether it true or not) can be considered “propaganda” that would be correct, but no more so than anti-AGW sites.

    As to Bob Carter, is that the same person that is part of the think-tank Institute of Public Affairs Which gets their money from forestry, fossil fuel, and tobacco companies?

    Also about Joe D’Aleo, that would be the same speaker at the Heartland Institute 2009 International Conference on Climate Change which didn’t disclose it’s funding sources, but was previously funded by Exxon and the Scaife Foundations (tied to Gulf Oil)?

    I’m curious though, if you’ve had to time of course, have you come to an answer as to my simple questions at what is now #199? I even linked directly to the abstracts of the papers in question to avoid any “propaganda” sites.

  270. Chris Winter

    Referring to our great friend Paul in Sweden, Astrofiend wrote: “Why don’t you just write a book next time? You’re half way there with your last post alone.”

    I wonder what else he does for fun. Video games maybe; he does so like to shoot at illusions.

  271. Zetetic

    Schnee Wolfe @ #246:

    btw to the gentleman who seemed to think that my previous posts opening statement was a strawman; no, it was a simple statement of fact

    I apologize if I misunderstood you, but the way your post was worded it seemed to be implying that since the climate changes that we shouldn’t be trying to make it stable until we reach a consensus that has already been reached among climatologists.

    Your more recent post was much more clear, but the problem remains that nothing will actually be done unless enough of the public is convened of the reality of the situation. In the meantime the same third world is most at risk of any potential consequences.

    As to China actually they seem to be the one making the biggest effort to reduce CO2 emissions, and are currently in the process of attempting to corner much of the world market on “green energy” technology. They have already become the world’s largest user of Solar and by 2008 was ranked 4th in wind use. While China is still massively dependent on fossil fuels for now, they are working to change it while at the same time making a massive push for greater energy efficiency.

    all the debate and efforts at going green, cap and trade and other strategies of fighting CO2 emissions, won’t amount to a mole hill against the Everest that awaits us in 40 years

    Again I agree, especially when the oceans start releasing the trapped CO2 they’ve been storing up. But if nothing is done, or just sufficiently delayed, then such a potential disaster becomes all the more likely. Unfortunately, exporting higher standards of living to the Third World will only make things worse (by increasing CO2 per capita emissions) unless it can also be done in a “green manner” for them as well. That doesn’t seem to likely if we can’t even do it in richer countries due to insufficient political effort. Hence again it comes back to public opinion.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    Steve Metzler @ #263:

    So where’s your evidence, Paul?

    Since P.i.S. has yet to provide any in over four threads so far, I think that P.i.S. is either just trolling or completely blinded by Morton’s Demon. Of course I still delight in pointing about P.i.S.’s lack of evidence when even possible so that all of those on the fence can see how empty his/her position is. (Like I’m doing again right now! :D )

  272. ND

    The more a person wear’s one’s credentials on their sleeves, the bigger grain of salt is to be used.

  273. TheBlackCat

    As apparently the only self-identified scientist commenting here, I must protest the way this site has held up posting my comments for long periods of time. I’m sure they are not happy to hear from someone who can do more than recite talking points from an Alarmist website like SkepticalScience where the site manager admits he is not a scientist (but has enough scientific training to understand the terminology).

    I’m a scientist. As a scientist, I would try to refrain from jumping to conclusions like you did here. You put a link in every single one of your posts, often just your email address. The board software automatically holds any post with a link until Phil can manually approve it. It’s no conspiracy, it happens to everyone. If you had bothered to read the posts in this thread, you would have seen that people actually pointed this out already (see #179), and you would also notice that a number of people go to some length to avoid having links in their posts be clickable.

    If you want to not get moderated, either use the “website” field at the top of the post or don’t use links at all (you’ve posted your email address enough, if someone wants to email you they can get it from one of your other posts).

    But for a scientist you sure are quick to accuse others of a conspiracy to suppress you. That’s pretty unscientific.

    Most scientists who are serious about their science will not deal with those who have been involved with anything like Michael Mann’s “hide the decline.

    Are you kidding me!? Have you done absolutely no research on this subject outside of denialist websites? As a scientist myself, I am ashamed to be lumped in the same category as you. This has gone over again and again and again. Short version: the “hide the decline” referred to a well-known, published, well-publicized issue where a small number of proxies stop being effective after a certain date. It was no conspiracy, no secret.

    Few at this site probably know that Mann’s technique was similar to what was done to the CO2 data above: append a modern data set to a highly uncertain proxy to create the illusion of something drastic happening in the modern period.

    Are you serious? Everyone who has done even the slightest bit of research on “climategate” knows this.

    As to the only data we have involving direct CO2 measurements, the chemical measurements were made by many highly competent individuals over long periods of time when scientists were trying very hard to be honest.

    Doesn’t make them right. Are you going to bother addressing any of the criticisms of this data sets?

    All were made long before it became fashionable to acquire (faked) data to prove someone’s theory.

    As a scientist, you should know that faking scientific data is a huge offense. Everyone involved in “climategate” has been cleared of any wrongdoing. If you are going to accuse someone of outright faking data you should have some really strong evidence to back that up, otherwise it is just baseless slander.

    That gives the chemical measurements great credibility.

    Baloney. It doesn’t matter how competent or honest the people collecting the data was, the results can only be as good as the methods used to collect those results. Being honest will not fix flaws in the methodology. Once again, this is something any scientist would know.

    There are large natural sources and sinks that are far larger than anything man is doing. That makes the various isotope studies of the short residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere (5 to 15 years) even more credible.

    Are you still going on about this? Did you bother to read any of the links Zectic has posted?

    All you have to say these days is “I believe” and you can dip into the US Treasury. But if you say “I not sure,” forget the funding. It has gotten that bad!

    What? Have you ever actually applied for a research grant before? There is no money available for settled questions. In fact that is a problem, it is hard to get published, not to mention get grants, for doing research that replicates known results. You have to answer a new question to get money. The absolute worst thing you can do if you want money is to declare a question settled. No one will give you a dime to continue working on it.

    By the way, where do you do your research? I don’t see a university in Corbett, Oregon. Do you work in R&D or a private research institute?

  274. Zetetic

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD @ #272:

    Science is not a debate of talking points but an honest attempt to understand the world around us. The key word is ‘honest.

    Agreed! That is why the AGW is real side keeps citing evidence or links to site that link to the scientific papers. Oddly the people you keep referring us to seem to keep being tied to the fossil fuel industry and tend to have a conflict of interest.

    Most scientists who are serious about their science will not deal with those who have been involved with anything like Michael Mann’s “hide the decline.” The whole ClimateGate scandal, of which that quote was the signature, showed that the cheating was extensive.

    After your little lecture about “honesty” I think that you now owe every one here new “irony meters”.

    So do you have any input yet on the increasing re-emission of longwave infrared back to Earth? Do you have any links to papers showing locations where the longwave emissions into space have increased, balancing out any re-emission back to Earth in other areas? In all honesty I really would like such info. I’d really like to see credible evidence that actually contradicts AGW, but all I keep getting referred to are attempts to nit-pick and quote mine the papers supporting AGW, nothing that actively contradicts AGW as a phenomena that is occurring today. Arguing against AGW by trying to create doubt, with nothing to support the counter AGW position, isn’t a very compelling way to argue that the Earth isn’t warming, or that it’s a natural phenomena.

    If you are not concerned about this problem, you should re-read George Orwell’s ‘1984.’ Although it was modeled on Stalinist Russia, the ‘Ministry of Truth’ is all too close to what we are seeing today.

    Damn! After the last Bush administration …there goes another irony meter!

  275. Gordon J. Fulks, PhD

    Non-scientists are usually good at spotting those of us who are real scientists. It is not the point of view that gives us away, its the thought processes. We happen to be trained in the scientific method and use it! Logic comes naturally to us. Our science always comes first over our politics. Political brawls are much less interesting than how the world really works.

    Non-scientists also seem to prefer ad hominem remarks to a real discussion of the science. Most of us receive no funding from energy companies, contrary to the propaganda spread by Alarmists. We also obviously receive no funding from government grants that far out strip any fuel industry money. The difference is about a thousand to one. In other words, Alarmists have received roughly 100 BILLION dollars from government grants while Skeptics have received roughly 100 MILLION from the fuel industry (according to Greenpeace).

    But back to the science: novices need to pay attention to the numbers. When one number is vastly greater than another (on the same subject), the larger number IS usually much more significant. That holds for money as well as the amounts of CO2 naturally in play versus anthropogenic contributions.

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
    Corbett, Oregon USA

    gordonfulks@hotmail.com

  276. Chris Winter

    Steve Metzler wrote: “I just spent a mind-bendingly frustrating few days over at WUWT trying to engage in rational discussion with idiots.”

    I can sympathize, though I haven’t spent nearly so much time there. They reinforce each other’s misconceptions, and feel more comfortable therefore. And they seem to regard Anthony Watts as a hero. It’s like a claque.

  277. Chris Winter

    In post #182, Dr. Fulks argued: “But carbon dioxide interacts chemically with water, such that it is highly improbable that the gas trapped in tiny bubbles under extreme pressure is a pristine sample of the ancient atmosphere. Furthermore, the process of drilling and removing ice cores is so brutal that one cannot argue that recovered bubbles are uncontaminated. Hence, the CO2 concentrations derived are, at best, relative measurements not absolute ones. Hence, it is great leap of faith to say that CO2 concentrations never rose above 300 ppmv during this period.”

    Those are interesting objections. Have you taken them up with the people doing the drilling? Being a scientist yourself, you no doubt would want to help them avoid wasting years of time and hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.

  278. Luke, PhD MD KBE Esq.

    272. Gordon J. Fulks, PhD:

    “hide the decline”

    I call Poe.

  279. Mike G

    Gordon,
    I’ll make this more direct. I’m not interested in your conspiracy theories, only your answers to three simple questions:

    1) Beck’s series differs from multiple, self-consistent proxies both qualitatively and quantitatively. You’ve made it clear that you don’t believe that any of those proxies are reliable. Why do you think that Beck’s series is more reliable than the proxies, and are there any other records that agree with it (if there are any, it would be great if you could point to them specifically)?

    2) What physical mechanism explains why CO2 varied wildly back in the old days, but suddenly settled into a smoothly increasing curve at EXACTLY the time modern records began?

    3) How and where were scientists measuring CO2 in 1812 and how does that affect the accuracy of the results? (hint: If you wanted to measure background CO2, would you do it in a large city, like Paris?)

    P.S. You’re hardly the only scientist here. FWIW I’m a marine ecologist. Others, including myself simply don’t flash our scientific credentials because the letters behind our names are irrelevant to the quality of the evidence.

  280. Gordon J. Fulks, PhD

    My thoughts on the ice core data follow the work of Zbigniew Jaworowski, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., whom I referenced in comment #182 above. (You can easily locate his work on-line in many locations and publications. The one I referenced seemed good for an audience of non-scientists.) His thoughts like mine do not invalidate the ice core work. They call into question the assumption that the ice captures a pristine sample of an ancient atmosphere.

    I do not believe either of us are questioning the temperature reconstructions from the ice cores. That technique is much more straightforward. Ice core data are VERY useful, but like all scientific data have to be used carefully within their limitations.

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
    Corbett, Oregon USA

    gordonfulks@hotmail.com

  281. If climate change is real then how come there are still monkeys?
    ///

  282. Steve Metzler

    Chris Winter says:

    I can sympathize, though I haven’t spent nearly so much time there. They reinforce each other’s misconceptions, and feel more comfortable therefore. And they seem to regard Anthony Watts as a hero. It’s like a claque.

    I was severely tempted to ask several commenters how old they were, but knew that wouldn’t get past moderation.

  283. Steve Metzler

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD Says:

    Non-scientists are usually good at spotting those of us who are real scientists. It is not the point of view that gives us away, its the thought processes. We happen to be trained in the scientific method and use it! Logic comes naturally to us. Our science always comes first over our politics. Political brawls are much less interesting than how the world really works.

    Obviously, being trained in the application of the scientific method and being trained in the application of critical thinking are two different things. Glad you cleared that one up for us. Meanwhile, hundreds of irony meters are suddenly needing replacing around here.

  284. QuietDesperation

    Our science always comes first over our politics. Political brawls are much less interesting than how the world really works.

    Piffle. I know and work with plenty of scientists who are very ideological and can be irrational on political topics. Stop with the “scientists are so above it all” silliness.

    If you are not concerned about this problem, you should re-read George Orwell’s ‘1984.’

    What?! That book is full of double-minus ungood! It’s nothing but worthless foma!

    Oops. Drifted into Vonnegut for a moment there. :-)

    I’d suggest watching the Terry Gilliam films “Adventures Of Baron Munchhausen” and then “Brazil”. Make sure you get the proper theatrical version of Brazil and not the one where they made the ending happy. (facepalm)

    Both films are about Imagination. Munchhausen lushly illustrates its triumph. Brazil depicts the consequences of its death.

  285. ND

    The more I read about Fulks, the suspicious I’m getting. Here’s an article he wrote earlier this year.

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5653

    It contains the classic anti-AGW talking points, where corruption by money is strongly hinted and climategate is hyped up. His lecturing of how real science is done is meant to have a moral upper ground over others.

    I think Fulks has mistakenly assumed that there are no other phds on this blog.

    Note: I’m no phd. Just a silly little undergrad degree in astronomy from years ago.

  286. Chris Winter

    Gordon Fulks wrote (#287): “My thoughts on the ice core data follow the work of Zbigniew Jaworowski, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., whom I referenced in comment #182 above. (You can easily locate his work on-line in many locations and publications. The one I referenced seemed good for an audience of non-scientists.)”

    I downloaded and read through Dr. Jaworowski’s article. It is titled “CO2: The Greatest Scientific Scandal of our Time” and here’s its first paragraph:

    “On Feb. 2, 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) again uttered its mantra of catastrophe about man-made global warming. After weeks of noisy propaganda, a 21-page “Summary for Policymakers” of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, 2007, was presented in grandiose style in Paris to a crowd of politicians and media, accompanied by a blackout of the Eiffel Tower to show that electric energy is bad. The event induced a tsunami of hysteria that ran around the world. This was probably the main aim of this clearly political paper, prepared by governmental and United Nations bureaucrats, and published more than three months before the IPCC’s 1,600-page scientific report, which is to be released in May. In the words of the IPCC, this delay is needed for adjustment of the main text, so that “Changes . . . [could be] made to ensure consistency with the ‘Summary for Policymakers.’ ” Not a single word in these 1,600 pages is to be in conflict with what politicians said beforehand in the summary!”

    Now that seems very political, not to say polemical. But this is a popular magazine, so some initial drama designed to catch the reader’s interest could be excused.

    However, I suspect a number of the scientific points raised. I’ll mention just two. From page 4 of the article (page 17 in the magazine):

    “This means that either atmospheric CO2 levels have no discernible influence on climate (which is true), or that the proxy ice core reconstructions of the chemical composition of the ancient atmosphere are false (which is also true, as shown below).”

    The statement that atmospheric concentration of CO2 has no influence on climate contravenes principles of physics going back over 100 years. It is an extraordinary claim.

    Dr. Jaworowski also claims that CO2 progressively diffuses out of the bubbles in the ice cores. He doesn’t provide much in the way of detail about this, but logically the older portions of the cores should have less CO2. Thus, in a plot of temperature and CO2, the CO2 should diverge from the temperature more greatly the further back in time the record goes. I’m not aware that this has ever been seen.

  287. Chris Winter

    It would seem the folks over at RealClimate agree with me. Here’s a dissection of Dr. Jaworowski’s scientific work.

    http://www.someareboojums.org/blog/?p=7

    Regarding the magazine article, RealClimate reminded me of something I’d forgotten:

    All this is not to say that Jaworowski’s name has been unknown to print in recent years. He has had an article in 21st Century Science & Technology, published by Lyndon Larouche. Need I say more?

    Not to me, certainly.

  288. Glen

    Thanks for the cycles explanation!

    Can’t we just genetically engineer some super CO2 gobbling algae and sprinkle it into the atmosphere?

    Just mix it in with the Chem-Trail stuff “they” are already using.

  289. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ 253. Quiet Desperation :

    As for the whole climate change issue, here’s the one overriding reality: it will be best “fixed” by new and innovative ideas that can only come about in a healthy economy where plenty of funds (via *both* government grants and private industry) exist for research and development. Anything outside of this is just peripheral hot air. We don’t have that economy right now, and kicking it in the gentlemanly area with draconian regulation is not going to help anything in the long run. We need to get back on our feet firmly.

    To some extent I have to agree. When people are struggling with an economy in bad shape, green issues look a *LOT* less important. People having jobs matter, a good economy can afford the “luxury” of green policies, a bad one can’t. :-(

    However, ecological disasters are bad for the economy too – just ask BP. ;-)

    Global Warming is bad for business – worse storms, worse droughts, worse floods, loss of land, loss of money, loss of life. :-(

    I think we do need to look seriously at what possible options there are – & I don’t think “feel-good” hippy lifestyle measures or useless unfair international agreements (eg. one’s that let China, India & others pollute & restrict the US) will work.

    We will need nuclear energy, we may well need geo-engineering projects and, frankly I don’t think we’re going to get enough done to stop some real disasters taking place that will wreck immense damage on many places. Whatever we do, Global Warming will happen. It already is – its now just a matter of mitigation slowing it and reducing it some.

    We can certainly debate and argue which solutions are possible, desirable or realistic.

    What we cannot do is deny there is a real problem that is a serious concern for the future – and, indeed, the present. :-(

    @ 259. Paul In Sweden Says:

    If the Scotch is from Speyside I’ll pony up and get the first round with a lager chaser for MTU from Oz.

    Cheers! :-)

  290. Paul in Sweden

    :) Cheers indeed MTU

  291. Dunc

    Non-scientists are usually good at spotting those of us who are real scientists.

    Yeah. We stick your name into Google Scholar and see what comes out. You only seem to have published about half a dozen papers in your entire career, of which the most recent was in 1981. Nothing climate-related. Basically you’re pulling an Appeal to Authority using your 35+year old PhD in a completely unrelated field.

    So, what have you been up to for the last 30 years?

  292. Nigel Depledge

    @ AJ in CA (265) -
    Yes, it looks like my words were ambiguous and vague.

    My bad.

    I was assuming that the commenter Johnathan (224) was a typical American, partaking of the average American lifestyle, involving much use of a low-efficiency car (don’t ask me for figures, as I don’t have any, but I’ve read of US cits thinking it normal to drive the 500 yards to go to the gym when it’s perfectly safe to walk it), gargantuan refrigerators (about 4x the size of a typical European fridge), aircon in every room, and so on. I know it’s all stereotyped, but it’s on TV all the time!

    The point I was trying to make was that Johnathan was claiming to have no agenda by disclaiming any connection to the oil industry or to science. However, in AGW, we all have an agenda, because – let’s face it – we all (or very nearly all – I bet someone will claim not to want this, just to prove me wrong) want that big house with all mod cons, 2.4 cars and 2.4 kids etc.

    To combat AGW, we have to re-think all of our energy use, and that’s hard.

  293. Victor

    Perhaps global warming is a blessing in disguise. At some point in the future history will shown one and all that unrestrained capitalism destroyed our beautifully balanced world. A bit of a high price to pay but lets hope those of our grandchildren that survive wont make the same mistake twice!

  294. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^ & now 304 (!) Victor : Sadly, of course, they will make that same mistake again given the chance. Its basic human nature – which has repeatedly shown us that the one thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history. ;-) :-(

  295. Victor

    Perhaps global warming is a blessing in disguise. At some point in the future, history will show one and all that unrestrained capitalism destroyed our beautifully balanced world. A bit of a high price to pay but lets hope those of our grandchildren that survive wont make the same mistake! The deniers will be dead but the lesson will have been learnt.

  296. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ 301. Nigel Depledge :

    However, in AGW, we all have an agenda, because – let’s face it – we all (or very nearly all – I bet someone will claim not to want this, just to prove me wrong) want that big house with all mod cons, 2.4 cars and 2.4 kids etc. To combat AGW, we have to re-think all of our energy use, and that’s hard.

    Can’t make any assumptions, but its probably pretty safe to say 90% of us or more have the internet and thus computers at home! ;-)

    Our technology, our quality of life, requires energy consumption.

    How do we get that energy? Mostly via burning fossil fuels.

    Burning fossil fuels is causing the release of Co2 and the consequent Global Warming.

    Yeah, we have a problem. How do we get around that?

    Even if a few people make token efforts, most folks just won’t give up cheap, easy energy and, more importantly, the great quality of life that comes with it.

    Who is volunteering for an impoverished, more restricted, more taxed, low-carbon life with less technology , less pleasure, less opportunity? Who wants to impose *that* on their children and future generations? :-(

    Not me.

    Let’s be honest with ourselves – NOT *you* and not most others either. :-(

    Also even *if* all Americans and Aussies were to committ to voluntarily impoverishing themselves and living a low-energy, low carbon lifestyle (& the reality is they won’t) do you reckon we could convince the *real* polluters the big, high-population, fast industralising new powers of China and India to abandon any high energy use, high-tech, high quality of life future too? To get *them* (& the over-populated Third World) to agree to a poor, miserable “ecologically sustainable” future?

    Because if we can’t (& we probably can’t) then whatever small difference *we* make will be a drop in the aerial ocean and matter not one whit. We’ll still be doomed. :-(

    I think the vast majority consensus of climatologists are correct about the problem of AGW.

    I wish I could see a realistic, reasonable solution to it – but I don’t. :-(

    Does anyone here *really* seriously think international treaties, the useless, compromised, toothless UN, domestic national high carbon taxes or hippy ideas or even solar panels and windfarms are going to do enough & soon enough? I sure don’t. :-(

    I think our biggest hope for slowing and reducing the severity of AGW has to be either a huge population crash making our actions truly mean something via the deaths of literally many billions of others – or some sort of really clever geo-engineering.

    Its very depressing but that’s my honest assessment. :-(

  297. QuietDesperation

    Global Warming is bad for business – worse storms

    On a side note, they really need to stop making predictions about hurricane seasons. Seriously, it does not help to predict a worse than normal season and have a lighter than normal season. That’s happened at least twice now, and it gets media play.

    That’s the area where I do have a lot of skepticism: the computer models. I write computer models and use other models created by system engineers with gigantic heads who dream calculus. We have communication link models that took years to develop, and still they are just a guide. In the end we have to build hardware and transmit and test. I think the confidence levels expressed by some in the models is really unsupportable.

  298. Messier Tidy Upper

    Also not just China and India – singled out for their colossal population size and rapid, highly polluting industrialising as they strive for the quality of life we already have – but also Brazil, Mexico, Arabia, South Africa, Korea, Egypt, Indonesia and all the others.

    AGW cannot be solved by one or even a group of nations such as the English speaking and largely English cultured “Anglosphere”. (Ie. USA, UK, Oz, NZ & Canada plus a few others.)

    It requires true global co-operation.

    Can anyone really imagine major global co-operation working on such a scale? Have international treaties ever been globally adopted and effective and strongly enforced enough to matter everywhere on the planet?

    Put in a nutshell there’s too many people on the planet and too many self-interested nations arguing too much among themselves for us to ever get our act together globally on anything like this. Getting them all to agree to sacrifice their quality of life or hopes for ever improving it?

    Not. Ever. Going. To. Happen. :-(

    I fear. Hopefully I’m wrong about this but ..

  299. Dunc

    Have international treaties ever been globally adopted and effective and strongly enforced enough to matter everywhere on the planet?

    The Montreal Protocol springs to mind… But that was a somewhat easier pitch.

  300. Victor

    “Can anyone really imagine major global co-operation working on such a scale”

    Cant see that there is any other choice though!

  301. Zetetic

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD @ #282:

    The difference is about a thousand to one. In other words, Alarmists have received roughly 100 BILLION dollars from government grants while Skeptics have received roughly 100 MILLION from the fuel industry (according to Greenpeace).

    So you admit then that the so-called “skeptics” are in fact being funded by the fossil fuel industry then? Glad we’ve finally cleared that up.
    [sarc]
    Obviously there would never be any conflict of interest there.
    [/sarc]

    The difference of course is that that the government paid climatologists are being funded to conduct research to gather evidence about what is happening in the climate, and coming up with conclusions that not only don’t directly benefit the government but which are very inconvenient for the politicians involved. Unless you think that government officials love throwing large amounts of money and resources at problems for which the solutions have no immediate payoff.

    Meanwhile the fossil fuel funded “skeptics” are apparently only being paid to attack the research of the government funded researchers instead of coming up with research that credibly contradicts AGW with positive evidence. Such as definitively proving that CO2 hasn’t been increasing on a global average.

    That holds for money as well as the amounts of CO2 naturally in play versus anthropogenic contributions.

    But all the oil companies need to do is create a sufficient amount of doubt to keep the ideologically motivated in line, it’s what is referred to as a “FUD” campaign. Real research tends to be more expensive than just attacking the work of someone else. Different goals and different tactics require different amounts of funding to reach their respective goals.

    As to CO2 contributions, nobody here (nor on the “propaganda sites” listed before) has claimed that man-made CO2 exceeds that produced by nature, rather the problem is one of human caused emissions overloading the carbon cycle.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

    Chris WInter @ #296:

    Here’s a dissection of Dr. Jaworowski’s scientific work.

    That’s very interesting, thank you for the link! This Dr. Jaworowski is starting to sound like a regular Mockington!

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    Glen @ #297:

    Can’t we just genetically engineer some super CO2 gobbling algae and sprinkle it into the atmosphere?

    Actually there has already been some speculation about “feeding” algae that already exists in the ocean through some very interesting methods, but there are concerns about the possibility of accidentally feeding a toxic algae bloom and how much good it might do.

    Just do a search for “Geoengineering” for that and similar proposed projects.

  302. There is one thing that Phil, Zetetic, and countless others have been unable to understand (so far?)…that any statement on any topic of any importance will always and consistently elicit rejection, skepticism, demands for very strong evidence in the vast majority of the audience, if that statement is expressed in paternalistic and/or condescending and/or insulting tones, perhaps with an addition of some veiled threat.

    Go on then, waste your time even if you keep saying that there is little time left.

    Really, I am to this day unsure if people worried about AGW prefer to (attempt to) score debating points, or to do something about AGW.

  303. Zetetic

    Messier Tidy Upper @ #298:

    When people are struggling with an economy in bad shape, green issues look a *LOT* less important. People having jobs matter, a good economy can afford the “luxury” of green policies, a bad one can’t

    I would argue that it’s certainly easier to afford such measure in a good economy, but many “green” efforts help to create new jobs and new business as well. Plus having greater energy independence also makes an economy more stable and less effected by the price of oil/conflicts in the Middle East. It also means not sending a constant flow of money out of the country just to keep it running.

    Of course getting people to see that is another matter entirely…. :/

    one’s that let China, India & others pollute & restrict the US

    Actually China has been making major headway in that respect and India is starting to move in that direction (albeit more slowly that China, IMO).

    Both countries are currently stuck with lots of fossil fuel power production, but China’s non-fossil fueled production is rapidly growing. China is currently the world’s biggest user of solar, and is the world’s leading manufacturer of vacuum-walled solar water heating tubes. China is planing on shutting down some of their cement and iron works plants since they don’t meat new energy efficiency requirements, and China is moving to become a major force in both renewable energy production, and new electrical battery storage systems. All while much of the world (including the USA) primarily sits on it’s hands.

    India on the other hand is also pushing for more efficiency, and seems to be going more into nuclear but there are apparently a prime candidate for solar power generation (cost being one of the big obstetrical).

    I guess my point is that while things are complicated, messy, and fraught with problems, it’s not insurmountable, and even some of the biggest CO2 producers are already starting to change their systems too.

    Messier Tidy Upper #307:

    Getting them all to agree to sacrifice their quality of life or hopes for ever improving it?

    Fortunately I don’t think that it’s necessary for people to sacrifice their quality of life, unless you count as part of that calculation driving oversized petroleum burning SUVs that they don’t really need, using incandescent bulbs, etc.

    It’s more a matter of being more efficient and making the change to newer (less CO2 emitting technology). The biggest payoff (IMO) will be increasing efficiency of homes and business and new sources of power generation. It doesn’t have to mean that people have to live in the dark, and can’t travel anywhere. Some of the changes can even have benefits at many different levels, such as the proposed multilevel dynaponic farms in cities.

    What matters is how soon do societies around the world adapt, and how smart to they go about it.

  304. Zetetic

    Maurizio Morabito @ #311:

    There is one thing that Phil, Zetetic, and countless others have been unable to understand

    Apart from your own “paternalistic and/or condescending and/or insulting tones” tone…

    How exactly do you propose convincing someone that automatically sees you as the enemy just because you you tell them that there is a problem that needs top be fixed, and refuses to listen to any evidence that your position is correct? How do you convince a side motivated not by positively supporting evidence but dogma/ideology? I’d really like to see you try here in this thread since it’s so much easier to complain about how others are doing things than it is to do anything yourself, but I suspect that you won’t even try since according to the link to your blog and its apparent position on the subject of AGW it seems that your comments are actually just “tone trolling”.

    For what it’s worth, I’m not really trying to convince P.i.S. or Gordon J. Fulks of anything, anymore than I would attempt to convince Ken Hovind about evolution, it’s about arguing against the other side for those that are still on the fence.

    ——————————————————————————–

    As to “score debating points”, perhaps you haven’t noticed but scoring debating points is the only thing that the AGW denialist position has been able to offer so far.

    The AGW side has repeatedly offered supporting evidence, while the denialist side has so far only attacked the AGW evidence, just like Young Earth Creationists and other similarly minded groups. I have repeatedly asked the anti-AGW side for supporting evidence of their position and all we get are in reply are attempts to nit-pick/attack the works of others, and more lies about “Climategate” and “hide the decline”. Oh, and we got a link to an anti-AGW scientist bragging how the republicans are looking good in the next election as “supporting evidence” that contradicts AGW.

    ———————————————————————————–

    So, since you seem to think that those supporting the AGW side are just about scoring debating points, maybe you might be able to score some real points for the anti-AGW side by pointing to credible positively supporting evidence that actively contradicts AGW.

    Do you think that the Earth isn’t warming? Then please provide credible supporting evidence to that effect. I’d really like to see it.

    Maybe you think that the Earth is warming, but that it’s not due to CO2? OK then, what is the credible evidence that positively supports that position? Do you have anything that the scientific community hasn’t already refuted? Again, I’d like to see it.

    Let’s see if you have any actual credible supporting evidence that contradicts AGW, or if you’re just the one trying to “score debating points”.

  305. Steve Metzler

    Messier Tidy Upper says:

    Our technology, our quality of life, requires energy consumption.
    How do we get that energy? Mostly via burning fossil fuels.

    Burning fossil fuels is causing the release of Co2 and the consequent Global Warming.
    Yeah, we have a problem. How do we get around that?

    Even if a few people make token efforts, most folks just won’t give up cheap, easy energy and, more importantly, the great quality of life that comes with it.

    Who is volunteering for an impoverished, more restricted, more taxed, low-carbon life with less technology , less pleasure, less opportunity? Who wants to impose *that* on their children and future generations?

    Granted, this is the way the person on the street is perceiving the ‘solution’ to the AGW problem, and it looks very ominous from that perspective. Like we’re proposing to reduce peoples’ freedom and standard of living in one fell swoop. But try looking at it from a different angle…

    Most of the energy we use is in the form of electricity. Yes, there’s a lot of motorised transport out there, but we can make that stuff run from electricity too. So rather than worry about cutting down on energy consumption all over the place, why not instead concentrate on changing:

    The Way We Generate Electricity

    There’s that big yellow ball of energy up in the sky there that can supply more energy than we can possibly use if we can figure out a way to harness that energy efficiently. So instead of spending mega billions of dollars a year propping up the fossil fuel industry, why don’t we divert just a few hundred billion a year into researching how to make solar power more efficient and able to work on very large scales? Yes, there are transmission line problems to overcome (I know all about it. I’m an electrical engineer) because not everyone lives next to a desert. But that’s all part of the fun with new technology. Maybe some places that don’t get enough solar radiation will have to rely on wind, wave, or hydro-electric. There is no one size fits all. But it has to be *renewable* energy.

    Lastly, I realise this can’t happen overnight. Nothing of any significance can. It will have to be phased in gradually as the technology becomes available. And how do we fund this new technology? All I’m going to say here is that I’m no fan at all of cap and trade. I think it will just move the problem around. There will be a small reduction in CO2 emissions as a result, not enough to make any difference. And a lot of Wall St. fat cats will just get fatter as a result. I think James Hansen’s fee and dividend is a much better idea, and one that the person on the street will see immediate benefits in. Google it.

  306. Zetetic

    Steve Metzler @ #314:

    I think James Hansen’s fee and dividend is a much better idea, and one that the person on the street will see immediate benefits in. Google it.

    Thank you so much for pointing that out!
    It does look like a simpler and more effective approach than cap-and-trade, and it still allows for some market flexibility in deciding what options are best as well as driving innovations.

    I can see the revenue generated being put into programs like the Homestar program, or credits for more efficient vehicles, or R&D. But such a program will need to have the funds it generates “earmarked” so that it doesn’t get redirected to other political projects such as “bridges to nowhere”, to be most effective.

  307. Steve Metzler

    Zetetic says:

    So, since you seem to think that those supporting the AGW side are just about scoring debating points, maybe you might be able to score some real points for the anti-AGW side by pointing to credible positively supporting evidence that actively contradicts AGW.

    Do you think that the Earth isn’t warming? Then please provide credible supporting evidence to that effect. I’d really like to see it.

    Maybe you think that the Earth is warming, but that it’s not due to CO2? OK then, what is the credible evidence that positively supports that position? Do you have anything that the scientific community hasn’t already refuted? Again, I’d like to see it.

    Let’s see if you have any actual credible supporting evidence that contradicts AGW, or if you’re just the one trying to “score debating points”.

    Touché, Zetetic, touché! In the end, that’s the only way to counter these denier non-arguments that we have to keep debunking till we’re sick of it. Let’s see a substantial body of peer-reviewed papers that provide evidence there is no warming, or that mankind is not the primary cause of the warming. All the rest is just standard denier tactics used by the likes of creationists and anti-vaxxers.

  308. Gordon J. Fulks, PhD

    In response to Mike G (#286), let me point out that Climatology, although multidisciplinary, is Physical Science not Biological Science. For some reason, too many biologists have evolved into climate alarmists, perhaps because they see habitats changing and make the giant leap of faith that man must be at fault. Jane Lubchenko of Oregon State University did that with the ocean dead zones off the Oregon Coast, and it got her appointed head of NOAA. But other OSU biologists have discovered that ocean conditions have markedly improved in recent years and they have to study Global Warming in reverse! The reason?? The Pacific Decadal Oscillation has changed sign, and our local waters have turned colder again. Russian and American biologists first discovered the PDO working with salmon, but meteorologists now use it in weather forecasting and climatology.

    Some biologists like Harlan Bretz whom I mentioned earlier went on to spectacular careers in the physical sciences. Others like Ernst-Georg Beck have also made major contributions. To my knowledge, however, Beck never made any of the direct chemical measurements of CO2 himself. He brought together the work of many others. Measurements in the early 1800′s were more primitive than those a century later. The early ones came with greater error bars and showed greater scatter. Hence, I would not put a lot of faith in the early ones that showed CO2 exceeding 400 ppmv. But there were a vast number of high quality later measurements from many researchers that showed reasonable spatial and temporal variations. Beck did more than accumulate and average these. He also kept each researcher’s work separate so that we can go back and see how and where the researcher conducted it. This helps us to understand the differences.

    The chemical data is rich and real. Since they are our only direct measurements of CO2, they are very valuable. The proxy data from ice cores and IR measurements have problems, some of which I have noted before. Sipple tried to reconcile the sharp turn-up of the ice core inferred CO2 between 1650 and 1890 by shifting the curve right 80 years with an unphysical ‘aging of the ice’ explanation. The only virtue of doing this was to make the ice core proxy fit smoothly with the IR proxy. That may work graphically but is completely ad hoc. The solution of course is to use the chemical data to bridge the gap between the ice cores and the IR measurements. Beck’s compilation meshes reasonably well with the IR data and even shows the upward trend beginning before the IR technique came online. The slight discrepancy may be due to a lack of adequate calibration of the IR data.

    Why do the IR measurements (with seasonal variations removed) show such a smooth upward trend from their beginnings about 1960? First, they are made at only one location (on an active volcano in Hawaii) and second they were made during the transition from a negative to a positive PDO when Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) were rising. Warmer water out-gasses carbon dioxide! Any beer drinker knows that!

    That brings us to a testable hypothesis. If the peak of CO2 at about 450 ppmv observed in the 1940′s was caused by the cyclical warmth in the 1930′s (that we called the Dust Bowl), then we should see a similar peaking soon as we move to a cooler climate. The PDO is now negative. Beck thought he saw such a peaking trend in IR data from other locations but not the “official” station. He died a few weeks ago before anything definitive turned up.

    Beck was a first-rate old-school German scholar who went about his work exactly as all scientists should: with exceeding care, with exceeding skill, and without compromising conflicts of interest. I hope I have done a good job of explaining his great effort.

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
    Corbett, Oregon USA

    P.S. Jaworoski’s comment that CO2 has no “discernible influence” on climate is consistent with many others, including Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT and even the UN IPCC. Most agree that a doubling of CO2 has roughly a +1 degree C stand alone effect. The disagreement comes in what are called “feedbacks,” an analogy to 1945 vacuum tube theory. I agree with Lindzen that the feedbacks are negative. The IPCC and Al Gore claim they are strongly positive. Feedbacks are a completely different issue than CO2.

  309. Steve Metzler

    Gordon. It may just be that you only stumbled upon Bad Astronomy recently (maybe you arrived here straight out of a time warp after that paper you last published in 1981), and imagine that you are bringing fresh insights to our vapid, unscientific brains. But all we see in actuality are worn-out denier canards that have been debunked time and again. Did you even bother to read any of the last dozen posts?

    Water vapour is a *negative* feedback?! You can’t be serious.

    I will leave it to others to counter the… points you just raised. It’s really, really late here *sigh*

  310. Zetetic (#313)

    “How exactly do you propose convincing someone that automatically sees you as the enemy”

    There is plenty of examples on how to acquire consensus and I doubt any of them involve calling people names, eg declaring every non-alarmist a “denialist”.

    “How do you convince a side motivated not by positively supporting evidence but dogma/ideology?”

    If you really believe that, and you really believe there is a climate emergency to deal with, then you simply do not waste any time whatsoever discussing with anybody attached to that “dogma/ideology”.

    ” it’s about arguing against the other side for those that are still on the fence”

    Do you really want to attract to your side people that would get convinced by you arguing about “tone trolling”?

    “scoring debating points is the only thing that the AGW denialist position has been able to offer so far”

    But that is totally irrelevant to the climate emergency, isn’t it?

    As for my own position on the topic, there’s plenty about it in the About section of my blog. Anyway it is completely beside the point about what I find interesting at the moment: again, the time wasted, by people that are convinced a catastrophe is upon us, in telling the unconvinced how bad they are, rather than in doing anything practical about the aforementioned catastrophe. With the (obvious) result that AGWers keep losing on all fronts.

  311. Messier Tidy Upper

    @308. Dunc Says:

    “Have international treaties ever been globally adopted and effective and strongly enforced enough to matter everywhere on the planet?”
    The Montreal Protocol springs to mind… But that was a somewhat easier pitch.

    Thanks. Good example. :-)

    Except as you point out phasing out CFC’s which were fairly minor if previously useful artificial gases is a lot easier than phasing out fossil fuels which are our main energy sources.

    @312. Zetetic :

    I would argue that it’s certainly easier to afford such measure in a good economy, but many “green” efforts help to create new jobs and new business as well. Plus having greater energy independence also makes an economy more stable and less effected by the price of oil/conflicts in the Middle East. It also means not sending a constant flow of money out of the country just to keep it running.

    I agree with you on the second point there about independence from the Middle-East. Its a good point although more drilling and obtaining oil from friendlier parts of the globe – eg. Alaska, the Gulf – is another more immediately probable way of attaining that same end as shifting to renewables.

    The first part though – maybe *some* new green jobs are created but is that going to be *enough* to outweigh the vast number of people employed mining coal and drilling for oil? I dunno about that. :-(

    Actually China has been making major headway in that respect and India is starting to move in that direction (albeit more slowly that China, IMO). … [SNIP!] … I guess my point is that while things are complicated, messy, and fraught with problems, it’s not insurmountable, and even some of the biggest CO2 producers are already starting to change their systems too.

    Will it happen enough and quickly enough before we do cross some tipping point threshhold? I hope you are right about it not being insurmountable and not too little too late.

    It doesn’t have to mean that people have to live in the dark, and can’t travel anywhere. Some of the changes can even have benefits at many different levels,

    Living in the dark = reduced light pollution. That would count as a benefit in my book! ;-)

    What matters is how soon do societies around the world adapt, and how smart to they go about it.

    True.

    @314. Steve Metzler Says:

    But try looking at it from a different angle…
    Most of the energy we use is in the form of electricity. Yes, there’s a lot of motorised transport out there, but we can make that stuff run from electricity too. So rather than worry about cutting down on energy consumption all over the place, why not instead concentrate on changing:
    The Way We Generate Electricity [To solar & other renewables.]

    Well yes. Thing is people having been talking about renewables becoming a major power source for a long time now and while some progress has been made, it still only seems to amount to not very much. Perhaps renewables *will* take off and become the new fuel source for our civilisation(s). I really hope so. Alas, that is just hope not reality as it is now.

    Perhaps I’m being too impatient but my concern is that if they haven’t done so yet then maybe they never will. I don’t think we can rely on the technology just improving overnight and saving us – love it if it did – but let’s be a realistic and not count on them until they’re known to really work on a major scale. Until the ideal renewable tech is there – &, yes, we’re well-advised to keep trying to build it too – we have to go with what we’ve got.

    So meanwhile, what do we do? Nuclear power and geoengineering plus adapatation (incl. some pretty awful things like abandoning places that becoems unliveable.) seem our best bet. That or trying to offset AGW with nuclear winter although clearly that isn’t the first choice!

    (Gallows humour rather than advocating that method there in case folks are wondering.)

    @319. Steve Metzler Says:

    Gordon. It may just be that you only stumbled upon Bad Astronomy recently (maybe you arrived here straight out of a time warp after that paper you last published in 1981),

    Now picturing that time travel scenario happening – LOL! :-)

    ****

    PS. Phil Plait, Dr Bad Astronomer sir, what would *your* preferred solution(s) to AGW be? Could I request that you blog on that one day please?

  312. Gunnar

    I am not a professional scientist and have no advanced degrees in anything, but I love science and understand science and math better than most laymen. My son-in-law, with whom I love to discuss scientific topics, and who has a PhD in chemical engineering has told me that he thinks my overall knowledge of general science (outside his own specialty, of course) exceeds his (which I actually find hard to believe, BTW). Nevertheless, based on what I have learned (and continue to learn) about science and math, and following the discussions on this site (both pro and con) and looking at the links provided by the disputants, it is becoming increasingly obvious to me that AGW is a real and increasingly worrisome concern, and that the credibility of the anti-AGW crowd is shrinking rapidly. Paul in Sweden, for example, only succeeds in further undermining his own credibility and that of the anti-AGW position every time he posts! For that reason, I hope he continues to do so. Whether he realizes it or not, he is doing a great service to the cause of furthering awareness of the reality of AGW! Gordon J. Fulk’s (a claimed PhD) attempt to cast legitimate doubt on AGW by citing the works of such obvious charlatans as Jaworoski is almost unbelievable, and is all but fatal to Fulk’s own credibility on this issue, IMO.

    Besides, as so many have tried to point out, even if fears of AGW were bogus or highly exaggerated, there are undeniable benefits to greatly reducing or eliminating our reliance on fossil fuels, and perfecting systems of utilizing and storing energy from renewable resources such as solar and geothermal, and (most of all) using energy more efficiently and minimizing frivolous waste of natural resources. If we foolishly refuse to start a crash program to encourage developing and perfecting green technologies on our own, we will eventually be forced to buy them from China and/or India, and wind up being owned by them! And this is true even if AGW denialists were correct (which they are obviously not)!

    My sincere thanks to Phil Plait, MtU, Nigle Depledge, Zetetic, Black Cat and so many others who have so ably presented the case for AGW!

  313. Gunnar

    I can’t help noticing that everytime Phil posts a warning about AGW, the anti-AGW posters responding to it tend to become more abusive and sound more desperate than the last time he did. They repeatedly bring up the same arguments and “evidence” that have already been convincingly refuted over and over again, and come off looking worse and less credible than before. I didn’t see any of “Bunny’s” posts–they were all removed before I first saw this thread, but judging by what was said about them, perhaps it is a good thing that I was spared from seeing them. I didn’t see even any other denialists who had anything good to say about them. They must have been atrocious, and probably an embarrassment to other anti-AGWs. It is amazing to me that there are so many people who still think that shouting and screaming their arguments somehow makes them more credible!

  314. Nigel Depledge

    Messier Tidy Upper (305) said:

    . . . the *real* polluters the big, high-population, fast industralising new powers of China and India . . .

    The USA is still the highest per-capita emitter of CO2. It’s just that India and China have a lot more capitas.

    Back in 1999 or 2000, New Scientist published a guide to the impact various populations have on the world, and the way they illustrated it was by environmental “footprint”, using the “if the global population lived like Nation X, how many Earths would we need to support that lifestyle?”.

    Europe came out about 2 (2 Earths to give the entire global population at the time a European lifestyle). India came out just over 1, I think. Africa came out at 0.5 or thereabouts. The USA came out at 4.5. I can’t remember the rest of it, but it really makes you think. Obviously, there were several necessary assumptions in the model, but as an overall guide it kinda fitted the impression I had of the way people lived. Except for the USA. I thought the lifestyle there was only slightly more profligate than in Europe, until I saw how far ahead they were in terms of resource use per head of population.

  315. Nigel Depledge

    Zetetic (312) said:

    The biggest payoff (IMO) will be increasing efficiency of homes and business and new sources of power generation.

    Yeah, and that’s mostly going to have to come through legislation.

    My home has an insulated loft and double glazing and cavity wall insulation.

    The office building in which I work has no roof insulation, no wall insulation and double glazing on only one side of the building. Since the heating system depends on the site steam supply (it’s an ex-ICI site), when the steam supply is off, everyone uses electrical fan heaters in their offices. We’ve been complaining about the situation for several years now, and it looks like something may happen in the next year or two, but I shudder to think how much energy gets wasted every winter because the building is so poorly insulated and heated.

  316. Messier Tidy Upper

    @324. Nigel Depledge :

    Back in 1999 or 2000, New Scientist published a guide to the impact various populations have on the world, and the way they illustrated it was by environmental “footprint”, using the “if the global population lived like Nation X, how many Earths would we need to support that lifestyle?” Europe came out about 2 (2 Earths to give the entire global population at the time a European lifestyle). India came out just over 1, I think. Africa came out at 0.5 or thereabouts. The USA came out at 4.5.

    Out of morbid curiousity if I may ask – what did Australia score on that?

    It’s just that India and China have a lot more capitas.

    Yes indeed. Overpopulation & the exploding “population bomb” as Paul Ehrlich described it is a huge factor in this & pretty much all other environmental isses. How we can tackle that is a tough question. :-(

    BTW. This thread has now scored a positive mention on the Slacktivist blog (& it would seem at least one other blog too) :

    http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2010/10/climate-change-facts-for-what-thats-worth.html

    if anyone is interested. :-)

    @322. Gunnar : Cheers. No worries. :-)

  317. Nigel Depledge

    Gordon J Fulks, PhD, (318) said:

    In response to Mike G (#286), let me point out that Climatology, although multidisciplinary, is Physical Science not Biological Science. For some reason, too many biologists have evolved into climate alarmists, perhaps because they see habitats changing and make the giant leap of faith that man must be at fault.

    Etc.

    First, what makes you think you’re the only commenter with a PhD? (Assuming, of course, that you genuinely have a PhD.) And what makes you think that your having a PhD trumps any of the physical evidence that unavoidably points to AGW?

    Second, of course many biological scientists are alarmed about AGW. In case you were unaware, we are already in the middle of an anthropogenic mass extinction (that’s not rhetoric, there’s a mountain of evidence for it). Global climate change is predicted to change weather patterns all over the globe. This will inevitably lead to the desctruction or dramatic change of many ecosystems worldwide. Any animals that cannot migrate, or have nowhere to which they can migrate, will face exinction. The same goes for plants and unicellular life too.

    Of course it can be pointed out that climate changes in the past have caused mass exitinctions, too, but there’s a key difference: this time, there’s a technological civilisation on the planet that has not only caused the rapid change in concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases but will also suffer the most from the impact of this change.

  318. TheBlackCat

    “How exactly do you propose convincing someone that automatically sees you as the enemy”

    There is plenty of examples on how to acquire consensus and I doubt any of them involve calling people names, eg declaring every non-alarmist a “denialist”.

    So “denialist” is an insult, but “alarmist” is not?

    Care to actually answer the question. Let me ask you a simpler question: are you aware of any cases in modern times (last 200 years or so) where we were able to get a worldwide consensus amongst everyday people on a scientific issue like the one Zectic described?

    “How do you convince a side motivated not by positively supporting evidence but dogma/ideology?”

    If you really believe that, and you really believe there is a climate emergency to deal with, then you simply do not waste any time whatsoever discussing with anybody attached to that “dogma/ideology”.

    The problem is that if we don’t, the only thing anyone will hear is their side, as you quote in the next line:

    ” it’s about arguing against the other side for those that are still on the fence”

    Do you really want to attract to your side people that would get convinced by you arguing about “tone trolling”?

    Not exclusively, but it is certainly a part of a more comprehensive approach focused primarily on trying to get denialists to actually present evidence backing up their case.

    “scoring debating points is the only thing that the AGW denialist position has been able to offer so far”

    But that is totally irrelevant to the climate emergency, isn’t it?

    I wish. Unfortunately it works to convince people who aren’t familiar with the science.

    again, the time wasted, by people that are convinced a catastrophe is upon us, in telling the unconvinced how bad they are, rather than in doing anything practical about the aforementioned catastrophe. With the (obvious) result that AGWers keep losing on all fronts.

    That would be great. The problem, as people have said repeatedly in this thread and others, is that nothing is going to get done as long as denialists are able to convince the public that nothing needs to be done.

  319. TheBlackCat

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/carbontracker/goals.html

    perhaps because they see habitats changing and make the giant leap of faith that man must be at fault.

    It isn’t a “leap of faith”, it is a conclusion based on the evidence. You really don’t know anything at all about how science is done, do you?

    Jane Lubchenko of Oregon State University did that with the ocean dead zones off the Oregon Coast, and it got her appointed head of NOAA. But other OSU biologists have discovered that ocean conditions have markedly improved in recent years and they have to study Global Warming in reverse! The reason?? The Pacific Decadal Oscillation has changed sign, and our local waters have turned colder again.

    I can’t find anything supporting any of these assertions. As best as I can tell the position of the scientists studying the dead zones is that they may be caused by global warming, and are consistent with what you would expect from global warming, but they are not certain it is caused by global warming.

    I also see nothing suggesting that conditions have improved in recent years. They said the 2009 dead zone was consistent with what they have seen recently, but less than the anomalously high 2006 dead zone (I am seeing echos of the “global warming stopped after 1998″ argument here).

    Also, according to OSU scientists the reason is due to random shifts in the jet stream.

    The chemical data is rich and real. Since they are our only direct measurements of CO2, they are very valuable.

    That doesn’t make them right

    The proxy data from ice cores and IR measurements have problems, some of which I have noted before.

    Your points have been addressed, but you ignored these responses.

    Why do the IR measurements (with seasonal variations removed) show such a smooth upward trend from their beginnings about 1960? First, they are made at only one location (on an active volcano in Hawaii) and second they were made during the transition from a negative to a positive PDO when Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) were rising. Warmer water out-gasses carbon dioxide! Any beer drinker knows that!

    Except, of course, that those recordings were not only made with IR measurements, are consistent with other recordings from other places, and did not show a major change when the volcano began erupting. Perhaps you should cut back, it might be affecting your judgement.

    That brings us to a testable hypothesis. If the peak of CO2 at about 450 ppmv observed in the 1940’s was caused by the cyclical warmth in the 1930’s (that we called the Dust Bowl), then we should see a similar peaking soon as we move to a cooler climate. The PDO is now negative.

    You are assuming we are going to move to a cooler climate in the first place.

    Beck was a first-rate old-school German scholar who went about his work exactly as all scientists should: with exceeding care, with exceeding skill, and without compromising conflicts of interest. I hope I have done a good job of explaining his great effort.

    Once again, lots of people have done things “with exceeding care, with exceeding skill, and without compromising conflicts of interest” and been completely and totally wrong. That doesn’t mean squat.

  320. Loadmaster

    The important question is:
    Is global warming a good thing or a bad thing?

  321. Chris Winter

    Gordon J. Fulks wrote (#318): “Jaworoski’s comment that CO2 has no “discernible influence” on climate is consistent with many others, including Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT and even the UN IPCC. Most agree that a doubling of CO2 has roughly a +1 degree C stand alone effect. The disagreement comes in what are called “feedbacks,” an analogy to 1945 vacuum tube theory. I agree with Lindzen that the feedbacks are negative. The IPCC and Al Gore claim they are strongly positive. Feedbacks are a completely different issue than CO2.”

    Yes, I’m familiar with Dr. Lindzen’s views on the subject. There is, for example, the editorial that ran in the Wall Street Journal opinion pages in April 2006. In it, Dr. Lindzen wrote: “Everything from the heat wave in Paris to heavy snows in Buffalo has been blamed on people burning gasoline to fuel their cars, and coal and natural gas to heat, cool and electrify their homes. Yet how can a barely discernible, one-degree increase in the recorded global mean temperature since the late 19th century possibly gain public acceptance as the source of recent weather catastrophes? And how can it translate into unlikely claims about future catastrophes?”

    I submit that for a physicist to call a one-degree change in temperature “barely discernable” is profoundly unscientific. To see what else I had to say about this piece, scroll down to the fourth item, “A Climate of Fear,” at http://www.chris-winter.com/Digressions/AGW/AGW_Specif.html .

    But questioning of the climate change orthodoxy by Dr. Lindzen — questioning of orthodox science by any scientist — is not my main complaint about this long debate. My main complaint, rather, is that specific challenges to climate science persist after they have been shown to be groundless, and are used to influence public policy.

    Dissent has always been a part of science, and it remains a vital part. But, in the past, dissenting ideas were tested and discarded or, if found valid, made a part of the new scientific framework. That is still true in most areas of science.

    Not so in climatology. Here, the bad ideas are not discarded but spill out into public view, where interest groups collect and recirculate them in order to sway the public toward a preferred outcome — most often, the preservation of corporate profits. Dr. Lindzen takes part in this, but he is not the first or the worst. It began soon after World War 2, as documented in Merchants of Doubt and continues unabated, as Eric Pooley’s The Climate War shows. Those who object to James Hansen politicizing science conveniently forget that the other side was doing that long before Dr. Hansen spoke out against coal companies.

  322. Chris Winter

    To address some of the other points raised in #318:

    Measurement of CO2

    Ernst-Georg Beck was only one of the measurers of CO2 by chemical methods. Many of them (perhaps most) worked in cities. Such measurements are valuable, but highly localized since the CO2 concentration varies widely on a daily and even hourly basis due to motor traffic, factory operations, and other local emissions.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-measurements-uncertainty.htm
    How Reliable are CO2 Measurements?

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/beck-to-the-future/
    Beck to the future
    Guest commentary from Georg Hoffmann, 1 May 2007

    Mauna Loa, in contrast, is in the middle of the Pacific. The observatory, at 14,000 feet, stands well above the inversion layer. On rare occasions, winds blowing up the volcano from an active vent can cause an unrepresentative high reading, but these are noted and corrected for.

    The laboratory there, started by Dr. C. D. Keeling, has used automated analyzers to provide a nearly continuous record of CO2 concentration since 1958. CO2 is also monitored at 324 other stations. The worldwide data they collect agrees quite well with the data from the Mauna Loa laboratory.

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

    http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/

    In addition, you may visit the World Data Centre for Greenhouse Gases and view the data for any of the 324 sites yourself.

    http://gaw.kishou.go.jp/cgi-bin/wdcgg/catalogue.cgi

    Biology and Climate Change

    Dr. Terry L. Root ( http://terryroot.stanford.edu/ ) is the widow of Dr. Stephen Schneider. Her meta-analysis of some 150 papers covering 1,000 species around the world showed that 80 percent of these species are reacting as the effects of climate change would predict.

    A local cooling off the Oregon coast is important, but does not say anything about the climate as a whole.

  323. Zetetic

    @ Gordon J. Fulks, PhD #318:

    Why do the IR measurements (with seasonal variations removed) show such a smooth upward trend from their beginnings about 1960? First, they are made at only one location (on an active volcano in Hawaii) and second they were made during the transition from a negative to a positive PDO when Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) were rising.

    That maybe true for some IR measurements, but the ground based measurements I cited before, at post #199, are based on several ground level sites in Canada. They show increasing return of IR back to Earth. Also, there is the measured decrease in longwave IR emission into space as measured by satellites.

    It surely has occurred to you that climatologists get their measurements of CO2 and temperature from more than just Mauna Loa? Not to mention that the CO2 readings from Mauna Loa are typically used for being the longest continuous series of direct measurements, and because the readings there conform closely to the global averages as measured elsewhere
    Recent Global CO2
    -and -
    Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide for Mauna Loa

    Additionally the PDO doesn’t seem to be showing a correlation with the long term increase in temperature trends.
    GISS Surface Temperature Analysis
    - and -
    PDO INDEX

    then we should see a similar peaking soon as we move to a cooler climate

    Interesting, so since this had already started in 2008, how long do you predict we will have to wait to see if the climate is in fact cooling on a global average or even if just CO2 levels drop globally? Are we talking two years, five years, 50 years, more? The term “soon” is rather vague. It seems that I’ve been hearing the prediction of an eminent cooling phase for a while now (since about the 80′s IIRC), and it’s beginning to sound like the predictions of the “demise of Darwinism”.

  324. Zetetic

    For those that want a simplified explanation for why the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) has little to do with long term global temperature trends you might find this article interesting. It also includes a chart comparing the PDO and NASA temperature data sets I cited above.

    Is Pacific Decadal Oscillation the Smoking Gun?

  325. Zetetic

    Maurizio Morabito @ #320:
    Thank you for helping to make my earlier point.

    There is plenty of examples on how to acquire consensus and I doubt any of them involve calling people names, eg declaring every non-alarmist a “denialist”.

    Except that neither Phil Plait nor I have actually done that. In point of fact, I’ve made it clear, repeatedly in this thread alone, that I draw a distinction between those that disagree with AGW but are open to evidence that it’s real, and those that refuse to actually consider such evidence since it contradicts some sort of ideology/dogma (or because they are paid to do so for that matter).

    That you may think we have said otherwise is a failure on your part, not ours.
    That you accuse us of painting everyone that disagrees with AGW as denialists, when in fact it’s not true, while at the same time making blanket accusations about us, is an act of hypocrisy on your part.

    If you really believe that, and you really believe there is a climate emergency to deal with, then you simply do not waste any time whatsoever discussing with anybody attached to that “dogma/ideology”.

    I had already answered your question there @ #313, but unsurprisingly you seem to have deliberately ignored/avoided it.

    Do you really want to attract to your side people that would get convinced by you arguing about “tone trolling”?

    Actually, unlike you, we’ve been providing people with links to evidence and demonstrating the fallacies being employed to attack AGW. My accusing you of tone trolling is simply an observation I made in your case due to your apparent one-sided agenda and disingenuous comments so far. Your most recent post only seems to further verify my assessment of you.

    So have you found any credible positively supporting evidence that actively contradicts AGW? I find it amusing that in your entire reply you not only haven’t provided any such evidence, but you’ve gone out of your way to avoid even bringing it up.

    Instead, after accusing those on the AGW side of trying to “score debate points”, all you’ve been able to do is make further feeble attempts at scoring a few more petty debate points rather than actually trying support a position with evidence.

    But that is totally irrelevant to the climate emergency, isn’t it?

    Not when pointing out the risks has a bearing on the public’s perception of the issue.

    If you were really interested in an actual clear and reasonable debate about the issue, then you should find that the AGW side having all of the supporting evidence while the anti-AGW doesn’t (and instead employs arguments and tactics identical to those of Young Earth Creationists) should be of some concern to you as well. That it apparently doesn’t concern you tells me that in fact you goal isn’t to arrive at a reasonable conclusion at all, but rather to apparently feign “objectivity” on the subject. Another tactic I recognize from YECs, anti-vaxers, etc.

    But, maybe I’m wrong about that assessment of you. If so care to explain why the AGW side having increasing amounts of evidence from multiple lines of inquiry and the support of the scientific majority (in related fields) is “equally valid” to a side that has no credible supporting evidence and which (having formally been in the majority) is now in the minority of the scientific community? I’m sure such an explanation would be interesting.

    As for my own position on the topic, there’s plenty about it in the About section of my blog.

    Actually that’s not what I asked you for, now is it?
    Although I do find your attempts to draw traffic to your blog, rather than actually just come out and state your position to be rather amusing.
    What I asked you for was “credible positively supporting evidence that actively contradicts AGW”. Remember? I asked you that in response to your (obviously one-sided) claim that the AGW side is only trying to score debate points, when in fact we are the only ones providing supporting evidence for their position.

    So do you have such evidence yet? Or does your silence about such evidence constitute an admission that there is none for the anti-AGW side?

    Anyway it is completely beside the point about what I find interesting at the moment: again, the time wasted, by people that are convinced a catastrophe is upon us, in telling the unconvinced how bad they are, rather than in doing anything practical about the aforementioned catastrophe.

    ROFLMAO!
    Yes, I’m so sure that you are so very deeply concerned about a few people spending a few minutes of their free time posting online. This especially hysterical coming from someone apparently trying to draw traffic to his blog.

    I always find that argument amusing when I also see it coming from YECs and anti-vaxers too. It’s like watching someone that placed a bet on the slowest horse in a race yelling at the front runners to “Slow down or you might hurt your legs”!

    How very convenient that people such as yourself only find time to criticize one side, but never the other. I guess the anti-AGW side “wasting time” by posting online instead of trying the stop the “AGW conspiracy” just doesn’t matter as much, eh?

    With the (obvious) result that AGWers keep losing on all fronts.

    Except for the scientific one, funny how you left that out.
    Oh, and the fact that more and more countries are starting to ramp up efficiency standards and providing non-fossil fuel based power.

    Funny how you also don’t seem to have an actual answer for how to persuade more of the public that doesn’t actually involve persuading the public, isn’t it? Odd isn’t it, how it seems to be easier for you to criticize one side, but not the other? Isn’t it also odd how you find it so easy to complain how the AGW side is doing things wrong (according to you) but yet you have to actually contribute anything useful?

    Are you really that desperate that you have to resort to making such pathetic arguments?

  326. Zetetic

    Messier Tidy Upper @ 321:

    Alaska, the Gulf – is another more immediately probable way of attaining that same end as shifting to renewables.

    Only very short term, nor does it answer the same question for other countries besides the USA. IIRC the deposits there won’t hold out for very long without Middle Eastern oil being used too.

    The first part though – maybe *some* new green jobs are created but is that going to be *enough* to outweigh the vast number of people employed mining coal and drilling for oil? I dunno about that.

    I don’t see why not, especially with all of the additional construction, and modifications of the current power grid, that would be entailed in such an effort. Not to mention the economic benefit of more money coming back into the country as opposed to going to the Middle East.

    Will it happen enough and quickly enough before we do cross some tipping point threshhold? I hope you are right about it not being insurmountable and not too little too late.

    Aye. There’s the rub!

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    Nigel Depledge @ #325:

    Yeah, and that’s mostly going to have to come through legislation.

    Maybe, I do think that James Hansen’s “fee and dividend” mentioned by Steve Metzler at post #314 has a lot of potential in that area, without as much of a need for extensive legislation. It not only provides a big incentive to be more efficient, but it also provides the dividends to help pay for such improvements and projects.

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    Messier Tidy Upper @ #326:

    How we can tackle that is a tough question.

    While increasing the standard of living obviously helps there, we then run in to the problem of trying to do so without increasing CO2 per capita, that is where things get a lot more complicated. Perhaps another way might be tax breaks (or other benefits) for not having large families?

    I’ll admit that’s a tough one.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

    Loadmaster @ #331:

    Is global warming a good thing or a bad thing?

    That’s a good question.
    I would say that the answer is… ” That depends on where you are living. ”

    But for most people in the world today, it’s not looking too good if things continue (or worse, possibly accelerate) the way that they currently are trending .
    Positives and negatives of global warming

    I hope that helps!

  327. Steve Metzler

    And another AGW thread ends, not as it always does though, in blissful silence…

  328. Messier Tidy Upper
  329. Nigel Depledge

    Messier Tidy Upper (326) said:

    Out of morbid curiousity if I may ask – what did Australia score on that?

    I really can’t remember, but if pushed to make a call, I think they were around the same ballpark as Europe.

    But it’s entirely possible that I just subconsciously made that up to cover a memory gap.

  330. As always, AGW suffer from cognitive dissonance. And another thread ends.

  331. Ron1

    @343 . Blah blah blah …

  332. Zetetic

    @ #343:
    Yeah…so a single climatologist that seems to be a teabager decides to go against AGW. Big deal, somehow I’m betting that 10 years from now she still won’t have any evidence that actively contradicts AGW, and the only way she’ll still have any scientific credibility is to publish papers that steer away from the subject altogether.

    [sarc]
    Next up on the The Unbearable Nakedness of CLIMATE CHANGE we’ll look at biologist Jonathan Wells and his claim that biologists are “obligated to substitute the opinions of Darwin for his own personal judgment (and those of Sun Myung Moon)”. Also, we’ll be looking at astrophysicist Jason Lisle and how he was urged to suspend his judgment and was “pressured to go along with the atheistic consensus that the universe is billions of years old, instead of the obviously true biblical account in Genesis”.
    [/sarc]

  333. Andrew McReadie

    I can’t believe that Maurizio morabito is still harping on about some folk being called denialists. You’d have thought he would be spending his precious time attending to the marital needs of his beloved Lonny Eachus!;)

  334. Sorry if posted before.
    Have read some about this so called man made climate change and it’s FALSE.
    While I don’t deny climate change at all, we are at the complete mercy of the sun and it’s affect on us.

    The reason it’s not man made is simple.
    Carbon Dioxide stand for around 9-25% of all the green house gases.
    (How much of this that is human made is still debateable but volcanoes stand for most of it).
    Carbon Dioxide is 0.039% of our entire atmossphere.
    And finally, the warmer the planet the more Carbon Dioxide is released from the oceans.
    So… it’s not Carbon Dioxide that cause the warming but the warming that cause increase of Carbon Dioxide in the atmossphere.
    This is the simple reason why the amount of Carbon Dioxide in the atmossphere and temprature graphs fit so nicely, not the other way around.
    When the planet cools down, more Carbon Dioxide is parked in the ocean and less in the atmossphere.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide

    Also, while many “denialists” claim one side of the case, politics and so on the other side does the same thing with reasons that “denialists” claim poltics is the reason…
    Funny how that sounds?
    Truth is that as of today most scientists agree that global warming is happening but few agree on the reason or long term consecuences.

    For me it’s really funny to read a claim from you Phil that what you have written is absolute truth without really having any truth/science to support it.

    Personally I believe the sun has more effect on our planets climate than our own existence here.
    While politics isn’t a reason for this either, politics and media is using every thing possible to gain from the situation which in itself should trigger a few alarms in peoples minds.

    Funny how that danish researcher could show a more or less identical graph of the suns activity and tempreature on the planet.
    Haven’t see that one “debunked” yet. Maybe it’s just that simple, but you can’t be right on everything, can you?

    when no one really cares about global warming because the temperature is dropping each year, I’m gonna laugh, while driving a crappy electric car… Until then, bring forth the sunlotion.

  335. Robert

    What a pack of unsubstantiated lies from Frederick in the post above. All of his claims have been addressed:

    “It’s the sun.”

    No, it’s not. In the last 35 years of global warming, the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. Sun and climate have been going in opposite directions. From http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming-intermediate.htm .

    Human CO2 emissions are small compared to natural emissions.

    The CO2 that nature emits (from the ocean and vegetation) is balanced by natural absorptions (again by the ocean and vegetation). Therefore human emissions upset the natural balance, rising CO2 to levels not seen in at least 800,000 years. In fact, human emit 26 gigatonnes of CO2 per year while CO2 in the atmosphere is rising by only 15 gigatonnes per year – much of human CO2 emissions is being absorbed by natural sinks.
    From http://www.skepticalscience.com/human-co2-smaller-than-natural-emissions-intermediate.htm

    The CO2 effect is weak.

    An enhanced greenhouse effect from CO2 has been confirmed by multiple lines of empirical evidence. Satellite measurements of infrared spectra over the past 40 years observe less energy escaping to space at the wavelengths associated with CO2. Surface measurements find more downward infrared radiation warming the planet’s surface. This provides a direct, empirical causal link between CO2 and global warming.
    From http://skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-co2-enhanced-greenhouse-effect.htm .

    Denialists do not back their claims with science, but those who understand the threat of global warming do.

  336. Penny Rimbaud

    There are some sterling efforts to take on the tide of denialist obfuscation. Zetetic and The Black Cat are my favourites, but there are others just as good.
    And Maurizio Morabito, you really are a piece of work; whining about AGW proponents while you waste time concern trolling. You don’t even spend time with your beloved Lonny any more. What a tragedy this failed romance is. Whoring your blog while poor Lonny is ignored.

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

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

ADVERTISEMENT

See More