Comic takedown of global warming denial

By Phil Plait | December 15, 2010 12:00 pm

Daryl Cunningham is a British skeptic and cartoonist who makes brilliant cartoon panels on topics antiscientific. He’s covered homeopathy, Moon hoaxers, and antivaxxers, and now he has dipped his toe into the rising sea levels of climate change denialism.

climatechange_comic

I really like Darryl’s style; whimsical but on-target. He’s careful to present the facts, and to be balanced where called for. The drawings help make the information easier to understand and ingest, which I find fascinating and could be a topic of a post on its own. A comic like this can go a lot further toward increasing awareness of the basics of climate change and its deniers. I hope he continues to create these panels; they are a real boon for skepticism and reality.


Related posts:

- A comic takedown of antivax icon Andrew Wakefield
- Moon hoax comic
- Homeopathy made simple


Comments (157)

  1. Yojimbo

    Shhhhh! Listen!

    They’re coming…

  2. Acky

    For another comedic take on Climate Change misunderstandings, try Armstrong & Miller’s sketch here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-F8EO3qOVk

  3. noen

    Here we go again…

  4. That was the most BS-laden piece of stool I’ve observed in many days. Seriously, the Book of Revelations has more science and less apocalyptic imagery than that little screed.

    1 – climate science is so new, no one really knows anything. I’m serious. The arrogance of climatologists is enormous, and no one dares challenge them
    2 – climate data prior to around 1970 is really sketchy. Ice cores?
    3 – Even the most extreme measures we take CAN’T STOP IT, according to these same climate “scientists”. But hey, let’s make sure no one in Africa can have electricity unless it’s solar at ten times the price. Better to kill 3rd world kids than to feel bad about polluting mother earth.
    4 – “global warming” is a feel-good cult, with more basis in paganism than in science.
    5 – shut up.

  5. Dennis

    @noen Ha! Perfect timing!

  6. noen

    “That was the most BS-laden piece of stool I’ve observed in many days.”

    As I say, always ask an expert.

    1. “climate science is new” — Nonsense.

    2. “climate data is sketchy” — Total nonsense.

    3. “we can’t stop it” — Defeatism.

    4. “global warming is a cult” — Nonsense on stilts.

    5. Spoken like a true bully.

  7. QuietDesperation

    I’m no “denier”, but I remain open minded. He lost me at “there are two kinds of people” who are skeptical. There’s a whole gradient from know-nothing political pundits up to, say, paleoclimatologists who might have a thing or two to say about interglacial periods.

    Here we go again…

    I was thinking a similar thing. Phil needs to diversify his “bad science” posts a bit. :-)

  8. Paul in Sweden

    As British climate expert and director of climate research at the University of East Anglia explained. We are past the best of the inter-glacial period which happened between 7,000 and 3,000 years ago.

    Climate changes come in cycles determined by astronomical and physical factors…one main cause is the radiation received from the sun. We know that the behavior of the sun changes at intervals and these changes have their effect.

    -http://tinyurl.com/32ee244

    Climate changes, whether the current changes in climate are natural or anthropogenic it does not matter. The undeniable fact is that humanity, the environment and science itself are already suffering the negative effects of climate change policies.

  9. dumb guy

    He lost me at the fourth misspelling. Sorry.

    I know he’s British. Still.

    That said, I’ll hold off judgement until the real scientists get a hold of this. Using the scientific method, at some point someone should be able to prove or disprove that global temperatures are rising. And then, real scientists should be able to prove a causal relationship between human activities and a rise in temperatures.

    That also said, we should still make every effort to use and develop alternative energy sources and be as clean as we can otherwise.

  10. Gary

    Ho-hum. It starts out fairly rational and then descends into a political rant that misrepresents both those who question the so-called “definitive” scientific data and those who question the ideological motivations of some on Darryl’s side of the question.

    And anyone who thinks the “independent investigations” were either independent or investigations doesn’t know the meaning of these words. They were rubber stamp approvals designed to avoid the important questions. The breaches of ethical conduct are multiple and shameful and hidden under obfuscation and diversion of attention. An honest person will check out the criticisms of these activities with an open mind.

  11. Undeniable

    Wow! That guy is so serious about global warming that he’s drawn a cartoon about it. I wonder if he’s also cut his own CO2 output significantly? My guess is… No.

  12. Matt B.

    I liked it, but 1) I think it would be way more effective if it gave specifics on the “quotes out of context” for ClimateGate, and 2) I’d love to fix the spelling and grammar, especially the repeated use of “gasses” for “gases” (We only double consonants when suffixing verbs). #2 also applies to the word “anthropogenic”. Anthropo- means “person” or “people”. -gen means “making”, not “made by”. Anything anthropogenic is a thing that makes people. So if you are religious, God is anthropogenic, if not, only people are anthropogenic. Climate change is not.

  13. Gus Snarp

    @Undeniable – So you’re claiming hypocrisy? Since someone hasn’t done enough by some scale to reduce their own carbon footprint they can’t talk about it? The simple fact is that, while there are changes each individual can and should make, a real solution will have to involve national governments.

  14. Angela

    I try to explain this to people as the environmental version of Pascal’s wager (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager for more info). Basically, Pascal said that since we have no real way of verifying if God is real or not, it’s in the best interests of the individual and society to behave as though there is a God or higher power. For my students, it’s like doing extra credit throughout the semester just in case they bomb the final. It’s insurance, if you will.

    For global warming, the basic premise is this: is there an environmental shift taking place?

    If yes, there is global warming, we can either institute policies and make changes to combat global warming or we can do nothing.

    If there is global warming and we make changes, perhaps we stave off a catastrophe.
    If there is global warming and we do nothing, we’re possible screwed.
    If there is NO global warming and we make changes, we are no worse off and perhaps have better fuel efficiency, etc.
    If there is NO global warming and we do nothing, nothing changes.

    So, when looking at just these two option (global warming real: yes/ no; make changes: yes/ no), it’s pretty logical to me to make changes just in case. It’s easier to illustrate this with a grid, but I don’t know how to do that in html.

    Yes, I realize that deniers argue that it would cost money to make changes, but finding alternate energy sources and designing more efficient cars, etc. will have to be done eventually as we run out of fossil fuels. So the question is cost now versus cost later? Given the potentially enormous ramifications, isn’t it prudent to take action now?

  15. Steve Metzler

    11. Undeniable Says:

    Wow! That guy is so serious about global warming that he’s drawn a cartoon about it. I wonder if he’s also cut his own CO2 output significantly? My guess is… No.

    This meme has become very popular among the denialati of late. Yeah, sure, we all contribute a little bit personally to the problem with our 21st century lifestyle choices. But it’s pathetically naive to think that the global problem can be fixed by people just cutting back a little, because the scale of the problem is too large for that to make a significant difference. And to use the denialati’s own words/thoughts against them: cutting back *a lot* would destroy the western economies, right?

    No, what we really need to do is figure out new ways to *generate electricity* that don’t involve pouring billions of metric tonnes of CO2 annually into our planet’s fragile biosphere. And there’s no way there’s going to be the collective will to produce incentives to make that possible unless the public can somehow be made to understand that there’s a problem in the first place.

  16. John W

    In five years when this whole GW thing is obviously not “the end of the world”, some people are going to look realy foolish for falling for an obvious zohnerism. A list of facts does not necessarily convey truth; for example “a consistant temperature rise since the 1880′s” is a fact, but the “alarmists” always leave out the context of the facts like the Little Ice Age.

  17. Nullius in Verba

    #14,

    You recognised it as Pascal’s Wager! Excellent! Presumably you considered whether the flaws in Pascal’s wager applied here as well, didn’t you?

    We can add to that list.

    If there is global warming and we make changes, perhaps we stave off a catastrophe.
    If there is global warming and we do nothing, we’re possible screwed.
    If there is NO global warming and we make changes, we are no worse off and perhaps have better fuel efficiency, etc.
    If there is NO global warming and we do nothing, nothing changes.

    If there is global warming and we make changes, perhaps our efforts will have no effect, perhaps we will make things worse.
    If there is global warming and we do nothing, maybe it will be an improvement.
    If there is NO global warming and we make changes, we may be a lot worse off, and possibly screwed because of some OTHER catastrophe which we no longer have the cheap energy and industrial capacity to respond to.
    If there is NO global warming and we do nothing, changes will happen just as they always have.

  18. Bobito

    @15: “figure out new ways to *generate electricity* that don’t involve pouring billions of metric tonnes of CO2″

    This is the obvious first step. Generating electricity doesn’t need to be portable (like gas for a car) and everyone’s homes are already connected to the power grid, thus giving an easy path towards replacing oil heat with electric heat.

    And, we don’t even need to figure out new ways in the short term. So lets get everyone behind the off-the-shelf solutions of nuclear power and carbon capture technology. The modern world can cut CO2 out of electricity production within 50 years.

    Oh, ya, I forgot… nuclear waste and destructive coal mining techniques. Damn those hippies! They are killing our planet!!!

  19. Utakata

    Yes…here we go again. All the denailist nut jobs coming out to defend the indefensible. Hours of insipid bantering, obscure quoting, splitting hairs, meaningless obfuscating, Tea Party nonsense spouting and old fashion shoveling of horse manure….despite overwhealming evidence that does not support their assertion.

    As for Pascal’s Wager…it only works if the subject is mystical in nature (i.e. god.). Global warming is not mystical.

  20. Andy Gates

    Awesome sauce. I have only two words to add to the discussion: “Penguin interlocutor”. Feel the flippery love.

  21. amphiox

    The denialists always seem to turn on the conception that action will be costly. They just assume without justification of any kind that action somehow must imply loss of access to cheap energy or loss of industrial capacity, or whatever their favorite bugaboo happens to be.

    But they never present any evidence, none at all, not even a halfway partially semi-baked pseudo-logical argument, that it would be, or should be, or must be.

    It’s all knee-jerk fear of change, as cognitively sophisticated as a jellyfish withdrawing from light.

    I present the null hypothesis that mitigation of AGW will, in the long run, by cost and resource neutral. Bring forth your evidence for the null hypothesis being wrong, one way or another.

    AGW is real with an equal or greater degree of diagnostic certainty than most physicians would use to recommend starting chemotherapy for cancer, and with an equal or greater degree of confidence in the likelihood of effectiveness for many of the proposed solutions. Like most of medicine, and indeed most of real life, this is any issue where one does not have the luxury of waiting for perfect information. A cost-benefit calculus must be made, and a course of action must be taken.

  22. Yojimbo

    They’re here…

  23. Nullius in Verba

    #21,

    Yes, you’re quite right. The fastest way to go carbon neutral is to start by building a few thousand fast breeder reactors, one in in the middle of every major city, over the next five years – electricity straight away, and then oil via the Fischer-Tropsch process. I say “Go for it! and damn the hippies!”

    Call me back when you’ve got planning permission.

  24. Dara

    He should have drawn a TARDIS in his first panel.

  25. The Walrus

    dumbguy–

    Misspellings? I’m a proofreader, and the part I read look fine to me. He did say “there HAS been seven cycles…” but I’ll forgive him. The other supposed “misspellings” I found are merely British spellings.

    By the way, you misspelled “judgment.” “Judgement” is a variation of the word, semilegitimized by repeated misuse.

    Also, real scientists (as opposed to the paid liars in the employ of the coal and gas industries) have used the scientific method to prove global warming. Where do you get your information–Fox “News?”

    Matt B.–

    “Gasses” is an acceptable plural for “gas.” You might want to check your facts before you go “correcting” spelling next time.

  26. Ron 1

    Phil, you fish like a pro … a little bait in the blog, a short pause and then, you reeeeel … them … in. Yup, you’ve got quite the catch of obsessive denialists. Yup, you hooked ‘em good.

    Oh, for all pysch afficionados, I present ElZarcho as the classic example of projection: “That was the most BS-laden piece of stool I’ve observed in many days.” Not to mention cowardly drive by trolling.

  27. noen

    Paul in Sweden said:
    “Climate changes come in cycles determined by astronomical and physical factors”

    Fallacy. That past climate change was the product of a wobble in our rotation does not imply that this one must be also nor that humans cannot cause global warming.

    Dumb Guy said (and proved he chose his name well):
    “I’ll hold off judgement until the real scientists get a hold of this”

    When oh when will the real scientists speak out on climate change?

    “at some point someone should be able to prove or disprove that global temperatures are rising”

    Done!

    “And then, real scientists should be able to prove a causal relationship between human activities and a rise in temperatures.”

    Done!

    Gary said:
    The investigations “were rubber stamp approvals”.

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Scientists who were ruthlessly attacked in public said mean things about those who bullied them in private! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

    John W said:
    “In five years when this whole GW thing is obviously not “the end of the world””

    I’ll take that bet.

    Bobito said:
    “lets get everyone behind the off-the-shelf solutions of nuclear power and carbon capture technology. “

    Fine by me. Very high temperature pebble bed reactors, yay fourth gen!

  28. noen

    Nullius in Verba said:
    “If there is global warming and we make changes, perhaps our efforts will have no effect, perhaps we will make things worse.”

    If you leave a pot of boiling water on the stove, turning off the heat only makes matters worse.

    “If there is global warming and we do nothing, maybe it will be an improvement.”

    If you leave a pot of boiling water on the stove and you do nothing it will get better all by itself.

    “If there is NO global warming and we make changes, we may be a lot worse off, and possibly screwed because of some OTHER catastrophe which we no longer have the cheap energy and industrial capacity to respond to.”

    Oh noes! Watching that pot of water on the stove prevents us from checking the turkey in the oven!

    “If there is NO global warming and we do nothing, changes will happen just as they always have.”

    There has always been a pot of water boiling away on the stove. Move along… nothing to see here.

  29. Dave

    It’s a good thing to be a skeptic, unless you disagree. Then you’ll be labeled a denialist. Denialists are made of straw, and we can be kicked, beaten, and burned up, then the embers stomped on. Feel better?

  30. alejandro c.

    mr. cunningham, another “Mooney hoax denier.”

  31. brett

    Noen @ 28 my goodness Nullius In Verbias’ illustration using a pot of boiling water (from a previous topic) must have really got up your nose. you really do have a problem with understanding.As an example NIVs’ statement “If there is global warming and we make changes……perhaps we will make things worse” as one of the extensions he made to Pascals’ wager; implies that if (through biased advocacy or poor policy based on poorly understood science)certain solutions implemented, may indeed, make things worse or cause other serious problems.In my country Tim Flannery has promoted various ‘geo-engineering’ solutions ranging from spraying sulphate aerosols throughout the troposhere to dumping millions of tons of iron oxide into the oceans to promote plankton growth (and hence Co2 uptake). The environmental impacts of these ‘solutions’ are unknown and potentially disasterous for local (and larger scale) ecologies.He advised the Govt on building hugely expensive ( and voraciously power hungry) Desal plants instead of dams (due to the fact that we would not receive enough rain any more to fill them (due to AGW). As i speak Victoria,inland NSW and southern Queensland are recovering from the biggest floods in 50 yrs with more rain yet to come.A more practical example here in Australia is the mandate to 10%ethanol in fuels and the rush to biodiesel. This has led to the greatly accelerated destruction of the Indonesian rainforests to the north of us, for palm oil plantations.Loss of biodiversity on a massive scale-for what benefit? Alarmist use the analogy of the planet as a sick patient, well, the first precept of a doctor is ‘do no harm’ (dont amputate the foot because of an infected ingrown toenail).The problem with juvenile alarmism is that it sucks the oxygen away from all manner of ‘real and present’ environmental problems and humanist social issues (such as the drive to help lift the third world out of poverty). Catastrophic Global Warming has become the new ‘GOD OF THE GAPS’- dont understand why some glaciers are in retreat, doesnt matter, its Catastrophic Global Warming. Dont understand the cyclic nature of drought in Australia, doesnt matter, its Catastrophic Global Warming. Don’t understand why frog populations are declining, doesnt matter, its Catastrophic Global Warming. Most important, don’t understand the null hypothesis for global temperature variation, doesnt matter, its Catastrophic Gobal Warming. For people who pride themselves on proper scepticism (quite rightly) in the areas of anti-vax, homeopathy etc you lack sceptical and critical thinking in areas of your own advocacy. Beware of the group think boys…. cheers brett

  32. Taz

    All you alarmists should relax. So we’re making measurable changes in the composition of our atmosphere? If we screw it up we can always use the spare atmosphere we keep in the attic.

  33. Ron 1

    @31. Brett … How about using paragraphs.

    Geo-engineering is not the desired fix for global warming – reduced consumption of fossil fuels is what is desired. The alternatives that you present are options pushed by business friendly politicians and those who believe we have the means to use technology to mitigate any adverse impacts of global warming. While these might help, they are starting way to late and they themselves could have significant adverse impacts, as you have mentioned.

    Regardless, you’re blaming the good guys for problems they’re trying to avoid.

  34. Angela

    @ #19: I don’t mention Pascal’s wager because I think global warming is mystical, but rather to illustrate the logic. If you break the issue down to its most basic questions (Occam’s razor, anyone?), which are is the global warming and do we do anything. Using Pascal’s logic, it’s pretty clear that the most prudent choice is to try to make changes just in case global warming is real and humans have contributed to it.

    @ #14: Sure, there are other options than the ones I listed. This was an exercise in logic that I use with freshmen college students. But it boils down to the fact that if we do nothing now, and global warming is true, we might not have the leisure to regret our inaction.

  35. Wil

    For the moment, let’s completely ignore the outrageous and blatant lying, cheating and corrupt intimidation tactics that were exposed so completely, so accurately, and in such incredible detail in the Climate Gate e-mails.

    Since we are being asked to immediately give hundreds of billions of dollars to somebody, somewhere, to do something (we are never actually told exactly to whom the money would be going, precisely why they should get it, and exactly what they intend to do with it), can somebody please remind me of the absolute proof that man-produced CO2, and no other factor on Earth or in space, is the cause of atmospheric warming? It would be a shame if Third World dictators blew all that money on palaces, castles and Rolls Royces for themselves, only to have it turn out that the atmosphere was warming due to solar activity that wasn’t fully understood at the time.

    Also, can somebody please explain how the Earth was so darn cold during all those centuries when the atmospheric CO2 concentration was much higher than it is today? And can they please explain why the Earth was so darn hot during all those centuries when the atmospheric CO2 concentration was lower than is is today?

    And finally, can somebody please explain why any time an intelligent, concerned person wants to discuss this issue, the logical, reasoned response is for that person to be viciously attacked by complete strangers, who call the person all kinds of nasty names, and accuse that person of immoral and/or unethical activities. It is like attempting to discuss third order differential calculus with juvenile 12 year olds who are cranky because they stayed up too late. In a nutshell, it is completely pointless, and even a little foolish, to attempt it.

  36. brett

    Ron1@33 yes sorry about the formatting or lack there of. I was typing in a hurry. Good to be reminded of–cheers brett

  37. Gary Ansorge

    23. Nullius in Verba

    “call me back when you’ve got planning permission.”

    Nucs are just ONE possibility. We’ve yet to exhaust all those others, like solar power, wind power, wave power and, of course, my favorite, Power Satellites.

    Oil and coal industries have a lot to lose if we develop alternative power sources, so much so that Saudi Arabia floated the idea that they should be recompensed for loss of oil revenue as the world shifts to non oil energy sources. See how threatened they feel?

    We can either attempt to do something(as sentient beings should) or nothing, like all the other dumb brutes on this planet.

    Your choice,,,

    Gary 7

  38. Ron 1

    @35 Wil

    Wow, you’re a little over the top and waaaaay behind the times. Mann and the others were cleared of wrongdoing. Maybe they were a little less than tactful and somewhat defensive but their data is good and consensus supports them.

    As for your question about the response you tend to get … are you really so clueless? You referred to Dr Mann and others as liars, cheaters and corrupt – strong words from someone who thinks others are being mean to him.

    In the end, while you might think otherwise, you are unconsiously incompentent to make pronouncements about your betters. Maybe you should head over to Judith Curray’s blog for a little cry on her shoulder – she wants to open dialog with the deniers. However, even you are probably a little outside her range of tolerance for idiocy. You are on par with ElZarko.

    Cheers

  39. I wonder how many species officially went extinct during the course of this back-and-forth thread? Maybe due to climate change directly, maybe indirectly, maybe just because rosewood prices spiked in Asia this week or a team of loggers in the Amazon got a new shipment of Husqvarnas. The real danger is human greed and the desire for more at whatever cost. Short-term gains regardless of long-term consequences. Global warming is just another symptom of the big problem.

  40. Wil

    Ron 1:

    By verbally coming after me (a complete stranger to you), while ignoring the logical arguments I raised, you are kind of proving my point. Since you know exactly nothing about my experience and qualifications, how can you know with such confidence that these other folks are my “betters”?

    As far as the Climate Gate inquiries, the depth of the whitewash in those proceedings is famous, and probably sets some kind of a record for corruption. My heavens, the committee even limited themselves to the topics, questions, and documents that were specifically pre-cleared (in writing) by the “accused”! The proceedings were such a farce that it can not be honestly said that anybody was cleared, or not cleared, of anything what-so-ever.

  41. Pete Jackson

    The latest consequence of global warming came out yesterday, showing its effect on Canada. Look at:

    http://ec.gc.ca/adsc-cmda/default.asp?lang=en&n=A49944AE-1

    Note that this site makes no claim for the cause of any trend (after all, Canada is now run by a Conservative government). It just lets the data speak for itself.

  42. Ron 1

    @40 Wil

    Your arguments are not logical and your experience and qualifications do not appear to be of benefit to you – you demonstrate a fundamental lack of awareness of what is real. As I said, you are unconsciously incompetent!

    As for the Climate Gate inquiries, the depth of the whitewash in those proceeding is not famous, it’s infamous for the hack the media and conservative politicians made of a bunch of internal whining and bitching. In the end, wrongdoing was not found – how many times do you need to hear this?

  43. tresmal

    wil @ 35:

    For the moment, let’s completely ignore the outrageous and blatant lying, cheating and corrupt intimidation tactics that were exposed so completely, so accurately, and in such incredible detail in the Climate Gate e-mails.

    Minor detail: There isn’t even a whisper of any scientific wrong doing in those emails. Not one of them shows any sign that any paper published by the CRU or people associated with it was fraudulent.

    Since we are being asked to immediately give hundreds of billions of dollars…

    Really? Who, specifically, is asking for all this money? And how much money are they demanding? Can you back up that claim with a citation?

    …to somebody, somewhere, to do something (we are never actually told exactly to whom the money would be going, precisely why they should get it, and exactly what they intend to do with it),…

    Here’s the good news, nobody is going to be asking you for “hundreds of billions of dollars” until after those questions are answered. The answers to those questions are dependent on policy and since we don’t have a policy we don’t have answers. If conservatives want to make acceptance of any AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) policy contingent on satisfactory answers that would be a perfectly reasonable position for them to take and they would be surprised by the number of AGW accepting liberals who would support them in that.

    …can somebody please remind me of the absolute proof 1that man-produced CO2, and no other factor on Earth or in space, is the cause of atmospheric warming?2

    1. Science doesn’t do “proof” absolute or otherwise. Science, all science, is a perpetual work in progress. It is a process of seeking the explanations that best fits the facts and to improve those explanations or replace them with better ones. AGW isn’t “proven”, it is merely the best supported and worked out explanation we have, by a very large margin.
    2. Straw man. Nobody has said that Human produced CO2 is the sole cause of atmospheric warming. It’s not even the sole human released greenhouse gas. What has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the overwhelming majority of scientists working on this issue is that all the known natural “forcings” are incapable of explaining the warming and that there are good physics based reasons for believing that CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) ought to cause the kind of warming we observe (global warming was predicted before it was observed). Furthermore, by applying this understanding to other climate issues scientists find that past phenomena, such as ice ages are a lot easier to account for.

    It would be a shame if Third World dictators blew all that money on palaces, castles and Rolls Royces for themselves, only to have it turn out that the atmosphere was warming due to solar activity that wasn’t fully understood at the time.

    Another straw man. Nobody, not even the worlds dirtiest, pot-addled, vegan, tree-hugging hippy is proposing to give billions of dollars to Robert Mugabe. This would be the worst case scenario if the denialists were right.

    Also, can somebody please explain how the Earth was so darn cold during all those centuries when the atmospheric CO2 concentration was much higher than it is today? And can they please explain why the Earth was so darn hot during all those centuries when the atmospheric CO2 concentration was lower than is is today?

    Because CO2 is not the only determinant of global temperatures. There are plenty of natural causes of climate change to explain past events. But like I said above they are not enough to explain what we see today, especially today’s rate of change.

    And finally, can somebody please explain why any time an intelligent, concerned person wants to discuss this issue, the logical, reasoned response is for that person to be viciously attacked by complete strangers, who call the person all kinds of nasty names, and accuse that person of immoral and/or unethical activities. It is like attempting to discuss third order differential calculus with juvenile 12 year olds who are cranky because they stayed up too late. In a nutshell, it is completely pointless, and even a little foolish, to attempt it.

    Take an unbiased as you can look at your comment, especially the first two paragraphs. If you didn’t know it was you and if you didn’t have an axe to grind regarding AGW, would you describe it as the product of “an intelligent concerned person”?

  44. Messier Tidy Upper

    @37. Gary Ansorge Says:

    23. Nullius in Verba : “call me back when you’ve got planning permission.”
    Nucs are just ONE possibility. We’ve yet to exhaust all those others, like solar power, wind power, wave power and, of course, my favorite, Power Satellites.

    Power sats are a good idea. However, my favourite – aside from cheap nuclear fusion if that can ever be developed – is one that Larry Niven suggested involving using the difference in ocean temperatures from top to the depths to generate electric power – Ocean Thermal Gradient system or something.

    Thorium fusion, hot rocks and hydrogen seem reasonable alternative options too although such technologies are very much in their infancy.

    Folks have been talking about & studuying renewables – the politically correct – wind, solar, etc .. for ages and not much has come out of that.

    Geothermal is handy in regions where its suitable, ditto hydroelectric – but these are still minor players globally. Our society runs on oil and coal – it can’t do so forever because of peak oil as well as Human caused Global Overheating. (As I prefer to call it!)

    Yes, we need to look at alternative ways of powering our civilisation , our transport, our homes, our industries. Phasing out fossil fuels is still going to take a very long time however – at least several decades more likely a few hundred years.

    Therefore I think nuclear power & also clean (or clean as possible) coal & carbon sequestration is inevitably going to be part of the solution.

    @33. Ron 1 :

    Geo-engineering is not the desired fix for global warming – reduced consumption of fossil fuels is what is desired.

    Desired by whoem for what reasons?

    Like it or not I think geoengineering (terraforming Terra!) is going to be essential and probably our last best hope. We’ve left it too late and positive escalating feedbacks (melting permafrost in Siberia releasing more methane, albedo change in the Arctic ocean, desertification of Amazon reducing carbon sinks, etc ..)

    I think we should start planning a giant sunshade, genetically engineering plants to absorb more carbon dioxide, artifical “trees”, even detonating a few nukes to cancel out global warming with nuclear winter and other ideas seriously.

    Reality is, politically, those in favour of acting to mitigate Human caused Global Over-Heating have already lost. The US and China – the biggest most powerful nations will do stuff all for at least the next few years. The world ha sshown it can’t and won’t unite to take serious action for some years probably decades. :-(

    Technology – and bold strong technology at that is probably now our only real chance – and will only be adopted after major disasters that are severe and dramatic enough to convince everybody there really is a problem. Sad but true. :-(

  45. Bruce

    As soon as cold temperatures set in, the global warming whiners start flapping their lips. If you’re really worried about the Earth warming up, shut your pie holes and stop spewing hot air!

  46. Ron 1

    @44 Bruce

    Unconsciously incompetent, you are – there is a difference between climate and weather.

  47. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ 35. Wil Says:

    For the moment, let’s completely ignore the outrageous and blatant lying, cheating and corrupt intimidation tactics that were exposed so completely, so accurately, and in such incredible detail in the Climate Gate e-mails.

    Sigh. Really?? :roll:

    Please take a look at this :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P70SlEqX7oY&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    & this :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJFZ88EH6i4&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    a-and this :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WvasALL-hw&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    For a good examination debunking the whole climategate nonsense.

  48. Messier Tidy Upper

    Or if you don’t like those and /or want other sources and more details try here :

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack/

    & here :

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Climategate-CRU-emails-hacked.htm

    and from this very blog here :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/07/01/climategates-death-rattle/

    and with plenty more links and references available from all those sites.

    Pleaes do yourself and the rest of us a favour and read some of the details and do a little research before making or accepting claims that turn out to be misleading and fallacious.

  49. Messier Tidy Upper

    @40. Wil :

    As far as the Climate Gate inquiries, the depth of the whitewash in those proceedings is famous, and probably sets some kind of a record for corruption. My heavens, the committee even limited themselves to the topics, questions, and documents that were specifically pre-cleared (in writing) by the “accused”! The proceedings were such a farce that it can not be honestly said that anybody was cleared, or not cleared, of anything what-so-ever.

    Please can you provide some real evidence to support those extraordinary claims of yours there? Citations & sources please.

    NB. I’ve got a couple of comments currently awaiting moderation for you with some resources indicating the false beat-up nature of the so-called “climategate” non-scandal.

  50. Messier Tidy Upper

    @35. Wil Says:

    Since we are being asked to immediately give hundreds of billions of dollars to somebody, somewhere, to do something (we are never actually told exactly to whom the money would be going, precisely why they should get it, and exactly what they intend to do with it), can somebody please remind me of the absolute proof that man-produced CO2, and no other factor on Earth or in space, is the cause of atmospheric warming?

    See here :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/10/26/climate-change-the-evidence/

    from this very blog – or search it for more yourself using the various buttons, boxes and tags incorporated here.

    Or see here :

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

    It would be a shame if Third World dictators blew all that money on palaces, castles and Rolls Royces for themselves, only to have it turn out that the atmosphere was warming due to solar activity that wasn’t fully understood at the time.

    See :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Sf_UIQYc20&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    And also do you *really* honestly think that people are seriously arguing for giving money to third world dictators without any oversight or checking to see if they use it for the purposes given or not?

    Just how stupid do you think people – climatologists and world leaders really are?
    More to come..

  51. Messier Tidy Upper

    Continued – can’t post too many links at once :

    Furthermore see :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NJEouqefis&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    on the third world issue.

    Also, can somebody please explain how the Earth was so darn cold during all those centuries when the atmospheric CO2 concentration was much higher than it is today? And can they please explain why the Earth was so darn hot during all those centuries when the atmospheric CO2 concentration was lower than is is today?

    Okay snowball earth gets a mention here :

    geological timescale here :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE6at2IEUOU&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    And finally, can somebody please explain why any time an intelligent, concerned person wants to discuss this issue, the logical, reasoned response is for that person to be viciously attacked by complete strangers, who call the person all kinds of nasty names, and accuse that person of immoral and/or unethical activities. It is like attempting to discuss third order differential calculus with juvenile 12 year olds who are cranky because they stayed up too late. In a nutshell, it is completely pointless, and even a little foolish, to attempt it.

    This is atotal mischaracterisation of what’s happening here.

    & see : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSXgiml5UwM&p=029130BFDC78FA33

  52. Messier Tidy Upper

    D’oh! CORRECTION – Make that :

    @ 35 Wil :

    Also, can somebody please explain how the Earth was so darn cold during all those centuries when the atmospheric CO2 concentration was much higher than it is today? And can they please explain why the Earth was so darn hot during all those centuries when the atmospheric CO2 concentration was lower than is is today?

    Okay check out :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjhTrCgVb5U&feature=related

    See at the 3 minute mark there – when the world was frozen over in a “snowball earth” phase the albedo (reflection of light by ice) kept things frozen until the accumulated Co2 from volcanic eruptions built up so much it snapped the world out of it.

    And finally, can somebody please explain why any time an intelligent, concerned person wants to discuss this issue, the logical, reasoned response is for that person to be viciously attacked by complete strangers, who call the person all kinds of nasty names, and accuse that person of immoral and/or unethical activities. It is like attempting to discuss third order differential calculus with juvenile 12 year olds who are cranky because they stayed up too late. In a nutshell, it is completely pointless, and even a little foolish, to attempt it.

    This is a total mischaracterisation of what’s happening here.

    People generally, I for one, will respond politely and logically when asked polite and logical questions or when others are using reasonable and logical arguments in a reasonable moderate tone.

    OTOH, when climate contrarians launch vicious unprovoked attacks on the climatologists who have spent their lives and careers studying and working in the area and make tired false accusations based on politically-inspired media beat-up and seem not to be arguing in good faith, some people do get a little snarky and aggro.

    We seem to see a lot of the latter category here unfortunately and the climate contrarians (those who disagree with the scientific consensus onthe relaity of Human Caused Global Overheating) have largely given themselves a bad name by their previous tactics, comments and attacks.

    I try not to get too personal or aggressive myself & will always try and keep things civil and logical, but heck, I’m only a flawed human being & I have my moments like everyone. ;-)

    Also if you feel unfairly treated here please could you post some specific examples of where and how you think has happened to illustrate /support your argument?

    I, for one, am quite willing to admit it and apologise when I’m wrong – if I am.

  53. Wil

    tresmal #43:

    Overall, very logical comments, but I strongly disagree with your claim that the ClimateGate e-mails gave no evidence of scientific wrong doing.

    A partial list of the wrong doing that was indicated includes: intentionally falsifiying key data, destroying data, adding fudge factors for no scientific reason, having colleagues fired and/or banned from publishing, having editors of scientific magazines fired, mass deleting of scientific articles from Wikipedia, and banning selected scientists from involvement in UN conferences and from climate conferences.

    Regarding who has requested that many billions of dollars be transferred from developed nations to undeveloped nations (on a perpetual annual basis): it is late, so I will not take the time to look up their names and the dates. Allow me to merely say that I was referring to a variety of UN delegates, and a large number of participants in the Copenhagen and Cancun climate conferences.

    Messier Tidy Upper #47:

    Per your request for some references, articles such as the following are all over the internet. You can quickly find a dozen more articles such as these if you Google the subject. The articles below discuss the three British ClimateGate investigation/hearings, as well as the Penn State investigation.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/11/climategate_one_year_and_sixty_house_seats_later.html

    http://www.climategate.com/former-student-claims-climategate-university-often-falsified-data

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704075604575356611173414140.html

    http://doctorbulldog.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/climategate-fallout-penn-state-whitewashing-michael-manns-junk-science/

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/09/stringer_on_russell/

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=176321

    On a slightly different subject – To their credit, Wikipedia has finally banned a number of people from posting or editing material about Global Warming. These people have deleted thousands of valid Wikipedia articles for no honest reason, and electronically banned thousands of scientists from posting Global Warming articles on Wikipedia.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/15/another-wikipedia-editor-has-been-climate-topic-banned/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2010-11-22/Arbitration_report

    http://www.heartland.org/environmentandclimate-news.org/article/28611/Wikipedia_Bans_Real_Climate_Propagandist.html

  54. As usual, this manages to get the science which is good (well, mainly – it’s selective, but that’s probably inherent in the nature of a comic) mixed up with the politics which is bad.

    I should probably say at the outset, just so that I am not misconstrued, that I accept the science of APGW as I can find it in places like the IPCC, Science, Nature, and Nature Climate, on the grounds that this probably puts my views on the science, if not in the exact right, probably close enough for layman’s work.

    Let me just explain something: I am now going to show each and every one of you a terrible, terrible profiteer from the gas, coal and oil industries. I mean really terrible. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that this person’s wealth and life is supported by the coal and oil industry. Want to see this person? Right, first you take out a mirror…

    This cretinous idea that only Top hatted Scrooge MacDuck types benefit from the Oil Industry (and please feel free to cross yourself at the mention of this unholy name) would be silly if it were not so sinister. Let me give you an example: a year ago, attending the Darwin festival, I noticed that some twerp had put up signs reading “renewable energy is the future for the developing world”. In other words, “don’t you poor people dare touch all that coal, oil, gas and uranium under your soils. That’s for us rich people”.

    And speaking of the super rich, I’m going to show you one of them. Go back to that mirror. Sorry, didn’t think of it like that? Well, I was born in Kenya, and I can tell you clearly: each and every one of us is super-rich compared with the way most of humanity lives.

    Then there’s this ridiculous stuff about conspiracies and funding – you know, this is the exact equivalent of those like Richard Linzen who say that those who go against the IPCC find their funds vanishing. The real reason for mass resistance is something that Nick Cohen – who does support doing something about APGW – wrote:

    Arguments about climate change, however, are not at all like arguments about abortion or creationism. Hard-headed people can see that their bills will rise and maybe their jobs go too. You must expect them to fight back hard.

    Quite right. And that’s even before I’ve gotten to the worst of it. Greenpeace recently sponsored an add calling for human decimation, the quite literal killing of one-in-ten. Before that, their ad was of a squalid little shaven headed hoodlum staring into the camera and making bald threats. Then there’s the minor matter of people like Mark Lynas calling for anyone questioning these results to be tried by Nuremberg style trials (remember, the penalty there was usually death), and James Lovelock saying that it might be necessary to ‘temporarily’ suspend democracy.

    If one seriously wants to do something about APGW then it must be obvious that the current method of listening to hysterical windbags and power-lusters like Al Gore and then going off to pledge massive reductions that never, ever, ever happen, is bust. We need to think of something else.

    Messier, you are quite right there.

  55. Nullius in Verba

    #28

    Noen! So nice to see you! Looking forward to your assistance with this one.

    #34,

    I agree that it is the logic of Pascal’s Wager in use here, it’s not restricted to mysticism.

    But my list was meant to raise questions about the flaws in the Pascal’s Wager argument. After all, not everyone who has heard of it prays five times a day to Allah, or sacrifices to Tlaloc the God of Climate. The primary problem with it is that it offers a false dichotomy – it assumes that only two alternatives are on offer. For an atheist with no spiritual insight to guide them to one particular tradition, there are an infinity of supernatural systems that could be constructed, with infinite costs and rewards for any conceivable combinations of behaviour. If one considers them all, Pascal’s logic fails.

    Pascal’s argument was an attempt to persuade in the absence of any evidence, purely on the basis of the prophesied consequences. It means that whoever offers the scariest consequences wins the argument.

    #37,

    Nukes are the only possibility that has been demonstrated to be economically feasible today on the scale required. France did it during the 1980s and 1990s. Despite 20 years of subsidies and regulatory pushing, wind and solar are still uneconomic and insignificant. (I wouldn’t be surprised if they become economic in 30-40 years time, at which point we’ll switch over naturally, but they’re not economic yet.)

    Power satellites are a cool idea, but getting stuff up into orbit is still far too expensive to make this one fly. Somebody once told me that even if there were chunks of solid gold floating around in orbit, it still wouldn’t be worth the cost to go there and pick it up. Maybe if somebody takes forward the supergun technology, this might be possible. But not today.

    If you’re in a hurry, fast breeders are the only available answer. And they’re actually a very good answer anyway, so why are we engaged in such a desperate struggle to resist the idea and go for any crazy alternative? The denier conspiracy theorists think it’s because nuclear would actually remove the crisis, and they need crisis to herd the people towards their world government – their New Climate World Order (“Kopenhagen ist ein erster Schritt hin zu einer neuen Weltklimaordnung, nicht mehr, aber auch nicht weniger.”). Others think it’s just because the radical left have opposed nuclear for so long that they can’t now just turn around and admit they were wrong.

    I’m not sure either makes sense. And people like Pentti Linkola are just crazy, and hopefully not representative. But I don’t know the real reason why.

    Incidentally, oil and coal industries stand to profit handsomely from any artificial restrictions of supply – they can raise prices and make a lot more profit by doing a lot less work. It’s like the biggest fans of the war on drugs are organised crime – it’s effectively a government-enforced monopoly that excludes all legal competition and creates fantastic profit margins. You might have noticed that CRU (the unit at the heart of Climategate) list a disproportionate number of energy companies amongst their corporate funders.

    #43,

    “There isn’t even a whisper of any scientific wrong doing in those emails. Not one of them shows any sign that any paper published by the CRU or people associated with it was fraudulent.”

    Actually, that’s incorrect. There are two emails from Tom Wigley where he discusses the Wang/Jones fraud accusation by Keenan, and states that Keenan appeared to be correct, that the Wang/Jones papers made a claim that could not possibly have been correct, and that one or both of the authors must have known it at the time.

    But none of the enquiries have reported on the matter, or published any evidence or explanation to clear them.

    There are a lot of faith-based assertions here that ‘there’s nothing in Climategate and the enquiries have totally exonnerated them’ that are clearly not based on any knowledge of the issues or events. That makes it ever so easy for the deniers to discredit you in the eyes of the uncommitted.

    #47,

    How come people are making all these definitive statements about Climategate and the enquiries, and yet don’t even know the most basic facts about them?

    The reference is to an enquiry made to Lord Oxburgh by Oliver Morton of the Economist (obtained via Freedom of Information legislation) about how the eleven papers that the Oxburgh enquiry investigated were selected. It had been previously noted that they were all uncontroversial papers, excluded the ones that problems had been identified with, and were almost identical with only one exception to the list that CRU themselves provided in their submission to the Parliamentary enquiry.

    Oxburgh had replied:
    “What I received was a list from the university which I understand was chosen by the Royal Society The contact with the RS was I believe through [name redacted] but I don’t know who he consulted. [Name redacted], when I asked him, agreed that the original sample was fair.”

    We know from other sources that the Royal Society didn’t pick the papers, they were picked by Trevor Davies of UEA who contacted Martin Rees at the Royal Society to ask if they could say the list was constructed in consultation with the Royal Society. Rees said he didn’t really know the subject area, but the list looked OK to him.

    Further FOI requests for information were required to get them to disclose the redacted names. The first one was Martin Rees, which we already knew. The second redaction, the one relied upon by Lord Oxburgh to determine that the selection was fair, was… Phil Jones. The accused got to pick and vet the evidence at their own trial.

  56. Messier Tidy Upper

    @4. ElZarcho :

    That was the most BS-laden piece of stool I’ve observed in many days.

    Er .. examine *stools* daily then do you, ElZarcho? ;-)

    Seriously, the Book of Revelations has more science and less apocalyptic imagery than that little screed.

    Quickly checks (online) The Brick Testament for Book of Revelations compare & contrast purposes against Darryl Cunningham Investigates – Climate Change cartoon :

    Revelation 12:1 : “Then a great sign appeared in the sky: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.”

    Versus

    Darryl Cunningham Investigates : “In England, where I live, the winter of 2009-2010 was unusually cold.”

    Erm .. another verse? :

    Revelation 12:3 : “Then another sign appeared in the sky: a great red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads.”

    versus

    Darryl Cunningham Investigates : “The truth is that neither of these events [England's cold winter or Russia's extreme heatwave - ed.] can be used to prove the case either way.”

    Just one more? Alright :

    Revelation 12:15 : “Then the serpent spewed water from his mouth like a river to sweep the woman away with the flood.”

    versus

    Darryl Cunningham Investigates : “Information on the present state of the climate comes from Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances.”

    So which is the winner for more science content, the ‘Book of Revelations’ or ‘Darryl Cunningham Investigates’ then? [Raises Darryl Cunningham's arm boxing match style.]

    Which one has more apocalyptic imagery? [Raises Revelations multiple mutant rather scary arms.]

    I think, ElZarcho, that you need to tone down your rhetoric and think twice before posting stuff that really doesn’t add up.

    Its one thing to argue over possible solutions, another to argue over the scientific facts.

    Part I of II – to be continued.

  57. Messier Tidy Upper

    Part II

    @4. ElZarcho :

    1 – climate science is so new, no one really knows anything. I’m serious.

    You might be serious about this but you’d also be dead wrong.

    As always Wikipedia is pretty handy :

    The earliest person to hypothesize the concept of climate change may have been the medieval Chinese scientist Shen Kuo (1031-1095 AD). Shen Kuo theorized that climates naturally shifted over an enormous span of time, after observing petrified bamboos found underground near Yanzhou (modern day Yan’an, Shaanxi province), a dry climate area unsuitable for the growth of bamboo. Early climate researchers include Edmund Halley, who published a map of the trade winds in 1686, after a voyage to the southern hemisphere. Benjamin Franklin, in the 18th century, was the first to map the course of the Gulf Stream for use in sending mail overseas from the United States to Europe. Francis Galton invented the term anticyclone.[2] Helmut Landsberg led to statistical analysis being used in climatology, which led to its evolution into a physical science.

    Source : Wikipedia page on Climatology – history.

    In case you’re wondering, Francis Galton lived from 1822 to 1911 and invented the weather map among his many other achievements. Helmut Landsberg lived from 1906 to 1985 and did a lot of statistcial work on climatology in the 1940′s. Oh, and also, not to be too rude but that took me all of five minutes to find. Please, seriously ElZarcho, do some basic research.

    Focusing more narrowly, the idea of the Greenhouse effect & the possibility than human emissions could alter the global temperature goes back to Svante Arrhenius in 1896.

    Wikipedia – Svante Arrhenius page notes :

    Arrhenius estimated that halving of CO2 would decrease temperatures by 4 – 5 °C (Celsius) and a doubling of CO2 would cause a temperature rise of 5 – 6 °C[4]. In his 1906 publication, Arrhenius adjusted the value downwards to 1.6 °C (including water vapour feedback: 2.1 °C). Recent (2007) estimates from IPCC say this value (the Climate sensitivity) is likely to be between 2 and 4.5 °C. Arrhenius expected CO2 levels to rise at a rate given by emissions in his time. Since then, industrial carbon dioxide levels have risen at a much faster rate: Arrhenius expected CO2 doubling to take about 3000 years; it is now estimated in most scenarios to take about a century.

    So, NO, it was NOT just invented by that egotistical media tart Al Gore. :roll:

    In fact, concern about possible global warming goes back to the late 1950′s.

    As for :

    The arrogance of climatologists is enormous, and no one dares challenge them.

    You were joking about that last part right? Right? Gee, aren’t Fox news and the right-wing pundits fearless? Isn’t Glenn Beck a hero! Fancy standing up to those experts! [/sarcasm] :roll:

    Nobody dares challenge them but .. politicians like Jim Inhofe? Other scientists like Pat Michaels and the Watts up with that guy? Every far right wing blogger and his dog? Come on.

    Arrogance is, of course in the eye of the beholder and really irrelevant to the facts. Sir Isaac Newton I gather was an incredibly arrogant man. He was also right about gravity. Well, to the closest approximation until Einstein came along anyhow! ;-)

    2 – climate data prior to around 1970 is really sketchy. Ice cores?

    Yes – and tree rings and satellites and the observatory at Mauna Kea, and weather balloons and studies of glaciers, wildlife, planet life, fossils, stalagmite sand stalactites, pollen from mud and lakes, arctic ice surveys, etc ..

    Really “sketchy” data? I wish. I really do wish that were so.

    I’d love to NOT believe in Human Caused Global Overheating. For quite a while I was convinced and was a contraraian myself. But eventually the sheer weight of evidence and compelling data convinced me otherwise – after much arguing here among other places I might add.

  58. Adrock

    It seems obvious that the Earth is in a period of warming but it also seems obvious to me that you can’t expect the weather and global atmosphere to remain contstant for billions of years. It wasn’t like it is now five billion years ago and it won’t be the same five billion years from now. Every year mountains get higher, seas get deeper, continents move, sea currents change, wind currents change, the output from the Sun varies, the rotation of the earth slows, the moon moves further away and the centre of the Earth cools. There are probably hundreds more variables. All of these things must have an influence on the rock which we inhabit.

    And we can never really know if any changes that we make will make any differnece as we have no basis for comparison. I’m not saying we shouldn’t use “cleaner” forms of energy but everybody gets so defensive of their opinion, the truth is in fact somewhat unknown. Personally, I think that it’s been made into a big deal to introduce “green tax” and please do-gooders but that’s just me. On the actual causes of global warming, I retain an open mind.

  59. Messier Tidy Upper

    Hopefully the last part. (barring some links?)

    @4. ElZarcho (still) :

    3 – Even the most extreme measures we take CAN’T STOP IT, according to these same climate “scientists”. But hey, let’s make sure no one in Africa can have electricity unless it’s solar at ten times the price. Better to kill 3rd world kids than to feel bad about polluting mother earth.

    Strawman. No one says this.

    Please name for me (& everyone else here) one climatologist, one mainstream politician, who has ever advocated barring all Africans from the rock of Gibraltar down to the Cape of Good Hope from accessing or using any power other than that generated by solar? Please do.

    Even if you are correct about this – and you are not – this doesn’t show that the science is incorrect only that the proposed *solution* is cruelly inhumane.

    4 – “global warming” is a feel-good cult, with more basis in paganism than in science.

    Please explain your baisis for saying so and provide evidence for the reasons why you claim this.

    Are all the climatologists “pagan” or cultists? Or did they have to pass rigourous exams incl. complex maths and physics (ie hard science) and study for many years at universities before qualifying to practice – and continually work & fight to get published – in the field of climate science?

    Are peer-reviewed science journals and organisations all part of a feel-good pagan cult? Really?!

    Do such assertions really just sound more than a little bit ludicrous when you think more seriously about them? :roll:

    5 – shut up.

    Or what? ;-)

    No, really, you seriously think telling people to shut up is a logical argument or going to convince others of the truth of your words in any way? :roll:

  60. Please name for me (& everyone else here) one climatologist, one mainstream politician, who has ever advocated barring all Africans from the rock of Gibraltar down to the Cape of Good Hope from accessing or using any power other than that generated by solar?

    Messier, sorry, but you shouldn’t have gone there. Not the caricature you present, but the general point of the Greens blocking energy production is huge. See my above post. And, try this:

    Phillipines,
    http://www.thenewstoday.info/2008/02/11/greenpeace.backs.groups.opposing.coal.power.plant.html

    India:
    http://www.downtoearth.org.in/node/2395

    The Rainforest Action Network and the usual suspects want the World Bank to yank all funding from coal power. Friends of the Earth is proud that they stopped three hundred hydroelectric power plants. And so on. And so on.

    I agree with you generally, but you’re wrong about this. THere is at the heart of the Green movement a psychopathic misanthropy that needs to be dealt with.

  61. Nullius in Verba

    #52,

    “Please name for me (& everyone else here) one climatologist, one mainstream politician, who has ever advocated barring all Africans from the rock of Gibraltar down to the Cape of Good Hope from accessing or using any power other than that generated by solar? Please do.”

    Happy to oblige!

    “Green groups had lobbied the Government heavily to vote against the loan, arguing that South Africa should invest instead in renewable energy from wind turbines and solar panels.”
    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/natural_resources/article7092651.ece

  62. Taz

    Look, everyone knows that if you’re speeding towards something that looks like a cliff, the smart thing to do is keep the peddle to the metal until you’re absolutely, 100% positive.

  63. Wildride

    Frosty has the straight goods on climate change:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hb5fxeyCf0

  64. Messier Tidy Upper

    Links so y’all can check & see for yourselves :

    The Brick Testament for the source of my Revelations quotes is here -

    http://www.thebricktestament.com/revelation/

    Just in passing, how the blazes can anyone seriously say that the Bible is *literally* inerrant, infallible and not open to varying interpretation and being taken as metaphor when we get lines like :

    “..a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.”*

    &

    “.. the serpent spewed water from his mouth like a river to sweep the woman away with the flood.”

    & suchlike? Can anybody truly picture those things cited in Revelations literally taking place given the plain English meanings of the words used?

    (“Darryl Cunningham Investigates – Climate Change” is of course linked at the very top in the original article here.)

    Wikipedia climatology page is here :

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

    with links from there to other scientists mentioned except for Svante Arrhenius, who you’ll have to cut’n'paste into the wiki-search box (unless you have that page book-marked!) & who, btw, has lunar and Martian craters named in his honour. Don’t know if he’s got an asteroid though!

    Plus check out this :

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

    old recording showing scientists concern over Global Warming back in 1956 via Peter Sinclair’s Youtube site which has plenty of other climate contrarian “crocks” debunked in entertaining and informative detail. Plus there’s the sites and topics linked already in comments awaiting moderation #50, #51 & #52 above. (At the current time – who knows where they’ll end up if many others also have “awaiting mod” ones as is possible. Oh well.)

    —–

    * I must admit to an odd pedantic curiousity over precisely which 12 stars those were on her clearly light-years wide head & what their spectral types are! Just the twelve nearest ie. Proxima Centauri, Alpha Centauri A & B, Barnard’s Star, Wolf 359, Sirius A & B, UV Ceti A & B, Ross 154, etc .. or other brighter, larger hotter, more distant stars. Is it even remotely possible, given current scientific knowledge to interpret that verse literally or as anything *other* than symbolic or metaphorical? ;-)

    PS. Yeah, lotsa comments from me here I know. That’s a good thing right? I hope. Can’t post too many links in the one comment I’ve found before & splitting into many separate ones instead one or two super-lengthy ones seems to work better. Hope this is alright by y’all & my apologies if not.

  65. noen

    Nullius in Verba said:
    “Noen! So nice to see you! Looking forward to your assistance with this one.”

    I feel that you have argued dishonestly in the past so I’m disinclined to be charitable in the future. That could change, I suppose, but that depends on you.

  66. Terry
  67. Cheyenne

    @48 Hugo-

    Very thoughtful comment. Completely agree with you.

    edit to add- Actually I’m not sure about your statement about Greenpeace. You sure about that?

  68. Cheyenne,

    Thank you. Yes, I am sure:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY7875_rv1s
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSTLDel-G9k&feature=player_embedded

    Word of warning, this is more than a little disturbing.

    This is the sort of thing that is completely unacceptable. You add this up to the pronouncements of Lovelock and it is something that is very unsavory. Yet these are the people who talk about “Nuremberg-style trials”. Yes, it’s such a pleasure to be accused of Nazism by the heirs of Heidegger…

  69. CB

    @ Matt B:

    #2 also applies to the word “anthropogenic”. Anthropo- means “person” or “people”. -gen means “making”, not “made by”. Anything anthropogenic is a thing that makes people.

    You are (still) wrong.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/-genic

    The -genic suffix can mean either “produced by” or “producing”. “Anthropogenic” meaning “produced by humans” is perfectly correct language. Have a nice day.

  70. “…and to be balanced where called for.”

    Phil may want to take that advise as well, rather than the “your a stupid neocon” stance he usually takes.

  71. Daffy

    #69 Apart from the misspellings, can you give an example of ANY place where Phil has posted the phrase, “You’re a stupid Neocon”?

  72. dave

    I am an AGW skeptic. I have been shown evidence that I could be wrong, but I am skeptical of the evidence. A report of best guesses of Earth temperatures over vast periods based on core samples, tree rings, and the like is not sufficient evidence to reverse my opinion. The peer review process, although a good thing is not ironclad. Two or more people making identical errors can build a flawed consensus.

    I have seen an attempt at proof, but I am not convinced. For that I am binned a denialist, with all the contempt that comes with it, although I have denied nothing.

    Earth’s climate will likely continue to surprise us, and may help prove or disprove the AGW argument. I base this on my own observations, so do not demand that I cite myself. I will not be sending links to Wikipedia or Youtube as serious scientific research either.

  73. I’ll second Daffy‘s point.

  74. dave,

    Let me make this simple: no one seriously denies the existence of APGW. Or, no one seriously does that. The only serious debate is to what extent human activity does cause it and how much of an increase with what consequences there will be. Richard Linzen, whom I cited above and and is oft called a “skeptic” does not, in fact, deny the human influence, he simply says it’ll be one degree over one hundred years and we have more important things to worry about (incidentally, if anyone feels like scoffing, check out this guys qualifications over on Wiki).

  75. CB

    @ dave:

    The question that really matters is, are you equally skeptical of counterarguments? Or more precisely, that you apply the principle of skepticism equally to them; actually being equally skeptical of every argument would mean not considering their relative merit which would be silly. Skepticism is not a uni-directional trait. It applies to everything. Many people calling themselves skeptics are skeptical of anything a climatologist says, but very unskeptical of a blogger claiming that it’s obviously caused by the sun or every other contrary argument.

    As long as that’s not you, then you were called a denialist quite unfairly. I’d apologize on behalf of whoever did it, but that’d imply I see myself as one of them and I don’t. Fools who rush to judge and label others based on preconceived notions exist everywhere.

  76. Ron 1

    @71 dave.

    I agree, you’re an AGW skeptic with an open mind – no problem.

    The deniers are the clueless believers (ie. Wil and ElZarcho) spouting mindless, right wing talking points that have already been repeatedly debunked. They are not skeptics!

  77. ND

    Hmm. I submit dave to the poe-or-not website for evaluation.

  78. dave

    73 Hugo

    I must agree with Mr. Linzen’s remark about having more important things to worry about.

    The extent of human involvement is a point that I’m skeptical about, and it seems to be linked to proposals for legislation of carbon emmissions. Such legislation will add a cost of doing business to some. How is this cost going to change anything? It won’t, but someone will get money they never earned from an entity that does produce and earn. It’s very sad to use the color of law, or even perceived global authority to pick people’s pockets, but I don’t ignore that reality.

    When dirtbags and politicians take to the bully pulpit to push their scheme, they arm themselves with scientific consensus which may have been arrived at too hastily, erroneously, or both. In science, the debate is rarely over. In a perfect world, science and politics wouldn’t mingle much – but then again, I have no experience with a perfect world.

  79. dave

    75 CB

    Am I equally skeptical of counterarguments? Good point. I’ll introspect on that!

  80. shaun

    dave I would agree with on the concern of someone using the science to implament a carbon tax. But the case is this science and its findings have been around longer than the idea of profit from it. Are there people who will make an attempt to use the science for profit? Of coarse but that doesn’t change the evidence. To argue against the potential damage global warming can do to our planet because one fears that it will be used for financial gain I find troubling. It reminds me of the argument a Texas School Board Member used against evolution. he argued that because some people created fake fossils (i.e. Nebraska man) for profit and fame this was evidence disproving evolution. Lets not ignore the science because we don’t like those who are trying to exploit it. But conspiracy theories are popular.

  81. Steve Metzler

    74. Hugo Schmidt Says:

    Richard Linzen, whom I cited above and and is oft called a “skeptic” does not, in fact, deny the human influence, he simply says it’ll be one degree over one hundred years and we have more important things to worry about (incidentally, if anyone feels like scoffing, check out this guys qualifications over on Wiki).

    Lindzen. Really? Afraid you’re a few years late to the party. That’s a problem when you weigh in with contrarian nonsense on a site that you don’t read regularly. Yeah, we already checked out his ‘qualifications’ a while back: shill for the Heartland Institute, among others.

    Wouldn’t hurt for a few of you to read Naomi Oreskes’ excellent Merchants of Doubt. There is a disturbing history of (mostly marginalised) scientists selling out to industry on issues like tobacco, acid rain, SDI (a.k.a. Star Wars), the ozone layer, and now AGW. It’s all very well documented. Mostly it happens due to ideological reasons, but money can also be a factor.

  82. Steve,

    You know, the ability to mouth off in an aggressive fashion is not, contra to what you you might have been lead to believe by the internet, the sign of a reasoned or logical mind. Let me remind you of those qualifications you like to scoff at (yes, taken from Wikipedia, all seem solid enough):

    Lindzen is a recipient of the American Meteorological Society’s Meisinger and Charney Awards, American Geophysical Union’s Macelwane Medal, and the Leo Prize from the Wallin Foundation in Goteborg, Sweden. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and was named Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society. He is a corresponding member of the NAS Committee on Human Rights, and a member of the United States National Research Council Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate. He was a consultant to the Global Modeling and Simulation Group at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Lindzen is an ISI highly cited researcher,[59] and his biography has been included in American Men and Women of Science.[60]

    Now, I’m no climatologist, but that does sound pretty impressive to me. Does he do much good research? Well, I found the following list of publications:

    http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/PublicationsRSL.html

    Of course, I could rate ‘some bloke whom I met online’ as higher than that of an actual climate scientist, but that doesn’t seem too rational now does it?

    Incidentally you might want to explain exactly how my ‘contrarian nonsense’ is, you know, wrong. Do you think you can rouse yourself to that? One example, maybe?

  83. noen

    Open the pod bay doors Dave said:
    “I am an AGW skeptic. I have been shown evidence that I could be wrong, but I am skeptical of the evidence. A report of best guesses of Earth temperatures over vast periods based on core samples, tree rings, and the like is not sufficient evidence to reverse my opinion. The peer review process, although a good thing is not ironclad. Two or more people making identical errors can build a flawed consensus.”

    I am a skeptic of the heliocentric theory. I have been shown evidence that I could be wrong, but I am skeptical of the evidence. The heliocentric theory may be beautiful and simpler than the Ptolemaic theory but aesthetic beauty is not sufficient evidence to reverse my opinion. The peer review process, although a good thing is not ironclad. Two or more people making identical errors can build a flawed consensus.

    Am I a true skeptic?

  84. Nullius in Verba

    #81,

    Ad hominem genetic fallacy. So much for critical thinking.

    (That said, it was in reply to an example of argument from authority. So I’d guess that works out about even.)

    #82,

    It depends on why you are sceptical of the evidence.

  85. Nullius, as regards that “argument from authority”, I did say that there was a reason for this; I’m not a climate scientist, and trying to piece together the lines of evidence that each research result, though a good idea, will always be incomplete on my part. That’s why I said that I read those nutcase, far-right (or left, according to flavor) publications like Nature Climate Reports. Again, I don’t claim this puts me exactly in the scientific right, but near enough for a layman’s perspective.

    Let me give you an example. There’s a paper out today in Science that suggests that the increased albedo from clouds in the atmosphere is more than offset by the increase in temperature due to larger water vapor. Now, I’m taking that as my knowledge on that subject for the moment. I’m sure that I could be wrong; that paper could be blown out of the sky, but I’m not going to be either grossly wrong or grossly ignorant when I do that.

  86. JJ (the other one)

    Hugo said “You know, the ability to mouth off in an aggressive fashion is not, contra to what you you might have been lead to believe by the internet, the sign of a reasoned or logical mind”

    Nor is the ability to mouth off in a ‘clever’ fashion about Scrooge McDuck or whatever that first fallacy-ridden post of yours said.

  87. JJ,

    Fallacy ridden? Really? Such as – what, exactly?

  88. JJ (the other one)

    Appeal to emotion, guilt by association, the straw-man fallacy.. that’s just from a glance, I’m not really even trying. Your first two paragraphs are fine. The rest are lousy with fallacies.

  89. Ah, so they’re so ridden with fallacies that you can’t even specify them. Wonderful. Nice little way of thinking you have there. Also I note with some enjoyment that you can’t name a factual error to my points. Isn’t that interesting?

  90. Nullius in Verba

    #85,

    I need to be careful, because my position is a bit more subtle and I don’t really have time for a long essay.

    To start off with – when people are not claiming to be backed by science, they can believe anything they like for any reason that they like. It’s called freedom of belief and is one of our fundamental liberties. I don’t have anything to say against it.

    I would also agree that from a practical point of view, heuristics are both necessary and useful if we’re to ever get anything done. Heuristics – meaning rules of thumb that strictly don’t follow logically but which have good odds of being correct anyway – are often the only means available for those without specialised subject-area knowledge, which applies to all of us for most subject areas. Correlation implying causation, post hoc ergo propter hoc, they’re so common because they are often right. Again, I don’t have a problem with that so long as it is recognised as such, and recognised that different people use different heuristics and can legitimately disagree about things. I have no patience with people who believe their own heuristics to be absolute and universal, and anything else ‘irrational’.

    When it comes to claiming scientific backing for a view, the use of fallacies in an argument is always a fatal objection. People might often let it go, for human and practical reasons, but those reasons don’t rescue the argument once the objection is raised. You either go back and fill in the gap, or the claim dies. Same goes for when somebody is claiming to be more ‘rational’ than somebody else.

    When it comes to AGW, there is too much reliance on authority anyway. It’s a big problem in the debate, which is always worth bringing up. Relying on Lindzen’s qualifications and expertise is also a dangerous strategy, because once you start doing that, there’s no counter to the claims to qualification of more orthodox climate scientists. It’s better to get used to the idea from the start that you’re going to have to evaluate the actual evidence and arguments – not the people.

    However, despite all of that, I wasn’t really objecting to what you did – just being even handed, since to pull one side up on logical fallacies while selectively ignoring them when they supported my side would render my position vulnerable. I point it out so that people can learn, and improve their arguments. (I appreciate being pulled up, too, for the same reason.) Compared to some of the fallacies and errors on display here, your comment was a model of sweet reason.

    Don’t worry about it. Just maybe remember it for next time.

  91. Steve Metzler

    Hugo Schmidt,

    Please, your appeal to authority, especially of the Lindzen kind which disagrees with 98% of the other practicing climatologists who agree that the climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 lies somewhere in the 2C – 4.5C range rather than 1C, will gain little traction with the regular posters here who are well acquainted with the scientific evidence. Yawn.

  92. CB

    Fallacy ridden? Really? Such as – what, exactly?

    I’ve never thought of riding a fallacy before, but now I want to. The question is which one. I’m not sure about riding a strawman argument, that’d probably be scratchy and it’s only a matter of time before it gets burned. Slippery slope sounds more promising, but unless it’s a very long slope the ride would be pretty short and then I’d have to climb back up. But I’ll keep this one in mind. Maybe circular logic would be better, I could just keep going around and around and around till I got dizzy. Wee!

  93. Steve,

    Well, I’m sure that my views will gain little traction with someone posters who can’t even properly read them.

    Let’s look back over this, shall we? Where, exactly, did I mention Linzen?

    1. To make a point that the whole “oh, all dissenters are funded by Big Coal” has its exact counterpart in saying “well, of course researchers are saying APGW is real, they’d lose their funding otherwise”. I said – and I still say – that both arguments are false.

    2. Secondly, I was arguing with dave, saying that no serious scientist doubted that there was APGW; I mentioned that Linzen, who is on the extreme, doesn’t deny this either. For the record, I accept those figures of the probable human warming you mentioned, largely because they are the ones I’ve read in the IPCC report.

    So, let’s recap: Am I saying that Linzen’s views trump those of the other scientists? No, I don’t, and I defy you to find a quote from me that says different. I did attack your fatuous dismissal of the man on the grounds that I’m not in the habit of taking the word of chaps I’ve met on the web over actual scientists in the field I’m discussing (strange matter of principle, I know), but that is – and I want you to pay careful attention here – more a matter of attacking you than defending Linzen’s views.

    So, where, exactly, is the big problem? Well, it’s with you. You attributed views I did and do not hold to me and then proceeded to puff yourself up immeasurably. Word of advice: when a man thinks any stick will do, he will usually pick up a boomerang.

  94. Nullius in Verba

    #91,

    Just out of curiosity, would you be willing to say where you got that 98% number from?

    So far as I am aware, the percentages found in actual surveys vary depending on precisely what question you ask. Some questions are widely agreed upon, others are not agreed upon at all. And climate sensitivity is a question with a low level of scientific understanding, so I’d be surprised if it was that high. (Unless you do something dishonest, like finding some indirect way to overweight scientists following the orthodoxy.)

    And if the regular posters here are well acquainted with the scientific evidence, why not say what it is, instead of making yourselves look bad with all this ad hominem stuff?

  95. Nullius in Verba

    Following on from #94,

    For example, von Storch and Bray 2010 (survey in 2008) asked the question: “How convinced are you that most of recent or near future climate change is, or will be, a result of anthropogenic causes?” and got 11% of climate scientists more unconvinced than convinced, 83.5% more convinced than unconvinced, and 5.3% neutral.

    Unfortunately, they don’t ask the question about sensitivity. But given something like 85% believing it to be mostly anthropogenic, it seems odd that 98% would be so sure of the sensitivity range.

  96. Derek N

    @ Dave -

    The difference between a “skeptic” and a “denialist” is that a skeptic bases his opinion on peer-reviewed scientific literature, while a denialist uses politics, the news media, or personal belief.

  97. Dave

    @ 96 Derek

    Not that simple. You’re offering a false dilemma of all one way or the other.

  98. noen

    Hugo Schmidt said:
    “1. To make a point that the whole “oh, all dissenters are funded by Big Coal” has its exact counterpart in saying “well, of course researchers are saying APGW is real, they’d lose their funding otherwise”. I said – and I still say – that both arguments are false.”

    The statement “APGW is real” is true regardless of whether or not the dissenters are funded by industry or researchers are concerned about their funding. The reason that “APGW is real” is true is because we have direct evidence that warming is in fact happening, we have a solid scientific explanation grounded in physics as to why CO2 is a greenhouse gas and finally we can directly measure the human contribution to CO2 present in the atmosphere.

    The truth of none of these facts depend on politics on one side or the other.

    The case is closed. The Earth is warming. CO2 was the weapon and humans are guilty of the crime. Which was obviously committed in the library with the lead pipe by Col. Mustard.

  99. Derek

    @ Dave -

    No, I’m not creating any sort of dilemma at all. I’m simply defining terms, as requested.

  100. fred edison

    #98
    Ditto, with only the clarification being humans have inadvertently contributed enough CO2 through the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, etc., to….wait for it….tip the balance that had existed before the ENORMOUS influx of greenhouse gasses from our burning of fossil fuels as an energy source.

    The same fossil fuel gasses that are presently acidifying and harming the health of the oceans. The ocean dilemma alone is enough to justify the immediate reduction of mass CO2 emitters, and to make an urgent call for government funding and encouragement of green and clean alternative energy sources. The ocean is life, and we are working to kill not only the life in it, but our own life because we depend on the oceans for our economical prosperity and physical sustenance.

    Why in this one-of-a-kind world would you argue against improving the health of the oceans? It’s ludicrous _to not see_ the immediacy of action that is necessary to prevent additional harm to an already dire situation. But this plead for reason continues to fall on deaf ears and apathetic minds in Washington, D.C., the very place where it should be clearly understood, along with the legislation enacted to make these ocean protecting laws happen yesterday. But this one-of-a-kind world must be a dime a dozen to the “everything is fine, continue with your nothing has changed illusion” AGW deniers who are supposed to watch out for our best interests.

  101. Noen, that is what I said, in so many words. I don’t disagree with what you say in that first paragraph.

    What I do take strong exception to is your last one. “Crime”? The reason for human emission of carbon dioxide is the industrial revolution. Do you know how much life has been improved by that phenomenal achievement? Do you know what the conditions of life were like before that or what they are like in the non-industrial world?

    Global warming isn’t a “crime”; it’s a problem, and it needs to be approached as such. This “crime” talk is a little too close to the blood-and-soil mysticism that makes the Green movement unpalatable.

  102. Nullius in Verba

    #96,

    “The difference between a “skeptic” and a “denialist” is that a skeptic bases his opinion on peer-reviewed scientific literature, while a denialist uses politics, the news media, or personal belief.”

    The difference between a “skeptic” and a “denialist” is that a skeptic judges the opinions of experts and their theories by the completeness and consistency of their evidence, while a denialist judges the evidence and the expertise of “experts” by the theories they support.

    It’s actually very easy nowadays to find peer-reviewed scientific literature to support scepticism. Of course, were I to cite any, there are people who will leap up and declare it to have been debunked, the authors members of some sort of hidden conspiracy of evil intent on destroying the world, or something like that. Peer reviewed literature!

    Somebody mentioned Richard Lindzen, who has written piles of peer-reviewed scientific literature. And yet because it comes to heretical conclusions, this peer-reviewed literature can all of a sudden be ignored. Lindzen comes to the “wrong” conclusion, and therefore by definition cannot be an expert – and as a result of this logic, we can easily see that all the experts agree.

    So if not peer-reviewed scientific literature, then what?

  103. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ 61. Nullius in Verba Says:

    #52,“Please name for me (& everyone else here) one climatologist, one mainstream politician, who has ever advocated barring all Africans from the rock of Gibraltar down to the Cape of Good Hope from accessing or using any power other than that generated by solar? Please do.”
    Happy to oblige!
    “Green groups had lobbied the Government heavily to vote against the loan, arguing that South Africa should invest instead in renewable energy from wind turbines and solar panels.”
    [Link snipped]

    Okay, fair enough, I’ll grant you that point. It doesn’t change the reality of the science but this issue has certainly been exploited for political ends by the far Left-wing radical nutters such as the Greenpeace activists.

    That sort of imposing of ideologies upon the less powerful poor nations is something I do find pretty durn disgusting and wrong. :-(

    @68. Hugo Schmidt : Yeah that angry kid one was dreadful. What a nasty little thug he came across as. “Friend or foe” indeed – I call that kid -and those adults warped enough to pull his strings and wash his mind for their political ends a Sith. Not in any good way either. No balance or nuance or sense there. Exploiting children for politics. Yeck.

    @ 53. Wil : Thanks for your reply & links. Afraid I haven’t yet had a look at them all & might not have time tonight, some seem a bit biased but then there’s nothing unusual about that from both sides of this issue.

    @60. Hugo Schmidt Says:

    …Messier, sorry, … [snip] but the general point of the Greens blocking energy production is huge. See my above post. And, try this:
    The Rainforest Action Network and the usual suspects want the World Bank to yank all funding from coal power. Friends of the Earth is proud that they stopped three hundred hydroelectric power plants. And so on. And so on.

    I agree with you generally, but you’re wrong about this. There is at the heart of the Green movement a psychopathic misanthropy that needs to be dealt with.

    On that last bit I actually agree with you.

    The possible solutions to the Global Warming issue will, I think, have to
    include some non-PC options or they just won’t work.

    Also there is a *lot* less goodness, sweetness and light to the Green movement than they like to claim for themselves.

  104. Messier Tidy Upper

    @68. Hugo Schmidt – This 10:10 “No pressure” one :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSTLDel-G9k&feature=player_embedded

    Has just *got* to be fake or malicious parody though surely? :-o

    I find it very hard to beleive any serious Green group would be quite so stupid as as to produce this even in the unlikely event it really *was* what they wanted to do.

  105. PayasYouStargaze

    Messier Tidy Upper said ” who has ever advocated barring all Africans from the rock of Gibraltar down to the Cape of Good Hope”.

    Gibraltar isn’t part of Africa, so maybe you should have said the Strait of Gibraltar. Actually the Government of Gibraltar is investigating underwater power turbines for our furute energy needs. The Strait is pretty deep though so there are a number of engineering challenges.

  106. Steve Metzler

    (apologies for the apparent hit and run posting of mine, but it was very late the other night and then I was tied up all day until now. I shall try to address some of the backlog…)

    Somebody mentioned Richard Lindzen, who has written piles of peer-reviewed scientific literature. And yet because it comes to heretical conclusions, this peer-reviewed literature can all of a sudden be ignored. Lindzen comes to the “wrong” conclusion, and therefore by definition cannot be an expert – and as a result of this logic, we can easily see that all the experts agree.
    So if not peer-reviewed scientific literature, then what?

    That’s how people like Spencer and Lindzen operate. Sure, they have lots of peer-reviewed papers. But they’re mostly on mundane topics that no one would disagree with. The contentious stuff isn’t in peer-reviewed papers. But they push it relentlessly on their blogs and on the lecture circuit, representing right wing think tanks like the Heartland Institute, the George C. Marshall Institute, et. al.

    For instance: please feel free to point me to a peer-reviewed paper by Lindzen in one of the top science journals where he got his (climatologist) peers to agree that climate sensitivity will be limited to at most 1 deg C per CO2 doubling. Go ahead, take all the time you need.

  107. Dave

    101 Hugo

    Thanks for addressing the use of the word crime. Glad you got to it before me.

    It reminds me of Abraham Lincoln’s stance on Prohibition. “…it makes crimes out of things that are not crimes, and criminals out of people who are not criminals.” Back then the US government tried to legislate man’s appetite for alcohol. It didn’t work.

    Attempts to legislate man’s appetite for energy lead to pitfalls with alleged crime and alleged criminals. My appetite for energy decreases when the price goes up, which is what happens when high cost ‘solutions’ are implemented.

  108. Steve,

    How about a small word of apology for entirely and completely misconstruing me?

    please feel free to point me to a peer-reviewed paper by Lindzen in one of the top science journals where he got his (climatologist) peers to agree that climate sensitivity will be limited to at most 1 deg C per CO2 doubling. Go ahead, take all the time you need.

    Think I can do that. “Some coolness concerning global warming”, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, which has a healthy impact factor of 5.25. Then there’s one called On the Scientific Basis for Global Warming Scenarios, published in Environmental pollution with an impact factor of 3.09. Finally, pone of his earliest papers on the subject was published in the Journal of Atmospheric Sciences which has an impact factor of 2.98, last time I checked. And I didn’t even need that much time!

  109. Steve Metzler

    Sorry Hugo, but you must have *completely forgotten* that you said this in post #74:

    Richard Linzen, whom I cited above and and is oft called a “skeptic” does not, in fact, deny the human influence, he simply says it’ll be one degree over one hundred years and we have more important things to worry about (incidentally, if anyone feels like scoffing, check out this guys qualifications over on Wiki).

    So how exactly do you imagine that I misconstrued that?!

  110. You said, in round terms, that I was saying that the Lindzen view trumped that of the IPCC. You were wrong. Completely wrong. Entirely wrong. Wholly, monstrously, absolutely wrong. As you have just been wrong with the subject of peer reviewed publications.

  111. Okay, enough of the pleasant task of roasting someone rude to me, and onto the one of thanking ones who are nice.

    Messier,

    Thank you for your kind words.

    The possible solutions to the Global Warming issue will, I think, have to
    include some non-PC options or they just won’t work.

    You are quite right here. I have an enormous confidence in my species; human individuals are capable of astonishing things, as long as they aren’t being bullied and pushed around by apparatchicks and neo-mystics.

  112. Jeffersonian

    The cartoon seems to suggest that Milokevich cycles were responsible for the last ice age. FAIL.

  113. Gunnar

    @ #4 El Zarcho

    I have been following discussions in this blog and other blogs both pro and con about AGW for a long time, and it only becomes increasingly and even blazingly clear to me that your claims have been devastatingly refuted numerous times, yet you keep embarrassing yourself by repeating them. I hate the idea that the human contribution to global warming is increasing exponentially, but I can no longer hide my head in the sand and pretend it isn’t true!

    Besides, as Angela in #14 so eloquently pointed out, even if it isn’t true, it is extremely foolish of us to not become more energy efficient and not work harder to develop and utilize alternate, renewable energy sources. We will have to do it eventually anyway (because fossil fuel resources are finite and being rapidly depleted), and the sooner we start to do that, the less expensive and disruptive it will be to accomplish that, whether you like that conclusion or not!

  114. Steve Metzler

    110. Hugo Schmidt Says:

    You said, in round terms, that I was saying that the Lindzen view trumped that of the IPCC. You were wrong. Completely wrong. Entirely wrong. Wholly, monstrously, absolutely wrong.

    Wow. Did you forget to take your meds this morning? I shouldn’t have to do this but, once again, I repeat what you said back at post #74:

    Richard Linzen, whom I cited above and and is oft called a “skeptic” does not, in fact, deny the human influence, he simply says it’ll be one degree over one hundred years and we have more important things to worry about (incidentally, if anyone feels like scoffing, check out this guys qualifications over on Wiki).

    I’m guessing that English may not be your first language. Because that says to me: “Don’t listen to what the consensus of climatologists are saying (i.e. the IPCC et. al.), because this guy knows better, and just look at his qualifications!”

    As you have just been wrong with the subject of peer reviewed publications.

    Which were published about *20 years ago* (first paper you cited was published in 1990, second in 1993). Things have moved on since then. We’ve learned a lot more, and have taken a lot more measurements. Lindzen is just a shill for the Heartland Institute nowadays. None of the mainstream climatologists give any credence to Lindzen’s ‘iris effect’. He’s way out on the fringe with that one.

  115. Undeniable

    @13. Gus Snarp:

    @Undeniable – So you’re claiming hypocrisy?

    No, I am not. I merely hope to irritate AGW proponents given to labeling others ‘deniers’. Am I having any success?

    PS: Still very cold here.

  116. If that is what it you take from my comment, then it is quite obviously you that has the problems with basic literacy. Word of advice: don’t presume to put words into the mouth of, or to guess the thoughts of your betters, unless you want to look even more of a damn fool than you do already.

    Which were published about *20 years ago*

    Yes, and PCR was published way back in 1983, I believe. You never asked for recent ones; you simply asked for his publications claiming this in serious, peer-reviewed publications. You are now switching the goalposts having been proved wrong again.

    But since you seem to be a glutton for punishment, let me do the honors. The “Iris Effect” paper was published in the aforementioned Bulletin in 2001. Now, that’s not back in the mists of the past.

    That’s three strikes, you’re out. Perhaps in the future you will think twice before putting words into someone else’s mouth or engaging in the kind of slimy accusations as you have decided to trade in. You didn’t have any references to hand. You didn’t offer a serious counterargument. You, like your pal JJ, simply tried to fling mud. Take this:

    Lindzen is just a shill for the Heartland Institute nowadays

    As opposed to being a shill for the highly funded, politically powerful, and deeply sinister Green movement. See how easy this game is?

    UPDATE: Given this ridiculous stance of yours, will you similarly condemn that mechanical fraud Al Gore for spreading stuff the he knows is bullshit according to the IPCC.?

  117. Undeniable

    @15. Steve Metzler:

    This meme has become very popular among the denialati of late.

    ‘Denialati’? Even Google draws a blank with this.

  118. To summarize my view, which is what I was arguing with dave about, is this: there is a range of predictions as to how the climate will develop, with Hansen way out at one end, and Lindzen on the other end, with the IPCC representing our best estimate. Given how misleading computer models, this seems like the sensible route. That’s my view, and I am standing by it, regardless of the accusations made by certain paranoid nutcases.

    UPDATE: Basically, what I object to is this belief that if you’ve established the lowest possible motive for someone, you’ve found the right one. This is only there, as the Hitch points out, to elevate noisy morons to respectability.

  119. Steve Metzler

    Hugo, I think I’ll just bow out here. I don’t even think we’re on the same planet, let alone the same page. You must be real fun at parties. Dunning-Kruger. Google it.

    ETA: oh, wait. As I was writing this I just saw your latest post. This is surreal. You just said:

    there is a range of predictions as to how the climate will develop, with Hansen way out at one end, and Lindzen on the other end, with the IPCC representing our best estimate.

    WTF?! You say that the IPCC represents our best estimate (2C – 4.5C with 3C being the most ‘likely’. And Hansen is only a bit north of 3C, IIRC). And *then*, in the very next sentence you say:

    Given how misleading computer models, this seems like the sensible route.

    (my emphasis added) But the computer models are what the IPCC scenarios are based on! So which is it? You seem not to be able to avoid contradicting yourself within the same paragraph. And that is obviously not the first time this has happened in this very thread. I keep going back to post #74, and your subsequent denial of what you said there.

  120. I don’t even think we’re on the same planet,

    Couldn’t agree more.

  121. Steven,

    Thank you for noticing my typo; you now have found your correct slot. What I meant to write was “given how misleading computer models can be”. Anyone who has ever worked with computer models knows full well how one can get a range of results back from them.

    Thank you for your secretarial work. First good post you have made this thread.

    UPDATE:

    your subsequent denial of what you said there.

    Might want to work on that literacy thing.

  122. Steve Metzler

    Hugo, again, way to completely miss the point. Nothing to do with the typo, which was obvious. It’s your abject failure to express yourself clearly, and my repeated attempts to point that out, that have me in a state that is beyond frustration at this point, getting into wrist-slitting territory. Let’s go back to square one. Way back in post #74 you said, in response to ‘dave’ who is an admitted AGW denier:

    Let me make this simple: no one seriously denies the existence of APGW. Or, no one seriously does that. The only serious debate is to what extent human activity does cause it and how much of an increase with what consequences there will be. Richard Linzen, whom I cited above and and is oft called a “skeptic” does not, in fact, deny the human influence, he simply says it’ll be one degree over one hundred years and we have more important things to worry about (incidentally, if anyone feels like scoffing, check out this guys qualifications over on Wiki).

    Well, that makes sense. NOT! On the one hand, you say that no one seriously denies the existence of AGW. In the very next sentences you say we shouldn’t be worried about it. That’s a very mixed signal you’re sending. It has concern troll/denier written all over it. So, please tell me what you meant to say there before we go any further.

  123. I am having considerable trouble to explain myself, and my patience is at an end. This is the sort of question you might have posed at the start before you decided to engage in the grossest sort of calumny an accusation.

    It has concern troll/denier written all over it

    Would you like me to specify what your posts have written all over them? It is something very specific, where the key terms are “impaired thought processes”, “delusions paranoid or grandiose”, “aggressiveness” and “unfocused anxiety”.

    Now, as anyone can see from that point I am characterizing Lindzen’s point of view, which, incidentally, is not “we shouldn’t be worried about it”, but “we have more important things to worry about” (that is a crucial distinction). I then said that Lindzen’s qualifications appear impressive and that he deserves to be taken into consideration if you want to have any sort of a picture of the state of the science, or any clear notion of the argument.

    If you had, say, read my original comment back at #54, or taken any sort of serious time to think, you would have not made such a fool of yourself. You did no such thing. You proceeded mouth off in the most supercilious way. Now you seem upset that I cut your posts to ribbons. Sorry, no tears.

    UPDATE: The reason I am so irritated is that I am well and truly fed up with lines like this:

    Lindzen is just a shill for the Heartland Institute nowadays

    You know, scientific dishonesty is actually a very serious charge and not one to be made lightly.

  124. Steve Metzler

    Hugo, you keep contradicting yourself to the extent that it is not possible to figure out what your stance is on the issue of AGW. Please explain to me what these two sentences mean in conjunction with each other (with your typo corrected):

    there is a range of predictions as to how the climate will develop, with Hansen way out at one end, and Lindzen on the other end, with the IPCC representing our best estimate. Given how misleading computer models can be, this seems like the sensible route.

    I have *no idea* what you are trying to say there. If the IPCC ‘represents our best estimate’, then that disagrees with what Lindzen says, and you are tooting Lindzen’s horn all over the place earlier in the thread, including a lengthy paragraph of his ‘qualifications’ from Wikipedia. Lindzen thinks that there will be no feedbacks coming into play, and the climate sensitivity will be limited to about 1 deg C per doubling of CO2.

    The IPCC says that based on different scenarios of fossil fuel usage (and other socio/economic factors, but let’s not make this more complicated than it already is), that the sensitivity will be between 2 deg C and 4.5 deg C, with 3 deg C being the most likely. Hansen’s estimate falls within that range, by the way, I think at about 4 deg C. And those figures are based on models, to which you say: “Given how misleading computer models can be, this seems like the sensible route.”

    Now… just what the heck do you mean by that statement? Do you agree with the IPCC’s assessment or not?

  125. I have *no idea* what you are trying to say there

    Well, that’s not really my problem, is it? Question: if you can’t even manage to comprehend a simple comment on a blog, what on earth makes you think you are capable of handling something as complex as climate science? I mean, look at this:

    ? Do you agree with the IPCC’s assessment or not?

    Given that I have said repeatedly, starting from 54, that I do, it is hard to see how on earth I can make my position clearer. However, I will do you the courtesy of assuming that you are not actually this dumb; you are simply being dishonest and wriggling away from getting caught out.

    Don’t you wish you hadn’t riled me to this extent?

  126. Steve Metzler

    I doubt if anyone else is paying attention to this thread seeing as it is already on the second page of the blog. But if they are, I appeal to your sense of common decency to explain to Hugo how these sentences do not make ANY SENSE AT ALL:

    there is a range of predictions as to how the climate will develop, with Hansen way out at one end, and Lindzen on the other end, with the IPCC representing our best estimate. Given how misleading computer models can be, this seems like the sensible route.

    Shorter Hugo: “The IPCC represents our best estimate, but they use computer models to arrive at those estimates. And computer models are misleading, so this seems like a sensible route to take.”

    WTF are you trying to say?! No doubt you will find some way to tell me I have that wrong, but I am past the point of caring.

  127. flip

    I came late to this… but also I can’t seem to post my response on the actual comic blog. So a copy of it will go here.

    One reason deniers might not be persuaded by this comic is that it doesn’t mention HOW scientists know the carbon dioxide is from our activities. If there was short mention of how the carbon dioxide has specific markers showing that it comes from carbon we release into the atmosphere, it might make things more convincing to the reader.

    In general I found the comic good, but covers most of the brief points many other bloggers, scientists and skeptics mention themselves. That’s not a bad thing, and obviously still needs to be hammered home and you have limited space, but I found this too light on the how and why to be of any use to fence-sitters.

    I myself agree with the scientists, but having seen the arguments, I just don’t think this explains it in detail enough. You spend a lot of time talking about the funding of deniers, but the HOW we know it’s man made isn’t even remotely glossed over in comparison. As seen in the comments above, once you mention conspiracies, people respond with their own theories; but if you discuss more about the actual science and how the findings actually confirm heat-increase-by-humans, then maybe someone will think about that instead.

    I will also add that invariably all of the posts on blogs (minus the most notable global warming ones) I’ve seen discussing how global warming is true and scientific: very few of them actually explain how we know it’s us. Everyone skips over that part as if it’s obvious or the reader already knows how. Everyone also tends to skip over the part that scientists don’t necessarily think it will be catastrophic, just that the rate of increase will make it hard to deal with any changes on a practical level and the fallout from that *may* be catastrophic for communities, the economy or the survival of other species.

    (Also, it might help to add that many of the objections that are thought up by deniers have already been considered at length by scientists. Or that disagreement with any political plan to reduce global warming does not discount the science itself)

    …David said (on the other blog)
    “I do not support killing people to save the planet. ”

    The problem is that if the planet is not suitable for us humans – AKA just another species living on this planet – then humans will die out. It’s called extinction; you may have heard about it. The point is that we (all species) are going to die out sooner or later. Most of us would rather later. Which action is going to save the most amount of animals? Save the most amount of money? Doing nothing and dealing with the resulting chaos? Or doing something and minimising the impact? Either way: people will die and money will be spent. I’m sure you would agree with me that doing something is better since it will reduce pollution in the long run; however that sentence of yours is a ridiculous logical fallacy.

    [Something I will add here, but not on the other site, merely because I forgot...]

    It’s amazing how many people mention ethical issues regarding ‘Climategate’, but seem to totally disregard or not understand how peer-review publishing actually works.

  128. Steve, I am through with trying to explain things to your willful stupidity, purblind ignorance, misplace arrogance and functional illiteracy. Any serious person knows what I am saying, and it really isn’t that complicated to work out. Please, try to seek some help before you next try to engage with your intellectual betters.

  129. Nigel Depledge

    OK, so I’m a bit behind the times here, but I’d like to stick in my twopenn’orth anyhow…

    ElZarcho (4) said:

    That was the most BS-laden piece of stool I’ve observed in many days. Seriously, the Book of Revelations has more science and less apocalyptic imagery than that little screed.

    This is wrong in every single possible way, apart from spelling.

    1 – climate science is so new, no one really knows anything.

    Rubbish – climatology as we know it is getting on for 40 years old. That’s 40 years of collecting data and analysing them. We do know quite a bit about it now.

    I’m serious.

    Seriously deluded, more like.

    The arrogance of climatologists is enormous, and no one dares challenge them

    Wrong again. Climatologists are not so much arrogant as confident. Why? Because they have plenty of good data.

    You yourself are disproving the second part of your sentence. Plenty of people are challenging climate science, but none of them has any data to back up that challenge. All of the anti-GW crap is just whining or wishful thinking. I have yet to see one anti-GW comment that makes me think “oh, wait, maybe these guys do have a point”. Why? No data.

    2 – climate data prior to around 1970 is really sketchy. Ice cores?

    It’s not “sketchy” – whatever that may mean in this context – it just isn’t as global as the data we have after 1970. All of the proxies, however – ice cores (which are actually a good source of data), tree rings and so on – agree about what the climate was doing. That is confirmation that the proxies are giving us good data.

    3 – Even the most extreme measures we take CAN’T STOP IT, according to these same climate “scientists”.

    That’s more or less right, but it’s also misleading. We cannot prevent some more warming from occurring, but that doesn’t mean there’s no benefit to trying. Doing something about it right now has the potential to stop it from becoming catastrophic – if we make enough change in the next 5 years, we bring the problem – most probably – down to manageable proportions.

    Besides, since when has “we can’t stop it even though we can mitigate it” ever been a good argument for inaction?

    If we had done something about it 20 years ago, when the climatologists first started getting seriously concerned, we would have been able to stop it, or pretty close to.

    But hey, let’s make sure no one in Africa can have electricity unless it’s solar at ten times the price.

    This is irrelevant, and wrong. Solar is nowhere near 10 times the price of coal-based power (especially in Africa where there’s not much infrastructure to distribute electricity and they get lots and lots of sunshine).

    Better to kill 3rd world kids than to feel bad about polluting mother earth.

    Again, both irrelevant and wrong. If GW is not checked in some way, it has the potential to – through a variety of mechanisms, but mostly famines and wars – reduce our global population to perhaps one-third of its current level.

    4 – “global warming” is a feel-good cult, with more basis in paganism than in science.

    This is a flat-out lie.

    5 – shut up.

    Quite.

  130. Nigel Depledge

    Steve Metzler (126) said:

    But if they are, I appeal to your sense of common decency to explain to Hugo how these sentences do not make ANY SENSE AT ALL:

    there is a range of predictions as to how the climate will develop, with Hansen way out at one end, and Lindzen on the other end, with the IPCC representing our best estimate. Given how misleading computer models can be, this seems like the sensible route.

    Shorter Hugo: “The IPCC represents our best estimate, but they use computer models to arrive at those estimates. And computer models are misleading, so this seems like a sensible route to take.”

    WTF are you trying to say?!

    To which Hugo Schmidt (128) said:

    Steve, I am through with trying to explain things to your willful stupidity, purblind ignorance, misplace arrogance and functional illiteracy. Any serious person knows what I am saying, and it really isn’t that complicated to work out. Please, try to seek some help before you next try to engage with your intellectual betters.

    Actually, Hugo, the paragraph that Steve quoted there really doesn’t make sense. Perhaps some of the rest of what you were saying might help to clarify it – I have not yet read all the comments in this thread – but he really does have a point that what you are trying to convey could be said much more clearly than is the case in that example.

    Computer models are not misleading, unless you forget that they are models. The IPCC and most climatologists know this, and do not permit the models to lead them astray. This is why they often use many different models (or models that have been run many times using different assumptions to set the main parameters) and take an aggregate view from those models.

  131. Nigel Depledge

    Flip (127) said:

    One reason deniers might not be persuaded by this comic is that it doesn’t mention HOW scientists know the carbon dioxide is from our activities.

    Of course science is always more convincing when you explain how you know what you know, but it also takes longer.

    Here’s the short version, that really doesn’t require too much deep thought:

    1) CO2 (etc.) in the atmosphere is increasing.
    2) Global average temps are rising.
    3) CO2 is a known greenhouse gas.
    4) Natural processes (e.g. vulcanism) cannot account for the increased amount and rate of increase of atmospheric CO2.
    5) For the last 200 years or so, and increasingly in the last 50 years, we’ve been digging up carbon (and hydrocarbons) that has been underground for hundreds of millions of years.
    6) For the most part, what we do with that carbon is burn it, in a reaction that evolves CO2.

    So how exactly do you think this might have helped the comic?

  132. Steve Metzler

    130. Nigel Depledge Says:

    Actually, Hugo, the paragraph that Steve quoted there really doesn’t make sense. Perhaps some of the rest of what you were saying might help to clarify it – I have not yet read all the comments in this thread – but he really does have a point that what you are trying to convey could be said much more clearly than is the case in that example.

    See Hugo? It’s not just me. Even reading through all your previous posts on this thread, I still have not a clue what your position is on AGW. But you promote Lindzen, diss Al Gore, and downplay the role of the fossil fuel industry (and their paid shills) in all this. Those are pretty strong signals that you sit on the opposite side of the fence than I do on the AGW issue.

    Oh, and thanks for all the insults. Part of the problem with these blogs on the Internet is that you just don’t know who you are dealing with on the other side of the conversation. You may be a scientist (of what discipline I have no idea), but I happen to be an electrical engineer with a solid grounding in physics and mathematics. Functionally illiterate? Wow. I still think you should Google Dunning-Kruger.

  133. flip

    #131, Nigel

    Of course science is always more convincing when you explain how you know what you know, but it also takes longer.

    I totally agree with you. But the extra time is often worth it. Otherwise, none of us would be here reading this blog :)

    So how exactly do you think this might have helped the comic?

    The comic on homeopathy explained why it doesn’t work. The comic on AGW did not explain – at least to me, as clearly – why we know we’re contributing to global warming. Not everyone remembers their high school science, and not everyone who remembers it understood it. (I certainly didn’t, and only really remembered/understood it properly until I read points similar to what you just typed)

    Explaining how it works is just as important as dispelling the Climategate stuff; and I’d suggest moreso, since the science is what people are mostly ignoring. If you’re trying to get people to agree with the science, instead of ignoring it, then you should be explaining what the science is. Instead of assuming that people already know it.

    Let me put it another way: deniers might un/consciously assume that since the science isn’t explained or mentioned, that there isn’t any, and it’s all just wind and bluster.

    If you can spend several panels on Climategate, I don’t see why a couple couldn’t have been spent on the short 6 points you laid out. If we’re going to convince other people of the science then it’s a good idea to explain the basics, no?

  134. Nigel Depledge

    @ Flip (133) -
    Yeah, you may have a point. Until I thought about how to make it as simple as possible, I had thought that explaining how we know what we know about the climate would be too complex and require too much detail to fit into the comic.

  135. Nigel Depledge

    Quiet Desperation (7) said:

    I’m no “denier”, but I remain open minded.

    I’m not sure I understand you. Is that “open-minded” as in “undecided”, or “open-minded” as in “ready to see if there is any evidence to contradict the AGW hypothesis”?

    ‘Cos, based on current evidence, AGW is overwhelmingly supported.

  136. Nigel Depledge

    Paul in Sweden (8) said:

    We are past the best of the inter-glacial period which happened between 7,000 and 3,000 years ago.

    “Best” meaning what, exactly?

    Climate changes come in cycles determined by astronomical and physical factors…one main cause is the radiation received from the sun. We know that the behavior of the sun changes at intervals and these changes have their effect.

    Yes, and we also know that the sun’s output is not responsible for the current warming trend. Did you have something relevant to add?

    Climate changes, whether the current changes in climate are natural or anthropogenic it does not matter.

    I kind of agree with this – whatever the ultimate cause of the current warming trend, we should do our damnedest to limit its impact, or our current way of life will end.

    The undeniable fact is that humanity, the environment and science itself are already suffering the negative effects of climate change policies.

    Eh? What the hell does this mean?

    The only people liable to suffer “negative effects” from policies to combat AGW are those with a vested interest in the status quo, i.e. oil and coal companies and profligate emitters (mostly). I challenge that your “fact” is any such thing, let alone an undeniable one. Do you have any evidence?

  137. Nigel Depledge

    Dumb guy (9) said:

    Using the scientific method, at some point someone should be able to prove or disprove that global temperatures are rising.

    This has been done. Get with the programme.

    And then, real scientists should be able to prove a causal relationship between human activities and a rise in temperatures.

    And how do you suggest they do this?

    Already, the correlation between human emissions of greenhouse gases and the increase in temperature correlates with statistical significance. Natural causes of GW (solar output variations, vulcanism etc.) have been examined and ruled out as inadequate (or, in the case of solar variations, being the opposite of what you would expect if the sun were responsible).

    Short of increasing greenhouse gas emissions and watching for a following increase in the rate of warming, what else could be done to “prove” this causal relationship?

    Or are your standards of evidence unreasonable?

    Currently, the preponderance of evidence indicates that AGW is real. If we act and turn out to be wrong, we’ll still have done something that has value for humanity (i.e. being more efficient with energy use and developing alternative sources of energy). If we refuse to act on the basis that the science might (somehow) be wrong, then we are making the problem bigger and harder to deal with for our grandchildren.

  138. Nigel, if you spend some time going through these comments, you’ll see just why my patience has been completely exhausted with this nitwit and his ridiculous accusations and aspersions. You, Nigel, however strike me as someone honest. What I have been saying, time and again is:

    1) There is no serious disagreement that man made global warming is happening (or at least, none that I’ve been able to find).
    2) There is, however, a serious debate going on about the proportion and extent and how much.
    3) This isn’t surprising given what working with computer models can be like.

    and my stunning, shocking conclusion

    4) Therefore it appears sensible to go with the IPCC report, at least for us laymen (i.e. anyone who isn’t a climate science specialist).

    This is not difficult. This isn’t even controversial. It’s what I’ve been maintaining from my first post back at #54, and reiterated it several times. Now, when I was arguing with dave I was making the point that there was no real disagreement about man made global warming. I was promptly, and you can take a look for yourself, attacked in the most supercilious manner by this tenth-rate dimwit who, despite my explaining it over and over again, and despite being proved wrong over and over again, manages to skip past the point. Not to mention his rather less pleasant habits (such as thinking it’s okay to throw out accusations of scientific dishonesty at random).

    That, Nigel, is why I was so fed up. Take a look at this guy’s posts, starting from #91. I. will. not. be. talked. to. in. that. tone. of. voice.

  139. Hot Chocolate

    I. will. not. be. talked. to. in. that. tone. of. voice.

    Nobody f#*ks with Paul Lazzaro.

  140. Steve Metzler

    138. Hugo Scmidt

    1) There is no serious disagreement that man made global warming is happening (or at least, none that I’ve been able to find).

    It depends what you mean by serious. What about the mainstream media? Ever hear of ‘Climategate’?

    2) There is, however, a serious debate going on about the proportion and extent and how much.

    But not among the practicing climatologists, which amounts to somewhere between 97.5% and 98% of those that have been polled.

    3) This isn’t surprising given what working with computer models can be like.

    Oh, yes, uncertainties. We’ll have those, please. I’ve been programming computers since 1974. Maybe these poor, naive, climatologists who have not the first clue about statisticts should enlist my help (only joking).

    This is not difficult. This isn’t even controversial. It’s what I’ve been maintaining from my first post back at #54, and reiterated it several times. Now, when I was arguing with dave I was making the point that there was no real disagreement about man made global warming. I was promptly, and you can take a look for yourself, attacked in the most supercilious manner by this tenth-rate dimwit who, despite my explaining it over and over again, and despite being proved wrong over and over again, manages to skip past the point

    Yeah, there’s no disagreement over man made global warming. Ever read the comments over at wattsupwiththat? And listen, I’ve been pretty ‘take-it-on-the-cheek’ up to this point, but now the gloves are off. You have done nothing but insult me from the very moment I posited a view that was contrary to yours. Let’s recap:

    82. You know, the ability to mouth off in an aggressive fashion is not, contra to what you you might have been lead to believe by the internet, the sign of a reasoned or logical mind. Let me remind you of those qualifications you like to scoff at (yes, taken from Wikipedia, all seem solid enough): [Lindzen's qualifications. Yeah, fine]

    110. You said, in round terms, that I was saying that the Lindzen view trumped that of the IPCC. You were wrong. Completely wrong. Entirely wrong. Wholly, monstrously, absolutely wrong. As you have just been wrong with the subject of peer reviewed publications.

    I think though dost protest too much there. Verily.

    111. Okay, enough of the pleasant task of roasting someone rude to me, and onto the one of thanking ones who are nice.

    No, not rude to you by any means. Just taking issue with what you said. Do you begin to see a pattern here?

    116. If that is what it you take from my comment, then it is quite obviously you that has the problems with basic literacy. Word of advice: don’t presume to put words into the mouth of, or to guess the thoughts of your betters, unless you want to look even more of a damn fool than you do already.

    Oh, so you’re my ‘better’ now? Hmm. I might start to get a bit upset from here on in. But would any sane person begrudge me that?

    121. Might want to work on that literacy thing.

    123. Would you like me to specify what your posts have written all over them? It is something very specific, where the key terms are “impaired thought processes”, “delusions paranoid or grandiose”, “aggressiveness” and “unfocused anxiety”.

    I have *no idea* what you are trying to say there

    Well, that’s not really my problem, is it? Question: if you can’t even manage to comprehend a simple comment on a blog, what on earth makes you think you are capable of handling something as complex as climate science? I mean, look at this:

    ? Do you agree with the IPCC’s assessment or not?

    Given that I have said repeatedly, starting from 54, that I do, it is hard to see how on earth I can make my position clearer. However, I will do you the courtesy of assuming that you are not actually this dumb; you are simply being dishonest and wriggling away from getting caught out.

    Don’t you wish you hadn’t riled me to this extent?

    128. Steve, I am through with trying to explain things to your willful stupidity, purblind ignorance, misplace arrogance and functional illiteracy. Any serious person knows what I am saying, and it really isn’t that complicated to work out. Please, try to seek some help before you next try to engage with your intellectual betters.

    I’m functionally illiterate?! Right. You’re not either, BTW. Just a troll.

    Nigel, if you spend some time going through these comments, you’ll see just why my patience has been completely exhausted with this nitwit and his ridiculous accusations and aspersions. You, Nigel, however strike me as someone honest. What I have been saying, time and again is: … [snipped, because it's right there above]

    Hugo, you have done nothing but insult me from the start, just because I took a position that was (at least i *think* it was) contrary from yours. Rather than trying to clarify your position, you have done nothing but insult me. I am not even going to ask that you apologise, because that would obviously be a pointless thing to do at this stage. Goodbye, troll.

  141. Update: I shouldn’t have to say this – on scientific matters I distrust the mainstream media intensely and don’t believe a word of what they say before I can verify it for myself in peer reviewed journals.

    Steve, you have long since exhausted any claim to my patience. Read back over your comments, starting from #81 has been heavy on wind and low on anything that might pass for rational argument. Now you’re whinging that I insulted you?

    This might possibly be excusable if you had the grace to be right about anything. But you don’t. Take this:

    But not among the practicing climatologists, which amounts to somewhere between 97.5% and 98% of those that have been polled

    Really? That’s the level of agreement on how much warming is going to happen, how much it will be? So what’s that Science paper I’ve just read, the one that argues that there will be, in fact, positive feedback from increased clouds, in contrast to many other models? A fluke, a random thing? Then there’s that meta-analysis I saw in the Journal of Climate where only about half of the models agreed with each other. And maybe you should have a word with the IPCC – they seem to have a whole bunch of scenarios. Then there’s this figure: http://www.greenfacts.org/en/climate-change-ar4/figtableboxes/figure-5.htm
    Take a look at the legend where they say, quote: “Shading denotes the plus/minus one standard deviation range of individual model annual averages”. Now I happen to know, even if you don’t, that plus-minus one standard deviation isn’t 95%.

    So this is, what – your fourth or fifth error? Oh, and lookie here! I’ve just seen a paper in Science plus five papers in Climate Dynamics (impact factor 3.9) that place the level of global warming in response to doubled CO2 at 1.3 degrees. So, please quit finding new ways of being wrong.

    Oh, so you’re my ‘better’ now?

    Better believe I am. If you didn’t want trouble, you shouldn’t have taken that tone with me at the start. I’m a reasonable man, but it is a poor idea to provoke me.

  142. Steve Metzler

    Now you’re whinging that I insulted you?

    Hugo, some introspection would be appropriate at this point:

    Monty Python – Black Knight

    Others will read my last post, 140, and most likely concur.

    Oh, so you’re my ‘better’ now?

    Better believe I am. If you didn’t want trouble, you shouldn’t have taken that tone with me at the start. I’m a reasonable man, but it is a poor idea to provoke me.

    But we’re not in your sitting room with your auntie serving tea, and looking all aghast. I’m afraid you have little idea how this all works. Come back when you’ve read up on it.

    ETA: remember that you have called a person with a degree in electrical engineering (and not too shabby in expressing himself, I would think) ‘functionally illiterate’.

  143. Steve,

    You once again have been proved spectacularly wrong on the subject of what the peer-reviewed literature says. You are now reduced to the pathetic spectacle of saying that someone who just reads #140 will agree with you; yes, and any reasonable man who reads the sum of these posts will agree with me. Especially since I’m the only one to refer to the actual papers.

    If it came to a duel of qualifications, I could swat you like a bug. But I’ve already done that in the matter of facts and who is actually capable of marshalling them. I’ll spare you a sixth humiliation.

  144. Steve Metzler

    OK Hugo, I’m going for the ‘sixth humiliation’ then:

    The consensus of the peer-reviewed literature agrees that the globe is warming at an unprecedented rate (over the past 1000 years or so, at least), and that mankind is the primary cause of the recent warming due to the use of fossil fuels. The likely result of a doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial concentrations of 280ppm to 560ppm (around the year 2050, if we continue ‘business as usual’) is 3 deg C. This amount of warming will cause a drastic change to weather patterns, rendering a large portion of the planet that was hitherto responsible for producing crops that are crucial to our survival in a state of severe drought, just as the population of our planet is approaching an already difficult to sustain 9 billion or thereabouts.

    Even though the primary upswing in global temperatures will initially be in the neighbourhood of 1 – 2 deg C, the science tells us that there are likely to be feedbacks that will take us to at least 3 deg C. Water vapour is a more potent greenhouse gas that CO2, and warmer air can hold more moisture. And if the permafrost starts to melt, which is very likely to happen at some stage beyond the 1 deg C anomaly, then that will result in a huge amount of methane being released to further exacerbate the situation.

    Those are my own words that I have taken away from reading (albeit second hand) the scientific literature on the subject from the likes of Spencer Weart, Real Climate, and Skeptical Science. You can cite the likes of contrarians such as Lindzen as you wish, but they hold an increasingly marginalised viewpoint. Arctic ice is diminishing at an ever-increasing rate, spring comes earlier every year. Solar cycles can’t explain it. The last decade is the warmest on record, and you can see the inexorable increase in global temperatures if you just look at the long term trends.

    Such it was with the battle to prove smoking causes lung cancer, that mankind causes acid rain, the depletion of the ozone layer, etc. There are financially vested interests out there whose primary purpose is to sow FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) in order to maintain the status quo.

    I wear my heart on my sleeve. Like everyone else, I have some ideas on how we might overcome this problem (and cap and trade is not one of them), but first we need to get the public to acknowledge that there *is a problem*. Only then might we find the collective will to do something about it.

    If it came to a duel of qualifications, I could swat you like a bug.

    God help us all if an appeal to authority is an appeal to you.

    ETA: I’m an atheist, but that’s the best way I could express that parting thought.

  145. Brian137

    I wear my heart on my sleeve.

    Enjoy.

  146. The consensus of the peer-reviewed literature agrees that the globe is warming at an unprecedented rate (over the past 1000 years or so, at leas

    Just for the record – “over the past 1000 years” is not “unprecedented” by any geologic standard. But that’s a quibble:

    he likely result of a doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial concentrations of 280ppm to 560ppm (around the year 2050, if we continue ‘business as usual’) is 3 deg C.

    Correct. I have never disputed this. A lot of annoyance could have been saved if you had bothered to read what I actually wrote instead of taking that supercilious stance with me.

    Those are my own words that I have taken away from reading (albeit second hand) the scientific literature on the subject from the likes of Spencer Weart, Real Climate, and Skeptical Science

    Whereas I have been reading, as I say back at #54,

    the IPCC, Science, Nature, and Nature Climate,

    Etc.

    There are financially vested interests out there whose primary purpose is to sow FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) in order to maintain the status quo.

    You are quite right, and one of these would be Al Gore.

    but first we need to get the public to acknowledge that there *is a problem*

    Again, you are quite right about this, and one reason there is such a problem is that in the public mind “doing something about global warming” has become linked with such deeply sinister figures as Al Gore, Greenpeace etc. These are amongst the worst things that could have ever happened to the debate.

    and cap and trade is not one of them)

    Again, you are quite right about this. Reductions in CO2 emissions by regulations alone is not going to happen.

    See how much trouble could have been avoided if you had not taken that stance with me at the start?

  147. Steve Metzler

    OK Hugo, glad to see that we’re back on civil terms. I think where we got our signals crossed was way back in that infamous post #74, where you said Lindzen “says it’ll be one degree over one hundred years and we have more important things to worry about…”. That strongly contradicts the 3 deg C figure that is the closest thing to a scientific ‘consensus’, and which you now seem to agree on.

    I also think that harping on about Al Gore is a bit unfair, when you take into consideration what paid shills like Marc Morano are doing on the other side of the issue.

  148. Steve,

    Indeed we do seem to back on the same page. Except for this:

    you said Lindzen “says it’ll be one degree over one hundred years and we have more important things to worry about…”

    I’m sticking with that. That is what Lindzen says, is it not? Or have I inaccurately quoted him?

    But back to a more fruitful point:

    I also think that harping on about Al Gore is a bit unfair, when you take into consideration what paid shills like Marc Morano are doing on the other side of the issue.

    Well, there is a reason for that. Chaps like Marc Morano are going nowhere. No frontal attack on science ever works this side of an extreme dictatorship. Gallileo has been conclusively vindicated despite the best efforts of both Church and State. Darwin, likewise.

    The real danger lies not in opposition to science, but in its corruption. The history of corrupted science is truly terrifying: eugenics, lysenkoism, mathusianism, etc. The record of this latest corruption is already pretty awful – see my posts about Greenpeace’s stunts blocking energy development, see their blocking of GM food aid. And see also, and this is something that concerns me deeply, Al Gore’s comment in Earth in the Balance where he attacks Francis Bacon as a criminal for giving human beings confidence in their power of reason. I know this stuff, this is the language of the counter-Enlightenment. That such a man can be thought “Mr. Science” is beyond belief.

    Back to global warming. The principle reason for resistance to sound science is, though it’s rarely stated explicitly, reductio ad absurdum. That is, people think that by accepting the scientific facts, they are left with no choice but to give huge power to men like Gore who, to put it mildly, may not use it to the people’s benefit. Forget this stuff about high-powered industry lobbyist; they exist, but they wouldn’t be effective on their own. The real source of resistance is working class and some middle class resistance. I’ve quoted Nick Cohen, honourable lefty and socialist of the old school:

    Arguments about climate change, however, are not at all like arguments about abortion or creationism. Hard-headed people can see that their bills will rise and maybe their jobs go too. You must expect them to fight back hard.

    Quite. And most importantly of all, it is a matter of resistance from the developing world. Any proposal that leaves out China and India is farcical, and any proposal that is forced on defenseless Africa is outrageous.

    The only real solution is one that emphasizes technology to both replace our current carbon fuels (nuclear would be one example, that’s how France does it) and ways of mitigating the damage to human beings (e.g. trade liberalization to allow the worlds poorest to face this crisis from a position of wealth rather than poverty) and of mitigating the phenomenon itself (matters such as geoengineering and carbon capture, though I don’t pretend to be an export on either).

    If one takes the matter of non-oil based power generation, that would have the pleasant effect of both cutting emissions, driving down oil prices (less demand = lower price) and undercutting regimes like Iran and Saudi Arabia. One can also place a greater emphasis on low-carbon oil like that of Canada. Those are proposals one can take to the electorate that don’t have that massive populist backlash built in.

  149. If I may make a point that you may have some sympathy with. You must have encountered comments about the Global Cooling scare. Someone always brings it up. Now I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, that I place little confidence in the MSM’s ability to report on matters like this. However, it can tell us about the ability of the media to get things wrong and try to stampede public opinion.

  150. Dave

    #122 Steve.

    I am not a denier. I am an admitted skeptic. I haven’t followed the exchange between you and Hugo until now, and I must say he’s indulged you more than you deserve.

  151. Steve Metzler

    150. Dave Says:

    #122 Steve.

    I am not a denier. I am an admitted skeptic. I haven’t followed the exchange between you and Hugo until now, and I must say he’s indulged you more than you deserve.

    Well, that certainly is an interesting viewpoint. I suspect you’re showing more than a little confirmation bias there. With the pile of insults Hugo flung at me, other people may have given up in frustration long before I did. But I have a pretty thick skin, since I’ve been reviewing video games on the web since 1997 or so. I’ve seen it all. I used to get pretty upset when people disagreed with me, and ‘throw my toys out of the pram’ like Hugo did, but I’ve become a lot more pragmatic as of late.

    In retrospect, the problem that Hugo and I had was that he didn’t express himself very well a few times back there (see Nigel’s comment #130). Any honest observer has to admit that. I was asking for clarification because I really couldn’t understand what he was trying to say.

  152. Steve,

    You may take a look at the tone you took with me from the first. You did not ask for clarification; you simply sneered and attacked. It’s not my fault that you were wrong, and I also make no apologies for shooting back when I am spoken to in that manner.

  153. Messier Tidy Upper

    @105. PayasYouStargaze Says:

    Messier Tidy Upper said ” who has ever advocated barring all Africans from the rock of Gibraltar down to the Cape of Good Hope”.
    Gibraltar isn’t part of Africa, so maybe you should have said the Strait of Gibraltar.

    Er, yes, you’re right I should’ve said Strait of Gibraltar instead there. I stand corrected – thanks. :-)

  154. Gareth Hanrahan

    Hugo Schmidt claimed “If it came to a duel of qualifications, I could swat you like a bug.”
    Strange that the many folk that support AGW contrarians act very similarly to you. They spout off about their supposed qualifications but never ever reveal them. We just have to take their word for it.
    It shows the mind set of people like you Hugo, that you don’t bother with evidence of your claims, and expect us all to just accept them.

  155. Penny Rimbaud

    Dave wrote:

    “It’s a good thing to be a skeptic, unless you disagree. Then you’ll be labeled a denialist. Denialists are made of straw, and we can be kicked, beaten, and burned up, then the embers stomped on. Feel better?”

    Denialists aren’t made of straw, but their arguments certainly are.

  156. Muldoon

    Bad Astronomer?

    Again, another article featuring not much in the way of science. I know it’s your opinion blog, but it’s becoming less relevant.

    Try Terrible Climatologist, you might need a reputation when the time comes.

    Skeptic, not denier.

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

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

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

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

Not Registered Yet?

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