Moon walker, climate change denier

By Phil Plait | February 8, 2011 7:00 am

The twelve men who walked on the Moon are heroes. I have no doubt in my mind about that: the risks they took to stand on the surface of another world were fiercesome, and no matter what their fortitude is not in doubt. I’ve met many of them at various meetings, and quite liked them.

But that doesn’t make them infallible, of course. I’ve written about Apollo 14’s Ed Mitchell diving headlong into antiscience (as well as here, here, and here) for example.

And now I fear I must add Apollo 17’s Harrison Schmitt to the list. I hate to do this, since he is an advocate for space travel and was the only classically-trained scientist to walk on the Moon (he’s a geologist). However, he’s a climate change denialist. And while everyone is entitled to their opinions, facts are not negotiable. And this is now doubly important since Schmitt was recently appointed to run New Mexico’s Department of Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources, where he will have to make decisions directly related to that state’s contribution to climate change.

Apparently, he’s been using blatantly wrong information to support his arguments. My Discover Magazine co-blogger Chris Mooney gives an overview of this on DeSmogBlog, but the real meat of Schmitt’s claims is pretty handily debunked by Scott Mandia and again by John Cook. There’s also a pretty brutal treatment of it by Richard Littlemore at DeSmogBlog as well.

In a nutshell, Schmitt has claimed that arctic sea ice is growing in extent, and in 2009 was back to levels seen in 1989. There are two problems with this claim. The first is that it’s wrong; Schmitt used cherry-picked data from both of those years that made it seem as if the coverage of ice had grown, but in fact when you look at the monthly and yearly averages, it’s clear the extent of ice dropped by several percent. In fact, this last January had the lowest sea ice extent for that month since at least 1979!

The second problem is just as bad: sea ice extent is not a good measure of warming; instead, volume is a much better indicator. You can cover a lot of area of the arctic with ice, but if it’s thin ice it’ll melt in the summer. If, on the other hand, the ice is thicker (has more depth or volume) then it won’t melt as readily. So saying the ice covers more area — even if true which it clearly is not — doesn’t mean much, because a single particularly cold winter can freeze the surface water, but that’ll all melt easily once summer hits. However, if the Earth is warming, then you’d expect the volume of ice to decrease, since the increasing temperatures will actually affect water temperatures, melting the ice below the surface.

And as the articles by both Mandia and Cook linked above show, that’s what’s happening. The extent of sea ice fluctuates with season as expected, but the volume of sea ice is steadily decreasing — in fact, the trend is that we’re losing 3500 cubic kilometers of arctic ice per decade! Not only that, but a more careful examination of sea ice extent shows that over time (many years as opposed as season to season), it’s decreasing as well. Again, if the world is warming that means longer summers and shorter winters, so even the maximum area of surface ice measured every year will wane.

This isn’t exactly, pardon the expression, rocket science. The graphs are pretty clear. Whether you think global warming is manmade or not, the fact of the matter is it’s occurring. We’re experiencing it right now, and all this noise and distraction and, frankly, distortion of the data won’t change that fact. Walking on the Moon is a magnificent achievement, but it doesn’t make you any more likely to be right when it comes to the climate.


Related posts:

Comic takedown of global warming denialism
Climate change: the evidence
Another climate scientist responds to Joe Barton’s false claims
I’m skeptical of denialism

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, Piece of mind, Politics

Comments (265)

  1. Scott Davis
  2. Gonçalo Aguiar

    It is a really cheap shot to use and indoctrinate an very known Apollo Astronomer to support the climate skeptics.
    But if it is wrong, it gets debunked. Other Apollo Astronomers should stand up for this, if they’re willing.

  3. Gary

    And even though one is completely right about vaccines as well as being a science geek, author, blogger, etc., doesn’t make someone any more right when he muddies the issue with pejorative labels (“denier,” “denialist”) and refuses to see the corruption in climate science.

    Just sayin’…

  4. MartinM

    …refuses to see the corruption in climate science.

    I hope you can support that slanderous statement.

  5. brad

    Why is it that when you agree with someone, they’re a sceptic, and when you disagree they’re a denialist? Not that I’m defending the viewpoint, but we could do without the hysterics.

  6. Gonçalo Aguiar

    The climate denialists are far more corrupt as far as I’m concerned. They’re only interest is corporate profit, regardless of environmental/human damage.

    Please state where the climate science is corrupt. Are you referring to the CO2 taxation?

  7. What is it with high profile geologists and denial? Prof. Ian Plimer is another.

  8. MartinM

    Why is it that when you agree with someone, they’re a sceptic, and when you disagree they’re a denialist?

    That’s quite obviously not the case. There are disagreements between people who can legitimately be described as sceptics all the time. Deniers are so called not because they disagree, but because their disagreement is on a par with that of creationists in terms of credibility and honesty.

  9. I guess he hasn’t faced moon-mission-deniers to know how it feels to get your life-time work denied based on false claims… He would pick his data with more care.

  10. @brad
    I think you’re a denialist if you’re skeptical of a position in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

  11. Messier Tidy Upper

    Pity. Harrison Schmitt was – and remains a hero of mine for his Apollo deeds. But now, like Ed Mitchell, a slightly tarnished one. Even heroes can be wrong. :-(

    @7. Shane : ..& Bob Carter too. Another Aussie contrarian sad to say. :-(

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_M._Carter#Global_warming

    Meanwhile latest news just in :

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=49132
    Well just~ish as in I’ve only stumbled across this 5 minutes ago. ;-)

    While Peter Sinclair’s Climate Denial Crock of the Week’ has this :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nruCRcbnY0&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    excellent clip on the matter.

  12. Per

    What, he doesn’t accept the scriptures?!

    You guys are like a religion on your own. Scientism, the evangelists of the era with scientists as the post modern priesthood.

    This is just ridiculous.

  13. Gary Ansorge

    People can hold mutually opposing ideas, depending on their programmed (or conditioned) bias and the specific data they choose to observe and ignore. We’re quite capable of believing that God is great while ignoring the catastrophic human devastation of an earthquake or hurricane.

    Schmitt is just being human. Having said that, NOW we impose the rigid rules of the scientific method, one of which requires that Schmitts ideas be vigorously examined by his peers or, in this case, by experts more qualified than is he in the arena of meteorology.

    I think meteorologists trump geologists in any discussion of global warming.

    Our planetary albedo is only of major significance in the summer, when the available ice coverage reflects incident solar radiation back to space. Which is why the THICKNESS of winter ice becomes more significant than its total area. It has to last thru the summer to reduce global temperature.

    Oops, I almost forgot this,,,
    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/columnist/vergano/2011-01-30-science-movies_N.htm

    About scientists explaining the science in movies.

    Gary 7

  14. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^ Gary Ansorge : Agreed – and climatologists trump the meteorologists too! ;-)

    Plus the Crock of the Week has this update :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MozcU7woNNQ&feature=related

    Which is also well worth watching & the even more recently posted update here :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G80mIbF5yEg&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    abut ice cores, ditto. :-)

    Plus if folks are wondering about the weather patterns and what that might be saying this :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_lYbp2zxVg

    is the clip for you.

  15. miketheg

    @Gary

    As a geologist, I would have to respectfully disagree :) Geologists (and climatologists) are far more knowledgeable about long-term climate change, whereas meteorologists don’t study climate at all, but weather (short term). That said, Schmitt is most assuredly wrong, which is particularly disappointing for me, as I always loved him for being the first (and only) geologist on the moon.

  16. Ray

    @ MartinM

    Slander is verbal, Libel is written. That said, Al Gore is about as corrupt as they come in the climate change business.

  17. Drew M.

    As a New Mexican, it makes me sad that one of my childhood heroes is in the denier camp.

    I initially thought he was only bashing the jerks who are using AGW alarmism (sorry for the loaded word, I can’t think of a good synonym) to gain personal wealth. Unfortunately, as I read more, I see that he really isn’t looking at the science behind it.

  18. Number 6

    Maybe this is a case of a scientist who was unable to retain scientific rigor. He should, of course, let the facts dictate his conclusions. Instead, he let his feelings dictate his conclusions. And, those feelings created a rose-colored haze over his pupils.

    I think sometimes people in various professions lose their way. The causes could be career burn-out, influences upon their thinking that is outside their area of expertise (or in Schmitt’s case an influence from outside the realm of science), or some other cause or multiple causes.

    The advantage to ex-astronaut Schmitt is that by changing his thinking he now has what many would consider a great job — “(running) New Mexico’s Department of Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources”.

    So, he benefits while the world suffers.

  19. DanB

    Arguing the existence of man made global warning is not productive. If global warming is man made or part of a normal cycle is irrelevant.

    The questions instead should be:

    1. Is there anything humans can do to mitigate global warning? For example, if we drop CO2 emissions by 5% what affects will that have on climate change?

    2. What is the cost, both in dollars and human lives, for making these changes?

    In my opinion, one of the biggest omissions in the climate change arguments is the costs involved in our making changes. When DDT was stopped we saved large populations of birds. Instead, we increased the death rate to malaria by hundreds of thousands. Is the same thing happening with climate change solutions?

  20. Gus Snarp

    Say it ain’t so, Joe. This just goes to show why appeal to authority is a fallacy. I’m not sure which is worst, that he’s an Apollo astronaut who denies climate change, or that he’s a trained geologist.

    I suspect that the reason many of the deniers come from geology is that schools of geology have been founded, developed, and funded by mineral extraction industries. Many geologists are learning/being taught what they need to know to support coal mining and oil exploration and drilling. They may not so much be corrupted by oil money as steeped in a culture of intensive resource exploitation.

    They’re not all like that though, I had a professor who is now a geographer, but his degree is in geology. He is largely a climatologist studying arctic regions, and his data and research is a big part of the global warming picture, even though he’s not one of the names you hear in the news.

  21. Messier Tidy Upper

    @3. Gary :

    And even though one is completely right about vaccines as well as being a science geek, author, blogger, etc., doesn’t make someone any more right when he muddies the issue with pejorative labels (“denier,” “denialist”) and refuses to see the corruption in climate science. Just sayin’…

    Easy to say something, hard to back it up. Can you? Is there really any genuine evidence supporting the assertion that climatologists are corrupt?

    If you’re talking about the hacked “climategate” emails (which have since been well & truly debunked) I suggest you take a look at this clip :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nnVQ2fROOg

    Thanks to “potholer54″ & also this one :

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

    &, because the Ramans always do things in threes*, this one :

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

    too. (Plus the other two in that sub-series from my fave non-BA blog source on this issue.)

    @14. Ray : I’m no big fan of Gore’s at all quite the reverse. I think as a divisive politician & NOT a qualified scientist his involvement made things even more politically partisan & overheated than they would otherwise have been and his movie has some significant errors. But how exactly is he corrupt? Citations & supporting evidence please.

    —————-

    * “The Ramans do everything in threes.”
    – Arthur C. Clarke, ‘Rendezvous with Rama’, Final page (252), Pan
    Books Ltd, 1973.

    [Ironically, the following Rama series was NOT just a trilogy but had at least four and maybe six books in it. – MTU.]

  22. RJ

    Sediment and ice core samples from around the world have shown that the Earth’s climate is cylclical. We don’t have near enough data to confirm or deny that humans are affecting climate change/global warming at this point. Polar caps melting and raising ocean levels? Sorry, but I live in south Florida and the oceans haven’t risen at all in the 30+ years I’ve been living here. I suppose I could claim that global warming is a myth based on that evidence.

    Climate change denier? C’mon. Until someone can produce 10,000 to 100,000 years of evidence to prove humans are effecting climate change, I’ll remain skeptical about said claims.

  23. Paul Dixon

    OK, this is not about ice sheets or Harrison Schmitt. But can we stop using the word denier? Denier turns science into black and white, where there are many shades of grey.

    Am I a “Denier” if I question the amount of attribution? (The A in AGW).

    Am I a “Denier” if I question uncertainties in statistical models?

    Am I a “Denier” if I think “unprecedented” has not been backed up with statistically significant evidence?

    Am I a “Denier” if I accept that temperatures have been increasing (we have a thermometer record after all), but question the models that again and again predict warming beyond what is observed?

    Am I a “Denier” for thinking “hide the decline” hides important science from policy makers?

    Am I a numpty for expecting a higher standard of science?

    Mumblings of a former particle physicist – aka a “Denier” who accepts the world is warming up and that naturally, we are partly to blame for that warming.

  24. Father Tyme

    Phil,
    If Global Warming is the greatest hoax perpetrated on man, would you please ask Harrison if he REALLY did go to the moon or was he victim of an elaborate NASA mind game?
    Maybe he was just whisked off to the Tunisian Desert by the predecessors of the Domino’s Pizza Ad People? LOL!

  25. @Paul Dixon – I don’t think it’s questioning things that makes you a denier: it’s how you behave when you get answers.

    Since nobody’s citing Al Gore in support of anything, he’s irrelevant to the topic of this post.

  26. Messier Tidy Upper

    Rama series~wise see :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rama_series#Books_in_the_series

    I’ve read four of those – the original Clarke one’s. Only now found out about the other 2 solely by Gentry Lee. :-)

    @ RJ : We don’t have near enough data to confirm or deny that humans are affecting climate change/global warming at this point.

    Actually RJ, in fact, we really, *really* do. Try looking at this clip :

    http://www.youtube.com/user/potholer54#p/c/A4F0994AFB057BB8/0/52KLGqDSAjo

    Or this one :

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

    Or do some more basic research online -there’s plenty of evidence out there easily available such as on (usual web address intro) realclimate (dot) org & ( usual web address intro again) skepticalscience (dot) com (slash) available for everybody. :-)

  27. chris j.

    Paul Dixon, the “a” is for anthropogenic. most deniers claim there’s none. the problem with questioning statistical models is that they are conflating inherent statistical uncertainty with doubt about the conclusion. if something is “unprecedented” then by definition it hasn’t been observed before, making past evidence hard to come by (and “statistically significant evidence” becomes a comoving visibility limit).

    if you accept that warming is occurring, but wonder why some models have been inaccurate, you’re not a denier. climate science is incredibly complex, and confounders are many. the complexity of the science is not helped by thieves who steal computer drives, and politically-driven witch-hunts, to cherry-pick innocuous terminology like “hide the decline” that make perfect sense in context.

  28. noen

    RJ said:
    “Sediment and ice core samples from around the world have shown that the Earth’s climate is cylclical.”

    There are climate cycles that are the result of the precession of the Earth’s poles. But even after accounting for that our climate is still warming due to the human contribution of CO2.

    “We don’t have near enough data to confirm or deny that humans are affecting climate change/global warming at this point.”

    Yes, we do.

    “Polar caps melting and raising ocean levels? Sorry, but I live in south Florida and the oceans haven’t risen at all in the 30+ years I’ve been living here.”

    Actually, they have risen. This is an objective fact.

    “I suppose I could claim that global warming is a myth based on that evidence.”

    Personal anecdote is not evidence.

    “Until someone can produce 10,000 to 100,000 years of evidence to prove humans are effecting climate change, I’ll remain skeptical about said claims.”

    We have such evidence but I highly doubt that would change your mind. You have shown, at least in this short post, no ability whatsoever to think critically.

  29. Gus Snarp

    @Paul Dixon:

    1. Yes, probably. It’s pretty clear that atmospheric carbon is the issue, and that there’s a carbon cycle that includes volcanoes and all the other “natural” contributors. What’s different now is that we’re digging up huge amounts of sequestered carbon left over from a much warmer prehistoric world and pumping it directly into the atmosphere.

    2. That depends on whether you actually fully understand the models, the data, and underlying science. You’re a smart guy with a scientific background, but surely you understand that a climatologist doesn’t have the training to weigh in on specifics of models of particle physics?

    3. See answer to number 2 above.

    4. See answer to number 2 above.

    5. Either a denier or ignorant. “hide the decline” in context relates to properly adjusting otherwise inaccurate historical records, not hiding an actual temperature decline that is consistent throughout the data. This is a red herring.

  30. Ron1

    @24. Father Tyme Said, ” Phil, If Global Warming is the greatest hoax perpetrated on man, would you please ask Harrison if he REALLY did go to the moon or was he victim of an elaborate NASA mind game?
    Maybe he was just whisked off to the Tunisian Desert by the predecessors of the Domino’s Pizza Ad People? LOL!”

    ……………………………………………………………….

    Regardless if you intended humour, that was a really stupid and insulting comment.

    Regardless of his recent actions, Schmidt is still very much a man deserving of great honour and respect. Your comment dishonours him greatly. You should be ashamed.

  31. Mat

    Yes, Phil. He is a heretic and should be burnt at the stake for not believing in the current religion.

  32. noen

    PaulDixon said:
    “Am I a “Denier” if I question the amount of attribution? (The A in AGW).”

    Yes, you are. The amount of human contributed CO is an objective fact that can be measured. You are allowed your own opinions, you are not allowed your own facts.

    “Am I a “Denier” if I question uncertainties in statistical models?”

    Unless you are a statistician and have full access to the statistical data and understand the model used, yes.

    “Am I a “Denier” if I think “unprecedented” has not been backed up with statistically significant evidence?”

    There have been other human civilizations in the past who’s industrial revolutions caused climate change? Interesting theory.

    “Am I a “Denier” if I accept that temperatures have been increasing … but question the models that again and again predict warming beyond what is observed?”

    Yes, you are a denialist if your scientific knowledge doesn’t extend beyond reading a thermometer.

    “Am I a “Denier” for thinking “hide the decline” hides important science from policy makers?”

    Yes, you are a denialist if you believe that words taken out of context are meaningful.

    “Am I a numpty for expecting a higher standard of science?”

    You are a denialist if you hypocritically demand high standards from scientists but do not demand similar standards from their opponents.

    “Mumblings of a former particle physicist – aka a “Denier” who accepts the world is warming up and that naturally, we are partly to blame for that warming.”

    So you are not actually a climate denialist at all since you accept the fact that the climate is warming and that humans are responsible.

    Should I get off your lawn?

  33. Scott

    There are massive differences between skeptics and denialists. A good skeptic will hold fire on an answer until they have reviewed and studied a particular view point (as much as is practically possible).

    Deniers will try to find odd bits of data here and there to support a view that is not held by the vast majority, exclaiming “Look these two points of data prove you are wrong”, without even looking at all the other 8 million bits of data that do support the consensus.

    I’m not saying that every bit of climate science is 100% accurate, no one can, because you could spend the rest of your life reviewing data, but the conclusion is that it’s real. This is not based on some half baked cherry picking of data, but on many many many different kinds of data from many different and diverse sources that show strong correlation to the fact that global temperatures are rising. Unless you believe that it’s ALL a conspiracy?

    This kind of false logic is the same thing spewed out by homeopaths, moon landing deniers, conspiracy theorists the world over.

    Think twice, speak once.

  34. Man, it’s a shame. Tom Amandes did such a great job portraying him in the miniseries.

  35. Jamey

    @#29-Gus Point 5…

    How do we know these historical records are inaccurate? Adjusting the data to fit what you believe it should be is pretty much … faking it?

    They’ve admitted they’ve diddled the data. How do we verify the diddling, when their explanation of why the diddled it always seems to be that “it didn’t fit what we know is true.”

    They should just admit that the error bars on the older data are much wider than they like – and present the information properly, rather than “adjusting” it to fit what they want.

    I find people actually *do* understand the whole concept of “plus or minus”.

  36. James

    Erm, “fiercesome”? Really?

  37. Dave R

    Mat:
    >Yes, Phil. He is a heretic and should be burnt at the stake for not believing in the current religion.

    No one mentioned his views on religion. Nor did anyone suggest that he should be burnt at the stake.

    He was criticised for claiming that the Arctic ice is not declining when he knows very well that it is declining.

  38. jfb

    RJ @ 22:

    Sorry, but I live in south Florida and the oceans haven’t risen at all in the 30+ years I’ve been living here.

    So why are these guys wrong? If ocean levels haven’t risen in the last 30+ years, why are they seeing a clear upward trend?

    Paul Dixon @ 23:

    Skeptics care about data. Deniers care about politics. Skeptics (generally) don’t give a rat’s ass about Al Gore’s airplane, nor do they (generally) buy into the idea of a global conspiracy to enslave humanity. Skeptics question the quality of data, the applicability of certain statistical methods, the rigor of analysis, the fidelity of models, etc. They don’t ascribe sinister motives to climate scientists a priori.

    Deniers are all about Al Gore’s airplane, global conspiracies, corruption, etc. To the extent that they understand the data, they don’t really care about it except to cherry pick one or two data points that seem to contradict the general consensus.

    At least that’s my view from the sidelines.

  39. CB

    Paul Dixon:

    But can we stop using the word denier? Denier turns science into black and white, where there are many shades of grey.

    No, we can never stop distinguishing between real skepticism and unscientific denial.

    Asking questions doesn’t make someone a denier. Asking questions is what every skeptic and every scientist must do.

    Asking questions only of climatologists and not of those arguing against AGW is being a denier. Asking about the implications of “hide the decline” without asking what that actually meant in context is being a denier. Using flagrantly cherry-picked data points without question, as the basis for questioning climate science is being a denier. Being credulous of any anti-AGW argument and skeptical of anything pro is not in fact skepticism at all. It’s being a denier.

    Refusing to distinguish between sincere skepticism and this kind of one-sided, targeted denial, to try to make going after the unskeptical arguments of the denier the same as rejecting all questioning, is being a denier.

    Refusing to distinguish is to turn the world and science into black and white.

    A real skeptic must look skeptically at all the evidence, and on this basis it is clear whose data and arguments are stronger. “Stronger” being of course a matter of degrees, of shades of gray, though the difference in this case is large. It does not mean “settled”. Debate and questioning can and must continue. It is continuing, as sincere skeptics and scientists continue doing good work. That debate, though, is taking place much closer to where you are talking about, and far from where the denialists want it to be. Which is why they cannot and do not engage in the shades-of-gray sincere-and-thus-universal skepticism that we’re talking about.

    In the shades-of-gray universe, black still exists. In the shades-of-gray universe, not everyone asking questions is the same, not all are simply skeptics. Some are simply deniers, trying to turn the world into black and white.

    I will never, ever, give up my ability to distinguish.

  40. Scott

    Diddled “the data”?

    Oh come on. Why are we still bounding on about the whole “hide the decline” thing. This was ONE tiny set of data included in ONE presentation, mentioned in an email. This does not account for 100% of “the data”, doesn’t even account for 0.000000000000001% of the data.

    Drop this one now, it’s old.

  41. Messier Tidy Upper

    My Discover Magazine co-blogger Chris Mooney gives an overview of this on DeSmogBlog, but the real meat of Schmitt’s claims is pretty handily debunked by Scott Mandia and again by John Cook. There’s also a pretty brutal treatment of it by Richard Littlemore at DeSmogBlog as well.

    A-a-n-nd only now do I find there’s an even newer & more relevant Climate Crock clip by Peter Sinclair here :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrxE3uwHECs&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    That deals directly with Dr Harrison Schmitt’s unfortunate (for him) claims. If I’d have realised it existed earlier, I’d have posted it here earlier. Oh well. [Shrugs.]

  42. MichaelL

    How does a layperson like myself weed through the information and stats that can appear to bolster the arguments of both sides? I continually come across data that suggests Schmitts’ position is correct: that sea ice is growing in extent. Yesterday, I came across an article that stated global temps have not increased since 1999, and in fact, have shown a slight decrease. Then, on the other hand, I have read studies that indicate the opposite – global temps have increased over that past century and are continuing to increase. Many of these studies are using the same data, supplied by NASA and NOAA. How are we, who do not have doctorates and letters behind our names, supposed to get to the actual truth of the matter?

    Personally, I believe that it is obvious that global climate change is occurring. A quick glance at the headlines of the past few weeks and months make it clearly obvious that something is happening on a global scale. (Unprecedented winter storms, massive flooding and cyclones in Aus, for example.) What I am not 100% convinced of, is that humans are solely responsible. If we look at the geological record over millions of years, it’s clear that climate change has happened before without human influence. (In saying this, I do believe that we are contributing to the problem with our unprecedented raping and pillaging of the earths resources, but there is more to it than this.)

  43. angelo

    @19. DanB

    regarding DDT, it’s a tad more complicated…
    see e.g. http://membracid.wordpress.com/category/malaria/

    as for AGW, to paraphrase a commenter on another thread, even in the most unlikely case it is not real, the fact remains that injecting massive amounts of a greenhouse-effect gas in a highly complex, positive feedback-prone system (a.k.a. “the atmosphere” ;) ) is rather a Bad Idea…

  44. noen

    Climate denialists are just authoritarian followers.

    That is, there are some people, authoritarians, who do not get their information through critical thinking but instead by looking to those in power, the authorities, for cues as to what and how they should think. They are followers and they do as they are told. Right now some very wealthy and very powerful men, particularly the oil tycoons known as the Koch brothers, are funding climate denialist think tanks and organizations. To the tune of millions of dollars.

    They also pay for people to go to blogs and forums to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt. So it is very likely that many of the climate denialists here are paid trolls. Why some poor schumck in Des Moines should want to help multi-billionairs make even more money is beyond me. But… they are followers, they don’t think for themselves, they OBEY.

    Good dog, now go fetch me a beer.

  45. Gus Snarp

    @Jamey – The “hide the decline” business was a poor turn of phrase, but it was used among a group of scientists who knew what they were talking about: one specific set of data among many more and larger sets of data, that had a consistent and well understood deviation from other records in one direction and for reasons that were well understood. Accounting for those reasons is what was meant by “hide the decline”. They weren’t making anything up.

  46. TheBlackCat

    In my opinion, one of the biggest omissions in the climate change arguments is the costs involved in our making changes.

    Then you haven’t been paying any attention. Numerous detailed analyses of the costs of climate change and the costs of fighting it have been done.

    When DDT was stopped we saved large populations of birds. Instead, we increased the death rate to malaria by hundreds of thousands.

    DDT was never banned for fighting malaria, or any other disease-carrying insect.

  47. Rick

    I suspect Harrison has adopted his stance for his own benefit. It’s sad, but with any sort of politically driven positing people do this. Obama is another example where in the past he has said he supports gay marriage, but when his aspirations included becoming president he toned down the language and now says he opposes same sex marriage but favors providing similar marriage like rights to gay couples. You see the same thing with religion where many people with political aspirations know they must fit in the mold of a christian and attend some sort of church to be elected.

    My bet is that Harrison is looking out for number 1 with these claims to land himself a fine job. He hasn’t exactly been a practicing geologist for a while (as far as I know) so it’s also possible he’s just seeing data fed to him by a staff that has been cherry picked.

    FWIW, Colin Powell is another former Geologist (or at least was his major in college) in the political arena now. His views on climate change, while steering clear of doomsday scenarios, supports the scientific data and need to do more research and work toward reducing the human impact. I have a lot of respect for that man saying such thing despite being a member of political party that is determined to believe that “humans can’t impact the environment” and “oil and coal will never run out because god puts it there”.

  48. Rogerborg

    >”Again, if the world is warming that means longer summers and shorter winters”

    Global warming will change the earth’s orbit or inclination?

    Perhaps a little re-wording might be in order.

  49. Dave R

    >How are we, who do not have doctorates and letters behind our names, supposed to get to the actual truth of the matter?

    How would you get to the truth of a medical matter if you were not qualified in medicine?

  50. jearley

    Harrison is pretty serious about this. He came here in support of Art Robinson, an ‘interesting’ local character who ran for congress. Art is Molecular Biologist, but other than that, his knowledge of science is scanty. He ran as a Climate Denier, and attracted a large but unsuccessful campaign (with secret financing even!) against Peter Defazio. I was sad to see him support a real kook.

  51. Daniel J. Andrews

    And the only thing diddled were the emails, taking them out of context. “Hide the decline” for goodness sakes. Soon as someone mentions that, you know they’re just repeating something they read and haven’t even read the email itself. And as Scott mentions, even if that data had been “diddled” (which many investigations show it hasn’t), it wouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference. In fact, even if you assume the whole CRU was corrupt, it still wouldn’t make a difference as there are multiple data sets from around the world, and every month or so, there are new proxies and new methods confirming previous work.

    In addition to Phil’s links to Dr. Mandia’s site and the DeSmog Blog, also see Peter Sinclair’s Climate Crock site climatecrocks.com/2011/02/07/how-to-pick-a-cherry/#more-2717
    where he shows how to cherry pick two dates that make it seem like ice has recovered. Such blatant dishonesty gives you an idea of how morally bankrupt denialists can be (at least the ones who make this stuff up—don’t want to comment on the people who initially believe the denialists, as they have just been misled, and are usually surprised when they see such examples of dishonest cherry-picking). edit to add–is there any “honest cherry-picking”?

  52. TheBlackCat

    What I am not 100% convinced of, is that humans are solely responsible.

    No one is actually claiming this. Humans are by far the largest factor, but not the only one. The only people saying this are the denialists who want to set up a strawman.

  53. Father Tyme

    Ronnie, Ronnie, Ronnie, (@30)
    The only shame is ignoring facts as you once tried to point out to me.
    A lot of people do admirable things in their pasts then screw up later in life, but we’re to forgive that?
    “Facts aren’t negotiable”, someone just said. Ignoring facts is honorable? Being trained in a scientific regimen then choosing to ignore scientific method, not to mention facts is honorable?
    He’s in a position to adversely affect climate problems but according to you, he can’t be assailed because of his glorious past regardless of whether he ignores facts.? Facts that could have adverse affects on our environment? As Phil says, he’s entitled to his opinion but if that opinion can cause problems down the road, maybe it’s time fro him move aside. He’s in a position of imposing his opinions as fact. Not much scientific about that.
    See what else you can find to be picayune about in my comment.
    The comment was satire, Ronnie. You know what satire is? With so many fools believing the moon land a hoax, Aw, what’s the use. People like you aren’t happy unless they can complain about or try to denigrate someone.
    If you give me your email address, I’ll try to tell you when I’m going to comment next so that you don’t have to constantly lurk here waiting for me. And I’ll send you a draft of what I intend to write, tell you whether it’s satire, fiction, fact or humorous so you can approve it in advance. Will that be all? I know you’ll tell me if I missed anything. Or one of your other buddies will.
    Oh and you might be surprised to know that there are actually others of us who personally know and have known, moon astronauts, other astronauts and even a cosmonaut(!), some rather famous scientists and even notable politicians who, unlike you, have a sense of humor about their accomplishments yet don’t take life quite as seriously as you want them to.
    The only shame I have is responding to a faux concern troll (which I’ll stop doing).
    See if you can find something in what I’ve written to make yourself look oh-so-whatever. Reply if you must. I’m sure you won’t be able to let it go.
    Enjoy.

  54. CB

    @ MichaelL:

    It can be hard, since to really investigate you’d basically need to go to college for several years to get the necessary background.

    There are some pretty basic tricks that are often used to misrepresent data though, and some basic indications of quality research, that pretty much anyone can learn.

    For example, those claiming that global warming stopped after 1998 and that the world actually got cooler over the next decade are engaging in flagrant cherry picking: Take 1998 as your start year, 2008 as your end year, take the difference in global temperatures and say look, cooling! Global warming stopped happening!

    Whereas those arguing for AGW could have cherry-picked 1996 and 2006 and claimed Zomg Epic Warming! But they don’t do that. Instead they show you graphs like this and point out the overall trend, including noting the outliers both positive and negative.

    So, that right there is a basic way to get an idea as to who is being more upfront and on the level, and who is doing better science. Even a complete layperson should know that you can’t identify trends by looking at only two data points.

    This is also the trick that was used regarding the sea ice extent. Of course you can find two dates which show sea ice increasing, or decreasing. The question is, what does the overall trend look like? It can still be a tough thing to determine what the trend is. But it should at least be clear that the one who is actually interested in that question is more reliable than the one who wants to avoid that question and instead cherry-pick two data points to conclude that the whole thing is bunk.

  55. TheBlackCat

    How does a layperson like myself weed through the information and stats that can appear to bolster the arguments of both sides?

    Go to the original sources, rather than second or third-hand accounts. Ask the people who are actually in charge of doing the measurements.

    I continually come across data that suggests Schmitts’ position is correct: that sea ice is growing in extent.

    You should ask people who actually measure sea ice, like the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration:
    www. arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/seaice.html

    If you look at that link, you will see that sea ice cover has shrunk, and much of thice that is there is much newer than the ice that used to be there.

    Yesterday, I came across an article that stated global temps have not increased since 1999, and in fact, have shown a slight decrease. Then, on the other hand, I have read studies that indicate the opposite – global temps have increased over that past century and are continuing to increase. Many of these studies are using the same data, supplied by NASA and NOAA. How are we, who do not have doctorates and letters behind our names, supposed to get to the actual truth of the matter?

    Maybe you could actually see what NOAA or NASA themselves say about their own data?
    www. giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20110112/
    www. noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2011/20110112_globalstats.html

    That article says that 2010 tied 2005 as the warmest year on record. 1998 is third, and the rest of the top 10 were all after 2000.

    It is true that for a few years 1998 was the warmest year, but 2005 beat it. One thing that denialists of all stripes are known for is using older data in favor of newer data when the older data fits their story better.

    One thing they also fail to mention is that 1998 was an unusually strong El Nino near the peak of a solar maximum, while 2005 was a much weaker El Nino near the trough of a solar minimum. So there were mitigating factors that should have made 1998 much warmer than 2005, yet 2005 was still warmer.

    (I modified the links to avoid the spam filter, copy the url into your address bar and remove the space)

  56. This is pretty interesting. I always find it sort of eye-opening to see the greater scientific convictions of men who are so often considered scientific heroes – I certainly regard them as men worth spending my time studying.

    Geologist-moonwalker or not, it’s a little disconcerting that people with an almost selective view of the facts are the ones in charge of effecting a change (or effecting no change, as the case may be). What really stands out is his, by your account, bad science. With his background, one would expect an extremely thorough and critical look at all the facts surrounding an issue such as climate change.

  57. Messier Tidy Upper

    @1. Scott Davis : why?

    Why what? What are you asking there & can you elaborate further? More info. req. please.

    @47. Daniel J. Andrews : Ah, I beat you to it with that Peter Sinclair “Climate Crocks” link but its still awaiting moderation (Then #”38″ & now passed as #41) – so you win there – at first anyhow! ;-)

    As for “honest cherry-picking” well that clip has an example right there – actually picking the real fruit! ;-)

    @44. Rogerborg :

    ”Again, if the world is warming that means longer summers and shorter winters”
    Global warming will change the earth’s orbit or inclination?
    Perhaps a little re-wording might be in order.

    Seasons are affected by more things than just Earth’s orbit. If the extended hotter than average spell that is “summer” lasts longer .. & the typically “winter” weather lasts less time because of Human-Caused Global Overheating, then yeah, I don’t have a problem with the BA’s phrasing. Guess it depends what you mean by ‘season’ really.

  58. noen

    MichaelL asks a good question:
    How does a layperson like myself weed through the information and stats that can appear to bolster the arguments of both sides? […] How are we, who do not have doctorates and letters behind our names, supposed to get to the actual truth of the matter?”

    Truth is no respecter of persons.

    I am a very poor person with no doctorates or other letters after my name and yet I feel perfectly comfortable going up against anyone on some issues. Why? I have a good base level understanding of science along with an ability to think critically. You should be skeptical, you should question everything. And….. you should inform yourself of the issues.

    This article on Grist is very good How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic is a very good base level introduction to the issues involved. (It is based on an older one by Greg Laden) If you add to that a basic grounding in science you will do well.

    Understanding your opponent is helpful too. These are quite often people who are simply very frightened at the complex world around them. They don’t understand what’s going on, it scares them so they look to others in leadership positions to tell them what to do. In person, face to face, if you address their fears that will go a long way to defusing them. Online if you just address their misinformation with simple direct facts that works very well also.

  59. Ray

    @Messier Tidy Upper,

    Al Gore’s history of climate change shenanigans is pretty clear. His constant jetting around the world generating the much-hated carbon, but it’s OK because he buys carbon credits to offset it. Really? Carbon credits? Pure scam.

    Links? Here’s one. You can find lots of others just by googling “al gore”.

    http://w w w.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2006-08-09-gore-green_x.htm

  60. Gus Snarp

    Speaking of Ed Mitchel’s UFO claims, if there really were a huge and ongoing government cover up of UFOs, is Julian Assange in on it, or will Wikileaks be releasing documents of meetings between government officials and alien ambassadors?

  61. CB

    @ Gus Snarp:

    Obviously Assange is an alien, which is why “he” is able to get away with revealing so many government secrets, and also why the alien conspiracy is the one secret he won’t reveal!

    @ MTU:

    I dunno, he seemed pretty insincere when he picked those cherries. ;)

  62. TerryS.

    We’ve finally caught you on something. “Fiercesome”? Look it up. Doesn’t exist. You really mean “fearsome.”

    We can’t be perfect all the time…

  63. Gus Snarp

    @Ray – What definition of “corruption” are you using? Ordinarily in this case “corruption” would mean that there is some sort of external benefit, usually a profit motive, causing a person to dishonestly take a position or to change their stance. How has Al Gore changed his stance? What evidence is there that money or other external factors are motivating his behavior? It seems to me that he has cared about and advocated on and believed in climate change for decades, and has only made money fairly recently, not due to some external agency, but simply due to his existing point of view becoming popular enough that he can sell books and movies now. That’s not corruption by my definition.

    My definition of corruption is more akin to congressmen with no knowledge whatsoever about climate change who receive donations from the coal, oil, and natural gas industries and whose state economies are largely based on those industries who spouts those industries statements on climate change as if they were his own. Or scientists who publish studies that misrepresent the data and are not corroborated by any other studies while they are on the payroll of exxon/mobile.

  64. Interesting article in today’s WaPo about the link between declining summer sea ice in the Arctic & colder winters.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/07/AR2011020703936.html

  65. TheBlackCat

    @ Ray: That is called “hypocrisy”, not “corruption”:

  66. DataJack

    Brad @5 – Skeptics generally demand to see evidence to believe a claim. Denialists deny evidence to hold a claim.

    Climate denialists are denying some pretty solid facts:
    1) Greenhouse gases raise planet’s temperatures – fact.
    2) CO2 is a greenhouse gas – fact
    3) we are pumping CO2 into our atmosphere – fact
    4) we are pumping more CO2 into our atmosphere now than in the past – fact

    To deny any of these is to deny science and reality.

    Even if that climategate silliness had been filled with emails that said, in all caps and bold font: We are making up our data to get rich!!!!

    It wouldn’t change the above facts.

    Now, what is the implication of those facts? Are we adding enough atmospheric CO2 to alter the global temperature?

    Multiple sources say “yes”. None say “no”.

    The truth is, AGW deniers do so out of political reasons (“I hate cap and trade!”), and never out of scientific reasons.

  67. Quiet Desperation
  68. Magrathea

    I am quite sad to see Mr Schmitt get into that, he was a proponent of many good lunar suggestions and a trained geologist and scientist, more than any other astronaut he should be aware of how to use scientific method.

    I guess once you enter the political arena, the agenda changes.

    Ed Mitchell has long been labeled a nutcase for his past deeds, but to see Harrison Schmitt hop on a similar boat is dispiriting. :(

  69. jfb

    MichaelL @ 42:

    Yesterday, I came across an article that stated global temps have not increased since 1999, and in fact, have shown a slight decrease.

    You could probably pick any arbitrary period and find slight decreases after record warm years (1961-1972, for example); however, the long-term (30+ year) trend is still very clearly upwards.

    1998 was a record warm year (big-ass El Niño), and the actual warming trend is small relative to year-to-year changes in average temperature. So it’s not surprising that the trend may look flat or downward for a few years.

    You can check out some time series through 2009 here. The data are available for download into your favorite spreadsheet. What’s really fun is if you take the NASA/GISS data and compute a 2nd-order polynomial trend as opposed to a linear trend. Don’t know how valid such an analysis is, but it’s an eye-opener.

  70. Ema Nymton

    Holy crap, Gary!

    You’re a moron!

  71. Riv

    How long before his appointment at the New Mexico’s Department of Energy were his opinions on climate change known? I really hate to think that this is a case of toeing the company line. But the worst thing that has ever happened to science (IMO) was political endorsement. Nothing draws enemies like friends with enemies.

  72. Dave R

    >How long before his appointment at the New Mexico’s Department of Energy were his opinions on climate change known?

    He was at Heartland’s denialfest in early 2009.

  73. Mike

    Not Harrison Schmidt :(

  74. Paul

    Climatology is to meteorology what astrology is to astronomy.
    People who push so hard and get so nasty about Warming all have something to loose….money. These astologists…oops I mean climatologists stand to loose millions in grant money and will earn the displeasure of their deity Al Gore….who also stands to loose millions of dollars each year when he goes and preaches his gospel.
    And many of you who criticize Harrison Schmidt (Phil) need to check you ego. He is still a scientist and still uses the scientific method. Remember, no one has ever built a statue dedicated to a critic.
    You know, I like when this blog talks about astonomy and Phil puts up cool pictures and describes whats going on but then when you get on political rolls and GW crap, the only thing you prove is that the internet has become the bathroom wall of the world. You can write anything you want because it’s your blog. Stick to science.

  75. Dave R

    >Not Harrison Schmidt

    No, Harrison Schmitt. :p

  76. Gary Ansorge

    15. miketheg

    “Geologists (and climatologists) are far more knowledgeable about long-term climate change, whereas meteorologists don’t study climate at all”

    Oops! You are, in fact, quite correct. I KNEW I shouldn’t have made that post before I actually finished my first half gallon of coffee,,,

    70. Ema Nymton

    “Holy crap, Gary!
    You’re a moron!”

    Hey, I take umbrage at that,,,Oh,,,,wrong Gary,,,never mind,,,

    Gary 7

  77. Gus Snarp

    @Paul – I don’t care what you think about global warming, but that comment is completely false in every possible way. The climatologists I know are among the best, smartest, and most rigorous scientists you could find. They share nothing in common with astrologists. Nor do climatologists give a flying rats fanny about Al Gore. I mean really, they couldn’t care less. Please, can we stop talking about Al Gore? The guy made a persuasive, if occasionally not entirely accurate presentation. He does not drive climate science. He has nothing to do with it except promoting it in his unique way. You should also realize that the grant money they receive is carefully accounted for and actually spent on research. They do not personally profit from it. In fact, they are likely to spend a good amount of their own money to make up shortfalls from the grants where it will not cover their research adequately. In fact in some cases the University they work for imposes a flat overhead charge on grant administration (grants usually flow through University accounts) and this charge cannot be included into the grant, so it comes out of the scientist’s pocket every time.

  78. Ron1

    @53. Father Tyme said, ” but according to you, he can’t be assailed because of his glorious past regardless of whether he ignores facts.?”

    …………………………………………………………..

    Nice try at deflecting the issue.

    You took a cheap shot at his accomplishment of landing on the moon. You attacked the man. That was wrong and I called you on it. How is what you did any different than the behaviour of the moon landing denier who called Buzz Aldrin a coward and liar. Oh, yeah, you was just funnin’. You didn’t mean it. … Given your friendship with those in the space industry, you of all people should be sensitive to the hurt and frustration these moon landing denials do.

    If you had attacked his comments about global warming you would not have received a reply. Regardless, you are free to say whatever you want, as am I.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………

    @24. Father Tyme Says:
    February 8th, 2011 at 8:54 am
    Phil,
    If Global Warming is the greatest hoax perpetrated on man, would you please ask Harrison if he REALLY did go to the moon or was he victim of an elaborate NASA mind game?
    Maybe he was just whisked off to the Tunisian Desert by the predecessors of the Domino’s Pizza Ad People? LOL!”

  79. John

    I love the way Phil alternates between Global Dooming and Ripping up other armageddon theories. Fantastic stuff! If the irony is intentional you sir are a genius.

    And for those confused about the difference – A denier is just a sceptic you disagree with.

    That’s a big problem with scepticism today – sceptics are so sure of their beliefs that they don’t see any room for disagreement amongst themselves, and they have to use an alternative derogatory term for another sceptic. It’s like watching a dog trying to catch it’s tail because it doesn’t know it’s part of the same dog.

  80. MichaelL

    @73, Paul:
    “These astologists…oops I mean climatologists stand to loose millions in grant money and will earn the displeasure of their deity Al Gore….who also stands to loose millions of dollars each year when he goes and preaches his gospel.”

    You really can’t be serious? If you are, that goes both ways. Doesn’t Big Oil stand to lose billions if we are forced to curb our dependency on oil and fossil fuels? Isn’t it more than an inconvenience for people to have to change the way they live? I cannot count how many times I have heard deniers stating that their gas guzzling SUVs have nothing to do with pumping pollutants into the atmosphere. It’s kind of like giving the Son of Sam a loaded gun, then looking the other way and sticking your fingers in your ears, screaming, “Lalalalala… I can’t see you or hear you!”, as the gun is being fired.

  81. Dave R

    Paul, 74:
    You don’t appear to have any arguments apart from off topic ad hominems and straw men etc.

    Do you think it is acceptable for Harrison Schmitt to lie like this in order to hide the decline in Arctic sea ice?

  82. DataJack

    Paul @74 – You are wrong in every way possible. No climatologist cares for (or works for) Gore. His opinion is meaningless.

    Grant money is not a form of pay for scientists. They don’t get to keep it. They have to spend it, on research. No research scientist ever got rich doing their job (some do alright selling books – how many climatologists are up there in book sales like Dawkins or Tyson? None.).

    How science works (grants, research, data collection, positing hypotheses, etc.) is not a secret. Look it up. Stop posting stupid things.

    Repeating right-wing talking points as though they were actual knowledge is embarrassingly ignorant.

  83. Dave R

    John, 79:
    > A denier is just a sceptic you disagree with.

    This was answered in #8. Try reading the thread before posting the same ignorant nonsense that has already been dealt with.

  84. TheBlackCat

    @ Paul: Saying “the science is settled” is an excellent way to get your funding cut. There is no money for settled science. So not only is the climatology community not working towards getting more money, they are saying the exact thing that is most likely to reduce their funding.

  85. DataJack

    John @79 -said:
    “I love the way Phil alternates between Global Dooming and Ripping up other armageddon theories. Fantastic stuff! If the irony is intentional you sir are a genius.”

    This only shows you don’t know how science works. The implications of a theory’s correctness have nothing to do with the validity of its correctness.

    “And for those confused about the difference – A denier is just a sceptic you disagree with.”

    The is patently, provably wrong. Skeptics demand evidence before accepting a claim as true. Deniers deny evidence in order to hold a claim as true.

    Get this straight:

    Even if reversing AWG cost a billion dollars per person per day, it would not change the facts.

    Even if the emails in “climategate” has said “We are lying about AWG!” It would not change the facts.

    Learn science. It works.

  86. Ema Nymton

    Sorry, Gary Ansorge, I really should have included a post number with that Gary call-out.

  87. Tim Arnold

    Why does that sea ice volume graph show a linear best-fit trend line when in actual fact it shows a downward curve. The 2002-2010 is a clear drop off and the linear line hangs in the air. To the point the linear trend ceases to have predictive power about 3/4 the way along the axis.

    The implications are disturbing, the sea ice volume is crashing. Climate scientists in the mid 00’s were criticised for including the worst case scenario as a scare tactic, yet in most revised charts now you see we are actually exceeding the worst case scenario. Stop pandering to the critics, science is all about being wrong.

  88. Spence

    It’s a shame you don’t listen to your heroes more, Phil.

    Perhaps Harrison chose arctic ice *extent* over *volume* because we don’t measure volume directly, and the PIOMAS graph that you plotted is actually model output, which was the very thing Harrison was criticising?

    But never mind. In 2004, average global temperature was “the” metric. When it became clear was no longer playing ball, in 2006, North Atlantic hurricane activity was “the” metric. In 2008, when that stopped playing ball, arctic ice extent was “the” metric. In 2010, when that was obviously no longer engaging in the death spiral climate scientist and NSIDC arctic ice “expert” Mark Serreze promised, PIOMAS modelled sea ice volume was chosen as “the” metric. I wonder what metric will be “the” next one after PIOMAS stops playing ball for you guys? I suppose you won’t know that until after the fact.

  89. Cheyenne

    “…was the only classically-trained scientist to walk on the Moon (he’s a geologist).”.

    Of all the people sent to the moon only one was an actual scientist?

  90. Michel

    If everybody would stop to put ice in their drinks there would be no ice-crisis.

  91. TheBlackCat

    Perhaps Harrison chose arctic ice *extent* over *volume* because we don’t measure volume directly, and the PIOMAS graph that you plotted is actually model output, which was the very thing Harrison was criticising?

    Did you miss the part where both extent and volume have been decreasing?

  92. Spence

    TheBlackCat

    Did you miss the part where “extent” was mostly dependent on wind and ocean currents rather than temperature?

    Did you miss the part where unusual arctic circulation caused a large concentration of ice to be driven to lower latitudes in 2007?

    Did you miss the part where arctic ice extent has now largely recovered from that event?

    Did you miss the part where climate scientist Mark Serreze made grandiose and incorrect claims that the arctic would enter a death spiral and the North Pole be ice free in summer by around 2013?

    Funny thing climate science, there is *so much* to miss.

  93. MartinM

    In 2004, average global temperature was “the” metric. When it became clear was no longer playing ball…

    Really?

  94. Gary Ansorge

    91. Spence

    ,,,and did YOU miss the point about Arctic nations eagerly anticipating ice free summers? I mean, Russia, Finland, Canada,even the USA are all ramping up their claims to Arctic resources that used to be inaccessible but are now up for grabs. I guess all those billions of dollars they’re talking about investing has nothing to do with global warming melting all that danged ice,,,

    “Did you miss the part where “extent” was mostly dependent on wind and ocean currents rather than temperature?
    Did you miss the part where unusual arctic circulation caused a large concentration of ice to be driven to lower latitudes in 2007?”

    ,,,both of which are driven by increasing global temperatures altering atmospheric and oceanic dynamics.

    Gary 7

  95. Jeff

    Facts are not negotiable but they are manipulable. I don’t doubt that there is climate change but it is not as dire as the Owl Gore fanatics would have you believe. The Earth is in a cycle, as Harrison Schmidt would know as a real geologist.

    Too many of the “selective skeptic” scientists are bought and paid for by the liberals that control grants and research funding.

  96. Dave R

    Spence, 87
    >In 2004, average global temperature was “the” metric. When it became clear was no longer playing ball, in 2006 […]

    Hogwash. The temperature data is as important now as it always has been, and is still consistent with the rate of warming that has been seen for the last ~40 years.

  97. Paul

    @DataJack: I know they don’t get to keep the money for themselves but it determines if the school wants to keep them employed or not. Left-wing alarmism is emotional and equally embarrassingly ignorant.

    @Gus Snarp: Al Gore is the loudest spokesman climatologists have. The only reason they don’t give a rats butt about him…anymore…is because he is an idiot who makes them look bad. All the climatologists I know are self-indulging, the sky is falling, scare mongers.

    Some of you seem to be under the impression that if you are a skeptic, you can’t have bias and if someone who is doing research and allegedly using the scientific method isn’t subjected to bias. Climatologists have shot a hole through the barn wall and painted the target around it. Many of the techniques they use are suspect and rely on conjecture, not fact. By painting the target around the hole, they pass the data off as fact. The AGW movement has become a religion and a philosophy and too many people subscribe to it.

  98. Spence

    “both of which are driven by increasing global temperatures altering atmospheric and oceanic dynamics.”

    ROFLMAO. Yes, oceans and the atmosphere are coupled. And yes, man does influence these things in a wide range of ways, many of which are entirely unpredictable, and most of which are lost in the complexity and “noise” of the system. However, most scientists require actual evidence of something before making such a ludicrous direct linkage as the one you make above. Let me know when you have direct, credible evidence beyond the sort of thing an anti-vaxxer would produce. I won’t hold my breath waiting, though.

  99. Dave R

    Spence, 92:
    >Did you miss the part where arctic ice extent has now largely recovered

    Yes. And so did the people who actually measure it, since there has been no such “recovery”. And you know full well that there has been no recovery — if there had you would have been able to provide evidence of it. Instead you’ve simply lied about it, hoping to deceive as many people as you can before someone has time to point out the facts.

  100. Joseph G

    For the hundredth time, can someone please tell me how “denier” is a pejorative and not a simple descriptive statement? If you deny something despite overwhelming evidence, what should you be called? “Liar” would be more pejorative, since it assumes bad faith.
    And don’t go crying crocodile tears about climate change deniers supposedly being compared to Holocaust deniers – heck, I’m Jewish, and my grandfather helped liberate a concentration camp while fighting in WWII. If it won’t wash with me, it shouldn’t fly with anyone.

  101. Gary Ansorge

    96. Spence

    “I won’t hold my breath waiting, though.”

    If you did, it would certainly be a big help,,,less CO2 being added to the atmosphere,,,

    Gary 7
    PS; Sorry. I couldn’t resist,,,

  102. jfb

    Cheyenne @ 88:

    Of all the people sent to the moon only one was an actual scientist?

    Yup. The rest were active or retired Air Force and Navy pilots, although a number of them had advanced degrees in engineering and some sciences (Aldrin earned a Ph.D. based on working out procedures for orbital rendezvous).

  103. Gus Snarp

    @Jeff – I’ll reiterate what’s been said before, if the little bit of money going to research grants that scientists have to spend on research, account for, and not profit from is influencing them, then how much more are the politicians receiving oil company donations and the “scientists” on the payroll of Exxon/Mobile influenced?

  104. Joseph G

    @ 21 Messier Tidy Upper:

    * “The Ramans do everything in threes.”
    – Arthur C. Clarke, ‘Rendezvous with Rama’, Final page (252), Pan
    Books Ltd, 1973.
    [Ironically, the following Rama series was NOT just a trilogy but had at least four and maybe six books in it. – MTU.]

    Hah! Only you would put footnotes in a post. And footnotes regarding a sci-fi book, no less. AND footnotes providing additional information on said books.
    I hereby dub thee UberGeek! :D

  105. Gus Snarp

    @Paul – You’re trying to claim that Gore influences climatologists, which is simply not true. Nor are any of the rest of your assertions.

  106. Spence

    @Gary,98

    LOL, good comeback, I deserved that :)

  107. Utakata

    I’ve noticed something…there seems a trend among the denialist loons that tend post with very short Anglo-Saxon male names…like Gary, Jeff, Spence, etc. It maybe me…but I sometimes wonder if they all come from the same person to make seem there’s more than one “descending” voice over this. I have no evidence of this of coarse, but it does make me a bit suspicious at times.

    *Removes tinfoil hat*

    And speaking of ad hominems and tinfoil hats Jeff @ 94…because, declaring those who are critical of denialist bunk are liberal makes it a political point of view rather than one based on any evidence. So please stop. It makes you more loon for believing in this nonsense than helping your case. I prefer people argue with reason not Republican. Just saying.

  108. Spence

    @Joseph, 97

    Most insults and pejorative words start out as descriptive words. For example, the racist term that rhymes with “bigger” (sorry can’t bring myself to use it even just to indicate the word itself) started out as an adjective to describe a very dark colour (derived from the Latin). It only became an insult when it was used pejoratively to denigrate a group of people.

    So a word can be both descriptive and insulting simultaneously – it doesn’t have to be just one or the other.

    That said, you have the right to offend people if you want to. Feel free to use it.

  109. Old Muley

    sigh, I hope our grandchildren will forgive us.

  110. Paul

    @Gus Snarp: No, what I’m saying is that Al Gore has the power to affect politics and policy.

    It’s funny how everything seems to be blamed on climate change or gorebull warming….increased hurricanes, decreased hurricanes, the Santa Ana’s spreading wild fires, El Nino, La Nina, acne, pms, increased birth-rate, increased death-rate, cancer….on and on and on. For crying out loud, there is a therapist in Santa Fe, NM who helps people deal with the guilt of leaving a carbon footprint on earth. People pay her money so they can walk in her spiral of rocks and cleanse themselves…..why??? Because of the leftist, the sky is falling, alarmism.

  111. DataJack

    Jeff @95 said:
    “Too many of the “selective skeptic” scientists are bought and paid for by the liberals that control grants and research funding.”

    This is simply untrue. Grant money is not “bonus cash” for well behaved scientists. It is the stuff they use to do their job – research. They have to justify it, then beg for it, then spend it.

    Even if some scientists DID fake their data, the thousands of others would have to as well or it would be discovered instantly. You are wrong. And politically motivated. Learn science. It works.

  112. Hal D

    Fiercesome??? Were you looking for the word fearsome?

  113. TheBlackCat

    I know they don’t get to keep the money for themselves but it determines if the school wants to keep them employed or not. Left-wing alarmism is emotional and equally embarrassingly ignorant.

    I take it you have never heard of tenure.

    And you still keep ignoring the fact that saying the science is settled will reduce your grant money, not increase it.

  114. Keith Bowden

    For the naysayers: “Fiercesome” is a new word which replaces one of the meanings of “fearsome” (which, annoyingly has two meanings which are the exact opposite of each other). The root “fierce” makes more sense in this context than does “fear”, which is why the word was coined.

    I got your back, Phil! :)

  115. Wayne Robinson

    DanB says;

    In my opinion, one of the biggest omissions in the climate change arguments is the costs involved in our making changes. When DDT was stopped we saved large populations of birds. Instead, we increased the death rate to malaria by hundreds of thousands. Is the same thing happening with climate change solutions?

    This is a lie put out by such climate change deniers as Lomborg (who actually admits that global warming is occurring, but there are more pressing matters we should be spending our money on before then, which no rich country is willing to do anyway).

    The argument tends to run like this;
    Sri Lanka had almost eliminated malaria with DDT, stops using it, then cases of malaria increase to pre-DDT levels.

    What actually happened was;
    Sri Lanka almost eliminates malaria with DDT, mosquitoes develop partial resistance to to DDT, Sri Lanka increases spraying with DDT, mosquitoes become totally resistant to DDT, Sri Lanka stops using it, cases of malaria are at pre-DDT levels.

    You see; they’ve left out 3 of the stages. It’s a dishonest argument.

  116. Messier Tidy Upper

    @89. Cheyenne Says: “Of all the people sent to the moon only one was an actual scientist?”

    Sadly, yes.

    @82. DataJack :

    No research scientist ever got rich doing their job (some do alright selling books – how many climatologists are up there in book sales like Dawkins or Tyson? None.).

    I’m not sure exactly how well it did relative to Dawkins or Tyson but climatologist Jim Hansen’s ‘Storms of my grandchildren’ sold pretty well I gather. Aussie palaeontologist Tim Flannery’s book on Global Warming ‘The Weather Makers: The History and Future Impact of Climate Change’ also did nicely and was reasonably popular. Science wise I think I’d be right to say Stephen Hawking’s ‘A Brief History of Time’ was the most commercially successful science book ever.

    Although aren’t sales of a certain work called ‘Death from the Skies’ doing alright and catching up too? Now who wrote that one again, I wonder! ;-)

    Not that I’m disagreeing with the rest of your comment which is spot on.

    @104. Joseph G : Thanks. :-)

  117. DataJack

    DanB said:
    “In my opinion, one of the biggest omissions in the climate change arguments is the costs involved in our making changes.”

    No. No, no, no. No. The cost to address the conclusion of a theory has no bearing whatsoever on the validity of the theory. None.

    Could you imagine if this ridiculous yardstick were applied anywhere else in science?

    “All the data points to this stuff causing cancer, but it’s really popular, and would be darned expensive to replace”.

    “Must not cause cancer, then.”

    What we do about AGW is certainly an important question. But it should be utterly divorced from the validity of the science that indicates AGW is occurring.

  118. Spence

    Wow, Wayne, you are complaining about people leaving out information when you leave out so much important information yourself?

    Sri Lanka had three separate DDT spraying programmes, and after each stopped malaria deaths increased shortly afterwards. The first finished in the mid 1950s, having successfully reduced malaria deaths from 10,000 per year to just over 100 per year. Within a couple of years of stopping, deaths started to creep up again and a second programme was launched.

    The second programme lasted around eight years, during which malaria deaths were reduced from two hundred per year to single figures. This stopped in the mid-1960s, just when the environmental movement were pushing to ban the chemical. At this point, malaria was almost beaten, and reported cases (let alone deaths) dropped to around 20 per year. Once DDT spraying stopped, it came back aggressively, with deaths spiking back up to 100 deaths per year.

    The third programme started immediately after this spike, and DDT once again reduced deaths to single figures per year. This time the number of cases were not reducing, suggesting some degree of resistance. In the late 1970s, Sri Lanka finally moved away from DDT and to Malathion, which was more expensive but – supposedly – better because of resistance to DDT.

    Within two years of switching to Malathion, death rates increased again to 100 per year. DDT was more effective than Malathion at preventing deaths even *after* some mosquitos developed resistance. And it was cheaper too.

    Sri Lanka nearly beat malaria in the 1960s, and probably would have done if there was not a break in the spraying. This break is likely to be down to many factors, but did not happen in a vacuum; political pressure from environmental activists almost certainly played a role.

  119. Messier Tidy Upper

    @117. DataJack Says:

    Could you imagine if this ridiculous yardstick were applied anywhere else in science?

    “All the data points to this stuff causing cancer, but it’s really popular, and would be darned expensive to replace”.

    “Must not cause cancer, then.”

    Good one! :-)

    Except, in reality ..

    … something fairly similar to that nearly worked for many years for the Tobacco industry. :-(

  120. Stuartg

    @13. Gary Ansorge

    “Our planetary albedo is only of major significance in the summer”

    Would that be northern hemisphere summer or southern hemisphere summer? :)

    Why would it make any difference?

  121. Jeremy H

    Wow, that’s very, very disappointing. As the only astronaut who came from a scientific background, Scmitt has long been my favorite of the Apollo astronauts. To hear that he’s advocating anti-science positions is seriously deflating and genuinely discouraging. A scientist who can blithely claim that arctic ice is INCREASING while every available scrap of data says otherwise is no scientist at all.

  122. Chris Winter

    Jeff (#95) wrote: “Too many of the “selective skeptic” scientists are bought and paid for by the liberals that control grants and research funding.”

    Let’s assume they all are, and therefore publish bogus results. All it would take is one skeptical scientist to investigate and disclose the actual behavior of the climate. And let’s further assume that the climate is actually cooling. The skeptical scientist would soon be swimming in money from oil and coal companies (among others).

    Trouble is, there’s no evidence to support the skeptical scientist. Which is why your conspiracy theory is dead in the water.

  123. Joseph G

    @ 108 Spence: Most insults and pejorative words start out as descriptive words. For example, the racist term that rhymes with “bigger” (sorry can’t bring myself to use it even just to indicate the word itself) started out as an adjective to describe a very dark colour (derived from the Latin). It only became an insult when it was used pejoratively to denigrate a group of people.

    For many words that’s true, however I really don’t think you can put the word “denier” in the same category. There are many types of deniers, too – HIV deniers, homosexuality deniers, “old earth” deniers…
    All I was trying to do was preempt the people who always show up going “Wahhh, you’re comparing us to Holocaust deniers, you’re trying to link me to Hitler, blah blah Godwin’s law, blah blah if you had a real argument you wouldn’t be using such hurtful pejoratives!” By doing so they put the actual skeptics on the defensive and force them to spend time reassuring everyone that they aren’t actually bigots. By doing so they hijack the conversation and direct it away from the facts and into the realm of rhetoric, where they can operate much more easily.
    C’mon, this ain’t my first rodeo, and I know it isn’t yours either :D

  124. Jamie

    The problem with those who deny facts on these issues is that they do so on the basis that they are ignorant of the evidence. If you don’t know about something it’s ok to say”I don ‘t know”. You don’t have to pick a side and create some terrible false dichotomy. Really, it’s ok to not know.

  125. Keith Bowden

    Re: “denier”/”denialist” as perceived pejoratives

    I guess everyone should stop using “liberal”/”conservative” and “republican”/democrat” on this blog then… ’cause those terms are definitely used deprecatingly around here! :)

  126. Chris Winter

    Spence (#92) wrote: “Did you miss the part where climate scientist Mark Serreze made grandiose and incorrect claims that the arctic would enter a death spiral and the North Pole be ice free in summer by around 2013?”

    Did you miss the fact that it’s not 2013 yet?

    I suspect Dr. Serreze will be found wrong when that year does arrive — but not by much. But you should wait before passing judgement.

    “Funny thing climate science, there is *so much* to miss.”

    Too bad your side tends to miss so much more of it. One aspect you miss is how often the climate “jumps the gun” on scientists, changing faster than they expected.

  127. Spence

    Chris,

    Mark has already acknowledged his prediction was (/is) ridiculous and a mistake. But nice of you to keep the faith. I’m betting you’re going to wait until 2012 before denouncing the end of the world is garbage as well? After all, it hasn’t been disproved yet. I’m happy to debunk it today, but YMMV.

    As for my “side”, I’m not sure what “side” I’m supposed to be on. Probably not the one you’ve placed me on, though.

  128. Joseph G

    @ MUT: The “UberGeek” appellation was intended to be complimentary, just to clarify ;)

    @110 Paul: For crying out loud, there is a therapist in Santa Fe, NM who helps people deal with the guilt of leaving a carbon footprint on earth. People pay her money so they can walk in her spiral of rocks and cleanse themselves…..why??? Because of the leftist, the sky is falling, alarmism.

    And none of that has jack-all to do with the evidence for or against AGW!
    Did you ever see the movie “Contact”? I’m reminded of that scene immediately after they detect the extraterrestrial signal, with mobs of people camping out around the radio telescope facility – some holding “The End Is Night” type signs, others begging the aliens to “beam them up,” etc. The simple fact that some people are kinda loopy doesn’t invalidate the actual science that they get excited about.

  129. Spence

    Oh boy, how did I miss this one from Dave R?

    “Hogwash. The temperature data is as important now as it always has been, and is still consistent with the rate of warming that has been seen for the last ~40 years.”

    LOL, we matched the last 40 years after they happened. Way to go!

    Unfortunately, that isn’t the normal way to test these things. In science, you need to rule out other possibilities, such as natural variability. But because we don’t know how to fully characterise natural variability yet, we don’t know how to rule it out.

  130. TheBlackCat

    One aspect you miss is how often the climate “jumps the gun” on scientists, changing faster than they expected.

    That is one of the things that gets me about all this talk about “alarmists”. Pretty much everything is going worse than the IPCC report predicted. The IPCC report assessments of how sensitive particular parts of the environment were to climate change now appear to be significant underestimates.

    The IPCC report was not alarmist, it was extremely conservative on almost everything. Yes, there were flaws in the IPCC report process, but overall these resulted in an effect opposite the one the denialists want you to believe.

  131. Joseph G

    Wouldn’t let me add to my earlier post for some reason.

    For a closer-to-home example, think about comets. Every time a naked-eye comet is discovered it seems there’s some goofy cult that thinks that it’s a spaceship or there’s a spaceship following it or some such nonsense. But that doesn’t have any bearing on the astronomers’ observations on the comet.

    Do some people go into weird Gaia-apologetics over global warming? Sure. Do certain political affiliations appear to favor one side over the other? Seems that way. Is Al Gore a huge hypocrite when it comes to reducing carbon emissions? Absolutely. Does he stand to make money from renewable energy projects? It does look like it (then again, what the hell should he invest in, coal companies?)

    But none of that makes a pasta-damned bit of difference as far as the facts are concerned!

  132. Brett

    Bravo! What a wonderful and lively debate. In spite of my short and Saxon name, I read every single post here with great interest and at times outright delight. You guys are some pretty sharp cookies! Both sides. I, a layman myself, pose a question to the the erudite panel: are the blizzards and cyclones (hurricanes) we are experiencing this winter a result of more atmospheric moisture content due to the melting ice caps? What is happening to the gulf stream as a result of so much fresh water being added to the ocean?

  133. Joseph G

    Messier Tidy Upper: Good one!
    Except, in reality ..
    … something fairly similar to that nearly worked for many years for the Tobacco industry.

    (regarding Datajack @ 117 :
    DataJack Says:
    Could you imagine if this ridiculous yardstick were applied anywhere else in science?
    “All the data points to this stuff causing cancer, but it’s really popular, and would be darned expensive to replace”.
    “Must not cause cancer, then.”
    )

    And speak of the devil, who was behind a lot of that tobacco whitewashing? The Heartland Institute (which, according to some of the sites that Phil’s links, recently welcomed Harrison Schmidt onto their board).

  134. Joseph G

    Pardon the wall o’ text, but here’s an interesting tidbit right from the source (the HI’s site, no less):

    Written By: Harrison H. Schmitt, PhD
    Published In: Opeds > July 2009
    Publication date: 05/07/2009
    Publisher: The Heartland Institute

    We’d Better Be Right on Climate Science

    Climate change assumptions, instead of facts, and computer modeling, instead of real-world observations, are what underpin the political efforts to restrict American liberties and confiscate trillions of dollars of people’s income.

    The science behind this massive intrusion into American life requires more than just a “consensus” of like-minded climate analysts. It has to be correct.

    There are strong differences among scientists who observe real-world weather and climate and those who attempt to model nature’s complexities. Those who observe the natural, economic, and sociological aspects of climate change are “realists” rather than “skeptics.” The modelers, on the other hand, believe complex mathematics and broad assumptions can forecast the future of the Earth’s most complex system, climate.

    Observational facts should force realism and calmness into the faith-based hysteria about alleged human-caused global warming. For example, careful analysis by geophysicist Syun Akasofu of the International Arctic Research Center shows a natural warming of the lower atmosphere of half a degree Celsius per 100 years since about 1660, when the Little Ice Age reached its nadir. This natural warming trend has not accelerated during the growth of fossil energy use in the past 100 years.

    The observed 50-year increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide of one molecule per 10,000 molecules of air has had no detectable effect on climate—warming and cooling trends have occurred during the past half-century as they have for thousands of years.

    Where is all the carbon dioxide produced by burning of fossil fuels? Geoscientists have long known that atmospheric carbon dioxide cycles through the oceans every five to 10 years, not every 200 years as claimed by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Furthermore, for every fossil-fuel carbon dioxide molecule added to the atmosphere, the ocean eventually soaks up about 50 carbon dioxide molecules. These observational facts mean we cannot cause the ballyhooed doomsday assumption of a “doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.”

    On top of that, engineer and climate expert Fred Goldberg of Sweden’s Royal School of Technology points out the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide decreases rapidly with increasing concentration. About 95 percent of that effect already has been used up at today’s level of 385 parts per million.

    The computer models do not work. Their unanimous prediction that the troposphere (lower 0-15 km of the atmosphere) should have warmed significantly in response to current levels of carbon dioxide does not match actual measurements. Physicist David Douglass of the University of Rochester has shown that the troposphere has remained unchanged or cooled slightly since 1979 when satellite and balloon-borne measurements of atmospheric temperature began. The models cannot truly deal with the realities of weather—evaporation, convection, clouds, rain, and all the other pathways by which nature inexorably moves heat from where it is warm to where it is cold.

    And then there are the effects of the sun and the oceans. The oceans not only store enormous amounts of solar energy, as research meteorologist William Gray of Colorado State University points out, they also transfer that energy around the globe over decades and centuries through a system of interconnected currents and current oscillations that create climate variations over vast regions.

    Also, as physicist Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has documented, the position and orientation of the Earth in its orbit around the sun determines weather and climate.

    Given what we actually know about climate, and all the remaining uncertainties, Americans should think long and hard before giving up more of their liberties and income to satisfy politicians who just want to “do something” to satisfy a particular special interest. A long-term political agenda is at work here, gathering power at the expense of liberty.

    A very high probability exists that just “doing something” will not work against natural climate forces we only incompletely understand. When we realize what liberties we have lost, the probability also is very great that we will deeply regret not choosing to prepare for climate change instead of trying in vain to stop it. Our focus should be on how to produce more energy to raise worldwide living standards, not on how to limit energy use and economic growth.

  135. Paul in Sweden

    “12. Per Says:
    February 8th, 2011 at 8:00 am

    What, he doesn’t accept the scriptures?!

    You guys are like a religion on your own. Scientism, the evangelists of the era with scientists as the post modern priesthood.

    This is just ridiculous.”

    Per, liksom koptikerna & assyrianerna i mellanöstern är klimatalarmisterna en population på nedgång. Koptikerna & assyrianerna är välkomna men låt oss hålla tummarna och hoppas att klimatalarmisterna inte kommer till Sverige som religiösa flyktingar. Vi har för många av dem här redan! ;)

  136. SLC

    Mr. Schmitt was a far right wing nutcase during his 1 term in the US Senate. He’s just another shill for the Koch brothers.

  137. Brett

    @134
    How right is he about preparation vs. prevention? Is it possible to undo what is happening?

  138. Colin

    So, what is the term for someone who accepts global AGW and doesn’t accept the political implication that we need to tax anyone who uses fossil fuels because of it? Does that make me a denier?

    I accept the science as a prediction. Scientific predictions should all be accepted with a grain of salt because if there is one absolute about science its that predictions CAN be wrong, but AGW almost certainly isn’t wrong since we are already seeing the trends. Each individual model is still potentially wrong in its extent, but they can be weighted based upon available evidence. That is science, it works.

    Ultimately, however, we are better off in modernity than we were before the industrial revolution. We are better off with freedom than those without it are. We are better off with cheap, dense energy than we would be without it.

    Now, I know that above there are three false dichotomies and I’m not suggesting that there isn’t a third way, but I don’t want a third way that reduces my freedom. And if you can find a different way that gives us as much mobility and versatility as we have now without worrying about power density (broadcast power, virtual rails of cars, etc.) and you can make it work efficiently, than sell the technology, do your part for the environment, and make your millions.

    My first point, I am unapologetic on. We have made significant progress in the world by not having to use the sweat of our backs or the labor of animals to accomplish tasks. Using fossil fuel energy to accomplish work for us has been a boon. We need to get PASSED it, but it is still a boon to us for now. The research needed to get us passed fossil fuels is probably going to take a lot of energy and a lot of money. That money is in petrodollars and that energy will be mostly coal fired in the US. Cutting us off of both is not the way to go.

    My point is that I am not a denier if I accept the condition of the AGW argument without accepting the standard conclusion that we need to starve ourselves of energy to make right.

    (Oo oo oo, there is a fourth dichotomy. Aren’t there other energy sources out there? Sure, but not as mobile and cheap as fossil fuels. We need better battery technology to make any existing ‘alternative’ energy source into something useful. Even with that, we then have a choice between nuclear waste or carbon waste or vast swaths of the countryside covered with windmills or solar energy farms, at the expense of human territory, the desert, hillsides, coasts, etc.)

  139. Dave R

    Spence, 92:
    >Did you miss the part where climate scientist Mark Serreze made […] claims that the […] North Pole [would] be ice free in summer by around 2013?

    Yes, I did miss that. Do you have a source for it or did you make it up?

    I have one where, contrary to your claim, he says:

    “A few years ago, even I was thinking 2050, 2070, out beyond the year 2100, because that’s what our models were telling us. But as we’ve seen, the models aren’t fast enough right now; we are losing ice at a much more rapid rate.

    “My thinking on this is that 2030 is not an unreasonable date to be thinking of.”

    And another one

    In September, 2010, Dr. Serreze said…“We are still looking at summers with an ice-free Arctic Ocean in perhaps 20 to 30 years,”

  140. Wayne Robinson

    Spence says;

    “Sri Lanka nearly beat malaria in the 1960s, and probably would have done if there was not a break in the spraying. This break is likely to be down to many factors, but did not happen in a vacuum; political pressure from environmental activists almost certainly played a role”

    Where’s your proof? The United States banned domestic use of DDT in 1972, the UK in 1984, saying nothing about use by other countries, both occurring AFTER the date you claim that Sri Lanka phased out DDT in the malaria eradication program (in the ’60s). So you’re claiming that Sri Lanka was susceptible to ‘political pressure from environmental activists’ before both the US and UK, with their much stronger environmental movements? I think the government probably thought they’d succeeded and decided to spend the money elsewhere.

    It’s also a big claim to state that mosquitoes can be defeated by insecticides; you seem to be convinced that continuing spraying would have prevented resistance rather than causing it earlier.

    America managed to eradicate malaria using other methods such as draining swamps near human habitation, which is a much more effective method.

  141. Dave R

    >someone who accepts global AGW and doesn’t accept the political implication that we need to tax anyone who uses fossil fuels because of it? Does that make me a denier?

    No.

    >if I accept the condition of the AGW argument without accepting the standard conclusion that we need to starve ourselves of energy to make right.

    That is not a standard conclusion. In fact I’d be very surprised if you could point me to anyone at all who has reached such a conclusion.

  142. Joseph G

    @ 136 Colin: So, what is the term for someone who accepts global AGW and doesn’t accept the political implication that we need to tax anyone who uses fossil fuels because of it? Does that make me a denier?

    Absolutely not. As DataJack says, the implications of the observed warming don’t affect the validity of the observations themselves. There certainly is a sizable faction that understands the observed warming and the science behind it, but believes that carbon-cutting measures will damage the global economy more then the warming itself, or, if not, will make dealing with the warming itself impossible (ie, it’s hard to help refugees when you yourself are broke).
    These are all economic questions, which are wide open for debate. Even the most dedicated advocates of AGW awareness have to concede that we can’t really predict exactly what the economic impact will be, and that even if we can, that climate scientists aren’t the ones who can do it. You’re moving from natural science to the economic sciences, and from predicting trends based on observed data to predicting trends based on scenarios that haven’t happened yet.

    Personally, I’m somewhere between the “tax that carbon!” position and the “it’s way too costly” position. IMHO, “cap and trade” is ripe for corruption and all manner of gaming the system, but we do need some government incentives for clean energy infrastructure. Ultimately, we need to shift to low/zero-carbon energy, not starve ourselves of energy altogether.

  143. Colin

    @ Joseph 6 (143):

    Personally, I’m somewhere between the “tax that carbon!” position and the “it’s way too costly” position. IMHO, “cap and trade” is ripe for corruption and all manner of gaming the system, but we do need some government incentives for clean energy infrastructure. Ultimately, we need to shift to low/zero-carbon energy, not starve ourselves of energy altogether.

    I was glad to read that you don’t find me a denier, because I’ve been called one in the past. I, fortunately or unfortunately, am not a climate scientist. I agree that we need to move to a zero-carbon economy, but in order to do so we need a scientific breakthrough on energy storage.

    @Dave R (142):

    That is not a standard conclusion. In fact I’d be very surprised if you could point me to anyone at all who has reached such a conclusion.

    Anyone at all? Do you want to reconsider that argument, because I can find all sorts of creepy idiots out there. You are exaggerating, but that’s okay, because I was exaggerating by using the word ‘starve’. By going to a cap and trade system, or any carbon tax system, we are limiting our intake of energy to limit our output or requiring that we spend more energy in order to limit our output of carbon. In both cases, available energy for work is reduced. This can be called ‘starving’.

  144. TheBlackCat

    @ Colin: One of the problems with fossil fuels is that they currently get pretty heavy subsidies from the government. In other words, our taxes are going to artificially lower the price of oil. We are still paying the same cost, but it is hidden by your taxes.

    This has the effect of artificially lowering the price of oil, resulting in increased consumption. It also makes it harder of alternatives that don’t have these subsidies to succeed.

    So although oil is still probably the cheapest, it is not as cheap as it initially appears, because part of the cost is paid indirectly by consumers through their taxes.

    Personally I think just eliminating the existing fossil fuel subsidies (and corn-based ethanol subsidies, which only make things worse) would be a good first step.

    There are also other ways to improve things that don’t involve taxes. Tightening vehicle emission rules, shift the subsidies that did go to oil to tax breaks for homes or businesses that improve the energy-efficiency, and so on. Whether this is enough I don’t know, but it would certainly reduce the problem.

  145. Dave R

    >Do you want to reconsider that argument

    No.

    >By going to a cap and trade system, or any carbon tax system, we are limiting our intake of energy

    Cap and Trade and Carbon Tax are not the only possible ways to solve the problem. And using less fossil fuels does not imply using less energy because fossil fuels are not the only source of energy.

  146. TheBlackCat

    @ Joseph G: Wow, that article is absolutely awful. No tropospheric warming? How could anyone with a shred of integrity tell such a blatant lie?

  147. Gonzo

    Climate change denialists sound like the type of people who would say nothing about despotism until it kicked in there door. “oh, I see now, too bad I’m frackin’ dead!”

  148. Colin

    @TheBlackCat (145):

    One of the problems with fossil fuels is that they currently get pretty heavy subsidies from the government. In other words, our taxes are going to artificially lower the price of oil. We are still paying the same cost, but it is hidden by your taxes.

    Agreed. We should end all subsidies for energy, with the exception of energy research and infrastructure development. That includes for biofuels, solar power, and wind power subsidies. At the same time, we need to reduce all regulation that is not based on real science.

    @Dave R (146):

    Cap and Trade and Carbon Tax are not the only possible ways to solve the problem. And using less fossil fuels does not imply using less energy because fossil fuels are not the only source of energy.

    I don’t see any way to ‘solve the problem’ at all, but there may be smarter folks than me. Is there a way to solve the problem? Can we do it while maintaining our current levels of economic development? If we didn’t have our current levels of economic development, would the developed world put anywhere near as much money into helping those who are less fortunate? Not saying they give enough, just saying do you think they would give more or less if they had less money?

    As far as other energy sources, you are absolutely right. Are they cheaper or as cheap as fossil fuels? I’m not talking about externalities, I’m talking about the cost to produce, refine, and use. If you can find one that is cheaper than me going to the grid or me going to the pump while giving me reliable power, I will go off the grid so fast it ain’t funny. Unfortunately, there isn’t one. Of course, once you add in externalities, fossil fuels are really bad, but since we are all reaping the benefit and we are all paying the cost, it isn’t really externalized, is it?

  149. TheBlackCat

    I don’t see any way to ‘solve the problem’ at all, but there may be smarter folks than me. Is there a way to solve the problem? Can we do it while maintaining our current levels of economic development? If we didn’t have our current levels of economic development, would the developed world put anywhere near as much money into helping those who are less fortunate? Not saying they give enough, just saying do you think they would give more or less if they had less money?

    You are operating under the mistaken assumption that the choices are between “do nothing and maintain our current level of economics progress” and “do something and lose our current level of economic progress”. All indications is that the first choice is impossible. All evidence is that doing nothing will severely hamper our economic development. Whether it will hamper it more or less than any given plan I don’t know, but it is certainly not true that we can maintain our current level of economic progress in the face of the coming problems.

    So the proper question is to how best to balance the coming problems with the investment needed to deal with them. But we aren’t going to get a good solution to that question if we pretend nothing bad is going to happen.

    Are they cheaper or as cheap as fossil fuels? I’m not talking about externalities, I’m talking about the cost to produce, refine, and use.

    You are talking as though this is an all-or-nothing thing, that in order to make use of other fuel sources we have to immediately and totally abandon fossil fuels.

    The problem is that the artificially lowered price of fossil fuels reduces the incentive to develop alternative resources. As long as consumers think the oil is cheaper than it really is, they will use it and will be less willing to use alternatives. The price is even lower considering all the help oil companies get exploiting fossil fuel sources on public property, the dangerously low level of safety oversight that fossil fuel companies face compared to things like nuklear power, and our military interference in fossil-fuel rich countries.

    So the artificially lower price for oil also artificially lowers consumer demand for alternatives. This, by extension, results in more investment in research, development, and infrastructure for oil and less investment in research, development, and infrastructure for alternatives. This greatly slows or even stops completely the progress that would be needed to bring alternatives to the level that they could compete with oil.

    So yes, there are not alternatives to oil based on our current infrastructure. But that is due in no small part to the stranglehold oil has on our society, it is not due solely to the actual merits of oil.

    If we stop artificially lowering the price of oil it will necessarily result in additional research and development and improved infrastructure for those alternatives. Further, if we provide subsidies to alternatives (alternatives that actually reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, unlike corn-based ethanol), it would amplify this effect. Exactly how much, or even if, we should invest in alternatives depends on a cost-benefit analysis that is beyond my knowledge.

    Of course, once you add in externalities, fossil fuels are really bad, but since we are all reaping the benefit and we are all paying the cost, it isn’t really externalized, is it?

    If the environmental costs are not factored into the monetary cost, then yes they are externalities, by definition.

  150. I also agree that the words “denier” or “denialist” are improper characterizations concerning those that ascribe to other science based models. If you are scientifically educated and ascribe to a different hypotheses or theory that is presently not mainstream favored, does not mean that the mainstream model is correct or that any other presently known model is correct either.

    If someone believes in a different model it could still, by new evidence, become the mainstream model, or by new evidence become totally disfavored so that few will continue to ascribe to it.

    Over vast swaths of history, mainstream models in all the sciences have been continuously changed. What may seem to be today’s scientific truths, might in the future become yesterday’s follies.

  151. Paul in Sweden

    I don’t give a FF about the words “denier” & “denialist”. What does bug me is all the pixie dust and tales of Unicorn horns that are so liberally spread in the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Cooling(CAGWC) threads.

    Come up with a proposition or referendum that disconnects every university, movie studio, concert hall and United Nations building from the electric grid & require them to operate using wind/solar/wave power and in a few short months CAGWC will cease to exist.

    In addition; there should be truth in advertising, the electric cars that our tax dollars are helping wealthy people to purchase should have huge advertisements on them stating that they are “Powered by COAL”.

    ;) MTU how are those wind powered desal plants doing for you in Oz? How about the keeping of dams and catch basins at 190% + capacity due to the “Chicken Little” delusional Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Cooling hysteria?

    … Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink, Know what I mean, Know what I mean?

    MTU, In all seriousness I truly hope you and yours have ridden out the storms. :)

  152. TheBlackCat

    @ forrest noble: What determines whether someone is a denialist or not is not what conclusion they draw, it is how they deal with evidence (or in the case of denialists, how they don’t). There are a particular set of behaviors that are consistently found in denialists that are uncommon if they exist it all in others, including:

    1. Attempts to attack and demonize their opponents rather than trying to deal with the evidence (Paul’s post above mine is a great example of this)

    2. Generally avoiding submitting their ideas to peer review

    3. Claims of a conspiracy to suppress their views

    4. Attempts to wholesale discredit entire branches of science, or science as a whole

    5. Inconsistent, or more often hypocritical, standards of evidence

    6. Reliance on outdated data when newer data is available

    7. “Experts” that they rely on are primarily people who are not in the relevant field

    8. A reliance on polls, often involving many signatories with no relevant expertise

    10. Demands for public debates on the subject

    11. An attempt to force their views through political action before convincing the scientific community

    12. Repeated assertions of the impending downfall of the established consensus on the subject, often over decades (sometimes even centuries)

    13. Reliance on cherry-picked evidence while ignoring the vast majority of evidence

    14. Using quotes taken out of context to misrepresent the views of scientists to make them seem to have done things they have not done or hold positions they do not hold

    15. Focusing repeated attacks on small, often minor bits of the whole picture in order to make that particular bit seem like a cornerstone of the whole theory they are denying.

    16. Portraying their opponents’ position as a religion (without explicit statements by their opponents confirming this position)

    17. Refusal to provide any sort of plausible alternative explanation for the entire body of evidenced available (they may offer an explanation for a small piece of evidence, but that explanation does not explain other evidence like the consensus view does)

    18. Reliance on “thinks tanks” or other political action groups rather than scientific bodies and associations.

    19. The creation of a bunch of small “think tanks” with fancy-sounding names that share mostly the same members, in order to bolster their apparent popularity.

    20. Attempts to dismiss well-accepted research methods and approaches, sometimes entire branches of scientific methodology, often while pretending those methods have more importance than they really do.

    21. A focus on the societal affects or moral implications of an idea rather than the evidence.

    22. Blatant misrepresentation of the positions or arguments of their opponents.

    23. Frequently shifting the goal-posts regarding their claims.

    24. Refusal to provide any feasible examples evidence that could convince them that they are wrong. When they do give such examples, they are usually impossible to obtain in practice. Any attempts to provide such evidence will be met either with the assertion that the evidence is not enough, or simply refuse to change their minds

    25. Focus on a few high-profile scientists or publicizers in an attempt to make it seem like they are primarily responsible for the ideas, while ignoring all the other scientists who agree with them and also did extensive work on the subject.

    You will find these approaches are common amongst denialist of all stripes, global warming denialists, HIV denialists, creationist, Holocaust denialists, antivaxxers, tobacco denialists, and others. I bet you could find most of these behaviors amongst denialists right here in this thread.

    Actually, you can probably find most of these behaviors from Paul alone.

    Legitimate scientists very rarely use such approaches, even scientists supporting small minority views. These tactics help distinguish denialists from those who simply don’t accept the consensus. Science doesn’t require that you accept the consensus, but you are expected to refrain from underhanded tactics like these and stick to the evidence.

  153. Wayne Robinson

    Paul in Sweden says;

    “MTU how are those wind powered desal plants doing for you in Oz? How about the keeping of dams and catch basins at 190% + capacity due to the “Chicken Little” delusional Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Cooling hysteria?
    … Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink, Know what I mean, Know what I mean?
    MTU, In all seriousness I truly hope you and yours have ridden out the storms”.

    I live on the other side of Australia. We would have loved to have had the rain Queensland had, as we have just had a very dry Winter and the dams are at low capacity. One projection of AGW is that dry areas will get drier and wet areas will get wetter (on average), so it’s not looking good for us.

    For some reason, we worry more about drought than flood. The Brisbane dam wasn’t run at 190% capacity, it was run at 100%. The managers foolishly didn’t allow for the predicted La Nina (although if they had dropped capacity to below 100% and the rains didn’t eventuate risking water shortages, they would also have been criticised, so they can’t win).

    Talking about truth in advertising; do you actually live in Sweden? Your English is rather good for a Swede.

  154. Andrew W

    TheBlackCat has a long list of reasons why deniers or denialists aren’t more fairly described as sceptics.

    I think just one trait differentiates between to two, sceptics address their opponents case on a scientific basis using scientific reasoning and the scientific method, deniers misrepresent their opponents case, are politically motivated, use political arguments and political strategies, they may be qualified as scientists, but they rationalize like politicians.

  155. Paul in Sweden

    @154. Wayne Robinson

    If wind/wave/solar worked and could withstand a cost benefit analysis I would be all for it. I was a solar enthusiast back in the ’70s. Our technology for renewables is not ready for primetime, however; there are places and applications where solar & wind makes sense even with the crushing costs.

    Desal in Oz has been anything but a success story

    The Queensland Government, for example, has just mothballed its $1.13 billion desalination plant, which it was persuaded to build by warmists who swore warming would dry the rain.

    As then premier Peter Beattie explained, the “likely impact of climate change” included “lower than usual rainfall” and dams would not do.

    But now Brisbane’s dams are full to overflowing, and Victoria’s own $5.7 billion desal plant, also built by a government claiming “we cannot rely on this kind of rainfall like we used to”, has been delayed for months by rain.
    -http://tinyurl.com/6bnzvd2

    Andrew Bolt of your Herald Sun who I also read, rips the wacked out “Green” initiatives almost daily providing much entertainment for all.

    Btw Wayne… I am an American currently living in Sweden and if I wasn’t as lazy as I am in my writing, I wouldn’t butcher the English language as often as I do :)

  156. Spence

    Dave R,

    Yes Serreze does make a wide range of different predictions. You’d think a scientist would make one straightforward, clear, nuanced prediction and stick to it, don’t you? But as you point out in your comment #140, Dr Serreze doesn’t work that way, he likes the scattergun approach. I suppose he hopes if he makes enough guesses, one of them will turn out to be right one day. On his form up to now, even that doesn’t look promising.

    The 2013 claim was a prediction by another scientist that Dr Serreze endorsed. There are several places where he does this, but since he does it in one of your references (the BBC article), I’ll use that. Serreze is directly quoted as saying: “Wieslaw is a smart guy and it would not surprise me if his projections came out.”. What were those projections? From your article, it was Professor Wieslaw Maslowski claiming the arctic would be ice-free by 2013.

    Serreze caveats his claim that Maslowski’s projections would “come out”, saying natural variability could scupper the prediction. But I call BS on that. Serreze is behaving like a homeopathic practitioner adding caveats to their untenable claims. An untenable claim is an untenable claim, and any scientist worth their salt should be calling such obviously wrong claims out, not endorsing them, caveats or not. Serreze had a choice: say nothing; call BS on the ludicrous claim; or endorse the claim, ratcheting up alarm and making himself look ridiculous. He chose the latter, and must live with that decision now.

    That the arctic will not be ice free by 2013 should have been obvious to anyone, let alone a supposed ice expert, yet even now commenters here are still desperately clinging to the belief that it might turn out, just like people believing that 2012 will be the end of the world (with some caveats, of course).

    Scientists should not be making scatter gun predictions, they should just fess up and acknowledge they don’t know. Incidentally, some of the models show arctic ice in 2100 at near the same level as 2000 – so if we’re talking “plausible outcomes” based on modelling, no change is right up there on the list. Funny how that didn’t get a mention in the BBC article.

  157. Spence

    Wayne, wow, what a whole bunch of garbage unrelated to what I posted.

    You demand proof of why a political decision was made over 40 years ago. ROFLMAO. Political decisions aren’t like science, Wayne, it is rarely possible to know exactly what was going through the mind of government officials today, let alone over 40 years ago. Which is why my comment was carefully worded. I only made two claims: the first was that political decisions do not take place in a vacuum. You really want proof of that? Good grief! And the second is that pressure on DDT was already being applied by environmental activists. Indeed, at the time Silent Spring had already been published.

    I don’t claim those were the only factors, nor did I claim to know the relative importance of different factors. These claims appeared only in your head, not in mine. I’m sure arrogance amongst the medical community was a factor. Perhaps they even had a consensus of opinion amongst experts that malaria was beaten. Shame nature couldn’t care less about consensus, eh? There may have also been economic pressures.

    What we do know are the scientific facts – that DDT was more effective than any other solution tried, even *after* resistance was developed by mosquitos. And DDT nearly succeeded in eradicating malaria, and probably would have done so had a bad political decision not been made.

    Your last two comments also include some evidence of failure to understand the full story. DDT is indeed an insecticide, but this is not its only effect. To mosquitos, DDT is a toxin (insecticide), an irritant and a repellant. It is this three pronged attack that made it such an effective weapon against malaria, and why it remained more effective than Malathion even after mosquitos became resistant to its toxic effects.

    On to your final point. Yes, swamp drainage and intensive cattle farming are valuable tools against malaria. These are *part* of the reason why the US and UK eradicated malaria. But to think that is an “either-or” case is ridiculous. Insecticides were used in both UK and US, and DDT successfully eradicated malaria in places like Egypt and Brazil. We need to use all tools at our disposal, and not marginalise some for no good reason.

  158. technochill

    I wish all the chicken little’s would quit their whining about climate change. No amount of money or eco friendly light bulbs is going to stop it. We should just embrace the change and move on to more important business. And I don’t mean more and better WMD’s, scientists have certainly excelled in that area. How about a cure for cancer, that would be nice, what seems to be the hold up?

  159. Undeniable

    @153. TheBlackCat

    Thank you for providing such a comprehensive list but would it not be much simpler to say that your reason for using the term ‘denier’ is that you can’t use ‘sceptic’ because you have hijacked that term and used it to mean ‘believer in science’ instead of ‘doubtful’? Try looking at the evidence, i.e. a dictionary.

    PS: What happened to point 9? Perhaps it was closed like one those temperature monitoring stations in an inconveniently cold location.

  160. Gus Snarp

    Well this has pretty much moved on since I last commented, but I want to say to Paul regarding Al Gore: the real reason you are bringing him up repeatedly is that you are building up straw men, which you continue to do with talking about “blaming everything on global warming” and talking about one New Mexico woomeister. None of these things have anything to do with the science of global warming, nor with the scientists. They are the work of the media. You are trying to find weak strawmen to attack instead of confronting the real and overwhelming scientific evidence and consensus. It’s not entirely your fault, I’m sure you didn’t make it up, you’re just parroting what Rush, BillO, and Glenn have been telling you. But please stop. The standards of those windbags are not how we have a rational discussion.

  161. Paul in Sweden

    Today, Phil has a thread on doomsday chicken littles…

    -http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/02/09/no-a-pole-shift-wont-cause-global-superstorms/

    How apropos is that!

    ROTFLMAO

  162. Paul in Sweden

    Note to forum readers:

    There are multiple Paul’s contributing on the various threads here at BA, but it seems as if “Paul” is considered a four letter word regardless which “Paul” posts.

    Kindly, use comment numbers and full UIDs if available when posting.

    It kind of gets confusing otherwise.

  163. Dave R

    Spence, 157:
    >Serreze had a choice: say nothing; call BS on the ludicrous claim; or endorse the claim

    No, he said that he thought the claim was wrong, but he couldn’t rule it out. And he clearly stated his own view:

    “A few years ago, even I was thinking 2050, 2070, out beyond the year 2100, because that’s what our models were telling us. But as we’ve seen, the models aren’t fast enough right now; we are losing ice at a much more rapid rate.

    “My thinking on this is that 2030 is not an unreasonable date to be thinking of.”

    Your claim was simply a lie. One of many that you have been caught on in this thread.

  164. Dave R

    Spence, 130:
    >LOL, we matched the last 40 years after they happened. Way to go!

    Bait & switch — that comment was nothing to do with predictions. I was answering your claim that the temperature had stopped rising after 2004, which was yet another of your lies. As the link I posted shows, there is no evidence that the warming trend of the last ~40 years has reduced.

  165. Dave R

    Paul in Sweden:
    >How apropos is that!

    It’s always good to debunk anti-science claims, as Phil has done on this thread and that one.

    Do you endorse Schmitt’s crackpot claims about the Arctic sea ice?

  166. Wayne Robinson

    Spence (comment #158)

    Now you are being silly. The original comment was about the banning of the use of DDT leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths (I’ve seen claims of millions of deaths put around, going on to stating that Rachel Carson was guilty of genocide worse than Hitler or Stalin), all in the aid of inferring that science in this case was wrong and by extension science is also not to be trusted with regard to AGW. On probabilities, what is more likely-Sri Lanka stopped DDT in the ’60s to save money or due to pressure from environmentalists when not even the Americans or Britons took action for many years? If you claim the first scenario as being reasonable then I’d say that you’re a little naive.

    Paul in Sweden, with our dire water situation, I think Perth would like Brisbane’s desalination plant. Of course, even a mothballed desalination plant can be put back into action if needed later.

    Andrew Bolt Is a conservative columnist for one of the Murdoch newspapers with about as much credibility as a Fox ‘journalist’. He’s more a blogger than an expert.

  167. TheBlackCat

    Thank you for providing such a comprehensive list but would it not be much simpler to say that your reason for using the term ‘denier’ is that you can’t use ‘sceptic’ because you have hijacked that term and used it to mean ‘believer in science’ instead of ‘doubtful’? Try looking at the evidence, i.e. a dictionary.

    I can’t help but notice the irony of misspelling a word and then telling someone to look that word up in a dictionary.

    Still, I would say it is the other way around. The so-called “global warming skeptics” are trying to co-opt the scientific use of “skeptic” to make themselves look good. On a scientific subject like this, I would say the scientific definition takes precedence. Trying to use the layman definition in a scientific context is just as dishonest as creationists trying to use the layman definition of “theory”.

    PS: What happened to point 9? Perhaps it was closed like one those temperature monitoring stations in an inconveniently cold location.

    Or maybe I wrote it in 3 in the morning when I was exhausted but had too much caffeine to sleep.

  168. Gus Snarp

    @Paul in Sweden – I generally don’t use comment numbers here because they change. I do use the full name as it appears, the person I was speaking to simply called himself “Paul”. But that’s why I immediately mentioned that it was “regarding Al Gore”. I think he was the only Paul beating that dead horse. Sorry if you thought I meant you, but you figured it out. ;)

  169. Gus Snarp

    @Paul in Sweden – I’ll note that there’s no irony in Phil calling out a doomsday scenario, since the doomsday scenarios about global warming are just as overinflated. What is real is that global warming will have serious effects, but just because we expect more and stronger storms, increased rainfall in some places, and decreased rainfall in others, as well as rising sea levels that will affect a large coastal population doesn’t mean we are predicting huge numbers of massive killer superstorms, sudden floods reminiscent of a tsunami, instant worldwide drought, or The Day After Tomorrow. Global warming is a real threat, but it’s effects will take time, there will be a cost in economic and human terms, but it’s not going to be anything that would make a good disaster movie. Anyone who claims that (and the scientists don’t) is doing a disservice to real understanding.

  170. TheBlackCat

    Anyone who claims that (and the scientists don’t) is doing a disservice to real understanding.

    Definitely, and at least to me it seems strange that the only ones I have personally seen talking about such disaster scenarios are the denialists. I have never seen anyone who accepts the scientific consensus on the issue saying these things. I am sure there are some nutcases out there, but there are for any area of science (they seemed to have gotten much more publicity with the Large Hadron Collider than they do with AGW).

  171. Stargazer

    I’m an astrology denialist.

    See, denialist is a great word.

  172. Paul in Sweden

    @ 166. Dave R Says:
    Do you endorse Schmitt’s crackpot claims about the Arctic sea ice?

    Dave R, I generally formulate my own opinions and refrain from endorsing claims made by others, especially those that I am unfamiliar and not well versed in their research and writings. Dr. Schmitt does make a poignant statement that I absolutely concur.

    “Given what we actually know about climate, and all the remaining uncertainties, Americans should think long and hard before giving up more of their liberties and income to satisfy politicians who just want to “do something” to satisfy a particular special interest. A long-term political agenda is at work here, gathering power at the expense of liberty.”

    It is no surprise that real world observational data does not match the computer models. The argument that faster computers will allow “Climate Science” to arrive at the wrong predictions and conclusions faster I find just as ludicrous. Of course I do want research to continue. Our buddies in Western Australia should have the best information regarding rainfall. The world’s farmers in various regions should be provided with the very best data so that crop selection, plant and harvest time can be determined. Etc, etc, etc…..

    Our Arctic ice gets a lot of talking about(how come the Antarctic Ice which is at record levels is a topic of non-discussion?).

    When I draw my conclusions I read things like this:

    The Arctic seems to be warming up. Reports from Fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers who sail the seas About Spitzbergen and the eastern Arctic, all point to a radical change in climatic conditions, and hitherto unheard-of high temperatures in that part of the earth’s surface.

    In August, the Norwegian Department of Commerce sent an expedition to Spitzbergen and Bear Island under the leadership of Dr. Adolf Hoel, lecturer on geology at the University of Christiania. Its purpose was to survey and chart the lands adjacent to the Norwegian mines on those islands, take soundings of the adjacent waters, and make other oceanographic investigations.

    Dr. Hoel, who has just returned, reports the location Of hitherto unknown coal deposits on the eastern shores of Advent Bay – deposits of vast extent and superior quality,This is regarded as of first importance, as so far most of the coal mined by the Norwegian companies on those islands has not been of the best quality.

    The oceanographic observations have, however, been Even more interesting. Ice conditions were exceptional. In fact, so little ice has never before been noted. The Expedition all but established a record, sailing as far North as 81° 29′ in ice-free water. This is the farthest North ever reached with modern oceanographic apparatus.

    The character of the waters of the great polar basin has heretofore been practically unknown. Dr. Hoel reports That he made a section of the Gulf Stream at 81′ North latitude and took soundings to a depth of 3,100 Meters. These show the Gulf Stream very warm, and it could be traced as a surface current till beyond the 81st Parallel. The warmth of the waters makes it probable that the favorable ice conditions will continue for some time.

    Later a section was taken of the Gulf Stream off Bear Island and off the Isfjord, as well as a section of the cold Current that comes down along the west coast of Spitzbergen off the south cape.

    In connection with Dr. Hoel’s report, it is of interest to note the unusually warm summer in arctic Norway and the observations of Capt. Martin Ingebrigtsen, who has sailed the eastern Arctic for 54 years past. He says that he first noted warmer conditions in 1918 that since that tme it has steadily gotten warmer, and that to-day the Arctic of that region is not recognizable as the same region of 1868 to 1917.

    THE CHANGING ARCTIC. By GEORGE NICOLAS IFFT. [Under date of October 10, 1922, the American consul at Bergen, Norway, submitted the following report to the State Department, Washington, D.C.] – You will have to hunt down a link for an online copy yourselves if you are compelled, perhaps in google books, as I only have a pdf file locally.

    All that chicken little Arctic Warming and no SUVs…..

    The Arctic ice fluctuates. Climate Changes all the time. Yes, the earth has warmed since the end of the little ice age — Thank Goodness or anyone else you can think of for that!

    Here is a short one:

    WASHINGTON [AP] — In the last decade,the arctic ice and snow cap has expanded 12 percent and for the first time in this century, ships making for Iceland ports have been impeded by drifting ice.
    Chicago Tribune – March 2, 1975
    -http://tinyurl.com/5sorfu7

    Four years later(1979) the satellite records of sea ice begin. Hmmmm…. If an individual does not read history, science reports and public records and views Arctic Ice starting at the unprecedented century high levels of the late ’70s I can easily see how weaker minds could run around wringing their hands convincing themselves that Mann-made Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Cooling(CAGWC) must exist and like the Aztecs believed we must have angered the earth gods.

  173. Gus Snarp

    @Paul in Sweden – I’m sorry, I skimmed your post, so I may have missed something, but are you saying that someone reporting a warming of the arctic between 1868 and 1917 somehow invalidates the whole of global warming? This is actually to be expected. Anthropogenic global warming didn’t begin ten years ago, or twenty. One could argue that it began when people began to organize themselves into large civilizations and burn lots of wood to heat their dwellings, but the real change began when we started digging up fossil carbon and pumping it into the atmostphere, i.e. the introduction of coal fired steam engines on a wide scale. Some of the impact was dampened by the simultaneous production of other atmospheric pollution that reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth, but the carbon increase began then, so it makes sense to see some warming in the arctic in that time frame. Of course, that doesn’t mean that’s the reason for it, or that his observations were accurate. Yes, climate fluctuates. But I’m always stunned by people who seem to think that climate scientists don’t have a thorough grounding in the basics of climate before they even start thinking about global warming. Or that they don’t know how to find a trend line in a noisy dataset.

    And don’t even get me started on the “political agenda”. It’s just fatuous to think that some sinister force is using global warming to TAKE YOUR FREEDOM!!! MUAHAHAHAHAA!!!!

  174. Dave R

    Paul in Sweden:
    >I absolutely concur […] “ A long-term political agenda is at work here, gathering power at the expense of liberty.”

    So, as usual with you it comes down to “scientists are all in on an enormous communist conspiracy”.

    If any readers are interested in the truth about the history of the sea ice, I’d recommend these articles which review the actual scientific studies and data on the subject, rather than Paul in Sweden’s cherry picked anecdote:

    History of Arctic (and Antarctic) Sea Ice, Part 1
    History of Arctic Sea Ice, part 2

  175. Paul in Sweden

    OMG!!!

    171. TheBlackCat Says:
    Definitely, and at least to me it seems strange that the only ones I have personally seen talking about such disaster scenarios are the denialists. I have never seen anyone who accepts the scientific consensus on the issue saying these things. I am sure there are some nutcases out there, but there are for any area of science (they seemed to have gotten much more publicity with the Large Hadron Collider than they do with AGW).

    TBC you frequently come up with real winners but answer truthfully now, do you live in a cave or under a rock?

    Have you ever heard of NASA? NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies? Blackcat have you ever heard of James Hansen a chief at NASA GISS?

    Blackcat, do you know why more people believe in haunted houses in the USA than in Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Cooling? It is because of the outrageous statements made by chicken littles and the blatant insults to our intelligence.

    This tread is getting into the CAGWC alarmist tinfoil hat zone….

  176. Dave R

    >do you know why more people believe

    Appeal to popularity.

    >outrageous statements made by chicken littles and the blatant insults to our intelligence.

    And as TBC pointed out, it’s not the climate scientists who make such statements, as you acknowledge by failing to cite any. Yet you still try to perpetuate the lie by insinuation.

    And talking of “blatant insults to our intelligence” are you going to condemn Harrison Schmitt’s lies which are supposed to be the subject of this thread, or are you such a fanatic that you will not criticise a fellow denier even when his lies are that obvious?

  177. réalta fuar

    I fail to see why anyone is surprised by this. Schmitt has long been a committed right wing Republican (sorry, I suppose that was redundant) and they’re hardly known for separating their politics from their science. One shouldn’t hold up moon walkers as being heroes to emulate any more than sports stars: just because we admire their abilities in one area doesn’t mean we should credit their opinions or abilities in other areas.

  178. Paul in Sweden

    @174. Gus Snarp Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 10:23 am

    @Paul in Sweden – I’m sorry, I skimmed your post, so I may have missed something, but are you saying that someone reporting a warming of the arctic between 1868 and 1917 somehow invalidates the whole of global warming? This is actually to be expected. Anthropogenic global warming didn’t begin ten years ago, or twenty. One could argue that it began when people began to organize themselves into large civilizations and burn lots of wood to heat their dwellings, but the real change began when we started digging up fossil carbon and pumping it into the atmostphere,[…]

    With regards to the dramatic historic written records of the fluctuations of Arctic Ice I provided actual published observational reports.

    As far as invalidating the hypothesis of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Cooling which is held by a vocal but faithful few in the world[The Pope, the Arch Bishop of Canterbury, Osama Bin Laden, municipalities that reap tax revenues, NGOs that seek donations, Banks that sell Carbon Indulgences, etc, etc. etc] — my post regarding Arctic Ice makes no claim to invalidate your beliefs or ruling out of hand the hypothesis of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Cooling.

    Gus, of course one could argue anything one wants to argue but without actual data and science you are going to find yourself in the same hole that CAGWC alarmists have found themselves(wearing polar bear suits & sandwich boards, sitting around drum circles and the rest of the world not passing significant legislation to solve a catastrophic doomsday problem that only the faithful believe).

    The United Nations COP16 was in Cancun, Cop17 will be in South Africa. Who knows where COP XXXIIIV will be? Unless actual science and published data is utilized and published — All you have is the United Nations Conference of the parties which is just an annual party. Break out the tinfoil hats and party on.

    A possible .6C temperature restoration after the little ice age is of little concern to myself and the rest of thw world.

  179. Paul in Sweden

    @175. Dave R

    Tamino links…. (Gaia Almighty!) Well Dave I guess that is better than Romm links…. :)

  180. Gus Snarp

    @Paul in Sweden – I think this thread has now devolved past the point of interest. Anyone who can accuse others of wearing tinfoil hats while writing things like this:

    …Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Cooling which is held by a vocal but faithful few in the world[The Pope, the Arch Bishop of Canterbury, Osama Bin Laden, municipalities that reap tax revenues, NGOs that seek donations, Banks that sell Carbon Indulgences, etc, etc. etc]

    and of his admiration for this statement:

    A long-term political agenda is at work here, gathering power at the expense of liberty.

    with regard to climate change, has no sense of the ironic. Global warming is not a conspiracy of Catholicism, Radical Islam, NGOs, Banks and cities to gather power at the expense of liberty. That would be a tinfoil hat conspiracy.

    And for those still debating “denier vs. skeptic”, this is a big clue. When your defense devolves into conspiracy theories that put the Pope in bed with Osama Bin Laden to steal your freedom, or require scientists to be influenced more by grant money than by being on Exxon/Mobil’s payroll, then you have entered the world of the conspiracy fantasy, and you’re a denier, not a skeptic.

  181. Dave R

    Paul in Sweden, your ad hominem argument does nothing to dispute the data and analysis to which I linked.

    are you going to condemn Harrison Schmitt’s lies which are supposed to be the subject of this thread, or are you such a fanatic that you will not criticise a fellow denier even when his lies are that obvious?

    And since you ignored the question yet again I think we can take it you are indeed such a fanatic that you are prepared to endorse even the ludicrous lies of charlatans like Harrison Schmitt.

  182. @TheBlackCat,

    This list applies to science theories in general demonizing those that do not ascribe to their theories. Personally I think that most modern theories in today’s sciences are generally wrong and that there are only a few good ones out there like chemical theory, natural selection, etc. but many false mainstream models that I will not name.

    I have seen your same characterizations describing those that follow non-mainstream models. Some of your list has validity I think, but much of it is opinion-based whereby others have different opinions concerning your characterizations.

    Although it would seem fairly certain that man’s influences to the climate are not inconsequential, the hypothesis of man-made global warming is not a certainty. In my opinion too much certitude often accompanies those papers which make such claims. If I were a betting man I would take even odds in favor of man-made dominant global warming, would take a two to one bet in favor of man-made dominant global cooling, and would take an even odds bet that other factors combined are more dominant concerning present climate trends. Of course we should always be vigilant and cautious and agree with that part of GW arguments.

    The alleged conclusions of many such studies will always be controversial since the well-being of humanity will be damaged by wrong decisions either way.

    Our astronaut is a geologist. He has a right to his opinion. Everyone has a right to an ignorant opinion, in his case if he promotes his views in the wrong way. This also is what I think much of science often does in maybe less obvious ways.

  183. Paul in Sweden

    177. Dave R Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 10:53 am

    >do you know why more people believe

    Appeal to popularity.

    >outrageous statements made by chicken littles and the blatant insults to our intelligence.

    And as TBC pointed out, it’s not the climate scientists who make such statements, as you acknowledge by failing to cite any. Yet you still try to perpetuate the lie by insinuation.

    Dave, In my previous dialogs with TBC I have found that TBC is well read enough to know who James Hansen, the NASA GISS Chief is and the outrageous statements he has made and knows full well that his west side Manhattan office is not under 20 feet of water. Hansen’s arrest record and hilarious statements to the press are very well known by those of us who follow the topic of CAGWC.

    Apparently you are unfamiliar with this topic.

  184. Dave R

    Actually I’m familiar enough with this topic to know that the anecdote to which you refer is a falsehood.

  185. Dave R

    forrest noble:
    >Personally I think that most modern theories in today’s sciences are generally wrong

    Thanks for your considered opinion, Galileo, now how about some links to your peer-reviewed papers that back up this opinion?

  186. mike burkhart

    I hate to say this but after this winter skepticsim about global warming is growing. I’ve over heard :”if there was gobal warming then we would have no winter it would be like summer out there.”global warming is just a scare tactic use by the envromentlists its a big lie created by them to push there agenda” “ohoo we should be all scared because of global warming and give up our cars and frezz to death and collect unemploment right ” I’m hearing this more and more. It seems the denires are wining.

  187. Paul in Sweden

    @182. Dave R

    As I explained @173 above I refuse to choose a Messiah or blanketly endorse anyone. Phil Plait our BA host is a successful and admirable individual. Like a diamond we all have many facets. There are some topics that Phil presents that I do not see eye-to-eye. Who can make a claim that they agree with everything anyone else holds? Heck, I am a skeptic and know how to play chess against myself. I question everything. I do not come to Bad Astronomy for these tedious CAGWC threads. I picture Phil laughing at all the back and forth.

    CAGWC policies adapted by our various governments get under my skin and these threads suck some of us in.

    Gus, yes this thread devolved, don’t all CAGWC threads devolve?

    Dave R. I pulled one statement out of the many statements you claim Harrison Schmitt, an individual that I am unfamiliar and I told you that I agreed with that one single statement. I will not give a blanket endorsement to a stranger. Hammering me asking to do so will not yield your desired result. Pick the statement amongst the many statements that you claim this individual, Harrison Schmitt has made that has you all hot and bothered and I will look at it and tell you if I agree with it or not.

    With Gus and previous dialogs with MTU in mind I want to openly say this is a topic that gets under my skin and I know my NYC kid gloves do not come through on my keyboard. I know I am abrasive, for that I will not apologize. If however I have or at some time in the future offend, I will not hesitate to apologize. I take none of the things said here personally. BA is a science blog & more.

    If someone here says something or points me somewhere and a light bulb goes off indicating that everything I understood about CAGWC is wrong that is just fine with me.

    So Dave, As I will not give you a wholesale yeah or nay, — do you wanna pick an individual statement made by Harrison Schmitt that you want to put me to your litmus test?

  188. Muzz

    From memory, most things Spence says about DDT are wrong and come from politically motivated places like Junk science. I’ll have to dig it up. It’s just another plank in the Alternate Reality Game that tries to suggest that greenies have always been wrong about everything since their very inception and put the environment before people etc. Neo-cons on a web hunt for ammunition against their hated commie foe find these tidbits and feel like they’ve done research and come to an independant conclusion (one that just happens to confirm everything they ever suspected and more). “Truth” is a matter of how it aligns with your political affiliation these days.
    (speaking of which; Andrew Bolt is the most brainless contrarian churnalist ever to hit print. He’s only ever right when he accidentally copy-pastes a fact, which is rare given his usual sources).

  189. Dave R

    >do you wanna pick an individual statement made by Harrison Schmitt that you want to put me to your litmus test?

    As I said to begin with — his claim about Arctic sea ice which is the subject of this thread.

  190. Joseph G

    #152 Paul in Sweden: Come up with a proposition or referendum that disconnects every university, movie studio, concert hall and United Nations building from the electric grid & require them to operate using wind/solar/wave power and in a few short months CAGWC will cease to exist.

    Are you really in Sweden? Because you sound exactly like an American who’s never even been outside the US, let alone listened to anything other then conservative talk radio. You’re really convinced that it’s those evil ivory tower Libruls who are behind all research into AGW, aren’t you? Just because you see the reality of the issue as a political battle to be won rather then a subject of actual research, doesn’t make it so.
    You want to talk politics? Fine, how’s this: the Conservatives bet on the wrong damn horse. They COULD have supported reality-based policy, but instead they’re painted themselves into a corner where they have to invent facts to allay their own doubts. Being pro-science shouldn’t and doesn’t make you a leftist, but it’s hardly the Left’s fault if they’ve blundered into the position of advocating for acceptance of reality. It didn’t have to be that way, but that’s how it worked out.

    @ 173 Paul in Sweden: (quoting Schmidt) “…Americans should think long and hard before giving up more of their liberties and income to satisfy politicians who just want to “do something” to satisfy a particular special interest. “

    Bahaha! Special interests? You want to investigate special interest groups? Great! Why don’t we start with the ones pouring billions of dollars into creating enough FUD about AGW science that they can keep on doing what they’re doing until it’s too late, at which point they’ll shrug and saunter away with their fortunes intact, avoiding any responsibility (as they always do).

  191. Paul

    @Gus Snarp: global warming is a straw man and global warming science is an oxymoron.

    There obviously isn’t a consensus. The science isn’t settled and like I said before, I bring up Al Gore because he is the biggest supporter and the loudest voice in spite of any of our opinions. He is your poster boy.
    You act like you are the one doing all the research and gathering data but all you done is looked at GW websites for your information. Again, just because someone is skeptical (doubtful, not the hijacked version) does not mean they are not scientists.
    The thing I’ve found with science is being right is not a requirement. It’s okay if a hypothesis is wrong, just make a new one and test it, I get it, that’s the process but when they are wrong and get politics involved and start creating dogmas based on bad science, that’s a problem.
    I don’t care what you think, computer modeling uses a lot of assumption and people who more than likely have a bias are programing those computers. Again, it’s like shooting the barn and painting the target around the hole. (Mann’s hockey stick)

  192. Joseph G

    @ 170 Gus Snarp: I’ll note that there’s no irony in Phil calling out a doomsday scenario, since the doomsday scenarios about global warming are just as overinflated.

    THIS.
    I read this blog compulsively, and I’ve never seen Phil refer to any doomsday scenario. He talks about the state of the science and it’s findings regarding climate, and often about the efforts of the anti-science crowd to confuse the public, but I’ve never seen him extrapolate that into any sort of specific catastrophe.
    Now, it should be noted that humans are particularly vulnerable to climate change, with our cities and farmland and borders and real-estate. Unlike most animals, it’s not simple for us to just up and move. Consequently, it doesn’t take a “Day after Tomorrow”-sized Hollywood-esque catastrophe to cause a lot of misery for humans.
    But again, show me one post where Phil has actually outlined a “doomsday scenario” (that wasn’t caused by an asteroid or something and prefaced by explanations of how it’s purely an exercise in imagination).

    @Gus Snarp: Global warming is not a conspiracy of Catholicism, Radical Islam, NGOs, Banks and cities to gather power at the expense of liberty. That would be a tinfoil hat conspiracy.
    And for those still debating “denier vs. skeptic”, this is a big clue. When your defense devolves into conspiracy theories that put the Pope in bed with Osama Bin Laden to steal your freedom, or require scientists to be influenced more by grant money than by being on Exxon/Mobil’s payroll, then you have entered the world of the conspiracy fantasy, and you’re a denier, not a skeptic.

    Lulz! THIS again :)

  193. Keith Bowden

    You want to know how to solve current weather problems and correct global climate?

    KILL ALL THE BUTTERFLIES IN PEKING!

    It’s always their fault, goin’ around, flapping their wings, screwing up weather in Central Park and everywhere else. They’re out to get us, it’s a damn conspiracy…

  194. Paul in Sweden

    @191. Joseph G

    It is my understanding that Carbon Indulgences will be permitted to be sold once each and every European Union State can prove that all revenue can be placed into the European Union General budget and not into the hands of non-government crooks.

    Now, Carbon Indulgences in the EU, or New York, or New Jersey that are used to supplement the general budgets reduce the risk of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Cooling(CAGWC) by which science principals?

  195. Colin

    @BlackCat (150)

    You are operating under the mistaken assumption that the choices are between “do nothing and maintain our current level of economics progress” and “do something and lose our current level of economic progress”.

    No, I’m not. I’m operating on the assumption that it can’t be “solved”. It can be mitigated. It can be worked on, but it can’t be solved. My point was that DaveR referred to ways to solve the problem and I don’t think with any adequate understanding of humanity, it can be solved. Mitigation strategies should focus on potential effects and work on research for new technologies to offset fossil fuels.

    All indications is that the first choice is impossible. All evidence is that doing nothing will severely hamper our economic development. Whether it will hamper it more or less than any given plan I don’t know, but it is certainly not true that we can maintain our current level of economic progress in the face of the coming problems.

    All the evidence is not pointing that way. If all the evidence is pointing that way, I would suggest someone is cooking the books. This is a group of theories based on models that have adequately predicted data points to show they have a modicum of reliability. Like Newton’s gravity, they can be wrong if someone else can adequately explain the data with a new theory that more accurately portrays the results. The evidence suggests that some of the models are correct that the world is warming. What will ultimately happen from the warming world is the subject of a number of other models that are indistinguishable until the warned about events actually happen. Some of the evidence may be pointing that way, or most of the evidence may be pointing that way, but not all.

    So the proper question is to how best to balance the coming problems with the investment needed to deal with them. But we aren’t going to get a good solution to that question if we pretend nothing bad is going to happen.

    I absolutely agree with this, I just don’t think that the method is penalizing carbon emissions. I think the method is investment in infrastructure upgrades, combating diseases tied to temperature increases, like malaria, and focusing on the research necessary to eventually completely end our dependence.

    You are talking as though this is an all-or-nothing thing, that in order to make use of other fuel sources we have to immediately and totally abandon fossil fuels.

    No, not really. I’m talking about whether or not other fuels are cost effective. They are in some situations, not in others. As oil becomes harder to get, they will become more effective. When eventually coal gets harder to get, we will go nuclear more fully. Right now, the incentive to go green is driving a wave of nuclear construction studies. That is great. It’s a cost effectiveness thing, NOT a false dichotomy.

    The problem is that the artificially lowered price of fossil fuels reduces the incentive to develop alternative resources.

    It is only artificially lowered by government subsidy than artificially raise by government taxes. The subsidies are more than the taxes, honestly, but if we’d stop propping up coal so much, the subsidies would be much lower than the taxes. Oil doesn’t get anywhere near as much propping as coal.

    So the artificially lower price for oil also artificially lowers consumer demand for alternatives.

    You sound like a libertarian.

    This greatly slows or even stops completely the progress that would be needed to bring alternatives to the level that they could compete with oil.

    Do you know who designed the first lithium ion battery? It was during a time when the cost of oil was being artificially raised and they didn’t want to become obsolete. Stop subsidizing, regulate to protect lives and direct environmental damage, and we’ll see how the costs work out.

    So yes, there are not alternatives to oil based on our current infrastructure. But that is due in no small part to the stranglehold oil has on our society, it is not due solely to the actual merits of oil.

    I think there is a bias here, but I can’t tell you for sure. As far as I can read it, the energy density is scientifically based, not economically. The subsidies argument I can get behind, but if we are going to go that route, than artificially raising the price of oil with taxes should also be prevented. Likewise silly regulation on nuclear power needs to be eliminated and senators who care about the environment need to stop blocking plans for nuclear sequestering.

    If we stop artificially lowering the price of oil it will necessarily result in additional research and development and improved infrastructure for those alternatives.

    Agreed. We should end all subsidies.

    Further, if we provide subsidies to alternatives (alternatives that actually reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, unlike corn-based ethanol), it would amplify this effect.

    Because the government has proven to be so good at figuring out which products will work, huh? I drive a hybrid for environmental reasons. Come to find out I’d have been better off choosing ANY used care, for the environment. No, we should end all subsidies and let these technologies compete in a fair and open market while investing in AC, dikes, and other mitigation strategies until we crack the fusion power barrier.

  196. Joseph G

    @ Paul in Sweden: It is my understanding that Carbon Indulgences will be permitted to be sold once each and every European Union State can prove that all revenue can be placed into the European Union General budget and not into the hands of non-government crooks.
    Now, Carbon Indulgences in the EU, or New York, or New Jersey that are used to supplement the general budgets reduce the risk of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Cooling(CAGWC) by which science principals?

    This is actually something we agree upon. Carbon credits have the potential to be a tremendous source of graft and ill-gotten gains for both private companies and governments. I’m not sure any organization has the authority and integrity to oversee such a system on an international scale. Certainly not the UN.
    But this has nothing to do with the observed warming and the huge body of evidence tying it to fossil carbon emissions. People often react to bad situations with bad ideas.

  197. Paul

    @Colin 196: Good points. How do we break the strangle hold oil has? I don’t think wind power is the answer. It is an eye sore and in west Texas, only 3% of the power actually goes into the grid. I don’t know about everywhere else because info like this is not published. It’s to expensive to put the rest in the grid. CFLs….save electricity at the risk of putting mercury into the environment. Hybrids, have they figured out how to dispose of the batteries yet? I ask because I have not heard of a reliable disposal method. Solar farms….again, an eye sore, waste of space because so many are needed to be of use. Electric cars….how long does it take to recharge and will there be a recharge station at your destination?
    I have a tankless water heater. My gas bill has been cut by a little over 50% and but I still feel that water is wasted waiting for the water to heat up. What is the answer? We know but nobody will admit it.

  198. Marty

    For all the deniers above, who keep blabbing on and on about how climate change is some global, scientific conspiracy, I have but this to day: what does a scientist gain from looking at that data and coming to this conclusion? What harm are we doing by implementing cleaner technologies? Whose life is being ruined by humans trying to lessen their environmental impact?

    I simply don’t see why anyone would choose to approach this subject with anything but an open mind. As was stated above, it does not matter whether or not humans are the cause of the problem – we can observe it happening, and that is enough for us to do what we can to make sure that we aren’t the cause of the problem going into the future.

  199. Jack

    Seriously, when are you global warming wackos going to stop pushing the great global warming scam?

    Are you people that greedy or simply just too gullible?

    Just curious.

  200. Joseph G

    @200 Jack: Are you… that… gullible?

    That’s what I was going to ask you! :D

    Srsly, obvious troll is obvious.

  201. It is sad that Discover keeps on trotting out its demonstrably false belief that warming is occurring right now. In reality earth is currently cooling.Be­cause of the thermal inertia of the oceans and the lack of any Urban Heat Island effect the best indicator of recent trends is the Hadley – CRU Sea Surface Temperatur­e data. The 5 year moving average shows the warming trend peaked in 2003 and a simple regression analysis shows a global cooling trend since then . The data shows warming from 1900- 1940 ,cooling from 1940 – about 1975 and warming from 1975 – 2003. CO2 levels rose steadily during this entire period. There has been no net warming since 1998 – 12 years with CO2 up 6% and no net warming. ( Check the actual data at the Hadley center) Anthropoge­nic CO2 has some effect but our knowledge of the natural drivers is still so poor that we cannot accurately estimate what the anthropoge­nic CO2 contributi­on is. Since 2003 CO2 has risen and yet the global temperatur­e trend is negative. This is obviously a short term on which to base prediction­s but in the context of declining solar activity – to the extent of a possible Dalton or Maunder minimum and the negative phase of the Pacific Decadal and Arctic Osciallati­ons a global 20 – 30 year cooling spell is more likely than a warming trend. The entire IPCC -Al Gore AGW paradigm is about to collapse in the face of the real world temperatur­e data. How many more years of cooling will it take before Discover faces up to reality?

  202. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^ Norman Page : Not true at all. The last few decades have been getting ever hotter and 2010 has tied with 2005 as the hottest year on record.

    See :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwnrpwctIh4&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    &

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998.htm

    Plus folks this was screened on the Lateline TV news programme last night :

    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3134677.htm

    (BTW. The headline is a bit misleading given the contents.)

    From there :

    MARGOT O’NEILL, REPORTER: Australia’s climate seemed to flip into overdrive this summer. But Mother Nature didn’t single us out. Record-smashing weather has lurched from one extreme to another in the past year around the globe.

    There’ve been record snow dumps in the US and Europe, even though 2010 was the world’s equal hottest year, with reports of record hot temperatures in 19 countries. As well, every continent except Antarctica suffered catastrophic floods, while the Amazon endured another devastating drought. So are these extremes the new normal? It’s what climate change models have been predicting after all. Big international insurers are mopping up after more than 850 global weather catastrophes in 2010, and they say there’s no doubt: global warming is destabilising the climate.

    Reality is that the melting ice is melting, there are more extreme weather events, each of the past few decades has been hotter than the last and, yes, there is connection with those observed facts & all that extra carbon dioxide that’s been added to our atmosphere. There’s no getting around basic physics.

    How many more years of global overheating and how many more climate disasters will it take before Norman Page & the other climate contrarians face that reality? :-(

  203. Dave R,

    response to your posting #186,

    My opinions are sometimes bold but are usually just a glimpse (as is the case for most) of the whole concerning my own opinions and theory. In the context of our astronaut friend, he may not know how to properly promote his alternative opinions with the proper science etiquette and protocol. Using the same etiquette I also have committed the sin of “boldness of assertion” without the proper supporting documentation, being instead just provocative. He also may be interested in such a strategy.

    My e-mail address if you are interested is forrest underscore forrest at net zero dot net; if you really want to review my own opinions and theory which have been published and I am always happy to disseminate “information,” then please give me a jingle.

    Unfortunately only my opinions relate to the subject at hand (proper ways to counter mainstream theory using proper references to alternative models) but my point was that mainstream models like global warming for instance, can slowly change over time and sometimes drastically in relatively short periods of time. Attacks on criticisms by alternative models (such as global cooling), for instance, may presently be too hasty.

    regards,

  204. Messier Tidy Upper

    Oh, & no, Norman Page, Gore did NOT invent climate change or AGW. :roll:

    See :

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

    &

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz1g55H6XgA&feature=related

    Or just check with Wikipedia :

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

    Which observes that :

    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. …

    Plus from Svante Arrhennius’es wiki-page :

    Arrhenius developed a theory to explain the ice ages, and in 1896 he was the first scientist to speculate that changes in the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could substantially alter the surface temperature through the greenhouse effect.[3] He was influenced by the work of others, including Joseph Fourier. Arrhenius used the infrared observations of the moon by Frank Washington Very and Samuel Pierpont Langley at the Allegheny Observatory in Pittsburgh to calculate the absorption of infrared radiation by atmospheric CO2 and water vapour. Using ‘Stefan’s law’ (better known as the Stefan Boltzmann law), he formulated his greenhouse law. ……[Snip] …

    …[Snip] … He [Svante Arrhenius] was the first person to predict that emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels and other combustion processes would cause global warming. …[Snip] … 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.

    It doesn’t take much research to find the reality. Pity so few people who claim to have debunked the experts who have devoted their lives to studying climatology can’t seem to bring themselves to take the fifteen or twenty minutes or so needed to learn the most basic of facts in the climate field. :-(

  205. Messier Tidy Upper

    @152. Paul in Sweden : MTU, In all seriousness I truly hope you and yours have ridden out the storms.

    Thanks. :-)

    I live in Adelaide, South Australia, which is a very about half a continent way away from Queensland in the north-eastern quarter of Australia which has just endured terrible flooding followed by cyclone Yasi and also from the bushfires (which I gather Americans call “wildfires”) bruning recently in near Perth, Western Australia.

    I’ve been in no danger at all, although my thoughts and those of pretty much all Australians have gone out to those affected.

  206. Paul in Sweden

    @206. .Messier Tidy Upper

    Good to hear that MTU, I was wondering where in the wide world of Oz you were and if you would be adversely effected.

    Brushfires/wildfire all pretty much the same. When I was a small schoolboy we were taught about the huge grass fires in Australia that were needed to germinate next generations of seeds. Cyclones and wind fires predate man and are natural parts of the cycle of life but that doesn’t make it any easier for those caught down wind or down stream.

    Hope those effected get sorted quickly

  207. Paul in Sweden

    @ 205. MTU

    There are all kinds of Inconvenient [Snips] in that wiki posting of yours….

    Svante recognized the devastation the Little Ice Age caused not only mankind but all flora & fauna. Svante tried to ease the minds of doomsayers who feared that a return to a climate similar to the then recently experienced Little Ice Age would bring death & destruction forcing untold millions to become climate refugees and drive Europe’s population into central Africa.

    Now with a temporary reprieve from the death and destruction of the Little Ice Age with a possible 0.6-0.7C increase in Global Average Temps, increased agriculture production & natural growth is suddenly out of fashion.

    By the influence of the increasing percentage of carbonic acid in the atmosphere, we may hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates, especially as regards the colder regions of the earth, ages when the earth will bring forth much more abundant crops than at present, for the benefit of rapidly propagating mankind.” (p63) – Das Werden der Welten (1907), English translation: Worlds in the Making (1908), Svante August Arrhenius

    Nothing like a turn of the century budding geo-engineer fully endorsing the release of CO2 into the atmosphere to prevent Global Cooling to be championed later by individuals that want to cool down the planet… The way things are twisted amazes me.

    For some individuals, if it is cold the world is coming to an end, if it is a little more than one half of one degree Celsius warmer the world is coming to an end. Certain individuals need drama.

  208. Messier Tidy Upper

    I’ve said it before here :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/10/03/its-a-ufo-by-jove/#comment-314489

    ***

    I agree that Edgar Mitchell and Gordon Cooper are American heroes – I admire them for their respective Apollo 14 and Mercury & Gemini flights too.

    However, please note that even American heroes for all their heroism can be wrong sometimes and this is one of those occassions I’d say. More importantly still, even American heroes also need to back up any extraordinary claims they make with extraordinary *evidence.*

    ****

    The same very much applies to Harrison Schmitt as well.

    Just thought that bears repeating in this context.

  209. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ 207. Paul in Sweden : Cheers, that’s appreciated, thanks. :-)
    [Raises beer in acknowledgement.]

    @ 208. Paul in Sweden :

    For some individuals, if it is cold the world is coming to an end, if it is a little more than one half of one degree Celsius warmer the world is coming to an end. Certain individuals need drama.

    That’s true. I actually agree with that. I do think some people go overboard with the whole drama queen “end of the the world, the Eeeeend, I tellz ya!”

    But I’m not one of those individuals nor are many of the other folks who think AGW is a serious problem that needs to be faced.

    No Global Warming is not the end of the world, it’s a pain and a long term issue that does need to be addressed because it will cause us – and our children and grandchildren – real problems in the future.

    Denying that there’s real cause for concern based on a few extremely OTT alarmists is like denying that a possible asteroid /comet impact could occur & potentially wipe us out because movies like Armageddon and Meteor were so silly and flawed.

  210. Andrew W

    208. Paul in Sweden: “The way things are twisted amazes me.”

    Me to, Arrhenius calculated that elevating atmospheric CO2 would lead to an overall warming, modern scientists, working from many angles, reach the same conclusion, then you try twist this into some sort of argument that the two are contradictory!

  211. John Mashey

    This may be an odd request, but perhaps some people would like to actually discuss the topic of the post, not repeat all the old arguments. SO:

    1) Schmitt is in NM, so let’s look.

    Here is the USGCRP (US Global Climate Change Program) report in 2009, “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States ,” a well-written (by experts), well-illustrated book for a general audience.:
    http://www.globalchange.gov/publications/reports/scientific-assessments/us-impacts

    I especially like the part where they devote 5-6 pages to each region of the country. This is important because the effects of AGW differ according top where you are. Some care about sea-level rise, some don’t. Everybody cares about water, but those who get too much may get more, and those who get little, may get less. Here’s the section on the SouthWest:
    http://www.globalchange.gov/publications/reports/scientific-assessments/us-impacts/regional-climate-change-impacts/southwest

    There, one can find this chart:
    http://www.globalchange.gov/images/cir/hi-res/14-southwest-pg-130.png
    We are certainly headed towards the chart at right, which forecasts that 80 years from now, much of NM, including Albuquerque, is likely to get 35-40% less precipitation.

    This chart shows the expected rise in temperature:
    http://www.globalchange.gov/images/cir/hi-res/14-soutwest-pg-129.png

    Of course, hotter climate means faster evaporation. John Fleck is a NM journalist quite knowledgeable on water issues: http://www.inkstain.net/fleck/

    This is not The End for NM, of course, although I suspect the population of NM will be a bit lower 100 years from now, unless surrounding states donate much more of their water.

    Schmitt, of course, knows more than all the researchers, knows global warming is not happening. I don’t know if he has grandchildren. If you do, you might get a copy of this book and go over it with them so they can think about where they might want to live. (technical) warmer climate tends to extend Hadley Cell circulation, so that dry places like the SouthWest get less rain, places like the upper Midwest get more. Warmer climate means more water vapor in the air (in the places where there is more), but when conditions are right, it rains/snows in bigger storms. Water that goes up must come down. As any experienced skier knows, you get bigger snow dumps just below freezing than when it’s much colder. At least, those are the predictions.

    2) Schmitt has associated himself with the Heartland Institute, speaking for them in 2009. They rushed to Schmitt’s defense:
    http://www.santafenewmexican.com/opinion/Looking-In–Joseph-L–Bast-Writer-owes-Schmitt–readers-apology
    No, he didn’t owe Schmitt an apology.
    http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Opinion/Looking-In–Walt-Meier-and-Mark-Serreze-Arctic-sea-ice-is-not-r

    Just so you know who Joseph Bast and Heartland are:
    http://www.heartland.org/about/PDFs/2010Prospectus.pdf
    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110126_HeartlandChart.png is their org chart … this is basically a marketing/PR/lobbying organization that manages to be tax-free. It certainly does not do scientific research.
    Funding is murky, but substantial chunks come from ExxonMobil and (very hard right) folks like Richard Mellon Scaife. See p.93 of PDF at:
    http://www.desmogblog.com/crescendo-climategate-cacophony

    But climate is a relatively recent market for Bast and Heartland. For many years, one of their best markets was helping cigarette companies, lobbying hard with state and local governments. Here is a portal to the Tobacco Archives:
    search for: bast heartland gets many hits
    Looking for money, describing accomplishments, tobacco execs describing how Heartland performs, etc, etc.

    The 1964 Surgeon General’s report said smoking was a very bad idea. After 46 years, ~20% of US adults still smoke, To really “set” addiction so it’s hard to stop, most people have to start while their brains are still developing, between 12-18, so to get lifelong customers, tobacco companies need to get them young. They’ve known that for decades: The Importance of Younger Adults, ~1984:
    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/eyn18c00/pdf

    SO, in 1964, 12-year-olds would have been born in 1952. Put another way, adult smokers born after 1952 almost certainly started smoking as children, AFTER the Surgeon General’s report. It takes terrific marketeering to get kids addicted to products that will damage the health of most, in the face of science almost as solid as that for global warming. (Tobacco-illness was mostly based on statistics, whereas basic physics demands AGW.)

    Joseph Bast and Heartland did everything they could to help (and get paid for their work). These are Schmitts’s allies.

  212. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ 208. Paul in Sweden Says:

    @205. MTU : There are all kinds of Inconvenient [Snips] in that wiki posting of yours….

    I don’t how about “inconvenient” – at least not in any bad or misleading way. Here’s the link to the source article :

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

    So folks can see for themselves what was left out & / in.

    I was aiming for a more concise & relevant summary there quoting the main parts that were pertinant to this discussion.

    Svante recognized the devastation the Little Ice Age caused not only mankind but all flora & fauna. Svante tried to ease the minds of doomsayers who feared that a return to a climate similar to the then recently experienced Little Ice Age would bring death & destruction forcing untold millions to become climate refugees and drive Europe’s population into central Africa.

    Yes, an ice age *would* be bad news. We don’t want to be in one.

    But that doesn’t mean a hothouse would be good news. We don’t want to be in that either.

    If you wish to be comfortable and have an optimum scenario for temperature (or most other things really) you aim for some happy medium – not either extreme.

    Given the choice I’d rather set the thermostat at 15-20 degrees NOT 30 or 5.

    In the same way if we can keep the climate reasonably mild rather than excessively hot or cold let’s do so. Evidnece suggests our emissions of Co2 and other Greenhouse gases (plus desertification & deforestation) – and their associated feedback mechanisms from that – are turning up the global thermostat towards being too hot. Let’s turn it down. Or at least not turn it up any further.

  213. Messier Tidy Upper

    ^PS. Those temps were degrees Celsius natch. [Imagines the colder than Plutonian temperatures five degrees Kelvin would imply, shudders.]

    Given the choice I’d rather set the thermostat at 15-20 degrees [Celsius] NOT 30 or 5.

    Using the Celsius to Fahrenheit degrees converter available here :

    http://www.wbuf.noaa.gov/tempfc.htm

    I can translate that into :

    Given the choice I’d rather set the thermostat at 59 to 68 degrees F NOT 86 or 41.

    For those on the wrong system of measuring temperatures. ;-)

  214. @ 203 Messier I prefer data based science . -I refer to the Hadley SST data – are you saying that their data is not true – If so why ? I am saying that warming peaked in 2003 – naturally when you cross a mountain peak the last 5 steps up and first 5 down will be the highest 10.We are now clearly on the down slope. Hang on to your earmuffs.

  215. Dave R

    Norman Page:
    >I refer to the Hadley SST data […] I am saying that warming peaked in 2003

    Then you are either ignorant of the difference between the trend and the noise in the data, or you are a liar trying to deceive other people who may be ignorant of it.

  216. MartinM

    Messier I prefer data based science . -I refer to the Hadley SST data – are you saying that their data is not true – If so why ? I am saying that warming peaked in 2003 – naturally when you cross a mountain peak the last 5 steps up and first 5 down will be the highest 10.We are now clearly on the down slope.

    HadSST2 shows no such peak. In fact, there is no statistically significant trend in the data from 2003 to the present.

  217. Dave R

    In fact the mountain analogy is quite apt here. Anyone who has climbed one will recall the feeling that they are finally getting to the top, only to find that it was simply a local peak on an uneven slope that still stretches away from them.

    The graph I posted above shows that in 1987, Norman Page could have just as easily said “warming stopped in 1980″, and in 1994 he could just as easily have said “warming stopped in 1987″. And so on. He would have been just as wrong then as he is now.

  218. Andrew W

    Nice graph Dave R, of course that’s a point many people have made on many forums on many occasions, maybe Norman Page is just really new to this debate, or perhaps he’s got a really bad memory, or perhaps he’s just another troll doing the Gish Gallop.

  219. Dave R

    >maybe Norman Page is just really new to this debate

    He has a blog (climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com) that started in 2009. A quick read shows him to be not only a crank but a raving conspiracy nut too…

    […] this takeover by a kleptocratic and self appointed elite who plan to be the rulers of this National Socialist state .

    Same sort of paranoid drivel that we see from “Paul in Sweden”.

  220. Ron1

    A couple of days ago TheBlackCat put forth a very good definition of denialist behaviour which, in turn acts as a good guide to the validity of their (or any) argument and evidence. Paul in Sweden, et al might like to review it before they continue.

    ………………………………………………………………………

    February 8th, 2011 at 10:50 pm
    @153. TheBlackCat Said, … “What determines whether someone is a denialist or not is not what conclusion they draw, it is how they deal with evidence (or in the case of denialists, how they don’t). There are a particular set of behaviors that are consistently found in denialists that are uncommon if they exist it all in others, including:

    1. Attempts to attack and demonize their opponents rather than trying to deal with the evidence (Paul’s post above mine is a great example of this)

    2. Generally avoiding submitting their ideas to peer review

    3. Claims of a conspiracy to suppress their views

    4. Attempts to wholesale discredit entire branches of science, or science as a whole

    5. Inconsistent, or more often hypocritical, standards of evidence

    6. Reliance on outdated data when newer data is available

    7. “Experts” that they rely on are primarily people who are not in the relevant field

    8. A reliance on polls, often involving many signatories with no relevant expertise

    10. Demands for public debates on the subject

    11. An attempt to force their views through political action before convincing the scientific community

    12. Repeated assertions of the impending downfall of the established consensus on the subject, often over decades (sometimes even centuries)

    13. Reliance on cherry-picked evidence while ignoring the vast majority of evidence

    14. Using quotes taken out of context to misrepresent the views of scientists to make them seem to have done things they have not done or hold positions they do not hold

    15. Focusing repeated attacks on small, often minor bits of the whole picture in order to make that particular bit seem like a cornerstone of the whole theory they are denying.

    16. Portraying their opponents’ position as a religion (without explicit statements by their opponents confirming this position)

    17. Refusal to provide any sort of plausible alternative explanation for the entire body of evidenced available (they may offer an explanation for a small piece of evidence, but that explanation does not explain other evidence like the consensus view does)

    18. Reliance on “thinks tanks” or other political action groups rather than scientific bodies and associations.

    19. The creation of a bunch of small “think tanks” with fancy-sounding names that share mostly the same members, in order to bolster their apparent popularity.

    20. Attempts to dismiss well-accepted research methods and approaches, sometimes entire branches of scientific methodology, often while pretending those methods have more importance than they really do.

    21. A focus on the societal affects or moral implications of an idea rather than the evidence.

    22. Blatant misrepresentation of the positions or arguments of their opponents.

    23. Frequently shifting the goal-posts regarding their claims.

    24. Refusal to provide any feasible examples evidence that could convince them that they are wrong. When they do give such examples, they are usually impossible to obtain in practice. Any attempts to provide such evidence will be met either with the assertion that the evidence is not enough, or simply refuse to change their minds

    25. Focus on a few high-profile scientists or publicizers in an attempt to make it seem like they are primarily responsible for the ideas, while ignoring all the other scientists who agree with them and also did extensive work on the subject.

    You will find these approaches are common amongst denialist of all stripes, global warming denialists, HIV denialists, creationist, Holocaust denialists, antivaxxers, tobacco denialists, and others. I bet you could find most of these behaviors amongst denialists right here in this thread.

    Actually, you can probably find most of these behaviors from Paul alone.

    Legitimate scientists very rarely use such approaches, even scientists supporting small minority views. These tactics help distinguish denialists from those who simply don’t accept the consensus. Science doesn’t require that you accept the consensus, but you are expected to refrain from underhanded tactics like these and stick to the evidence.”

    Well said.

  221. Coty

    Jeez, Phil. I’m tired of all these know-it-all “scientists” prosecuting against people who don’t conform to their “religion” of Global Warming, or evolution, vaccines, the moon landing, relativity, quantum mechanics, string theory, gravity, germ theory, or “tides”. When will you learn?!?!!!1!

  222. Paul in Sweden

    @ 208. Paul in Sweden :

    For some individuals, if it is cold the world is coming to an end, if it is a little more than one half of one degree Celsius warmer the world is coming to an end. Certain individuals need drama.

    That’s true. I actually agree with that. I do think some people go overboard with the whole drama queen “end of the the world, the Eeeeend, I tellz ya!”

    But I’m not one of those individuals nor are many of the other folks who think AGW is a serious problem that needs to be faced.

    Nope MTU, you are not one of those raving eco-wakos, as I and all other regular readers of BA know very well. Perhaps, next time I make a statement similar I will add in parenthesis “”present company excepted” so that casual readers would understand that I am not referring to you. :)

    The Inconvenient [snips] was more just being flippant, but I do recall reading you post and saying I am going to have to read the original because there were too many [snips] to satisfy my continued quest to understand this topic.

  223. @ 219 Dave R There are pefectly good reasons for choosing 2003. Look at the Moving average graph at the CRU site It rolls over at 2003 which just happens to be also the peak annual number on the that moving average trend. (1998 is the highest absolute number). Redraw your graph with 2003 as the end point of the rising trend and 2003 as the starting point of the down trend. Don’t confuse statistical significance with scientific truth or understanding. All statistical analyses of Time series are inevitably cherry picked one way or the other ( The hockey stick is the prime example )- and their scientific meaning requires knowledge of the data quality and the statistical methods used. I re-emphasise that the interpretation of the decline from 2003 as the start of a down trend is strengthened by the its close association with the dramatic fall in solar magentic field strength since then, ( Check the Oulu GCR count – put a start date of Jan 1 2004 as the start date on the graph) ,the delayed start up and progressively dropping estimates of the likely peak sunspot number of Solar cycle 24 and the negative phase of the PDO .
    In other words put the temperature data in context with what else is going on.
    As to my website – my primary interest is scientific – what is going on climate wise and I happen to think that 1 or 2 degrees of cooling would be much more of a threat to human food supply than a small amount of warming.
    Politically – I’m all for freedom and as little government as possible because I think most government decisions are usually decided by whichever special interest pays the politicians the most money. Therefore the less power the central government has the better. When dicussing political matters my web site reflects that. However that has nothing to do with the science since nature is going to do what it will do no matter which party is in power.

  224. Andrew W

    I’m a bit puzzled, am I reading Norman’s comment correctly? Is he actually saying that he’s deliberately cherry picked 2003 for his start date for his 7 year recent down trend because it gives him the result that best supports his cause? And that he actually thinks such an approach is reasonable??

    “Politically – I’m all for freedom and as little government as possible because I think most government decisions are usually decided by whichever special interest pays the politicians the most money. ”

    Me to, but if AGW is real, and BAU has the potential to have catastrophic results, Governments do have a role to act to stop, or at least mitigate, the effects of such catastrophe.

    Here’s a couple of examples, should city governments pass legislation to combat city air pollution? Should regional or central government pass legislation prohibiting people treating rivers like they’re sewers?
    If AGW is a threat, the government/s whose territories encompass the problem have a duty to act.

  225. Dave R

    Norman Page:
    >There are pefectly good reasons for choosing 2003.

    If your purpose is to lie about it in order to deceive the public, then yes, you would need to cherry pick a short section of data where the noise obscures the trend.

    If on the other hand you want to discover the truth about the data then you need to analyse it properly according to the well established principles of statistics.

    To determine the trend in a time series you need to use a sufficient amount of data so that the trend is visible above the noise. The amount of data necessary is determined by the signal to noise ratio of the data.

    If you choose to use too short a period — as you have done — then it is inevitable that you will be fooled by the noise. It is clear from your lame excuses and your repetition of this same schoolboy error despite it being explained to you that that is precisely your purpose — to deceive members of the public who may not be familiar with time series analysis.

    >Redraw your graph with 2003 as the end point of the rising trend and 2003 as the starting point of the down trend

    I’ve already done that in #219. I’ve also shown it with 1980 as the end of a rising trend and the start of a downward trend lasting until 1987. I’ve also shown it with 1987 as the end of a rising trend and the start of a downward trend lasting until 1994. Your argument applies exactly the same to those periods as it does to 2003-2010, and in all three cases it gives the wrong answer.

  226. Dave R

    Norman Page:
    >In other words put the temperature data in context with what else is going on.

    The context of what else is going on, is that we are increasing the level of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That is expected to cause a rise in global average temperature, and that temperature rise is indeed observed.

    Is there some reason why, while stating that we should “put the temperature data in context with what else is going on”, you made absolutely no mention of that context?

  227. Dave R

    Harrison Schmitt Out as EMNRD Secretary

    Harrison Schmitt, a former NASA astronaut who was chosen by Gov. Susana Martinez to head up the state’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, has withdrawn his nomination after a squabble with the Senate Rules Committee over background checks.

  228. @228 Dave R I made the context clear – 1. The decline in solar activity 2. The state of the ocean currents 3. A 6% rise in CO2 since 1998 with no net warming and a cooling trend since 2003 – showing how little effect CO2 has relative to other drivers . You expected that with the 6% CO2 rise temperatures should rise – it should be warmer now than 12 years ago – it isnt.
    Get used to it. Check out the latest on the SOI http://joannenova.com.au/2011/02/the-soi-still-rules/
    Unless the SOI gets less positive fairly soon next winter will make this year seem tropical.

  229. TheBlackCat

    @ Andrew: I think he is also saying that he doesn’t believe in statistics so he is free to do whatever he wants with the numbers, and then claims (without evidence) that everyone else does the same thing (which seems like projection, the psychological sort, to me).

    What I don’t see is any reason why this is a reasonable approach now but wasn’t in the past examples.

  230. Paul

    In Black Cat’s list, 90% of the problem is the fact they, AGW zealots, will not submit the data to peer review. This is why the FOI argument is going on. Peers are other scientists, not your buttbuddies. That makes the data suspect.
    11 is another one warmers use. It has become so political it has become a joke.
    19 is another one. You have the IPCC which is also political, NASA, the EPA.
    1 since we don’t really know what the evidence is because it will not be subjected to peer review. Warmers are just as bad about demonizing people as anyone else. Just read the above posts.
    You have a nice list here but warmers fall into these catagories too so I guess that makes you all deniers also. BTW, Phil is no climate expert yet he “plays one on TV”.

  231. TheBlackCat

    No, I’m not. I’m operating on the assumption that it can’t be “solved”. It can be mitigated. It can be worked on, but it can’t be solved.

    You can’t just make such an assumption and then use that to draw conclusions from. You need to justify the assumption.

    Mitigation strategies should focus on potential effects and work on research for new technologies to offset fossil fuels.

    And what makes you so sure that won’t solve the problem?

    This is a group of theories based on models that have adequately predicted data points to show they have a modicum of reliability. Like Newton’s gravity, they can be wrong if someone else can adequately explain the data with a new theory that more accurately portrays the results. The evidence suggests that some of the models are correct that the world is warming. What will ultimately happen from the warming world is the subject of a number of other models that are indistinguishable until the warned about events actually happen. Some of the evidence may be pointing that way, or most of the evidence may be pointing that way, but not all.

    Nothing in this paragraphs justifies your conclusion. When Newton did his work, all the evidence did point that way. It wasn’t until later, when new evidence was found, that problems appeared. It is possible for all evidence to point to a certain conclusion. Just because all evidence points a certain way doesn’t make the conclusion uncertain, and just because the conclusion is uncertain does not mean all evidence doesn’t point towards it.

    I absolutely agree with this, I just don’t think that the method is penalizing carbon emissions. I think the method is investment in infrastructure upgrades, combating diseases tied to temperature increases, like malaria, and focusing on the research necessary to eventually completely end our dependence.

    But what if it is impossible to do those things without penalizing carbon emissions?

    It is only artificially lowered by government subsidy than artificially raise by government taxes.

    Consumers don’t see the taxes as part of the price of oil, so it doesn’t play a role in their buying choices.

    The subsidies are more than the taxes, honestly, but if we’d stop propping up coal so much, the subsidies would be much lower than the taxes. Oil doesn’t get anywhere near as much propping as coal.

    You do notice the sentence you replied to said “fossil fuels” not “oil”, right?

    You sound like a libertarian.

    Wait, let me get this straight. Me quoting basic principles of microeconomics makes me a libertarian, but you advocating the end to all government intervention in the very next paragraph does not make you one?

    Do you know who designed the first lithium ion battery? It was during a time when the cost of oil was being artificially raised and they didn’t want to become obsolete.

    Yeah, that is my whole point. This just says that artificially raising the price of oil is an effective way to spur innovation in alternative fuel and distribution technologies. This little detail directly contradicts your conclusion.

    Stop subsidizing, regulate to protect lives and direct environmental damage, and we’ll see how the costs work out.

    That sounds far more libertarian than anything I have said.

    I think there is a bias here, but I can’t tell you for sure.

    I never said that government intervention was the only factor, in fact I repeatedly and explicitly said the exact opposite.

    The subsidies argument I can get behind, but if we are going to go that route, than artificially raising the price of oil with taxes should also be prevented.

    If you think that, then you aren’t understanding the argument. I am not opposing oil subsidies on principle, I am opposing them because they artificially shift consumer demand from alternatives to oil Giving subsidies to alternatives will have the opposite effect, which I am saying is a good thing. We should artificially shift consumer demand to alternatives.

    If you are a libertarian, then you see subsidies as a problem so the solution would be to end subsidies. I am not a libertarian. The problem I see is excessive dependence on oil. So for me subsidies for oil are part of the problem, while subsidies for alternatives are part of the solution.

    Agreed. We should end all subsidies.

    I never said anything remotely similar to this. In fact I have explicitly and repeatedly stated the exact opposite. You seem to have some sort of philosophical problem with subsidies in general, while I simply think they are being used on the wrong product which serves to shift consumer buying habits in the wrong direction.

    Because the government has proven to be so good at figuring out which products will work, huh?

    They don’t have to know, they can provide subsidies as new technologies should present themselves, and set those subsidies at our best understanding at the time.

  232. @ 227 Andrew I was quite clear – I picked 2003 because that is where the 5 year moving average turns over – that is a perfectly scientifically reasonable thing to do .
    As to regulation it should take place as close to the grass roots as possible, towns cities states etc. Some national level regulation is sometimes necessary but the higher the level of regulation the more likely it is that the regulations will benefit specific corporate interests rather than whatever “problem” is used to grab control. ( Look at the US Ethanol policy for example- burning food for fuel is really criminal.)Also at the national level if the government gets the science wrong – eg thinks the earth is warming when it is actually cooling then there can be reallydisastrous consequences. This is best exemplified by the UK which has in place energy and climate control policies which are economically suicidal and even in the short run financially insupportable. Holland ,Spain Germany and now even England are reducing their subsidies for wind and solar power.

  233. Dave R

    Norman Page:
    >I picked 2003 because that is where the 5 year moving average turns over – that is a perfectly scientifically reasonable thing to do .

    According to your method, which you claim to be “scientifically reasonable”, but which any statistician will tell you is nonsense, global warming stopped in 1982 and it stopped again in 1990. If you had looked at the data back then and applied the same reasoning you are using now, you would have concluded that global warming had stopped. You would have been wrong then, and you are equally wrong now, for reasons that have been explained to you several times.

  234. TheBlackCat

    In Black Cat’s list, 90% of the problem is the fact they, AGW zealots, will not submit the data to peer review.

    First, you claim this but don’t provide any justification why this has anything whatsoever to do with the tactics I listed. Second, no, not a single one of the items on the list has anything whatsoever to do with that. Third, the data is available for peer review, the denialists are just too lazy or too underhanded to bother reproducing the scientists’ methodology.

    11 is another one warmers use. It has become so political it has become a joke.

    By every measure we have available to us, the scientific community is overwhelmingly convinced. The arguments used by global warming denialists in an attempt to show otherwise are the exact same arguments used by every other type of denialist.

    19 is another one. You have the IPCC which is also political, NASA, the EPA.

    Wait, you are honestly claiming NASA is a “small think tank”, and that it’s primary purpose is for promoting AGW? Are you honestly putting NASA on the same level as the Heartland Institute?

    What about the AAAS? What about the NAS? What about every single scientific organization on the plane that has commented on the subject? Denialists have nothing like this.

    1 since we don’t really know what the evidence is because it will not be subjected to peer review. Warmers are just as bad about demonizing people as anyone else. Just read the above posts.

    The evidence is available for peer review. Anyone can look at the methodology in the papers, get the raw data, and apply that methodology. You can’t get the raw source code or data that has had the methodology applied to it, but since the methodology is right there in the paper you can re-do it yourself. If it didn’t come out with same results that would be a serious problem, but since as far as I have heard that denialists have never claimed that it doesn’t, then I can only conclude that they don’t really actually care about peer review, or the data matches but they can’t say that because it would hurt their case.

    You have a nice list here but warmers fall into these catagories too so I guess that makes you all deniers also.

    You provide, at best, 3 cases where any AGW follows any of these rules, none of which actually stand up to scrutiny.

    BTW, Phil is no climate expert yet he “plays one on TV”.

    He never claims to be. That is why he listens to the experts, unlike denialists who are not experts but claim they know more than the experts do.

  235. Dave R

    Norman Page:
    >I made the context clear – A 6% rise in CO2 since 1998

    You’re a liar. You didn’t say anything about CO2 in #226, to which I was replying.

    >no net warming and a cooling trend since 2003

    How many more times do you need this explaining to you? To determine the trend you need to use sufficient data that the trend is not obscured by the noise.

    CO2 is the cause of the long term warming trend — you cannot draw any conclusions about its effect by only looking at the short term noise.

  236. Dave R

    Norman Page, if you’re going to persist with this, answer the following:

    Look at this graph. Then look at this graph. Then look at this graph.

    Does the first graph show a situation where global warming has stopped?
    Does the second graph show a situation where global warming has stopped?
    Does the third graph show a situation where global warming has stopped?

    If you do not give the same answer for all three, justify the difference.

  237. # 238 Dave R You seem very quick to argue by personal abuse. I assumed you had taken the trouble to follow the thread back to my initial post #202- – take a look.
    You simply assert that CO2 is the cause of the long term warming trend. This is the same assumptiom made by the IPCC modellers – this is why their predictions are wrong. The temperature trends do not correlate with CO2 trends but with solar and lunar cycles which are the prime drivers – see http://www.fel.duke.edu/~scafetta/pdf/scafetta-JSTP2.pdf
    ” Empirical Evidence for a Celestial origin of the Climate Oscillations and its implications “by Scafetta from Duke University .

  238. TheBlackCat

    This is the same assumptiom made by the IPCC modellers – this is why their predictions are wrong.

    It wasn’t an assumption, it was a conclusion from the data.

  239. @ 240 Black Cat No it wasn’t a conclusion from the data. It was an assumption built in to the model from the outset .Look at the AR4 WG1 science section
    Check the IPPC figure 2-20 http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter2.pdf
    (page 203)
    This figure begs all questions and is a scientific monstrosity.Scafetta’s analysis of the temperature power spectrum gives a much better idea of the empirical controls on temperature. Fig 2-20 should show a solar activity driver with subsets under TSI, UV variability and GCR fluctuations with solar derived feedbacks of atmospheric water vapour, Albedo etc. The anthropogenic effect should be limited to anthropogenic CO2.,halocarbons land use etc.
    This is why the British Met Office predictions have been so wrong that they gave up making seasonal forecasts. This is why the Corbyn predictions have been so much more accurate.- he bases his work on solar – lunar data which more closely models the real world climate drivers.

  240. TheBlackCat

    @ Norman: Interesting you seem to have no problem accepting Scafetta, despite the fact that he refused to release his raw data and code at all.

    So climatologist release all the raw data they legally can, and large amounts of code, that is still not good enough and grounds for dismissing everything they do and justifies using underhanded and unscientific tactics.

    On the other hand when denialist refuses to release any raw data and any code, that is perfectly alright and his conclusions can be taken as the gospel truth.

    I am sensing somewhat of a disconnect here. Especially since people have been unable to replicate Scafetta’s results in the past, while the global warming analyses have been repeatedly replicated.

  241. Dave R

    Norman Page:
    >You seem very quick to argue by personal abuse.

    You’re a liar. I’ve demonstrated that you are wrong numerous times. You have not even attempted to address any of my arguments.

  242. Dave R

    Norman Page:
    >The temperature trends do not correlate with CO2 trends but with solar and lunar cycles

    That’s absolute nonsense.

  243. Dave R

    Norman Page:
    >20 – 30 year cooling spell is more likely than a warming trend.

    State how much cooling you are predicting over what period of time in what data — and how much you are prepared to bet on it.

  244. @ 244 -245. Your arguments seem to consist mainly of calling me a liar and asserting that what I say is nonsense.- these are unlikely to be persuasive to a dispassionate observer. As to your three graphs the difference between the first two and the last is that the last one is occurring at the same time as the big change in solar magnetic field strength. and the change in the PDO – AO etc. I’ve explained this before . What don’t you understand about that. Statistical analysis of natural time series don’t occur in a vacuum – you need a wider perspective. The amount of cooling depends on whether we are seeing a Dalton or Maunder minimum – its not entirely clear yet which it might be. However if its a Maunder I would be quite happy to go along with your undoubted heroes Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt of Real Climate fame
    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/shared/articles/Shindelletal01.pdf
    “Solar Forcing of Regional
    Climate Change During the
    Maunder Minimum”
    They say that a global cooling of 0.3 – 0.4 would produce a NH cooling of 1- 2 degrees.
    I think they probably underestimate both numbers somewhat – But I certainly wouldn’t bet on it.

  245. Andrew W

    Norman said: “I picked 2003 because that is where the 5 year moving average turns over – that is a perfectly scientifically reasonable thing to do .”

    What others have said, it’s only reasonable if there’s a clear justification, a clear undisputed change in what’s driving the trend and when the change can’t be attributed to noise. As Phil Jones has pointed out, noise levels make certainty impossible for periods of less than 15 years. you’re only looking for excuses.

    “As to regulation it should take place as close to the grass roots as possible, towns cities states etc.”

    I agree with you on this also, the problem is that “as possible” in the case of GH gases means the entire planet. I’m sure we also agree that it shouldn’t be just a few nations taking an economic hit to reduce GH gas emissions as everyones in the same boat, but that’s the realities of politics. The political problems don’t, as people keep pointing out, affect the physics of AGW.

  246. Dave R

    Norman Page:
    >As to your three graphs the difference between the first two and the last is that the last one is occurring at the same time as the big change in solar magnetic field strength

    So the you’ve drawn a conclusion about whether the temperature data shows warming without reference to the temperature data. You are an utter crackpot.

  247. Dave R

    Norman Page:
    >I certainly wouldn’t bet on it.

    So, you’re prepared to bet with other peoples lives, but not with your own money. Thanks for making it clear what scum you are.

  248. @ 248 The really dramatic change asociated closely with the turnover was the sharp drop in solar magnetic field strength – go to the oulu cosmic ray data base and plot a graph starting at 1/1/2004 to the present . The negative PDO is also a factor – you have to look at the whole picture.
    The dangers of doing things wrong on a global scale are too large to accept at this time – because policy is usually made for political and corporate profit rather than scientific reasons . That is why Soros and Gore and GE and Goldman Sachs and many hedge funds are pushing the AGW agenda.

  249. MartinM

    I picked 2003 because that is where the 5 year moving average turns over – that is a perfectly scientifically reasonable thing to do .

    You do know that taking moving averages has an annoying tendency to move the turning points of a data series, yes?

    Well, given that you seem to think statistical significance doesn’t really mean anything, you probably don’t.

  250. Dave R

    Norman Page:
    >Your arguments seem to consist mainly of calling me a liar

    Liar. My argument has mainly consisted of demonstrating that you are wrong.

    I’ve called you a liar only when demonstrating that you have lied. If you don’t want to be called on them then stop telling them.

    >and asserting that what I say is nonsense

    Liar. I did not simply assert what you said was nonsense. I demonstrated that it was nonsense.

    >That is why Soros and Gore and GE and Goldman Sachs and many hedge funds are pushing the AGW agenda.

    Explain the mechanism by which you think these evil conspirators have caused thousands of peer-reviewed papers supporting “AGW” to be published — and prevented any that refute it.

  251. Andrew W

    251. Well I had a hunt around for anything that shows a dramatic change in the suns magnetic field outside of whats usually seen with the solar cycle and couldn’t find anything.

    “policy is usually made for political and corporate profit rather than scientific reasons .”

    Who wouldn’t agree with that? Only most people see that as the reason the science supporting AGW has been sidelined rather than acted upon.

  252. @ 253 all you have demonstrated is your inability to have a rational discussion. I see that “scum” has been added to your give weight to your argument. Chill out you’ll give yourself an apoplexy — Bye- Bye.

  253. @ 254 go to http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/#database
    put the start date at 1976 01/01/ – hit create graph
    The cosmic ray count is inversely proportional to the solar magnetic field strength. Note the high count at the most recent minimum (2009 -20010) compared with the previous three. This equates with more low level clouds and greater albedo.– possibly the most powerful temperature driver.

  254. Dave R

    >Well I had a hunt around for anything that shows a dramatic change in the suns magnetic field outside of whats usually seen with the solar cycle and couldn’t find anything.

    Nope, it just shows that this solar minimum has been a little longer than average and a little deeper than average, similar to the one that was around 1913.

    Funnily enough global average temperature isn’t similar to what it was around 1913 — despite the denialist fantasies about maunder minimums and negative PDOs, 2010 was tied with 2005 for the warmest year on record (Assuming the dastardly George Soros hasn’t nobbled all the thermometers!).

  255. Dave R

    Norman Page:
    >This equates with more low level clouds and greater albedo

    No it doesn’t. That hypothesis has been tested and shown to be wrong.

  256. Andrew W

    As Dave points out, there’s nothing particularly unusual with the latest solar cycle, and if solar cycles had a major impact on climate we would be able to see the cycles in the climate records, and we can’t. They’re buried by other variables like the PDO. The warming over the last century can be explained by increased GH gases, AGW deniers are politically motivated people who’re desperate for an alternative explanation because they (understandably) don’t like the idea of the governments imposing the cost of changes to mitigate it. They’re so desperate that they don’t see that they’re changing the facts to fit their theories, rather than theories to fit the facts.

  257. Ron1

    @233 Paul said, ” Warmers are just as bad about demonizing people as anyone else. Just read the above posts.”

    Yup, you’re right. I call it jousting with morons. It beats banging my head against a brick wall.

    If you really want to see how morons can be treated, try posting some of your drivel on the Pharyngula blog. PZ does not have a ‘be nice to morons’ policy.

    ………………………………

    @233 Paul also said, ” You have a nice list here but warmers fall into these catagories too so I guess that makes you all deniers also. ”

    No, they do not, at least not the ones who know what they are talking about.

    While there is no denying that some AGW supporters say and do stupid things, I think you are falling into the trap of false equivalence.

    While deniers in this thread are obviously blowing smoke up everyone’s butt, AGW supporters here are generally arguing from a position of knowledge of the scientific consensus, a consensus based on fact. I don’t see fact based science in your arguments. Instead, I see arguments culled from libertarian, conservative, and fringe based pseudo-science websites. That makes you a target for jousting with morons.

  258. Arguing the existence of man made global warning is not productive. If global warming is man made or part of a normal cycle is irrelevant.

    The questions instead should be:

    1. Is there anything humans can do to mitigate global warning? For example, if we drop CO2 emissions by 5% what affects will that have on climate change?

    In fact these two are very much linked: if you can’t show human-level CO2 emissions were actually responsible for starting the warming you sure as hell won’t be able to show human-level emission reductions can do a damned thing to stop it now. (In fact, I doubt you can show the latter even if you can show the former, but anyway…)

    By every measure we have available to us, the scientific community is overwhelmingly convinced.

    Oh sure, but what exactly are they convinced OF? Let’s see:
    – that current climate models have limited predictive power and still need to be improved
    – that there is reason to start implementing mitigation measures
    (yet, strangely enough, also)
    – that there is an inability to explicitly specify detrimental effects of CC/GW.
    (At least according to http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/twimberley/EnviroPhilo/Postnormal.pdf)

    Isn’t that nice? So they know they can’t show what exactly is so wrong with CC/GW, but they’re damned sure we already need to do something about it. :))
    Gotta love this consensus stuff…

  259. Dave R

    donjoe, 262 – Yet another idiot parroting denialist talking points that are nothing to do with the subject of this thread.

    skepticalscience.com/fixednum.php

    In particular #3, 5, 12, 36.

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