What Hinders a Constructive Climate Dialogue?

By Keith Kloor | April 5, 2012 2:33 pm

We hear a lot these days about the need for scientists ““ particularly climate scientists ““ to engage more with the public and better communicate their findings.

That’s Leo Hickman in the opener of a recent Guardian piece. He reports on efforts by UK climate scientists to communicate more directly with some of their most vocal critics. I’ve been following these developments fairly closely since Judith Curry went down this path. Some believe that she’s since lost her way. Regardless of what Curry’s colleagues may think of the way she’s gone about it, clearly there are others in the climate science community who find it worthwhile to engage with climate skeptics.

So where Hickman left off, I pick up at the Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media. Specifically, my post looks at some of the obstacles to a constructive dialogue that no amount of open and civil conversation can seem to surmount.

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  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Before I trot off to Yale to look at your post there, I’ll just reiterate for the umpteenth time that I don’t have much of a problem with how scientists communicate about climate change, or the content of most of what they communicate. They are getting massacred in public fora because they can’t stop non-scientists from trying to communicate on their behalf. It should be pretty easy for them to see that having James Hansen speak about climate change is far superior to having Al Gore do so. That plays out, of course, all the way down the food chain and includes blog commentary. Having Bart Verheggen communicate about climate change is a real plus. Having some of the commenters here do so is a real minus.

  • Doug S

    Yes, I think you make a good point Tom but the bottom line for me is this. The public was told the science was settled and the debate is over. I don’t need any more communication than that from the political advocates of global warming. The group of people trying to push this stuff are not concerned one bit about the true science of the earths atmosphere. Any scientist worth his or her salt will by now have said loudly and clearly that the science is not settled and the debate will never be over.

  • steven mosher

    more Palmer, more Betts, more Thorne. Less Cook, Mandia, Mann, Tamino, Steig. Post climategate we needed a new team. Its out there.

  • jeffn

    Just a thought experiment: there is no reason to think the general public will ever care about climate science.
    It is neither novel, nor particularly controversial to say that we need to stop spewing stuff into the air.
    What’s novel and controversial is what you want to do about it. What will interest the public is what We’re actually going to do about it.
    Nobody remembers the guy who bitched about horses, they remember the guy who invented cars. Bans on riding horses in congested cities ( actually contemplated) had no affect on the future. Thinking about what would replace horses did.
    I submit that we are constantly asked to talk about the science only to cover for the fact that the proposed solutions suck.

  • David in Cal

    At the Yale Forum, Mr. Kloor asks, Can climate “˜skeptics’ be won over with face-to-face engagement?That’s the wrong question IMHO.  The right question is, Can both sides learn something from face-to-face engagement? Can they jointly develop an improved version of climate science?If one is certain that he’s correct and his only goal is win over the other side, that’s not engagement; it’s proselytizing, which is unlikely to work.

  • Barry Woods

    well in my outreach to Prof Richard Betts we persuaded Prof Katie Hayhoe to drop one of her climate change slides, because it was not supported by rigorous science….Sadly, Greenpeace, 10:10 still use the same information to scare the public and lobby for policies.. I haven’t managed to persuade Richard to take these guys on yet…That was the use of 300,000 climate change deaths happening now, ref GHF.communication and outreach is 2-way

  • hunter

    Keith,So we skeptics are simply ideological fanatics who reject your enlightenment because of our wickedness? There are no valid reasons to doubt the catastrophic claims from your community?

  • hunter

    Sorry to hit submit too soon.What your latest post demonstrates is that you have learned nothing from Gleick and climategate, and have indeed managed to join Romm, etc. in rationalizing the ethical problems away.

  • Lazar

    Tom,

    “They are getting massacred in public fora because they can’t stop non-scientists from trying to communicate on their behalf”

    Your previous statements,

    “I don’t have much of a problem with how scientists communicate about climate change, or the content of most of what they communicate”

    … are suggestive that ‘they’ are not ‘getting massacred’? A competent individual should be able to distinguish between scientists communicating well and non-scientists communicating badly?

    It is true they cannot “stop others from trying to communicate”. But I cannot understand the following statement as meaning anything other than suggesting that they should try to do otherwise?

    “It should be pretty easy for them [scientists] to see that having James Hansen speak about climate change is far superior to having Al Gore do so”

    The criticism that “blog commentary” and “some of the commentators here” fail to adequately “communicate about climate change” misses the mark if that is not what they are trying to do? It could just as well apply to Watts, the Auditors, Jeff ID, and others on the ‘skeptic’ side. It’s a neverending battle of point-scoring at the periphery of science. To anyone who is sincerely trying to understand climate science, it should be obvious that these forums are not productive venues. It’s a spectator sport. Isaac Held sticks to the science — look how much content and how few comments! Science-of-doom gets more attention by getting bogged down.

    Where do we go from here?

  • Tom Scharf

    Humorously, when you follow the link to Guardian article, the #2 most viewed article on the current list is “Nasa scientist: climate change is a moral issue on a par with slavery”http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/apr/06/nasa-scientist-climate-change This is not science, it is advocacy.  Flat rate global carbon tax?Hansen is up front that he has crossed the line into advocacy, but the media has been guilty, guilty, guilty in masquerading advocacy in the cloak of science.  Environmental journalism and environmental science are both polluted with outspoken advocates that are stuck in a self reinforcing loop that is immune to outside influence.  This feedback issue hit a runaway tipping point at least a decade ago.  The long term effects are now being felt, with poor credibility stalling any action from being taken, regardless of the state of the actual science.  There is almost no statement you can make about climate change that would be considered “over the top” and cause you to be shouted down by their community.  It should strike some as very odd that the fact that scientists are “willing” to talk to critics of their projections makes for a national media story.  Dogma anyone?Meanwhile in other science communities, making statements that turn out to be untrue, such as particles traveling faster than light, have real repercussions to those making them.  The trend for dissent of the climate mission and its methods is increasing though, as more and more acknowledge this was a flawed plan that has backfired.  Picking up the pieces and rebuilding will take a while, better to start now.

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    ~40% of Americans believing in creationism isn’t due to a failure of biologists’ communication skills. Ideology just trumps science.If the solution to climate change involved no impact on anyone and was not now a part of identity politics, I would wager you would see a dramatic increase in public agreement with mainstream science.That’s not to say that communication can’t be improved- it surely can. But we need to be realistic about the causes of “skepticism” and how much or little opinion can be changed by better communication.

  • Lazar

    “40% of Americans believing in creationism isn’t due to a failure of biologists’ communication skills. Ideology just trumps science”

    Indeed. Pretty words didn’t defeat belief in socialism. It took witnessing failure after failure, and over 100 million dead.

  • kdk33

    @11.  What a crock!

  • Barry Woods

    11# 12# As the topic is about a uk scientist, a UK science institution, a uk journalist and a UK sceptic – None of whom are creationists (guessing with Leo ;-) )  I fail to see how a very peculiar to America argument is relevant with the Met office having productive chats with UK sceptics..One might also argue that the sceptic in question started the engagement as well. I might suggest that those that contune to link sceptics with creationism, are part of the obstruction.As Keith tweeted, would this be possible in the US?

  • BBD

    Barry – did Andrew Montford express any view or change in his views after visiting the MO at Richard Betts’ request? I don’t visit BH any more, so I have missed all this, but am genuinely curious.

  • Barry Woods

    BBD – perhaps 2 way communication took place and everybody learned something.. Why not also ask If richard and th eothers present change their view.. As I recall,(from B Hill) a or 2 statisticians present from the Met Office were not exactly siding with Michael Mann, ref Hockey Stick!Myself and Richard Betts did persuade Prof Katie Hayhoe to remove a rather ‘alarmist’ claim about 300k climate change deaths (ie not rigourous science) slide from her climate change slide show.. just a little while ago.I just need to persuade Richard to tackle Greenpeace UK, who use the exactly the same claim to alarm the public and influence policy (and 10:10)  Perhaps like me, he is concerned about the media/lobbyist version of climate science that can over hype things…. which is very counterproductive for trust in climate science.We’re going to have lunch at some point (many chats and email) and in a couple of weeks I’m having a pint with Mark Lynas. (as we arranged it publically on Twitter, I’m not exactly being indiscreet about it!)I think I helped persuade Mark, a little bit, to step down from an activists group,(Campaign Against Climate Change) with a Deniers Hall of Shame.. As he did tell me, yes it was shameful at Climate etc..  Mainly stepped down due to, I think that  he had little to do with them any more, and as he has made up with Bjorn Lomborg, being on the advisory borad of a group that had Lomborg in a Hall of Shame, probably did not feel very appropriate anymore.Strangely sceptics and scientists and journalist(in the UK) when they get to know each other, seem to get on quite well. However a certain types of activist/lobbyist seem to annoy scientists/sceptical scientists/sceptics/journalists/authors alike.. (especially the anti-nuke greens)

  • Barry Woods

    oops!  not used to new formating yet (more paragraphs next time), it looked ok when I typed it)

  • Lazar

    “did Andrew Montford express any view or change in his views after visiting the MO at Richard Betts’ request?”

    Perhaps he’ll retract these claims from The Hockey Stick Illusion…

    “One can almost detect the germ of a [sic] idea forming in the minds of the scientists and bureaucrats assembled in Geneva; here, potentially, was a source of funding and influence without end”

    “If they were going to persuade policymakers to vote them still more funds”

  • BBD

    Lazar

    Do you think he should?

    Or do we suppose that the entire multidisciplinary field of earth system science is engaged in systematic misconduct?

  • BBD

    Barry – agreed that the GHF report was ill-founded. Nobody should be referencing it now. But dissecting the alarmism from the science does not make the scientific position on AGW change. I sense a drift towards false equivalence.

  • steven mosher

    But we need to be realistic about the causes of “skepticism” and how much or little opinion can be changed by better communication.”

    We know less about the causes of skepticism than we do about the causes behind our warming climate.
    You think you know the causes of skepticism, but you’ve got almost nothing in the way of evidence to go one. One thing we do know. What’s been tried, doesnt work. Let’s list what’s been tried.

    1. Ignoring skeptics
    2. calling them names
    3. Appealing to authority
    4. Denying them access
    5. Analogizing them
    6. Diagnosing them as “defective”
    7. “uncovering” their motives

    Go ahead make a list of all the things that have been tried to A) communicated the message. B) counter skeptics.

    You’ll find some obvious things missing that should be experimented with. Basically, when it comes to understanding the causes of skepticism your best bet is to stop thinking and start trying some new approaches. Less mann. Less romm. Less Mandia. Less Gleick. Less Tobis. More Betts. More palmer.More Revkin. More Kloor.

  • BBD

    steven mosherFear made a lukewarmer of me. To be clear, that’s a ~1.5C ECS for 2xCO2 lukewarmer. Accursed curiosity and enslavement to the rational forced me to abandon the comfort blanket. Tobis often made me think carefully. Credit where it is due.

  • Lazar

    BBD,

    “Do you think he should?”

    Certainly.

  • BBD

    Lazar – thanks for the clarification. I thought so, but comments are so fraught with potential misunderstandings… and this thread is about improved communication :-)

  • Barry Woods

    20#Nobobody should have been referecning it in the first place, it was always junk.The fact that a public science communicator (just appeared on the BBC) have it in their public climate slides, and when asked, replied  I just cite it, take any question up with the GHF.Is one of the reasons I’m sceptical.. what that has to do with ‘false equivalence’ is beyond me.

  • BBD

    Barry

    Is one of the reasons I’m sceptical.. what that has to do with “˜false equivalence’ is beyond me.

    The GHF report is not the science. Debunking it doesn’t change the scientific understanding of AGW. The BBC is not the science. Issues with communication are not the science. Conflation with the science is false equivalence.

  • steven mosher

    1.5C is the low end BBD. Personally I like 2.7C.. ModelE. The issue has never been turning people into lukewarmers. Most thinking people are lukewarmers they just didnt have a name for it.

  • BBD

    steven

    I can’t see a qualitative difference between 3C ECS (best estimate per AR4) and 2.7C ECS when considering likely regional effects. Once again, we differ over your cake-and-eat-it attempt to reposition ‘lukewarmer’ to something indistinguishable from the consensus. Why are you trying to do this? 2.7C is not ‘lukewarm’. And, um, everybody knows it.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @28 
    ‘lukewarmer’ is a pose not a coherent position. mosher desperately wants to redefine it so that he can maintain his delusions of grandeur and possibly trademark rights in the future when the world finally recognizes his awesomeness.

    by his own admission,it’s essentially indistinguishable from the consensus estimate, which really does beg the question doesn’t it?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    When the troll doesn’t get a reaction from one target, he shifts his aim to another. Have a drink Marlowe. Or have you been drinking steadily since yesterday?

  • Matt B

    This idea that it is a novel thing for climate scientists to “find it worthwhile to engage with climate skeptics” really hits at the crux of the never-ending disputations between the “consensus” and the “skeptics”. It is why so many scientifically trained people find this climate discussion riveting, not because we add to the overall knowledge base but because it it is an open example of the basics of scientific progress and the environment needed for science to progress. The philosophy of scientific progress is on open display, in real time.<p>From Feynman: http://www.inf.fu-berlin.de/lehre/pmo/eng/Feynman-Uncertainty.pdf <p>This freedom to doubt is an important matter in the sciences and, I believe, in other fields. It was born of a struggle. It was a struggle to be permitted to doubt, to be unsure. And I do not want us to forget the importance of the struggle and, by default, to let the thing fall away. I feel a responsibility as a scientist who knows the great value of a satisfactory philosophy of ignorance, and the progress made possible by
    such a philosophy, progress which is the fruit of freedom of thought. I feel a responsibility to proclaim the value of this freedom and to teach that doubt is not to be feared, but that it is to be welcomed as the possibility of a new potential for human beings. If you know that you are not sure, you have a chance to improve the situation. I want to demand this freedom for future generations.<p>

    Doubt is clearly a value in the sciences. Whether it is in other fields is an open question and an uncertain matter.

  • steven mosher

    Here is Hansen: “”It can’t be fixed by individual specific changes; it has to be an across-the-board rising fee on carbon emissions,” said Hansen. “We can’t simply say that there’s a climate problem, and leave it to the politicians. They’re so clearly under the influence of the fossil fuel industry that they’re coming up with cockamamie solutions which aren’t solutions. That is the bottom line.” SOMEBODY shut this fool up. he is destroying any chance we have of solving the problem. he should be ashamed

  • Jarmo

    #32,- I sometimes wonder if there is a parallel universe where the Hansen solutions work. Just take the developing countries: in many of them fossil fuels are subsidized – not because of the industry, who’d like to charge them market prices – but by politicians who want to alleviate poverty. Now, who exactly is supposed to find solutions to these problems if not elected politicians?  Revolutionaries?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    In the developing world electricity costs two to three times as much as it does here in the U.S. Solar power is already well past the point of grid parity in most of Africa, Asia and even parts of Latin America. All they need is the capital to get the panels and tack them up. No politicians, no revolutionaries–just a bit of cash.

  • BBD

    Tom

    All they need is the capital to get the panels and tack them up. No politicians, no revolutionaries”“just a bit of cash.

    Isn’t that partly what the proposed and much-reviled (by ‘sceptics’) ‘wealth transfers’ to developing economies are supposed to do?

  • Jarmo

    #34 – Do you mean purchasing power differences? In dollars and cents, I think that in India power goes for around 7 c/kWh and in South Africa, 6.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #35,

    No, BBD. That’s what loans are meant to do.

  • Jarmo

    #35 – Unfortunately, especially in Africa governments are kleptocracies. Whatever capital goes in is in effect stolen by bureaucrats and dictators. One of the biggest problems in Africa is capital flight. Whoever acquires wealth moves it abroad.Would you like to invest in Zimbabwe? Congo? Liberia? Ethiopia? Nigeria?

  • harrywr2

    #34Solar power is already well past the point of grid parity in most of Africa, Asia…….Lot’s of places are still burning oil for electricity..or worse…refined diesel.The levelized cost of solar PV last time I checked was $200/MWh. Oil at $100/barrel = $17/MMBtu which translates into a fuel cost of alone of $170/MWh.So in a place with good solar insolation solar PV is indeed cost competitive with oil fired electricity.  LNG in Asia is currently running at about $15.50/MMbtu which also places solar PV in a fairly position.Solar PV is however still double the price of nuclear,hydro or well placed onshore wind.Somehow…in my simple mind I don’t see ‘developing countries’ developing on $200/MWh power if the cost of power in the ‘developed’ world is around $100/MWh.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Hiya JarmoYou’re correct on the two examples you cite–but they seem to me like exceptions that sort of prove the rule.In India over a third of the country is off the grid because it is too costly–and many consumers received subsidized pricing, which makes it difficult to estimate. Depending on the type of consumer, prices range from 6 cents/kwh to 15 cents/kwh–but because demand is not being met, India is sort of an outlierSouth Africa, with its abundant coal, is also an exception. It is 6 cents/kwh.I had in my mind countries ranging from the  Philippines (30 cents per kwh) to Uganada (25C/kwh). Chad comes in at 26c/kwh, Madagascar 22c/kwh. This would be one place where PPP calculations would be useful. We could if needed pay those prices in the developed world (and in some isolated places we do). It’s a real burden on the developing world.

  • BBD

    NIV: So, the developed economies cause AGW, but only see fit to *lend* money to developing economies to buy (our) low-carbon technology. These same developing countries that will be first and hardest hit by the regional consequences of warming. I see.

  • harrywr2

    Tom…’Phillipines’ electricity prices…here’s the 1999 report…60% Oil fired..http://www.doe.gov.ph/Downloads/STUDY_ON_REGULATORY_FRAMEWORK.pdf

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Hi harrywr2, Yes, much like Hawaii. The PI are working hard on geothermal, but are good candidates for solar. Island nations. They are just really tough. The rich ones use energy at an astonishingly  high rate and the poor ones just suffer.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    I think the point is that a good case for a new set of Millenium Goals would certainly include community solar projects. The fuel is free…

  • harrywr2

    #41 BBD…’our low carbon technology’….50% of global solar panel manufacturing capability is in China.http://www.globalsources.com/gsol/I/Solar-cell/a/9000000116609.htm

  • Jarmo

    #40 – About India, I think the biggest reason for people outside the grid is bureaucracy and politics. India has coal – but coal production is in the hands of a government (monopoly) company. Anyway, here is a list of African tariffs in 2010. Prices vary a lot but on the whole, I’d say that countries with high tariffs are a  minority – Uganda, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Chad, Liberia, Gambia and Mali. Notice that these are all relatively small economies.http://www.updea-africa.org/updea/DocWord/TarifAng2010.pdf

  • Nullius in Verba

    #41,

    Yes, BBD, we’ve argued this out before.

    If there really is grid parity, and a market for electricity at that price, then loans can finance it. There’s no need for intervention. And by not intervening, you guarantee that the electricity is installed only where it is justified by the economic benefits to which it can be put; you don’t waste resources by installing it where it can’t be used effectively.

    The money has to come from somewhere. If the developed countries pay, they have less to spend on buying other things, many of which would have been bought from the developing world. So somebody winds up paying anyway, but instead of that being decided at ground level by the people who benefit, it’s decided by politicians playing to the gallery. Less efficient, ends up delivering less help.

    The loans can be supplied locally rather than from the developed world, which gives the locals ownership of the capital and profit from the enterprise. The big reason for capital flight in the developing world is that there are no good local opportunities for investment. They can get a far better return investing abroad, so they do. Good opportunities for loaning locally would help develop local capital markets too.

    The developing world has plenty of capital, it just can’t access it. Legal infrastructure is the main problem. International welfare perpetuates the problem, because it takes away any incentive to solve it. Aid fuels the corruption that stops them developing.

    There are lots more reasons. But with entire political worldviews at stake, I know minds are not going to be changed by mere reasons. Such is politics.

  • harrywr2

    #46 About India…interesting report below….“At a growth rate of 5% in domestic production, currently total extractable coal resources (including proven, indicated, and inferred) will beexhausted in about 45 years“…….http://www.teriin.org/policybrief/docs/TERI_PolicyBrief_Coal_March11.pdf

  • BBD

    harrywr2 @ 45

    Remind me, what is China’s contribution to global annual CO2 emissions?

  • BBD

    NIVThe loans can be supplied locally rather than from the developed world,
    which gives the locals ownership of the capital and profit from the
    enterprise.
    If that can happen, then all well and good. Not much sign of it yet, but perhaps that will change. Also, I’m not claiming that there’s nothing good and functional about capitalism. Only that it requires a degree of regulation and oversight. As is generally the case. Problems generally arise when the regulation is lax and oversight insufficient.

  • BBD

    NIV

    Aid fuels the corruption that stops them developing.

    I found Dambisa Moyo’s Dead Aid cogent and persuasive in arguing this point. Perhaps we are not so far apart in all things as you imagine :-)

  • harrywr2

    #49China currently burns about 4 billion tons of coal per annum. Less then half of that is for power production. I.E. It is associated with one time development. China coal reserves are estimated at 110 billion tonnes vs India’s 70 billion tonnes.Of course how much coal in the ground isn’t the whole story…seam thickness, depth of coal, quality of coal and distance to market also play important roles.In the US a ton of steam cold can be extracted at a profit for $14 ton in Wyoming ,. In the Appalachian region(Eastern US) the price needs to be near $80/ton(mine mouth price) to be extracted at a profit. Of course the number of people living in the Eastern US is substantially higher then the number of people living in Wyoming.Here is India’s 5 year plan…they have a projected shortfall of 200 million tons of coal per year by 2017 that takes into account they ‘think’ they will be able to increase domestic mining capacity by 200 million tons as well. Considering coal India fell short of it’s 2011 target by 80 million tons adding another 200 million seems dubious at best.http://indiamicrofinance.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/12th-Plan-India-draft-approach.pdf

  • BBD

    harrywr2

    I was hoping that you would remind me what China’s contribution to global annual CO2 emissions was. Since you didn’t, I checked and it looks like >23%.

    China currently burns about 4 billion tons of coal per annum. Less then half of that is for power production.

    Okay, we can argue that China’s coal-driven emissions will fall. Imagine a truly massive reduction in overall Chinese emissions. 23% falls to 14%. That’s the EU now. China stays in the top three, currently ranked: China 23%, US 18%, EU 14%.

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

  • BBD

    I should have said that # 4 in the league is India, with 5.8%. Of course this will rise, but even so, bit of a step there.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Umm, actually, China’s coal consumption is projected to increase. As a percentage of all fuels consumed, it will fall from 70% to 65% by 2050. Sadly it will be a smaller percentage of a much larger total. There’s a reason everybody is setting up coal mines around China, from Indonesia to Mongolia to Australia… and more.

  • harrywr2

    #55 TomAs reported March 22,2012 China, the world’s biggest user and
    producer of coal, will limit domestic output and consumption of
    the commodity in the five years through 2015 to reduce pollution
    and curb reliance on the fuel.
    Production and demand will be restricted to about 3.9
    billion metric tons a year by 2015
    , according to a five-year
    plan for the coal industry released by the National Energy
    Administration at a briefing in Beijing today
    .http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-03-22/china-to-restrict-coal-demand-output-to-3-dot-9-billion-tonsYep…the Chinese are surely hunting the world for coal…but at 3 cents/tonne mile for overland freight and $20-$50/tonne for seaborne freight it gets . Then to add insult to injury they are burning thru their own domestic mines close to the population centers at an alarming rate. So the price of freight on their own domestic coal keeps going up as well.The mine mouth price of Australian steam coal is about $40/tonne.  By the time it hits a Chinese seaport it’s pretty close to $120/tonne.Coal becomes uneconomic against coal,wind and hydro at a price between $80-$100/tonne given US construction prices. Chinese construction prices are 40% less.The Asian Benchmark price for steam coal hit $60/tonne in 2004.So 10 years from 2004 we should start to see loads of nuclear,wind and hydro start coming on line in China.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    as it happens i agree with the basic thrust of harry’s argument that ‘natural’ economic forces will constrain China’s coal consumption in the future, which makes the most pessimistic of the SRES scenarios less likely, all other things being equal. OTOH, the recent boom in shale gas on both sides of the atlantic, coupled with faster-than-expected feedbacks in arctic region and the deterioration of other important carbon sinks makes me less cheerful.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Hi Harry, yes, and their official statistics down the road might even show those totals. But the atmosphere will reveal the truth.

  • kdk33

    These same developing countries that will be first and hardest hit by the regional consequences of warming.

    Really? So CO2 driven climate change will change the weather in developing countries in ways that are worse than in developed countries? Please.

    More importantly, you don’t know that weather will change in a way that is worse by any measure, anywhere.

    What you would like to argue is that ‘poor’ people are less able to adapt to change so are more vulnerable. It’s a lousy argument. They are more vulnerable to changes of all kinds: bad weather of the non-CO2 variety, disease outbreak, political unrest, war, economic down turns… Their biggest danger today is that ‘well intentioned’ environmentalist will cut them off from low cost energy. There will, of course, be promises of loans and assistance and other BS that will evaporate at the next election. But hey, killing poor people for environmentalism isn’t evil, becasue it’s not capitalism, I suppose.

    Anyway, more warmist propoganda that ought not be tolerated.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #51,

    Looks interesting. Thanks.

    In return, you might be interested in Hernando DeSoto’s ‘The Mystery of Capital’. It tries to explain why capitalism doesn’t work outside the West.

  • Edim

    steven mosher Says:
    “What’s been tried, doesnt work. Let’s list what’s been tried.
    1. Ignoring skeptics
    2. calling them names
    3. Appealing to authority
    4. Denying them access
    5. Analogizing them
    6. Diagnosing them as “defective”
    7. “uncovering” their motives”Those things worked very well, before cooling and climategate. Pseudo-science can work short-term, like a charm. Longterm, nature’s phenomena win.

  • harrywr2

    #58 There is quite a lot of how do I put it…self perpetuation between overoptimistic coal shills and highly concerned climate activists.A peabody coal press releasehttp://www.marketwatch.com/story/global-coal-supercycle-alive-and-well-peabody-energys-chairman-and-ceo-presents-at-howard-weil-2012-energy-conference-2012-03-26?reflink=MW_news_stmp

    New Coal-Fueled Electricity Generating Plants”China and India are
    leading the global buildout of coal-fueled generation. Over the next
    five years, we see generation growing 370 gigawatts (GW)… and that
    requires more than 1.2 billion tonnes of additional coal

    Peabody’s statement is true if we assume a ‘US Centric’ concept of ‘baseload’ and the predominant US practice of sub-critical coal plants rather then the current Chinese practice of super-critical and ultra-critical.(Ultra critical plants are 50% more efficient then sub-critical)China and India aren’t the US. They don’t have 40+ percent of their generating capacity as natural gas ‘peakers’. Imported natural gas is too expensive.

  • Fred

    Its amazing to see grownup and otherwise intelligent folks not understand why a ridiculously oversimplified and implausible theory of a complex phenomenon (climate) originated by an eccentric 19th century scientist pushed for political and not scientific reasons whose policy implications include that we should all live in energy poverty for the foreseeable future is not more widely accepted. Someday it will provide an interesting topic for a social psychological study.

  • BBD

    NIV @ 60. DeSoto. Interesting man. An Hayek Medallist and recipient of an Honororary Doctrate from the University of Buckingham. You and I will appreciate why this last made me smile.

  • BBD

    kdk33
    Really? So CO2 driven climate change will change the weather in developing countries in ways that are worse than in developed countries?
    Please.

    Of course it will. Do you really have *no idea* about this? That means you haven’t read a single word written about regional impacts. Nothing at all. Which makes me wonder what prompts you to make sweeping and dismissive comments on the topic.

  • BBD

    Oh… of course. It was so you could reiterate this nonsense:

    Their biggest danger today is that “˜well intentioned’ environmentalist will cut them off from low cost energy

    Silly me.

  • BBD

    Fred @ 63.

    a ridiculously oversimplified and implausible theory of a complex phenomenon (climate) originated by an eccentric 19th century scientist

    Oh dear. But luckily the truth is out there. Start here. If you care about the truth, that is. If not, keep on posting random crap in blog comments.

  • Fred

    BBD:Much crap around here has been spewed by you.

  • BBD

    Fred – noise.

  • Fred

    BBD:The “noise” of viewpoints contra CAGW are gaining traction. 

  • BBD

    I have yet to see a cogent, robust scientific case emerging. And that is the problem. Sceptics are prone to assertion but short on referenced argument.

  • Fred

    BBD:For a nice, referenced treatment of the skeptical viewpoint.

  • Fred

    BBD:Oops. I am still learning creating links here. Try here.

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Collide-a-Scape

Collide-a-Scape is a wide-ranging blog forum that explores issues at the nexus of science, culture and society.

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, a senior editor at Cosmos magazine, and adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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