Connect the Apocalypse

By Keith Kloor | April 23, 2012 1:27 pm

One of the main points I was making in this recent post is that the shelf life of green catastrophism has expired. But environmentalists don’t want to hear this. Many have responded indignantly to the contrast I set up between what I call green traditionalists and green modernists. In the coming week, I’ll respond in full to the various critiques made on twitter and in the comment thread.

Meanwhile, let me direct your attention to this excellent essay in The Atlantic, called “The Perils of Apocalyptic Thinking.” It’s adapted from a new book just out: The Last Myth: What the rise of apocalyptic thinking tells us about America.

To some degree, the essay covers the same ground discussed here. But the authors of the Atlantic piece also make some trenchant observations on the apocalyptic climate change frame that activists are so fond of and which mainstream media dutifully echoes:

Talking about climate change or peak oil through the rhetoric of apocalypse may make for good television and attention-grabbing editorials, but such apocalyptic framing hasn’t mobilized the world into action. Most of us are familiar with the platitude “When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” In a similar way, our over-reliance on the apocalyptic storyline stands between us and our ability to properly assess the problems before us. Some see the looming crises of global warming and resource and energy depletion and conclude that inaction will bring about the end of civilization: only through a radical shift toward clean energy and conservation, those on the Left argue, can we continue the way of life that we have known. Those on the Right dismiss the apocalyptic threats altogether, because the proposed solutions to peak oil, global warming, and overpopulation conflict with core conservative beliefs about deregulation and the free-market economy, or with a religious worldview that believes humanity is not powerful enough to alter something as large as our climate. Still others dismiss the catalog of doom and gloom as mere apocalypticism itself. Surely, we convince ourselves, all the dire warnings about the effects of global warming aren’t that different from the world-ending expectations of the Rapturists?

These are the two sides that have come to characterize our cartoonish public debate on climate change. As the Atlantic authors note:

The result is that the energy we could expend addressing the problems before us is instead consumed by our efforts to either dismiss the threat of apocalypse or to prove it real. Ultimately, the question becomes not what to do about the threats before us but whether you believe in the threats before us.

By allowing the challenges of the 21st century to be hijacked by the apocalyptic storyline, we find ourselves awaiting a moment of clarity when the problems we must confront will become apparent to all — or when those challenges will magically disappear, like other failed prophecies about the end of the world. Yet the real challenges we must face are not future events that we imagine or dismiss through apocalyptic scenarios of collapse — they are existing trends.

Just a quick aside: How many of you think the “connect the dots” campaign is going to (finally) make the case for global warming’s catastrophic impacts?

Personally, I don’t think the climate doom drumbeat is going to move the needle on public opinion, beyond short, periodic blips, notwithstanding the latest poll results. There’s also the risk of this boomerang, according to the Atlantic authors:

The deeper we entangle the challenges of the 21st century with apocalyptic fantasy, the more likely we are to paralyze ourselves with inaction — or with the wrong course of action.

But hey, at least we can indulge these fantasies in the comfort of our bunkers.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: climate change, doomsday
  • Menth

    From the Atlantic story: “For example, annual climate-related disasters such as droughts, storms, and floods rose dramatically during the last decade, increasing an average 75 percent compared to the 1990s — just as many climate models predicted they would if global warming were left unchecked.”Does anybody have a citation for this? “Storms increased 75 percent” Wtf does that even mean? 

  • Bobito

    “How many of you think the “connect the dots“ campaign is going to (finally) make the case for global warming’s catastrophic impacts?”

    I agree, blips here and there…

    In the Al Gore days it was Hurricanes, then we had the Australia Floods, then the South West US drought, then the tornados, then the warm spring in North East US…  It’s all very unpredictable, kinda like weather that way!  ;)

    I always thought this quote was Twain, but apparently I’m wrong.  But when it comes to the apolcalypse, one thing you can be certain of, wait 5 minutes and the reason will change…

  • stan

    Or of course, he might actually include the serious scientific skepticism regarding positive feedback on his list of reasons.  As long as there is a complete refusal to take skeptics seriously and attribute all opposition as unfounded, alarmists are never going to move the needle.Writing off smart people with solid reasoning skills as mere idiots or emotional basket cases, doesn’t sound like a winning strategy for persuasion.

  • Mary

    Another issue with the doom narrative is that it is hard to maintain. I remember finding the peak oil boards quite a while ago–before that was as big an idea–and the community was certainly mixed with full-on doomers and people just interested in practical ideas on smaller footprints. But a couple of the bigger ones (in the albeit small ponds) had complete mental meltdowns. One moved to the woods of South America, one dropped the doom gig and went into homeopathy or some other crankery. When your doom doesn’t play out like you claim, something gives.

  • Jarmo

    Looks like just about every apocalyptic prophesy made in 2000-2008 about the world by 2020 will be falsified. 

    However, I think the prophets will just move the goalposts to 2030…. and then to 2040…..

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Synchronicity lives… I just posted this at Bart’s…We seem to have lost the idea of a spectrum or a range of opinions. It used to be there were several flavors of conservative opinions and just as many liberal. Now (esp. in the U.S.) if you’re not a Tea Party Republican you are automatically a watermelon commie”¦ we are happily and busily outlawing shades of grey.It’s the same with specific issues”“healthcare, pensions, foreign aid.Of course the same thing is happening with regards to climate change. Why should it be any different? If you’re not with Hansen you’re with Monckton! Nothing is allowed in between.Sadly the most interesting space is the space between”“the No Man’s Land.

  • Barry Woods

    Very Good timing with this blog post Keith…”˜Gaia’ scientist James Lovelock: I was “˜alarmist’ about climate changeIt will be interesting to watch the reaction from climate scientists (many more moderate ones I think will be relieved) , Gore, Desmog, Romm, and the environmentalists http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/23/11144098-gaia-scientist-james-lovelock-i-was-alarmist-about-climate-change fun quotes from James Lovelock: ”The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books ““ mine included ““ because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened,” Lovelock said.”The climate is doing its usual tricks. There’s nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now,” he said.”The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time”¦ it (the temperature) has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising “” carbon dioxide is rising, no question about that,” he added.He pointed to Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and Tim Flannery’s “The Weather Makers” as other examples of “alarmist” forecasts of the future.Asked if he was now a climate skeptic, Lovelock told msnbc.com: “It depends what you mean by a skeptic. I’m not a denier.”He said human-caused carbon dioxide emissions were driving an increase in the global temperature, but added that the effect of the oceans was not well enough understood and could have a key role.”It (the sea) could make all the difference between a hot age and an ice age,” he said.He said he still thought that climate change was happening, but that its effects would be felt farther in the future than he previously thought.”We will have global warming, but it’s been deferred a bit,” Lovelock said.”˜I made a mistake’As “an independent and a loner,” he said he did not mind saying “All right, I made a mistake.” He claimed a university or government scientist might fear an admission of a mistake would lead to the loss of funding. 

  • Barry Woods

    any chance of a preview comment feature :(

  • Tom Scharf

    Alarmist have already failed to move the yardstick.  This latest moving target of extreme events doesn’t stand up to critical scrutiny.  Enough people have fact checked the screaming doomsayers to marginalize them.  The fact that not enough competent environmental scientists ever shouted down these people is a legacy they will find hard to correct in public opinion.  Most people see environmental scientists and over zealous activists as one in the same.  The sooner the true scientists start putting space between themselves and the zealots, the sooner this branch of science can start earning back some trust.

  • grypo

    Both the rise in apocalyptic hedging and the chasing of green boogeymen are symptoms of anxiety in a society where power is separated from those engaging popular myth making. Our inability to change the trend of inaction can only be explained by those being in control not wanting it. Stories of the “end” or catastrophe are older then the hills, and revolve around events that not under people’s control. The longer we chase and blame fictitious green people and ignore the power that creates the problem, the more tales will develop.

    And then one of then will come true. But that’s just a radical opinion.

  • Michael Larkin

    Tom Fuller: +1

  • Michael Larkin

    One of those excellent posts I like to see from you, Keith. +1 for you, too. :-)

  • Fred

    KK may be right that the “shelf life of green catastrophism has expired.” But rather than moving on to how the people who promoted the CAGW myth can now promote some new variation on that myth, why not focus on cleaning up the societal mess made by the CAGW ideology.

    You have true believers who are still running off the deep end. One “scientist” has recently said of deniers; “…lets make them pay. Let’s let their homes burn.” Many schoolchildren have been frightened and made anxious by global warming catastrophism. Perhaps those who have benefited economically from CAGW catastrophism can set up a fund for de-programming/therapy for those still suffering emotional harm from it.

  • Fred

    For a brief perspective on the damage wrought by green catastrophism view the video “If I wanted America to Fail.”

  • http://fund-balance.com Walter Borden

    And yet the earth is warming as a result of GHGs, biodiversity is shrinking across the world (yes there are rule proving exceptions), the oceans are acidifying, and the IEA does indeed confirm peak oil again this year. Some have certainly catastrophized and/or been off by a few decades (on a geologic timescale), nevertheless things have worsened, and real, scalable breakthroughs only exist in the minds of thinktankers. At least as it is complaint driven environmentalism, as its disingenuously called, helped bring about the Clear-Air Act and widescale conservation as a household activity and notion. The quote modernists have written essays. And shilled for Exxon and China. But there is little doubt to any sober observer that these modernists and more precisely their point of view which is a broad umbrella, have on the whole are and always have been winning. If one needs proof of that they should look n further than the deadzones that ring our continent’s coast and are all over Asia,– all driven by petroleum, to pick but one example. Maybe the problems are intractable and irreducible in the face of feeding 9 Billion, maybe not. I fail to see how these attacks and posturing are helpful. But maybe some modernists commenters aren’t interested in this. Ok.So this post, and its related talking points as widely reported elsewhere, is so much shadow boxing — for both the preacher, and the choir chiming in.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Maybe if the argument was re-presented as saying ‘the days of crying doom  have been replaced by the days of picking up the tools and getting to work’, commenters like Mr. Borden might take a different tack. Maybe not.

    We are where we are right now. There is at least some evidence that many people are willing to work for a better environment and act to lessen the consequences of climate change.

    Should we throw away the opportunity to do something just because they’re… well… modern?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    If I can try and introduce a note of optimism, let’s talk about U.S. energy consumption for just a second. Many people have noted that consumption peaked in 2007 at 101.3 quads. It dropped to 94.5 as the recession bit and climbed back up to 97.7 the next year. But last year it dropped again, to 97.5 quads. This is with GDP growth and population rise. 

    More importantly, look at fossil fuels over the same period. Their consumption also peaked in 2007, at 86.2 quads. The succeeding years showed FF totals at 78.4, 81.1 and 80.

    So although overall consumption picked back up and has now leveled off, fossil fuel consumption dropped more and picked less back up.

    So we not only might be seeing a plateau (won’t use the word peak) in demand, the mix is getting greener.

    Does that cheer anyone up? In only 4 years, fossil fuels dropped from 85% of our portfolio to 82%.

    Hooray! Or something like that.

  • Jack Hughes

    The Atlantic piece is weird. A quick survey of dozens of “doom cults” then they jump to the conclusion that their own “doom cult” is different because there really is an apocalypse coming (or already here). As if the other doom-culters don’t really believe in their own Apocalypse. Oh No. “I’ll join a generic doom cult … OK this one will do for me they are all similar anyway – just lead me to the Kool Aid.”

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Oh–sorry: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/sec1_3.pdfAnd I should add that even within fossil fuels there is change brewing, with coal decreasing and natural gas increasing. So: we’re using less energy than in 2007. Of that lower figure, a lower percentage is produced by fossil fuels. Of that lower percentage, more is natural gas, which produces less CO2 than the coal it replaces.Who’s got the bubbly on ice?

  • DeNihilist

    Walter,  Ducks unlimited. A clear case of selfishness serving nature.

  • Jarmo

    #19

    Isn’t the global CO2 level supposed to reach 560 ppm around 2050? Pretty much regardless of what the US will do?

  • BBD

    There seems to be more than a hint of strawman here. Just because the bad stuff will take decades before it starts to make its presence felt does not mean that it isn’t happening.

    And yes, this is exactly what Hansen has been warning about*. And saying so doesn’t make him – or me, or anyone else – a catastrophist. 

    Hansen (2007), Scientific reticence and sea level rise.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @22

    agreed. the interested reader might take note of this endorsement of the book that appears on the amazon link that Keith provides:

    “”The ability to distinguish between genuine perils-like climate change-and less fearsome ones is as key a skill as there can be at this tough moment, and this book has some truly interesting thoughts about how to do it.”–Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet”

  • Keith Kloor

    Good to see Bill Mckibben taking note the book. That doesn’t mean he’ll actually some of its main points to heart.

  • BBD

    Keith

    Are you suggesting that severe negative consequences of CC are being over-stated, or that the time-scale on which they are likely to occur has been under-stated?

  • Marlowe Johnson

    based on his previous comments, i think keith would argue that we shouldn’t talk about severe negative consequences. depressing facts = depressed populace = listless, unmotivated populace. 

    instead we should talk about how empowering it could be if we all drove freedom cars that ran on a boundless sense of optimism instead of oil. 

  • Keith Kloor

    BBD (25),

    Climate activists often overdramatize for effect, and climate rejectionists cavalierly dismiss the risk of potential consequences. 

    I’ve already  given my view here.

    The Deltoids and Romms of the climate sphere would like to enforce some sort of litmus test for climate purity. Kinda like Marc Morano has tried doing during the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee contest. 

    I’m not a fan of political/ideological litmus tests. 

  • Keith Kloor

    Marlowe, I wish you could converse in good faith. I really do. 

    Like I said in my previous comment, I’m not one for litmus tests. I happen to think that the doomsday narrative is on a diminishing returns downward arc. Does that mean I suggest enviros switch to a peaches and cream approach? No.

    It means that an emphasis on eco-catastrophe is not a sustainable strategy, which is the point of The Atlantic essay I quote from. 

    That doesn’t mean turning a blind eye to the threats outlined by the Planetary Boundary crowd. It means crafting a real-world, hopeful vision to deal with those risks.

  • Fred

    BBD (#22) talks about a phenomenon he admits will take decades to make its presence felt. Many believe it will never happen. He gives as a current “manifestation” of it a natural Antarctic phenomenon that indicates nothing, especially given that Antarctic ice has been rising for decades.MJ (#26) writes ironically about how “we should talk about how empowering it could be if we all drove freedom
    cars that ran on a boundless sense of optimism instead of oil.” This shows that the green movement has reached the end of its line. Meanwhile, thanks to politicians who followed this nonsense we are paying $100 per barrel of oil to several countries who hate us. And our economy has been so badly wounded that it is uncertain whether we have the investment capital necessary to develop the unquestionably necessary advances in energy technology.   

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @28

    “ It means crafting a real-world, hopeful vision to deal with those risks.”

    Agreed.

    The problem I have with this post is the strawman that you repeatedly create and the shadowbox with –the one that says suggests that McKibben et al, Dave Roberts, Romm, (i.e. mainstream climate enviros) are putting too much emphasis on the consequences of climate change rather than credible solutions.  Can you back up this claim with some quantitative evidence? Otherwise it comes across as unsubstantiated opinion that feeds into a narrative –i.e. a story– that you and your tribe have been trying to sell for quite some time now.

  • Keith Kloor

    Fred (29),

    Speaking of evidence, can you show some for the connection between climate catastrophism and $100 barrel of oil? 

    Marlowe (30)

    All you have to do is read their posts, the rhetoric of mainstream greens, climate activists, etc, etc. How can you say with a straight face that there is not an emphasis on the consequences of climate change? What world are you living in? 

  • BBD

    Keith

    Climate activists often overdramatize for effect

    That they do, but so what? Who is sanguine about ~2C this century except contrarians and lukewarmers?

  • BBD

    Fred

    Or indeed some evidence that what is happening in the Antarctic is a ‘natural phenomenon’.

  • hunter

    BBD,What is being suggested is that you and your fellow apocalypse groupies were always wrong, were always full of crap and that you dominated the public square far too long. Slink off and find a new con.At least Lovelock has the integrity to admit he was wrong. Keith,When apocalyptic clap trap falls apart, the true believers move on as if nothing really changed.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    The interested reader will note that a google search of ‘climate catastrophe’ yields about 6 million hits. OTOH a search of ‘climate solutions’ yields 66 million hits. IOW i pwned u keith.

    in all seriousness Keith, I recognize that this isn’t necessarily indicative of the situation.  I really am interested in seeing some evidence that supports your thesis . In your response to Seth Kaplan in a previous thread, you said

    I think perhaps there is a disconnect between what is happening on the ground by groups such as yours, and the rhetoric that frames the larger public debate on the major environmental issues of the day.

    It seems to me that you have two challenges to address. First, show that the ‘rhetoric that frames the larger public debate’ is indeed one that emphasizes catastrophe rather than solutions. Assuming you’re successful, you then need to show who it is that is providing this unhelpful rhetoric. From your comment to Seth, you seem to be absolving groups that are ‘on the ground’. Which groups are ‘on the ground’ and which ones are not?

  • Keith Kloor

    Marlowe (35)

    That’s the metric you’re going to use? A google search for two terms? Gimme a break.

    Again, I don’t have to show proof. Just read the daily media/webby stories everyday.

    But since I have a follow-up to my Green traditionalist/green modernist in the works, I think some of your answers will be found there. Should you decide to give them any credence.

  • Keith Kloor

    Hunter,

    I’m going to have to put you on moderation if you can’t stop needlessly inflaming threads with comments like #34. Last warning.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    “I don’t have to show proof.”

    your apparent aversion to evidence-based thinking is duly noted.

  • BBD

    Keith

    An ‘emphasis on the consequences of climate change’ is a reasonable stance, given what we think we know.

    Turn this on its head: given what we think we know, would it be reasonable to pretend that ~2C this century isn’t going to be a problem?

  • Keith Kloor

    Marlowe (38)

    I think Deltoid should cherry pick that one just like you have and break it out into another post. He’s good at that sort of thing.

    I’m asking you: Do you live in the real world, the one where the majority of environmental media and environmental bloggers promote daily the imminent collapse of spaceship earth from climate change, over-population, deforestation, overfishing, etc, etc (surely, you know the litany)?

    Why must you play games? You’re a smart guy. You read the same stories as me. There’s a conference on denialism happening now in Madison, WI, that I’ve been retweeting. You should check out what they’re saying. Lots of smart things being said about denialism of all sorts. 

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Keith why am i the bad guy  asking for evidence? If you can show me that 90% of the material put out by 90% of climate-focused ENGOs are about the consequences of climate change rather than solutions then DO IT. If you can show me that it is these ENGOs that ‘frame’ the public debate then DO IT.

    Your refusal to substantively address these questions suggests to me that you haven’t thought through your thesis in a rigorous way and that you are letting the prejudices of your tribe guide your thinking.

  • Keith Kloor

    Marlowe,

    I’m asking you again: Are you reading the same media stories that I see every day? If you want to take issue with the media’s representation of NGO’s on this, fine.

    But that’s a different issue. I’m telling you straight, once again: the majority of media (mainstream and otherwise) emphasizes climate doom.

    Do you dispute this?

  • Marlowe Johnson

    still waiting…

  • hunter

    Keith,It is your blog and I will strive to comply. I would point out the inability of the hardcore believers to compreehnd that they were wimply wrong in their fervent belief that we are facing aclimate apocalypse is only matched by their ability to discuss openly their belief when confronted. The Jehovah’s Witnesses, for what it is worth, when the long prophsied rapture/tribulation declined to occur in the mid-1970′s as scheduled simply denied they ever said that, edited/disappeared a few books and magazines, and the faithful kept on knocking on doors and offering their bibles and magazines.The failure of eugenics did not invalidate biology; it simply invalidated the interpretation and social policies the eugenicists had use biology to justify. The failure of the AGW movement’s apocalypse does not invalidate climate science. It simply allows climate science to go forward in a more ratinal and reasonable direction.

  • hunter

    Sorry about the many typos in that. I did not bring my computer glasses today and am not so good squinting.

  • Keith Kloor

    Marlowe (43), if you want to play games, then I think we’re done here. I responded to you in #42. If you want to ignore it, that’s fine with me. Just don’t expect me to play along anymore.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    keith you can pretend that you’ve substantiated your opinion if you like. i’ll leave it to readers to decide who is engaging in good faith here.

  • Tom Scharf

    …Earth to Marlowe…Earth to Marlowe…Reality calling…anyone home?

  • grypo

    “the majority of media (mainstream and otherwise) emphasizes climate doom.”

    If by “climate doom” you mean “climate risk”, I’d have to ask – why wouldn’t they? Isn’t it their job to make sure people know the future risk incurred by different decisions? Perhaps we can get further in the conversation if you tell us what is meant by ‘doom’, and how that differs from ‘risk’.

  • BBD

    So, according to hunter, the ‘AGW movement’, whatever that is, is equivalent to Jehova’s Witnesses and *eugenics* (Godwin, FFS). Can we have an end to this nonsense now? There’s a filthy stink in here.

  • Keith Kloor

    grypo (49), what you call “climate risk” I call “climate doom.” As in how the risk is communicated. The way it’s framed, accentuated, emphasized, in the most apocalyptic of manner. That’s one of the points of the Atlantic essay I cited and quoted from. How is that you and Marlowe (and others?) just conveniently ignore this? 

    Like I said, I have a follow-up in the works that will speak to this. I can’t go round and round on this silliness any more. 

  • BBD

    grypo

    +1; see above.

  • BBD

    Keith – I don’t ignore the framing of risk as *potential* ‘doom’. It is. Potentially. So why not present it as such?

  • Steve Mennie

    Not sure where to start…I have been ‘following’ the AGW debate? discussion? for many years and as someone who has only a tenuous grasp of the science (even that is an overstatement) I’m often confused or conflicted about just what to think.But over that time I have developed a fairly accurate bullshit detector and usually have no difficulty in separating grimace producing  ’catastrophic’ or dire predictions of doom etc. that are not supported by evidence from predictions of what will most likely occur if we remain on a busines as usual track. Do we just say it’s all rubbish..the oceans are not emptying of large fish? We’re not observing dead zones around the mouths of many large rivers? The oceans are not acidifying? Species are not disappearing? Pumping billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere will not have consequences..? Is someone just making this stuff up?I suppose its the dithering that is the most frustrating. It’s like we know all these things are true but no one is about to upset the applecart of infinite growth by actually getting serious about doing anything about it.With regard to Romm…I find that he can be a little over the top at times (kinda funny in an odd sort of way) but I also find that he consistently presents articles about the economic and environmental advantages of alternative energy sources and so I don’t think of him as a ‘doom and gloomer’ as Keith often portrays him.

  • Steve Mennie

    What BBD says@53

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > The majority of media (mainstream and otherwise) emphasizes climate doom.

    The majority of media (mainstream and otherwise) emphasizes fear.

    The minority emphasizes hope.

    Hopes and fears.

    A nice album.

  • Tom Scharf

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with being concerned with climate risk or climate doom or climate catastrophe or whatever you want to label it.  As long as you are a true believer, knock yourself out and try to convince the rest of us with the facts as you see them.  Unfortunately there is a subset of people out there who use this tool of fear as an instrument to reach a political goal, which is dishonest IMO, but ultimately the wheat gets separated from the chaff and these guys lose credibility.  However when times goes by and predictions of doom fail to materialize, there is a price to be paid, and screaming louder and longer no longer works.  It is at this time you need to re-assess your position and methods.  The older you get, the more prophets of doom you see get tossed into the dust bin of history.  The case needs to be compelling, and people aren’t accepting it because the case is not, in fact, compelling.  I monitor the temperature and sea level trends, and see no signs of the acceleration that has been predicted for 30 years.  Results matter.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > Isn’t it their job to make sure people know the future risk incurred by different decisions?

    Perhaps, but if that does not help satisfy the needs to their advertizers, that can be effed along the way to sell doom.

    We’re all afraid of doom.

    There should be a Science of Doom.

  • grypo

    So we are looking a Goldilocks framing, I’m sure we all get that. Yet, Climate Change is very likely to mean ‘doom’ from certain populations, ecosystems, infrastructural, coast lines, etc etc. This is particularly a problem the further out in time we go out and further away from the economic power center. Catastrophe is local.

    So…we need a frame that expresses the correct amount of risk, without scaring people into inaction, but enough so the greatest amount of people feel action is necessary. Goldilocks. Good luck. There’s going to a mix, one that is neglectful and others that are frightening.

    Of course, radicals would argue that the powerless ignore frames. And that the empowered act.

  • Tom Scharf

    @54 – It is important to separate cause and effect.  The global environment is a very complex system with mostly everything is in a continuously variable state.  The effects you mention may be valid, but that doesn’t lead to AGW being the cause.  There is certainly a knee jerk reaction at places like Romm’s to blame any negative environmental consequence on AGW with a very thin to non-existent line of scientific causation.  When all you have is a hammer…  It is simply opportunistic hind sight.  In 2005 it was trendy to blame hurricanes on AGW after Katrina (poorly maintained levies for a city under sea level anyone?), however we are now at an all time high for consecutive days between Cat3 landfalls in the US, and global cyclone activity at all time lows, very poor correlation between CO2 / temperature changes and hurricanes (tornadoes, earthquakes, etc.).  There isn’t even correlation here, much less the much harder step of proving causation after you have established correlation.

  • NewYorkJ

    Marlowe’s right. “End of the world”, “end of civilization”, “apocalyptic fantasy” are strong phrases, and ones Keith and others have implied are associated with mainstream environmentalists on global warming, as claimed in the Atlantic piece (a piece that is far more fantasy than anything associated with most environmentalists). Keith in fact claims he sees media stories “daily” to support this. Support what exactly? That global warming will be the end of the world…or that global warming has significant negative consequences? Of the media stories I see that are not of the denier or faux balance variety, most of the remaining fall into the latter category. When one has to resort to gross exaggerations to make a point, it’s often reveals that the point has little or no merit. It’s much more difficult to argue that accurately covering the significant and growing net negative consequences associated with global warming hurts any drive for action, as if somehow ignoring the problems is better.

    —Since Keith can’t be bothered to post evidence, I’ll give it a whirl. Here’s a LiveScience article today I read on Huffington…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/23/global-warming-changes_n_1446460.html

    —End of human civilization? No. Growing negative consequences? Yes.

    —There have also been recent stories on global warming and extreme weather which are far from “end of the world”. People are also starting to see the link…

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/eco-nomics/2012/04/19/poll-most-americans-now-link-extreme-weather-to-climate-change/

    —This, and other recent surveys, run counter to the blanket Atlantic claim that “belief in climate change is actually on the decline”. I don’t think pretending there’s no growing problem is a solution, but that is the preferred solution of those who don’t want action. It’s analogous to trying to convince deniers that they should stop claiming economic doom if we reduce emissions. Despite lacking any merit (in contrast to climate science), I think repeating it endlessly is effective for them, as is “death panels” for healthcare reform opponents.

    —There are of course exceptions to your average climate-concerned individual. James Lovelock once believed climate scientists were wrong, and humanity would be reduced to a “few breeding pairs” by the end of the century. He believed it was too late to do anything about it. Now he’s walked that back, believes the problem isn’t anywhere near as severe has he thought, and we should reduce fossil fuels. If you want a real argument, you could say claims of imminent uncontrollable doom hurt action because they imply there’s nothing that can be done. Global warming may be irreversible for the foreseeable future, but it’s not unstoppable.

  • Tom Scharf

    @59 “without scaring people into inaction”    …first time I have ever heard that phrase used, isn’t it usually the other way around?  This framing is incorrect IMO, the root cause is not that people are so scared they are afraid to take action, it is that the messengers have lost credibility and nobody believes them.  Acknowledging this is the first step to forming a more coherent strategy.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    At the risk of repeating myself, Keith:

    It seems to me that you have two challenges to address. First, show that the “˜rhetoric that frames the larger public debate’ is indeed one that emphasizes catastrophe rather than solutions. Assuming you’re successful, you then need to show who it is that is providing this unhelpful rhetoric. From your comment to Seth, you seem to be absolving groups that are “˜on the ground’. Which groups are “˜on the ground’ and which ones are not?

    I’m perfectly willing to accept that the stories in the MSM do emphasize climate ‘doom’ over ‘solutions. That sort of thing is perfectly consistent with my understanding of the political economy of modern media. Sensationalism always has, and always will, outsell sober/dispassionate/moderate stories that examine the costs and benefits of energy efficiency regulations, for example. In other news, the sky is blue and the sun sets in the west.

    It’s the Nordhaus/Shellenberger/Kloor pivot that I take issue with; namely, that mainstream climate focused ENGOs — rather than the MSM — are responsible for framing the public climate debate in ‘doom’ terms rather than in more aspirational terms focusing on solutions. 

  • Nullius in Verba

    #63,

    The media may emphasise it, but they don’t make it up.

    “Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity” Is that media, or climate mainstream?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > [T]he root cause[.]

    Yes, but ze root cause.

    Let’s not sell doom.

    But let’s prophecize root causes.

    Speaking of roots sounds enviro-friendly.

  • hunter

    BBD,Do you now want to pretend that AGW promoters ahve not called for a suspension of Democratic governanance to allow the tough decisions needed to save the planet? As tot he JW and eugenics comparisons, your sad attempt to invoke Mike Godwin’s law on that is a fail. You are ust flailing around looking for an exit. The stench is coming from your apparently involuntary reaction and loss of self-control over this issue. You true believers are making what could have been an interesting discussion into a self-inflicted rout as you deny ever even being in the field. This persistent, transparent tactic is fascinating to observe. Please continue. Your movement is more and more just like the other failed apocalyptic cults: when the prophecy fails, you just pretend like the prophecy never happened and that you were never a believer.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > So we are looking a Goldilocks framing, I’m sure we all get that.

    Or, perhaps more generally the rule of three

    The Doomsayer, the Impassible, and the Honest Broker.

    There are many other models available: Peter and the Wolf, Hansel and Gretel, Pied Piper of Hamelin, etc.

    Non nova, sed nove.

  • kdk33

    Those on the Right dismiss the apocalyptic threats altogether, because the proposed solutions…

    This is silliness.  Those on the right are unwilling to do anything about climate change because they judge the cost/risk of decarbonization greater than the cost risk of CO2 – at least for now.  Conversely the left prefers the policies that decarbonization requires.  And these position can be arrived at with virtually identical understandings the CO2 induced climate change.  The difference lies largely on the solution side.

    People reject climate apocalypse because it simply isn’t warranted.

    a religious worldview that believes humanity is not powerful enough to alter something as large as our climate.

    And this is just offensive.

    Why can’t the Atlantic write about the issues coherently?  And until they (and others) can, does the story line even matter?.

  • BBD

    a religious worldview that believes humanity is not powerful enough to alter something as large as our climate.

    And this is just offensive.

    Why, exactly?

  • hunter

    BBD,The world view you claim is so powerful and attribute to religious people is a straw man unless you can find examples of religious leaders making those claims. Can you offer any citations from reality on this? But even if there has been the occasional religious person who has claimed that, what does it have to do with the topic of this thread, the collapse of  apocalyptic AGW hype?

  • BBD

    hunter

    Why so defensive, I wonder?From the Cornwall Alliance Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming (publicly endorsed by Roy Spencer, Joe D’Aleo and Ross McKitrick):

    WHAT WE BELIEVE

    We believe Earth and its ecosystems””created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence “”are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory.  Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.

    [...]

    WHAT WE DENY

    We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry. Recent warming was neither abnormally large nor abnormally rapid. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD, can I ask why you’re an expert on the Cornwall Paper but do not seem to have ever heard of the Hartwell Paper?Someone might think you were looking for ammo instead of insight.

  • BBD

    Of course I’ve ‘heard of’ the Hartwell paper. What do you mean by making this claim? It’s worse than putting words into my mouth. I was answering hunter at # 70. And why are you so touchy about this too?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    I’m struggling to find any relevance between religious belief and professional output. Much of our understanding of the way the universe works would be lost if we threw out the work of people devoted to a religion.

    Most attempts to eliminate prejudiced behaviour focus not just on race, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity. They do include creed.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD, in all fairness I should say I don’t think you’re a bigot. And I might be a bit sensitive right now because over at Bart’s a guy named Neven tried to tell me I shouldn’t be involved in serious debate because I am white, old and rich. I don’t think he likes Boomers very much. 

    But I do think it’s not good practice to associate a man or woman’s professional output with what they do on a Saturday or Sunday.

  • NewYorkJ

    “Genesis 8:22 that I use there is that ‘as long as the earth remains there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night,’ ” said Inhofe, pointing to Scripture cited in a passage from his latest book, The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.


    “My point is, God’s still up there,” continued the senior senator from Oklahoma in the interview with Voice of Christian Youth America. “The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what he is doing in the climate is, to me, outrageous.”http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/215451-god-controls-the-climate-not-humans-suggests-sen-inhofeVarious forms of this arrogance argument can be Google’d.  Another form is that weather is indeed getting more extreme but it’s a precursor to the end times, and how arrogant is Man in thinking he can control it.Some deny global warming for religious reasons, but more because solutions go against their anti-government “free market” economic ideology.  For others like Inhofe, it might be both, but I don’t think religion is necessarily the driver in his case.  Many form an opinion then dubiously use religious text to support it.I think some also just like the attention that comes with being contrarian, which is abundant when a political demand exists for it.

  • BBD

    Tom, wrt catastrophism…

    Kdk33 spluttered that it was ‘just offensive’ that The Atlantic article described:

    a religious worldview that believes humanity is not powerful enough to alter something as large as our climate.

    I want to know *why* he found this offensive because as we know, many Southern Baptists do in fact believe exactly that.

    If we are going to look at why ‘the greens’ allegedly over-promote the science of doom, I think we need to look at why an increasingly influential component of the conservative right in the US rejects science. Journalistic balance, and all that.

    We can leave Spencer’s contrarianism for another time, fascinating though it is.

  • hunter

    BBD,IRT to the Cornwell statement:Do you deny that recent weather and climate are easily within the range of historical experience and are in fact trivial, when compared with the historical record? If people choose to attribute the universe to God, does that mean they also believe humans cannot damage it? As to Inhoffe, yes, his hyperbole is more problematic, but he is a Senator. As to the extreme weather- I realize that is a comforting meme to the AGW faithful, but it is at least as faith based as what Inhoffe is saying.Weather is, as anyone who is actually following the topic knows, not getting more extreme.

  • Fred

    BBD (#33) asks about whether Antarctic ice sheet breakup is a natural phenomenon. See here; furthermore, Antarctic ice has been rising for the past 40 years. Ice sheet calving is widely known to be a natural phenomenon. Is there any evidence the calving described in the article you linked to is caused by “global warming?”

  • NewYorkJ

    Fred,Get back to us when you learn the difference between land ice sheets and sea ice.  Here’s a nice start…http://www.skepticalscience.com/antarctica-gaining-ice.htmMany a denier have conflated the two.

  • kdk33

    Nothing in #71 is anti-science.

    Recent warming was neither abnormally large nor abnormally rapid. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.

    What’s the big deal. Plenty of not-refligious people are on board with this. Oil companies mostly.

  • kdk33

    BBD,

    It is offensive for obvious reasons. That you don’t understand those reasons probably leads you to type stuff like this:   I think we need to look at why an increasingly influential component of the conservative right in the US rejects science.

    Which I’ll refrain from characterizing.

  • NewYorkJ

    —kdk doesn’t believe this is anti-science:
    We believe Earth and its ecosystems””created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence “”are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory.  Earth’s climate system is no exception.  Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.
    —Basing your claim that the Earth’s climate is completely impervious to human perturbation in part or in whole on faith that God would never create a climate that was anything other than that is inherently anti-science…dismissing all of the scientific literature based on at most some twisted reading of religious text – not unlike holding steady to the belief that the Earth is the center of the universe.  It displays a combination of arrogance and ignorance, but most importantly, irrationality.  Arguably, it’s no worse than dismissing the scientific literature based on belief that government regulation is wrong.  And if global warming is just a “natural cycle”, why is all of the evidence telling us otherwise?  Why would God lie to us?  Or is it the devil?—Bringing up another point…there are many scientists who hold religious beliefs.  A key difference is, on the consensus side, it generally isn’t used as a reason to dismiss or confirm the science, causes and effects of climate change.  Religion is instead useed as a moral reason (among many) to take action, based on the scientific evidence.  Maybe some feel no moral obligation to future generations, so screw it.  Others feel we are called upon to be good stewards of God’s creation.  See this article on John Cook, founder of SkepticalScience.com.  I particularly like the quote from the Simpsons.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/aug/25/solar-physicist-religion
     

  • laursaurus

    There is no scientific evidence for an impending apocalypse. Temps increased and so did atmospheric CO2.
    If every human being believed in CAGW, would that avert the end of world?
    How exactly is our self-inflicted extinction going to come about? Simultaneous global drought and submersion of entire continents? If the glaciers melt, we can’t run out of fresh water. Fires or floods? Hurricanes? RealClimate.org emphatically states that climate change cannot trigger earthquakes or volcanic eruption. The observational data has significantly diverged from the model predictions wrt to Arctic sea ice. The faithful cling to their catastrophic ideology in the comments, while the scientists calmly stand their ground. I love the assertion that the sea ice isn’t saying “what the climate wants it to.”
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/04/arctic-sea-ice-volume-piomas-prediction-and-the-perils-of-extrapolation/One catastrophist persists that a methane burp is destined to emerge. No scientific analysis or real world evidence will shake her faith. Where is Michael Tobis, BTW? He should be in this conversation.

  • kdk33

    NYJ,

    Congratulations.  That is the most ignorant and disgusting comment I’ve read in some time.  Nowhere does that quote say anything like:  the Earth’s climate is completely impervious to human perturbation.  You just made that up.

    And you were just getting started with your science fiction career.  I could ‘those mean people won’t listen to us’ so they are bad.  Bad, bad, bad. 

    Can’t understand why your side isn’t winning.

  • Jarmo

    This is my favourite apocalyptic vision:

    The authors warn that extraterrestrials may be wary of civilisations that expand very rapidly, as these may be prone to destroy other life as they grow, just as humans have pushed species to extinction on Earth. In the most extreme scenario, aliens might choose to destroy humanity to protect other civilisations.”A preemptive strike would be particularly likely in the early phases of our expansion because a civilisation may become increasingly difficult to destroy as it continues to expand. Humanity may just now be entering the period in which its rapid civilisational expansion could be detected by an ETI because our expansion is changing the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, via greenhouse gas emissions,” the report states.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/08/scientists-aliens-may-punish-our-species-for-climate-change/243886/ 

  • BBD

    kdk33

    First, here is a clear example of the denial of science from this Cornwall Alliance statement. It is unequivocal: science – here mischaracterised as ‘global warming alarmism’ – explicitly contradicts Scripture (my emphasis):

    We believe that idea””we’ll call it “global warming alarmism”””fails the tests of theology, science, and economics. It rests on poor theology, with a worldview of the Earth and its climate system contrary to that taught in the Bible.

    Second, regarding the quote from the Atlantic article, you say at # 82:

    It is offensive for obvious reasons.

    No, it isn’t at all. That’s why I’m asking you to explain your indignation above. And you haven’t. Which makes me even more curious.

    Have another go at answering the original question. Why is “˜just offensive’ that The Atlantic article described:

    a religious worldview that believes humanity is not powerful enough to alter something as large as our climate.

    I cannot see how the article misrepresents what the Cornwall Alliance formally expresses on behalf of many (mainly) Southern Baptist congregations. Do explain.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > He should be in this conversation.

    Which conversation?

    The conversation about the conversation?

    The conversation about the Scriptures?

    The conversation about who’s side’s winning and why?

    Any other one?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    A quote in Keith’s last tweet caught my eye:

    In McAggregate, you are never going to flip the exact same burger twice.

    http://www.theawl.com/2012/04/the-latest-sad-fate-of-an-aggregation-serf

    By chance (or is it by design?) the furions life of aggregated news can be inversed with McCommentaries, where any kind of burger will always be flipped the very same way.

  • BBD

    willard

    This conversation is about representation and misrepresentation. Both sides of the same burger, no?

  • BBD

    I miss MT too. The best I can do for laurosaurus is this.

    In deference to willard, it is a fragment from the other side of the burger.

  • Fred

    The only apocalypse underway may be the economic strangulation of this country thanks to environmentalism in general and global warming ideology in particular. Others are catching on to this deadly aspect of environmentalism. This video now has more than half-a-million hits.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @92

    evidence?

  • BBD

    Marlowe

    Are you blind man? He linked to a video on YouTube! What more do you want?
    :-)

  • Marlowe Johnson

    btw, i’d be remiss if i didn’t mention that you can recycle your tinfoil hats to improve the strength of your home/office wireless router!

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Have yet another drink, Marlowe. Tinfoil would be an improvement for you–cracked flower pots are passe.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > There is no scientific evidence for an impending apocalypse.

    An example of a such an evidence would be nice.

    When an Occam’s razor is so sharp it can cut anything, it’s time to buy another one.

  • Fred

    BBD (94): “He linked to a video on YouTube! What more do you want?”Sure. Institutions like MIT and the University of Chicago are on YouTube as well. Since I doubt you are an alumnus of either one it is understandable you wouldn’t know that.

  • NewYorkJ

    Another good find, BBD (#87), but expect more angry denial.—kdk: Nowhere does that quote say anything like:  the Earth’s climate is completely impervious to human perturbation. —This is why you guys are often called “deniers”.  Among many things, you deny what your own tribe clearly preaches, refusing to hold them accountable for worry of showing political weakness.—We believe Earth and its ecosystems””created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence “”are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory.  Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.— Just a natural cycle.  Obvious implication there.  This proclamation even contradicts Roy Spencer’s own statements,http://www.skepticalscience.com/spencer_ocean.html —but maybe Cornwall material is just what he preaches on Sundays, which he shouldn’t be held accountable for.  Admitting human emissions have caused any portion of recent warming is seen as a slippery slope.  If deniers concede that, it shows weakness, opens the minds of their audience, and renders it more difficult to maintain the hoax story.

  • kdk33

    I’m constantly amazed how not-religious people – some proud atheists – so willingly and confidently want to explain to those of us who do sit our butts in the pew on Sunday what we believe.  That takes some arrogance (and ignorance).

    First we have NYJ flat out making stuff up in #83.  And now we have BBD… well just making stuff up in #87.  There is an interesting socoiological study here.

    Anyway, a couple of highlights, then we’ll try to get a clarification from BBD

    1)  The quote is about “global warming alarmism” (GWA).  Not about global warming in general, and not about ‘science’. 

    2)  The reasons for doubting GWA are three fold:  theology, science, economics.  Lots of not-religious people are unimpressed with the sceintific case for GWA.  Many, many not-religious people are concerned abou the economics of decarbonization.

    The religious angle is described as “poor theology”.  What that means isn’t made clar in the quote, so we, the reader,can’t know to what, exactly, they refer.  On the ther hand, BBD seems to.  Perhaps he could clarify.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Though he is better known for his love of science, the Bible was another of Sir Isaac Newton‘s passions. He devoted more time to the study of Scripture than to science,

    I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily

  • BBD

    kdk33

    In your reply to NJY at # 85 you describe his comment at # 83 as ‘the most ignorant and disgusting comment I’ve read in some time’. You state:

    Nowhere does that quote say anything like:  ‘the Earth’s climate is completely impervious to human perturbation’.  You just made that up.

    The Cornwall Alliance Evangelical Declaration states (emphasis added):We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry.

    By which it inarguably refers to anthropogenic CO2 emissions. I suggest that you are mistaken, and that neither I nor NYJ have been ‘making things up’. Nor are we being ‘arrogant’ or ‘ignorant’ like those who deny science on a narrow doctrinal basis.  You, however, are being visibly and ineffectively evasive. Why?

    Once again, why, in the light of the CA Declaration is it so offensive to *you* that the Atlantic article describes this belief system as:

    a religious worldview that believes humanity is not powerful enough to alter something as large as our climate.

  • BBD

    Lots of not-religious people are unimpressed with the sceintific case for GWA.

    Virtually none of them are climate scientists. This should tell you something – unless you are a conspiracy theorist, of course.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Speaking of the Scriptures, one of my favorite is this one:

    So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/4902651931

  • jeffn

    Wow, BBD. “Virtually none of them”? How impressive!

    Let’s replace all sources of energy based on that.

    “Virtually” none of the critics are from a very narrow, self-defined, relatively new and demonstrably insular academic field? How could anyone doubt?

    Look apocalyptic green hype is nothing new and, to date, most of us have been quite tolerant of it. Sure, sure, they lied about it, but add an extra safety check to the nuke and wash the apples three more times anyway thanks.

    CAGW is a new ballgame. It’s a demand to replace coal, oil, gas and replace them now.
    To be taken seriously, it will require extraordinary proof. To be attempted, will be extraordinarily expensive. If it is addressed poorly – like trying to rely on the wind, or “radically rethinking capitalism” – it will be extraordinarily bad. Bad as in on par with the tens of millions killed by the experiment of agricultural collectivization.

    You don’t wave away that burden with “virtually none of” a tiny slice of activist/scientists.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > If it is addressed poorly [...] it will be extraordinarily bad.

    Indeed, when it’s bad, it can be bad.

    But will it be?

    And will it be extraordinarily so?

    The proof that claim is forthcoming, no doubt.

    Will it be of the extraordinary kind?

  • jeffn

    Willard,”The proof that claim is forthcoming, no doubt.”I used to think so too, except every place that started down the path of poor alternatives is running from it now.  Faced with a choice of retiring at age 50 with a govt pension, or subsidizing windmills on land owned by the wealthy, guess which wins?Poor policies? Well, they need a sh&^tload of tax money in Europe (and here now) to cover the promises and energy is an inviting target. A couple more years of pensioners freezing to death due to the cold will change that. Especially since the wind was supposed to be the “alternative” to gas.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > A couple more years of pensioners freezing to death due to the cold will change that.

    I’ve heard something like this before, but where?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    jeffn,

    This concept of “extraordinary proof” deserves due diligence.

    I would like to know what this looks like.

    Which “extraordinary proof” would convince you?

  • BBD

    A couple more years of pensioners freezing to death due to the cold will change that.

    It’s gas prices. Not renewables. We’ve been through this at length. The renewables-subsidies-kill-pensioners meme is a *myth* jeffn. A lie injected into the Daily Mail and the Telegraph by the GWPF (which will not disclose its funding but takes the tax breaks anyway).

    Time to let that one go.

  • BBD

    sorry willard; we crossed :-)

  • Fred

    A French scientific team is now contending that Asian glaciers are growing! Every day another blow to climate catastrophism. How inconvenient.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    BBD,

    I had in mind a quote Benny Peiser did not really appreciate at the time.

  • BBD

    Egad! Another video clip from Fred – and this time it’s… Fox News!

    But it also ran in… the Daily Mail. Are you a fan, Fred?

    Either way, you need balance. You need to read this.

  • NewYorkJ

    kdk: I’m constantly amazed how not-religious people ““ some proud atheists ““ so willingly and confidently want to explain to those of us who do sit our butts in the pew on Sunday what we believe.—That’s odd.  I thought we were discussing what the  individuals who subscribe to the silly Cornwall Alliance doctrine believe.  They do not represent all religious people nor are those who will readily note their views on global warming are based on fallacious logic confined to atheists.  See the Guardian article on John Cook, for example.  Also, I recently watched a nice PBS documentary featuring Richard Alley (read his book a while back).  In the first minute, Alley explains his background and mentions that he goes to church on Sundays.  Yet science convinces him that global warming is a problem that should be met with emissions reductions.  Apparently he is a blasphemer who clearly does not have enough faith.  As the Cornwall Alliance preaches:  The providence and promises of God inform a Christian understanding of creation stewardship, helping to avert irrational or exaggerated fears of catastrophes””fears that are rooted, ultimately, in the loss of faith in God. …God’s wisdom, power, and faithfulness justify confidence that Earth’s ecosystems are robust and will, by God’s providence, accomplish the purposes He set for them.—http://www.pbs.org/programs/earth-the-operators-manual/

  • BBD

    willard @ 113

    Do share, please. I’m turning in now, but I look forward to having my memory jogged tomorrow.

  • Menth

    I understand most of my comments go ignored for lack of meaningful content but can somebody help me with a question?In the Atlantic piece there is the following quote: “For example, annual climate-related disasters such as droughts, storms,
    and floods rose dramatically during the last decade, increasing an
    average 75 percent compared to the 1990s — just as many climate models
    predicted they would if global warming were left unchecked. Yet this
    rise in natural disasters hasn’t produced a moment of universal
    recognition of the dangers of climate change; instead, belief in climate
    change is actually on the decline as we adjust to the “new normal” of
    ever-weirder weather or convince ourselves that our perception of this
    increased frequency is a magnifying trick of more readily available
    cable and Internet coverage.”Does anybody know where they are getting this from? Is it a particular paper?

  • kdk33

    I’ve never heard of the Cornwall Alliance.  I don’t give them money and they don’t speak for me.  But BBD and NYJ found them on the web, so they now speak, it seems, not only for all religious people, but for the “the right”, according to the Atlantic. On the other hand, I haven’t seen anything “anti-science” or “denying science” in any of the provided quotes. 

    So I went to their website… From their mission statement.

    The past millennium brought unprecedented improvements in human health, nutrition, and life expectancy… by political and economic liberty and advances in science and technology. At the dawn of a new millennium, the opportunity exists to build on these advances and to extend them to more of the earth’s people.

    A call to employ science and technology to improve the lives of people.  Radical antiscience, no doubt.

    At the same time, many are concerned that liberty, science, and technology are more a threat to the environment than a blessing to humanity and nature.

    Pretty boiler plate here.  One might snarkily comment on alarmists wont to restrict free speech and jettison democracy, but I won’t do that.

    Out of shared reverence for God and His creation and love for our neighbors, we Jews, Catholics, and Protestants, speaking for ourselves and not officially on behalf of our respective communities, joined by others of good will, and committed to justice and compassion, unite in this declaration of our common concerns, beliefs, and aspirations.

    Again, pretty boiler plate. We are a multi-denominational religious based organization. We don’t speak for all religious people, and we join with other kinds of people (perhaps, gasp, not-religious people) to do things we think good..  The bastards.

    Our Concerns
    Human understanding and control of natural processes empower people not only to improve the human condition but also to do great harm to each other, to the earth, and to other creatures.

    Holy Crap!!  What was NYJ saying in #83.

    As concerns about the environment have grown in recent decades, the moral necessity of ecological stewardship has become increasingly clear.

    Holy Crap! Again!

    At the same time, however, certain misconceptions about nature and science, coupled with erroneous theological and anthropological positions, impede the advancement of a sound environmental ethic.

    Hmmm.  Something like “The Green Modernist Vision”

    In the midst of controversy over such matters, it is critically important to remember that while passion may energize environmental activism, it is reason””including sound theology and sound science””that must guide the decision-making process.

    And enough already of the apocalpse.

    Keith, are you a member of the Cornwall Alliance?

    ——————————————————The best part about BBD and NYJ.  It doesn’t take them long to reveal their full potential.
     

  • kdk33

    @104,

    I had an ex-gf who said that. ;-)

  • kdk33

    For those that might be the least bit confused.  This: completely impervious to human perturbation does not equal this:  dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes

    Actually, if you were confused about that equality.  Don’t vote.

  • jeffn

    Willard- what does extraordinary proof look like? I’ll take a prediction that comes true, a claim that doesn’t fall apart the next day (like “more hurricanes), a willingness to question instead of assert and defend.
    Of course the real question is why are you so eager to “believe”? Heck, just stop me the cc from seeming to want this to be true.

    Yes, BBD, the greens chosen alternative to fossil fuels didn’t work, so pensioners were left in the cold relying in fossil fuels. But don’t worry, they’ll keep shoveling money to the windfarm subsidies for the wealthy, right? It’s not likening greens worked on energy policy over the last decade or anything.

  • NewYorkJ

    kdk’s trainwreck is somehow getting worse, and even while predictable, it’s mildly entertaining to observe.—kdk: This: completely impervious to human perturbation does not equal this:  dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes —Reviewing, #83, one will note that the first statement is a response to:—We believe Earth and its ecosystems””created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence “”are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory.  Earth’s climate system is no exception.  Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.—The statement is unequivocal.  They believe the recent global warming period is just a natural cycle, and indicate this belief is at least in part theology-based.  kdk, refusing to admit the folly of this statement, pretends another sentence in their doctrine redeems them – or more specifically - a partial sentence that kdk does not want to complete.We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry.—Even here, the doctrine will not acknowledge the climate has changed due to human activity – just that some minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry has occurred (we can assume they mean during the industrial age).  While they caveat this statement with the unspecific “dangerous”, it’s irrelevant.  The first paragraph of the doctrine already makes the conclusion that recent global warming is a natural cycle, and therefore precludes the possibility that human activities are altering it.  When you intersect human_contribution=0 and human_contribution<dangerous_alteration, we still have human_contribution=0.  I believe that’s elementary school mathematics.—To their credit, they admit global warming is occurring.  That’s a start.  —In #118, what is another even more humorous evasion, kdk has found some generic statements in their doctrine that are not controversial, as if that somehow redeems the rest of the garbage.  From the CA, I like this one:—At the same time, however, certain misconceptions about nature and science, coupled with erroneous theological and anthropological positions, impede the advancement of a sound environmental ethic. —Yes…like the rest of the Cornwall Alliance doctrine.  In related profound insights, wisdom is good.  While even more difficult, I’m sure we can find some sentences or partial ones in kdk’s rants that aren’t total garbage.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    jeffn,

    Yes, the real question. Of course.

    What does it take for a true prediction to become an extraordinary proof?

    How does a willingness to question amount to an extraordinary proof?

    Asking for an extraordinary proof asks for an ordinary explanation.

  • Fred

    BBD (#114) refers to a story in which a glaciologist says the usual hack phrases about glaciers shrinking, etc. The actual situation with glaciers is much more complex, with multiple advances and retreats in recent years.

  • Jeffn

    123 Willard
    I’m surprised to see you so far off your game, Willard.
    Let’s walk it through- auto mechanic calls you up and says the problem was a $10 part.
    Next week, new mechanic calls and says he wants $8,000 to replace engine and transmission in your brand new car that was running fine when you took it in for an oil change.

    Which phone call will last longer and why?

    Now in the second scenario, you might express some mild surprise that a new engine is really necessary and you could- rightwinger that you are- actually dare to utter the words: are you sure? Crazy, I know, Willard, but that’s you- living on the edge!
    Naturally, Willard, you asked this is because you’re anti-mechanic right? It would quite normal for your mechanic to assume this was an issue with your stupid religion, or perhaps your brain isn’t wired right
    I mean, really, you agreed to the $10 repair without a single question. And we all know there’s no difference at all here, right Willard?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    jeffn,

    You should wait before hitting foul balls before epiloguing about my game.

    No concept of proof in the ball park yet.

    No concept of extraordinary proof in the ball park yet.

    No explanation why one prediction would count as a proof yet.

    Real skeptikism at work.

  • kdk33

    NYJ,

    You are certainly setting a new standard for ignorant and repulsive.  And you are too stupid to talk to.

    Learn to read. Learn to read english. And try to think a little.

  • BBD

    Fred

    Congratulations! You have scored 3/3 *worthless links*! First YouTube, then Fox News, and for the hat-trick… Don Easterbrook! Fan-tastic performance there. A big hand for Fred, everyone!

    But seriously. You ignored a real glaciologist (Bamber) saying (emphasis added):

    The combined records indicate that most, but not all, glacier systems have been losing mass for at least the last four decades, and that the rate of loss has been accelerating since the 1990s for key regions including Patagonia, the Canadian Arctic, Alaska and, most important of all for sea-level rise, from the great ice sheets covering Antarctica and Greenland.

    So let’s go to the key primary source: the World Glacier Monitoring Service. There, you will find a pretty picture that shows the *global* trend in mass balance. Have a careful look. Then have a look at the spatio-temporal history of mass balance change. Then pinch yourself and *wake up*.

    Then read Ch. 5 Global glacier changes. (Small pdf).

    Perhaps it’s time to ask yourself why the science from the real world is being misrepresented so enthusiastically and consistently by a handful of non-expert sources?

  • BBD

    Methinks kdk33 doth protest too much :-)

    The ‘sonar method’ is revealing interesting things.

    Note that for pointing to the evasions and absurdities in kdk33′s responses, NYJ is now setting ‘new standards’ for being ‘ignorant and repulsive’. He is ‘too stupid to talk to’ and needs to ‘learn to read english’ (sic). Oh, and he can’t think.

    Yup, I think we know exactly where you are coming from kdk33. Many thanks for the unambiguous confirmation. Always good to know which anti-science noisemakers are motivated by religious fundamentalism.

  • kdk33

    For the interested reader:  As stated earlier, I know little of the Cornwall Alliance, but, absent some silly word twisting, none of the provided quotes are anti-science.  The interested reader can visit their website to learn more. 

    Among other things they strive to improve the human condition via science and technology; they want to promote responsible environmental stewerdship – including protecting the environment from humans and human technology; they don’t deny global warming.  They do deny global warming alarmism.  They want to protect the poor from the hard they believe will be caused by decarbonization policy. Religion aside, I think that puts them in the mainstream.  Anyway here is their examination fo the science. (yes I’m cutin n pastin)

    Our examination of the science of global warming (Chapter Two) finds that global warming alarmism wrongly claims that recent temperature changes have been greater and more rapid than those of the past and therefore must be manmade, not natural. It exaggerates the influence of manmade greenhouse gases on global temperature and ignores or underestimates the influence of natural cycles. It mistakenly takes the output of computer climate models as evidence when it is only predictions based on hypotheses that must be tested by observation. It falsely claims overwhelming scientific consensus in favor of the hypothesis of dangerous manmade warming (ignoring tens of thousands of scientists who disagree) and then falsely claims that such consensus proves the hypothesis and justifies policies to fight it. It seeks to intimidate or demonize scientific skeptics rather than welcoming their work as of the very essence of scientific inquiry: putting hypotheses to the test rather than blindly embracing them.

    Yes, I am religious, but I am not pushing religion on anyone.  It is quite vexing when ignorant bigots like BBD and NYJ attempt to smear religious people for having a worldview that is informed by theology.  See, in their little minds as soon as they see talk of theology, or God, or His creation, or anything else that sounds religious, they know it must be superstitous non-sense, hence wrong and anti-science because its… well because it’s religious. This same inability to think critically has led them to their CAGW beliefs.  And there is no sense arguing with them.

    I don’t know who these folks are. They certainly have a worldview informed by theology, but I see nothing on their website that  is anti-science.  Far from it, in fact.

    http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/a-renewed-call-to-truth-prudence-and-protection-of-the-poor/

  • BBD

    I’d stop digging, if I were you.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    gt; See, in their little minds [1] as soon as they see talk of theology, or God, or His creation, or anything else that sounds religious [2], they know it must be superstitous non-sense, hence wrong and anti-science [3] because its”¦ well because it’s religious.[4]

    kdk33 might not be here to bring peace, but to bring a magic sword:

    [1] Clairvoyance.

    [2] From cosmological theology to religiosity.

    [3] Caricatural ad misericordiam.

    [4] No more cosmological theology.

    The magic of rhetorics.

    The correlation between beliefs in cosmological theology and rejections of AGW deserves due diligence. Scorn à la three atheists gets tiring to read. For an introduction:

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/06/10/the-three-atheists/

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > I’d stop digging, if I were you.

    This entices the tiger to leave its mountain lair.

    Taken at face-value, the sentence is self-defeating.

    It might be wiser to let loose instead.

  • hunter

    Tom Fuller,Notice how the true believers, once they hijack a thread, carefully avoid anything topical so as to devote all of their energy ignoring the inconvenient bits and in pretending their distorted and ignorant quotes are the real topic.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    Yes, I am religious, but I am not pushing religion on anyone.

    Yes you are. That’s what you do day in, day out in comments here. How can you deny it? More to the point, *why* are you denying it?

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    I have not seen kdk33 pushing religion on anyone. On the contrary, he has argued quite weel for physics and natural sciences.

    I have however seen others pushing their faith, often even uniformed about that faith, demanding that others ‘accept’ it as the righteous (ie ‘correct’) position, or proving that their faith is wrong. A sure sign of a relgious approach ..

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD, the previous conversation about government green policy’s contribution to fuel poverty (with 7,500 deaths attributed to it) was not settled. It was exhausted without closure. As one of the participants in the discussion, you and those agreeing with your point of view certainly did not persuade me. I apparently did not persuade you. Pity, that. I am not at all enthusiastic about restarting that discussion on this thread. I would have no objection to you stating that a full and frank discussion of the issue led to an agreement to disagree with further discussions down the road. It would be an exaggeration, if not downright dishonest, to say it was settled.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    hunter, when the facts do not support their POV, they argue trivia. Only natural, and not limited to them. But they are truly annoying about it, I must say.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Menth, as far as I can tell it was an inaccurate statement of the facts.

  • BBD

    Tom

    BBD, the previous conversation about government green policy’s contribution to fuel poverty (with 7,500 deaths attributed to it) was
    not settled. It was exhausted without closure.

    Only in the parallel universe you apparently inhabit. Here in the UK, it was gas prices. There’s nothing else to discuss on that front. I am, however, interested in what motivates you to perpetuate the renewables-kill-pensioners meme, and no doubt we will return to that question in future.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    As I said–we’ll have to agree to disagree, as I think your explanation inadequate.

    To return (however briefly) to the topic at hand, there really is a patter of scientists describing a potential or emergin problem and advocates (and vested interests) painting apocalyptic scenarios using those descriptions as a base. That this has happened in discussions of climate change is established. Whether, as with Lovelock, there will be some return to reality is not.

    The discussion of glacier ice is one such. Many of the glaciers identified as melting started melting before AGW could have had an appreciable effect. Centuries before. More than a few of the glaciers that had been losing ice are now regaining mass, in places ranging from Alaska to Karakorum. Some glaciers continue to melt quickly. But we are not looking at enough glaciers to speak statistically about them, and they are in diverse enough environments and regional climates to make one strongly suspect they should not be discusses as a homogenous lot.

    Scientists have notice this. Indeed, they brought it to our attention. But has it changed how we speak about glaciers? Not at all.

    It’s a complex issue that is evolving as we discuss it. Alarmists took one snapshot at a point in time and insist it captures reality. They should have taken a video.

  • NewYorkJ

    True enough, willard (#133), but interest is waning.  I’ll note that kdk (#130) still implies that indictment of the Cornwall arguments is an indictment of all religious people, rendering kdk either hopelessly confused or dishonest.As for TF’s latest, it does not capture reality…http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/01/a-global-glacier-index-update/ 

  • BBD

    Tom

    It’s a complex issue that is evolving as we discuss it. Alarmists took one snapshot at a point in time and insist it captures reality.

    You are a treat, really. Did you read # 128?

    Do ‘alarmists’ = World Glacier Monitoring Service?

    Are you a conspiracy theorist?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    NewYorkJ, no, I am not. Do you know how many glaciers there are? Do you know how many are monitored for mass/extent? Do you know how much has happened in the field since Real Climate posted in 2009?Thought not.

  • BBD

    You’re going to have to do better than huff and puff, Tom.

  • kdk33

    From NYJ’s #99.  This is why you guys are often called “deniers”.  Among many things, you deny what your own tribe clearly preaches,

  • BBD

    This is why you guys are often called “deniers”.  Among many things, you deny what your own tribe clearly preaches,

    And you do. You have been fantastically defensive ever since you started fulminating over the Atlantic mentioning:

    a religious worldview that believes humanity is not powerful enough to alter something as large as our climate.

    Yet you clearly endorse this religious worldview – you have defended the CA nonsense at length here – even though you say it is ‘It is offensive for obvious reasons’. *What* reasons? You will not say. Either you are confused, or dishonest. Which is it?

    Is that a cock crowing?

  • Fred

    BBD (#128) Your links prove nothing about the cause of any drop in glacial mass. The sharp drop from 1945-1965 appears to have the same slope as the drop from 1985-2005. Whatever caused the drop between 1945-1965 could have caused the drop between 1985 and 2005. And that could simply be a continuation of the glacial retreat that has been occurring since the end of the little ice age in the early 1800′s.

    Also, the recent French study is more recent (past 10 years) than the 2005 cutoff of the graph in your link. As temperatures have leveled off over the past several years it is to be expected that glacial retreat will slow.

    Your link cites the discredited IPCC 2007 study claiming that the Himalayas would lose their glaciers by 2040. Certainly, Fox News, You Tube, etc. have more credibility than the IPCC.

  • BBD

    Fred

    You’re in denial, old chap. Sure the rate of global retreat might slow – and then it will speed up again as the defining trend since the 1970s (warming from CO2 forcing) once more over-prints natural variation. Go back, and look at those two graphics from the WGMS again. And read Ch 5 (bet you haven’t).

    Oh, and the ‘recovery’ from the LIA is a sceptic myth. The LIA ended around 1850 – 1880. C20th climate change has nothing to do with the LIA. Think it does – find me some academic references in bona-fide journals that demonstrate the mechanism behind this ‘recovery’ from the LIA and the way it is responsible for C20th climate change. With special relevance to warming since the mid-1970s.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    NewYorkJ,

    As auditors are fond to say, talking about dishonesty and hopeless confusion is “counter-productive to whatever point that you’re making”:

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/8088014552

    Without hope, nothing matters much, if we can Pandora’s memo.

  • Menth

    @139. Thanks Tom. I thought it sounded strange and overstated but I’m curious from whom they got this figure of  75%.  It’s ironic that an article that is supposedly reigning in “apocalyptic” narratives is itself making grandiose, dubious claims. Though if someone can provide a link to some evidence I’d gladly read it.

  • jeffn

    140- BBD are you still peddling that non-sense?

    You forgot to your little mantra of adding the “rapacious” modifier to the “gas companies.” Perhaps that’s because the UK’s suppliers are Gazprom and Statoil, two “companies” that are primarily state-owned.

    Meanwhile, the “rapacious” capitalists in the US were selling gas at less than half the price in the UK. And the UK is looking forward to importing gas from the US. Don’t worry, green efforts to limit gas production couldn’t possibly have an effect on future prices there, so any change after “anti-fracking legislation” you can chalk up to a “lack of regulation.”

    But you totally miss the point. We – over here in “Jesusland” as Marlowe puts it, are not so much astounded by your insistence on focusing on the blame game when it comes to fuel poverty deaths, or your playing it with partisan glee. We know you’re dishonest.

    We’re astounded that you have fuel poverty deaths.

  • BBD

    You forgot to your little mantra of adding the “rapacious” modifier to the “gas companies.” Perhaps that’s because the UK’s suppliers are
    Gazprom and Statoil, two “companies” that are primarily state-owned.

    Wow. Stupidest comment of the night. That’s the wholesale market – where prices have risen sharply. But the previous discussion was about the Big Six – the rapacious energy companies operating *in the UK market*. They raise prices as the wholesale market rises… and then don’t lower them when it falls. The effect is a classic ratcheting up of cost to consumers.

    Meanwhile, the “rapacious” capitalists in the US were selling gas at less than half the price in the UK.

    Shale gas boom, anyone? But let’s see how long it lasts.

    We’re astounded that you have fuel poverty deaths.

    Lots of things astound (and horrify) me about the US but I prefer not to discuss them here. Thin ice, jeffn.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Once more the ‘argument’ starts at the completely wrong end:

    “The LIA ended around 1850 ““ 1880. C20th climate change has nothing to do with the LIA ” 

    The mechanisms and causes behind both the MWP and the LIA remain at best speculative, nobody believes this is anyhow quantified and settled. Not even SkepticalScience claims otherwise … 

    The only definition of when the LIA ended is in its denomination: Usually the period from mid 16th to mid/late 19th century is denoted as the LIA. The labeling per se has nothing to do with the cause, or the cessation of such a cause, or the complete replacement of one cause by another new cause .. 

    To argue otherwise would be similar to claiming that one individual heating (and subsequent cooling) sequence of observed ocean temperature surface events must also have zero energy contribution even within a short time span (eg once cycle), because its denotation contains the term ‘oscillation’ ..  

    In exactly the same way: The definition of the term ‘The modern warm period’ per se, when exactly it started, peaked, and at what level, contains no information about what caused it, limited it, ended it etc. It neither does it establish that there was anything particularly ‘modern’ about it … And equivalently,  the same is of course true for the MWP.

  • Jeffn

    BBD
    Never seen someone so blindly partisan as you. Really, high wholesale rates- from state-owned “companies” no less- now have no effect on fuel poverty? Just the rapacious middlemen, who naturally were unaffected by a decade of the environmentalist energy policy your tribe loves to pat itself on the back for creating.
    When your gang becomes aware and mature enough to anticipate unintended consequences you can eat at the adult table. Nothing in the western world was more predictable than the statement: energy prices will be much higher in a green friendly Europe. Wait, I’m wrong, it was more predictable to expect those higher prices to harm poor people during the cold. Too bad their relief checks went to Lord Windfarm’s subsidy generators.

  • BBD

    Really, high wholesale rates- from state-owned “companies” no less- now have no effect on fuel poverty? Just the rapacious middlemen

    Eh? You need to read my comment again. This is not what I said.

    You have been shown – in detail – that it was gas prices, not renewables subsidies – that exacerbated fuel poverty in the UK. And you are still denying it without a shred of evidence to back your argument, claiming instead that it’s all renewables blah blah blah.

    Who’s the partisan? 

    I’ve told you in *no uncertain terms* that I was against renewables right from the start. Not my tribe. Why are we going over the same old ground as if this discussion *never happened*? Explain this to me jeff.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD we have not been shown that at all. You have asserted it. You have not shown it.

  • kdk33

    From their website. The CA isn’t anti-science. They aren’t even anti-global warming.  They are anti-global warming alarmism.  Their objections are three-fold:  theology, science, economics.  In the link I provided they detail these three.  They offer their objections to the science and the economics completely independant of theology.  BBD, NYJ, Willard are free to counter these arguments.  They won’t (IMO can’t). 

    Rather, they will dismiss them because CA also happens to have a theology.  This is argumentum ad homenim. It is a logical fallacy; a sign of ignorance.

    It is also how bigots think.  And the evidence couldn’t be more clear.

  • Fred

    BBD (#149):The rate of drop between 1945 – 1965 was at least as great as that between 1985 – 2000. You have not answered why the latter drop is due to CO2 increases while the earlier just as steep drop was due to, what? Assuming the earlier drop was due to some natural process other than CO2 (CO2 was well below the magic 350 level then) why couldn’t it be invoked to explain the 1985 – 2000 drop?

  • Fred

    While we are talking about cold things like glaciers, in the news today is that Arctic ice extent has touched the normal line.
    This isn’t supposed to be happening if CO2 is causing apocalyptic warming, is it? Hopefully BBD has some clever explanation for this.

    But I understand when you are defending an eccentric 19th century scientist’s theory of an enormously complex system like climate into the 21st century a lot of force fitting of the facts has to take place.

  • Jeffn

    Tom, it’s worse than that. In his prior effort to blame energy prices on anything other than energy policy, BBD asserted the answer to high gas prices was more regulation.

    That’s right, he asserts that a govt policy to reduce the price of fossil fuels is in keeping with climate concern. In fact he asserts that it’s we deniers who are preventing the policies to…. Reduce the price of fossil fuels.

    What’s even funnier is that The financial times reports the uk is looking to import gas from the US – it will break the high wholesale price the uk pays to Gazprom and Statoil. “Jesusland” rapacious American weevil corporations are coming to free BBD up from greedy state-owned entities. How’s that for irony- all his myths collapsing at once. Time to go shout “3c” at someone I guess.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > [T]he true believers [1], once they hijack a thread [2], carefully avoid anything topical [3] so as to devote all of their energy [4] ignoring the inconvenient bits [5] and in pretending their distorted [6] and ignorant [7] quotes are the real topic [8].

    This sentence by hunter in #134 is quite efficient:

    [1] Indefinite labelling.

    [2] Unwarranted claim.

    [3] Untrue claim.

    [4] Clairvoyance.

    [5] Empty adjective.

    [6] Name calling.

    [7] Name calling.

    [8] Yes, but the topic.

    Since hunter did not identified who the hell he’s talking about, it’s tough to know who does so and so and who is such and such.

    But let’s identify the topic. The topic usually is next to the thesis. Where’s the thesis, then? The clearest situation was in #42:

    [T]he majority of media (mainstream and otherwise) emphasizes climate doom.

    So I believe the topic is “the majority of media, mainstream and otherwise.

    Once clarified, this topic was discussed in #49 and #55, among other comments.

    Readers could pay due diligence to hunter’s own contributions in this thread to see how they relate to the majority of media, mainstream or otherwise.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    #162, you are projecting again. We have all seen you do this time and time again. Mote, beam, glass house, stones.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    In the few words of #163, Tom Fuller attributes psychological states, talks with a majestic We, uses a biblical tu quoque, and presumes other psychological states.

    Tom Fuller should pay due diligence to #154, and see if that confirms his #138.

  • BBD

    @ 157

    I assert nothing Tom. That is invariably your tactic. From the other thread (my # 78) I quoted Ed Mathews correctly from the Independent article that you mangled (emphasis mine):

    With over 6 million households in fuel poverty in the UK, I do not believe the British public share the Chancellor’s view that gas is cheap.  Gas has caused 80% of the rise in energy bills in recent years. A future energy strategy focused on gas will continue to hold UK households hostage to high and volatile gas prices.

    And Caroline Lucas, MP:

    It is completely outrageous that the Big Six energy firms are able to rake in eye-watering profits as people up and down the country are forced to choose between heating their homes and feeding their families.

    Then, using some actual third-party analysis of actual, you know, numbers, I showed that over 80% of the increase in energy bills since 2004 unrelated to renewables (# 105).

    You? You just yammer on, pushing the same old GWPF lies that I get more than enough of over here. This conversation is over.

  • BBD

    Fred

    why couldn’t it be invoked to explain the 1985 ““ 2000 drop?

    Because there is no evidence for ‘it’. That’s why. The standard position on climate since the mid-1970s is that it is an interplay between aerosols (negative forcing) and GHGs (principally CO2; positive forcing). The effects of aerosols (brightening; dimming) are likely to effect glacial mass change, but then so is increased precipitation from an increasingly moist (warmer) troposphere. It’s not simple and straightforward, which is one reason why some glaciers are gaining mass. However, globally, the trend is absolutely, undeniably, *down*. Scrabbling around for mystery forcings will not do. We already have the explanation right in front of us.

    And as for Arctic ice ‘touching the normal line’ – you have to stop reading misleading clap-trap and look at a proper analysis. There is one here. This also touches on Antarctic sea ice, and the cryosphere in general. There are several more posts dealing with this misrepresentation. I cannot recommend them too highly as an antidote to the misrepresentations presented elsewhere.

    You are being grossly misled. Simple as that. If you start to read proper analyses you will quickly see this. As I did before you. It was like the sun rising.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Sorry BBD, if the conversation is over then this will have to be a monologue. Fuel poverty in the UK is partially a result of government policy. Most of that policy is to reduce CO2 emissions in line with EU targets.The 20% that you admit to (indirectly, by attributing 80% to energy companies) is already enough to push some over the edge into fuel poverty and some of them have died as a result. You have not argued that at all. You seem to be conceding the central point of my argument, in fact. If it went strictly proportional to statistics, then 150 people in the UK died last year due to government policy on climate change. Using your numbers.I believe it is worse. The UK government for some strange reason doesn’t advertise their permission to raise rates to energy companies for the capital costs of wind turbine farms. But it is part of the rate rise behaviour labeled ‘rapacious’. It is a contributor to this mess.

  • BBD

    From # 105 on the other thread:

    Tom, re your 101, it’s still gas prices. Only someone advancing a counter-factual agenda would pick the *minority cause* of a problem and trumpet it incessantly. That’s misrepresentation.

  • NewYorkJ

    And if it’s mainly gas prices, then note one of the causes of rising gas prices is increasing demand for an increasingly scarce resource.  Government policies that fail to support energy efficiency (which lowers demand and thus price) and sustainability are thus leading more into fuel poverty and causing deaths.  Those who choose to guzzle energy do the same.  CO2 policies result in less fossil fuel consumption, which keeps fossil fuel price lower than it would be otherwise.  Heck, shifting the tax burden to the poor in any way does the same. Burning more coal results in more health-related deaths.  U.S. Republicans support  policies that kill people.

    Careful with that slippery slope, Tommy.

    CO2 policies are not the devil denier types claim they are. Whether they result in higher energy costs for low income groups depends much on the low-income rebate structure.  As Tom knows, the bottom 20% would have come out ahead with Waxman-Markey (see CBO analysis).  Australia’s carbon tax helps low-income families as well.

    The need for rebates in any carbon pricing mechanism is described well here.

    http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/economic-intelligence/2012/03/29/carbon-tax-smart-energy-and-budget-policy 

  • Fred

    BBD (#166) I have asked you twice why, if there was a decline in glacial volume in an earlier period (1945-1960) when CO2 levels could not account for the fall, a later (1985-2000) drop no larger than the first should not be ascribed to whatever the natural force was that caused the earlier drop. Something caused the earlier drop other than CO2 and maybe it also caused the later drop. Do you know what caused this earlier event? How do you know that the later drop was due to CO2 and not to whatever caused the earlier downturn?

     Solar effects provide an explanation for the 1985-2000 glacial decline. Perhaps it was solar influences on climate and not CO2 levels that led to the glacial retreat. Nir Shaviv has written an enlightening piece pointing to solar activity rather than CO2 as the cause of the late 20th century warming.

    So, we are left with your having no evidence whatsoever that CO2 “caused” the late 20th century putative drop in glacial volume. Again, defending a 19th century single-factor theory for a complex system like climate is absurd and I appreciate the entertainment value of having folks like you who take up the cudgels to defend it. Thanks.

  • NewYorkJ

    It’s not the Sun, Fred.  The published research…

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming-intermediate.htm 

    Sceptic definition of “enlightening” – any argument that claims CO2 doesn’t cause much warming

  • BBD

    Fred

    Once you’ve read the link NYJ has kindly posted, you can also carry out a simple validation of your own using online visualisation tools. It looks like this.

    Thanks for playing.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #171, #172,

    1) CO2 went up in the 1940-1980 period but temperature did not. By your argument, that would be disproof. You can’t legitimately demand an exact wiggle match in one case and not the other.

    2) People keep on insisting on plotting the wrong quantity when discussing the solar/cosmic ray hypothesis. There’s no point in comparing solar irradiance, because that’s not how the theory works. There’s no point in plotting sunspot number, they only have a tenuous relationship with the solar wind intensity.

    The evidence for the cosmic ray hypothesis is weaker than adherents sometimes claim, but you won’t knock it down using such easily refuted points. You need to understand what it claims before you can argue with it.

  • BBD

    NIV

    1/. Aerosols, dear boy, aerosols.

    2/. You need to provide some good evidence that there is a climatological and not simply short-term effect. Do you have any?

  • Fred

    BBD (#172): You have not answered any of my questions. For the third time, why, if there was a decline in glacial volume in an earlier period (1945-1960) when CO2 levels could not account for the fall, a later (1985-2000) drop no larger than the first should not be ascribed to
    whatever the natural force was that caused the earlier drop. Something caused the earlier drop other than CO2 and maybe it also caused the
    later drop. Do you know what caused this earlier event? How do you know that the later drop was due to CO2 and not to whatever caused the
    earlier downturn?

    Sorry, NewYorkJ (#172), but it is the sun. Not only was the CERN experiment on Svensmark’s theory successful, but the Royal Astronomical Society in London has published Svensmark’s latest paper detailing further evidence for solar effects on earth’s climate. NiV (#173) is absolutely correct in his point that TSR is irrelevant as a measure of solar effect. A solar effect on climate is discernible, but a human effect is not.

  • NewYorkJ

    It’s not the related cosmic rays either.http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/papers-on-the-non-significant-role-of-cosmic-rays-in-climate/If cosmic rays were an amplifying effect, it would have been in the cooling direction over the last few decades.

  • Fred

    For a nice lit review of solar influence on climate see this paper. It’s conclusion: ” Whereas the solar influence is obvious in the data from the last four centuries, signatures of human activity are not yet distinguishable in the observations.”

  • BBD

    Fred @ 175

    Think about it the other way around. Ask what is causing glacial recession ~1967 – present. Remember, Mystery Forcings are not allowed in this game :-) .

    You need solid evidence for some alternative to the scientific consensus that CO2 is mainly responsible for the (otherwise unexplained) increase in GAT and attendant diminution of the cryosphere.

    Now look at the GAT reconstructions. Ask why the second half of the C20th is warmer than the first. The cause(s) of warming earlier in the C20th (and attendant glacial recession) are not clear because there was no modern instrumentation to determine them. This is no basis for a strong claim of equivalence with the cause(s) of modern warming, which are better understood.

    What you need is *evidence* from multiple sources that shows an alternative explanation for modern warming and its effects on the cryosphere. Unfortunately, none exists.

  • BBD

    F-C and Lassen’s 1991 paper was flawed. See here.

  • NewYorkJ
  • Fred

    BBD: (#179); You are merely producing meaningless responses that have not answered my questions. Evidently you are completely unable to do so. You (not me) are the one who needs to produce evidence that CO2 caused the putative decline of glaciers in the 1985-2000 era since you assert that you have a theory that explains that decline. It is an accepted rule of scientific discourse that whoever asserts a theory is the one responsible for producing evidence in support of it.

    For the fourth time, why, if there was a decline in glacial volume in an earlier period (1945-1960) when CO2 levels could not account for the fall, a later (1985-2000) drop no larger than the first should not be ascribed to whatever the natural force was that caused the earlier drop. Something caused the earlier drop other than CO2 and maybe it also caused the later drop. Do you know what caused this earlier event? How do you know that the later drop was due to CO2 and not to whatever caused the earlier downturn?

  • BBD

    No, Fred, I assert nothing. I’m only trying to convey bits and pieces of what all those scientists out there are finding out.

    My responses contain links to information you can (or not) evaluate at face value. You seem to be skipping over everything that I (and NYJ) am providing and just barging on.

    Now, what about the problems with F-C&L? You have read the link, I hope? So what do you have to say?

  • NewYorkJ

    Fred, you’re bouncing all over the place.  If you’re referring to data used by WGMS, note that data used in 1945 covered only about 20% of the world regions, and less records within each region, so not a global record.  When you get to 1975, you’re close to 80%, progressively increasing after that.  See figure 5.8.http://www.grid.unep.ch/glaciers/See Cogley 2009 and Green 2005 for other references.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #178,

    “Think about it the other way around. Ask what is causing glacial recession ~1967 ““ present.”

    You mean 1850-present.

  • BBD

    NYJ

    I gave Fred a link to fig 5.8 at # 128. Skip, skip…

  • NewYorkJ

    My bad, BBD.  I had not followed all the posts on that argument and was under the impression that someone presented with that information would not still be making the same argument.

  • BBD

    NIV

    You mean 1850-present.Glacial recession does seem to correlate with NH industrialisation. One can speculate about the effects of black carbon deposits on the ice surface all night :-) .

    But back to # 178:

    Ask what is causing glacial recession ~1967 ““ present.

    And back to # 174.

  • BBD

    NYJ

    Not your bad. Mine, for not making it clear who was doing the skipping :-) (see # 182)

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    NiV #184, its more like 1750 to present, at least at many of the places where observations are available. 

    “You need to understand what it claims before you can argue with it.” .. yes, that’s a good one. But I don’t think that those to whom it applies always realize what it means .. 

  • BBD

    NiV #184, its more like 1750 to present, at least at many of the places where observations are available.

    No.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD, graphs that start in 1845 don’t show anything that happened before 1845 .. 

    I’m sure even you realize that

  • Nullius in Verba

    189,

    I’ve heard it’s 1750-present for the southern hemisphere, 1800-present for the Alps, 1825-present for Northern Europe and Alaska. Asia some time before 1825. But I’d say it only really got going around 1850.

    Not that they really know. There are a lot of glaciers, and only a small sample of them studied. I wonder about the uniformity of their sampling selection.

  • BBD

    Oh I do. That’s why I don’t cherry-pick. Global trends are so much more informative.

  • BBD

    Sod the glaciers :-)

    What’s this all about?

    Our invisible audience will want to know. And I keep asking for a robust and coherent explanation…

  • BBD

    For the invisible audience.

    Imagine you are a businessman, like me. You have two pitches on the table and a decision to make:

    1/. Backed up by a very substantial amount of research and looking solid

    2/. Not so much

  • Fred

    BBD (#182) Asks about the “problems” with F-F&L and has a link to a site which states : “Claims that solar cycle length prove the sun is causing global warming are based on a single paper published nearly 20 years ago.” This is complete nonsense. The review paper by Lassen I linked details extensions of the solar cycle length to climate in the 1500 – 1900 period, Chinese climate data 1580 – 1990, Iceland Ice data 1550 – 1990, and Greenland ice core 1550 – 1974.

    A recent Scandinavian (2012) study that also includes a good literature review concludes “Significant linear relations are found between the average air temperature in a solar cycle and the length of the previous solar cycle (PSCL) for 12 out of 13 meteorological stations in Norway and in the North Atlantic….The significant linear relations indicate a connection between solar activity and temperature variations for the locations and areas investigated.”

    Given the well-known solar effects on the upper atmosphere it is to be expected that there would be a significant solar effect upon weather and climate.

  • Fred

    BBD: For both further evidence of a solar effect on climate and a refutation of your assertion (#149) that 20th century climate change has nothing to do with recovery from the LIA note this from Lassen and Thejll (2005): “…we find that the recently reported retreat of the ice in the Greenland Sea may berelated to the termination of the so-called Little Ice Age in the early twentieth century. We also look at the approximately 80 year variability of the Koch index and compare it to the similar periodicity found in the solar cycle length, which is a measure of solar activity. A close correlation (R=0.67) of high significance (0.5 % probability of a chance occurrence) is found between the two patterns, suggesting a link from solar activity to the Arctic Ocean climate.”

  • BBD

    Fred @ 196

    In the real world, potential investors would read the link at # 179 and be looking hard at you now.

  • Fred

    BBD (#198): More non-responsive gibberish. The “evidence” considered in the link at #179 was limited and is outdated. And you know it. There is overwhelming evidence for a solar-climate connection documented in the articles I linked to. And many more could be added.

     You still have failed to present any evidence that the putative decline in glaciers 1985-2000 has anything to do with CO2. Clearly, this has not been your day.

    But then you are at an enormous disadvantage arguing for a single-factor theory of an enormously complex system which seems to have many determinants. Certain classes of phenomena, like cancer and heart disease, have many determinants, not just one. Climate is a similar phenomena with many influences. And it so happens, IMHO, that CO2 levels are among the least, not most, important determinants.

  • BBD

    Clearly, this has not been your day.

    The invisible investors will decide for themselves ;-)

  • Fred

    BBD (#200) Sounds like you are enjoying the company of imaginary companions. Childlike, but if it helps you…

  • BBD

    It’s one step up from denial :-)

  • BBD

    Just for fun

  • Fred

    BBD (#203): I liked that Johnny Cash music, thanks. Here is some music which had its first public performance in my town and was composed 60 miles away. James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickock got his first job as a sheriff here, William “Buffalo Bill ” Cody earned his nickname shooting buffalo for the railroad workers here, and generals Phillip Sheridan and George Armstrong Custer spent time commanding the 7th Cavalry at the fort at the edge of town. The first Boot Hill located west of the Mississippi is here as well. 

  • BBD

    Thank you. A fine old tune :-)

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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, and an 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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