How Scientific Illiteracy Cost Us 20 Years on Global Warming

By Chris Mooney | July 13, 2009 12:34 pm

The popular website Buzzflash.com has added Unscientific America to its premiums–where you can buy the book and also throw in a donation to Buzzflash–and now they’ve also run a commentary piece by us, setting our failure to act on climate in the context of the continuing gap between science and society. An excerpt:

The climate issue is the most powerful — and also the most catastrophic — example of how our society dysfunctionally managed matters of science. The stakes are literally enormous: We’re threatened with an unrecognizably changed planet, many of its largest cities submerged. The science is extraordinarily clear: It goes all the way back to 1859, when the Irish scientist John Tyndall first described the nature of the greenhouse effect. In modern times, meanwhile, the issue has been on the agenda for fully two decades now. Yet still, only about half of the public follows or trusts scientists on the matter. And so nothing has happened politically, and the problem has had all those years to steadily worsen — and even if we do get a global warming law for the first time in 2009, in a sense we’ve already failed.

So perhaps we ought to ask, what could we possibly have done differently?

Read the whole piece for our answer. And don’t forget to check out Buzzflash.com’s premium offer of the book!

Comments (174)

  1. GM

    I will bring this up again because I think it is very important and almost completely ignored (yeah, people were discussing it in the 60s but that was the 60s and it has been forgotten since then)

    1. Don’t you think that the root cause (or at least the biggest impediment to us beginning to live in harmony with the ecosystem of our planet) of our global sustainability crisis is religion and the “we are special and separate from nature” mentality it promotes?

    In general:

    2. How could we begin to live in a sustainable way if this mentality persists?

    and, more practically,

    3. How do we solve problems such as overpopulation (which is one of the main causes of global warming) if most religions are strictly opposed to population control, for example, without getting rid of those religions?

  2. Gina Mel

    You dance around the issue once again of why. You blame lots of groups. The left, the Republicans, those darn scientists, etc. Did you ever sit back and think why? Might it have to do with our system? Might the problem be capitalism as it is set up in the United States of America? Janet in her review of the book alludes to that or is that being too challenging to norms? Too off-putting for potential allies?

  3. sharky

    That wasn’t really a why. Lets see what I can come up with:

    1. Could it be that it’s too threatening and scary and solution-less for most people to think about? The people I know of who deny global warming think it’s just part of earth’s history; they deny the manmade components, seek out their own sources, will not listen to others, and, when the discussion finally nears an end, express defeatist ideas about the environment and their own actions. In that case, it’s hard to blame scientists, who have been ringing all the alarm bells trying to get through to them–and systems like capitalism and the US mindset towards garbage and energy could get more scrutiny.

    2. …what about religion? The same branch of the Republicans that seems to be the most fervent deniers also seem heavily religious (Palin being a good example.) In this case, religion might again be a problem, as modern-day Evangelical Christianity teaches the world was put here solely for humans, creating a sense of entitlement and a disbelief that we could mess it up so badly it wouldn’t be good for us anymore (I suggest Slacktivist’s blog, specifically the Left Behind reviews, for an overview of the mindset.)

    Both of these are admittedly only based on personal knowledge and observation, but still point the way towards a possible *why.* Retailoring the approach of scientists for the first is doable, although scientists can’t afford to soften too much for the individual, given that industrial pollutants still need to be criticized. The second might require something like… hmmm… a critical approach to modern religious culture.

  4. My only comment is that I would think long and hard before putting my credibility in the hands of BuzzFlash. This web-site has a reputation of peddling a lot of “crank” politics. I wouldn’t say that it is the left’s WorldNetDaily – but it isn’t Newsweek, either.

  5. Mike

    Most likely it’s because society has been burned so many times before when scientists run out of their labs screaming “Danger!!!” before all the facts are in. Eugenics was science, and that led to the death of millions. Environmentalist hysteria about DDT, is continuing to kill hundreds of thousands annually in malaria prone area’s. How many people will the “global warming threat” kill? If global warming is real, and if it is man made, it still won’t result in as many deaths as the measures being proposed to stop it will result in. But environmentalists already know that, and fifteen minutes of research will show depopulation is the goal, and has been, the whole time.

  6. anon

    Or mabye its that smart people disagree with you for intellectual reasons?

    Naw, that would require breaking through to much denial about not all intelligent people being liberals. The universe would just collapse if that weren’t true.

  7. What a simplistic assessment.

    The issue is far more complex than the writer pretends, and perhaps should not have been fully accepted two decades ago. CO2 can’t do that much by itself, with water vapor enhancement being necessary in order to significantly affect the climate (while suspected for good reasons, it has not been easy to show that it actually occurs), while the whole aerosols issue is yet another tremendously complicated aspect. And I believe that it was less than a five years ago that satellite measurements showing no warming in one area of the atmosphere (troposphere) were finally explained.

    Then there are serious questions about what to do about it. This isn’t like ozone, having a relatively cheap fix. Indeed, with CO2 output simply increasing, due to increasing industrialization, it may be that talk of drastically reducing output of greenhouse gases might be what’s wrong, while engineering a cooling may be all that is realistic (some reductions of greenhouse gases remains essential regardless, I’d guess). I’m inclined to push for reductions first, certainly (especially since we know too little about engineering the climate as yet), but simply trying to get by with reductions could be a fools game, and I think we should at least be seriously looking at ways of cooling the earth.

    The politics of the situation is what perhaps is the greatest problem. Bush came under a lot of criticism for doing nothing, but Clinton did as little, in fact. Both Bush and Clinton knew that science indicates that AGW of disastrous proportions is likely, but neither troubled to act, or even to educate people with any real conviction. That’s especially unsurprising with Bush, who never pretended to be environmentally concerned, however any honest analysis of the politics would have to note that Clinton was as unwilling to step on toes as Bush was.

    There has therefore been little leadership on this matter, even though the leaders (even Bush) know of the problem. Were there leadership, the numbers in the public would almost certainly be much higher.

    So this whole “scientific illiteracy” thing is almost certainly a scapegoat. It has a great deal to do with continuing creationism in this society, because evolution and its evidence isn’t all that difficult to understand. AGW is extremely difficult to understand, by contrast, and none but a few ever will understand it. Scientific illiteracy might play some role in the sense that people don’t understand probability and science, so misunderstand the caveats that scientists inevitably include, and do not comprehend the fact that the science needn’t be 100% certain for us to be practically required to act. But those are constants in the relationship between public policy and science, and strong leadership could gain public acceptance of the problem without having to first overcome those problems.

    Leadership is almost certainly what we’ve mostly been lacking, not the usual and unsurprising public misunderstandings of science.

    Indeed, why is Chris “blaming the public” now, when he faulted PZ Myers for doing so previously, based (absurdly) on a comment made on his blog?

    Of course, as per accommodation arguments, does anyone really feel compelled to point out to religious people that science and religion are not compatible where the issue is global warming? Never. The supposed compatibility of science and religion is preached in sermons across America on Sundays, with respect to global warming, and not a peep from the antis. Why is evolution to be the exception?

    I know there are reasons for the latter, yet it is actually true that evolution by itself cannot tell us anything about god, for evidence for god could exist in cosmology or some such thing. Only science taken altogether can indicate that god is unlikely, so that global warming science is as “atheistic” as is evolution, although the latter strikes harder at specific religions.

    But no one thinks we should risk global disaster by pointing out to religious people that science “isn’t compatible with religion” when AGW is brought up. Science teaching can be jeopardized for the sake of their own anti-religious sentiments, by contrast. Which is a misuse of the issue of what should be taught in science, since our only legitimate interest there is that religion not be taught, not whatever accommodationist twisting they have to do to their religion in order not to be the buffoons that IDists/creationists are.

    Glen Davidson
    htt://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  8. GM

    Once again, stressing the harm that religion is doing is nowhere more important than it is when we talk about issues like AGW and Peak Oil.

    We will never do what we need to do to solve those problems if we do not become a completely atheistic society. The reason few people even among those on the science side see this is because few people actually see the scale of what has to be done in order for us to avoid the worst, and how hard it will be to convince people who believe in god to actually do that. Because it will require rethinking of some very deeply ingrained beliefs about the nature of man, about what is “moral” and what is not “moral”, etc. – in the end this boils down to some very specific things like how do you get people to accept not having more than 1 child (or not having any at all), how do you make them to reduce their consumption, etc. if they believe that it is their divine right (or even worse, they are obliged to so) to do the opposite.

    We’re out of time already and I see no way out of it when even the “good guys” refuse to see the herd of elephants in the room

  9. JoeT

    Ugh. This reads like a high school essay. We need to bring the two cultures together. La-de-da. These are solutions? And since when were people like Jenny McCarthy liberals? Did not John McCain claim there is strong evidence that thimerosol is the cause of autism? When did this become a conservative/liberal divide? Oh yes, you probably just looked at RFKJr and arrived at the conclusion that liberals were against vaccines. How shoddy and pathetic.

  10. CJ

    Simple answer – scientists didn’t PROVE the case to the public and then resorted to politics to overcome any opposition.

    They made a darn good data driven argument, but didn’t PROVE it. The lack of PROOF is not a criticism, as it is largely impossible to prove complex causations beyond any reasonable doubt. However, turning to politics rather than solid science created the “stench” of something fishy going on. It also set up predictable “sides” in the debate, creating the impression that the “scientific” debate was really a political disagreement.

    I, for one, was an early believer. Then I took the time to really research it and discovered there are legitimate areas of scientific disagreement. I have fallen into the skeptic camp, and can see it has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with politics and funding sources (and let there be no doubt, government funding is just as “political” as corporate funding).

    So, here’s my challenge to global warming scientists. Stick to the proof and stop claiming the debate is over! Stop attacking the messenger (politics) and start countering the message!

  11. SLC

    Re Mike

    Mr. Mike repeats the same big lie about DDT. The persistence of such lies is the reason that global warming deniers like Mr. Mike lack credibility.

    http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2007/09/evolution_and_ddt.php

  12. SLC

    Re CJ

    For the information of Mr. CJ, the concept of proof does not exist in science. No scientific theory in the history of science has ever been proven. There is only evidence favoring or falsifying a scientific theory. Proof is a mathematical concept. For example, in plane geometry, one can prove that two triangles having two equal sides and equal included angles are congruent.

  13. Quasar

    How long will it take for nature to recover after we screw it up?

  14. @13 Define recover? The microbial universe will go on pretty much as it does today. There will likely be some major changes, but the Archeae, Bacteria, and many microscopic eukaryotes will go on as before. More complex organisms will be f@%^ked depending on their level of niche specificity and the amount of damage done. Humans – hosed

  15. Mike

    To SLC
    100 million lives saved with DDT use, verses 1-2 million a year dying since it’s been banned, with NO scientific evidence that DDT caused environmental harm. You cannot “articulately debate” millions of deaths away. I might add, if you ever took a science course, you would realize that the responsibility of evidence does not fall to the skeptic, it falls to the person making the claim. My credibility, and that of other “global warming cult” skeptics, is not the issue. The credibility of the individuals and organizations making the claim is.
    http://www.acsh.org/healthissues/newsID.442/healthissue_detail.asp

  16. Patrick

    “The stakes are literally enormous: We’re threatened with an unrecognizably changed planet, many of its largest cities submerged. … Yet still, only about half of the public follows or trusts scientists on the matter.”

    What rubbish. Scientists who don’t act as hyperbolic alarmists can be trusted and are trusted.
    Who CANNOT be trusted are the folks who act like Used Car Salesman for Climate Alarmism: THE SEA IS RISING FAST, WE ARE COOKED! ACT NOW OR YOU WILL MISS YOUR CHANCE!

    Baloney. Sea rise is in millimeters. Temperature changes are much more moderate than models, in fact no real rise in temps for 10 years now. The facts dont fit the hyperbole. Many people are wising up to the Climate Alarmism act, are able to check the real facts and see past the alarmist spin, and they are NOT pleased they’ve been “played”.

    To wit, #10: “I, for one, was an early believer. Then I took the time to really research it and discovered there are legitimate areas of scientific disagreement. I have fallen into the skeptic camp, and can see it has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with politics and funding sources (and let there be no doubt, government funding is just as “political” as corporate funding).”
    More on that from http://wattsupwiththat.org, http://climateaudit.org, etc.

    Global Warming Alarmism is wrapping itself in the flag of science the way jingoists wrap themselves in the country’s flag. It’s time to stop the lies and time to stop preying on people’s fears and get back to HONESTY instead of hyperbole. And that goes for the hooked-on-climate-alarmism Media as well.

  17. SLC

    Re Mike

    The organization ACSH is a shill for the chemical and energy industries as documented by sourcewatch. Although, to their credit, they has refused to accept funding from the tobacco companies and agree with the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, they are otherwise heavily funded by the chemical and energy industries.

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=American_Council_on_Science_and_Health

    Here is another link to an article debunking the big lie about hundreds of millions of deaths. Mr. Mike apparently is a devotee of the late and unlamented Josef Goebbels, believing that if he repeats the lie often enough and loud enough, people may come to believe it.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2005/12/ddt-ban-myth-bingo.php

  18. James H

    “There is only evidence favoring or falsifying a scientific theory. Proof is a mathematical concept. ”

    The only “evidence” to support AGW was the output of the IPCC computer models. Now that they have been disproven (see rankexploits.com/musings for statistical comparisons of the models against actual data), there is nothing left. That’s why there is such a scramble to ratchet up the doom predictions, and all that “crying wolf” has now lead to a disbelieving or apathetic public, who only sees that things like cap & trade are just another money grab. That’s also why congress is rushing to get it done, the support for it is quickly fading away and they already made promises to the special interests that would rake in the money. The game is just about over.

    Regarding religion, it’s interesting to see people talk about religion being in the way, etc, while not realizing that they aren’t athiests either, but Gaia worshipping misanthropes that have imbibed the Kool-aid.

  19. SLC

    Re Patrick

    Mr. Watts is also a CFC/ozone depletion denialist which doesn’t help his credibility much.

  20. SLC

    Re James H

    The rankexploits web site is quite interesting. They link to young earth creationist Roy Spencer and CFC/ozone depletion denialist Anthony Watts on their blog roll. They also don’t appear to provide any information about the folks running it, namely as to their qualifications and expertise.

    Mr. James H makes a claim that the climate models have been discredited, based on the claims of unidentified persons at this rankexploits web site. I see no reason to attribute any more credibility to these folks then I would to the folks over at AIG on the subject of evolution.

  21. Re #2:
    “You dance around the issue once again of why. You blame lots of groups. The left, the Republicans, those darn scientists, etc. Did you ever sit back and think why? Might it have to do with our system? Might the problem be capitalism as it is set up in the United States of America?”

    In the late 1980’s half the world was still non-capitalist. Did they recognize and adopt to greenhouse gas issues any better than the Western world did?

  22. Mike

    Ironic that SLC cites Josef Goebbels, as Mr Goebbles also used a pseudo-scientific religion to justify his endorsement of murder as well. Mr Goebblels also was a fellow “environmentalist” and champion of animal rights, as were most of the National Socialists. Environmentalism is at it’s core, proof that someone who believes in nothing will fall for anything.

  23. Gwenny

    That’s it. I’m outa here. Unsubbing from your blog.

  24. Suzanne
  25. SLC

    Re Mike

    And Mr. Mike is still a lying piece of filth.

  26. Mike

    Thank you Suzanne. Its really is just too easy, but you have to do it because these high school kids get these idea’s in there heads, and before you know it they can vote. As we are seeing now, elections have consequences.

  27. Todd

    Most Americans are scientifically illiterate. The oligarchs don’t want the masses to understand science.

  28. GM

    @ 19

    The “Gaia worshipping misanthropes” have a question for you:

    What is the most immoral among these:

    1. Stop breeding like rabbits so that we don’t start dying like flies

    2. Mass genocide of about 6-8 billions done by other humans

    3. The same but done by the forces of nature

    What miracles do they propose that will make the future drastically different from any of those three scenarios?

  29. Jon

    Don’t you think that the root cause (or at least the biggest impediment to us beginning to live in harmony with the ecosystem of our planet) of our global sustainability crisis is religion and the “we are special and separate from nature” mentality it promotes?

    You’ve got to be kidding.

    You think if we had no religion people wouldn’t think fuzzy? Five minutes on a bar stool talking to random people defeats that argument.

  30. Jon

    (Responding to GM in #1.)

    How do people get this naive?

  31. Steve

    Skeptics,

    Getting thru to AGW supporters is a lost cause. You can show them hard, empirical data that:

    1) the planet has been in a cooling trend for many years,
    2) arctic ice is recovering,
    3) Antarctic sea ice is at an all time high,
    4) hurricane intensity & frequency are close to at time lows,
    5) GCM prediction of the “hot spot” is missing,
    6) temperature changes led CO2 increases by hundreds of years,
    7) CO2 was 18X higher in Earth’s past and caused no disaster,
    8) 700 measurements show that the MWP was warmer than today,
    9) 20th century air temps correlate to solar and ocean activity,
    10) polar bear populations are stable or increasing, and
    11) hundreds of well-credentialed scientists disagree with AGW

    and, still, they will contend that the consensus is intact, that the science is settled, that anything contrary is a smoke screen from the conservative, religious, big-oil conspiracy, and that Al Gore, despite the fact that he stands to lose tens of millions of dollars if cap-and-trade is not enacted, is telling the truth. Now THAT’S what I call denial.

  32. SLC

    Re Mike and Suzanne

    Thank you Suzanne. Its really is just too easy, but you have to do it because these high school kids get these idea’s in there heads, and before you know it they can vote. As we are seeing now, elections have consequences.

    Gee, Mr. Mike thinks that it was an adult who picked the moron Saran Palin as his vice-presidential candidate, that’s Sarah Palin, mother backer of abstinence only education which apparently didn’t take with her daughter. Sarah Palin, the young earth creationist.

  33. Jon

    Heck, you’ve got fuzzy thinking right here–by Glen Davidson in comment 7. He doesn’t need religion.

  34. GM

    Re: Jon @ 30

    You’ve got to be kidding.
    You think if we had no religion people wouldn’t think fuzzy? Five minutes on a bar stool talking to random people defeats that argument.

    Of course people will still behave irrationally, this can only be fixed with a lot of good education. And people are behaving irrationally because that’s how Homo sapiens behaves

    However, first, we will never start behaving rationally until we kill irrationality, a big part of which is religion. And second, I was not referring to thinking rationally, but to sustainability, which is impossible to achieve until we stop thinking that the universe exists with us in mind.

    This idea is fundamentals to each religion and we have to abandon it.

  35. GM

    @ 31

    I don’t think I am naive, quite the opposite, I claim to have been able to look past almost all of the cultural indoctrination I have received while growing up, think about things rationally and come to certain conclusion that people who are too scared to take a stab at the sacred cows of their culture will never seriously entertain.

    I think a lot of the religion vs. science debate has been misdirected at peripheral issues while the core implications of the progress science has made and its implications to how we think of ourselves and how they relate to the issues we face today are rarely mentioned.

    In a way, it can be said that even people like Dawkins and PZ are accommodationists, because they will not follow that path of thinking to its logical end, at least in public, and that’s because what you end up with is some pretty scary stuff.

    I myself have posted some quite scandalous things on this and other blogs but I haven’t touched much of the really repugnant ideas either

  36. Al Gore may soon regret that he ever invented the Internet. Thousands of people world wide are becoming educated on science and political munipulation due to Al Gore’s second great invention….”man made Global Warming”.

    Becoming a dedicated sketic is quite easy to do. Just study the simplistic concept that a natural, benign, three atom molecule in changes of just a few parts per million can control the enviroment. Then study the dogmatic behavior of those who support that view.

    Then visit a few ‘deniers’ websites and review the enormous amount of contradictory information. A broad range of individuals with independent perspectives are participating in the worlds first online peer review. Please embrace the debate. We all have much to learn.

  37. Dave English

    Proving man made global warming has been impossible because the effect is so small and THE PEOPLE are getting tired of being yanked around by those who will profit from new regulations or end up in control of everything if GW is accepted by the politicians as real. The hype is vastly overdone and becoming ever more desperate. Melting ice for example. John Muir found that the glacier that once was 4000 feet thick and 20 miles long at the ocean when Vancover saw in in 1794, had retreated 48 miles up the valley by 1879, 85 years. Global warming, think so, certainly not caused by humans and nothing new. As for drowning cities, oh really? At the accepted rate of melting by the ice on Greenland, 55 cubic miles a year, it would take almost 11,000 years to melt all the ice, we may not even be here then. At ten times the accepted rate of melting, you are looking at about 1090 years. So how much melted ice (land ice) does it take to raise the oceans one inch, 2180 cubic miles or about 40 years per inch at the rate of 55 cubic miles a year. Get some facts and grow up!

  38. Mike

    I have to agree with SLC, young earth creationism is silly. Almost as silly as believing in the “original sin” of carbon footprints and performing ritual trash separation every week so the earth goddess will stop sending hurricanes to New Orleans. People believe in all kinds of weird things. That’s why we have to rely on reproducible results, falsifiability, and all those other pesky scientific tenants that prevent you from succumbing to the latest “compelling narrative”. It’s nice to believe that you are “saving the planet”, it’s nice to believe that you are good and other’s are evil, but do not confuse your beliefs as representing evidence. It’s NEVER a good idea to stop talking about something and testing the idea. As soon as someone cries “foul” or declares the “debate is over”, it’s the first sign of an idea in distress. In religion its called heresy, in global warming, it’s called “denialism”, it’s the same mentality.

  39. RandomActsOfReason

    Wow. So, according to Mooney and Kirshenbaum, religion has played no role in climate change denialism nor hostility to science-driven policy in the US.

    Astonishing.

  40. Kevin

    Al Gore recently bought a condo in San Fransisco that is at sea level. Why would he do that if he really thought the sea would rise up and wipe out SF?
    Most scientists that promote global warming have their hands out wanting grants. It doesn’t matter if a scientist is studying cockroaches, once they see all the money in the global warming gravy train suddenly they need a grant to study GW effects on the cockroach.

    The fact that the GW alarmists now want to call it Climate Change shows that GW isn’t happening.

    In fact if the earth cools they will still claim they are right. Saying see we warned you about Climate Change.

  41. Kevin

    As far as religion blocking CO2 reduction, China is one of the biggest polluting countries on the planet. Yet it is run by a bunch of Atheists.

  42. Concerning #37 and 38: Global warming really boils down to something very simple. It’s been known for >100 years that CO2 is greenhouse gas, “trapping heat” by being almost transparent to visible sunlight but more opaque to the IR radiation that the sunlight is ultimately converted to. Of several greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the variation of CO2 concentration has been the most significant. It would be quite miraculous if some other process canceled this increased greenhouse effect, and there is no evidence for any such cancelation.

  43. What, the mindless drivel by “Jon” gets through, and I can’t respond with a reasonable statement of how dumb he is?

    I guess this remains a place where any lie goes, but strong truths are not allowed.

    It’s getting time to leave, then. No reason to be civil to facilitators of idiotic lies, either.

    Glen Davidson
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  44. You know, I thought the other threads were mostly heinous wastes of time, but that was before the denialists descended. Wow.

  45. GM

    @ #42:

    As far as religion blocking CO2 reduction, China is one of the biggest polluting countries on the planet. Yet it is run by a bunch of Atheists.

    That’s a fallacy. I never said that atheism will automatically lead to sustainability.

    Atheism is a necessary but not sufficient for sustainability. Mass ecological literacy and a gigantic cultural paradigm shift (a move away from viewing man as the center of everything) are also necessary. Communists may be atheists but they don’t fulfill the other requirements.

    Still, a totalitarian regime has a much better chance of dealing with a problem like the global sustainability crisis, which is why I have been often saying that a 22nd century historian (if there are any) who knows how to look past the superficial and get to the core might note the tragic irony of the way we celebrate the fall of totalitarianism in the 20th century as one of the greatest things that happened to humanity in that century. It was the wrong kind of totalitarianism but democracy is much worse in the long term….

  46. Kevin

    GM, it is funny people like you always want to control the population of other people or groups of people. If you think there are too many people on the planet you have every right to wipe yourself off the Earth but have no right to wipe someone else off the Earth. And no right to tell them how much they can consume. Or how many children they are allowed.

    How much consumption do you do? Why not get rid of your computer to save us from GW?
    Have you ever read how much GW is caused by a google search? Did you know Al Gore owns Google stuck even though Google causes CO2 release every time someone searches the internet?

  47. GM

    GM, it is funny people like you always want to control the population of other people or groups of people. If you think there are too many people on the planet you have every right to wipe yourself off the Earth but have no right to wipe someone else off the Earth. And no right to tell them how much they can consume. Or how many children they are allowed.
    How much consumption do you do? Why not get rid of your computer to save us from GW?
    Have you ever read how much GW is caused by a google search? Did you know Al Gore owns Google stuck even though Google causes CO2 release every time someone searches the internet?

    A google search produces 0.2g CO2 (and I didn’t google it, I know it).

    I think it is funny how people who probably consider themselves educated are incapable of udnerstanding the exponential function and the impossibility of growth on a finite planet.

    I may not have the right to tell people how many kids to have (although we are doing this with domesticated animals all the ime and given how little the average human being differs from animals in its intellectual development, one may well make the case that the more enlightened of us do have the right to tell the rest such things) but those people also don’t have the right to cause my death by breeding like rabbits and eroding the carrying capacity of the environment

  48. Gary

    Is anyone else enjoying SLC as much as I am?
    He/She is the perfect AGW Zealot.
    Almost identical to a Creationist.
    Believes absolutely with not knowledge of the science.
    Calls anyone who disagrees names.
    Attempts to discredit any scientist not on the band wagon.
    So typical
    So amusing.
    So cultist.

  49. Gary

    Oh and the nonsence coming fomr GM is priceless as well.

    Such unmitigated arrogance.

    He really does believe he is superior.

    Typical Liberal.

  50. GM

    Calling someone arrogant isn’t a good way to refute his position.

    Whether someone is arrogant or not, whether his views are radical or not, has very little to do with whether he’s right or not. Which has to be judged based on data, factual evidence and proper reasoning and I have yet to see those used to refute me

  51. Carl L

    How awful will the Global Warming devotees look through the future lens of history. Talk about being denialists. Who are the “denialists”? You global warming opportunists. You and your viscious ad hominum attacks and smears.

    Some one sold you some Snake Oil and you bought it!

  52. gary

    GM.

    No need to refute you.
    Your own silly blustering does quite well enough.

    Please don’t stop though. It is truly entertaining.
    And makes the case against AGW as well as any part of the Mountains of scientific evidence.

    LOL…. You just gotta love narcissistic buffoons.

  53. GM

    So according to you there is “no need to refute” the fact that the Earth’s resources and waste sinks are finite and we just carry on growing forever?

  54. Dirk

    GM,

    Malthus was wrong. As more people are born, they work in concert to raise each other’s living standards. As living standards increase, family sizes drop since children are no longer required for sustenance farming. Thus, population growth falls with economic growth- we’re seeing in developed nations birthrates falling to below-replacement levels. The reason the population has grown so much this century is not birth rates, it’s declining death rates.

    People like you are worried about running out of stuff like oil. But the truth is that we have a nearly unlimited supply of sand, we just need more people to convert it into solar panels. And more people who can look at data and see that temperature correlates with solar output, not C02.

    However, I’m not convinced more people like you do a dang thing for mankind…

  55. Kevin

    GM, your claim that someone else having a baby or consuming too much threatens your life is the same type of extremist talk that has turned people away from Global Warming.
    It is telling that you refuse to give up your computer to save the Earth but you want others to die to save it. You violate your own rules to save the Earth.
    You are the one following a religion. Earth is your God.

    Prince Charles the other day claimed we only have 96 months to save the Earth. And he too complains about consumption. That extremist has several castles which are as big as malls. He flies all over the world. Has hundreds of servants that cater to his even need. Yet he complains that someone like me might be consuming too much.

    Just like you he makes claims he can’t back with science. You are the only following religion.

  56. Kevin

    GM wrote “So according to you there is “no need to refute” the fact that the Earth’s resources and waste sinks are finite and we just carry on growing forever?

    Your statement has zero to do with Global Warming. Making wild claims that have nothing to do with warming is what turned most people away from believing GW.

    Back in the 1950’s people claimed we had enough oil to last 20 years or so. We still have oil. But even if we did run out of oil or some other resource it doesn’t mean that man is causing the Earth to warm. It just means we ran out of something and will have to switch to something else.

  57. Kevin

    From timesonline

    A separate estimate from John Buckley, managing director of carbonfootprint.com, a British environmental consultancy, puts the CO2 emissions of a Google search at between 1g and 10g, depending on whether you have to start your PC or not. Simply running a PC generates between 40g and 80g per hour, he says. of CO2 Chris Goodall, author of Ten Technologies to Save the Planet, estimates the carbon emissions of a Google search at 7g to 10g (assuming 15 minutes’ computer use).

    Nicholas Carr, author of The Big Switch, Rewiring the World, has calculated that maintaining a character (known as an avatar) in the Second Life virtual reality game, requires 1,752 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. That is almost as much used by the average Brazilian.

  58. GM

    Back in the 50s people (M. King Hubbert to be exact) were claiming that the USA will peak in 1970. That’s exactly what happened, exactly in 1970 like predicted.

    And the world has already peaked/is peaking right now too. And I don’t understand how stupid you have to be to say “if we run out of oil”. Of course we will run out of oil, it is a finite resource. And it doesn’t really matter when we will run out, what matter is when people will realize that we have peaked. Because once this happens the whole world economy collapses immediately because it is built on nothing but trust and the promise of future growth, i.e. future increases in energy consumption. Then all hell breaks loose because it is highly unlikely that the ignorant masses that have never even heard about PeakOil and resource depletion will react to this rationally; the animal instincts are much more likely to prevail. It will be an ugly world. I would like it to be different, but I don’t see any hope it will be

    I am not even going to comment on the AGW denialism nonsense because places like RealClimate should be sufficient sources of info on this.

  59. Marion Delgado

    GM the religion of capitalism, surely.

  60. Chris, Sheril: Since you repeat the title of the buzzflash article here, I guess you did choose it.

    Didn’t you notice that you never do support a connection from scientific illiteracy to the 20 years? Political forces, yes. But never scientific illiteracy.

    Since Chris in the interview with Zimmer continues saying that the problem is _not_ knowledge deficiency, how do you reconcile that with your claim here that the problem here is scientific illiteracy? Illiteracy sounds like a knowledge deficiency to me.

    And, of course, blame the scientists again.

    Again, what could the scientists have done differently then, and what could they (we, as a matter of fact) be doing today? Name something observable. ‘Reach out’ is piffle. Lots of scientists have blogs, and some even use more straightforward language. You don’t consider that to be appropriate ‘reaching out’. What _is_ appropriate reaching out? Remember, since you seem to forget this in haste to blame scientists — scientists do _not_ control media outlets, and do _not_ get to publish at will in the major papers, take radio air time, broadcast on TV on their own, no more than any other citizen.

  61. Kevin

    From a 1989 article about Global Warming. How accurate were the warnings from 20 years ago?

    Miami Herald – July 5, 1989 – 2E SCIENCE

    GREENHOUSE WARMING NATIONS MAY VANISH, U.N. SAYS
    A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of “eco-refugees,” threatening political chaos, said Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the United Nations U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP. He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the…

  62. Kevin

    GM, what does all your ramblings about PeakOil have to do with Global Warming? If we are running out of oil says nothing about the question about if man is causing the Earth to get warmer.

    Did you know Obama has banned the search for new oil in the USA? He is not worried if we have peaked on oil or not.

  63. SLC

    Re Gary

    I find Mr. Gary to be quite amusing. Apparently, he considers it irrelevant as to whether climate change denialists have conflicts of interest or have kooky ideas about other scientific subjects. Obviously, he has never had any experience in a courtroom where such items are considered highly relevant when cross examining a hostile expert witness.

  64. gary

    SLC; Good try. LOL.

    Your amusing rants and feeble attempts to discreadit honest scientists are as good an indicator that AGW is dying as the Scientific evedence.

    The debate is reduced to name calling and people bashing when the science and the facts no longer support the argument.

    So ….. Who funds sourcewatch? Just courious.

    Keep ranting, it is helpful.
    to the realist side.

  65. Erasmussimo

    The AGW denialists are here in force, and they provide us with a good example of the serious consequences of scientific illiteracy. They spout lots of pseudo-scientific claims, but they really have no idea of what they’re talking about; all they do is parrot talking points that they pick up elsewhere. For example, let’s take the most common talking point that is near-universal among the deniers: that the earth has been cooling for the last ten years or so.

    The claim itself represents serious ignorance of science. Any changing phenomenon has a variety of constraints on its rapidity of change. If you want to boil a ton of water in a microsecond, you’re going to need to put a LOT of heat into that water very quickly. If you want to freeze a ton of water in a microsecond, you’re going to need to remove a lot of heat from that water very quickly. Similarly, if you want to cool the huge mass of water in the earth by some amount, you’re going to need a mechanism for removing a lot of heat from that water quickly. Yet AGW deniers just don’t understand this.

    Then there’s the gross failure to understand simple statistical analysis demonstrated by the “earth is cooling” claim. Sheesh, the level of ignorance demonstrated by these claims is the best evidence that American truly is dangerously unscientific.

  66. @66 Erasmussimo: Actually, this is a realm in which I partly agree with Chris.

    What deniers of science, whether on climate, evolution, vaccines, etc., share is that they reached their conclusion first and then went looking for support. Regardless of how much time you, or anybody, puts in to discussing the evidence that shows that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, their response (to quote someone I was recently corresponding with, including on just that point) is that you just want to tax them. Taxing is not a matter of science. CO2 being a greenhouse gas is. The failure isn’t one of lack of education of whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Due to their paranoia, and subsequent inability to look at the science, they cannot change their mind about whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas. (As developed with the guy I was talking to.) As such, there’s nothing a scientist, any scientist, can do by way of communicating with such people. At least not by virtue of being scientists.

    On the other hand, there is a very clear (to me, that is) knowledge deficit involved. Namely, an understanding of what science is, how it works, what it can and can’t be used for, and the like. Again, one hardly needs a scientist to teach you such things. Jr. high science teachers are more than sufficient — if they are allowed to teach it, and know it themselves. One of the more common demands from science deniers shows their failure to understand such elementary bits about science — “Prove to me that …”, whatever herring of theirs is at hand. The failure is, science doesn’t prove things. That’s math and theology.

  67. SLC

    Re Gary

    I’m just curious as to whether Mr. Gary can cite a scientist on the pro global warming side of the debate who is also a young earth creationist, like Roy Parsons.

  68. Erasmussimo

    @67 Robert Grumbine: Good point. Since most AGW deniers are motivated by political considerations, not scientific ones, arguing science with them is a waste of time. Until we establish in the public mind that science must not be a political football, we will continue to fail to grapple with political problems that involve scientific issues.

  69. Gary

    SLC;
    Actually I cannot. You see, unlike the AGW cult, climate realists concern themselves with facts and evedance, not the religeous beliefs of researchers.

    I presume from your comments that you only believe Athiests.

    I guess Davinvi, Copernicus, Newton, Tesla, etc etc etc were all crack pots?

    Your might surprise yourself one day if you were to look past the people and into the science.

    Too much to ask I would guess.

    Still amusing however.

  70. Gary

    Actually Robert Grumbine, you have it completely backwards.
    Do a little research into the history of the IPCC and their mandate.
    Their mission was to study the extent of Man Made CO2 on Global Warming.

    They were NOT asked to search for an actual cause.
    They began with the conclusion that CO2 was the cause and worked toward supporting that hypothesis.

    They ignore entire fields of science because it does not fit the predetermined conclusion.

    Look it up.
    It’s posted right on their propaganda web site.

  71. Steve

    To my knowledge, I have never heard a skeptical climatologist claim that CO2 was not a greenhouse gas or that it did not affect global temperatures. The position has always been that increasing CO2 is not and never will be a MAJOR contributor to global warming. As such, cap-and-trade, a major political movement of liberals and greens, is a waste of time and money. Skeptics have never asked for political favoritism for fossil fuels. On the contrary, they ask that no political action be taken.

    As for decreasing temperature for the last several years, obviously Grumbine and Erasmussimo have not bothered to draw a trend line on any of the 4 temperature data sources, including their sacred GISS source.

    I have yet to meet an AGW supporter who could not move their focus from 1970 – 2000 because this is the only time period over which their theory shows any correlation. Move away from this period say, 1910 – 1940 (when temps rose but CO2 was flat) or 1940 – 1970 (when CO2 increased but temps dropped) and they run for cover, unable to explain how causation holds when correlation is absent. This is the sign of religious adherence, when emprirical data does not support theory but disciples choose to believe it anyway.

  72. Gary

    Erasmussimo says:

    “Then there’s the gross failure to understand simple statistical analysis demonstrated by the “earth is cooling” claim. Sheesh, the level of ignorance demonstrated by these claims is the best evidence that American truly is dangerously unscientific.”

    LOLOLOLOL!

    You call us scientifically illiterate……
    LOLOLOLOL

    you guys are precious.

  73. Erasmussimo

    Gary, you misunderstand the mission of the IPCC. Their mission is to carry out research on the effects of CO2 on climate. Theoretically, they could have come back and declared that there are no such effects. However, their research has shown that there are indeed significant effects from manmade CO2.

    I’ll hazard the guess that you’re another example of scientific illiteracy.

  74. Erasmussimo

    As for decreasing temperature for the last several years, obviously Grumbine and Erasmussimo have not bothered to draw a trend line on any of the 4 temperature data sources, including their sacred GISS source.

    I don’t need to draw that trend line because there are already a great many versions of that. The most reliable trend lines are those that take into account the greatest amount of data: the data for the last century. And that clearly shows that both the first and second time derivatives of temperature are positive.

    I have yet to meet an AGW supporter who could not move their focus from 1970 – 2000 because this is the only time period over which their theory shows any correlation.

    Then you have not met many AGW supporters. Perhaps you should consult IPCC AR4 where they present a number of graphs over a broad range of time intervals. Their most important, however, is Figure 6.10, which clearly shows the temperature increase.

    Have you read IPCC? I suspect not. Have you examined Figure 6.10? Again, I doubt it. You base your claims on fantasies, not facts.

    Gary, if you think that you’re scientifically literate, demonstrate it. Let’s talk science rather than unsupported gibberish. Tell me, what do YOU think of IPCC AR4 Figure 6.10?

  75. goodspkr

    Erasmussimo I have sought out what the proof or theory of AGW is and I’m now a skeptic.

    CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Not only that we know how much warming can come from it. Double the amount in the atmosphere and you raise the temperature approximately 1.2 degree C. But this is not what the models show us. They have us reaching a tipping point where the heat rise due to CO2 causes more water evaporation (water being the main greenhouse gas) which multiplies this heating by 3 to 10 times. This rise in temperatures then melts the ice. floods the plains, and causes most teenagers to break out in acne if you believe the constant drumbeat of AGW alarmist.

    This estimate of heating comes to us from 30 years ago, when certain scientists guessed what would happen. This theory tells us if they are correct there should be a hotspot in the tropics about 10 km up. We’ve been keeping track of this for about 50 years through the use of weather ballons and more recently satellites, but so far there has been no hot spot. If there is not hotspot there is something seriously deficient in the AGW theory.

    In fact in the past 30 years what we have observed is not a positive feedback from the warming due to CO2, but a slight negative feedback (possible reasons, more clouds shielding the earth from the sun rays, rain cooling the earth, etc.).

    So if the enormous positive feedback is not real, all the senarious regarding the doom and gloom of global warming is moot.

    As for your temperature increases, the one Hansen controls has a lot of problems (fewer stations, stations that don’t meet the requirements, and some questionable assumptions when massaging the numbers). Global satellite numbers are more reliable and show a distinct decrease over the past decade.

    The climate is a very complex system. It was a computer model of the climate that gave us the term “the butterfly effect.”

  76. Erasmussimo

    goodspkr, I’m pleased to see that you have learned some of the simple facts. But do you really understand the science? Can you explain the scientific reasoning behind your claim regarding stratospheric heating? Can you explain what you mean by “a slight negative feedback” over the past 30 years? And did you know that citing temperature data for the last ten years is scientifically illiterate?

    Do you really understand any of this science or are you just quoting talking points you have read elsewhere?

  77. goodspkr

    Steve,

    I like your style. Here is what the AGW theory gives us. It shows us that the theory works about one third of the time. For two thirds of the time CO2 was rapidly increasing, you had cooling going on. The theory has no explanation for that.

    Right now there’s no increase in air temperature in the past 10 years and we have no increase in water temperature since 2003 when the Argo system was first launched. In fact we have a slight decrease in temperature in the oceans. So where’s the heat?

    According to AGW theory there should be a big build up in heat happening, but it’s nowhere to be found.

  78. Steve

    Erasmussino, stating that derivatives of temperature are positive does not define cause. And why stop at the last century? If you want to use derivatives, then have the fortitude to state that they turned positive at the end of the LIA, long before man began burning fossil fuels. That said, you have proven absolutely nothing, with the possible exception that no one really knows how the biosphere operates.

    I reviewed figure 6.10 per your request. Read McIntyre’s critique here http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2245 of that analysis (is you dare). This is just more hockey stick reconstruction crap. wwwCO2science.org has cataloged 715 different scientists from 416 institutions in 41 different countries showing that figure 6.10 is the fantasy and that the temperature record initially used by the IPCC showing a very robust MWP is indeed the correct temperature profile for the last 1000 years. But the IPCC won’t report that because it does not fit their agenda.

    If you depend on the IPCC for unbiased data, you will be burned, my friend. Read their mandate “.. to assess .. information relevent to understanding the scientific basis of HUMAN-INDUCED climate change….” They are not looking for anything else! They have released policy statements before the scientific working bodies had released their results and modified those results to agree with their policy statements. This is NOT an unbiased body.

  79. goodspkr

    goodspkr, I’m pleased to see that you have learned some of the simple facts. But do you really understand the science?

    Yes.

    Can you explain the scientific reasoning behind your claim regarding stratospheric heating?

    Absolutely. As more humidity goes into the air it moves up extending into the lower troposphere causing a hot spot. Can you explain why it isn’t there?

    Can you explain what you mean by “a slight negative feedback” over the past 30 years? And did you know that citing temperature data for the last ten years is scientifically illiterate?

    Nah, citing temprature data for the last ten years is all we have. I realize this doesn’t say that the climate has changed, but how do you explain the lack of warming? Since the basics of AGW is that there is no other explanation for the warming, what explanation is there for the lack of warming? Where’s the heat (I do understand the laws of thermodynamics)

    Do you really understand any of this science or are you just quoting talking points you have read elsewhere?

    I’m an engineer by education and I can read. So I haven’t done any of the experiments but I can understand what people are contending.

  80. Erasmussimo

    Steve, you reference Steve McIntyre’s comments on IPCC AR4 Box 6.4 Figure 1. This is not what I referred to; I referred to IPCC AR4 Fig 6.10. Mr. McIntyre’s comments apply only to the middle third of Fig 6.10. Moreover, Mr. McIntyre presents the IPCC’s explanation of why his claims were rejected. Do you understand that explanation? I suspect not. I suspect that you’re just mindlessly parroting fragments you find on the Internet, without actually understanding them. If you do think you understand the point, then demonstrate it by presenting your own refutation of the IPCC’s rejection.

    You claim that “wwwCO2science.org has cataloged 715 different scientists from 416 institutions in 41 different countries showing that figure 6.10 is the fantasy ” Apparently you do not understand the science at work here. If you examine Fig 6.10 you will see the MWP showing up quite clearly during the period 950 AD to at least 1150 AD. But if you think you understand the science involved, demonstrate it: find just ONE of those 715 different scientists, read his/her paper, and explain how the contents of the paper contradict Fig 6.10. I suspect that you can’t do this because you’re just mindlessly parroting talking points.

    Next, you fail to understand plain English. You present the mission statement of the IPCC as follows:

    ” “.. to assess .. information relevent to understanding the scientific basis of HUMAN-INDUCED climate change….” ”

    Please present the logical steps you go through, starting with this mission statement, to obtain your conclusion. I’m quite certain that you’ll end up waving your hands and engaging in logical nonsense to get from Point A to Point B.

    goodspkr, you ask why there isn’t a hot spot in the 10 km zone in the tropics. The answer to that is simple: there’s no reason for there to be one. Nothing in the AGW hypothesis predicts the existence of such a hot spot. Your own explanation is that higher humidity causes increased heating that pushes the troposphere upward. That’s nonsense. The greenhouse effect in the lower troposphere in the tropics is already saturated by the large amounts of water vapor already in the lower troposphere. Thus, increases in CO2 in the lower troposphere in the tropics should have little effect on temperatures there.

    Look, I don’t mean to be nasty here, but I really do suspect that your denial of AGW is political in nature and has nothing to do with the science. So I ask: why not just come out and be honest? Why not just declare that you don’t like the political remedies proposed to address AGW? Why not argue about something where your opinion is meaningful? Why argue a lie?

  81. Steve

    Stating that the AGW hypothesis predicts no hot spot above the tropics is either disingenuous or ignorant on your part. The IPCC itself predicted such a hot spot based on its computer models and stated that this would be proof positive of human induced warming. Funny thing is, it cannot be found using either satellites or radiosonde. So, E, explain to us why the models can be trusted to “predict” anything if this much-touted signature is missing?

    Let’s talk ice cores. According to Al Gore, CO2 increases lead to temperature increases. But that is NOT what the ice core records show us. Those cores show us that temperature increases LEAD CO2 increases by an average of 800 years. The best explanation is that something other than CO2 caused the temperature to rise. And don’t start with the “CO2 may not have started it, but it amplified it” argument. Until you can explain that unknown starting factor, any CO2 explanation is pure speculation.

    And how about the last several years of cooling? AGW supporters, like yourself, rode the increasing-CO2, increasing-temperature bandwagon throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s. If CO2 is the major driver of temperature and at record highs, explain why the temperature is decreasing? And don’t start with the derivatives again because, as we all know, they turned positive long before man started burning fossil fuel.

    Finally, there’s that pesky CO2 saturation that just won’t let the temperature rise very much more regardless of how much more CO2 gets thrown up there. So, please, explain to us illiterates how the logarithmic nature of CO2 along with no additional energy input is going to cause catastrophic warming. And if you are going to use the “more CO2 generates more water vapor” cyclical argument, include data showing that water vapor has indeed increased over the past century, proof that CO2 caused it, and that clouds and precipitation are not negative feedback factors.

    Look, not to be nasty, but I suspect that your support of AGW is political in nature and has nothing to do with science. So, why not just be honest and declare that you hate capitalism and big oil? Why do you seek to force a significant lifestyle change on people based on an theory with so much unexplained contrary data?

  82. Gary

    Steve:
    You will enjoy this WEB site:

    http://www.green-agenda.com/

    Some examples of what AGW is really about.

    “We’ve got to ride this global warming issue.
    Even if the theory of global warming is wrong,
    we will be doing the right thing in terms of
    economic and environmental policy.”
    – Timothy Wirth,
    President of the UN Foundation

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony…
    climate change provides the greatest opportunity to
    bring about justice and equality in the world.”
    – Christine Stewart,
    former Canadian Minister of the Environment

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “The data doesn’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations
    on the data. We’re basing them on the climate models.”
    – Prof. Chris Folland,
    Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research

  83. Gary

    And These:

    “If we don’t overthrow capitalism, we don’t have a chance of
    saving the world ecologically. I think it is possible to have
    an ecologically sound society under socialism.
    I don’t think it is possible under capitalism”
    – Judi Bari,
    principal organiser of Earth First!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the
    industrialized civilizations collapse?
    Isn’t it our responsiblity to bring that about?”
    – Maurice Strong,
    founder of the UN Environment Programme

  84. Kevin

    A quote from Al Gore
    ““But it is the awareness itself that will drive the change and one of the ways it will drive the change is through global governance and global agreements.”

  85. Gary

    I believe it is appropriate to have an ‘over-representation’ of the facts
    on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience.”
    – Al Gore,
    Climate Change activist

    Or Lie in lay terms.

  86. Erasmussimo

    Steve, you claim that the IPCC itself predicted an equatorial hot spot. I claim it didn’t. So, show me where they wrote it. You provided the quote — you should be able to provide the source.

    Your comment about CO2 concentrations following temperatures demonstrates more scientific illiteracy. You’re confusing a feedback effect with an original cause.

    If CO2 is the major driver of temperature and at record highs, explain why the temperature is decreasing?

    Again, you don’t understand the science. You’re confusing temperature measurements of a portion of the earth with the globally averaged temperature. Another way of saying this is that the hydrosphere stores far more heat than the earth can reasonably shed in a decade. But without the basic understanding of the underlying science, you simply can’t understand this point.

    explain to us illiterates how the logarithmic nature of CO2 along with no additional energy input is going to cause catastrophic warming.

    You are ignoring the positive feedback factors. There are a variety of these: water vapor increases, changes in surface albedo, cloud formation, and changes in the lapse rate. You demand proof for these factors: this again demonstrates scientific illiteracy, for nothing in science is proven. However, if you’d like to see my sources, I suggest that you read IPCC AR4 section 8.6. It explains the science.

    Oh, and one other thing: clouds increase surface albedo to sunlight but they also increase the greenhouse effect. But you didn’t know that, did you?

    Look, not to be nasty, but I suspect that your support of AGW is political in nature and has nothing to do with science. So, why not just be honest and declare that you hate capitalism and big oil? Why do you seek to force a significant lifestyle change on people based on an theory with so much unexplained contrary data?

    Actually, you’re quite wrong. I’ll draw my conclusions about the science based on the scientific results. If AGW theory is blown to hell by new data, I’ll drop it in a second. And no, I most certainly don’t hate capitalism. I am a strong supporter of classical free market economics, although I do have objections to distortions in market signals created by a variety of political and economic factors. I am especially concerned about some of the big deviations from the “perfect market” that we have seen with increasing centralization of various economic actors. But that’s another discussion. Oh, and do I hate big oil? Certainly not, although I am definitely concerned about deviations from perfect markets established by market concentration.

    I have no desire to force any change in lifestyle upon anybody. I consider our political response to AGW to be an entirely separate issue, and the resolution of that issue is a matter for our republic to handle by its normal mechanisms. You see, I don’t let politics intrude into science. You’re the one who’s doing that.

    Gary, you provide some startling quotes. I searched for their sources, but I cannot find any original source. They are repeated over and over at a variety of conservative websites, but they appear to be just another example of the echo chamber at work: conservatives mindlessly repeating talking points without ever having an actual source for them. Can you provide an ORIGINAL source for any of those quotes?

  87. Gary

    Late Breaking:

    Peer Reviewed Study shakes foundation of climate theory! Reveals UN models ‘fundamentally wrong with the way temps and carbon linked’ — Blames ‘Unknown Processes,’ not CO2 for ancient global warming

    http://climatedepot.com/a/1955/Study-shakes-foundation-of-climate-theory-Reveals-UN-models-fundamentally-wrong-with-the-way-temps-and-carbon-linked–Blames-Unknown-Processes-not-CO2-for-ancient-global-warming

    Well Duh!!!

  88. Dave English

    In modern times science has always been the search for truth and often truth comes about from opposing views from the accepted dogma. As one of those non scientists that oppose significant global warming, what I see is an entrenched scientific community, and their less able supporters, trying to shut off any further discussion of a very unstable position that can’t stand up to reasoned scientific inquiry. The debate is not over and saying so has many examples from the past where dogma was over turned.

  89. Kevin

    Pelosi uses God to promote Cap and Trade.

    “And the way that we must do it is in a way that is economically sound for our country, that creates new green jobs and invests in the technologies that not only are renewable energy, but keep us competitive worldwide in a way that reduces pollution in the air, which is a health issue, and, again, honors our faith that God created this beautiful planet, and we must save it.”

    But she owns an unknown number of stocks in a company called Clean Energy Fuels Corp. Could that be the real reason she is pushing Cap and trade?

  90. Kevin

    Click this link to read how Al Gore uses God to promote Global Warming fears.

    http://frontpagemagazine.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=29851

  91. Erasmussimo

    Sheesh, Gary, did you even read the press release? Here’s what they showed: atmospheric CO2 increased by 70% and temperatures rose by about 13ºF over a 10,000 year period. They’re suggesting that there was some other mechanism, possibly an unknown feedback mechanism, that made matters much WORSE than the climate models predict! In other words, this paper suggests that we could be entirely too conservative in our predictions, that things could be much, much worse than we have been predicting.

    But the more important factor is the time span of the period they’re examining: 10,000 years. We’re talking about changes in the next hundred years. Thus, the likelihood is that their results are not immediately applicable to our problem. Let’s see how the scientific community reacts to this news. I’m sure that we’ll learn more as other scientists weigh in.

    Dave English, the problem with your observation is that it is predicated on the assumption that the scientific evidence in favor of AGW is questionable. The evidence is very strong, even compelling. The fact that you don’t realize that is just another example of scientific illiteracy.

    I’d like to generalize from the comments of the last few hours. We see the same basic pattern: people who don’t begin to understand the science behind AGW offer ridiculous pseudo-scientific arguments that they picked up on some conservative blog. Because they don’t understand the science, they don’t realize how ridiculous their claims are. Even more telling is the fact that, when I show why they’re wrong, they don’t change their minds; they just move on to another talking point. These people don’t care about truth or science; they care about politics and they are pushing a political case dressed up in fake scientific dress.

    I believe that there *is* a serious debate to be had over AGW: what should we do about it? How much should we sacrifice today for the benefit of future generations? That’s an honest debate, and one in which each citizen’s opinion is just as weighty as any other’s. But the AGW deniers are not being honest; they are dishonestly arguing science that they don’t even understand. This is just one more example of how scientific illiteracy is damaging our nation. The AGW deniers are no different than the creationists, the flat earthers, the moon landing deniers, the tobacco companies, and all the other charlatans who have distracted us from real issues with their intellectual chicanery.

  92. Kevin

    Here is a study from NASA that says “aerosols likely account for 45% percent or more of the warming that has occurred in the Arctic during the last three decades.

    http://www.theresilientearth.com/?q=content/arctic-aerosols-indicate-melting-ice-not-caused-co2

    And it says biofuels are one of the main causes. Biofuels are what environmentalists wanted us to use.

  93. Kevin

    Erasmussimo, are GW fear mongers like Prince Charles or Al Gore being honest? Where is the science that backs up Prince Charles’s claim that we have only 96 months to save the Earth?

    Is it honest to call someone that disagrees with GW a traitor? or to threaten to kill them as some GW fear mongers are now doing?

  94. Gary

    Erasmussimo

    Great Spin man. really!

    Total crap. But very well spun.

    Kudos!

  95. Gary

    Erasmussimo

    “Gary, you provide some startling quotes. I searched for their sources, but I cannot find any original source. ”

    They are as easy to find as evidence for AGW! Whats the problem?

  96. Gary

    Erasmussimo;

    OOps. Took me 10 seconds. Guess its a bit easier than finding support for AGW.

    http://green-agenda.com/quoterefs.html

  97. Gary

    Erasmussimo;

    Just an update on the “latest Science that RealClimate Won’t tell you about”

    Excerpt from one of the authors:

    ““In a nutshell, theoretical models cannot explain what we observe in the geological record,” said oceanographer Gerald Dickens, a co-author of the study and professor of Earth science at Rice University. “There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models.”

  98. Gary

    I’d like to generalize the comments here from the alarmists.

    Same old same old. Old data from old IPCC reports restated ad nosium.
    No indication of any understanding of the science.
    No indication that any of you ever read anything but propaganda.

    If it not such a silly unimportant non-issue I would be actually worried.

    But hey: uneducated people swallow just about any crap they read in the National Enquirer so I guess acceptance of AGW was a given.

  99. Erasmussimo

    Kevin writes:

    Erasmussimo, are GW fear mongers like Prince Charles or Al Gore being honest? Where is the science that backs up Prince Charles’s claim that we have only 96 months to save the Earth?
    Is it honest to call someone that disagrees with GW a traitor? or to threaten to kill them as some GW fear mongers are now doing?

    I agree, we shouldn’t be paying any more attention to Prince Charles or to Al Gore than we pay to Marc Morano. These guys are politicians, not scientists. We should be paying attention to the scientists who understand the science. And they are quite clear that AGW is a serious and significant problem.

    I further agree that calling AGW deniers traitors is wild hyperbole. Threatening to kill them is wrong. But there are nut cases on both sides (our own Gary provides more than ample evidence of this for the AGW denier side) and it is important the reasonable people not be distracted by the nutcases. I don’t blame you for the absurd claims that Gary makes and I’ll ask you not to dismiss AGW merely because it has its own nut cases. (Oh, and BTW, Gary: the source you provide for your quotes isn’t a source; it merely links to others lists of quotes. The echo chamber just echoes and echoes, and there’s nothing there when you look closely.)

    Lastly, the role of aerosols is not new; if you consult IPCC AR4 you’ll find a discussion of the role of aerosols in climate change. The primary effect is in reductions of surface albedo in polar regions.

  100. Kevin

    Marc Morano does not appear before lawmakers asking them to take control over people’s lives. Al Gore does.

    Marc Morano does not put out information that claims millions of people will die unless we follow his plans.
    Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, General Electric and many other GW promoters stand to make millions maybe even billions off government programs if congress follows their advice.

    The Global temperature of 2009 has been about the same as 1978.

    The pro GW website Real Climate now says there maybe no more warming until after 2020. So even 40 years after 1978 the Global temperature will be about the same as 1978.

    By now according to the GW pushers we should have had many cities flooded out by rising seas. Where are they at?

  101. Gary @71: Please do provide the quote you mean, and the web site link you’re referring to.

    Steve @72: I’ve drawn quite a few trend lines through the temperature records. But one of the things I’ve also done is examine how long a period of data you need to get a trend line that is telling you about climate, rather than weather. It’s 20-30 years to determine a climate trend.
    The trends for the last 20-30 years, in fact most 20-30 year trends since 1880, are warming.

    Since you also talk about lack of correlation between temperature and CO2, see
    does CO2 correlate with temperature. Figures look pretty high, even in the early period of the record when there is little anthropogenic signal.

    Erasmussimo @75: Pending Gary’s providing the quote and link, I’ll go with what the IPCC representative said at the American Geophysical Union meeting I was at when the first reports were released. That, and what assorted people I know who have been involved had to say. That is, IPCC is not a research body, nor are they solely to look at CO2 effects. Their charge was, and is, to provide policy makers with a summary about what is known — already in the research literature — about climate and how confidently those things are known. The research is entirely a matter of what is already in the research literature as of some date in the process, not to conduct their own. In the 4th report, this lead to a substantial underestimate of the sea level change due to Greenland melting as the research about melt acceleration was too recent to be included.

    Dave English @89: Always ironic to see someone denying climate science trying to say that he’s a rebel. Looking to the scientists who showed up at the Heartland conference, for instance, we find almost all are emeritus. They’re not rebels. They’re hanging on to the dogma of their youth.

  102. Kevin

    Check this out to see why temperature data may not even be accurate at all.

    http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/weather_stations/

  103. goodspkr

    goodspkr, you ask why there isn’t a hot spot in the 10 km zone in the tropics. The answer to that is simple: there’s no reason for there to be one. Nothing in the AGW hypothesis predicts the existence of such a hot spot. Your own explanation is that higher humidity causes increased heating that pushes the troposphere upward. That’s nonsense. The greenhouse effect in the lower troposphere in the tropics is already saturated by the large amounts of water vapor already in the lower troposphere. Thus, increases in CO2 in the lower troposphere in the tropics should have little effect on temperatures there.

    Look, I don’t mean to be nasty here, but I really do suspect that your denial of AGW is political in nature and has nothing to do with the science. So I ask: why not just come out and be honest? Why not just declare that you don’t like the political remedies proposed to address AGW? Why not argue about something where your opinion is meaningful? Why argue a lie?<<Erasmussimo

    Gosh, Erasmussimo, you are suddenly denying that AGW theory predicts a hot spot when you asked me originally "Can you explain the scientific reasoning behind your claim regarding stratospheric heating?" Now it's not in the Stratosphere, but the troposphere, but it is part of the AGW theory. I agree that since the tropics are already saturated, there would have very little effect on the temperature below the lower troposphere. I've read too many "explanations" of why the AGW supporters haven't found the heat to take you statement seriously. I even remember seeing some AGW alarmist claim that you should not use temperature, but wind speed as a substitute for temperature.

    You appear to be one of the desparate defenders of AGW theory willing to deny the parts that obviously don't work anymore. You then switched to "not wanting to be nasty," and accused me of objecting for political reasons rather than scientific. What absolute nonsense. From your posting, it would look as if just the opposite were true.

    If you were strictly looking at the science, you wouldn't be so desparately posting the above nonsense.

  104. goodspkr

    Since you also talk about lack of correlation between temperature and CO2, see
    does CO2 correlate with temperature. Figures look pretty high, even in the early period of the record when there is little anthropogenic signal. Robert Grumbine Says:

    Bob, I don’t believe that anyone believes there is a lack of correlation between temperature and CO2. What is denied is that CO2 is the driver in that relationship per Al Gore’s “An inconvenient truth.”

    Back in the 1990s that relationship was noted in ice core sampling. But by 2003 with more accurate sampling it was shown that temperature rises and then CO2 rises with about an 800 year lag between them. Since effect cannot come before cause (at least in our Universe)this dropped off the map as a proof or even indication of AGW being true. And as noted here, since Al Gore’s movie came out in 2006 and this was well known, his going ahead and using it as the “smoking gun” has made climate alarmist not only disavow this part of his movie, but many of them deny that this was ever used as one of the proofs of AGW theory.

    This whole argument has two parts. There is the science and the politics of AGW. Erasmussimo keeps saying that he is only interested in the science of AGW, but apparantly slips into the politics over and over again. He even accused me of really being interested in the politics only when we were talking the science.

    I have studied the science and after concluding that the AGW theory is extremely weak I have come out against it. I now intend on getting into the politics of it, because I find the “scientific/political” solutions to be expensive pablum, that is, they are solutions that will cost a lot of money and even if you believe AGW is happening will not solve the problem.

  105. @105: Since Steve was arguing that there was no correlation, I did the curtesy of thinking he was talking about what he believed. I also found easily 20 different web sites where the main author (vs. some random commentator) was indeed saying that there was no correlation between CO2 and temperature. (see the subsequent 20 links post). Maybe none of them believe what they’re saying either. But I go by what people say, and people are certainly saying that there’s no correlation between CO2 and temperature. As I showed, there obviously is a correlation between the two.

    The source of the recent CO2 rise was known to be human activity by 1985, and, arguably, 1960 or so. It has nothing to do with correlating temperature and CO2, even less to do with a recent movie, and everything to do with a fingerprint. Jan Schloerer’s CO2 Rise FAQ does an excellent job of laying out the observational case for the CO2 rise of the last 150 years being from human activity. Read that, and then the professional literature he cites.

    Given that we’ve fingerprinted the culprit for the recent CO2 rise, you should be more concerned, not less, by the observation that paleoclimate CO2 rises were temperature driven (in the main, over long periods; there’s more to it than just temperature once you really get into the science). This time a new factor (human activity) is kicking CO2 up, and there’s a corresponding warming. The things which let/make a temperature rise drive a CO2 rise still exist. So you’re looking at not only human-driven CO2 and temperature rises, but also the CO2 and temperature rise that will occur in response to the human-driven portion. With 800 year lag, you’re looking at the next 30 generations being affected by what’s done today. That’s a lot more concerning than if it were only the next 2-3. I’m partial to the next 2-3, of course, as I’m interested in my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

    For all your stated interest in the science, I notice you cite none of it. That’s another deficiency common today. Again, not something that takes being a scientist to get right. Gary makes his claim about IPCC, but has no quote or link. You say things about CO2, also with no sources, and so on.

  106. Erasmussimo

    I’m going to keep hammering away at my main point, that the AGW deniers here do not understand the science they quote, because every post they make adds evidence in support of my point. Kevin observes that temperatures in 2009 will likely be the same as in 1978. But temperatures in any single year are pretty much meaningless; you have to look at lots of data, not the data from individual years. Any scientifically literate person would know that — but Kevin doesn’t.

    Goodspkr continues to flounder about with the hot spot claim, but cannot explain why he thinks that there should be a hot spot. That’s because he doesn’t understand the science.

    Then he repeats an earlier conflation of feedback effect (increasing CO2) with original cause. Increasing temperatures lead to greater releases of CO2; this is a feedback effect. Anything can triggers the initial increase in temperature — including an increase in CO2. But Goodspkr doesn’t understand this.

    Over and over we see the same behavior pattern: mindless repetition of the same talking points, without any understanding of those talking points. I’ve been disputing AGW with deniers for years now, and they’re utterly predictable. I’ve heard every one of their talking points and explained why it’s wrong, and they just keep repeating the same talking points. They’re like the monsters in some video game, charging to their deaths snarling the same old snarls. I mow down dozens of them and they just keep coming back. In the back of my mind I have this sneaking suspicion that they’re really bots programmed by some carbon-emitting consortium and unleashed upon the Web as part of a PR campaign.

    So, fellows, what talking points will you parrot now? “Mars is heating up”? How about the old “Solar output is increasing”? Maybe you should try the conspiracy angle — that’s always good for some diversion. You’ve got a bunch of them in your bag of tricks. You keep pumping ‘em out and I’ll keep using them to show that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  107. gary

    I’m going to keep hammering away at my main point, that the AGW pushers here do not understand the science they quote, because every post they make adds evidence in support of my point.

    Please broaden your view. Stop the single minded focus on CO2 (a harmless trace gas) and look at all the contributing factors as a complete system.

    AGW pushers are simply desperate to vindicate their doctrine driven agenda because they can almost tast the socialism just over the hill.
    It completely blinds them to the actual Science going on all around them.

    The warming effect of CO2 decreases exponentially with concentration and is close to saturation already.
    The AGW myth relies on computer models that assume a huge feedback from water vapor.
    That feedback is being shown to be either very small or indeed negative.

    The Solar forcing issues are far more complex than AGW advocates like to admit. The will alwasy point to a Quick and Dirty Pseudo Study showing irradiance not increasing since 1951 and throw their hands in the air claiming it “Debunked”
    Bunk!

    Ask the Bill Payers why CERN is spending som much on setting up a large scale experiment this fall to test the theory of Solar wind affecting cosmic rays affecting clouds affecting climate……
    Clearly they don’t think the issue is “Debunked”

    CO2…. Such a simplistice narrow view.
    The only rational reasons for fixating on it are all Political.
    Teh science simply does not support it.

  108. Erasmussimo

    Here’s an interesting thought exercise: let’s see how we’d each react to future developments. I’ll define the scenario as follows:

    Suppose that, for the foreseeable future, we observe a simple linear trend in temperatures. That trend might be positive, zero, or negative. How would we change our views in response to such a trend? That would depend, of course, on how strong the trend is and how long it would last. So let me be more specific:

    Temperature rise for the last hundred years has been about 1.2ºC. So let’s measure the rate of temperature increase in terms of the historical record. Let’s define five scenarios:

    1. Strong temperature rise: average increase of 1.2ºC/century or greater
    2. Mild temperature rise: average increase between 0.2ºC/century and 1.2ºC/century
    3. No change: average change between +0.2ºC/century and -0.2ºC/century
    4. Mild temperature fall: average decrease between -0.2ºC/century and -1.2ºC/century
    5. Strong temperature fall: average decrease greater than -1.2ºC/century

    Now, the question I submit to readers is this: how many years of a trend (combined with past history) would convince you to give AGW a thumbs up (+) or a thumbs down (-)? I realize that there are always other factors to consider, and there’s a remote possibility of some sensational discovery changing everything, but let’s put those considerations aside and assume, for the purposes of this little thought exercise, that no significant new discoveries emerge and that we will leave out of our consideration other data.

    I myself already consider AGW to be thumbs up, so I don’t need further supporting evidence. However, I would surely be swayed by contradictory evidence. I’d give AGW a thumbs down if we saw strong temperature falls for 15 years (currently we’re seeing no change in temperatures), or mild temperature falls for 20 years, no change for 30 years, or mild rise in temperatures for 50 years. So, to summarize my results by scenario:

    1. + @ 0 years
    2. – @ 50 years
    3. – @ 30 years
    4. – @ 20 years
    5. – @ 15 years

    It will be interesting to see any answers from the AGW deniers. I expect that they’ll all be negative under all conditions. Or they’ll refuse to answer because they will deny AGW no matter what the data and don’t want to admit it.

  109. goodspkr

    Goodspkr continues to flounder about with the hot spot claim, but cannot explain why he thinks that there should be a hot spot. That’s because he doesn’t understand the science.

    Then he repeats an earlier conflation of feedback effect (increasing CO2) with original cause. Increasing temperatures lead to greater releases of CO2; this is a feedback effect. Anything can triggers the initial increase in temperature — including an increase in CO2. But Goodspkr doesn’t understand this.<<Erasmussimo

    Er, whoa boy. You first ask if I understand the science of the hotspot, then tell me that there is no hot spot in the AGW theory. I will write this slowly so you can understand.

    One consequence of extra water vapor is that water vapor is added to the top of the lower troposphere. The maximum water vapor the air can handle is 4% so it either increases rain or pushes the top of the lower troposphere higher. This causes a volume of the atmosphere which was previously above the water vapor to be inside the blanket of water vapor which as you know causes warming. Hence a hotspot.

    Since you are the first person I found to say that there would not be a hot spot I again invite you to explain how your version of AGW works.

    As for your increase release of CO2, warmer temperatures will cause that, about 800 years later according to the ice core samples. But CO2's affect is logrimethmic in nature which means if the only feedback you are counting on is CO2, it won't have the same affect as the current increase in CO2. In fact if you believe this is the tipping point that people talk about, you don't understand the science. It is water vapor the models count on to really accelerate the effect of warming.

    Since we've had no increase in surface temperatures for the past 10 years and no increase in ocean temperatures since 2003 (I'm using that date not because the oceans were warming then, but because that is when the USA launch it's Argo system for measuring temperature) we have to ask the AGW alarmist, where's the heat? Certainly CO2 has gone up since then and according to your theory temperature should have gone up as well.

    Now I know the answer–natural factors we don't understand have somehow masked the heat or overcome it. But a critical part of your theory is you have no other explanation for the heating from 1975 to 1999. Now we don't have heating that your theory calls for and the explanation is we don't know what is causing the cooling. A great number of previous alarmists are now abandoning the theory because of the new information and the lack of continuity of what AGW should be causing.

    Erasmussimo when I first starting reading some of your postings I thought you might know what you were talking about. The more you post, the less likely that is. In fact, it appears you are doing exactly what you accuse others of doing. You are parroting some of the points you have read without really understanding the science.

  110. goodspkr

    Temperature rise for the last hundred years has been about 1.2ºC. So let’s measure the rate of temperature increase in terms of the historical record. Let’s define five scenarios:<<Erasmussimo

    Erasmussimo, I have no idea where you got this figure, but it doesn't match reality. Looking at the graph from wikipedia you have a rise from 1880 to 2009 of at the most .8 degrees C. Since this is over a 130 years span, a better figure would be half your figure or .6 degrees C.

  111. goodspkr

    So, to summarize my results by scenario:

    1. + @ 0 years
    2. – @ 50 years
    3. – @ 30 years
    4. – @ 20 years
    5. – @ 15 years

    It will be interesting to see any answers from the AGW deniers. I expect that they’ll all be negative under all conditions. Or they’ll refuse to answer because they will deny AGW no matter what the data and don’t want to admit it.
    <<Erasmussimo

    Since I've already shown you that the real increase in temperature was only .6 degree C it appears you need 50 years of gradual increasing temperatures to hold on to your belief. The last 10 years have shown no increase and the last two years have shown a marked decrease. I guess you are now on the fence and will no longer be attacking the skeptics (denier is such a juvenile term).

  112. goodspkr

    I myself already consider AGW to be thumbs up, so I don’t need further supporting evidence. However, I would surely be swayed by contradictory evidence. I’d give AGW a thumbs down if we saw strong temperature falls for 15 years (currently we’re seeing no change in temperatures), or mild temperature falls for 20 years, no change for 30 years, or mild rise in temperatures for 50 years. So, to summarize my results by scenario:

    1. + @ 0 years
    2. – @ 50 years
    3. – @ 30 years
    4. – @ 20 years
    5. – @ 15 years

    It will be interesting to see any answers from the AGW deniers. I expect that they’ll all be negative under all conditions. Or they’ll refuse to answer because they will deny AGW no matter what the data and don’t want to admit it.

    Erasmussimo

    Err, Erasmussimo, since your initial condition was wrong (the temperature has not gone up 1.2 degrees C in the last 100 years, but more like .6 degree) and you said you would need 50 years at this rate to be convinced, I guess you are one of us now.

    But here is my response
    1. 25 years
    2. Never–that is the natural rate we’ve seen over the centuries therefore thumbs down.

    I do believe the rest of the scale is a trick. So if we had 25 years of unrelenting temperature increase over 1.2 degree per century I would agree that aggressive global warming was happening. But since warming temperature do not indicate the cause, I don’t see how anyone could answer in the affirmative that the warming they are seeing is caused by mankind with a lot more information.

    Do you really understand science?

  113. gary

    Erasmussimo:
    Temperature trends: Now you are talking science. Good for you.

    Your argument makes sense to a point.
    But please consider extending your trend lines back to the top of the Holocene Optimum and look forward.
    You will see a steady down trend in global temperatures for the last 7500 years.
    There have been four Global optimums along the way with each successive one not quite reaching the high temperatures of the previous one.
    The modern Optimum (interesting name “Optimum”) is not quite as favourable as the MWP which was not quite as nice as the Roman Optimun etc etc.

    Thus you will see that our current little warm spell is nothing unusual and nothing dangerous.

    This is but one inconvienient truth about global climate that get convieniently ignored by Al and his Gorebots.

    One of MANY

  114. Erasmussimo

    Goodspkr, you provide a valid explanation for why temperature increases in general would cause a tropical hot spot to appear. What you don’t explain is why this is a signature of greenhouse-effect warming. It isn’t. It’s a signature of any and all forms of warming. And in fact it has been predicted by the climate models and observed in the radiosonde data. There’s simply nothing there to raise a stink about. But if you want to press the issue, go ahead: explain what you think is wrong.

    I congratulate you on finally getting the science right about CO2 being BOTH an originating factor AND a feedback factor. This disavows your earlier claims that the Greenland ice core data in some manner discredits the role of CO2 as a driver for temperature increases. (And no, neither I nor the IPCC nor the NAS consider CO2 to be the primary feedback factor. Please see IPCC AR4 Section 8.6.)

    You demonstrate more scientific illiteracy by assuming that the absence of measured increases in surface temperatures in the last few years somehow indicates that the heat content of the earth has not increased. What you’re missing here is some simple thermodynamics involving the notion of heat capacity. The heat capacity of the earth’s oceans is enormous. You’re an engineer; I’ll guess that you’re a EE. Think of it in terms of RC time. The oceans provide a very large C, and the earth’s radiative albedo provides a large R. In fact, you can calculate the analog of the RC time for the earth as a thermal system and it comes out to something around 30 years. And here you are hanging your hat on highly fluctuating data over a ten-year period. If a junior EE made that kind of mistake, wouldn’t you fire him?

    You demonstrate innumeracy in your response to my thought exercise. You object that I used a figure of 1.2ºC/century. You argue instead for a figure of 0.6ºC per century. Great — I’ll take your number! I was using the most generous number I could come up with so as to give you the most leeway. But if we use the lower figure as our basis of comparison, then we need lower temperature increases to show that the increase is continuous.

    Sheesh. You’re not only scientifically illiterate, you’re innumerate too. And the one time you got the science right (CO2 as both originator and feedback), it served to disavow your previous claim.

    How much longer do you want to carry on this process? I personally find it distasteful to demonstrate just how dumb people are; I would much prefer to discuss purely intellectual issues. But I intend to continue pushing my point in this thread: every time you cite another talking point, it only serves to demonstrate your scientific illiteracy.

  115. goodspkr

    87. Erasmussimo Says:
    July 14th, 2009 at 11:36 pm
    Steve, you claim that the IPCC itself predicted an equatorial hot spot. I claim it didn’t. So, show me where they wrote it. You provided the quote — you should be able to provide the source.<<

    The theoretical signatures come from the latest big report from the IPCC, which is the most authoritative document for those who believe carbon emissions caused global warming. The IPCC Assessment Report 4 (AR4), 2007, Chapter 9. Figure 9.1, in Section 9.2.2.1, page 675, shows six greenhouse signature diagrams.

    http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_Ch09.pdf .

    In each diagram the horizontal axis is the latitude, from the north pole (90 degrees north) through the equator to the south pole (90 degrees south). The vertical axis shows the height in the atmosphere, marked on left hand side shown as 0 – 30 km (and on the right hand side as the corresponding air pressures in hPa). The coloured regions on each diagram shows where the temperature changes occur for each possible cause

    (red +1°C, yellow +0.5°C, green −0.5°C, blue −1°C per century).

  116. Kevin

    http://blogs.usatoday.com/sciencefair/2009/07/could-we-be-wrong-about-global-warming.html

    Could the best climate models — the ones used to predict global warming — all be wrong?

    Maybe so, says a new study published online today in the journal Nature Geoscience. The report found that only about half of the warming that occurred during a natural climate change 55 million years ago can be explained by excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. What caused the remainder of the warming is a mystery.

    “In a nutshell, theoretical models cannot explain what we observe in the geological record,” says oceanographer Gerald Dickens, study co-author and professor of Earth Science at Rice University in Houston. “There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models.”

    During the warming period, known as the “Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum” (PETM), for unknown reasons, the amount of carbon in Earth’s atmosphere rose rapidly. This makes the PETM one of the best ancient climate analogues for present-day Earth.

    As the levels of carbon increased, global surface temperatures also rose dramatically during the PETM. Average temperatures worldwide rose by around 13 degrees in the relatively short geological span of about 10,000 years.

    The conclusion, Dickens said, is that something other than carbon dioxide caused much of this ancient warming. “Some feedback loop or other processes that aren’t accounted for in these models — the same ones used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for current best estimates of 21st century warming — caused a substantial portion of the warming that occurred during the PETM.”

    In their most recent assessment report in 2007, the IPCC predicted the Earth would warm by anywhere from 2 to 11 degrees by the end of the century due to increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere caused by human industrial activity.

  117. gary

    Interesting:
    Erasmussimo says he would change from alarmist to realist if……

    When in reality, the whole AGW scam is based on 20 years of moderate warming and 10 years of nothing. This following 30 years of cooling that followed 20 years of warming.

    OH yea. The PDO just happened to change phases at exactly the time for each of these.
    But that was just coincidence right?

    It really your evil SUV.

  118. Erasmussimo

    Goodspkr, I confess, I screwed up. I failed to properly qualify my phrasing and so now we have confusion. This started when you (in @76) claimed that the IPCC predicted a hot spot that didn’t exist. I challenged you to explain the science behind that claim. You pointed to the IPCC. However, the IPCC doesn’t say what you claim it says: it says that the models predict a hot spot but does NOT say that the hot spot doesn’t exist. In our extended back-and-forth, the distinction between “hot spot” and “anomalous hot spot” was blurred. I should have nailed that down precisely. So let me straighten out where we stand:

    Yes, the climate models predict an increase in temperature in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere in tropical latitudes. Those predictions are consistent with the observational data. There IS a standard denier claim that the data was not consistent with the models — this is what I was responding to. The IPCC does NOT present evidence that the models and the data are inconsistent.

    Kevin, you cite a new study; I already addressed that study in my response @92. That paper could easily be interpreted as meaning that our climate models are wrong in the sense that they’re too conservative — that things could be much worse than the predictions!

  119. goodspkr

    Sheesh. You’re not only scientifically illiterate, you’re innumerate too. And the one time you got the science right (CO2 as both originator and feedback), it served to disavow your previous claim.

    How much longer do you want to carry on this process? I personally find it distasteful to demonstrate just how dumb people are; I would much prefer to discuss purely intellectual issues. But I intend to continue pushing my point in this thread: every time you cite another talking point, it only serves to demonstrate your scientific illiteracy.<<Erasmussimo

    Erasmussimo, I was actually starting to feel sorry for you because it has come very clear you don't understand the science you are talking about. You have stated that CO2 is both an originator and a feedback. And you have indicated that CO2 is the only feedback which you deal with in your version of AGW.

    Now we know that doubling CO2 increases temperature by 1.2 degrees C. Most of the AGW models call for temperatures to increase from 3 to 10 degrees C. If CO2 is the only feedback you are talking about you need to 2120 ppm in the atmosphere to get the 3 degrees C and over 250,000 ppm to get a 10 degree C increase in temperature an increase of 650 plus times the amount of CO2 currently in the atmosphere.

    When I realized you were only talking about CO2 as the feedback gas and seemed to dismiss water vapor, I realized you don't really know what you are talking about.

    "And in fact it has been predicted by the climate models and observed in the radiosonde data. There’s simply nothing there to raise a stink about. But if you want to press the issue, go ahead: explain what you think is wrong"<<Erasmussimo most recent quip

    "goodspkr, you ask why there isn’t a hot spot in the 10 km zone in the tropics. The answer to that is simple: there’s no reason for there to be one. Nothing in the AGW hypothesis predicts the existence of such a hot spot. " Erasmussimo earlier quip

    Two points here. First you say there isn't one and there is no reason for one to be there. Then you say "it has been predicted by the climate models and observed in the radiosonde data." I find that both of your statements are in part wrong. The first because there is a reason for a hotspot to show up. And the second, because there has been no radiosonde data which confirms the hotspot is there. Temperatures have been taken for over 50 years and no hot spot has ever been observed.

    As for you comment about the oceans, I agree with you they are huge. But the heating would occur in the top 3000 feet of the ocean which is still a huge reservoir, but one that after 10 years would show heating if it were occuring. Argo is a system that measures across that range. You can read about it here

    [link had to be removed because it resulted in formatting error. feel free to try reposting below]

    The bottom line is there is no heat increase in the oceans. Zero, nada, zilch. For ten years the surface temperatures haven't increased, so if the heat was actually being trapped at the rate the Alarmist say it is, there would be a noticeable build up over this time.

    "I congratulate you on finally getting the science right about CO2 being BOTH an originating factor AND a feedback factor. This disavows your earlier claims that the Greenland ice core data in some manner discredits the role of CO2 as a driver for temperature increases" Erasmussimo

    Nope, Erasmussimo, I am challenging you to show where CO2 has been shown to be a driver of climate change. Now theoretically I suppose it could, but the temperature records show the temperature always goes up before the CO2 increases. So your comment here is wrong. In fact, the ice core data provides a great deal of evidence that indicates CO2 is not a driver of climate change.

    And I know the difference between theorectically and reality (that's what engineers do). I once worked on a new blow molding machine. We had it build by a small custom contractor. He put our first set of molds in the machine. The first time we went to take them out, they wouldn't budge. We went back to the drawings and saw that he had given us .0004 of an inch clearance. Theoretically that is clearance, but in the real world it didn't work. So I once again challenge you to show me where in the historic record does it show CO2 initiating climate change?

    I'm not an EE, but a mechanical engineer. In my research it appears to me that things happen on the sun and about 10 years later the climate is affected. It has now been 10 plus years since we've had any heating. In fact the last two years has seen considerable cooling. We have also been in an unusually quiet time for sunspots for over 10 years.

    I'm here in Denver where the first three weeks in July are traditionally our hottest with temperatures in the 96-101 degree range and where we have only seen 90 degrees twice this summer.

    Now that proves nothing, but the climate does seem to be changing, and it isn't getting hotter.

    "I personally find it distasteful to demonstrate just how dumb people are" Erasmussimo

    Actually ER, the more you write the truer you make this statement. I remember an old comment. Everytime you point a finger at someone else, three of them are pointing back at yourself. Have a good day.

  120. Erasmussimo

    And you have indicated that CO2 is the only feedback which you deal with in your version of AGW.

    Where in the world did you get that idea? I went back through my postings, trying to find some place where I screwed up and got the wording wrong, but I can’t find anything that would provide a basis for this claim of yours. Indeed, in @87 I wrote:

    You are ignoring the positive feedback factors. There are a variety of these: water vapor increases, changes in surface albedo, cloud formation, and changes in the lapse rate.

    I am tempted to conclude that you are not only scientifically illiterate and innumerate, but you are also functionally illiterate! However, I might be wrong here, so please, cite the place where you think I claimed that CO2 is the only feedback at work in AGW.

    You take me to task for the confusion over the tropospheric hot spot argument. I already explained the source of the confusion over that point in @120. Did you read that post?

    Next you claim that there is no data indicating a hotspot. Can you provide a citation to support your claim? The most likely source you are using is Douglas, International Journal of Climatology (2007), which presented a graph comparing model predictions with a number of different sources of tropical temperature profiles. BOTH the models AND Douglas’ temperature profiles show a warming between 500 and 200 hPa. However, Douglas’ point was that the models predicted a greater degree of warming than the observations showed. The problem with his paper was that his data sources suffered from instrumental errors. Subsequent work by Haimberger (2007) and Vienna University have these errors and shown that the profiles of the radiosonde data and the model predictions are consistent with each other. For a complete explanation of the issue, please see:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/tropical-troposphere-trends/

    But the heating would occur in the top 3000 feet of the ocean which is still a huge reservoir, but one that after 10 years would show heating if it were occuring.

    Please explain the science behind your claim that the heating would occur in the top 3000 feet of the ocean. Do you know what a thermocline is? Do you realize that a thermocline represents only a short-term barrier to thermal mixing in the ocean? If you do realize these things, then what do you conclude about your claim that only the upper 3000 feet are subject to heating and cooling?

    The reason that the Argo system samples temperatures down to only 1,000 meters is that below that depth pressure would damage the equipment. We don’t have good data for deep ocean temperatures because that kind of temperature measurement requires very special and expensive equipment.

    You cite an NPR article about Josh Willis discovering that the ocean is cooling. That article is dated March 19, 2008. If you will read THIS article from NASA, you will learn that Mr. Willis found an error in his data and has now issued a correction showing that there is in fact no missing heat and that the ocean is indeed warming as expected.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCooling/page1.php

    Now that the evidence has reversed, has your opinion reversed?

    Nope, Erasmussimo, I am challenging you to show where CO2 has been shown to be a driver of climate change. Now theoretically I suppose it could, but the temperature records show the temperature always goes up before the CO2 increases.

    OK, so you acknowledge that theoretically increasing CO2 should cause increasing temperatures. Your scientific illiteracy here lies in failing to understand the time scales. You yourself declared in @105 that:

    “But by 2003 with more accurate sampling it was shown that temperature rises and then CO2 rises with about an 800 year lag between them.” So the data show that the feedback takes about 800 years to develop. We haven’t been doing this little climate change experiment for 800 years, so that CO2 feedback should not start showing up yet, should it?

    Your demand for experimental evidence in support of the greenhouse effect is nonsensical. In order to have evidence to support or reject it, we would need a historical event in which large amounts of CO2 were injected into the atmosphere. Then we would ask, did the temperature thereafter increase or decrease? And we would want to carry out this experiment on an appropriate time scale: decades to centuries. As it happens, we DO have such an experiment: the present! We have been injecting large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere for 150 years now. And guess what: global temperatures have indeed risen.

    And this is the ONLY experiment that meets our requirements. In no other case in earth’s history has this much CO2 been injected into the atmosphere this fast. So we have one experiment, and it gives results supportive of the AGW hypothesis.

    This is very simple logic, goodspkr. The fact that you can’t follow this reasoning is just one more example of scientific illiteracy.

    So I once again challenge you to show me where in the historic record does it show CO2 initiating climate change?

    Try the period 1850 AD to 2009 AD.

    In my research it appears to me that things happen on the sun and about 10 years later the climate is affected.

    “Things happen”? What kind of “things”? Big things? Little things? Hot things? Cold things? Perhaps a more scientific wording might help. And perhaps some data would help, too. You know what data is, don’t you? Numbers, measurements, that kind of thing? Sheesh. More scientific illiteracy.

    I’m here in Denver where the first three weeks in July are traditionally our hottest with temperatures in the 96-101 degree range and where we have only seen 90 degrees twice this summer. 
Now that proves nothing, but the climate does seem to be changing, and it isn’t getting hotter.

    I knew it — you had to make the “climate is not weather” mistake. Sooner or later every AGW denier does it. You grab some tiny fragment of weather data and use it to make a claim about climate. The fact that you don’t recognize the difference between climate and weather is just one more example of scientific illiteracy.

  121. Steve

    goodspkr – So I once again challenge you to show me where in the historic record does it show CO2 initiating climate change?

    E – Try the period 1850 AD to 2009 AD.

    Wrong! This shows a debatable correlation, NOT that CO2 caused the temperature rise. Feel free to try again, though.

  122. Erasmussimo

    I see. So here’s the test you demand: you want me to set up a laboratory experiment consisting of a planet identical to earth. You want me to externally control all climatological variables, then inject CO2 into the atmosphere at the exact locations, times, and concentrations corresponding to those that historically appeared on earth. Keeping all over variables constant, I must then measure the effect of the CO2 on the temperature.

    Oh, and if I leave out anything that ever happened on earth (dinosaurs, World War II, the Inquisition), then my laboratory earth is not an exact copy of the real earth so you will reject my results as invalid.

    It would seem that you require as evidence a set of conditions that are impossible to meet. If we were to apply your requirements to any other policy decision, we would never be able to do anything. After all, we couldn’t find any scientific evidence that fighting Germany and Japan in World War II was in any way desirable or that refusing to fight would lead to any harm whatsoever. Why should we have bothered revolting against King George III in 1776 when there was no evidence that our revolutionary war would be successful? They were all just wild guesses, weren’t they?

  123. Steve

    So, when it gets right down to it, AGW is just a guess. And here we thought it was the result of scientific literacy.

  124. Gary

    Clearly CO2 controlls the climate.
    Sun and ocean cycles have no effect.

    Really?

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/TEMPSvsSUNvsPDOAMO.jpg

  125. Erasmussimo

    Steve, your logical process is as follows:

    The decision to fight the revolutionary war was a guess.
    The decision to fight Germany and Japan was a guess.
    Therefore, the AGW hypothesis is a guess.

    You AGW deniers have gone beyond scientific illiteracy and into utter lunacy.

  126. Steve

    Darn, cat’s out of the bag! We tried dealing with sanctimonious AGW supporters, like yourself, using the scientific method. When that didn’t work, we tried all kinds of ways to reach you. We ended up at utter lunacy. Surprisingly, we found out it was the only level on which we could communicate with you. We’re just trying to keep the dialog going until you come to your senses and we can all get back to the scientific method. Looks like it’s gonna take awhile. But we’re patient and tolerant. So work through all of the elitist abuse and self-deception. We’ll be waiting on the other side.

  127. Kevin

    Not only have AGW promoters failed to prove their claims about AGW but they have not proved their solutions would do anything to stop GW.

    Even James Hansen says the Obama Cap and Trade is won’t stop GW.

  128. Kevin

    Since the AGW side wants to limit everyone else’s freedom they have to prove their ideas and their plans will work. You can just take freedom away from somebody because of some computer model shows the Earth will be .6 deg cooler.

  129. Kevin

    Erasmussimo, yes it is impossible to make a computer model of the Earth and use it to predict what the climate will be like in 20,30 or 50 years. There are too many things we still don’t understand.
    There is too mush chaos. Too much randomness that we can’t model.

  130. Kevin

    From time in 1974

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,944914,00.html

    In Africa, drought continues for the sixth consecutive year, adding terribly to the toll of famine victims. During 1972 record rains in parts of the U.S., Pakistan and Japan caused some of the worst flooding in centuries. In Canada’s wheat belt, a particularly chilly and rainy spring has delayed planting and may well bring a disappointingly small harvest. Rainy Britain, on the other hand, has suffered from uncharacteristic dry spells the past few springs. A series of unusually cold winters has gripped the American Far West, while New England and northern Europe have recently experienced the mildest winters within anyone’s recollection.

    As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval. However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.

    Telltale signs are everywhere —from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest.Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F. Although that figure is at best an estimate, it is supported by other convincing data. When Climatologist George J. Kukla of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and his wife Helena analyzed satellite weather data for the Northern Hemisphere, they found that the area of the ice and snow cover had suddenly increased by 12% in 1971 and the increase has persisted ever since. Areas of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, for example, were once totally free of any snow in summer; now they are covered year round.

    Scientists have found other indications of global cooling. For one thing there has been a noticeable expansion of the great belt of dry, high-altitude polar winds —the so-called circumpolar vortex—that sweep from west to east around the top and bottom of the world. Indeed it is the widening of this cap of cold air that is the immediate cause of Africa’s drought. By blocking moisture-bearing equatorial winds and preventing them from bringing rainfall to the parched sub-Sahara region, as well as other drought-ridden areas stretching all the way from Central America to the Middle East and India, the polar winds have in effect caused the Sahara and other deserts to reach farther to the south. Paradoxically, the same vortex has created quite different weather quirks in the U.S. and other temperate zones. As the winds swirl around the globe, their southerly portions undulate like the bottom of a skirt. Cold air is pulled down across the Western U.S. and warm air is swept up to the Northeast. The collision of air masses of widely differing temperatures and humidity can create violent storms—the Midwest’s recent rash of disastrous tornadoes, for example.

  131. Steve

    Kevin, even as a skeptic, I must disagree with your assessment of computer models. True, there is much we still do not know. But there are first order affects, second order effect, etc. The trick is starting with the first order effects and getting the sensitivity factors right. And that’s where the AGW supporters go delusional. They’ve got CO2 on the brain. It does not take a rocket surgeon to see that if temp EVER rises without CO2 that CO2 is probably not the best candidate as a major driver of temperature. But that damn-the-torpedos attitude just won’t let them try anything else. So they tweak everything else trying to get the output to work right. And for short intervals it works. But over time, those small distortions of reality develop into – wait for it – catastrophic results. Then it’s, “oh my god, the world’s gonna go into runaway warming” and, well, you know the rest. So, don’t blame the models, blame the programmers.

  132. Kevin

    Fighting Japan and Germany was easy to decide since they were shooting at us first.

  133. Kevin

    Computer models can’t know if there will be any volcanic activity which would effect climate.
    They can’t predict economic things like depressions and recessions which would effect co2 output. They can’t predict wars or many other random things like wild fires, droughts, El Niños and La Niñas.

    They can’t predict what the sun will be doing in 20 years.

  134. Steve

    Kev – absolutely true. Their usefulness is in what if scenarios to capture big picture changes over long periods with many of your listed dynamic variables held constant (most at zero). But you have to get the sensitivity factors right to get this big picture output right. And even if you’re close to right, small errors compared to reality over time build into huge overall errors.

  135. Dave English

    Eramussimo, I may not be a scientist but I have a well developed bullshit meter when it comes to environmentalists and their claims and it’s been pegged in the red over global warming for more than thirty years. Rather than talk about ppms, lets talk about parts per ten thousand, something my poor brain can wrap itself around. That would give us less than 4 CO2 molecules to heat the other 9,996.15 parts of the atmosphere or better yet, about one part per 2,500. Now water is a much better conductor of heat than air, if one gallon of heated water was surrounded by 2,499 gallons of cool water, how efficient would be a transfer of heat if the heated gallon was 20 degrees F. warmer than the others, moved around and was heated 12 hours a day and cold the other twelve? What would the effect be on the total 2,449 gallons of water? Would it be significant? I don’t think so. You apparently are the scientist, work it out or get off the board.

  136. goodspkr

    I will answer your questions one at a time between other things I have to get done.

    When I was talking with you about the hot spot, you indicated first there wasn’t a hot spot in AGW theory. You then said, “Then he repeats an earlier conflation of feedback effect (increasing CO2) with original cause. Increasing temperatures lead to greater releases of CO2; this is a feedback effect.” Since the hot spot is caused not by CO2 feedback, but by water vapor feedback, it appeared to me you were using CO2 as your only feedback.

    I am happy to hear you don’t consider CO2 the only feedback.

  137. goodspkr

    You take me to task for the confusion over the tropospheric hot spot argument. I already explained the source of the confusion over that point in @120. Did you read that post? <<

    Look at the numbers. I took you to task in #121. Our two postings overlapped.

  138. Steve

    Dave, I think poor Eras has departed. Too bad in some ways. Despite the fact that his head was inserted WAY too far up his AR4 (and prevented any objective thinking), he seemed to have a reasonable wealth of knowledge. Ultimately, though, his arrogance made it impossible to have a civil discussion.

  139. goodspkr

    “Douglas’ point was that the models predicted a greater degree of warming than the observations showed. The problem with his paper was that his data sources suffered from instrumental errors. Subsequent work by Haimberger (2007) and Vienna University have these errors and shown that the profiles of the radiosonde data and the model predictions are consistent with each other. For a complete explanation of the issue, please see:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/tropical-troposphere-trends/“Erasmussimo

    You cite an NPR article about Josh Willis discovering that the ocean is cooling. That article is dated March 19, 2008. If you will read THIS article from NASA, you will learn that Mr. Willis found an error in his data and has now issued a correction showing that there is in fact no missing heat and that the ocean is indeed warming as expected.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCooling/page1.php<<Erasmussimo

    I posted both of these together, because they both rely on the same explanation. The data is in error.

    Your first citation (and since you seem to claim you are a climate scientist–by the way, what are your credentials? I've given you mine–I am an engineer by education and can read).

    Santer's basic argument is that there is enough uncertainty in radiosondes that they could miss a hotspot. He stretched the error bars. Although a single radiosonde could miss a hotspot, it is statistically unlikely that hundreds of them would. You can read more about it here.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=4101

    Sherwood's objection is even more creative. He is the one who claimed although the radiosondes haven't found a hot spot, instead we should use wind data from the radiosondes instead and then he uses that to figure a temperature. Now since radiosondes are thermometers that measure temperature directly this is more than a little crazy. Here is his explanation.

    http://lubos.motl.googlepages.com/sherwood-allen-ngeo-2008.pdf

    To bring it down to the basics, the IPCC scientists have never claimed to have found a hotspot but only that they might have missed it.

    The article you posted answered one of your questions about heating in the upper 3000 feet of the ocean.

    “The oceans are absorbing more than 80 percent of the heat from global warming,” he says. “If you aren’t measuring heat content in the upper ocean, you aren’t measuring global warming.”

    From the original artical, "The buoys can dive 3,000 feet down and measure ocean temperature. Since the system was fully deployed in 2003, it has recorded no warming of the global oceans."

    I'm not sure where you got you 1000 feet figure.

    But in reading the article you posted, there were no numbers given no specifics at all. "According to the float data on his computer screen, almost the entire Atlantic Ocean had gone cold. Unless you believe The Day After Tomorrow, Willis jokes, impossibly cold."

    Now since Willis is a AGW believer, it might be a lot more convincing if he had cited some numbers. What is "impossibly cold?"

    So you are basing your contention on an article that states an AGW supporter was looking at data on his computer from ARGO and decided they were wrong because it was too cold. I thought you were the person who knew science?

  140. goodspkr

    Your demand for experimental evidence in support of the greenhouse effect is nonsensical. In order to have evidence to support or reject it, we would need a historical event in which large amounts of CO2 were injected into the atmosphere. Then we would ask, did the temperature thereafter increase or decrease? And we would want to carry out this experiment on an appropriate time scale: decades to centuries. As it happens, we DO have such an experiment: the present! We have been injecting large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere for 150 years now. And guess what: global temperatures have indeed risen.

    And this is the ONLY experiment that meets our requirements. In no other case in earth’s history has this much CO2 been injected into the atmosphere this fast. So we have one experiment, and it gives results supportive of the AGW hypothesis.

    This is very simple logic, goodspkr. The fact that you can’t follow this reasoning is just one more example of scientific illiteracy.

    So I once again challenge you to show me where in the historic record does it show CO2 initiating climate change?

    Try the period 1850 AD to 2009 AD. <<

    Let me reinterate my case using your words, "In no other case in earth’s history has this much CO2 been injected into the atmosphere this fast. So we have one experiment, and it gives results supportive of the AGW hypothesis."

    So you are admitting there is no historic precedent for CO2 initiating global warming.

    But let me go beyond that. You are supposing that no time in history did CO2 increase by approximately 100 ppm in the atmosphere so quickly. Therefore, you must also admit that we have no understanding of the total effect. Therefore everything the AGW believers say is strictly theoretical. But your statement, "we have one experiment, and it gives results supportive of the AGW hypothesis." is foolish at best. There are so many holes in the hypothesis that you have to be a true believer to overlook them.

    But before CO2 was being pumped into the atmosphere was there warming? If you take the time period before 1940 (from 1880) the global temperature (use wikipedia) went up one half of the total of .8 degree C that is represented on their chart. Since the rise in temperature the 60 years before we started pumping CO2 into the atmosphere is the same as the rise in the 70 years since we started pumping CO2 into the atmosphere, does that call into question your "one experiment?"

    I'm not sure why you choose 1850, since modern monitoring of temperature began in 1880.

  141. Erasmussimo

    Well, there’s certainly a pile of nonsense here! We see three more solid examples of scientific illiteracy in posts @134, @137, and @139. In @134, Kevin repeats the old “climatologists predicted an ice age in the 1970s, so why should we trust them now?” canard. In fact, climatologists did not predict an ice age in the 1970s; Time and Newsweek did. If you actually consult what the scientists were saying, you’ll find that they didn’t see much evidence either way. In fact, the National Academy of Sciences was asked to prepare a report on the question, and came back saying “Not enough data to make a judgement”.

    The scientific illiteracy here lies in failing to read what the scientists are saying. Getting your science out of news magazines is pretty dumb.

    In @137, Kevin claims,

    They can’t predict what the sun will be doing in 20 years.

    This is an example of another common misconception among nonscientists: the failure to understand the notion of statistical error. Nonscientists think that every number is either right or wrong. If it turns out to be off by just a smidgen, then it’s wrong. Scientists use a more sophisticated approach most commonly expressed through the notion of error bars. Every measurement, every prediction, every number used in science has an error bar. Scientists can indeed make a great many predictions about what the sun will be doing in 20 years, and those predictions can be made with fairly small error bars. But Kevin thinks that, since those predictions cannot be perfect, they must be dead wrong. More scientific illiteracy.

    Dave English in @139 argues that there are so few CO2 molecules that they cannot possibly have such a large effect. This provides us with several examples of scientific illiteracy. First is the simple-minded assumption that little things can’t have big effects. This may be common sense, but in the world of science, it’s just plain dumb. For example, pure germanium is an electrically inert substance. Add just 0.001% arsenic and you turn it into a semiconductor — something you can use to make computer chips.

    The second example of scientific illiteracy lies in the failure to appreciate the long time intervals at work. AGW concerns changes that take place over many decades. Over long time intervals tiny changes can add up to big net results. This is the same kind of mistake that creationists make when they believe that events that are improbable over a few seconds are also improbable over millions of years.

    So, fellows, keep those examples coming! The more you write, the more examples of scientific illiteracy you provide.

  142. goodspkr

    In my research it appears to me that things happen on the sun and about 10 years later the climate is affected.

    “Things happen”? What kind of “things”? Big things? Little things? Hot things? Cold things? Perhaps a more scientific wording might help. And perhaps some data would help, too. You know what data is, don’t you? Numbers, measurements, that kind of thing? Sheesh. More scientific illiteracy.<<Erasmussimo

    Erasmussimo, I simply stated my observations. There appears to be a 10 year lag between changes in solar activities such as sunspots and the effect being felt on the earth.

    You tend to post other people's work, but are not very good at posting facts and figures. The article you posting by Willis at NASA was a great example of that. No fact, no figures, just an wise#ss remark by Willis. That seemed good enough for you. I guess you would call that scientific illiteracy. I'm not sure who is to blame, though. Willis for saying it or you for using it as "proof." That by any scientific standard did not constitute proof.

  143. Erasmussimo

    Even as I was writing my response above, Goodspkr was already providing me with more examples of scientific illiteracy. He starts off by observing that there has never been a case in earth’s history where so much CO2 has been injected into the atmosphere as quickly as it has in our modern case. He therefore concludes that there is no evidence in support of AGW.

    The scientific illiteracy here is a misconception about empiricism. Science doesn’t need to have exact duplications of conditions to draw reasonable conclusions. After all, nobody had ever shot a rocket to the moon when we shot a rocket to the moon — and lo and behold, it got there, even though we had no previous confirming case!

    Indeed, very little hard science is purely empirical. That is, we seldom rely exclusively or even primarily on direct data to confirm our theoretical expectations. That’s because theory in physical science is so well-developed and so solidly confirmed that we can apply it directly with a great deal of confidence, using observational evidence to confirm our theoretical expectations. For example, when they set off the first A-bomb at Alamagordo, they had no empirical evidence that temperatures would not be high enough to trigger fission-fusion reactions in the atmosphere, which would turn the entire planet into a cinder if it happened. But they ran through the theory from a hundred different directions and guess what? The planet survived! That wasn’t luck — it was good science, even though it didn’t have the kind of observational evidence that you demand for AGW.

    AGW theory is based on very solidly established physics of the greenhouse effect. The theory there is quite solid — we really don’t need any more empirical evidence to support it. So we can be quite certain that injecting CO2 into the atmosphere will lead to increased temperatures, and we can use purely theoretical calculations to come up with a first-order estimate of the magnitude of the direct effect. However, this effect is small enough to give us little cause for concern. It’s the feedback effects that threaten to raise temperatures enough to cause concern. Those feedback effects are themselves also subject to theoretical analysis, and so we can get a decent second-order estimate of their magnitudes. However, the interactions of all these effects are complicated, and so we have to use computer models to calculate those interactions. And we then compare the outputs of those models with observations from the real world. And guess what — the match between the model’s predictions and the observations are pretty good. And that’s not luck, either: it’s science. But if you don’t understand the science, you can’t understand how that works.

    Goodspkr expands on his scientific illiteracy with this statement:

    everything the AGW believers say is strictly theoretical.

    The mistake here is the failure to realize that science is intrinsically theoretical. Theory is central to the very concept of science. Without theory, you don’t have science, you have piles of numbers. Theory is what makes sense out of all those numbers. Goodspkr’s approach of absolute empiricism is profoundly antiscientific. He would have us collect mountains of numbers, and make predictions only when exact matches are found between sets of numbers. This is not science.

    Goodspkr gives us yet another example of scientific illiteracy in his penultimate paragraph in @143: he supposes that a constant causal factor must yield a constant response. This is certainly true in simple systems, but in complex systems, there are a great many variables at work, and to expect a linear response is scientifically stupid. For example, if I carry out a simple force-acceleration experiment in the lab, I’ll find a nice, clean, linear acceleration response to a constant force. But if I take that experiment out into the real world, by, say, measuring the acceleration of a car in response to a constant force, I’ll find all sorts of deviations from linear response. Bumps in the road, variations in the hardness of the road surface, wind effects, and all sorts of other factors will create deviations from linearity. Does this mean that Newton’s laws don’t apply in the real world? Goodspkr would have us believe that. But Goodspkr is scientifically illiterate.

  144. goodspkr

    “I knew it — you had to make the “climate is not weather” mistake. Sooner or later every AGW denier does it. You grab some tiny fragment of weather data and use it to make a claim about climate. The fact that you don’t recognize the difference between climate and weather is just one more example of scientific illiteracy.” Erasmussimo

    I specifically said, “Now that proves nothing, but the climate does seem to be changing, and it isn’t getting hotter.”

    I used those words “Now that proves nothing,” Are you functionally illiterate? I did that because I know weather is not climate. But we have had 10 years of no warming. That also doesn’t prove anything yet, but it surely should have you wondering if your religious zeal about AGW is correct.

    After 10 years of no warming and the last two years of actual cooling (significant cooling) I will say again “the climate does seem to be changing and it isn’t getting hotter.”

    Do you understand the word “seem?”

    Erasmussimo you seem to be far more arrogant that your posting should allow you to be. You like to call people names and I suppose that makes you feel good.

    But trust me, you aren’t coming across as a knowing scientist. You seem to be exactly what you accuse others of.

    I have yet seen you post how your version of AGW works. You asked me specific questions about the hotspot and I gave you my understanding which was correct. I have posted what is missing from the AGW theory and you’ve responded with citations where the author basically said the data is in error. So now is the time for you to put up or move on. Give us your explanation of how AGW works, where the heat is from the past 10 years, why the models the IPCC uses are correct, why don’t the AGW believers factor in other factors in the climate, etc.?

    As I’ve told you the theory of AGW is weak and getting weaker. I invite you to prove me wrong. There is no proof and with the lack of heat the past 10 years, there is very little to indicate it is correct. The one fact everyone can agree on is that CO2 is a greenhouse gas in which each new molecule of CO2 raises temperature but at a decreasing rate (less than the molecule before it). Everything else is a SWAG.

  145. goodspkr

    examples of scientific illiteracy in posts @134, @137, and @139. In @134, Kevin repeats the old “climatologists predicted an ice age in the 1970s, so why should we trust them now?” canard. In fact, climatologists did not predict an ice age in the 1970s; Time and Newsweek did. If you actually consult what the scientists were saying, you’ll find that they didn’t see much evidence either way. In fact, the National Academy of Sciences was asked to prepare a report on the question, and came back saying “Not enough data to make a judgement”. Erasmussimo

    What a pile of nonsense. I read Kevin’s posting and it was filled with information. You read through it and took one small thing that you could play “gatcha” on and ignored the rest.

    That statement about global cooling does not negate the other things he said. In fact, “This hypothesis never had significant scientific support” is the way it is characterized in Wikipedia, which to me indicates it did have some scientific support. But you know and I know that science doesn’t work based on support or consensus. It works on facts.

  146. goodspkr

    “Even as I was writing my response above, Goodspkr was already providing me with more examples of scientific illiteracy. He starts off by observing that there has never been a case in earth’s history where so much CO2 has been injected into the atmosphere as quickly as it has in our modern case. He therefore concludes that there is no evidence in support of AGW. ”
    Erasmussimo

    Here is what I actually said,”So you are admitting there is no historic precedent for CO2 initiating global warming”

    Do you understand the difference between “no historic precedent” and “no evidence in support of?”

  147. goodspkr

    ” However, the interactions of all these effects are complicated, and so we have to use computer models to calculate those interactions. And we then compare the outputs of those models with observations from the real world. And guess what — the match between the model’s predictions and the observations are pretty good.” Erasmussimo

    What poppycock. What are the interactions in the models? My understanding is that you “pretty good” comes only if you average what all the models say. And if you look at the projections of what the temperature should be now using the models there is a serious deficit.

    I know this will kill you to read, but here is what the models actually

    http://climatedepot.com/a/1955/Study-shakes-foundation-of-climate-theory-Reveals-UN-models-fundamentally-wrong–Blames-Unknown-Processes–not-CO2-for-ancient-global-warming

    Here is some verbage from it:

    IPCC reviewer and climate researcher Dr Vincent Gray, of New Zealand, an expert reviewer on every single draft of the IPCC reports going back to 1990, author of more than 100 scientific publications and author of The Greenhouse Delusion: A Critique of “Climate Change 2001,” declared “The claims of the IPCC are dangerous unscientific nonsense” in an April 10, 2007 article. (LINK) & (LINK)

    “All [UN IPCC does] is make ‘projections’ and ‘estimates’. No climate model has ever been properly tested, which is what ‘validation’ means, and their ‘projections’ are nothing more than the opinions of ‘experts’ with a conflict of interest, because they are paid to produce the models. There is no actual scientific evidence for all these ‘projections’ and ‘estimates,’” Gray noted.

    A model will only be as good as the factors they put into it. As an engineer I know how easy it is to manipulate data. A small change in assumptions can result in massive changes in output. Are you familiar with the “butterfly effect?” Or the old joke “How much to you want it to be?”

    Now you are falling into what every AGW believer eventually falls into, using a model as proof. Of course you didn’t say that, but your “the match between the model’s predictions and the observations are pretty good” is much more of a leading statement than my “Now that proves nothing” statement.

    This is key for AGW believers, since there is no proof and if you are going to sell something you need horrific scenarios. These models give them to you if you publize the worst case scenarious.

  148. Steve

    Goodspkr – You are wasting your time with Eras. Even though he says he will modify his opinion when information is supplied, he is entrenched. Either he is ignorant of or cannot face the fact that the Earth has run the elevated CO2 experiment many times in its history. As much as 18x today’s level. Yet, the planet is still here. He cannot deal with the fact that CO2 and temp sometimes move in concert and sometimes in opposition, removing any possibility of CO2 being a major driver of climate. He’s got his sacred AR4 and will preach from it ad naseum.

  149. goodspkr

    The mistake here is the failure to realize that science is intrinsically theoretical. Theory is central to the very concept of science. Without theory, you don’t have science, you have piles of numbers. Theory is what makes sense out of all those numbers. Goodspkr’s approach of absolute empiricism is profoundly antiscientific. He would have us collect mountains of numbers, and make predictions only when exact matches are found between sets of numbers. This is not science.”” Erasmussimo

    Nah, Erasmussimo, but I need some proof of a theory before we change the way we live, push billions into poverty or keep them there.

    Erasmussimo, the basic argument about AGW is that it is the consensus of the scientific community. Is that science? Of course not.

    We both agree that CO2 will raise the temperature, but you need to rely on a massive feedback from water vapor for your models to be correct. There is a missing hot spot signature (AGW believers think its there and we missed it, while skeptics say it’s not there), the oceans aren’t warming (you posting said Willis doubted the numbers, but gave no new numbers), and the surface temperature hasn’t gone up in 10 years and has declined for the past 2 years. Now that isn’t proof that AGW isn’t happening, but it certainly calls into question the theory.

    And everyday we hear from some group saying global warming is happening and it’s worse that we thought. So what are we supposed to do, believe them or our lying eyes.

  150. goodspkr

    linearity. Does this mean that Newton’s laws don’t apply in the real world? Goodspkr would have us believe that. But Goodspkr is scientifically illiterate<<Erasmussim

    Straw man argument. Poor debating technique. But it does indicate that you are trying to cover up the fact the we aren't experiencing the results AGW predicted. Now I would agree with you if it were one or two years. Maybe even five. But ten years? The AGW supporters started telling us about doom and gloom in 1989 after about 15 years with the temperature going up approximately .2 degree C. In the past ten years the temperature has declined at least that much (I say at least since I won't use the most current data but more of an average over time).

    You indicate that the climate is a complex system. I agree. But when AGW believers discuss it they only talk about CO2 and the feedback from CO2 as they SWAG it. What is the total effect of increasing water vapor in the atmosphere? Generally it will fall out of the atmosphere as rain or form clouds. Both of these will reduce warming (clouds reflect sunlight and rain cools the earth). So how does the IPCC take this into account in their models?

    If you expect us to accept your estimation of a pretty good fit, you should give us scientific explanations of why the models work and not straw men to call someone a name.

    So how about giving us your credentials?

  151. Erasmussimo

    Good lord, we’ve got a mountain of examples of scientific illiteracy in just the last few posts! I shall have to address each one briefly.

    The first isn’t really an example of scientific illiteracy, it’s just muddled thinking. Goodspkr insists that he wasn’t actually confusing weather with climate, in fact, he explicitly declared that weather is not climate — and then he goes on to talk about how the weather isn’t very hot. But talking out of both sides of your mouth isn’t scientific illiteracy.

    Another side point: Goodspkr wants me to lay out AGW theory. Here’s the short answer: increased emissions of CO2 cause a rise in temperature. That rise in temperature triggers a number of positive feedback effects such as increased water vapor in the atmosphere, reductions in albedo, and so forth. Those positive feedback effects cause the temperature to rise even higher.

    But Goodspkr won’t accept that short explanation. He’ll demand details and numbers. And I could walk down that path with him, supplying more and more details and numbers, and him demanding even more details and numbers. But I think it would be much easier for both of us if I just short-circuit that entire process and refer him to IPCC AR4 and the NAS report on climate change. I’ll hang my hat on both of those documents. If Goodspkr were scientifically literate, he would be able to understand those documents and he’d stop making all these absurd claims.

    I invite you to prove me wrong. There is no proof

    Here’s another example of scientific illiteracy — and a repeated one, to boot! It was already explained in @12 that the concept of proof does not apply in science. There’s no such thing as scientific proof. That’s a mathematical concept, not a scientific one. And yet Goodspkr and a number of others keep demanding proof. Scientific illiteracy.

    “This hypothesis never had significant scientific support” is the way it is characterized in Wikipedia, which to me indicates it did have some scientific support. But you know and I know that science doesn’t work based on support or consensus. It works on facts.

    More scientific illiteracy. Science does indeed progress by the development of broad agreement among scientists. Read Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, a classic in the field. The problem you’re not realizing is revealed by the question, “Who determines the facts?” If you think that laboratory experiments or physical observations yield facts, you’re scientifically illiterate. Real science works with instruments that seldom measure what you’re looking for — they measure something closely related to it. You INTERPRET the data to represent what you’re really looking for. Of course, your own interpretation might be different from somebody else’s, so perhaps you argue it out with that somebody else. The scientific community argues constantly about just about everything. But eventually it reaches broad agreement on the major issues, and it moves on from there. That’s how science is done in the real world. Your representation is a scientifically illiterate fantasy.

    Steve in @151 gives us more examples. He cites the fact that CO2 levels have been much higher in the past, and the earth is still here. That’s true. What he doesn’t mention is that some of those cases of high CO2 concentrations were also characterized by high temperatures. He also doesn’t mention that some of those cases were associated with mass extinctions — lots of species dying out. He also doesn’t mention that none of those cases developed over a century or two — they developed over hundreds of thousands of years. And finally, he notes that the planet is still here. Indeed it is, and it will still be here even after anything we do to the climate. The question he doesn’t address is whether human civilization will be just fine. Increases in temperatures wreak a lot of changes upon the world. Several hundred million people live on land at elevations of less than one meter above sea level. If the sea level rises by one meter, the planet will still be here, but those hundreds of millions of people will need new homes. Are you willing to open up your guest room for them?

    CO2 and temp sometimes move in concert and sometimes in opposition, removing any possibility of CO2 being a major driver of climate.

    Here’s another good example of scientific illiteracy. Note that he doesn’t specify any time period or spatial scale for this claim. Yes, temperature can go down while CO2 levels are rising. In fact, it happened just last night: after the sun went down, the temperature fell, even though more CO2 was still entering the atmosphere. But Steve doesn’t take into account the possibility that the sun going down might have a greater effect on local temperature than CO2 concentrations.

    The fundamental error here is Steve’s belief that complex systems must show univariate response to changes in state variables. Here, let me show it to you in a simplified algebraic notation. Let’s suppose that a variable T depends upon a bunch of variables:

    T = a + b + c + d + e + f + g

    Steve is claiming that, if one variable (let’s say c) is steadily increasing, then T must always increase as well. But this ignores the effects of all the other variables. We could have c, g, and b increasing while a, d, and f are falling and e is staying constant. Concomitant variation is really nice when you can get it, but in complex systems that doesn’t happen very often.

  152. goodspkr

    Goodspkr – You are wasting your time with Eras. Even though he says he will modify his opinion when information is supplied, he is entrenched<<Steve

    I understand that. But I'm not a professional speaker and I started speaking in high schools talking about free enterprise ( I now talk to business about customer service and motivation). I'm putting together a program for the High Schools on "Political Science, the science and politics of Anthropogenic Global Warming." I'm trying to see if Eras has anything to say I don't cover in my program but other than calling people scientific illiterates, I don't see any.

    I keep asking him to describe his version of AGW because I want to make sure I cover both sides fairly. The problem AGW supporters have and the reason they don't do debates is because they lose if you spell out what reality is. AGW requires faith, not science to believe it. There is science behind it, but not enough to justify their solutions or Eras ardent belief.

    I've left some bread crumbs for Eras and wonder if he is following any of them. Does Eras know what a SWAG is? I asked him to give us his credentials and no reponse. I know as a speaker you need to give credentials if anyone is to pay any attention to you.

    What he appears to do is read through and then attack anything he can find which he considers a vunerabililty. This causes him to make mistakes, misquote people, etc. As I've said in a couple of postings, he isn't a smart as he thinks he is.

  153. goodspkr

    CO2 and temp sometimes move in concert and sometimes in opposition, removing any possibility of CO2 being a major driver of climate.

    Here’s another good example of scientific illiteracy. Note that he doesn’t specify any time period or spatial scale for this claim. Yes, temperature can go down while CO2 levels are rising. In fact, it happened just last night: after the sun went down, the temperature fell, even though more CO2 was still entering the atmosphere. But Steve doesn’t take into account the possibility that the sun going down might have a greater effect on local temperature than CO2 concentrations<<Eras

    Another staw man argument. And quite frankly Eras, a really foolish one. But you brought it up. So how does AGW figure into the sun going down and the the temperature going down?

    This feeds into your brilliant explanation of AGW theory, "Another side point: Goodspkr wants me to lay out AGW theory. Here’s the short answer: increased emissions of CO2 cause a rise in temperature"

    These two are connected (another bread crumb for you).

  154. goodspkr

    I made a typo in 156–I am a professional speaker hence the name goodspkr.

  155. Erasmussimo

    I keep asking him to describe his version of AGW because I want to make sure I cover both sides fairly.

    That’s… an ironic claim.

    I’ve left some bread crumbs for Eras and wonder if he is following any of them.
    I’m not here to play games with you.

    I asked him to give us his credentials and no reponse.

    I hold an MS in Physics. I have not mentioned that before because I do not ask anyone to believe anything I say because I said it. I prefer to rely on citations from expert sources, such as the NAS and the IPCC.

    Look, I have reduced you guys to name-calling. You don’t have anything left in your quiver but name-calling and repeating statements I have already dealt with. I think it’s time to leave you to your name-calling. If anybody does raise a serious scientific argument that I have not already dealt with, I’ll be happy to address that. But otherwise I’ll leave the floor to the mudslingers.

  156. Erasmussimo

    Oops, I missed this:

    The problem AGW supporters have and the reason they don’t do debates is because they lose if you spell out what reality is.

    Boy, I would LOVE to engage you in a public debate! Are you on the West Coast?

  157. goodspkr

    “More scientific illiteracy. Science does indeed progress by the development of broad agreement among scientists. Read Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, a classic in the field. The problem you’re not realizing is revealed by the question, “Who determines the facts?” If you think that laboratory experiments or physical observations yield facts, you’re scientifically illiterate. Real science works with instruments that seldom measure what you’re looking for — they measure something closely related to it. You INTERPRET the data to represent what you’re really looking for. Of course, your own interpretation might be different from somebody else’s, so perhaps you argue it out with that somebody else. The scientific community argues constantly about just about everything. But eventually it reaches broad agreement on the major issues, and it moves on from there. That’s how science is done in the real world. Your representation is a scientifically illiterate fantasy.”

    So you are telling me the fact that the temperature went up from 1975 to 1999 is not a fact? Isn’t it the cornerstone of the whole AGW theory. You are attempting to explain this fact? Doesn’t the fact that the temperature hasn’t gone up in 10 years cause you major problems in explaining your theory?

    Quite frankly, Eras, you are a poor spokesperson for AGW because you keep telling me there are multiple things going on, the system is very complex, and “You INTERPRET the data to represent what you’re really looking for.”

    But with all your reservations, your explanations of other things going on, you never waver from your belief in AGW!!! Wow, it must really be nice to be able to dismiss all those other things when they don’t support your theory.

    Let me tell you a story. I was working on an engineering master’s degree and was in an optimization class. The prof gave us the final exam which had only four problems for us to solve. There was one of them I couldn’t solve. When I got out I kicked the dog, snapped at my wife, because I figured the best grade I could get was 75% which was not good.

    What happened was the prof describe a problem with mulitiple parameters. But I assumed one that wasn’t there. I kept bouncing off my own assumption which made the problem unsolveable.

    Fortunately the prof gave me credit for my work and only penalized me a few points.

    You, Eras, keep bouncing off your own assumption that is AGW explains everything. You may pay lip service to other factors, but if they conflict with your assumptions you dismiss them. You will never solve the problem with a closed mind like that.

    And if you want to call me scientifically illiterate, go ahead. Like it really means a lot on this board coming from you. Remember the fable about the boy who cried “wolf.” That is you.

  158. goodspkr

    “Boy, I would LOVE to engage you in a public debate! Are you on the West Coast”Eras

    Come on Eras, I told you where I was. You even misinterpreted my telling you about the weather there and my believing weather was climate.

  159. goodspkr

    “Look, I have reduced you guys to name-calling”Eras

    You are kidding, aren’t you?

  160. goodspkr

    keep asking him to describe his version of AGW because I want to make sure I cover both sides fairly.

    That’s… an ironic claim.<<Eras

    Nah, that isn't ironic at all. Here's the explanation you gave.
    "increased emissions of CO2 cause a rise in temperature. That rise in temperature triggers a number of positive feedback effects such as increased water vapor in the atmosphere, reductions in albedo, and so forth. Those positive feedback effects cause the temperature to rise even higher."

    What you said was true, but it is a bit more complex than this.

    Both side agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. They also agree on how much CO2 will raise the temperature. Where the two side fall of it in the feedback section.

    AGW believers feel there is a major positive feedback "from increased water vapor in the atmosphere, reductions in albedo, and so forth" Skeptics see no major positive feedback from water vapor and perhaps a minor negative feedback.

    As far as I can tell this is the basic argument between believers and skeptics.

    Here is what the two side have in their corner. Believers have a 25 year period (1975-1999) where things seem to follow their theory. CO2 went up, and so did temperature. Believers have computer models that show disaster ahead (in the extreme cases of the models). And finally believers challenge skeptics to come up with another explanation for the 25 years of heating.

    Skeptics have 10 years without warming since 1999 and 35 years without warming from 1940 to 1975. Both of those occurred even though CO2 was going up significantly. Skeptics have a series of previous indications used by believers which have later turned out to be false ie. ice core samples showing temperature and CO2 levels seem to go in lockstep with each other and significant variation from the models used by believers in what was predicted and what has happened in the last ten years. Also as there hasn't been warming, a number of other explanations have been put forward by believers which not only could explain why there hasn't been warming but could help explain the warming in the 1975-1999 period.

    Now I'm a skeptic. I believe any global warming we have seen may have something to do with that big ball of fire in the sky.

  161. goodspkr

    “Boy, I would LOVE to engage you in a public debate! Are you on the West Coast” Erasmussimo

    No, you really wouldn’t want to engage me in a debate. First of all as a professional speaker I know how to develop rapport with my audience and how to make them like me.

    Secondly, about the third time you called me a scientific illiterate, you not only wouldn’t get points with the audience, but you could say “the sky is up” and 50% of them would disagree with you.

    Third, when we would talk about the theory, I would ask where is the hot spot and you would say it’s there and we haven’t found it or it’s there but it’s very weak. I would counter with after 100s and 100s of radiosonde, they all missed it???? Or I would say since you say it is very weak what does that do to the models you rely on? Are we facing global catastrophy with that weak of a response?

    I would talk about the last 10 years and you would say you can’t judge the climate on that short of a period. I would agree and then ask you why didn’t the models predict this? You would respond that there are other factors at play and I would agree by saying “the climate is a very complex system and I think CO2 is only a small part of the total system.”

    You would be on the defensive the entire time and you wouldn’t win a debate playing defense.

    You might try to get on the offense by saying if it wasn’t CO2 that caused the warming from 1975-1999 what caused it. Bad move, because you would remind everyone there has been no heating since 1999 and there was none before 1975. And if by chance you didn’t name the period, I would in my response. I would talk about sunspots, solar radiation, and cosmic rays and you would try to shoot each one of them down. You would sound shrill. Again you are on the defensive and you don’t win debates that way.

    Your argument requires faith. A normal person hearing our debate would come away very much doubting AGW because if you don’t have faith, there isn’t a lot that people would agree with what you are talking about.

    And that is what is happening on this forum. You think you are winning, but your aren’t. I imagine more of the posters here don’t care very much for you (calling them names will do that). And you habit of finding a small detail in a long post that you can make fun of, is not a winning strategy.

  162. gary

    And that ladiew and gentlemen is why AGW supporters all agree not to engate in publice debate.
    It is actually a policy from the top supporters.

    Because, every single publice debate on Global Warming has been a disaster for team AGW.

    Every One.

  163. gary

    And that ladies and gentlemen is why AGW supporters all agree not to engage in public debate.

    I think my keyboard is dying.

  164. Dave English

    I believe that the global warming scare of our times will be a marked lesson for scientists of the future, a prime example of a politically driven science where great masses of funding drove the conclusions more than the findings. Will more CO2 influence the climate, maybe a little. As time goes on more scientists are willing to risk the political and personal backlash of the those who control the scientific dogma of our time. Real science thrives on research and invites differing theories so science can advance. Owl Gore and his crew don’t want other opinions. I choose to be on the side of history, severe AGW is crock and solving the problem I presented in an earlyer post would have demonstrated it but I see “E” took the usual low road and the dive to the side.

  165. Steve

    Goodspkr – high praise that you try to gain any valuable info from Eras. As you have found out, though, he is neither educator nor debater, just an angry young man.

    My experience over the past few years of researching this issue is that most, but not all, AGW supporters closely resemble Eras: closed-minded and arrogant. Engaging them for any more than a couple of posts becomes a waste of time. Any reasonably intelligent person that has performed a nominal bit of research can tell you everything you need to know about AGW theory (as if you hadn’t already found that out). It really is that simple and that irrational.

    Cudos, too, for speaking to high schoolers. They can use an open-minded individual like yourself to give fair balance to the debate. I’ll be hanging around for at least a few more days, let me know if I can help.

  166. Steve

    Dave – Here’s what Chris Mooney, an ardent AGW’er, characterizes scientists,

    “In other words, you might say that now more than ever before, we’re finally waking up to the fact that the practices of science themselves encode a set of values — a way of approaching the world, understanding it, and acting within it. At its core, it’s a world view that is humble about what we know and don’t know, flexible about what we do and don’t decide to do, open about admitting past mistakes, and listening to contrary opinion.”

    Now I ask, how many humble, flexible, apologetic, and engaging AGW’ers do you know?

  167. Dave English

    Do I really have to answer that? I for one, haven’t met any, nor does anyone else I suspect. They are arrogant, annoying, know it all’s who are quick to insult the non-believers. They are religious in their belief in AGW and intolerant of any other view. I think more work needs to be done with deepsea fractures, one scientist I wrote to ten or so years ago thought there may be a connection to El Nino and extensive undersea volcanoe activity. He was immediatly shut down by the AGW crowd because “we didn’t need any more explainations for global warming.” Typical head in the sand, don’t investigate anything that may remove AGW as an issue. He (Walker?) thought that volcanic activity in the eastern Pacific that was associated with earthquake activity could send heated water plums to the surface, stalling then reversing the typical air flow. Who knows, it was an idea, one that can stand further investigation or at least data mining with all the satellite data now. Go look.

  168. goodspkr

    Steve,

    I agree with you.

    Going back to the original posting, the author apparently concluded it was Scientific illiteracy if you didn’t agree with them that global warming was happening and it was caused by mankind. Eras jumped in with both feet and decided to tell anyone who disagreed how scientifically illiterate they were.

    It is sad that one of our human traits is to blame the other guy for stupidity, illiteracy, or some other defect on their part if they don’t agree with us.

    The problem with the public not believing the advocates of global warming is they are making so many dire predictions that it pushes their credibility with the public. And in fact many of those predictions are the exact opposite of what another alarmist said.

    Here are just a couple of recent examples:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8150415.stm
    http://climatedepot.com/a/1723/Obamas-Climate-Astrologer-Energy-Sec-Chu-claims-he-knows-what-the-future-will-be-100-years-from-now
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1198188/Hysteria-real-threat-global-warming.html

    Now some of the alarmist realized this and told people to back off the scare tactics, but others said we needed to go further.

    And then you had the scientific illiteracy in which James Hansen called for putting skeptics on trial.

    I told Eras he was a poor spokesperson for AGW because he would tell you the climate was a very complex system to explain why certain things didn’t happen. He even told us part of scientific illiteracy was expecting linear results in such a complex system. Yet this same complexity was what the basic AGW theory denies. Any warming comes down to CO2 period.

    I saw one poll which surprised the pollsters. They went out to find out if the more you know about global warming the more concerned you were about it. What they found was the people who knew more about it were LESS worried. They couldn’t believe it, but it is true.

    So the basic premise, that is, it was a failure of the public to understand what they were selling seems to be just the opposite. When you understand what is being sold, you refuse to buy it.

    By the way, I really liked what ed, gary, steve and the other skeptics had to say. Make sure you call or write you congressman and especially you senators to tell them not to support the cap and trade which would be more realistically call con and trade.

  169. Kevin

    Anyone that thinks this will work is wrong.
    Commerce Secretary: Americans ‘Need to Pay’ for Chinese Emissions

    http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital/2009/07/17/commerce-secretary-americans-need-to-pay-for-chinese-emissions/

  170. goodspkr
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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by Salon.com and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.

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