"Global Warming Is Real"

Dispatches from the International Conference on Climate Change

Editor's Note: reason Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey will be filing a series of regular dispatches from the Heartland Institute's controversial International Conference on Climate Change. Below is the first in that series.

New York, March 2—The Heartland Institute's International Conference on Climate Change kicked off this evening at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Manhattan. Joseph Bast, president of the Institute, began by announcing that the meeting of 500 participants had attracted more than 200 scientists, economists, and other policy analysts to address questions that he thinks have been insufficiently scrutinized by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). According to Bast, those questions include: (1) how reliable are the climate data; (2) how much of global warming is natural and how much is man-made; (3) how reliable are climate computer models; and (4) is reducing greenhouse gas emissions the best or only way to address climate change?

Heartland Institute senior policy analyst, James Taylor, told the participants that the organizers had invited many of the prominent "alarmists" to present their views at the conference. "Not a single one would come to speak," Taylor said.

The keynote speaker after the gala dinner was University of Virginia climatologist and Cato Institute Senior Environmental Fellow, Patrick Michaels. His talk was titled, "Global Warming's Convenient Facts." Michaels began by telling the audience, "Global warming is real and people have something to do with it." He also noted that one should not care a wit about the fact that humans are causing temperatures to increase. Rather, one should care how much the increase is likely to be.

Michaels pointed out that the surface records show average global temperatures increasing at a steady rate of +0.17 degrees centigrade per decade since 1977. He also hastened to put the kibosh on recent assertions that "global warming stopped in 1998." While global average temperatures have been essentially flat since 1998, Michaels argued that natural variations in the climate mask any increases due to greenhouse gases. In particular, cooler waters in the Pacific ("La Nina") and lower solar activity have conspired to drop average global temperatures. When these trends reverse, average global temperatures will rapidly rise to reveal the established long term man-made warming trend of +0.17 degrees centigrade per decade. Michaels warned against succumbing to the temptation to cite current flattened global temperatures as evidence against man-made global warming.

Michaels then turned to various climate change puzzles. Is Antarctica melting, he asked? Exhibit A in the Antarctica warming story is the 2002 collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf on the Antarctic peninsula. However, as Michaels showed, the peninsula is a very small area of the southern continent and most of Antarctica shows no warming trend. In fact, the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (4AR), released in 2007, found that "current global model studies project that the Antarctic ice sheet will remain too cold for widespread surface melting." Michaels sardonically noted that former Vice President Al Gore did not say that sea level would rise by 20 feet in his movie, An Inconvenient Truth; he just showed animations of such a sea-level rise.

What about Greenland? Michaels displayed temperature records showing that Greenland's temperatures had been higher in the earlier part of the 20th century. In particular he cited a 2006 study by Danish researchers who reported, "The warmest year in the extended Greenland temperature record is 1941, while the 1930s and 1940s are the warmest decades." Michaels suggested that Greenland was losing about 25 cubic miles of ice annually. He further noted that there are about 690,000 cubic miles of ice locked up in Greenland's ice cap. At that rate of melting, Greenland's ice cap would shrink by less than 0.4 percent over the next century. According to recent reports, Greenland's ice cap is now losing about 57 cubic miles of ice annually. If that rate were sustained over the next 100 years, a little over 0.8 percent of the ice cap would melt away into the oceans.

Michaels also talked about the recent steep reduction in summer Arctic sea ice. However, he pointed to research by UCLA biological geographer Glen MacDonald and his colleagues who found that the Eurasian tree line reached as far as the shores of the Arctic Ocean 9,000 to 7,000 years ago. Why? Because "the mean July temperatures along the northern coastline of Russia may have been 2.5° to 7.0° celsius warmer than modern [ones]." This implies considerably reduced Arctic sea ice cover lasting for centuries in the past. Michaels noted in passing that polar bears survived that warmer period. Although Michaels did not mention it (one can't throw everything into one talk, after all), expanding boreal forests would darken the earth's surface which could in turn accelerate Arctic warming.

Michaels ended by asking, "How much will it warm?" He suggested that the constant rate of +0.17 degrees centigrade per decade is likely. What does he think we should do about that warming? Michaels worries that regulatory responses that aim to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions now will slow economic growth and technological progress, making future generations poorer and less able to address the challenges of man-made climate change.

The Heartland conference has presentations from over 100 participants over the next two days, so it's going to be hard to choose among them. For now, my second dispatch will focus on some of the scientific analyses of climate models and economic projections.

Ronald Bailey is reason's science correspondent. His most recent book, Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution, is available from Prometheus Books.

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  • ||

    When did Patrick Michaels turn the corner?

  • kinnath||

    It should be intuitively obvious that if you pump billions of pounds of chemicals into the atmosphere each year for a hundred years that you will produce some effect on the atmosphere.

    What is not clear is the size of the effect, the permanence of the effect, the consequences of the effect, the best way to mitigate the effect, or the criticality of addressing the effect.

    But what the heck, let's destroy our way of life to save the planet.

  • ||

    Since climate change seems to be subject to a number of tipping points - the lack of icepack greatly reducing reflection, the melting of Siberian permafrost releasing greenhouse gasses - a linear projection of the existing rate of warming seems unlikely.

  • shecky||

    Heh. Not a single alarmist would come to speak,, except maybe for Patrick Michaels.

  • ||

    "Alarmist," of course, meaning "someone whose understanding of the question lines up with the vast majority of the researchers who've looked at the question."

    Hey, cranks need their conventions, too.

  • ||

    When did Patrick Michaels turn the corner?

    Turn the corner? He's been saying that human activity contributes to global warming for at least the past five years. Patrick Michaels is the voice of reason in the global warming debate. I've always found him to give the most comprehensive and critical analysis of the data. His book "Meltdown" is the best I've read.

  • kinnath||

    "Alarmist" is one that looks at a range of probabilities and consquences then chooses to make public policy contingent on the lowest-probability/worst-case scenario.

  • shecky||

    Oh, and I see Sowell is in the all too typical asshole mode.

  • ||

    It would be nice if that was how the term was applied, kinnath.

  • ||

    It's unfortunate that they named it the International Conference on Climate Change. That name is just so close to International Panel on Climate Change that people reading about it could be confused.

    And Lord knows the organizers would be aghast if that happened.

  • ||

    Jennifer,

    If you're reading this thread, you were right about the reason a rapid melting of polar ice could result in a major freezing event. The one the professor described froze Europe for a thousand years. As you noted, the problem is that the flood of water off of the Greenland ice sheet basically shuts down the Gulf Stream. Not sure whether a similar event would happen in the Pacific, though I assume it would (freezing at least part of North America).

    I've run across some opinions (one in the New Scientist) that indicate that at least some climatologists, whatever their views on anthropogenic contributions to global warming may be, are more worried about us being plunged into a "short" ice age than about anything else. I think the school of thought that says that we need to be prepared to handle major shifts in the climate is probably the best one--whatever the causes of this particular trend, the next one may have nothing to do with us but still be dangerous.

  • kinnath||

    It would be nice if that was how the term was applied, kinnath.

    Each side has its extremists.

    On one side, someone that says AGW is true but does not require extreme measures to cope with is a 'denialist'.

    On the other side, someone that says AGW is true is an 'alarmist'.

  • Focus on the Important:||

    Ron Bailey changed his mind.

  • ||

    which are you, kinnath?

  • ||

    Remind me why Greenland is called Greenland.

  • ||

    Remind me why the existence of a natural force that can cause a particular outcome precludes the possibility of human forces causing that same outcome.

    Personally, I reject the hysterical theory of "human-induced erosion." I can just go the Grand Canyon and see that nature causes erosion.

  • ||

    Joe,
    Why didn't the Siberian permafrost melt during the Holocene Optimum, you know, when forest were growing right up to the Arctic Ocean? They know this by finding and dating trees at lattitudes where trees no longer grow. Why didn't the world end then?

    Pro Libertate,
    The short ice age you are referring to happend at about the same time as the trees were growing up to the Arctic Ocean when a huge lake of fresh water, restrained by an ice dam, broke through the dam and poured more fresh water in a matter of days into the north atlantic than exist in the whole great lakes system, for example. In fact, there was more fresh water in that lake than exists in any single source anywhere in the world today. You would have to melt Greenland in just a few years for this to happen. Greenland didn't melt, even when it was much warmer there during the Holocene Optimum. (Not talking about global avg temps, just high lattitude temps, which are not in dispute)

    If you guys are going to parrot the alarmist postion without understanding the issues, why bother? Seriously. If you don't understand the science, why argue it? You just weaken the rhetorical position you are supposedly supporting.

  • ||

    Is joe a real single individal? He must never work.

  • ||

    By the way, Pro Libertate, I would love to see your link about supporting your Rapid Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet theory. Don't think you have one, at least not peer reviewed.

    Also very curious where you think the mega acre feet water source would come from in the North Pacific? Alaskan Ice Sheet? Siberian Ice Sheet? These exist? Or were you just blowing smoke?

  • ||

    Can anyone tell me what the average temp.for the planet should be?

  • ||

    Empirical evidence shows Global Warming is real. That it is "obvious" that it is caused by humans is pure hypothesis or speculation.

    As kinnath says: is it possible that human activity contributes to GW - certainly. Is it probable? Again, I think, yes. Is it proven, not on Patrick Michaels' life.

  • ||

    World end, Yorick? Thank you for the heads-up. I might have been tempted to converse with you.

    Can anyone tell me what the average temp.for the planet should be

    No, because nobody has an opinion on that.

    But I'll make sure to petulantly ask the next person I see whose house is flooding what they think the correct sea level should be.

  • ||

    Global Warming may be real, but i haven't seen any suggestions on how to fix that problem that don't involve increasing the size and monstrosity of the federal government....wake me when Ethanol subsidies are gone...

  • ||

    Yorick,

    I'm not sure what position I'm taking that has you so up in arms. I heard about this in the first place in a Teaching Company lecture on human prehistory. It's an event that happened about 12,000 years ago. Whether or not it'll happen now is anyone's guess. I did see a New Scientist article that referenced this event, but I haven't been researching it or anything. Just curious. It took some period of warming to make the event possible, it appears, but how long that was (or might be) is an open question.

    Jennifer knew about this when I first asked about it in an earlier thread, so I don't think it's some sort of "denialist" or "alarmist" position. I'm not in either camp, so your point eludes me.

  • ||

    what about clouds!? won't someone think of the clouds!?!!!!

  • ||

    If I thought it was any of your business, SAM_H, I'd tell you that I caught my kid's chest cold and have a 101 temp.

    Oh, yeah, everybody: I might write some weird shit today.

  • stuartl||

    As you noted, the problem is that the flood of water off of the Greenland ice sheet basically shuts down the Gulf Stream.

    The gulf stream shutting down is unlikely. According to the MIT oceanographer Carl Wunsch, it is caused by the earth's rotation and winds:

    "European readers should be reassured that the Gulf Stream's existence is a consequence of the large-scale wind system over the North Atlantic Ocean, and of the nature of fluid motion on a rotating planet. The only way to produce an ocean circulation without a Gulf Stream is either to turn off the wind system, or to stop the Earth's rotation, or both."

  • ||

    So,nobody knows what the temp.should be,yet,we are worried that it's getting a little higher?Higher compared to what?The warming in the middle ages,the cold during the mini ice age.What are we talking about?Just the last 50 or so years?

  • ||

    I don't mean to stomp into the middle of some denialist-alarmist debate, but what happened 12,000 years ago? It seems at first glance to be a generally accepted proposition that the effects of the Gulf Stream were suppressed after a warming period and that a millennium of cooling occurred (in Europe, anyway). That may have happened in conditions that don't exist today--I have no idea.

  • ||

    Of course global warming is a hoax. I myself have a bachelors degree in [fillin the science, but engineering is most probable] and have read several articles, a couple of books, and many, many blog posts on this subject, most from think tank and organizations that I happen to know are 100% right on many other matters (such as politics and economics). I can tell you I've come across in these sources several arguments and bits of data that certainly seemed sufficient to prove GW a hoax to any right-thinking person. The fact that the thousands of PhD scientists working in the related fields and the nearly anonymous professional organizations in the relevant areas have failed to see the obviousness of these arguments and bits of data point to the massiveness of the collective self delusion of so many under a Gaia-influenced cult of socialism which wishes to have government bureaucrats end our cockfighting and other beloved traditions and enforce panty-waisted protion sizes on us at Applebee's. Yes, these so called experts, strewn about the globe and working for a variety of organiztions may have missed these obvious flaws in the theory, but thanks to my undergraduate training and my diligence in reading a wide variety of conservative/libertarian blogs and reading some books, I and some other brave freedom fighters have seen this hoax for what it is and will keep working to get the word out and stop this New World Order! Semper fi!

  • ||

    How convenient for you that you needn't answer my questions then. Wow.

    OK, why didn't the permafrost release GHG in massive quantities then?

    I have a suggestion for you. There is lots of ice core data available which includes analysis of the trapped bubbles. You could look there. Won't find it, but you could look. There has been a slight anomolous methane rise continuinally increasing for the past 9K years which scientists link to rice production and civilization, but your massive GHG spike cannot be found there. I am assuming that is because your scenario did not play out. If you still want to look, google on Volstok Ice Core or GRIP (Greenland Ice Sheet Project), there is lots of archived data for you to prove your point. You can even find temp data for the high arctic from the GRIP core and see that it has been much higher than today in the past 10Ka.

    Good thing for you you don't need to answer my questions due to my use of sarcastic hyperbole.

  • kinnath||

    which are you, kinnath?

    Denialist

    The world is getting warmer and humans contribute, but this is not the end of the world so modest policies should be put in place to limit the increase temperature and to mitigate the impact on people directly effected.

    I could live with a reasonable carbon tax. Coal plants needs to be replaced with nuclear for large scale generation of electricity. Passive solar design is far superior to wind-generation or solar-panels for small scale buildlings.

    Poor people will be hardest hit by any policy to reduce AGW. They will live inefficient homes and drive inefficient vehicles. Direct subsidies to get them into more efficient homes and vehicles could have a bigger impact on AGW than a carbon tax on everyone.

    But the world is run by hysterical laywers that don't understand science, math, or risk management. I fully expect the collection of world governments will enact policies that hurt everyone while not actually succeeding in making the situation better.

  • bill||

    Don't forget the earth is overdue for a pole reversal. What are we going to do to stop that!? ????

  • ||

    "That may have happened in conditions that don't exist today--I have no idea"

    That would be correct. The conditions of a huge lake of freshwater held in place by an ice dam does not exist today.

    Joe,
    Here is a serious and respectful question. What has the sea level rise been over the past century, and what is the IPCC guess that it will be over the next? And what is the current rate of sea level rise? In other words, what is the science you are using to support your flooded home analogy?

  • ||

    too many steves wrote:
    > Empirical evidence shows Global
    > Warming is real. That it is "obvious" that it
    > is caused by humans is pure hypothesis or
    > speculation.

    No, it's not "obvious," which is why scientists have spent the last few decades studying the problem in detail. They find that natural forcings alone (sun, volcanoes, water vapor, etc.) cannot back-predict the temperature of the last century. Only when human influences are included (manmade GHGs, land use changes, etc.) can they replicate the observations. (See IPCC FAR WG1 p600.)

    Where are the skeptic's models that show otherwise? That is, where are their models that show that only natural forcings back-predict the last several years of temperature observations?

  • ||

    Stupid sticking keys (another socialist plot I'm sure to silence the freedom fighers out there). That should read "unanimous" not anonymous (though those faceless bureaucrats forcing seat belts on us are indeed both), and "portion" not protion.

    Did you not know that many year ago, it was hotter some years than other years? This is the kind of data that the socialists like Al Gore and a bunch of mostly FORIEGN scientists at the IPCC don't want you to know, as they obviously have no answer for such devastating truth...If we don't stop these spotted-owl worshippers now they will stop at nothing to institute government programs to fight this so-called global warming, like ones that take $ from those of us who are productive and use it to give tank tops to the poor and lazy around us!

  • ||

    Ah, Yorick, I knew ye well. With brave truth supporters like you and I out there, we will defeat the GW hoax, restore the Constitution, end the tyranny that is the federal reserve and elect Ron Paul as President yet!

    Not that you need a hand keeping hippies like joe on the run, but: Does joe have an answer for the FACT that the second law of thermodynamics contradicts global warming predictions? Or the FACT that NO transitional forms have yet to be found in the fossil record? That's science joe, you socialist Fidel worshipping miscreant! Go smoke a spotted owl and let patriots and truth-seers like me and Yorick save the world from the misguided nearly unanimous opinions of leftist scientists from around the globe that you so basely follow!

  • ||

    I caught my kid's chest cold and have a 101 temp.

    Joebal warming...

  • ||

    I had that a couple weeks ago, joe. Have you started coughing up the big orange balls of foulness yet?

  • Urkobold™||

    Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione.

  • ||

    joe,

    Watch out--the flu virus running around down here seems to be particularly vicious. I know several people who've ended up with walking pneumonia.

  • LarryA||

    Remind me why Greenland is called Greenland.

    PR. As I remember the Norse colonizers figured it would be easier to find people to settle Greenland as opposed to Frozenland. Also it was green, with a mild climate, back then.

  • ||

    On a related subject, it seems that the ELF are winning friends and influencing people again:

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/03/03/seattle.fire/index.html

    I guess any real estate developer these days will need to set up surveillance cameras on construction sites, with live feeds to the cops.

    -jcr

  • ||

    global warming denial troll,
    please shut the fuck up.

  • ||

    See, isn't that better? Retreat to the ad hominems and rhetorical arguments. That way you don't get slapped around nearly as much.

    Alarmist = Somebody who makes alarming claims without substantiation.

    Example: Joe with his insupportable GHG Permafrost tipping point claim.

    Have fun kiddies, I can't keep teaching you guys rudimentary paleoclimatology.

  • ||

    "Shut the fuck up," he retorted. "My head hurts, I don't know why I can't answer your objections... waaah!"

    Isn't this a libertarian site? Alarmists are usually, almost without exception, control freaks.

    My question stands, why argue stuff you clearly don't understand when all it does is weaken your side's rhetorical position?

    Sorry, didn't see that trenchant "STFU" post until I posted the last one.

  • stuartl||

    "but what happened 12,000 years ago? It seems at first glance to be a generally accepted proposition that the effects of the Gulf Stream were suppressed after a warming period and that a millennium of cooling occurred (in Europe, anyway)."

    Pro Liberate, do you have link to anything about this? I can't find anything suggesting that the most recent ice age was caused by the Gulf Stream shutting down. What I've seen so far mostly talks about the earth's rotation, albedo, atmospheric conditions, etc. Admittedly I'm not looking very hard since I'm working.

  • ||

    Yorick,

    Um, just so you know, I'm in the skeptic camp on the AGW debate (acknowledge a warming trend, dubious on major anthropogenic causes). You might want to consider your audience before you get all hostile. And poor joe is sick, so abusing him would be uncivil.

  • ||

    Of course, since we know very little about all the variables affecting climate change, one could just as easily say:

    Since climate change seems to be subject to a number of tipping points countervailing factors - the lack of icepack greatly reducing reflection, the melting of Siberian permafrost releasing greenhouse gasses increased deposition of snow in polar latitudes increasing albedo, and increased absorption of CO2 by a warmer ocean, and the role of water vapor in cooling the globe - a linear projection of the existing rate of warming seems unlikely.

  • trollista||

    Nuclear winter is the solution to AGW

  • ||

    On a related subject, it seems that the ELF are winning friends and influencing people again

    Given the state of the housing market, I wonder if the developer was having trouble selling them.

  • ||

    stuartl ,

    I referenced a New Scientist article upthread. I don't claim to know much about this, having learned about it indirectly from an anthropologist talking about early human history and only referencing this event parenthetically.

  • ||

    Joe is sick with being asked questions he cannot answer.

    Here ia a quote for him from Strunk and White, it was given as an example of effective writing, but it applies here:

    "Understanding is that penetrating quality of knowledge that grows from theory, practice, conviction, assertion, error, and humiliation."

    If Joe keeps an open mind, perhaps he is on that track.

    Whose side you are on has nothing to do with the soundness of your arguments. If you make assertions that are not factual, you should be called on it. Just as I invite anybody who can find a factual error in any post I have made here to point it out, with evidence.

  • ||

    In AGW threads, I'm dubious about anyone who comes in with absolute statements about chaotic systems with incomplete data.

  • ||

    stuartl, google "Youger Dryas."

  • ||

    Sorry for the type "Younger Dryas"

  • ||

    Alarmists are usually, almost without exception, control freaks.

    I've always thought of them as submissives who think of the government as the ultimate dominatrix.

    -jcr

  • TallDave||

    the AGW debate (acknowledge a warming trend, dubious on major anthropogenic causes).

    That's the reasonable position, I think, based on the available data.

    Since climate change seems to be subject to a number of tipping points - the lack of icepack greatly reducing reflection, the melting of Siberian permafrost releasing greenhouse gasses - a linear projection of the existing rate of warming seems unlikely.

    Highly speculative. We can speculate lots of feedback mechanisms too -- more vegetative growth, more precipitation leading to more icepack, etc.

    Hope you get better soon, joe. I find large amounts of Vitamin C keep me unusually healthy.

  • TallDave||

    but what happened 12,000 years ago? It seems at first glance to be a generally accepted proposition that the effects of the Gulf Stream were suppressed after a warming period and that a millennium of cooling occurred (in Europe, anyway).

    There's some debate about whether that was global or local.

    The Little Ice Age (LIA) was a period of cooling occurring after a warmer era known as the Medieval climate optimum. Climatologists and historians find it difficult to agree on either the start or end dates of this period. Some confine the Little Ice Age to approximately the 16th century to the mid 19th century. It is generally agreed that there were three minima, beginning about 1650, about 1770, and 1850, each separated by slight warming intervals.[1]

    It was initially believed that the LIA was a global phenomenon; it is now less clear if this is true. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), based on Bradley and Jones, 1993; Hughes and Diaz, 1994; Crowley and Lowery, 2000 describes the LIA as "a modest cooling of the Northern Hemisphere during this period of less than 1°C," and says, "current evidence does not support globally synchronous periods of anomalous cold or warmth over this timeframe, and the conventional terms of 'Little Ice Age' and Medieval Warm Period appear to have limited utility in describing trends in hemispheric or global mean temperature changes in past centuries."[2] There is evidence, however, that the Little Ice Age did affect the Southern Hemisphere.


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

  • TallDave||

    Oh wait, you were talking about 12,000 years ago. Never heard of that being ascribed to ocean currents.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_age#Causes_of_ice_ages

  • Episiarch||

    Well, Yorick certainly took joe to the woodshed.

    joe, if you and your kid have what's been going around, go to the doctor and get antibiotics immediately. I had that shit for three weeks and couldn't shake it, and I'm very rarely sick. Antibiotics killed it. I usually avoid them if I can, but this was a special case.

  • ||

    That's what I like about climatology--all the accepted facts, the consensus, and its similarity to that other precision science, psychology.

  • ||

    In any case, I think the point of the article and the lecturer I saw was that a warming trend can be the cause of a cooling period in some regions. I don't think either was suggesting that an ice age is caused by such things. Though I could be wrong.

  • stuartl||

    Pro Libertate and Yorick,

    Sorry, I missed the link. And I didn't understand that you were referring to the specific event of the Younger Dryas, not ice ages in general*.

    It looks like the explanation for the cause of the Younger Dryas is still quite controversial.

    *Typical ice age explanation:
    Although the exact causes for ice ages, and the glacial cycles within them, have not been proven, they are most likely the result of a complicated dynamic interaction between such things as solar output, distance of the Earth from the sun, position and height of the continents, ocean circulation, and the composition of the atmosphere.

  • stuartl||

    In any case, I think the point of the article and the lecturer I saw was that a warming trend can be the cause of a cooling period in some regions. I don't think either was suggesting that an ice age is caused by such things. Though I could be wrong.

    Pro Libertate, based on my vast research (done during the 30 minutes when I should have been working) it looks like you are exactly right.

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    Why are you guys working? It's spring break!

  • ||

    Well then, show your tits.

  • ||

    Yorick,

    You should do what I do, and rather than try to follow the debate based on random things you read on political sites on the internet, find out what the researchers in the field have to say. Why is there no methane spike? I haven't the foggiest idea. I'm not a climatologist. Ask them.

    Michael Pack | March 3, 2008, 1:29pm | #

    So,nobody knows what the temp.should be,yet,we are worried that it's getting a little higher?


    Yes, because it's the CHANGE that matters. If mean global temperatures had been 5 degrees higher for the past 1000 years, the continent would have been settled differently. Our port cities would have been built further away from the current coastline and on the Bizarro coastline. Our farming communities would have been located hundreds of miles to the north. Areas that were more tropical and more malarial would not have been settled. Our building techniques throughout the continent would have been designed around the weather patterns that would have predominated under that type of climate.

    Neither of these temperatures and settlement patterns is better than the other in objective terms, but having to transition from one to the other as a consquence of climate change is going to be very costly and harmful.

  • ||

    If you start looking at Milankovich forcings, whiich are thought to be significant factors in the onset of ice ages, you will see that the patterns of obliquity, eccentricity, and precession never repeat exactly, so it is difficult to draw conclusions.

    Also, continental drift starts to come in to play on these time scales, meaning that ocean currents are never the same. Cosmic ray flux may effect climate, and it varies on our orbit through the milky way long term, and with the strength of the magnetic field of the sun in the short term.

    Since conditions never repeat, and won't, the moon is drifting away from Earth and won't be coming back, and this effects not only tides, but the wobbling tilt of the planet, we will never be able to "prove" what causes ice ages. Only to speculate through the use of models that cannot be completely tested, but which will certainly be refined over time.

    For example, one theory is that as the Antarctic circle migrates northward, sea ice extent in Anarctica grows, shutting off sunlight and cooling the deep southern ocean.

    It is only a speculative theory, and anybody who says they know for sure, is lying or mistaken.

  • ||

    Joebal warming...

    I think we have a winner.

    Warty, Pro Lib, I don't think I have that, just an ordinary chest cold.

    Wow, Yorick's a dick.

  • stuartl||

    Yes, because it's the CHANGE that matters.

    How did this become an Obama thread?

  • ||

    So Joe, if you don't know, why do you bring these things up and defend them on blogs? Don't answer, I don't care.

  • ||

    Getting an alarmist to name call is like that scene in "Inherent the Wind" where Clarence Darrow gets William Jennings Bryant to thump his Bible with his thumb. Rational argument has been abandoned at that point, but the fighting spirit remains.

  • ||

    RC,

    Yes, that too. Linear projections may be useful for some things, but probably aren't terribly reliable when talking about a system of such complexity.

  • ||

    Yup, a Dick.

    I suppose I could come up with a term as witty as "alarmist," but more than representing any particular point of view, Yorick, you are a Dick.

  • ||

    Sorry, I forgot the rest of that theory and don't want to be accused of leaving out facts detrimental to my postion.

    "cooling the southern ocean, which increases CO2 absorbtion, which lowers temps globally"

  • ||

    they they they.

    It's all about personality and group identity, rather than evidence, to some people.

  • ||

    "Yes, that too. Linear projections may be useful for some things, but probably aren't terribly reliable when talking about a system of such complexity"

    Wow, you sure are smart Joe. You have proven it with your facility at name calling. So your opinion on anything in this subject area carries great weight.

  • ||

    My fanclub grows daily.

    *kiss kiss*

  • Y~||

    "It's all about personality and group identity, rather than evidence, to some people" - Joe

    I think it is interesting that his next earlier post was about "projection."

  • ||

    So your opinion on anything in this subject area carries great weight.

    Yeah, you'd have to some sort of idiot to base your opinion on a scientific question with such important political implications based on what people who comment on the threads of a political blog have to say.

    Much wiser would be to find out what the researchers and experts in the field are saying.

    http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/wg1-report.html

  • ||

    Well, no one wants to hear this, but here goes...

    The earth doesn't care if any of us believe in global warning or not. It's going to do whatever it's going to do regardless of what we think. It might be warming up. It might cool down. It might stay the same for a while with teasing fluctuations.

    All of you who are setting up camp on one side of this "issue" or the other, and then trying to convince your opponents how foolish they are, are doing nothing but a wasting your own time.

    Given all of the earth's temperature variations on a macro and micro scale over geological time, it's with some hubris indeeed that we think we can project the future of the earth's climate based on our measly few decades/centuries of data. And even greater hubris to think we measly humans can deliberately effect it.

    Unless you plan to scare oodles of money out of naive fools who want to Save the Earth, I suggest everyone stop caring about this. Poster Michael Pack is on the right track -- just what IS the earth's proper temperature? It's whatever the earth wants it to be at any given moment in time. And joe, the bit about the earth's correct ocean level probably seemed like a grand riposte to you, but there isn't a correct ocean level, either. And if it rises and floods you out, then it's time to move. Oh well ... you lose. Just like the people who build on hillsides in Malibu.

  • Someone Who Doesn\'t Want to L||

    ( o )( o )

    Woooo!

  • Related Item||

    A guy sued to cut down Giant Redwoods, because they blocked his solar panels. The guy won; the trees are coming down.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/02/29/redwoods.vs.solar.ap/index.html?imw=Y

  • kinnath||

    A guy sued to cut down Giant Redwoods,

    Not exactly.

    Neighbor A planted trees. Some years later, Neighbor B put in a solar system. The trees block the solar panels. Given a recently passed law that gives the ower of the solar panels "rights" to the sunlight, a judge ordered Neighbor A to cut down most of the trees.

    A bullshit result, but clearly the "correct" interpretation of the current laws.

  • ||

    And joe, the bit about the earth's correct ocean level probably seemed like a grand riposte to you, but there isn't a correct ocean level, either.

    That was my POINT. Did the whole "it's the change that matters" thing elude you?

  • ||

    Cutting down plantings in a yard vs. cutting down old-growth forest is one of those distinctions that you have to work not to grasp.

  • ||

    There is no historical data that supports the premise that human activity has any significant effect on global average temperature. The observation of glaciers melting may look dramatic on TV but does not show that human activity is the cause. There is, however, substantial evidence (besides the precipitous temperature drop in Jan 2008) that atmospheric carbon dioxide level does not significantly influence global average temperature. You can check out the global warming issue yourself. Credible websites are included in my post at http://hypsithermal.wordpress.com/2008/03/01/to-those-who-will-fight/

  • ||

    Why, Dan, do you suppose that the vast majority of scientists who've studied the issue came to the opposite conclusion?

  • kinnath||

    Cutting down plantings in a yard vs. cutting down old-growth forest is one of those distinctions that you have to work not to grasp.

    Right.

    This particular ruling doesn't sit well with me. I can understand a situation where planting trees after someone has installed a solar system is a "harm" against a neighbor. But I can't see where you should be able to install a solar system, then force your neighbor to cut down his trees.

  • ||

    Poster Michael Pack is on the right track -- just what IS the earth's proper temperature? It's whatever the earth wants it to be at any given moment in time.

    The earth's proper temperature is that which maximizes the prosperity of humanity.

    Nonetheless, while there are reasons to believe a warmer earth or a cooler earth might offer higher prosperity than the present climate, a climate that changes dramatically enough to force the depreciation of capital investments to be faster than it should be works against the prosperity of humanity.

    All that said, I don't believe that the case has been made that the damage to humanity due to global warming -- regardless of its cause -- would outweigh the damage to humanity due to preventing it.

  • ||

    That's better Joe. Go back to argument from authority, it is much safer ground for you.

  • ||

    On second thought, I would like a link to the "vast majority of scientists" who think that methane is going to be release from permafrost at climate affecting levels. Can you support it, are were you just blowing smoke. Educate me Joe.

  • ||

    MikeP,

    Well, perhaps we should institute plans--if necessary--to terraform Earth. We can practice on Mars first ☺ Whatever the state of AGW, we will likely face some sort of not-favorable-to-humanity climate change at some point in the future.

  • ||

    Yes, well....Let's all argue about the weather 12,000 years ago.
    It's so fun!

  • David||

    Dan Pangburn wrote:
    > There is no historical data that
    > supports the premise that human
    > activity has any significant effect
    > on global average temperature.

    You're wrong. When climatologists model the climate, they're able to reproduce it for the last 100 years *only* if they included manmade forcings such as manmade GHGs and land use changes. Natural forcings alone (sun, volcanoes, water vapor) *do not* predict the great rise in temperature since about 1977.

    See Figure 8.15 in the IPCC TAR sec 8.6.1
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/326.htm#861

  • trollista||

    Well, perhaps we should institute plans--if necessary--to terraform Earth.

    We can start with a constellation of geosynchronous satellites with huge collapsable mirrors. When the earth is to hot, you can spread out the mirrors and cool it off.

    For a secondary purpose, you could torch anyone that misbehaves. That way you can get the pentagon to fund the damn things.

  • ||

    re: joe @ 3:44pm: That was my POINT. Did the whole "it's the change that matters" thing elude you?

    No. It's just that nothing's certain in life. When the earth's climate changes (which it will -- 'cause it always has) there will be winners and losers. If I had oceanfront property that submerged due to global warming I'd be devastated, just like anyone else. But that's life. I could get wiped out by a hurricane, tornado, wildfire or earthquake as well. Why aren't you calling for a vast marshalling of the world's wealth to find a way to prevent those things from happening to me?

    Why do you feel we must step in and try to control the earth's climate?

  • ||

    Malto,

    It's my fault for raising the whole thing. I just thought it was interesting, not dispositive of anything. Meh.

  • ||

    trollista,

    Don't forget redirecting comets and slamming them into Earth, over and over again. Yeee-haw!

  • ||

    "You're wrong. When climatologists model the climate, they're able to reproduce it for the last 100 years *only* if they included manmade forcings such as manmade GHGs and land use changes. Natural forcings alone (sun, volcanoes, water vapor) *do not* predict the great rise in temperature since about 1977"


    While I don't totally support Dan's assertion, I think you ought to know about some assumptions in your link. Any temp changes that cannot be explained by the models are attributed to AGW, this makes the argumet circular.

  • Related Item||

    "Cutting down plantings in a yard vs. cutting down old-growth forest is one of those distinctions that you have to work not to grasp."

    Joe, you need to think with you mind towards the future. Yes, the trees may have been planted just a few years ago, but how much carbon do you suppose those giants would absorb/fix over their 1000 year lifespans relative to what the solar panels would displace before their scrapped as obsolete technology and sent to a landfill? Is this the first time ever an environmentalist has sued to cut trees down?

  • David||

    Yorick wrote:
    > I think you ought to know about some
    > assumptions in your link. Any temp
    > changes that cannot be explained by the
    > models are attributed to AGW, this
    > makes the argumet circular.

    Really? Show me where. Give me citations to the scientific literature (or even a news story) where such attributions are made.

    Show me.

  • trollista||

    Don't forget redirecting comets and slamming them into Earth, over and over again. Yeee-haw!

    Global, control-alt-delete should be reserved for the blue planet of death.

  • kinnath||

    Yes, the trees may have been planted just a few years ago, but how much carbon do you suppose those giants would absorb/fix over their 1000 year lifespans relative to what the solar panels would displace before their scrapped as obsolete technology and sent to a landfill?

    You cannot apply logic and reason to legislation like this. The law says that anyone that puts up a solar panel has the ultimate right to have line-of-sight to the sun during key hours of the day.

    Is this the first time ever an environmentalist has sued to cut trees down?

    Who knows, but it won't be the last.

  • stuartl||

    Malto, I'm with Pro Libertate, if you ignore the politics and name calling, the science of this is fascinating. The end of an ice age unblocking an ice dam, allowing a huge fresh water lake to flood into the ocean, which in turn restarts the ice age. Great stuff!

  • ||

    "Really? Show me where. Give me citations to the scientific literature (or even a news story) where such attributions are made"

    It's in your own link. I guess if it is too much trouble for you to read your own links...

  • ||

    Shirt,

    Why aren't you calling for a vast marshalling of the world's wealth to find a way to prevent those things from happening to me? Why do you feel we must step in and try to control the earth's climate? Because, as you say, we can't control the Earth's climate. Only our own contribution to it.

    And while there are disasters that happen naturally, you DO understand that it would be better to avoid causing more, right?

  • ||

    "Malto, I'm with Pro Libertate, if you ignore the politics and name calling, the science of this is fascinating."

    That is so true. That is why I pity those who limit themselves to political arguments and quotes from the popular press. If you want a very interesting take, google Ruddiman. He has a theory, based on climate models and ice core data, that man has altered the climate for thousands of years, preventing an ice age that should already have arrived. He has a peer reviewed paper in Science, and a book you can buy on Amazon.

  • ||

    Go back to argument from authority'

    Bzzt, I'm sorry, but thanks for playing.

    An argument from authority is "X is true, because Y says it's true."

    It is not "X is true, because the research demonstrates it to be true." Do you think that the IPCC consists of unsupported statements and signatures?

    Apparently, your understanding of logic is right up there with your manners.

  • ||

    Yorick, that isn't an argument from authority, is it?

  • ||

    Remember, refering to research is only allowed if the research in question is extremely tentative, and contradicts an existing consensus.

    Otherwise, it's just an argument from authority.

  • ||

    Whether the IPCC represents revealed truth or not, you are just parroting what they say without understanding it. That should be obvious to every disinterested person reading this thread by now.

  • ||

    How old are you Joe?

  • ||

    "Wow, Yorick's a dick." -Joe

    "Apparently, your understanding of logic is right up there with your manners." -Joe

    tee hee.

  • David||

    Yorick wrote:
    > It's in your own link.

    What link? Specifically? To section 8.6.1 of the IPCC TAR? That doesn't answer your assertion at all.

    The IPCC TAR/FAR is a huge document. Show me where, specifically, exactly, your attribution is done.

  • ||

    joe @ 4:28pm: Because, as you say, we can't control the Earth's climate. Only our own contribution to it.

    Well, which is it, young feller? You want I should freeze or get down on the ground? Mean to say, if'n I freeze, I can't rightly drop. And if'n I drop, I'm a-gonna be in motion. You see...

    So which is it joe. If we can't, as you just said, control the earth's climate, then what is our "contribution"? Or does our contribution have an effect on the climate? Which you said it didn't...

  • David||

    Yorick wrote:
    > Whether the IPCC represents revealed
    > truth or not, you are just parroting
    > what they say without understanding it.

    Not at all. I do understand it. It's not a complicated result, but quite basic science in a way: one model (AGW) explains the past, the other does not.

  • ||

    Shirt,

    Raising Arizona?

  • ||

    David, I have read a lot of it. I know it is huge. Are you only reading the technical summary? If so, there is a detailed document that fills out what is in the summary. Don't believe me if you like, just don't be shocked when you drop that ace from your sleeve and somebody trumps it. I really don't have time. Feel free to call me a liar. I have wasted way more time than I should have answering the little twit.

  • ||

    More joe @ 4:28pm: And while there are disasters that happen naturally, you DO understand that it would be better to avoid causing more, right?

    I guess so. Like I guess you'd agree to avoid causing more by arrogantly tinkering with the world's climate.

    joe, what if it were to be conclusively proven that if we could keep the earth's climate where it is today, all the whales would become extinct. But if we allowed global warming to occur, the whales would flourish. What should we do then? Think of the poor whales, joe. Save the Whales!

  • David||

    Yorick, of course I am reading more than the IPCC's Summary. I liked to the details, didn't I? And I haven't called you a liar, so calm down.
    1
    I'm just asking for the proof of your claim. What specific page number is it in the IPCC TAR/FAR, or some other scientific paper?

    You made a claim -- back it up. This is just standard scientific (and debating) procedure. It's no less than your professors required from your when you wrote papers in college.

    So, please: your citation?

  • ||

    Pro Libertate

    But of course.

  • ||

    David, there is a section on "attribution", look there if you are curious. No Guarentees. By the way, my comment about "parrotting" was aimed a Joe, not yourself, who, as far as I can tell are thoughtful on the subject.

    I will look later. Come back in the moring, maybe I will find the line. I just can't think of the proper search terms right now.

  • ||

    "It's no less than your professors required from your when you wrote papers in college."

    What about Joe's professors? That is what I am wondering about.

  • ||

    Shirt,

    Can you cite to the exact scene within that film? And name the actor who spoke those lines?

  • David||

    Yorick wrote:
    > David, there is a section on "attribution",
    > look there if you are curious.

    Oh please, don't bullshit us. There attribution sections contain thousands of papers. Which paper specifically??

  • ||

    From 1.3.3

    Identifying human-induced climate change requires two steps. First it must be demonstrated that an observed climate change is unusual in a statistical sense. This is the detection problem. For this to be successful one has to know quantitatively how climate varies naturally. Although estimates have improved since the SAR, there is still considerable uncertainty in the magnitude of this natural climate variability. The SAR concluded nevertheless, on the basis of careful analyses, that "the observed change in global mean, annually averaged temperature over the last century is unlikely to be due entirely to natural fluctuations of the climate system".

    So they have established natural variation with the GCMs.

    Having detected a climatic change, the most likely cause of that change has to be established. This is the attribution problem. Can one attribute the detected change to human activities, or could it also be due to natural causes? Also attribution is a statistical process. Neither detection nor attribution can ever be "certain", but only probable in a statistical sense. The attribution problem has been addressed by comparing the temporal and spatial patterns of the observed temperature increase with model calculations based on anthropogenic forcing by greenhouse gases and aerosols, on the assumption that these patterns carry a fingerprint of their cause.

    Now they have modeled the difference between what they got without anthropogenic forcings, and attributed it to AGW.

    From 8.6.4 (your link)

    "Taken together, we consider that there is an urgent need for a systematic 20th century climate intercomparison project with a standard set of forcings, including volcanic aerosols, changes in solar irradiance and land use, as well as a more realistic treatment of both the direct and indirect effects of a range of aerosols"

    http://www.grida.no/climate/IPCC_tar/wg1/329.htm

    Not exactly brimming with certitude, are they?

  • ||

    By the way, they have lots of parameters to fiddle with to model the difference, so they can "model" just about anything. There is a saying, "give me four free parameters and I can draw you an elephant, give me a fifth and I can add the tail".

    The problem with this is that the models have little predictive "skill." Funny thing is that you can get them to work much better, as Michaels points out in this article, and in his paper in the AGU's journal Atmospheres, this past December, if you assume the lower temp rise he cites, you get better predictions.

  • ||

    I promise to get back to you Dave, with any replies you might have, but I have to go now.

  • ||

    Here's the link to the imdb quotes for the movie:

    http://imdb.com/title/tt0093822/quotes

    The character is identified as "Fiesty Hayseed", and according to the cast link (http://imdb.com/title/tt0093822/fullcredits#cast), he was played by Rusty Lee.

  • ||

    Whether the IPCC represents revealed truth or not...

    Uh huh. One scientist is an honest researcher dealing with the facts. A thousand is "revealed truth."

  • ||

    Shirt, you're not making any sense.

  • ||

    Not exactly brimming with certitude, are they?

    From the IPCC 4 Report, Chapter 9

    It is extremely unlikely (

  • ||

    It is extremely unlikely (less than 5%) that the global pattern of
    warming during the past half century can be explained without
    external forcing, and very unlikely that it is due to known
    natural external causes alone. The warming occurred in both the
    ocean and the atmosphere and took place at a time when natural
    external forcing factors would likely have produced cooling.
    Greenhouse gas forcing has very likely caused most of the
    observed global warming over the last 50 years.

  • ||

    When climatologists model the climate, they're able to reproduce it for the last 100 years *only* if they included manmade forcings such as manmade GHGs and land use changes. Natural forcings alone (sun, volcanoes, water vapor) *do not* predict the great rise in temperature since about 1977.

    This is an odd claim, given that climatologists can't explain pre-industrial climate changes. They simply do not know the drivers for historic ice ages and warming periods, so I don't see how they can isolate anthro CO2 as the driver of the current warming trend.

  • ||

    Shirt makes plenty of sense to me. Then again, I think Raising Arizona is authoritative on AGW.

  • ||

    Then go to the link and delve to your heart's content, RC.

  • Brian||

    Pro Libertate, I don't know for sure, but I think I might know the Anthropologist you are referring to. If it was about the Younger Dryas and melting of an ice dam (releasing Lake Agassiz) causing colder temps in Europe, it could be Brian Fagan. I recently read his book "The Long Summer: How Climate Changed Civilization). Among other things, he covers that in some detail. Plus, Fagan is a well known Anthropologist and writes a lot of stuff, so it wouldn't surprise me if he also did something for the teaching Company.

  • ||

    Ah yes, those infallible models:

    According to Robert Toggweiler of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University and Joellen Russell, assistant professor of biogeochemical dynamics at the University of Arizona - two prominent climate modellers - the computer models that show polar ice-melt cooling the oceans, stopping the circulation of warm equatorial water to northern latitudes and triggering another Ice Age (a la the movie The Day After Tomorrow) are all wrong.

    "We missed what was right in front of our eyes," says Prof. Russell. It's not ice melt but rather wind circulation that drives ocean currents northward from the tropics. Climate models until now have not properly accounted for the wind's effects on ocean circulation, so researchers have compensated by over-emphasizing the role of manmade warming on polar ice melt.

    But when Profs. Toggweiler and Russell rejigged their model to include the 40-year cycle of winds away from the equator (then back towards it again), the role of ocean currents bringing warm southern waters to the north was obvious in the current Arctic warming.



    What a joke.

  • ||

    Joe,

    When somebody says "2+2=4" and "2+2=5", does it feel any different in your brain?

  • Chad||

    "This is an odd claim, given that climatologists can't explain pre-industrial climate changes. They simply do not know the drivers for historic ice ages and warming periods, so I don't see how they can isolate anthro CO2 as the driver of the current warming trend."

    Easy. Common sense.

    Imagine you start a Cheesy Choco Poofs diet, and start gaining weight. Does it make any sense at all to say:

    "Hey, my weight fluctuated in the past, and I am not absolutely sure why in every case, and it happened even before I ever heard of Poofs. Therefore, I cannot be 100% certain that my recent weight gain has something to do with the three pounds of Poofs I eat every day. Therefore, I should not change my diet in order to avoid weight gain."

    Of course not. But that is the argument you are using now.

    It is simple:

    Increased CO2 in the atmosphere SHOULD cause warming, as anyone with a basic grasp of physics and chemistry should understand.

    We are releasing gobs of CO2 into the atmosphere.

    The earth is getting warmer.

    Could it theoretically be some mystical magical flying spaghetti monster that is really causing global warming? Sure. But I wouldn't bet my planet on it, and neither should you.

  • ||

    Yorick, have you ever come across the saying "A little learning is a dangerous thing?"

  • ||

    RC Dean,

    Not being a professional in any scientific field, and not having advanced degrees in any sciences, I find there are a lot of things I don't understand about how scientists draw conclusions.

    A lot of astrophysics, for example - sometimes they seem to pile up a great many assumptions about the meaning of data, when, to my layman's eye, it seems like they couldn't possibly know that the assumptions they are making in interpreting the data are true.

    But it would be foolish for me to assume that, because I haven't bothered to learn a great deal about astrophysics, that my inability to connect the dots is a reliable indicator of the legitimacy of their techniques. The people who actually know what they're talking about all, or virtually all, agree. They came to agree based on the application of the scientific principle to the question.

    Someone could come along and put together an argument that, to my layman's ear, sounds more comprehensible and reasonable than the esoteric jargon the astrophysicists use. As a matter of fact, if somebody was attempting to promote an inaccurate and scientifically indefensible position on a scientific question, that's exactly what they'd do - appeal to the public in laymen's terms. If simply convincing laymen was what they wanted to accomplish, and they didn't care about the scientific validity of their position, doing so would give them a tremendous leg up over those doing legitimate scientific work, since those researchers would communicate in terms designed for an audience of fellow specialists and scientists.

  • ||

    When somebody says "2+2=4" and "2+2=5", does it feel any different in your brain?

    Yes, it does. I know enough about mathematics to know that one is true and the other false.

    On the other hand, if somebody gave me two complicated string theory equations, and one of them had an error in their moon-man symbols, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

    I would, however, know enough to realize that I am not, individually, better at and more knowledgeable about string theory than the people who actually study it professionally, so I wouldn't be dumb enough to argue with actual string theorists when they make pronouncements about the equations. Particularly if all, or almost all, of them had come to the same conclusion.

    A little of learning is a dangerous thing, because people with a little bit of learning tend to assume they have an encyclopedic knowledge.

  • ||

    joe,

    Are you suggesting Al Gore's next traveling presentation should be on astrophysics?

  • ||

    If it is, MikeP, he would be wise to do what he did last time, and make sure his statements about the science line up closely with the consensus of astrophysicists.

  • ||

    Joe, you have demonstrated zero command of even your own IPCC's report. What compells you to comment on it?

  • ||

    joe, he'd never go for it. There just aren't any theories in astrophysics that can be used to argue that we must hand vast quantities of market regulation and interference to the government because it is a moral imperative.

  • ||

    I didn't comment on it, numbnuts. I presented it for consideration.

  • ||

    Mike P, this is a scientific question. Your feelings about political figures or policy implications really have nothing to do with it.

  • ||

    Not being a professional in any scientific field, and not having advanced degrees in any sciences, I find there are a lot of things I don't understand about how scientists draw conclusions. - Joe

    Once again, what makes you believe you are qualified to defend AGW theory? Don't you wonder sometimes if your obviously and admitted limited understanding of the issues combined with your irrational rants hurt your cause more than help it?

    Scientists draw their conclusions by the application of logic to evidence, same as everybody else.

    Did you know that just decades ago, the "consensus" was that continental drift was complete hogwash? The only places it could be discussed was in back stairwells by the vetted like-minded? Carreers could be ruined by openly espousing it?

  • ||

    Joe, you have demonstrated zero command of even your own IPCC's report.

    Yes, I make of point of not making claims of expertise that go beyond my actual knowledge of the subject.

    Ahem.

    Ahem.

    Little bit of learning.

  • ||

    "I didn't comment on it, numbnuts. I presented it for consideration" - Joe

    Oh, I get it, you think I haven't read a newspaper or seen a magazine or television or computer in the past five years so your arguments would be new, is that it?

  • ||

    How many times do you think I'll have to make the same point to Little Bitty there before it penetrates his skull?

    Once again, what makes you believe you are qualified to defend AGW theory?

    Nothinig. I let people who are experts on the subject do that for me. That's what they're for.

    Don't you wonder sometimes if your obviously and admitted limited understanding of the issues combined with your irrational rants hurt your cause more than help it?

    What cause would that be, Little Bitty? I don't think your opinion of me is going to make any difference to the ever-growing appreciation of the size of the consensus that exists within the field.

    Scientists draw their conclusions by the application of logic to evidence, same as everybody else. And their superior understanding and knowledge of the evidence makes them more qualified than, say, you to apply logic to it.

  • ||

    Oh, I get it, you think I haven't read a newspaper or seen a magazine or television or computer in the past five years so your arguments would be new, is that it?

    But Yorick, I don't think of you.

  • ||

    "Yes, I make of point of not making claims of expertise that go beyond my actual knowledge of the subject."

    So what about Methane? I am still waiting for your source for that one.

  • ||

    "But Yorick, I don't think of you"

    Very Zen. He can address me while his mind is completely still so that he does not "think of me."

  • ||

    So what about methane?

    I mentioned a theory that exists within the field about the effects of global warming, to make a point about how complex and chaotic systems don't generally go through smooth changes.

    Could you point out the part where I made any statements about that theory?

  • ||

    Sorry the reference went over your head.

    Don't worry, everyone else reading this got it.

  • ||

    "And their superior understanding and knowledge "

    If that isn't argument from authority, nothing is.

  • ||

    Sigh. No, Little Bitty, once again, an appeal to authority is as follows:

    "X is true, because Y says it's true."

    I didn't make any statement "X is true." Ergo, no "appeal to authority" fallacy.

    I'm getting tired of explaining this to you.

  • ||

    It doesn't speak very well of you, however, that you think the existence of a broad consensus of experts about a particular issue is of no value to a layman attempting to understand the truth about that issue.

  • ||

    Mike P, this is a scientific question.

    I haven't disagreed with the science one iota.

    Your feelings about political figures or policy implications really have nothing to do with
    it.


    My feelings about policy implications have almost exactly as much to do with it as Al Gore's feelings about policy implications.

    Al Gore didn't travel the world with an astrophysics presentation. Why not?

  • ||

    "Nothinig. I let people who are experts on the subject do that for me. That's what they're for." -Joe

    "Then I write hundreds of blog comments full of sound and fury that I admit signify nothing." - Joe

  • ||

    Scientists draw their conclusions by the application of logic to evidence, same as everybody else. And their superior understanding and knowledge of the evidence makes them more qualified than, say, you to apply logic to it.

    This is what Little Bitty thinks counts as an "appeal to authority:" the observation that people who know a great deal about a subject, know a great deal about that subject.

  • ||

    Did you know that just decades ago, the "consensus" was that continental drift was complete hogwash?

    And then, through the application of the scientific method by researchers, evidence that the consensus was wrong emerged, and it was eventually overturned.

    As opposed to global warming, where the application of the scientific method has continually strengthened the scentific community's certainty about the fundamental premises of the theory, while only changing some of the particulars.

  • ||

    I am getting tired of proving six ways to Sunday what an idiot you are.

    "X is true, because Y says it's true." - Joe

    "I let people who are experts on the subject do that for me. That's what they're for" - Joe

    "Catastrophic climate change" is true becaus "experts" say it's true.

  • ||

    Temper, temper.

    "X is true, because Y says it's true." - Joe

    "I let people who are experts on the subject do that for me. That's what they're for" - Joe

    You don't see any difference between those two statements? None?

    Look hard, Little Bitty. I've already told you the answer twice.

  • ||

    "As opposed to global warming, where the application of the scientific method has continually strengthened the scentific community's certainty about the fundamental premises of the theory, while only changing some of the particulars."

    Prove it Joe. Prove it. Prove it is not just something you picked up in a power point presentation from a lay expert who flunked out of divinity school.

  • ||

    No. I have no interest in trying to prove anything to you.

    You have the evidence at your fingertips, in the IPCC report I linked to. Educate yourself, if you wish...but then, you clearly don't wish to, since you've managed not do so by now.

  • ||

    Little Bitty? Is that supposed to hurt? Yeesh! More projection no doubt. This has been fun, but Joe, honestly. you are either really stupid or just having me on for fun. Either way, I have had a good time. Thanks for that.

    David,
    My offer to answer any objections from a commenter with a working brain stands.

  • ||

    Prove it Joe. Prove it

    It would really be best for you to learn about the subject from experts in the field, and not random people on interest threads.

    Unless an actual understanding of the matter, based on the science, isn't actually what you're after.

    And with the quip about Al Gore - who must always be dragged into any scientific debate by the people on the wrong side of the science - you demonstrate pretty effectively that it is not.

  • ||

    Little Bitty? Is that supposed to hurt?

    No, it's supposed to draw your attention to the old saying, "A little bit of learning is a dangerous thing."

    You are perhaps the most little bit of learned fellow I've ever encountered. You actually think you know more about the subject than those who've made it their careers to learn about it. You actually think that your ability to formulate, or repeat, and argument that sounds science-y is a reliable way for you to understand the science.

  • Mark Bahner||

    "Can anyone tell me what the average temp.for the planet should be

    No, because nobody has an opinion on that."

    I have an opinion on that. I'd be amazed that no one else does. (I wouldn't be amazed that who want to spread fear of global warming don't want to offer any opinions.)

    The optimum average world temperature is somewhere between minus 0.5 degrees Celsius and plus 2.0 degrees Celsius of the present (2000-2007 average) temperature.

  • Mark Bahner||

    "According to recent reports, Greenland's ice cap is now losing about 57 cubic miles of ice annually."

    Note: The article quoted says Greenland lost an average of 57 cubic miles annually from 2002 to 2005. But from April 2004 to April 2006, the value was 164 cubic miles, or 82 cubic miles per year.

  • ||

    Incidentally, joe... In case it wasn't clear, I brought up Al Gore because for your comment...

    As a matter of fact, if somebody was attempting to promote an inaccurate and scientifically indefensible position on a scientific question, that's exactly what they'd do - appeal to the public in laymen's terms.

    ...the converse is equally true.

    If someone was trying to use an accurate and defensible scientific position in order to silence any residual scientific debate as well as to disqualify any extrascientific -- e.g., economic -- position from the policy discussion, he would "appeal to the public in layman's terms."

    And he did.

  • ||

    Joe,
    You know nothing about meteorology compared to Richard Lindzen. MIT's Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology Richard Lindzen. Don't you think a "braod consensus" would include a guy like this?

    http://www.boston.com/news/science/articles/2006/08/30/mits_inconvenient_scientist/

    The fact that you willfully ignore the TOTAL LACK of a broad consensus of scientist adds to the evidence that this is all a politically motivated scam.

    You repeatedly make appeals to a IPCC "consensus" that has been shown to include psychiatrists, medical doctors, PHD's in sociology, Al Gore and political science majors amongst its reported experts. It is a joke and many of the scientist say they never agreed with all the crap the IPCC was calling for. They say that they agree to some very narrow definition of what was happening and then a bunch of slimy politiicans turn it into the pretext to start a world carbon tax.

    You blew all of your credibilty when you argued for days about what a great idea it was to put $1000 ignition lock breathalyzers in everyones car. You can't really believe this stuff. You must be here to sucker us idiots into wasting our time instead of improving the world.

  • ||

    it makes me sad to see people still denying the obvious. Climate change is for REAL and it is caused by us!!!!! There is a real scientific consensus, for accurate information I would suggest anybody to read the IPCC Assessments!! It's time to stop the debate and act together to save this planet !!!

  • ||

    Climate change is for REAL and it is caused by us!!!!!

    Probably true.

    There is a real scientific consensus, for accurate information I would suggest anybody to read the IPCC Assessments!!

    Probably true

    It's time to stop the debate and act together to save this planet !!!

    Definitely false.

  • ||

    The most interesting thing about this thread is that this Yorick guy is such a pompous jerk.

  • ||

    Global warming, carbon credits and all the rest is a scam. I work in aletnative energy industry and it is all about making a buck off the fact that people are stupid.

  • ||

    Brian,

    Excellent. You are exactly right--the lecturer is none other than Brian Fagan. The Teaching Company course is Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations. I'm rather enjoying it. I'm not surprised that he's written a book on the effects of climate on civilization, because he has mentioned climate issues a number of times in his lectures.

  • ||

    Well.I've learned that no one knows what the average temp is or should be.It just GOING to be to high.Greenland was named in a time when the climate was warmer yet we don't want it THAT warm.Finally,100 years of records are enough to understand the climate of a planet 4 billion years old with varying temps[ ice ages and very warm as in warm enough for a T.Rex].

  • Jono||

    Anyone who thinks climate change warrants government intervention is an alarmist.

  • ||

    joe sez The people who actually know what they're talking about all, or virtually all, agree. They came to agree based on the application of the scientific principle to the question.

    You might want to look into 'aether' theory in the history of physics. Your words would describe the state of physics, optics in particular, prior to that young Einstein wisenhiemer.

  • ||

    "This is what Little Bitty thinks counts as an "appeal to authority:" the observation that people who know a great deal about a subject, know a great deal about that subject."

    Wrong. It is an appeal to a SYSTEM: The scientific system. This system is extraordinarily robust, unlike one person's opinion.

    A peer-reviewed article is exposed to critic after critic after critic, all knowledgable experts. Then it is revised based on their critiques and more data collected. Then it is published and exposed to hundreds or thousands more critics, all of whom have a vested interested in debunking anything in the article (debunking previously published work is regarded highly).

    I AM a scientist. And you seem to be wilfully ignorant.

  • ||

    Venessa,
    I am sorry, I thought this was "Reason" magazine, not "Emote."

    Joe,
    I am sorry, I thought this was "Reason" magazine, not "Pravda."

  • ||

    "A peer-reviewed article is exposed to critic after critic after critic"

    Do you want to get into peer reviewed articles that show that warming is less than catastrophic? Did you read the story attached to this comment thread?

    There are many, have been several in the past couple of years. That is, in fact, the subject of this conference, you remember, the subject of the article? The conference is a review of peer reviewed science.

  • ||

    Let's all just worship at the alter of truth, as revieled in the press. Let us suspend our capacity for critical thinking, as Joe suggests. Let's take any article that even tangentially touches the subject of AGW and turn it into an opportunity toe preach the gospel according to the IPCC, without even understanding it. I have yet to meet the first defender of the press consensus on AGW who displays any knowledge of the subject. Now I know why. Knowledge bad, question authority bad. It is as if you think that hasic reading comprehension is all that is needed to understand science, and that critical thinking is hopeless. Pity for you.

  • ||

    Yorick - no need to apologize to me. But if you want others to attend to your statements on global warming, stop upstaging them with your obnoxious personal attacks.

  • ||

    What I was trying to say is, your obnoxious personal attacks upstage your statements on global warming.

  • ||

    Thankfully, this thread seems played out. But I can't wait for the next Global Warming thread to read the exact same stuff posted ad nauseum by the exact same people. THAT'LL solve it!

    Anyway, what's with the belief that Greenland was recently warm and green? Maybe it was 10-50 million years ago, but that ice cap has been there for at least one million years.

    Greenland wasn't "named when the climate was warmer", because it's likely no humans ever saw Greenland when it was warm. Probably none with the language skills to name something, anyway. According to most sources (legends?), Eric the Red named it Greenland after he returned to Iceland from his three-year exile sometime . Why he did so is speculation, but he wanted to return and establish a colony there and he probably talked the place up a bit.

  • ||

    er ... sometime around 985 AD.

  • ||

    I think repeating "itty bitty" as tactic in a debate is more obnoxious than Yorick.

    Especially when the guy repeating "itty bitty" keeps claiming he is on the side of science and understands science so well yet can't explain why PHD meteorologists at MIT seem to be making some pretty strong arguments that the IPCC is a politcally-motivated publicity stunt instead of SCIENCE.

    If Joe could improve his style and defend the sloppy "science" of the IPCC then he might be more convincing.

  • ||

    The Heartland Institute is a political propaganda outfit...so it's obvious why no serious scientist would show up unless just to debate as at least one did. If the Heartland bunch weren't so predisposed to a certain outcome it'd be respectable.

    This is one topic where libertarians closed their minds and did the Lemming jump.

  • Journeyer||

    This global warming debate is just so confusing. For years, I was totally convinced that global warming was making Al Gore fatter. But now, with evidence of a recent cooling trend, it seems the evidence is just as strong that global cooling is making Al Gore fatter. This is totally disturbing. Maybe it is just too late to reverse the mechanism that is making Al Gore fatter and he will just keep on getting fatter until he explodes, unleashing an extinction level event causing the ultimate demise of the Human species.

  • ||

    If, after this thread, any one continues to "converse" with the self-negating trollbot that is "joe," they have only themselves to blame for wasting valuable minutes of their time.

    joe is a troll.

    Judgement has been rendered.

  • ||

    "Especially when the guy repeating "itty bitty" keeps claiming he is on the side of science and understands science so well yet can't explain why PHD meteorologists at MIT seem to be making some pretty strong arguments that the IPCC is a politcally-motivated publicity stunt instead of SCIENCE."

    The Meteorologists weren't invited, that's why (why would they be, they aren't climatologists). Anyway the IPCC isn't about making science, it's about building a global consensus among the 20,000 plus Climatologists, on what science so far has written.

  • economist||

    Shirt,
    Actually, there's documented evidence that the Vikings grew crops in Greenland, and they abandoned the colony in the early years of the cold period known as the "little ice age". Not that relevant, but i still wanted to correct your misapprehension.

  • ||

    Venessa,
    I am sorry, I thought this was "Reason" magazine, not "Emote."

    Joe,
    I am sorry, I thought this was "Reason" magazine, not "Pravda."


    Double drink!

  • economist||

    Shirt,
    I'm sorry this is the Reason blog, not the DailyKos.

  • economist||

    WHOA SHIT. SORRY, SHIRT. I WAS TALKING TO "TRUE". KINDLY DISREGARD THE LAST POST. "TRUE", HOWEVER, SHOULD LOOK AT IT.

  • ||

    Why does it appear that most anti-science AGW Deniers are force-fed at the right-wing idiot trough of talk radio? Are they seduced by the "carbon credit" hoax?

    I am an investor in both GE and AEP, both of which are investing billions on clean technology. Isn't energy independence in the light of peak oil enough of a motive to move away from dirty fuels.

    What's wrong with a wind subsidy instead of an oil subsidy? (given that lobbyists will insure some type of subsidy).

    The reactionary right-wingers tend to protect some filthy brethren (oil, religion, labor abuse, Pharma, Roger Clemens, etc.)

    The GW deniers all smack of oil cronyism - the same reprobates who support nation-building in Iraq.

  • ||

    shrike-

    Some people are skeptical more about the politics of AGW than the science. My skepticism of the science itself is based on the enormous complexity of climate and that the climate has changed (cooler/warmer/whatever) without any human intervention in the past.

    As for eliminating subsidies (rather than shifting them from one thing to another) RIGHT ON.

    And good luck with your investments - just don't ask for govt favoritism to make them pay off.

  • Chad||

    "Do you want to get into peer reviewed articles that show that warming is less than catastrophic?"

    It doesn't NEED to be catastrophic in order to justify action. It only needs to have a small probability of being catastrophic, or a reasonable probability of being bad. It has both, easily.

    "There are many, have been several in the past couple of years."

    And several thousand pointing the other direction. Perhaps I could refer you to a good book on statistics?

  • ||

    It doesn't NEED to be catastrophic in order to justify action.

    Of course not. You want the action regardless of the potential consequence.

    Oops.

  • Chad||

    What "political consequences" are there? That we will only have 178% of today's economic activity in 2100 rather than 180%? Essentially eliminating the probability of catastrophy and significantly mitigating the harm of likely scenarios is simply not that costly.

  • ||

    Shirt,
    In the interest of seeing one fewer factual error posted over and over again I refer you to a write-up of the GREENLAND Ice Sheet Project. If you examine figure three, you will see a temperature history of GREENLAND, as determined through ice cores. If you doubt the methodology, there is a good explanation of why it works in the paper. It is from a Danish University, totally peer reviewed, and as far as I know, not questioned anywhere but by misinformed posters like yourself.

    See figure 3 for the graphical summary.
    http://www.gfy.ku.dk/~kka/icecores_palaeoclimate.pdf

    -- Katrine Krogh Andersen, Peter Ditlevsen and Jørgen Peder Steffensen,
    Department of Geophysics, NBIfAFG, University of Copenhagen

    Also, vegatation dating to the MWP was recently discovered under retreating glaciers in Greenland. If you want to call bullshit, I am happy to get you the link, but you might try googling it first.

    As an aside. Whether Greenland was warm in the past has no bearing on the mechanism of global warming, so it might be better if you dropped this particular canard. Also, if you were up to date on the latest Alarmist talking points, you would realize that the current line is that the warming in Greenland was local, not global. I don't think this is supportable, but there have been peer-reviewed journal articles on both sides of this debate. If you said that though, I could not slap you down, FYI.

  • ||

    I was hoping that David would come back with questions, or at least acknowledge the quote I gave him from the IPCC which he specifically requested several times I chase down for him, even when I said I didn't want to. After all, he did use the word "Bullshit" on me. Whatever.

    Chad, Chad, Chad... I just deleted a long reply to your post because it is clear I would be wasting my breath, but really.

  • ||

    Joe,

    "Understanding is that penetrating quality of knowledge that grows from theory, practice, conviction, assertion, error, and humiliation."

    Read it now, and hear it later to quote the bodybuilders.

    I was just watching a show on the Discovery Channel on Nostradamus. He so strongly believed in the consensus of the day, Astrology, as did every educated doctor, that he took his wife and child into a plague-stricken city based on a favorable horoscope. He lost both. We are of the same genetic stock as we were then.

  • ||

    What "political consequences" are there? That we will only have 178% of today's economic activity in 2100 rather than 180%? Essentially eliminating the probability of catastrophy and significantly mitigating the harm of likely scenarios is simply not that costly.

    It is very telling that you apparently have no idea of either (a) how very much wealthier people in 2100 will be than we or (b) how much of an effect addressing global warming will have on that wealth.

    Simply using the IPCC SRES numbers and taking present day world GDP at $7000 per capita in 1990 dollars, the difference between the low environmental concern scenario A1 and the high environmental concern scenario B1 is 1070% of today's economic capacity in 2100 versus 670%.

    Your "180%" is laughable. We are freaking paupers compared to our progeny a century hence. To tax ourselves to avoid something that is not truly known to be truly catastrophic is a vast misapplication of humanity's wealth.

    And your difference between 178% and 180% is laughable as well. The Stern Review calls for a 1% hit to today's GDP to forestall global warming. Even the more modest proposals, such as those from Nordhaus, call for an effective 1% tax on today's GDP. Accumulated over a century, those costs result in our progeny's being, in the IPCC estimate, a third poorer than they otherwise would be.

  • ||

    When did this site become a leftard playground?

  • plusaf||

    http://www.plusaf.com/soapbox/globalwarming.htm

    many of you sound like the ultralibs at current.com ...... you might want to join the "intellectual debate" there....

    LOL!

  • plusaf||

    dang... i think i just figured this stuff out... decades or centuries ago, when it got hot or cold, or if crops failed or dust bowls scraped farms off the surface of the planet, human beings said, "well, crap, that sucks," and figured out either what to do about it or something else to do in the meantime.

    today, in large part thanks to mass media's need for "continuing excitement," anything which just MIGHT be somewhat INTERESTING is blown into catastrophic proportions, basically, to sell ink on paper or electrons on your screen.

    without "excitement" to draw you, the Google ads don't get clicked on and pennies don't flow to coffers.

    then comes Al Gore. as a Warmist Fundamentalist and, as i put it on my website, "otherwise unemployed," he manages the Business Called Al Gore to make money and pay for his lifestyle, but more importantly, to get attention and let him [think he's got] control [over] us.

    normal human drive, just like bureacracies and governments: people who like control and power over others gravitate there and take root.

    so, like any other fundamentalist, he'll do exactly what some of you realized he would do: glom on to some half-facts and then label anyone who disagrees to be akin "holocaust-deniers," a very effective, if stupid and blunt weapon to use in what might otherwise be a "discussion."

    i've seen it here, now; i've seen more of it at current.com, one of AG's brain-offspring, and all over Yahoo!Answers.

    religion versus non-religion.

    believers versus atheists.

    warmites versus [imnsho...] logic.

    you warmites think you've got it sewn up, right? why? because you've got consensus. because so many of you agree with each other.

    data be damned. science is fraught with "theories," not "facts" like you have at your fingertips.

    you are SO funny.

  • Nike Dunk Low||

    is good

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