When Science Becomes a Casualty of Politics

Getting to the root of Climategate

In the unfolding debate over "ClimateGate," the affair of the hacked emails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia that offer an inconvenient peek behind the curtain of climate science, one thing is clear. Virtually every commentator's position on the issue—is this a scandal that exposes global warming as a scientific sham, or a faux scandal stoked by climate-change denial propaganda?—can be predicted by his or her politics. You can look at the byline or the publication, and predict with near-100 percent accuracy what the article will say. It is no surprise that The Wall Street Journal deplores the arrogant and dogmatic mindset of the "warmists," or that The New Republic assails the brazenness of the "deniers."

While the facts are ostensibly the same, the interpretations differ so dramatically that we might as well be talking about two different realities. For instance, when CRU director Phil Jones wrote about using "Mike's Nature trick" to "hide the decline" in temperatures in a particular period, was this an admission to manipulating and fudging temperature data? Or is this simply careless use of language that gives sinister overtones to entirely innocuous activities? Defenders of the scientists point out that "Mike's Nature trick" refers to a technique quite openly used by one of Jones' correspondents, Penn State University climatologist Michael Mann, in a 1998 article in Nature magazine, and that "hiding" the decline is simply another way to describe adjusting the data. Their critics say that the data was being manipulated, casting doubt on some of the most widely accepted calculations of temperature increases in the past 100 years.

Or take the CRU scientists' arrogance and secrecy in dealing with climate-change skeptics, deplored even by some proponents of the view that human-made global warming is a major crisis, such as British environmentalist activist George Monbiot. Were the "warmists" out to suppress dissenting views when they discussed taking steps to prevent the publication of skeptics' articles in peer-reviewed journals—or merely trying to keep junk science out of respectable venues? Were they reluctant to share their raw data because they were perpetrating a hoax, or because they felt besieged and harassed by corporate-paid "deniers" and concerned that any glitch in the data would be twisted to impugn scientific truths in the eyes of the public? Is the scientific consensus that supports man-made global warming based on solid science, or on manipulation of evidence and suppression of dissent?

I will freely admit that I don't have enough knowledge of science or familiarity with the scientific method to be able to come to a truly informed conclusion at to which version of "ClimateGate" is right. Neither, I suspect, do some 95 percent (or, more likely, 99 percent) of people who have spoken out on the issue, on either side. That means they are likely to go with their political instincts and listen to those "experts" who reflect their own preconceived opinions. Conservatives and libertarians, who see the crusade against global warming as an attack on capitalism and freedom, are very likely to think that the hacked emails are devastating to the case for human-made global warming; liberals and leftists, who see global warming denial as an attempt to protect greed and unbridled consumption, are very likely to think that the only real scandal is the deniers' shameless manipulation of public opinion in an attempt to discredit solid science.

There is no doubt that refusal to accept human-made climate change is often self-serving. But the other side has blinders and selfish motives of its own. "Going green" has turned into a vast industry in its own right—as well as a religion with its own brand of zealotry. For many, global warming is the secular equivalent of a biblical disaster sent by God to punish humankind for its errant (capitalist) ways. Those who embrace environmentalism as a faith have no interest in scientific and technological solutions to climate change—such as nuclear power—that do not include imposing drastic regulations on markets and curbs on consumption.

In theory, science should be above such motives. Yet, at the very least, the scientists who back strong measures against global warming have not objected to the alarmism, the political fanaticism, or the pseudo-spiritual drivel promoted by many of the crusaders in this cause.

Public trust is something scientists must work hard to maintain. When it comes to science and public policy, the average citizen usually has to trust scientists—whose word he or she has to take on faith almost as much as a religious believer takes the word of a priest. Once that trust is undermined, as it has been in recent years, science becomes a casualty of politics.

Cathy Young writes a weekly column for RealClearPolitics and is also a contributing editor at Reason magazine. She blogs at http://cathyyoung.wordpress.com/. This article originally appeared at RealClearPolitics.

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  • ||

    Ah, the late afternoon climate change post for the trolling delight of Chony.

    I hear the ornate engines of bad faith rumbling in the distance. Talking points being loaded. Lies honed. Bullshit equivalencies drawn up. Strawmen being furiously built.

    The only way to win the game is not to play.

  • ||

    Well said.

  • ||

    While you are (apparently) enjoying the sound of your own voice (as it were), your pretty poetic posturings are a bit tedious.

    A good English teacher might write on your entry here, "Work on your clarity. You might have a good point if it could be discerned. Check Strunk & White and see me after class."

  • ||

    While you employ great clarity criticizing something you don't understand. You are very eloquent in elucidating your utter ignorance.

    I doubt even the most patient English teacher would waste even a minute on you.

  • Sigh||

    How about you faggots just whip your dicks out right now and start laughing?

  • Barney Frank||

    I'm glad I wandered into this conversation...

  • Navin K||

    Salut

  • ||

    Man do my balls itch. This rash is a bitch. I bet mommy can make it better.

    I love you mommy!

  • ||

    crayon, You are a real turd ball...

  • ||

    How does one pronounce "Chony?"

  • ||

    Well?

  • ||

    Choe-Knee

  • Kevin||

    Can that be used as a verb, such as, "This thread is about to get Chonied?"

  • Al Gore||

    THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED.

    We keep it in a lock-box.

  • ||

    It was settled at a meeting at Apalachin.

  • ManBearPig||

    I exist! Prove I don't, I dare you!

  • What more do I know||

    now that I've read this. not much. Reason!

  • ||

    Thank you. I do need a drink.

  • Warty||

    I've been trying to train Chony to bite my enemies' dicks off, but he just keeps on sucking the hot dog I'm training him with.

  • jlo||

    The problem in a nutshell... "When it comes to science and public policy, the average citizen usually has to trust scientists—whose word he or she has to take on faith almost as much as a religious believer takes the word of a priest.
    "

  • ||

    Correction: If only the AGW true believers had as much documentation to back their claims, all of it open to the public of course, as the lowliest Christian priest has.

  • Morris||

    Libertarian zombies take all sorts of dogmatic economic shit on faith. Reason is nothing but a fucking catechism class for true believers.

  • ||

    Make that:

    Chonyonis

  • ||

    It's like a Greek god of trolling or something.

  • d||

    If by "on faith", you mean something like "based on sound economic principle and centuries of experience", then, well, yeah, we do.

  • Whistler's Father||

    A) I hate uppity cats.
    2) Then, by your own logic you wouldn't be here.
    iii) Mixing metaphors makes my tiny head hurt.

  • ||

    Actually, the collective troll machine has morphed into something more sinister...

    Chonyon!

  • d||

    Mothera, save us from the Chonyon! His trolling skills are too much!

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    What’s going on? CRU takes down Briffa Tree Ring Data and more

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/200.....-and-more/

    Odd things are going on at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

    Widely available data, existing in the public view for years, is now disappearing from public view....

  • ||

    Wasn't Chony Paul Atreides' girlfriend?

  • passivatedObserver||

    Chani.

  • ||

    I note that you posted that after I said it was a joke. Which means something significant about your character, but I'll let history be the judge.

  • passivatedObserver||

    I read really, realy slow.

  • ||

    Correcting me on Dune is like correcting SugarFree on absurdly horrific sex acts. Or Episiarch on substances that alter perception.

  • passivatedObserver||

    Noted!

    Sir!

  • Dick Cheney||

    That's how I pronounce it...

  • ||

    Wasn't Chony Paul Atreides' girlfriend?

    Of course. Why do you think they called him "Moab-Dude"?

  • ||

    That was a joke for our cabal of the literal-minded.

  • Tony||

    the only real scandal is the deniers' shameless manipulation of public opinion in an attempt to discredit solid science.

    Yup.

    Normally this

    "Going green" has turned into a vast industry in its own right

    wouldn't be a problem for libertarians, right? There's a demand for green technology, and industrious people are jumping at the opportunity. Go capitalism!

    Until, of course, you invent some stupid slander in order to make this type of industry perverted, such as

    as well as a religion with its own brand of zealotry.

    I didn't realize there were psychological prerequisites before capitalists are considered to be legitimately engaged in innovation and competition. I suspect there aren't in most other realms of industry for you guys.

    For many, global warming is the secular equivalent of a biblical disaster sent by God to punish humankind for its errant (capitalist) ways.

    I don't understand why you guys constantly invoke this kind of psychobabble. You have no evidence of this mentality, you just assume it because you have cultural bigotry against "leftists" or "liberals." We're so wrongheaded that anything we have to say is probably the result of our mental problems. This presents a dilemma when we happen to be right on a matter of scientific fact. You get otherwise rational libertarians frothing at the mouth assuming ridiculous conspiracies, because liberals couldn't possibly be right about something. Is that about it?

    I don't care about consumption in a moral sense, and I am all for nuclear power that pays for itself. I care about solving the problem at hand by the best means necessary.

    But no proposed solution will create the economic doomsday libertarians love to envision (with no evidence of course, just pure speculation). Sometimes it seems all you're doing is piling on sophistry in order to defend the energy status quo. Just like you do with health care. You don't advocate removing incentives for polluting industries, you just bitch about liberals and their supposed dogmatic wrongheadedness.

  • ||

    Who just farted?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "supposed", Tony?

  • Jordan||

    There's a demand for green technology, and industrious people are jumping at the opportunity. Go capitalism!

    Let's just ignore the bazillions in government subsidies.

  • Tony||

    If you'd be as vigilant about criticizing subsidies for polluting industries, you'd have a point. If polluting energy weren't so artificially cheap then green tech would actually be a fairly competitive alternative. Even if it weren't, I would be in favor of some subsidies, of course, but I don't have a problem with government subsidizing some industries for the purposes of general welfare. Like armed forces, e.g.

  • Jordan||

    I'm critical of all subsidies, unlike you who has no leg to stand on. WAAAH! Someone used my activist government for a purpose I don't agree with! WAAAH! Tough shit, statist.

  • Tony||

    From my perspective this means you're the dogmatist and I'm the pragmatist. I don't favor all subsidies, just necessary ones. I don't have a knee-jerk hatred of subsidies in general, I'm just against ones that permit and encourage massive harm against people.

  • Jordan||

    No, it means I'm consistent and you're a hack. Who defines "necessary?" Oh right, whoever's in charge at the time. You have no room to complain; after all you got your wish.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    From the day the phrase "promote the general welfare" got bastardized into meaning "welfare is good, we should have shitloads of it"...

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Tony doesn't get it - most (if not all) libertarians are against ALL subsidies.

    If he'd pull his head out of Gore's ass once in a while, he might start to realize why we're against all subsidies, and why that's a better way to do things.

  • Tony||

    What about subsidies for national defense?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    That is actually one function government is SUPPOSED to provide... national defense.

  • Mann42||

    Politics aside, if a group of people in charge of a government truly believed, based on the science available to them, that certain human activities would literally cause the end of all human life, would trying to curb that activity not be providing for the common defense?

    Now, whether you believe them is a different issue. Isn't this something that a government should concern itself with, in the name of defense of humanity?

    Something that you've pointed out isn't really the concern of free enterprise.

    There is so much data, with variable interpretations. There is a majority (avoiding the consensus word) of climate and environmental scientists that believe some form of climate change is happening, and its partially related to human activities. There are also many scientists that aren't entirely sure, but their doubts, based on data, are enough that they aren't willing to take that 1% chance that the planet actually reaches the tipping point where we all get charred.

    If you were in a position of government and believed there was even a 1% chance that human activities were causing climate to change so significantly the entire species would die, wouldn't you be pursuing the common defense by attempting to stop that from happening?

  • Tony||

    Hahaha... according to you. So you aren't against all subsidies, just the ones you don't like? Me too!

  • ||

    The government funding a part of itself (national defense) is not a subsidy.

  • Tony||

    It's an industry that could just as well be private. There are very, very good reasons it's not private. We can all understand that, right? I just happen to think there are other such industries.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Tony, you liberals hate private industry, and yet here you are espousing it.

    Make up your mind, twit.

  • Ratko||

    One of the few responsibilities federal goverment was originally intended to have was to provide national defense, you cretin.

  • ||

    What about subsidies for national defense?

    National defense is not a subsidy. It's a monopoly. There is only one supplier of defense and you are forced to pay for it.

    That said there's plenty of libertarians who would prefer to break up that monopoly.

    If we were truly free I don't think we'd need much of a military. Freedom spreads on it's own.

  • ||

    But no proposed solution will create the economic doomsday libertarians love to envision

    1930-1940 happened.

    The great leap forward happened

    Zimbabwe exists

    2006-present is happening.

    Are these examples from the novel "The Road"? No.

    Were these economic tragedies caused and amplified by government intervention into economic markets? Yes.

  • Chad||

    Josh, according to libertarian theory, all bad things happen because of government. Your reasoning is circular.

    In none of the cases above do you know what would have happened under an alternative set of government policies. All you can do is hand-wave.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    According to liberal theory, government should be the only source for problem-solving. Fuck the private sector, we have to put Senators and their ilk in charge.

  • Tony||

    Explain how the private sector would deal with a problem like climate change.

    I assume the answer to the question "why hasn't it done so yet" is "government meddling."

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    You first. Tell us how we can fix this supposed problem without government meddling.

  • Tony||

    I don't think we can.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Then we're fucked, either way.

  • Kinda Late||

    !!thread winner!!

  • Joe||

    The market is the only entity that can deal with the supposed "climate change". All government offers are rules and cronyism. The market will pay people to come up with real solutions to any problem that will allow humanity to move forward and prosperity to expand. The government offers misery and enforced poverty, especially for the devloping world, How is this a solution. If "climate change" is real, then get government out of the way and the market will solve it.

  • Ratko||

    Well, Joe, fortunately the climate never changed until we were lucky enough to have cursed ourselves with government or we would be doomed.

    Hold it, something here isn't right. What came first the parasite or the host? What role did government play in saving the "known" world from the Medieval Warm Period that lasted from around AD 800 -1300? How about the during the Little Ice Age that followed between AD 1300-1850? If warming is so evil how come life flourished during the warm period? If government is the universal answer how come it was powerless to stop all the death resulting from cooling?

    I'm beginning to smell a rat here and I'm not sure if it's the greasy rodents in government or all the little turds that blindly worship the rats.

    The one thing I am certain of is start lying and any justification offered for doing such means nothing, the liar has lost all credibility with me.The same holds true for morons too dull witted to see through obvious lies, as well as those with motive to simply accept lies to further their causes, as mentioned by Ms Young in the article. No one who has shown they are dishonest deserves a seat in any serious discussion.

    For anyone to believe this doomsday climate change crap, or any other of countless examples of this type nonsense is something new they would have to be completely ignorant of history. The grift has been around at least as long as written history itself.

    For those unfamiliar with Baconian method aka scientific method, your dilemma is understandable. If you are a reasonable person sincerely interested in answers, please, at least familiarize yourself with rudimentary science before jumping to conclusions.

    You are being sold a false bill of goods here. This is not science. This is religious zealotry.

    After all the lovely things done by scientists involved with government in the 1930s and 1940s, it should come as no surprise that when I was young in the period that immediately followed a stigma was attached to science, the scientist was almost universally portrayed as an evil or mad man. Many of you may be too young to remember that. It took time for a trust to be restored. Now that same blind faith that enabled the Nazi and Japanese and other scientists to commit their unspeakable crimes once again threatens to bring back that distrust.

    We never learn, it's ridiculous, we can make a mistake today, the same mistake tomorrow, the next day, the day after that, no one thinks it's odd. There is nothing wrong with making a mistake, that's part of learning, it's the inability or unwillingness to learn from mistakes that becomes problematic.

    Perhaps I'm just expecting too much from people. Coming from a family whose involvement in science and medicine is an unbroken line from present stretching back into the old countries of Europe, my first introductions into science came when I was barely old enough to read. If that makes me a heretic, so be it. I refuse to accept utter nonsense as science.

    "Climate change denier" now that's a very offensive label. There is no evidence climate has ever done anything but change. The only constant is change. Everything changes except the stupidity of man and even that is debatable since people appear to be getting dumber by the minute.

    If it's truely science, start treating as such, now, knock off the patty cake games and show us what they have, let's find out if their results can be replicated. If the tests are rigged or otherwise flawed, or can't be replicated, people can call it what ever they please, but they have nothing. A person's word, even when not a liar, is not enough. Science is not a democracy, nothing is decided by a majority rule, or even a consensus.

    If I'm wrong, I'll eat crow, I'll walk away from science and never return. And if I'm right what will they or any of you selling this garbage as science do? You won't skip a beat, you'll just carry looking for your next opportunity to exploit as if nothing happened.

    It all makes one long for the good old days when cult loving loons would destroy only themselves and leave everyone else out of their psychotic mess

  • Chad||

    Not at all. There are plenty of problems that are best handled by markets, and there are plenty of problems that are best handled by a public-private mix.

    However, your ideology is that markets are ALWAYS best. Therefore, any time we disagree, I will by definition be arguing for the government.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Your ideology is that government is ALWAYS best.

  • Chad||

    No, it is not. My preferred model is public-private mixtures, with the public sector setting the large scale targets and ground rules, and markets sorting out details.

    It's a lot like life. You can plan too much, and you can plan too little. Somewhere in between, there is a happy medium.

  • Tim||

    One can't run around though inferring that private free markets failed when they didn't exist in the first place.

    Yes there are cases of market failure where government intervention may be better than doing nothing, but you still have to make that case. Using actual market failures, not just saying "my ideas about social justice aren't accomplished by markets". You actually have to address what market failure exists, and then how government will avoid being captured by special interests that can benefit a great deal at the expense of the public and spread the costs out such that the voters are rationally ignorant of the fact they are collectively getting screwed.

    Looking at the current recession it is obvious that the fed kept interest rates too low too long, it is obvious that it implicitly guaranteed it would bail out companies on the down side, and it was obvious that the Federal Government encouraged over investment in housing, especially subprime loans. People respond to incentives, and if you practically pay them to borrow money, encourage them to spend it poorly, and then promise them they will get bailed out when they do it is pretty fucking obvious government is at fault.

    Global warming if it's happening, I'm not a scientist, would be a problem with markets even without government; although government could make it worse. It's an obvious externality, and should be treated as such. Carbon taxes and R&D subsidies are an appropriate way to deal with such a problem, not corruption paradise cap and trade and subsidization of production of existing inefficient green tech. Put a price on carbon and try to find a reasonable alternative, including nuclear power. Pouring more money into corn ethanol and the like would be a disaster.

    Subsidies to fund public goods and positive externalities are often preferable to outright state provision, provided the benefits of such goods actually exist and aren't just some progressive bullshit. To say otherwise really isn't logically consistent with any world view other than anarchy, and it plays right into the progressives hands by justifying their strawman arguments.

    There's plenty of rationale for government under intelligent libertarian theory, the problem is that the statists will abuse the idea of market failure to justify whatever they want while ignoring the ideas of "government failure" as put forward by public choice economics. Good governance itself is a public good, how do we solve that market failure Chad?

    Thats why we have a limited decentralized government that can take advantage of regulatory competition, ease of exit, relative closeness between the population and the leaders to get the big issues right. With the rest being left to civil society, localities, and the States; in that order.

  • Chad||

    There will never BE a completely free market, so get over it.

    How convenient it is for libertarians that this is the case: It makes your dogma unfalsifiable. As it stands, you can just blame every epic market failure on the nearest government program.

  • Tim||

    What market failure caused the recession? I assume that is the "epic market failure" you are talking about. Although bad businesses going under is the market working, trying its best to get money out of the hands of those who waste it.

    What do you even mean by a completely free market? I'm fine with saying that the less a government intervenes the less responsibility it has when bad things happen; but price controls on money combined with insulating firms from failure and massive subsidization of mortgages aren't tiny programs. Neither is government already controlling half of all health care spending and supporting state health insurance oligopolies as a means to prop up loads of regulations designed to transfer wealth and pay off special interest groups. No one is blaming the recession and our other problems on the NEA, PBS and NPR.

    You clearly had a reading failure there Chad, because I pointed out that Global warming and other forms of pollution are market failures; and government should regulate accordingly. You on the other hand can't explain how you take the completely inconsistent position of simultaneously whining about "adverse selection" and people getting turned down if they have pre existing conditions. Do you understand the contradiction here?

    The difference is that as a libertarian I understand that market failures have a precise definition other than just an outcome that doesn't fit Chad's arbitrary conception of social justice.

    All philosophy and economics is unfalsifiable Chad, because it's not a hard science. You can dig up all the data you want, but you still have to prove causation; because mere correlation doesn't imply it. That's where logical arguments come in, and when your assumptions contradict each other you know something is wrong.

    So when you can show me a logical reason why some market will fail I will consider it, as I do with pollution, natural monopolies like utilities, and public goods like national defense and civil order.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    While you, Chad, defend every action of government - as long as it comes from your party.

    Said government, of course, failing to take its share of blame for market failures... but you overlook inconvenient truths.

  • Joe||

    False analogy. Markets participants make plans and the best ones that are designed and carried out win. With government, you throw all of our eggs in a collective basket to be run by know-nothing politicians with their own selfish motives and the firepower to make bad things happen.

  • Jordan||

    Government economic policy in Zimbabwe recently collapsed, and the country's situation has dramatically improved since then.

    See here.

  • ||

    lol

    Did chad just say Zimbabwe's hyper inflation and the Great Leap Forward were not caused by government?

    What a fucking idiot.

  • ||

    Can you point to a case where a free market caused a tragedy?

    I won't hold my breath:)

  • Tony||

    How can I possibly argue with a line of reasoning as airtight as that?

  • ||

    It's laughable that you actually have the gall to make a sarcastic comment about the use of reason.

  • ||

    Let's put AGW in perspective: some alarmists are saying a rise in CO2 levels of 100 parts per million is going to have catastrophic effects. That's a change in the composition of the atmosphere of 0.01%. That's leaving the atmosphere 99.99% unchanged.

    Does anyone really believe the ecosystem is that fragile?

  • ||

    Wow! That's purer than Ivory soap (@ 99 44/100%)

  • Tony||

  • ||

    They farted again!

  • ||

    I see you finished with your home work. Middle school must be tough for you.

  • The Gobbler||

    Apparently, metaphor is lost on you.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    That fart sounded more like someone trying to blow out a candle at the other end of a hallway...

  • The Gobbler||

    Candles pollute.

  • crayon||

    There oughta be a law! Durr hurr! More Dark Ages! Light bad, pollute Gaia! Down with technology! Me put ointment on Mommy's anus in dark!

  • Al Gore||

    We're working on that.

    Of course, I and my fellow Earth-lovers will be able to use jet planes and 3 MPG limousines... because we care about the children.

  • ||

    Actually, that is exactly what prolefeed just put forth. A completely unscientific conclusion based on personal incredulity.

  • Navin K||

    I agree with tony and heller here. Prolefeed, stop being an idiot and argue sense. If you don't think the ecosystem is fragile, tender evidence.

  • The Gobbler||

    There is no way Tony exists. No one could be that stupid.

  • ||

    Stupidity Denier!!!

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    AGW deniers = Holocaust deniers, remember.

  • ||

    Yawn, strawman.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "I would like to say we're at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future." - Ellen Goodman

    http://www.boston.com/news/glo.....l_climate/

    One of many. Google it.

  • ||

    Woot double irony bonus!

    Heller renders impotent one of his favorite fallacies. No more strawman for you, heller:)

    Now just please call someone on appeal to authority.. please please please..

  • ||

    Nothing gives more ironic enjoyment then when Tony calls a rhetorical foul:)

  • Neu Mejican||

    Hate to say it Prolefeed, but Tony got ya on that one.

    To be fair, I think it is more just a calculated red-herring. You are usually too sharp to fall for something that easily explained.

    If it is an honest question, maybe you should spend some time here
    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/

  • ||

    It might be a logical fallacy to just ask the question, but the argument is still valid.

    If the dinosaur extinction theory with the asteroid is true, then the sun was blocked out by dust and clouds for months, maybe years. If the ecosystem survives that, a 0.01% change in the atmosphere is pretty small potatoes.

    So, if there is proof that the Earth isn't THAT fragile, the argument still holds.

  • Tony||

    Um, I'm pretty sure the "ecosystem" will survive global warming. That is, some form of life will remain. The question is about whether the ecosystem that supports human civilization (for free--there's a handout for you) will survive.

  • ||

    The only thing likely to kill us is if you collectivists have your way and you have to face the reality of a world where resources only come from people who only work at the barrel of a gun. If there's no more freedom you'll have no one to blame for misery but each other.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "Liberal zombies take all sorts of dogmatic government shit on faith."

    FIFY, Morris.

    ***

    "...you have cultural bigotry against 'leftists' or 'liberals.'"

    Yawn. Another specious use of the word "bigotry". Not at all surprising.

  • Tony||

    Not all uses of the word 'bigotry' are specious. I really think you are so culturally bigoted against liberals that you would rather embarrass yourselves by defending an anti-science position than concede that a liberal might be right about something.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    And you're 100% biotry-free... right?

    Ever been refered to as an inbred hillbilly for the "crime" of not voting for Democrats? If not, then STFU.

  • Tony||

  • ||

    Beck and Rush are right about AGW...it will be fun to watch over the next 12 months as you are forced to concede this point.

    You should have eaten crow years ago...you holding off on it will make it even more fun to watch.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "an anti-science position"

    Here we go. More "if you don't buy this AGW bullshit we're spoon-feeding you, you're a knuckle-dragging creationist, and you're probably the product of incest and homeschooling" arguments. How tiresome.

  • ||

    It is an anti-science position if your reasons for denying AGW are political and not scientific.

  • Some Guy||

    I would say that is the very definition of an anti-science position. (Same goes if your only reason for believing in it is political.)

  • ||

    Science doesn't depend on faith or belief. Warmism is not science.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Is this where you pretend to not be an elitist, better-than-me dickweed, Tony?

  • Tony||

    I don't pretend to be a special human being in any way. I have all sorts of biases and bigotries. Doesn't change my point.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    The fuck you don't, Tony. You and Chad and your ilk come here continuously, berating and deriding the concepts of free markets, free will, and free enterprise. Hell, crayon uses the term "freedumb", and he's one of you.

    You liberals look down your noses on working-class folks, anyone who hasn't been to the right colleges, gotten the right kinds of anti-freedom indoctrination... then deny your bias against those not like you.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Oh, and aren't liberals supposed to be against bigotry and biases? The party of hate-crimes laws, hate-speech laws, and many, many other useless attempts to mold society into your image?

    You liberals are just as bad as right-wing Christians who want to use the power of government to make all of us live the way THEY want us to live - your side does the same thing, with YOUR beliefs codified into law "for our own good".

    Treating millions of grown, adult Americans like they were toddlers, is not good governance. Think about it.

  • ||

    "as bad as right-wing Christians who want to use the power of government to make all of us live the way THEY want us to live"

    Thank you for qualifying that...

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    It's true. Liberals and far-right conservatives both want to control our lives, using the bully power of government.

  • ||

    "as bad as right-wing Christians who want to use the power of government to make all of us live the way THEY want us to live"

    Thank you for limiting that to right wing Christians...

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I know a lot of religious folks, and 99% or better of them don't buy into the use of power to push their religion.

    Unlike liberals and THEIR religion of AGW...

  • Chad||

    No, I berate your idiotic, childish, and stupid concepts of freedom.

    Your ideas about the poor are ridiculous. It is economic conservatives who believe the poor deserve to be poor, and no one has responsibility to mitigate the inequities caused by "free markets".

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Freedom is slavery, eh, Chad?

  • Chad||

    Freedom from government is not the only form of freedom.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Our system of governance was meant to only do so much, Chad. Your side - and the far-right - want to turn government into an all-seeing, all-doing bully... with guns.

  • Tony||

    No, we don't. I'm as much against that straw man of a government as you are. You are the one who wants government to exist in an extreme form.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Bullshit. I'm a minarchist. We don't believe in the abuse of governmental power.

    Unlike Republicans and Democrats, that is...

  • Joe||

    Are you kidding. The markets have done so much for America's poor it is hard to imagine anyone but the most ignorant douche thinking otherwise. What has happened to average life expectency, average per capita income, average daily caloric intake, etc. of America's bottom quintile in the last 50 or 100 years. Our poor have heated and air-conditioned homes, TV, cable, cell phones, new clothes, etc. Hardly the stuff of destitution. Are the "rich" getting more prosperous at a faster rate than the "poor" in Ameria? Of course, and why shouldn't they since they are the ones making the prosperity. The "poor" are the beneficiaries of the fact that capitalism raises the lot of all.

  • ||

    It is economic conservatives who believe the poor deserve to be poor, and no one has responsibility to mitigate the inequities caused by "free markets".

    It's the statists who need the poor to be poor.

    Could you explain how income diversity is so strongly correlated with larger governments?

    Will collectivists ever examine the results of their policies?

    How's that war on poverty doing? War on drugs? War on terrorism? Any of these things working? Spend more money shall we? Give up more freedom?

    Show me a rich man and I'll show you a government policy that made him that way.

    Show me a poor man and I'll show you a government policy that made him that way.

  • Tony||

    Way to prove my fucking point dude. I've never criticized anyone for not going to the right college, or not going to college at all.

    I try my best to argue with libertarians on the merits of their arguments, but I freely admit that some cultural bigotry comes into play. I've firmly established myself in the unthiking position that all Republicans are evil, for example. It's not true or fair, but it helps me get through the day.

    You meanwhile put your anti-liberal bigotry on full display while refusing to see that you're doing exactly what I was talking about.

    I don't care how educated you are, I care how good your arguments are. If education and intelligence tend to go hand-in-hand, well that shouldn't surprise anyone.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Unlike liberals, I don't go around claiming to be perfect.

  • Tony||

    So what's your point exactly? That you concede my suspicion that you just have a lizard-brain prejudice against liberals that clouds your judgment on a matter of scientific fact?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Yawn. Yeah, we get it... mankind is 1005 at-fault for climate change. You fuckers use that argument so much, you actually BELIEVE it.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    100%

    Damn shift-key squirrel.

  • Chad||

    Where did we say that? That's not what the IPCC says, which is more like that there is a 90% chance that we are responsible for most of it.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Oh, "only" 90%?

    How charitable.

  • ||

    prejudice against liberals

    It's not prejudice when it's based on experience, sunshine.

    -jcr

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Maybe YOU don't do the self-righteous better-than-us thing, Tony, but a LOT of your fellow travelers sure as fuck do that.

    Trouble is, a lot of them are called Senator and Congressman.

    And President.

  • ||

    "If education and intelligence tend to go hand-in-hand, well that shouldn't surprise anyone."

    It would surprise the hell out of me. Most of our presidents, especially the last two, come from ivy league backgrounds and still don't have common sense.

  • Tony||

    To be fair, one was a Bush and wouldn't have qualified otherwise.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    And right now we have Obama, who described his brief stint in the public sector as "behind enemy lines".

    Tell us with a straight face that Obama doesn't despise the private sector. C'mon, do it. You know you want to.

  • Tony||

    All I really know is what he's said and done, which are both much much more deferential to the private sector than I'd be.

  • ||

    What gives anyone the right to meddle in the private business of others? How do you justify that? ("the ends" will not be accepted as an answer)

  • Tony||

    Government has the right to meddle in private business when that business causes harm to others, at the very least.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    It meddles in things that DON'T cause harm, Tony. Justify that.

  • ||

    Fuck you tony...

  • Tim||

    The liberal worldview is just a slightly more inclusive one than that of social conservatism. Try being a non liberal on a college campus.

    I wonder exactly what kind of "freedom" it is to be compelled to labor for the benefit of another. It's not that the poor deserve to be poor, its that they don't have a human right to my labor. They don't have a right to point a gun at my head and say give me your money, and that is what they do; liberals just try to make it sound more noble by using a middleman. Do you believe in self ownership? How can you justify such a belief while compelling people to work for other for nothing more than some vague conception of social justice based upon ignorance, guilt and envy.

    The only grounds for wealth redistribution is to make the case that somehow doing so will benefit the person who has to pay for it, for example some people benefit more from national defense than others so wealth is redistributed; but it is still a net benefit for everyone. With respect to the poor, this case can only be made for truly poor people; because we lose human potienatial of some Einstein slips through the cracks by virtue of bad luck or poor birth. However, since money is fungible any redistribution of wealth to people able to afford basic necessities just enables them to buy luxury goods, no social benefit there. Further, the benefits can't be so large that people just become dependent and complacent knowing that there's no point to work unless they can somehow jump their income by thousands at a time because they will lose more benefits than they will make in additional income.

    However liberals instead of making such cases want to socialize all health care to create more vast middle class entitlements and redistribute wealth from society at large to interest groups. Why do rich seniors get SS and Medicare funded on the backs of poor young people? Why are young people going to be compelled to buy health insurance covering far more than being hit by a bus so they can cross subsidize sick and middle aged people irrespective of their income level? Why is education publicly administered, and why do all families get it "free" regardless of income? Why do we have a byzantine tax code with tax incentives for who knows what going to who knows who?

    It's always "I just want regulated capitalism" or "I just want a social safety net" or a "private-public mix" but it turns out to be either flat out socialism or wealth transfers to the middle class and various special interests. It has zero grounding in sound economics or moral theory, only in anecdotes, half truths, guilt, envy, misleading aggregates with the willful disregard for second order effects and ignorance.

    It's especially ironic, given that environmentalism is all about unintended consequences, that these people don't realize that their misguided attempt to micromanage the economy distort incentives and cause all sorts of havoc. Forbidding the clearing out of underbrush because endangered species live there and then being surprised when the whole forest burns down due to an abundance of kindling.

  • Chad||

    In theory, science should be above such motives. Yet, at the very least, the scientists who back strong measures against global warming have not objected to the alarmism, the political fanaticism, or the pseudo-spiritual drivel promoted by many of the crusaders in this cause.

    Cathy, go read Treehugger, then go read something like RealClimate...in particular, Gavin's responses in the message threads. They are miles apart.

    Scientists are *very* careful about what they say professionally. Now compare that to some of the leading deniers, like Anthony Watts, who still deliberately throws weather-related stuff up on his infamous website despite the fact he knows darned well it is bunk.

    The climategate emails were often scientists discussing how to keep politics OUT of science, when deniers had found ways to squeeze it in, such as the incident at Climate Research. Of course, nothing is perfectly effective, but there are few things on earth that are less political than science. Nature doesn't allow it, because your distortions will be outed, and lying ends your career.

  • ||

    This is fun to watch.

    Chad really does not realize how dead AGW legislation is. The science has long ago been disproved, the emails only expose this fact to the public.

  • Chad||

    You may want to leave the crackpot echo chamber and, you know, pay attention to what is happening in Congress.

    http://climateprogress.org/200.....murkowski/

    How many Republicans do we need, exactly?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Zero.

    AND zero Democrats.

    That would be a nice start.

    Even better... dumping all of the above into an active volcano.

  • ||

    What science has been disproved? Because I assure you that AGW has never been disproved.

  • JW||

    Nor has AGW been proven.

  • ||

    Clearly you failed your science courses.

    Only abstractions, e.g. math proofs, can be 'Proven'. Material sciences can never be
    'proven', only disproven or failed to be disproven.

    AGW is very much in that later status

  • JW||

    Thank you for stating the obvious and validating my point.

    I'm sure next time some idiot claims scientists have "proof" of AGW you'll be just as quick to lecture them on falsifiability.

  • ||

    There's nothing to even disprove. (as admitted in the emails)

    The models don't cohere with data. There's just speculation about mechanisms.

    The effect of the GHE itself, the only part of AGW theory that's worthy of the word, is small and in no case will help mitigate the coming ice age.

  • underzog||

    You are so right, Ekaterina Jung. You don't have enough knowledge or smarts to realize the Gorebull warming is one of the greatest scientific frauds in history.

    What does one expect from an apologist for murderous Islam -- like your Röhmite buddies? It's a pity I didn't get to comment on time to your last revolting article where you want apostate Rifqa Bary returned to her loving Muslim parents so they can lovingly chop off their daugter's head.

    Thanks to Ekaterina Jung, we know that the word trick really means sexual orgasm instead of trying to deceive people. Where would we be without this woman?

    "There's no need to fear. Underzog is here."

  • ||

    Nice job proving her point that those who don't have the ability to fully understand the science behind the issue are ignorantly certain that their side is right. You cannot know for certain that global warming is a fraud, just as I cannot know for certain that AGW is true.

  • ||

    Can you think of a 'scientific' assertion that turned out to be right, whose proponents felt the need to suppress opposition politically?

  • ||

    Stupendous amounts of environmental destruction has been caused by policies designed to prevent global warming.

    The planet won't be able to survive much more of the global warming activists efforts to save it.


    Palm oil: the biofuel of the future driving an ecological disaster now

    Until now palm oil — of which 83% is produced in Indonesia and Malaysia — was produced for food.

    But the European Union’s aim of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, partly by demanding that 10% of vehicles be fuelled by biofuels, will see a fresh surge in palm oil demand that could doom the rainforests.

    That is likely to kill off the “flagship species” of wildlife such as the Asian elephant, the Sumatran tiger and the orang-utan of Borneo which are already under enormous pressure from habitat loss. Plantation owners regard the orang-utan as pests because it eats the young palm oil plants and hunt them down ruthlessly.


    Much of this destruction was a direct result of environmental policies enacted to reduce carbon emissions.

    Yet palm oil, mixed with diesel to produce biofuel, was hailed as a potential saviour for the environment. Put simply, the argument runs that the palm oil plants produce organic compounds that when burned in engines do not add to overall carbon dioxide levels. The CO2 absorbed by the plant in its life-cycle should balance the amount it gives out when burned.

    However, the more the ecological fairytale is scrutinised the more it begins to look like a bad dream.

    Researchers from the Dutch pressure group Wetlands International found that as much as half the space created for new palm oil plantations was cleared by draining and burning peat-land, sending huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
  • Chad||

    Policies that few environmentalists supported...not that you have ever spent time around them. I do.

  • Chad||

    Btw, I still have an open challenge that not one of you chicken-craps has been willing to take on:

    Please list the five peer-reviewed scientific papers released in 2009 that most strongly indicate that AGW is less of a concern than we thought in 2008.

  • ||

    Please list the five peer-reviewed scientific papers released in 2009 that most strongly indicate that AGW is less of a concern than we thought in 2008.

    Why does it have to be peer-reviewed when we know the peer-review process is a fraud?

    Anyway if you want to talk about science here are few things:

    1. Arctic Ice today has a larger extent then it did in 2007.

    2. The CLOUD project has several papers and work showing that cosmic rays have more influence on the climate then CO2.

    3. Downward trend from 1998 until now in all major global temperature measures. CRU, GISS, NOAA, and two satellite measures.

    4. Steve M and others have exposed the Yamal tree data is spurious and cherry picked.

    5. Ocean levels over the past few years have leveled off.

    6. Hurricane activity is at a 30 year low.

    7. Real world temperatures are still well below those predicted by AGW theory. and with each passing year the divergence between predicted and real temperatures grows.

    8. Ice cores from Greenland show temperatures were far higher 1000 years ago then they are today.

  • Chad||

    You seem to be lacking citations. Also, note that I did not ask for a laundry list of denialist talking points. I asked for papers published in 2009.

    Please try again.

  • ||

    Why does it have to be peer-reviewed when we know the peer-review process is a fraud?

    The list i have provided are all accepted as true skeptic or otherwise.

    Do deny any one of the above list is anti-science.

    I particularly this one:

    8. Ice cores from Greenland show temperatures were far higher 1000 years ago then they are today.

    as it is direct measured evidence that your claim that Greenland will melt and raise sea levels by 20 meters is complete bullshit.

    here is the data:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo.....-2475.html

    but the video is a much better demonstration:

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

  • Chad||

    You still can't answer my question, can you?

    That's because you have no answer other than your stock crackpot denials.

  • ||

    You still can't answer my question, can you?

    He did answer your question, and your response was a knee-jerk denial.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Because I'm not a climatologist, I'm not sure how the temperature in Greenland (which is what the graphs in the video show) corresponds to our understanding of AGW in general.

  • Tony||

    Why does it have to be peer-reviewed when we know the peer-review process is a fraud?

    A stupid, trumped-up email controversy don't give you carte blanche to reject entire aspects of the scientific process.

    You guys accuse people who believe in scientific reality of being religious dogmatists. Why then are you the ones using lame sophistic tactics thought up by creationists?

  • ||

    A stupid, trumped-up email controversy don't give you carte blanche to reject entire aspects of the scientific process.

    In the case of AGW it does. I am sure the vast majority of Peer-review outside of AGW works just fine. Of course the vast majority of Peer-review does not involve blackmailing journals and denying access to data and methods from critics.

    In other words peer-review in other fields is actual science while peer-review in climate change literature is a gate keeper for keeping out scientific inquiry.

  • Tony||

    I agree that politics has influenced global warming science to a greater degree than most fields. So how about you deniers stop trying to politicize science?

  • ||

    How about you warmists stop calling your religion science?

    You're not only smearing real science you're smearing real environmentalism with this wolf cry.

    There's plenty of people ill equipped to tell the difference who will use this as an excuse to poo poo real concerns.

    Cut it out.

  • Chad||

    Awwk! The sky is falling! Awwk!

  • WDIK||

    Well here's one.

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2008JD011637.shtml

    only 4 more to go.

  • WDIK||

    Here's number 2

    http://xxx.lanl.gov/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf

  • WDIK||

    Number 3

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/c47m4x8222886n12/

  • WDIK||

    Well i was going to post a fourth but the system won't allow it.

  • WDIK||

    Okay let's just make this simple. Here is a listing of 500 different peer-reviewed papers that challenge the AGW theory. You can find the ones published in 2009.

    www.populartechnology.net/2009.....rting.html

  • WDIK||

    So question, is that "stock crackpot denials"?

  • ||

    I have a question for the liberals? The scientist readily admit that they have to manipulate the data. Why? You go out obtain a temperature, do this daily and obtain an average for specific times. I was talking with a astrophysicist on this subject, both of us are used to data collection, submitting articles and the process of formulating opinion. We could not understand the necessity for manipulation of such simple data sets. That is unless the data does not match the desired result. You see that type of math in dealing with cholesterol studies where big pharma companies want their drug to be better yet the data does not match. Then the math really gets complicated. The same is happening here. Just about every claim that the warming guys make can be shown to be inflamatory and cherry picked. You could take the same material and make a case for cooling.

    But that is no longer the argument. The data has been shown to be corrupt and the original material lost. That is completely unacceptable in science. Then we get to the manipulation of the journals and peer review process. I can not tell you how serious that is in academics. That alone should make the whole warming arguement worthless.

    Now we come to the desired answer to the problem. That is a massive tax on energy. I can't think of anything worse in our current economic environment. It would only deepen the depression we are in and tear the US apart.

    The answer is to stop, take a deep breath and rework the problem. Then come up with an acceptable answer. And yes, I want corporations the thrive as that is how we all are able to pay our bills.

  • Chad||

    How does one go from "CRU lost a very tiny fraction of the data that they had purchased from someone else, who still has the data" to "THE data was lost"?

    http://climateprogress.org/200.....murkowski/

    Oh, by not giving a whit about facts.

  • ||

    Nicely put.

  • underzog||

    Climate alarmists! I fart

  • underzog||

    Climate alarmists. I fart in your general direction.

  • ||

    "Tony|12.14.09 @ 6:12PM|#
    Explain how the private sector would deal with a problem like climate change."

    What's the problem?
    The fact that the climate changes is a fact; why is it a problem?

  • Chad||

    Actually, does it matter a whit WHY it happens...if it is bad, it is bad, and we should prevent it.

  • Al Gore||

    "If" being the key word.

  • Al Gore||

    Um, that's what the Holoca- er, AGW deniers say...

  • ||

    Well, OK, but there's the matter of "if" and the matter of "proportionality".
    Pace Bastiat, it's yet to be shown that it *is* bad.
    If that's shown, the next qestion is: What's the appropriate response?
    Returning to 18th century economic levels it a pretty serious demand; if you're to demand that, you'd better have a solid data on both those questions. I haven't seen that.
    I'm old enough to have seen all sorts of catastrophic predictions come up empty; most of them seem to ignore the insights of Julian Simon and focused on the foolishness of Paul Ehrlich.

  • Tony||

    But it has been shown that it's most likely to be very bad.

    Who is talking about returning to 18th century "economic levels"? CO2 levels, maybe, but I don't see how an economy based on clean energy rather than Saudi Arabian fossil fuels will be anything like the 18th century, or all that much of a horror show.

    Also, I think it's prudent to consult scientists before economists. We'll get to the latter when you guys get to the former, how about?

  • ||

    Who says climate change is bad? In the short run or the long run?

  • ||

    With geniuses like this in charge it is guaranteed that policies enacted to fix global warming are going to cause great amounts of environmental destruction.

    United Nations Kicks NGOs Out of COP-15 Climate Conference

    Washington DC: The United Nations announced today it is permanently banning thousands of accredited non-governmental organizations* from the COP-15 climate conference in Copenhagen.

    NGOs apparently are being banned because the United Nations accredited 45,000 people for a building with a capacity of 15,000.
  • ||

    It is truly appalling, the vulgarity that is being posted. The adolescent, snickering vulgate precludes any semblence of Reason. C'mon people! Grow up and lose the childish responses. By the way, I applaud the non-censorship of REASON (sic)while deploring the stupid vulgarities of supposed inteligent people.

  • Warty||

    Drink, fuckfaces!

  • Tony||

    supposed inteligent people

    Who supposes such a thing? Luckily, I already have a motherfucking drink made.

  • MJ||

    This thread has become entirely too silly.

  • iowahawk||

    "I will freely admit that I don't have enough knowledge of science or familiarity with the scientific method to be able to come to a truly informed conclusion at to which version of "ClimateGate" is right. Neither, I suspect, do some 95 percent (or, more likely, 99 percent) of people who have spoken out on the issue, on either side."

    Yeah, but that's your fault. It's not really that hard to understand the core methodology of paleoclimatology. My guess is that 95%-99% of the people weighing in on this (on both sides) presume that the long term climate models are some hyper-complicated programs running on vast networks of parallel supercomputers. Proponents think the mysterious code inside the computer is correct, skeptics assume there must be a bug somewhere. Far too few have

    The truth is that the climate reconstruction models of Mann, et al. are exceedingly simple, and anybody can repeat Mann's analyses on a cheap PC, using a simple spreadsheet and free software. I wrote a blog post the other day demonstrating this, with some of the same data used by Michael Mann....

    http://iowahawk.typepad.com/io.....ction.html

    Sorry for the link-pimping, but I get annoyed when pundits weigh in on this stuff without taking the time to understand what these models really are. Take 20 minutes and go through the exercise and you'll have a decent understanding of where the "hockey stick" came from and most of the context you'll need for deciphering the emails.

  • Chad||

    Still arguing about the proper size of some error bars on a 11 year old graph?

    What difference does it make?

    Denialists always seem to miss one amazingly stunningly obvious point: The harder you argue that there is lots of "natural variation", the more strongly you imply that the climate is unstable, and therefore forcing it in any direction is more dangerous. In your (very pathetic) attempts to increase the small odds that our observations are natural, you unwittingly are arguing that what we are observing is more likely to lead to catastrophe.

    Silly geese.

    The fact is, the odds that our observations are "natural" are small. Natural variation is not magic. If it was hotter during the MWP or any other time, it was hotter FOR A REASON. This is what your side utterly lacks - a reasonable explanation for the observations besides AGW. Without it, your argument has a hole a hundred miles wide. Showing that there was more "natural variation" in the past does indeed make it slightly more plausible that some mysterious, unknown force is causing the warming (and simulataneously, AGW theory is wrong), but the odds of this are still low no matter how large "natural variation" is. Your efforts to reduce the odds that AGW is the primary forcing behind current climate changes from say, 90% to 85%, have unintentionally indicated that the damage would be far worse if the theory is correct.

  • ||

    The harder you argue that there is lots of "natural variation", the more strongly you imply that the climate is unstable

    Ice ages are real. Are you an Ice age denialist chad?

    If it was hotter during the MWP or any other time, it was hotter FOR A REASON

    What was that reason? If you can answer that then you can answer a question that has alluded Jones, Mann and Briffa for a good 20 years of study.

  • Chad||

    Of course Ice Ages happened...for a reason that we understand relatively well. However, the changes occured very rapidly while the cycles that drive them happen on the scales of thousands of years, proving that "tipping points" move the climate significantly one way or another in short period of times.

    If it were hotter in the MWP (a big "if"), it was for a reason that hasn't left any obvious traces. If that or any other reason was occuring now, why can't we find it?

  • ||

    for a reason that we understand relatively well.

    and what was that reason?

    this is the 2nd time i asked you.

  • Chad (the totally real one!)||

    Are you incapable of reading the Ice Age article at Wikipedia? It would do you some good.

  • ||

    If that or any other reason was occuring now, why can't we find it?

    The better question is why can't we find global warming at all beyond the GHE?

    You're argument is that since there's no evidence for something else (which is false anyway) then your pet hypothesis, which there is also no evidence for, must be valid.

    The fact is highly CO2 sensitive models do not cohere with empirical data.

    You can handwave and employ every rhetorical fallacy in the book and it doesn't change that simple reality.

    If it's true, (and it's not) that all the experts agree then the data plainly shows your experts are flat wrong.

  • ||

    Your efforts to reduce the odds that AGW is the primary forcing behind current climate changes from say, 90% to 85%, have unintentionally indicated that the damage would be far worse if the theory is correct.

    Predictions of climate change caused by man made greenhouses gases have diverged from current temperatures. The reality is that if AGW were true then the world would now be much warmer then it currently is.

  • Neu Mejican||

    then than it currently is.

    That one is my pet peeve.

  • Neu Mejican||

    And you did it consistently for every possible opportunity you had on this thread, so it ain't a typo...

    =/;^)

  • ||

    then

  • anonymous||

    "The harder you argue that there is lots of "natural variation", the more strongly you imply that the climate is unstable, and therefore forcing it in any direction is more dangerous."

    The rise and fall of the sun each day is unstable. We must sacrifice the hearts of a thousand peasants to ensure the gods are merciful enough to allow it to rise again tomorrow!

  • ||

    Chad|12.14.09 @ 7:23PM|#

    Still arguing about the proper size of some error bars on a 11 year old graph?

    What difference does it make?
    Denialists always seem to miss one "amazingly stunningly obvious point: The harder you argue that there is lots of "natural variation", the more strongly you imply that the climate is unstable, and therefore forcing it in any direction is more dangerous."

    Your conclusion doesn't follow from your premise; the instability may or my not have to do with any human activity at all.
    Your claims of 'this that that' are false.

  • ||

    The problem is simply lack of evidence for AGW, much less a plausible mechanism.

    So AGW alarmism is valid because some other people don't believe in AGW alarmism (null hypothesis).

    Now there's some fine sophistry.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Hell of a post, Iowahawk. Be prepared for a "surprise" IRS audit.

  • ||

    He didn't exactly disprove anything...

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    You just say that because he's a Holoc- er, AGW denier.

  • ||

    If you have trouble understanding what went on in East Anglia, I suggest you explore the suppression of scientific dissent in the areas of 'Special Relativity' and the 'Big Bang Theory', among others. Science is the art of preserving the status quo and garnering more than one's share of grant money.

  • Tony||

    Science is the art of preserving the status quo and garnering more than one's share of grant money.

    That's pretty much how I'd characterize the bogus science funded by oil companies that is the source of most of the denier talking points.

    Your accusations against the discipline that has brought you every modern comfort that you enjoy is pretty rich for someone who I presume appreciates progress and industry.

  • ||

    Ah yes, the oil company straw man. It took over 100 posts for you to pull him out of the closet. You're getting slow, old man.

  • Chad||

    Ah, the "It's all about the grants" red herring, which betrays a fundamental ignorance of how science is funded.

    Scientists get more and bigger grants for doing GOOD SCIENCE, that other people reproduce and leverage to learn even more. The fastest way for a scientist to end their career is fudge data.

    Why you would think any sane scientist would risk the latter is beyond me.

  • anonymous||

    "Why you would think any sane scientist would risk the latter is beyond me."

    Money? Importance? Activist trim?

    Fear of having your career ruined if you don't frame the facts in a way that will serve the agenda of the wealthy and powerful?

    Scientists get research money not out of some sense of altruism, but because they discover useful truths: whether it's how to cure a disease, how to make an existing technology more efficient, or how to convince a lot of people to do something that solely serves the interests of another.

  • Chad||

    If you fake data, you will probably be caught. If you fake important data, you WILL be caught. Getting caught ends your career.

    There is hardly any connection between the answer you find in one grant and your chances at the next grant anyway. Faking data has almost no pay off and utterly devastating (and highly likely) consequences.

  • ||

    If you fake data, you will probably be caught. If you fake important data, you WILL be caught. Getting caught ends your career.

    Unless you're selling warmism.

  • ||

    Chad|12.14.09 @ 8:55PM|#"
    Ah, the "It's all about the grants" red herring, which betrays a fundamental ignorance of how science is funded.
    Scientists get more and bigger grants for doing GOOD SCIENCE, that other people reproduce and leverage to learn even more. The fastest way for a scientist to end their career is fudge data.
    Why you would think any sane scientist would risk the latter is beyond me."

    Well,it might be:
    http://www.econlib.org/library.....hoice.html
    Your presumption isn't shown, it's presumed.

  • Chad||

    I don't understand your point. What is hard to understand about the fact that scientists almost always have a very strong personal incentive to get the CORRECT answer, and almost never the reverse. So even if their personal incentives were "biasing" them, they would be biased in the right direction....towards the truth.

  • JW||

    Utter bullshit. Why do you think we have double blind experiments? Scientists like anyone else are influenced by subjective bias.

  • Chad (the totally real one!)||

    I just admitted scientists have "biases". But the overwhelmingly most powerful ones are

    1: To get the right answer, because that is what we have devoted our lives to and is what interests us

    and

    2: To get the right answer, because that is what advances our career in the long run (and usually the short run too).

    Thank God for that!

  • ||

    The 'right' answer has become the one that gets your budget renewed.

    That's not science.

  • MJ||

    And there's the belief in science as a religion, casting a heretic out.

    There is a platonic ideal of "science", but the ugly reality is scientists are just as prone to be corrupt for materialistic or ideological reasons as any other human being. Scientists are not above reproach

  • anonymous||

    Your accusations against the energy technologies that allowed the developed world to become the developed world is pretty rich for someone who I presume likes living in the conditions of the developed world.

  • ||

    Tony: "That's pretty much how I'd characterize the bogus science funded by oil companies that is the source of most of the denier talking points."
    Care to offer evidence, or just admit you pulled that out of your butt?

  • Tony||

  • ||

    Nice try. From the site:

    "despite a public pledge to cut support for such climate change denial,"
    Note the claim is "denial" of climate change.

    Further from the site:
    ""NCPA scholars believe that while the causes and consequences of the earth's current warming trend is [sic] still unknown, the cost of actions to substantially reduce CO2 emissions would be quite high and result in economic decline, accelerated environmental destruction, and do little or nothing to prevent global warming regardless of its cause."

    Notice there is skepticism regarding both the cause and the consequences; not anything like "denial".

    Next from the site:
    The Heritage Foundation published a "web memo" in December that said: "Growing scientific evidence casts doubt on whether global warming constitutes a threat, including the fact that 2008
    is about to go into the books as a cooler year than 2007". Scientists, including those at the UK Met Office say that the apparent cooling is down to natural changes and does not alter the long-term warming trend."

    So "natural causes" of cooling somehow prove warming? And therefore questioning the "threat" (whatever that is), is invalid?
    Your claim of "bogus science" is a fail.

  • Chad||

    Ahh, right wing think tanks making up economic numbers...so convincing.

    Frankly, modern economics is not equipped to handle this problem. They don't even make it to the wild-@$$ guess state yet, and their numbers vary by orders of magnitude.

  • ||

    Ah, did you read anything of the cite you offered? What 'right wing think tanks' are you referring to?
    Can you read? Or....

  • ||

    "Science is the art of preserving the status quo and garnering more than one's share of grant money."

    Return to the trees! Science is corrupt!

    Where do you people get this stuff???

  • Troll Shart||

    Because trolls never just fart . . . more like a spatter. And I'm going to linger.

  • ||

  • ||

    It is sad really. Those of us stuck in the middle n global warming are attacked on the left and the right.

    I believe that GW is happening but I do not believe that the earth has yet reached the danger point and that we need to create dozens of new government bureaucracies to solve the problem. The problem with ClimateGate is that it has put every other scientific model on the issue in doubt. Politics is fueling both sides of the issue but scientists are supposed to be above this. The fact that they are not and that the IPCC is playing politics, silencing dissent and cooking computer models does not speak well for us to trust them.

  • ||

    gabe|12.14.09 @ 11:09PM|#
    "It is sad really. Those of us stuck in the middle n global warming are attacked on the left and the right."

    Disagreed. Those of us 'stuck in the middle' may well get a pass on the radical demands of those on the left.
    It's not like those on the right are demanding a take over of the economy. We can all watch what happens (as opposed to the whacko predictions) and respond to reality. Incrementally.

  • ||

    Those on the right are dismissing real science because they disagree with the political wing of the movement. That's almost as bad as what the left is doing, in my opinion. The reaction from the left about the future climate is incredibly overblown, just as the right's assertions that AGW is a fraud and scientists are corrupt.

  • JB||

    Those 'scientists' have not proved their case.

    It does not help when they write shitty code, make up data, and delete data.

  • JW||

    Threatening those who dissent and stonewalling FOIA requests doesn't exactly promote a corruption free image.

  • ||

    Those on the right are dismissing real science because they disagree with the political wing of the movement.

    Lucky for the "the right" they happen to be correct about the science. "the right" is wrong about a number of things and it is good that they get something right.

    As a libertarian i have looked at the science and it is wanting.

  • ||

    Absolutely wonderful article, Cathy.
    I'm emailing it to my family.

  • ||

    Absolutely shitty article, Cathy.
    I am not emailing it to anyone.

    And I would like you in the future to checkout the politically neutral factchecking sites before you spew forth your drivel.

    Politfact: http://tinyurl.com/yacpkkq
    Factcheck: http://www.factcheck.org/2009/12/climategate/

    You are paid too much.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    From the Miami Herald .

    "
    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... "

  • ||

    It is interesting the GW/CC debate is always in terms of belief. Like a religion, you either believe in a prophet (As Gore has been labeled) or you do not believe. That the purported science in this matter cannot stand on its merits cements the fact it is NOT science. When people must be grouped under the condition they believe the same thing in order to privately view manufactured "data" then this exercise can no longer wear the label science. Hoax or fraud can be the only real labeled affixed to this effort. When data, which I always thought sacrosanct in the world of science, is altered or just discarded then the people who allow themselves to be called scientists must have their credentials examined. It is not science to attempt to reverse engineer data to achieve a desired outcome so as to legitimize an equally dishonest course of social engineering. Science has become a casualty of not just politics but greed and envy. People greedy to get the next grant from the government. People greedy to cash in on the contrived carbon credit Ponzi scheme and people envious of those of who work and produce. The past 48 years of degradation of science in the classroom has created a population of lemmings who lacking understanding of scientific methodologies acquiesce to the dangerous minority who have learned not just science, but its manipulation for personal gain. This minority of dubious talents have learned to manipulate their positions of supposed expertise in the name of advancing agendas rather than engaging in discovery. There was a time when people of similar stature were held in high regard because they alone possessed the ability to read and interpret certain books and schools. As people became more educated and individuals of conscience rebelled, these people of stature were reveled for whom they were. Similarly, the new age religion being foisted on people has been exposed for the dishonest idea it is. Science has become not just a victim of politics but also hubris and greed.

  • Christopher J Burton||

    I find your article both agnostic and without a point. Surely the people who will bear the brunt of enormous wealth transfers to the third world should have the final say as to whether they will accept this solution or not. Not only is up to the climate scientists to give us a balanced calculus of the cost of action verse inaction, but it is incumbent upon everyone to be as informed as possible on the issue.
    There are some very basic facts that seem to tilt the public perception toward inaction. The climate scientists are destroying and hiding data. The people who want open and transparent information seem to be on the sceptic side. I don’t think you can honestly accept publicly funded climate science until we have completed a comprehensive and balanced forensic audit of the results and the method used to find them.

  • ||

    I'll do you one better- surely the 3rd world recipients of this alleged boon should have a say in whether we spend trillions on carbon reductions, or instead on, say, AIDS drugs, fighting malaria, or starvation. I'm thinking their answer will be pretty clear.

  • ||

    I don't know climate science, but I do know software- I've spent over 10 years working in IT.

    The best software in the world will not produce correct results if fed erroneous data.

    And if your data is perfect, buggy software will not produce correct results.

    There is no conceivable circumstance in which bogus data processed by poorly written software will produce correct results.

    If we want accurate projections, we need correct data and well-written software to process it. It does not sound like the CRU had either.

    You do not need to know anything about climatology to understand that.

  • ||

    This chap names and shames 8 of the players in this shoddy fiasco: http://www.cfact.tv/2009/12/07.....onference/

    You need 30+ minutes for it, but well worth it.

  • ||

    Chad,

    The environmental community was knee deep in the promotion of biofuels.

    Since it has become obvious how much environmental damage and habitat destruction their biofuel promotion has done they are trying to airbrush that support away.

    Advocates for carbon reduction need to learn quickly that nothing is more damaging to the environment than bad government policy.

    Government has deep pockets, a lot of resources, and worst of all government suffers zero consequences when they cause environmental destruction.

    People that are demanding that something be done now with no consideration of
    1. The technical feasibility of reducing carbon emissions

    2. The unintended consequences that might result from carbon reduction policies.

    Have caused and will continue to cause an immense amounts of environmental destruction . A little less hubris from the advocates for reducing carbon emissions would be helpful.

    Here is an example of the environmental communities support of biofuels.

    BRINGING BIOFUELS TO THE PUMP
    An Aggressive Plan for EndingAmerica’s Oil Dependence

    Natural Resources Defense Council issue paper: july 2005

    biofuels can free America from foreign oil in a cost-effective and environmentally safe way:

    • Biofuels could virtually eliminate our demand for gasoline by 2050.
    • Biofuels could be cheaper than gasoline and diesel, saving us about $20 billion per year on fuel costs by 2050.
    • By 2025, producing the crops to make these fuels could provide farmers with profits of more than $5 billion per year.

    • Biofuels could reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 1.7 billion tons per year—equal to more than 80 percent of transportation-related emissions in 2002.
  • Chad (the totally real one!)||

    And they are right...biofuels can be a useful tool. However, they have also been discussing land-use policy along with it for a long time. It was centrist politicians who drove the current policies, which were the worst of both worlds.

  • ||

    You're writing as if AGW were a brand-new hypothesis based on current facts, and such a position is about 20 years out of date. In 1988, when AGW seemed possible, it would indeed have been self-serving to reject it out of hand. After 20 years and $80 billion, resulting in a complete absence of evidence, rejecting it is the only rational course.

  • ||

    ebt,
    The first warnings were from the mid 50's. Late 70's had the JASONS report.

  • ||

    You don't have to understand the statistics to realize that AGW is built on flawed logic. It goes something like this: we have constructed computer models that predict a warming earth. When the measured temperatures don't agree with our models, it must be because of a natural cooling trend that we don't understand well enough to put into our model.What? natural warming cycles? Well, no, we don't think so. Natural cycles only occur when we need to explain results that aren't predicted by the models.
    Can you see the circular reasoning at work?

  • ||

    "I will freely admit that I don't have enough knowledge of science or familiarity with the scientific method to be able to come to a truly informed conclusion at to which version of "ClimateGate" is right. "

    Any person with an IQ above 100 can easily come to an informed conclusion about this matter if they are willing to do an hour or two reading."

    For example "Mike's nature trick" has been explained on many blogs.

    It is not innocent.

  • ||

    Cathy Young, I think, is being far too generous to Mann et al. I was involved in numerous research projects as an MD and never witnessed this kind of behavior - destroying raw data, concealing statistical tricks, trying to blackball fellow scientists, etc. Believe me, these guys are up to no good and the best that can be said of them is that they are not true scientists.

  • ||

    great article, so true

  • abercrombie milano||

    My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I'm sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane.

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  • ||

    Science relies on theories and facts. It gives out facts proven by experiments and held out with much self-reliance. Fact must be fact. Open-mindedness and intellectual honesty is the rule.
    Weber E330

  • ||

    Explanations and answers are derivable. Methods or research and seeing things laid down, requires instinctive minds. More power with controlling matters with an aid of a great mind.
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    Explanations and answers are derivable. Methods or research and seeing things laid down, requires instinctive minds. More power with controlling matters with an aid of a great mind.
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